Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This Is My LIFE

Carter was always getting in trouble at the telemarketing center. We were seniors in high school and had the same schedule. Go to school, rehearse for The Glass Menagerie (she was Amanda and I was Laura), grab dinner, work in the dingiest cubicles ever in the tiniest saddest strip mall in St. Louis.

I kinda tried to do the job well, but I really wasn't any good. Carter wasn't good and didn't try at all. My favorite memory of her is one time te automated dial machine hooked her up to a person and instead of pitching the newspaper, she just said "Hey, what's up?"

She was in trouble tonight. This time she was lagging in her response time because she was trying to memorize lines for the musical auditions in two days. It was her favorite musical. Singin in the Rain. She wanted to play Kathy, the chirpy tap-dancing lead. That's not who Carter was, and she wasn't doing anything to curb it. She didn't attend the tap dance lesson prep workshops, she didn't practice an airy soprano voice. It was clear to me, she wasn't getting the role--even though she may have wanted it more than anyone.

Our boss yelled at her for slacking. This was her job. More importantly, this was HIS job. He grumbled away back to his office. She turned to me and said, "How can he not understand this is so much more important? This is my LIFE." My thoughts: you are quite disillusioned about the world. This actual place of business is not trumped by our high school musical.

But I think about this incident years later, and I kind of side with her more and more.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Me and my dad. May 2015.
Cut from dough, made with ingredients
we could not choose, we could not help.
Cut from dough, made to be.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Just one thing I did last weekend was touch stingrays. Just one thing!
Others include: seeing new Insidious movie in the fancy theatre with smuggled in Garrett's popcorn, brunch, a new interactive theatre show about grifting, participating in Americans for the Arts conference, an evening stroll in Daley Plaza, visiting the Modern Art Museum, a comped one-woman show at the company I work for, and let's not forget all the regulars like aerobic step, breathing, and the sky.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lt. Fran

Little old lady
with no legs. She said, "Under
my left boob. It hurts."

Barnes and Noble book
club. Can you return the ones
I didn't get to?

Her body was in
a box in the church in the
town she lived always.

This was the same stained
glass as in 1970.
Familiar wafer

slipped into pockets.
Paul bearers, and you got out
of the car, saying,

"I want to see that."
And you listened to the stuff
people say every time

in the first pew, same
windows as 1970.
There's nothing inside

that box. There's a dish
of potato sour cream cheese
something we all like.

The pious cooks hint
it's time to move on from the
congregation's gym.

Tables are folded
and suddenly there is a
basketball at play.

Then a few. The men
in their ties and black slacks shoot
around. The moms and

daughters and sisters
watch on. Watch on. Not a bad
way to go in June.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Flexibility, Perspective, Niceness

I was very frustrated during Music Improv class tonight. I would initiate a scene very sure and clear about where it should have gone...and time and time again I was knocked down. I started to judge my classmates for making choices I wouldn't have made. I love each and every one of my classmates, so these angry feelings really upset me. It's tough though to feel like you're setting a foundation for something doesn't get built.

But then you really have to remember what you're doing exactly. In my experience, for example, I was trying to start a scene about needing a new worker at my seal docks business. In short: something very dumb. And yet, there I was, feeling my ears turn red in annoyance because someone didn't have the same idea about the fake miming we were doing. Sigh.

I want Chicago to be a nice place. And yet...As I bopped into the crosswalk on my street a mini-van was not stopping. At the last second a woman with a car full of people screeched to a halt as I was raising my arms like, "You tryin' to kill me, lady?!" I bet she was a tourist, and I bet she felt bad. Mainly, I just didn't want to get hit on this particularly cool June evening.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


If it were my last day in the world, each minutia would be an adventure, or a hot pot of steam bath to soak in. Obviously the nighttime walk to Bobtail ice cream, Dizz calling me in my office, the sun peeking onto Lake. But even the business emails I sent, putting my step away, thinking too hard.
May donuts.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Yesterday I was looking for a Robert Frost poem, and after I googled him I noticed one of the first results was "ROBERT FROST 8.5/10 out of 277 votes." Arguably the most popular American poet of all time has a B in popular vote on the internet.

Someone asked me how I liked Boyhood, and I was like, "Eh, whatever. It was fine." Person: Didn't it take Linklater 12 years to make it or something? Me: Yeah, I don't really care. I thought it was fine. THERE YOU GO.

I'd rather be 9 people's favorite thing,
than 100 people's 9th favorite thing.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Semester 2015 in 26 Snapshots

jaywalking for DD iced coffee at 7 AM Friday AMs
bus not coming, I walk a mile in gym shorts, eating can of Pringles
"you are the total package"
goobin' around on a double date over white clam shell sundaes
unexpected heartbeats in an audition I thought I was over-prepared for
wearing rain boots, eating a Potbelly sandwich, scrap of paper
the sunniest seat on the patio of the Art Institute member's lounge
students coming back late to the grammar quiz with greasy sacks
cold walks past sweet sixteen dresses in windows, dreading freshmen
sighing from the bar seats of SC
walkin' with my momma for some post-play hot cocoa
conquering the St. Patties jig in aerobic step and then steam rooming
improvising a song about burning a movie theatre down
stuffing a giant bag of Sour Patch Kids into my bra at the Gene Siskel
finally the poolside gossip with Hill, in cars with familiar faces
Bisque's. Enchiladas. With. Coke.
the pillar right behind the 77 stop
curly-haired teacher wriggling in red laughter on the one swivel chair
The Bachelor, lights dim, foil wrapper, empty apartment
making it through, but suddenly it hits, and I must cry, Bisque's there
toe tappin on the platform to "You and Me (But Mostly Me)"
dancing fool by the beer pong tables, by the DJ, under the fog machine
Tones Cones trip on a quiet grey Saturday with my dad
new tiny white office with fattest computer screen ever
Orange line ImprovNerd podcast listening
the endless wormhole of blue names