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2/29/08
I nearly forgot what day it is.

It's the 29th, which means leap day, it's really more of a bonus day.

2/28/08
Since there's no way I'm going to make it to Toronto to see Nicholas Nickleby, I'm contenting myself with watching the VHS tapes of the RSC production. All eight hours. I'm halfway done - will try and finish up tomorrow. Roger Rees looks so young! David Threlfall as Smike is fantastic (yes, I named my little teddy bear Smike after seeing this for the first time when it was on PBS ages ago). And their butchering of Romeo and Juliet at the end of the first half is hysterical.

later on 2/27/08
Oh, I loved Vantage Point! A well-written, clever movie with lots of plot twists. And a fantastic car chase that was so unbelievable. I mean, I'm a paranoid driver to start with, and when I scraped the front of my car against a pillar in a parking garage down in Baltimore, I sat there for five minutes in a state of shock. I can't even imagine being in the kind of chase they showed in the movie. Crazy. Loved it, tho, and to top it off, there were previews for two movies that I'll go see when they come out (an Al Pacino movie, and one based on a book I read about outsmarting the Vegas casinos - with Kevin Spacey). I wish there were a TV channel dedicated to previews, I'd watch all day.

I am still rooting for Roger Clemens, and I'm thinking that the government honestly must have better things to do than indict him. In that line of thought, don't miss Jose Canseco's Annual Steroid Party. The last line is the kicker.

From mlb.com:

Is there anything more beautiful than the first sight of a baseball game?

Maybe seeing the birth of a child or the face of your lover. Maybe hearing the crash of cymbals against the mellifluous pull of a violin's bow. Maybe seeing the wonders of the world for the first time, of enemies becoming friends, of scientists discovering cures thought impossible. There are some really beautiful things about being alive, but you have to admit that one of them, truly, is the return of your game.

They're so poetic. While I love the look on the face of my 99-year-old patient who loves when I take her for a walk, there is nothing to top the sheer joy of sitting in the tier at the Stadium, watching A-Rod hit one out of the park. Soon, soon.

But not soon enough, damnit! Hurry up, Spring!

2/27/08
I just could not sleep last night. And when I finally did fall asleep, around 5am, Sheeba decided it was a good time to jump on my pillow and start sneezing on me. Not delicate little cat sneezes, either. We're talking big, horking, snotty sneezes. And then she started chewing my hair.

I passed the not-being-able-to-sleep time by reading, eating dinner at 2am, looking up better driving directions for places in Florida, and checking out cars online that I'm interested in (I'm halfway to saving for a new car).

2/24/08
Sweet - the two-disc special edition DVD of Sweeney Todd comes out on April 1st. I already pre-ordered it. I wonder what extras it has.

We got to watch snippets of the Oscars at work tonight - I don't think I saw any of the nominated movies (apart from Sweeney and Pirates:3), so I added a handful of them to my amazon.com wishlist. Someday I'll catch up. I want to go and see Vantage Point this week - maybe on my next day off.

2/23/08
I opted for "veg out with the TV" last night. The CableVision HD service has this fantastic "on demand" movie channel, where you can order what you want to watch. I swear - I could never leave the house again. We rented Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which features Nicholas Cage with an atrocious Italian accent, and Penelope Cruz (I want her hair) lisping her way through a Greek accent, but was lovely all the same. I didn't recognize Christian Bale (and he was shirtless!) until I saw his name in the credits and went, "oh yeah!"

I think the snow will be all melted by tomorrow. Didn't even get to break out the snowblower.

Three more weekends (counting this one) until vacation.

2/22/08
Now it feels like winter. We have about two inches of snow and it's still coming down. Not heavily, more like a flurry. It's pretty to look at, and I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere today. If it stops and the roads are OK, maybe I'll go to the movies later. Or just veg out with the TV.

In the "who knew?" category: Jerome Pradon is playing Aragorn in the London production of Lord of the Rings: The Musical. I've heard so many bad things about this show from when it played in Toronto, that even his presence doesn't make me want to jump on a plane and go see it.

A website dedicated to when the understudies are going on. That's fantastic.

I rule. I was able to get tix to the remaining Yankees/Red Sox games. So now I can go to all nine of the games at the Stadium this year - I cannot wait!! The only thing left to see if I can score is tix for the All-Star game. I'm not holding out much hope that there will even be any available, but I'll cross my fingers.

later on 2/21/08
You know, I was 200 pages into this book I'm reading, Thunderstruck, before I realized it wasn't a novel. I really thought it was. It just hit me. I must've read the back cover quickly at the bookstore. Huh. It's still good. I just kept thinking, "Man, all this backstory is pretty good, but when is he going to get to the meat of the story?"

2/21/08
The Onion dicusses the annual Yankees vs. The Media exhibition game.

My "warm like teddy bear" coat, which was bought on sale, developed two small tears in the faux-suede outer lining. I dropped it off at the dry cleaner's to see if they can fix the tears or patch them. They said they have something like a fabric glue, which I think is pretty cool. But they won't have it ready for two weeks, which I do not think is pretty cool, especially since it's really, really cold out. Fortunately, I have about 300 coats.

I pre-ordered the official Yankee Stadium retrospective book today.

I did my taxes today - I should be getting back around $500 from the feds and the state. I just have to make a copy for my files and then I can mail them out. The refund will pay for...

Mom and I are headed to Boston in April for the BSO premiere of something or another, starring Nathan Gunn. Also going to check out two games at Fenway against the Texas Rangers. I don't know anyone on the Rangers anymore, but I'll cheer for them anyway.

And today I learned something - I figured out how to set the timer on the new VCR (well, it's two years old, but I am playing catchup). This means I can tape the Yankees/Red Sox game that'll be on TV when I am actually AT the game in Tampa. I'm a dork.

Tomorrow morning, the rest of the Yankees season goes on sale for season ticket holders. I'm making a valiant stab at the remaining Red Sox games. After that, I promise not to talk about baseball until my Spring Training trip gets closer. Right.

later on 2/20/08
I wish I could say I loved the broadcast of Company, but apart from Raul Esparza's fantastically understated performance, I was as underwhelmed as when I saw it live. The show isn't my favorite Sondheim, but in the greater scheme of things, I'm glad it was recorded for PBS. I wish more shows were.

2/20/08
Oh, they know me, they really know me. I got a catalog in the mail from National Geographic Expeditions, and the very first tour they list is one to the arctic. To see polar bears. I want to go, but can't afford it (this year). They have some other fantastic looking trips as well (around the world by private jet? Charles, bring the limo around, and pit me an olive), but man oh man, do I want to see polar bears. And penguins.

I thought I was going to get screwed for the final home game tickets, and I nearly was. When I searched (at exactly 10am) for a pair of tickets, they were none available. So I went back in and searched for single tickets, and was able to get two single tickets (not together, but near each other) for the last game! It's better than not being there at all (or paying outrageous StubHub prices!). Can't wait!

Now I can go back to bed.

2/18/08
Woo! Half of my Yankees tickets came - the holiday pack ones. Now I'm just waiting for the regular season tickets to come. These are printed on this nice, commorative card stock, with the "final season" logo imprinted. I almost want to frame them.

And I pre-ordered the Company DVD from PBS, it'll be out in March. It airs here on Wednesday, can't wait.

2/17/08
Ah, Tesse's fantastic review of Floyd Collins is online. It has all of the names of the performers who did such a terrific job.

2/15/08
Torre and Sturtze, together again. According to mlb.com, Tanyon is a non-roster invitee to Dodger's Spring Training. He hasn't fallen off the face of the earth, after all!

On this date in 1933:

An unsuccessful attempt on FDR's life by Joseph Zangara in Miami leaves Chicago mayor Anton Czermak dead. Zangara is electrocuted the following month.

Little did he know, he would soon to be featured in a Sondheim musical.

Speaking of musicals, there's going to be a concert of Showboat at Carnegie Hall in June - starring Nathan Gunn! Tix don't go on sale until April, but I will be there!

later on 2/14/08
Floyd was excellent. I'm honestly surprised that a college production was able to cast such talented performers. They handled the (difficult) score extraordinarily well - tho maybe I shouldn't be surprised, since it's the school of vocal performance, after all. The actors playing Floyd, Homer and Skeets were outstanding (and if I had the program handy, I'd name them). All in good voice. There were only one or two directorial choices I disagreed with (and oddly enough, Tesse mentioned the same things when we talked about it), but overall, fantastic production. I highly recommend catching it before it closes on Sunday.

We grabbed dinner at Chat 'n' Chew, always good for their comfort food (mac 'n' cheese, Thanksgiving-on-a-roll sandwich), and we both walked away with lots of leftovers.

After the show, we un-parked the car and drove over to Marie's for a quick drink and to say hi to everyone, and then I drove Tesse back uptown to Inwood. I thought I'd be home in a jiff, but they're doing some kind of construction on the GW, so I sat there for thirty minutes while all of the lanes merged into one lane. Ugh. Home by 2.30am tho.

2/14/08
Happy "Pitchers and Catchers Report to Spring Training" Day! I can't believe they're renaming Legends Field in honor of George Steinbrenner.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day, too, but that is not nearly as important as the above.

Seeing Floyd Collins with Tesse at NYU tonight, getting dinner at Chat 'n' Chew beforehand. I'm feeling over my cold, too, which is a big plus as I feel like I'm running out of tissues.

According to the PBS website (and the Optimum Online website), Company, starring Raul Esparza, will be broadcast next Wed, Feb 20th, at 9pm. In HD. I didn't love the revival so much, but Raul in HD? I am so there.

2/13/08
Ooh, I don't think Roger is ever going to speak to Andy Pettitte again. And even if the congressional hearing accomplished nothing, it was very interesting to watch. I still think Roger is innocent.

2/12/08
Sick day, I am doped up on Benadryl and DayQuil.

And it's actually snowing and sticking to the ground. It'll probably be melted by tomorrow.

What? Joba to start the season in the minors? Please let it be in Trenton so I can go see him pitch!

Two days til pitchers and catchers. Twelve hours til Roger takes the stand in the steroids congressional hearing. It will be interesting, that's for sure.

One of the things I like about roadtripping is going to bookstores in other cities, and checking out the "local history" section. You find things that you wouldn't find in the Barnes and Noble here. Example: at the Harvard Coop, I came across a fascinating history of McLean Psychiatric Hospital called Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital. Now, I could never work in psych nursing fulltime (we get enough of it in long term care, because honestly, who IS sane all the time?), but this book was an interesting look into the hospital itself. I totally enjoyed it.

Also found in the Coop, a book detailing the sightlines at Fenway, and which specific seats have obstructed views due to the supporting poles. There is a book for everything.

2/11/08
My sinuses - they are a river of snot.

later on 2/8/08
We had a fun night. First stop: Morton's Steakhouse on 5th and 45th. Pete and Corrie had sent Dad a gift card for Christmas, and it was well-spent. Morton's is cool, along with the menu, they bring out this tray of meat, to show you the different cuts you can order. Dad had steak, Ann had the salmon, and since I wasn't feeling up to a large hunk of meat, I had the tuna tartare appetizer (mercury levels be damned) and a huge salad. And since Pete and Corrie were footing the bill, we all had dessert, too.

Young Frankenstein was fun, but not over the top like The Producers was. I thoroughly enjoyed it, having not seen the movie ever, so I had no idea what to expect. All in all, it was a good night out.

2/8/08
My throat is scratchy and raw. But other than that, I feel fine. I think I'll make it.

Six days til pitchers and catchers report - I cannot wait. Curt Schilling is reportedly out for the season (and possibly his career) with a shoulder injury. Must be from hefting up that World Series trophy. The Red Sox are trying to unload his contract.

Speaking of my least favorite team, someone at Topps has a sick sense of humor.

2/7/08
The Onion has it right, just because the Patriots lost the Super Bowl doesn't make the season less perfect. In fact, their loss was exactly what made the season perfect for the rest of the nation.

I did my semi-annual (which to me means every couple of years) cleaning of the closets and drawers, and took two bags of clothes that I don't wear down to the donations bin at the cleaners. Then I went over to the mall and picked up new sneakers, new underwear and two new tops, one of which I'll wear out tomorrow when I go to the city.

Productive day. I still feel a little light-headed, but popped some Tylenol Cold and Sinus to ward off anything serious.

While I would love to see Barber of Seville in Chicago, I think it would be financially un-prudent of me to actually go.

2/6/08
Yes, Die Walkure is five hours long, but it's five hours of James Morris and Deborah Voigt, so the time goes by faster than you'd think. James Morris took a slip on the stage at the end of Act III, I hope he's alright.

Oh, Nathan Gunn is doing a world premiere concert with the BSO up in Boston, the same week that he's going to be here at Carnegie Hall. He's also doing Barber of Seville in Chicago, starting next week. Would love to see it, but the performance schedule completely conflicts with mine. Unless I used a sick day. This requires thought.

I think I'm coming down with a cold - my head feels heavy. There's been a bug going around the staff at work, too, so maybe that's where it came from. Glad I have tomorrow off so I can just sleep all day. Friday I'm going back to the city to have dinner and see Young Frankenstein with Dad and Ann.

2/5/08
Happy birthday to my little brother, Peter!

2/4/08
I didn't realize that besides the young, attractive, fey quarterbacks, there are these large, overweight "athletes" on the football field whose job it is to knock over said attractive QB. Really, all I know about football is that you have four downs to advance the ball ten yards. And this after four years of marching band.

Ten days til pitchers and catchers report to Tampa - that's my kind of sport.

You can volunteer to work at the All-Star festivities this summer. If I didn't have this thing called "work," I'd do it.

Cranky and anti-social today, don't know why.

2/3/08
Holy cow, I didn't expect the Giants to win the Super Bowl! All of us at work stopped to watch the last three minutes or so (which, in football speak, is about 20 minutes) - and while I'm not a football fan, I have to admit it was a terrific ending!

We taped the game at home, so now I can go watch the commercials (I really didn't see any of the game at all except for the end), and then the new House episode.

2/1/08
Home from Boston. I hate to admit it, what with all of the Red Sox-hating that goes on around here, but I really do like the city. If I were going to move back to a city, I could live there. Not easily, because of the baseball thing, but it would be enjoyable.

But to begin at the beginning. I wasn't in love with this production of Sunday in the Park. I didn't care for either of the leads, thought they had no chemistry. I didn't like the projections/animations in the set at first, but they grew on me. I still don't like the animations, but the projections to create the set really worked. Literally painting with colored light. I think I'm seeing it again with Tesse in a few weeks, so maybe I'll like it better the second time.

After the show, I dropped Mom off at the train station and drove up to Boston. It was an uneventful drive until I actually got into the city and got lost trying to find State Street. Most of old Boston is like driving around lower Manhattan, with twisting one-way streets. I eventually found the parking garage and the hotel (The Harborside Inn, and I highly recommend it). It's right next to Fanueil Hall, and down the street from the Old State House. Perfect spot for walking to everything.

I asked the guy at the desk if he could recommend a place to get a drink and a bite to eat, and right across the street was the Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) - no really, an Irish bar? In Boston? Terrific place, they had cider (in bottles) and a live band, and lots of good looking Boston guys (all of whom, alas, were Red Sox and Patriots fans).

Yesterday, I got up around 11am, and walked to the Union Oyster House for lunch. Delicious clam chowder. Boston was cold, but not windy and thankfully not raining or snowing. Since I had time to kill before the 2pm show, I walked down and around Beacon Hill, and then to the Lush store. Ann had given me a gift card for Lush, so I spent it wisely on bath goodies. I also stopped at Starbucks to spend the gift card from Peter on some much-needed hot caramel apple cider, and then walked back to the Wang Center. The theatre is beautiful, but it's a barn. I think it seats something like 3700 people, and if there were 500 in the place (for a matinee), they were lucky.

WDTW - in this incarnation - was unfortunately a thumbs-down. Tinny, small orchestra, and I really wasn't digging Eric Kunze as The Man. He just didn't have the vocal range for it (listen to Marcus Lovett on the original London cast recording!), and he sounded more like he was singing Phantom with all the weird falsetto. Just not menacing and growly enough. And the bad wig looked like Ken Burns (yes, the documentary guy) meets Tom Cruise. Bad. The other singers were good, but at times they looked like they were just marking time. And I didn't like how they cut "Unsettled Scores" into two parts, and replaced "Annie Christmas" altogther. And the ending was changed, too, didn't like that either. I'm picky.

After the show, I walked back to the hotel (about 15 minutes) to drop off my bag from Lush, and then walked back to the Common to get the T to Cambridge. I found where the theatre was, and then went to eat at Fire and Ice, the same "improvisational grill" where we ate in September. You get to pick out your own food bits and they have this HUGE round grill where they cook it up for you. Love it.

Copenhagen was wonderful. I can't believe that it's been eight years since it was on Broadway. Pre 9/11. With a world at war (of sorts) now, a lot of the text resonates differently. And the theatre was sold out, with smart Harvard types who got it. I totally enjoyed seeing it. Caught the train back to downtown, and went to the same bar again for more cider. I spent most of the evening tapping my toes to the same band that was there on Wednesday and talking with some guys from Germany. Who came over to watch the Super Bowl. Also talked with some heavily-accented Boston natives, and they didn't kill me when I said I was rooting for the Giants. I didn't mention the Yankees thing.

Everything aches today from all the walking. I picked up a new handful of books at the Harvard Coop (which the clerk pronounced "coop" and not "co-op," what's up with that?) bookstore, so I'll have plenty to read this month.

Now while it took just over four hours to get TO Boston, it took nearly six to get home today. It started pouring and sleeting when I was just south of Foxboro (take that, Pats), and didn't stop. So there was lots of slow-going in the fog and the rain, I hate driving where you can't see the car in front of you. But I'm home now, and had a terrific time.

-catherine

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