Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Closing time, time for you to go out to the places you will be from. Closing time, this room won't be open 'til your brothers or you sisters come. So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits, I hope you have found a friend. Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." ~semisonic

Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm a mixed bag of emotions. This has been a really tough week, so I'll be relieved when it's over. I've screamed a lot. They are crazier than ever (which I didn't think was possible). In the past three days they've turned my classroom into a baseball field, a basketball court, and a wrestling ring. There's just no incentive to behave well now. They know their grades are in and that they'll all be moving on to the next grade. They don't mind detention because it means they get to spend more time with their friends. Even phone calls home don't phase them. They're absolutely wild. They know how awful they're being and they don't care at all. One kid told me they're having fun because this is the last chance they'll have to spend time together. I guess they're worried they won't see each other over the summer, which is a valid concern. Their parents' schedules will complicate things and a bunch of them are going to D.R. with their families. Anyway, they're absolute terrors and it's wearing me out.

At the same time, I know I'll miss them. They're my life right now. Seriously. My world revolves around them. I spend more time with them than with anyone else (by a longshot). They spend more time with me than they spend with their own parents. I am with them all day. Even when I'm not the one teaching them, I'm with them. I even spend my preps in the classroom with them. Basically we only spend 30 minutes apart (lunch) during the entire school day. I know them so well. They're my first class ever, which makes our bond even more intense. Their science teacher warned me about what I'll go through over the summer, and I'm sure it's true because I already experienced it to a degree over our week-long breaks during the school year. When I'm not with them, I dream about them. I wake up thinking about them. They're constantly on my mind. They'll be impossible to shake. When something that takes up your whole life is suddenly taken away from you, you're going to have to adjust. And even though they've made me miserable at times, I love them. They're my babies. So it'll be tough.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mark Rylance Tony Awards acceptance speech

"Eating snow flakes with plastic forks, and a paper plate of course, you think of everything." ~modest mouse

They played that song on Saturday and I'm so glad. I haven't stopped listening to it since.

My love for Mark Rylance just grows and grows. He is so deliciously quirky and hilarious. His Tony acceptance speech had me in stitches, and his backstage interview was almost as funny. About the experience of being onstage in Boeing-Boeing: "Bradley (Whitford) says it's a bit like a Japanese tea ceremony with tits...he has a good way with words." Bradley Whitford is equally hilarious.

For the person who requested the Bradford Whitley red carpet interview: Go here and click on Red Carpet: The Cast of Boeing-Boeing.
That interviewer is an idiot. First he gets Brad Whitford's name wrong, then later they have this exchange:
Interviewer: Now, this is your Broadway debut, right?
Bradley: Um, no. I was in A Few Good Men. Many years ago.

What follows is interesting, though.

Christine: I was in A Few Good Women.
Bradley: So was I, baby.

Oh, Bradley. :D

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Broadway is dark tonight." ~the goo goo dolls

Tonight is the only night of the year that Broadway is actually dark.

I'm going to make notes here as I watch the Tonys. Probably will update the post every once in a while.

~The red carpet interviews just provided me with what I know will be the funniest moment of the evening. Apparently BRADFORD WHITLEY is currently starring in Boeing-Boeing. He must have kidnapped Bradley Whitford and taken his place. Seriously. Hilarious.

~Boeing-Boeing wins best revival of a play! HOORAY!

~They're giving out some really important awards before the telecast has even started. I'm watching it online, but I can't imagine many other people are. I guess it's because they have 13 freakin' performances to get through this year. I'm not a fan of that idea. The nominees should perform, and that's it.

~I LOVE Julie White. "Ring, ring, ring, went the bell!"

~Rondi Reed (August: Osage County) beat Mary McCormack (Boeing-Boeing) for best supporting actress in a play. I'm bummed. Mary McCormack steals that show. I think she deserved the award.

~Adam Duritz just introduced the number from Passing Strange. He looked great; he was rocking a fabulous bow tie and seemed really happy.

~YES! Lin Manuel Miranda just won best score for In the Heights, and rapped his acceptance speech. SO happy for him.

~OH.MY.GOSH. Never mind, new funniest moment of the night (still related to Boeing-Boeing, though). Mark Rylance won best actor for Boeing-Boeing and just have the most HILARIOUS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH EVER. Mary McCormack's face during the speech was priceless. I have no words. Luckily I'm sure it'll be on youtube soon.

~Great performances from In the Heights and Xanadu.

~Patti LuPone won for Gypsy; not at all surprising, but deserved. Good quote from her speech as the orchestra began to cut her off: "Shut up, it's been 29 years!"

~Winner of best musical: In the Heights. Hooray! I think it's very deserving. Overall, a great evening.
"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." ~r.e.m.

So last night's R.E.M./The National/Modest Mouse concert at Jones Beach was quite an experience. See article here. Yeah, I was there. It sucked. When lightning struck during Modest Mouse's set, it was pretty scary; it was insanely loud and lit up the entire sky. I have the audio of it on my recording and it blows out my ears every time I listen to it. So then they evacuated the theater and made us all wait for two hours, huddled under overhangs. That was a long two hours. Finally they let us back in and R.E.M. went on. Of course it poured during their entire set. I have never been so soaking wet for such a long period of time in my life (not counting being in a pool). It was miserable; everyone got completely soaked. An umbrella and raincoat were of basically no use. I was wringing out my clothes on the bus ride back. I tried to shield my recording equipment and managed to keep it dry, but I was drenched. I was sitting in a pool of water. It was ridiculous. But it allowed for some good songs. R.E.M. opened with Have You Ever Seen the Rain, which I love. They also played It's the End of the World, which they never, ever do. Before launching into it, Michael went on about how he said he would never do this song. I guess he felt really bad for us, so he decided to give us that perk. It was fabulous. Definitely the highlight of the night. So overall it was certainly eventful. I didn't make it home until after 3:00am. Now I have to prepare myself for the Tonys tonight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Well, I'm what I am and not what I'm not, and I'm sure happy with what I've got. I live to love and laugh a lot, and that's all I need." ~kenny chesney

Last night I had a nice time forgetting about school. I went to a taping of a Kenny Chesney performance that will air on TV on the Fourth of July. Yeah, that's right, Kenny Chesney. I like him and am not at all ashamed of it. I always watch those Fourth of July performances on TV and wonder how those lucky people got to attend, and this year I'm one of them. I also always thought the performances were live, but apparently I was wrong about that; they just pretend they're live. The director asked us (the crowd) what day it was and I almost answered him, "Thursday." Luckily I realized he was looking for "the Fourth of July" before I spoke. They gave us all mini flags to wave. The taping was under the Brooklyn Bridge; we had the most beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline. I was in the second row, and I'm pretty sure I'll be on TV when it airs so look for me. He played the song "Never Wanted Nothing More" about five times to make sure they got enough airable footage.
A picture of the soundcheck, before they let us into the venue:

Kenny signing autographs. I had nothing for him to sign, but I settled for having his arm pressed against mine for about a minute while he signed some stuff for some kids next to me. Unfortunately it was too difficult to get a picture of him while he was pressed up against me, so I had to settle for this farther-away shot:

Tomorrow is The National, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M. at Jones Beach. From great, expensive seats (which we paid about 1/4 of full-price for). Can't. Wait. I'm sure pictures and videos will be forthcoming.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"She's Claire from the block, don't be fooled by the rocks that she got." ~ my cousin d.j.

I seriously don't know if I can make it through these last few weeks. 'The block' is getting to me. I'm just so absolutely exhausted and drained and burned out that I can't even think of any more adjectives to describe my current state. I need something to change. I need school to be over and I need the temperature to drop and I need to get a good night's sleep. It has reached 100 degrees the past two days. I have no air conditioning in my classroom. There are 24 of us crammed into that room all day, and we are miserable. Yesterday and today were so awful I can't even describe it. I think I sweat off 10 pounds. You have no idea how hot it gets in there. I end up drenched in sweat even before homeroom is over. The kids keep whining and complaining and refuse to do any work, and I don't blame them. The heat is beyond stifling. Some schools in NJ and Connecticut and some private schools in NYC have been closed the past two days because of the heat, but not us. All the kids and I are so cranky that we haven't stopped yelling at each other. We can't help it. I hear myself yell and hate myself for it, but I'm just so tired and sick of their nonsense that it's difficult to do anything but yell. I come home and feel dead. Today I came home and had to type up 23 mystery stories. I got to 40-something pages and then stopped; I just couldn't do any more. I still have to write my lesson plans for tomorrow. And I don't want to do anything but curl up next to the open fridge. My dad just called and I had no energy to talk to him. I hardly ever talk to my dad, and when he made the effort to call I could hardly say anything to him. I got off the phone and cried because I felt so bad about it. Going to bed won't even make me feel better because I have no A/C and my apartment is almost as hot as my classroom. I really, really need a break from everything. And I need this weather to cool down. And I need to get my act together. I've been having lots of ups and downs lately, so hopefully tomorrow will feel like an 'up.'

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"You're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, it's true." ~james blunt

I know, I know, a James Blunt quote?! And from that particular song? Don't worry, I do have better taste in music than that, but it's late and I'm exhausted and the lyrics actually do relate to part of the post.

Today was a long day. I left my apartment at 9:25am and didn't return until after 11:00pm. That's why I'm exhausted. But it was a good day.

First I went to the movies (Sex and the City and The Strangers). I don't feel like writing reviews of those, but maybe I will later.

In the afternoon I went to my cousin D.J.'s graduation party/lunch/dinner/thing. Eighteen members of our family went to Steak Frites. That's actually a small gathering for us. We basically took over the entire restaurant. I was the only person representing my immediate family. It was great to see some of my cousins and other relatives; we don't get together often enough. D.J. just graduated from high school and is going to Princeton next year, and he's thrilled. I'm happy for him. When I was home a few weeks ago, I looked through some old photo albums and found a picture of D.J. as a toddler sitting on my lap, wearing a santa hat. He's come a long way since then.

Finally, I went to the play Reasons to be Pretty. It was fabulous. Alison Pill, Piper Perabo, Thomas Sadoski, and Pablo Schreiber make up the cast and all give very strong performances. I love Alison Pill. I've seen her in a few things and she's just wonderful every time.

A few quotes from the New York Times review:

"Reasons to Be Pretty is less condemning than questioning. And it’s shot through with compassion for four young working-class friends and lovers who are starting to realize that they are trapped in dead-end lives. The four immensely talented cast members — Piper Perabo, Thomas Sadoski, Pablo Schreiber and Ms. Pill — respond to this newly found empathy with some of the most sensitively shaded performances in town."

"What makes this play resonate is less its Big Theme — beauty (or lack thereof) and its discontents — than how that theme illuminates the insecurities of people who don’t feel they have much to offer the world. The performers provide such naked portraits of those insecurities that we intuit why their characters act as they do even if they do not."

I actually agree with basically all of what Mr. Brantley says in his review (and Ben Brantley and I don't always see eye to eye). Basically it was a thought-provoking, touching, very well-acted play and I was glad I got to see it (especially because it's run is basically sold out).

Funny tidbit: Ashley Olsen was there. I stood directly behind her in line for the bathroom. For some reason I keep getting stuck behind famous people in line for the bathroom. Last month it was Frances McDormand, tonight it was Ashley Olsen...I wonder which celeb will be next?

Friday, June 06, 2008

"Someday I'll fly, someday I'll soar. Someday I'll be something much more. Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for." ~john mayer

Chipper hit his 400th home run yesterday. I cried. I wish I could have been there. But I'm glad it was in Atlanta. He's batting .418 (best in the major leagues by a longshot). He's amazing. I've loved him forever, and I'm so glad he's having this historic season.
Congrats, Chipper!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow. Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there counting crows." ~counting crows

I'm back from field trip #1, and it was a success! We didn't lose any kids, no one got hurt, no one had a run-in with the law...I'm absolutely exhausted, but I'm glad we didn't have any big problems. Hopefully tomorrow's trip to the zoo runs just as smoothly. A couple of funny recent quotes:

From yesterday (the day before the field trip):
Ms. O: J, you better start removing that tattoo. No tattoos allowed on the field trip tomorrow.
R: Ms. B, I think you're gonna have to cut off your foot.

From today's field trip:
R: What is that bird?
D: That's a baby giraffe.
Nature Guide: It's an egret.
F: Is that like 'regret'?

That's all I can think of now. I'm so tired. Here I am today, having fun with magnifying glasses and proudly sporting a 'Nature Detective' badge: