Monday, December 24, 2007
My favorite untraditional tradition is the Solstice party. As far as I know, I have only ever missed one Solstice, when I didn't come home soon enough from Prague. I don't really know what anyone else in the world does for the Winter Solstice, but our holiday tradition is a sort of mish-mash of other holiday traditions all under the umbrella of Solstice. Usually there is singing and music. Always wassail and eggnog. Sometime long ago, there began the tradition of performing "St. George and the Dragon" a traditional mummers play from England. Over the years, I have played almost every part in this play. From the Dragon as a child to Lady Holly and this year finally St. George him(her)self. The play is fun and funny- Even though people have been performing the play for years, no one seems to remember their lines (except the steadfast Father Christmas, Charles). The collected costumes (where did we get a foam dragon's head?) only come out once a year.
The other major Solstice tradition is of course the Sword Dance. You can see the children grow from year to year. . . a baby that has to be held as she rides the swords, a child that balances and grasps tightly to an adult relative's head, a youth that is just too heavy to ride but can barely lift the sword above his head for the clanging, a teenager who is now strong enough to hold all six swords in the star formation high for the whole party to see. And then the years of dancing in between until it is time to hold our own children on the swords.
Over the years, the solstice party has been held in many different locations. Someone's house, someone else's house, a church basement (my least favorite), someone else's house again, our house, maybe your house, a rented hall. Many people have attended, some just once, some return year after year. But it doesn't really matter where it is or who comes, because the tradition is there. The tradition evolves some new things appear, some old things disappear, but the tradition is there.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
I am not Denver's Next Top Model
The place- Liz's living room. The time- now. The event- the first annual Denver's Next Top Model party. And who is Denver's Next Top Model? Well, not me. I got eliminated in the first round because apparently I was playing it safe and my walk was too clunky (it's not my fault that I have to wear big shoes, I'm like 5 feet tall!). But I'm not bitter. Actually being eliminated meant that I didn't have to make a dress out of trash bags or do a commercial for a random product. I did get to watch and drink and hang out with my friends as they all acted like models and judges and help with hair and make-up.
If you have never been to Casa Bonita, then you have never been to Denver. On this wonderful trip to the pinkest Mexicanish resturant in Denver, the joys did not cease. It was Krista's birthday and being new to this great town of ours, she had never seen the magical world of Casa Bonita. The cliff divers, the sopapillas, black barts cave, the skee ball, the stomach ache the morning after because you actually ate the food. John Shoe (a little bit obsessed with the Casa) gave us a grand tour that included every nook and cranny of this massive place. Even though I have been to CB many times, I have to admit that I saw some new things on this visit. And I learned something: go with the taco salad- it is really hard to mess up when you are dealing with ice berg lettuce, a few tomatos and some cheese. I didn't even feel sick the next day.
And my new job is. . .
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I was sitting in a living room that approximated my parents house, watching cartoons in a recliner. I was very interested in the cartoon, although I can't really remember any of it now. About half-way through, my dad came in and sat down in the chair next to mine. We engaged in small talk, but I was not really paying attention because the cartoon was really good. At some point I got annoyed that my dad was talking to me and I snapped at him. He then went on a tirade about how I was lazy and self-involved (very unlike my dad would ever do in real life) and stormed out of the room. I woke up with the feeling that I AM lazy and self-involved and that all I ever do is watch TV. Untrue and annoying.
My interpretation of the dream is that I am having anxiety about the amount of technology that will be available to me when I get to Albania. There is really no way of knowing if the place that I will be living will have a TV, if my town will have a movie theatre or if I will even have electricity. In the grand sceme of things, all of this is really not that important, but in reality, the idea of giving up my electronics scares me a bit. It is one of the many things that I have to wrap my head around over the next three months.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
At 1:30 in the morning today I got home and found a package in my mailbox. I thought about waiting until morning, but decided that I just couldn't do it. I walked upstairs and opened the envelope.
Albania. March 20th. Community Development.
Albania? Of all of the countries that I could have possibly been assigned to, I honestly have to say that I probably gave the least thought and consideration to Albania. I thought about Ukraine, I dreamed about Georgia, I considered Romania, I pondered Kazakhstan. But Albania didn't enter my brain until I opened the envelope and read the invitation. I won't say that I was disappointed, but taken aback. I don't really know anything about Albania, do you?
Some facts about Albania:
There are about 3.5 million people living there, 70% are Muslim, the rest are Roman Catholic or Orthodox. It is one of the poorest counties in Europe with a GDP per capita of about $4000 . The terrain is mostly mountainous with a 350 mile coast on the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
The Albanian language is an Indo-European language, meaning that it is related in structure and form to a lot of other European languages, including but not limited to: Greek, Italian and Slavic (makes sense since those are the countries around it), but is not actually in a language sub-group with any of these languages and is distinct. It is written in Latin script (you know, the same one we use) with a few extra letters. It is nothing like any of the languages that I have studied. Albanian makes the sixth distinct language that I have or will have studied (not including English, the only one I actually speak) in the past 10 years (Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Czech, and Arabic). To finish off my language package I need to learn an African language and an Asian language. Maybe I will actually become close to fluent in Albanian. . .
Albania. March 20th. Community Development. I'm excited. I'm nervous. Ok, I'm kinda freaking out. Yeah!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
A few weeks ago, I got free pass for two to see a screening of a movie. I got the pass late on the day before the screening and on the day of the screening I started to look for someone to come with me. I couldn't find a single person to come to the FREE movie with me. My friends were busy, working, out of town. I decided to go to the movie on my own. It was a movie that I really wanted to see (Martian Child with John Cusack) and I didn't want to pass up the chance to see a free movie (I really hate paying for movies- five years working in a theater can spoil a person). I loved the movie, but I hated watching it alone.
Tonight I could have gone to a concert in Boulder. A friend of mine was supposed to go with me, but cancelled at the last minute. I thought of a lot of reasons to not go to the concert- I didn't want to drive to Boulder, I have to get up early for work tomorrow, I don't really have the money. The truth is, I don't want to go alone.
In a few months, I will be leaving for the Peace Corps and living- alone- in a strange new country. If I can't even drive to Boulder alone, how am I going to survive being alone for two years?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I finally got all the paperwork together for my medical screening for the Peace Corps. I finished my doctors visits over a month ago but couldn't send in the stuff because I was waiting on my insurance company to figure out my bill and I needed the bill to get reimbursed by Peace Corps. I put it in the mail this morning. This is the last bit of stuff that PC needs from me, so assuming that I pass the medical screening (which I should, based on my results) I should have an invatation in a month or so.
The Buntport season started again a few weeks ago- two serial live performances. Starship Troy, a live sitcom that spoofs sci-fi and is based on audience sugestions of books, movies, tv shows or songs and Trunks, a live comic book based on audience suggestions of childrens lit. The Troy episode last night was based on Fame and it was awesome. I always look forward to shows at Buntport to laugh a lot and see all my friends. I'm going to have to figure out a way to get them to send me videos of the shows when I leave.
I'm a multitasker. This is the problem that I have with walking (and also driving or riding a bike) I like to be doing more than one thing at a time. Obviously, reading or writing when driving or biking is not recomended. Apparently reading while walking is dangerous too. I have gotten into the habit of reading the paper on my walks to the library, park and store. Yesterday on the way to the park I almost got hit by two different cars in the space of about two minutes. I have also nearly tripped and nearly walked into a few poles. And they say that walking isn't an extreme sport.
When I was driving home last night, I say a women with a large tree branch hanging out of her car window. She did not seem too concerned about it. I thought is was a little bit strange.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
My favorite moments: telling scary stories in the completely dark and damp and creepy basement laundry room, round the block giant frisbee relay in which I did a face plant on the sidewalk and Krista stole a wheelbarrow from a neighbor's front yard to carry me back and Scattegories- nuf said.
The next event: Denver's Next Top Model party hosted by Liz and J. It's gonna be fierce!
God, I love my friends ;).
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I've never been a person that does anything- walking, running, driving- just to do it. I like to have a destination. The idea of "let's just go for a drive" is completeley foriegn to me. Why would I want to do that? I want to GO SOMEWHERE. But yesterday, I felt the need to walk. I have been feeling rather lethargic lately, spending most of my free time locked away in my room watching TV, movies and playing mindless games on my computer. I don't actually like myself like this, I feel like I am antisocial and boring and bored. So I decided to walk.
I had a book to pick up from the library and since I don't like walking aimlessly, this seemed like a good destination. I have walked this route before- the approxomately one mile to the Decker Branch of the Denver Public Library- but it has been years, choosing lately to make the trip by car, usually on my way home from somewhere.
Walking through the neighborhood that I spent my childhood walking through brought me back in time. I passed the Presbertirain Church that we had Girl Scout meetings in. There used to be a playground next to it, now there is a community garden full of flowers and ripe squash. I pass by houses that used to be occupied by my friends. I don't know the people that live there now. The nieghborhood is beautiful. Unlike many of the other neighborhoods nearby, there are not too many scrape off McMansions or unsightly add-ons. Most of the neighborhood is still well kept Victorians and cute bungaloos. The weather is perfect for walking. Sunny, but not too hot. Most of the trees are just starting to change color and the yellows and oranges are spectacular.
I think I'm going to try walking more. I'll start with going for destinations and see how that goes. I may even learn to walk just to walk.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This weekend, the weather gods were not smiling on me and my dad as we tried to enjoy the last weekend of summer with a camping trip to the mountains just across the Wyoming border. The drive up on Saturday was lovely. . . we had blue skies with pretty white clouds. We set up camp and everything seemed peachy. Then in the middle of the night it started to rain. It rained all day on Sunday, basically ruining our plans to hike (although the clouds broke just enough for us to drive around and see the mountains a bit.) It looked like it might clear up on Monday morning. . . then the clouds came back and (in true first day of fall fashion) it started to snow. We packed up camp and made a hasty retreat, deciding that being cold and wet was just not that much fun anymore. Not exactly the best camping trip ever- but I spent some good quality time with my dad, so that's ok. And next time I'll check the weather report, not that that will probably make any difference (spiteful and pernickety weather gods we have here!)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Anyway, my plans for the weekend: big Flobots show on Friday(several of my constant musical crushes) all those in Denver should attend. Seriously. And then camping in Wyoming with my dad.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I was thinking about the trends of my love life lately and I have discovered a very disturbing thing: I am addicted to musicians. A survey of my most recent boyfriends and crushes proves that Becca prefers musicians to all others by a more than 2 to 1 basis. In fact all of Becca's most serious boyfriends were musicians and the only recent crush that Becca has had that was not a musician was in fact an actor (who sometimes sings on stage) and so that almost counts. I will stop talking about myself in the third person now.
I don't really know what it is about the musicians that I love so much- it is not the rock star thing, none of them are famous (yet). It does have something to do with performance, but I needn't have heard them perform to be in love with them (although it helps). Maybe it is the intensity of musicians (and other artists) that I love. Maybe it is just that they are really good looking. Really good looking and talented- deadly combination.
Knowing that I have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery. Wait. Screw that, I like musicians and there is nothing that will change that!
Anyway, my latest musical crush is this guy. Not only is he an amazing singer/songwriter/guitarist, he also has amazing curly hair. And it turns out that we were destined to be best friends. Let me explain. Rob came up to camp a few weeks ago to perform with the flobots in a Sacred Slam. It was an amazing night full of music and poetry and magic. Before the show, I started to talk to Rob. I knew that I had seen him around several times in the past few months- it turns out that we have a lot of mutual friends. In addition to the flobots (MacKenzie actually played on his latest album), he knows people at Buntport and a ton of my friends, like he went to high school with one of my good friends. But I was sure that I knew him from somewhere else. It turns out that we almost worked together at a movie theatre in high school. He stopped working at the theatre at about the same time that I started. I continued to work there for five years, he went on to be a fabulous musician. It was destiny. BFF. That's what we are now. Who can argue with destiny. I know that I don't intend to.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I am subbing now. . . oh the joys of being a fake teacher. Here is what I like about being a substitute teacher:
1) I get to read a lot- most teachers leave pretty simple things for me to do, often there is a movie or some sort of work sheet involved. I also get to read (or do my own thing) during planning periods and lunch.
2) I mostly sub at DCIS- so far this semester I have only been at one school, DCIS, which is great for so many reasons. I know most of the kids, so I don't get that "you are just a sub and we can do whatever we want" type attitude. I can also be relatively sure that I will have a fairly clear lesson plan and something to actually do, rather than the normal "let's watch a nature movie that has nothing to do with what these kids are learning" type lesson. Even with those good points, I still get the occasional little shits that bug me and don't do anything that I ask. I have a feeling that this is how they act for their regular teachers though, so I don't worry about it too much.
3) If I am every feeling crappy, tired or just plain lazy I can turn down a job. I can also turn down jobs from schools I don't like, teachers I don't like or in subjects I don't like. I have to be careful to sub a certain amount of days a week to make enough money for rent (which is the point, after all) but other than that, I can just say no.
4)I have no responsibilities at the end of the day. After I sign my daily report and leave the building, that's it. I have no homework or papers to grade, no lesson plans to make, no parents to call. That means that I can go home and watch TV, go to movies, go to cooking club/majong/concerts etc. with little or no guilt about what I SHOULD be doing instead.
5) I can be the NICE sub. We all remember that sub. The one you were happy to get because they were actually a better teacher than your regular teacher and they were always nice to you. I try not to be the mean sub. Or the crying sub. I'm the young sub, which I usually liked better than the old sub. It's funny how many times the kids tell me "I like you better than so and so." I don't take it too seriously (just like I don't take kids telling me I'm mean too seriously) but it is kind of funny.
Highlight for the day: three of the seventh graders that I know from last year told me that when I go into the Peace Corps they want to come and visit me. . . but since the tickets will be really expensive they will only buy one ticket and the other two will stow away in her suitcase. Cute.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We embarked late. . . 7PM Denver time and it was raining. It rained most of the way across Nebraska. Ilil asked what we were missing by driving across Nebraska at night. I informed her that all we were missing was a lot of corn and that we could see that on the way back. Luckily of the three Israelis, one had an international driver's license and could almost drive a stick. For some reason many people seemed to doubt her driving ability. I admit that I was one of them. She did a great job though. I slept though most of her driving, but as far as I know, we didn't hit anything of consequence. We arrived in Wall, South Dakota at around 2:30 AM. What is there to do in Wall at 2:30 in the morning? Not much. But we didn't really know where we were going. Luckily our friendly neighborhood National Park Ranger volunteered to give us a police escort to the place that we were staying. Good thing too, because I don't think I would have been able to find it during the middle of the day much less the middle of the night. We narrowly missed hitting a deer on our way. Stan was not so lucky and damaged his car quite a bit.
Advice- don't go driving in the middle of the night in the middle of South Dakota. There's a lot of deer and they like to run out in front of cars. Suicidal, I think.
After a few hours of sleep, we got up to see the Badlands. When you drive into the Badlands National Park, it is kind of like driving onto the moon. Seriously, I think this is what the moon would look like. There are slightly more plants than I imagine the moon would have, but not much. It was also hotter than the moon. But beautiful in that other worldly moon sort of way. This part of the park is known for it's many fossils of all sorts of strange animals. We stopped at the Big Pig Dig, where there found, you guessed it, a big pig. That's just fun to say Big Pig Dig, Big Pig Dig. . . hee hee. . .
Advice- If you go to a National Park, make friends with the park people. Not only did we have a place to stay, we also got a private (free) tour of the park. In a government vehicle. Did I mention it was free? And that we got to go behind the scenes?
The second day in the Badlands we went into the South Unit of the park. This part of the National Park lies entirely within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There are much less people in this part of the park- less roads, less amenities. Just as much beauty. We also went out of the park to see the site of the Wounded Knee Masacre. The ranger that we were with was a little bit nervous to take us there. . . even though he is Native American, any one that works for the government is looked upon with suspicion by the people there.
The highlight of the trip (and possibly the coolest thing that I've ever gotten to do in America) was the next day when we went to Mt. Rushmore. We had to get up at 4:00 in the morning to make it (in the dark) to Mt. Rushmore by 7:00. We had to be at Mt. Rushmore at 7:00 because we were getting a private tour of the heads. Yes, I got to walk on George Washington's head. Only a few people get to go to the top. Being with three Israelis really tested my knowledge of American History. . . "why are these president's here? why is this important?" I think that I did a good job of answering. . . I could be a park ranger :)
I'll tell you this- it's not like the movies. There is (as far as I saw) no secret room behind the eyes. But there was an amazing view. And it was damned cool to get to go up there.
After Rushmore, we headed on home. . . Nebraska was much hotter and just as boring during the day. It was a short trip, but good. Yeah road trips. Yeah South Dakota. Yeah.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
-Zach Braff, Garden State
I have been thinking a lot about the concept of "home" lately. At the beginning of staff training Ian had us do a writing exercise about home. It got me to thinking how much my own home doesn't feel like home. . .
I know that I am ready to leave home because when I do go away I don't miss it. I miss the stuff sometimes. . . a warm shower, a soft bed, clean clothes. I could say that I miss my parents but I would be lying, I think. I miss my sister and my nieces, but I miss them when I am home anyway. . .
During the closing circle of the program I said basically the following: I have had a really hard summer and a really crazy year. It's not just that this program feels like home to me (although that is true) it is about who I am when I am here. I am the best version of myself. Everyone in the circle makes me a better person and I hope that I helped make them better people too. I am myself only when I am at home. . .
I don't think that my parent's house will ever really feel like home to me again. This year has been hard because I feel so uncomfortable here. This isn't home. . . but I'm not sure if I know at all what home is anymore. I don't know what home looks like or smells like or tastes like. But it isn't this. This is not my home.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I love the flowers, I love the daffodils
I love the fireside, when all the lights are low
Boomdiada, Boomdiada, Boomdiada, Boomdiada
We are up in the mountains, which is great. The situation in Denver was not ideal. . . we were in a basement of a church, and while we appriciate that free space, it was hot and cramped. For three days. Hot and cramped. But now we are up at our camp and there is lots of space (and also lots of cute little animals and dirt, yeah!) Camp itself is going OK, but you never really know until the end how things will turn out. There have been some administrative things. . . the worst part is that since it is such a short program, by the time we figure out what we are doing and get into a groove, camp is over. Either way, I'm looking forward to the next week and all the work that can get done.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Other stuff: I had coffee with Nichole on Saturday. We spent more than an hour catching up and making small talk and completely avoiding talking about what happened last summer. Finally in the car after we left the restaurant we started getting down to it. I'm not going to go into details about it, but there were some tears. Basically, I'm still not sure how I feel, but I have to give her credit for reaching out and I know I missed her this year. Does that mean I forgive her. . . maybe not completely. Maybe it means that my eyes are a little bit more open. We agreed to try to talk. We'll see how that goes.
Kickball update: Science for the People played our last regular season game on Sunday against the Drinking 40's. Unsurprisingly, we lost 25-7. We are, however playing in the post season. . . look for us to go up against Always Drunk (who really live up to their name) in the Best of the Worst right before the championship. It might actually be a game that we can win.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tonight was the first night of staff training for the next chapter: Building Bridges for Peace. BBFP is a program that I have been involved with off and on for the past 9 years. After a two summer hiatus, I am returning as a counselor for the third time. Tonight was great. People I haven't seen in years: got to see them. People that I met for the first time, but I'm sure that they will be great friends: got to see them. I'm so excited for camp. . . it's been too long.
Other things: I saw Nancy Drew the other day. . . the critics have no idea what they are talking about. It was great. It was exactly like the books and seeing it with Wendy and Amanda was awesome. Next: Serial Novels Picnic- get your bobby socks ready!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Kickball update: score of today's game- Tag Team- 17, Science- 2. Even though that looks like a blowout, it was actually a really fun game and we played really well. It is the first time ever that we have lost to TT by less than 20 and we actually scored, so we avoided shutout. Go us.
My first event was a baby shower for Deegan and Brandi. Deegan is my mom's best friend's son. The baby shower was lovely- garden party brunch, kids playing in the pool out back, adults chatting in the shade. The only strange thing about it is that Deegan and Brandi weren't actually there. . . because they live here. We passed around phones and spoke to the parents to be. All of the gifts will be packed in suitcases and sent down when friends and family make the trip down to Costa Rica over the next few months. The best thing about this baby shower. . . no games. :)
After that (and a nap) I went to the opening of my friend Jaime's design show. Kagen had a puzzle box in the show and there was lots of fun, funky furniture and other functional pieces. Design can be fun but it can also be a bit strange. I love to look at all of this stuff, but I think I would probably have a hard time buying things. I have the same problem with a lot of art. I love it, I really do, I just often have a hard time imagining that I could spend several hundred (or thousand) dollars on a painting. This is my dream: someday, I will have enough money to buy art.
After the design show I party hopped over to birthday parties for Aaron and then Emily. I finished the night up with a stop at Hermans for the Flobots. If I were a Flobot, I would be #23. #23 likes #101. He might just be my new secret crush.
Today: Science for the People vs. Tag Team. TT is undeafeated and currently in first place. Since we have very little chance of winning, our plan for the day is to BBQ and try to get really drunk. This may be my last kickball game depending on my camp schedule for the rest of the summer. I'm going to make it a good one. BDK baby.
Friday, July 13, 2007
after a month off, cooking club returned with a vengence. . . and video games. We cooked up fun themed like our favorite pastimes- I made Mario Mushroom Tarts. We played Mrs. Pac Man and Space Invaders and gorged ourselves on food that looked like qbert and pac man as well as other mushroom treats. We also played on Goodrich's Wii. I think I love the Wii. In addition to cool games and realistic sports and random good times, you can make your own little video game person, a Mii. Honestly, we had as much fun making Miis for everyone in Cooking Club as we did actually playing the games.
and Twin Peaks (also with fun food!)
Thanks to Rick and Margi for making log lady cake.
Yummier than actual logs! Pitch gum (actually star burst) included.
Monday, July 9, 2007
It came upon me last night while flickin it up at the art museum. By the time I got home, my nose was sufficiently stuffed and I didn't get any sleep. I feel like it is always worse to be sick in the summer. In the winter, at least, I don't feel so bad about bundling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book or some bad TV. But right now, in the middle of the fun season, all I want to do is sleep all day and all night and not leave the house. "There is so much to do!" my brain tells me, as I contemplate missing my meeting tonight and skipping the outdoor movie fun. "You'll feel better if you rest," my body tells me, forcing me to collapse on the couch. I went home early from work today (camp planning) hoping to be feeling better as soon as tomorrow. If I don't feel better tomorrow, it will really suck since we are taking the kids river rafting. Not too fun when you feel like shit. Because of that, I think I will just stay in tonight. I'm almost done watching the first season of Heroes and that sounds pretty good to my body and my brain right now.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
b. emotional burnout
c. fried brain
d. overall hotness (temperature wise)
e. all of the above
I'm feeling burned out and burned. It is hot. I am tired. I'm tired of the complaining. I have never met kids that complain so much. No matter what activity we choose they have something to say about it. They never give us suggestions for what we should do, but whatever we are doing is the wrong thing. This holiday came at just the right time. Two days off. Then two more weeks. Just two more weeks. Only two more weeks. I just need to make it through two more weeks.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
My favorite episode title in season 1 is M.A.D. It stands for Mutally Assured Destruction. You can ask anyone in my class this year and they will tell you that MAD is one of my favorite International Political Theory terms. Basically it means that if we drop a bomb that would destroy Russia, they would drop a bomb that would destroy us, thereby assuring our mutual destruction. MAD is the crazy (mad) idea that if we have enough weapons, then no one would dare attack us because it would mean their own destruction as well. The kids in my class will also tell you that I am fond of using high school as an analogy for international politics. . . you better believe that if I teach this class again they are going to be watching part of the MAD episode (in which Veronica creates a "weapon" that would destroy a boy if he released the incriminating sex video he has of his ex). Hmmmm . . . I think I'm addicted.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The third annual Mixed Drinks, Mixed Doubles Mixer was a huge success. While the tournament itself fell apart after the first round and I'm pretty sure that there was no winner, everyone had fun, got drunk and hit some balls. As the reining champs, Kagan and I had a lot to live up to this year. We of course failed misserably to live up to those expectations and lost our first two matches. We redeemed ourselves slightly by winning the third match. This late victory, of course made no difference since the tournament had devolved into a drunken free for all.
Gail, Simone and Heidi made up a great new game called Bomabardment. Physically more challenging then tennis the way we play it, the point of the game is to hit as many balls to the other side of the court as fast as possible. If all the balls are on the opponents side, you are awarded a point. Extra points are awarded if you hit a ball over the fence (a "home run"). This game is best played with at least three balls and at least four people. It is also extremely entertaining after a few cocktails.
Thank you to Ewen for bringing the tennis fun. Next event- The Back Nine Golf Tourney.
Kickball update: Science for the People- 3, Shitkickers- 23. One of those points is mine in the ninth. Go me. You can call me firecracker.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Yesterday we took the camp kids to Water World. I now have my first official sunburn of the summer. What that means is that parts of me are unevenly sore. I never seem to get sunburned in a overall fashion. Mostly my sunburns are a result of uneven sunscreen application. What that means is that right now I am splotchily red and tan. Over the next few days, some of the burn will fade nicely, some of the burn with peel grossly and I will be left with lots of strange lines. I never really feel like it's summer until I get a bit burned. Over the next few months I expect to get burned again (especially with all the time I'm spending outside with the kids). It is now officially summer.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
6/2/07- My first thoughts of Maine- You can smell the water. You can feel it all around you. The air was cool, so the humidity is not either oppressive of bitter. It feels like a warm hand enclosing you in the mist. You can feel the water seeping into your skin. Everything is green and thick. Forests that could go on forever. The lilacs bloom later here. In Denver they are done flowering, but here they are in full fragrant bloom . . .
About the conference so far- it is clear that I need to leave my cynicism at the door and be enthusiastic, or not only will I not fit in, I won't have any fun.
Note: It rained for the first three days that I was there. Then the weather cleared up and became gorgeous- cool and lovely. The only problem, that's when the mosquitoes came out.
6/3/07 (my birthday)- Singing at 6:30am. A great way to start my 25th year. I had a lovely conversation with Missy about kids and drugs and past lives. Sometimes I think I can feel other lives in me. Quieter lives- I was thinking about my personalities. Maybe my Gemini duality is a force of a remembered past life. Maybe not.
6/4/07- I had a wonderful birthday- I got sung to at lunch and dinner. It has helped people learn my name "Hey, you're the birthday girl!" Plus I got cake.
6/5/07- gallery opening. working in a gallery is hard work. nuf said. goodnight.
6/7/07- I went on a boat trip yesterday. There were no whales as we had been promised. In fact, when we asked the captain if we might see whales, he laughed. We did see a lot of birds, which is fitting. I've never felt any connection to birds really . . . but I have been feeling drawn towards the imagery of birds lately. In my dreams and waking life- birds. Anyway, we also saw seals, which was cool. I didn't really get sea sick, although I did get car sick on the bus down to the water. Silly, eh?
Note: I have been having dreams about birds lately and explored this in a dream/art workshop.
6/7/07- I don't think the band had ever seen anything like it. I know I never had . After three encores, the band finally started to pack up their equipment. The crowd had been wonderful- first, they fed the band dinner (something else that doesn't happen too often) then they started to dance. Slowly at first a few people braved the floor. By the break, the floor was packed and the people were loving it. There was an unpretentiousness to the dance. Moving freely and openly with their whole body. Young and old spinning and jumping around each other. Freely, openly, feeling every beat in their feet, legs, arms, heads and torsos. They danced together and apart, through and around, up and down the dance floor. The first encore was expected, even the second was not unprecedented. They relented a third time, but could do so no longer and put away the drums, guitars, piano and saxophone. But then it started. Someone found a drum- out of no where, there appeared the accordion. They chanted nonsense, stomped and clapped. They continued to turn and jump and cheer. The spontaneous music came not from the band but from the dancers, from the dance itself. They had the dance inside of them and even the band had never seen anything like it.
6/8/07- To sleep, to dream. Or, to not sleep and to not dream. In a room full of spirits and other sleeping forms I did not sleep. I strained for sleep and in that straining I struggled and in that struggle I lay awake. When you try too hard for something it invariably slips through your fingers. Now up in the loft, high above the multitude of people engrossed in the poets reading on stage- here I doze, here I dream. With the sitar as my soundtrack I go into a trance so that the dream and life are now one in the same. I have made a nest here- surrounded myself in warmth and comfort. I sleep now and the poetry enters my dreams and makes me live the poetry.
A word mumbled in the night: "Sandwiches"
"The kind you eat?" "Of course, are there any other kind?" And back to sleep.
Note: I didn't sleep much during the week, even when during an all night workshop about dreams, sleep was the main idea. Since I've been home I've been dreaming a lot.
6/8/07 (still)- The collective sigh "Ahh" "Ohh" when the poem is done and no one knows if they should laugh or cry or clap or cheer, but they just sigh. "Ahh" "Ohh" We feel together the poem and let the sound escape from our lips almost involuntarily. "Ahh" "Ohh" is enough to express how we are all feeling.
6/9/07- You would have laughed- because it really is silly. 100 people holding hands, chanting, dancing, circling through and around each other. You would have laughed because it was almost too beautiful to not laugh, not cry. This would have been funny as a parody if it were not so true. You would have laughed, but I could not laugh. Instead I sang and turned and let the remembering enter me. I could have laughed, but I did not laugh and I'm glad.
6/10/07- We painted our faces blue. I don't think the kids understood exactly why we were doing it. They ended up having to go to bed before the talk even started. Why we were doing it didn't matter quite as much as the fact that it was fun. When is it not fun to paint your face blue and lay on the floor to listen to stories. We were honoring Krishna; but we were really just having random fun.
6/11/07- We held hands and chanted. . . "Good where I am, good where I'm going to be" we started to circle around. Passing now familiar faces that just a week ago seemed strange. As the circle got closer the chant grew softer. Soon we were in one gigantic group hug. I hope no one is claustrophobic. I realized that I was no longer standing on my own but being held up, supported by the circle.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Ok, so I've been home from Maine for almost a week now. First, let me just say that the conference was awesome and Maine is gorgeous. My birthday was great- I couldn't have asked to spend my 25th in a more beautiful place with nicer people. Being in this great place with a whole bunch of artists and writers really got my poetic juices flowing. I wrote a lot. Being in the woods and not working allowed me the time and space that I needed to write. Not having my computer with me meant that I had to write the old fashioned way- in my journal.
Anyway, first, about the conference itself:
The Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father (GMC) was stared by Robert Bly over 30 years ago. My understanding is that the conference was started for the purpose of gathering together talented and interested men and women to take a soulful journey together through mythology, storytelling, music, art, poetry and community. It's not really a conference, but more of a summer camp for adults. The theme of this year's conference was Sufism and particularly focused on the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. Right now Robert Bly is in the process of translating Hafez (which is one reason that the conference focused on the Sufis). Before this, I had never heard of either of these poets and actually knew very little about Sufism. You may have heard of Whirling Dervishes. . . but like me had no idea what a dervish was or why they were whirling. Well, now I know. I think.
In addition to the Sufi stuff (which was actually only a small part of the conference) there were a ton of poets, both young and old, artists, music and dancing. My favorite poet was probably Tony Hoagland. His poems were funny but heartfelt and although I don't usually buy poetry, I bought his book. . . I also particularly loved Gioia Timpanelli (pronounced Joy-a), who is this amazing storyteller and the lovely background music provided by David Whetstone on sitar and Marcus Wise on tabla. Do you know how great it is to hear a lovely story being told or poem being read with a sitar? Well, let me just tell you that it is great. The sitar adds this dreamy, almost surreal quality to everything . . . I'll add some thoughts from my journal soon . . .
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Here is the video
Yes, that is me both eating cheese balls while waiting for a bus and eating 7 (vegitarian) hot dogs. A secret of film making. . . I didn't really eat 7 hot dogs, but I'm still the champ!
I'll let you know when the voting begins so that we can make sure that Liz gets to have her dream of being a Bunnette.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Becomeing a teacher means that once again, the end of may becomes a bitter sweet time of goodbyes and good lucks. The seniors graduating this year are among the best I've ever seen. They are mature and thoughtful and caring and intellegent and all around pretty good kids. So here's to the class of '07. Good luck in college and life beyond.
Okay, enough mushy stuff. Some of the teachers went out for a drink after graduation the other night. My weirdness at drinking with my former teachers (as I now teach at the school I attended not so many years ago) including the principal, has lessened over the past year, but not completely gone away. I remember the first FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) that I went to last year. I had been subbing for about two months and one Friday when I was at West, a few of the teachers asked if I wanted to go out for a beer. I get to the bar and this wave of self doubt washes over me. Even though I am 24 years old and I work with these people ever day as an equal. . . they were my teachers in high school. I mean, can you imagine drinking with your high school principal? Changing roles (from student to teacher) is hard. Convincing the teachers to think of me not as a 17 year old is even harder. I have had to prove myself a lot. This felt a little bit like graduation for me too. I got to wear a robe and walk in with the teachers- the kids even call me Ms. Lipman and I don't mind. Growing up? Something like that.
P.S. It's true- the teachers go out after school and talk about the kids; who we love , who we hate; who we want to throw out the second story window during 7th period. Teachers really are the worst gossips in the world- next to high schoolers that is.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I had fun yesterday- kickball in the park, bbq with jello shots and beer pong.
B-day party for my friend Rob- he's the one in the bunny suit. Let me tell you, nothing turns me on quite like a man in a bunny suit playing the cowbell. I was feeling pretty good all day until about half way through Rob's party. All of a sudden I was sad. I know what brought it on, but I didn't want it to get to me. Why should it get to me. Why should I let something like that ruin my good night and fun party. So the answer: dance it out. I was tired and I had a headache. Dance it out. Nothing to do about the situation. Dance it out. I danced until the lights came up and the DJ started packing. Just dance it out.
P.S. check out Rob's bands- Lion Sized and b.diddle
Friday, May 25, 2007
I don't have any idea what is going on. . . and yet I can't look away. I'm glad that I have a fun group of people to watch with- they make the weirdness funny and I don't really care that I don't understand what's going on because we can hear funny stories about Lenny's grandma learning about tea baggin or Rob talk about the difference between Vegan and Carnivore p*ssy. It's a nice change from some of my other (less raunchy) friends. New friends, new addiction. Yeah. :)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
*names have probably not been changed to protect the innocent
Monday, May 21, 2007
In May of last year Nichole, my best friend of almost 10 years, moved out of our shared apartment unexpectedly leaving me feeling dazed and confused. She also left me with a bed (that I moved and stored) and no concievable way to pay the rent on my own, forcing me to move back into my parent's house (where I am still living, having decided that saving money on rent was a good thing). I've already talked a bit about this here.
Today I got an e-mail from her. It is almost exactly a year ago that the whole thing went down (she moved out a week and a half after Mother's Day, we had our big blow-out fight about it on May 30.) To sum up the letter, she said that she was thinking about me because my birthday was coming up (two weeks from yesterday) and that she treated me horribly, made mistakes in our friendship and took me for granted. She hopes that I can accept her apology and eventually become friends again.
I don't really know what to think yet. I have been saying all year that I would not make the move. I felt hurt and I wanted her to appologize. So now the ball's in my court, so to speak. I think that I forgive her, but I don't even know what to say to her. I don't know that I want to be friends again and I don't think things can ever go back to the way they were. She says that she misses me. Part of me misses her too, how could I not, after 10 years of friendship. But part of me doesn't miss her. I'll be honest: she is kind of a high maintenence friend. I don't know if I can take her drama right now. I think that I had thought that I had calmed down about this over the past year but maybe I'm still too angry. The one thing I know for sure: I need to do some thinking about what (if anything) I should say to her.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
So far this year, we have not won a game. We have actually come pretty close to winning a couple of times. Today was really discouraging. I didn't feel like anyone was really in it. During the game today, I had a few conversations about this issue. One of my friends pointed out that I could join another team; I knew what I was getting in to when I stayed on this team (we only won one game last regular season). True, I knew that they were not the best team in the league, but I felt like we were getting better. In fact, (with the exception of today) we have been playing great, but still just not able to get it together enough for the win. Another friend had a theory: maybe people are not trying as hard as they can because it is easier (mentally) to lose when you don't put all of your heart and soul into it. If you can just make it a joke then it won't hurt so much. I guess I just don't work that way. I'm a really competative person when it comes down to it. But I don't feel like my team is the same. They try, but I don't think that they really want it. I want it. I want to win. I love my team, but just for a moment, I wish I were on the winning team. Is that so wrong?
Score today: Drinkin' 40's- 4 billion, Science for the People-2
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So, I have this great job working with kids. For some reason (I think we may have had one too many margaritas) we decided that it might be a good idea to have a summer camp. Great, execpt that it costs like $10,000 to have a summer camp. That's where you come in.
I'm not expecting big donations. In fact, if each one of my friends gave $20, I would be happy. I know you don't have money (I don't have any either), but seriously this is a good thing. Look at the website. . . you can donate by credit card (and if you are uncomfortable doing that, let me know and I can give you other options). And you can give as little or as much as you like. Thank you in advance.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
some of my club activities
Message from the Club Club founder:
Get ready for the newest club in town, Club Club! This is by far the way coolest club around and I hope you all can make it! You must be wondering what sort of fun is to be had at the Club Club? It is something you will not want to miss. For our first meeting we will be making clubs. Haven't you always wanted your very own personal club? Clubs are very easy to make.. The only requirement is that one end of a blunt object be slightly more narrow than the other end. This being accomplished you are able to grip it easily with one hand and swing it at stuff. It was suggested the first meeting be held at my woodshop to allow us to easily manufacture our own clubs, but due to the simplicity of making such an item we can meet just about anywhere. If the cavemen did it so can we!
I very much look forward to seeing you all there,
(founder of Club Club)
If we have enough time left over we can decorate our clubs with markers.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Becca- (my name was actually misspelled Rebbeca on the front of the note- and these were my CLOSE friends!)
We talked it over and decided we don’t like you anymore.
Love, Allison, Erin and Elizabeth K.
[PS] I know it’s mean, but we aren't the only ones who feel this way. Take what you do (like cry to[o] much) into consideration.
That’s it. Two sentences. At the time (as you can imagine) that note rocked my world. When I look back on it now (more than 10 years later) that note actally was a turning point in my life. That note helped me make the final decision about where I was going to go to high school. Up until that point, I was still considering going to South, because that was where all of my friends were going. Of course, when three of your good friends give you a note like this, the idea of going to four more years of school with them becomes a bit less appealing. The great thing is that I went to West, met some great people (including Mitch) who introduced me to more great people (including the Buntporters) so when you think about it, that note led me to being onstage last night reading that note. If they had never written that to me, maybe I would have gone to South, never met anyone and would therefore not have been at Buntport last night to read (plus I wouldn’t have had anything to read). Or maybe (if you believe in fate) I would have found my way to Buntport last night anyway, because that is what was meant to be. Or something. Anyway, so that note changed my life. And even though at the time it was painful (middle school girls are mean!) my life is better for it. I think I am a better person and I think that my life has gone in a better direction. So thank you to Allison, Erin and Elizabeth K, wherever you are, for rejecting me; it’s meant a lot to me
On another note: Shout out to my friends the Flobots (no w). I saw them at Herman's Hideaway on Sat night. You can see them at Red Rocks with the fray on August 6th. Or if you don't want to wait that long (or pay that much) see them at Cervantes Ballroom on May 11. And thanks for always inspiring me guys. I love ya.
You are not alone
You don't have to do this on your own
You won't have to prove yourself to get through this
Don't have to lose yourself to this music
In fact you might find yourself
In a room full of strangers trying to help
In a flashback to the last time you felt
The presence of something divine well, this is
Hip-hop it's not just for profit anymore never was
It's too easy to live your life waiting for change to arrive if it ever does
It will come from a source that's infinite, not from a middle man
You can't measure it's force but you've got a sense of it,
and it's bigger than Hip (hop)
it's larger than life/death
much greater than us/them
One Love Agape One Love Agape
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I never thought at the time that I would be looking back 7 years later and wondering what went wrong with our friendships. With Derek, the answer is a little bit eaiser. He left DU, I went abroad, we drifted apart and then stopped talking all together. With Nichole, the situation is a bit more complicated. I never thought that anything could come between me and Nichole. We had been there for eachother through it all: bad boyfriends, school stress, parent issues. Even living 3000 miles away didn't tarnish our friendship. We talked often, hung out whenever she was home and I even went to visit her at Smith twice.
When she moved back to Denver, it was only natural that we would move in together. A lot of people warned me about living with friends: the fastest way to ruin a friendship is sex, the second fastest is becoming roommates. But is wasn't like that for us. We lived together great. I liked to cook, she liked to clean. Neither one of us had a lot of loud parties. Our movie collections complemented eachother without too many duplicates. We were good friends, but we had our own seperate lives. We always knew that we were there for eachother to talk to. Occasionally we would have some issues (don't even get me started on the whole Irene business), but overall we lived together well. Which is why the whole thing is still so upsetting to me. I don't even really know what happened. Now I know she was unhappy, but at the time, she didn't confide in me about what was going on. She just left. After trying to get in touch with her about her bed, I haven't attempted communication. I know (from her blog and the grapevine) that she came home for Christmas and Spring Break. More than anything, I just want to know her side of the story. Was she as hurt over the events that went down as I was? Does she ever think about me and what our friendship could have been?
I look back at that period at the end of our senior year with some degree of sadness, because I never though it would be quite like this. I hope that these kids stay better friends than we managed to.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Anyone that has been in Denver over the past few months knows how brutal this winter has been for all of us. We're just not used to not seeing the sun for two months. That's why we live in D-town and not in Seattle or Minnesota or something. And it's been cold. I've run out of sweaters. Usually I wear my short sleves as much as my scarves in the winter. Let me tell you, I'm tired of it.
There are a few things that mean summer for me in Denver. Sunny mornings with an afternoon thunderstorm: Summer in Denver. Lots of great concerts: Summer in Denver. Kickball: Summer in Denver.
Yesterday was a first taste of summer for me. It was sunny and warm and wonderful. Kickball. I love kickball. It's kinda weird, casue I hate baseball. So you would think that I would hate kickball also. But I don't, I love it. I love playing and I even love watching. Maybe it is just because it is my friends playing and I have such a good time. But what ever makes me love it, I do. And yesterday was great. Science was there to represent in our fuscia and argyle, I got to see some great people that I haven't seen in a while (and a few that I see all the time) and I played really good. I scored the first point of the game, and even though we ended up losing (11-6) it was a pre-season game, so it didn't really matter. It felt good to be out on the field again. I think that this is going to be a good summer. . . if it ever gets here.