Sunday, July 15, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 15

It's the last one!!!!

How sad, now I'll have to go back to writing about books and things. Don't worry, I have quite a few to review from March so there should be a nice build up.

On to the challenge!

Day 15: What is the best compliment you've ever received.

So way back when, when I was still in high school, my mom's side of the family would come together and throw a massive Thanksgiving Dinner party for the city of Calistoga so that those without family or friends in the area at the time could enjoy the day as well at no cost.

The idea was born from my grandmother's soup kitchen, and the troops rallied and came forth. My mom's side of the family is fairly large, so we had a staff of anywhere from 18 to 27. 

For a year my job was to go around and help take orders/serve people but my Gramma got it into her head that there should be live music. Since I was the only one who diligently practiced for piano lessons and didn't suffer from crippling stage fright I got put in charge of that.

For at least a month before, I would carefully select/practice songs that weren't too depressing or too distracting, despite the fact that those tend to be my favorite songs to play and came easiest to me. The evening was about them and not me.

I received many compliments those nights (I was in a room full of grandparents, I could have been playing super badly and would have still gotten compliments) but by far my favorite one was when a little old lady came by in the middle of a song and told me that she enjoyed my playing and  really appreciated my song selections because it was perfect for the mood of the dinner - not too distracting but not completely bland either.

This meant a lot too me because it means she 1) payed attention for more than a song, 2) noticed something that I wasn't advertising (I wasn't like "guys, appreciate me because I"m NOT being "focus on me"  right now)  and 3) approached me during a song I knew well so I could talk to her and pay attention and not stop playing.

We don't do those Thanksgiving Dinners as a family anymore, the event was taken over by other members in the community, but those were very fun times in my life and I appreciate my Gramma  so much for making it happen and my family for being game to do it.

I know that was long, but hopefully you got a good feeling from it! I'm glad I found some new blogs to follow and got to know some older faves better!

Have a great July!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: If you were only allowed to watch one movie for the rest of your life, what movie would it be and why?

This is what I get for not reading all the prompts ahead a time!

There are two movies right now that would make the cut of watching on repeat for the rest of my life. (assuming I can't sneak in a DVD set of a TV show).

Megamind, because I don't think I'll ever get tired of that wascally blue villain pronouncing "school" "schhhhooool" and it has good music so i can fast forward through parts and make it like a CD.

And the other one would be the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice. I may have watched that on repeat for a few days. People knew I liked it so much that I got two copies of the DVD and both of them got lent to people and then never returned (I presume, I wish I remembered who I lent them to).

The reason for that one is mostly the cinematography and the soundtrack. Everywhere is so beautiful and the music fits so perfectly and it's just a  perfect combination for if you want a watch a movie but you're not sure you'll be able to pay attention to it, but you don't have to pause because a) you know what's going to happen and b) you won't get distracted by it still going on in the background , and c) it will unconsciously help mellow you out.

That was a really long sentence. Forgive me, I got carried away.

I'm definitely interested in seeing what everyone else wrote for this one! I'm on the lookout for new movies to watch!

Hope y'all enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Days 12 and 13

Hi everyone!

Sorry I'm so late on this, I've been busy at work and then spending hours exploring Seattle with new eyes while my cousin, Kelly visits me!

I just got home and am devoting a half hour to getting my internet shizz together!

So on to business!

Day 12: What are you most looking forward to in the next 6 months.

I have two trips to LA that I"m super excited for. One in October to go to Disneyland with my cousins Kelly and Angela. We're going to stay at a hotel over there and everything because when I was a kid we always had to drive in from house (I know, I sound so spoiled)

The second thing is my mom got us tickets to see the Book of Mormon musical when it comes to LA and Shauna's going to come down with me and meet everyone!!!! woohoo!!!

Day 13: List your Favorites:

Kitten: Toms. No, Nox. No, Toms. Oh I can't pick, I like them both so much! Here's some pictures :)


Book: My go to with this is Pride and Prejudice but I haven't been able to read it through for a few years (I think I burnt myself out). I'm still really diggin' The Magicians by Lev Grossman. If you didn't believe me the first billion times you should read it. Then go forth and read it.

Musical: This changes a lot. Right now I'm going to give a shout out to Next to Normal since the ones I think will be my favorite I haven't really seen yet.

Movie: MEGAMIND!!!! It's such a good feel good movie. Tina Fey is amazing, as usual and Will Ferrel is not annoying since you can't see his face.

Current TV Show: The Newsroom

Cancelled TV Shows: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Color: Purple!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 11

Day 11: What is one thing that you would never change about yourself.

Personality-wise: I think I'm a fairly patient and kind person (most would say too kind), especially to strangers. This backfires a lot on me, but I wouldn't want to avoid those situations if it means I have to be ruder/meaner/less open minded.

Physically: I'd never dye my hair. It's so pretty as it is, and no matter how much I want to cut it all off and dye it with streaks of blue/purple, I definitely won't seriously consider doing that until I start going grey. 

I'm excited to see what everyone else is writing.

Also, If you noticed I missed 10, I did.. I unintentionally worked myself into a really bad mood trying to think of a good one (and thus remembering all of my other humiliating experiences that weren't also adorably cute and funny) that I decided to cut my losses and bypass it. I'm sure as soon as this one is over, a perfect situation will come out and I might decide to revisit.

Monday, July 9, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 9

Day 9: Describe the best day of your life, to date.

One Christmas/New Year season my entire family decided to go to Disneyland. I grew up in Southern California, so I went to Disneyland a lot as a child. (It's one of the things I miss most about SoCal) but whenever my extended family would come it was extra special. 

First we always get a hotel in the area whenever there's more than 8 of us. Kelly, Angela, and I were old enough to have our own room at this point and tall enough to go on all the rides so the trip in itself was already special.

 On New Year's Eve I remember going on Splash Mountain three times in a row (Because everyone was at the parade and there was no line) and then running over to California Adventures to see the Aladdin show and getting out just in time to get to Main Street to watch the fireworks display. No waiting, no fighting, it was awesome. 

Talking to the adults now, you realize trips like that were stressful, but since we were old enough to go off on our own and young enough to not worry about things, it was the perfect day for me! 

So there you go, pretty simple but it doesn't take a lot to make me happy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 8

Thank you for all the wonderful Birthday Messages guys! I really appreciate it! Now on to today's post.

Day 8: Describe "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" of yourself

The Good

I am really good at accepting all the hiccups in life, saying "C'est la vie",  and moving on and not looking to blame someone else. Sometimes things just happen.

I'm an overachiever and will continually go the extra mile for friends/clients/strangers. 

I love reading! I feel like it helps me be empathetic with other people and situations that I would not normally understand.

According to my cousin "I'm a crazy fast typist".

The Bad

I let people take advantage of me, but I know they're doing it and let it happen anyway. And  then I decide that I'm never really going to like them.

I don't make the effort to be really good friends with more than 5 people at once. I like people, and I'm nice but once I have a good friend I'm like...I don't really need another one. So thanks Shauna, you filled my quota. 

   The Ugly

I can be really fretful about things that I'm not sure of yet. If I'm running late, I worry about it (like tap my foot/stomp my feet worry) until I"m actually late and then after that I'm like "what's another 15 minutes"

I have no idea how to do my hair/make up. Sometimes it works/ sometimes it doesn't

It takes me MONTHS to work up the nerve to go to a hair stylist. I hate small talk. I also usually go to students because then I don't have to commit to going back to them.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 7's my birthday.

Happy Birthday, Me!

I'm 24 today and since my blog is about Books and Musicals, I thought I'd start it off right by blogging about a book and end my day by going to see Les Mis with three of my hands down favorite people!!!

Day 7: Recommend a book for us to read. Why do you think it's important?

So I'm not going to cheat and lift a book from my blog (although go read The Magicians by Lev Grossman, now!)

 I'm sure all of you are very different and therefore my recommendation will have to accommodate many varying tastes. A daunting task, indeed.

 So here's a book I recently found for Shauna's husband, Tim,  that I think will have something for everyone.

It's called What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower by Margaret Killjoy

The reason I think all of you will find something to like about this book is that it's a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book! For readers above the age of 7! So depending on your mood or day or personality, you'll be taken somewhere new.

I feel like you learn a lot about yourself from these kinds of books. That life doesn't always lead you down a linear path and that sometimes you have to move backward in order to move forward. That a choice you made 5 decisions ago could've been the one to save your life (or kill you). That in order to get the most fulfilling experience, you sometimes need to step a little out of your comfort zone.

And, you know, aside from all that semi-deep stuff, it's a choose-your-own-adventure-book! How fun!!!

Have a wonderful Saturday blog world!  See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 6, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: What's something you've always wanted to do but haven't? Why not?

Alright so I know this is totally cliche, but I've always wanted to go skydiving (not bungee jumping that's terrifying). 

I haven't done it yet because I want to do it with people I know and care about and the opportunity hasn't arisen  yet. I'm the kind of person that will be all gung-ho about something if someone else expresses a wish to and needs encouragement.  But if it's just me that wants to do it, it becomes sort of meh. Hmmm maybe I'll make everyone do it for the big 2-5 that's coming up in exactly a year and half a day.

Also recently, I've decided I want to go paddle boarding. Hopefully, I'll get around to it sometime this summer.

Have an excellent Friday y'all! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 5

Alright so I'm back on schedule!


Day 5: If you could have dinner with any five people, who would they be?

So I'd want to have all three of these guys at one dinner. And yes, I'm about to completely nerd out over here. You have been warned.

1. Augustus - So yeah, I was a classics minor (shoulda been major) who loved Roman classical history.  Augustus, aka Octavius Caesar, gets a lot of crap about being some little whiney upstart with good publicity. (And he might have been, I don't know because I've never met him.) But this little whiney upstart also united all of Rome after his uncle Caesar went and pissed off some people and made his BFFs have to kill him which bothered them so much that they committed suicide. So I want to meet someone who can bring a whole empire out of that kind of negative thinking. I think that would be awesome.

 Plus, isn't he super cute in this sculpture?

2.  Ovid - Ovid's Metamorphoses is amazeballs if you've taken Professor Butler's class on it, or if you're a very astute reader. There are so many layers, I can't even think about it without getting excited. Augustus, however, had a problem with Ovid and exiled him from Rome for "mysterious" reasons. I think it would be cool to sit them  down at a table together to get to the bottom of their falling out and maybe mediate a reconciliation.

3.  William Shakespeare - Good ol' Will Shakespeare was inspired by both of these men (Octavius Caesar appeared in a couple of his plays and Ovid's story of Philomela is laced throughout Shakespeare's most bloody tragedy, Titus Andronicus.) I'd like him to see what they were both really like. (I'd also like to see what all three were really like.) Plus I think he would coin a bunch of awesome phrases throughout dinner that I could use around my friends later. And I would teach him both awesomesauce and amazeballs. I feel like he would like those.

4. Sydney Carton - So I haven't read this in awhile, but Sydney Carton is a character from A Tale of Two Cities. To refresh your memory/introduce you, Sydney was the one to say "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;..."and he says that when he deliberately takes the place at the guillotine for a heroic but unfortunate stranger that happens to look like him. He dies in the book. I think he deserves a "you're a good guy" meal.

5. Woodrow Wilson - Only the best President ever!

So yeah, that was my super geeky list. I can no longer pretend to be cool.

15 Day Challenge: Day 4

Linking up again with Sar over at Life of Love again. I know I'm late guys! I just spent the whole day chillaxing with Shauna on the 4th that I completely forgot!


So Day 4: What's your favorite childhood memory?

I have a lot of good ones (which is definitely a good thing, not everyone can say the same). If I had to pick only one...I'm not sure what I'd do. hmmmm....

Ok. So I've thought some more and stopped doing a free write and my favorite childhood memory would have to be the hours and hours I spent by my sitter's pool in the summer. My best friend at the time, Lizzy, and I would invent stories about mermaids and pirates that we would make up throughout the whole day and it was just so relaxing and carefree and creative. Pools now just seem so empty.

On that note, Summertime's the best and I definitely love it here in the PNW. I should definitely be doing more water related things!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 3

Linking up again with Sar over at Life of Love for her 15 Day Challenge.

Day 3: Tell about an article of clothing that you're deeply attached to.

So when I lived at home, every couple of years my mom would make us purge half of our closet for goodwill. If I had been left to my own devices, I probably would have like 70 tee shirts that I could write about because I wore them at some vacation I went on with family, etc.
But since I wasn't and I've moved a lot in the last few years, I've severed a lot of my attachment with clothes.

However, I still have two I can talk about! Aren't you excited! 

The first is a really really cheesy, not at all attractive, shirt I bought from Hot Topic. it's made like a prison shirt and it has Sirius Black's name and his wizarding prison number stamped on it and Azkaban on the back. I wore it to all the HP movies after that and to my trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter like two years ago.

The second one is more sentimental. My grandfather passed a few years ago and every few months or so my Gramma has a giant give-away of stuff in her house that she no longer needs (She disguises these as white elephant Christmas parties were she provides all the presents and no one wants to participate because most of it is junk). Anyway, my brother picked up this robe that belonged to my grandfather and was the one thing everyone was kind of jealous of. Apparently Grandpa Pete bought a lot of these mickey mouse robes so that when one got too frayed to use anymore he didn't have to worry about finding another one. 

Long story short, my bro passed it on to me because he knew I'd appreciate it sentimentally whereas he'd use it for a cape or something and ruin it. 


So there you go! 

Hope you're all enjoying this challenge as much as I am!

Monday, July 2, 2012

15 Day Challenge for Day 2

Day 2: Write a [few] six-word memoir[s]

Oh em gee, I did three! These were difficult to arrive at. Six-word sentences rule the day. (you see what I did there?)

Born a Bruin, always a Bruin.

Striving for flexibility, not for breakability.

Innate caution can't stop my leaping.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 1

Hi world! So, in case you haven't noticed, I've kinda maybe stopped posting. Don't worry guys, I'm still reading and singing up here in the awesome Pacific Northwest. I just got tired of writing about it. To rejuvenate myself a little, I'm going to link up with Sar over at Life of Love for her 15 Day Challenge.

Hopefully I'll continue with the book reviews and musicals from there!

(also I changed my blog name! what!)

Day 1: List 15 fun facts about yourself!

1.  I moved from Los Angeles to Seattle on a whim. I knew I needed to get out of L.A. and the only thing stopping me from throwing a dart at a map was my friends random comment of "I can totally see you in Seattle".

2. My short term (like 10-15 week) memory is stellar. After that, if I don't use it it gets locked in some filing cabinet in my head and I have yet to find the master key.

3. I love swimming but I am terrified of flying insects. Unfortunately, most bodies of water have this super crazy habit of attracting bees and mosquitos and June Bugs, etc.

4. I went to Space Camp when I was 11. It was awesome. We built rockets. Sorry, I'm fun.

5. I pronounce psuedo as "suede - o" and brusque like "brush" with a k instead of an h. Apparently, I learned to read faster than I learned to talk.

6. In all of Aaron Sorkin's TV shows, there is a character I would happily marry if they were real. He gives me hope that a guy for me is out there (Here's to you, Dan Rydell, Joshua Lyman, Danny Tripp, and Jim Harper). On the flip side, I don't really identify with any of his female characters.

7. When I first read Pride and Prejudice (and it was totally because Meg Ryan raved about it in You've Got Mail) I stayed up all night reading and then when I finished, I immediately opened it up to start it over again.

8. While I did the same in number 7 with Jane Eyre, After the third re-read I realized that Mr. Rochester was really messed up and the book was never the same for me again.

9. I hate the telephone. I love communicating with people, but there's something about talking through a telephone that is so disconnecting (in my opinion, much more than in text or chats).

10. I've wanted to be (in this order) a detective, President, a librarian, a lawyer, a teacher, Chief of Staff to the President, a detective , and a teacher. Who'd a thunk that I love my job as a Data Analyst.

11. My favorite movie is Megamind.

12. I don't know how to drive. I have a sense that if I learn, I'm going to accidently kill someone, and since I don't think I'd be able to handle that I decided not to learn.

13. I'm in a band called A.K.A with my cousins, Angela and Kelly. We've never performed anything, but staying up that one night writing songs was fun and we never officially disbanded.

14. My favorite Harry Potter was the third one. The introduction of Sirius Black and Reamus Lupin sparked so many imagination branches that I was entertained for many a road trip.

15. Sometimes, I like the movie better than the book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Award thingy

Shauna, from The Awesomes was mean and nominated me for a Blog Award so here it goes :)

So, here's the rules:
1. I post 7 random facts about me.
2. Thank the person who nominated you in your post (check)
3. Put the Liebster blog button in your post. (check)
4. Nominate your 5 favorite bloggers with less than 200 GFC followers.
5. Let them know that you nominated them

Random Facts:
1. I dislike jay-walking intensely. Not because it's illegal (like most people think) but because if I get hit, it'll totally be my fault and I don't want some driver to have to live with that. Conversely, if someone does hit me I want to be able to haunt them guilt-free. :)  However if it's night and I'm in a scary place then jay-walking trumps  standing on a street corner looking like a victim. Always
2.  I bleed  blue and gold. My parents met at UCLA and still work there today, I went there, and my brother now goes there. UCLA for life. 
3. I stayed up all night to finish Pride and Prejudice and as soon as it was done I picked it up and read it again. I did the same thing for the Kiera Knightly version of the movie (sorry the soundtrack to that was so amazeballs!)  
4. I haven't updated my blog since March. I don't deserve an award! 
5. I went to a leadership conference in middle school where I realized I never ever want to lead people (still end up doing it a lot anyway)
6. I like the organic nature of the team coming together
7. I'm weird about what foods I like. There is no consistency about why I don't like certain things. I like flavor (except for things like cilantro). I'm weird about texture (but like sushi which is a shit ton of different textures combined). Will sometimes try new things and will sometimes hate you for making me try something i'm unfamiliar with. It's weird. I stopped trying to figure it out.

I'll include the nominations in the comments because I have to go look for blogs I follow that won't kill me/intensely ridicule me. :) 

Except for Shauna's other blog, Our Emerald City which is seriously awesomesauce you guys. It makes me super jealous and almost inspires me to do things.

Thanks Shauna!!!!! This was super-duper fun. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

March 4th, 2012 - The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of my favorite books!  I've recommended it to any adult who loved Harry Potter and after  five or so people promised to read it after they finished such and such and so and so and then never picked it up, I put it on the book list.

It took 7 months, but it was finally chosen!

 A warning before you run to the store and go get it right now. It's the adult version of Harry Potter. And I don't mean it just has curse words and sex scenes combined with magic (which it does). It also has a quarter-life crisis outlook on life. So if you think that hard work and talent will help everyone achieve all of their ambitions, then this book will probably piss  you off.

If you recently graduated and have put in the time, got decent grades, and consider yourself smart and hardworking, but have been trying to find any job for half a year - let alone one you can stand - then this book is for you.

Being a magician in Grossman's world is hard work. It's for Type-A personalities who obsess heavily over details and memorization and will do the same thing over and over again until it's right.

Unfortunately, those character traits rarely let one achieve happiness. Especially if the world doesn't resolve itself into a neat little bow once you've succeeded. Like real life.*

The book is about Quentin's Coldwater discovering his magical traits at 17, his life at Brakebills (a college for magicians,) and his search for Fillory. Coincidentally, Fillory is a magical world created by Christopher Plover in the 1930s. It sounds a lot like Narnia, but it's a separate and real series.

So if my warning didn't put you off, the go run to the store and get it right now! Also there's a sequel!

It inspired 3 hours worth of discussion in my book club by the way, so I'm not the only one who liked it and wanted to talk about it.

 *I know it sounds like I'm depressed. I'm not. I've just watched a majority of my friends struggle to get some of the same opportunities that I just fall into. While I definitely do what I can to make thing work and deserve it, most of my success I blame on luck.

February 26th, 2012 - Beauty and the Beast

I know. It's been awhile.

I'd say "I'll be better," but I probably won't. On the plus side, I have at least 6 things to write about for this spurt so I won't just leave you hanging with just one drop of my amazeballs rhetoric.

So to the post at hand.  I wasn't going to see Disney's musical production of Beauty and the Beast, despite the fact that it is my favorite Disney movie growing up.

For one, it was at the Paramount and if I went with my usual theatre crew I probably would've gotten seats I hated.  I had also bought the Original Broadway Cast recording back when I was still in high school because I heard "Home" and fell in love. The problem was, the reason you sympathize/fall in love with the Beast in the movie is because you get really good shots of his eyes. And eyes being the window to the soul and all, you see he's not really a big whiney jerkface.

In the OBC version, he sounds like a big whiney jerkface. And Belle sounds much more stubborn and hard-headed then I remembered. So I actually lost a little respect for the movie because of the recording.

Of course I still wanted to be Belle, but my prince changed  into Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty because he gets up and kills the dragon instead of sits around and whines about not being able to read (big turn off.)

Of course Aurora would've been able to kill the dragon herself, if she hadn't been asleep. Don't worry guys, I'm still a feminist at heart.

So there was lots of hesitation about going to see this show and then on the last day of its short run I wasn't doing anything and decided to splurge on myself. I got a seat in the Loge for the first time ever and took myself out.

Luckily, the show didn't erode my love for the story anymore than it already had been. It did feel a little flat but it was a touring production at the Paramount and was geared heavily towards kids.

The set, of course, was beautiful and the transformation scene appropriately mysterious, but I don't think I'd see it again if it came back in town.

If you take away one thing from this though, it's to go listen to a version of "Home." It's so good! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Februrary 12th, 2012 - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford was a cute long as you didn't think about things too much.

Quick synopsis:  Henry Lee's wife dies when he's in his late 50s and, after grieving her, he starts reflecting on his his first love, Keiko Okabe. They met in the 1940s when Henry, a Chinese American, is assigned to school kitchen duty with Keiko, a Japanese American, in their all white private school. He discovers he's in love with her right as she and her family are being sent away to the Internment Camps. The book goes back and forth from his experiences in falling for her in the 40s and his life in the 80s.

What I liked about it:

The book is set in Seattle and described places I get to walk around and see.

The impetus for Henry's reflection on Keiko, a bunch of abandoned suitcases found in the Panama Hotel, actually happened and we met there for book club to check it out.

It was a cute story, Henry's love is very true and it was hard to dislike the characters.

What I disliked about it:

The 40's are described vividly and with obvious research, but the 80s are a little... well... just plain wrong. People who changed their name and moved across the country are tracked down easily with the Internet.

Wait for it, it'll come to you.

Mainly it was just that  tidbit that I didn't like about it, but it was enough to change my opinion on the whole book.

It's a nice airplane/beach read and, if you want to realize how messed up the Japanese internment camps were in America without getting severely depressed, then this is a good introduction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 9th, 2012 - Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!''

OOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweepen' down the plain!

If that song isn't stuck in your head after seeing this musical, then you have no soul.  Rodgers and Hammerstein basically created their own musical brand of crack with this show. You only have to hear five notes and half their songs are stuck with you forever.

Even though this show is being performed somewhere every second of the day, I can see a lot of ways for it to go wrong.

I mean it's a day in the life of a bunch of young hicks who are running amok over girls. The villain, Judd, is not at all dashing, so it's hard to see  why Laurey would ever consent to be alone with him in the first place. The other main couple, Ado Annie and Will, are probably the most annoying couple ever, yet their song "All er Nuthin'" is also stuck in my head for good. And then the hero, Curly, is so damn arrogant and adorable that ....well....nevermind, I can see why she likes him.

Anyway, my point is that there are lots of ways this show should lead me to rolling my eyes and making "Are you serious?" faces, but I really enjoyed the 5th Avenue's performance!

They cast young people for the young roles, which a) yay! new faces! and b) lets the behavior and reactions on stage make a lot more sense. Not to me since I was born 30, but it matches to how I've seen 17/18 year old's interact (you know. stupidly).

They also cast Jud as black. Traditionally, Jud is played by an older, creepy, dirty, white man,  whereas here, he's young and strong, still creepy and dirty, and black... which makes Curly's lines in one of the songs "Pore Judd is Daid" take on all of these racist layers. I may have laughed from the nervous tension, and I wasn't the only one.

I was also really impressed by how they opened the space up to give you an idea of the endless skies of an Oklahoma plain. It was pretty beautiful.

I'm going to see this one again since it makes me smile :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 4th, 2012 - Life of Pi

I liked Life of Pi by Yann Martel much more than I was expecting to. (Sorry, Shauna!)

I tend to shy away from stories where the aim is to "make you believe in God" (an actual line from the book, I swear). But the thing about Pi, is that he believes in God and has a profound respect for religious practice, but he also has the common sense and inner strength to pick and choose what parts of a religion are real to him and follows that diligently.

In other words, if more people practiced religion like he did, I'd probably not be so tense about religion all the time.

This book also doesn't hit you over the head with God and mysticism.  The premise is that a  young man  is stranded on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan,  and a Bengal Tiger. The boy and the tiger manage to survive each other for 7 months when they only had supplies for at most 2. The way it's told makes their survival sound entirely plausible too. I only had to suspend reality for one part towards the very end, when they encounter a cannibalistic plant.

I came away feeling like the varying efforts at survival and grief (not that it's sad)  in this book says more about human nature then most stories, which I wasn't expecting.

I'm glad I read it, although my thoughts about God haven't really changed.

Next up, House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Oklahoma!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 15th, 2012 - House of Leaves

I know, I know. It's been 16 whole days since this book club and I still haven't posted. But let's factor in a couple of things. Only one person showed up for this on the 15th (and that was more to return The Magicians to me.) And when I held another meeting a week later, only one person showed up again. A different one person.

That's ONLY TWO people, guys.

Look, here's a picture of snow, so you can see one of the reasons I was stood up.


House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski is one of the most awesomely screwed up books I've read, and I liked it much more than I expected to. But awesomely screwed up means that some people aren't going to like it, and since it's ginormous and makes you work a tiny bit to read it, most people won't stay committed.

Stay committed!

Basically, this old guy had been writing an analysis of a documentary made about a house that had random rooms appear that were larger on the inside than they were on the outside.

I would've immediately moved from such a house. BUT NO the documentarian had to be all "we have to figure out why this house is so weird!" and lots of awfulness ensues.

Anyway, the old guy's writings were found by a bar hopping/wannabe tattoo artist/crazy genius Johnny Trip who pieced it together, went a little crazy, and reconstructed it for publication inserting his own story through extensive footnotes. And that's what we, the reader, have.

So given that this is a documentary, told through an essay, told through a biography, you never really know what's true or not, but you should know that it gets kind of horror-moviesque sometimes.

I had problems reading it at night when I was alone in the house.

But I pushed through because my favorite class ever in college involved breaking apart Ovid's Metamorphoses and then seeing how it has been reflected in later literature and media. This definitely would've been assigned reading.

If you do read it, go read the appendices when they come up. There are lots of clues in there, one of them being a series of letters written while Johnny's mother was in a mental institution. They're quite heartbreaking.

 I will be posting quite a lot this month so enjoy that.

Did you notice that every time I wrote house I did it in blue?

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 11th, 2012 - West Side Story - Guest Post by Shauna!

Hi everyone!  This is Shauna from here to give you my review of Seattle's leg of the West Side Story tour!  Alex is guest posting over on my blog today, so stop on by to hear her tell some Harry Potter tales! 

West Side Story, the iconic tale of two star crossed lovers who keep getting pulled apart by their feuding families..oh wait I'm talking about Romeo and Juliet there, aren't I? 

West Side Story was actually inspired from Romeo and Juliet, and you can see that the two have striking similarities.  Two star crossed lovers, who fall in love instantly, are from different neighborhood gang.  Tony is a member of the white Jets, and Maria is the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican gang the Sharks.  The two hit a bump in the road when Tony accidentally kills Bernardo, but the two kids make it work, because what are lovers for, if not to kill your brother?

Mix those story lines together with some wicked sweet songs like "Tonight" "One Hand, One Heart" and the ever so classic "I Feel Pretty" and it sounds like the making of a wonderful musical to me! 

The performance was good, I won't deny that.  But there was something lacking that made me not fall in love.  And I like to be wooed.  It's hard for me to pinpoint why exactly I wasn't that into it, it could have been the two giant people sitting in front of me, or the two whispering girls behind me, but what it really seemed to lack was intimacy.

Let me elaborate.  A lot of this musical centered on hushed, concentrated emotion that was tough to succumb to in the middle of a giant packed theater.  The play didn't quite have enough action to keep me engaged and that kept my mind wandering instead of actively engaged in the show.  Another big pain for me was that when they revived the play in 2009, the director Arthur Laurents decided to add a bunch of Spanish dialogue and lyrics into the show.  The accents were so thick I could barely understand what they were saying in English, and when they were speaking Spanish, I just had to rely on being able to follow the implied action.  Sure, it added some flavor to the show and it was nice, but there were large chunks of dialogue lost on me.  Lastly, I also wasn't wild about the performer who played Maria- Evy Ortiz.

But don't let me only talk criticism about this wonderful show.  There's a reason West Side Story has been around as long as it has.  Let me talk about what I liked:
  • The dancing- there was a lot of coordinated ballet moves that I just loved.  Even the salsa dancing seemed to be made up of ballet.  Heaven!
  • Hearing some wonderful songs performed live is always exciting.  My favorite ended up being "Somewhere" even though I didn't enjoy that song when they did it on Glee.
  • The old school rumbling of teenage boys was hilarious.  Watching kids try to stab each other and saying things such as "save it for the rumble!" "just skins!" and "don't call me a hoodlum!"  made a nice comedic relief- even though the comedy was just laughing at how kids talked back in the day.
  • The Puerto Rican dresses!  I want one! 
  • Tim wants me to add that he really liked the "cop song" which is actually called "Gee, Officer Krupke"
  • The coordinated fights were well laid out, and of course led by some ballet moves.  I loved seeing people "jump" on one another artistically.

Anyway, that concludes this review!  Another show that doesn't measure up to Phantom of the Opera, but not on my sh!t list either :)!

All images from

Monday, January 9, 2012

The 11 Game

Shauna tagged me in her Life.Love post because she's evil. :) I won't inflict this pressure  on 11 people now.  But I'll have my own questions and you can answer in the comments or post your own blog and tag me :)!

[the rules]
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag 11 people and link them on your post
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

[11 facts about Alex]

1. I've moved 7 times in the last 6 years - I also like to think of myself as a pretty settled and stable person.
2. I'm on my 3rd book so far in 2012 (I may or may not have started some of these in 2011)
3. I don't know what I want to do with my life. I'm serious. 
4. Studio 60 is my favorite television series ever. I love that it's only 1 season. They tied everything up. Sorkin is amazing.
5. I would be awful on a reality show. I care too much about how I appear to others and would basically spend the whole time trying to be the sane one and failing.
6. I was named after the main character in FlashDance...yes, say it together, now. I was named after an exotic dancer.
7. My favorite musical in 2011 was Aladdin.
8. I just cut my upper gum with a cracker. It hurts.
9. I like to snuggle. I seem standoffish but that's because I don't like to impose on other people. 
10. I hate getting my hair cut with a passion. When I do, I tend to do something drastic like cut it all off.
11. My favorite sound ever is this little prrr/meow/trill sound my first cat, Lily, makes whenever you first start petting her. 

[questions from Shauna
[1] Do you like crunchy or creamy peanut butter more?
 Creamy, I'll eat crunchy but I prefer nontexture to my peanut butter :)
[2] Dogs or cats?
Both! For right now, I'm a cat person but only because dogs are needy and I want to make sure they either have a huge yard so I can have two, or someone else to love them as much as I do. Cats can live with just my love.
[3] You have one day, one chance, to do something awesome and not fail.  What is it?
Be able to flip the plastic top hat I'm wearing onto my head without looking like a dork ;) 
[4] What is your worst habit?
I have a thing where I have to finish foods I like, even if it turns gluttonous. (example: I impulse buy a big bag of hot cheetos, I only need 5 to satisfy my craving but the bag will be gone within two days because I can't stop myself.)
[5] What is your favorite dessert?
[6] Who is your role model, or someone you look up to?
My gramma, she's so cheerful and practical and knows that bad things happen to everyone and you just have to power through. And while that's going on, you can still gather everyone to help out with a soup kitchen. 
[7] Which year was your best birthday?
 My 16th. We were on a family trip in Italy, so we celebrated in a Tuscan villa and  enjoyed a very large homemade Tiramisu cake =) 
[8] What is your favorite thing about your significant other, or, which trait is a deal breaker for you? Inconsiderate behavior. I'm overly considerate of other people, I need a relationship where I'm not feeling taken advantage of. Also, We need to have pets.
[9] What is your favorite color?
Dark Purple (this changes pretty much every year)
[10] Show me where your dream vacation would be.
 I'd like to spend more than 12 hours in London :)

[11] Which animal would you want to be and why? A Fox! because I doodled one in 9th grade and made it my spirit animal. :)

[questions from Alex for people to answer]
[1] What is your favorite book?
[2] What is your favorite musical (stage or movie version) and what's so amazeballs about it?
[3] Are you an animal person? 
[4] Pick your heroine: Buffy, Bella, Hermoine, Elizabeth Bennet, or pick your own!
[5] Pick your hero: Spike, Jacob, Harry, Mr. Darcy or pick your own!
[6] What's your favorite comfort food?
[7] What's your favorite cocktail? Or are you a beer/wine person?
[8] What's your dream job?/Dream area of study? 
[9] What's the answer to life, the universe, and everything!?
[10] What are you reading right now?
[11] Which Rugrats baby would you be?