Wednesday, August 31, 2005


So I was looking at my test results and they make sense...but why fertility? Is it because I'm a nurturing type of person? And if so, why is my wand so good for hexes?

Anyways, this was just an interesting test I found off of Bekah's blog. It's kinda fun. Not one where you know what your result will be by the way each question is asked. Try it, it's a good way to procrastinate.


I'm such a Harry Potter freak!

12", Holly, Dragon
You scored 42 wisdom, 27 bravery, 21 emotional, and 22 martyrdom!
Holly is a powerful protective wood that good for use against evil, but it also represents dreams and fertility. Your dragon's heartstring core makes your wand very effective in hexes.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 42% on wisdom

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 18% on bravery

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 46% on emotional

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on martyrdom
Link: The Harry Potter Wand Test written by sputnik845 on Ok Cupid

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


In case I forget later, just wanted to update y'all on the research job. I'm not going to be able to take it because the professor emailed me back and she needs more hours than I can give. There is no way I'm quitting my job at the shops, injury or no injury, etc. I would love to research with her because she is working on Roman Catholic "guides to living" and stuff of interest but I just don't have time. Ginnie also tried to talk me out of it which helped a little.

g'night y'all


I went to see a wonderful play (well, a staged reading of it) tonight produced by the Infamous Commonwealth Theater in Chicago. The title is Lobsters and Lifers (which I don't think you should change, for the record, Jacob) by Jacob Juntunen, a friend and NU grad student. And I promise I would have liked it a lot even if I didn't know Jacob (I promise). This is the kind of play that I would read and want to direct right away because of how thought provoking it is and how interesting the characters are. I love plays that don't give in to traditional character catagories and instead give us real people to watch on stage. In addition, I was really impressed by the expert handling of discussion on bipolor disorder/disease. More plays should have the courage to make the characters so real that they have diseases or traits that can bring out the worse in other characters (as far as stereotypes and ignorance are concerned). I wish I had more energy and coherance to write about it. But I don't and more importantly, my back feels like someone hit it with a sledge hammer repeatedly so I need to get horizontal before I scream in pain. But yes, I wish I could recommend you all go see the play but it was a one night event unfortunately, until it gets the full production it deserves. But if I have any theater producer friends out there, please produce this play. And give me a job. Thank you.

Goodnight y'all and sweet dreams.

Oh yeah, btw, if you are in Evanston this week and want to do me a big big big favor Friday night, I need help moving because my back injury is to a point now that if I lift more than a few pounds (and by few I really mean 2 or 3) my back gets that whole sledge hammer hit feeling and that is not good. Erica's coming in Friday morning so I am hoping to get all my stuff moved from my summer sublet to my new place by the end of Friday (starting after I get off work) so that I can start sleeping on a decent mattress and cook in a clean kitchen. But I can't get my stuff down the stairs and so if you're around and want to work on those arm muscles, send me an email. Thanks y'all!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

two kinda "scary" things to share

So i was just putzing around tonight online and I decided it would be fun to see what work-study jobs are available on campus this fall. Now why I decided to do this since I love my job at the TIC scene shop is still unknown to me. But I did and I found a job in the religion department which got me really "geeked up" and I actually wrote the professor about it! It's a research aide job (something I vaguely recall never wanting to do again) for the professor who is actually my prof for the comparative religion class I'm taking in the fall, Feminism and Fertility. The other three profs I've worked for were in departments that did not relate at all to my majors (although I thought the neuroscience one would be great since I love neuroscience but it was awful) so I can rectify considering this since it is the religion department. But still, why am I even considering another job, especially one that will require me to spend time at the library searching for books and making photocopies!

Here is my theory and my second "scary" confession. I love research. I can't get enough of it. I was looking through some of my old papers in case this professor wants to see some of my writing and I got all jittery at the thought of getting to write some more 11 page research papers this fall! I love reading and I love research and the prospect of working with a professor is great. The other thing is that the job posting said "finding AND evaluating articles and books." The evaluating part is something none of my other profs i worked for even asked me to consider doing. I was just a fetch and carry girl to them.

So, I'm not quitting my scene shop job because it would break my heart and I love building things too much. However, I was having trouble figuring out where in my schedule to fit in the shop hours (since that job requires chunks of time during specific hours) anyways so it would actually help to be able to cut back on those to about 6 hours a week and fill in the rest with a second job. Research aide jobs are usually much more flexible since the library is open many hours and you usually just have to check in for an hour or two a week with the professor to update him or her on research and be told what they need. So I think I really would like to take this on if its not going to be too many hours.

Give me advice, people, because I am worried that my geekiness about research and religion is blinding me into doing something stupid again. I will add, however, that I did drop my fifth class (Arabic) officially now just because of the work problem and so I could take Pysch so my class schedule is lighter. The not SMing thing will also make things easier. But am I being silly in wanting to do this? HELP!

You know I blame this dilemma on all the wonderful mentors and teachers I've had for my writing throughout the years (Mr. Whiteside, Jacob, Mom and Dad (well, teachers more than writers...), Mr. Joyce, etc). That "Research Opportunity of a Lifetime" assignment Mr. Whiteside gave us in 11th grade was just the beginning of a long journey into research wonderland.

Argh, so many choices, so little time!

Night, y'all. May your future look less confusing than mine. Amen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I love Greek Tragedy!!!

So if you've been keeping track of my summer reading list, I've moved on from Aeschylus, having finished the Orestia, and started on Sophocle's Oedipus Cycle, which contains the only Greek play I had read before this summer, Oedipus Rex aka King Oedipus aka Oedipus the King. I read Oedipus Rex in 10th grade at NWSA and as I clung to every page last night finishing it for the second time, I remembered that this love of Greek Tragedy is nothing new. I remember thinking in high school that if I had time, I would read the other two plays in the cycle but unfortunatly I never got that time. (Side note: I just started reading a fiction novel by another high school English class author - Libra by Don Delillo, author of the magnificent book White Noise).

So I've obviously always loved Greek tragedy and I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to rediscover it! Having a good translation helps (for the Theban plays I'm reading E. F. Watlin, translated for Penguin Classics which I like a lot better than the acclaimed David Grene translation of Oedipus Rex) but the drama is enough in itself I think these plays speak to that part of me which has always been labeled "over dramatic" and "over the top." The parts of me which morph into extreme passion when I'm discussing war or depression or poverty, AIDS, etc. Oedipus broke many natural laws but since he did so unwittingly, one would assume he could forgive himself. Instead, his sins are so great to him he gouges out his own eyes!!! Mr. Whiteside, back in 10th grade English, made us all take our fingers and lightly touch our nails to the white of our eye. It didn't hurt but it sure was sensitive, proving the point that going further and actually gouging out our eyeballs would be extremely painful. Oedipus's punishment of himself seems extreme until you take into consideration the gods, lore, and prophecy surrounding the lives of these characters! They hold themselves accountable for their actions do to great faith in something they believe in. That is what we can learn from the Greeks. In Aeschylus I found a lot about the futility of violence and war. In Sophocles I'm finding a lot about trust and conviction - staying true to your soul and your beliefs.

That's enough Greek for tonight.

'night y'all!

Monday, August 22, 2005

And another one

This is the Chicago Sun Times review. I don't think they require you to register like the Trib does so you can just go click on the link yourself. I'm very excited about these two reviews being so good because of two reasons.

1. Neither of them mentioned anything technical. This is always a wonderful sign. The stage management team is much happier when ignored in reviews. It means things went right!

2. As I was in charge of all script changes, keeping them organized, and making sure the actors said the right things, I take a little joy from the good review of Gregg and Jack, two wonderful writers who were great to work with.

So, as the reviews show, the performances this weekend went really well! There were a few tech problems but if the critics didn't notice them, I don't really care. We did a good job covering for them. I spent most of the first act yesterday tightening all the chairs we had. That was fun until I accidently dropped the key (a hex tool) down the fly rail. Miraculously we were able to retrieve it but I felt a little stupid.

Opening night was officially Saturday night and an odd thing happened for me. I wasn't excited, nervous, happy, sad, anticipatory, or anything! This is a bad sign because of some advice my voice teacher gave me a long time ago. She told me once that if you ever don't feel the butterflies before a performance, then you should take it as a sign you're not doing something right or that theater is not for you. I've always respected those words a lot because up to now I've never had a problem with feeling butterflies. But even as I write this and as I read all the reviews this morning, it is almost as if this weekend was just a normal weekend where I sat around doing nothing.

I'm trying not to interpret too much in this but I am going to take into consideration some more recent advice a good friend gave me. When I was telling her how I was really upset with the way I was being treated by my director and SM in this show and how it was making me bitter, just as the producer problems with SLM made me bitter, she suggested that maybe I should take a little break from stage managing this year and pick it up again senior year. This would also give me more time to explore directing and start the political theater company. It's a really good idea and I'm seriously considering it. It wouldn't really hurt my resume at all because I have good reference and have lots of experience now. So yeah, that's the update on that.

In other news, I got more theater tickets for BEHIV today! I now have two theaters, the Court Theater and American Theater Co. which have promised me as many tickets to previews for our clients as we need! All we have to do is call up ahead of time and tell them how many we are bringing! This is really exciting to me because it is something I can still work on this fall for BEHIV as a volunteer without having to find time to go to the office a lot. It's mostly a phone and email thing. This project means a lot to me because as you all know, I believe theater can change lives and maybe even the world. So by bringing theater to people who are struggling with a devastating and socially unaccepted (in many cases) disease is, in my opinion, doing something valuable for their lives. The thing I've learned over my years of volunteer work is that nothing you do as a volunteer for good organizations is too small. At the Red Cross I greeted people and helped them check in. I haven't been able to give a lot of my own blood but at least I made those people without abnormally high pulses feel comfortable. I'm not writing this to toot my own horn. I've just heard a lot of people complain about how they feel like they aren't doing anything important when they volunteer sometimes. When we were in Jonestown, Mississippi for Spring Break, some people complained that because of the poor organization of Habitat in Jonestown, it didn't feel like we were doing as much as we should be. But we made so many people happy that week, we showed them that our generation does have hope, and painting a few walls means a lot to the people who have to look at those walls everyday! That's why I smile at the panhandlers who may truly be creeps everyday. Because maybe they would use money for alcohol and drugs but a smile doesn't really have any side effects.

That's my philosophy and that's the update on my life.


The Reviews are In!

Refreshing `Merry Widow' is a delight

By John von Rhein
Tribune music critic
August 22, 2005

"The Merry Widow" will turn 100 later this year, but you would never guess as much from the frisky charm the old girl continues to exude. Many listeners consider Franz Lehar's tuneful operetta the greatest Viennese confection of its kind. You won't get any argument from me after seeing Light Opera Works' engaging new production, which settled into a weeklong run Saturday in Evanston's Cahn Auditorium.

The show is directed and choreographed with a light touch -- neither too jokey nor too sentimental -- by Rudy Hogenmiller, in his first assignment with the company since taking over as artistic director earlier this year. He has assembled a strong cast that sings and kicks up its collective heels with equal pizazz and an orchestra under the stylish conductor Pasquale Laurino that allows Lehar's waltzes, can-cans and wistful ballads to work their insidious magic on the ear.

The plot revolves around the efforts of the diplomats and emigres of Pontevedro, a fictional Balkan state, to marry off Hanna Glawari, a filthy-rich widow, to a fellow countryman so the nation can avert bankruptcy. Baron Zeta, the ambassador to Paris, has targeted Count Danilo, a playboy who was an old flame of Hanna's. Assigned to keep her from marrying a Frenchman, Danilo comes to realize, as Hanna always has known, that he loves her. Only at the end does she learn whether Danilo loves her for her money or herself.

The eponymous role of Hanna often is assigned to singers past their shelf lives vocally. So, it was wonderful to have the role sung by a fresh-voiced and attractive young soprano, Stacey Tappan.

One of the star recent graduates of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Tappan sang divinely, looked glamorous in a succession of elegant gowns and, like most of the cast, delivered her spoken lines with conversational ease. She caught just the right tone of rapturous sadness in Hanna's "Vilja" Song, capped off with a lovely diminuendo on the high note.

She and Larry Adams, the dashing Danilo, sent sparks flying each time their characters met. Adams, an accomplished area music-theater performer who was making his company debut, proved as smooth on his dancing feet as he was pouring out his virile baritone.

The perky, bright-voiced soprano Sharon Quattrin as Valencienne and the boyishly ardent tenor Colm Fitzmaurice as Camille were good as the other romantic duo, although Fitzmaurice's voice sounded rather tight. Roger Mueller struck the proper note of fatuous pomposity as the almost-cuckold, Baron Zeta. The diminutive Geoffrey Plitt was cute as a button in the clerk Njegus' vaudeville-style set-piece, and Jeff R. Jones and Todd R. Wedge made an amusing pair of scoundrels vying for Hanna's hand.

A witty new translation by Chicagoans Gregg Opelka and Jack Helbig steered clear, for the most part, of the ham-handedness to which many versions succumb. There was, however, one labored touch involving a lady's fan on which Camille had written "I love you" to Valencienne. The line "Ah, English, the language of love!" was funny the first time we heard it but became just annoying when it was later repeated, over and over, by various cast members."The Merry Widow" repeats at 2 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday, and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone 847-869-6300.-
Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Friday, August 19, 2005

ah confusion...

So it's been one crazy week! My show opens tomorrow, I injured my back on Tuesday, I quit my BEHIV job on Thursday (in the work-study capacity. I'm going to do some volunteer work still with the theater tickets project and other stuff), I made some major decisions about my life and health on Wednesday, and I found a great used bookstore on Monday! What a week!

I'm exhausted from the easiest tech week I have ever been a part of. There was just a lot of rehearsal to go to and getting sick and injured did not help. But I'm loving the show. I got to hear the cast sing with the orchestra today and it was absolutely amazing. A 32-piece orchestra AND a theatrical production in one place! Wow! This is the type of show I want people who don't normally go to theater to see because it really does capture the magic that can be created in a theater space. Perhaps not the elements of changing the world which I like a lot in theater but enough to touch people's hearts and souls. Theater doesn't have to be political or thought-provoking to be powerful. I just wish I could sit in the house for one performance so I could see this show. The lights look beautiful even from my offstage perch and it sounds amzing as always.

In other news - I'm still laboring away on the blanket I"m making my brother and sister-in-law for their wedding. I'm now averaging about one piece a night at the theater which is great. But it brought up that whole "Oh look at Emily the feminist who's so utterly domestic." My straight male wig-maker budy and I were talking about nature vs. nurture in these things and stereotypes and I brought up that there would be nothing "funny" about my love of crocheting, ironing, and cooking if society didn't hold so many stereotypes of women and what a "woman's role" really is. Then I was talking to a good friend who will remain nameless so my future roomie who is dating him won't tease him (hahaha too late) and he happens to be one of those people who finds it very funny that I can simultaneously crochet and spurt about women's lib etc. I didn't have a good comeback to our conversation tonight for some reason (I'm blaming it on the common cold) but I have it now. Crocheting is not something feminism was trying to eliminate from a woman's role or life. Instead, feminism is the movement to make it acceptable for a woman to be able to CHOOSE to crochet or cook or be a doctor or actress or lawyer or stay at home mom! I choose to cook dinner for my friends, including my male friends, but I don't cook because it is expected of me, I cook because I choose to and I enjoy it. Ha. I know you didn't mean anything by your chuckles. I just like thinking of good "comebacks." I rarely think of them in the midst of the conversation, which disappoints me. Oh well, that's life.

Well, I've got big day planned for tomorrow: Hit the farmer's market in the morning for some fresh fruit, head downtown or to Belmont to find a shirt to wear with my hot new skirt for the big opening night party tomorrow night (I will dress up even if I am the only one there sans date) and then off to run a wonderful show with absolutely no tech problems, broken fans, stained costumes, falling set pieces, or spilled ginger ale. None at all.

Come see the show. It's worth your time and money. And I might cook you dinner afterwards if you talk to me nice.


Monday, August 15, 2005

And even more important than everything I just wrote...

Happy Birthday, Sis!!!!!!!!!

I love you and hope you have a blessed and wonderful day in your new home and new city!!

an "enlightened" state of confusion? please?

I had a great day today, spent with my dear friend Belinda from Sheil. What started out as just lunch ended up in driving to the mall to find my elusive black cargoish/durable pants followed by catching 5pm mass (as I chose to sleep in this morning) at St. Athanasius. When I finally got home, my day off was half over and I wasn't even to sad about it! As my friends and family know, I often need some "alone" time to unwind and destress but I did pretty well today having to socialize. You know, that sounds really sad (having to get away from people) but it really does describe how I function. I have to take time off from people or I'll start yelling at them or being overly sarcastic. I guess I should work on that.

When I logged on today to update, I realized how appropriate the title of my blog has become. I actually stole it from my Governor's school drama teacher, Marc, who stole it from somebody famous I think. We were supposed to have it written on our GSW shirts but the director of GSW decided "confusion" was too negative for this state-run camp for the academically gifted and therefore the drama major who designed our shirts had to change it to "in search of an enlightened state of being." Personally, I think the two words are pretty synonymous in many cases and it really wouldn't have mattered if we had "confusion" on our shirts.

Because I'm realizing, slowly, that life or my "state of being" is a constant search for clarity among confusion. Maybe that's the depression talking but I don't think that's really affecting me right now. What is affecting me is the seemingly random events in my life, the friends I make, the people I encounter, which all seem like scattered dots on a plane (as in one of those line graphs from geometry) but eventually form some sort of order or pattern. That's the confusion and the "enlightened state of confusion" is when all those little scattered dots seem to make even a little sense (aren't you proud of your semi-mathematical daughter, Mom?). Sometimes they only make sense for an instance and then the mind somehow manages to forget it but at least for a moment you know that everything makes sense. I'm sure there is some great philosophical school of thought about how there is no such thing as randomness but I really don't want to get into that. As all things on the blog are, it's just an observation of my life. The events of a few nights ago seemed really random but now I see the "ripple effect" in my mind of how that creep on the El platform indirectly influenced (in a good way) future choices. It's all about seeing through the confusion. It's pretty frustrating a lot of the time, and as the other night proved, slightly scary at other times. But oh well, that's life and there will always be "confusion" and such for us to encounter with every step we take into clarity. Makes life hard but hey, that is where evolution has taken us.

I've had a very thoughtful day off (after 7 hours in spacing rehearsal at Cahn with no AC yesterday) and look forward to those long hours in tech tomorrow where I don't have to do a damn thing. I love the show and I'm actually looking forward to starting tech. That's how you know, apparently, that you will make an okay SM.

Goodnight, y'all, and I hope to write more soon despite tech week starting.

Friday, August 12, 2005

scared, relieved, and exhausted

I think my day can officially qualify as bad. I'm not even going to get into everything which made today awful because it was the "icing on the bad day cake" tonight which still has me a little shaky and I'm going to ask you for some "help."

As many of you know, I have been riding the El back and forth to rehearsals in Chicago (but the north side at least) for the past month or so (five weeks to be exact). Getting there is always fine because it's rush hour and daylight. But at night I catch the El at a "sketchy" stop but I've always felt safe because I walk there with a friend and there are always a lot of "normal" looking people waiting there as well. Once I get to Evanston, it's a piece of cake. I really have never felt scared riding the El at night alone until last night. And then tonight happened as well.

I hestitated about writing about this on my blog because I don't want my family (or friends for that matter) to worry about my safety because I do take a lot of precautions and I will be safe. But I need to talk about what happened because it has affected my "world view" a little. BUT I AM OKAY so don't worry about me. I only have one more rehearsal out of Evanston to go to and my friend (the SM) will be driving me to the safer El stop near her apartment. So you can only read on if you promise not to get excessively worried or call me and lecture me for doing this alone (sorry, but I have no other choice...)

So last night I was sitting at Wilson waiting for my train to arrive when two guys (I didn't even really look at them) came up the stairs yelling about something. They sat on the bench behind me facing the opposite direction so I could hear everything. One of them was extremely upset, talking about some girl who had been "treachorous" and "deceitful" and he was saying how he would "beat the ass" of any girl who tried to trick him again etc etc. Most of the other stuff he said I will not repeat. I was petrified because at one point, one of them asked me for the time, I gave it to him, and it was apparently different from what the angry guy had and he started going on about "that's what I'm talking about! Women *****" They didn't come back over to my side or anything but I was scared to move for about 10 minutes (my train was about half an hour late. Again). The scariest part was when he said something about "killing that ******** if she tried to pull anything like that again" and I just started praying. I eventually felt like they had forgotten about me and I got up and went to stand next to the nice old lady down the platform.

That was last night and that was bad enough. But I let it roll off me since I have had okay experiences every other time. But tonight happened and I am relieved I won't ever have to wait at the Wilson stop again. Amanda and I were discussing tech week issues and the meetings we are having tomorrow when a strange man came and tapped me on the shoulder and sat down next to me. I immediately turned around and said "Excuse me, don't touch me, " to which he replied with something to the affect of "why not?" Me: "Because I don't know you at all and I don't want you touching me." He then got all defensive and said he sat down next to me so he could get to know me. I told him I didn't have time to talk to him because he interrupted my conversation and I didn't want to talk to him.

A normal person would have stood up and walked away but there was something seriously wrong with this man. Amanda and I ignored him for awhile but he kept interrupting and trying to find out things about me like where I went to school, where I work, and my name. I of course didn't tell him anything and made it clear I wanted him to go away. After about the thrid time he butted in, Amanda called my phone discreetly, hoping that if I started up a cell phone conversation he would go away. No luck. Right before the train came was the scariest though. He said he just wanted to have a "mutual relationship" with me and when I said I wasn't interested in ever seeing him again he replied with "well, it doesn't really matter what I want because I am going to see you in the near future, I just feel it" If Amanda's train and my train hadn't come at that point, simulataneously, she would have grabbed me and we would have gone to find the nearest CTA worker or cop. But the trains came and somehow we managed to make him think we were going North but then both got on the South train and watched him go the opposite way as we got on. I rode down to Amanda's stop and she waited with me until my north bound train came. We talked a lot about how freaky that man was which helped but I was still in my "strong" mode and I didn't break down until I got on the El and got ahold of my sister.

I guess one of the reasons I decided to put this on my blog is as a cautionary tale because I have certainly learned my lesson. I felt safe for over 4 weeks doing this same routine every night after rehearsal. But I think that gave me a false sense of security and I hope that by sharing this experience, I make it clear to my friends etc that that security sometimes is false. I had procrastinated on getting any pepper spray or taking a self-defense class because I thought nothing would happen to me. But two nights in a row I had close calls. I really am planning on taking some self defense classes now, perhaps some kind of martial arts, I have to do some research to see what is offered around here. I think that if I had screamed, someone would have come to help Amanda and me but it would be nice to know that I had more defense than just wordplay, lies, and improvisation.

On Monday I went to the library and picked up a great book called "Drama as Therapy and Theater as Living," a intro-type text to dramatherapy. For the last few days I've been exploring this new career possibility, reading about how theater can help the abused, mentally ill, and incarcerated. And I've been thinking a lot about helping people, in particular those people in rehab or in prison. But then after tonight, it is hard for me to remember why I have so much faith in people being able to change for the better. I was so upset after the incident tonight more for the faith and innocence I lost, not event itself. Why do I want to help people when people are so screwed up and are just waiting to take advantage of anyone with a nice smile.

I smile at the homeless people in Evanston and my friend Dennis, who is homeless but very sweet (I've known him for almost 2 years now) always thanks me just for smiling. But right now I have this doubt about what the point of smiling is when that smile can be reinterpreted as an invitation. It's a blow to my optimism and my faith in humanity. I promise not to lose all of that just because of a jerk on the El, I just need a little reminding of why I want to help people, especially those who may not even want help yet. So that is the "help" I mentioned needing above. Remind me why I love service work and why I don't want to go live in a secluded cabin the mountains for the rest of my life with just my cats for company.

I think that's all I have to say for tonight. Again, please don't worry about me. I'm upset, yes, but not physically hurt.

Just so you all know, I did try to post the other day. But then it disappeared cause I hit something wrong. I will hopefully have energy to post more this weekend during my time off. I really want to discuss what I'm learning about drama therapy because it's quite intriguing. Jacob, you in particular would be interested in some of this book I'm reading because I have already encountered numerous names which relate back to our social justice reading. Boal of course, Artaud, Innes ( I really remember reading Innes...) and more. SO interesting. I can't wait to read more. I'm into the history of the development of dramatherapy now.

Okay, I could write forever but I need sleep too. But writing is calming and I needed that.


Monday, August 08, 2005

calm now

I've calmed down a bit since the last post. A little update on that, though, is in order. I am going today to close my USBank account and open one at a more customer friendly bank in e-town. At the rehearsal the next day, things went a lot better and the SM apparently holds no hard feelings. Good for her.

I officially dropped one of my directing classes (the one I can pick up in the winter or spring) and added Psych 110 to my schedule. Big leap but I did it. It was hard for me to do since the directing class, which I probably would have dropped anyways since i'd have 5 classes even without Psych, had only 15 people in and I dropped that for a huge lecture class! I hate doing that but I've got to learn somehow and if it takes big lectures to get a background in Psych, I will do it. I'll probably also end up dropping Arabic because I looked forward through the next two years and if I keep my double major and plan to take 3 or 4 psych classes, there is not enough room to take a full two years of Arabic, which makes it kind of pointless. So I am accepting the changes in plans and moving on.

I saw a wonderful movie a couple nights ago, A Very Long Engagement with Audrey Tautou. I recommend it even though it is slightly confusing at points and is not the best movie ever seen. But what I really loved was Tautou's character. The hero of this movie was definately a female and it wasn't a female seen through a masculine visage either. She was the central focus instead of being an auxiliary character used to further the plot for the male, which, as I have discussed previously, is usually the role for the female character. I have been trying to figure out how this movie would go over with my male friends and frankly, I'm not sure. It is not as much of a love story as I expected and instead is more about war! It was very gruesome at points because it is basically about Tautou's quest to find the truth surrounding a certain chain of events in one of the trenches in WWI. There are of course many men as central characters because it is about the war but the difference between this and other war movies I have seen is that it is told and visualized through the eyes of a woman. It is a beautiful movie which is why i recommend it.

Also this week I started watching the series Firefly on DVD, on my sister's recommendation. It really is a fascinating show. The interesting thing was that the "pilot" of the series began with a huge war/battle scene which reminded me a lot of images in movies about WWI and WWII. It was a heart wrenching scene because it depicted the losing side losing their last battle (basically) and the despair those soldiers felt. Very emotional. Then a couple nights later I was flipping through channels and stopped at the History Channel which was playing a documentary on the bombing of Hiroshima.

After all that, I wanted to cry.

If there is one thing that tears at my heart more than anything else, it is war. I see images or read books, or hear veterans and victims speak and I get choked up. When I think of the things my grandfathers went through in WWII or what my friends in the Army and Navy have gone or might go through, I want to curl up in my bed and stay there forever. The documentary on Hiroshima was doubly upsetting because not only did it follow the experiences of those poor men charged with dropping the bomb that would kill millions and continues to affect our world, they spent time talking about innocent victims in Hiroshima who could not even suspect what was going to happen to them on that sunny day.

This is why I am against war - for all the victims of war, both our soldiers and the other side. I can see that sometimes war is inevitable and is a means to an end but I don't think I am required to also applaud those people who order it. In both A Very Long Engagement and in Firefly, the images of the battlefield were so absurd! There are a bunch of men (and women in Firefly) running across landscapes with big guns shooting at people they can't even see! And this is supposed to resolve conflict?? The people who are actually conflicting are miles away in their mansions giving the orders! Of course, I know it is countries that are in conflict but the reason for war, as well as the orders for war, seem so far removed from the actual act of war. This is why I also tell people that although I am against the war in Iraq, I support our troops! They are following orders and fighting for our country in a cause they are told is good and right. Some of the soldiers DON'T believe this war is right but they made a committment they won't back out of and I support them too! What I don't support about the war is the cost of human lives when there were other ways. I know people disagree about whether or not there were other ways but I will continue to believe that. The war was also started on false pretences of 9/11 connections and weapons of mass destruction. I'm against that too. What we have now is a wasting of human lives in an absurd battlefield, started for reasons which no longer exist. But we can't just leave now because we have caused too much of a mess at this point!

Obviously, the subject riles me up a little. I really didn't mean to write this much but ever since seeing those movies and shows, I've been wanting to write about how I feel about war. I think what I wrote above pretty much sums it up and as always, I understand my own views a little more after writing about them. Today I plan to go read some more Greek Tragedy and maybe write a letter to a good friend who is on his ship this week, serving in the US Navy. All I can do is thank my friends and family members who serve or have served in the military for their brave loyalty. I just wish there was not so much work for them at the moment.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

anger warning!

Today was surprising. I had a better day when I was doing data entry at BEHIV than I did after I got off work and eventually went to rehearsal.

I'm going to make this short and sweet: USBank has the worst customer "service" of any bank or actually, any store, church, organization, institution, etc etc that I have come across. They can go to that not so lovely place that does NOT have the harping angels and fluffy white clouds.

Secondly, I will try to "back off" in rehearsals and let my inner bitch go into hiding. But I will not be happy to sit by quietly and let someone's insecurity and ineptitude ruin a show I am starting to love. If someone needs to yell "quiet" and half an hour later it is still noisy and obnoxious, I will yell it at the top of my lungs, no matter whose "laid back" sensibilities I offend. (Basically my SM told me tonight that I was undermining her authority by telling the cast to be quiet, giving them notes before she gave her announcements, and basically, doing what I am there to do... I wouldn't have to tell the cast that "hold means STOP" if she had yelled "hold" loud enough for anyone more than 2 feet away to hear (especially after the third time she yelled it...))

Someone told me a long time ago, jokingly, that I was too smart for my own good. I never really understood how that worked out but I'm beginning to see it now. Barbara, the SM prof queen, taught her SMs so well that we know too much for our own good. She trained us not to take mediocrity as an answer but unfortunately, that's all most of the world is willing to work for. As a result, I get yelled at.

Oh yeah, and I'm less than a hundred pages from the end of Harry Potter 6. I'm going to go finish it now while I'm already close to sobbing some more and then I can just cry myself to sleep, which will hopefully make me forget how damn hot it is in this apartment!

Goodnight and happy AC to all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

grumble grumble grumble

So I was doing some email crap tonight and I honestly convinced myself for about 20 minutes that tonight was next Sunday night and we had already had all four rehearsals this week. But I puzzled over it for awhile, trying to fill in those two rehearsals that have not actually happened and I figured it out eventually.

So this is all to say that it's been a looooong week. I had a good day at BEHIV today though. Brad, the director, got me to help him organize his files and I had FUN doing it! They can't understand over there that organizing random stuff thrills me in a strange way, at least when I'm in SM mode. So I did more organizing and filing. I also talked to someone who was VERY enthusiastic about joining team BEHIV for the Chicago AIDS Run/Walk (btw, let me know if you are interested in participating. It's Sept 17 and I can get you more info and a registration form).

The best part of work today, though, was getting a 45 minute full body massage. My body is still feeling relaxed from that. To explain, BEHIV provides massage therapy to clients and when they cancel or don't show up, the massage therapist grabs staff members and gives them massages. Its a really nice reward for the not so intriguing work I do for them. I am definately enjoying this job more though. I'm getting to know the staff and some of the clients and I am going to actually miss them when I leave in a month! I'm going to try to volunteer for them though. I'll find a way to stay involved.

Other than that, its been a relaxed Wednesday. I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Aaron tonight which was fun. We had a good time and laughed A LOT. My favorite part was a little good old-fashioned slapstick by the wonderful Johnny Depp.

Now I"m just trying not to bake in this horribly hot apartment while watching the latest episode of my current favorite show, The 4400. I fell asleep while trying to watch it on Sunday night because my family wore me out. Hopefully the massage didn't relax me so much I'll fall asleep again tonight... Oh well!

Hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cooler than I am! Really the best part of the movie was, sadly, being inside with AC for awhile. That's how bad it is at the moment because the movie was great too!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

stupid ageist society

So a couple cast members found out I'm "only" twenty tonight at rehearsal. A bunch of people were going out for drinks afterwards and Amanda turned to me and said "you could probably come too. I think they serve food too," which set off a rumble of "wait, how old are you" comments. Then we were also talking to one of the principles about something and I mentioned I still had two years left in school, to which she replied "Get out! No way!" Apparently it is unthinkable that an ASM of a professional production could be "only" twenty years old. I don't think I look older or anything but apparently everyone thinks I'm approaching middle age! (okay, that's a slight exaggeration).

I don't know why the cast's reaction to my age set me off the way it did. It's not as though they will stop respecting me or treat me differently. If anything they will respect me more because the job I am doing for "someone my age" is impressive. What bugs me, however, is the stigma against socializing with a 20-year old or someone who is still an undergrad. It's not may fault that I am only 20. I can't really do anything about that. I also can't really help having two years left in school, short of dropping my double major and graduating next spring (which would actually be possible...). Age means NOTHING when it comes to your experiences, maturity, and outlook on life. There are certainly stereotypes about different age groups and perhaps even factual trends but they do not apply to ALL people of a certain age! Not all 2 years olds are "terrible" and not all 90 year olds are senile! Ageism can be just as bad as racism and sexism! Obviously I am not psychologically damaged or anything by the reactions I get to being barely in my twenties. I'm simply annoyed that society even cares so much. Maybe its just the fact that I'm a few months shy of being able to legally drink or even go into those 21+ only bars. However, I think its more the stereotypes of college students and young adults. I have a friend who is barely 18 but is more mature and has had more life experience than most college seniors I have met. Obviously her age does not matter, although society might assume she would be immature and reckless.

There, I feel better now. Catharsis accomplished. Seriously, though, ageism is a societal problem which often gets overlooked and I myself have found myself guilty of it in many circumstances. But at least I'm becoming aware of it. As I said, I'm was not harmed in any way but it is just an demonstration of yet another flaw of American society. I'd be interested in seeing how ageism functions in other countries, especially those with different economic and social structures.

That's all for tonight. I finally finished Riddlemaster, which is a great book with lots of interesting themes and symbols. Written by Patricia McKillip, it has beautiful language and images as well as complex characters. The definition of a riddle she introduces is very foreign at first but by the end of the third book, riddling was the glue of the story which made sense, (unlike that sentence, most's late...). In other words, part of the book focused on teaching us how to answer riddles, the hard questions in life which involve knowledge, wisdom, and most importantly, HISTORY. I loved the book but am glad I'm finished because I am not free to move on to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! Harry Potter is a much faster read so probably in the next few days I'll have an update on what books I'm working on. I should probably go back to the Greeks, with a little over a month left to finish before Acting begins!

Goodnight, y'all! Sweet riddling dreams to all!