Sunday, September 25, 2011

Enough is ENOUGH.

This is something that has been churning in my mind for quite some time now. I knew the day would eventually come when I had to talk about it, but I didn't know when to bring it up. Now seems like as good a time as any, and honestly, I don't think I can stay quiet on the issue anymore.

I found this segment of wax at my place of work #angry face.


Between 1949 and 1957, Crayola added "green blue" to its cornucopia of colors. Between 1990 and 1992, the company had enough sense to rename "green blue" to "teal blue." In 1998, Crayola made room for "outer space" (shut the front door, what kind of color is that?) and in 2003, "inch worm." I don't know what the average person thinks of when he or she thinks of the color of an inch worm, but I imagine a dull, gross fleshy color. In 2003, teal blue was retired. Why, you ask? To make room for a flipping deathly pallor color called "inch worm?" I understand that times and tastes change, but c'mon! Teal is a universally flattering color on everyone, and it totally shows up in nature all the time. How many "fuzzy wuzzy brown's" that aren't adorable bear cubs have you seen? Would you know if "razzmatazz" is a better descriptor for an ice cream cone or the color of the sky?

I've always loved that my name is both a noun and an adjective. In elementary school, I felt so cool in art class when I'd whip out my teal crayons and markers. No other kids' first names were on those extensions of our imaginations, and quite frankly, the only street cred I had in art class was having my name stamped next to that CrayZola brand. I couldn't (and still can't) draw to save my life. As I went on to high school and in college, it was tres cool to sign only my first name on tests. How many Teal's were there in the school? Believe me, if there had been any others...there wouldn't be. Adults continue to ask me if my parents named me Teal because my eyes are teal. Well, considering my eyes were probably shut when I was born because I was screaming and crying, no. Were my parents mad hippies? Maybe. Is your middle name a color, too? Pick a color. Are your sisters or brothers colors too? No, but you can be sure as heck my children will be. The color teal has totally become my signature, and naturally it's my favorite color. Not JUST because it's my name; it's genuinely awesome. And if I say so, an awesome girl/aquatic bird.

So Crayzola, when will the madness end? All I want is my name back on a crayon, and "jazzberry jam" has just got to GO.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Maroon 5 bought me a speeding ticket

NOTE: I do not encourage or condone reckless driving. And I wasn't driving recklessly, either, for the record.

The speed at which I drive is directly proportional to the beats per minute of the song I'm listening to at the time. This also happens to me when I read. Many a book has spontaneously burst into flame in front of my very eyes, especially around Christmastime when Tran-Siberian Orchestra's "Carol of the Bells" is on repeat. It certainly makes for toasty fingertips.

Today I was listening to "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 when it happened. Based on my research, this song has 128 bpm. If you don't know the tune (are you living in a cave?), it's pretty quick and a great song to work out to...and drive to. While my hands were at 10 and 2, I whistled, hummed and busted out my best Christina A impression. But as I sang, I was particularly focused on creating new and intricate musical incidentals. Perhaps it's my inner nerd, but I love finding different ways to make an otherwise static background special and more jazzed up. It could also be my experience in arranging a cappella music. Regardless, I was working out my own little tid-bits in the chorus and somehow missed the impending road construction signage. It's not that I wasn't paying attention to the road, because I definitely was. Anyway, to make a long story short, Maroon 5's driving bass and syncopated guitar glory made me slow down just a little too late, and I got pulled over. I'm generally very good at blinking my eyes and smiling my way out of tickets, but I just couldn't think of a better excuse than, "Uh, well, you see officer, the music made me do it..." I apologized, he slapped with me a mere citation, and now my checking account has grounded me for a few weeks.

If ONLY he could've heard my sick new harmonies or seen my wiggly moves like Jagger!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Just like Eminem, I'm cleaning out ma closet

I'm pretty sure Eminem might legitimately have some skeletons and other creepy things in his closet. For the record, I just have a few dust bunnies, lots of shoes, and clothes. Maybe a box of markers or something random, but that's about it.

Anyway, one may not know it by walking into my room right now, but I really enjoy order and neatness. Scratch that, s/he definitely wouldn't know it. I think it all started freshman year when I was living in Tener Hall. My side of the room was totally mine, and I didn't care what kind of mess my roommate made. However, I made sure that everything on my side was in the exact right place. Call it a light and not clinically determined diagnosis of OCD. The same stuff went down sophomore and junior years...small living spaces = I keep them very tidy. Plus, I think knowing that I decorated and planned out my dorms with my own style made me want to keep it extra clean to show off. Now that I'm living at home, though hopefully only for a little while longer, I'm totally out of my groove. Why are there five library books haphazardly stacked on my night stand? Other books and photo albums are spilling out of the bookshelves like lemmings about to jump to their chilly deaths, and all of my necklaces are tangled around each other. I can barely open my closet doors for all the shoes that are shoved in there, though this is not an issue of having too many shoes, let's not be confused. But when did I let myself go? If I'd only remember to fold my shirts, my drawers wouldn't feel so stuffed. When did I give up on organization?! I can't take it anymore. Next week I am going to go through everything and do some MAJOR fall cleaning, clothing donations, and organizing.

I can't wait to see what buried/forgotten treasures I find!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shorty you da best, da best I ever had

It has recently (again) come to my attention that not all coconut cream pies are made alike. This may seem blazingly obvious, but I was unfortunately reminded of that fact last night.

There is a restaurant in State College called the Allen Street Grill...the food is decent enough (try the sweet potato crusted tuna), and the bar is nicer than your standard college dive. My college a cappella group, (the sexiest, oldest co-ed, and best one on campus) None of the Above, has their formal there every year. It's a lovely affair filled with good food, conversation, and endless inside jokes. But this isn't about NOTA. This is about Allen St. Grill's HUH-MAZING coconut cream pie. This pie is so decadent and coconut-y and creamy, you can feel your waistline expand if you even look at it. Which is why one night during my junior-or was it sophomore?- year of college, in one of my weird craving fits, I called ahead and ordered a slice "to go." Around 10pm. I showed up in expandable waistline lounge pants, and went to town on that piece of pie before I walked out the door. Or something like that. But literally, I didn't even wait until I got home to start eating it. It majestically stood about 4-5 inches high (no exaggeration, but maybe a little- though not that much), with only a little bit of whipped cream. That's what I so love about this coconut cream pie. It's a lot of coconut custardy goodness, and only an inch or so of whipped cream topped with toasted coconut. And that crust. So delicious and perfectly complimentary to the rest of the sweet, dense heaven.

Last night's pie was store-bought and had an inch of "coconut custard," if you can even call it that, and was three inches too high with icky whipped cream. I should've stuck with my Toll House refrigerated cookie dough. As we all know, pre-cooked cookie dough has 0 calories, and that pie was a waste of a hard workout.

Live and learn.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Days at WSC Avant Bard

I'm a theatre reviewer for Maryland Theatre Guide, and I thought I'd share my review of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days. It was a super weird play, but very well done. Check out for more of my reviews and other awesome reviews of local theatre. Be sure to "Like" it on Facebook!

What will happen “when words fail” for Samuel Beckett’s heroine in Happy Days, or when she can’t “speak in the old style?” Goodness only knows, but she certainly has a lot to say before either of those things happen.

Winnie, played delightfully by Delia Taylor, is an eternally optimistic chatterbox who seems to be afraid of being alone or not having a companion to talk to. She discusses her daily (and monotonous) routine, her hopes and fears, and old memories. The catch is, Winnie can’t move because she is buried up to her waist in a massive, luxurious mound of “dirt.” In an interesting twist in WSC Avant Bard’s production, Set Designer Tony Cisek cleverly makes the mound in which she’s entrapped. It's actually the skirt of her dress, which manages to look amazingly silky and velvety all at once, with assistance from Costume Designer Marie Schneggenburger’s clever props and some fantastic Lighting Design by Cory Ryan Frank.

The only other character in the show is her husband Willie, wonderfully played by director Jose Carrasquillo. The audience only sees the back of his head, and he says little more than a few quips and monosyllabic grunts. However, he gives Winnie a reason to keep talking by providing a listening ear, as well as giving the audience some extra comic relief. Winnie has only Willie, her words, and her big black bag to keep her occupied.

We never find out why Winnie is stuck in the mound, but it’s not particularly important in this absurdist play. What is central is that she is lonely and has a desperate need for companionship, even if she doesn’t say it outright. Ms. Taylor brings a great cheerfulness to the character, and it drives Winnie’s complexity throughout the whole production. The entire play is almost a monologue, and despite—or because of being immobile – Ms. Taylor makes extensive use of her hands and quirky facial expressions. Her acting is natural and honest, and she makes Beckett’s compelling – though sometimes chaotic- language flow freely and easily.

The Black Box Theatre is the perfect space for such an intimate performance. While the plotline may be a bit mundane, Mr. Carrasquillo’s fresh approach to Happy Days, complete with a billboard-esque blue sky and clouds backdrop, is a lovely way to celebrate Beckett’s 50th anniversary production.

Running time is about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Happy Days plays through September 25th at Artisphere – 1101 Wilson Boulevard, in Arlington, VA. Purchase tickets here.