Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twenty Thirteen

Obvi, I want to improve tremendously in 2013, but, a lot of those changes require vague goals like "get sleep."

Touchable Goals 2013:

-attempt doing the splits every single day until I can (or it's like August and I've gotten nowhere...then I can give up)
-write in my gratitude journal every night
-eat more vegan--to help start 2013 right, I may do my annual vegan month in January

Christmas has felt like last chance non-vegan hurrahs. Observe my mom's pumpkin cheesecake with Oreo crust.

For self assigned penance.
For problems with easy solutions.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thoughts on Lincoln

-Coulda been better.
-Joseph Gordon-Levitt was pushing it.
-Tommy Lee Jones was hilar, hilar.
-The film argues that the ends justify the means when it comes to politics and corruption. I still think I disagree despite this very famous example.
-The beginning was too slow, and the first scene was superfluous.
-DDL had the right soul.
-Best part was "Battle Cry of Freedom," which I know all the words to and is now stuck in my head thanks to my 4th grade choir class and our Civil War unit.
-I'm glad I do not live in a country with war on her land. I wish I lived in a country that was not part of any wars, but I also concede war is complicated.
-Robert California! What you doin' with a handlebar 'stache in the 1800s?! Go back to Dunder Mifflin!
-I would hate to have a boss who stopped everything and told cute little stories.
-I am surprised more women in that time period didn't go crazy considering their societal placement.
-Ate a lot of Chex Mix. Hashtag YOLO.
-Wonder who made the final call on how to deal with assassination.
-There is a ticking, and urgency, to everything we feel we must do, but we have to learn to sort when that urgency is just panic and when it is carved-out and necessary.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sleazy Wednesday

Welcome to the future.
We're all so glad you came.
Attacked me in the laneway--in this town you don't get nowhere unless you're on a bicycle.
So hip and out of touch.
Parked out on a speedway.
Just trying not to move.
It's only getting harder now.
We can engineer a wall that couldn't fall with all this time.
My life in Technicolor, can you check the shutters?
Someone get my mother on the phone--
she oughta know what I'm up to.
Out here in Hollywood you don't need a sweater 'cause the sun feels better in slow motion.

I'll ride the wave back home.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Cookies 'n' cocoa.

Ghost of Christmas Past: Let's face it, Frank. Garden slugs got more out of life than you.
Frank: Yeah? Name one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Grinch's Log: Entry #0007

Shells' gift. Filled with pb.
The days are long and full of sugar, artificial heat. Stir crazy is setting in. 7th day in my sister's tiny apartment. First mate Char keeping up the morale, but also falling asleep pretty regularly. Henchman Pookie on KP--washing dishes with lightening speed from the multiple entrees of pie and mallomars I am consuming at breakneck pace.

Journeyed to a local cinema to see a buffalo nickel movie yesterday. Ironically, we chose Argo, you know, the one about the hostages. Hitting too close to home. In other news, still hating the cold, snow, being indoors, having to drive everywhere, and, of course, Christmas in general.

Waiting for heart growth steroids. Worried will not arrive based on holiday parcel traffic. Fear for my henchman and first mate. Their souls are subject to my bitter seasonal rage, anxiety, and moodiness. Over and out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I am officially halfway done with my MFA. It was a good semester.

Fall 2012 in 26 Snapshots

Pumpkin bagels on top of the crockpot.
John D. croonin' out my laptop speakers.
Imagining Slender Man in the corner, by my closet.
I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her. Oh-oh-oh.
Longform sets on the park blacktop. Planes overhead.
Grey running shorts. Orange spotted dress.
"We Are Never Getting Back Together."
Chickpeas in the food processor.
Sitting in the back row of Primary Colors with Hill.
Warm-ups with Barren Mind in a Santa Monica parking garage.
Riding my scooter to Los Favs.
Shy boy sitting on the MU stage holding a sign that says "Period."
Wearing combat boots.
Watching The Mindy Project while grading screenplays about sushi.
Ro sitting at my kitchen table.
Stretching in a circle of green improvisers.
American Horror Story discussions in the ed building basement.
"Ball is fine."
The red cover of Topdog/Underdog.
Miming skipping rocks on a railroad track in Wisconsin.
The sink in Ermo's office. The plastic mug on his desk.
The town lake bridge in lit blue.
Ru saying YOLO.
New squishy bicycle seat.
Pincushion sprawled across a sofa in the theatre building foyer.
Opening the door from a dark room to a woman holding two blankets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Tomorrow I fly back to the Midwest for holidaze. I am looking forward to seeing my family, but I do not want to leave.

I love Arizona: pink skies, cacti, mountains, boys outside the Circle K glugging plastic gallons of water, My Friends, Sunday improv in the design building, Tuesday improv on the library lawn, students who say "I'm not just saying this--," the click of my bedroom door closing, my cushy bed, fresco bean burritos, the stone bus stop, the rainbowed aisles of Mexican soda, my poster of Peeta. When I have to leave here, I feel sick and sad like it's the last night of summer camp.

Some people will never experience certain kinds of love in their lives. I will probably never "get" that hardcore sportsfan-die-hard-my-blood-runs (insert color). I can't imagine what it's like to be an only child and have that sibling connection missing from your experience. The first time romance is a true possibility something is exposed to you, from you. And me? I love the place I live so fiercely, that it pains me to take a vacation.

Ironically, this is not AZ. This is Disney's version of AZ in Cars Land. Hill and me this weekend.
So I went to Arizona to escape my blues.
That paradise bird sang and my life was never ever the same.
Arizona, Arizona you were good to me.

It's a Small, Small, World

"You'll remember that so much more than the grading you should have been doing."--Heart, after I told him I went to Disneyland in the middle of finals.

Two weeks ago Hill texted me, "But what if you went to Disneyland next Friday?" and although a teeny part of my brain chirped "Please do not do that" I could not stop my fingers from racing "YES YES YES" because it's Disneyland at Christmas.

Disneyland is corporate America at it's best, over-priced, sentimental, and subtly racist at every turn, but guess WHAT? I love it. I had The Most Fun. It was exceedingly refreshing to spend a few days with people I don't know very well, and as cliche as it sounds, Disney makes me happy. It's overpriced because there is magic to be made--or at least synthesized. I am in debt to that magic. Schoolwork and logistics don't seem important on Space Mountain. There are no personal offenses to consider in the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion.

The group right after It's a Small World lit on up.
At about 6 PM I started feeling ill. At 7:30 I was vomiting my guts out. Goodbye burrito from Downtown Disney. Farewell, Dole whip. Sayonara, bread bowl from California Adventure. I really wanted to push through and finish out the night, but I just couldn't. I needed to be thankful for the good I had already received. Jungle Cruise and Indy and Cars, oh my. I stoically bid everyone goodnight and walked, shaking, back to the hotel alone. I counted blessings in the dark on my pull-out until I fell asleep. In an hour I was awoken by fireworks, and everything was perfect and beautiful. Stomach still, head relieved. I kicked on my shoes in joy and ran to the balcony! The sky show was not only fantastic kiddy excitement with mouse ears, it was a celebration of my well-being. I jogged back to the park, where everyone was spilling out with throbbing feet. I was not phased by the hoards of tired tourists shoving on the faux main street of yesteryear. I was in love with everyone--I had my health.

I walked to up to this group of friends I only kind of know nursing aching backs in Tomorrowland, and they cheered for me. "You rallied!" said Spiff. We took a ride with C-3PO. All were exhausted and ready to call it at 11:15. I could not! Too much glee. I told them to leave, but I was going on Peter Pan. Reluctantly, one by one, they all joined me in line. The perfect end to a perfect day--flying over London, fighting pirates, think happy thoughts.

Photo by Hill.
Think happy thoughts.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finals Are Happening

So blog is backburnin'. See y'all in...a while.

If you're wondering what I'm up probably looks like some for of this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Is Out of Character for Me?

Spent a solid twenty minutes defending a comedic rape scene to my advisor today. I'm really trying to understand how to approach rape in art. I think it's important. Rape is a thing that happens. A complicated thing that happens. And complicated things are meant to be unraveled--not shut into shoe boxes.

Rape is also really in right now--as slang, jokes, perpetually in young adult lit. As a writer, I need to explore it. As humans we should all explore what we think rape means--how we can uplift our communities from it, how we can help victims heal and avoid. As a comedian, it's in my personal philosophy that anything can be funny. Not that everything is. But that anything can be. So. I'm paddling in strange oceans. I am in school. This is the time to take risks. I don't appreciate being told there is a topic I simply must avoid. Especially when the same professor assigns Anne Bogart's "Embarrassment" essay to me. LEAP?

During college I was a champion for all rights all the time, and I was a stickler about a lot of things...but it's complicated. It's complicated to give ideas power by rolling them into punchlines and also complicated to give ideas power by only accepting them in episodes of Degrassi.

Someone will be offended. Of that I can be sure. But someone always is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spent Gladiator

Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive.
Do every stupid thing to try to drive the dark away.
Let people call you crazy for the choices that you make.
Climb limits past the limits.
Jump in front of trains all day.

And stay alive.
Just stay alive.

Play with matches if you think you need to play with matches.
Seek out the hidden places where the fire burns hot and bright.
Find where the heat's unbearable and stay there if you have to.
Don't hurt anybody on your way up to the light.

And stay alive.
Just stay alive.

People might laugh at your tattoos.
When they do get new ones in completely garish hues.
I hide down in my corner because I like my corner.
I am happy where the vermin play.

Make up magic spells .
We wear them like protective shells.
Land-mines on the battlefield.
Find the one safe way.

And stay alive.
Just stay alive.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Love You, John Darnielle

Kicking myself for not writing down the setlist as it happened. The Mountain Goats. Such a good, loving, happy concert. I've never seen a performer so absolutely sweet to his adoring fans. Even in the midst of screeching his lil heart out, John was smiling like "Oh, you guys, it's alright." He sounded absolutely beautiful live and often prefaced songs with "This song is about--" which from a post-modern standpoint is insignificant, but, from a personal This Man Is Such a Beacon of Talent standpoint was riveting.

Favorites were the opener "White Cedar," "Cry for Judas," and, of course, the encore finale was "This Year." Ro and I jumped and danced and beamed as this creator beamed down on us.

There is a True Grace in love, and you don't have to know who you are loving to love them. For them to feel loved. That is what I learned last night in the pretty little Crescent Ballroom on December 8th, 2012.

I don't have to be afraid. Speed that day on its way.
And you can't tell me what my spirit tells me isn't true, can you?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On This Per-Fect Day-Ay

Yesterday was a horribly unproductive wonderful day.

It is amazing how fast a promise of "We will all grade and study at my condo until 4 and reward ourselves with vegan milkshakes even though we just had lunch at Thai Basil" between Ru, Kale, and me turns into "Except isn't it time for Alice to get a new ringtone?"
We got the shakes anyway.
Someone planned a theatre mixer for professional/academic reasons, but the main thing is Hill, Ru, and I got together for free spanokapita and lemon bar reasons. Ru stuffed his pockets full of brownies for our long walk home.

At night there was sketch comedy and my improv team beat our rival sister troupe in a battle show. Last of the semester. I was awarded some Top Ramen with "MVP" written on with marker. It smudged onto my fingers. I washed them in the In N Out sink.
Ru, Ro, Shells, Dronin
"Aren't you coming to the party?" texts. I reply, "No, thank you!" and it is time for bed.

The rest of the weekend will be so full of production, you may as well call me a sweatshop.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Doing What I Want

Departmental issues etc. etc. led me to be spokesperson of my program in the face of rapid changes that undercut our studies. I did not want this position, but no one else would or could take it. So.

I complained about it to my sister on Thanksgiving, and she was like, "What if you just...don't?" I hadn't considered that. Where there is injustice, something much be done. I told her I had already scheduled the meeting, and I didn't want to back out, but perhaps she had a point.

On the way to improv class I told Kale's BF I hate being in leadership positions, and he was like, "Pssh. Well, be prepared to hate your life." Because I am someone who ends up in charge. It happens to me everywhere I go. From this important meeting to my improv team sitting down at the restaurant last Friday night, realizing the entrees were $15 and looking at me before I nodded, we all got up, and left.

I know other people who wish they didn't have to be in charge, but then when they aren't running things, they fidget like wild. I am not that way. I don't often mind watching most things implode--as long as someone is steering the disaster. However, if everyone's just running around and screaming, I sigh and take the reigns. I realize this might come off as egotistical. I'm not even saying I'm good at being in charge. I'm saying I'm responsible and for some reason people generally respect me.

This summer I sat on a grassy hill with Heart and said something offhand like "Well, it's important we all do things we don't want to." And he was like, "Whoa, whoa," I was all, "Yeah--I don't want to go camp in Africa, but the Peace Corps is important, so maybe one day I will." And he was like, "Yo, Alice, some people LIKE camping in Africa. Let them do that." That's true for sure. But, is it always true? If you're a good person, should you just do what you want and leave it at that?

Three important things happened today.
1. The big meeting. Now, I've said my piece, I've voiced my programs needs, and that's as far as I have to go.
2. Leaving, I walked with Ermo across campus. We discussed the pros and cons of what had just happened and then chittered a bit. I realized we were both walking to the same place, but I had nothing more to say. Usually, I try to be honest about every stupid thing--including not white lying about "Oh, I have to go to the library now," but with "Do what you want, Alice" dancing in my head, I did just that. I walked down the library steps thinking I would pause and then head back in the direction I had been moving with Ermo when I heard my name being lovingly called by three friendos. One I almost never see. I sat down and we three proceeded to have delightful conversation. I would have missed it if I hadn't been selfish. And not even selfish! I'm no dummy, Ermo was running out of stuff to say too.
3. I saw a play. It was good--some parts great! Awesome choreography, tech, acting, space, costumes...but I was still bored at part. Not the play's fault at all. It had just been a twelve hour day at school, and that's enough. And in that odd headspace of unwanted boredom I realized that theatre is really dumb sometimes because no matter what you make, people will hate it. Even if they want to love it or objectively do. And there goes the last scrap of definitive drive I had toward my degree.

In short: from now on, I think I will try doing what I want? Updates forthcoming.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Semester Trois Closes

"Hello Alice,

What exactly do we need to put on the title page of the script again? 

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I think you are the best T.A. You are very understanding, fun and optimistic about things and I can tell you care about us which made the recitation class a lot more comfortable. Especially when we had to present our work. I have recommended you to some of my film buddies and I hope your future classes will be as good as our class was! Thank you for a great semester! "

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cat Calls

On Thanksgiving, my sister and I were on a walk, and she tweeted something I said to the effect of, "I hope Obama doesn't fix the jobs act soon because the bums calling me beautiful on the way to school is necessary to my self-esteem." I was kidding, but only kind of. Because in my short fifteen minute bike ride I usually get at least one cat call of some kind. I really have no idea why this is. I really don't understand cat calls--especially to girls on bikes.

A couple weeks ago, Ro and I were on a walk when a guy screamed out of his speeding car, "YOU'RE HOTT." I yelled in mock desperation, "Wait! Come back! If you love us, why would you leave us!?" And the car paused a couple blocks up, and we panicked before realizing there was a stop sign.

It's like...what's the purpose? It's not an actual pick-up. Is it some kind of hope to exert an uncomfortable power? To make women feel victimized for no real reason? It's not earnest. 80% of the time I'm on my bike I'm sweating my face off. And, as a strong, independent female, how does one react? I usually show I'm not intimidated and say "thank you" as I whiz by. Does this encourage that behavior? Is random yelling at women "Good morning, gorgeous" offensive in the first place? Because maybe it's not.

Today on my way to work I was stopped at a big intersection with lots of cars and people all around. A man jogged right in front of me as the crosswalk was blinking a red hand. He yelled out, "WOO! I MADE IT." And I smiled at him, because we should celebrate just making lights. He turned to me and boomed so allllll could hear: "Oh. My. GOD. You are BEAUTIFUL." Since I didn't have the security of motion, and all these people were watching, I blushed down at the ground, and put up my palm.


And you betcha I felt victimized for no reason. And I bore a hole into the asphalt under my front tire, and I took off like a rocket when I got that green.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Just Got Home and I Honestly Can't Even Remember What My Real Life Responsibilities Are

1. The weekend felt much longer than it was. It was a true vacation--fresh faces, friendly faces, and getting to know my teammates on a deeper level. An unfamiliar place to run--past all the Mexican markets, Korean pre-schools, a robin's egg blue Victorian-style house with chipped siding and a hole in the roof. Vegan club sandwich. Sprinkles ice cream. Buttermilk donuts. The. God. Darn. Ocean.
2. We won our regional, and I couldn't be happier/prouder. NATIONALS-BOUND!

Right after finals!
A bunch of our LA-res supporters came out--including my own personal fan club of Jamin, Dizz, their sig others, P-San, and EE. I felt super loved, and my cheerleaders were really happy for me. Everyone was really happy for us, of course! But, you know, I don't think anyone can understand what this means to us. It may only be a little regional competition, but to us it was the Nobel Prize in comedy. And that feeling might be smudged away by a stack of papers on the ethics of handling child actors or a revision deadline tomorrow, but, tonight, I will dream sweet longform improv dreams.