Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This must be short for I should be doing other things. Time's running out quickly...

I would like to talk about shame. Perhaps not the best topic for a quick post...or is it the perfect topic?

The first two and a half years after my diagnosis, I didn't understand the shame that is attached to mental illness. I do now. I believe I mentioned it sometime during the fall/winter. I know this blog is about honesty and education, but I find myself experiencing crippling shame at any sign of weakness. I constantly compare myself to others, to the best, and find faults in myself. I don't think I focus too much on them...but perhaps a little.

I guess after three and a half years of dealing with this/these disorders, I've run out of patience with myself; I feel that I should have a better grip. I realize in typing these words that I'm wrong and I do focus too much on my faults, for I have come such a long way. Impatience coupled with a few intolerant people telling me I make excuses when I can't do something...that it's my fault...leave me doubting myself.

It will get better. I'll continue moving forward and working as diligently as possible to carry on in the best form despite the odds. I admit, sometimes I wish I didn't have these things to deal with. But then I remind myself...everyone has some struggle, some challenge. I'm not the only one and things could be so much worse.

Perhaps I'll open up soon and talk about the week-long series of breakdowns I experienced ending last week. I feel that I could now, but I promised myself I'd keep it short(ish).

It's raining and I hear thunder grumbling. What beautiful music; I love storms. :)

Until next time,


Monday, April 27, 2009


Our theater flooded.

Yes, flooded. For half an hour. Not by rain, but water gushing from a broken sprinkler head that activated all the others (I'll spare you the details...but will say it was due to misweighed fly system). 30' worth of a sprinkler system. All over our set pieces and backdrops I assisted the designer in painting. The show--the largest show (musical) of the year, showcasing the seniors--was scheduled to go up on Thursday. This coming Thursday. Yeah, not happening...

This is a huge theater for a college. 30' wide acting area? A very important space not only for the theatre department, but those we rent to and any other presentations we host with our incredible number of seats.

The water seeped into the design studio and storage, too.

So, everything's being rescheduled. This huge, tiring show is set to go up the Thursday-Saturday before the week of finals. I heard the most powerful professor laughed at other faculty protestations at a highly stressful idea (and all the other repercussions of such an idea) for students. He laughed and said it just eliminates our time to procrastinate. This said to seniors carrying 20+ credit hour loads (18 is considered an overload) also, trying to graduate on time due to an advisor's poor planning. The official e-mail letting us know the changes is the title of this blog and my best friend pointed out the irony of the lyrics to that Bowie song:

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't tell t hem to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strain)
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time

And I have papers and work, models and homework, classes and meetings--and had a rather epic breakdown last Thursday night which results in a doctor's visit Wednesday and a couple of extensions; I'm starting to swing into a depression after a minor mania managed magnificently. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) But I'm at the point where sometimes I have a lot of trouble making decisions. But I'm not just a painter for this show...I have to work the fly system during the show. Yeah, the one that got out of control. Wee! :-\

My best friend is one of those 20+ cred-carrying seniors, who is Assistant Stage Managing the show and works in the costume shop...(those of us who work in the shops aren't getting this extra week to study--we're expected to help reconstruct the theatre AND work on the show...I work the scene shop, where there was damage. Luckily, my boss is reasonable. Her boss is the laugher.). We decided it was a good idea to go for a hike in the woods separating our school from a park while the weather was nice because my classes were done and hers got canceled.

We got lost looking for a specific bridge, but decided to sit on a felled tree on the shore next to some standing water in a low point of the huge park. The water was deep enough for us to spy a duck bathing. In the taller grass, I spotted a mama duck and SEVERAL baby ducks. They swam into sight and I noticed that last little duck kept getting distracted and lagging behind, but swimming super fast to catch up until it inevitably happened again. I decided it is a he and his name is Zoom Zoom. We witnessed daddy duck bite an intruding male duck and watched him to continue securing the premise while his family crawled onto our "shore" to dry off and play.

We agreed that life is good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Title: 1_45a on the fifteenth of abril 2009 A.D.

My pores sit among the day's work on my skin,
My tongue skims across the day's skin on my teeth.
I feel dirty.
So I washed them.
And it was simple.

Clean, but water under my ribbon necklace,
Clean, but water under Her car-part ring.
I feel uncomfortable.
So I dried myself.
And it was simple.

My thoughts scamper anxiously through dirtballs,
My mind holds stead-fast for control.
I feel worried.
So I think of Her.
And it is simple.

There is a specific attempt at structure. I'll let you diagram that out for yourself. I feel moved to explain the process, however. This poem was active; it was an exercise in simplifying. The first two lines reflect my over-analytic, cumbersomely complex --"frilly"-- thoughts followed by my conscious effort to simplify them through simplifying my perception of my feelings, which is why they're written in present tense. Then, after writing that, I "fixed" the "problems," which were then past tense when I returned to write them. The last line of the first two stanzas is the seal, the point of the exercise. The last stanza is different in that the problem is my main concern--thoughts/inside my head. I was putting the solution to action at the time I wrote it, therefor the tense remains present. This experimentation may not be "correct"...but I think there is ultimately no measure of "correctness" in creativity and art.

As always, I'm interested in YOUR response(s). Thanks for reading--and Happy Tax Day! Hah. ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Adhesive never sticks to these walls for long. Duct tape, even--and especially. The heavier the tape...the more effort and desire I have to stick something...the faster it falls. It's around this time of the semester that things really start falling. Well, the tape's losing it's grip...but I'm not allowing myself. Even though I sense personal tape possibly failing in my life. This part of the semester is also when I stop caring about having those images, albeit meaningful, stuck to my walls; other things take precedence.

I have cramps. I didn't take anything for it.

I have no time to think of images falling or relationships failing or anything but what needs to be done. I'm so wound up (bad caffeine choices made today) that I can't physically write in my hand--which never cramps--cramps at the speed of my thoughts. This is the first time in a long time that I'm genuinely grateful for a keyboard.

But, the last thing I'd like to point out there is this:

The dark circles under my eyes no longer look like I've taken a couple of blows from fighting life. And that? Is a real smile.

Happy Bunny Day/Easter/Sunday--enjoy those you love. Few things matter more.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tweet on Blogger

...just sayin'...I can't WAIT to work this blog--layout, etc. etc., start selling things, start working a LOT, and start all of these projects reserved for lazy summertime...because it'll be summer vacation in 4(!!!!!!!) weeks.

This is good and bad news, for those of you who understand.

So, basically, this is a Tweet on Blogger. The ayyyynd! :)

PS, the sad truth:
Twoble with Twitter: SuperNews!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Connect the Dots

You know what I realized tonight? Because that's how I realize a light switch. I realized tonight that I'm ready. I am ready to grow up.

What a loaded statement. But it's so true.

I am ready to begin life...I am ready to assume responsibility, learn how to put things in perspective, ready to fully master mySelf--my situations, my career(s), my outlook, my Life.

I feel as though I am blossoming...and the realizations come from others. Small things others have said, small gestures others have made in general--that trigger things. Small things not even meant for me, not even necessarily meant for inspiration. Truths.

It's not about you, or me, or one person--the picture is very large, and I find that if I let myself focus too intensely for too long and unnecessarily on myself--I become sad. Depressed. As long as I'm caring for myself, being aware of my needs and wants, I must also be aware of the brilliance of a life outside of myself...the world is so full of magnificent people to meet and form relationships with and enjoy and influence and grow and share. Love.

I'm ready to learn and prepare and be RESPONSIBLE. I'm ready to be stable and loving and joyful and interesting...and Happy. I know there will be tough times...but there will be so much joy for me. I am a Lucky Girl: I have love, and I have drive, and I have what it takes. I know it. I believe in myself. Finally, I believe in myself Despite.

I have many dreams...dreams turning to goals...and goals are for looking forward to. And I so look forward to what lies ahead of me, whatever it may be. The best part is that I don't KNOW exactly where I'll be going--no SET PATH. I have ideas, I have plans...but I'm staying flexible. And I believe that is the key. Rolling with the punches, as it were.

I am ready to succeed. I am ready. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beautiful day

What a beautiful day I had today, and what a sweet relief...just for something "different." I wonder if everybody somehow carries on, looking forward to a break in routine, a break in even monotony...

Well, perhaps my day won't sound as gorgeous as it feels, maybe you don't enjoy the things I do or understand WHY I enjoy them so much...but maybe you can understand the feeling by remembering your own joy-causers...

I woke up later than expected this morning...I was going for 7:40, but got 9:50. That made me a little sad for myself because I thought I wouldn't some things done. But a class was I went to breakfast and had an asiago cheese bagel with sundried tomato cream cheese and a caramel latte. An upgrade to my new every-morning plain wheat with plain cream cheese and black coffee with a shot of vanilla. Interesting that I choose so. I didn't for any apparent reason.

Then, I had a bit of time and went shoe shopping. My old shoes I need to turn into paint shoes as my current ones are SHOT...and I really want a pair of, the Dickie's slip-on kind or Chucks of an obnoxious color. I think I've decided on medium blue. Ah...listen to a painter describe a color as "medium blue"!

PS-- My guru wrote me a LoR and officially called me an "artist" in it. ...just for that small written bit, I feel as though I've graduated or something. Like someone just gave me a degree with a title for my identity...or making my title-hopeful a title-official. just feels good that I'm an artist, not just a student, in his eyes. Brilliant.

Also, today I got to wear a skirt. YES! Wear a SKIRT! My scars from working in the shop and being just clumsy otherwise have faded almost away so I can wear them! I had the scholarship interview and I tried to look "like a million bucks" someone described it. I found a tweed jacket...geniune vintage...@ the Goodwill close to our school for $5.82. It matches the skirt that NOTHING ELSE MATCHES perfectly--it's pleated silk. I had a white cami under and (although I don't in this picture) I was wearing nylons...and they died today, but they fought the good fight. And the shoes look authentic vintage. Here, a picture:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
How vain!, you might think. But sometimes a girl's just gotta be a girl. Today was only special b/c I had the scholarship interview--a reason to dress up after wearing exclusively paint-clothes and not doing your hair. ...I guess I've still got a little performer in me.

I saw my uncle and laid down a groundplan sketch for my second design...

Then the interview. I'm not sure how it went. I was able to answer all of their questions but it didn't take very long. It was a panel of three men, all a bit difficult to read.

So, I headed over to have my Design meeting with Noel...he was a little busy, so I talked to the new Acting/Directing director at the school about the project I had just proposed...I wish I'd have said some of the things we had discussed then at the interview itself. Ah, well...if it's meant to be... Anyway, we talked for a long time and it was productive. Honestly, I wanted to show her that I clean up well... b/c acting directors actually really care about something like that...especially from one who floats between performance and technical/ always is in old, crappy clothes with messy hair. Anyway, I know she saw me in a new light after that--a better one.

Then I met with Noel and design meetings with him are so great. He's my yoda, seriously, and he knows me so well and I know there's so much to learn...and because I'm the only one studying under him his exact profession at the moment, it's like I'm an apprentice. I work alongside him, take lessons from him, learn from him--not just academic/design things, but life things, too. We're always in the same building, so we see each other a Lot. Anyway, that went well. We pondered over my new design and I did some things right!

Then I decided to work a little. I lowered the 42' backdrop I sewed and flew (put it on a pipe and raised it into the same position it's used for in performance when not in view) the day before and found an mended the parts of the actual canvas that needed mending b/c the cloth's ancient. The canvas is a tanned color...and the muslin (which makes up the lower half/extension) is cream...and I did this on-stage, so it was under stage's almost as if I were in costume, really, and I sat on the floor delicately, lady-like, as I hand-sewed that color of really looks like the sail of a ship. It would have made such an interesting picture...the first seam I sewed was in the muslin itself. It was the most beautiful stitch I've ever stitched. So even and constant. (There's a special stitch to mend theatre curtains and fabric scenery) The other three weren't as great...but I think I used all of my abilities. This is the thing...on the other side of the fabric, there were 4 upright pianos and to the left there was a baby grand. I listened to them each be tuned in my 1.5 hour sewing session...and it was like music to me, though it was just noise. So...almost like a little dada mixed with improv jazz. He was an old man, and he answered his phone at one point...he was talking music, talking business. And I thought about how extraordinary someone's life work being some sort of art. I'm so used to hearing about corporate America and the arts seem so far away...or did as I was growing up. Confined to a monitor or Chicago...anywhere else than where I was...somewhere beyond me. And now it's around me...and soon I'll be submerged in it...and soon, "someday soon!", that will be me. I won't just be an art student, I'll be an artist. I love it. I probably love it so much because it's a dream of mine come true.

Then I went to the cafeteria...and dinner was actually pretty good. And there was a waffle-cone ice cream after. :)! I love waffle cones too much.

Then I spent about an hour in relaxed company with two of my best friends...just--relaxed. Because today is Friday.

Now I'm here...getting worried that my lady won't I'm going to try again. I'm here, writing things out, about to do some productive things, and listening to Radiohead and the like.

Ah, what a beautiful day. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weird Fishes

My life is insanely busy and hectic now...compared to before. I'm not complaining; no, I hope to be reminded of how fortunate I am when I start whining. It's just that after a long, long day of non-stop going...the night is a harbor for whirling energy and emotion. Oh, how I wish I was truly eloquent. I feel so awkward in words tonight.

Tomorrow I have a scholarship application interview. This scholarship may be the very thing that allows me to complete my degree next year. It entails a community service project of the candidate's choice...mine being theater-related, naturally. I proposed creating, producing, and directing a traveling show for the surrounding middle-schools about bullying with a talk-back after. Here's the thing: I have a script in the works for the head of the psychology department on this very issue...but I'm at a standstill; I feel that I'm giving the characters of this age a dated, fabricated voice. Probably because it's TRUE! It seems so contrived. So, here's my plan: I'm taking another playwriting workshop over the summer and doing more research. There is a play our new Acting/Directing professor presented to me promptly: The Secret Life of Girls. I propose that after I read this and I feel that I can't produce better and this is the show I'm looking for, I will use The Secret Life of Girls as my script.

I became the president of my school's Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA). We're hosting an acoustic night/fundraiser/raffle for About Face Theatre, a leading LGBTQ theater in Chicago which may very well close its doors due to lack of funding. Hopefully we can do our part to help! And have fun, of course. :) I must admit...I really want to have official Gay Movie Nights all the time. I think it'll be fun. The membership fluctuates drastically, I hear. We shall see. In hindsight, I should not have logically jumped in to save this ship...but I'm glad I did. The staple members and I have fun...which makes it worthwhile. For the time being. I just need to organize/delegate for this big show! We're being co-sponsored by Student Activities and I think we're going to try and draw in the theatre club.

Tonight I went to another meeting...a Democrats club. I've not had time for it and have been avoiding it, but I really had to go tonight. I'm designing the shirt at the very least. Across the back it's going to read: "IT'S A BIG [insert my adaptation of a donkey's rear] PARTY." Yeah, we like to keep it classy. ;) The front looks official--the logo and my adaptation of a donkey's face. Probably a cartoon'd version of a vintage Dem symbol. Sweet.

And I have homework. Oh, do I have homework. And have to secure a place to live over the summer. And find a place to store the loft I built: 7' tall, fit for a queen-sized bed with 1' space on two sides. And secure a job...luckily, I have a few options.

They cut down on hours in the theatre. ...if it weren't for this Phoneathon I agreed to work and the FINAL arrival of a loan, I'd be so fucked. So, over the summer I'm lookin' to work @ a call center and focus on my designs...I'm designing two shows next year. They'll both be fun, but if I get them worked will be much easier.

See? Lots to do, but little room to complain. I guess the only thing I'm complaining about is having to analyze some Faulkner for tomorrow morning...not just some Faulkner, no, Absolom, Absolom! I need to have a little something prepared about the most complex character, Quentin, because my prof thinks I can handle it. Compliment taken, but...apparently it's one of Faulkner's most difficult/best pieces and you shouldn't start out with it. But here I go! Headlong, folks.

Oh, I'm also designing. Always. There are successes--and I'm out to prove a coupla people wrong! My, what fuel that.

And now, my lady is here after not seeing her in a week...we're both so busy. Some day, we'll have the same homebase. Until then, we con't to grow and manage...

Ah, my life is good. Don't let me forget that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

True Life: Diary of a College Stage Manager

Yes. I'm stage managing The Diary of Anne Frank at my college. In the end, I'm sure it will be wonderful; it already is. But, as always, there are complications. Not only am I stage manager, but I'm light board operator, as well. My head of props dropped the class (and her Theatre major!) yesterday and the show goes up a week from tomorrow. This was more of a relief and I have an incredible replacement...everything's going to be just fine, but as far as student responsibility/involvement in a show, stage management is the most stressful and all-consuming. I have a great team, though, and I'm incredibly lucky.

How has this affected my health?

As with the last show, The Vagina Monologues, I've relied a bit on medication. Not so much Ambien this time...I'm so exhausted after my 5 hr rehearsals 6 days/wk and 16 hour days every day that it hasn't always been necessary. But I have refilled a prescription for anxiety, just in case. It seems to help. Also, there are other natural supplements that assist in relaxation. I am grateful for the opportunity and this subculture really brings people closer. More on that later, I suppose.

For now, I just found out my group in "Dirt and Desire in the South: Seminar in Literature" received an A- on our A Streetcar Named Desire project...I was very lucky there, too. I was in a group with a fellow Theatre major and the third student is a senior English major who has only two classes-- so she volunteered to put all of our research together. We were the first group to go and had much less time than the others, so our professor said she'd be more lenient but was surprised about the volume we turned out. Yesss! A big chunk of this grade is already high. Fabulous news!

Soon I will write about how I've managed the pressures of stage management...which does include breaking down a little and crying...but pulling it together for rehearsal. As I was breathing deeply and putting things into perspective during my escape from rehearsal...I was thinking of how I must write this in an entry here. And I will. But now, I must go to a production meeting with the design staff and print rehearsal reports, etc., on my way in the lab. ...I need a printer, but I'm holding off until I can get a nice one with a scanner; the cheap ones just aren't worth it.

Be well!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Soular divine

The world appears in the blown glass of her eyes
Set squarely in her handsome face
Atop commanding cheekbones, calling for respect.
If you could tear your gaze from the depths of her soul,
Should you find yourself gorged on the intense wisdom from beyond,
you would be captivated by a mouth so full of character
you should wish to look upon no other with such curiousity.
And you won't.
It is said that the ownership of all wisdom is inborn, then
Lost with the shush of the lips by an angel,
leaving an earthly quest before us to recover ourselves.
Recently past heartache has worn a map on her forehead,
Heartache and worry and despair,
and though I cannot permanently Botox past deficit--
would I want to? For all occurrences serve a natural purpose--
I shan't add.
I hope to continue my journey with such a brilliant sun;
Basking in this warmth is a driving force.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Master or Slave?

Yesterday "morning" at 1:05a I started a 2.64 mile trek home in the thick of a 7.2" total snowfall-storm atop the dangerous ice and existing banks in 10 degree weather. A trip that takes 8 minutes by car took 64 minutes on black-sneakered foot with two scarves, a very old coat, and a backpack almost bursting with laptop and books. I'm glad I was wearing my "nice" jeans, not the pair with the accidentally-trendy, meaningful rips in the right knee and thigh. I didn't fall this time, thankfully, but I was followed by a pack of heckling "men" at the beginning, until I ducked into a back-road I'd taken the opposite journey on once. The passing cars slowing next to me was too frightening for a while; I preferred more difficult hiking through untouched snow to the heightened possibility of interaction. The wind ripping through the barren branches sounded eerily like the crunching of tires on fresh snow and prodded further mindfulness of my surroundings, yet I could not tell you the names of the streets though I tried to remember. I jammed my left hand into my coat pocket and my right into the lining for I still need to finish reconstructing the lost pocket; I'm expanding. My hands stayed remarkably warm and I hung up the display and false sense of security called my cell phone to keep them that way.

I'd forgotten the very medicine I contemplated in the last post at home. Forgetfulness is not uncommon in my world, yet this was irritating because this time I had been so careful to pack the usual three days' worth. I must have been interrupted en route to depositing them safely in the lining of my coat.

For 64 minutes, I paid very close attention in my head for an earth-shattering epiphany, but if your revelations occur as mine do you realize that was futile. They never come when they're called. Perhaps that's part of the wonder.

All those 64 minutes revealed to me was the question: Why? Why are you doing this? Simply, I wanted to sleep. The day had been draining, though life seems renewed and full of possibility in general right now, thanks to a few breaks. The day had been tough, though. Lying exhausted, painfully awake, experiencing withdrawal symptoms next to someone snoring fervently is my hell. Why not call someone for a ride? ...that's complicated. Trust me, it was better to walk. I've been walking a lot recently and am feeling the physical invincibility of youth, yet am reliant upon one small blue and while pill for something as simple and essential as sleep. I care hard and need to offset that energy expenditure with a reprieve every 18 hours or so.

So, really, there was no adrenaline-rush euphoria after an orgasmic insight born of this experience. Only the resounding question:
Are you Master or Slave?

However...I would like to acknowledge that this very drug may make my current success and ease of life possible. I may be questioning the drugs because I feel fine--because they're working. My "psychiatric nurse" warns that when one goes off of these drugs and has a relapse, the second round of drugs are not as effective.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

The quickest post readysetgo

Hello, small world. I hope 2009 is the best year yet for you!

This is the quickest post before I disappear into a temporary land without a cell, cable, the internet...etc.

Here's the thing...

I just started doing some serious research about Geodon withdrawl ... and there are some scary stories out there. I wish I could conduct my own ESP survey at the speed of light and reach ALL Geodon-takers in the world and magically compute everyone's results ... because: what is the representation of online forums? Are patients generally happy with their results less likely to jump on a forum and sing praises? ...or what about those who are just satisfied. Probably not motivation enough to spread info. Realistically, we're dealing with people AT LARGE NOT ALTOGETHER who rely on prescription drugs to get through the day-to-day...or is that inaccurate?

What I'm finding, in sum, is generally scary crap about a lot of engineered chemicals that are now completely physically necessary for me to sleep. If not--if I don't take Geodon for one night--I experience severe withdrawal...insomnia, lightheadedness, chills, etc.

My dream (and I know it is not advisable and is in-line with other bipolar "delusions"):

One day... I will find a place in this world where I can first...detox. Flush all of these ultimately harmful chemicals from my system and then-- I know I can't return to American society. Not what I'm used to. I want to find a place in life where the going's a little...easier. Maybe that place only exists in my dreams... but, if that place doesn't exist here, I dream next of simply BEING, living, as chemically-free and organically as possible.

One day... I hope I don't end up with tardive.