Saturday, November 27, 2010

Busy Busy Bee

This is my 50th blog post.  Does that mean anything to me?  Not really.  But I'm glad Elizabeth Jenkins informed me that I had to start a blog when I left for London.  Best demand ever.

Anyways, just so you pay a little more attention to my ramblings, here's a picture that I took tonight at the BU men's hockey game (Go Terriers):
That's right, two (count 'em, two) zambonis in one pic

I'm thinking about sending that in to National Geographic.  On that note, I have wanted a really nice camera for a really long time, but never enough to actually save up to buy one.  So if anyone wants to give me one for Christmas, I'd be much obliged.

Hockey later.  Let's talk about last week.  Last week was probably the busiest week of my entire life.  It was absolute insanity.  I decided that I would make plans every night and more than one plans (does that make sense?) on a few nights.  When I did all this planning, I thought that I had three weeks to write my next term paper in Shakespearean Tragedy on Film.  Instead, I had five days.  So on top of my normal class schedule and internship at AGNI, I had this paper on Peter Brook's film version of King Lear, poems due in both Robert's and David's classes, basketball, Institute, Sophie's reading (which rocked), a temple trip, feeding the missionaries (Sorel and Hunter. Great kids. I took them to Mr. Bartley's.), classmate workshop at my house, and the ward charity auction that I was co-in charge of.  Holy balls I thought I was gonna die.  But I didn't.  As much as I wanted to try a new burger at Mr. Bartley's, I went with "The Viagra" since I knew it would keep me sane (are you also surprised I kept that synopsis clean?).  But I survived and that's all I have to say about that.

This week was a little more low key, but I was really productive since last week was so intense.  Class went well on Monday and Tuesday.  I don't remember what I did on Wednesday.  I remember going to buy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner at the Walkers' home, but that's it.  I also slept in and did some homework.  Anyways.  Thanksgiving was great.  I woke up, got dressed in my football gear, and Brian (from basketball) picked me up at Coolidge Corner so we could go have a Turkey Bowl at Arsenal Park in Watertown.  In case you don't know (TJ didn't when I invited him) a Turkey Bowl is a football game played on Thanksgiving morning.  We had about 18 total, including two girls who guarded each other.  We played three games to seven and most were pretty close.  For some reason I got to guard the 6'4" guy, but lucky for me he was more of a soccer player and therefore had bad hands.  It was a ton of fun and my body still hates me for doing it, but I love me some Turkey Bowl.  After that I got home, showered, and got picked up by my new friend Melanie LeSueur.  We then picked up Erin (from Provo), Kiersten (from Chicago), and Jaqueline (from Porto Alegre, Brazil) [note: locations are where the girls hail from, not the location at which we picked them up].  Then we all drove to the Bishop Walker's place out in Marlborough or Framingham or somewhere out there.  Some other ward members and friends and family showed up and we had a good time.  I got to talk movies with Erin and speak Portuguese with Jaqueline.  Food was great, the Walkers are fantastic, and I ate like a mad man.

Yesterday, I ate Thanksgiving dinner again.  Melanie is a nurse and thought that she was going to have to work on Thanksgiving, so she had a bunch of food for a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.  But then she didn't end up working, giving me a ride instead, so she had all this food and no one to eat it.  So she called me.  Problem solved.  After homework and the first half of the Auburn/Alabama game (the first heartbreak of the day.  Freaking Bama) I headed over to her place in Brighton.  We went and bought a few things that were still missing and headed back.  I was in charge of rolls (which I bought) and potatoes (which I mashed).  They were pretty freaking good if I do say so myself.  It ended up being me and eight girls, three of which were the sister missionaries.  Besides myself and them (I only know the name of one: Sister Porter: went to school here before mission, very intense) there was Melanie, Kiersten from the Walkers' house, Stephanie (in my institute class), Laura (from Kuna), and...Nicole (who is tall and made gravy for the potatoes. Good food, good times.  I think Thanksgiving twice is a wonderful idea.  I have lots of leftovers (including way too many rolls).  When I got home I watched my beloved Boise State Broncos lose a heartbreaker to Nevada.  It was a great game (shouldn't have been) and Kyle Brotzman (who I went to high school with) will hopefully recover mentally in the next thirty years.  Poor dude.  Although it is his job to make easy-looking, straight-on kicks that he's made before, you can't blame just him.  Life goes on.

This was what I did today:
BU Hockey at Agganis Arena, Section 104, Row J, Seat 1

A few days ago I got an email saying that grad students could pick up two free tickets to the hockey double header.  I've been wanting to go to a game for a while now.  The women are ranked #5 and the men #2, plus I wasn't in the mood to do homework all day, so I went and picked up my tickets before going to the library.  I sent out a mass text to see if anybody was in town.  Nobody answered at first, so I went to the women's game at 3pm.  They played Princeton and won 2-1.  I can't say as I've ever watched women's hockey before, but it was pretty good.  There's something attractive about a girl that can crush other girls while on ice skates.  Go figure.  Melanie answered my mass text while I was there, so I went to dinner at the Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers place across the street (chicken fingers are good) and then met her before the men's game.  I love watching hockey, especially live.  And the guys were much faster, much harder hitting, and much more awesome.  We got down 2-0 early and then came back to be ahead 3-2 and then got down again 4-3 and then tied it at 4-4 where it stayed after one period of overtime.  There was no shoot out.  I was extremely displeased.  But my favorite parts were booing the ref when he wouldn't drop the puck, seeing two zambonis, overpriced nachos, and almost getting hit by a puck.  I was gonna catch it but it hit the hand rail in front of me and bounced over my head.  I was SO MAD!  Next time I'm standing up and taking a shot to the face.  Hockey = exciting.

So, yeah, that's kinda it for the update.  Still loving Boston, but I'm ready for some Jack in the Box and hours upon hours of basketball.  Less than one month till Christmas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Labelled Eggs and Too Much Writing

I bought eggs for the first time the other day.  I doubt I'll ever eat them since I'm a cereal fiend, but I opened them up to see this:


I don't know what the "58" is for, and I have no clue why there's a comma between Dec and 19, but I thought that was worth sharing.  Probably wasn't, but you're still reading so the joke's on you.

So last Wednesday I went out with Nishan, Brad, Reed, Natalie, and some girl I had never seen before in my life (I didn't get her name.  She seemed kinda, you know, boring).  Anyways we were downtown trying to go do trivia at Clery's.  It seems like the cool thing to do, since I've heard lots of people talking about it and the place was packed.  We answered the first question right and then split because there was an hour wait for a table and we weren't about to wait that long to eat.  So we looked a few other places and finally ended up at The Rattlesnake.  It looked pretty classy, and the menu was kinda "exotic," but i kinda figured we were gonna pay for the atmosphere more than the food.  I was right.  Nishan and I figured we'd never go back, so he got duck tacos and I got quail tacos.  Excuse me, Vermont quail stuffed with figs and asiago with truffle risoto, swiss chard, and pumpkin salsa.  Yeah, I wrote it down.  Sue me.  Verdict:  it sucked.  The quail tasted alright, but pumpkin salsa was pretty nasty.  But I threw down like $12 for three not-so-big tacos, so I ate them all.  I'll probably never go back, BUT there was a burger on the menu called the Poe burger.  Get this:  Kobe beef burger with lobster, foie gras, black truffles, house-cured whiskey bacon, avocado, and Irish porter cheese on brioche.  Holy crap that sounds amazing.  Or it could be disgusting.  Either way, if I'm feeling rich (it's $18) I'm heading there.  Lobster burger.  Boo ya.

Friday I hung out with Lisa and Sophie.  First Lisa took us to Zaftig's, the Jewish deli restaurant on Harvard Street (between her house and mine).  I ordered the Jack & Marion's sandwich: Hot corned beef, beef tongue, pastrami, Zaftig mustard on cissel.  It was really good, the fries were excellent, and I got half a pickle instead of a quarter pickle like most places.  Approved.  After dinner we headed to Trader Joe's where we bought hot chocolate and brownie mix and then headed back to Lisa's for a movie.  It was way fun, and I hadn't really hung out with Lisa with just a few people around.  My poetry mates are the best.

Random picture from the postcard exhibit at the Boston Public Library
(Sophie, Dan, Dan's roommate Keith, and I went there last Saturday)

Yay for random pictures to keep reader interest.  Love it.  So a week or three ago we got an email from Caroline (she works in the creative writing office and she's great) with a few advertisements for upcoming submission requests, etc.  Gold Line Press sent one advertising a chapbook contest.  For those of you who don't know what a chapbook is, it's essentially half a poetry collection (20-30 pages as opposed to 45-70+ pages).  Gold Line asked for at least twenty pages, so I made twenty two pages.  It was most of everything that I had somewhat polished, but I quickly learned that what I wrote six months ago is no longer polished.  So I spent 11 hours revising it on Saturday, 5 on Sunday, and 4 on Monday before turning it in a few hours before the deadline.  Saturday Sophie was at the library, and she and I organized my chapbook (she had turned hers in on Friday).  We went up into the talking room in the library and laid every one of them out on some foot rests.  I knew I wanted "Le Metro" to come last, so we went backwards looking for themes, motifs, blah blah blah.  We eventually got them into some sort of order.  I still write poetry about random, unconnected subjects, so we kind of just went with it.  I learned that I write a lot about water and a lot about alcohol, which is funny because I've never had alcohol.  Anyhew, I put "Second Life" first, followed by "Toast" (which is a reworked poem from my admissions portfolio that got me in here), with "Away From Me, Toward Water" coming in third, because Sophie and I agreed that the third poem should be an anchor, and "Away" is the best poem I've ever written.  So then it began.  I got a lot done and I am SO sick of writing, but I got a lot out of it and it is really cool to have a collected body of work that I feel good about, even if it's only 22 pages long.  I love my homework.

That was a huge paragraph.  This past Monday we had a substitute teacher for Robert's workshop.  His name is Dan Chiasson (pronounced "chase-in") and he teaches at Wellesley.  He's a younger guy (mid to late 30s maybe, I dunno) and some of us met him at a reading he gave a few nights before class.  There are rumors that they may hire him here for a while, since Louise got a fellowship at Stanford for next year, and we know Robert really likes him.  The workshop was pretty good, but not as good as we were expecting.  Dan talked a lot more than he needed to, and had us read each poem out loud three times instead of twice.  So it was cool to have a break and nice to get a third opinion, but I prefer Robert Pinsky.  Makes sense, since he's the accomplished one.

And then last night was the first night of the Writers at the Black Box series, which is a monthly reading by writers from here at BU.  Morgan read part of a short story called "Mongolian Death Worm," then Maggie Dietz (one of Robert's assistants who is getting up there herself and who we love) read some poems, followed by one of the playwrights who read the intro to his newest play, followed by our very own Lisa Hiton.  All of the pieces were really good, but Maggie's poem she wrote to her daughter before her daughter even existed was the best.  I don't remember the name, but it was beautiful, and Maggie now has two kids, who are adorable.  Then I went to basketball where I hit two game winners and only lost twice all night.  Gotta love having Brad on your team.

Welp, that's way more than I wanted to write.  Time to wait for a certain someone to call me and then go to bed and wake up to a Shakespeare paper and a full weekend.  I love my life.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future...

I hate that song.

But it's been almost two weeks since I've written.  Crazy.  Let me see if I have any new pictures...

Clam Chowda

This picture was taken last Saturday at Quincy Market.  I love Quincy Market.  Sophie and I met Dan and his roommate Keith there for lunch.  Dan and Keith were being slow, so we ate without them.  While I was in San Francisco with Cam and Annie this past (passed?) summer, we went to Fisherman's Warf and got clam chowder in bread bowls.  So obviously I had to compare costal clam chowder, so I ordered me some clam chowda at Quincy.  New England 1, California 0.  It was crazy good here.  Admittedly, the bread bowl was better in San Fran (gotta love the sourdough), but the chowda definitely took the house here in Boston.

What else?  Thursday night was temple night, and afterwards I got invited by Libby (who I met at the ward dinner with Brad) and Mary (who plays the organ at church) to come over Friday night to make donuts.  Turns out they have the same last name, Nielson, and they're sisters.  Go figure.  Anyways, they live out in Concord, and Libby got me a ride with a very nice lady named Suzanne.  Suzanne wasn't way old, but she was older than me, so I call her lady.  She's super nice and super calm (so we're opposites), and works as a pediatric nurse here in Boston.  She's not big into movies, so I made her a list of must-sees.  She picked me up in her Prius right from campus and we went out to Concord.  The Nielson family is rad, and there ended up being a ton of people there.  Mary invited her friends, Libby invited her friends, and Emily (they're little sister) invited her friends.  I spent most of my time filling and glazing the donuts, which were inSANEly good.  When I was done with that I went downstairs and proceeded to beat Brad, Linda, and Emily at MarioKart 64 and Goldeneye (still got it).  I am so glad the Nielson girls invited me over.  Chalk one up for good people.

Poetry has been going well.  I wrote the longest poem I've ever written (2 pages, double spaced) since my last post.  It's called "Mrs. Elisabetta."  It's about Leonardo DaVinci.  We had been talking a lot about ekphrastic poetry (poetry about other types of art, specifically painting) in Bonnie's class, so I obviously had to make fun of ekphrastic poetry.  So the poem is essentially me pretending that DaVinci and Elisabetta del Giacondo (the lady in Mona Lisa) had a fling and then broke up, and then I make a movie out of it, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and John Goodman.  It's pretty rad.  Then today I wrote a poem called "Why Kissing Should Be Avoided In Literature (and Other Places)" which is a line I stole from a poem written by my good friend Jason Hills while I was at BYU.  The title has nothing to do with the rest of the poem, which is essentially about a picture I made up in my brain of a man going to the bathroom in the forest.  Don't worry, I included butt flap long-johns.  It's a look into human nature.  Get it?

Other than that it's kind of just school and church.  Basketball has been good on Tuesday nights and I've been working at AGNI on Fridays.  The next wave of scholarly papers are on their way.  I have yet to get sick of mini tacos from Trader Joe's.  Halloween was cool.  I went to the Mount Auburn cemetery (which was gorgeous with the leaves changing colors) and moonwalked over the graves of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  They are now in the ever-growing club.  And then I went home, ate mini tacos and candy, and watched the 1922 version of Nosferatu on Netflix.  It's one of (maybe the) first Dracula movies, and it actually does a great job of sticking to the text.  Put it on your list.

Welp, this post is getting long.  Still loving school and Boston.  Not excited for the cold weather, but snow is always cool for a little while.  Time to go read Shakespearean poetry.