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I love NYC in the summer

Besides the heat, obviously.

Why? Because all the rich people are out of town, so all the awesome stuff is free!

Last night I went to a Celebrate Brooklyn event in Prospect Park. Getting there was super shitty (I live a ten-minute walk away from the park, and yet it took me over an hour to walk to the bandshell, because heavens forfend that the Flatbush people are able to get to the good stuff near Park Slope. Also, a guy who apparently lives in my neighborhood stopped me and hit on me and was creepy.) But when I finally got there, it was awesome. It was a big comedy show, and I saw Eugene Mirman (very funny), Janeane Garofalo (possibly drunk), Michael Showalter (not very funny, but it was his birthday so they gave him a cake shaped like a cat with his face which was hilarious), Jerry Minor (either doing brilliant anti-comedy or totally bombing), John Hodgman (amazing as always) and Jim Gaffigan (funny, but too many fat jokes). And it was all for free!

Then, when I got home, I entered the virtual line for Shakespeare in the Park on a whim. I tried a few nights ago when they were doing A Winter's Tale and didn't win, and tonight was Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino, so I figured I had no shot. I got tickets! Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone to go with me, but that ended up working to my advantage as well. When I went to the box office to return my extra ticket, they offered to swap my two for a single ticket, so that two people in line could sit together. But they didn't take my ticket from the standby pile, they took it from the priority seating, you have to know someone pile. I ended up right in the center, in the first row of the second section (so, slightly raised for optimum sightlines, with no one immediately in front of me), on an aisle, sitting right in front of Rachel Dratch. Best seat ever!

And the play was really good! Al Pacino was Shylock, and while it was cool to see him, he kind of just Pacinoed all over the stage. I give his performance a hoo-wah factor of maybe 4, which is relatively subdued, but still too much. The rest of the cast was excellent, though. Jesse L. Martin was very funny and got to sing, and Hamish Linklater was absolutely brilliant as Bossanio, a character I usually kind of hate. Plus, it was a gorgeous night--around 70 degrees, no humidity, light breeze--and the Delacorte is an absolutely gorgeous theater. And again, all free! (It almost cost negative money--several people in the stand-by line offered to buy my extra ticket, but I did the right thing and gave it back to the box office. If I go again I may see how much I can scalp it for.)

So. Stuff has happened.

I apologize for not writing more. I've been too busy doing stuff. Here's a brief summary of the best bits:

-Saw a piano recital at Le Poisson Rouge, aka my new favorite place
-Saw The 39 Steps
-Saw some super weird experimental theater, including a version of The Importance of Being Earnest that ended with King Kong and Godzilla destroying the set
-Saw Russell Brand do a VMA warmup set; get a bit of a cuddle from him afterwards
-spent a few weekends with my aunt and cousin
-went to Philly with my aunt and cousin to see some more relatives. Had two five year olds arguing over who likes me best.
-went for many dinners and drinks with other new students in my program, who are all awesome.
-went to Re/Dress for a zine release party with another new student. I think I've made a friend!
-the assorted job interview, mostly for babysitting jobs that turn out to be for way less hours than what I need. There was one that went all right, but she said she would be interviewing a lot of other people. We'll see.

And on Monday, I finally started class. I think the semester's going to be largely good. I only have classes Monday and Tuesday, so I'm done for the week (except for choir practice tonight).

ClassesCollapse )

So the plan for today is: phone interview (it should be happening any minute. It's for a telemarketing job, but it pays pretty well), grocery store, choir practice, then Russell Brand AGAIN, but this time with another girl in my department (who used to work for Palestinian Sesame Street! How awesome is that?)

Had the phone interview before I could hit post. It went all right, but when he asked me if I had looked up the company, I said yes and then totally said they did the wrong thing (I said they were a financial company--apparently they're a software company that sells loan software to banks. Close enough.) I should know by next week, but I'm thinking it's not gonna happen.

I'm moved in!

My apartment is great! It's in a really nice neighborhood in Brooklyn (Flatbush/Prospect Park South area), in a gorgeous building that's close to the subway line I need for NYU. I have one room in a 4 bed/2 bath apartment (on the ground floor!). My room is gigantic! I've got a twin bed, a dresser, a desk, a loveseat, and all my unpacked boxes in here, and there's still tons of room. There's no air conditioning, but I've got a big window and a ceiling fan, so it's all good. I've had a chance to talk to one roommate a lot, and she's really nice, if a bit spacy. I met another roommate at the lease signing. The third roommate I met briefly when I was moving in, but all we said was hi. He seems nice though. The only bad thing about the apartment is it smells kind of weird in here (like cat food maybe? But they don't have a cat), but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

But getting in was quite an ordeal.

My troubles, let me tell you themCollapse )

So now I have until the 8th to do nothing (except find a job--eek!). What should I do? Tomorrow I'm going to the career center at NYU, but other than that I've got no ideas. Something with air conditioning would be good. Tonight I went to BAM and saw In The Loop, which was great. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of time there.

The end of an era...

John and I have done a radio show together for the past 9 years. There were a few breaks--we didn't do it our first semester at IU, I don't think we did it our first summer at IU, and John did it solo when I was in London, but besides that it's pretty much been every week or so from June 2000 to now. We were twelve when we started.

We started off on WFHB, the local free-form community radio station. They have a program called Youth Radio that lets teenagers on the air. We got on when the program was first beginning by lying about our ages, and stayed on until they kicked us off when we went to college. Our show was technically every month, but because we were so dependable we covered for a lot of people, so often we would be on every other week. We called our show The Vacuum.

When we came to IU, it took us a semester to find the campus radio station, but after that we always had a show on WIUX, still called The Vacuum. Everything basically stayed the same. We still did the same bits and characters. We still ate our pre-show meal at Stefano's, when our timeslot wasn't in the middle of the night (it usually was). John still picked out most of the music, although now it tends more towards noise and prog-metal, with the occasional Mandy Patinkin.

And today, after nine years, is our final Vacuum. Tomorrow John moves to Chicago, and on Tuesday I move to NYC. As a last hurrah, we've snuck into the station for a marathon final show. John's picked out his Top 100 songs from our time at WIUX. That should take about 7 hours. Then we're doing a final retrospective of music and old bits for about 2 hours. In all, we're going to be on from around 12:30-10. It's been nearly 3 hours, and already my back is killing me. Also, I can't connect to the internet on my laptop, so John and I are trading off on the air room computer and Minesweeper on my laptop. He's already beaten my record, damn him. Eventually I will go to Stefano's for dinner, and maybe to the library to get them to fix my computer. But mostly, we're assaulting Bloomington's airwaves one last time.

Even though I don't contribute nearly as much as John does to the show, I'll miss it. It's been a good nine years.

Well, shit.

This requires quite a bit of set-up, which I've been meaning to update with for awhile but have been too lazy. So here's the bullet points:

-Went apartment hunting in NYC
-Saw The Norman Conquests (not relevant, but good)
-Found a great room in a 4 bed/2 bath apartment for an incredibly cheap in a great neighborhood
-Got everything all squared away to sublet their room, hurrah!

Everything was happy and wonderful, until I got an e-mail this afternoon. Apparently they need three people on their lease, and the third fell through, so they want me to sign it. That's ok--I would have preferred to just sublet, but I'm willing to do the lease thing. But they want me to sign it by printing out a Word document, filling it in (including my bank account and my social security number), and mailing it to one of the roommates. Uh, HELL NO. They seem nice enough, but I've met one of the roommates for a total of 5 minutes, so I don't think I'll be trusting her with my social quite yet. So there's a good chance it's a scam.

But if it is, they're totally dumb. They could have gotten someone for much less effort. I saw the apartment, I met the girl, and we've been e-mailing. I did send in a check for first month's rent, but I postdated it to September, so they can't really do that much with it. I insisted that she send me a subletter's agreement, so she knows I require documentation. And they totally could have gotten at least $200 more out of someone else. Bizarre.

So I might still need a place to live. Anyone know of someone who needs a roommate in the NYC area?

Well, that was fast.

I've already seen a post on a major progressive political blog saying that Kris Allen won Idol because he's straight and America is IGNORANT and BIGOTED. It is all STRAIGHT PRIVILEGE because no one could EVER prefer him over Adam.

Here's the thing: I'm absolutely sure that Kris got some votes because he's straight and Adam is (presumably) gay. No question. But to say that everyone who voted for Kris is a bigot is the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard. Some people just don't like shrieking and glam metal. And I say this as someone who voted for him three times last night.

The blog was Shakesville, natch. I think we may have to break up. There's something nearly every day that makes me seethe in rage. The other day someone posted a picture from awkwardfamilyphotos.com and asked people to leave captions. Of course, it quickly because "lol poor people are dumb! I bet they shop at WalMart! Stupid white trash!" The op gave one terse apology in the comments, then when people said maybe he should do a little more because it was really fucking offensive, he and other shakers started talking about how everyone was so meeeeean. Also, I'm about sick to death of "lol your ___" and "hey your ___". That horse is dead, Liss!

ETA: Made the mistake of diving into the comments. Liss is quite snippy, and prone to rash generalizations. Why do I comment on blogs thinking it's going to turn out well?

I do like that it's a convenient daily roundup of news in easy to skim pieces. Besides online newspapers (I prefer the Guardian, just because their layout is good), anyone have any recommendations for where to get my news? Preferably with a feminist/social justice slant.

In other news, I continue to lay around and do nothing. I've also been going to bed at 4 and waking up at 2. Good times.

So, I'm all graduated and stuff

And BORED! I was never one of those people who couldn't wait until summer vacation. At least class gives me something to do. My job doesn't start until June, so it's a month of nothing. I live on the side of town where nothing happens, so I'm pretty much stuck in the house. I did make dinner a few nights ago, and I think I'm gonna make some bread tonight/tomorrow (the no-knead bread that has to rise for 18 hours) if I can make myself go to the grocery store. Other than that, I've been staying up till 4 and waking up at 1, doing killing time on the internet, and watching endless episodes of M*A*S*H. Every few years I remember that Young Alan Alda was a total hottie and mainline some episodes.

Most annoyingly, my computer is doing the stupid thing where it makes horrible screeching noises when I try to watch videos, so I can't even kill time on YouTube. I got enough money for graduation that I can buy a new laptop, and it's certainly time. I just don't know what to get. Any suggestions? I have pretty basic needs, except I download lots of media, and I'm kind of poor. So, cheap-ish but fast-ish is good.

It's the last midnight

Tonight is my annual move-out freak-out night. Except tomorrow I get the added bonus of graduation and dinner with my family! Here's how it's gonna happen, if everything goes as planned (it won't):

Midnight-2: pack
2-3: drive carload of stuff home, come back.
3-4: clean
4-8: sleep
8-10: get dressed, throw my bedding in my car, get my room inspected
10-11:30: go to some CMCL banquet that I was just informed of yesterday
11:30-12:30: get ready for commencement, check out of my room
12:30-1:30: pictures in my cap and gown
1:30-4:30: commencement. Sweat in a polyester gown while some dude from Australia that no one's ever heard of gives the address.
4:30-6: fight the mob to return my gown
6-9?: dinner with family
9-9 pm the next day: SLEEP.

Probably all that's not gonna happen. I see me not getting ready in time for the CMCL banquet, and I really see me losing at least an hour off my projected sleep. However, list-making is the only thing that keeps me sane, so at least I have a schedule.

Tonight there was a reception for gender studies majors. Because I'm PMSing in a major way (why couldn't you wait two days, body?), I got all weepy. I do tend to tear up out of uncomfortableness when someone compliments me, and my mom was there talking to all my professors, so there was a lot of that going on. But I got to see my favorite professor's little baby, and he's the cutest! Babies make everything better!


Tomorrow at 10 am I have a final I haven't studied for at all, and a paper due that's currently about 2 pages short, even though I'm basically finished. I'm about done with school.

Also, occasionally I get so depressed over how messy my living room is that I move my laptop into my bedroom (since actually cleaning would be crazy! Plus I move in half a week, so I might as well wait until I pack to clean.) I'm in one of those stages right now. This means that I've barely left my bed at all in the past 72 hours. I did my radio show then went out to eat on Saturday, I went out again with a group from my dorm last night, and I ran to the store today. I also briefly migrated to the couch for HIMYM. Other than that, it's been all bed, all the time. It's quite nice, but I feel so slothful. Packing will have to start tomorrow, so that will make me get off my butt a bit.

I've also been going to sleep at 5 am and waking up at 2:30 pm every day. I don't know what that's about. Unfortunately, because of the 10 am final tomorrow, I'm going to have to try to sleep at like 2 (which is still too late). Or I could pull an all-nighter, which is tempting.

I'm one final, one paper, and one massive take-home final away from graduating. Scary! I don't want to leave!
Seriously, you could cure cancer with that level of awesomeness.

So tonight Stephen Sondheim did a live conversation thing with Scott Simon at my uni, and it was the greatest thing ever, basically. I got there really early so I could get a good seat, which meant I had to stand around a bunch before the doors opened, but I was at the front of the pack to get a seat. Which meant I was in the second row! And they had set up seats in the orchestra pit, so I was right there! We made eye contact! Multiple times! I was all a-squee! The only weird part was I was sitting next to one of my profs, but that was totally worth it for the second row.

I couldn't possibly summarize how great it was, but here are some highlights. First, the aforementioned Ethel Merman impression: it was just a few bars of "Everything's Coming Up Roses", but it was spectacular. He also did a pretty good Katherine Hepburn.

Later he was talking about the new production of West Side Story, which he had some problems with. Namely, "they come out and look at you all menacingly, and then they dance. And suddenly they're not so menacing." He kind of did jazz hands when he said that. It was great.

A highlight and a lowlight: several douchebags kept taking pictures with the flash on. He kindly asked people to not do that at the beginning, so every time a flash went off after that, he totally LuPwned them.

At the end he took some (pre-written) questions from the audience. Here's the best.

Question: How do you get the courage to go out every day and be so awesome?
Answer: I don't go out.

Now I have a crapton of homework to do tonight, but it was totally worth it. Plus, it's for the professor that I was sitting next to, so he knows I slacked off for a worthy cause.