Room 221 is becoming a bastion for the awkward creative types in my school, between Dr. C’s seniors and my freshmen. The sweet quiet ones with creative talents have become our groupies. We’ve so far got a jaded poet,a pop-soul piano player, a cartoonist, and –the latest addition– a horror novelist. Ricky stopped by after school with a spiral notebook filled with a teenage horror novel in progress. It was about a guy his age, (and his girlfriend — because if it’s your book, you get the girl), and their misadventures trying to avoid science experiments gone wrong, including zombies and vampires. It was highly suspenseful and pretty adorable. Every time they came upon an obstacle, the kids used the standard teen expressions, “Dang!” and “Oh, snap!” to express their fright or frustration.

Also horrific, we came in one day to find “F— Their Birthdays” scrawled across the May calendar near where several students had penned in their birthdays. (Omission of obscenity mine.) It was so senselessly mean that it was actually kind of funny. Screw the days they were BORN.

Additionally, I think 221 is haunted. There’s one computer where the CD tray keeps popping in and out without warning when I’m in there alone.

Not counting.

I am not counting down the days of school. But there are 14 teaching days left. I’m just saying. I’m trying to design an end-of-year project for them these days, taking grad school exams, frazzled, scattered, almost there.

A long drive, a marriage, a long drive

And so much more. Jeff is slowly compiling his trip memories here. We got saved by Granny and her Country Kitchen, slept in a murder den, ate ourselves silly on Sonic, sipped lattes in New Orleans, saw a marriage in masks, drove many miles listening to country and belting out the choruses as soon as we learned them. A lot of stuff happened in four days.

Back at school

Today was not horrible. Seriously. No, really. I know you think I’m lying. But it’s true. I did not end up in tears. Several kids were charming. There was much yelling and general craziness, but no fights, no extreme rudeness, and no assaults. My favorite thing lately is talking to the seniors, because I don’t have them in class, so they have no negative emotions toward me at all. Jason and Daija, both the artsiest kids I’ve ever met, would be an awesome two-person comedy team with the way they banter back-and-forth, breezily insulting each other.

Daija: Anyhow…. (silence)

Jason: Anyhow what? You can’t just say “anyhow” without following it up with something. That’s like slapping someone and then apologizing. You just don’t do that.

We’re in Missouri!

And we’re on our way home. Henri’s wedding was a lovely, cozy time; more soon. Right now we’re in a Days Inn, next to a Sonic, next to a Break Time. (Sonic and Break Time are my two favorite chains of the trip.) We’ve listened to 7 straight hours of country music. I had a cheeseburger for lunch. Tomorrow the madness winds down and we return to Chicagoland.

This Subway has wireless

So we’re at the Subway in Amite, Louisiana, using their wireless and having our healthiest meal of the trip. See, we’ve been eating a lot of Sonic lately. Henri’s wedding is tonight. I have no idea what to expect. Probably a marriage of some sort. Jeff and I have completely downshifted into “South” mode, which means that today we thought nothing of driving half an hour to the Subway in Amite because we saw a sign outside advertising wireless. We ain’t got nothin’ else to do on a Sunday. More news later.

Hit it.

Jeff and I are taking a lil trip southward, to New Orleans-ish, Franklinton to be exact, in order to witness the marriage and related festivities of our friend Henri. It’s 929 miles to New Orleans. The rehearsal dinner is a crawfish boil. The ceremony is a masquerade. It’ll be dark when we leave at 9pm tonight. We may or may not be wearing sunglasses.

Hmm. …. What?

I’ve spent this weekend in randomness doing guerilla theater-ish stuff with the Neofuturists and teaching improv to squirmy squealy third- and fourth-graders, wondering about my future career possibilities. I think I want to print things. I want to be a printer of things. Ink and paper and fast printing presses that could snap off your arm if you got it caught. Is that possible? Also been spending good good time with Jeff, getting my head on straight, etc. School is winding down in super-slow motion. Every day is like a new torture game. Joy to the world.

This post contains Improv Nerd Psychobabble Talk

Rehearsal last night was lovely. That’s the best way to describe it. In a relaxing, carpeted space, with an on-top-of-it coach, and four people that I muchly enjoy. I was realizing how wound-up-tight I am these days. Our coach, Greg, pegged me as a “driver” in scenes, someone who tries to drive the action the way they want. This is so interesting to me, because I have _never_ been in that category before. I can only assume it’s a byproduct of this year, always struggling to maintain some level of control. Additionally, the tendency to non-invest: sometimes I end up with these flat, slacker characters for no apparent reason, a feeling which ends up in regular life too, where I don’t know what lies ahead so I don’t put much committment into it. Numb-like. Well. Again. I am yelled at all day.

I can’t wait for the side-effects of this year to wear off.

right now i am

listening to heavy metal on my ‘kick out the jams’ cd from dr. c, going to rehearsal tonight, almost didn’t have the key to the rehearsal space, am i going to be bankrupt before the age of 26? maybe we all need some cookies. eliina just told me the story of how (when she was living in massachusetts) some 10 friends came over for a late-night visit and ate all the cookies she’d just made. and then one of them named bruce left her a note that said ‘thanks for the cookies.’ henry the dog is sitting between eliina’s legs while she stands at the counter making rhubarb crisp, like she is a shelter. henry cracks me up. deanna emailed me yesterday, i haven’t even heard her written words in too too long, and she is making me think of summer. there are chairs in the backyard here that will be good for summer breezy evenings with illicit bottles of wine. the rhubarb crisp is in the oven, almost done; we are almost done with school now, 26 days and counting, but i think i should stop counting and just let them flow by and take them like planes flying overhead. ‘i got a six-pack and nothin’ to do,’ the song says — heavy metal, who knew?

i am taking a writing class now, and i was a goth girl learning to breathe fire in one short story, and when we performed them i actually felt the goth girl vibe – i remember them, do you? from high school? when black nail polish and gelled black hair and oversized nine inch nails t-shirts would actually fly? is that still the attire of choice? i would like to go back in time and try out the goth girl persona, because i was writing tortured teenage poetry without actually appearing so violent and angst-ridden on the outside, via my striped turtlenecks. actually, we all were, deedle, bethy and i, all balls of angst and torture in our own ways, weren’t we? i’m so drawn back to that time still, still trying to work through the growing pains that landed me here somehow at this age. i once found an article that said adulthood began at 26, and i was so relieved because hell, i was only 22. now it’s creeping up. and what have we learned, kids? well. am unsure. 10 minutes until rhubarb crisp.