Saturday, May 4, 2013

NYC for "Peter and the Starcatcher"

All right, now I have another selection of stories to tell. This one is about my second trip to NYC to see a show. This one is about seeing Peter and the Starcatcher, and other stuff that went on while in (or on the way to) the city.

I was dropped off at Mont Co the Pottstown campus to wait for the bus. I met up with my friends Scott and Sharii, who then told me the bus was parked at the next building (North Hall) instead of up front like we were originally told. As soon as more people showed up, we walked from South to North Hall and got on the huge bus which was parked just around the corner. Soon enough we were moving, going down street after street. I spent a while chatting with Scott and Sharii since I didn't know anyone else on the bus. After about forty-five minutes we made it to the Blue Bell campus. Not everyone was going to see the show though. Some of them were going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We got more passengers, nearly filling the bus. A guy named Jonathan sat next to me and we talked a while to kill some time I guess.
    And then there was that incredible feeling of coming into the city. I still wasn't used to seeing such tall buildings and crowded streets. "I wouldn't want to live here though." I said. "Too crowded, traffice, not enough trees or wildlife..." I guess it comes from living near the woods for over a decade.

    After getting off the bus, we got our tickets from Mike (the man supervising now, we picked him up at Blue Bell) and were told to meet back around 1:30, then we kinda split. Having only been to NYC one other time, I didn't (and still don't) know the city at all so I needed to find a friend/group who did. Jonathan and I chased Scott and Sharii down the block and tagged along for that reason, walking down what felt like an endless sidewalk with a crossing every minute or so. "Another reason I wouldn't want to live here." I thought, smelling the air. "Too much cigarette smoke." We walked and walked and walked until we came to a small pizza shop with just a few tables to sit at. While the three of them ate pizza I took a Chewy bar out of my jacket pocket and ate that. I took a few pictures ad we watched a bit of the news on the TV on the wall.
    After pizza we walked even longer (Jonathan and I were having trouble keeping up several times) until we came to a nondescript building with a heavy glass door. walking through it, we went through a shabby blank hallway and stepping into an elevator that had just enough room to hold the four of us. "Oh god I hate elevators." I said, which led to Jonathan mentioning Tower of Terror, and then me and Scott telling him to shut up since I'm claustrophobic and was a bit freaked out. The elevator went six floors and then stopped, letting us out to another hallway that led to a dim and fascinating magic shop. [Scott and Sharii are magicians, so I've been told, so it doesn't come to too much surprise.] There were some things like magic kits, knives, huge coins, books, displays of real Houdini handcuffs, keys, and a bunch of other stuff like magic show DVDs. When I checked the time, it was about 12:55 so we had to get back. We took a wider elevator down and walked (sometimes sprinting like before) down the crowded street until having a couple of brief "We're lost" kind of moments. But we stumbled across the theater a bit by accident, went in and got to the seats assigned by our tickets.

The auditorium wasn't huge, but it was big enough to hold two sections of seats (meaning one on the ground and one on the wall above us). It's a shame no photography was allowed, because the stage looked great (especially from third row where we sat). Classic red velvet curtain, and the frame looked like various worn metals like copper, brass, etc. The design was indescribable, and it also had various items like kitchen utensils, oven timers, spades, made of the same material and partially camouflaged by the giant frame. At the top there was even a large decoration shaped like a pineapple, and a "seahorse" on either side of it near a top corner of the giant frame.
    The show was good. Music, some actors narrating, a lot of humor (so at some points it was easy to tell what was a spoof even though I haven't read the book), the kind of stuff that makes me think "I REALLY need to read this book." A lot of stage effects like strobe lights, drums sounds, and plenty of props were good measure and helped to add emphasis.
[after the intermission, there was a musical number done by almost all the guys and the one girl, and they were all dressed up like mermaids. Everyone sure found that amusing. Mostly I was thinking "What...?" It was very weird]
    Oh it WAS funny. Especially when "Black Stache" (son-to-be Hook) loses his hand. He slams the lid of a trunk on it by mistake, and repeats "oh my god" in different ways with painful yet hysterical expressions. The audience laughed really hard (it lasted about a full minute). I could barely breathe from laughter, my eyes were watering and I couldn't contain myself.
    So overall the show was great. I told myself over and over to remember to get the book.
    After the show and getting back with the bigger group, the man who played Black Stache came out and met us. Apparently he knows Mike, so he talked a bit and we got pictures with him. I actually got to hold two fingers behind his head. "I couldn't resist." I said. "I can never resist. It's my signature thing."
So... that was fun.
On the way home on the bus, I asked Jonathan a riddle I had heard in an interview with Andy Serkis ("It has no top or bottom but it can hold flesh, bones and blood all at the same time." the answer was "a ring"). When he couldn't guess, Scott and Sharii joined in. After I asked another one, the guy sitting in front of Jonathan asked a riddle and we all tried guessing. Then Scott asked a few, the guy in front did some more and then a man sitting behind Scott asked us. Due to the sun setting on our darkening bus during this fun game, I said "We should call this our own Riddles in the Dark." I did a Gollum voice a few times which made them laugh, and the riddles were fun. Sometimes when we/I couldn't think of anything, we/I would give a random answer. For example,
"What has four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, three in the evening and twelve at night?" -Scott (the answer is human, being carried by mourners after death hence the 'night')
"You, on Friday." -me

So I'd say the day turned out good. Hopefully next time I go there, I can just explore and relax.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Rabbit

I was outside on a cool evening with my bow and arrow, shooting at the hay bale I have kept and practiced on for three years. It was getting darker but it was still easy to see where I was shooting and where my arrows landed. Unfortunately, I have recently developed this nasty habit of breaking the nocks (the thing at the end of an arrow keeping it hooked into the bowstring) on many arrows, by hitting them with other arrows by accident. At least I now have a box of replacement nocks that I can put on and fix before shooting again.

But only having six functional arrows left in the quiver on my back wasn't the worst issue that day, though. When I went to retrieve my shot arrows, I saw a brown rabbit hopping slowly through the two acres of back yard. It came closer and closer, and by the time I had one of my missed arrows nocked into the bowstring, it was within easy shooting distance.
    A strange feeling flowed through me, a dark and sudden urge to draw back the string to my jaw and release the black-shafted arrow in the rabbit's direction. 'I could hit it easy.' I thought, with my three gloved fingers hooked around the arrow. The animal was barely moving, and I was less than ten meters away. Why shouldn't I give it a try...?
    WHAT?! NO!
    A horrible vision came to me. A vision of.... my arrow flying through the air, penetrating the rabbit's flesh and out the other side. I recover the arrow, pulling it out of the dead rabbit, its shaft stained with blood and stomach waste. My dad after tending  to his vegetable garden sees this scene with a look of sadness and disappointment. "Why?" he says. "Why would you shoot it?" I cannot think of a reason other than sheer ruthless pleasure of shooting game. My reply... "I don't know."
Why would I want to shoot down an innocent and beautiful animal? It had never done me any harm, nor anyone else. It was just sitting there curiously wandering the yard by itself.
    With that 25-30lb recurve bow loaded, I held the rabbit's life in my hands (much like David to King Saul). I could have bent it and shot an aimed arrow, but I didn't. The thing that troubles me most is why. Why did I have that urge? I had never gone hunting before, nor do I ever plan to since killing for sport is just wrong and I love wildlife.
    It wasn't specifically killing the rabbit that I was urged to do, but plainly shooting it for fun, for a more interesting target practice. But looking at the thought that ran through my head, what the hell is the difference?! I was tempted by a dark side of my soul, the very thing that I promised myself I wouldn't give in to. Only a strong enough will and fear of corruption made me walk away, back to the tree where I was to stand and aim at the hay bale.