Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sara Saturday

Since I was running a bit behind this morning I ate my breakfast as I walked to the theater. On my way home [around 7:00] I walked home with my oatmeal bowl and fork in my bag. They occasionally bumped against each other, making a small clanking noise as I walked. I passed two underclassmen boys and they looked at each other. Once a few steps away one said to each other "party (pronounced with an exaggerated long e)! You can hear those glass bottles clanking" with a slight sound of envy. Glass bottles for a crazy Saturday night or the results of morning cue-to-cues... similar enough.

Today was the first day of tech and [knock on wood] it felt fairly successful. There will inevitably be problems and frustrations as tech continues, but getting up to intermission [as planned] is a good feeling or day 1. Tomorrow the lighting kids will go in a bit early and we'll do some more cueing and then tech day two will start just after lunch.
I feel really good about this show. Daina did a fabulous jobs with cuts and the first half didn't even drag in tech... which just gives you a hint on how it's going to feel in real time. This is incredibly encouraging as my parents are coming up next weekend to see the show and my sister is coming up the following weekend. I think they'll enjoy it. Plus the set and lights are beautiful so... :) Many Shakespeare plays take the first fourth to get a grasp on the language. I feel as though this cutting and acting of Much Ado About Nothing makes Shakespeare incredibly accessible.

Today was a fairly enjoyable day, so things to be thankful for...
Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal
Sharing Peanut Butter M&Ms
Skittles to help get the taste of french fries out of your mouth
Eating french fries for the first time this semester and realizing I'd be okay not eating them again for quite a long time
Discovering that I can still hear people on my phone if the headphones are in [so it's not a COMPLETE catastrophe that the regular speakers aren't working]
Light cues looking pretty
Easy notes post tech day 1
Writing notes
Getting Laundry done [who doesn't love clean clothes?!]
Acknowledging how much I learned through last semester's internship... particularly about protocol [and silence]. I'm incredibly fortunate.
Feeling 10,000xs better due to some removal of sleep debt


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two Days on a Third [9,10]

I was thankful on Thursday and 'counted my blessings' in between bits of worry as I fell asleep since I forgot to post them.

Getting to all my classes
Richard not seeming to mind too much when I was late
Being silly
Focusing some of 4B Low despite being slow
Chocolate Milk

Staying in bed for far too long
Jeri's Birthday and my awful conduction of our rendition of "Happy Birthday"
New pictures of Cole!
Being able to work for goodbyes
Productive Trouble-shooting
Designers who understand oversleeping dinner breaks
Phone conversations with my empathetic sister. 143.
Oodles of laughing in the prop room in the basement of Kollen
Laughing in general. I LOVE laughter.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Seven Ate Nine [Wednesday: 8]

So I was thinking and I bet it would've been a great idea if I had thought to list as many things to be thankful for as days of lent it'd been... too bad I just thought of that today... on the 8th day.

Waking up at 9 as I had intended
FINALLY dropping off my prescription, picking up my paycheck, grocery shopping, and going to the bank
The friendly woman at Macatawa Bank
Jeri sharing delicious chex mix
Leonard calling me "sunshine"
Stephen letting me know I didn't need to worry about what I'd been worried about
Solid Hugs
Hanging the proscenium pipe without falling
Text messages during production meetings
Phone calls with Schae-schae
Jackie pulling my car into the garage [AWESOME!]
How much set dressings and lights add to the theatre world
Awesome words like... the one Katie used today. I must send her a message and re-ask...

Good night all. I would like to give you more of an update, but I'm low on time and in need of sleep. Just know I'm working a lot and unsure of where the rest of the time goes. Thanks for all of your love and support.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday. Day 7

Thank you friends, lovers, and Great Above

Bananas and peanut butter
Joe bringing me bananas from Meijer last night
Jackie getting me peanut butter last week
Soft pajamas
People who love and support me despite x, y, and z
Counselors who remind you that this test is not a test of your worth, but rather a test of your short term memory.
Breathing and Muscle Relaxation
Walking around campus to Aretha Franklin's Respect
Roommates who validate skipping class with you to take morning naps
Pepperoni Rolls
The women at the Kletz who always make me feel cooler than I am
My management professor letting me take that test of my short term memory in the afternoon
How pretty the snow can be

Watching this video a zillion times in the last few years:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Five Six

After staying up late feeling the span of emotions and watching one of the bloody, suspense movies that my mom wouldn't have let me watch in the house, I fell asleep without thanking.

Day Five's
Being Productive
Being Invited
A lovely Much Ado Run Through
Embroidery Floss Jewelry
Adding Law Abiding Citizen to the list of movies I have seen
Writing papers and feeling alright about them
Cute couples napping
Really great libraries:,0,4108516.story
(call them Liberal, call them encouragement of the cycle, but Everyone Needs)

Day Six's
Professors and Lighting Designers letting you move testing times and not show up to focus because you're a mess
The Health Center fitting you in when the day's already full
Sticky Dots reminding me of Assassins
Feeling better after sleep

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Awake half of the Fourth Day

"What he'd been given was more than enough to be grateful for, whether or not God was there to receive or care about thanks."
-The Sparrow

To be Grateful for...

-Being able to sleep in until noon since I didn't go to bed until after four
-Bright Eyes
-Being a superhero this morning and my housemate letting me pretend that super heroes put the tea kettle on
-Making embroidery floss jewelry
-Boy communication
-Beautiful Colors
-Eating moose tracks ice cream instead of stressing about the management test that I just realized I know nothing about
-Warm blankets
-Not having to leave the house
-Understanding the sport of curling
-Roommate Talks and beautiful music
-Long naps at inappropriate times during the day leading to productivity

Friday, February 19, 2010

The third [of 40] day of written thankfulness

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."


Oh! A wonderful Friday full of things to be thankful for...

-An understanding production team that doesn't increase my stress when I'm late
-My body for letting me bike for just over an hour AND lift a bit
-Reading an entire book for myself while I biked/being able to do something I wanted to do instead of what I felt obligated to do
-Hot chocolate
-Having immense love for "nonsense"
-Getting a tiny bit of the kitchen clean
-Oyster Crackers and 0-point Vegetable soup
-Man Vs. Food
-Julie's message: "tag, you're it!"
-People who believe in love and falling in love

2 of 40

-Brownies and Jackie who is an excellent sharer
-The prospect of having some "orange floaties" time tomorrow via 84 East, perhaps?
-Chris and his encouraging text... I'm waiting for a board op for my room [and a board]
-An encouraging run-through for "Behind the Uniform"
-Sleeping in [despite negative repercussions]
-People who have experienced God
-Housemates who wake you up from naps
-Have I mentioned the brownies?
-Finally opening the 3 Blind Moose Riesling and it having a super cool cork
-Misspelling Riesling and feeling okay about it
-Having housemates who listen to you ramble about the boys and friends who make you feel cared about... which is funny considering you just go and talk about them to the others... happy doesn't really stay inside me. I need to tell you about it.
-The SUNSHINE. It was bright outside and I even wore my gray jacket without a winter coat earlier in the day
-Not owning expensive shoes in which I'd have to worry about stepping in slush puddles
-Having more time in the theatre and Daina not minding me dropping color
-Character faces and attractive male ice skaters
-Finally do that face thing on a mac computer with Jackie
-Andrew answering my phone call when I needed in the building. I love when people answer phone calls even when they don't have to.
-Ed using the term "deux ex machina" in our fb message
-Facebook messages and wall posts. Let's be honest, reminders from my friends that they are thinking about me, really makes me feel good. I'm not afraid to admit it: I NEED PEOPLE to care about me.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

40 Days of Thankfulness

I don't think I have ever given something out for Lent. It would probably do my body some good to give up swearing, fatty foods, or the Kletz in general, but alas, I don't like to make promises I know I won't keep. It would have to be something along the lines of: try not to swear in casual conversation or something of the sort. Instead, I am going to try and have forty days straight of going to bed filled with appreciation. Note: I'm aware it's technically Thursday, but I haven't slept yet so it's still Wednesday.

Today has been a day FULL of things to be thankful about, but since the bed is calling, here is a short list:

My amazing housemates in general
Amy, who reduced my stress level GREATLY by not only moving my clothes to the dryer, but folding them all and setting them in beautiful piles on my bed... including the matched socks!
Honest conversations with my roommate <3
An understanding roommate
Active cuddling with someone who really cares
Patience and understanding from the lighting kids
Not-too-angry theatre faculty when the lights weren't done
The fabulous women in the Kletz who remember my name and make me feel important
An understanding co-producer who knows that sometimes you are just fighting to do enough to sleep at night
An AME who talks to cable and fixtures too
Christine- who understands how important it is to connect to people and who went with me on the orange floaties analogy... things are going along swimmingly
A sister who "gets you" more often than not

Many of these things will surely be repeated throughout the forty days, but that's okay. Some things you should be thankful for every day... like the Holy Spirit

And on that note, it's pushing 2A and I still have homework. I hope all of you are well.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ten at Two

10 Things about me right now.
Ignore the detached thought process, weird punctuation and verb forms.

1. It is 2 A.M. and I am eating a clementine in a hotel room with 2 double beds to myself.
2. I am in Toledo for my Grandpa's funeral and the additional things I have learned about him this weekend make me wish I had higher grades for him. (Every time he would call he'd ask how I was doing in school: "Getting all A's?" "...trying")
3. I'm grateful I'm a woman now and not 90 years ago. The Great Depression and the lack of women's rights makes raising four kids when your husband has up and gone-- not terribly possible)
4. I would rather be awake at 2A than 2P
5. I haven't accomplished any more school or theatre work this weekend and I don't feel guilty about it. I am dreading Monday night.
6. Today, I was told by people I had just met [who have been in law and business for over 40 years] that I would make a great manager [of theatre]. I was on one of my passionate speeches about theatre in London. All I need is the backing... and other devoted, passionate, (more) sane people.
7. I love public speaking when it doesn't matter what I say as long as it comes from me
8. When I am the conversational mover and am on a mission to talk to people, I get tired later.
8. Today I was reminded, yet again, about the importance of friends
9. and that my ability to have amazing friends comes from my family- immediate and extended.
10. I am not impressed with the lighting in this Hilton room, but the mirrors are surprisingly good despite it.

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me lately. I need you and could not do this without you. I'd probably still be under the covers or in Meijer raiding the chocolate aisle. I don't think I'm going to be magically 'on' tomorrow, but this weekend with my beautiful, loud, quirky, and forgiving family sure does help with the need for love and hugs.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Different Kind of Love

I am going to Toledo tomorrow [Friday] to spend the night with the extended family.
My Grandpa's funeral is on Saturday.
I need to see my family. It's so strange how you can be perfectly okay without seeing them for a certain amount of time and then one day life strikes and you find yourself struggling to get through the week before you see them.

Now let's just hope the snow is kind to my poor little car <3


This is the journal entry I wrote for my senior seminar class. When I wrote it I felt as though I needed to keep it personal, bu right now, at 2am, after an emotional exhausting day, I want to share it.

I am not wearing a veil or all black, but I need time to mourn. I am actually wearing more pink and all of blankets, but that has more to do with what was clean and the temperature of my house than any sort of cultural tradition. My Grandpa Kenny passed away early Sunday morning while he slept. He was ninety-three years old and while that was enough time to live a plentiful life, it does not mean I do not need to take time to reflect.

My Grandpa Kenny outlived two wives (each whom he was with for over twenty-five years). He was a brilliant engineer and a crazy driver. I visited him in January and I think this is why I need to take more time than I have with other deaths. There is probably a real name for this, but I am going to call it the “but I just saw him phenomenon”. My Grandma Pearl and my Aunt Darlene passed away my sophomore year and junior year, respectively. It had been a full year before their deaths that I last saw them. When Fred, a good friend from church, passed away it had been awhile since I had seen him too. I only go to Florida every once in a great while. I hardly attend my home church because I am never in Ohio anymore. I would not see them anyways; this makes their deaths less real. However, I just visited my Grandpa the week before school began. While I know it was his time and his small existence exhausted my Uncle, whom my Grandpa lived with, strong emotions show up when I try to imagine that he is not physically or mentally here at all.

Not seeing my Aunt Darlene, who was so young when she passed, and my Grandma Pearl while I was in Florida this January made their deaths more real too. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to be sad for more than one passing. I am sad for all that my Uncle Dick has balanced and I am sad that my mom and her siblings had to deal with her mother passing away so young. My mom’s mom passed weeks after she graduated from college, but a couple of weeks before she was married. Dealing with one death, by itself would be much simpler than balancing all of these old and new hurts.
I cannot help, but wonder if I would be taking this all as deeply if I were not talking about death in both senior seminar, world religions, and my house (where friends of Emma and David live).

On January 18th I wrote this in my journal/blog and I keep reading it because I am feeling it even more than when I wrote it:

M: ...she's a youth pastor or, well, young adult pastor I guess
S: Eh, youth pastor. We're still youth. We're still lost.
M: Yes, we are still lost.
What do you do when someone who is part of your life is no longer there? What do you do to bridge the gap?

[... Scroll to January 18th to read the middle section of this entry....]

Death hath not touched it all, dead though the house of it seems!

And as true or not true as that may be, I still need to mourn and most people I know still need that time to continue. And either way you look at it, it's tough.

[end of blog]

This week has been tough. I canceled all but one of my Monday meetings and work calls and stayed in bed until 3. I have been sleeping more than normal and I spend a lot of time just talking about nothing to my housemates to try and process where I am at. I am a very fortunate person as I have great housemates (for the first time in four years), as well as communities all over that still send me positive vibes. I received love and encouragement via facebook from friends, friends’ boyfriends, pastors, family friends, and people from both of my abroad experiences. I try to focus on them.

On Saturday I will be in Ohio for my Grandpa’s funeral and I am looking forward to it. DeRose family funerals are, in general, a good time of tears and laughter… just the way funerals should be. I just need to remember to breathe.

[end of Senior Sem Journal entry]

I need to sleep.

The Five Easy Steps to Mo[u]rning

I haven't been in the mood to post any real blogs lately. I have been a bit of a mess of up and down. But, because this has been on my mind all week, I am posting my response to Maja Milcinski's article "Zen and the Art of Death". It is from a 1999 Journal of the History of Ideas, but it is marvelous.
Of course, my ending response was:
I need a few more pages to feel truly capable of attempting this freedom for more than a few fleeting moments here and there.
But, it's interesting all the same. I am not claiming my response is interesting, but I feel the need to post it so here it is.

In any introductional study of world religions a student will study numerous approaches to death. Death is never an easy topic to address and we, in the West often attempt to address it logically. The Western need to rationalize causes us to say things such as ‘it was time’ or ‘God needed another angel’ to assist us in coping. In general Westerners approach death with a need to explain. Maja Milcinski’s article “Zen and the Art of Death” from The Journal of History of Ideas discusses the general differences in Eastern and Western approaches. Milcinski takes the exploration one step further asking, ‘What is the best way to approach the inevitable end?’
Whenever I hear someone state “I’m dying” my immediate instinct is to reply, “Aren’t we all?” Each day we live we are further from birth and closer to death. While this end is expected and inevitable, it remains scary since it is uncontrollable. Anyone who has watched “Final Destination” knows you cannot outrun it forever. Yet, “in European thought the fact of morality and impermanence remains frustrating and traumatic, which does not help a person to face the inevitable […]” (387). Milcinski has, in general, evaluated this approach correctly. Some people are scare of their deaths, some of friends’ deaths and family’s death, and some are afraid of all death. Is there a way to overcome this fear and difficult in coping?
The Buddhists believe that “all material things are considered to have come into existence through some cause and are subjected to the process of creation, abidance, transformations, and extinction. This process, moreover, is cyclical…” (388). This allows the believer to trust that the soul has been carried on either as another being or that it has been enlightened and obtained Nirvana. There is no loss in death. This encourages believers to “not cover one’s eyes from the reality of death but to enjoy the world as it is presented” (388). Coming from a Western perspective this is difficult to imagine. In order to enjoy the world as presented one feels inclined to be aware of the present to enjoy it, the past to learn from it, and the future, to plan for it. It is difficult to imagine enjoying the future when the dark idea of death is before us.
Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen present “life and death as unimportant so that one may look upon and anticipate death with equanimity” (391). This composure under stress can be reached by “diving into the Void” (391). Daoism also discusses this way of thinking in looking for a metaphysical sense of transcending this Earthly state. For a reader with only bare bones (a couple of classes and culturally inherited) knowledge of these belief systems, this is a difficult concept to grasp. I imagine it may be similar to the feeling of utter freedom gained from dancing in a summer downpour with someone you love while sounding your barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world, but that is just a moment. To sustain that sense of freedom while going about daily tasks seems nearly impossible. Even those nights I walk home alone at 4am with the crisp fall air leaving me completely in love and at peace with the world, fade. Milcinski attributes this difficulty (of sustaining a sense of freedom) to the barriers people put up in advance. The ego stops the person from escaping the ego. “It is entirely different if one opens one’s heart to everything that happens and realizes the here and now without any second thoughts” (392). This is, of course, easier said than done. Then again, the article is “Zen and the Art of Death,” not Zen’s Five Easy Steps to Escaping Mo(u)rning.
While attempting to commit one’s self to this ‘Void’ it almost seems logical and perhaps simpler to literally jump into the void- ending life early, but Yang Zi answers Meng Sun Yang’s question by telling him to “let life run its course […] when it is time to die, resign yourself and let death run its course…” (394). It seems that acceptance is the key. When rushing or avoiding you are attempting to be greater than your destiny. At the same time, one should not be so caught up in death that he/she forgets how to live.
Both Eastern and Western perspectives strive for this acceptance. They also both acknowledge the cycle from birth to decay. It is the spiritual aspects that these two differ in. Sino-Japanese suggest that reality and the Ego are illusions. If this is the case there is a major discrepancy between this way of thinking and the general Western philosophy. Milcinski suggests there needs to be a merging of the discussed methods to be able to properly deal with death. People are present and thus a strictly mystical approach often seems unattainable, but words themselves are not able to bridge the gap between our earthly existence and the post-death Nirvana, Heaven, Enlightenment. The “logically discursive style of Uroboros” should be combined with the “meditative mystical style of the open circle” (397). Finding this balance is the art. I only wish Milcinski could hold my hand through it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Miss you...

The worst part about being busy is you can't put things on hold. I have a financial management exam on Tuesday and the ask-your-questions session is in a few hours, but right now I just want to be with family or to be held or... or something- anything else.

I'm not a fan of having an overriding sadness. I understand the purpose of the emotion [kinda], but sometimes it seems as if every syllabus is against giving you room for such a thing. Besides, I'd have to make things up and I already feel 10 feet behind with my shows. Yuck.

I'm going to bed.

A few years ago [maybe even 9 or 10 years ago] I taped quotes around my room in Ohio. I don't know if many are still up, but I do know that on my nightstand, next to my bed it says:

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake

So, thank you Ernest, that is what I am going to do.