Sunday, January 11, 2009


As those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, last week I went on my very first trip to New York to see Wicked, invited by one of my co-workers and dragging along Kyriel to enjoy the new experience with me. I'd never heard Wicked before (although, Temple tried to play it for us in the car; I couldn't quite hear it clearly enough through all the background noise, and then I took a nap... :} ), never read the book (though, I really would like to now), and didn't really know what to expect.

Let me first say, New York isn't what I expected, although I didn't really know what to expect. You see a lot of TV about New York and how some people feel about it, but . . . we all know how reliable TV is. :} What I found about the areas we were in New York was the pleasant surprise that it wasn't as stressful as I imagined it being. I live in a pretty big city, and people are always rushed, cursing, and so ridiculously stressed out. Despite the daily grind of traffic and politics never changing, people here seem always surprised and riled up about it. I really don't think that's a healthy way to live, so it stands out to me. I thought that New York might have similar environments in their bigger cities, but not so! People were shockingly calm, even about some of the not-so-ethical things going on in plain sight! It was just accepted. They know they can't stop it, and they don't waste time stressing about it. Traffic is definitely something there, but even though people want to get to where they're going, there isn't the feel of outrage because (shock!) there's traffic in a big city, and that's just how it is. So, my first impression of New York is a good one. :) It's just another, very different place.

So, on with the trip! First stop was our hotel, which had an interior that looked a little bit like the interior of a ship; it was cool!

Also shockingly cheap! Hooray! (I really don't have that much money for trips... :} )

Then, it was on to sight-seeing, of course!

This would be much cooler if Spiderman were in it. I love you, Spiderman!!

Yep, I was a nerd and took pictures of the Subway as we went in. I had a double-motive, though, other than liking the gritty layout of it. I GM a Cyberpunk 2020 game for Terinati, and most of it takes place in NY. A place I've never even been to, right? :p So, being there gave me some great insights to how to give the environment and lifestyle more appropriate feel. In fact, it's probably going to give the game a bit of a makeover, but for the better (I hope).

This was one of the walls inside the Subway! Is that not so COOL? And appropriate, since you head down . . . I wasn't expecting stuff like that down there. The smell kind of negates ideas of art . . . :}

One-armed women's restroom! Anyone? Anyone?? ;)

A "crystal" couch? Stardust and Tatsu's hair would so get stuck in that. :} But, it was fun to sit somewhere sparkly and feel pretty. =^--^=

Oo, shiny! It totally makes me think of Sailor Moon.

Look! A jazz club with the same name as my kitter-pea! I had to take a picture of it, even though we didn't go there. I missed her for that one night of separation. :} I'm tighter with her than I realized. Going to Japan without her is going to stink.

Before we headed out to the show, we had reservations at the Russian Tea Room. I had only a vague idea of what I was in for.

It was pretty, surrounded by the holiday lights still up in the city.

Right outside was a door with gryphons on it, which Kyriel noticed immediately. Since I had my camera out, she asked me to take a photo for her. Shortly after, the nerds amongst us who have read/seen Harry Potter were amused by the "gryphon door." Ha ha ha... * sigh * :}

Some folks arranged to have a caviar tasting. Kyriel and I refrained in order to save money, but it sure looked pretty!

Our meals were so delicious! I was impressed with the service up until dessert, when they started getting orders confused. :} But, they were quick to fix it and it was a delightful nearly three-hour experience. It was the kind of relaxation that I needed after traveling and exploring New York all day.

We hurriedly got into taxis (OMG, I love taxis in NY! They know where they're going! They try to get there fast! I didn't get hit on! They were friendly! There were interactive TVs inside the cabs which would show you how you were getting where you were going, and some taxis had TVs on top!), and moved on to the Gershwin. I would have loved to take a bicycle rickshaw if it hadn't been so cold outside, or even a horse and carriage (wouldn't have been the same without Terinati), but it made me glad that we got in a taxi during our trip. Taxi drivers across the United States have something to learn from how these guys are doing it!

I didn't take pictures inside the theater or in the show, since you're not supposed to. I wish I had taken a photo of the set, though, because it was even more gorgeous (a few extra touches) than the one they show on the website. I was in awe, even sitting in the row furthest back in the theater. The sound, the quality, the acting, the choreography . . . I've never seen anything like Wicked. In fact, I've never seen a show where the visuals could match up to my imagination. This one probably went beyond what I could have pictured taking place in it. And, the story!! YUM! I wonder what Frank Oz (I forget his real name) would have thought of Glinda (based on his wife in real life) being turned into a naive, "blonde" girl, but considering his overall changes to the original book during the time he was working on it, I bet his spirit is out there smiling somewhere.

I woke up early the next morning to get ready to head back. Best continental breakfast (short of waffles you make yourself) I've ever had. NUM! As I watched the sun rise in New York for the first time ever, I felt really fortunate that I had been invited on this trip. There was more I wish I could have done, but given the time alotted, I'm glad that we made the most of our time there.


This is my weekly follow-up of goals from the January Princess Challenge, as promised, and won't probably be as interesting as the above. :}

Goal #...

1.) Complete the master book of L5R rules and house rules for the RPG I’ve been working on and keep it up to date. (I actually may need to start over because of formatting issues, but we’ll see!) I’m calling it “World of Rokugan,” though the title may change with the new release of the Burning Sands core rules. It’s just a book for Terinati and I so that we can find things easier (and correct editing mishaps, though most of those have been fixed in the new edition! Thanks, AEG! :) )

Rather that one book, it occurs to me that this information may be more valuable in a set of documents that is broken up by topic, some with recurring information where the different things overlap. That would make it more accessible by having the section in the title and having the file be small enough to post on Google Docs. I'm going to talk this over with Terinati to see what he thinks. He always has brilliant suggestions.

2.) Finish composing “We Are One” for the wedding in June so that it can be recorded in the studio.

This one is becoming a top priority as it is very time sensitive and I've been bothered to get it done for the last several months. :/

4.) Get my BA in Psychology with a high GPA (already doing well there!).

I started early reading for my Negotiation and Conflict Resolution course. I'm doing pretty well keeping up with it so far.

11.) Make time for relaxation, even if I don’t think that I have it. A couple hours each evening. I’m too afraid of being lazy, and I need to let that go because otherwise I have regular mental breakdowns, and that just can’t be healthy.

So far, so good!

15.) Get my MUSH really up and running with people and at least one monthly activity to share that will bring the community together. The MUSH is up, really; I’m just scared to show it to anyone right now. :} Because there’s nothing to do in it other than role-play table-top games.

I worked on the character generation area on 01/09/09, creating the @descs in preparation to make it more interesting.

01/10/09 - I updated with the @descs and altered the relevant exit information.

18.) Finish reading the Harry Potter books so that I can be in the loop with my friends who are Harry Potter fans.

Got through Ch. 6 of "Quidditch Through the Ages" this week!

20.) Get outside of my shell and adventure more, saying yes more often to going out with friends to places I’ve never been to before (The November Princess Adventure, going out and getting manicures and pedicures with Anna, and heading to New York for the first time on 01/03 are examples of me heading in this direction already).

Obviously, this blog on NY is an example of success here! Hooray!

23.) Make some time for Terinat’s games, like LOTRO. I think my first step is getting comfortable playing it by myself instead of just jumping in to everyone who’s really been into it all along, know the lore, etc. When I start something new, I need to take my time, read everything, and really get it for myself before I can enjoy it with someone else. Perhaps an hour a week is a decent starting point. (Heehee, I think most people probably set goals to play games less . . . I feel like Mr. Guder, here)

01/10/09 - Installed updates for LOTRO (haven't done this for months, so that's serious progress) while working on homework.

24.) Don’t procrastinate with my school work! Sometimes it’s okay when I need to relax, but I know it’s ultimately better to shoot for doing my work early so that I’m giving a better, more relaxed effort.

Been all on schedule (ahead, actually) so far!

38.) GM Cyberpunk 2020 for Terinati on a weekly basis or so.

Worked on mapping out the next arc this week . . . I think I may be ready to play, but I just want to read through my notes one more time. Perhaps create some handy NPCs.

45.) Always write legibly. Sometimes I allow myself to feel rushed, and then I write a bunch of gibberish . . . which really defeats the purpose of writing. :}

Focused on this more this week. Still needs some polish.

52.) Keep my nails short. It’s a prerequisite for not stumbling on keyboards or issues with guitar playing, but I do let them get wild sometimes, just because I like their wildness. And then I cut myself on them. :} I’m too clumsy for long nails! :}

01/11/09 - cut down my fingernails as short as they'll go.

53.) Be more green. I’ve worked hard on this in the past year, both at work and at home, but I can do more, and it’ll help with reducing clutter. (lol, I’ll defy gravity!)

01/11/09 - We started using method's squeaky green dryer cloths. Did you know that drier sheets are sometimes made with animal fat?

57.) I will look up words that I don’t know so long as I have access to some sort of dictionary. I don’t anticipate remembering them all, but I’m not satisfied with using context all of the time anymore. I’ve already learned that doing a word a day doesn’t help me.

01/10/09 - found 'ephemeral' in "A Way of Being" by Carl Rogers. According to, it means: lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: the ephemeral joys of childhood.

Then, in the same section, 'gadfly,' which says is: a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.

Aboveboard: in open sight; without tricks, concealment, or disguise: Their actions are open and aboveboard.

Laymen: a person who is not a member of a given profession, as law or medicine.

Incipient: beginning to exist or appear; in an initial stage: an incipient cold.

Denigrate: to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone's character.

Congenial: agreeable, suitable, or pleasing in nature or character: congenial surroundings.

Lackadaisically: without interest, vigor, or determination; listless; lethargic: a lackadaisical attempt.

62.) Check this list once a week and,

63.) Make a regular, non-spammy blog.

So far, so good? I cut down this blog and reduced what I was planning on saying, and I'm still happy with it.

81.) I will not rush myself or allow others to pressure me into rushing. I need to slow down and think things through.

It was hard this week because people have started getting busy, which makes them stressed, and then they panic. However, I stopped myself several times during the week and managed to slow myself down and do things right, so I think I did pretty well. It's certainly not ingrained, though.

101.) I will stay faithful to these many goals in the years ahead until my time ticks out!

I put this list into Google Docs so that I can access it and write notes down for myself from anywhere there is internet.

I don't think of any of the goals as complete this week, but I'm pretty happy with my progress! Gotta keep it up, though! Off I go! :)

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