Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"The world turned upside down!"

Today is opening of the Hamilton Los Angeles run, and while I didn't get tickets through the Prizeo sweepstakes to hang out with Lin Manuel Miranda, I finally put the finishing touches on my Lego mock up of the Hamilton stage set.  The timing is also great because I'm going this week to see the show for my 6th time!

For the Lego set, it was challenging to find all of the outfits and still stay within official lego parts. There is a Revolutionary Soldier minifigure that was perfect for the ensemble uniforms in Act 1, so right off the bat I knew which song I was going to portray - "Yorktown."  I was able to get different Lego "officer" torsos for Lafayette and Washington, but I was still unhappy putting Hamilton, Mulligan, Laurens, and Burr in the red lapel Revolutionary Soldier torso.  I ended up working with a company in England to modify one of their printed after market torsos to allow for the correct cream lapel on their costumes, and those are the ones you see in the photos.  Here are some close up of the sons of liberty:

Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda)

George Washington (Christopher Jackson)

Hercules Mulligan (Oak!)

John Laurens (Anthony Ramos)

Lafayette (Daveed Diggs)

Of course, I couldn't leave King George III and the Schuyler sisters out of the scene, even though technically they are not in it - Work!

Though I couldn't feasibly add all the set details, I tried to hit the major ones, like the dueling pistols.

I'm actually really excited about the writing desk, complete with a quill and ink, letters, and the sandbags that are under the table in the set. "Why do you write like you're running out of time!"

I couldn't add the turntable feature because it is way outside my Lego engineering skills, but I embraced the perpendicular wood plank look of the stage floor.

After a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapet

We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchief

Thank you for all your service

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it

[Angelica (all men) {all women}:]
A toast to the groom!
(To the groom!)
(To the groom!)
{(To the groom!)}

To the bride!
{To the bride!}
(To the bride!)
{To the bride!}

From your sister

And for your reference, here's the Tony Awards performance of "Yorktown" by the cast of Hamilton.  Enjoy!

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Julie


Friday, May 26, 2017

It was a long day, waking up at 4am to drive to Camden, New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia to meet up with my "mumfriends" as we once again tried our luck at getting on the concert rail at the Mumford & Sons show on May 25th.  The concert itself was paused for 45 minutes as a dangerous thunderstorm threatened all of the fans in the lawn section with lighting, hail, wind, and heavy rain. Gentlemen that they are, the band gladly absorbed the performance fine for playing past the 11pm curfew to make sure we all got a complete show.  And what a show it was!  We even got an attempt at Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" during the B-stage portion.  The concert ended at 11:45pm, and with the help of the Hamilton soundtrack played quite loudly, I got home finally at 2:45am - completely exhausted.  Today my friends and I are nursing some seriously sore muscles from standing so long in the pit, despite wearing what I considered "sensible shoes." Oh, but it was all worth it!  One of the best sets I've heard from them in a while.  They even played "Babel"!  And Marcus and Ben, from what I could see, were completely energized by the very responsive crowd. Who needs a gym when you can be a lead singer in a band?!

Since I'm compelled to see everything I do from a photographic opportunity, I took advantage of this very photogenic (and handsome) group of lads to play around with my point and shoot camera, as cameras with detachable lenses are never allowed at concerts without a press pass.  I hope you enjoy the photos! There are a disproportionate amount of Marcus because of his proximity to me.  And, to be honest, he's got the most interesting stage presence in the group.  There are also a few photos of Marcus and Ben playing with the opening act, Kevin Garrett.

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017 by Julie


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hey everyone!  I just wanted to share with you some of the fun I got up to this weekend.  I've seen a lot of s'more decorated cookies on social media, and while they were all cute, I thought it would add a little extra if I deconstructed the s'more and had the parts be stackable.  So, with graham crackers, a chocolate bar, and silly happy marshmallows, I present to you my reinterpreted s'more.

Posted on Sunday, February 12, 2017 by Julie


Saturday, January 21, 2017

As Lin-Manuel Miranda phrased it in Hamilton: THIS IS NOT THE MOMENT, IT'S THE MOVEMENT!

I have never attended a rally or a protest march before in my life, but the current status of America, with the election and Friday's inauguration to solidify its results, compelled me to act.  I was humbled to be a part of the hundreds of thousands that came to Washington D.C. today to stand up for basic human rights and decency and against the hateful rhetoric endorsed by Trump and his team.

The start of our day was delayed, leaving home at 11am, but the crowds on public transportation had not diminished despite the rally having started an hour earlier.  As we exited at the Navy Archives metro stop, people were everywhere strategizing about how to get over to the march starting site on Independence Avenue.  Some were content to just hang out in the plaza or on the National Mall to have mini rallies or just absorb the energy.

As I made my way south, the crowds were getting more dense.  The rally position was supposed to be Independence Avenue starting at 3rd and continuing through 14th.  I thought I should play it safe and try to enter at 12th.  Well, with just a half hour to go before the posted march start time, 12th street was looking less and less like it was going to happen.  I spent about 30 minutes crammed into a packed group expressing optimism that once the crowd on Independence Avenue started to move, we would be able to merge in.

Needing a break from the smoosh, I decided to slowly make my way back through the side crowd with the intention of meeting up with the march on 14th Street across from the Washington Monument.  While there was a lot more room there to breathe, it was still amazingly packed!  The log jam was created because there was not one flow of marchers, but several all meeting and merging near the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture.  It was fantastic to see.  I think it was fortuitous that I made the decision to head further down the march route because I later learned that march officials said they had too many people to actually get moving and marching as planned.  Not a bad outcome, I think, but it also meant that people on Independence Avenue were stuck there for longer than they expected as they tried to find other ways to exit and find their path to the White House.

Taking a detour around the museum to get to Constitution Avenue, I started on the "home" stretch - the home being the White House.  The crowd was really well behaved, and I think the Secret Service appreciated it.  Some marchers decided to hang out along the fence near the South Lawn, but I wanted to see what else was going on.  I quickly learned the amazing movement didn't end there!

As I walked away from the White House towards Freedom Plaza, a huge group over a mile long was marching up Pennsylvania Avenue and a smaller group started to make their way up 14th Street.  The bleachers that were empty the previous day for the inaugural parade were filled up with march supporters.  The best spot on the route was in front of the Trump Hotel where marchers did a quick Game of Thrones "Shame" chant every couple of minutes. Overall, the energy was amazing, people were smiling and polite, and the message to me was clear:  You are not alone! There are millions - here in the US and around the world - who are sharing in your anxiety and concern for the health and security of the country you love so dearly, as well as the potential walking back of progressive legislation on human rights.  There are millions who agree that this is not normal and that we need to be more vigilant than ever to adhere to truth, support others being victimized if we can, and push for accountability and subsequent consequences.  Yea women!  Big thanks for the men who also came to support their favorite women.  And outstanding job by the D.C. Police Department who were really tested the day before by hooligan anarchists causing property damage around our city.  I think the police were relieved by the positivity and the self-control exhibited by all the outstanding people who went to great lengths to come to D.C. to be that tiny "ant" in the aerial view street photo that, when multiplied, became a sea of "ants" in pink hats.

Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2017 by Julie