Friday, March 14, 2008

100 Good Things

I've been having a very negative couple of months. With some decent reasons for it, but still, it's kind of silly. This post represents, in the absence of a substantive essay, an effort to alleviate that negativity as spring arrives.

As they say on Arrested Development, "SPRINGBREAK! Woo!"

100 Good Things
1. Hard-boiled eggs. Man, those fuckers are delicious.
2. Seeing my students really support one another in their efforts to understand what we're learning and to prepare for the serious changes they might be able to make with a GED.
3. Algebra.
4. A 3-hour-long walk with an amazing friend who's up for antagonizing me in order to make me challenge myself.
5. Weather that allows for a comfortable 3-hour-long walk.
6. Shoes that allow for a comfortable 3-hour-long walk.
7. 10-year-olds crooning "We Are the Champions" into live mics after being told they had an excellent tech rehearsal. (The first time, that is. Yesterday it kinda got old.)
8. An American Tragedy, even though it gave me nightmares. It's a really compelling book.
9. The Threepenny Opera. Especially in German.
11. Teaching other people, especially kids, to walk on stilts.
12. Small, emotionally necessary episodes of schadenfreude.
13. Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd.
14. Skirts.
15. The possibility of getting a new bike.
16. Actually applying to actual jobs in actual non-United-States countries.
17. Discovering that the pain in the back of my mouth is a canker sore and not gingivitis. (Sorry, but that really is a good thing.)
18. An excellent, eye-opening conversation with somebody new in my life that was not only able to make me aware of the new person's potential awesomeness, but was able to assure me that I really can leave the city where I've lived for eight years, live out of the country, and be Okay.
19. The Regina Spektor song "On the Radio."
20. Figuring out how to get my new digital camera working again, even though it's annoying.
21. Being able to see my floor.
22. Being able to see the Sears Tower from my window.
23. My chicken purse.
24. Having a few new friendships awakening, even though I'm leaving in a few months.
25. Feeling deeply assured of the staying power of my old friendships.
26. Even if I'm not reciprocating, it *is* kind of awesome to have someone incredibly attracted to me.
27. Hearing from old students several years later.
28. Sleeping past 8 am.
29. Knowing I've collaborated with awesome artists who continue to respect, and sometimes even love, me post-collaboration, especially when I feel the same way.
30. Ideas for things to write.
31. Writing things based on those ideas.
32. The fact that I live with a really caring and interesting person, a super furry animal, and a six-foot-tall tree puppet.
33. Places to go, people to see.
34. The fact that most of my nails are too long, which means I haven't bitten 'em off! Word!
35. Boobies. Mine especially, but they're all rather neat.
36. The beach. Any kind of beach. The lakefront beaches in Chicago, in spite of their distinct lack of ocean, have grown on me over the years.
37. Everything I know about science already, and the prospect of learning more, both to teach and just because I want to know.
38. Reading at least a couple of pages of my big neuroscience book before I go to sleep every night, and the idea that maybe I'll do the same with the Bible when I finish the big neuroscience book.
39. The connections I've felt with large numbers of Chicago parks over the years.
40. Keeping up with acquaintances on facebook. That's a weird one, too, but one I've had interesting conversations with Silvana about. My friends I'll keep up with and hear their thoughts and their responses to my thoughts no matter what, but it is kind of neat that when I posted a status message about applying to non-U.S. jobs on facebook, several people I know and like but am not close to responded right away and had interesting things to say.
41. Coming into the season of no socks!
42. Beeswax lip balm. And learning more about what bee products can do.
43. Accepting that sometimes I've done nothing but watch TV on DVD for a couple of straight days, and that's really okay.
44. Friends who will help you edit cover letters early in the morning.
45. Talking to my grandmother. She's hilarious, caustic, and really a much more fascinating person than she lets on.
46. Imagining Guatemala, and Ghana, and Thailand, and Swaziland, and Tanzania, and the possibility that I really could go to any of them.
47. Coaching my friends for auditions. I like being able to do something concrete for people, as well as abstract things.
48. Getting shit done.
49. Sometimes not getting shit done.
50. The Caryl Churchill play The Skriker, and the fact that I will see a production of it soon, whatever I end up thinking of that production.
51. Upcoming trips to Detroit, Memphis and New York.
52. The prospect of some people I've taught actually getting their GEDs, while I am still at my workplace.
53. The prospect of leaving my workplace and still having some time to live in Chicago spring.
54. Probable short trips to India and Israel.
55. The resulting prospect of having been to at least one more continent in the next year.
56. The prospect of going along for a leg of Tyromaven's nationwide tour, especially since after that we won't live in the same place for a while.
57. The resulting prospect of having been to several more states in the next year.
58. Thinking about options besides missing people.
59. The fact that I could, in decent conscience, vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination, and could even more comfortably vote for Barack Obama if he does, and that both these individuals have a halfway decent chance of winning the presidency.
60. My Wednesday-night work dates with Connor and Jess. We haven't had many, but they're consistently relaxing, easy and steadying in a difficult time for me.
61. Working on a lot of writing projects, even if slowly.
62. Being almost done with Camus's The Rebel, close enough to the end that I can finally understand what the big deal is about it.
63. Seeing Tyromaven's notes all over the borrowed copy of The Rebel and getting a marvellous, visceral sense of her as a reader.
64. Having some friends with whom I talk about anything and everything, and some friends with whom I have only two or three topics, and valuing both.
65. Balls to Congress. I'm still really proud of it. Send balls!
66. My really exciting ideas for the youth theater company I want to run in three or four years. I'm writing up a proposal for them, and I can foresee many difficulties, but the project itself is awesome enough that I'm ready to take them on.
67. Having short hair, especially when I buzz it again.
68. Being able to hear, as if they were really there, my friends' voices speaking their Emails or IM correspondence.
69. The fact that I finished a novel in three months, even though I still have months and probably years of revising to do.
70. That Chicago will be solidly green within the next month.
71. Worm composting, and the idea of putting wet cardboard on the ground to get me some more worms.
72. Owning a drill and being a woman who owns a drill.
73. The fact that, out of something that was overall an extremely negative experience, I still got a "Most Pins Left Standing" bowling trophy, which I display with pride. For that matter, I got a good friend out of that experience, too, but the friendship doesn't belong to that experience anymore.
74. Awesome people having babies.
75. Down quilts when I need 'em, open windows when I don't.
76. Masturbation. (It *is* a good thing.)
77. Thinking critically about the pros and cons of leadership and what kind of leader I want to be.
78. The First Coat song "Lotto," especially when I'm thinking about romance.
79. That my memories of my senior year of high school are almost uniformly positive. What a privilege.
80. Stephen Dunn, the poet. Absolutely everything about him.
81. Enjoying new artistic collaborators, whether or not they'll be new friends.
82. A beautiful bell my cousin brought back from China thirty years ago.
83. Russell Banks and being able to think critically about my race as a result of reading his work.
84. Exchanging intensely intellectual Emails with Lucas about young adult books and their politics.
85. Taking out the trash.
86. The decision to walk to Leeann's place tonight rather than taking lots of buses.
87. Having met a lot of really wonderful children in the last eight years.
88. Knowing this city really, really well. Better than most people who live in it. It's a silly thing to be competitive about, but I am, and mostly I win.
89. The coming of outdoor tables at eateries.
90. Picnics! I plan to have several before I move.
91. Cupcakes. And broccoli. Those both sound sooooo good right now.
92. Educating myself about global warming and climate change by having to educate others about it, even with the trial and error that comes with that.
93. Liking as many people as I love.
94. Writing a musical. With another person.
95. Off the above, doing things I have never done before.
96. The picture above my desk of Maddy looking into a well in Italy, and the memories of that trip, and the fact that we're still friends seven years later and will always have shared that.
97. Dramagirls.
98. The prospect of living not in a city.
99. Sort of kind of vaguely knowing how to drive, even though I don't have a license yet.
100. Making lists. I know that's an obnoxiously meta way to end it, but you know what? I really fuckin' like to make lists. They make me happy.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

this list contains greatness. i am a proud accomplice.


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