Thursday, March 31, 2011


Pre-Wedding Cake, October 2010

This week has been a hard week, and it's not over yet. I am falling apart with physical ailments--also bleeding. How does it all happen at once? My stomach is splotchy, the peel flakes fall onto everything. Crispy snow.

Two nights ago I stayed up very late. I stayed up very late because I had musical rehearsal until nine, and then I went to a longform jam at a seedy pizza bar until eleven, and then I stayed at said seedy place past midnight telling a very patient man about my current quandary: attempt to teach English in the land of seaweed wrapped rice paddies or attempt to be taught more English in the land of cacti and warm winters.

When I arrived home, everything was very still besides my throbbing feet. I wrapped them with socks and tightly-tied sneakers to pull the swelling (like Jay Sean) down, down, down, down, down. I threw a pillow on the ground and elevated the kickers to my bed. The floor was unkind, and I would sleep twenty minutes then wake then sleep then wake. I whined aloud to no one. "This is Gethsemane" I knew.

Today in the acting seminar I am auditing, we had to one by one enter the space in staccato and leave in legato. I walked carefully in one straight line across the theatre. I imagined graduate school at the Exit sign. I was scared and small--fingers jittered STACCATO STACCATO STACCATO. My eyes darted, jerked. Stopped. Then

of my forearms. Hands outstretched and
waiting for Peace to fall down from the canned lights.
I walked. Oh. So. Full.
In a grand swandive, my right arm swooped around my body and landed on my heart.
L E G A T O.
My legs carried me smoothly forward.

When I was done, there was a faint clapping--an awkward "I shouldn't be clapping at a dumb exercise, but my hands made me clap" clapping. My hopes and fears were in that dumb exercise. My hopes and fears are West.

I will be attending graduate school in Arizona this fall.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Open Letter to the Former Theme Park Worker on Amtrak I Met When I Was in Fourth Grade

Dear Former Theme Park Worker on Amtrak I Met When I Was in Fourth Grade,

In snowy December, my family was traveling across the Rocky Mountains back from California. You were in our food car on New Years. I don't remember if you worked for Amtrak or if you were a fellow passenger. Regardless, you ended up chatting to me about how you worked at Six Flags for a few summers. To me, you seemed like a celebrity, and I was confused about how you ended up on the train.

I asked if I would ever have a chance to be a character at Six Flags, and you said, "Yeah! You totally could!" which gave me great confidence. You told me the characters you had been--Tweety, Pepe, etc. My mom asked about the weather, "Well, gee, aren't you hot in those big suits?"

You considered. You nodded pensively and said, "You know, it's really hard when it's a cool day because then you are kind of trying to move slowly and not break a sweat, but if it's just a horrible one-hundred degree day, you know you're gonna be drenched no matter what you do, so you might as well get it over with and have fun."

Anyway, thanks.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Under the Ocean, Over the Stars

Goals for This Week:

1. Do not burn my tongue on any hot liquids.
2. Remember that every option is actually the best, no doors actually close, and the good rolls on forever and ever.

Our last night at the resort, Nac fell asleep very early. I changed into pajamas and quietly brushed my teeth in the kitchenette. We left the balcony door open all weekend--letting the salt water smell and the waves' chops float in. I closed the door for the night and tip-toed to my bed. But, then, I rethought, gathered up the comforter, and went back to the living room. I reopened the balcony sliding door to a huge whoosh of North Carolina breeze. I pushed the sofa from the middle of the room to the balcony's opening.

I curled up and watched the moon creep across the sky.

I dreamed I was under the ocean. Sea shells. I woke up to the pink just beginning to peek over the horizon. I stretched my legs, squinty-eyed shuffled outside, and watched the puddle of tangerine lift itself into the day.

Eventually Nac woke up and joined me. Eating Life in our deck chairs, he asked, "So, how was sleeping on the beach?"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snap Back to Reality

It's hard to believe I earned this medal one week ago when I currently feel like a slug made out of Nutella.

The view from our resort balcony last week!

Yep. Eight straight spoonfuls and three Nutella scones.

Other Weird Dichotomies of the Day:
-Grinning ear to ear teaching my Intro Improv class even when someone referenced Chris Brown and I was mentally fixated on battered women for a few minutes.
-Intensely, diligently practicing harmonies in my car for a musical about spontaneous middle schoolers.
-Making choices about grad school in Arizona when snow is on the ground.
-Praying for Peace in church and watching a video of an Eminem impression several times this morning.

Knees weak, arms are heavy,
vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti,
but on the surface he looks calm and ready.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Screen Too Thin

Kevin Spacey only follows eleven people on Twitter.
One of those people is John Stamos.

A. Isn't that weird? That talented man chose the ex-Full House heart-throb to keep up with? Out of all the people on this earth?
B. Isn't it weird that I know this? That I, currently singing along to "Brand New Colony," currently rocking chipped pink toenail polish, currently in Illinois, currently a teacher, lover, sister, pray-er can find out what the star of American Beauty is interested in? It takes all of thirty seconds and two mouse clicks to know.

Yatchface, Spring 2010, Photo by Pookie

When I hold the contents of the world on my lap,
which I do daily,
it doesn't seem heavy.
But it really is.
It really is so heavy--although my attention is pulled into three million different directions.
On CNN, the newsfeed announced, "VICTORIA BECKHAM PREGNANT"
over footage of a Japanese woman
alone, destroyed by waves.
When I hold the contents of the world in my lap,
the screen seems too thin,
my confidence too low,
the words too many,
the trials too many,
the colors too many,
and still, I do
hold the contents of the world on my lap.

I'll be the fire escape that's bolted to the ancient brick where you will sit and contemplate your day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Saw Sparks

When I was in first grade I went to a roller skating party at a local Catholic church. A bunch of us kids went right after school. Pretty basic--you skate around the gym to music, and there is a table for candy if that's your bag. My dad gave me two quarters in case I wanted a treat.

I was shocked by his gift. The previous day, my sister and I were with him on an errand, and when one of us asked for something (a movie from Blockbuster? ice cream?) He explained he didn't have the money. He opened his wallet, and there was a ten, a five, and two ones in it. Seventeen measly dollars. My eyes filled out my face. I was six, but I knew a family needed more than seventeen bucks to get by.

I knew I would not spend the fifty cents. I skated around with friends and when everyone stopped for Reese's and Kit Kats, I pushed down into my overall pockets and felt for the sleeping coins. One was gone. GONE. I immediately felt tears welling up in my eyes. I gathered my friends and told them, "Look. My family has seventeen dollars. I lost our only quarter. I'm so worried. We must find the quarter!" They nodded woefully and split up. We rolled around staring at the floor. Must find the quarter. Must find it.

After about two minutes everyone else gave up, but I spent the remainder of the party searching. When the event was over, the skates came off, and I regretfully told my dad the news. "I'm sorry," I wimpered. He tried to assure me it was okay--the quarters were for candy anyway. But I knew he was just trying to make me feel better. I knew the truth.

The next morning the missing quarter was taped up to the doorway of the kitchen. It had been deep in my pocket the whole time. I felt relieved.

Me & Poppa, August 2010, Farmer's Market

Here's the takeaway from that story:

1. Not only did the lost become found and all was well,
2. All was actually well the entire time. Because my family was not going to suffer from losing a quarter--no matter how much I believed it to be so.
3. That is how it always is. Yes, things should work out how they should work out, but ultimately the scope of "things" is much farther and wider than we can possibly imagine.
4. How often are we missing the party to rollerskate with eyes glued to the wooden gymnasium floor?

But I promise you this,
I'll always look out for you.
That's what I'll do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Slou and Me--Reunion 2009, Oklahoma

I need to learn how to take a compliment. How is it that I still can't seem to do it right? I don't even know what "right" is! I could probably execute it if I finally figured out what I am supposed to say.

I also have a crazy craving for McDonald's sweet and sour sauce right now. What would I eat it with besides chicken nuggets? That sauce is totally obsolete to a vegetarian. Bummer.

I know he didn't have the answers all the time,
but you can't tell me that you've never told a lie.

We're almost twenty-three, and you're still mad at me.
So much that I said to you, and I want to take it back now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Too Much

Conversation with Nac at 2 PM today:

Me: Are you hungry?
Him: Kinda.
Me: Did you eat anything today? Just cereal?
Him: Yeah, but, like, three bowls.
Me: Oh, good. That makes me feel better because I ate all those cookies in front of you and didn't offer you even one.
Him: I knew you wouldn't. I was mentally prepared for that. You love cookies too much.

What part of "no" don't you understand?
I want a man, not a boy who thinks he can.

Monday, March 21, 2011

And, Look

...I'm sorry that last post was so dreadfully dull. I want to tell you
about the cloudy sunrise I naturally awoke for.
The morning alone on the balcony--counting waves, tracing footsteps, reading thin pages.
I want to tell you about some television magic
on the waterfront.
Familiar sweet cream and parking meters,
laughing to the heavens. But, it's not done yet, and I don't want to ruin it.
So, in time I think it will ooze out,
like the pus
from the round blister
on my left foot.

Carb Deets

1. Nac saw the picture I posted of him yesterday and complained. Here is a nice one:

June 2010--Dur.

2. Thank you to all my supporters out there. After and before the run, I felt very supported by friends and family. As far as the race went, I was in the extremely bottom cut of runners, but as far as my life goes, everyone knows this was a trial for me. So, thank you for loving and writing and praying.

3. Nac told me he was going to make a blog called "What Alice Ate" just for my crazy carb-loading. I now present a complete list of everything I ate Saturday:

Nac eats a biscuit while also driving in stick-shift.

-egg and cheese biscuit from Bojangles
-"bo-berry" biscuit (a huge blueberry themed sugar lump)
-bit of vanilla energy bar
-huge veggie omelet
-order of wheat toast with butter and jam
-big helping of hashbrowns
-two chocolate chip pancakes covered in fruit and whipped cream
-huge mug of mocha s'mores expresso
-six pieces of bread
-lemon spaghetti with vegetables
-half a (fresh-caught, eco-friendly) crab cake
-slab of bread pudding

The world is my oyster, the road is my home.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Because I've been yakkin' about the dang thing for like three months now, I figure y'all deserve a full recap.

Last Night: We (Nac and I) went to sleep very early right after dinner. We were both exceedingly tired from a day of sunshine on the beach THAT OUR RESORT IS ON. (Obvi, side note, this place is amazingly beautiful, and Nac and I have been having mucho de fun. Queso fundito, if you will.)

View from our resort balcony.

Pre-Race: I woke up basically every hour last night with variations of dream about missing the race. Awesome! Finally, when it was time to for real get up, I felt sick (Good start to a morning of running 26.2 miles!) I threw up :( And Nac said, "I am so mad at you. Now you don't have anything in you!" But he was absolutely wrong--mainly because if I had thrown up all the food we ate on "Carb Load Saturday" I would have drowned in vomit. I'm really not exaggerating. I ate like...more calories/ carbs than a person should in a month yesterday.

Bad picture of Nac mid-discussion of gender inequality...Over chocolate chip pancakes and omelets!

We took the shuttle to the race start, and still in the dark before dawn, the race began.

Mile One: Everyone was giddy. We ran across bridges over the water. It was a pink morning.

Mile Two: I started feeling really uncomfortable and mad at my dinner choice. A. Half of it was in the sewer system by this time. B. I'm pretty sure there was some citric sauce on it that gave me MEGA-heartburn. So, my legs were good, but my chest was not doing so hot.

Mile Three: Heartburn persisted. I focused on people around me--a group of women screaming "HOT CHICKS COMIN' THROUGH!" and a friend coaching another woman saying, "Your husband never would have thought you could do this! Success is the best revenge!"

Mile Four: I realized I was running eleven minute miles--about two minutes faster than my goal pace. I also realize I really need to use the bathroom. Waiting in line for the porta-john ate up the extra minutes I had lost.

Mile Five: The heartburn is still going strong.

Mile Six: I have to go to the bathroom. Again. Boop.

Mile Seven: The race makes its way through residential areas, and lots of families and groups are outside cheering for everyone.

Mile Eight: I want the heartburn gone. As I pass a water station, I see a jar of pretzels for the volunteers. I ask, "Can I have a pretzel?" I am given two pretzels. I eat them, making my mouth dry, but settling the acid in my chest. I consider asking for milk at the next station, but i decide against it.

Mile Nine: The trail turns onto a huge busy street. Lots and lots of people (and water)! My race number has "ALICE" on it, so people think its cool to yell at me by name when they are strangers...weird.

Mile Ten: The blister that formed last week and hadn't totally healed starts buggin'. I just want more pretzels and decide to ignore the blister.

Mile Twelve: Suddenly, the half-marathoners are GONE. They took a turn towards the finish, and I realize I was in a huge pack without any other marathoners. In the FAR distance, I see an older man. I catch up to him, and we talk for a while. One of the first things he says: "I just think about Japan, and I keep fighting." I realize me running a marathon today doesn't DO anything for Japan, but Japan is in my heart, and I did run for Japan today.

Mile Thirteen: I acquire two more pretzels. This significantly calms the burn, and I am feeling healthy. As it has become a pretty lonely trail, I turn my iPod on. "By My Side" from Godspell is the first thing that plays. Extremely appropriate.

Mile Fourteen: I am slowing down a bit. I realize I am in a loop that I must double. People are lapping me in said loop.

Mile Fifteen: Still in the dang loop.

Mile Sixteen: Looping! %#&^!

Mile Seventeen: Doing the loop a second time.

Mile Eighteen: I get an orange slice from a passing water table. For some reason, I really enjoy chucking the peel down on the ground.

Mile Nineteen: It has remained an incredibly beautiful day. Just about 50 degrees with slight sun, but overcast. I am grateful. I also hear "Born This Way" and think about how grateful for the KohHos who recc'd it to me. When "Make a Man Out of You" comes on I almost cry thinking about my CT05 friends. How proud of me they would be!

Mile Twenty: As a result of literally almost crying because of a song from Mulan, I start to realize my emotional sanity breaking down as my physicality weakens. I chuck some more orange peels when I have the chance.

Mile Twenty-One: Nac was supposed to finish the race out with me from here, but he is no where to be seen. I am running about half an hour faster at this point than I had anticipated, so I bet he will go there later. Oops.

Mile Twenty-Two: Back on the very busy main drag, but by this time (with most competitors as halfers, and the super fast marathoners already done) no one is around. Marathoners on the train are very very few and far between. It feels horribly lonely. A super busy street, blocking traffic, and no one around cheering or giving water. This is when I hit the wall. I am slowing. I wonder how Steve Prefontaine would have done in a marathon. Nac and I watched the Prefontaine movie yesterday afternoon. Apparently, the dude was kinda a jerk--despite what the hoards of inspirational quotes would have you believe.

Mile Twenty-Three: At a water station manned by a frat house, a guy tries to hand me a Twizzler with my water. I laugh and he goes, "What?! They're delicious!" This makes me happy, but I can't pick up the pace for the life of me. I say, "You guys are great!" And they bump chests and scream, "NO! YOU'RE GREAT!"

Mile Twenty-Four: Crazy twisty roads and starting to feel faint. I don't know where I am going. At one point I catch up to a man "running" just like me "near walking." Not competitively, I decide to pass him. I actually laugh because we are both "running" at a snail's pace. It probably looked like a slo-mo replay of an exciting challenge, but we were actually going at like 16-minute-mile paces.

My watch says 11:15--which is great because my goal was to finish, and the race closes at 12:30. I am golden. I could walk the rest...UNLESS THE TIME I HAVE BEEN USING IS ACTUALLY ST. LOUIS TIME ON MY WATCH! I wig out and realize I only have fifteen minutes to run the next two miles! I start frantically sprinting, probably resembling some kind of opossum that can't really run, but it trying SO hard. There's no way I'm gonna make it. I approach a volunteer and scream, "WHAT TIME IS IT?" He sees my insane fear and says, "11:16." Oh. I had switched my clock. My bad. The volunteer tries to pump me up. I revert back to my plodding pace.

Mile Twenty-Five: I enter a side street decorated with signs that say things like, "PRAYER ZONE! SOUTHERN BAPTISTS!" And am BOMBARDED by about a hundred people lining the street in both directions with Biblical signs and smiles and saying, "God is helping you through this! Jesus loves you!" which usually I would be kind annoyed by ("Southern Baptist ladies, y'all need to understand that our concepts of God are probably not the same.") but as I actually felt like I was going to die, I had to hold back tears. Emotions = on the fritz, whackoland big time. I also shed a tear while listening to Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love."

Mile Twenty-Six: I wanted to finish strong and return back to a faster pace. As I pass the frat guys again, they scream, "YEAH ALICE! YEAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" I know I am going to finish. I can't sprint to the end, but I run through the finish as a decent pace.

Spoils of the day.

Post-Race: I am immediately offered painkillers (which I deny...weird) and am led to a tend of people getting medical care. So disarming! I feel sore, but good. I hit the food tent, nom some oranges, and find Nac, who is very proud of me. In the car I realize I look horrible, and Nac has done a very good job hiding this news. Apparently, when you sweat and you let it dry, it evaporates, and you are left with a nice crusty salt mask. Who knew? Not this girl.

And the land sinks into mellow blueness.
Oh please, take me with you.
Let me skip the road with you.
I can dare myself.
I can dare myself.
I'll put a pebble in my shoe,
and watch me walk (watch me walk)
I can walk.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Don't Need It

Imagine this is my my best Jerry Seinfeld voice: What's the deal with checking-in early? Like, come on, guys, you don't have to do that.

On Southwest it's general seating so I GET why you want to check-in early. Window seats are nice and all that, but really...when you have to get on the plane half an hour earlier than the people in the final boarding zone--is it really worth it?

Also, if you're able to sit comfortably in a middle seat, do everyone a favor and don't check in early. Just take the middle seat for the good of the flight. It's really not that big a deal, friend.

Today I shuffled to the very back of the plane and sat in an aisle seat. The windows were all taken. Eventually more people crowded in and a kind woman smiled and said, "If you'll just let me through..." so I just sat up and plopped to the middle. She was so surprised! "Oh, my, well! Thank you!" When...actually, all the seats are same size and we're all in the tuna can with just as little breathing room on the aisle as in the middle, so...don't wig out, don't check-in early, don't stand up the moment the seat-belt lights are off, pull an Anna Nalick and just breathe.

Please don't let me go falling from the sky.
These fasten seatbelt signs just need to go out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To Be Perfectly Candid, Baby, You're Beautiful

Last week when I had that horrendous meltdown on public transportation, I remember seeing myself in the train window and literally saying "Woof" because MAN, did I look haggard. I walked by a sea of folks on the way to the bathroom, and it was like I could read their minds: "That girl has given up on life. Yowza."

At the time I was like, "Yeah? What of it?" I'm not trying to impress train riff raff. Because, you know what, we can't be beautiful all the time. But yesterday while I was sweating it out at the gym, I realized, "Yeah, actually, we CAN be beautiful all the time, and we SHOULD."

Rick, Mahji, Koon--Japan, November 2008

I was watching Japan on CNN and feeling crushed under the rubble myself. This has been a rocky couple weeks for a lot of people I know--including an entire country. And as the news faded to a commercial, I saw my own reflection in the screen. I did not look beautiful. Now, I don't mean we should always be dressed for success with make-up on and hair quaffed--I mean the simplest beauty. Like, a smile. Not plastered, just slight, natural. The way we should NATURALLY feel as beautiful expressions of Life.

IL farmland, March 2011

Or, you know, removing our eyes from sunken ruts. And giving thanks for water bottles, clouds, seafoam green combs.

Because the more we satisfy ourselves with being less than Beauty, the more ugly we chuck into the world. And the world don't need it.

Pookie, Mama, Me--May 2009

So I lightened my face--sweaty as it was--and jogged away. Freer, safer, sounder.

Why does it hurt me to feel so much tenderness?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dream March 15, 2011

It was spring, and it was beautiful. Lots of flowers on the rolling hillsides. I was overlooking a bluff of lush green grass and floating butterflies. I was chewing an orange Starburst. It was really big and tough though.

I spit it out. But more filled my mouth. I spit it out. I spit it out. More and more orange candy was stuck to my teeth. More and more--completely filling my mouth. No room for my tongue. No matter what, my cheeks were bulging with the taffy.

WOKE UP! Gasp. Gasp.

LZ 2010.

My pillow was absolutely covered in spit.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Born in November 1963

Open call for everyone's favorite running song(s) to pad my Ballin' Marathon Playlist.

Run baby, Run baby, Run baby, Run baby. Run.

You ARE Full!

Be fulfilled today!
There is nothing you actually want that isn't within your grasp or that you don't already have!
Be fulfilled today!

It seems like most people figure out that "bad" vices aren't actually fulfilling--yet people can't quite break the mesmerism long enough to cut the habit I know about this. One of my vices was trashy magazines. I KNEW that reading Cosmo made me feel bad, but it was always just so flipping appealing in the airport shop. FINALLY, I cut the habit. But it took years.

But actually THINGS and STUFF--even "good" THINGS and STUFF are never going to be fulfilling. Succeeding in a work endeavor in itself is not fulfilling. However, expressing diligence and intelligence IS, and sometimes a goal is the vehicle for that expression.

Eating desserts can be a vehicle for gratitude, running the vehicle for endurance, fashion the vehicle for beauty. But sometimes there is no cake, no treadmill, not spring line, and then we cannot feel UNfulfilled because the stuff we're really after doesn't hinge on anything we don't already know, have, and do.

Breakfast in Chi with my aunt and uncle. 2009. Photo my Pookie. Chomp Chomp Chomp, Y'all.

When we are tempted to think But This Isn't Enough, stop, cut out the middle man of that promotion, that eclair, the applause and make circles with your hands and soul and say OH, Yes, It Is.

Hello World! It's like a different way of living now! Thank you, World! We always knew that we'd be free somehow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

High Heels, Low Nutritional Standards

Something I really enjoy about High School Speech and Debate:

All the kids wear suits all weekend. This probably sounds stuffy, but as a student I really liked it! You feel very...special. But the best is going out during breaks in competition while still in said suit. There will always be a soft place in my heart for the sight of a pack of fifteen year olds dressed like forty year olds eating at a Dairy Queen.

You look like a photograph of yourself taken from far far away.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good, Bad, Good

I wrote this at 3:30 PM today:

"My hands smell like the hospital.
My hair is greasy and cow-licked.
My skin is breaking, white with purple blood hardening below.
My eyes are small. The crows feet circle in.
Pouches, like make-up bags, sit right below. Ironic--there's no makeup here.
There is too much going on."

Since then, I'm feeling better. It's funny. In the face of all the bad things that have cropped up this week--and let me tell you, it's been a doozy--I stayed strong, joyful, positive. But I reached a breaking point this morning and may or may not have bawled/ yelled (?) on a train full of passengers.

Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, 2009

But, since 3:30 I rested, thought, wrote. I'll write this now:

My belly is full of spaghetti and chocolate ganache cupcake.
Muff had cupcakes in her kitchen while I was there for her wedding.
I ate a few.
They were from her favorite grocery.
She said, "Just know, those are my favorite kind of cupcakes ever.
I have made love to those cupcakes."
My hands smell like laundry.
Diz is texting me:
"So did you apply to any grad schools in LA or what?"
And I like that.
I don't know what my eyes look like.

Muff&Jamba Weddingcakes 2009

Eating is absolutely my defense mechanism. I have eaten more this week than I have this...year. Or, so it feels. Every five minutes I look down and there's some new piece of cheese or marshmallow bon bon in my hand. WHAT'S THAT DOING HERE? I ask, shoving it into my mouth and chewing rapidly, so as to get to the strawberry yogurt faster.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two Percent

Remember "Milk Time" from elementary school? Probably the bane of every teacher's existence, but a highlight of my LIFE.

Every day, mid-morning, the school janitor would prepare crates of milk for every classroom. You had to order your "type" at the beginning of the year. I remember I was one of the few kids who got white--it was just me and the couple boys whose moms probably thought any amount of chocolate before noon would set them into a hyperactive screaming frenzy.

I like the idea of having a daily milk break. One little carton of goodness. Something to count on.

I wonder what's a given in my life right now that will seem like cotton candy land in ten years. It could be a favorite pair of undies long worn through, the sounds my phone makes getting text messages, the little blue light on my dashboard that tells me the brights are on.

I always kinda sorta wished I looked like Elvis.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cold Champagne

Tonight I totally ran a red light right in front of a cop, and s/he didn't come after me. It's the little things.

Park in Nara, Japan, 2008

I'm going down to West 4th Street, you can take the A Train. You're leaving the country, and we're never gonna see you again.

I wish I was mad.
I'm just too late.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pogo-Sticking with a Glass of Water

Last year I played Rosemary in Summer Brave. During Act II, Scene I, she pressures her boyfriend to marry her. It's a good scene. At one point Howard loses his footing in rhetoric and just answers, "Well..."
So, Rosemary says, "A well's a hole in the ground, Howard."

A few months later, I was in the pool locker room with a professor who had seen the play and had actually seen it as a little girl. Her mother had been Rosemary once upon a time. This professor said, "Good job. And I love that line. My family would say that all the time to each other for years: 'A well's a hole in the ground, Howard.'"

I thought it was especially interesting that they always said "Howard."

Jamin (who played Howard), Spring 2009

When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher was explaining to us how mad he would get at his kids. He said, "When I was a kid I would always get in trouble for making mistakes, and I knew that when I grew up, I would never yell at kids for making mistakes! It's a mistake! How can you help it? But, now that I've got kids, it's like, 'Yeah, it's a mistake, BUT WHAT WERE YOU DOING POGO-STICKING WITH A GLASS OF WATER IN YOUR HAND?'"

This was funny to me, and it (obviously) has stuck with me. Good point. There are some mistakes you shouldn't make. Noted. At one point a few years ago I relayed the anecdote to my sister. Now we both say it. It's this really goofy super-high-context-bit of language. We'll be talking about someone completely unstable juggling too many responsibilities or someone overly emotional getting wrapped up into a dramatic social environment, we nod and say, "Pogo-sticking with a glass of water."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

EffIng North Korea

I'm really miffed by the current Public Forum debate topic for NFL Speech and Debate. It's basically "Resolved: north Korea is a bigger threat to the safety of the US than Iran."

So basically I've seen like a billion kids arguing over which country is crazier and full of the most horrible people. Usually I will forever and a HALF defend why Speech and Debate is so good for the world, but this? This is suck-town.

High schoolers who probably aren't the most understanding of world events should not be researching all the reasons other cultures are dangerous. They should be researching topics that promote considering other cultures in a positive light. Like, for real, who thought of thus stupid topic?

All the debates just turn into yelling matches about which countries' nukes are deadlier and which leader is more unreasonable.

After a full day of Districts yesterday (I'm currently between rounds now) I hung out with Dusty. Almost as soon as I got to his apartment, he sat me down. Very serious. He exhaled: "I have something to tell you..."

He was staring blankly forward, hands clasped together.

"Okay," I said.

"I'm not sure..." he winced. He shifted his shoulders back. "I'm not sure what I think about North Korea's current role in international politics--"

I punched him!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011



Happy summery music plays on a blank white screen.
Zoom in to see a bunch of feminine pads in the shape of beach chairs.
Light blue drops of water begin falling on the pads as FWOOSH--
the deck-chair pads sprout big beachy umbrellas and guard themselves!

Bottom of the screen:


So, like...who was confused about the fact that maxi-pads don't actually become beach junk?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grad School & The Prarie State

Here's what Stripes said when I told her I got into grad school:

"How WOOONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! Yiiiiipeeeeeeee!!!
Of COURSE  of COURse - OOo I am Sooo happy for you if it weren't raining outside I'd jig up and down the road.  Maarrrvelous - OOo blesseings heaped down and packed upon you!! BRAVO!"

What a little firecracker! Note this old blog post from March 2009--right after I had been cast as the lead in the spring musical:

"When you do something, you kind of always wish someone will just bowl you over and cry or something. Of course no one does. It's not as a big of a deal as you feel it is. But

Two days ago, while in the dressing room for our one-act, Stripes asked. I nodded. Her eyes gaped open and she ran at me the force of a bull, leaped onto me, wrapped herself up and screamed sky high 'YES! YOU DID IT!'"

So, yes, I've been accepted to at least one MFA program, and everyone has been incredibly supportive. Stil, I'm currently on a train to Chicago for my JET interview (technology!) in case I decide to defer. Either way, I'm kissing the Midwest goodbye in a few months. I feel like I am constantly writing it a love poem. This early morning train ride past grubby little Illinois towns, the crescent moon above the Mississippi. The river was lit by barges as I drove myself to the station at 4:40 AM.