Monday, September 29, 2008


1. Ok... thanks to my roommate, I have discovered the best BBC-TV show this side of "Are You Being Served?" It's the next "Charmed"-- it has cheesy flying arrow effects, more suspense than my Human Biology final, anachronisms out one's ears, and Harry Lloyd (progeny of Charles Dickens) (not to mention Joe Armstrong, progeny of Alun Armstrong, who you will recognize because he plays every villain--ever--on anything BBC).

So really it's not like "Charmed" at all. What it is, is "Robin Hood." AND IT'S H-AMAZING, in an anachronistic, cheesy, suspenseful, Harry Lloyd way. Roomie says it's going to get really intense. I can't wait. I hope it stays just as cheesy throughout its run.

2. Languages. Believe it or not, I still like doing my German homework. We're learning plurals. Isn't that cute? I have trouble weakening in my resolve when I think about how sure I am that I will not be in the States for a significant part of my life. New (read: old goal I've had for a zillion years but don't quite reach... ever) goal: retain French, even though I am very often intimidated by one roommate of mine, who is a French major and knows so much more and reads Hernani by Victor Hugo and reenacts the death scene to great comic effect...

3. There will, come hell or high water, be an ETC next semester. And it will, come hell or high water, include a number of plays that will be staged for the first time. chesseandaaron, if you promise to make me not be a slacker about this, I promise to not let you be a slacker about it. For real, for serious. We need to do this because you guys are mad talented and we're also going to graduate.

4. My broface called me on Saturday. I love talking to my brother! He's just so smart and I'm totally ok with being a soundboard for his brilliant ideas.

5. This past "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me" was awesome. Thank you, Mo Rocca. Fact: Mo Rocca is really smart and wears bow ties and I love him and he is just so funny on "Wait! Wait" and on "Wishbone" and on everything he's ever done, ever, including "I Love the 80's" and "The Today Show" and I. Love. Mo. Rocca. In my dreams, I am as savvy as Mo Rocca and I look just as good in a bowtie. Then I wake up and I'm clueless and wear sweats all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Academic novels came up in Literary Criticism today. I brought up the fact that I have tried to read Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis... tried very hard... based on two very heartfelt recommendations. One of them was from a professor in the book that I got in high school that basically consisted of a bunch of lists of all these books that professors from a variety of colleges recommended. The other was from Hugh Grant.

I wanted to know what my professor's thoughts on Lucky Jim were; if he could persuade me to read it. I sort of wanted to like Kingsley Amis, even though I've only ever liked him in moments. (But when I like him, I really like him! Gah! So conflicted!)

My professor's response? "That does not speak well of Hugh Grant."

"Kingsley Amis, pssh... Lucky Jim is not that great of a book."

I FEEL SO VALIDATED. I LOVE THIS CLASS. And then we talked about Nietzsche!

But I have to say--I love all of my classes this semester. It's a good year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Die Religion das Opium des Volkes.

I've been reading Marx lately, for class. I've been reading German, for class. (And for fun.)

And so this famous quote from Marx is stuck in my head a little.

Which is interesting, because I'm sure that--

"Why, Claire, don't you consider yourself a religious person? Because I certainly do! Why would you even think at length about this one flyaway comment that ol' Karl said?! It seems to be completely against everything you've ever believed in!"

Why, I guess I am a person of faith-- I enjoy talking about it and writing about the phenomenon of religious experience (I mean, obviously.) I like personally experiencing faith. (Most of the time.)

But I think religion can be an opiate. I think that religion, both the major religions and the cultural gods of materialism, etc, can mind-numbingly perpetuate the status quo (which, as Dr. Horrible would say, is not quo.) And I don't want that for my life. I want to be awake.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today in class we did one of those acting exercises where you look everybody in the eye for a really long time. If you've ever done something like this, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't... basically, what happens is that you look someone in the eye. Sometimes they start laughing or you start laughing or... someone loses focus because someone else does something socially inappropriate... or something...

So I've been thinking about eye contact since. What is it about four eyeballs that make people slightly uncomfortable? We're all so scared if we look at someone, they'll see what's inside us--and I know that's silly. You are not going to be able to interpret my secret crush on Henry Tilney from staring straight into my eyes. (Ok, so my "secret" crush on Henry Tilney is... not.)

(Side note: Um, Twilight? I am up to here with all of this Edward Cullen love. It's like Jane Eyre on crack, with hormones. Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey has been around for years; his family is [kind of] bloodsucking [in Gothic parody-fashion] he wears a greatcoat really well, he has dogs, he is a clergyman [!!!!!] he is tall, dark and [kind of] handsome and [kind of] everything any girl should ever want.)

I'm just not going to try to hide my eyes; why should I? Why can't we be a society that sincerely looks at individuals, in all of their unique craziness?

Oh! Even though my hair is longer that it has been in the past year and a half (I can almost put it into a ponytail... sad) I'm still getting excited about the hair possibilities for the show. It's going to be punk meets Les Miserables meets NYPD Blue.

Yeah. All of that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


was singularly long and singularly eventful.

The highlight of my day was at 5:51 when my brother called me of his own volition, just to talk. I mean, I could have melted in a puddle on the sidewalk. This has never happened before, ever.

Unfortunately, that phone call came thirty-six minutes after my sister called me of my mom's volition to tell me that my dad was going to the hospital--probably the big bummer of my day.

And now for a bit of context. At Sunday School there was a brother and sister (approximately the ages of my brother and sister) whose dad (who was younger than my dad) was rushed to the hospital. We prayed for him, and that was it. That night I learned that he had passed away. And then the next day my dad went to the hospital.

It was sort of a freak sequence of events and it left me really on edge, probably more so than I would have been otherwise.

Right before rehearsal, I finally called Mom, who has been convinced this whole time that Dad would be fine. When we hung up, I started bawling--a combination of grief for all the stress that he's been under that has caused all of these problems; relief that it sounded like his heart is okay and that his vitals were good. It was then that I got down on my knees, on the concrete, by the theatre, and told God that I was confident that He loves Dad, Dad loves Him, and I love Dad. It was kind of interestingly full-circle--when I was born, I had a little bit of trouble with the whole being-alive aspect of living, and my dad knelt down on the hospital floor and prayed that I would survive.

It was also a heck of a lot better than the last time Dad went to the hospital. It was when I was in high school, it was the middle of the night, and we'd just had a major knock-down, drag-out fight. I went to bed very angry. And then at 3 am I felt just terrible because there was my dad, going to the hospital, and it was an epic-ally bad night for that to happen. And here we are, on good terms, with a lot of mutual respect there.

But seriously--last night felt really, really long because I was constantly wondering how Dad was doing and what was going on. It wasn't until eight-ten that I finally got peace about the situation because Mom said that she was going to get Dad some Chik-Fil-A for dinner. For some reason, I don't think of Chik-Fil-A as a deathbed food.

But there you have it. It was a little nuts, but God has always been in control, and He loves His kids. My dad is one of the coolest people I know: he reads a lot, he plays bass, he wears patterned sweaters... the list goes on and on.

(Dad, you should get into the washtub bass; it's got less strings, it's more temperamental and you'll look like a hillbilly. I'd laugh and take pictures.)

I know my dad will be happiest in heaven and if he were to go there suddenly, I would not wish him back... but I'm still glad that he has some unfinished business down here first.

But really, in conclusion, please pray for the Call family.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Press "Delete"

Sometimes I am reminded of just how many mistakes I make.

I goof up far too much for my own good. Can we say "Alpha Psi Omega?" (I really don't like to be reminded that I'm a terribly incompetent leader, but it's also good for me and everyone to know...)

My halo slips; I trip over my feet; I don't listen.

Mistakes suck. If I really think about it, I hate that I cause people pain. I mean, part of me really hates to not be universally admired and loved.

But you know what? Life goes on. Every day that I get is another chance to play fair.

And one day it'll work.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I've Lost my Subconscious Mind

Lately, my dreams, like ten-minute plays and songs from the early 20th century, have been really, really topical. It's pretty unusual.

Like, not even Freudian anymore. I'm beyond the nebulous point of dreams, and it's like my subconscious and my conscious are speaking the same language.

It's like, I think about the script for the show I'm working on right now, and how it was irretrievably lost, and I dream about the script for the show I'm working on right now, and trying to find it in its irretrievably lost state.

And then last night I dreamed about Neil Patrick Harris, a widdly celebrity crush of mine, who I was praising to the skies last night to Landon, who is apparently unfamiliar with Neil Patrick Harris. (I mean, Doogie Howser, MD? Cold Sassy Tree? How I Met Your Mother? Old Spice commercials? Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog? Will and Grace? Assassins? Sweeney Todd? Cabaret? I, fortunately, tend to see Neil Patrick Harris a minimum of all the time, and it is a good thing.)

(Widdly, like posh, is a word derived from an acronym. I coined this term from the phrase Wish I DiDn't Like You, and it describes boys I wish I didn't like because they're unattainable or jerks or taken or gay or some combination of the above.)

In my dream, I met Neil Patrick Harris and he was considering replacing both Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest as the hosts of Survivor and American Idol, respectively, and I was vehemently against this. "No, Neil Patrick Harris! You should totally NOT be a host! Your place in the universe is being a ridiculously talented, if unattainable, actor!"


What's next? Dreaming about class assignments and dreadlocks? Not that I have dreadlocks, but I'm conscious of the fact that if my hair was not short and/or naturally poo brown, that I would consider them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A List

A 1. Eisley? One of the ten or so English-speaking bands I still listen to. Yay for a gene pool of preternaturally beautiful people with haunting vocals that minister to my furtive emo inner life-- while still making me happy. Quite a feat. Also, my brother says to listen to The Planets by Gustav Holst, because every major soundtrack composer steals from him. Also, I read in... I think it was... geez... some womanly magazine with a cover story on Heidi Klum... I can't remember the magazine... but Seal totally compared Heidi to the seven-movement orchestral suite. Seal is kind of really funny when you think about it. I mean, jeez--he's clearly taking Heidi Klum way too seriously.

A 2. Don't judge my propensity to cherish musicals and/or rock operas from the seventies.

Or, more realistically, judge away, because I know you will, but my opinion isn't going to change. I'm listening to Working right now. I'll also defend Starmania and/or Tycoon with my very non-Gen-X, very cush, square life. Give me Tommy! Give me The Wiz! Dang it!

And eighties schmaltz like Phantom of the Opera can go straight to theatrical Hades, where Allegro and Can I Hear a Waltz and Anyone Can Whistle live, and it can take Cats and Evita and Starlight Express and Miss Saigon with it. I know that some of those are also from the seventies, but--whatever, they're eighties schmaltz in spirit.

A 3. So... workshopping new plays? It makes me dizzy--or maybe that's the allergies--but I couldn't be more in love with the process of structuring theatrical greatness. I love how collaboration makes the ideas of individuals ten thousand times better. I love how in a collaborative process, the idea of intellectual property tends to vanish in a crazy groupthink that allows everybody to steal the best of everybody else.

A 4. But for real for serious. I wish I was an Eisley.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yet Another Reason...

...I wear a WWJD bracelet, even though they've been out since their overcommercialized stint ten years ago...

I was at chapel last night for the first time in a while. I tend to forget about chapel, and I'm not affiliated with the United Church of Christ so I don't have a denominational obligation to show my face. But I was around the chapel area and I saw the little tricklers trickle into the sanctuary so I thought, "Why not?"

Ok--the gospel reading pretty much almost made me cry. It was the Sermon on the Mount, something we've all heard: basically, we all love our friends; it's time to love our enemies and bless those who persecute you.

I'm a very diplomatic person. I might even be gracious at times. There just aren't people I consider enemies. I don't have a vendetta against any particular person and I haven't sworn vengeance ever in my life. It's kind of a zen life. But I was still convicted. Even though there is no Captain Hammer to my Dr. Horrible, is it in my nature to bless those who persecute me? I still have pride, so I get offended; I still have a heart, so I get hurt; and what do I do? I GROUSE. It's true. I mumble; maybe I vent to my roommate over ice cream; I wish doctoral dissertations against my nine-minute nemesis, and then I'm back to zen.

And then I was like, "Dang son. I am a craptastic follower of Jesus." I thought about sharing that at Sharing Time, but I didn't want to say "craptastic" in church. There's still a stigma, at least for me, I think.

But really--what if I really responded like Christ all the time? What if that became my knee-jerk reaction, my gut response? Love? What if?

It's sad that I need reminders to love; it's grace that I get reminders to love; it's because of love that I may ever get to love at all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ok, so there's a little list.

So, Labor Day Weekend was about a half-hour longer than it was supposed to be. I am mortified for missing my One Important Meeting of the Day. Sigh.

Maybe I unintentionally blocked out the meeting (though I had written it, in black ink, in my day planner) because it's for work, and I fear that work will cause me to retire my pajama pants temporarily. Screw appropriate daywear; it is for mensches, professors, and news anchors.

I've been told by people on varying sides that no, I should not be a conscientious objector to the national election. Sigh. It is hard to be an American, where citizenship comes with expectations and democratic responsibility. I want to dodge it, hardcore, but I know I shouldn't. There's really just no easy answer for someone with such a conflicted conscience, and, I mean, tempus fugit, so what matters anyway? Four years of consequences forever; why am I such an existentialist all of the sudden? On the plus side, I love how animated my polisci professor and Mo Rocca get about election coverage. They are big ol' dorks.

Geez, louise, Mo Rocca. I don't even care if he just misspelled Marni Nixon's name in a recent post. I love him, I love him, I love him. Mo Rocca likes [title of show]. Theatre people, have we seen this? Do we like it?

Craving Cherry Coke Zero soda because someone mentioned soda about five seconds ago. I gave up soda for this school year but I may have to recant. Ugh.

Things I have Learned from Dramaturging my Current Show:

1) The washtub bass is not a subtle instrument.

2) Theatre is nebulous and often scary.

3) Professors have opinions.