Wednesday, January 25, 2006

And you'd think I would make time to post every day.

I am such a colossal time-waster sometimes, and I really don't understand why. Granted, I did become a professional time-waster during my last job, where I spent a year and a half in my very own office (with door that closed). During days when--if I was lucky--I would have one short meeting and/or an assigment that took approximately one-fifteenth of the time my bosses alotted, I found new and innovative ways of filling the hours, most of which involved ridiculous and compulsive internet news, oddities, and blog surfing, but also occasionally featured some great chair-spinning and window-staring.

But now that I'm back in school, I know how to buckle down. I did it last semester like a pro, writing papers and papier mache-ing masks into the wee hours, but for some reason I am most certainly not doing it now. I've spent the last five days just trying to bang out a short final paper for the intersession course I took in January, and every day I disappoint myself. I blame it on the fact that all of my free "schoolwork time" happens in the morning, before I have to depart for my afternoon job. This just doesn't work well for me, and it has nothing to do with me wanting to sleep late. I am often the last in my apartment to go to sleep, and I wake up early every day with the best of intentions and a solid plan in my head. But then I have to make coffee and eat. Then maybe exercise. Then check my email, of course. And then by the time I'm showered, it's time to leave, because it takes me an hour to get to work. Seriously. I'm not pretending that I'm the most focused person ever here, I most certainly take too much time doing little things in the morning that could wait for later. So all this, combined with my falling-asleep-at-9:30pm syndrome, and the best daily result is maybe one crappy page of notes. Ugh.

A wise blogger once pointed out that no matter how early you start, you will always use the exact amount of time alotted to complete an assignment. I take comfort in that.

Crap. Now I have to hurry or I'll be late for work.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Two great things.

1) Our 3-on-3 team won all four games tonight! Go Team Friendship!

2) I find this hilarious.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sleep, round two.

Well I am just the tiredest girl there ever was these days! Every night since I got back, right about 9:30pm, I have an absolutely enormous, golden retriever-type yawn and I fight off sleep unsuccessfully for 20-30 minutes before dragging myself up from whatever surface I've been slumped on and make myself actually brush my teeth and put on PJs. Last night I actually fell asleep on the phone with Brian for about half a second, to my horror and his amusement. I was thoroughly convinced that I had responded to what he said, but I think now that it was only in my dream, since all of a sudden I heard him faintly say "babe...?"

Tonight after watching Deadwood I yawned again and put my head down on the couch. Next thing I knew Susie was putting a blanket over me, and I was murmuring that it was the best thing anyone's ever done. I woke up half an hour later with my contacts plastered to my eyes and a pain in my neck.

Maybe 2006 is the year of the nap.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

PR and Pancakes

Just a little reminder to myself of where I spent the last two weeks...

The rest of our time in Puerto Rico was amazing. The practitioners and educators that we worked with were some of the most inspiring I've encountered, and their energy was simply non-stop. We performed for each other on our last day of class (there were two separate classes), and the mask-makers and dancers in the other class blew us away. After class ended we had several free days, during which we explored Old San Juan (the picture is the view of the old city from the fort, El Morro), kayaked in a bioluminescent bay at night, and, of course, went dancing.

My return to Chicago was triumphant and glorious, filled with lots of time-spending with Brian, which is all I really wanted. Here is the picture of the mango pancake we shared at brunch at The Wishbone.

My return to New York, while fine, was not quite so triumphant. I think the best part was when a drunk/crazy toothless man attempted to hug me on the subway platform frightening as it may sound, it was actually quite hilarious, and, I think, a completely appropriate re-introduction to the city. It was just New York's way of loudly announcing, "we're still here!" It's just wanting to make sure I know that nothing slowed down in my absense.

Beyond that, it's been so nice to spend time with my roommates again, and I'm excited about exploring all the places I've been wanting to go in the city on my Fridays off!
It's also been lovely to see the kids and my co-workers at after school, and to feel like I'm trying new things with them. Speaking of which, I am worn out and it's the second night in a row I've fallen asleep in front of my computer. Night-night.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Look at me, just posting away!

After another super stimulating day, I just had an incredible dinner at a small, hidden restaurant right on the beach in San Juan, with seven people from my program who are hilarious. It doesn't matter at all in our workshops, but when it comes to going out to dinner or other social activities, I feel reserved for some reason, and it can be a little nervewracking for me, since I don't know anyone all that well. Isn't it annoying when you know you can be fun, but everyone else is already doing that and you just have to kind of sit and watch and be shy? I sort of feel like that, except tonight not so much. And I found out that they pretty much didn't know each other before either. It's such a junior high feeling, isn't it? Brian and I talked about this before I left--that feeling never really goes away, even as people mature. But anyway, I can honestly say that I pretty much enjoy everyone on this trip. Another thing is how accomplished they all are; when you get to grad school, most people are either a little older or a little younger (in my case, most are a few years older), and in my program everyone seems to have started their own theatre companies and non-profits and all that. Don't even get me started on the Puerto Rican professors and assistants that are running our program!

So since this was a boring post about my social anxieties, I'll post a little something fun. Below is a picture of the director of our graduate program, engaging in some very important program administration. This was taken directly after a workshop in which we transformed our gathering space with paper art. Which sort of, in a way, explains why he's wearing a collar made out of a giant doily.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy Three Kings Day!

I've experienced several days of complete artistic stimulation and inspiration, and it's great. Our first day of "class" consisted of learning about Puerto Rican social and theatre history, and then seeing the performances of several of our instructors here, which were incredible. The first performances featured the masks you see here, part of a one-woman piece by mask maker and performer Deborah Hunt. Fun fact: in case you can't tell--I mean, duh--these masks use sea urchins as eyes. Wha...?? We've been learning about Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed, and dance, and visual art, and what it means to truly be an experimental theatre committed to resistance and transformation.

Yesterday we traveled to Cayey in the south of the island, where we worked with Rosa Luisa Marquez, the woman who runs our class here, and her collaborator Antonio Martorell, one of the island's best known artists. Besides being the most charming souls ever, they're the type of people that don't seem real...they're involved in everything, and it's hard to believe they have time for everything they do, from performing and teaching to writing books to making tons and tons of art. We did a workshop on transforming spaces, then had a big party in the tent that we had "transformed" for the occasion. After Cayey, we went to the biggest Three Kings Day celebration on the island, in the town of Juana Diaz. It was hot and crowded, but quite the experience. Everyone in the parade dresses up as shepherds and wise men and every other character in between. Several of us put grass for the camels under our beds last night in hopes that we might get gifts from the Tres Reyes, but to no avail. Oh well.

I'm exhausted, but I can't wait to see what they have for us tomorrow.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Feliz Ano Nuevo

Grrrr...Happy New Year!

Well, I think I've waited long enough to post again, especially considering that my New Year's Resolution is to post significantly more often.

Oh man, the holidays are nice, and also such a whirlwind! We had a lovely Christmas, and were graced with Brendan's presence, which always shakes things up in an enjoyable way. Then I hightailed it out of town to Arizona, where I spent a few days with Brian's extended, hilarious, and ridiculously welcoming extended family. Seriously, it was actually a lot of fun to be the new face in that group. We climbed a mountain, swam in the pool, made lemonade from the lemons on the trees outside. We even met up with Susie and her family in Arizona, where we met her nephew Trenton, who is indeed the cutest child in America or France.

We got back to Chicago just in time for a really funny New Year's, which consisted of eating a gourmet meal prepared by my sister, then going to a totally random house party, where everyone forgot to do the countdown. All kinds of people were asking each other what time it was, and then all of a sudden Brian was holding up his cell phone, which said "12:00," and we looked around and everyone was kissing and blowing noisemakers. Weird! It didn't make much difference to me, though. Pretty much everything that occurred at the party was hilarious, in particular the spontaneous dance blockade that our little group of five made, which required anyone wanting to get down the hallway to dance their way through, and subject themselves to substantial booty smacks from Annie and Brian. I personally thought that was the most festive way to ring in the New Year. And the best part of these last few weeks is that Brian and I have had so much time to hang out. It's been a dream.

And now...I'm in Puerto Rico! Yes, I'm here for about 12 days doing a course on Drama in Education for school. That's right, I'm getting graduate credits for this. I just arrived today, but I think this trip will be a very useful way for me to begin posting more--and more interesting--stories. I'm going to go finish my fresh pineapple smoothie now.