31 May 2006

tales of sunscreen, ramen, and motorcycles....or: how jess has an internal homing beacon for karaoke

the beach was great. thanks to me actually using sunscreen for once, i didn't burn. (i listened when anne was yelling about skin cancer). we had beautiful weather the whole week, except for one terrific thunderstorm. to me, it was a normal, coastal area thunderstorm. but to all of my "live their whole lives 10 hours from the beach" friends, it was the coolest thing ever. i got such a kick out of them running around outside and oohing and ahhing over the lightening. the house was really nice, even if we were cramming in about three more people than it was supposed to hold. hooray for air mattresses! it was in north myrtle (in fact, it was as far north myrtle as you could get without falling off the end of the beach), and there was barely anybody else there the whole week. which was good, considering the volume to which we played our music. we also managed to survive the week without breaking anything in the house (people who saw the closet of empty alcohol bottles will understand the enormity of this achievement). i was a little worried when i heard dan say "i want to build a rocket" and "where are the propane canisters?" within a fairly short time period, but once those were hidden, things were fine.

we didn't go out too much, just stayed at the house most of the week. as a result, we reached the point where we were living on ramen. (we had three cases of it - hey, it was cheap.) we found a great seafood restaurant one night, followed by a trek to the real myrtle beach afterwards. we decided that the main strip at myrtle beach is extremely tacky, and we were glad we weren't staying there. especially since the creepy guy at the ripley's museum kept yelling at jess. we did meet half the myrtle beach fire department at a bar, though. our last night we went to broadway on the beach. we walked around for a little while, then jess found karaoke so all was right with the world. she and sarah even won t-shirts. i don't know if it was because the dj felt bad for making fun of them, or if he was just stunned by their very, very caucasian version of "whatta man". probably a little of both. afterwards, jess, anne, and i went to denny's and ate freakishly large amounts of breakfast food.

oh, and great enjoyment was taken from the fact that we happened to be at the beach during Black Bike Week (the week before had been Harley Week). it was like every black person on the eastern seaboard who owned a motorcycle was there. we felt very white. we had a great desire to go to the rally on saturday night, but figured it probably wasn't a good idea.
the only bad part was that halfway through the week, they closed down a bunch of the side roads, so we couldn't get to the video store to return the movie. dan's solution: hop out of the car in the middle of the highway, and give it to the cop. amazingly enough, it worked. so we didn't return the big lebowski to blockbuster, we returned it to a south carolina highway patrolman.

once again, my life is not normal.

29 May 2006

beginning of the rest of my life

so, i graduated. i have a little piece of paper stating that i am smart. ha. that's kind of funny.

graduation went fine. allan gave a really good speech. as did the admiral. speaking of which, just as i predicted, grammer marched herself up to the front after graduation and met the admiral, the admiral's wife, and the wife of the president of the college. i knew she would do that. it's why we love her. the whole experience was surreal. it still hasn't really kicked in that i'm not going back.

the myrtle beach trip was a blast. i'll elaborate more on it when i don't have my sister breathing down my throat, demanding computer access so she can look up clip art for a spanish project.

i'm going to north carolina tomorrow to do job interviews, and then i start with the marines next week. i'm excited.

20 May 2006

last night at college

tonight is my last night at gcc. i promised myself i wouldn't get all sentimental and sappy, otherwise i would get severely depressed. my one comment:

it's been a good four years. i'm sad to go.

so, my week. we picked up trey from the airport on wednesday (we being neil, shelly, caitlin, and i). and caitlin's doll head. the big, scary, demonic, somebody-get-an-exorcist one. looks like something out of one of the chucky movies. (anybody remember those?) anyway, it's like this big mask helmet thing. covers your whole head. two feet in diameter. the eyes are the size of saucers. anyway, this thing is frightening. therefore, in caitlin logic, that meant she needed to bring it into the airport. so trey was greeted on arrival in pittsburgh by the bride of chucky. this whole bizarre experience was made even more so when we were waiting on the curb for neil, and a cop came up wanting to know what the hell it was. she explained and proceeded to put the head on for him and do a tap dance. he said that it was the weirdest thing he'd seen in the airport. i still thought it was creepy.

wednesday night was a condo night. seven of us went down and we had a ball. instead of our normal condo activies, we puff-painted, played games, and watched disney movies until everybody crashed. it was like a flashback to a second grade slumber pary (further reinforced by the pop rocks and chewing gum cigarettes consumed on the ride back). most of us puff-painted t-shirts or tote bags. allan however, being allan, puff-painted a black plastic toilet plunger. it was nothing short of amazing.

packed like a fiend on thursday. also watched a lot of tv while packing. that night we went to the drive-in in butler. i love drive-in theaters. adore them. i wish we had one at home. i saw two movies: "just my luck", which was cute, and "lucky number slevin", which ended up being a really good movie. one of those with all sorts of plot twists, and a complicated ending that manages to draw together every aspect of the movie. plus, it starred josh hartnett. my future husband. the movie reaffirmed my deep and abiding love for him. we also just had a great time hanging out and talking.

car got packed today, family showed up. graduation practice seemed a little pointless. they didn't tell us what we needed to know, and didn't practice what we needed to do. oh well. i'm sure we'll get through it fine. after all, we have college degrees. i showed grammer around campus. she loved it. she kept saying, "this isn't a college dorm" "college dorms aren't supposed to look like the biltmore house" "this is what a college is supposed to look like", etc, etc, etc. i'm glad she finally got to see it after all this time. she told me that she can see why i wouldn't want to leave. baccalaureate was good. i always like seeing the professors in their colors. it's my obsession with anything even remotely costume-like. it was really, really strange seeing all the seniors in caps and gowns. the whole thing just seems so surreal. i mean, i remember the beginning of freshman year like it was yesterday.

but i promised myself i wouldn't get sentimental.

more behind than most

Maybe I should: go to sleep

I love: the smell of magnolia and dogwood blossoms in the spring

I don't understand: people who live in cold weather all their lives

People say I'm: mean, a bitch, the ice queen, a man-eater, scary.
i wish they wouldn’t.

Love is: hard

Somewhere, someone is: singing “Copacabana”

I will always: be afraid of being alone

Forever seems: impossible

I never want to: drown

I think the current President is: kermit the frog

When I woke up in the morning: hit the snooze alarm and rolled over

I get annoyed when: people treat me like i don’t know what i’m talking about, and what i’m saying isn’t important (this really, really makes me mad)

Parties are: very common in 3rd grade

My dog is: scared of poodles…she’s a german shepherd

Kisses are the worst when: you don’t want them

Today I: packed my car

Tomorrow I'm going to: graduate from college

I really want: the batmobile

I have low tolerance for people who: lie

If I had a million dollars: i would move to hawaii

Describe yourself using one band and song titles from that band.
Band/Artist: frank sinatra
Are you male or female?: luck be a lady
Describe yourself: i’ve got the world on a string
How do some people feel about you?: witchcraft
How do you feel about yourself?: it’s the same old dream
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: poor you
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: somewhere a voice is calling
Describe where you want to be: it happened in monterey
Describe what you want to be: young at heart
Describe how you live: devil may care
Describe how you love: don’t like goodbyes
Share a few words of wisdom: come fly with me

17 May 2006

complete lack of normalcy

yesterday i realize how truly odd my life is.

first, i emptied my band locker and found not only a mellophone, but piano music, drill sheets showing the female reproductive system, a pair of marching band gloves, a pair of women's dress gloves from the 50s, suspenders, my missing birkenstocks, and authentic japanese clogs that were supposed to be delivered to the costume shop six months ago.

this was further reinforced while i was walking back from pew in the pouring rain wearing flip-flops, cargo pants, and a huge hoodie with the hood pulled halfway over my head, carrying my u.s. army issue duffel bag (the one with the backpack straps) full of clean laundry on my back, clutching my computer draped with a three week old copy of usa today to keep the rain off of it because my computer bag (which i was also carrying) was full of piano music, and getting really odd looks from a guy dressed in khaki shorts, hiking boots, and a crocodile dundee hat (who is he to give weird looks to anybody else - he's dressed for a safari in the australian outback even though he's in the pouring rain in pennsylvania).

both of these instances caused me to stop and think, "laura. you are not normal."

last weeks at the grove

the time seems to be rushing by. i need to update more often.

like i said, two weekends ago was one-acts. it was also all-college sing, which was delightful as always. counterpoint performed "can't help lovin' that man of mine" from showboat, and we won again. i was a little worried, especially because the ABT's were really good this year. they did "let's hear it for the boy". they boys were absolutely hilarious. the adels did "robin hood: men in tights" and actually wore green tights (fortunately under black shorts). there were lots of oldies songs from the guys, which i loved. AEX won for housing groups with a great rendition of "come and go with me", and the okies won for frats with an amazing version of "bailamos". their dancing was a riot. i'm really glad i decided to sing again this year.

the last week of student teaching was a little hectic. it was like it was the official "rocky grove field trip week". between tennis, track, baseball, and softball, i never had more than 4 people in 10th period. i didn't see the baseball boys once the entire week. and the gifted kids were in and out the entire week. it was really frustrating, because i was trying to finish up my unit, but my classes were on different schedules based on who could take the test when. i was really kind of sad to leave. i've gotten attached to the little buggers. i said good-bye to some of my seniors, which was hard because i really like a lot of them. and apparently some of them really liked me too. i got a letter from one of them, claiming that he fell in love with me and wanting me to contact him. yeah, right. like i'm going to do that. it was sweet, though.

when i returned to school, i found my room filled with balloons. a 4 1/2 foot high stack of balloons covering my bed, desk, dresser, etc. (for a pictoral reference: http://lessoftheshadow.blogspot.com/2006/05/ballooning-im-still-taking-break.html) apparently shelly wanted to fill someone's room with balloons, and i was the lucky candidate. for the record, nearly two pounds ends up being a hell of a lot of balloons. fifteen garbage bags worth. it was really funny. megan said my face was priceless when i came into the room. we hauled most of them to pew for TAP inductions/bash. we used about half of them for that, then on saturday i popped the rest of them in one of the dressing rooms. it was the best feeling. it was like freshman year finals balloon popping taken to a new level. appropriate, seeing as how i'm now done with college, not just finals. it was very cathartic.

thursday were TAP inductions and the TAP bash. during inductions, i got to bring the return of lady drakmuth, second spirit of TAP and keeper of the secrets of the order. i love being creepy. the bash was fun. i wore the golden chili pepper shimmy dress. the seniors did a dance to "i wish i could go back to college" from avenue q. a funny song, but slightly depressing at the same time. then we played a slide show of pictures of all the shows we've done for the past four years. i won best costumes and best soft tech for pirates. it may sound silly, but i'm glad i was able to win for a show i actually designed, instead of just chiefed.

on friday, i ventured back to rocky grove to go on the 9th grade field trip to the henry ford museum in detroit. i had a really good time, but 18 straight hours is way to long to spend with a group of 15 year olds. 4:30 am to 11:30 pm. the museum was fascinating. they had the oddest collection of stuff - trains, planes, old cars, a model house, the car kennedy was assassinated in, the chair lincoln was shot in, rosa parks' bus, old furniture, a diner. outside, ford had actually moved all sorts of historic buildings to the museum: the wright brothers' house, thomas edison's laboratory, noah webster's house, a southern plantation house, a general store, the first building to have electricity, etc. it was odd, but very interesting. i think the kids (and me, obviously) would have had a much better time had it not been raining and cold. thus, i think their favorite place was the glass-blowing building, because it was warm. it was also fascinating to watch. everybody was pretty much well-behaved the whole time, which was good. and i decided that i have serious problems, because i was thought to be both a 9th grader and the mother of a 9th grader. how is it that i can look 15 and 45 at the same time?

i've spent the rest of finals week wasting a lot of time, watching a lot of tv, and packing random things. i've managed to watch a lot of gilmore girls.

me: i've watched 3 seasons of gilmore girls in about 5 days.
ryan: i don't think that is healthy

i'm obsessed with that show. i love it. as far as packing goes, i haven't been that successful. i just don't pack well unless it's after 2 am. i should maybe work on that. i was able to find a new bathing suit today, though the experience of shopping for it was traumatizing. forget going tanning in order to go to the beach, i think people go tanning to be able to try on bathing suits in the store.

tomorrow is a group adventure to pittsburgh to pick up trey from the airport, more packing, and then the theatre people are going to beth's condo in seven springs to hang out for the night.

16 May 2006

twenty-four is an awfully big number

a week and a half ago was my last college theatre production. number twenty-four. twenty-eight if you count all the double shows. west side story, orchesis '02, school for scandal, the wind in the willows, the magic theatre, spring one-acts '03, fall one-acts '03, proof, orchesis '03, museum, talking with, jane eyre, trial of goldilocks, the princess and the pauper, spring one-acts '04, fall one-acts '04, once upon a mattress, orchesis '04, much ado about nothing, the music box, the mummy musical, spring one-acts '05, fall one-acts '05, major barbara, orchesis '05, the pirates of penzance, honk!, spring one-acts '06. i'm so sad it's over. theatre has been my life for these four years. so many hours spend in that building. sewing, painting, hammering, hanging lights, cleaning, fitting costumes, rehearsing, cutting fabric, moving set pieces, tearing down set pieces, wiring microphones, pulling gels, making props, finding furniture. laughing. crying. theatre has been so much more than putting on a play. every inch of that place brings back memories. i walk in the girls dressing room and think of phil trying to cram his entire body in one of the lockers, and succeeding except for half of one leg. i go to the spot gallery and see brendan pretending his spotlight is a machine gun. backstage right is seven people crammed on one bed and a dance party in the caliper. the set shop is painting bricks and building 15 foot columns. the back hallway is bagel hockey and one-acts run crew. little theatre - berkey and luke hanging upside down out of the catwalks, nailgunning shingles to the roof of a house at 2am. green room - planning the orchesis techie dance and dodging mattresses being flung from the top of the prop closet. and then there is the costume shop. hannah singing roxanne at the top of her lungs, sorting rented school for scandal costumes while laura-jane makes inappropriate comments over the sound system, accidentally drawing anarchy symbols on the washing machine with sharpie markers, half a million schoolgirl dresses, massive amounts of gray fabric, knight tunics, too many princesses, making green long underwear half an hour before the show starts, trying to fit the boys into 18th century uniforms, dying purple pants, making clothing for ridiculously large people, bustles, turning grove city boys into manly pirates, orange tights. slowly going crazy with caitlin. theatre is knowing that every one act festival has to have at least one show that uses a couch, so that run crew has somewhere to sit in the back hallway. theatre is sitting in kings very late at night, laughing uncontrolably at the most ridiculous things and not really knowing why. it's watching shows from the booth, from backstage, and from the catwalks, but never from the audience. it's skipping school for three days to perform plays for little kids. it's spending three months working your butt off to produce something magical, only to see it disappear in an instant.

but above all of that, theatre is friendship. it is laughter, sadness, and love and every emotion in between. there are times where we hate each other. during shows, we live with each other. it's bound to happen. but the times we love each other drown those times out. i've made some of the best friends i'll ever had in that theatre. the people that i know i will still be in touch with in twenty or thirty years. people ask me why i've been killing myself these past four years doing all these shows. why i'm willing to get three hours of sleep a night rather than take a play off. it's because theatre keeps me sane. no matter what kind of day i've had, i've been able to go to pew, and my problems have almost always disappeared. part of my problem with theatre is that i spend way too much time there, because i start working and forget everything else that i have to do. and a big part of that is because of my friends. i've always said that i do theatre because of the people. i love the atmosphere, the attitude, and the personalities. theatre people are unlike any other types on the planet, and i love them. where else would you have grown men willing to put on knee breeches and tights?

so, beyond anything else i've done at college, i'm glad i did theatre. my experiences in that department have made me who i am, and everytime i think them in the future, they will make me smile.

08 May 2006

beginning of the week

it is a bad sign when you begin the week by jumping off your bed only to be jerked back again by the headphones you are still wearing which have you tethered to your computer?

06 May 2006

end scene

our revels now are ended.
these, our actors, as i fortold you,
were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air,
and, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
the cloud-capped towers,
the gorgeous palaces,
the solemn temples,
the great globe itself,
ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
and, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
leave not a rack behind.

we are such stuff as dreams are made of...

04 May 2006

back from the grave...aka the final weeks of student teaching

yeah, so i guess it's been awhile since i've written. what to say...

i honestly don't remember anything that happened last week. i feel like i had been meaning to post about it, but i guess it wasn't all that earth-shattering. last saturday i took my last praxis exam, the social studies one. it sucked. because this seemed to be the attitude of the test writers: remember every individual item of world, us, european, and asian history that you've ever learned, from the birth of eden to yesterday, go! oh yeah, and also recall some political science, geography, economics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology too. growl...it was annoying.

the exam was immediately followed by a bridal shower. rachel's, to be exact. much fun was had by all, most of which was at rachel's expense. we saw a subdued version of the "hansasaur song" and found out fun information, such as the fact that hans has been to a star trek convention, and that his parents have seriously thought he was gay not once, but two separate times. rachel actually stopped the bridal shower to ask why he had been to a star trek convention. she was a hoot. i've never seen someone so excited over cups and spatulas. i spent the whole time resisting the urge to eat my body weight in ho-ho's.

that night was the gala, a formal semi-annual dance. it was not nearly as fun as it was two years ago. they should not try to cram that many people into one tent. also, for future reference, when you are having an event to which the entire student body, faculty, and staff are invited...have more than one food table. i really liked hearing septone, but i left basically as soon as they were done, because i really didn't want to spend the rest of my evening getting elbowed in the head. i loved my outfit: empire waist, straight dress with this wicked cool shawl thing i found in the costume shop. it was very audrey. i wore it with the glitter rose shoes. not so audrey. but amazing.

i've pretty much spent this whole week in one of the worst moods i've been in in awhile. i'm snapping at everybody, the least little things set me off, i keep getting irrationally upset about stupid stuff, and i'm crying. i don't like to cry. i make it a point not to cry. crying is not my thing. so this has not been good. i'm feeling slightly better today, even though i really let a kid have it earlier. he deserved it though. he's the same one i gave detention to the other day (first time ever). he deserved that, too. i will not be groped by a 9th grader.

althought, i keep reminding myself, "you still have ten fingers". and that kinda puts things into perspective.

(previous comment sparked by the fact that one of my students cut his finger off the other day with a saw in wood shop. that day i learned that it is very hard to focus a class when a student walks in and announces: "jeremy won't be in class today. he cut his finger off last period with a saw. the finger flew across the room. it was really gross." he's ok though. he was back in school today, sporting a gigantic bandage and a huge yellow square foam thing on his arm. he said that when he woke up in the hospital, doped up on a lot of morphine, he thought sponge bob was trying to eat his arm.)