Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Frankenstein] at the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival!

Harper and I are at it again! Our new show, [Frankenstein], was accepted into the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, and we're really excited to share it with you.

What is [Frankenstein]?

Our show is a very loose adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic. To pull this thing off, we've teamed up with a lot of the same folks who contributed their time and talents to Telephone: A prequel to a love story. (You can read all my posts about Telephone here.) I'm really proud of the fact that a lot of our Telephone team re-upped. We're incredibly lucky to have Dylan Shelton as our male lead, Golden Brown Enterprizes on video production, and Eli Maiman on music composition, along with some new faces (HI CLARE!). We decided to add a delightful, multi-talented stage manager, and I'm already so thankful that we did, especially because...

Harper and I have upped the ante this year. We'll both be starring in [Frankenstein] (her on stage, me on film). I'm not a proper actor by any stretch of the imagination, but this new aspect has been a really fun challenge so far.

Other happy Fringe news: Ben Dudley of Telephone and Life Hacks and cat video fame has his own show this year, so be sure to check it out! I'm excited to see it. Hi Ben!

So...[Frankenstein]...when and where?

We don't really know yet!

But, the festival runs from May 27-June 7, 2014.

We'll be in touch about specific show times and our performance location soon.

Get ready!

#franktheplay


artwork by Monica "Monster" Blasko

Monday, April 7, 2014

End of Semester Transition

Spring semester is winding down which is really fortunate because other areas of my life are about to blow up (...in a good way). Still, summer break (!!) is right around the corner. This summer break feels important because it's potentially (but hopefully not!) my last summer break...ever. At least, my last summer break of this type and duration. A glorious break in which I plan to work, yes, but more importantly travel and garden and craft (ha! you're right: this one's a strong maybe). It's funny how easily my concept of time has switched from calendar and fiscal year back to academic year. We should all have schedules that run on the academic calendar. Damnit, why didn't I become a teacher. Summers off are so great that sometimes it's tough to determine if that's a serious life regret or not.

As I'm finishing up my first year social work internship and interviewing for next  year's placement, I've been thinking about all that I've learned, and what skills and practices I'd like to build on in future big-girl (paying!) jobs. I've really enjoyed working with cancer patients and their families, mostly because they have such inspiring strength and courage and, in these situations, there's an incredible and important opportunity to ease burden and offer emotional support. Specifically, quality end of life care is so very important. I'm considering pursuing a position at another cancer clinic or with hospice after I graduate. Hot tip: learning about yourself is such a good idea! It has been helpful for me get a sense of what different jobs might be like through internships, shadowing, reading, and many, many conversations with folks in different social work roles and agencies.

Next year, my internship will be much more focused on mental health and therapy delivery. I'll have a handful of (super lucky) clients and an office at a mental health clinic. I hope I don't mess my clients up too badly.  No, it'll be okay. I'll have weekly supervision. I don't want you guys to worry. I'm kidding. I'm actually really excited to get started.

That's about it for right now. I'm definitely transitioning. And I'm super pumped to tell you more about what's up next really, really soon.

Until then, I've got three more full days of classes and a bunch of final exams/papers/presentations. I can do it I can do it I can do it. I can. Do it.

See you on the flip side.

Stay cool.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Break 2014: California Travelogue

Holiday/spring/summer breaks are one of the (only) truly great things about graduate school-- that and the (potentially false) promise of better/more job opportunities post-graduation. Without extended breaks for vacationing/sleeping and the aforementioned (potentially false) promise, graduate school is a lot of night class, group projects (which we can all agree are the absolute worst), and working an internship for free. In graduate school, I am poorer than my former self, hopefully only financially. But I digress. (No, grad school is totally fine, you guys-- I guess I'm just feelin' the end-of-the-semester crunch.)

Ahem. 

This year, I took advantage of SB 2014 (!!) in a serious way and spent a week in southern California with my main squeeze. The adventure started in Los Angeles. 

We did the kinds of things you do in Los Angeles, like drink $14 craft cocktails and buy $10 printed harem pants made in China. I had to try these pants on over the pants I was wearing because there wasn't a dressing room. Still, I bought them. (Fun fact about me: I am liable to buy anything if the price is right.) Also, we saw The Book of Mormon, which E and I missed in Cincinnati. We all laughed really, really hard; I highly recommend it. 

Although I'm a firm believer that laughing is the greatest form of exercise, we went for a long walk that first weekend, which Jesse later referred to as a "forced march," probably because I was complaining the entire way. We walked through the hills, looking at all the beautiful homes, and down to the reservoir pictured below. It was actually really nice despite my complaints. Thanks, Jesse! 




Now, I'm not usually one to instigate a clap-along, but one night, we were walking in Hollywood, and Pharrell told me to, loudly, from a car to my left. I started clapping because I was happy (although I still don't understand what feeling like a "room without a roof" is like). Others walking on the street and waiting for the bus clapped too, and the whole thing felt really good. The experience solidified my goal of one day being in a flash mob. (Watch out, friends and family!)

Next, E and I traveled to Malibu. Before we left, a lady at the Hollywood farmer's market wrote this poem about our journey:

 

In Malibu, we stayed in a (let's say, semi-restored) vintage airstream parked on an ex-industry couple's large and beautiful plot of land. 


The property backed (or fronted?) right up to the Backbone Trail through the Santa Monica Mountains. E and I greatly enjoyed a morning hike through the mountains, wherein we struck many a jaunty pose.


We also visited a beach I forget the name of and walked along it while the sun set. Here is beautiful E, competing with nature for Malibu's Next Top Model. 


There was significant consumption of delicious seafood (fried and otherwise) at Neptune's Net and Malibu Seafood, but for the most part we had rules about not taking pictures of that. Also, E found this AMAZING flea market next to the ritziest shopping center ever than cannot be missed. Unfortunately, I don't have any information about the market because my phone was dead (vintage airstream couldn't charge the iPhone), and there was so much else to look at that I couldn't be bothered to take in any kind of signage. 

After Malibu, we headed to Santa Barbara, which is a lovely beach town wherein we continued to eat, drink, and be merry.

Here is a view of Santa Barbara from the top of the court house:


In an effort to be helpful to anyone who might stumble upon this because they're trying to plan a trip to Santa Barbara, I would recommend wine tasting at Deep Sea Tasting Room on the pier, and Toma for some ridiculously good Italian fare.

Here is another shot of E modeling/attempting yoga on the beach, this time in Santa Barbara...just because.


From Santa Barbara, we headed back to Los Angeles for a couple of days. We saw the first ever Bleachers headline show, which was so, so great. Check out their single here

Then, sadly, it was time for me to return home. This is a photograph of an ivy-covered building in Hollywood that I fell in love with on one of our walks. Again, just because.



Important note in case you missed it: we walked a TON on this trip and, for the most part, it felt really, really good. In fact, per FitBit, I have never had so many steps. Take that Monica, Beth, and Dad-- you guys need to STEP up your game! But seriously, these people beat me at steps constantly, and I had to screen shot this rarer than rare occurrence because it will surely never happen again. In fact, I think I left my FitBit charger in LA. (E- do you have it?!) 


That's it, you guys. Well, not really, but this thing is long enough already. Basically, I looked like this for a week. It was a trip for the books (and also, the blog). 




Thursday, March 13, 2014

Words written by people who are smarter than me


I don’t have much to say. I’ve been incredibly busy and it’s starting to get to me. Tomorrow will quite possibly be one of the most wonderful and important TGIFs I’ve ever experienced. Today is the first day in several that I’ve felt in charge of my life...like I have a handle on all the tasks I need to accomplish. I gotta say- it’s a very welcome change.

I’m flying to California in the morning. There will be sunshine and sand and long walks and hugs. There will be instagrams. I promise to blog when I return.

Meanwhile, I wanted to give you all some words that I’ve been thinking about lately. I hope you are inspired this week. I hope you find your own version of spring break in the next several days. We all need a break every once in a while.

As I was choosing the following quotations from my every growing file, I couldn’t help but group them and pick out themes. Although it was not necessarily my intent, I think the group provides some insight into my thoughts as of late.

...

The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

Sidney J. Harris



Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.


Paul Boese



Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

William James



The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, it will be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler



Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded, because it is so easy not to battle at all, to just accept and call that acceptance inevitable.

Audre Lorde



And finally,

Little by little, one travels far.

J.R.R. Tolkien



Happy trails, friends.

Love,

Alex