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Well that was uncalled for...

and I am not going to let it mess up my perfect two weeks.  NO.

My dad wants us to go back to family court because my brother and sister finally grew a pair and stood up to him.  This sucks.  I know it won't involve me at all, but he still owes me $3600 and he still has control over my tuition money.  So yeah, it does involve me.  By proxy or something.

Then there's the fact that he got me a credit card after I told him at least ONCE A WEEK not to get me one.  I tried to give it back when he handed it to me.  I didn't want a credit card and I didn't need a credit card and I knew it would only cause trouble because I would use it and not tell him and then he would freak out.  Guess what?  I was right.  I only use it when I need something (read: school stuff, medicine, food) and I will, admittedly, use it if I need bus tickets.  But that's it.  And it's not even that often.  But he's freaking out about it and we're just sitting here telling him to cancel the card if it's that big of a deal, but the card still works, so whatever.

I hate money woes.  I hate having a father who expects me to go to some cheap-y state school that doesn't have any programs I want and to not use the credit card when he told me I could use it and to trust him after he flat out lied to me for what feels like my entire life.

Great.  Thanks, Dad.  Now I'm gonna be worried about this.  Thanks.

Noooo, I need to think about puppets and John Tartaglia and be productive tomorrow morning and finish everything I need to finish.  Yeah.  Okay, I'm going to bed.  I need sleep.  Really badly.

New fic account!

Attention everyone following me because of any one of my fanfictions (all, like, two of you):

I made a new account.  I don't want to blend my personal life and my fanfictions together anymore, so this account will no longer be updated with actual fic entries, links to any of my (or other people's) fanfics, or any other form of fanfiction.  Any original fiction/poetry I write and feel like posting online is fair game for either account.

HOWEVER, no existing fanfiction entries will be deleted.  They will stay up here and will be added to a masterlist on my other account once I have time to actually do so.

So if you would like to keep reading the shit I like to call writing, go here: byham_rory 

Thank you and have a nice day.
So.  Um, yeah.

I'm gonna learn puppetry from John Tartaglia.  And I'm so super psyched about it it's not even funny.  My face looks like this right now --> 8D

So let me tell you a little story.  When I was in sixth grade, I was part of a puppet show.  It was probably the most fun I had that entire year, and the following Christmas I got Puppet Dumbledore.  He was my favorite thing in the world for about a month.  Then he went up on my shelf with all my other Harry Potter junk and I forgot about him for longer than I care to admit.

Flash forward to high school.  I'm just getting into Broadway (like, for real) and my sister tells me about this musical called Avenue Q.  She tells me it's a dirty musical and that I shouldn't listen to the music.  So naturally, I look it up.  I fall in love.  With both the music and a man named John Tartaglia.  I scour the internet for videos of him and interviews with him and bios and basically everything I could possibly find.  I learn that he used to be a funny little kid who loved puppets who got hired by Sesame Street and then made his Broadway debut as the lead in Avenue Q, got nominated for a tony, lost to Hugh Jackman, and then went on to create his own television show.  I was so inspired by his story that I brought out Puppet Dumbledore again and started practicing.  I set my alarm so I could get up early and watch Johnny and the Sprites.  I became obsessed with Shrek the Musical because he was going to be in it.

College.  I bring Dumbledore along.  He chills in my dorm room and becomes a fact of life for everyone in our hallway.  I keep practicing and start uploading videos to youtube.  I pester my Dad until he takes me and my sister to New York to see Shrek the Musical.  I make little sprite puppets for John, give said puppets to John, fangirl over John, and have the best time ever.  Later, I write John a letter telling him how much I admire his work and asking him if he has any tips for an aspiring puppeteer.  He writes back, calling me a "fellow" puppeteer and telling me that I have a cool name.  (Thus, my username on the Heights was changed, but that's not important.)  I keep practicing with Puppet Dumbledore, and over the summer I get a new puppet.  I find out about puppet school and decide to audition.

I audition for puppet school and they seem to really like me.  They tell me I'm a good puppeteer and that they admire the control I have over the way I move my hand.  I have the time of my life up there at UConn.  Then I never hear back from them.  I attempt to play phone tag and send them an email.  Nothing.  So I go to Point Park, not at all disheartened.  I'm actually really excited to go to Point Park, since it's right in the city and offers a bunch of stuff that I love.

Now we're back at the present.  I'm sitting in my dorm room, typing this up for no reason whatsoever.  I think it's my way of saying, "Look, my life has basically come full circle."  John Tartaglia is the man who made me realize that puppetry can be more than a hobby.  He's the man who made me realize that I should follow my dreams, no matter what they are.  He's the man that sparked my dying interest in the one thing that has been a constant in my life since I was twelve.  And now he's going to teach me.

I don't care what anyone else says.  This class is going to be one of the greatest moments of my life.  I'm going to be taught by the man I've looked up to for almost four years and I'm going to be surrounded by others who have the same interests and passions.  I am going to have the best two days of my life come October.  I can't bloody wait.

No, Point Park, this is not okay.

I'm a curious person, right?  And I like knowing where my life is going, obviously, so today I decided to look at my online transcript and see what courses I still have to take to graduate.

Aaaaand Point Park thinks it'll be a really good idea to try to make me take sociology again.  And I am not okay with that.  My Bible classes count as electives and don't fit into any of their Philosophy courses, and they have three of my courses as the same thing, which is really weird.  They counted a Humanities course as an English course, but not the English course that I needed, which means I need to take ANOTHER English course.  And basically everything else goes under "electives."

I'm not cool with this.  I didn't sit through two Bible classes and three Humanities classes and a crap-ton of English classes just to do the same thing here.  And there is absolutely no way they will get me to take Sociology.  I've done that already.  Twice.

Whatever.  I'll deal for now, because it's not scheduling time, but at the end of the semester, I'm gonna bug my advisor about all this.  I want to graduate in three years, not four.  Then I'm only one year behind, as opposed to two.  I'm just annoyed, because this basically makes my two years at Geneva look like they did nothing for me academically.  Whoop de flippin do.


...and that's basically all it was.  A giant tourist trap.

(No lie, there were tourists in Pittsburgh holding a map they printed off the internet trying to find the theatre  I felt a bit sorry for them.)

Cast: 10.  Hands down.  Tim Martin Gleason, you can kidnap me and threaten my imaginary boyfriend with a punjab whenever you like.  His voice honestly fit the part so well, much better than any Phantom I've heard since Michael Crawford.  (I'm picky when it comes to Phantoms, so sue me.)  Trista Moldovan started out a little shaky, but she knocked Phantom of the Opera out of the water.  Legit.  Kim Stengel, you were my favorite.  Keep being the awesome, hilarious, bitchy diva that Carlotta is.

Orchestra: ten million and five.  I loved them.  The conductor was incredible and I watched him whenever I got bored or couldn't see properly (see: lighting).  I didn't really "feel" the music like you sometimes can, but it was still extremely well done.

Set:  You pick: -10 or 10.  Extremely lavish and detailed and beautiful, and so many pieces that you wonder how the hell they all fit.  They used the space they had very well.  But are the intricate sets there to make up for the terrible lighting and the laboriously long scene changes and unnecessary blackouts???  Up to you to decide.

Costumes: 10.  It's Phantom of the Opera and let's be honest, the costumes have always been incredible.  Go watch the special feature on your PotO 2004 DVD about the Broadway stuff.  You'll see what I mean.

Lighting: Negative one hundred.  OH MY GOD, WOULD IT FUCKING KILL YOU TO ILLUMINATE THE FUCKING STAGE???  I get it.  Phantom of the Opera is a dark musical set to a dark story.  The Phantom lives in an underground lake.  Yeah, I understand that.  BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU NEED TO MAKE THE ENTIRE SHOW SO DARK THAT I COULDN'T SEE HALF THE TIME!!!  Even the spotlights were dim at some points, which means that the people up really close to the stage could probably see just fine and got an intimate look at everything, but that means I'm squinting and I can't figure out who's who or where the voices are coming from.  TURN. UP. THE. FUCKING. LIGHTS.

Score: 10.  I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.  Even though I despise Andy, I can't help but admit that he writes good stuff.  And Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart are like, the best ever.  So yeah, good music.

Story: 7.  WHAAAAT???  HOW COULD YOU GIVE IT A SEVEN, RAEANN???  ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING???  No, actually I'm just spoiled with literature.  You know, like the original novel and Phantom by Susan Kay.  Those stories were multi-layered and beautifully written and interesting and kept you wondering.  This musical is predictable and parts of it were dull and poorly-worded.  There were also parts that seemed stuck in for no reason, like the rehearsal of Don Juan.  One second you've got Christine saying how she can't do it and how frightened she is, then she's in rehearsal?  Continuity, people.

So all in all, I'd say it lands a solid 8.  Am I glad I forked out *an amount of money I will not disclose* for my ticket?  No.  My seat was not worth that much money.  But I am glad that I saw the show.  It was a fun way to spend the afternoon and I did enjoy myself.  I just didn't enjoy squinting at the stage because somebody didn't go to lighting school.  *is bitter*

Soooo... um,

I want friends.

I've been doing so much walking that I will probably be able to tell anyone anything about Pittsburgh if I keep it up for another week.  And the only reason I walk so much is because I have nothing else to do and I don't have other people to hang out with.  Today alone, I went past the Benedum Center twice.  I went all the way to the Greyhound station completely by accident.  I found the giant Phantom loading dock.  I went hunting for a bookstore that doesn't exist. (shit)  I spent a good hour looking for plays and movie musicals at our school library.

Then I called my mom a little before 7:30 and asked her if I could see Phantom.  She told me it was a bad idea and then spent five minutes telling me to go back to my room and just "be bored" for a day.  I was not amused.  So I went into the box office, asked what the cheapest ticket price was, and was told that they weren't available for that night, but it was $47.  So I decided to listen to my mommy and go back tomorrow instead.  Woo.

Then I walked to the PPG fountain because I didn't feel like going back to my dorm.  I sat there for quite a while, listening to music and watching people run around and just watching the water.  It was beautiful and so calming and it made me feel better about things.

Tomorrow I'm going to the box office and buying a ticket to Phantom.  I don't want to pay $47, but I will anyway.  Whatever.  Then I'll walk around a bunch and find bookstores and get all dressed up and see Phantom of the Opera.  And probably end up seeing two of my friends and being their third wheel for a little bit.  Aaaaand... then I should probably do my homework.

I need some fucking friends already...

Yeah, I have no friends.  At all.  My roommates are cool, but I don't see them that often and we don't exactly "hang out," so it's basically just me sitting in my room all alone because I have nothing else to do.  I don't have class, there aren't any clubs yet, I can't go to parties because I don't know where they are/how to get there/who to go with, and I don't have a job.

And it just kind of sucks, because I feel like a really screwed myself over.  Already.

Whatever.  I have my first cinema class tomorrow, so I'm hoping to meet some super-cool people then.  Hopefully the kind of people I can hang with and not feel like a complete tagalong.  And when I get a job I won't feel like I'm completely wasting my time.  Plus I'll be joining like, a bajillion clubs, so I'll meet people there too.

I'm lonely and I'm not dependent on human contact to make myself happy and I still haven't been to a college party.  I feel like I'm doing this whole thing wrong...

(Seriously, the most meaningful conversation I had today happened in the library.  It went like this: "Hey, so I have a question."  "Yes?"  "I have a library card from Northland Public Library - "  "That'll work here."  "Awesome."  "And you can return books from here there and there here."  "No way."  "Way!"  *Raeann walks away to find a book and comes back three minutes later*  "Did you find one you liked?"  "Yes."  "Okay, due back on the 20th."  "Awesome, thank you!"  And it really didn't help that the librarian was young-ish looking, cute, and wearing glasses...)


Repeat the following phrase:  I will not buy into the giant tourist trap.  I will not buy into the giant tourist trap.  I will not buy into the tourist trap.  I will not - 


But self, it's Phantom of the Opera.  AKA, Andrew Lloyd Webber rapes a book.  AKA, the most over-commercialized musical of all time.  The most sub-par excuse for a phenomenon ever.  WHERE THE FUCKING CHANDELIER FALLS AT A FUCKING SNAILS PACE.

But... butbutbut... it's the FINAL TOUR.  It's ENDING.  This is my last ever chance to see the show!  And it's right up the street!  I can WALK there!!

Do you want to fork out $47 you were saving for EPIC NEXT TO NORMAL WEEK for partial-view, I-need-binoculars seats?  There's no Alice Ripley in this cast, sweetie.  No.  Not worth it.  You don't even know any of the cast members from other shows.  For all you know, they suck.

UNDERSTUDIES, THOUGH.  I can ask.  I can go to the box office tomorrow and ask about it.  And then I can plan to see understudy night.  Because what's better than seeing Christine's understudy?  She's practically living the role of bumped up chorus girl!


I.  KNOW.  BUT THE MUSIC IS STILL GOOD.  And I've never seen the show.  And I've wanted to see it since tenth grade.  Remember that?  When I was the biggest Phantom geek ever and I constantly sang the songs and tried to hit the high note and bought SIX different cast recordings???  I EVEN HAD A FUCKING PHANTOM-THEMED PARTY WHERE I GAVE OUT BOXERS WITH MUSIC NOTES ON THEM.

That was before you were educated in the way of the theatre.  You know, back when you still spelled it "theater" and shit?

But I would be letting my tenth-grade self down!  Seriously, I would be doing myself no favors by not seeing the show.  All that would happen once it's gone is me regretting it forever.  No lie.  So come on, just go see the show already!!

It's still $47 that you were saving for better shows.

I'll skip South Pacific.

No you certainly will not.

I'll skip Mary Poppins.


I'll get a job.


I'll get two jobs.


Work study somewhere.  Maybe sorting mail.  That sounds like fun.  I've always wanted to be a mailman.  I have a Mr. McFeely bag and everything.

Okay, that's nice.  But where else?

There's a hiring sign in Subway and that hot dog place.  Plus I can go along Wood Street and ask in all the little shops too.  Or go a street over and see there.

Damn.  You certainly have thought this through.  So tell me, does this expected income mean that you're planning on buying seats that are more expensive than $47?


I thought so.

Come on, I want to be able to see!  Pleeeeease???

Damn you, musical theatre.  Yes, you can go.  But check for scalpers first.  And haggle.

Yes, ma'am!


I move into my dorm tomorrow.  I'm living in a beautiful building that is super super close to the river.  Knowing my luck, I don't have a view of it, but that's okay.  Because I can basically walk into my backyard and HOMG LOOK A RIVER.

Also, plenty of nice little shops to work at.  Sure, I may end up working at Subway or McDonalds or Giant Eagle.  But that's okay, because I'll actually have a job.  Plus I can get a job at school.  And maybe possibly become an usher.  Still working on that one.

AND DID I MENTION THAT PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IS PLAYING AT THE BENEDUM???  Sure, it's not my favorite show, but I really think I should at least see it live once, you know?  So I'm totally gonna walk over and ask ever-so-sweetly if they'd like to sell me a *secretly* discounted ticket for Sunday.  And then blow off church (sorry Mom, I told you I was a Buddhist months ago...) and see Phantom instead.  Wearing a pretty dress, too.  Plan?  Plan.

Also, I am so excited for my classes.  I'm legitly excited for them too, not just that fake excitement that means you'll try for about a week and then decide it's lame.  This is real excitement.  I want good grades.  I want to double major.  I want to live at school forever and ask about summer courses and summer housing.  I want to overload on classes and help with a bajillion films and see all the plays and go to the Playhouse just because I can.

I'm feeling pretty good about all this.

Dear World, STOP SUCKING. Love, me.

So.  I'm sure everyone in the world has heard about them evil Muslims and how they're trying to tear down Ground Zero so they can worship the god that told them to blow up the United States.  Right?

UGH.  I am so effing tired of people blowing this out of proportion.  I'll admit, at first I raised an eyebrow and was really confused as to why people wanted to build a mosque in Ground Zero.  It made no sense to me whatsoever, because I believe that Ground Zero should be preserved as a national monument to those that lost their lives on 9/11.  Then I did my research.

This isn't even a mosque.  It's a recreational center that will include a place for Muslims to pray.  It isn't being built directly in Ground Zero.  If you visit Ground Zero, you won't even be able to see the recreational center.  Sure, it's within walking distance, but so are a bunch of other buildings.  And I *think* I'm right when I say there's a church closer to the site of Ground Zero than this proposed "mosque"?

I get the issue, trust me, I really do.  But I don't understand why people are so defensive and confrontational about it.  This center is not going to take away the rights of those that want to come to Ground Zero to remember lost loved ones.  It isn't going to spread a message of hate and the people running it do not condone the acts of the terrorists.  They are trying to overcome the negative stereotype Muslims have by building a center that is open to all, trying to get the rest of the nation to understand that they are not bad people just because they're Muslim.

And now I would like to address something a friend of one of my friends quoted.  I do not know this friend of my friend, nor do I know the person she is quoting.  However, I found that this person's information was so biased and one-sided and just plain WRONG that I got so upset that I needed to come type this out.  Now, I quote:

"First of all that building was close enough to have the falling landing gear of the plane Muhammad Atta was on damage it. Secondly, they said they will hold Friday nite prayers in it so of course it's a mosque. This is not about religious freedom. It's about LOCATION. Do you think the Russians would be happy about a mosque being built in Beslan near the school where over two hundred kids were raped and shot in the back by terrorists? One more thing, I seem to remember a super mosque that was supposed to be built in London just in time for the olympics. The people protested about it and now the mosque isn't being built. Rather hypocritical of you isn't it?

The governor of New York wants to meet with them to suggest an alternative site but they flat out refuse to even consider it. Their present position is "We are going to cram this peace loving, bridge building mosque down the throats of you Americans whether you like it or not."  -
Floridian123, commenting on an article

Let me break this down for you.

In which I take apart and dissect everything "floridian" says.Collapse )

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