Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Best Thing

This week...blows. But! This morning the best thing happened. I was riding the 7 to work, listening to Summer Love by Justin Timberlake. While that song is the hotness, it was not the Best Thing. A woman and her little boy were sitting behind and across from me. When they got off at the Third Street stop I noticed the boy trying to get back to the bus, but the driver didn't see him and the mom pulled him back away from the street. I glanced back to where they had been sitting and noticed a tiny man laying between the seats.

I scooped him up, yanked the yellow cord, and asked the driver to let me off. I ran back towards Third Street, and saw the mom through the crowd on the sidewalk. I ran up to them, pulling out my headphones, and held out the action figure to the little boy.

"Does he belong to you?!" His eyes lit up with recognition, and I saw that he was crying. The mom thanked me profusely and said that his best friend had given him the figure. I told her son that I had five brothers and knew how important those little guys could be. He looked at me as if I'd raised his little plastic Lazarus from the dead.

Not even a million cupcakes could have made me feel that great. There are few things more rewarding than rediscovering your humanity in Los Angeles.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sky Keeps Falling

Saw an awesome blazing meteorite on the way back home this evening. Have you ever seen a falling star and wished for something OTHER than a makeout?

Me neither.

Had pancakes at Fred62 (the new Swingers, which was the new Cafe 50s) with Emily and Aaron Alexis. Here is Aaron, offending me with his hotness:

Emily and I had just got out of the rehearsal for the great play reading she is in, Funeral Wedding, written by the _genius_ Emily Schwartz, and directed here in Los Angeles by my often-girl-crush, Kelly Lohman. I wasn't rehearsing, I was just observing. I did minor assisting with the movement and blocking for Lucy and Mary in Act One.
Supremely talented cast; the funniest play about murder and pedophilia you'll ever see.

The Funeral Wedding
by Emily Schwartz

June 22nd at 8pm and June 23rd at 5pm

Reservations: (818) 765-8732
Suggested Donation $10

A staged and rehearsed play reading.

Performances at:
6128 Yucca Street, Hollywood
Theatre at St. Stephen's Church between Franklin and Hollywood
Free parking lot accessible from Carlos Street

From the writer of "The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery" comes an original murder mystery directed by Kelly Lohman. After Alvin Fisher witnesses the murder of two little girls, he hides in the family attic and withdraws into an imaginary world. But when the ghosts of the children appear to him and beg him to find their killer, he is forced to face the real world -- and the reality is that the killer may be closer than he thinks.

Alvin ……………..…..………….. James Immekus
Anne ……………..…………….. Emily Janice Card
Sylvester ………..…….… Robert Briscoe Evans
Myrna ……………..……………………….Susan Hull
Dr. Elliot …………..…………………James Calvert
Lucy …………………………….. Vanessa Whitney
Mary …………………..……………… Aimee Parker
Accordion Player …….…………………Bob Rokos

Monday, June 18, 2007

Underrated, Rediscovered, or Just Cool Regardless.

These are Rather Awesome (in case you hadn't noticed).

Hellboy works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). When Hellboy leaves the Bureau to take care of some Hellboy stuff, the team makes due without him. This book is brilliant. I love Mike Mignola's artwork, and so was reluctant to read a spinoff drawn by someone else. Tut tut! How lame that I went so long without it. The artwork is very effective for the story, but that's the thing --the stories are amazing. The stakes are real, and they are high. I'd always been a huge fan of Abe Sapien, but in BPRD everyone is masterfully developed. Roger the Humunculus is definitely one of the best characters in any comic, ever. I would suggest getting through the first five volumes of Hellboy so you can truly appreciate the where the Bureau is coming from, plus the origin story of Roger and most of the other agents. The first collected volume of of BPRD is called Hollow Earth and Other Stories. It's fantastic, but volume two is kinda all over the place. By volume three things are more cohesive and volume four and five will just knock your socks off. Unless of course you're lame. If all you know of Mignola is that tragically mediocre Hellboy movie, please, don't make any hasty judgments. Both Hellboy and BPRD (and The Amazing Screw-on Head!) should be available at a comic shop near you, Hi De Ho if you're in Los Angeles, or Amazon if you're bedridden. If anyone ever wants to come over and have a big comic potluck reading party just let me know.

More Rather Awesome things one might want to check out, coming soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Classified Information and Private Catastrophes

As organisms we are definable. We are male, female, humankind; Homo sapien. But how do you define a being? Of all the parts and minutiae that make up Sara Elizabeth Ellis, what can be eliminated and leave a whole and true Sara behind?
You could argue that adding or subtracting anything to myself would change this Sara into a completely new Sara, and that moment by nanomoment there are parallel Saras born into a mirror universe ad infinitum. You could also argue that nothing short of complete and total destruction could reveal my true Self – but that isn’t what I’m talking about here. I’m thinking in simpler terms.
There are a lot of ways we define ourselves. Most of this is left out in the open for public consumption, As a species we are nigh obsessed with broadcasting self definition: band t-shirts, netflix queues, throw pillows, preferred personal frangrances, and Phds. There are some things, however, that are so crucial to our existence, so inextricably "I" that we shy from saying it aloud. To name it might sully, or worse, destroy it; a single wayward breath and we might wink out of existence.
These characteristic tend to fall under the artistic and religious. They pin the mortal to the divine. They turn earthbound faces ever skyward. They are expressed urgently, tenderly; with precision, and with abandon. They are witnessed by thousands at forty dollars a seat, but they are sometimes witnessed only by the most peripheral members of society that keep the nightwatch over park benches and bus stops. They alone might hear something flutter between parked cars, or dart across an empty intersection.
I'm a pretty good storyteller. I like my poetry. Some other people like it, too. Several members of my family are good if not great at the visual arts. I am the assistant editor for a fiction magazine and I take pleasure in measuring up a story, diagnosing any problems, and sometimes even prescribing possible remedies. I work part time in a comic book store, have good communication skills, give great amateur massages, pre and post breakup counsel, dream interpretations, and slightly cockeyed but ultimately passable haircuts. But I'm a dancer, yo.
I am never happy if I am not dancing. Too many days without it and I get physically and psychologically muffed up. Dancing is the most pure and effective way I can put the inside on the outside. It stirs my blood, soothes my heart, blows my mind, and articulates my soul.
I don't shout it around. A lot of my every- day- people don't know it. The majority of my graduating class certainly didn't know it, and neither did one (or all?) of my ex-boyfriends. Of course that has more to do with their being self-absorbed and bad listeners than with my shyness. However, this could be the first and only PSA to disclose the most crucial of Sara ingredients, excluding resum├ęs.
If you know me well this isn't surprising. I fear putting the truest and most precious parts of myself out in the open except in those inevitable showdowns between Good and Evil. And I don't believe in Dance Competitions, except socially. Most of all, I don't believe in this:

I often wear my heart on my sleeve, but never on my ass.

I know I'm not alone. A lot of us sneak around, being awesome in the dark. Did you know CompTron was an amazing dancer? Her body sings poetry. Seriously. She empathizes with my passion, but also shares my anxiety with performing in front of a few accqaintances, as opposed to a nameless throng or a few tried and true souls. It's just too important. Too true, too real, too raw.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we get are accustomed to public prayers. Before dinner, after meetings, etc. But have you ever prayed your most personal prayers aloud? What if someone other than God was listening?

It is as terrifying as it is beautiful. It just makes you cautious, is all. You don't have to cast your pearls before swine to feel like the only naked body in the room-- well meaning people are scary enough.
Even more terrifying is the thought of losing your means of expression.
Thursday morning I went to my first ballet class after six months of exclusively dancing West African and Flamenco. I hit four triple pirouettes in a row. Awesome. I couldn't extend my right leg when raised higher than 45 degrees. Holy crap. That's not good.
It might be tendonitis, but the terrible click/snapping sensation would indicate that I've probably torn a ligament behind my knee. I called my long time friend and teacher Elbert Watson back in Norfolk, Virginia, 10 'o clock at night his time, and he gave me some good advice,therapeutic exercises, and optimism that it would heal before visiting him in July.
Frozen aspargus now under my knee, I feel better. But there was a moment, a long unravelling moment, where I couldn't stop crying because I couldn't move my legs. I couldn't express my feelings, I couldn't dance to my own pulse, I couldn't touch the divine.
We are so fragile. Such fragile creatures should have more courage. Courage to take off our clothes, pray out loud, dance in the daylight. Crash. Burn. Brilliant.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sharing is Caring.

I enjoy reading my friend CompTron's blog entries, and am always grateful that she takes the time to share her thoughts and experiences. I mentioned this during our tandem lunch break today, and agreed to be less selfish and share as well. The experiment begins. Huzzah.