The Entertainer

Last night I went to see Billy Joel at Fenway. This is my second time seeing him and he does not fail to impress. Both of my parents are big fans and I started listening to his music on a family trip to Ireland. There is not one song that I don’t like. It’s funny because he could have played a complete different playlist last night that still would have been full of hits.

After every song, I kept shouting, “that one’s my favorite!” I don’t think there’s anything quite like hearing a packed stadium of 30,000+ people singing along to Piano Man or an a Capella version of The Longest Time. Even the two songs I didn’t know, I enjoyed. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert too. Not too cold or warm, a few stars speckled the sky, and a great time with my parents and cousin Maura!

We started the night by hitting up a restaurant and getting a few drinks. I had a watermelon beer (the piece of watermelon on top was my favorite) and then had a glass of raspberry sangria. For my meal, I selected the chicken and shrimp sesame stir fry that was chock full of peppers, snap peas, and mushrooms on top a bed of jasmine rice. The portion size was just right so that I easily polished it off and washed it down with a soft serve cone in the stadium.

My workout for the day was a body strength circuit that had my sweating and sticky before I jumped into the pool to swim a mile. I was feeling strong yesterday and was in the zone and could have swam another mile (at least it yet like it) but I was on no time crunch and had to get ready for the concert! To add to my exercise for the day, we did quite a bit of walking to the concert and a ton of dancing! Once Billy came on stage, I didn’t sit for another two hours.

I was feeling sleepy this morning and took my time getting out of bed. Somehow it seemed easier at 5. I eventually got up and grilled up some French toast. In my batter, I tossed an egg, an egg white, a splash of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together, soaked the bread, and fried it up. I thought I would get a little fancy with my topping and mixed a fourth of a cup of plain Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of dark chocolate peanut butter together. Combined with blueberries and banana, it was quite tasty. I ended up having too much for the toast, so I just ate the rest of it as a parfait.

As I enjoyed my breakfast, I watched a clip of Amy Schumer on Jimmy Fallon’s show talking about how she engaged in a bread eating war with Mindy Kaling and sexted from Katie Couric’s phone when she got up to use the bathroom. Comedy right now is huge, especially as people realize that women are actually funny. I am actually going to see Amy’s movie that comes out tonight, which she stars in and wrote. I think it’s so important to have celebrities, especially female, get so much positive exposure for being smart, funny, confident, and strong. And she was just nominated for an Emmy for her show Inside Amy Schumer, which is great!

Now onto a day of studying, writing, and exercising! Happy Friday!


Weekend Away

Many times, travel adventures are made not by what you did, but who joined you. Things do not always go smoothly, but learning to adapt, be flexible, and take things in stride will make matters a lot happier.

My arrival home via bus on Sunday marked the end of my three-week long adventures. For the past three weekends, I’ve been back and forth between home and New York. Timing of my trips was not purposeful because even though the trip isn’t long, it’s exhausting not to have a weekend here and there to just relax. I wont complain because each trip has been different and fun and totally worth the lack of sleep.

This past trip, I made my way to New York, then met up with Bobby and Ruben to get on a train to rent a car to drive to Atlantic City. We happened to be a little late at the car rental place and found that they had closed down for the afternoon- it was only one fifteen! We did a little browsing on our phones and found another rental service just a half mile down the road, trekked our way over, just to discover that they had overbooked and run out of cars. Back to the internet, we finally decided on taking an Uber to Newark Airport and getting a rental car there. Success!

After stopping for coffee and Dairy Queen, we were finally on the road to Atlantic City, which is two hours in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Thinking we had time to enjoy a nice dinner before seeing our show, we realized it started an hour before we thought it did and had just enough time to pick up our friend Laura and get to the theater.

I’ve seen Kathy Griffin three times now and I never leave disappointed. She constantly changes up her stand-up to remain relevant and hilarious. I think I lost my voice laughing so hard. It was well worth the long trip to get there and she put on a surprisingly long two-hour show.

Kathy has actually been caught up in a bit of “controversy” having left Fashion Police after only two months of being on the show. It was an interesting time to see her show, two days after the announcement, but I respect her decision and the reason- she doesn’t like humor that is based simply on what a person, mostly women, looks like. Her humor certainly mocks for people for what they do, which may be considered mean, but it’s different than analyzing a person’s appearance and who they are. Props to Kathy and major thanks for a great show!

After the show, we headed down to an Italian restaurant in the casino. I opted for the spaghetti and meatballs that was quite good, but nothing spectacular.

Since we still hadn’t checked into our hotel, we drove over to put our stuff down and explore, but by the time we made it to our room, we all agreed that we were exhausted and decided that was a wrap for the night. I’m not much of a gambling lady myself. I prefer to get something for my money rather than risking it blindly. I’m not particularly lucky, but rather anxious, so it’s never worth it. Didn’t miss anything by skipping out on the casino part of Atlantic City, though it is interesting to people watch. Vegas is far superior regardless.

Sunday morning, we woke up early to make it to the car rental place before it closed, again at one. It was an easy two-hour drive, mostly because I slept through most of it. After dropping off the car and stopping for coffee, it was time to hop on the train back into the city. I said goodbye to Bobby and Ruben and made my way to Penn Station where a cup of mint chocolate chip was in order. It was soothing to my sore throat and my hungry belly.

Before heading out, I got a slice of pizza for the trip and stood in line for the bus, enjoying the warmth the sun was actually giving off. The trip itself wasn’t so bad, save for a spot of traffic heading out of the city. It’s always difficult for me to leave New York because it feels like a piece of my heart belongs there. I’m not sure if it’s all in my head, but whenever I’m there, it just feels right. It’s my second favorite place in the world, besides my home, but that is mostly due to the people who live there.

But as Dumbledore says to Harry to some effect, “Just because it’s inside your head, doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

This round, leaving was particularly difficult because I knew I wouldn’t be coming back in a week’s time. For sure, it won’t be long before I’m back and I am looking forward to a more relaxing weekend next week, but it’s still bittersweet.

It was nice to some extent to have all these travel adventures in March because its an otherwise dull month. There are no breaks and it’s still cold and dreary. Now that we are on the verge of April and Spring, there’s a lot in which to look forward. I can’t wait for the nce weather because one of my goals this season is to do a lot more hiking and biking. Running outside will also be a refreshing reprieve from all the time I’ve spent on the treadmill this winter. And now we are only a few weeks away from the Red Sox! I haven’t spent a lot of time following Spring Training, but from what I have seen, we’ve got a good team that should at least make things interesting.

Speaking of interesting, for the next few months, a lot of energy will be focused on preparing for my sister Lauren and Nick’s wedding. Many exciting events are occurring leading up to the big day, which of course I cannot discuss before they happen so as not to tarnish the surprise.

Bring it on!

All Hail the Chief!

My only complaint about Veep is that the seasons simply are not long enough. It took me far too long to start watching because I didn’t have access to HBO, but now it’s taking me no time at all to fly through the show thus far.

From the start, the characters have defined characteristics and dynamics with one another, without getting overly sentimental with providing too much backstory. A quality show builds backstory as it continuously moves forward, careful to establish moments that an audience will find endearing.

We want to grow with characters, not be caught up in things that were supposed to happen before we “met” them.

The show reminds me of a cross between Parks and Rec and The Office, with the quirky characters, underdog storyline plots, and quick, smart humor. It almost seems that a camera crew is following them, which is not the set up of the show, but in some ways might be considered because of how it’s a political show. The media could be perceived as that camera crew because it’s always around and shows different perspectives.

I’m obsessed with the dialogue of this show and how real it seems. It flows and moves quickly, incorporating enough political jargon without being over pretentious. If I could write for a show, I would want it to be this one.

Also, something has to be said about the talent of Julia Louis Dreyfuss. People always talk about Amy and Tina-rightfully so- but look at how much Julia has done for women in comedy. She was the single female in one of the funniest, greatest shows of all time, Seinfeld. Elaine is incredibly defined in pop culture, and yet, I have no trouble in believing Julia as Selina. She is hilarious and genius as a woman in power struggling through politics and the dynamics of Washington. Sometimes she bumble and is silly, sometimes she’s mean and ruthless, but mostly she has a good heart that is prevented from doing much of anything because she’s only Veep.

I also really like all of the other characters who I can just imagine being in these positions. It almost makes me wish I could get into this line of work, which is a mark of a great show because I would be horrid in politics. I am far too dramatic, sassy, and sensitive.

Even though it took me awhile to finally get to watch it, I’m already dreading finishing this up. I’m going to need to check when it comes back because a few half hour showings of this creative genius is not enough.

All hail the Veep, or Pissface, which is one of her nicknames. Watch the show!