Sunday, October 26, 2014

Addendum! A Saturday in Salem

I have been remiss!  My last post got so sidetracked talking about how much I hate Dawn Summers and staying up past 10:00 pm that I forgot to actually finish writing about my birthday weekend.  Here is a summary of a fantastic birthday-adjacent activity that took place last Saturday. 

A few weeks previous, my friend Jon Sue-Ho sent me an email inviting me to Salem, MA, to see...
wait for it...

Drag Queen Golden Girls!!!

Of course I accepted the invitation immediately.  The only engagement more pressing would have been a tea with the actual Golden Girls, which would have involved bringing three women back from the dead, so obviously that would be a higher priority than seeing some men in lady clothes.  But here is the tale:

We took the Commuter Rail to Salem, which was pretty fun because I like riding on trains.  We got there and decided to keep our expectations very low.  After all, we were going to see a drag show in the basement of a bar in Northern Massachusetts, so we couldn't expect much.  We waited in line behind some female musical theatre enthusiasts (the kind whose dream role is Mama Rose) who had clearly been pregaming the show, so that was fun and also really loud.  We sat down and waited for all of the people who had paid more for tickets than we did to get their drinks, and the show started.


I'm not going to describe the whole plot but it was basically the Golden Girls "Lost Halloween Episode" which was a main plot with a "clip show" of Golden Girls episodes that actually happened.  So good.  Also, I got to take a picture with the Golden Girls afterwards!

It's not every day that I take a picture with four men
and am not the prettiest one in it.
But, check out the Bea Arthur.  Spot.  On.
One cool thing was that the one who played Sophia was an award-winning Judy Garland impersonator, and after the show he came out as Judy and sang a song.  Also Dorothy and Sophia are a couple in real life, which is darling.

After the show we went to get food, because the food proviso in our tickets was a $20 per person minimum, which would have been fine if we were drinking alcohol, but that's a little excessive for bar food, so we went to a hot dog place across the street and it was DELICIOUS.  Also way cheaper than $20 per person.

Then we had some time to kill before our train, so we wandered around Salem.  Salem, MA, on a Saturday night in October strangely reminds me of Waikiki...only colder and much more haunted-feeling.  Nonetheless, there were tons of tourists and tons of stuff catering to the tourists.  It was pretty cool though, seeing people in Halloween costumes two weeks before Halloween.  All of the museums were closed, but I got to poke my head into a few magic shops and I think I would like to explore them more on a future occasion.  There was a red line on the sidewalk that we followed around the main part of town through all of the landmarks (akin to Boston's Freedom Trail--maybe it was called the "Wrongful Persecution" Trail?) and we were determined to find the end of it.  And we did, in the most anticlimactic manner.  It just stopped among some not-particularly-special-looking houses.  It was probably a decoy line painted by some murderers to lead tourists to their lair.  Thankfully we got led to no lairs, but we did double back and get to the train station.

The most remarkable thing that happened while waiting for the train was that we were standing uncomfortably close to a couple that was furiously making out.  So furious was the out-making that the girl dropped her jacket on the ground, and I spent the next five minutes concerned that she would forget it when boarding the train.  And she definitely did.  Thankfully a more outspoken bystander pointed it out.  This may have been the highlight of the trip that didn't involve drag queens.

Anyhow, Salem + Drag Queens + Birthday = Goodness.  Thank you to Jon Sue-Ho for a lovely evening.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Twenty-Nine and Feeling Fine

Again, apologies for the rhyming title.  It isn't even 100% accurate, actually, as I have been super sick for quite some time.  I'm on the mend, though--my middle-of-the-night coughing fits are much shorter and much less of an ab workout.  Hence, I'm writing this a week later, and if I wanted to be more accurate and less rhymey I would title this post "Twenty-Nine and Feeling Slightly Better."

At any rate, my birthday was a week ago and I am now 29!*  It's only been a week, but I think I'm settling into 29 quite nicely.  Some highlights:

  • Presents!  Because the best part of aging is the swag.  From my family I got a new printer, which I finally set up two nights ago.  My friend PT got me a giant box of fruit snacks (which are actually fruit snacks and not well-disguised gummy vitamins as an attempt to kill me--it's a real concern).  I also got lots of cards and good wishes on Facebook and the promise that one day LT will figure out where the post office is to mail my present (which is also not an issue because I haven't figured out what I'm getting her yet and her birthday is in a week...I should get on that).
  • Cake!  My roommate made me a cake and it was delicious.  There was Ganache, which is second only to Diet Coke on my list of "miracle elixirs."
  • Activities!  I wasn't intending to have people over or to see people at all due to the aforementioned illness ("come over and celebrate my birthday and also maybe get pinkeye! yay!"), however, my roommate made me text people to come over.  It was very last-minute, and only two people showed up, but it was nice and fun until it was 10:00 pm** and people showed no signs of leaving anytime soon.  Even though I was putting out my best yawning and coughing signals.  It was like that episode of "Buffy" where it's her birthday but Halfrek's "justice" spell is keeping everyone from leaving.  Stupid Dawn.
If you're a Buffy fan, you'll know that Dawn is screaming "Get Out,"
which is kind of a thing she does a lot.
Nonetheless, that's how I feel about late night guests.
But I still think Dawn is the worst.
I mean, really, I think the entire viewership would have been just fine
having her die at the end of Season 5 instead of Buffy.
And don't get all whiny about spoilers,
the show's been off the air for over ten years now. sum up, my birthday happened.  And now it's over.  Which is just fine because life goes on.  For instance, I've got this crazy cellular and molecular neuroscience take-home midterm to do this weekend.  And I'm going to play my ukulele in public again tomorrow.  However, I would just like to point out that in exactly 51 weeks, I will be THIRTY.  I guess I should get going on my "list of twenty-something experiences."

*Unless you ask my mother, in which case I've been 27 for a couple of years now.
**Because when you're almost 30, 10:00 is considered a late bedtime.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nightmare at Trader Joe's

Halloween is just over two weeks away, so it's time to start dusting off the scary stories.  Gather round, dear readers, and listen to my tale:

Nightmare at Trader Joe's
(a tale of terror for the socially awkward)

It was a dark and rainy night (no, seriously, it's really raining outside), when I ventured out into the streets of Brookline in a quest for bread and sliced turkey at the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe's.  As I was walking down the aisle, I ran into the professor from my department whom I'm never sure I should call by his first name or not because he's not that much older than I am and he was never my professor.  Of course, it being a rainy night, I was wearing my giant raincoat that makes me look like a petite serial killer and my hair was horrendous and also I may have a mild case of conjunctivitis.  No matter, however, as I was more concerned whether I had anything embarrassing in my basket.  I then thought, what is the most embarrassing thing one can get at Trader Joe's?  It's not like they sell tampons...would Trader Joe's-brand tampons have a special name?  Like "Trader Flo's?"  Ha, I'm pretty clever, I should market that.  Before getting too lost in my brilliant tampon-naming thoughts, I managed to realize that I had nothing in my basket to be ashamed of (apart from a bounty of microwavable dinners-for-one), and proceeded to make the appropriate amount of small-talk before I continued down the aisle.

But I didn't need anything in that aisle.  

But I couldn't turn around!  Because then I'd look like I didn't know what I was doing in my own neighborhood Trader Joe's!  So I pretended to be looking for something in that aisle, which unfortunately was the weird soap/fake deodorant/essential oils aisle.  I landed on a shelf of bottled water, the most benign thing I could find in the aisle, and stared at it until he had walked away.  I spent the rest of my shopping trip looking around corners, because the only thing worse than running into someone you know at the grocery store is running into that person again at the grocery store.  I decided that I was in need of no more groceries and booked it to the checkout queue and hoped to the Virgin Mary that he wouldn't end up right behind me, or worse, that I had forgotten my wallet and we would have stumbled into humiliating "You've Got Mail" territory.  Thankfully, none of those things happened, but it was a close call (with the him being behind me, not the forgetting my wallet).  I paid for my groceries, did not wait for a receipt, and exited the store without further incident.

You know, you see these kinds of things in movies and you read about them happening to other people, but you never think it's going to happen to you.