“Out There…”

July 12, 2008


So I’m probably the last person to say this but…

Wall-E was FANTASTIC! I want Wall-E to come live with me, compact my trash, hold my hand and sing show-tunes while doing that adorable hat dance. Seriously. If someone could make this a reality, I would be happy forever. 

It was especially interesting to see after listening to Pixar’s Andrew Stanton (the film’s director and writer) on Fresh Air this morning while walking to the gym. If you liked the movie, I recommend listening. He shares some really interesting insights about the sound design, the science behind the (mild) obese human race, and the origins of Wall-E’s face at a baseball game. 

It’s nice to finally see a movie that lives up to the hype.


A Turn for the Better

July 11, 2008


Today started out like many other this summer: with me walking to work annoyed. I had gotten up early (ish) to have time to make myself lunch and prepare some envelopes for some very important financial aid related documents that I should have sent in to the very important financial aid related office a month ago. Upon trying to prepare these envelopes, I discovered I had somehow lost the mildly expensive book of stamps I just bought a week ago. Organization FAIL. I then stomped like an angry child into the kitchen to make myself lunch, as to save money, use up my perishable food stuffs, and use cooking to put this stamp debacle out of my mind. 

Cut too 20 minutes later when I am stomping like an angry child down Brookline Ave on my way to work having just remembered my perishable sandwich, so lovingly made, was still sitting in my refridgerator. Memory FAIL. So much for saving money, UNTIL…

My boss invited me out to lunch with her and two other theater management related people, whom are always fun and nice to me, which I greatly appreciate, especially when it involves giving me free PF Chang’s for lunch. WIN! Thus, I spent the rest of my day walking around like a happy, stuffed with lo mein and lettuce wraps, child. 

After work, I took my good mood and the generous deposit my parents recently made into my bank account to the Prudential Center in search of new running shoes and comfortable sandals to help alleviate my knee pain and hopefully allow me to start running again. (There was also an unfortuate incident involving my recently purchased gladiator sandals revolving around a sad ripping noise and me limping all the way home, trying not to touch the dirty dirty streets with my oh-so-clean feet that may or may not have contributed to the need for new sandals.)

After searching everywhere from Neimen Marcus to Marshals, I finally found some super comfortable AND cute (the rare find…) sandals at Camper, on sale! Score! (Sadly, no picture could be found.) That after I had found the same running shoes that I’ve loved for a year (and only need to replace because, sometimes, I guess shoes stop working), but in a new fancy color, and again, ON SALE! Double Shoe Score!

Granted I did have to go to two different City Sports to find them, as the first did not have my size, but I don’t care. They are purple and new and comfortable, and hopefully, will get rid of this pesky knee pain so I can run again. 

The rest of the night is looking decidedly less exciting, as all I have to look forward to is watching “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” while eating frozen yogurt. Tomorow, I have an exciting line up of trying out my new shoes at the gym and doing laundry. Those ridiculous train rides aren’t looking so bad now, I suppose. Maybe I’ll just stare at my pretty new shoes for a while. 


Some thoughts on my way home from dinner…

July 7, 2008


As I walked home, I listened to a Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me clip show of sorts, compiling various celebrity interviews from the past year. While playing a quiz game with guest Kevin Clash, they invited Kevin’s alter ego, Elmo of Sesame Street fame, to answer some questions as well. Kevin answered the first question correctly. Elmo, sadly, answered the second question incorrectly. When recapping, the host was careful to say, “The Team of Kevin and Elmo has answered one question right and one question wrong,” as if to not upset three-year-old Elmo for missing a question. I found myself feeling bad for Elmo too. I hoped they would win so Elmo wouldn’t feel he lost the prize for Megan, the listener. Then I worried about myself. I think this says a lot about my attachment to Sesame Street characters…a lot that frightens me. 


I followed the Hood blimp all the way home, as I live a block away from Fenway Park. I feel guilty for never going to games. I should look into this. I don’t love baseball, but baseball games are a summer past time. Maybe going would lift my mood. I think it would. 


I had my first pilates class tonight. For a class that takes place almost entirely on your back or in a sitting position, I feel ridiculously tired. I hope this speaks more to the difficulty of the class than to my fitness level. 


After eating sweet potatoes fries for the third time in a week tonight at Sunset Cantina (the previous two times were frozen from Trader Joe’s), I’ve decided I could live on nothing else. Forever. 


This is my third post today. New Record!


I think Jon and Kate Plus 8 makes normal people never want to have children, but for some reason, it makes me want to. Aiden and Leah are just so damn cute! (see below) Little glasses win me over every time. (This thought was more thought while watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 after arriving home.)

Read the rest of this entry »


Traveling Troubles: Part Two

July 7, 2008


My last post was getting a little too lengthy, so I decided to split it up. Anyway, here goes part two:

After only three days back in Boston and still exhausted, I dragged myself out of bed at 4AM on Thursday morning to catch a train back to my parent’s house in Delaware. Aside from having to have my cab driver drop me by an ATM when I realized he didn’t take credit cards, my trip was uneventful. I never even had to share my seat, which on Amtrak trains, is quite an accomplishment. 

My mom, along with her parents (the grandparents I had seen in New York), picked me up from the station and thus began my family loaded day. While still suffering from a travel hangover, I had to get myself through dinner with my mom’s parents, my dad’s  parents (who drove in for dinner), and my own parents. It was great to see my whole family, don’t get me wrong. I love my family. It is just a lot to take when you are alone with that many adult family members. Luckily, the conversation rarely turned to me and questioning my life, although it did come up. (I learned that in order to get married, I need to treat finding a husband like a job, which I obviously am not doing. No wonder I’m alone! What wonderful insight…/end sarcasm)

The next day, all the family headed home and were quickly replaced by my parents’ friends, who all happened to be coming through town at once. In the morning, my dad’s best friend from Alabama stopped by, as he was passing through for work (I think…). It was nice to hear what his kids were up to, as I spent a lot of time with them during our five year stint in the South.

Later that night, my parents’ college (in my dad’s case) slash childhood (in my mom’s case) friends, who actually introduced my parents to each other, came to stay for the night. I’d met them before, but the last time was at least 6 year ago. (Both then and now, I feel like I should thank them for my existence or something.) This was the first time, however, I’d heard some of their college stories while still in college. It was the first time I really saw how similar my dad and John are and how they could have been great friends in college, could have even been people I would have been friends with in college. It was the first time I really got to hear stories from back then and appreciate them. It was kind of weird but also kind of nice to think of my parents as people I would like even if they weren’t my parents.

The next day, we headed to Fabric Row in Philadelphia to go to a famous deli for lunch. I ate so much I felt nauseous, and again, we had an excellent time just talking and eating something called “Health Salad.” (“Do you think it’s made of health?”) Sadly, I think we cancelled out the benefits of the health salad with the eight cookies we bought on the way out. The day ended with my mom and I shopping and then coming home to watch “Michael Clayton,” (stopping every five minutes, of course, to explain what we knew and what we had yet to find out to my mom, who responded that she thinks she “lacks the mental capacity to watch movies.”) 

Sunday came way too fast, and the last place I wanted to go was the train station. I had finally resigned myself to leaving as we walked in the doors only to find my train was delayed an hour and a half. Blerg. 

Again, overwhelmed by not wanting to leave home, where I felt relaxed and happy to go back to my messy apartment where I usually feel agitated and alone, I started to cry. Lately, I feel as if I’m always on the brink of breaking down for no particular reason and when something pushes me just the tiniest bit, I crack and become a blubbering mess. Again, my parents assured me it wasn’t a big deal, which, of course, it wasn’t.

To turn the situation around, we took the opportunity to walk down the Riverwalk to a restaurant so I could eat, as I wouldn’t be getting back to Boston anytime soon. I calmed down as we ate, and my mom kept checking the status of my train. After being told it was still an hour and fifteen minutes behind, we walked back to the station, thinking we had time to spare.

When I walked in the station with my mom, we looked at the board, and my heart dropped. It seemed to say that my train was boarding right now, only an hour after it had been supposed to get in. I didn’t understand but also didn’t seem to have time to think about it. I ran up the escalator with my bags and jumped on the train just as the doors closed, thanking God I hadn’t missed it. I found a seat, briefly wondering if I had gotten on the right train, as the boards are mildly confusing about what is going on. I was reassured, however, when they announced the next stop as Philadelphia, which is always the stop after mine on the regional train. On the phone with my mom, she urged me to ask what train I was on, as the board had changed right after I ran up to the track, leading her to believe maybe it was not my train that was boarding. I blew her off, saying I was going the right way, so I wasn’t worried. 

As I settled in, we pulled in and then out of Philadelphia. As we pulled away the conductor came on the intercom stating the train number. It wasn’t mine. Of course.

Again, the tears came. Why couldn’t I just get through one simple task without making myself feel like a complete idiot? I texted my mom telling her she was right. The conductor came by, asking for tickets, and I explained to him what had happened. He didn’t seem to think it was that big of a deal, telling me to just switch at the next stop as my train was behind this one by about 25 minutes, advice also given by my parents, who conceded that I wasn’t crazy: the board did make it seem like it had been my train that was boarding. 

I got off in Trenton and wandered around looking for where MY train would be coming. After asking and being given the track number by an obviously annoyed Amtrak employee, I waited on the platform, staring at the pouring rain, wondering if God too was crying about my stupidity and bad traveling luck. 

Eventually, my train came and took me back to Boston, granted a few hours later than I had anticipated. 

Now, I’m back to the grind, somehow more tired than before any of these vacations and more wary of traveling than ever.


Traveling Troubles

July 7, 2008


I didn’t intend to spent my last moments in both New York City and Wilmington in tears, standing before some sort of transportation device. In fact, I intended to leave happy and refreshed. That was the whole point of getting away. The Universe, again, had different plans for me, and you know how well those plans usually play out. 

Let’s start with New York. When I last left you, I was on my way to the Big Apple, happily typing away thanks to the free Wi-Fi on Bolt Bus. Sadly, that bused turned out to be 2 hours late, an early warning of what was to come. I enjoyed a mildly stress-free weekend, meeting up with my camp friend, Lindsey, and my school roomie, Jillian, all while staying with my sister. We had some nice meals (I finally fulfilled my rib craving at Wild Wood on Park Ave. that I’d had since watching hours upon hours of “Thrill of the Grill” week on Food Network) and hit up some fun bars (I recommend Beauty Bar in the East Village: $5 drinks AND Eighties music? Sold!). My annoyance (and my later problems) began to arise, however, when my sister, Stephanie, decided to spend the night in Brooklyn instead of meeting Lindsey, Jillian, and I out on the town. Thus, I was left with her keys for the night. 

Sunday morning, I said good-bye to Lindsey and met Stephanie and my grand-parents (in town for a conference) for brunch with some acquaintances of theirs who are involved in theater. (The woman is actually now an anchor on The Onion News Network!) The brunch was nice, as I love chatting with theater people. I made a great contact, and they assured Stephanie and I that our money spent buying tickets to the matinee of “Sunday in the Park with George” was well spent. 

After brunch we headed out to see said production of “Sunday in the Park,” which, as it turns out, was the LAST performance of the show! I’d sung some of the songs before, but I’d never seen the whole show (apart from various scenes from the original with Bernadette Peters that aired on PBS), so I went in with an open mind, and I was not disappointed. I wish I could compel people to go see it, but obviously I can’t. It was one of the most unique productions I have ever seen: The whole show revolves around the French painter Georges Seurat painting “A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte,” and as he sketched on stage, his drawings and painting came alive behind him (using some new projection technology), creating both the painting and the setting of the show. It was, to say the least, magical. The performances were moving, and unexpectedly funny. Jenna Russell was amazing, and both she and Daniel Evans choked up during the final song, causing me and I’m sure the whole audience to choke up and then stand for the last five minutes of the show. The applause during the curtain call was deafening. It again made me realize how much I love theater.

But I digress…(I had to take a break from the flow of the story because the play was just that good.) when we left the theater, it was raining, causing Stephanie and I to scramble first to find a cab and then to give up and jump on the subway. (At this point I was done with subways, as Stephanie lives so far north, each time we returned to her apartment was an hour and fifteen minutes on the subway. Not. Fun.) I had to grab my bags from my grandparents and run to my bus. I, luckily,got there with time to spare, so Stephanie and my grandma said good-bye. As I stood waiting to board, flustered from the rush and feeling done with public transportation from all the subway riding, I noticed some people talking with a Bolt Bus employee about how their tickets had the wrong date on them, and they were thus having difficulty boarding the bus. It appeard to be some technical glitch with the Bolt Bus website. As I heard this, I glanced down at my ticket, just to be sure. Of course, my ticket too ahd the wrong date: the date I had come to New York not the date I was leaving. My heart dropped. I did not feel like dealing with what would happen if I missed this bus. I started to think that I would just book a ticket to my parent’s house, because this constant stress of crap happening to me was becoming too much to handle. I eased my way over to the group of angry patrons, hoping they had made enough headway that I could get on without problem. Things seemed to be heading in that direction, and then, my phone rang. 

I still had Stephanie’s keys. Not only her apartment keys so that she coudln’t get home, but her work keys, whose disappearance would cause her more than a little grief the next day. According to both my sister and my mom, I couldn’t get on the bus. At this point, I was more than annoyed. I had already been upset that Stephanie had basially abandoned me (and not for the first time) the night before, leaving me to get myself and Lindsey back to her apartment without her, but now I had to miss my bus, which I was already shaken up about the possibility of missing, to wait around for her to come get her keys.

On the phone with my mom trying to figure out how I was going to get home, as the group of disgruntled Bolt Bus riders boarded the bus, I started to cry. From exhaustion. From annoyance. From being overwhelmed at standing on a busy sidewalk of New York with a bright pink suitcase yelling at my mom that it wasn’t my fault Stephanie forgot to get her keys from me. The Bolt Bus woman came over to ask if I was getting on the  bus, and as I turned to her, face covered in tears, she must have thought I was getting news of a family member’s death. Her face changed, and she left me alone, feeling like an idiot. A crying idiot.I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t get back, so much. I am just a person who doesn’t take a change of plans well. Added on top of everything else, this felt like a big deal. 

I dragged my bags four  blocks to Penn Station to buy a train ticket, where I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t getting into Boston until midnight and scarfed down some greasy pizza, waiting for Stephanie. When she got there, I tried not to take my anger out on her, as I greatly appreciated her waiting with me for the next hour for my train to come. I finally got on the train, calmed myself down, and fell asleep. Sadly, the train got in an hour and a half late, making it 2AM before I went to bed, allowing me only 5 hours of sleep before getting up for class at 7AM. Awesome. 

Trip number one: done. Status: much more tired than before. 

Up next: Train trips 2 and 3.


Even Temporary Unemployment Sucks

June 30, 2008


As part of the great Big 20-Something Bloggers Blog Swap, I bring you a post from Ben

9:56 a.m. — Wake up.

At first, the prospect of waking up whenever I felt like it, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches whenever I feel like it and taking a shower whenever I feel like it seemed like absolute freedom. By the third week, this schedule revealed its true nature: absolute tedium.

11:03 a.m. — Roll onto floor from bed.

My anxiety isn’t even financial in origin. Because I, bachelor, didn’t spend a dime that I didn’t have to all last year, I have enough saved up to coast until well past Labor Day. Past that, if need be.

11:04 a.m. — Turn off alarm.

Once I’m awake, I remember how much I hate coasting.

11:32 a.m. — Stumble toward Internet. Eat instant oatmeal. Make sandwiches as needed; play Guitar Hero as desired.

Really, I can’t even call it coasting. I’ve been interviewing when possible and dropping off resumes when not — it just feels like coasting, in part because I still haven’t the slightest lead for a job. Journalism around where I live has exactly zero positions available, and substitute teaching won’t warm up until school starts again.

4:23 p.m. — Shower.

That means six more weeks of joblessness; six more weeks of Deep Space Nine reruns; six more weeks of migrained boredom. I need to do something.

4:52 p.m. — Apply online to big box retail and national chains. Touch up resume or work on cover letters, if needed. Repeat until tired.

I find something to do.

4:53 p.m. — I’m tired; I keep up the job hunt.

Even though I exhausted all my leads yesterday, I try to come up with new ideas. For me, idly looking for a summer job is better than futzing around on a feed reader, or on the blog, or on the forums, or playing Tetris, or organizing my iTunes.

7:09 p.m. — Exhaust all leads. Go back to Guitar Hero.

I’d give up the chance to get five stars on Through the Fire and Flames if it meant I would have something more substantial to do. However idyllic doing nothing might seem to the guy from Office Space, I can report, firsthand, that it isn’t all that he cracks it up to be.

11:02 p.m. — Go to bed.

Doing nothing is, at first, an instant high, but really it’s just empty calories for the brain — I feel my brain atrophy already.


That Time I Wanted to Kill Myself, but Killed Bugs Instead

June 27, 2008


This week was, by all accounts, pretty terrible. All I had to do was get through this week to get to the oasis that would be New York City with my sister, Jillian, and Lindsey. I wanted nothing big. Nothing stressful. Just the end of my class and some packing. The universe, apparently, wanted something else.

After being in a finicky, annoying mood on Tuesday for a number of reasons (living in filth, lots of reading, lack of quality television), I woke up Wednesday wanting to just be positive. Positive, positive, positive. I was going to get up early to go running before my class. (I’ve been making good progress on my way to running a 5K before the end of July.) I had my notes out to study for my final at 5:30. I had my gym class at 12. The day would go well. It had to go well. Then the day actually happened.

I got up and got ready to go running. I was planning on going to the gym early to run, and then study in the comfy gym chairs before my class. After getting ready, I decided to just stay at home (as not avoid dragging all my reading to the gym) to study and just run right before my class. I went into the kitchen, happy with my new plan, to make myself some breakfast and when I opened the garbage to throw out a wrapper, a swarm of gnats flew into my face! It was horrifying and disgusting. (If you know me at all, you know I am freakishly clean. A swarm of gnats it not only gross, it is unacceptable.) I had known that my roommates had left out some food that had attracted some unwanted grossness (and that I had refused to clean, because it wasn’t mine, and I’m five-years old), but I hadn’t know it had gotten this bad. I hid in my room and called my mom, almost in tears out of annoyance at everything messing up my attempt at positivity, at the fact that I was going to have to deal with the effects of everyone else’s messiness, at the fact that I’m the only one who cleans or who cares, at the two weeks (nay a month!) of things just being crappy. She calmed me down, and I decided to go to the gym to run and go to class, then just pick up some bug spray on the way home. (I had to kill the bugs before I could even shower since they had taken over the bathroom *shudder* I have problems cleaning in myself in a room that is, itself, vile.) 

I then walked twenty minutes to the gym, finally calming myself from the disgustingness of my living situation, when I looked into my wallet to find I didn’t have my school ID on me. Damn it. Since the BU gym nazi’s won’t let you into the gym without one, I now had to walk ALL the way back home to get it, thus taking up my running and study time. This is when I started getting pissed. I figured I might as well get bug spray now, so I picked some up, headed home, and started murdering bugs with a fiery rage. Not pretty. I even scared myself…and inhaled way too many bug spray fumes. 

I took my second walk to the gym with the satisfaction of knowing I had taken out a small army of gnats, but I was still pissed about missing my running time. I got through my (oddly painful) gym class and went home to study in my apartment that now smelled like my great-grandmother’s house, thanks to the bug spray. (Note to self: buy febreeze)

I, kind of sadly, couldn’t bring myself to shower in the still mildly bug infested bathroom, so I became as smelly as my apartment as I studied for the rest of the afternoon, trying to concentrate and not stew in annoyance. Five finally came and I headed out to take my final. I finished pretty quickly (first in my class), and when I went to hand in my paper, a girl I’ve talked to all session looked at me and exclaimed, “You’re done! God, I wish I was you.” 

If she only knew.

I left feeling alright about the test, but wanting nothing more than to finally get the run in I’d been waiting for all day. I popped on my iPod and headed toward the Esplanade (my favorite Boston running spot.) I plowed through the first half, feeling better than I had on my previous runs until I started feeling not so great about my knee. Five minutes later I could barely run, then barely walk, then I was limping down Park Street hoping I’d make it to my apartment. Wonderful. Why wouldn’t my day day need to be capped off by a debilitating knee injury? Thanks universe. 

Thankfully, last night I had a relaxing last night with Lynn, who leaves for home while I’m in NYC, eating out at my favorite restaurant, Picco in the South End, then going to the Lowes Theater to see “Get Smart.” (Funny, but not life changing, but how you can not love Steve Carrell?) My knee still killed as I walked up and down stairs, but today I’m feeling mildly better about it (and hoping to be able to run next week. All that progress can’t go to waste!)

Now I’m on the Bold Bus (Yay free WiFi!) FINALLY heading to NYC to visit some of my favorite people. A hopefully uplifting, upbeat post to follow this one AND THEN the great big 20-something bloggers’ blog swap post. Have a good weekend!