Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Golden Hearts. Germany. June 2011.

Saturday night is Trivia Night apparently. There's a standing date for people in the MFA program to go to this local bar/grill and kick butt at the weekly trivia contest. I decided to go this past weekend. We got second place! But that's not the point of this blog entry. The point:

Festivities start around 8:30, so at 8:15 I was pedaling down a commercial street just off the main hub of weekend nightlife. I was passing closed cleaners and dark bike shops, and then, I passed a Wendy's. It was empty besides a couple sitting in the big glass window. The guy had his arm around the gal, and they were laughing laughs I could not hear. A large yellow Frosty cup sat in front of them. Two spoons sticking out.


Please note, MY IDEA OF A PERFECT SATURDAY NIGHT IS A MILKSHAKE. If you look up "cheap date" in the dictionary, you find my picture. A picture of me going on my honeymoon to Baskin Robbins.

Think you gotta keep me iced, you don't.
Think I'm gonna spend your cash, I won't.
Even if you were broke, my love don't cost a thing.


Y'all my brains are just straight up overflowin' with ideas, and I've only had less than two weeks of class! I swam a mile and a half today, and not one lap was peaceful because my head was busting open with dramaturgical theory.

I'm struggling with an easy assignment for my playwriting workshop--an essay called "Why I Write." The real question is "Why Can't I Figure Out What To Write About Why I Write?" So, about an hour ago, I decided to pump some Nicki Minaj and walk downtown. The walk is safely lit (I say that for Pookie's sake who is convinced I should never go anywhere at night), and people were out and about, but I considered what would happen if I had been abducted right then. No one knew I was going out. All I could think about is how cool and post-modern it would be for the police to find the play Frozen* open my bed.

Game over b---, Gatorade, wet towel.

*About a girl getting abducted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunrise Surprise

Sunrise on Shell Island. 2010.

In June Dusty and I were going out for Indian food, and it was a hot hot St. Louis night. Cicadas wiggin', humidity boiling.

I said, "This is going to sound stupid, but...I just can't get over the fact that I've known you for about six months. That I met you for dinner in January and it was blizzarding...and we are about to say goodbye, and we're in shorts."

He said, "'re right. About you sounding stupid. Have you heard of seasons?" Smarty-pants.

But I still can't wrap my head around the fact that change comes to regularly and expectedly to most of the world. Just a few minutes ago I was watching the sunset over the palm trees outside my window. And now, besides the dim glow my lil laptop is beaming at me, it's pitch black in my bedroom. And tomorrow...the sun will rise! Like...what!?

Come on. Sometimes doesn't that all blow your mind?

Surprise, surprise--
never something I could hide
when I see we made it through another day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chill Out, Dude

Lobster tie. May 2010.

Has anyone ever attained a higher sense of happiness by getting frustrated?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

So...What Does Alice Eat?

FREE SANDWICHES! Yes, I started work today at the sandwich shop, and every shift I work comes with a free sub. What up to avocados and the pungent red onions that had me bawling over the cutting table for half an hour!

In seriousness, I bet some of you are thinking, "Alice, you are poor, you try to be healthy, and you always cook for one. What on earth do you eat!?" I will tell you!

Pretty much my entire diet for the past four weeks consists of:

-Target-brand oatmeal
-Frozen broccoli and carrots
-Target-brand granola bars
-Kraft Toasted Sesame lite dressing
-Bananas, apples, and strawberries
-Mixed nuts
-Arnold's Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins
-Whole wheat Target-brand rotini
-Veggie Ragu
-Pumpkin butter from Illinois
-Roasted red pepper hummus
-Cherry salsa from Prince Edward Island
-Newton's Blueberry Fruit Thins

And, occasionally, I have gone out to eat with friends.

Me eating a fried cookie. November 2009.

Why am I telling you this?

1. To quell loved ones' nerves that I'm on in the desert surviving on a crash diet of Twix bars and orange juice. (Although I've considered it.)
2. To disprove the fact that healthy eating (VEGAN eating even--you'll notice just one non-vegan food on the list) is just too expensive for people. Um, no. Shopping at Whole Foods for organic cheddar cracker crisps and mango juice is too expensive for the average American...but in no way must we continue to accept the lie that poor families don't have a choice between the 20-piece McNuggets and a healthy dinner. A huge bag of frozen broccoli is less than $2. Ditto the sandwich thins. Ditto the hummus. Boom--a super healthy vegan dinner for at least 8 people for $6 preparable in literally five minutes.

Honey pie, you are making me crazy.
I'm in love, but I'm lazy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Last night much of the theatre cohort went out for Simba's birthday. We closed down the bar talking about SO MUCH THEATRE STUFF while Simba shamelessly flirted with the waiter and drank so many martinis he started doing the sign language to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" for no particular reason. I was so tired at the end of everything that the only thing I could do on the ride home was eat my boxed half-salad. Lunch today was pretzels. Oops on the premature leftover consumption.

I had just enough alertness to write in my gratitude notebook or brush my teeth before passing out.

I woke up tasting goat cheese.

But the real news is that I start my new part-time job tomorrow! Working at a sandwich shop down the block! What up free avocado/provolone melts? Here's hoping.

In the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight.

Monday, August 22, 2011


ACTF 2011--Huntie plays a man with one arm. I am his partner.

Today I took a Zumba class. I've taken Zumba before at the Y in the Midwest. There it was very salsa-y with a bit of hip hop. Here at the biggest party school in the country? Zumba involves a lot of butt-shaking and shimmies and the salsa beats are few and far between. More raunchtastic rap including a fully choreographed exploration of the song "Shots." You know the one? The chorus is "SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS!"

Anyway, based on the aforementioned facts, men rarely visit Zumba. But, today, we had a special guest. A 40something retarded man. This man really enjoyed Zumba, but he had no idea what he was doing. He kept approaching girls in class and starting to ask what to do, but the moves go so fast, even if we WANTED to help the man, we could not. He aimlessly bopped around and eventually picked up some weights and made everyone really nervous.

A room of young women shaking their booties plus one confused retarded dude pumping weights randomly. SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS!

Eventually, he tried to dance in front with the instructor, and she pointed him back to the masses.

In the locker room I saw the tube-top wearing, rap mouthing, instructor. "Hey," I said. "Way to navigate through an awkward class."

She blinked at me and put on a tiny pout. "You thought it was awkward?" She was bummed.

"Oh! No! Just...the company..."

She cocked her head to the side, bewildered, then decided to smile it off, and said, "It was really hot in there!" Then she skipped off.

I am a horrible person apparently.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Be the Best (The Best That I Can Beeeeeee)

Watched Community while I was lifting weights today. There was some drama about gossip, and one of the characters was like, "This person is mad at me for telling this person this. Oh my God, my life is Degrassi High." And I laughed FOREVER. I almost dropped my lil blue three-pounder.

Then, tonight, I watched like four hours of Degrassi.

True story.

You guys, why do I love Degrassi so much!? Such fond mems of watching it when I was 14. I literally know one character on it now--the teacher, Archie, who was part of the ORIGINAL cast in the 80s, then Emma's dad on "Next Generation", and now, apparently the school principal on "Now or Never." I wonder if he feels super blessed, or if he plays Russian Roulette alone every night.

Whatever it takes. I know I can make it through.
If I hold on. I know I can make it through.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Outrunning a Bus!

Yesterday while I was on my run, a short Mexican man on my path turned around as I was approaching and pointed at his wrist. I jogged in place next to him showing him my watch. He nodded and I jogged on.

About fifteen minutes later, I saw the same guy standing downtown on the sidewalk! As I turned the corner, his face lit up and he started clapping for me! We were both there! But one of us took the bus! It's not that miraculous, but it was really funny at the time.

I miss these people.

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Day of Schoolio

Yesterday was the first day of classes at school. The classes I'm taking actually only meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but I did TA my first class. In celebration of day uno, the theatre and film department hosted a mixer for all the grad students at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant** last night.

Boulder--the other TA--and I were leaving class, making plans to go to the event together. We were unlocking our bikes, and he accidentally busted part of his chain. "That's not good," he said, "But...I'll probably be okay."

"Well, you can't die," I said, "because we already made plans to go to the mixer. Tell you what, if you die, come back as a ghost to tell me you won't be making it."

He scoffed. "First of all, I'm not going to die. Second, if I get to be a ghost, I'm not wasting my time haunting your ass. First place I'd go is the Art Department."

"The Art Department?" I asked as he pedaled away.

He began to sing, "Ooooooooooh myyyy daaaaaarling, I've hungered for yoooooooour touch." I laughed and laughed as he sang louder and louder into the midst of traffic the next block over.

**I ate so much hummus and feta. Forever yum.

And time goes by so slowly,
And time can do so much.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Your GD Mouth

Jamin with his Mama at my Bday Bfast. May 2010.

"The Attack" is what we called the penultimate beat of Act I in Summer Brave. Fall of my senior year. The attacker was Rosemary Sydney, played by me, attacking Hal, played by Rex. In essence, I basically went berserk on the kid for about two full pages of angry monologue. Meanwhile, Howard, played by Jamin, tried in vain to calm me down. The attack climaxes in me/Rosemary screaming a string of insults, and Howard finally grabbing me/her, covering my/her face and yelling, "ROSEMARY, SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!"

Before one of our first shows, the cast of thirteen was standing in the foyer of the academic building which houses the black box. We stood in a circle, and one by one we were to announce a significant line of ours, and everyone would repeat it, thus connecting with the individuality of each character in the ensemble. So we're all doing that. Millie says, "Madge is the pretty one." And we all copy: "Madge is the pretty one." I say, "What do you mean young?" and everyone repeats, and so on, and so on. And faster and faster. And we're getting energized, and very connected to each hushed repetition, and then we get to Jamin, and he yells, "ROSEMARY, SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!" And the entire ensemble turns to me and screams, "ROSEMARY, SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!"

And what no one else saw was a mass comm student heading down to the editing suites behind the ensemble circle. He concernedly held my gaze as if to say, "Rosemary, you've gotta get some nicer friends."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Been Singing This While I Ride My Bicycle

We need some light.
First of all, we need some light.
You can't sit here in the dark.
And all alone, it's a sorry sight.
It's just you and me.
We'll live, you'll see.

Night after night,
We'd sit and wait for the morning light.
But we've waited far too long,
For all that's wrong to be made right.

Day after day,
Wishing all our cares away.
Trying to fight the things we feel,
But some hurts never heal.
Some ghost are never gone,
But we go on,
We still go on.

And you find some way to survive
And you find out you don't have to be happy at all,
To be happy that you're alive.

Day after day,
Give me clouds, and rain and gray.
Give me pain, if that's what's real.
It's the price we pay to feel.

The price of love is loss,
But still we pay.
We love anyway.

And when the night has finally gone.
And when we see the new day dawn.
We'll wonder how we wandered for so long, so blind.
The wasted world we thought we knew,
The light will make it look brand new.

Let it
Let it
Let it
Let it
Let it
Shine, shine, shine.

Day after day (day after day),
We'll find the will to find our way.
Knowing that the darkest skies will someday see the sun.

When our long night is done,
There will be light.
(There will be light.
There will be light.)
There will be light.
When we open up our light.
Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.
Can fight that fight.
There will be light.
There will be light.
There will be light.
There will be light.

Crossing the border into AZ. July 30th, 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On My Degree

Koon. Winter 2011.

Been meeting a lot of new people in the past few days--orientations for TAing, small talk with strangers, Graduate Student Welcome Parties. So, you know, people keep asking what I'm doing, and I say, I'm getting my MFA in Dramatic Writing. And, then, pretty much always:

"So, what does one do with a degree in Writing?"


Yeah, I get what people are saying without saying: Where'syourstability? How'reyougonnaeat? Doyouhaveanykindoftalentanyway?

But what I want to say is...I am passionate about dramatic writing. Wouldn't you be concerned if I were doing anything else? Believe me, I didn't pick to pursue this degree because I was in it for the surefire cash. You, strangers, aren't exactly bringing light to my situation, you know.

Most importantly: Ifyou'renotHAPPYwhat'sthepoint?

Ain't about the ca-ching ca-ching!
Ain't about the ba-bling, ba-bling!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Golden Waves

My bedroom window looks out over our pool. If I am in bed with the lights out but the pool lights are on, golden waves flow across my ceiling.

Cake. 5.19.2010.

birthday candles
wedding bands
the fall I took Swimming for Fitness
Hay Stacks by Monet
quiet nights in Arizona

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Self-Date, August 12th

Martini Ranch was freezing. All the doors were open too. "How do they manage?" I wondered. I wondered as the air conditioning and fans ruffled the bottom of my brown sundress. I clutched my clutch--it's clasped, white cloth with goldfish on it.

I shuffled to the front of the stage past fans and non-fans who were milling sheepishly. Kris was happy. Scottsdale was the last planned stop on his acoustic tour. His van is breaking down, it's the homestretch. He played a couple new, a couple old, a couple covers.

He showed us the Arizona flag on his arm, the horseshoe below. "I'm running out of time," he told us looking down at the setlist at his feet, "so I'm just going to play as many as I can for you." The fifteen or twenty of us in the bar who cared started feeling anxious. The group of guys with huge gages and nose rings to my left started whining "So Long, Astoria," and other 2002 songs. Kris explained his voice was too shot for some of those notes. It wouldn't be pretty.

"I O U One Galaxy!" the one with spiked hair negotiated. "Ha. No," said Kris. And then the timid blondie to my right with the pretty and uninterested date asked, "Summer Vacation?" Oh. Kris looked up. Oh, yeah, he was thinking. "I...I like that tune." He looked down and recalculated.

"'Alone in Santa Cruz!'" I said, "It's so short!"
"Oh, that? I don't even remember...I wrote that fifteen years ago!"

"San Dimas High School Football Rules" and "Your Boyfriend Sucks." When there were two songs remaining, he played something from his 2007 album, which no one liked. Good for you, Kris. Good for you for doing your own mic checks and entitling yourself to play what you want to play--even when no one's going to sing along.

He closed with "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," pointing to Blondie. "So lucky!" I told him. He nodded, proud. I stuck around to buy a cd. Kris came out with a plastic bag full of naked silver discs. ("Yeah, I just made these and didn't really have time for anything else.") I told him thanks for writing my 16-year-old soundtrack. He said, no, no, no, it means a lot. Sometimes it's not really about who takes the compliment in, it's about getting it out.

You make me smile so wide, when I look into your eyes.
When I'm not around, know you're somewhere stuck inside my mind.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hey, Cupcake

Cupcakes from Muff + Jamba = <3

When you have no source of income, turns out money goes really fast! I've always been pretty miserly--even as little girl I was always calculating my finances and haggling at garage sales. So, especially when I'm keeping finances tight it seems like I wouldn't spend that much, right? But things happen where I'm like, "Ugh. Lotion. I need lotion." And then LOTION COSTS SIX DOLLARS! Did you guys know that? Lotion! You used to be cool! Now you're all, costing more than two boxes of granola bars! Whatevs, y'all. The lotion had to be purchased. My kneecaps were ashier than a tray.

The good news is that 1. I start getting paid for my TA work in two weeks. and 2. I had a great interview this morning. I think I got the job, but I find out officially tomorrow. If I get this job I will be so so so excited!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Buses in Japan

Nac with schoolchildren. Japan 2008.

The buses in Japan run on time. Here, not as reliable. I hear people complain about the buses in America all the time. Always late, always gross.

But in Japan when a bus pulls over to make a stop, cars wait, change lanes. Drivers inherently think, "That bus is on a schedule. I am not to get in its way." Here? Here out of resentment for the little public transportation we have people seem to purposely cut buses off, impatiently swerve around them.

Uptown you cater to a million jerks.
Uptown you're messengers and mailroom clerks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Job Hunt

I will be a TA this fall, but I'm looking for just a bit more income. I have applied a couple places, but I was so SO excited about the job interview I had today.

DUSTY: so what are you doing in your free time these days, anyway?
ME: Right now I'm making a resume for an interview I have today. It's impossible.
ME: I am MADE for this job.
ME: I can't fit all of the reasons on one page.
DUSTY: haha
DUSTY: there's worse problems to have, Alice.
DUSTY: What's this job, anyway?
DUSTY: "Buffet reviewer"?
ME: Omg.
ME: How could I even begin to prepare for that interview?
ME: Hahahaha you've got my number, Mr.
ME: No--working at a human right capaign trying to convince people that gay people should have equal workplace rights.
DUSTY: ...ok, that sounds like a close second place

INSERT BACKSTORY: While we were making fun of this one guy from improv CONSTANTLY saying "Boom. Done," Dusty once said to me, "You know, if YOU had a catchphrase, it would be, 'Um. I actually have a really strong opinion about this.'" Which is both sad and hilarious because it is totally true. The things I have really strong opinions about range from paper towel to Facebook. And, lest we forget MEANWHILE, THERE IS A MEAT INDUSTRY! Continuing on...

ME: Can I just get "I actually have a really strong opinion about this" tatooed on my face?
DUSTY: maybe a palm...that can be your thing, you can bring back the "talk to the hand" gesture
"So, I was thinking cows are too dumb to live, and we should really not feel bad for eating them--"


I think he's on to something.

Coffee with Dusty. April 2011.

But, so here's the sad end of the story: I had an awesome interview and got the job, but my class schedule conflicted with the hours I would have to work. Biggest bummer of all time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Spring Break 2002

Just spent an hour poolside with Atlas Shrugged. I swear to all trains everywhere, if Ayn gets more long-winded in Part Three, I am chucking her brick into the hot tub and not giving a HOOT about who John Galt is!

Laying on the pool recliner, soaking up rays, I thought of 8th grade Spring Break.

The trip's circumstances were pretty magical. My friend Peppermint belonged to an affluent family, and they owned a condo in Florida. Her parents wanted to golf and go out and have fun, so Peppermint and her sister each got to bring travel companions. I just had to pay for the plane ticket--stay, food, and activities were on the family.

Reflecting back on it, now almost a decade later, I realize A LOT of cool things about that trip:

-It was the first time I sun-tanned. Peppermint announced the first day we were there, "Let's go to the pool." I got on my suit and was confused when my friend left the bedroom with arms full of stuff. I inquired about her need for magazines and a Discman, and she said, "For laying out!" I had no idea what that meant, but I got my Discman (with a Britney Spears sticker on the case). I felt weird at first just laying in the sun listening to music, but after five minutes, I got it. I was so relaxed--warm, digging the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, looking out at the ocean. I consider it my first experience of reverie.

-First time I ate sushi! And black beans! Still two of my favorite foods!

-I think Peppermint was the first person to make fun of how I dressed to my face. She found a stupid blue duck in hot pink and orange swim trunks in some store. She said, "He has your fashion sense." Because the context was me enjoying a free vacation, I kinda didn't care. Precedent much?

-We went parasailing. It's one of those things you really only have to do once, and, I've done it.

-I almost microwaved foil, but sister's companion stopped me in the nick of time. I had never heard that rule and probably would have ruined my family's kitchen later that year had I not learned then.

-It was the first time I had to politely say no to an adult--the context being a nice dinner when Peppermint's parents offered all of us alcohol. I was 13. Boop!

-We watched American Pie 2--MANY times. Not sure why, but I think seeing that movie at that time of life helped brace me for high school romance and expectations.

-While swimming, a dolphin jumped right in front of us.

So, yeah, you don't usually think of anything in middle school being phenomenal, but this is probably still one of my top-five vacations.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Live Life

"Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now."--Viktor Frankl

Friday, August 5, 2011

On "Ah, Get Me Next Time"

What's with going out with an acquaintance, them offering to pay, and then after you say Really Thanks, they say, "Ah, get me next time."

Wait, what? WHAT?

I get that this is usually acceptable, but when you're a broke vegetarian, the Ah-Get-Me-Next-Time is like the killer coming back to life (MINOR SCREAM SPOILER) after Sydney has shot him already! Good gravy--the stress.

A. What if the next time we go out, we go somewhere really nice? Is it still my turn to pay?
B. Frankly, it's about a 75% chance that I will spend less money than my dining companion--no matter what restaurant we go to because I don't eat meat, and I don't order alcohol.
C. What if we go out with other people? It seems silly to randomly announce, "Yeah, and I'm picking up his/hers too!" And then is the person thinking, "Why isn't Alice picking up my bill?"

When you have a system ("You do dinner, I do the movie") or something similar, that's okay. But, I'd really rather just hash it out or split the dang bill to begin with.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hooray for Arizona Day!

Tuesday was Arizona Day! Not statewide, but certainly me-wide.

It was my last day with my aunt's friend (Maf). I woke up early and went running to soak in the desert and mountains one more time before becoming a city girl. I was having a pleasant time until while swinging backward, my right hand flew into a cactus--and it stuck to me. I thought cacti were prickly, sure, but I didn't know they attacked. A bulb of the plant popped right off and it's needles were thoroughly wedged into my hand. It was extremely painful--my knee jerk reaction was to grab it out with my other hand. A DOY the cactus just pierced that hand too. After some wincing and blood, I got at least one hand free and made my embarrassed way back to the house with a huge chuck of cactus on me. I learned that combs are the best way to free cacti from skin and that the pain goes away instantly once the needles have been pulled. WELCOME TO AZ!

Maf had free passes to the university Petroglyph museum! Petroglyphs are drawings/chipping on rocks made my ancient peoples. I expected to find it interesting, but I was incredibly inspired. People from thousands of years ago made these designs we can only blindly guess about, and I was staring at them wondering. I can't begin to describe the freedom I felt from walking around the exhibit. WELCOME TO AZ!

As a bonus we stopped at the bird rescue place Maf volunteer's at. Again, I figured I'd be interested, but I ended up overjoyed to see tiny owls and other desert animals. WELCOME TO AZ!

In late afternoon, I made my way to my new condo and spent about an hour or so emptying the car and beginning organization. Then, a second year grad student in my program invited me out for dinner. While I asked a bunch of questions about classes and professors, he gave me a little driving tour of the area. WELCOME TO AZ!

When I got home my roommate and his girlfriend asked if I would join them for homemade tira misu. Uh DOY. They had another friend over, so we ate and then played a board game. WELCOME TO AZ!

Doesn't it seem like everything's comin' up roses?

Look at the bottom right of the rock. It's two deer kissing. Petroglyph!

Getting to AZ

Pookie and me in matching tees. Sunday.

What an absolute WHIRLWIND of a week. For those of you keeping track:

-My sister and I roadtripped from the Midbest to AZ. This was pretty much entirely enjoyable and entertaining. We listened to a lot of Next to Normal and the Bossypants audiobook. We also got to stay with Wizzy in Okla and I finally used a voucher for a free stay at a deluxe hotel in New Mexico! Boy, did we need it. Pookies were tired, so tired, one of the pookies accidentally fell asleep at 10 PM while watching The Adjustment Bureau. Boop.
-I got more and more giddy with each hour of the drive into AZ. We saw A REAL LIFE TUMBLEWEED Y'ALL. Mountains! Red Dirt! Cacti! I love the land here.

View from a lookout point off the highway. Saturday.

-We stayed with my aunt's best gal pal--a true delight. She cooked us amazing veggie cuisine and made us feel at home. A very necessary feeling during days of apartment hunting.
-We spent hours and hours and hours making/meeting/enduring appointments to see different housing options for me all around the city. Some sketchy, some decent--ultimately, I settled on sharing a condo with two other students a mile away from campus. I just moved in today!

Those are the basics for now! It's weird being in a new city pretty much all by myself, but today was a great day. Tomorrow I will bring on the real deets. I just couldn't in good conscience go to sleep another night with the most recent entry of my blog being a lameo poem about the sunset. SO LAME.