He told me to go back to the beginning. And so I have.

I should record my Art and Culture class. Although, I’m not sure this class is ultimately going to be good for anything (boo, Core requirements) but a laugh. I won’t say this is the most interesting professor I’ve ever had, but he’s certainly the strangest.

The first day of our class, the professor–Dr. Inigo Montoya, I will say, because I’m not exaggerating the physical similarity–opens with a fairly moving speech. Not more than a few weeks ago, we had a student pass in a very tragic accident. I didn’t know him (I know almost nobody on campus), but he truly seems like an amazing and influential person to the university. Dr. Montoya knew him pretty well and announced that he was dedicating all of his classes this semester to him.

That was fine. But he used this tribute as a springboard for a Sorting Hat-like speech about finding our passion. No, no passion, capital-p Passion. What started as a lovely tribute turned into a fire-and-brimstone warning about what happens to life if you don’t follow your passion. Dr. Montoya has apparently followed his passion all over the world, doing whatever the hell he wants.

He rails against money and materialism. He says, with all the judgment in the world, “I won’t judge you if you want to spend your life pursuing money–but you must truly find and follow your passion if you want to live life properly!” I’m told he drives a Jag.

“Find your bliss and the money will follow,” he says. Do the passion. Maybe not my passion. He asks people to raise our hands if we have a passion. I raised mine, he called on me, I said, “Dramaturgy!” And he hesitates because he doesn’t know what that is. And then he’s like kind of like, “…okay.” and moves on. Thanks for crapping on my passion, man.

He fashions himself as a bit of a Renaissance man, I think. An archaeologist, anthropologist, artist, art critic, scientist, philosopher. Whatevs. And he does seem to have a enormous wealth of knowledge. I would kind of love to see him on Jeopardy or something.

His neighbors think he’s strange because he does Tai Chi on his roof every morning. He also said his neighbors think he’s a businessman because he likes to dress nice.

Dude, if they’ve spoken with you for a minute or less, they definitely don’t think you’re a businessman.

He says he’s going to teach us to be elitist–not elite, like Aaron Sorkin would say–but elitist and proud. Such as, in the end of the class, we will become art snobs. Right now, we know nothing. But by the end, we’ll be able to spit on people who aren’t ‘artists’.

What constitutes being an artist? Beats the hell out of me. But I certainly know what doesn’t make you an artist:

  • Excessive tattoos
  • Strange piercings
  • Funky hair colors
  • Taking Oxycontin.

Lesson of the day: Crack is whack. Be above the influence. Also don’t take Oxycontin.

At least he’s very anti-drugs. I wonder why he’s so crazy about not taking drugs. He mentioned it multiple times.

Also, he doesn’t distinguish between subjects—Leonardo didn’t, so neither does he–so we’re not just in an art and culture class. We’re also in a science class, an astronomy class, a religion class, a _______ class. I know the Big Bang has had a considerable impact on culture, in that it created all life and y’know stuff like that. But nobody in the Paleolithic cave painting period did anything to depict it.

“It’s not naked; it’s nude…” he says. Has anybody else seen Calendar Girls? He has this whole tirade on the difference between pornography and nudes. He hates it when people consider ‘good art’ as pornography. And he almost shouts at us to eliminate our taboos about naming our “private parts”–he definitely wins the penis game. He was almost embarrassingly loud, shouting, “It’s a penis!” But that was intentional.

Sometimes my mouth says things aloud without checking with my brain to see if it’s a good idea. So sometimes I make jokes to myself or repeat funny things that people say. The purpose of this being I had a major Doctor Who nerd moment. Montoya says, “Why just a few years ago, we discovered the purpose of Stonehenge!” And I answered,–luckily only loud enough to myself–“Yeah, as a resting place for the Pandorica. Duh.”

Sometimes I feel like neither of us should be let out of our houses.

The class is hilarious. Despite the coursework, I look forward to the semester’s lectures.

Have Some Fun Quotes:

I watched a lion have sex once. It was boring. She didn’t seem to enjoy it, neither did he. They didn’t have dinner or anything.

Thumbs, we gotta have ’em.

Right now, we’re in the Dark Ages. [in context, given that we’re just destroying the world. Maybe in 10,000 we’ll get better at taking care of earth]

1 in 600,000,000,000,000 chance you’re in this room with me. You won the lottery.

I don’t teach boring classes. I don’t.

Do we live in caves? Have you lived in a cave? Have you been to a cave? You haven’t been to a cave? You should go to a cave. We would never live in caves.

[Question: What were they doing in the caves where they painted? He demonstrates Cro-Magnon dancing.]

The [Cro-Magnon] were dancing. They were dancing. Dancing always leads to sex! So I’ve heard.

We’re all walking cosmos.

What if the free-lance floating molecules of Mozart were in this cereal?

You know what you hear when you open the door to a woman’s bathroom? [he makes chatting motions with his hands and kind of goes, ‘blahblahblah’] They’re just gathered, chattering. Is that sexist? I don’t care.

Nescit Cedere, Hothlanta

Soooooo….

Question for you: Little Kate’s unexpected snowstorm makes her:

A) Grumpy.

B) Mumpy.

C) All of the above.

Until today, I have been literally trapped within my neighborhood since Sunday in the worst snow storm I–knock on wood–ever hope to see in my life. And it’s still incredibly dangerous to go out and about–but dammit I have missed a week’s worth of rehearsals for [tos] and I’m getting out of this house one way or another. WAY TO FREAKING GO, ATLANTA.

What did I do on this five day weather enforced house arrest?

Well, I watched a lot of TV. And I crocheted some stuff. And I sang a lot. And I played Harry Potter Lego. And I read every entry in this. And I moaned and complained. And I cleaned my room.

The only good thing to come out of this damn storm was one week long Star Wars reference. Which is a tribute to how many amazingly nerdy and lovely people live in the home town of Dragon*Con (suck it, San Diego). What a beacon of awesome in the midst of so much suck. You go, nerds who did the trend thing on twitter to make that an actual thing that people say.

The first marker–impenetrable to all ye Taun-Tauns who dare to pass–was at the entrance to our subdivision. It’s a very shady area and nobody in my entire gorram city seems to want to take matters into their own hands and clean the roads in front of our houses. What were my mother and I doing this week? Digging paths into the road for safety. What was everybody else doing while this was happening? Driving by, waving and/or mouthing ‘thanks.’

 

Also I made a snow angel, but instead of snow, it was ice, so I couldn't just sweep my arms and legs. I had to break the ice.

Um. You’re welcome. But you know what would make this faster/safer? If you guys actually came out and helped. Did your part. Obviously nobody from the state or the city departments of transportation are going to pull their heads out of their asses any time soon and get to cleaning off the roads around where we live. Don’t these people want to get to places? Don’t they want to get to places in one piece?

Mom reminisces of the good ole days, when she was super young living in Middle-of-flipping-nowhere, Michigan and everybody (read: menfolk) was doing their part with shovels and ice picks making sure that people could get to places. And you know what? I’m pretty sure the nowadays can take a page from the good ole days and help people get off their asses. Is it natural for an entire metro area–practically half of the most populated areas in the state–to absolutely shut down for four days? Really? REALLY?

Nobody seems to remember what it’s like to be neighborly anymore. And I know we laugh at the Pleasantville mentality of saying hello to your neighbors as they water the lawn. And generally I couldn’t give a damn about who they are and what their lives are like. But something like this, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and literally pound pavement to get this ice up. And next to nobody’s out on the roads. Is it really that hard to spend an hour breaking and scooping away ice? Especially in shaded areas? So this ice isn’t still endangering people’s lives a week later?

There were somewhere around 50 accidents in a few hours this past Monday, and I’ll bet the number has steadily risen. Come on, guys. Let’s decrease the WorldSuck.

Last I checked, Snowpocalypse 2011 wasn’t a surprise. Were there things that could have been done in preparation? You bet your sweet behind there are. I don’t know the protocol personally (obviously, neither does anybody else in this fraking state) but somehow every other state in the union seems to get by without declaring a state of emergency every time five inches falls. Otherwise, what’s the point of the north even functioning for three whole months of winter?

What I learned from this experience is that I am NOT a homebody. I’m not happy just sitting around at home for days on end. I like going places. I like doing stuff. I like not being afraid to drive to the grocery store for milk. I like walking down a sidewalk without extra hazards to my life.

Also this is the bleedin South. We shouldn’t have to worry about this shit.

Moreover, I like going to school. I miss school. Which is a strange thing to say, especially considering how the general consensus of students everywhere is that school sucks. I’ve just got Beginning of the Semester Excitement. Come midterms, I’ll be back wishing for another act of ‘god’ to keep me from having to turn in that 9 page essay on Nietzsche on time. Bleh.

This Post Is So [title of show]

Well, I haven’t written anything since a month (and to be fair, I’m cheating with the bad SH fanfic, which I definitely wrote in November) I figure I’ll give the internets an update on the awesomeness/business that has been my life the last month or so.

Awesome List of Awesome Things that Happened in Awesome December:

  1. I finished my fifth semester at college–straight A’s, what!
  2. I made lots o’ the money in my job. Approximately 50 hours a week running around my store and getting verbally bitch slapped by customers in a Christmas rush was WORTH.IT. Cause I like the moneys. Call me crazy.
  3. I got a camcorder for Christmas and I am continually beating myself up every time I think starting up a vlog again is a good idea. It’s bad enough I’ve got this sort of stuff in writing. You shouldn’t have to see my face.
  4. I spent at least four hours of my life in the craziest set of auditions in my life (you’d think it was American Idol or something nuts, the amount of singing I did…) which was worth it because…
  5. I GOT CAST IN A PLAY. It’s called [title of show] and all you current [tos]sers who know what’s what can skip down a bit, because I’m going to spend some time gushing.

Okay. So. [title of show] is the little meta-musical that could. It’s intensely difficult–for me at least, as I’ve noticed lately–to describe the show’s premise in 40 coherent words or less (other than to say, “THIS SHOW FUCKING ROCKS!”) so I would direct you to it’s Wikipedia page. [tos] is a fan-farking-tastic show that promises to be a fan-farking-tastic amount of fun (once we start rehearsals next week).

Oh and I’m playing Susan. Who is the perfect character for me. We like the quirks. We have the crippling stage fright and the insecurities. We’re intimidated by our fellow ama-za-zing cast members. We’re both so very hilarious (ah ha, ah hahaha). And we both enjoy singing about killing vampires (hello, Once More with Feeling)!

Let’s consider the weirdness of what it’ll be like for the four of us playing The Four. So the show is about four people trying to create a musical about four people trying to create a musical about four people trying to create a musical… yada. Not unlike a biography (the events in the show are true except for the parts that aren’t), these people are real. Real people playing themselves–some version of themselves?–and now we’re real people playing real people playing themselves… Then you’re left with the element of truth. If the show is supposed to be about real people, do I try my best to become the real Susan Blackwell, or am I to be a sort of me/her hybrid that touches closer to reality because it’ll be based on what I know?

I don’t know if I’m explaining this coherently. You see the headaches this show gives me?

They say that it’s not a good idea to watch other performances of the same character when you’re developing your own character. Honestly, I’ve never had a big enough part in anything to worry about that anyway. But Susan’s real. I have a cast recording. I’ve seen the [title of show] shows. Do I keep her inflections? Do I sing the way she does? Can I even keep up with her? Will it be embarrassing if I try? Am I thinking about this too hard and too much before rehearsals have even started?

YES to that last one. Also I’m having weekly dreams–often 2-3 times a week–about working on [title of show], more specifically failing on [title of show]. I’ve never been this nervous in my life. I’ve never had this much theatrical responsibility in my life. It’s almost as if… they expect me to do stuff that can pass as good theatre. WHAT’LL I DO? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! (die vampire die!)

This is what you get when you hand a total amateur a script this mind-bogglingly a month in advance without talking to me about expectations. I mean, the door swings both ways and I could just as easily email my director with my questions. But that would involve effort.

It would also involve admitting that I don’t know everything.

That would be just plain wrong, wouldn’t it?


[oh ps. I am totes to the post-it notes listening to the Doctor Who series 5 soundtrack right this minute and I am just in love with it. Isn’t it freaking brilliant? Thank you, Murray Gold.]