Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Old Man and The Old Moon

Seven young men.  Met studying theatre in college - a prestigious university at that.  Weren't getting cast in the upperclassmen they started making their own.

Introducing, Pig Pen Theatre Company.

Tonight, I saw their first full-length off-Broadway production, The Old Man and The Old Moon.

It was truly truly beautiful.  Maybe even magical.  And I've complained that my holiday season hasn't seen a lot of magic so far.  But I found it.  In a converted gym just south of Washington Square Park.  I found myself legitimately transported to another place.  By seven guys, with some musical instruments, and some handmade props.

The story was simple.  An old man's journey to find his wife.  Like any good 'journey' story (The Odyssey, Lord of the Rings) it isn't so much about the ending but how you get there and what happens along the way.  In fact, the moment where the Old Man finds his wife is rather anticlimactic.  But not only is the story beautiful, it's the way they tell it.  Using found items converted into props, music, puppetry, and creative lighting with no more than flashlights and a few sheets, they were able to create an epic.  It reminds you of days sitting around a campfire listening to tales.  And how with such simple things, you can begin to make sense of such abstract topics as memory, love, change, and even storytelling.  The music reminded me a bit of Mumford and Sons, folksy, but not without emotion.  Lyrics that told the story, but could stand on their own.

Very rarely do I see a show where all of the elements are in place.  The script.  The design.  The acting.  The ages of the actors betrayed them a few times - but it is forgivable.  At 23 when you've written and are starring in your own off-Broadway're allowed a few moments of indulgence.  Besides that, I was with them every step of the way, and I have no doubt that should they continue to work together, a lot of good will come out of this company.

The Old Man and The Old Moon, closes Jan 6.

A New Beginning...

In light of the New Year, New School, New City, and basically New Life - I'm starting a New Blog.

Something I've gotten quite into lately has been the idea of women in the workplace, the issues surrounding it, and how much that is going to change.  Because let me tell you, it's going to change.  Also, I'm trying to increase my social media identity a bit, so I've started a new blog.

I'll continue to post on here as more of my 'personal' blog - more stuff about theatre specifically and all that. But I'll try to post to this one more regularly - trying to get myself to write more and be more active. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Before I left for Peace Corps, everyone told me that the hardest part was coming home.  So I tried to be proactive.  I planned a vacation in Dubai and quality time with my family, made sure I got to see all my friends, and set myself up to start graduate school.  A lot of those plans were made to be sure that I didn't lose my mind when I got home.

For a worked.

Well, it seemed to.

I definitely had the dreams of COS'ing all over again.  I still have dreams in Azeri.  But I thought that I had set myself up to be so busy and so distracted, that I wouldn't notice the difficulties of being back home.  And while it's true I didn't notice them, looking back, I can see how it has affected me.

I've always been a highly emotional, rather impulsive person.  So my bouts of loneliness and sadness upon returning home - I just attributed that to me being me.  The one too many times I went out drinking with friends, I just attributed that to new friends, new city, and fun.  It wasn't until just the other day, while having a conversation with my parents, that I realized.

I've been readjusting.  And it has been a struggle.  And it HAS affected my behavior.

Instead of relaxing and making new friends, I've been obsessively searching for a new community.  Instead of going with the flow and waiting to see what happens, I've been making plans to be sure that I don't end up spending the holidays, or a Saturday night, alone.  I left Peace Corps, and came to a life that is a lot different than the one I left.  I'm different.  I'm in a different city.  And my parents - my biggest support system - are in a different country.

I'm alone here.  And I'm terrified of it staying that way.

Now, I have AMAZING friends (and I know they'll hate me for saying that I'm alone...but I'm getting there...), but they have all their own stuff to deal with.  They've moved on since I left.  And literally...moved to different cities, different states.  And I am SO PROUD of each and every single one of them, and I am so happy to say that I probably could up and move anywhere and have a friend to lean on.  But I can't help but be a little jealous of all the people who get to come home and find everyone in the same place...because its just comfortable.  It's safe.  It's the same.

I don't deal well with change, I never have.  Even though I tend to seek it out at every opportunity I get.  Is it any wonder then, that I've ended every significant relationship I've ever been in?  And I've done it at a time of transition?  But yet I still get jealous of people who are in committed relationships - I have started noticing on the subway who is married and who isn't.  That's pathetic.  And just the other day, I finally looked at my life as an outsider.

And I wanted to smack myself.

But I'm lucky.  I get to pin most of it on readjusting.  And now that I can explain it, I can explain it away.

And I'm even more lucky.  Because I don't have one special person who I go home to.  I have so many friends all over the world who would take me in in a second.  They aren't here everyday to remind me, but they're here.

That realization sort of hit me like a brick.  But it feels good.  Because at least I can understand.

But I'm still here.  I'm still studying.  Still working.  Still having fun.  And I'm going to keep doing just that. Life is ok.  And it's the holiday season too.  Which makes life even better.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mountain High Yoghurt Recipe #1: Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

In the spirit of my business school project, and of not losing my mind, I'm challenging myself to find new and creative ways to cook with my subject: Mountain High Yoghurt.

It's new to the East Coast, but can be found in some stores.  32oz jugs.  It's worth it. Here's my first venture.

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
3 heaping spoonfuls of Mountain High Yoghurt
2 tablespoons of Trader Joe's Vanilla Whey Protein (or 1 tbs sugar)
6oz of Orange Juice
1 tray of ice
optional: double shot of Pinnacle Cake flavored Vodka

Throw it all into your magic bullet and let pulse til smooth.  Best enjoyed with a straw stolen from Dunkin' donuts, and I bet it would've been delish with some whipped cream on top.  But we did not have any...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My love is like a taxi cab...

"Men are like cabs, when they're available, their light goes on.  They wake up one day and decide they're ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on.  The next woman they pick up, boom, that's the one they marry...You gotta get 'em when their light's on."

My first point in using this quote is to say that Boston cabs are stupid.  Their lights go on when they have a fare, and are dark when they don't.  It took me some time to figure this out.  I thought there was something wrong with those individual taxis.  Turns out, its all the damn Boston cabs.

But I was reminded of this quote for other reasons recently.  And I'll qualify this post now by saying that it isn't just men who do this, it's everyone.  Generally most women (as Miranda goes on to say in that scene) drive around for a long time picking up men, and then kicking them to the curb when they turn out to be dogs.  And generally most men drive around "Off Duty" and pick up women with every intention of dropping them off on the next block.  But I think both genders have gotten equally good at doing both.

Last weekend I was in New York City, hanging out with some of the best girlfriends anyone could ask for.  And with different friends from different social circles, our conversations kept coming back to the same themes on relationships. It seems like so many of us have been in a relationship we thought was going somewhere, only to realize that maybe one part of the relationship didn't have his or her light on yet.  Which led to break up and heartache, naturally a lot of time reflecting and soul-searching, and I'm glad to say, in some cases, very happy endings.

I never thought I'd say this, but now I totally understand and appreciate online dating.  It's a place where you can go and open up a profile and literally tell the world that you've got your light on.  And you can instantly connect with others who also have their lights on.  Instead of a bar, where it's really hard to tell.

I used to believe that if you loved someone enough, it wouldn't matter whether or not you were ready.  I used to believe that you would find someone, meet someone, and that would be it.  But I'm starting to see that the universe works in mysterious ways, and that it isn't always love at first sight.

Choice plays a much bigger role in this than I first thought.

You have to choose to open yourself up.  You have to choose to let someone in.  And you have to choose to turn your light on.

You might look damn good standing on the side of the road trying to flag down a cab.  But some of them are never going to stop, no matter how amazing you are.  And it isn't you.  It's them.

I also used to believe that if he didn't stop the first time around, he wasn't worth my time.  But now, I don't think I can stay so hard and fast to that.  Maybe it's just as valuable if you are so stuck in his mind, he's going to drive around the block to find you again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Sometimes, you wake up in the morning, and you feel kind of down on yourself.  It's rainy, it's chilly, and it's one of those "I don't feel like putting in my contact lenses" kind of mornings.

Then you get on the train.

And you see a guy with his shirt on inside out.

And you see this older lady with mean eyes, wearing way too much make-up, with an unnecessarily flamboyant wardrobe.  You get a little too close as the train lurches forward, smile and apologize.  She gives you a death stare.

It's 7:01am.

And you think, "well, I certainly don't have it as bad as some people."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You can take the girl out of Peace Corps...

but you can't take the Peace Corps out of the girl.

I continually have these little moments where I flip out about something in my head, and I have to remind myself, I've only been stateside for about 6 weeks.

So far, the adjustment is not nearly as bad as everyone said it would be.  I think I had a much harder time this summer being in Dubai.  And not because of the adjustment, just because of the leaving.  And not having a whole lot to do.

Now, I'm busy.  Still adjusting to being a student again, but so far, so good.

Lori and I went to an RPCV function the other night (*returned peace corps volunteers) with the Boston  Area RPCV group.  It was fun, lots of people were there, of varying ages and countries of service.  It was nice to be with my people again.

But it was pretty clear we are fresh off the plane.

Picture this:  standing awkwardly in someone's backyard, trying to eat nachos and salsa off of a small paper plate.  I'm holding the plate.  Lori and I are struggling to get salsa on the chip.  So, like any good RPCV, we decide to work together.  We start pushing the salsa towards each other's chips.  Mind you - we had to break out of conversation to do this, and so to bring us back in, another RPCV gentleman says to us:

"So, you guys served together?"

In our total awkwardness, holding this plate between us and trying to eat chips, we look at each other, and just lose it.  I say, with a mouth full of salsa:

"How could you tell?'

It's so good to have someone from service around to help the adjustment.  Because it is someone to share those awkward moments with, and just laugh them away.  We might be a little co-dependent right now (both of us are dealing with some personal issues right now - "rough" might be an understatement), but it's good to have a constant.  Someone who knew me before, during, and now.

Mom and Dad are coming to Boston next weekend - so excited!  It's the last time I'll see them til New Year's, so I'm glad we were able to make something work.  I'll post pictures!