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Ramblings From The Road

January, 2001

Hello Dolls,

What a busy month I had in December. In a way my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. In a big way I'm so tired of Christmas. Certainly not it's religious value, but the fact that I've gotta go shopping, then I gotta cook, then I gotta entertain, and then I gotta celebrate the New Year when I'm totally exhausted. And I think that if this is the way the New Year is going to start (with me being exhausted) then the hell with it. Next year, I want to be entertained! My Yugoslavian friend Danielle, AKA Big D or Bubbly Pink, is going to drag my family and me to the Black & White Ball at the Opera House in Vienna. I'm going. I don't care what anybody says. Can you imagine getting dressed up in your white gown, drinking champagne, eating hors d'oeuvres, and then, when the orchestra begins to play, all you do is waltz, on New Year's Eve, with the one you love? Just waltz, and waltz, and waltz. And I think the gifts should be that each night a different family takes out the entire entourage to the restaurant of their choice as their Christmas gift. Doesn't that sound civilized and romantic? You know, go about the 22nd or 23rd of December, start eating your way through Vienna and possibly Budapest and on New Year's Eve waltz in the New Year. I'm working on it.

So, after the New Year's Eve party I had where everybody left at 12:02 to go home and sleep, I went to Dallas to sing with the Dallas Symphony. What a spectacular orchestra and what a great time we had. Restaurant tips: The Y.O. Ranch Restaurant, 702 Ross Avenue, 214-744-3287. Good Texas food. Avanti, 2720 McKinney Ave. 214-871-4955. Also delicious, but they play jazz as well and it's got sort of a gypsy flavor to it. In Deep Ellum on Elm Street, The Green Room. And for Japanese, Tei Tei (a robata bar), 2906 North Henderson, 214-828-2400. If anyone's read "Memoirs of a Geisha" we had Hatsumomo as our waitress.

From Dallas everyone went home but me. I went on to Salt Lake City and worked on an episode of "Touched by an Angel." What lovely people in production, as well as the stars, Roma, Della and John. I had a great time working with them. The set was fast and efficient thanks to the direction of Stuart Margolin, a wonderful actor in his own right. One restaurant tip ('cause I was too busy working) is The Metropolitan, 173 West Broadway, 801-364-3472. The card reads, "Hand crafted new American cooking." That should say it all. On the weekend, instead of being hotel bound I made a plan and I drove to Midway, Utah in the mountains and stayed at The Homestead which is a country resort with a Hot Pot. Now, a Hot Pot is a geophysical dome, which began forming in approximately 192 BC from mineral deposits accumulated from the water bubbling over the top. The water originates from springs bubbling at the bottom approximately 45 feet deep. The water temperature is 96 degrees. I so wanted to jump in but, of course, I didn't have a bathing suit, not thinking I'd be running into a Hot Pot in Utah. When I arrived at The Homestead at 9:30 on a Friday night, I needed a drink. But it is Utah, after all, founded by Brigham Young of the Mormon religion, so, drinking was limited. I entered the bar having been told that I got the last room in The Homestead due to the World Cup Cross Country Ski competitions the next day and it was just me and the map of Europe. Germany, France, Italy, Norway, and Sweden were represented in the bar. The best part was the lady at the piano playing the score to Camelot. Do you think any of those European guy athletes know show tunes? I sat in virtual obscurity. I wish I spoke another language. Why, I could have been the American ambassador to Utah, a state I hardly know, but what fun it would have been to sell it. I love the Europeans. They know "joie de vivre," "la dolce vita"... is there a German expression? I kept thinking, shouldn't these guys be in bed? They compete tomorrow. And all the while, these guys are drinking beer and wine, and I'm listening to foreign languages, and the piano player is playing show tunes from South Pacific and West Side Story. These are the experiences I live for.

The next day I went and watched some of the World Cup Cross Country skiing. I took a sleigh ride with a grisly old teamster whom I took to calling Panama Hattie and went and visited a family living American history as pioneers in the West. They are not donning costumes, they live this life. They have three kids, no electricity, a fire ring outside with food cooking and a wood burning stove inside. It was pretty wonderful to see this right in the middle of Soldier's Hollow, which will be the site of the 2002 Cross Country and Nordic Olympics. What the Utah people want to sell to the Olympic Committee is the pioneer life of Utah and Western culture. Some people think they should promote their Symphony & Ballet, but every city has a Symphony and Ballet. Not every city has the history and culture of the Mormons and the pioneers. If there's going to be diversion and amusement at the Olympics other than the Games, then I vote for American folklore. It was so interesting talking with this family and then going to the Tipi Village where mountain men demonstrated how our ancestors survived and yes, then of course, skiing was going on too. But where else would I be looking? I was looking at the costumes... lots of leather and skins, Dolls, leather and skins. From there I went to Sundance and met the people with the Theatre Institute at Sundance. I look forward to doing something with them in the near future.

I'm home again. I wanted my son to play hooky from school so I could spend time with him today but it was a snow day anyway. So, we snuggled and then I yelled at him to clean his room. I am so glad to be home. I leave again very soon and I will definitely try to write more frequently, but sometimes I go places and there are no experiences to write about. Those of you participating in "Ask Patti" - come up with some good questions. We haven't had good ones for months now. I guess that's it, it's time for dinner and I'm in the middle of rearranging Josh's books.

Love, Patti


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