Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yep.

There was a man in a green hooded jacket standing on the edge of an overpass this morning, peeing on all the cars as they drove by. I realized this about a half a second before the stream hit my windshield.

And that pretty much sums up how I feel about today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cranky

I am cranky today. Work made me cranky. Yoga made me cranky. My ridiculously expensive, ridiculously uncomfortable underwear made me cranky.

Maybe I have PMS. Maybe I just need to get some. Or maybe this is just an expected side effect of having too much free time.

Two whole evenings worth.

My therapist and I are working on this - my inability to be bored.

I mean, there is plenty to do. Vacuuming the mounding dust bunnies, washing some more comfortable underwear - or at least buying some that aren't being held together with staples. (There might have been a small laundromat malfunction. Don't ask.)

But I don't do these things. In my downtime I only sit and stare and ponder my life's existence. Today I contemplate how I am not cut out for my florescent lit lot in life. I debate calling the drunk boy(s) from my birthday. I pout over the misdirection of my last 48 hours.

See! I am no good at this, at sitting still. I yearn for progress, for my next great adventure.

And I call my mother to pull me down from the ledge.

But she is not home. She is not bored. She is out, most likely dancing on table tops with her girl friends from 'book club'. (Later, she will kill me for writing that but for now it amuses me, so I don't hit delete.)

Just yesterday, it seems I was bitching about being SOOO busy.

Oh yeah - it was yesterday. But alas there is always some yard, somewhere, that is a little more green.

Monday, July 27, 2009

6am at LAX circa 2007

I find a great – albeit sick - joy in examining my own neurosis - how they have changed and shifted over the years and even months. This weekend I performed in the KC Fringe Festival in an original ensemble-created piece and as we sweated through the final performance, I realized how so much of what I talked about in the show, so much of what was sourced in the rehearsal process that took place less than two months ago was no longer true.

I talked about being constantly afraid and of my anxiety at being alone. Funny, that these days I am exalting fearlessness and journal entries like the one below seem a little less like me.

6am at LAX

Airports always make me nervous and not for the usual “Oh dear lord, I hope I don’t die,” kind of reasons. Airports are a percolator of self-doubt and insecurity.

Stay with me here.

There is something about all the people and the anonymity of the crowd that allows us to judge one another solely on our outside personas. And it’s not exactly like we are acting our best. It is crowded and chaotic and someone is always invading someone else’s personal bubble and still, we watch each other, coming and going, united in the common goal of trying to get somewhere more appealing than the here and now.

As I watch the floating nebula of strangers, they all just seem so much more put together that I could ever be.

There are women fully dressed to the nines with the make up and the hair - the works, all before I have even had my morning cup dark roast salvation, wishing it could just be injected directly into my blood stream. There are the business women, so serious and focused, the free flowing hippy college coeds that don’t seem at all distressed by the insanely long line at the airport Starbucks, and those adorable, cutesy little things who just throw on a pink baseball cap and ta-da, are ready the face the world.

And of course, there are the couples. Those damn couples. Cute and sporty, trendy and mushy, all of them lovey-dovey, because they know where ever they are going they don’t have to go there alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not begrudging any of theses strangers their personal successes or happiness, but as I examine my disheveled figure staring back at me in those god-awful bathroom mirrors, which I am convinced were ripped off some carnival fun house, I can’t help worrying, “What’s wrong with me?” and hoping secretly that maybe someone else is worrying the same thing too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kill me

Today I was told that we would be having a “volunteer” clean up day at work and my job consisted of scrapping 15 year old wax of the girl’s bathroom floor – underneath the radiator – with a two inch putty knife. For hours. Kill me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Big Stuff

This has been a big summer for me.

It has been a big summer for my art, working on an incredibly fulfilling and fun collaborative theatre piece and challenging my fears with Karaoke and Pecha Kucha. It has been big career-wise, with my first grant award, my first residency and the beginnings of my first entrepreneurial venture. And it has been a big summer socially, ringing in a big birthday with a very big group of new friends at my very big birthday bash.

But it has also been big in other ways…in much less metaphoric ways… in a great big backside kind of way.

Yes kiddos, my butt has gotten huge. And this really should be no concern of anyone else except for the fact that yesterday; right before a meeting, I busted my pants wide open…right in the crotch.

In all fairness, these pants were jeans and a good five years old but still it was quite the wake up call that with all these big activities and projects, I haven’t left a whole lot of time for things like sleep and exercise and food not wrapped in paper and eaten in transit.

Yes, baby has got a little extra back these days and I have to say… I am feelin’ pretty damn good about it.

No, I am not advocating my personal chubbification but even with a little extra junk in the trunk I am feeling better than I have in years. I think it has something to do with taking control of my choices and validating myself rather than relying on someone to do it for me. In the years I lived in LA, I always, always felt fat. No matter what I did, no matter how much I starved myself, I felt ugly and worthless. I dated a guy for a while that never once told me I was pretty. I used to get sick about it. I thought it meant I was a troll when really he just wasn’t a compliment-giving kind of guy (still totally unacceptable and not to be tolerated – just for the record.) But really it had nothing to do with him or the heft of my thighs. It was about that self-confidence. And not to get all Tyra, spewing clich├ęs about beauty coming from the inside but….

On the day that my big ol’ butt broke my big ol’ pants, I had a doughnut for lunch. A doughnut. And not because I wanted junk food to sooth my aching soul or because I was speeding through meetings but because I really wanted a doughnut and because it really, really made me happy.

For years I have struggled with self-confidence and self-perception and fretting over the external is just a bi-product of that. People (teachers, counselors, family) have always said, “You need to work on finding things to build your self-confidence.” But really people, how the hell does one go about that? I mean if, it is so simple wouldn’t everyone be working on it as a full time job?

Well, I may be no Tony Robins but have developed a theory as of late. Sometimes I think it is simple as just doing things that make you happy. If being with someone makes you happy, be with them and don’t freak out about it. If being with them doesn’t make you happy, don’t. If finding time to do yoga and swimming makes you happy, do it. If this week you would just rather curl up with a good book, do that instead. Don’t just do it because it is easy or convenient or adversely because you feel like it is what you should do.

Do it because it is going to make you truly happy. Like that warm in the tummy I just had a doughnut and I don’t care how many calories are in it because you only get one ride on the merry-go-round and that long-john was worth savoring bite by bite.

Yeah, I get that we can’t be happy all the time but life is too short to not take pleasure in the daily grind. And if something isn’t working, that misery we often create for ourselves (and by we, I mean me) is usually a pretty sure indicator that we might want to head in a different path.

I think it is taking ownership of the little moments that we desire, the ones that make us who we are, that gives us the confidence to shine. Owning our choice to prefer yoga to weightlifting, French film to action movies, football to anything else possibly happening on a Sunday in November. It is not about doing different things to make ourselves happy. It is about being excited about owning the things that do.

So right now, I am going to relish a doughnut for lunch every now and then because it makes me really, really happy – but just one, not the whole box - and then I am going drag my ass out of bed in the morning to run because I know the outcome will make me happy too.

…Okay so maybe that was a little Tyra but at least you didn’t have to watch my head bob up and down as you read it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And here it is

My name was spelled wrong on the post but I shall survive...

Pecha Kucha

Fact: I am very allergic to antihistamines.
Fact: I am technologically challenged.
Fact: I find that a shot of tequila mixed with anything (for example, a half bottle of Robitessen and a pint of Blue Moon) is a guaranteed cocktail for greatness.

Last Thursday I performed at Kansas City’s Pecha Kucha night at Crosstown Station.

http://daily.pecha-kucha.org/2009/07/22/pkn-kansas-city-vol-6/


“Pecha Ku-WHAT?” well first it is pronounced like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcmikedermott/2406106770

And essentially it is an opportunity for creative people to get together and talk about creative things in a way that is not boring. It is essentially competitive PowerPoint. 20 slides, 20 seconds per side – no exceptions - on any subject you want.

And I was messed up!! And not the fun messed up, like some of my friends that evening, but the sick as a dog, competently freaked out, tried to numb it with the aforementioned cocktail, kind of messed up.

I am an actor so you would think this would be no problem but standing before hundreds of people at Crosstown Station with nothing to talk about but me – I just kind of wanted to vomit.

And then my video went out. As I write about it now, more than anything I wish for two things. I wish I was the type of person that was so laid back and unscrutinizing that I wouldn’t even mention it and just remember the evening for what it was. And secondly, I wish I had been the type of girl who hadn’t freaked out about it in the first place and would have just enjoyed the opportunity to role with the punches.

Because the thing is, I DID role with the punches whether or not I enjoyed the opportunity AND I also made big deal of it because, well, that’s just what I do. I made smart-ass comments and dirty jokes and used the technical glitch as an excuse to serenade a bar full of folks a wee bit drunker than me with the opening of “Somewhere That’s Green,” from Little Shop of Horrors – almost completely in tune.

Through the cherry Robitessen Tequila haze, I could hear laughter and as Larry, my cast-mate said, it was good but not great.

Good in those conditions I can live with and now that a few days have passed and the anxiety is over, I can honestly say I can’t wait to see the tape.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Disclaimer: Not for the eyes of parental like figures, to whom I will always be twelve.

Let’s take a moment, shall we, to discuss the booty call.

There are different schools of thought on such a communication, specifically at what hour a phone call or text message is no longer an innocent casual call and officially a deliberate solicitation of getting some.

Now, I have a very strict policy on the booty call. If you are contacting me after 10 o’clock on a weekend when we have not made any plans to get together, please, please do not pretend to be attempting anything other than the obvious and for that matter, if I am contacting you at that hour, just assume I am extending you the same courtesy.

And let’s say you are one of those ballsy fellows who attempts this maneuver two nights in a row, please do not be offended when I don’t answer. It’s just that these days sleep ranks a lot higher on the priority list than you and even if you do look cute in boxer shorts, I am not sharing my side of the bed.

The end.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My mother insists I apologize to all lesbians

My mother called me tonight.

“Lyndsey!!!” (The third exclamation point was implied.) “I canNOT believe you wrote that!” She was referring to my last blog post.

“Which part?”

“The whole thing.” There are some things you just do not need to share with the whole world, despite how funny they might be. Besides, did you ever think that lesbians might find you offensive?”

“Mom, I don’t think any lesbian is going to be offended by my being straight. If anything I am sure it is just one more population of people relieved that I am not throwing my drama in their pool.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nope, Mom. Still not a Lesbian.

On Tuesday afternoon my mother called me.

“I looked at your pictures on Facebook,” she said. “Are you sure you are not a lesbian?!?”

Now in my mind I was doing a mental survey of all of the pictures I had posted of my debaucherous birthday evening. I knew there were some doozies in there but I was not quite sure which one had led her to such a strong accusation.

“Yeah, Mom. I am pretty sure. I think I would know by now.”

“Well, there has got to be something wrong with you because that boy is hot!”

Ahhh. Now it sunk in. She was referring to the Puerto Rican who had appeared from nowhere on my birthday, without a month of contact, at the point when I was already half gone.

At first, I had been thrilled to see him – he is a really nice guy after all - but before you could say El Caliente he turned up that Latin heat that makes me a little uncomfortable. At least on an ordinary day. He is awfully hands-ie. And we were in the middle of a dive bar not a dance club. When the party ventured to a different outdoor patio he came along and baulked when I began speaking to someone else. He asked if that guy was trying to get my number. I said he wasn’t, and he wasn’t – yet, but still it kind of freaked me out.

I have never, ever, had a guy act jealous over me, least of all someone I was barely seeing and I really didn’t know how to handle it. I suppose some women might find it attractive but I don’t think I am one of them. It just made me claustrophobic and being that I am actually highly claustrophobic, not just metaphorically, and since I most definitely was not just metaphorically ‘feeling no pain,’ I wasn’t really into it.

When sobriety and the 12 hour hang over kicked in, I couldn’t help but think of the irony. I cannot count how many times I have wished over the years that someone I was dating would at least act the tiniest bit jealous – like that might be some sort of validation of our relationship. They never did and while this latest incident does not clear them of all apathy, I can now say with total conviction that the appearance of a jealous man is a lot like pleated Capri trousers. It doesn’t matter how attractive the model is, they are still just wrong.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Birthday Ink

Last Saturday I rung in my 27th birthday. It was a big day for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the conquering of several of greatest fears including karaoke and the injection of ink into my flesh.

It was a fantastic day from the start. I managed to conquer the DMV on my third attempt and finally relinquished my California ID, admitting once and for all that I have moved back to the mid-west. My new friend and neighbor Abigail hosted an all girls brunch and I made a gigantic pig of myself before wasting away the better part of my afternoon watching chick-flicks and napping, something I haven’t done in months.

Marcella and I had been chatting about going for tattoos for a while now. I have been talking about getting one for years, particularly since I went to Russia and had the “Chaika” (Seagull) or symbol of the Moscow Art Theatre burned onto my heart. For what was such a transformative experience I thought it was only fitting to have a permanent reminder to carry around with me.

This year has been my year to finish things, to set my mind to long-held goals and cross them off one at a time. I have conquered my fear of the water (or at least I am getting there), I successfully completed a play and a film and a grant application. I saw a relationship through to the end and I managed to do it without falling apart.

And it has become addictive, this finishing things business. Now I want to finish even more things, novels and plays and feats of athleticism that just might kill me.

So I decided for my birthday I would get that damn tattoo I had been yammering on and on about for so long. Poor Marcella had no idea what she was in for. I had failed to mention that I am completely terrified of needles or that when I get really scared I can’t stop smiling and I blabber in a high pitched voice that would drive sane men crazy. And it about did. After an hour and a half of waiting we finally got into the room to get inked. I kept covering my face with my hands and shook my head violently trying to calm myself down. Marcella laughed and told me I was spastic. The tattoo artists made fun of me and patiently tolerated my incessant questions. I held onto the edges of the table because I was afraid if I held Marcella’s dainty hand, I just might break it. The whole procedure took all of a minute in a half. I barely felt a thing but whined like a baby, ‘cause that’s what I do. When it was over I looked into the little hand held mirror at the small patch of decorated skin behind my right mirror and laughed at why I had made such a big deal of it all.

The tattoo artist said that he didn’t believe in medication but that maybe I should try Riddlin.

Maybe he was right because after that I felt high as kite and spent the rest of the evening celebrating with more than 20 of my closest KC friends. We had dinner, and dive bar Karaoke – which accomplished overcoming my second fear of the day. We closed down another bar on their outdoor patio and went back Marcella’s for a party that will go down in the history books.
All in all it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had and I spent the whole night thinking how lucky I was to have all of these wonderful people in my life and how crazy it is to know that last year I knew none of them. I had been alone and lonely in yet another new city and now I have so many supportive people in my life and so many new and exciting opportunities.

And I have no intention of stopping this finishing business. Next stop, August 8th and a parachute. Time to go sky-diving.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blast from the Past

So it has been awhile since I posted... I swear I will be better but to tide me over here is a email I sent a few years ago that has somehow resurfaced and made its way into the play I am currently working on for the Kansas City Fringe Festival. So sick and completely true.

Email circa 2007:

So I thought you all might get a kick out of the date I had last night. I will try to be brief but trust me when I say it was so bad that the retelling of it might be longer then the date itself. (And for this reason I have highlighted the key words for skimming purposes.) Feel free to read or discard. But let this be a warning to all those in favor of Internet dating. So for back-story, I blew this guy off a few weeks ago for another guy who subsequently blew me off so I figured I would give him another shot as some sort of karmic retribution. Keep in mind this is the first time I am meeting this guy- a first and last attempt at online dating. The date did not begin well. I was irritated that I had to drive out to see him in Pasadena instead of meeting somewhere in the middle and even more irritated that I had to meet him at his apartment (Mother, I know, a no-no, sorry) and that he gave me wrong directions which lead me to drive around in circles for a half an hour when he wouldn’t answer his cell phone. So when I finally get there I am not happy. He meets me and wants to go play pool, I suck at pool but figured, what the hell, I’ll try to be nice. But before we can go play pool he has to ‘lock up his apartment’, where he attempts to get me to come inside and have a drink. When I turn him down, repeatedly, under the guise of not wanting to drink because I have to work the next day, the patronizing begins- and continues for the rest of the date. “Oh, I see, so one drink is going to kill you (insert sarcasm)”. Then we get in the car (again, Mother, a no-no, I know, forgive me) and while driving down a dark alley I joke (half seriously) “You aren’t taking me down here to kill me and cut me up into little pieces, are you?” To which he replies, half angry and completely serious, “Have you never been on a date before?!#$@%” This shuts me up for the rest of the drive. The next thirty minutes go something like this: We go to the pool hall – he’s still irritated that I don’t want to drink.We start to play- He pretty much ignores me and plays by himself. Seriously- ten minutes go by before he even looks at me.When I do get up to shoot, I am instantly reminded of trying to play golf with my dad when I was little (For those of you who know him- you know what I mean. For those of you who don’t, it goes something like this- There are an endless barrage of critiques, comments and/or ridicule until I feel twisted into a pretzel, I am worse then when I began and I want to jab a golf club, or in this case a pool cue up where the sun don’t shine.) In this case he was breathing down my neck so much that I pretty much lost the ability to even hit the ball, until of course, I, in a fit of rage sent it hurling through the air right toward the head of a small Asian man wearing an I-Pod who totally didn’t see it coming. Oh, by the way, while this is all going, Prince Charming managed to: Hit on everything in a skirt.Harass some homeless man. Torment a young girl selling Halloween decorations for charity for the better part of five minutes- I thought she was going to cry. I told him he was a dick. He thought this was cute. Oh, and in one sentence, he managed to make a slur against women, gay men, Kuwaitis, and anyone non-Christian. Impressive, I know. As the evening continues I lose all ability to control my inner monologue and pretty much everything that crosses my mind I say- in someway hoping maybe he will get upset and I can go home, put on my pajamas and watch Veronica Mars. Comments include: How often do people call you a jerk?You really are such a dick.In response to his, “Am I making you angry, ‘cause it might help your game?” - “No not angry, you just repulse me.”Did you mother tell you that you were cute a lot, because that would explain so much.And obviously- “I don’t know how it is possible but this date just continues to get worse and worse.”And the always favorite, “This is the worst date ever!” Now you maybe thinking that was a bit rude (and I know Mother, that was not at all Ladylike or Christian) but trust me it was completely warranted. You see, during an approximately 5 minute period when I didn’t want to jab my eyes out with a pool cue and we were actually having a semi-normal conversation where he was asking me about my job, the following occurred: Me: “So, blah blah blah, something about my work, mid-word…” PC (Price-Charming): “Oh my god, I just realized you have HUGE ears. You totally try to hide them with your hair.” Okay so right now I am thinking: 1: Where the hell did that come from? 2: That was completely rude. 3: This guy is total freak. 4: I may have a lot of huge features to pick on, I mean Pinocchio I get, but I don’t have big ears. So I say, “No, I do not have big ears,” as flatly as I can, hoping to just end what I know is going to be a nauseating argument and sure enough he just won’t leave it alone. He continues to insult me, slowly escalating until he stops addressing me by anything other that ‘Dumbo’ and insisting I pull my hair back. To this end he makes the manager, waitress and bartender look for a rubber band which he demands I use to pull back my hair. I instead shoot it at his head only to have it fly over him and land in the middle of another table’s game. Around this time I am considering how possible it would be to say I was going to that bathroom and instead sneak out and call a cab to take me to my car. All the while he is trying to appease my wrath by asking every single waitress/waiter in the place if he/she thinks I have the cutest ears he/she has ever seen. I finally say, “Enough, I want to go home,”- because he is, in fact, unbearable (spoken, not thought). While he is paying the bartender gives me a sympathetic look and I run to the bathroom in shame to make an emergency, if-you-don’t hear-from-me in-twenty-minutes-it-is-because-I-am-lying-dead-in-the-bottom-of-a-ditch-somewhere phone call to my girlfriend. When I can’t get service it results in a outburst of turrets like you’ve never seen or heard and I am afraid I may have terrified the girl sitting in the stall, whose presence I was unaware of until my final @##*$^#&^&#^ had passed. Luckily my friend calls me as we are entering the parking garage and I am safe until we get to the car. I inform her that I am Dumbo, a reference she somehow understands and responds to with due disgust. We make it back to his apartment complex and I know relief is near but the persistent little bugger just isn’t giving up. He tries to get me to go upstairs and I respond in the only way I can at this point, “Um, hell no!” But his apartment complex is huge, like four wings huge, and I am completely lost and in need of some direction, which he takes to mean he should grab me and physically spin me around in circles until I want to vomit and says “Now do you know where you are?” and when I say “NO” He thinks it would be a good idea to do it again. We all know about my personal bubble issues so let me say this was not taken well. After I give him the death stare, he responds like the utmost gentleman by say and I quote, “Do I really have to walk you to your car?! (Jerk voice)”. At this point I really just wanted to take my chances with the axe murderers of the neighborhood but yet the date continued at my car where he leaned against the door and refused to leave. I kept trying to open the door but every time I forced it open an inch he would slam back against it. And when I was stupid enough to ask for directions to the freeway, you guessed it, his cue for spinning. I had to yell “Enough!” in a way which was definitely not Ladylike or Christian but necessary at this juncture. When finally, I think the end is near and I have managed to get one leg inside the car door, wedged in such a fashion that it would be impossible for him to close it – a giant blur of a 250-ish lb. black man comes charging at us like a line-backer and the ever valiant PC starts swinging. In the middle of this I almost pee my pants and get thrown against the car (oww!) just to find out that it is one of his stupid ass friends trying to play a joke. Yippee. After I get my heart down out of my throat, I take this as my cue to leave but not before he can literally gab my head like a basketball and in his most ‘seductive’ (disgusting, pervert) voice say, “Let me get a look at those ears,” as he tries to stick his tong down my throat. So I do the only thing I can, I hit him in the chest and get in my car. He says something about seeing me again and I say something a long the lines of “not likely.” And three wrong freeways later I am back at home in my pajamas promising myself I will never date again. For now.