Hello everyone! This is my May Life post, a recap of my month. There’s a lot here and a very, very long story below. Hopefully you enjoy the post! Let’s get started!
It was my birthday! I turned 25 this month and didn’t freak out about it so that was great! Plus my coworkers decorated my desk, which was super nice of them. I also bought myself way too many birthday presents, all worth it. (More below!)
Food Truck Friday! That’s a thing that happens every other week at the offices where I work. I got tacos at the food trucks. One taco was amazing, the others were definitely not authentic tacos. My parents are Mexican so I am picky about my tacos. I didn’t finish them because I got full very quickly but they were good. I also got a red velvet cupcake from another truck. It was like a cheesecake cupcake and was really good, but I would have suggested sharing or taking off half the frosting. It was super sweet!
Next up is my BookCon day! This year BookCon was held in Chicago so I hopped on a train and headed there. (Separate blog post on this can be found here.) It was pretty good! I didn’t participate in the autographing wristband and the line to get into the hall when it opened as I didn’t arrive until around midday so I think that helped. From what I heard everything was poorly managed for those aspects of the show. Everything else was pretty good. The hall was pretty big and free books were being given away everywhere! I got a free book for balancing a book on my head for the length of an aisle, for standing in a line, for just walking by the booth, etc. It was heaven for book lovers basically.
I didn’t go into hardcore research mode before the event so I didn’t plan to be at any particular booth at any specific time or anything. It was very low stress for me. I also went to Hannah Hart’s panel and her meet and greet where I got a picture with her! I love Hannah Hart so that was wonderful. I also managed to get into the BookTube panel as well but had to skip the meet and greet to get to my train, unfortunately. While I probably won’t go to New York City next year for BookCon 2017, it was a blast this year!
Recycled picture for this next one but the next update is my riding lessons! Sapphire and I had our entire lesson last week outside! I’m still quite bouncy in a trot, which is kind of annoying now. You’d think two months would be enough to get a hang of it, wouldn’t you! Ah well, either way I still like it. (Phew!)
Although Six Flags Great America opened for the year back in April I didn’t actually go until this month. My mom and I have season passes (so does my sister but she’s still at college) so we went for the day. We have the type of passes where we also get free parking for the season and I bought a dining pass as well which is like a pre-paid food program. We rode a few of the coasters and some of the less thrilling rides. Hurricane Harbor, the water park, isn’t open yet and at the time of our visit the new Justice League attraction wasn’t either but since we can go back at any time in the season we’ll likely get to go on the new ride at some point.
I have to say though, I had my worst experience at the park ever during this visit. The restaurant we went to didn’t recognize my dining pass and the worker and manager were extremely rude about it. To the point that the manager of the restaurant actually argued with me that I didn’t have a pass even though I had the receipt on my phone that showed that I did indeed have one and had paid for one! I got it “activated” for a second time at pass activation and the lady there didn’t even apologize or offer any compensation or refund. I even asked for a refund on the grounds that the manager of the restaurant refused to accept the pass and all she did was offer to “activate” it and tried to use the excuse that “it hadn’t been activated it” although it had. It did work at the second place though and the lady didn’t do anything differently than what had already been done so I’m thinking the system just didn’t work at the first place and the manager decided to pretend that it wasn’t going through afterwards and pretended to call pass activation while he went to the back to “check” if I had a pass or not. No one from the park has apologized despite various complaints so this is probably the last year I’ll get a pass. I’d rather shell out more money and go up to Wisconsin Dells or take a trip to one of the Disney parks where the service will be better.
One of the best presents I got my mother and myself was tickets to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast presented by Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite Disney Princess. The acting and singing were just lovely and the best voices were Belle and Gaston by far. It was very much intended for children; the actors definitely overacted when it came to the comedic portions of the show but otherwise it was lovely. There were some staging decisions that I thought were a little questionable but it was fun and beautiful to see in person. Long story to follow…
Unfortunately this was also a partly negative experience. This was the worst experience I had at a Broadway in Chicago performance as well. There was one overly rude, overly loud Usher at the theatre who was standing and talking extremely loudly at a group of three-four people in the middle of the aisle. My mom and I were heading to the bathroom at the far end of the hall so we could really only go around the lady to get down there since she was being so obnoxious and not paying any attention to us trying to get through. Since the doors were still closed to get into the actual theatre she must have thought we were trying to get in early but instead of politely telling us we couldn’t go in she steps backwards, almost knocking into my mother, and almost grabbed me around the waist! I was incredibly shocked and offended. Since it was obvious we weren’t trying to get in she let us through. When we got out of the bathroom I let the manager know as well as I don’t think that it’s ever okay for an employee to try to GRAB someone. In fact, I told another usher about it when she asked why I needed a manager and the usher looked horrified as she directed me to the correct person. The manager said he would speak to the offending usher but I’m not sure if it was ever resolved. No effort was made to make it up to either myself or my mom so I wasn’t impressed but I just wanted to enjoy the show.
We thought that was the end of that lady and those issues but noooooo. The first act went splendidly. Note, the guy a seat away from me had his phone in his pocket with the screen facing out towards me. How do I know that? His shorts were extremely thin so the light shone through every time he got a notification. Which was often. This is important for later. So at intermission the lady came back. Sigh. She proceeded to muddle about the row where my mom and I were sitting (of course… not anyone else’s row) and kept asking everyone what seat they were sitting in and demanding to see everyone’s tickets. I ignored her as best as I could because at this point she was being extremely unprofessional and horrid.
After checking everyone’s seats at least five times she determined that we were all in fact actually in our right seats. The guy who had been seated one seat away from me was actually the one in the wrong seat. He was supposed to be two seats away from me. He had left for intermission and hadn’t returned when a woman came in with two young kids. I’m assuming she’s the mother and she sat her kids down in the two seats and told them she’d come back. The girl was well behaved, about four or five. The boy had obvious medical issues as he had bandages everywhere, leg braces, and a needle type object sticking out of his arm. He was about two and slightly less well behaved. Either way they were kids.
While the mom is still gone the usher woman comes back AGAIN and starts bellowing to everyone in the dress circle that we CANNOT use our phones and the director is watching through the cameras and he is VERY strict about no one using their phones. Then I feel her looking at me (I’m trying to ignore her again) and says that she thought she saw a light over towards where I was. So instead of coming over and talking to the guy she chose to ignore it until intermission when the guy is not in his seat to listen, and he probably didn’t even notice.
So the mom comes back and sits the girl on her lap and the boy has the other seat. The guy comes back and apologizes to her about being in the wrong seat. Then the second act starts and immediately the boy somehow ends up with his mother’s phone and turns on the flashlight. THE FLASHLIGHT. She has the sense to grab the phone and turn off the light. Then the boy gets a loud bag of chips or some sort of snack to distract him. That was actually fine though because it’s a theatre full of children. They’re all eating and talking. It’s life.
Then she proceeds to take per phone out and TAKE PICTURES of Belle every time she came out in a nice dress. Since I was so mad about the usher I thought about smacking the lady’s phone out of her hand but that would be so much worse. So I just held up my hands blocking my face from seeing the phone. It was definitely passive aggressive and got the point across. In the end she finally put the phone away and the usher lady probably never even noticed. I’m not sure what she’s planning to do with the probably blurry pictures she took but hopefully she doesn’t attend another theatre performance until she learns how to behave herself as well as her girl did. I’m hoping that the next time I see a performance it goes better in general.
Now for the best part of the month was when I went to see Evita at the Marriott Theater in Linconshire, IL. It’s really close to my work so I had seen the announcements in front of the Theatre about this performance. It’s a theatre in the round, so the stage is in the middle, and I was worried that would ruin the experience if the character didn’t face the side where I was during my favorite parts or enough in general. Also, since it wasn’t a performance downtown I was worried that it would be terrible. Luckily I was wrong and it was an amazing performance.
Evita is one of my favorite musicals of all time based on the soundtrack and I was prepared to be disappointed. I wasn’t! The actress playing Eva was really, really good. So was Che. And actually everyone else. The costumes were beautiful and since the stage was so close and the actors walked right by us it was great to be able to see the detail (Eva’s dress from the Casa Rosada Balcony, pictured above, was carried right by me after she took it off). I thought the actors faced the in each direction equally and although the props were simple they were very well done. I thought it was hilarious how they had to bring them out by one of the four ramps between the four sides of the audience sections. Actually one of the first props was Eva’s coffin, and it wasn’t on stage when the musical opened as there were some Descamisados on stage for the announcement of Eva’s passing. Either way the coffin was barreled down the stage on the ramp right next to me (I was in the front row on the end) and startled me which I thought really added to the experience.
I did read a few criticisms of the cast about a lack of diversity. Being a woman of color myself I understand where those criticisms are coming from. However, I do believe that you always want the best actor for the role. I obviously didn’t see who else auditioned for Eva or Che but I thought the actors who played these roles were perfect for the production. I do sincerely hope that all actors were cast based on their talents.
This theatre was beautiful and I would see another show there. My mom thought it was adorable that a lot of the audience was Argentinian and made fun of me for being the youngest in the audience. I was one of the youngest, there were about two other people who looked to be around 25 or under, almost everyone looked like they were at least 60. The staff was also nice and helpful as well as very respectful. I really enjoyed the venue and the show. I can’t wait to see Evita again someday!
So that’s my month of May! Very action packed and exciting. Hopefully you don’t think I’m just a crazy complain-y person but honestly, I’ve worked in enough customer service roles to know when it’s worth complaining about service and letting someone know that something is not okay and when it isn’t.
Feel free to let me know what cool things you’ve been up to this month!
Thanks for reading!