Sunday, May 21, 2017

Musicals and Big Moves

We saw Rent last night and it was just as amazing as it was the first two times.

The first time I saw Rent was on a trip to New York City with my friend Monica the summer after our freshman year of college. One of Monica's new friends from CU was from New York, so we stayed with her friend Beth's parents at their house on Long Island. Beth drove us into the city in her dad's little car (getting side-swiped by a cement truck in the Bronx was particularly memorable--it was entirely Beth's fault, but we all explained to her dad the the truck had COME OUT OF NOWHERE and DIDN'T EVEN STOP, and I'm sure her dad was just relieved that we were all okay and the only damage was a missing side mirror, but after that we took the train into the city). We did mostly the basic touristy stuff--visited The Strand and ate at the diner from Seinfeld or When Harry Met Sally, I forget which, and we drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of bagels and pizza. The one thing I had specifically requested was to see Rent. We also went to some bar where they didn't check IDs and drank amaretto sours because we were 19 and awesome. Anyway, we did see Rent on Broadway and I loved every second of it. It was amazing and I cried and I longed to be part of an artistic community of friends living in an abandoned building in alphabet city, except for the fact that I don't actually like being uncomfortable, so the whole cold/hungry part of it was not very appealing. But still! How amazing to live in New York and be an artist!

I fell into a time warp on the way to the theatre because I bought a t-shirt celebrating their 20th anniversary tour, which seems to be mathematically impossible. I saw that show for the first time in 1999. It blows my mind that I am now old enough to have done something 18 YEARS ago besides go to kindergarten. At the time I saw it on Broadway, I thought the actors were so glamorous and grown up. When I went to the show last night, the actors all looked like children to me. This is evidently what happens over the course of nearly two decades when you age and characters do not.

Still, it was awesome. I was giddy and singing along the whole time. I've lost a bit of my edge with the "La Boheme" song and couldn't quite nail all the lyrics, but David suggested that I go back stage and offer to be an understudy for any part because I really do have the whole thing memorized. (My freshman year roomie, Kaley, no doubt does too, because we listened to that soundtrack all. the. time. Hashtag coolest room in Banks Hall.)

"La Boheme" is still my favorite song, and now the song "Without You" has me in tears every time:

Without you, 
The ground thaws,
The rain falls,
The grass grows.

Without you, 
The seeds root,
The flowers bloom,
The children play.

The stars gleam,
The poets dream,
The eagles fly,
Without you.

The earth turns,
The sun burns,
But I die
Without you.

It has a completely different meaning for me now than it does in 1999. That first change of season after a loss, when everything is going on as though the world hasn't just imploded... Brutal.

As excited and happy as I was to see the show and buy the shirt, when David commented on my level of enthusiasm going into Rent, and I had to sing, "Oh, JUST YOU WAIT." (For Hamilton. April 2018. I'm already fangirling out of my mind over it.)

In other musical news, my Zuzu is a lyrical genius who made up an original song on the way to school the other morning and then when I picked her up, her teacher (Kim, who is mentioned at the end of the video) informed me that she performed it for her entire class, and the class agreed they would all sing it the next time it rains. I should probably get her an agent and book her some studio time, because this girl is ready to write an album:

She has since added an extra verse "The dolphins are ducking, oh yeah..." Awesome.

In non-musical news, my semester has officially ended and while I'm supposed to show up on campus tomorrow and Tuesday to wrap up loose ends (shredding papers and one brief meeting), I'm basically feeling like summer has already started. I just want to write and read and take my kids to the pool and drink summery beers.

It's looking more and more likely that we will move closer to David's new job, so I'm trying to wrap my head around that idea, too. I have many mixed feelings, but what it comes down to is that so much quality of life in general is connected to commutes and schools. It just makes the most sense for our family to move to a neighborhood that will make my commute simpler (and not longer), make David's commute drastically shorter, and solve the issue of schools for the girls. There are actually a lot of great options in the city, but we haven't found the perfect solution for us in our current zip code, and the options we do like are dependent upon a lottery (you all know how lucky we are given slim odds, so...) and this would eliminate the stress of that decision.

Of course, this doesn't solve the angst of my social conscience or my emotional attachment to our current location... I have serious reservations about participating in white flight to the suburbs and we truly never imagined that we would move out of the city. I love being a city resident. I love our neighbors and I love being so close to so many amazing restaurants, parks, and activities. But as life doesn't show any signs of getting less busy, I think simplifying our everyday routines to maximize the time we all spend together has to be the priority, and will in fact probably allow us to have more time for visiting parks and gardens and the zoo, even if we have to drive a bit further to do it.

And when I think about David being home in time to deal with that 5:00 witching hour, I'm basically willing to move to a trailer in his school's parking lot.

Anyway, we're taking our time thinking through neighborhoods and houses, and figuring out what is our best case, what we can afford, and where we can see ourselves living for the next several years. Ugh. Big adult decisions are not really my strong suit.

Time to listen to some musical soundtracks and pop open one of those summery beers, I think.


  1. Good luck on the house/neighbourhood search. :) Moving can be very bittersweet, and it certainly has its pros & cons, but in the end, if it means less stress and more quality time together, it's probably worth it. I had my reservations about the place we moved to last year (still do in some ways), but I have to admit, being closer to family & having a happier husband as a result has been a huge plus. :) Enjoy your summer break!

  2. Zuzu's song is The Best! Especially love the motions that go with the words; absolutely get her an agent and if she can work up an act with Coco you and your hubby may be set for life! Thanks for sharing, this made my day, what a cutie!

  3. Zuzu's song is a winner. It sure made me smile. I love her creativity.

  4. Remembering amaretto sours and being so damn young... It wasn't NYC - I was in Japan, but I can't believe I was both old enough to drink AND still just so young!!

  5. I hope you find a great neighborhood for your family! Our suburban neighborhood is fairly diverse, probably more so than a lot of city neighborhoods in Austin because gentrification has forced families to the suburbs.

  6. Fact: I still like amaretto sours.

    Zuzu is amazing. Oh yeah.