Thursday, December 30, 2010

Compromising My Values

Alice doesn't buy Nike products.
Nike employs children in its sweatshops.

Alice's feet are bonked.
She has barely an arch at all.

When Alice runs in running shoes, she feels okay.
When Alice runs more than a few miles, her feet get torn up.

Alice is training for a half or full marathon. TBD.
Alice's feet in usual shoes are not so happy.

Alice found a pair of shoes that will not give her grief!
...They are made by Nike.

Turkey Trot, Photo by Pookie, 2010

Today I may compromise my values. Rats.

I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review on the Year & Goals

Usually I try to make this blog universal, inviting, generally not just about the day-to-day of my own life, but this entry is going to be a selfish.

2010 is almost over, and I would like to reflect on it. This year has been very very full.
I gots to sems at ACTF (and had a great trip), directed a wonderful season of LZ, was in Bradley's one-act, had my sister move closer, roomed with Muff, Yatchface, Grinz, wrote a play, performed a play, was in Robin Hood with Stripes, had a ridiculous amount of birthday celebration, graduated college, spent the best summer yet working at camp, had difficulties with my living situation, with my car, with my jobs, went through two break-ups, performed a lovely wedding, and found an improv company I really enjoy. Had a great old friend visit--that's happening right now.

Slou--here now :)

I had two resolutions last year, which I took on admirably, and I will continue to take on in this upcoming year:
-Don't drink as much coffee. I did very well, but I could do better.
-Don't talk about race or age unless it is super significant to the conversation. Also, I did well, but really just want this as a habit.

Last summer I made five goals for the upcoming school/work year (until June 2011) and I'm making good progress.
-Visit aunt and grandfather in Wisconsin: Check
-Pray everyday: Getting there
-Run a 10K: Planning on running more this spring
-Get Published in some CS Literature: Submitted
-Go to Germany: Planning

Thanks for listening to my goals. You're a million percent more likely to get what you want and behave how you want if you tell other people and stay honest about it.

Put your mind to it, go for it, you're gunna break a sweat.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Love You

When I was thirteen my friend Smidge and I were supposed to prepare for a debate against two other boys in Language Arts class. They were talkin' smack. The topic was Banning Books in Libraries Yes or No? We said No. The two rascally boys said Yes. They were explaining how they were going to tear us apart in the debate (spoiler: they did not) and one of them said something like "Don't you hate us?" so I of course said No. I said, "I don't hate anyone."

The one with a stupid bowl-cut asked, "Why not?" A stupid question. I said, "I love everyone." I was really lame, but it's just what came out. And, it was/ is the truth. So he and his friend gawked. EVERYONE? EVERYONE?
I was already exposed. I nodded. "Well, then, you love us?" They egged me on. I was in deep. I nodded yes. I tried to look confident.

"Say it then," they jeered. I wanted the conversation to be over and to continue our discussion on inappropriate kids books. I looked one of them in the eye and said, "I love you." He looked horrified--absolutely ready to vomit. I understand and don't understand. The other laughed and laughed. I asked to talk more about the assignment. The laughing bowl-cut kid told as many people as would listen. "She said I love you! She said it to ----!" I was so embarrassed.

I understand and don't understand.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Things move so fast. So fast. So fast. You really gotta keep focused and know what's going on. Because remember when THIS was my life?

My desk. Summer 2010.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Take Your Marks

Last night there was a mini-squabble. I wanted to wake up today and work out, Pookie got frustrated: "Can't you just take one day off?" But, it's not like exercise is a punishment I place on myself. It is deeply cleansing and rewarding, and that's why I want to do it every day. Of all days in the year, I should give myself the joy of a strength training workout on Christmas morning.

I wish I had been introduced to exercise earlier in my life. I remember a friend whose mom made her run a mile every day over summer vacation in 7th grade. At the time, I pictured the mom with fangs because it sounded so evil. But now...I should be so lucky.

Incidentally...I am on the edge of signing up for a marathon...


Nac: wrightsville beach marathon/your visit is in 93 days, 1 hour, and 9 minutes
Me: What! No!
Nac: headliner

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Just do your best. It's the only way to keep that last bit of sanity.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Poppin' Bottles in the Club

August 2009, Photo by Pookie, at Dunkin'

Last night, en route to IO downtown, my sister and I saw a Dunkin' Donuts. We both sighed with relief. There is genuinely something relieving about DD to me (and her). I don't love Chicago. I really don't. I appreciate it. I'll rep it and its 1990s Bulls and improv scene and Wilco and Marshall Fields until the day I die, but...I don't love it. It's cold and dirty.

BUT I LOVE DUNKIN' DONUTS. It's like this magical point on the spectrum of childhood memories that doesn't cross with angsty adolescence, delicious tastes of sweet and savory that never turns too rich or too filling, a chain that has been part of my life forever and always unlike my old skating rink or Brown's chicken which disappeared in the romanticism of elementary school.

So, we sighed. Good. Dunkin' Donuts on every street corner. Good. That's how we like it. She said, "We'll stop."
"There's one by dad's house."
"What? I'll need some munchkins for the road! To pop in my mouth!"
Silence. Quietly, to herself, barely audible I hear

"...Poppin' munchkins in the club..."

Picture this adorable little facey in da club with a carton of chocolate munchkins...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cell Treasures of the Sierra Madre

My cell contract is up! New phone time! I always liked my phone, but now after researching other phones for hours...I HATE MY STUPID PHONE! My fam went to the store today to trade in, and there was flip-flopping and hemming and hawing, and it was decided we could go back tomorrow, BUT I SWEAR TO GOD I AM A TODDLER AND CANNOT WAIT ONE. MORE. MINUTE.

Isn't that weird how that works? You're like happy and content and then you see all the glory of something newly within your grasp and you're just swimming in desire!

T9? We don't need no stinking T9! Not with a full keyboard!

I had to take all my old photos off my phone, since it will soon be replaced. This is the selection of gummy candies from a candy shop in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Time

Pre-Wedded, Jamba & Muff

Last night was my first time performing with a longform team.

A train crashed
and everything slows down.
I was wishing I could get out of this town.
These dreams we've had
have never made you cry.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ew 2011

Maybe it's just a tad OCD, but I really don't like odd years besides the 5's. Like, I really enjoyed graduating in 2010. That sounds really nice. 2006 and 2008 were good years too. I liked going to Japan in 2008. That has a ring to it.

But 2009? 2009 was actually a really good year, but it still looked gross. Don't get me started on '07. 2011 looks and sounds ugly. Ick. Can't we skip these things?

I was going to get a tattoo in 2010. I almost did in '07 but honestly didn't want that to be the year I got. Now, I will have to wait until 2012. I have a design and place, but I am only 99% sure about it. So, I guess even if there's a breath of hesitation you don't do it, right? Maybe not. I think of Dusty, who was taking out the garbage after our cast party with me two nights ago. It was 1 AM. We thought the dumpster was out back, but a sign said an emergency alarm would sound. We stood still, then he said with conviction, "You know what? Improv. Make a choice and commit to it." He pushed on the door and sirens blared.

Dusty and Peanut Brittle in a scene last weekend

When I saw Equus a few months ago a woman in the production was playing the stern child counselor and friend of the doctor. It's a serious role. I couldn't help notice the tiny script of "Laugh!" tatted on her ankle. Hm.

You know when the truth gets told you can get what you want or you can just get old.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Super Deep Y'all

Crush the snow.
Change the boots.
Gym shoes tied.
Treadmill time.
Soy dog digesting. Bites bites bites.
Side pains.
Side Pains.
Give up.
Nurse the cramp.
Fail at a goal.
Not all goals are worth achieving.

Home Again

It's late. It's really late. I can't sleep. It's happy insomnia!

I remember this from the night before high school began. I laid in bed, all lights off, with headphones connected to my Discmac. I listened to the album Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World. I loved that album. Who am I fooling? It's probably still on my top five. DON'T JUDGE!

I feel at home right now. Not just because I have gotten ultra cozy crashing on Pookie's couch since I have been on break from working, but because a gear has been shifted. A switch has been turned. I couldn't tell you exactly when it happened. Who cares?

College was not appealing to me. I didn't feel the urge to escape my surroundings (I had only been at my high school two years). I didn't crave independence. I had plenty with my busy schedule and separated parents. I mean, I was a good kid and wouldn't need to "get away" for any reason. I would crack on school nights with my friend Bubba. Now replace "crack" with "Calculus," "Bubba" with "Nals" (the sweet and timid Indian boy in my class), and "school nights" with "weekends." So, I was sort of non-jazzed about wild nights and staying up late and ditching work. I wanted to get my education and read and put in my retainers and sleep. For some reason the instinct to make friends did not kick in for me until a couple weeks of college had already been underway. I don't think this is sad in any way. I honestly didn't think about making friends. Keep in mind I had just spent a month in a solitary room in Edinburgh. So that.

Anyway, one day I didn't have too much homework to do, and my roommate was out, and I started thinking, "I kinda just want to hang out with someone." So I left my room and walked to the commons to find a random group of people watching Fight Club. I love Fight Club, so I invited myself to the couch and watched along. I liked the people. It was a group of friends I wasn't part of, but I felt comfortable around them. They seemed to like me okay. Little did I know I would go to Japan with two of them, and Ben Folds concert with another before graduation.

GOSH THIS IS GETTING LONG. That night my very dear friend Henne just happened to call me. We chatted, and I said, "I feel at home in my dorm. I feel like I belong here, and I am part of a community and atmosphere..." and he was like " took me months to feel that way." And, I was really grateful.

And, I can't explain it, but I feel the same way right now. I feel really happy and comfortable in my own skin. Pleased with my life right now. Grateful I just finished my improv show, made some lovely friends, learned bunches, and feel like the cocoon that has been forming around me is breaking. HEY! YOU SHUT UP ABOUT THE JUVENILLE METAPHOR ITS LIKE FIVE AM!

Tonight was a weird night. You know the improv shortform game "Emotional Roller-coaster"? You do a scene and the host yells out various emotions to change into as the scene progresses? Try hanging out with a group of improvers for thirteen hours. You'll begin to see how that game was inspired.

How can you soar if you're nailed to the floor?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Someday We'll Find It

Council Overhang, Ottawa, IL 2010

Backstage last night in the mini-break before our late show one of my castmates started singing Rainbow Connection in a gen-u-ine Kermit the Frog voice. Then someone else sang along. Then the light guy walked backstage and joined in. Two more piped up. All in that hideous toad gurgle. A full-on chorus of Kermits flemily singing in a dark winged corridor at 9:57 PM on a Friday.

And no one blinks or anything.

So I say, "How do you know all the lyrics to 'The Rainbow Connection'?" And the original Kermie explains that once he realized he could do that voice, he felt he better darn well get some lines down. I looked to the rest of them. They shrugged.

"Yeah...I don't..."
"It's like..."
"Well, you gotta..."
"HEY! Why DON'T you know 'The Rainbow Connection'?!"
They all leapt onto the mock anger. I gave in! I'm sorry! You're right! What was I thinking?

Then we started talking about what happens when you slow down Louis Armstrong recordings and add heavy metal backbeats.

What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing, and what's on the other side?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Clarally, Clarally, Clarally, Clarally, Life is but a Dream

Me and Homestay Momma--NOT CLARA, but, yes, same size.

Clara: i totally thought about you a lot this month, about how you would handle my life... hahaha
Me: Really?
Clara: i think you're awesome
Me: That is such a compliment.
Clara: it's true! i thought about how you love the things you love and then you make decisions that bring you closer or deeper into those things and that's that!
Me: Thank you!
Clara: i think when you visited, every decision we made was based on that premise, and it made my mind feel so happy and clear instead of the way it normally is
Me: Wait. I want to live near you.
Clara: we'll see.
Clara: I'm going to visit new mexico too.
I was just looking at living in NM yesterday.
Clara: hahahaha- where??
Me: I was looking at grad school at University of NM.
Clara: YES
Clara: I'm visiting
Clara: I will send you a report
Clara: But I also might live in St. Paul
Me: NO.
Clara: Because I love snow
Clara: so much
Me: I will bomb St. Paul.
Clara: then i will die in st. paul!
Clara: i will be a martyr for my love
Clara: how long are you going to be in Illinois?
Me: Until June.
Me: I have applied to teach in Japan, but I won't know about that for a long time.
Clara: if you go to japan, i will bomb japan
Clara: oh wait
Clara: :(

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jesus Christ!

above the head counselor cabin, 2010

"For he that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is his name."
-Mary on getting bopped by God. What a trooper.

People get really hung up on the virgin birth thing. Can we just get over it? It's sort of weird and lame, so whatever, let's just drop it. It's not even that important. Jesus was either a good real dude who said helpful things or a good fake dude who said helpful things. People quote Holden Caulfield like he's a saint, and no one is even pretending he was immaculately conceived. I say we move on and enjoy whatever we think the truth is.

Like Mary's story. Gets told about having to be pregnant, and she's like...pumped. Challenges are blessings cheesy cheese blah blah blah, but it's true, and we should remember that. I like the symbolism of shepherds seeing a dim light of a star and just following it until they found the baby party. Life feels like that all the time to me. You get a little hint of something good, and if you follow it and have faith, next thing you know, you are immortalized in manger scenes for all eternity.

Breath of heaven, hold me together, be forever near me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tip of the Tongue

In the midst of a discussion about race and America and jobs and other such things, my sister and I both forgot a key phrase.

"You know...when like...they say they want more blacks in a school or a job or...something. Like an advantage?"
"Right right, and its like a big contended thing and...Dear Lord what is that called?"
" Justice?"
"Something Advantage?
"Minority Priority?"

We make up several more, totally unable to grasp the real phrase, so we finished the conversation subbing in Minority Priority.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The high school I work at is a completely "Nut-Free Facility." When did this happen? When I was a freshman in high school I was in a play of three Edgar Allen Poe stories, and the kid who was the old man from "The Tell Tale Heart" was allergic to peanuts. Our director sat munching a bag of trail mix and offered some to the guy. He said, "No thanks. If I eat that, I'll die." Our director paused, ate another handful, then offered again. We all laughed! HAHA PEANUT ALLERGIES!

Upon having to throw away the tubs of hazelnut cream cheese I brought for the judge's lounge at the school's speech meet, I felt like the world was full of wusses. I mean, really, can't you just not eat a Snickers? Do you have to have them banned wherever you are?

And then this girl had a giant puffy face. And her coaches were moments away from calling 911. And she for real looked like she was gunna die. And she was just in the same room as someone eating peanut butter. Woof.

I am more understanding, but still kind of like, "Uh...what are we doing that todays' teenagers nearly explode at the smell of a peanut?" Put your kids in dirt. Stop hanging out next to factories and DDTing your family garden for macademia's sake.

Other nuts. Spring Formal 2010.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Bath

The knob was turned as left as it could be turned.
I am fundamentally against baths. A waste
of water.
But, it has been a long time.
Besides visiting onsens in Japan
at least.

Last week I began one, but got bored halfway full.
Today was the first real bath I have had in around ten years.
I can't remember the last one.

My heart lubbed s l o w.
I felt like a bullfrog.
Stagnant and sludgey. The water
rose. I was curled up holding my knees,
toes under the stream. Hot.

I closed my eyes and reached back forming a V on the wall.
Hot places: the American south, exotic islands, Australia.
How can you be angry with these heavy eyelids?

Ears buzzing.
I drained it.
Stepping out I looked like I had bathed
in a jar of maraschino cherries.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Conversation with Big Taco

BT: you know, i have to admit to crying during an insurance commercial or something a week ago
BT: not i mean not like crying crying, but i got one good blob of eye juice from each eye and a sniffle
BT: it's like the first ten minutes of the new star trek
Me: Omg
Me: Don't even get me started
BT: it just punched open my rib cage and crabbed me by the heart before i even knew what was happening
BT: grabbed* rather. although crabbed would be good
Me: Uh....I believe you're the one chomping on other living beings.
BT: oh right, because plants are inanimate, lifeless objects
Me: Kind of.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And So I Cried at California Pizza Kitchen

Against my own desires I had to go shopping tonight. I needed another collared shirt for my show. I hate shopping. I really do. It's so annoying. But, surprisingly, I can't figure out if I like malls or not. I usually avoid them because I hate shopping. I hate shopping because usually*

A) You need something and you absolutely cannot find it.
B) You don't need something but you have found so many things you want!
1) They look horrible on you. You are depressed.
2) They look awesome...and expensive. You are depressed.

But also malls are clean, smell like cinnabons, and play fun music. So. I like that. But, also people. So...jury's still out.

ANYWAY you don't care what I think of malls. You want to know about the drama I hooked you with in the title. I'm getting there! Okay, so I was at the mall finding a shirt, which I victoriously found. I was also going to treat myself to a movie. I was in the film seeing spirit, and I love to go to movies alone. But, after some phoning I realized my sister was also shopping, and she wanted dinner. And I hadn't eaten! So, she came to the mall I was at, but then she had to buy something, and then we were only going to have a little more than half an hour at dinner. No big. CPK's fast.

YOU THINK I'M GOING TO CRY BECAUSE I MISS THE MOVIE! Well, yeah, I miss the movie, but also...that's not it.

So, I get a salad that looks really really good. Thai peanut something with edamame and crispies. Mmmm, and I ask to substitute the chicken with avocado. Mmmmm and then the food comes. Mmmm but it doesn't look like there are avocados. So I ask the waiter, and he says I thought I wanted chicken and NOT avocados. Okay. Clearly he messed up right? Because how is that possible? Why would I ask him to substitute something in the original dish for something not in it? Right?

So he said he'd bring another and took the salad. But, I know what happens to food waiters take THE GARBAGE THAT'S WHAT! So I started to get really nervous. It's so difficult when that happens. I don't want to eat chicken, but I don't want it to be thrown away, and suddenly all these little starving children were dancing in my brain. Well, they were too weak to dance, crawling more like it. And so. I started to cry.

So instead of me having a panic attack my sister offered to buy both salads and take the chickenful one to a meat-eating friend. The waiter said the wrong salad was on the house. I was relieved. It's was much later because of food conundrums, but whatever. I wish this kind of thing made me lovable. I think it just makes me insane.

*I actually tried to make a flow chart depicting my experiences at malls, but after like five minutes of trying I realized I still couldn't figure out what the "graphic" button was. That was the first step.

Great Things

Five Great Things

1. Man on the Moon--I am now minorly obsessed with Andy Kaufman and his comedy/art/life. This movie has been bumped into my top five of all time.
2. Studio 60. I am so sad I only have like three episodes left.
3. Yesterday Kay and I hang out pretty much all day, and we did almost nothing productive. Caught up on Hulu, had a dance party to the new Girl Talk album, ate things...It was SO relaxing. And no feelings of guilt squashed it either. I was never like, "I need to get X and Y done..." I think it helped that we also didn't spend any money. Not spending money increases my joy level by about sixty percent.
4. My dream was really stressful. I was at today's speech meet, but I had all these random things I had to do pertaining to making a fort out of garbage and recyclables. Plus, some kid got in serious trouble, and I was going to have to reprimand him. But, POOF I woke up! That is so nice.
5. I have convinced my sister to keep a "cookie box"--a box that always has fresh-baked cookies in it.


the man

Sunday, December 5, 2010


There are some girls who can live forever with sugar voices. Anything they say is like gingerbread pancakes with whipped cream drizzle. I do not know how these girls function. Do they get into fights? Do they cry more or less as they have fewer reasons for crying? I am interested.

The other day backstage FG was pointing to everyone in the cast and stating which "one" he or she was. Like..."the ethnic one" or "the nerd" and I was "the nice one." I don't think that's accurate, although to a group of strangers it might be. I'm not offended. There are plenty worse things to be called.

The butter melts out of habit.
You know the toast isn't even warm.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Livin' the Life

Yesterday started my professional acting career. The paid improv show I'm in opened last night, and because I'm not working for either of my other jobs, this weekend I am living the life of a pro. That sounds glamorous, but its just strange.

Wake up late. Work out extensively. Primp extensively. Eat one giant meal at 3 PM so you can have a good workout prior and a good open post. Drive to theatre alone. Warm-up, discuss setlist, find key with accompanist, open. Expend all your energy. Greet your audience. Eat a banana in an empty dressing room. Wish for sleep. Begin the late show. Expend all your back-up energy. Leave the theatre at midnight alone. Drive the long road home. Hit the pillow. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

college junior year spring musical

Gilly had a headache last night. She was curled up minutes before our second open saying, "I just wanna go home." Although I was in perfect health, so did I. It was late. But performing gets to be like running--only difficult minutes before you go. Because during, you're distracted, and after, you feel great. Heck, during you feel great too.

I'm really not complainin' I realize its just a job, and I hate hearin' belly-achin' rockstars whine and sob. 'Cos I could be busin' tables. I could well be pumpin' gas, but I get paid much finer for playin' piano and kissin' ---

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Invisible Peeps

Been spending a lot of time alone lately. It doesn't feel like it because when I am around people its intense--a rehearsal or a billion high schoolers.

I could explain this in more detail, but I'll cut to the chase: I've been having problems...

A) differentiating snippets of my dreams from reality.
B) remembering if I had conversations with people or not.

Boop? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE FOR REAL DO SPEND DAYS ALONE? I just don't even want to imagine. Or, I am imagining now. Am I sitting here typing this or am I still driving across a bridge at night?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Da Doo Run Run

Something I like about improv is that you get really gross while doing it. You can't really help it. You're moving and sweating and your hair is sliding out of your ponytail and bobby pins are flying and your eye makeup smears.

Usually actors have a charm, beauty, or delicacy about them. They're far away on a stage with costumes and make-up...but I feel like there's only so much facade you can keep up in improv. You're just...out there. Pit stains the size of Lake Michigan. And, it's even worse for your fellow actors.

Sunday I practiced barefoot because I had a giant blister from that Thanksgiving run. Shoe turned to me in a pause from an exercise, pointed down, and whispered, "Aren't you cold." I told him I had a blister, did he want to see? He thought, then shrugged. I pulled my foot up sideways and revealed the huge chunk of healing skin. He scrunched his nose and nodded, "Yeah," he said.

Oh oh oh, yeah, my heart stood still.
Yeah, his name was Bill.
And when he walked me home.