Monday, October 8, 2018

Concert Bucket List Achieved!

I have a concert bucket-list like most people. I've had the chance to see Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John, which were definitely on the list. But there was one last man on that list, that I didn't think I'd get the chance to see. That was Phil Collins. Because of issues with his health over the last few years, he vowed he was done touring.

But earlier this year, word finally came that he'd be back on the road this fall. Thankfully, I'm pretty quick on the keyboard when it comes to buying tickets. And I'm happy to say he was unbelievably amazing! I enjoyed every moment of the concert, and he hasn't lost a step with his voice.

I was a little taken aback to see him appear on stage with a cane. I knew he had issues with his hearing, but I don't think I knew he had back issues. So the fact he'd be sitting the entire evening was a little upsetting. However, even sitting, he managed to kill it. He chatted a bit, and shared a few stories that were fun. But mostly he sang the songs everyone loved and had been waiting to hear. 

Now, I suppose I'm just waiting for him to realize how wonderful he is at touring, so he'll pop back around this way again soon! And maybe then, he'll sing No Son of Mine - which is a Genesis song, but dude, he sang other Genesis songs! Not that I'm bitter in the least... : )

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Art All Around

Because I'm always on the lookout for something ridiculous to focus my time on, I'm participating in the #ShowYourArt2018 challenge on Instagram for the Americans for Art foundation. Each day they provide an artsy prompt and you're supposed to post a picture that contains art with that theme. It's been fun to realize that there is in fact, art all around us at all times of the day. All 6 photos I've shared so far have been from my travels in the last year. I haven't had to work hard to find any at all. 

When so many arts programs are being cut in schools, it's super fun to focus on the beauty and art in the world that's not huge or extravagant. It simply is, and that's the part that matters. So here goes, here are the first 6 artsy days of my life.

Day 1: #Blue - I happened upon this beautiful sculpture in San Antonio as I was wandering around trying to waste time before my flight home. It turns out I'd inadvertently wandered into the Instituto Cultural de Mexico. They have beautiful sculptures and pieces of art all around the building to see before even entering the museum.

Day 2: #Transportation - This beautiful boat is the very same boat I took a sunset cruise on in Mystic Connecticut. Isn't she gorgeous?! 

Day 3: #TheWordART - This one was a little difficult, because most art isn't labeled as such. However, the Instituto Cultural de Mexico came to the rescue again! 

Day 4: #RuralArt - This is my favorite country store in Pennsylvania. It's called Dusty Treasures, and each year before Christmas I travel here to buy a few more snowheads for my collection.

Day 5: #Education - This school photo was taken in Port Isaac, Cornwall. You may wonder why, then is the school called Portwenn. Well, each season of Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, and on shooting days, the entire town turns into Portwenn (the fictional town where Doc and his friends live.) No stars of BBC were seen that day, but lots of fun easter eggs from a show I love were spotted.

Day 6: #Animals - This guy sits outside my favorite place in Mystic, CT - Bank Square Books. I was super happy to see him on my first trip there a few years ago, and just as excited to see him still watching over the shop, this past summer!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Why I'm Angry

We are a few hours away from the confirmation of a judge who could potentially set women's rights back decades. Say what you want, but whether you're Republican or Democrat, that should make you angry.

Congressmen and women have repeatedly attacked a victim of sexual assault and shown they have no respect for actual justice. They only seem to care about a partisan agenda. 

Throughout this process, Dr. Ford has shown unbelievable poise and strength. She sat for hours as the committee grilled her about an event in which she was the victim, barely flinching, while Judge Kavanaugh raised his voice, snapped at members of the committee and showed visible anger that he was being subjected to even the slightest hint of scrutiny.

Removing a possible sexual assault from the equation of Judge Kavanaugh's record (something his supporters seem all to eager to do), he's repeatedly lied to the committee (which has been proven by fact checking his testimony) and has shown he is incapable of being unbiased, by attacking democrats and the Clintons in his speech to Congress. 

When at last there was a hint of justice in the form of an FBI investigation into these events, even that was tarnished by the strict sanctions placed on who should be questioned. In 3 days, the investigation was complete and almost a dozen witnesses weren't contacted by the agency.

Nominating this man to the highest court in the land has shined a light on everything that is wrong with politics in 2018. The world is watching as our elected officials are attacking each other, and bowing to what will get them votes rather than the greater good.

I'm almost positive the vote tomorrow will confirm Kavanaugh to the bench and when that moment comes, it will also confirm what most have believed for a long time. Women's rights come second to men's. No matter how many times this is denied, the actions of this committee reaffirm it completely. When he is given this position, women will have lost any parity we've gained in the last 100 years. And that moment will be a travesty for American politics and America as a whole.

This is why I'm angry. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Where to Go?

Tonight I went to an evening presented by two travel agents. They scheduled 3 different travel companies to come and chat with people about trips and tours their companies offered. It was really interesting to hear about the trips that were out there. What wasn't so fun was to hear about the prices of these trips. It's unbelievable how expensive these things are.

The majority of these trips were group tours. Now, I'm all about a food tour or a walking tour, but taking a gamble on a big trip just sounds risky. What if you and your group don't see eye to eye? What if a serial killer (probably unlikely...) is in your group? What if you get stuck with a bunch of boring non-food lovers that complain all the time? I mean I know taking chances is a good thing, but if I'm going to pay all that money, I want to have fun with people I know I like.

Ironically though, the coolest trips were the ones with the crazy group travel company. So now I'm more confused than ever. If I had a bottomless font of money, I'd be good to go. I'd take all the trips, all over the world. But unfortunately, the Lottery has not been kind to me yet. So I'm stuck trying to decide where to go. I suppose there are worse problems to have...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Revisiting 'The Band's Visit'

A few months ago, I saw The Band's Visit after months of hearing what a beautifully lyrical show it is. And at the time, I liked it a lot. But it wasn't exactly what I had expected. Most of the reviews I had read said that the show is like "being inside a poem." They went onto say that the show was one of the most beautiful shows they've seen in quite some time. 

Now, like I said, I enjoyed the show, but it wasn't as beautiful as everyone made it out to be. It was small and compact, with not a lot of glitz and glamour. Those are the types of shows I enjoy most. And the cast is amazingly talented. They all work so well together, and they each fit their characters perfectly. The music was beautiful, and fitting for the story of an Egyptian band accidentally spending the evening in an Israeli town. The use of Hebrew and Egyptian throughout, and the casting of actors of Middle Eastern descent, made me love the show even more.

However, I didn't see the poetry the reviewers mentioned. In my opinion, the main storyline worked well, but the other smaller stories seemed disjointed. It deserves the awards its won, but it's definitely not on my Top 10 list. 

Though, in the time since I've seen the show, I've had the chance to hear some of the music on multiple occasions thanks to my incessant listening of Sirius Broadway. Each time I hear "Papi Hears the Ocean" or "The Concert", I like them more and more. Then tonight, I heard "Answer Me" and I realized just how perfect the show is. "Answer Me" is a song sung by one character who is waiting for his girlfriend to call him. In the show, each time you see this character, he's standing in front of the same payphone waiting for her to call. 

The moment I heard the song this evening, I was transported to Israel and could see the set and the character and even the turning of the stage turntable in my mind. Just a few notes of the song took me back to that theatre. That's what I feel is the best indication of the success of a musical - its ability to transport the audience to another place entirely.

So all of this being said, what do I know? Apparently The Band's Visit is as truly amazing as everyone says. Sometimes, those reviewers really know what they're talking about.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Terrapin Thoughts

This afternoon, as I wandered around University of Maryland's campus getting very lost, I realized it's so much larger than I thought it would be. As a Towson University grad, I thought I knew large schools. But UMD is something else entirely. It's like its own little city. While I didn't enjoy finding myself in one building when I was supposed to be in another (thank goodness for nice Plant Studies students who point you in the right direction!), I did enjoy being on a campus again.

What I really loved about seeing UMD's campus was the diversity. I must have seen a thousand students wandering around between classes, and every single one looked different. There were all shapes and sizes and nationalities. I've always known that UMD had a big reach, but I didn't realize just how big. When people in society are judging others for their race or the country they were born in, it's refreshing to see an environment that embraces those changes.

UMD really is a beautiful place and I very much hope I get a chance to see a bit more of it!

Monday, October 1, 2018

September in Review

September was a very busy month, full of birthdays, fun outings and lots and lots of writing. Yet, not a lot of theatre, reading, or traveling. It's a conundrum really...

September Reads

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes: While I agree that young adults should learn about September 11, I felt that this book told the tale a bit too harshly.

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly: This was another tough read. I liked it because it promoted the use of imagination and storytelling, but it was a little harsh for middle grades.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling: I love, love, love this book! It teaches kids about disability and how people with disabilities are often viewed. It also helps kids to understand Tourettes better. And it's a super fun tale of mystery. It's perfect for all ages!

Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti: I haven't quite finished it yet, but I am liking it. It's sort of Inside DC Politics + Chick Lit all rolled into one. I'm actually reading it for something fun coming up on Our Community Now. Be on the lookout : )

September Travels

September was a fairly low key month in terms of travel. I took only one trip, to the usual place - New York City. Even that trip was not all that exciting - though we did eat some fabulous food. Any day that includes Dim Sum and Ramen, and a trip to the theatre is pretty darn fabulous in my opinion. 

I did do a little traveling within Maryland to Havre de Grace (home to the best candy shop ever - Bomboy's Candy) and Chesapeake City (home of a great hangout right on the water - Chesapeake Inn), but that's about all. Thankfully, the big trip is in October, so yay for that!

September Eats

As I mentioned above, the very best thing I ate this month was an enormous amount of chocolate from Bomboy's Candy in Havre de Grace. Bomboy's is a family run chocolate shop, that hand makes all sorts of deliciousness. My favorites are the marshmallow fluff chocolates and Sea Salt Caramels. I wouldn't recommend going though, unless you want to consume an entire box of chocolates. So darn yummy!

September Shows

September was pretty slow on the show front as well. Many of the local theatres ended their season in the summer, so I had a bit of a theatre break this month. I did manage to see Popcorn Falls in New York. The show was directed by Christian Borle and was fabulous! As much as I loved it, I would have liked to have seen Christian actually in the show though.

For BroadwayWorld, I saw Dancing at Lughnasa. The Irish play at Everyman Theatre was beautiful, and heartbreaking. Again, Everyman knocked it out of the park!

September Moves

As much as I enjoy writing for BroadwayWorld, I wanted to branch out to write about something different than theatre. I came across two sites on Facebook that were looking for writers and decided to apply. As of September 30, I'll be writing for and Our Community Now. Mostly, for both sites, I'll be covering events happening here in Annapolis, as well as Maryland, DC and Virginia. I can decide on what I want to write about and go for it for the most part. I'm excited to branch out a bit, while still handling theatre reviews and critiques.