Sunday, October 26, 2008

Creating Inspiration

It has been doing it for itself. In other, more intelligible words, I mean that the outside sources I have been cultivating have been creating inspiration themselves, so this creation has not been an outward act, but more of a happenstance. It is nice when it is like that.

I just finished reading two books - "Pontoon" by Garrison Keillor on Saturday, and "American Myths: What Candians Think They Know About the United States" today. "Pontoon" got me all Minnesota-reminiscent, a lovely feeling. It is good to ponder on what it is about home that makes it so. I have been exchanging thoughts with Nikki (the friend recently relocated to Australia) about what makes a place what it is, and she suggests that it is the people. I have found that to be both true and untrue in the last few weeks. In thinking about it, indeed, Minnesota is as mystical as it is for me largely due to the people that make the surroundings what they are. However, the starting place for Calgary is just the opposite - dance, the thing, the action, is making Calgary what it is and is giving it a reason for existence in my life, and the people have worked as enriching forces. In thinking about it that way, I am certainly getting my share of people suppliment up here - I have been fortunate to have amazing people at DJD and pretty great roommates. We have our rough patches, but we remember and remind each other that we would do just about anything for one another, and everything is ok. It is interesting to wonder, if put in a different set of circumstances with certain people, would they develop the same kind of importance to you? To be honest, had I gone to high school with them, I do not really know whether or not I would have gravitated toward any of my roommates. But out of circumstance, we ended up living in a house together, and for that, we have become important to one another. But I do know that their ridiculousness and openness sure has made it easier. Back to topic; I guess I am finding that places really combonation of actions and people - it is all just a matter of circumstance and perception; all the same, action/ people are two good ways to analyze this.

I have been having occasional thoughts recently of important people in my life whom I do not have regular contact with. I think the creation of seperation has pushed my mind to think in different patterns, and has brought my thoughts to these people. It is nice to take occasional checkpoints with these kind of people; the ones you know will be around forever, despite the amount of time that passes between contact. I sat down to write Kim McAndrews and email, and several huge paragraphs just spat themselves out. I could have gone on with each topic much longer than I did (not that I am longwinded - ever - No sir), but I did not feel it as a necessity - Kim and I can provide thoughts on things, that is enough, and we can jump in where we left off. Yup. She is a lifer. Another lifer - Bri. Bri called me at 1:20am here on Friday night/ Saturday morning. As I had been in the middle of a deep sleep, it would have been easy for me to ignore this call, but I thought better of it because it was Bri - that is saying something! We talked for an hour, and it was so nice to chat with her again. The reason for her lifer-status - we can tolerate each other like no other. We know when we annoy each other, but accept those things as personal habits that are a part of the whole of the person we really like. Another lifer - Sarah. Talked to her for an hour on Saturday, and the last time I talked to her was the beginning of the week. I notice that there is really no pattern here regarding frequency of communication - sometimes you can just feel effort.

Back to sources of inspiration - the books, music, news, etc, that I have been immersing myself in lately have really spurred me to create connections between thoughts and feelings and desires and observations. The more knowledge I take in, the more I realize that everything I care about is interconnected. Politics = dance = social critique = human interaction = push toward justice = fair consumer habits = discussion = thought. All full circle. I have been feeling really modivated to lay foundations for all these interests. I have been doing an especially large amount of thought on communcating the validity of jazz music and dance. I feel as though leaving here, I will have a gamut of well organized and supported thoughts I can use to support this art form I love so dearly, and to use these thoughts to lay a groundwork for bringing them back to the public of Minnesota.

Now I am just spurring random thoughts. These writings today seem to have no thesis, just as my brain did not all weekend - jumping from this program to this song/ cd to this movie to this book to the next thing that caught the frenzy of my brain - not a feeling I am used to, particularly in phase where I have plenty of process time. Could be good.

Could be good.

Went pumpkin shopping with Rebecca and Steph and our future roommate Cale on Saturday afternoon. I talked them into hauling ass to the Farmer's Market, rather than just going to the SuperStore. I think they were pleased we made the journey (it does not take a Harvard physcologist to notice that the Market has quite a bit more charm than a big-box retailer such as the SuperStore), but it was a shame that we did not have more time, as Steph had to get to work. None the less, we had a wonderful time enjoying the fall sunshine and good temperature, picking out the most endearing pumpkins that, despite their positive qualities, would still be subjected to the point of a carving knife, and making fun of each other. This, to me, was a perfect activity for a waning fall afternoon, and it made me happy to be enjoying it will my housemates. Fall and early Winter have a kind of active nostalgia that no other time of year can boast. Well, I stand to correct myself already - Summer has its moments, but the moments are of a different quality. I am looking forward so greatly to Thanksgiving with my family, beers with pals at Town Hall, Christmas shopping, putting up the tree, peppermint patties with dad, making gumdrops. Within all this foward-looking, I am simultaneously enjoying the present that is being created here in the great place of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Earth, World.

Activity or People? Why not both? . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thoughts on Idle-ness

There ARE things to be said for idle-ness - relaxation, checking back in with oneself, accomplishing those tasks that have been missed out of busy-ness, etc. However, there is an extent to which idle-ness is productive. Beyond that extent, it is just plain frustrating.

I have never been one for much free time (or sleep, really), so it is not surprising to those who know me well that I am beginning to get frustrated with the amount of time I have. However, it is not so much the amount as how I have been using it, as I have recently identified within my mind.

I look upon myself as someone who needs an amount of time dedicated to helping others, even if it is just serving them food or a cup of coffee. As of late (aka being in Calgary), almost all of my experiences have been self-centric - dance classes, reading up on my interests, writing. These are all fine and good (great actually), but there is only so much I can do of each in my 'free time.' Instead of letting this sinking feeling set in as boredom, I have decided to re-evaluate, and have come to the fact that I could be using this afternoon time I have every day at an internship that I have always wanted to have, but have either needed the time to get paid or to do dance-related things. Now, with a heavy load of dance-related things going on and an inability to get paid, it seems to be the perfect time to take advantage of such opportunities. Today, I sent inquires to FFWD (like Citypages) about doing dance reviews, and to Alberta Human Rights Commission, Calgary Slow Food, Calgary Square Dance Club, Ashuna (community organizing org), and several other orgs around here about volunteering. I offered up my 1-5 daily, hoping that someone will bite and I can feel better about my time while simultaneously cultivating an interest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bouts of Nostalgia

Zac Hanson's bday is in 2 days. I have been having some serious bouts of nostalgia as of late. I think it has mostly been triggered by music, which speaks to its power. Listening to Coldplay's "Rush of Blood to the Head" album and Jack Johnson has catapulted me back into my freshman year of college. It seems equally so close and also distant.

I have had very vivid images, daydreams, of the moments right after my last final of my very first semester of college, my Poli Sci bluebook final. One of the last to finish, I trudged my way down to the bus stop. It was quietly dark for so early in the evening, fivish, and the snow glistened just moreso for this and the orange glow of the street lights as it fell softly, but even more notably; consistently. I remember thinking that the world could not possibly get much more enchanting than this, with not only snow, but the promise of warm, familiar home and warm familiar people hanging in the air. I rememer feeling a painless confliction of wondering what I wanted more; to stay in that same spot for hours, or for the bus to come and carry me to the car that would carry me home. I think I wanted the best parts of both to suspend in that percarious moment in time.

This memory must have been only a few days previous to the last; once again, a slight chill in the air (nothing that mittens couldn't cut through), snow on the ground and in the air, and painting the window panes in a way that transports you, if they are wood, back to some simpler, unidentifiable time in the 1800's, feeling slight warmth against your back from the fire burning. Or maybe it is the people in the room? Regardless, my math flashcards had me glued to a big wooden bench-booth, all alone in the old Purple Onion, drinking a K-Chai (chai with a shot of espresso). Chai was a newly-discovered delicacy, introduced to me by my new frien Britt, formerly Brittany. I enjoyed hearing the muffled drift of speech from the booths in the front and back of me, and to either of my sides, including the severe amount of open space to the left, the part of the shop that opened as a void to the counter from the door to my kiddy-corner right. Beyond that were a set of stairs that led to the narrow next room. (Listening right now to a Radiohead track off "Hail to the Thief," another extreme-nostalgia inducing CD. It is on the 'Dot' compliation from Adam, which I may switch from because it causes memories, but I will hold off. Right now, they are just feeling pleasant and somewhat far away). The narrow room held a conversation with someone important to me at the time, I believe it was Adam that following Spring. While the chatter broke up my studying, I didn't mind. I seemed to be able to drift between that and listening bemusedly to discussions, some presumptuously academic, which were equally as enjoyable as the discussions of last night's drunk and high-ness. I remember feeling strangely content, despite the massively-frightening math test ahead of me. At those moments, I just seemed to know that it would come and go as all things do, and it being gone would mean me being home to enjoy what seemed to be a promise of endless-feeling days of abandoning the responsibility that I had began to gather in the past few months.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The creation of thoughts in a supposedly-simple life

It has been interesting in the last few days to be exchanging words of advice and encouragement with my friend Nikki, who has recently moved to Australia to work for a year. Funny enough, I have met three people here within the last week who recently took a year to just go and work in Australia for the hell of it. I mentioned to them all that I currently have a friend there doing the same! It seems as though it is quite easy for Canadians to get a simple work permit that just allows them a certain amount of time to go do money work - ie, pub, restaurant, etc. It is too bad Decidedly Jazz Danceworks isn't in Australia - It sounds like it would certainly make it easier for me to get a friggin job!!! It is interesting how connecting to someone else in a similar situation can help you figure things out - after reading Nikki’s blog about realizing how places attain the character you see in them by the people that occupy them, I ended up being more social on the weekend than I planned. An opportunity on Monday came up to go out to lunch with one of my roommates and a friend of hers from work. I was going to say no because I had already eaten, but remembered your words about people and palce, and decided 'what the hell. I will just go have a cup of coffee.' It was a really fun, nice and casual time, and it was nice to spend some time with others on a 'holiday' (Canadian Thanksgiving was yesterday). They even bought my share! And then, in the evening, I ended up accepting an offer from a girl I am in the dance program with here to go to the house of friends of one of her friends from high school. She only knew one other person there besides me and I only knew her, but we ended up having a mighty good time, and I was so glad I said yes. I feel I should thank her for the wise words on people - I have a feeling establishing a sense of home will come even easier the more I allow myself to expand my people horizons.

The grad school process has been frustrating as of late. I feel like, with Mills, that I am trying to get a hold of an irresponsible teenager. They have been sooo terrible with calling me back and emailing me back. I emailed them what was now a week and a half ago about the possiblity of changing one of my references, and I have STILL not heard back. It is an extreme turn-off to me to feel like I am chasing the school down. I also have not yet heard back from the reference who I accidentally assumed would be able to write a letter. I think I emailed her back about three weeks ago and have not heard anything, so I have made NO progress in that arena. It is just frustrating when you are waiting upon the efforts of others, and not out of your own procrastination. Now, I am starting to feel somewhat paranoid about the idea of an incomplete application. I realize that it is not due till Feb 1st, but I just want it done, and to know it is done. On top of that, to Mills I have to submit a technical modern sample, I which I feel I cannot obtain a good one until I go home in November to take class with a specific teacher there. So I am waiting on some letters from other people, and on myself to get this technical sample done. Oi.

I am VERY excited for Kris to visit. It will be nice to have a piece of home come here. I am am already crazy with the list of things I want to do while he is here, and I am sure we will not be able to accomplish it all. We are both trying to figure out what the hell we are going to dress up as for Halloween. He thinks he wants to be a Texas Oil Man. I find it hard to figure out how he will distinguish a Texas Oil Man from a Calgary Oil Man, as they sure have plenty of those here.

Bad news about my job - it turns out that we are not even at the 'government phase' yet - my papers have not even left the desk of my boss' boss. Frustrating. He told me this on Friday, and I ask him if he thought it reasonable for me to ask to be taken off the schedule until the papers have at least been sent in to the government. From there, then I know that I am only waiting on the government, but to be waiting on my own company seems ridiculous. I do not feel up to this point as though I am being used, but I do not want to even let it get intp that territory. As it stands, I have been working there about 15 hours a weekend for a few weekends now, enough to have made several hundred dollars. So I told my boss that if he gets in a major scheduling pinch, I will of course come in and help, and that I feel a committment to the place and fully intend to volunteer even if the papers do not go through, but that until I know which way it will go, I cannot be coming in at a level that can be deemed part-time. When I am simply voluteering, I do not intend to give 15 hours a week. He saw this as totally reasonable, and hopes that this will possibly light a fire under his boss' ass. His boss is the managing director of the theater, someone who I guess consistently overlooks the importance of the Front of House, so he is not surprized by this, but definitely frustrated like me. The first show of the season just closed this weekend, so next weekend they are dark anyway, so hopefully something can be done about this in time for the next show to open, so I know my status. I did, however, clean for the artistic director fo the dance company Friday afternoon, and additionally, I am babysitting my teacher Joanne's kids on Saturday night. Hopefully the word will spread that I am the 'odd job' girl, and I can make my money that way.

As for my classes; I would have to say that my favorits have come to be Joanne's Monday and Thursday night jazz classes, and my African class on Tuesday nights. Joanne is just the wonderful mix of modern and classic jazz that I love, and the set of live drummers in the African class are just incredible. I had taken African before for a semester at school and a few classes here and there (including at DJD when I went a few summers ago), but never got real deep into it. This time, I feel like after a few consistent weeks, I am latching on, letting go of some of my upright Western dance habits, and really just connecting with the music and the ground and my classmates. It is a definite treat. And it is nice that the class is the 6-7:30 slot - I have class from 6-7:30 and 7:30 to 9 on Wednesday, and leaving that late can be hard on the body and mind, especially considerin that I do not then get home until 10, as my commute is nearly an hour. I have actually also really enjoyed taking two tap classes a week as well - I kind of forgot how much I like it! It is like riding a bike in a way - you do not forget how to do it (it comes back), but it is easy to forget how enjoyable it is until you try it again.

My weekend definitely had its moments. I was supposed to be going to Edmonton with my roommate Rebecca who is from there, but I could sense that she wanted some family time, and I can totally understand that. So I picked some shifts back up at work that I had given away and worked Friday and Saturday night. I had Saturday day, and Sunday and Monday all day to myself - quite the chunk of free time I mist say. Saturday, I went back to the farmer's market and had a fantastic coffee, took the bus back to my area library and picked up some new materials, and then had to set out to find a particular postal outlet to pick up a package my parents had sent me with my witner coats and things (which I am so glad to have gotten, because it is getting chilly up here!). I ended up stopping in a wine shop to ask for directions, and it just so happened that they had a big ole' tasting going on, complete with some delectable appetizers. Needless to say, I left 45 minutes later quite a bit tipsy. Now that I actually have some free time in my life, I figured it makes sense to embrace such random experiences, yes?

Saturday night after work, I ended up going out with my roommate Steph and one of our friends from DJD whose sister was in town for Thanksgiving. We took a cab out to a 'pretty people' club (at least that is what I call it) downtown called The Roadhouse. It was definitely a good time and we danced up a storm, but by the time Steph go off work and we took a cab there, and then waited in line outside in the shivering cold for 20 minutes, it was 12:30. The club only stayed open until two. So, after adding up cab fare, a couple drinks and coat check, I spent $35 bucks that night. I am not used to having a night out be so costly (and I did not even buy my own cover) so that kind of outing is going to have to be a once a month kind of thing for me. It is just that there is so much money floating around these parts from oil that it seems people have no big problem dropping a couple hundred bucks on going to the bar a few nights a week. Crazy people. Anyway, we ended up sharing a cab home with three lacrosse players who were in town for a game that weekend, because their hotel was literally two blocks from our house. They were a bit crazy, one of them got in a fight over our cab and ended up dripping blood a few places around our house. Charming, really. This was the same one who, after I went to bed because I was sick of dealing with him, asked Steph if I had a boyfriend, and then if I was a virgin. Our house has quite thin walls, so I could hear every damn thing he was saying, and being the person I am, could not just let if fly. I busted out of my room and called him out on it, after which he informed me that 'dancers are the best lays,' and said 'come, on, if your boyfriend isn't serious, why can't we have some fun?' I proceeded to slap the bitch, tell him to fuck off, and went back to bed. Steph and I, a few minutes later, gladly rounded them up and walked them back to their hotel. Ahh, peace at last.

On Sunday, I went to breakfast with Kaja and Meredith for Kaja's birthday, and spent the great majority of the day then reading, catching up on some email, watching movies, that kind of thing. I also spent some time dealing with a dramatic roommate – the shit hath hiteth the fan. I sent an email to my landlord and an email to her, now it is just a waiting game. The long into short of it is that she told Rebecca Thursday that if things do not change in two weeks, she has already found a place and is moving out. After chatting the best we could (being that Talia and Rebecca were home this weekend for Thanksgiving), we have all basically decided that we will never be able to appease her, and think it best if she just packs up and leaves. We already have a lead on a roommate - a guy they work with who we all like quite a bit and hang out with quite a bit already.

Oh, amazing how life can create so much to think about when it should be realitively simple – eat, commute, dance, eat, dance, eat, sleep.....repeat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Adding up of days

An adding up of days has occurred since I last typed in this space.

Since that time, the same thought has occurred to me several times; the world really is a beautiful place, and the life you use to navigate it is as well. This happens to me mostly when I am walking home alone somewhat late at night. I realize that my body is a bit chilled, and I look up to the sky to keep my soul from doing the same. Usually, what I find is a mass of red, yellow and orange leaves bustling in the wind, set off against the damp sky in strangely electric shades that do not correlate with the backdrop's naturalness. That is the best part about it - these two entities of natural sky and tainted leaves coming up against one another is a sickly fascinating allegory of the interaction between what is and what should or shouldn't be.

Ok, I am done being all Robert-Frost. . . for now.

Upon request, I have posted a pic with some of my roommates - it from a night we went out for a goodbye party for one of their managers at work;

Talia is not in this picture (nor is Jayla), but Rebecca is the one in the purple shirt with her arms spread, and Steph is to her right with the black shirt and long blond hair.

I have been doing a lot of writing in my normal journal this week, and at one point, I spent some time thinking about the roommates. While it is nice to be able to control your own space when you live alone, and it can be difficult to adjust to other people's habits, I must say that on the whole, I am very glad to have moved in with these ladies. It has been great to have a built in support system, and I think we have come to care for each other's well-being quite a bit. When thinking about this, I realized that I often do not outrightly express my gratitude for people - it is much easier, for most people, to express negatives rather than positives without even realizing this. Upon realizing, I made a note to myself that I wanted to be sure to counter the negatives by remembering to tell them that I really am gratful for them. And I did - what timing, Thanksgiving and all.

Some thoughts from the week (as tracedin my journal);

"Guilt is just your ego's way of tricking you into thinking that you are making moral progress. Don't fall for it." - 'Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

"We have hands; We can stand on them if we want to. That's our priviledge. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through his hands." - 'Eat, Pray, Love" - This, folks, is why dancing IS an expression of humanity, spiritual or not. Silly Baptists.

Hobo is short for Homeward Bound.

I have resolved to be more free with my money when it comes to artistic enrichment. In the past year or so, I have convinced myself that all spare dollars must be saved, and that kept me from jazz concerts, auditions, etc. In retrospect, this affinity for saving is what helped me be able to be here, but nonetheless, me being here has helped me realize that there are great things to experience that sometimes need a bit more ka-ching. And if you have it, you should be able to use it once in awhile.

I can see why people plan for and enjoy their weekends - not because they do not like their job necessarily, but for want of variety. It seems that no matter how much I change up my schedule (for example, my schedule before moving here was different every day of the week, but the weeks were the same, and that still was not good enough for me!). What comes out of this is realizing that it is ok to look forward to weekends as long as you do not dread your job, and that I may just have to be prepared for a lifetime of switching up my schedule when I recognize that I have found a pattern.

When noticing that I still have been pulling some items out of a suitcase each day, I pondered if not having little things to make this place feel like home, such as a dresser, is keeping me from feeling solid here. I arrived at the idea that it does not take purchase of goods to create a home (which is good, considering that I quite do not have the budget to purchase such things). It takes the finding of elements such as places (DJD, ATP, Purple Perk, Cafe Beano, Calgary Farmer's Market, even the Safeway grocery!), and people/ support system (roommates, Joanne, Vicki, classmates) to really create a sense of orientation and identification with a space. I am glad to report that I am filling in those blanks, and I am feeling as though I do belong here for the purpose it is serving right now. And for that, I am thankful (once again, what timing - Thanksgiving).

There is only so much you can do with your time, even when you have a lot of it. Sometimes, when you have a lot of it, your brain gets fried up from trying to fit in too many things. I have felt guilty about not spending mroe of my 'free time' trying to do more research about jazz history, grant possibilities, background info for the projects I would like to start in the near future, etc. But I have been doing quite a bit of it, and quite a bit can have a mental limit. Additionally, there is often only so much you can find out about something until you have to just do it. So this is not complacency, but processing the amount I can to remain productive and balanced.

It is dually frustrating and exciting to not know where I am going to be next year - DJD, JRJP, Surrey, at home.....who knows. But I guess this all comes full-circle back to the sickly fascinating allegory of the interaction between what is and what should or shouldn't be.

Those are the thoughts backlogged from the week. In terms of new thoughts since I last journalled; my brain is pretty emptied but still slightly fried from all of the above. Processing these and other little businessy details. Big news not touched upon; Jayla wants to move out. I have already spent so much time trying to process this that I do not have the desire to process it more. But more to be said when action is taken - right now, the whole issue is just stalled. I am trying to get my brain as empty as I can, so I can approach with a clean slate when I sit down next to write her a letter - the only way I think I will be able to communicate effectively.

One last thing - I went to the house of the Artistic Director, Vicki, to clean for a few hours for her. It was quite a treat to hear some great jazz (she has a full speaker system wired through her house), see her literal walls of books and music on jazz and dance, and to get to chat with her. It is nice to know that I have support here - she asked if I would like to clean for her here and there when she heard that I have been having a difficult time making money. I thought it was extremely thoughtful of her to consider that. I look forward to my next cleaning date!

And so goes the adding up of days.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stir Fry

I can now see why cooking can be a nice thing to do, now that I have enough time (too much time!) and the need to do cheap things that accomplish more than just entertainment! I went out to a pub across the street from the studio last night with my friend Kaja (she is in the program as well). I would consider her one of my best, if not my best, friend here. Anyway, we just wanted a beer and did not want to buy food because we are too poor, but we were both very hungry because we had just had class. Long story short, there was a party there that was clearly wasted and had forgotten about a whole table of food behind them (we are talking chicken skewers, veggies, quesidillas, buffalo wings). We stared for the longest time, and then decided to take some action and move to a closer table. We vulture-like monitored that food. They started gettting ready to leave, and we thought we for sure had it in the bag until one of their servers suggested to them to remember to bring food home with them. Kaja and I were at the point of hysteria! Luckily, they only took a few things, and one of the other servers said 'I am gonna pitch the rest. Anyone want it?' The 'anyone' we was referring to really was just Kaja and I, as we were basically the only ones left there. It was amazing! We ended up with two boxes of buffalo wings (one which we polished off right then and there), two boxes of veggies, and a box of chicken skewers. I walked home with the skewers and a box of veggies - therefore, stiryfry. Yes, there WAS a point to this story.

My phone interview with Surrey Thursday morning was fantastic. Funny thing - I was wrong about the time difference by two hours, and we had arranged for the head of the MA program to call me noon his time, and what we presumed to be 7am my time. Not so - it is a seven hour difference, so he called at 5 in the morning! It woke me up and I ignored it, as it was my intention to get up at six to prepare for the interview. I laid there and tried to decide if I would go back to sleep or call back, and I ended up choosing option number two - I was already awake. So I made some coffee, prepared myself, and called back. I ended up talking with him for about an hour! I was really appreciative that the program head (yes, THE person I wanted to be talking with) took a whole hour out of the middle of his day to talk with me. We talked about my research interested (which he thought were really interesting - score!), my background, my intention for my degree (he was impressed with my choice of Riverside for a PHD, and thought it was great that I already know where I want to go), why I chose to apply at Surrey. In turn, I asked him about his background - I always find such things super-interesting. In short, it went extremely well. I finished and submitted my application that morning, and ordered another transcript to be sent there, as well as postal mailing my GRE scores (which they don't need, but I figured 'why not?'). I sent a follow up email to Stuart (the program director) to say thank you, reiterate that I would be happy to send any other kind of materials they would like (choreography sample, technical sample, writing sample, etc). I also asked the one question I forgot to ask - if they allow deferrment. I received an email back from him today, noting how much he enjoyed talking with me, and that deferrment is certainly no problem. I was soooo happy to hear that - it makes me brain rest a bit easier in the 'future' section.

Beyond that as of late, I have been worrying about money. Now that a whole month of being here has passed (which occurred to me on the way home today is crazy - this month has passed SO fast; I feel like I have only been here a few weeks), I realized that I spent a bit more than I budgeted more, and that I am going to have to be a lot more careful about it. I felt like an asshole yesterday when I had been planning to go out with my roommates and program mates for Rebecca's birthday, and I ended up bailing out because it turned out that the club they chose had a 7 dollar cover last night. I am sad I missed a good time and was not there to celebrate with Becca, but I just cannot continue spending this way, or when the end of my time here hits, I will not have enough money to get through! I have always disliked when people use 'I cannot afford it' as an 'excuse' to not go out, but I can obviously see now that it is not just an excuse. I think I knew that before, but not this closely. I feel like telling people here that it is NOT because I do not WANT to go do these things (well, sometimes it is, like tonight when they were going to a movie and I wanted nothing more than to sit on my ass by myself at home, to have alone time, relax and get some stuff done that I had not gotten to this week), but because I made a choice coming here - I knew there was a chance that I would not find a job, and that things would be really tight financially. Well, turns out that scenario is the case right now. That is ok with me, but I feel like I will have to explain that every time something like this comes up. I hope my roommates and people in my program can learn to understand.

I had thoughts again today on how much I dislike 'Big Box Architecture' (for lack a better term). I do not think this is a 'Western' thing, as I would call England and Ireland and such other places as 'Western,' but these places do not have the ridiculous waste of land like the US and Canada. It is so upsetting for me to constantly look around and see wastelands of consumerism. I know this sounds so clique, but it truly is frustrating. To think that you pick up and move to another country, just to see much of the same thing visually, is frustrating. This is further evidence to me that I need to get out and see and live in other places - ie London for school - to feel satisfied for hope that there are better ways to use land. Oh, if only our history allowed us to be so efficient early on.

I am recognizing now, sitting here, that I have listed to many things for myself to do, when I simply and truly wish to just sit on my duff, shut my brain off a bit, and watch a friggin movie. So here I go. . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Much/ Not Much

I feel like it is really easy to respond 'oh, nothing,' when you are asked what is new. There is always something new, but it is just a matter of whether or not you think the person asking will care about the response. I realized this as I was about to type an email to Kim, unsure of what to update with, until I started writing, and noticed that the email was about two pages long. With Kim, I know she is interested in whatever I have to say. Not so with everyone, so I often find myself subconciously passing over thoughts in conversations. Kris is also like Kim - I actually found myself wondering what I would update him with when he called yesterday, and once again noticed the words flying out of my mouth. I guess it just really depends upon the person.

I am excited at the prospect of visiting family. I hope to be in touch with Tim and Connie (in Montana) shortly, so as to set up a visit for dinner over an upcoming weekend. It has been so long since I have seen them that it would be great to see a long-lost, yet familiar face.

I have spent some brain energy lately hoping that everything will pan out with le job. I have already worked twice and been to a meeting, and my boss called today to respond to an email about getting me on the schedule for the rest of the run of a current show, but I cannot help but wonder where the paperwork is at. It has not been mentioned of the theater's own accord when I am there - I have had to ask. And when I do ask, I am told that it is taking a bit longer because my bosses boss must sign the paperwork as well. I just do not want to end up having worked several shifts, several hours thinking I am going to receive a pay-check and not have it pan out. This is not to say that I do not intend to volunteer there if it does not work out (I do intend it), but I do not want to get caught up thinking I have earned money when I really haven't. I just hope this sorts itself out quickly so I do not need to waste more thought on it.

Just finished 'Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill' by Jessica Stern. An extremely interesting read. In light of another book that I have read recently ('The Great Good Place'), I have found a Third Place - Cafe Beano, down several blocks on the same avenue as the studio. I had actually been before when I came in 2006, and the title of the shop stuck with me because my dad's nickname for my mom is 'Beano.' In fact, I think I took a picture of it for that reason. Anyway, I ended up having three random conversations within a span of about half an hour, and enjoyed them all, so I figured this comes down as fair assessment that this is in fact a Third Place (and they have kick-ass coffee). Though it is not within walking distance to my home (a qualifier), I can overlook that in light of the other factors. Fantastic.

I had an interesting club experience on Sunday. I will not go into huge details, as I have already done so in my own journal, but I will say that it was an interesting combination of positives and negatives. Positives; crazy dancing, time outside of dance and house with roommates, genuine strangers willing to dance crazy, dressing slightly ridiculous on purpose and loving it (and the looks it got from the pretty people), etc. Negatives; racist, bitchy, full of themselves pretty girls on the dance floor (everywhere, really), objectification of women bartenders via a catwalk contest and manditory underwear and bathrobes as a part of their 'Rehab Sundays' promo, skeezy male bartenders, people trying to hard to impress one another. Nothing super out of the ordinary, but interesting all the same.

I got some plans for the rest of the week/ weekend; surrey app, talk to surrey MA program director on the phone tomorrow (whoop!), letter to mandy, Dance Explosions app, choreography, library, (work?), call Tim and Connie, finances, election research, Be's bday celebration, conference with Jamie.

Oh, lists.