Friday, November 28, 2008

Theatre Row - New York, NY

Yesterday I had hoped to avoid the whole turkey situation, but I was not planning to meet my friends Daniel and Ceora for vegan dinner until later. The SoBro kids made a pretty big deal about the turkey and at one point asked me to admit that it was a good looking turkey. I avoided the question. I did not, however, miss my turn to give my thanks, which I would love to relate here.

This Thanksgiving I have more to be thankful for than I have for a long time. I am thankful for all for the changes I have made in my life to get where I am today. I am thankful for my new friends and my new lifestyle. I am thankful for my old friends who have supported me through all of these changes as well, even changing dinner plans so that I could be with them for this holiday. I am thankful for my family who has also supported and put up with all my craziness. I am overly thankful that even though the economy is in terrible shape and people can't find jobs, I am still able to work for Keen Company (another set of people I am thankful to know), so that I can continue to work without pay on the farm. More than anything, I am thankful for John, my wonderful new friend who loves to wear purple crocs while he cuts down trees. I feel so lucky to know someone so wonderful.

I am also thankful that my best friend Joe is not answering his phone or even turning it on anymore because I don't want to talk to his stupid-face anyway.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SoBro House - Bronx, New York

I'm so tired! Why am I even posting? You know how when you get so tired you can't even function enough to get yourself to sleep? That's what I'm doing now.

Today was one of those stupidly long days. I was so proud of myself for having gotten all the lights up and working at the time I said I would have it all done, but then focus took forever. Higgs and I ended up staying and working while everyone else went to dinner and got more work done in that hour than they had gotten done in four hours. It wasn't really their fault, there were too many people there and the wrong people were up on ladders. This should have been a much easier focus than it was.

At some point between last night and this morning one of our rented I-Cues got broken. I feel very certain that it wasn't our crew that did it, but was one of the people who have been passing through the building for the film shoot that's going on. First of all, I'm mad because these film people barge in here and we have to move all of our stuff out of the space we rented. They have infinitely more money and people than we do, yet we have to cut into our time to clear a path for them. Then somehow one of our really fancy expensive instruments gets broken. Luckily the rental guy was cool about it and is bringing a new one in the morning. I don't know who' paying for it and how much it will be though.

I have been doing nothing other than working. I miss VT so much. I miss the logger. This trip would have been 100% better if he were here. My friends are great, I just have so much trouble keeping up with everything because I have no desire to. I need someone else who agreed that faced-paced is not always the best thing ever. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE PEOPLE!!

OK, enough of this. I'm off to bed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

SoBro House - Bronx, New York

I'm going to bed three hours later than usual and setting my alarm for the same time as always. Ugh. I hate not living where I work. Do I really need to get up 2 hours before it's time to be at work? /Whine.

Trip was fine. Nothing exciting to report. I've missed my friends and I was crazy-happy to see them, especially when Slokes started singing Aladin to me for some unknown reason. However, I miss Vermont like crazy already. I feel a little sad and worn out. I think I just need sleep. On the walk to the train tonight I couldn't help but kick myself for ever considering giving up my Vermont farm dreams to live in the South Bronx. It was never really much of an option, but it maybe could have been if I had pushed for it. I'm so glad I stuck with my original plan and went off to live in a greener place. No one can seem to wrap their heads around my not needing a car or tons of money out there. Maybe if they understood this amazing WWOOFer lifestyle of mine they'd all be running to farms too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

I don't know if you readers follow the news very much, but there are some amazing things happening in Washington right now. Aside from Mr. Obama and the amazingly progressive-looking team he's building, congress is stepping up as well. The democrats are taking congress by storm, and while I do not identify myself as a democrat, I do recognize that they have a better chance of making the world healthier than the republicans seem able to or interested to do. The House Energy Committee just booted it's chairman and replaced him with someone who auto-makers have called an "irrational environmental zealot." I like that idea. Change some policies Mr. Waxman, because what we have is not working.

I'm pretty sure it was American auto-makers who said that if they were required to put seat belts in all cars they would go bankrupt. That never happened. And if they survive until January for our new president to help them out, they will no longer be able to get away with the excessively carbon-emitting crap they have been manufacturing, which helped get them into this spot in the first place. But, I'm ranting now. Anyway, read this.

Let's talk about Vermont. Recently I've been having bad dreams. Or rather, dreaming of bad memories. I wake up feeling sad, but relieved that I'm here. I guess if all of those bad memories didn't exist, I wouldn't be here, but it stinks that it took all of that to get me moving on a path that feels like the right one for me. This is something I've always wanted to do, but had always been waiting for the right time to do. I guess after the shit finally hit the fan for my life in New York, I realized there was no "right time" and that if I wanted to be a happier person, I didn't need to wait for an invitation.

A few days ago I woke up obscenely early (as I tend to do here), and started writing down my ideas and plans for what I want to do with myself. A long-term plan. The absolute perfect farm situation for myself. It's the first time I ever tried to organize my thoughts and goals into something anyone could read and understand. In the past I've always just sort of alluded to this farm idea where I wanted to focus on animals. My parents especially would like to know exactly how I would make something like this work. The answer is that I don't know yet, but I am finally starting to figure it out. So, over the next few days I'm going to work a little more on this idea and then post it here for your reading pleasure. The more it takes shape, the more excited I am that this is want I want to do with my life. I never felt this certain about theatre. Three and a half year of college and I always had my doubts. This, however, I know I want.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Alex has been reorganizing the kitchen since I got here, because oh man, it was a bit of a mess. The kitchen looks so much better now, and is about a hundred times more functional. To finish it off and put in a little last Alex touch, he put a rock garden behind the kitchen sink.

Oliver thought it might be funny to mess with Alex a little so he started putting things in the rock garden in strange ways. He balanced a spoon on a rock, a small shovel, some food. Here's the latest and the one with the most effort:

And here's my favorite, The Zen Bagle:

A collaboration between Oliver and Alex.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

It's snowing here and outside looks quite lovely. I'm sitting in front of a fireplace, so inside feels quite lovely. Alex is napping on the rug and everything is so cozy and quiet I thought I had better just give a little blog update. A little one.

Today Guv and I painted the new egg washing table that I built a few weeks ago. I put him in my over-sized painting shirt so he wouldn't get his clothes all messed up. I wish I had thought to get a picture of it, because the thing was huge on him and he got paint all in his hair. The table looks nice and white though. Tomorrow we are going to get colors and go crazy. That was Guv's idea and I love it. That should be a fun project and a nice addition of color to the egg station. It's important to support emerging artists, especially if they happen to be three years old.

Bought my train ticket today. It's official now: I'm heading back to NYC for a few days. This is probably a good thing anyway. My comp is being funky and could use a visit to the mac store doctors. My feet will also be warm for nine full days. Right now I'm lucky if they are ever warm for nine full minutes.

Anyway, here's what I'll be missing:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Two nights ago I got an email from the Bradford asking me to come back to NY for a week to work on the next Keen Company show. It was tempting because I don't have any money coming in up here and I still have those student loans to pay off. However, I'm a saver, not a spender, so I'm not struggling and I really don't want to leave. I especially don't want to be in NYC for Thanksgiving. But... the money is pretty decent for only a week of work, even after travel expenses, so I took it. I'm a sellout.

I am not happy to be leaving my cozy life here to go stress out on the subways of NY, but I'll deal. NY comes scarily natural to me, even though I'm the kind of person who would much rather lay in grass on a sunny day before collecting eggs from the chicken coop. What a crazy switch it is to go between the two, but nothing seems to faze me anyway. I tried to get The Logger to come with me so I could take a little piece of Vermont with me, but he was not having it. "I promised myself I would never go back to New York Shitty." That's the end of that I guess.

To finish this post off, here are some pictures Guv took with my camera on November 1st. It was a warm day and we went over to the meadow near the house. Here are the results:

Oliver and Nisi

Bonnie (I love this picture)

Guv's typically mismatched socks. What kid could resist taking one of his feet?

Everyone sitting on the hillside

A self portrait

Talula in the sun

The hidden banana in Talula's monkey costume

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Remember the logger in Crocs? Well I've got another story about him. Oliver has been making super compost in the chicken coop by adding leaves and hay and anything compostable. We added a huge mound of leaves the other day and Oliver wanted to add a bunch of hay that had been sitting on a hay wagon rotting for a few weeks. The rot was not intentional. The hay was super wet, also not intentional, and super-annoying, because wet hay is practically impossible to move.

Logger-dude (whose name incidentally is John, which is not as fun) pulled the wagon to the front of the chicken coop with the tractor. The plan was to shove all of the hay out and then push it into the chicken coop with the tractor. Simple. No. The hay would not come out of the wagon. We stabbed at it with pitchforks for a while and made no headway. So Logger-man gets this crazy idea that cutting the hay into squares with a chainsaw will do the trick. The man must dream about chainsaws because I don't know if anyone else would ever think to cut hay with a chainsaw. Oliver liked the idea, and I encourage ridiculous ideas at all times, so he went and got the chainsaw.

So here's the deal readers, if you are ever faced with the problem of trying to move mounds of wet hay, just cut it with a chainsaw, because oh my god that crap works. It still took us another hour to get it all out of the wagon, but we at least felt like we were getting stuff done. I wish I had my camera and could have taken some pictures, because Mr. Chainsaw was still doing it in Crocs and Oliver had them on too. You're putting your feet in rotten hay guys.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

When I was in college I took a lot of Political Science classes. I took them because they were taught by the best teacher I have ever had. His name was Robert Jessen (and I imagine it still is). He changed the course of my entire life by changing my cynicism about the world to a real desire to make things better. He helped me see that the ultimate solution is not to watch the shit hit the fan and then say "I told you so." He taught me that just being educated is only the first step. He also introduced me to my hero Scott Nearing. Without him I probably would not be working on this farm now.

One of the classes I took focused on environmental politics. One of the books we read was Hope, Human and Wild by Bill McKibben. The book was incredibly interesting and offered some real hope that not all governments and people were incapable of dealing with the major issues that plague the world today.

Yesterday Bill McKibben spoke at Long Trail School in Dorset and I was able to go see it with the Teleion Holon crew. The talk was short and not really mind-blowing in any way, but I think it was important. What Mr. McKibben was trying to get at is that each of us as individuals can not single-handedly stop global climate change. What we do as individuals is important, but the time has come for the governments of the world to step in and really get things moving quickly and drastically. He believes that if the whole world were to become more aware and have a goal and standard that is easily understood, it will be easier to demand better policies from our governments. He is basically trying to spread the word one person at a time. So here is the website he is promoting, which I encourage people to check out. Education is the first step. By raising awareness to people everywhere world governments would have an impossible time continuing to ignore the issues and the much needed solutions.

So yes, maybe the shit really is hitting the fan right now, but it's not over yet. Things don't have to get worse. I think the world can recover from this. Nature has the most amazing ability to heal itself. If we can stop making the problem worse, then maybe over time things can get better. I'm not sure that Mr. McKibben was right when he said it was too late to fix what has already begun and that our only option is to stop it from getting worse. We were wrong about how long it would take to see the effects of global warming, I can only hope that Mr. McKibben is wrong about how well the Earth can heal. I don't consider myself an optimist, but I need some optimism on this situation. I don't know if people can function on such a large scale if they don't have a glimmer of hope to aim for.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

I have so many things to say right now, where do I begin?

Let's start with Obama. I am so glad we just elected a rock star of a president. I found out at 6am the next morning and I was as happy as a 6 year old on Christmas. What I am even happier about is that he did not just barely win, he took the polls by storm. This was not an election that left half of the country grumbling, it showed the world just how ready the American citizens are to start cleaning up this horrible mess that we've made. So way to go America. I was never ready to pack up and head to Canada, I was ready to stand by and defend the fact that not all of us are represented by the current government. I think we are finally working towards a government I'll be proud to call my own. I didn't want to hang out with a bunch of stinky Canadians anyway. My only regret is that I now know that my life dreams of burning a draft card will not be coming true. A small price to pay I suppose.

Moving on to the chickens. A little while before I got here a chicken was injured in the gate to its pen. We think it broke its neck. It was moved to the greenhouse to heal in peace. We did an OK job of making sure it had food and water and for a while it seemed to be getting better. This is the infamous chicken that I picked up last week. A few days ago its health started to decline again. I'm not sure what did it. It was walking for a while. It would sometimes fall over, but it was able to get up again. Not anymore. The poor thing was stuck on its side and rubbing all its feathers off and really it wasn't pretty. It was kind of hearth breaking. Yesterday I brought her some food and she couldn't really eat it on her own because she couldn't lift her head well enough. So picked her up again and held her up to eat.

This stupid and pathetic creature actually got me to love a bird, melted my heart over a chicken. It's not so far-fetched considering my love of animals, but it is a little odd when you take into account my irrational bird fear. Anyway this afternoon I went to bring her some brussel sprouts and I found that she had died. I also found that I was more bothered by it than I thought I should have been. What the hell kind of insensitive person am I if I'm sad over this doomed bird? I guess the fact that it was doing so well gave me hope and that hope lead to a slight attachment. This got me thinking about the rest of the chickens. I guess I kind of like them too. I mean I spend a lot of time feeding them and cleaning out their houses and collecting their eggs. I even went out of my way to clean their water buckets and I'm currently trying to make their houses nicer.

A while ago I started questioning my feelings about working on a farm that raised animals for food. When I first began my search I specifically did not want to work anywhere that had animals for food. I felt it would emotionally stressful for me and I didn't agree with the practices. However, the more I thought about it, read about it, and talked to others about it, I started thinking maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing ever. True, I think it would be better if people did not eat animals at all. However, if they are going to, I think they should buy from small local farms that take good care of the animals and make sure they are happy and healthy. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to work at a place like that. Maybe I would be able to do it because I would be able to see these animals living healthy lives.

After this whole chicken episode I have decided it doesn't work that way. I can't even tall most of these chickens apart and I would still be upset if they were to become food. When I saw this one injured chicken, who was so obviously not a happy chicken, still fighting to eat and keep living, I knew that no matter what the circumstances, it's really not OK with me to kill something that wants to live. Furthermore, if I can get attached to one nameless chicken and feel some fondness for 50 others which simultaneously annoy the crap out of me, then I'll never be able to work on a farm that kills their animals. There is just no way I would not get attached.

I think there is more to gain out of any animal than its monetary value and I think that is something worth standing by. So there you have it. My list of possible farms to work on just got much, much smaller. So be it, I can't change who I am and I don't want to.

How awesome would a vegetarian president be?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

To keep us all up to date, it looks like Oliver and Bonnie did not get that farm. They put in a bid, but someone else put in a higher one. However, Oliver went and met with some bankers during this process so that they could get to know him and perhaps give him a loan. The loved him and apparently want to support what he and Bonnie do. So even if they don't get this farm, they will probably be able to get a loan for another farm. I hope that this ends up being a good thing and allows them to find a farm that is closer to their price range.

To check in on myself I'd like to state that it feels good to come back to the same place every night. It's nice to know where I'll be sleeping a week from now. Even though it's not my place, or my home, it is stable and I like it and I have more privacy than I've had in years. It's nice to not be stressing about what happens next. I don't need to worry about it yet.

All of that, I can of course do without. I know it's just frilly stuff that I don't need. I have enjoyed roaming around for the past few months and planning my future trips. I have missed this calm and quiet though. Things in Dorset were quiet enough, but they were not so calm. I had friends there, but it still felt different. When I'm here, it's like all that other shallow crap that people in theatre worry about really doesn't matter. Here I feel like the problems are not just a way to pass the time. I don't really know how to explain it without annoying myself, so let me give an example.

I've been feeling a little sick the past few days. Last night I realized I had an another health issue, which required an actual doctor, which is probably why I got a cold that no one else has. My body is trying to fight two things at once. I mentioned this to my friend and he insisted we go out that night to Bennington to go to the hospital to get myself taken care of. I didn't realize it until we got there, but my friend is not the most comfortable person in hospitals. He went out of his way and put himself in an uncomfortable situation just to make sure I got better. If it had been up to me, I would have waited until the next day and been miserable, because I wouldn't have wanted to ask anyone to do any favors for me.

It's not that I don't have friends who would do this for me, it's just that all of my friends know me too well to argue with me about it and insist that I change my mind. This friend doesn't know that I hate being taken care of, not because I don't need it, but because I don't want to feel like I need it. I'm glad he doesn't know this, because it feels nice to have a friend worry about me. I've never let anyone do that before. And we won't even start on how nervous he gets when I start using power tools. Ha.

I shall end this post by changing the subject suddenly and drastically and say that the only thing AZ has over the rest of the country is that they don't bother changing the time for daylight savings. There. I stated a preference for Arizona. Remember it, because it won't happen again. Until I wake up an hour early tomorrow morning.

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE! Unless you plan on voting for McCain, in which case please reconsider not forgetting to vote, sleeping all day might sound like such a good idea to you. KIDDING!