Thursday, February 15, 2007

How many conversations does it take to fix a person?

Five. That's the answer. Five people at least in my case. Over the last two weeks, I've been a compact example of what "instability" means. Ask Plosk and he'll tell you something I pride myself on is my ability to keep a level head. Then my writing self had a melt down. My novel became the enemy and I wasn't able to look at it without feeling unworthy, small, and insecure. It was the worst I've ever felt about my capabilities as a writer.

I spoke to multitple people about my feelings. My prof, Plosk, Alice, Brian, and finally my old prof. Each helped give me a bit of perspective. But it wasn't until I met with my old professor that the dam broke. "Embrace your writer self." We talked about why so many writers are "unstable" in so many ways. Why we turn to alcohol, suicide, depression, pills etc. I don't even think I'm saying this right but I feel the need to say it. I have "issues." More than Plosk even though he's six years older than me. Some are from outside forces, like cancer, and some are self inflicted and more personal. The chains that no one puts around us, but that we lock ourselves into. I realize this sounds a little silly. Especially because I'm not being specific. If you ask me in person, I'll tell you what my big realization was about, but it's not for the public consumption of a blog.

I left my meeting with my old prof and I wrote for a good long while. I laughed when I got home and spent a lovely valentines day with Plosk. I felt excited about what I had learned. I haven't felt that kind of break through in a long time. But now I'm just going on about something I won't even name, so it seems a bit wrong to keep yapping. I'll just say that I'm happy and excited. I'm moving forward again. At least it feels that way.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Letter to Senator Obama

My letter to Senator Obama:

Dear Senator Obama,

I would like to congratulate you on your decision to run for president. You have my support and my vote.

I would however like to make my feelings known on a part of your speech on politics and religion. Although I am an atheist I found much of what you said valuable and thought you walked a very thin line considerably well.

I think you will agree that words are powerful. So when you downplayed the importance of the issue "under God" in our pledge of allegiance, I was taken back. You said that students barely know what they are saying anyway and made light of the issue. I have been out of high school for many years now and am a grad student focusing in fiction. Words are as important to me now as they were then. When I was in high school I stood silent for the pledge because I felt it infringed on my rights. We live in a pluralist society as you said and under the pledge, I am not represented. As an atheist and therefore a minority, it would be easy to dismiss my feelings. However, I hope you give the issue more thought.

Words are powerful Senator whether they are uttered by a child, a teen, or an adult. And in my opinion, the words "under god" have no place in the pledge. I am devoted to my country and in order to do that and to do it well, I do not need to pledge anything to anyone's God.

Thank you for your time.

Ali Berman

Friday, February 02, 2007

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Ok, I felt the need to write a post because it has been a while. And while there are many things happening in my professional life, I try not to write about my job online. Why am I opposed to doing that? I certainly wasn't shy writing about my job when I worked for Columbia. Perhaps the fact that I now work for a place I love has caused this shift. And because my job is now such a massive part of my life, I'm less likely to write a blog.

Many exciting things have happened with work these past weeks. Including new advertising, teaching, meeting with students, and possible future funders, but would I say more than that here? Nope.

So, Vegan Cupcakes Take over the world...What the hell is that about. Well, I'm the newest biggest fan of a Miss Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her newest book titled, well you know. Her cupcakes are moist, delicious and there are 75 recipes. At first I thought this was limiting. A whole recipe book of only cupcakes? But really, you can take these little babies anywhere you want- including family gatherings, parties, friends houses or just bake them for fun. Now if you've had vegan cupcakes or desserts before you probably know that they are usually pretty lame. Don't put your vegan cupcake judgments on these delectable morsels. They are not your standard vegan desserts. If cupcakes had a school dance, these would be the pretty popular smart girls. Anyway, buy her book and have compassionate yummy cupcakes.

So, Senior Plosk got a show:) He's been gone for most nights the last two weeks and that's going to continue until his performance in early March. How excited am I to see him in a sweater vest? Very. We've had to spend a lot of time apart lately but we're learning to make the short bursts of time we do have more worth it. We went to see The Color Purple on Broadway last night and really had fun on the train laughing and joking and just relaxing. And with work going so well now I feel I'm able to relax- well more than I was doing before. Last fall I was busting my butt trying to get to everything. With the auction over and just my main project to work on (with other stuff mixed in of course) I'm really able to stop my job from becoming my life. There is a better blend now. And happily my writing has continued on its course and is going strong.

The only thing missing now is a little more Plosk time, but that will come. I'm just looking forward to seeing him on stage.