12.31.2007

A Collegiate Reflection On Success

(putting on fancy square hat)
Sometimes, you can work really hard for something. For example, graduating Summa Cum Laude. And it never, never, never comes up after you graduate. You have worked for a remarkable academic distinction that does not matter in the least.

You probably should have just gone to more parties.

And now, my stepdad's favorite joke:
(for best results, assume your thickest Ft. Worth accent)
Some people graduated Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude. I graduated Lawdy How Come?

Wow. Gulp! AIEEEEE!


This is not an exciting post, but it is sort of momentous and is pertinent to my so-called theme.

1. Three friends have come over and hung out with the cat. Zero hissing. Way to go, cat.
2. I don't know, there should be a 2 because 3's a biggie.
3. I paid off my last college loan today. I am officially DONE putting myself through private college, holy holy shit let's celebrate.

12.30.2007

Christmas Dinner


North Central Texas cooking tips:
1. Everything, EVERYTHING, can be improved by adding a mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream.
2. If it holds its own shape when put in a casserole dish, you have not boiled it enough.
3. The exception to all this is, has been, and always will be fried okra.

12.28.2007

Rodney ...Yee!

Someone at Borders has a pretty terrific sense of humor.

Lest you think this was a freak barcoding accident, I assure you, it was only one in a series.

12.27.2007

Cashmalon

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a sweater you hate from someone you love.
Don't go stealing that, now... it's trademarked. Just like Cashmalon.

AND THE ENSUING JOKE IS:
"Gee ...I like it, but it's kind of squeezing my cashmalons, you know what I mean?"

Home safe home.


Christmas was revelatory, to put it succinctly. I learned a lot.

Let me just say: last year my mom told me that SHE HAS BREAST IMPLANTS. What?! I... WHAT? Apparently she got them when I was still very young. That was revelatory, but this, this year was bigger. I mean... well, you know.

I'm being silly [what with the breast talk] but honestly, please understand, my world is slightly upside down right now.

I have to rethink a lot of things I thought I had finally managed to understand. Big things, like my sister's estrangement from the family, my dad's walking out and later his complete disappearance, and other various acts of heartlessness over the past 17 years or so.

I did not mean for this to become a blog about my relationship with my mom. And I don't think it will become that, but... I hope I can adequately explain what all this means. I never expected any of this and I can't deny that it's eating up my brain.

It's a lot to think about.
It's a shift.
My new challenge for success is to find a new way to love my mom. That's down the road. Right now I don't have words but the feelings are like this: disgust fury shame.

12.23.2007

Christmas in Texas


This is how I spent last Christmas.

Let's hope this one involves equally safe displays of aggression and an equal amount of quality time spent with my stepfather, one-time Silhouette Rifle Shooting champion of the great states of Texas and Oklahoma.

12.21.2007

Coworkers (and authority figures) pt. II

I had a session on Thursday, which is "industry" "lingo" for "I recorded something for voice-over." It was a group session with other actors, which I always love.

At a session, the people from the ad agency are there to give you direction and change the script twenty times. Often they will call an account exec or someone very important to get that person's stamp of approval before they end the session.

Thursday, all the ad people spoke nervously and reverently about Jill, who, when finally called for her expert opinion, was arbitrarily negative and then gave us direction like, "well... you need to be SASSY, but also respectful."

Since we're in a sound booth, the only way to discreetly communicate is by writing. My friend Brian pretended to be taking notes on the "sassy, respectful" direction on our script.




12.20.2007

Coworkers

I used to work every day and occasionally drink with the guy on the left.


"Who's that?" you ask. Well, little Timmy, that is Stephen Ouimette. He's amazing. Look at his imdb list, which does absolutely no justice to what an amazing Shakespearean actor he is. Also, he is a really, really nice guy.

I just went to lunch with my boss, a corporate manager, and a lawyer who is sharing our office. I know that there are nice, cool, funny and non-judgmental lawyers and corporate managers out there.

Somewhere.

12.18.2007

Discuss.

When my cat hisses at guests, I feel like it's a bad reflection on me.

Please discuss how absurd and self-absorbed this is.

Then discuss why I still feel shocked and guilty the next time he does it. Even if it's sort of understandable because someone gets in his face unexpectedly and he doesn't know what to do, but I still want the kind of cat who is always cuddly and purrs and instantly charms everyone. A universally adored and loved cat who - no, I swear, I am talking about my CAT not about MYSELF don't be ridiculous.

Pause. Let's start again.

Please discuss why my mother is presently in the hospital on hydrocodeine with no diagnosis, her history of hypochondria, and why I am so helplessly unable to
Please discuss what the hell she
Please explain when I can sit down and
I
I do not know what to feel.

Pause. Let's ... move away from that for now.

Please discuss my possible obsession with Success, and what exactly I think it's going to get me.

12.15.2007

Dear Ego,

Got your note - thanks.

How about this: I'll ignore my biological reaction to the cold weather if you can work on your biological reaction to subsisting on handfuls of Christmas cookies and whiskey and never working out.

Also, let me do some research on this, but I'm fairly sure that there are beverages out there -and you can actually drink these- that do not contain alcohol. May be worth checking out.

Great. I think we're done here.

Love,
Your Gigantic 6-foot Body

Vicarious, round-about and overall indirect self esteem.

The daughter of New Acquaintance (ref: "I'm very, very, very, very sorry" post) is living in an isolation room for a while as part of her treatment. Her folks asked people to make "bubbles" to decorate this strange new room with her favorite things, including goats, monkeys,* eggs, Franklin the turtle, and gefilte fish. (Gefilte...?)

So I had some friends over last night and made it an optional art project if people wanted to contribute. My friend Mike, who is a genius in about 7 different fields, brought me a mangled piece of construction paper and said, "I ... I can't do this. Look. Do you have Photoshop?"


Voila, ten minutes later:
Nicely done, sir. Mad snaps for the gefilte fish.

I constantly feel completely amazed by my friends. I gotta tell you: I have some amazing ones. I am lucky to have them.


*
Thus showing that this little girl is clearly a Shakespeare geek waiting to happen. Othello's most completely random speech tic, from Othello, Act IV Scene 1 Line 261:
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.--Goats and monkeys!

12.14.2007

Young Love



I was on my way to O'Hare to fly to Indy.

The Blue line was about 1/3 full. There were two pretty young women chatting in Polish, a United worker in a stocking cap and wire rimmed glasses, and across from him, a teenage couple facing away from me.

I looked up when he started yelling. His face was turned around so that it was right against hers, facing me. “You WHAT?” he was yelling, again and again. “You WHAT? YOU WHAT?”

She was in the window seat at the very front of the train, pinned in on all sides. She was shrinking down into the seat as he kept yelling in her face, loud enough to fill that entire car. He jerked back his right arm to punch her face and he held it there, threatening. His left arm was around her shoulders.

I was frozen with my book in my lap, feeling sick, furious, and strong. Staring at him. I AM STARING AT YOUR FIST, I kept thinking, ready to rocket out of my seat and .... and do… What? He shook her and my whole body started pounding with adrenaline. I AM STARING. AT. YOUR. FIST. He feinted twice. I didn’t think my muscles could tense any more, but they did.

He stopped yelling. He sat back in his seat next to her and looked away. She was moving strangely. After a minute I realized she was sobbing.

A few minutes later he lay his head against her shoulder. She did not move, even when he stretched his legs out in the middle of the aisle like he owned the whole Chicago Blue line, put his head in her lap, and went to sleep.



I thought this story was over, and I wrote it all down and took the picture. Then they got off at Rosemont: him first and quickly, her standing up slowly with a large pregnant belly, shuffling after him.

12.11.2007

Small-time stardom, pt. 2

My trip to Indianapolis, as presented in a short play.

Setting: Indianapolis
Characters: Lacy, Director, Ad Agency.

Lacy: Well, here I am!
Ad Agency: Whoa. You... you're not black.
Lacy: ... not very, no.
Ad Agency: We need you to be black.
Director: You didn't say she HAD to be black, you said she had to be FUNNY.
Lacy: Well ...I .. am, I mean, I can be... funny...
Ad Agency: Begone, white girl! Get us that black girl that we kind of liked! Fly her in TODAY!
Director: Forgive me, Lacy!
Lacy: Ad agency bitches! You still have to pay me!
Ad Agency: Okay.

THE END.

Um, I'm home now.

12.09.2007

Small-time stardom

I'm being flown to Indianapolis to shoot a commercial for a few day. Back Wednesday. I miss you already.

Hopefully my computer will be alive then too, and I can show you some exciting pictures of Indy.

no, seriously.
quit laughing.

12.08.2007

I think he just said, "get the f off of me."

A tradition at Chicago Shakespeare is to keep a running tally of the inevitable line flubs that happen when you do the same show nearly 100 times.
Like most backstage pranks, it's essentially a big inside joke that isn't as funny if you haven't done the same scene time and time again, only to watch a seasoned, veteran actor completely butcher a key moment.

But then, who can argue with the mighty Achilles, battle drums raging, broadsword fights happening on all sides, covered in the blood of his lover, screaming out for his mortal enemy and hero of Troy: WHERE IS MISS HECTOR!?

12.07.2007

Here is a long and maybe too personal post.

Last week, the last time my mom and I talked on the phone, she became very angry at me when I suggested trying a draw-a-name gift exchange for our [all-grownups] Christmas. She yelled at me that I was so selfish, and that I wanted to make Christmas about me, me, me.

So I tried to stay calm, which I’m amazingly good at doing as long as someone else around me is losing it. I said, “That really hurts my feelings and makes me feel awful. Can you explain to me how I am being selfish?” I thought this idea could make shopping/finances easier on everyone, especially my grandmother.

She began crying and spat out that it didn’t matter for me, that I would get presents from my boyfriend’s mother and father, I was going to get a lot of presents no matter what and I didn’t think about anyone except myself.

She said that a few times. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to explode.

Then she said she was very tired and had to go.



My mom is having problems lately. I know that, and I know that whole thing was more about her than me, but it still made me feel terrible, terrible, terrible. And I was afraid she was right. Am afraid she was right. No amount of reassurances from my boyfriend or close friends seems to lessen that. They've certainly tried.

I haven’t really talked to her since then. I’m not NOT SPEAKING to her, but I just haven’t been very motivated to pick up the phone for a chat. I’ve also been pulling 14 hour days and just super busy, which you would not guess from reading this blog.

My stepdad called me today. He never calls me. He said, call your mother. She’s home sick.

I called my mother. She was nice and cried twice during the conversation. Lately she cries a lot on the phone, but for different reasons. When I ask why she’s crying, she’ll get angry or blow it off. So this time, I just pretended not to notice.

Pretending not to notice was terrible, terrible, terrible.

When we hung up she was choking back her own tears. I know that sound so well: my mom's voice when she's crying. She said, very stiffly, “I’m very glad you called.”

She won’t tell me what’s going on.

File this one under Resounding Failure.

Things That Are Currently Broken.

1. The lock on my driver-side car door.
2. My relationship with my mother.
3. My computer.

Posts will probably be infrequent and texty. Sorry, 3 friends who read my blog.

I really don't want this.

An email from my grandfather:

Fwd: Fw: Muslim Pussy

and then, inside, oh how hilarious, it' s a photo of a cat wearing a burka and with explosives strapped on its back.

I probably should have waited out my embarassment and disappointment in the man for whom I was (sort of) named. My reply didn't really hide my feelings.

12.05.2007

Day Job, part one of seven million

I've been terribly ashamed of the fact that I've had a part-time job for the past two months.

Close Friend: This job has seemed to make you miserable ever since you started it.
Me: I was miserable about this job before I started it.

In the interests of financial stability and ... well, yeah, just financial stability, I took a job. Before, I was a full-time actor, leaping and hopping from one independent contract to another. It was hard and stressful but I loved being able to say, "I'm an actor," and not feel the need to mention another job that I do "for money." Taking a part-time job was a real ego blow. I should have started this blog in October, I could have told you how miserable and defeated I felt.

It's a mutual decision; I like my boss and she likes me, but acting is just taking up too much time and I'm not a dependable employee. I don't want to be a flake anymore than she wants to employ a flake.

I will miss the very small, very steady paycheck, but I also want to tear this job off like a sweater full of spiders.

Dear Body,

Look.

I know it's really cold out, but please stop getting fat. I know you're trying to protect me and that is very touching, but I have a whole bunch of long underwear and sweaters for that, so ...

Great. I think we're done.

Love,
Enormous Fucking Ego

12.03.2007

This Scared Me Today.

That this:

Might become this:

Question by zkmomathome
Submitted on 3/16/2004
Related FAQ: N/A
Rating: Not yet rated Rate this question: Vote
My 7 year old calico cat died suddenly. She never went outside and appeared fine, until she started meowing very loudly and threw up some clear foamy liquid. She looked as if she needed to throw up something big, but only threw up the foamy liquid about four times. She also panted a couple of times, then seemed to feel better and went to lay behind the couch. A little while later, she was dead. I can't figure out what could have caused this.

THAT'S what pops up when you worriedly google "my cat threw up four times."

Imminent domain on my art supplies

In order to get a new passport, they make you surrender your old one.


Imaginary Passport Official: And why do you want to keep an expired passport?
Imaginary Me: Art projects?
Imaginary Passport Official: Denied.

12.02.2007

Success.

Starting a successful company, in any field, is usually a big accomplishment. Starting a successful theater company is very nearly impossible.

My friend did it, ran it for 10 years, then had to quit before it swallowed her up completely. Now, as far as what to do next... she's kind of at a loss.

One frustration with this field is the lack of a clear 'next step.' There's no career ladder. Accomplishments don't build on themselves; they're just moments of satisfaction, usually followed by wondering if anyone will ever want to work with you again.

12.01.2007

I'm very, very, very, very, very sorry.

Setting: Bar.
Ambient noise.

Mutual Friend: (to New Acquaintance) So, how was your day?
New Acquaintance: (lightly) Well, you know - At the hospital all day, went home, ate some dinner, came here.

(conversation dies out, some time later...)

Me: So, you mentioned you were at the hospital all day. Do you work at ...?
New Acquaintance: No, no. My daughter has cancer.
Me: ... Oh.