Friday, April 28, 2006

War Music and the end of CUP

Last night I went with my parents to Plosk's performance of War Music. He was excellent. The show was fabulous, and I know see why he likes working with his teacher who directed one of the most creative and interesting shows I have seen at SLC. Plosk put his whole body into the show and as my dad said this morning, "He's a wonderful physical actor." His body was tense the whole time as he jumped up walls, jumped onto stools, and fought with other soldiers. I was very proud of him. And I'm going again tonight, and probably tomorrow night if 4 softball games in 24 hours doesn't kill me first. In any case, Congrats Plosk! You were wonderful. The show itself had no props except for some stools and chairs, and for the majority of the time the actors delivered their lines with ease which is hard to do when reciting poetry and telling a story. Some were a bit stiff or couldn't achieve the same intensity as others but mostly, it was solid, and beautiful, and when Apollo rips into Plosk at the end, you can't help but get emotional. Yep, that was a long sentence.

On a completely different topic, today is my last day at Columbia University Press. Good Bye!!!!!!!!!!! I'm done!!!!!!! I'm moving forward and on May 8th I'll start my new job. I'll be working 4 days a week, and writing and getting ready for Grad School. I just had my exit interview in which I told our HR guy all of my problems with the press and why I'm leaving. Mostly it had to do with the presses stingy nature towards employees. But I feel good. And I also told him how great I think the people I work with are. Perhaps I've made a difference for future workers here. One can hope. I'll miss Fox, Abe, and L a great deal. They took me out to lunch yesterday and I had a lovely time. Wonderful mexican food. Of course I'll be back to pick berries and enjoy their company. And Abe and I will find time for scrabble, I'm sure. And fox and I will share writing. As much as I have been unhappy here for a while, my coworkers are wonderful. In fact my boss just got me a delicious coconut cake! So now I'm on a sugar high. There are some great people here and I'm happy that I had the chance to get to know them.

Change is in the air. Life is good. I'm writing, I'm studying, and I'll be working with animal rights. I'm 24 and I'm finally on a path I feel proud of.

Friday, April 21, 2006

"You're married now. When do you plan on starting a family?"

If you ask me that question, you're most likely going to get a dirty look and some silent venom. I don't need to be married to have kids, and I certainly didn't decide to get married because I wanted kids. Kids are a topic Plosk and I agree on and have the same feelings about. But children are not my main goal in life and neither was getting married.

Humans like to think they are so different from animals. We explain with pride, 'we aren't simply put on this earth to procreate and die.' We're so superior. We can achieve great things, like language, books, paintings, theater, advancements in science and anything else you can imagine. So how come the main goal in many people's lives is to have kids, buy a big house and live out the rest of their existence. Where is the personal passion that is supposed to motivate this "individual" favored country. What are parents having children for? To simply further the species? Or are they putting kids on the earth to possibly do something different- create great art, discover something new. Or perhaps it's more selfish than having to do anything with the species. But if the main goal in life is simply to have children, then we are no different than animals. We have no other purpose than to perpetuate the cycle of life. Our brief visit to earth is then to simply cause another life to live just as briefly as ours and then die. Why not do something different while being caught in this cycle.

Perhaps I'm missing something- the joy of parenting. It's very possible since I'm not a parent. Maybe people just want to have the pleasure of raising a child. I'm not ready for that particular pleasure but it's one I will eventually experience. However, it is not my main goal in life. It is merely a part of an elaborate tapestry that contains all things that are important to me. My writing, my schooling, my marriage, my family, travel. All of them are connected and I couldn't imagine one without the other. But just because I'm married does not mean I now should have a child. A life where marriage and children are my only passion would be for me an empty life. I would ask, where are my goals? And what do I even have to offer a child or husband if I first didn't follow my own path? What kind of mother or influence would I be if I didn't have a life of my own combined with a life with my family.

In any case, before you ask, there are no children on my immediate horizon. Expect a book and a degree first.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hydra Gallamet

These past few weeks I have been working on something new. My job at the Animal Rights Organization inspired me to delve into something I have always been curious about. Writing for children. In fact I had this desire over a year ago when I saw Finding Neverland for the first time. And my interactions with New Zenith and meeting Plosk also brought forward this wish. But I never felt I had a solid direction to go with it. The new position gave me a compass and I have now been working on two children's stories. It's very exciting.

I completed my first story this past weekend and wrote a first draft of another. I wrote one with an animal rights theme in mind, thinking it may be useful for the education division of my new organization. But then on Monday I started a new story just for fun. It is much better than the first one, although I believe the first one is good and worth keeping. But it isn't as playful and it isn't as imaginative. This is a direction I'm going to continue to play with. Plosk has also stated he wants to work with children's theatre and that is where he wants to end up. He then said, it's perhaps because he and I are such big children that we feel this desire. I am still an adult fiction writer, and poetry is as always important to me. But I think children's books would be more of a hobby while I work on more adult pieces. It's satisfying and something I'm good at.

Now, here is a random picture of the cutest bunny ever.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A New Start

This past Wednesday morning I gave my notice to CUP and at the end of this month, my time there will be over. 1 week ago I was hired by a small Animal Welfare group. My first day will be May 8th.

I've learned a lot from Columbia. Many good things and many bad. Mostly, I'll miss my coworkers. Rita, MK, and Liz especially since I am with them every day. We walk together and I will miss raspberry season this year. But to be honest, besides for them, I will not miss Columbia. I had thought reading poetry all day would be wonderful. And in some ways it has been. I've read so much in the last year and a half, but much of it has been bad. I've only been introduced to a few authors who really interested me. Even the contemporary poetry project has been boring. Very few inspiring poems. I also now know that I don't do well sitting all day. I need a job that is more active, where my head isn't in a book all day. I also need to work at a place that respects their workers and understands that an employee is also a person. Now, I could use this as a chance to bash my work place, but for now I'll remain respectful. Those gripes are for another day.

In any case, lots of things have changed. Marriage, Grad School, Animal Rights job...In fact things are changing as fast as I've ever known them to. I'm happy, I'm challenged and I'm moving towards the future I had always envisioned for myself.

To show you what I mean, here are the goals I have had since early into college.

1. Graduate from college
2. Attend Grad School in Creative Writing
3. Work in Animal Rights
4. Publish novels and poetry
5. Teach creative writing at a university
6. (Marriage never entered my mind for my future but I was fortunate enough to find happiness in a relationship so I'll add it in even though it was never in my life plan)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Weight Stereotypes

Going through the news today I came across this quote from "health expert" J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter Writer):

"I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones," she stated. Read full article here:

I've always held fast that each person's body type is different. The height and weight chart in doctor's offices are wrong. I've always been 15 to 20 pounds under. I'm 5'9" and 110. I must be sick. I must have an eating disorder. Oh my, it took J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for me to know that I'm an empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clone. Damn.

I agree that the fashion world provides unhealthy expectations for young women and make them want to be super thin. The thing is, not everyone is meant to be super thin. Different body types require different weights. What is healthy for some is unhealthy for others. I happen to be small boned. In that way I'm petite. But I'm also 5'9" which is pretty tall for a female. My frame also made me a good candidate for a model. Modeling did not make me ultra thin. I was able to model because I'm ultra thin naturally. See that difference. And simply because my body is that way does not mean I'm an idiot and it certainly doesn't mean I have an eating disorder. I do however work out and have been active in sports my whole life. And many models, Heidi Klum for example are really athletic and keep their frame because they are toned. Yes, some stick their fingers down their throat and I've met them too, but it's not a truth for every girl in the business, or any girl who is just happens to be thin.

Larger people get the same flack. Some have an inactive thyroid, or a slow metabolism, or like my old friend from school, had cancer and took experimental medicine that made her body naturally larger.

Yes, some really thin girls have anorexia, and some large people eat too much and don't exercise. And some have an eating disorder where you over eat. All exist. But not all thin people are sick and not all large are lazy. And it certainly has no reflection on how smart a person is.

I agree with not becoming obsessed with the images that surround us and placing expectations on ourselves that aren't healthy or realistic. But lets not demonize everyone who fits into a category.