Friday, August 26, 2011

Post-Quake / Pre-Irene

Wow! An earthquake in Manhattan is such an oddity. But that's exactly what we got earlier this week. I remember standing at a urinal in our bathroom and someone coming up next to me and asked I felt the rumbling. First of all, please don't talk to me when I'm going to the bathroom. I have to concentrate with others around. Second of all, no I didn't feel anything. They are renovating the lobby of our building so I figured that it was just part of the construction. But to my surprise, my colleagues tell me that there was an earthquake. And I missed it. Aw shucks. I was a little disappointed.

So I missed one minor natural disaster. Now we're preparing for Hurricane Irene. I never really get excited about hurricanes. They seem like a Floridian problem. Yeah, sure we get some rain and wind, but it's never anything major. That's what I thought until about four hours ago. From reading the NY Daily News and talking with my co-workers, I've learned that this is going to be a historic storm. Now, I'm conflicted. I'm a little excited because there's a certain adrenaline rush with all this impending doom. But I'm also nervous. I highly doubt there will be any damage, but I do have two big windows and a non-removable, window A/C unit. I'm just picturing the glass breaking and ruining my $850, LG flat-screen or relatively new furniture. I'm also nervous for my friend, Jackie, who's leaving for vacation in Spain Wednesday. I would feel so bad for her if her flight were to be delayed or cancelled. After worry about the improbable scenarios, I begin to realize that I'm not really prepared. I don't have enough canned food. I am almost out of toilet paper. I've only go three bottles of water. I don't have flashlights (necessary in a studio?), batteries, matches, radio - nothing, though I feel most of these items are more appropriate for an excursion in the wilderness rather than my little apt in the eat 70s.

Still, it's hard to look off my boss' terrace, see the clear sky and imagine that the world is going to end in about twenty-four hours. I guess I'll just prepare for the worst as best I can. I'll just take Britney's advice and "keep dancing till he world ends"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Patience / Out of Sync

Sometimes life's lessons are vague and hard to see, but last night I got a lesson that was crystal clear. Be patient! Everyone says that patience is a virtue - it's become a platitude, something that's printed on fortune cookies. But I feel that this message is so important, especially for New Yorkers. Life is so rush, rush rush and we want what we want and we want it now. But last night really made me step back and think again.

I had connected my iPhone to my computer so I could play the music through our wireless speakers at work. It was a little after 6:00 and I was ready to leave, but it was taking so long to sync that I just pulled the plug. I noticed as I was getting on the elevator that my library was empty. It was weird; I could cycle through my music by clicking "now playing" but couldn't see any of the music that was in my library. I figured that I'd just sync it when I got home and that'd fix the problem. If I had just been patient and waited for it to finish, this wouldn't have happened. I could chalk that one up a minor inconvenience. I hadn't learned anything yet.

I got home and turned on my laptop to sync up my iPhone. I was prompted to update to the latest version of iTunes so I did that while syncing. It didn't work the first time - I assumed because I was updating iTunes. So I Ctrl-Al-Deleted iTunes so I could stop the installation. This, which I should have known, would mess up all the files in the iTunes folders. Great! Now I had to re-install iTunes. I just knew that all my songs would be gone and I'd have to repopulate my library. All my play counts, play lists, everything be gone.

Luckily, the library was still there. Everything was just how I left it. I reconnected my iPhone and everything synced properly. The only last effect was that I got to the gym about an hour later than I wanted. If I had just taken an extra 10 seconds to finish syncing at work, the whole situation could have been avoided. And if I had just taken an extra 10 minutes to install the new version of iTunes, even more time could have been saved. It was like a double whammy! It really made me sit and think. A little patience goes a long way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

War Horse

Antonio and I went to see War Horse at Lincoln Center for his birthday. I feel like an experience is always a good present. It's something that one remembers much more vividly than a gift that sits on a shelf or in a corner. I was surprised that I was able to get tickets because it was the "it" play of the season. I'm glad that we were able to see it on his actual birthday.

It was really nice. We just grabbed dinner from a cart outside the theater and sat at a table across the street. It was relaxing. The Upper West Side has a cool factor that you would expect in TriBeCa, but it also has an elegance that personifies Uptown Manhattan. It was clean, breezy, trendy. If we do end up moving in together, I'll be pushing hard for an apartment on the UWS.

The theater was actually very small. The seats were very close together - no leg room, but it did give a sense of intimacy. There were no bad seats. The show was absolutely amazing! The puppetry of the horses, birds, ducks was incredible. I felt myself becoming attached to the horse (Joey) because his movements were so realistic. The story was good, but it was definitely the production that made War Horse such a huge hit. The staging, lighting, simple (and at the same time sophisticated) visuals were all impeccable. I found myself jumping from the explosions and gunshots and crying from the reunion of the Albert (boy) and Joey (horse) at the end.

Loved, loved, loved it! We left the theater around 11:00. It was gorgeous - cool, calm, quiet. I really like the feeling that I had. I felt like this could be my life. I could have a real life with Antonio. We'd live in a fabulous glass tower on the UWS, go to restaurants, eat organic food, be patrons of the arts, etc. Just something I think about from time to time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Femme Fatale Tour

I always purchase tickets to Britney Spears at the last minute. I wanted to see her most recent tour but figured that tickets would be sold out and then re-sold online for 10x the price. I was pleasantly surprised when I found floor seats to her show in East Rutherford for only $200 each. Antonio and I thought it'd be fun to go. Just like that (with very little planning) we were going to see Brit Brit!

Last Friday arrived and we set off for the show. The shuttle from the Seacacus train station was like a party bus. Everyone was excited, singing - it was comical and fun. We got the stadium and went to find out seats, but our tickets weren't scanning. They said to go around to the box office on the other side of the arena and they'd take care of it. I tried having them scanned at the entrance and they still didn't work. I'm getting worried. We walked up to the box office representatives only to hear the worst possible news. They told me that they'd seen the name of the my tickets before and that the tickets were fake. They told me that there was nothing they could do. It was like someone punched me in the stomach and then the face. I had no idea what to do. She suggested that I called Stubhub (where I bought the tix) and see if they could do anything.

Antonio's never really seen me mad, but he got a glimpse. We walked outside so I could get a signal and I called them. They were apologetic and said they'd instantly refund my entire purchase. That's great, but doesn't change the fact that I'm less than 100 yards from the stage. It's like being so close and yet so far. The woman on the phone asked me to hold while she transferred me to her supervisor. He supervisor then put me on hold for about 10 minutes. I had already bit all my nails, so I was now gnawing on my cuticles. She got back on the phone and said that they had a pair of tickets that we could have and that a guy in a green hat was going to be outside the box office. He called while I was talking to her and I could see him. I walked up and he just pulled out two tickets and handed them to me. The whole thing was a little shady.

We walked up to the ticket scanner and was like, "let's see if these ones work." They did and we were in! It was such a great feeling. We wanted to get to our seats before buying t-shirts, getting food or going to the bathroom. They had people stationed every couple feet to help direct people to their seats. They kept telling us to keep going. We didn't stop until we were in the section in front of the stage. Our seats were right on the end. There was nothing separating us from the stage except a thin, metal walkway that had to be kept clear for the security guards. It was absolutely surreal. It was a roller coaster. I was so excited on the bus, devastated when I was told that my tickets were fake, and then brought back to life by refunding my money AND getting two, front-row tickets($350.00 each) for FREE!

I got my t-shirt, which I was really excited about, and then we went back to our seats. Nicki Minaj had already started her set and she was amazing! She did her hits and then the verses she has on all the hits she's done with other artists. I was surprised! For her first tour, it was very elaborate and the staging was precise. The video screens, dancers and props were all on point. After Nicki Minaj the countdown began. We had thirty-five minutes until Britney was scheduled to take the stage.

Just like the last time I saw Britney (The Circus Tour in 2009), she really blew me away. She didn't sing, but her dancing was better than her last tour. A Britney concert is never really about the music. It's about the spectacle. There were strobe lights, sexy dancers, confetti, video screens. It's like a overload for the senses. The music was great - all dancing, all the time (except for one ballad). What made me the happiest was that SHE seemed happy. It looked like she was really enjoying herself. The theme of the show was a little confusing, but she seemed to dressing up like femme fatales throughout history. My favorites were her Egyptian remix of Gimme More and Marilyn Monroe-esque version of If U Seek Amy. She ended the show with the remix of Till the World Ends featuring Nicki Minaj. She flew over the audience while wearing angel wings as confetti rained down. It was pure ecstasy.