December 8, 2009

Hey! Drama Queen. Stop Side-Stepping around and VOTE!!

I was a drama major at UVa (tonight, Nate on Gossip Girl gave a few nods to the drama girls, three cheers for boys with some sense) and I met some of the coolest people while I immersed myself in the daily life of a true artist. Some of my fondest memories are from being the Production Stage Manager of Arms and the Man with Jonathan Green. I mean, I'm not even going to lie. There were times where I may have accidentally (barely) peed in my pants. (Sorry, mom!) But y'all, while George Bernard Shaw is pretty brilliant he gets kind of lame the 3,453rd ime around. Nonetheless, Jonathan kept me attentive (erm, kind of) and giggling the whole way through. And, I bet if you spent any time around him you would tinkle, too.

Jonathan and me celebrating the passage of our Senior Seminar. We performed in prison(!).

Anyways, here's the deal. When we graduated from college Johnathan and a few others from our drama department scooted themselves out to Chicago and started a theater company. And look, y'all ... they're about to win a $25,000 grant from CHASE. But, they need you to vote for them ... so, I've pasted a bit more background and the link below. Please help 'em out. They deserve only good things, and you can help them achieve that! (Also, Scottie grew up just down the road from me. She and her twin sister were dear, dear friends with my roommate from last year Cary. It's a small, small world!)

My friend Scottie is an artistic associate, founding donor, and staff member of Sideshow Theatre Company in Chicago, IL. Sideshow Theatre Company ("Familiar Stories. Unorthodox Methods. Perpetually curious.") is participating in the Chase Community Giving program. This is an incredible grant opportunity: Chase is awarding $25K to 100 small non-profits across the country, all based on the number of votes cast for each company on Facebook.

Just recently, Sideshow was in the top 100. But just barely. They've been working butts off over the past weeks on this project, and the results are showing. IT IS A TIGHT RACE, and even just a handful of votes could mean the difference between a huge grant and no grant at all. There are five days left to vote.

This grant would cover OVER HALF of Sideshow's current annual budget. And it is totally within our reach--they just need your help, now.

1. Vote for us! It takes literally 20 seconds and four clicks of a mouse, and you can do it here:
2. Encourage others to vote for us. Check out all those friends you have on Facebook. Five hundred? A thousand? Tell them about Sideshow. Get them as excited about this company as you are. Even just posting it as your Facebook status or Tweeting the link above could mean $25,000 for our little non-profit theatre.

Sideshow has a volunteer staff of eleven people. We're competing against other non-profits ten times our size. We need your help.

Everyone gets 20 votes, and you can only use one vote per company. If you have friends working for other non-profits, vote for them too.

If you want to know more about Sideshow or about the Chase Community Giving program, visit or email Scottie at

THANK YOU, so much, for your help and support of storefront theatre in Chicago. We couldn't do it--and wouldn't want to do it--with out you."

Do it! Do it! Do it!

December 3, 2009


So, like many New Yorkers around our state, I watched the NY State Senate vote live on the Marriage Equality Bill. I was watching history unfold, hopeful that I would be able to tell my children one day, "I remember when..."

But when they got down to the actual vote discrimination won 38-24.

I sat there with my jaw gaping.

It doesn't make sense to me. As one of the senators eloquently stated, I, and many others could try and defend or rationalize why we believe the right vote is yes ... but the better explanation is, how could you say no?

It doesn't make sense to me. How do we have the right to determine who has the right to be married and who does not? Most defend their opposition to this matter based on religious beliefs. Am I on glue or isn't there a separation of church and state?

It doesn't make sense to me. Don't homosexuals pay taxes just like you and me? And yet we can continue to deny them this right.

It doesn't make sense to me. How long ago was it that blacks were not lawfully recognized as human beings, much less allowed to be married?

It doesn't make sense to me. Our Pledge of Allegiance, first drafted in 1892 as one sentence, began consisting of the following words: "with liberty and justice for all." Are we remaining true to that? Or has this become something we haphazardly recite? Watch this video (it's really good ... thanks, Claire!):

It is not that I don't respect other people's opinions. I do, I really do. But how can we tell these homosexual couples no. Not all heterosexual couples are married under God, they simply go to City Hall to have their marriage legalized. Marriage, at its truest form, is a legal contract. It started out as a contract based on land, based on family wealth and positioning. And, alas, how many traditional marriages fail yearly? Some people are married 3 or 4 times. We won't even allow homosexuals the opportunity to be married once? Two of my dearest friends, Chip and Scott, have been partners nearly as long as I've been alive. And yet, they still don't enjoy the rights I will one day.

I'm going to allow my favorite founding father to sum up what this all really boils down to:

"I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority." Thomas Jefferson

If you feel so inclined (and I hope you do), please write our NY State legislators ... or even better, call them. Here is a website which lists their position as well as their contact information:

As a sidenote: When referencing marriage and religion I am not stating that it remains merely as a legal contract today. However, I was trying to prove a point. When I am married it will be a commitment made in front of God. And, my dad will probably have to trade some land so someone will take me. But that is neither here nor there.


December 1, 2009

Ketchup With Me. Er, Catch Up With Me.

Let's be honest, can you believe it's December? I can't. It's so weird. So, so weird. It's almost Christmas. It's almost 2010! I feel like it was yesterday we were all freaking out that our electricity was going to go out when the clock hit midnight in 2000. People literally stocked up on water and other essentials. Remember that? Looking back it seems kind of silly. But then, everyone was making ME freak out.


Let me just say my Thanksgiving was beyond stellar. Regardless of one heart skipping complication at the front end. When they announce in the air that there will be emergency vehicles waiting for your flight on the runway upon your landing because of malfunctions you contemplate what you've done over your lifetime. While mine has been full, there are still a lot of things I want to achieve. As an fyi, I'm not exaggerating, nor am I making a joke of the situation. It was scary and at the top of my list on Thanksgiving blessings were my safety, my life.

I had a stellar time in Virginia with Mike and Lisa. They can always put a smile on my face. As I mentioned before, I was the only child out of the five home for Thanksgiving. So on my birthday cake (as a public protest and over-emphasized statement) Mike had them write that I was the #1 child. Why would that even come to light you ask? Well, every year ... at Thanksgiving actually ... I rank the kids at the dinner table. It began when I was immature and has continued until I ... umm... perhaps I'm still a bit immature. I was never #1. I won't tell you who I had as number 5 either. But, the lines are skewed now. Huh, Natalie, Tracy, Shannon, and Bubby? Let's be honest. I may be weighing heavily on mom and dad's hearts now as I'm still in school, single, and visiting. But as Paul often reminds me, once Bubby and Laura get pregs I will drop several rungs. And fast. So please y'all, let me have my glory while it lasts.

The cake. The #1 is the nearly invisible pink candle.

On Thanksgiving I blessed the food, as I usually do when it's the immediate family, and in true form my dad's cell phone went off right in the middle of grace. Of course, right? At first I got a wee tad antsy (slash wanted to punch him between the eyes) and then I reminded myself, that's one of the quirks I love about my dad. His cell phone is always going off, he can read texts but can't text back (nor can he turn on a computer), and when he answers his phone on the interstate he always slows down by at least 10 mph. It's ridiculous. But so him. I'll let my mom be the one to scold him. He calls me "little Lisa" anyways.

Then early Friday I went to Chicago to see the Sigs, and most of the Bere clan. What a treat! Because most of my siblings were much older as I grew up, and the one who wasn't ignored my existence until I was 16, it's so nice to be around a family with so many cousins the same age that are so close. Though I'm on the peripheral they make me feel so welcome. What a birthday treat it was! The Ritz, fellowship, lots of food, shopping, wine, and more food. Oh and the newest addition to the clan, an adorable baby! A-dorable. AND icing on the cake ... I got to see Carly and Garrett. The newlyweds stayed in Chicago for Thanksgiving so they came to visit. Long overdue, but definitely fabulous!

Speaking of the brother who ignored my existence until age 16 (other than when he threw me off his bunk bed onto his hard wood floor) ... he and Laura sent me a really cute card. On the front it said "Happy-Glad-You-Were-Born-Day." On the inside Bryan referenced the irony of the card. I shall share ...

Before I was born my mom had Bryan all riled up about a sister. He was genuinely excited about having a baby sister being born. But then my mom had a minor freak-out that I might come out a boy (I was a gender surprise, if you will). So she told Bryan about all of the things he could do with a little brother ... he could play baseball, and soccer ... and ... So Bryan got JAZZED about being a big brother to a boy. FF a couple of days and my mom walked in the Turkey Walk, had a doctors appt the next day as a check up (I was supposed to be a mid-December baby) and they literally told her to walk across the street to the hospital and she had me 1.5 hours later. Apparently I wanted out. So, my sister Natalie brought Bryan to the hospital to introduce him to me. He brought a wrapped toy he picked out and everything. But when he realized I was a girl he blew his top. He refused to come in and meet me and proceeded to bang his head up against the white cinder block walls repeatedly. Get it? Happy-You-Were-Born-Day was actually Not-So-Happy-You-Came-Out-As-A-Girl-Day.

But, hey, the joke was funny. And thanks for the Starbucks card Bub and Laura! I used it today!

Whew, did you get all that?

Well, sorry if you didn't. I should probably go pay attention in class now. I probably haven't missed much but I can see Lisa shaking her finger at me.

And PS: It's World AIDS Day. I'm going to read at City Hall around 9pm. I'm going to blog about it tomorrow ... it was one of my favorite appearances last year. I bet it will be one of my better days this year.

Ok, ok. Paying attention NOW.