Monday, April 7, 2014

Hey, Look Ma, I'm Doing Stuff

As promised, here are some more updates about what I've been up to in these past few months. Mostly trying to balance, work, school, and having a social life. I've also been getting my writing into shape for agent representation; I'm starting the querying process soon and while I'm excited, there's also a feeling akin to molten lava in the pit of my stomach every time I think about actually sending my work out, and thinking that no one will think that it's good enough. But that's where my writing group comes in - shout out to the Ink Bombs, what what! - so maybe one person will think my work's good enough to publish somewhere.

But enough of that.

Here's a recap of what I've been doing, more in the local area.

I decided earlier in the year that I needed to see more live theater and get to more shows. Fortunately, I've been able to catch Newsies on Broadway (as you may have read in my last post) and two shows here in Beantown.

The first one was Once.

No, unfortunately,  I can't take the credit for this photo. I wish I was sitting this close to the stage. 

Once tells the story of a guy and a girl and how in one brief moment in time, they come together to create some fantastic music. The show is based off of a 2006 film, staring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (of the Swell Season fame) and has a beautiful soundtrack. The show changed a few aspects from the film, but the cast was incredibly talented - I was especially impressed when the entire cast was on stage, each member playing guitar. Seeing this show was definitely one of those times when I wished that I was more musically inclined. 

This about sums up my musical talent.
The second show I saw was American Idiot, but unlike Once, I felt more like a teenager, listening to the American Idiot album at 17. 

Which completely dates me, I'm aware. But this entire post probably will anyway. 

I remember reading an article somewhere about how it makes sense that Green Day had a song on the Twilight Breaking Dawn soundtrack, since they had the Broadway show, and in essence, they had grown up (sorry, that I can't remember where I read this, and an Internet search brings up too many options that aren't the right article). Anyway, while I could understand how this was true - I doubt Billie Joe and the boys are as rambunctious now as they were in their 20s, and American Idiot, the show, is a good mash-up of their punk days and what we can call their grown-up selves. 

The entire show is based around three boys - Johnny, Will, and Tunny - and their misadventures of leaving their suburban town and moving to the big city (or in Will's case, staying to help raise his child). It was interesting for me to watch this show as an adult, since as I mentioned, I listed to the album as a teenager, and seeing (as an adult) how dumb kids can be. And the show is reflective in on itself in that way; at one point Johnny remarks ironically something along the lines of, "I held up the 7-11 to get money so we could get out of here…I stole money from my mom's purse…actually, she lent it to me…"which I think is something that differs from the album itself. There was definitely less of a "fuck you, I don't need anyone" attitude in the show (though it's still there, just maybe toned down) and I think that's because Green Day has matured, has grown up. It's not a bad thing; I guess for anyone still imagining them in their "Dookie" days needs to realize that in their 40s, Green Day is not the same. I had a great time and the show was a lot of fun. 

On a slightly different note, I had the opportunity to see the Ataris perform at the Brighton Music Hall. Their "So Long, Astoria" tour came here before their final show for the tour went to New York. I've never been to the Music Hall, so it was fun to see one of my all-time favorite bands perform there. I'd also never had the opportunity to see the Ataris perform when I was a teenager, so I knew that this was going to be a good time. Funnily enough, I still have a band tee that I got literally ten years ago when "So Long Astoria" was released, so I'm all for keeping those shirts until the band gets back together for a reunion tour - even if it is ten years later. 

I don't have a photo of myself wearing the tee on hand, but here's the album cover. 

Now, I realized this last year when I saw Finch in concert - I'm not 17 anymore, and occasionally there will be wild people in the crowd who I will literally want to punch, and unfortunately cannot. Or that standing in the very front row will be tiring. So going in for this show, I had to psych myself up. I got there super early in order to get in that front row. I had no idea if the crowd was going to be comprised of people my age, who wouldn't necessarily want to mosh all night, or a bunch of teenagers who would want to do exactly that. Fortunately, it seemed to be a combination of both. 

Also on the tour was Authority Zero, Drag the River, Versus the World, and Gasoline Heart. I'd heard of all of these bands, but I'm not familiar with their music. They all put on a good show and I had a fun time, even when two guys next to me tried to mosh (but only with each other) and slammed me into a speaker. They realized that wasn't a smart move when I backpedalled them into the crowd so hard that they both fell down. Of course, the moshing started up again later, when the Ataris took the stage, but by then I had cleared enough room around myself so that no one was going to make me face-plant into the stage. Maybe it wasn't good mosh etiquette, pushing those two guys down, but I didn't want to break my glasses because some drunk idiots wanted to push me over. 

And now for some blurry, but close up photos of the opening acts:

And then it was time for the Ataris, and a part of me freaked out, just like when I saw Finch. I listen to a lot of music, but like most people, there are some bands that are particularly special, and no matter how old I am, I'll still act like I'm 17 again, if I get to see them perform. 

Yeaaaaahhh, buddy.

I didn't end up taking a whole lot of photos, because I wanted to enjoy the moment. They did play the entire album, including three older songs, and the crowd loved it. I loved it. I don't think the show could have been better. And to put the cherry on top of what was already a near-perfect night, I got one of the set lists, handed to me by Kris Roe himself. 

Seriously, I could have died in that very moment and been happy with how things were ending. 

Now, if you've stuck with me thus far, I have two more things to report on and then you can stop reading, I promise. 

I was also been fortunate enough to go to a Celtics game. They played against the Toronto Raptors (and lost) but I still had a great time. I went with my roommate and one of our really good friends. 

Yes, those are Nesquik bunny ears peering out from behind; and they're just the ears - the bunny is not being a pervert. Which, I guess, somehow makes it seem more creepy. 

We had nosebleed seats, but it didn't matter, we shouted and cheered just as loudly (or probably even more loudly since we were up so high). 

See? Pretty high up.

Now for those of you who know that I'm from So-Cal, this probably seems like a big backstabbing incident against the Lakers, going to a Celtics game, but hey, I live in Boston now. I'd rather not get stabbed from cheering for the Lakers. And besides, I'm not even sure who's on the Lakers' line-up now, unfortunately. 

Well, I know he's still there. He'll probably die on the court. 

And for my last recap, I met Michio Kaku, physicist and author. He just came out with a new book, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind and the Brookline Booksmith hosted an event for him.

I had read one of his previous books, Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Higher Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos after a recommendation from a friend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dr. Kaku was very entertaining during his presentation, and for someone like me, who has absolutely no background in physics, I was still able to follow most of what he was referencing, and felt much more educated after leaving. 

Sometimes I don't feel like things like this actually happened, even though I have photographic evidence. 
And that my friends, is everything worthy of note that I have been up to lately. Now all I have to do in the next few weeks is graduate. Again. More on that in an upcoming post. 

I think I'll probably about as sweaty as Jiji from now until then. Hopefully not. 

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