30 Nov 2008, 12:54am
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ebenezer and the ghost of christmas future world tour 2008

sometimes you remember that theatre is a lot of people coming together to play pretend, key word play, and you’re already laughing so you laugh harder and think, oh, yeah. that’s why.

last night i came home exhausted and just a little despairing. put my only long-sleeved black shirt* in the laundry, went to sleep, woke up, biked to the theatre–and today was another long day. i flew things in and out, handed off props, read zines in too-dim light during pauses and slow times, drank coffee, covered the not-black parts of my bike gloves with gaff tape (my palms were a little torn up from yanking on ropes bare-handed yesterday), pulled back masking curtains, struck set pieces and furniture, hummed the christmas carols irreversibly stuck in my head, ran around wearing my swanky wireless headset, rode enormous turntables in circles on the stage, paced and danced behind the set waiting for standby cues, straightened collars on the children’s costumes, wound and unwound extension cords and sound cables, timed the movements of an electric fan i held to coincide with an old man’s snore, and, yes, laughed. even when there’s lighting equipment worth several times more than the entire budget of other shows i’ve worked on in just one cart that’s rolled on and off stage once during the show, the kind of problem-solving that goes on during tech week is the same kind that goes on during any tech week, and yeah it’s frustrating and yeah… it’s fun.

i gotta get to sleep so i can get up in the morning and do it again.

* this is a problem. i also don’t have a pair of black pants with pockets (not vital for a stage manager, but as a stagehand today i walked around with a lot of stuff stuck down my waistband). oooh, i am a morning person when left to my own devices and i love being bright and colorful, but i also love working in theatre, disappearing backstage in my blacks, and getting off work at 11:30pm.

27 Nov 2008, 12:54pm
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flying is not like riding a bike

(though riding a bike is sometimes like flying.)

yesterday i started a new theatre gig, a big-budget (for portland) holiday show for which i am on the crew, doing whatever is needed backstage. the most exciting thing that i get to do backstage is fly. the last show i worked on in which i flew something was the second show i ever stage managed, this crazy production of alice in wonderland in which a half dozen or so middle schoolers played all the parts–in one memorable scene, they all played the jabberwock (one its leg, one its lower jaw, two its tail and so on). anyway, i called the show from backstage and got up to fly in and out… a forest? not the tulgey wood, though. red and black branches that the kids unclipped from cables and used as tails and brooms, maybe. i still think about that show. i learned a lot about theatrical possibilities–before then i’d mostly been involved in musicals and boring productions of boring three-act dramas.

anyway, that was seven years ago, when i was sixteen and didn’t know enough about theatre to really appreciate the fact that my high school’s theatre had a freakin’ fly system. and flying, apparently, is not like riding a bike. i am going into work early tomorrow to get a little lesson on how to not make big crashing noises happen backstage during the show, et cetera. friday will be an even longer day than yesterday, and yesterday i worked ten hours, not counting our dinner break. but it flew by, really. tech week is one of my favorite parts of any production, and it’s kind of neat to be stepping in just in time for that period of organized chaos when all the “magic” starts to happen.

bonus!–i really like the people at this company. i would love to keep working for them or even get a permanent job there… uh, wouldn’t i? if i did, i wouldn’t be able to take off for hawaii or on my bike or whatever. right now i’ve only got a real idea of what my future looks like through march (this gig, then a stage management gig). and yeah, come april i might very well be in portland working in theatre with my life planned another four months or so ahead… but hey, i might not! maybe this is immaturity, or maybe it’s just my way of coping with the fact that i don’t actually have any job security. or maybe it’s something else altogether. my modus operandi for this time in my life. whatever; i am quite happy to not really care one way or the other what it all means at the moment. that’s the truth.

another truth: i sure miss puna. with that in mind, here is a little list–

some nice things about portland in the winter
or, how i learned to stop feeling s.a.d. and love the rain

  • piling three quilts, one blanket, and one purple-velvet-covered comforter on my bed
  • the warm whoosh of forced-air heating
  • puddles
  • cowboy boots for puddle-stompin’
  • old fashioned hot chocolate (cocoa, milk, sugar, stovetop)
  • plus a shot of peppermint schnapps
  • rosy cheeks
  • kitty cuddles

    that said, yesterday was glorious. cold but clear. i biked downtown and back and it feels good to use those muscles again.

    there you go. all that and a whole lot more–happy thanksgiving.

  • 21 Nov 2008, 10:20am

    my suitcase heart

    last glimpse of the island:

    felt a certain sinking of my heart, i must admit, when i looked out the window and realized i was actually leaving.

    later, looking down at last at the lights of seattle, i thought about cities and the sheer number of people they contain within such a compact, easily-traversable space. well that’s kind of cool, isn’t it?, i thought. with that many people there’s got to be some kindred spirits. but i think that that attitude is exactly what keeps us from finding them. the sea is so big that we use pretty much any excuse to throw away each fish without much more than a glance. sometimes we don’t bother glancing. i met people in puna with whom i probably wouldn’t have so much as chatted with at a party in portland, and they were pretty much without exception generous, kind people whose conversations i was delighted to listen to and take part in. while puna is a unique, self-selecting crowd, i think there are probably way more worthwhile people in the world in general than i have previously allowed for. everyone’s figuring shit out. it’s really exciting and feels good to be involved in other people’s figuring and have others involved in yours. community building and all that. i approve.

    but all this feels silly when i remember that i have so much love and community in portland already. i came down with my dad on wednesday. yesterday i saw my friend’s dance-theatre thesis show, ran into so many friends and felt so welcomed home. went to another friend’s weekly midnight picnic (since 2006! i’ve been going since early 2007) and drank sweet wine and toasted everything and shared cookies i’d made. this morning i walked through my neighborhood in my winter coat and my favorite scarf, watching my warm breath. i love the smell of the cold air. yellow leaves in puddles. tonight i’m hanging out with as many friends as possible at the pied cow, one of my favorite coffee/dessert/drinks places.

    there are so many possibilities! i feel two-sided–or i suppose multi-facted (!)–but not in any really difficult or frustrating way. there is the part of me that was appalled when i walked in the door of my house for the first time in six weeks or so at the sheer amount of stuff we have. there is the part of me that sat on my bed and delighted in the stacks of unread books and zines, the drawers full of mementoes, my ukulele. there is the part of me that wants to join the peace corps or teach english in the french caribbean. there is the part of me that wants to get a dog and buy a house and paint murals on all the walls. in any case, i am not worried about being bored.

    17 Nov 2008, 7:16pm
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    gotta hele on

    today i finished up my work trade by painting this table:

    yes, those are nekkid ladiez in two of the petals. it’s an aesthetic of which mojo (the owner of hedonisia) is quite fond, and hey i aim to please.

    also, by the way, the finished floor in maiʻa hale (slightly awkward photos due to limited space in which to take them):

    it’s already a little grubby by virtue of being, you know, a floor. i did the lettering and i’m pretty pleased with it–though i did learn soon after we finished this that the apostrophe in “maiʻa” is actually an ʻokina, which looks more like an upside-down apostrophe, like so:

    oh well! you probably can’t tell, but every ʻokina in this entry is actually a proper ʻokina, thanks to my mad html skillz. and google.

    this afternoon i packed most of my things, shaking out all my dirty laundry just in case, because i’d hate to be accused of attempting to illegally transport millipedes to the mainland when my bags go through agricultural inspection tomorrow morning. hah!

    here are some things i will not miss about living in puna:

  • the mosquitoes
  • finding millipedes in my clothes and on my person
  • worrying about seven-inch-long centipedes
  • worrying about my clothes molding (yes, this is actually a legitimate worry)
  • um, the mosquitoes

    there are lots more things i will miss, of course.

    last night i think i accidentally killed two tiny coqui frogs–maybe a quarter-inch long each–while trying to sweep them off of my computer screen. last night while sitting around a bonfire i was startled when a snail crawled across one of my toes (yes, startled by a snail). but mostly i’m cool with everything with four or fewer legs.

    tonight as the sun set i went for a walk down the street with all three of the kids currently living here (two, four and seven years old), just me and them. i think i need to get a dog or something, friends.

    i’m leaving here at 6:30 tomorrow morning. see you soon, portland!

  • 16 Nov 2008, 8:08am
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    good morning

    am i glowing?

    14 Nov 2008, 5:28pm

    lazy hedonisia days

    things have been pretty laidback here lately. what am i saying, “lately”??

    yesterday’s weather was kind of like portland weather often is–it’s sunny! no it’s raining! no it’s pouring! no it’s sunny again!–but of course even when it’s pouring here it’s warm and downright pleasant and there’re big fat drops dripping through the jungle leaves… i took some pictures around the property:

    the driveway:

    (the sign says “remember the love / with aloha from hedonisia hawaii”)

    the bathroom area–note the harvested bananas hanging on the right there:

    the huge mural on the back (or front??) of the barn:

    cozy inside:

    in the afternoon during a relatively sunny period, i went with another girl here down to ahalanui park, which is called that by pretty much no one–everyone just calls it the warm pond. it’s a large, volcanically heated saltwater pool, right by the ocean. waves come right over and into it:

    it rained while we were swimming and rained on and off as we made our way home. i’m pretty sure hitching a ride in the back of a pick-up truck in the pouring rain is a quintessential puna experience. every once in awhile it is just fantastic to be completely dressed and drenched.

    i had just enough time for a quick warm-up shower before lauren picked me up to take me into pahoa for her wheel of fortune viewing party at the local mexican restaurant, luquin’s. yes, she was on wheel of fortune with a friend of hers! the game she played in aired last night, so she got a bunch of friends and family together to watch it.

    i drank a (very strong) mango margarita. ex-margarita by the time i took this picture:

    the stuff around the edge instead of salt is li hing mui, which i figured was worth a try ’cause i’m not a big fan of salt rims anyway. it’s full of aspartame and stuff but pretty tasty. lauren asked what i thought and when i told her i liked it she said (as she has said before), “you’re such a good local!” aw, i’m just a haole tourist, but i felt a little warm and fuzzy nonetheless. maybe it was the margarita.

    today i spent some of my work trade down by sunnyside, one of the acommodations–kind of built around an old tractor (abandoned there by the previous owner of the property), with the tractor and another little sheltered area being used for storage, like so:

    i was sorting some of the wood scraps currently shoved willy-nilly into the cab of the tractor. i found this (alas, poor anole!):

    and also took a whole bunch of pictures of the fantastic vines wrapping themselves all over everything and dancing in the air:

    hedonisia wildlife:

    oh, and–when i first started sleeping up at ocean view… the rain at night, the coqui frogs, the creepy crawlies imagined and real all kind of felt just a little threatening. now it is just amazing sleeping up there. i climb the hill with confidence. the past few nights the moon has been so bright i’ve hardly needed my flashlight. i sleep so soundly, surrounded by jungle. in the early morning i wake up and roll over and–this–

    oh, hawaii…!

    12 Nov 2008, 2:26pm
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    thank you

    i gotta take this space to write some thank yous.

    first, to madame pele, for welcoming me to her island with such generosity and plenty.

    to lauren, who has been incredibly kind, generous and welcoming.
    to her family, especially her mother kathy and her grandfather dick.
    to mojo, lloyd, lee, josh, joe, elesha, saffron, sage, alice, chris, christian, richard, claudia, sam, max, stone, kelly, bastian, thi and everyone else at hedonisia.

    i generally haven’t been attaching anyone’s names to my blog posts here, though i have been posting pictures that include the people i’ve met. i’ve kind of been assuming that people sorta figure that digital photos might or even probably will end up online, but that blogging is another can of beans. i’d like to respect everyone’s personal boundaries, and i hope they don’t mind my listing their names here… but i really do want to acknowledge everything that the people listed above have done for me in my time here in puna. they have all been incredibly warm and welcoming and i feel privileged and lucky to have stumbled into their acquaintance.

    lastly (but of course not leastly)…

    though i am here in hawaii independent of my family and friends in the pnw, i feel in some ways that i have a partner here, though he is actually on the other side of the world. i hope he doesn’t mind me posting this here. i would not be here in hawaii if not for him (for better or worse–hah!) and he has been a big part of my healing here. he’s helped me learn how to forgive myself, him, and everyone/everything else for the unfortunate events of this past summer, and, i hope, vice versa. regardless of how things shake out, i know that he’s incredibly important to me and i hope we can remain in each other’s lives.

    you know who you are. mahalo and namaste… and happy birthday (i think it’s the 13th where you are!).

    i go home in less than a week. i think it’s about time. still, hawaii has been good to me.

    i’m working on painting the ceiling in the barn for my work trade today. i’m pretty sure i have paint in my hair, and i know i have paint in one of my eyebrows. a lot of the clothes i brought here will come home with paint stains and splotches; i think that obviously the “solution” to this “problem” is to paint more when i get home.