Block 525: November 20, 2014


In bed at midnight, up at 5am. It’s another week of tech, ladies and gentlemen.

Date: November 20, 2014

Crane: 525

Days Spent on Project: 640

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Dr. Howser.

I think that’s how you spell his name? Maybe? Maybe not.

When I was in elementary school– or kindergarten?– I was having more and more issues breathing and functioning. Some of my more distinct memories of childhood are of these moments, feeling like my throat was suffocating, feeling out of control, feeling scared that I couldn’t take in air easily and not knowing what was going on.

I’m sure that difficulty breathing was something my parents noticed when I was a small child, maybe even a toddler or baby, but I remember it vividly in those pre-school or kindergarten or first grade years. One night was spent sleepless, swaddled in a navy blue leather chair we had in our family room with my mother standing over me, staring at me. I don’t think I knew what exactly was going on at the time. Maybe she did. I remember it being terrifying.

It was at this time, whenever that was in the mid 80s, that I was taken to a doctor who would eventually diagnose me with severe asthma and then be what felt like a constant presence in my childhood: Dr. Howser. And, jeez, were those first appointments unpleasant. There were tests and questions and pricking of skin, trying to figure out what was actually causing my body to seize up around certain things. Then the medication and then the constant blood work and tests and the fear every six months of having to have my blood taken and monitored… to gauge what the medicine was doing to my body.

I was always terrified of getting the blood work done. I don’t know why exactly– now a blood test seems like a non-issue kind of thing– but going to the office and waiting in that sterile room and then going into another room with an overstuffed and deflated brown leather chair on an elevated platform… the sheer ritual of it all and the organization and placement of all the details and ingredients. It felt awful.

Dr. Howser, for his part, doesn’t really remain a concrete memory in my life. I can’t tell you where his office was or what he looked like or how he acted around me… but, he did affect my childhood immensely.

For the better, sure.

Music I listened to while sewing: I continued on my daily obsession with Lady Gaga’s Gypsy this morning. It’s everything I’m feeling right now.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I’m suffering from some anxiety today. I didn’t sleep last night because of it.

How much of my ambition is arrogance and how much of it is boredom?

If I had the chance to design MORE here, would I take it? YES.

If I had the chance to take on more managerial duties and grow this shop, would I want it? YES.

If I needed to go back to New York for a job, would I? YES.

If I was told to give up or lower my standards because “that’s the way it is here,” why would I want to invest a career here?

I don’t want to BE or SOUND arrogant, but– at the same time– I have done some good work and have been involved with good productions and have worked along really talented people and learned under legends and I do have skill and experience… so why can’t I just accept this and be aware of it and own it?

I like a challenge. I like working hard. I like what I do. I like being busy.

That’s not a bad thing. It isn’t.

I want to be a part of something… something that I can be proud of.

Here’s a quote that I found today. I think it’s great.

“”People think that theater is an escape from reality. I say that it is the humdrum of daily life is what is unreal, because it numbs us to the reality of ourselves. I say that theater offers us a world that is more alive than what we live every day. The stories of the theater, the bodies and the voices of the actors, the art that our theater displays, the food and drink that we serve, the building that we occupy — each part of what we offer, if we are doing it right, is MORE alive than what most people experience in their daily lives. Therefore, we must prepare people for their experience of living theater, both as they enter our world, and as they leave it. Because if we are doing our jobs well, they will leave us changed, for the better and for ever.” –Ariane Mnouchkine

Cheers. To reality.

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