Tag Archives: happy

some reasons I am happy.

17 Aug

— I started writing for the web-site Buzz Patrol yesterday. Today I wrote five articles for the site in one sitting, and I am getting paid per article.

— I officially can fit in a pair of size six pants for the first time since, Jesus, I don’t even know when.

— The adorable backpack and shirt I ordered came in the mail.

— I’ve only got ten more episodes until I’m done watching the entirety of The Muppet Show in under two weeks.

— My online Web Development course is complete, at long last!

— Grabbing coffee with Beckah tomorrow morning.

— I’m probably gonna go see Ruby Sparks on Sunday, either by myself or with Martin.

— Tomorrow I’m finally going to be through with my first draft of Obsessed, my screenplay, and then I’ll send it on it’s way to Aileen to be read.

— I’m going to start working on my next Cool Gizmo Toys featured article tonight.

— An associate producer over at the Don Bluth company read my wordpress entry on The Secret of Nimh and liked it.

— I went grocery shopping today and am all set on food until my next paycheck.

— My security deposit check from my last house is on its way in the mail.

— Hamburger for dinner, then a late night run once I get off of work.

Advertisements

here’s to summer.

8 Aug

Sometimes the simplest things can make a day complete. Sleeping in until ten o’clock. Lazing around with a friend and discussing the importance of strong fictional women. Eating part of a pint of vanilla and then swapping for a pint of Rocky Road with said friend. Watching countless hours of television surrounding frogs and dogs and bears and chickens and a whatever and a whole slew of musical numbers from the 70’s. An email of wonderful possibilities. A letter from a best friend in a foreign land. Blasting Tenacious D and dancing around in nothing but underwear.

This is what summer’s all about, folks. This is what being twentysomething should always be like. These are the days I live for. Friendship, food, Muppets, and fun. What more can a girl ask for?

Couldn’t We Ride?

31 Jul

Today was a great reminder that whenever I’m feeling down a splendid day waiting is waiting for me right around the corner.

Yesterday I wrote up a (whiny) entry about how lonely I am and how depressed I am and how nobody likes me and blah blah blah, whiny to the extreme. An hour after I wrote the entry I called up my father because, I don’t know, for some reason I knew he would be the only person who could cheer me up. And he was. We talked about my cat, summer, family, work, school, and such. Eventually the topic of spring break came up, and he divulged how he sometimes looks at plane ticket prices and considers running away to Italy on a whim. This shocked me because I too do this frequently. It was an eye opening moment for me as I realized that maybe my dad and I aren’t so different after all. We then discussed how much we love Tuscany and how Rome sucks and how there’s just something so nice about staying in a villa as opposed to a hotel. He then gave me his usual lecture about how, once out of college, I should take the first two years off to travel and see the world and live life, which is exactly what he did when he was my age. It’s silly to think how a couple years back this notion always made me roll my eyes as I’d say, “Whatever dad.” Now I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more than traveling this planet.

So yesterday ended on a great note, which was nice, but today?

Today was lovely.

I woke up bright and early at eight o’clock. I leaped out of bed, poured myself a cup a cup of coffee, and enjoyed last night’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. In the back of my mind, as my programs played, festered the knowledge of what I’d soon be doing. My first ever interview. No, I would not be taking this interview, I’d be conducting it. As ten o’clock drew nigh I made myself look presentable and reviewed my list of questions I had written up. ‘Deep breathes’, I kept telling myself, ‘this is going to be fun.’

And it was fun. The interview, which was done over Skype with Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker, who are working on the documentary I Am Big Bird, was an absolutely wonderful experience. It sadly had to be cut short due to the fact the guys had to run off to another meeting, but I still got twenty minutes of solid material. Of course, seeing as it was my first ever interview, I did get tongue tied at times and I think I said the words “great” “yeah” and “super” close to a billion times. But still, for my first interview? Not bad.

After this I had a calm, relaxing couple hours of television watching and sorting through stacks of papers. Nothing extravagantly entertaining, but it was nice to unwind after the interview.

At 1:30pm I took off on my bike and rode to my friend Gina’s apartment. Gina was my co-director for the Vagina Monologues last January, and we had been meaning to hang out for a while. Once both of us were ready, we made the great trek to Emigrant Lake… on our bikes.

I have never attempted this feat before. I’ve only traveled to Emigrant via car, and I was surprised the bike ride was pretty smooth sailing. It wasn’t until the lake was in sight I became out of breath and had to ask Gina to stop for a moment, as I had begun to gain tunnel vision. On the way back I felt fine the entire time, which leads me to believe that the reason I was so exhausted on the ride there was due to the fact Gina and I attempted conversation almost the entire way. Not a great idea. Talking takes up way too much energy when you’re on a bike.

Speaking of biking, I did the math and between biking to Gina’s, biking to the lake, and biking home, I biked 12.5 miles today. I have a feeling my body’s gonna hate me tomorrow.

We finally reached the lake, locked up our bike, and adventured further down to find a spot away from all the people. We finally found a nice, albeit rocky, area where we set up camp. We then proceeded to have a nice, lengthy conversation. It’s been over a month since we last saw each other, so it was lovely to catch up. We talked about grad schools, movies, boyfriends, nonexistent boyfriends, family, friends, travel, doctor appointments, the VMs, and many other things. I’m pretty sure we spent more time talking than actually in the lake, which we did spend a fair amount of time in as well. All in all, it was just an amazing time.

The beautiful view we had from where we sat.

On the way back Gina braked her bike and I nearly ran right into her. I immediately assumed something was wrong, but it turned out her eye had been caught by a blackberry bush. We then spent a good five or so minutes picking blackberries and letting the flavors explode on our tongues. It’s hard to explain, but more than our conversation, more than my first ever interview, more than the cheesecake I made later today, this was my favorite moment of the entire day. It was such a simple moment of joy.

As we biked back into town, we parted ways. I rode over to Shopping Kart and bought a slew of groceries to last me through the next week and a half.

When I got home I started whipping up the one dessert I actually know how to make well: cheesecake. My cheesecake’s are delicious. I even shook up the recipe a little bit (though sadly had to forfeit the strawberries I normally decorate my cheesecakes with as I’m sort of broke… as usual). My cheesecake is still cooling in the refrigerator (where it will stay for another hour or so). I just made chicken enchiladas, which are cooling on the stove top. These sadly look nothing like the web-site’s examples, but who knows. Maybe they’ll still be tasty…ish?

Now I’m gonna go cut me an enchilada and go watch Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, and eventually will help myself to a slice of cheesecake. Then I’m gonna delve into that interview and start editing it and such.

Sorry that this was pretty much just a super long rant about today, but I couldn’t resist. Who could possibly resist sharing all about a day like today?

surrogate siblings.

21 Jul

It’s silly to get so overtly excited about someone telling me that I’m like a little sister to him. It really is, but at the same time it’s something I’ve always longed to hear. I love the idea of two people feeling as though they are related; that they feel comfortable enough to adopt the roles a normal pair of relatives would take on. I find it positively charming.

I’m glad I finally have an older brother-type figure in my life. I think I could use one.

Thankful for Friends, Muppets, and a Huge Pile of Socks

16 Jul

In the past I’ve gone on and on and on and on about my love of Muppet fans, so by now it should be well known that my love for this fan community is ginormous. Muppet fans surpass all other fans, which I doubt the world will ever truly recognize. They are considerate, loving, silly, hilarious, understanding, and wonderful. Because the source of their obsession (Muppets/Sesame/Fraggles) promotes love and compassion and unity, it is in turn what the fans practice on a day-to-day basis, making them some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. They are, indeed, all around wonderful.

But today, let’s cut the schmaltz and just say it.

I fucking love my Muppet friends.

I’m not a speechless person. Well, okay, in person I tend to be tongue tied and quiet and incredibly awkward, but in writing I never have any problem expressing my thoughts and feelings; however, when it comes to my friends from Tough Pigs, along with my several Muppety friends from Muppet Central and Tumblr… I’m just speechless. I truly don’t even know how to begin to express my gratitude and love for this amazing group of people.

This last month’s been kind of rough on me. I moved into a new apartment for the first time without my roommate of the last four years, I sent my cat 200+  miles away to go live with my dad (don’t laugh, I miss her), I got to deal with my first ever issue of identity fraud, and I had to say goodbye to many a graduated friend. Most of all, my best friend on this planet moved away to Spain, which has brought me incredibly down in mood as of late. I’ve gone through a lot of change, and change is always a really scary thing for me, so I’ve been, frankly, very sad recently. Sad and lonely. I keep most of that in, but it’s been something that’s been persistently there. It’ll get better soon, this I know, but for the time being it’s hard to not be consistently bummed out.

Then you guys swoop in a pull a stunt like this.

When the first package came in the mail several weeks back, I was bewildered. It resulted in me screaming “HOW DID JUSTIN GET MY NEW MAILING ADDRESS???” and flailing about my apartment in confusion. It wasn’t until I got Carolyn’s package next that I began to understand what was going on and how this was all possible, and instantly began to cry. No group of friends has ever done something like this for me, which is why it so truly touched my heart. While the rest of the world may see this whole process as me receiving packages of socks, I see it as a gesture of great kindness and friendship. Of course, upon receiving these packages I remembered making an off hand comment once a couple months ago about how I never get socks for Christmas or birthdays, and when I wrote it on the forums I really thought nothing of it. Then one of you (you know who you are, you amazing, wonderful person) put this together for me, and it just… honestly, I’m teary just writing this. I feel absurd getting overtly emotional, but I truly cannot help myself. This is the nicest thing a group of people has ever done for me.

Here’s a picture of me sitting with all my booty while trying to convey my immense amount of gratitude in my facial region:

I was talking to Justin (Tonglet) over IM when this all first started happening, and I wrote to him, “Ugh. You all are such stellar people. I can’t even handle it.” I really can’t begin to describe how truly lucky I feel having you all in my life.

I was on Muppet Central for about a year, and while I did take away some friends from the site (whom I adore very much), MC Forums was, to me, lacking in the camaraderie department and seemed to spark one too many arguments amongst the users for my personal liking. So I took a deep breath and made the switch to Tough Pigs. When I first joined up with Tough Pigs back in December I was beyond intimidated. I mean, it took me forever to understand the format of Delphi (curse you, Delphi!!!), and secondly, here was this amazing group of people with all these inside jokes who had known each other for years. How was I gonna fit in? Me, who’s not witty or punny. Who isn’t brave or outgoing. How was I gonna remember all these names and keep up? How was anyone ever gonna notice shy, awkward me? And yet, somehow, you invited me into the family with open arms and made me one of your own. I remember in the first week someone told me “You’re gonna fit in just fine” and how I swelled with pride at this notion. I’ve always felt out of place in this world. I haven’t felt part of an actual group since middle school. Since then, while I’ve always had my closes friends and been part of quiet a few groups, I’ve just felt like I’ve been drifting from group to group, never having one to truly plant my feet in. You guys, though. With you guys I feel like I’m one of you. You guys have taken this year and turned it on its head. I can’t even fathom not being on Tough Pigs eight months ago; that’s such a foreign concept to me now.

And what a year its been. I’ve met up with Carolyn twice (for Muppets and puppets!), I’ve had many a pleasant chat with the majority of you, I’ve gained a drunk texting bud (Dosierrrr), plans of visiting one of you for a Disneyland trip were discussed a while back (and should be discussed again sometime in the near future), I’ve geeked out over TV and movies with you all, I’ve been introduced to new bands and music, and I even got to write a Tough Pigs article of my very own (with another on the way). And then there were the socks. All thirty-one pairs of them. Not to mention some other fabulous gifts… Gah. You guys.

The most frustrating part of all this is that I can’t come up with any way for you all to know the depths of my gratitude. All I can really do is say thank you. So.

Thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all for being so wonderful, so ingenious, so insightful, so amazing. Thank you for giving me a reason to smile pretty much everyday. Thank you for being silly, crazy, funny, random, witty, punny, and fucking incredible. Thank you all for being such wonderful friends and such stellar people. Thank you to everyone who sent me something in the mail. Thank you to everyone who sent me something in the mail that never reached me (I’m still greatly moved). Special thanks to Martha, who I know is the true master mind behind all of this. And not just thank you to the people who participated in my birthday surprise. Thank you to all my wonderful friends that I’ve made through our similar Muppet adoration; whether we met through Tough Pigs, Tumblr, MC Forums, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. What started as a mutual love for a fandom has grown into something far more precious and much more important. I so look forward to the many years to come with you all in my life, hopefully getting the chance to meet up with most of you, and please always know just how much I treasure you as people, comrades, and friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.

And trust me when I say, from now on, I’ll be careful what I wish for.

How I Listened to the Lysistrata Jones Soundtrack Four Times in One Bus Ride.

5 Jul

At the start of every summer I swear to myself I’m gonna start listening to more song artists and bands. Y’know, cut back on showtunes and Disney, and listen to “real” music. That’s what I tell myself… and, every summer, without fail, I fall in love with an entirely new musical. Last summer it was Book of Mormon, the summer before it was the showtunes of Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, then Next to Normal, then In The Heights, then Spring Awakening, etc. etc. etc.

Well this summer, as of today, I am in love with Lysistrata Jones.

This really is a new development, seeing as of twelve hours ago I only knew two songs from the entire show. It’s been sitting on my iPod, unlistened to for a couple weeks now. The only reason I went and hunted it down in the first place was because of the song ‘When She Smiled’ – I’m in love with the Andrew Rannells version of that song – but really had no interest in actually listening to the entire soundtrack… or so it would’ve seemed.

Then today I had a seven hour long greyhound bus ride to deal with. When finally on the bus (after a stressful ordeal of almost missing said bus and having the bus driver yell at me), I was nestled up on my bus seat, tuckered out and wanting to sleep. I realized I had three unheard soundtracks on my iPod: Newsies, Once, and Lysistrata Jones. I was really only looking for music to fall asleep to at the time, so I selected Lysistrata Jones, closed my eyes, and prepared to sleep, figuring I’d listen to the other two soundtracks later on the bus.

I never listened to Newsies or Once.

I’m sure jaws have dropped by now, seeing as I snubbed the two most popular musicals on Broadway this year (based on two of my all time favorite films) for this somewhat shallow seeming musical, but I’ve quite honestly had a hard time getting into these two musicals as well. The film version of Newsies is so near and dear to my heart, that whenever I try to listen to the Broadway version I get angry over the whole purpose of ‘Sante Fe’ being changed, that Max Casella is no longer Racetrack, that Denton’s a chick, and so on. I realize the changes they made were for the better and I have no doubt someday the musical will grow on me, but for now I prefer Christian Bale’s (terrible) singing to whoever the new Jack Kelly is. The Broadway version of Once, on the other hand, sounds just like a bunch of covers of Glen and Markita’s music. What I’ve heard is beautiful, but I guess I just haven’t been in a mood for it much as of late (though, I will say, their version of ‘Gold’ is astonishingly gorgeous).

So, yes, Lysistrata Jones.

I’m sure most of you know the tale of Lysistrata. The story of all the wives of Athenian warriors who hold out on sex until their husbands end the war? Right. Well. Lysistrata Jones is about a college where the boy’s basketball team never wins, so their girlfriends hold out on sex until they win a game. Oh. And a Greek Goddess narrates and also acts as the mistress of a nearby brothel.

I know. It sounds kind of awful, doesn’t it?

That’s what I thought when I turned it on, thinking it was just going to be my background music to fall asleep to, but what follows is clear evidence that it’s more than what its shitty summary leads you to believe (which is probably why it closed so quickly on Broadway).

LISTEN #1 –> CATCHY MUSIC

I did drift in and out of sleep upon my first listen, but I was still lucid enough to grasp that the music was really damn catchy. I wasn’t paying very close attention to the lyrics, just kind of gleaning the bare minimum of what was going on in each song. I caught lines that said things such as “No sexo!” “Do your duty, no more booty!” and “That’s why God invented porn!”, which made me inwardly roll my eyes. It was proving to be everything I had expected it to be, leaving me very unimpressed.

Don’t think Aristophanes had this in mind when he wrote the original.

So I wasn’t paying much attention, dozing a bit and such, not caring much. Cut to one of the last songs, ‘Right Now: Operetta’, and suddenly my interests became peaked. Suddenly these characters became… well, more fleshed out. I had absolutely no clue what was going on in the song (since I hadn’t been paying much attention leading up to it), but suddenly the characters were no longer 2D caricatures of ditzy/jock-y college students. Emotions were being expressed and fears were being concerned. This confused me. What happened to the campy, silly musical I had been listening to?

Then the final number of the show (‘Give It Up’) came on, and suddenly it was uplifting and inspirational and, Jesus, was I so confused.

This is the day we start to fight
This is the moment I’ve been waiting on
For what seems like an eternity

I am a match that you ignite
And letting go of every expectation
Reservation, deprivation, liberation

The song also kept repeating the line: “Give it up, whatever’s keeping you from being you.” It’s such a simple phrase, which left me astounded at how much it literally effected my person. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe this was more than just a musical about girls holding off on their boyfriends.

So I gave it a second listen.

LISTEN #2 –> LISTENING TO THE LYRICS

(The soundtrack, by the way, is only a little over an hour long, hence how I listened to it so many times in one sitting.)

This time through I actually stayed awake for the entirety of the soundtrack and was able to get a (shaky) grasp on the plot. The plot, while still is basically the whole withholding sex story, also has many different facets and subplots to it, which can be kind of confusing when you dive in head first. I didn’t have a plot book to follow and I had no bearings of the relationships between the characters, so I spent most of this listen-through paying attention to the lyrics and music. While I already knew the score was catchy, the fact of the matter is this: Lysistrata Jones has a great soundtrack.

Of course, not every song is a keeper. I could take or leave ‘Party Time’ and ‘Don’t Judge a Book’, I tend to skip the last two numbers on the soundtrack (‘Never Say No’ and the redone ‘Hold On’), and I still have absolutely no idea what ‘Writing on the Wall’ is about because THAT’S how unforgettable that song is.

That being said, Jones has got some absolutely incredible music, such as: ‘Right Now: Operetta’, ‘Hold On’, ‘You Go Your Way’, ‘Where am I Now’, ‘When She Smiles’, and ‘Give It Up’. These songs are, to me, the best of the show, but I think pretty much every number is stellar (and definitely good dance music). They’re very campy and fun, and that’s kind of what I’m looking for in a musical right now. I think ‘Hold On’ may be my favorite as of right now (Jason Tam, I wanna be all up on you), since it has an absolutely lovely message tied in with it.

They marched down Pennsylvania Avenue
Plant a tree! Make it green!
No more carbon! Keep it clean!
They held their banners high till their fingers all turned blue
Well I know mother earth still cries in pain
As long as I can taste the salt of her tears
I know the fight must still remain
See, I know you gotta hold on
Don’t let go
In the morning when the lights are low
You gotta hold on, hold on, hold on

You can watch the awesome Jason Tam perform this song here (and understand why I’d very much like to jump his bones).

So this listen through hooked me with the songs and reeled me back in for more, which explains why…

LISTEN #3 –> TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE CHARACTERS

The most annoying thing about listening to this soundtrack, and let me make this abundantly clear: all of the actors and actresses sound alike.

There were seriously three characters I could differentiate from the group (Cleonice, Cinesias, and ‘Uardo), and that’s only because they had either Hispanic or Brooklyn accents (and also Hetaira, since her voice is a bit older than the rest of the cast’s). Because of this, and because I’ve never seen this show, it made it really hard to understand what was going on at times. It wasn’t until listening to it my fourth time that I realized Robin and Myrrhine were not the same character. Plus the character of Xander is never introduced via song (unlike everyone else in the show) so when he randomly popped up for ‘Hold On’ I was just like, “Ummmm… who is this (gorgeous) voice singing?” I also didn’t realize Xander was singing during ‘Operetta’, and I thought his part was Mick’s, so, yeah, lots of confusion to be had.

Props to casting for having a really ethnically diverse cast.

That being said, I did have a really fun (though at times aggravating) time deciphering the characters and learning all about them.

After I moved past that confusion, I started gathering character’s backgrounds. I was able to match up characters to songs and relationship, grasping their stance in the musical better. My best revelation was when I realized the song ‘When She Smiles’, which I’ve loved so much for so long, wasn’t directed at the protagonist. It made me incredibly giddy, finding out I was wrong after all this time.

And, hey, I had already listened to it three times to make the bus ride go faster, so…

LISTEN #4 –> CONNECTING WITH THE MUSICAL

By now I had gained a better understanding of the musical as a whole, and I now knew that while this musical comes off as a raunchy comedy about girls, guys, and sex, there is definitely an under layer to it. The first act really is the more satirical of the two, but the second act is where the characters become more fleshed out, since that’s where things start to get real for them. I love the character of Lysistrata, because she’s a good example of having a belief and sticking to it. Is it a ridiculous belief? Mayhaps, but it’s still awesome to see her become independent and self-reliant. The characters of Tyllis, Mick, Robin, and Myrrhine all really grew a lot as well.

The character that changed the most for me over the course of the day was Cinesias. Upon first listen he just came off as a white punk who was trying to be a “gangsta” or a “playa”, and he quite frankly annoyed me a lot. I didn’t understand the depth of what his character goes through  in ‘Don’t Judge a Book’ until the fourth listen, but I see that moment in the play as a big revelation for his character. While he wants to seem this certain way to all of his friends, he just can’t because he really is a good guy. The most heart rendering line he has in the show is:

“Just don’t know who I’m supposed to be,
Don’t you understand?
I’m tired of being me.”

The line was almost thrown away, which left me amazed because I think it’s such a crucial line to the show. That’s when it hit me: this is a play about the struggles of maintaining, not only a relationship, but one’s own self-image in a college setting.

While the characters are in this strange situation, and yes the comedy is a bit ridiculous in hopes to gain some laughs, there’s a sense to it of these characters being so unsure of themselves. At the end of ‘Operetta’ there’s a moment where all the students sing of their own, personal fears, their lyrics beautifully intertwining with each others, displaying how this can be a scary age at times for just about anybody. To exemplify this idea even further, Lysistrata ends the first act with the (show stopping) number ‘Where Am I Now?’

Where am I now? How am I here?
Which way do I turn when it’s all so unclear?
I’m standing alone with nothing but fear
Where am I now, now that I’m here?

Maybe I’m digging a little deep, but this to me really is a musical of people my own age coming to terms with themselves, which I find comforting. I know it’s something I’m gonna be dealing a lot with this upcoming year.

Now, I wrote an entry a while back about how Spring Awakening helped me come to terms with my own sexuality, and that’s where this musical differs. While sex is definitely a heavy subject in the show, it’s never really an issue people struggle with (except possibly Robin). It’s an issue, just not of the same magnitude as in Awakening, which I sort of like. It’s nice seeing a musical where there are female leads that have a handle on their sex lives.

Oh Jason Tam… ❤

So is this a musical for everyone? Definitely not. But is this a musical for me? Definitely yes.

Is this all there really is?
Just endless games of making do
Putting up with second best
Always wanting new
Wanting something better
To shake me to my core
Something magic, something more
I want more

smitten like a kitten :: crushin like a russian

13 May

Sometimes a crush can fill you with such pure satisfaction and glee, almost like you’re floating amidst the bluest parts of the sky that no one’s ever seen; other times a crush can fill you with so much dread and frustration and loss of self-worth that it weighs you down and sends you plummeting back towards the lifeless, flatness that is the earth.