Thursday, July 31, 2003

trivial pursuit, part one

food for thought makes quite a tasty meal, my friends. i was up at the crack of dawn thursday morning, and right off the bat my first couple of brave questioners had my mind abuzz with possible answers. there is so much untapped material in your questions that i won't get to everything in one post, but, i will get to everything eventually. so, here goes, the appetizers:

if wishes were fishes, my pond would be full

the beloved texas t-bone has posed the seemingly simple question: if you had only one wish, what would it be? when i was a kid and i was asked just that i would cop out and say "i'd wish for all my wishes to come true!" precious, wasn't i? in a way, though, i think that would have to be my answer still. the thing about wishes is that i sort of string them along one after the other like beads on a necklace, then i ooooh and aaaaah over how gorgeous the necklace is, but i can't seem to figure out how to wear it. and, well, truth be told, my wishes are all very selfish. world peace is nice, but... when i toss that coin in the fountain i've got my eye on my own prize. my wishes tend to concern the following:
  • finances
  • my physical appearance
  • love/dating/romance/sex
  • dead celebrities

"i think i'm turning japanese, i think i'm turning japanese, i really think so"

"if you found yourself in japan what would you do?" asks dear secret agent josephine. well, jo, i'm assuming i've been transported there unknowingly in this scenario. i would first check to make sure i had some id and my trusty visa check card with me. then i'd buy a map. then i'd find a place to stay. then i'd check out that hopping downtown tokyo area with all the lights that looks like times square. maybe buy a digital camera. i'd see about going to a tea ceremony, or maybe the fabulous japanese improv troup yellow man group are doing a show. then i'd high tail it to an internet cafe where i would post the following on my blog: dear readers. have suddenly found myself in japan, my goodness! will post pics using new glamorous and dirt cheap digi cam as soon as i figure out how to use it. am thinking i might become a major pop singing sensation here while i'm at it. sayonara for now, s.l.p.

tastes great, less filling; or, have i ever tasted ear wax?

i don't know who questioner erika is, but unless you count kissing inside a fella's ear, the answer is going to have to be no. but wait... (puts pinky in ear, swishes it around, pulls pinky out, tastes pinky) hold up! the answer is yes. and it tastes like...chicken. kidding! actually, i have a really strange fondness for cleaning my ears a couple times a day with a cotton swab. so my ears are super clean. and ear wax tastes like...nothing, really.

a matter of geography

what part of the country do you live in? i think i know the perfect man for you. my god, julia, do tell, do tell! as you can see from above, i'm all (clean) ears. i live right exactly specifically in what i refer to as the northern side of hollywood, california. or west toluca lake adjacent. or no ho arts. ok, it's north hollywood. but, like, ohmigod, okay, don't tell me it's the valley. gag me with a spoon, for sure, like totally!

now, where is this man??????

look it up in your funk and wagnalls!

thanks to gimmy, i jotted down some of my favorite words, rapid-fire: daughter. thursday. lovely. beautiful. capricious. joy. love. umbrella. respect. gratitude. penmanship. metaphorical. forgive.

but, like a break in the clouds, my absolute favorite word came to me in a stevie nicks-esque crystal vision.


the color of envy, four-leaf clovers, grass, american paper money and some berets

indigo steve, my eyes are green.

feel free to call me "bookish"

sara has opened up a whole other can of worms by asking who my writing role model is. the trouble is, i cannot pick just one. i am so influenced by what i've read in my life time, so bear with me, as i take one of those awards-ceremony tribute segment moments and tell you who, literarily, has shaped me. and i'll warn you, i do take, the short list:

laura ingalls wilder, maira kalman, l.m. montgomery, kit pearson, margaret atwood, betty smith (a tree grows in brooklyn is my favorite book, i read it once a year), anne lamott, jack kerouac, blake nelson, barbara kingsolver, amy tan, jennifer weiner, charles bukowski, katharine hepburn, rosalind russell, anne frank, jennifer saunders, natalie merchant, sarah mclachlan, joan didion, ernest hemingway.

that's just off the top of my head. i'm a lover of words. and when i like something, i like something, so if there's a topic i take an interest in, you bet i'll devour a stack of books on said topic.

i think i'll close the book on part one of my answers. i've left some biggies, because i need to really ponder my replies. hope you've saved room for the first course!

stay tuned!

oh, p.s.... this just in. to answer erin, part one: not yet! what are your plans, hot stuff?


"tell me something i don't know, punkin!"

i have adopted a new life-policy: no complaining. this means i will not be whining about my current state of unhappiness. because, let's face facts, punkin is not a happy camper these days. the beer fog has worn off, and now i'm just an under-employed, lazy, irresponsible, unattractive and negative person. i do believe this is called depression. but i have these here bootstraps, so i'm going to do my best to... well, do my best. it's all i can do.

however, in the meanwhile...

i would like to further the concept of interactive blogging. therefore i would like to open the forum to you, beloved readers, and give you the chance to tell me what you want to know about, well, me, of course.

i will answer any question you pose to me in my comments, so long as it's not mean-spirited. i'm an open book, so unless you find one of the small handful of questions i can think of off the top of my head right now that would make me cringe, it's pretty much a wide-open field. it can be something silly, a reminder to tell a story i've hinted at, or just any old plain question that you've been wanting to ask. nothing is too mundane or too worldly. thought-provoking or down and dirty: you dish it, i can take it. i'll post the answers right here in the blog.

ready? set? go!


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

visualize whirled peas

yesterday i had a nice long chat with my mother, who, by the way, happens to be one of this universe’s finest creatures. anyhow, she generously listened to my monologue about the state of affairs known as my life these days, and then offered me the advice that if there are things i want in my life, the thing to do is to write them down, and then visualize them happening.

so when bedtime rolled around, i clicked off the television, arranged myself comfortably under the covers and head perched on the pillow, and shut my eyes. the first few minutes were dreadfully difficult. all i could see were the ghostlike fragments of residual light. then i wondered, what did i want to see, really? i didn’t want to see just anything, because, as i’ve learned by experience, you must be careful of what you wish for.

and then something began to unfold...

first i saw myself in what i’d imagine to be about five or so years from now. it was a bit like a movie; at first i just saw the shoulders of people in front of me, and thought i was part of a crowd. but the sea of people parted, and i saw myself. and i was the reason they were there. it was a beautiful, big bookstore, and there i was, seated at a medium-sized table, autographing my book. and i looked good—great hair, a nice lightweight v-necked black sweater and dark jeans. and for some reason, i had these fantastic chunky wooden beaded accessories! (this shows great promise for my sense of style a few years down the line; lately i’ve felt more like a fashion emergency.) there wasn’t much of a soundtrack to the scene, just murmuring and the sound of the pen scratching on paper. but i could feel my pride welling up in me, and i could see it in my smile.

i suppose once the event was done i would head home. so the next thing you know i’m opening the front door to what must be my house. i don’t know how i knew it, i just did. i was home.

it was a typical san francisco victorian house. not glamorous, and not one of those dream-spend-the-rest-of-your-life-there houses. a starter house. maybe a fixer-upper. it was evening, and the sunlight was coming through the windows in that warm sunset way. the living room was the stuff my dreams are made of, with its wall to wall bookshelves. the kitchen was old-fashioned and airy. and it wasn’t perfect, but it was good…a plant on a windowsill needed watering. the stairs were kind of creaky. but i climbed to the second floor, because i knew someone was waiting there.

i’m not sure if it’s anyone i know in the here and now, and i couldn’t describe him if i tried. mostly it was the suggestion of him, and the fact that he existed that signaled to me, “ah-ha! you will love and be loved in return!” anyhow, his office was at the top of the stairs, cluttered with his memorabilia, humming with the sound of his computer, cozy and friendly. we kissed hello, and then i went to my office, the room next door, to toss aside my bag. and, oh, what a room that was. it had a dream feature, a wall of corkboard where i could pin up anything and everything. more books, books, books. and i knew what this room meant—there were bills to pay, and lunches to go to, and artwork to look at for book covers. and maybe inside there was the anxiety that i couldn’t finish something by the deadline, or that such and such character needed fixing. but that maybe the deal would go through to get that story of mine made in to a movie. i could see those things, and feel them, too.

i was pretty tired. not sleep tired, but my hand was achy from the signing, though it had left me feeling pretty triumphant. i went to our bedroom, and passed a framed wedding photo. nothing stagy, mind you, but one of those amazing shots where bride and groom are beaming with laughter. and i was the bride.

my husband was freshening up in the adjoining bathroom, as i climbed on to our big comfy bed and stretched out. i kicked off my shoes. he was asking me how things went, and i was starting to tell him. he was so proud of me. i saw him steal a glance at me in a mirrored reflection. i could tell that if i played my cards right, well, i could probably get some celebratory lovin’. this was a nice life. and what a comfortable bed!

and then i fell asleep.

no, really. mid-visualization, i fell asleep.

you’d better believe i’m going to try that visualizing thing again tonight.


Monday, July 28, 2003

"the time to make up your mind about people, is never"

when i was a little girl, it wasn't so much who i thought i was, but i guess more or less who i thought i could be. i took a fancy to all sorts of odd things, as maybe most kids do. i thought maybe i could be a ballerina, and so i took dancing lessons for years and years, and read all the novels written for young girls about dancers, and had a ballet barre set up in my playroom. i listened to "swan lake" with a practiced ear. i thought, too, that i could be some sort of actress or stage star, belting out "the sun will come out tomorrow" to any captive (or kind-hearted) audience of family members. i'd come up with silly little skits and numbers that i'd execute after dinner, using the archways between the rooms as my stage. i was, and am, an only child, so even back then i had my own one-woman show. i read fiercely; from cereal boxes to big thick novels, over and over. and i wrote. my stories always ended up on the bulletin board in school, as some of the best in the class. i'd write into the late hours at home, on my own, stories and plays and in my diary.

like any kid, i grew up a lot watching some of the movies my folks liked, and listened to their music. i remember when the sound of music was slid in to the vcr for the first time, and the songs were infectious. i remember the first movie i went to see was a revival of mary poppins, and i cried when it ended, because "she left without saying goodbye." i still cry at the end to this day--it's not right to leave without saying goodbye. after school, being what later became known as a 'latch-key kid', i would rush to watch re-runs of the carol burnett show. week after week i would trot off to the local video store and rent little women, the 1933 black and white version. everything was that kid-perspective sort of timeless to me. and i felt something, oh, i don't know, that connected me to all these things that became the collage of my childhood.

i never wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor, a vet, or an astronaut when i was a kid. i wanted to entertain... i wanted to make people cry the way i cried at the end of mary poppins. i wanted to make people laugh like lucille ball or carol burnett. i wanted to sing my sadness and joy like julie andrews, or those damn orphans in annie. i wanted to take people's breath away, like the great katharine hepburn.

about a year ago i finally settled with myself that i wasn't going to be an actress or performer. and most days since i realized that, i've been okay with it. los angeles, or, hollywood, rather, is an ugly town. i've known so many struggling actors here, doing game shows to pay the rent, or playing improv to a near empty theatre. hustling to get an agent, a manager, an audition, a callback. shelling out small fortunes for headshots. and being told time and time again, "thanks. don't call us, we'll call you."

but there's that little girl in me who takes singing along to a cd very seriously. who gets a little giddy from engaging in a spontaneous dance number. who has video tapes of show-stealing performances from almost ten years ago, stashed under the bed. who feels, well, like a part of her is missing, when she watches a good movie or play or tv show. like she belongs there, like she's one of them.

there's a great line in the song "vienna", by billy joel, that goes: "dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true." it's kind of sad, but i know what he means. i raised myself on my dreams. sometimes i still nourish myself on them. i've never had a calling to any sort of profession outside of the creative realm, and i've come to understand that it still isn't respectable to go out and pursue a career in entertainment. not only that, but it's damn hard. and no one's discovered me yet. that story about lana turner being discovered sitting at the counter at schwab's drugstore (now the site of the virgin megastore on sunset, for all you l.a. trivia fans)--that was just some bunk made up by the studios. i was also voted by my senior classmates in 1994 as the 'girl most likely to be discovered by a hollywood agent'. i've been waiting to be 'discovered' my whole life.

it's no wonder, then, that when i find myself jobless, i go back in time and wonder just what it is i was meant to do. what skills, aside from the 'any idiot can do that' kind of skills, do i have? what am i good at? and am i going to have to take crap job after crap job for the rest of my life? is that what giving up your dreams is all about? thinking about a future that dull and uninspiring makes me want to cry. and, yes, i have writing. i've taken a life-long talent and passion, and have dedicated myself (with justification for those who still question writing's, ahem, respectability) to making it my career. and i hope to god that will make me happy.

truth be told, i'm not pretty or thin or thick-skinned enough to make it as an actress. that's been a really hard realization to come to. and i'm not quite there yet, because every now and then i slip in to the "dream on" part of things, and feel that stirring, and remember who i thought i could be.

...and just shake my head in disbelief at who i am now.


Friday, July 25, 2003

in praise of:

...time well-spent with my beloved judy, complete with extra hugs and the reminder that "if you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting!"

...getting the bad news from my departmental advisor that i have to take one more class than i thought to graduate, but realizing this gives me reason to take a class from the hunkiest of hunky professors in the fall.

...housemates like angel bunny and l.q.t. for being the best girls to hang out with into the wee hours, making sleeping beauty barbie do bad things, baking cake, and wholeheartedly keeping the rule of the house: that the fridge must always contain beer, popsicles and water.

...the book kate remembered. for despite the fact that i knew the ending, and i knew it would be the first book about kate that would have such an ending, i read it cover to cover within one 24 our period, devouring each word like a kid with a flashlight under the blankets after bedtime.

...freelancing! (sidenote to former employer, yes, this means i will not be pursuing unemployment. pens down, there, you eager little adversarial beavers.) working for whom i want to work for, doing things i love for a company i love, getting paid well, making my own schedule, working from home most of the time. to quote one of my new clients: "baby, this might just be the best thing that ever happened...for you and for me!"

...the above mentioned client, for being the kind of person who answers my "i'm sorry i'm late!" with "i'm just glad you're here" and then insists i go to starbucks to get a coffee and relax a spell before we get down to business. and for being an inspiring and savvy businesswoman, and a caring woman, who is helping me by having me help her.

...chevy valentine. i just adore her, dammit.

...windowsill wendy, for the little piece of "big d" nestled in the prettiest packing material known to mankind, and for having the kindness to send it.

...99 cent rental night at the local indie video store. today i will enjoy adam's rib and igby goes down on dvd. and if i don't, well, hey, it only cost two bucks all together.

...air conditioning!

...all of you--for being friends and sometimes friendsters!!!!

happy weekend everyone! i'll be around, catching up with your latest mostly. doing some freelance work. finishing my short story. doing my homework. going to the post office, finally. life as the new usual.


Thursday, July 24, 2003

for the love of god and all that's sacred:

if you are on friendster, will you please be my friend???? it is amazing how i am linked to people i know day to day by people who blog thousands of miles away. i think i've caught the friendster bug. i'm hooked. i'm in. i need more friends.

i'm like a crackhead for friendster. won't you be my neighbor?


ugh! why do i procrastinate?

i don't know!!!!

oh well, i'll figure it out later.


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

forty-four minutes of intense conversation

"you look tired, punkin," angel bunny told me when i got home yesterday evening. "like, emotionally drained."

i was. it had been all i could manage to drag my self through the aisles of the local indie video store, taking advantage of 99 cent rental night and picking up secretary for my viewing pleasure.

when i got home, i took a nap.

since my purpose in life is to write, i have a number of written tasks to complete. one is an essay for my american lit class. one is the letter of appeal to the financial aid department regarding my academic process. one is personal and difficult, but absolutely necessary.

last night i started to write a short story.

yesterday angel bunny and l.q.t. dove into a feng shui book and uncovered that our home promotes tranquility, but discourages activity. since the three of us are in varying shades of unemployment, i can see how this can be true. our activity emerges at night, such as last night when nighttime found us singing and dancing along to the brady bunch cd, air supply and hall and oates' greatest hits, and to wrap things up, steely dan. it's pretty quiet around here in the day time. though we have the blessed hum of the air conditioner to soothe us. maybe we will feng shui the apartment, and bring some good fortune our way.

i keep running in to the color red. red for the red tape hooey that i keep running in to at school. red for the color of the love i want in my life. red for the color of intense emotions that keep crashing in to me.

today i have things to do, and somewhere to be.


Monday, July 21, 2003

well, whadda ya know? i did my homework and actually learned something about myself!

from Literary Criticism: an introduction to theory and practice by Charles Bressler:

"How each person views society is always unique, for there exists what [cultural anthropologist Clifford] Geertz calls an 'information gap' between what our body tells us and what we have to know in order to function in society. This gap also exists in society because society cannot know everything that happens among all its people. Like individuals, society simply fills in the gaps with what it assumes to have taken place. And it is this information gap, both within people and society, that results in the subjectivity of history."

so this is why misunderstandings happen. this is why i lost my job without a chance to explain myself, because my bosses made assumptions and filled in the gaps. this is why the heinous 'banana bread' incident that took place at my party had different meanings to all those involved, and how ultimately it cost me the precious entity of friendship with fuzzeranne, that i'd give anything to be able to adequately rectify. and this is why what i thought was a romantic weekend that could lead to a future with someone dear to me was something else to that person. and this is how i look at the behavior of men i've dated and try to fill in the painful gaps they left with my assumptions. this is how i struggle to understand why my father cannot relate to me. this is how i can be driving home from pasadena today, having just taken all the money my mother was kind enough to give me and wired it off to my car loan company before they sent the repo man my way, and i can't help but cry, listening to aretha franklin sing "natural woman", as i look up to the sky and wonder why things are so incredibly sad and difficult for me right now. and how anyone who reads this fills in the gaps about me and my life, and without knowing it, makes assumptions about me, too.

and, as one of my favorite improv teachers once said, you know what they say about assumptions--they make an ass out of "u" and "mptions".

maybe this is why lately i feel like such an ass, as i fight to fill in all those gaps.


among other things, i went to a movie with salma hayek this weekend

just when i thought i couldn't possibly have more fun than going out with l.q.t.'s sometime crew thursday night, the sometime crew came to us friday night. with a vengeance.

i was fresh from a dinner with my beloved ashley (we're suffering from acute twin separation anxiety at ye olde workplace of days gone by), bloated and craving no more than a nightcap with the girls. the golden girls, that is. i'd barely popped the cap off my corona when l.q.t. said, "i hope you don't mind, but some of the gang from last night are coming over." mind? did i mind? i think i actually hooted with glee.

now, if there is one piece of information you must recall, it is that our air conditioning is in a sad state of disrepair. there was a mixup on the part of our building manager, and she sent the repair fellow to the wrong apartment, which led him to report back to her that "the girl said there wasn't anything wrong with the air conditioner, so i left." she had said maybe he could come by friday, but most likely monday. by friday afternoon i would say our apartment was ready to be initiated as a native american sweatlodge. as in, when nelly says "it's getting hot in here", he's talking about my apartment.

over the next couple of hours a handful of fabulous people populated our sauna apartment. a critical beer run was made. an obscene amount of beer was consumed. we opened our front door, righteously asserting that if the manager complained about the noise we could remind her that thanks to her we were melting in our house. tunes quietly cranked on the boombox. i accidentally ripped on livejournal to a couple of livejournal users (well, they weren't fourteen year old girls--how else would i know they used livejournal??!!). i sat on the floor with some incredible guys and we made up a rapping sing song called "mostly old people" that flowed for at least a half an hour. people did nasty things with our plastic palm tree. when angel bunny crashed out on the couch for a much needed siesta she was eventually awoken with what is known as an "ass-slappy chorus". (picture, if you dare, a line of bare asses being slapped to the tune of a given song as being the first thing you see when you wake up. she took it very well.)

oh, and we played several mean rounds of twister.

goodbye hugs were said conclusively just before the clock hit 5 a.m. it had been a beautiful night.

needless to say, i slept in on saturday.

after much lazing about on another steamy sunday in our apartment (channel surfing between a&e's sell this house and tlc's faking it; my god, and i wonder why i don't read more often?!), i made my way over to the shores of silver lake to collect my beloved friend juniper.

juniper, forever the reigning queen of silver lake, and i have been friends for almost eleven years now. our mutual fate as friends was sealed forever when he approached me with "oh, wow, you have a picture of lucille ball and bette midler on your notebook cover!" because, let's face it, at fifteen i was already a fag's wet dream of a hag. i still have a pile of biting and sardonic notes we passed in that class--you think either of us paid attention to geometry? sure, juniper and i have had our ups and our downs...but we've stayed friends, and i love him like i love no other.

so we lined up at the sunset 5 theatre to buy our tickets to the docu-flick capturing the friedmans. i had decided i wanted to see it when i heard my dear regis philbin endorse it during his first segment banter one morning. as the line crawled towards the box office we saw a petite brunette ascending the escalator and joining the line. "is that...?" i said, giggling. "yes!" he said, giggling. we pondered first what ms. hayek was going to see. then we marveled that she didn't attempt to use her 'star power' to get to the front of the line. then we wondered why she wasn't with ed norton, but instead some blonde himbo. then we speculated that maybe she thinks she was robbed of the oscar this year. and then we bought our tickets, and joined the line to buy some overpriced concessions.

by the time we hit the designated theatre the previews were already running. we grabbed some seats and settled in for the show. i've got to tell you, i loved the movie. that is one messed up family. and ugly. those people are just not attractive. i won't bore you with plot, but i will say that unlike juniper, i loved the mom, and, i think they did it. but anyhow...

when the movie ended and the credits rolled, i jokingly said to juniper, "i wonder what movie salma ended up in?" followed by another round of giggles. and when we stood up to leave, i said loudly, in typical joking-like-a-clown-when-out-with-dear-old-pal fashion, "where's salma?"

naturally, she was in the aisle passing us, leaving us no choice but to exit immediately behind her.

and, giving us something more to laugh about.

we capped the evening off properly with a quick cocktail at one of silver lake's famous watering holes, where a couple of juniper's friends joined us for a spell. before long, though, we packed it in, and i dropped off the queen of silver lake, and drove home through the velvet black night to my little hot corner of the city.

praying all the way that monday will bring the arrival of the air conditioning repair man.

i think it's safe to say, on many levels, my weekend gave new meaning to the word "hot."


Friday, July 18, 2003

kicking ass and taking names

so you guys miss me, huh? wondering what i'm up to? well, i'll tell ya...there's been some ups. and there's been some downs. let's bring it down, first, and then end on a good note.

part one: getting my ass kicked (again) and signing my name:

wondering where the heck my financial aid check was, i stood in line yesterday between classes in the financial aid office, along with dozens of other sweaty and frustrated students. the recent tuition increase obviously didn't go towards using air conditioning, nor employing swift and efficient financial aid reps. but, anyhow... when it was finally my turn i was informed in an extraordinarily roundabout, lengthy and slow manner that my financial aid has actually been blocked. there's no check in the mail for me! my only source of money is not, as i'd thought, on its way. apparently i'm required to submit a form regarding my acadamic progress, then wait for an appointment with an adviser, and then, perhaps, just perhaps, my financial aid package will be released to me. his reason for why this happened was told to me in an equally roundabout, lengthy and slow manner. partly from the ceaseless heat, and from this encounter, i went to my next class with boiling blood.

when i got home from school i put a call in to my mom, who listened with the utmost degree of kind understanding. i couldn't help but burst in to tears. "why is it that i am always having to prove my worth these days? why are there so many obstacles in my way? all i want to do is to finish school. i'm so close--i'm almost done with this major goal, and it is so incredibly hard to see through to the end! i feel like i am being punished for every decision i've ever made. i decide to leave my high-paying job and finish my degree, and suddenly i can't make my car payment! i get a decent job and i work so hard for them, and then they let me go. and now this..."

so another battle has to be waged. i need to compose a letter that explains my entire academic history, that shows that i've made sufficient progress, that if i dropped a class it was for a good reason, etc. and then wait to be approved or denied.

part two: laughing my ass off, and learning new names

however, to balance out that nightmarish realization, i decided to take up beloved housemate l.q.t.'s invite to join her and some dear old friends of hers for a dinner party. one of the group is moving to the big apple to give law school a go, so the gathering was in his honor. l.q.t., having heard my financial woes, and wishing for my money to be spent on rent and not italian dinners, offered to treat me. how could i say no? i freshened up my new summery 'do, slid in to a skirt and tank top, and we hit the town.

i can't remember the last time i've had so much fun! thirteen of us crowded around a small patio table at this great restaurant in old town pasadena. conversations were constantly springing up at all angles of the table, and laughter was rampant. despite knowing only l.q.t. and her ex-boyfriend, i was instantly engrossed in lively talk with everyone there. because the food is served 'family style', l.q.t. and her ex decided to just go ahead and order for the table, and like a miracle plate after plate of steaming hot dishes were brought to our receptive table. right down to the dessert, it was a perfect meal. the wine was flowing, we clapped, we hooted, we laughed and laughed. afterwards most of us made our way down to a local sports-themed bar, which was sadly the only bar open at 11:00 on a thursday night in this part of town. i was going to be a party-pooper and have l.q.t. drive me home, but the entire group insisted i stay on, and so i did. at first the bar seemed like a dud, but we livened things up. i actually played fuzbol (i don't even know how to spell it, that's how sports-ignorant i am!), but my team lost. the jukebox cranked out some decent tunes in between the head-banging metal noise, and the guest of honor honored us by buying a couple of pitchers. by the end of the evening i had been told by an old african american man with a santa claus beard that he "loves me so much". around 1:30 our carload hit the pavement, exchanging warm hugs before we left.

we brought l.q.t.'s little brother home with us (he shares the same birthdate and year as my ex boyfriend matt, and was wearing a matt-like outfit, which really spooked me out) to spend the night in our moist and air-conditioning-less apartment. (they'd better fix that today or i will... oh, i don't know. be more mad and hot and cranky than usual?) angel bunny heard us tipsily chatting in the kitchen, and snuck out and joined us for late night chat. i had to send myself to bed around 3 in the morning, though. but, wow, did i ever have a great time. such nice people. so much fun. i needed that.


and, in other good news... i've got a line on some freelance work. doings things i love. i'm going to keep it vague for now, but please keep your fingers crossed for me. if i get some stuff lined up just so in the next few days... well, hopefully i can sit back, have a laugh at the irony of things, and get some income.

so, perhaps styrofoamkitty is right: this punkin is kicking ass and taking names!


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

she's fallen, and she can't get up, right?

i think when they handed me my walking papers at work they included a self-adhesive sign for me to wear that says "kick me". and then they tied my shoelaces together so that whenever i'd try to walk from point a to b, i'd fall down. and then anyone who happens by can read the sign, and swiftly deliver a solid boot to my body.

i found out today that there is a new policy on campus about adding a class that you weren't initially registered for. see, after i'd already registered a couple of months back i had a change of mind in my manner of thinking: from "oh, i'll just stay at my school for as long as i feel like it" to "hurry up and let me be done, i want out of here." so rather than take a useless space filler class, i tried to get in on the first day to a class i need for my major. and i was the first to be let in, due to the grace and respect of the professor teaching said class. only there was a glitch in my registering via phone, so he told me last week that i'd have to do a little paper chase to formally register. what he didn't tell me was that i had until the 14th to do so. uh, yeah. that was yesterday. the day before today when i went to do the paperwork. and i was not-so-kindly informed by the powers that be (or, rather, those who take the phone calls for the powers that be) that i was basically up the proverbial creek sans paddle. three cheers for beaurocratic red tape!

so, i can't take a third class. that leaves me with a less than full time schedule at school, which lessens my financial aid eligibility. oh, yeah, and i bought the $90 and now non-returnable book for the class, and took my notes in it, as is my custom. and that makes it now seven classes left to take before i graduate, not six. because, as well all know, i have a money tree growing in my yard.

my life is a jenga game. or a never-ending stack of pancakes. or a manure pit.

"pile it on!" someone is calling out, and the order is not ignored.

i understand the producers are in negotiation with candace cameron to come out of her retirement to play me in the lifetime tv movie.

i got home from school just now and found an email from someone at my old work. it was a group email, and it said something along the lines of, "maybe punkin or so-and-so or so-and-so could come up with some classes to teach using these new materials." to which i replied, "didn't you get the memo that i was canned???" he replied with an all-caps OH MY GOD, and told me i was still very much invited to his bbq this weekend. i'll think about going.

at the very least, i know it's not him that's still reading my blog at the old workplace.

just so you all know, i'm not sitting in a darkened room listening to morrissey, dancing a knife tip on my veins, and drinking bud lite ceaselessly. i think a major part of what is often misunderstood about blogger posts is that there is (at least on my part) a dose of creative liberty. a mocking may go that extra step. a joke might play off as more serious. so, please don't think i'm taking the frat boy approach to this sweaty summer. i'm reading, i'm cooking, i'm looking for suitable work day in and out. i'm getting back on track. i'm facing some of my own fears.

and i'm still dealing with a lot of crap. stuff i don't talk about here, for many reasons. stuff that keeps me up at night and makes me angry and teary-eyed. stuff i don't think i can fix.

today's solution: i went and got about 6 inches cut off my hair.

hey, if i'm gonna keep getting kicked, at least i'll go down with a cute summer 'do.

oh, and a p.s. question for us all to ponder:

how come if i get fired for using work computers to check my blog it's okay for at least one person (and the person who got me fired, i believe) to go on my blog and read it 3 or 6 times a day? this doesn't seem right to me. and this wouldn't help their case to block my unemployment. i can print out fancy reports, too!


Monday, July 14, 2003

who else eats cake on mondays?

well, it's been an interesting past few days, to say the least.

  • i have enjoyed absolutely delightful and indulgent moments with friends.
  • i have woken up in the middle of the night in the fearful grip of panic mixed with sadness.
  • i have entertained thoughts of a mild revenge involving the illegal doings of a former co-worker. talk about behavior not promoting a family atmosphere!
  • i have seen a treasured friendship disappear for no good cause.
  • i have thought that perhaps because i am constantly "miss misunderstanding" and get punished/blamed for things i either didn't do or didn't deserve to be punished/blamed for, that perhaps i should change my entire way of living my life.
  • i have had to remind myself that i don't tell lies to anyone, for even if the truth is painful and embarrassing, the truth is always the best option.
  • i have passed 10,000 visits since i installed the site meter on april 11th.
  • i have baked a cake on a monday afternoon.
  • i have read the parker grey show and found it enjoyable, but not miraculous.
  • i have installed a 'make a donation' button, because though i don't want to ask for help, it would be nice to get some, but it is on a 'can' based, and not an obligation by any means.
  • i have thought about taking off the 'make a donation' button because a part of me thinks it's not right.
  • i have decided to keep it on, and hope none of you hate me or give me shit for it.
  • i have applied for about a zillion different sorts of jobs and not heard a peep in reply.
  • i have missed my job more times than i can count.
  • i have hostessed the lovely jennn in my house for one fun night of partying and chatting.
  • i have decided now would be the time to see through on my resolution to cook meals at home more.
  • i have not done any more homework than i would have done had i been going to work.
  • i have attended a gallery opening reception right at my very own former workplace.
  • i have begun to think that maybe i'm being read by the evil one and/or his bridesmaid girlfriend.
  • i have watched way too many episodes of trading spaces.
  • i have received a tremendous and much appreciated outpouring of support from so many of you in internet-land. well, except for from some guy who followed a link here today and commented back on the page with the link that because i don't capitalize i'm *really* too hard to read, and that my writing stinks, and that i'm no e.e. cummings. oh, but he's sorry i lost my job. So, Simon, This is for you. And, I must say, at least I write more than one sentence per post. To you, I blow a big fat raspberry--Pppppffffffttttt!! (gee, if you were my old boss and you read that 'poking fun' bit there you'd probably find a way to get me fired. oops, did i say that?)
  • i have been taken out to a lovely dinner by the sensational bunny.
  • i have filed for unemployment, and now sit and wait to get rejected because my old boss already told me he'd be disputing it. (editorial moment: how mean is that? i mean, i'm a student for crying out loud! help me get by and, you know, buy groceries and pay rent until i can get another job!)
  • i have noticed that i've segued into the bitterness/anger/dark humor phase of my unemployment.
  • i have fallen in love... with beer.


Thursday, July 10, 2003

i blog, therefore i am... unemployed

i trust a great deal in my mildly psychic sensibilities. yesterday, after the run in with the quiznos gang (kudos to the number of you who guessed the offending eatery), i raised my hands up to the sky, and said: "now what? come on, what's next? am i going to get fired?"

be careful what you wish for, right?

it was just a few minutes later that i was called up to sit at the massive desk of my former fearless leader. he flopped in front of my trembling hands a stack of papers resplendent in fluorescent yellow highlighter lines. i knew what it was in a rapid heartbeat.

it was my blog.

my eyes shifted to the left and i saw the windowed envelope that bore what i knew was my final paycheck.

the conversation was brief, and i surprised myself with my grace and composure. there's something to be said for picking your battles, and knowing when to cut your losses.

it is with a great deal of sadness that i cut this loss. the instant that check crossed the surface of the desk and went into my fingers i already missed my job.

what happens sometimes in life is that you run in to people who've already made up their minds about things. they will see an action and read in to it in just one manner, and never stop to think that finding out the other side is worthwhile. some people go snooping and find things they don't want to see. some people don't believe in a second chance. some people are bottom line kind of folks. black and white, cut and dried. i believe i shook hands in parting with one such person yesterday afternoon.

through my eagerness for internet popularity, i spent more than my appropriate share online. i do it at home, and i made the mistake of doing it at work. sometimes i put up a link to my site on my instant messenger away message. i've been found out by josh, and been read regularly by the v.d.b. and, now, it seems, by my bosses.

and, true to my sassy nature, i make no apologies for what i've said. i have a right to say what i feel, and always tried to not compromise anyone's identity or integrity. every now and then i'd make a remark about being at work. things i thought were typical of workplace malaise. a bad day. an exaggerated funny thought. because i really loved my job and workplace, though, i never thought what i was saying was damaging in any way. i suppose my work would have preferred that had i posted about them at all, that it would have been in glowing and celebratory terms. and, though it is far, far, too late, i will do so, because what i think escaped the powers that be in their anger and hurt over what they read, i truly and sincerely loved my job. from the bottom of my heart.

it was always the thought that where i worked was like a family. often i would banter with someone as though he were my brother. girl chats in the kitchen steered towards love lives and clothes. some days i'd be there so long that i would finally get a break and would sit on one of our comfy couches and think of how nice it was to work in such a neat space, with all its art, with the fun people i worked with. it was my home away from home. i loved working with my customers with an unparallel passion. when i would teach someone the brushstrokes that form the flowers and vines i became talented at painting it would make my heart sing to see their work come out of the kiln. i was getting asked for by name, and feeling quite proud. i loved to get the birthday boy or girl's handprint on a plate at their birthday parties. i can't tell you what it meant to me, too, to meet all the amazing people who came to us for their franchise training. the times i have been privileged to spend with them have no comparison, and i will miss seeing them stop by or calling for help. i was lucky to get to see their stores in their formative stages, and sometimes get to help them prepare to run their businesses. i took an immense amount of pride in my work, and received a lot of praise for it. i wished that they had taken the time to tell my bosses how good i was; perhaps they thought that it went without saying. i met some amazing people, who would squeal with delight when i answered the switchboard and ask me "when are you coming back to visit my store?", who would throw their arms around me when i saw them. and, most especially, the one woman whom i can thank for my "sassy" moniker, who told ashley the other day that she and her manager say hello to a photo of me that's in her shop two thousand miles east from here every day. a lot of times, despite my life-long struggle for recognition, it felt like i was someone there. and it seemed like to balance all the tiresome days of non-stop work and responsibility, it was okay to indulge in a little down time web surfing. i didn't cruise ebay like some folks did, nor dating services like another, but i'd pause and check in with my blog buddies.

and so a printout of where i'd been in blog land was also thrust in my face yesterday.

and i can't deny that i did it. the truth is, i did, and it cost my job. and it's going to cost me unemployment, too, because it seems that this was a justifiable dismissal. i just don't have it in me to argue. at this point there isn't anything i can do but move on.

my dismissal was tinged with the double-edged sword of compliment, as i was told, that despite the angering content of what i'd written, that i was "a really great writer. so talented."

i wish with all my might that they had opted to come to me about this. to take me to task, to give me an ultimatum, to drop a scathing note in my file. to give me that elusive second chance. because, as i was told repeatedly yesterday, i was liked around there. i did great work. i don't even think they realized the half of what i did, and though knowing that it will possibly hurt them to have me gone is the smallest bit satisfying, that thought and a buck and a half will buy me a ride on the subway. the fact remains that they chose to let me go.

and so i've gone. and instantly i turned to the very forum that brought about my demise: this blog.

like i said, i refuse to apologize for what i wrote. and i am laughingly appreciative of the fact that, apparently, i wrote it well. and, yes, they are right, writing is what i should be doing. it's what i want to do. it's what i can't wait to do for the rest of my life. for now, though, i have this and two other quarters left to get my BA. i have to somehow find employment that will help me get by day to day, as well as help eradicate my mountainous debt, and fund my future getting my MFA in san francisco. i had thought that this job would see me through to my departure, perhaps with more opportunities to grow in the interim there. instead, i've been give no choice but to navigate over this bump in the road, and to prove yet again that no matter how many times you give me the short end of the stick, i'm going to turn that stick into a goddamned flag that i wave in my own honor.

i'm told rather often that i'm an admirably strong person. nothing has killed me yet, ergo i am the stronger for the survival. i can't lie and say this has been a cakewalk of a year. my heart's a little worse for wear these days, and that uphill attitude seems like a reach right now. but at the end of the day, i'm still me. i'm still sassy. i'm still a burgeoning internet diva whose blog might get her fired, but it also has gotten her friendships, insight, companionship, readers of her writing, the forum to write on a daily basis, and the occasional gift and fan letter.

tragic to some, gratifying to others...

***July 11th, 2003***

read an incredibly insightful blogger's article about this post! thanks, sam b. and thank you to eveyone who has offered me such amazing support and encouragement throughout this incident!

***July 13th, 2003***

another reaction i found in someone else's blog. thank you, trevor!


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

i take it back... it just got worse

i just got fired.


straws are breaking camels backs here, folks

there's a crick in my neck and some tension in my shoulders. despite the hilarity of instant messages with my favorite north carolinan twin chevy valentine, the indulgent humor of live with regis and kelly and, oddly enough, the osbournes, i had a really lousy morning. i'm so over the situation that i don't want to talk about it any more, to the chagrin of some. and while i know i have to talk about it again at some point, it just can't be here.

then i show up to work and am ambushed by a couple of people from a local eatery who weren't happy that i sent in a complaint about their shoddy customer service to their corporate website. i was humiliated to the point of having tears brimming in my eyes. i have never felt so completely cornered and put on the spot in recent history. what a horrible way to conduct business. though there was a calm ending to things, i think i was actually banned from going in there again. maybe i should celebrate. i mean, i've never been 86ed from anywhere in my life! well, screw you, overpriced sandwich shop whose gimmick is to toast your subs!

a cigarette and a mini-dish session with ashley helped a little, but add the two incidents together and you have one shaky, rattled, embittered punkin.

if it weren't for the fact that i know this, too, shall pass, and that i need to remain grateful that all my loved ones are healthy and safe, and that i have a roof over my head and a job and food to eat, i would be volunteering to go play in traffic right now.

oh, and the fact that i get to go home and crack open my set of the simpsons season one dvds that were sent to me today. sent to me because someone (semi-anonymously) in blogland wanted me to have a happy half birthday. just thinking about it does the miraculous and makes me smile.

so, note to universe, enough with these straws dropping. i've got a sick ward full of crippled camels here. and this girl needs to get back in the saddle and do some desert riding.

happy, happy hump day, gang!

(get it, camels, humps?) oh, shut up. i'm having a bad day!


with a banner and a flag

i wait, eager, at the side of the road.
jumping-jack toy energy of anticipation,
biting my lip--
curling my mouth quickly into a broad smile,
eyes wide, shining, hopeful.
doing nothing out of the ordinary but
being my extraordinary self.
wanting nothing less than to be called out, called on,
picked out of the crowd.
the recipient of your love.


Tuesday, July 08, 2003

men seldom make passes...

it was one night, about six years ago, when i knew my fate was sealed. i was driving along the 134 freeway in the company of my friend emmett, when i exclaimed: "hey, i can't see the lines on the road!" though she giggled, and i swerved to adjust my car's positioning, i realized that i could not escape the inevitable.

i was going to need glasses.

up until that point my parents had often remarked on how amazed they were that i'd yet to have an eye exam yield the need for an extra pair of eyes. both glasses-wearers themselves, their combined eight eyes surmised that i was going to be a victim of some impaired sightedness.

naturally, i hated to admit that they were right.

i remember that eye exam well. i knew i couldn't read all the letters, and i knew that i needed to be honest about what i saw so that the nice doctor could get the prescription right. but i didn't want to fail the test, i didn't want to be wrong! "i'm used to doing well on exams," i explained earnestly to the doctor. and then i couldn't read a line of letters. i'm sure i missed some blips of light in the distance as i pressed my face into the plastic viewer.

i didn't take anyone with me to pick out my frames, probably because i was already grappling with my be-spectacled embarrassment. i was a reluctant glasses-wearer, to say the least. i picked out my wiry frames with a wry smile. i cursed my parents' defective genetics. i knew i'd wind up just like stephanie tanner on full house and be the laughingstock of the second grade. well, except that i was twenty years old.

when i got the glasses from the dispensary i insisted on wearing them only when absolutely necessary. like when driving. i was one hundred percent jan brady about the whole situation. i wouldn't be photographed in them. i rode my bike into the framed family portrait that was hidden in the garage. ok, i made that last part up. but what i would do is take them off the second i got to work. i was the assistant manager of a large bookstore at the time, and my boss, ace, would often catch me straining to read the aisle signs as i attempted to point a customer in the right direction. "computer books? okay, yeah, sure, they're right there in aisle...nine? no, wait, that's an eight. no, a nine. um, let's walk over there and i'll show you..." ace would retrieve my glasses from their perch on a shelf above the desk in the backroom, walk them to me, and slide them over my face and adjust them on the bridge of my nose.

"wear your glasses!" he'd tease.

so i started to wear them a little more. i'd catch myself saying stupid things like: "wow, so that's what that looks like!" every now and then. and sometimes i'd leave them lying around my apartment, and then accidentally sit on them...

i really felt unattractive in my specs, not at all the sexy librarian that i'd heard so much about. i didn't want to wear eye makeup because i thought, who can see it under these lenses? i didn't want to go to a club--who would talk to that girl in the glasses? let's face it, i had a major complex.

at some point it dawned on me that i could get contact lenses. my nana sent me the money to accomodate my vanity. i had those suckers stuck on my eyeballs so fast... in fact i left the eye doctor's and went right to target to treat myself to a pair of sunglasses. "look, ma, no glasses!" i wanted to cry out. i felt really cool. i wore eye makeup. i got to buy solution. i got to stick my fingers in my eyes. they told me to always put the right one in first, and i felt a little anti-establishment because i always put the left one in first.

the bummer about contacts is that it costs money to have them. even with wearing the two-week pairs for six weeks i still ran out. i wasn't on insurance anymore, thanks to a job change. and the straw that broke the glasses' arm was just that--an arm fell off my first and only ever pair of glasses.

so i bit the bullet and went in for a new set of specs. this time i chose a cute almost cat-like set of black rims. when i wore them people didn't seem to notice that i had them on at all. "they suit you," they told me.

and then i realized that though it's said men seldom make passes at women who wear glasses, i had better luck dating when i wore them. and that all my favorite boyfriends were four-eyed! there had been nothing sexier than knowing i was in for a good makeout or more session when they pulled their glasses off, or, even sexier, pulled mine off.

at the start of this year i got another go 'round of contacts, and instead of vainly sticking them in everyday, i've come to not be bothered with it more than once a week. maybe i'm lazier. maybe it's because i've grown into being a glasses-girl. maybe i've cultivated a look to fit the specs. i'm not sure.

ninety percent of the time i still whip them off when a camera is pointed my way. and if i'm throwing a party or going out somewhere special, chances are the glasses will stay at home. i'm beginning to think when i find the right guy for me it won't matter what lenses i'm sporting--that we'll see each other in the best possible light and for who we truly are, inside and out.

so what's going to happen? i guess we'll wait and see.


Monday, July 07, 2003

you can't run uphill with a downhill attitude

while many of you are facing the recovery from a long-weekend monday back at work, i'm about to head off to just another workday in a short chain of workdays. i managed to be off on the 4th, and also managed to fit in some lovely times between the color me mine shifts i worked this weekend.

i kicked things off with a good old fashioned visit to my beloved friend juniper's house. he lives, as we so eloquently say, by the shores of silver lake, in a cute little house. we poured ourselves a cocktail, lit a series of cigarettes, chatted about the good old days, the bad old days, and the days to come. we played a twosies version of taboo, until i nodded off, knowing i needed to say "empire state building" but not sure how to form the words. the punkin was tired. i made it home, and slept in like a champ on the holiday friday.

after an early afternoon breakfast at bob's big boy, ashley and i went over to our friend lane's new digs for a bar-b-que gathering. actually, we learned that because our transplanted virginian hostess wasn't serving pork, it was technically a cookout. regardless, we nibbled on food, swilled some drinks, made nice-nice with fellow guests, and strained to look over the rooftops to get a glimpse at any number of fireworks shows. i was in mild socially awkward mode, where i just couldn't get the oomph up to strike up conversations. i spoke when spoken to, but i never really took the spotlight.

when night fell, lane and her boyfriend wanted us all to climb this neverending set of stairs that would take us to the top of this enormous hill so that we could watch the fireworks from dodger stadium.

"you up to take the walk to see the fireworks?" lane's boyfriend asked me.

"i don't walk," i told him.

"well, it's more like a hike..." he said.

"yeah, um, i don't hike," i replied.

"we just have to climb these stairs--"

"dude, you just said hike, climb and stairs. you're not making a good case for this outing."

he shrugged and left to hike and climb up some stairs with some other brave soul. ashley and i left. i must have been a little drunker than i thought, because i slept like a log that night. well, after some lovely neighbor thought it was smart to set off fireworks on our street at midnight. groan! i was too tired to even get up and yell at him.

last night fuzzeranne hostessed a gals night to watch sex and the city in her cozy little apartment. i had the loveliest, mellow time chatting with fuzzeranne, red and kay. though nothing we talked about was profound or prolific, it was just a nice cap to the weekend to be in the company of so many bright, engaging, dear gal-pals. you can never have too many friends.

i treated myself this morning to one of my favorite rituals. sad but true, i thoroughly enjoy drinking a cup of coffee and watching the first twenty minutes of live with regis and kelly. it's oddly life-affirming, and i can't explain it. i never felt that way about kathie lee. i always wanted to smack her upside the head.

i woke up before six this morning, my head swimming with the lines that would fit great in an email to my father. there are things that needed to be said, and so i got up, sat down, and said them with my fingetips on the keyboard. you know how they (the freudians?) say if you're a young woman you tend to date men like your father? well, i'd like to buy them all a coke, because they're absolutely right. i am like a moth to a flame called emotional unavailability, thanks to 26 and a half years of trying to get my father to pay attention to me, praise me, express interest and love to me.

everytime i get worked up about my strained father-daughter relationship i call my mother, and she sighs knowingly, and reminds me that "he will never change".

but i can change.

ashley's horoscope the other day chastised her: "you can't run uphill with a downhill attitude." while i don't physically want to run up any hills, i do want my life to move upwards. this is no comfortable plateau here. is my attitude downhill? sometimes i think it is. i think i've settled in the past for lousy boyfriends who don't treat me well. i think sometimes i don't treat me well.

so here's to a whole new week. and here's to me, and my uphill attitude. when i get up to the top there'd better be some fireworks. it's been far too long.


Saturday, July 05, 2003

mouthful of candy for the bad kids

i just completely bitched out the poor guy who works at the local coffee bean & tea leaf, and i'm not sure why.

i ordered my favorite, an english breakfast latte. and then i waited. and waited. and though there had been no one in line ahead of me, i still waited.

my head was whirling with patchwork thoughts, enhanced moderately by the pseudo-trance music pulsing from their hidden speakers:

god it's hot out. i can't wait to move to the bay area. why do i have this strange cramp in my stomach? should i really do a blog post called "who will fuck the punkin?" because i keep threatening to. i can't remember the last time i was out on a saturday with the guy i just spent the night and morning rolling aroung in bed with, happy and caught up in those lovey feelings. oh wait, yeah, it was san francisco, a few weeks ago. i miss the v.d.b. thanks, cruel universe. thanks, too, for giving me dreams about the evil one, and then one last night about being pregnant. (which i'm not!) i wish i didn't have to work today. a shower will make me feel better. i'm so lazy lately...and, hey, they have the same plastic palm tree here that l.q.t. bought for our living room!

when my drink came up, i was so excited to finally get my daily dose of caffeine. but, oh no!

"why is this iced?" i said. no, better, i barked. (my inner voice: "why did you say that????")

"you ordered a hot drink?" the clerk asked me. (my inner voice: "ok, now he's acting like i'm from mars because it's hot out and i want a hot drink.")

"uh, yes," i answered. (my inner voice: "duh!")

"sorry, i'll get that for you," he said. (my inner voice: "yeah, you'd better, i paid $3.45 for that!")

i slunk back to my leaning spot against the condiment bar. i noticed that this buffed out rocker-type couple were snickering at me. passing judgment on my lack of judgment. (my inner voice: "dear god, get me out of here!")

and, moreover, please tell me why i'm so cranky?


Thursday, July 03, 2003

"are you taking your act out on the road?"

ashley and i went to the movies last night.

if any of you have already spent wasted your money and seen charlie's angels: full throttle, you may have stuck around for the credits and seen the bloopers segment, where the making of the movie looks like it's a laugh riot.

i turned to ashley, and half-jokingly said: "hey, that looks like us at work!"

here's why:

getting scouted

yesterday at work we were approached by a timid older man who works as a location scout for a major movie studio. he was intrigued by the looks of our workplace, with its brick walls, floor to ceiling wood-framed windows, loft space, beamed warehouselike ceilings, and all around funky art look. he needed a place that could double as a coffee shop in new jersey. not only was this ripe with cinematic potential, but provided a day's worth of comedy fodder for ashley and i.

we paused our pursuit of inquiry to the online magic 8 ball dedicated work effort, and began to chat with the guy.

"oh, yeah, we get stuff filmed here all the time," i explained. "dating shows, mostly. they come in as a part of their date, and we play the 'welcome to our ceramics studio' girls and show them around."

"spanish blind date was just here the other day," ashley added. "i was in that--"

"yeah, you're going to be dubbed in spanish, ash!" i pointed out. "we get mostly dating shows. only, well, they're fake. well, the spanish one is."

"fake?" he asked.

"yeah, the couples are usually already married," i told him.

"wow, so you guys must get location scouts in here all the time," he observed.

"all the time," ashley assured him, like it was old hat.

at ashley's request he explained what the movie was, and who it would be starring.

"holly hunter, and, um, i forget her name, that girl from 8 mile..." he trailed.

and without meaning to, ashley interjected: "8 mile? i was in that."

the scout raised his eyebrows. "you were?"

"oh. my. god," said ashley. "i meant, i saw that. i saw 8 mile."

this was followed by a number of bursts of giggles from both of us.

recovered, ashley went on: "but you should totally pick us to film the movie here. we do accents, too!"

that was my cue: "welcome to my cawfee shawp in new joisey" i said.

"are you guys going to take your act out on the road?" he asked.

i don't this guy had ever met anyone like us in his life. he was rather taken with our charms, and insisted on shaking our hands. he took some pictures, and said he'd be in touch.

later on...

poor ashley had been trying for ages to unclog the fine tip of a paint pen so she could make a custom ordered cup for marlee matlin get some work done, and i was in the back of our office, using a computer to instant message with fuzzeranne create a monthly schedule for our studio, when i heard her meekly call out my name...

"punkin?" she said.

"i'm right here, ash, what is it?" i look up to see that she is trying to push a big chair though a tiny space.

"i wanna sit down with you here," she says. she hoists the chair up over her head and lands it next to mine. "ha! who's the strongest woman you know?" she declares proudly.

"probably that wrestler lady, chyna," i reply drily. she ignores it.

"i can't believe i told that guy i was in 8 mile," she says. we revisit the scene, and have another hearty laugh.

"i wonder what's so wrong with the fact that we laugh all the time," ashley notes sagely. "because people resent us for it, you know. that we're always having such a good time, and laughing. what's wrong with laughing?"

"i think they're threatened, ash," i told her. "they think we're laughing at them."


we're quiet, as ashley fiddles with soaking her paint pen tip in alcohol and alternately threading it with a tiny wire, and as i clatter my fingernails on the keyboard, typing out a chat with fuzzeranne.

"girl, that shit stinks," i tell her. "wheeeeeeeeeeew!" i turn my head the other way. ashley sputters into a fit of giggles.

i sighed. "i want to go see charlie's angels," i say.

"ok, let's go," ashley agrees. i start to surf the web for showtimes.

"oooh, maybe it's at those new theatres in burbank, if they're open," i exclaim.

"they are. remember that kid in the wetsuit who painted the snake said he'd just seen a movie there?" ashley replied.

"dude, you and that kid in the wetsuit..."

"that kid was cool!" she said.

"oh, yup, here it is, at the new theatres...let's go!"

this is where you came in.


Wednesday, July 02, 2003

just so you know where i'm coming from: my role model once was courtney love

my journals are like personal time capsules. i have boxes filled with every card and letter i've ever received. i have separate email accounts where i stash volumes of email history. i have scrapbooks and notebooks and yearbooks to testify to where and who i've been. i revisit them often, and these waves of sentimentality wash over me. and i smile a wry little smile, as every word eulogizes the girl i once was.

i dozed off this afternoon, highlighter in hand, reading aristotle's poetics. when i woke up i didn't feel refreshed or gratified. in fact, i noticed that i felt nothing like i thought i would feel.

"i should feel a certain way," i told myself. "like a college girl being a little lazy on a summer tuesday."

so why don't i feel how i used to?

there was a point in my life, say seven or eight years ago, when my innocence lent itself to my experience. when a lazy sunny school day would have some how been interpreted by my sense mechanisms entirely differently. this strange time when i was by no means as 'together' and 'cute' as i am now, and yet had boys interested in me all the time. when boys would tell me they loved me just days after we'd begun dating. when i was best described as socially inept, and yet mildly intriguing to people. i carried a little pink tin box covered in stickers as my purse. i smoked marlboro reds with no apology. i had sex on cafe pool tables with a sexy older poet boy who lived with his girlfriend. yet i had no connection to my body, so i wasn't fully present to the experience physically. i wrote poems the second i had a poetic impulse, therefore collecting a series of scribbles on receipts, envelopes and other scraps. what i considered savvy then i'd call luck in retrospect.

bottom line: i didn't know jack. but i sure thought i did.

the other day a guy at my work--who just graduated from high school--heard me make a little hooting exclamation about my site meter stats, and it's implication of popularity.

"i would think you'd be used to it," he offered.

"used to it?" i asked.

"yeah. i mean, i would think that you were very popular in high school."

to which i let out a laugh that surely could be heard down the street.

some may remember differently, with kinder recollection. however, back in the day, i'd say i put the "ass" in "sassy".

i was my own lifetime television movie, resplendent in my teen angst and fully and unabashedly engulfed in the drama department, literally and figuratively. i used sarcasm as a shield. i rolled my eyes as though it were an exercise regimen. i pushed the envelope with what i thought i could get away with saying, to teachers and peers alike. i felt everything deeply, and would cry or rage at the drop of the hat; and many hats were dropped. my crushes were passionate and unrequited, each and every single one of them. all my dates to the big dances my senior year wound up being gay. i thought i wanted to be a star. and really, all i was was this scared, angry, self-loathing little girl who didn't know who she really was.

now, i realize, none of this makes me exceptional. we've all been teenagers. we've all had to come to terms with our personalities and goals and habits. we've made and lost friends, built and burned bridges.

and so here i am now, twenty-six and a half years old. for better or worse, i’ve made it this far on experience.

i take pride in the quality of my friendships, and feel profoundly sad when i think a relationship is strained. i’d sooner eat my own arm than hurt someone i care about. i take the time to process my feelings, and if i'm angry, i do my damndest to wait until i've composed myself to express my thoughts. i would much rather give a gift than receive one. i use my humor not to keep people away, but to draw them in. i'm so close to accomplishing the feat of getting a college degree that it's at that comfortable level of scary. i think i am finally brave enough to leave the safety of this town and make a path of my own in the direction i want to be in.

sometimes, though, i miss that girl i used to be. i miss being fearlessly naive enough to wear fishnets and too much eyeliner to my bookstore job, to make wiseass cracks to my bosses and co-workers, and to drive home in my beat up old honda listening to hole's "live through this." because i really felt it.

people these days raise their eyebrows in incredulity when i tell them what a little bitch i used to be.

"wha-a-a-a-t?" they say. "no way! you're so nice!"

yeah, for the most part i am. i have my days when i'm not so nice, or when i make that fatal error of not thinking before i speak, or, in the blog world, post. when i wear my heart out on my sleeve, and it's too damn hot out, and i get a little sunburn. sure, with a little patience and t.l.c. the wounds heal. it doesn't even leave much of a scar. my shield is made of different stuff.

and some nights, when "the sky was made of amethyst, and all the stars look just like little fish", i get a little nostalgic for what i used to be, the good and the bad of it.

and, deep down, i still want to be the girl with the most cake.


Tuesday, July 01, 2003

canadian fiction

one of my favorite books when i was growing up in toronto was kit pearson's the daring game. it was set in a vancouver boarding school in the mid-60's, and i envied the camaraderie of the girls, and the adventures they had. i remember that on the last night of the month before they went to sleep they'd say "rabbits", and then first thing in the morning on the first they'd say "hares". it was some sort of good luck ritual.

i always forget to say "rabbits", but i usually manage to get "hares" out on the first.

i'm feeling like this month i need the extra luck, so i will take whatever it is that i can get.

yesterday i had coffee with isabella, a darling friend of mine that i have known since i was a much different girl back in the earliest part of high school. we hadn't seen each other in ages, at least a year, and had a lot to catch up on. we covered all the big topics, and spent a good length of time on the girl's favorite topic: boys. well, miss isabella is in love, and i can't tell you how it just suits her, and makes her gentle grace shine with the glow of the evening sun. it gives this girl some hope. "i just said to the universe i was ready," she told me.

"i'm mad at the universe," i explained. "because i will consult the universe, and yes, i will get what i need or want. and then it yanks it away from me. like a cruel joke."

after a long talk last night with l.q.t. over my second beer and a smoke or two, i stretched out on my bed in the sticky hot june night, and bemoaned my romantic curses. i won't bore you with the dialogue, but i surely overused the words "why" and "me".

and when l.q.t. finally had to say goodnight (she's on a plane right now to the other side of the country--what will i do without my l.q.t. for a week?!) i turned out the light, and called up the universe one more time.

i fell asleep watching a&e's biography on katharine hepburn, and i felt like a kid again, full of hope reflected in the life of the great actress. i wondered how she lived so many years alone, and i wondered if she was happy. i wondered if her life was what she wanted it to be, and i wondered if someday folks would talk about me and how i was "different" and "outspoken" and had a "rare spirit."

it's the first of july today. it's a holiday where i come from, but it's just another school day for me here in los angeles. the summer heat is clinging to the walls of my apartment like climbing ivy vines, ever rising. i need a little boarding school-girl mischief in my life. i need to feel enchanting and determined. i need the universe to let what it gives me stick--universe, you are such a tease! i need a little luck, however i can get it.

happy canada day! happy first day of a new month.



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