Monday, January 28, 2008

[no song]

At last, the long awaited meme. Most of it is eerily appropriate to the corresponding category. I point out the ones that I skipped a few songs on, either for reasons of song obscurity or absolute and complete inappropriateness. There's one where you'll see what I mean by that. Enjoy! Expect a real update on my life soon.

Opening Credits: "Sunshine Daydream" by The Grateful Dead
Wow. I haven't listened to my Grateful Dead in years...yet this song is strangely appropriate and very fitting for the opening credits to my life.

Growing Up Montage: "Zoot Suit Riot" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Ha, all I can imagine is baby videos of me running around naked in our backyard(s) while this song plays over the feed. It's a hilariously wonderful picture--also great song for my childhood considering most of my music growing up was oldies.

High School: "Why Did You Stay" by The Pipettes
HaHA, yet another fabulous song pick. Thanks, Windows Media Player! Though I was not at all familiar with The Pipettes in high school (also they weren't around...), this song applies both to my perspective in some relationships and also to the perspectives I'm sure some of my boyfriends and friends had in mind. About one person treating the other badly and the other refusing to leave despite his/her best interests.

College: "Maria Maria" by Wyclef Jean
Damn, talk about music I haven't listened to in too long. Hmm...this song is less appropriate for its category than the previous ones, but I can see where it could fit in amonst my college experiences. Political/social messages intertwined with the story of a girl who's trying to change the world around her for the better at the same time she's falling in love. Actually, the longer I listen to it, the better it's fitting into its category. It's more reflective of my state of mind than all the fun times I had those four years, but still. Beggars and choosers and all that.

Waking Up and Morning Routine: "Alive" by Pearl Jam
I think it's amazing that most of the music getting picked for this list is stuff I haven't listened to in forever. That said, "Alive" is something I could definitely get ready to in the morning: alternately calmish and rockish and jamming. An affirmation of life. A good thing to remember in the mornings, I think. ;o)

Driving: "The More You Ruv Someone" from Avenue Q
A very apropos pick for driving as it reflects my love of singing out loud in the car, whether it be to musicals or pop or rock or rap or...whatever. Also Japanese accents are hilarious, and everyone who reads this knows of my (totally serious, of course) un-PC comments regarding races other than the Master Race. Um...right. Yes.

At Work: "Tank!" by Yoko Kanno
Okay, I admit that the first song that came up for this one was "Locke" from the FFVI OST, but I hit 'next' because I don't want non-widespread video game songs up here. That said, HOLY CRAP! I only wish work was exciting enough to merit this wonderful bebop song that serves as the opening to one of the most brilliant series (animated or live) in TV history. But there are days when I definitely feel crazy like this song's super-fast sax and oscillating horn section. Man, I heart Yoko. The one that didn't kill The Beatles, that is.

Falling in Love: "Blowers Daughter" by Damien Rice
Man, haven't heard dear Damien in many moons. This one's beautiful, sad, moving, and extremely reflective of the way I fall in love. "I can't take my eyes off of you...And so it is, just like you said it should be." Wow. This meme is getting creepy in its accuracy...

Breaking Up: "Cold Water" by Damien Rice
Keep reading my mind, meme. Keep on keepin' on. I've never listened to this song after a break-up, but I'll definitely keep it in mind should the need arise (knock on wood that it won't!). Heartbreaking and slow, longing and gorgeous. "And I can't let go of your hand. Lord, can you hear me now? Or am I lost?"

Getting Back Together: "Body Movin'" by The Beastie Boys
I can only hope that any getting back together moment I should have wold be accompanied by this funk-tastic and dance-tastic song. Our bodies would indeed be moving...towards each other. A fun celebration would follow, of course. ;o)

Dinner with Family: "Wait Until Tomorrow" by Jimi Hendrix
I admit several songs had to be gone through to arrive at this one. The first was about an abusive husband who kills his wife while their child listens, the second was from the show Utena, which only Anthony would get, and the third was from a musical that I barely know. Jimi is sort of appropriate in that both my parents and my sister would rock out to this for sure while my dog watched us, confused as to how we ridiculous creatures could still possibly be alive. And I'm sure Mom or Dad would have a fun story about the first time they heard Mr. Hendrix.

Wedding: "Where The Green Grass Grows" by Tim McGraw
Ha, of course my wedding song would be a country song. I do love Tim McGraw, though. A very good song for a wedding, though. A nice mix of upbeat and meangingful. "I'm gonna live where the green grows, watch my corn pop up in rows, every night be tucked in close to you. Raise our kids with the good Lord's best, point our rocking chairs towards the West, plan our dreams where the peaceful river flows." [I should point out that I skipped over the original pick for this one due to its obscure video game nature, but I think I should let all those familiar with Chrono Trigger know that it was the "Wind Scene" song. Specifically, the piano instrumental version.]

Life's Good: "Rainbow Country" by Bob Marley
Is there any more pefect artist for "life is good" music than Mr. Bob Marley? It doesn't even matter what he's saying, you know everything's good. I tip my hat to your dreads, sir.

Mental Breakdown: "B.O.B [Bombs Over Baghdad]" by Outkast
I love this song. Perfect for a mental breakdown or just for bouncing around in your room or for imagining yourself kicking ass in cool leather outfits and sunglasses in a room full of bad guys...Maybe that's just me.

Flashback: "Wide Open Spaces" by Dixie Chicks
A song about starting new while contemplating those who have gone on the same journey before you and those who will come after. Very cool, WMP. A little more about looking forward than backward, but who says you can't look at the past with one eye to the future?

Birth of a Child: "Fell In Love With A Girl" by The White Stripes
I will definitely be celebrating and upbeat and happy when my child is born--after the bed rest and massive amounts of drugs wear off, that is. Some of these lyrics are very appropriate while others are...not. I like the parts that fit, though, the feeling of loving someone so much you just can't stay away.

Final Battle: "Carol of the Bells" Traditional Ukrainian Folk Song with Lyrics by Peter Wilhousky
YES! I would love to have a final battle to this song. My favorite Christmas song, at once beautiful and imposing and a little scary. I'd fight for Christmas and 'ole Saint Nick, fo sho.

Death Scene: "Big Yellow Taxi" by The Counting Crows
Part of me would be very upset that my death scene would be accompanied by such an overplayed, over-marketed song, but part of me revels in the appropriateness of parts of it. "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone." Plus I'd like to think that my death would somehow stick it to The Man at the same time.

Funeral Song: "Pledging My Time" by Bob Dylan
Certainly an ironic song to play at my funeral. I would infinitely prefer this to something somber and sad, though. Lord knows I'll still be rocking in the afterlife. "Well, the room is so stuffy, I can hardly breathe. Ev'rybody's gone but me and you, and I can't be the last to leave. I'm pledging my time to you, hopin' you'll come through, too."

End Credits: "The Long Day Is Over" by Norah Jones
Where was this song one category ago? A little melancholy for my taste at the end credits, but still very appropriate to its function. I love Norah's jazzy calm voice, though, so I wouldn't mind going out to this. It's the kind of song that would have me sitting in my seat at the theater, reflecting on what I'd just seen. I like that idea.

Next time, on (In)Trepid Exploration: Wendy Wasserstein, a bar, many life decisions, Dr. Strangelove, and wolves.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Baker, Baker

I despise being sick. I especially despise being sick when there is no medicine for your illness and you just have to tough it out with liquids and lots of sleep. I'm blaming this disease on the fact that I was crammed in a Greyhound bus for over a total of 30 hours this past weekend--God knows what kind of germs were floating around in that air. But at least it got me to Raleigh and back, yes? I was visiting my best friend from the summer, Melissa, otherwise known as the girl who kept me sane when everything around me was degrading into summer theatre hell (now includes West Side Story!). We spent a lot of time laying around, eating yummy food, and watching lots of movies. Here's the list:

Movies Erin Watched in NC
Bridget Jones' Diary
Pretty in Pink
Pan's Labyrinth
St. Elmo's Fire
Sin City

A review of Cloverfield can be found at the end of this entry, for those interested parties. I just got back from 3 hours at the eye clinic at Boston Medical Center--my fifth visit there since I've moved here. My eyes are all cleared up, the inflammation is down, but my doctor recommends weaning me off the steroid eyedrops over a course of three weeks. Which means no contacts for an additional three weeks. GGRRRAAHH! I'm so, so sick of wearing my broken hobo glasses that are too weak of a prescription and don't sit on my face properly so they distort my distance vision even further. It's now been 2 weeks and 2 days since I ordered my glasses at Costco, so hopefully (pray to God) they'll be in by the end of this week. I wouldn't mind the three weeks without contacts if I had a non-broken, up-to-date pair of glasses to wear instead. All this on top of my atrocious head cold: clearly, it's not the best time, health wise, to be me.

I'm seeing Third by Wendy Wasserstein tomorrow night with Yuval at the Huntington. To make up for all the culture I've been exposing him to through plays, we bought tickets the other night to a Boston Bruins hockey game at the end of February. Hurray rough sports! And thankfully I'm babysitting this Saturday--unless they're all still sick--so that will provide some much needed spending money. Which, of course, I've already spent on such fun things as an accent rug for my room, a small (re: rather wimpy) upright vacuum cleaner, and a box of Powerbar Harvest Bars in Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. All of these being things that I've intended to buy for a while and just now got around to buying. And I still have my Border's gift card to spend! Although maybe I should hold off on buying books until my birthday passes so I don't pull a Megan and buy the present someone was intending for me...

My 23rd birthday is exactly four weeks away! My mom says this means I'll be a full-fledged adult--not just a 22-year old fresh out of school--but I insist that adulthood comes with your 25th birthday and the ability to rent a car free of absurd underage driving fees. Either way, at least it means I get to make another Wish List for my family to shop from. :o)

At this point in the proceedings I would respond to Anton's wonderful meme (as Jeff so candidly requested I do), but I am not at my own computer and thus have no access to my music. So I'll do that in another post when I get home. Instead, I offer you the following:

Cloverfield Review

***Avert your eyes, all who have not yet seen it and wish to see the film unbiased! I'll give you a few hard returns to decide.

I really, really liked it. True, if you have a weak stomach or suffer from severe motion sickness you may want to stay away from this one (especially in an Imax), but the handheld camera works wonderfully well for the story. It's a fabulous monster movie that's not about the monster, much in the same way that M. Night's Signs was not about aliens (and I love that movie, too).

Warning: If you go into this film expecting just another monster-on-the-rampage movie, you will be majorly disappointed. Cloverfield is not about the monster or even about fighting the monster: it's about the people trying to survive the monster. Perfectly imitating life in this era of constant bombardment by YouTube autobiographies, JJ Abrams takes on the story of those forgotten in all the other big-budget monster movies. That is, he focuses on the regular citizens who have no access to any information about the monster, the plan to destroy it, where it came from, or anything. These people are not "in the know", they're just trying to survive. It's the story of those people ultimately destined to be statistics--the people like you and me--and not about the hotshot government agents called in to deal with the problem. There is no revelation or explanation at the end, just as those civilians who die in the attacks get no reason for their deaths. The camera may make those with weaker stomachs sick, but there's a good balance of shaky and still footage. The camera lends to a sense of immediacy and authenticity: you're not just watching a staged story, you're experiencing it right along with the characters. You know as much as they do about what's going on (which is not a lot), and you're in it with them until the end.

People have been criticizing Cloverfield for playing off of 9/11 fear factors, but honestly, isn't a monster attack just as sudden and unexpected and horrifying as a terrorist attack? Actually, I think it's more terrifying because there's not a reason for it: the monster is just doing what it does and has no hidden agenda it's trying to achieve. And the terrorists only wish they could chop off Lady Liberty's head and hurl it into the Manhattan streets! The monster, by the way, is really awesome and looks nothing like Godzilla or any other monster we've seen before. JJ Abrams said he wanted to create an original American monster, and he did. One that sheds babies like hippies shed dandruff.

I'd be interested to hear what other people have to say about this movie!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who Knew

Tonight's my first class session of MET AC630, otherwise known as Financial and Managerial Accounting at BU's Metropolitan College. Kind of nervous, but excited, too: I'll finally be learning again (even if it's only number stuff)! Had another first session last night with my volunteering job at the homeless shelter. Man, I forgot how rowdy and hyper little boys can be! My partner, Matt, and I were in charge of four really cute 5-6 year old boys for 1 1/2 hours last night. Nothing real disastrous happened, aside from one of the kids cussing in Spanish about every 5 minutes. There was an awkward moment while I was playing with the doll house with three of them (yes, a super cool doll house): one of the kids starting knocking all the furniture over while sayin "We gotta mess it up! The house has to be messy cuz then when the police come they won't arrest you!" The other kids joined in with cries of "Yeah! Yeah, the police are coming! Make it messy!" Needless to say I was thrown off kilter into sadness as I have no doubt that this kid believes this because of some real life experience. Matt then diverted their attention to the massive dominoes track the other kids were building and all awkwardness went away. This is going to take a lot more energy than I thought...

My "Pride and Prejudice" audition was cancelled on Monday because of the shitstorm of snow we got and I couldn't make the rescheduled times. Hopefully I'll be able to make my audition for another show at the end of January: I'd hate to miss yet another one because my life and/or transportation issues complicate my schedule. However, the cancelled Monday auditions gave me a chance to go to my Zumba (Latin dance) class at the gym and then candlepin bowling with Kat and Garrett. Before heading over to bowling, though, I stopped at the bar in the same square where Yuval and his friend's were playing trivia night. Met two more of his friends, scolded Tim for wearing a Michigan sweatshirt, and utterly failed to help them win any more points before I had to jet for bowling. Yuval came to the bowling alley after trivia, met my friends, saw me win the game I was playing (76, baby!), and then we headed back to his house for some "fun", and then he drove me home (after we dug his car out of the snow bank it was entrapped in). Haven't seen him since then, but I'm seeing him tonight after my class gets out. It's so bizarre dating someone when you don't live, you know, within a walk down Middle Path from each other: you have to plan out your time together. I'm not complaining, though!

This weekend I'm going to visit my friend Melissa in Raleigh, NC via a 16 hour bus ride. I'm so excited--poor girl moved there for a great job at the Carolina Ballet Company in October and has been having a really hard time making good friends and meeting people (theatre work, of course, not being the most socially accommodating of careers). Hopefully my visit will bring some joy (not to mention lots of movie-fests, ice cream eating, and fast drives through country roads listening to Pink blasting through the speakers). Ah, tradition...

I was notified today by one of my casting companies that there will be a casting call for a new Martin Scorcese movie staring Leo DiCaprio called Ashecliffe in a few weeks. Sweet! I could be a nurse or a crazy person at a mental institution! Anything to get close to Leo, right? ;o)

BTW, this book is fucking hilarious. Everyone should buy it, read it, and laugh at the equal-opportunity offensiveness. In honor of Dad's trip to Riyadh tonight, I faxed him the pages on Saudi Arabia. Just so he can be fully informed, ya know.

p.s. To all my gamer friends, does this sound about right to you? Yeah, I thought so.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Extraordinary Machine

News, so much news to report! First, if you've checked Facebook at all in the past few days, you may have noticed a change on my profile under "Relationships". That's right, Yuval and I are "official" now! The big Talk lasted all of 30 seconds before we just went back to cuddling. I think the fact that we've been on 6 dates that have all lasted more than 4 hours is a pretty good sign, yes? That said, I'm more than a little nervous about this whole thing. I haven't been in an "official" relationship since...geez, since Junior year. And that one lasted for all of three weeks. I feel like I've turned into kind of a commitment-phobe since then because of the experiences I've had in the interim. So this is wonderful, but also a little scary for me. Fortunately I think things are going to go at a rather slow pace as he told me he's never had an "official" girlfriend before: he's had complicated (as in, with feelings involved) exclusive-friends-with-benefits relationships, but never an actual, labeled girlfriend. Which scares me on an entirely different level (as has always been the case with being someone's first GF) because what if I screw up and this great guy ends up having a terrible impression of what it's like to have a girlfriend? Of course, I'm very prone to over-thinking and obsessive worrying, so most of this is just internal nonsense. He's coming over tonight for take-out and a marathon of Futurama Season 4 (one of his favorite shows and one that I always wished I'd seen more of).

Hopefully I'll get to the gym before he comes over: this Saturday will make it 3 weeks since I've last smelled its sweat-filled workout classroom. Needless to say I feel like a big fat lump of lazy. But I wasn't home for a week and the holidays were nuts! That's what I keep telling myself. Good things have happened in place of my usual workouts, though: on Wednesday I had dinner at Bertucci's in Harvard Square and saw Copenhagen at the A.R.T with Yuval. I really liked the play, I understood the physics (a big accomplishment for someone who hates physics), loved the set, and had a bit of a problem with the young man playing Heisenberg. I just thought he had close to 0 onstage realizations--everything he said sounded like he already knew he was going to say it. He talked unnecessarily fast, too. But I really enjoyed the moral back-and-forth and thought the applications to what's going on in the Middle East today were quite apparent (in a non-blatant, no neon sign way). I found myself alternating agreeing with each character's stance, only to be convinced by another character and switch sides. There was an excessive amount of getting out of chairs, walking around chairs, and sitting down again, but it was to be expected, I suppose, considering three chairs was all the set consisted of (and a giant suspended light-up model of an atom). It was long, but I never felt bored: nothing happened in the physical, moving-through-a-plot sense, just like nothing really happens in Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" or "The Waves" or all her other books that I love so dearly. Not the best play I've ever seen, nor the one that's moved me the most, but a very good show by A.R.T. And now I want to pick up a copy of Copenhagen for myself.

I had my orientation last night at the homeless shelter I'll be volunteering at through Horizons for Homeless Children. So many cute kids! And the actual shelter is really, really nice--it looks just like a big lodge/dorm but with more comfortable furniture and playrooms for the kids. It made me a little sad, though, to see how young the majority of the mothers there were. However, now that I've taken on this volunteering job and delved into the world of homelessness, a lot of my original perceptions have been radically shifted. I've realized it can happen to me as easily as it happened to them: getting fired from a job can snowball into homelessness in the blink of an eye. And a lot of the women at the shelter work jobs just like mine but still don't make enough to keep up with the rising rent prices: add to that the fact that the federal government won't give them assistance or shelter housing if they make above a certain amount and you've got a messy situation that's hard to get out of. They have good paying jobs but have to cut back on their hours if they want to continue receiving federal help while trying to save up for permanent housing. It really is a vicious cycle and system.

I had one of the worst nights of my life in Boston so far on Tuesday night. Please make use of the T subway map as a reference for this story. As I stated in my entry that day, I went to Costco after work to look for a new pair of glasses. In order to get there I had to take the Orange line to Wellington (near the top of the map), hop on a bus to cross the highway bridge that spanned the river between the station and the shopping center, and walk across what felt like 1/2 a mile of parking lot to get to the Costco. No biggie, though, I get there and find a really cute pair of glasses that are only $59.99 for the frames (I love Costco Optical). I ask how long it usually takes to fill an order, and he says 2-3 weeks. WHAT?! But I need them now, doctor's orders! Nothing he can do, so I grudgingly accept the fact that I'm going to have to wear jerry-rigged ghetto broken glasses for the next two weeks. Then the guy tells me I need my actual, physical prescription in hand to order glasses. Pain in the ass, I think, but I'll just get them to fax it over. 10 minutes later, prescription in hand, I sit down to fill out the order forms and talk it out with Gary (the optician). He then asks me for my Costco card to which I eloquently reply "Bwahh?" See, I've always gotten my glasses/contacts at Costco using my mom's card, so it never occurred to me that I might need my own. I ask if the card applies even if I'm paying with a check, and he says yes. So I call my mom for the third time in 30 minutes, trying not to break down in tears from utter frustration at the powers that be, and explain what's going on. She tells me to just go get a membership, they're only $50 and it will still be cheaper than getting glasses at an optical shop. 15 minutes later, new Costco card in hand, I sit down to order my glasses, Gary sympathizes with my plight, and he tells me they'll call me when the glasses are in.

You'd think the saga was over, but OH NO, there's more. I walk about 3/4 of a mile across more parking lot to get to the Michael's to buy foam so I can create a replacement nosepad for my glasses. After 30 minutes of being totally distracted and tempted by all the arts and crafts stuff in there, I head out across the Parking Lot Sea to get some dinner at Panera--at this point, all I've had to eat that day is two PopTarts, two PB&J's, a Coke, a bottle of water, and a handful of M&M's. Sounds like a lot, but trust me, it isn't. So I'm starving. I get my panini and soup, relax for a half hour, and then decide it's time to head back home. After much wandering I find the inbound bus stop that will take me back across the scary big bridge to the station. 35 minutes later, the bus hasn't come and, through a phone call to my dad and teaching him how to check the MBTA bus schedule, I find out the bus stopped running at 6:30. It's nearly 8pm at that point. Frustrated, cold from the high winds, and miserable beyond belief, I start my mile trudge to the highway bridge and across to the station, convinced that the grating below my feet was going to give way at any minute and plunge me into icy wet oblivion in the frozen river. I finally get to the station, catch the Orange line, switch trains twice to get on a B train on the Green line, and arrive at the Harvard Ave stop at 9:15pm (see it towards the left of the map, in tiny print, on the top most branch of the Green line). I immediately jump into the shower to get the feeling back in my feet, curl up in bed, turn on my heated mattress pad, and die. Thus ends the saga of Erin and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night.

Also, I had an audition at 9pm that night for a production of The Seagull. No big loss, as I see it, since I don't think I really look like Chekhov material anyway. Besides, my sight is more important. Still sad to miss it, though.

Okay, must get back to the world's largest scanning project (over 500 pages to convert to PDF!). Peace outside, homies.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Call Me Irresponsible

Busy busy. Megan's visit was fun and allowed me to do those things that you're supposed to do in Boston (like going to the Museum of Science, eating in Harvard Square, seeing a movie at the Coolidge Corner theater, etc.) that I haven't ever done before. I felt bad for her because I was at work 8 hours a day every day she was here, but she insists she had a good time--besides, not having me around gave her a chance to watch as much Project Runway and Scrubs as she wanted. There's nothing she enjoys more than sitting in front of a TV for eight hours. Seriously.

Saw Juno with her. Laughed and enjoyed it, but I experienced many of the things dear Anton discussed in his post about the movie. The jokes were very funny at times, but the whole thing hinged on a rather incredulous tack: a super-witty 16 year old not getting freaked out by being pregnant. Quoi? That said, I love Alison Janney forever and ever, amen. The MOS was much cooler than I expected it to be--I even enjoyed their section on light and lenses, two of my least favorite topics in physics. I got to see a lightning show worthy of Tessla and take pictures of a to-scale model of a Naboo fighter from Episode I. The place was, predictably on a Friday night, swarmed with children and their parents, but most of the kids were surprisingly well-behaved (that and they were constantly distracted by something new so they didn't have time to wreak havoc). Also got my sister hooked on Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords for DS, so much so that she went and bought it immediately upon returning to Cincinnati. Yay for spreading the love of little-known games! She left at 6:45am Saturday morning, which meant that I had to wake up to see her off and, after falling back asleep, therefore slept in until 1pm and missed my dance class at the gym. Feeling so out of shape and lazy! Two weeks with no gym time!

Yuval and I went to the aquarium on Saturday afternoon and had a blast. Penguins are so cute, and I recorded the mating call of the Little Blue penguin (which really just sounds like an unearthly screech, but damn the actual animals were adorable). We watched Sharks 3D, my first 3D movie ever, and that was an experience. Now I want to see the one about the ancient sea creatures of the deep. Afterwards we walked to the North End and had dinner at a yummy Italian place whose name escapes me (which is like saying we ate a Chinese place in Chinatown). Then we headed back to my apartment and watched the Democratic debates with Adrienne, Terrell, and Katherine (Adrienne's HS friend). My favorite part was definitely when Richardson referred to a "cooperation with the Soviet Union". D'oh! You know his campaign staff were beating their heads against a pole backstage at that one. I don't think anyone really won, but I think it's clear Hillary's going to need a big win in New Hampshire to stay in the race. Also, Obama needs to works on his impromptu public speaking skillz.

Sunday was a late lie-in and saw Yuval and I grabbing breakfast at the quaint hippie bagel place across the street. Got some laundry done, cleaned my room, organized papers, ate a scrumptious protein-packed dinner courtesy of Adrienne, and headed over to Margaret's to watch some 30Rock (which I'd never seen before). Such a fabulous, amazing show! I can see what all the hype's about now, and 30Rock definitely deserves it. Also we had yummy ice cream and I received an advanced reader's copy of a YA book that looks to be chocked full of fun Elizabethan drama and capers. Now I just have to finish The Kite Runner first...

I'm going to see Copenhagen at the A.R.T tomorrow night with the boy, that is if his poor grandfather doesn't die before that. If he does--as he well might because he's literally on his deathbed--Yuval is hopping the next plane to Israel so they can do the traditional burial-within-24-hours-of-death thing. Not a great time for his family. But at least we had some fun last night, what with him cooking me schnitzel and noodles (he even bought 20 oz. Cokes special for me!) and participating in trivia night at Johnny D's in Davis Square last night with his friend Tim (who reminded me muchly of Nick Lerangis). Finally, my catalog of useless knowledge came in handy!

Okay, time to leave work and head to Costco to look for new glasses. One of the arms that holds a nosepad broke off mine, which is particularly wretched timing as my viral eye problem has come back and I'm not supposed to be wearing my contacts at all for two weeks. But with my glasses out of commission, I have no choice! I'm legally blind otherwise (really, in all seriousness). So my eyes hurt. And so does my brain. :o(

But at least I'm not this guy. I told you there were real blue people out there!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Comin' Home Baby

Sorry about the lack of substantial updates--holidays are, as I'm sure all of you know, quite nuts. I was in Cincinnati from the 23rd to the 30th and it was marvelous. I will always have a soft spot for the Queen City. Spent lots of time with my family, hob-knobbed with the Fridman's (our neighbors), saw many movies, and journeyed to Cleveland to spend some time with Kari (Nate was not able to be there, and my thoughts go out to you, Nate). While I was with Kari, my family went to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame where my mom spent most of her time in The Beatles section, everyone got to see Madonna's booby cones from her "Like A Virgin" tour, and my mom bought both Help and Hard Day's Night. She assures me neither are good movies, per se, but they're about The Beatles so who cares? I said that's how I feel about the Spice Girls and Spice World. She made a face at that.

My journey home on Sunday turned into an epic race against time. My flight from Columbus to Portsmouth was delayed over an hour, I missed the 10pm bus back to Boston because I had to wait for my checked bag, and the 11pm bus didn't pull into South Station until around 12:15am. I started panicking during the flight because I thought I absolutely had to be back in Boston before midnight so I wouldn't miss the last trains (which stop running around 12:15am). In a very sweet move, Yuval offered to come pick me up at South Station and drive me home but I told him it would be far too late at night for anyone to think of driving around Boston doing such a thing (especially since he lives up by Porter Square, which means he couldn't be further away from my apartment). Thankfully my parents told me they'd pay for me to take a taxi home from South Station, so by the end I was just tired instead of tired + stressed. Whew.

New Year's Eve day was spent sleeping, mostly, and bumming around the apartment. I bought some things at CVS. Nightfall saw me heading to Boston Common to meet up with Yuval so we could wander around First Night, look at the ice sculptures, eat fried dough, and watch the fireworks (which were set off perilously close the ground, I thought). We then walked a long way in an effort to find a restaurant and just ended up taking the train to Porter Square and eating at Uno Pizzaria. He offered to drive me to my first party of the night, so we walked to his house (which I got a tour of), scraped the ice off the car, and between the two of us and a map we found the way to Margaret's un-friend's party in East Cambridge. I met up with said lady as well as Adrienne and Sophie, had a (requested) weak screwdriver, ate some brownie, and then realized I had to dash after 45 minutes if I was going to make it to my second party by midnight. After wandering around lost on the MIT campus for 15 minutes, I finally found my way to the subway and took the train to Davis Square. I arrived at 11:45, just in time to grab both a glass of white zinfandel and a glass of Barefoot Bubbly and toast the new year whilst watching the robot I'm convinced has replaced Dick Clark. It was a small get together (six of us at the peak), but it was a fun party nonetheless. After leaving Times Square behind we watched two episodes of MythBusters and one episode of Weapons Master because we're all dorks like that. I ended up spending the night on Kat and Garrett's comfy couch as I missed the last train home (a fact my contacts/eyes were not happy about). But we grabbed breakfast at an old-fashioned diner called The Rosebud in Davis Square--where we were served by the sweetest old waitress of all time--so all was good in the end.

Last night my sister arrived for her first ever visit to Boston. In order to prepare for her coming I scrubbed the apartment end to end with all manner of Swiffer products, a broom, Clorox wipes, Windex, and bathroom cleaner. The place has never looked shinier! I picked her up from the airport at 7:20, guided her through the epic T journey home, helped her settle in a bit, and then took for a walk around Coolidge Corner. We ate at Mr. Sushi, which, despite its name, is actually a rather classy establishment with yummy cuisine. Came home, watched some Scrubs (Season Six), and collapsed into my bed around 11:30. What a couple of days!

Continuing Adrienne's wonderful idea...

New Year's Resolutions
1) Read at least one book for pleasure a month (essentially keep up what I've been doing).
2) Write something/anything new at least once a month.
3) Apply to (and complete) BU's graduate certificate program in Fundraising Management.
4) Keep auditioning.

Short but manageable, I think. Actually the one that's going to be the most difficult is the second one. I constantly have new ideas for stories, characters, and novels, but the moment I sit down and face that blank page my fingers freeze and none of the words/sentences I think of seem right. Perhaps I should read Bird By Bird again to get something to fight the fear with?

The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur by Victor Pelevin*
Across The Wall by Garth Nix
The Oresteia by Aeschylus
Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson
Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Charlie Wilson's War
I Am Legend
Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0 (mostly)
Meet The Robinsons
Peter Pan [Disney]

p.s. I got a new phone and phone plan over the holiday! Still the same number, but now I can receive AND respond to texts. So now there's yet another way to communicate with me, if you're keeping track...

*If anyone else had read this, will you please e-mail me? I completely don't understand what happened in the end and a lot of it was way too philosophical for me to understand. I'd like to discuss. Also, if you haven't read any of the books in Canongate's "Myth" series, you totally should. Especially if you like classical mythology (Jeffrey, I'm looking at you). Basically, they got writers such as Margaret Atwood, Victor Pelevin, Jeanette Winterson, and a host of other internationally known folks to pick a Greek myth and rewrite it somehow. Very interesting and well worth the time.