Comment to this post and I will list 5 subjects/things I associate with you. Then post this in your blog and elaborate on the subjects I give you.
I will be waxing rhapsodic about the following:
What a bastard he was, eh? Making bored adolescents read his wordy plays in high school when they'd rather be doing things like wooing each other, or fighting, or trying to earn the affection of their parents, all things that Shakespeare never wrote a- ...oh, wait.
I've done exactly one of his plays, and understudied in one play inspired by one of his works. That said, I've read several more, and while I can't improvise in perfect iambic pentameter like one of my classmates could, I can definitely read, understand, and write in it. And I like to think that when I did Romeo and Juliet in college, I was able to make the prose and verse not quite so dense as high school students tend to imagine it to be. That said, I'm firmly of the opinion that there is no middle ground to trod when playing Shakespeare, either you are very good, or you're making the audience wish they'd curled up with a movie from Netflix at home. I'd like to think I was in the former category, but I never watched the video of the show, so I don't know for sure.
To this day, I'm never entirely sure myself if I really am as pretentious as I come across sometimes, or if it's literally a pretension to mask deeper insecurities. I should smoke a big black cigar and analyze myself a la Freud. Or maybe not. I think it's a little of both. I do feel superior to the average Joe in some respects, but at the same time, I think my pretentiousness reads as being in a John Lithgow-type vein...at least I hope it does. I'm sort of paradoxical in that regard, I guess...I do think I'm smarter than the average bear, but I refuse to take myself too seriously by pretending to take myself extremely seriously.
Fountain Pens & Ink
I got my first fountain pen in high school, though I remember taking a calligraphy class as an after-school activity in 6th grade (and what a hellish year that was, let me tell you!). While I'm normally a techno-joy, get-Mr-Digital, fetch-me-that-new-shiny-thing type of guy in most regards, there's something very rewarding about using something as analog as a fountain pen filled with ink. Maybe there's something of the ritual about cleaning it and filling it, but I can say there's no better pen for the sheer tactile joy of feeling the ink flow across the paper. Especially if you've got really good paper.
I interned at the Shedd with my then-friend and -roommate Dan for about 6 months. We both worked in the Interpretive and Guest Services department, which meant that we were among the people that wandered the galleries and oceanarium, explaining what you were looking at, asking you to not use flash photography or hold your guide maps out over the railing, sitting at desks in the Amazon Rising exhibit with loads of information, putting on shows for kids on the Phelps Auditorium, introducing the marine mammal presentation...we were basically the "park rangers" of the Shedd...
At first it was a good fit, but being roommates and coworkers, I learned, is really not a good idea, especially if one of you is competitive and the other is prone to jealousy and hissy-fits (I was the latter). It didn't help that we were viewed at the time of our hire as being the golden boys of the department...we were easily the youngest on the crew, and we were both theatre people, so we could be funny or command attention more or less on cue. Eventually, the strain on my friendship with Dan proved to be too much, and I decided, optimistically, as it turned out, that the friendship might be salvaged if we didn't work together anymore, and so I opted not to stay at the Shedd after my internship was over. It helped that I would've been dropped from five to three days a week...I didn't think I'd be making enough to make it worth while, especially when I was as dumb with money as I was at the time. I also wasn't in a particularly good "head-space" at the time, for that matter, so the decision was made rather rashly, and I attempted to justify it to myself afterwards. It didn't really work all that well...
Part of my take away from this experience is that I really don't get too close to my coworkers...I'll treat them with every respect in the workplace, but I choose not to fraternize with them too much outside of work. Unless one of us leaves the company, then we're cool.
I closed DisneyQuest Chicago. I worked there for three months, and then they shut their doors. As it happened, one of my coworkers there then helped me get a job the next year at FAO Schwarz in Chicago, and then once we were both working there, they closed about three months later. We thought about renting ourselves out to companies that wanted to go under...
DisneyQuest Chicago was the second in what was planned to be a nation-wide chain of indoor, interactive playgrounds. The first, and now only, DisneyQuest is in Orlando, at Downtown Disney. The Chicago location opened in 1999 and closed on September 3 2001, barely a week before it would have likely been forced to close down for lack of tourist dollars, as it turns out. I was hired in to work with the nascent Characters department. Basically, Disney Regional Entertainment, who ran DQ, thought that bringing in a couple of Disney characters might bring some more bodies into the building. I wound up working very closely with the characters, becoming good friends with Buzz Lightyear, who, along with Goofy, came up from Florida for the summer of 2001. By that point, I'd had more than half a year of direct Disney experience, having done two summer internships at the Florida parks, and worked a month for the Disney store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago before getting tapped to work at DisneyQuest.
It really was a great job...taxing and grueling at times, but I had a blast working there, and I had some great guest interaction...but they decided to close it down, and that was that.