Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've totally been in the same room as famous people

Ok, so I'm one of those people who love the theater. When I was younger I even wanted to be an actress (until I realized I am awful), and I was in a ridiculous middle school play where I wore a dress from Goodwill and was forced to act onstage without my glasses on. I tweet what I think are hilarious theater jokes that in fact nobody understands, even a theater festival full of drama professionals. True story

Seriously, I haven't even seen Cabaret and I knew that song. But no one at my sister's theater festival understood that? WHAT IS THIS.

Anyway. I especially love theater in the summer, because that's when the more well-known stars of the big and small screens take their talents to more accessible venues. And I'm not talking about Dan Radcliffe or even Jim Parsons on Broadway or whatever. That's way too expensive, are you kidding? Also, have you heard Darren Criss might be filling in for Daniel Radcliffe on "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" for a few weeks? I DIE. And did you see Dan perform during the Tony's? So great. Ok, focusing. No, I'm talking about the smaller theater festivals that pop up quite a bit during the summer months. Just in the past year or so, I've had the chance to see some famous (to me anyway) people up close and personal in these venues. These include:

Last summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival (which had shirts for sale that said "WTF is going on" and needless to say, I wanted one) I was able to see Justin Long in a new play called "Samuel J and K." It was incredibly exciting for me to be able to tell people, "Oh, he's way shorter in real life than you would think." Because he is. Dude is not tall. But that's ok because he's Justin Long. And I don't ignore height differences for just anyone. That's pretty much the one thing I'm shallow about. I'm around 5'8" and if you're smaller than me, thanks for playing move along. Wait, what am I even going on about? Right, theater. Of course.

Earlier this summer my mom and I went back to Williamstown for another new play (this time on the main stage. Moving up in the world) called "Three Hotels." This play featured one of the guys from the tv show "Wings" so of course my mom and the miriad of other middle-aged women in the audience were all atwitter with anticipation. And while that's certainly not my favorite 80's sitcom, I've seen it a few times and discovered a few jokes "Friends" later recycled so I kind of knew the guy. The other actor in the piece was Maura Tierney, who played a nurse-then-doctor on "E.R." which happens to be one of my favorite shows of all time, forever and ever amen. Ever since that helicopter fell on that red-haired guy, I never missed an episode. Interestingly, my sister had the exact opposite reaction and swore off the show from that moment onward.

Then just today I saw yet another new play, this time at the Berkshire Theater Festival. For some reason, each one of these productions I've discussed has had a cast of just two actors. Weird. But one of the actors in BTF's show, "Dutch Masters" is Christian Coulson, who played Tom Riddle in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." In an audience where I was the youngest member by about 40 years, I might have been alone in my excitement about this. But for days before I saw the show, my Facebook and Twitter were full of updates about how I would be seeing OMG TOM RIDDLE soon (a limited view and ignorance to given names I'm sure the actor, who gave a great performance, could live without). It was extremely fun to see him play a character so completely opposite from the only one I have thought of him. Honestly though, wouldn't any character pretty much be pretty opposite from that? A shard of a soul taking the form of a young dark wizard, intent on immortality and a life of unfathomable evil, who directs a giant serpent to kill middle schoolers by looking at them. Right. For example, during a transition between scenes, the-actor-who-is-not-Tom-Riddle dance across the stage while strobe lights flash and hip-hop music blares. Now just imagine that scene in the Chamber, with Ginny dying and baby Daniel Radcliffe furrowing his brow and trying not to get eaten. Now see Tom there, with that Voldemort-y sneer that says, "Yeah, I'm going to straight up murder you. Deal with it." (ALSO: did anyone else, when Harry pops up after being not-really-dead in Deathly Hallows Part 2, think of that line from "Aladdin" where Jafaar says, "How many times do I have to kill you, boy?!" Come on, that can't just be me.) But yeah, imagine that guy, busting a serious move. It's pretty great, right? Reality was even better. PURE GENIUS.

I should also add, because this show is still going on and my sister's working on it, that both the actors in Dutch Masters were fantastic in their own right. I also just know my sister's looking for some validation on this so here goes: BECKY. Your show is really good. And this is coming from a 20-year-old History major, so you just know it's legit.

Everybody buy plane tickets and go see it. And no, that's not an unreasonable request. It's summer, you don't have anything better to do. NO, YOU DON'T.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Embarassing

So recently, a very good friend of mine named GREG THOMPSON posted a video on his youtube account, during which he showed, to the entire internet, an extremely embarassing picture of myself. While I do not think I deserved this (even if I lied to him and forced him to make up stories to tell to his favorite radio DJ's), I have since recovered from the trauma. I'm even embracing it, and am presenting to the world some more embarassing pictures of myself through the years, along with some hopefully charming stories to accompany them.

I have previously stated on this blog that I once visited the Spam museum (in Austin, MN) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, here is proof. Notice the Valentine's Day shirt when it was nowhere near February, and the jeans embossed with vines and flowers. I do believe I painted those myself. I loved those jeans in middle school. And yes, that is Spam's mascot, and yes, if someone were standing on the other side it might look like he was trying to cop a feel.

Now this picture is less embarassing as it is dated. Let's discuss it. This was my first day of high school, and my sister's first day of her Junior year. She has her retainer in, for some reason. The poor girl had braces put on one of the few days before middle school started, and got them taken off the day after middle school ended. Tragic. Now this haircute combined with my glasses cuase two of my guy friends to call me "Velma" for a few months because I looked like the nerdy girl from Scooby Doo. I hated it then, but in retrospect, I see they had a valid point. And those are vhs tapes on those shelves. So many vhs tapes. This was only 2005. WHAT. And random fact, but that painting of houses behind us happens to be one of the only things we left behind in Minnesota, which is sad because I liked it a lot. And now you know. If you had moved into my old house, you would have inherited that picture. Too bad you didn't.
Ok. This picture has different levels of embarassment. Let's start with the obvious. I took this myself, on a crappy, low-tech digital camera that took pictures in weird dimensions. I don't know what prompted me to take a picture of myself in the bathroom, staring at the camera through my fingers, which were encased in my fingerless gloves. But those aren't regular fingerless gloves. I was especially excited for those specific gloves because I needed them for marching band rehearsals. You see, autumn in Minnesota, especially after the sun goes down, is freaking freezing. This specific fall when this picture was taken was especially brutal. And unfortunately, clarinet players can't wear regular gloves because the keys and holes won't be covered properly (snicker). Hence, fingerless gloves for marching band. Which were actually pretty pointless because my fingers froze anyway. Which just makes this picture even more ridiculous.This one is more subtley embarassing. It was taken before the Homecoming dance my senior year, while we were having dinner at my friend's house. As you can see here, I'm obviously in the middle of and committed to telling an anecdote while gesticulating crazily. And on the left is one my very best friends and on the right is what would become my boyfriend less than a week after this was taken. These people like me. And it is quite apparent they have no interest at all in what I am saying. My date was very intent on eating his meal while only using a small cheese knife (which was a game the moms put together for us). I suppose that's more embarassing for him. But then again, I'm the one who dated him for eight months.

But then again again, he dated ME. Hmm. It's a draw.

So there it is, world. Get at me. I'm in on the joke.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's in MY wallet?

So they say you can tell a lot about someone from looking at their wallet. What, no one says that? Well, they should. Because I think what's in my wallet really shows who I am as a person and some interesting stories are tucked in there.
Anyway, here's what's in mine.
In the main part there's...
-an Underground train ticket from Bromley South to London from when I visited the borough with Emily and a friend, strangely enough NOT the friend who actually lives in Bromley.
-a Shell card not under my name I sporadically use for gas
-a Kohl's card under my name I never use for anything
-a library card for the town I live in now I have never used in my life because I already have an overflowing shelf of books I have yet to read.
-the insurance card from my school I probably won't have for much longer because my university increased the price of insurance by leaps and bounds, like jerks.
-my university ID with the picture that was taken on the second day of orientation, after very little sleep and a lot of awkward icebreakers and rain
-a Barnes and Noble card I use often because they keep on sending me coupons
-a bank card I never use
-a different bank card I only got because Bank of America is partners with Barclay's and I could use it in the U.K. and now it's the only one I use.
-a wallet-sized periodic table my Junior year Chemistry teacher gave us because you just never know when you could use a periodic table.
-my Oyster card from London, still facing inside because the picture is truly awful
-a AAA card I have never used in my life because I am a true driving prodigy, obviously.
-a weird medical card with phone numbers to call if I'm hurt, but I have no idea where it came from, which makes it fairly sketchy
-my social security card, which really should not be in my wallet, but there it is
-33 dollars in cash
-a voucher for a dollar off an item from a local used book store
-two different sets of coupons from Cost Cutters, where I recently got a haircut but didn't tip the very nice hair dresser I had
-about a dollar in change
In the license window-
-a slip of paper with my address on it, from when we had recently moved and I didn't know where my house was
-a slip of paper saying 237, from the DH part 1 dvd event, when they were only letting in 250 people. I made it just in time.
-my license, facing inside for obvious reasons.
In the extra, external slots-
-a library card from my hometown that is probably 13 years old
-a Panera card I have never used for reasons unknown to me, because Panera is freaking delicious
-an eye doctor's business card, with my prescription on the back- right: -5.25 left: -6.25
-a fold-up Underground map, that my friends gave me crap for, because it's not an offical Underground pamphlet, even though the actual map of the lines is the same and I really like this one because you can just open it to the little part you need to see, and people don't know you're looking at a map.
-movie tickets from "Bandslam"(my first movie post-move, I thought it was good at the time. Now, not so much), "New Moon" (once again I ask you not to judge me. At least this one was better than "Twilight"), "Iron Man 2" (I saw this during my visit to Minnesota. Thank goodness I used a gift card. I didn't even see the first "Iron Man"), "Letters to Juliet" (LOVED IT), "Toy Story 3" (this ticket cost $9.50. And I went with all of my family. That's almost 40 dollars for a movie. WHAT.), "Eclipse" (you shouldn't even be surprised by this anymore. I went to this at 9:30 the morning it came out), "Inception" (Joseph Gordon Levitt WHAT UP), "Harry Potter DH Part 1"(people complain that this movie was boring, but have they read the book? Yeah, they go camping. Get over it), "Kung Fu Panda 2" (my contact starting acting up during the flashbacks of adorable baby pandas. I was angry), "Bad Teacher" (Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal are in a movie that consists of dirty jokes? I'm so there), "Winnie the Pooh" (I saw it this week with my mom. Despite some of the voices sounding wrong, it was adorable and made both of us nostalgic), "Harry Potter DH Part 2" (words can't express how much I love this movie. I saw it twice in 24 hours.)

So if you ever find a wallet that has all this stuff in it, please return it to me. And don't turn the ID's over. By all means, take my money, just don't turn to over my ID's.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter

It's no secret that I love Harry Potter. And tonight is the premiere of the last movie, meaning all of my social networks are full of statuses about how everyone is excited to be at midnight showings all across the country. Unfortunately, because all of my friends are miles and states away, I will unfortunately not be seeing the film until tomorrow morning. A few years ago this would have been a major problem for me, but I'm twenty now. I'm mature. I swear. Still, I have the compulsion to commemorate this night and my nerdy dedication in some way. So I suppose I am going to reflect and remember all the great times I have had because of Harry Potter and how much I truly owe this series my whole generation has grown up with.

Oh, does that mean another list? I suppose so. Win-win.

-The day Deathly Hallows (the book) was released, it just so happened my yearly week at band camp began. So I think it was understandable that I spent almost every moment I was not marching, playing off-key, or sweating on a football field buried in the book. I was reading so much my friend referred to me leaving the group to read as me visiting my boyfriend, Harry. I didn't fight this.

Also, if for some reason, anyone ever needs proof of my incredible, lifelong nerdiness, just see the above passage. Harry Potter and band camp. This is my life.

-In the summer of 2009, I had just graduated and was enjoying frequenting many, many grad parties. When the Half-Blood Prince movie came out, I was approximately four days from moving across the country, leaving my hometown and my best friends. The midnight showing was the last big hurrah I had with some of the most important people to me. My best friend and I were too poor to buy any of those cheesy Hot Topic shirts, so we just made our own.

It also turns out I didn't need to have paid for the movie, because my friend, who came hours beforehand to get seats, just pulled me from the line and brought me into the theater. Oh wait- nevermind. That was Twilight DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.

-My senior year, we had an assignment for AP Psychology, where we were given a bunch of random lines, and had to make them into distinguishable pictures and objects. I decided to make mine a series of Harry Potter-related doodlings. It was AMAZING. I just quite literally tore apart my closet looking for it, because I know for a fact I saved it, but tragically was unable to find it. I'm very sorry. Also, I gave the idea of doing a similar thing to my friend, who did his as Lord of the Rings, and then actually won the prize for being one of the best. And he didn't even share his award of a Snickers with me. Oh, the injustice.

-Needless to say, I was terrified to start college. I was in an entirely new area, attending a state school where tons of people would know other people from their high schools, and I most definitely would not. But I was able to bond right away with the roommate the school assigned me over our shared obsession with Harry Potter. I believe the first few sentences we ever said to each other went something like this: me-I see from your Facebook profile that you like Harry Potter. This could work. Hayley- Saying I like Harry Potter is a bit of an understatement.

The year we shared a room included taping "Lumos" and "Nox" notes on our light swtich, seeing Half Blood Prince in the student union, drawing Harry Potter doodles on our dry erase board and her giving me a wand for Christmas.

-The trip I took to Edinburgh this winter was pretty much entirely fueled by Harry Potter motivations. I know I already wrote a complete post about this, but still. We were regulars in the Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote bits of Philosopher's Stone, for the three days we were there, I participated in the awesome Harry grafitti that exists in the bathroom there, and we saw many familiar names in the local cemetary. Plus, that's where my friend Emily bought her strawberry hat. I know that's not really relevant, but it's pretty vital to the history of our friendship. And friendship is a key theme in Harry Potter. So BAM.

-This past spring, I was able to attend an event for the DVD release of DH part 1, which I have also previously described here. Basically, I have the signatures of Tonks, Mr Weasley, Luna, Griphook, and Neville. And I managed to not puke on Matthew Lewis, so that day, I succeeded.

-On our day trip to Oxford, also this spring, we saw the steps the kids wait on before heading into the Great Hall to be Sorted, and we recreated that scene with Malfoy offering Harry his jerktastic friendship. Also, can we all just appreciate my friend Stephen's face? Pretty sure we told him, "He just insulted your family- look embarassed" and he gave us that golden expression.


I love Harry Potter.