Monday, January 24, 2005

Pantalones de Pollo

I'm eating potato and cheese pierogi for lunch, given to me randomly by my mother this morning when she gave me a ride. So they're surprise pierogi, which makes them even better. Thank heavens they're so good, because the chicken soup she also included in the lunch bag pretty much leaked all over my pants as I came into work today, attempting to balance three bags at once. So I'm smelling really nice right now.

I had a lovely, snow-filled weekend in Ann Arbor. We ate lots, bought sweatshirts like the good alums we are, and laughed nonstop with friends. I was filled with nostalgia pretty much every second I was there, but it was the good kind of nostalgia. I guess that means that, although I miss the place so much sometimes it hurts, I'm pretty happy where I am right now. Max describes that feeling much more concretely, though.

In one hour I will leave work at the hospital and head up to Logan Square for the first day of this new after-school program. I really have no idea what to expect. I'm armed with word puzzles though, so I should be golden. Right?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Once upon a time, I was a dancing bear.

This week was nutty. Much like this costume.

So, as if the grad school thing wasn't enough of a development, I also got another job teaching in an after-school program. I'm really excited, but it definitely starts Monday and I definitely know very little about what it will actually involve. I'm going to have to change my schedule drastically. I've been craving this kind of thing though--a job that actually involves contact with other people--so I guess all I can do is just jump right in.

But getting out of town first was a good idea, I think!

Right now I'm at Susie's mom's house in Manchester, Michigan, and her yellow lab Charlie and I are watching tons of snow fall on the evergreens outside. In a little while we will drive back to Ann Arbor where our friends are, and begin our Eating Tour by hitting Flim Flam for the breakfast I've been anticipating for ever so long...It's so good to be here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

So it goes.

I'm a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut. Welcome to the Monkey House, his collection of short stories, is one of my favorite books. Have you ever read the story called "Harrison Bergeron"? The premise of the story is that the government has decided to attempt to equalize every citizen in terms of intelligence, physical strength, and talent. Those who are "average"--those who can't think of anything except in short bursts--go through little change, but those who are considered above average are made to endure different forced methods of physical and mental limitation. Highly talented ballerinas dance with weights on their legs, so that they don't dance better or leap higher than anyone else. Pretty faces are masked. And intelligent people have devices in their heads that emit loud, piercing sounds every few seconds, so that they are not physically able to sustain any one thought for an extended period of time.

I'm reminded of this story simply because I feel like I haven't been able to think of one thing for more than five minutes in the last three days. I keep forgetting about the grad school thing and then remembering, and then my stomach does a little flip (an aftershock of the giant drop that happened when I first got the acceptance) and I attempt to go about my normal business. It's crazy. And great. And crazy.

I'm off to have dinner with Abbey at Green Ginger now! Yes!

Monday, January 17, 2005

N to the Y to the...


About a month ago, I applied to grad school. This morning I got an email from the program--Educational Theatre at NYU--informing me that I had been accepted! Yes!

My stomach pretty much dropped, and I sort of spun around in my desk chair for a few moments, not knowing what to do next. Then, of course, I called my parents. Then I spun around a little more.

Oh man! It's a huge change and kind of scary, but it's exciting, because I feel like finally (!) my life has a little of the direction I've been craving for such a long time. Susie took me out to lunch and when she picked me up I skipped to the car.

I can't write much more about all of this now, since it hasn't sunk in yet.

I think I'm going to go to Ann Arbor this weekend, for the first time in a year and only about the second time since I left there for good. I miss it so much. I think the timing is perfect.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I love this picture, of my sister (right) and me in her apartment in Brooklyn. Her boyfriend took this photo, and he has a blog that I like very much.

Last night I took the bus home around 10 and walked home in the pouring rain. It was actually quite pleasant, because it was about 60 degrees outside, and I had good music going on the iPod. Still, need I remind anyone that I live in Chicago, and that it is January? Also, it's dropped about 30 degrees overnight and now it's snowing like crazy. Tomorrow's high is 18 degrees. Hooray!

Not too much else happened today, so....speaking of the weather, I think the days are getting longer again! When I left work today the sky had a beautiful pink glow, not that awful orangey-blackness I've been seeing way too much lately. This discovery made me unspeakably happy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Algonquin Roundtable, or Dorothy Parker: BFF

I had dinner at Tango Sur last night, which was excellent. As usual though, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, and after the empanadas I could barely make a dent in the main course. I'm all about it today with the leftovers, though.

Last night my dinner companion (as if I have a new one every day!) asked me what historical time period I would choose if given the option to live at any time. I love that he asks me these questions. I said maybe New York in the 1920s, although depending on my social status and other things, it might also be cool to live somewhere like Paris around the turn of the century. You know, I'm thinking really hard about places and times where intellectual life and art were in a revolution of sorts, all that good stuff. (Because of course, if I lived in the 1920s, clearly I would have been right in the middle of all of that--a frequent guest at the Algonquin Roundtable, if you will.) So then I asked him the same question, and he thought for a moment. With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, he shrugged and said simply "You know, I really enjoyed the early 90s." This is a perfect example of why, sometimes, he just charms me to death.

In other tidbits, I suppose everyone has already heard of her since she was featured in the article about bloggers being ABC's people of the year, but have you checked out the world's youngest videoblogger? Very cool. And just committing to a template scared the crap out of me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

City of Big Shovels.

This spot is currently reserved.

As anyone who knows me can attest, I'm a lifelong Chicago resident and I love the city with all my heart. Along with that love comes a fondness for its eccentric traditions. The one that's most visible this time of year--the time of snowdrifts and endless slush--is the practice of saving one's parking space once one has shoveled it out for the first time after a big snow. These parking space "reservations" are marked with combinations of castoff lawn furniture, milk crates, cones, two-by-fours, or other bizarre medium-to-large objects. This results in an impressive exhibit of found-object sculpture lining the side streets all over the city. In most neighborhoods, it is perfectly acceptable to "save" the spot for yourself in this way for indeterminate amounts of time. Seriously, it's kind of unbelievable, even for someone like me who's seen it for years. I've never done it, but I have respected it in most cases (there may be a small fear of tire-slashing involved), but after about two weeks, at least in my neighborhood, those spots tend to be fair game and the claimers are just trying to see how long the tactic will work. This practice of saving, of course, isn't allowed in other cities, but our city government and mayor just sort of look the other way.

When it comes to snow parking, anything goes here, in the City of Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher of the World, Stacker of Wheat and Milk Crates and a Wooden Board over a Nasty Lawn Chair...

Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm huge in Italy.

Or something.

I'm listening to Mirah at work, which is making my Monday morning quite a bit easier. She's so wonderful. I expect to crash in an hour or so, once the cafeteria caffeine wears off and the weirdness of my recent sleeping patterns catches up to me. What a nice weekend, though. I watched some DVDs, played nearly two hours of racquetball (which resulted in tons of endorphins as well as some extreme arm pain), booked a ticket to San Francisco, went to a party, and saw "The Life Aquatic," which I enjoyed very much and recommend, even though I still like Wes Anderson's other films better.

Phew. There, now I'm getting a little more used to the fact that I can write about my everyday life here. Last night I was talking to someone I know and admire about the fact that he loves to write, but he can't just let himself go and write a whole bunch without stopping and thinking obsessively about every little section. I told him maybe he should start a blog, even if no one knows about it. Ha. I'm exactly the same way-- I begin to analyze everything before I'm even done writing it, which makes it really difficult to actually produce anything. I think it does contribute to my enjoyment of literary analysis and editing, however. My former boyfriend wrote a lot of plays when we were together, and it worked so well because he would write stuff without thinking too much, and then I could look at it and see metaphors and connections that he couldn't, and then more ideas would come from that. I think it's also why I enjoy directing so much; I love analyzing someone's work of literature and putting my interpretation of it into every aspect of a production, from acting to sound to scenery...

But anyway. I’ve been given actual work to do for the first time in at least a month, which I’m happy about, and of course it’s only making me write more emails and read more online articles. Whatever. My silly browser hasn’t been working much in the last few hours, so I’m having trouble with that part of the post where I include something clever, you know, a snarky link that's supposed to show I’m cool and not just writing about myself? Yeah, not so much of that today.

Awww, what the hell. Everybody go make a snowflake.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Art for Social Change.

Pretty, isn't it?

Even though no one is reading this yet, I have to say something about PerformNow. It's a new website, recently created by myself and a couple of friends, and we're very excited about it. It's designed to function as an online public resource for progressive performance material. Browse the site, find plays, poems, music, or other performance ideas, or submit your own! Through this, we can begin to build an online network of progressives who are willing to use creative solutions to ignite dialogue and change.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy New Year, eh?

So, I figured it was time for one of my own. In fact, it's kind of hard to believe that I let so much idle desk time go by without it. Or is it? I've been happily posting on a blog with friends for many months now, and will continue to, happily. But I'm excited for this one, my own, to evolve. Let's just get past the first post, yes?