Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rex and That Guy

Blog, because I don't get to use my Rex Goliath tag as much as I would like to, I just want to take a moment to mention how that guy I'm dating got me a whole box of the stuff for Christmas (not to mention a few wine stoppers and a notebook to jot down those notes I'm always taking as well). It's quite the variety of wine too. Right now I'm starting on a bottle of the Zinfandel. It's pretty much making my night.

Here's to that guy I'm dating and the one and only Rex Goliath.

Conveniently enough, the rooster looks astonishingly similar to that guy I'm dating.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Triple J and My American Friends

Blog, my go-to friend and nearly constant companion Kerin, is leaving for Australia on Friday. Well, I guess technically she'll be flying to LA on Friday night, but from there on Saturday she'll be hopping on a plane across the Pacific to the land where "it all started" (as she likes to put it). What started there? Why her relationship with her now husband of course. Though Kerin is from Boston, she lives here in Minneapolis because he is from here. And because she met him on a study abroad trip in Australia in 2004, she took a giant leap of faith to be with him in a land that, to her, is almost as strange as where "it all started". Since she's taken the plunge of becoming an east coast girl who resides in the Midwest, we've become incredibly close friends who finish each others' sentences and eat lunch together every day. That guy I'm dating might also be her husband's distant relative, but who's really keeping track of just how much our lives are intertwined at this point...

Not me.

Anyway, one bit of knowledge that Kerin has taught me about the land down under is the existence of Triple J, Australia's version of England's Radio 1. What's Radio 1? Well, it's England's radio station of course. Imagine if the States had a radio station that expanded across our purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain and this radio station played magical music that was more than just Rihanna's We Found Love every ten minutes and bad jewelery commercials. Imagine that you could call into this radio station no matter if you were in Seattle, or San Antonio, or Tallahassee and when you call in, you talk about silly things like what makes a good name for an uncle or the giant hamburger you ate at McDonalds. And you can share that with the rest of your country all while fun and exciting music plays in between the little conversations you have with the Dj's. And everyone is friends. Everyone is radio friends who listen to fun music and talk about hamburgers. Why America? Why don't you have the Triple J of the New World? I know I just wrote about how I love you and how it makes me happy to be here, but your approach to radio needs an improvement.

At least there's MPR...

I digress. This Triple J has become somewhat of an addiction for me. Especially in the morning at work since I like to mindlessly listen to music and radio Dj's can be distracting what with their talk of uncles and such. But remember Blog, this is Australia. When it is morning time for me, it is the middle of the night for them, so they don't really have a lot of Dj babble. They just have fun Australian (and UK and US and European) music with the occasional Dj being all "it's 4 am, WTF are you doing up at this hour?"!

And next week when I'm listening to the "Mid Dawns" on the "J" (as I've nicknamed it), I'll be thinking of Kerin and Nick on their honeymoon, revisiting their old Aussie haunts that brought them together so many years ago. Only they won't be reminiscing as I listen in the morning time. They'll hopefully be sleeping and getting rest for the bright and sunny summer day that lies ahead of them. I'll miss them both, especially since Kerin is such an installment in my life, but I think it's such a lovely bookend for them at this point to revisit the place where they met in the form of a honeymoon. And by "bookend" I mean one of those decorative ones that you'd put in the middle of a line of books on a shelf. I don't want this to be the last time they visit the weirdest continent on the planet.

OMG! Drinking wine and blogging about my friends is totally making me tear up. I love you guys!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Americans in England

Thought: I was walking in the skyway the other day, Blog, and I had a flash of a memory from the last time I was in London. It was an odd memory because it was at a point in my trip over there where I had been the only American for a good week or so and had settled into the fact that no one else around me was from where I was from. And then I went to London where the moment I got on the tube, I noticed there were Americans all around me. I felt both very much at home and oddly disappointed that I wasn't the only American anymore. I found myself wanting to start up conversations with my brethren just for the comfort of knowing that they'd understand the joys of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and 30 Rock. At the same time, I felt like I had to share England with them. Like, what are you doing here? I'm the American who is in England right now. You guys aren't supposed to be here because you're not from here. Only English people are in England. I understand that is a ridiculous thing to think and feel, but I'm just going to chalk it up to the little bit of culture shock I had taken a week to absorb and appreciate by that point.

We're the ones wearing not black.
Anyway, it was a really random memory to have as I was in the skyway headed into the Wells Fargo building in downtown Minneapolis. There is really nothing reminiscent of London or England in that particular place, but I guess sometimes memories just happen to us completely unprompted. If anything, it made me appreciate that I am in the place where I am from and that even though our American culture isn't always lauded or apparent (to us anyway), it is more of a part of me than I ever realized before. It feels good to belong somewhere.

The bright, spacious, and clean New World. No wonder we're cocky about this.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Maybe I Just Wrote This For Storage Purposes...

Blog, maybe it's time I made you more controversial. I mean, aren't you a little tired of hearing about my day and my emotions on the mundane things that happen to me all the time? Maybe I should start having opinions about world events and issues. There's a global economy out there, whatever that is. Maybe I should make comments about it to you. There was this whole protest thing that happened across the US and the world. Maybe I should record my thoughts and feelings on it. There are crazy politicians everywhere. Maybe I should link to videos of them more often.

Or I can continue being myself. That advice applies to not only job interviews and dates, but also to writing in you. It's not good to pretend to be something you're not on a public forum. It can be exhausting and holes can easily be poked through the facade you are trying to create. Yeah. I think I'll keep it to the mundane activities that occur in my day to day experience. If for some reason those occurrances get me going on a political rant or a moral debate, then so be it. I can always make a point to follow these rules and these steps to enhance you and myself in one way or another; whether you end up controversial or a mere narrative of my life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Creativity

Blog, it's Christmas party season and as a result I've found myself getting all dolled up for house parties over the weekend. Why is it that a Christmas party calls for an air of extravagance? Both Friday and Saturday evenings I spent way too much time doing my hair and make up, and figuring out what I was going to wear. Friday was especially fancy since the party I attended was put on by a couple of gays I know. Those gays know how to class a get-together up, I tell ya. I mean, I got an invitation in the mail complete with party time being described as 8 o'clock post meridian. I didn't even know p.m. was a real acronym. And the loft condo that it was held in was flawlessly decorated, complete with a shag rug and vase (pronounced vahz, naturally) collection.

Saturday, Kerin put on a holiday get together that included a cheese tray, tons of beer, and a dress from Saks 5th Avenue. I didn't even think I knew people who actually shopped there, but it turns out they had a sale on Wednesday that had some pretty good deals. Had they had that little green number in my size, I totally would have allowed it to make its debut at both parties. But alas, I was left to what little fashion creativity I possess to figure out that wearing cheap second hand clothing can be classed up by sequins. When in Christmas party doubt, sequins. Just sequins.

And now I'm home, working on this summary of Wuthering Heights that I've put off for way too long. No offense, Blog, but I want to expand the venues in which I write. Improv is great, but is getting a little stale as of late so I've been looking for other creative outlets. Writing in you is nice, but then it leads me to want to explore what else I can do. Kerin and I have been looking at classes at The Loft which I think would be a great way to expand my horizons and also hold me accountable to creating independently. What do you think? I mean, I wouldn't leave you behind. You're actually the only thing that I can write in continuously without having to stop, read, heavily criticize myself, cry, and then delete everything just came out of my finger tips only to try, try again. Of course you've know that all along, haven't you.

Well, if anything, I can look into it and learn more. A year ago, I was in England meeting a guy I'd eventually fall in love with, travel thousands of miles to see, and then come to a realization that home is where the heart is. Maybe a year from now, I'll have a new skill set. Who knows.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's a List. You Know This Means I'm Lazy Right Now.

Here's some stuff, Blog.

1. On Saturday night that guy I'm dating brought me out to meet with a friend of his from college. He (and his brother) turned out to be nice guys... who share my past. Ok, they don't really share my past, but there are some similarities to note. Like their family has a cabin in central Minnesota. On the same lake my grandparents and the rest of my family live/summer on. Not only is it on the same lake, it's down the road; on the other side of the creek to be exact. There were other similarities including (and probably limited to) him living in the same dorm I had lived in up in Bemidji (granted it wasn't at the same time), his brother having been in the obscure and small town my dad lives in just last week and his wife having the same maiden name as my mother. I'm not looking too far into all of this, but you're going down in the boat parade next summer, Brad.

2. Yoga with Dylan starts in T minus 13 minutes and I'm not going, Blog. I have made a point to go to Dylan's "yogi" littered class the last few Mondays because this lady needs to get back in shape. Monday evening is a convenient time for me to bend and strengthen my body via a series of thousand-year -old poses. Monday evening is also Dylan's slot for prattling off insane poses without any mention of modifications for us less practiced individuals. As a result I hold a certain bitterness towards Dylan. First of all, I always forget his name is Dylan and I instead call him Logan. Secondly, he's got annoying yoga tats. Thirdly, he's smug in an I-can-achieve-ultimate-meditation-that-you-can-only-wish-to-experience kind of way. Fourthly, he walks around the room and never demonstrates poses unless they're on this list.

3. Instead of going to yoga with Dylan (now starting in T minus two minutes) I'm going to walk a mile and a half to spend an evening of wine and trivia with old college buddies Andy and Rob. It should be a good time. And the fact that I will be briskly walking three miles between my trek there and back more than makes up for any sort of regret I might have at missing Dylan and his way too fast pronunciation of "Utthita Parsvakonasana".

4. With that, I have to be on the road in an hour and there's a load of laundry to take out of the dryer downstairs. I wanted to make this point about how my mom is going to be moving out of the crappy little apartment that I spent my adolescence in, but that will take too long so I'll save it for another day. I'll just say it's a little weird that I'm not going to get to say goodbye to the apartment I called "home" throughout junior high and high school; and that I would always come back to throughout college and into the present. But I'm glad that she's finally going to have carpet, tile, and cabinets that aren't straight out of the 70's. That'll be a nice change.

Time for a shower and then drinking with friends! (After walking a mile and a half to get to them. Wish me luck, Blog.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dairy Diary.

I should really buy juice when I go to the grocery store, Blog. I've been thirsty all night and I find water to be boring, so I've been drinking milk non-stop. It's delicious, but as for quenching my thirst goes...

Instead of sucking it up and putting back some water, I've just been refilling my glass with the sweet, sweet two percent that I've been partial to since my childhood. It's so comforting. So satisfying. So delicious. Now if only I would stop being thirsty all the time.

Oh well. At least I drink milk. The other day my improv coach started going on and on about how we as humans aren't designed to ingest milk. I totally am aware of this, but I don't care. I bet we're not designed to eat pop tarts either, but what's stopping Kellog from stocking my local grocer's shelves with magical toaster pastries with artificial fruit filling? At least milk comes directly from nature... for the most part. At least it's full of calcium and vitamins and fat and delicious. I'm glad I'm one of the lucky ones who didn't catch the lactose intolerance (knock on wood).

Appropriately enough, I'm listening to goofy Australian DJ's talk about cheese as I check out the Triple J radio stream this evening. Honestly, I was hoping for a little more music, but I guess the only way they can wile away their Monday afternoon is to talk at length about how awesome dairy products are. Reason number 847 why I need to go there one day. Though it seems that their sense of humor is along the same lines as the Brits. This isn't surprising since they both use the term "wanker" at an unhealthy rate, yet still manage to be endearing. OH FOREIGN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES!

I love that I'm writing about dairy in what could be considered a sort of diary. Dairy Diary. Thus the title of this post was born.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

I've really gotten into cooking, Blog. And by "into cooking", I mean I've hit my mom up for a couple staple recipes so I can stop spending so much money on my lunch every day. About a week ago, I made enough chili to feed a family of 17 (or 6). It's delicious, but I am just thankful for Thanksgiving (appropriately enough) so I had a chance to change up my food intake. One thing about being single and on your own is that any sort of cooking you do means that you are eating the same thing for at least a week. Good thing I'm a fan of chili. It's been 8 days and I'm still eating it.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, guess who I got to hang out with...

This poser.
Why did no one tell me that nieces are the shit? Because they are. They totally are. You give me someone else's baby, and I don't care. You give me my niece and it's on!
It certainly is on, bitches.
Unfortunately, she's only 10 months old as of yesterday, so there's not a lot to write about when it comes to the funny things she's done or said. Basically she's just at the point that babies get to where they wobble around next to a coffee table and hit it like they're running an unruly courtroom. That and I've had many extensive conversations with her that consist of the words "bah, bah, bah". 

"Bah bah bah" translates to "You're in my personal bubble Aunt Sam".
I have to say she tugged at my heart strings when it was time for me to leave North Dakota on Saturday, what with her crawling after me as I made my way out the door. I think we bonded, Blog. It feels good. Granted, her memory of me will probably have faded by the time Christmas rolls around, so I'll have to start from scratch with making a good impression. But it wasn't too hard to do this past weekend. Maybe I will bring her gifts of pickles and my hair since she seems to like both of those things.

And of course, we can't forget that my grandparents are now great-grandparents. Yeah, they were surprised too.

Where did all these babies come from?
Turns out my niece not only is awesome, she's also massive compared to her second cousins. At least she can pull off a santa hat like nobody's business.

Other things happened over this Thanksgiving weekend besides my niece, but she's obviously the highlight. Other happenings include:

1. Putting a good 800 miles on Kerin's car for her. I know I should thank you for lending me your car Kerin, and I am grateful. But you're welcome for giving Sheila (I've named her) a taste of the great expanse known as ND for a second time. And this time she went even further west into Cooperstown. Not the one in New York.

2. Finding out that a flight from Minot to Minneapolis is extremely expensive.

3. Finding out that a train ride from Minot to Minneapolis is much cheaper and more romantic.

4. This song. And a special thanks to my sister-in-law Heather for attempting to sing it to me in the back seat of the car by simply going "Sail! ERRRR.":

5. My mom's dream of mixing fancy cocktails coming true with this recipe that she couldn't wait to try out for the holiday weekend.

6. My Saturday night return consisting of way too much sushi and a martini that I drank as a tribute to Heather. Drinking a martini in the city was something that she wanted to do, but could not. Heather does not live in a city. But she is married to this guy:

Who me?
And that makes me happy because we're all related. Every last one of us.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend Summary

If I were into Facebook statuses, which I'm not, I'd post the following, Blog:

Laundry done, clothes folded, chili made. Hair colored, sheets changed, refrigerator stocked. All in all it's been a productive weekend... and I only started producing seven hours ago.

Everything else that happened this weekend took place on a couch. It's an amazing feeling to take a Saturday and do absolutely nothing. And by absolutely nothing, I really do mean, absolutely nothing.

Upward and onward.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Finally Happened

Well Blog, it finally happened. After over a year of cringing at the thought and the likely possibility of it happening, it finally took place. I'm honestly incredibly surprised that it hadn't happened sooner, or even on a more regular basis. I think the fates have been kind to me over the past year what with misaligning my morning walk to a timed perfection. But this morning, they finally decided to put me on a path that undeniably lead to the moment of awkwardness and intrigue that I have anticipated since last fall.

I finally ended up in an elevator with my ex.

I mean, there's got to be some sort of destiny at work here since my ex has been my ex for over a year now and has worked a mere floor below me the entire time. Sure I've seen glances of him here and there, but it has been on anything but a regular basis. And for the amount of time people around here spend in the elevator lobby waiting for one of the four to bring us to our respective floors, it's a goddamned miracle that this hasn't happened sooner.

It's also a goddamned miracle that I was nearly done with, for lack of a better term, a walk of shame from that guy's apartment. You know, Blog. That guy I've been dating. He happens to live incredibly close to skyway access and therefore my workplace. I happened to unexpectedly spend the night last night, because that's what you do from time to time when you date that guy.

Nothing like running into your ex and then having to ride 10 floors up in an elevator with him as you wear the same clothes you wore the day before without any make up on and an entire half hour of your day already behind you. That's right. I had been out of bed for half an hour at that point. Terrific.

At least I dressed cute yesterday.

At least I had had a terrific time with that guy last night.

At least this is a tangible confirmation that I really don't care what my ex thinks of me. I may have looked like shit, but it doesn't matter. And here's where I try to extrapolate on that, but I care so little about the entire situation that I can't even think of anything to say about it. Everything that there is to say has already been said.

All that's left is the fact that I need to shower something fierce. That and a special thanks to Kerin for bringing in a shirt for me to wear so I didn't look exactly like I did  yesterday. This is what friends are for, Blog. Take note.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rules Are Being Broken

Blog, I was just looking you over and I noticed that my biggest tags are "Blogging" "Drinking" and "Family". I guess at least one of those is redeemable, so I've got that much going for me.

Maybe I should try to find something else to blog about besides the act of blogging itself. And maybe I shouldn't be drunk while I do it. At least I have a family that has no idea how much they are mentioned on the internet.

I've broken my irrational rule of posting strictly once a day. For some reason I feel like multiple posts can come off as needy. Like I'm all "Look at me, look at me! No seriously, look. I did stuff today. I DID STUFF TWICE."

I'm going to have to get over that irrational rule if I'm ever going to get anywhere with anything.

I Don't Think I Even Like Oysters; Nonetheless...

How silly of me to be thinking on the bus ride into work today that I had nothing to write about to you, Blog. No sooner had I arrived at my cubicle this morning, my long-faced supervisor asked me if I had heard. I hadn't, but I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Time to freak out about job security.

At least this time they decided to surprise us with the news instead of notify us a week before anything actually happened. I only lost my appetite for a couple hours this morning until I was reassured that once again, my position is safe. I have once again avoided being laid off.

However, this whole experience of feeling like I'm going to lose my job twice in the span of one year is not for me. My response to my supervisor this morning was made with teary eyes and a statement that blatantly summed up how I no longer have any desire to work here. It's not worth it. Online education is a fad that has come and gone. Everyone knew it all along that the self motivation required to sustain a student through an online degree program is hard to come by. Retention isn't in the cards for online school. Or maybe it is, but I just am not innovative enough to see it at this point.

The best and worst part of this is that I don't know where to go from here, but I know I get a chance to discover it. Once again the world has become my oyster; really it was mine all along. I seem to have briefly forgotten that since I last returned from Europe. I had goals that ended up fizzling away and I didn't bother to replace them. I don't like that. I'm going to have to take some sort of action here, even if it is small, so I can feel like I'm actually worth something in my day to day life.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle... Again

I wanted to make a point to post today, Blog, for the sheer sake of having something that is time stamped with today's date. There's really not much to say outside of the fact that I really need to crack down on my line memorizing if I'm going to be kicking ass and taking names tomorrow night at Huge Theater. I'm in a pretty good spot, don't get me wrong, but I want to lock it in. Polish it up. Make the most of it. "It" being the half a script I am currently memorizing only for the other half of it to be improvised by someone I haven't met yet.

Anyway, there's that, and then there's the time traveling I did last night when I stepped into the Jungle and back into 2006. Five years ago, I started working there. Two years ago I stopped. Last night, I came back. While some things have changed, it for the most part is the same old Jungle that welcomed me to my life in Minneapolis. The lights were dim, the coffee was brewed, the patrons were old, and everything had tassles attached one way or another. There was a point where I found myself literally hugging the concession stand, because that's how I communicate my elation to inanimate locations. I cleaned the cappuccino machine, I counted the money. I poured wine, I described cookies. I rang the intermission bell, I peeked into the theater to see the end of the show right before the lights went down for the evening...

There are so many memories I have there.

Also, I am obsessed. It doesn't always happen where I like a song enough to listen to it on repeat. This is one of those songs:

I fear if I don't get this under control soon, I'm going to end up hating it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Little Brother Text Message: Part Deux

Blog, I couldn't help but be tickled this evening when I received a text from my brother. That never happened when he was overseas. It's just another perk of him being back stateside. What tickled me even more was that I happened to be eating a delicious meal at Red Lobster with that guy I've been dating. You know, Blog; the one who is also stateside. (This stateside thing is turning out to be incredibly convenient on all fronts. I mean Europe is great, but Jesus, it's far away.)

Why was I so tickled by the seemingly mundane fact that I was at Red Lobster when I received this text you ask? Because the last time my brother texted me I also happened to be enjoying a delicious meal at Red Lobster of course! And just like last time this occurred, I'd like to relay to you, Blog, a brief (and accurate) synopsis of what went down on my crappy phone's screen o' communication.

Ian: Hey! I was in Minneapolis earlier today. Then I left. Now I'm in St. Louis. Uggggghhh.

Me: OMG! Was it for a layover? Mom told me you're getting Heather's car. You should take a detour and come through here.

(Note: Apparently the Air Force was only able to get Heather's car from Italy to St. Louis. Ian's picking up their slack on that one by driving it back to Minot, I guess.)

Ian: Yeah I'd say it was about a 10 minute layover. I think I'm going to go to Kansas City and then up 29. I don't know the other way through Minneapolis. I'd probably get lost then kidnapped.

Me: Oh ok. Kidnapped is no good. The last time I texted you I was at Red Lobster. Guess where I am now!!!!

Ian: Long John Silvers!!! (I'll just stick with sea food)


Ian: O!   M!   God!!!!! What are the odds?!?!?!?!? Let me call my bookie!!! One order of clam strips for the lady!!!!

Me: Haha! It's good to have you back in the oooo essss ehhhhh.

Ian: If you're lookin for me you can find me in the oil fields frack-in!!!!! YEEEEEEEEHOOOOEOEOOOOOOWWWWWWW.

Me: 15 dollars an hour at Taco Bell!!!!!!

Blog, I don't expect you to get those last couple lines, so I'll just say we were referencing North Dakota's oil boom that is causing things there to be basically the opposite of anywhere else in the country as far as this "land of opportunity" goes. It's not only novel for me to receive text messages from my brother, it's also novel to see North Dakota getting national media attention for something besides flooding for once.

Anyway, as I stated earlier this week, my brother's back. I'm happy about it. After all, he's the only person in this world who had pretty much the same childhood I had. I've got to make the most of that relationship, you know?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Theater is a Safer Bet Than Gambling

So I tried my hand at gambling this weekend, Blog, and I failed miserably.

By "fail" I don't mean I lost tons of money. No. I really only ended up losing about four bucks. I failed because I didn't take risks. As we know, gambling only pays off if you take risks... if it pays off at all. Since I was so staunchly reluctant to insert my precious dollar bills into the machines that were full of chance and numbers and lights, the pay off I experienced was non-existant. Instead I found myself annoyed by the confusion I felt when trying to figure out the nature of the so-called penny slot. I also was experiencing a lot of defeat when it came to loss after loss after loss. After that third loss, I threw my towel in. I don't like not having any control over machines; especially over machines that have a high flash quota about them.

I did find some entertainment in watching a game of blackjack though. However by the time I had gotten to that point in the evening, the smoke that hung in the heavy casino air had started to give me a headache and I had consumed just enough wine to make me sleepy.

Wow. I'd do great in Vegas.

Luckily, the guy I'm dating (yes, I'm actually dating a guy; a real guy who is not six time zones ahead of me at all times and who has a general understanding for things like the horrors Michele Bachmann has to offer our country) was ready to turn in at that point as well, despite his penchant for signing "hit" and "stand" to an overweight yet charming dealer.

I must admit there was part of me that wanted to let loose with some cash and see what I could do. But the timing that this trip to the casino had with things like rent, bills, and when I'm next paid couldn't have been worse. That, and I can't get over the fact that gambling to me is just a form of giving my money away. Granted, I'm giving it away to a Native American culture that has suffered unfairly for hundreds of years at the hands of my very own white ancestors. It's still hard to part with; especially if I'm just getting a chance to hit some lit up buttons and listen to creepy noises reminiscent of a circus in return.

So that was my failed trip to the casino, Blog. Maybe if there is ever a next time in my future for an "opportunity" like this, I'll put myself out there a little more. Maybe casinos can teach me life lessons in risk-taking. But for now, I'm happy with the four bucks I wasted and the several hands of blackjack I witnessed.

In other news, I'm performing this weekend at Huge Theater's "Off Book" production where I am forced to memorize one half of a scene while the other half is improvised by a scene partner who I am to meet mere minutes before we go on together! I'm nervous, excited, scared, and elated that I have a chance to experience this weird and completely original form of theater. This has absolutely nothing to do with casinos outside of the fact that I'm taking a huge risk. The biggest thing is that I know with this risk, I'll receive a great payback not in monetary amounts, but in the satisfaction I will get for making an ass out of myself on stage in front of a paying audience. I'd like to see the opportunity to cash that in at Treasure Island...

And thus Samantha proceeded to further her theatrical nerd-dom by stating satisfaction gained from performing was more valuable than the money that she had previously stated she valued. Sigh.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

He's Ba-ack!

Blog, can I just say how nice it is to finally have my brother back home in the states? It's really nice. After four years of living in Italy, he's back. And he's not only back in the country, he's back in North Dakota. Granted, he's on the other side of North Dakota in Minot, he's still in North Dakota. That's about as good as you can get as far as proximity goes in this massive country of ours. Maybe not as good as far as Air Force base assignments go... I wouldn't want to live in Minot. I mean, it is nicknamed "Magic City", but all that flooding...

It's funny to think about the four years he's been gone. I was the one who dropped him off at the airport when he flew away to Italy. He came back a just few times over the years to visit, and with the immense distance that was always between us, I've grown used to the idea that my brother will just never be a staple in my life. I remember dropping him off in the wee hours of the morning so he could catch his flight to Europe. All he had was a big duffel bag/back pack filled with whatever possessions he could fit into it. It is impressive to think about him leaving with that bag since he has since returned with a wife, a baby, and a shipment of furniture and other belongings that is currently on its way to North Dakota via a semi truck that picked up said shipment somewhere in Texas after it had spent four weeks on a boat crossing the Atlantic.

My little brother walks away after finishing up his basic training...

Bam! Four years later, wife and baby. Thanks Air Force.

It's amazing how much the military does for those who work within it. Capella can't even provide me with decent cutlery to accompany my lunch let alone offer to pack up my belongings and sail them across an ocean for me. Thanks Capella.

Then again, Capella won't send me to a war-torn desert where I have nothing to do but play yahtzee and sleep in a tiny room with 8 other people for five months. So there's that.

I digress. It's nice to have him back. This Christmas will be the first Christmas I've spent with my brother since 2006, I believe; and I honestly have no recollection of what that Christmas entailed. Even better, he's got this wife and kid now so it'll be extra special family times. I mean, there's a baby involved. A baby who apparently looks like me. How fun is that?

Not only is it nice to have him back in a holiday sense, but also because he can now hang out with my mom and keep her occupied instead of resting that entire task upon my shoulders. I love my mom, but it's hard to make the 4+ hour drive to North Dakota on a regular basis to see her. And the few times she's been down here have been stressful since she's terrible at navigating city streets and I have nowhere to put her up. But now my brother is back and can remind my mom that she actually has two kids. My brother was also brilliant and procreated so he can leave his spawn with my mother (which satisfies her beyond belief) and traipse about in the metropolis of Fargo with his betrothed. Win, win, win, win. The only one who loses out is the baby and that's only because she's not on a routine yet with her grandmother.

It's weird to think that my mom is a grandma. Of course I've known that she is a grandma for over a year, but it's only becoming a reality now that everyone is on this side of the Atlantic. It's strange how much of a difference has already been made with Ian being back and I haven't even seen him yet. Just a couple weeks and Thanksgiving is upon us. So is a reunion with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Had you asked the 13 year old version of me if I was excited to see my brother for Thanksgiving back in '98 I would have awkwardly laughed in your face and then felt some sort of strange and obscure Catholic guilt about it, but still would have known it to be utterly ridiculous to think that I at any point in time would wholly appreciate my brother's presence in my life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dietary Boredom

Blog, I finally bought some peanut butter. I was weird about it at the store though and found myself having a hard time committing to a full sized jar. I have this irrational fear of buying food and then not eating it all. I stood in the peanut butter aisle at the grocery store contemplating for longer than I should have on whether or not purchasing a full sized jar was an investment worthy of my money and time. It has been a year since I bought the stuff, and despite my previous and ongoing desire to eat it all the time, I felt that I was not in the habit enough to commit to a full size 18 oz. jar. I mean, that's over a pound of peanut butter. So I ended up going with the little 12 oz. guy. It was less money spent and less of a commitment, even though in a week I have a feeling I'm going to be regretting that decision since all I do now is spread peanut butter on bread whenever I get the slightest hankering for anything.

This is me not liking changes to my diet. I eat a very undiverse array of food. My trips to the grocery store are uneventful. My kitchen is the least creative place in my apartment. Why would I cook when I can make some toast, slap some mayo on it and slice up a tomato? Bon appetit, if you don't mind me saying so myself.

Here's the part where if I had more people reading this, I'd ask "what are some recipes you consistently go to?", so I could get a feel for what other people eat and maybe make an attempt to broaden my dietary horizons. But unless Kerin has started eating not crackers and cheese at every turn, I'm shit out of luck on that one. Hey, as long as I'm not going hungry and have enough to eat, right?

I know I made a promise to update more on what I've been up to, Blog, but that's a hard promise to keep when I don't get up to much. Although this weekend I'll be making a trek to a casino for the first time since college. And this isn't going to be any Palace up in Cass Lake. This is the real deal. Treasure Island, folks. It's going to be a classy time. So perhaps over the next few days I'll have some life anecdotes to reflect on with you, Blog. It should be a good time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Look, Old Friends

Well Blog, I've revamped you. Now that I've finally made you public once again, I decided you needed a bit of a facelift. You know, just in case someone comes across you and decides to actually read you. I actually put a little bit of thought into how you look today and got some super sweet international permission from my good friend Carly Swenson who currently is residing in the Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Azores. She has so graciously allowed me to use a bit of her art as your background. It of course is just barely seen on the edges, but the whole piece looks a little bit like this:

And by a "little bit" I mean "actually".

 That art right there was a big deal for me last year at this time when I found myself turning my life around on a dime... or a hundred bucks... however you want to look at it. It's as if Carlis herself (yes, I call her Carlis from time to time; a nickname for the nickname "Carlis of the O'Clare Kind" that I somehow came up with in college) knew from even thousands of miles away that the little phrase "I'm feeling better every day" was exactly what I needed to hear, see, and believe. Plus I think the colors she used in this one are really pretty.

Carly is the reason I met the Englishman. She actually met him before I ever did. She's the reason I learned about Death Cab for Cutie and Eddie Izzard in college and was the first person who ever told me that blue and brown go together (I'm artistically inept if you haven't noticed). She taught me how to effectively shop at a thrift store and would make massive amounts of this delicious vegetarian chili that I should really try and get the recipe for one of these days. She hasn't lived in the states for the past four of five years due to her free-feminist-spirit-self ironically marrying a straight-laced (or so we think) guy who happens to be in the Air Force, but she's one of my closest friends. Despite the vast distance that is always between us, we've managed to see each other on a somewhat regular basis. It actually is making me sadder than I thought it would to think that this December will be a year since I've seen her and I don't have any current plans to visit. Turns out the Azores aren't the easiest islands to get to. But I'm hoping that come late winter or early spring I will be able to make the trek to the middle of the Atlantic to spend a week or two occupying a tiny Portuguese island with her and laughing about whatever ridiculousness we happen to come up with.

You know you've got a good friend when you can take incredible absences from one another and go massive distances to each other and it's as if you never left the comfort of your own dorm room on the third floor of the B wing in Maple Hall.

Are we in Minnesota? Are we in England? Does it even matter?

To the .00004 % who actually came across, took the time to read, and made it this far into my blog, you can learn more about Carly and her art at her very own blog where she writes about how she's trying to be creative on tiny islands in the Atlantic.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Times

Real quick Blog. Happy Halloween! This year I went as Babe the Blue Ox. My dear and sweet friend Kerin was kind enough to accompany me as the most adorable version of Paul Bunyan ever:

Turns out Babe outdoes Paul on giantness.

I realized that I haven't really been writing about what I've been up to, Blog. And for that I apologize to the me of the future. I want to have the option to relive my life by way of random and dated ramblings that I spill out to you, Blog. I'm going to make a point to become more specific on the happenings that be happening. That weird picture up there of Kerin and I is the first step to documenting my life via the internet. Well, that and the fact that I've been blogging pretty continuously for the past five years, but who's really keeping track...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh Good...

Blog, my penchant for learning about notorious serial killers has lead me to this:

The little statement at the beginning pretty much explains it all, but in case you're too lazy to watch, that clip right up there pieces together all the highlights of serial killer Rodney Alcala's appearance on The Dating Game back in the 70's. And, spoiler alert, but he wins. That chick chose him as her date after asking ridiculously cheeky and embarrassingly executed (no pun intended) questions. Luckily she went back on her decision after the show had wrapped up and declined a date with him because she found him to be "creepy". In the end she saved herself from being strangled and balled up into a peculiar position in the comfort of her own apartment. And no, it's not like he decided to become a serial killer after he was rejected by the goofy and awkward Cheryl. He was in the midst of a killing spree at the time this was filmed. If my sources serve me correctly (those sources being Wikipedia) he was locked up just a year after this aired in 1979 and has been in prison ever since; most recently residing on death row after being convicted of a bunch of rapes and murders in California.

There's more about Rodney the Rapist (and murderer) at, which is where I learned about him in the first place.

This whole thing just makes me appreciate how far the screening process has come for, oh you know, everything since the 1970's.

It also makes me want to punch myself in the face for reading about serial killers late at night as I, a young, single, and conventionally attractive twenty-something woman, spend the evening alone in my apartment. I think it's time to watch a little bit of this and call it a night.

Friday, October 28, 2011

North Dakota Weekend... Again

Blog, the internet is disappointing me in the lack of distraction it's providing today. So I guess I'll write in you.

This past weekend I went to North Dakota. I am originally from there, as I've mentioned a million times before. North Dakota is an amazing place, but only for three days. After that, it's time to leave and come back to a place where things make sense to me. North Dakota makes sense to me too I guess. It's a place I can go to reset myself and get in touch with the one area in this world that is the most familiar to me. But after living in not North Dakota, I find it refreshing to return to the city and the hustle and bustle that is completely absent from the plains. Even when it was the only place I had ever known, I never felt like I belonged in North Dakota. And going back, it certainly is home to me, but I still tend to feel out of place. I don't have a preference over Sioux or Bison. I don't know what grows in the fields outside of my house. I don't understand how the farmers co-op works. I don't own anything with fertilizer advertising on it... The list goes on.

But I like it enough to appreciate it and recognize it as a place that has contributed to who I am today. Blah blah blah. I've written about this a million times before. North Dakota. I guess I'll just proceed with some pictures...

Making our trek to the bar on Saturday night.

Kerin's first harvested cornfield experience.

My first flying experience.

I forgot how fun it is to play in the tall grass. There's something so comforting about completely disappearing from sight in a vast expanse of fertile land.

A view from the grass. Hello dear friend Ariel!

My friends in a field.

Dear Ariel Wolf on her way back to town.

That's all I've got Blog. Tonight I embark on a lovely weekend that I plan on spending with friends and taking some time to paint myself blue. It should be wonderful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Minnesotan Commentary

Blog, I'm just gonna get this out of the way right now so I don't have to worry about it when everyone else is going at it. This will be my yearly commentary on how Minnesotans are notorious for allowing their lives to revolve around snow, the idea of snow, the memory of snow, and the absence of snow. No matter what season it is, you find them talking about snow:

Early Winter - There's snow right now, but there's not that much snow. I mean, it's just snow right? We're Minnesotans. We know how snow is. Whatever. Snow. No big deal about that snow that's everywhere. Time to drive 80 mph on a slick highway!

Mid to Late Winter - We just got 20 inches of snow! There is so much snow out there! I can't believe all the snow that we've gotten over the past week! But whatever. No big deal. This winter is still milder than every other winter I've ever experienced in my life.

Spring - There's still snow here, can you believe it? It's April. Everywhere else is full of flowers and hummingbirds by now.

Summer - Remember how much snow there was when it was winter? Now there's none. But just you wait!Three more months!

And then there's November. November is the month when snow first happens despite any rumors you might hear of snow actually happening in October. Snow, contrary to popular belief, doesn't happen in October and if it does it only happens once every ten years and it's like half an inch in some obscure county in the northern part of the state. November is where it's at with first real snow fall. But the thing is, until that first snow happens, Minnesotans get all antsy about it. They are like "It's cold, but there's no snow. Something's amiss." "The leaves have all fallen from the trees, yet the ground is bare. Something's amiss." "Parka? Never! There is no snow yet. It's still summer. Yet it's November. Something's amiss." Their worst fears might come true and it perhaps may not snow at all. Then what would they have to brag/comment/complain about for the next period of infinity? Farming? Loons? Paul Bunyan?*

So until the snow arrives, everyone is on edge with hopes that their validity as cold-bearing, shovel-wielding Minnesotans won't be diminished with the vast presence of brown grass and naked trees that occupies their state.

And then it's here. And in that moment when the ground is so silently covered in white, the bragging and commenting and complaining and car accidents begin with full force... and it won't stop until never.

I realize that I myself am considered a Minnesotan. I have a Minnesota license, a Minnesota address, and a slight Minnesotan accent. But one thing I learned when I first moved to this state from the "barren" expanse of North Dakota is that the locals here can't get enough of the snow-talk. And because that realization has stuck with me over the last 9 years that I've lived here (It's been 9 years? 9? Jesus.) I've taken to commenting on not the snow and its presence, memory, absence, what have you, but the reaction that Minnesotans themselves have to it. This thing. That happens. Every. Single. Year.

They have this uncanny knack to act like it is the most amazing, wondrous, rare experience that happens all the time and is no big deal at all.

Ok. Yearly rant over. Except I do want to say that I'm going to put an early New Year's resolution out there and do my best to bite my tongue this year when everyone is facebooking about how it was three degrees colder in Shoreview this morning than it was in frickin' Bloomington. Guess what. Three degrees means nothing. It only matters if freezing is involved, and we all know that by January everything is frozen anyway. Get over it and put on a sweater.

*Speaking of Paul Bunyan, I must insert that I have thought of the most brilliant Halloween costume this year what with going as Paul's trusty sidekick Babe the Blue Ox. Even though I have a date to the Halloween party I'm attending, I don't have a Paul Bunyan to complete the tall tale awesomeness that I am going to replicate (my date thinks Steve Jobs is actually something you can dress up as). Luckily, Kerin's husband Nick has offered up his lumberjack manliness and support and will be making a cameo as Paul himself. God bless friends' husbands.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Year Makes All the Difference

One year ago today my life was turned upside down with a six word sentence. At the time I thought it was the end of everything I knew, loved and cared about in the world. And in a way it was for certain things. But now, one year later, I realize that that sentence wasn't an ending, but the beginning of one of the most interesting years of my life. A portal was opened with those words and it has opened other portals and avenues that I never even thought possible for me to experience and know. I solidified friendships new and old, traveled to Europe, obtained a sister in law, met my niece, wrote more than I've written in a long time and developed a penchant for wine that I fear will never die. Here I sit one year later, at the same desk I numbly sat at with tears filling my eyes, and now I know that I can't let myself be afraid of a little sentence that simply states:

"I think we should break up."

It could mean that the most wonderful and interesting year yet is just at its beginning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hate and Love

Blog, I haven't bought peanut butter in a year. That's a long time for someone who used to live off of peanut butter sandwiches. Ooh, and even better, grilled peanut butter sandwiches. It's like a grilled cheese, but with peanut butter. Try it sometime. It'll blow your internet mind. I promise.

Why haven't I bought peanut butter? I don't know, Blog. I don't know. I think it's just that I kept forgetting for some reason. And then I forgot enough to where I don't even think about it anymore. I might have at first regretted my forgetfulness once I returned home with no peanut butter in hand after a trip to the grocery store, but now it's gotten to the point where it's not even part of my life anymore. It's really sad to think about since peanut butter and I used to have such a strong and involved relationship. What's more is that I had a taste of peanut butter over the weekend and now my palate has been reminded of the glory it holds within its sticky substance. Blog, I must break this strange and accidental habit I've acquired over the course of 2011 and buy some goddamned peanut butter. It's time.

In other news, here are some things that I hate and love...

I hate parallel parked cars that don't understand how much space they are taking up. Either you get your ass flush with that yellow line, or you go elsewhere. I understand you want some wiggle room between yourself and your parallel parked car neighbors, but five feet is too much. If you can fit two of you in the space you've so selfishly taken for yourself, then I think I should be allowed to attempt to violently park my boat of a car in the half a space you've so graciously left me in order to give you an updated lesson in parallel parking etiquette.

I hate that band The Decemberists. I don't like how their music sounds and I don't like the lead singer's voice. What don't I like about their music? I don't know. Those melodies rub me the wrong way. I find them boring, predictable, and sickening. That guy's voice is whiny and annoying. Enough said.

I hate the band The Hold Steady for many of the reasons I stated above for hating The Decemberists. Boring melodies, don't like that lead singer's voice. Most of all? Stop rhyming so much. Just. Stop. I can't handle rhyming for the sake of rhyming, unless it's a clever sonnet or something. But The Hold Steady isn't made up of clever sonnets. It's made up of a dude yelling rhymes into a microphone with a boring guitar riff playing in the background.

I hate being super hungover, like I was yesterday. I also hate shots of jag and gin and tonics combined with copious amounts of wine. This may or may not be related to why I hate being hungover. It's hard to tell since memories of Saturday night are fuzzy. All I know is that feeling like someone is drilling into the left side of your head is not the best way to spend a Sunday. Also, falling down on your way home from the bar might be a sign that it's time to stop with the alcohol intake. Just a thought.

I hate that the person who's clothes are taking up both dryers downstairs doesn't have a proper concept of  time. Your shit's been dry for 45 minutes sir/madam. Make the trek down to the basement to gather your garments so I can dry mine. Lord knows the moment I go down there and remove those clothes myself, you're going to enter into that chilly dungeon of a laundry room and things are going to get real awkward real fast.

But you know what?

I love how it smells down there right now. Though you are pokey with your laundry pick up, I'm curious as to what detergent you're using. It smells magnificent and if I could make my wardrobe carry that scent all my troubles would come to an end, I am certain of it.

I love being really hungry and knowing exactly what I want to eat. Tonight it was macaroni and cheese. The craving actually started last night when I for some reason found myself mesmerized by this ridiculousness:

Three quarters of a box of mac and cheese later, I'm pleasantly stuffed. But what I love even more than eating mac and cheese when it's all I want in the whole wide world, is washing each bite down with a sip of cold milk. Oh the dairy! The dairy of it all!! Thank you cows. You are my favorite kind of livestock right now.

I love calling lunch dinner and dinner supper. It brings me back to the days of eating gravy bread at the kitchen table and fruit cocktail for dessert all while silently judging my brother who wouldn't wash his dinner (or supper for that matter) down with a glass of milk but instead drank boring tap water that ended up giving us all giardia. Reason number 1,583 why milk is way better than any other beverage (besides wine) ever in the world.

I loved Saturday night up until I got so drunk I couldn't form thoughts in my mind. That was most of the night for the record. To be a part of such a great group of people and have my spot there with everyone was a really great and entirely new experience for me. Everyone had their person, and everyone had each other. The guys had the guys, the girls had the girls and we all loved each other at the end. Of course, then Jon bought me that shot of jag and things were downhill from there. But up until that moment: magic.

I love this song on the radio right now. Of course I have no idea what the song is or who sings it, but I like it because it is interesting for me to listen to. The word "naked" is part of the lyrics. There is sycopation going on. An overarching melody is happening in the chorus. Sing it mystery band. All in all, the tune reminds me of some of the metal bands my college boyfriend and I would listen to as we drove the strip in Bemidji for hours and hours on end during our freshman year just so we could get some alone time with one another, though this song isn't quite metal. Also now that I'm an adult, I don't need to take refuge in a 1992 Ford Explorer for some solitude. I like, Blog. I like. No, love.

Oh, and we mustn't forget. I love this guy. I love this guy on his buffalo:

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Pushup Mantra

Blog, my friend Trisha has brought to light the wonder of pushups and how in just a matter of days you can build up enough stamina to actually do them, like for real.

I remember I started hating pushups in the first grade when Mrs. Johnson would make our little 7 year old bodies hover just inches above the ground to the point where "your nose has to touch the floor". Even though little Samantha didn't have the cumbersome boobs and ass that eventually would take over her body, she still found it to be incredibly difficult to lower herself down to the point where she was face to face with the hundred year old floor boards of the Berg Gym. The Berg Gym, where little Samantha made her first theater debut as a cow in a children's theater production of Beauty and the Beast. The Berg Gym where little Samantha belted out the lyrics of Ace of Base's "I Saw the Sign" at one of her first school dance experiences. Oh that Berg Gym. I think they've torn it down now...

I digress. Even my 60 pound, 7 year old body couldn't handle push ups, so when little Samantha became self conscious teenage Samantha, things really started going downhill in the pushups department. Especially when my classmate Jen was berated by her peers when her version of the horrid exercise was compared to that of a beached whale humping the ground. When us developing ladies were finally given permission to drop our knees to the ground so we could take the pressure off of our weak upper bodies, I gave in to the handicap and haven't looked back since.

And then Trisha brought to light the actual idea of building up strength through exercise. What? Who would have ever thought such a thought? That's preposterous! I'm a fully developed woman, Trisha. My giant ass will never allow me to do a pushup without the aid of my knees. It's simply impossible. My weak arms cannot support the mass of my entire lady body. Physics will not allow this idea of me doing a "man" pushup to become a reality.

Well, that's what I was thinking two weeks ago. After adjusting my pushup form and getting a pep talk from Trish, I struggled and panted through five measly pushups; my nose nowhere near the ground. But I kept at it, and now I'm up to sets of 15, Blog. 15. Last night I did 15 man pushups in a row. My nose still hasn't touched the ground like Mrs. Johnson would have liked, but I'm feeling the burn nonetheless. Though this is a small feat, it is also a sad reminder of how closed off I am to things that I find utterly impossible. I should really start applying this push up mantra that Trisha has shown me to other things that seem impossible, like... not drinking during the week. Oh Jesus. It's so intimidating to say that. I kind of hate myself for it. Maybe I'll just work on getting my nose to touch the carpet...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Woes

Mmm mmm mmm Blog. I love me a good organ. I also love me a good keyboard. I'm sad I don't have one, and even if I did I'd have no where to put it. I'm so depressed that I've pretty much lost my ability to play any percussive instrument that resembles a piano. I'm going to be going home in a couple weeks. I have to have to have to find some time to brush up and at least try to plunk out a couple old tunes. I've got a few staples that I memorized back in high school and college that I can still get a strong start on. Whenever I come across a keyboard in a music store, I do my best to remember how it feels to play that one waltz by Beethoven or the pretty part of the Intermezzo by Brahams. But the most depressing part is that I foolishly left a stash of my favorite piano books on top of a bookshelf that is currently in Maple Grove, locked away in a house in which I am no longer welcome. What's worse is that I've burned the bridge I need to cross to get them back. I should really stop reminscing about the days when I actually had musical prowess in these now uncoordinated and stiff fingers of  mine. It just proves to be nothing but a way to make my heart sink.

How's that for depressing, Blog? Don't worry. I'll snap out of this soon.

What little the internet has to offer on my lost waltz.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to Blogging

Blog, I feel like I'm brain dead. Maybe I should start reading again. I've been so very bad at it for the past couple years, I just can't get into it. Maybe I should start exercising again; it clears my mind and allows me to think and focus. Maybe I should get into the habit of writing about things other than my love life and the inane feelings that overcome me when boys happen.

Maybe I'll get a cup of tea and take a moment during this slow work day to think about what it is I really want to write about in this, my first post in October.

This tea is not as hot as I'd like it to be. Sigh. No, that is not what I really want to write about.

It's actually been on my mind lately that it's coming up on a year since Ryan broke up with me. I'm pretty much over it outside of the realization I had the other day when I ran into him in the elevator lobby and ended up hiding behind a corner to avoid him. It's not the pain of no longer having him in my life that kept me so childishly behind the corner; that pain is long gone. What drives my avoidance is now the incredible awkwardness that would saturate any sort of interaction between us. I stood there peeking around the edge of the lobby, raking my brain for any sort of casual "how do you do" or "good morning" approach that would be appropriate if we were to end up in an elevator together. Absolutely nothing came to mind. With my cartridge completely depleted of any social ammunition combined with the buzzing feeling that had completely taken over my mind and body, I realized that Ryan is completely out of my life. There is absolutely nothing we have to talk about and there is no interest we have whatsoever in one another.

What difference a year can make. Last October we were still sharing a bed.

And thus Samantha chose to write about her feelings that boys conjure within her regardless of her laments over doing so an overwhelming amount in her blog. Christ I'm annoying.

What I really wanted to say was that I've lately been very aware of my typing habits. I think this is because I'm bored at work today and have become fascinated with watching my fingers hit the keys with the regular motions and strokes that I never think twice about. This is complex shit that's happening literally under my nose day in and day out and I never take note. Every bit of text I create whether it be in you Blog or in an email to a learner or to Kerin or chatting with friends on gmail is created so instantaneously with the the use of 26+ separate and tiny keys. It's really quite the feat when you think about the sounds that we've turned to symbols that we've learned to draw and write that we've translated onto a keyboard that in the end allows us to silently dictate our thoughts through what seems like random punching performed by our fingers. We can have silent conversations lead by our fingers. We can create thoughts and ideas as they form in our minds. It's almost as if you are a window into a piece of my brain, Blog. Lucky you. Keyboards and typing are amazing. That's all I really have to say about it.

Also, what I really wanted to say is that the longest academic paper I've ever written was 10 pages long. It was my senior thesis for my undergrad degree. Yes, I went to a state school. Yes, I feel incredibly inept at writing academic papers. No, I don't discredit my writing abilities due to the two previous facts I have just uncovered about myself. I'm going to be all charter school about it and let my writing style lead me to wherever it may instead of trying to box it up in an MLA format with quotes and commas and paranthetical citations. Gross. There is a time and a place for the, in my opinion "overuse", of punctuation (no punctual pun intended with the massive amount of said punctuation in this sentence, and yes, I'm completely aware it's probably incorrect).

I just re-read this whole thing and hate it. But it will do as far as getting back on track with my blogging goes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The End of an Era

One post in September Blog. That's what this has come to. Well, I'll make this the second one so that odd and cryptic post from 10 days ago will have a friend for the month.

Speaking of that odd and cryptic post...

Speaking of (or perhaps not speaking of) my most recent trip to Europe...

Speaking of having both a broken heart and giddy smile...

I've come to the conclusion that I must no longer spill my heart out to you Blog. At least my romantic heart. I know this hurts to hear, but for as much relief and joy I get from blogging about my pining and hoping and love, I get just as much pain, remorse, and sadness from blogging about the end of it all.

I guess everything must come to an end sooner or later. What I've learned is that none of us have control over when that end decides to make its appearance.

What I've also learned is that the head and the heart are two different entities that coincide on most occasions, but only when they disagree with one another is it apparent that you really have to leave it to fate to decide your next step. You can't force something to happen that shouldn't be happening. And that Blog, is why after two weeks of witnessing an arguement between my head and my heart, I ended things with the sweet and dear Englishman who has somehow managed to change me from 4,000 miles away. My head wanted to stay, my heart felt otherwise and in the end won the debate.

So not only do I say goodbye to the Englishman. I say goodbye to spilling my romantic thoughts to you Blog. I one day want to make you public again and the only way I can do that is to censor my emotions so I don't end up hurting those whose gaze might fall on your lonely entries. Also, I think it might be time I leave a little bit of myself to the imagination.

Don't be too hurt, Blog. I know you can read my mind for the most part anyway.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This song blog. This song. It is the epitome of what it feels like to be in a new situation that is exciting and wonderful and full of anticipation.

Fuck it. I'm going to embed this shit:

I can't say any more. Not now, blog. I'm sorry. I know I pour my heart out to you on most occasions. But know that when I hold back, it's something that's especially serious and exciting that I will only spill to you in copious amounts after time has passed me by.

Yes, it's been nearly a month since I last wrote in you. I have good reason. I unfortunately can't elaborate at this point which breaks my heart. But one day I will continue the ridiculous story that is my personal life being thrown up on an internet forum; be it public or exclusive. We all reserve the right to write about our experiences, don't we.

For now, I'm off to bed to sleep. Perhance to dream.. No, I'm not Hamlet. My dad didn't die and my uncle didn't marry my mom. I'm not in love with a suicidal crazy named Ophelia. And the only Rosencrantz and Guildenstern I know are that of the Tom Stoppard variety and don't even think I'm getting that theatrically pretentious on this Monday night, the night of the Ivey awards. I'm better than that blog. Hell, I don't even dream. And if we're honest, everyone at the end of that play probably deserved to die anyway.

Hmmm. It's probably the wine talking at this point, but I could act in plays and be a great performer, but why pretend to feel that great emotion when you can feel it as yourself, firsthand for real and for the worth of actual consequence that it will have for you?

Well, I guess you don't get paid to feel your own emotion. Not in monetary amounts anyway. But it seems that there's this strange satisfaction about it that overshadows all of that anyway.

Yup. The wine hath taken over you, blog. It's time to turn in and be a resonsible adult for once in my life. Ha! Resonsible. It's my hybrid between responsibility and reasonable behavior. I can't lose with that, can I.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Depression Works for Me...

I just want to say Blog, that every day I become more and more convinced that literary greats were considered great not because of talent and practice, but because of mental unstability. I mean, would you want to read a novel, poem, short story or play written by someone of sound mind and lifestyle? I think not.

Or maybe you would Blog. I really don't know what sort of literature whets your intellectual appetite. But think about it. Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway (tool), Oscar Wilde, Hunter S. Thompson... Think about it Blog...

I only say this because I feel most inspired when I am most depressed/confused/sad/upset/or generally emotional. I can only imagine the shit I'd come up with if I suffered from depression or bipolar disorder or OCD.

And then comes the question, would you rather be depressed all the time and come up with amazing literature or be happy and content with the only drawback in life being the writer's block you suffer because you have achieved mental stability?

Yes, it's possible to have both happiness and literary prowess I guess. You can be happy and write. But really, if that's the case, I'm sure your shit would be ten times better if you were depressed and writing. Or even better, if you were on drugs and writing. Think of one famous musician who's never smoked weed or done cocaine. Think, Blog, think.

That's what I thought. Creativity and brilliance comes from fucked up people.

Really? Is it that healthy to grieve your fiance's death by wearing white all the time? I think not.

Hey! I'm an alcoholic and married to a crazy...

I think we all know what happened here...

"Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again." Then she drowned herself. Perfect.

Drugs. Just... drugs.

Note that if they're not looking incredibly depressed, they're looking a little drunk. I rest my case.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make It Hurt So Good

Blog. I yelled at a chick today. Face to face.

It's an amazing feeling to get so upset and angry where you suddenly find yourself marching towards someone, numbly preparing to verbally unload all of the emotions, thoughts, and words that are madly buzzing around your head. It's almost as if it's a drug. I'm pretty sure whatever brain chemical that was taking over my mind the moment I decided to walk up to the bitch and yell at her as quietly as I could, is found in some illegal drugs. It felt amazing. I can see why some people may be addicted to being complainy assholes all the time.

But I had reason, blog. Just like every escalated learner on the other end of my advising phone has a reason. People don't get mad without a reason. They usually have a good reason, a small reason, or a reason that they have purposely brought upon themselves to back up their anger. Usually those who are angry are going to say that their reason is a good one, no matter how ridiculous that reason may be. So while my reason may seem small, self imposed, or weak, I'm the one who's angry. Therefore, I think (know) I have a terrific reason to back up my uncontrolled action of marching up to this girl and yelling at her in front of... we'll say 15 people. Luckily most of those people were Minnesotan so they pretended that nothing was going on and went about business as usual.

I'm sure you're dying to know the reason I was yelling at a girl in front people. I'll do my best to keep the story short. Angry people tend to take their emotions as permission to ramble on for blocks and blocks of text, complete (or shall I say incomplete) with bad punctuation, spelling, and misuse of CAPITAL LETTERS. Never a good sign.

Basically speaking, my aunt, uncle, and cousin came to the Fringe show I'm in tonight. My aunt, on whom I base some of the inspiration that colors the caricature I play on stage. My aunt, who is always happy, supportive, and tickled by any sort of theatrical production I've ever been a part of. Tonight, they happened to run into some bad traffic and ended up late to the show.

Now here's where the emotions, thoughts, words begin to buzz. I'll do my best to keep my words spelled, my punctuation permissable, and any emphasized emotions in italics.

I received word that they were going to be late before the show started. So I took it upon myself to head out to the box office shortly before the show began to let them know that I had three people, all with will call tickets, who were going to be a few minutes late due to traffic conditions. I know that the Fringe has a strict late attendance policy, but I've worked in a theater. I've done the Fringe for four years now. And I've learned a thing or two about a thing or two about exceptions to strict policies in my current daytime role as an academic advisor (aka. rule breaker extraordinaire). It doesn't hurt to ask.

Oh but yes it does! I had barely finished my request when the house manager came up waving her arms at me saying "No. No. No. It's policy. No late attendance. It's policy. No.".

I can't even get an "I'm sorry but..."?!

"They're stuck in traffic. They're very close. She's my aunt."

"NO" (I know I said no capitals, but this is the bitch talking, not me)

"They have will call tickets. I thought I'd let you know so you could be prepared for their arrival."

"IT'S POLICY. We can get them a comp for another show if they like."

"They can't make the other show. This is the only one they are able to attend."

More arm waving happened and then more no-ing. I had no choice but to go back stage and cry. Because yeah, I get emotional about this stuff yo. She's been excited to see the show for months, and now this? You're not going to let a paying customer in because they're three minutes late and you've never heard of going against policy under certain, understandable and rational circumstances? Can someone say POWER TRIP?! (There we go all caps. I can't help myself. It feels so good.)

Not to be a diva but, it's kind of hard to go and act on stage immediately after crying. Especially if you're having to act in a similar way to your aunt, who's absence is the source of said crying. But I somehow did it. Probably wasn't my best performance, but I don't think the audience was any the wiser.

So the show goes on, people laugh, tech fucks up once again during the party scene and Sam and I get yet another opportunity to improvise in a scripted environment. And then we're done. All the while I know my family is waiting outside in the lobby, merely overhearing an entire show that they paid money to see all because they were three minutes late.

That's right. It was only three minutes I found out. I get if it's 15, half an hour, oops I missed the entire show because I thought it was at 7. No. Three minutes. The first scene had barely started when they got there. I went out and gave her a hug. She was tearing up too. What can I say? Schmitz's get emotional when it comes to late arrivals to theatrical productions. They also get angry.

Before I knew it, I had locked my gaze on her, the bitch who is too scared to bend the rules for paying customers. The bitch who doesn't know how to deal with angry people. The bitch who's vocabulary consists of the word "policy" and the phrase "If we let them in late, we have to let every one else in late."

Everyone else who? They were the only ones sitting in the lobby for the entire show.

Oh, and the kicker in all of this? After finding out about the policy of all policies (apparently), my aunt went and sat next to the curtain that was drawn at the entrance of the theater so she could listen to the show. It wasn't drawn all the way, so she was able to see part of the stage. The bitch came up and closed it during the second scene of the show. What a cold, artless, unbending heart you have. Once again. POWER TRIP.

I digress. I found myself marching; breezing past those in line, glaring at her large, far set eyes. She's pretty, don't get me wrong. But looks have nothing to do with turning paying customers away from a show just because they got caught in traffic. I don't remember what I said to her. But it was something along the lines of my family not getting what they paid for. I'd like to know how my show would have been ruined had they come in three minutes late. I want to know a good, legitimate reason for your policy. Probably some other stuff too, but I don't remember. Turns out angst makes you pretty forgetful after that high is over.

My favorite part was probably when she started to fight back. Big no no, lady. You don't start fighting back when a customer is mad at you. It only fuels the situation.  I told her "No. You let me be mad. That's what is going on right now" and the older, wiser volunteer next to her gestured to her to let her know that, yes, let this girl yell at you. This is your position of the house manager. To get yelled at. Because you're a bitch.

She immediately didn't know where to go from there and referred me to her manager, who happens to be a saxophone playing story telling lesbian. I will begin my quest for her contact information once this blog post is complete.  Because, yeah, in my angry state I don't think to ask helpful questions like "what is your manager's contact information?" or "What's your name?". I guess it takes practice to get these things right.

I want to make it clear Blog that this anger thing is a very foreign thing to me. I'm usually laid back and accepting of most situations. It's the Veldhouse in me. But if something is not making sense to me, if there is a person involved who is on a power trip, if money is being spent but nothing is gotten back in return, then I find myself navigating the strange paths of reasoning with the unreasonable, negotiating with the non-negotiable, and ultimately accepting the unacceptable. All in all, I guess it makes up for a long blog post that I really did try not to make incredibly long. Writing about it helps though, as it does with everything when it comes to emotions whether they are good or bad.

I could go on about how I've put work into this show, my cast mates have put work into this show, the entrance fee is $400 and if it wasn't for people like us willing to pay the money, spend the time, and work with you assholes for a hundred bucks in the end (if that), you wouldn't have a festival to house your "policies" in the first place. Be kind to your patrons. They are the ones who make a theater community possible in the first place. Without them you'd have a bunch of actors performing shows for no one and frankly, there's not much in the world of theater that is sadder than that.