Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No Children


We must work to meet our highest standards--not the lowest standards others will accept.

And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
someday burns down,
and I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
and I never come back to this town.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


A few months ago during the Egypt hooplah, I was watching CNN at the gym. Everything was seeming pretty dark, but, rejoice! The anchors brightened their smiles, chucked their bummer-voices, and announced, "Now. On the lighter side!" and proceeded to tell the story of a women who tried to mail a puppy.

They giggled their voices, these two anchors, and explained how a middle-aged woman wanted to send her son a puppy for his birthday, so she MAILED IT. LOL LOL LOL!

And what's FUNNIER (lol lol lol) is that when she was caught (which she OBVIOUSLY was because there was a puppy running around in the box! LOL!) she demanded that she be returned the puppy! LOL! Let's laugh at this obviously sad mother who has been estranged from her son on her birthday! And let's laugh more at how she probably wanted to return the puppy to the pet store for money but was not allowed to! LOL she got jail time for animal cruelty! LOL!

And then they went to commercial. And I realized my jaw was wide open. Hello!?


How...? In what version of the world does it make sense to imprison a sad woman for putting a puppy in a box when there are actually factories torturing animals on a massive level? I mean...WHAT?

Anyway, since that moment, as my sister can attest, almost any injustice in the world seems to lead me to wanting to shout out, "But...but...meanwhile, there's a MEAT INDUSTRY!"

So, yeah. This is the point where I finally accept Jamin's description of me as "Vegetarian Malcolm X."

Jamin likes to tell me to shut up. Easter 2010. Photo by Pookie.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Walk to Culvers

Walked out the front door just past noon.
Trotted down the steps, unlatched the gate, left the yard.
Headed north on the sidewalk--first I was swimming in french fries.
Wendy's baking up fresh batches of sea-salt thick-cut for lunch rush.
I held my iPod in my hand.
It's black and smooth. A song from Grease
played. You Better
Shape Up.
Several children, elementary school, played in a front yard.
All boys in trunks.
One held the hose and yelled. He sprayed wildly. I jumped
the puddles.
The clouds formed.
My face felt dark.
I had no reason to go to Culvers. I did not want
anything. Just a good walk.
I turned around.
The wind whipped. The kids were gone.
I waited at a light.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


A TI-83 walks into a bar, and sees another beautiful TI-83. He says, "Hey, can I buy you a drink?" She says, "You can count on it."

This joke was an exception, my humor's not usually graph-ic. HAR HAR HAR!

I've got a retainer.
Maybe I'm the physics main event.
Maybe I'm the chem club president.
Maybe even Texas Instruments
thinks that I'm coplanar.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Memories of Nac

I just found this conversation written down. The morning I left North Carolina:

Alice: Get up!
Nac: No!
Alice: You have to take me to the airport!
Nac: You're not goin' anywhere.
Alice: I have to catch my flight!
Nac: No. I want the vacation to keep going.
Alice: But I have a flight to catch!
Nac: Tell 'em (extremely long pause) to hold up.

Taken right after Avril Lavigne sang through the radio, "So what if I go out on a million dates?!"

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Garden Cafe Your Mother Loved

On the Philosopher's Path in Heidelberg, Father's Day

My father was younger than I am when he was last in Germany.
The years fly by, fly by.
Next thing you know
next time you go
it's with two grown daughters.
And they eat in a garden cafe your mother loved.
And philosophers walked garden paths
years ago, years ago.
We walked it last week.
The years fly by, fly by.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

German Quality

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my trip overseas, I don't feel like I got a legit peek at German culture. I was with family--American obvi. Heidelberg (where my dad's base was) and the city we day-tripped to were both pretty touristy. Travel is less and less an immersion these days altogether--hearing Rihanna in stores, international fashion, international food available everywhere, etc. But, if there's one thing I definitely took away and learned from was the high quality of things in Germany.

Not gonna lie, I think it's semi-BA I went to a sketchy high school in Chicago where the norm student dress was pajamas and people spit openly in hallways. But, it's pretty refreshing to be someplace, you know, actually clean. Litter is minimized, the communal stress level seems low, and everything was orderly. Everything had a high quality. Please observe the picture below.

Okay, so that's at a McDonalds.


We actually stopped for snack on the road, and we got chocolate cake, and it was legit one of the top five chocolate cakes I've ever eaten. Not to get high-falutin', but that's a big statement coming from me. It made me wonder, why would I ever consume food of low quality again?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's What I Want to Talk About, OKAY?!

So, I'm home from Germany. It was a really good trip, and I am extremely grateful I was able to afford/schedule it. I had a lot of fun. The trip meant a lot to me because I got to see my dad's old military base and some places my sister visited in high school. It was rad. Here are two pictures of like the most famous castle in the world and Heidelberg.

Okay, now I want to talk about being a vegetarian on airplanes. BEING A VEGETARIAN ON AIRPLANES IS THE LAMEST.

I special ordered veggie meals for my dad, sister, and me almost two weeks ago. On the plane tonight they each got their special meals delivered to them. I waited a bit then realized mine wasn't coming because the average meals were starting to be passed out. I buzzed a stewardess (which I HATE doing) to ask about my meal. She said, no I needed to order it in advance. I told her I did. She went to "check" and came back saying there must have been a mix-up--no veggie meal was ordered for me, but, she said, she wasn't going to eat her dinner so I could have it. Great. Eating my flight attendant's dinner and looking like a bum who didn't order things properly.

So, another attendant comes and asks me "Chicken or beef?" and I explain I have the veggie meal--
No, she interrupts, you have to order those special. I explain I did and that--
No, another interrupts, we have a list, and you're not on the list. To make a point, she shows me the list.
I am on the list. I point to my name, she takes it back mumbling to herself.
The original flight attendant shows up and begrudgingly hands me a little veggie meal.

All this for some not amazing spicy rice.

A. This whole thing would have been a lot less sketchy had I been able to just check a BOX that was PROVIDED when I bought my tickets. Instead I had to like call in to the airline and talk to a customer service person and be annoying and waste people's time. I mean, what if I had forgotten? I bet a lot of vegetarians don't even know you can do that.
B. Look. Being a vegetarian is good for the environment, animal rights, human rights, and political justice. Don't get fussy because someone is trying to the the right thing.
C. WHY ON EARTH CAN'T THE QUESTION BE "Chicken or Vegetarian?" instead of beef? I promise you, no matter which meat you get on an AIRPLANE it's not going to taste phenomenal, and I guarantee you the meat quality is less than the best. I mean, even if I ate meat, I'd feel skeptical of the frozen into little foil tins version of food that very easily goes bad. Can't airlines just not serve meat? Then no one would have to be stuck with the blame about who didn't count how many meals etc. etc. etc.

More stuff on Germany later. Hugs 'n' Kisses, Misses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Impossible Germany

LC with a 'stache. Two weeks ago.

Hey y'all, I'm going to Germany for a lil bit. Catch you on the flip side.

Wherever you go,
wherever you land.
I'll say what this means to me.
I'll do what I can.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Going Away to College by Blink-182

Please take me by the hand.
It's so cold out tonight.
I'll put blankets on the bed.
I won't turn out the light.
Just don't forget to think about me,
and I won't forget you.
"I'll write you once a week," she said.

Why does it feel the same
to fall in love or break it off?
And if young love is just a game,
then I must have missed the kick off.
Don't depend on me to ever follow through on anything.
But I'd go through hell for you and

I haven't been this scared in a long time.
And I'm so unprepared, so here's your valentine--
bouquet of clumsy words, a simple melody.
This world's an ugly place, but you're so beautiful to me.

I'll think about the times
she kissed me after class,
and she put up with my friends.
I acted like an ass.
I'd ditch my lecture to watch the girls play soccer.
Is my picture still hanging in her locker?

River Court, North Carolina. Photo by Nac. March 2011.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

By the Bike

Friday night I was at Lazz's frat house. Before dinner a few of his bros started playing bocce ball in the front yard. This simple description sounds a lot more dignified than it was. In short, the bocce balls would bounce around tree roots, roll between a billion cigarette butts, and land with a tinkle of broken beer bottles.

At one point, someone threw the white ball and one of the guys couldn't see it. He asked, "Is it by the bike?" (There was a bike propped up against a tree) and someone said, "Yeah"--a complete lie. The dude chucked his ball towards the bike, completely missing the mark. Everyone laughed. And then Lazz joked, "Well it was by the bike. Cosmically."

How could something be so funny based on objects being far apart when universally, the bike and the ball and the boccee players are all on top of each other.

On Saturday Lazz asked me the magic question:

"Wanna go to Pancake City?
As in the restaurant--
not the city."

And we ate pancakes bigger than our faces! And mine had peanut butter and chocolate chips in them! And life was sweet! We are what we eat, we said. I am this pancake. You are that coffee. Cosmically, everything is by the bike!

But I am the stuff of happy endings
Though mostly bluff, belief suspending

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Like It!

A few years ago I worked on a flex team for an alumni event at my college. I ran around arranging centerpieces, unfolding and refolding chairs, posting signs etc. A job like that makes you realize, "Oh, somebody DID all this stuff. And that person is probably exhausted."

As I was leaving work for the final time on Friday, I noticed a display of book son tape in the center of the lobby. The display changes all the time. I thought, "Wow. That was really thoughtful." Whoever is in charge or the display realized a lot of students would be making long drives soon and wanted to remind them that books on tape are a good way to pass the time. But who do I throw kudos to? The front desk student don't care. I felt silly seeking out the head librarian to inform her I like something. There's a fine line of gratitude and egotism I'd be walking, right? "Excuse me, I know your time is important, but I want to inform you of an opinion I have (albeit positive)."

The only thing I could think of was "liking" the display. You know? Like a Facebook "like." Having a tiny yellow Post-It, writing "Alice likes this," and sticking it to the books on tape. Wouldn't that be nice? If the things we did in life were sometimes met with tiny near-effortless notes from strangers?

I'd much prefer that system of "liking" than the one most of the world operates on:
Shannon "Hottie" Smith and 9 others Liked this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ideas on Good Deeding

One year ago.

There's this FRIENDS episode about Phoebe trying to prove that you can help others for the sake of helping others--not just because you want to feel good about yourself. This is a pretty interesting debate: Can you actually help others and reap no benefits? If not, then are you ever truly being "a good person"? Is everyone just trying to feel like good people?

Today I had quite a revelation about this. Being a good person, helping others, doing your best, makes you feel good because it IS good for you. Like natural exercise, like eating vegetables. It all works in a cycle. You might initially do something because you are supposed to or you're trying to feel good, but it very naturally feels good once you're doing it (running despite the heat, eating the spinach, writing the new short story).

So, no, there is no "true" good deed in the sense that you do it and get nothing in return--but who says that's a sensical definition? That's not how Life rewards you for living in harmony with Goodness. You don't have to feel like a jerk for trying to be good, for doing good even though your first instinct might not be to do it. That's not insincere. Why would you feel like a jerk for feeling healthy after eating some broccoli?

When you give to a worthy cause,
you'll feel as jolly as Santa Claus!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sophomore at Life (Warning: Reflective Navel-Gazing Ahead)

On Friday May 15, 2009, I had a little pub date with a college friend just finishing his first year out of school. I wrote about it on my old blog:

"I got to thinking a lot about my future. Promises about post-graduation to myself:
1. Continue education
2. Continue art
3. Make new local friends
4. Self-evaluate
5. Do things before responsibilities kick in"

Today is my first official day of unemployment. My contracts just ended Friday, and the summer will be a whirlwind of travel, planning, projects, and rebooting before I start graduate school. Overall, I am very pleased with how I handled my first year out of school. I have made lists (in my diary) of all the ways I grew, lessons I learned, opportunities I had because of what I chose to do with myself since I got my diploma.

When Facebook added that little empty box ("Write something about yourself.") my sister wrote "Write something about myself?! This whole dang page is about myself!" I thought that was very funny. Anyway, I realize this whole blog is about me, but for a moment I am going to celebrate my accomplishments. Without intention, I did a darn good job staying in line with the goals I set myself as a junior in college.

1. I audited two college classes, read three books on comedy and acting, and got on track for graduate school.
2. One musical, one big improv show, and a lot of little improv jams all year. Creative writing club, the St. Louis One-Act Festival, and ACTF with Huntie.
3. Being an improv teacher and getting involved with that community led to a bunch of new friendships--way deeper than I would have guessed when I started up with these comedy shenanigans. I am also sure if I were staying in the area I'd be keeping up with many more people I've met in the past few months. Interesting folk are everywhere.
4. My bosses didn't offer me a ton of feedback about my work, and I not only learned to self-evaluate, but enjoyed doing so.
5. Although I was highly-motivated and busy all year, I still acted like a 22-year old. I stayed up all night watching movies sometimes. I went on a Spring Break trip to the beach. I ate lots of cookies. I was poor and dressed like a hobo usually, but I occasionally splurged on stuff I didn't need (froyo, theatre, random Groupons). I spent a lot of time training for a marathon--no idea how working stiffs handle that schedule. I had house guests every other week.

Plus, lots of amazing things happened this year totally unrelated to my goals. Muff's marriage, getting to be with my sister, some enjoyable Chicago trips, learning so much about teaching, making an unexpected close friend (LC)...I guess what I mean to say is there's nothing inherently scary about leaving school.

Improv Cast, December 2010

LC & Me, May 2011

Basically: Just put your mind to it. It's not enough to be Good. You have GOT to refine and shine.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Alice in Chains

Yesterday at about 2 PM where was I? Oh, just chained to a bed in in a basement of a house I had never been to before alone with a middle-aged man I had never met before filming me.

Somewhere in Wisconsin, my aunt just got nervous reading that.

Here's what happened:

On Friday night I got a call from my improv producer asking if I would be able to help with a project he was working on for the 48-Hour Film Festival. I said, yes, I was free for a few hours yesterday afternoon, and I could help. He told me the premise of the dark comedy: a lonely girl keeps a broom as a friend. Okay, I thought.

So, then, an hour later (they're still writing the script) he explains I'm being held captive--hence the loneliness. Hmm. Okay.

So, then I show up to the location on Sunday. My producer isn't there--just a fellow actor I know and the director (who I don't know). I read the final script and am like, "Oh. Oh I see. So there's a scene where the guy who has kidnapped me backhands me. Hmm." Ad then we go down to the basement to see the set--a really really creepy room with a chain.

Oh. So, I'm also going to be chained up. Hm.

And we shoot a little, and then the other actor announces he will be doing a lunch run while I shoot solo scenes. And I'm like, "Cool. Naw I don't want any Subway." And then he leaves...and I realize what is happening in my life. Which brings me back to the beginning of this blog post.

Of course, everything was fine. The director was very nice, and we shot everything in a timely manner, and I left. But if anything HAD, would I have looked like an idiot.

Officer: So how did this guy kidnap you into this basement?
Me: Oh, no, I drove myself.
Officer: But how did he get you in chains?
Me: I put them on?
Officer: ...But at what point did you get worried when he brought out a video camera?
Me: I...didn't?
(Officer smacks his forehead.)

Now, to quell anyone else's fears, as soon as I realized that I was in a sketchy situation, I did make a plan of escape mentally, and I knew where the handcuff key was. But, yeah, life is weird. In other news, go see the film I was in at the Tivoli in the Loop this Tuesday night!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Push Back

On Tuesday, Pookie and I went to a Cards game. I was excited to see The Giants because I have fond memories of many of them winning the World Series last fall. One of Pookie's friends was with us--a longtime Cards fan. I said, "Oh, yeah, well we're Giants fans."

I don't know why I felt like I needed to do that.

For some reason, we sometimes believe that pushing back harder than we need to is cool? Is helpful? Gets the ball rolling? Not like when we do it we MEAN to be accomplishing some side goal. It's just this mistake we make, and I'm not sure why we make it.

Like, I'm not even that big of a Giants fan anyway! Let's be real--it took Pookie and I a few minutes to make sure we were even reading the scoreboard correctly.

The baseball princess.

I know it's not the end of the world that we get defensive about random stuff that doesn't matter. (For some reason I am imagining the boy who lived across the street from me in middle school always arguing with me that cheesecake was GROSS and HOW could I LIKE it. I mean, he wasn't going to change my mind.) But, maybe it does matter. Because maybe if we stop pushing back in those little inane ways some good stuff will start to happen:

1. We'll talk about something more important.
2. We will exercise our ability to have a positive and educational mindset instead of an arbitrarily abrasive one. Even if we're joking.
3. The things we really do push back about will be accentuated. It's kind of screwed up that I can argue about how horrible pantyhose is with the same conviction I debate gay rights.

But, then again, I really do hate pantyhose.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

To You and You and You, You, and You--To People Living With, Living With, Living With...Not Dying From Disease!

1. I ate 24 cookies tonight.
2. Night walks are underrated. Everything is beautiful.
3. You are beautiful.
4. You are the most beautiful thing in the world!
5. I mean it.
6. I really do.
7. Believe me. I love you.
8. I really do!
9. I miss you and I haven't even left.
10. You are the proof.
11. You are gold.

When I feel blue in the night
And I need you to hold me tight
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weird Compliments

Everyone has gotten his or her fair share of weird compliments, I'm sure. But I, like, ONLY get weird compliments. Like when my sister once said, "I like your style--your trashball look." I can't even be offended because if I had to describe my style in one word it probably would be trashball.

My first high school boyfriend told me, "Your eyes are so beautiful. It's looking into two tree trunks."
Kay once told me he liked my "cross-eyed look." Oh, yes, of course. My cross-eyed look! How attractive!

But, Dunt just sent me some pictures she took of me last summer, and darned if I don't have a cross-eyed look!

It occurs to me it only happens when I am focusing on something super up close. Like the camera or a boy I am kissing. So, now I get why it would be attractive to see my crossed-eyes--a smooch is in the future! It all goes to show you beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.* Crossed-eyes can be nice. Thick thighs can be graceful. Who knows. Who knows.

*UGH a cliche AND a pun in one fowl** swoop.
**Is it "fell swoop"? I've never known. Either way, it's FOUL this time.

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put baby together again.