Saturday, December 10, 2005

Coincidence? I think NOT.



What ever made me think to myself, "Hm, Idaho. That sounds like a nice place to live." IT'S SO FREAKIN' RIDICULOUSLY FRIGIDLY COLD HERE! Of course, I love it here, Rexburg grows on you, but when the highest temperature forecast for the day is 21 degrees, you can't help but think "Why am I not in Hawai'i right now?" Last night I realized that I had left my window a crack open that day, and since it was so cold, I went to shut it. Upon attempting to do so, I discovered that I COULDN'T because of the half-inch thick layer of ice that had frozen my window open. That's half an inch of ice on the inside. Thank goodness for thick pajamas.

Get this, this is the 5-day forecast for Rexburg as of today.
Saturday: High 21 degrees, Low 0 degrees
Sunday: High 23 degrees, Low 3 degrees
Monday: High 22 degrees, Low 14 degrees
Tuesday: High 26 degrees, Low 13 degrees
Wednesday: High 26 degrees, Low 12 degrees

Look, it's warming up later in the week. To 26 freakin-degrees Farenheit (sp?).

So after I wrote the last blog entry I did, I realized that there were several BIG announcements that I somehow failed to post. Turbo update GO!

I'm engaged! Just kidding, that's totally not true at all.

JD and Christian, sadly, did NOT get cast in "Spelling Bee." They're still on file, and will be called if they're needed or wanted later, but that's that as of now. As exciting as it would have been to have 2 dear friends in "Spelling Bee," the selfish part of me is glad they're not cast, because that means we get to keep them here next semester.

Two mission calls have been received! Jason "Roomate" Wells has been called to serve the Lord in the Hartford, Connecticut spanish-speaking mission! Sarah Jagger has been called to serve in the Edinborough, SCOTLAND mission! Hooray for missionaries! I'm so excited for both of them! I'm more excited for Sarah, just because I'm closer to her, and hey, SCOTLAND.

I love you all! Christmas is not only fun, but soon.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I don't think it reflects my kissing abilities, because I would definitely STOP kissing someone if they tasted like battery acid.


Behold, the coolest picture EVER. That's Brett, Tyler, and Shaun. They should start a band or something just so this picture can be shown to the world in all its glory.
Today's been...a Monday. You know, just one of those mondays. It got substantially better toward the end, but the whole first half of the day I just felt rotten. No particular reason, but everything just seemed extra frustrating to me and I spent until about 3 this afternoon being on the verge of tears. I'm glad its over.
Things picked up a lot later in the day. I finally got around to showering, and there's something about a shower that just makes you feel a little better about life. I then found out that a huge research paper deadline has been moved from Wednesday to MONDAY, and you just can't help but be happy about that, especially if you had barely done any work on it.
Tonight for FHE we went to Craigo's and listened to Shaun and a few other people play some jazz. They all were amazing, and they all looked like they were having so much fun. Hearing great music just brings me intense joy. But there's a little element of despair in there too...just because I long to be a better musician and I'm simply not at this point. And I doubt I ever will be. I'm mediocre at piano, drums, guitar, bass, and I can sing pretty well, but I don't excel at any one of those things. It's the most distressing thing in the world to have more than one thing you want terribly badly to excel at. To really excel at the level I want to, I'd have to dedicate my whole life to something, and you can only dedicate your whole life to maybe 2 things. Total. I was complaining about that to a friend once, who reminded me that "Well, you sort of have your whole life." Which is true. Just because I can't excel, doesn't mean I have to give up. What a revelation that was! So give me a few years and I hope to have made the move from "mediocre" musician to "decent" or maybe even (dare I say it?) "good."
We also ran into a few friends from the dorms last year at Craigo's. It was bizarre. It was only a year ago that we were freshmen dorm-girls, but it seems like another life. I guess it was. Jen and I were just talking tonite about how glad we are that last year is over. We were so stupid. I hate to think that at this time next year, we'll be saying the same thing about who we are now. But then again, last year we were freshmen, and when you're a freshman, you're in the transition period and act extra dumb. Now we're pretty well-adjusted. I can't believe our second year of college is almost half-over. The whole concept of time is just surreal to me, but I don't want to get started talking about THAT.
I've been stalling this whole time trying to think of some exciting story to tell in this blog, but I'm sorry, I've got nothing. Sorry this entry isn't as interesting. Except for this TUBULAR picture.
I think the word "tubular" should be used more often.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the Terminal...HA! Like a terminal CONDITION! This is a bad place!


Hello friends! Thanksgiving has come and gone and I don't feel like blogging! Instead, I invite you all to check out my newly created BEBO! I've been uploading pictures like crazy, so I especially invite you to check out the various albums. Click on the link below and have fun!

Liz's BEBO

PS: I'm still in the process of adding and updating albums, so keep checking back!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Just a little food for thought today...


I've been on sort of a poetry-reading kick lately, and since my own creativity fails me tonight, I thought I'd share with you someone else's.

O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme a break before I die:
grant me wisdom, will, & wit,
purity, probity, pluck, & grit.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind,
gimme great abs & a steel-trap mind,
and forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice--
these little blessings would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good--
and the good people nice;
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

--Philip Appleman

A simple, pleasant little poem, but as Hayley would say, "Think about it, won't you?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I found this on the floor. It's circular so I thought it might kill people.


I don't know what it is about this picture, but it makes nuclear warheads look really attractive. Maybe it's the radiation. Mutations always make things more attractive.
I am pleased to announce that opening night of "Savior of the World" went wonderfully! It was pretty scary, and I didn't really eat much that whole day because of nervousness, but because of the combined forces of the Lord, the Priesthood, and a lot of cast and crew cooperation, we did it! I'm feeling a lot more confident about all of it now. I'm still getting my footing, but at least now I have some at all.
Biggest announcement of the day! (Actually, I found this out yesterday, but it will be the announcement of the day for today...shutup, Liz. You're a retard.)
JD AND CHRISTIAN MADE FINAL CALL-BACKS FOR "SPELLING BEE"!!!!!!!!!! They're being flown out to NYC for the final audition in front of the director there!!!!!!!!!! I can't quite grasp the idea, and I don't know all the details yet, but I'll update you as soon as I know.
I had this bizarre realization today, as I was walking home from English class. For some reason, I had "The Ants Go Marching One by One" stuck in my head, so I was softly singing it to myself as I strolled through campus. All of a sudden, it struck me as a really strange song. I'm not sure if I can explain exactly why, but think about it...it's weird. Most of us have been singing it since we were tiny, so I guess we're desensitized to it. But who sings about ANTS!? Marching in certain numerical formations? Ants don't even do that. And the actual music is in this weird minor key--a sort of war-chant. Our society is really freaky sometimes. Or maybe it's just me. "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so," as they say. The same probably goes for weirdness. I prefer to see the world as bizarre.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why'd they always have to give the ethnic kid the sissy power?


Okay, this is really weird, because this just occured to me, and my roomates are going to question me, but Tyler looks really attractive in this picture. Even though he's very compacted. And holding a razor. And pretending to be a gargoyle. It must be the fridge. Domesticity makes men attractive. If you ever read this, Tyler, "all morality issues aside," you look really good. =)
I'm back, as you may have gathered, from my blogging haitus. Except I just might have to take another one, because listen to this...
The First Presidency requested last year that we perform "Savior of the World" this fall. It's been a huge process, and a very sacred and powerful one for all involved. I was working nights the first half of this semester, so I didn't have the opportunity to be involved. However, I'm now free nights, and my friend Kristi (the stage manager) asked me last Friday if I'd be willing to come help with costumes, and a few quick-changes, etc. I jumped at the chance, and went to my first rehearsal on Friday night. I was grateful to be involved, but after just the first night, I knew I'd be bored. I had NOTHING to do the whole second act, and only 4 costume changes in the first. Well, be careful what you pray for.
Tonight was final dress rehearsal, and about 2 minutes before curtain, Kristi comes up to me and says "Jillian, the assistant stage manager in charge of stage right just quit. Can you be on headset?" I said "Uh...yes, of course." All of a sudden, I am now ONE OF TWO ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGERS OF "SAVIOR OF THE WORLD." We open tomorrow night. By that time, I am in charge of and must be knowledgeable on the following things:

All of my origonal responsibilities as a costume mistress and dresser (checking out and in costumes and doing 4 quick-changes, 2 of which involve putting on pregnant belly pillows)
Being on headset for trouble-shooting at all times
Orchestrating the traffic backstage right
Knowing and orchestrating all scene changes from stage-right
Knowing and setting all props stage-right
Full charge of the angel chorus, which consists of roughly 30 people, though triple cast, so the entire angel chorus is of about 100. I'm in charge of sending all communication from the director to them, knowing their cues and entrances and exits, and making sure they're all there.
(All of this is done in cooperation with a cast and crew totalling roughly 260 people.)

I don't even know everyone's names. What an adventure this is going to be. I feel honored to have the privelege to be involved in this sacred show, and I'm very grateful for the experience I have that allow me to take this position. I'm also really scared. But aside from the one girl who hates my guts (who is frustrating but I'm able to laugh it off because she's just ridiculous), the cast and crew has been very supportive and very cooperative. Like Nephi, I trust that if the Lord wants me to do this, He will help provide a way. Keep me in your prayers, and I'll do my best to live up to them.
That's sort of overwhelming most of my thoughts right now, but it has been a pretty exciting week. Let me share just a few of the highlights.
We got the first Rexburg snow of the winter--horrah! If it's going to be cold, there might as well also be snow.
I went and saw the movie "Elizabethtown," which I LOVED. I thought it was wonderful...well-written and well-done. And yes, Kirsten Dunst and even (it kills me to say this) Orlando Bloom began to redeem themselves.
We attempted a prank on our FHE bros. that turned into a hostage situation, but that's much too long and exciting a story to tell here. But we were pretty proud of it.
Two major accomplishments!
I finally got the courage to play with Shaun's hair. For those of you who don't know this about me, I've got a thing for curly hair. Sometimes it turns into a thing for guys WITH curly hair, but mostly it's just curly hair in general. And Shaun's is perfect. Everytime I see it, my fingers literally itch to run through it, but I've always felt that maybe we weren't good enough friends or that he'd be creeped out. I was just too shy. But yesterday, things reached a climax.
(Um, I really hope that Shaun never reads this; or that if he does, he won't be freaked out. NOTE: I'm dramatizing things in this story for comedic effect. The basic point of the story is that I really like Shaun's hair, which he is aware of.)
He was sitting in front of us during church, and he kept sort of playing with his hair, including the one curl that always just sort of falls onto his forehead, and I just watched. I sat on my hands for a full 30 minutes to keep them from reaching out of their own accord. Later, we were at their house, and he was sitting down on the floor. I went to put some sunglasses on his head, and his hair was right there. I couldn't help myself. My roomates just laughed and told him that I've been waiting to do that for MONTHS, and as weird as that was, I confessed that it was true. HOw could I deny it? We all laughed and then settled down to watch a movie. Jenny was sitting on the end of the couch and me next to her. Shaun was sitting on the other couch perpendicular to ours and closest to Jenny. But he started playing with his hair again and I couldn't concentrate on the movie. Jenny noticed my face, gave me a look, and said "Wanna trade me places?" I just said "Yeah," and moved and started playing with his hair again. Shaun laughed and asked what I was doing, and I said "I just can't watch you do that, it's too stressful." He didn't mind at all (who would?), so I definitely just ran my fingers through Shaun's beautiful, perfect curly hair for like 45 minutes.
Nobody is allowed to judge me for telling that story. I'm not creepy. I just like curly hair a lot.
The next story necessitates photographic explanation, but it's a funny picture anyway, so please examine for a moment.

That's Shaun. (See, how could anyone resist those locks?) And the Orb. It's a giant excercise ball that looks like a germ. But we call it the Orb, and it provides hours of entertainment. For example, in this picture, the boys attempted to fit both Shaun and the Orb in...the Rameumpton. That's what we call the podium that they found in a dumpster and saved. It's now in their apartment, and it also provides hours of entertainment. (B.T.W., that's a pumpkin on top.)
Last night, I was sitting in the Rameumpton, just listening calmly to the conversation, when all of a sudden, three of the guys slammed the door closed, and spun me around so that the door was facing a wall and I was trapped! That little dark brown flap thing at the top opens up, though, and so they just talked to me through it and taunted me a lot. It only opens about 2 and a half inches, but Tyler and Shaun asked if I thought I could catch some M&M's in my mouth if they dropped it through the top. (I don't know why, it's just how these boys' minds work.) So we tried it. And I totally did it! It was awesome. But the real accomplishment was this: As a joke, Tyler got a bottle of water and threatened to pour it on me. Then we decided to see if he could really get it in my mouth, and if I could really catch it. Ladies and gentlemen, it was totally successful! And it made this really cool noise too. We were pretty proud of ourselves. =)
I just realized how hard it is to tell that story in an understandable way. I hope that it made sense. Maybe you'd have to be more familiar with the structure of the Rameumpton. Oh well.
Hey, it's 1:30 am. I think I'm gonna go to bed. I hope you've enjoyed this odd little entry. I love you all.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I thought we were going for the tuba player, not Stevie!


One of the main reasons I love Jim is because every now and then, we'll notice that he hasn't said anything in awhile and look over at him. Almost always he's doing some whacky thing just for his own amusement, like in this picture. Notice that no one else in the picture is paying any attention to the guy on the far left making weird kung fu gestures. That's Jim for you.
After that rant-y last entry, I thought I'd dedicate this one to all the guys I know who are really great and considerate. My FHE brothers are some of them. This picture is of a few of them. From left to right, you've got Jim, affectionately known as "Awkward," Shaun a.k.a. "Bazooey," Scott nicknamed "Corky," and if you look closely you can see Travis ("Ariel") ducking behind Jim.
Another great guy I know proved once more how great he is for me tonight. I was talking with my friend Christian between Comic Frenzy shows, and he was telling Cindy and I more about his audition for "Spelling Bee." He paused in his story and the following conversation took place...(I'm too lazy to write out he said she said blah blah blah so we'll do this in script form)
Me: Gosh, I SHOULD have auditioned!
Christian: (with a sympathetic look) Yeah.
Me: I'm just kicking myself for not doing it. I was THERE. I was in San Fransisco and I DIDN'T audition!
Christian: You were THERE?! Oh, Liz, you should have auditioned; you would have been GREAT!
Me: Thank you. That means a lot to me. Although it also makes me more angry at myself.
Christian: Oh...well, then...you wouldn't have been great.
Me: Uh, don't say that either.
Christian: Well, maybe it just wasn't meant to be. The Lord just seems to have a different path for you.

It was so nice to be comforted in such a...I don't know, a casual way? In a non-I'm-so-sorry-for-you way. And Christian is one of the most talented people I know, so it really meant so much to me for him to say that I would have been great. And for some reason, it never occured to me that perhaps the Lord needs me elsewhere, and not necessarily in the cast of "Spelling Bee." It was just a nice reminder.

I also wanted to let you all know that I think I'm going to take a small haitus from blogging. Not long, just maybe a week or two. I love you all, and if you read this, especially you, Christian!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I'm taking my heart and I'm getting me out, cause love is something that I wouldn't want to live without

Hey. No picture today, flickr's down. So I know I said that I'd tell you about the adventures had in California this blog, but I lied. I don't feel like telling about those adventures. And it was actually a pretty mellow weekend. I didn't audition for "Spelling Bee," which I don't want to talk about, because I'll regret it for the rest of my life. JD, Ben, and Christian all made call-backs, which is incredibly exciting, so we'll see how that goes. I don't know when they find out. But I'll let you know as soon as I do.
Instead I would like to say this. I need THEATRE! I've learned something about myself in the last couple of years, and that is if I don't involve myself in theatrical productions in some way, after about three months, I start to fall into a mini-depression. Maybe depression isn't the right word. I just feel sort of...bored with life? And very unfulfilled. And I feel like I'm just sort of meandering through life day by day without really fulfilling my purpose fully. I feel unproductive, and it's harder for me to fully appreciate all the other aspects of my life if I'm not doing theatre. There are some student productions going up next month...I know one of the roles isn't cast yet. I missed auditions because I was sick, but I'll see if the part is still open. If I get it by some weird chance (it's actually written for a man, but it doesn't have to be), I'll be directed by Christian and co-starring with Andy Donkin, which would be such a thrilling experience. We'll see.
Okay, I'm going to warn you before you read the rest of this blog. This is a full-blown, all-out, hands-down, angry RANT coming up. If you want to be uplifted, don't read this next paragraph right now. If you are a girl who is frustrated with the opposite sex, read on, although you might be offended.

All girls who fit the following criteria should officially be outlawed from attending BYU-Idaho:
18 years old or younger
blonde
big blue eyes
expensive magazine-y clothes
large breasts or curvy figure in general
Here's why. As long as THEY are all here, the rest of us don't stand a chance. How are we supposed to compete with that?! Here we are, spiritual, intelligent, individual, funny, beautiful...we are girls who KNOW who we are and are trying to be what the Lord wants us to be. But are we the girls who get dates? NO! It's the ditzy blondes who all look, act, and think (if they do at all) in the exact same way. IT BLOWS MY MIND! It seems like by their early twenties, boys would have stopped thinking with their hormones alone and started also employing their hearts, minds, and spirits in being attracted to someone.
Tonight, some guy friends were talking about how difficult the dating scene in Rexburg is, and how it's so much harder for guys and how girls don't take dating seriously. Like my friend Sarah said, B.S. Rexburg is one of the few places in the world where there are THOUSANDS of single LDS young men and women in one place. And check it out: around here, GUYS are the askers. So which is harder: to ask? Or to sit around and wait to be asked and to feel like there's NOTHING you can do about it when no one asks you? Hm. And as for girls not taking dating seriously, I don't even know what they mean by that.
I have now been in Rexburg since August 2004. I have lived here for over a year. That's more than 356 days. And know how many dates I've been asked on in those 356 days? ONE. What's wrong with me? In what way am I deficient as possible dating material? I can't see any problems with me, therefore it must be the guys.
I suppose I should apologize to those of you boys who are really good and know how to recognize an amazing daughter of God when you see one. I'm a little bitter, and one boy has ruined your entire species for me for a little while. If that angers you as much as it does me, feel free to turn on him and ruin his love-life for awhile like he has mine. No, that's just pure enmity. I don't really wish that. I just wish I could make him see...ME. But I'm done pushing all the ditzy blondes out of the way so that he'll actually focus on me. Screw that.
Back home, I had something called the "Sorry You're Single Club" with a few friends. It was me and another girl and three guys. It was our way of shaking our fists at the dating world and get the better of it. The purpose was to always have someone to go on a date with if you wanted one. Whether you just felt like going out that night, or if everyone else around you had a date, you would too. The only rule was to keep it all casual and no physical affection allowed. It was so nice, though...to just have a few really good friends who you can just call up for a date and you know that they'll say yes as long as they're free. Then you could go out and complain about being single to eachother, and end the night with new resolve to be happy with being single until circunstances change. I would really like to start another one of those clubs here. I just don't know who to start it with. I don't have any guy friends close enough anymore. Maybe I'll rope in some of my FHE brothers. They're pretty cool. Of course, I'm still getting to know them, and the idea may freak them out a little bit.
Gr I am so impatient!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Suddenly, there was a miniscule noise coming from the soap.


Hello all! I blog today for three reasons and three reasons alone. Okay, actually four, because one of them is to post this totally unrelated but very endearing picture of my friend Ryan, who in this picture is "Grandpa." The other reasons are as follows...

Reason number one: To wish you all a very happy halloween!

Reason number two: To announce that JD and Melissa are officially ENGAGED!!!!!!!!! GAAAAHHHHHH!!! So exciting! He asked permission of her parents when they were here a few weeks ago, and this weekend when they were down in San Fransisco he officially proposed. They're getting married on Dec. 17th. It is so bizarre to have two good friends get engaged. Weird. I feel old. But CONGRADUMALATIONS JD AND MELISSA!

Reason number three: This last weekend, I played a couple fabulous games of MAD LIBS with my fabulous Mom and stepdad, and here are a few of the gems. The first few are just some fun sentences that we liked, and the last 2 paragraphs are whole...paragraphs. The last one I actually didn't help to create; it was created a while ago, but it was too great to not post.

"I heard clanking bonnets, as if a salesman were being dragged across the floor of the steeple."

"Then I remembered that this horse was supposed to be haunted." (Ba-dum-chssshh! Thanks I'll be here all week!)

"Superstition has it that people can protect themselves from a vampire by holding up a lima bean or wearing a clove of hammer around their neck. It is also believed that the only way to kill a vampire is to drive a wooden paleontologist through his lipstick." (For some reason, I think it was because she was ridiculously tired, my mom could not stop laughing about the idea of holding up a lima bean to protect yourself from a vampire. She could hardly read it out loud, she was laughing so hard. What a weird person.)

"He misunderstands during the day in a coffin." (Why am I in this coffin? What's going on? Did they mix me up with someone else?)

"Lke all wicked bassoons, they delight in scaring the ship out of you." (Hardy har har.)

"The count can only remain immortal by sucking the salad dressing out of human vases." (I vant to suck ze blood out of your vase--ah ah ah!)

"The sign read "Madam Harriet Myers, Have Your Salad-Shooter Told Today." Taking a deep weather balloon, I opened the handcuffs and went inside. In the center of the room, seated behind a large complaint, was the Madam. She was a medicated woman with dark smelly eyes and a violent smile on her bauble. She was dressed in a large cartilage and wore a kangaroo wrapped around her head. She motioned me to squeeze down as she stared sulkily into her crystal plaything. A precarious look came over her squishy face. She told me something I didn't want to hear. "If you want your fortume told, it's 1 dollars." I leapt out of my pharmacist and fumigated out the door." (What a terrifying woman!)

"American children are fascinated by buff stuff. Stories that scare the juice boxes off them or make their ladles stand on end. Scientists say that this is because being frightened causes the pumpernickle gland to function and put yuhu into their blood. And everyone knows this makes a kid feel nauseous. When they are scared by a movie or an antenna, boys laugh and holler and embalm. But girls cover their eyes with their amputations and keep screaming and reconsidering. Most kids get over this by the time they are 4 million and 2 years old. Then they like movies about cars spackling or cops shooting sausages or, if they are girls, they like movies about a boy meeting an exhaust pipe and falling in love. Of course, that can be scary too."

Genius. Who was the man who invented MAD LIBS? I'd like to shake his hand. (He made my baby fall in love with me! No he didn't but it is the lyrics of a popular song.) Next blog, the adventures had in California this last weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." -Einstein


Mom, for some reason this humorous sign made me think of you. It just struck me as being your kind of humor.
This is what my life feels like right now. Not sure why. That's the problem. If I could identify exactly what that crazy rotate-y thing is I might be able to untangle myself from it.
I think I'm sort of...non-alcoholically hungover from the weekend. It's like I OD'd on happiness or laughter or craziness or something, and now I'm all whacked out from it. I keep feeling tonight like there's something I'm supposed to be doing right now and I'm not sure what it is. I gotta relax. I already did everything I wanted to today, and anything else I should have done...well, it's too late now.
Jen's birthday weekend was wonderful. Our fort in the living room was amazing. We left it up for another day, it was so amazing. That, and Jenny and my mattresses were in it and we were too lazy to move them back and didn't have anywhere else to sleep. Yesterday evening was just this amazing day of joy. Our FHE brothers came over, Alexis visited, Jason came over, AND we talked to Casey on the phone for a long time and that was so great! I miss that kid indescribably. There was also some dang good food involved.
However, this weekend, something else was also started. Our FHE brothers came by and visited us on Saturday night, but first they freaked us out by throwing pebbles into our kitchen. We talked for awhile, and then later that night, we heard someone knock on our door and then run away. When we opened the door, we found our rotting jack-o-lantern on our doorstep, stuck all over with kitchen utensils! There was a spatula sticking out here, a potato peeler there...it was great. So tonight we got them back. Anne and I waited until all the boys were at FHE, then we snuck over to their house and broke in. They're also in the middle of a prank war with their old FHE sisters, so they always lock their door. But that also means that they won't know for sure if it was us. And it was really easy to get in without causing any damage. Anyway, we got in and rearranged all their furniture. When we left, there was a kitchen table in the bathroom, a couch in the hallway, another couch in the kitchen, a chair on the fridge, and everything else was just moved to a different part of the room. We done good. =) We'll see what happens next.
Final thing of this blog. It's causing me a great deal of anxiety. This weekend was going to be spent in preparation for Halloween and Spook Alley and all that jazz. However, it's also Sarah Jagger's birthday and she wanted to take a select few friends and go on a weekend roadtrip to Spokane, WA. So I'm already forgoing one obligation to do that. But I found something out tonight that really tempts me to forgo ALL obligations...like, for the next year or so.
"25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is going on tour. They're holding auditions for the company in San Fransisco this weekend. And Ben and Christian are going.
I WANT TO GO SO BAD! At the same time, the idea frightens me out of my mind. I've NEVER done an audition that big before, and all of a sudden, I'm not even 1/8th of the performer I thought I was. Everything I've ever learned about performing and myself as a performer has just gone right out the window, and I'm a freshman in high school again, scared stiff to audition for the high school play. Hmm...maybe I could use that.
But I don't know, it's just so much more complicated. If I were to go down with them this weekend, it would mean I would have to do the following:
1) Get new headshots taken (my "current" ones are almost 2 years old)
2) Update and print copies of my resume
3) Find out more details about the audition
4) Prepare a monologue
5) Prepare a song
6) Make sure I have transportation
7) Make sure I have a place to stay while there
8) Budget to make sure I can actually afford this trip
9) Get makeup work from my classes
10) Forgo all other obligations I had this weekend, including the birthday wishes of a dear friend
11) On the miniscule chance that I am somehow miraculously cast, be willing to move to Chicago for a year or so and therefore erasing or postponing any other plans I had
And I would have to do all of that by...Friday. Not to mention the fact that I would have to emotionally prepare myself to spend an entire weekend with someone I'm sort of angry and bitter with right now.
But I would have the opportunity to do an audition I would learn SO MUCH from, and there's a chance that I could spend a year making money as a PERFORMER, doing a beautiful show that I love! College is too expensive anyway, and what better dream job than to act?
I highly doubt I will go. But I really want to. I wish Ben and Christian luck. I really think Christian could do it...he's one of the most talented actors I know, and he would be PERFECT as William Barfee. I don't know about Ben; I might cast him as the vice-principal. I don't know. This thing's just so big to me. Geez, the whole acting business just got so real and terrifying to me with this possibility alone.
I think I need to go to bed.
I need to read my scriptures and then go to bed.
I need to eat some ice-cream, read my scriptures, and THEN go to bed.
Holy heck, I want to audition.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I felt bad having him just come bring the cake, so I invited his entire apartment over for dinner.


This is my friend Chris--isn't he cool!? I've got to say, the one night I swing-danced with him was one of the funnest nights of my life. I had more fun dancing with him than with anyone else I've ever danced with. Even Scott, State Junior Ballroom Champion, and Jared. Sorry, guys, but it's the truth. Chris is just crazy talented and fun to dance with. And he's wearing cool suspenders in this pic.
Guess what happens this weekend? The Official Jen-Turns-19 48-hour extravaganza!!! Her birthday is conveniently on a Sunday this year, so we're going to start partying on Saturday afternoon, with festivities continuing until Sunday night. Saturday afternoon includes some sort of fun, we don't know what yet. Saturday night we're going to go see "The Guys" on campus, and then we're going to make a fort in the living room and watch movies and eat ice-cream all night. Sunday we'll go to church, and then have a nice big fancy dinner, and then cake and presents. Even though we're already making her a cake, our friend Travis decided that he'd make her one too. The quote I used for a title is what Jenny said to Jen the other day about it. But all the boys coming over are indescribably fun, so I look forward to it.
Last night, I didn't get to sleep until 4am. This is because I spent several hours planning a haunted house, hearing a creepy and true ghost story from my friend LoriBeth right after it happened to her, and watching "The Sixth Sense." I'd never seen that movie before, and even though it creeped me out a little bit, it was really good, and I'd never seen it before, so I kept watching it. And then thinking about it kept me up all night. Especially since LoriBeth had just told me the following story. (Oooh, I get chills just thinking about it....)
She's the stage manager for "The Guys," which is currently running in the Kirkham Arena theatre. She was the last one there and had just finished turning off all the lights and locking up the theatre, and was on her way home. Before she got far, though, she remembered that she had left something in the light/sound booth, so she went back. It was a little spooky anyway, because security had already come and locked up the building and there was no one else there. She used her stage manager keys to let herself in, went up the lightbooth, turned on the light and grabbed her stuff. As she was leaving, she flicked off the light and happened to look into the theatre. It was pitch-dark, and she had already closed the theatre up, and not even work lights were on. But she saw someone sitting in the audience, in the very middle of the row. She did a double-take, thinking her eyes were playing tricks on her, but there was definitely someone/something there. LoriBeth said she was too freaked out to stand there and study the figure, but she said it was of a girl, wearing a skirt, and that she was all white and looked lit up. She was just sitting there, sort of staring straight ahead. Even though all the lights were off. She booked it out of the theatre and was still a little shaky when I ran into her and she told me the story. This is also interesting, because "The Guys," the show that's running in that theatre right now, is about Sept. 11th, and a reporter and a fireman who are working to find out all they can about the rescue workers and firemen that were killed in the attack, to write their eulogies. *Shiver*
This is turning out to be quite the Halloween-y post, isn't it? I'm also really excited about the haunted house that theatre council is building for the Halloween carnival. It's in part of the Hart building, in a few old locker rooms that are never used. The theme is "classic movies," so we wanted to call it "Hollywood Hell," but since this is BYU-I, we're calling it "Hollywood Limbo" instead. For Jen, Jenny, or anyone else who actually plans on going to the haunted house, don't read the next paragraph.

It's sort of a guided tour thing, but when you first walk in, there's a guy with his back to everyone, but when he turns around, he's the guy from "The Fly." Then you have to walk through this sort of maze thing full of bugs and creepy crawly noises and textures, and when you get out, there's an old movie actress behind a screen who's all murdered and yelling at everyone. You proceed through a doorway of slime, and there's a polyester scrim thingy to your left that people are pushing on with their faces and hands (like in the Pink Floyd peice from Modern Dance at South a few years ago). The guide will tell you to push through the door, and you'll enter what we've fondly dubbed "The Room of Carnage." There will be bloody handprints everywhere and maybe a few body parts--arms and feet--and then you'll hear the "vrrrzzzmmm" of a chain saw start! Around the corner comes the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Man! He comes right up to the group and when he stops the chainsaw, he licks some of the blood off of it and makes a creepy face or something, and then the guide hurries you into the "Willy Wonka crawl space." It's really short, but we're going for the creepy tunnel effect from the movie when they're on the river boat. When you come out, you find yourself in front of a shower. (Convenient locker room, eh?) This is a little hard to explain, but there's going to be a curtain and the shower running, with an actress standing there lit from behind (she'll be wearing a bathing suit), so you see her sillouette. Then you'll see the shadow of someone creeping up and then stabbing her! We'll have screams and the "Psycho" theme playing, and we're trying to figure out a way to splatter blood on the curtain. Then you'll continue on and see a little "Noseferatu" scene with all this crazy-scientist stuff all around. The guide will take you into the next room, and past a guy who's wrapped in spiderwebs who's plastered to the wall. As you turn the corner, you'll hear someone banging on the lockers ahead of you, and creepy clown music. There will be a couple creepy evil clowns making faces and laughing, and we're hoping to find a ventriloquist dummy somewhere too. You turn a corner, and there you'll see, standing on a little platform, a girl standing in a prom dress and covered with blood, with a bloody bucket hanging from the ceiling above her, a la "Carrie," staring angrily at everyone. You walk past her to the end of the hallway, where there's a little kid's tricycle, with it's wheels spinning of their own accord. And then you're chased out! How much fun is that?! Since I'm helping plan it, that also means I get to choose who I want to be, and I'm tentatively cast as "Carrie." If they can't find someone who's comfortable in a bathing suit behind a curtain, then I might do that. I'm really excited.

Today's been kind of an interesting day...I started out with Alba first thing this morning and we did the crazy-weirdest mix: Fear/Joy. It was trippy. I've got to go to work in about an hour, but tomorrow's my last day, so I can endure it well.
This week has simply flown by. I can't wait for Jen's birthday!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Quick, Robin!


Hey hey hey, so I've got one ending submitted for the pen story. It's a good ending, but ya'll are disappointing me here. Come on, you budding creative writers, set yourselves free!
Anyway.
Yo, I've got about 600 more pictures from New York. I won't post all of them, for shizzle, but there are a couple that are pretty priceless that I will post. But I won't post them right now because I don't have a lot of memory left on my Flickr account for this month so I shall post them at a later point in time. A.K.A. November.
Jen turnes 19 in a week or so--yippee! How weird. I'm a year older than she is. Bizarr-o.
Wow, I'm just rambling here aren't I? I've been vowing to go to bed earlier, but I keep staying up and reading until 3am. This morning I forced myself to get up at 10:00 regardless of the fact that I didn't have to be anywhere until 2pm, just to try to get my body back into a semi-normal sleeping pattern. But know what that means? That means that today is punchy tired day! I CAN'T nap, so that I'll go to bed earlier and actually be tired. But in the meantime, everything's all like "buddle buddle" and stuff.
HEY! EXCITING STORY! Here's a fabulous reality for ya. Last night during my break from work at Wal*mart, I had this enormous milkshake craving, so I counted my spare change and went across the street to Jack in the Box. I got my milkshake and I'm walking out of the place, when I hear a somewhat familiar voice. I keep walking, but I glance around to see who I might recognize. There, in a seat at a table by the door is BRYAN WAGGNER! (I think I totally botched the spelling of your last name...) I stopped and said "Omigosh! Bryan?!" He looked at me and said "Oh my heck. Liz." We hugged and chatted for a little while, and it was so awesome! I couldn't talk long, cause I had to go back to work, but it was fabulous to see him.
For those of you who don't know who the heck I'm talking about, Bryan is a friend from high school. He was a sophomore when I graduated, and I haven't seen him since then really. That's like a year and a half or two years or something like that. He's an awesome kid...we were in choir together, seminary together, his sister and I did a play together, and the two of them are the ones who first introduced me to the Aquabats, for which I am forever in their debt. He's also best friends with Jordan Wright, who happens to be my best friend Jen's cousin. How surreal is that?!
I just noticed that I have to go finish getting ready here, so I have to stop rambling. Bye!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Being a ballpoint pen somewhat limits your abilities of communication

I don't know why, but it's about a thousand degrees hot in the Room-of-Requirement-Open-Browser-Computer-Lab here in the Romney building, which is where I am right now. I can feel the hydration being sucked out of me. The origonal plan was to go to the Mac Lab in the Spori to work on the NYC video, but there's a class in there right now, so I'm here writing a blog. But not just any blog. Here in this blog, I plan to present you with a short story.
Here's the deal. I started a short story this summer, but I can't quite decide what happens next. All of you are creative, spontaneous and talented writers, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to let you show what you're made of and help to write an ending. I've posted what I've written, and you send me your endings! I'll post your alternate endings here on the blog, and from there, we'll decide which one is the most liked. E-mail me your endings at my new blogger e-mail address, dinoblogger@yahoo.com. (BTW, please only use this address for things involving this blog.) And thus begins our story...

Once upon a time, ther was a ballpoint pen named Frederick. Of course, not many people knew his name was Frederick, as being a ballpoint pen, his abilities of communicating with human beings was rather limited.
This particular limitation, in fact, is at the very heart of our story's conflict.
Frederick's adventures began late on spring night, as he laid on the desk of Mr. Anthony Dowd of Dowd, Dowd, and Dowd Associates. The office was quiet, and a sort of calm serenity had descended upon Frederick, separating him from the well-lit street outside. He did not suspect for a moment that his peace was about to be shattered for quite some time.

In the infinite, swirling galaxies above Frederick, someone was leaning forward in his chair, staring intently at the screen in front of him. The image on the screen was, in fact, of a ballpoint pen, sitting on the desk of an earthman named Anthony Dowd.
The man in front of the screen glanced around him anxiously. The room was busy and crowded with people pushing buttons, unplugging wires, and looking at important numbers. No one took any notice of the man, which was precisely what he wanted.
He took a deep breath and pulled a small wire toward his mouth.
"This is Ex-Charlie Gamma-Spectre 40," he spoke into the wire.
"Ex-Charlie Gamma-Spectre 40 recognized," a robotic voice replied.
"Okay, listen, this is urgent," the man whispered. "I've got to send a message pod, but it's sort of...top secret. Can you deliver it without anybody knowing about it?"
"Affirmative," the robot voice said.
The man smiled. He decided it was unnecessary to mention the fact that the message was completely unauthorized. It was actually quite illegal.
"Open file Gamma-Spectre Planet Message."
"Retrieving file...opening file..."
"Wait!" he cried. "Don't open it! Just send it to Dowd, quadrants X-23, Y-47.18, Planet Charlie."
"Sending message pod...message delivered."
The man smiled again. He leaned back in his chair and was promptly hit over the head with a club and killed instantly.

Lightyears away, Anthony Dowd slept peacefully in his bed, his thoughts and dreams far from his only brother, who had run away from home when they were teenagers. he was completely unaware that his only brother had just been violently extinguished by a club to the head, in a spaceship in orbit several galaxies away. Fortunately, the hero of this story is neither Anthony Dowd nor his late brother.
Frederick the ballpoint pen gave a frightened start. This was a perfectly appropriate thing for him to do, as a metal cylinder had just blasted through the roof and landed on a nearby desk.
Before Frederick had time to recover from this first shock, he received a second. The metal cylinder had unfolded itself and began inflating something from within itself. After a moment, Frederick was able to recognize the inflating something as an old-timey phonograph. It was soon full-size, and within another moment, the inflatable needle had begun to move along the inflatable record, and a voice began speaking robotically.
"File Gamma-Spectre Planet Message: From Ex-Charlie Gamma-Spectre 40 to Anthony Dowd, quadrants X-23, Y-47.18 of Planet Charlie. Message commencing...please stand by..."
After a moment of static, Frederick heard a more human voice begin to speak.
"Anthony? Is this thing on? I can't tell. Well, let's say it is. Tony, hi, this is Andrew. Well, nowadays, they call me Ex-Charlie Gamma blah blah blah, but that's not the point. I haven't got much time, and neither do you for that matter. I've been up in space for a few years now...um, it's a long story, it involves a gerbil cage and a drastic misjudgement of character, but it all worked out and things are all right up here. Listen, I work in the Interstellar Communications Office, and I came across a message the other day that had your name on it. Apparently, someone wants to bring you up here for something, I'm not sure what, but they said something about killing you afterwards and then destroying the earth. Sorry to break a stony silence between kin this way, unpleasant news and all, but I thought I should warn you. This message is actually completely illegal, so if you could find some way to warn the people of earth that someone up here wants to destroy them, without telling them about getting a message from outer space, that'd be great. And hey, if you make it up here, look me up, I'd love to chat."
The phonograph collapsed into itself, and it and the metal cylinder disintegrated into dust and disappeared.
The only evidence remaining that anything had been there was the large hole in the ceiling.
A stunned silence filled the room. It was much different from the calm serenity that had been there a few minutes before.
Frederick laid in his place on the desk.
And thought.
And laid.
And thought.
This circular process continued until the wee small hours of the morning, and all the way until the dawn. Frederick was still laying and thinking when Anthony Dowd opened the door to his office and swore confusedly at the large hole in his ceiling. After a moment or two of inspection, Anthony Dowd started shuffling through papers, making phone calls, and pacing importantly. Frederick observed all of this wearily. It seemed to him that Anthony Dowd spent a lot of his time doing pointless things that only looked important.
Suddenly, Frederick's mind was hit with a startling thought. Having spent most of the night thinking, he was surprised that it did not occur to him before. The thought that occured to him was this:
"Good gracious. The fate on the entire planet rests in my hands alone."
Of course, this might not have been entirely true, as in the first place, he couldn't be sure that no one else had been warned, and in the second place, he didn't have hands.
But these are trifling matters when one thinks about the several billion lives ending if you gamble on assumptions.
Unfortunately for our hero, Frederick's realization caused him a great deal of distress. He was quite possibly the only individual on the planet who was aware of its impending destruction, and he was certainly unequipped to communicate this important fact. Nor was he properly equipped to warn Anthony Dowd of his soon-to-come abduction.
What was he to do? How could he warn the people of earth?

AND YOU DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! Send me your endings before the world is destroyed!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

That's the thing about a solid-gold toilet...it may be a solid-gold toilet, but it's still full of crap

Meet peoples unspoken demand for toilet seat protection and show that you care!
Cleanseat paper toilet seat covers provide a physical barrier between users and toilet seats protecting against germs and bacteria. The fact remains that no matter how spotless the facilities may appear, a multitude of strangers have previously used and compromised the hygiene of the same facilities.
Cleanseat paper toilet seat covers are an effective, low cost method of providing personal hygiene, protection and cleanliness which is so important to people who must share washroom facilities, the toilet seat is completely covered while the center flap pulls the fast dissolving paper toilet seat cover down the drain automatically when the toilet is flushed therefore there is no need to touch after use.
The addition of toilet seat covers says something about you and your company.
--From the website of "CleanseatUK: Distributor of Hygienic Disposables"



A FREE-WRITE FROM LATE LAST NIGHT THAT BECAME A COMMENTARY ON TOILET-SEAT COVERS:
(I don't know why that subject came to mind, but it ended up being a pretty interesting freewrite...)

You know, it’s really a shame that the internet at our apartment complex was supposed to be permanently fixed by last night at 6pm. That in and of itself is not a problem; the problem is that the internet is not fixed.
Right now, at 1:29 in the morning Friday (or I guess Saturday), there’s nothing I’d rather do than surf the web. Perhaps discover some exciting new blogs, explore IMDB a little, find out more about a health issue, or learn something new about the United States justice system. Writing is only a small desire right now. But as the internet is COMPLETELY inaccessible at the moment, write I shall, although what I’ll do with the final composition remains to be seen. Perhaps it will find its way onto my blog. That seems most likely, so I suppose I better make this interesting. If it’s not, I absolve myself from all blame right now, since this is just sort of a mental purge.
I’ve had several minor life-changing realizations recently. Okay, one isn’t very life-changing, but it changed my awareness of myself. I couldn’t remember what the Roe vs. Wade case was about tonight. I still don’t remember. I say I’m passionately interested in law and the justice system and yet I can’t remember the details of one of the most pivotal court cases in U.S. history. Then I realized that I don’t think I EVER knew the details of Roe vs. Wade. I’m ashamed of myself. Another thing the internet would have been good for. (Finding out the details of Roe vs. Wade, not getting rid of my shame.)
The other realization happened a few weeks ago, but I still think about it all the time. I discovered that I’ve been using paper toilet-seat covers BACKWARDS my entire life! You know the little flappy part of it? The part that you punch out so you can actually use the toilet? Apparently, the part that’s still connected after you punch out the middle is supposed to go in FRONT. I read the instructions. I’ve been putting it in the back for the last 20 years! What does that mean? What does that say about me as a person? What does that say about society? What a riveting demand for redefinition this brings on!
Know what else is weird when it comes to toilet-seat covers? The fact that BYU-Idaho campus bathrooms don’t have any. None. Nowhere in any of the buildings can you find them. Does that strike anyone else as odd? There have been complaints and requests for them for years, but still they can’t be found in any campus bathroom. I don’t know what the cost would be for installing them, but I can’t imagine it being a substantial sum. Furthermore, last winter semester, the administration installed instant hand-sanitizer dispensers ALL OVER THE PLACE…in the bathrooms, in the hallways, by every entrance and exit to every building. Now, can someone please explain that logic to me? “We aren’t going to answer the requests for toilet-seat covers that have been coming into our office for years, but we aren’t going to tell anyone why. We are, however, going to spend money and time on hand-sanitizers everywhere so that germs aren’t spread.” What the weird?!
The only conclusion I can reach is that they aren’t making toilet-seat covers an option on matter of principle. What kind of principle, I don’t know. “We don’t need toilet-seat covers at BYU-Idaho because those are only needed to avoid the bad diseases that sinners get. We’re all good Mormons at BYU-Idaho, and good Mormons don't need to worry about that kind of thing.”
I seem to be in a pretty facetious frame of mind, but that’s the only principle I can think of and I really hope that it’s not the one this lack of toilet-seat covers is based on. I will be severely disillusioned. Does anyone else see the fallacies involved here? If they only knew how many of us good Mormons hover over the toilet seats at BYU-Idaho to avoid touching it with an unprotected tush.
I think I’m going to bed. Cynacism is exhausting, although an addicting frame of mind, it seems.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'd give heaven and hell to get outta here--someone tell Lady Luck that I'm stuck here


I'm having a quarter-life crisis.
When I made the decision last spring to stay in Rexburg over the summer, I felt confident that I would enjoy every minute of it, and that the changes that would occur would be enough to keep life from becoming too monotonous. For years, I've told myself and honestly believed that I don't want to live in a big city. And then I spent a week in Manhattan.
I just need out somehow...I need some sort of a change. Rexburg and Wal-mart, and the same classes and the same routine, all of that is stifling me.
I called in sick to work today for the third time this week. If I get fired, I'll rejoice in the day.
Realistically speaking, I could just get out and go somewhere new come winter semester. I could get an internship at Disneyworld. I could live in the Bay Area for a while. I could transfer to film school for a little while. But the complications lie in 3 things.
One, I have somewhat limited finances. Although I've not let that stop me before.
Two, I'd really like to do Playmill this coming summer. Having been through auditions once, and now having been to the Playmill several times, I have a better idea of what they're looking for, and what talents I can develop and showcase to my best advantage when auditioning. I'm not saying I'm guaranteed to get in this time, but it seems much more likely to me.
Three, I have a good many dear friends who are graduating this spring. The thought of not being here to share their last year just breaks my heart.
Of course, there's also "School for Scandal" that I'd love to be in winter semester, and "Comic Frenzy," which I'm possibly managing or auditioning for, and the fact that I would like to actually get my college degree within the next 3 or 4 years.
I need a vacation. Emotionally and physically. The 5 consecutive candy bars I ate last night didn't do it for me.

He said "Bill, I believe this is killing me,"
As the smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star,
If I could get out of this place."
--Billy Joel, "Piano Man"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fornicating in New York City isn't fornicatining at all!

Okay, so that statement is totally not true, but it's something that my friend Erika said while we were there and I thought it was funny. Anyway, eat your heart out looking at this small handful of pictures! (On this computer, the pictures are looking a little dark, so I apoligize if they are on y'all's machines, too.)

This is me in the car on the way to Salt Lake. As you can see, I was pretty excited.


This is some of the group on the plane. Both pictures got a little blurry, but I like them anyway. In the foreground of the first one, from left to right is Mindy, Brenna, and Ben. In the second picture, you've got Christian and Erika, and Ally and Cameron behind them.

This is Kjersti with the hundred-dollar bill she found on the plane.

All of us walking from the subway to our hotel with all of our luggage on the first night in the city. I really like this picture.

This is JD and Sam at the Statue of Liberty museum at the bottom of the observatory tower of Lady Liberty herself.

Hooray for fun guys who love performing! You kind of can't see very well, but from closest to farthest away, Brenna taking a picture with Scott (Matthew), Danny (Mark), and Dennis (Abraham) with his beautiful curly hair.

Our own boys posing a la "Altar Boyz": Cameron, Sam, JD, Ben, and Christian.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that this picture turned out so blurry, but its a pretty fun one anyway. This is me with the Altar Boyz! James (Luke), Scott (Matthew), Ryan (Juan), Danny (Mark), and cutie-pie Dennis (Abraham).

What's a trip to New York City without cheesecake!? This is at the Roxy Deli...look at the size of those peices!

This is me with two of the actors from "Wicked." Jerad Bortz (Fiyero) and Megan Hilty (Glinda). They were both super-nice. What I wouldn't give for teeth like Megan Hilty's.

Okay, this is totally random, but it was in the film gallery of the Museum of Modern Art, and I thought it was hilarious, in a really gruesome kind of way. (It's big, cause it was sideways if it was smaller. I don't know why. Same with the next one.)

This is me in front of the theatre where we saw Spamalot!

That's David Hyde Pierce! He's a genius. I told him so, and he laughed and said thank you, and signed my Playbill.

This was just a crazy wierd coincidence. This potato sack was sitting next to an open-air french fry stand in the middle of Manhattan. Larsen Farms is totally in Rexburg, ID.

This is what I turned around and saw when I was sort of lost at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After I gave up looking for the Arms and Armor gallery.

I don't think anyone can deny that this is a great picture. =) This is the state everyone was in by the the end of the week. Heidi, Eliza, and Benji asleep on the subway Friday night.

Kristi, Mallori, and Sarah on the car ride from Salt Lake to Rexburg. I actually have a picture of almost everyone in the group sleeping, but there wasn't enough room on the blog for all of them.

I don't know if words will be sufficient to describe what a wonderful and amazing experience this trip was. I learned SO MUCH! About people, about myself, about theatre, about art...
One of the things that stands out most in my memory of this trip is how it made Broadway more accessible. Before now, it had an "untouchable" nature. I learned so much more about what makes great theatre, and I remember sitting in shows and thinking to myself, "The friends I'm sitting next to could just as well be up on that stage, and do just as good of a job." I also sort of realigned my perspective on myself as a performer. To steal some words out of Ben's mouth, from a conversation we had about this on the trip: This trip has reiterated for me how much I want to be involved in theatre on a proffessional level. And the most necessary thing for that is TOTAL COMMITTMENT. Not just being on time to rehearsal, having lines memorized on time, and all that jazz, but committment to every single moment of your performance. That was one the things that made "Spelling Bee" so wonderful...every single one of those actors was right there, in character and in the moment EVERY SINGLE SECOND. Every physical, vocal, and emotional choice they made, they made totally and completely, and committed their whole self to it. When you don't do that as a performer, you short-change yourself, your fellow performers, and your audience. It's selfish not to give your absolute all. It's my goal now as a performer to COMMITT.
I also can't talk about this trip without mentioning the wonderful friendships that were born and strengthened. I didn't even know Brenna Dunn before this trip, and she happens to be one of the funnest, kindest, most spiritual girls I've ever met! Kristi Bates, too. Spending time with Erika, Ben, JD, Cameron, and Christian...I've learned so much more about them, and have come to love them even more deeply. We're so much closer now. And it's true of everyone who went on the trip, but especially those mentioned above. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing, wonderful, and startlingly individual people! I only pray and try to be as much of a blessing in their lives as they are in mine.

A blurry but nice picture of the group in the New Amsterdam theatre.

As a final closing commentary on the trip, I include these insights. On Friday, I got out the video camera and asked everyone about their experiences in New York City, and here are some of the answers:

"What did you do in New York City?"

"I went shopping!" --Hannah
"I saw some plays." --JD
"I made babies." --Ben
"What did I...? My favorite story that I...what?" --Brenna
"I forgot to shave." --Roger
"I don't know! Give me a break!" --Eliza
"I went broke." --Cameron
"No, that's not true...I saw a bunch of Broadway shows; that's what we all did!" --Ben
"Fffrrrrttt! 'Ats what I did! Heh heh heh!" --Christian (a.k.a. "Squirrel-Boy")

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just say "butt" Dad, we're all friends here!

Darn internet. I just blogged almost all of Thursday, went to save it as a draft, and it disappeared into cyberspace. Shmer. Here we go again.

This is a picture of genius David Hyde Pierce and his band of…his band singing about his brave deeds. Or lack thereof. Those of you who are Monty Python enthusiasts may recognize this scene as “Brave Sir Robin.”

Anyway, the final leg of the trip!

DAY SIX, Thursday
This day started out with a tour of the New Amsterdam theatre, where we would see “Lion King” later that night. That was lots of fun, and there was lots of cool history to it. It’s a beautiful theatre. It was the theatre that Fanny Brice and the Zeigfeld Follies started in, so I had a nice little “Funny Girl” moment. Boss (Sis. Bossard) said something really funny during the tour; our guide was talking about the necessity of lightweight set pieces for “Lion King” since their so big, so most of them are only as real as they absolutely have to be. Boss looked at our tour guide and said “So this is a political theatre? Since you use false structure?” Heh heh.
After that, I went off to do a little more exploring of Times Square by myself. I found an awesome “Spamalot” umbrella at the ENORMOUS 4-STORY Toys r us, and I found bliss at the Hershey’s factory/store. Actually, I already knew the umbrellas were there; Ben found them the day before so I just went to get one.
I was absolutely EXHAUSTED, so I went back to the hotel to take a nap. I planned on sleeping from about noon to 1 or 1:30, but I think you all know where this story is heading. I woke up at 6:00. I know some of you must be thinking oh no! What a waste of a day in NYC! But really, friends, it was a necessary six hours of sleep. It was the longest consecutive stretch of sleep I had the whole trip. And I didn’t really have plans for that afternoon anyway.
I walked down to Times Square for “Lion King” with JD and Christian, and on the way we stopped at a little Korean bakery that was near our hotel. Christian had discovered it earlier in the week, and had eaten there at least once a day since. We grabbed a quick something to eat on our way to the show, and boy am I glad Christian discovered that bakery cause heck that was good eatin’.
“Lion King” was fantastic—visually stunning, if horribly acted. They played to the kids a little too much, but the dancing, set, and costumes were all spectacular. This show also got me noticing and thinking a lot about something I’ve never really taken interest in before…PUPPETRY. All of a sudden, I’m fascinated by it. Maybe that’s what I’ll do my theatre history project on…
After the show, a group of us wanted to take the Staten Island Ferry. There’s really nothing on Staten Island, but it’s the ferry ride that we’ve been told we must do—city skyline at night from the bay and all that jazz. JD was going to come with us, but one of the girls in our group was REALLY sick (strep throat—how lame is that?), so he went back to the hotel to give her a blessing.
The rest of us booked it to the subway because it was our last night to do it, and the last ferry leaves Manhattan at 11:30. When we got off the subway at the Staten Island ferry stop, it was 11:27. So we SPRINTED. Off the subway, up the stairs, down the street, through the ferry station and onto the boat! Christian swore at this jerky guy in the ferry station, cause we were OBVIOUSLY sprinting as fast as we possibly could, and he was yelling “Come on come on! Hurry up! I gotta close these doors, I’m goin’ home, come on kids, quit takin’ your time!” But we made it! We tumbled onto the boat, and for at least the next ten minutes, our legs could barely hold us up and we could hardly breathe, we were so winded. Christian also spent that 10 minutes continuing to curse about that guy, but after he got it out of his system, he was a gentleman and apologized to the ladies in his presence for his rude language. Which was hardly necessary, because as soon as we successfully got on the boat, it was one of us girls who panted “That was damn impressive.” But kudos to him for his chivalry.
And it was totally worth it—the view was incredible.
It was also way floppin’ COLD, so on the way back, half of us went inside and talked, instead of enjoying the view from the deck like we had on the way. I ended up having a long, insightful, and somewhat humorous conversation with my friends Ben and Cameron, about Mormons and their innocence. It was a really interesting discussion…about how innocent Mormons should be before and AFTER marriage, where you draw the line between innocence and naivetee, what you should talk about with your fiancĂ©e before marriage, etc. etc. It was interesting to hear guys’ ideas.
And that was Thursday!

DAY SEVEN, Friday
Along with Wednesday, this was my favorite day of the trip. I spent the entire day with the Merrill family and/or Ben. We started out in the morning by going to the TKTS booth to see what tickets we could get that night. I mentioned earlier that I had left that night open. Well, instead of “Spelling Bee” on Wednesday night, some of the others had gone and seen “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Ben had kind of wanted to see it, and everyone else’s rave reviews convinced him to see it on Friday for sure. I had already done everything I wanted to, and he was going to be going alone, so we decided to go together. We ended up taking a couple of the Merrill kids, but that’s a different story, and one that I’ll tell later.
We ate an early lunch at a brick-oven pizza place, yummy, and then attempted to head back at the subway. Unfortunately, there was an open air market going on along the way, and that was just bad news. Once again, the womenfolk had to STOP and BUY THINGS. I can see why, ladies, it’s not like there aren’t ten THOUSAND other booths exactly like this, selling the exact same things, at the exact same prices, ALL OVER MANHATTAN. Oh wait a minutes, there totally are. So I stood around with Roger, Sam, and Ben while we waited for the black hole of shops to spit out the others. It took a while, but at last, they were done.
Next stop, the Metropolitan Museum of Art! We only had about 2 hours there, but I could have spent several more DAYS there. For one thing, the place is totally a maze; I was lost most of the time, and ended up at the galleries I wanted to see mostly by chance. For another thing, THERE’S SO MUCH STUFF. We all split up, and I attempted to head straight for the “Arms and Armor” exhibit. After searching for about 15 minutes, I decided it didn’t actually exist, and gave up. I turned around to find my way somewhere else, and there before me was an enormous hall FILLED with armor! I dropped my map, and my jaw and just stared. Poor 11-year-old Sam told us later he was bored the whole time in the museum. You should have come with me, Sammy, I looked at SWORDS, AND FOILS, AND RAPIERS, AND ARMOR, AND GUNS, AND DAGGERS! It was way cool. I thought of you guys, Mom, Ray, and Beckah…you would have loved it.
After taking in my fill of violent weaponry, I explored the Egyptian art, Greek and Roman sculpture, Eastern European decorative art, Middle Ages religious art, American paintings, and European paintings. Once again, seeing art in real life simply cannot compare to seeing a picture in a book. I saw Vermeer’s “Study of a Young Girl”…it was incredible! (For those of you who have read or seen “Girl With a Pearl Earring”…yeah, it’s THAT painting.) I was just in tears, I was so amazed by my surroundings.
After we left the museum, we took a couple of TAXI’s to the Metropolitan Opera House. Yeah, we rode cabs in NYC. Pretty awesome. In a terrifying sort of way. Anyway, we toured the Metropolitan Opera House, which was pretty cool, and very LARGE, but I think our tour guide kept forgetting that we told her that ALL of us were experienced in theatre and music, because she kept explaining things like what a greenroom is, and what a stage-manager does, and the difference between the costume dept. and the costume shop. She got on my nerves. But it was still cool.
Directly after that, Ben and I kidnapped 9-year-old Eliza and 11-year-old Sam to take them to see "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." This was done with their parents' knowledge. We were totally playing Mom and Dad for a night. I told Ben that and he replied "I'm not playing Dad. I'm playing smack-down." But he's totally going to be an awesome Dad one day, and couldn't "play smack-down" even if he wanted to. We were all kind of hungry, so we stopped to get a little gourmet Manhattan cuisine at the local McDonald's, and then proceeded to the theatre.
The show was amazing, and so much fun! Chip Zien was in it, of all people--he played the origonal Baker in Broadway's "Into the Woods." The special effects in the show were absolutely mind-boggling. The car FLEW OVER THE AUDIENCE! A full-size classic car! It was the perfect fun little show to end the week with.
After the show was over, Eliza wanted to meet with everyone for dinner, as one last celebration together. After having a quick "family conference," =) we decided to go to the theatre where our friends Christian and Mallory were seeing "Hairspray" and wait for them there. I don't know why, but Eliza was WIRED after the show. It was crowded, so I was holding her hand as we were walking through Times Square, and she was singing at the top of her lungs and dancing around...I don't know where she got all that from! Sam kept turning around to say things like "Eliza! BE NORMAL!" Ben and I both sort of had headaches and we were super-tired, so we were content to just smile indulgently and let 'Liza work out all her energy. We ended up waiting outside the theatre for Christian and Mallory for about 45 minutes. Eliza's level of energy did not diminish once during that entire 45 minutes. For a while, we were all playing...I taught Eliza how to do the robot, and Ben taught Sam how to give the best piggy-back rides. (Apparently there's a science to it.) But after awhile, Ben and I just sort of stood back and let the kids run around like crazy in the 10-foot length of sidewalk in front of us. It was useless to try to control them at all, so I just enjoyed watching their insanity and tried to make sure Sam didn't completely obstruct Eliza's airflow or anything like that.
FINALLY, the others came out of the theatre, and we met as a BIG group once again at Roxy Deli for cheesecake. It was very fitting...that's where we went the first night, and here we were again on the last. After eating and chatting, the Merrills all went home and a few of us remained and talked for a long time about what we've learned and the experiences we've had. We knew it was our last night, so we wanted to make the most of it. We ate the best things we could find on the menu and talked until 1:30 in the morning. It was really the perfect ending to our trip.
We had to get up the next morning early enough to leave the hotel by 5:30am. I still hadn't packed or anything, so I almost didn't go to sleep at all that night. I packed until 3:30am, went to sleep around 4:00am, and woke up at 5:00am! And now we're starting to overlap into...

DAY EIGHT, Saturday
EVERYTHING was funny to me this morning. From the dorky dialogue JD and Christian were dubbing over the news as we watched it in the lobby, to Ben's intelligent and/or ridiculously stupid puns. The day was spent traveling and sleeping, but there was one exciting adventure...the crazy faucet in the boy's bathroom at JFK airport.
Ben came back from the bathroom while we were waiting to board the plane and told us that he had just seen the coolest thing. He said he was done going to the bathroom and was washing his hands, but it was a motion sensor faucet. After he had finished and the water turned off, a little trickle of water ran down the length of the faucet and over the sensor, so it turned back on. After a minute, when the cycle was complete, the water turned back off...and a little trickle of water ran down the length of the faucet and over the sensor, so it turned back on! This cycle continued for at least five minutes, and Ben just stood and watched it. Everything is amusing at 6 in the morning. =) Christian stole the video camera and got it on tape.

And THAT, my friends was the itinerary of the trip! Pictures and final thoughts to follow, in the last and final blog entry on the NYC experience!

Monday, October 03, 2005

There are a lot of men with beautiful hair in this city


These are the Altar Boyz...Matt, Marc, Luke, Juan, and Abraham (he's Jewish). Although in order of this picture, from left to right, it's Luke, Juan, Matt, Marc, and Abraham. Juan and Matt were the only members of the origonal cast that we saw...the guys playing Luke, Marc, and Abraham were different.

The trip continued!

The ideal thing for me to be doing right now is homework, but that takes far to much effort right now, so blog away I do! I forgot to mention in the last entry that one of the guys in Altar Boyz was super-cute, and had the most beautiful curly hair. I was chatting with him after the show, and told him what amazing hair he had. He was oober-sweet, and said "Thank you! They actually want to cut it." I gasped and said "NO! Tell them they can't! Tell them some girl told you that you cannot cut your hair, it's too beautiful!" He laughed and said all it needed was a trim so that it doesn't hit him in the eyes while he's dancing. I said "As long as they don't destroy those beautiful curls...can I touch your hair please?" So I ran my fingers through his luscious locks while chatting with him. Yeah, he was almost a stranger. Yeah, I have a fetish. Anyway.

DAY FOUR, Tuesday
Breakfast with Benji and Brenna was fun today, and I found myself filled with gratitude for the wonderful friends I have. So the morning was good, but things sort of went downhill after that. To tell the sad truth, most of this day was absolutely lame-o miserable, and its sort of my own fault, but it was pretty stupid. I won't go into details of all the drama that went on, but basically, I had planned to shop in Chinatown for a short while, then visit some museums and do a little sight-seeing. Due to me being too nice and not having some backbone, and due to an enormous conflict of interest with some friends, I basically spent the entire day doing NOTHING I wanted to. I was done shopping in about 20 minutes, since after a while I noticed that all the shops sold the same thing, but that's what I spent almost the entire day doing, all the while attempting to escape and catch up with some other friends who were doing the things I wanted to do, but because of some other drama involving something entirely different regarding conflicting crushes, I couldn't get ahold of the others. After this totally frustrating ordeal, I finally said to the two girls I was with "I'm leaving. I'll see you at dinner tonight," and turned around and walked away. Of course, that offended the girls I was with and then they figured out that I didn't want to do what they did and they felt guilty and it just got worse and worse. But by that point, I didn't care--I was too irritated and angry with myself and the waste of my day.
By this time, I had about an hour before dinner. I thought about trying to go to some museums or something like I wanted to, but I only would have been able to stay for an hour or so, so I sat down and vented in my notebook about how frustrated I was. After I got that out of my system, I thought to myself "You know what? This is stupid. I hate all this drama. I'm not going to let it ruin my entire day! I'm going to a museum!" So I stood up and went to the Museum of Television and Radio. That place is oober-cool. Check it out--they've got about 6 or 7 "viewing rooms" where they have marathon-type viewings of things like "The Dick Van Dyke Show" or "I Love Lucy" or shows like that. But even cooler than that, on the 4th floor, they have a database of EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAS EVER BEEN ON TELEVISION OR RADIO SINCE THEY'VE BEEN INVENTED. So you can look up anything you want to and watch it in a little cubicle with headphones. You can watch or listen to anything you want to for as long as you want to, all for the $8 price of admission to the museum. I didn't have long, so I looked up "The Ed Sullivan Show," because I thought it would be a fun sort of thing to watch, and something a little harder to find elsewhere. But just by chance, due to a blip in the search engine, among the episodes of Ed Sullivan listed, I found a little thing called "The 30th Anniversary of the Muppets," a special celebrating the history of Jim Henson's muppets. I thought to myself, "That is exactly what I need right now! I love the muppets! I'm watching THAT!" So I did. I didn't get to finish it, but the hour or so that I did watch I enjoyed thoroughly.
Afterward, I met the rest of the group at "The Bombay Palace," this delicious Indian food restaurant where we were all eating before the show. I met up with my friend Ben, who was one of those I was trying to catch up with earlier that day, and we chatted about what we'd done that day. I told him that I didn't do much I wanted to, but I did just spend a happy hour in a museum. Here's our conversation:
Ben: Which museum?
Liz: The museum of Television and Radio.
Ben: Really? When were you there?
Liz: Just now. I was there for about an hour.
Ben: That's weird. That's where I was for the last hour. Were you in the viewing room?
Liz: Yeah! I didn't even see you!
Ben: How did I not see you either? Weird.
Liz: Weird.
Ben: (smiling) I just spent the last hour watching "The 30th Anniversary of the Muppets." It was awesome.
Liz: (jaw dropping) THAT'S WHAT I WAS WATCHING!

How crazy a coincidence is THAT!? Of all the places to go in all of New York City, and after spending half the day trying to get ahold of Ben, he and I were in the same museum, at the same time, in the same room, watchting THE SAME THING, and didn't even know it until later. Yeah, it was pretty whack.
Dinner was absolutely delicious, as was everything else eaten the whole trip, and we had very friendly and funny and attentive waiters. Dinner was the time to splurge a little, because throughout the rest of the day, I ate cheap and light. Continental breakfast at the hotel, and then a bagel from a shop here and a hot dog from a street vendor there...I sort of grazed throughout the day and then ate heartily at night. Mmmmm, Indian food is some good stuff!
After that, we hurried to the theatre to see "Wicked," which was just a dream come true for me. The set was incredible, along with the costumes and the dancing. The guy who played Fiero had a not so impressive voice, and that was a little disappointing, but it was still an amazing show. I cried several times throughout, and at the very end, when the lights went out, I burst into tears. "Defying Gravity" was amazing...I don't think I even breathed. I would also like to take the opportunity to say that almost every single theatre I went to was horribly designed when it came to the amount of bathrooms provided. I don't know how they expected 3 stalls in a girl's bathroom to accomadate several hundred women in 15 minutes.
Another funny story about that night: Ben, Cameron, and I, for some reason I no longer remember, got separated from the group and were running a little late. Of course, I was wearing a skirt and dress shoes so we couldn't exactly run or jog, so we decided to power-walk the several blocks to the theatre. However, Ben and Cameron both had this really funny powerwalk...they would both go really fast, but the top half of their bodies was completely still, and their hips would sway all funny because of how fast they were walking. I took one look at them, and totally lost it, and by the time we got to the theatre, I was twice as exhausted with laughing and trying to keep up.
After the show, we met some of the cast, had a little question and answer period, took some pictures and got some autographs. That was really neat. All of the cast members we met were really fun.
That night, we decided to all go to the Empire State Building, so we went back to the hotel to grab our tickets and then headed over. Our hotel was only about a block away from the building, so we didn't have that far to go. Well, Ben, Brenna, Cameron, Amy and I were walking together as a group, and after wandering around for a little while, we stopped on a corner and stood looking up. We could not find the Empire State Building for the life of us. I mean, it's the Empire State building, it shouldn't be that hard to find, right? After staring at all the sky-scrapers for a minute or two, Cameron finally exclaims "Where the heck is it?" Amy looks up and then smiles, and pointing, says "Could THAT be it?" We turned around, and lo and behold, we had found it. We were standing right next to it, in fact. We all felt a little idiotic, but it was really funny.
The elevators in that building go really fast, by the way. But the view is INCREDIBLE! Especially at night. They say that when New York City is lit up at night, you can see it from space, and now I understand how. It looks like someone just sort of reversed the sky with the land...or took a net with all the stars in it and draped it over the buildings. You can only see about 3 stars in the sky but about a billion lights on the ground. Pretty spiffy. I also decided that one day I'd like to be kissed on the top of the Empire State Building. I should have taken advantage of the opportunity I had, but c'est la vie!
Later that night, after everyone had gone to bed, I got super hungry, and so when I couldn't stand it any longer, I got out of bed and went out into the street in my pajamas. It was about 1:30 in the morning then, and the city's almost a different place at that hour. There was a Walgreens on the bottom floor of the Empire State Building, so I went there and got myself a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts, and enjoyed them as I walked back to my room. When I got back, the other girls were awake, and I had a wonderful conversation with Brenna and Mindy before going to sleep. And that was Tuesday!

DAY FIVE, Wednesday
This morning, I went with Brenna to the Museum of Modern Art, which was amazing! Let me just make a little list of some of the artists whose original paintings I saw:
Henri Matisse
Claude Monet
Pablo Picasso
Jackson Pollock
Vincent Van Gogh
Henri Rousseau
Paul Gauguin
Salvador Dali
Frida Kahlo
Cezanne
It was absolutely incredible. I was just sort of wandering, and I turned a corner, and there was Van Gogh's "Starry Night." It was indescribable. I turned another corner and there was Dali's "The Persistence of Memory." I also saw Picasso's "Girl Before a Mirror," and Rousseau's "The Sleeping Gypsy," and a handful of others. Seeing a painting like that in real life simply cannot compare to seeing a picture of it in a book. It takes your breath away...you can't really describe it with words or define what draws you to it, but you can't deny that there is some sort of power in those masterpeice paintings that strike you.
That afternoon, I had tickets to the matinee show of "Spamalot." My seat was kind of weird; I was on the mezzanine and the top of the stage was blocked from view by the balcony, so I watched parts of the show sitting on the floor. But it was worth it. The show was genius! Not everyone seemed to get the jokes or appreciate the classic stuff they were doing, but I was having a blast! Ben was sitting in the FRONT ROW, and he said that during intermission, a little old lady behind him stood up and said to her companion "I have no idea what's going on." Ah, well, my elderly friend, Monty Python is a cult classic, but one that if you don't get it now, you never will.
It was an awesome experience too, to see such big stars onstage. I remember thinking toward the beginning, "There he is! Tim Curry! He's right there! And David Hyde Pierce!" They were all very talented. Hank Azaria was the only member of the cast who had been replaced by an understudy. Oh, and the Lady of the Lake, too. But other than that, it was all the original cast. Do you know how cool it is to buy a musical soundtrack and have the voices on it the same ones you heard in real life?
Well, anyway, after the show, we were just going to head off and kill time, but I noticed a big crowd gathered on the side of the theatre, so I went to investigate. I'm glad I did, because I managed to push my way to the front of the crowd and have my Playbill signed by lead members of the cast, INCLUDING DAVID HYDE PIERCE. He was hilarious in the show; an absolute genius, and I told him as much. He laughed and said thank you and signed my Playbill. That was a cool experience.
After that, I explored Times Square, including the Virgin Megastore and the Hard Rock Cafe. Then it was off to see "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"!
Okay. That show was absolutely wonderful. It was funny, and poignant, and powerful and moving, and each of the characters were so endearing. Here's another exciting story...
Before the show, Erika said that Christian mentioned something about being in the show. We had no idea what he was talking about, so we thought "Heh, one of us onstage on Broadway TONIGHT, like that will ever happen." Anyway, the show started, and the lady playing the principal was announcing the spelling bee contestants. They were coming from the audience and taking their places on the bleachers onstage. She's announcing the characters..."Leaf Coneybear...William Barfee...Chip Tolentino...James Taylor..." and then JD WALKED ONTO THE STAGE!!!!!!!!!! He and 3 other audience members had been chosen to be participants in the show! They were called up to spell words and took their seats in the house if they got it wrong. JD ended up staying onstage the longest...the others got out fairly early, but he was onstage for at least a third of the show! The other cast members followed the script and just sort of danced and sang around the "guests" on stage when necessary. Each time the players came up to spell a word, the principal would say some little bio-like thing about them. The first time JD got up, she said "When Mr. Taylor grows up, he hopes to be a mediocre folk singer." But our favorite thing she said about him also gave birth to his new Comic Frenzy name. He was wearing khaki pants, an off-white button-up shirt, and a brown blazer, so when he got up to spell a word, the principal said "Back home in his own spelling bee championships, Mr. Taylor is known as 'The Earthtone Assassin.'" How cool of a name is that?! Incidentally, there's a funny story about that brown blazer. In the beginning of the week, JD bought this blazer in an uptown clothing store in Manhattan somewhere. It's really nicely made, and fits him well. A pretty snazzy jacket--brown with very thin off-white pinstripes. He planned on wearing it to the shows at night and returning it at the end of the week, cause it was $80 and he couldn't afford it. But it was that jacket that got him noticed by the usher who selected him to be a part of the show. Afterwards, all the cast members complimented him on his snazzy jacket, so he didn't return it at the end of the week. He also still can't afford it, so he's just not going to eat for a week or so. Or he'll call his dad and say "I bought a jacket I can't afford, but now I can't get rid of it." Anyway, it got to when he was the last one onstage, and to the word you could tell was the one he was supposed to get out on. It was some outrageously hard word no one had ever heard of before, so JD just guessed wildly. And he got it right. So onstage he stayed! He sat back down again, and they immediately called him back up to spell another word, which this time he got wrong on the first letter.
The show itself was wonderful. I can't even describe how much I loved it. There were times in the show when I actually felt like I was in middle school again. (Did I already say that? I don't remember.) After the show, the fact that JD was in it and the cast's favorite sort of gave the rest of us a convenient "in," so we got to meet all of the cast! They signed our Playbills and took pictures with us and chatted with us. This included Dan Fogler, who won a Tony this year for his performance in that show. It was super-awesome. I wish I could have gotten a picture with Jesse Tyler Furgeson, who played Leaf Coneybear. He was my favorite, but I didn't have my camera with me. =(
After the show, a group of us went to dinner at Olive Garden, and since I had already eaten and wasn't too hungry, I skipped the meal and went straight to dessert. After that, it was hie for home (a.k.a. hotel) and sleep!

And the rest of the trip and final thoughts in the next and last entry on the New York trip!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Who died and made you the village idiot?


I'M HOME!!!!!!!!
What an amazing experience! I'm absolutely exhausted. But I have so many stories to tell that I am writing to tell them to you. I also have all sorts of pictures to add to these stories, but I don't have them yet, so they will have to be added in the next blog.
The picture here is the cast of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," which was my favorite show we saw, and which I will tell you all about later in this blog.
I also highly doubt I will get all of the trip into this one entry, so this will chronicle the trip through Tuesday, and the next entry will be the rest of the trip.

DAY ONE, Saturday
Nothing interesting except for a drive to Salt Lake. And a fun dinner as an entire group plus a few guests at Chili's. Which meant that we waited about 18 thousand hours to be seated. But we did get to see Jeff Parkes, and that was fun. Today was also the day that Christian created the character "Squirell-Boy," a mentally retarded kid whose main energies are directed toward squirells and his bouncy ball, and who was one of our favorite companions throughout the rest of the trip.

DAY TWO, Sunday
We woke up at the butt-crack at dawn, in order to leave the hotel at 5-freaking-thirty in the morning. But the adrenalin and excitement of going to New York City kept us all awake. Following were several hours of traveling by bus, airplane, shuttle, subway and foot. Adventures of that day were Kjersti finding a $100 bill under her seat on the plane and buying dinner with it for herself, Ben, and Kristi, since they were sitting next to her. When we got into JFK, there was some hulabaloo with the gate we were supposed to park in or whatever, so we waited on the runway for about 45 minutes. And it was 45 minutes of insanity! We'd been up since the wee small hours of the morning, traveling the whole time, and we were FINALLY there in New York City, and we COULDN'T GET OFF THE PLANE!!! It was horrible. We did, however, eventually escape, and thus began one of the most stressful evenings of the trip. LIFE LESSON #213: Never take a group of 22 students and faculty from the airport to the city via train, and then attempt to ride the subway from where the train dropped you off to your hotel, but then get off one stop too early and walk 8 blocks through downtown Manhattan at rush hour, trying to keep everyone together. This is especially stressful if everyone is carrying a week's worth of luggage with them, which is what we were doing. JD and Roger were really patient and helpful, though at one point Roger said "I'm never doing this again, this is ridiculous," and to which JD replied "I think several of our girls have cried already." What a night! But the city was incredible, everything I'd imagined and more, and in spite of cumbersome luggage and difficulty staying together, my first experience in Manhattan was unforgettably amazing.
The first thing I noticed was the humidity. I had curled my hair that morning and that was the last time I did it all week. Second thing I noticed: New York is a really dirty city. It's a germfest. Especially in the evening, when all the businesses are piling their trash on the curb in front of their shops to be gathered by the garbage collectors overnight. Third thing I noticed: the noise. Cabs honking, people talking, music playing, street performers, it was crazy! Downtown Manhattan is noisy, dirty, big, diverse, and wonderful! When I first got out of the subway (which is about a thousand degrees) and onto the street, I couldn't stop looking up...the skyline doesn't even look real. The buildings are SO TALL, and there are SO MANY of them. It sort of blows the mind.
Anyway, we finally made it to our hotel, a quaint "La Quinta" in the middle of downtown "Little Korea," on 32nd street, just 10 blocks from Times Square. We settled in a little, and then broke into groups and went in search of sustenance--we were most of us starving. I went with a group to "Little Italy," where they were having a street festival, with all sorts of performers and food. We discovered this great little restaurant where I had the greatest spaghetti bolognese I've ever had in my life. It also cost me $14. After eating, we explored a little bit before meeting the others at the subway station. We all talked about the food we'd eaten and the places we discovered. The other group had gone to Chinatown and found a place called "Green Bo," which was substantially cheaper and also delicious. They described soup dumplings that were so good you died every time you ate one. Mmmm, food. That concluded our first day in the city, and each of us slept soundly.

DAY THREE, Monday
This day began with me almost steamrolling right over my roomate Brenna, with whom I was sharing a bed. My cell phone alarm went off, but it was really really loud, so I was startled awake to "War of 1812" at top volume. I rolled over to reach over to the dresser and turn it off, and just sort of forgot that I was sharing a bed and that Brenna lay between me and the dresser. I stopped only when her face was a few inches from mine, and I'm sure it was terrifying for her too, because I had gasped and had this startled look on my face, which she woke up to. I realized a few seconds later that my cell phone was on the floor across the room and not on the dresser at all anyway.
That morning at breakfast was another adventure, but I'd much rather this one hadn't happened. I was sitting with a few friends, one of them being Kjersti Parkes, who also happens to be the sister of my good friend Ben. As we chatted, Kjersti asked "What room are you guys in?" "1010, why?" we replied. "Um, just so you guys know," Kjersti said, "you might want to keep your door closed, because my brother saw one of you running around in your underwear last night." *GULP* I'm the only one in Room 1010 who was running around in her underwear last night. In my defense, I didn't open the door, and didn't know it was open at all. I asked "Did he say who it was?" Kjersti said no, he just said "some girl." (As awkward as the situation was, Ben proved himself a pretty cool guy...he KNEW it was me, because according to Mindy he definitely saw, but didn't tell anyone else it was me by name. EVERYONE knew the story, but Ben wanted to make sure I wasn't totally humiliated by the entire group, so he made the story about an anonymous girl. Thanks Ben.) Of course, it didn't change how embarrassed I was, and when he came into the lobby later, I couldn't look at or talk to him for a full 10 minutes.
This was one of the few days we did most things as a group, and our schedule included the Statue of Libery, Ellis Island, and Ground Zero. About a third of our time was spent in transportation to and from these locations, but that's life in New York, eh? The Statue of Libery was awesome, although we had to go through all this crazy security. One thing was REALLY neat...I can't imagine what purpose it served, but one thing you had to go through was this air-puffer portal thing. You walked into this little doorway thing into a little room, and then they'd puff your body with little powerful bursts of air from all sides, from your feet to your head, several times. IT WAS SO COOL! I want one in my house. Riding the boat (the very windy, rocky boat) toward Lady Libery, I looked up at it and thought "How many other thousands of people have done this same thing before me? From the immigrants seeing it for the first time, welcoming them to America, to the tourists that come from around the world, looking at it through camera lenses?" It was just a cool experience. I learned SO MUCH, and both at the Statue and on Ellis Island, I had some very sacred experiences, and my appreciation for those who came before me was multiplied tenfold. I felt a little nerdy, crying over history, so I sort of hid from the rest of the group, which I didn't need to do at all, because I wasn't the only one at all.
When we were on the top of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty (that's as high as you can go--fire hazards, insurance, etc.), one of the tour guides, Doug, told us a little more about the bay and the city. Looking across at the skyline, we asked him if he could please point out where the two towers were. He showed us, and we asked him if he was here and saw it. He told us his story, about how he saw it and how it changed the city. He was across the bay, taking some photographs when he heard the crash, and looked over and saw smoke and fire. He said it was just awful...all those people. He said he's not the kind of person who believes in supernatural stuff, but as he watched the second tower fall, he said you "could sense a wave of death" just sweeping across the city. He said it was overwhelming--he couldn't even breathe. For weeks afterward, he said you could tell when you were getting close to Ground Zero because there was a distinct smell in the air, he's never smelled anything like it before or since. He talked about the dust that covered everything in the area around the two towers, so thick you could scoop it up with your hands and drop it. After he told us the story, we all spent a moment or two looking across at the skyline. He cleared his throat and said "Well, enough of that, that's dreary," and smiling sadly said "Let's talk about something else. Has anyone ever seen a real tugboat?" And just like that, the atmosphere was changed and we all started chatting about the other things we could see from there. But as we left, each of us gave Doug a private smile and a quiet thank you.
When you walk toward Ground Zero, you can tell from a distance what a powerful place it is. Stepping on to the sidewalk around where the two towers were feels like stepping onto the temple grounds. It really is a sacred place. The City passed special laws regarding street vending and performing in that area, so that no one is there except the people coming to see. It's such a quiet place, and looking at it was one of the most powerful experiences of the trip. The only "performer" there was an old old man, leaning against the fence, playing slow and sacred hymns on flute. There's NOTHING there. One entire city block, fenced in and dug out, where once 9 buildings stood. It wasn't just the two towers that were destroyed. Four years later, and there's still rubble. You look up at some of the buildings nearby and they make you dizzy, they're so tall. And then when you think that the two towers were more than twice that height...it just staggers the mind. On one end of the plot, rescue workers made a cross out of some big steel beams from the rubble, and it's the only thing standing in the whole block. Across from it, one of the buildings was still totally destroyed on one side, and hanging from it was a tattered American flag. There's a wall with names on it of all the people who died on 9/11, and looking at it, I just sobbed. I didn't even know anyone there or anyone involved, but it was still so heart-breaking.
Later, Ben told me about his experience there. He went later with another group of students who had been in "Hole in the Sky." About a year after 9/11, a student at BYU-Idaho wrote a play about the tragedy at the World Trade Center, and some of the students on the trip had had the privelege of performing in it. Ben had played a window-washer, who had been working on one of the towers when it had been hit. The play was about a small group of people who were trapped in one of the towers before they fell, and their stories right before they died. For each of the students in the play, performing it in was a sacred and powerful experience. But coming to Ground Zero brought so much more meaning to it. Ben said that he and the others just stood and looked at the hole where the buildings had been, held eachother, and quietly cried, and that they stood like that for a long time. Just before they left, Ben looked up, and on one of the building right next to them, was a window-washer. He said it was just a really neat experience.
It was painful to see, but I'm so glad I have. My testimony was strengthened so much.
Okay, like Doug said, enough of that, that's dreary! As a little story to serve as comic relief, I forgot to mention that this was also the morning that Roger smashed a donut into my face. I almost deserved it for being so gullible, but as we were waiting in the lobby, I was enjoying a delicious chocolate frosting, half-sprinkled donut, and Roger asked me if I've smelled the sprinkles. I gave him a confused look and said no, and he told me that the combination of frosting and sprinkles smells incredible, I've got to smell it. I brought the donut to my face, and of course, the next thing I knew, I had frosting all over my face and up my nose. Thank you, my ever-so-mature proffessor of theatre!
After all this, we all went out to eat, and this time I went with a little group to Green Bo and enjoyed a delicious meal. For a lot cheaper. Those soup dumplings really are divine, and you really do die when you eat them, they're so good. Of course, the others also forgot to mention how floppin' hard they are to eat! Only Bro. Clifford managed to eat with no difficulty whatsoever, but he served his mission in Japan, so he had an unfair advantage. *ASIDE* Bro. Clifford is still relatively new in the dept. and although we all love him, we still don't know him as well. However, on this trip, he told us that from now on, we are not allowed to call him "Bro. Clifford." But somehow, none of us could call him "Richard," and "Clifford" just sounded weird. So he acquired a number of nicknames, which were constantly changing, and always only bore some resemblance to his actual name..."Cliffy Cliffordian," "Clifton," "Cliffordsonian," and "Cliff-Cliffy-Cliffordsen" were a few.
That night, after eating, we went to see an off-broadway show called "Altar Boyz." It was awesome, with great music, and fabulous singing. It ended up being one of the favorites, which is sort of funny because most of us were apathetic about it in the beginning. "Yeah, okay, nothing else is playing, and Roger knows this guy who says it's good, so what the heck, why not see this little show?" It was fantastic, and SO FUNNY. Brenna got pulled up onstage and sung to, and it turns out that the "guy Roger knows" was the CHOREOGRAPHER, so after the show, we got a backstage tour, met the cast, and took pictures with them.
And in the traditional New York City way, we went out for cheesecake after the show. =) Too bad I hate cheesecake. That's okay though, because the chocolate brownie a la mode I had was indescribably yummy.
And that was our first full day in New York City!

And I think this trip is actually going to take 3 blog entries to describe, cause I'm really done writing, and this entry's a NOVEL already. To be continued!!!