Monday, October 31, 2005


Happy Hallowe'en everyone! I've had my Hallowe'en party already--all of us girls from Raymont Hall went out to a club on Saturday night dressed up as the rainbow. Guess what colour I went as. No. Guess. Come on. Okay, you're right, I was purple. We took the tube to this odd little club in Westminster which was a lot of fun. Most of the other girls were complaining that everyone was so "young" which I thought was pretty funny since I fit right in. Guess that's what happens when you're a grad student at 23. Anyway, the club was fun, up to and including the two pints of Stella, but the bus ride home was not so fun. For those of you who don't know, there are night buses (and knight buses, haha) that run all night, but they might only come once an hour, in London. The N171 goes right by our dorm, so after the party (say, 3 AM) we were all outside waiting for it...and it zoomed right by us without slowing down!! AHH! Well, we ended up taking another bus which landed us kind of nearby New Cross after the longest, bumpiest, brain-damaging route possible, and THEN we took mini-cabs that last precious half mile. 'Cause after dancing for three hours in my boots, I was not about to walk home. The guys who drove the cabs thought it was pretty funny we were all dressed up as colours though. So, I had a good time, I think, but the bus ride pretty much erased any of that. Don't worry though--purse and morals safely intact. :)

The party probably wouldn't have been so brutal but my flatmate Lisa and I had gone shopping on Saturday. We started off in Portobello Road where I got a red scarf and a fun costume jewelery pin, and then ended up in Oxford Street where I got a fabulously trendy brown military-style jacket. We shopped for about ten hours, no joke. And it was only sheer force of will that got me out of this store Evans. Think Lane Bryant only with more fun clothes and slightly less expensive. I think I may have to step up plans to get a job. If I am going to become a clothes horse, I'm going to need to pay for it. But hell, I'm in the big city, right? Why not?

So yesterday, as you might have guessed, was given over entirely to recovery. I didn't wake up until one PM (it would have been two, but we have daylight savings now) and I could barely muster enough energy to read "Volpone"...only to realise as I looked over my syllabus that we're supposed to read "The Alchemist" Grr. Bloody Jonson. Anyway. This has been the longest weekend I've had for awhile, and probably as good a reason as any to turn teetotaler. It would mean more money for clothes...hmmm...

Oh, and remember that play I was ranting about, "My Name is Rachel Corrie?" Several of my classmates saw it this weekend and they didn't like it. So much for my brilliant critical analysis of a new piece of theater. I still think it's great though. Most of the problems they had was with the actor and the directing.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lamb Chops

I was thinking to myself last night "Ah, I must remember to include Roy Williams in my blog" and then I suddenly realised that it was THURSDAY and I have gone nearly five days without updating. Sorry about that...I have been working on getting all my interviews transcribed from Derby. So far have over 60 pages, and that's just the stuff I can hear.

Monday we had a guest lecturer, a London playwright named Roy Williams who has written for the Royal Court Theatre as well as the National. He usually writes plays about young black people and their experiences in London, and he was very good about sharing his ideas as well as his process--although I seriously doubt he actually types for 10 hours a day. One of the points I thought was pertinent was, when asked about the importance of having a play be identified as a "black" play: "I think that we should just put the shows on, and do them well, and THEN let people discuss them. But do them first without worrying about, 'Is it a black play or what.'" I agree. More theater is never a bad thing.

After class our tutor asked myself and another student to join her and Roy for lunch, so I suddenly found myself in the position of being able to ask a current, published, accomplished author any question I wanted. Oooh. *shiver*

We ended up talking about musicals. :)

No, seriously, Roy was very quiet actually, outside the classroom setting, but we did get to get a little deeper into the issue of race and theater and when black theater is necessary and when it will become obsolete.

Tuesday and Wenesday were completely given over to catching up on homework and doing laundry. (and if you think you don't need to devote an entire day to doing one load of laundry, you've never done it at Raymont Hall)

Tuesday night I did manage to go see a play at the Royal Court Theatre (which does a lot of new work, with student tikkies, so they're getting a lot of press in my blog) called "My Name is Rachel Corrie." This play is taken from the writings of a young American woman who went to Palestine to stand between bulldozers and Palestine homes and was run over by one of them. It was an incredibly powerful piece and it has stayed with me still. The fact that Rachel had the courage and the conviction to go abroad and actually make a change was uplifting and heartwrenching.

Which brings us to today. Thursday. Ugh. Am sleeping in tomorrow. I am a little despair-y about one of my projects, which doesn't seem to be doing anything New! but may just be a rehash of some of my old ideas. Am paranoid that I lack the life experiences to do new and startling pieces of work. (thx Sam) :) Luckily I have a couple weeks to fix it. I got my second paper back, a B-/C+, so am preparing to leap off of Tower Bridge any minute now. (to get joke, see below) And I also got to meet my partner for my last project this year, a collaboration between an MA writer and a MA performer, in my case, a very excitable Greek named Niko. Am suspicious that the teachers may have paired us up due to unfortunate alliteration. ("Niko, Nicki")

And, excitingly last, I finally bought and cooked my first meat product here in Britain, which was--you guessed it--lamb chops.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting out of the City

And I'm back.

I spent the weekend in Derby, as a guest of the WLS Info group (, but I also really enjoyed my time away from the big city. The train ride was two hours through perfect English countryside, and my hotel had a BATHTUB, so you know I had a relaxing time. Saturday morning I did a little window-shopping in Derby while I waited for the meeting to start, and I found a ton of clothes I could have bought. I managed to resist, but only just.

The meeting was held at a very posh hotel, and I was instantly made to feel welcome by Ken and his family. At first it was a little awkward, but after people got used to the idea that I was going to be asking questions, they opened up, and I learned a lot. Mostly what I did was tape recorded while everyone sat around and discussed their various surgeries. I learned a lot. Everyone was really friendly and outgoing, which made MY job a lot easier. And, hey, there was food, so I was happy (speaking as a starving college student). I even got to rag on the President a little with Ken's 15 year old daughter, Ally, who is probably smarter than I am at 23.

The thing that really resounded for me was everyone said that they didn't regret their surgeries and only wished they had done it sooner. To hear that kind of positive feedback was amazing--I was expecting a few people who had some reservations, but there were none. So now I'm looking to get the other side of the equation, ie people who have chosen not to have weight loss surgery to sort of balance out my play. It will be interesting to see what I get.

I didn't realise when I bought the ticket that 6:48 means AM here, if it was PM it would be 18:48. Stupid 24 hour clock. So, I got back home way earlier than I intended, but that turned out to be okay. I went to Trafalgar Square for the last hurrah of the 200th anniversary of the battle and talked with a Canadian and a New Zealander, so Britain's former colonies were well-represented. The thing last night was put on by the Navy, and it was very rah-rah England, the Navy is fun, so let's all go to war. A little awkward for me, whose country started the war, and the New Zealander, whose boyfriend was off to Afghanistan in a month. The emcee, a lieutenant who needed to look over his notes one more time, did an all right job of introducing the various acts for the first half (I got to see the hornpipe!) and then the second half was given over to lights and sound and multimedia. There was a huge screen, meant to look like a sail, where they displayed a picture of Nelson while "he" narrated the successes of the Navy for the past 200 years. The only problem was the "sail" kept waving so Nelson kind of had this bemused look on his face like, "what the hell is going on?" Or maybe that was just my imagination. There was pyro though, so, like a small child, I was entertained.

Rah, rah, Nelson. Rah, rah. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The fabulous Matt Wilde

So, for the past couple of playwrighting classes, we've had a guest lecturer, Matt Wilde, and it only just dawned on me last night that he's...well, bloody brilliant, actually, and I probably should have paid a little more attention. I went to see a show for class last night called "On Tour" which was pretty good, but very violent. It's about a trio of criminals, smugglers and also footy fans who are trying to screw each other out of a bunch of money, but then it turns out that one of 'em was sent to kill another. I won't ruin the ending for you, but let's just say one of the first questions we had for the director was "What did you use for cocaine?"

The director of the show was Matt, which I didn't realise until I bought the programme, and I also found out that he was involved in "His Dark Materials" at the National. I should have known something was up when he casually mentioned that he once told David Hare (or "Sir" David Hare, I should say...) that he was full of shit. Luckily, I haven't seen "His Dark Materials" or I could have really embarassed myself. I did, however, mention that it has a rabid following in Stevens Point WI and he should be looking out for a regional production soon. :)

A bit of good news, I got my first paper back from the teacher. He gave us all a lecture about how British grading is stricter than American grading, and we shouldn't have coronaries if we only got a C. Well, when my turn came, he quietly told me he had no criticism for me and I got an A on my paper. :) A British "A" too, so maybe that means more. I'm glad I caught him in a good mood, since my Hamlet paper apparently decided to not be on my jump drive when I tried to print it out this morning. Oops.

And then tomorrow I'm off to Derby (pronounced "Darby" as all the Brits were good enough to point out to me) to do some interviews. Our next project is to interview people and turn it into a play, and my topic is people who have had or are thinking about having weight loss surgery. It just so happens that the biggest and best group in the UK for info and support are having their yearly meeting this weekend in Derby ("Darby") and I'm going. I won't be getting back until Sunday, so at the very least it will be a nice weekend out for me. I'll be taking my computer as well as my tape recorder. The Muse ("Roger") has been gnawing my ear for the past couple days, and some of the stuff I'm producing has been quite nice. So, while the iron is hot...

Have a good weekend everyone, and I'll talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

There's a light...

The power finally came on around 5:45 last night...NEVER was I so happy to be able to turn on a light when I went into a room! There's already a petition going around for "compensation" though. Let's see, I had to throw away about £15 of food, plus eating out for three days...hmm.

This morning I came to school to watch "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." The Musical Theater Society here is putting it on, and they want to adapt the script from the movie into the show so that more people can be in it and so that we can have an intermission and sell drinks. :) I think it will be an interesting job...we want to entertain people, of course, but I also think with a script and a story like this you have a duty to introduce people to new ideas and maybe sneak in a few themes and concepts. We'll see.

Tonight I'm off to the theater, so I have to hurry home and finish my Hamlet paper. It's a good thing I don't have class today, all of a sudden I got really busy. How did this happen, I wonder?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In the velvet darkness...

Surely, I thought, as I trundled homeward yesterday at about 4:30, surely there is no way that the power could still be off.

Foolish me.

I'm sure someday I'll look back on this and laugh, but for now... I'm in a little better spirits than I was our first day sans electricity. It's funny how all homework ceases as soon as the sun goes down. Yesterday evening we spent in the kitchen by the light of a candle catching up on each other's lives. So in a way it was a good thing. And hey! We have water in our bathrooms again. It's not hot, but at least it's there. Baby steps. This morning I took our electric kettle down the hall and plugged it into the power cord that's running from the part of the building with electricity so I could have hot water for washing. It's very "Little House" if you know what I mean. And downstairs by the office they have a coffee machine set up--that's right, distract the Nicki with shiny coffee and she's willing to put up with no power. At least my laptop was fully charged so we could listen to music while we were chatting.

I'm off now for breakfast...I can't cook, and all my food has spoiled, so I'm reduced to eating out. So much for this week's budget... :)

Monday, October 17, 2005

The saga continues...

Yesterday's post was written before I blithely went out and spent the day happily wandering around Spitalfields market. Very crowded, very posh, but I finally had some chicken curry, which was BRILLIANT. Took me two cans of Coke to stop the burning though--the gentleman behind the counter couldn't believe I'd never had curry before. I only took enough for some food, which turned out to be a good thing, because then I didn't spend any money on useless shiny things.

However, when we got back to the dorm, I discovered that the power was out. Yesterday the hotwater was leaking onto the electrical box, so they had to turn the power off, but then they LEFT WITHOUT FIXING IT, leaving us with no electricity. When I left this morning at nine, there was still no power, still no water in our bathrooms and only cold in the kitchen. I had to go to another building to take a shower this morning--Raymont is connected to Edgecombe by a little hallway, but it was still a trek. Not to mention the room that was unoccupied was HUGE with this glorious ceiling and view of the garden. TAlk about salt on a wound. Anyway, things are looking up--now that the sun's out, I won't have to waste my candle on reading--no electricity means no danger of setting of the fire alarms so firecode was blithely ignored last night. Did I just use the word blithely twice in one post? I did. Anyway, spending large amounts of time at the library today, hoping they get it all sorted before I get back. Grrrr. It's very disruptive, having to dump a bucket of water down your toilet in order to flush it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Evil mechanical guinea pigs

I really wanted to write about this amazing exhibit I saw at the National Maritime Museum on Friday, but unfortunately all happiness has been wiped out by the FIRE ALARM we had this morning at SIX AM. The fire alarms here are not the pansy Point alarms: "Er, um, would mind if you, ah, that is, if it's not too much trouble, could you please get out of the building? Please?" No, the alarms here are like huge evil mechanical guinea pigs (that's what they sound like, anyway) who will come jumping on your bed in the night, squealing "EEE! EEE! EEE! GET OUT OF BED! I WANT TO EAT YOUR SOUL!" If the Revolution ever comes, all they'll have to do is lock me in a room with these alarms and I will tell them everything. This time, however, I think it was a bona fide fire, at least, I think there was some actual fire and not some stupid fresher toking up in his room. There was about six inches of water in the basement, and I think it shorted out some wiring. So this morning we had no water in our rooms, and they were planning on turning off the power to fix it. And this is me leaving to go exploring for the day. Oy.

So, unshowered but undaunted, I soldier on.

Last Friday I went to Greenwich and saw an exhibit about Nelson and Napoleon at the National Maritime Museum. Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson was a British hero who stopped Napoleon from invading Britain at the Battle of Trafalgar, which happened 200 years ago this year, so the British have all got their patriotism up. The exhibit was SO INTERESTING. I learned so much about the time period and these two men. The great thing about being in a city like London is that all the artifacts in an exhibit like this are real--like the actual plaster cast Madame Tussade made of Louis the 16th's head after he was beheaded, or the actual flag that was flying on the Victory (Nelson's ship) or the actual bullet that actually killed Nelson at the battle. It was pretty obvious by the end of the exhibit which country had put it on, since the tone was very "rah rah Nelson beat this poor crazy Emperor" but in Napoleon's defence, he did start out with pretty much nothing. Greenwich (pronounced "Grennitch") is a pretty but touristy part of London, but there is a lot of wide open green space, so it was nice to walk around in the open air for a change. That's where the Cutty Sark is parked--a cargo ship that was famous for getting back from India before any other ship for about 10 years running. I'm looking forward to going back to the Maritime Museum again--it took me three hours to get through this one exhibit, and I haven't even seen the rest of the permanent displays yet.

For more information:

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Play Review

Last night I went to see "Mary Stuart" at the Apollo. It was a transfer from the Donmar Theatre, so I knew that I was in for a treat. The show was written in the 18th Century, but a modern playwright got ahold of it and "shaped" it a bit, cutting some of the dialogue and updating others. The play, as you might have guessed, centers around the queens Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I. For those of you who don't know, Elizabeth had imprisoned her coz in England when Mary Stuart (then the queen of Scotland) came seeking asylum. Mary was locked up for almost twenty years--the main problem being, Elizabeth couldn't release her as Mary would have to raise an army and "revenge" her imprisonment, but she couldn't kill her either, as Mary was a queen in her own right. Such a problem.

So the play deals with the internal struggle and the political turmoil of the time period, but it was wonderfully acted and I hardly noticed when two and a half hours went by. The set was very sparse--black bricks, a chair here, a table there, the setting mostly illuminated by dialogue. The men in the show, noblemen "politicians" all, wore modern business suits, while the two queens wore 16th century dress. Mary's was a very faithful brown dress, while Elizabeth's was a more elaborate dress made of Chinese silk. I thought it was an interesting choice, since it underscored the idea that the politicians and advisors vary very little from generation to generation, but the two queens were very much of the sixteenth century--and they may be monarchs, but they're still women.

The woman who played Mary Stuart, Janet McTeer was a HUGE woman--not fat, but tall and well-fed, shall we say. She was an AMAZING presence onstage, towering imperiously over many of the men. (except for the man who played the Earl of Leicester--he was about eight feet tall and three inches wide) The woman who played Elizabeth, Harriet Walter, I recognised from the bitchy sister-in-law in "Sense and Sensibility" but that was totally overshadowed by her brilliant characterisation. Her last great scene where she decides to sign Mary's death warrant was incredible. Her monologue was delivered to Mary, asking for advice, but in the end she finally had to listen to herself. Watching her come to her conclusion was as heart-breaking as it was thrilling.

So, I'd give the play five stars. My favourite scene was the imagined one where the two queens meet--Mary has been allowed to go outside and frolic in the rain, and Elizabeth "happens" to stop at the castle while out hunting. Mary is soaking wet in her tatty brown dress, but she ends up coming out on top after pleading for her freedom and, when she doesn't recieve it, denouncing the queen of England, Britain and any God who could put her on the throne. I couldn't believe they would make it rain at the beginning of Act 2, but they did--and had about a dozen umbrellas onstage!--and the water evaporated before too long. Damn stage lights. :)

That was my exciting night last night. Today it is raining, so I spent most of the day in my room, finishing up on homework. I recieved a box from home with a lot of clothes but also some delicious chocolate-chip cookies. Thanks, mom and dad! :) Funnily enough, they also sent me some Stash chai tea, so now my cookies taste like...chai tea chocolate chip cookies. I gave some away to my flatmates, including one who was like, "ooh, are these proper American cookies then?" As opposed to British biscuits? Yes.

Check out for more about the play.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ghost in the hall

We may or may not have a ghost in our hall. This morning several of us were woken up by the repeated slamming of a door, like someone was going in and out of the kitchen. But, those of us who were woken up were sleeping, so we couldn't slam, and the ones who were not woken up were also sleeping, so they couldn't slam. So we may have a ghost in our hall. Or it may be a door from any of the several houses nearby: the walls in our dorm are so thin, the sound travels an incredible amount.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I wanted pancakes for breakfast, but they didn't have any Aunt Jemima instant pancake mix at the store, so I had to settle for chocolate pain au, something like that.

Saturday (yesterday) I went to the V&A, or the Victoria & Albert Museum with some of my flatmates, Liz and Ruth. We all enjoyed the fashion section, although there wasn't enough hoopskirts to my mind, and then we split up to enjoy different displays on our own. Taking advantage of the amazing international collection the V&A has accumulated over the past two hundred years, I immediately went to..."Britain: 1600-1740." :) It took me two hours to wend my way through the maze of rooms with all the artefacts (it's British!), paintings, clothes, furniture, not to mention the kids sections where you can design your own coat of arms. (I didn't. Some stupid kid was hogging the computer.) And when we finally got back together, it turns out Liz was in the Britain section, only medival times, and Ruth was in the Britain section, only the 1800s...and we hadn't seen each other for two hours. That should give you an idea of how big this building is. I'm definitely going back, this time with a survival kit and more water.

This afternoon is dedicated to doing homework, namely reading some new plays and then "Hamlet." I should also start thinking about my first writing project, which I am going to set in a tree.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Thursdays I have six hours of classes, all with the same teacher who talks very fast and who is very enthusiastic. Listening to him is like reading an academic text--you have to pay attention or you'll end up missing half the point. Right now my brain hurts a lot, probably from being overused. First my legs, now my brain...ouch! We are working on new pieces that are completely different from anything I learned in Point: instead of working on "characters" we're working on "roles" instead of "plot" we're working on "action" and "events" --subtle differences to be sure, but ones that are very important. It's definitely building on what I learned before.

Yesterday I went to see a play called "Crocodile Seeking Refuge" which is about five refugees from various parts of the world seeking refuge in the UK. The stories and the source material were very good, but the staging left something to be desired, and the script was a little shaky. One of my fellow classmates also came and saw the show and we ended up talking about the play, theater, life, the Universe and everything in a pub for three hours. Ironically, he was also from the Midwest, so there was quite a bit of "You understand what I'm saying when I talk about priviledged middle class white people?" "Yes!" So that was exciting. Still find it ironic that I've come halfway around the world to talk to Americans about British theater. :) I made it to Covent Garden again last night and finally got my Cornish pasty, which was just as good as I remember. I was extremely happy to be in London, and to have finally seen some theater and to have had a good long talk with someone. A good day!

Now, as you can imagine, I'm pretty tired, and I still need to get a couple books out of the library. It's only quarter to six here, but it's already getting dark. I guess the UK is a little farther north than Green Bay, so it is going to get darker earlier, but it still catches me by surprize.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

First Day of School

2 October 2005

Clever Nicki forgot to bring her thumb drive to school, so you’re getting two days for the price of one. I had my first class today—“Contemporary Writers”—and it was a refreshing burst of academia. Namely, we all got into a fight over the state of theater today. Some thought that theater needs to be “better” than film and TV and that shows such as “Billy Elliot” are a waste of time because they’re entertaining but not educating or don’t require the audience to think. Alternately, some people felt that shows that are pure entertainment are just fine because it’s a good introduction to theater for people who have never been there before, and sometimes you just want to go to the theater for a good time.

Having paid money to see the Queen musical, I fall into the last camp, although I try to see a variety of shows. Last night I sat down with all my brochures and I made a list of shows I want to see and when they are playing and they include ballets, operas, straight plays, musicals and new works. Because I am a true Renaissance Woman, yee-ha. I don’t have another class until Thursday and then I have six hours of lecture, but it’s good to be back into the academic setting. My legs are starting to get used to all the work, so now it’s time to get my brain back into shape. ☺ I am going to read some plays by new British playwrights so I know who my classmates are talking about while I still have some free time.

On a more serious note…I finally bought a yam for dinner the other night because I have suddenly developed an inexplicable love of yams. I blame Scarlett O’Hara. The sad thing was no amount of brown sugar and butter could make the poor yam I bought palatable. I don’t think it was ripe or something, but I baked it for nearly an hour and a half and it was dry and nasty, so I think I’ll just have to wait until I come home and I can have candied yams with marshmallows…and cheesy potatoes…ahh, this cooking for myself sucks.

Covent Garden

1 October 2005

It’s hard to believe that it’s October already, and only a month ago I was feeling like I would never get out of corporate-America-land. Today, finally, the fantastic Nicki got a day off. I slept in as late as I wanted, had a big breakfast of boiled eggs and toast, and then, once everyone who was going got ready, went into Covent Garden.

Covent Garden is my favourite part of London. I love browsing in the stalls, watching the street performers, watching people, watching my bag so I don’t get pick pocketed…ahhh. Today it was absolutely crazy though. I’m not sure if I just remembered it through the hazy rose of nostalgia, or if my brain had to block it out merely to stay sane, but Covent Garden was unbelievably crowded with people. Granted, we were there on a Saturday afternoon, but we could barely get through the stalls. Keeping track of four people, was nigh on impossible. Nevertheless, we managed to have fun. We even found the H&M store that’s right there (designer knockoffs for cheap) and I found a great London-y scarf and some knit and suede gloves for winter. I just hope they match my winter coat! The piranha metaphor for shopping is sort of overused, but…if you’ve ever stayed up ‘til 2 AM watching the Discovery Channel’s special on these lovely little fish, you’ll get a sense of what H&M was like. Here’s a tip: never come between a 15 year old Londoner and her couture. ☺

We then slipped into a nearby pub for some half pints of Stella Artois and some potato wedges to take the edge off. I love how most pubs in London have their eating area upstairs, so the food has to be delivered in a dumbwaiter, and all three stories have their little bar. Although, I sure wouldn’t want to take those stairs with a tray full of food—it’s hard enough maneuvering when you’re only carrying a rucksack! After the nibbles it was time to head to the theater…the, ah, wrong theater. Oops. I had planned on going to see a new show called Crocodile Seeking Refuge at the Lyric Hammersmith Studio only I ended up at the Lyric where Death of a Salesman was playing. By that point it was too late to get over the Hammersmith, which is why I’m typing this up now at 9:48 (or 21:48) instead of raving about a new play I saw at a quarter to midnight. Oh well. There’s a matinee I think I’ll see this Wednesday instead.

I was a little worried about coming back on the Tube, especially changing at Whitechapel, since that tends to be a rather seedy part of town—and I know some of you have similar concerns. But, as I was relieved to see, standing on the platform was an official Underground employee, directing traffic, but also keeping an eye out, so I felt very safe. I also discovered that there is a train that goes from two blocks away directly into the heart of London without me needing to change, so I’ll probably use that from now on—so rest assured! I am keeping myself safe. I’m just so addicted to the Tube that I can’t stay away from it, but I’m always looking out for myself and keeping one eye open—two when I can afford them. ☺

PS: Oh, and as for Death of a Salesman… can you say “sold out?” Damn.