Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

Welcome back, me. Sorry for the hiatus. I know the 4 or 5 people who read this are accustomed to my twice weekly updates, but this last week has been...lazy. There's no other excuse. I'm just a lazy kumquat. Also I should tell you that every time I do one of these updates, I first have to consult my Google Calendar to remember what the hell I was doing for the past week. Because that's how well my short-term memory works.

Lost (a common continues to astound me with the quality of its new episodes. Very much looking forward to Sun and Jin's episode tonight, even though I know one of them kicks the bucket in a flashforward (a common parlance term among us Losties these days as we attempt to keep our time traveling narratives straight). Friday night saw me at Tamarind Bay supping with the lovely Kelli Daniels and Elizabeth Tremblay (the latter of whom I hadn't seen since...oh, freshman year of college). The food was yummy, despite the fact that it was a little too spicy for my poor Midwestern, white, utterly wimpy tolerance of all things with a spice rating above "0." I'll be having coffee with another long-lost friend this Sunday: she was my best friend throughout elementary school who moved to Alaska after 5th grade. I haven't seen her in over 10 years. She now lives in Cambridge, works at the coolest tea/coffee shop, and is going to law school at Lewis & Clark in the Northwest in the fall.

I don't know what's more wild, the fact that I haven't seen someone in a decade who I used to spend every waking minute with, or the fact that I'm now old enough to be able to say it's been a decade since I've last seen someone.

After the two-hour meal on Friday night I made my way to Yuval's house in Porter where I proceeded to spend the rest of the entire weekend. Literally. Don't worry, I brought an overnight bag with me, so it's not like I was without a toothbrush or clean underwear for three days. ;o) We attempted to see the Bruins rematch with the Washington Capitals (who ended the Bruins' winning streak with an embarrassing 10-2 game in DC a couple weeks ago), but by the time we got to TD Banknorth the cheapest tickets available were $84. I blamed the fact that we had to get Yuval's oil changed earlier that morning, while he blames my slow-moving ass for not getting out of bed quickly enough. Not really. But regardless, we proceeded back to his house and watched the game on TV (which the Bruins won! Redemption!). After that...I think we watched a movie? No! We listened to the absolutely hilarious Stan Freberg's The United States of America: Volume One, The Early Years. It was without a doubt the funniest, wittiest, and most creative parody of our nation's early years that I've ever heard. There are delightful three-part songs, sharp dialogue exchanges, and a vastly entertaining array of characters (my favorite was the little boy who Ben Franklin hired to create things so Ben could take the credit).

Our stomachs started grumbling, and I suggested that we go to the KFC that's a within a mile from Yuval's house. This was deadly for two reasons: 1) KFC is just as tasty and bad for me as I remember from my last tasting over 7 years ago, and 2) Now Yuval knows there's one close to his house and will start subsisting off a diet of nothing but Dunkin Donuts, Anna's Taqueria, bacon cheesburgers, and KFC. So, basically, the diet of a 24-year old male who has a stupendously high metabolism and plays hockey twice a week. I'm still trying to convince him to get the glasses he has been prescribed to get for years, so I don't think I'd have any influence over what he throws down his esophagus. Oh well.

We got into a couple of heated arguments over the weekend, all of them stemming from our opinions on religion/God/human existence and having nothing to do whatsoever with our relationship. So don't panic. We debated theories about the afterlife, the validity of publishing a work of fiction as a memoir without telling anyone the difference, and what Donnie Darko was really about. The non-Director's Cut version was free on his OnDemand and he'd never seen it, so I suggested we watch it. He really liked it, but proceeded to troll out an opinion/explanation of the movie that I've never encountered in my life. Basically, he thinks that the whole thing was Donnie's "dream" that he had right before the engine lands on him in order to validate his seemingly random and senseless death. Or that it's all something he came up with during his "transition" from life to death. Which I found a strange opinion for many reasons, not the least of which is that Yuval doesn't believe in any kind of afterlife at all. On Monday he emailed me saying "You were right" after he read an interview with Richard Kelly in which he explained that he meant the movie to be an exploration of alternate universes and time travel and such. But that he also said people were welcome to their own explanations. I'm right in my mind, and Yuval's right in his. And two rights together makes us SuperRight!

I told Dad about these intellectual altercations and it went like this:
Dad: "Do you always have to be right?"
Me: "Yes, but so does Yuval! So obviously we're going to butt heads."
Dad: "Erin, sometimes you need to learn to say 'I may not be right all the time, but I don't ever doubt myself.'"
Me: That's real purdy, Daddy!

So I'll be trying out that viewpoint in the coming times. Sometimes I forget how wise my parents are.

Work has been exceedingly pointless this week because it's BU's Spring Break, which staff does not get off, and none of the students or faculty are around. I've spent most of my days thus far reading the latest Wired, keeping up on the daily Metro, and playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village (which is officially even more addicting than Puzzle Quest or Puzzle Pirates...can you tell I have a thing for puzzle games? Ironic because I'm not very good at them). Everyone who has an extra $30 and a DS needs to purchase this game. Penny Arcade did get it right in that it can be downright infuriating at times that none of these puzzle village people--who create puzzles for a living--are any good at solving puzzles, but what can you do? Still super fun and I totally have a crush on Professor Layton.

Tuesday night was a magical night filled with completely free, wonderful things. First, a free huge burrito from the new Chipotle opening up in Harvard Square (with free guac!). Second, a free production of the A.R.T's Julius Caesar, directed by this guy (whose name I can't pronounce and is apparently on loan to us from the French government). I've always found dear Julius to be a rather, well, snoozefest of a play, but when you add things like a live jazz trio, barrel rolls, choreographed stabbing, a real 1960s car suspended headlights down above the stage, a boy running around in Superman pajamas with a gold sequin short cape, and a 35-foot tall photographic mirror-reproduction of the very theater you're sitting in...well, it becomes hard to take your eyes off the stage (if only to see what the hell is going to fly down from the ceiling next). And they ended the show in a very Elizabethan way: the whole cast came out and danced a choreographed number to Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" before taking their bows. Some of the acting was good, some meh (I was not particularly fond of their Cassius, who had a tendency to be very William Shatner like in his pauses), but they all looked gorgeous in their 60s wardrobe. Seriously, check out the pictures by following the link above. I can't even explain it. In the end, highly inventive and well-done, but not exactly William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

I ate the free burrito yesterday for lunch. It was num-nums.

Time to get back to tweaking the Classical Studies Department website, which I "finished" last week. I say "finished" because there are always bugs and kinks to work out before a site goes live.


Before I leave, I point you towards the following interesting (and entertaining) things:

>>The TMNT guest-star on an episode of Power Rangers in Space. Circa 1998. The episode's name is "Shell-Shock." Seriously.

>>Killer dinosaurs you've never heard of, ever.

>>Sheriff: Woman sat on toilet seat for 2 years

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Feel The Earth Move

So much to report! Let's go in chronological order, shall we? Starting with where I left off last week.

After riding the high from my accounting class the previous night (in which the professor called me "extremely remarkable" for keeping pace with the class even though I hadn't been to the last class), I went to work full of TGIF. That evening I saw my second hockey game of the week, this time BU vs. UMass Boston men's hockey at Agganis Arena (at BU). It was a double date with Yuval's best friend Tim and his girlfriend Kate, during the course of which I found out that BU has a killer ice hockey arena and the food is cheaper than it is at TD Banknorth (duh). Fun sleepover times carry us into the next morning.

After deciding to skip my usual Saturday morning dance class at the gym, Yuval and I settled on lounging in bed and talking about how much we didn't want to get up. Eventually we roused ourselves from the clutches of my bed and journeyed to Dunkin' Donuts for a delicious breakfast. It was felt that the best use of our time would be to eat our various bakery delights whilst watching Anchorman, so back across the street to my apartment it was. Only a few minutes into the movie a kind of contest was established to see which one of us could quote the upcoming lines before the other (I maintain that it was a tie). Then off to errands with him, while I stayed home and proceeded to putz about the apartment for the better part of (what was left of) the day. I received a call from Jillian around 6pm telling me that Dylan had come down with another nasty cold--and so graciously shared with her--so they would not be needing my services after all. Normally I'd be miffed about missing time with baby and a little extra cash, but this was a fortuitous turn of events as it allowed me to accompany Yuval and his younger sister, Michal, to dinner (delicious Indian food in Lexington).

I think I passed the first of the four "meet the family members" tests with flying colors. Michal and I got along splendidly and I very much enjoyed her embarrassing stories about Yuval's younger escapades. After dropping her off at South Station to catch her bus back to Montreal (she goes to school at McGill), we headed back to Yuval's place for some serious PTFO [Pass The Fuck Out] time. He told me we needed to be up early for my (delayed) birthday surprise on Sunday, so right to bed we went.

The alarm went off for the first time at 7am and we were out the door by 8am. I knew we were taking a bus somewhere, and discovered upon arrival at South Station that we were getting on the next coach to NYC. "So that's what my birthday surprise is, a day in New York!" thought I. Oh no, that was just part of it. We arrive in the Big Apple after a 4 1/2 hour bus ride, whereupon Yuval informs that (as I might have guessed) we're here to see a Broadway show. Holy shit. This guy just won the Sweetest Guy in the Universe Award forever and ever. I didn't even care what we saw I was so blown away.

He said he'd requested tickets to Spamalot (which we'd unsuccessfully attempted to see when it came to Boston), but Ticketmaster had sent him a pair of seats for Spring Awakening instead. He said I could choose either one. Hmm...hilarious farce complete with song or rock n' roll bildungsroman set in a boys prep school? I opted for Spamalot because 1) I wasn't in the mood for loud rock music, 2) I've wanted to see it longer, 3) I knew he'd enjoy it 100x more than Spring Awakening. So off to Camelot we went, and wouldn't you know it, Clay Aiken was there as Sir Robin? It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, like The Best of Monty Python (With Some Really Funny New Stuff Thrown In There). Yuval then took me on a tour of the Washington Square area and Soho because I'd never been to that part of Manhattan before. We ate at a yummy little Mexican place in Soho before hopping back on the bus to Boston.

I was the happiest woman in the world at that moment. So happy was I that I even let his unshaven cheek rest on my shoulder while he napped and I acquired a bit of a face burn from the stubble. Couldn't care less! I slept over at his place again since all my stuff was there anyway, despite the fact it would mean waking up early so he could drive me back home before work.

He dropped me off at my apartment at 8:15am and I proceeded to get ready for work. However, the fatigue and vague head cold I'd been fighting off 'til that point hit me upside the head around 8:40am. Four sick days had accumulated in my name since starting at BU, so I decided to use one, called my boss to let her know, and went back to bed until 1:30pm. I made up for my laziness by doing laundry, washing all our dishes, cleaning/mopping the kitchen and bathroom, and vacuuming the two carpeted things we own. After dinner I became absorbed by Puzzle Quest (which I'm playing for a second time), and before I knew it the time had come to head out to candlepin bowling in Davis Square. Since Kat's birthday was last Wednesday and I completely slept though the celebration (see my previous post, "Make Me Lose Control"), I gave her a box of Thin Mints for a present. As much as I wanted to swing by Yuval's house to say hi after bowling, I knew that he needed R&R time more than a potential booty call from his girlfriend. So homeward bound I went, and passed out upon arrival near my bed.

I woke up filled with excitement for this day for one reason only: the Kenyon College Chamber Singers were performing that night at a church in Brookline and four of them were staying over at our apartment for the night. And yes, I managed to wash my sheets before they came over. ;o) Hurray! The concert was beautiful (as always) and Anthony, Adrienne, and myself broke down sobbing as the choir filed out after singing a gorgeous rendition of "Kokosing Farewell." I'll never NOT cry when hearing that song. Despite severely inclement weather we managed to shuttle the kids back to our apartment thanks to the clown car-like capabilities of Anthony's Corolla. An air mattress bigger than my bed was set up in our living room, and we proceeded to shoot the shit and watch select highlights from the Opera Workshop's Pirates of Penzance DVD. A shower schedule for the morning was worked out, goodnights were bid, and I fell asleep beside the lovely Calista Harder around 1am.

Awoken at 7:41am by my alarm, Calista and I hurled ourselves into getting ready while I silently thanked our luck that we don't have to pay our own water bill for this apartment. Hugs were exchanged with "See you soon" type remarks, and the kids were off around 8:45am to meet the bus back at the church via taxi minivan. I decided I'd try to be early to work for once and left immediately thereafter.

I got to work at the same time I do every day, which just further supports my theory of not leaving the house until 8:50am.


SO. Now we're all caught up to speed, yes? Before I leave you I'd like to share something highly amusing. I found this via the witty Ms. Margaret Willison and decided I should put it out there for all to see. Can you guess the titles of all the illustrious children's books this woman rejected that subsequently went on to become staples of the genre? Dear Clueless: The Rejection Letters of Edna Albertson

Also, this. 1998 was 10 years ago?! Whaaaa?!