Thursday, March 28, 2013

Remember Your First Time? 10 Years of Phantom

Well, the weeks are winding down and I'm losing all motivation to study or do work. Especially when it seems that we are in a winter that stretches for ages (a la Game of Thrones, maybe?). I'm starting to get nervous/excited for my future, especially since I have an interview for the EPIK program in Korea next week. I've also happened upon some other backup opportunities, should that one fail. Hopefully I'll still be able to go live and work abroad. Time will tell.

Anywhooo, I wanted to talk about last weekend, as it was a really special day for me. I had gone to visit Cesca and see her new apartment, but Saturday was a very important day. You see, March 23rd is my Phanniversary. Well, it's OUR Phanniversary, meaning it's the first time my mom, sister and I saw the show. Waaaay back in good old 2003. Which was for my 12th birthday. Which means it was my 10 YEAR PHANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!

This is abnormally exciting to me, because that's a pretty long time to be in love with something. What's also funny is that I didn't even want to go to the show in the first place. We had gone to see Jesus Christ Superstar with our youth group, and I had seen an advert for Phantom in the playbill. I think I pointed it out to my mother and said something like "we should see this" without actually meaning this, because most 12 year olds didn't know much about Phantom, only that it was really popular and famour. I don't actually think I was serious.

So a little while later, I'm watching TV and mom waltzes into the room, informing Cesca and me that we have tickets to the show for after our birthday, as a birthday gift and partially Christmas too cause they were expensive. We were not amused.In fact, March 23rd came, and I was so annoyed that I had to go because I thought it would be a waste of a day. What a fool I was.

My mom was also visiting that weekend (we had to help cesca set up her new furniture) and said that she didn't want it to be her fault that I'd become so obsessed. Cesca replied that of course it was her fault, we were 12 and weren't making conscious decisions about shows to see at Sheas in Buffalo!

Gotta agree with Cesca on that point. But seriously, if my mom hadn't gotten tickets to the show, I don't know if I ever would have gotten into Phantom like I did. I can't even tell you the specifics about the show (besides the cast, I obviously know that) because it is so far removed from my memory, and I've seen it so many more times, that it's hard to tell what I remember and what I think I can remember. I know for a fact I had to lean forward in my seat to see the catwalks above the stage, but most other things, I can't recall. For the life of me, though, I cannot find the ad in the JCS playbill that led me to point it out to my mother. It vanished, fell out or I imagined it. How bizarre is that? The ad that started it all, and I can't even find where I saw it!

Cesca and I got to see the 25th Anniversary show this year, and that was as good a phanniversary present as anything could have been. Winning those tickets was amazing. We didn't do anything crazy. We watched a couple of my favorite bootlegs (analyzing them, of course, for quality of picture, performance, clarity, etc) and toasted to our phanaticism. Spending my Phanniversary with someone who loves the show almost as much as I do was the perfect way to celebrate.

Now, 10 years, a tattoo, backstage tour, a birthday card from a star, 17 live performances and at least as many bootlegs later, I can say that I will always remember and celebrate my first time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break, in Which I Was Christine for a Week

So I am sitting here, moderately rested after a 20 hour drive home from Florida, thinking about packing. Packing is interesting to me because I realized today that packing/unpacking always has 2 meanings, either an ending or a beginning.

You pack before the start of a trip, ready to go on an adventure and have all sorts of fun experiences. You unpack when you get there (or, if you're like me and you aren't staying long, your suitcase kind of just explodes all over the place with no rhyme or reason... still unpacked tho), and you're ready to begin and see what this trip holds.

But you pack up at the end too, often solemnly and sadly, wondering how the week went by so fast and wishing you could stay. And then you get back, and you have to unpack the vacation clothes and the travel sized toiletries and put it all back and start living your life like normal again.

Packing and unpacking. The beginning and the end of any journey.

Now that I've gotten that philosophical discussion off my chest, here are some pictures of Spring Break!

We stopped in North Carolina for my cousin's wedding. This is what we saw:

beautiful beach



The beach house

grandpa bein grandpa while my friends help
set up the wedding





The DiCillos (minus dad)

Lovely Ladies

Yup, Nick got caked 

The next day we moseyed on over to Florida, relaxed, then on Monday hit the beach. Andrea's grandpa knew lots of places to go and is crazy active. He bikes like 12 miles a day. Uuhhh, that's nuts. Also, he thought my name was Christine for the entire week. It was kind of cute so I didn't mind.

Massive waves. Liz trying to save Andrea

They both fell

Getting pummeled

Then we tried to see some manatees

that grey blob is one

It didn't work. But more on that later

But we saw a bald eagle!! Props to Andrea for catching
it on camera 

ya we are so pretty


Liz made it to the top!
the view out to the ocean
We are the most attractive people ever.

Andrea's uncle's dogs
This is Penny. She has no hair on her body.
which is weird. But she's friendly 


We also got to hang out with Andrea's Grandpa's dog, Smokey.

Walking him. Or rather, he's walking me


Then we went to the beach again


practicing my flying skills

We also went on a river cruise of the St. Lucie river and saw tons of animals.

Blue heron

great blue heron

uh these are rare night something birds. 

This is some rare split tail kite bird something that we
apparently will probably never see again in our lifetimes
Ok, so I was more absorbed in looking at nature than remembering the bird names. SO SUE ME


great blue heron in flight

Mr. Pelican

Lastly, we decided that WE HAD TO SEE MANATEES. So we drove down to the manatee observation center with hope in our hearts.

found some pretty flowers


hard to see, but they're there

Mamma and baby! Props to Andrea's awesome camera

These guys

Then I got this random shot of Liz at the Golden Corral.

she was so excited that they had
cotton candy

Overall, it was an amazingly relaxing spring break. Andrea's grandpa was so nice and knew a lot of places to take us, and we just had a great time (despite a 20 hour drive back on my birthday that ended at 6:30 am). I'm so glad I got to go on a road trip with my wonderful, awesome friends.

Back to the grind! 7 weeks left. Oh my. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

March already?!?

Again, I'm going to point out that I'm horrible at blogging, but I'm going to stand by the fact that I kind of changed it to a travel blog and this semester I'm not nearly as much of a traveler as when I'm, you know, living abroad and traveling like EVERY WEEKEND (and sometimes during the week!)

So, there are two things to mention on that note. One is that I submitted my application to the teaching English in Korea program that Sarah and I are applying to, and they responded and said they will be processing the apps and doing interviews in late March, so I won't know anything about that for at least another month, which makes me nervous but I'm also trying to stay confident. Even though it isn't formal experience, I'm a tutor and a foreign language TA, AND I've lived abroad already, so I am hoping I have pretty good prospects. I decided that if SK doesn't work, I'm going to either China or Thailand. Liz and I went to a senior class workshop/conference last weekend and we went to a presentation about gap years, and I decided that I'm 100% committed to teaching abroad. I'm not ready to go to grad school or to start corporate ladder climbing. I still want adventure and new experiences and to see the world. School and capitalist America will be here when I get back.

Two, spring break starts in T-minus 9 hours. And by spring break I mean the drive down to NC and Florida, where we will be spending our spring break. First, we are stopping by my cousin's wedding in NC and then continuing on to Andrea's grandfather's house in Florida. I haven't had a normal spring break in like 3 years, so this will be fun and another new experience- a typical college spring break! The beach! The sun! MANATEES!!!!!!!!!

Midterms week has been relatively easy, which is to be expected of a 12.5 credit semester. I, in my overzealous overpreparedness, had a bit of a OMG SO MUCH TO DO moment last week, so I got ahead on all of my work. Turns out I didn't actually have that much, so I've been pretty much done since Wednesday. Which has been lovely.

So, I am very, very excited to see my family, spend time with friends, and mostly SEE THE SUN!!! I love you Ithaca, but your sunless stretches are tough sometimes. Oh, I cannot wait. Just work and 3 classes to go till FREEDOM!!!