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 and it's partner,, 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: " 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