Saturday, June 30, 2007

A good kind of bug

Tonight Poompy and I took Satan's Lap Dog to the dog run around 7:30 and we're running around with her when I notice this green spark on the ground. Then another one. I'm staring, utterly confused when Poompy gasps aloud, FIREFLIES! And I look at him with utter confusion on my face and say, you mean... they really exist? And he says, LOOK! And points to the garden at the west end of the park and all throughout it are these tiny green glowing fairies, blinking, twinkling, darting in and out and between the flowers. I'd never seen a firefly before. We sat and watched them until the mosquito's drove us away. It was magical.

See what I mean? High's and low's. This city can hurt so much... and then it gives the lovliest gifts.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I want to break free

I've always been able to speak more freely in writing. For some reason, and maybe lots of people feel this way, it is much much harder to be completely candid while looking someone dead in the face. Of course, there are those few people in one's life with whom it is easy to experience complete candor, but those people are few and far between. In my experience, too many people are too judgmental. Too quick to make unfair decisions about my character. Too easy to stuff me into a box and paste a label across my forehead. And the very fear of meeting those kinds of reactions are enough to keep me from opening up completely with everyone in my life. But when I write.... I can pretend that it's just me. That I'm just writing to myself and no one else will see. I've yet to master the consequences of my writing, but life is about growth, right?

Something is breaking out of me. Something is bursting forth. I feel nervous, sitting here, knowing what I am about to type. But I've got to do it.

We often ask ourselves, "Who am I?" I've been asking myself that question my whole life. And today I finally admitted that I've always always always known who I am. It's never been a question of "who am I?" but a question of, "Can I accept who I am?". And thus far, the answer has always been a stark NO. Because till now I've always been so frightened that Who I Am is such a terribly flawed, inadequate person - certainly not a person who is Good Enough. So I've pretended that I don't know Who I Am in order to allow myself the freedom to change hats and try out different personalities and be different people. And if you tell me that this is why I became an actor you'll be denigrating the fact that I'm an artist and in fact, this refusal to accept my true self is an enormous obstacle in my quest for unbridled artistic freedom. If anything, it’s preventing me from being an actor. The unconscious choice to smother my Real Self has been a source of unbelievable misery all throughout my life. (Not that I’ve been miserable, I’ve had a freaking awesome life, but you know what I mean.)

As I write this, a little voice in my head is screaming, "STOP! Don't go on! Stop typing! Don't Do It! You'll be so sorry.... no one will love you any more... everyone will think you're a nasty disgusting dirty girl." But that can't really be true, can it?

I blogged recently that (by the way, I just had to stop typing for about 8 minutes and give myself a little pep talk about how its really alright for me to go on and continue with this entry because I am THAT afraid of being judged. Where is the strength to defend myself against unfair judgment?) I am ashamed of my sexuality and that I believe that that shame is holding me back as an artist. Maybe because to be truly able to create, one must be truly accepting of oneself. I've been noticing lately that a vast majority of art, at least a vast majority of the art that I am exposed to, revolves almost entirely around sex. So it makes sense to me that if I cannot come to terms with my feminine sexuality, my creative process will be stunted. The other night I debated with Poompy about why it is all right for men to be sexual and not for women. First he told me that he didn't think that was true at all in today's society. Ha ha, I replied. If he went around telling people he'd slept with 100 women, nearly every man would respond approvingly, and while maybe women wouldn't find it so favorable, they wouldn’t be surprised or disgusted, most likely they'd just chalk it up to the fact that he's a man and he's expected to be promiscuous. (Yes, I'm making generalizations. I'm fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with mostly remarkable people. But the majority of the population is pretty fucking generic, so it's fucking fair for me to make generalizations. At least in this instance.) If I went around telling people that I'd slept with a 100 men, women would call me a slut and a whore and men would either be disgusted and not want to touch me or else they'd decide I must be an easy lay and expect me to fuck them. Poompy could not argue with me on that point. But he countered with the theory that that is the way men and women are programmed. He said, “If you think of people in terms of animal instinctual survival, males are programmed to impregnate as many females as possible so that they can ensure that their DNA is passed along through long lines of lineage, while females are programmed to be true to one male so that that male can be sure that the baby he is raising is actually his own.” Well. It made sense at the time, but I'm not sure if I'm buying it now. It seems awfully unfair. It seems like a simple way for a man to defend his own rampant sexuality while encouraging a woman to be always chaste and pure. (Please don't take this to mean that anything is off between Poompy and I because it isn't. It's just a debate we had about a subject that's been on my mind. It has nothing to do with us, personally. Except that it has everything to do with me because it's taking over my mind at the moment.)

I'm beating around the bush. I am ashamed of my sexuality. I don't want to be anymore. I want to embrace my sexuality. I want to allow myself to be a strong, confident, sexual person without fearing that people will think I'm some dirty little whore. I guess I'm at an advantage since I'm married and women having sex with their husbands is pretty widely accepted. I guess it would be harder if I were a single girl crying out to the web that I want to be sexually free.... but maybe that's my point. Why couldn't I be sexually free before I was married? Why is there SO MUCH shame and angst surrounding sex? Why am I SO ASHAMED of something that is SO Natural. It’s got to run deeper than just what’s been imposed on me by society and religion. Doesn’t it? I don’t know. Because NO ONE EVER talked to me about this!

Who Am I? I’m a wild, passionate, inspired, sometimes crass, always curious, willful, intensely sexual girl. And I shouldn’t need to feel like there is something wrong with me because of it.

This is coming up now because, well it started with Dance Dance Party Party and my hidden talent as an exotic dancer, but these feelings and concerns are growing stronger since I’ve been taking J.R.’s acting class. The teacher has had us choose all our own scenes and so far I’ve picked three totally different plays, from totally different time periods, written by playwrights from completely different countries, that ALL revolve around the consequences suffered by sexual women. And I’m really realizing that the characters I’m most drawn to are the broken, suffering women – women who have the potential to be strong and independent but are so crippled by their sexuality that they let it destroy them. Lulu from Wedekind’s Lulu and Wendla from Wedekind’s Spring Awakening. Miss Julie from Miss Julie, The Bride from Lorca’s Blood Wedding, Julia from Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, Young Woman from Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Maggie from After the Fall, even Kate from Taming of the Shrew. I could go on and on naming characters like that that I am just dying to sink my teeth into. And they’re all the same. Some how, for some reason I can’t figure out, I believe that I will be destroyed if I embrace my sexuality. On the one hand, it’s SO easy for me to embody these women because I identify with them. On the other hand, it’s a terrifying task because if I allow myself to embody those women… it means I have that kind of woman inside of me.

And I do. I really do.

And it makes me feel soooo dirty. And I haven’t got anyone to talk to about this. As wonderful and empathetic as Poompy is, he’s not a woman. He can’t relate. So I’m writing about it in a freaking blog. And I’m frightened what people will think of me when they read this. But I’m throwing all that out the window. Because if I continue to live my life afraid of what people will think of me….. I’ll destroy myself. I’ve got to learn to accept who I am and love myself and maybe then… maybe then I will develop the strength to stand up for myself. To defend myself against those who judge unfairly. Of course, I’m writing this under the assumption that everyone I love, if they read this, will decide I’m a disgusting dirty girl for having these thoughts and that they’ll lose respect for me or that they’ll be disappointed in me. Maybe I’ve judged them too harshly. Maybe they will accept me and love me and encourage me to explore the depths of my being.

I think that leaving my home is one of the smartest things I ever did for my artistic self. I’ve shaken things up. I’ve forced myself to see with new eyes. I jumped. Cut the apron strings. There’s no one near enough to hurt me. I don’t know anyone in this city except Poompy, and he thinks I’m perfect. (Thank GOD.) And the people I’m meeting only know me as I present myself to them. And maybe every one else will love me no matter who I am.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I have nothing to say today. Except that I'm tired and feeling very blah-y. Blah blah blah.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Naughty Jesus

Nighttime Frosty stayed up too late last night. She has absolutely no concern for Morningtime Frosty's wellbeing. I mean, Nighttime Frosty did the right thing when she left the bar at 11:30 p.m. with the intention of getting at least a little sleep for Morningtime Frosty's sake, but then she stayed up writing until nearly 2! Naughty, naughty girl. And of course I'm the one paying the price.

I walked into Dunkin' Donuts this morning and despite less than five hours of sleep I managed put a smile on my face and pretend to be a nice person while I ordered the #4 special. I didn't ask for anything difficult, didn't want anything modified, just ordered the #4. And the girl at the cash register, whose name tag read 'Jesus', straight rolled her eyes at me. As if I'd just asked her to pick the lint out of my butthole. With her teeth. I bet Nighttime 'Jesus' kept her out really late too. 

Pretty Poo-Eater

Poompy and I have recently taken a special interest in the Hell Hound's diet. We have switched her over to a newer, fancier food. It means that we now spend about $12 a pound on the very best 100% natural, totally organic, high protein, vitamin-infused, antioxidant-rich dog food so that Satan's Lap Dog can have a healthy well-balanced diet. But rather than appreciate our efforts to assist her in living a healthier life style, she turns her little wet nose up at us. And eats wood chips. And cigarette butts. And used paper towels. And poop.

There was this one day, when we were still living in Hollywood, when a homeless guy had to point out to me that the chiremlin was eating poop. We were out for our afternoon walk, and to keep myself busy while she sniffed every individual blade of grass for five blocks, I decided to make a phone call. I was so distracted by this phone call that I wasn't paying attention the the chiremlin at all. All of a sudden this homeless man walks up to me and points at the chiremlin and says, "uh... yer dog's eating shit..." I look to see what he's talking about because I just can't believe that my gorgeous little blonde dog would do such a nasty thing and she's not just eating the poop. She is CHOWING DOWN THE POOP. She's inhaling this fresh, gooey, yellowish-poop as if it were a nice filet mignon. And she's getting it all over her face. Her pretty little nose, that I often kiss and caress, is streaked with poop. When I got her home, I had to clean poop off her face. I used rubbing alcohol. It was traumatizing. For the next three days her belches smelled like farts.

Tonight when I served the chiremlin her tres expensive fancy organic Lamb and Rice formula dog food with antioxidants and Vitamin E, she sniffed it, looked up at me disdainfully, pranced into the living room and started eating out of the litter box.

I think the new diet's going well, no?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

His Name Is Poompy.

I've decided to start calling M "Poompy" because I think "M" sounds too ominous. He HATES the nickname Poompy. Which is another reason why I'm calling him that. Because it's funny to torture someone who is so good and kind and sweet. You know, someone who doesn't deserve to be tortured. I think he thinks that I'm calling him Poompy because of his bathroom habits or something, but that's actually not the case. When I was little, my mama called farts "poomps". If I farted, she'd say, "did you poomp?" I just want to keep the word alive. And, ok, he can be a little poompy sometimes. Especially when he eats Ben and Jerry's with me. He's asleep next to me right now, dreaming of lovely things like circular saws and electric drills, no idea at all that I'm writing to the internets about him and his poompiness. Poompy. I think it's fitting.

Good night folks. Sweet dreams, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. For real.

This stuff

It's stuff like this that sends me into what I affectionately call Mommyfantasy Mania. Either that or I'm just ovulating. Sigh.

Merry Christmas!

The Chiremlin and I accompanied M to the hardware store this morning* and I noticed that they already had their Christmas decorations up. I mean, I know that shops like to get ready for the holidays early, but it's not even July. They've got their whole front window decked out for the holidays. Little pine cones and tiny packages, a mechanical Santa writing out a list of good and bad little boys and girls, signs pointing out which tools will make good stocking stuffers... and then I noticed that the gift wrap and the lettering were... a bit faded. The pinecones covered in a thick layer of dust. Santa's beard a grimy grey when it should be snowy white. And I realized - they've just never taken their decorations down. They're year-round Christmas. I bet they've had their decorations up since they first decorated the first year they opened. They have perpetual Christmas. Since Christmas time is my favorite time, Hell's Kitchen Hardware is now my Official Favorite Hardware Store in NYC.

*Side note: I have never been opposed to taking my dog on walks - I love to walk her when the walk involves some kind of purpose for me as well as for her. Call me selfish. Go ahead, do it. I hated walking her in L.A. because that's all the walk involved. Wandering around the block. So boring. I love that in NYC I can combine her walks with errand-running, because most of the shops in my neighborhood don't care if she comes in. So I can hit the market, the deli, the pet store, the hardware store, all with the hellhound in tow. It's awesome. And it pays off for her too, because she gets a lot more exercise now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Chiremlin: The Original Hellhound

Dear friends,

I often refer to my little Hellhound, Satan's Lap Dog and the Chiremlin. In case you were wondering, I'm talking about my little mutt. She's a sweet dog, only about 15 pounds, some broken teeth and missing toenails... she lived on the streets for goodness knows how long before she was picked up by Los Angeles Animal Control. She spent over a month in the pound and then she came to live with us. She stank, she was soaked in urine and she had huge, saggy nipples. And bald patches. You can see why we were so enamored. She has a penchant for eating poop, growling at dinner guests and attacking the ankles of innocent sidewalk-walkers. When she plays she makes these horrible, amazing noises in her throat - she sounds like she's in the midst of a cold-blooded murder. We have no idea what kind of dog she is or what she's mixed with... we suspect there is some Chihuahua in there somewhere, and most definitely some Gremlin. We're sure she's part Gremlin because we once fed her after midnight and then these weird balls of fur exploded out of her back and bounced all around and turned into these gross slimy cacoons... and.. well... then we moved to NYC. We left the cacoons in the attic of our little bungalow on St. Andrews Place.... we're hoping they just turn into pretty butterflies and fly away into the sunset, but we're not so sure. That's why she's the Chiremlin. She's a Chihuahua-Gremlin mix. If you hear a howling in the night.... lock your doors. It prolly means Satan's Lap Dog got out.


Monday, June 18, 2007

We're Certifiable. We admit it.

M and I are crazy. Totally nuts. Definitely neurotic. We once cleaned our entire house with bleach because we'd been caring for a dog with Parvo and we were afraid that if we didn't clean the carpets, dishes, furniture, towels, linens, walls and picture frames with bleach, that any other dog who ever came into our home would contract the virus as well. Parvo is a terrifying virus, but the dishes? We did not need to bathe our dishes in bleach. We did it anyway. 

Today, a neighbor knocked on my door to ask me if I had bed bugs, because she has an infestation. She's wrong, I thought to myself. She can't possibly have bed bugs because bed bugs don't exist in the U.S. anymore. To prove it, she showed me a dead bug she was keeping in a plastic baggie. I still didn't believe her, so I went online and found an image of a bed bug. Her little dead friend in the sandwich bag? Definitely a bed bug. So, thank you Google, I started researching bed bugs. And then I completely lost my mind. When I told M what I had found out, he also lost his mind. 

Two neurotic, crazy people should not be allowed to share living space.

We decided that the best way to combat the bed bugs, which we didn't even have yet, was to take apart our bed frame and caulk every single crack and crevice so the little shits would have no where to hide. We caulked around the bed frame, underneath it, and then we caulked the cracks in the floors and the baseboards and the door jambs and around our windows. But that wasn't enough. After I saw photos of bed bugs hiding in exposed screw heads, we had to spackle over every exposed screw head in every piece of furniture, cabinetry, appliance, you name it. This took us two days. And we still didn't feel safe. So we bought that magical expanding foam stuff and used it to fill in the holes in the walls (why are there holes in the walls, you ask? Because our landlord is really a slumlord), the holes in the baseboards and the gaps around the various heating pipes throughout the apartment. Then we stuffed our box spring and our mattress into hypoallergenic airtight vinyl mattress covers. As a final measure of precaution, M sprinkled Borax powder around the perimeter of the apartment and behind all of the furniture, then he used one kind of bed bug-killing-spray all around the perimeter of the apartment, behind all the furniture, in all the cabinets and closets and yet a THIRD deadly bug spray was set off in our apartment to fill the air and kill anything that might be lurking.

That was three days ago. It is now 3:21 a.m. and I cannot sleep because I read that bed bugs particularly like to come out between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. The vinyl mattress cover is making me sweat like a dirty little monkey and I just found this article on bed bugs in hotel rooms, so pretty much, I will never be able to travel again.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

A particularly bad day.

We lost a cat today. M called me at work, freaking out because Amelia had apparently slipped out the front door when one of us left this morning. Let me tell you, spending your afternoon making LOST CAT posters is really bad for the psyche. 

It started to pour when I left work today and despite the rain, I walked slowly because I knew I was going home to a home that was a little less homey since there would be no Amelia. I stopped in a Duane Reade to buy some tape, my bag full of LOST CAT posters clutched to my chest, and while I'm in line waiting to pay this sappy song comes on and because I'm already emotional, I start ugly-crying in the middle of the store. I get myself calmed down just in time to make my purchase, but I'm pretty sure I look upset. Doesn't matter to the girl at the counter though. She is a COMPLETE BALL LICKER as she rings me up. What is it with service people in this city? I still don't get it. As I'm walking home the thunder and lightening starts and the wind blows my umbrella inside out and my little summer dress is getting soaked and so is the bag with the LOST CAT fliers and I can barely walk because believe it or not it is really hard to walk in the rain in flip flops, and the whole time I'm beating myself up about how I don't deserve to have pets and only an idiot asshole loser would lose her cat and Amelia deserves a better life than the one I've given her, but now she's probably smushed on the side of the road somewhere, her little body lifeless and bloody. Or maybe she's alive, but she's terrified and crouched under a dumpster, wet and shivering and frightened and it's all my fault because I uprooted my tiny family and dragged them to this huge scary awful city where the cars drive too fast and people are assholes and it rains ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

As soon as I get home I start plastering my apartment building with the soggy fliers and within five minutes this girl knocks on my door to tell me she has my cat. Amelia ran out of our apartment, up two flights of stairs, and into this girl's apartment just as she was rushing off to work. She didn't come by sooner because she was late for work but she's home now and would I mind coaxing Amelia out from behind her toilet?

Amelia's fine. She's fine. She just ate a six ounce can of tuna and she is fine, but I am not. I am having a hard time shaking this sad sad sad feeling. I just want to curl up and hide from the world. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well, is it?

Yesterday I got cat-called in that horribly obnoxious way that I so loathe a total of four times. One guy actually had the nerve to come up to me and say, "Muy bonito chichis" before I stormed off in a huff.

Yesterday I was wearing a tank top.

Today, not a single man has cat-called me. Today I'm wearing a hoodie over a t-shirt.

Is it my fault?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weather... or not.

It's pouring out. Pouring. It was bright and sunny and humid and warm ten minutes ago and now it is pouring rain. 

All my life I've heard people complain because Southern California doesn't have weather. I've heard that other places, such as New York, are "better" because they actually have weather. I would like to argue, right here and now, that SoCal does in fact have weather and that it happens to be beautiful weather and it lasts nearly year-round. New York has crappy weather, most of the time. Sure, sure, once in a while there is a gorgeous day in Manhattan. But not today. Not yesterday either. Or the day before. Or the day before. There were maybe three days of nice weather in February. Maybe five in March. If there were any nice days in April I must have slept through them. Yeah, ok, May has been nice, but June has proved pretty damn sweaty and gross most of the time. And why, WHY IS IT RAINING IN JUNE? WHEN DOES THE RAINY SEASON END?

I was whining to someone about this when they looked at me and said, "How long did you live in Los Angeles?"
"My whole life." I replied.
And then he rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah. Los Angeles is not like most places. Everywhere else in the country it rains year round. Get used to it."


Monday, June 04, 2007

What's for dinner?

Tom Kha Kai (chicken soup in coconut milk).....$3.50

Vegetables & smoked Tofu w/Chilli & Garlic.....$8.95

Kai Pad Khing (w/ginger, mushrooms & onions).....$8.95

Num, num, numbilicious for frosty-licious!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'm a very naughty girl

My rent is late. I was supposed to mail it in on the 30th of May so it would arrive by June 1st, but I didn't. The money is set aside. I even wrote the check. But I haven't mailed it. If I remember to mail it tomorrow, it will arrive by Wednesday, and it will be SIX days late. I've been renting apartments for the last six years and I have never ever paid my rent late. I'm excellent when it comes to paying bills and rent on time - M even calls me his Personal Accountant because I am so good at that kind of thing. I actually, honestly, derive a kind of pleasure from the whole process of opening the bills, writing out the checks, balancing the check book, sending the checks out with the bills in their special little envelopes. I refuse to succumb to online bill pay because I enjoy doing it by hand so much. But not this month, apparently. I just totally let it go.

It's because I'm angry at my landlord. I'm a little passive-aggressive.

My landlord let me move into an apartment that was not only a filthy disgusting mess, but in need of some massive repairs. While it has some nice closet space, it had no kitchen counter or cupboards and the two tiny cabinets that hung in the kitchen were an insult to cabinetry everywhere. So not only do M and I have to clean and paint the entire apartment including the ceilings, the trim and all the moulding (which we probably would've done anyway) but we have to spackle all the holes, repair cracks in the walls, fix the lock on the front door, re-caulk the bathtub, de-mold the shower, build a kitchen counter and cupboards, replace the cabinets and that just doesn't seem reasonable. 

I realize that I could have complained to the landlord and had him get the super to do all the repair work, but our super is a homeless man the landlord pulled off the street and the guy spends his days sitting on the stoop drinking Old Boons until he passes out with a lit cigarette in his hand, so that didn't seem like the best option. And now my decision not to confront my landlord is leading me to act out in a very unattractive and passive-aggressive way. And that's why my rent is going to be six days late.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spring Fever: NYC through the eyes of a Valley Girl, Part II

Things About Spring In NYC That Baffled A Valley Girl

I'm reminded of that old standard, "...I like New York in June... How 'bout you?" I find myself humming it nearly every day as I wander the green shaded streets of Manhattan. As a Valley Girl, I've never experienced the joys of spring that follow a cold, bleak winter. It's really unbelievable. So unbelievable, I had to make another list of unbelievable things. Check it.

1) Blossoms. There was a moment in April when all of the trees still looked bare, but if you looked closely, you'd notice hundreds of tiny buds breaking out all over the branches. I left to visit L.A. for a week and when I came back the trees were just flourishing. I mean, covered in green. Flowers blooming everywhere. Window boxes spilling over with tulips and lilies, the little gated areas around the trees in the sidewalks (what are those things called, anyway?) crowded with pansies and daffodils and daisies. Everywhere is blooming. It's really really heavenly.

2) That old saying "April Showers bring May flowers" finally rings true. I never got that little ditty before because it doesn't rain in SoCal in April. But in NYC, jeez does it ever rain. And rain. And rain. For the first time in my life I had a legitimate need for rain boots. And a rain coat. And an umbrella. And although it might be funny to see someone else have their umbrella turned inside-out by the wind, it is NOT funny when it is happening to you.

3) And we're back to the "legitimate need for an over-sized bag" issue. Please see my paragraph on snow boots and the over-sized bag from Part I for more explanation.

4) The fact that I've become a bag lady. (No, I'm not talking about the over-sized bag now and no, I'm not insinuating that I'm a homeless lady who carries all her worldly belongings in sacks, but a girl who carries a lot of crap with her in lots of bags everywhere she goes.) In L.A., I own a car. I drive this car every day, all over town, from place to place. If I leave at 8 a.m. and spend my day running errands, blah, blah, blah, and don't return home until 8 p.m., I am able to keep all the stuff I'll need for the day in my car. No car in NYC. I use public transit. So, if I leave at 8 a.m. and hit an audition, run a couple errands, blah, blah, head home, I have had to carry all my stuff in my arms. By the time I get home, I'm a bag lady.

5) Aaand Again: ANOTHER legitimate reason to have an over-sized bag. It cuts down on the the number of plastic bags I have to carry with my hands. Not only do the bags start to slice into your flesh after a couple of hours, but it's nice to be hands-free in this city.

6) Let's talk about public transit. It doesn't really have anything to do with spring time, but I love it. Sure, a car is convenient in L.A. because public transit is scary and confusing and unreliable and icky. But in NYC, public transit is awesome. Even though it doesn't have a trunk to hold your stuff. The buses are... Clean. And full of little old ladies in fur coats. (Though why they can't wear cotton or nylon, I don't know.) Taxis are freakishly expensive and I avoid them at all costs. But, when in need, they are there. They are everywhere. And the subways... I adore the subways. Sure, they smell bad sometimes. Sure, they are over-crowded sometimes. But talk about convenient. And reliable. And easy. You know how I spend my thirty-minute commute? NOT feeling frustrated because of traffic. Instead I am quietly enjoying whatever book I happen to be reading. I've gotten a lot of reading done since I've moved here. Of course there are the subways at rush-hour which, at first, was completely surreal. I'm actually used to it now, but at first, it really freaked me out. You push your way into the train with about 700 other people who are all pushing you, and then you stand there, literally crammed in like a sardine and you can't help but be touching about 8 other people. You are pressed up against them on all sides. I always stare at my lapels because if I look straight ahead I'll be nose-to-nose with god-knows-who and that is very awkward. And there is always at least one crazy person who is singing or yelling or pooping on themselves in the corner and stinking up the whole car. But you gotta love it. It's great entertainment.

7) Homeless lady feet. Now that it's warm (read: miserably hot and humid) out, I wear my Crocs  everywhere I go. By the end of the day, my feet are black. My toes are black. I have to use (I'm not kidding) a pumice stone to scrub the icky black grime off of my feet at the end of every day. It's gross and embarrassing. I've taken to pointing my feet out to people, saying, "Hey! Check out how disgusting my feet are! Isn't that gross?" Because at least then they are aware that I am aware of how vile my feet are. 

8) Sweating Constantly. Do I really need to explain that?

We're running headlong into summer and so I'll be posting about that soon, I'm sure. I know, I know, you can barely sit still because of the anticipation.

Stand back, it's about to get UGLY

You want to know what I freaking hate? (Well, if you don't, fuck off and go visit some other person's blog.) I freaking hate it when I'm walking down the street and some nasty, greasy, jerk says, "Hey, Baby!" Then, when I ignore him, he screams out after me, "What's wrong, bitch? You can't be polite and say hello? Fucking cunt!" I mean, seriously. Seriously. 

I have this vague memory of a time when strangers regularly smiled and said hello to each other in passing. It's difficult for me to imagine that I once lived in a time and place where people were generally polite to one another, but I think I remember a day when I suddenly realized that I'd stopped smiling and saying hello to people in passing. It feels incredibly unnatural to walk down the street and stare straight ahead as to avoid eye contact with strangers. It doesn't feel right at all to have so much human contact and yet, to completely ignore it. I don't like ignoring people. My natural impulse is to smile at everyone and wish them a good day. (Which, I admit, would get rather obnoxious if I actually gave into that impulse seeing as how I probably walk past 3,000 people a day in NYC.) Is that why no one says hello to each other? Because it would take too much effort?

At least once a day some smarmy jerk says "hello" or, usually, "hey, baby" to me, but not in a friendly way. Oh no. He says it in a "You're-nothing-but-a-piece-of-meat" kind of way. And because I ignore my impulse to say, "Hey, Pig!" in the same patronizing sing-song voice and instead decide to just keep walking and not acknowledge him at all, these guys almost always yell after me, "What, bitch? You can't say hello?" or something to that effect. By that point, my face is on fire. My stomach is in a knot. I clench my fists at my side so as not to flail out and take a swing at the asshole. Why should I say hello back? Don't even for a second tell me this guy is just trying to be nice. You know how I know these guys aren't just being nice? Because if they were, they'd be saying hello to everyone who walks by them. But they don't. I can see that this guy has ignored the other 178 people that walked past him in the few minutes before and after me. He only said hello to me. And it's clear by the tone of his voice that he does not have good intentions. He is not reaching out to a fellow human being. He knew before he opened his mouth that I'd either ignore him or tell him to fuck off. He was looking for a reaction worthy of a bigger reaction from him. He wants to be able to scream his head off at a little, tiny, innocent looking girl walking down the street alone. Why? I guess because it makes his pathetic, disgusting, crusty little dick hard. But even better than his oh-so-eloquent reaction to being ignored is that if I were to respond, perhaps saying "Hey, Pig!" he'd probably punch me in the face. Because that's what he really wants. He really wants a good excuse to punch a little girl in the face. If he can get me riled up enough to call him an asshole, then he can punch me in the face and act like he had good reason to. "Hey! Why'd you punch that girl in the face?" people would ask. And he'd reply, with an injured look on his fat face, "I said hello, I was trying to be friendly and not only does the bitch disrespect me by ignoring me, but then she calls me an asshole!" "Oh, well, then I guess the cunt deserved it."

This city is not helping to improve my feelings towards the human race.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Winter Wonderments: NYC through the eyes of a Valley Girl, Part I

(This blog was originally posted on Myspace, way back in April. But as I begin to make the transition from once-in-a-while Myspace blogger to pretty-regular blogger, I will be re-posting some of my original Myspace blogs into this account. I know, you're thrilled.)

I once said: "L.A. is home and NYC is weird. But weird in a way that is fantastic and fun and exciting and wonderful." (That's right kids, I totally just quoted myself.) I stand by that statement. Kind of. Except that NYC is starting to feel a little like home. And now that I am beginning to actually get used to the things that seemed so weird about NYC when I first moved here, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge those things before I forget them.

You see, I'm a born and raised Valley Girl. Like in the movies. I basically grew up at the mall. No, Daddy never gave me his credit card, though most of my friends did carry their parents' plastic. Up until recently, I could count the number of times I've seen snow on one hand. And if you asked me to tell you how many times I've seen snow that wasn't man-made, I'd say, "snow isn't man-made?" I like to consider myself a well-traveled individual, having made my way through seven foreign countries and several U.S. states, however, nothing could have prepared me for New York in winter. And apparently, this winter was a mild one, though I wouldn't say so. Before I moved, lots of people warned me that New York was very different from Los Angeles, but they were really vague. They said things like, 
"NYC is sooooo different from LA" but when I asked what made it different, they just stared at me blankly and muttered, "....uh.... the apartments are really small...." which did not at all help prepare me for the change. So this post is really for the benefit of any other Valley Girls/Boys or born-and-bred Los Angelinos who might be considering a move to NYC in the near future. 

Things About New York City in Winter That Completely Baffled A Little Valley Girl:

1) Old ladies in fur coats with matching fur hats. Seriously. I'm not even kidding. I've never seen so many women draped in dead animals in my entire life. And no one even blinks. No one cringes. No one thinks it's a problem. Somewhere in my head I understand that there are still people who think that dead animals make for good fashion, but I didn't really believe that was the case until I lived on the Upper East Side in February. I really had to restrain myself from buying a can of red spray paint.

2) The actual, legitimate need for snow boots. Who knew they were actually a necessity? Did you know that snow boots keep your feet warm and dry? Because I didn't! 

3) The legitimate need for a shoulder bag large enough to carry one's snow boots. Women inLA run around with these giant bags which is ridiculous since they have TRUNKS IN THEIR CARS to hold all their stuff. But in NYC, in February, if you are tromping to and from home to the subway to work and what not, you have to wear your snow boots. But you don't want to wear your snow boots at work (or in my case, in auditions). So you bring your nice shoes with you and put them in your over-sized bag. Then, once you've put your nice shoes on, you need a place to put your snow shoes. Ah Ha! This is when the over-sized bag comes in handy. 

4) Let's talk about snow that feels like sand being blasted against your face. Holy Crap. Now I know what the mean when they say someone has "weathered" skin. 

5) Automatic heat. Um, WEIRD. I've visited/stayed in at least six different apartments in totally different areas of the city and they all have heat that is controlled by the building. It gets so hot that you control the temperature in your apartment by opening or closing the window. The heat comes out of a radiator. I'd never seen one before. You can drape your soggy socks over your radiator and an hour later they're dry. At first I was worried my socks would catch fire, but everyone does it. You can also put a pot of water on top of the radiator and it helps bring moisture into the room because the winters here are very very dry.

6) The actual and legitimate need to dry clean one's coat more than once a year. In L.A. I barely wore my winter coat often enough to warrant a dry cleaning once every three years. But I wore my coat so often the first few months I was here, and so often while sitting next to a stinky homeless guy on the subway, that next winter I will definitely need to get into the habit of dry cleaning my coat at least once a month. Maybe more often. Which means I'll actually need more than one winter coat because I will need something to wear while the first coat is at the cleaners. Which means I will need to go shopping.

7) Snow. At night, walking home from the subway station, the snow looks like glitter as it falls below the street lights. It's absolutely gorgeous. Icicles form on the street lights too, and they glitter and glisten like diamonds. Breathtaking. 

8) The ability to genuinely say, "The weather is so nice today!" when it's 22 degrees outside. (You know, when it's been 15 degrees all week, 22 feels tropical.)

9) Slush. I now understand why people say snow is only pretty the first time it falls in the winter and then it just sucks balls.

10) Frozen rats. I only saw one. It was on the sidewalk, up against a building on 34th and 8th. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to pick it up and put it in my pocket and bring it home as a souvenir. But then I thought about the reaction I would get from the people around me and I decided it probably wasn't worth the commotion I might cause. Although looking back on it, it SO would have been worth it.

Perhaps you can begin to understand how all these things might shock a little sheltered Valley Girl like me. I wonder if next winter these things will still hold all the shiny newness they held for me this year? We'll just have to wait and see.

Next up: Spring Fever: NYC through the eyes of a Valley Girl, Part II