Friday, May 28, 2004

babble, psycho, analysis

today i met up with bunny and enjoyed a delicious brunch of lo-carb, hi-protein fare with a generous side of girl talk. after i wrapped up a particularly lengthy monologue covering in detail some of my recent exploits, adventures and bright ideas, i felt it necessary to add: "but, i'm crazy." i'm pretty sure i included a hand gesture, like, say, for instance, the index finger making that circling motion near my temple.

to this, bunny replied: "i don't think you're crazy. i've known you too long--i know you're crazy!"

oddly enough, i felt comforted.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

playing the space card

i feel differently about blogging lately. i'm aware of it constantly, "it" being my attitude, my sensibilities, my tendencies towards this plot of cyber unreal estate. there's a distance between this page and myself, a distance that's sprung from a manner of necessities. i often wonder, had i felt this way a year ago where would my life have gone instead of having been sent packing from a generally good job, from having chafed at old wounds on the flesh of strained relationships, from having maybe ruined new relationships at their starting gates. i suppose i'll never know. i suppose i wasn't meant to know.

i can attribute some of my withdrawal to good old fashioned self-censorship, and the need to measure my words maybe a little too carefully. there's a short list of readers of whom i fear their reactions, whether it be because i might hurt them, be taken the wrong way, or just be plain ridiculed by them in a similar forum. you, dear reader, may or may not see yourself as belonging to that list. if you think it's you, you could be right. just know you're not alone in my considerations. i don't like to cause hurt, and, selfishly, i don't like to be hurt, either. and i've found myself stepping back out of a need for self-protection.

this distance now is partially due to a great deal of "same-old, same-old" in my life. i've become a little bit of an isolationist in the past couple of months, mainly because i've not had to attend school, partly because most of my friends have hectic schedules that don't often mesh with mine. i find myself saying to myself, and others, that "this is a weird time for me" and then it dawns on me that it's always a weird time for me, always a time of changes, of challenges, of sadness mixed with hope. it's just that the problems shift, change names, change loci. i'll spend the day at work daydreaming about being at home, tucked inside my four fortress walls, then, once at home, those four walls are stifling, suffocating, and i daydream about being anywhere else in the world, or in my imagination.

what's become a frightening but thrilling realization on my part has been that things that have existed only in the realm of the fantastic and imaginative are finding niches in my reality. there is a potentiality for actualization in my dreams and ambitions nowadays that is heady and terrifying at the same time. and so i retreat from the public forum, whether it be the social world, or the web's world, and i now am tending to those tangible dreams, those blossoming realities. and that lends to me a desire to want to be cloaked in secrecy, to keep the parameters tight around my endeavors lest they be stolen from me, lest they be mocked or even simply exposed too soon.

i don't mean to say that i'm burning any candle at two ends, slaving away on some top secret project that i must keep to myself. to be perfectly honest, the people in my everyday life are in on it, are supportive of it, are encouraging of it. they're the people who've known me for years, whether just a couple of years or over a decade, and they've watched me toil a little in unsatisfactory life choices, they've heard me wax endlessly about my goals, my secret wishes. they know, and i know, that now is an exciting time of 'can do' in my life. that i'm more determined than ever. maybe crazier than ever. who knows. but it isn't all this fancy labor. to be fair, i spend a great deal of time absorbed in movies, in rare instances of quality television, like pbs' brilliant colonial house, with my nose in a book, gabbing on the phone, or listening to music for hours on end. i read the new york times online, and alternate between the new yorker and >em>martha stewart living in the bathroom. yesterday i scrubbed the walls in the upstairs hallway and filled old nail holes with spackle, and then did laundry while wearing my red high-heels and a pair of jeans that haven't fit me in years. not exactly hemingway-esque material here. everyday is not a miraculous insight in to poetry, love, human nature or the world at hand. my world is sometimes as narrow and limited as some great finds at the local used bookstore, a crafty recipe employing egg whites or getting a great movie from netflix.

but life is far from boring to me. it's actually immensely satisfying in that i feel for the most part i'm truly living it. i'm not in love, and, quite frankly, i'm not looking to be. i'm continually stressed about money. i'm full of nervous excitement that i might be nearing some of my goals in life. i'm a lot more quiet than i have been in the past. i'm a lot more sure of myself. i'm not the same girl who started this page over a year ago.

this isn't my swan song, i'm not throwing in the towel. i just feel like i've been keeping my readers at arm's length of late, and it's not something i necessarily enjoy doing, but feel i have to. but i'd rather step back than offer you some sort of daily serving of inane nonsense for the sake of fresh material. i'm fine, really, i'm quite okay. it's only that, these days, i just need my space.


Monday, May 24, 2004

equation, affection

i realized over the course of this crazy, busy, not-enough-sleep, but ultimately hilariously fun weekend is that for every moment of my feeling like "now my life has really begun" there's a moment when a friend i've had for over a decade can say something like: "remember what i said about that eight years ago?" and suddenly it will seem as though i've lived ten lifetimes since then.

in other news, i finally got myself a dust buster. it was love at first sight in the aisles of target, and now, at home, together, we are enjoying a productive relationship. i am enchanted by buster's sleek beauty as he waits patiently in the charging mode, i am tickled at his proficiency at sucking up dust and other errant particles or lite brite pegs and paperclips. i think we're going to have a beautiful life together, buster and i.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

learning to read and the kindness of strangers

last night was a particularly beautiful spring night in los angeles. the sun had made its descent through the layers of smog and had left the sky a palette of light and dark hues, surprising slivers of gold wrapped in hazy blues. downtown and its enclave of semi-majestic skyscrapers sat weighty on the horizon as i made my way home, transfixed by the sparkling lights in the sky that seemed to be stars at first, and then, as they seemed to move in slow motion i realized they were airplanes, coming, going, travelling. i had an urge to turn the stereo up quite loud, louder than the headache that was tapping at my temples, louder than the thumping of my heart that still hadn't fully relaxed from its agitated state. it had been an exhilerating evening, though for some reason it was tasting bittersweet.

about two hours earlier i'd stood in front of a room full of mostly strangers, knees knocking, heart rate speeding, mouth parched, and had read aloud one of the pieces that was being published. published in a very small, very un-newsworthy, very limited to, well, students at my school, but published nonetheless publication. and i was terrified to read in front of all those people. my mother, who sat beaming in the second row, had reminded me that with my theatre background, my improv background, this should be a piece of cake. and for all the money in the world i couldn't convice a soul that boisterous, humorous, outspoken me was actually rather shy. it amazes me, too, quite frankly.

when i stepped to the podium and began to speak i noticed an echo unique to that section of the room. i reminded myself that no one in the rows of chairs could sense the echo, that it was something i was just going to have to overcome. so i continued. i read my piece, the one i'd practiced about a dozen times for my captive audience of two: my cat, delilah and my build-a-bear, keaton. (they were riveted. i think they loved it.) i did the hand gestures, i paused in all the right places, i got a laugh here and there, and i kept my hands out of my pockets. i heard the applause when i was done, and as i tucked my chin to my chest and began to move back into the audience, an acquaintance said he wanted me to please read one of my other pieces. a request. "i have a request!" i said, smiling, and returned to the podium. and so i began to read again. this one was unrehearsed, but for some reason it fell off my tongue as though i'd been ready to read it all along. they were my words, after all, my feelings, my ideas i'd tapped from my heart to the keyboard last fall. when i finished i looked up, and drank in the applause and the appreciative faces of the small group of listeners. and i took my seat next to my beautiful mother, and i felt the blood resume its regular circulation in my body.

when the readings were done i was eager to escape; primarily to find something liquid to conquer the arid landscape of my throat. but people began to seek me out, to push towards me, to say things like "you were wonderful," "your writing is fantastic," "you read so well," and other amazing things. "thank you," i said, "thank you." and i kept having to say it, as i shook hands, and fielded compliments from people i'd never seen before in my life. it was thrilling, but also terrifying. "this is too much," i whispered to my mother. she replied earnestly, "get used to it."

over lukewarm coffee and crudites i was told i was brave to have my parents in attendance. i was puzzled--they're usually the first folks i invite anywhere, and, all things considered, the only folks i invite who ever show up. they claim it's for free food, but i know it's something else. the free food was lovely, as was the chance to mingle with my peers and professors. but i was beginning to taste that bittersweet, because none of my friends were there. and after i made my way to my car, a stack of the hot-off-the-presses publication in my arms, and as i turned up belle and sebastian's if you're feeling sinister album and let the cool may air fly past me and my opened window, i felt overwhelmingly alone. the kindness of my parents is unmatchable. the kindness of strangers is remarkable. but the kindness of my friends... it's harder to locate these days.

but i remembered all the wonderful things that had been said to me, and i remembered that this small triumph of mine was part of the greater ambitions i have that i'm doing all i can to ensure come through for me. that the shaky-handedness of learning to read for a crowd can be overcome by the fact that it is my dream coming true. and today, the day after this little earthquake in my life, i'm reminded of the kindness of someone who has defied logic and has remained my friend over the past few rocky years that we've known each other, who remarked that i was now living my dream.

my god. i've begun to live my dream.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

psychic eyes wide open

i fully rejected believing in horoscopes this march. up until then i'd read my daily, weekly, monthly, or what-have-you version of what life was supposed to entail for a capricorn like myself with near religious dedication. back then, all astrological signs were pointing towards the eminent success of the new relationship i'd found myself in. the latest daily horoscope installment slid in to my inbox at yahoo-dot-com, and there it was in glorious html graphics: i was going to be given the signal that the significant other in my life was going to declare their commitment to me. apparently it was in the stars that love was finally to be mine! so there was joy, elation, anticipation on my part.

only, the only man in my life decided he wasn't ready to commit. to me, certainly, maybe to no one else. his reasons were never made very clear to me. but what became glaringly evident was that horoscopes were fraudulent. and thus i became the narrowed-eyed skeptic, shuddering at the implements of the occult, sneering at the various predictions i'd run across in print. too many letdowns had made me a non-believer. so the horoscope that's delivered to my email account every day became checked off and deleted, completely unread.

there are a few things i know about myself. i'm a quintessential late bloomer, and i've always known that. i've a ways to go before i really hit the best years of my life. knowing that, actually, has kept me going through the hard times in my life. it's why i've sometimes referred to myself as a 'warped optimist'--i'm a cynic, i'm a doubter... but in the end i know the best is yet to come, so i sit tight and plough on. and i'm stubborn. stubborn as a damned goat. and i'm ambitious. so, yes... i'm a capricorn, born in the year of the dragon. fire-breathing and steady-climbing, that's me.

a couple of weeks ago, when ashley was in town, she went to see her psychic. the cynic in me has always felt that twinge of 'new-agey' discomfort at the idea of having a psychic. i went once, to an elderly woman who works from her home in my neighborhood, on the advice of my roommates of the time. her game was money, and the more money i could give her, the more she could do for me. but i didn't have any to give her, so i settled for the simplest plan. she'd predicted that within the year i'd make an appearance on tv. and i walked away, laughing, knowing that my being on television was about as close to impossible as one could get. and i compared notes with things she'd told my roommates, and i thought: "a ha! she tells us all we're going to be on television because we're young and live near hollywood. well, i won't be fooled by her."

except, within a year, i was recommended by a friend to a casting agent, and wound up appearing as a contestant on a tv game show. coincidence? well, i don't know.

so when ashley went to her psychic, i tagged along, but didn't sign up for a session of my own. the horoscope fallacy was still stinging, and it felt as though i'd reached a certain no-nonsense place in my life where i had to stop deluding myself. there's only room for so much fancy in my head, and, more importantly, in my heart. i didn't want to be given any reason to expect a damned thing.

but ashley had time for one last question, and being the amazing and giving friend that she is, she asked about yours truly. she only said that i was a writer, and that i was her friend. and the psychic told her that i was going to be very successful. and that i was very talented, in multiple fields. and that with the way i am focused and determined about the project i'm working on right now, that i was absolutely going to make it happen. and that i'd meet someone who would help me.

i've been rolling those predictions around in my mind for the past couple of weeks. i wanted to shrug it off, but it's been nagging at me, just as much as the drive and desire to see my current project through has been nagging me. and it's a project that would require the application of my talents in multiple fields. and it's getting off the ground is hinged on my meeting a specific person whom i know can help me. and i've been racking my brain for weeks now, trying to figure out how to get a hold of this person.

...and last night, i figured it out. and, really, i've been figuring a lot of things out lately. things are kind of coming together.

i can't say that i'm about to start reading tea leaves and consulting crystals. i'm not about to fork over what little cash i have to the neighborhood gypsy so that she might light some magic candles for me. i'm not even going to give ashley's psychic friend a call, and, chances are, i won't be opening my daily horror-scope via email. but i'm starting to believe. maybe not in great cosmic forces, but in the few things about myself i know for sure. in my many talents. in the possibility that a late-night nancy drew detective session could yield the contact info for the elusive instrumental person. but most importantly, right now i'm believing in me. and you can't find that inside any fortune cookie.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

all things considered

i'd have to say the best thing about this frustrating, irritating, goddamn, upsetting, stressful, crappy, and all around lousy weekend is that it's over.

...oh, and there was time when that really hot guy said "need a hand with that, baby?" when he saw me carrying a big bag of trash to the dumpster. because, man, random strangers don't call me 'baby' everyday!


Thursday, May 13, 2004

thanks, shorty

last night i met this really funny and surprisingly well-behaved four year old boy and his slightly neurotic mother. when it came time for him to leave and say goodbye he aped his mom and shouted "thank you!" to me, but then he added "bye, chocolate chip!" and ran out the door. his mom stopped and turned back to me, a little shocked, and told me in all earnestness: "wow, you should feel honored! he called you 'chocolate chip'! that's a big compliment for him!"

thanks, shorty. i thought you were real cool, too. like, um, 'gin and tonic' cool.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

one step closer to total alienation

yesterday afternoon i sent my beloved miss ashley on her way back to the great evergreen landscape of seattle, wash. sure, now i can go back to dancing around my room in my jammies like a total idiot in all my alone-time glory, now i can annoy me and only me with repeated teary-eyed viewings of something's gotta give. i have free reign of the computer, so i can cackle aloud upon reading all the posts i've neglected to read in the past few weeks, i can ooh and aah over the new blogger interface, i can shamelessly indulge in lightweight celebrity stalking via google. (okay, well, admittedly i do that anyhow, regardless of houseguests.) and, hey, some of you might even get to chat with me on aim. if you're nice.

what i'm also left with is a pile of nasty, snarling "must-dos" that involve finances, letter-writing, getting down to business sort of things. i have been going through a sort of mental regeneration lately, one in which i've come to realize that i'm not going to get any more successful sitting on my ass talking about it. so it's time to flap my gums fruitlessly less, and do, do, do, do, do more. in a way i'm grateful that sitemeter, in all its high-tech glory, has gone offline for a few days; that's less opportunity for me to be pre-occupied with who is reading me, and, more importantly, what awful or nice things they have to say.

but all these wonderful revelations aside, i'm still sad that my honorary twin sister lives so dang far away. and even though i think we're both delighted to have our respective lives back in whatever order we can arrange for them, i'll miss my giggling and fun gal-pal.

so, ash, this is for you (the rest of you, give me some time to get some new material, ok?):

"are you guys friends or sisters?" "sisters" "i thought so" "yeah, we get that all the time..." * ooooooooooooh, giiiirrrrrrrrrrrl! * "i'm sayin'!" * my-johnny * "i know you'd never expect marshall's and exciting in the same sentence, but..." * eat my butthole (sign language) * mark ruffalo * "roxy, did you eat that man's chips?" * drew carey at bob's big boy * jack singing "la vie en rose-uhhhhhh" * the s.b.d.'s s.b.d. * were we laughing at the "wind" jokes last night? * what are you, deaf? * matt & ben: gwynnie licking the icing, 'fat damon' etc. * delilah's sneezes * "no, i want to clean the glaze off the wall, and you can mop the floor! oh boy!" * hey, is that orange thing a carrot? (chews) oh my god, no, it's NOT a carrot... * she has ten minutes to get off the phone or her nachos are gone! * where do you get the rice pudding around here? * creepy face * "girl, you're doin' too much! * bob saget's cameo * "i need to write this down..." "are you using it in the book?" * the hibiscus bag * "i wonder if she's going to make it big selling baby applesauce and then end up with sam shepard?" * making up dialogue for 90210 * "I'm sorry, my sister can't be on the set when i do this scene, she makes me laugh too much." * "i'm laughing because i'm remembering the time the retard molested me in the cmm bathroom..." * "like when i almost died at contempo casuals?" * "so i had this dream last night..." * solaris: "did anyone lose a baby?" * driver's arm tan * "i give you ____" * pedicures! * "you craaaaaazy! " * keaton and river's build-a-bear playdate * "you know what happens when you go looking for mr. goodbar?" "what?" "you find richard gere. doing push ups in his underwear." * shopping at the iliad * aroma * "and they stole my hi-fi, and my home theatre, and my..." * mon sushi (and inventing the life for the waiter) * "that's the guy we thought was so cute we made up a name for him!" * remembering the beverly hills boys * three-fingers and her confidential gossip * moo cow * "i wasn't expecting her to say syphillis!" * "those cows are the lord's lawnmowers!" * le divorce is le sucky movie * 13 going on 30 * sunbathing * swimming "laps" in the pool * "and that's how i feel."

miss ya, ash. oh, and, wait, girl, get out the hanky. it's all about dk's last line...

"olive juice."

yeah, i know, internet. this takes me one step closer to your total alienation. but never fear, you'll all have me back sooner than you think...


Monday, May 10, 2004

point of view

there's something about being in the company of two really wonderful people, enjoying conversation that touches on the best of old times and the best of times-to-come, all the while taking in a breathtakingly panoramic view of the city in all its twinkling-light scope and glory, that really makes you feel like you're capable of being exactly who you want to be in this crazy thing called life.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

"success, not stress"

yesterday ashley treated me to a pedicure at jessica's, a posh upstairs nail salon in west hollywood's sunset plaza area. we wandered in, fresh but wearied from both the heat and the sky-high prices of the tiny articles of clothing and oversized handbags at nearby boutiques like dolce & gabbana and calypso. inside the serene and acetone-tinged conditioned air of the salon we were given a tour with a wink and an endearing conspiratorial smile from the receptionist, who proved to be but one of many eastern european ladies of the "bubbie" variety who comprise the staff. i was seated at sonia's station, treated to an hour of delightful foot conditioning, and was let in on the mystical secret of sonia's success.

"kabbalah," she said hoarsely, snapping the fraying red string tied to her left wrist. "and," she continued, accent heavy, with the occasional grandma-esque pause to clear her throat, "i don't have stress. none. i don't believe."

sonia got to the bottom of my problems, pumice stone in one hand, my work-worn foot in the other. "you smart girl," she said knowingly, after i answered her firing line of questions about what i did and was doing that was making me so stressed. "but, money--bah! one day no money, next day fall from the sky! all you have is your health. you're young--almost thrity, me, i'm sixty, i could be your mother, and i have no stress. bah! let it go. my friend--" she indicates the woman at the station next to us, who had yet to begin taking care of former dallas star linda gray's nails, "my friend she like your friend's hairdo, yes?" i nodded. she had praised ashley's coif earlier. "but your friend, she doesn't like her hair, right?" i nodded again. a constant source of dilemma, that hair.

"go figure?" i offered, using a 'who knew' gesutre for punctuation.

sonia laughed. she probably cleared her throat again, too. "i like your thinking. you, me, we think alike. i like. i like. you come see sonia, i teach you about life. you--you will be big success--" my eyes widened. just the day before ashley had asked her psychic (good god, how los angeles can we get?) about me, and she'd come back with the staggering affirmation that with my numerous talents, focus and determination i was going to be a tremendous success, "you will be so successful. but no stress, understand? and, too, you have perfect toenails now, perfect feet. success, not stress."

i laughed. "that's my new motto."

"say it," she told me. "success, not stress."

"success, not stress."

who knew? she just may be right. she's dead on about my toes. they look fabulous!


Monday, May 03, 2004

the everything but girl

i wouldn't exactly call my life of late boring, but i also wouldn't really call it blogworthy--which explains the lack of posts, or, specifically, the lack of posts of substance. in the past few days i've worked until my boiling point of frustration (one of those days i did so while wearing these really obnoxiously adorable bunny rabbit pajama bottoms in honor of pj night at work), and for some moronic reason i simultaneously decided that i should give up caffeine, which meant that i hit my boiling point much sooner, and it was accompanied by a vice-grip brand of headache. in other news, i've since re-adopted caffeine into my system, for the health, welfare and safety of all those i come in contact with in daily life.

i will spare you the dissertation on baby boom, and how 1987 was such a pivotal pop-culture hallmark year in my youth (belinda carlisle's album heaven on earth--i mean, come on, please!). i'll leave out my ever-developing thoughts on woody allen and his films, on why shopping at the whole foods in beverly hills was a letdown, on my small role in an upcoming episode of bravo's reality show showbiz moms and dads that was filmed yesterday with some interesting folks i know.

i can say, though, that last night i was thankfully reunited with ashley when her own hellish work days came to an end, and the next few days will be once more filled with silly, girly and vaguely culturally-redeeming activities that will probably leave my mouth and sides aching from laughter. i'm also looking forward to the publication of my school's literary journal and the launch party that may well boast the bonus of me publicly reading one of the published pieces, which happens in the next couple of weeks. (ed. note: yikes! terror! fear!)

but most importantly, i can say that i have begun to take my best stabs at comedic writing in the form of a novel, which, upon completion, i will immediately draft into a screenplay. i have lofty, dreamy, pie-in-the-sky goals for the book/movie that reach even further than that, but i leave those to their comfortable repose on the cloudy chaise-lounges in my head until it is safe for them to emerge all inky with real black-and-white wording. it's got me busy. it's got me excited. and, yeah, it's got me doing everything but blogging...


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