We turned the calendar to “May” on Friday. This was the longest-awaited calendar-flipping of the year. Because May is the last full month. And once we’re done with May, it’s June. And then there’s only two weeks of June. Drag, drag, drag. Everything is dragging. I’m trying to enjoy this, but I feel so hostile about the disrespect and management issues. It makes me want to crumple up into a ball.

In brighter news, I spent Friday night and Saturday night house managing for Bryan’s stage at the Chicago Improv Festival. I corralled audience members into the theater, took tickets, stuffed programs and gave a whole lot of directions to the restroom. Somehow, this was wholly fulfilling.

Mental pictures: Henri walking around in his red do-rag with great purposeful strides, Stephanie telling all the patrons that there was “an evil Lindsay on the premises” (versus the “good Lindsey” working on the stage she was managing across the hall), trying to explain how we were Stage 4, but the sign said Studio 3, and that Lookingglass was Stage 3, having invisible weapon fights with Stephanie’s crew, finding out she’d angered one of the founders of improv by pullling the lights (supposedly) too early on his group, breaking the bad news over and over that the restrooms were all on the second floor, creeping up the back stairs to crouch near the light booth and watch the show from the back, plying Bryan with hugs when he was down, using mad amounts of diplomacy and patience on the over-bearing parents who came all the way from Florida to see their teenagers’ improv group, rescuing an exhausted Jeff from the VIP table, going home and curling up, knowing that small goals had been set and accomplished.

Dr. Proctor

Dr. C. proctored a 5-hour long ACT exam today. He did so while reading a book on heavy metal. The title was written in big letters on the front cover: CHOOSE DEATH. I believe it must have inspired the students. He adds that also while proctoring, he wrote a new song called “Satan’s Machine.”

Drama at Subway

Dramatic interpersonal exchanges occur over fast food at the Subway sandwich place on Stony Island, where I sometimes grab lunch. There’s a thick piece of plexiglass separating patrons and sandwich makers (you sort of shout through a small hole), the sandwich makers are from India and not native English speakers, and some of the customers are pretty… vocal about their desires. This creates all kinds of fascinating tension and multicultural exchange. Don’t want mayo? Oops, they thought you said you wanted EXTRA mayo. It’s ok, they’ll scrape it off. Everything except onion? Oops! They thought you wanted NOTHING except onion. They’ll just pluck that off and start again. The man behind the counter is now extremely nice to me, maybe because I’m more laid-back than most. But still, dude. That was way too many hot peppers last time.

The joys of a teacher listserv

“Hello All,
I have successfuly sprouted lima bean seeds in bags and now that they are getting a bit ‘funky,’ I was wondering if anyone has gone on to plant these in soil. My kindergarten kids are loving it so I was hoping to keep the project going. I had also heard that the sprouts will be like vines on the wall and crawl up but I have no clue how I could attach the seeds to the walls. Any ideas would be welcome.”


So, our show was canceled. Good job, theater, for double-booking yourself. And we, as the lowly random improv group, were booted.

Somehow, I’m not super-disturbed by this. And I’m actually more disturbed by how little I am disturbed. I think that by this point, I’ve faced so much disappointment that I’m not fazed by a little more. Which is sad. But also good. No use fretting over the unfixable.

To Eliina, because she missed seeing JSF at a reading, but I caught the last half hour of it, just so she knows she didn’t miss anything big

I just saw Jonathan Safran Foer give a reading and a talk. Man, it was great. It was so great. He mumbled on and on about life, love, theory of modern day existential dilemmas, why people become writers, cats, cat food, dogs, dog food, beer, plants, his favorite color, cheese, rainbows, puppies, puppy food, and more. Because of seeing him, I am truly a changed individual. I used to think writing was crap. Now I understand that any schmuck who can wax philosophical about Band-Aids can also be a writer. I’m so qualified! It’s unfortunate that you didn’t attend the reading because you too might have become a changed individual, quit law school and rushed off to become Jewish and start writing. That’s what I’m planning on doing.


The first show with my new improv group is this Saturday, April 22, at 7pm, the Anthenaeum Theater on Lincoln & Southport. If you live in Chicago, you should come. If you don’t live in Chicago, you should fly in. Just kidding.


A co-worker story:

At the beginning of Dr. C.’s class, a student walked in and announced that “something stinks in here.” Dr. C. has terrible allergies this time of year and could not smell anything, so he ignored that comment. Then later, as he was eating his usual dry organic peanut butter sandwich, one of his students, Reggie, pointed out a dead mouse in the corner under the computer. Dr. C. shrugged and continued eating his sandwich, checking e-mail and looking up Gibson guitars. “I was not about to ruin my lunch,” he later said. The students were, of course, freaking out, saying it needed to be wrapped in plastic, etc. Dr. C. maintained it only need be picked up with a piece of paper, but the students prevailed. Reggie procured a latex glove from a science teacher and then picked it up by the tail and dropped it in the plastic bag. (He was familiar with this procedure from rat-disposal experience as a child.) Samantha then began to run through the halls with it. Dr. C., who is a musician, now wants to start a band called “Mice Corpse,” which would be, in keeping with his preferences, a vegetarian death metal band.

They sprayed Lysol afterwards, though Dr. C. still maintained he couldn’t smell anything.

On the menu

I just applied for a job at Hamburger Mary’s for the summer. Hilarious, considering I’m a vegetarian, but hey — it’s just down the block, and it could be fun. Let’s learn about their menu and chuckle that some people only speak Spanish, and then feel guilty about it, the way we do when we accidentally turn on Telemundo, and it’s Terminator 2, and we giggle when Arnold starts speaking Spanish.

Back in town

I was in D.C. for the weekend, and I am still trying to piece together exactly what I want to say; it’s like all the thoughts are in one of those washing machines you see in the commercials, with the bright primary colors swirling around and the detergent gets everything cleaner. Memories flung themselves at me while I walked around; and they were all about rushing. I had no calm, anxiety-free memories of D.C. My flashbacks consisted of me running with a handtruck full of boxes through McPherson Square Park, sweating and dodging pigeons, of dashing to Kinko’s to slice quarter-leaf promotional fliers and bookmarks for the used booksale fundraiser, only to find out that they were printed all wrong, or printed too many, of waiting and pacing in the clammy early morning light on the corner by the Petworth Metro, waiting for a ride to a school, of trudging to Connecticut Street meetings in the blinding white heat, of running through Metro stations, dashing down escalators, breath held, heart pounding, where was I going? Luckily I also spent some time _not_ in the downtown by myself, with Sarah, Kat, Travis, Emily & Co., and we dined, drank and brunched our way through much of the weekend.


In and out, up and down, through and forward and under and between. It’s been a really, really long week. And it’s Wednesday. I woke up yesterday unable to envision finishing the day. I could not picture myself in front of a classroom, ostensibly in charge, guiding the class forward. I could much more accurately picture…. sleeping. But I dragged myself to school, and Dr. C greeted me with a Dismemberment Plan CD, which did indeed make the trip in worth it. I turned in my six papers last night. This morning, I awoke to silly Post-Its from Eliina (like one on the blender, that said “Don’t forget breakfast” and one on the door, which said, “Are you wearing socks? Good. Have a nice drive.”, which gave me just enough energy to get out the door. And now, it’s almost Thursday. And then. Break.

A moment of genius

I have six one-page papers to write today, plus one three-page paper. I have obviously put off some of my grad school work all semester. Hmm. Anyways. I realized today that I have no way to access academic journals about education without going downtown to the huge public library. But then! In a flash of brilliance! I unearthed my Arlington County public library card from two years ago. Joyously enough, it allows off-site access to online academic journals. Life is good.