Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Glum Trust

Muff works at SunTrust bank, which is sometimes a tough place to work (not because it's Sun Trust--just because its a bank). I tell her I think it might feel better if we call it FunTrust from now on, which we do. It makes ME happier at least to get email updates from her about dealing with clients at FunTrust Banks.

I have a research project about Isaac Newton I must work on. I have a lot to do, but this is the most pressing. I've been researching the man all night. I read about him for two minutes and then I find some other "project" to keep me entertained for far too long. Like eating cookies or watching Swingers with Vince Vaughn. He's in that movie--I didn't watch it WITH him. Although I wish I had. Don't you love The Break Up? Probably not. Most people don't. But I really like that movie. I watched it in California with my cousin four years ago? Yes, that's right. Four years ago. I like that memory of the movie. I could see my cousin's pool from the living room couch. It was in the shape of a kidney and full of swampy moss. The credits rolled, and he said, "Okay. Who's fault was it?" I loved that for some reason.

Cali Motel. 2011.

So, the moral of the story is that I have about five notes written on Newton. I have a ton more work to do in the next couple days, but I am just not having it, I tell you. Newton. NEWTON, I HAVE SO MUCH TO RESEARCH ABOUT YOU. I am in high school, procrastinating the heck out of this. I need a FunTrust for Newton. "Ol' Newt" perhaps? "Figgy?"

I WANT THIS PROJECT TO EAT A LANDMINE CHALUPA! New Year's Resolutions Check-In? Not getting enough sleep all week, definitely at a chocolate frog for dinner, stressed and slightly (although not SUPER) guilty. Read: failing resolutions two months in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hate It All

Today I feel like:

I don't have any desire to be any kind of writer.
Nothing is funny.
Comedy is frivolous.
I don't enjoy revision.
I don't enjoy ideas.
I am not creative.
I do not want to be.
Everything has been done.
Everything is also over.
I really enjoy this wind, blowing outside my window. It blew my navy polka-dot skirt up today. A stranger walked by and tried not to laugh.
Yosh made cookie Oreo brownies--AKA "slutty brownies"--and gave them to me and fellow sketchers at our Monday meeting. I wish I could have eaten the entire batch.
I did not wish I could grade these papers, do these rewrites, wander into a community, add some art, help some minds, jot things down, devise some movement, staple together some big stuff, produce a show, graduate with this degree, use it for something nice. I just don't want to. I just don't want to at all.

But tomorrow, my friends, is another day.

Appropriate. KKK sketch. 2011. (Yosh is in the get-up.)

I don't wanna job.
I don't wanna go to school.
I don't wanna job--
I've got more important things to do.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Trashball Odds

I'd rather take the probable chance that I'm wrecking/will wreck opportunities to be successful because I look like a trashball all the time, than risk the slimmer chance of becoming the very successful gal who climbed her way to the top despite constantly wearing pink running shorts and oversized tank tops.

Ditto this argument for nabbing future boyfriends.

Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.

Friday, February 24, 2012

5 Theatre Thangs Today

1. Audition for a part-improvised TV show this morning.

2. Lead kiddos on Chelle's high school track team in some improv games as a fun warm-up.

3. Performing in a community art project (Encyclo Show).

4. Sketch show.

5. Birthday party for peer--Rabbit. Went with Boulder, and all the lovelies I never see any more were in attendance. Mmmm theatre/education/grad talk. Drink it up with the big piece of cookies and cream cake.

I feel tired. Happy about my life, creative, inspired, but not sustainable. Not like I CAN'T keep pushing and doing all this stuff and being inventive and silly and yelling and goofing forever, but that I don't think I WANT to. I don't think that's failure though. Getting something out of your system is anything BUT. It's giving yourself the opportunity to shove your being in a trash compactor and make room for the new.

After sketch tonight I was about to bike off into the thick dessert darkness, and Chelle and Bug walked me to my bike. We talked about how good last night felt--the ol' gang. Bug said, "It's like that Girl Scout song"--which I sang as I pedaled to Boulder's. All silver and gold. AND gold.

The lil 15 year olds pole vaulting made me remember and love my 15 year old life. Sketches are sketches. Performances can always go better. My heart fills over a whole wheat breakfast burrito in the middle of the sunniest AZ day. And gold.

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.

Just a Nightcap of Gratitude (Friendship and Food)

Bug with a whipped cream handlebar. October 2011.

During sketch rehearsal, I walked to Taco Bell to buy Chelle a burrito. I was't sure if I should get something or not. I didn't. As I picked up my order, the woman said she accidentally made an extra veggie tostada. Did I want it?

Rehearsal Con't. The night ended and the ladies kicked the boys out of our rehearsal space. We exploded immediately into gossip and gushing.

Girls Night became Old School on accident. Just last semester's originals coming over to my place for dessert. Kale hadn't eaten. I called her from my bike listing what I had in my fridge. Leftover ziti from Chelle, beet pasta from Bug. On Monday the sweetheart had trekked down the block to my front door with the delivery of spaghetti and beet balls, which, ironically, she and Kale ended up eating tonight at midnight in my kitchen while the aroma of nutella brownies puffed from the oven. It felt sweet and secure. Communities of women who love and don't compete are the best. All of us have grown significantly in the past few months, and that's something to celebrate.

Men's shirts, short skirts, whoa-oh-oh!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Last night Chelle came over to do sketch revisions.
"Should I bring dessert? Fat Tuesday," she texted.
I responded, "Or as Alice would call it--
Regular Tuesday."
It's a big ol' bunch of sun here.
I'm totally distanced from what the day is usually.
The huge majority of my elementary school classmates
talking about giving up potato chips.
The ball of grey clay in the February sky.
The paczkis. The Pollacks of Chicago.
I get those cheese and strawberry-filled confections confused
with the best holiday for Mr. Pulaski and confused
with the road, stretching across the suburbs.
Last year this day I was in the hospital
with family. Coming together to love a loved one.
We hovered over my late aunt.
The nurses hovered as well, all of them with dark skin
and ashed faces.
Smudges that reflected in the huge windows of that room.

Ornament on Christmas tree in IL.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blue Bow

The counselor staff gift in 2010 was a stationary set. We--Cocoa, KWall, and I--made them with care using rubber stamps and thick white paper. We stacked the little piles and wrapped them with blue bows.

The staff wore the bows all summer. I liked the robin's egg hue. I liked the length around my braids. I tied it around my pony tail last Monday morning. I was nostalgic for camp. The July dawns on the lake are mimetic of these February desert mornings. Sometimes at night when I close my eyes I imagine the view from Council Fire, the lighthouse in the distance, the smell of pine.

I saw bell hooks speak last Monday. (More on that in the future.) I felt rejuvenated after the talk. Ready to move. I hopped on my bicycle and scooted home. It was windy, but I was defiant. I arrived home to a stack of mail. I scurried up to my room, turned on the lamp, pulled up the covers. I reached back to run the bow between the valley of my thumb and pointer.

It was gone. It had flown away in the wind.

Maybe it is in a bird nest, or a river, or stranger's shoelace.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's 2012!

Okay, the long-awaited update. It is time for me to give a full-update of the love I felt on one of my favorite holidays of all time.

The haul:

-A card from my Wisco Aunt. 20 dollars tucked inside.
-Card from Momma. Heart charm for my bracelet. California Pizza Kitchen gift card.
-Card from Poppa. A page of stamps.
-Brownies from a classmate in Dramatic Writing Workshop.
-Cupcakes from Kale Jr.
-A slice of Bug's Valentine's German chocolate cake.
-A bag of lil chewy chocolate chip cookies from Hill. Delivered at work.

My heart soars!...and also may stop beating soon. Oh, God. Sweets. So many sweets.

The Main Event: Chelle made us single ladies dinner! I got off work at 7. I biked home. At 7:30 Chelle picked me up. We got to her condo, and I walked in on a lovely lil tablecloth and flower centerpiece! We had baked ziti, a caprese salad (which I ate entirely), and French bread over a screening of Drive Me Crazy. Omg 1999--what a good year.

Melissa Joan Hart.


That's right. Four desserts in one. Chocolate chip cookie on top of a bed of Oreos on top of peanut butter brownie topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce. OM NOM NOM NOM. Chelle knows the way to my heart! She's a great friend. I'm super happy she is my sketch partner in crime.

You guys, I'm pretty blessed. There's still leftover ziti in the fridge. But that huge brownie cookie thing? Long gone. Super duper long gone. Thanks for loving me, everyone. <3 The feeling is mutual.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cement Indentations

"Love your enemies, or you will not lose them; and if you love them, you will help to reform them." -MBE, Miss. Writings, 210

California sidewalk. December 2011.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Please Communicate

On Wednesday everyone was happily piling into the big classroom we hold our sketch writing meetings at school. There's a bunch of us, and we get together joyfully--laughing, making cracks, bubbling. And suddenly a stern woman--probably my mother's age--stomped into the doorway and asked Sid--sitting at the front of the room--pointedly, "Are you even a real class? Do you even have this room reserved?" Yes, he answered. We have this room reserved. "Because I don't think you do. I don't think you do. People are trying to work here, and you're all very loud, and there is a lot of profanity." She was steaming at us, but to us, hyped up on creative promise, she appeared as a deflated balloon.

Sid tried to pull up the room reservation, but the system was down. The woman stood, actually rudely since...we did have a right to be in that room. Even if we hadn't reserved the room, which we had, people are allowed to be in a space, and if they are converging, it's pretty unloving to insert oneself abrasively. She hissed, "There have been lots of complaints!" I smoothed my shirt and said calmly, "Who has complained? You are the first person who has ever talked to us."

"People have complained. Lots of people have complained to me!" We couldn't show her the reservation, but, again, even if we hadn't had one, what could she say, "You're not allowed to be in this classroom that no one else is using right now"? She started stumbling in her anger, murmured to keep the noise and profanity down, and exited disdainfully.

She knew her actions were not appropriate, you could tell the way she backed down but didn't back down. She very clearly had simply been annoyed with us before and bottled it up until she couldn't take it anymore and exploded on a group unknowing young people.

1. Going in angry usually makes you look like a fruit basket.

I considered finding her office and apologizing--but I didn't because I suspected she would be understanding, but if she wasn't...I would have been extremely rude, which is a rarity for me, but definitely possible, and to be avoided. Here's why I would have been rude: our classroom is in the women and gender studies wing. The woman was most definitely a women/gender studies professor. Hence, she was probably so annoyed by some of the things she heard spilling out of our student sketch team pitch meetings, but she honestly has NO IDEA what really happens in those meetings. Because for every time someone screams an offensive slur in a script, we have a ten minute conversation about how the desperate single character at the Valentine's party should be a male so the sketch can be more progressive and less stereotypical. Lady, I would have yelled, I care so much about the stuff you care about it makes me sick!

So, I just left. But, Chelle did apologize. And, the woman was very understanding and apologetic herself. Also, we're moving rooms.

Baby chicks. State Fair 2011.

I did scream on campus this week. I yelled at a pro-life protester who stopped me on my way to work to tell me about how all fetus must live. I asked her if she was a vegetarian. Nope. I walked away. She stopped me. Bad move, girl. Bad move. Insert: 20 minute debate about the ethics of killing animals versus embryos. I believe everything I said was Right, but it definitely wasn't Good. She's not going to stop eating meat. She's still going to support over-population and starving children via her beliefs. Plus, I believe what I believe to encourage a sense of Love in this earth, and probs me literally pointing at her. yelling "HYPOCRITE!" with raised voice and hellfire eyes was not in accord with the whole promotion of Love thing. I'm working on it, you guys. I'm working on it.

In an interstellar burst
I am back to save the universe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mornings with Fathers

This morning I watched an episode of Louie while running at the gym. The episode ended with Louie coming home after a long night, and as soon as he paid the sitter, his little girls woke up. "Good morning!" they cheered! It was 4 AM. "Can we go out for breakfast?!" Cut to the three of them at a tiny diner eating pancakes in the wee hours of the AM.

My heart was touched in this day of hearts. I remembered this time I could not sleep. I was 8, and I eventually just got out of bed. I knew it was the nowhere zone of time. Everything was still. I crept downstairs to find my dad also insominating on the sofa. I think it was winter break. I had just gotten a bat computer game for Christmas. He pulled out the desk chair and let me play. Sometimes kids just get up. No use fighting it. I think I played for hours. I just wasn't tired. And the TV hummed behind me.

Valentine updates tomorrow. Love you all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh, Shut Up, It's a Guilty Pleasure

Chelle. Friday night.

He spends his nights in California
watching the stars on the big screen.
Then he lies awake and he wonders,
"Why can’t that be me?"
'Cause in his life he's filled
with all these good intentions.
He’s left a lot of things
he’d rather not mention right now,
but just before he says goodnight,
he looks up with a little smile at me,
and he says,

"If I could be like that,
I would give anything
just to live one day in those shoes.
If I could be like that,
what would I do?
What would I do?

She spends her days up in the north park,
watching the people as they pass,
and all she wants is just
a little piece of this dream--
is that too much to ask?
With a safe home, and a warm bed,
on a quiet little street?
All she wants is just that something to hold onto.
That’s all she needs.

If I could be like that,
I would give anything
just to live one day in those shoes.
If I could be like that, what would I do?
What would I do?

Sid. Friday night.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

AZ Gratitude

Why I'm Grateful to Be Here:

-I can bike home from sketch meeting turned trip to Red Robbin for endless steak fries in the dark night without a coat.
-The birds chirp as my eyes are opening when 90s alternative wakes me up. This is what they mean by flying south for winter.
-I sit on the porch when I can't think anymore, and the sun lightly bakes my face.
-Cacti. (See above.)
-Being forced to write. Maybe I can't do it forever, but for now? Okay.
-Lots of theatre all the time. And pretty cheap.
-Chelle and Kale coming over for banana chocolate chip pancakes yesterday morning.
-All my basic needs are met within a one mile radius.
-If I had ended up at a more prestigious school, I couldn't wear sweats 85% of the time. Maybe this is not a good thing for my future/potential love life, but lawd help the institution that tries to divorce me and my seafoam green shorts.
-The opportunity to do a lot of comedy.
-The opportunity to look at mountains every day.
-The proof that I can be far away from all the people I love and survive quite well.
-There's a train that comes through just half a mile away from my condo. I hear its whistle. Everything reminds me of being in my bed in the house I grew up, open windows in May, listening to the ooOOOOOOOOOOOoo in the distance.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Text from Dusty:

"Thinking of you, ALS. Hope you're having a great day!

And by that, I mean "hope you found a vegan cake buffet with TVs that can only air Degrassi during business."

Pookie and I sample all three chocolate desserts at P.F. Changs. Our analysis: Mousse is winna winna choco dinner, next Great Wall of Chocolate, distant third--Choco Bomb.

All these places feel like home.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Said, What About

On the way home from the bars Saturday night, Pookie got hungry for some salt. Our dinner had been a horrendous amount of chocolate cake. Six hours later, our tummies longed for something hot and satisfying. We stopped in a pizza joint and picked up a slice. The young, drunk people of Arizona clogged the sidewalks, and Pookie meandered down the blocks nomming her greasy snack as beats bumped from underground and girls in heels cackled. We passed an art store, and her eyes filled like little moonpuddles of desire.

As she stood there, looking in at the dark shop...there was something familiar to me. Ah. Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Midnight Snack at The Art Supply Store

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Moms (Or, OMG Why is Broken Social Scene So Great to My Heart?)

Pookies. Monday.

ME: Hi, Mom.
ME: Guess what?
MOM: What!
ME: I got a piercing!
MOM: Whoa! Where?
ME: My nose!
MOM: You're joking, right?
ME: I am not!
ME: I have a nose piercing now.
MOM: Let's see a photo.

Bleaching your teeth,
smiling flash,
talking trash,
under your window.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One Ride Away

My sister arrived Friday night, but it was Saturday by the time I saw her at the condo party east of school. Celebration: First sketch show of 2012, y'all. We hugged in the parking lot and got cheesecake pancakes at 2 AM.

It was a wonderful vacation. Four whole days of sister fun. Packed to the gills. Packed.

Pookie at Farmer's Market. Caramel Salted Peanut Butter Banana Scone! Vegan!

We hiked, we noted jackrabbits, we ate pasties, we ate pizza, we ate Ethiopian. We saw Richard Dawkins speak and deconstructed it with Blue Eyes and co and an Irish pub. We went to two Superbowl parties and baked monster oreo-filled chocolate chip cookies for the Giants. I screamed during The Woman in Black and bit the straw of my loyalty movie cup. We had bowls of Reese's Puffs. We sat in my hot tub in the dark. I watched her bike ahead of me today on the sidewalk. It felt like the beginning of summer. We wore baseball caps.

She's at the airport now. Waiting to board. We're still in the same city, but we're not together. This kills me. I miss my sister already, but I know that she's only a plane ride away. Just a few hours and a couple hundred dollars. It's doable.

Yesterday in Theatre for Social Change class we did an exercise where our instructor named a type of oppressive statue, and if you qualified, you were to step off the line we all stood on, walk five feet, turn around, and look at all the people who were privileged in that department. One qualifier was, "Cross the line if you grew up poor." Two women walked across the room.

Life is tough if you're poor. It's scary to wonder about the basics--warmth, water. Someone told me last week giving up meat was hard for her because she was raised poor, and meat was a treat. To give it up willingly seemed ridiculous. But, out of everything, being poor would be hard because your sister might not just be a plane ride away.

I'd starve for days if it meant ensuring Pookie will be a plane ride away forever.

Pookie shoves a marshmallow heart in my mouth while we get ready for bed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Groundhog's Day

Last night Ru snuck me in to the music school's production of Cabaret. I got to the theatre and called him. He was waiting outside all made-up and in nightclub costume. Not only did he sneak me in, he snuck me into the front row. It was a self-date night. I got out of class at five, treated myself to a bean burrito, and sat in Taco Bell grading papers until it was time to attend the theatre alone.

Ru and Kale Jr. post-show.

It was about 11 by the time I was biking home. I bought a vanilla candle from CVS and pedaled into the night, singing The Ataris "San Dimas High School Football Rules" to keep my mind off the wind on my knuckles. Then, in the very back of the instrumental break blaring from my headphones, I was called. Distant and tiny, but urgent. "Alice! Al-ice!" Then I realized--I was biking past an outdoor bar that Boulder and Blue eyes just happened to be sitting at. I screeched to a halt and came in the side gate. They offered me pizza, but it was super meaty. They had giant steins of beer and told me to stay. We talked about time, playwriting, communication, more and more and more. Blue Eyes explained he teaches at 8 AM now, so he is a regular overnight guest at Boulder's.

I walked my bike on the sidewalk next to them as they stumbled back to the house. I live so close to Boulder, I said, "Hey! Let me come over and make pancakes in the morning!" They were quiet. "I mean, I'm not going to say no," Blue Eyes finally chirped.

At 6:20 I biked over and made s'more pancakes for my academic peers. Over the gooey marshmallow cakes, Blue Eyes told us about his 12 year-old who is a picky eater, how he was raised with a healthnut mom. We all cleaned the plates and pans together. Boulder said I should move in to just make breakfast every day. I turned to Blue Eyes, "And you could be our son!" And I think it was a very special, silly morning for the man--the grown man who has a wife and two kids, jobs and school--waking up to someone else cooking breakfast, leaving to the calls of faux-parents yelling, "Have a great day at school, dear! Learn something new! Be safe!"

Life is a cabaret, old chum.