While I’m off work, I’ve been teaching writing to some girls in Juvie up in Santa Clarita of all places (where we wrote and filmed Switched at Birth) through Writegirl (nonprofit that pairs professional writers with, you know. Girls.) I am using the word ‘teaching’ lightly because 1.) teaching might actually be to antonym of my actual nature and 2.) first we must get them to even care, like, at all. I wouldn’t even call them apathetic. It’s just that there are so many grander things for them to care about than a poem that might or might not be in the shape of a hat. Just a few miles from malls and 900 starbucks and big box stores, and for some of them their old neighborhoods, the girls are kept in a weird time loop that sort of looks like school meets a summer camp meets the ROTC. They are kept on a tight schedule of classes and seem to care only about when they will get out and bobby pins and what shoes I’m wearing and what they could do with my bangs, given the chance. They’re all working towards high school class credits, but there’s also this paralysis because when they do get out, they’re re-entering the exact same world that got them into the place to begin with. Most seem to not have a moral support from parents, many of whom are also in jail, and so they’re left to their own devices. They could change, be better versions of themselves, resist temptation, but also they are seventeen year old CHILDREN and how strong was our resolve then, really? How strong is it even NOW? I want to help them connect words to their helplessness so that they can sort through their thoughts. I want to not say stupid things to them like YOUR WORDS WILL SET YOU FREE! But also I want them to know their words will set them free in their minds, which counts. But first I have to get them to even care, which, I now realize, is the first part of teaching, or even THE part. It is the whole part.
Being that I have a play that’s about Cake, watching the Great British Baking Show is actually NOT procrastination or distraction, it is in fact research. Thank God Netflix just added two seasons of it so I can continue this important work. I’m only one episode in, but I must go ahead and declare my favorite, Frances:
Frances designs children’s clothes for a living, and likes to make cake ‘fun.’ For the ‘sandwich cake’ challenge she made a cake that actually looks like a giant jam sandwich, complete with sugar wrapper that you peel off the sandwich before eating.
For the show stopper chocolate cake challenge, she made a SECRET SQUIRREL CAKE THAT HAS A SECRET CHOCOLATE SQUIRREL HIDING INSIDE OF IT.
FRANCES YOU SEE INTO MY HEART
Morrison and I in fact live just down the road from Thaitown, Los Angeles, which features a Thai Plaza filled with restaurants and bakeries and everything you might want to suspend your disbelief and convince yourself that you are not in your life, but actually still on your honeymoon. In said plaza, newlyweds can order deep fried whole fishes and those weird little pancakes with marshmallow and corn and Chang declare to no one, ‘this is almost as good as when we were in Thailand but slightly not as good because right now we are not in Thailand but actually just in a strip mall’ and also ‘PS WE WENT TO THAILAND.’
Julien and I have always wanted to hike Machu Picchu in Peru, and so we are DOING IT IN APRIL, while I have a minute off work, while we both can. It may be unconventional for a married lady to travel without her husband, But as Morrison and I discussed Last year, adventures should continue after marriage both together and apart, so much so that in our vows, he promised me that I could ‘always go kayaking,’ and I love him for that. But being that I am my parents’ kid and a good 50% conventional housewife, I WILL feel a deep guilt up until the point that I am standing on the top of the citadel, looking out, at which point I will release it, and return perhaps a stronger person, and perhaps even, a better wife.
Me as little as two years ago: “I put my email address on my blog because I really like to be able to share plays upon request, and answer questions, and in general just be very accessible as opposed to mysterious and hard to reach.” Bekah as little as two years ago, let me be the first to say, aw, that is so sweet, and you are so cute. Me today: “AHHHH MORRISON PLEASE HELP ME TAKE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OFF MY BLOG, AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO HELP EVERY THEATER STUDENT, no but really I would love that, IF I GET ONE MORE POLITE REQUEST FOR A PIECE OF MY BRAIN I AM GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO WHILE SOBBING
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Check out dear niece Livy, workin that first International Women’s Day / A Day without Women. This little woman is not going to work, not spending money anywhere, just chillin inside with her folks, smiling into her bright future.
SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! Sure hope you did because I’m going to be doing it pretty much non stop, cause the short I wrote for Morrison that our friends Alexis and Rick directed and DP (also a married couple, feel free to vom into your hand) is headed to the 2017 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL!!! THREE CHEERS FOR PROJECTS BORN FROM LOVE! HERE’S A BUNCH OF PICTURES THAT LEGITIMIZE OUR CREATIVE ENDEAVORS!
Today on what is right with America, Pizza Hut has released a pair of shoes called pie tops. They sync to your phone, you know, like shoes do, and when you press the tongue of said shoe, it connects to your phone and orders you a pizza, because it’s way too simple to just order a pizza from your phone and it’s just way more fun to lean down and press upon your shoe and make pizza happen and just know for the rest of the day that your foot summoned food. I’d really like to tell you more about them but I really must away and find said shoes in GIANT HUSBAND SIZE.
Greetings, my own mother, my husband’s mother, and various mothers of high school students who are trying to obtain rights to perform monologues from my short plays! Maybe before you were watching Switched at Birth because I was writing for it for 3 seasons — but hear this: YOU STILL NEED TO WATCH IT. NOW. It’s fifth and final season is airing now on Freeform, and it’s blowing me away. Lizzy Weiss (show runner) never stops pushing herself, her writing staff, and then subsequently the network itself, to tell challenging stories that aren’t ever safe. On a network that’s designed to appeal to both teenagers and their parents, it’s hard to delve into difficult social issues, like say, race, and it’s even harder to put your dearly loved main character (Daphne) in the thick of a really difficult moral and ethical conundrum. But Lizzy does it, in a way that’s both nuanced and surprising. As someone randomly wrote on my Facebook page today,’ Switched at Birth should be mandatory for high schoolers.’ TRUTH. But also, you should watch it too.
I have made similarly grand statements about babies before, but this time I REALLY ACTUALLY MEAN IT. My niece Livy is REALLY ACTUALLY the cutest, most beautiful baby in all of the world.
She will hold the seat for all of time, or perhaps until I have a kid of my own, at which point she will be denoted to second place, unless of course, Livy remains cuter than my actual kid, which, given the picture above, IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE.