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This Next Chapter Of My Life

As usual, this past June I received my apartment renewal lease in the mail. Now most every year (because I've been a longstanding tenant for 15 years), my rent increases have been minimal; therefore I know I've been fortunate. However, over the past 4-5 years there have been some major inconveniences in my apartment building, such as: getting stuck in an elevator for an hour because the leasing company refused to replace the ancient elevators; the water being turned off several times a month because the water pipes keep breaking in need of repairs; constant false fire alarms because the fire alarm system is old and outdated; frequently broken washers and dryers in the basement, which makes doing laundry frustrating because many of them don't work. The maintenance department in this apartment building is horrendous. Allow me to add here that Philadelphia is a blue-collar city with very strong unions that favor and protect the worker. To get anything done in this city takes FOREVER because union workers know that the longer they take, the more money they make. So they take their sweet old time; not caring how long you have to wait.

A Recipe To Die For: Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta

With the extreme hot and humid summer weather that currently weighs heavily upon us here in the Northeast, all I have the desire to consume lately are foods that are watery, cool, and refreshing.

Therefore, I've been craving and eating A LOT of salads.

Now before I share this to die for recipe, allow me to give you a little backstory on my favorite cuisine...

My Food History:

I pretty much eat a Mediterranean diet. Things like: whole grain pasta and breads, couscous, hummus, tabouli, feta and Asiago cheese, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, herbs, olive oil, and red wine. I eat very little meat. And that's not something I consciously do because I think it's healthy, rather it is a diet I'm just organically drawn to and enjoy. The look and flavor of Mediterranean cuisine is heavenly to me because it literally feels as if it's connected to my soul.

Ursula From The Little Mermaid, And Other Disney Villains

Call me strange, but I much prefer the villain characters in Disney animated films over the sugary-sweet ones. And that's because I find the villains much more entertaining and multidimensional. Villains expose and reflect both the "dark and light" within us all.

When I was still acting, the roles I relished doing the most were the villains. However, playing a villain is not as easy as one thinks because you can't simply portray a villain as a single note: menacing, or cruel, or evil. The challenge is in uncovering the characters "humor and humanness" so that the audience finds themselves being charmed by the villain, instead of disliking them.

Fond Summer Memories From My Childhood In the 1960's

Yes I know, another nostalgic post about a previous time in my life.

Yet I can't help it, for the past few months I've been thinking of my parents and missing them, which has brought back a lot of wonderful childhood memories.

As I've shared with you throughout these 10 years, my childhood was far from being "picture perfect" as it was typically depicted on so many American television shows in the 50's and 60's. However, I cherish and feel extremely grateful for my family life and wouldn't change it for the world because when I look back, I see only the good times and how much I was supported, cared for, and loved by my parents.