Friday, July 30, 2004

confessions of (someone with the face of) a teenage drama queen

a few weeks ago, when i met with a consultant at a local actor's resource and workshop studio, i was told that i looked incredibly young. as in, i could play a teenager with ease, and that "with the right aging makeup" i might be able to pass for 27. "so," asked the consultant, "how old are you, then?" "27," i replied. i thought i was going to have to help her retrieve her jaw from the floor. "not a wrinkle on you," she observed, causing me to ponder if i should attempt to create wrinkles in order to pass for someone in my own age bracket.

this aspect of the meeting left me wary of the fact that should i embark on an acting career right now i might find myself in an inveitable gabrielle carteris category of initial miscast and eventual career suicide. (i'll leave the half season's worth of mediocre and poorly-timed talk show episodes to someone else, thanks.) the last thing i want is to be celebrating my thirtieth birthday with my costars in an angsty teen soap on a bottom-tiered network--not to speak ill of my own tastes in televised entertainment, but, i mean, come on now, really.

to make matters worse, i went and got an impulsive haircut hatchet job a couple of weeks ago, when, as i parted, the front desk clerk remarked wide eyed: "hey... didn't you come in here with, like, really long hair, and now it's all gone?" my coif's debut at work was met with the exclamation of my boss, who declared i looked like a twelve year old, and that if i had been aiming for the 'do to establish an older, more sophisticated look, i'd failed miserably. all this feedback, witty as it might be, has left me tugging the ends of my hair daily, praying "please grow, please grow," and hoping that my break into the acting world doesn't invlove my having to learn to love working with hilary duff or the cast of the o.c..


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

the cold case

isn't there some sort of strain of pop-psychological babble that dictates one cannot move forward in relationships without the appropriate closure of past romances? when i awake from troubling dreams about such unfinished business with old boyfriends i seem to recall such pithy wisdom, and wonder how i might achieve this grand and sweeping notion in my own small life. and i wonder how i might achieve this closure when everything always seems to end on the finite point of a looming question mark, or with my having to gingerly trip over the questions that have lined themselves up in a staggering brigade of rows, impeding my graceful exit from the clutches of the affair. i'm deathly afraid that i might never move forward if i can't close the doors on the past.

i think for most of us on the other end of the boot, we find ourselves trying to shout out a "but why?" as we are being sent flying out of bounds by our newly insignificant others. the why's are always specific, and sometimes redirect themselves to ourselves, as in "but why didn't i see this coming?" but try as i might have to ask my old loves and lovers "but why?" my queries were met with walls of silence; with one exception, i am not the ex-girlfriend anyone seems to want to keep around as the proverbial friend. in fact, it seems rather clear that those who've once held tenancy in my little heart would much prefer that we never speak again. and so, i wonder, how does this aid in the quest for closure?

in the past couple of years i've only found myself in bittersweet and brief affairs that just tugged at my heartstrings rather than occupy me wholly. in part i'm thankful for the emotional reprieve; with each ending i find an eerie calm and a sense of ease that was not part of any prior breakup experience. if practice does indeed make perfect, i am really skilled at being dumped; if i hear "you're handling this with such dignity!" one more time i may embark on a major tirade. you see, i miss the angst, i miss the drama, i miss the histrionics. i miss feeling as though i've been a part of something real.

what, then, has kept me from something real? is it really that dreaded and cliche state of not being over someone that has me unprepared to be a part of something more than fleeting and merely passionate? i'd have to set aside the tradition of scorning my appearance as explanation; i've had more success in launching star-crossed love affairs when i surely wasn't as well coiffed, groomed or cute. tossed aside, too, would be the self-confidence notion; i am a girl who is sure of herself, who likes herself, and who knows what she wants. i'm beginning to think that when i retrieve an outfit from my closet and put it on, i'm also donning some kind of romantic skeletons that hang there, all ghostlike and unexpectedly weighty.

so if i need to unload a little baggage, or disengage the heartbroken monkey that is perched on my back, how do i go about it? how do i stop the gutwrenching dreams about men in my past who've boldly chosen other women over me, how do make peace with the demons that are keeping my heart all tightly bound with lock and key? how do i actualize closure, when the doors were closed--slammed--on me so long ago?


Monday, July 26, 2004

pretty in pink

because i spent this weekend either getting ready for work, at work, relaxing after work, tooling around with the website, cleaning the bathroom, ignoring another phone call from the large foreign man i met at the gay latino cowboy bar (call tally: 6), talking on the phone to gal pals, having plans disrupted by a friend's outbreak of pink eye, pretending not to love the new ashlee simpson album, or watching dirty dancing 2: havana nights while drinking cuba libres (theme beverage being an absolute must), i am left with very little to say to you. so, please, ogle the darling little mugshots of yours truly, and peruse the pretty pink-ish purple pages of the newly updated about section, the expanded photos section, and the ever-enjoyable archives. as soon as i get a life i'll give a holler. pray it happens soon, will you? a girl can only drink so many rum and cokes alone on a saturday night.


Friday, July 23, 2004

it's friday, i'm in (imaginary) love

i've decided, somewhat conclusively, that my first bona fide hollywood-type love affair is going to be conducted in partnership with the very underrated, talented, mysterious, handsome, but thoroughly up-and-coming (let's hope) liev schreiber. it feels good to have a legitimate celebrity crush; i feel almost absolved for my teen magazine-esque pinings for younger man (read: boy toy) joshua jackson. (note that i said almost. the constantly beleagured ne'er-do-well with the meaty mug from--dare i mention it a third time in one week?--dawson's creek is a close runner-up for my unrequited b-list actor affections.) look, i'm single, it's the height of one hot summer, it's been a while, and i dream (relatively) big. i can't be held accountable for my taste at a time like this.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

beachy keen

housemate l.q.t. and i made it to the beach late yesterday afternoon for a little bit of lazing about by the beautiful pacific ocean. days like this make a pretty good case for living here in los angeles.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

the once and former 'girl most likely'

in 1994 i was voted "senior girl most likely to be discovered by a hollywood agent" by my peers in the graduating class of my high school. they chose one girl and one boy every year to hold this honored title. i suppose that's why it's a bit of a double-edged sword of humor and envy when my co-votee, the "senior boy most likely", shows up on this morning's rerun of dawson's creek. this girl has some major catching up to do.


Monday, July 19, 2004


unquestionably one of the highlights of this past weekend had to be the outing to my neighborhood gay latino cowboy bar. truth be told, i had so much fun there on friday night that it could possibly be considered one of the highlights of the decade thus far, but for fear i've peaked too soon i'll hold off on the milestones-of-life type ratings. but really, you haven't lived until you've drank and danced the night away at a gay latino cowboy bar. trust me. and what gay latino cowboy bar doesn't need two straight white girls who know how to shake their asses to add to the ambiance?

the obvious draw to this less-than-obvious location for me is a man i'll call houston, the disarmingly cute cowboy bartender i met last week, and who, i confirmed on the smoking patio via a very knowledgeable source, happens to be the only straight fellow in employment in the joint. (can i get a "yippee-kay-ay" please?) he greeted me and partner-in-crime l.q.t. with an expression of glee to see us there, and a big kiss on the cheek. we were dressed to suit and ready to have fun. the perks of houston extend further in that he kept our purses stashed safe behind his bar so we didn't have to worry, and that for two girls who managed to put away a "birthday cake" shot, two shots of tequila and three coronas each, we were also two girls with a bar tab of only $22. (i think we need another "yippee-kay-ay" up in here.) besides, i got to steal dreamy glances at him all night.

by midnight the place was packed to the gills, the music was pulsing non-stop, the dance floor swimming with all sorts of folks, though the vast majority were couplings of hispanic men who knew how to dance. l.q.t. and i made quite the sensation, garnering unsolicited and completely un-creepy words of approval and encouragement from several guys all night. we danced for hours on end, almost unable to stop for fear we'd lose momentum and collapse in the delightfully clean and wait-free ladies' room. we danced with other couples, we tried to speak a little spanish, and we hooted appreciatively for the strippers and their floor show. because what gay latino cowboy bar doesn't need male strippers on a friday night?

the only single straight man in the whole place found me, and i wound up giving him my number. i blame the tequila. (as an aside, though i was very adamant with this guy that i was not going to show up at the bar the next night because i had work and then i had plans, he thought it would be okay to call me four times saturday night, the last of which was at 3:33 a.m., and leave messages calling me "baby" and saying "i am waiting for your call" and, most comically "i love you," all of the above being why he is going to be waiting a long time for this cowgirl to call. i mean, really. in what world is that appropriate?)

we danced until my jeans were glued to my sunburned legs, and until they turned on the lights sometime around 2:45 a.m. and gently let us know it was time to go. i said goodnight to the adorable houston, and l.q.t. and i made our way on foot home in the balmy starlight, reminding each other for the umpteenth time that we had just had "so much fun!" and that we would surely go back soon. i totally and completely tip my imaginary ten-gallon hat to my neighborhood gay latino cowboy bar in salute--they sure do know how to serve up some sarsparilla and show two fine fillies a damn good time. yee-haw!


something in the air at the greek theatre saturday night at the diana krall concert smelled like my childhood.  it could have been someone's cologne, but, really, i think it was the beer.


Friday, July 16, 2004

behind closed eyes
i stretched out beneath the burning midday sun and closed my eyes.  i recalled specifically the sensation of my small tanned face pressing deep into the cool pillow in the augusts of my childhood, and the way in which i could balance seeing with closing my eyes, and the bursts of colored fireworks that seemed to perform their pyrotechnic magic for me before i succumbed to sleep.  but in the glaring daylight of my adulthood it was less of a wonder that i might have such control over the opposing forces at work in my life; behind my closed eyes today i saw only undulating waves of reds and golds, and rode upon them, feeling only the sensation that i was a solitary island of remarkable stillness while the rest of the world moved without me.
this feeling wasn't one of pleasure and abandon; it was by no means the prize of motionless earned from great strain.  instead it was the pinpoint of the inescapable feeling i've had for days now, as though i were clinging to some descending, whirling spiral--an uncomfortable battleground between myself and the universe warring for the rights to destroy me.  behind my eyes i pushed past the brilliantly electric colors and i began to see my life in patterns, in mathematical and scientific cause-and-effect equations of "when i do this, then i feel this."  i saw things in terms of crime and punishment, and marvelled at the doling out of the passive-aggressive note as penalty, of the way in which reproach translates as a bottom-line issue, and the cold effectiveness of one taking the tact of complete avoidance.  everything seemed to smack of its infinite wrongness, of the stagnation of my life, of the nights i'm left to be cradled by my own comforts, the vibrancy of experiences every one around me seems to have a passport to, and of the way in which i seem to be fumbling along towards some unreachable greater purpose.
and when i opened my eyes, the first thing i saw after blinking away the burn, was the underbelly of a silver jet, winging steadfastedly on towards its destination.  


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

the wish

this day was once a sunday, a couple of years ago. i remember well how you didn't want to see me then, though not as much as you wouldn't stand to see me now. so i sat under the stars and made a wish on every one that you would see the light. and i threw back my head and drank in the music and wiped the tears from my eyes. all i'd wanted was to spend the day with you, to be the one you woke up next to, to bind your special day with an impression of me to save and treasure for years to come. but you were hidden safely in the confines of your very own four walls, and i was out in the wide, expansive open, far from any possibility of you.

today i wanted to put a stop to my thinking of you, to the epitets i hurl towards your perpetually closed windows and your ever-passing car. i wanted to survive "it's getting hot in here" and keep my cool as i passed over the canyon and headed towards our shared geography. i wanted, today, like so many days since that one sunday, answers to a thousand questions of why and how and, maybe most of all, why not. tonight i'm hiding once again in the music, not certain if i should believe in the coincidence of days and dates and the ways in which two lives can be so parallel and yet so vastly divergent. tonight i am the farthest from your mind, i suspect, that i might have ever been, no part of your wish.

so "i'm sorry it couldn't be me" i'll whisper at your perpetually closed window, or should i see your ever-passing car. i'm not sure if today i wish for myself or for you, or for the courage to finally let you go...but it's a birthday wish, whatever that's worth.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

rock my flops off

in my world, mondays are like everyone else's saturdays; it's the first day of my version of the weekend. sure, i had every intention of running some errands, of getting some writing done, of resuming my dedication to the "work your butt off" fitness routine. instead, i found myself idling in bed, channel surfing and enjoying some fat-free, sugar-free white chocolate pudding, then settling in to a lavender and chamomile bubble bath with a copy of mrs. dalloway in hand. hey, it's my saturday and i'll do what i want to!

to cap off my thoroughly useless day, housemate l.q.t. and i walked down to a local bar to check out a singer/guitarist friend of mine that i actually went to high school with back in the dark recesses of the 1990's, and from whom i've been getting emailed invites to see her perform for years and haven't shown up--until last night. i mean, the joint is less than a mile from my house--how could i not go?

once there we sat atop your typical vinyl nightmare barstools, listened to a beer-soaked regular hoot and holler about her pool game and love life, took advantage of the $2 budweiser drink special, and waited for the show to begin. my friend took to the stage, and the music was terrific, the songs very moving, her voice lovely. she was performing with the help of a lanky woman who first played a bass, then switched to a conga drum with remarkable fluidity for the last couple of numbers. my singer friend confessed after the show (after recovering from the initial shock that i was actually there) that this was the first time ever the woman had played drums for her, making us doubly impressed with her talents. my friend had to make her meet-and-greet rounds, though, so she introduced us to her friend and instructed him to 'entertain us.' he was a tall drink of water from houston, texas by way of chicago, who regaled us with stories of his employment at a gay cowboy bar, who used hilariously charming sayings like "crazier than a couple of shithouse rats," and who proved that there are gentlemen out there by buying us gals a round of drinks. by this time, though, the stage was filled with some angst-ridden young men who belted out "i wanna fuck your mom" as their warm-up ditty. the boys seemed a little uncomfortable--i suggested to my new cowboy friend that perhaps it was because they weren't used to being out of their garage. "i hope they're good," i said. "i hope they rock my socks off. oh, wait, i'm not wearing socks. i hope they rock my flip-flops off." the cowboy laughed heartily, just as he had at all my jokes that night--the jokes of course being my manner of flirtation. "that's a good one," he laughed, "rock your flops off!" but the cowboy-meets-city-gal fantasy came to an end, as all good things must, when he departed for the evening without my number, his "nice meetin' y'all" still hanging in the air like so much humidity on a sweltering southern summer night. and the band didn't rock a single thing off; it was just another loud gaggle of boys screaming lyrics of which i couldn't understand a word.

of course, all hope is not lost--the gay cowboy bar that boasts my new favorite (and not gay) cowboy as a bartender, happens to be another local within-walking distance establishment. call me crazier than a shithouse rat, but i fully intend to rock my flops off over there in the coming weeks, y'all.


Monday, July 12, 2004

where it breaks

let's say you get it in to your head to bring home the ingredients for jenn's "birthday cake" drinks. you could find yourself mixing the lethal combo of vanilla vodka, triple sec and pineapple juice while being part of a speakerphone conversation with someone who is outside in the middle of a lightning storm and monsoon-like conditions in tucson, arizona. perhaps you might have one, or two, or five, getting progressively louder and making declarations like "whoa, i can't feel my legs!" and "don't let me shut my eyes!" this, of course, would be after you and one of your housemates take a little walk to a local corner store, and stop off on your way home to sit and chat on an abandoned couch that sits right across the street from your ex-boyfriend's apartment. you might even feel nervy enough to call out to a local resident who's walking her dog and remind her that you met her a couple of years ago when she came to your work to make a cookie jar for said dog (which, incidentally, she still uses). you might also find yourself down in the sorry excuse of a swimming pool that sits in the center of your apartment complex vaguely suggesting a melrose place lifestyle, but really proving to be an overgrown bathtub with posted hours you'll ignore completely. you might also find yourself issuing stage-whispery greetings to all your neighbors you've never expressed a desire to greet in any prior sober state, and somehow wind up in the midst of a cutthroat connect 4 competition with two neighbor-boys who are now also enjoying "birthday cake" drinks with you. you might even head over to their pad to compare notes on carpeting, layout and tiling, then play some old school frogger and hold three different slithering reptiles and then wind up in the sticky heat of the building's jacuzzi minus the noise of the bubbles, and most definitely after posted hours of operation. you might, incidentally, spend the last part of the evening dancing like an extra in a sultry hip-hop video, until finally you really can't feel your legs, and you and your roommate tumble home an in to your respective beds, where you have detailed and disturbing dreams about faulty industrial plumbling systems and escaping floods in wobbly high-rise buildings. you might, not surprisingly, wake up with a throbbing headache that will only subside with the aid of hot coffee and reruns of dawson's creek. mind you, this is all purely theoretical, of course. purely theoretical...


Thursday, July 08, 2004

another day before my life begins

the sunrise seemed to come a little early, a little too close on the uncomfortable heels of closing time for my liking. last night's last call was an undecided vote on what to look at from behind my sinking eyelids, so i resigned the watching post and put an end to the codependent relationship of bottle and smoke. i woke up a little lost; i was so cold in the path of an artificial wind, i was a little closer to the ground. i remembered that in my dream all i'd wanted was a cookie and the ability to draw a perfect circle. but as the day began i flooded my coffee cup with the regular wishes, and gulped them down quickly at the urging of the clock on the wall.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

shutterbugging and two days of fun

laurie, radiant in her expectant mother's glow, easily became my favorite photographic subject--er, um, target. this one was dubbed her 'gillian anderson lookalike' shot.

i coerced her to reveal her tummy for the camera.

l.q.t. attempts to explain the 'you had to be there' humor of our autograph wall.

before dinner, a vicious tournament of connect 4 was initiated.

oh, i don't know what we're all doing in here. something about meat.

gathered 'round the little table for dinner. the fact that it was a sincere 'group effort' was the meal's catchphrase and chief draw.

l.q.t. and bunny laughing in the kitchen.

juniper, too sexy for the couch.

we used laurie's pregnancy as a reason to get a little cake for the party. so what if it said 'happy birthday' on it? we lit some candles and sang a hodge-podge version of 'happy birthday to me/everyone'.

dude, we had sparklers at our party!

the next day, juniper came with us to the grove for some shopping (trying on ridiculous hats) and some good eats.

i wasn't kidding about the hats...

i like to take pictures of koi. i give you... the water feature at the grove, complete with koi.

my darling out of town guests.

why is water that sprays upward in time to disco hits so damned interesting? personally, i was utterly charmed.

juniper takes in the miniature water spectacle. "who is their aquatic choreographer?" he wondered.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

the out of town guest haiku

visit from old pal
is reason for a party
today my head aches


Friday, July 02, 2004

giving good meeting

monday: met with beloved gal pal and fellow actress judy for standard monday night of girl talk follwed by scene readings.

tuesday: met with stunningly beautiful, wickedly smart and always delightful gal pal to see fahrenheit 9/11 and to dish the dirt on adorable professors, tactics of seduction, dormant love lives, creative works in progress and the state of politics.

wednesday: cold fat-free milk, meet gelatin pudding powder. vcr, meet a rare and brand new copy of looking for mr. goodbar.

thursday: met with a consultant at a local actor's resource center for a 'cold-reading' assessment and a lengthy talk about career options that, despite it's core being a sales pitch, was an oddly affirming conversation that served to legitimize my life's pursuit.

friday: meet with gal pal bunny to have breakfast, to strategize the dreaded upcoming high school reunion and to be reminded of what's really important in life--good friends, good conversation, and, if you're me, good coffee.


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