when he died, everyone in the entire town showed up at the back door with fried chicken. Everyone.

We don't have family here. We have friends who feel like family, who I want to be their family and I want them to be mine. You need family, even if it isn't your actual family.

A cousin had some scary brain-and-spine surgery a few weeks ago ...a cousin with twin 3-year-olds. I made dinners. I drove them over. Another cousin lost her fiance in an awful traffic accident. I - okay, well, again, I brought over food. Maybe I'm sort of one-note about these things, but dammit, you need food.

Here is a pie. And a casserole. It's not exactly the same as cans of Alpo, but it feels like the right direction. I will bring food and come and sit with you.

Sometimes I wonder if I like doing it so much because of sheer disgusting self-righteousness, but I don't think that's actually it.
It's an honor.
It's an honor to be chosen and trusted to be part of someone's family.


moral goals. Small ones. That don't make sense, really.

If my goal is to be more like my grandfather, who was the best human being I've ever known, then I figured I should start identifying the things that made me love and admire him so much. Maybe that will be a little more attainable than just saying "I should be more like that guy."

mini-altar in my office.

He lived way out in the country. Strays would come through pretty frequently. The dogs would get attached to him and follow him around, the cats would have a litter of kittens, then move on. Sometimes an animal would show up seasonally - three springs in a row or something like that.

When he died we found cans of cat food and dog food that he just kept around for anyone who would show up.

Goshdamn. I still miss him so damn much. I can't write about him without getting choked up. I wish you knew him. I wish everyone knew him. I wish I were more like him. I wish I knew how to do a practical city equivalent of keeping cans of dog food for strays.


goal: goals

It's Tuesday. Haunted Theater Camp closed Sunday. I know because I drank margaritas then biked home at 1am singing songs from the show.

For the first time in 8 (9?) months, I am not performing or rehearsing a show.

It's a good time to figure out my next move(s).
The last set of goals I made for myself was about 9 years ago, most of them I've accomplished or realized that they were dumb goals. Or just abandoned. For example. Have a Mexican boyfriend. That was a goal. Didn't happen, probably won't now. Which is a drag, because I'm fast falling in love with Cuauhtemoc Blanco, the captain of the Chicago Fire and the Mexico World Cup team.

Here he is.

Man do I ever find unhandsome men handsome, and I can't really tell you why.
Here is his trademark pose.

Why is that his trademark pose? Because he's doing this pose.

This is his namesake, the prehispanic ruler Tlatoani Cuauhtémoc, who attempted to save the Aztecs from Spanish Conquistadors.

Yes, he appears to be using his cleat as an arrow. I don't have much to say about that.

Then he will save my heart.

Goal: Mexican boyfriend is pretty much off the table.
I'll start working on some new ones.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco: Suerte, Lacy.
Me: Thanks, Temoc. I learned your nickname.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco: you're married.



A few weeks ago I heard this:

Good art should risk both pretension and sentimentality. Risk only pretension and at best it will feel like an academic exercise; risk only sentimentality and it will be saccharine and cloying.

a day at the races

Horse races on Sunday. My first time.

Like shiftless artists and clueless gamblers, we stuck to $2 bets and the race-by-race commentary. Sometimes it did us right. Sometimes not.

Brennan: This is an exercise in regret.
Halena: (returning to her seat) I just bet on a horse because they said he was an underachiever.
We look at the Race 5 commentary, horse 7.
"7. DENIM (Presser) A talented underachiever for most of his career..."
Halena: Yeah. They think they're writing that about the horse, but in all actuality, it's about me. COME ON, TALENTED UNDERACHIEVER!
Sure enough, now that I am not in a show for the first time in 6 months, I'm starting to feel that slight sheen of pathetic. Everyone else is in shows. Everyone else is doing something good and big. They're passing me up. I'm getting left behind.

I conservatively picked two favorites to show: "would consider him the biggest threat" and "the one to beat, once again" and lost my $4.

Denim, talented underachiever, won his race.



Every summer, Chicago opens up an abandoned sanatorium on the lakefront and invites 8 plays from the past season to each come perform there for a week. It's sort of a festival. Perhaps a best-of kind of deal. Out of all the plays produced in a year in Chicago, it's kind of a big deal to be asked.

My theater company has been there three times now (smug look here).

It's sort of like going to theater camp...

Sign in the dressing room:

HAUNTED theater camp.

Originally built as a sanatorium, it was used in the 1920s as a convalescent home for children with tuberculosis and various other maladies that could ostensibly be cured by the fresh air off of Lake Michigan.

I've never been able to find any authoritative documents on it, but apparently there were several deaths.

The place is undeniably spooky and a lot of people report hearing, seeing, and feeling things that shouldn't be there. On this staircase in particular.

Spooky theater camp!


Ridiculous theatrical Camp!


things to do instead of go running: post to blog

more things to do:
harass the cat.
take pictures of yourself in your new t shirt.
with sunglasses.

I'm usually not one for obscure t shirts, but I gotta tell you, I'm pretty excited about this one.
The Hypocrites production of Oedipus just closed, which means you can't see it just now, but I really loved it. Exceptionally loved it. I loved a production of freaking Oedipus. I know, right?

In this production we meet Oedipus, king and thwarter of the Sphinx (hellbitch), wearing a nice suit. Throughout the play as he falls apart, he loses jacket, then tie, then dress shirt, and you see this, his undershirt.

This can only mean that Thebes was so grateful to Oedipus when he first showed up that they not only married him off to their queen BUT they also gave him this awesome t shirt. And he totally loves it. Now I do too.

May the similarities all end there.

p.s. At least one drunk old man has congratulated me on solving the riddle of the hellbitch so far.


oh please oh please

Someone somewhere can I please have this dress?

What about this tshirt?



A while back I was doing a very serious play with a very dramatic, silent opening. It was my job to walk on stage and speak the first words to get the play rolling. I was not looking forward to this.

I was telling my cousin Ryan that I had an irrational fear of coming out and saying COMPLETELY THE WRONG THING, like a sort of Tourrett's blast at a very important moment. He said, "just go out there, look at the audience and say: waffles."


"Then, just go on with the play like nothing happened."

I just booked a commercial for Monday morning.

Full circle?

(thanks to flickr users bicyclehead26 & Grupo Engasga Gata)
(don't sue me)


i'm trying to try to get a job and it makes me cranky

There was a listing for a writer on Craigslist that I'm qualified for. Maybe. This means about 7,000 other people will also consider themselves qualified. And by 7,000 other people, I mean 14,000. I'm determined to apply for this sonofabitch, but the resume-writing part FREAKING PARALYZES ME.

Other news.
I'm "first choice" in this ridiculous commercial I auditioned for yesterday, called back for today. My agent wasn't supposed to tell me I was first choice, but she did anyway just to see if that could nudge me into blowing off my Monday night show just in case the shoot runs late.

"Can you get out of it?"

Dudes. You can't "get out of" a live performance. You can't call the audience, tech staff and box office and merchandise and ask everyone if we can all just reschedule for Tuesday. You can't call up a girlfriend and see if they'll do your show for you.
Although. Tim saw it last week.
Tim, jump in for me so I can star in a waffle ad?


You can't not cast me!!!! I REMOVE MYSELF FROM YOUR CASTING POOL!!!!

12 pages for the original audition + 20 pages for the callback = 32 pages of sides to learn = after all that, no role for Lacy.

here's the thing.
this is very risky to say. Because inevitably this is going to come back to me. But I think it's worth talking about.
I didn't actually like the script.

Look. I am not a flawless judge of script. BY A LONG SHOT. I have bad initial judgment. I'm the first to admit it.

But nevertheless... I learned those damn 32 pages and I worked on them, and I was genuinely sad when I didn't get the part.
In a play I didn't like.
For $50 a week.
Not for the money.
Not for the fame.
Not even for particular artistic fulfillment.

Can someone tell me why the hell I did that?

Sometimes I wonder if theater is just a series of arbitrary goals I set for myself.
Maybe I should set some more productive goals. Like things to actually help other people.