(we are)

you were a piece to my puzzle!

...but i know how easily pieces get lost

i was someone before you. i'll be someone after you.

bigger fish to fry

white devils

this world is so much bigger than us (than all of us)

how fortunate we are! everywhere we look, there is work to be done!

in our deathly culture, the most revolutionary thing we can do is find our hearts. after that, the most responsible thing to do is to help others find their hearts.

i'll keep on fighting

i'll keep on fighting

you made me who i am

i don't know if you actually saved my life
but you changed me, that's for sure

i was someone before you. i'll be someone after you.

there's far too much to experience and accomplish to waste one precious second

far too much work to be done

gardens to be planted, hearts to be found, states to be smashed
(cities left to visit, trees we've yet to live in)

it'll be alright, it'll be alright

there's a world out there for them, but not for us
and that's fine--because we get to create it!

lots of very big fish to fry
  • Current Mood
    awake awake

Anything that is YOU and has nothing to do with the other person

I will marry my music instead!
How could I have forgotten!?
The same thing I always realize:
unity! community! hardcore pride!

:) So tonight, I am sitting round at home and thinking, "Its cold out. Maybe I will not go to that show at Uncle Lou's." But then I think...why not? True, I have no one to go with, but that's really not a big deal.

So I get in my car and put on that mix Shelby made for me and Brandon, music about music. It's so inspiring!!

"Are you gonna live your life wondering? Standing in the back, looking around?"


"From all the drugs the one I like more is music
From all the junks the one I need more is music
From all the boys the one I take home is music
From all the ladies the one I kiss is music!

"I will marry my music instead, because she makes me feel LA DA DA DAAA!"

:) So by the time I get to Uncle Lou's I am pumped. Plus, I easily find a parking spot right across the street, so, double pumped!

Its only seven dollars at the door (triple pumped!). That kid Wesley draws an admission paid X on my hand. My friend Paul introduced me to Wesley the other night but it doesn't seem like he remembers me. He probably meets a lot of people.

There are tons of kids here, including straight edge varsity jacket guy, and the same four girls who were here at the show the other night. Those four plus me make up the only girls in a sea of dudes, so that hasn't changed since the days long ago when I used to go to shows all the time. That's too bad.

A band is just finishing up when I get inside. They sound alright, I don't catch their name. I find an empty barstool along the wall, which is a real treat because it means I can just sit awkwardly instead of standing around awkwardly.

Much to my surprise, the dude on the barstool next to mine engages me in conversation! He has stretched earlobes and a turned up baseball cap and a Make or Break hoodie, and he's mumbly. I ask if he knows the next band, he says yeah he knows all the bands, don't I?
"Um, nope! I don't really know any newer bands...I guess I listen to mostly old stuff!"
"Yeah, like what?"
I painted myself into a cool points corner with that one...I name drop the coolest unarguably "old" band I can think of:
"Eh, you know, Cro Mags. And stuff."
"Haha, yeah, like Warzone?"
"Yeah I like them."
"Cro Mags were just here, like last year."
"Yeah but wouldn't it have been better to see them like, ten years ago?"
"Haha, when you were what, EIGHT YEARS OLD?"
"Hahahaha no I was eighteen."
"No way! I don't believe you."
I'm old.
He asks if I'm from out of town.
"Nope. Well, kind of. I live in Kissimmee."
"Haha me too!"
He names some subdivision, near the mall.
"You should give me your number, we can hang out some time."
"In Kissimmee? hahahaha"
So we exchange numbers. His name's Spencer. Kissimmee hardcore friend! :D

For the next band I stake out a safe looking spot near the bar in front. They are Fire and Ice...I forget where they say they are from, but they are great! There is a lot of pretty violent hardcore dancing, which is kind of a bummer in a single level venue this small. Its difficult to see the band, but then, dancing is pretty amusing to watch too. :)

Between bands I hang on to my spot by the bar. That really cute photographer girl comes up and asks the bartender if its okay if she sits on the bar. He says "Sure, as long as you don't get in the way of the FEW people who are buying anything!" Hahaha because its a straightedge show! So she hops up and sits next to where I'm standing, then she grabs my shoulder and says
"Hey! Don't I know you?!"
"From sick of it sundays! We sang together on stage at the Ramones!"
We DID! I loved that girl! She was my chick friend in a sea of dudes at that wicked fun Ramones cover show at back booth!
"Oh yeah! What's up, friend!"
"Can you believe that show was a year ago! It was December 28, I remember!"
"Wow! Yeah, those shows were so fun! I wish they still did them!"
"I know it!"
"What's your name?"
"I'm Kyla!"


And then, FOUNDATION! They are spectacular! I only wish I knew any of the words, so I could sing along! I make out a couple of the lyrics...there's definately a bit about being straightedge, and tons of kids are singing along! So maybe my brother and I AREN'T the only straightedge kids in the world! And of course by "the world," I mean central Florida. There is a lot of hardcore dancing, but the crowd feels really positive, like, kids are helping each other up when they fall down--I love to see that! And kids are like, apologizing when they bump into me, even though its obviously inevitable--I dig that too! The lead singer announces that this one will be their last song, and Melanie nudges me forward. I feel kind of silly participating in a pile on when I don't know the words, but it is wicked fun anyway! They say thank you to all the opening bands--apparently one of the bands I saw here with Paul the other night played--Thin Line--I am bummed that I missed them! Foundation starts to tear down but my new buddy Melanie shouts at them
"Wait! Group photo!!"
So all the dudes in the band and all the kids in the crowd throw our arms around each others shoulders and grin for her camera, a few people climb on top of each other; she hands her camera off to someone else so she an be in the picture, everyone is piling up and cracking up laughing--it feels so good! It feels like everything I always want from a show--good music and good company! Community! New music and new friends! It feels like Ohio!

I head to the Foundation merch table to buy a 7 inch and the zine the lead singer encouraged us all to buy. The merch dudes throw in another zine and a sticker--sweet!

I find Melanie and ask her where all her photos go; she gives me her Flickr address.

I check out the other merch table and ask for two Thin Line tapes.
"Yeah! I want to send one to my brother! He and I are the only straightedge kids we know!"
"Really? Are you from around here?"
So there really is something I am missing, well, something that I am finding right now! Kids like us!
"Haha, yeah, I guess I am just way out of the loop!"
"What kinds of shows do you go to?"
"Uhh, I went to the Street Dogs last month!"
"Yeah? I was there! My buddy gave Vinnie Stigma his card, told him--if you ever need a guitarist, just call me"
"Haha Stigma probably will, too!"
"Haha yeah! I like your sweatshirt, by the way."
"You like American Nightmare?! Really?!"
"Here, did I give you a flier?"
He gives me a two sided flier, and tells me all about these bands, compares one to the Hope Conspiracy!
"You book these shows?"
"Yeah, me and Wesley."
"That's awesome! I am definately going to start coming to more!"
"Cool! Hey, here, take two of these cds too, it's my old band, I'm just trying to get rid of them haha."
"Oh, and, do you like Kill Your Idols? I'm selling these for five dollars. We're just, trying to raise money for new speakers and stuff"
"Sure! I love Kill Your Idols!"
"Awesome. What's your name?"
"I'm Matt."
"Nice to meet you! Ok, see you around!"
"For sure!"

I can barely explain how awesome this feels!!!! This is everything shows are supposed to be! I did so well, too! Carried on THREE perfectly normal, barely awkward conversations with three strangers who are now my friends!! I'm ecstatic!

I get to my car and put in one of the Thin Line tapes--its so good! Everything I like about music! Really sincere and passionate and inspiring lyrics, and energetic music!

During the drive home I decide, I will make a new years resolution after all--to go to more shows! I'm off to a good start--two shows in the first three days of the year :) And there's another one at Uncle Lou's this Friday, plus one next week! They might not all be as uplifting as this one, but hours of awkwardly standing around will totally be worth it I make even one straightedge friend!

Here's to 2010! More stick clicks! More pick slides! More SING A LONGS! :D
  • Current Music
    stage dives and high fives

some days i hate everything

Today at gatorland, I asked my mom what her bests and worsts of 2k9 would be, and we both determined that though 2k9 ha its ups and downs, it was WAAAY better than 2k8, so that means 2010 will be even BETTER, right!?
(we can make it better!)

Worsts of 2k9:

-Parker breaking my heart
-Sean getting sick
-Ed being deployed
-Jordan moving to California (that already feels like it was so much longer ago than in this same year)
-finding out my health is not as great as I thought
-derby anxiety
-...I can't think of anything else bad that happened this year. The Parker thing felt pretty monumental. But to look at, thats only one item on the list. And on the list of bests, there are a hundred awesome adventures I shared with Parker. I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with him, and I do understand why it ended. It hurts, but it'll be alright. Right?
  • Current Music
    an honest verse of longing

this time of year

hello, 2010 !

So I have put off making my annual best and worst lists because the worsts are still wicked painful and I'd rather just not think about them, but, thats part of why I like writing these lists out--to have them to look back on at the end of the next year and see how things are better!

:) I'll start with the bests:

-new years eve prom at ibar with someone i loved
-the sunshine skate state roller derby tournament--my first big road trip with my new team! Parker and Maddie come to see me play, and I didn't even play that well--I barely knew how to hit then!
-GIRL TALK at firestone with Parker
-ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK! positive adventures in birmingham with a bunch of new friends and my oldest bestest friend--RHIANNON!
-USITT cincinnati with DANIELLE and GINGERRRR!!! cincinnati zoo and american apparel with Ginger!
-CUT COPY at firestone with Parker and Maddie and Tyler :) best double date i've ever been on
-ucf dance concert--i'm so proud of the pieces i designed--classical tutus and catwomen and club kids :)
-spring in NYC with CHRISTY and SUMMER and MEREDITH and DAVE!!!!!! fabric shopping at elegant and mood, lunch in bryant park, the thermals in brooklyn, VINNIES VEGAN PIZZA!!
-chillest summer ever--days of greater tuna and kelly anne and eva marie and dan and COLE and veggie dog bbqs on the back dock, nights of love at roller derby practice and at Parker's baldwin park apartment
-summer adventures with GINGER!! vinnies pizza and brooklyn hostels and healthfood stores, williamsburg hipsters and bookstores, gotham girls roller derby!, red bamboo with keenan and etoile--vegan mango chicken!, cardboard tube fighting!, then philadelphia with gene's aunt, vegan sloppy joes from giannas, borat in delaware, then WASHINGTON DC!, PANDAS AT THE ZOO!!!, being bad religion lovin grandmas laughing at kids in provocative shorts at warped tour, LEARNING TO SWING FROM A FLYING TRAPEZE!!!
-RANCID, two nights in a row at hob
-VNV NATION with Parker in tampa
-FORT WALTON BEACH--a roller derby bout followed by a day at the prettiest beach ever! arson put me in as pivot jam after jam and i did really well! skating and swimming--my two favorite things! and a road trip bonding with girls i really look up to!
-GOGOL BORDELLO with sixgun
-delaware adventures with mom and ED! mostly football shaped french toast and movies, and pandas! :)
-IMPERATIVE REACTION at aka lounge with Parker...i was having wicked bad anxiety that night and Parker held my insides in
-THE SOUNDS at hob--that girl is so beautiful
-GRITS V GEEKS DERBY BOUT IN JACKSONVILLE! Maddie and her friend made SATIN BURNOUT SHIRTS!!! if this list was in order of amazingness instead of chronological order, this would be at the tippity top. Maddie mad me feel so cool. And Maddie and Parker's mom came to the bout too! I jammed a ton in and scored a few points! And all the girls i skated with were wicked rad, and Lucy Lunatic told me I had improved a lot since last time she skated with me!
-WHIP IT triple premiere, my teammates and i felt like rockstars
-DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR in tampa, a dude with a scrabble tattoo!
-COBRA SKULLS AND TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET at backbooth with XericX and t-man and daytona
-ED'S HALLOWEEN HOMECOMING PARTY! ghostbusters and candy apples and a cockroach and doug funny
-sfdd v mrrg--this would be on the list of worsts only, if ed and tina had not come to see me play. At halftime Ed gave me a hug and said "This is the coolest thing I've ever seen you do!" :)
-sea world with ED and YARA and SEAN, best rollercoaster ever!
-A WILHELM SCREAM at backbooth with Ed, anchor's end
-THE FEST 8!!! DEFIANCE, OHIO! ERIC AYOTTE! PIZZA BROTHERS!!!! white elephant gift exchange, youth brigade, viscious fishes, radon, small brown bike, 7 seconds, strike anywhere, reggae shack! new friends ERIN and DANNY!
-Jacq & Deckher's dia de los muertos wedding, sugar skull cupcakes!
-SKA IS DEAD at the social with all ed's friends from high school
-meeting Mike in the macys day parade :)
-catching a snake on my birthday then going to disney with macys Mike
-STREET DOGS at the social!
-SLACKERS at the social with SABINA
-STREET DOGS at the paradise in a blizzard, two nights in a row, with my dad
-Christmas week spent in Delaware with my brother watching Lost on blueray and drinking hot chocolate, baking (and eating) the best Christmas cookies ever, staying out of the snow :)
-PILFERS and MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES at boston hob with dad and PAUL!
-new years eve at garden cafe with Jason

As usual, the best parts of this year were mostly spending time with old friends, meeting new friends, and going to shows. And playing roller derby. :)

I'll do worsts later.

Thank you so much, thank you for this life :)
  • Current Music
    captain chaos

when crying don't help, you can't compose yourself, its best to compose a poem

An honest verse of longing
Or a simple song of hope:

You wake up, you eat a bowl of cereal with blueberries and bananas and soy milk.

You play with the cats and talk to Mom while she gets ready for work.

She goes to work, you look at the internet for a while.

Then you go to the gym, wearing the goofiest leotard and bike shorts. You put on your headphones and turn Sleater-Kinney up as loud as it will go. You tackle the elliptical machine, reminding yourself with every step--you are tough, you are strong, you can do it, you can take it, you are pretty, you have cool tattoos. You miss Christy and Danielle, workout buddies from last summer. You don't miss much else from last summer though. Even to think of last summer, it feels like a million miles away, and you are so much better now. You spend MUCH less time being seconds away from feeling like falling apart. Berlin made fun of you for it the other night. It might never go away completely. High anxiety. But that's life, right? Things won't always be perfect. And you will have to work to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed and scared and lonely and sad. You can do it! Your body can outrun it...maybe.

And of course, when it seems like nothing else is there for you, there will always be rock and roll.

So you talk yourself into going to the Gogol Bordello show at Firestone. By yourself. Haven't heard from your boyfriend in a while. He's probably busy with school. Or online poker. Or he's just not that into you. :/

You run into a couple of his friends in line, Maggie and Jesus. They ask where he is and you say you don't know. Jesus speculates online poker. You're stoked to have someone to stand with and talk to, and you do for a while, but then at one point they both just walk away. Oh well.

Later you get a text from Sixgun--she and her boyfriend are here! So you find them and talk to her for a while. You have missed her a lot since she quit roller derby last week.

When the Gogols take the stage you get separated from Sixgun and Nick in the crowd but its okay because everyone is dancing.

Their set doesn't seem as long or as wild as when you saw them last year in Houston, or the year before in DC, and they are down to one wicked cute singer dancer girl instead of two, but it is still awesome.

They play that song that goes "YOU GOTTA TURN FRUSTRATION INTO INSPIRATION!" and it reminds you of your brother. When he heard that song he decided to make those words his credo. Its good advice--difficult to follow, but, like it says, you gotta!

And then they play another song and the words stand out to you like you've never really listened to them before:


So true!

You can't live in the past all the time! Or you will miss out on the now! And its just like that Ghost Mice song:


And thats one of the assignments in Learning to Love You More, that book I bought in Brooklyn because it made me cry right there in the bookstore: "Assignment #70: Say goodbye and mean it."

Goodbye boys who don't love me like i love them

Goodbye cities i have lived in but cannot go back to

Goodbye those days when i got to hang out with my brother every day

Goodbye those days before my mom was in pain all the time

Goodbye friends that were once my best friend but then we grew apart

(And your eyes must do some raining, if you're ever going to grow)

When I started writing this story, it was right after I got home from the Gogol Bordello show that night like two weeks ago. Now it is a different night, and just like how I used to get mad at myself if i didn't write down my American Nightmare adventures immediately after they happened, the older story takes on the tone of the newer night.

Now I have just gotten back from dancing at ibar. Well, 2 hours ago i got back. Two hours embarrassingly spent sobbing and looking up Bright Eyes lyrics online. Remember when i thought I was strong. (I never said that I was brave)

Here it is, me again. Song lyrics all the time. I have a new set of friends that somehow seem to love listening to my adventure stories. About American Nightmare and Azuree and traveling by bus and letting my heart explode.

I miss that band.

But Wes said it like Gogol said it--you can't live in that forever--just walking in circles, looking at the ground. Its okay for a while--well, more than okay--its everything for a while, but then, you have to find other things.

Like elliptical machines. And pilates classes. And roller derby. And new friends.

It'll be alright

It'll be alright

its all crazy its all false its all a dream

it's alright

Another assignment in that book that is also a website is "Heal yourself"

Thats the page that made me cry in the bookstore, just because it resonated with me so so deeply, and still does:

"How to heal after a break up that runs the risk of breaking your heart (or already has)."
Linzey Infynity
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

This guideline is framed on a relationship of 3 years or so, and after living together, but it can be applied as necessary to other situations.
Remember: When you break up it is as if someone, actually, the person closest to you has died. You no longer and will no longer know them like you once did. You will feel like you will never go on, especially if you had a spiritual connection with this person.
This is normal.
It will hurt. If you've never had anyone close to you die, this is what it feels like. What follows is grief.
The night it happens you will feel an unbelievable shot of pain and you may feel naseous. You may feel like you're dying. The best thing to do is find a close/best friend immediately. If your best friend is your girlfriend (or boy),--you may feel the need to be with them bc you feel they are the only one who understands. If the break-up is mutual, this is okay. But you need to be around people that comfort you. It is not uncommon to seek help from the person who caused you the pain. They cannot be the one to get you through this.
There are may ways to let go. If you have a hard time letting go, make steps and stick to them. If you slept in the same bed, sleep in separate beds. Give yourself a week and no longer to do this! Then separate rooms, people's houses If at all possible move out within one month. Only then can you start to grow apart from this person.
Coping Strategies:
*Be around people any time you can-it will be easier to eat, speak, and be okay again
*Go out. Even if it's a coffee shop for four hours. Go out, out out.

*When you feel the anticipation of the future, and say "what will I do without her" stop thinking about it. Look to the now. You aren't in any danger. You may be in pain, but that is part of growing. This is what will make you strong. Accept the pain. Embrace yourself even in the darkness and find your peace.

*Go back to comforts. Music. Friends. Anything that is YOU and has nothing to do with the other person.
Remember-you CAN do this. You've been through pain before and you are NOT alone. Many, many many people have lived through circumstances like this. Most of them have thought they couldn't.
And know, this happened for a reason.
  • Current Music
    bowl of oranges

even babe ruth struck out sometimes

i could already start a list of bests and worsts of 2k9, but lets get 2k8 written down and out of the way first, shall we?

it took me so long to get to it, i thought about not even writing out a list of worsts, and just leaving it at the list of bests--those are the things i really want to remember, but i think there is some value in looking back on the bad times also

i'm proud of myself for living through them !

WORSTS of 2k8:
-the alice project--in january i thought the hardest thing i would do all year was build a caterpillar out of pool noodles
-in february, one of my students, this awesome girl who had a pixie haircut and wore a weebelos scarf and was wicked sweet and creative and liked against me, got in a car accident driving home from a lucero show, and died.
-in march, my mom had her left hip replaced. she was in the hospital for five days, and out of work for six weeks. she was (and still is) in pain all the time. i'm glad i have been able to be around to take care of her, but it is very hard.
-csf was awful. most stressful summer job ever. the work was grueling and constantly frustrating, and, to make matters worse, over the summer everything fell apart with max
-even though my life is in such a better place now, just thinking about this past summer makes me want to cry. i have never before felt as out of control of my emotions as i did then.
-seeing paul baribeau in a basement in boulder by myself, i felt the loneliest i have ever felt.
-had to leave colorado early because my mom couldn't walk anymore, had to come home and help her through her second surgery
-zach mice turned out to be a total jerkbody
-the doctor fucked up my mom's right hip so now her legs are uneven lengths and he wont even admit that he did it and she's in horrible pain all of the time, still.
-i can't make things okay for my mom.
-my brother was stationed in italy for four months, including Christmas. i am still constantly proud of him, and excited for him to have adventures, but i miss him and worry about him all the time

and i know 2k9 is going to be good...but it is going to be very hard, too.
  • Current Music
    modern life is war

goodbye 2k8, hello 2k9!

so. much. happened. this year!!!!!
i just flipped back through my calender to refresh my memory of memorable events of 2k8, and i can't believe how many spectacular things happened! i can't believe it was all in one year!!! so many good things...and many many extremely terrible things also.
i'll try to sum them all up into lists:

BESTS of 2k8!!!
-ethos restaurant opened, best vegan food!
-got to spend Ashton's sixth birthday with him and Michelle, in a bounce house, with a cake shaped like a half pipe!
-TESSIE! greatest kitten!
-opened the alice project--the biggest challenge of a show i have ever worked on!
-danced my heart out to GIRL TALK at firestone, and then czar bar
-opened machinal, probably the second most challenging show i have ever worked on
-spent spring break in gainesville with Max. we were very much in love then, and we had an awesome time--singing along to ghost mice at wayward council and eating tons of leos pizza and reggae shack and jumping on a king size bed and walking around in the sun and laughing
-USITT in houston--ate for free all week, stayed in the coolest hotel, got to hang out with danielle!
-PILFERS AND DUCKY BOYS IN BOSTON WITH ED AND DAD AND SABINA!!!!! one of the best days/nights of EVER, not just 2k8
-back booth put on a bunch of AMAZING cover shows: the misfits! (went by myself) minor threat! (went with zach mice) black flag! (went with samantha, met JORDAN for the first time) the descendants! (went with parker) blink 182! (with parker) the ramones!!! (parker is a good sport about going to shows)
-made a lot of awesome new friends at CSF: Celia, Amber, Amy, Madison, Kelly
-saw tiger army in denver with most of those new friends
-ladytron in denver with Christy
-free iced americanos from espresso roma every day with Christy and Danielle :)
-working out at the gym every day with Christy and Danielle!
-hosted delicious vegan pancake brunch for the entire CSF company every monday
-fourth of july on top of a mountain, again
-attended my first roller derby bout, in denver. fell in love and vowed to get involved
-joined a roller derby team shortly after arriving back in florida :)
-oh de lally at stardust
-oh de lally and ghost mice and DELAY at wayward council
-danced A LOT
-swam A LOT
-skated A LOT
-STREET DOGS ACOUSTIC INSTORE AT PARK AVE! "music is our shelter where we know we're not alone!!"
-played in my first roller derby bout!
-another awesome october:
-worked at halloween horror nights and got in FREE
-got in to alll the houses in one night with parker!
-KELLY came to visit and get scared with me
-horror nights with ED and SABINA and PARKER!
-made another half pipe cake, this time much more professional since i've been watching ace of cakes, surprised jordan at work with it, he loved it.
-got to see the RED SOX play the rays with ed and sean and jason
-BUSCH GARDENS (for free!) with ed and yara and ana
-opened west side story, my favorite musical, i made a bunch of pretty pretty dresses for it
-got a job as a PEDICAB DRIVER (this will also appear under worsts), found out what my body is really capable of
-i think october is always the best month
-the toasters at the social
-GOT GUINEA PIGS!!! rescued them from a shelter and built them a huuuge home, their names are yoda and chewie and they are the cutest things ever!
-danced to THE SLACKERS at the social with ana and rob
-got dressed up WICKED GOTH and saw AYRIA, I:SCINTILLA, AND CRUXSHADOWS in jacksonville with parker!
-ate garden cafe and danced to OF MONTREAL with parker and david and jr and john for my birthday!

man alive i am not even done with these bests but i have to go
i'll edit later!!!
  • Current Music
the true meaning of BEAUTY!

A Birthday Cake that You’ll Never Forget

I read about my death in Vogue magazine! I just saw the best play I’ve ever seen. Really, I don’t think I’ve ever been so moved by a work of theatre. I know that I’m prone to hyperbole, and everything that I’ve seen most recently tends to be the best thing I’ve ever seen…but I think maybe this really was! Everything about it was awesome—the script, the staging, the acting, the direction! I’m so proud of all the girls involved!

Its starts with a phone call.

No, wait, it starts with free cookies.

Or maybe it started even earlier, with lipstick switchblades and mace rings and monster trucks, the places you are from and the people you love.

It helps that it was warm today.

It was warm today, and someone made breakfast for me. And I spent the morning in my office thinking about Christmas presents I want to give my friends. And then I got free coffee and huge chocolate chip cookies and blueberry cranberry scones and cinnamon bagels, and recognition: later when I went back for more I crossed a divider in the bookstore to get to the refreshments and a student asked a bookstore employee, “Oh, can I just walk back there?” and the bookstore employee said “No, she’s faculty” and it made me feel so good—as good as if she’d said “No, she’s with the band.” !

And then I helped some kids out, and I fit some pretty pretty dresses, and I got to sit and talk with Dan and get a million things accomplished. And I got a million wicked sweet textmessages, and I got to talk to Parker, and Brian, and my mom and then

I got to talk to Alex. For the first time in more than two years. And he had a million horror stories to tell me, and although it had been two years and we have a million lifetimes to catch up on it still feels like we’re close friends—like we didn’t miss a beat. We still care about each other and still know each other maybe too well.

And then I went to see these plays.

The first one is awful. Horrible, grueling, awkward theatre. I consciously try to put my mind somewhere else. The kids tried hard but it was way too self-referential, too indulgent, and not a good script to start with. I can’t wait for it to be over and fortunately, after a while, it is.

And then

And then

I read about my death in Vogue magazine.


Two of the girls in my construction class this semester are in it and have been asking me for weeks to come see it. Tonight I learn that it was directed by a girl who was in my class last spring. She gets up to introduce it and you can tell she is very proud and a little nervous. She’s more dressed up than I have ever seen her, which I appreciate because it shows that she has respect for the theatre, which is more than I could say for many of the audience in attendance tonight, including the faculty advisor for this project.

I read about my death in Vogue magazine. There are eight or nine girls in the cast, and each one of them gives a striking, clear, passionate and entertaining performance. It quickly becomes very obvious that all of them, and the director, have put a lot of thought and work into this. Unlike the actor I recognized as one of my students in the first play, the girls from my class transform themselves in to characters so distinct and believable, at times I forget they are girls I know.

The staging is dynamic and creative. They make use of a myriad of props and a few set pieces seamlessly and effectively. Of course I’m always hyper-critical of costumes, and in this case, they are excellent. Each girl wears black leggings and a different black top, some wear skirts, some shorts, some boots. As the play moves through time, they add simple and iconic costume pieces to differentiate between characters. Everything seems effortless, which means they actually put a very large amount of effort in, and it really paid off.

The funny bits are hilarious, in part because of the skill of the girls’ delivery, and in part because it feels like whoever wrote the script lived my life. The serious parts are seriously heart-wrenching for the same reason. The part where they are in the meeting, playing dude-bro activists, and Kay says, “I think this contradiction is extremely problematic,” I hear every anarchist activist boy I have ever worked with or dated. When the boys won’t listen to the girls in the meeting because they are too busy telling each other how important it is to listen to girls, I start crying and laughing at the same time.

When Ilana walks through the sit com about the single mom as the janitor with the pearls of wisdom, I laugh and cry so so hard. Its so perfect and so clear and so true! Its everything theatre should be! I hope this is resonating with anyone else in the audience half as much as it is resonating with me!

And when the tone quiets down, and the women address the audience with lines about how they start to feel their death coming: “I’ll get paid 64 percent of what he gets paid.” “I guess I didn’t really want to be a surgeon, I’ll just be a nurse.” “When I left work at the construction site, I found that my car had been burned.” “The clinic was bombed today.” Tears stream down my face and my heart feels like its going to explode.

I don’t want this play to end, but it does, it is succinct. I am so proud of all these girls. I am so glad the audience gives them a standing ovation. They deserve it.

At the intermission I go over to Sarah and try to formulate sentences congratulating her, telling her how much I loved this, what a great job she did. She gives me a hug and thanks me for coming, and she hoped I would come, and she’s glad I liked it, and she bought a sewing machine, and she introduces me to someone as her teacher, and I feel so proud to have influenced her even a little.

I find Illana and Kay and try to express to them how great they were and how proud I am. They thank me for coming and they seem really happy that I liked it. Feeling proud of other people is maybe the best feeling.

When I get back to my office I’m still wiping tears from my eyes. I have a textmessage from Alex. Another awesome feeling is having a friend that seems to throw themselves as wholeheartedly into friendships as I do. Faster words and faster kids, faster songs and faster ends…

The one thing, that stayed the same.



I LOVE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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