Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram

Devised Theater: A Venn Diagram
This diagram was created by the co-producing artistic directors of Rude Mechs to depict the complexity of creating and crediting collaboratively devised work for theatrical performance.

Monday, March 28, 2016

This I Believe #10

Same as last week, please post your essay here before class on Tuesday. Please also remember to bring a printed copy of your essay to class and be prepared to read it aloud.


  1. Last week my sister, her husband, and their three sons came for a visit.

    The last time I saw her she surprised us by visiting unannounced and alone. I see her most in the kitchen. I see her leaning against the counter, and she’s laughing.
    She laughed a lot at dinner, especially at the things my mother, the parent we do not share, would say. She would curse the fact that our sister Chance was missing, knowing she was the only other person on Earth that would laugh with her, or at least that’s how she made it seem.

    Carter, my oldest nephew, is tall and has a voice that surprised me. He wants to join the Navy. We are only 5 years apart and in my head that sounds like too few. He should be younger.

    I should be older.

    The last time I saw Ben, the youngest, his legs were too short for his feet to touch the floor when he sat down. He stood often at the dinner table, citing feet that had fallen asleep.

    At dinner one night, I realized I had forgotten what her husband actually looked like in person. He has a kind voice and a soft face and as we were talking I almost forgot that he posts links on facebook to articles about how “boys will be boys” is a good thing. I forced myself to remember.

    On their last night, I gave Tannis a bowl I had made in ceramics. “For my final,” I told her, “I made a bowl or a cup for each planet. That’s Jupiter.” She threw her head back. “I knew it!” She punched the air in celebration. “This felt like Jupiter.” I want to believe she really meant that.

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    2. I remember scraping my back against a fallen tree stump we all had to shimmy down. My sweat acted like a cushion for a moment, but then I could feel the rough stump scrape against my spine and I just started laughing. I was climbing down a waterfall, and anything that happened seemed to be hilarious since I could now say that I have climbed down a waterfall.

      Ok, it really wasn’t that exciting. It was actually super stupid, and not that impressive of a climb. The waterfall (once we finally hiked all the way up to it through some woods) was barely 12 feet high, and we could stand up at all times and never hung vertically for more than half a second, so I guess it was just a really steep hike.

      We made our way down the waterfall and when we arrived at its base, we discovered a note that was left for us that a small visting family helped relay. The rest of our group had gone further down the trail. We climbed to the wrong waterfall.

      At this point, everything on me was just kind of wet which is never a great feeling. The heat was impressive, and everything had a little gentle ache to it from climbing up this thing and back down with a small group of people, completely disconnected from the world. I found a big rock that looked exactly like an egg on that waterfall, and couldn’t detach from it. A friend on the trip carried it in his bag the whole way back for me.

      We pushed on and, eventually, were reunited with our group. They were all at the second waterfall now. The real waterfall. There was no question about it. It was huge, and below the freezing water that was smashing against rocks, our classmates were scattered in the shallow end, laying over boulders and in hammocks like cool mermaids.

      Everyone from the small waterfall troup was blown away once we saw the true beauty. I’m pretty sure I swam in that water with jeans on and no shoes, scraping my feet up and completely soaking my outfit for the day.

      This moment in my life was one of the safest I have ever had. I was completely away from anything that scared me in my own life, far away by some amazing water fall on a mountain in Eastern Kentucky. Not even the nature around us scared me at that point. An incredible number of things could have gone wrong that day, but they didn’t and we felt taken care of by those woods and that mountain. I knew and trusted everyone in this unique may term class. I trusted now, with my life, all the people that climbed that tiny waterfall with me and all the classmates who left us that note and *basically* saved us that day after we climbed what must have been a mile and back in the wrong direction. I believe in waterfalls, and the people that like to hang out in them.

  3. I have always lived in a small little town north of Nashville, and have enjoyed the factor of having a cow field behind the house and a cornfield out front. The only downfall, though, is the lack of playmates or even people my age. It definitely is a drag when you really want to do something with someone- anyone.

    Almost 13 years ago, I got my black lab, Shadow. I consider our being united to be more of an act of God than anything. I am all in support of adoption, but something about Shadow was perfect when I saw him. He was technically already sold to someone else until the breeder saw how we had this seeming connection that clicked so quickly and perfectly. Needless to say, we took him home that day.

    He was one of the worst puppies I have ever seen. He chewed EVERYTHING- literally EVERYTHING. The steps in our garage to this day still have chunks missing from his teething stage. I remember his lanky legs and gigantic paws that were completely disproportionate to the rest of his body. He always would steal the grill scrapers from ours and our neighbors grill. He would bring random “presents” of birds, moles, rabbits, deer legs, etc etc. You name it, he brought it.

    While my mischievous little shadow (bit of a pun there!) was always up to no good, he was always keen on making sure he was by my side. If I was away for too long, though, he would quickly return to his shenanigans. In fact, one year, we had monthly visits to the vet because he kept getting into things- one being a cottonmouth. He just couldn’t keep his nose out of anything! I could easily spot him from a pack of black labs if I had to because of that scar on his nose—not to mention his personality and love for his “human.”

    One of my favorite memories had to be going outside and seeing him chewing on a raw turkey. For some reason, the neighbors in the small rental house next door though it would be brilliant to put their Thanksgiving turkey on the porch to thaw. So, Shadow just helped himself to his own Thanksgiving meal with a nice 10lb turkey. Pretty great, right? Bad dog….. but all you could do was laugh at the situation.

    To this day, Shadow is absolutely the best friend I could ever have asked for in life. He has been through so many ups and downs, and has always lent his paw and kisses to cheer me up. He has been to horseback riding competitions, been to the greenway to be a walking partner, pulled a sled with my baby (at the time) sister, helped to plant flowers, and etc. He seriously means the world to me, and I am not quite sure what I would do without him. The thought of it kills me actually- especially after a close call when he got extremely depressed this past year after I went back to college. I never realized that an animal could love someone so much, but my boy definitely does. He is and always will be my best friend- this I believe.

  4. Does anyone really know what patience means? I don’t think many people do. However my definition of patience would include taking a step back and not rushing through a situation or rushing another individual. I believe I have not always been the most patient person but as I have continued to grow and learn I have slowly developed more patience.

    This semester has been one of the most trying semesters thus far and my patience has been tested majorly.
    In order to graduate I only had two required classes left within my major but I still needed to fill 4.75 credits. Therefore outside of my major I am also taking two art classes, a piano lesson, badminton, and an exercise class. I was really excited before the semester began to be taking art classes since this was my first chance at Transy. After the first day in ceramics I was already overwhelmed and feeling defeated. The same was true in badminton when the first day of class I could not even serve. I also felt this feeling the first time I went to embroider a cape in this class. I spent many hours rebuilding pinch pots, ripping apart my cape and re-sewing it, and practicing my serve in badminton class. Through all of these tasks I sometimes became very upset, especially when we began to throw pots last week in ceramics. However looking back I never gave up on myself. I knew eventually I would get the hang of each of these projects it was just going to take time. Now today I can successfully build objects out of clay, embroider on a sewing machine, and play a game of badminton. Although I became very frustrated throughout all of these situations looking back I realized how much patience I gained by sticking out situations. I believe patience is a real thing and that everyone is capable of being patient if they allow themselves to be.

  5. I was six years old. My brother cut a window in the front, and I painted an accidentally intermittent red line around it. Lowered over us this refrigerator box became our Never Land, and we spun tales that were no doubt incomprehensible to everyone including our closest friends and our own mother who naively told us to upend a hat outside the theatre walls for charitable contributions.

    She created our entire audience through her own commitment to community by starting a little league baseball team. My father leveled the field, cut the grass, built a backstop and maintained the grounds. In the winter, he would build the only ice-skating rink in our county atop this same patch of grass rich with dandelion and broad-leaf weeds. The ice-skaters were there to watch our puppet show seven months before he would first stoke the fire and prepare hot chocolate to warm them from the inside after their eyelashes froze together in the moisture of trapped breath—caught between their raised scarves and lowered hats all crocheted by grandmothers who used yarn to express unconditional love.

    The baseball players were there with their parents, and we heard their laughter from the edge of a long driveway that led to the one-room schoolhouse my father escaped from to fish with his best friend Bert Griffith.

    Jed Hubbell and I would swing into the river from rope hung on branches not selected by my father for makeshift fishing poles. The years were kind to the trees and I found “Louie loves Carrie” carved into the bark fifteen feet up nearly fifty years after little Louie Snyder was forced to sweep the schoolhouse as punishment for his indiscretion. Louie prepared the stage for our puppet theatre by sweeping the street beneath it, and he continued sweeping both of streets that were blacktopped until the day he died. Carrie is held forever in my mind, rocking in a chair that Louie made for her on the front porch of her house just four doors from the school house where they first met. I once tried to sell her candles for a fund-raiser and still hear her reply as if it were yesterday, "Candles? Damn no, child we have electricity here but wait are they moving away over there (gesturing wildly across the street)? Is that a U-Hell truck I see?" and then with the dexterity of a cat Carrie snatched one of the sample candles, darted into her house and lit it before I had a chance to think. After a few painful moments of taunting that nearly brought me to tears Carrie came out with money for five candles. To pay for hers and one for anyone of her neighbors to damn cheap to help a "cute little Gohde girl"--she found unending joy in addressing boys as "little girl".

    My father will die within ten miles of his childhood home and the one room schoolhouse which became an oddity and museum the day he left. I have lived away more than I have lived near this—my ancestral home—dating back to my great, great, great uncle Dorr Webb, a traveling salesman with a penchant for postcards and flowery language, but I know there is a place for me in the graveyard less than half a mile from that hat my brother and I turned upside down for charitable contributions. There was not a single coin in the hat when we finished our grueling back to back performances inside the poorly ventilated puppet theatre. We had received payment long before either of us was born. I believe in Community.

  6. I remember the day that my mom told me and my sister Santa wasn’t real. I was in second grade and my little sister was in kindergarten. Yeah my mom ruined it such a young age. We were at McDonalds for lunch. I can tell you exactly where we were sitting. For some strange reason, my sister asked my mom if Santa was real- in the middle of summer. My mom looked at us and asked what we thought. We both looked at each other, and turned back to my mom with a questioning look on our face while saying, “Yeeeeeees.” Then my mom broke it to us. She told us he wasn’t real, and that it had been her, my dad, my older sister and her husband the whole time. My little sister started to cry. I started to ask questions, “What about the Easter bunny? What about the tooth fairy? What about when Santa brought us coal, and we saw reindeer footprints outside? Mom told us that she was that as well. Then . . . all hell broke loose. My little sister lost it. All that she had ever believed was a lie. She kept screaming that my mom was a liar. We left the restaurant and went home. My little sister got on the home phone and called my older sister. Her and her husband did not answer because they were having people over for lunch, but they heard everything Hannah said while she left the voicemail. “MOM’S A LIAR!!!! I can’t believe Santa is not real. You all knew and didn’t tell me!! You all are liars!!” Me, being calm, cool and collective asked my mom more questions. The main question being why she told us since we were only 5 and 7. She told me that since we were going to a new school she wasn’t sure if people our age knew or not and would spill the beans to us. So I had 7 grand years of believing in the magical powers of the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and Santa Clause. I remember it being so hard for me not to tell all my friends, but in a way I thought I was kind of cool because I knew something they didn’t. It’s exciting now to see my nieces and nephews faces on Christmas when Santa comes. It’s also fun to make them behave by saying “Santa is always watching you.” I believe in Santa Clause.

  7. I love peanut butter. You would think that it would be easy being a peanut butter addict, but it’s not. I’m picky about my peanut butter and, unless I bring my own jar, I rarely eat it. Luckily for me, I’m usually prepared with my jar of Natural Jif Creamy Peanut Butter safely tucked into the water bottle pocket of my backpack.
    It’s hard when your taste buds conflict with the knowledge you have stored up in your head. Growing up, my mom was (and still is) borderline obsessed with healthy eating. Everything in our house is labeled “all natural,” “organic,” or “no preservatives” and for the most part it has to be refrigerated. Yes, our peanut butter was always kept in the fridge too. She would buy the kind that you had to stirr because if you didn’t, you would get a mouthful of oil. And I didn’t know what I was missing until I went to a friends house and had apples and peanut butter...apples and full fledged Jif peanut butter. It was a glorious day...I was changed. I went home and begged my mom to buy that kind of peanut butter because it tasted SO much better than that natural stuff we had. It’s funny how that works, the things that are the worst for you taste the best. My mom went on to explain that the reason that peanut butter tasted so good was because it had lots of added sugar. She continued by telling me that the convenience of not having to stir was not worth the negative effects that the partially hydrogenated oils would have on my arteries in the long run. That ruined the nice taste of Jif for me.
    As what happens to most people, I am becoming like my mom (at least in the area of food obsession) and I’m actually really thankful. Granted, my Natural Jif Creamy Peanut Butter still isn’t as good for me as the stuff my mom used to buy. It has some added sugar and it uses palm oil (another oil that my mom warned me about) but I will just have to live with that.

  8. I believe in food. There’s just something about the entire phenomenon of food that fascinates me. Nothing quite excites me like the colors, smells, and scintillating flavors of food. In the 21st century, the combinations seem to be endless. I often feel guilty about being so privileged in my food selection when I know that there are copious amounts of people around the world that are lucky enough to eat beans and rice everyday. I know that there’s a particular kind of evil in an opulent appetite, but that’s just what I’ve grown up around.
    I grew up in a household where the herald-leader would routinely knock on our door asking my grandmother to share a recipe for their weekender section. A household dubbed officially, and unofficially the house of the best tamales in town. It was hardly my fault that the food bar has always been raised pretty high. I just do my best to eat ethically and do what I can to feed others as well.
    Back to why I believe in food, though: there’s just a special human aspect to growing food, preparing dishes, and uniting people of all walks of life at a large table. I have had the pleasure of sharing a dinner table with quite an array of interesting folks.Sometimes there wasn’t even a table to share, just food. I guess there’s a lot of connotations surrounding food that makes it a difficult subject for people, but I do believe that it can certainly be a beautiful thing that brings people together. Plus like gelato, enough said right?

  9. I remember when first I laid eyes on the beaten up, waterlogged Incredible Hulk skateboard laying in my friend’s yard. I was 11 or so, maybe 12, and we were just messing around in his backyard. I walked up to the board and picked it up. It looked like shit, but it also looked like it could be fun. I took it out to the street and started riding it around. It wobbled like crazy and the wheels were plastic, but I got a kick out of it. I asked my friend if he wanted it and he said no, so I brought it back to my house. For the next week, I kept riding that thing, and I wasn’t sure why, but I was having fun. I started watching videos on youtube of people skating, and I just got sucked in. I was completely mesmerized by the stuff these people were doing on skateboards. So I started looking up how to do tricks. First comes the ollie. I remember skating on this little patch of concrete underneath my grandparents deck, just trying for hours and hours to jump up in the air on this dinky little skateboard. I would ask my parents to come look to see if I was getting off the ground, and eventually I kinda did it. From there I learned how to do a pop shove it, then a kickflip, then a heelflip. I kept learning and my friends did too. I got a new, better, skateboard, and I started skating every day with friends all over the Hanover Park neighborhood. We were always jumping down curbs, showing off new tricks to jealous friends, and getting jealous when friends revealed their new tricks. We had so much fun, and we did steadily for a few years.
    Now when I set foot on my skateboard, I feel a lot older and a lot less capable than I did back when I was 12. My knees ache and my back hurts and I always feel exhausted quickly, but I still get some of that feeling from back then. That feeling never really goes away, the one that feels warm and right when you hop on that piece of wood with wheels. The feeling of having a blast skating a tiny little curb, or ollieing over a pothole, that one stays with you no matter how old you get. I REALLY believe in skateboarding.

  10. The past weekend I was couch-ridden with chicken pox and all I had was Netflix. Still contagious, I had to miss the eighteenth birthday of one of my best friends. We were going to paint the town last weekend but she just got over the flu and I really didn’t want her to catch anything else. My other friend from high school couldn’t come over because his mother didn’t want him to catch it and I felt quarantined.
    Normally, I drive around for fun and blare music on my crappy stereo so being stuck in the same house for three days was rough. I watched a lot of those early 2000’s teen rom-coms because I like how cheesy and ridiculous they are. My main accompaniment were two furry faces begging for a bite of whatever I happened to be gnawing on.
    My trusty steed, Abbey, sat by my side and stayed within my vicinity as my nurse maid. She is a twelve year old, Border Collie/Dalmatian mix and she is smarter than expected. She has mastered opening doors and points to everything that she wants with her nose (as if I don’t already know what she wants).
    My other puppy dog, Al, is a Bassett hound/Australian Blueheeler/Beagle mix and his odd proportions have won him big points with the ladies. He laid next to me on the ground with his stinky self and I scratched his tummy while he stretched his back legs out like a ballerina would. He’s about eleven and has elbow dysplasia in his front legs that support his chunky body yet his favorite thing in life is eating and being in the pursuit of eating.
    These two comforted me with their knowing eyes when I cried because of jaw pain due to a possible wisdom tooth problem and licked me when I wanted to bury myself in the couch and die. That weird no-sound kind of communication, mostly made up of gestures is very intriguing to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve had them since I was in first and second grade that they know me so well. I honestly couldn’t tell you.
    I believe in dogs. They understand without you having to tell them anything—it’s like they can sense your sadness, your happiness, etc. In my next life, I want to be a dog.

  11. Did you know that stress is a natural response you body has to outside stimulus, and is actually designed to help you, not hurt you? If you think or your stress as a natural response, a response for your preparation, a response so you can perform at your best, it actually isn’t harmful at all. The harm comes when you treat your stress like the enemy, causing your blood vessels to contract as your heart beats faster and faster, straining their delicate walls.

    When I was my brother’s age, maybe just a bit younger, running was one of my biggest sources of pride. I was tied for the fastest in my small hippie school, and at recess I only remember being chased by and chasing Phillip. Whether it was for the challenge or because it was clear we liked each other, I couldn’t tell you. I never checked my mile time; that wasn’t important. Running felt natural.

    I had dangerously low levels of fear, swimming in the creeks barefoot, climbing on roofs, exploring the creepy boiler room with Phillip. I had too much adrenaline then, and felt invincible. I’d gallop our horses bareback and bridleless across their paddock, training them to stop at the other side so I could take them back for Karina’s turn. I stopped doing that after I fell off and landed on my back, forcing me to think things through.

    Now I feel pressured to time my mile, and it isn’t fast and it isn’t fun. I haven’t ridden since my horse broke her bridle over a year ago because it scared me how easily she knocked me off and how I looked up under her stomach before I could stand. I want to get my fearlessness back— a few days ago I convinced Cam to cross the creek with me barefoot, the strong current splashing our clothes, and together we explored the cellar of the old house I once took Phillip to. I don’t want stress to narrow my blood vessels. I believe I used to be natural, and I believe I need to feel that way again.

  12. I believe in pixie cuts. Women are often judged by their hair. People assume that women with short hair are one of two things: a lesbian or a mom. Or, I suppose, a lesbian mom. I had a pixie cut for over a year. During that time I was often stared at by small children, trying to figure out if I was a boy or a girl. People in the grocery store would look for a little too long, passing judgement. My parents asked me if I was gay From my peers, I received an entirely different kind of reaction. Many young women would tell me how cute my hair was or how brave I must be for having cut it all off. All of these assumptions were made because my hair didn’t cover my ears. Both kinds of reactions come from the same place: ingrained patriarchal values. We are taught from a young age that women have long hair and men have short hair. Long hair is a symbol of beauty, youth, fertility, and womanhood. I cut off my hair because I wanted to. Because I have thin, fine hair, that is hard to style and does not look good when it grows past my shoulders, regardless of how healthy it is. I wanted a pixie cut because I felt that having one would simultaneously make me feel more beautiful and be more practical. Having a pixie cut did not make me brave, gay, unattractive, a mother, or any of the other things that people might assume. It made me confident. It made me free. A pixie cut exposes you. You can’t hide behind your hair because you simply don’t have enough. That exposure made me more comfortable with who I am as a person. It made me love the scar on the back of my neck. I made me believe that I was beautiful regardless of what anyone else thought. That sort of self-assurance is powerful. I believe in pixie cuts.

  13. I believe in waking up early. I don’t do it often, but when I do I feel so great. Earlier this semester I was going to bed at six in the morning, waking up at nine then going back to sleep for half the day and repeat. I actually slept through an exam after going to bed two hours before, resulting in me dropping the class. I wish I could say that that alone made me change my sleeping habits, but that would be a lie.
    I never feel like I have enough time to get everything done. I have at least two miniature breakdowns a day when I think about my FYRS paper. I have no time and no idea how to start, so I’m just putting it off for another week or so. Now I might not have to because I realize where everybody gets their extra time from; they steal it from the morning. It really does make all the difference.
    This morning I woke up at seven o’clock to go to an early morning bible study. I got to see the sun resting on the skyline. I got to walk on streets where there was nobody else. I got a lot of quiet time that I didn’t know I needed. I actually feel really good. This is a rarity. In fact nine times out of ten when people say “how are you?” I respond with “tired.” I haven’t been able to get up and tackle my days because I need a four hour nap everyday. Now that I know that pinterest isn’t bullcrapping when they say waking up early changes your life, I may consider going to bed before two.

  14. American Dreams III

    I unshelved my American self in a big-box store: Meijer’s #32 in Holland, Michigan, one link in a grocery chain conceived by a barber who lived the American dream. An immigrant from the first Holland, Hendrik Meijer traded his shaving blades for a grocery business when the Great Depression turned weekly visits to the barber shop into extravagance. He opened his first store on June 1st, 1934, employing his fourteen-year-old son as a bagger and introducing one-stop shopping. Five years later, he pioneered the use of shopping carts as well. He kept breaking new grocery ground, digging deeper into the dream.

    Sixty-two years later I felt my anxiety dwindle as I pushed one of his shopping carts down a long isle padded with microwaveable popcorn. This was my second trip to Meijer. The first time I bought nothing. I tried to memorize the variety of frozen vegetables for my weekly phone report to my family. On my second trip, I was ready to shop. I boarded the van ferrying international students from Hope College to Meijer’s, ready to break new ground. I had $24.85 in my Bulgarian purse: the first paycheck I’d earned serving warm food in the cafeteria’s hotline. Guiding my cart towards the rows of reduced-fat popcorn, I felt powerful with my new ability to earn. I knew, then, I would make it. I was young and bold and, like Hendrik, no longer afraid of America.

    Twenty years later, I avoid Meijer’s, buying local produce at locally-owned groceries whenever I can. Twenty years later, I dodge the fat microwaveable popcorn conceals behind reduced-fat labels. I buy Kentucky-grown sprouts instead. All these years later, I understand that Meijer’s family-friendly values disguise practices unfriendly to many. For twenty years I have seen the American dream reward those who are white, able-bodied, and male. I believe, too, that like Hendrik before me, I am making it. Unsentimental about tradition, I fashion my own brand of the dream.

  15. I was going to write about a strong topic, something that would have an impact on you, but I’ve decided that I’m not angry enough to do that. Maybe next week. I’ll tell you about the actual 5-year-old that is me.
    Balloons are my favorite thing to play with. It’s fun to play “keep the balloon from touching the ground,” or rubbing it on your hair and watch how static makes you look like a troll. My favorite thing, though, is inhaling helium and laughing out loud. I sound like a straight up minion. But aside from just being fun, balloons represent a comfort for whenever I feel like I can’t breathe; when I’m lacking air. I don’t mean this in the literal way, because 1: I don’t have breathing issues, and 2: balloons do the complete opposite of giving you air. However, inflating a balloon feels like I am giving life to this thing that used to be lifeless and maybe that means I find comfort in giving energy to others; seeing excitement happen, getting others hyped even when I’m completely spent. That probably makes no sense to some; but hey, the idea of a balloon to you is not the idea of a balloon to me. I’ve actually never thought about why I like balloons so much until recently, when this girl I know asked me why a lot of my usernames on social media are balloon related. At first, I just sat in front of my computer screen wondering what the hell, I’ve never noticed before??? But then I just wrote down everything I like about these air-filled sacs of plastic. I like air. I like taking deep breaths. I love the wind; windy days are my favorite, even though I get annoyed that my hair gets messed up. I love things that float like boats, balloons, bubbles, and rubber ducks. And after I made this list, I made up this conclusion on how they are related: I like balloons because they are reserved, yet they go anywhere the wind takes them. They seem so weightless and carefree. They are a strange combination between freedom and confinement; going everywhere while containing a bit of air to themselves. Somehow I can relate to that, you know? I personally think I keep stuff to myself and am sort of shy, but that doesn’t keep me from going places and doing things. All I want to do is go wherever my circumstances take me, making people a little happier along the way, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

  16. I believe in cooking.

    But even though I love it, I try not to say too often that it’s a hobby of mine. I don’t like the idea that it would be expected of me, both because I’m a woman and because I’m overweight. I can’t stand those kinds of assumptions. Being overweight doesn’t automatically mean a person eats a lot. Nor does it mean they don’t care about their body. It also doesn’t mean they don’t like their body. Or even that they’re not healthy. There are millions of contributing factors and reasons as to why someone might be overweight. And it’s none of your goddamn business in the first place, so stop making fun of fat people. You’re the disgusting one for not caring about someone’s humanity just because they have more volume than you do.

    Nonetheless, cooking is great for two reasons:

    1) Making one coherent thing from lots of small, transforming parts is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I will never be able to accept that I can combine ground wheat with an animal’s egg and microscopic fungi which convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, put it into a 400-degree space for thirty minutes, then have a loaf of bread pop out afterward.

    2) It’s a non-expensive, personal way to make others and yourself happy at the same time. For me, I love the process. It’s fun. Cooking is way more fun than eating the food itself. It’s an artform, even if you’re bad at it. But food is also something most people really like. And even though I’m bad at liking people, I love cooking for them. I’m really happy when others are happy.

    Even if people don’t like what I make, or even if I mess up the recipe completely, cooking will always be important to me.

  17. Yesterday I was talking to a friend over coffee, we talked about my ingenious app ideas, they’re really not too good though, we talked about relationships and commitment. But most of all we talked about what we are both up to, and even though we are both quite busy and he has his life pretty put together from what I can tell we both had similar issues. A fear of not having control and feeling that we might lose I on occasion, but at the same time we agreed our privilege is the largest in the world, it was nice putting our first world lives into context together talking about music. How the only thing really stimulating contemporary is hip hop music, then we talked about race and music. The constant coopting of cultures by white musicians etc. It was pretty good, that’s why I believe in getting together with likeminded people occasionally and sharing our concerns and ideas. It’s always good to bring things into context.

  18. I posted this at 2:45 but on the wrong this I believe page, just encase it is seen as being late, it wasn't, but at the same time is.

  19. I freaking love high heels. I love the way I feel in them; I love the way look in them. Don’t get me wrong, if I wear the wrong pair for more than two hours, my feet start to swell and feel more like I’m walking on glass than a cloud. But it’s totally worth it. I know that pain is the trade off for the pursuit of a more feminine stance than I usually sport.
    But when I really think about it, the reason I love high heeled shoes so much is that unmistakable click clack noise my steps make on uncarpeted floors. Every click and clack is telling. The ecko of my steps precede me in every room I enter, essentially announcing my arrival. Oh and every clack and clack adds rhythm and emphasis to my walk. I may never be a musician but if you listen to the way a pair of my heels sound walking on a gradient floor, I might as well be Beyoncé.
    Speaking of Beyoncé, that’s how I feel in heels. I feel strong, powerful, and intelligent because you know who wears heels and walks on gradient floors? Senators, CEOs, business women, educated women.
    But what’s sad about heels is that for some reason most men and women under average height are offended by me wearing heels. As if, because I’m over average height I am not allowed to add even an inch more to my own height, like they are jealous. Yes, I’m aware when I heels I am over 6 feet tall but who cares! It makes me tower over people. It is part of why I wear them. They make me look like I’m important, an authority figure. So I don’t care what the short people say. I love heels because I believe in being over six feet tall…sometimes.

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  21. It my birthday
    Exactly today 23 of January 1998 3 am I was welcome to this world making me the sixth Mutayongwa to this planet. I was born by are a beautiful woman and a great man. We all boys in my family. It toke my mom two days to get out of the hospital, she said the doctor had to make sure I was well and healthy before I could go home. As baby mine was coming home all neighborhood come out singing and dances from the hospital to my house. On this day every year I become a year older I add on 365 0r 356 more days to my life. On this day It makes my birth and my growth and change. For the last four year, I forgot my birthday to the point of where at the lunch lady reminded me of my own birthday. Cubaka Happy birthday, me what! it your birthday right?!!! Ohh yes it my birthday thanks to you. My most remarkably birthday was about last year walking to the lunch and a friend called Luck a young life leader come all the way to with all the from his house to bring with him all the anther leader. Happy birthday!!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHUI it your birthday today I know it me looking at my drives list saying yes it my birthday. I believe in everyday birthday day is my birthday and tomorrow was my birthday