Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Jingle Bells


I just woke up from a 3 1/2 hour nap: after finishing Across The Wall I just collapsed on my bed, not even bothering to crawl under the covers. I suppose that's what I get for staying up late Christmas Eve and being roused at 9am.

Most of the things I had on my wish list were received, hurray! The only major thing I didn't get was The Phantom Hourglass, but that's something I can buy for myself sometime. I was more excited by the things like, say, the fact that I now own all seven season of The West Wing! Finally I will get to see how it all ended!

Two days ago my family and I saw Charlie Wilson's War and the only thing I knew going into it was that Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay. Two hours later, I was once again blown away by Mr. Sorkin's ability to make, for me, even the most inaccessible political finepoints perfectly understandable. Tom Hanks gave one of his best performances in 10 years, Julia Roberts managed not to be annoying, and Philip Seymour Hoffman...what can I say? He's the most versatile actor working today. And the ending quote is worth the movie and, of course, very applicable to what's going on today in Iraq and the "War on Terror". I highly recommend seeing it.

I hope all of you are having a most peaceful, restful holiday. I, for one, am very upset that I'm leaving five days--it seems like I never have enough time at home. Sunday night I babysat for our neighbor's 18-month old grandson, Alex(andre). Super cute, super energetic, cannot go anywhere without his stuffed polar bear, Nanuk. I'm babysitting him again tomorrow night. Presents, babies, movies, naps...what else could I possibly want out of a vacation?

Yuval and I will be spending some (as yet) undetermined amount of time together on New Year's Eve. :oD Not sure what else I'll be doing, but at least I'll be getting some kisses. ;o) Perhaps we'll decide to make it official? Who knows...

Stay warm, be safe, I love you all. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Calling You

Despite the fact that it was about 9 degrees outside last night, Yuval and I had a wonderful time eating sushi and talking in the restaurant for three hours straight (I'm pretty sure the waitstaff hated us). He gave me a ride home, there were some goodnight kisses exchanged, and I grinned all the way into my apartment. We almost cancelled the date because he's had a bad cough lately, but thankfully it had died down a lot during the day. He called me an hour after the date to ask me to save my copy of yesterday's Metro paper, wherein his letter to the editor was published: he was admonishing someone who wrote in the day before as Santa saying that, due to polar caps shrinking, "Santa" would do his part to cut down on environmental costs by subsisting on a diet of penguin eggs. Yuval replied that, since penguins live in Antarctica, the transportation costs alone would make that a very un-environmentally friendly policy). Um...I really, really like him! I'm going out with him again this Thursday night: we wanted to have another date before I leave to go home for a week. And he's already asked if I want to do something for New Year's with him. It's all still a little strange, this going on real "dates" with someone I'm not in an established relationship with, but I'm having a good time so far!

Be glad you don't celebrate any holiday like these fundamentalist Mormons: 47 siblings and 7 wives? Talk about an expensive Christmas! Speaking of Christmas, Sweeney Todd is getting very positive reviews all around, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes (an 89% with 29 reviews in). Hurray! Also in the holiday spirit of things, Adrienne's Chorus Pro Musica concert is coming up this Friday night and I'm super excited--there are few things I love more at this time of year than the songs and the singing of them. She was on TV this morning (the local FOX news broadcast) as part of a small sampling of what's to come at the choir's concert. It was so cool seeing her all pixelated and shit! I wanted to point and shout "That's my roomie! I know her!" Very awesome, even if it was 8:40am.

Thankfully Mom convinced Megan to return her recently purchased copy of I Am America ("I just think you're really going to want to return that, Meg. Trust me."), so my Christmas present for her is saved. Although now she suspects something, but I guess it can't be helped. Yesterday was my first ever official office holiday party, although it wasn't just technically our office; it was the entirety of the faculty and staff here at BU at the annual party. But it took place from 3-5pm, which meant I essentially got to leave work early to go drink free booze, eat really good food, and enter door prize drawings. I can't emphasize enough how awesome working for a university is: everyone should try it at least once!

Also, Britney Spear's 16-year old sister is preg-o, folks. But don't worry, the father is her "long time" boyfriend that she's had since high school...which she's still attending. I don't normally care about celeb gossip, but the Spears family is a train wreck I just can't tear my eyes away from. And I love that their mom is currently writing a parenting book. Right. I'll be sure to keep that book as far away as possible from all future baby showers I might attend...

Okay, time to keep working on the 8 lbs. of dark chocolate Lindor Truffles that the sweet German professor in the department got me. Thanks, Wolfgang, for making sure I will not suffer from lack of chocolate this holiday season!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tuesday Night's Squad

Today has been one of the most productive days I've had in a while. Got massive amounts of laundry done, dry-cleaned some stuff (myself), ironed 8 pairs of pants, cleaned my room, paid the bills, cleaned the bathroom, watched some of season two Battlestar Galactica, and burned all of the Planet Earth series that I finally got my hands on from the library. Whew! Funny story: as I was quickly changing out my stuff from the washer to the dryer, the young gentleman waiting for the washer kindly informed me that I'd dropped something. He picked it up to hand it to me and we both realized at the same time that it was a pair of my black underwear. I simply thanked him, threw them in with the rest, started the machine, and sauntered out. The whole thing was rather comical and so sitcom-esque I'm sure it's happened on some show before.

Well, ladies and gents, you can release your bated breath. The date on Friday night went well, really, really well and I'm seeing him again on Tuesday night for sushi. The time until then cannot possibly pass fast enough. Translation: I've definitely got the hots for this guy! We spent nearly 5 straight hours together Friday night and neither of us felt it was enough time. He paid for dinner and skating/skate rental at the Frog Pond. And since he is an ice hockey player and knew I was nervous about my terribly skating skillz, he just skated backwards the whole time with his hands out in front of him so I could hold onto him as I skated forward. Yeah, I'm sure we made some of the punks at the rink gag with the cuteness, but he was so sweet about it and we had great conversation whilst going round and round. He also saved my ass from falling no less than 7 times. We then sojourned to Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee (me) and hot chocolate (him), which I paid for out of gratitude and smitten-ness. Our topics of conversation ran the gauntlet from politics to drunken college time to jobs to favorite books to theories of religion...and beyond to much, much more. The night concluded wonderfully: we chatted for a bit outside my T stop, I hugged him, he kissed my cheek so I kissed his, and he seemed to think "Fuck it!" and went in for the real kiss...So nice! Quick but sweet, and I couldn't stop grinning like an idiot all the way home. I distracted myself from giddy thoughts by playing some more Super Mario on my DS.

Don't jinx it, but I think this might work out for us. :o) Guess I'll have to tell Ben "no" for a third date. Any suggestions on how to break it to him easy?

Anyone who's a fan of The Big Lebowski should definitely take a look at this video. Kudos to Adrienne for the heads up! Saturday night saw me babysitting for Dylan and then rushing off to Anthony's house for a holiday soiree. Poor Dylan had a bad cold, though, so he had a snot face the whole time and had some problems getting to sleep. He also threw up on my shoulder at one point--thankfully I managed to tame the grossness with soap and water after he fell asleep. I also talked to Yuval for over 20 minutes on the phone, a rare and practically unprecedented feat for me considering how much I hate talking on the phone. Dylan's parents came home a little after 10:00pm, paid me way much more than anyone deserves to paid for this kind of work, and wished me a happy holiday as I bolted out the door for the T to Brighton. Turned out my bottle of white wine was not needed (more for us!), but plenty of fun times were had playing Scattergories and, as my uncle says, shootin' the shit. Adrienne and I ended up having to take a taxi home at 12:50am as, unbeknownst to us, the inbound T stopped running around 12:15am. And so my love/hate relationship with the MBTA continues...

No church this morning as the ridiculous amounts of snow and sleet made the buses even slower than normal. Instead, I busied myself buying toilet paper, razors, and getting quarters with which to do laundry. Thai food later tonight at Duk Bua (yum!).

P.S. For those who know what I'm talking about, what could you see me as more: a Clayr, an Abhorsen, a Remembrancer, or a Charter Mage? I like all of them...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lesson No. 1

I have to say I'm upset that Grey's Anatomy got two Golden Globe nominations. Even fans of the show admit that it's gone careening downhill. Wake up, nominating committee! Just because it's a medical drama with attractive people doesn't mean it's automatically a good show! At least House has the street cred to back up its multiple nominations. Speaking of which, I have to make a trip over to MiniNova to get the latest episode...

The date went really well last night: that is, really well after we found the actual location of the Paris Creperie. When I looked it up it said it was near MIT and the river, so there I went, only to have Ben call 411 when the location it gave us turned out to be a bakery. Of course the new location just had to be in Coolidge Corner, a mere 10-minute walk from my apartment. But once we got there, delicious crepes were eaten (mine was ham and brie, and I had a brown sugar and butter crepe for dessert). We probably talked for about 2 1/2 hours straight, including the short ride he gave me home. He's a really nice guy to talk to, but I'm discovering more and more that he doesn't have quite as much of a sense of humor as I'd like and has a few other personality traits that I'm not so taken with. Perhaps I'll go out with him again, perhaps not? I paid this time since he covered my ass last time. Is it a bad thing if the guy doesn't even protest a little bit when the girl offers to pay, or is my method of thinking completely out-moded and anti-feminist? In any case, tomorrow night is the date with Yuval, which I have high hopes for based on our conversations so far.

"Avoid Death" has been chosen as the funniest warning label this year. The runners-up were pretty amazing, too. Oh, what a culture of lawsuits we've become! I finished Lirael last night, ravenously devouring the last three chapters whilst making my doomed way to the initial crepe location. The library cannot possibly ship Abhorsen to me fast enough: I think it's safe to say that Garth Nix has found a place on my "favorite authors" shelf right next to Philip Pullman. Anyone have an opinion on The Keys to the Kingdom and whether or not I should pick it up? Also, for any other Abhorsen Trilogy fans out there, Nix has officially stated that he's writing two more books for that world. One will be called Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen and will show how Chlorr of the Mask came to be about 450 years before Sabriel. The other one has no title yet but will fit into the world somehow...I forget what the press release said, exactly. In any case, hurray for more Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre!

And because of this shit that's heading right for us, I get to leave work early today. As in right now. HUZZAH FOR SNOW DAYS!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deck The Halls

So...sleepy...I love candlepin bowling, I just wish I could get to bed earlier than 12:15am on Monday nights. At least I got to ride in Colin (Kat's red w/white stripes Mini-Cooper) and see a GPS in action for the first time. Plus, I bowled a 74, which is a high score for me in candlepin. Huzzah!

The Metamorphoses audition went well, even though the director surprised me by asking me to sing some of my favorite holiday song: going in I thought the singing was optional. Nonetheless, "Silent Night" came to the rescue and I managed to stay on pitch and key. I haven't heard back from them, which means no callback for me (again). Oh well. Though I really miss doing theatre it's not causing an irreparable hole in my life. Perhaps this means I'm just not passionate enough to "make it", or maybe it just means that theatre's not what I'm supposed to be focusing on right now. Either way, I don't feel depressed about it. Theatre's given me a lot of good things in life, and if Dionysus has declared that my stint is over, then so say we all, right? Yeah, I've been watching way too much Battlestar Galactica (and now I'm on the wait list for season 2.0).

I was 30 minutes late to babysitting because the T was out and they were busing people to the first underground stop. I called Jillian (the mom) and told her what was going on and she told me to just get in a cab and they'd pay for it. Unfortunately the traffic around in the area they occupy is horrendous at night (and it was a Saturday), so it still took me the better part of a half an hour to get there. The cabbie was friendly, though, and we had a nice discussion about how crazybadinsane Boston drivers are. Fortunately, though, Dylan was still awake due to a late nap, so I still got to play with him plenty. He used my finger as a chew toy at one point--ah, teething.

Anyone who ever went to Catholic school or has had any dealings with nuns will laugh at this. Silly nuns. Not to exclude my Jew friends, here's one for you, too. Ham for Hanukkah? That grocery should fire whoever made that sign. You're in Manhattan, for chrissakes! At least try to be a little more cosmopolitan and world-savvy. Speaking of Christmas and holidays, I've got almost all my shopping done. I'm a big fan of in-honor-of charity donations for extended family, so I purchased quite a few shares of different animals at Heifer International for my aunts, uncles, and grandma. Highly recommended, if you're stuck on what to get people for a present.

I'm currently listening to a lot of Christmas music, as you can tell by this entry's title. If you want to support charity whilst getting into the holiday spirit, go to AccuRadio and listen to any of their holiday channels. They'll donate a $1 to charity for every hour you listen.

So I've got two dates this week with two different guys. Wednesday night I shall be seeing Ben again, this time just for dinner. Friday night will feature dinner and ice skating with Yuval (wherein he will skate circles around me with his fancy hockey moves). I'm still nervous about this whole "dating" thing, but I know a little more of what to expect now, at least.


Friday, December 7, 2007

You Were Meant For Me

Um, is anyone else as psyched about this trailer as I am? True, it doesn't seem to capture the goofy feel of the original Speed Racer series, but considering it was a show about a teen who's obsessed with racing whose girlfriend spent more time with his little brother and pet monkey than she did with him...well, I think it's amazing they even came up with a plot. And I loves me some John Goodman.

Also, in case you ever wanted to know: How To Break A Beer Bottle With Your Bare Hands.

THE DATE. I know you're all dying to hear about it, but because I've told the story so much I'm going to literally copy and paste from an email I sent to Anton. Don't tell me what I can't do!

The date was really fun. My ankles hurt like hell from the skating, but otherwise it was quite enjoyable. The conversation never had any awkward moments or pauses and we were able to discuss at length things like The West Wing and our families and our favorite professors who are dying of horrible diseases (not actually as depressing as it sounds). He paid for everything, including my foamy mint mocha at a little cafe on Charles Street after the skating finished. I called my dad afterwards to assure him I was not dead or kidnapped and proceeded to discuss how I worried I was that I couldn't tell if I like liked Ben or not: I enjoyed our time together, he's cute in an unexpected way, we get along, but he's very different in some personality respects and very math/logic oriented. My dad told me to stop worrying and over-thinking it and just figure out if I had fun or not. I did, and he asked if I thought I'd have fun doing this with Ben again and I said yes. He told me that's all that matters.

It's just so strange because this is the first date I've ever been on with someone I didn't already have a crush on or was dating at the time. It's so overwhelming trying to take in all aspects of a person while remaining engaged in a conversation! I'm planning a date with a different guy who I've been talking to as well, so I'm turning into my college-era mother more and more (aka the Serial Dater). I'm glad I did this, though, because at the very least I feel like we could be friends. For the other date (his name's Yuval--he's Jewish), I think we're going to a Bruins game. He plays hockey, I enjoy sporting events, and tickets are only $10. I'm really excited about this one, actually.

Today will be an interesting day at work. We're hosting the Massachusetts Junior Classical League Conference, which means about 500 area high school students have descended upon us and will make our day much more interesting than it should otherwise be. Oy vey...

I've started reading Lirael and I'm really enjoying it. Very interesting how different a heroine she is from Sabriel. Garth Nix is definitely a new favorite of mine. :o) And not that any of you care, but OHMYGOD the latest two episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender have been so good I was literally at the edge of my seat. Now if only Nickelodeon would tell me when they plan on airing the next episode...

Um. Yes. Audition tonight for Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, babysitting Dylan tomorrow, Golden Compass on Sunday. Boss!

p.s. #4 on my sister's Christmas wish list is The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. Part of me thinks that's really cool, and part of me wonders what kind of impact her major is having on her social image... ;o)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Always Somethin' There To Remind Me

This makes me sad/happy. This makes me angry. This makes me laugh uproariously. This makes me wonder if it's for realz.

This is my Christmas Wish List, in order of preference. I shall not, nor do I expect to, get all of these things, but here they are:
1) "Avatar The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 2 Collection (Earth)"
2) "The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass" for Nintendo DS
3) GAP Curvy Boot Cut Jeans, medium or dark wash
4) Season 7 of "The West Wing"
5) $59 for a one-month Charlie Card Link Pass
6) Spa day (mani, pedi, massage, facial) or combination of treatments
7) Matchbox 20: "Exile On Mainstream"
8) $110 for roundtrip Greyhound ticket to Raleigh, NC

I've got my date tonight with Ben. And of course, because Fate loves a practical joke, I started developing a cold sore yesterday. Thanks to my ever-handy tube of Herpecin-L lip balm it's not huge (yet), but the fact that it chose now of all times to recur really irks me. That's what I get for sharing my juice boxes in kindergarten, though (which is about when I got my first cold sore). Interestingly, studies have concluded that anywhere from 50-80% of the US population has Herpes Simplex I (the kind that causes cold sores) at any given time. So at least I'm not alone. But still! 'Cuz you know nothing says "love me!" like herpes on your face.


AHAHA! One of the student workers I supervise just brought in the mail that was mis-sorted into our stuff. We received something for someone in the Theology department: the latest issue of Affirmation & Critique: A Journal of Christian Thought. This baby has some gems for article titles, my favorite being "Receiving the Economical Revelation of the Triune God as the Word of God to Become the Economical Manifestation of the Triune God as the Testimony of Jesus". A close runner-up was "The Principle of the Man-Child."

An addendum that may or may not make the above slightly more humorous: the man who it was addressed to died a year ago.

ANYWAY. Went to the doctor yesterday to see what he had to say about my never-ending cold and found out I have a viral sinus infection. Yippy. I got some cortisone nose spray and have been instructed to buy CVS-brand Aphrin 12-hour nose spray to combat the nasty buggers living in my sinuses. That would explain why my cold sore's here, though, as they usually poke their heads up whenever I actually get sick with something beyond the sniffles.

Speaking of sniffles and colds, Adrienne and I are taking action on the deplorably freezing state of our apartment. According to Massachusetts law, landlords are required to keep the temperature in all apartments at 68 and above between 7am and 11pm, and at 64 and above between 11:01pm and 6:59am. Refusing to suffer any longer, I bought an indoor temperature monitor off Amazon and had it overnight shipped so it should arrive today. Then we'll record the temperature for two days, call the landlord to explain what's going on and what we're planning, buy some window insulation kits/low-e film for the windows, record the temperatures again, and then hand the receipts over to the landlord. Democratic justice in action, y'all.

Also, if anyone wants to let me know their opinion of The Tin Princess I'd love to hear it. I really enjoyed it, but I think I liked The Tiger in the Well better simply because I adore Sally.

The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman
The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh
The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh

p.s. One of the faculty just came in and gave me a package of Ferrero Rocher chocolates as a present. I love these people!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Two Coins

Kind of fell off the planet there, didn't I? Perhaps I didn't update for so long because my fingers have been in a near-frozen state since then. Our apartment continues with its streak of spectacularly failed heating attempts and, as a result, is about 65 degrees. Since the windows aren't insulated, and the heating strip is right below the windows, all the warm air goes right outside. The fact that I don't remove any of my insulating outerwear--designed to keep me from dying of exposure in the below-10 degree windy weather we've been having here in Boston--when I come home should tell you how cold my apartment feels. I'm sleeping under flannel sheets, a down comforter, a quilt, and a fluffy blanket. This morning saw me browsing Consumer Reports for the best space heater (the DeLonghi SafeHeat Flat Panel Micathermic HHP1500), which I intend to buy as close to immediately as my budget allows. Thanks, babysitting money, for keeping me warm this winter.

So thank Allah the Great Teddy Bear Crisis of 2007 is over, right? I, for one, never thought that ridiculousness would end. Though now I feel like anti-Islam supporters are going to use this as yet more ammo against Muslim countries and further proof of how much "better" Christianity is than all other popular religions. Conveniently the right-wing fundamentalists will forget to mention their noisy campaign against The Golden Compass. Fine, you have every right under the Bill of Rights to express your opinions and distribute them, but at least make them informed opinions! What irks me most about all this is the fact that, while God does die "at the hands of a child" in the third book, the point is that He had actually been imprisoned long before that and wanted to be let out and "killed". The religious part of the books is about one faction trying to eliminate the lasting effects of the Original Sin (aka "Dust") and another faction trying to save it because our fallibility is what makes us human. The war in heaven is between factions of angels and trying to end a coup d'etat headed by one of God's most trusted servants. It's impossible to argue that the books don't have religious implications, but they're also some of the most well-written and highly imaginative books to be published in the last twenty or so years. Let kids read it for themselves and then be man enough to sit down and have an actual discussion about their reactions! Kids really are a lot more intelligent than people tend to give them credit for.

Okay, enough soapboxing. Sorry about that. One of my grown cousins (with a family) sent one of those "boycott" emails regarding this movie to our whole extended family and it really shocked me and pissed me off. She hasn't even read the first book, let alone the one she was warning people to be "aware of" (aka the third one). Just forwarding a message without actually finding answers for herself.

In other news, I have a date on Wednesday night! Yes, a real date, not just me taking myself out to the movies. He's a guy I met on OKCupid, which I switched to after getting fed up with Match.com's policy of "pay to actually communicate with people". His name is Ben, he's got bright red hair, he's 26, has a Master's from Carnegie Mellon, and designs/programs interactive entertainment. Which means he spends a lot of time going back and forth between Boston and Disney World (Epcot, to be specific). Though it's not his specialization, he works with real robots that can have real-time conversations. Like this guy, Quasi. I'm supposed to meet him (Ben, not Quasi) at the Boston Common frog pond where I shall proceed to fall on my ass while attempting to ice skate. His idea, which I think bodes well. Certainly more creative than you're typical dinner date, right? Wish me luck: I'm a little nervous as I've only just realized I've never actually been on a real date before with someone I'm not already dating.

For the English majors out there:
Underfunded Schools Forced To Cut Past Tense From Language Programs
For the Drama majors out there:
Charges Filed After Santa Pied In The Face

I'm progressing slowly but surely through Battlestar and really loving it. Found out my dad is a huge fan of the original series and we chatted about how cool the characters are and the differences between the new and old series. I wanted to finish the second and third discs tonight, but alas I will not have the time as I'm going to my first of two training sessions as a volunteer at Horizons for Homeless Children. If all goes according to plan, I will be spending two hours every Wednesday with the kids at the shelter.

Christmas shopping was taken care of this weekend, thankfully. One less worry on my mind. I forgot how much I enjoy Advent services at church until yesterday--something about the candle-lighting and the hymns really makes me happy and warm (on the inside). The actual sanctuary was freezing. I was late to the service because the bus was 20 minutes late, and then had to wait 30 minutes for the bus home after working out (the gym is a two-minute walk from my church). Add to that the freezing temperatures and brutal wind and my Sunday left me feeling ill. Though I'd kind of been feeling ill for most of the weekend, starting with right after work on Friday when I thought I was going to puke while waiting 30 minutes in 5 degree weather for a train that wasn't filled way beyond capacity. I came home, slept for 4 hours, and then made my way over to Margaret's new place. A rousing game of drunken Apples To Apples was already in progress, so I joined in with my Coke I'd brought from home. Throughout the game I continually admired Bruce's--her flatmate--collection of comics and video games. Thanks to his generosity, I now have the opportunity to read all four volumes of the Nausicaa manga that the movie was based on, and I'll get to play Super Mario for the DS. Yay new things!

I think the sickness might be a sinus infection, though. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment and get it checked out. The fact that I've had a stuffy/runny nose, headaches, and frequent dizzy spells for over two weeks makes me nervous...

To end, Ohio State's going to the BCS Championships again! Go Buckeyes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

That Don't Impress Me Much

Ow. My whole body hurts. I decided it would be a good idea to kick my own ass, apparently. Monday eve saw me in a rush to return almost-overdue DVDs and books to the library, which consequently caused me to be 30 minutes early to my class at the gym. Not wanting to sit around on a locker room bench, I decided running on the treadmill for 20 minutes wouldn't hurt as the dance classes tend not to be very aerobic. Except for this one. The teacher was a sub who is a real dance instructor and likes to add random squats and kicks to every move. I then went bowling after this 2 hour workout. And then went to another class last night. I think I'm taking a break today and immersing myself in a hot bath instead...

Here's my response to Ryan's resurrection of the Disney hero/villain/sidekick game. For those who were not a part of the game's creation at Cedar Point one sunny day my sophomore year, the rules are simple: pick the hero who you think exemplifies your best qualities, a villain who exemplifies your biggest flaw, and a sidekick who exemplifies your minor/supportive characteristics.
Hero: Meg (Hercules)
Villain: Madame Mim (The Sword in the Stone)
Sidekick: Flounder (The Little Mermaid)

Finally got Battlestar Galactica: Season One from the library after waiting two months! But I can't renew it beyond it's week-long checkout period because there are 18 other holds on it. Everyone wants some Captain Adama love, apparently. Went over to Anton's last night and experienced the hilarity that is Donkey Konga--the bongo drum equivalent to Guitar Hero. On the work office front, I received my first invitation to a real office party: the annual BU Holiday Party (which takes place during work hours and apparently includes an open bar, food, and door prizes). I think I'm going to like office parties. Oh! And I'm officially signed up for "Financial & Managerial Accounting" at BU's Metropolitan College every Thursday night from 6-9pm. This is the prerequisite to the Fundraising Management graduate certificate program that I want to apply to. Wish me luck: numbers aren't my strong suite. I got a B+ in AP Calculus BC, but that was five years ago. The closest thing I've had to math in recent years was Intro to Microeconomics--and that wasn't math so much as hearing about what a great movie A Beautiful Mind is.

And now, some things to entertain you:
Norman Mailer Wins Bad Sex Award
Man Tries to Deposit Fake $1 Million Bill
My latest photo album on Facebook

Also, I've made a profile on Match.com and it's partner, Chemistry.com, in hopes that I'll just find some nice guys to eat dinner with once in a while. There are some potential hopefuls--based entirely on their witty profiles. But we'll see how long I can stand having 29-year old bank tellers named "handsmguy89" wink at me...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spinning Around

Um...Happy Thanksgiving? Clearly I missed the appropriate day to send such well-wishes forth to you over the internet, but rest assured that I sincerely do hope that each of you had a marvelous holiday and not a small amount of much-needed rest. My Thanksgivings have and always will be very traditional as long as I'm a McGinley-Ellingwood (which will be forever as I don't plan on changing my name when I get married), but that's something I cherish. Turkey isn't one of my dishes to die for, but it is when Mom makes it along with her rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and apple-cranberry pie. I was sad that I couldn't take the leftovers home with me. I also enjoyed beef stew and Chili's chicken quesadillas in addition to leftovers during my stay, both of which I find exceptionally tasty.

Of course, the mere fact that I was home with my family (plus Grandma) is what made the days perfectly happy and full of content. It wasn't until I was driving to the airport with Dad at 5:45am on Sunday that I noticed the thought of being separated from them--and the actual separation--causes me a physical ache. With them I know who I am, where I fit, and I'm safe from all that would attempt to bring me down mentally, physically, and emotionally. And if I do succumb to those forces, as I did once over the break, then Dad is there with sound advice, Mom is there with great cuddles, and Meg is there with humorous distractions. The 800 miles between Cincinnati and Boston kind of puts a damper on all that and I'm still not used to it.

Saw four movies that I hadn't previously seen, two at home and two in the theater. See the list below for the titles. I loved all of them for very different reasons. I also completed the quest I had set out for myself: I found my three missing video games and corresponding memory cards. Now I can finally finish Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (the playthrough that's been in the works for over two years now) and take another crack at Kingdom Hearts II. That means I'll have to schedule game-time into my agenda now...

I mentioned before that I'd succumbed to the forces pressing in around me once over the break. It was Saturday night as I was getting ready for bed and let myself fully realize that I was leaving in the morning to go back to my new life, away from my supportive foundation (aka my family). Dad came to the rescue and talked me through the next hour and a half of teary confessions, attempts to keep from sobbing, and severe bouts of self-doubt. Essentially, I had a breakdown regarding the bigger picture in my life and how I was going to find out what it's supposed to be and then make it a reality. I explained how continually auditioning without any callbacks was finally starting to wear me down, how I missed working on a collaborative piece of theatre, how tired I am when I come home from my not-challenging day job, how meeting new people is proving to be the hardest thing in the world, how I feel like everyone else is doing something that matters and I'm not. So it was generally a miniature quarter-life crisis. Dad stuck with me, made some suggestions, and opened my eyes to paths and tactics that I hadn't considered before. I've started implementing what we talked about this morning and already I feel more hopeful about the future.

To all the Kenyon kids who haven't graduated yet, I'm going to tell you a secret, a painful truth that your commencement speaker won't mention in their speech and that Kenyon College itself doesn't really prepare you for: your first few months out of college will be the scariest time in your life thus far. You will have no idea who you are, what you're supposed to be doing, or how to go about following those dreams you developed in college. You will feel like your life is stagnant and that you're not doing anything worthwhile and that your lack of access or involvement in the things you came to cherish in college means that perhaps you weren't meant to be a part of them (such as theatre). You will feel like they sort of tricked you, that they never told you just how hard the real world is.

And that's exactly things are supposed to be. A lucky few will perhaps escape this, but 99% of you will not. But it's not something to despair about or run away from. I've found it's a necessary part of growing up, that the fear galvanizes you to try things you never would have in college and to take a chance on things you haven't previously considered. This spring I'm taking a class called Financial and Managerial Accounting in preparation of enrollment in BU's Fundraising Management graduate certificate program. I hate math, but I love non-profit organizations (like theatre companies) and I know that they're biggest challenge these days is raising money to support their programs. These courses will help me understand exactly what it is they're facing and how I can apply my passion for causes to help them. In a few years I may find that Development is not where I want to be, but by then I'll have a better idea of what I want because I'll have gotten my foot in the door and tried something. Maybe I'll realize I want to get my Master's in creative writing and go a completely different direction. Who knows?

But this time of uncertainty and fear is the time to try these new things. I'm so eager to get involved in something that my inhibitions are close to non-existent. Don't get me wrong, I'm still scared shitless that I'll just keeping floating along and never find something that I can dedicate my life to, that I'll be stuck in one office job or another. But the fact that I'm scared of that proves that it won't happen. I won't let it.

Dan In Real Life
Live Free or Die Hard

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs

No matter how many times I tell myself that anyone with a sliver of musical taste should not enjoy Fall Out Boy songs, I can't help but bounce along with some of them. Like this one.

Wow, it's Tuesday already. I leave tomorrow morning to go home for Thanksgiving and I could not possibly be more excited. Thanksgiving with my family entails the following every year: helping Mom in the kitchen when she wants me to, watching football with Dad, staying in my pajamas for most of the day, and laughing my ass off at the stories our next-door neighbors tell around the dinner table during the actual feast. There is nothing more I could want out of this Thursday than exactly that.

Didn't make it to the gym on Friday before babysitting Dylan, but I made up for it Saturday morning by going to a dance class that my hamstrings are still suffering from. It was awkward trying to catch up with everyone who already knew the routine, but the instructor was a blast and I wasn't the only one fumbling. Very fun. Babysat Dylan again that night, came home, and passed out. Sunday saw me back at St. Paul's for the first time since three weeks ago and I discovered I've started attending right at the beginning of the church's Capital Campaign. For those who don't know, CC's are the big fund-raising campaigns that churches do once every blue moon to get the necessary support for big changes in the programming, architecture, and development of the church. Theatres do them too, though they seem to have a much less difficult time getting donations than churches. Why is that, you may ask?

Because having a priest talk to people about how they need to give money to the church makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Perhaps they believe it's not the church's place to be concerned with earthly things like money, or perhaps they're having flashbacks to the medieval Catholic churches that demanded a tithe from even the poorest farmer. Whatever the case, it's a difficult time for any modern church. The woman giving the sermon was actually not a member of Saint Paul's: she was a Lutheran priest who's found her niche talking to congregations about giving money to churches. Her words were interesting and compelling--far more so than any other money-raising sermon I've ever heard--and she actually backed up her talk with some pretty great Biblical "facts". Example: 15 out of Jesus' 28 parables are exclusively about money. He talked about money more than any other subject except the Kingdom of God.

Hearing things like that, in combination with the woman's story of her own personal struggle to balance her human need of money with her calling to do God's work, got me thinking that I might end up donating to this campaign after all. I don't have much, but I've got some. Call me foolish or crazy or a pushover, but this place is bringing me a sense of comfort and home and I think I want to help it in return.

Got to talk to Melissa--my best friend at Barrington--on Sunday night for an hour. She's having a rougher time than I am and it makes me wish that my trip to visit her in January was much sooner. Also talked to both parents and Megan, who pleaded with me to look over and edit her Criminal Justice paper that was due at 9:00am Monday morning. Luckily it was only three pages long, but going through the familiar notions of paper-editing gave me a pang for college. Not that I want to write more papers--hell no--but for the memories that this time of year brings to me.

Last week I saw one of the most fascinating things. I got on the B train to go somewhere like normal, sat down, and started people watching like everyone does on the T. After a few minutes I noticed that a group of four students--who I had previously thought to be merely gesticulating wildly while telling stories--were not making a single noise. I looked closer and it dawned on me that they were all using sign language. It was bizarre and wonderful at the same time, seeing these people so into their stories and making fun of each other and conveying wit without saying a word. As I got off I looked through the other windows and saw that the train was filled with similarly-signing students. Perhaps the School for the Deaf was having an outing or something? In any case I much preferred their method of yelling to the piercing shrieks in Spanish or Chinese that I'm used to hearing on the train. On the one hand it's amazing that I can ride in a single train car and hear upwards of seven languages at the same time. On the other hand, it really gives me a headache sometimes.

Okay, I've got letters to deliver and files to file. Catch you on the flip side, world.

p.s. I saw my first Boston snow today. :o)

Friday, November 16, 2007

How Far We've Come

So tired. I really have fallen out of shape if my body gets this tired after the relatively light workouts I've put it through. Damn. In other news, more hilarity ensues in the wake of the "Hannah Montana" ticket shortage: Man Hangs On For 12 Hours To Win Tix. Makes me wonder what would have happened to the man had he come home to face his 7-year old daughter without the tickets...

Adrienne and I saw the press opening of Streamers by David Rabe at the Huntington on Wednesday. Set at a VA army base during the beginnings of the conflict in Vietnam, I wasn't expecting it to be funny at all. However, aside from the last 30 minutes, I was laughing pretty consistently throughout the show. There wasn't really a through-line (except perhaps that all the characters were looking to "be saved"), but that was more the fault of the script than the production. It was directed by Scott Ellis, who's kind of a big deal director, and starred some very talented (and good looking) young men. And there was delicious naked man ass at two different points! Nothing's funnier than man ass.

Some of my favorite lines?
"They make me sad, but I love them, kind of."
"Purchase some cool, man!"

Also, not like I wasn't going to go see it anyway, this makes me happy. I didn't set my standards high for 300 and was given exactly what I expected (which was epic awesomeness). I expect the same thing from you, Beowulf! Plus a super hot Angelina Jolie. Not like that's hard to deliver, though. Haha, "hard". Yeah, I just made that joke. ;o) Speaking of films, Monsieur Fischer came over last night for dindins and a viewing of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. I was on the phone with CitiBank for most of it, attempting to lower my monthly student loan payments, and then took a shower, but I did get to see the "drag Kate Winslet around the room" scene. Super hot. Although all I could think of was the play I saw back in September, The Secret Love Letters of Ophelia, and how (in that play) the whole "get thee to a nunnery" thing was just a ploy on the lovers' parts to fool Polonius and the gang. Kind of changes your perspective on the story.

Tonight's adventures consist of (hopefully) a brief treadmill workout at the gym, a quick trip home, a shower, and then babysitting Dylan for a few hours. Tomorrow promises to be much the same thing, with the additions of picking up the first season of the new Doctor Who series from the library and a massage at a student clinic. Perhaps they can fix my back. Hurray good things!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Somewhere In Between

Before anything, please go read this news article and be as highly amused as I was. Nothing scarier than a bunch of rabid Hannah Montana fans with the backing of actual licensed lawyers. When I told my mom, who is a licensed lawyer in Utah and Texas, she replied, "I hate lawyers."

I think I'm sufficiently recovered from this past weekend's adventures. Monday was spent doing such exciting things as laundry, dishes, Swiffering the floors, and going through all the papers that have amassed armies of clutter in my room. After a yummy dinner of Annie's macaroni & cheese and salad and the final episode of Scrubs season one, Adrienne flew off to Chorus Pro Musica rehearsal whilst I hopped on the 66 towards Harvard. I met up with Kat and Garrett at The Burren, a cozy Irish bar in Davis Square with actual Irish people behind the bar. There was grandma-looking lady who briefly sat at the same long table as us and proceeded to Irish step-dance while remaining seated. She worked there (in what capacity I have no idea), had a flexible cast on her right arm, and was generally a very intersting character.

After an hour at The Burren it was time for our new Monday night ritual: candlepin bowling at Sacco's! I didn't do as well as last week but still managed to rally towards the end of each game. I ended my run having won 1st and 2nd place in each repsective string. I pooped out before the third game commenced, though, as it was already 11pm and it takes me almost an hour to get home from there. It's always fun to see who else Kat and Garrett will drag along, and this time there was a new face in the form of Mike, one of Garrett's cute techie theatre friends from Emerson. Being me, of course, I convinced myself he probably already has a girlfriend so I didn't get my hopes up unreasonably high that perhaps, here, was the date I'd been looking around for. We'll see if he's there next week...

Re-discovered Linkin Park and Lifehouse this weekend. I haven't really listened to either of them since high school and now I'm reminded why I love(d) them so much. It's all very nostalgic while also being an interesting experiment in aural history; fun to see how these songs apply to my life now and compare them to how they affected me up to eight years ago (yeah, freshman year really was that long ago).

Went to a gym tonight and ended up joining. It's pretty much the coolest gym I could think of for someone like me: Fitness Unlimited in Brookline Village. It's a short 66 ride away (really, I could walk there if I wanted to double my exercise) and it's exclusively for women. That's right, guys, none of your drooling neandrathal compatriotes are there to drool at us as we sweat our way to a fitter existence! Except for the male class instructors, but whatever! It's small without being cramped, has enough machines for everyone, and (most importantly) has amazing classes and lots of them. I tried out the Bellydance class tonight and had so much fun--though my body will hate me in the morning--and will definitely make that class a regular. I'm so excited to have an exercise plan back in my routine: I've really missed the KAC. AND it's only $39.95 a month after a $125 sign-up fee, which is only slightly more expensive than the BU gym where I'd get a staff discount (but they have NO classes that aren't PE classes). Hurray!

Also had my new patient physical at my new doctor's office this afternoon. Though it doesn't freak me out as much as it used to, I still find the whole "physical exam" situation rather comical:

Female Patient: "Hello, strange man with an MD. Please examine my body."
Male Doctor: "Okie-dokie. Just strip down, put on this gown that opens in the back, and I'm going to feel your boobs and poke you with a stethescope."
Female Patient: "No problem! Grope away!"
Male Doctor: "Hmm...no lumps here. All done! You're fit as a fiddle. I'll see you again in six months, just enough time for me to forget who you are. The next time we do this, it'll be just like we're strangers all over again!"
Female Patient: "Neat-o! Thanks a lot, Doc. Please, let me get dressed so you can take my money in the form of a check."

Now, if that's what Grey's Anatomy was like, I'd totally watch it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I've Got The World On A String

MRAAAWWHG. I'm awake! I'm awake! After coming out of a deep hibernation, showering, feeding, and caffeine-ating myself I'm finally ready to tell my tale.

How I Learned To Drive was stunning. I will confess I was immensely worried about how a bunch of college students were going to pull off such a difficult, age-dependent play and strike the exact tone Vogel was going for. But Anna and Stew did wonderfully, and Knud really outdid himself. It was fun to be in the Green Room once again and I surprised a very great many people with my presence. The surprise was made even better because many did not recognize me what with my glasses and past-shoulder-length hair (down, as it is most of the time these days). The cast party was fun just for the sheer number of people it allowed me to see--though there were hordes of (I assume) drunk freshmen that came in raiding parties and would crowd the place for 10 minute intervals before moving on to decimate other villages. As I was supposed to drive to the airport in the early morn I did not consume a drop of alcohol but rather sat by sipping my ice-cold Cherry Coke. Yum. Plus, I don't really drink anymore these days. It hurts my tummy.

Spent much time conversing with Cait, P Fine, Dan, and Linda. Knud and Stew were beyond blasted and had much difficulty staying upright without the aid of others. It was amusing to watch Knud profess his love for just about everyone at the party and kiss the faces and necks of several of them whilst sliding further towards a more horizontal position. Discovered that Dew Schad has relapsed into his full-blown alcoholism (he had two 40's and half a case of beer by himself Saturday night); makes me immensely sad because, while he fully admits that he has a problem, he does not seem to think it's troubling enough to warrant any kind of help. It makes me so upset to see such good people doing such horrible things to their bodies.

I arrived back at C300 around 3am, changed, packed, and fooled around on the internet until 4am. Then Adrienne and I headed back to the Columbus airport to return the car (which turned out to be twice as expensive as I thought because I'd calculated the reservation for only 5 1/2 hours instead of 29 1/2 hours). Got to my terminal, got on the plane (a row to myself), arrived in Portsmouth at 8:45am, took the 9:15 bus back to South Station in Boston, got on the T, and arrived home around 11:15am. I unpacked, plugged in all my electronic devices to charge, changed, and collapsed in bed after being awake for 26 straight hours. Woke up at 8:23pm and proceeded to shower and fix myself some pasta. And now I'm browsing New York and Company's 60% off sale online.

My audition for "Rumors" was at 7, so I completely missed it because I forgot to set my alarm. Freaked out at first, then figured why stress over what you can't change. It was a production with one of the oldest community theatres in the US (over 150 years), and, though nothing to sneeze at, wasn't like missing an audition for the Boston Actors Theatre--which I coincidentally just scheduled an audition with on December 7th for their production of Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses." Didn't see the show at Kenyon--I know, a tragedy--but I'm excited about it nonetheless.

I've been listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra lately (love him 'til the end of time) and have decided that I want my wedding song to be "Fly Me To The Moon." Every girl thinks about her wedding song starting in high school, so don't freak out and think I'm looking to get hitched, boys. ;o) I used to be adament about having "Kissing You" from Romeo + Juliet be my song, but I like the idea of "Fly Me To The Moon" slightly more because it's much happier in tone.

So, so, SO happy tomorrow is a holida that I get (paid) off from work. My new J. Crew khakis to replace my old threadbare ones should be arriving tomorrow as well, perhaps along with my Victoria's Secret and NY & Co. orders. Hurray new things to replace old ones!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Leaving On A Jet Plane

As I write this I'm sitting at a computer in Olin Library. It's so good to be back at Kenyon; a little weird, but wonderful. Although I definitely feel like my time here is over that doesn't mean people don't accept me or aren't glad to see me. I'm spending my time pre-How I Learned To Drive running around trying to find people and say hi. So far so good, though people are harder to track down than I remember...

I took all forms of major/popular transportation to get here: train, bus, plane, and car. My experience on Skybus was fabulous and I'm a total convert after just one flight. I've recently become obsessed with reviewing things on Yelp, and I wrote a review for Skybus. Check it out if you're curious.

Stumbling into C300 at 1:30am, I gently woke Cait to tell her I was here and we ended up talking for over an hour. Then Annie and Calista came wandering in, clearly inebriated from their first time pumping the keg at an Archon party, and both of them proceeded to tackle me and effusively declare their love for me. It was amazing. ;o) I went to sleep on the comfy bed Annie created for me on the floor, woke up 9am, wandered down to Ernst for breakfast (the food is still as "meh" as I remember, but yay Cocoa Puffs!), then proceeded to wander around campus looking for people and just seeing how the place has changed. Thankfully I can still use my Kenyon account to connect to the internet here so my laptop hasn't been entirely useless.

Am excited for the cast party tonight in Anna's New Apt. I haven't been to a party since the last one at Barrington and I'm really looking forward to it.

p.s. Vote on my poll (to the left)! I'm curious as to what people would want more. :o)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Get A Kick Out Of You

First, everyone should take 4 minutes out of their day and watch the following video for a good chuckle: Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again.

No callback for Sub-Zero. Which turns out to be kind of a blessing, seeing as how I only realized the day of the audition that the part for which I was auditioning would require me to be naked onstage as well as make out (while still naked) with a guy who's pushing 55. I can just imagine my parents' reactions: "What is with you and messed up plays about love where you take off your clothes?! Didn't get enough of that in The Swan?!" Yeah. Thank goodness for small favors.

There are few things that make me happier than sitting down with a good bowl of pasta, a best friend, and a few episodes of Scrubs. That's what my Wednesday night consisted of, followed by a lengthy conversation with my sister wherein I introduced her to the crack that is BitTorrent combined with Mininova. Always happy to spread the secrets of the internet around. ;o)

Ordered a subscription to Wired Magazine, my new dorky obsession. Of course, being technology-based, it's marketed more towards men, but that's okay. I don't mind looking at Ralph Lauren ads that feature fine looking gentlemen every few pages. Speaking of fine looking gents, the more previews I see for Beowulf (which is often, as all the major networks' online full-TV episode players have them), the more I want to see it. No, I don't expect it to be "good" or true to the book (not that I've even read the book...), but it features badass men fighting for/against pretty ladies, and there's dragons. Plus Neil Gaiman's involved, so I don't expect it to be atrociously gratuitous. What more do you need? No one in their right mind can tell me that 300 was a "good" movie in the critical sense, but then again, no one in their right mind can deny how awesomely amazing and brilliantly manly that movie is.

If they do deny it, then they are evil Persian soldiers at Xerxes's command and must be stopped.

I'm thinking of enrolling in a program here at BU's Metropolitan College that would earn me a graduate certificate in Arts Administration while still working my normal job. I figure that way I'd have a little more street cred and be more likely to get a job in a theatre. Brilliant!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's Only A Paper Moon

Aside from the usual office humdrum, Monday was an interesting day. A little disappointing, but not overwhelmingly so. ["You can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"]

Had an audition last night for Speed the Plow and Barefoot in the Park as produced by a baby of a theatre company, Bad Habit Productions. I used a new monologue that I'd never auditioned with before seeing as how my usual one (from The Swan) was probably not a good idea to use at an audition for a comedy. The selection was from The Marriage of Bette and Boo and, while I was in the show and memorized the monologue no problem, I think the fact that I'd never done it in front of an actual audience before had a rather adverse affect on my audition. The delivery was far from smooth and, when the director suggested I do something with it, I was so focused on getting the rhythm and words right that I had little concentration left over to follow his instructions. As a result I (rightly so) did not get a callback. The only reason why this outcome bothered me more than usual was because I know I didn't put my best foot forward unlike the other times I've auditioned here. But that's life, as they say!

I have another audition tonight for a new work called Sub-Zero. We're reading asides from the script, though, so no worries about monologues for me. After experiencing a little slice of the professional theatre world, I can say with assuredness that monologues are the worst idea ever for auditions. Why not just have everyone read a short thing from the script? I know there's time constraints and protocol and such, but come on. Monologues are meant to be part of a greater whole, not stand on their own as a mini-performance.

Enough of that. Now for something completely different!

Shark Diving Destinations
I want to go to the ones in Mexico. I've always wanted to shark dive. However, despite my love and knowledge of sharks (or maybe because of?), I would not want to go a "Great White Shark" themed dive. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll watch from the boat.

10 Voluntourism Trips
I can haz all of these, plz? Me being me, the ones where you work with animals are at the top of my list for coolest vacations ever.

Back to me. Last night also provided me with my first ever experience of a true New England tradition: candlepin bowling. It's so much more fun than regular bowling! I met up with Kat and Garrett at Sacco's in Davis Square and had a blast. Got to meet some of Kat's friends from the Huntington while catching up on Garrett's life--a real treat considering I haven't seen him in over two months. But since we didn't meet up until 9:15pm and bowled three games, I didn't get home until around 12:30am. Which is way, way past my bed time (because I'm a lame old lady on the inside).

Needless to say I've already fallen asleep countless times while reading emails and doing paperwork here at the office...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pull Shapes

Having the parents and my cousin here this weekend has been grand. I really don't want anyone to leave tomorrow (today, I suppose). Adrienne's in Montreal so I've been busy keeping my cousin and folks entertained. Needless to say it's been a much more exciting weekend than I normally experience.

Thursday night saw the arrival of my cousin and the first time I've seen Dad since early September. Mom, Adrienne, Elizabeth, and I gorged ourselves on delicious Sicilian-style seafood at The Daily Catch down by the waterfront (after an adventurous trek around South Station in an attempt to find the bus terminal). It was a little bizarre seeing Liz because, as close as we can figure, I haven't seen her in almost 10 years. She's on leave from her PhD program in Seattle right now and was presenting independent research at a conference in Woods Hole, MA (near Cape Cod) earlier this week. She's, of course, been staying at my apartment and it's been really fabulous getting to hang out with her. Lucky girl even won the Wicked lottery and got to sit fourth row for the show today! I think I'm officially the only member of my family who hasn't seen it and, even though I know it's a bubblegum pop musical and nothing like the book, I still want to see it for myself. Someday!

Friday after work was dedicated to bonding time with Mom. I picked her up at her hotel and we walked over to the Huntington Theatre's Caulderwood Pavilion to pick up our tickets for Brendan by Ronan Noone (a very popular local playwright who's gaining all kinds of international recognition). We then proceeded across the street to the restaurant I had found thanks to the "search nearby" function on Google Maps. It was an Ethiopian restaurant called Addis Red Sea. OH. MY. GOD. I think I've found a new favorite ethnic food! The atmosphere and decoration of the restaurant was genuinely Ethiopian: we sat on low chairs and the table was essentially a woven column at knee height in an hourglass shape with a pad on top. The food is served on a delicious and spongy bread and you eat with your hands. It was a little spicy for my super-weeny spice tolerance, but delicious nonetheless. And not at all expensive for the amount of food. Needless to say I'm definitely going back there and taking everyone I know!

Today was supposed to be a shopping day but, thanks to Hurricane Noel, Boston was hit with constant rain and horrendous winds. Hence the shopping didn't last very long, but thankfully Mom and Liz went shopping together most of yesterday--when Mom "discovered" H&M--and picked out some very cute things for me. It was like having personal shoppers go out and get things for me and saved me all the work. Now I finally have enough variety in my work clothes to not feel like a boring idiot every week for wearing the same pieces. Huzzah!

And tonight we all finally got to spend time with Dad as his annual Senior Staff retreat for Cincy Children's Hospital ended this afternoon. We met up with Liz at 5:30 (after she got out of Wicked) and went to Mom's favorite Boston restaurant, Legal Sea Foods. I consumed a pear-tini, delicious wild samon, rice pilaf, and broccoli with enough leftover to make a meal for lunch Monday. We're meeting my parents tomorrow morning at 9:30 for breakfast, after which I'll say goodbye until Thanksgiving.

I know I'll see them again soon enough (not even a month), but I feel a little emptier inside when I think about the fact that they're leaving tomorrow after seeing them the past few days.

Who else is thankful that tonight we roll our clocks back one hour in honor of Daylight Wasting Time? I sure am.

The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman (reading now)

The Curse of the Golden Flower

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Strange Fruit

Happy Halloween! I know it was technically yesterday, but seeing as the things I'm going to write about mostly occurred on All Hallow's Eve I think it's still appropriate.

The Ravel opera was really good. Unfortunately I was unaware that they were tacking on an entire symphony before the opera, so poor Adrienne was unable to stay due to previous plans. The symphony was interesting in itself, though, and I found myself very much enjoying it (even though my sleep-impoverished mind wandered away a few times). It was the 5th Symphony by a 20th century British composer I'd never heard of: Arnold Bax. Alternately heart-poundingly war-like and wistfully sweet, it was very different from what I expected. I'm going to see if the library has any copies of his other symphonies. L'enfant et les Sortileges was highly entertaining considering it's about a bratty boy whose is confronted by the playthings and objects he has maltreated over the years. The singing was fantastic, but that was to be expected considering the soloists were all from The Opera Institute. And Older Figaro from The Countess of Seville was in it as the Old Grandfather Clock! A delight.

Despite the fact that it was a "holiday" I came into work with less than a jovial spirit as I felt supremely ill all morning. My head was pounding, body aching, and I was unaccountably nauseous the whole time. I got to work at 9am and by 9:45 I was seriously considering telling my boss I simply couldn't work today and going home. But then, corny as it is, I thought of Dad and how he never misses work unless he's physically unable to get out of bed. He's worked many a full day when he wasn't feeling well and I figured I could show the same amount of dedication. Perhaps this was foolish reasoning seeing as Dad doesn't exactly take care of himself as well as he should considering his heart, but his work ethic has rubbed off on me regardless. Growing up, and even now, there is nothing I fear so much as disappointing my parents. Anger, frustration, even dislike I can handle, but disappointment I cannot bear.

Despite my crappy physical state, I did manage to find two things of high amusement value:
Camera captures Bigfoot! -- or a bear

The latter is an utterly hilarious webcomic that I had completely forgotten about and rediscovered yesterday. As the tag line says, "Dr. McNinja is a doctor who is also a ninja." What could be better? Go right now and check out his adventures as he battles against Ronald McDonald, Paul Bunyan, a raptor, zombies, and more! If he were real, I'd marry his hunky ass. ;o)

So even though Halloween is supposed to be a "fun" holiday that involves dressing up and doing things, Adrienne and I opted for staying home. Terrell came over and we all watched Queen Margot, the last in my line of rented movies about queens. Alas that this was the worst out of the bunch not because it was badly acted or poorly conceived, but because it was so damn confusing! Every other scene introduced another man that looked exactly like someone else and the number of dead, naked bodies (they were always naked) just kept piling up for seemingly no reason. We stopped it without finishing as 11pm rolled around and the collective energy of the group was near spent. Ah, what having a 9-5 (or in Terrell's case a 7-6) will do to your sense of fun!

I find it utterly ridiculous that I can live in the same city as some of my friends and still only see them perhaps once a month. On the T home from the opera I ran into my friend Kelly who I hadn't seen in about two weeks--the last time we got together being the first time I'd seen her and three other friends from high school in four years (one of them being her fiance). I'm going to see Brendan by Ronan Noone with Mom tomorrow night at the Huntington courtesy of comps given to me by my friend Kat: I spent copious amounts of time with her over the summer at Barrington only to see her sporadically at best once fall rolled around. She only lives a 66 bus ride away but I haven't seen her in over a month. And I haven't even made a twitch towards seeing my best friend from childhood who, when I first moved here, I discovered worked in Harvard Square. I hate that my job makes me feel so lethargic once I get home, but at the same time I know that I need much more rest than an average person does in order to function properly. GRR!

The parents arrive today! And so does my cousin Liz! The hardest part about this new life is how far away it takes me from my family. Being so close with my parents is both a blessing and a curse at this point.

Sabriel by Garth Nix (so good!)

Queen Margot
Scrubs: Season One

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Prerogative

I plan on going to see this tonight. From what I've gathered about the opera, it should be a fantastical time. Not being a classical music aficionado I'm not real familiar with Maurice Ravel's work, but L'enfant et les Sortileges looked too fun to pass up. And it's free!

Though I'll find out a definite answer soon, I'm excited at the thought that I could potentially be getting paid to be an extra in a film starring Christopher Walkin, Morgan Freeman, and William H. Macy. There's also a possibility that I'll be an extra in a movie with Cameron Diaz and Frank Langhella as well. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Finished A House Like A Lotus. I tend to enjoy anything Madeleine L'Engle wrote (still sad she died), but I definitely liked this much more than An Acceptable Time even though the latter is a direct sequel to this one.

Now I start on Sabriel by Garth Nix. I've read it before but it was over a year long period and done in bursts. I didn't really get a sense of the whole story and I wanted to give it another chance since so many people tell me I should love it.

Oh, and my favorite quote from A House Like A Lotus?

"I do not think it is love if it is too easy."

Chew on that whilst I escape from the office.

A House Like A Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm A Cuckoo

What a weekend. The Sox win, the Lantern Parade (thanks to Margaret), babysitting, opera, and church. May not sound like a lot to some, but for me it was definitely an event-packed weekend.

Of course, since the Sox won last night, I was unable to really fall asleep until about 3am. People were screaming and shouting and honking their horns until around 2:20am. I even tried putting my noise-canceling headphones on and listening to my "sleeptime" mix but the sounds of drunken celebration could be heard even above that. Surprisingly I didn't feel like a zombie this morning, but I'm just dreading the 2pm hour when my usual urge to take a nap turns into an involuntary coma.

The Lantern Parade was a wholesome good time. As Mags said, it was quite a big night for me because of the hundreds of adorable children and babies in Halloween costumes and all the puppies dutifully marching around the pond with their owners. I only wish it was possible to capture on camera how beautiful the sight of hundreds of lanterns glowing and bobbing around the edge of this huge dark pond was. Anthony and I agreed that it definitely had the feel and look of a Japanese festival to it; then we mused on what it would be like to be a newly emigrated Japanese person and see this parade taking place and wondering how the hell America has taken over sushi as well as lantern festivals. Mags, Terrell, Anton, and I then proceeded to the pizza place of Mags's childhood and gorged ourselves on comically large slices of cheese pizza (except Terrell, who had yummy looking chili).

Dylan was awake for a whole 20 minutes before I had to put him to bed. I got to feed him his bottle, though, which I love doing. He makes hilarious faces and gestures whilst sucking down his formula. I'm sad I won't see him again until November 17th as the family is going back to NYC for a bit (they split their time between the two places). :o(

I went to church on Sunday by myself for the first time in about 4 years. I just never felt comfortable and connected with Harcourt Parish during my time at Kenyon; I went to Ash Wednesday services, but that was it. It just felt so stilted and forced compared to the kind of community and eucharist I was used to from my church in Cincinnati. It also didn't help that I'd had a bit of a falling out with organized religion during college, specifically with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. All the beauracracy made it very hard for me to enjoy any kind of worship and even harder for me to believe that God had anything to do with these services. I'm not sure what I was looking for when I went to church yesterday, but what I found was a few hours of peace, a feeling of centering, and open faces. Being me, I was a little nervous about going to a completely unfamiliar place and even more nervous about going to the coffee hour after the service, but I'm so glad I did both. I met a handful of genuinely nice, very open people and shared a few laughs and some great pumpkin spike bread and coffee. I'm going back next Sunday when it will be a more traditional Rite II eucharist service instead of a Morning Prayer service (the former of which includes Communion while the latter substitutes Healing Prayer for Communion).

My faith has by no means been miraculously restored to the same strength and vigor it was in high school, but I think this is a good starting place. Being a creature of habit and routine, it was very comforting to take part once again in all the prayers and rituals I grew up with. Church was a big part of my life for most of junior high and high school--mostly because I was so attached to the other kids in my youth group and Sunday was the only time we saw each other--and it was unexplicably warming to have a piece of that back for a few hours.

Don't worry, this doesn't mean I'm going to start trying to Evangelize any of you. I was always uncomfortable with that, anyway. ;o)

P.S. I hate breaking in new high heels. My feet have healing blisters on them and they hurt. Price of beauty and fashion and all that, though. I need them for work, and I most certainly don't have enough money to buy the pumps made out of softest calfskin. Not that I would anyway, seeing as how they'd have to kill baby cows to get me those shoes. But you know what I mean.

The Scarlet Empress (finished)
Queen Margot

A House Like A Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle (almost done)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

4-3-2-1, Like the Barrel of a Gun

Last night Adrienne took me to an opera scenes program called The Countess of Seville, presented by the Boston Opera Collaborative. It combined songs from different operas--by Mozart, Massenet, Rossini, Milhaud, and Corigliano--that all told stories about Figaro, Susanna, Count Almaviva, and Countess Almaviva (the two most famous of these operas being The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville). It also used the text from Beaumarchais's Figaro trilogy that orginally inspired all the operas. What tied it all together was the story of Rosina, a young woman who was destined to become the Countess of Seville. The scenes were woven together using the songs and text to tell the story of her courtship, early days of marriage, and how everything fell apart because of a brief love affair with one of her servants. The songs were in Italian, French, and English with projected supertitles (hurray for translations!).

All in all it was beautifully done, and the fact that this group pulled it off in a Presbyterian church with minimal props/sets/lights made it even more marvelous. The female voices were overall much stronger than the male, but that's the way things go in the performing arts, it seems: men have a much easier time getting cast even if they're not possessed of the greatest talent because there are so few of them in the business. The older Figaro was very funny--reminded me strongly of Nick Lerangis--and the woman who played Marie Antoinette (oh yeah, she's in it!) could SING. She filled that huge church with the highest of notes and sustained them like it ain't no thing!

On a more personal note, I made a few revelations about myself and why I do the things I do this week. I've known for a long time that I'm not a person who deals well with change, be it little or big. In that sense I'm very like Dad: we both need set schedules and have an obsession with planning ahead. The only difference is that he does it because he has to have control over his life, and I do it because it gives me some stability, which is comforting to me in new situations. Ever since I moved to Boston I've found myself acting more neurotic than I usually am. Examples: dishes in the sink drive me nuts so I try to do them everyday, the counter must be clean so I wipe it with a Clorox cloth everyday, no posessions are allowed to be left lying around in the living room, my bed must be made every day. These may not convey it, but essentially I've been living by the motto "a place for everything, everything in its place". It's part of my routine. And when things aren't the way I like them it really, really irks me and throws me a little off balance.

If that weren't enough, I'm finding the social part of my new life to be the most challenging. It's not that I don't have friends (duh, I live with one) or can't make any; it's that, when I come home, I'm home for the night. I do not want to leave my apartment for anything that I haven't planned in advance: I'm usually exhausted from the day and all I want is to eat, relax, watch some TV, play on the internet, read, and go to sleep. Boring, but it's my routine and it's comforting. And that's the problem word right there: routine. Living here has made me realize that most of my friends in Boston are more spontaneous people than planners like me. For instance, if someone calls me up after I get home from work and asks if I want to go out to a movie that night, my first instinct is to say no because then I'd have to leave and break my routine. I'm fine if it's a planned event that I know about at least a day in advance, but I do not do well with spontaneity. My routine brings me comfort and balance, but it also hinders me socially.

Now I know some people would just say "Get over it!" But it's not that easy for me. I've been like this since I was little: I used to cry violently when my kindergarten teachers told me it was time to stop one thing and move on to another. I didn't want to do it unless it was my decision to move on. My Mom says that my Dad and I are very similar in that we could both be perfectly content being hermits for the rest of our lives: not going anywhere, staying in, and doing things by ourselves without any other human contact. I've been through phases where I don't go out and see friends for weeks at a time because I feel this intense need to be by myself. And it's not like I'm unhappy during these times; in fact, I have a great time and it's liberating because I don't have to worry about pleasing anyone but me. Hermit life is selfish, but sometimes the world is a little much for me. I need to regroup and restrengthen my "armor", as it were.

Anyway, I was talking with my Mom about this the other day. I was worried because I felt like a freak as none of my friends are like this, but she assured me it's not a good thing or a bad thing, it's just the way I am and always have been. She suggested I try to plan at least two nights a week where I do something by going somewhere, be it with other people or by myself. If it's planned into my schedule I won't feel such an intense need to stay at home once I'm home from work. We'll see how this turns out. Last night was an experiment and it turned out well as I had a great time even though I'd only known about it since late Thursday night.

Today was fabulous because I got to download and watch the next four episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender that haven't even premiered in the States yet. For some reason the UK is ahead of us, but I'm not complaining! I had forgotten how much I love this show and how brilliant it is until they started airing the new episodes back in early September.

Babysitting tonight. Which actually means getting paid to eat good food and watch the Sox game while checkin in on the sleeping babe. ;o)

The Scarlet Empress
The Madness of King George

Agamemmnon by Euripides

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Adventures In Medicine

The most pointless doctor's visit in history was had on Tuesday, October 23. My eyes, the right one in particular, have been red/bloodshot fairly consistently for over a week. Being the well-informed daughter of a man in the healthcare profession, I deduced that this wasn't normal. I managed to get an appointment with a doctor by swooping upon a cancellation and leaving my office an hour early. Let's just say it took me more time to check-in at the doctor's than it did for him to see me. He shined a light in my eyes and told me to call the Eye Clinic at Boston Medical Center and left. No talk, no prescription, nothing. It was a drive-by doctor's visit.

So yesterday morning I get to work, call the Eye Clinic, and find out they have walk-in triage available. My boss practically kicked me out of the office when I told her, so off I went to get some answers. Four hours later I was back in my office, Panda Bowl lunch and two prescriptions in hand. I was in the waiting room for over two hours! But now I have medicine, I'm not allowed to wear contacts for two weeks, and even though the doctor didn't actually tell me what's wrong he told me it was not serious. And luckily my boss doesn't care that it took so long during a work day and told me I could just make up the hours (eventually).

Hurrah for first adventures in the Boston healthcare system.

Watched THE most horrible Japanese fantasy/adventure movie with Anthony last night: The Great Youkai War. At least we both hated it equally so we could have a good laugh at how ridiculous it was. How real people were actually talked into spending real yen on that production is something I cannot begin to comprehend on any physical, mental, or emotional level. On the opposite end of the film spectrum I saw Michael Clayton last night, starring George "I'm Hunky Even Though I'm Old" Clooney and Tilda "The White Queen of Narnia" Swinton. I enjoyed it a lot and found it much like Erin Brokovich with balls.

Lately I've been possessed with the at-times overwhelming feeling that I must do something with my life that will leave the world a better place than when I found it. Where I'm running into trouble is that I don't know how to do it (clearly). I've had so many ideas, but I just don't know how to get any of them off the ground. I've thought of ideas within my interests and without: socially-conscious theatre production, a magazine dedicated to news about causes/non-profits/world awareness, or giving birth to the next Mahatma Ghandi. I think of all those, the latter is the most unpredictable.

I know this seems like something a lot of people say while growing up, shouting "I'm going to change the world!" whilst running around with a towel cape around their necks. But I've realized that this is something I feel called to do, a yearning as natural to me as breathing, as much a part of me as my bad eyesight and love for Coke. It's not about being remembered--something I know I've struggled with more than once when contemplating what direction I want my life to go. It's about helping, about opening the public eye to the things it's possible to change. Is any of this making sense? I'm aware of how much of an idealistic, bleeding heart liberal college graduate I sound like right now. But I feel like I might be on to something that I could dedicate my life to, something I could look back on when I'm 90 and say "It was tough, it was heartbreaking, it was excrutiating, but it worked. And I wouldn't change a bit of it."

Okay, enough of my starry-eyed rant. These papers aren't going to file themselves, you know.

The Great Youkai War
Michael Clayton
Return to Oz

The Bacchae by Euripides

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star

The Godsmack music video shoot was quite an experience. The band members themselves were really nice and very funny, and I met some interesting folks. Bad parts? I was on my feet, standing, for 6 hours straight with no food break, and lots of people were smoking so my eyes got really irritated. But at the end of the shoot I was $50 richer, and by the end of the night I was $90 richer thanks to an easy babysitting job with Dylan (who is beyond precious, I just wish he was awake when I went over there so I could play with him!).

My job grinds on. Things are picking up as it's advising/scheduling time for undergrads. I got my free flu shot and set up an appointment with my new doctor for a new patient physical and the second of three Gardisil shots. Felt very responsible, but the whole process took forever as processes at health professionals' offices tend to. The Red Sox are going to the World Series (hell yeah!), but that unfortunately meant I didn't get much sleep Sunday night as all bar patrons/college students in my neighborhood (whose numbers are great) were too busy running around screaming and honking their horns 'til 2am. But yay Sox!

The parents' visit comes closer and closer. I'm so excited to show them this city and my new life. Other good things in my life right now? I recently won a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate from Experience Inc. (they're on a lot of college campuses--like a career service) for filling out a survey about job descriptions a few weeks ago that I had completely forgotten about. I bought new work-appropriate high heels (black and brown) because it's getting colder and I don't currently own any. Yes, I really would have liked to spend it on something more fun and less practical, like Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, but I'm trying to be a responsible grown-up person who has her priorities straight. So in that case, shoes necessary to maintain professional standards at work outweigh super cool video game fun awesomeness.

Found out I will be able to visit my best friend from the summer in January thanks to Greyhound or Skybus. BTW, for those who haven't heard, Skybus is the SHIT! Their prices always start out at $10 each way and increase in increments of $5 after all those seats are taken. I got a roundtrip to Columbus for Kenyon's graduation in May for $36. No joke. They don't fly everywhere, and they only fly to non-hub airports, but personally I think it's the greatest invention of the 21st century for poor twentysomethings who just graduated college and still want to see their friends.

Watching Return to Oz tonight, one of the most underestimated films of the 80s. I love it. It's nothing like Wizard of Oz: no singing, no witches, and a whole lot of creepy. Let's just say the movie starts out with Dorothy in a mental institution where her doctor plans on starting her on shock therapy. The movie combines the 2nd and 3rd books in the original L. Frank Baum series, for those who are curious. So it's still "canon" and not a made up sequel, for those who still care beyond curiosity. Most libraries have it, so rent it for free on DVD.

In the world of entertainment, I've become obsessed with two new comic books series: Mouse Guard by David Peterson and Scalped by Jason Aaron/R.M. Guera. Totally absorbing, though completely different from each other.

Okay, lunch break's almost over. Back to book ordering and filing.

Queen Christina (love me some Garbo)

The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman(finished)
Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg

My Neighbors the Yamadas
The Cat Returns
Whisper of the Heart
Kiki's Delivery Service
My Neighbor Totoro
Castle in the Sky
Porco Rosso
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Mrs. Brown
Return to Oz

Wait for me, Bandwagon!

So even though I have a LiveJournal I'm going to start cross-posting on this thing. Who knows? Maybe these posts will be different from the ones I've got on my LJ. For now, though, they're exactly the same, so it will not behoove you to visit them both.

Unless you just really want to see my different layouts that much.