Sunday, June 12, 2005

A soup kitchen and "Hairspray"

Yesterday (Saturday) I was invited to work at a soup kitchen down in Greenwich Village by another PEO named Holly. She's about 25 years old, but she looks 16. Seriously. And she's an actress...stage and musical theater. We met early and walked around Greenwich Village some before heading back to the church to work. She showed me the restaurant where the term "Eighty-six the _____" was coined. Apparently, during Prohibition, this was the place (then called 86) where people would meet to "break the law" and when the police were spotted, they would quickly hide all of the liquor underground again. We also saw a streetcorner that is used often in movies because it still looks like it did at the turn of the century....well, two turns of the century ago, I guess.

I really enjoyed working at the soup kitchen. There was a youth group there on a mission trip from Denver, and I met some other really neat people. One guy (from Texas) works at the U.N. and is about to move to London. Anyway, I was the bread and dessert person. The first thirty minutes or so were very busy, and trays were sliding down the, um, whatever you call the rack thing on which trays slide, very fast. Holly and I felt a little like Lucy and Ethel in the famous "I Love Lucy" episode where they work at the chocolate factory. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work at the soup kitchen... it is something that isn't so "touristy" and something that most people don't do when they come to New York. And now I can say I've worked at a soup kitchen. In New York City.

Then today, we went to see "Hairspray" a the matinee. It was SOOOOOOOOO much fun. I've wanted to see this show ever since it first opened and I saw the cast perform on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (back before Rosie turned into the evil, bizarre thing she is now...seriously, what is up?). And it definitely lived up to my expectations. It was even more exciting than I'd expected because the girl who plays Tracy Turnblad is sick so Marissa Jaret Winokur, the original "Tracy Turnblad" is stepping in for about a month. Today was only like her fifth show back, so there were a few rough spots, but I got to hear all of the songs being sung by the voice that I was familiar with, and that was wonderful. However, what wasn't wonderful was seeing Bruce Vilanch as a woman. That was probably the most disturbing thing I've ever seen. I mean, you want to see this ( as a woman? Because this (well, my link won't work, so you'll just have to do an image search on Google or Yahoo! for Bruce Vilanch or Edna Turnblad and see what you get) is what it looks like. But he was hilarious. He even inserted a few of his own jokes about some recent events into the show...such as the recent Russell Crowe phone mishap and Britney Spears' pregnancy. He was still hideous to look at, though! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and I'm sure I won't be able to get "You Can't Stop the Beat" out of my head for at least a week. We did sit behind the most annoying group of high school girls! They were awful. And it reminded me, once again, of one of the reasons why I got out of high school as quickly as I could!

So, I have class tomorrow. I'm down to about two and a half weeks left here, and I've still got things to do. So goodbye until the next time I do something worth writing about here.

Times Square Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tuesday evening I was invited to dinner with some ladies from a PEO chapter here in New York...something my mom worked out. One of them works at the New York Times, so that's where we met. It was really neat to see--just like it is on t.v. or in movies...a giant room with a lot of cubicles! We had dinner at a French bistro called Le Madeleine (not La Madeleine, although it really was pretty much the same thing). It was very good, and I had creme brulee for dessert, which I love! They brought along a girl about my age from Albania who went to Cottey College (my grandmother went to Cottey and my mom does some local recruiting for the school) and is now studying political science and economics at a college up here.

Then Wednesday, in class, I answered my two questions correctly again! Seriously, that is the longest class I've ever had to sit through, and you have to pay attention the ENTIRE time because the professor seems to know when you aren't, and that's when he calls on you!

Also, Wednesday night, I got the biggest surprise I've had in a long time! I was on AIM when I got a message from Bo Zhang, my best friend from junior high! She moved away, and somehow we lost touch. Anyway, I hadn't heard from her in about 5 years, but I'd been trying to track her down. Apparently, my sn (which is different from the one I had when we were in contact) somehow appeared on her buddy list, so she IMed me! It made my day. We got caught up most of the way, until I lost my stupid internet connection. Hopefully, she'll be online again tonight so we can talk some more!

Anyway, that's all...I think I'm gonna work in a soup kitchen on Saturday if everything works out! I'll keep you updated.

Oh, I realized, thanks to Michelle, that I never informed anyone that I was coming back early or why. Basically, I've had a couple of problems with Tech, and there are a couple of courses that I would like to get out of the way before the fall so I can really get into this second major. So I'm coming home to take those at Tech's second session. Besides, that way I'll have a little break before the fall semester starts. And I want to help lay the wood floor at my house. I always thought that looked like fun on "Trading Spaces" when they did it!

My great-uncle James passed away on Tuesday. He was the third youngest of the nine McBrayer kids and the last one living. So now they are all together again, which I find really comforting since I just lost my grandfather (the youngest of the kids) in April and great-uncle Marvin (the second youngest) in January. So all of you who were so great to pray for my family and my grandfather recently, please keep the family of Uncle James in your prayers, too.

Okay, now that's all...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Chrysler Building Posted by Hello

New York Public Library Posted by Hello

I'm terrible at this...

Sorry that I haven't posted anything in a long time. I tried to the other night, but then my internet stopped working and I just forgot about it. Besides, there's not a whole lot to report. Y'all are all lucky I'm coming back early because there's no way I could keep up with this thing through the middle of August. I thought I could do it because I did it in Grenoble, but here there isn't the language barrier to make for interesting stories, 13 other people in the same situation to make for interesting stories, an internet cafe where we all happen to run into each other after class each day, a never-ending supply of sardines (which, fortunately, I was able to avoid eating but it's still disgusting), excursions, a huge host family to make for interesting stories, or late night tram chases. So really, all I can do is update with what I did each day, and it's hard to find the motivation to do that at the end of the day. But I'll try to do at least that every other day or long as the pressure of making it really interesting is taken away.

So, since I last updated, I've attended a service at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which was so similar to a service at Second B, except they had a huge organ. It was so nice to hear an organ again! I love the organ. I've walked about 7 or 8 miles in one day. I've gone to dinner with some other summer students from NYU and Andrea and Jessica then to see "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" at the Loew's Lincoln was great. And I've seen the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the New York Public Library, and Grand Central Station.

That's pretty much it. Pictures? Maybe a couple.