blubbery glory

it’s good to be useless sometimes. pointless. unproductive. turn things in a bit or a lot late. push things away. procrastinate. wait a bit too long. make up some excuses.

i had a student once who talked about how in asia he had to go to so many hours of school. school all day long. like 12+ hours of school each day. he had so much school that he would get very good at ditching school and making up excuses for not going. i sympathize with him. what’s the point of it all if all  you do is abide by somebody else’s made up rules. it’s time to listen to the beat of your own drum. at least once in a while for chrissakes. how will this world progress if nobody thinks for themselves?

i am too good at being dutiful. too good at checking off lists and keeping up. i need to get better at ditching my duties and playing hooky.

this is why i celebrate remembering my childhood. because at least at that age it was more likely that i’d heed the beat of my own drum.

all kinds of studies have proven it again and again. being too ‘productive’ and dutiful eventually stifles creativity. if any company is going to grow, it has to allow its workers time to play and create (e.g. google) and not be on such a rigid timeline. and i think that goes for how to manage your life on your own time. stop being so damn productive.

i’m tired. tired of being good.

tired of checking emails and responding. tired. and i know the sooner i respond to them, the sooner i will get more so that’s why i put them off. keep it at bay. let the world solve some of its own problems and self-generated hysteria.

here are a few simple things i know to be true right now. true and devoid of negativity.

  • i found a new pen that i like. i like it even better than that other pen that i was convinced was the savior of all pens a few weeks ago. i want to order some of these new pens online. they’re amazing.
  • my cat willow’s fur is grey but it’s amazing. a dazzling grey. it literally sparkles and glistens at each tip. it’s got a sheen to it. and her blubbery glory is all the more merrier because of it.
  • going to sleep by 11pm is key. hardest thing in the world for me to do when i feel like nothing exciting enough has happened that day to warrant me the pleasure of going to sleep and letting another day slip by on this planet earth, but oh well. maybe sleep is the pleasure sometimes.
  • i want to go soon and use my pen before 11pm strikes.
  • if it weren’t for my students each new quarter, i don’t know what i would do. aside from my friends and family, my students are literally the happiest thing that happens to me each day. no matter what is happening, my students remind me to have fun, stay curious, and don’t give in to negativity. they’re too young to know any better. and i like being around that kind of energy.
  • i want to be outside more. always.
  • i’m working on ways to laugh more.
  • if anything, that’s my modest gift to the world. a need to find the pointless silliness in things. more stupid stuff to laugh at. be less serious. lighten up. take the big fat stick out of your ass and laugh. yup, that’s what i’m shooting for, if anything.







Poo Poo Trance

1345546-largeA long time ago I was teaching at a college in Fairbanks, Alaska. I had a student named Jake who was very angry. Very angry!! At least once a few week he would announce how much he hated people. Just about the only people he didn’t hate were his own family. His grandkids and his wife. Everyone else he hated. The weird thing is that he was always trying so hard to get people to like him. He would make everyone cupcakes or he’d buy everyone pizza, but then the next day he was back to announcing how much he hated everyone.

What’s also strange is that he was funny. Funny because most of what he was saying was generally what 99% of the room was thinking. Like one day, he walked in and the room was dead silent, and he couldn’t stand silence so he told me in a (loud) hushed whisper, ‘What’s wrong with everyone? Did someone just die? Why do people pay all this money and then never open their mouths at school? It’s just stupid!’ and I agreed.

He had a weird look in his eye. Almost like there was no emotion behind them. Expressionless. Or rather, the same expression all the time. Like a deer in the headlights. When he smiled or laughed, his face changed but then it was always back to the same empty look.

But he was nice.

I appreciated having him in class. At least he opened his mouth. At least he had a point of view. There’s nothing worse than a roomful of silent people when you’re trying to teach. The blank stares. Nobody willing to stick their neck out. At least he was willing, even if his neck was extremely negative, at least he tried. I appreciated that. He showed me how not to give a shit. He showed me that it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all. I know many would probably disagree, but I think he’s right. It’s better to at least try to take a stab in the dark, even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re stabbing at. It’s better to make a fool out of yourself and at least almost make it, then get stuck in your own poo poo trance.* [‘Poo poo trance,’ by the way, is a made-up family phrase denoting a cat that has gotten stuck scraping the litter box incessantly because they smell shit but can’t remember whether they covered it up or not so they keep scraping the box mindlessly despite the mound being covered.]

I’d much rather open my mouth and make an ass out of myself then sit in a silent poo poo trance.

Sorry but I’m a bit…aghghghghghghghghghghgh

Oh god here I go again. I’m back home. I don’t want to be back home. I can’t help it. There is always this nagging feeling I have when I get home that there is a whole world out there that I need to be exploring and I’m fucking sick and tired of looking at this same fucking street and this same fucking house. I want to go somewhere. I want to see new things. I don’t want to fucking walk down the same fucking streets and see the same fucking houses.

But I also don’t want to fucking drive. I hate fucking driving all the time to get some place new. I know. It’s the reality of living on a fucking peninsula. But I’m fucking sick and tired of this shit.

It’s not that I don’t love my life. My house. My family. My job. My friends. I love it all. Don’t get me wrong.

But I also am fucking tired of the same same same same same same same same same same shit.


I know it’s up to me. ‘School of life’ videos tell me what I believe to be the truth which is…. You can fucking run away from your shit, but it’s just going to show up somewhere else. I know it. You can fucking go on a fucking vacation, but eventually you will still face your fucking self. I know that. I know it’s the truth.

But I still want some fucking new experiences.

I want to fucking drive to Seattle today and see something new, but I don’t want to drive and I don’t want to worry about my dogs. Ok, I could take my dogs. And I should. And maybe I will. Oh god. I just need to see something new. I need to do something new. That is what anger is good for. It forces changes. Pushes it into being. I need a fucking change.

It’s Tuesday. I’ve got several more days in which I could pretty much fucking do whatever the hell I fucking want. I need to fucking do it.

But I don’t want to drive. And I don’t want to spend a ton of money. I can do this. I can do it cheaply.

And I also like to write. And I like to be a hermit sometimes.

Ok the other thing about sitting in a car is that eventually it hurts. It hurts to sit that long for me. I think it’s because I sleep on my right side. A lot. (Ok, yes, AND I’m getting older. But I’m in denial of that right now so let me be in denial.) I have a deviated septum (I know this is fascinating stuff, right?) and so I breathe better at night if I sleep on my right side. But… that means that my right hip gets more pressure all the time which translates into more discomfort in my right hip when I’m sitting too long…. Anywhere! So I fucking hate driving, too. Ugh. Ok I know I could just get out of the car every once in a while. Shit will take longer to get to but I can still do it. I know it. I know I can do this. I should do this. Today I should do this. I should drive to Storm King, the mountain I’ve been on a thousand times and do it again. Can I bring my dogs? Probably not. Well, there’s got to be someplace I can bring my dogs.

NOW my dogs won’t sit still long enough for me to write. They want to go now!!! I want to write now!!!! Ugh ugh ugh. Listen to my dogs or listen to my calling inside. For the love of god!!! Let me finish something I want to do. That is the story of my life. Can I just please finish this thought?

Ok so yes I am feeling very angry and frustrated and pissy at the moment. I’m not all that. I really am grateful for a lot of things, too. I’m grateful that I know what I love to do. Which is writing and venting. And I know why I like to do it and I feel less and less guilty about doing it. And… I know why I don’t spend as much time turning this writing into performance material. Long story short but basically – I adore standup comedians. I think they’re marvelous. I adore actors and acting. I love it. But there is a huge part of me that became a director more of an actor because I’m a teacher and when you teach anywhere in a drama department you are often also the resident director and it’s hard to direct and act at the same time. I don’t care what anyone says… it is. Why, you may ask? Well, (sorry if you’re not asking) number one, it’s kinda presumptuous to cast yourself in your own play. And number two, well there really is no number two other than it’s very hard to find time to memorize things when you’re busy being a mom. If I can ever steal away time for myself, I need to vent things that need to get out before I go berserk and memorizing lines doesn’t give me that kind of venting satisfaction). So there you have it. Not that you wanted it, but there it is. The answers to everything: get outside more, go see something new, take your dogs with you if you can to avoid worrying about them being at home, and do what makes you happy even if you don’t know where the hell it is leading you to (I have no fucking clue what I will ever do with all this blogging bullshit (and I say ‘bullshit’ with love in my heart) but I have to do it. I am called to it for various known and unknown reasons so I’m just going to see where this voice inside leads me. Right now it is leading me to ending this blogging session and getting outside as my own prescription dictates. Asta

Drapetomania (n.): an overwhelming urge to run away.

When I was about nine, my family and I visited these ole friends in Vancouver, British Columbia. We had been living in New York City for a couple of years. Well, all over the U.S. really. California, Connecticut, New York. And we had decided to come back to California via Canada.

There was a boy in the family, maybe a year older than me, who I started to like. I’m not sure when I started liking him but I think it coincided with when I started tutoring him in math. It was summer time but for some reason he needed help with math, so there I was, sitting in the dining room with him, leading him through math problems. I felt proud and strong that I could help someone and it was the first time I started even remotely thinking about being a teacher.

Anyhoo, my crush grew within just the week or so that we stayed there. It grew to the point that when I heard a Beatle’s song playing in the living room – ‘The long and winding road’ – I started to feel sentimental that I would be leaving him soon. I knew this little budding romance would go nowhere but I was enjoying savoring the feelings that he conjured up in me.

And then, on the last day we were there, my family and his went for a walk. It was a long walk on a paved path that led up to some monument in Vancouver. It had a view of all the city and it was twilight. We walked and walked and walked. And then, after we got to the top, we turned around and started heading back down. I’m not sure what prompted me to do this next thing I did. Maybe his mom had said something about her son or maybe it was an even more generalized statement like, ‘I bet you’re going to miss staying at our house’ with some pointed look towards me and him. I don’t know, but I started running. I just ran and ran and ran and ran. After a while, I just started enjoying the run. The feeling of running downhill in the summertime at night. The feeling that eventually they would have to start chasing me and trying to find me. I enjoyed the powerful feeling of running away and getting attention for it. I enjoyed the mystery of it. But mostly I just enjoyed the running part. When I looked back, I saw his mom running faster than me and catching up with me. Finally I slowed down and let her. And I thought she would laugh because by that point I was just having fun running and had forgotten why I did it in the first place. But she didn’t. She was very worried about me and started asking me all kinds of questions about what was wrong with me. I thought it was super funny. I mean, I felt fine. What was she so worried about? And the more worried she became, the more laughable it all seemed to me.

I’ll never forget that run. And the fact that I’ve never liked people pointing out when I like someone. Or the fact that I love running down hills. Or the fact that sometimes it’s fun to run away from your problems. Or the fact that sometimes problems are worth running away from and contemplating later, if ever. Or the fact that on that trip I started to love teaching.

But mostly I like remembering memories like this because they remind me that life can be pretty simple. With all the stress and worry about climate change and Trump and xenophobia and gun control and lack of critical thinking and fake news and more and more and more to worry and fret and stress about and more and more and then more, it’s nice to remember that you don’t have to freak out all the time. And that sometimes the most restorative means for dealing with any of the onslaught is simply to remember that sanity can exist. Even if nutcases do take office, you don’t have to become a reactionary like them. You can stay calm and laugh despite the panic and hysteria and realize that no one solved much of anything by being agitated and stressed about it. So just take a chill pill. The rest of the shit will always be there. But you can step away from it sometimes and not feel guilty about it.