22 Jul 2009, 11:09pm

what can you do?

ohhh oh kay, lots of stuff i want to write about. probably won’t get to all of it; coulda shoulda woulda written on my day off on monday,

day off

but instead i slept appallingly late and got tea and a donut at the bakery up the street (the one that sells 5¢ cookies by the dollar bag on tuesdays) and then biked to sequoia park

and then to arcata. i took old arcata road, aka the back road, in the interests of not riding on highway 101. very nice, past farmland and little eccentric houses. it’s cool to cycle around here in a different way than it’s cool to cycle in portland. there’s less of us here… but not a single cyclist i passed the whole day (and there were quite a few) didn’t greet me with a nod or a smile or a hello or all three.

in arcata i hung out at arcata plaza for awhile, reading in the sun. an old hippie gave me a flower that matched my hair, asked my name, told me his, wished me a pleasant day and headed on his way… and then turned around, called my name and asked if i wanted to smoke a bowl. hah! i couldn’t help but sorta giggle at that, the quintessential humboldt moment, am i right? i mean if i’m trafficking in stereotypes. plenty of people in eureka don’t really like the pot stereotype thing, but plenty of other people sorta shrug and say, well, it’s true for a lot of people.

when the clouds rolled back in i biked back to eureka along the 101, which wasn’t too bad at all (and was lined with beautiful madrone trees), which is good ’cause i’m really looking forward to biking much longer stretches of it next summer!

braiding the river

spent a few days before that working on set pieces with two other students, leslie and ramy. water is represented in various ways in the play… for one of these ways, we had to braid very long pieces of blue and green fabric into roughly 24-ft-long braids. it’s very hard for one person to braid such long pieces, so we each took a strand and we did the “braid dance.” we got a really good rhythm going and sometimes we sang songs or got into the dancing part of it, with little flourishes and such. sometimes we just talked, about the institute and about our lives. we spent probably five hours or so total, over two evenings, making twenty braids. the playfulness with which we accomplished what otherwise would have been a repetitive and boring task was really valuable to me.


this project feels interminable! in this picture they look beautiful and so close to completion:

these ones are limited edition, actually-printed-on-the-press lovely ones, and they just need to be gold-stamped with the golden fleece stamp that our set designer nephelie and sage (a student) designed. the posters we actually put up around town will be photocopied, with the names of the actors around the edge (though still with that lovely blue color, and–if all goes as planned–all hand-stamped with the golden fleece). we’re supposed to take the poster to the copy store tomorrow, but… the cast is still a little up in the air. one of those things about working with first-time artists and all of that. i feel a little distant from that aspect of the project, because i’ve spent almost no time in the rehearsal room. my community engagement is sort of theoretical. it’s one of my challenges here.

(mieke and leslie in the print shop after leslie and i printed a whole bunch of posters)


in the morning it’s foggy and cold. in the middle of the day, it’s warm and sunny for a few hours. in the evening, it’s foggy and cold again. tonight it felt like portland in march. the air here often has the same heavy, low, moist quality as the air in portland. this morning in class i made a dance about this similarity, and about how people here and people there paint their houses such bright beautiful colors. hah! we are in the middle of a workshop with peter dimuro, formerly of the liz lerman dance exchange, which creates community-engaged/community-based dance. also, liz lerman is the person who came up with the critical response technique of workshopping that is used during jaw (just add water, portland center stage’s annual playwrights’ festival–i interned in ‘06 and ‘07, and stage managed in ‘08). ya know, connections…

dancing in sequoia park

for the second part of class today, he took us to sequoia park. sequoia park is to eureka sorta what forest park is to portland. except smaller. except full of really tall beautiful trees. anyway, we danced there.

i really like this sequence of photos of morgan–

the ducks did some dancin’ too–


i got into a conversation with peter over dinner about communication and reconciliation. he has apparently actually done a great deal of reconciliation work as part of his career, and he uses critical response–he says he recommends viewing the relationship between two entities as a work of art that the two entities are co-creating. so, asking neutral questions, etc. i like that perspective and hope to incorporate it into my relationships.


i am feeling artistic tonight. full of things. i was looking through my hard drive for things to delete ’cause i’m running out of room for all the photos i’m taking, and i found this little cover i recorded of one of my favorite songs (off of my favorite album in the whole world). it is not exactly what i was trying to make it be when i recorded it, but i listened to it tonight and found it to be sweet and i wanted to share it.

good night
sweetest dreams

Stacia! When you come back, can we record a duet of this for my blog??? Les chords sont tres simple!

9 Nov 2009, 7:47am
by Serena

The picture of houses on a hill in Arcata is pointed up toward Fickle Hill, where I grew up.

<3 all your beautiful pictures.

thanks, serena! humboldt is a beautiful place and i really loved being there this summer.



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