Sunday, November 28, 2010



I HATE DIAMOND COMMERCIALS. NO, you do not need a diamond to prove your love for another person in everlasting. Many things are everlasting. Also, diamonds are only valuable and expensive because diamond companies make them so. Diamonds are fundamentally not worth that much. They are not that rare. Also, remember Blood Diamond?


fellow Renthead, Bradley, 2008

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

After Life: Part II

Yesterday morning I watched a wonderful and inspiring Japanese film called After Life. The premise is that after people die, they get to pick their favorite memory, a crew works to recreate it, and then for all of eternity people just relive that moment.

First of all, what a pleasant view of the afterlife.
Second of all, it's very interesting to think about what people would pick as their favorite memory.

In the film, many people picked memories from childhood. At first, I found that depressing. The best moment of life happens when you're in grade school? I started to wonder what mine was...if I too was guilty of peaking in my teens. But, when I thought about it more, having a perfect tranquil kid memory might only be the best memory because it sets an important tone for the rest of life.

It's so hard to pick the best. Some people in the movie had trouble because in the end, they felt that everything had been bad or bland. At least I would have trouble picking because there are too many good memories to consider.

If I had to pick right now this very second I guess I would pick to relive performing a sketch I wrote with Trel at summer camp in 2003. It was really funny, and we got an encore. Isn't that random? I don't know. I don't consider it a failure that I was fourteen. I could pick any one of a million memories from last year and feel just as happy--there's just something special about that July Talent Show. Oh, who knows.

Friday, November 26, 2010

After Life: Part I

This morning, at the demand of my sister, the three of us (Pookie, me, Pops) left for Target at 3:50 AM. Yes. Black Friday. It happened. She wanted to get a cheap Wii game. I won't complain because she also bought me the only Wii game that has interested me thus far: Coldstone Creamery Scoop It Up*.

ANYWAY the only thing I wanted from Target was a new Jillian Michaels DVD, so I was just leisurely cruisin' around the aisles. People kept looking at me like, "DON'T YOU KNOW THERE ARE STILL SOME BIG SCREENS LEFT!?!?" As a particularly frantic woman holding a tower of boxed items passed me as I was looking at a sweater, one of her DVDs slid off her stack and bonked me on the shoulder. Another manic shopper unapologetically nearly barreled over it with a cart. I casually picked up the movie and placed it evenly at the top of the purchaser's pyramid. She gazed deep into my eyes and said almost tearfully, "Thank you." I half-expected her to finish "...And bless you my child."

Anyway, an hour later we were back in the car, hopefully en route to more sleep. After hitting a Dunkin Donuts (where there was some 5:30 AM ugliness from me because my dad asked for an extra paper bag to separate his fritter and Pookie's Munchkins), we were home sweet home. We all took up couches and popped in a movie.

Pookie and I after finishing the Boomchunka Monster Sundae from Cherry Republic, 2009

*Yeah, I realize the irony of paying for my freshman year books by scooping ice cream at Marble Slab, and now as a graduate paying to do it virtually. If you are further interested in my career as a "cream-slinger" go here:’ve-ever-had/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Steve Martin

Yo yo yo comin' at cha from my dad's living room on Thanksgiving! Today I ran in a four mile run. It stopped raining right before start time! Thankful. It stunk of cooking turkeys during the last mile through the residential area, but I didn't yarf! Thankful. Pookie and Pops came out to support me in da cold cold cold. Thankful. Nommed a big ol' bunch of food later in the day. Thankful.

Reppin' the Giants!

I am reading a book by Del Close and Charna Halpern. It is absolutely smashing. I just can't get enough of comedy education. I loved Steve Martin's biography. I waited years to read it, and I finally did last month. I finished while I was running on a treadmill. The end was very moving and made me cry. No one could tell because I sweat. A lot. As was evidenced today.

"What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke." -Steve Martin

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Morbid Wishes

When I brought my sweet little baby hammy home last year I had everything! I bought food, the cage, some treats, some blocks, and, of course, shavings. Dur.

I was trying to be a skimpy shopper as usual, so I bought the young lady a huge honkin' bag of pine shavings. I figured it would last me the year. Wrong. The little bag I bought to use for the first couple weeks of Blanche's new life ended up lasting me the entire year. Thus, I still have the huge bag. I bit the bullet and opened it a couple weeks ago. I keep it--you have to realize this is a bag of shavings about two and a half feet tall and a foot wide--in a garbage bag so the pine doesn't fall all over the darn place.

Okay SO. The other day I was tying it up to bring to my dad's house (the seasonal hamster sitter who incidentally just discovered the garbage bag full of shavings in his living room and exclaimed "This isn't--No!" as I was typing this) and I thought, "Good God. What if Blanche dies? What the heck am I gunna do with a trillion pine shavings?!?!" So I got quiet and made a little deal with the universe. I said, "Universe, I will help out the environment by not buying these shavings in vain if you make sure Blanche lives until they're gone. Alright?"

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Never let it fade away.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Duet For One DI, Nationals 2006

Me and Pac after the Debate Banquet 2006

When I went to Nationals for Speech and Debate in 2006, there was this girl who performed Duet for One in a couple of my DI rounds, AND SHE WAS AMAZING. I remember watching her in quarter-finals and feeling I would be satisfied to lose to her. I even told my coach I was excited to watch her again in finals. But, then she wasn't in finals. She wasn't even in semis I don't think. I guess her talent wasn't as obvious to everyone else. But I thought she should have won the whole thing.

Now, this seems like I'm some weird creep who is obsessed with this stranger from five years ago...and yes, I admit, it's a little odd, but this is an open call out to that girl who was so good and got so little recognition. I've thought of her a couple times overs the years and hoped she had a good time in Dallas even though she was shafted.

I googled this yesterday: "duet for one" "DI" "Nationals 2006" "speech and debate." No results. Maybe she will one day do the same and find this, and either feel a little happy or feel a little scared that I am typing this from her closet...heh heh...heh....I just never told her I thought she was awesome! At least let me tell you, you people who have no connection to this entire event!

There is no future. There is no past. Let's live this moment as our last.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turn on the Lights

Slou's eye, Summer 2010

Sometimes I start to feel really slow, like my body parts are seeping from thing to thing. Sometimes, when I am in bed watching "Community" on Hulu and working on my list of grad school applications, I start to feel crazy. I'm moving slower than honey spilling down from a packet. I'm finding information after two million mouse clicks and five million thought pauses. Oh. So. Slow.

And then I leave, and I come back, and I turn on the lights. And POOF. I'm zooming. I'm finding answers, I'm scootin' around, I'm drinking water, I'm getting it together.

It's a weird thing like having greasy hair, when the lights are off I just don't function. It feels so good to have them on.

My grandmother lived with my family when I was in pre-school. There was a pretty strict "only natural light" rule in the room she spent most of her days. It hurt her eyes because she was blind. I could not. I could not.

Let us die young or let us live forever.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Kath & Me, Last Week

Yesterday I was looking at my planner and feeling like I didn't want to do any of it. Any of it! Not the meetings with my office, not the coaching of the children, not the fun plans for dinner, not the midnight Harry Potter showing. Literally nothing. Besides improv. Even then, I was ambivalent about driving into the city again.

I realized how little I would do if there were no consequences. I'm sure I would start with just a couple activities I liked and it would slowly wither to nothing. No matter what you do it can feel like too much. And, so, I'm grateful for my health which inspires me to run, economics that fuels my jobbing, kindness which pushes me forward into those social situations....because it's all really good for me and plain good. So, I guess I am glad. Even though as I type this I feel the overwhelming wish to never move again, I think back to yesterday and the good it brought. So, I guess I'll do stuff now.

Through the mirror of my mind, time after time,
I see reflections fo you and me. Reflections of
the way life used to be.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh Dear

I hit a dear.
I think I killed it.
I could not stop and check.
I am sorry.
I was shaking.

It was ten minutes from home.
A song from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown was playing--
"My New Philosophy."
It must have been on the median.
It ran at me, attempting suicide?
I braked hard, but its body was already crashing into my side.
I winced for glass to shatter.
I was driving Kay's car.

I said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
I cried and went straight to the bakery--Kay is on the late shift tonight.
I got out slowly, scared to examine the damage.
Side mirror broken. Dented door. Dead animal.
I walked with jelly legs to the bakery door. I looked in the back.
Kay put down the dish he was doing and smiled, it fell fast.
My hands were over my mouth. My glasses were fogged with tears.

It's not fair this should happen this week. This week I found a possum dying in front of me.
Kay excused himself from work a moment. He held my hand saying it was going to be okay.
He looked at the car scars, optimistic about insurance, grateful for my safety. He drove me home, walked me inside, embraced me, went back to work until 4 AM.

I hate that the creature is now a lump on the highway. I hate that my shoulder feels sore. I hope the hawks are hungry. I hope the bugs feast.

In a sick way, I feel blessed to have more proof of love.

And I could write a song a hundred miles long
Well, that's where I belong, and you belong with me

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Burger King Commercial

Maybe it's because I was just watching it while I was on a treadmill at the gym, but this new win a Wii from Burger King campaign seems stinks of advertising sabotage.

A fit woman and two other men in giant hamburger suits are playing Wii. The woman is obviously able to jump and scoot and move the controller. The men are bumbling around as these giant Whoppers and failing at the game.

The Point: Burger King is having some kind of contest about winning a gaming system.

What I Saw: God, you better not eat at Burger King. You'll be too fat and rolly-polly to even be a successful gamer.

F'real?! F'REAL?! WHO DID THIS AD CAMPAIGN? Was it secretly Bob Harper?

Edit: HAHAHA I accidentally typed "Burger Kind" a few times. Funny, no?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Little grasshopper, I found you in the bottom drawer of my bureau when I moved into my new place a few months back. I couldn't tell if you died sitting up straight, or if you were being still so I would not hurt you. I didn't know what to do. I don't mind bugs so much, but suddenly, you seemed really scary. A big leggy black-eyed thing just perching where I had intended to fold a sweatshirt. How did you get in there anyway?

I closed the drawer, still unsure.

I have not opened it since. In a perfect world, you hopped out through a hole in the back and are enjoying fall from underground. I don't want to prove my funfetti ending wrong. I just throw my sweatshirts here and there.

We're walkin' into the field.
We're walkin' into the forest.
The moon is before us up above.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five Things (11/11)

Five things I have liked today:

1. Catching 11:11 on 11.11!
2. Eggs Benedict!
3. Realizing I am getting better at push-ups!
4. Watching that YouTube video "Girl freaking out because she can't sing" with Kath and laughing hella!
5. Opening my phone to see a self-planted surprise of my favorite Hyperbole and a Half drawing as my wallpaper!

trademark Allie Brosh

That is what I look like after most of my meals and/or snacks!

Five things I have disliked:

1. My lease is ending, and I don't know where I am going to live soon!
2. The post office was closed because of Vets Day, so I have to send my JET app supes early tomorrow morn!
3. I thought it'd be cool to literally run to Kay's house last night, and now I have a giant blister on my foot!
4. I put my hair in a bun, but it actually looked really bad, but I didn't realize it until I had already gone to work and meetings with many a peep probs noticing!
5. I keep egotistically looking at the college transcript on my desk, admiring my own grades, and then feeling like a jerk for doing so!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Nice Thing about God

Muff and Jamba's mini wedding cake

One nice thing about God for believers and non-believers alike, is that God is not a person. So, if you're deciding to reach out to God, whether you're comfortable being religious, or you are just trying it out for one second in a jam, you can't lose your pride to God. God's not going to call out, "Ha! I gotcha!"

You could be agnostic 'til the cows come home, but decide to pray just for one little day. Get on your knees, say thank you, ask for help, long to feel comforted...and no one has to know. It's not like hitting financial ruin and secretly going to a loan shark or being overcome with lust and seeking a prostitute. God is never going to show up at the same Walgreens as you and recognize you in front of your family. God is never going to spread a rumor about you and your vices that eventually gets back to your boss. Maybe you'd have to eat humble pie in front of a congregation your renounced or a friend who drags you to a Christian function, but in your own home, at your own kitchen table, with the lights turned on or off, after you found out your little wiener dog has to be put to sleep, you can sit still and feel God's presence if you want. No one is going to know. You don't even have to throw away your "I hate Jesus" t-shirt. You can wear it and still secretly ask God what to do.

That's a really nice thing about that God.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Choo Chew

Back with my high school friends. Meetin' where the train tracks end.

Graduation Eve

Sometimes I remember a Chicago news story from 2003. A boy, eleven, was late for a dental appointment. He was riding his bike. He was panicked. He had to cross train tracks. A train was coming. He would surely be late if he waited. He didn't cross fast enough and died right there. The dentist's secretary had to call his mother. She was mad he missed the check-up, but he kept not coming and not coming home and not being anywhere. His body was discovered later that night.

I heard a train whistle clear and loud today. It's sunny out. There are a lot of good things.

I wanna pull it apart and put it back together. I wanna relive all my adolescent dreams. Inspired by true events on movie screens. I am a one-man wrecking machine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Decemberists

A couple weeks ago I was walking to my sister's apartment, and I passed a couple on the road.

"HEY!" The girl dropped her boyfriend's hand and scampered toward me. "I heard you like The Decemberists!" Her eyes, perched on her flat circular face, were wide with excitement. I was, of course, caught off guard. I didn't know this girl. "," I replied. I don't really like The Decemberists that much. They're a little bit "wah-wah moody mood" for me. But, I felt bad. She blushed and inched back to her beau trailing off the conversation while going: "Oh...not even...a little? Uh...well..."

I walked on and told my sister about it. I described the gal and Pookie vaguely knew her. She probably got us confused as many people do because Katie does enjoy The Decemberists quite a bit. She probably wanted to invite me/her/us to a concert or something--just the kind of thing small communities need, right? Using gossip about interests for good over evil. Anyway, I felt bad for being so curt. I was just surprised.

We do look alike. Summer 2010.

Anyway, a couple days ago my sister saw this same girl somewhere, and picking up the ball I dropped forwardly smiled and said, "I hear you like The Decemberists?" Raising her eyebrows and narrowing her lips the girl answered, "I know The Decemberists. One of them went to my high school."

A. That hardly means anything. Robin Tunney went to my junior high. You don't see me freakin' out and promoting The Craft. And, B. Nuts to a community! She just wanted to brag to a potential fan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Work Out, Not Up

Today I am reminding myself of the ever-present Good.

I get so worked up in things I need and want that sometimes I can't actually see their faces--like how you can't tell a friend is gaining weight, a light bulb is getting dimmer. All I see are these little chunks of life, and I cannot figure out where the change happened or understand that it might be good for me.

Applying for JET is a perfect example. I am writing all these statements and filling things out and getting paperwork together in an attempt to get an interview and be offered a position. Even though I am working towards it, and I want to do it, I barely consider actually working there as I am so focused on getting there. Maybe that's a good way to live--in the present, working on the task at hand without daydreaming. But, if I do not get an interview, I know I will be disappointed. Failure, you know. Yet, I have spent so little mind energy deciding why it would be a great and necessary experience...I really shouldn't feel any regret. It's just the trying for something and not getting it that would really ruffle me. A faceless opponent indeed.

With these things that plop into my life unannounced, I almost never get excited or even relaxed. I just feel muddled by the sudden whips of fate. But, I should work out, stretching my arms wide to what everything brings. Jumping up and down may burn calories, but it also burns my thinking capacities to see a good future despite surprises.

Your bags are packed. Not a word was spoken. Guess we said everything with "goodbye." Time moves so slow. Promises get broken on that cold day in July.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

JET Application

photo by Bradley, Japan 2008


I've come this far but even so,
it could be yes, it could be no.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

She's the One

I worked really hard today. Plus, I was up late goofing around with Kay. He baked banana bread last night as I graded my brains away. I feel edgy about walking around his place--like an owner or parent will just be there one day. But, no. It's a sweet little house just for him. And sometimes me.

"There's no rules at my house except for have fun! Oh God, I sound like a t-ball coach."-Kay

Anyway, I was still writing and feedbacking around 5 PM today and suddenly this fat puma of fatigue sat on my head. I barely put my computer down before conking out. I woke up feeling like I had been lying in a greasy frying pan for half an hour. I was really scared. I was suddenly aware of my mortal age. "I am 22," I thought and touched my face, looked at my hands. Yesterday I was reading in bed and felt overcome with a fluttery feeling of perfection, grace, consistency. I was sitting on daisy petals and even then remembered to tell myself to save some for a rainy day. Yet, today, every flower was missing. No lightness--just crushing steel.

"I'm watching The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the cartoon version, and I'm scared out of my mind!" -Pookie, the phone call I am having right now

May 2010

And if you wait for me. I'll give you everything.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mmm Soft Little Sack

Eight years ago today I was in a closing show of Les Miserables at my high school in Chicago. Les Mis takes place in revolutionary France, mostly at a barricade. Thus, the set is domineered by a huge junk heap in the middle of the stage.

I was playing Gavroche--the little boy who dies on the barricade while attempting to gather ammunition from cadavers. I sang a solo as I was dying that got cut off by a final gun shot. Awesome. After my death, a huge battle would ensue, leaving all deceased with the lead rabble-rouser Enjrolas taking the final spill. After the sequence, the orchestra would play a pensive tune, and the lights would fade except for a blue spotlight on mine and Enjrolas's limp bodies as the barricade was wheeled off-stage. I would position myself over a wooden barrel and the senior playing Enjrolas laid stiffly on an old door above me.

On opening night as the huge set piece was being spun around it started to creak. Keep in mind that high school theatre sets are usually made by hyped-up fourteen year olds with power tools. Right as the spotlight lit me and my castmate, the door cracked right off the set, and Enj, being the serious actor he was, didn't break character, so he rolled right on top of me with full force. I didn't move. As soon as we were offstage, I burst into tears. My arm felt broken.

"OH CRAP!" Enj was whisper/yelling, "OH GOD! I AM SO SORRY! I was thinking, 'The door is breaking! But, then I rolled right onto a soft little sack thank God! And then I realized...that's not a soft little sack! That's Alice!" I couldn't laugh. I was in mild shock and concerned about coming on as a ghost in the next scene. I shakily walked away from everyone, clutching my arm. I waited backstage.

My boyfriend (also in the play) came running to me as soon as he heard, "Hey," he said."Hey, are you okay? I'll do whatever you want. We don't have to finish the show." So funny. I can picture him trying to explain to our director why he missed every entrance throughout the entire end of Act Two. I shook my head and finished the show in a hazy state. I could feel peace being restored to my body. During curtain call, Enjrolas stepped on my foot. "I'm so so sorry!" he mouthed, eyes bugging.

My freshman year bf, 2002

Today as I was walking by a large window I saw my shape moving out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a soft little sack--amorphous and grey, covered by a sweater.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cracker Barrel Caper

1. After I picked my sister up from the airport last week, we ate at Cracker Barrel.

Ia. I do not care what you say, Cracker Barrel is the cat's pajamas. The blueberry pancakes are supes fluffy, you can get biscuits and molasses, and two eggs with toast for like two dollars.

1b. Plus that little peg mind-game at every table.

2. We each got eggs and toast plus coffee plus hash browns etc.

3. Our dinner was twelve dollars total.

4. I paid.

5. Our waitress was really nice. Pookie insist she get a good tip.

6. I gave her over 20%, putting the total cost of meal a little over 16 bucks.

7. We went to Fro My Goodness and spent almost as much on frozen yogurt as we had on dinner.

8. We commented on and laughed about this.

9. I checked my bank statement a couple days ago and found a charge to the Cracker Barrel $25.67.

10. I was sure this is not right because we had specifically jokes about the low cost of dinner.

11. I became suspicious of the cashier who could have easily fudged my tip section.

12. I found the receipt in my car! Indeed, the meal was $16 with tip!

13. I had busted an employee for fraud!

14. I looked up the establishment's number and grew excited. I was really to demand at least a $100 gift card. They owed me a ten buck refund, plus they had committed fraud, PLUS what if there had been an overdraft fee? Free biscuits on the road forever and ever amen.

15. I was about to make the call today, so I checked my banks statement once more to be sure of the exact amount I was charged.

16. The statement detailed a $25 purchase from Crate and Barrel.

17. Smack head. Lots.