I love my new job so very, very much.

Seriously, I would have applied YEARS ago if I had known about these perks. And if I had been old enough to work there and it had fit into my schedule, which actually doesn't leave a window since I moved to Berkeley, basically. So I can honestly say I started working here as soon as I could. I have to be careful, or my paycheck is going to be worth like, three cents. Already I have seen tons of books I want, some of which I've been wanting for years. Well, okay, months. Still.

It is going to be kind of brutal once I get the double jobs going at the same time dealio, but I enjoy both jobs so much -- it helps that I am extremely fortunate in my co-workers, at least so far -- that I think I'll be okay. Being surrounded first by theater and then by books is actually really relaxing.



Hey! Who has a JOB? That's right, real, paying, shiny, bookselling, JOB. C'est moi, baby!

Sigh. Bookselling and theater. My life according to me suddenly makes a lot more sense.


MySpace, But in the Real World

So, I totally finally got my room -- formerly the den -- all cleaned up and arranged, and the general effect is sort of equal best-dorm-room-in-the-world (as in, it moonlights as the den, so it's completely lined with bookshelves, and there's the family TV and DVD and VCR and all that, so I have access to them 24/7) and the bed-your-mom-makes-for-you-when-you're-eight-years-old-and-sick (as in, I sleep on the couch). Now, both of these have really good associations -- I love being surrounded by books and couch beds bring back memories of being allowed to do whatever I wanted all day long -- but I'm not sure it's really good for my work mentality. I sort of subconsciously expect that I'll get to lay around reading and watching TV all day. But I don't get to do that at all! I work, and have appointments, and have to get all sorts of things done. And it's really much better that way, because if I ever have the amount of free time to lay around that I did in France, I would go off the deep end, in one way or another.


One More Thing

I'm about to drop off to sleep, but check it out -- you can tour Ancient Rome!

I especially like the fora. (Heh. Like flora, but without the l, so it means something totally different. Yes, I am half asleep.)

Via my grandma. :)

Orcs and Elves and Wizards, Oh My

I think I saw a poster for this in Vienna. But it really didn't register that they were actually going to do it.

I think I really don't want to see this play. Given the background with the books and all, I can't imagine it NOT looking like it was clipped in a horribly forced way. The movies felt like that, and they weer triple the length and didn't have any singing or dancing.

Still, the director's comments are really interesting.

UPDATE: The verdict is in, and, well... not so much.

We Are Here To Worship the Gods Of Comedy and Tragedy

Working at a theater -- a real, professional, THEATER is so exciting I don't even know what to do with myself. I mean, the work is just office work, and I'm not getting paid. But the atmosphere is wonderful. Like, I was making packets, but I was doing it in the green room. I was filing stuff, but it was stuff for actors.

Okay, it wasn't quite that exciting while I was doing it; I mean, office work is office work at the end of the day. But still. I'm happy to be working, I'm happy not to be teaching, and I'm so happy I'm working at a theater. I got to sit in on a rehearsal! For like twenty minutes! I know! Watching real professionals rehearse. Sigh.

Also, I got Volume I of the second season of Slings & Arrows, and that is pretty awesome too. Geoffrey, you are so too good for Ellen. Date me instead, and then let me sit in on a rehearsal with you and Oliver. See, I wouldn't think you're crazy. I would be very supportive. I wouldn't even mind that I could only hear half the conversation.


Nick Hornby -- A Long Way Down

Hornby isn't hard to overdose on, but I've more-or-less loved all his books that I've read (High Fidelity and How to Be Good, specifically). He takes tough, bizarre sorts of feelings and states, and normalizes them really well.

A Long Way Down
is the story of four people who meet on New Year's Eve on the roof of a common suicide-jumpers building. (What would be the correct term for that?) Martin was a television presenter with a wife and family, who went out partying one too many times, got drunk, slept with a fifteen-year-old girl, and got sent to prison. Two years later, he's divorced, jobless, and suicidal. Maureen has a profoundly disabled son who needs constant, immediate care -- she hasn't had a social engagement beyond church in nearly twenty years. Eighteen-year-old Jess has family troubles, has just been dumped, and her grip on life -- and her sanity -- is none too firm. And JJ, an American living in London, has been delivering pizzas since his band broke up and his girlfriend left him.

Each of the four is an archetype, sure, but each grows and deepens throughout the book. The narration switches back and forth among them every few pages, and Hornby deftly gives up more and more personal information about his characters while resisting the urge to simplify their lives or make any grand statements.

I really enjoyed the book, being kind of depressed myself while I was reading it. Hornby's trademark, and well earned, is his ability to convey depression in funny, charming, thought-provoking phrases. All the reviews on the back of the book say this same thing, but you can't talk about Hornby's books without mentioning it; it's his thing and he does it really well. I can think of maybe two cheap shots he takes, and both fit into the story, give you insight about the characters, and don't derail the setting. Really, you see him avoid so many different cheap shots that the one or two he takes hardly matter.

I still think High Fidelity is kind of his best, but I keep being impressed by his other books, in part how different he manages to make them from one another. Different in setting and characters, I mean; his style is pretty constant.

Give it a try. If you like Hornby's other stuff, if you're depressed, if you like books about people rather than events, or if the idea of suicide doesn't bother you and depress you horribly, give it two tries. I thought it was pretty nifty.

Slings & Arrows Season One

Loath as I usually am to listen to my sister, she is right more often than I really care to look at. And she was right this time. Slings & Arrows is so fucking good that I'm depressed now.

I am. I'm really really depressed by how good it was (is. I haven't seen season two yet, or season three). Plus, you know what else is depressing, not only can I not be Geoffrey Tennat, but I can't date Geoffrey Tennant, I can't act for Geoffrey Tennant, I can't AD for Geoffrey Tennant. I can't even meet Geoffrey Tennant; he's fictional. OR Oliver Welles, who is both fictional and dead. And this makes me really really sad. And it has made me definitively decide to do that CalShakes internship I was offered (I would be yay-ing if I weren't depressed about how good this stupid show is) because if I get this worked up about a TV show about theater, that maybe says something. (Doesn't it? Maybe it doesn't. Maybe I'm just a loser sort of crackhead, and I'm going to end up doing whatever the theater version is of playing your guitar on the street corner for quarters.) See, I told you this show makes me sad. It also makes me sad that I can't own it, because it costs thirty bucks a season. Thirty bucks for six episodes each. That makes me cry, and I shall have to wait for my birthday or something. Or anyway until I get a job that pays me in something other than theater tickets. Because hawking theater tickets to pay for -- I can't even finish that sentence, that's just so messed up.

Right, no one needed to hear this, did they? Slings & Arrows is on my cosmic wishlist and Geoffrey Tennant is my imaginary boyfriend, that's all you needed to know.



Dude! Migraine medication makes you an X-Files alien!

I mean, am I the only one who thinks that rocks? Heh. The article reads like an episode of The X-Files crossed with an episode of House, M.D. (Just think about the sarcasm flying if Mulder ever encountered House. The rest of us would just have to bow down in awe before we ran away in fear. Except maybe for Raymond Chandler. He could take it.)

I totally love The Guardian.


Me Stuff

Heh. So I am the victim of two (well, several, but two that matter) competing desires. One is the desire not to make my blog boring and irrelevant by writing about stupid shit. The other is my desire not to quit writing in my blog now that I've quit traveling to interesting places and doing interesting things. So now I need to find some sort of new balance.

Until I do, you get to read about my job search.

Okay, you don't really, because it would just be a rant about how stressed I get about interviews. The good news is, I had one today, I have another one Friday morning. The bad news is, even if I get either of these I still need another job, and also, interviews make me insane.

Right, so there are plenty of other more interesting things to be writing about. I'm catching up on the end of the third season of Veronica Mars, and I have to say that it is a crime against God and humanity that it was canceled for next year. Even the bad episodes are intelligent, well-written, and complex. It always pleases me to rot my brain in the most brainy way possible. (You know what other show is wicked good in that respect? House, M.D. I want to marry Hugh Laurie, but only if he's not that mean in person. Heh.)

Speaking of low-stress entertainment options, I went to the library today to visit with the Divine Dictator, and of course came out with two bags full of books. Since I'm jet-lagged, it's all about the good old fashioned children's section comfort reads. I always forget how much I like Chris Crutcher's stuff until they're staring me in the face again. It's easy to overdose, but I maintain that Staying Fat For Sara Byrnes is one of the best thought-provoking YAs out there. Plus, you know, the standbys -- The Hobbit, The Changeling, Year of the Griffin; plus a bunch more that the Divine Dictator recommended. I think I picked up like four adult books total, and two of them are collections of fairy tales. (I really want to read some folklore from Egypt and Ireland -- the places I just got back from. I'm of course pretty familiar with Greek already, but seeing all the figurines made me so curious about how the Egyptian stuff worked.)

Pretty soon I need to start rereading the Harry Potters in preparation for Book Seven (dun dun DUN) but that can wait until July, I think.

Oh, hey, feed your brain: a pretty insightful -- or at least interesting -- look at current American politics. Kinda makes me want to move to England.


There's No Place Like the Parents' House

I don't have much to write about, other than my completely ludicrous sleep schedule. I seem to be on rotation, six hours of sleep, six hours of waking, six hours of sleep... etc., etc. How I wish I were kidding. I must be driving my poor family nuts. I'm certainly driving myself nuts. All I seem to be able to do is sleep, watch TV, read, eat, sleep, watch TV, read, eat. And I'm not talking reading deep things, I'm talking like I can barely pick up the Nick Hornby book I bought for the plane ride.

I am so, so glad to be home. In terms of seeing my family, of course, and in terms of no longer needing to worry about my personal safety sort of 24/7. And not needing to be worried about my stuff all the time, and being able to take a shower and do laundry, and all the practical things like that, things that take up so much head space when you're traveling. Not to mention the sightseeing and adjusting to new cultures and whatnot.

I do, however, have enough travel anecdotes to last me about two years' worth of parties and meeting new people and dinner get togethers and so forth. You know, arriving in Madrid for the first time with a high fever, arriving in Paris for the first time with no luggage, arriving in Slovakia for the first time completely unexpectedly... those are my top three bad expletive stories (as in, I use a lot of expletives in a really negative way). I'm not even sure what my top three good expletive stories (as in, I use a lot of expletives in a really good way) would be -- there are so many. Getting to see a real achaeological dig just outside Rome, where teams were in the process of excavating plant holders and suchlike, the way I felt after going to a concentration camp tour (well, that was more of a mixed expletive story... I actually completely unironically and un-self-critically started mapping out how little human contact I could get away with for the rest of my life), what it looks like inside a pyramid, seeing Socrates's very own marketplace ... I probably have at least one for every country I've seen.

Okay, right, nostalgia is boring. Corner me at a cocktail party sometime; I tell these much better than I write them.



I feel like entering a sarcophagus myself at this point. I wanted to write about the Egyptian museum, but I have nothing remotely interesting to say about it. I just sort of wandered around; it's really impressive, mostly from the sheer number of crazy things they have there. I mean, not crazy if you're an Ancient Egyptian, but kind of crazy if you're a modern American. And culturally ignorant, like me. (Seriously, one of my first trips once I get home tomorrow is to go to the library -- I have been having library withdrawal -- and one of the first things I'm going to get is a book of Egyptian mythology. I know the very very basics -- Sun God, Sky Goddess, heart and feather dealio -- all the stuff you can pick up from reading The Egypt Game lots of times at an impressionable age. But I have very little idea of the details. Plus I know absolutely nothing about the history of the Pharoahs, except, you know, Moses and all, so if I can find a history of that that isn't too dry, I'll pick it up. See, I told you I'm having library withdrawal. You know what else, though, speaking of Moses, I don't know how the Egyptians even realized that they had a plague of gnats, or of flies, or of whatever. From what I can tell they seem to have a plague of them constantly. No wonder Pharoah wouldn't let the people go.)

Right, topic. Which I ... don't have. Except, you know, being ignorant and irreverent and culturally insensetive. Sigh. Okay, you know what, I'm tired, and I have to pack for my flights tomorrow. But I am going home tomorrow! Home! Family! Friends! Library! Bookstores! Movie theaters! Netflix! Mexican food! Asian food! Washing machine! Hey, I said family and friends first, don't look at me like that.



I think I may have just gotten accepted to grad school in the UK.

Of course, the places in my home country who would have paid me for helping out in theater are like, well, gee whiz, the competition was really fierce this year... but the super exclusive university in England that is prohibitively expensive is like, hey, come on over.

I'm sure I'll get to happy and proud eventually -- although, like I said, kind of cost-prohibitive, so it's not like I can really go -- but right now I'm just sort of crinkling my forehead like, huh? I think the universe may possibly be laughing at me.


The economic system in Cairo is completely beyond my grasp. But the pyramids sure are impressive. Seriously, damn. Also, I rode on a camel. (Paid too much for the priviledge, but I wanted so much to see the Sphinx and go inside the pyramid... So I did. I shall spend the summer paying off this vacation. But! Camel! And pyramids. It was excellent.) Plus, lots of tombs, complete with hieroglyphs on the walls and... well, everything you've ever heard about Egypt, I've been seeing today. Seeing part of, anyway; the artifacts are in the museum that I'll go to tomorrow.

Also finished Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I liked it so much better than I was expecting to, despite the sort of underlying misogyny and depressing undertones. Or overtones, actually, they were pretty explicit. But it was good; the scenes were powerful (if a little cinematic) the mood was really well done, and the ending was just perfect. I was really impressed.