Saturday, June 2, 2012

Human flesh eating people, bacteria and drugs

Something weird is going on on this continent this week. I read an article in the Huffington post yesterday ( that made some great points about the decline of available health services for people with drug and mental health issues perhaps being a root cause of all of this bizarre cannibalistic behavior thats getting attention this week. I think this is a decent structural analysis but my own hypothesis has to do with people feeling so separate and alienated from one another and themselves that they feel driven in moments of (perhaps drug induced) insanity to incorporate others into their beingness. In sociological/political terms: this phenomenon is some extreme expression of anomie. My mother thinks otherwise, that people are projecting their own demons and self hate outwards onto others but then why would they want to consume them? I don't understand what's going on but it's extremely troubling. I have no explanation for the bacterial issue ( but it seems to fit right in and that's even more worrisome. This past 5 years or so there has been a pop cultural obsession with zombie apocalypse and vampires so maybe that's part of what's driving it: we've turned our attention there. Last night I was reading about Big Lurch's cannibalistic PCP binge and it occurred to me I had seen a drawn out fictionalization seemingly based on that event in the form of a cartoon cannibal serial killing rapper. It was already a part of my consciousnesses whether I was aware of it or not. And now we're really being inundated with this kind of nonfictional news information as scary flesh killing drugs are growing more common (Krokodil in Russia and alarmingly, coke getting cut with hydrochloric acids in the states perhaps too? now that all we can read about in the news is this reenactment of the collective horror fantasy, how do we turn our attention to other things so as to curb its morbid reification? And how do we simultaneously act in a way that adequately addresses the social problems that have landed us in this apparent abyss?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The Committee has completed its work and has recommended candidates for the 2012-13 academic year. I regret to inform you that your application is not among those recommended for further consideration. Unfortunately, it is not possible to accommodate all students who would like to participate in the Program. I want to assure you that the application review is very thorough and that screening committees carefully weigh individual qualifications for research, study or teaching abroad.

It is not our policy to disclose the reasons for an applicant's denial. As is often the case in the Student Program, the number of well-qualified applicants this year exceeded the number of awards available and the limited opportunities for placement abroad. Approximately 9,700 applicants competed for about 1,600 grants. Please do not contact IIE to inquire about your individual application. If you decide to reapply in the future our Program Staff will be happy to advise you on the application process and provide general information about the program or country to which you are applying.

I know that this decision will be disappointing to you. However, please note that the decision in no way prejudices your chances for participation in the Program at a future date. Each year's selection process is separate and distinct. If you wish to apply again for an award, your application will be considered, as before, solely on the basis of eligibility requirements and the merits of your proposal. We appreciate your interest in the Program and hope that you will find another opportunity to study or conduct research abroad.

Sincerely yours,

Please do not reply to this email. The mailbox is not monitored.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


In case you didn't know. I just heard on the news: 1 in 2 Americans is below the poverty line, according to the US Census Bureau. 4 MILLION more Americans than last year are now BELOW the poverty line. Of course our GDP doesn't reflect that we are in effect now a 3rd world country. WTF?!?!?! Anyone who had your head in the sand about how bad things were before, there's absolutely no excuse anymore. Get over your denial. Your social agenda has been defeated by data collected by government employees. People are gonna start calling you out on your bullshit. Get ready. That's half the country. Below the poverty line. Not "upwardly mobile."


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Craigslist: Vegetarian/Vegan/Raw/Gluten-free Cook!

I am a recent college graduate who would love to prepare food for you or your family! I have been cooking vegan and mostly gluten-free for the last eight years and have in the past few been experimenting with Raw food preparation. Good nutrition is of the utmost importance, particularly for growing children, I am, however, absolutely uncompromising when it comes to flavor. I come from a family of herbalists and nutritionists and have a very good handle on what is balanced and wholesome, would also be willing to try cooking for a low-sodium diet, with all local seasonal food, ayurvedic, macrobiotic, etc. My favorite tastes come from Ethiopia, Mali, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ecuador, Italy, Korea, Thailand, Greece, Morocco, India, Venezuela, Mexico. I can also ferment and can. I have no formal training, despite having worked in the restaurant industry in various capacities. People tell me I should open a restaurant regularly.

-you don't have the time or energy to lead a healthy lifestyle without help
-you want to keep your kids eating right
-you have an allergy or food sensitivity
-you don't know how to cook or don't like to
-you are looking to reverse a health condition or lose weight
-your mouth is watering as you read this post!

Open to discussing rates and menus! Look forward to hearing from you soon!
Thank you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm feeling pretty heartbroken today seemingly out of nowhere

Yeah, I'm heartbroken about/in love with the world, but I think maybe I'm feeling heartbroken so acutely is it came to me today that every time I've been asked to stay somewhere in the past 2 years or so, I've left.

What should you do when you're asked to stay?

I was always given really touching and compelling reason to stay, but I've not managed it yet. I think one root cause of this behavior is a sense of unworthiness of people's affections over time. That I am frightened people would get sick of me if I stuck around, and not hold me in high esteem if they got to know me better, if they bore witness to my occasional (absolutely run-of-the-mill) apathy, lack of inspiration, all-encompassing despair at helplessness. That I'm someone worth seeing if possible a few times a year now, but if I settled down somewhere, maybe people wouldn't want to see me/know me at all.

Moreover, I fear many of the incredible, worthwhile, powerful, strong, caring, loving people who have asked me to stay might not respect me and therefore would cease to love me (at least in a way that I could stomach) if they knew about of this fear.

Well, sorry for emoting all over the internet. I'm fairly certain that no one reads this anyways, but if you have been affected by the aforementioned syndrome and are reading this, I'm sorry for the cop-out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dear _____________, please hire me

I read your advertisement on with great excitement. I am a recent college graduate with a keen interest in theater (particularly puppets and circus) who is seeking additional experience in the field. I think I may have a number of the qualities that you seek in an intern. My thesis work was a mammoth writing project which won high honors at the undergraduate level, and I've recently (this month) applied for a Fulbright research scholarship to continue collecting ethnographic data for future writings. So, while I may not have had the confidence to say it before receiving outside accolades, I think that I have strong writing skills and I have very fresh experience in applying for grants. This summer I was an apprentice with Bread & Puppet theater, and the summer before I was learning about marionette making at Puppets in Prague, in the Czech Republic. During college I (and my friends) developed, wrote for and performed in a very conceptually-based circus that I booked the tour for around the east coast. It was a avant-garde project that brought together music, a few more traditional circus skills, sideshow acts, puppets, clowning, and political purpose. I've been performing and studying theater and dance since I could walk, but it's really more the behind the scenes stuff that's interesting to me now. I'm a big multi-tasker, with varying levels of success, but usually I keep it together, and even when I don't, it usually appears as if I am. Dynamic relationships of creative collaboration are something that I value very highly, and try and maintain a presence of in my life.

Enclosed in the attachment is my resumé. I would love more information about the position, and I look forward to hearing from you soon if there is still an availability.

Thank you,

The let down:

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm afraid we filled this position about a month ago—I didn't realize it was still posted on idealist. I'm sorry about that. You clearly took time to write a real cover letter.

It sounds like you've been doing some really cool stuff in the last few years. Good luck!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In other news...

I just sold my first several art objects! Will post photographs soon on the website.
I have been making quilted wings, headdresses, and ritual objects on commission. It's been kind of a wild ride.

I went a few days to #occupy wall st. and the 7PM general assemblies are a treat. I felt privileged to accompany my 13 year old brother who had never witnessed the consensus decision making process before and I think my folks were pretty impressed as well. Going to a dr0ne event there tomorrow, should be interesting.

Get money/get paid

So, I thought maybe if I put all of my most notable attempts at job acquisition on the internet, maybe someone would stumble upon them and hire me. Enjoy?

Volunteer opportunities?

Sorry it took me so long to respond, however I have been both in
transit and perplexed by your e-mail. I think the key words that
threw me off were "financial, marketing, and operations", "business
management", "bookkeeping" and "no direct supervision" as well as the
time frame. These would not merely be challenges for me, I have zero
experience in really any of these areas and could therefore not
perform them without any kind of training or supervision. I simply do
not have the skill set to adequately fill the role you seem to have in
mind. I see what you need and from the looks of it it's not another
ethnographer type at the moment. My background is in the humanities
(with a little bit of botany) and the arts. I have a ticket to Eurasia
for no sooner than mid-May. Earlier would not be feasible at this
time for me.

I'm happy to help in any way I can, but I don't think I would be able
to learn all of those skills on site and do a good job within a
realistic time frame.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if something opens up in my
field, I'm sorry that I don't got what you're lookin' for!

Keep in touch, and thank you,


Thanks for your e mail. It's true that our needs are quite specific right now, and I really appreciate your honesty about your qualifications. We are fortunate to have had several very qualified volunteer applicants recently and look like we will have a full team this summer. Please do keep in touch for future opportunities.


Dear _____________, please hire me

I would like to work at your circus camp!

I have worked with children and in the arts for the past eight years.
I traveled with a circus for two summers, and most recently I have
ventured into the world of puppets. I would very much like to work at
your camp. Enclosed is my resumé, look forward to hearing back from
you soon.


No response.

Dear _____________, please hire me

Three years ago I met Undarya when she gave a lecture at my SIT study abroad program in Ulaanbaatar. Since then I have been brooding over the information revealed during that talk (and also writing my thesis and graduating from college and feeling called back to Mongolia.) I now live in Germany but I'm hoping to be in Mongolia by next fall. I was wondering if there might be any opportunities for me to volunteer for you/work with you in any capacity as an international liason, propaganda illustrator, educator, whatever, let me know I would like to help.

Thanks for your consideration,

p.s. I have enclosed my resumé in case that's of any use to anyone.

A horse released can be caught, a word never. -Mongolian Proverb

Dear _____________, please hire me

I'm looking for a job that allows me to utilize some of my skills before they atrophy entirely. I have been working in the art world in various capacities as artist, model, gallery receptionist, and framing apprentice for the past several years, but lately its been hard to even find wait staff work. I have very good people skills and I answer the phone like a pro. I'm a dynamic group collaborator and have excellent communication skills. As you can see, I can use a computer. I am industrious & loyal to a fault.

Please hire me and give me incentive to stay in this area.

Here's a body of work from what I've loaded onto this webpage so far:
portfolio & resumé

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you soon,

Dear _____________, please hire me

I saw this job listing and got really excited. I studied art and religion in Central Asia (specifically Mongolia) as a thesis topic and I would love to be in the Met archives all day 3 days a week. I also studied 20th century avant-garde, so that's extent of my formal background in art history. However, my mother's side of the family used to be patrons of the arts so I've grown up in museums, galleries, and at home, learning about that legacy and the artists they were friendly with.

I've enclosed my resumé and hope I'm what you're looking for. My salary history is a little shadier...I have made below minimum wage a great many times and would love to change that so that I can stay afloat doing what I enjoy. Something that's not included in my resumé but is pertinent is that I have worked as an assistant, receptionist, and web content advisor for my dad's business (he's a doctor). So I have experience in an office setting with answering phones, data entry, etc. Is this position still open, and if so, when does this job begin? And for that matter, what are typical starting wages?
Thanks, and look forward to hearing back soon!

Dear _____________, please hire me

I am a recent college graduate and excellent researcher who has traveled with a circus before as a clown, ringleader, glasseater, firebreather, puppeteer, etc. I am very interested in avant-garde theater (particularly puppets and clowning at this time) and the history of the circus. Social justice work has been a passion of mine since early politicization, and I am especially interested in the potential of the performance/arts as an avenue for education, political activism, and by perhaps if only by prompting critical thinking helping in the execution of goals in this realm. I would therefore be very interested in working for a Non-profit arts organization.

On a perhaps more or less serious note, "The Warriors", which is a 1970's exploitation film focusing on the journey of a Coney Island gang back to their turf through every other NYC gang's turf is one of my very favorite films in the world and only nurtures my already existing fondness of Coney.

Please consider me for the position as Dramaturg for your organization despite my lack of formal experience. I think that I have the chutzpah, drive, and thoroughness to really make this work.

Yours truly

Dear _____________, please hire me

Two summers ago, a fresh-faced graduate from Marlboro College, I hastily applied too late in the season to be an apprentice with you.  I had been to the B&P museum and seen a few shows of yours including the “Circus Pageant” and “People’s History of the United States” that summer and the summer before hitching from Quebec back to Brattleboro, and LOVED the variety of puppets, the atmosphere, the land, the folks, the garlic bread, the storytelling and the Carnival I went to in Glover.  At the time I had just completed my “Plan of Concentration” (the Marlboro version of a BA thesis) on the “Urban Shaman in contemporary Mongolia”, “Radical Responses to Sexual Assault within Sub-cultural Communities”, “the Common Ground Relief Collective of New Orleans”, and “Hip hop as a Pedagogical Tool”, and I had just finished my round of tours with a Brattleboro-based circus group.  Several continents and experiences later I am trying for the apprenticeship again, this time early enough that you might consider my request. To date, I am 23 years old, and I am ashamed to say that I do not yet play an instrument, although I can stumble through “Bella Ciao” on the accordion and mumble the words in Italian. I write to you from Munich, Germany, where I have been living on-and-off for the past 8 months: getting to know my family, and where they have historically lived as well as their language and culture, while doing some traveling and studying.

            Last month I had the privilege of studying under Miroslav Trejtnar, a gifted marionette and toy maker in his workshop under the auspices of “Puppets in Prague”, an intensive program aimed at mostly international students* of all ages and walks of life to take 3 weeks out of their routine to learn how to design, build, and manipulate wooden marionettes in the Czech tradition.  Well, lets just say that since returning to Munich I’ve gone wild for puppets again.  I’ve been going to as many performances as I can afford, practicing playing my own marionette, and going to museums of puppets, etc. That experience made me really excited about puppets and performance again. 

            While I’ve been here in Europe I’ve been having a hard time falling into a local activists scene and I miss that! Munich doesn’t have a Food not Bombs, my usual weekly thing that I do where I get to go scavenge, cook, eat and serve and talk with others and share in the bounty of other people’s waste and in a sense of community, no matter what other projects may be important to my life at that time.  As a sociologist, political theorist, and visual artist and now fledgling marionette maker I am thrilled about the prospect of puppet theater but also avant-garde performance in general as an avenue for creative collaboration, expression, and political purpose.  With all of these powers combined with a little hankering for the woods of my beloved Vermont (especially swimming in the pristine rivers in the summer and the early autumn Human Powered Carnival) I of course thought once again of you, B&P.

Please have me.

Dear _____________, please hire me

Ever since I can remember, I have been completely enamoured by the work of Jim Henson and the Henson company.  As a toddler I became joyful at the sight of a Sesame Street Muppet (especially Oscar the Grouch) and learned through singing their songs.  To this day, I still memorize things best by sing-songing them.  At four I was watching reruns of the Muppet show and though I didn't always understand the full extent of the entendré and reference and the level of celebrity of the guests and the variety acts, I still mimicked them. I clapped to the Fraggle Rock theme song and giggled at Dinosaurs when I sneaked TV at friend's houses and serially watched Muppet Movies (one of my fondest home sick days was of watching the Muppet Movie at home with my dad--feverish but blissful), and later was taken with the imaginativeness of Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal.  The humor and soundtrack of Muppets from Space still keep me endlessly amused, and I often revisit the fantasy world of the Dark Crystal and marvel at the level of production, creativity, skill of manipulation and its utterly immersive quality and feel enveloped by someone else's brilliantly beautiful vision.  This was all achieved with a VHS player, we never had cable television at home. 

About two years ago when I was really starting to get into puppet making and performance for the first time since I was a little kid, my family and I went to see the Henson Company perform Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and was reminded of the fact that you are all still alive and kicking! Then I met some folks who work for you (my neighbor Sadie Gunuey and some puppeteers a town over) and I thought I would just try and reach out and see if you have any openings for a curious human like me. 

I like puppetry as a form of theater because it really can be as avant-garde or main-streamed as you like, impromptu or planned, wide-reaching or localized, raggamuffin or polished, hi-fi or lo-fi, easy or hard, cheap or expensive, can appeal to adults and children alike, can be a vehicle for storytelling, political purpose and education and requires skills in the fields of both the visual and performing arts.  I travelled with a very conceptually based circus for a few summers.  More recently I have taken a course in Czech Marionette design, carving, and manipulation that had a historical component so I've been taking in the work of traditional old world Czech puppet makers and getting a crash course in the work of Trnka and Barta and have appreciated the surrealistic stylings of Svankmajer to accent my usual steady stream of Henson and the Krofft brothers (don't worry, I don't really watch that many movies all the time and they aren't all puppet films when I do, but lately the ratio of puppet cinema to not has been rather skewed.  I've actually been in transit for some months and don't often have the opportunity to watch TV or a movie with no computer with me.)  I'm waiting to hear back about an apprenticeship with Bread and Puppet for this summer and trying to make my plans for the Fall (looked at the UCONN Puppet Arts MA program and decided against it for the moment. Still strongly considering DAMU in Prague.) I say all of this because I am transitional, want some hands on experience, and already have a decent base of knowledge. I am a hard worker, a thorough learner, a deep thinker, and a bit of a tinkerer.  I've been making costumes for myself and others for years, I've worked with wood (first building sets and then later in jewelry making, block printing, framing, and puppet making), worked a little bit with leather, am a decent drafts person, a problem solver, and I am very deeply invested in making a life out of enrichment and social justice through creative collaboration. 

Enclosed is my resumé and a photograph of me with my most recently completed wooden marionette, Acéphale.  I would very much appreciate if you considered my application to be an intern in your creature workshop!

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you soon