Monthly Archives: August 2009

the woman’s daily log exercise: processing the value of labor

Below are a few excerpts from a daily log project I am attempting to process the value of my own labor and to document the impact of my productivity, future growth and wellness.  I will aim to write for at least 5 min. a day logging my multiple activities and obligations and the feelings they are manifesting which ultimately, effects my outlook on life and my sense of self and purpose. (Maybe I’ll try this with LRS).

Excerpt 1

Double booked day – how to be there for my friend coming in to town, take care of parental duties getting J in school, find childcare in evening for J (when I already asked his grandma for help on Thursdays), and attend work dinner event – I already know I will be exhausted on that day. I have to get my sleep patterns under control. Right now having severe case of insomnia.  Throwing my efficiency and clear thoughts off….

Trying to make time to take care of urgent life issues

Health insurance for J – Agents made me feel inferior

My health insurance – Less of a headache, more straight forward (an unexpected relief)

That completed (or as far as can be) – I am now going to be late for my solo rehearsal time.  Trying to get better about that, but seems that until my schedule assumes normalcy the feeling of touch & go will continue to be the case.  Can’t wait to find a place closer to J’s school, the studio and downtown.

Excerpt 2

Woman’s daily log…

Make coffee

Make J’s lunch

Make fruit shake

Take 10 minutes for coffee and quiet

Drink fruitshake with vitamin blitz

Edit rehearsal footage and upload for dancers to review

Spend 15 minutes with book proposal editing next draft

Get J’s paperwork for school together

Feed cats & give fresh water

Wake J up, bathe and dress him

Get J’s breakfast

Bring laundry up from basement

Change garbage bag

Get myself ready – dress, prep gym bag with change of clothes

Leave house

Drop J to camp

Go to spin class

Bathe and change

Go back to cell store and update new phone

Get oil change

Get a few household items

Rethink the day – too much stuff, drop extra baggage to house and eat lunch, finish J paperwork

Pick up J

Go to his new school for individual assessment and to meet principal and teachers – near north


Go pick up friend from airport — northwest Chicago


Drop J to grandma on northside


Drop friend to house on southside

Go to work dinner – westside, near north

Pick up J from grandma up north

Find parking in Roger’s Park (what?)

Bathe J, get him ready for bed

Feed cats

Give cat his meds

Put J to bed

Downtime for self

Anticipate the next day’s events



When to write?

When to workshop, dream, create?

When to love?

When to sit still?

When to accomplish?

Watch crap episode online


Start over…

And hope for the best

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ladies Ring Shout: A Weekly Writing/Moving Circle

JDDKQSSWENZIDPORKHXIWelcome to the Ladies Ring Shout: A Weekly Writing/Moving Circle!

Thursdays 8-10pm, beginning 8 / 13

Outer Space Studio (top floor)
1474 N. Milwaukee

Reveling in the sumptuous margins of the unseen, the untried, and the unspoken, The Ladies Ring Shout: A Writing/Moving Circle is a weekly workshop, dialoguing space and “jam session” for women.

We will talk, write and move in the spirit of collaborative experimentation as we explore what an urban feminine discourse looks and feels like. What are our notions of an Urban Feminine? What is her legacy to/for future women/humans? What defines the urban woman’s community?

Join us, as we discuss, write, and perform about contemporary womanhood in an intimate space–exploring everything from mothering/nurturing to sexuality/sensuality to aging to trauma and healing. Bring a piece of your writing/meditations in any state and wear comfortable clothes. We will create our own urban woman’s ring shout, a ritual for this time and place and for the women we are in this moment.

Please RSVP your attendance! And, please try to get there on time, we will start the session promptly at 8:15pm! For further and general information, please contact Meida at:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Peace and everything good to you,
Abra Johnson & Meida McNeal

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

discowarriordivas under my skin

I recently moved back to Chicago to pursue my creative work and critical research as an independent artist-scholar.  I joined a shared studio space and am continuing my exploration into house aesthetics and consciousness.  I have two lovely women working with me. They represent two deliciously different physicalities but embody a similar kind of fire in performance.  As I continue down this road with house as blues raw gospel funk disco feeling, I find myself reaching for this “woman” — ultra femme and hyper masculine, oracle and festive spirit, restrained and decadent.   She is a swirl of impulses and energies, never settling in one sensibility for too long.  I am drawn to undulation, a supple spine, rolling hips, hovers mixed with accents, and arms that are sharp and carving, but also segmented and snaking.  I picture her as some sort of contemporary Oshun, sweet and sensual, comforting and mischievous, bringing abundance and the ability to listen/negotiate — to actualize love, intimacy, community.  Her spirit manifests here in this creative process through the forms of disco & house.  I infuse her with vitality, camp queerness and fierceness — this to me seems fitting, seems right for an Oshun in this time and place.  As I dive into this process, I hope to discover more clearly through conversation with the women working with me how we get to her performance, how we find this discowarriordiva in movement vocabulary and quality, in space, in time, in weight.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized