Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Wow. Hi. Tired. TI-red.

In the past week, I turned 23. Go me. 23 was sort anti-climactic, actually. The best part of my birthday, I think, was the fact that my 8th period Spanish "Class for the Day" baked me a cake. I had them the day before, and whenever I teach Spanish, I warm the class up weith questions about- anything- sports teams, the musical, other teams/activities, the prom, whatever they currently care about.... It's muy Mrs. Minnich. :) And occasionally, they return the questions- which is good, because they're getting into actually conversing- and the most common questions I get are how old am I and do I have a boyfriend. :) And I said, I will be 23 tomorrow; his name is Stephen. And they asked if we could have a party. I said we could have a Cinco de Mayo party if they cleaned up really well and let me teach them about Cinco de Mayo for part of the period. So I took in some soda and snacks- nachos and salsa, etc- and -they baked me a cake. I almost cried. I was really, really touched. I couldn't believe it.

And then I went home and had a fight with my mom and cried a lot, so really, that was the highlight of my birthday. It's fine, though. :)

Alissa and Stephen and I went hiking at Mt. Mohonk on a Nature Girl AdventuresTM, Inc. We had a blast. I got to see a little bit more of the town of New Paltz, and no one died. :) Tee hee. No one even came close to dying. Stephen (not exactly world-renowned for his coordination, having broken his back in two places falling off some scenery in 10th grade- ask him any time to see the video tape of this terrifying incident, complete with him bouncing as he hits the stage and screaming "HELPMEHELPMEHELPME" in this unearthly inhuman voice; really, it's highly amusing, fun at parties, and only in good taste because he recovered completely, thank goddess) managed to do the ENTIRE THING, including the "Lemom Squeeze"- where you scale up a 500ft crevice on a very, very thin ladder- while carrying a walking stick he named "Happy Noodle Boy." Considering that Alissa and I often had to take our time with full use of both of our hands, and in my case, mutter "Okay. OKay. Okay okay okay" to myself fairly often, we were highly impressed with his ability to get himself AND Happy Noodle Boy to the summit.

Alissa also got to visit her uncle, aunt and cousins, and Stephen and I stayed in a charming bed and breakfast, the Whispering Pines B&B. I highly recommend it. I also picked up pamphlets for a horseback riding place that takes you on Winter tours through the snow, so perhaps, there is a Succulent Wild Woman Weekend a la this past year's Vagina (Monologues) Weekend in DC, anyone? We won't climb Mohonk in the ice and snow, but we could go horseback riding and stay in a B&B and walk about the town, perhaps? :) Just a thought. Who knows where I will be by then?

Then, Alissa gave me some furniture- I will have to smudge it with incense to purge it of its residual Disloyalty Vibes clinging to it from its Previous Owner before Her- but trying to move a desk and a dresser silently out of Alissa's apartment at 11 p.m. was hilariously funny. At least for me. I collapsed with laughter against the desk, which, unfortunately, was already pinning Liss against a wall at the time. But we survived. AND I didn't pee myself, which, as anyone who knows me knows, is a major bonus in such a situation.

Oh, by the way, before I forget- I am at the Diverse Visions AP workshop all week this week, and my cell phone is very, very, very dead. My wall charger is in Miami somewhere, and my car charger is in Lancaster. Helpful, as you can imagine. I am trying to check my voice mail from time to time, but this is sporadic at best as I am working and shooting like crazy. More on that in a minute. If you need me, email me- not going to post it here, you all know it anyway, I think. If you need me fast, call the Sheraton Hotel on Miss America Way in Atlantic City, and ask for my room from the front desk. I will get back to you as fast as possible, but it may not be all that fast in reality. :) Please, no dying until I get my favorite appendage (my cell phone) back up and running. :)

So...the Diverse Visions workshop. I think, ultimately, this week will be a pivotal point in my life, career, visual style. It is absolutely transformative, which is a heady and exhausting, but exhilarating experience as you go through it. I think it will take me a while to wrap my head around all that I have learned here, and all that this has meant to me. I think I am making some friends for life here. I am flexing every muscle I have in every sense of the word- I have been pushing myself physically, mentally, visually, ethically and spiritually. I am scared, because I know what the impact that making my mark here could possibly mean for me, my future, my career. I have am holding my breath, my head high and my camera close. This sounds incredibly dramatic. It's not. Not really. It's a workshop. A conference. But it's highly, highly possible that nothing will ever be the same again.

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