Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Sensitive Take on the TCG National Conference

The hubbub at the 2011 TCG National Conferience in Los Angeles
Feeling 1: Tired

It was 11:30 at night and I had been up since 7 that morning. I wanted to go home. Or rather, I wanted to go back to my hotel room and watch TV. The music was loud, the lighting was dark, the booze was flowing for up to five glasses, and a couple of minutes prior, I had seen a man sporting a six-pack, walk down a catwalk while wearing only a pair of gold lame shorts. On a normal day, that would have given me my second wind.

But then again, this was not a normal day. I had been up since 7 that morning and, save for the new Mike Daisey show (The Orient Express (Or, the Value of Failure)), I had been working all day. I wanted to go back to my hotel room (at the Boston Park Plaza), and watch TV.

Feeling 2: Surprised (Kinda)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Few Words From Nora Ephron About New York

Nora Ephron on the set of "Julie & Julia". Credit: Jonathan Wenk/Columbia Pictures

If I could blame anyone for convincing me that New York City was a place to live in, where you could actually build a life there, instead of just one big party, it would be the newly late Nora Ephron, and "You've Got Mail."

Even now, the Upper West Side is still my real estate goal in New York, even when student loan payments and accepting realization that I'll never ever be, rich. If I get lucky, I'll probably just graze middle-class. But that doesn't matter when you live in the New York of a Nora Ephron film, where you can stroll through a farmer's market with a man you used to hate but now kind of love, where the lights of the Empire State Building are a sign of true love, and where you can fake an orgasm at Katz's Delicatessen and everyone who was staring at you will want what you're having.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How I (Inadvertantly) Cut Beef Out of My Diet

It helps to be poor sometimes. Not poor in the Christ (or Buddha) sense of the term: collecting alms, food stamps, no booze. More like being poor in the young 20-something, artist/writer/early professional sense. Which is less Carrie Bradshaw and more like Jane Eyre, frugal and a little bit plain.

So one repercussion of being poor is I'm less able to afford to eat a lot of meat. Because meat is expensive. In comparison to vegetables, tofu and lentils, a pound of roast will cost you more than ingredients for a salad. And it won't last for as many meals. These days, I make a lot of soups, chilis and curries. Mainly because they last longer and I could stretch the $20 it took to buy myself those ingredients further. Meat is never the main course. Instead, it goes right in the pot with everything else.

I guess it's just a natural byproduct of growing up with a predominantly Asian diet, where it was always meat mixed with vegetables and served with a vegetable soup and rice, rather than the very American diet of a slice of steak or roasted chicken with potatoes on the side. At my mother's dinner table, every component (meat, vegetables, rice, and fruit for dessert) was perfectly balanced. Even pho, that most famous of Vietnamese dishes, is mostly noodles and vegetables. The only meat component are the slices of beef and the broth.

So when I started cooking for myself, the taste of instant ramen from a cup soon lost its novelty. When you grow up eating fresh ingredients that were never boxed and stored for weeks, and you continue to make that the staple in your diet, it becomes more and more difficult to eat anything from a box. It gets worst as you get older and your taste buds become more discerning. It's not the overwhelming taste of cardboard boxiness. It's more like every mouthful is filled with preservatives and it's an unpleasant assault on your taste buds because it's artificial and it's not supposed to be in there. It's like having a foreign object in your body which does not belong, your body will automatically reject it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just Call Me Already!

You know a song is going to be around for a long, annoying time when it engenders, not Youtube covers, but Youtube spoofs. Here are two that was released today, based on Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe," which I first heard at H&M last Friday and have been stuck in my head, which means that it's going to be there all summer...

Jepson is Canadian and, contrary to appearances, is actually older than Taylor Swift. And me. I feel like there should be another blog post about infantilization of women but it's Friday and I'm just passing time until I can drink tonight.

So first, here is the original "Call Me Maybe":

Then, first cover, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon (I originally wrote Kimmel, not sure why I keep getting those mixed up) and the Roots (and Ms Jepson, though that's not the reason you should be watching the video. Hint: there's a kazoo.):

And finally, from the journalists at NPR in what can only be describe as a dramatic reading.

They should take on 50 Shades of Grey next.

And next week, I'll get back to blogging about something substantial.

Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Lusty Month of May

Got you in the headline didn't I, you perverts (or "Camelot" lovers)? My month of May wasn't lusty as the song suggests so much as frenetic, in a Speedy Gonzalez kind of way rather than a jackrabbit way (see what I did there?). Going into May, I knew it was going to be busy. And I right, which is why I haven't blogged in a month.

Two lengthy articles for "American Theatre" plus finding a new apartment and moving into it will do that to you. I couldn't even go to the gym which meant moving day into my new fourth-floor walk-up apartment was torturous. You know you're out of shape when three flights of stairs up has you breathless. I blame it on the 82 degree weather on moving day. And having too many boxes of clothes.

And I turned 24 last month, which still makes me practically an infant whenever I go to the theater. Which didn't really happen in May, aside from three shows (Will Eno's Title and Deed, my first ever Harold Pinter play, which was playing at BAM and the second original musical I saw this season that didn't make me want to curl up into a ball and bemoan the state of the American musical).

So, in short (or long-ish), that was the month of May. And lookatthat, here comes summer! What am I the most excited for? Aside from summer Fridays at the beach, I am really looking forward to Shakespeare and Sondheim in the Park. Along with "As You Like It," the Public Theater is mounting Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" in Central Park and I will probably be camping out/paying an intern to get a ticket.

I couldn't get a ticket to last year's offerings so I'm crossing my finger. In the meantime, I'll just admire Manhattan from my new apartment.