Friday, December 30, 2011

Wild, Mysterious Life!

Henne's surprise party! Wednesday.

Henne is probably the person that makes me laugh the most, which is especially extraordinary since about half of the friends I've ever made are involved in some kind of improv/comedy/theatre.

A conversation we had a couple months ago:

Henne: So, I'm imaginary shopping online and being a bitter troll.
Henne: What's going on with you!
Me: I am listening to "Blister in the Sun" and writing feedback for grades.
Henne: Great American Pastime!
Henne: Also, isn't it weird that is Pastime and not Pasttime? Since I thought it was a compound word.
Henne: Life, wild mysterious life!

I was fifteen when he was my best friend--my bus partner to speech meets, the second half of many a Rent duet. But on Wednesday a gaggle of his pals and I were sitting around a small city apartment swapping student stories. Student stories! Adulthood all around. At my fifteen-year old self's best friend's surprise party.

That was my last match.
Our eyes will adjust. Thank God for the moon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheese with That Wine

Ethiopian food with Lowsta & Splosian. December 2011.

Today I have been more unproductive than a bum ovary.

I know what would make me feel better is just doing my stupid work. But I cannot. I simply cannot. I wish I had no ideas sometimes. Then, I could just open my tuft of scalp and let everything in, instead of constantly cheese grating everything out. Truth.

I'm just an insect
trying to get out of the night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Live Yo' Dreams

Last night I went to Second City's South Side of Heaven, and I loved loved loved it. It was different than past SC show's I've seen. It was more poignant (of course still funny). It helped me feel happy about being alive, which is probably the point of art.

I have this thought about dreams: You really can live your dreams now. Like, okay, when I saw that show last night I was like, Wait, Let Me Quit Grad School For A Sec--Must Pursue Sketch. But, why? Because...because the show was so good, and I want that Goodness for myself. But, it was good because the cast wrote a good show, because they had Good thoughts clutched in their fists, released their fingers slowly, and slid all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. And maybe I am never destined to be on that stage--not even for a class. I really don't know! How could I possibly! Even if I had a iron-will, what does that guarantee?

What is guaranteed is that I too can clutch at Good and mush it carefully into a dough and roll it flat and cookie cut something out of the concoction. You know? You know, it's like, it'll still be a cookie, you know?

Christmas sugar cookies, yestadayahhhh!

It doesn't matter how many people see the Good we do as long as the perfect intended audience sees it. If the one stranger remembers not even the poem you wrote for the lame literary review, but the simple way you were candid that one time you talked about your experience in choosing your school, your partner, the popsicle flavor.

I plan to work really hard this next semester. Very tired right now--still reeling from the last. It's great to see all these people, family, places, but I want to sleep forever, and I need to write for days.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Are You Still There?

Today. Chicago Theatre.

My kind of town Chicago is not.
There's a grit here--the Buicks with bullet holes,
the frigid whip along Lakeshore Drive.
I visited Fran in the suburbs.
We took a walk around her upper middle class neighborhood.
One single streetlight, no sidewalks.
It was night before I knew it--
it bit, it bit.
This afternoon I crossed the holiday Fields' windows,
and Bennigans'. I can't be sure, but I think those are the windows
I sat on the other side--the inside--of one winter,
with my mom and other adults while our waiter beat the glass
because a homeless man was up against it, pointing
to his mouth.
Felt so low, felt so low.
My mom packed up my potato skins in a to-go box
and said we'd give them to the bum if he was still out there when we left.
He wasn't.
I think about him.
There's a grit here--in the huge blue snowflake of Southwest Ice Arena,
in the combo BR/DD 24/7, in the large black woman with the hot red lipstick and bluetooth on the bus, she says, "I just have to decide the best thing to do and then do it the best I can."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

True Meaning of Christmas

This morning I was sitting in church, and I was thinking about The True Meaning of Christmas. I think Jesus was a real neat dude. I know, I know, there's a good chance you probably don't believe he existed, and my theory is I don't really care. I like the guy--fiction or non, and I think we could learn a lot from his* lessons.

But I really don't think Christmas means Jesus to me. A. He probably wasn't really born December 25th. B. We should think about being good people all year (what I think Jesus symbolizes--or should). I don't love Christmas. I really don't. I like the build-up--like the songs and color schemes, but I find it a lame, sluggish, stressful, consumerist holiday BAGGGGH. I KNOW I RUIN EVERYTHING. Still, if I celebrate it, it should mean something. And, I think it does, but I don't know what exactly. Maybe family, I think. Something about it. Something about good cheer. I do believe in that. Peace--yes, I think peace is part of it. Bill Murray's Scrooged, stars, cute depictions of manger scenes, cookies, cartoon trees, George Bailey. I'm very very blessed to have my family.

I was icky sick on the drive from Pookie's to my dad's, so they drove. I sat in the front seat while my dad drove ahead in my car. After a while my sister's phone rang--"Checking on the Pookie," he said. My sister rubbed my neck.

Yesterday night I got to my mom's apartment in the city. "Voila!" she said. I had forgotten I had sent her a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake I found online. SHE HAD MADE IT. A great surprise.

Baker's Square French Silk.

*Purposeful non-capitalization.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Currently Braindead

Cake! 12.2011.

Happy Eve Eve.

Children carry through the streets
a brightly painted star.
Angels gather round the hearth,
strumming on guitars.
Men of great renown and faith
say prayers on boulevards.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Driving Pride

Did I tell you guys I won some comedy awards this semester? Not like legit awards, but dinko group awards like "Audience Choice" for my improv team and "MVP" for sketch. Also, did you know I got an "A" on my Theatre History final paper and presentation and a perfect score on my final Dramaturgy paper--you know, the one graded by my dramaturg professor who's background in 15 years of dramaturgy at Yale?

Well, I have some things to be proud of after my first semester of grad school. But, honestly, I am most proud of the fact that I drove from AZ to my sister's Midwest home in two days. This is huge. I hate driving. A lot. And, yet, I managed the trip in two twelve hour chunks. My dad was my accomplice and only drove for a few hours this morning. We stopped minimally. We spent one night at a Motel 6. I am here in my sister's nook house, and she will carry us the rest of the way to Chicago for Christmas.

How I Sustained Myself (A Food Log of Yesterday and Today):
1 chocolate chip bagel with strawberry cream cheese
1 granny smith apple
1 6-inch veggie egg Subway sub
2 24 ounce Circle K pumpkin spice lattes
2 gas station microwavable bean burritos
4 guacamole flavored chips

I know some people can drive forever (Truckers what? How do they do it?) and they don't think they deserve a medal or anything, but, you know, I think it's okay to celebrate overcoming our downfalls--even if our downfalls really shouldn't be downfalls.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lack of Blogging

Been in San Diego with fam-a-lam.

So much food. Running to the ocean. A graduation. Gift exchanges. Slugging hard.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

PSA: Tacos

Clara at In-N-Out. 2011.

I hadn't eaten at T Bell for like ten years. Yeah, I can actually TELL you the last times within ten years I ate at a T Bell:

2002--After my junior high competed in a scholastic bowl competition.
2004--Stopping there pre-movie (The Incredibles) with Ty and Jules. I ate maybe five nachos.
2011--While I was preparing for my final Theatre History presentation.

NEWS: Obvi, I've tried to avoid the chihuahua place like da plague, but GUESS WHAT? Taco Bell is actually really satisfying as a vegetarian meal option. One dollar for a delightful bean burrito with tomatoes? Well, okay!

The world needed to know.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gay Ads, Whatever It Takes, Asberg Movie Endings, Packing (Or Not), Unique Dinner

1. I can't think of any advertisements featuring a gay couple. Obvi, no brand wants to be known as "The Laundry Detergent for Gays!" but, really, come on. Every faux group at an advertised restaurant looks like the freakin' UN. Can we get some gay love up in here or what?

2. I love Degrassi.

3. Another long day at the testing center--beginning with a very long conversation with a student with Asbergers. His thesis: Twilight is a bad movie. Later he told me his favorite movies and wanted to tell me the end of them all. I said "Oh, no! Please don't." And he literally said, "I have to. I have to tell you." For someone who doesn't even like watching movie previews, this clearly disturbed me. Eventually, he started talking about who should be allowed to create art in this world (not serial killers). And I actually have a really strong opinion about this...and I just started to get so upset. KID, STOP TALKING OVER ME AND STOP SAYING SOME PEOPLE DON'T DESERVE TO PAINT AND STOP SAYING JOHN WAYNE GACY IS THE WORST BECAUSE MEANWHILE THERE IS A MEAT INDUSTRY. So, I got short and started texting obviously as if to say This Convo Is Finito. And he got the hint after a few more attempts at conversation, and then he started talking to someone else. I don't know, am I horrible? I just...I just think even if you have a mental issue, you still shouldn't decide if someone else with a sicker mental issue is allowed to paint or not.

4. I do not want to pack even though I am quite excited to be in California tomorrow for family holiday reunion bonanza bash explosion party woop woop! Nope. Even that ridic string of shindig vocab did not enthuse me to pack.

5. Dinner: Wheat tortilla, spread with peanut cashew almond butter, stuffed with broccoli. Iron Chef--literally. So much iron.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rain in AZ

Rainy day in Kyoto. 2008.

It rained all day. I'm done with finals--I turned in my last paper yesterday at 10 PM. It was anti-climactic.
It doesn't feel like vacation because 1. it's not Christmas weather yet. 2. I still have work--long, long shifts at work.
Today I worked a ten hour shift. I made a lot of deliveries around campus.
My hood was up and the manilla envelopes holding students' finals were shoved under my sweater.

Everyone was complaining about the weather all day. Gloomy.
My purple Chucks were victims of many a puddle. I do agree with my co-workers: Rain blows. But, also, it's beautiful 98% of the time here. On Sunday night I took a writing break and walked a couple blocks to the mailbox. In shorts. When I got home I kicked off my shoes and continued work on our balcony. I feel like it's just rude to complain. Like, I mean, I could have gone without the chilly drips on my cheeks, but Mother Nature can only do so much, can she not?

I guess we always just want things to be how we want things to be.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nevermind I'll Find

I declined a game of Hanging with Friends, a word game, with Chelle because she kept losing.
She says she's bad at the game, but she keeps playing. I don't understand.

She pole-vaulted in high school, and I asked Why? We were having late lunch together on Thursday at the bar on the corner of Apache. Happy hour nachos. There is a world record for vaulting, and most high schoolers are never going to get it.

Chelle explained, No, it's about your PR. That's it.

But what have you done then? What have you done besides arbitrarily gotten better? Lord knows the ghetto production of Neil's Simon's Fools I was in as a high school sophomore was no Tony Winning Gem, but we created something unable to be duplicated.

I said Why even invite the other teams? Why not just do your individual events and call them, compare scores over the phone and declare winners?

Today Chelle asked Why not play a subpar game of Hanging with Friends? I said I could not rationalize it. She said I do not have to rationalize everything, and I countered, "I do."
"Would you die if you didn't?"
"I will die regardless."
"But would that be the cause of your death? Would you explode if you didn't rationalize whether or not to play a game with me?"
She was testing my "I do"--implied "HAVE to rationalize." The word game.
I said, "Avoiding explosion isn't my motive for living."

In fact, I do think I have to rationalize. I do. Because I think my motive for living is to live a rational life.

...But then I arrive at the reoccurring conclusion that life has no rationality. And so even to live as rationally as possible still means swirling through a vortex of Made Up. And then what? Pole vault anyway? Play the game your opponent will lose?

You know how the time flies.
Only yesterday was the time of our lives.
We were born and raised in a summer haze
bound by the surprise of our glory days.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Don't Think

You can't win them all, but that really wouldn't be fun, I don't think.

Treehouse in Germany. 2011.

Saturday, December 10, 2011










Nah, it's cool. I have chocolate to get me through the night.

Wait. I said I ate the whole box of Whitman's already?


Yeah, that's totally fine.

How's It Going to Be?

Germany. June 2011.

Don't know why, but I do love this photo of Pookie and me. We look old here--like we're the adults with jobs and big kid lives we supposedly are.

I'm on a huge 90s kick lately with music. And kind of with everything. I just love the stupid 90s. I really just do.

I wonder how it's going to be
when you don't know me.
How's it going to be
when you're sure I'm not there?
How's it going to be
when there's no one there to talk to?
Between you and me--
'cause I don't care--
how's it going to be?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Declaring Murder: Part III

We've talked about my place of part-time employment, right? I work at a disability center proctoring tests for students. It's different every day. Sometimes I just sit with ADD kids in a small empty room and read, periodically checking if they are cheating. Sometimes I fill in scantron bubbles for kids with casts. Sometimes I walk around campus delivering completed tests back to professors, wondering how many freaking holiday office parties I am going to interrupt, and how come no one has the decency to offer me any of those delicious cookies.

So, recently I was proctoring for a woman with slow speech, a big leg brace, glasses. I had to read her test aloud and follow her instructions from her to look up answers in her text book. It was an intro biology class. She had failed it three times before she told me. A 100-level class with open book exams. Multiple choice.

This woman did not get how to play the game. For example, if the question was like, "When was the first Homoerectus fossil, Lucy, discovered?" she would say, "Okay, check the Index to see if "fossil" is in there." As a proctor, I can't help students with any material based questions. So, I couldn't offer a simple, "You know, fossil gives us a lot of pages...why not try "Lucy" first?" I just sat there, flipping back and forth between all the uses of "fossil" and reading sections aloud. Sometimes I would read the answer to the question in a section of text, and she wouldn't catch it. I'd repeat, but only as much as she would ask me. I couldn't say, "'s this. It's D. I just read it."

State Fair poultry. November 2011.

She was really nice, but she just didn't know. Ultimately, I think she did alright. I was just so flustered to be a drone. So flustered this is what education is in the United States at the University level. I asked what her major was as we walked out of the little testing room. She explained she was a sociology major--hoping to one day be a counselor for battered women. "So I can help them get out before it's too late, even though I couldn't," she said. "My husband shot me in the head."

I exhaled. I am so glad I was not short with this woman. I am so glad I have learned patience and understanding over the years. Lord help this woman become a counselor even if she doesn't have a brain for biology.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In Defense of My Laziness

It's not unusual for me to write in this blog about how much I don't want to do homework or grade or something, but, actually, that's not how I feel a large majority of the time. It probably seems like it though because if I am excited about play revisions or grading a stack of comedic scenes, then why would I be procrastinating on my blog?

So, the other side of the coin: Today I was extremely productive.

I woke up and without sitting up, immediately plopped my laptop on my stomach to take care of business: e-mails, grading, writing, revising. Here's the thing: when I feel like working, man, do I work. It's not even like I have to conciously try to stay focused. When I'm iin the zone, nothing else sounds good. I even TRIED to get myself to break. "Hey, Alice, why not just pause for twenty to watch an episode of Boy Meets World or something? Hey, you haven't eaten today. Don't you think you should do that?" TV is out of the question. I wouln't even watch it, like a child forced to attend the opera, I would just mentally consider all the other things I could be doing. I considered eating, but the only thing that would have satisfied me was my work--looking at my to-do list, imagining the next check mark.

By 1 PM I had done full revisions of my new play and graded a bunch of screenplays. I cleaned my entire room and ran five miles. While my hair dried I watched half of The Kids Are All Right (which I loved) and ate a wheat tortilla filled with jalepeno hummus.

Then, I started writing my Dramaturgy paper due Tuesday. I started planning revisions for Theatre History's paper. My professor got back to me with feedback of my first draft. I have a ton of new research to do before Monday. I did not worry. I am the champion of this paper. I will win the World Series in this paper. It took all the strength in the world for me to shut my computer while zooming ahead on these projects. But, I promised myself I'd go to church tonight. I was onto me.

I am scheduled for a long shift at work tomorrow. I start early. I should sleep early, but all I want to do is stay up all night doing my homework. That sounds divine.

Monday, December 5, 2011


"It hasn't hit me yet"--This sentiment always feel jagged to me, rough cutting. I know what it means, but I don't like it. I know what it's like to terminate a relationship and then check my e-mail and weigh the pros and cons of an e-coupon. I know what it's like for my grandfather to pass away, cry for five minutes, and then dress up as a talking piglet or dance to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" during a "Best Of" sketch comedy show. I know because that happened yesterday. And then I know how to write my final paper on the racial themes of Show Boat throughout it's five Broadway productions while I miss that man, and suddenly Chelle shows up with a cake frosted in red and green.

It hasn't hit me, but why must it? I don't like the "yet" because who says when "big" things happen they must be big? Why is it natural to come to a point of absolute devastation, horror, drunken elation about new chapters? We live day by day, and it all strings together like Cheerios on yarn weaving between the fir tree branches.

There shouldn't be a moment when everything in your world closes up. Ever. No clam shells, no ring boxes, no tight-fitting Tupperware. Even if it's all meant to be reopened! Even if that's the intent! Even if you're meant to transform! No, no, just string along. Just string along--one spool, one life.

May 2009.

Here's to a sincerely great man.

He don't plant 'taters.
He don't plant cotton,
and them that plant 'em
is soon forgotten.
But ol' man river,
he jus' keeps rollin' along.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Semester of Lulz

Lowsta and me covered in donut debris from a sketch yesterday.

It kind of blows my mind how much comedy I've done in the past few months. I don't know how to feel about it. Most of the time I've really enjoyed it and tried to learn from it, but, oddly, when you do it so much, you start to operate at a lower level of excellence...not because you're tired, but because it's not special.

If you do a new sketch show every week, it's not a big deal if you kind of flub some lines and turn something that was good on paper into something that's just mediocre on stage. Improv every week? It all runs together and you start not to care.

Thursday we did our last improv show of the semester (for me the year since I teach during our show in the spring term), and I didn't even think to think of it as meaningful. Tomorrow is our sketch "Best Of" show. Today we rehearsed for almost five hours to prepare. At the end of it all, my face was on fire, my brain clogged with all the lines of previous week's work and props to bring. Isn't this supposed to be fun? It is. It really is. I'm just overworked.

I did stand-up last night too. I did alright, but I would have done better if I had actually worked any of my bits instead of just sort of prancing around a couple funny ideas I had been mulling over lately. Just no time. I mean, gosh, I've got three final projects due in the next, like, 72 hours.

Basically: I'm not sure what my future holds for the funny biz. I've got sights set on a summer program, sure, but what about just next month? Can I do this again? I really do not know.

I do know I have met some good people through comedy--some better than others (boop). Ultimately I guess that's what everything's all about: "Well, did I meet some cool people?" And, if you do comedy, it's basically a given. I dunno, guys. I dunno.

What made us think that we were wise?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Emizzle from Henne

"I forgot to tell you about the bones I had to pick with your stress baking post...BECAUSE THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO DO AT WORK TODAY, KIND OF.

A. I loooooove to stress bake and I am not a woman (and i'd rather be a woman. just kidding. kind of. being a woman sounds stinky! but they do get away with a hilariously gaudy lifestyle much easier than I do). the point is, i live to make cheesecakes when i should be doing anything but. and i'm baking it all with my wang.
B. I loooooove to give away stress baking. It's just a temporary diversion, and hopefully, by the time baking is done, I am less stressed. If I've taken an hour to bake a cake and then I feel like I am owed that entire cake because I'm still so stressed, I should probably quit whatever I'm trying to do. Also, all stress bakers' hearts would explode with alllllll the funky stress-baking butter if we didn't give it away.
C. What the stress baking giver-away-er is not telling you is how little they did while they were baking. Their paper, in the case of a fellow estudiante, probably is kaka. Being emotionally unstable takes up a lot of time, so rather than scrutinizing people who bake while stressed, we should probably take a long hard look at their dark, dark soul (not mine) and figure out what's actually wrong.
D. I love all uncooked doughs and batters. Sometimes that's enough to push me to bake. Then I've really not needed the baked treat by the time my oven proverbially dings.

The End!

I look forward to continuing this dialogue about treats because I would really like one right about now."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As Many Oreos

Needed advice from Muff:

"I love you so much, sleep a lot, don't kill yourself over finals, you're already doing an in-depth job, eat as many Oreos as you want (maybe that's bad advice). "

Falling asleep! Bye!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paper Towels

The other day I was using the library bathroom at a busy time, and I noticed how many paper towels were used by women around me in a matter of, like, thirty seconds. Really? Five cranks on the handle? REALLY?!

I do not use paper towels to dry my hands. I have two portable drying devices called my outfit and the air. I wanted to scream in the middle of the tiny tiled room. I know it's "just" paper towel, but do you realize you probably use one of those whole rolls for yourself in various bathrooms around the world in, like, a month? And why? So your hands can be dry? A. Like I said, there are other ways to dry and B. WHO PROMISED YOU DRY HANDS WHEN YOU WERE BORN?!

I was thinking about this today when I had ten minutes to spare before class, so I tried an experiment. I stood in the library women's bathroom, and I spoke to each girl as she washed her hands.

"Hello. My name is Alice. I'm here to ask you to please try not using paper towel to dry your hands. If you could try patting or shaking this one time, you might realize you don't need paper towels at all. It's pretty wasteful to throw away so much paper."

In that ten minutes I encountered five women.

#1 looked frightened, but nodded--half annoyed/half scared I was a legit crazy person. She left shaking her hands feebly.
#2 agreed, said, "I guess I don't think about it." But then she shook her hands a couple times over the sink, looked down and said, "I don't want to use my clothes." I commented on how durable her jeans were, and how it was just water. She nodded, thanked me, and took two cranks of paper towel.
#3 I think overheard my conversation with #2. She did not look at me when she came out of the stall. She went right to the towel dispenser, cranked down, blew her nose in it, and she did not wash her hands. I really didn't know what to do.
#4 Used the sink and towels in the handicap stall. RATS.
#5 Just blandly listened, nodded, asked me if I would be doing this every day (maybe so she could remember never to use this bathroom again), and left.

I expected better results. I think I will try this again. Disappointed in humanity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Horrible Notes in My Theatre History Notebook

Marg. Two weeks ago.

One thing about me is that I write a lot. I write in this blog daily. I write in a gratitude journal every morning, a normal journal at night. I write academic papers. I write full-length plays for seminar. I write at least one new sketch every week. I write essays for an online journal somewhat frequently. I am working on several short stories, little scenelets, I write a very long e-mail to Muff every Tuesday, and short e-mails to my sister every evening. I write stand-up in my head, I write long feedback to my students on the back of their screenplays, I write letters to Sabra hummus and they send me coupons for being a grateful consumer. The writing never ends--even when I'm just listening in class--ESPECIALLY when I'm just listening in class.

Being a comedian, it's not weird for me to put my hands in the pouch of my navy hoody and find a yellow post-it that reads, "Ain't no party like the Donner party." Some joke I felt I NEEDED to remember. (This happened to me today.)

I recently flipped through my semester's notes for Theatre History and found some horrible/weird/wonderful stuff. Here are some snippets:

-It's weird Chinese people work so hard when they don't even have a God to please.
-Whatever happened to survival of the fittest? If you've got a peanut allergy, shouldn't you just die?
-Why do I love the Luhrman R + J so freaking much?
-"It's amazing, and then we write it down, and it's in a book, and it becomes a quiz question: 'what is epic theatre?'"--Prof
-Who decides what is "dominant?"
-Is travel even real?!
-I think you need to understand you only know what's in your head, but that's all anyone knows, so you're entitled to your opinions, as long as you know it's only that.
-Always ask, "Says who?"

Legit. I thought all of these ideas were so important I HAD TO write them down.

Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here?
If I was someone else would this all fall apart?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Denver Wedding


Berger and I finished Adventureland last night
right before it was bedtime. Early bedtime. He had to drive me to the airport at 5 AM today.
I tied my shoes silently in the foyer.
"I made you breakfast," he said, handing me a granola bar and my soup dish of two cupcakes:
cranberry almond and orange chocolate chip mocha.

They were the wedding cake. I gave them as an offering to Chelle when she picked me up from the airport back in sunny AZ.
I missed sunny AZ
when the entire 94 guests shuffled outside the mansion
to take a friendly group photo.
"Here's who's here to celebrate this lovely thing!"
we waved up at the camera.

KWall suggested Adventureland to me a few months ago.
Finally, the first day of her honeymoon, I watched it.
I loved it a lot.
I loved the love.
I loved the love all weekend.

I gave the readings for the special day, a mid-morning ceremony.
I read in a dress patterned with greyhound-shaped zebras.
A caterer asked if I made it.
Hmm. Don't think that's a compliment. When the caterer asks if you made your formal outfit.

Kath--the best Thanksgiving guest.

"I really loved it," I told Berger. I folded the blanket and patted it onto his sofa.
"Do you feel like you changed?" he asked, which is a good post-film question.
"Yes. I feel like you should do things that are good for you, and that you should be happy."

My friend KWall has a new name. My first memory of our friendship was a decade ago on a beach walk. We talked about the TV show Blossom. She was dating her college sweetheart back then. She broke his heart.
Games, games, games.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Veggie Turkey Day Announcements


1. Public Service Announcement Fact O' the Day: Any turkey you eat in the US (unless you bought from a local farm) A. never walked B. was artificially created--turkeys on factory farms have been inbred and drugged up so much that they are genetically too sick to mate.

2. Vegan "Thanksliving" was SUPER DELICIOUS. And, it made me remember that while sometimes I feel like an annoying nutjob veggie, I come nowhere CLOSE to some meat crusaders. Examples: the family that dressed their four little kids in shirts depicting a cartoon turkey that said, "Why must I die for you to give thanks?" and the vegan speaker who at one point yelled, "WHEN YOU EAT MEAT, YOU'RE EATING MISERY." So, be grateful I'm not those people.

3. My favorite newish tradition about Thanksgiving is texting. I know that's lame, but honestly, I think it's the day I text the most people in my life, and I feel super grateful to have more people than I can count on both hands who I love, who love me, and who would literally jump a plane now to be here if I asked them to. When I speak to them all in one day I can't believe it. How did I get so lucky?

Special TDay Lovin: Chelle, Henne, Clara, Muff, George, Jamin, Bo, SVC, Kath, KWall--and that doesn't even include my family, and that's just a partial list!

TDay is also a good day to text people you love, but aren't super present in your life--like these beautiful roommates I had one time!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Me last Thanksgiving post-turkey trot run.

This is my second Thanksgiving of my whole life I am spending without any family! The first I was with Kay's fam, and I saw mine the very next day, so, it wasn't like a big to-do.

This picture reminds me a of a very good day. A cold rainy morning run, a fabulous brunch, plenty of lounging. Interestingly enough, I got my first correspondence from Ermo about the graduate program here on Thanksgiving 2010. And now? Tonight I had dinner with Ermo before attending a new play.

The photo above was taken on a good day, but right in that moment I was rather tired, sweaty, even slightly ill at ease. I feel that way now--I have a good life, but today, oh, today, I am tired, have worked hard towards what, I'm not sure, and I am ill at ease.

Tomorrow I will be attending a vegan brunch and Kath will be flying in before I head to a KWall's wedding. Lots to look forward to, but tonight...oh, tonight.

God bless the moon, and God bless me. God bless the somebody I'd like to see.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Heidelberg. June 2011.

Today in Dramaturgy the question was "Is there such a thing as universality?" in reference to Robert LePage's attempt to portray it in his works. Rye LIT UP because Rye LOVES universality. Rye believes in golden goodness and a blanket of gooey love that we swim in. I'm kind of with Rye. But I'm also kind of with Blue Eyes who countered, "We have no idea what anyone else's experience is like. And it's the utopian idea that we can all get along that ruins our universe."

"Utopia" sounds so nice, but it's not. It gets us into mud. COMMUNIST RUSSIA: EVER HEARD OF IT?

Yesterday I was reading about the Playboy Riots in Ireland in the midst of The Troubles--early 1900s. It hit me harder than a potato to the noggin': we don't have issues in our societies and cultures because we are different. We have issues in our societies and cultures because we are different, but we try to be the same. It's easy to see someone different than you and be happy, be cool, but it's when we want that person to be more like us for some reason or another, or they want us to be more like them, that the troubles (pun unintended) arise.

I mean, there's no way to completely end assimilation. Just interacting with people will automatically call for compromises, and, thus, the desire to change others, but...I think it's important to avoid the attempt at sameness as much as we can--for the sake of the world and ourselves.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Falling Asleep Last Night

Step right up, step right up, engage in the most beautiful thing in the world, ladies and gentlemen!

Win big prizes! The biggest prize of all! Step right up to the realization that everything is big, and that includes you, and the weekend is a blur of writing in your bed and watching Rain Man in segments, and celebrating the upcoming holiday with friends, one of whom made pumpkin cupcakes and gave you the leftovers. "Danksgiving?" you asked after getting the text. And the guy laughed, "Getting dank is getting high, so, hence..." Oh. You thought, and you drove the van of drunkies home. One said he was depressed he was almost done watching Fraiser. You get that. You finished your play revisions, and you're not proud of them, but they're done, and a girl you do sketch comedy with said, "We got you a present" and it was a t-shirt of Hello Kitty sleeping on a cheeseburger that reads "FOOD COMA." When you first walked in, the host said, "There's only one dish with meat in it! There's ham, but that's it." You thanked him for informing you before even saying hello. You went to a Metallica version of The Misanthrope Saturday and sat in the nearly-empty balcony, and at intermission you turned around to see an improv teammate sitting behind you. Surprise! You say. We're both here on a Saturday night. Alone. You wore shorts because it was 70 all day--cooler at night, but a pleasant bike in your navy speech and debate hoodie.

Step right up because you're doing your best, and what's the worst that could happen? You don't create anything good in three years? You'll still get a good degree. You'll lose scholarships? If you can't pay, you can leave, and you'll be happy because everything is big.

Win big prizes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stress Bakin' (Not to Be Confused with "Stress Bacon"--Which You Could Say Is All Bacon, Since Pigs Are Smart and Aware They Are about to Be Cut Open)

Pumpkin cupcake. Strawberry cupcake. October 2011.

There's basically nothing in the world I want to do less than work on my new play. Also, the proportion of desserts I crave DIRECTLY relates to the amount of work I don't want to do. What's that? I have to rewrite my entire play? Oh, but I also want to eat cookie dough and watch Woody Allen's Interiors? Well, I mean, I can't malnourish myself! Come on, people! Cut to the tub of cookie dough empty on the floor next to my bed, where I am curled up into a ball after watching Diane Keaton's mother drown. TGIF!

Do you know girls (let's get gender specific, because I've never known a man with this habit) who show up to class or work or meetings during crunch times with cupcakes and act all frazzled and say, "Oh, I was just so stressed, I baked all this!" and everyone makes jokes like, "Gosh, Cherryl, you should be stressed more often! I mean, amirite?!" I don't buy it, Cherryl. I don't buy even one of your alleged stress-baked brownies. ZERO PURCHASING OF YOUR FALSE STRESS CONFECTION.

Because I get stressed and bake too...but I would never bring stress cake to class, BECAUSE I EAT IT ALL. That's the point. Here's my theory: Cherryl, you want to appear likable, so you baked for your peers, and you don't want to appear like you want to appear likable, so you go with this flimsy thing women have been tossing around for years about stress sugar.

I actually have a really strong opinion about this:
I don't ever care what someone's true or false motivations for giving me free treats is. Feminine implications, obesity in America, the overdramatic attitudes of students in today's world? Important ideas to consider. But, more importantly, did someone just show up and give me a 7-layer bar for no reason?! Keep on bakin', girlfrans.

Sugar, she's so fine. For a small price she blows my mind.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bright Copper Kettles

You guys, my favorite things are really embarrassing. Like, really. Especially considering I'm supposedly an artist OR SOMETHING.

I know I am getting an MFA in theatre, and I really should be more quirky, but Hamlet really is my favorite Shakespeare play. And, I'M SORRY, IT JUST IS. I really do "get" cool music, but I still love Andrew McMahon more than anything ever, and that's...just the way it goes.

But, really, as an educated person with a degree in English, I should have a cool favorite book, and, honestly, I do not. I read my favorite book when I was 13. It's a young adult novel, but it's my favorite. Then, Bearclaw gave me her copy of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and I read it one Christmas, and it tied my old fave. I know that book isn't exactly hip and cool. It was on the New York Times bestseller list and all, but a lot of people still hadn't read it or heard of it. It's a great book that people didn't really fuss about. So, I was able to pretend I was a gritty literate, but, no. NO. I JUST SAW A STUPID PICTURE OF TOM HANKS IN THE STUPID FILM ADAPTATION, SO NOW MY ONLY EVEN REMOTELY COOL FAVORITE THING IS EL TOAST.

Ugh. I'm the lamest.

Other Lame Favorites I Am Willing to Admit:

Favorite Play: Death of a Salesman
Favorite TV Show: Boy Meets World, One Tree Hill, Mad Men*
Favorite Radiohead Song: "Fake Plastic Trees"
Favorite Mexican: Chipotle
Favorite Coffee: Starbucks

Mocha from Bread Co--not as good at the Bux. Also, my sister eatin' a brownie. January 2011.

Do you SEE? UGH! I'M SO ANNOYING. But, you know what, at least I own this stuff. Because I bet A LOT of people's fave coffee is Starbucks. Duh. That's why they're so popular. It's good stuff, the Bux. But, at least I say, "Yeah, my favorite drink isn't from the arty little joint in the school of design. I love love mocha frappachinos--what of it?" At least that's what I tell myself.

*This is cool, but it's kind of so cool that it's not anymore.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Expert of Nothing

Wall. Coffee date. April 2011.

When it comes to school, I pride myself in not being a BSer. I do all the reading. I am honest when I don't understand things. I research extraneous information for context. Yet, sometimes, even I end up saying things in class discussion a little too positively, a little too sure. Then I have classmates who outright say in passing they didn't read, they don't understand concepts, they don't even like the class...and they speak anyway.

I mean, that was the majority of my undergrad experience, but this is grad school, and it still happens. How did we get programmed to be happy to do what is least required of us? And this is how I understand people just...don't KNOW what Stonehenge is. Because information gets passed from one generation to the next under a veil of laziness. Through a river of BS.

I am an expert of nothing. It boggles my mind that so many people in academia pretend they could ever be an expert of anything.

Last night we went out to the orchard in the snow.
There in the constellations, the big dipper far below.
We walked through the blackness, felt the endless space around,
and you bent down on your knee and picked an apple from the ground.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Legends of the Hidden Tempe sketch. I think Chelle really does look like a contestant.

"I've just come to the personal conclusion that the test in life is choosing to have faith, because it's a lot easier to not have it."--Chelle

Monday, November 14, 2011

City of Angels

We lost our regional competition for the National College Improv Tournament. In the first round. Bum-town. SERIOUS bum-town. But, c'est la vie.

This morning I actually got sad thinking about it. I wasn't sad after it happened. I was too excited to see my friends! My beautiful LA friends who came to see me perform a sub-par improv set! And Jammin took us to a veggie grill! And we had froyo! And I got to spend quality time with Dizz and be surprised by Yapan boyz! And then everyone was partying like mad when I got back to the hotel! And then when I was going to sleep I was too excited about brunch! And then I was excited to be home in my own bed! And then I passed out before I could eat dinner or brush my teeth!

And then I woke up.
And I have nine million hours of research to do. And class. And work.
And I suddenly remembered waking up in a pool of sweat last night, so I had taken off all my clothes.

And I got sad.

Right after we lost. Look at most of 'em tryin' to be troopers! I'm clearly just amped about friend time.

Jamin. Always and forever my FAVORITE improv guy.

Dizz at brunch. I love this girl. We ate a cactus omelette. We did not see Jake Gyllenhaal.

Regardless, I had a GREAT weekend. I know I have a lot of opinions, and I do things like hate Chic-Fil-A for firing gay employees or refuse to play racially insensitive car games, but truly I'm such a creme puff. I love these new improv guys with all my heart, and I love my old pals with whom I got to spend only magical moments with.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner.
Sometimes I feel like my only friend.
Its the city I live in, the city of angels.
Lonely as I am, together we cry.

Friday, November 11, 2011


What a special day!

1. I am one of those losers who finds significance in the time being 11:11. Today? Boom. Bananas.*

2. It's my dad's birthday! Toot toot!

So, my dad is pretty great, you guys. He's really funny and loving. A couple things about this summer when I lived with him: I was always encouraging us to go on more walks together, I stole all his candy bars and replaced them with granola, we had a really really nice time.

My sister sent me these quotes from a conversation they just had recently:

"I walk a lot. Not as much as the little czarina of walking would
like, but enough."

"Do you know what she did with [my candy bars]? I thought maybe she
hid them and then on my birthday she would tell me where they were.
No. She gave them to the camp counselors! I tell you, she's just a
complete monster. She's out of control."

Us at Starved Rock on a hikelet.

*"Boom. Bananas." is something I shouted out in a scene during rehearsal this week. I was a corporate exec with a wonky catchphrase.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Declaring Murder: Part II

So, remember last Thursday when I updated with lots of sappy e-mail quotes, and I said I had had a rough day? The roughness was this: a student was suspected of having violent tendencies towards me to the extent that my professor and the department wanted a security guard outside my classroom.

The storm has passed, and I am fine. It was really a "better safe than sorry" thing. This student of mine had been doing poorly all semester: absences, poor work, etc. and, well, his grade was showing it. I met with him one-on-one and sent him helpful e-mails, but, nope. He still insisted on blaming me for his bad grades. And, technically, I did give them to him.

Anyway, he dropped the class--destined to fail, and he was very mad. And he made his dislike of me very known. And, I could deal with that, but then two additional students made meetings with me to argue grades of a recent assignment. Both students failed and for good reason. They were livid, and they took it out on me. I got to sketch rehearsal completely fried and sad.

Chelle explained, "Oh, yeah. I've totally been completely mean to TAs, but really I'm just mad at myself for not doing well." I suspected as much, but it doesn't make the arguments less draining, my consistent politeness to everyone less tense.

I guess I just want to say is we should be honest with ourselves and others--even little toadstools like TAs--because we all have hearts.

Sidestreet in Heidelberg. 2011.

On a positive note? Today in class a student was casting kids to read his scene, and a guy raised his hand.

STUDENT: Okay. But you have to say the "s" word.
(Everyone laughs.)
ME: Thank you for the public service announcement.
STUDENT: Who else wants to read?
(Another GUY raises his hand.)
STUDENT: Okay. But you have to say the "n" word.
(No one laughs.)
STUDENT: Just kidding!

You and me we sweat and strain, bodies all achin' and wracked with pain.

EDIT: Chelle just read this and texted me, "For the record my TAs aren't as nice as you and they never can speak English."

Kath. Lake Michigan. July 2011.

"I mean, I hate the meat industry too. A lot of people do, but I don't know if anyone hates it more than you."--Henne

I am learning how to bend. I know that sometimes we must just LISTEN and BE WISE about things instead of scientifically studying, proving, deciding, and mandating. Like that conversation with Henne. I had this PLAN at 5 PM. This PLAN to go home and go on a five mile run and shower and see Chelle and do a ton of work before rehearsal...but then Henne and my phone call extended beyond my bike ride home...and then it extended into my running time...and so I only ran two miles. And, then, I saw Chelle, and then I read a lot of new plays and did very little of my planned workload. BUT, the conversation with Henne and the reading INSPIRED me. So, yeah, sometimes we have to be a little "irresponsible" to ourselves in order to get the good stuff.

But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find
you get what you need.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Declaring Murder: Part I

"Alice, this is George. I'm calling you for three reasons. The first reason is to ask if you're gonna be around later today because I wanna talk to you. Um. Just to talk, not for any, like, direct reason. I just wanna talk, um, but I can't really ask that since this is an answering machine and not you, but that was the intention. Um. The second reason was that I need to know who Yatchface is on your blog, because I was reading it, and I was just curious (laughing) about whose nickname that is, and then the third reason is that I'm going to declare my intention to murder you before you murder me*. (Big sigh) That's all. Uh, okay, I hope you're doing well, and I miss you, and I hope that we can talk soon. Bye."

George & Me (looking like previously posted Yatchface photo). Chicago. December 2009.

Then, I called George back and we were able to talk for like two seconds before I ran into class. She asked for a phone date later. Henne had asked for the same earlier. No time, no time. Improv and dinner with my mama and HOMEWORK AND GRADING EATING MY SOUL.

"Sorry," I said to George, "I've already turned down two phone dates for tonight. Now if only I could get a real date!" Haha--I'm such a jokester. But, really, Josh from Clueless* could ask me out right now, and I'd have to tell him no. To quote another fictional crush I'd still have to turn down--Troy from High School Musical: "Got a lotta things that I haveta do."

Then, after I biked home, I found this in my voicemail:

"Hi, Alice. It is Clara. I love you. Bye."

Clara & Me in my AZ bathroom.

*So, I've decided to plot George's death, so she appreciates her life more instead of wiggin' about PhD applications all the time. She told me this makes me like the villain in the Saw movies. You see creepy? I see a hugely successful franchise.
**NOT to be confused with Paul Rudd. Ew--I'd turn down Paul Rudd even if I was anti-busy. Josh is the moneymaker.

All I wanna do is be with you, be with you.
There's nothing we can't do, just wanna be with you, only you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

AZ State Fair & One Kay Quote

In other news, my mom, her sistah, and I went to the AZ State Fair this afternoon. It was a grand ol' time.
Fried Food I Tried: oreo, peanut butter, Twinkie, Snickers, and peach (The peach was my favorite, and it is pictured below.)

"Are you seriously going to try to argue with me that the deep-fried cheese you just ate was healthy?"--Kay to me, Illinois State Fair 2010

Everyday it's a-gettin' closer,
goin' faster than a roller coaster.
Love like yours will surely come my way--
a-hey, a-hey-hey.