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Jan. 16th, 2010

Mars Whee!

More London-y things!

FYI: This is once again from an email to my dad, I need to add details (and you know, grammar, syntax...sense) cause this is pretty general. Still, enjoy!

Day 3
Yesterday was a really big walking day. I woke up early to catch a 10:45 am walking tour of the Royal parts of the city. And we walked about the entire old part of the city including: Hyde Park Corner,
Buckingham Palace (where the queen lives), The Changing of the Guard at the palace, sadly though I was too short and could not see anything though (they playes ABBA sounds though, which was a little surprising haha), The Houses of Parliament, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Colum (which is in Trafalgar Square), Wellington Arch, St. James’s Park, 10 Downing St (Where the Prime Minister lives)., Horseguards, and Big Ben! It was a lot to do and a lot of walking. I went by myself, which kind of sucked cause I had no one to take pictures of me in front of these places. I have to go back to some of them though because the tour moved so quickly and we did not get to go inside. Like, I didn't get to see poet's corner in the Westminster grave yard, or see the inside which I hear is really beautiful. Anyway, I hope I'll have time, I feel like I still have so much to do, but not enough time to do it in, ack!

So after the walking tour I went back with the group and a lot of us had lunch at the same place. That's when I actually got to meet and speak with people which was really nice. I had lunch with 3 Germans, 1 Austrian, and 2 French-Canadians. All of them were so nice, although it kind of makes me feel back that EVERYONE speaks english and I don't speak any of these other languages haha. Overall lunch was very and I was pleased I stuck around to meet nice people.

After lunch I had to think of things to do by myself so I took out my little guide book looked at the map and tried to figure out where in the heck I was haha! It turned out I was in Soho (which was confusing because I had been there the day before and I remembered it being farther away aha). So I decided to go to Piccadilly Circus, which is supposed to be like Time Square--it's nothing like Times Square, it's the shittiest version of Times Square ever! It only had like 3 kinda big screen and gap haha! So after being let down, I decided to go to The National Portrait Museum, which was easier said then done. I walked and found my way (seeing Leicester Square along the way), and realized that I was basically back where I started! This made me realize just how small London (at least Zone 1) probably is. So I could not the the Portrait Museum so I went to the National Gallery (which is right behind Trafalgar Square). It turned out that the Portrain one was right behind, but by that time I dind't have much time so I gave up and just saw the National Gallery. I'm not much of an "art person", but it still has some really cool stuff but some really famous artists.

After that I decided to do the "Grim Reapers" Tour of London, which is a mix of talking about general gross and dastardly stuff (like the tower of london and Anne Boleyn) and a Jack the Ripper Tour. This was the first time I really kind of lost my way and got confused haha. It was fine though! I was just a little turned around and found the tube pretty easily by using my instincts...a compass really would have helped though. I was little late for the tour, but it was okay. Flash forward 3 hours later and I had basically explored the whole of East London and saw some Jack the Ripper crime scenes, it was pretty cool.

After I got back to the hostel I decide to try and be social, so I went to the hostel bar/club for there karaoke night (I wanted to watch some people go crazy haha and sound terrible while drunk). I stayed for a while and no one talked to me, and just when I was about to finish my cider and leave I struck up a convo with an Aussie and he invited me to join a group of his friends. It was so much fun! I met 3 Swedes, 2 Aussies, 1 Canadian, and 2 Englishman, we had a grand ole time and drank (I only had 2 ciders so don't worry), and sang, and talked and laughed. We exchanged info and began an exchange program so if I ever go to the places that they live I can stay with them and vice-versa.

Day 4
Today I woke up late (because I had gone to bed at 3am) and go going around noon. I went to the Museum of Natural History. It's really neat mostly because it's so interactive. They have an earthquake simulation and this siltation room about erupting volcanoes, lots of dinosaurs, a whole thing about human biology (which was too much for me cause it felt like being back in school) , and this cool exhibit on human evolution. After the museum I walked to Hyde Park (their version of Central Park) and took a few pictures. I need to go back and take a few more of certain famous statues though (like Peter Pan). Then I decide to walk to the famous department store Harrod's. This is when I really had some navigational problems. It looks like like 45 minutes to find where I was going because of the park and construction, etc. After like 8 people later for directions I finally found it. It' a really cool place, they sell really fancy designers cloths, as well as food (it's partly like a really fancy grocery store), souvenirs, and they have these cool food bars with themes like Dim Sum (which is what I had), sushi, meat (it smelled amazing), fruit, desserts, and fish--this place was so fancy and international that they even had stone crab...for about £30 for a small claw. It also had a £1000 container of caviar haha. i couldn't afford any of the clothes or anything (I saw a woman buying 4 Christian Dior purses for £4000 though), so I bought some nice sheep cheese since I like it and it's hard to get in the states.

Overall, I'm pooped. I still feel like I can barely walk haha and I have so much to do tomorrow.

Jan. 14th, 2010

Peter Pan joy and wonder

Hello from London!

So as an FYI this is mostly an email to my dad describing my time here, but I have made a few (not as father-friendly amendments).

___________________________________________________
(Day 1)
Anyway, things here are great, I love this city. On the the whole it looks and feels kind of like Greenwich Village, but with less people and huge haha and very different. It's adorable though and very pretty. The first day I was here was hard because I was so tired, I was basically up for 24 hours. Everything worked out though, although this random German guy gave me 5£ on the tube (subway) because I was jewish...it was odd to say the least. I got to the hostel put my stuff in the luggage room, because I could not check in yet, and looked around (the hostel is really neat and really huge, it had lots of young people from so many different places, which is great), and finally had to take a seat and wait for my friend Dani. While sitting I struck up a convo with this really neat and cute Australian guy (Duncan) who has been traveling the world for about three months now.

At 11am I finally met up with Dani and she and I spent the day running around do all kinds of stuff. We did an extremely short run through of the British Museum, and from when I saw it looks like I might need a day or more there (Daddy, they have ancient Assuryian Gates! and Mummies from the Pltomic Period (so not really ancient mummies but still cool, and ROSETTA STONE! they have the real honest to g-d ROSETTA STONE!). After that we took a bus to Camden Market, which is slightly reminiscent of Chinatown in New York, but with less people (asian especially), more clothes shopping, and food. It's really cool and there really is nothing like it in NYC. After that I had Fish and Chips, which was good, and I'm excited to eat it again haha. After that Dani and I basically hung out and i was forced to drink a lot of coffee to keep from falling asleep, although it didn't help much considering I fell asleep in a coffee shop, clothing store, and a bus haha. It was finally great to go home and sleep after a long day, and it was nice to see Dani after over a year.

(Day 2)
Today I had to wake up early kind of too because I wanted to see Dani again before she headed back to Korean for another year. We had breakfast at this really cute place and I had a delicious and for real sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich (I am so surprised by how cheap all the food is here, it's even cheaper than new york even with the currency change). And then I headed to Leicester square to meet up with some friends (or just Madeline, we had expected out brazilian friend to come but...) I met at the hostel. We went shopping at this UNBELIEVABLY cheap place and I bought a pair of warm socks for only 1£ haha.Then we decided to walk around the district in the cold towards Chinatown so my friend could buy some plates (she is making a dish set made from chiantown's from around the world). On the way there we ran into a BBQ place, which was showing a Gator basket ball game haha, dani said was good and had some linner--it was surprisingly good BBQ for England, the only thing that was slightly off were the sauces. After that we went to chinatown (and did have a cupcake on the way at the famous hummingbird bakery) and she bought her plates, and took a picture in from of the arches, which was really hard for some reason because I don't know how to use my camera apparently.

We passed Les Mis on our way there so I decided to ask about tickets. The attendant told me to come back at 6:30 because they would give students the remaining orchestra seats from only 27£, which is a great deal. When I got back to the theater around that time some old woman called me out side while I was in line and gave me an orchestra ticket for free; it was awesome! After that I stagedooered and met some of the cast, it was fun. The show was good, kind of uneven though. Some of the voices were just amazing and others did some kind of weird things, it was odd haha.

Well that's my trip so far...

Aug. 12th, 2009

VM Case of Ho hum

The icon says it all.

8/11/2009
It was recently hinted to me, and by that I mean flat out told to me, by someone who shall remain nameless, that I don't really update my Lj. Don't get me wrong, this is true, but my mind is all like, "you update all the time", which might because I used to update all the time...but I no longer do.

I'm not sure that there's a sole underlying reason for it, or if it's due to a constellation of things. In all honesty, I don't think I have that much to say, things are pretty boring (work, class, some free time; work, class, some free time, etc) and the things are not boring aren't really exciting in that good way. Nowadays, exciting equates to omgtrauma.

___________________________________________________________________

I never got to finish the insightful entry I was writing above, because as I was penning it tragedy struck. While writing said entry I was also in the process of backing-up my hard drive, long story short: I lost 50 gigs (ish) of data. As you can imagine, I was no longer all that focused on the entry and more focused on having a meltdown. However, I have since calmed down, and have absolutely no idea what this current entry is going to be about. I'm sorry, but welcome to what will most likely be my stream of consciousness.

So I had singing today, that was fun. I enjoy the class a great deal and I feel as though I am learning a lot, however I also finding it terrifying. I spend my Tuesday's at work, actually hoping for work, so that I don't have to think about my impending (possible) embarrassment. Not to mention I cried in front of the entire class like 3 weeks into the session...which...was...yeah. To make matters worse my teacher has won not 1, but 2, 2 TONYS and 2 EMMYS. I mean, I just want to sing in some crappy community production, not even, hell I'll sing in anything at this point. So for me to look at this woman who has TWO TONYS is a little intimidating. Not to mention when she pisses me off I can't think she is shitty because SHE HAS WON TWO FRICKING TONYS Okay. Done, I promise.

In other news, I am going to California in 9 days. I'm excited. LA isn't a place I want to live ever again, but I'm pretty sure I'll be okay with visiting. It might even cause me to like the place again. Nevertheless, I do know that I want to buy something at Amoeba Music for old times sake, and souvenir bag...and maybe see a movie at the Arclight...and In 'n Out...

I mean, do you really want me to update when this is what they are going to be like? Aren't you bored? I mean, I'm bored and I'm writing the thing...It's time for a poll.

Poll #1442851 keep posting?

Should Hannah update on a regular basis even if her entries are probably going to be as boring as this one?

Yes
1(50.0%)
No
1(50.0%)
Maybe, I'll explain more in the comments
0(0.0%)
What? huh? I fell asleep while reading your entry
0(0.0%)
Have I created your posting schedule in an excel document and I will be emailing it to you later
0(0.0%)


Um...I guess I'll just write more later...
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Jul. 19th, 2009

Office Pam roar!

Another musical mystery solved by my possible OCD

So I'm not sure if you all remember this, but about 6 to 10 year ago there was a commercial on TV which featured some rather spirited music while food was flying around everywhere. For some reason I distinctly remember vegetables, yet I feel like it was an advertisement for pork...no idea. Anyway, after years of looking, I finally found the song! The most familiar part (or at least the part featured in the commercial) doesn't kick in until about 40 seconds in, but you can a brief portion of it at about 16 seconds. Past the 40 second mark the theme becomes reoccurring. So good.

For your listening pleasure I present to you:

Hoedown, by Aaron Copland from Rodeo



Enjoy! I know I am!

Oh and I also highly recommend Simple Gifts by Aaron Copland, as well.

Jul. 2nd, 2009

Office Pam Ooooo

I went on to MY fire escape yesterday

Yesterday I officially "moved into" my new, proper, apartment. However, by "moved into" I mean got the keys, which I feel is half the battle, especially hear in New York where getting an apartment requires about the same amount of information as an application to the CIA.

The place is charming though and in a really neat area. It will be nice to have a space with a kitchen, separate rooms, and kiiiind of a living room (okay so this part is a bit of a stretch, but it's gonna be awesome). The bedrooms are equally sized, although one has a bigger closet, and big windows to let light in. However, I think the best thing about my room is that I have the fire escape, which for some reason feels like the coolest thing in the world to me right now. Strangely though, the rooms have no lights, which caught Erika and I by surprise...it also managed to end Erika's dream of having a chandelier.

The apartment has all wood flooring, with the exception of the kitchen and the entry way. It's also on the first floor of this old brownstone, but because the entrance is so elevated we are no where near street level, which has it's obvious benefits. The bathroom is nice and has a tub and a bunch of shelving, which is exciting. Although I think solving the mystery of how to use the shower is going to take a lot of trial and error. Yes, I know it's a shower, but for some reason this one is really confusing: we sat there for over 10 minutes yesterday to no avail. The kitchen also has a lot of shelving and a new fridge. It will be nice to finally be able to cook again, not to mention save money by not eating out--although it's nice to have the option haha. While perusing through the kitchen cabinets we discovered that the old tenets left us some baking sheets, so: brownies for all! Oh, and the old tenets also left us a bunch of Miracle Scrub sponge things, which made me more excited than it probably should have, AND an Air Conditioner (yaya!)--I have to see if the thing is functional though so maybe I should quell my excitement.

The area is also really nice. It's on 51st st. and 8th ave. so the C and E trains run right outside, which is very convenient because I can still head east if I need to, as well as north (local) and south (which means I can still catch the L to get to work). I live off 8th ave now so I'm pretty familiar with the blue lines, and staying with them is a nice comfort...even if I do lose the express A train. It's not like I took it that much anyway though...I'm just a little worried because the C seems to lack service on most weekends. Anyway, back to the area. I am just west of the northern end of the theater district, I actually live down the street from the venues housing Jersey Boys and Wicked, granted I don't really enjoy either of these shows, but I know my friends do so they will appreciate the fact that I can see the giant Wicked billboard/sign when I look outside my building. I also live 1 block north of The New World Stages, which is awesome for off-Broadway shows. To the West of me is 9th ave, where there are copious amounts of restaurants and bars. Actually, my building is straddled by a Jazz club and a lot of really nice bars and restaurants, including a beer pub...and a Blockbuster Video. Also, I'm only 9 blocks from Columbus circle, which has a Whole Foods, although I live 2 blocks away from a Food Emporium, which is super convenient, and Central Park, which I am hoping will get me there more often, since I can easily walk to it.

Well, that's all I can think of for right now. The next thing is to get furniture (why hello Ikea)and take pictures for you guys :).

Apr. 4th, 2009

cupcake dog

Far From Normal

G-d I love an after musical high. I mean, look at me, I'm updating! Do you have any idea what it takes t make me update nowadays? [You can imagine it's a lot seeing as how I never do it anymore :(].

You're probably wondering which musical caused such change in my monthly posting average. Was it HAIR? No, sadly they have no orchestra seats available until the end of May (UGH). The revival of West Side Story, possibly? I didn't even bother to go to the box office. Perhaps it was the oh-so-successful and hilarious off-Broadway show Alter Boyz? Nope. As a matter of fact, the show I saw is actually still in previews, it hasn't even open yet...

Enough dancing around, you say, the suspense is killing you! Okay, okay: I saw Next to Normal A totally original (as in, "not made from a Disney movie or a movie in general") new Broadway musical about a family dealing with the Mother/wife's bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It even has a plot twist! Wheee.

The show itself has been through a number of incarnations throughout the years and even a name change. Originally it was titled Feeling Electric (bonus points if you can guess why this is a clever title, hint: use the description above). The show has been shuffling around the circuit for a while: It was off-Broadway for a bit, until it moved to the Arena Stage in D.C. for some final work shopping, and finally made its move to Broadway in late March, in which it appears in its final form (at least until its opening in 8 days).

Although the cast album doesn't drop until the 7th of the month, I happen to have ears in many places, so was somewhat familiar with the entire show--sans changes made after the Arena Stage. I had heard it was an amazing show and that it has a brilliant score, etc., but to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with what I heard…

Because my birthday was yesterday I decided to get myself a Broadway show, or off-Broadway show for my birthday. I chose Next to Normal because a) it had a coupon b) was in the vicinity of a number of shows I would have been fine with seeing had no good seats been available and c) I wanted to give it a second chance. I went into the show with neutral expectations, not low, not high, just expectations. My lord, I am so happy with my decision because I was BLOWN THE FUCK AWAY.

Everything about the show was ON tonight. The performances were amazing, the music was amazing, the staging was amazing, the book was amazing-- hilarious, touching, and heartbreaking--and the set was amazing. I don't think I have ever seen such an overall well put together show...except maybe Gypsy. Because it was so good I felt compelled to Stagedoor, and even the cast, who were all very nice and attractive, commented on how fantastic of a show this performance had been. I wish I could put into words how...electric of an experience it was, I mean...it was so good that after the stage went black I reactively jumped to my feet to give a standing ovation; I couldn't even control it! I want to spend an additional 60 dollars and see it again!

Ahh, I love an after musical high...maybe I'll even do my other musical reviews in the near future...

Jan. 24th, 2009

Painting mask

Why Hannah Loves Actors from the UK.

Last night I saw Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans. What can I say, I have a thing for Romeo and Juliet type stories which will inevitably feature epic battles between supernatural creatures. However, as I sat watching I kept thinking one thing: "I can't believe Michael Sheen is in this movie and my g-d he is really well built...I always thought he was just normally built. He must have worked out...." My second thought was "'Sup Bill Nighy"...

Throughout the years I have watched the careers of certain actors progress, some of them start off in decent to good movies as character-type villains or other slap stick sidekicks, until, one day, they find themselves in a "great film", which is usually indie and pretentious, and refuse to even consider playing the character roles in "ridiculous" movies that once provided their livelihood (I'm looking at you Paul Giamatti...and Sean Penn).

Being primed with this type of career pattern you can understand my confusion at seeing multi-BAFTA nominated and several time winner of the Laurence Olivier award, Michael Sheen in the THIRD Underworld movie, he's in the first as well (although I speculate that he did it because his then girlfriend Kate Beckinsale starred). Nevertheless, I then realized that he is not really an exception when it comes to UK actors. Bill Nighy often does this, Emma Thompson, James McAvoy, Kate Winslet, hell every British actor in the first two harry Potter films could be seen as guilty of said "taboo".

There could be a number of reasons for this, maybe UK actors don't take themselves so seriously, maybe they get less money so will make shitter movies (doubtful), who knows. I honesty think the difference is in the training. The majority of actors who are trained at English institutions are all taught as character actors, which espouses the belief that any role can be a good one as long as you are committed to it and take it seriously. On the other hand, The "Method" of acting is almost an American creation. We have all heard of the great battles between the English actress Vivian Leigh and Marlon Brando--one of the prominent users of The Method. Although both were great actors, their styles of acting were almost incompatible. This incompatibility is even further seen between Dustin Hoffman and Sir Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man, in which Olivier says to a fatigued Method acting Hoffman (who had to share his characters exhaustion by not sleeping), that he should "try acting". I'm not suggesting that The Method is to blame for American actors unwillingness to take certain roles (Hoffman has certainly taken his share of silly roles in "silly" movies), only suggesting that it limits an actors choices because it requires them to live as the character for the duration of the project, and, let's be honest, who wants to live like a wolfman enslaved vampires for 5 months (besides Mr. Take-it-too-far, Daniel Day-Lewis)?

UK actors, or at least those trained in the school of English drama, still see acting as fun (and an unpretentious profession), still seem to have their sense of humor, and a confidence that allows them to chose roles that might be seen as "beneath them", and because of this they turn in some of the best and most convincing performances. Thereby illustrating that the greatness of a character isn't necessarily in the written word or plot, but in the performer.
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Nov. 27th, 2008

DWlookingup

Holidays!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



I hope you all are having a good Thanksgiving with the families that you choose and love :)
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Nov. 5th, 2008

DWlookingup

Best day ever? Possibly...

1) I Must now refer to Mr. Barack Obama as President Barack Obama

2) Saw In the Heights and was blown away with awesome. I have the biggest crush on Lin Manuel Miranda ever now...and everyone else in the show.

3) Got one of the few A+s on my Psychopathology midterm; Proving that even though I hate the class I am still better then the oh-so-high-and-mighty who love and want to be clinical psychologists.

4) Found out that I am going to Israel for winter break with the lovely Robyn. The drawback to this is telling my dad, but whateves...

5) Discovered that HAIR is coming back to Broadway with the Groff.

Wheeeeeeee!!!!

Oct. 27th, 2008

Shuun the non believer

He actually makes me want to see Jersey Boys again...sorta...

So I went and saw Jersey Boys with my parents on Saturday and about 15 minutes into the show a new character was introduced, I spent the next 15 minutes thinking that the man was very attractive (and could sing, which made him even hotter), yet somehow familiar looking. I then spent the next 15 minutes thinking that I was looking at...You know what, I'll post some pics and you guys can guess who I thought I was looking at:

(These are pictures of the actor I saw, btw)



Anyone... how about another to help you out:



Okay, well, if I am just crazy and these two people look nothing alike then...I have no idea. This is who I thought I was looking at for the first 15 minutes and then spent an additional 15 minutes trying to rationalize it, and then another 10 realizing that I was wrong and being confused. After that I was just excited he was attractive and singing again. For the person who is not in Jersey Boys, but looks like the guy who is please scroll down.













Am I right? Am I right? That guy,Sebastian Arcelus (fyi he is also Russian Royalty), is Michael Cera is like 10 years (If he is lucky and with out the awesome singing) Here is another:



I mean change the eye color and it's pretty much the same guy.

Ok, done. I should really be studying.

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