Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More time but less blogs?

Well, one would think I would have more time to update my blog since I'm only working 3 days a week. That would be logical but inaccurate. Since I began this job my personal productivity has increased by about...100 percent. Last week I was at the gym four times. I wrote 20 pages of my novel in the last 8 days. I've helped develop a wonderful project at work to do this summer. I've also hung out with lots of different people including a new person who is in the grad poetry program at slc.

There will also be a new addition coming to 11o1. It's going to be small, cute, and furry. No I'm not pregnant- didn't you read the furry bit. We are getting a kitten(possibly two). My mum has been taking care of a few strays and one of them affectionately called white kitty or crack whore depending on who you ask(she goes off with the big male tom cat a bunch) has just had kittens. They are ultra cute and Ploski suggested that we take one of them home with us. Yep, I was shocked. I'm working at an animal welfare non-profit, I love animals, and he is the one who suggested it. Honestly, I wouldn't have done that to him. Two people need to want an animal, not just one. So as per his prodding, we are going to be taking a little girl home with us after we get back from Kauai.

By the way, Kauai is 10 days away.

Now I'm off to do some more writing. I've been a production queen lately.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Non Profits

On Saturday night Plosk and I headed to a performance held by "City at Peace." This organization brings together kids (ages 13-19) and in a year long program, guides them as they write, act, sing, and dance in their own performance. The show was and hour and forty five minutes. It tackled issues that these teens have faced in their own lives and writes about them with honesty and candor. Issues included: Domestic violence, hate crimes against gays, racism, drug dealing and gangs, rape, and interracial relationships. On stage were hispanics, blacks, whites and asians. The audience was composed of the same mixture. The teens spoke of compassion and non violence and ways in which one can deal with their complex problems with peaceful solutions. It was an inspiring performance and I can say excitedly that I will be attending again next year. If anyone is interested in reading more about it, here is a link: http://www.cpnational.org/. Now that I have entered the arena of non profit, I don't really want to leave. Well, I do want to teach at a university and that will happen eventually, but not soon. I need my masters first. So until then I can indulge in the non profit world and honestly even when I end up teaching I can still participate in that wonderful world even if it's not full time.

Sunday, my mum, dad, plosk and I went to visit my nan, great aunt, aunt and uncle for a belated mothers day celebration. It was really fun. We ate yummy food, played a little frisbee and chatted about many things including weddings and family history. I believe that everyone has their own wedding horror story that deals with their family's. Our seems quite tame compared to some that we heard yesterday. My nan looks great and she will be moving into an assisted living place in a few months. I think she'll be happier there and my great aunt definitely will since there will be more people around. Being social=good.

I have also implemented a new structure for myself for the summer. Working on my novel will now be a daily event whether I'm in the mood or not. So far it has worked phenomenally and I've had more progress and ideas in the last week than I have in the last few months. By september, I should be well on my way or nearly finished with an entire first draft. That is my goal anyway and this is a goal I'm not going to let be swept to the side. It's exciting and feels great. My characters have developed themselves beautifully. Ah, happy sigh.

Now I'm off to get ready for work, at the job that I love.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Writing Group

Last night two friends came over for the very first meeting in our mini writing group. About two weeks ago at a birthday party E and I got to talking about writing and her desire to share within a group. After discussing it for a few minutes we decided we should start our own small writing workshop. Two other girls at the party were also interested so the next day I sent out an email looking for what dates they were available and unlike so many things, this worked out.

Yesterday after work, I went to the bakery, picked up a birthday cake(as it was also E's 24th birthday), came home, made blueberry scones, and put together a plate of cheese and crackers. Obviously munchies are needed at an event such as this.

E and A came over at just a few minutes after 7. AL had cancelled sadly and was unable to make it. We immediately started catching up on each other's lives, chatting and sharing various philosophies on topics such as teaching, our futures, and relationships. It felt good to hear what was going on with them and I'm happy to know that our mutual interest in writing will also be a bridge to more frequent updates on each other's lives.

E and I both had things we wanted to share but A had felt nervous and did not bring anything. We had been sad about this but understood she needed to ease into sharing. E read a lovely personal essay about food and restrictions and the desire for order fulfillment through our dietary choices. We praised her and offered some advice on how to bring the essay to the next level.

A then said, "I wish I had brought something! She then realized that some of her work was online so she could share. E and I were thrilled.

I then shared a children's story and a poem titled "Oratory." It was refreshing to read out loud and have a supportive group around me.

A then read two vignettes dealing with relationships and personal fears. We listened and laughed and connected through our writing.

For our first workshop, I think we spent too much time chatting and not enough time workshopping but this will change as we grow more comfortable. In any case, it felt good to spend time with them and celebrating E's birthday with a yummy fudge cake. We have a regular date for every two weeks. How very exciting.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Animal Welfare

Just a quick post to give an update on my new job. It is wonderful. My boss is friendly and has a great style of leadership. He trusts his employees to do what he hired them to do. This is difficult for some people- micro managers. It feels good to be part of a collaboration instead of a dictatorship.

The non profit is also smart and doesn't alienate people. They try to educate the maximum number of people possible with the resources available. And the coworkers I have met so far are also delightful. I'm learning a great deal. And I am in no way bored as I was at my last job.

I feel so happy to have moved on from CUP which I now view with more distain than I even previously had. I now work in a place that values it's employees and cares about the work done. Oh my, what a different a week makes. I'm happier, feel less stressed (although my new job jitters are still with me), and care about what I do.

Anyway, that's me gushing. And I have a feeling it is only going to get better as I become involved with more projects.

Now, I'm heading out to work.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Still Blurry

It is 7:48 on Sunday morning and my eyes are still blurry. I haven't eaten breakfast or taken my pill. I just had an airborne hoping to keep the odd feeling in my throat from turning into real sickness. It has been an excellent weekend.

Yesterday Plosk and I saw United 93. I went into the film with no expectations. Plosk had been a bit worried about me seeing it since I don't really watch things about 9/11 on purpose. I have my memories of that day, of watching the towers fall, of wandering around nyc unable to contact anyone. I have my own personal 9/11 story of where I was and what I was doing much like everyone else does. It reminds me of the question, where were you when Kennedy was shot? Perhaps it's a new question for a new generation. Where were you when the towers fell? I was on west 11th watching with my 9am creative non fiction class. Then I walked downtown against the hordes of people aiming away from the blasts. I wanted to get to the gallery down on broome but only got as far as Astor Place when I heard from one of the thousands in the streets that the pentagon was hit. I was shocked and cried randomly until a kind judge and some lawyers took me in and asked me to sit with them at the Astor Place starbucks. They were so generous to take in what must have looked like a ragged and stray kitten. I was quiet but decided to ask the people who worked at starbucks to put the radio on so we could hear the news. They responded, "We don't want to upset anyone." Well done starbucks. While a stones throw away we were hit by terrorists, they are worried about worrying people.

In any case, all this time I am trying to contact my parents. I stopped back at the New School and attempt to use their internet and I email people who I think will be worried. I then make my way up to Union Square where Mer lived so I could see her, see someone I knew. NYC was mad and everyone was on the streets. It was a time to be around others even if you were alone. The phone wasn't working in the NYU building and security wouldn't let me up. I waited there for her and eventually she came back. Buka called me to find out if I was ok and for the first time my cell phone worked. She called my parents and told them I was fine.

My 9/11 story is about a confused and scared new yorker. There is no bravery or decision making involved. I was simply a wandering child who didn't know what to do or where do go. My home was 3 blocks from the towers and I can't say enough how happy I am to not have been home that morning. I wouldn't return there for a week. And when I did eventually return my apartment was covered with the dust of the buildings that had come down, and the meat my roommates had in the freezer bled down over the rest of the fridge and reminded me of violence. Three blocks from where the towers fell, it looked like it was snowing for weeks.

United 93 tells a 9/11 story I can only thank whoever there is to thank for not being a part of it. We all know the plot loosely. The film pulls no sentimental punches. And still I cried or teared from about 1/2 way through on. I felt rage. I felt helplessness and I thought of my own 9/11 story. I knew no one in the towers. I am so lucky.

This is an amazing movie to see. I say this with a warning label. It is terrifying and difficult. It is unflinching and I don't think I'd ever watch it again. It is the most emotional response I have ever had to a film. Hollywood produced an unhollywood version of the events. Thank you to the creators. I thought it was too soon for great art to be made about the events. I was wrong. Many of the air traffic controllers played themselves. That alone should say something. Reality breathes in this film. And I heard sobs upon sobs through the audience. If anyone else has seen it, I'd love to hear some other reactions.