Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year in Books

Choosing only ten books as favorites at year's end is always a difficult task. I'd written a rough draft mid-December, but then December happened to be full of amazing reads that couldn't be left off. #problemsthataren'tproblems

Only books I read for the first time this year were considered. Otherwise it goes without saying that Hobbit and Harry Potter would be featured prominently.

Top Ten Books of 2014
10. Fic by Anne Jamison (I am a huge fan of fanfiction and this book discusses it extensively.)
9. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
8. Living My Life by Emma Goldman (Turns out that Emma Goldman is every bit as legit as I wanted her to be. I love it when that happens.)
7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
6. Unfriending My Ex by Kim Stolz
5. Song of Spider-man by Glen Berger
4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (I'm in love with this book.)
3. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (Read this book. Just read it.)
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak (This book will break your heart in the best way.)
1. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr (I don't even know what to say about this book. It is perfect. This man is amazing. If this book doesn't inspire you to fight injustice, nothing will.)

Honorable mentions: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (fiction) and The Unpersuadables by Will Storr (non-fiction)

A few statistics:

  • 81 total books, 37 fiction and 44 non-fiction. Although I read more non-fiction books, when it comes to page counts fiction leads with 12,591 pages to non-fiction's 11,552. That's a total of 24,142 pages.
  • Longest book-- A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin (969 pages)
  • Oldest book-- Evelina by Frances Burney (1778) 
  • Books I've meant to read forever and finally got around to: The Maze Runner, The Eyre Affair, The Graveyard Book, The Fault in Our Stars, Brave New World, Three Cups of Tea, Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Book Thief 
  • Historical figures I became better acquainted with through biographies: Emma Goldman, Shirley Temple, Martin Luther King Jr, Ike Eisenhower, Walt Disney, John Quincy Adams, Harry Selfridge
  • Classics: Evelina, Three Blind Mice, Crime and Punishment, Madame Bovary, Wind in the Willows, The Heart of the Matter, Brave New World, Doctor Zhivago, Dracula, Around the World in 80 Days

 Complete list follows the Jump

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eighteen Months

With my grandparents having returned from their mission this week I’ve been thinking about time. Eighteen months, to be precise. They left for the Scotland/Ireland mission in April of 2013. At the time I remember being afraid that I would have to get married without my grandma. Was I close to getting engaged at the time? No. Did I have a boyfriend at the time? No. Was there any boy that I even consistently texted at the time? Of course not, but hope springs eternal, and it's easy to imagine that Eighteen-Months-Older Rebecca will be a lot better at achieving things. 

Obviously I am not writing to you as Mrs. Whoever. I could’ve, is the funny thing. I mean, there was a dude who expressed a pretty serious interest in putting a ring on it. But our relationship ended in flames (thankfully only figurative ones), and now, as Daenerys said in A Clash of Kings, “Her only consolation was that least she’d had the great good sense not to marry him.” My grandma will be at my wedding, should I ever deign to give up my beloved cat lady label.

But what else has happened in the last eighteen months? I’ve been in two shows: Camelot and First Christmas. I’ve moved to a third house in the Murray area— my roommates and I just can’t seem to get away. I’ve shopped at the same Smiths for three years now. I drove to California and back twice, was introduced to RPGs, and bought a new car. (Goodbye, Cathy!) Taylor Swift came out with a new album, and it’s freaking brilliant.

 In the area of Netflix, which is a pretty significant area in my life, I added a lot of shows to my Watched By Rebecca queue. The most important? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched all seven seasons during the course of one glorious month in late 2013 on a gorgeous flat-screen television that was temporarily living at our house and fell deeply, deeply in love. My advice to you is don’t ever bring up Buffy, Spike, or Joss Whedon unless you are prepared for at least a two hour session of me obsessing over the most perfect show in existence. I met James Marsters!!!!! He touched me!!!! (I am not a person who uses multiple exclamation marks, but trust me when I say they are justified in this situation.)

I also discovered Avatar, Walking Dead, Supernatural, Switched at Birth, Lost, Better Off Ted, and The Office, in the realm of television. Lost was frustrating, Being Human (the UK version) was great, and I gave up on Downton Abbey. I’m six seasons into Supernatural, and The Office made me shed both tears of laughter and actual tears. 

I fell head over heels in love with a scrawny British late night host named John Oliver. His existence brings joy to my life. The obsession is real. He is literally my ideal man: British, feminist, bitingly funny. He has the same birthday as Shakespeare! I was destined to love him.

I switched jobs twice, first to a Brookstone in the airport and then to Western Governors University, a job at which I hope to stay for the foreseeable future. Nine to five, Monday to Friday, baby. No more 4:30 a.m. shifts for me!

I read one hundred and sixty-two books and kissed three boys. I watched a lot of Marvel movies. I’ve become deeply interested in social justice causes and become a lot more comfortable with the liberal sensitivities I’ve been struggling with since high school. I now wear the label of feminist, equal rights supporter, and pro-gun control with pride. I’ve decided that I am good enough, and although I struggle with this quite a lot some days, cool people seem to like me, and they must see some potential in me.

In some ways I feel like exactly the same girl who said goodbye to her grandparents eighteen months ago, but in others I feel like a completely different person. That’s the paradox of life, I guess: we never change, but we never stay the same. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Raise Your Voice

Lately I've been talking a lot about Ferguson, and Eric Garner, and basically anything I can find about the issue of racial inequality in America, specifically as it regards to the police. It may be that people wish I would shut up. Well, I wish I could.

I would love to talk about other things, like my excited trepidation for the new Star Wars movie, going home for Thanksgiving, or my new obsession with a skinny Englishman named John Oliver. (He may someday be the subject of his own post because he is perfect.) I could tell you stories about dreaming that Stephen Colbert tried to hold my hand, or singing Annie in the elevator at work, or my recent introduction to X-Men. I've been learning about Ada Lovelace and performing a Christmas show and being baffled/pleased by a December so warm that I've been driving around with my windows down.

But just at the moment, I won't.

Right now I will use my voice, both online and in real life, to join in a discussion about social justice, because it is important. I strongly believe that it is vital for us to stand up when something is wrong, even it is controversial. All that it is necessary for evil to conquer is for good people to do nothing. And as a white person, I will never truly understand racism, but I can fight against it because I understand that it exists. If I see injustice in the world I am going to say something about it. This was not always true about me, but I learning that what people think of me is far less important than being able to live with myself.

There was a protest in Salt Lake City on Saturday night. I very much wanted to go, but I had a performance in the aforementioned Christmas show. This whole week I've been having a bit of a quarter-life crisis in the vein of, "How long would it take me to drive to Missouri? I have enough for  a plane ticket to New York. Do you think the protests in San Francisco are still on?" Because I want to be a part of it. I want to stand up and be heard. I want to carry a sign that says JUSTICE and march down a street to make a statement.

I'm not black. I can't chant "We can't breathe" or "We are all Mike Brown". I'm not oppressed by my race. But I want to be on the right side of history, and much more importantly I want to be one the right side of my humanity. I would never be the person who actively disparages the protesters, but I feel that I would be betraying myself to sit back and be silent.

You don't have to agree with us. But we will not apologize for our views and we will not be silent. I will have an open-minded discussion with you if you will have an open-minded discussion with me. But what it comes down to, in my mind, is that when it comes to human rights, the only change this country has ever seen has come from people who are willing to fight for it. I intend to stand up against injustice and inequality and say, "This is wrong." Because it is. My soul knows this, my mind knows this, my heart knows this.

"And say to those who blame us/ For the way we chose to fight/ That sometimes there are battles that are more than black or white/ And I could not put down my sword when justice was my right/ Make them hear you/ Make them hear you." -"Make Them Hear You", Ragtime

"Do you hear the people sing?/ Singing the song of angry men/ It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again/ When the beating of your heart/ Echoes the beating of a drum/ There is a life about to start with tomorrow comes" -"Do You Hear the People Sing?" -Les Miserables

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Audition Game

Auditions. Callbacks. Casting. It's a process that never stops being heart-wrenching. As an actor I'm used to rejection. I have to be. We all get rejected, over and over again, and spend a lot more time being not cast than cast. As my current show (First Christmas at the SCERA in Orem) goes into performances on Friday, I've started hunting for auditions again. I have four auditions lined up over the next two weeks, and each show is so different.It's anyone guess as to which one I'll end up doing, or if I'll be cast at all, because heaven knows that's not guaranteed.

Here's the thing: I hate auditions. I hate them more than almost anything else. They are evil things that violently assault your self-esteem and compress your value as a person into sixteen bars of a Broadway song. Even when you feel that you've nailed it, hit your selection out of the park, the anxiety sets in almost instantly. The rush of adrenaline lasts for three or four minutes, and then you all you can think about is,"Did I get it? Did I get it? Did I get it?"

If it were as easy as just saying, "I don't care if I get it or not. I did my best, and that's what matters" don't you think I would do it? I so wish I could do that! But if I didn't care, I would never audition. The ONLY way I can push myself to walk into a theatre clutching a headshot and my resume is to convince myself that I care A LOT. If I didn't tell myself that this show was the best opportunity to ever come along, that I belong  in this cast, that I am talented and capable and ready to blow away this director, I would literally never audition. So every time I hear about an audition I have to tirelessly talk it up to myself, and if it doesn't work out I have to immediately start back-pedal. The show wasn't right for me. The commute was too far. I'm still talented and capable even if they don't want me. Let me tell you, it is emotionally exhausting.

It's difficult because you never know why you didn't get called back or cast. And maybe it's better not knowing. Would I rather hear that it was because of my face or my voice that they couldn't picture me in the show? Is it better to be rejected for your acting or your dancing? It's all subjective; it could simply be that I looked like an old annoying roommate, or the director hated the show my song was from. You never know. Maybe it was your schedule, maybe it was your outfit, maybe you just weren't good enough. Maybe, maybe, maybe. You can drive yourself insane wondering why. You can't dwell on it, which is easy to say but harder to live. Because I care. I care a lot. My performing would suck if I didn't care. But there's always another audition around the corner. So every time I don't get cast I give myself twenty-four hours to sulk in bitterness before picking up the pieces of my ego and scheduling the next audition.

It's a rough game full of girls vying for the same parts and it never gets easy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rebecca Rereads The Hobbit

I wrote the following right after finishing The Hobbit. I just sat down and wrote down all my feelings. I haven't edited at all, so don't judge too harshly.


How awesome was The Hobbit? I mean, pretty dang awesome. Freaking Gandalf. I just adore him. And I fell in love with Dori when he was all sassy and, “You almost chopped my head off with Orcrist—I’d like to see you not drop a hobbit!” He is my bro. As a main character Bilbo is approximately two hundred and thirty-nine times better than Frodo. The story is enchanting; I can wait to read it to my kids. It’s much more child-friendly than Lord of the Rings in the writing style. It’s a straightforward quest, with one main plot and one main goal: get that treasure. There is every needful ingredient for an adventure: stolen gold, many miles to journey, a noble company, elven and dwarfish songs, and of course, a dragon. We mustn’t forget the dragon. “Never leave a live dragon out of your calculations,” as Bilbo learned.

My grandpa is who got me into Middle Earth. He is a hardcore Tolkien fan. I remember him reading The Hobbit to me at six or seven. My grandpa is the best storyteller I know. Period. There’s no one I’d rather have tell me about Thorin, Smaug, and Bard. I am so grateful for those memories. As a child I was terrified by both Gollum and the giant spiders that beset the party in the forest. It’s one of their first trials—after the trolls—and I’m not ashamed to admit that at that point I would have turned around and been like, “Have fun with the rest of your suicidal mission! Rebecca out!” But luckily Bilbo is made of sterner stuff than I….must be that Took in his blood.

The end battle comes so unexpectedly. I mean, a lot of the ending is unexpected. Smaug is killed by a character we haven’t even been paying attention to; our heroes are completely oblivious to his demise until a little bird tells them. (Literally.) After all of Bilbo’s banter with the gold-hoarding dragon you kind of want him to be present when it all goes down. But that’s the reader in me speaking—as a player in the story I’m sure Bilbo was quite happy to be absent.

So the dragon is dead. Problem solved, right? Not so fast. The main obstacle might have been shot down, but the greed of man (and dwarves) is alive and well. Squabbling about ownership of this newly available treasure quickly erupts between the inhabitants of Laketown and our merry men. (That’s the one downfall of this book—there is not a single named female character. My feminist heart regrets this.) Thorin summons his kinfolk, the Elvenking arrives on the scene with his own army, chaos abounds. But disrupting this argumentative atmosphere is Gandalf, exclaiming that the goblins have suddenly appeared.

“What goblins?” you may ask. “Not the goblins that we left hundreds of pages ago?” The very same. Combined with the hideous Wargs they have come to wreak revenge for the death of their king. It may be construed as a fortunate event, again from a reader’s perspective. If a common foe had not appeared, who’s to say that our three “Allied” armies would not have spilled each other’s blood, in a civil war of sorts? Thorin was prepared to die to defend his gold, and Men have never been the most noble of creatures. Harsh words had already been exchanged between all parties, and bloodshed is not hard to imagine.

But that’s all academic, because the goblins did come, and a terrible battle resulted. Bilbo’s invisibility is both a help and a hindrance, the Eagles again save the day, and we lose three of our courageous dwarves: Thorin, Kili, and Fili. (For those of you who have only seen the movie, Thorin is the leader and Kili is the hot one.) I hated to see them go, but that’s one of those inevitabilities of war.

Humor in The Hobbit is one of my favorite things. The characters are real. There is that sibling mentality between the party members where they would defend each other to the death, but don’t you touch my stuff. Gandalf vanishes at his own convenience, Bilbo steals the Arkenstone (becoming an “honest burglar”) and everyone makes fun of Bombur for being fat. I had to struggle against laughing out loud as I read this at my desk on break.

I love this book. I love the talking ravens and Bilbo’s impromptu riddles and the bickering of the dwarves, and Gandalf in general. All I could think about as I reread this gem of a book for the first time in seven years was that I can’t wait to read this book to my children. I hope they are filled with the wonder of it as much as I was, and am, and expect to be again.

My thoughts on the Hobbit films maybe ought to be a whole ‘nother entry. I was initially quite excited to hear that Peter Jackson would be bringing this story to the big screen—the animated version was great, but somehow not as stunning as the New Zealand we all raved about in the Lord of the Rings films. But then it was announced that there wasn’t going to be a Hobbit film. There were going to be three. Some fans rejoiced, I groaned.

I don’t like “my” books being made into movies. It has seldom been done to my satisfaction. I especially don’t like them being made into blockbuster cash cows with love triangles and unnecessary Orc subplots and hot dwarves. (Okay, I don’t so much mind the hot dwarves.) It’s one of those sad instances where I so much wanted to fangirl over these films, but I always had the sinking sensation that it wasn’t going to happen. Martin Freeman was embraced by the internet as the unwilling protagonist of their dreams, but I don’t know. He just didn’t do it for me. We all love Ian McKellan, but he’s not as young as he once was. Was it strictly necessary to have the Necromancer, and Radagast, and the White Orc? And I doubt I’ll ever stop being angry about the love triangle inserted into part two.

Let’s face it, there is just not enough material in the book for three films. That’s part of why I love it! It’s a perfect one shot. It doesn’t need to be milked to put in every character that Tolkien ever wrote about. Reading the book brought back the simple joy that I had initially associated with The Hobbit, which I had lost watching Peter Jackson create twelve hours of footage out of a three hour movie.

To sum up a rambling and disjointed post, The Hobbit is enchanting and hilarious and seven hundred and eighty-two times better than the films.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Telling Stories

“For a story to truly hold attention, it must entertain and arouse curiosity. But to enrich life, it must stimulate imagination; help to develop intellect and to clarify emotions; be attuned to anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to difficulties, while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems. In short, it must at one and the same time relate to all aspects of personality, giving full credence to the seriousness of predicaments, while simultaneously promoting confidence in the self and in the future.” -Bruno Bettelheim

I have always been fascinated by stories. As a child I would run around during recess making up adventures for Peter Pan and other Disney characters to act out in my head. I did the same thing at home. I don't remember what the stories were about; they had no beginning and no end, I simply picked up where I had left off and quite literally ran with it.

It's always been easy for me to act like characters in books or movies are real. Their personalities leap off the page and make me feel like I've known them for years. I believe it's also my attraction to stories that draws me to theatre and the performing of it. To act out a story, to transpose it from words on paper to flesh-and-blood human beings, is the most magical of experiences.

Since mid-July I've been giving all my blood, sweat, and tears to Camelot, my current show. We started by circling up our chairs and doing a read through of the script. Blocking out scenes, practicing dance steps, drilling tra-la-las until I could sing them in my last two months have been consumed with Camelot. Tonight we add the most essential of ingredients: an audience. Until that moment, although we have added lights and props and costumes, we are only rehearsing, talking to ourselves. The only thing that will make this performance valid and successful is to tell a story to the people who have come to hear it.

Performing is not about me. It's about the audience. During my last show as a high school student our director told us, "Every audience deserves the best show." It's a paradoxical statement, because every performance is different; that's the magic of live theatre. And even though mistakes might be made, cues might be dropped, the show might not be the 'best', it is our commitment as actors that is crucial. I need to try and give the best show I have ever given every single night, because someone in that audience has never been told the story of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guenevere.

It's not only the people who don't know Arthurian legend that I want to touch. I want to touch the people who have already seen Camelot, but not like we are performing it. I want someone to look at us onstage and hear the message that we're trying to get across, truly hear it. This is our cast, this is our story, this is a version of Camelot that has never existed before and will cease to exist when we take our final bows.

 "This is the time of King Arthur, and we reach for the stars! This is the time of King Arthur, and violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness. We are civilized! Resolved: we shall live through this together, Excalibur…they…you…and I… and God have mercy on us all."

To be involved in the process of creating stories is a drug that never stops intoxicating me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Netflix and Literature and Camelot, oh my!


I have two topics I want to address.....maybe three.

How addicting is Netflix? Quite a dang lot, is the answer, at least in my case. I've found myself in front of the television for more hours than I'd like to admit in the last few weeks binging on shows like Supernatural, Lost, and Walking Dead.  It's a little frustrating, because I never used to be this person. You know, the one who watched Lost when it was actually still relevant? I didn't have much access to television as a teenager, and so I filled my time other ways. But lately I've found myself with an excess of empty afternoons, and the lure of unlimited streaming.

There's a Doctor Who episode called "The Idiot's Lantern", the title referring to, you guessed it, a television set. I don't want to follows the glow of an idiot's lantern. While I'll be the first to acknowledge that there are brilliant writers out there bringing us multi-faceted characters, witty dialogue, and twisting plot lines, I don't enjoy the inherent passivity of watching television. There's a time and a place for television: to relax, to socialize, to see what the buzz is about zombies. I'm sure as heck not giving up my Netflix subscription. It has documentaries! But I've made a conscious decision, witnessed here, that I want to cut back on my media intake. It needs to be a non-priority in my life. I'm not going cold turkey, and if I relapse, so be it. It's a commitment to be made on a daily basis.

How awesome are books? In filling the vacuum left by cutting out Netflix I've read three books to completion in the last three days, one of which I've been meaning to get around to since high school. The Unpersuadables by Will Storr promised me "Adventures with the enemies of science" and it certainly delivered. Some of the personalities visited by the author claimed to be abducted by aliens, others would tell you what lives you'd previously lived, and some have spent their entire careers fighting for non-traditional medicines. The main thing I got out of this was a reminder that my viewpoint is one of billions, and all of us are wrong about something, although the ego-inflating biases I carry within will vehemently deny this.

Around the World in Eighty Days was pure delight. I'm not a huge Jules Verne fan, but this book is full of laughs and misadventure and it's no surprise that they've made it into a musical. (I'm glad to have seen it.) The chapter titles are priceless, and it's always fun to remember that 19th century Europeans were kind of obsessed with Mormons.

I could do a whole post on Kim Stolz's Unfriending My Ex. The writing style is very casual, but the subject is one I feel strongly about: social media and the effect that it has on our lives, specifically pertaining to my generation. Addiction is a strong word, but it's one I would use to describe how we cling to facebook, texting, and all manner of instant communications. I'm not great at condensing my thoughts, and I have a multitude of them running through my mind, so I'll just say that I think we could all benefit from putting the smartphones down in exchange for time with a friend or solo reflection.

Books are the bomb.

How excited am I to tell you about my new show? !!!! (Four exclamation points worth, apparently.) I'm two weeks away from opening Camelot at the Empress Theatre in Magna. I'll be appearing on Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights as Lady Catherine, and I'd love to see you all there! What is included, you ask? Frolicking, sword fighting, and marital infidelity, to name a few things. The singing and dancing ought to be taken for granted. We run September 12 through October 4, and it's the highlight of my life.

That's all for now, folks!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thoughts on Theatre

Friends, I am in love with musical theatre. Truly, madly, deeply. There's no other way to describe my feelings. I haven't been in a show for over a year, and it's killing me. I keep a file on my computer called "Being in a show...." and it's filled with thoughts I've jotted down while in various shows over the past three years. Today I was reading over it and decided to share some of my thoughts here. I'm glad I have this mini-journal. Write things down while you are experiencing them, because memories fade faster than you'd ever think.

(I wish I'd put a date on these, but I didn't. The dates I give are estimates.)

April 2011
Being in a show is a bit like being married. Or maybe in a committed relationship. You are ecstatic at first, and soon steady into a constant flow with spikes of unspeakable joy. You commit a period of your life to it, including all of the time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, dreams, and work that you can must up. It changes you, and you don't mind. You do your best to leave your own mark on it as well. While involved, you don't badmouth your show. You might rant to a close friend or relative about qualities you'd like to change or spots that are rough in development, but you would defend your show's honor to the death. You are glad to have your show and its unique set of opportunities. A proper show will make you fall in love with different moments every single time your perform it. You are proud when a tough problem is overcome and frustrated on occasions change takes long than you'd like. Even when days are bad, you remind yourself of this experience you could have missed. You hear others complain about their lack of time and sleep and wonder why they don't love it like you do.

December 2011
A word of caution: each show you will be cast in comes with an expiration date. A date when the relationship is null and void whether you're ready or not. You know that this day will come, though you might not want to think about it. Although the freedom of choosing a new show has a whiff of intoxication in it, the vast plain of auditions can be frightening. And no one wants to say goodbye to something that they have dearly loved. But the wonderful times, people, and memories are something to hold onto when your heart is aching for its missing piece. Loving a show and its cast, like loving anything else, will cause you pain, but it is infinitely worth it.

September 2012
There are so many things I love about the rehearsal process. Performing is the ultimate goal, of course, but everything has to be carefully taught. I love being involved with learning. When everyone is on the same basic steps I don't feel so slow. I like having the time to laugh with cast members because something is funny and you are tired. I like being part of a group. It takes time, but one day you look around and realize that you fit in. You know people and they know you. Everything is coming together much better than you thought it would. And suddenly you find that you don't ever want it to end.

November 2012
I love being a part of something. Having somewhere to be doing something that I love with people that I love who know my name. What could be better? Thank heaven I decided to do this show (Hello, Dolly!). It was exactly, precisely, perfectly what I needed.

January 2013
I can't even bear thinking about Scarlet Pimpernel closing this week. I have a place with these people. We have been playing to sold out audiences, an experience quite new to me. I thought I loved this show before I was cast in it, but I had no idea. This cast, show, all of it came at the perfect time. I have been excited about it since the first rehearsal, but I had no idea how amazing we would become. This is my home.

February 2013
And just like that, Hell Week was over and done with. It's amazing how much more FUN performing is than rehearsing. I had forgotten-- this thrill is one of the many reasons I love theatre. Suddenly I can appreciate and enjoy this show (Big) anew.

 April 2013
"The path to heaven run through miles of clouded hell" -"It's Time" by Imagine Dragons. This lyric concisely sums up the difference between the last two weeks of rehearsal and the second it switches to performances. Friends. I am still not jaded to the fact that I have them. Gilbert and Sullivan still fill me with joy. And I still love pirates with all my heart.

May 2013
I love Pirates of Penzance. It puts a smile on my face even on the gray days. I love my cast. Really truly adore them. For what, we ask, is life without a touch of poetry in it?

July 2013
I need to be in another show. I don't think I can be completely happy doing anything else. I need to be around my theatre people. I need to sing and dance and laugh and be bone-tired exhausted, but love every minute of it. Auditions are terrifying but there is no other way.

September 2013
Some days I feel like the girl in a song I knew growing up.... "Anxiously a singer sits/ Waiting for her number to be called/ Hoping if she hears them say 'You're not that good'/ She'll know, deep down, they're wrong/ One more bad audition and she's vowed to pack it in...."
But the name of the song was "Believe in Yourself", and I'm trying to do that.

So not to leave on an emo note, but that was the last time I updated my little note. Theatre and the stories we tell there have been on my mind a lot lately, and I hope to have some good news next time I write.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Some Brief Thoughts

I haven't blogged since Comic-Con, and I have things I want to say. But I'm not sure how, and I'm not even completely certain what they are.

Isn't timing a peculiar thing? Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then EVERYTHING happens.

There is something freeing in admitting that certain people may not like you, and that's okay.

I had the house all to myself for ten days while my roommates roamed the globe, and it first it was great, but by the end it was feeling kinda creepier (I don't believe in ghosts....but sometimes I do) and I was surrounded by loneliness. An introvert is not the same as a recluse.

My boyfriend is moving to Utah!

Summer is such a joyful season. It seems to have bypassed spring this year, but that's Utah for you. Winter, winter, summer. I am loving the green.

One of the aforementioned roommates returned from her European adventure and brought me a bag from Salzburg because she knows I love the Sound of Music, and it made me feel special. The other brought me a colorful bracelet from Costa Rica. I like being remembered.

The year is almost half over. Where is it going? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rebecca Blogs Comic-Con, Saturday

Day Three of Salt Lake Comic-Con's Fan Xperience was Saturday, April 19. What a ride. In case I haven't made this point enough, conventions are awesome and I love them, the end.

I worked Saturday morning, so unfortunately I wasn't able to meet or see either Nathan Fillion or Karen Gillan, the featured guests of that day. I would have loved to be in the same room with Nathan, as he's one of my top ten favorite actors, but a girl's gotta pay the bills too. I met who I came there to meet and everything else was icing on the cake. Patrick Stewart was also signing autographs this day, but I didn't even touch that line. I can't afford him, haha. Instead I got in line for the Adam Baldwin panel, sat down on the floor, and read my Star Wars Shakespeare book The Empire Striketh Back. I shared it with a few other guests-- conventions are the best place to find new areas of geekdom.

About the panel: Umm, what can I say? Adam Baldwin is a delightful person. He was giving out hugs left and right and it was pretty adorable.

There was a six o'clock panel that I much wanted to go to, but there were a few hours yet to come, so I tried to make the best of the final day. I walked through the booths and took more pictures of cosplayers and just attempted to suck up the spirit of Comic-Con to keep in my heart for another five months.

Look at mini Deadpool! So much cuteness, wow!

Disney cosplayers are the best. And please take note of Pocahontas in the back.

Characters hanging out with characters they would never hang out with are my favorite thing.

And while looking around the meeting rooms I found a whiteboard with this awesome dragon art drawn on it. Check it out!

This makes me want to cry because TALENT.

Anyway, it got to the point where I couldn't wait anymore to get into line just to be sure that I got into the Joss Whedon discussion panel. Joss Whedon is the reason I have trust issues, but his work is genius and I couldn't think of a better panel to end Comic-Con on. So I headed on up and parked myself in line. As the time lapsed the line grew, and I was glad to be where I was. The room they held it in has three hundred and fifty seats, and it was packed to bursting.

The panel was great. One of Joss Whedon's brothers, Matt, was there "not as an expert, just a brother of Joss" haha. The moderator started out the discussion by saying, "You're all here because Joss Whedon has made something that you just can't get out of your head." So true. I know I've written about Buffy the Vampire Slayer before, but seriously I can't get over it. Buffy Summers is the most freaking legit person. Giles, Xander, Willow, all the other characters are just so well written. I believe I've mentioned how I feel about Spike. And I'm not at all exaggerating when I say that I ship Spike/Buffy harder than I've ever shipped a ship, EVER.

Anyways, the panel was nice. There were six panelists and at one point they went down the table answering who their favorite character was in the Whedon-verse. These are people who are well versed Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, Buffy, Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods, all of it. Well, except for Matt. He admits that there are some things he hasn't even seen. But out of the six panelists, four of them named Spike as their favorite character. Awwww yeah. :D The others mentioned were Malcolm Reynolds and Simon Tamm. Matt said he also really liked Dr. Horrible.

It was so nice to be in a room full of Whedon fanatics like myself. Joss Whedon is a genius. Maybe it was the fact that the convention was coming to an end, maybe it's because we were talking about gut-wrenching moments in television and film that Joss has forced upon us ("Joss knows exactly what his fans want and he never gives it to them."), maybe it's just because I get emotional at unpredictable moments, but I was moved almost to tears. It was a great way to end the convention. I have trouble articulating it, but there is something extremely beautiful about seeing so many people that LOVE so strongly. Seeing Batman and Princess Leia just chilling together. We might love Battlestar Galactica or Portal or Disney or comic books or steampunk or whatever but we love it SO MUCH. We want to talk about it and dress up like it and just basically celebrate it and it puts joy in my heart. <3

These are my people.

Rebecca Blogs Comic-Con, Friday

All right, all right, all right, who's ready for some more Comic-Con stories? Friday was the highlight of the convention for me. It was the only day that I was there from start to finish and by the time it came to leave I was exhausted, but it was one-hundred percent worth it.

I arrived on Friday and stood in line for probably half an hour or forty minutes waiting to get in, since now everyone was registered and had transferred over into what had previously been my lovely short line. But, as the man in front of me pointed out, these were the most polite people out there. I mean, we were exchanging high-fives with strangers as we made our way forward. A hundred thousand people went through Comic-Con over the three days and not once did I see a single argument about cutting in line or literally anything else. That's how we geeks do it!

The first thing I did upon entering the main Expo hall was head to James Marsters' table and get in line. Having kept on eye on the line yesterday I knew that it would only grow as the day progressed, and I needed to meet James Marsters. I chatted with a Harley Quinn cosplayer and her boyfriend as we stood and waited for an hour. Occasionally I would stand on tiptoe and yup, there was James Marsters, chatting away. Our general admission line was being superseded by the ever-expanding VIP line, so we weren't making much progress. Eventually a volunteer came with the news that James was going to a panel, and would be back at 1:30. It was about eleven now, and this news was not pleasing to me. The line mostly disbanded, and I went down the tables to Ioan Gruffudd's table.

You all remember Ioan Gruffudd. I loved him in Amazing Grace and went to his spotlight on Thursday. His table was virtually deserted, so I strolled right up and paid the volunteer (I don't think I mentioned that autographs/photos come with a price.) before nervously stepping towards the man himself. Having to wait in line would have been nice in this case, because I would have thought of things to say. As it was, being a spur of the moment stop, I was even more flustered than I had been with Adam Baldwin the day before. My end of the conversation went something like this: "Hi will you sign this I love Amazing Grace it's the best movies my sisters are going to freak out my name's Rebecca R-e-b-e-c-c-a. Thank you can I get a picture?" As he came out from behind the table I said, "I meant to have clever things to say but I got flustered." Him: "It's okay, happens to everyone." (Welsh is a beautiful accent.)

I started heading to the ballroom but decided it might be best to just go wait in James Marsters' line so as to avoid the crush of fans that would return after the ballroom let out. I was surprised to find that James Marsters was still at his table signing and chatting away. I was pleased to see that the dispersed line had not yet returned. I got back in the shorter line and found that there had been a mix-up; James hadn't left at all, the volunteer just thought he was going to. Well, I'll take it.

I made friends with the girl in front of me, Kelly, who was cosplaying Jayne. We bonded over our inability to breathe because James Marsters. We both hardcore ship Spike/Buffy and hate Angel, and I've had friendships based on less. My excitement was uncontainable and she kept telling me, "You're going to touch him!" and then "Breathe, breathe...."

It finally got to me being at the front of the line and I was taking the last few steps towards him, my hands already shaking, when I realized that though I'd practiced what I was going to say I'd forgotten the awkward hellos at the beginning of every meet and greet. So this is how it went down--

James Marsters: Hi, what's your name?
Me: Rebecca.
JM: How are you today?
Me: Thank you. *realizes mistake and goes straight into script* I got into Buffy over the summer and Spike is my all-time favorite fictional character. I watched all of it in like a month. Thanks, Netflix.
JM: Netflix is great. When the show was on the air we worried that people wouldn't remember what was going on, because sometimes there would be three or four weeks between episodes.
Me: I would have died!
JM: We'd ask, "Will people even remember what's going on with the story?" That's why we had those "Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer..." at the beginning.
Me: Haha yeah I always skipped those.
JM: *laughs as he signs his photo for me*
Me: I heard you were going to be here and I had to be here, so here I am. (I'm not one of those fans that knows how to say clever things.)
JM: Is this your first Con?
Me: Yes.
JM: Can I give you some advice?
Me: *noises of assent*
JM: There are a lot of great people here dressed up like storm troopers or whatever else. They're smart and geeky and you can meet a lot of people, make a lot of friends.
Me: Yeah, these are my people.
JM: Here. *gives me an m&m*
Me: Can I get a photo?
He came around the table and put his arm around me, then we got the photo and I was bending over to pick up my backpack when he touched my arm and said, "Thanks for coming out." I said, "Thank YOU." and he said, "You have a great smile."

So that is the story of how James Marsters likes my smile. He was so down to earth and kind to his fans; everyone I talked to was impressed as well. Seriously the coolest celebrity ever. At that point I floated back to my car to put my signed photos (he wrote "To Rebecca, Bite Me) away for safekeeping. I went back into the convention, but meeting James Marsters was definitely the highlight of the day. I went to the spotlights for Edward James Olmos and Jonathon Frakes. Actor stories are the best stories. I listened to a few panels and then I went home.

Friday was fun. I wasn't quite so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, and I got brave enough to ask to take some pictures of cosplayers as I wandered about.

Cosplayers are legit.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rebecca Blogs Comic-Con, Thursday

Friends, this post is going to be a long, rambling, fangirly one and the first of three.

I spent the last three days at Salt Lake Comic Con's Fan Xperience here in Salt Lake City. I've never been to a fan convention before, and I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but it turns out I am most definitely a fan. I won a free multi-pass, so I was able to go all three days. This is a good thing. Had I bought my own tickets I would have likely just gone one of the days, and there is way too much going on to take it all in during one day.

In case you want the TL;DR version now: Cosplayers are awesome, I got to meet one of my favorite actors, and I'm now a convention addict. And now, the stories of Thursday, April 17.

I knew Comic-Con was going to be a horse of a different color from the first time I tried to find a parking spot. Lots with available spots were blocks away, and I walked up to the Salt Palace (where Comic-Con is held) behind Spiderman, Zelda, and what appeared to be a purple fox. (All of us recognize some of the characters being cosplayed, but no one recognizes all of the characters being cosplayed.) The lines for registration stretched across many crisscrossing lines, and I was glad to have pre-registered the day before. I flashed my wristband to the security volunteers at the start of the hall of vendors and was sucked into the most condensed population of fellow geeks I've ever been enveloped by.

I cannot explain the hall of vendors to you. I can't really explain much of anything, but a description of this main hall just completely eludes me. There were booths side by side like an old-school open market stretching up and down in rows and columns, all completely filled with people. I spent three days walking up and down the hall trying to figure out what all was being sold and I'm sure that I still managed to miss some booths. T-shirts, posters, board games, natural medicine, comics, action figures, food, autographs insurance, movies: you name it and it was being sold by a vendor in that hall. I spent almost an hour on Saturday searching for a booth I'd seen on Thursday with FanX t-shirts. It wouldn't be quite as difficult if the passage ways weren't always obscured with people, of course. Traffic flew pretty smoothly, which was a blessing. I don't have a high crowd tolerance and being stopped for longer than a few seconds in the crush of humanity would definitely have started lighting up my panic buttons.

A tiny, tiny portion of the vendors' booths

So that took up the main portion of the Expo Hall. In the back were a line of folding tables set up for the celebrities who would be meeting fans, signing autographs, and the like. I saw the banner for James Marsters and just kind of got anxious/excited/is this the real life?

[Side note paragraph: You may recall that I became deeply obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer last summer. The obsession has not abated. James Marsters played Spike, who from his very first appearance on the show caused me to go, "Who is that and why is he not onscreen more often?" As I shotgunned the rest of the seasons Spike rose to the rank of my Favorite Fictional Character of All Time, and I adore legions of fictional characters, so that is very lofty praise indeed. He is perfect. Anyway, I have been freaking out about James Marsters being here ever since it was announced that he was coming, and seeing the banner made it seem that much more real.]

There are so many people at Comic-Con. I mentioned that in regards to the hall of vendors, but it bears repeating. There are people everywhere-- cosplayers, volunteers, just regular attendees lounging on the stairs and walking about and snapping pictures. There are so many more people than I am used to. I have never been around so many people that have interests similar to my own.

The first event I went to was Ioan Gruffudd's spotlight. These are the panels where a generic host sits on stage with the featured guest and usually asks a few questions and then members of the audience can ask questions. It's a good time. Ioan Gruffudd starred in of one of my favorite movies, Amazing Grace, and I was quite excited to see him in person. My sisters and I quote Amazing Grace literally every time we are together and can do the whole movie pretty much verbatim. Turns out that we've all been saying his name wrong-- it's pronounced Yowan Griffith. Yes, Gruffudd is pronounced Griffith. Welsh is a weird language, but a beautiful accent. The best part of this panel-- besides the fact that he basically called Amazing Grace his favorite-- was having him pick pirates over ninjas and Star Wars over Star Trek. Right on, Ioan. Right on.

A horrid, blurry picture of Ioan Gruffudd

After getting out of that I went on a quest for the south ballroom where James Marsters would be spotlighted because there was no way that I was going to miss it due to my inability to find places. It was being taken up by one Sean Patrick Flannery who I cared about not at all. I went to look at some more vendors, then came back to find that most of the people milling about were like me, waiting for James Marsters. The volunteer at the door told us they were going to start early seating, so we should go in and listen to the end of the current spotlight, then we could move up and claim better seats when the current guests left. This I did, and it turns out I don't like Sean Patrick Flannery. But I did get a nice seat out of it in the center section with an unobstructed view of the stage.

The host came out and the intro clip played and it was literally all clips from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, aka this was where I started screaming. The host said, "James Marsters!" and he ran out saying, "Hello!" in the most cheerful voice you ever heard and it was so cute. Before my camera battery died I recorded the first half of the Q&A (which he started by saying that we could ask literally anything because he has no shame) and friends it was delightful. He sang one of his original songs for us (he's in a band if you didn't know) and did his Spike voice (my only problem with him is that he's not truly British. Nobody's perfect, I guess.) and was hilarious and awesome. There was much feminine screaming.

I'm somewhere in this picture!

After James left the stage I went back to the vendor booths, having resolved to not seek after his autograph until the next day. Spread out your James rations and all that, haha. I bought a few things and then stood in line to meet Adam Baldwin. He's most well-known for Chuck (Agent Casey) and Firefly (Jayne Cobb). I tried to think of clever things to say, but that was an exercise in failure. I just stuttered on about liking Firefly and I am sure that he could tell how flustered I was. He gave me his signature and said, "Nice to meet you, fangirl." I should note that my shirt said Fangirl, so this was cute and not rude. He shook my hand (he has a warm handshake) and I said my stuttering adieus. It was so surreal to see people that I watch on television standing right in front of me.

I went to a panel on the unsung heroes of the film industry talking about people like makeup artists, sound mixers, location managers, etc. but I wasn't really into it, haha. Too up in the air from just being at Comic-Con. I was in sensory overload the whole day; a friend trying to get my attention had to yell at my three or four times before I realized he was even talking to me.

And that ended day one of my Fan Xperience. As I headed home I drove past the convention center and watched everyone exiting the building. I saw Batman's cape billow up as he jumped down the steps, and Maleficent taking a picture with a little girl, and so many other people that had come together to celebrate these things that we love. Fandoms are so wonderful. Thanks for including me, fandoms.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finding the Bright Side

Oh, friends, this has been a month of exhaustion and if you've been around me at all in the last couple weeks you've probably heard me rant about working way too many late nights and early mornings. But there comes a point where you get tired of wallowing in negativity and have to find something to smile about. So this post is about the little spots of sunshine in life that brighten up the gray days.

--Rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's a much slower process this time; I'm savoring it. First season Giles is the best. The absolute best. And I don't understand how anyone can watch this show and not love Buffy Summers. And holy cow is Joyce the ditziest of ever or what? I forgot how ridiculous she is.

--A cute boy texted me out of the blue and called me pretty. DO YOU KNOW HOW OFTEN THAT NEVER HAPPENS???

--After my thirty-six hour shift from hell (with a couple four hour sleep breaks) I now have two closing shifts and then two whole days off. Mmmm. That means I get to sleep in and wake up naturally. My circadian rhythm is set to the beat of a 3:45 a.m. drum so I don't have to set an alarm; I always wake up before seven now.  Four days with sleep and breakfast! #winning

--The Lego Movie. THE LEGO MOVIE IS PERFECT. I want to read a Batman Meets Lando crossover fic so bad. Other best parts: Metalbeard, Bad Cop, and Abraham Lincoln. Historical jokes are the best jokes. I would totally see it again-- everything about it was awesome!

--I'm reading Living My Life by Emma Goldman and I basically want to BE Emma Goldman. I've loved her since discovering Ragtime and it turns out she was EVEN MORE PERFECT than I thought. Feminist, anti-violence, pro-birth control, not afraid of authority, bookworm, emotional lady: everything I love.

--It's seventy degrees and sunny here in Salt Lake. Beautiful-- it feels like April.

--Did I mention that a cute boy called me pretty of his own free will with no prompting from me at all?

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Hodgepodge-esque Post

This post is going to be a random assortment of topics that I want to write about, but not a whole entry about. You have been warned.

Reasons February is the Worst Month
1. It's so short. You blink and it's March and then you start panicking because you're a FOURTH OF THE WAY through the year and haven't done anything yet.
2. Cold. The cold drags on. This is not specific to February, but it doesn't help me like it any better.
3. Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is evil.
4. Spelling. FebRuary? Come on, bro. Just spell it Febuary like everyone freaking pronounces it.

What's going at work, Rebecca? You seem stressed.
I'm glad you asked. Due to some unforeseen staff changes from corporate, I'm now basically the manager of the store while we wait for our new one to fly in from Arizona in a couple weeks. Have I been trained to be a manager? No. Nope. None of that training has been completed. But I am still in charge of the store and providing paperwork and faxing forms and scheduling shifts and all the other alliterations that managers do. The challenge is kind of intoxicating, not gonna lie. But I'm also working six days a week. That is most decidedly NOT intoxicating. I've been at this company for only three months, so it's very surreal to me to look around and realize that for the moment I'm the authority figure. I'm the one people call when there's a problem. Not sure how this came to be.

In related news, I didn't go back to school this semester so I could work full time. This turned out to be handy due to the previous paragraph.

Reading updates, please
But of course! I just finished Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Not exactly summer beach reading material, but an interesting story. Very psychological. I started drawing comparisons to Les Miserables (character wise, not plot wise). Raskolnikov is a darker Valjean. Petrovich is clearly Javert with a few more shakes of cunning. Razumikhin is a mix of Enjolras and Marius. Sonya is Fantine. Luzhin would be Mssr. Thenardier. And then there's Avdoyta. I'd say that she's Eponine, because I'm lacking an Eponine, but she's not. She's just the best. Girl power.There's a passage where Dostoevsky describes Luzhin's idea of a perfect bride and I had to stop reading and say out loud, "It's Cosette. He's looking for Cosette." I mean, a pretty young thing who has lived a life of deprivation and will be eternally grateful and obedient to her rescuer/husband? IT'S SO COSETTE I CAN'T EVEN SAY #notahugefan

Also, I've started using hashtags more. #guiltypleasures #makeitstop #idon'twanttobethisperson

-I fell in love with Frozen-- top five Disney movies for sure. They did such a great job on Hans; I've dated a Hans and wow they hit the nail right on the head. I went in with the expectation I would hate Olaf and everything about him, but I'm happy to say I was wrong. "I don't have a skull. Or bones." Kristoff is adorable and Anna is me and Elsa is a boss. I got Wicked vibes all through-- two female leads, people aren't what they seem, and Idina Menzel-- and we should all know what a fan of Wicked I am.

-My car is back. In related news, my gorgeous rental car is gone. I was driving a 2014 Chevy Malibu for two weeks, and it was the best of ever. I didn't think I cared about cars or saw them as a status symbol until I was driving one that I can't afford to touch, let alone own. I might care more than I thought.

-I already completed one New Year's resolution-- I went on a date! Miracles do happen! Haha, in all seriousness it's nice to have checked off both my go-on-a-date-before-my-birthday and go-on-a-date-in-2014 in one fell swoop.

That's about it for now, faithful readers. I have a feeling this year is going to be VERY dramatic (it's already gone in a radically different direction than I predicted), so buckle up and try to enjoy the ride!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Perfect Storm

perfect storm big wave

You know that gif from Avengers that's an endless loop of the Hulk thrashing Loki up and down? I feel like I am Loki and yesterday was the Hulk. 

It started out normally enough. My alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. (my normal is different from yours) so I could be to work by 4:30. I sold gadgets to people all morning and goofed off with my coworkers by reenacting Lord of the Rings in gangsta voices. (Have I mentioned how much I love being the only girl in our Brookstone team? Because I love it a lot.) Same old, same old, nothing to write home about.

After work I get in my car and start driving home. Everything's fine until I get on the interstate, and then I start feeling like the car is having trouble accelerating. I have felt this way occasionally ever since it happened to me with my old car, so I wasn’t overly worried. I mean, I got this car less than a month ago. I did what I usually do, which is accelerate to prove to myself that I still can accelerate. Well, that didn’t go as expected. There was a sharp noise and suddenly Houston, we have a problem, the problem being that now I am coasting down the interstate in a lane with no shoulder. Luckily such a shoulder did appear soon enough for me to pull into it before the engine died completely. I had no phone, due to my one being dead except for when it is literally plugged into the wall and the other being not activated yet. So I sit there just being like, “What.” I had never been in such a situation, but I wasn’t afraid. The cars are flying by and although I have no way to contact anyone, no idea who I should contact, and no idea of what to do, I never felt afraid. I felt more awkward than anything. I sat there just being kind of bored and occasionally brainstorming. I nearly fell asleep. What a weirdo. (In my defense, I did get up at 3:45.)

 Anyhoo, I got out of the car and walking towards the exit, with the end goal of getting down to the Ramada I could see and finding a phone to use. I wasn’t sure if I would have to risk life and limb by running across the traffic or what, but it turns out there’s a nice cement divider that you can walk in and not die. Party on.

So I get down to the Ramada and attempted to call my roommate but it isn’t a local call so that was a no go. I ask the desk guy if he had a phonebook and he said he had the internet, which was better (cute and helpful!) so I told him my situation and I was soon on the phone with Gavin, who promised to send me a truck. So I hike back up to my car and then a highway patrol guy pulled over. I had been doing so good with staying calm, but talking to this guy made me cry, not because of anything he did but just the stress of not knowing what to do and the tow truck not showing up. The officer called the tow place and assured me that yes, someone was coming. Good bye, officer Perfect Teeth. (The dude seriously looked like Ponch from CHiPS.)

The tow truck did show up soon, much to my relief. The driver was so nice to me and let me use his phone, although for some reason I still couldn’t call Amber but I faked half of a brief conversation because I was too embarrassed to admit that I apparently couldn't remember my roommate's phone number. I directed him to a mechanic near my house, we got my car squared away, and off he went.I started walking home, but was picked up by my roommate. Once we were home I immediately reactivated my phone and called the mechanic to give him a contact number. The guy says it was definitely the dealership’s fault, because the oil filter they put in was wrong and so currently there is no oil in the engine. Oh, what a delight. I'll deal with it tomorrow.

I hitched a ride with Amber to Fashion Place and was introduced to Tyler, who I would be closing the store with. I'm extremely not a mall person I can't remember the last time I've been in a mall and been happy about it. Probably middle school. But I didn't think it would be that different from my airport store.

Ladies and gentlemen, mall stores are evil. Evil, evil, evil. Do not ever work in a mall store. They have a million items I’ve never heard of, for one thing. It was like being a brand new employee again, and I HATE feeling useless. I was so happy whenever anyone would look at the sand or the headphones or the projector and be like, “I KNOW HOW TO SELL THAT.” Because everything else was just me fetching Tyler or making stuff up. Also there are a lot of hoodlum teenagers who steal sand displays (who steals sand displays?) and no one has to leave until they feel like it, unlike the airport where you have to have a boarding pass to get in and there are flights to catch, so people don't linger overly long. I was fine at the registers (wow, they do ten thousand times more returns than we do) but not so great on the floor and so tired I wanted to cut my feet off and die. I’d been going nonstop for seventeen hours, my car was broken down, and if one more person asked me where the food court was I was going to lose it. Luckily I did make it to 9, and then I just vacuumed and double counted the deposit. Home again. 

Well, not yet. I sat and waited for Amber and Mickie to come back from their gymnastics meet and failed at buying candy from a vending machine much to my annoyance and realized my phone was on silent so I couldn’t hear calls but eventually we did meet up and drive home, where I sat on the floor eating a peanut butter sandwich before going upstairs to pass out. [Run on sentences are fun.]

So that was yesterday. *deep breath* Quite possibly the most exhausting and stressful day I've ever had. Certainly in the last year or two. I require chocolate stat. So much chocolate.