Thursday, November 28, 2013

Annual Thanksgiving Poems by D & E

Elan's 2013 Thanksgiving Poem

It's all about eatin' a toow-key,
we can play foh a wittle bit;
we can make toow-key out of papewr
-- moonies, movies about it.

They was eatin' toow-key
because they want turkeys
because they like turkeys.

Being thankful -- I don't know
what it means. I'm thanks-ful
for havin' a great home
for Thanksgiving. I'm thankful.

I want someone over; wah, wah,
uh, wah, oo, ahh, wuh, uh;
last Thanksgiving everybody comed.



Dar's 2013 Thanksgiving Poem

Turkey time, turkey time
is all about being thankful
for everything-- a time
when we get together
with our families and pray.

It's a peaceful time, a time
when we get together with others
who live far away, a time
when we join people together,
when we're nice to each other.

We should be thankful
for what we have to eat
because most people are poor;
we should feel bad for turkeys
because we actually kill
their bodies to make food.

I'm grateful for Isabelle,
my teacher, school, and the turkey
that gave its body. Turkeys die.
Sad.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tales from the (Pre)Script(ion): Sorority-Sister-Turned-Banana on the Loose(Leaf Tea)

So maybe I'll write a blog post and maybe I'll make it a short one (see: a long wind can learn...when it wants to!). Have I been avoiding this blog like the plague or am I just otherwise occupied? It doesn't really matter, but I'd like to reply to anyone's deep sea call, "Is anybody alive out there?"
Yes, indeed, someone is alive, and she's drinking a delicious pumpkin spice chai latte from the local coffee house (we have one, and on occasion two, in this town), Sullivan Taylor Coffee Housey. I'm almost positive the Housey has a mousey.

I'm a little mousey who has been dumped and rejected in the past couple of weeks, and it's not feeling all that bad. Strangely enough, I feel eerily and ethereally good about this. Ah, but details. Those:

For one, I presented a paper entitled "The Househeld Mind of Virginia Woolf" at our department's graduate conference this week, and, for a second year in a row, did not "place" and receive an award, despite my efforts to not-surpass the length requirements (in other words, I tried to play by the rules).

I will admit: sure, I'm entitled. I'm entitled (read: tricked?) into thinking that some of my work is award-worthy because I think my work is unique, creative, and provocative. On the whole in this department (and it's not a negative), adherence to tradition and "rules" is valued over creativity (in my estimation), and I haven't yet figured out how to get the two in balance when it comes to the work I produce-- I always allow creative freedom to trump academic tradition. In other words, my margins are full and my borders are running off. (Also: I cannot help but try to have fun at all times...fun is fun!) I am, first and foremost, an artist. When I think and write critically, I do so as an artist and not simply as an academic. I am a performer, a minstrel, a buffoon, and I love what I do. I don't privilege the academic identity over the artistic one, and that can be a problem when those who are academics first or academics-and-not-artists are judging the work. Plus, Peeps be so serious in these parts!

Besides the entitled ego (pun intended, English Graduate Organization!) within me that tries to rationalize why it is that I cannot win an award within the department and why it is that I am not one of the recognized "stars" of the department, I do think that there are random factors that have little to do with anything I've done or not done that come into play. It's like a very, very small lottery. Or maybe like Oz. Either way, whatever. I am really proud of my academic mind (and the work it produces), regardless of being a loser,  so it's really...OKAY.

It's also okay-dokay that I was contacted by an egg donor registry about being a long-distance donor for the second time, last week, and that it's likely, now that I've followed up with honesty about my schedule, that it will fall through and I won't be contacted again (last time, the couple decided to go with a donor closer to their location...and I can't argue: Macomb IS a travel frightmare). I would make a great donor, though, and I would do it for free (aside from travel and medical expense coverage). But, tick-tock, I'm almost thirty, and you probably know what happens to egg donors when they turn thirty! S/poof! Oh well, I have produced two beautiful daughters; my eggs have had their days! (But don't bring me into the OB ward if you don't want to taste my thirty tears.)

The other weird rejection is actually somewhat hilarious. Somewhat.

I was contacted by, pa dum bum, a sorority.

Alpha Sigma Alpha,...because they were "looking" for graduate members. Alright, alright, get the giggles out of you right now. I know: it is funny.

Me? A sorority girl? That has EXTREME PARODY written all over it. Yes it does. Alas, Moon help me, I like parody too much and I tend to use myself as the real live experiment in my parody(sexual) lifestyle/narrative. They said that I was recommended to them, but, little to my naive knowledge, that was a clever way of saying my name was on some random list. I didn't just delete the email, as was my impulse, because I am trying to actively STOP putting myself in the "I'm Weird and an Outcast" box; instead, yes: slap my wristy, Sisty, I responded. I looked at the website, which promotes sisterhood (totally my bag, Baby!) and thought, "I should not dismiss this, maybe I can revamp my image and be accepted and part of something surprising...yessss, purrfect, a Sisterhood!"

After I responded, asking if I received the message in error, a very friendly chapette assured me that it was no mistake and that she would love to meet with me. Am I nuts or what? I said yes!

I met my new-and-gone friend, Suzanne, in a lounge in the Student Union for over an hour, discussing the sorority. I had tons of questions, raised a lot of issues, offered innovative ideas, took ample notes, and came to the conclusion (I don't know what planet I occupy, but I thought it was mutual) that I had a lot of attributes that would benefit the organization. We talked about stereotypes, image, and homogeneity. She admitted that they did not have very many African American students. We did talk of lesbians, mothers, and aging folks, too. I thought (and said in so many words) that my being part of such an organization could potentially be beneficial and trans-formative of it. If I were recruiting, for instance, we'd be seeing a population worlds apart in terms of diversity. Surely, a positive. And dear Suzanne, she agreed and was a delightful conversation partner. I have no doubt that she learned quite a bit from our encounter.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I did not scare the poor sister. She seemed (I stress "seemed") excited and told me that she would be emailing later that night with more information about eligibility. Later that night: no email. The next day: no email. Ever after: nada on the emaila. Which is fine. As we all know, I am a one-woman sisterhood -- a sisterhood wrapped in one body, so I'll get by with or without the organization and my stripes.

I do, though, have to wonder about myself. I'm an (h)aging (s)hipster. I feel like I'm five years old, but I'm almost thirty. Huh-ney, you got me. I have the soul of an 18th century spinster, the free spirit of a tyke, the body of a silly putty fairy, and the hormones of a seventeen year old boy. Help me, Lawwwwd. Or Lord. Because lately I need the Lawd and the Lord. Yuh-s, I'm praying lately. And that's for real. Mostly in the cool, cool, cool of the evening, but today I was on my knees in the afternoon. No joke. Surreal Life has begun. Yes, I pray. I try. Worship suits me, I've decided. After all, I used to be an in/firm believer. Who knows where this kneeling business will lead, but back to the five-year-olds:

I've been spending some time with them, in Dar's classroom, where I volunteer a couple times a week. My little peers (am I their peer mentor?) get a kick out of my perfume (Arabian Oud, to you, I pledge shhhh-eternal allegiance!) and my outfits (Bloomers, to you, I pledge my shhhh-eternal love!). Today, I wore a little ensemble that featured a yellow sweater I have had since high school. When I walked into Linked In, I mean: Lincoln, a kid stopped me in the hall and said, with attitude, "What are YOU?" What am I? I thought I was human, but now I don't have to be held down by that. I can, apparently, be anything. I told him, "I don't know," but I should have said, "Angela Lansbury's purse, what are you?" When I arrived at the Bear Den (Dar's classroom), as soon as I walked in, the purses, I mean humans, began discussing my appearance. It was entertaining conversation, and I recommend that people start dressing with more flare if they don't have anything to talk about! Forget coffee table books and magazines; hire me to be your coffee table!

One kid said, "That's a banana!" That. Ah. Moi. Others voiced their agreement. And so, there it is: today, I was "that banana" (still am, until I become a purse again in the night-shower!). Wonder what I'll be tomorrow. If I may be so bold as to wish on this, I wish to be a chalice.

Elan has news for us, too.  She shared with us, standing on the couch after school, that she told Maxim he is her boyfriend. To be precise, she said, "I just telled him today. I telled him he's my boyfriend." She seemed quite pleased, and I suppose I approve of her choice. If she has to have one of those (briefcases, right?), he seems suitable.

Well, This Banana said she'd keep this short. Plus, she has to play a cocaine addict in a scene for "Acting for the Camera" (i.e., Meisner for film) class tomorrow and teach two classes of her own.

So, adieu, Pretty You.