Birthday Part Deux: The Haul

I did, I did, I did get a little piece of metal jammed into my nose. It hurt like hell for a few seconds -- I actually got light-headed -- but now I love it. My piercer was really sweet. For the record, ladies and gentlemen -- Body Manipulations, in San Francisco. Highly recommended. My stepdad said it looks like gold-plated acne, but he is just jealous. Actually, it is very cute.

Among the rest of the haul: I found a leather jacket at the Crossroads on Fillmore St. for under thirty bucks. Mine, mine! I thought, and so it was. So in about four hours I upped my badass quotient by a factor of ten. It was a wicked good deal.

And then I got home, and was presented with a) yummy yummy dinner of many favorite things, b) birthday cake -- chocolate with raspberries, c) a book about the philosophy of Shakespeare (YAY) and d) Slings & Arrows, all three seasons. Sigh. I win, I think.


Happy Birthday To Me

I live in a tree...

Wait, that's not right.

By the grace of God, I have made it out of that terrible year of twenty-two, and can now join the rest of the world, heaving a huge sigh of relief and relaxation. Twenty-three is BOUND to be better. It can't HELP but be better. I am so excited about twenty-three. Twenty-three is young enough to still be hip and ignorant, and old enough that I don't look like a misplaced college student. Twenty-three is old enough to do everything fun without being all self-conscious about being old enough to do everything fun. Twenty-three is going to be awesome.

It's already getting off to a much better start than twenty-two (knock on wood). I've found an apartment. "The winter thing" worked out, and soon I start work on a play -- with Omnipotent Softy, which is really exciting. I have a good job. I am working on my issues. I am making friends. I'm going to be fine, this year. Thank God.

And I am celebrating it with new clothes, a trip to the city, and possibly a piece of metal jammed into my nose.


Books Books Lots of Books

In today's (okay, yesterday's) Very Exciting News, I got a book signed by Nick Hornby. One more benefit of working at The Store. (I didn't meet him, but he inscribed a [used] copy of The Polysyllabic Spree to me, me, me, which makes me really happy. Especially because it's the book of his I'd been wanting to read forever, it came through used, and now it is inscribed to me. Sigh. Contentment.)

Anyway. I also found out the date I will be moving (in about two weeks); I bought a big fat Nazi book new from The Store -- I can always justify buying new books to myself, because I pay a used price for them. (For used books, I pay bargain basement prices.) So that is exciting right now. But when you put those two pieces of information together, and realize that I will have to get all my books into boxes and moved out of my parents' basement in scant two weeks, then suddenly it becomes rather more ominous.


A Place, It is Found

IT has concluded, and I have an apartment!

Actually, I have a bedroom in an apartment. But it is not too far from The Store, it is near public transportation, it seems to have nice people living in it currently, and it is eminently affordable, which is the best part.

So yes, that is Very Happy, and now I get to call and cancel all the other apartments I was planning on seeing, which is exciting.


Ah, Escapism

Which doesn't really work if you're not escaping. That can actually be read two ways.

1. It is time to overhaul my reading list a little bit. The three books I decided to focus on a week or two ago are doing nothing for me. Which is sad, because it's not like I don't like them or anything; they somehow just don't complement each other very well, and I'm losing all my momentum. So. I am switching my nonfiction book (I'm sorry, Victoria Finlay, I fully intend to finish your lovely book, but I can't right now) and my trashy fiction and regular fiction are getting switched into a different trashy fiction. (I'm sorry, Mark Haddon, but so far your second book is just not as interesting as your first. And no one loved Curious Incident more than I did, but... this one is just not hitting right, at least not yet. And I've given you a hundred pages already, so pick it up, dude! It's hitting too close to home to be entertaining, and not close enough to be touching. Sorry, man.) (I am not sorry to you, Laurie King, because I am either switching a Kate Martinelli book for a Mary Russell book -- both of which are written by you, and you have publicly admitted to agreeing with me that the Russells are more interesting -- or I am taking a break from you altogether to read some Dorothy Sayers, which I think you would also wholeheartedly approve of, given how much you love Sayers yourself.) Anyway. So, book switching time.

2. Seeing King Lear was much more fun than I expected, but not really the escapism I was expecting. A shout-out to my RKs, I am continually impressed with you guys. When I was in high school, I can't remember ever complaining that the people I was doing theater with weren't dedicated enough. Hot shit, you guys. At the same time, the show made me realize all over again how much I am itching and aching to direct something. I know I can't shut up about it, either in person or online, but its ferocity keeps taking me by surprise. God I am praying that this winter thing works out.

Three Reasons to Love My Job

1. Today a complete genealogy of the characters of Greek mythology came through The Store. Through like with a laxative, because it is going to be sold to me. I love the people I work with, who go out of their way to show me things I might like.

2. I am leaving my shift an hour early today, to go see King Lear with the other RKs. My manager barely batted an eyelash.

3. This is the only place I can think of working where I like coming to work on a rainy day. I mean, back me up here, bookstores are seriously some of the best places to be on a rainy day, no? I've no doubt I'll get sick of it eventually, but I still feel... cozy, here, when it rains. Compare and contrast to France, where I was miserable every day it rained (so basically... every day) because I hated slogging through the mud or biking through the puddles. Just walking to the bookstore has a whole different feel.



IT has begun.

IT is the Great Apartment Search of 2007. I swore up and down to myself I'd be seriously looking by the time my birthday rolled around (and it's in two weeks, so I'm sticking to that deadline anyway) and moved in by Christmas. But oh, my God, is IT ever a pain in the ass. I hate IT already and I only started IT today. And I can tell I'm going to be talking about nothing else for the next month, or however long it takes me to find someplace. WAAAAHHH. In France I had people doing this FOR me. (Because I couldn't speak the language, not because I'm incompetent.) But now I want someone to do IT for me HERE. Whine whine whine WHINE.

I've called two places (set up an appointment at one of them) and emailed like, three or four more, so that gets me started. But yuck, anyway. Yuck yuck yuck. I hate IT. I am trying to be responsible, but IT is just an all out pain in the butt. Maybe if I had someone to blame, IT would be easier, but as IT is...

Okay, I will be positive. I have nothing specific to complain about (except for how I can't find a frigging apartment in BERKELEY because they are all psycho-eco-friendly and want you to swear you'll never use shampoo that might have murdered a rodent).

Anyway, I'll keep you updated. Probably grumpily.


New Obsession

Well, it's not really new; it just has a new form.

Those acquainted with me for longer lengths of time will remember my obsession with all things Robin Hood. Oh, admittedly it was at its height when I was about nine, back when I owned my own quiver full of arrows and unstrung longbow, back when I took archery classes, back when I'd read everything the public library had on the subject, back when he was only my second-ever book crush.

But I never entirely got over it; when I did my "Book Tour" of England with Elfcat, we stopped at Sherwood Forest (which IS a real place, just like Ithaca is a real place, which I've known since I was a little kid and which may explain a lot about my persistent inability to entirely separate truth and fiction). I've calmed down some, but I still have my favorite variations of the legend, and my own opinions, and I still sort of am drawn to any new ones I haven't run across yet.

Which is why I was so thrilled when I found out the BBC made a television series of Robin Hood, called, wait for it, Robin Hood. I found this out last spring, read some very good reviews of it, wanted it, and was traveling and forgot about it. But now! Now I have remembered, I put it on Netflix (God bless Netflix!) and I am on episode five.

And it's... kind of hilarious. It's absolutely impossible to take it seriously, at any rate. Netflix describes it as having a "modern sensibility" which I think translates to "a total and complete lack of subtlety and a willingness to disregard the rules of historical accuracy whenever they become inconvenient." The Sheriff of Nottingham -- who is this delightfully fey, scenery chomping type and whom I adore -- talks about "winning hearts and minds" away from Robin Hood. A delightfully non-anorexic Maid Marian tells our friend Guy of Gisbourne, who is all broody and square-jawed, that it's barbaric to suspend rights at home simply because there is a war going on in the Holy Land. She also seems to attend the meeting of nobles (where Sir Guy and the Sheriff browbeat the other men into helping with their evil plots) regularly, although in a nod to the complete improbability of this, she is not allowed to sit down and must strike her verbal blows for justice standing behind her father's chair.

And yet... I am loving it. I used to be so picky about my Robin Hood that I couldn't even stomach Men In Tights as a child, and was known to reject whole novels based on Robin not meeting Little John in the proper context. But I seem to have mellowed, because this show is cracking me up and keeping me completely entertained. It makes no logical sense at all (Robin seems to waste arrows as often as breathing, for example) and yet I cannot look away. He and his men are like the Cute and Stupid Brigade. They are always in the throes of cute schemes which they execute stupidly, or stupid schemes which they execute cutely, and the overall effect is adorable, like a child smashing toy trains together. It helps, I guess, that Robin is played by the toothsome Jonas Armstrong, but that's not all of it.

It's one of the TV shows I don't really want to share with my family. Which is odd for me, because normally my sister and I trade TV shows like -- I don't know, what do kids trade nowadays? Pokemon cards? When I was little, it was Pogs, but I think that's only good for telling you exactly how old I am -- anyway, we normally trade all the time, and spend all our time recommending them back and forth, and she's less discriminating than I am. (Short Stuff made it all the way through Angel, for example.) But in this case, it's kind of just dorky and mine. And I am having so much fun with it.


Double Dose of Drama Day

As in, started out helping with a SMAT at CalShakes, am finishing by working on the lobby display for Iphigenia. The information is mostly complete; just a question of setup and display and stuff. And watching a rehearsal.

I didn't see all of Lear, (didn't want to ruin it for myself; I'm going later) but from what I saw, it was great. The design, at least, was wonderful. Much (but not nearly all) of the power is lost when you wander in and out for five minutes at a time, but some stuff is incredible no matter what. coughGloucester'seyescough. I could neither watch nor look away, which is the best kind of theater.

Tiring, but fulfilling. Also finished A Grave Talent, which by my own rules means I am allowed to start O Jerusalem, unless I decide to stick with Kate Martinelli through another book.

Iphigenia rehearsals are fun, although it's always hard to turn off my director-thinking and be in research mode. (Does "research mode" make anyone else think of Daughter of Time? I am so a woolly lamb.) Anyway, I do hope ADing later this winter works out. I am excited but trying hard not to jinx it. Meantime I let my director thinking run loose whenever I can't sleep. I come up with elaborate play-thoughts, such as the proper temporal setting for Two Gentlemen of Verona and Lord Peter Wimsey's floor pattern in Busman's Honeymoon.