Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brain Hurts

When I was in Russia I had a regular problem of artist overload. I would hide in my room and listen to David Sedaris on This American Life online. I would read whatever artless smut I could get my hands on, anything to have a few seconds to get out of my head. We artists, we are a heady bunch, constantly thinking, debating, speculating on life. It never ceases to amaze me that some artists don't ever seem to tire of all that introspection.

The challenge with trying to crank out a book about love and relationships in a month is that it requires a whole lot of deep thinking. And this isn't even that kind of book. This is a book that makes fun of my inability to engage in a civilized conversation without swear words, my complete and utter lack of filter and tendency to self-destruct every time a decent guy enters my life. It is just this side of porn. I kid Mom, promise...sort of.

My brain hurts. I am tired. I just want to be done with this damn thing and yet, I cannot handle marathon evenings of beers and musical debates with my other comrades in arms. I do not have enough brain cells left. And seriously, do I strike you as a girl who knows shit about Zepplin?

So back to work I go. Editing, tightening up, killing sections, adding more. Next time I get a bright idea to try to write a book in a month, someone hand me a beer and point me towards some reality tv.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going Home

Part of going away for the month was a test to see if it could satisfy my growing sense of wanderlust and while I am not sure if it did that, I can say that I am really really excited to go back to Kansas City. I miss my friends and my family and even work - although a month without florescent lights has proved how much happier of a girl I would be if I could take those things out.

I can't wait to see my girls and V and hope to dear god that they will be my friends a little while longer because who knows if that will be the case if and when the book comes out.

It feels like time for a new beginning, a new chapter, although I am not sure what it might be. For now I think I will look for something a little closer to home and try to accept that home is just what the snow covered city might be.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Part of my time here in Seaside was to be spent teaching at a local elementary school. Because of the demand of trying to crank out a new book in one month and the hectic schedule of the Florida school getting ready for testing we decided to do it in one day. Six acting classes back to back with groups of 15 to 50 at a time.

It was an exhausting day but so so much fun. I forgot how much I loved working with kids. I tried to do different activities with every class, playing off of what I thought their needs and strengths might be. Some classes worked on activities that involved focus and concentration, others played games that challenged them to step outside of their comfort zone and willingness to look foolish.

They seemed to really enjoy it and was so touched when they wanted my address to send me thank you notes.

For seven hours I got to play and be silly and get out of my head. I love writing. I love the freedom it gives me to think creatively without getting out of my bed but there is something to be said for throwing on some track pants and rolling around on the floor acting like a kid.

It made the whole world better.

Monday, February 22, 2010

For now there is rain

Yesterday was one of the hardest days I have had in a very long time. I didn’t feel like I could write about it but I am starting to see that I probably won’t feel better until I do.

Fending off unwanted advances from men is never fun. Fending off unwanted advances by men you consider to be friends is heartbreaking.

I cried for hours yesterday, feeling betrayed and violated and worthless, like the friendship I had to offer was so easy to discard at a chance to try for some easy ass.

I experienced an assault in college that I rarely write or talk about. It isn’t because I am embarrassed or damaged. It is just that it has been done. I got through it. I survived. I came out the other side a stronger and more resilient woman.

I wrote a piece about it that I performed in Los Angeles. When the show was over so was my need to explore this part of my life for my art. I didn’t want to become a Lifetime movie of the week. (And to be fair that was the way but I felt, not a judgement against people who continue to share their stories throughout their lives. It was my feeling not a universal truth.)

I believe that trauma is something we live through not something that defines us. I am a strong woman not just because of one incident but because of a lifetime of experiences and a choice to work on myself. It didn’t define me. No one person or one situation cements who we are. We get to grow and change. That is why life is worth living.

Still from this experience and so many others I am very sensitive to my personal boundaries. It is my right. Unfortunately over the years I have repeatedly found myself in compromising situations that make that scared little voice inside of me ask, “What is wrong with me? Why does this keep happening to me?”

I let myself be my truest most authentic self with my friends and those I love and time after time that gift has been violated. I don’t mean for it to sound as severe as all that but there is a reason why I am guarded with who I let be my friend because on a night when two people are sitting across a dinner table from each other, in no way exchanging any sort of sexual signal, there is a guy who takes this as an opportunity to make a move.

Married men, bosses, colleagues and men in positions of power who in ordinary circumstances could be deemed good men, catch me off guard and try, sometimes demanding, I give them a part of myself that they don’t deserve. It is the most horrible feeling in the entire world. Did you care so little about me that you were willing to treat me like your own personal sexual vending machine? Why would you put me in a position where I have to tell you no and explain to you very inappropriate that is? And the worst part of all is that when the night is over so is our friendship, at least as it was, because never again will I let myself be vulnerable around someone I don’t trust and the moves that these men have seemed to think were innocent enough destroy all trust.

“Is it me?” I cried on my cottage steps to my good friend who happens to be a man and happens to be married and who, if this kind stuff keeps happening would fall into the category of fantastic people I can’t be friends with because I am so scared that on a moment when I am not paying attention, they will try to stick their tongues down my throat. Sometimes I fear I bring this on myself but as quickly as I think that, I get irate. A girl who wears a pretty dress and smiles and laughs doesn’t deserved to be raped just because she is friendly. “What do I do, hide and be stand offish and never let myself care about people because they might think it gives them an “in” to my pants?” I deeply resent when people say that being effusive and loving life means I am flirting. You want me to be a bitch who is cold and doesn’t talk to anyone. Fine we can arrange that.

I feel like I am being punished for something that I didn’t even do. Hoovering a plate of food is not me saying, “Come on sailor.” It is not a complement and if it was a one time instance I suppose I could find away to write it off stupid drunken behavior, someone taking the frivolity a step too far, but this shit has happened my entire life.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have great men in my life who bring me cupcakes and let me cry, I would probably believe all men are dirt bags. But I don’t. And I am not even angry at the friend who demanded I give it up and tried to guilt me when I said no. I am just disgusted at the situation and for today, I am disgusted at life. It is raining outside. More like a torrential downpour and for now that is how I feel. But it is okay. Soon there will be sun.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More than I paid for

The chick who gave me my massage yesterday used my head as a shelf for her boobs. I feel as though that is all I have to say about that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

I love Valentine's Day.

I don't care that it gets a bad rap from the singles community. Oh boo hoo. No one to canoodle on the day that celebrates romance? Who Cares! There no reason why in can't be a day to just celebrate love, in all its forms. And right now, after a 20 mile bike ride along the beach and champagne brunch with the best eggs benedict I have ever had, I am loving life.

Some people call Valentine's Day a Hallmark Holiday and rebel against being told that on one specific day a year, they are supposed to show the man or woman in their life how much they care. We should do that everyday right? Right. But what's wrong with having one day a year that celebrates the amazing yet mind-boggling emotion that is love. We have holidays that celebrate medieval traditions, pagan rites and dead presidents. Shouldn't love get its due?

Love makes the world go round. At least that is what I learned in bible camp. And even if I am not cuddling with someone this year, it doesn't mean that I never will. In the meantime why not love love. Congratuate our friends, smile at others' happiness and take stock of how lucky we singles really are.

Today I rode a bike just because I wanted to. I had brunch by myself and met half a dozen smiling strangers who engaged me in authentic conversation about life, love and the ever elusive sun. I spent this Valentine's Day all on my own. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

True American

For the record it is truly possible to offend anyone, any where, for any reason.

Case in point, I was sitting in a bar on Tuesday, having just endured hands down the worst ballet of my entire life. I was with two of the other artists here on residency and we were shooting the shit about god knows what.

Somehow the topic of mommy issues came up. I love talking with guys about men and mommy issues. You use the expression and women know exactly what you are talking about. Sometimes it takes men a second. While most are in stanch denial that such a thing exists, others have this moment of reckoning when the little light bulb goes off above their heads and they cheer, "That is what my wife has been complaining about!" It is hilarious.

This evening was a particularly great conversation because not only did my fellow artist recognize the existence of mommy issues but they were postulating on all of the different versions and causes. After my second Red Stripe they had deduced that it all comes down to birth order. These guys have a couple of years on me so they were really getting into bestowing their fatherly wisdom.

"You don't want to date a baby of the family because obviously nothing you do will be as good as their mother." Creepy and yet so true. At this point the bartender, the owner and the guy sitting with his laptop at the bar got in on the conversation. I was greatly outnumbered and therefor had to up my game.

"Well, the oldest is just as bad," I said. "Nobody is gonna top a mothers first born." They greatly disagreed with this. Apparently all oldest sons.

"No, you want an oldest," they all agreed, "Particularly if he is the oldest of brothers. Because after the other sons come along the first one is completely forgotten about."

"What about middle sons?" I asked. This was getting good.

"They are the worst!!" "Never date a middle son!"

"Is that because they are all deprived of their mother's attention and therefor seeking to make up for it by being giant man whores?" I asked.

That did it.

"Man Whore? Man Whore? What is a man whore?" railed the guy with the laptop. "Have you ever heard of a man whore?" he asked the owner and the bartender.

"Sure," said the owner, "I was a man whore."

This went on for twenty minutes. The laptop guy and the bartender aghast because they had never heard of such a thing and were not really convinced that it was even an appropriate condemnation. They went on and on, asking me to describe in detail what defines a man whore and if there is such a thing can there also be a man slut and if so what is the difference.

These are the type of conversations I get sucked into when it is just me and a bunch of middle aged men.

Finally, the straw that broke it was when someone mentioned Davy Crockett. I am not sure why or in what context he was mentioned but it only felt right to throw him into the mix.

"I bet Davy Crockett was a man whore," I said lightly.

You would have thought I threw out an ethnic slur. The bartender got silent and the owner turned on his heels and left.

"You can't say that about Davy Crockett," said laptop man, "He was a TRUE American."

I am glad I didn't make a joke about the coonskin cap.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The F-Bomb Trouble

Wow. Stirring up the drama. All the way from Florida.

I get these google alerts, 'cause I am a shallow twit who wants to see every time her name is listed in print, and I got one today from the Midtown Miscreant, who made a little mention of my F-bomb in INK in an article he wrote about the failings of our local news.

Truth is, I couldn't agree with him more and more importantly either could my mother.

"She could have left the F-word out."

"Mom, she could have left a lot out; I am pretty sure that was one of the many times I said 'Now don't actually print this but...' Lesson learned."

I document at nauseam the dialogues and ramblings of parents and cohorts. I do my best to represent them accurately in time and place but I am realizing perhaps I don't consider the depth to which they might be read out of context.

An hour long rap session with a reporter who made me comfortable enough to chat like she was one of the girls proved this to me. You switch some sentences around and I can sound like an even bigger dumb ass than I already am, my concern with which about sent my ex-boyfriend/friend into an epileptic seizure from excessive laughter.

"The irony here is so thick."

I do wax philosophic about dating dilemmas. That is my thing. Look at the title. But in the great big light of day I try to maintain a certain level of professionalism, which at this point is all but shot to hell and not because of some article. I suppose the least I could do is extend the same courtesy to those I write about.

Hmm....but how???

Friday, February 5, 2010

Girl Crush Lust

“If you want to fuck me don’t call me dude.” That was all she had to say for me to know I was in love. Hmmm... maybe not love. Lust. Girl crush lust.

She reminded me of those girls in junior high who were so much cooler than I could ever be. Not the vapid petty ones but the ones with natural good looks and raiser sharp tongues that made the boys slightly nervous yet too intrigued to stay away.

This girl is freaking cool. Like straight out of every girls dream list for a BFF, cool. I think it helps that she reminds me a lot of Natasha, my movement instructor from Russia who was hands down the hottest woman I have ever known. Like Jessica Rabbit meets Laura Croft meets Drew Barrymorre. All kinds of sexy, fun, cool, playful and dangerous rolled up into one.

Our mutual girlfriend had a game night the Friday before I left and I had a chance to chat with my friend crush in depth. I am not making this up - she animates crime scenes. How freaking cool is that?? She is like BONES come to life.

It helped that I was a little drunk. That happens when you don’t eat for days. This evening marked the end of my drinking days for a while.

I sat on the couch eating up every word she said, thinking that in a past life I must have been a lesbian. Women are so cool. The joy associated with meeting new girlfriends never ceases to amaze me.

Later I was talking to V who told me that our friends were watching us engrossed in conversation, taking bets as to when we were going to jump each other.

Don't knock it boys. Girl power rocks.

"I hope you don't take this the wrong way," V said during our post-evening recap, "But she very Lyndsey-ish. Kind of ballsy and brash. Just puts it out there."

"Aww, pookie! That is the sweetest thing you have ever said!"

Seaside Adventure - Part 1

I arrived in Seaside around 10 p.m. on Monday night after being detained by the state of Texas, where I made the grave mistake of keeping my earbuds in for the duration of my lay-over. I realized once I took them out how much great fodder I was missing.

A woman in a royal blue belted moo-moo was screaming into her cell phone, "Get 'er done. I saayyed Get. 'Er. Done." and the man next to me not only looked just like Bill Clinton, he sounded like him too. All I had to do was close my eyes to hear him purring at Monica.

My friend Nathan picked me up at the airport and we made the two hour journey toward the beach stopping along the way to get a bite to eat. I hadn't eaten anything but a banana all day and was famished but managed to order without telling the waiter I was so hungry I could eat his face. I am learning restraint.

By the time we found my cottage, the community was pitch dark. We stumbled around until we found my guest house. It is a sweet little two story with white wood paneled walls and blonde wood floors. The bedroom is on the ground level, decorated in the standard Seaside Style. The upstairs is a cozy living room and kitchenette with a balcony that is nestled in the trees. It is lovely.

I have been fighting off a cold all week and after a day in airports I was starting to feel like death. All I wanted was a scalding shower but unfortunately the hot water was out until morning.

I couldn’t sleep and decided when the clock hit seven that I would get up and adventure.

It is 45 steps from my door to the beach. Life doesn’t suck.

I chased the waves off my beach for an hour and then set off to explore the town. It is quiet here in the off season - just like I like it. There are several little restaurants in the center of the town, which takes all of five minutes to cross. Seaside is one of several beach communities that line the gulf, though it is obvious in architecture and attitude when you cross from one to the next.

The weather is perfect. A light long sleeve shirt, capri pants and flip flops is all I needed.

I met Nathan around ten and we went to pick up our bicycles. We rode our beach comers to the various points of interest on our community map - swimming pools, fitness center, croquet courts.

In the evening we met the other artists at the home of Marsha, one of the Escape to Create directors. We had an intimate dinner and some interesting conversation.

I spoke with the teacher at Emerald Coast Elementary where I will be leading acting workshops with 7th graders. I will be working with 25 students at a time and am a little nervous about wrangling so many of them but since the teacher there is a retired New York City police officer, I figure I can lean into her to keep them under control.

Over the last few days I have basically spent my time attempting to write, riding my bike to the nearby lakes and having dinner with the other artists. It isn’t a hard life here in Seaside and thankfully I don’t have much drama to report.

That is it for now. The beach is calling my name.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bucket List

This morning I got the following message from V:

So I was thinking of you last night, which started with me thinking about my bucket list and then I moved on to yours and started thinking yours probably kicks mine's ass. So if you're looking for something to write...I wanna see your bucket list but in grocery store list format, please.”

First, let me tell you what I told V, which is I don’t believe in bucket lists.

They imply we should live one way and then cram in these other moments to make our lives feel valid. I think we should live our whole lives like an impromptu bucket list. You know, jump at the moments that stand out as life changing, not pass up on anything.

For this reason I don’t have a very lengthy bucket list. I have done a lot of what I want to do now and what I want to do tomorrow will probably change with who I am then. But since V requested and he rarely asks anything of me, here you go, in grocery list format, the things I plan to do in coming years.

  • Buy a motorcycle and ride it up PCH
  • Study at the ashram in Jackson Hole
  • Live in Bali, Alaska and Africa (where is not decided)
  • Become a certified Yoga instructor
  • Work as and advocate for assault victims.
  • Record a country album with lots of twang and songs about momma, guns, cheatin’ ex-boyfriends and of course, my dog (which I guess means I need to get one)
  • Own a dog
  • Campaign for a candidate I really believe in (I will let you know when I find one)
  • See my best friend get married to a guy who loves and respects her and who will adore my god daughter
  • Spend more time with my grand parents.
  • See one of these freakin’ books get published
  • Take my parents to Europe

That about sums it up for today. Tomorrow it might be different. But V didn’t give me specifics.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From V

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." - Dr. Suess

Yep. Again.

So how happy am I that that interview showcased my pervasive use of the F-word.

My mother is sooo proud.

Saucy Gal

Inspiration is a fickle beast. She comes and goes at her leisure and is quick to say F- you when you dare to presume she will come on demand. You know now that I think about it she is a lot like the men I have dated.

I am in one of the most serene places I have ever been. Nothing to do but write. And I don't want to.

I have entered into that phase in the process of editing a book when I hate absolutely everything I have created.

Call it the seven year itch for book writing. She is a good ol' gal but she's a Jackie and everywhere I look there are Marilyns tempting me to play around.

I have got subject A.D.D.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things happen for a reason

My blog has been eating posts lately. I hit publish and they disappear. It has been changing fonts and adding strange links and I don't know why. I am considering switching hosts but that kind of sounds like a pain in the ass.

In the meantime I have been keeping a record of some of the blogs that I meant to post but for one reason or another, I didn't.

In one particular case, the blog ate it. I was trying to read it to V from my phone right after I hit publish and it went away. I was pretty darn annoyed but after reviewing my early morning rant through the lens of a good friend decided perhaps at the time it was best to hold off.

Maybe things happen for a reason.

Unfortunately, I rarely take advice, at least permanently and since I am no good at letting things go without a few smart ass comments, and a couple of weeks have passed leaving me to assume little damage can be done now, here you go.

The Rant:

I am a smart girl. Near perfect scores on my standardized tests confirmed it. (Except math. Let's not talk about math. I could have slept through that section and got a better score.) But in some things I am just dumb.

You know, things like life.

There was a bit of a guy incident late this weekend, only I had no idea it even happened until I got a flood of emails this morning.

I don't understand flirting. Half the time I don't even notice it. It goes right over my head. I always figure it is just two human beings interacting in normal human being conversation until I am directed otherwise. How was I supposed to know that a brief exchange is sometimes considered flirting??

Guys are dumb. Girls are dumb. This whole dating thing just confounds me!!! I am so freaking exasperated.

This, people, is WHY I don't try to date. I clearly don't understand how it works! It's like someone needs to hit me on the head with a frying pan before I even pay attention. I am going to curl under the covers and hide.

Yes, I realize I am being a big baby but in this area of my life I seriously have no idea what is going on. I am utterly confused. And dizzy. So dizzy.

I am just talkin' people. That's it. Just conversing. I have no deep agenda. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

I can't help that I have zero dar. Dar, as in gaydar, douchdar, flirtingdar (wait, that last one doesn't really work but you get the point).

I. Don't. Get. It. I will be your friend seven days till Sunday but anything else you are gonna have to spell out in subtitles. And let's face it, that will probably just freak me out.

The irony of people asking my advice on the subject, being interviewed and solicited for commentary, does not escape me. V, my best girlfriends, my boss, they all seem pretty convinced I am a moron in this are - which is true.

Why can't it all be easy?

I am ready for a sci-fi reality, of pre-determined partnerships..or maybe I am just having a drama moment and all I really need is a month at the beach.

Monday, February 1, 2010


My flight got canceled. I am in Texas until who knows when .... well I know when but it seems like forever. I am whiney. I just want to get to Florida so I can take large amounts of cold medicine and pass out, hopefully to feel like less death tomorrow.

I am pretty excited about the prospect of a month of unlimited writing time although it does mean that my blogging time will be limited... no internet. A good thing - no chance of getting distracted with Facebook, Hulu or Slate. But I guess that is what internet capable cell phones are for.

Alright. My 45 minutes of free wifi are about up. Stay tuned. I am sure there are coffee shops on the beach where I can indulge in caffeine bliss and post about my slightly warmer weather exploits.