Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts on (and lessons learned from?) Wicked

...To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me:
Tell them how I
Am defying gravity!
I'm flying high
Defying gravity!

A couple of weekends ago, I went to see Wicked on Broadway in NYC. Brought my mom and grandma to see it, and the City, since they get out to the East Coast so seldom, living in Minnesota and all... I was pretty awesome, I must say. Though, I was a little disappointed by the second half of the show. There were certainly good numbers in the second half, but on the whole, the second half was a little anti-climactic after the first half. There was simply nothing in the second half to give a resolution that lived up to the climax at the end of the first half. Maybe I've just been spoiled with other shows on Broadway: Phantom, Les Mis, Rent, Joseph... I dunno, and I hate saying there was something about this show that I didn't like - because over all I felt it was really powerful, and did the story quite well. I just didn't fully feel the second half like I expected to...

That said, Wicked has an amazing soundtrack! I can't get the songs out of my head. And it's kind of amazing to me at how relatable the lyrics can be to life - given the fantastical fictitious world this musical depicts...

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
and we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return...
...I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

...because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

Makes me think of the friends I've made over the years. Or the friends I knew in college that I just got to see again at my 5-year college reunion last weekend! :) Amazing how much people have an effect on you, huh? Or even how much the absense of people can affect you.


Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes, and leap...

Kinda describes the feeling of changing to adulthood, huh? How many times have I felt I'm taking a leap of faith into my future over the past 4 years since I moved to Boston? There was never a manual of how to do this thing I call life... I've just been driving by the seat of my pants and trying to figure out where I want life to go. But, this song gives you a fantastic mantra to recite with that leap of faith in the next lines of the song (after the ones above):

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down...

But, my all-time favorite right now directly relates to my life in many ways:

Dancing through life
Swaying and sweeping
And always keeping cool...

...Nothing matters
But knowing nothing matters
It's just life...
So keep dancing through...

And that's where I'll leave this rather crazily constructed free-flow-thought post. Keep dancing through life. In my humble opinion, it's the best way to find happiness wherever you go! :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Free-flowing bubbles of ...what?

How is it that people affect us so much? And by "people" I mean individuals, groups, crowds of strangers, that random person that bumped into you at the grocery store yesterday... think about it. People are an intricate part of our lives - and as much as we'd like to be above the effects they have on us, in the end we're always wrong. We let people affect us simply by not wanting them to affect us. We let them affect the way we view the world, the color of shirt we wear or don't wear, the song we skip on the radio.

I just watched Fried Green Tomatoes for the first time in my life - and it's one of those movies that I think, after I've watched it, "how did I never see this movie until now?" Ha ha ha. Guess it's just one of those things...

It's one of those movies (if you've never seen it yourself) that hits everyone differently. Different people catch different messages from it - and I imagine that if I watch it again 6 months or a year from now, the movie will affect me in an entirely different way. But this time around, what really struck me was how many different ways people can affect us. It made me ponder a bit - how much the different people in my life affect me.

Friends: who are there whenever I need them - just a phone call away. They calm me, keep me sane, help me remember my own ridiculousness, boost me up when I feel low. That sort of thing.

Family: who all too often get neglected because "they'll always be there" - but whose opinion matters more than anyone else on earth.

Dancers: different people in the dance scene affect the way I feel about my own dancing abilities in very different ways. The way someone looks at me when I dance - are they judging me? Good or bad? Or the way a particular dancer moves - I want to emulate or stay away from said movement patterns.

New acquaintances: always make me wonder how I appear to others who don't know me well. What's their first impression of me? Good, bad, ugly? And does it change over time, or remain relatively the same?

Female friends: make me remember why I love being a woman. Help me get more in touch with the feminine side of life, especially when I forget to remember that I'm quite the looker myself. Laugh at me and my crazy boy stories. Tell me their crazy boy stories and make me wonder how they came to be a part of those stories.

Guy friends: always make me feel at home - like big/little brothers. I can sit back in the couch, not even have to talk, and get back in touch with those tom-boy roots of mine.

Good friends - guy or girl: allow me to just be. No worries of judgement or embarrassment or threat. I can be me, dressed down, goofy, nerdy ol' me.

Men: aw men... boys... guys... whatever you want to call them (in the intricate leveled system of labeling based on the very subjective process of judging age vs. maturity level to determine whether they get assigned "boy" "guy" or "man" and also tied into how well you know him: 'boy' is casual acquaintance/hook-up turned into "not sure if we're friends or more but we talk a lot"; 'guy' is a dude you like but haven't necessarily done anything with except perhaps a few dates; 'man' is a dude you're dating, but only if you're older than college-age... and those are just my rough definitions...) - why do they have such a lasting effect sometimes? Old boyfriends, who pop up in my thoughts every so often and send an embarrassed glow to my cheeks as I remember something I'd said or did and was embarrassed that he suddenly knew about it. First dates gone awry - why did they go awry? Did he not like me? Or was it the other way around? Random others - hookups, run-ins, crushes both mutual and one-sided... all seem to eventually boil down to: "hmm, what next? Anything? Nothing? What are the rules here? Do any rules exist? What's he thinking? Do I want to know?"

Haha - funny how thoughts bubble out of my mind sometimes before I even fully recognize they're there. I start typing, and POW! there are suddenly endless words trying to vie for space to adequately, though never quite thoroughly, express what exactly it is that's on my mind. Heh. Amazing how brains work, really. That one can be thinking about something so intently, without really knowing that one is thinking of it at all. And while that something is brewing in one part of the brain, 10 other things decide to run through one's head as well - all vying for position, getting conscious-thought time when they can grab it. It astounds me. Because, in addition to all of that musical chairs that's happening in my mind, it still runs my entire body - reminds me to breathe, to see and interpret and adjust. To sense, touch, taste, smell, hear. To acknowledge the air around me, the number of people in a room, gauge the feeling of said people (which gets me back to how much people - whoever they are - affect us). It also governs the way I will feel. And who knows how that happens??? Is it because of the thoughts - positive or negative - that run through my head? Or is it something else? Can I actually control my emotions simply by changing thought habits? Or is it more complicated than that? Or is it completely random? [Hmm, like this post has become...]

Ha, funny. I don't think I'll ever fully make sense of how it all fits together, no matter how hard I try....

I tried so hard,
And got so far,
And in the end, it doesn't even matter...

...doesn't stop this brain from continuing the attempts to make sense of it all, though. :)

[Happy reading? Don't worry if you don't follow - this is free-form writing if I've ever seen it... I have my doubts about whether I'll be able to go back in a week and read through it and make any sense of it myself.]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When old adages go wrong...

Sure, two heads are better than one, if you’re collaborating on a project with another person. But what if you grew another head? I’m not sure that it rings true in that case…

An apple a day will certainly NOT keep the doctor away if all you eat each day is one apple.

A watched pot never boils slower than an unwatched pot. Time can be relative in some instances, but this is not one of them…

You know, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence because the neighbor just spray-painted his yard bright green for St. Patrick’s Day…

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will ALWAYS hurt you if they’re made out of hard plastic and hurled at you…

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Styx and (the) Stones will ALWAYS make me rock out in my living room.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. Hmm. The same could be said for the Rolling Stones, I suppose – which is good, they’d look weird with a bunch of moss all over them…

There’s no such thing as a free lunch unless someone else pays for it.

It's a fact of life that you can’t have your cake and eat it too if there’s no more cake left.

What you know can’t hurt you …unless you what you don’t know is that an anvil is about to fall on your head.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise unless he works the night shift.

Sure, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. But if you play poorly, you will likely lose.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have you noticed how Boston just exploded in color over the past week and a half? One day: grey, drab, dull, end-of-winter-y. The next: greens and blues and reds and yellows and purples and pinks and oranges everywhere! Birds chirping, sun smiling warmly, leaves fully stretching out from their buds... the world is alive with movement once again!

It's funny. This time of year has always been bittersweet for me. Generally speaking, while I love the colors of spring and the longer days and the sunshine (and even the occasional rain shower), I also grieve the loss of the winter weather, the cold days, the breath I can see in front of me, the numb feeling on my cheeks when I'm outside for a walk, the cozy feeling of cuddling up under blankets at home. Usually, this time of year, I say a sad goodbye to my winter as I gear up for another hot and sweaty summer - which I normally don't look forward to.

But this year, it's different. Maybe my perspective is changing as I gain years in life... or maybe New England has changed my view of the seasons... or maybe this year is just different...

This year, I'm happily saying goodbye to winter. We had a good run, it was fun while it lasted, but hey, it's time to move on and go our separate ways for awhile. [Until next year, so long and take care of yourself, Winter.]

Instead of dreading the idea of sweaty summer days, I've been looking around me a lot over the past weeks as Boston has exploded into an amazing spring. And it seems like the city, our whole corner of the world, has been hiding from something. Afraid to show it's face. Caught up inside itself - scared to show it's true self. Throwing on the mask of winter, self-conscious, and anti-social. Just passing the days by, perhaps even wishing it weren't so, but not able to get itself out of its reverie of despair.

And then, suddenly, one day, it woke up - as if out of a dream - and realized its real worth, its good qualities. Passed a mirror for the first time in months and saw a beautiful reflection staring back at it. And then, BOOM! A broad smile hit its face, it unfolded itself from its self-made cocoon, and jumped up to go out and play. Meet up with old friends, make new ones, look up at the sky and twirl around in the warmth of the sun and the cool tickle of grass beneath its feet. With a twinkle in its eye, it takes a good look at itself, and throws away that mask, all of those debilitatingly self-conscious thoughts, and strolls boldly and confidently down the street - smiling for no other reason than just simply to smile.

I guess it strikes me as odd that this is the first time this feeling has really struck me at the birth of spring. But I guess in the past I've always been so caught up in saying goodbye to my beloved winter, that I've forgotten to notice the wonder of spring. (It could also be that I'm still getting used to a real spring - since in Minnesota, you miss spring if you blink... here in New England, we get a full-blown spring!)

I got off the T really early in my commute home today from work... and walked about a mile and a half to make it home... smiling at the hustle and bustle of people enjoying the beautiful weather outside. I'm a big fan. I like this feeling of spring. And, [sorry Winter], I think spring might becoming my favorite season...

I just love this joyous birth of life at the end of a long drab winter!
[*gasp* - I cannot believe I just said that about my old beloved winter!!!]

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Ever wonder what the world would be like if it turned upside-down for the day? [So, maybe you don't, but after reading this, perhaps you will...?]

'Course, you'd still be "right-side-up" in relation to the way things used to be - to heighten the effects of the world turning upside-down so you can better appreciate the change.

What would things look like?

We'll say, for the sake of simplicity, that gravity stays relative to whatever position you or anything else is in. So, your gravity stays "down" to you, while everything else has it's gravity "down" to it (which would be "up" to you). Then, I suppose the question would be what would happen to your gravity if you touched something in the "upside-down" world? Or, likewise, what would happen to its gravity? Would it be a matter of which thing had more mass? For example, if you touched a lamp or something with less mass than you, would it yield to your gravity? And, similarly, if you touched a sofa or something with more mass than you, would you yield to its gravity? That seems plausible... though it'd be awfully weird. And then, following this vein, if you touched something of equal mass, would your collective gravities cancel each other out, making you both temporarily weightless? And you'd both just sort of float there - sandwiched between your equal forces of gravity pressing down on each other? Hmm, really odd... and totally sweet!

But, perhaps that's not what would happen at all. Perhaps, since your 'world' is significantly smaller than the rest of the world (that has been turned upside-down), if you touched anything in the upside-down world, you'd automatically change to its relative gravity direction? That'd be really weird, too - and almost eliminate the whole point of this whole idea. Let's say that this is not what happens, just because it doesn't suit my needs for this imagined world. :) [I love being able to make the rules...hehehe.]

Maybe nothing happens to your gravity or the gravity of the object/person/whatever you touch. Maybe you both keep your relative gravity. -Yeah, actually, I really like that. Okay, I'm now officially defining this as the rules for gravity in this upside-down world (minus you, who's still right-side-up).

But that's all the practical stuff. I guess I'm more interested in what everything would look like from the upside-down perspective. You know how if you look at someone's face upside-down for an extended period of time, your vision realigns itself to make that person's chin seem to be the top of his/her face? And it looks oddly both correct and really off? Yeah, imagine that happening to the whole world!!!

Pictures would realign themselves. [What would the Mona Lisa look like upside-down?]
Your favorite landscape views would have grass above and sky below. Skyscrapers would point "down" in relation to you. You'd walk on the ceiling of buildings - have to dodge lights instead of furniture as you walk. There's a whole score of crazy things that would change perspective in all sorts of cool ways! The possibilities! [Ooh, brain overload. Pause for readjustment...]

It's also kinda fun to imagine what the rest of the world would be thinking when they saw you walking upside-down relative to them. I mean, as far as they're all concerned, they never changed orientation. YOU did. So you'd be like the ultimate party-trick to them. Or a really fantastic magician. Or some crazy anomaly. -Let's be serious...all of those things would be pretty freakin' cool, right? :)

[So, a little odd for a Saturday morning? Definitely. But what else are you gonna do on Saturday at 9:00 am when you've woken up and want to sleep more but can't make yourself fall back to sleep? I'd like to see you come up with something better.]

Friday, March 07, 2008


The smell of spring is once again floating in the air. And with it comes more sunshine and warm days, rain replaces snow and ice, and the world begins to wake up for another year.

It's a fun time of year. Buds begin to peek out of trees and flower beds, the sun actually starts to warm your face when it shines, and birds chirp once more. You know, it's funny. Every year, when spring approaches, I hear birds chirping for the first time since winter began and realize that I haven't heard them all winter. Every spring, it's a pleasant surprise to once again hear the chirping birds outside of my window. And it's not a 'oh, good, they're back' sort of feeling. For me, it's more a 'oh yeah, I forgot birds exist and chirp and twitter around' sort of feeling.

For as much as I like winter, I really have come to appreciate the change of seasons from winter to spring. It's refreshing, like a huge breath of fresh air. I walk outside and just have to smile - if only because the world is suddenly smiling back at me. This is the time of year when I remember that winter can be a bit of a strain, especially in the late months of winter. And I remember that Boston does seasons incredibly well.

It's also the season for shaking up romance. Relationships end, begin, move to next steps. Remember the second half of Bambi (after Bambi's mother dies and he goes off to spend the rest of his winter with his dad), when the Owl describes "twitter-pated" to Bambi and his pals? Yeah, he's totally right. And it doesn't just happen to forest animals. Humans are no different. Giddy and giggly females oohing and aahing over some guy, young males on the watch for new pretty faces. Sure, life isn't completely ridiculous like this every minute of every day, but you know you see it here and there as you walk down the street, or catch a movie, or go to the grocery store. It's the 'twitter-pated' season. And it affects all of us in some way or another. And as much as people may scoff at this seasonal ritual of ridiculous behavior, it's actually rather fun.

It's funny that it's this time of year. Well, maybe not funny "haha" - but just kinda strange that you can almost set your clock by the 'twitter-pated' season.

Oh, the equinox is almost here, time for 'twitter-pation'!

You hear people say that there must be "something in the air." And they're not all that far off from the truth, however figuratively they were speaking. 'Twitter-pation' must come from that feeling of being alive once again. The end of the 'hibernation' season of winter... it's now time to stretch our wings and see the world with new eyes... the world's waking up and feeling beautiful again - and so are we!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A sudden yearning for the suburbs??? What IS this?

My new favorite place in the Greater Boston area: Watertown Square, and few blocks on each street shooting off from the Square.

Why? You may ask. You may even go on to say, "You live in Boston, for Pete's sake! Why oh why is Watertown suddenly so cool?"

And, it's a valid question. Watertown is a suburb, feels like a suburb, looks like a suburb, and through MBTA travel, you can only get to it by bus (if you're not from around here, this doesn't make as much sense to you, but anyone from Boston will tell you that that is a sure sign of a suburb).

Let me list a few things right off the bat:
1. Watertown is where I go every two weeks to get a massage from a good friend and fellow dancer. And let me tell you - she's amazing! She really knows her stuff and she's really good and giving advice and relating the massage therapy to my life (or her other clients' lives, as it were).

2. I just found the Watertown Library. Cutest place EVER!!! I'm sitting in a little bay window type thing in a wooden chair with legs on the front and rocking slats on the back. Really comfortable. Wifi free everywhere in the building AND it's way more reliable than the BPL-Copley Wifi.

3. This little breakfast/lunch place across the street from the Library. Really good food and really cheap! Friendly people, great atmosphere. I'm a fan.

So, ultimately, this boils down to and "I wonder..." moment.

I wonder if I miss the suburban life - the slower pace, the friendlier atmosphere, the cute little places."

It's a good question, yeah? [Okay, okay, it technically wasn't even a question, but a statement offered up to promote discussion. I get it, I get it. We move on.]

And I think the answer to my 'non-question' is yes, in some ways I do miss the slower life on a non-city. I say "non-city" because I don't know if I want the true suburban life back - with it's housing developments and urban sprawl and soul-sucking blandness. But a cut little suburb like Watertown? Yeah, I dig it. It's close enough to Boston, but far enough away to get away from the city atmosphere and "hurry" mentality.

Does this mean I want to move to Watertown? I don't know. Not right now. I don't think I'm quite ready yet to give up my life o' glammer in the city quite yet. I like living in Boston a lot - I like that things are always just right there, that all forms of the T are readily accessible for me. That I can walk just about anywhere I want to go. I couldn't walk to Boston from Watertown without allowing myself a good portion of my day for walk-time. But, perhaps in a couple of years - if I'm still in the Boston area - I may one day be posting to this blog from a permanent Watertown location. Who knows?

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