Musical Love · Ramblings

Tony Awards 2011 Favorites

I did not watch the Tonys last night. I had no TV and I was lazy. And I was supposed to go to bed early to be fresh for starting my new job (at 8am!). But there’s Twitter. And message boards. And incredibly fast people who put clips on YouTube. So I followed the awards through the eyes of my friends and strangers, and I think it was good enough. I mean really, I could have just watched this duel with Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman and been satisfied.

While I was happy for Book of Mormon’s success last night, I really wish The Scottsboro Boys had pulled through a win or two. I kind of think they all earned it. But if you really want to be in awe of the amazingness of this cast, check out this video made by one of the actors for closing night:

Or check out their awards performance:

I was kind of bummed that The Book of Mormon was going to do a solo number with Andrew Rannells… but then I remembered how awesome he is. This is fantastic.

Then I heard there was a rap. And Lin on Twitter warned everyone to watch until the end. Neil Patrick Harris rapping like Lin – a summary of evening done in real time. I loved it.

Musical Love · Ramblings · TV and Movies

A Night In

Last night Collin was out late with some friends, so I had the big ol’ apartment to myself. It was a gorgeous day out and I satisfied my sunshine quotient well, so then it was time to relax. Last night was all about indulgences.

I started off with doing my nails. I read about this newsprint trick a while ago, so I thought I’d give it a try. Of course, I realized I didn’t actually have newspaper, but I had a literary mag pamphlet to use. It didn’t turn out that great, but it’s still kind of neat. I also decided to layer the text because not enough came off the first time – I think a real newspaper would have been easier.

It was a bit of a long process, because you have to let two layers of polish fully dry before you apply the newsprint, but I filled the time with many episodes of Parks and Rec. It’s my new show I can watch on repeat, enjoying it just as much ever time. I mean, how could this not make you happy?

Then I begrudgingly watched the finale of Glee. I only watch it sporatically, when I hear about good songs or whenever I remember. This was also set in NYC, which was kind of worth watching. Pretty much everything that happened in this episode was implausible, but I still liked watching Kurt and Rachel sing “For Good” on the Wicked stage. The only other stand out: Cheyenne Jackson. He is so unbelievably awesome. And hot. Of all the shows he’s done, I’ve only seen him in Xanadu (LOVE) but he’s done TV shows and spoofs and whatnot so I always have plenty of reasons to swoon. Why Glee hasn’t had him sing yet, I just don’t know.

(It’s a decent quality video – don’t let the screen cap fool you)

Admittedly, I’m not the most creative when it comes to eating dinner on my own. I wasn’t before I met Collin, and I’m still not now when he’s out. So I cooked up some couscous and fried an egg. Not exactly appetizing looking, but I enjoyed it.

Anyway, the point was leave room for brownies. It was necessary for me to make a bigger dent in our supply. A total necessity, obviously. Then I just kicked back and started the book I got this weekend at the fair in Hudson. A pretty good night in, I’d have to say.

Musical Love · Ramblings · Running

On Employment and Newfound Domesticity

This past week has been a pretty great one. It started on Wednesday with a great dinner out with Collin’s friend (from his new Master’s program here) and his girlfriend. It was really nice to meet new people and have a fun night out. I may have drank a bit more than I am used to (lightweight alert) and was out of it the next day.

After my hungover day of nothing-ness, Friday morning greeted me with a job interview. Collin alerted me to this job, which involves writing web content for a decent sized company. Most other jobs I was finding were administrative or part-time retail, or just plain scams. It seemed like I had a hard road ahead of me. But this interview went well – the people were nice, the company was pretty unique in my mind, and there is a lot of stability and room to move up.

Mini was really excited for me. (She runs around like a horse sometimes, and then spooks herself. It’s great entertainment for me and a workout for her. All groovy.)

I was feeling good, so that afternoon I thought it was about time to make use of the free time and big kitchen I now have and bust out some domestic habits. I mean, after all, the college my degree was housed in used to be called Home Economics. (That makes me laugh more than it probably should.)

You have to squint a bit, but the engraving is still there

I took my mom’s recipe for Eggplant Parmesan to the grocery store and stocked up. I also bought ingredients to make a sweet potato soup, but upon returning home I realized we don’t have a blender. I guess I better get on that.

Anyway, I got to work in the kitchen. I propped up my iPad and put on The Book of Mormon cast recording, and started frying my eggplant slices. This takes about 50% of the prep time and oh-my-gosh so much oil. After I finished that I started layering in the pan. I think next time I’ll cut the mozzarella slices ahead of time, because they came out uneven and I think I used too much cheese. Maybe. I put it in the oven and hoped for the best. I’d have to say, it turned out decently. Collin approved as well, which is really all I can hope for.

As we’re finally out of the moving stages of putting things together or lugging things upstairs, we really enjoyed the relaxation of this weekend. Also, the lack of rain at times. Saturday we spent the afternoon in Hudson, a cute town we had visited over the winter. It was amazing to be able to walk around there when it was 9 degrees! We stopped in at a literary book fair, which was smaller than expected, but I found a book I liked. We wandered around, enjoying the sun and eating some pizza from a Kosher pizza-falafel place.

Sunday started out on a good note as well. We were headed to a place near the Adirondacks to go hiking, but the day was kind of crappy with a sky full of haze and clouds. We made a pit stop in Saratoga Springs and walked around a bit in hopes of the sun coming out.

Even though no sun appeared, we went to the trail head anyway. Spraying ourselves with bug spray, or at least attempting to, we started on the hike. But like I said, the rain ruined this. Collin got bit by a mosquito and the bugs were swarming us, making the hike kind of miserable. We went about half way and gave up. It was disappointing, but we learned later that was just the wrong time to go – post rain and when all the bug babies hatch. Ew. I tried to stay positive though!

Post-hike showering was heavenly. We made dinner and started watching Spinal Tap – I’d never seen it and Collin doesn’t remember much from when he watched it long ago. We made it through a good portion, but were too wiped out from the long day and driving, so we didn’t finish it.

Monday started out positively for me even before I got any good news. I want to finally get back into working out, and I had already bought new running shoes (Nike Frees, I like how light they are). So I did an old cardio workout video I have at home and then set out for a very unambitious run of 2 miles. I made it about half a mile before getting very winded and a cramp. I turned around earlier and clocked in 1.2 miles total. Kind of sad, especially when you date a marathon runner.

Run = sad. But, I will have a 5 minute drive to work. Best commute ever.

Despite some linger pain in my foot, I still felt great after my run. As I got out of the shower, I saw I had a missed call and had a voice-mail on my phone. It looked like the same number from the company I interviewed with, but they had told me they would take 2 – 3 weeks to decide. But no, they really were calling to offer me the job! IN-SANE. After spending so many months unemployed in NYC, I just expected the same thing this time around. I have to say I’m pretty ecstatic to have employment on the horizon. I don’t officially start until mid-June though, so I will be able to enjoy my free time knowing I will have money coming in soon. Yay!

In celebration, I decided to get all domestic again. My mom had passed on this huge box of brownie mixes to us when we left on our road trip. I had made one batch that was good, but this time I wanted to make it with a twist.

I used to bags of the mix to make the brownies extra thick and then near the end of baking, I threw on a ton of marshmallows. I spent the baking time watching Justin Timberlake’s finale episode of SNL. That dude knows how to make fun of himself, I have to say. After I took the brownies out, I tried to spread the marshmallows. That did not work out so well. Also, attempting to cut the brownies proves to be a sticky and complicated situation, not appropriate for public consumption. But whatever, they’re delicious.

On a parting note, you should all watch this video of Daniel Radcliffe being interviewed to see if he’s a “real” New Yorker. This same MTV After Hours interviewer had the whole cast of Harry Potter doing American accents once, it was hilarious. Anyway, my lovely friend Mary alerted me to this video. Dan knows how to non-stalk-stalk like a pro! I would so be his friend. Watch it here. You’re welcome.

Musical Love · Ramblings

It’s Time to Man Up!

I was lucky enough to get to see The Book of Mormon during its second week of previews on Broadway. Even early on in the preview period, this show was gathering immense amounts of buzz. The kind of buzz that sells out tickets months in advance, removes the need to provide discounts and creates lotteries of hundreds of hopeful players. If it were not for Collin’s brother, Austin, I certainly would have missed out on seeing this show before moving upstate. Knowing myself, I would have put it off, waiting to find someone to go with, or wanting to try the lottery instead of shelling out for seats.

But Austin is a huge South Park fan and wanted to come see the show. It was early enough on that I was able to find amazing orchestra seats at a discount. (I’ve only paid over $100 twice: for Lin’s last show in Heights pre-closing and for front row seats at Hair.) I loved the show. It’s funny and clever, has the South Park vulgarity you’d expect at parts, but on the whole it’s a really honest and heart-warming musical. Yes, they poke fun at the story of Joseph Smith, but at the core the show basically says that as long as your faith leads you to be a good person it doesn’t matter what you believe in.

NPR has been streaming the cast recording on their website since last week, and today is the official iTunes release date. The hard copy CDs go on sale early June. It’s probably obvious where this is going: I’m obsessed. When I really love a musical (oh hai, Altar Boyz and In The Heights) I can listen to the cast recording over and over… occasionally performing for my cat… and then I try to see the show again as much as possible via inexpensive methods.

Obviously, that’s not going to be the case here. And really, if I were still living in NYC, I wouldn’t have even been able to attempt the impossible lottery much because I worked late and in Brooklyn. Still, though, I listen, and re-imagine the show in my head. I have a voice-crush on Andrew Rannells. And Man Up is a seriously epic Act One closing number. I think I’ve reached rambling territory now.

This is a great fun show and everyone should go see it given they can actually get tickets. I’ll be looking forward to June 12, Tony night, to see what happens with all the nominations between Book of Mormon and Scottsboro Boys (my other fave of the season). After last year’s lackluster awards that didn’t interest me at all, I really wish I would have a TV this year. Collin and I don’t have any plans to get a TV or cable any time soon… but maybe I can strong arm a bar to air the awards? Totally.

Cat Lady · Musical Love · Ramblings

Set Phasers to Love Me

My head is all over the place with this new job business. I have to get used to getting up early, which is not that hard, and getting out the door early, which is very hard. I’m tired and hungry when I get home and can’t function right away. I clearly need to plan better snacks.

But you know what makes me happy? All things Donald Glover. The Reading Rainbow theme was stuck in my head all weekend after this episode. Community is love.

And now it’s time to do a meme. Because I like silly lists and reasons to be self-deprecating and snarky.

Age: 24. The other day it took me several minutes to deduce I was not 23. Looks like I’m losing it early.

Bed size: Full. Confined by the Murphy Bed, we cannot change the size, but Collin and I practically sleep fight so I think we need a bigger bed.

Chore you hate: Taking out the trash. Because it requires heavy lifting, and I am weak.

Dogs: Not really into them. I’m a cat lady in training, as you all know. My new job even has an office cat.

Essential start to your day: Snooze button.

Favorite color: Rich blue colors.

Gold or silver: Silver. Gold is ugly.

Height: Almost 5’3″… I’ll take what I can get.

Instruments you play: I was a dancer. I made other people learn to play instruments for me to dance to.

Job title: Assistant. OF EVERYTHING! Kidding. Have I mentioned there’s a cat in my office? That’s all that matters.

Kids: They can be cute. But I definitely don’t want one growing in my uterus any time soon.

Live: Your life?

Mom’s name: Whoa whoa whoa. This is a blog. Let’s not get too personal here.

Nicknames: Suz. Sussy. Susie Q.

Overnight hospital stays: Haven’t had the pleasure.

Pet peeve: Touching strangers to get their attention. That should be a last resort, people. How about you try just talking to me to get my attention instead of slapping my arm? I will kill you!

Quote from a movie: “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!”

Righty or lefty: Righty.

Siblings: Older brother. Much more refined than me. I was the trouble child.

Time you wake up: Around 7:30 for work days now.

Underwear: Yeah, I got some.

Vegetables you dislike: Cauliflower.

What makes you run late: Teh internetz.

X-Rays: The regular dentist scans and a scan of my knee to see how effed up it was a few years ago.

Yummy food that you make: Egg sandwiches. I rule.

Zoo animal favorite: Wolverines! They are awesome. I may have watched a documentary on them with Collin recently as well. I want one!

Musical Love

I used to dream about this moment…

…now I’m in it.

That’s how Lin-Manuel Miranda began his farewell speech at the final Broadway performance of In The Heights. And I witnessed it.

Kim and I were seated in the second-to-last row of the mezzanine, standing and cheering and in awe that this was really the end. I fell in love with theater a few years before moving to NYC, but it wasn’t until I found this show that I knew what it felt like to really connect with a something so completely. While I’m a writer, I don’t know if I can fully express how I felt about this show in general and specifically, this last show. Obviously, this post is more for me than anything else, so forgive the single-mindedness.

Near the end of August 2008 Kim and I saw Heights for the first time, after weeks and weeks of losing the lottery. She was between jobs and I had just moved to the city and had no job yet. We got our front row, $26 tickets and were blown away.

The energy of this show is amazing. Maybe it’s because the show’s creator, lyricist and original star, Lin, was in the main role. He spent years putting this show together and performed on stage like he’d been doing the show his whole life. The finale is jaw-dropping. It’s a whole jumble of emotion, positive energy, hope and excitement.

This show is so many things I can’t describe. I haven’t gone back to count, but I’ve seen the show between 20 and 25 times. Most people consider that crazy. It probably is a little. Most of the times I saw the show it was from lottery seats, though. (See, not that crazy!) But this kind of obsession, addiction, is healthy in my mind. It let me escape into a theater world and come out feeling energized about life each time.

I identified with the character of Nina, who was struggling with failure and letting down her family. My real circumstances were much different than hers, but still, when she’d sing “Breathe” I completely connected with the fear of admitting failure and struggle of trying to become something you always said you would be. Underneath everything, the show is really about finding home, finding out who you are and finding happiness.

Highlights of the final show:

  • Epic standing-o for Lin’s entrance
  • Cheering for everyone’s entrance
  • Shaun being adorable and hilarious and Lin mimicking him
  • Doreen grabbing Tony and smooching him hard in the background during It Won’t Be Long Now (I think?)
  • The audience call and response of “No Pare SIGUE SIGUE Did you see me? FREAKY FREAKIT!” Were was the memo on that one?
  • Standing-O after 96,000
  • Marcy knocking over the wine bottle on her exit and recovering
  • Everyone bringing out their cell phones during Blackout
  • Andrea doing silly moves in her “it’s called a broom” bit
  • The subtle reminders in Carnival: “maybe tonight is our last night together”
  • Lin so choked up during Albanza and Everything I Know
  • The finale. Lin getting emotional and bringing the best finale performance ever
  • Everyone cheering and standing before he hit the final note
  • Lin’s on-the-spot curtain call speech:

This is an amazing show, and I feel so happy to have spent this last night in the theater with everyone else.

There are so many awesome memories I can run down that will mean nothing to most people, but make me happy nonetheless: when Lin forgot the wine and did crazy hand motions, when we awkwardly ran into Lin after winning lotto and were speechless, seeing just about every understudy in every role, being amazed by Corbin Bleu’s talents on stage and finding him kinda hot, not winning lotto the day before Seth actually went on as Usnavi, winning lotto the one chance we had to see Seth go on as Usnavi and practically dying from how perfect he was in the role, finding something new on stage every time…

Musical Love

My Favorite Speech from American Idiot

“December 7th: Dear Dad… or God or whatever. I sold my guitar to get a bus ticket home. I met the girl of my dreams, but I’m dead to her now.

So. I’m coming home… in victory, arms open wide, sitting by a Greyhound toilet…

First stop, convenience store! I’ve got lies to tell – glory never felt so good! Justice was served – you were just too stupid to notice. That’s why I love you.

P.S. Take a fuckin’ shower!”

Musical Love · Ramblings

Reasons to Love LA

I never thought I’d actually say that I love LA, considering I’ve been there a handful of times in my life and have no desire to ever return to live there – my hometown is on the beach nearby, great to visit but not to stay (sorry fam!). A few recent events, however, have made me say ‘hooray LA!’ for once. Being unemployed with a mysterious illness makes it easy to sit on your bum all day and watch YouTube videos.

First up, In The Heights is on tour in LA right now, and the show’s creator/original star is joining the cast for the LA stop. And because cool things happen with or around Lin, it only makes sense that a flash mob did a number while he was eating lunch at Universal City Walk.

The city walk isn’t technically that great, but I have some great memories from high school. I stalked Shia LaBeouf during his Even Stevens fame, met O-Town at the Hard Rock Cafe after winning tickets on the radio (hello 16th birthday present to me!) and then met Jared Padalecki (Gilmore Girls hottie) that very same night. So I believe in the magic that is Universal City Walk… cue corny music.

Now cue the flash mob:

Now, what do I love more than musicals and boy bands and stalking? Kitties, that’s right. This ice cream shop in LA is selling directly to me when they launched their campaign that says nothing about their store, but says everything about their love for cat videos.

I was already hooked when I saw the official video.

Than I fell in love… and fell over laughing, at this video:

Then there’s this small clothing company in LA that I had to do some digging to find. I saw this amazing cat shirt on but it was sold out before I could get my hands on it. In comes unemployment boredom, and I decide to try to find the company. Turns out this LA company usually only does wholesale in Japan, but a simple inquiry led me to a wonderful person at Cameron Hawaii and I was able to purchase this shirt, which will soon be in my possession. (Best shirt evarrrr. I may wear it every day. Because I can.)

And those are my reasons to love LA right now. I may also be thinking this way since I’ll (hopefully) be visiting my family in August. If only it didn’t cost so much to fly across the country. So annoying.