Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And here is why. . .

Part of the reason that I haven't had much to blog about in the last week or so is because I was bursting with a bunch of information I needed to keep quiet and patrol temporarily, and I don't blog like that.

I told Sam's parents about the severity and degree of his drinking almost a week and a half ago now. As I type this, Sam is checking into the airport with his parents for a flight to Minneapolis where he will be met by the staff of a rehab clinic.

We had an honest to goodness intervention. It was very weird and felt oddly not like my life. But it wasn't terribly long and Sam seemed to be quite okay about going. Especially when he discovered that we had covered all of his bases with organizing it with his work, making sure all the bills are going to be covered, and just doing the hard part for an individual to do. In fact, he said via IM that he was kind of relieved that we had done this.

So, everyone send good thoughts and prayers his way!

I have a month home alone, well with the angry cat too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Okay, later in the week

I should get back into the writing groove, I just have not quite felt it of late.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not 'Just' an Actor

For a long time I have been very dissatisfied with the state of my art. As an actor I felt not just limited but purposefully constrained to not being able to do anything unless some big and wonderful director were to pluck me up and insert me into her piece. And if I were so fortunate to ever be chosen I should feel damned lucky because I am just a tiny an dinsignificant cog in their large, complicated, and beautiful machine. Not only a cog but the least skilled and the least valuable piece.

This is a sucky way to feel. Now I don't assume all directors feel like that, but the way most theater and most casting works seems to support and encourage that kind of thinking. And a tiny, unskilled, insignificant cog could never possibly have anything of value to offer to the creation process of work.

But I always felt that I had more. I didn't always know that this was what I felt, and even after I identified the fact that I wanted to create some of my own work, I really had very little clue how to go about it from knowing what or how I wanted to do to figuring out how to start.

The Tim Miller workshop was great for me because not only did it inspire me, it also really showed me how much is inside me and waiting to get out, and it showed me the way that I could do this. I, me, myself could do this with just me.

So, as of now, I am not 'just' and actor. I am a writer/performer. Step back.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Juices of Creativity

They have been released like a flood by this wonderful and amazing workshop that I have been participating in. However, I was inspired to channel them in a certain direction, and I would like to keep that momentum strong and not diffuse it with blog stuff for the next little bit.

I likely will post a lot less then for a few weeks (or not I never know what will happen when I say that) especially because Chrissy is about to be in town to visit me and other stuff and for a few other reasons that I can't get to right here yet.

Of course now that I say that I will blog more because that is how it goes. I will for sure post a final version of the text from the performance that I am giving tonight. Probably on Wednesday around my hot stone massage.

But that is the business.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creativity and Exhaustion

I am taking a truly wonderful master class in solo performance (body based physical solo performance) from Tim Miller, one of the NEA 4, and it is the best class I have ever taken. The space is so safe that it makes everything possible and makes it possible to try everything and find what works without it being all judgy class favorite whatever.

Every class we have created some sort of physical performance piece and it is really rejuvenating my creativity all over the place, and I want to work really hard to keep it going after the class ends and into a few creative endeavors I want to start this summer--including applying for an artist in residence workshop thingy and a writing workshop that is most of a year long (well a writing for storytelling performance). Anyway, it is awesome, and I am super tired from it both physically (and sore also sore) and emotionally and I just want to curl up and pull the covers over my head at the end of class. Even though that sounds beaten down and bad, it isn't it is satisfied and sleepy like after a really good hike or day at the pool or waterslides.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

City Living (and eating)

I love living in the city. I love it for lots of reasons like museums and never having to drive and that not being a big deal and accessible, convenient public spaces and public art and great architecture and awesome shopping and diversity and variety and FOOD.

My family was kind of poor-ish when I was growing up or well we spent a lot of money on Catholic school tuition and neither of my parents had big $ jobs, so we lived a little poorer than we might have and did once my parents nixed the parochial education. We also had a big family and my mom was a good cook, so we very rarely ate out. Like going to Dairy Queen or McDonald's or Taco Time was a big splurge and a big deal. Even more rarely did we eat at a sit down restaurant like a breakfast diner or the Sizzler.

At a restaurant, it was not an option to not eat your whole plate of food. Because restaurants were expensive and restaurants were a treat and how dare we look a gift horse in the mouth and not clean our plate. I mean while we were still little enough that ordering off the adult menu was a stretch, obviously my parents wouldn't force us to eat the whole adult portion because they weren't crazy idiot people, but once we hit our mid teens we sure better finish it all. And we better finish the whole kid's meal item if we were still eating off that.

I loved restaurants. They seemed so magical and exciting. There was all this hustle and bustle and often the people who work there were kind of costumed (even if it was just chef hats and server aprons), and I loved it. PLUS in a big family where you ate what mom served, the idea that I got to pick out just what I want was AMAZING! Miraculous even. When I grew up I wanted to eat at them all the time, and I would get a job that would let me.

When I got old enough that I helped with cooking or cook prep and more and more of the dirty business of dishes (IE not unloading the dishwasher but loading it and doing the stuff by hand), I really began to appreciate restaurants on an entirely different level. I loved that I do not have to do dishes. I loved that I didn't have to do any prep work or wait for very long. Then I went to college and met life without a dishwasher and a mom, and I loved it even more. Then I lived in NYC and became super good friends with the concept of takeout even if I couldn't afford it that much.

Now I can afford it. I can afford to eat out and to order in basically whenever I want (and now sometimes I really want to cook but not super often). So I do both of those things a bunch. Probably more than I should. I look down at my waistline, and yes it is confirmed, more than I should. It is especially problematic when I feel compelled to practically lick my plate clean every time we eat out. I cannot leave one lick leftover. I mean it is OK if it is at a place where I can leave more than enough for lunch tomorrow or something, but if we are on our way someplace hard to bring a doggie bag or it is small enough not to leave a worthy leftover, I really try to eat every last bite. Because I don't want to be wasteful. Because it is expensive. Because my parents scared this mindset into me as a child and it is still there frequently lurking in my psyche in a large scary way.

So this week I gave myself some important permission. I gave myself permission not to finish. To throw away. I mean if something is crazy delicious I probably will try harder to finish than I ought, but let's face it most of the time it isn't insane delicious, it is just food or even just good food and trying to stuff every mouthful in until it hurts is a terrible plan! So now, sometimes I waste food and don't finish, and it is OK. Because it just is, and I can accept that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

this day wants me to dislike it

I think it actively is trying to piss me off. First it was hard to fall asleep and hard to wake up because springing forward is much less fun than falling back. Second I am wearing my awesome kick ass boots, but I discovered that I have somehow worn a bit of a hole in the innersole of the right heel which, since I am wearing them with tights instead of thick socks, is totally killing me smalls! Then I realize that I should've checked more thoroughly to make sure I really had everything I need for our new employee on Friday because some of the things I thought I had I do not have.

I am going to Target after work to get some new Liberty of London joyousness (like that peacock wallet), so that should be better. And I am going out with my good friend YoYo who is in town for a few days but on business so she can't actually hang out too much. Tomorrow I start a master class in solo performance with Tim Miller (an internationally renowned performance artist and one of the NEA 4) that will be super fun and totally exhausting for the next week. Also the weather is heading towards spring but still not spring enough to be enjoyable. I need more.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh my

It seems that half of everyone I know is embroiled in some form of relationship crappiness--I won't go into it but we can all assume it isn't fun as we remember the times it was in our life. The other half are in relationship bliss with engagements and wedding plans and babies. I know like five single people who are unattached and therefore you know just chilling.

What the hell is in the air? And I would like to warn the unattached single people (if they read this) to be very cautious. Shit is clearly going down and the great to awesome ratio is precarious. Maybe just ride it on out until summer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It is a GEEEORRGEEEOUS freaking Day!

I mean seriously, just walking out the door everything felt better and more alive and more wonderful!

I also made a new house rule where if I am playing video games (on my computer or on the Wii) after 9:30pm on a work night, Sam should make me stop or at teh very least tell me to stop because it is after 9:30.

On my mind lately is the idea that I should sign up for a 5k sometime this spring summer. I think that it wouldn't take terribly much to get me in shape for that (even if it would take quite a bit to get me in enough shape where I think it is fun or easy and not a gritty challenge), but I need to get up off my patootie and get moving.

This spring and summer I am going to try to turn myself into a jogger like I did a few years ago. It had a great effect on my weight/physique that summer, and I didn't even pound it too hard. I just ran about a half mile to a mile a day (well jogged) and for sure covered at least a mile, even if parts of it were walked. In my mind, I don't feel like it took too long or was too hard to get used to doing that much. I just need to make sure this is the first thing I do when I get home from work, and I am way better at doing it outside than I am at doing it on a treadmill or an elliptical. I mean I even live a few blocks from a freaking beach!! If you can't enjoy running on the beach for a half mile, what is wrong with you (and in this case me). Plus at my new place I can alternate between running on the beach, running along the lake path, running on an honest to goodness running track, running through the hospital/hotel complex area, and running through crazy rich people shopping and rich people homes. What variety all blocks from my house!?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Random Randomness

Here in Chicago, it no longer smells like winter--my friend Jamie pointed out yesterday as we wandered about in near 60 degree weather. This is awesome, and I don't think it has ever happened so early since I have lived here.

My very first quiltop and my very first kind of pieced quilt back were taken to the quilt store yesteday and in 4-6 weeks I will have a whole quilt. Well a whole quilt that needs to be bound. And binding is a step I need to learn still. Shrugs. And yes I forgot to take pictures (because I was finishing the back as like a race against time). Also the quilting stitch will be in fuschia thread on the predominately blue quilt and be stitched in a bubbly pattern.

Thursdays are almost harder days for me than Mondays. Because on Mondays I have usually two days of semi-laziness to build up to going back to work. On Thursdays I just have one day off. And I probably stayed up too late on Tuesday and often do too much on Wednesday (although yesterday involved a lot of wii playing including doing a lot of Sims2Castaway for Wii--which I should've figured when I was able to get my whole crew back together). So I am often over tired and want more rest or free time than I got.

OOOh, I also bought some lovely fabric to make a skirt that is from a tutorial by my friend Susan at the Freshly Picked Blog (just google freshly picked). Pics will come later after I get after it.

I also was interviewed on my favorite podcast. So if you listen to the last 25 minutes of the March 10, 2010 episode of TBTL (google TBTL and you can listen from the page or type TBTL in the itunes search bar), you will hear me, sounding kind of stupid. I say totally way too much.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Oscar Mania

So, I stayed awake for almost all of the Oscar marathon. And I did so after not sleeping so well the night before and having only a tiny power nap right before.

We got to the theatre two hours early in order to get primo seats--the last two on the back row that have only aisle in front of them. The theatres (because we had to switch early in the AM from a digital theatre to a film theatre) were fairly small, so it wasn't that far back.

I only slept through a portion of District 9--right after I predicted how it would go and no longer had the strength to keep myself awake (it was like 8am-ish then). I also slept through a dinner break right before Up in the Air.

Here are my reviews:

Avatar--something everyone needs to see in 3-D. Totally hackneyed storytelling BUT somehow super enjoyable anyway.

Up--simply wonderful and sweet and great and everyone should see this movie because it is awesome. Squirrel!

A Serious Man--I think that you need to know more about Judaism and Jewish Mythology and the Torah and Torah teachings to understand what this movie is about. I suspect it is digging deep into the world of that symbolism, but since I know very little about that, I kind of sat there going, "Huh?"

District 9--Exactly what science fiction should be. Smart, well turned out, believable and causing you to think. I felt bad sleeping through it and will likely watch it again someday.

Inglourious Basterds--My favorite of the ten. A beautiful homage to 60's and 70's war movies and spaghetti westerns and Hitchcockian tension. Just loved it to death. Probably my favorite Tarantino move ever by quite a bit.

The Blind Side--Super charming and well done sports movie that has a good soft side. If you don't like movies like Rudy and Hoosiers, you won't like this one. If you do, go see this and get off your hype horse.

An Education--A wonderfully sweet little movie about a girl coming of age in early 60's London. Has Adele from Dollhouse and Emma Thompson in supporting roles and is wonderful if you like this kind of movie (I do).

Precious Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire--Actually much more of an independent art movie than I expected. If it weren't for Oprah, this would've only played in small art houses and faded away, but Mo'nique is SOOOOOO AMAZING in this that if you like good acting see this movie even if it seems like nothing you would ever like. She gives possibly the best performance I have ever seen.

Up in the Air--I had seen before and liked very much. I liked seeing it again. It is a good movie but a little slight next to the real heavy hitters I saw this day.

The Hurt Locker--This was the other best movie of the day. It is incredible and wonderfully written and acted and made. I really loved it. My preference for Inglourious Basterds is merely a matter of taste--because of course I like the lush period piece over the gritty modern drama but someone else might not.

I am still sort of reeling from seeing that many movies in one day and my body seems confused when I want to just let it sleep. Someday soon I will catch up.

Also, I ordered the book The Blind Side for my Kindle which is much more about the history of a football position than I expected, but really well written and interesting in spite of that. I just really wanted a more complicated look at the story of Micheal Oher than I felt the movie gave. The movie clearly sanded out the rough edges to make a better movie, and I was curious about more of the complications of life.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I got a feelin' (to quoth the Black Eyed Peas) that tonight's gonna be a good night

That tonight's gonna be a good good night! Wooo hoooo!

Because tonight at 12:01am I will begin the first moments of Avatar in 3-D and start the first of ten best picture nominees being watched back to back in my local AMC theatre. It will last until Saturday night at roughly 11:45 give or take.

My friend Chris and I am going. And smuggling in vegetables and water bottles, and some cheese and granola bars and some roll ups that are savory. Add a refilleable FREE popcorn and a refillable soda (which we will purchase) and you have a very long and potentially awesome day.

Here is the schedule:
12:01am Avatar (3-D)
3:00am A Serious Man
5:00am Up (3-D)
7:00am District 9
9:10am Inglourious Basterds
12:00pm The Blind Side
2:30pm An Education
4:30pm Precious
7:00pm Up in the Air
9:30pm The Hurt Locker

I will be twittering from there in between films, so watch my facebook and twitter and even the sidebar here to stay abreast of the fun or misery as sleep deprivation makes me INSANE!!

A prediction, full out sobbing insanity during Precious due to subject + exhaustion.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Good News and BAD day.

So for the good news: I have been applying to be a volunteer at the Lincoln Park Zoo since last fall. It seems to be a high volume applicant place, so it took a while before I got anything back other than a computer response saying yes you sure did turn your application in now chill out. In like mid-January I got an email inviting me to go to a volunteer info meeting to see if I was still interested and to learn a little bit more about the different volunteer opportunities. I immediately RSVP'd to the one I wanted to go to, and last Saturday I went. It was a bit tedious as those things are wont to be, but I want to do this so bring em on hoops, I will jump through them all. At the end of that I signed up for an interview with the volunteer coordinator.

Yesterday I had my interview with the volunteer coordinator and with a Guest Engagement Leader, and then end result is that I will be an inaugural Guest Engagement Ambassador on Wednesdays all summer at the zoo. I am SUPER excited and super pleased, and I might sort of be their dream candidate, and the interview went awesome because they seemed to really like me and they talked to me about such things as the super cool nailpolish that I had bought earlier this week from Sephora.This color (mostly but just make it metallic).

Now for the bad day:
Something is totally effed with a thing at work and it may or may not be even a human error--it has to do with some sort of incidental benefits (not health care or any big deal thing, incidental I swear). Another person realized that it was affecting them, and their response was to come up to my desk and yell at me and yell at me and scream at me and berate me and to not just dwell on this one item but bring into it any and everything in the history of time. Basically insinuating that I treat this person and their team as lesser and well everyone actually does that, and that I refuse to help them, and that when I do help them it is bad help and that we don't even have a human resources department (which kind of made me go, umm yeah that is true, we have 12 people working here, me and a part time person kind of do the best we can to solve human resources problems but unfortunately everyone kind of has to do a little bit themselves or more but yeah way to notice). This person refused to let me interject to try to better understand the problem, to direct them to someone who could better help them, etc. Eventually I just asked this person to please stop yelling at me, to which they responded by YELLING at me that they were not yelling. I felt like a little kid in trouble or like I was in a major fight with my boyfriend or my mom or I was being attacked on the street corner by a schizophrenic crazy person. It kind of made me want to go home and cry, so we are doing Mexican food out today. And I think a margarita may be IMPERATIVE.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I am wearing one. This like barely lasted a week, but I was soooooo good the rest of the time, and actually if I just braided it up a bit it wouldn't strictly be a ponytail anymore, but I just had a cranky morning and I don't care. I managed to get makeup on my face what more do you people want?!