Tuesday, June 9, 2009

July 4th Shameless Plug

I'm involved in the Sheboygan Theatre Company's production of the musical "Huh?", a political satire that offends no one and has "no political message whatsoever!" It's been fun sofar (and I'm not cast as the slut of the show like I've been typecasted here before, of which I'm thankful for the change) and what's more exciting is the writers are coming from Pennsylvania to see our production on July 4.

I've always wanted to be a part of a "world premiere" show - this sets the precedence for future productions, just like "original broadway casts" set the tone for the characters and how they're portrayed in later productions, so I will set the precedence for this character as well. I'm not saying this is going to be the next Wicked, but the notion that I'm setting the bar is pretty cool.

Now, you may be wondering how a political satire can offend no one - I assure you, it doesn't. It's really very well written; sarcastic little cuts at each other, small referrences to politician's indiscretions, and definately gets a good jab at the media and how they cover election campaigns. I really think that people will enjoy this, and since it's "family friendly," I know that it was the perfect choice for the annual July 4 free show at Fountain Park.

I hope some of you can come to enjoy the performance, I know we have a lot of work to do before anyone sees it, but there's certain to be some surprises and a lot of fun!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just so you know I'm still here...

I just wanted to say, now that the semester is over, how wonderful it was to get all the feedback I did from all of you. I will try to continue to write here to keep up the skills we learned in the class and also for everyone's personal enjoyment. Please feel free to continue to reply to my posts, I'd love to hear from you!

Hope you all have a good summer and take care of yourselves!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

too human to be humaine

It's the weirdest things that make you realize your mortality and how you treat others in this world. My parents put my dog, Zoey, down this week. She was a 15-year old Labrador/Springer Spaniel mix that was my best friend and will always be my puppy. She was suffering from arthritis in her hips for a long time, had lost most of her sight and hearing, and was just miserable.

On Friday afternoon, my mother called to let me know they were taking her to the Vet to be put down, which hence ruined any chance of me getting any further work done while at my job. They ended up getting some anti-inflamitories for her, but apparently she had a stroke or seizure overnight and was much worse over the weekend.

I went to their home on Sunday for my father's (69th) birthday celebration. They kept her in the garage overnight since she was messing inside the house, and I went to see her right away. I immediately started crying; she was on her bed covered in my dad's flannel jacket shivering. She hadn't touched her food or water and I don't know if she knew it was me or not. You had to lean right next to her so she could hear you, and I kept telling her how good she was and I loved her through my tears.

As I re-entered the house, my mother and fiance saw my face and asked if I was okay. I begged them to put her out of her misery since I couldn't stand to see her suffer like that. On Monday, my mother called again to let me know they had her put down since it was just too much. My father, who was against putting her down at all, was the one who took her to the vet and is taking her passing rather hard. I'm just glad she's not suffering anymore.

My career right now is working in the Hearing Care industry, which requires me to work with the elderly on a daily basis. I see people who are in their 80's, 90's, and more that are still youthful and living life to the fullest. I also see people in their 70's that are suffering terribly.

My question: How can we put animals down when their suffering, claiming it's the "humaine thing to do" but allow our elders, our family, to suffer for years under the cloud of medications and being in a semi-conscious state and that's okay? I know that if I were in so much pain and had a terrible quality of life, I would want someone to do the same for me as we did for my Zoey.

The terrible truth about this is who is the one who would put these elderly out of their misery? It's the same with the death penalty: people are for it, but no one wants to be the one to insert that needle. It's ok on someone's conscious to put an animal down, but if it was their mother suffering and asking for relief, they wouldn't do it.

I know I would want to do the same for my parents, but I don't know if I could do it myself. I would want the best for them regardless. I welcome your thoughts on this, as with all my writings, and appreciate everything you all have to contribute.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

disciplinary action

Last night I returned from class and got ready to do the reading that was required for my other class the following day. I had my book, hi-lighter, notebook, and was settled into the couch for some hardcore studying. My fiance started chatting about kids and somehow we got on the topic of disciplining. He thinks that giving the kid a smack on the butt if they do something wrong is fine, where I think that there are plenty of other options before resorting to any kind of violence.

This escalated into an argument, and I'm still confused as to how it happened. (Usually I'm the one that ends up getting emotional and upset about a topic and he fends for himself while I try not to get mad, but this time it was the other way around. It was weird being the calm one for once.) First of all, we don't have any children yet and I hope to wait until after we're married next year (and possibly after I graduate college) before we have our first child, so I didn't know why this was such a pressing issue... I never did find that answer out, but here's how it went:

At first he made it sound like if the child does something wrong, the first thing he would do is give them a smack, but that wasn't the case... he was more of the notion that once you had warned the child a few times, you follow thru with a "threat" of a spanking and that teaches the child (even as young as two) not to do that action.

I disagreed, saying that violence begets violence, and if you start putting a hand to the child whenever they do something wrong, that'll teach them that when someone does something wrong to them, they can in turn smack someone else. I understand that this isn't always the case, but it's a possibility, isn't it? I think that there are plenty of other disciplinary actions that can be taken before resorting to violence, whether that is a slap on the butt or a slap on the face.

My fiance and I are both very strong-willed, stubborn people, so it was difficult to come to any sort of compromise. We ended up just both apologizing and saying that when the time comes, we'll talk about it and see what our options are, but it's not worth arguing at this point.

Any insight from my fellow classmates that are parents would be helpful... what kind of disciplining do you do? Is a smack on the hinder appropriate sometimes, or should that never be an option? Does early exposure to this kind of physical violence resort to violent behavior later in life, or is it completely unrelated? These are questions I've heard discussed by psychologists and doctors for years and there's still controversy either way. Your opinions are welcome here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rude People

I work for a hearing aid/audiology center in Sheboygan, where half of my job is telemarketing. Now, before you go judging my profession, know that I'm not trying to sell anything over the phone nor swindle anyone. What I do for my work is call out to the community members and see if they would like to get their hearing checked. Most of my clientele are elderly and have hearing loss. Statistics show that of all the people who could be helped by hearing devices, only 10 % of them own them. This is striking, since 1. it would be great for my business to even tap into another 10 %, and 2. That's a lot of people missing out on life and annoying the heck out of everyone else. You know the old lady who's apartment is next door to yours with her TV so loud you know exactly what's going on with her TV show, right? That's the kind of person I'm trying to help.

In addition to my outreach calling, I also clean instruments from time to time and do administrative work like filing, entering data, and the like for the company. There's lots of responsibility and I love the patients that I work for. They really make my job worthwhile sometimes.

There are other days, like today, where I'm overwhelmed by rudeness. I understand that people do consider my telemarketing to be invasive, but that's what the no call list is for. I respect this list because I have to and because I understand why people are on it. My problem is people who don't take two seconds to sign up for it (whether it be for your home telephone or your cell phone... sign yours up today!!!) and then you won't be bothered by the likes of me.

Today I got cussed out by someone pretty badly... definately in the top 3 since I started working here almost three years ago. What I don't understand is why people do this? I'm used to getting hung up on and people refusing our services, but why can't you just be a little nice about it? I'm someone's daughter, someone's friend, someone's sister, not just some no-name robot automatic message. Would you do something like that to a family member? Would you be okay knowing that someone you loved was working as hard as they can to try and help people and happen to make a living at it as well? I don't understand how some people can be so incredibly insensitive to other human beings.

I've always lived by the philosophy of "treat others like you would want to be treated." I know I fail miserably sometimes, but it's a general rule that I think really helps everyone everyday, no matter how small. Just a smile or a "thank you" or holding the door for someone... the little things aren't so little afterall.

It's all about kharma!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Post St. Patrick's Day Reflections

In the sobering day following St. Patrick's Day, lots of people are emerging with bloodshot eyes and bottles of water after a night of shenanigans and debauchery. While I was growing up, this was the holiday I looked forward to (after birthdays and Christmas, of course) because we got to hear fun stories about "the motherland" and embrace our Irish heritage. I recall my mother cutting out construction-paper shamrocks and leaving them all over the house the night before with small treats or presents on each one. It was like an easter egg hunt where we had to look all over the house to see where the "leprechauns" hid all our presents, hence one of my favorite holidays.

When I got older and started to read history books about the treatment of the Irish by the British government and then the oppression they faced after immigrating to America, I became very bitter at the exclaimations "everyone's Irish for a day!" I thought, "How dare you! You have no idea the oppression we faced by the British for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, of how we were treated no better than black slaves while working for railroads and mines in post-civil war America. You have no idea how it felt to be called "stupid Mick" or have animals intelligence attributed to your kind." Why do people associate the Irish with getting as drunk as possible and doing stupid things on a holiday for our patron saint?! I was angry, and the holiday just rubbed salt in the open wound.

In recent years, I've allowed the wound to heal by just ignoring all the craziness around me, or joining in the fun (if you can't beat them, join them afterall.) I did my fair share of drinking green beer and singing along to the pub songs, and even participated in a cabaret-style show the last four years all about celtic music and humor, encouraging people to drink up and be merry! At one point, I sat back to reflect on why we do the things we do, and here are some things that have influenced my present conclusions:

I watched a wonderful documentary last night while feigning homework about the Irish influence on American history. They immigrated from Ireland en masse, especially during and after the Great Potato Famine of the 1840's and 1850's. This created huge slums in the major cities of poor, uneducated and supposedly disease-ridden Irish immigrants everywhere. They were a plague to social services and nuisance to locals who had already been established there.

Around the American Civil War, the huge amounts of stereotypically stubborn and loyal Irish were recruited on both sides to fight for their new home. In the documentary, they mentioned a general that fought for the South and won some courageous battles, but clearly it didn't help them win the war. An anonymous soldier was quoted after the surrender at Appomattox that the North won simply because they had more Irish, which made me very proud!

After the Civil war, many Irish began to gain prestige amongst the civil communities: they were the policemen (hence Paddy Wagon), firemen, legislatures, and in every branch of the government. There were boxers like John Lawrence Sullivan who hero-ized men for their courage and persistence. There was Diamond Jim, famous for silver and copper mining that was one of the richest men in his time. There was "Mother" Mary Harris Jones who helped end oppression by creating better working conditions, pay, and rights for miners in the United States, among the many famous Irishmen in our country's history.

When Ireland finally gained it's independance from England in 1922, the millions of Irish in America finally were proud to be who they are, and hence began the huge celebrations for the patron saint's day. Now, they dye the river in Chicago green, in Butte, Montana there's always been a huge parade (the most Irish city in America per capita - the second is Boston) and copious amounts of liquor served everywhere.

**sidenote** ironically, the Irish communities within the United States, in order to portray a better image of the Irishman, discouraged the consumption of alcohol long ago, also discouraged any kind of disruptive behavior like promiscuity and drug use. I find this funny since nowadays the first thing someone thinks of for St. Patrick's day is going to the bar, where you wouldn't find many Irishmen.

So on this St. Patrick's day, I sent cards to my friends and family telling them how much I love them and hoping them a blessed year, did some homework, then went to bed. No alcohol involved for me!

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick's day and a blessed year. May you be half an hour in heaven before the devil knows you're dead!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Healthy Living (or lack thereof)

Everywhere you go there's talk about healthy living these days. We as Americans have been on a kick for years about our health. There's a commercial that portrays this very well - it's for a synthetic butter showing a black-and-white family from 1950-something sitting down to dinner with huge sticks of real butter on everything, where today's family uses this "healthy butter" substitute instead.

My best friend and I went to lunch the other day and were discussing this. We both talk about this topic a lot since I used to be a dancer and have always known quite a bit about keeping healthy, and she had bariatric surgery almost two years ago and was forced into her healthy habits by this procedure, but has adapted quite well. I asked her what she thought healthy living was and how it could differentiate from what society tells us is "healthy".

She said that (and I agree with a lot of what she said) as long as you feel good, that's what would be healthy for you. It's all about portion sizes: for American's, bigger = better. Meal sizes have tripled in the last decades and so have our waistlines to fit the bill (no pun intended). If we could learn how to manage our portion sizes and know what fills us up and what is excessive, we would be much better off.

My beef (again, no pun intended) is with all these "health food" companies shoving soy products and cardboard, tasteless crap down my throat everyday and telling me it's "good for me". I don't mind tofu in a few things, like how it's used at my favorite Japanese restaurant in sushi and soup, but I'm not about to go on a strictly soy diet because a commercial tells me it's "healthy".... or all this "low-fat" "low-carb" stuff, where you read the labels and they're stuffed full of salt and sugar to compensate taste for what they took out of it. All this "diet" stuff tastes awful and, in my opinion, all the synthetic elements cannot be very good for you... no wonder the deceased aren't decomposing!!

My opinion is that healthy living is what you feel good about doing. If you like exercise, great! Do it as often as you want to make yourself feel great. I love bike riding in the summer after work - helps get my mind off of the gripes of the day and relaxes me. Some people don't have time nor motivation to exercise, but feel fine. I say that's alright, do what you like and as long as you're not complaining to me about how crappy you feel, I'm ok with that.

I think that the more "pure" foods you have in your diet, the better. Fresh fruits and vegetables, real dairy products (perhaps lower in fat, like skim milk instead of full fat) and products with minimal processing are the best for you. I say if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it!

I know I'm not the most innocent person here - I enjoy "junk" foods and ate plenty of fast food when I was younger, but now that I'm focusing on what my body is telling me it likes, the less "bad" stuff I intake. I tend to stay away from fast food which is better for my health (and wallet) and eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables daily as I can.

My friend and I also talked about supplements. You see commercials all the time about health supplements that help you to "live healthier". If you were eating properly in the first place, you wouldn't need something to "supplement" your diet, would you?!

I think that the bottom line is: use common sense. If a food choice has things in it that you don't even know what they are or where they come from, would you really want to eat it? Would you want your family eating that? Do what feels good for yourself, and that's your idea of "healthy living" instead of what society tells you what to do... stick it to the man, eat an apple!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

taboo tattoo

I've always wanted a tattoo. I sketched out a few designs from celtic knots when I was in high school and had around 9 that I wanted, just didn't know where I could put them on my body since I wanted in discreet places that could be shown if I wanted to (example on the thigh or between the shoulder blades) and not on the lower back above the butt crack or the wrist as are popular places nowadays.

I was determined in my early college years to get one since I was already 18, but found that piercings were 1. cheaper, and 2. not as permanent. I got a few piercings (all of which were easily spotted when looking at me, nothing hidden in crazy places) and dyed my hair funky colours.

I'm still determined to get that tattoo at some point or another, but depending upon who I talk to about it, I get different responses. I did research on the historical meanings behind body piercing and alterations, and there's many fascinating aspects to both that may be unknown to most people... at least that I know.

Tattoos have been around for centuries and used for many different reasons from documenting spiritual journeys to simple adornment. Sometimes, like in old Japan, it was a symbol of a gangster - a trouble maker that was part of a feared clan, but these tattoos were under the clothes, restricted to below the neck, wrists, and above the ankles. They left such an impression so that even in modern Japan tattoo's are looked down upon. There are public places that don't allow tattooed people into pools or public baths still.

Other tattoos cite rites of passage amongst their clansmen, like entering manhood or a marriage. Some cultures women get facial tattoos to make them more appealing to a prospective husband, where we in a Western culture would find them to be ugly and appaling.

Henna is a form of temporary tattooing that is commonly found in Indian culture and used to make women more appealing and decorated for their wedding day and other important occasions. When I bought a henna kit and did some on myself, I recall my mother, a baby boomer, exclaimed "what's that dirt all over your hands?" I guess that gives another meaning to one man's trash is another man's treasure... one man's beauty is another man's scar...

So tattoos have come from the taboo mark of "the heavy-metal rockers, bikers, criminals and the social outcast" (http://www.biblebelievers.com/watkins_tattoos/intro.html) to pop culture that even Barbie has decided to join the fun. Everyone has a reason for or against tattooing, like this guy or these people, but always have a good reason behind what you believe before getting in argument with someone about their tattoos, especially these guys. It's understandable that they can be rather intimidating, since most tattoos are associated with the "scum of the earth" and the "bad guys", like in prison , but there are calmer and more demure reasons as well.

In my opinion, tattoos are an interesting way to show your love of your culture or background (all my designs are of celtic descent, as am I), memorialize a loved one who's passed away, or just adorn the blank slate that is human flesh. Whatever your opinion, it's out there and it's unavoidable. Every tattoo has a story, all you have to do is ask.

Monday, February 9, 2009


In retrospect I decided to introduce myself by proclaiming 15 different things about myself. this is by no means a personal confession or dirty secrets nor a list of things like a diary, just everyday quirkiness that we all posses to a certain degree. these happen to make up the manifesto that is myself:

1. I'm a paradox: i like coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, but would drink coffee all day if i could

2. even tho i quit smoking over a year ago, i still have cravings. then i pass people walking by that smell like stale, cheap cigarettes and b.o. and remember why i quit.

3. speaking of smells, I have to smell "good" at all times. i'm always conscious of how i smell.

4. punctuation in assignments and letters are imperative to everything that makes us human and civilized, but in blogs and online conversations it's not necessary at all.

5. i love to read for leisure but never find enough time to do so. my favourite author is Wilbur Smith and he engulfs my world with his works.

6. I'm a daddy's girl and suck up to my mother all the time. I love making my parents happy still and can remember (almost) every separate time they've told me they're genuinely proud of me.

7. i'm the youngest of 4 children, all my elder siblings are brothers. apparently this makes me spoiled, but i tend to disagree.

8. educating yourself and expanding your knowledge base makes you a more interesting person. i can't stand people who are proud of the fact that the last book they read was in high school because "I had to for a class".

9. i can get a slight sunburn in 5 minutes standing outside, especially in the summer at noontime. damn this cancer-free paleness.

10. i've always wanted to be a ballerina and when i was a kid i took dance classes for 14 years and achieved that dream, then i just quit. i've always wanted to go back and continue classes but can't find the time/money.

11. i hate it when taller people come up to me and place their arm on top of my head and lean on me. it's one thing that really irritates me.

12. i have a temper but only a handful (literally) of people have ever seen it rear it's ugly head. i tend to be more moderate in my moods than most theatre and sensitive people i know.

13. i have forward emails and surveys, altho this sure seems like one....

14. i have a secret love for justin timberlake's music. it's addicting and my closet fetish.

15. if there was one thing i could drink the rest of my life it would be V8 fusion pomegranate blueberry juice. it tastes wonderful and it's good for you... how can you go wrong?!

any questions, feel free to ask or contribute your own divulgences.

Monday, February 2, 2009

in the beginning...

I named this blog the corner chair seat because that's where I prefer to sit when choosing a place to be in a restaurant or crowded area. This presents the best situation for observing other people that come and go, and also prevents waiters from hitting my back with a tray full of drinks. Just blending in with the wallpaper like a painting on the wall you may notice, admire for a moment, then continue with whatever you were doing. I am that painting... you may notice me, but only for a moment and only when I want to be noticed.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy attention when the timing is appropriate. On the stage, for example, is a wonderful spotlight to have. There was one show that fulfilled a dream that many people have, where I was acting as a jazz singer. I felt like Ella Fitzgerald and every other no-name singer who's ever sang in a smoky bar with the spotlight so bright you can't see anything but the microphone and the melody ringing in your ears. It was a beautiful feeling, but only temporary and for a select few... even actors have their day someday...

There's also an connotation associated with a corner chair as well... the naughty place to be sent for punishment; facing the wall in contrition until you're ready to be redeemed. Also being "shoved in a corner" insinuating being put there against your will... but what about being sent there by your own devise? It's a great vantage point to observe humanity in all its splendor and queerness.

This is where I sit to judge and be judged. We all judge people, whether we're conscious of it or not. We see a homeless man sitting on the street and immediately make assumptions about his life and who he is. We see a priest and make assumptions about either him being holy and contrite or perverse. Women are especially guilty of this; scrutinizing one another ruthlessly to try to make ourselves feel better (or worse) for our own enjoyment and torture. I'm just more open and have accepted this niche I have in my own world.

I like imagining what other people are thinking about while sitting and watching them go about their lives... What is that man researching on his laptop so intently? What conversation in whispers is going on between two friends sitting close as conspirators? What newspaper articles catch the attention of the elderly man, dressed so keenly in his 3-piece suit? I like filling in the blanks with my own imagination and being happily surprised at the truth (the few times I do discover it for myself).

Sometimes what I witness is comical... sometimes it's heartbreaking... such is life as we know it. If you dare, come and join me in a conversation... or just a game of scrabble.