Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Welcome to the jungle!" ~guns 'n' roses

Things are busy, busy, busy. But luckily a lot of it is fun stuff. Recent events:

On Wednesday Nic and I went to see Spamalot. She had comps, and they were great seats. I haven't seen the show since the original cast left, and it was disappointing without those fabulous actors, but it was still funny (and free, which is a huge plus). On Wednesday I thought I was going to the A-List Awards hosted by Kathy Griffin, but I had the wrong date; it's actually next Wednesday (I discovered my mistake when I arrived at Hammerstein Ballroom and found a bunch of people lined up for the Danity Kane concert). It actually worked out well because I was able to go to Spamalot.

On Thursday we went to Central Park to listen to Sheryl Crow. It was a beautiful evening and a great concert. She played all her hits (Winding Road, If it Makes You Happy, Soak up the Sun, All I Wanna Do, Strong Enough, The First Cut is the Deepest, etc.).

Last night (Friday) we went to listen to Duran Duran in Central Park. I'm not a huge fan of Duran Duran, but it was still nice to listen to music and hang out outside. We brought a picnic (cheese, crackers, fruit, wine, cookies) and had a great time people-watching (it was an interesting crowd outside!).

This morning we were going to line up for tickets to see Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park this evening, but after seeing today's weather forecast we decided to try tomorrow instead.

School is going to be craaazy this week (even moreso than usual). On Tuesday and Wednesday the state social studies test is being administered, but the sixth graders don't take it, so they want us out of the building both days. So on Tuesday we're going to Van Cortland Park and visiting an ecology center or something, and on Wednesday we're going to the Bronx Zoo. Two field trips in a row is going to kill me. Wednesday is the free day at the Bronx Zoo (which is why we're going that day), so it's going to be PACKED. I cannot even imagine the chaos that I will have to deal with. On Thursday the kids have off from school while the teachers have PD, so they'll come back to school on Friday after a week of fun and will not want to learn at all. I'm mostly worried about surviving the field trips, though.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Asleep in perfect blue buildings, beside the green apple sea. Gonna get me a little oblivion, try to keep myself away from me." ~counting crows

Here's my schedule for the next few days:

I'm pretty busy, especially with school stuff. And there's a lot more on my calendar in the upcoming weeks, but it won't fit on my board. Five more weeks of school. I cannot wait. The kids are definitely in a summer mindset.

I know there was something I wanted to write about, but now I forget what it is. Maybe I'll update later. I've been pretty scatterbrained lately.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"You say I only hear what I want to. You say I talk so all the time. So..." ~lisa loeb

I don't know if I can make it through these next six weeks. School is seriously insane. I can't even write about what's going on because it's so bad. You can't even imagine.

This Thursday is the last day of my grad school class. I'll miss it. I'm presenting my final project and have been trying to finish it up. Today I went to talk to my professor (who's also the department head) about my project and about registering for the fall (I'm already signed up for three summer courses). I love my professor. She's young. She's very cool. She kinda looks like Sutton Foster. And she's easy to talk to. She taught sixth grade in a school with difficult kids, so she knows exactly what I'm going through. Here's a snippet of our conversation:
Prof: I cried every day during my first year of teaching.
Me: I cried today.
Prof: Yeah, it looks like it.
I love that honesty. And she let me just talk. That was what I needed. I usually vent to Peter, and he's great (he always manages to make me laugh), but it was nice to have a different sounding board for a short time.

Okay, back to work.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

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

I want to start off with a quote from AD about Counting Crows' Paris 1994 concert. It's legendary among fans. Here's AD:
"That concert was a fantastic concert. It saved the band. It's the reason we're still here. If you listen carefully, on "Anna Begins" I sound dead. But by the time we hit "Round Here," you start to feel that this is actually going to save my life. After that, everything galvanizes and the show becomes something different. The last song is 15 minutes and I don't want to stop. The concert includes this clip from the U2 song "Red Hill Mining Town," the lyrics "I'm hanging on/You're all that's left to hold on to," and I'm howling it over and over. This band, that music, that night, that was all I had left. I was going crazy, but all that was still there and I realized it that night. We had to take some time off afterwards because I was a wackjob, but it saved the band."
I love that. I love the idea that a concert can save someone's life. It really can. I can't tell you how much I wish I could have been at that concert.

Last week was a long week. I forget what I've already written about here and I'm too lazy to go back and check.

On Wednesday I went to an advance screening of Hamlet 2, which provided a wonderful reprise from school. It was very funny. It's about a high school drama teacher who has to save his school's drama program, so he writes a sequel to Hamlet and produces it with his drama class. I still have the song "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" in my head. Yes, his production not only features the characters from Hamlet, it also features Jesus, Hillary Clinton, Dick Cheney, and other important people.

Last night I went to my aunt and uncle's apartment for dinner. My mom came into the city and joined us as well. My cousin D.J.'s prom was the night before, so he told us all about it. He goes to a private school on the UES, and everything did sound slightly Gossip Girl-ish.

Besides dinner last night (and doing laundry and going to Target yesterday morning), I have spent this entire weekend typing my students' papers that I need to hang up in my classroom on Monday. It has not been fun. But the process is not without entertainment. Some excerpts:

"I was never related to this story because my parents never died and I never got poisoned....In conclusion I recommend this book to kids that don't have parents and who got poisoned before."

"Once he got in the room he said that he is not going to get along with him. He got mad. He didn't get along with anybody. It's just like me, I don't get along with everybody when I meet them." (You probably have to know the kid to fully appreciate this one.)

"I recommend this book to the people."

Another one used the word "delicious" four times in one paragraph (spelled differently each time).

And a non-funny one that made me happy (again, more meaningful if you know the kid): "When I was reading this book I thought it was interesting because it makes you think what's going to happen next and then you want to keep reading and that's good because you become a better reader and that's what I liked about the book because I am not a good reader and I need to become a good reader. I also like that it has a little boy who is trying to solve the mystery. To me it shows that kids could do anything."

I'll leave you with the Hamlet 2 trailer:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"There are jaguars in Mexico, that's farther south than I'll ever go." ~sordid humor

I'm sitting at my very clean desk trying not to breathe through my nose. My room is permeated with the combined scents of various cleaning products. FYI: orange, morning dew, and fresh breeze do not mix well together. We have another mouse (what else is new?). This is getting ridiculous. It was hanging out in my room on Thursday night and again today, so I decided to clean. My room was a mess, so it was a long, intense process. Now it looks nice (even though it smells awful). Hopefully it does not look and smell nice to our mouse. Here's a corner of my room now (I should have taken a 'before' shot so the improvement would be visible):

I don't really have anything serious to write about, I'm just procrastinating. I'm working on my final project for my grad class and I'm stuck. I don't have experience writing drama lesson plans (my drama student teaching last year doesn't really count), so it's difficult for me. And I'm going to have to test out my lesson plan with my class this week, which makes me very nervous. It has the potential to be a complete disaster.

Around this time of year the kiddies start acting even crazier than usual. They can sense summer approaching. Thursday was awful because it was about 80 degrees, we don't have air conditioning, and my room felt like an oven. We were all sweating bullets. I had an endless parade of kids going in and out of my room to and from the water fountain. On Friday it was rainy and cooler, so I don't know what their excuse was for being so uncooperative. They were wild. A girl got hurt. It was bad. The next seven weeks are going to suck.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"New York City, such a beautiful disease. New York City, such a beautiful, such a beautiful disease." ~norah jones

New York magazine has a great article on Sarah Jessica Parker this week. I was thrilled to see her on the cover, looking poised to take over the world, and the article was a much more in-depth, thoughtful piece than I expected. It's about more than SJP; it's about the New Manhattan that Sex and the City helped create and about which SJP is very ambivalent. Unfortunately I got here too late to see the Old Manhattan whose loss she bemoans. If you're a SJP or SATC fan, or if you're a New Yorker, you might find it interesting. It's long (7 pages online, 6 in the actual magazine), but I think it's worth the time.

Nicole and I are going to see The Little Mermaid on Broadway tomorrow night (she has comps). It will probably be such a trainwreck that I'll love it. I'm actually excited to see it because of Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula. I love her.

I'll leave you with some more Boeing Boeing pics, because I'm on such a high for that show right now:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"I may take a holiday in Spain, leave my wings behind me. Flush my worries down the drain, and fly away to somewhere new. Take a holiday in Spain, leave my wings behind me. Drive this little girl insane, fly away to someone new. Fly away to someone new. Fly away to someone new." ~counting crows

I should go to bed, but I'm on cloud nine right now. The Boeing Boeing premiere was absolutely fabulous. I cannot say enough positive things about it. First of all, the play was hilarious. I have not laughed so hard in a very, very long time. There is not one weak link in that insanely talented cast of six (Bradley Whitford, Christine Baranski, Mark Rylance, Mary McCormack, Kathryn Hahn, and Gina Gershon). The physical comedy is wonderful. Everything about the production is wonderful. Ben Brantley's New York Times review is a rave and is completely deserved.

Now for the rest of the premiere. There were tons of celebs there. I stood in line for the bathroom behind Frances McDormand. Frances McDormand. I actually made eye contact with her. I also saw Joel Coen, Glenn Close, Dominic Cooper, Jane Kaczmarek, Dominic Cooper, Howard Stern, Kathleen Marshall, and Mischa Barton (more eye contact with a bunch of those). I was starstruck but luckily didn't make a fool out of myself. So it was a fabulous night.
(I love Bradley Whitford in that picture.)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

"I wanna have a good time, just like everybody. And I don't want to fall apart. Oh, I wanna have a good time, just like everybody else. And I don't want to fall apart this time, so won't you please invite me in." ~counting crows

I've been busy lately, so I guess I have a lot to write about. Let's see if I can remember any recent highlights.

On Monday I went to the Made of Honor premiere. I won tickets through a NY Times contest. It was cool. I saw McDreamy himself (Patrick Dempsey), Michelle Monaghan, Michelle Williams, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and some other recognizable people. It was at the Ziegfeld, which is a beautiful theater (I went to The Mist premiere there as well). We actually had good seats in the orchestra. We also got to go to an after-party at a very cool club, and they had free food and drinks. The movie was cute; nothing special, but fun, especially in a theater full of people associated with the film who were very excited about it. I'm mad, though; I got a free Made of Honor umbrella and it got stolen at the after-party. I know it's not a big deal, especially because it was free, but it still bummed me out. It was a really nice umbrella, too, with a smooth wooden handle and a large white top.

On Wednesday I went to see the Broadway musical Curtains (Nicole had comps). It was fun. David Hyde Pierce won the Tony last year for his performance, so I was curious to see him in it, because I was very, very angry that Raul Esparza didn't win that award (he was absolutely brilliant in Company). David Hyde Pierce was good in Curtains, but I still think Raul was robbed at the Tonys. Anyway, Curtains was a fun musical with a forgettable score and a strong cast.

This morning I went to the movies; I saw Ironman and Baby Mama. I loved Ironman. I adore Robert Downey Jr., and he is soooooo good in this film. He's funny and dramatic and charming and sexy. I'm also a fan of Jon Favreau and was very pleased with his direction; I wasn't sure how he'd handle a high-tech action film, but he totally pulled it off. I'm already excited to see a sequel. Baby Mama was sweet and funny; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are such a good team.

Tomorrow I'm going to the opening of Boeing Boeing and couldn't be more excited. I've never been to a Broadway opening before. I'll keep my eyes out for celebs, because I'm sure there'll be tons in the audience. And I'll finally get to see Bradley Whitford live on stage! I'll report back about it.