Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jacob won't let me collect novelty rubber ducks.

I don't get it.

What a killjoy.
They come in unlimited charming varietes in gift shops around the UK: Shakespeare duck, Pharoah duck, artist duck (okay, I actually do have that one), judge duck, Bishop duck, Cardinal duck, even SHERLOCK DUCK.
But my tyrannical H U S B A N D is afraid that it might turn into a "problem".
Whatever THAT means!Pff!
However, I still like him because he looks smokin' in a deerstalker:

In fact, since we finished the wonderful first seasons of Sherlock it kind of feels like my life is over until 2014 [weep and wail, gnash of teeth]. So I have to hold on to the one I love, you know? I have to look past the rough parts of marriage (these ducks are so FUNNY! What's his problem?) and appreciate what my partner does have.
Like the decency to take me to 221B Baker street to the Sherlock Holmes museum for a consolatory pilgrimmage:

Ah, the mystery!

Move over, Irene Adler.

There's a new sleuth in town.

With a decent stash of pipes.

And plenty of creatively murdered corpses.

And cool... things.
And Professor Moriarty. Who is surprisingly... terrifying.... in person.

So. Okay, fine. Ducks aside, my life is pretty grand. And (hopefully) safe during Sherlock's hiatus. Plus, I love Jacob more than anything, anti-bathtime-fun prejudices and all.

Love, good old-fashion tourist traps, and friendly Victorian constables,

P.S. *Stay tuned* for: Scotland and Paris! YahoOOoo!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writing a play is hard, apparently.

Trust me, I checked.

To make my Modern Musicals 315 class count as a graduate level 515 class, I told Dr. Nelson that I would write a musical.

I'm not sure exactly why I thought that was an appropriate thing to say. I must have still been jet lagged.

"write a musical"!?!?!?

Andrew Lloyd Webber writes musicals (and purchases all of my favorite paintings so I can't see them, I've recently learned). I... I wake up late and and whine to Jacob and pop my zits and eat too many digestives and get love handles and get hangry and fall asleep all over the place. I am lamentably ordinary and am sick of all my clothes and rarely shave my legs and procrastinate everything and don't know how to manage money. I am one big human flaw. I don't write musicals.
But, for what it's worth, I'm trying.

In other news on the theater front, we're having a marvelous time. Jacob has seen more musicals since we've been here than in his entire 32 years combined (I think he saw...two before this. The two he came to see me in).

So, here's the run down on just a sampling of the plays I've seen in Jolly Old London:

There's nothing like seeing the Phantom of the Opera to make you want to lose weight and take voice lessons.
(No pictures, whoops)

There's nothing like seeing Carmen to make you glad you're not a terrible hussy with a death wish.

 It was Jacob's first Opera, and he hated it (we're working on this). But sitting in the Royal Albert Hall alone is a sublime experience (Side note: the Royal Albert Hall is just a quick skip through Kensington Gardens from our flat. !?!?).

This place is BIG.

There's nothing like seeing The Lion King to make you feel not only inflexible, but entirely incapable physically.

There's nothing like seeing Wicked to assure you that something, at least, is better in America.

Though Americans, perhaps, go a little insane waiting at the stage door in the freezing rain to meet West End stars .

There's nothing like seeing War Horse to bring back all of your girlhood equine obsessions (including, but not limited to: horseback riding lessons, a Breyer Horse collection, notebooks filled with Learn to Draw Horses attempts, multiple homemade stop animation videos starring Playmobil horses, etc.) and make you practice, incessantly, moving and sounding like a horse. 
Sue me.

And there's absolutely nothing like seeing Les Miserables  to convince you that you should NEVER attempt to write a musical.

 (I joined in their crusade...)

But guess what?
I'm still going to do it. And as terrifying as it is, I actually really like doing it. Every time I run breathlessly to my computer because some dialogue magically worked itself out in my mind or a character's back story writes itself because the character knows more about their life than I do... wow. Those moments are delicious. And a little addicting. And even though I'm beyond self-conscious to let anyone read my soul-baring, nonsensical crap script, I am more fulfilled by actually finally attempting to do this than by most other things.

So I let Jacob read some scenes. I work at the piano where I know everyone can hear, but I just do it anyway. I'm trying to write music. I'm trying to write stories. And even if they turn out as bad as I fear they will and they never speak to a single soul... at least I did what I've always felt, at my deepest depths, that I was meant to do. 

Love, drafts, and more drafts,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Teacher Lady

Oops. I think I'm going to teach College.

Take a look at this electronic mail of destiny:

Does this mean the "G U" word (Grown Up)? I've been making a concentrated effort to "only buy grown up clothes" for the last few months, reigning in every impulse to purchase a galaxy cat dress or plush full-body onesie with ears, in the event of something like this coming up. I really have been trying.
But London is just so much FUN!
What do I do now?
Do you think my students will respect me?
I think I will require them to bow to me every time they enter and exit the classroom and to address me as "Professor the Dowager Countess Anna Teacher Lady".
Yes, I think that's it.
And I shall be feared.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Getting my hair caught in my purse outside the Houses of Parliament; falling asleep within (and everywhere else)

Everyone knows that before actually taking a tour of Westminster Palace, it is proper protocol to take a picture in front of Westminster Palace, which is far more important and productive than not being allowed to sit on any benches in the House of Lords because they're reserved for "only very important bottoms," and so instead you stand there, in the gorgeously gilded, dripping with history chamber, nodding off while standing and coming dangerously close to careening right into Jo, the friendly and highly-informed tour guide, and taking her down right onto the very important carpet. Whether or not I actually did this, I will refrain from admitting here.

Thus ensues probably my favorite (or favourite, if you prefer) series of photgraphs I own. You may need to zoom in on Jacob's face to appreciate just how inexplicably strange it looks.

Thank you, Emma, for capturing this moment. Emma is my dear new friend with whom I can take perfectly successful posed photographs on the first try.

Emma and me in front of Elizabeth Tower

 Emma and me at Wicked

Emma and  me at Hampton Court Palace

Emma and me at Canterbury Cathedral
Emma and me reading about the cats of Canterbury Cathedral

Maybe not such good proof:

Emma and me attempting to take a jumping picture because the statue from the Parthenon was also taking a jumping picture

In case you're wondering, the tour was wonderful. But we weren't allowed to take pictures (most likely, once more, because of the important bottoms). Probably the most important thing we learned from Jo is that the Thames is pronounced Tems  and not Thames because no one wanted to make King George I feel bad about how very bad his English pronunciation was. When in doubt, change the way you've been pronouncing something for centuries.

Illegal photo taken by Emma during the tour

Indeed, the tour was wonderful, but my "Annalepsy," as Jacob fondly refers to it, is not. Following is a list of  some other places I have recently almost died in because of falling asleep while standing and, a result, have nearly smashed into something sharp, marble, or archeologically significant (some of these I haven't even told Jacob [or Emma] about because I was ashamed):

1. Canterbury Cathedral

 Okay, so I fell asleep on the heater. Sue me.

2. The Roman Museum in Canterbury

 Particularly humiliating.

3. Waiting for the tube (A particularly dangerous place)

On the Tube  (of course)

4. Boat to Greenwich

I was trying SO hard to read Judith Butler...

 Us straddling the Prime Meridian Line like a Mormon Engagement photo on train tracks

This is the boat ride back from Greenwich, the entire length of which I was... asleep.
5. All over the National Maritime Museum
Me falling asleep at the wheel (unfortunately, this is the only staged one)
...I'm embarrassed to keep adding locations.

But the point is, we're happy and we're lucky and we're learning a lot. Especially when we're awake. And I've been having the most outrageous dreams... so maybe even when we're not?

Love, fatigue, and The East India Company,


I want to carry you
and for you to carry me
the way voices are said to carry over water.

Just this morning on the shore,
I could hear two people talking quietly
in a rowboat on the far side of the lake.

They were talking about fishing,
then one changed the subject,
and, I swear, they began talking about you.

Billy Collins

that's all, folks


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