Saturday, June 30, 2007

my back hurts...

Almost done moving! It is amazing how many things hide until the last minute when moving. Anyways, I must have disobeyed the lifting rules at some point today because it has been non-stop back pain. I'll be happy when I'm all moved and can go through my stuff, find the ten million books I should probably get rid of, and finally get on with finding a job!

I'll also be really happy when I can write actually interesting stuff on my blog again. I was reminiscing about my old posts ranting about movies and books and politics. There is so much to catch up on!

Other exciting thing I did today was buy the new Sister Hazel CD, Bam Vol. 1! I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but I hear it is better than their last CD which I found mediocre. This one just looks extremely fun - the band members are depicted on the cover as comic book super heroes and they even have superhero bios inside! Even the song titles look awesome. I'll let you know how it is tomorrow. I love Sister Hazel. They need to come to Chicago more often, especially since I might actually be able to go see them now...

Anyways, good night!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Some pictures

Hey y'all! I don't know how to change my profile picture without posting it first so here are a few pictures from graduation. Or one from graduation and maybe some others. We'll see... In any case, here is a happy picture of me. I am wearing the earrings my brother-in-law gave me for Christmas which say "imagine" and "peace." I thought it was a good way to graduate.

And just cause it's fun, this a picture of me (on the left, obviously) with my big brother! It is one of my favorite pictures of all times. It looks like I was thinking "wow the ground is a long way down. My legs are really short. I think my brother is laughing at me..."

That's all for now. I don't have the graduation pictures or other on my computer yet. There is a link to Jonathan's complete roster of pictures (taken by Frances) in one of the comments below. I can't remember it and I'm too lazy to go look... Have fun!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


Just got home from physical therapy. I worked with the TEN POUND ball today, practicing lifting and stuff! I can lift 10 lbs!!!! My PT also gave me some 5lb weights for other exercises!!! YAY!

If you have no idea why there are so many exclamation points in this post, just ignore it and move on...

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Job Update and BOOK reviews/brain dump

No, I don't have a job yet but at least I finished the next round of applications!!! I sent off three cover letters/resumes to theaters and applied for another job at a large health-food store chain. Hopefully I will get some good responses! I also have an application for a bookstore to turn in tomorrow and apparently this store is hiring everyone who walks in the door (but this is just a rumor.)

IN OTHER NEWS, I have had a lot of time to read lately. I just finished To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis and have started on The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Connie Willis is a genius, by the way. I read her book Passages over Christmas break and it was completely different yet equally as wonderful as To Say Nothing of the Dog. If you want to read (science) fiction unlike anything else you've ever read, read something by Connie Willis. TSNoftheD was hard to get into at first - this was my second try - but it is a great book to read if you are not trying to do university level courses at the same time. I think that was the reason for my initial failure. This time, I was able to commit to the time travel concepts and even figured out some of the mystery before the end!

I've discovered I really love authors who are able to completely create a new version of a world we know and lead the reader into that world completely. I also just read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which also takes the modern world we live in and add a fantasy twist (this time with Dracula) and make it seem freakishly familiar. The Golden Compass also exists in a possible future of the world as we know it. A lot of fantasy and science fiction take the reader to a whole new world such as Middle Earth or outer space. I love those stories as well but there is something special about authors who take our world and make it into something more. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is another good example - Susanna Clarke takes a Dickens era England and adds magic which is accepted by the characters of the world and thus the reader. Good authors are some of the most powerful people in the world - they are capable of helping readers envision a different version of the world and completely escape and believe in it. I love reading. Hopefully I'll still be able to read as much when I get a job. I can always hope!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Lately I have been getting pretty frustrated trying to find work. I applied to 4 or 5 theaters this spring that I thought would be pretty promising. However, there are a lot of other good stage managers out there and I did not get any of those jobs. Actually, one of the major theaters in Chicago interviewed me for an apprenticeship and managed to make me feel entirely too overqualified for the job which was kind of funny. I would have taken it anyways. One of my SM friends also was interviewed and got the same vibe. I guess we'll just have to go work for theaters who actually appreciate us being overqualified...

In any case, it has been hard for me to even apply for more jobs after those rejections because school got more insane and I've been really busy. Now that I have successfully finished both my majors (which means I don't have to finish the last paper for my last incomplete), it is still hard for me to apply for jobs because I'm completely tired of writing cover letters!!! Luckily I have a successful SM friend (CG) who has been encouraging me a lot in these past few weeks. She even gives my name to people who offer her jobs that she can't take. This sort of forces me to be more active in my applications because my name is already out there! Hooray! It's one thing to have a mentor from the theater department but it is another thing to have the support of a close friend who is actually competing for a lot of the same jobs, most of the time!

The other obstacle in finding a stage management job is the lack of good pay. There are dozens of reputable theaters in Chicago but not a lot of them have money. Stage managers get paid more often than actors in the smaller theaters but it is still not enough to live on. However, if you can't get a job in one of the larger theaters, you just have to work in the trenches for next to nothing until you can move up to better theaters with more pay. As a result, I am also trying to find a second job that will pay the rent, etc. So far I have applied at bookstores, temp agencies, non-profit offices, and many more, but I still don't have a job. I am probably just being impatient but it seems like everyone around me has at least something to do. I have no schedule other than my physical therapy appointments.

I went to the bookstore today and read some resources on resumes, cover letters, and jobs for people with college degrees. I got some good ideas about how to fix my resume and refine my letters but by the time I got home, I was too tired to actually apply that new knowledge. Somehow I can write a long blog post but have trouble facing cover letters. I think the pressure of writing the perfect letter is making it difficult to get moving because I really want to work for most of the places I'm applying! Hopefully something will come through soon and I can stop my seemingly endless search and writing of cover letters. Hopefully.

***Note: In case it sounds like I"m writing each letter from scratch, don't worry, I'm not. I just have so many different kind of jobs I'm applying for that I have to revise for each. For example, a stage manager cover letter is going to look very different from a cover letter for an office assistant job at an architecture firm. That is where the time-consuming part comes into play

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Moving. Ugh.

Is it too late to go back to school to study something really lucrative so I can just buy a house and live there forever? I hate moving and I have to do it again in two months because I'm only subletting this summer. Luckily Mom is here to put up with me and do all the heavy lifting.

OH! Big news! I am allowed to lift NINE POUNDS now! This is the most I've been able to lift since the accident. We're trying to get me back up to lifting 40-60 lbs like before the accident three months ago. Nine pounds is better than none!

Since I am moving, this is all I have energy to write tonight. Sorry!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

quick note

Does graduation always feel this anticlimactic? I mean, I felt like I partied all weekend with my family but since I'm still working on papers and haven't even received my diploma, it doesn't necessarily feel like I'm graduated. I guess technically I'm not done at Northwestern but I do have enough done for my primary major so I could just stop working now. However, I refuse to be one paper away from my religion major because that would just be stupid, especially since if I go to graduate school it will most likely be for religion, not theater.

I wrote a paper for one of my other classes recently about religion in politics. It was a lot like writing an extended blog post for me. It needs a little editing but I'm planning on posting it here soon because I want to see what other people think of the ideas I propose. If I go to graduate school, this small paper might become the basis for a dissertation! Who know!

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Back at last

So it's officially been over a year since my last post. Since most of you reading now are probably my family, I won't go into all the details of what has happened to making blogging difficult, such as the mutilated (now healed) right pointer finger, many stage managing jobs, and car accidents which cause lots of pain and discomfort and STRESS. To those who didn't know why I suddenly stopped blogging or in other ways disappeared, see the previous sentence for a brief overview. I am guessing that mutilated finger may be as much information as you need. (If you want a picture, though, I'd be happy to provide it. It's kind of cool?)

So I'm now officially a Northwestern Alumni! I currently only have a BA in Theatre but because of special dispensation by the dean of my school, I have until the end of June to finish two incomplete courses in religion that will finish up that major. In the end, I will have a BA in Theatre and Religion hopefully! The reason I have incompletes is mainly because of the bad car accident I was in on March 10th. I'll probably start writing about some of my experiences from that because it has definitely changed my life, probably in some good ways along with the bad.

The worst result of the accident was my loss of physical strength and ability. In the two months before the accident, I was finally back at full working condition, which for me includes being able to lift quite a lot of weight since I worked in a theater scene shop building sets. I was doing things like welding for several hours at a time and moving large set pieces for my show without aggregating my early back injury from 2005-06. Also, my finger had healed fully so I could take notes in class without being in pain, which greatly helps my academic achievement... Then the accident happened the weekend before Winter Finals and it was on the way to the opening day of the show I was working on with SGT. I don't want to go into details again but basically I suffered a concussion of some sort (although no bleeding in the brain), injuries to the hip and knee which healed the fastest, whiplash, back injury of some sort, and bicep tendonitis in my right shoulder where the seatbelt was holding me in the car (which was upside down, fyi). I guess that is enough detail to explain why three months later I still cannot really lift anything without hurting myself. It's extremely distressing, especially since I essentially had to quit my much loved job at the scene shop. My jobs have always been fairly physical, especially since starting to work professionally in the theater industry. A lot of theater jobs even require things like being able to lift 50-60 lbs.

My family and friends have been great about helping me out with moving things, letting me rest, and generally showing a lot of understanding to my frustration about my physical limitations. However, there are times when I'm alone when I really want to get things done but cannot physically accomplish them. For example, before my family came for graduation, I really wanted to move a bunch of stuff into the hall closet in order to make more room in the common area. It was too much for me to do so I had to ask my family to essentially "clean-up" for me when they arrived. My physical therapy is going well - I can use 3 lb weights for some of my exercises! - but I can't help wondering sometimes if these injuries are going to be semi-permanent. What if I can't hold my future children, nieces, or nephews because it will cause to much back pain? What if I can't get the jobs I really want just because someone made a huge mistake one morning and caused the horrible accident I was in?

I guess I'll just have to be patient for now. I can't help being frustrated for being weaker than I used to be but I try to remember what my mother told me a couple months ago. I'm paraphrasing but she said, essentially, "don't feel weak when you can't lift something - feel strong that you are following doctor's orders which will help you get better in the long run." I should get that tattooed on my body somewhere to remind me but hopefully it won't be needed in a few months...

Well, its time for me to go to bed but now that I'm back to blogging (especially since I"m officially graduated and unemployed), I hope to write about my graduation and post some pictures soon.

Thanks to all my friends, family, advisors, and strangers on the street who have offered me support in the last few months. And if you happen to be that fireman who helped me after the wreck, or the EMT who came to check on me in the ER, let me know...