I have done some fun things since I got back from California on Sunday!
I was totally wiped when I got in, especially as the plane landed an hour late and then it took another 45 minutes to get my baggage due to a carousel mix-up. I took a cab home, took a shower and a nap, ate dinner and chatted with Faye and Katie, and then went straight to bed, as I reported to camp in New Jersey first thing Monday morning! It was an intimidating week of lots of commute and early every day work coming after a week of dress rehearsals and Winnie the Pooh performances and travel, but I made it and had a good time! Mainly by forcing myself to go to bed by 9 every night (well, 9:30-10, more realistically).
So on Tuesday I went to a book event at Books of Wonder; Kristin Cashore, Melina Marchetta, and Gayle Forman were on a panel asking each other questions, which was very fun. Of all the books by all those authors, I had only read Fire by Cashore (which I liked but didn't love), though of course Faye has been telling me to read Marchetta since the day I met her. Well, I'll tell you: The panel inspired me, apparently! The next morning I picked up Graceling, which had been sitting in my house since November and which even Alex had read before me and really liked. I had picked it up once before, read ten pages, and thought it was stupid - and now I can't even tell why! Because I read it in one day, because it was magnificent. And then I made Faye lend me Bitterblue ASAP, and read that in a day and a half. If you're interested, my reviews on Goodreads are here and here, but the summary is, they're basically my favorite thing since Tamora Pierce. Which is what every review I've ever read of them has said, so no points for originality Shoshana - and they're not even that similar to anything in the Pierce canon, and they're maybe targeted a little older, but they just give me some similar feelings.
Anyway, I lay fairly low until Friday, as I was still trying to get enough rest in to make it through the week. But on Friday afternoon, I went straight from work to karaoke with Katie and Faye and other people in publishing (mainly Katie's coworkers at Soho, it looked like), which was fun. Karaoke is still fairly new to me, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but it is growing on me some! Emily came by too, and I haven't seen her in ages, and then we all trekked back to Renselaus/Pemberley (the name of that apartment across the street from me appears to be in transition), played a little Mao (I made some very good rules! I like this game and no one ever wants to play, so it was very fun for me!), and then went to an Irish bar (is there any other kind in Sunnyside?) up on 46th to hang out and listen to some Irish music, which was totally great.
And then yesterday, after FYA book club, which is always way more fun than I even remember, and after browsing the farmers' market, which was magnificent and bigger than I've ever seen it and I can't wait to actually do some grocery shopping, I met up with Edlyn for a show called You Art What You Eat at Slap Dash. This was a hilarious experience. Also a cool one, but primarily hilarious.
This bit of Crown Heights appears to be at that early stage of gentrification that's actually really cool, with a dramatic variety of businesses from cheap unisex haircut places and cheap but potentially delicious restaurants that have been there forever to a brand new (and utterly delicious) gelateria. You know, the stage before long-time residents can no longer afford to live there (and neither can the artists who were the forefront) and their communities get broken up and big box stores start moving in and kicking out the interesting little businesses both old and new. Anyway, the point is, I was enjoying it for now at least!
And then there was the actual show. First I had some free refreshment, aka a vegan low salt low fat cholesterol free whole grain mini doughnut, which was better than I expected but not, you know, something I would ever actually eat again. Maybe that gives you an idea of what this crowd was like. Throughout the first act, a piece of art played on a projection screen behind the presenters: an 11-second loop made on a scanner of a person playing with cotton candy. During this act we had a shy and sing-songy reading of a personal essay about Montana and eating cherries, which was actually well-written, I think, but it needed a better reader or I needed to have it on paper in front of me. Then we got a reading of a story - which (this was too good) has now become part of the novel this guy is working on, called City of Princes - which again was actually pretty good. So some of these pieces were surpassing the expectations I had developed upon arrival, which was cool.
The first intermission was then followed by a very strange piece during which a guy threw bananas at us, ate bananas very quickly, and shouted a bit, all underscored by songs that mention bananas. I myself got hit by a banana, which I quickly slid into my purse, since bananas were on my shopping list and now I guess they're not (in fact, I already had a banana in my purse, which I had purchased at a coffee shop only an hour before!). Still, though this banana piece was bizarre, it was actually quite entertaining. It was followed by a neat video called Grub by none other than Jeff Stark - a montage of freegans prepping and eating food and washing their dishes. And actually, I am kind of interested in freeganism and I might go to the Grub community dinner sometime and help cook! At any rate, the freegan video was followed by a video called Taco Monday, which seemed to be primarily hand drawings of tacos coming out of other things, with supporting roles filled by hot dogs, remote controls, middle fingers, and chicken legs. I have to admit, that one seemed kind of stupid to me, but I was probably just not the right audience.
After the second intermission was an audio presentation of a recording of a guy's very intense sleeptalking, which made me uncomfortable. Also, there was a PowerPoint about beekeeping, which was great, because I freaking love all the kinds of honey ever! I think there are probably 8 different kinds of honey in my apartment right now, and while I can't take credit for it all (I'm gonna guess that there are four of mine and four of Jamie's), I definitely appreciate it!
And then I went home and the train was very slow and then I went to bed. And now it is today and I will hang around here and get shit done and maybe help them paint over at Renselaus-will-soon-be-Pemberley. See ya!
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