back to school

This post is long overdue, but I must defend myself by saying that damn, it's been a crazy two weeks.

I'll spare myself the trouble of recording the mundane details by saying there was a little bit of this and a little bit of that, all related to getting started at AMDA. And that right there is the big news - I am now a full-fledged conservatory student! Orientation was Thursday through Sunday of this past week. It was chock full of information, much of which was not age appropriate for my orientation group, composed of the older students (e.g. not fresh out of high school and aged anywhere from 19-35). I mean, really, why must I be told how to hold my backpack on the subway, how to set up a bank account, or that if I'm late multiple times to school, the administration will call my parents? Come on.

The highlights, in short form: meeting a whole bunch of people from all over the United States and some other more distant parts of the world (though, surprisingly, I was the only student in this incoming class who is from a state west of Texas); seeing In the Heights for "free" (surely it was paid for by the large check I submitted to cover my tuition) and meeting Lin-Manual Miranda, star and creative genius behind the musical, and Christopher Jackson, co-star and AMDA Alumni; and finally doing the thing in New York I came to New York to do. Classes were as I expected - fast-paced and informative - and I already have a handful of homework assignments underway. It's all very exciting.

Aside from school, I've managed to visit the new Ikea with Miguel in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It's just the same as any other Ikea, except it's in Brooklyn. Very convenient. I actually saw In the Heights prior to the AMDA Orientation outing this past Tuesday with Lexie. Her friend Philip, who is attending AMDA beginning this fall, won the lottery tickets but he couldn't make the show. So we got to see it front row. Amazing! Work is going well; I'm quickly learning the ropes and making friends, as well as a nice chunk of money. Thankfully, my class schedule still allows me to work a few nights a week without taking away too much from my studies and rehearsals. So I'll continue to financially stable, something I have been worrying about since day one. After dating what, by my standards, seemed to be too many boys, I'm now dating none. Things just didn't click with one guy, and when I started to think that things were going really well with the other, they didn't end up that way. It's complicated, but let me just say I've learned that some things don't ever change. Ah well, such is life. And in the vast expanse that is New York City, there are sure to be plenty of other fish in the sea.

I've got more visitors scheduled for the next few weeks. Sarah Bacon's coming by mid-July, Nathan Rossi will (hopefully) be here at the end of July or in early August, April and John Francis are visiting in early August, and Chris Lee will be around shortly after that. My immediate family is planning a tentative trip for late September, and if that all works out, I won't be missing home as much as I thought I would. Not that I'm missing home much right now. Actually, I'm falling in love with New York.

So that's the current state of my life in a nutshell. Or a blog post, rather. I'm sure that after a few days at AMDA, I'll have more insight to share. But for now, I'm riding the wave and enjoying the ride. Woo!

P.S. Happy Pride to all! I joined some of my new AMDA friends at NYC Pride this past Sunday - in the pouring rain - and thought of all my loves back home. It was fun, but I still think SF Pride is better.

Firefighters, always a parade staple

Google bus

Wouldn't be Pride without a rainbow or two... or three... or a bajillion



Not much to report this week, expect a few key milestones:

(1) New MacBook + Free HP All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Copier + Free iPod Touch = Happy Gina
(2) My bedroom is now painted purple and all my stuff has been put away.

The accent wall

The rest of the room

The finished product

(3) Our living room and kitchen are livable.
(4) All of my school supplies were purchased online and have arrived.
(5) My California Driver's License has been surrendered for a New York Driver's License, and I am now a New York State resident.
(6) My New York Public Library membership is effective as of today.
(7) I was recognized on the street by a co-worker, which means I officially know people in New York.
(8) I found a good Mexican food restaurant, which is saying a lot, coming from California - granted, it's a little bit ghetto, but that's how you know it's hella good.
(9) I have nearly exhausted my moving funds and am now proceeding by living paycheck to paycheck.
(10) My student health insurance begins next month.

That's it! I'm settled in!


two by two

I'm a little late on my blog update, but I attribute it to the crazy week I had. Where do I even begin?

As mentioned in my previous post, I picked up a new job. So this past week has been spent finishing out the old one while training for the new one. While the work itself isn't too difficult, putting in all those hours per day certainly is. I was working 13+ hour days, with a one-hour break in between shifts/jobs to get myself a quick bite to eat and travel across town to make it in time. Rough. I made a little extra cash though, and I'm going to try my hardest to make it go as far as possible.

Two sets of two friends came to visit. First off, I had two people come to find a place called home. Marisa was in Miami for business, and she made a trip up the coast to visit home before going back to California. She took me over to Google in Chelsea for lunch. Holy crap, that place is amazing. I wonder what life would have been like if I had landed my very first job interview post-college, which was with Google. Anyway, it was a fun afternoon filled with unlimited food, good conversation, and Razor scooters zipping along the hallways. Later that night, I met up with Lexie, who just moved to New York City from Alameda. We bar hopped in the East Village, where we seriously couldn't stop guys from talking to us. Seriously. It was ridiculous. I've never had so many free drink offers in my life. Needless to say, we had a great time out. And it is so nice to have a recent California transplant to explore the city with me.

Lexie and Me at Doc Holiday's in the East Village

This past weekend, my two best friends from high school, Danielle and Michelle, came to visit. It was Michelle's first time in New York, and I felt bad that she had to experience it during a torturous heat wave. It really was unbearable - 100-degree heat with intense levels of humidity. Awful. Though the thunderstorms at night were way cool. Our itinerary consisted of simple New York-ish things: Yankees game, shopping and dining in Times Square, bar hopping in SoHo. I got to show off my quaint apartment, which received less than stellar reviews. But I think that was attributed more to the fact that I didn't have air conditioning rather than anything with the physical character of the apartment. I bought an air conditioner yesterday, actually, so my next set of visitors will be comfortable in the summer heat, for sure.

At Yankee Stadium - The view from the bleachers

The girls and me

The most exciting thing that happened last week - and all month, probably - is that I went on two dates each with two different guys. What?!? Stuff like that never happened to me back in California. I don't want to divulge too much here, nor do I want to get my hopes up, but what I can say at this point is that things are going very very well.

Aside from that, things continue to get settled. I've updated my wardrobe to accommodate for the scorching summer I am about to face; I've gotten some more of my belongings organized and am looking forward to painting my apartment this weekend; I bought a new computer and got a free printer and iPod Touch to go along with it - I love the Apple store!; and most importantly, the city is starting to feel less like a stranger. I've only been here a month, but the changes in me are evident. I'm more independent, resourceful, open, discerning, and smarter about my surroundings. All in all, I'm really starting to like it here.