Saturday, March 31, 2007

Men of Steel...

Saw a terrific play last night. It runs until April 8 and you should check it out if you can. Not only funny as hell, but really brilliantly written - wonderful set - talented actors... oh trust me, it's rockin'!

this short movie is actually part of the play - an interlude during a set change. If you like this: you'll love the play!

Maybe

The "maybe" of things is always fun.

Maybe he's the one.
Maybe she will go out with me.
Maybe I'll get that part.
Maybe this book will be fabulous.
Maybe something great will happen on this walk.
Maybe this diet will work.
Maybe I'll get that promotion.
Maybe grapes will be on sale.
Maybe ...
Maybe ...

It wasn't always that way.

I remember when my 'maybes' only hurt. It was as if anything, and everything, I wanted was a maybe that was not going to happen. To dream, to fantasize, to hope... these were the worst things I could do.

Maybe I won't cry in my sleep.
Maybe I won't be miserable today.
Maybe I will feel loved today.
Maybe I won't feel so alone in the world.
Maybe today I won't be invisible.
Maybe ...
Maybe ...

And every one of those maybes was a bust.

Each failed dream or wish, of the simplest kind, was denied. Each 'failure' fed into the Depression and dug the hole deeper and deeper.

There really seemed no way out. Well... there seemed to be one. And that was the one I was planning to take. Suicide seemed like the only 'sane' escape route.

Truly, I was a mess.

But then by the strangest twists of chance I became incredibly, amazingly lucky. My maybes started to come true.

For a moment I wasn't invisible.
Finally I saw that there could be another way.
And I have found that not everyone will disappoint or hurt you. Not every move I make will be the wrong move. There are people who love you, you may not be able to see it, or feel it, because you hurt so much nothing else can get through. And every single minute of every single day offers the opportunity for something miraculously wonderful. The catch is: you have to be here, you have to be alive, you need to stick it out to make your maybe come true.

It is the hardest thing in the world to stay when you want to go. So hard. I know, Oh shit, there go the waterworks. Yes, I remember exactly how hard it is. But if you are so low that it looks like there is no other way out, please know that you can change it. YOU CAN! I did, I'm here, and I'm alive. My little maybes come true all the time. Yours can too!

Is there anything as wonderful as anticipation?

Hmmm.

Maybe.....

Friday, March 30, 2007

It's not you....

The romance began on Monday.

It was all innocence at first... as these things sometimes start out.

A friend of mine tried to set us up. He found an ad on Craig's List and thought we were an ideal match. He sent me the ad.

The ad read:

We offer our spacious loft in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 40 minutes from Cancun, in the heart of the Riviera Maya, in a private resort with Mayan ruins, tropical landscape and very close to the beach and to the dock to the island of Cozumel. The resort has an amazing golf course, tennis courts, aviary, and provides all services. We need an apartment for 2 people for 2 weeks in mid-May in Manhattan, preferably in the East side.

A match made in heaven.

So I got in touch.

Oh at first it was all -
them: you're perfect!
me:
No, you're perfect!

You know how that goes. I saw the pictures in their ad and though it wasn't exactly my style, it was in Mexico and I was more than willing to go for it. Yes, I would have gone all the way, I admit it... my desperation to return to Mexico was clear. I shame myself with my promiscuity...
So I sent them shots of my place.



Alas... it seems Internet dating for apartments is not all it's cracked up to be.

Seems they 'changed their plans' but will keep my address in case they decide to ...

oh forget it, it's the old "it's not YOU, it's ME" line.

*sigh*

Clearly their apartment was simply not attracted to my apartment. Sure, the chit chat was fine... it all sounded great on paper... then they saw each other's photos and the sizzle just wasn't there.

I'm going to explain to my apartment that there are other lofts, studios, oh hell, she deserves a 2-bedroom, 2 bath with an elevator and doorman and should settle for nothing less!

So my apartment and I will be here watching Home Decorating shows (which I can only assume are, for apartments, the equivalent of chick flicks) and maybe re-doing the floor in the kitchen (like buying new shoes!) until she feels better.

Me?

I'm planning a trip to Mexico in July - the hell with swapping! (just don't tell my apartment!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dreams

It runs just under three minutes, but it's worth it. It's deep and charming, and yes, okay I admit it: I welled up. (In the good way).



We do have the power to make the world we want. It may be hard, it may seem impossible, but it's there: we can make it happen.

Go out there and be a Kiwi!

Who Gets Stressed at the Vet?

You're probably thinking it would be this fella here.


He gets so panicked it's like holding a 400 lbs swordfish on a line.... okay, I have never gone fishing so I have no idea what that really means, but I know that Basil appears to be doing an imitation of a big-game fish on a leash if we are in the Veterinarian's waiting room for more than 8 minutes.

Like me, he does not enjoy waiting around.

But we got through it and he seems totally over it now.
I'm waiting for his lab tests to come back next week, but it's all just routine - he's dandy. Okay he has a little lump, but it must be nothing more than a simple lipoma.... because I said so.

This ordeal began at 8:00 AM Tuesday morning. It was followed by Nick's appointment for HIS physical at 9:30 AM.

It seemed like a good idea to get it all over with in one day. Morning's are usually best to avoid any patient back-up. But oh brother... I'm drained!

Nick freaked a bit as he has not been to the vet in ... I'm ashamed to say it... 6 years. He's an indoor cat who has never (knock wood) had any sort of health issues. So it seemed pointless to subject him to going. But he's 10 now and a senior, so I wanted to get him a clean bill of health.

Poor thing. He was not thrilled.

But he has great teeth. Probably due to the fact that he chews on Basil's rawhide bones. Yes. Even the Vet said she'd never heard of a cat doing that. Well. Of course. Welcome to my world.

He seems completely over it now, too.


When I got him back home I thought it would be fun (for him) to get out of the carrier and walk down the hall himself. He's ventured out into the hallway on occasion and ... I don't know what I was thinking. Mainly, "let him out of this box" I guess.

So I did. And then it was fun for me.

For some reason he seemed to think he lived at the other end of the hall - maybe he was just trying to run away. After all, I'm the one who took him to the 'evil' Vet, maybe living with the neighbors would be a better deal.

I ran down the hall (in the right direction) and opened the door. The dog stood at the door watching as the cat kept trying to get into another apartment at the opposite end of the hall... even after I had opened our door and he saw the dog. Okay, clearly I'm easily amused.

But in my defense, I was pretty much wrecked from the morning's medical activities.

As usual I hold it together 'during' - I'm all "ha-ha" joking at the Vet. Once it was all over...

Exactly.

I'm the one who gets stressed at the Vet. Totally.

But the day's fun did not end there, why should it?!

I went to the gym and did a little running. I know. I'm not supposed to. It is my way. And it felt great, got the excess adrenaline out and all. But not an hour after I got home the lights went out.

Oh Con Edison was having a party fiddling with cables in front of my building.

Woo-Hoo!

I'm all showered and relaxed and I'm going to watch a little of Showtime's The Tudors. I can't resist that wacky Henry VIII. I'm pretty sure it's because of Greensleeves. Get out your lighters people! Henry VIII: live, in concert.

Oh work with me, people.

'K. So in goes this promotional DVD of the Tudors. And I'm in a sort of Masterpiece Theater catatonia of delights when *Ping-zap* out go all the lights. And with them the young Henry VIII. King-us interuptus - if you will.

C'mon, I said to work with me here.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to read by sunlight (which is not all that bright in my place) and trying to decide if I should call Con Edison and bitch or just wait it out. As the lights kept popping on and off ... on and off ... in alternating parts of the apartment (it was like being in a giant-sized string of slow moving twinkle lights) I figured they were working on it and I'd wait to complain. Finally I switched off all the lights to avoid the slow-strobe-effect. The refrigerator's hummmmmmmm as it went on and off was less jarring than the lights, but kept me informed of the state of my electrical service.

As it is nearly 3 in the morning now, and clearly the electricity has been restored - though who knows what tomorrow will bring - I'm going back to Henry and his harem. Or maybe to sleep... it's anyone's call.

And tomorrow has got to be a calmer day. Neither I, nor the beasties, have to see any members of the medical professions for at least another 24 hours. Par-TAY!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

finding a voice

Because of my grandfather's gift of story-telling, I always wanted to be a story-teller myself. I wanted to spin tales, to captivate people with my stories, to enchant. Trouble with that: I couldn't seem to come up with a story to tell.

Of course I was all of 5 years old. Let's face facts, at 5 you don't have many stories to tell... and the ones you have: BORING. Except perhaps to your teddy bear.

As I got older I still felt I had no stories to tell. There was just nothing with a beginning, middle and end. I could talk. Yes, lord I can ramble. But I had nothing concise, nothing worth telling, nothing enchanting.

In school I was exceptionally quiet.

The teacher's comments sections of my report cards were a steady stream of the same sentence, year after year: Joy is a very intelligent girl - but she needs to participate in class more.

*sigh*

Every single report card.

Want to talk boring?

The thing that made me nuts with that comment was my continued response: WHY?

Why do I "NEED" to participate in class more?

You know how it goes, the teacher asks people to answer a question. Okay, you raise your hand and spit out the answer. Terrific. Then the teacher finishes the lesson and asks if there are any questions. The hands go up and the most inane questions come out.

This was my issue. Yes, I know the answer. Yes, I followed the lesson. Yes, I GET IT. No, I have no questions because I already GOT IT. Capese? Thank you.

I could see no point in proving I knew the answer to the whole class.
I could see no point in pretending to have questions when I did not.
So my hand was not going up.

If the teacher pressed the point, tried to get me to 'participate' by calling on me directly I would give the correct answer and that was that.

They knew damned well I understood what they were teaching. I got it the first time people can we move on now? (I was dead bored in school until I got to college). But still they persisted in writing that freaking annoying comment on every single report card. Not one teacher let it go.

God they do love you to fit into a box, don't they?

One of the main reasons I wanted to become an actress was because I felt I wanted so desperately to tell stories, but still lacked the gift of actually telling my own. As an actor you tell someone else's story. You get to delve into the motivations of a character, you create a living person on a stage, you become part of the story. That I could do, and it was great. I felt I found a way to be a story-teller. I loved it, still do. But now I feel I want more. Now I want to be the creator of the story, not simply a conduit for someone else's voice.

I feel I'm finally finding my own stories. My own voice.

It's taken a while to get here, but I'm glad I stuck it out. Nice view from here. Maybe later I'll 'participate' by telling you a little story.... I'm sure my teachers would be thrilled.

jury duty update

Despite the fact that I have not posted anything since last week, I did not get chosen for a jury. In fact I never made it into a court room. I did my time in the waiting room. Waiting. *sigh*

Still, I must say I didn't have a dreadful experience. The clerks running the room were extremely nice and even funny! They seem to finally understand that piling over a hundred people in a room to wait does not make for a good time. So they tried their best to lighten things up. Which I appreciated.

I also read two books and did far too many crossword puzzles and ended up in a lot of pain from that twitchy ol' pinched nerve. Because of the jury service I had to cancel a physical therapy appointment so now I'm paying for it. Ouch.

Much as I dread it, I do believe that jury duty is an important civic responsiblity. Even though it terrifies me. Why is it I'm never called for Civil cases? I'm on the Criminal list and that's that. On the other hand, I never seem to get called to actually sit on a jury so I guess the cosmos knows what it's doing!

I have several half-finished posts to put up, for those 2 of you who are anxiously waiting. But right now I'm into my apartment therapy mode so I'm sort of focused on making my home fabulous. You cannot imagine how much work this entails! But it's getting there, and every baby step makes a difference.

I'll be back soon - really. But first I feel compelled to label the new boxes I got yesterday for my xmas ornaments.

It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jury Duty

Tomorrow I have to appear for jury duty.

Oh dear.

It's not the first time, certainly won't be the last, but I am not really into it. See, I hate waiting. I hate hanging around doing nothing until someone says: go home. It's a drag and a half.

I don't like to arrive early for anything - and I really hate having to be somewhere at the ass-crack of dawn just to sit around and do NOTHING.

Sure, bring a book, bring an iPod, bring a journal. *sigh* The trouble is not being bored, it's feeling trapped.

I'd say a good 90% of my work-life has been spent feeling trapped. Not much to do, just gotta be there. I could never be a nightwatchman (nightwatchwoman?). Because I would feel so trapped I'd probably encourage burglary just to shake things up... then I'd feel bad for doing a lousy job of night-watching.

It's not that I'm not an expert at the daydreaming either; because people let me tell you, I'm a champion there. I can sit and stare at a wall and be in Mexico... I could get a tan I'm so good at it.

What bothers me is that awful feeling of not being able to come and go as you please. That kills me. I may not even CHOOSE to leave home -- but if it's MY CHOICE that's dandy. I really am so bad with authority, I just cannot stand being told what to do. Unless of course I ask for advice, or in certain, shall we say... intimate situations. Well. I guess that still boils down to my own choice.

So here I am, 4 months of blissful freedom from a situation where I feel trapped, (that would be the office job for any new readers), I'm finally starting to FEEL it (yes, I'm slow), and now I have to walk right into jury duty and feel the door shut behind me until 'they' say I can leave.

In all my jury duty experiences I have never actually sat on a jury. Okay, that's not entirely accurate: I did a month of Grand Jury. But Grand Jury service is a different beast altogether because you don't have to decide on someones guilt or innocence: just whether or not the prosecutor has enough EVIDENCE to indict. That's easy-breezy.

Making a decision as to whether someone is guilty of a crime is terrifying to me. I am terrible at making decisions like that. Ask anyone who has eaten in a restaurant with me: it's bad news.

So if I have trouble deciding on the taco or the burrito, you can imagine how tough guilty or innocent might be.

Luckily I've always been dismissed after the initial two days. I have my fingers crossed that will happen again. I think I'd make an AWFUL juror.

Insult to injury: I have to be there at 8:45... in the MORNING!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Alone

Privacy is huge to me.

"Yeah right!", you say as you read me being seriously un-private on a public blog. "Clearly privacy means little to you!"

Ah-ha! But you would be mistaken. Yes, I am, 99.9% full-disclosure-gal. But I have been known to hold some things back.

I have so! Stop snickering, you!

But privacy of my stories and the privacy of my self are different things.

If asked a direct question, odds are STRONG I will answer fully (sometimes too fully) and honestly. It's a little promise I made to myself a thousand years ago, when I was young and the world was new and dinosaurs roamed. The good part of that is that people rarely ask the tough questions, so the answers are easy to give.

Plus it makes life simpler.

I grew up in a house filled with lies and secrets, it was a nightmare. Lies were a way of life for my parents... and from what I can see it just made them more miserable than they were to begin with; which is saying a lot. So I'm all about the openess.

Most people, in my experience, do not enjoy solitude all that much. They need other people around, sometimes to the point that they will marry just to assure that someone, anyone, is there. This is not always a wise move, because that someone might turn out to be very bad news. Oh, am I talking about my parents again? silly me.

I'm an only child. I have spent much more time in a solitary state than someone who grew up with siblings. For me, having large amounts of time alone is not only comfortable, but necessary. Don't get me wrong: I'm not a hermit, but I need lots of time for my thoughts. I have too many thoughts and they require me to spend quality time with them or ... well... let's just say they get cranky and throw tantrums.

At Christmas my friend Gary gave me a gift of the first season of THAT GIRL on DVD. Bliss? Oh yeah. This show imprinted on me as a very small child, we're talking maybe 7-8 years old, because it was exactly the life I wanted when I 'grew up'.

For the uninitiated the premise is this: young woman, an only child, moves to New York to become an actress. She lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment, she has a delightful boyfriend who is considerate and lets her be exactly who she is - and loves her for it. Her parents are caring and concerned and actually love her. She is happy, happy, happy all the time. Weekly adventures ensue.

Watching the episodes, which I hadn't seen in decades, I realized just how much I really was influenced by this show. It was a little freaky. When Ann Marie's mother moved in with her, Gary, who was watching with me, said: "Well, you got that part!"

Yeah. I did. Of course, Ann's mother moved back home at the end of the episode - my mother stayed for years. The two of us in a one-bedroom apartment. Again I must ask: however is it possible I came so close to suicide? Sorry to be flip, it's my way.

But I got the most important part of my That Girl dream over 15 years ago when I signed the lease on my apartment - yes, a one bedroom in New York. (And I discovered, while watching the dvds, that I actually live only a few streets away from Ann Marie's first apartment - it's like I was PROGRAMMED!)

The dream of living alone was strong with me from the time I was very young. Either I wanted a large happy family with lots of brothers and sisters, or I wanted to be alone. Option one was a fantasy. Option two I could do.

I had a roommate once - disaster. Never again.

I love living alone. I love the peace.

It has taken me years of living alone to fully realize that I am safe.

It has taken almost half my life to relax and accept the fact that I am in a safe place.

Maybe I'm slow. Or maybe it proves how impactful the events of our childhoods really are.

I grew up in mayhem. Every weekend was a tension-filled horror show - never knowing what fresh hell was coming with my father on a drunken tear. Only on the weekends mind you, clearly he was not an alcoholic because he limited the terror to the weekends. Uh. Yeah, right.

During the week hell was up for grabs and usually my mom took the dare. Atta girl!

She drank on the sly so you never really knew what might come up. She was more the fall-down, hurt-herself type of drunk. Which, while still horrific to a kid, at least wasn't as terrifying as ol' dad rampaging through the house with murder on the brain.

My first thought when I went away to college, away from Hell House, was: oh god, is this what it feels like to be safe?

It has taken another 20 years for it to sink in. But for some reason the past couple of weeks have been making me really feel that 'safe' I longed for as a child. I'm not sure why, and maybe I don't need to know, I'm just curious.

Sometimes I lay in bed and simply relish the fact that there will be no one screaming, no one running and being chased through the house, no need to sleep with a giant kitchen knife under my pillow to defend my mother from my father. The relief of knowing it is safe to go to sleep, that I do not have to lay awake listening for the sounds of a brewing argument that will turn into god knows what kind of free-for-all in the middle of the night, is almost enough to make me feel like I am, at last, That Girl.

Alone in the city I love -- safe. And I am happy, happy, happy all the time. Adventures ensue.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick....

would likely never have done this to a dog...



but my name's not Paddy.

And my dog enjoys costumes.

Be careful out there. The amateurs are out getting loaded in honor of the guy who ruined a perfectly good country.

So stay home and paint your doggie instead!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Such a pretty face....


Please take a look at these photos.


















Kinda beautiful, huh? Some might go so far as to call her hot.... well... I said SOME. But there's really no denying that she is, by all standards, at the very least good-looking.














I mean here's a twenty-two year old woman, really very pretty - but you know what she saw when she looked in the mirror?








This:











Yes she did.

Warped? Crazy? Disassociated? Oh yeah, you'd better believe it.

She hated everything about herself. So much so that she thought she was hideously ugly. Not just 'plain' but outright donkey-butt ugly. (no offense to donkeys)

Sad is the best way to describe it.

I have an intimate understanding of how much she hated herself inside and out - so much that it distorted her self-image to insane proportions - because, you must have guessed by now: that girl was me.

Yup. That godawful mirror-crackingly ugly young woman is me at 22. And those pictures above, those were taken in natural light - no trick make-up, no special effects - for my senior yearbook picture. (that's why they have the 'return' message on them - I wouldn't return them). There is no picture of me in my college yearbook.

Why?

Because I felt these pictures were so hideous I could not bare the shame of having them in a yearbook. In fact I am shocked I didn't burn them.

Twenty-mumble-mumble years later I stumbled upon these photos while I was cleaning out the hundreds of photographs I've saved over the years. When I first saw them I didn't realize it was me. I recognized the sweater... not the girl. Took a few seconds for it to sink in. Clearly it took over two decades for me to actually see myself as I was - kinda stunning. Imagine if I'd actually put some effort into it!! Knock-out!!

If you've read here before I hope you'll understand that this is not an attempt at bragging. Though compliments are always accepted... whether I believe them or not, I don't mind hearing them. I'm easy that way.

What it is about is how easy it is for us to see reality through a filter of our feelings.

We may be seeing the most gorgeous thing in the world, but our unhappiness makes it appear horrible. We may be so unhappy on the inside that we project that to the outside. Maybe other people see the reality, but we see what is reflected out from our hearts. If we're in pain, it's hard to see a knock-out in the mirror. And if others tell us how great we are, we hear lies. If they tell us we're beautiful, we know they want something from us and are flattering to get it. If they tell us we're smart, it can only be because they are too dim to see the truth or we have simply covered our stupidity well enough to pass for clever.

If you got the type of positive reinforcement I did as a child it really helps. I tell you, there's really nothing that builds your lack of self esteem more than your father telling you you're stupid, clumsy and basically inept; your mother asking why you only got straight "A"s instead of "A+"s, hearing how pretty your cousins are, having your godmother tell you your eyebrows are too bushy and you're fat... when you're all of TEN. (and I see now that back then I really wasn't... but I made sure I made that one come true by high school-so obedient.)

These are just mild examples of how to keep your child from developing any sort of healthy ego and feelings of self-worth. Please, keep it in mind if you are raising kids, because who wants a kid with a huge head, right?

Fighting the sort of ego-crushing I had growing up is ridiculously difficult. But it can be done. Living proof at this keyboard right now.

Not to say I'm in any kind of zen-like I-am-perfect state of mind, but I think I'm a helluva lot more in tune with reality now than I ever was in the past... but there's still soooo much to do.

The title of this blog is "I've got a crush on me!" Not "I'm madly in love with me!" for a reason. But maybe someday... I'm working on it.

p.s. special thanks to Gary for scanning these relics in for me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Shakey Stroll Down Memory Lane

Finishing the rewrites on that screenplay was brutal. Really. Dredged up far too many memories and made me wonder just what the hell I was thinking back then when I wrote this with the psycho-man. My self-proclaimed 'perfect man'.

Oh wait, I know what I was thinking.

That's the problem.

Working on this thing really was a trial by fire. It was painful to re-read things I'd written knowing full well exactly how I felt when I wrote them back then - and how much of that relationship was put into that screenplay. Some actual word-for-word conversations in fact.

Ugh.

And as a mirror for that relationship this screenplay is scary-accurate. His lack of interest and care in the portions he wrote directly mirrored his lack of interest and care towards me: His self-proclaimed 'soul mate'. Uh-huh. That's a quote. Which was followed a few weeks later by: "I meant we're compatible". Yes, that's the usual interpretation of a soul-mate. Or someone you share an office cubicle with! (see: the man was psycho!)

What a schmuck.

And of course, I'm referring to myself. Because I was the dope who bought it.

I stuck with a guy who broke my heart nearly on a daily basis - for 5 years!! FIVE YEARS people!! That's not right. It's not good. And, to my mind, proves exactly how ill I was back then. And how much he played with my head. There ought to be a law against people like him. I'm serious.

The best part of working on the screenplay is that this time I did it for ME. Not to impress him. Not to make him happy. Not to try to make our twisted bond stronger. I did it for ME. And that is GREAT!

The worst part of working on the screenplay was having to wade through memories. Having to recall feelings I do not want to recall. It's not that I feel sad in any way about having broken up with him - what I feel, frankly, is rather nauseous when reading his parts. Ending that sordid relationship was one of the best things I ever did. No sorrow there.

Actually there is one thing worse and it is a little weirder than I like.

I've talked here before about Feng Shui and clearing your Ch'i and how I've had good things come into my little world as soon as I got the bad out (physically chucking things with bad memories, bad energy). Sometimes those 'good things' happened instantly. I had hoped the same would happen here. Unfortunately something unpleasant came in instead.

An email from the nut job.

I've blocked him from my email addresses, and IMs. I guess I missed one (I have waaaay too many email addresses). Have not heard from him in well over a year - for which I am profoundly grateful then *boom* I pull out this screenplay and he decides to get in touch? It's like some evil spirit realizing the exorcism is actually working and trying to dig its heels in. And I am not exaggerating here. I've been in less than ideal relationships, but THIS was pathologically bad. I am not going to go into the details because I just don't care enough to do so. It's actually boring when it's not distasteful. But trust me: it was baaaaad.

I deleted that email. I should have deleted it before I read it, but curiosity is one of my failings. Oh well.

Now that it's done, I am happy with it (for the most part, I'm never totally satisfied... ) and I hope that that last gasp from that demon remains the last gasp. Maybe it was. Maybe that was the good that came of this particular space clearing.

I'm going to hold that thought, and trust that facing this particular "bad" from my past was the right move. Ignoring things rarely fixes them. Burying the dead however is always a good idea.

Thanks for attending the funeral. I appreciate it.

I feel better now.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Teacher

The inevitable has happened. I knew it would eventually. I had faith.

My best friend started his own blog. I'm giving it due mention here because he's great, and he is excited about sharing his passion... and he forced me to (kidding!).

I think 'finding your bliss' ties in nicely with the theme of my stories here. Finding your own happiness. His blog is about finding his passion and following it - and how amazing life is when you discover what you are meant to be doing with yours. How things begin to fall into place almost effortlessly when you are where you should be.

He found his bliss and ran with it. Me, still looking I guess - but definitely getting there... wherever there may be. So go check it out, he'll be excited to have people read. But keep in mind: he's my best friend and you can't have him!!

But I'm willing to share.

the rewrites...

I'm only stopping momentarily. Actually I'm feeling really good about reworking my screenplay... and changing less than I anticipated.

Funny thing about fears... once you actually take the plunge, it's a lot less daunting than it seemed in your head.

Not like that's any big news... funny how I always have to rediscover it.

But thanks for the support!!!

Yes, yes, going back to it now.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Guilt, Fear and Facing IT

Any recovering catholics out there?

Of course there are.

Me too.

Welcome.

I'm not dealing with the guilt at the moment, nice change. But the fear. Oy. There's always something to overcome.

From My Personal Dictionary
Fear = the root of procrastination.
Procrastination = what I'm doing right now.

I have this project I'm working on, it's an old screenplay. And by "working on" I mean shaking in my leopard socks worrying about is it good enough. Hell, I know it's good. At least large chunks of it, but there are chunks that I'm not loving. Am I able to improve them? Well maybe I would be if I were working on it instead of avoiding it by posting this blog right now.

The problem with this particular piece of writing is that I wrote it with someone else. Someone who is no longer in my life, THANK GOD. So my main desire would be to expunge everything in it that he wrote (which isn't a helluva lot actually). But then I need to rewrite and rework those scenes. I'm trying, but I FEAR that I will make it worse rather than better. Rewriting is the bane of my writing life. I no likey the rewriting. It's not laziness so much as fear. That same fear of not being able to make it better. Fear that I should go with those first impulses... then again the parts I want to change were never my impulses to begin with therefore should be no problem to change 'em.

Hahahahahahahaha

And then I make a pot of coffee.

I feel compelled to deal with this screenplay, that I haven't looked at in over 2 years, because I have a chance to hand it to someone who might actually like it, hopefully like it enough to want to USE it.

But dealing with this screenplay also means delving into my past, which was not a healthy place. This screenplay was written during a bad time in my life, with someone who was very bad for me, and all that time is wrapped up in those pages. All those memories of pain and heartbreak are there - staring at me, daring me to exorcise them.

Will rewriting his contributions to the screenplay clear my ch'i? This is where I get all new-agey again, sorry. But yeah, I think that's exactly what it will do. I've cleared my home of nearly every remnant of this man and every time I get rid of some physical evidence of him, it feels cleaner here. Cleaner meaning purer, healthier, more peaceful. This thing we created together is a lingering sore point for me. And through a series of strange coincidences it seems I'm being forced to deal with it.... that is if I want a chance to actually have any sort of success in my artistic endeavors. Which I do.

I guess that's it. Do I want to clear the past from my future so I can have the things I really want? Yes, I do. Am I willing to deal with the scary parts of that? This I am not so sure of.

The coffee's ready.

I'm going to go back to this pile of paper now... and see if I can do it.

A big part of me thinks I can.

It's that fearful and annoying little voice that tells me I can't that scares me.

Shut up little voice - I hate you and you need to get the hell outta here.

NOW.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Are you going to trust me?

I fell off the planet for a few days - and by planet I mean this blog. Busy writing heart-rending posts on my other blog.... and various other writing that does not appear on the internet. If one can imagine such a thing.

I don't actually have anything of great import here except... and this IS important....

Friday.
10 pm - SHARP
The Rodeo Bar

Go.

I have much to do right now that does not involve writing here, and so I'm off -- but honestly, please trust me on this and go see this band. GO!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Traching your Tulips

Transpiration:
the act or process or an instance of transpiring;
especially the passage of watery vapor from a living body (as of a plant)
through a membrane or pores

A friend of mine, who is studying horticulture, gave me this word. I like it.

It came up in a conversation about tulips. Yes. We talk about flowers sometimes. Don't you?

I adore tulips. Tulips and daisies really do it for me. I'm not a fan of the roses. All you potential suitors would do well to keep that in mind.... just sayin'. (I imagine I will be bombarded with tulips by tomorrow... oh yeah... hang on, I'm cracking myself up again here.)

Oh that was good.... SO any way...

I was telling her a trick I'd learned many years ago. If you're familiar with cut tulips you know how fragile they are. Or should I say, how fragile they SEEM. You bring home a big pile of inexpensive - 2 dozen for $10!! - tulips from your corner store - put them in some water and oooh and ahhh at the beauty that is the tulip. Then you leave the room for a minute, and return to a head drooping mass of color.

If you've experienced tulip droop you know how disappointing it can be. And no, popping a viagra in the vase will NOT perk those petunias back up.

You think to yourself. GOD, what is the USE? I try to cheer myself up with these flowers and the damned things are dead before you turn your back on them.

BUT NO!

You see, like so many things in life, it seems the worst comes right before it gets better. Really. The darkest hour is before the dawn is seriously valid. So hold tight while I tell you how to revive your precious attempt at beautifying your living space or just cheering yourself.

You need a sharp thin knife, or a razor blade (there's some irony here actually). Take each tulip that is droopy and slice a sliver of a cut vertically *horizontally will just behead the poor thing-so don't do that* just below the blossom - a quarter of an inch is more than long enough. Put the tulip back in the water and just wait... leave the room again... turn your back (they're shy)... within a very short time you will be astounded. The tulips are up and standing tall and happy once more. And they will stay that way for about a week - depending on how hot the room is.

After I told her this she exclaimed: OF COURSE! TRANSPIRATION!!!

Well. Of course.

Basically it's a tracheotomy for your tulips. It allows them to breathe again, and thus stand tall.

The metaphor here, if I may, is that sometimes you need to do something you would never think of to save something beautiful. You are beautiful. If you need some help to stand tall - and breathe - there are things you can do. Things you might not think of, or that you might be afraid to try.

The first time I "trached" a tulip I was terrified I'd just make things worse. How could slicing the stem make a drooping flower perk up? It's counterintuitive. But when you're depressed you feel the same way. I certainly did.

Years ago I tried antidepressents - tricylic. I'm not gonna lie: it was a HORRIBLE experience. That's because I have conditions that are not compatible with tricyclic antidepressents. And I had a doctor who didn't know a tulip from a station wagon. After that there was no way I was going near medications again. Hopeless. Frightened. Ten years later, suicide was my 'better option'.

Well that would certainly have been stupid. It would be like throwing out the drooping tulips.

See, I just didn't think, I was scared - and I gave up.

Psychotherapy? Puh-leez. Been there, done that. And I KNOW where my issues spring from. Knowing doesn't always fix things. So there: psychotherapy. Of course if you don't know why you feel or act as you do, then it can certainly help. For me, knowing was not the problem - knowing what to do to FEEL better was the issue. Therapists had no answers there. (thanks guys!)

Therefore: I'm chucking the droopy tulips. Buh-bye.

When I broke down crying in my internist's office she gave me a prescription for Zoloft. She said it was worth a try. I shined her on, took it home and said, "Right. How can slicing a slit in a tulip stem perk it up? No, gracias."

I was going to kill myself, screw the meds (I knew they wouldn't work - why try?).

Then I had myself a little epiphany at a joyous musical that was, essentially, my life story with a better attitude. Like a parallel world where optimism ruled over pessimism and depression. I decided maybe a little slit in the stem couldn't hurt. And hey, if it didn't work, I could kill myself any way. What the hell.... why not try?

So I filled that prescription and started taking it. And I started to breathe again. Oh not instantly, I had to wait a little while (I'm shy like a tulip), and just hope that I was doing the right thing. Surprise! After a few weeks I found that I wasn't drooping so much any more. The 'trach' worked! No one was more shocked than me.

Just because something seems like a lost cause, just because something seems terribly fragile, delicate to the point of dying, doesn't mean you can't give something radical a shot. What's to lose? It may seem scary. May seem too hard to do. May seem pointless. But you know - what the hell?! Why not try? Make a phone call: ask for help. Try a med, or a new med if the old one isn't working.

Trach your tulips. They are tougher than they seem. And so are you.





You're invited to a Party!!!

Who:
You

What:
to see/hear/experience
the Music, Dancing and Hilarity that is
THE NIAGARAS

When:
Friday, March 9, 2007

Where:
The Rodeo Bar
corner of 27th Street and 3rd Avenue
New York City

Time:
10PM... or thereabouts

Cost:
FREE!

Why:
Because life is short
and
this
is

FUN!!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

A little chit-chat and howdya' do....

And now I'm back.

Not that I went any where, just busy doing stuff. And even better, hearing great news from SO many people!

Let's have a little list, shall we?

Someone I know...
1. just got a great role on Law & Order Criminal Intent (YES!)

2. signed a contract to have his show produced Off-Broadway.

3. just signed a contract to PRODUCE that show.

4. just got back from a wonderful get-away trip to Washington despite bad weather.

5. is on a trip to Mexico.

6. just got back from working the Tour de California - and got to do some announcing during the race!

7. finished a paper for one of his doctoral classes.

8. was just sworn in as an attorney in New York.

9. won $250 in Atlantic City ... at the very last moment.

10. finally got a little secret off her chest.

11. painted a closet and tweaked her bedroom decorating (yeah, okay the last two are me... but still - good news!)

This is just a small list of things that are making me VERY happy at the moment. Some may seem more exciting than others, some more mundane than others, but they all add up to happy-happy all over and this makes me .... um... let me find just the right word here... yeah, that's it: HAPPY.

I know it may seem simplistic. Well sure you're happy for your friends, naturally.

Um. No. Not so naturally actually.

The ugly truth is that I was not always happy for other people. Oh I wasn't pissing on their parades or anything but I didn't feel genuinely thrilled and excited for them. Instead I felt envy. Or sorrow. Yes, actual sorrow. Not so much that THEY were happy, but that I wasn't; I wasn't happy. I was fairly miserable in fact. Whenever someone else had good news I'd say "great!" or some such thing and then I'd go curl up in a ball somewhere and enjoy a comfy little pity party.

In fact there are several things on the list above that just a little over 2 years ago would have literally agonized me. Oh yes, lots of "WHY NOT ME?!!!" whining into my journal back then. Ouch. (not only is it painful to read, but B.O.R.I.N.G. as well!!)

How's that for being a good friend? Of course I didn't say or do anything to ruin their good news... but I wanted some for myself... and it simply never seemed to come.

But it's here now, and I'm very, very HAPPY it is!

I get seriously excited for other people's good news now. Being out of my Depression has opened up a whole new way to feel good - and that way is to feel the thrill of my friend's lucky, good, exciting events.

Of course this may also be a result of the fact that I LIKE these people more than some people from my past who (seriously) seemed to live to make other people miserable. And you know what? When I have good news, these people are happy for me too. At least I think they are.... hmmm. Oh okay, even if they aren't I'm okay with that because I'm finally able to believe they might be - and that is a damned sight better than where I used to be.

This is all new territory for me.... but I like exploring new places. I think this is a good place to stop and look around; I'm going to stick around and enjoy the scenery for a while. I feel happy here. For me, right now, that's good enough.