"I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye..."

"For everything you've done, you know I'm bound... I'm bound to thank you for it."
~taken from Natalie Merchant's "Kind & Generous"

Today is my final day at the New Haven Register. After about 15 months with this newspaper company, I will be moving on to a new position at my college.

It's a bittersweet transition for me. On the one hand, I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater to work alongside some of the people who inspired me for four years. It should be a wonderful experience and I will undoubtedly learn a great deal from them.

On the other hand, I have to leave some of the coolest, most dedicated and hardworking people with whom I've ever come in contact. The editors, reporters and staffers at the New Haven Register welcomed me with open arms last June. Not gonna lie - I was nervous about finding my niche.

Fortunately for me, these people are great. In an age where newspapers are struggling to keep up with changing times, the people at the Reg never struggled to keep it real. I meet a wide variety of personalities and interacted with some pretty awesome people. I've been very lucky.

I truly want to thank everyone at the Register who threw a kind word or smile my way, gave me support when I really needed it (especially in January), offered me friendship, made me laugh, gave me a chance... you have no idea what that all means to me.
Please stay in touch and know I'll never forget my time at the New Haven Register. The good, the bad and the ugly - I'll hang on to it all.
Thanks again, and rock on.
*blog title taken from The Sound of Music's "So Long, Farewell"*


"Even at my worst, I'm best with you..."

Mr. & Mrs. Bryan & Jane D'Onofrio
The friends I mentioned last post were married this past weekend. I really had told myself that I wasn't going to cry, but man did I! It was so beautiful, they looked so happy and I was overjoyed to be with them at their joyous occasion. It was also humbling to have members of both familes come to me and say a simple "thank you" for introducing them five years ago. Trust me - it was my pleasure! Love you guys! Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Bryan D'Onofrio!!

This weekend, I am seeing RENT for the 3rd time on Broadway (I've also seen it another time when the touring company came to the Shubert). Now is an extremely exciting time to see the show because two of the original cast members (Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal) have rejoined the cast for a limited engagement. I am beyond thrilled! I'm going with my friend Ellen (hi there!), and we will be singing, dancing and crying the whole show. We went to see the movie together when it came out in 2005, and we cried then, too. I guess you can saw we are true RENT-heads.

Stay cool, enjoy the sun and take in the last summer rays while you can!

*blog title taken from The Rembrandt's "I'll Be There for You"*


"I've got to get a move on with my life; it's time to be a big girl now..."

Two days ago, I mailed two letters which, in a way, blow my mind - R.S.V.P.s to my 5-year high school reunion and to the wedding of two of my oldest friends. It really doesn't seem all that long ago when I graduated from high school and (that same year) introduced the two people who are now engaged.

Let's backtrack a bit. Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I maintain strong ties to my high school. I was very involved while there - Student Council, newspaper, drama club, drama productions, teacher's aide, office aide, intramurals... you get the picture. I even worked as the summer school secretary for three years after graduation.

I cannot believe that it was five years ago I stood before the faculty, my class & their families and friends to speak of our memories and the future (for those of you playing the home game, I was valedictorian). So many things have changed in my life these past five years. I've graduated from college, lost people very dear to me, entered the work force, moved out on my own, gained new friends (and misplaced a few old ones)... but I'm psyched to head back in time and see people from my past, some of whom I haven't seen since graduation day.

My senior year of high school was notable for many achievements, events and memories. One of the brightest spots looking back, however, would have to be when I introduced Jane and Bryan at the Homecoming dance.

I've known Jane since first grade and Bryan since freshman year of high school. Jane and I went to elementary school together and while we went to different high schools (and later colleges), we stuck together and saw each other fairly often in the h.s. days. Many times in school, Bryan was my sarcastic partner in crime during English class or in play practice. The two of us together almost always spelled trouble.

I asked two of my friends, Jane and our other gal pal Sienna, to come to one of my school dances in January '02. Bryan also attended and I introduced hom to Jane. I watched as they talked and danced throughout the evening and shortly thereafter I accompanied them on their first date (seeing Collateral Damage). I was thrilled to see them stick together when college time rolled around.

Five years later, my friends are getting married. At their wedding shower a few weeks ago, Bryan's parents jokingly introduced me as "the one who caused all of this." It is a title that I'm glad to have.

The wedding is in August, the reunion in September. It's going to be an exciting few months!

Five year reunions and friends getting married - time sure flies when you're becoming an adult...

*blog title taken from Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry"*


"If you want something new, maybe I got what you need..."

I will be the first to admit that I was a huge American Idol fan. While I didn't see any of this past season (but good luck to you anyway, Jordin), I was an avid fan of the first 5 seasons. And yes, I cried when Kelly won season one.

I am also a baseball fan. Now this is not to say that I know every player on every team's name, number, position, stats, etc. I'm lucky if I know most of the Yankees, a few Mets and some other players' names from across the leagues. Regardless of my sports knowledge, I appreciate the game and enjoy watching it both live and on TV.

These statements being made, I felt that I should share two events that will highlight both of my aforementioned interests.

The New Haven County Cutters will be featuring two former American Idol contestants in upcoming game events. On June 29, Ace Young (season 5) will perform prior to the game. Then on July 19, William Hung (season 3) will dazzle audience members with his vocal stylings (don't worry - this is also a Thirsty Thursday promo day, which will probably be necessary after his performance).

If you want to check out these or any of the other awesome events the Cutters have in store this season, head over to their promotions page.

I just may need to make an appearance at Ace's gameday. Hope to see you there!

*blog title taken from "Alright" by Elliott Yamin (American Idol season 5, 3rd place)*


"How will I ever decide what I truly want to be? Doctor, lawyer, no - that's not me..."

On Friday, May 25 (which is tomorrow for me as I'm writing Thursday night) I will not be at work. No, I'm not going on vacation. No, I'm not covering a story. I was asked to speak at my high school's first ever Career Day.

Now first off I should let it be known that I love my high school. In fact, I loved it so much that I worked there for 3 summers after I graduated. The friends I made there, both other students as well as faculty and staff member, are still very dear to me and I always try to get back there when I can.

Needless to say when I was asked to speak to 9th, 10th and 11th graders, I was thrilled. Look at me, 22 years old, going to speak at Career Day with around 30 other alums from all different years and backgrounds. Seems surreal to me.

I know that I wouldn't be where I am today (or who I am today) without the good folks at Marty Lu in Maspeth, Queens, NY. Tomorrow should be a blast.

I encourage all of you to give a little something of yourself back to the folks who got you where you are today, whether that means helping out at your high school or college, sending an old friend a letter to say hi and catch... whatever it is you want to do. After all, there is no future without our past.

Talk to you soon! And Happy Memorial Day!

*blog title taken from my college friends' band Camera Shy Paparazzi's song "Fake Diaries"*


"There'll be spectacle, there'll be fantasy, there'll be daring do and stuff like you would never see..."

Cannibal the Musical; photo by JMPixleyIn keeping with my latest postings promoting community and local theater, there are two events at Southern Connecticut State University that are well worth mentioning.

Andromeda's Galaxy; photo by JMPixleyLooking for something to do in the next few days? Check out SCSU's night of student-directed one act plays presented by the Theatre Department and the Crescent Players (those are the promo photos by
JMPixley you see throughout this blog entry). You can find the one-acts tonight thru Saturday - May 2 - 5 at 8 p.m. and May 4 & 5 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for non-students ($5 with your SCSU I.D.) and will be sold at the door. If you have any questions, call SCSU's theatre department at (203) 392-6100. For more info on the show and to get directions, check out Southern's event page. This evening of theater is a great way to support area students and to see what I've been assured is a quality event.

Less than two weeks from today, SCSU's Crescent Players, Student Government Association, Women's Rugby Team, SCSU Dance Team and other campus organizations are banning together to raise money for one of Southern's own. Student Cristina Cortese was diagnosed with stage four Thymic Carcinoma in January of this year. This rare cancer affects (among other things) her body's white blood cell production. Any battle with cancer is difficult due to its physical, emotional and financial toll, so SCSU wanted to help.

There will be a Variety Show on May 15 in the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts from 7 -10 p.m. to help raise money for Cristina and her family. Tickets will be $5 and can either be purchased in advance at the student center from May 7 - 11, or at the door.

For more on this event, contact Elyse Williams. Students signed up for Facebook can look for the “Courage for Cristina” group.

I'll be at the Friday night one-acts and will try my very best to attend the other event. I hope you will, too! PVT WARS; photo by JMPixley

As always, if you know of any upcoming community theater events, feel free to drop me a line or comment on this blog.

*blog title taken from "Hey, A Movie!" from The Great Muppet Caper*


"Curtain up! Light the lights!"

I love theater. This is a love that has evolved in me since early childhood from a passion for film and Broadway (thanks in great part to my mother, who shares this love).

When I was in high school, I was a proud member of the drama club and participated in many theater productions as a techie - behind-the-scenes, stage managing, directing, even dabbling with some choreography. One of my best friends from high school took his love of drama to another level.

Erik Neilssen (also MLHS '02) is far more talented than I could ever hope to be. You see, Erik does it all - acts, writes, directs, produces... you name it, he can do it. Acting from a very early age, he has been in a myriad of shows and proven himself as a well-rounded thespian. Several years ago he had a vision for a community theater program which he has since made into a reality. I had the pleasure of seeing N.E.A.T. Productions' latest production this past weekend in NYC.

The group put on a double-feature radio show with H. G. Wells' The Time Machine and Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was a joy to see high school and college-aged actors combining their voice talents, foley artist & musical skills, and that is the beauty of community theater. The show was great, but even better was knowing that these young theater lovers are able to practice the craft with their peers before a live audience. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for these young people to grow, both as thespians and as people.

I urge everyone to support school and community theater programs. I will be posting blog entries with information on upcoming productions as I hear about them. If you know of any upcoming local shows or auditions, please email me or leave a comment on this blog entry.

Since life is already filled with so much drama, why not enjoy some that is scripted?

*Blog title taken from "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from the musical Gypsy*