Saturday, December 30, 2006

"Can't sing but I've got soul." ~u2

I've been spending more time doing nothing over the past few days and am loving it. I never get bored. I'd love to just do nothing all the time. I've been hanging out with Kim and Matt a lot; the past two nights we've spent hours playing games. I love games (and I'm usually pretty good at them). Over the past two nights I've won Apples to Apples, Would You Rather?, Gin Rummy...Joseph won Urban Myth. Would You Rather? was an awesome Christmas present from my friend Sam, who knows how much I love games. Kim got a karaoke machine for Christmas, so we've been doing that a lot as well. I'm awful at it, but it's so much fun. So far I've performed earachingly bad renditions of I Want You to Want Me, Sweet Home Alabama, Eternal Flame, I Don't Know How to Love Him, Elevation, I'll Be Watching You, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, and some others that I've already erased from my mind.

I've been reading a lot, too. I read A Hat Full of Sky, which is an amazing sequel to The Wee Free Men (on which I wrote my English seminar paper this semester). I highly recommend Terry Pratchett's Discworld books to everyone. Now I'm reading Dave Eggers' memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It's very good so far.

I'm off to see Dreamgirls now. I'll report back on it later.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"It's not going to stop, 'til you wise up." ~aimee mann

Merry (belated) Christmas, everyone! I had a lovely holiday. My grandparents stayed with us and my aunt, uncle, and two cousins from NY came down for the day. Some family friends joined us for dessert. We had lots of great food, conversation, and games. I received some wonderful gifts. My grandparents gave me an absolutely beautiful antique diamond and sapphire ring that I love. Some of my other favorite presents were the Little Miss Sunshine DVD, a few fun t-shirts, the Spring Awakening OBCR, and tickets to see The Vertical Hour on Broadway (starring Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy, two of my absolute favorite actors). I was reminded of how fortunate I am. The best part of the day was spending time with everyone, though.

The day after Christmas I woke up and felt awful. I'm glad it didn't hit me until after Christmas. My throat hurt like crazy and my nose wouldn't stop running. I've spent the past couple of days doing nothing but lounging around the house, and I'm feeling better. I've watched some good movies, including The Man in the Moon (Reese Witherspoon is so young) and Mulholland Drive. Mulholland Drive was sooo confusing, but I really enjoyed it. It was almost as confusing as my first viewing of Magnolia, which is saying a lot. Have I written about that here? First of all, let me say that I adore Magnolia. I think it's a fabulous film. The opening quote for this post is from a song that the characters in the film sing, and it's a beautiful moment. There are some amazing performances (including one by Julianne Moore). Anyway, Storytime: My mom and I rented Magnolia from Blockbuster a long time ago, back when VCRs and VHS tapes were in fashion. From the moment it started, we were completely lost. My mom kept asking me what was going on, and I kept shushing her, telling her that it wasn't supposed to make sense and that we weren't supposed to understand it. It gradually began to make sense as we got to know the characters, and I think by the end we both got the gist of it. When I took the tape out of the VCR, though, I noticed that it said "Tape 2." Apparently the movie was so long that it was on 2 VHS tapes, and we had only gotten the second one, so we watched the second half of the movie without realizing that we had missed the first half. We went back to Blockbuster the next day and they apologized and gave us the first tape (along with a free rental). So then I watched the whole thing (in correct order), and it made much more sense. But anyway, it was very confusing at first (and understandably so). And Mulholland Drive was just as confusing. I understand it now, though, after perusing the IMDB boards and running everything through my head a few times. Naomi Watts gives a fabulous performance.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Somebody hold me too close, Somebody force me to care, Somebody make me come through, I'll always be there, As frightened as you of being alive. Being alive, being alive." ~stephen sondheim (company)

I went to see the Broadway production of Company last night. The Entertainment Weekly review says, "If you get through 'Being Alive' without crying, you're a hell of a lot stronger than we are." I am slightly stronger than EW; I had tears in my eyes, but I managed to control myself. I was pretty choked up, though. Raul Esparza gave a fabulous performance. The EW review also says of the show, "[John Doyle's] actors-as-orchestra trick doesn't work as well as it did in last year's spectacular Sweeney Todd. (Mental patients carrying tubas are easy to buy; uptight yuppies take some getting used to.)" I agree with that statement. The actors playing all the instruments worked better than I thought it would in this production, but not as well as it did in Sweeney Todd. But overall I loved the show. It would be great to see Raul win the Tony for best actor this year.

After the show I got to spend some time with my friends Nic and Tiff, which I was really glad to be able to do. I only spent about an hour with them and it seemed much shorter than that; time flew by and we had so much to talk about. Nic gave me an awesome Christmas present; she gave me a few bootleg cds and a shooting script of Little Miss Sunshine, my favorite movie ever. I saw it in theaters a few times last June when it first opened in NYC (I can't believe it's still out in theaters in some places). The DVD is the #1 thing on my Christmas list.

Tonight I'm going back to see The Pursuit of Happyness. Fingers crossed that I actually get to see the end this time.

Friday, December 22, 2006

"No big differences these days, just the same old walkaways. And someday I'm gonna stay, but not today..." ~counting crows

My grandparents are here! It took my brother and I 40 minutes to drive to Newark Airport last night, and then we drove around the airport for an hour and a half. The flight was late and there isn't anywhere that you can park without paying, so we literally just kept driving in circles for an hour and a half, waiting for my grandparents. At least we had good music with us. And we got them home without any problems.

Heather, you inspired me to think about my family members and how different we all are. So here we go on my grandparents: I love my grandparents. They're southern; my mom's anscestors have lived in the South since before the Civil War. My grandmother has this story about her relatives landing in Virginia among the first settlers and then eventually walking to Georgia with their 22 slaves. I think my southern family history has made me fascinated with the South; I love studying it and trying to understand it.

My Grandad is, without a doubt, the funniest person I have ever met. He's hilarious. He also has very old-fashioned, southern ideas. He's racist and homophobic and doesn't intend to change his ideas anytime soon. Last night he yelled at my brother for wearing his hat inside the house and at my mom for allowing him to do so. A couple of years ago I walked in the NYC AIDS Walk and he did not approve because he believes that only gay people get AIDS and they deserve it. I hate having to type that, but it's what he thinks. He is extremely blunt; he has no qualms about saying exactly what he thinks. I'm terrified to go out in public with him lest he say something offensive, which is always very likely to happen. My mom always tries to convince him to open his mind a little, but he argues that there's no point in trying to make him change his ideas this late in life. He never calls me Claire when he's talking to me. He calls me Clarice or Clarissa. My parents intentionally named my brother (Brett) and me with one-syllable names that can't be shortened. My mom's name is Elizabeth, and she tried to go by that through the first twenty-something years of her life. She hated how other people kept giving her nicknames, though. Different people called her things like Liz and Beth, and her parents didn't even stick to Elizabeth (they alternated between Libbie and Betsey). Her twin brother is named Robert (he now goes by Bob), so throughout their childhood (until they were old enough to rebel) they were Bobby and Betsey. Now my mom just goes by Betsey (although my grandparents call her Libbie). Anyway, the point of that long digression was that my mom wanted my brother and I to each have one possible name because of the frustration that she experienced. And my grandfather managed to get around that by elongating each of our names. Brett becomes Brettsky or Brettster and I become Clarice or Clarissa. Which I love. Despite Grandad's prejudices and faults, he is hilarious. He is constantly making me laugh. And he is very loving towards his family. And I love him very much, despite all his faults. He always ensures interesting conversation.

My grandmother just might be my favorite person in the world. She is more open-minded than her husband. She is tolerant and accepting and easy-going and selfless. She loves movies and musicals as much as I do, and she always sends me her many magazines after she finishes reading them. She also clips out specific articles that she knows I'll like. She is absolutely wonderful and I love her to death.

I have to go now, my grandfather is complaining that I'm not joining them for lunch. So I'm off. Here's my grandparents after falling asleep on our couch:
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

"Oh, what a beautiful thing when you sing. Hear all them bells ringing out in the street. Blue sky cracking and it makes me believe. Oh, hear all them bells ringing out in the street. Hammer strikes the metal and it makes me believe." ~ryan adams

I'm home! I drove home on Tuesday, and it only took me 4 hours and 15 minutes. That's a record for me. I deserved a good drive; it took me 8 hours coming home for Thanksgiving.

Last night I had a great time with my best friends from home, Kim and Elizabeth. We went to Friday's for dinner and ate way too much. Here's Betsy and I with our massive drinks:
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Then we went to see The Pursuit of Happyness. The first hour and forty five minutes of the movie were great. Then the projector broke. We sat there for 20 minutes while they tried to fix it (to no avail). I was mad. We got free movie vouchers, but I hate having movies interrupted, and I want to know how it ends. Everyone else was laughing while they were trying to fix it because the lights kept flickering and there were these really weird noises and the people sitting in front of us were saying it was the time machine from the movie that was really working. I was not amused. I'm a movie nerd. I hate when people talk during a movie. I hate having to stop a movie. I like achieving complete suspension of reality. So now I'm going back on Saturday to see it again.

J.K. Rowling revealed the title of the 7th Harry Potter book; it's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I can't wait for it to come out.

Tonight my brother and I have to go pick up our grandparents from Newark Airport; that'll be fun. I'm sure traffic will be a nightmare. But I'm excited to see them. I love my grandparents so much.
On a final note, here's me and Josie, my baby (who is less than thrilled about her reindeer ears):
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Monday, December 18, 2006

"And I'm just trying to get a little sleep. Strung out like some Christmas lights , out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights , out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights. Strung out like some Christmas lights, out there in the Chelsea nights." ~ryan adams

Good song. That part is my favorite, where he repeats that refrain over and over again. I can't wait to be in New York. And it'll be soon! On Friday I'm seeing the Broadway production of Company; I am so incredibly excited about it. It's directed by John Doyle, who also directed the most recent Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd and did a brilliant job with it. Here's Adam Duritz's "review" of Company (he also wrote an amazing review of Sweeney Todd with which I completely agree but I can't find it now). I'm seeing the show with my family (I convinced them to go), and then I'm meeting up with two fabulous friends afterwards.

I'm finished with finals! Actually, I took my last undergraduate final exam ever today. It was American Lit., and overall I think it went okay. I'm mad at myself about one quote ID that I correctly identified and then crossed out that correct answer to write something else. Arg. But I don't care (much) because I get to go home tomorrow.

Tonight Kelly, Michelle, and I went through our fridge and emptied it out. We found a few things that Joy left in there that needed to be dumped a looong time ago, such as 2-month-old chili (that I ended up scooping into the garbage bag with my hand...yuck). Why do I always end up dealing with all the disgusting things in our apartment? When we found raw, rotting, moldy chicken in our ventilation system that had seriously been polluting our air and got to be completely unbearable (courtesy of Jack, Will, Gordon, and Reynolds) I ended up getting it out of our apartment and into the dumpster (faster than humanly possible because it smelled so bad). Actually, I don't mind doing things like that. I think it's funny that my apartmentmates usually come to me for that stuff, though.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"But you'll fight and you'll make it through, you'll fake it if you have to, and you'll show up for work with a smile. And you'll be better, you'll be smarter, more grown up and a better daughter or son and a real good friend. And you'll be awake, you'll be alert, you'll be positive though it hurts, and you'll laugh and embrace all of your friends. And you'll be a real good listener, you'll be honest, you'll be brave, you'll be handsome and you'll be beautiful, you'll be happy. Your ship may be coming in, you're weak but not giving in to the cries and the wails of the valley below. Your ship may be coming in, you're weak but not giving in and you'll fight it, you'll go out fighting all of them." ~rilo kiley

That's my song of the moment. I can't stop listening to it. It's wonderful. Go listen to it.

Joy left this morning. I feel like I should be leaving too. Unfortunately I have to wait until Tuesday. I've sort of stopped caring about my last final exam. I think this is my last undergraduate final exam ever; I'm student teaching next semester and I don't know what the seminar for that entails, but I'm guessing if there's an evaluation at the end it will be based on some sort of portfolio. I am so over school. Last night I meant to study/reread some stuff, but instead I watched 2 movies. Joy and her friend watched Edward Scissorhands, so of course I joined them, because who can pass up a chance to watch Edward Scissorhands? And then I watched Groundhog Day because Kelly was watching it for a class. I love that movie, too. The line "Watch out for that first step, it's a doosie!" gets me every time I hear it. My apartmentmates thought I was insane when I said it along with Ned the first time in the movie and then proceeded to crack up. I don't know why I find it so funny; I guess I have a strange sense of humor.

I've been going swimming with some of my apartmentmates this past week and teaching them synchro. It's so much fun to just play around in the pool. It's very theraputic. I love being in water; I could live in water.

I guess I was trying to put off studying by blogging, but I really don't have anything to write about. I'll stop rambling now and get back to American Lit.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"In the light of the sun, is there anyone? Oh it has begun, Oh dear you look so lost. Eyes are red and tears are shed, this world you must have crossed." ~augustana

One final exam left! I finished my Instructional Design portfolio, which was huge. I hate writing lesson plans; I'm so glad to be finished with that class. Then I turned in my history take-home final yesterday morning. It was 16 pages, which I'm pretty sure was waaaaaay too long, but oh well. So now all I have left is American Lit. on Monday. I can't make myself study for it. I am SO ready to go home.

Veronica called me today and asked if I wanted to work at an MTV shoot on Monday if I was home. I hated having to turn her down; I'll be taking a final exam when I could be on set making some money at a shoot in New York. Arg! Stupid finals!

Last night I had a crazy fun experience. It was Kristen's birthday, and 8 of us participated in an event that she's been talking about for awhile. It involved running across the Westhampton Green at 2:00am. And it felt very liberating. That's all I'll say. Here we are preparing for the big event (Joy's face is priceless):
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Heather, if you happen to read this, I've been trying to comment on your blog for days now but it won't let me. So anyway, I hope grammar went well (I'm sure you aced it), and let me know if you want to study for American Lit. this weekend!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"In a way, it's someone else's story; I don't see myself as taking part at all. Yesterday a girl that I was fond of finally could see the writing on the wall." ~chess

Because I wrote about Sweeney Todd a few days ago, I now feel the need to pay homage to my favorite musical, Chess. A musical about Chess, you say? Why, how boring. Wrong. It is fantastic. It's about so much more than Chess. It's about love, nationalism, the Cold War....I could go on and on about how much I love it. It is my favorite musical and the one that can most easily make me cry; it is also one of the most undervalued musicals ever created. I collect recordings of Chess, and I have quite a few considering its relative obscurity. Unfortunately it only lasted on Broadway for a couple of months (in 1988) and was a commercial failure. I keep hoping for a revival, though. It did well in London. Someone needs to revitalize the book. There are too many different versions of it and all of them are flawed. Tonight I watched my video of the Actor's Fund Benefit Performance from a few years ago and was, as usual, blown away by Julia Murney (playing Florence). That woman is fabulous. So someone needs to update the book, revive it on Broadway, and cast Julia Murney in it. That would make me so incredibly happy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

"Catch a boat to England, baby, maybe to Spain. Wherever I have gone, wherever I've been and gone, wherever I have gone, the blues have run the game." ~jackson frank

So many people have recorded that song, it's crazy. Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Nick Drake, Eddie Reader, Counting Crows...of course Counting Crows' version is the best. Actually, it's not crazy that so many people have done it because it really is a fabulous song.

I finally found out my student teaching assignment. I'll be in Tucker High School, which I'm very excited about because that's where I did my practicum this sesmester. It's pretty close to campus and I'm familiar with the school already. The teacher that I'm working with is the head of the English department and she's supposedly an amazing teacher. She teaches 3 12th grade college prep classes and 2 AP English classes. I'm not allowed to teach AP, so I'll be working with her college prep classes. 12th grade is devoted to British Literature, which isn't exactly my specialty. Here's a direct quote from the teacher's email to me: "I usually start right into Cavalier poetry at the beginning of the semester, followed by Donne and Milton. We also have to do SOMETHING with 18th century and the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern Periods. Oh yes -- They also need to read LORD OF THE FLIES and 1984, as well as do a research paper! Are you ready to quit yet???? :-)" Yeah, that was slightly intimidating. I don't even know what Cavalier poetry is!! But I think I'll survive. Hopefully 12th graders won't be too crazy, especially during the second half of their senior year. I'm excited and terrified about the whole experience.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"And if you're beautiful, what then, with yellow hair like wheat? I think we shall not meet again, my little dove, my sweet Johanna. Goodbye, Johanna, you're gone, and yet you're mine, I'm fine, Johanna, I'm fine." ~stephen sondheim (sweeney todd)

I want to talk about the upcoming Sweeney Todd film. This subject concerns me very much. I absolutely love Sweeney Todd. I think it just may be the best musical ever written. Sondheim is a genius and this is arguably his best work. I cannot say enough good things about the show; it is simply brilliant. The most recent Broadway revival was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen onstage and I am so grateful that I was able to witness it. So, understandably, I am terrified that Tim Burton will butcher it. I liked the idea of Sam Mendes as a director better. Burton's first few moves once he was attached to the project did not inspire confidence in me. Casting Johnny Depp seemed way too unoriginal for him, even though I love Johnny Depp. When he cast Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, I had to work very hard to calm myself down. Those two casting choices were far too predictable for him. Does he ever use any other lead actors?? Couldn't he have put more thought into his choices and explored some other possibilities? I have calmed down, however, and am more open-minded now. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter just might work. I'm going to give them a chance. The most recent casting decisions did much to ease my mind. Any movie with Alan Rickman in it is okay by me. Casting him as the Judge was brilliant. I CANNOT WAIT to hear Alan Rickman sing Johanna; the mere thought of it makes me shiver in anticipation. I love that song, especially the second act version. Seeing that song performed live (the second act version) in the 2005 Broadway revival made me cry. I know, I'm a dork, but it was so indescribably beautiful. The cellos were what put me over the edge. Have I written about that performance here yet? There were 10 cast members, and they were the entire orchestra as well; they played all the instruments onstage as they sang. Lauren Molina and Benjamin Magnuson (playing the parts of Johanna and Anthony) both played the cello, and when thet sat onstage next to each other, playing in unison, it had such a heartbreaking effect. Okay, I got really sidetracked. Back to the movie. There are rumors about Jim Broadbent being cast as the Beadle, which is also an example of wonderful casting. So things are looking up. Please don't disappoint me, Mr. Burton.

On another musical note: Spring Awakening officially opened tonight. The reviews have been released throughout the evening and they're good. Which makes me so happy. Luckily Isherwood reviewed it for the New York Times (instead of Brantley) and he gave it a rave. It also got rave reviews from the AP, Variety, Theatremania...everyone involved with the show will definitely be celebrating tonight, because this is very good news. Hopefully it will give the show a Tony nom for best musical and will help it bring in more revenue.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Hello sunshine, come into my life." ~super furry animals

Yesterday my mood improved exponentially. I had been grouchy, depressed, angry, cranky...basically, since Thanksgiving break, I had been feeling pretty much every negative emotion you can name. And yesterday it all turned around. I turned in my English seminar paper and my education journal, I had my last real college class as an undergrad (I'm student-teaching next semester), I performed in my last synchro holiday show (which went very well), I got to see my mom, and I realized how many people care about me. At the holiday show, two of the kids I babysit came to cheer me on. They made signs that said things like, "I Love You, Claire!" and "Go Claire! Go Claire! Go Claire!" and they danced and cheered all through the show. They were adorable. A bunch of my friends came as well, which made me so happy. Even though I probably haven't been a very good friend and roommate in the past few weeks, my roommates and friends came to support me, and it meant a lot.

I suppose I should start thinking about finals now. *sigh.* I'll leave you all with this picture of my lovely synchro family.
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Friday, December 08, 2006

"These train conversations are passing me by, and I don't have nothing to say. You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." ~counting crows

Weird conversations I've had today:

This morning when I went to turn in my Instructional Design journal, my professor started a really random conversation with me. It was totally out of the blue. She said something like, "I know you've travelled a lot; aren't your parents missionaries? What are some fun places you've been?" I have NO idea how she knows I've travelled a lot. I'm absolutely positive that I've never mentioned it in class. My parents aren't missionaries but they were in the Peace Corps in Cameroon (that's where they met), so I suppose she was close. I lived in Cote D'Ivoire for the first three years of my life, and I told my prof that. The way that she reacted made it seemed like she already knew. Anyway, of course I didn't mind talking about any of that stuff; it actually led to an interesting conversation that I really enjoyed, but it just caught me off guard. I told her a funny story about my trip to Turkey and she told me one about Thailand.
Our conversation reminded me that I need to get going on my plans to go to Antarctica! My goal is to visit all 7 continents, and I've been to 6 so far, so Antarctica is all I have left. I want to make it happen soon.

Weird conversation #2: I was in line at the grocery store. I was buying flowers, hair nets, and 8 boxes of Knox gelatin. The lady in front of me eyed my items curiously and finally got up the courage to ask ask me if I was making something. I explained to her that I'm a synchronized swimmer and we use Knox to put our hair up. I explained the whole process to her (put your hair in a really tight bun, secure the bun with a hair net, cover your hair, including the bun, with a Knox gelatin mixture, allow it to harden, attach headpiece). She found it very interesting. The cashier even got involved in the conversation, asking specific questions. They loved hearing about it. Funny somewhat-related remark: Joy keeps telling me how much she loves my synchro "hat." I have to keep reminding her that it's a headpiece, not a hat. Can you imagine us swimming around the pool in hats? Ooh, that reminds me of something else! A long time ago I had the strangest dream (I may have already posted about it, I can't remember). I dreamed that we did a cereal-themed synchro routine. Someone was Capn' Crunch, someone was Trix, someone was a Cheerio....Our headpieces were actual cardboard cereal boxes, which obviously wouldn't have worked very well in reality. It was pretty funny.

My mom's coming down today for the synchro show. It'll be good to see her.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"Still the water sparkles here. The calm drifts away in here...Inside your head. Inside your head." ~eberg

Tonight was the first night of our Synchro Holiday Show. I swam well, and overall it wasn't a bad show, although there were some glitches. I'll miss not being in it next year. During the candlelight routine tonight I couldn't help but grin because I was just so...content. I managed to forget everything else that's been stressing me out and just enjoy swimming by candlelight. It was beautiful. Come tomorrow (Friday) night if you can. I love my synchro girls. Here's me and my synchro family (me, my little, and my little's little) at initiation. We have been labeled the "straight-edged" family, which is pretty funny and actually pretty true.
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I've dedicated so much time and effort to my English seminar paper in the past couple of weeks, and I just don't know how to make it better. It's so frustrating, though, because I know it has its weaknesses. I spent most of today sitting at a table in the Commons selling tickets to the synchro show, and I worked on tweaking my essay the entire time (unfortunately that meant I didn't sell too many tickets). I cut out about 3 pages, which was so difficult to do because I worked hard on those pages, but it was necessary. There's more I want to say, but my paper's already too long and I'm not sure I could work in my extra information seamlessly. It's hard to tie everything together in such a long paper, and it's hard not to repeat oneself. Oh well. I'm just going to have to be content with what I turn in and know that I did my best.

I'm anxious to get my student teaching assignment. Most of the other people have already heard, but I'm still waiting. Hopefully I'll be somewhere close to campus.

I know there was something else I meant to write about, but I forget now. Maybe I'll think of it later.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"I wanna roll around like a kid in the snow. I wanna relearn what I already know. Just let me take flight dressed in red, through the night on a great big sled, and I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, ho ho HO." ~the killers

That's from a new song by The Killers that was released today on iTunes called A Great Big Sled. 100% of the profits go to Product(RED). If you don't know about RED, please check it out; it's a great project dedicated to fighting AIDS in Africa from the brilliant mind of Bono. Because I love The Killers and support Product(RED), of course I bought the song and I recommend y'all do the same.

I love the song. Rolling Stone doesn't, though (it's not the first time I've disagreed with Rolling Stone). They wrote a whole article about how to write a good holiday song by explaining everything that The Killers do wrong. It's funny, though; one of the main reasons they don't like it is the main reason that I do. They say it's too angsty. I love that about it. It's not your traditional sappy, cutesy Christmas carol. It's got some edge.

Come see the Annual Synchro Holiday Show this Thursday or Friday at 7:00pm in the Sports Center Pool. It won't last more than an hour and it'll be fun. You'll get to see us swim our competition routines as well as a holiday-themed routine, a funny routine by some guys (including Will Kelly, Reynolds Chapman, and others) AND a candlelight routine. Everyone always loves the candlelight routine, even though it's the easiest part of the show for us. We turn off all the lights and swim around the pool holding candles. Bring your friends, family, and anyone else you can convince to come. We've been working really hard on it, and will be continuing to work very hard every day this week. Being at the pool 4 hours a day is not easy, especially when I have other things I need to focus on, but hopefully it'll be worth it when we put on a good show. As a senior, it's my last Synchro Holiday Show, which is sad; I think it's my favorite part of the synchro season.

Monday, December 04, 2006

"You don't know who you are. You get your light from a star. But I, I can see in the dark. And I....Living in this world, day to day, nothing can be so strange as to make me want to stay. I found out a long time ago, there's a voice in my head, I can't remember what it said. It said....You always answer the phone. You never go out alone. But I'm never lonely alone. No I'm never lonely alone. No I'm never lonely alone. No I'm never lonely alone." ~space needle

Those are the complete lyrics from that song, which lasts 4 minutes. I love how he draws out the words; he's not afraid to rush it.

I saw Spring Awakening on Broadway while I was home for Thanksgiving, and I never posted about it. I don't have time to write a detailed review now, but it suffices to say that it is a fabulous show. It's based on a German play written in 1891. It takes place in that setting and time period, but the music is very modern (Duncan Sheik did the music). There's a music video on the show's website; let's see if this works. Here it is:

I had a seat on-stage, which was pretty cool. Funny story: I had a great view of the audience from my seat. During one song, called "Totally Fucked," the cast is lined up along the very front of the stage. It's a really loud song, and the actors do crazy dance moves and basically just go wild. Because they're so close to the audience, the lighting illuminates the people sitting in the front row pretty well and I could see everyone clearly. There was a middle-aged Chinese man sitting in the exact center of the front row, and he was fast asleep during this song. Head was tilted to the side, mouth wide open...he was out. It looked like he was there with his teenage daughter, which was sweet of him, but I wondered why she didn't nudge him awake or something; she had to have noticed he was asleep, because his head was practically resting on her shoulder. He slept straight through this incredibly loud, wild song, and through a large portion of the rest of the act. The actors had to have noticed him, which was probably pretty funny for them. I thought it was hilarious. Anyway, go see the show if you get the chance.

As usual, I babysat for four hours today, and it wasn't bad. Meilin asked me to play Christmas carols on the piano, so I did my best to plunk through a song using the beginner's piano book that she had. I got through about five notes when she said, "Never mind, you're bad at that, come back and color." Oh well, at least I tried.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

“Captain take me to the real, Electric blondes in summer feel, Pretty hearts that never die, Captain take me to the sky. Captain win and you and I, pick a star and we do fly, Love the world and it will know, Captain I don’t want to go.” ~shapes of race cars

My English seminar paper is depressing me. I’m writing about The Secret Garden, which is one of my favorite stories. The Secret Garden was actually the first Broadway show I ever saw. I remember it; I was eight years old, and it was December 26, 1992. My aunt took my cousins and I as a Christmas present, and it had such a huge impact on me. It got me addicted to Broadway. I have all the songs memorized; I could sing through the entire show if you asked me to. I listen to the OBCR very frequently. I think Lily’s Eyes is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I love all the songs, actually; some favorites are Wick, The Girl I Mean to Be, A Bit of Earth, Race You to the Top of the Morning, Hold On, Round-Shouldered Man…they’re all just so wonderful. I love the novel as well. So I have deep emotional ties to the story. Now I’m reading lots of criticism about the novel for my essay, and I’m recognizing that the text has its serious flaws. The article I just read argues that, “Mary’s strengths [are] harnessed for patriarchal pleasure and imperial power.” And it’s a very valid argument. I’m having a really difficult time defending Burnett. Which makes me so sad.

Here’s something that demonstrates how twisted and crazy I am. Earlier today I posted an entry contemplating my future. Two hours later my mom sent me an email about that very subject, and she suggested that I consider other options besides teaching, like theater or music, which is exactly what I had been thinking about. I’m almost positive she doesn’t read this blog, and I haven’t talked to her about the subject at all, so it’s pretty creepy that she sent me that email. Anyway, I was actually bothered by her suggestion. Here’s how it’s supposed to go: I’m supposed to say that I want to take a big risk and try to get into a career in the entertainment industry, and my parents are supposed to tell me that I should be a teacher because it’s so rewarding, it will mean a steady income, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, it’s respectable, blah blah blah…then I’m supposed to rebel and follow my heart despite their opposition…
The fact that they’re encouraging me to go for the risky, less sensible, adventurous choice actually makes it less appealing to me. How crazy is that?! I have a fantastic family that loves and supports me whatever I do and I resent them for it.
"One, one, one, one or two won't do. ‘Cause I want it all. And a sip, a sip, a sip or a spoonful won't do. No, i want it all." ~m. ward

Are y'all aware of the brilliance that is M. Ward's music? Seriously, go check him out if you haven't heard him before. His bio describes his voice as "a three-pack-a-day rasp that sounds like it should come from a 75-year-old Mississippi Delta bluesman," which is a pretty good description. I love distinct voices like that. I love it when I can hear the words catch in a singer's throat and can feel the heartbreak oozing out of them. For the longest time, I thought that the first three "One's" in the above quote were actually him singing "Wine, wine, wine." That's really what is sounds like. And it kind of makes sense, too. The above quote is from a song called "Poison Cup," which was featured on the best show on television (Veronica Mars, of course) a few weeks ago. If you watch the show (which you should be doing), the song was playing as Logan saw Veronica in the cafeteria (she didn't see him, though), called her cell phone, and watched her look at her phone and then press the 'ignore' button. The look on Jason Dohring's face combined with the song playing in the background broke my heart. I had tears in my eyes. Yep, I know, I'm a loser. Ooh, but I'm not the only TV junkie on this campus, and I'm not the only one obsessed with Veronica Mars. My English professor is also aware of Rob Thomas's brilliance (he's the show's creator). A couple of times I went to talk to her about a paper I was working on and we talked about the show. It's nice to know that one can be an intelligent, academically-minded individual and still appreciate good television.

I would love to be the music supervisor on a TV show; it sounds like such a fun job, and it combines two of my main passions. I don't know how I would get into that, though; I'm sure it would be incredibly difficult. It almost makes me want to take a job at MTV after I graduate, because that could possibly pave the way for a job as a music supervisor. My boss at MTV this summer said he could help me get a job there if I wanted one, and the possibility keeps nagging at my brain. I know I've always wanted to be a teacher, but I wonder if I'm limiting myself by not fully considering other options.

Synchro inititation was last night, and it was fun. I controlled myself, but I can't say the same for some of my crazy teammates, which made for good entertainment. This week is filled with synchro, which is going to be rough considering everything else going on. Our holiday show is on Thursday and Friday and we are sooo not ready. We still have to learn the entire opening routine. Heh. But you should still come, because hopefully we'll manage to pull it together. The kids I babysit should be coming on Friday; the girl has been practicing cheering for me. It's so cute. She says, "Go Claire! Go Claire!" over and over. And she keeps asking when she'll get to see me "dance in the water," because that's how I described it to her. Of course babysitting is another thing complicating my life. I love it, but it takes 10 hours out of my week that could be used for something else. Okay, I need to stop procrastinating and get back to essay-writing before I go babysit in 10 minutes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"I guess its Christmas coming down, I don't want to go back home. If I'm not gonna be with you then I don't wanna be alone. So fuck your Christmas coming down, I'm not gonna go back home, and I'm not gonna be with you, and I'm not gonna sleep alone. Screw your Christmas coming down, I don't wanna go back home. I don't wanna be with you and I'm not gonna sleep alone..." ~counting crows

Don't worry, I'm not really that bitter and those lyrics don't actually express my viewpoint. But I definitely get it. AD wrote Goodnight Elisabeth (the song in which those alts are used) after his breakdown during the tour for August and Everything After. His girlfriend dumped him right before Christmas and he was miserable. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have no one to break up with me, so I don't have to worry about that sort of heartbreak right now. But the constant Christmas music, decorations, store displays, etc. really bug me right now. One of the radio stations I sometimes listen to in the car is now playing nothing but Christmas music and I can't listen to it. I love Christmas. I love everything about the holiday. But being constantly surrounded by it now is not helping me, because it reminds me of the fact that I can't throw myself into enjoying the season right now. Ugh.

On a happy note, hooray for the fact that people actually read this blog. Even though I mostly write this for myself, it's nice to know that these words expressing my random, disjointed, unfinished thoughts come across some other peoples' ears. It's somehow comforting. Thanks for the encouragement; it really, really helped.

Here's a tiny picture to go along with yesterday's entry. See, isn't he adorable??
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I get to read Harry Potter #6 for my children's lit seminar this week. The first time I read the 6th book was in New Zealand. Because of the time difference, it was released 18 hours before it was released in the U.S. I had finished reading it before any Americans had even gotten it. Here's a lovely picture of me in my room in NZ with good 'ole Harry. Check out the cool cover (it's different than the American version). I think I posted this picture in an entry that I wrote in NZ but I'm too lazy to go back and look.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Synchro initiation is tonight, which would be fun if I didn't have to organize everything (because I'm the team captain) and could enjoy it without my mind being overwhelmed with other stuff.

Friday, December 01, 2006

"Sometimes the world seems like a big hole. You spend all your life shouting down it and all you hear are echoes of some idiot yelling nonsense down a hole." ~adam duritz

Have a mentioned that I want to marry him (Adam Duritz)? Despite the facts that I've never met him, he is old enough to be my father, and some people think he is a large unattractive man who looks like he has a pineapple on his head, I would marry him in a second if he asked. Really. I'm waiting for the day. He's brilliant, hilarious, always honest...he's even attractive in my opinion. His music can make me cry and smile at the same time. His latest journal entry is a review of the new Broadway production of Company, which I have tickets to and cannot wait to see. He wrote a great review of Sweeney Todd as well, with which I completely agreed. He loves musical theater! We seriously would be perfect for each other. Seriously.

I really can't write about reality right now because it would make me want to pull my hair out. I cannot describe how much work I have done so far this week and how much I have to do over the course of the next two weeks. I'm just about on the verge of a breakdown and I'm trying really hard to hold everything together. One more week of classes and then a week of finals and after that I'm finished with undergrad college classes. I can do it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Breathe in for luck, breathe in so deep, this air is blessed, you share with me." ~dashboard confessional

I'm in an emo mood now; I have been for awhile, actually. I think it calms me down when I'm stressed, and I've been pretty stressed lately.

I cannot wait to go home for Thanksgiving. I seriously cannot put into words how excited I am. I miss my family, all my relatives that I’ll get to see, my dog, my bed, my couch, my NJ friends, NYC…time passes so slowly while you’re anticipating something.

Thanksgiving is wonderful in my family. Every year we (me and a bunch of my relatives) gather in my aunt and uncle’s apartment in New York City. Try to imagine about 40 people crammed into one NYC apartment. It probably sounds pretty awful to most people, but I absolutely love it. I love spending time with all my cousins and family members. We basically clear out the apartment, and then when it’s time for dinner we fill it with a maze of folding tables and chairs. When I was little I used to love crawling under the tables with some of my cousins while everyone was eating. I have lots of younger cousins, and they still do that.

On Thanksgiving night, I’m going to see the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. It was written by Duncan Sheik, who is a fabulous popular musician (you’re probably familiar with some of his songs; he has a bunch of albums). He’s actually from Montclair, NJ. The coolest part about seeing the show is that I have a seat on-stage. There are a few seats that you can buy (at the box office only) that make you part of the show, and my friend Nic was kind enough to pick one up for me.

I’m trying not to think about the amount of work that I should do over Thanksgiving break. There’s too much fun stuff to think about instead.

This is my 100th post. I think that's pretty cool.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"One love, One blood, One life, You got to do what you should. One life, with each other, sisters, brothers. One life, but were not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other. One. One." ~u2

Okay, so I want to talk about Bank of America's butchering of U2's "One." Have you seen this?? If not, here's a link (beware if you've eaten recently).

"We'll live out our core values while the competition crawls..." *VOMIT*

I don't even know what to say. Do the recognize the irony in what they're doing?? Here's my friend Tiff's reaction, because she says it better than I probably could:

"Changing the lyrics of a song (that benefits AIDS research) about world unification and turning it into an anthem for corporate competition! uncomfortable! How did that guy get so "into" the song? He was wailing like he meant it! I'm no Commie and I am something of a shopaholic, but no one should be that passionate about credit cards. No one. "

I just think it's disrespectful because of all the meaning behind the original song and everything that it stands for. At concerts on the Vertigo tour, U2 always began "One" with Bono's speech about ending extreme poverty and his plea to President Bush to "put mankind back on earth." The song represents the One Campaign to make poverty history. And Bank of America decides to turn the song into a stupid little corporate plug about credit cards (with really bad lyrics). It just pisses me off. That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"On the radio, we heard November Rain. That solo's really long, but it's a pretty song. We listened to it twice, 'Cause the DJ was asleep. This is how it works, you're young until you're not, you love until you don't, you try until you can't, you laugh until you cry, you cry until you laugh. And everyone must breathe until their dying breath." ~regina spektor

I'm really into Regina Spektor right now. She has such a unique sound, and I love that. You can definitely see hints of other artists (Ani DiFranco), but the music still doesn't sound like any one artist that's out there.

I've been thinking about the fact that all my favorite musicians are males. If I had to list my favorite artists/groups, I would include the following:
U2, Counting Crows, Damien Rice, The Killers, The Strokes, The Arcade Fire, Carbon Leaf, Dashboard Confessional, Bright Eyes, Joe Purdy, David Garza, DMB....those are the main ones. And they're all males. There are two females in Damien Rice's band and in The Arcade Fire, but I wouldn't call them the focal points of either band. They're not really even essential, although I hate to say that. So I think it's good that I'm listening to Regina Spektor, because I try to listen to a wide variety of music. I like Maria Taylor a lot, and Kendall Payne, and Joni Mitchell, and Alanis Morrissette, but they're not up there with the guys in my list of favorites. I'm not sure whether I just prefer male artists (and I wonder why, if that is the case) or if there are just more talented male artists than females.

I'm convinced that there has been a curse placed on famous blondes recently. They cannot manage to maintain their marriages. Think about it: in the past two years, the following young women have all gotten divorced:
Renee Zellweger (actually an annulment, but I'd say that counts), Jessica Simpson, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, and now Briteny Spears. There are probably more, but these are the ones that immediately came to my mind.
How many Hollywood blondes can you name that are in successful marriages? Probably not too many. Aspiring blonde actresses, beware; your love life appears to be doomed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

"California, here we come, right back where we started from, California, California..." ~phantom planet

The O.C. is back. And it's fantastic. For real. This season is going to be good; it feels like season 1 again. Josh Schwartz has stepped back in to take control of the writing and I love it. I came close to crying while watching the first episode of this season. Rachel Bilson does a particulary good job acting wise; Summer's trying to pretend that she's completely over the death of her best friend, but she's barely holding it together by the end of the episode, and it hurts to watch her hurting so much. I really hope she doesn't keep pushing Seth away, though; they make such a good couple. I know, I know, I'm a tv dork. I'll stop now. I'm also a music dork, though, so I'll write about that. On this week's Grey's Anatomy (see, I can't stay away from tv), they played Gomez's song Notice, which I'm listening to right now. It's beautiful. You know who's a really good singer, especially when she's doing a Gwen Stefani impression? One of my roommates. :D

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"I can’t take the smell, I can’t take the noise. Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice...Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head. It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under." ~u2

Our apartment smells. It's been smelling for over a week, but it seems to be getting worse. It's not a normal smell, and it's not going away. A facilities worker came today and confirmed the fact that it smells really bad, but he couldn't figure out why. So now he's calling in backup; housekeeping and the air conditioning/heating people have to come check it out. I'm almost getting used to it by now.

I was really looking forward to the movie Running with Scissors. I loved the book, and the trailer made the movie look pretty good. So I'm disappointed that it's getting bad reviews; now I don't think I want to see it. It has a 30% on RottenTomatoes, which is generally a very good, dependable barometer of a movie's quality. It's a shame that it's a bad movie, because it had so much potential. The source material (Augusten Burrough's memoir) is fantastic. The cast (Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Jill Clayburgh, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Chenoweth, Patrick Wilson, Joseph Cross, I could keep going) is stellar. They could have done so much with this. Arg.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"No need to know what you're doing or waiting for: But if anyone should ask? Tell them I've been licking coconut skins and we've been hanging out. Tell them God just dropped by to forgive our sins and relieve us our doubt." ~Damien Rice

That quote is from a song on Damien Rice's new album, "9." This is another album that I've been anticipating for a loooong time. I've been listening to it all day. Now I'm trying to decide what I think. I don't like it as much as "O" right now (DR's first album). But "O" is so fantasmic that I would be floored if "9" were better. I really like "9," though. There are some really strong tracks on it. The highlights for me so far are "9 Crimes," "Me, My Yoke and I," and "Coconut Skins." I think my main issue is that "9" doesn't seem as intense as "O." It's not quite as creative overall. There are a few tracks that seem weak compared to the rest, whereas on "O" I feel like every single song is incredible. Still, there is no denying that Damien Rice is a genius, and his brilliance is evident on this album. I heard Damien play in Central Park this summer and he played a few songs from this album, which sounded great live. "9 Crimes" was definitely a highlight of the concert. So, in conclusion, go listen to Damien Rice. If you're a little late hopping on the DR bandwagon, start by buying "O" and then "9." If you have "O," check out "9." You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"He doesn't look a thing like Jesus, but he talks like a gentleman, like you imagined when you were young." ~the killers

Right now I am listening to what has been, to me, the most anticipated album of the past 2 years. Sam's Town, by The Killers, has finally leaked. It's being released next week and I preordered it a long time ago, but I got my hands on it ahead of time and I'm trying to decide what I think. This is a huge deal to me; I'm obsessed with music and, in particular, with The Killers. And the release of their sophomore album is pretty important. Now everyone gets to see if Hot Fuss was just a fluke or if these guys are the real thing (which I know they are). I haven't finished listening to the whole thing and I need at least a few listens to solidify my thoughts, but my initial reaction is that it's good. It has a slightly different sound from Hot Fuss, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (I LOVE Hot Fuss, which means it's pretty hard to top, and I like that they're experimenting with new sounds). They're thinking big on this album (which is both good and bad). Everyone's been making the Bruce Springsteen comparisons, which are definitely valid (especially on When You Were Young), but I wouldn't put too much weight on them. I think The Killers are great at creating their own sound by drawing from a wide variety of inspirations (mostly from the 80s). Right now I'd say I like Hot Fuss better than Sam's Town, but the new album might grow on me, and it's definitely not bad.
Listening to the album makes me sad in a way because I've been looking forward to it for so long, and now that expectation is gone.
Sam's Town should make for some pretty good concerts (it's good concert music). Here's one of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken. It's Brandon Flowers, the soul of The Killers, in one of my favorite concerts ever.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"We were wanna be rebels who didn't have a clue, with our Rock n' roll T-shirts and our typically bad attitudes. Had no excuses for the things that we'd done, we were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly young." ~kenny chesney

I love live albums/bootlegs. In case you haven't picked up on that already. They're pretty much all I listen to. Kenny Chesney's new live album, Live Those Songs Again, is great. I've been listening to it a lot lately. My favorite song on it is "Anything but Mine;" it's such a beautiful song. Here's an example of why I love live recordings. During this song, at one point Kenny starts to sing the chorus. He manages to get out, "And in the morning I'm..." and then he stops singing, in the middle of the line, right after "I'm." Because the audience is singing so loudly that he's shocked and lets them sing it alone. So he sings "And in the morning I'm..." and the audience keeps going with, "leaving, making my way back to Cleveland, so tonight I hope I would do just fine." And then Kenny joins in again for, "And I don't see how you could ever be anything but mine." It's such a beautiful moment, because you know he wasn't expecting it. The audience was just feeling the song and they took over. And he stopped singing in the middle of a line and let them. Those moments are fantastic. That's why I love live music; it's so unexpected. Even if you know a song, you can hear so many different versions of it and each time you'll get something new and special out of it.
Counting Crows are, of course, the kings of live music and always will be. No one else can do what they can do live. But I still like listening to other people try. And Kenny Chesney does a decent job on his live record.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Let the music take your mind, just release and you will find, you're gonna fly away, glad you're goin' my way. I love it when we're cruisin' together." ~smokey robinson

Tonight was Proclamation Night. For those non-UR students, that means that the senior women got to wear our graduation gowns, take a class picture, and go a ceremony where we received letters that we wrote to ourselves as freshmen. I wasn't expecting much from my letter, but I surprised myself. I was quite a talented, profound writer as a freshman. In fact, it's slightly disappointing that I'm so impressed with my freshman self; it makes me wonder how much I've grown. Of course there were some funny, freshmanesque instances in my letter; I expressed my desire to have found my future husband by the time I graduate. Heh.

I've been really busy lately. Last week was insane. As a writing fellow I had to meet with 25 Core students to discuss their essays. It made me frightened for Richmond's future. I've also started a pretty intense babysitting job; I babysit 8-10 hours a week for a 5-year old girl. She's a great kid, but it just takes up a lot of time, so I have to figure out how to balance that with my schoolwork and everything else. But I'll manage. I always do.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

“We keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change. One day our generation is gonna rule the population. So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change.” ~john mayer

I’m listening to John Mayer’s new CD, Continuum, right now. It hasn’t been released yet, but of course it’s already leaked. It’s not bad. My favorite song is "Dreaming with a Broken Heart." It's beautiful. I also like "I'm Gonna Find Another You." The album has a very similar sound to his previous albums, but I think he’s matured. Of course, to completely discount that maturity statement I just provided, you should read the new Rolling Stone interview with him. Here are a few highlights (not for those easily offended):

On porn:
“I bought myself a Playgirl once. I just loved the feeling that there was a porno you really, really weren’t supposed to have…Not to say I wouldn’t enjoy the energy of watching a guy and girl have sex. I think I’d vomit out of pure arousal. Have you ever seen a guy and girl have sex in person?”
On press interviews:
"I’m at a point right now where the more I talk, the more I’m going to say something in the next twelve months that’s going to damage my career.”
On Brangelina:
“Everyone thinks Brad Pitt has it great because he married Angelina Jolie. I think he has it terrible, because when Angelina Jolie is giving you a blow job, what do you tip your head back and think of to help you finish? You have nothing left – just Jesus on a polar bear in the middle of the snow saying, ‘You greedy motherf-cker, I’ve got nothing for you.’”
On being on tour:
“I slept with, like, three girls a week.”
On his private parts:
“I’m not worried about how small my penis is – I’m worried about how dark it is. I have a Dominican penis. My penis hit six home runs last year; my penis wears shoes without socks.”
On the media:
“Everybody right now in the world of entertainment is a p-ssy. A p-ssy. They’re all so sensitive. What the f-ck happened?”

On another musical note, the new album I REALLY cannot wait for is Sam’s Town by The Killers. I’ve heard a few of the songs and they’re fantastic. I don’t think I can wait until October 3d for it to be released. Did anyone see them on the VMAs? They closed the show with "When You Were Young" and really tore it up. They're one of the best live bands I've ever seen. I talk about their Central Park concert all the time because it was such an amazing experience for me; I can't even describe what it's like being in the front row, directly in front of them (making eye contact every once in awhile), singing along to all their songs and being caught up in the indescribeable energy that they generate.

I guess I haven’t updated since being back at school. I’ve been pretty busy. So far I’m loving my senior year, though. My apartment is fantastic, my roommates are amazing, my classes are (for the most part) interesting and manageable…so everything is going really well. I miss MTV, though.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Hand out the window, Floatin’ on air, Just a flip of the wrist, I’d be wavin’ you goodbye..." ~dashboard confessional

That's my song of the moment. I can't stop listening to it; I play it over and over. I absolutely love it. Adam Duritz sings "background" vocals, although his part is much more prominent than most background roles. It's a beautiful song on its own, but his participation makes it perfect. I seriously can't describe what his voice does to me. Just the way he says "town" in this song makes me want to cry and scream for joy at the same time. His distinctive, emotional voice floats through the song and layers it with something that I can't explain. Can you imagine how excited I am to see Counting Crows in a few weeks? I seriously can't wait.

Sorry I haven't posted in forever. I've been incredibly busy this summer with work. The hours are really intense with this job. I usually don't get home until after 8pm on days that I'm in the office. There have been lots of shoots lately (1-2 a week), and those last at least 14 hours, so with traveling time I'm often out of my house from around 4am until after midnight. So I've been busy. But good. Shoots are fun even though they're tiring. Last week we had one at Sam Ash's house (the owner of Sam Ash music stores). It was pretty cool. He has this room full of guitars (maybe about 30), and each one is hanging up in front of a music poster of a band, so I think they're guitars from those bands. I was impressed.

Another example of how my job can be cool: last week I got to go buy the first season of Laguna Beach on DVD and then "watch" the entire thing. I only had about an hour in which to do that, though, because I was only supposed to be looking for bedroom scenes (we needed to see what the kids' bedrooms looked like to use as models for the commercial we filmed at Sam Ash's house). It was an interesting assignment. Watching Laguna Beach in fast forward is pretty funny; I recommend trying it if you're ever bored and in need of a laugh. The drama seeps out even without the sound; in fact, the intensity of the teens' emotions and relationship angst seems heightened when the show is moving so quickly.

Funny story: last week I was walking on Prince Street after picking up some tapes for my job, and Paris Hilton walked out of a store just as I was passing on the sidewalk. So I ended up standing right in front of her/next to her. There was this papparazzi guy there and I was blocking his shot, so he yelled "MOVE!" to me and pushed me out of his way. I almost got knocked over. You can imagine how significant that made me feel, being shoved out of the way so this guy could get a photo of Paris Hilton leaving a store. I almost felt bad for Paris Hilton (almost). She can't even go shopping without being followed.

Let's see, what else...I've seen some good movies lately and have gotten to spend time with my friends who are around, for which I'm grateful. I recently got to see my friend Christin, which was lots of fun. I stayed at her apartment in NYC and we got up really early to go see The Beach Boys perform live on Good Morning America. It's a great summer so far, and it's going by so quickly. I can't believe I'll be starting my senior year so soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Is everybody happy now? Is everybody clear? We could drive out to the dunes tonight, 'cause summer's almost here..." ~counting crows

Last weekend I went to Long Beach Island with 3 friends, and I had a great time. Funny story, though (actually painful for me): my eyelids got really badly sunburned. They're swollen and bright red and I can hardly blink my eyes. I laid out on the beach with my eyes closed and I didn't think to put sunblock on my eyelids (who thinks of that?!?). So now they're burned. They're slowly getting better, though, which is good. On Sunday night I either looked like a clown, one of those fashion models with strange, exotic makeup, or someone who got punched in each eye. It was actually pretty funny. Other than getting burned, I had fun. We went out to 2 bars on Saturday night, and the second one had a good live band. We did lots of shopping and spent Sunday at the beach. I was the only person in the ocean the whole time we were at the beach; the water was absolutely freezing, but once I stayed in for awhile I (almost) got used to it. I stayed in for almost an hour and then thawed out on the beach. I can't go to the beach and not go swimming; the ocean is the essence of the beach. Going to the beach without swimming in the ocean is like going to Disney World and not going on the rides.

Work should be fun in the next couple of weeks; there are multiple shoots going on that I have a chance to attend.

My brother's graduation is next week, so we're having a party this Sunday and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of my relatives. One set of grandparents arrives on Friday, which I'm excited about.

I guess that's all for now!

Friday, June 09, 2006

"'I’m sure to find true love under angel wings,' assured and locked so tight I know she’s whispering. Alone and savoring life alone tonight, she’s coming out into a world so wont of light." ~the working title

I don't think I've updated in awhile, so I'll try to recap what I've been up to recently. This week has been pretty busy.

On Tuesday my friend and I went to see the Broadway play The History Boys. We did student rush and our seats were pretty bad, which probably made me enjoy the play less than I would have otherwise. It was good, though. It's won all the major awards this season and will win Best Play at the Tonys on Sunday (I really wish The Lieutenant of Inishmore would win, but I'm afraid that won't happen). The History Boys was particularly interesting to me as a future teacher. It explored the debate over different teaching styles and the purpose of education. It was funny and sad and all the boys are absolutely gorgeous, which definitely added to the show's appeal.

On Wednesday I went to see the Broadway production of Tarzan. I only went because I had a free ticket from a very kind friend, but I ended up enjoying it. My seat was fabulous; it was a $100 ticket, center orchestra row D. I got lucky. The best part of the show was getting to stare at Josh Strickland for 2 hours. Oh. My. Gosh. He is beautiful. Seriously. Beautiful. And he was wearing only a loincloth. I looked online for pictures of him in his loincloth but I couldn't find any, so a headshot will have to suffice.

Last week I saw The Drowsy Chaperone on broadway, which is another fantastic show. I think it's my favorite of the season. And I got a picture with Sutton Foster, who was incredibly sweet. If you're looking for one show to see and you're a big theatre fan, go see that one.

Last night I stayed in the city with my UR synchro friend Allison, which was fun. I got to meet some of her nice friends and just hang out. So this week has been good.

Tomorrow I'm going to LBI for the weekend with some friends, which I'm really looking forward to. I hope it doesn't rain. The beach is not fun in the rain. It should be a nice, relaxing trip, though.

The Tonys are on Sunday, which, for a huge theatre dork like me, is one of the most exciting nights of the year. There are some tight races, so it should be good (I may or may not be in an awful mood on Monday depending on who wins).

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Could you tell me the things you remember about me? And have you seen me lately? I guess I thought that someone would notice, I guess I thought somebody would say something, if I was missing. Can't you see me? Come on color me in, come on color me in..." ~counting crows

Nicole and I have tickets to see Counting Crows in August. Have I written this yet here? Anyway, I'm soooo excited. I've seen them live once before and they're absolutely fantastic; their studio albums cannot hold a candle to their live performances. I love how many different ways they can perform one song. I have 23 live versions of "Goodnight Elisabeth" on my iPod and I often listen to them all in a row. They're so very different from each other. The band's use of alternates is what makes them so special. Somehow they can throw one song into the middle of another one and create a totally amazing hybrid that completely works. They're playing this tour with The Goo Goo Dolls, whom I don't mind seeing, although I could name at least 20 bands I'd prefer. They're not bad, though.

Last Friday Kim, Betsy, Sam, and I hung out for what will probably be the last time in awhile; Sam moved to Maryland over the weekend. She graduated from college, has a real job and an apartment, and seems like such an adult. It's strange (but great for her). Anyway, we went to Americana and drank martinis and felt like the 4 Sex & the City gals. It was fun. Luckily Kim and Betsy are still around this summer. We went swimming in Betsy's pool on Monday and it felt wonderful. I hadn't been swimming in awhile and I missed it. The water was freezing (the heater wasn't on), but it felt refreshing. It's been incredibly hot here the past few days. We went shopping, too, and I spent too much money. I really need to cut back on spending because I'm not making any money at all. It's so hard, though, especially when I'm in the city.

My internship is going well. I mainly work with 4 people (2 guys and 2 girls). The guys are filming in LA this week so it's just us girls left in the office. It's much quieter, which is good and bad. It's nice not having to worry about being hit in the head with a football. The other day we went to a meeting in the main building and we picked up beer and popcorn to bring to the meeting. Only here would employees drink beer and eat popcorn at a business meeting.

This site is pretty cool:
You can enter in text and it will spit out anagrams. My favorite anagram for "Claire" is "a relic." I'd like to think of myself as a relic. ;-)

Monday, May 22, 2006

"Feel free to pick up a drugs or alcohol or something. Just so you have something to do." ~my boss

That quote is my boss giving me sage advice on what I should be doing during work. Heh. I like working for an easy-going, lazy guy. He's incredibly funny and nice; in fact, everyone I work with is great. I do sometimes get bored, but at least I've been getting lots of reading done. I read 3 (long) books last week. I read on the train going to and from work as well. I love being able to choose what to read. There are so many books I want to get through this summer.

Last week I saw two Broadway plays. The first was The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which was fantastic. I think it was the best play I've ever seen (that doesn't include musicals). It was insanely bloody, violent, and gross; everything onstage was completely covered in blood by the end. Yet it was also hilarious; I've never laughed so hard in my life. I loved every second of it. Go see it. Now. Seriously. I got a student ticket less than an hour before the show started and I was in the front row of the mezzanaine. It was a perfect seat. I did the lotto for The Drowsy Chaperone that night and lost, so seeing The Lieutenant of Inishmore was a last-minute decision, but it was definitely a good one. But I'm going to keep trying the Drowsy lotto.

The second play was not nearly as good. It was Three Days of Rain, with Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd, and Bradley Cooper. I wasn't expecting much out of it; I know it didn't get the best reviews. Julia wasn't terrible, but she wasn't spectacular, either. What I thought was funny was her Southern accent; it was awful. It kept fading in and out. And she's from the South. She really didn't have much stage presence at all. I'm a big Paul Rudd fan (The Object of my Affection, Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Friends, Clueless...), and I liked his performance. Bradley Cooper was the real standout, though. He added necessary energy to the play. Overall it wasn't a bad production, but it definitely could have been better. Nic and I had standing room tickets, but for the second act we got to move into seats in the second row and had a great view from there, so that was lucky.

It's so nice to be in the city during the day and to just be able to go see a show once I get off work. If only I were making money so that I could actually afford this threatre addiction of mine.

Oh, funny story (another cool thing about being in NYC). I was running around the city making deliveries last week and I walked past the NBC Upfronts. I purposely swung by Radio City during the time I knew they would be going on because I wanted to catch a glimpse of Matthew Perry and I knew he would be there. I didn't see Matthew Perry, but I somehow got stuck (where I wasn't supposed to be but didn't realize until too late) in a group walking down the sidewalk with Matt Lauer, Meredith Vierra, and Al Roker. It was funny; there were all these people across the street behind barricades taking pictures, and there I was walking with the people that they were taking pictures of. Matt Lauer looked at me as if to ask who on earth I was. I snuck away as soon as I could.

Monday, May 15, 2006

"In New York, freedom looks like too many choices. In New York, I found a friend to drown out the other voices." ~u2

Today someone asked me for directions to Times Square. And I was able to help him! He was on the N train heading downtown towards 8th Street (my stop). Heh. He was really lost.

I've been working at MTV for a week now, and it's going well. It's busy here. I'm always running around doing something. Which I guess is a good thing. There should be two more interns coming into my department soon, and it'll be good to have some of the burden shifted off of me. Everyone here is soooo nice. We order lunch in every day from somewhere new and eat together. The guys here are a bunch of goofballs who dress like they just came in from the beach. Ripped jeans and flip flops are standard attire. The atmosphere can change in a second, though; there are moments of high tension when everyone is stressing out and seriously getting down to work, and then there are moments when everyone is yelling jokes across the office and throwing a football around. I like it.

Last Monday, my first day of work, I went to a shoot. It was incredibly cool. It was a commercial for MTV's Spanking New Music Week, sponsored by T-Mobile Sidekick. I was there for 14 hours. I still can't believe it took 14 hours to film a 30-second commercial. I got to yell things like "Rolling!" and "Cut!," which I found thrilling. I also 'babysat' the actors on their downtime, which was fun because they're both around my age and were really nice and friendly. It was an exciting way to start my internship here.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Sometimes i think this cycle never ends. We slide from top to bottom and we turn and climb again..." ~death cab for cutie

Classes are over for the semester; I really can't believe it. I think it's gone by especially quickly for me because I was abroad last semester. It doesn't feel like my junior year should be over. I'm looking forward to going home, though. I'm ready to get finals over with; I hate finals. I have one take-home that I finished, and I had two in-class exams today. They were awful and long and frustrating because I know so much more than I was able to display. Have I mentioned that finals suck? I have one more on Friday that's going to be the worst one. I would love to stay here at Richmond if I didn't have to worry about school, but as it is I am ready to go home for the summer.

I'm managing to fill up my time with non-school related activities, which has been fun but will probably end up screwing me over in the long run. Oh well. Grades aren't everything.

Oh! So I finally know what I'm doing this summer (for real). I'm interning at MTV. I'm excited. I want to try something new, and this will definitely be a unique experience. I start on Monday, May 8th, which is in less than a week.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

"And growing up is not the absence of dreaming. Its being able to understand the difference between the ones you can hold and the ones that you've been sold. Dreaming is a good thing 'cause it brings new things to life. But pretending is an ending that perpetuates a lie, forgetting what you are, seeing for what you've been told." ~jewel

That's from a song on Jewel's new album, which I have a copy of, even though it won't be released until two weeks from now (I'm special). I used to be a huge fan of Jewel's (I have most of her albums), but I haven't listened to her in awhile. This new album reminds me why I've always loved her music. She's such a brilliant poet; I love her lyrics. This is a return to classic Jewel and it's wonderful. So everyone check out her new album "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland."

I have swimmer's ear. What else is new? It's a common occurence for me. But it still sucks. I remember when I got it last year and went to the Health Center. The doctor cracked me up (not purposely). This speech of hers was so funny because she delivered it in the voice of a kindergarten teacher. So picture a doctor saying this to me as if I were 5 years old: "One of the reason you get swimmer's ear is that your ears just make more wax than other peoples'. It's not your fault; it's just the way your body is. It's okay that you happen to have lots of ear wax that traps water and dirt in your ears." It was if she was trying to convince me that I shouldn't blame myself for getting swimmer's ear. Because I was sooo concerned about that. Anyway, thankfully, this year I saw a different doctor and she saved me that whole spiel.

One more week of classes, a week of finals, and then I'm finished with my junior year!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

"Hiding me I flee, desire's dividing me. He's a bandit and a heartbreaker, Oh but Jesus was a crossmaker, Yeah but Jesus was a crossmaker." ~the hollies

That song is on the Elizabethtown soundtrack, which is really good. You probably know I'm obsessed with Cameron Crowe, and I greatly admire his taste in music as well as his filmmaking skills. His wife, Nancy Wilson, is an absolute musical genius.

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. We would always have tons of relatives over to our house to celebrate. 30+ family members would fill our house and yard (if it was warm). Beforehand my mom, brother, and I would make an Easter-themed pinata. Different years we did a chick, a bunny, an Easter egg, and I can't remember what else. They were good pinatas and looked professional; we really got into it. We focused on all the little details; cutting and folding the tissue paper to get those tiny, puffy rolls making up the ruffles took an especially long time. I wish I had a picture of one so I could post it. We would fill plastic Easter eggs with candy and all the kids would have an Easter egg hunt. Then the other older girls and I would lock ourselves in my room, away from the little kids, and trade candy. I miss those family Easter celebrations.

Since my workload is dying down, I actually got to spend time doing some leisure reading yesterday. I read Jennifer Egan's "Look at Me" (all 420 pages) in a day. It was lovely. I did nothing but read. After church and brunch this morning I went back to the library and got a new book to read. It's Karen Joy Fowler's "Sister Noon." She's a good writer, so I'm looking forward to reading this novel. I love being able to read whatever I want.

I hope everyone has a happy Easter! Christ is risen.

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth, mid sweet talk newspaper word cut-outs. Speak no feeling, no I don't believe you, you don't care a bit, you don't care a bit." ~imogen heap

Go listen to that song if you haven't heard it. It's so original and moving and simply fantastic. I'm still trying to figure out what it means and I've listened to it way too many times to count. But that's part of what I love about it.

I turned in my two big English papers this week and it's such a relief to have them off my hands. Those are my last two essays due this semester. I have a few education projects left, but those are actually fun, so the last two weeks of classes won't be bad at all. I can't believe this semester is almost over; it really flew by.

I wrote a long paragraph full of angst here but I deleted it because y'all don't need to read that. Actually, I'm not exactly sure who "y'all" is because I don't know who reads this. There are some people in the world to whom I would not choose to reveal my deep, inner feelings, and it is possible (though not likely) that some of them will read this entry. So that means I have to censor myself.

I was about to write a juicy paragraph here, but I don't think I can write that, either. Sorry, folks. You're stuck with my boring rambling.

Today I was walking up the steps to D-Hall and I fell. Of course a hot guy was right behind me. In fact, he was so close behind me that he almost tripped over me after I fell. I didn't hurt myself or anything, which was good, but my ego suffered quite a bruising.

My friend Allison is the best person to watch movies with. She laughs at everything, and laughter is contagious, so I seriously think she makes movies ten times more enjoyable. Allison, if you happen to read this, be proud.

I love Elise. She's absolutely hilarious.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"He asked us what our favorite work of art was, But never could I tell him it was him" ~rufus wainwright

I looove that song.

I was going to open with a Rascal Flatts quote because I've been listening to them this week, but I couldn't think of a good one. Their new album just came out and it's not bad. Yep, that's right, I listen to Rascal Flatts. Go ahead, point and laugh. It's not like they're one of my favorite bands, though; I don't think I would put them in my top 20. But every once in a while, when I'm in the right mood, I like 'em. Anyway, like I said, I didn't quote them in this entry because I can't think of any of their lyrics that I love. They've got great voices, great harmonies, and a few catchy tunes (along with a bunch of generic ones), but their lyrics are seriously lacking. There are definitely some *headdesk* moments in their new album.

I haven't posted in awhile because I've been going insane lately. I have my huge English 400 research paper due on Thursday, and I have a paper for my other English class due tomorrow (that's worth 33% of my grade). I've written about 10 pages of my research paper and it's not nearly finished. It's such a mess. I can't wait until Thursday is over and I have these two things off my hands.

Let's see...what's been going on since I wrote last? Oh, this weekend my friend Chris's girlfriend stayed with me, which I really enjoyed. I love having a single, but I often miss having a roommate. So I got to have a temporary roommate for a couple of days, and she was really nice.

Today I sat outside and did work in the sun. It was such a beautiful day. I think my freckles are starting to appear now. I love freckles. To me they mean summer. And I love summer.

That's all for now.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"From way up on your cloud, where you've been hiding out, are you getting somewhere? Or did you get lost in Amsterdam?" ~guster

My dad is being considered for a big promotion that would send him to Amsterdam for at least 3 years. He wants to know what I think, and I’m not sure what to say. I go to school here in the U.S. for most of the year, I’ll be working in the U.S. this summer, and after I graduate next year I’ll live in NYC. Basically I’m very tied to the U.S. So the main consequence for me of my dad taking that new job would be not seeing my parents as much. I guess I’d go to Amsterdam for breaks and holidays, but I wouldn’t really be living there. I think I’d miss my parents a lot. I think I take them for granted. I take it for granted that I can easily go home to them any time I want. We’d probably sell our house here in the U.S., which is hard for me to grasp. I know this is such a superficial concern, but what would I do with all my stuff? (I have lots of stuff). But my parents would probably be happy in Amsterdam. It would mean lots of traveling for my dad, to the States, Europe, and Asia. My mom could easily travel with him because both their kids won’t be living with them and she doesn’t work. My parents are big travelers. For the first three years of my life I lived with them in Cote D’Ivoire (aka the Ivory Coast, in west Africa). They met while they were in the Peace Corps in Cameroon. We go on tons of crazy vacations all over the world (the last one was Turkey). So they love adventure. This new job is only a possibility right now; there are two other people being considered for it and my dad wouldn’t have to accept it even if it were offered to him. But I can’t help thinking about it. I guess it would be an interesting change. I’ll be praying for an outcome that will make everyone happy.

I've been working on my research paper for my English seminar (the Negro as an Invisible Man) all day and have basically accomplished nothing. I hate that. Where does the time go?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"With your feet in the air and your head on the ground, try this trick and spin it, yeah. Your head will collapse, but there's nothing in it, and you'll ask yourself: "Where is my mind? Where is my mind? Where is my mind?" ~the pixies

James Blunt does a pretty good cover of that song. It's not as good as The Pixies' version, but it's not bad. When I saw the track list for The Bedlam Sessions, I saw that song title and figured it was a new song that just happened to have the same title as a Pixies song, so I was really surprised when I listened to it and discovered it was the same song. James Blunt has good taste in music.

The weather is absolutely beautiful here (in the 80s), which makes it difficult to stay inside and do work. I think if it's nice tomorrow I'll take my laptop outside and write. I have two big English papers to do (among other things). Today I went to CVS and got sunscreen and sunglasses, because I forgot to bring them to school with me. So now I'm prepared for the sun!

I watched my Walk the Line dvd yesterday. I love that movie. Go watch it if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"They will see us waving from such great heights, 'come down now,' they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away, 'come down now,' but we'll stay..." ~the postal service

I had so much to write about today, but I can't remember much of it at all. I hate it when that happens. So this will be another disjointed, random entry that's probably missing the important details of my life. Oh well.

Kelly, Joy, Michelle and I got an apartment for next year! I'm very excited. I'm already looking forward to being a senior.

Ooh! Big news. Counting Crows are touring with the Goo Goo Dolls this summer. I'm excited just because CC haven't done a tour in a really long time. I saw them in 2003 during the Hard Candy tour, and that was the last tour they've done. That was awhile ago. I can't wait to see them again. My friend Nicole and I will probably try to catch them in NYC. I'm not a hardcore Goos fan, but I don't mind seeing them. Here's a story about GGD. When I was younger and everyone used Napster (including me), I would download music and burn cds with whatever random music I was listening to at the time. I burned 20+ cds, and every single one had the Goo Goo Dolls' song "Name" on it. I was obsessed with that song. I listened to it all the time and put it on every single one of my cds. So if I get to hear them perform that song live, I'll be happy. I haven't listened to it in awhile, so I think I'll go do that now. I really need to find a job for this summer, because there are so many events (Broadway shows mainly) that I'm dying to see. This is just one more event on a long list.

The other day I was telling someone about the Coldplay concert I went to last summer (with my concert buddy Nicole). It was filmed for MTV Live Leak, and it was in the smallest studio ever. It was pretty cool; I was thisclose to Chris Martin. So here's an awful screencap from the TV broadcast. I think this is from "Fix You," which is such a beautiful song. Even the people who aren't Coldplay fans or who don't like the album X&Y have to admit that it's a pretty good song.
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Monday, March 27, 2006

"Oh now the roots are reminiscing. Recurring dreams of minor chords, metred time, muted chimes find the beat." ~maria taylor

I have my schedule planned out for next semester. Hopefully I'll actually be able to get into all the classes that I want to take. I'm afraid it'll be a fast-finger race to get a spot in the English seminar I want, which is Children's Literature and Theology. I'll practice my typing skills before I register. Everyone else who is trying to get into that class better watch out.

In an earlier post this week I wrote about how everyone thinks I'm so young. And how it sometimes bugs me. It especially bugs me when people think I'm younger than my brother (who is actually 3 years younger than me). Here's a picture of him (taken 7 months ago, but he hasn't changed that much). Now those of you who don't know him can judge.
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Sunday, March 26, 2006

"In a way, it's someone else's story. I don't see myself as taking part at all..." ~chess

Initially I was disappointed that Grey's Anatomy was a repeat tonight, but the fact that it was a really good episode mollified me. It made me cry. The (admittedly overly blatant) parallel between Mer and the woman with a pole through her body got to me. I'm a sucker for drama like that. Dr. Bailey yelling "She's crashing!" (referring to the pole woman) as Mer realized that Der chose Addison was pretty emotional. I know that a lot of people aren't liking Meredith all that much right now, but I do. I feel for her. And seeing this episode again solidified that feeling for me.

Tonight I went out to Aunt Sarah's Pacake House with friends and it was so nice to get off campus. I'm getting a little sick of d-hall, particularly because it's downsized d-hall. I've had cereal for way too many meals in the past few weeks.

I don't know what else to write; I don't really have anything to say. I'm just trying to put off reading Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair for tomorrow. It's an amusing play, but it's incredibly difficult to get through. I suppose I'd better go wade through it, though.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"To be broken you were made." ~the old 97's

The other day I received a wedding invitation from a friend who is getting married this summer. I’m incredibly excited and happy for her, and I hope I can make it to the wedding because I really want to go, but it was a somewhat scary wake-up call. This girl is younger than me and she’s already found the person with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. I’m nowhere close to marriage. I definitely want to get married and start a family with someone, but I don’t see that happening in the near future. I hope it happens eventually, though. I'm terrified that it won't.

I had a funny phone conversation yesterday, with a guy from whom our synchro team is buying an underwater speaker. I was in Amelia's office placing the order (she's in charge of sports clubs). When I called, the guy said he had to turn on his computer, so he talked to me while it was turning on and warming up. It took 20 minutes. He just kept talking and talking. Amelia kept looking at me, wondering what on earth was taking so long for me to be able to order the speaker. The guy was telling me about a recent trip he took and I responded with something like, "Um, no, I've never been to Budapest..." and the look/eyebrow-raise Amelia gave me was hilarious (because she could only hear my side of the conversation). It was an interesting phone call.

I saw North Country tonight and I enjoyed it. The three Oscar-winning actresses in the cast (Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, and Sissy Spacek) are all fabulous. And I adore Woody Harrelson.

I babysat today and I have some funny quotes from one of the kids. These two boys I babysit are definitely a handful, but boy can they be endearing and adorable. Hanging out with them is a nice break from college drama. I love kids. Anyway, here are the quotes (from a five year old).
1. "Do you know why God is so great? Because he can't go to jail."
It was the most random statement and I had absolutely no idea how to respond.
2. "No, it won't fit you, because you're almost 71."
HAHA. Almost 71. That was acually quite a refreshing change, because people usually think I'm at least 5 years younger than I acually am (which is 21).

My music of the moment is Chess (the musical). I always find myself coming back to it and not being able to stop listening. I loooooove this show. I wish they'd revive it on Broadway. Right now I'm listening to the Actor's Fund Benefit recording of it. Julia Murney is fantastic.

Friday, March 17, 2006

"Don't wake me, because I was dreaming. I might just stay inside again today. Yeah, well, I don't go out much these days. Sometimes I stay inside all day." ~counting crows

Lately I've been downloading a bunch of Counting Crows bootlegs (don't worry, it's legal; the band actually promotes the distribution of bootleg recordings of their concerts). They're one of those bands that you can't fully appreciate until you hear their live stuff. I just listened to an old recording from 1994 (Paris 12/9/94) and then I listened to one from 2004 (Rotterdam 3/10/04), and it's interesting to compare the two and see how the band changed over that 10 year period.
The 1994 recording is of one of their best concerts ever. Adam's voice is so full of emotion; it sounds so raw. They played the most beautiful version of Perfect Blue Buildings I've ever heard (and I've heard lots). The concert is the one where they played their epic version of A Murder of One. I think most true CC fans are familiar with this particular performance of the song. If you say to a CC fan, "that epic Murder of One performance," they'll probably know exactly what you're talking about. It makes me cry every time I hear it. It's about 17 minutes long and it is definitely one of the best live performances I've heard of any song by any band. It blows me away.
In the 2004 recording there doesn't seem to be as much spark. Which makes me sad. I know it's just one concert, and there are other fantastic concerts that are pretty recent (my fave is the last Hard Candy show, in Tampa). I also know that one big difference between the concerts stems from the different albums that they're touring. The 1994 tour is for August and Everything After, their only album at that point. The 2004 tour is for Hard Candy, which has a completely different feel to it. They do play a few songs from AAEA, but the focus is on HC. So I can't expect to get the same thing out of each concert. But still, I think something is missing from the newer recording that was there 10 years ago. There aren't as many alternates in the 2004 Rotterdam show. A lot of the songs are shorter. They still improvise and add new lyrics and melodies and add some alternate song snippets, and the acoustic versions of some songs are great, but Adam seems tired. Hopefully the break the band has taken will mean they're resting up and will blow everyone away with their next album and tour. There's a rumor that they'll be touring with the Goo Goo Dolls. I like them, so I'd be excited about that. I'd be excited to see CC do anything.

See what a procrastinator I am? Instead of doing all the work I have to do, I just wrote a lengthy analysis of Counting Crows bootlegs that no one will ever read. I've been updating this blog a lot lately because I don't feel like writing anything of importance, like papers. Instead I feel like writing poorly organized and written blog entries about nothing. It's nice to feel like I don't have to be brilliant or profound.

Because this is such a boring entry, I'll add a photo. Here's me and Sara Ramirez, who's currently on Grey's Anatomy (one of the best shows on television right now). She won a Tony Award for her performance in Spamalot, so I think she should join Burke and George's band on the show. She has an absolutely amazing voice, and those guys need all the help they can get. :D
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