She Loves Me (Review)


At this point it shouldn't come as a surprise that Tallar and I will travel to see a musical. I guess it all started with my trip to Cincinnati in 2010 to see Idina Menzel in concert, but it has since spiraled and has left me with an empty bank account.
Just last weekend, we went from Toronto to NYC to Boston to Beverly (MA) to catch 4 plays in 4 days.

We started our weekend off right with She Loves Me at Studio 54 on Friday night.
It was so good I was worried the other 3 shows would pale in comparison.

30 reasons why Hamilton should win the Tony Award for Best Original Score


At this point even if you haven't listened to the soundtrack, I'm sure you've at least heard of Hamilton the musical. Remember when Lin Manuel-Miranda performed at the White House Poetry Jam? Six years later it opened at the Public.
Now? Good luck getting tickets.

Put the historical inaccuracies aside, Lin was able to take something so dense (think: the Revolutionary War, the US National Debt, the Federalist Papers) and create a gargantuan Broadway hit.
Does it deserve to win the Tony for Best Musical? That depends on the voters' criteria.

But the English major in me paused every song to analyze the internal rhymes and revelled in the duality of the diction. Like how throughout the show they mention taking/throwing a way a shot: I am not throwing away my shot (shot: chance), Take another shot (shot: alcohol), and Laurens, do not throw away your shot (shot: bullet).

What about how Lin rhymed New York City is with insidious or tyranny with here and he?
Or the alliteration in the venerated Virginian veteran or meddling in the middle of a military mess?

Above all else, Hamilton should win Best Original Score based solely on We Know:

I've kept a record of every cheque in my checkered history
Check it again against your list and see consistency.
I never spent a cent that wasn't mine
You sent your dogs after my scent, that's fine.

Cheque--checkered--check // Cent--sent--scent.

And while the English major part of me declared "Rap is poetry!!" after hearing the album, the theatre kid in me was so overwhelmed by the cyclical nature of the score. Hamilton sings "you'll blow us all away" in Dear Theodosia and then Phillip sings Blow Us All Away? Using the same melody in Wait For It as Burn? Mixing Jason Robert Brown's Nobody Needs To Know in Say No To This? The Helpless/Satisfied duality? Genius.

So here's an itemized list of 30 reasons why Hamilton should win the Tony Award for Best Original Score:
(in chronological order)

The last two years (according to three rolls of film)


Ever find three rolls of film in your room and decide it might be a good time to get them developed?

Touring the Kingston Penitentiary, Homecoming 2014 ft. Isabelle, rainy streets and Washington Square Park, road trips and hiking in Hamilton, cherry blossoms in High Park, Panamania, campfires in Sudbury, Penstone Cottage and torrential downpours in Killarney, skeleton twins, skating with my boys and possibly the greatest photo of Stephen I have ever seen.

It's been a pretty rad last two years.

One beUTAHful roadtrip (part 2)


Part two of our 10-day sister trip where we headed out west to Utah and Arizona to see what all the hype was about.

"And that was really the way that [our] whole road experience began,
and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell."

Walking through the Coral Pink Sand Dunes with heavy feet and clear blue skies. Driving to a Utah State Park through Arizona and almost losing a tire driving on the unpaved road. Staring into Horseshoe Bend. Stopping to marvel at Lake Powell. Learning about the time difference. Camping at the Grand Canyon during a tornado warning/monsoon season. Meeting new friends in the laundromat the next morning as we all waited for our sleeping bags to dry. Waters of the World and the Ooh-Ahh Point. 6:00am alarms. Snooze. Losing the trail at Arches. Strangers who heckle. Hecklers who act as landmarks when we split up on the Devil's Garden hike (primitive vs. paved -- primitive was worth it). Swimming in a crater. Squad goals at the Anderson Farm. Touring the Capitol with fourth graders. Hiking the Y in my Saltwater Sandals while holding ice cream from the Creamery (we weren't prepared). Spending our last day in SLC exploring Temple Square + appreciating the little things.

And above all else: thinking we had enough gas in our tank for the drive from Price to Duchesne, only to have to coast on neutral until we made it to town (I've never been so relieved to see a Sinclair...)

One beUTAHful roadtrip


Two months ago, Tallar and I went on another one of our incredible sister trips.
This year we headed west to explore Utah (and dipped down to Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon in Arizona).

"I'd often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off."

Salt-stained jeans, floating in the Great Salt Lake, camping in the coral pink sand dunes. camping in the hail, leaving my heart in Zion National Park, feeling really small in the Grand Canyon, "waters of the world," temperamental weather (bless the laundromat), Devil's Garden x primitive route, getting lost in Arches, coasting on neutral all the way to Duchesne, squad goals at the Anderson Farm, swimming in a crater, Idina's cover of Joni Mitchell's River, climbing the Y, taking a tour of the Capitol with some fourth graders, allllll of the fry sauce (!!) and pretending to be Angelica Schuyler as we jammed to Hamilton (the musical).

2,687 miles, 7 national parks and 10 days later, here's what Utah looks like at the beginning of October:

An open love letter to Oregon (part 3)


A funny thing happened on the way to the Wallowas:
After spending the day at Smith Rock + the Painted Hills, we drove about 4 hours east to get to the fifth wonder on the list and spent the night glamping in Enterprise. When we got to the campsite, we were greeted by a very interesting, trusting and oversharing man who asked us if we were lovers or twins (we said "both!")

Photos (and tales) from the Wallowa Mountains, Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge(ous):

An open love letter to Oregon (part 2)


I guess at this point it shouldn't come as a surprise that Tallar and I had fallen for Oregon. What's that really cheesy John Green quote, "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once"? 

Photos don't do this beautiful state justice, but here's our attempt: