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Posts Tagged ‘books’

This musical needs to be revived.

It’s about people in their ordinary jobs. It gives them a chance to be extraordinary.

I can’t express how much this musical needs to be revived. I win the lottery, I’ll figure out a way for this to happen.

It’s based off of a book called “Working”, by Studs Terkel. Amazing book. I think it should be required reading for everyone.. especially government workers.

It’s my favorite musical. The song I’ve linked below sounds different in the musical version, but it is the essential same song. (most of the YouTube versions, to me, are terrible.) Also, the French verse is just awesome.

If I were given the option to sing one song, on Broadway, to a packed house, it’d be Millwork.

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I felt I needed to delineate both topics. The Wicked book and subsequent musical hold a dear place in my heart.

Wicked is the alternate story/parallel of the Wicked Witches of the Wizard of Oz written by Gregory Maguire. It has 2 sequels, but the original is brilliant.

The book is an absolute must read. I don’t care what kind of book you like – you simply MUST read Wicked. I would say just buy it, but going to your library is another awesome option.

I absolutely refuse to spoil it, so you can look it up on your own. This goes for both the book and the movie – Wiki has tons of spoilers throughout, so if you don’t want to spoiler it, DO NOT LOOK IT UP.

The musical. The original Broadway cast was absolutely amazing. The subsequent casts have been amazing. Stephen Schwartz is a brilliant composer and assembled an amazing team of individuals to bring together this amazing show. Have I said how amazing this show is? Yeah. I saw it twice on Broadway – the second time 3? days before Idina’s last day, from 6th row that time (6th row! oh my god.) I also took my parents to see it on Halloween night in Wichita, and we also had AMAZING seats. (They really, really enjoyed it. It was their first real musical.)

The original cast starred Idina Menzel (who, if you haven’t realized by now, is someone I greatly admire), Kristen Chenoweth (also a woman who I highly admire), and a PLETHORA of others.

The music … for someone like me, who used to have a 4.5+ octave range, it was simply heaven when I heard it the first time. Every time since then, I still get chills down my spine when I listen to it. I can’t really do Galinda (It’s Glinda, with a GA, to paraphrase) – Kristin’s voice is just too ethereal, and too high for me. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t sound as good. (and no wonder..)

But I still try, because it’s good to push my limits.

99% of Elphaba’s parts are perfect. Out of any musical I’ve ever sung pieces out of (with the exception of Millwork from Working… also by Stephen Schwartz), Elphaba is the only character I can sing any song from and do it with confidence. (The other character is Nessarose, who is the Wicked Witch of the East. Pity my favorite song of hers is one that is not on the soundtrack. 😦 )

I know this entry seems paltry, but I really can’t express how this musical and book make me feel. I identify so, so strongly with Elphaba in so many ways in both versions. More than I think anyone on this earth knows.

I’m having so many problems figuring out what video I’d like to link here. Defying Gravity? maybe. For Good? Possibly. In the end, it comes down to two of them for me… and I can’t decide after 5 hours, so I’ll link them both.

This one is just audio. The Wizard and I, by Elphaba.

This doesn’t do it justice, but it was oh wow. I just. Wow. I love this song for all it says, for all it doesn’t say, and it’s just a beautiful love song. This is probably the one duet I would love, love, love to be able to seriously sing with someone.

As Long As You’re Mine, by Elphaba and Fiyero.

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I love to read. Anyone that knows me knows that. I’ve been reading since I was 2 – not just Dr Seuss books, but newspapers before I was 3. I was always accelerated through school and reading books that no one my age should have been reading. If I need to comfort myself, get time for myself, whatever – I turn to books. I can go into a fantasy land and never leave my precise spot here on the universe.

I’ll go into a few of my favorite authors by the end of this month, but suffice it to say I LOVE reading. I love books. I recently got a Kindle for my birthday, and I’m loading it up with free classics. I keep reaching up to the corner to turn a page, hilariously.

I LOVE books. I love the feel of them, I love the way they smell (except if they’re old and musty in a dirty not just musty way).

They make me happy. And that’s why I’m a fan.

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If all goes to plan, this will go to post as I am waiting in the airport waiting to go to Chicago.

I get to see my friend Jen, who I don’t think I’ve seen in at least 9 years. I get to meet my friend Sarah who I have known for several. I HOPEFULLY will get to meet my friend Drew, his wife, and newborn daughter after… years and years, we’ve known each other via Dave Matthews and Warehouse.

Wednesday night I get to go embarrass myself while playing Rock Band at Jen’s work.

I get to go to Gameworks for my birthday night. (any friends reading this in or near Chicago, drop me a line! You’re invited!) Yes, I turn 31 on May 19. Send me birthday wishes? =D Yes, I’m odd about it. I’m weird. I approach birthdays with both dread and happiness. One year closer to the unknown, but one year more I have lived.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are Anime Central/Acen. Friday Jen and I are cosplaying Femme!Ten for her and “Tooth and Claw” Rose for me. Saturday I am playing Miwako from Paradise Kiss and she is cosplaying Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. I also am on the Final Fantasy MMORPG panel from 7-9 in Salon 1. Come. I’ll pelt gum at you. I will also most definitely be attending the Yoshiki Q&A, I am not a fan of every crazy Japanese band out there, but I really admire and respect Yoshiki and in a bit of a fangirl moment, yay he follows me on Twitter too! Sunday I am cosplaying Luna Lovegood and Jen is portraying her Gryffindor side.

Monday and Tuesday will be spent roaming around the Museum of Science and Industry, which I am unbeLIEVABLY incredibly insanely psyched about, and if all goes well, Tuesday night I will finally be seeing the Cubs and fulfilling a promise I made as a 9 year old to a man who made me learn all about, and love, the Cubs for life. If we do get to go, Elmore, you’re right there with us, and I promise I will try to catch a ball if it comes my way, just like I said I would!

Then I come home Wednesday, unpack, and start cleaning my room that’s been a disaster after school, moving things around, and starting to list things on eBay and look for a job, not to mention working on my taking over the world plan with Annette the Awesome (this is her official title now, even though she doesn’t know it), and hopefully getting my plans for LA taken care of. Not to mention writing my article for Massively about my Gods and Heroes trip, as well as writing more stories for Aerys Sports Soccer 😀

It’s a good thing I love writing, because I have an awful lot of it to do.

In other things, I’ve managed to pare my girly type items (makeup, nail polish) down to over half gone of what I had a year ago, and I have a lot to sell. I need to sell quite a bit (or trade for things that I will use), it’s the same with bath and body stuff… after going on a no buy on January 1, aside from things I have been 100% out of, I have not bought anything new, and found that my drawer and shelf space is increasing at a fairly good clip! It makes me happy. It makes me sad when I need to buy something!

I have lots of blog posts to make… still some NAB reviews…. still all about my trip to Austin.. so many other things. But right now, I keep on keeping on. School went well. I didn’t flunk anything. I improved most of my classes. In July I get my packet to get my work study, so I will have at least one job throughout next semester. I have no idea what comes in 6 months, and while it’s somewhat terrifying, right now, my brain just says “enjoy what you have now. The rest will come”.

So I am… and I’m leaving on a jet plane. Be back in a week!

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Hey! Hutchinson Community College! Y’know I’ve gone here for.. uh. 3 years come the fall. I know how it works. I’ve been in school a while. I understand the textbook racket. Really. Ya all sell used copies at overinflated prices and pay us peanuts, and claim that “you’re saving us money” by doing so. In reality, many kids just overpay because they’re lazy.

I get it. I understand it’s a stressful time for everyone – myself included. I specifically drove the 51.2 miles one way to school today to sell back my books, which means you can take out $12 from my total just for the gas alone. I’m not a math major, but when it comes to *my* money, I’m smart about it.

I came armed. I wrote down all my figures from my How I beat the College Textbook Racket post I wrote about 4 months ago. I know what I paid. I know what Amazon pays. I know what eBay pays. I know what the bookstore sells em for. This is not me being rude, this is me being a smart shopper.

I also knew that the bookstore buys back books if you buy them here and keep the receipt for 50% of the price IF they need them, and 35-50% if they don’t depending on their stock- their discretion. They basically get 60%-70% resale value on books, which is a damn good profit margin, I think most companies would kill for it.

I knew all of that.

So, with all this in mind… you *might* want to tell your booksellers to not get pissed off when I say “No, I didn’t buy my books here, but I came to sell them back because I need the money and I know the bookstore needs people to sell books back to keep stock for next year.”

When they start blathering how I’d have saved money had I bought them here, and I politely say “Not $100 plus dollars worth”, they shouldn’t get offended. (if I would have bought them all new at the bookstore, it would have been a lot more than $100 worth, but I digress. The point is made.) I haven’t had a job in a year and a half. I’m a shopper. If I can find a better deal somewhere else, I’m going to. It’s my right to get the best value for my money. (in fact, if I didn’t need money so bad they’d have -all- gone on eBay). And I admit, I was a little annoyed – but I was polite. Terse, but polite. I bit my tongue so hard I still have blood in my mouth, as a matter of fact. (Yes, I have a temper, and I know how to control it, even with little sleep)

It’s when the buyers start saying I’m rude, have an attitude, and refuse to buy my books that I have a problem. When they claim that over half my books have water damage – pretty funny since the only one that does I didn’t even bother to sell back, I’m keeping it – and then continue to carry on, and then say “well we aren’t buying your books so you just need to leave”. The girl Megan (sp) keeping saying how I’m rude and immature? Very nice, really. It’s immature to want to know the price of every book that you’d buy back so I can compare to see if I can make more money somewhere else? Since when was saving money immature? The guy behind me raised his eyebrow and mouthed “wow, they’re mean” as I was walking off.

So I loaded them all up again, walked upstairs, then someone in business office called the bookstore manager Anita. She took care of me.. kind of. The book buyers said “well her books are damaged so they aren’t worth buying” was *completely* uncalled for – when I pointed out that it wasn’t water damage because there was no discoloration, the Megan girl going “You should just be quiet and quit being rude”… Let’s just hope that we both don’t have work studies in the same place next year, honey, because I can SHOW you rude. (I don’t think I would, but I’m just angry right now.)

Most of mine were bought new. I took online classes so the majority sat on my floor unless I was traveling or using them. I am VERY PICKY about my books, I treat them like gold. There’s a reason I have so many VF+ old books in my household. I respect them. Even if I hate them.

So yes – that one that you said was water damaged? You hadn’t bought any of them back yet, and they need them next year. Funny – Anita bought it without a problem, especially when she learned the code was still intact and that they had 0 in stock, and I showed her what real water damage looks like versus average use on a page.

Anyway, obrigado to Anita for buying back the few you did. Even though the 2nd one of mine really isn’t water damaged, it’s ok. I can sell it on eBay for $70. You’d have given me $35. you sell it for $100. I wish I could make that kind of profit.

PS, the used copies you guys did have when I came in to check them out last year? Almost all were in worse shape than this book. torn covers, pages stuck together/discolored, so much writing that you couldn’t read the text. (it’s not water damage – it’s flimsy paper that has creases because it’s flimsy paper.)

Anyway, final count:

I got $90 back total. I don’t know how much each was individually, as they really wanted to be rid of me..

I sold back:
Psychology (I paid 66.53 used, the bookstore sells it used for 79.99, it’s 105.99 new, and it eBays for $45. I’m guessing I got ~$42.50 for it.)
John Connelly’s The Book of Lost Things (I paid 5.57 used, used for 10.99, new for 13.99, it ebays for $5. I’m guessing I got $5 for it)
American Lit II – 3 volume set (I paid 43.47 + tax NEW, bookstore used for 50.99, new for $67.50, ebays for $35, and I’m guessing I got $42.50 for it).

They would not buy back my Macroecon book because of “water damage” on one page. (I paid 69, bookstore used it 109.70, bookstore new is 147, eBay price is $70. They were offering me $35. Uh… nothx anyway)

I haven’t sold back: British Literature II, and now I’m not going to be able to due to this. (oh well. Their loss, since they need them as they had 0 used copies when I checked in the beginning of spring)

And I’m keeping my Fairy Tales book.

So really, it did behoove me to sell back to you guys because I don’t HAVE to deal with eBay.

PS: Next year? I’m not even going to bother coming to buy/sell books here, unless there’s a significant difference in price and quality. I don’t know that it’s worth it to deal with this bullshit again. And I’m one of the most understanding people in the world, but don’t treat me like I’m some wet behind the ears green dumbass college kid.

Now, I have a final to finish and a paper to write.

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I quite optimistically think that I will survive the next couple weeks. I have roughly 13 assignments due by the 12th (7 of which are papers). On the 11th, I leave for Austin. This means all my schoolwork needs to actually be done by the 10th, so I have a few hours to pack.

I leave the 11th, back the 13th. Then I get to write my article (making myself write it then so it’s still fresh on my mind), and on top of it, get all my stuff ready for Anime Central and my Chicago trip. Then I go to Chicago the 18-25th, come home, and hopefully head to California very shortly after that.

At least I can say my life isn’t boring….

On top of all that, I need to list things on eBay as I now have no income. (woo hoo, unemployment finally ran out. Note my sarcasm. Heavy, heavy, sarcasm.)

Sigh. Writing this out right now helps me think things through. Sometimes it takes me a bit to process them other than having a panic attack.

Now for the optimism part: On a good note in there, my birthday is on the 19th! 😀 (I’m not the type to beg for presents, but if you’re really wondering what I like, I have several amazon lists, but they’re all tied into my main one Here! So hey, if you’re so inclined, the option’s there.

Speaking of writing articles, I recently found a new writing gig. I’m writing for Aerys Sports Soccer as their Portuguese soccer writer. It’s really a great site and I can’t wait to see where we go with it. My first piece went up over the weekend, discussing how Portugal (and Iberian) is slowly coming into its well deserved glory (again, as it were). You can read the piece here. And yes, I know there’s a couple grammatical errors in it. I was very nervous writing it and they slipped past me. Very uncharacteristic of me!

Oh well.

I suppose I should dive into rewriting this essay and tackling my list from the first due date on.

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“I fell in love — that is the only expression I can think of — at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.” – Dylan Thomas

(this aptly describes my life at the moment, in the crux of the last few weeks of this semester.)

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