Thursday, April 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Badness

Hey Badness Baby,

I know, you aren't bad OR a baby anymore. Too bad.

I can't wait until you come to visit and show me your INCREDIBLE MELTING FACE!

Love ya!

Happy Birthday, Brit!

Dear Brit,

I've decided to risk your wrath and post the below, oh-so-lovely picture of you on your birthday. I look forward to seeing my mouth, full of candy, in November.

Let me know how 30 is!

Love and other indoor sports,

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Happy Birthday, Pixie Poopnog!

Happy Birthday. You are a muh-puh!


Friday, April 15, 2005

You Say Elevator, I Say Escalator

I avoid the elevators at work. I’m not claustrophobic or afraid of heights. It’s just that the particular elevators at my job make me sick. They accelerate and decelerate a little too quickly, nauseating me. To make matters worse, the doors open before the car has stopped moving! I leave the elevator queasy and unsettled.

You would think, given my fitness mania, that I would take the stairs instead. However, I rarely enter the staircase. I am usually wearing shoes that are wholly inappropriate for stair climbing. Spike heels are a bit unsteady and mules make a horribly loud *CLACK* as one descends. The stairs are also inconvenient. Only one staircase is easy to find. The other is hidden at the end of a cubicle maze. Most importantly, though, one cannot enter or exit the stairs on the second floor, where the skybridge to the other buildings is located. How illogical!

Thankfully, we have five flights of escalator. I adore the escalator. It doesn’t make me sick and it services the second floor. Although it only extends to the fifth floor, that is high enough for me. I work on the fourth and the cafeteria is on the fifth. If I am in a hurry or feeling energetic, I walk the escalator. I love the way my steps, combined with the escalator’s motion, rush me to the next floor. I feel like a giant, covering leagues with each stride.

The escalator shaft is open to the lobby on the first floor, but must be entered through a door on the other floors. The rumbling machinery generates quite a bit of heat and the warmth remains trapped within the shaft. After sitting beneath the air-conditioning vent for a few hours, the escalator’s steamy heat is welcome. When particularly chilled, I’ve been tempted to just ride up and down, from the fifth floor to the first and back again, until warmed.

Riding the escalator has its price. I have to walk an extra fifty feet to the escalator doors, vice taking the stairs or elevator. I figure the additional exercise excuses me from any stair climbing. I also have to risk looking odd in front of my coworkers when I decline to join them in the elevator. They must think me claustrophobic or acrophobic or simply strange. Sometimes I swallow my bile and climb into the car. Whenever good manners will allow, though, I continue down the hallway to my beloved escalator. With my giant strides and the long wait for an elevator car, I sometimes beat them to our destination!

Monday, April 11, 2005

High School Dropout?

This morning on the bus, I saw this written on the back of the seat in front of me:

"I'm tried of school."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Reflecting on Wild Child

This weekend, Mike and I attended a very satisfying performance, a one-woman play called “Wild Child,” written and performed by Kristen Clippard. The play depicts the relationship between a linguist, Susan Curtiss, and a severely isolated child, Genie. If you are unfamiliar with Genie’s story, I suggest reading about it on Feral Children. Instead of retelling the tragedy or ineptly reviewing the performance, I’d like to share how our evening watching the play affected our thoughts and conversations afterwards.

First, my conception of a one-woman play was completely revised. When I think of a one-woman show, I recall the angry monologue Chandler (of Friends) was forced to endure, alone, while everyone else was at a party with the cast of Joey’s soap. The show started off with the woman demanding: “Why don’t you like me?” Wild Child was nothing like that. Instead of a monologue, this was a true play, with a cast of characters. They just all happened to be played by one actress. I was amazed to see how successfully she played an annoying lawyer, an intelligent linguist, and a frightened, handicapped child. The transitions were seamless. Her commitment to each character led the audience to completely accept that she was becoming different people. To my surprise, a one-woman play was entertaining, and not at all uncomfortable.

Different people can be drawn to completely different aspects of a story. The focus of Kristen’s telling of Genie’s story was the relationship between two women, Susan and Genie. She eloquently presented the women’s commonalities through her own common portrayal. Mike was more interested in the motivations of the family. How could the parents have so horribly abused their child? How could they have had one normal child (a son) while keeping the other locked away? I, having read Russ Rymer’s account, was drawn to the linguistic problems presented. If Genie had no language, could she think? If so, how differently did she conceive ideas from people with language? Could she learn language at such a late age? How would her brain be affected by linguistic exposure? My own concept of Genie’s story was enriched by the different emphases that Kristen and Mike found.

Finally, Mike surprised me on Sunday by confessing that, while he watched the play, he couldn’t help but think that I would do well, cast in the role of Genie. I didn’t know whether to be offended (do I act retarded too often?) or flattered (does he respect my acting abilities so much?). I chose flattery and indulged him with my imitation of the actress’ imitation of Genie’s behavior. He gave me a standing ovation, but I felt as if I had ill-used Genie. Imitating a handicapped person for another’s entertainment can easily become farcical.

I am grateful to have gotten the chance to see Wild Child. It was one of those rare experiences that lingers with the audience members. I feel that my life is richer for having seen it.