October 2009

They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did…

WHAT A WEEK!

To start things off for this blog, I have two words for you guys.

 

GRIZZLY. BEAR.

 

I imagine that I may have confused many of you at this point. What on EARTH am I exactly talking about? Allow me show you.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcQAOfa__ro

 

Currently, Grizzly Bear is one of my favorite bands, especially after the release of their third album “Veckatimest” late this spring. They have been on my “Listening to Obsessively” list for quite some time and on October 15th, just my luck, they came to Portland to perform at the Crystal Ballroom. As much of a music freak that I am, I haven’t really been to many big concerts. Sure I’ve been to many classical concerts and I’ve seen one or two well known artists live, but none of them were very, how shall I put this…loud. Essentially, what I am trying to convey to you all is that this was my first real rock concert; and what a concert it was! I went downtown on the RAZ (the LC student shuttle) with my friends Will, Ethan and Nate, and the whole time they filled me in on their rules of proper rock concert etiquette based on personal experience. Rule #1: keep to your own space (not that you have a lot, I soon discovered), rule #2:  don’t nudge your way to the front if you come late, rule #3: no yelling the lyrics of the song in the ears of strangers and rule #4: under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to spin around frantically like a crazed helicopter impersonator (you know there has to be a story behind that rule…). Amidst this barrage of information, I think that I passed for concert etiquette. Having never been inside of the Crystal Ballroom before, I was creating theories about what it would look like. Several of my friends had been to concerts there, and the thing about the venue that was talked most about was the floor. Yes, the floor. You see, there are springs that support the entirety of the wooden floor of the venue, so when enough people are walking and dancing on it, you ever so slightly begin to bounce, and when we finally arrived, lo and behold when I walked inside there was a slight spring in my step (haha…ehhh). Something that surprised me when I walked in was all of the murals on the walls. Many Romantic images were painted around the whole perimeter and at the center of the ceiling was a beautiful crystal chandelier. For me, however, what was even more interesting than the scenery was the stage itself. It was littered with instruments and microphones that kept me thinking, “how can they possibly use all of these things in just one show?” Above the instruments were about four stands that were about eight feet tall, and hanging from them were Mason jars with little lantern lights inside of them. When Grizzly Bear finally came on stage, there was thunderous applause and I was completely captivated. Over the course of the show they played all of my favorite songs and surprised me with incredible performances of songs that I had somewhat overlooked. The vocals were absolutely amazing live, especially those of the lead singer named Ed Droste. The effects he had placed on his microphone gave his extremely clear voice a lovely booming quality, causing it to fill and recede from the room, almost like an ocean tide.  The bassist was also an interesting character to watch on stage. Whenever he wasn’t rocking out on his bass or singing, he would retreat behind an amp and retrieve such a variety of instruments that I began to wonder what the man COULDN’T play. He pulled out a bass clarinet, a regular clarinet, a flute and at one time he even took out a strange device that appeared to be a tape player which he promptly shoved into the range of the microphone. The lights were also quite a sight. They were constantly changing in color and position and intensity. Whenever there would be a dramatic build or a sudden re-entry of sound, they would flash and change accordingly, making the environment completely strange and otherworldly. The prettiest light show, however, was for a piece called “Foreground”; a gentle piece with piano, choral elements and Ed Droste on vocals. The lights shifted to a beautiful cerulean blue, eerily illuminating the silhouettes of all four musicians. By the end of the piece, the lights had faded into darkness leaving only the timid firefly lights inside of the Mason jars. Absolutely surreal. It was one of the best musical nights of my life to date.

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Another amazing musical experience I had this week was our a cappella group retreat that we have every single semester. This year we ventured up to one of our soprano’s house (Carmelle) in Tacoma, WA. The main goal of our retreats are to learn a lot of new music and get to know each other better and bond as a group. On the music front, we worked hard on learning four new pieces and reviving an old but difficult piece. We made some serious progress with them and I can’t wait for us to put some finishing touches on them and perform them. After rehearsals, we were treated to AMAZING food provided by Carmelle’s family, including delicious macaroni and cheese, TRANSCENDENT bread pudding, some of the most addictive roasted potatoes I’ve ever had, bread pudding, a wonderful salad, green beans, and a lot of bread pudding. Did I mention the bread pudding? I think I did… Anyway, we came up with a lot of “get to know each other” games to play on the retreat to…well, get to know each other better. It was really fun, especially since we have so many new members this year. One of my favorite ones that we did was where everyone puts their shoes in a circle except for one person. Everyone stands behind their own pair of shoes and the person whose shoes are not in the circle must stand in the middle. That person must then say something about themselves, perhaps where they have been or what they have done in their lives, and then if anyone else has done the same thing as them, they must leave their shoes behind to find a new pair. It is usually a mad scramble to find someone else’s shoes and the one that is left over must return the middle of the circle and tell the group something about themselves, then the cycle repeats. We played this game until about 2 in the morning on Saturday, so I’d say we know each other pretty well at this point. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty exciting retreat and we are prepared for our next concert this weekend! More on that next week.

 

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                School won’t be letting up anytime soon, and this last week has been no exception. I have read A LOT of articles and plays, turned in final paper proposals and started to study for the dreaded “M” word. Midterms. They are approaching. Next week in fact. I have my Social Theory test due next week and my Theatre and Society test to study for, not to mention the group creative projects due in that class as well. My particular group has decided to take a scene from the Oresteia by Aeschylus and turn it into a radio play with original music. Also, auditions for my final project in Directing were this week! EEEEK! I have never conducted an audition before, so it was very stressful to go through about twenty people with countless pairing combinations to see who would work best in my scene. I will be doing the first scene from a play called “Rabbit Hole” and I will be looking to cast two girls for it. It is a fairly recent play and it deals with how people live through grief. As serious as the play’s subject matter is, it is actually a very funny play. The balance of the script and the caliber of its writing really drew me in and I am very excited to work on it. I think I might have narrowed down my choices, but I need to see who other people want to and work around that, but seeing as we had so many good choices I’m not sure it will be possible to have a bad cast. We’ll see what happens.

               

Well, time to get back to work, rehearsals and studying for midterms!

 

Until next week,

Jon

 

Musical present of the week: One of my favorites.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doc1eqstMQQ

21 October 2009

FALL BREAK CAN BE SO DECEIVING………

last-import-1.jpglast-import-7.jpgJames LoewenMatthew & Chiunde & international ceremonyKemi and Osabea @ International Ceremony  This week has been VERY hectic yet productive.  During the weekend I attended an alumni dinner with my uncle at Embassy Suites….OOO-LA-LA!!! He is an alumni of both Lewis & Clark undergraduate and the law school just down the hill. It was very interesting and the crowd was really sociable. I attended the same event last year where I met Mr. and Mrs. Akinson. They are very humble and sweet people. I enjoyed speaking with them about something other than the typical “college check-up” conversation. On Monday Shelby Davis…. I repeat….Shelby Davis came to the UWC International Student’s Ceremony. It went great! He is such an amazing person!!!! There were international students expressing their gratitude towards Shelby Davis for donating funds towards their scholarships, enabling them to attend Lewis & Clark.  There were also speeches from American students regarding the lasting effect of having international classmates to interact with and further more, international friends to share the college life and experiences with. I was actually one of the students who spoke at this event. Cool Beans!!!!!! I was truly honored.  Monday was also one of my best friends birthday. We surprised Iman with balloons and cake. Nothing beats chocolate cake! SHE LOVED IT Today I attended a Lecture by James Lowens, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me. VERY INTRIGUING! You guys should check him out!! -http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/ I’m still keeping my music promise  =) Song obsession of the week is: superwoman- Alicia Keys 

21 October 2009

smoke and mirrors

autumn has landedMel has decided to round off every week with Facial Hair Fridayit is one of my life quests to sample all the Thai food carts in downtown PortlandThis week has been Productive with a capital P. I shan’t regale you with the details, just know it involved a lot of reading and discussion. I have two midterm exams next week, one in Astronomy and one in Spanish. To prepare for the Spanish examen, we played a team game in class today – Mantequilla de Cacahuete (Peanut Butter) versus Piratas (Pirates). The game involved darting across the room to slap words written on the whiteboard, and toward the end it got pretty violent. I’m not sure I actually have a better handle on vocabulario or direct object pronouns than I did before the game, but it was undeniably fun to actually move around, since usually we’re pretty sedentary in Spanish class.

“awwww!”AIDS Walk in Pioneer Square before things got underwayYesterday morning I received an exciting email from SPASM. That’s the Subcommittee for Petitions, Appeals, and Student-designed Majors, and is also possibly my favourite acronym at Lewis & Clark. SPASM approved my self-designed major application! That means that I am officially a Gender Studies major. As one of my advisors said to me in a congratulatory email: Huzzah!

Mel and her incredible mohawk at the AIDS Walk, which started at Pioneer Squarea child standing near me at the AIDS Walk was wearing thisThe Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence show up at a lot of Portland functions looking mysterious and awesomeShohei and Alison performing “Blowin’ in the Wind” as we AIDS walkedLast Sunday was the annual Portland AIDS Walk, a three-mile trek across the Morrison and Hawthorne bridges and along the waterfront. This is the third or fourth year I’ve done the AIDS Walk, and we had the biggest Lewis & Clark team we’ve ever had – about 20 kids, which is pretty decent considering the AIDS Walk almost always lands smack in the middle of our Fall Break. The AIDS Walk is sort of like the laid-back lovechild of a gay pride parade and Race for the Cure, except, you know, HIV/AIDS-oriented rather than breast cancer-oriented. Shohei and Alison, two of our incredibly talented first-year students, serenaded us as we walked, with Shohei on guitar and Alison covering vocals. Shohei is such a great guitarist that he’s already released an album (called Waterways) which you can buy on iTunes; Alison is one of the newest members of Momo and the Coop, one of our a cappella groups, which just released its sophomore album, Joh Eh Ba Dop, this week. Click here to download it for free. I’ve listened to it practically nonstop for the last three consecutive days.

All in the Drag Family flierToday after my Spanish class, I attended the October Gender Studies Department brownbag, All in the Drag Family. Three of Portland’s most beloved Drag Queens strutted into the classroom in full drag splendor, folded themselves into our tiny desk-chairs, and spent an hour telling all in attendance about their glamourous lives as Queens. I had no idea that there is such a community basis to being a Drag Queen – each Queen has a “Drag mother” who first “adopted” her and taught her how to paint her face, fix her hair, and design her clothing, and then in turn the new Queen adopts her own daughters. The part of the conversation that I found most interesting was when one of the Queens was explaining how for Queens, their drag persona is an exaggeration of femininity, it’s all smoke-and-mirrors, whereas for most women in our culture, it is a norm and an expectation to “put on face” and “do hair” every day – women do not get to take off their femininity at the end of the day the way Queens do. All in all, it was a fascinating discussion, incorporating about seven hundred repetitions of the word “fabulous,” of course.

This weekend I’m off to Lincoln City for the Platt-Howard-Hartzfeld RA Staff Retreat. We depart right after dinner and return Sunday evening. I still need to pack!

As always, my email address is maisha@lclark.edu. You know what to do with it.

16 October 2009

*Facepalm*

buster, the resident fattybuster and armando!buster sleeping with stephrandom autumn moon festival confectionary i stumbled uponme and carina

You know what doesn’t quite make sense? Sonic Youth’s cameo on this past Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl. Never mind that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are both in their 50s, the band actually performed an acoustic version of their classic, “Starpower,” a song that Wikipedia tells me was written in 1986! By no means am I condemning them for appearing on the show; I really don’t mind when a band “sells out.” It’s just a bit strange to think that most of the audience of the show probably has no idea who they are. Somewhere in here there is a super lame joke about how the band is just trying to live up to their name… Har har.

Know what also doesn’t quite make sense? Forgetting that you left your bike at a friend’s house and then expecting to ride it to school 7 minutes before a midterm. So on the Monday after we returned from Fall Break I had an Art History midterm. The night/morning before, I had studied for approximately 8 hours (which was nowhere near enough). The exam was at 12:40, and since it usually takes me about 7 minutes to bike to school, I was outside my house by 12:30 (I was 3 minutes early, ha!), ready to take that bike ride so I can kick butt at my exam. Only I couldn’t find my bike. Did it get stolen? Did a housemate use it without telling me? OH! *FACEPALM* I left it outside Adam and Shane’s house on Saturday night when I went to pick up a chair!! Merde!!!!! Freaking out, I began to speed-walk. But as always, time hates my guts, and I was nearly 15 minutes late (even though I ran the last 500 or so meters), effectively missing the first three slides that we were supposed to identify and explain. No biggie, the three questions together were only worth 15 points. But it turns out that I was way less prepared than I had thought. Yeah, I recognized all the art pieces, but I’d forgotten the names to half of them! It had been a while since I had to take an exam that involved identifying and recalling, and my memory totally failed me. Art History: 1. Lee: 0. It’s okay, even though I got my ass handed to me, I still really like the class. But mark my words, I will be coming for that final.

At least Fall Break was fun. Three of Ivan (housemate)’s high school friends came up to visit. And Friday night I went out to a club with Carina and Natalie. There are some awesome pictures for you to enjoy. Lots of Buster!formerghostsgreensmall.jpg

I also got the time today to make the poster for the upcoming LC Music Coalition (LCMC) concert with Former Ghosts (w/ members from Xiu Xiu), Anthony Russell, and LC students Barra Brown, and Julia Crager. Former Ghosts’ sound isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but you should check them out for yourself on their Myspace. Regardless, you should still go to the show if you can, if only to support your fellow LC classmates.

Another great find this week is a program called Poladroid, which converts any normal picture to a Polaroid. Sure, you can do it on Photoshop, but Poladroid will do it with just one click. And it only takes about a minute. If you’re interested, it’s available for download for free at this place. On the right is a “Poladroid” picture of me and Carina from Friday night.

And my e-mail is lyang@lclark.edu if you need to get in touch with me!

14 October 2009

I Solemnly Swear

So, I decided last weeks post was a little boring…sorry, I was in a rush trying to get everything settled for my adventure home for fall break (mostly frantically trying to do homework). One of the best parts about living close to home is getting to go home for short breaks, and drag friends home to show them around. I would like to say that my roommate and I did something really exciting. But, mostly we just hung out and watched TV. Although I did take her to the small town of Sisters to walk around and admire the small town charm.  It was also nice to get to see the stars (the ones in the sky, I don’t live in LA). L&C is a good place to look at stars too, we have an observatory complete with telescope! We are far enough away from the city that the lights are not too bright. The observatory also had an open house in the beginning of the semester and we got to make s’mores and look at Jupiter (I think), through the telescope. I also got to see my friend tripping herself on flat surfaces. My roommate was joking today that my middle name was “grace” and my friend Eleanor said “It’s my first name”. We have fun teasing her about her lack of walking ability.
Everyone on campus seems to be sick. I had two classes canceled today because the professors were sick and it seems like half of the guys in my ballroom class have been sick.  Every day I seem to hear about the swine flu pandemic, it is turning me into a hand sanitizer fiend. My roommate was teasing me because my boyfriend said he was feeling sick and I automatically jumped sideways away from him. Yes, that’s a little mean, but I have a midterm and two papers to write.  It would be very inconvenient to get sick right now. I had my first midterm today and it went okay.  I told my professor that I did not feel like crying afterwards so that means it went well. But seriously, midterms are kind of scary, but after you do them a couple of times they are not too bad. You also get to compare how much of a bluebook you filled with your friends. Or maybe that’s just me. My E&D professor last year told us he once had a girl fill three blue books in a final exam, like I really needed to know that. Something else interesting about blue books, they really are blue (or sometimes green to connote recycled paper of course). But I kind of hate blue books because they are a weird size and have wide ruled pages so I feel like I am in 2nd grade again practicing my handwriting.  Other than doing homework I have become obsessed with the show “Glee.”  I love how happy it is, it is nice to listen to after a long day of reading Plato.  I have also been trying to finish reading Dracula. I know it is cliché to read it, but all of this vampire talk (well the show “True Blood”) made me want to read the ‘original.’ As usual I have to remind myself that thinking about Plato, Dracula, and generally nerdy things all the time does not make you a cool party guest. Although my English teacher did tell me I know the secret passcode to get into English department evedscn0055.JPGnts since I have had to memorize the beginning of the Canterbury Tales. Well I really should get back to writing my paper right now, but it igreen-books.JPGs so dreary out I am having a hard time concentrating. I swear that right this minute I will go back to writing my Political Theory Paper (really!).

14 October 2009

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet

The leaves are bursting with color, the rain is sporadic and inevitable, and I am remembering the joys of drinking peach tea in the morning.  It is now time for my favorite season of what I call jeans-and-sweatshirt/sweater weather.dscn0051.JPG

Fall Break was last Thursday and Friday!  I had the privilege to go to the Coast with some friends – Carolyn and Kelsey, whom I met through Agape, invited me along.  We fake camped at a Kabin (that’s right, with a K) at a KOA, which is exactly what we all needed.  Each Kabin has a fridge, a TV, a conveniently located fire-pit and full bathroom/shower combos about fifty feet away.  I love real camping, but we all needed real beds and no stress regarding campsites.  There were six of us, and three major meals over the time we were staying there – we went out for lunch - we split up the meal making.  Don’t get me wrong, the Bon is alright, but a home-made meal is something to be appreciated and to get excited about.  Night one dinner: Carolyn and I made chicken, garlic bread, and corn by wrapping it in tin foil and sticking it in the fire.  Breakfast: Brandon and Will made the best French toast I’ve ever had.  Please look the picture and be very jealous.  Yes, those are fresh picked blackberries! dscn0054.JPG

Lunch: we went to a fish market/restaurant combo in Waldport.  Kelsey and I split fish-and-chips and a clam chowder bread bowl, both of which were fantastic.  Dinner two: That night we had “Authentic Italian Food” night and that was under Kelsey’s control (she spent last semester studying abroad in Italy!).  We had shrimp, garlic bread, and asparagus.  Ethan and I learned how to make and roll gnocchi!  Kelsey also made a Gorgonzola cream sauce for the gnocchi.  I wish I was having that for dinner tonight.  We had s’mores for dessert, but not your ordinary s’mores – remember Carolyn’s incredible cookies I told you about last week?  Well, substitute in two of Carolyn’s cookies for the graham crackers, then add chocolate, a marshmallow and peanut-butter!  Glorious.  The following morning we had cereal for breakfast, nice and painless.  Yes, I ate a TON of food over the course of that trip, but hey, I was on vacation!  I did to a lot of other things besides eat, so look to the right to see evidence of that.  I think they give a good view of how much fun we had, I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to spend time with some awesome friends.dscn0037.JPG

I guess I should tell you one thing about school, since that’s kind of why I’m here… so, for my Bible in Literature class one of our options for a paper was to write a modern version of a Psalm, (like Allen Ginsberg’s poems, Psalm III and Psalm IV) and then write an analysis of it.  I finished one on Saturday and thought it was pretty good, but then I went to Church at Imago Dei on Sunday and had to rewrite the entire thing after hearing the sermon on living into God’s story.  In the long run, this was very good because my Psalm is now much better and I learned a lot by writing it, but I still had to take more time out of doing other homework.  I’m glad it happened though.  Oh, and a poetry mid-term tomorrow, but I’m not stressing about it – it will be good.  

Exciting weekend plans: I’m competing in my first regatta!!  It is more of a practice/race scrimmage against Pacific Lutheran, Willamette and Puget Sound.  The line-ups will be figured out the day of, so I’m excited but anxious to hear which boat I’ll be rowing in.  I don’t even know if I’ll be rowing port or starboard yet.  The regatta is in Tacoma, Washington, meaning we need to leave here at 5:30 am - wonderful.  My friend from high school, Erica, goes to school at Pacific Lutheran and she is coming to watch!!  I am so excited to see her!  Along with the racing, seeing her will make waking up that early totally worth it.  I woke up for practice this morning at 4:50am and what a gorgeous morning it was.  The moon was bright and the city just glows.  I’ll get a picture of the city for you to see soon.

            Well, I’m off to study before dinner at 6:24 and then Agape tonight!  Sounds like a great way to end this day.  

 

Have any questions about my stories, the college-search whirlwind, pancakes with peanut-butter and jelly, or Plato’s Phaedo?  Send them my way!

karonson@lclark.edu

 

p.s. I’m going to start doing a quote of the week section - I would be happy to share your favorite quote if you share it with me first!

  “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill

14 October 2009

And a yellow moon glowed bright…

Autumn has finally graced Lewis and Clark College.

 

The breathy wind has become colder and the color of the leaves is starting to compete with the brilliant sunsets that come with the season. The rain has returned, and Portland transforms into the wet and sleepy city that the nation knows it as. It is my favorite time of year.

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As the college gears into its 6th week of classes, we are given a small gift by having this particular week cut short for an event called Fall Break, and it couldn’t come at a better time. People are worn out from breaking in their figurative academic boots and getting back into the swing of things. By this time, most people have written several papers, read possibly over a thousand pages and begun to study for midterm tests and projects. This semester has been pretty exciting for me, but absolutely exhausting as well and I was ready for a breather. For my break I decided to stay on campus so I could catch up on lost sleep and re-focus everything I needed to get done for classes, at least during the daytime. During the nights I made my way over to the houses and apartments of my friends where we hung out and cooked together. Something you guys should know about me is that I absolutely LOVE to cook. I grew up in a strange but wonderful family where we grew a sizable percentage of our own food and herbs and as a result, I have become a food fanatic. I consider farmer’s markets along with local and ethnic grocery stores playgrounds.

Anyways, for the first night of Fall Break, I went over to my friend Jonah’s house. Jonah has been a great friend of mine since freshman year. We both lived in the same hall called Platt West (the fine arts and performing arts hall), we roomed together sophomore year in Platt East (we turned our room into a recording studio…) and he is also a member in Momo and the Coop. Jonah lives in walking distance to campus, so fortunately I see him often even though he lives further away. This particular occasion was a cooking event that was centered on the arrival of autumn, so together we made corn pudding, stuffed squash, a mixed salad with pears, caramelized walnuts and blue cheese, and of course, the centerpiece was a fresh apple pie made by one of his roommates. The night was spent eating and talking with friends along with Jonah and I geeking out about music. We exchanged new artists that we had been listening to lately and did some live performances for everyone, including a little something called the “Freedom Dance.” This dance is being used for a piece called “Freedom” that we are learning in a cappella, but since I’ve learned it, I can’t stop doing it. The dance essentially causes you to create your body into an instrument of percussion, and the beat is RIDICULOUSLY infectious. Jonah’s place has wooden floors, so every stomp in the dance causes a resounding BOOM to echo through the house. It feels SO good to make noise. For the second night I went over to my friend Kristin and Maggie’s apartment on campus. It had been a very cold day, so the group called for soup to be thing to cook. I decided on making Tom Kha Gai (Thai coconut chicken soup with chili and COPIOUS amounts of lime) and glass noodles. After soup was served, the night consisted of everyone showing off their favorite YouTube videos (with such classics as Powerthirst, Daft Hands and footage of the lyre bird) until about one in the morning. For the third night of Fall Break, I ended up getting more into the Halloween spirit by going to a haunted house that my friend Whitney was volunteering at with some of my older friends who had already graduated. Whitney is one of my closest friends who was ALSO a member of Momo and the Coop (are you noticing a pattern yet?) who graduated a year and a half ago from LC. As wonderful as it was to have seen her, I had forgotten how well I DON’T cope with being scared. I can barely sit through a generic horror/thriller movie without ducking for cover underneath the nearest pillow, let alone walk through an intricate haunted house with REALLY scary things inside of it. After being thoroughly terrified we all headed back to a friend’s house and tried to counteract the terrifiedness with a small “How I Met Your Mother” marathon.” Luckily it worked and I slept soundly that night. By the final day of Fall Break, I had devoted myself entirely back to schoolwork again. I had a multitude of papers to write and goodness knows how many pages to read, but I ended up getting a good chunk of it done.

As a theatre major with a performance emphasis, I need to participate in a lot of the productions that the department puts on every semester. This semester, Fir Acres Theatre is putting on something very special, a collection of Samuel Beckett plays. The performances will be divided two ways: the first half will be an amalgamation of many short Beckett plays of which I am in two, and the second half will be one of Beckett’s long plays called “Endgame” followed by a short piece called “Act Without Words I” which has almost everyone in the whole cast in it. The interesting thing about these plays is that the first half of the production will be staged all over the theatre: in the lobby, the green room, the costume loft, even the men’s shower, while the second half will take place on the main stage. The first play I am in is called “Catastrophe.” My character is called “Director,” and throughout the play I give directions to my assistant to create a stage picture involving a silent character simply called “Protagonist,” however, as the play progresses, my directions drift from theatrical orders to more of a sinister purpose. The second play I am in is called “Cascando.” The play is a dialogue between two speaking characters named “Opener,” “Voice,” along with live music (me!). Rehearsals are starting to really pick up as Opening Night approaches (November 6th).

Something especially exciting that happened this week was the release of Momo and the Coop’s new album, “Joh Eh Ba Dop.” The group spent all of last semester recording it and now it is finally done. We have been handing out free copies all over campus and you can listen to it too! The album is also downloadable online, and here is the link to get it on our website!

 

http://momoandthecoop.com/music/

 

Hope you guys enjoy it! Due to the release, the group headed over to Jonah’s house last night to get together and celebrate. We spent most of the night going around the circle and had everyone sing their audition songs and share some of their favorite memories from being in the group. It was a lovely evening.

Well, hope you are all well. You’ll hear from me soon!

-Jon

 

Music present of the week; perfect for the start of autumn.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m8CkxXhPtw

14 October 2009

beautiful monstrosity

I call my mom even when I’m camping just to let her know I’m alivewe make great blurry faces in bright sunlightThis semester is roaring by. Like a lion on rollerskates. Or something.

Coming Out Week flierMomo and the Coop dressed as a rainbowThe Merry Weathers dressed as hairyfaced menfolkFor the first time since starting college two years ago, I actually have the perfect ratio of obligations to available time. I’m taking three academic classes: Spanish 201 to finish up my foreign language requirement, Astronomy to take care of one of my science/math requirements, and Anthropology of the Body as one of my Gender Studies major electives. I’m also taking Women’s Self-Defense, which is half ridiculous and half totally liberating. It turns out little pacifist me loves whacking the heck out of pads while perfecting the stinkeye. When those 14 credits of classes are added to the two credits I get for being a Gender Studies Symposium student co-chair, the semester clocks in at the standard 16 credits.

we separated the batter into six bowls and then added food dyeEmdowd pouring batter into the pangreen batter tastes best when licked off of heart-adorned spatulastry not to think about the contents of the frostingAstronomy is surprisingly enjoyable. Before the semester started I was steeling myself for a grueling wrestling match with the physics of light and advanced mathematics, but our professor, Ethan – who, as bonus points, wears a UtiliKilt to class almost every day – wants our Astronomy course to be less about mastering astrophysics and more about inspiring us to pursue cosmology in future. So far, all the math we’ve done for the class has been limited to the comfortable realm of proportions and trigonometry. Fun fact: Ethan has promised that the student who writes the best research paper will get to dictate the sculpting of his (currently nonexistent) facial hair. My friend Matt has decided he is going to win. He’ll be competing against approximately 70 papers – Astronomy is one of the largest classes LC offers – so he’s gonna have to really rock his topic.

Even though I’m taking four classes, co-chairing the GSS, leading Unisex, and working as an RA, I still have a decent amount of free time. It’s lovely.

We doubled the recipe to have enough batter for two layers.Emdowd is a precision machine.I’m frosting the cake — the whole thing is vegan just for funEveryone decorating the cake with four bags of M&MsLast week was my first big Unisex event of the year: Coming Out Week. You can read Lee’s feature article about it in the Piolog, our weekly student newspaper. Tuesday we hosted a game of Guess the Het, which is a tradition here at LC: we invite several Reed students or other Portlanders to serve on a panel, and the LC audience members ask general interest questions in hopes of narrowing down which panelist identifies as a heterosexual (and there’s only one, so the odds are against you!). Wednesday was a small Speak Out Poetry Slam, a sort of teaser for the impending first big Slam of the year. Thursday paraded a lot of crossdressing through the Trail Room – three of our a capella groups performed, and all of them interpreted the title Out Loud differently. Section Line Drive dressed in drag, Momo and the Coop dressed in a rainbow, and the all-girls Merry Weathers filed onto the stage looking like a manly moustache brigade. We rounded off Coming Out Week with a performance by singer-songwriter Chris Pureka, who opened for Ani DiFranco this summer and for Dar Williams last week in Portland.

I got my footie pyjamas at the Goodwill Bins and I wear them excessivelyeveryone helped light the candles 25 feet from the neartest buildingSo much delicious!My birthday was on Tuesday! I’m finally 21, which mostly means that I can get into all those poetry and music shows I was previously barred from on account of my age.

isn’t it beautiful?showers are particularly unnecessary while campingwe toasted bagels for breakfastsuccessful bubbles!our hardwon teaOn my birthday, I practically knocked my PE professor over when it was my turn to practice my disarming strikes. (That’s a good thing. It means I’m doing them right.)

When I went into the Dovecote on campus to get Kris Tea to fix my latest knitting goof-up, she led the whole café in a rendition of happy birthday, then snuck me a chocolate-filled pastry. Awww.

After classes, my friend Emdowd and I made my birthday cake! Emdowd, who just returned to LC after spending a year studying abroad in Munich, lives in the German language apartment on campus. The only thing I know how to say in German is “whatever” (schnickschnack), so it’s a good thing Em and her flatmates all speak to me in English when I visit. Accompanied by a string quartet version of Beatles classics, Em and I adapted two or three recipes trawled from the internet to concoct a magnificent vegan rainbow cake. We didn’t use enough baking soda, so the resultant beautiful monstrosity was a bit too dense – it looked just like playdoh, for reals – but other than that it tasted pretty good, thanks to the seven cups of powdered sugar in the frosting.

Mel and me at the beginning of our hikeMel informs me that the tree consentedFollowing cake-baking, I had dinner with Jon Sands, one of my favourite Slam poets who happened to be visiting Portland from New York City. October 6 was the first LC Poetry Slam of the year, so Apocalips, our Slam team, was hosting Jon as a guest performer. I pulled the birthday card and asked Jon to perform my favourite poem of his, “Being Human Being,” and he agreed, even though he hadn’t originally planned it into his set. Halfway through the Slam, Jon roused the whole audience into a riotous rendition of Happy Birthday, but rather than dedicating it to me, he told people to dedicate the song to whatever they loved most at that moment. It was perfect. I spit one of my poems, and some of my favourite people (like Christabel, Mel, Kelly, and Anna) rocked their poems, too.

the view toward shore at the capethe view from the capeAfter the Slam, I called up seven of my best friends on campus and invited everyone over to my room for cake decorating and consuming, pyjama attire recommended. We lit the squiggly candles (there were 12 of them, which we rationalised as 21 backwards) out in the parking lot, and since it was after quiet hours by this point, everyone sang happy birthday to me in whispers. It was splendid. When four of the people in attendance at your birthday party are RAs, everyone follows the rules.

Mel, looking epic and rulebreaking behind the guardrail on the capeThe very next day, Mel and I headed for the coast to kick off Fall Break shortly after she got off work. Our late start (we had to stop for supplies at her house, my house, and the grocery store before leaving Portland) meant that we didn’t arrive at Cape Lookout until close to midnight, but that wasn’t going to stop us from lighting a fire and roasting s’mores! The next morning, we slept in until almost noon, then spent another two and a half hours trying to boil water over our fire, which needed a couple of jumpstarts in the process, so that we could make our tea. We are tea fiends, both of us. The day couldn’t start until we’d had our ashy, rapidly-cooling tea.

We packed up and went for a five mile hike out onto the cape. At the very tip of it, we could see the shore waaaay behind us, and the ocean, curving convex at the edges of the horizon, out in front of us. It was beautiful. We were so leisurely about our day that we actually ran out of time to go to the beach itself. Oh well – it just means we’ll have to go back really soon, so we can get our wavejumping and sandcastle-building fix.

I’m going to spend the remainder of Fall Break mostly doing homework. I’m reading this really fascinating book for my Anthro of the Body class called Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) – it’s a memoir, so I’m calling it ethnographic fieldwork for my Anthro final research project.

I have more stories, and you can hear about them if you email me at maisha@lclark.edu. See you next week for a more reasonably lengthed blog entry!

10 October 2009

a sea monster and everything

Greetings new readers, and welcome back to my adoring fans (aka my mom). Since sometime in August, the Admissions Office has been deluged with weekly emails from me inquiring as to when our blogs would be up and dancing again. I’ve been that excited to return to the Real Life Blogosphere. In celebration of being back, y’all are gonna get two separate entries from me this week.

This first one is a photoblog tour of my spacious new room. This year I live in Hartzfeld B. Hartzfeld is a highly coveted complex open only to sophomores and above. It’s tucked into a (relatively) far corner of campus and its brick walls and cozy courtyard make it feel like a snuggly den, particularly lovely for the wet, cold winter months ahead. Hartzfeld is suite-style living. That means that a pair of roommates share a central bathroom with two other roommates. I’m an RA (Resident Assistant) this year, so I have a double room all to myself, including my own private bathroom. Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.

This is the door to my room, come on in! y’know, like Ra, the Egyptian Sun God

And this is the back side of my door, plastered with my collection of postcards. PostCrossing.com makes it look like I have more international friends than I actually do

Here’s my desk… or actually, both of my desks. That bumperstickered drawer contains my supply of miso soup, goldfish crackers, and chocolate chips – all essential food groups for surviving college. If you look reeeeally close, you can see that I’m drafting this blog entry on my laptop. How meta!

This is the view out my window. I fold paper stars during class and put them in jars on my windowsill

Although sometimes, I see this, and I spend all morning laughing at the irony of soda being advertised as “fresh.” refreshing maybe, but I reserve “fresh” for things you can find in the average garden

This is my closet. It’s time to do laundry! the top shelf of my bookcase is mostly children’s books and Disney movies

I converted my second closet to a reading nook. my tigers’ names are Panth and Indel, in case you were wondering

My dishes are drying. Last night my girlfriend Mel and I cooked a late dinner (whole wheat pasta and baked kale) in my hall kitchen. The kitchen, which is huge, is located right underneath my floor, so whenever someone burns popcorn, my whole room smells like it. I got a lot of cookware for my birthday last week, which is awesome!

My bed is on one side of the room. My stegosaurus’s name is Elemeno. The bear doesn’t have a name yet.

My awkwardly uncomfortable (but free!) couch is on the other side of the room. I call it the Serious Couch, because I have Serious Conversations on it. Or sometimes I invade my own photos to knit. I’m a knitting newbie, so I’m still at the scarf stage. first I knitted a white washcloth and donated it to our communal kitchen — I’m moving up in the world!

Behind the rainbow flag is my own personal bathroom. I am responsible for cleaning it, but that’s just fine with me. The housekeepers clean all the other Hartzfeld bathrooms, which is probably a good thing. Not all college students are as fastidious about cleanliness as I am. It’s weird to have an industrial flushing handle on a personal toilet, but it works.

I’m growing a dinosaur in my bathtub at the moment. His name is Fitzgibbons. Dinosaurs are kind of a theme of my life.

This is our hall lounge, as seen from the balcony right outside my room. If that piece of white butcher paper were unfolded, you’d see the marker mural that kids who live in my hall are working on drawing. It’s got a flying pirate ship and a sea monster and everything. we have bike racks on the walls, too

Welcome to my life! Email me at maisha@lclark.edu for more information. I will be updating weekly on Fridays. You can also still read my Real Life blog entries from last semester.

9 October 2009

Today is a good day

Hey everyone! 

Today was such a good day.  It began at 4:50 am, yes truly 4:50 am, when my alarm woke me up for Crew.  How can waking up that early be worth it?  Well, watching the sunrise is definitely part of it - experiencing the sun light up the world in the morning makes me feel like I am witnessing something only a select few get to see.  Plus I am rowing with some incredible girls, their dedication to the team and to the sport is inspiring to me, so inspiring that I actually get out of bed at 4:50 am! Which, for me, is a big deal - I’m definitely not a morning person.  I stole acrew.jpg picture off of my Coach’s blog for a little taste of what it looks like.  I only started rowing about a month ago, and it is crazy to think that I could pick up a new sport in College.  

This day was also good because all of my classes went well, I had a Spanish test, we’re talking about Isaiah in my Bible in Literature class (which has 6 people in it!  Crazy awesome) and Exploration and Discovery is always a wonderful mix of philosophy, literature and good stories.  One of the best things that happened was that  I helped made cookies!  My RA is a master at all things related to baked goods (definitely a good thing) so she I joined her and two other friends for some good old fashioned chocolate-chip cookie making.  Making food is something that I truly enjoy and need to find time to do more of while here.

These last two weeks I found myself doing homework a lot more than I had been.  This is due to the fact that I did have more homework (I get to write my own Psalm!  How sweet is that?!), but also because this wonderful thing called Procrastination is creeping back into my habits.  I’m working on it though.  One of the ways I deal with the homework load is that I move around when I do it.  So I will start in the Library, move to Maggie’s, to the Trail Room, and if it is nice outside then I will do my homework in the gardens behind the Manor House.  It is not everywhere that you can read The Bible or study Spanish and look at Mt. Hood! (Or look at Mt. Hood when it is not covered by clouds that is…) It’s a good system.

How could I forget?  It’s fall break!  Meaning that I’m going to the Oregon Coast tomorrow!  I am so excited to spend a few days with some new, great friends in a gorgeous environment – what a perfect way to spend the break.

It still blows my mind that I am here, in Oregon, at Lewis & Clark.  I have been knitting, rowing, eating vegan brownies, eating marionberry muffins and having peanut-butter and jelly on my pancakes (best thing EVER).  I have talked with people from Rwanda, Wisconsin, and Jamaica.  Everyone here has thousands of stories to tell. I hope that the stories I share with you will allow you to see into my life here at Lewis & Clark.  As always, e-mail me if you have any questions or comments!  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Until next time,

Kayla

 

karonson@lclark.edu

7 October 2009