Sunday, November 20, 2011


I know what you're thinking.

"Shannon, why the EFF are you awake before ten on a Sunday morning?!?!?"

The answer, amigos, is because of my stupid turkey. I had to wake up at 8 this morning to brine it. I thought I'd be able to go back to sleep, but once again I have overestimated my body's capacity to do what I tell it to.

So instead I'm blogging. Sort of.

I was looking at all of my posts in the Edit feature and I decided to look at some of the "drafts" I have but have never actually posted. Blogger automatically saves everything and I never think to go and delete them, so they're all still accessible. A lot of them are topics I thought would be fun to write about but only go a couple paragraphs in because I got bored.

For example, this post on 3/25/09:

Opera Scenes. A necessary evil in the JMU School of Music. In general, this "class" consists of Dr. Rierson randomly choosing scenes from various operas for all of us to perform. There is no rhyme or reason to the scenes he picks, and they're usually from two genres: Operas he's considering doing at JMU the following fall, or Operas he would never be allowed to direct on a collegiate level.

Dr. Rierson obviously has a philosophy. What makes him qualified to direct the JMU opera program? Well friends, your guess is as good as mine.

This brings me to today's rehearsal, which consisted of two scenes: Chicago, and Carmen. You might be thinking "Chicago...isn't that a musical?" Yes, you are correct. Apparently this year we're performing for some people in Luray and they specifically requested that not all of the scenes be classical (I like them already). For some reason, this inspired Dr. Rierson to choose scenes from CHICAGO, of all musicals. I will now share with you the ridiculousness that is today.

Today was our first blocking rehearsal for "All That Jazz". He's decided to have Addison and I split the solo line and then have a chorus line of girls as background singers (???????????). There was literally no reason for me or Addison to be at this rehearsal, because he devoted it entirely to teaching them the dance he's planning on having them do.

According to his concept,

translates into:

And sadly that's all I wrote (that last picture is such a win). This is not the only time where I'd stop midway through a post. Sometimes I stopped because it felt contrived, or not funny enough, or like I was forcing myself to write something for the sake of keeping my blog updated (as was the case in Opera Scenes blog).

It's been interesting re-reading these past Shannon thoughts. Sometimes they're incredibly brief but hilarious, as is the case here on 2/26/10:

So I woke up around 11 to Ashley Bacon harassing me via gchat (standard).

Some of them are just pathetic (6/23/10...titled "I Hate My Life"):

No but seriously. I have lived in this city for two days and it's already a gigantic mess. Anyway that's not why I'm blogging. I need some positive encouragement so I'm going to write about all of the things I'm grateful for:

-My internship is great. The people are nice/cool, after today I'm going to have a lot of stuff to keep me busy, and I think I'll get some good references. Also they have a cat and it's obsessed with me, always nice.
-I got to watch the US make that goal work
-I have lots of delicious food in my apartment just waiting to be cooked.
-My new mattress is super comfortable
-Lots of my friends are visiting me starting tomorrow for my birthday weekend
-Craigslist is full of job opportunities

(I stopped writing that one because I genuinely could not come up with anything else that I was grateful for, and I figured only having six things was too pathetic to post)

and again (11/4/10):

I don't know what I was thinking, assuming college was hard.

You know what I've realized? College is easy. Real life? It's not easy at all. And I know that it gets easier and that this limbo is only temporary, but let me tell you, if the worst thing about college is that you fail a class or don't get cast in a show...LIFE IS EASY. And I'm not sitting her pretending like nothing bad happened in college. In fact,

I think we all know what was coming after that "In fact," ...yikes.

Sometimes, you run across these gems (12/16/10):

Look, it's no secret that I detest snow. But at least it does give good today, when I desperately needed a break to chill and do nothing (you know, what weekends are usually for). I left for work like normal today, made it less than a mile from my house, and turned around. The roads were HORRIBLE and I couldn't stop TWICE (one time almost throwing me into an!) and I saw an accident...I had only been gone for FIVE MINUTES. So I went home to see if it chilled out (it didn't) and emailed my boss. Since it pretty much only got worse from off. For the THIRD THURSDAY IN A ROW.

So I blog.

Well first I watched two children's movies, took a nap, and ate the grilled cheese, spaghettio's, and chocolate chip cookies my mom made me (no, I'm not kidding, I'm 5, and I LIKE IT!). But now I blog.

I love being at home. My family is absurd. This was one complete conversation:
Dad: I think we got a solid two inches.
Mom: Oh we got more than that.
Dad: I don't know about that, I measured it! I put my finger in it!
Mom: Oh, you're right, how could we question your accuracy?
Me: Dad I vote that we get rid of rulers and just trust your finger to do the job from now on.
Dad: Fine, fine, I'll go get a ruler! (He leaves)
(Joe enters)
Joe: My hands are FROZEN
Mom: Why?
Joe: Because you made me shovel!
Mom: Well did you wear gloves?
Joe: No.
Mom: .....
Me: Hahahahahaha
Joe: And Chris threw snowballs at me!
Mom: Why didn't you wear gloves?
Joe: I couldn't find mine. And why would I expect to get SNOW thrown at me?
Me: Hahahahahahaha
(Joe leaves to find gloves)
(Dad comes back with a ruler)
Dad: Look! Look at this! Two inches exactly!
Me: You actually measured it?
Dad: I should start MARKETING these fingers!
(Joe comes back)
Joe: All we have are women's gloves.

But the "non-posted" blog I found most interesting I can't seem to figure out why I didn't post. I guess it must have been because the post was relatively insightful, which was not the kind of tone I was looking for at the time. I wanted this blog to be witty and stupid (hence its ridiculous name, Disco Anarchy). But I'm going to post it here, because it's actually fairly well written and interesting to look back on almost two and a half years later, especially considering the path my life took post-college. I wrote this while interning for the Coast Guard in DC the summer before Senior Year. So, for your reading pleasure, I give you "What am I gonna doooo" written on 6/25/09:

I'm just warning you, this is probs going to be a seriousish post, so if you're only here for my biting wit and hilarious stories, this post is not for you.

Something that troubles me more and more while I'm working in the real world this summer is what the eff I'm gonna do when I graduate. I mean, working here doesn't suck, but it's totally not what I want to do. I definitely don't enjoy it. Mostly I feel like I'm wasting my time, and I'm taking up space, because I don't do anything! Don't get me wrong, if you want to work for the Federal Government, more power to you. I totally recognize its importance and can completely understand why people would enjoy working here. I mean the pay is spectacular. And honestly, for some people, that's why they want to work. Because they want to earn money. I wish I DID have that same drive, because it looks like I'm gonna be poor.

Because even after only 8 days, I know I can't do this. I can do it for the summer. That's no big. But I can't do this for my life. I didn't spend 3, and when I graduate 4, years preparing to do THIS. Because I just don't see the point. I don't even know what I do. And I thought it was just that I was an intern, and that the people who worked here with real jobs had cool things to do...but they don't. I went on a trip and talked with people who have real civilian jobs here...and none of it sounds fun at all. Sure, it is a secure job. You basically won't get fired. You'll make GREAT money. But I don't think anyone CARES that much about what they do.

But that would make me miserable. I couldn't do something I don't love, I just couldn't. I was spoiled my last two summers. I was in love with my job. Those kids were incredible. I liked having to get up for work. I didn't mind the hours because I loved what I did. The job I have now is INFINITELY easier than what I did, I get paid more, and I have actual spare time...but I would trade it in a second. Well, not for SF NOW, because two years is enough. But I would trade it for something that paid less that I loved. If I gain anything from working here, it's knowing that.

Who knows what I'm going to end up doing. And maybe when I graduate I won't have a job. So you know, I'd apply here if I had to...but probably only for a year tops. I wouldn't want to get sucked in. It's so easy to do. But I'm not meant to work in this kind of environment. I'm just not. I don't connect with ANYONE, first off. I mean sure people are nice and good to make small talk with. And I bet after a lot of exposure I would find people I have things in common with. But I can just tell, work wise, I don't fit in. Everyone else is kind of happy to be here. I'm never happy to be here. I'm not ungrateful...this kind of job in an anomaly in this kind of economy. But grateful and happy are two different things.

Let me just say that I'm not the kind of music major who gets wrapped up in the idea of "making art" or "artistry". Sure, I believe that what I do is creating and expressing, and I fully believe that what I'm doing is important. But I never really think about it. I am a musician because it's fun. And because I love it. I try not to take myself too seriously and get wrapped up in my "art" or my "craft". And sometimes in my head I laugh at people who talk like that. I mean come on, I'm a music theater major. I'm here to ENTERTAIN. And I'm okay with that! I love it! I never really consider what I do "expression". Even though it is.

But now that I've been here for two weeks, I realize how much of my life truly is about expression. At school everything I DO is about expression. And I don't just mean musically. I mean the conversations I have with my friends, the things I write in this blog, the stories I tell. We're so expressive that we don't even realize that we do it everywhere. There's a reason vocalists are so loud and animated. We wouldn't be good artists if we couldn't do that. We're characteristically overdramatic, we exagerrate, and we're funny--we HAVE to be to succeed. So if we do that while we sing and perform, it's only natural that it would become ingrained into our every day lives.

As performers we're encouraged to be as expressive as possible. Otherwise we're not interesting to watch. I feel like at least for me, the more I'm encouraged to be expressive, the better I get across the board, at least when it comes to things involving expression. Like writing for instance. Obviously you need a grasp of the English language, but I feel like I've always had a natural ability to manipulate the language to make it interesting to read. I by no means think I'm a really great writer, but I do know that I CAN write. And not just mindless papers--I can emote, and invoke comedy, and create images. And to be able to do that, you need to know how to express yourself. Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent--what I mean to say is that even though before this summer I used to make fun of people who took themselves and their "expression" too seriously, I now can understand why that would be important to someone.

This kind of place doesn't encourage expression. It just doesn't. The work you're given is mindless. You're not encouraged to be creative, you're encouraged to be precise. And exact. Which is important, because if you weren't, the work wouldn't get done correctly. I'm not saying this a problem with the organization. This is just the problem with ME in this organization. Because I've quickly learned that being able to express myself in my own way is not just a want or a desire...for me it's a NEED. Why else would I spend so much time writing in this blog? Before this summer I think I might have written in here three times, and I can tell you that each of those times it was because I was avoiding doing something that I considered mindless. Although I love writing it's not something I do much of. I HATE writing papers and avoid classes where I'll have to do it. And I don't keep a journal. I love singing more, and so that's what I throw my creativity into. I don't NEED to write in this blog to maintain my sanity during the year, because I have other, better outlets (and when I say better, I mean better for me personally). And even at home, I don't need to write in this, because I can spew my creativity and expression on someone with ears who's willing to listen. Because sometimes even just talking to people is enough. Like the only times I'm not about to lose my mind in this place are when I'm emailing or talking to the other intern Sarah. But these two weeks I've NEEDED this blog. Because if I'm not doing those two things, there's no one else here to spew my thoughts onto. I mean think about it. I don't ever even write blog posts this mentally in depth because I usually think it's stupid and vain. Which it still is, but I'm doing it anyway, because these are thoughts I would normally just tell a person.

I hope I'm not coming off as complain-y. I don't resent working here, and like I said, I'm grateful beyond belief that I have an easy job that pays well. And that's letting me go to England. I'm just commenting on how I could never do this forever. I would lose my mind. This isn't for me.

What's SO funny about the fact that I'm posting this now, is that I actually did post a blog on June 25, 2009, which includes the following paragraph:

So I just spent like two hours writing this intense blog post about expression and how this place supresses it and how I don't know what I'm going to do when I graduate...but before I posted it I waited like 15 minutes...and now I'm not gonna post it. I don't feel the need. It's too wordy and boring and there was no specific train of thought and nobody cares enough to read it. I just needed to write it and get it out of my system. So now it will sit in blogger forever and I can read it but no one else needs to be subjected to it. Tight.

Oh past Shannon, how little you know of the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I love JMU

Since graduating, there have been a few times where more than anything I wished I could be back at JMU.

The first was the glorious day that the JMU football team managed to defeat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, much to the general surprise and astonishment of the entire world. It was right after I graduated, and the celebrations in Harrisonburg were pretty fantastic. Despite the fact that the game was not at home, those still in the Burg rushed Bridgeforth Stadium and partied into the night. Definitely wanted to be there.

The next was in February for Allison and DJ's joint recital. Then it wasn't the community that I missed, but the facilities. It was the first time I had been to a recital in the new performing arts building and I was SO MAD that I had missed it by one year. Unfair.

The third time was this year for the commemoration of September 11. On days of grief and sorrow, you long for community, and strangely enough, there was no group gathering here in our nation's capital, but there was at JMU, and I certainly missed being part of that community that night.

The fourth time was last night.

Last night a girl was struck by a bus while walking through campus and passed away. Her death marks the fourth JMU death in the past ten days, and the sixth this semester (five students, one faculty member).

In a time of sadness and tragedy, I am so moved by the way JMU and its wide network of students, faculty, and alumni have come together to grieve the loss of people they probably have never met, but who they feel connected to nonetheless. It's been twelve hours since news started spread about last night's tragedy, and my Facebook newsfeed and twitter timeline show almost nothing but people speaking out in honor of the victims, their friends and families, and the JMU Nation. I watched a Facebook event to wear purple today (I proudly sit at my desk in my purple out shirt) go from 300 attendees to 6,000 in less than an hour.

No one wrote disparaging things about the bus driver. No one commented on the mistakes made and what could have been done to prevent this from happening.

The only thing people shared was love. And that speaks volumes about my alma mater.

My friends and I call JMU Disneyland College (a term I once heard our university President it's totally official). And it's so true...everyone is just NICE there. It's probably one of my favorite things about JMU as a whole. Everywhere you go, people are smiling at strangers, holding doors open for one another, leaving their cell phones and wallets unsecured because there's no fear of anyone taking them...the rest of the world just isn't like that. There are nice people everywhere, but I have never been anywhere else with so many of them all in one place.

The sense of community at JMU is absolutely overwhelming. It's quite apparent today, thanks to Facebook, twitter, and the plethora of purple that people are probably wearing, but it's always present. I didn't realize how much JMU apparel I had until this summer, when I would wear JMU shirts to every rehearsal, which did not go unnoticed by my cast. They also pointed out that my car is covered in JMU stickers, and I have JMU license plates. Obviously I was aware of all of this, but what I wasn't aware of was that my sense of school pride, which is not particularly higher than any of my classmates (past, present, and future), is not necessarily the norm for other schools across the country. Not to say that JMU has more pride than anyone ever (that would be a foolish assumption); it doesn't, but it has a humble sense of pride, a pride of community rather than solely of achievements.

That community is certainly felt today, but it's not the first time I've been acutely aware of it. The first time I was overwhelmed by the love present at my school was my freshman year of college when the mass shootings of Virginia Tech took place. I was used to seeing purple and gold attire, but the days that followed were full of nothing but orange and maroon. Candlelight vigils were held and attended by thousands. People joined together to honor victims at a school they didn't attend, that maybe they knew, but most likely did not.

The next time I felt how strongly Dukes could come together was far more personal; it was when Jim and Mrs. Smith died. That period of time will always been a grief filled blur for me, but one of the things that stands out so strongly is how many people offered condolences, how many people came to Jim's funeral, and how everyone came together in the aftermath to show their support of the Smith family, be it through vigils, memorial services, or even a concert given by all of the JMU A cappella groups in honor of them.

The reaction to their death is probably best described by something I found out over a year after they died; I was taking a leadership class taught by JMU Vice-President Dr. Warner, and our first assignment was a personal reflection on a reading we had done. I don't even remember what the topic of the reading was, but in my reflection I related it to losing Jim and Mrs. Smith. When our reflections were handed back, Dr. Warner came up to me and said "I want you to know how much I enjoyed reading your reflection. I didn't realize that anyone in my class knew Jim Smith. When I heard about what happened, I drove up from Harrisonburg and attended that funeral. I couldn't believe how many people were there; it was truly unbelievable. I never met Jim, but when I saw that there had to be more than 2,000 people at his funeral, I figured this was a guy who had made a serious mark on the world in just nineteen years. It was so incredibly moving." Here was a man who had never met Jim, but drove two hours to attend his funeral, simply because he was a JMU student.

And now people come together today to honor the Dukes we have lost this fall. As a graduate, I am able to more clearly see just how far a reach our network has; most of my friends are graduated and spread across the country (and world), yet everyone, no matter where they are now, are reaching out to show their love and support for the JMU Nation.

This is what JMU is. Generous. Gracious. Loving. Today is a sad day indeed, but it is an inspirational one as well. It has reminded me that I am always a Duke, and even outside JMU's sun-shining like campus I should act as warmly and kindly as people do there. I may have had a long list of complaints while I was there, and maybe there would be things about my life that would have been easier had I gone somewhere else, but I would not change where I decided to go to school for even one second.

The Dukes that we lost this fall, along with their friends and families, are in my thoughts and prayers today. May their deaths remind us all that life is short, unexpected, and that it should be full of love. Today I am thankful for my friends, I am thankful for my school, and I am thankful for my life.

Show your colors, proud and true, we are the Dukes of JMU.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm still blatantly a child

I know I'm supposed to be blogging about why I hate winter, but I decided to save that post for one of the first cold days of the year when I inevitably hate everyone and everything. So instead I'm going to blog about what I've noticed this past week.

I am a child.

I don't mean that in a "I'm shambles and need to get my life together" kind of way. I mean I literally am a child. And here are the top 10 reasons why:

1. I drink juice boxes on the regular. I don't know what it is, but there's something about a juice box that just does the trick. They're so delicious. Juice in a glass is not the same and I have little to no interest in it.

2. My grocery purchases generally consist of goldfish and ice cream. Sure, I buy other stuff like chicken and onions and flour, but more often than not, I'm going to Safeway because I'm out of a)goldfish, b)ice cream, c)juice boxes, or d)all of the above (aka, last night).

I figure e)beer does not belong in this post.

3. I not only buy kids movies when they come out to own forever, but I see them in theatres. Obviously my tastes have shifted and I can no longer be enticed by movies with titles like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", but I'd say I see at least three kids movies a year in theatres. I spent $13 to see The Lion King in 3D on Sunday. I could have gone to 50/50, or MoneyBall, or other similiarly hyped adult movies that I do in fact want to see. I chose a movie THAT I ALREADY OWN.

4. Generally, I do not enjoy wearing pants.

5. I play with my food. This in general occurs when I am a)full, b)bored, or c)I don't like what I'm eating. Or any combination of the three. If my food is not removed, then watch out, because some sort of strange concoction will be coming your way. One time (at a real restaurant), I poured ice water and coffee creamer into an empty bowl of ice cream and then colored sugar with a blue sharpee I found in my purse to make it "blue soup." Another time in college I added italian dressing, hot sauce, coke, and 28 packages of salt to a container of pasta I had only half consumed. And Tjaden ate it.

6. I cannot stop moving around. I fidget constantly, even when I'm going to bed. I cannot sit, or stand, or lay down in the same position for more than 5 minutes (and that might be a stretch) without having to adjust. This makes me a TERRIBLE cuddler. I also do not sit appropriately for my age and I maybe never will. Even in restaurants I will talk off one or both of my shoes and sit cross legged in a booth, or sit on one of my legs, etc. I have absolutely no sense of public propriety.

7. I blatantly do not look 23. I don't even always look 18. I went on a retreat in March where the majority of the room guessed my age was 16. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but this does in fact make it easier to carry out my childlike antics.

8. Instead of art, I hang Harry Potter posters on my walls.

9. I still cry at the end of The Little Mermaid when Ariel says goodbye to King Triton with the infamous "I love you Daddy." I may or may not have just teared up typing it out. I also will go on Disney music "binges" where I jam out to the Disney classics rather than Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga. Sorry bout it. At least I don't choreograph my own dances to said classics anymore.

I just make music videos.

10. I am the pickiest eater ever. Most of the time I find this really annoying rather than endearing, because it would make my life a lot easier if I just liked everything. When people talk about how good vegetables are, or how they're going to make such and such that's just full of veggies and it so good for you but also SO YUMMY...I DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. I still eat them because I know that I have to...but man do I not enjoy it. I also hate a wide range of other foods, including but not limited to: seafood (all of it, yes, even shrimp, crab, and lobster), most mexican food, indian food, anything that contains peppers (other than salsa) or tastes like it could have some sort of pepper flavoring, and so, so much more. I'm not proud of this. In fact, as someone who loves to cook, it drives me crazy that I'm limited in what I can make by what I will eat. There is at least hope, because slowly but surely I have started to like things I once would not even let pass over my lips, including mushrooms, tortillas, and even spinach.

Now you may be saying to yourself, "Hey, I do some of that stuff too, that doesn't make you a child." That is simply because you yourself refuse to admit that you too are in fact a child. Embrace it. Because I'd rather drink juice boxes than decide to be old.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I love fall, and why isn't Harry Potter real?

Since I can't start every blog post with "Ugh I'm the worst at updating", I'm not going to.

I had every intention of writing a blog about the end of Hairspray and how much it meant to me, but I'm sort of glad I didn't. I feel like re-reading that would only make me sad, and I already miss that show enough as it is. That is an experience that cannot be replicated or replaced.

But I'm not dwelling on that because again, it only makes me sad, and this post is about two things that make me happy!!!

I am the world's biggest proponent of Summer. I love when it's hot, I love sun, and beach, and tans, and Corona, and the smell of suntan lotion, and everything it entails...but man do I love me some fall. By the time we get to September I'm sick of my summer wardrobe and I'm ready to wear tights again, which works out well because it's finally cool enough to merit leg coverings.

Fall also means pumpkin things, pumpkin candles and pumpkin chowder (don't knock it till you try it, this is coming from someone who hates everything) in particular. Also pumpkin roll. Also Sam Adams Oktoberfest. And apple things.

Fall usually inspires fun "picturesque" trips that involve seeing leaves and cute quaint places and shopping. Last year we trekked to Middleburg but this year I'm trying to go Apple picking in the Shen Valley.

And in just over a month, Fall brings us Halloween, which ushers in November, aka Thanksgiving, which is really just a hop skip and a jump away from Christmas. It's Holiday season friends, and this girl is READY AND EXCITED.

Fall makes me think of JMU, which I get to experience in full glory this weekend for Homecoming. Fall is also football/tailgating (GO EAGLES) time, and baseball playoff time (GO PHILS).

Basically, fall is awesome. Fall used to be on my long list of hatreds, but ever since this season stopped meaning the beginning of school and therefore homework and the long list of useless things school entails, it grew on me. Now if only fall didn't culminate in winter (don't even get me started on that sorry excuse for a too late my next blog is going to be about why I hate winter...stay tuned), I would be its biggest fan.

There's one other thing fall reminds me of, which leads me to this blog's next discussion point, and that's Harry Potter. Usually, fall, and November in particular, is the time for new HP movies. Which usually prompts me to read the entire series again. Plus, Halloween is always a big HP time for obvious reasons, so it's pretty much impossible to not think of our favorite bespectacled hero this time of year.

Except. There is no new HP this year. Or ever again. Which is maybe the most depressing thing I've thought about all day.

Pretty much what I've concluded is that it's not fair that Harry Potter isn't real. Pottermore only makes this fact worse. Magic would make life awesome. All I want in the world is my 9 3/4 inch Laurel Wand with its Dragon Heart-string core (NERD NERD NERD) so that I can do awesome magic and play Quidditch (ok let's be real I would be awful at Quidditch) and defeat the dark lord. What more can you ask for (I know what more...How I Met Your Mother Season 6, out on DVD today)?

It is now my mission to infuse this fall with the spirit of HP, even though there will be no midnight release, no gathering of the crazed, and unfortunately no new introductions of magic into life. So if you're awesome, keep your ears peeled for HP themed parties and movie nights, dinner and dessert creations, AND MORE.

My life this season has renewed purpose. Bring it on fall, because this year your theme is HARRY POTTER.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

@shanbamf: #hairspraytweets

So epic, most likely depressing Hairspray blog is coming, but in the meantime, I got bored and decided to read my twitter timeline for the past three months, and compiled most of the things I tweeted about Hairspray. Find me on twitter #hairspray kids...@shanbamf!!!

May 16 (the day I decided to audition): Blasting hairspray with my windows down...stopped at a light next to an old man with his windows down... #awkward

May 24 (day of callbacks): On so many drugs. I WILL NOT GET SICK

May 24: Tea and Emergen-C ALL DAY. I WILL RUIN YOU, ILLNESS!

May 24 (during callbacks): Prayers for me right now please. I am so so close


May 26: Is this real life?

June 3: Woof...just had our first full sing through...I sing the ENTIRE SHOW. I did not get to sit down almost the entire night. #hairspray #nodes

June 4: Learning all of you can't stop the beat...holy lord. #hairspray #cardiacarrest

June 5: My ENTIRE body is sore today. #hairspray #youcantstopthebeat #youcantstopthemuscletrauma #dangit

June 18: Welcome to the 60's is a choreographer's nightmare. #hairspray #shambles #effyoumarcshaiman

June 23 (while tweeting from my office's annual golf tournament): I just do not understand golf. In other news, I have act 2 completely memorized. #toobadact1istwiceaslong #hairspray

June 23: Annnnnnd I'm obsessed with the I can hear the bells choreography #hairspray #bestdayever

June 25: My ankles are so sore that I had to take painkillers...with my beer. #poorlifechoices

July 9: My legs actually might fall off. SEVEN HOURS OF REHEARSAL

July 11: Thanks to FB, two of my favorite things are colliding...#hairspray and #harrypotter. Love my castttttttt

July 11: Sitz is always my favorite rehearsal #hairspray

July 12: Sometimes I sit at my desk and practice choreography sitting down #hairsprayconfessions #itsaslowday

July 18: So. Much. Pain. In. My. Limbs. #doubletech #hairsprayproblems #omghowamifunctioning

July 23: Last night was absolutely ready for opening tonight!!!! #hairspray

July 27: I am buzzing with energy right now. I predict epic DP in the dressing room tonight. So pumped for tonight's show. #hairspray #workblows

July 27: Get ready @TTP83 (that's Adrian!)...tonight we are staging Hairspray 2

July 27: Turns out, at work, you CAN stop the beat #imdying #bored #omg #isit5yet #hairsprayplease

August 2: @TTP83 Tonight...we have to COMMIT to the MMGANG cheer. Also, on a related note, we're taking shots before the show #sponsornight #hairspray

August 3: I know what the problem was last red bull, and no dramatic readings of Hairspray 2! We're fixing that tonight @TTP83.

August 5: I normally cannot focus at work...but I SUPER cannot focus today... #minkstole #hairspray

August 8: I am so depressed today :( #howamigoingtofeelaweekfromnow

August 10: @TTP83 Baby just likes to do the boink...boink... #omg

August 12: Guhhh greatest cast ever. #hairspray #saturdaywillbesobfest2k11

August 13: Pretty sure dehydration is inevitable today. #lastshow #sobfest2k11 #hairspray

August 14: I cannot stop crying.

August 15: Guhhhhh #postshowdepression #hairspray

August 16: First day of no #hairspray...FIVE HOURS of Millionaire Matchmaker. #itsfine

Monday, August 8, 2011


I am so bad with change. Sometimes I like to try and convince myself that as I've gotten older, I've gotten better at dealing with change, but I think I've actually only gotten better at lying to myself about it.

I've been sad and weepy all morning, which is pretty pathetic because my show is not actually over yet. I wish I was not one of those people who preemptively anticipates the end, but I so am. It's dumb. So I've spent this entire morning in a lethargic state trying to get stuff done for work and occasionally FBing.

The biggest problem is whenever I get like this, I start to get nostalgic about everything, including things I have long forgotten about or felt sadness over.

For instance, I was looking at the FB of someone I went to high school with (not even someone I was actually good friends with), and I noticed that she had posted pictures of her classroom for the upcoming school year...guess she went to school to become a HS Math teacher. But while I was looking at these classroom pictures (why?! WHY DID I EVEN LOOK AT THEM I COULD NOT CARE LESS), I started to think about when I used to sit in a classroom like that, you know, SEVEN YEARS AGO...

AND I GOT TEARY. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I do not miss high school for one second. I CERTAINLY do not miss high school MATH for one second. Yet here I am, weepy at my desk...the desk I'm given because I have a GROWN PERSON JOB...over a distant acquaintance's math classroom.

I know it's misplaced sadness. I'm like this every time something good comes to an end. The last week of my Senior Year at JMU you basically couldn't be around me. I had a complete meltdown (sorry Dan) because some of my friends didn't show up to a scavenger hunt I planned...girlfriend was pretty nutso.

It breaks my heart to know that in less than a week this will all be over. I have a whole slew of things to focus on once I'm done, and sure, it will be nice to have a normal sleeping pattern again, not to mention a social life, but it doesn't change the fact that this has easily made the top 5 of greatest and most life changing experiences I have ever had, and it's incredibly sad to see it end.

Normally I would elaborate and get all mushy...but it's lunch time and let's be real...I may be sad but I'm also starving. Plus I don't think drawing out details of the depression-state is going to help me get out of it.

But maybe carbs will.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


These will both be in this week's Connection (for Vienna and Arlington). :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Can't Stop the Blog

Since publicity is starting to get going for Hairspray, I figured, why not post a blog of my own? We open in three days. Pretty unbelievable. Two months ago I hadn't even auditioned yet, and here we are now with a full show on its feet. It is hands down the most challenging thing I have ever done, and easily the most rewarding. I have been so blessed to be surrounded by kind, hilarious, and ridiculously talented people, and the end result is a giant show that is full of heart, soul, and LOTS of sweating. :)

I fell in love with Hairspray when I was 15 years old. Ok, maybe it wasn't love yet...more like a big giant crush. This was before I had even seen the show--but my original cast recording was VERY loved, and I think there was a two month period where I forced my mom to play it in the car everywhere we went. I finally saw the show a year later...and then I really fell in love.

For a 16 year old girl who loved singing and dancing more than anything but who wasn't fully comfortable in her own skin yet (and yes, I'm talking about me, not Tracy Turnblad), finally having a character like Tracy to relate to was almost more than I could handle. When she sang I Can Hear the Bells, I cried and cried. It's so funny, because I think that song annoys a lot of people (it certainly annoyed all my friends who called me when I was in high school, thanks to my sweet ringback tone), but it might actually be my favorite part of the show. I think it's when you really fall in love with Tracy. Here is this person who people constantly discourage because of how she looks, but she will not be swayed. She is fully convinced that she can get everything she's ever dreamed of having, and then she DOES. She gets to sing and dance on TV even though she doesn't look the "type." She gets her dream guy. She succeeds at bringing people together even though society says it's not what's supposed to happen. Yes, I know (and knew at the time) that it's a musical comedy which is destined to have a happy ending, but when that final curtain went down, 16-year-old Shannon was irrevocably changed. I was completely inspired by the message the show sends and I knew that someday I had to play that part--not just because it's the lead, but because I wanted to have the chance to inspire someone else, to spread some Tracy-like confidence to another 16 year old girl who had big dreams but insecurities about achieving them.

And now it's finally happening. This is my chance. Am I focused on the music, the dances, and the scene work? Of course. But if just ONE person walks away from this show feeling better about who they are and what they're capable of achieving--I will have done my job--even if I forget the turn in You Can't Stop the Beat, or if my wig change means I end up looking like Tina Turner.

So I know I have been pestering everyone with eyes (thanks for the help Facebook and Gmail!) since I got in this show...but come see it. I have never been more proud to be part of something, and it's a show that everyone needs to see at least once (and the movie doesn't count). I cannot stop raving about my cast...there is not a weak link (no that's not a pun). All of the principals are fantastic, and our ensemble is RIDICULOUS and I love them all. And our crew has not disappointed either...our wigs, sets, and costumes are spectacular, a lot of our choreography is straight from Broadway, our orchestra is I have to keep going? My cousin came to rehearsal last night and was obsessed.

SO. Buy your tickets today! I keep checking, and every day more and more are gone! Opening weekend is sold out...don't wait and then find you can't come because tickets are gone (and our producers, who have been working for LTA for years and years, predict a completely sold out run)! Tickets can be purchased here by clicking on the big Hairspray can!

And in case you'd like a sneak peak before you come...some production pictures were released last night! These are certainly not all of them, so I'll be sure to post more when they become available. I'm personally holding out for a sweet picture of Good Morning Baltimore..tryna have that sweet prof piccccc!

I love you all. And I hope that today all your dreams will come true. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011


So we're getting our house exterminated this week and apparently can't have anything out or in drawers, so I have to pretty much pack up my entire room today since it's basically my only complete day off until...well, until I have already moved out (August 1). Crazy, actually.

And obviously since I have a task that I MUST complete today, in typical fashion, I am blogging.

I'm bitter that I am expected to do work on America's birthday. All I want to do is lay on the couch and watch The History Channel with Padre but alas...I am in my room pretending to be productive.

I hate packing SO much and I have had to do it way more than I'd like within the past year (and one month). This will be my FIFTH time packing up my room this year, and after this I am done for a WHILE. It also doesn't help that I just have so much STUFF. When I moved out of Harrisonburg last summer I got rid of SOOOOOO much stuff....SO HOW DO I STILL HAVE SO MUCH OF IT?! Since I'm moving in a month I'll just leave my room in boxes until I do, but this complicates things because I'm not quite sure what all I'll need until then. Moving blows.

Other than packing, I have really big exciting plans for this holiday...aka watching 1776 and Independence Day in my movie theatre basement, with a brief break for Fireworks. So lame but so glorious. Because tomorrow it's back to the grind with no end in sight...and a whole pot of crazy just about to boil. Luckily work should be fairly chill this month (I HOPE) which will be nice because basically all waking hours outside of work are going to be nuts. After today Hairspray kicks into full most we have two days off before we open (annnnnd based on yesterday's rehearsal I would not be surprised if we had zero days). I know I want as much time as possible because there are two dances I blatantly don't know, and three that are shaky at best. It's going well, and I think we're on track, I'm just panicking a little bit (who, me, panic?). Sitz is in a WEEK. A WEEK! That's madness.

Last night was nice though because we went out for first official cast bonding which ended up being all the ladies of the cast (minus a few...and technically Chris is not a lady but he is playing Edna...) and Jacki's husband Evan, and it was just nice to talk (and drink) with all of them...I cannot stress how in love with this cast I am. I'm seriously so lucky.

Well I just took a break and packed an entire bin's worth of stuff...obviously my room still looks exactly the same. This is going to take forever. Half of that bin was just of my DVDs. Ughhhhhhhh. Seriously...SO MUCH STUFF. I think the next project to tackle will be what I fondly refer to as my Harry Potter bookshelf. When I moved out of Brooklyn last summer my $25 Walmart bookshelf I bought in 2009 didn't take it very well, so my Dad threw away the bottom two shelves leaving me with a mini bookshelf...which is full almost solely with Harry Potter paraphernalia. Sorry not sorry.

In other news, me and the roomz are still house hunting...Northern VA real estate is so obnoxious (and expensive). It's so hard too because none of us have any time to actively find a house all day every day because we all have jobs and lives. So if you know of any metro-walkable places for four people...let me know...(worth a shot).

I guess I should actually get "back" to packing...I keep hearing my brothers come downstairs to get more bins and I'm starting to feel guilty (ok no I'm not, I just don't want to get yelled at for refusing to contribute).

...this probably means I'm going to turn on How I Met Your Mother and will only pack one bin in four hours. I hate packing.........

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beach Blog

I wish I could say I forget how much I love doing absolutely nothing until I get to do it again, but I never forget. I always remember how great it is to lay around, sleep, tan, and watch TV for hours and hours, which is why I have been looking forward to this week basically since my job started. Don't get me wrong, I would rather make money than waste away and I really love my job....

...but I also REALLY love being lazy.

In case you hadn't gathered, I took this week off (my first real person paid vacation!) to go to Dewey Beach, DE to visit Dan, celebrate my birthday, get lots of sun, and turn off my brain. It has been fantastic.

I left on Saturday after rehearsal ready to RAGE. Okay not ready to rage at all, I had been up since 9, my ankles wanted to punch me in the face, and I was covered in six hours worth of sweat (sexi). But I was not going to let the witching hour of my 23rd birth anniversary go uncelebrated (unlike last year...Boxers Bar NYC FIASCO...needless to say I was in bed by 11...), so I rallied and had a glorious night out on the town with Daniel. I traded drinks with strangers and Dan and I almost fought these three girls in line for pizza at 2 am...I'd call it a huge success.

On my actual birthday Dan took me to lunch and then we headed to THE BEACH YES YES where I began to make up for the lack of sun my skin has seen for the past six months. Then I came back to like a billion bday messages (you guys are the greatest) as well as my first Hairspray Video Blog (birthday edition)...which almost made me cry with happiness. By the time I had "responded" Dan was back from work and we went out for birthday night part two...aka a drag show (where the leading Queen bought me a shot) followed by karaoke (more shots on the house) where a drunk lady told me (after I sang me some Whitney) that I needed to get a manager and a record label...again, definitely a success. Ballin' birthday. Sorry Mom...I mean poké-ballin' birthday.

The next day was cloudy so beach was out BUT I finally got to see Ali Hoxie because she happened to be at Fenwick Island which is super close to Dewey so we went to lunch with her, spent some time at her house with her friends, and then hit the road back to casa de Kingett. Dan's birthday is June 22, so for his present I bought him tickets to Next to Normal at the Kennedy Center. I saw it last summer when I was in New York and became obsessed, and he had gotten into it this year, so when I found out it was coming to DC I obvi had to make that happen. We saw it last night but came back Monday night so Dan could see people and so I didn't have to drive two days in a row.

On the way back I finally busted out the cast album of Book of Mormon which I had been waiting until I had time to listen to...

HOLY LORD. It's so offensive but it's SO hilarious. We were both wrecked. It just makes me even more mad that I didn't buy tickets for April when I had the chance...and that I didn't win the lottery when I tried (although I didn't have a lot of control over that...).

So that night when we finally got back Madre took us and my bro (well, one of them) to dinner and then we hung out with Katie and her NEW CAR. So glorious. Next day was Siam Bistro (literally best thai food in the whole world other than Thailand) and pool...YES SUN. Then dinner with Ash and Next to Normal...which was awesome (but still better in NY). And finally beer and video games...

Speaking of which, you know what game I DO NOT understand? Monopoly for the Wii. It could not make less sense. Somehow I was winning the entire game until the last round when I legitimately ended with $0. I don't even know how it happened.

Today we ventured back to Dewey and I've been sitting in Cory's bed all afternoon while Dan's at work...sorry not sorry. It's been awesome not having ANYTHING I have to do.

I do have Hairspray withdrawl/anxiety though. I've loved being able to recoup and get some energy back, but I am definitely anxious to get back to rehearsals. Thank goodness Jacki is sending me videos of choreography this week or I would probably panic when I got back.

Momentum is really building, tickets are starting to sell out (only like 20 more left for opening night!!!), and the show still has a ways to go but is definitely starting to take form. I'm getting crazy excited. Starting Saturday (three weeks from when we open and when I'm back at rehearsal) it's full throttle. I can't wait. We're coming up to the most stressful/exciting part of this whole process. I have been blessed with an amazing cast and production team and though I'm sure we will have moments of "omg this is never going to come together" (true of every show ever) I think it's going to be fantastic. Rave rave rave I know everyone is sick of me talking about Hairspray. Sorrrr.


Time to go watch's a hard life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In other news...

How gross is this?

Where in the World is...


So I am awful at consistently updating this. This is me making amends (and then not updating again for three months).

I wish I had a hilarious story that prompted me to blog but unfortunately nothing ridiculous has happened lately.

Actually that is a blatant, blatant lie. But I can't blog about the ridiculous things that have happened in the past month because they are stories that are better near and dear to my heart...maybe in five years I will blog about the most ridiculous night ever (proof) ...all I can say is the events that transpired are even crazier than when we fell asleep on the subway and woke up in the Bronx. In the words of Jacob Grob...thepartyneverstops.

Today I'm in a mild state of depression because my entire family is basking in sunny Florida without HARRY POTTER WORLD. I couldn't go because this is a crazy week at work; we have our Annual Board Meeting tonight and our Annual Golf Tournament tomorrow, aka I legit have to be here. I would be more sad if I hadn't already been to HP World...on opening day (remember this?)...BUT STILL. I want to go with my fam. :( Mope mope mope

It's okay though because since I'm not using my final five days of vacation this week, I get to use them next week...TO GO SEE DAN!!!! He's been working in Dewey Beach, DE this summer, literally a block away from the beach, and a)since I love him and haven't seen him since the beginning of May and b)since I love the beach, I shall spend next week basking away in the blissful sun...other than our random night back in DC to see Next to Normal (which Dan hasn't seen so I bought him tickets for his birthday which is TODAY...and it's obviously so good that I wanted to see it again). I will also spend all of next week obsessing over my script.


How have I not talked about Hairspray yet?

For those of you who haven't seen it plastered all over my Facebook, last month I got cast as Tracy Turnblad in The Little Theatre of Alexandria's production of Hairspray. Basically getting into this show is the high school version of me's dream come true.

I was legitimately obsessed with this show and with this part when I was 17. I even auditioned in Baltimore that year to be in the movie (clearly that worked out for me). To show you how ridiculous my obsession was, for a while this was my myspace picture (remember myspace? good times)...and yes, I edited it myself. Whatever, everyone is an idiot when they're 17. At least I was good at photoshop (ok...I wasn't...that picture is awful hahahaha). Gotta be real though...there is legitimately no way I could have played this part (on stage) as a 17 year old. There is SO much singing, so much dancing, and I'm basically on stage for the entire two and half hours.

I should probably be honest though...yes I was obsessed as a 17 year old...but since being cast I have gotten re-obsessed. At least now I have a reason. In my brief moments of spare time, I either watch vids of live productions on youtube or practice all my dances using my brother's sound system (thanks Josh).

Even though the part is really intense and I'm at rehearsal for hours and hours literally every day, I can't complain, not even a little bit, because I am just so happy. I haven't had this much fun in a part in a very long time (I mean you know the ensemble of Carmen comes close, that was just buckets of fun...). And I probably haven't been this well suited for a part...ever. Which has made the process even better. Plus, my cast and production team are AWESOME. And not just in terms of talent level, but as real people; rehearsals have just been really fun. There are many many many hilarious people in this group. Well done LTA, well done. The next month is going to be a whirlwind...we officially open a month from tomorrow. A little over four weeks.


I'm nervous about missing rehearsal next week, so Dan's going to have to deal with my anxiety in the form of running lines with me and watching me run dances.

OH. RIGHT. BECAUSE YOU CAN'T STOP THE BEAT IS RIDICULOUS. Imagine having to jump up and down for approximately ten minutes and what that would do to your breath support. Now imagine having to sing at the same time. SOLO. So hopefully you can understand why I feel the need to practice doing this every day...right now I sound like AWFUL. So gotta get that in check...anyway, the show runs July 23-August 13 in Alexandria, and I would seriously LOVE if any of you loyal readers (hey Mom) could come. Tickets can be purchased online but if you have questions just ask me!!!

But yes. Other than the fact that I am constantly exhausted, life is pretty glorious for the Kingett.

So what else have I been up to? Well this past weekend I saw both Ash and Sar perform in their respective shows. Ash was the lead in Psycho Beach Party at Dominion Stage and was RIDICULOUSLY good. I was blown away. Sarah sang Cenerentola in Bel Cantanti's production of Cenerentola (the story of Cinderella as an Italian Opera by Rossini, for all you non-classical music people). And Sar's voice is even better than the last time I heard her, which I didn't think was possible. Pretty much every time she opened her mouth all I could do was shake my head and smile because I was so stunned. My friends are so effing talented. I love that.

OH! I forgot more exciting news!!! Which is that LAURA HAS A JOB (she's just waiting for her call from HR to make it official) meaning WE CAN FINALLY GET OUR HOUSE. So I will also be MOVING in the middle of the Hairspray run. Fantastic. Worth it though. I miss my roommates. And I'm sick of commuting so far. So the next month will be dedicated to Hairspray...and house hunting...and packing.

Oh right, and that full-time job I have.

I'm going to die. But at least after next week, I'll die tan!

Time to go cry in the bathroom, because now my family has decided to start texting me pics of HP life is hard.

P.S. I don't think I have ever put this many links in one blog post. Whoops.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ten good things about today

1. It was finally warm enough to wear new shirt (new meaning I bought it in February but haven't worn it yet)
2. Tonight I got to drink Corona with lime on my patio which is one of my favorite things ever
3. I had an interesting and intellectually stimulating conversation about religion with both of my parents that didn't involve yelling or anyone getting offended
4. Katie came to the office for lunch (and after)!
5. I got to see Ev who was in SUCH good spirits considering she had RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY today. And I got to share with her the gift of Modern Family. Her life will never be the same.
6. I watched a SWEET sunset driving home with windows down and Marc Broussard blasting
7. I read the newest Hyperbole and a Half
8. I got to talk to most of my favorite people in some way, shape, or form
9. My trainer WRECKED me at the gym...this is going to have to qualify as a long term good thing about today...not necessarily an in the moment good thing...
10. I made a plan of lots of things to get done tomorrow at work so that even though this week was slow I can still feel like I got a lot done.

I think I should challenge myself to do this every day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Work ramblings

I get in these blogging frenzies and then neglect to write anything for this while it lasts.

Before I share my work ramblings, life updates! Of which there are not many. Starting tomorrow I'm living in Arlington with Ev for the week because her Aunt is on vacation, which will simultaneously be glorious and horrible because in week when we have to not be roommates again I will be very sad. Only like three more months until we are actually roommates again. Thank the lord. I saw Katie way more than normal this week which had the same exact effect. Three months. Three months. I MISS MY FRIENDS.

I also miss the summer. All of these things came to a head on Friday, when the weather was literally perfect, I got out of work early, and proceeded to get started on the Corona, when I realized that all I want to do is sit on my imaginary porch in my imaginary house with my future (not imaginary) roommates, maybe getting tan, DEFINITELY drinking Corona. And it's March. So I can't. It was pretend summer. I was so depressed. Seasonal affective disorder is officially affective until it's actually 75+ every day.

Anyway. On the horizon this week is auditionnnnn! Hooray! Say lots of prayers and cross lots of fingers that it goes well! I'm starting to get antsy and I need something new to do, and this show is probably exactly what I'm looking for. So we'll see. I should hopefully know in a week.

Now my promised work ramblings.

Apparently I look like a child. Last night was our March Concert for the FSO (and it was AWESOME, Matti Raekallio is so fantastic and the nicest man of all time), and I was sitting at our information table before the concert to answer questions, help direct people, etc, when a woman comes up to me and goes "Can you help me? I'm looking for someone who works in the office." I told her that she was in luck because I actually work in the office, and she gave me a skeptical look and said " son is looking for an internship this summer, can you direct me to someone who can give me information for him?" "Well actually ma'am I can help you with that!" "Ok well he's looking for something for this summer because he's majoring in music right now...can you maybe forward his name on to the people who know more about internships?"

At this point I'm annoyed because she's clearly not listening to anything I've been saying, so I said "Ma'am why don't I give you my card and he can send me his questions?" "And you'll send it to the right people?" "I actually am the person who is handling interns. "You? But you can't even be out of high school!"


FOR REAL? Look I know I look young, but come on. I do not look 17. So I smiled and said "Oh, yes, I am. In fact I work full time for the Symphony. Here's my business card. That's me. The Operations Manager." She literally looked stunned. She probably thinks I'm an 18 year old working in an office without a degree. Ridiculous.

I guess I don't always look like a child though, because last night I was also hit on by a 70 year old woman. Not even kidding. I was standing by the ticket scanners and this woman walks up, and while she's waiting to be let into the Concert Hall, she gives me a full up-and-down, and says "Well don't you look YUMMY!"

Um what? Ridiculous. Working at the FSO has been hilarious to say the least. I wasn't going to share this story initially because I've actually been unofficially asked to guest blog (I KNOW! WHAT?!), but like I said, it's unofficial and I'm not sure when or if it will even happen, so I'm not going to save this story because it's too ridiculous.

So on Tuesday at work a woman who shall remain nameless (but whose name is burned in my brain and who I may or may not have looked up on Facebook) calls the office. I answer, and it turns out she had a question about the special promotion we were running that day. Tuesday was a two-for-one deal where you could buy a B or C section ticket and get a second ticket for free (for Saturday's concert). This was sent out to our 5400+ person email list, and within the email was a link that took you directly to the website we set up for this promotion. In the past we've used for all our promotions, but we run into a lot of problems with them, plus people still have to pay ticketing fees. So instead we decided to completely do the promotion ourselves through a website that allows us to create an "event" where people purchase specific tickets (we're doing the same thing for next year's Subscriptions). Long story short, the link in this email took you directly to the site, but it wasn't posted on our website since we only wanted it to go to our email list patrons.

Back to my bff on the phone. This is basically how the conversation went:

Woman: I'm a little confused at this special deal you have running today.

Let me interrupt by saying that this woman had a Brooklyn accent (I know it well) and sounded exactly like my INSANE broker when I lived there this summer. You know, the crazy woman who called me two or three times a day about my apartment. The woman whose voice sends shivers of horror through my body. That one. Well this woman sounded just like her. Strike one.

Me: Ok! Well let me see if I can help you.
Woman: I'm looking at the prices but I don't see where it says what my seats are going to be.
(Imagine this in a Brooklyn accent)
Me: Well ma'am I'm pretty sure that you can't select your individual seats on this website. (Because you can't, that's part of the promotion is that you choose your section and get what's best available)
Woman: What?! That's absolutely ridiculous. Can I just go to the box office then?
Me: I'm not sure, but I think it's only online. But you might be able to go to the box office! Hold on, I can check on that for you.
Woman: (exasperated gasp) Why WOULDN'T I be able to go to the box office? This is ridiculous. You don't know anything.
Me: .....hold on. Let me go check.

I put her on hold, and ask Tara, our patron services manager, who confirms that it is in fact an online deal.

Me: Yes, I'm sorry ma'am, it is only an online offer.
Woman: You have got to be kidding me. Do you know how ridiculous that is?
Me: Yes well I'm sorry ma'am, it's only online.
Woman: Well I am on the website and I don't see where it shows what my seats are going to be.
Me: Well ma'am that's because we're not assigning ticket seats until tomorrow. You can't choose your seats like normal because it's a special promotion.
Woman: What in heaven's name...this is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. So how do I know where I'm sitting?
Me: Well you can select your section so that you know the general vicinity of your seats, and if you'd like to tell me your preference I will write it down, and tomorrow we will do our best to make sure your seat is in your preferred area.
Woman: But this doesn't even tell me which seats are available.
Me: Well where would you like to sit?
Woman: What's available?
Me: ........well...there are a lot of seats currently available. Which section would you like to sit in?
Woman: Orchestra A is apparently not an option, which is I guess Orchestra B.
Me: Let me put you on hold while I see what is open in Orchestra B.
Woman: UGH FINE.

I then ask Tara what seats are left in Orchestra B. She tells me there are a few on the left but that there are still a lot on the right.

Me: Hi, ma'am? There are a few seats on the the Orchestra B left, but a lot of empty seats on Orchestra B right.
Woman: (a moment of anger filled silence) But. Which. Seats. Are. They.
Me:'am there are a lot of seats. I can't list all of them. Why don't you tell me where you would like to sit?
Woman: I want to sit as close to Orchestra A as possible. AND NOT IN THE FRONT ROW.
Me: Ok, I'm writing that down. (I also got her contact info at this point)
Woman: Ok so now I just buy these seats. In Orchestra B. On this website.
Me: Yes.
Woman: But they're not guaranteed. So basically I'm walking into this blindly and giving you my money and you won't even know if I'm sitting where I want?
Me: Yes ma'am, we will do our very best, but your preference is not guaranteed.
Woman: This is absolutely ridiculous. Fine. How do I do this? All I'm seeing is Best Available.

This sets off alarm bells in my head, because our promotion website had no drop down that said Best Available...but does.

Me: should have four options, Orchestra B and C, and Grand Tier B and C. Ma'am are you on
Woman: I don't know. How would I know that?!
Me: Okay, how did you get on this website?
Woman: I went to your website and clicked on the Buy Tickets words.
Me: Ok ma'am you are actually on the wrong website, the promotional link was in your email.

I wanted to say "Yeah, you right." and hang up, but I didn't think that would be very professional...

Me: I'm very sorry ma'am, but if you go back to your email, you will find the link to the website right there.
Woman: I don't HAVE the email. I DELETED it.

I also kept my comments about how maybe you should wait to delete a promotional email until after you've purchased tickets to myself...

Me: Ok, well how about this, how about I read you the web address of the website and you can just manually type it into the address bar on your browser?

This of course was my fatal mistake. Little did I know, the sentence I had just said to her may have well have been in African based on how much she understood. But what she said was:

Woman: Fine. Hold on. I need to open google.

I was confused about why she was opening google, but I kept it to myself.

Woman: Ok. So I just type it in?
Me: Yes.
Woman: Ok. Go ahead.

I proceed to spell out the entire web address for her.

Me: Ok it's h, t, t, p,
Woman: WAIT. Ok h, t, t, p...
Me: ...colon
Woman: colon
Me: backslash, backslash
Woman: Hold on, hold on..............backslash, backslash
Me: Fairfax, symphony, dot
Me: Yes ma'am, all one word...

And so on and so forth. But hands down my favorite part of the conversation was the very end of the address, which I can't remember but basically had-to-be-written-like-this, meaning it involved the use of a hyphen.

Me: (VERY exasperated but trying to hide it, because spelling this website had taken approximately two minutes already) f, s, o, hyphen
Me:'s next to the zero ma'am.
Woman: Oh. Next to the zero. Ok. f, s, o, hyphen...

Once she finally has it all, she says:

Woman: Ok now hold on. I want to write this all down by hand just in case.

JUST IN CASE? JUST IN CASE WHAT?! She proceeds to read the entire website BACK to me, while writing it down on paper. She then presses enter...and it doesn't work.

Woman: (unbelievably she knew this whole internet "fad" would never work out eventually) "The page you are searching for does. not. exist." (I can't believe she didn't insert a little haha here, it would have fit in perfectly with her tone of voice)
Me: Ok...are you sure you spelled everything correctly? Are you sure you did a backslash and not a forward slash?
Me: I'm sorry ma'am but I know the link does work.
Woman: Read it to me again. Letter by letter.

At this point Tara, who feels terrible that I'm having to deal with PSYCHO on the phone, has come to my desk and whispered "Do you need me to take this call? Can we just email her the link? I still have the email saved."

Me: Ma'am, would it just be easier if I re-emailed you the link?
Woman: NO! I want to type it.
Me: Ok...go ahead...let's check it...letter by letter...
Woman: h
Me: Yes.
Woman: t
Me: Yes.
Woman: t
Me: Yes.
Woman: p
Me: Yes.
Woman: Colon.
Me: (banging my head on my desk) Yes.
Woman: Backslash, backslash
Me: Yes.
Woman: f, a, i, oh I see what happened. I left out the r in Fairfax.
Me: (PISSED) Ok. Let's try it again.
Woman: No. I'm going to keep reading it to you. Just to be sure.

She then proceeded to spell the ENTIRE website for me, LETTER BY LETTER...TWICE. When she was FINALLY done, she was ready to try it again. Mind you, she is still being unbelievably rude, like the only thing I have to do I spend a half an hour on the phone helping her buy cheap tickets.

Woman: now do I press enter?
Me: Yes.
Woman: Ok there is one search result (confirmation that she in fact GOOGLED the website, she did not type it into the address bar)...F-S-O Two for One Special, March fifteen, two zero one one (which btw, translates in March 15, 2011...why she read it at two zero one one I'll never know...)
Me: Yes, that's it.
Woman: So now what do I do?
Me: it.
Woman: I just click it?
Me: just click it.
Woman: Ok. It says FSO Two for One Special. It's green.
Me: Ok that the right website.
Woman: It says Matti Raekallio, piano.
Me: Yup, that's it.
Woman: And it has some white too.
Me: Yes. That's definitely it.
Woman: Ok so now what do I do?
Me: (literally so pissed that I'm having to do this) Ok next to Orchestra B, you select your tickets.
Woman: But I don't get to know my seats?

It literally took all my willpower not to scream WE HAVE BEEN OVER THIS NO YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR SEATS.

Me: Correct. Because we aren't assigning them until tomorrow.
Woman: And will I get my money back if I don't like my seats?
Me: Unfortunately not. But like I said, we can take your preference and do the best we can.
Woman: Well I want Orchestra B, in the middle. Rows M, N, O, or P. And close to Orchestra A. IN THE MIDDLE. I WILL NOT tolerate being in the first five rows. If you put me in the first five rows I will never come to a concert again.

I was tempted to tell her that would be fine with me, but again...not too professional...

Me: Ok ma'am. We will do what we can.
Woman: So now I just click check-out?
Me: Yes.
Woman: I'm clicking it. Nothing is happening.
Me: Well it should pop up with a box that says "Would you like to add a donation?" And then it takes you to your checkout, where you enter your credit card information.
Woman: Well I do NOT want to add a donation. And I'm clicking on check-out and nothing is happening.

Instead of trying to help her figure out why her pop-ups wouldn't work or what she was potentially doing wrong, I did what I should have done from the beginning:

Me: Well ma'am, it's working on my computer, how about you read me your credit card information and I'll do it from my computer?
Woman: Yes that will be fine.

Once I completed the order and assured her she would get an emailed receipt, I finally was able to get off the phone. And proceeded to scream. My coworkers understood. The next day, she called the office again, and when I saw her name come up on the caller ID, I screamed "NO NO NO YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME." Tara took the call. She's a nice person (turns out all crazy wanted was to know if she could get her tickets from the box office that day).

Who knew I had an endless supply of patience? I certainly didn't. Insanity. I think I'm going to be scarred forever.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Friday Shirt

I love clothes, that's no secret. But I have one pretty major vice when it comes to fashion...tie-dye. It's not that I find it particularly fashionable, I just love it. I have more tie-dye than a person needs EVER, but there's one shirt in particular that holds a special place in my heart...

The Friday Shirt.

I don't even remember when I got this shirt, but it's a GIANT tie-dye t-shirt my mom had made one year for Holy Family Festival. Everyone in the choir wore one. I lost mine a few weeks later (no idea how), but there were some leftover XL's, so I grabbed one of those...and the Friday Shirt was born. There are so many reasons why I love the Friday shirt, but the most important is that it's hands down the most comfortable shirt in the world. It's softer than usual t-shirts, and roomy enough that I'm never hot while sleeping. Like I said, I don't even know how long I've had it, but I've been sleeping in it (...among other things, I'm not disgusting, I do laundry) for at least six years.

The Friday Shirt's name came about in a pathetic way. The first year of college was a glorious time for Shannon, a time of self discovery and realization. Meaning I could wear pajamas to class and I wasn't going to get in trouble. And for someone with morning classes and NOT a morning personality, this was good, good news. But by the end of the year, after a particularly heinous combination of purple sweatpants, a green choir t-shirt, a Michigan hoodie, and a really nerdy Broadway hat (to cover the unwashed I was disgusting) that even made my voice teacher (who basically wore skirts made of wheat) gasp in horror, I decided maybe it was time to reel in the PJ look.

So for Sophomore year, I had a new plan: Regular clothes every day except Fridays. I only had Geneds on Fridays anyway, so it was a pretty good compromise. And since tie-dye shirt was the most comfortable of all shirts, I obviously saved it for the end of the week. I thought I was being pretty inconspicuous...but after a really choice combination one Friday morning (documented below), my friends caught on:
(I obviously have no shame if I'm willing to put this picture on display...also where are my shoes?)

And since we're all about naming everything ever, my shirt got a name...they went for simplicity: The Friday Shirt.

For a while it was just a few of us that referred to it as The Friday Shirt. Like a little inside joke. Until suddenly EVERYONE knew about and frequently referred to The Friday Shirt in daily conversations. It got to the point that the following summer, my coworkers, none of whom even went to JMU, called it The Friday Shirt. Eventually Friday Shirt stopped making public appearances, a)because I stopped having Friday classes and b)Junior Year I had a fashion breakthrough and was determined to look awesome every single day.

I hope I don't come off as embarrassed about this magical shirt. I am shameless about my love for it. So the more people who knew about it, the happier I was. I was spreading Friday Shirt love to the world.

But this summer I started to notice that the Friday Shirt was looking...sickly. More faded than in the past, with a few holes here and there. I guess when you wash a shirt so many times without retiring it, erosion begins to take its toll. But I didn't think much of it. The Friday Shirt is basically a part of who I am.

Except that the next time I washed it, the few holes here and there had turned into LARGE holes here and there. Suddenly I was forced to stop wearing it out of the house (or I would have started breaking indecency laws). My heart was heavy and I knew what had to be done...I had to find a replacement for the Friday Shirt. I wondered which of my other shirts were up to the challenge. Cat shirt was almost as comfortable, but even I had to draw the line at bringing that one into public view. And all my other shirts were not offensive to the eyes, but not up to the comfort level of TFS.

So as a natural shopper, I went on the hunt. I even tie-dyed my own shirt(s). But nothing was up to par.


Three weeks ago I went to JMU for Allison and DJ's recitals, and while I was there I decided to stop at Outpost (cheaper than the bookstore for JMU apparel, for all of you non-Dukes) because I wanted an alumni sticker for my car. And then I saw it.

I guess it's like falling in love, it comes when you least expect it. Because I saw this obnoxious purple and gold tie-dye shirt that said James Madison University, and thought "Well that's fun and I'm obviously going to buy it." It was fun...but I never imagined it would be able to rise to the level of TFS. It seemed like nothing could. I even bought it in a medium because I figured I would want to wear it for real, and why waste money on an XL t-shirt I that would never replace TFS?

I didn't even wear it for at least a week...but then...when I did...I knew I had found it. It's different from TFS in its own way, of course, but just as a wonderful. It's soft the way TFS shirt is, roomy the way TFS is, TIE-DYE the way TFS is. But still different. TFS part 2. I'm sure my friends will come up with their own name for it, considering it's quickly becoming a staple of my nighttime (...and Saturday and Sunday...) wardrobe.

I will never forget The Original Friday Shirt of course. And maybe sometimes I'll wear it, for old times sake. But it's not really safe enough to wash, and sewing it to fix it would just compromise the integrity of the shirt. I'm going to have to figure out a proper way to commemorate it. It will forever remind me of the good times of showing up five minutes late for Ear Training (when I went), camping in the middle of nowhere with nothing but hot dogs and beer, late night dance parties, and the multitude of trips and vacations it accompanied me on.

Here's to you Friday Shirt, here's to you.

Here's the state the Original Friday Shirt is currently in...note the holes, frayed neck, and especially the GIANT hole on the right that I can fit my entire head through:

And here is the NEW Friday Shirt (This is apparently a medium...but I'm looks the same exact size at TFS):

I can't believe I just wrote an entire blog about a t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sarah Davis wins today

I just am going to post a chat between Sarah Davis and myself...too amazing to not share with the world:

me: i am seriously so bored
Sarah: a duck just chased me through my apartment parking lot
me: ............
Sarah: i parked, got out of the car, grabbed the bag of trash next to me, and brought it to the dumpster
and when i got back to my car, there was a fucking DUCK sitting on the drivers seat
and i SCREAM and FREAK OUT and the duck freaks out and jumps out and starts CHASING ME AROUND THE PARKING LOT
i was crying i was laughing so hard
but it wouldn't let me near my car
and so i had to ask a grown adult man with a child "Do you know how to get rid of ducks?" and he says "Sure!"
and proceeds to scream and stamp his feet running AT the duck
it was amazing
i wish so hard that i had a video camera
my stomach hurts from laughing so hard
this is not a real story
this is too glorious to be a real story
Sarah: it so is. i am so proud of it.
a duck climbed in my car
and it had orange feet and a purple head
i have proof
because i accidentally called myself and left myself a 3 minute long voicemail
and you can hear me scream in it, which is when i got back to the car
hold up
imma let you log into my gmail and listen to it (she has this crazy thing that sends her voicemails into her gmail, so she can listen there and they also TRANSCRIBE them...a source of great comedy)
me: WAH i am at work
Sarah: oh crap you're at work
i'll email you my login info
me: mmk
yeah i need to hear this
Sarah: if you abuse that power i will find you in the night
me: also you called yourself...perfection
Sarah: it's just mumble jumble for the first 2 and a half minutes
me: meh gmail isn't fun to hack
Sarah: and then it's like AAAAAAAAAH
hahahaha the scream is 2:19 into it (Listen to the message by clicking here!)
me: i fully plan on ripping the audio and editing it in garage band
Sarah: and i'm yelling "GOOO I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER!!!"
me: LOL
Sent at 4:18 PM on Wednesday
me: this is the greatest thing ever.
Sarah: i wish the voicemail were better
it was so good
but you can clearly hear me yelling at it for about 15 seconds which is enough
my phone was in my pocket
omg what a great day
me: hahahahahahaha i cannot stop laughing

Sarah: also on my list of pathetic things today, i just sewed a hole in my jeggins
because i am cheap and don't want to buy another 15 dollar pair from target
Sent at 4:39 PM on Wednesday
me: HAHAHAHAHAHA are DEF pulling me out of work boredom!
Sarah: the reason i was even in my car in the first place was to go to walgreens and buy a sewing kit for my jeggings
me: it just keeps getting betterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tell me how much you love me...please?

Hi loves.

Ok so Friday-Sunday of this weekend I'm going on a Retreat with a bunch of 7th graders and probably the most important thing we do all weekend is give letters. Letters that talk about why someone is important, how they're a gift, why you love them, etc.

Well friends, the facilitators are supposed to have letters too, so I'm asking you, if you have time, to write me one. It can be gushy. It can be funny. It can be five pages long. It can be one sentence. It can be a picture you made in Microsoft Paint (but who uses PCs anymore anyway?). It can be whatever you want. This is one of my favorite things ever, and hey, you never know, maybe I'll write you one back.

If you do decide to send me a letter, just email it to me at (you can put it in the body of the email or attach it, I don't care) by 4:30pm on Friday. I promise I won't read it until it's letter time on Retreat; I'll just print it out and bring it with me.

And if you write me one I promise I'll love you forever (although chances are I already do).

Monday, February 28, 2011


I have seriously been so bad about blogging. Stupid real job taking up all of my normal blogging hours...what's that about? I know I could just blog when I get home...but by the time I get home all I want to do is melt my brain with television.

I just remembered I still haven't watched last week's Mod Fam or any of the Thursday shows, meaning that even though I don't have a Monday night show I still have hours and hours of TV waiting brain just smiled evilly.

Today I blog because everyone in my office is gone except me. I would just go home but I have personal SIX. In FAIRFAX. So sad. The last thing I feel like doing today is a workout that (if the past workouts are any indicator) makes me want to punch innocent animals in the face.

My trainer is AWESOME. I love him. It's funny, he gives off the same vibe as my voice teacher (just not in a earth-worshiping hippie way), so for whatever reason I feel compelled to ramble about meaningless information not at all related (or at best semi-related) to what we're doing, until he inevitably tells me to shut up so that we don't run out of time. Wednesday was worst workout ever (meaning it was probably the best) because it was cardio day...yeah I didn't know the meaning of cardio until Wednesday. Josh Eflin would be proud, it was all interval training...interval training from HELL. I bet Satan makes you run up and down the stairs with a ten pound weight ball over your head. Except in hell I bet it makes you GAIN weight.


Today was an ease back into work considering I worked three days last week. And it was an ease because I was super distracted this morning when Josh put a picture on my wall of Coventry Cathedral, causing me to spend too much time looking at pictures of England online. Coventry Cathedral might be one of the most incredible places I've ever been, and visiting was hands down one of the most cathartic experiences of my life. I don't think I said much of anything the whole time there, I was too overwhelmed. Josh and I spent at least a half hour sitting in the nave in complete silence (if you've met me...that's rare). Seriously it's so beautiful. If you're ever in England you just need to go.

I don't know how I got on this tangent.

Life updates? Um insanity and I'm not even sure how. I thought I'd have this plethora of free time when my show ended yet I find myself with stuff happening every single weekend...I'm going to JMU FOUR WEEKS IN A ROW in the middle of April/beginning of May because all my friends decided they had really important performances I was required to demanding. And since I have all this crap to do on the weekend, that means I feel so busy during the week because that's when I see my friends. It's so backwards. I'm ok with it though because at least it means I'm never bored. And then I have auditions at the end of March...cross your fingers that I'm starting a new show come April...

Other than that there's not much happening. I mean there is but none of it is blog worthy/appropriate. But I'm about to spend an entire weekend with middle schoolers...hopefully I will return from this weekend with some good stories.

Until then I'm going to just get through the next hour and a half until I can go home and eat delicious food and sit on the couch like a sedentary human (totally justified thanks to punching animals hell workout at 6). Maybe I'll watch P&P after melting my brain with last week's tv...because all this rain and mild weather and bird chirping and staring at pictures of England all day makes me need some Darcy in my life.

Who am I kidding...I ALWAYS need some Darcy in my life.