Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm too young to have grey hair

I have just recently learned that my brother is planning on moving in with his girlfriend's family.
My other brother is looking for a place to move into with his girlfriend.
My parents sound like they are visably aging when I speak to them over the phone.

How can three children hear the same message from the same people and interpret it so differently in their lives?

I was always given the clear impression that premarital sex wasn't a good idea because it wasn't a part of God's plan and sex is too important to engage in casually. Perhaps my parents made that abundantly clear to me, perhaps it simply hit closer to home because the consequence of pregnancy is more real to me than it is to my brothers, understandably. They don't have a monthly reminder of what the human body is built to do.

You know what? While I don't think that sleeping together is a good thing for them to be doing, that isn't what actually bothers me about this whole shenanigan. 2, looking for a place to set up house with his girlfriend...I can actually get excited for him. For them. It's strange to think of him as a 'them' but it's still a big step in his life, scary and exciting. But 3...why on earth does he want to move in with his girlfriend's family? They are so chaotic, and unhealthy...and I know he heard all those things from my parents when he started dating her. I know he doesn't want to hear that anymore. But dammit, that house is not a good place. I can't see how it will be a good thing for him to live there. At least, when he lived with my parents, he could get away from his beloved when she got on his nerves. He could distance himself from her sister when she annoyed him (which is more likely). He didn't have to be a part of their every crisis.

I wish he would listen to my parents advice this time. I wish he would stay at home - or if he has to move away (which I could understand if that's what this is all about) I wish he'd move somewhere alone where he could batch it for a while.

If he has to make a decision and learn from it, I hope it doesn't hurt too badly.

And who knows...maybe it will be a good thing for him.

Like Monday was a good thing for me.

I wish I knew what my role in this is. I am the sister. What am I supposed to do? Tell him what I think and back off? Keep my thoughts to myself? Try to change his mind? Love him, yes. But how? What does that look like?

Sometimes I wish my parents had better sibling relationships for me to follow.

I guess I can be ready with a hug, whatever happens. A hug and love.

And a housewarming present.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Time to Cry

Today has been a good day. I woke up rested, if a bit confused. I shouldn't wake up to the radio. It makes me forget my dreams and wonder what is going on. My dad called to say good morning, and to tell me that he had bought a plane ticket for me to come home for Easter, and that he had sent me some money. I went to dance class and only injured my knee a little bit. I have had a long break in-between classes which is like water in a drought. My brother sent me an email telling me that he forgives me for ganging up on his when we were younger, and that he loves me. I have two hours of rehearsal and then - the evening off. Of course, that means I will be learning lines but that's okay. I have time to do that.

Monday was not a good day. I shall rephrase that. It didn't feel like a good day. In retrospect, perhaps it was a good experience. But waking up tired is no fun. Waking up to muscles so knotted I could puke is no fun. Waking up sick is no fun. Waking up realizing that only two days have gone by since your last break even if your body is trying to convince you it's been seven is really not fun.

I got dressed and went upstairs and ate breakfast. I bit back tears that had no trigger. One of my roommates asked me how I was and they spilled over. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to start crying on you. I just don't know how I'm going to survive."
She nodded. Apparently it was Mid-Term Meltdown day at the Dahlen house.

It was nice to know I wasn't alone. Three of us sat and commiserated for a while and then went on with our days. I didn't do anything school related at all. I went to the office, and for the fourth time someone asked me how I was and for the fourth time I burst into tears. He's a teacher and the director of the show I'm working on right now. He was very sympathetic. I didn't feel like talking much, but he gave me a shoulder massage and listened to all the things I was communicating without speaking. It was a really good thing. I didn't realize he was there for that, or that I could go to him with frustrations and stress.

Later that evening I watched a chick flick with my girlfriends. We ate chocolate ice cream and when one of our guy friends showed up with music to show us, we acquiesced and he gave me a wonderful, wonderful back/shoulder massage. I had heard about his skills in muscle relaxing. Now I believe them.

So, Monday started with tears and ended with laughter. Perhaps Mondays are like March - they come in like a lion and go out like a lamb (or vice versa).

Days like that really make me appreciate days like today. Maybe that is all that days like that exist for.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Beautiful Day

Written March 9th, 2006

Today is the last day of my study break. It was so warm yesterday that all the snow that had fallen since we left for New York melted into beautiful slush…but today, the sky is throwing down wet, fluffy snow onto the dangerous ice. People driving by our house keep skidding as they try to stop at the stop sign. I hope my schoolmates who are at home can make it back safely before rehearsals start at 7 p.m.

I had the best of intentions this morning. I was going to be very productive and get stuff done – all I really had on my list was to work lines and work on costumes. So far, I’ve worked lines and make a gigantic snow rabbit with my friends. It is standing on an outdoor stage by the theatre and has great glowing eyes made out of orange slices. My roommate was going to take some of my Easter candy for some sort of decoration but I put my foot down. The idea of using perfectly good food for anything other than eating is beyond me. My friends say it is my Mennonite heritage coming out. It’s good to know I do actually have a connection to my roots.

After the rabbit was created (and it’s huge – it stands over 7 feet high, which meant bringing a stool outside to put on the ears, which were actually originally alien heads but the thing evolved…yeay, Darwin) we made a dress out of snow around Cari’s feet, and then buried Mel in snow and gave her Madonna cone-bra breasts. I became the official documenter of the morning’s events and took pictures with my camera. It was loads of fun, and wore us out enough to come inside and eat tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, and hot chocolate. A bizarre mix, perhaps, but we were watching Moulin Rouge, which is nothing if not bizarre. Plus we’re actors. Strange behavior is part of the life style.

I like just being able to sit and write about my normal day. I like that I am losing my fear of being ‘discovered’. For some reason, a part of me feels like blogging is a terrible secret and that no one must ever find out that I partake. I guess it’s because I don’t want people that I know to read what I think sometimes. At first I thought it was just that I didn’t want my mother to read my thoughts online. She writes a blog, and has for over a year. It’s very good, and I read it regularly. I am learning things about her that I didn’t know before. I get to see a part of her life that I would never see any other way. And for some reason, I don’t want to reciprocate.

And there are some people I live with now that I don’t want reading my thoughts, too. My friend who had the unrequited love (although he’s dating her now, so I guess the unrequited part wasn’t completely true) – I have a lot of thoughts about their relationship that I don’t necessarily want them to know. Yet. And I know I haven’t exactly written them down here. Yet. But I might. And there are people I deal with every day that I may want to vent about, and the thought that they could read my true feelings here scares me.

But being scared isn’t the end of the world. Having someone stumble onto the complete and utter truth isn’t the end of the world. Taking a risk is not the end of the world.

Just the end of my safe little construction that I call a world, although it is really just a cardboard box in an alley somewhere.

It is a frightening and exhilarating thing to have comfort zones stretched or removed. It hurts a bit but as one of my many friends would say, it’s a good hurt.

And there is more than enough snow around to slow the swelling.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Procrastination is the name of the game

Today is the first day of my study break. It is a beautiful day outside, sun shining blindingly onto the snow, animals running around or basking, according to their nature. I realize that I am a basker by nature. I wonder if I should try to go against type, or if that is a hopeless endevour? In acting school so much is about type. I have learned, for instance, that I am the perfect type to play Laura in "The Glass Menagerie". Whether that is a compliment or not, I'm not sure. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to not be that type of person.

I am supposed to be using this study break, not, as the name implies, to take a break from studying, but to catch up on all of the studying I haven't done yet. Instead I have baked buns, gone grocery shopping (and left some of my rightfully bought groceries in the store to my extreme annoyance - it's a half hour drive to go and claim them), cleaned my room and watched "The Godfather" for the first time. And I've done more sociallizing than I've done here all term. Oh, and I'm looking at the Red Carpet Gallery from the Academy Awards, which I didn't watch because I haven't got access to a television. I am not doing my research assignment, which my teacher already gave me a generous extention on.

I really like Diane Kruger's dress, and Nicole Kidman's isn't bad either. But what was Naomi Watts thinking? Ugh. I wonder if any of them knows anything about the Abbey Theatre in Ireland? Probably not...which makes me wonder about the importance, relatively speaking, of my research project in the first place.

Since my return from New York, I have been productive. I really have been. I went to class for a week. I spent over 20 hours in rehearsals for a play in which I have a main role. I turned 22, which believe you me, was quite an achievement, although some would argue it was a pretty passive one.

Oooh, I actually kind of like Salma Hayek's look this year. Reese Witherspoon, kind of cute. I like her hair. I wonder why so many of the stars are wearing big names like Armani instead of looking for new up and coming designers who (perhaps) have more creative genius and innovative ideas? Or at least, more initiative to make something stunning and unique? I'd like to think that's what I'd do if I was going to walk around the red carpet at the Oscars. And I'd like to think my smile wouldn't be as fake as Ziyi Zhang's, but who knows, it might just be the one bad photo in the roll. If they use rolls - they probably had a digital camera that they could delete the terrible photos right away - so perhaps her smile is just that forced, or she was having a bad day, or her dress was pinching?

See how good I am at procrastinating? I should get some sort of award for it.

I would have thought that as I aged I would get more responsible instead of less. I used to be the paragon of responsibility. A little part of me hated it, because my motives weren't very good. It was all about controlling my environment, and myself, to the point where nothing could go wrong or not according to my schedule or I'd have a mild and very controlled tantrum.

What is with Charlize Theron and big puffy bows? Good lord, woman - grow out of it already, and stop ruining dresses by adding two extra yards of fabric where they don't belong.

Anyway, I'd say I've gone the other direction now. I still wrote out the schedule for this study break, but I haven't followed it very well. In fact I am a day behind. Today was supposed to be blog surfing, email checking and line learning - which is what I have done - but I was supposed to have finished my reasearch project yesterday instead of spending the day cleaning my room, which I was supposed to have done the day before instead of spending the day chatting with the friend who unexpectedly dropped by.

Keira Knightley, good job! I heartily endorse that look.

I guess being flexible enough to actually take the time to socialize with friends is better than saying, oh, too bad you came today because I'm doing stuff. Go away now. Which a little part of me was saying in my head, distracting me from the conversation every once in a while as I thought of my list with longing. I'm sure there is a time and place to do that though. I know that if anyone tries to distract me (other than myself) today I am going to have to say, no, sorry, I'm learning lines today so I can actually be off book by Thursday and on top of that, I'm getting a cold and sore throat so don't even tempt me, goodbye - and the door will slam in their face.

And with that, I suppose I should slam the door in my own face by clicking the 'x' on the Oscars and beginning to care about theatre in Ireland in 1904. Yeay. Procrastination isn't really a fun game after all.