Tag Archives: tbt

tbt: Theatre Obsessions

I remember this one time, in my sophomore year of college, there was this production of Falsettos. I wasn’t working on the show but I had seen it a couple times – I don’t think we ever ran a show longer than two weekends, but I had to go to a tech rehearsal for a class. I had become obsessed with the show…an obsession that’s lasted for the next decade.

It was a Sunday night, closing night of Falsettos. I wanted to go see it one more time. But there was another show closing that weekend – a one-man show by another student. I’ll call him Ivan. The show was called Ivan on Ivan: In Reverb! Good gravy.

I had promised the stage manager of the show, a friend of mine and someone I looked up to, that I would come see his show that night. But by late afternoon I was just lying on the floor of our apartment, tormented because I wanted to take my very last opportunity to see Falsettos. I was completely torn. I was a little over-dramatic.

The moral twin of my Gemini sensibility must have been on duty that night, because I went to Ivan on Ivan: In Reverb! But I regretted it almost immediately. I mean, it was just ridiculous. At intermission, I left and went down the street to Falsettos, where I snuck into the back. Man, that’s a good show.

The thing about theatre is that if you love something, there really isn’t a way to just save it and rewatch it. Even a bootleg version of something isn’t the same as being there. And I know there’s bad theatre. I have seen bad theatre. I have peeked at my phone to see how much longer this act could possibly be. I have left things at intermission (not often, but I’ve done it). I’ve seen things out of an obligation and not necessarily out of joy.

But then there are the things that you can’t get enough of. When I saw Wicked for the first time (cheesy example, I know), it was the first time in years and years of shows that the curtain call ended, the lights came up, and I was like, “Okay, reset everything, I will watch this all again from the beginning RIGHT NOW.”

I went years without having that feeling about a show. But I am having it again. Right now. (This is not a marketing ploy.)

My work is currently presenting Sweeney Todd. I love Sweeney Todd. It’s one of my favorite musicals. This particular production has something extra. It’s addictive. I can’t stop watching it. It has been running for the last three weeks, and closes this Sunday. I have seen it five times so far, which is already two times more than I have seen any other work show. I saw it yesterday and again today. I am sitting here debating whether I should go back for the closing performance on Sunday night. The only reason I’m not sprawled out on the carpet, conflicted over my decision, is that I have a couple days to work it out. If I don’t go, I will never see this particular production, with this particular cast and set and direction again. But maybe the five times I’ve gone should be enough.

This time, instead of missing out on a student-written one-man show, I would be missing out on precious weekend time with my family. I would be driving all the way down the peninsula a whole extra time. But I would be helping out by filling a seat, and I would be getting one more chance to bask in the pure joy that I experience while watching a show about an insane guy who kills people, and his girlfriend who bakes them into pies. “God That’s Good.”

I think I might have my answer.

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Filed under Awesome, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Theatre, Work

tbt: National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. The National Poetry Day theme for 2014, according to a random website I clicked on, is “Remember.” How fitting for a throwback Thursday!

So here is a poem I found on my laptop, in the “old computer stuff” section, which I cruise through whenever I want to remember what it was like to be 17. I don’t like staying there long. I was more prolific, but way angsty, and overall pretty obnoxious. There is something to be said for just being content.

This is from April 2002. It might actually be two separate things. None of the stuff in this particular document is titled…although there is some very interesting formatting in terms of font, size, use of ampersands, and justification.

==

I woke this
morning
with a
longing so
fierce I thought
it must have
been
someone else’s.

When you left
I burned
everything.

 

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Filed under Being a girl, Humor, Memoir, Sentiment, Writing

tbt: Moving to New York (2006)

We moved from Davis to New York EIGHT YEARS AGO. It’s backwards to do the tbt post of “moving back home” before the tbt post of “moving out there,” but that’s the way it happened. (By about three weeks.)

It’s a little Dear Diary, but here’s what I posted on my LiveJournal eight years ago today.

==

We started out this morning before even false dawn.

Drew and I woke up before the alarm, but neither of us is sure from what. We made it all the way out into the car (about 4:40 am) before I realized I couldn’t find my wallet. Half an hour (and 2 frantic calls to my parents, and 2 frantic calls to Erin’s parents) later, we discovered it had somehow gotten into the bag of stuff for Erin. By 5:20 we were on our way to Oakland. The security was not bad, my carry-on was randomly searched and it was discovered (drumroll, please) that I was carrying a contraband stuffed dolphin apparently belonging to the security guard’s daughter. After asking me some rough questions (“You have my daughter’s dolphin, what are you doing with that?”), he softened up and I found out she was 3 years old and collected plush marine life.

We boarded the plane; the flight was uneventful; Bravo (in its first big act of betrayal against me) showed a marathon of people playing poker, rather than the Project Runway marathon I’d hoped for. (JetBlue gives everyone little TV screens and like 30 channels, or something. Nice, but there was really nothing on. Maybe because it was stupid o’clock in the morning.)

We landed; we got a cab; it cost us $50; we made it to our apartment. I am so not afraid of living here. Honestly, it seems like the people are faking the Jewish thing. Because EVERYONE is so stereotypically “Jewish” looking. And they speak Yiddish to each other. I love it. There’s a little market on the corner (a couple blocks down) that will probably be good for quick stuff, and we went to Target tonight to get some things we thought were missing…and it turned out everyone was just really thirsty, so we got a lot to drink.

The apartment is SMALL. I was expecting this, but not necessarily the fragrance of…we think it’s authentic Jewish cooking. Mixed with the smell of small apartment. I’ll go through room by room.

The KITCHEN is really the foyer: you enter the apartment through it. There is a fridge, a stove, a microwave, and a surprisingly deep sink. I don’t think we’ll use too many dishes, though. I think it’s gonna be paper plates and paper towels for us.

The LIVING ROOM is not bad. The couch, I feel, is comfortable (although I haven’t yet tried the pull-out bed). The overhead light is very white, not yellow, which is nice. There are 2 fairly large windows covered in horizontal blinds. There is a nearly empty shelf to put things on.

The BEDROOM is also not bad. The bed is firmer than I’m used to (and I think Drew is going to hate it). The window is covered in lacy white curtains, which seem like a recent afterthought. There is an A/C unit in the window that doesn’t seem to be cooling everything off much. There are shelves and a full-length mirror, which are both nice, and in one of the two small closets we discovered a rack of pull-out wire drawers, which will be very nice when we decide to unpack.

Let me not forget to mention, the BEDROOM has no door.

The BATHROOM is through the bedroom. It’s nice, albeit small. The floor is black and white checkered (yay!) and the shower is actually pretty nice (it has good pressure, and it gets nice and hot and nice and cold, depending on what you want). The toilet flushes like a railroad train…by which I mostly mean “loudly.” There’s a window that opens. Oh, also there’s a shaving mirror in the shower, and I was absolutely fascinated by making my hair into different shapes while it was all shampoo-y. Something I haven’t done since I was in baths.

So we brought our stuff here, and feeling slightly disheartened (mostly by the smell, I think), the 3 of us called our homes and left messages saying we were safe. Then we set off to buy Metro cards (30-days, unlimited rides, $76) and explore. By request of Joe (and because there was a sign suggesting we were close), we went to Coney Island…which I think is cool, that we went to Coney Island. We ate Nathan’s hot dogs and watched a guy shoot paint balls at a “freak,” which was less interesting and more disturbing than I was expecting it to be. Then we came home and I discovered the merits of the shower, and then we went out again, to discover Target and perhaps a BofA ATM (which we never did). We bought food and drinks at Target and then explored the subway some more.

And we came back from Target and that’s been our day, pretty much. The end.

PS. We want cable and a router so more than one of us can be on the internet at once.

==

Little did I know then, am I right? And I think this post was kind of falsely cheerful. I realized later how hard all three of us were trying, because flying in to JFK and driving to Brooklyn is not exactly the prettiest, most culture-filled and exciting part of New York City. Especially in August. I’m glad we stuck it out, moved up in Long Island, and made it our own.

I’m reliving August of 2006 on my LiveJournal now, while I whisper “Long Island” with a Long Island accent (hard G) under my breath. Miss you, New York!

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Filed under Beginnings, Dreams, Drew, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Travel

#tbt: Moving back to California

Five years ago, Drew and I packed up most of our New York stuff, and drove back to California.

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Thank God Jared was staying in the apartment, so there was a lot of stuff we could just leave – like our bed, couches, rugs, etc.

We basically packed all night while watching Roseanne. In the morning, Joe came over to help us load up the van.

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Also thank God we casually said, “Yeah, let’s upgrade to the largest size van you have.” We needed every square inch of space.

It took us three nights to get home, driving pretty much all the time. We were also doing Atkins at the time, so we weren’t even really stopping to eat very much…I’m not sure how we passed the time. I remember at some point we started playing Lingo out loud, and for awhile we listened to Rent…

I also took a lot of pictures out the passenger side window, so there’s a lot of semi-blurry landscape with window reflections. This was pre-smartphone.

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(I’m pretty sure Drew took that picture.)

When we got to Nevada, we wanted to drive through to Reno so we could crash with Molly. But Nevada is insanely wide, and neither of us could keep our eyes open. So our final night on the road was spent in Elko, Nevada.

The next day, I drove us across the state line into California, and later Drew and I realized that whenever we’re in a car together, he may say “Do you want to drive?” to be nice, but I generally never do, and he generally always wants to. So now we don’t worry about taking turns to be nice to each other. A good lesson for our impending marriage.

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It’s been FIVE YEARS since we came back. New York is drifting further and further away from us. But it’s still an indisputable part of our lives and of our relationship. I think a reunion may be in order.

 

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, cars, Drew, Endings, Humor, Love, Memoir, Nature, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Travel

Throwback Thursday: Short Fiction

March 2003

Andrew’s father was learning to be a squirrel.

“What is your dad doing?” the other kids would ask.

“He’s practicing—” was Andrew’s reply.

Andrew was almost eight years old.  He lived in a yellow two-story house.  The staircase had a banister he could slide down, when his mom wasn’t watching.  The upstairs bathtub had been leaking for almost a year, so Andrew showered downstairs.  They had a cat, Adelaide, who brought the family gifts of small rodents from the acres around the house.  The backyard was big and sloping, enclosed by a fence that came up to Andrew’s chest.  Flakes of blue paint were chipping off the fence, and you could see Andrew’s footholds that he used to vault over it.

“Andrew, use the gate!” his mother would cry from the kitchen bay window where she sat to do crossword puzzles.  Andrew’s hands would grasp the top of the fence, and in two steps he’d be over and running down the slightly sloping land, into the trees that grew on the acres behind his house and yard.

This is where he first saw his father talking with the squirrels.

 

Andrew timed his breathing with his footsteps, in, out, left, right, in, out, left, right.  Leaves crunched under his feet like the screams of tiny elves.  He grabbed hold of a branch to slow himself, and swung his body around, feeling the sharp bite of the bark in his palm, smelling the moss and the fungus that lived in the trees.  His breathing slowed and he ran his hand down the tree before walking on.

He heard a voice to his left, and he walked toward it as quietly as possible—a difficult feat over dry late-September oak leaves.

It was his father, on the ground on hands and knees.  There were leaves in his brown-gray hair and a little twig on his shirt sleeve.  He was peering up intently at an oak tree, and didn’t see Andrew approach.

“What?”  His father cocked his head toward the tree.  There was a squirrel, bushy tail spread out behind him, clinging to the bark on the tree.  “Ah, I see.”  Andrew’s father rose to a crouching position, and Andrew could see he held something in his left hand.  His father raised it to his mouth, and holding it in both hands, began to nibble at it–it’s a walnut, Andrew realized—as he would at a piece of pound cake, or a chunk of smoked Gouda cheese.

Andrew watched, fascinated, as his father finished the nut and wiped his lips with his thumb.  He then moved, still in a crouch, toward the tree.  The squirrel, who had watched Andrew’s father the whole time, suddenly looked at Andrew.  His father turned too, just as suddenly, and almost fell over when he saw his son standing there.

“Andrew!  What are you doing?  Don’t you have chores to do?”  He had stood and was brushing off the jeans he wore on weekends, and shaking leaves out of his hair.

“Finished ‘em.  What are you doing, Dad?” Andrew asked.  He pointed to his father’s sleeve, and his father brushed the tiny twig away.

“Oh, just chatting with the squirrels.  They’re great company.  You can learn a lot,” his father said cheerfully.  “You ought to try it some time.”  He patted Andrew’s head and hugged his shoulders.  “What do you say we get some lunch?”

“I already ate,” Andrew said.  The squirrel had run up the tree into the high branches, and he scanned for it, but it had blended in and disappeared.

“Oh, did you?  Well, I’m going to go get a sandwich.  Are you going to stay down here awhile?”

“Yeah.”  It was the perfect time of day to play in the woods.  The sun was beginning to fall, and it was slitting through the trees in places, creating glitter out of the dust in the air.  There were places Andrew could see the actual shafts of light, and he liked to stand still and watch them shift and then disintegrate as the sun moved out of place.  He liked the way tree trunks went fire orange right before the sun finally set.  The woods could never be the same because leaves fell and trees grew and squirrels ran madly like small senile old ladies and the sun never stopped crawling across the sky.

“Well, you know to be back in the yard by dark—”

“Yup,” Andrew said.

“I’ll see you later then.  Remember, the squirrels are very interesting.  They can teach you anything.”  His father winked solemnly.  “Just listen to them.  Bye, Andrew!” He began to make his way back up the hill.

“Bye, Dad!” Andrew called, then turned and surveyed the trees around him.

Read the full story

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Throwback Thursday: Graduation

Graduate college  
Become an Adult  
Fight with technology  
Get up super early  

30-year-old Me laughs right in 22-year-old Me’s face.

tbt graduation
So cute. Enjoy it (everything) while you can, 22-year-old Me!

 

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Filed under Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Technology, Writing

Throwback Thursday: New York Thanksgivings

New York Thanksgiving 2006: Drew, our then-roommate JP, and I were just going to forego Thanksgiving entirely, until about 2pm when we decided that was nuts, and we ran to the closest grocery store (which closed at like 3pm) to assemble a makeshift Thanksgiving feast. The oven in our tiny Brooklyn apartment didn’t work, so we only bought things that we could cook on the stovetop or in the microwave. Drew thinks it was kind of sad, but I think it was just a mess. We’d only been in New York for like 3 months, and we just hadn’t gotten our sea legs yet.

New York Thanksgiving 2007: My parents came out, and we drove to their friends’ place in New Jersey. Apparently I still didn’t have my sea legs, as I rented a car from a place in Hoboken, and we had to go pick it up the day before, and then on Thanksgiving morning we tried to drive through Manhattan. Idiotic. I would do it so differently if I were doing it again.

New York Thanksgiving 2008: What are a bunch of crazy kids in their mid-20s to do, living in the Big Apple, three thousand miles away from their families? Have the franciest Thanksgiving of them all, of course! Thanksgiving 2008 started with us getting up early to start cooking, and start drinking while were at it. I believe Drew and I ran out of wine and had to walk down to the liquor store to buy more, and we got there before it even opened, and kind of hung around outside for awhile. CLASSY. Despite being completely inebriated by 10am, we put together quite a spread for six people. I have very fond memories of drunk Thanksgiving. (Not that I could handle that these days.)

That's our door! And the elevator! And Erin excited that Joe is arriving.

That’s our door! And the elevator! And Erin excited that Joe is arriving.

Checking the turkey - look at our weird kitchen.

Checking the turkey – look at our weird kitchen.

All three Chicago posters were Thanksgiving-ized. That'd some Disney level decorating.

All three Chicago posters were Thanksgiving-ized. That’s some Disney level decorating.

A pilgrim (Drew) and an Indian (Joe) at the first Thanksgiving

A pilgrim (Drew) and an Indian (Joe) at the first Thanksgiving

Lots of food. Lots of wine.

Lots of food. Lots of wine.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013! Make some memories, so that 5 years from now you can TBT this Thanksgiving.

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Filed under Awesome, Drew, Friends, Holidays, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment