grrgoyl: (snowcake scrabble)
[personal profile] grrgoyl
As promised, I have returned from my trip to New York, and I bring stories. I was going to try to write in bullet points in an effort to keep it short, but as usual my wordiness got the better of me. So

First, the flight in. Not that eventful but for my seatmate: A tall thin pleasant looking guy, who took the aisle seat in the hopes that our third was a no-show. We shared stories of past flights where we had lucked out with an empty seat. I had just fallen in love with him for pulling out a tattered copy of "The Tao of Pooh" when our third came stumbling on the plane seconds before the doors closed, a sweaty overweight kid with a hacking cough. Pooh and I looked at each other ruefully, and I promised not to hog the arm.

Our love seemed pure and true, that is until halfway through the flight when I became aware of him very blatantly and aggressively picking his nose and eating it. Not that that's a deal-breaker. However, the nose-picking combined with me technically being married to Tery might be.

On arriving in Boston, the first hurdle to overcome was my 2-year-old niece, whom I hadn't seen for a whole year. I'm pleased to say her adoration was bought for the low, low price of an Elmo hat found at an airport kiosk moments before boarding in Denver. That and a game I played where I made a moose figurine saunter past her dinner plate and pretend to try to steal her food. She LOVED me.

She is really one cheerful little kid

So much so that when Amy and I returned from dinner my last night there, to my surprise Jane looked towards the door, completely ignored her mother in front of me and squealed delightedly, "Auntie Yaine! Auntie Yaine!" Not too shabby for someone who doesn't consider herself to be a "kid" person.

Before I forget, dinner was my beloved Friendly's clamboat platter, pictured here:

I'm going to print it out and hang it above my bed

Now for New York. We took the bus, a 4-hour ride which wasn't too terrible except for sitting directly in front of the restroom which smelled increasingly vile as the hours stretched on (in addition to the floor inexplicably becoming covered with water halfway through).

We landed in Manhattan, stopped for lunch at a Greek place that claimed to have the best burger in the city (I had a turkey burger so cannot comment), then plotted our route on Google Maps. I swear, how did anyone find their way around before smartphones?

First stop was the New York Marathon expo for a souvenir for Tery. We hoped to get in and out quickly, but there were thousands of people in that building. We stopped at the first apparel vendor we saw, where I snatched up the first shirt that caught my eye. It just happened to be the most popular style, with only two left on the shelf that were soon being squabbled over by other customers. We paid for it and escaped as quickly as we could through thousands of people.

Then it was on to the theater. I should mention that these locations were all separated by about ten blocks, give or take. Anxious to avoid the subway, this meant a determined racewalk to make sure we got there on time, so we were pretty sweaty and miserable by the time we arrived with about ten minutes to spare. However, Amy was pretty proud of how well we did and announced that "New York's not so hard!" (that's a joke -- we totally lucked out to have all our destinations in fairly close proximity to each other.)

We thought we'd stop quickly at the restroom (remember my disastrous Equus trip where my diminutive bladder stood between me and a possible Daniel Radcliffe autograph); unfortunately, the line for the ladies' curled around to all four corners of the basement. The gents', of course, did not. It became so ludicrous that they decided to make the men's room co-ed, which worked for a few minutes until the guys started getting shy and using the stalls too.

We got to our seats. I was extremely anxious about sitting in the back section (albeit the front row of the back section), but I didn't even need the binoculars I packed. Sure, the next section down would have been better, but we could still see everything perfectly, so kudos to Broadway for designing theaters where almost every seat in the house is the best one.

Amy was seated next to a 20-something girl who kept texting even after the curtain came up (I asked her to put it away and she immediately apologized and did so. And people say New Yorkers are rude). Whereas I was stuck next to an older woman who kept trying to sneak hard candies out of her purse, taking an agonizing five minutes to unwrap them crinkle by deafening crinkle. Wouldn't you plan ahead and unwrap them all at home first?

The play. The first scene was all setup for the four young writers, no sign of Alan, giving me a good ten minutes longer to stress about whether he was actually in this performance (remember, previews and matinee, plus Tery's gleeful speculation that he wouldn't show). Then he strolled out onto the stage, and my heart skipped a beat (didn't stop completely, which is what I expected).

He was larger than life. He completely dominated the space. Four other actors who? It became so easy to forget they were there, particularly with the staging that almost never had them physically interacting, always at opposite ends of the set. The few times Alan did walk among them, they seemed frozen like trees, probably like I would be.

It was so surreal to see him up there, in the same room as me yet still so untouchable. At times, it seemed like a really high quality 3D movie. But movies don't show us his face when he's not delivering lines, and he apparently has a nervous habit of twitching his jaw when not speaking. Yum.

What's the play about? You mean other than staring in awe at Rickman? Leonard (Alan) is a washed-up writer giving private seminars to young aspiring authors, though as you would expect he is quite brutal and at times grossly unfair in his critiques. I had a professor just like him in college, dubbed the "anti-Christ of English majors." Not nearly as sexy though just as harsh. I earned my first C grade EVER from him. Maybe I wouldn't have minded if he looked like Alan.

The role was clearly written for him. I know he hates to be typecast (as all actors do), but there's no denying he has an innate talent for nasty, snarky, unpleasant characters. And when the summary promised "sexual mindgames" for some reason I didn't dare hope they would involve Alan, but he almost immediately sets about seducing the pretty Asian girl (mostly offstage, except for one scene where he stands behind her and idly runs his fingers through her hair while lecturing), then later the tall blond feminist whose work he tears apart the most cruelly.

The dialogue is clever, quick and witty, yet skillfully lighthearted while people's dreams are being torn down and stomped into itty bitty pieces. Then the whole tone changes when one of the students proves to have real potential. Unfortunately he has lost all respect for Leonard, setting Alan up to deliver the passionate speech that's obviously the heart of the play, about how hard a writer's life is, especially if you become successful (that dreaded second book).

Act III takes place in Leonard's apartment where he's shacking up with the blond. At one point she pads out in nothing but a man's shirt and her panties and kisses him, I mean a full 30-second snog. I didn't even notice what he looks like kissing someone (he DOES occasionally get to in his movies), all I could think was "That lucky bitch gets to kiss him eight times a week!"

This moment quickly paled to the next however, after she leaves the room and he gloats about her to the talented student with the words "She sucked my balls until I saw stars!" Wh...what? Did...did he just say "sucked my balls"??? I may have blacked out for one or two seconds after that. Oh, the imagery. I wouldn't need to read any Snarry for a week.

Oh yes, and Alan runs on stage. Remember my Alan Running observation? (He seems to run in all but maybe three of his many, many movies. And he doesn't run well.) That alone might have been worth the purchase price (well, that and "she sucked my balls").

The play ends with Leonard offering the student to become his protege, and the student appearing to consider it. Fade to black.

We exited the theater and met up with [ profile] swankyfunk. The plan was obviously to try to get an autograph. We joined the others waiting on the sidewalk, though we seemed to be last in line. A security guard announced that Alan wouldn't be coming out, but we all stayed anyway in hopes that he was lying. I was clutching my imported copy of Snowcake in a sea of pseudo-fans holding only the Playbill from the show.

(Of course Tery, who LOVES to insinuate that I'm Alan's only fan, had joked about this. "Mr. Rickman, you have fans outside waiting for autographs." Alan (with exaggerated astonishment): "I do??" Followed by acting out personalizing each autograph for his fanclub of octogenarians, Ethel, Gladys, get the idea. She thinks she's sooooooo funny.)

Jerry O'Connell did come out (oh yeah, did I mention he was in it?) and was very gracious, signing for everyone and even taking pictures with people. My sister got an autograph, but stupid me was just too singlemindedly focused on Alan to get one as well (plus I was only holding the DVD cover, and it would have made very little sense for Jerry to sign that).

Jerry O'Connell being awesome

Alan didn't come out (Tery theorized he needed a nap before the evening show). Had I been a better actress I could have worked up some sobs, maybe wailed about how I had come all the way from Colorado for him, how I had GONE ON THE PILL FOR HIM, but I doubt that would have been very well received. It's all moot now. Had I known there'd be no photo op outside, I might have tried harder to get a pic inside.

To answer the poster's question: Money would be no object. I would sell my niece if I had to

After stopping for an early dinner at an Italian restaurant (which actually played a Billy Joel song), we headed back to the bus pickup, stopping at the theater where Dan Radcliffe was performing in "How to Succeed in Business" (literally one block away from "Seminar"; I like to imagine Dan and Alan meeting for dinner occasionally for old times' sake) when we noticed a cluster of fans outside the stage door. We stayed and watched for awhile to see if he would come out. I announced that I wasn't leaving until SOMEONE signed my damn DVD cover. Amy turned to Meisje and said, "I think you're going to have to sign her DVD cover." Then they started putting the barricades away. Dan was a no-show too. These Harry Potter stars get a little fame and instantly forget about their fans.

I would have liked to maybe check out the birthplace of Occupy, but Meisje assured us it was pretty far south and not easy walking distance.

Our walk back to the bus was lovely, simply by virtue of having enough time to not make a forced deathmarch out of it. We stopped for photos at the Empire State building and to admire the biggest post office we'd ever seen (it stretched for three city blocks. It was as big as Parliament!) Then Meisje generously waited with us at the bus corral.

I ducked down to try to get the Empire State building in the pic, giving Meisje a fleeting taste of being taller

I love the building and the moon in the back

Somehow we got herded into standby, which was good in that we got to leave an hour sooner than planned, but bad in that we were among the last ones on the bus. The only seats left were along the back, where we were sandwiched between a teenage girl who kept falling asleep and plopping in Amy's lap, and on my side a woman who it seemed was calling everyone in the tri-state area to inform them she was on the bus. I mean it, she must have spent the first two hours on her phone, and when she wasn't chatting loudly she was waving it around in my eyes like a flashlight. I kept praying for the battery to die, but she seemed to have that Cloverfield technology, i.e. electronics that keep running beyond all reasonable expectation.

New York was the highlight of the trip, and the most stressful. With that out of the way, we had two days with nothing to do but hang out together. Monday Amy took me to her YMCA where we rode stationary bikes with video screen programs that were insanely fun -- the bike automatically increased resistance for hills and you could shift gears and everything. A really, really great workout, and of course the minute I got home I looked into something similar. (No luck. The closest I could come was the Cyberbike for the Wii, which has the video interaction but unfortunately doesn't change resistance automatically. I'll see how much of a waste of time it is on Friday.)

Jane suddenly became shy during our traditional "holy crap, we need a group photo before I leave!"

Then the plane ride home, where I had the most considerate seatmate you could ask for: When we landed he insisted on pulling my bag down out of overhead for me, and was equally adamant I proceed up the aisle in front of him. People like him are a dying breed, and it really helped my trip end on a high note, so thank you, kind sir.

And that was it! Back to my dull, Alan-less life for the foreseeable future. Although I'll always have "she sucked my balls."


Date: 2011-11-10 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hooray! I was waiting anxiously for this premiere after the teaser trailers on Facebook all week.
I didn't think any Friendly's were still open. Did you also have Jim Dandy or a Fribble?
I love all your photos - what a lovely little family. You and Bwana and Jane, and Alan, and Swankyfunk.


Date: 2011-11-10 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha :) For more behind-the-scenes footage, check out my FB for some cute videos of Janie. I feel like FB is my "bonus features" section.

I think Amy mentioned Friendly's closing, but thankfully she still has one by her house. I can't imagine why it would close, it was full of customers when we went. But if it's true, then I may have enjoyed my last clamboat platter . No Fribbles or Jim Dandys, not even a sundae. Didn't want to push my luck with my Dark Passenger, who is adamantly opposed to me enjoying any food whatsoever.

Thanks Bear :) I think I'm pretty lucky to have such good people around. Except for Alan, who couldn't be bothered to postpone his seaweed bath (idk) to sign some autographs.

Poor Alan Weeping into his Seaweed Bath

Date: 2011-11-11 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Alan will be very sad when he Googles himself and finds your post and realizes he missed you. I bet he starts writing grrgoyl slash fiction... Grrgoyl and Snape. Grrgoyl and Sheriff of Nottingham. Grrgoyl and Ed. Grrgoyl and Sigourney Weaver. (Oh wait. I think that last one is one of mine.)

Re: Poor Alan Weeping into his Seaweed Bath

Date: 2011-11-11 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks Bear. This is a pleasant little fantasy indeed :)

Re: Poor Alan Weeping into his Seaweed Bath

Date: 2011-11-12 04:05 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Today in my inbox:

Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman star in The Song of Lunch , Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 at 9pm on MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY.

Re: Poor Alan Weeping into his Seaweed Bath

Date: 2011-11-12 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What sort of pseudo-fan do you take me for? I bootlegged that the day after it aired in the UK. :D Thanks for thinking of me though!

Date: 2011-11-11 07:34 am (UTC)
ext_52676: (Simon & Nick: 'eyyy!)
From: [identity profile]
Did...did he just say "sucked my balls"???

Hahahaa omg WOW. I wish I could've been sitting next to you to see your reaction! But I'm soooo glad you had the opportunity to see Alan live and in the flesh (mmm, flesh).

I kept praying for the battery to die, but she seemed to have that Cloverfield technology

Gaaah, seriously, how does this happen in real life?? Though I can't believe you also managed to get both the Nose Picker and Elderly Candy Unwrapper. You should play travel bingo with cliches.

I just noticed that there are three NYC landmarks in those photos we took: the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, and the Big Giant Post Office. I Wiki'ed it, it really is a landmark and it is 8 acres of hugeness!

Anyway, you've probably seen this already, but this commercial plays often during the local news and late night shows. And I'm always like, yay, Alan's on my TV! When I first heard it (I was at the computer, the TV's on the other side of the room) and heard him say "Class is in session," I said aloud, "YES, TEACHER."

Date: 2011-11-11 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, my reaction probably wasn't obvious to the naked eye. I think I kind of stiffened up in complete disbelief, blushed deeply, then started punching Amy's arm. I'm willing to bet he made no mention of his balls in "Borkman," so I'm pretty thankful I spent my money on this!

Mmmmm, flesh indeed. Thankfully he kept all his clothes on for the performance or I would have spontaneously combusted.

I seem to be quite the Freak Magnet. Of course, my theory is there are so many more freaks out there -- and by "freaks," I mean people who act like they are in their own homes while out in public.

Wow, we caught all that in one photo! Pretty cool :)

I hadn't seen this yet, but I'll probably watch it about 20 times today. Love the mischievous one-eyed smirk on "" And of course the growly "Class is in session." Alan, you are such a sexy devil. WHY couldn't you have come outside for me?

Date: 2011-11-12 08:44 am (UTC)
ext_52676: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I was thinking that an animated gif should be made out of that tiny smirk.

And speaking of which, I also wanted to show you this:

Date: 2011-11-12 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, I have seen that, only the original is about 7 minutes long taken at like a frame every 30 seconds or something insane like that. Quite dramatic if you don't mind staring at Alan in ultra-ultra-ultra slow motion (which I don't). Thanks!

Date: 2011-11-11 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OT: I love your hat.

Date: 2011-11-12 08:42 am (UTC)
ext_52676: (hoodlum)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, thanks!

Have I waited long enough to say LAST?

Date: 2011-11-11 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not that that's a deal-breaker. However, the nose-picking combined with me technically being married to Tery might be. Please god be joking. That's a deal-breaker for any relationship with me, including 'sitting next to me on the plane'. I would've had to call the stewardess...flight...whatever they're called over and ask for a new seat due to the fact that just talking about snot makes me do that sort of involuntary fake gag and there is the remote possibility that my face could stick that way.

Are you trying to kill us with cute kid overload?

I'm not familiar with Friendly's. It sound like something terrible and Canadian.

The first scene was all setup for the four young writers, no sign of Alan, giving me a good ten minutes longer to stress about whether he was actually in this performance Isn't that always the way with his shows? It's billed as being "seriously heaving on the Rickman action, people" then he gets one scene? Glad this one delivered.

At one point she pads out in nothing but a man's shirt and her panties and kisses him, I mean a full 30-second snog. I wonder if the original script said "quick kiss" but she thought she'd just go for it. Every time.

Oh yes, and Alan runs on stage. Remember my Alan Running observation? No, I don't. Did he do the thing where he throws his head back and sort of prances in a general direction, keeping his arms tucked up to his chest?

I clearly haven't seen the play and no nothing about it except what I saw on the links you sent me, but I imagine this play is an autobiographical attempt by the playwright. He said, "I should write a play about that douchebag English teacher who gave me my first C, but I should make him into a sexy villain. And you know who should play me? Jerry O'Connell. I totally look like Jerry O'Connell."

Doesn't Tery know that nearly everyone who bought a ticket did so because they want to see Rickman? That's my theory and I'm not looking for alternative ones.

the biggest post office we'd ever seen (it stretched for three city blocks. It was as big as Parliament!) Jesus H. You know what's the most impressive thing I've ever seen? A four-story Old Navy. That's where I am in my life, I'm still impressed by multiple stories. New York would have killed me. How on Earth would you find stamps in that place?

This shirtless Alan icon now seems a bit bare without the phrase "she sucked my balls" scrawled across it.

Well-played, if that was indeed your plan

Date: 2011-11-11 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes I was joking. I pretended to downgrade the importance of nose-picking to lead up to the punchline that the fact that I'm married is of much greater significance. See what I did there?

If I were trying to kill you with cute kid overload, I'd post about my niece every time. But I don't have enough photos of her to do that.

Friendly's is a New England restaurant chain. Nothing really special, they're just like Dennys or Village Inn, etc. But I grew up with their clamboat platter and they aren't in Colorado so I miss them. Rob and Amy always mock my excitement, but pretend there's a restaurant (or any store) you enjoy going to from time to time, like maybe KFC. Then move to Uganda where there are no KFCs. You would understand my excitement then. Did you leave places like this behind in MI that don't exist in AL?

I suppose compared to the four younger actors he has less stage time, though still far more than in most of his movies. Thankfully not so much less as to make his top billing a sick marketing joke.

Haha, can anyone blame her for ignoring the "quick kiss" direction?

Not sure where you've seen him do THAT. The running I'm referring to is here at about 0:53 (please ignore the silly soundtrack that has nothing to do with the movie):

Just seeing this again makes me laugh. Oh Alan, you might do well to watch SOME of your movies back to realize how utterly girly your running really is (no offense to girls who run). Doesn't make me want to chase him and tackle him any less though.

The playwright is a she (not that it matters), and I think in one interview she totally admitted it was all about her process. I don't know if it was based on an actual teacher or not. What are the odds she also attended the University of Connecticut?

She knows. She just gets far too much pleasure from taking the piss. Maybe it would be less enjoyable for her if it didn't make me laugh so much.

It was HUGE! It was after hours so it was hard to determine how it was set up inside, but I'm willing to bet there's a reasonably manageable storefront area and the rest is all distribution and sorting.

Agreed. Get to work on it, Awesome Icon Queen.
Edited Date: 2011-11-11 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry, I lose the ability to think clearly when snot is involved. It's my absolute least favorite subject. I find it easier to watch someone eat shit. Thanks, 2girls1cup, for helping me learn that disturbing fact about myself.

Did you leave places like this behind in MI that don't exist in AL? Have you got the Chicken Shack chain where you are? I miss it even though I only ever ate there once a year, tops. And I miss proper Chinese food. And Meijer's. DAMMIT STOP POINTING OUT THE ERRORS IN MY THINKING. Now I'm all nostalgic. Still, seafood? Eww.

It might be be somewhat heartening to have a play pretend to star Alan Rickman as a marketing host (if you hadn't spent money on tickets and a trip to see that play) because it means that he is a big enough name to draw people in.

I can't think of where I've seen him running from the front, but I swear he throws his head back in a manner that is almost as comical as the zizagging Shatner thing he is doing there. God, I had to mute the video because I couldn't concentrate with the inappropriate music playing. At 2:36, it looks like he took a break to piss off the dock. Then suddenly he's a sexy pirate and the title of the clip makes more sense. WTF is this movie about?

Lol, I don't make my own icons. That would be almost like work.
From: [identity profile]
Really? Snot is worse than shit? REALLY? I can't get behind that. Snot a) doesn't contain possibly disease-causing organisms, and b) it doesn't smell bad (or at all). I'm not even bringing bodily points of origin into it.

No Chicken Shack, but I see you got my point. I hate "real" seafood too. Friendly's clams are so processed and deep fried they don't even taste like seafood.

It might be be somewhat heartening to have a play pretend to star Alan Rickman as a marketing host (if you hadn't spent money on tickets and a trip to see that play) because it means that he is a big enough name to draw people in. Haha, don't try to argue that point with T.

here is my original review of the movie (contains spoilers!) It's really bizarre, and believe it or not directed by HP: GoF director Mike Newell. Some really primo material from Alan, but overall kind of slow with very hard to understand accents (even for me, a lifelong fan of British accents).

Oh, I know. But hunting them down and copying and pasting them is still more work than I'm willing to do....
From: [identity profile]
They finally got to the blow-jobs, if you're wondering.

It's only just not occurred to me how disturbing it is the have your niece's name and She Sucked My Balls so close in the same title.

I don't know, I was traumatized as a kid. Rather, my step-brother was traumatized, and that led him to do crazy shit like wet the bed and rub a baseball bat on his head and eat his own snot. I can't bear the sight or thought of anyone eating snot now. If I were presented with the choice...well, I'd have to pick the snot for health reasons, but I'd have to think about it for a very long time.

I guess that's not so bad. Sort of like ordering "fish sticks", safe in the knowledge that they're hardly fish at all.


Date: 2011-11-18 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You make "the blow-jobs" sound like the first hurdle in a fanfic competition.

Might be disturbing. Except my own sister doesn't read my blog, and I highly doubt my niece ever will either.

This reminds me of a video of AR I stumbled across where he's at a party or something, unaware he's being filmed, and is very intently and energetically biting his fingernails, even stopping to study the remaining ones for the next victim. You'd think I'd be charmed by this evidence of his normalcy, but for some reason I find it almost as stomach-turning as snot.

From: [identity profile]
God, can you imagine the tv commentary? I'd follow that.

The Internets will have crashed, leaving us all in a post-technological society by the time your niece is at this reading level.

Lol. Where might I find that? Nails don't bother me. Odd, because that same brother used to bite his nails until you could see most of the bloody raw flesh underneath.
From: [identity profile]
Gawd, I can't find it now. I would go looking but I need to nap before work tonight. Maybe a rainy day project for me. Sorry.
From: [identity profile]
Dear God, I see what you mean now about the poor title wording. Rectified (not sure it helps much).


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