Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Finer Things Club: Black Friday Edition

The whole "Black Friday" thing is a phenomenon that I do not understand. And these days, it's not just Black Friday anymore: it's now "cut your thanksgiving short to go get in line for stores opening earlier than friday." Why?? What's the fun in that? The lines I saw at the stores were ridiculous! One of my husband's friends skipped out on seeing his fam so he could go get in line. That's not cool.

That being said, something I was willing to wait in line for on Black Friday was Broadway tickets. I have been wanting to see the production of "Once" for a while now, and they finally offer rush tickets for only $40. That's a steal when the average price of a ticket is $80-$100, and you automatically have to double that because you're married (honestly, that's the worst part about being married! ha ha).

So, while most people were battling crowds at Target and Best Buy, I was sitting on the cold pavement of 45th St., waiting for the Once box office to open.
It was cold. It was stressful, since there are limited tickets. And, we looked like street bums. But, we got our tickets! And I would have had that over a television or a gaming system any day--not sure my husband would say the same thing. But it was worth it.*
As far as the show goes, this is what I have to say about it:

I really wanted to see this show because I really liked the movie, particularly the music: duh. The focus of this show is the music. So if you're expecting it to be like any other big cast, big dance/musical numbers and glitzy costumes that are all typical of a Broadway musical, then you might be disappointed. This show is much more simplistic, but so different which makes it memorable. The story is simple: a nameless guy and girl who have their own personal struggles, but come together because of the love of making music.

The show is very down to earth. The stage is an Irish pub where you can go and mingle onstage with the actors/musicians who are warming up. All the actors are the musicians as well, which shows an enormous amount of talent in my opinion. How I would love to be one of the violinists up there, but alas, I am a terrible actor and dancer. That's why I play in the pit orchestra.

There were are few things that I didn't like. The stage version was much longer than the movie, and yet there were a lot of songs in the movie that were not included in the stage version. And since this show is all about the music, I wish there would have been more of it. Also, if you have a problem with hearing "the f word," then you might not like it. I don't enjoy hearing the f word, but my husband works with Marines, so it's safe to say that any time we hang out with any of them, we hear our fair share of it, so it's just something I have learned to deal with.

That being said, I still loved this show. I just love what it says about music and the arts. Life isn't without its struggles, but music has the ability to express our joy or our frustrations and can just be so therapeutic.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
Victor Hugo

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Here's a little excerpt of the show: this song gets me every time!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Things

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As I get older, there is more and more to be grateful for.

Those things include:

The wonderful friends we have met here in Virginia. Remember how I whined about it a lot? Well, I'm pleased to report that things have indeed gotten much better. It makes me sad to leave.

Flight plans! We found out today we are headed to Japan on January 10. It is real, and we are so excited. A little anxious, naturally, but a good kind of anxious. I am so grateful for this chance to see more of this beautiful world. This is what I always wanted.

These last few weeks in D.C. I'm grateful for Christmas parties, and one last concert at the Kennedy Center: Handel's Messiah. I am grateful for Handel.

The chance to see family before we go overseas. I'm grateful that we have been given the time to see both of our families. I am so grateful for our families.

And, of course, I am grateful for my husband. My main man. My best friend.  My fellow adventurer. We have fun together, and I love him. He loves me unconditionally, and that's definitely something to be grateful for!
And we are grateful for this time we've had in this great area of the country. We love D.C. and Virginia. There are parts of it that we are really sad to say goodbye to. But then we get stuck in traffic for hours and forget about it. But let's not talk about that right now.

Anyway, have a happy happy Thanksgiving! And I'm grateful for you guys for reading this!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Club Party Ideas

I am going to miss my Book Club here so much! We've read a great variety of books, and while every single person doesn't always love certain books, we always all come with an open mind which leads to great discussions.

For the last couple of books we have read, we have tried to make our gathering themed along with the book, and it really helps make reading the book even more interactive.

Last month we read the book "Finding Alice" by Melody Carlson. The book is kind of a modern version of Alice in Wonderland, so our host dressed up as the Mad Hatter and hosted a tea party, complete with vintage tea cups, and a trifle bar. It was so cute.

This month it was my turn to host, and our book was "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. (loved this book by the way. read it) The main character is from India and he gets shipwrecked on his way to Canada. So, my inspiration was Pi's Indian heritage, and the fact that he lived on a lifeboat for months.

I made a curried chicken pasta salad which is absolutely delicious. (recipe from here). You know, curry, India: get it?

Had some fruit and cream...mostly just the bananas have anything to do with the book.

And as a little sweet treat: some swedish fish and lifesavers. You know, lifesavers, shipwreck: get it?  Oh, and then I saw some random little turtles at the Dollar Store and used those for decorations.
 Basically, I love being in a Book Club, and I love how food and decor can help bring the book to life for us. I hope I can quickly find a book club as good as this one has been when I get to Okinawa. And, if you have any other cute ideas to go along with book club suggestions, please share!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You're going to need to watch this.

It may not be the best editing, but this is hilarious

Mean Girls+ Downton Abbey= awesome.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I went to Utah, and the only pictures I took are of a baby

Well, that's not quite true. I did take other pictures, but this little niece of mine is what I got camera happy with. She stole my heart! 

When my mom and Jenn picked me up from the airport, she was fast asleep and then she woke up and gave me this sly little smile that you see below. And then I proceeded to squeeze those chubby cheeks. She didn't seem to mind. 
BABY overload:
she almost started crawling!
And for your viewing pleasure:
Is there anything better than a giggling baby? I think not.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

When you have no children, "family pictures" is more like "engagements take two"

Family Pictures 2012: taken by my very talented friend, Holli Coats. I think she did a great job, and it was fun to take these in one of our favorite places, Annapolis Maryland. 

I didn't include the picture we're using for our Christmas card. You know, to keep you on your toes. I bet the suspense is killing you. 

Thanks again, Holli. We love them!