I can’t believe I’ve gone a week without blogging! Honestly, I look forward to keeping in touch with y’all via my blog. Suffice to say only a SUPER INTENSE work week – or an act of God – would keep me from my (somewhat) regular schedule of posting. However, last week was both intense and full of “act of God” surprises. For those of you who haven’t given up on me, thank you…and here’s a synopsis of my cartoon life last week.

My Cartoon Life (Or, Why I Didn’t Post for a Week)

Last week my husband and I drove over to Saratoga, NY to take part in New York City Ballet’s festival at SPAC. You might think life on the road with such a famous ballet company is a breeze. After all, the company DOES tour all over the world; and, when they’re on their home turf at Lincoln Center they’re used to the rigors of performing, on average, 30 ballets per season.

But, A Behind-the-Scenes Look…

At life at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center might surprise you. Even though the picture I took (above) of the dance studio was taken at SPAC, most of the rest of SPAC doesn’t look so pristine. With just a roof and open sides on the auditorium (read, no climate control), all of the performers on stage and in the pit are at the mercy of the elements. That includes trying to perform while ducking the dive-bombing moths, lifting up our feet when giant spiders crawl past and making sure we don’t get mosquito repellent on our instruments. (Note: DEET will literally eat off the varnish of stringed instruments. I know this from experience…)

There have actually been a few blissful SPAC summers where we lucked out and had sublime weather for the festival. Not this time. Apart from the heat (somewhat expected in upstate NY in July) we also experienced:

  • A torrential rain storm that flash-flooded the auditorium during an orchestra rehearsal and came within a 1/2 inch of flooding the pit
  • Two electrical blackouts just prior to the Gala


But the show must go on…

So we took multiple showers every day, did loads of laundry, persevered and emerged in the end mostly victorious!

My Cartoon Life - Photo of cartoon drawing of man in-toga by Joana Miranda-playing-the-violin

What’s Next?

I’m happy to report that my husband and I now have a few days to rest and recover at my mom’s NH cottage before heading back to the Big Apple. This means I can let my viola get used to a climate controlled environment again while I focus on whipping up treats of the visual and gustatory kind!

P.S. I made the walnut bread pictured above this afternoon before sitting down to write this post. The recipe is a gluten- and lectin-free one from Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox cookbook. My mom and husband love it, so this is the 3rd loaf I’ve made since we arrived in late June!


  1. sharonia628 says:

    Not to forget delicious cod and tapenade dinners and swims in Goosey Pond (when it’s not raining). And playing with Puck!

  2. Jennifer Greenlee says:

    Sara Toga! That’s funny. This summer’s sweltering heat and torrential rain has been bad for our concerts as well.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      It was so hot that the personnel manager told us to wear whatever we wanted (i.e. to hell with the concert dress code). He made this comment just before we started the stage dress rehearsal of Stravinsky’s Apollo. Apollo’s “loin cloth” and little toga looked like a piece of wet toilet paper stuck to his body about 5 minutes into the rehearsal…hence my cartoon inspiration. 🙂 Thankfully, we can now jump into my mom’s lake whenever it gets hot now.
      xox – Joana

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