Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Boring Life-Update Post (Take Two)

I haven't blogged in a little while. I wanted to do a "My Music:  Part IV" for you all, but my Top 25 Most Played haven't changed much. I might have to change my parameters for posting playlists on here, as it's hard to for new favorites to compete with songs I've listened to twenty-five times ("Sway" by Bic Runga, in case you were wondering). So for the benefit of people who don't talk to me on a regular basis, here are some more boring life-updates.

  • I had another PhD interview this past Monday for the BU Division of Graduate Medical Sciences' Anatomy Department. It was a day-long event with lots of interviewing with lots of different people (and lots of food, if nothing else). I think it went pretty well, but I probably won't hear back for a couple weeks. 
  • I have not yet heard about any other PhD programs yet. If I recall correctly, by this time last year, I had already been rejected by the University of Tennessee, so the fact that I haven't heard things might not be a bad thing (although I'm constantly checking my email and mailbox to see if anything grad-school related is in there).
  • My computer is dead. Sort of. Last weekend I found that the screen was dead, so I took it to the IT place and learned that replacing the screen would be so expensive that I would just be better off getting a new laptop. I was planning on doing this anyway, but I was hoping to do it in the fall before starting school again. However, when I got it back, I found that the screen still lights long as I don't turn it off or put it to sleep. So we're hanging on as long as we possibly can (it even did a post-update restart last night and is still working!).
  • Here's a non-boring update for you:  I'm dating someone! (We sat together in church* last week, so I'm thinking it's okay to blog about it.) It's quite new, but it's going quite well. Positive feelings all around.** 
  • As part of a Valentine's-Day-Adjacent evening, we saw "The Addams Family" musical in the Boston Theatre District this past weekend. This was my first professional theatre in Boston--so good! Some of the best ghostly choreography I've ever seen.
  • Probably the most exciting update I've got is that I'm going through the Temple for the first time this weekend. For my non-LDS readers (do I have any of those?), going through the Temple is kind of a big step in our progression as members of the Church. We go to learn important principles about the Gospel and to make promises to Heavenly Father. There are a lot of sacred things involved that I will not be writing about, but I will say that I'm very excited (and also a little bit nervous) to take this step.
  • I'm going to Atlanta next week! I mentioned that my thesis (the good part, at least) was accepted to be presented over the podium at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting. I'm nervous about the talking part, but I'm very enthusiastic about the fact that it's going to be warm (like in the 60's, warm!) in Atlanta. Boston is cold, y'all. 
Anyway, I think that's all I have in terms of updates for now. Until my next non-boring blog post!

*For those unfamiliar with the whole Latter-Day-Saint Singles' Ward thing, this is a big deal. Like, people see you sitting together in church and they say to their friends, "oh my gosh, So-and-so and Whatsername were sitting together in church!"
**This update was strictly for the benefit of the ladies in the home ward Relief Society so that they can all call my mother and ask what the deal is.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Panda Express Musical

[This is adapted from a Facebook note from days gone by, but I promised a blog post about the Panda Musical, so here it is.]

Imagine a Playbill with the Panda Express Logo on it, and this writer's note inside the front cover:
It all started with some paper napkins and a boring summer day at the Beaver Valley Mall.  I was working at Panda Express when the phrase "Just another day at the food court" popped into my head, and I knew I had to write a song.  I jotted down lyrics on a few napkins and got to work on a plot, characters (most of whom already existed in some form or another), and song titles.  The musical idea took a hiatus as I went to college, until the day when I re-donned my Panda apron and found those napkins folded in some old music books. 
This show isn't simply about moderately-priced Chinese food; it's about life. It's about the struggles of being stuck in a dead-end job, facing an unknown future, moving away from home, finding love on the other side of a sneeze guard, and having fun amidst the day-to-day ennui.  It is also mostly about moderately-priced Chinese food.
It's true, I wrote part of a Panda Express musical one time. It was mostly lyrics, as I lacked the patience to come up with a full story and the music composition skills to develop a score. Here are some of the songs:
  • "Just Another Day (in the Food Court)" - In the Opening Number, the Panda Express employees sing about their business in the food court, noting that nothing much changes there.
  • "If I Were Manager" - Ken, the assistant manager, doesn't want to work at Panda forever, but muses about the power he would have if promoted to manager in this toe-tapping book number.
  • "Le Chopstick Tango" - Counter-help Amber is working alone on an extremely slow day. Bored to insanity, she creates a fantasy world full of chopstick characters.
  • "Save Me Some Food for Midnight" - Bruce, the nighttime security guard, sings this Barry White-esque number attempting to convince the staff to save him some leftover orange chicken.
  • "Polyester Princess" - Intrinsically shy and straight-laced counter-help Alex sings this ballad, wanting to show the world that she's much more than a food-court employee.
  • "Moving On" - In the Act I closing number, Amber sings about her last day at Panda Express and Alex looks forward to leaving for college in a few months, while Ken wonders if he'll be stuck working there forever.
  • "The Usual" - A semi-romantic duet between Alex and Andy, a cute, yet equally shy, frequent customer who orders the same thing every week.

Basically every character in this musical is based on real people with whom I worked at the Beaver Valley Mall Panda Express (may it rest in peace--it closed shortly after I left for college as it didn't do enough business to stay afloat), except for "Andy," who is a completely made-up character (though I did wait on many a cute boy in my day). For the time being, the Panda Express Musical is on the most distal of back burners, but who knows? Maybe when I'm old and rich and have nothing better to do, I'll turn it into something. More ridiculous things have made it onto the professional stage*.

*Yes, I'm talking about "Bring it On:  The Musical"...which I will probably still somehow go see. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I make Paint comics sometimes.

I do this because I am at a job with lots of downtime three days a week. This one is called "10:04 PM." 

It's funny if you know me.

I might keep making more Paint comics on a regular basis depending on their reception with the public. Comment and/or start following if you vote for more!