June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
I am excited about composting!
More specifically, I am excited that NYC is currently involved in a pilot program to recycle food scraps which, it’s projected, may become city-wide (and mandatory) sometime in 2015 or 2016.
We’ve known about the value and importance of recycling for ages: so-called “modern” recycling was introduced to NYC in 1970! It has been frustrating that recycling hasn’t been fully supported by infrastructure – however much we may want to recycle, if our city or town doesn’t have a recycling program or allow us to recycle certain things, it’s hard to do much about it.
The recent expansion of the recycling program to include all rigid plastics and now, looking forward, to include food scraps is so exciting to me because it supports the people of NYC doing something good and right. Clear, simple, uncynical.
(Bonus: I bet Bill Nye approves)
June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Hey! Here’s something else I should have shared here ages ago: my new Reel!
My friend, and former teaching-partner, Matt Scott edited it. Great job, Matt!
June 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
Today I read this NY Times article about Bill Nye and a speech he recently gave at Iowa State University. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the article:
Kaci McCleary, an “aspiring neurobiologist, or neuro-something,” said that Mr. Nye was “a very inspiring person in the field of science — he tells people to make science part of their lives, even if it’s not their career.” Ms. McCleary, who knitted as she waited to be let in, said a friend had joked to her, “I hope to be able to touch the hem of his lab coat, so he could cure me of my stupid.”
I got really jealous of those Iowa state kids because I LOVE Bill Nye. In particular I love that he speaks his truth (which, because he’s a scientist, often happens to be THE truth) calmly in the face of angry, shouting politicians (among others) and, while I’m sure he’s cynical about things in life, he comes across as a basically uncynical person.
Here’s an episode of his TV show (of which I was a HUGE fan growing up) which, for whatever reason, I happen to particularly remember:
June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment
Background: most weekend mornings, if the weather is nice enough, my husband and kiddo and I have “park breakfast.” He goes to the bagel store to get us egg sandwiches. The kid and I go to Starbucks (we *wish* we had another local coffee shop option) for coffees, we all meet up and go to the park where we sit on a bench and watch kids play sports and eat our breakfast. It’s really nice.
So. This past Saturday, I was in Starbucks with my stroller (and its contents) waiting in line. The man at the head of the line, took his coffee and placed it on a nearby table (at which, I later realized, he’d left his bag) prompting the heavyset man sitting at that table to get up. (My impression is that the first man had reserved this table with his bag, and the second man realizing this, was vacating appropriately.) So the heavyset man stood up and kind of adjusted himself and, quietly but decisively, he took two bags of coffee off the shelf, tucked them into his jacket and walked out. The woman ahead of me was aghast and, in a bird-like voice, turned around and said “Sir? Sir. Have you paid for that?” I didn’t turn around but I heard him say, in a rough and angry voice, “you need to mind your own business” and then he left.
Now, I’d seen the theft as well but I didn’t choose to say anything a) because I was with my small child and you don’t risk the wrath of a potentially-volatile heavyset man who feels the need to steal bags of coffee from Starbucks when you’ve got to protect a kiddo; 2) I’d heard something about how employees in stores like The Gap don’t stop shoplifters – they aren’t supposed to – they just report them and then security or the police are supposed to intervene. Starbucks doesn’t have security and I thought “what are these poor Starbucks workers supposed to do?”
The woman ahead of me remained aghast saying things like “I just can’t believe it” and “I’ve never…” The man behind me, who I’d noted was a bit shabbily dressed, said quietly to me “If he hasn’t got any money . . .” as though the theft was natural and possibly inevitable. I replied with a weak “yeah” because I didn’t want to get into it with him either but I was thinking “but then he has to steal a coffee maker!” and “but if he hasn’t got any money shouldn’t he steal some food or sneakers or something a little more immediately applicable?” And I thought about this poem from the Spoon River Anthology.
Mostly what I thought was “I am right between these two extremes (or quasi-extremes) of human experience – this woman and this shabby man.” And I thought about how, on the one hand, there’s a lot in the human experience to connect us and, on the other, we are all still vast worlds apart from so many other folks even in our own neighborhood. And I thought about how, as an actor, sometimes I’m asked to play people who are “close to home” and sometimes people much more foreign to me but how just about everyone considers their lens “normal” and regards how similar or dissimilar everyone else is in comparison with theirs. We’re all “normal” to ourselves. Probably even the coffee thief.
June 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
Yesterday morning, W (15 months) and I were headed to the park. I was pushing his empty stroller and he was walking alongside me, holding my hand. He gets a lot of looks when we do this – it’s that funny little kid walk that’s funny and cute. It doesn’t hurt that he likes to wave and say Hi to random people.
Anyway, we were walking along, and we were overtaken by a bigger kid – maybe three or four years old – a little girl walking along with her mom (I assume) and another lady. If the adults noticed W, I didn’t see, but the little girl sure did. She locked her eyes onto him and did not stop staring ’till she was too far ahead of us to comfortably look that far behind her. She started with what seemed like a “serious” look, and as she (and we and it) progressed, her look got meaner and meaner. She was staring daggers at W.
I wondered what she was thinking – because he’s too little to be anything but oblivious – and I flashed back to an incomplete memory of girls acting a lot meaner than they actually were. Unfairly, I only clearly remember being the victim of those “mean” girls – trying on extra meanness learned from TV or bigger kids or who-knows-what for effect. It’s just a funny thing that seems to happen – like some kind of junior-social-darwinism – like puppies or bears play-fighting, I suppose.
The girls I remember practicing meanness on me, the ones with whom I’m still in touch, have all (as far as I can tell) grown up to be lovely women. I assume – I hope – this little girl will do the same. I still can’t quite figure what’s being worked out in the exercise, though. What are the little girls learning through the process and what would be lost if they stopped? And are the boys doing this too? (My sense is that, whatever boys are doing, it’s different.)
Maybe someone science-y will leave a comment with the answer.
June 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
I can’t believe it has taken me so long to share this!
You can go to the link and learn about the ladies’ resumes and credentials. What you can’t tell just from the website is that these women have the most amazing, positive energy – it was a pleasure to be in class each week. They taught us a bunch of really valuable and helpful things by, you know, talking to us BUT I really feel like their attitudes – their way of being – was equally instructive especially with respect to commercial casting. Bonus: now that I’ve taken the class, I’m invited to other one-night classes which provide the opportunity to meet commercial agents and casting directors. Fantastic.
Off you go, commercial actors. You can thank me later.