February 22, 2004

My life with Laramie

Laramie is over...

After a fantastic run that horrendously started with a bang, we closed the show that we all thought the school didn't want us to do. In the end, La Salle came to appreciate Laramie, came to praise Laramie, and most importantly, came to Laramie. We had a run of 5 shows, with a total attendance of 601. While not spectacular in the world of professional theatre, for us it represents a milestone. Straight shows don't sell here. We packed the house last night (with 206) and tonight (with 166.)

Personally, I feel like I wasn't truly involved with the show until tonight, and there's a lingering guilt about that. I feel lucky though, having finally experienced it tonight, because it was a majestic thing to behold...one of the characters, the Catholic priest in the show, urges the Tectonic troupe to "say it right." We said it right. We said it right. We said it right.

To everyone who came, thank you for sharing the experience with us. To my friends who came and who talked with me afterwards, thank you too... Thank you for being with us through one of our toughest projects, through one of our most difficult times, but also through one of our greatest successes. Thank you for being more than was expected: for reacting with intelligence, tact and respect.

My distance from the show came from a couple of different reasons. I took a different position than I usually would have by doing dramaturgy. My reasoning was to just round out my experience here, figuring that I would enjoy doing the research and background into everything that came up. Once again with the connections - it connected my meticulous nature, English and Communication majors, and my desire to teach. The downside to the position is not having anything tangible to do during the show: no buttons to press or ropes to pull or props to set. The other reason I felt distant came from missing tech week due to duty and sickness. It was kind of nice getting sleep though, for a change. Back to the grind with "Godspell"

Laramie, you were fun and I will miss you. I learned a lot, and you are an incredible play. But it is good to move on...

I've spent the previous two afternoons exploring Philadelphia, attempting to make up for four years of not leaving my rooms. The past two days have been beautiful - a little cool or breezy, but still just wonderful walking weather. Thursday, I took the subway down to 5th and Market, and walked to Penn's Landing. I just sat there for a while, experiencing this weird peace that I didn't expect, nor do I think is deserved in an area so close to Columbus Boulevard and I-95. The picture was just incredibly serene - a tug pulling a crane up a choppy waterway...no one around but a handful of people just staring into Camden it seemed. From there, I wound up walking over to the Borders on Broad Street, just south of City Hall. I took a route down Chestnut Street that wound through some bits of Old City. Then I decided to head over to Rittenhouse Square just to take that in as well. I caught the subway at City Hall and made my way back to La Salle. (Let me just say that the express train rocks.)

Saturday I got off the subway at City Hall and broke the surface to hear someone playing on a recorder flute...let me just say that the center of City Hall where the train stairwells are is also one of those incredibly undeservedly peaceful places in the city that I've found. The flute was clear and loud, although I couldn't place the tune. I had plans today though, and made my way down Market Street east to the Ritz at the Bourse to see "The Triplets of Belleville." My stops today were at Reading Terminal Market, which was packed with people, and the Gallery, which is a place I've passed by and never stopped in to. I walked pretty much every floor of The Gallery, just enjoying walking through it all - reminded me a little of the old Cumberland County Mall from my Millville days. I thoroughly explored most of the place while I was there, got lunch in the food court, and headed down to 400 Ranstead Street for the movie.

"The Triplets of Belleville" was like nothing I've ever seen before. The animation is beautiful: every single frame deserves a place in a gallery somewhere. The plot is fantastic and off the wall, but it sucks you in with it's cheerfulness, insanity and humor. Dialogue is almost non-existent (I only remember one subtitle, giving the name of the film) and is unnecessary. The music fits the picture well, and feels organic to the rest of the production. I wondered what came first in the head of the director - the plot, the music, or the jokes.

And so I end another fantastic week, poised to enter another one. Thursday, I leave for Ireland. Until then, there's a screening or two, and a couple of classes. Maybe another trip into the city - this time

[Listening to: Land of Hope and Dreams (Live) - Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen (9:22)]

Posted by Matthew at 02:37 AM | Comments (2)

February 18, 2004


Stolen from http://whitewolf.newcastle.edu.au/words/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/verse/p3/if.html

If - Rudyard Kipling

IF YOU can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

Posted by Matthew at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2004

The incredibly long week...

you can see the flames over College Hall in the distance...(click for larger image)

A bulldozer hit a gas main down at Ogontz and Olney this afternoon at around 5pm. The intersection is about a block away from La Salle. The flames were reaching at least a hundred feet in the air, and went on for a couple of hours. The full news story can be found here. The miraculous thing is that nobody has been hurt, and that the buildings survived too.

I got an instant message from John Ogden at about 5pm about it...and then Graham came into my room and said the same thing. I grabbed my camera as I was leaving, and almost took it with me, but decided at the last second to leave it. I'm not sure fully why. I'm glad I didn't because I wound up wandering down there and just watching the proceedings with my jaw open. Standing on the corner of 20th and Olney with a couple of dozen people just watching the flames lick the sky and wondering how the hell it was going to be put out. It was the capstone to a memorable week, one I'm not sure that I'll be able to forget, whether or not I want to.

I wound up taking the image above at around 6:30PM, after watching the news for a while...it was taken from inside of the St. Miguel townhouses, right by the daycare center.

From Wednesday on, it seemed like this week had it out to get me. With any luck, I will never have three nights of duty in a row again. I got hit with a really nasty stomach virus on Wednesday into Thursday, and I'm still recovering from it now. I missed most of Laramie Tech Week, which was really strange - being the first time that I've not been involved with a tech week since I got to La Salle. Laramie was cancelled for tonight, by the way. I had no problems with it, keeping the perspective of what the heck was happening a block away.

My parents are coming up tomorrow for Laramie/my birthday (hopefully...assuming we can get a car near the school)...the weekend is looking promising.

[Listening to: Happy Endings - The All-American Rejects - All American Rejects (4:18)]
Posted by Matthew at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004

What I learned at the Community Development In-Service tonight

What I learned at the Community Development In-Service tonight:

it was a fascinating presentation. I learned to love myself in spite of my flaws. I learned to love others and accept them for their flaws. I learned how to knit. I can now fly most Boeing aircraft. I can prepare delicious dinners made only of carrots. I learned that La Salle is a wonderful place full of wonderful people. I learned that I should wear sunscreen outdoors. I learned that residents are people too, and that barbecues stand for building people up. I realized that nature is beautiful. I learned that community development loves me, and that is the most important thing.

(FYI: I respect RSA. I really do. However, they're fun to poke fun at...as I did with a certain person when I developed an idea to call them the Barbecue Student association. See? Because they only ever present Barbecues. Or they do Barbecues really well... its all in fun.)

Barbecue Student Association upcoming events: "Propane vs. Charcoal, which is better for your community?", "Hot Dogs, Weiners, Sausage and Kielbasa - Learning to Embrace Ethnic Diversity", "Sh?% That Grill's Hot! Safety Tips You Should Know", "Tongs in a Spatula World: One Woman's Story", and "Condiments - Relish'ing the Refreshment"

Stop by the grill pit to sign up.

(but not really)

Time marches forward...

Disclaimer: RSA is a fascinating and wonderful group of student leaders who come together to present some amazing and dynamic programming. Anything presented here is given only for humor value. RSA rocks. Not just barbecues.

[Listening to: Light of the World - 2001 National Touring Cast - Godspell (3:13)]
Posted by Matthew at 12:43 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2004


A monumental day for me. I finally got my grad school application together and in the mail. I've spent the last couple of weeks getting people to write reccomendations, and just wrestling with the application itself. I'm applying to only one program currently, the Masters in theater at Villanova. I'm hopeful - I have good references, my GPA is at a point that I'm happy with, and the GRE scores were decent.

If I'm rejected, then I still want to pursue a Masters, and would really like to get into Residence Life somewhere to do it. I could really see myself being a Resident Director (or a Graduate Assistant, or whatever they call it at whatever institution would take me.) In that case, I'd probably broaden my field to something like English or even possibly continuing in Communication. I'm not 100% sure on how this all works to become a RD, but from what I hear, the deadlines are still very much in the future by a month or so.

Today was also just a fantastic day in general, just because I told myself that it was going to be a fantastic day. There's this mailing list that I'm on, "Ripples," that grew out of a motivational speaker that La Salle hosted recently. This week's email said something about practicing smiling. I gave it a try...it's amazing what a positive mental attitude can have on an otherwise boring day. It just became a really, really, really good day through everything - classes, meetings, and just randomly meeting people as the day went through.
Also from the email was this quote:

Every time you smile at someone,
it is an action of love, a gift to that person,
a beautiful thing.
-Mother Teresa

The rest of the week seems like it'll be pretty decent. It's all heavily weighted towards community development though, which will drive me insane - Tuesday - duty at 6pm, In-service at 9:15PM. Wednesday - duty at 6PM, RSA Meeting at 9:15, staff meeting at 10PM. Thursday, duty at 9.

This coupled with Tech Week.

But I keep telling myself that it's going to be a good week. And you know what? It will be.

Currently reading: O Lost, by Thomas Wolfe
[Listening to: Buy Me A Rose - Kenny Rogers - (3:48)]
Posted by Matthew at 12:54 AM | Comments (4)

February 09, 2004

Laramie Tech Week Begins...

Laramie Tech Week began today. It went really, really well for the first run through. We were running without sound and video, though, which will probably throw a wrench into everything tomorrow or the next day.

Additionally, I got a mountain of research done, and have almost everything I feel I need for the study guide, save for one section. The one section, "Media Response to Laramie," is probably the one that should have the most original content from me, however, so I'm still floundering somewhat.

I feel like I've been stressed for the later parts of this evening unfortunately...I haven't been communicating well, for some reason, and that's kind of annoying. I'm trying my best to not be stressed right now, but meh, it's happening.

It was a fantastic weekend, actually, and this week is looking pretty good.

17 days until Ireland

5 days until Laramie

6 days until my birthday.

Its going to be a good week.

Posted by Matthew at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2004

Fala's 21st.

Fala's 21st....the memories:

"where the hell is balloon man?...we killed the girl scouts...whipped cream to the face..."no balloons, no peace!"..."let's corrupt the balloon man!"..."we have a new disciple of evil! who do we corrupt next?"..."penguin booty!"..."my milkshake is better than yours!"...slut makeup..."sugar, spice, and greg fala!"...

yeah, I could fill in the blanks, but meh, a lot of things are better left unsaid

Besides, there are the pictures...

(the pictures I have; instant message me for them)

Posted by Matthew at 01:54 AM | Comments (2)