Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's Not the Rejection... Or Is It?

Going out for a job you really want, in my case an acting job, is a little like dating.

Two weeks ago this past Monday, I went on an audition for this off-Broadway play. It was kind of a throw-away audition, in that I was going because I had some spare time that afternoon, and I'd already had another audition that morning. I didn't know anything about the show and I wasn't sure if I was going to get in to the audition or not because I didn't even get there until nearly 3 p.m., but I figured I'd give it a shot and if I couldn't get in, I'd just go shopping or something instead. I mean, I was going to be right in Union Square and I had an hour to kill until my voice lesson, so I might at least window shop, right? But there was room on the appointment list so I put my name down. They were asking for a brief comedic contemporary monologue and despite the fact that a very-important-casting-director-whom-I-really-respect has told me that my comedic contemporary monologue is a piece of crap, I haven't found anything else I like better yet, so I was just going to do that. The monitor calls my name, I go in and introduce myself and trip and fall face first on the stage. I stand up, laughing, and ask them (the director and casting director) if they want me to stand on the stage or maybe fall over again. They laugh and tell me to stand center stage. I do my little monologue, they laugh during it, thank me and I leave. I don't even think about it again.

It's like the first date with someone your best friend set you up with. You don't really have any expectations. You aren't interested or disinterested. You're pretty much just looking forward to going home and curling up with your cat. "Did it go well?" your best friend is dying to know the next day. "Uh.....sure... yeah, it was fine..." you haven't really thought about it much. I mean, it was only dinner, right?

Two days later, the phone rings and it's a number you don't recognize. And it's him. The blind date. He wants to take you out again. And suddenly, perhaps just because someone is finally showing interest, you are jumping up and down on Oprah's couch, shrieking with excitement.

Tuesday afternoon, my phone rang. I'd just gotten home from two disheartening auditions. I was feeling sad and depressed and under-appreciated by the New York World of Theatre. "Hello?"
"Hello, Frost?"
"Yes?"
"This is Name-Changed from Name-Changed-For-Privacy-Purposes Casting. You auditioned for me yesterday -"

My heart literally leaps into my throat and I look over at Poompy, eyes wide, and start waving my hands frantically, gesturing for a pen or something to write with. I start mouthing "CASTING DIRECTOR" and he trips over his own feet trying to get me a pen.

"Anyway, we really loved you and we'd like to see you tomorrow for a call back. Can I email you the script?"

Deep breath - I'm hyperventilating at this point so I have got to take a deep breath before I start talking. 
"Sure! That'd be great!" I am impressed with myself for sounding so calm and relaxed. We exchange info. I check my email and The Script has arrived. I spend the rest of the afternoon reading the script and falling madly in love with it. I memorize my sides. I disect them. I study them. I work on them all night. I am perfect for this role. I am the only girl for this role. I have already been cast in this role because I am meant to play this role, I tell myself. I spend hours chanting, over and over to myself, every positive thing I can think of. Poompy gets up with me the next morning at 8 a.m. and helps me run lines, gives me notes, discusses character choices. He makes me coffee and breakfast, he walks me to the subway train. I'm a half hour early to the audition. I'm calm and collected. They call my name. I walk in. The minute the director sees me, his entire face lights up. I do my audition and I FUCKING NAIL IT. I AM AMAZING. The director hugs me afterwards. "YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL!" he gushes. The casting director, who up until that point has been totally blase, stands up to shake my hand. 

"Are you in NYC permanently?" He asks.
"Yes... of course. Why do you ask?"
"818" he replies.
"OH! Yeah, I haven't lived here long and haven't changed my number yet.* But I am definitely here permanently." I reply.
"Good," says the casting director who casts for BROADWAY, by the way, "Because you are really wonderful."

I leave the audition walking about four feet above ground. As blissful as a girl who's just been kissed by her dream guy on the second date.

For the next 24 hours I'm checking my phone compulsively. Every time it rings, my stomach turns over. Will he call? Will he call? Why hasn't he called? When's he gonna call? It went so well, he should call, damn it!

About 4 p.m. the next day he calls. "Frosty! Hi! It's Name-Changed... listen..... we'd like to see you again...."

I take down all the info, unbelievable because my hands are shaking so much. I call Poompy and it's all I can do not to start screaming. I'm at work so I have to keep it together. But if I was at home I'd be leaping around crying with joy.

I read the play three more times that weekend. I study the new sides. I memorize them. I work on other scenes from the play because I think it will help deepen my character. I research stuff I don't understand. I work my ass off. I feel, for the first time in over a year, like an Artist. 

The second call back is Monday. (A little over one week ago.) Poompy gets up with me again, we have the same sort of morning we had for the first call back. I'm superstitious so I want to try to duplicate the morning as much as possible. But I'm ready. I'm ready to nail it.

I show up, again half hour early, totally prepared, calm, thrilled. The guy that has been called back for the role of my brother actually looks like me. I am thinking this to myself when the woman whose been called back for the role of the maid says to us, "You two really look like brother and sister!" I so have this job.

They call my name. I walk in. The director's face lights up again. He introduces me to the writer who is also starring in the show, and the producers. We do the scene we did last time, I totally nail it, they are laughing in all the right places, I feel great. We do the new scene. I did it exactly the way I'd worked on it. I am feeling really good. When I finish.... nothing. They smile, thank me, that's it. Over. I leave.

That was nine days ago. No calls. Nothing. I thought they liked me? Is it because I didn't perfectly duplicate my morning ritual? Did I somehow sabatoge myself? Is it because I spent too much time working on the script as a whole, and not working on the actual scene? I had made some pretty strong character choices - maybe they didn't like the choices I made? But then, why didn't they ask me to do it a different way? Did they just decide to go with someone who has a "name"? Is it because I've never worked in NYC before? Did they think I looked too old? Couldn't they at least call me and tell me why I wasn't good enough?

It's like when the dream guy never calls again after the third date. And you spend days analyzing what it is you must've done wrong.

It'll happen one day. I found my dream guy, right? I'll get the job, too.

*I'm going to be changing my phone number, shortly after Sept. 7. I can't do it before Sept. 7 because... well.... WHAT IF THEY CALL???

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Sweatshirt.

I have this sweatshirt. I bought it at the Salvation Army in 2002, while I was in college. I think it cost $3.00. I bought it to cover up my body, because I was a little bit chubby at the time and I was ashamed. It's dark heather grey, a pull-over with a hood and a pocket in the front, the kind you can put both your hands in at once. A kangaroo pocket. I called it my "fat shirt". It's big and baggy and I wore it religiously, every day, no matter the weather, because I thought no one could tell how fat I was underneath it.

Shortly after I bought it, because I thought it would be funny, I wrote "I'd rather be dead" on the front of it in very small letters with a black sharpie. It caused a huge controversy at school that led to one of my teachers calling me on a nightly basis to make sure I was alright, as well as practically mandatory counseling sessions with the school counselor. (All right, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't just the sweatshirt that caused this. It was also because when asked what I was grateful for in a class exercise one day, I said I was grateful that "suicide is always an option" but I was only trying to fuck with my classmates, whom I loathed. It worked. A little too well.)

"I'd rather be dead" has faded now so that one can hardly read it. Some time ago I ripped holes in the cuffs so I could hook my thumbs through, almost like the sweatshirts sleeves turn into little mittens at the end. Fingerless mittens. There are bleach stains all down the left sleeve, from the time Jackson caught Parvo and we had to bleach the whole house. The pocket is torn on the right side, it's ripped halfway off, but I don't care. In fact, all the seems are frayed and pulled apart. There are holes in several places too, but I barely notice them. It's my favorite sweatshirt. Still. Even though it is no longer necessary to hide underneath it, it still feels like the coziest thing in the world to pull it on. It's not even soft anymore. It's been washed so many times the inside of it is scratchy. But I don't care. I ignore that. If I was a teenager, my mother would beg me to throw it out, but I would refuse. If I was a dude, my girlfriend would beg me to throw it out, but I would refuse. I'm certain that the only reason Poompy hasn't asked me to toss it is because he has a t-shirt that is in similar condition, which he wears almost as often as I wear my sweatshirt. It's long since lost it's aesthetic appeal, but I love it still. It's just so comforting. It's like slipping on an old friend.

But I wonder.... what is it exactly that I'm holding on to? I own several other sweatshirts, all much nicer, softer, very comfy. It certainly doesn't look cool or fashionable or even cute. It looks like a fucking disaster. But I wear it anyway.

How often do we find ourselves holding on to things that we don't really need? What about relationships? How often do we stay in friendships that we don't really belong in anymore? Do I hold on to things and people that I should really let go of? Is it possible to grow out of a friendship, but fail to be aware of it? The way I've grown past this grimy old sweatshirt, but refuse to part with it? What do you do when the only thing holding you together is a hidden stash of dusty old memories?

What do you do when you suddenly realize that someone you've grown up with isn't who you thought they were? Or you realize that you are no longer who they think you are? And for the first time, you notice all the little ways they have boxed you in, refused to see you changing, refused to believe that you may not be the child you once were. All of a sudden it's glaringly clear that this person's expectations of you are so low, it's actually insulting? How do you continue in a friendship with someone who absolutely cannot see past the past?

At least I still feel comfortable and safe in the sweatshirt. In the friendship, I just feel trapped.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sigh.

Sometimes I just want to start over.

Friday, August 17, 2007

F#$k Irony

The casting call for one of my auditions next week states that the casting director is looking for:

"Versatile actors with great comedic chops and a strong sense of irony."

I am most certainly versatile. I'm a freaking chameleon. And I definitely have great comedic chops. I mean, you all know I'm like, one of the funniest people ever. Right? Totally. I mean, just read any one of those blogs I post after I've had a bad day where I write 8,796 overly-emotional words on how miserable I am and how sad my pathetic little life is. That's some seriously funny shit, right? But as for a strong sense of irony. Well. I don't even know the definition of irony.*

So I ask Poompy.

"What is irony? I mean, I know that it's not 'ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife,' even though that's what Alanis Morisette said. And I know it isn't 'meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife,' either. Because after she came out with that song everybody ripped her apart for calling things ironic when they really weren't. So what is it?"

Poompy pauses. 
"Well...." he begins, "it's difficult to explain. It's better if I give you an example..." another long pause.

"Is it like, when the guy who's always been too afraid to fly but finally gets on a plane for his first time ever and kisses his wife and kids goodbye and then the plane crashes and he dies?" I ask.

"No, that just sucks. It'd be more like if he got on the plane and then had a heart attack and died. But the plane landed safely." is his reply.

I'm not satisfied. So I pull out my trusty dictionary and read aloud to Poompy:

Ironic:
1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is opposite of it's literal meaning;

2. Literature.
a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude, opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.

b. (esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

3. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

4. the incongruity of this.

5. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.

6. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

"Right!" Poompy is excited. "Totally. It'd be like if I met this great girl and we fell in love and got engaged and showed up for our wedding day - "
"And it rained???" I gasp.
"No, that would just suck," Poompy says, aggrieved. "If we showed up for our wedding day and the girl's ex-boyfriend was there and she locked eyes with him and married him that day, instead," Thoughtful pause. "No. No, that actually isn't ironic either,"

We sit in silence for a moment. Then Poompy tries again.

"If I told you that you are really ugly, that would be ironic. Because you aren't ugly."
"So, then, it's like sarcasm?"
"No. It's different. It's ironic when you say the opposite of what you mean."
"Isn't that sarcasm?"
"No....," he sighs. "OK. If a person went in to have surgery on a massive brain tumor and the doctor's weren't sure if the person would survive the tumor, but they did, and then a week later they died of a heart attack,"
"Oh, OK. So, as long as there is a heart attack involved, then it's irony?"

Poompy just stares at me.

"If I told you you were a bad actor, it would be ironic." He tries again.
"That would just be mean," I say. I am exasperated now.
"No, it would be irony."
"It would be mean."
HUGE sigh. "Ok, so.... if a guy was afraid to drive because he'd recently had a bad car accident, but then he decided to drive one day but he had a heart attack behind the wheel and crashed."
"So then it does have to do with heart attacks!" I am triumphant.
"No.... fine. He doesn't have a heart attack, he has a stroke."
"Um.... is this why I've known a lot of people who have secretly confessed to me that they don't understand what 'irony' means?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you obviously can't explain irony, and no one else can either."
"I've been explaining it, for nearly the last hour! You just don't understand!"
"I understand Perfectly. I understand that you can't tell me what it is to be ironic!"
"I'm done talking to you."
"No, I'm done talking to you! Hmph!"

And with that, we cross our arms over our chests and sit there in frustrated silence.

A few icy moments pass. And then, from Poompy, "You wanna order pizza?"
"Totally!"

And with that, the subject of irony was forgotten completely. Until this morning. When I woke up and realized I still hadn't figured out what irony is.

So..... I ask you this: Is it, or isn't it ironic that, try as we might, neither of us could truly define irony? I think it is. Of course, I may be wrong. After all, there were no heart attacks involved.

*I can just hear some of you now: "She doesn't know what irony is?" laughs condescendingly, "that's unbelievable. Everyone knows what irony is," And to those people I say, "Then Give Me A Decent Example of it, Jerkface!"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

People Watching

I like to watch people.

I think everyone likes to watch other people, but for some reason it feels really taboo. Doesn't it? I mean, everyone likes to do it, but we're all terribly afraid of getting caught.*

I've gotten very good at staring at people discreetly. On the subway, I watch people by staring at the windows of the subway train and watching their reflections. I know. Super clever. The rest of the time I just watch out of the corner of my eye or I pretend I'm reading something but really I'm staring at someones feet and listening in on their conversation. That's the best. Listening in on people's conversations.

Last Sunday morning (afternoon) Poompy and I had brunch at this diner that claims to be The Best Diner in Manhattan, but actually isn't. We were all ready to have a wonderful, relaxing, leisurely brunch. Our first brunch in nearly two months. We settled in, ordered coffee (warm pond water) and were happily engrossed in a gushy young-lover-esque conversation that was going something like, "I love you!" "No, I love you!" "Well, I love you More." "That's impossible, silly face! I love YOU more!" when three people and a baby stroller entered the diner and were seated at the table next to ours. We didn't really think anything of it at first. I mean, I really only noticed them because of the baby stroller.** They were a mama and papa, probably in their early thirties, with a tiny sleeping infant in the stroller, and a girl who might have been the mama's little sister. She looked kind of like the mama and she was probably only about 20. At least I hope she was 20. If she was any older than that, she ought to be sent to Mars. And not because she was really smart and insightful and you know, capable of creating a new world on Mars or anything. But because she was so awful and stupid and obnoxious that she shouldn't exist on earth at all. Except saying she shouldn't exist is mean, so I am saying she should be sent to Mars. At least if she was only 20 I could chalk up her behavior to youthful ignorance. But if she was older than 20, someone needs to go. And by "go", I mean "away". And by "away" I mean, "put to a slow and painful death". Oh. Did I just say that? Total type-o. I meant, "sent to Mars". But I digress.

This girl was so awful she made me want to stick my fork in my eye. What could possibly have been so bad about her? you ask. Well. For starters. Her voice. Imagine the sound of a thin sheet of metal being bent in half. Add a half a cup of 78 chickens in a hen yard, a tablespoon of screeching tires, and a dash of fingernails on a chalk board. Oh, and turn the volume up as loud as it will go. That's what her voice sounded like. And she completely dominated the conversation at the table. She dominated the conversation at her table and my table. She was the only one of the three adults at her table who said a single word during their entire meal. Even Poompy and I couldn't talk over her. And she didn't shut up once. Here's an idea of what we got to listen to during our relaxing brunch:

"....so, he's really cute and everything, but I just don't think he makes enough money. I mean, he drives a Jag, but it's like, from like, 2003. The guy I went out with last week hadda '07 BMW and it was nice an' everything, but like, I really wanna go out with someone who like, drives a Bentley. I mean, that would just be the best. Cuz I look really pretty in a Bentley. And besides, like, he only spent about $100 on the dinner and then he wouldn't even buy me - oh I forgot this part. I saw these really cute Manolo Blahnik's when we were walking to dinner - can you believe he wanted to walk? I totally can't stand people who walk. Like, what losers. Anyway, so I saw these Manolo's and I was like, 'oooh, they're so cute! You should totally get these for me!' and he was just like, 'we should get to the restaurant so we're not late for our reservations,' or something. And I was like, 'just let me try 'em on, we can cab it to the restaurant,' and he was all, 'we should really get going,' or something. I was soooo mad. I totally deserve a new pair of Monolo's. I work so hard! I have to have a man who will recognize how hard I work and buy me Monolo's. I mean, can you believe he wouldn't even let me try them on???"

At this point, the baby in the stroller wakes up and starts whimpering. The girl pauses, with a disgusted look on her face, leans into the stroller and:

"Awwwwww! Why is he so sad? Why are you sho shad widdle baby? Are you teeving?" To the mama, "I bet he's teething. Have you ever gotten him a teething ring? Do you know what a teething ring is? My friend's aunt had a baby and she got him a teething ring because he was crying. I think it like, hurts them or something. And like, having something to put in their mouths makes them feel better, or something. You should totally get him a teething ring! Maybe after this, we can go shopping and I'll buy him a teething ring! He would look so cute with a teething ring! You have to make sure you keep it in the freezer. I don't know why, but it's like, because they like cold things. Babies like cold things. It's really good for them. Especially in the summer. It's sooo hot outside! He should have like, lots of cold things. Do you ever give him bottles with like, cold water in them? I bet he'd really like sparkling water! If I had a baby, I would only let him drink Perrier. Because that's like, the best water. Perrier and Evian. I would totally give my baby Evian. Oooh! Do you breast feed? That is SO gross. Are your boobs all saggy now? That is so nasty. I would totally never do that....."

And on. And on. And on. And on. Poompy and I watched in horrified wonder as the mama and the papa spent the entire meal staring at their plates, quietly eating, carefully restraining themselves from reaching across the table and punching her in the mouth.

You know, now that I think of it, when Poompy and I first sat down, there was this pleasant looking couple at the table across from ours. They got up and left pretty abruptly after we ordered our coffee. You don't think it had anything to do with the whole, "I love you," "No, I love you MORE," conversation do you? Because that's cute, right? People enjoy listening to that kind of thing, right? Don't they? Not so much?

*Except for those people who have absolutely no shame and choose to openly gape at me, despite the fact that they are clearly giving me the creeps. And I say "clearly" because they continue to stare at me even after I've given them a withering look and told them to fuck off.

Well, maybe by then they feel like they have a right to stare at me since I've just behaved like a crazy person and we all know that it's perfectly alright to stare at crazy people.

**When I see a baby stroller, or a baby for that matter, my uterus starts doing cartwheels. I can't help it. It's biology. I don't even really have to see the baby or the stroller. It's as if my uterus can sense there is a baby near before I even see it, let alone hear it. If the baby is crying, it's all over. When a baby cries my uterus practically crawls out of my body, trying to go lend comfort to the wailing infant.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Death to Cookies

I love my Poompy. I really believe I have the best Poompy in the entire world. This morning, my Poompy got up at 8:00 a.m. - on his day off, mind you - and followed me around the house while I got ready for my audition, to help me run lines. Then he packed me a lunch to take to work. Then he walked me to the subway station, carrying my ginormous bag the entire way, so that I wouldn't be tired and sweaty when I got to my audition. He actually offered to do that for me, that is how much he loves me. He's unbelievable. I'm unbelievably lucky.

However.

When he packed my lunch, he included a white-chocolate-chip-with-dried-cherries cookie that is the size of my head. Did I mention that the cookie was huge? I'm using the past tense here because.... well.... it no longer exists. Because I ate the entire thing. I want you to know that the cookie was only in our house because I was saving it for him. For Poompy. There had been two cookies - they were free with our first order from Fresh Direct* - and I had already eaten one of them. I saved the second one for Poompy but he thought it would be nice to put it in my lunch today and then I ate it. The whole damn thing. And now I feel like a beached whale and I'm blaming him.

I went to the gym this morning at 7 a.m. But alas, it was for naught. For now I have eaten The World's Largest Cookie. It's kind of like I didn't go to the gym at all. Except I did go to the gym. I just ruined it all by eating that detestable cookie.

Death to cookies.

*Fresh Direct is a gift from God. You order all your groceries online and then they bring the groceries to your apartment! They carry your groceries up your three flights of stairs! It's wonderful. Does this mean that Poompy and I are real New Yorkers now? Because we have our groceries delivered? Before you know it we'll be eating at Pastis on Wednesdays and swearing at Cabbies.

Wait. I swore at a Cabbie yesterday. He started turning right on my walking signal and nearly ran me over. "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!" I screamed, "It's MY FUCKING RIGHT OF WAY, DICKWAD!" I guess I should go to Pastis tonight.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My First Tornado

Check it out - Poompy and I survived our first tornado! Actually, Poompy may have lived through other tornado's. I've never asked him. But this was definitely my first one!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Scream in the Night.

When I first came to NYC I was absolutely certain that I'd be on the look-out for my life on a regular basis. I had heard endless stories about muggings and stabbings and all sorts of wonderful things. We've lived here for nearly six months now and I am surprised to say that I think it is the safest place I've ever called home. Which is why it was so shocking to be woken up at 12:30 a.m. to the sounds of a woman screaming absolute bloody murder. 

I had just begun to doze off when I heard what sounded like a dog or a small child screaming. It was quiet and far off at first. I strained my ears to determine if it was human or animal. It began to get louder and closer. The chiremlin's ears perked up and a low whine began in her throat. The screaming got louder and closer. About a minute had passed since I'd first noticed it - a constant, throbbing, high-pitched scream. 

Poompy sat up in bed and said, "What the fuck is that?" 
"I don't know. Is it a person?"
"I don't know. Where the fuck are my glasses?" We have filthy mouths.

I hand him his glasses but he's already out of bed. He's scrambling to put on his clothes. The screaming is much louder now. It sounds like it's coming from the courtyard below our apartment building. It's definitely human. A woman. Screaming. Not even stopping to breathe. Just screaming, endless screaming. A horrible, gut-wrenching, gurgling sound unlike anything I've ever heard before. I grab my cell phone. My hands are shaking. The dog is growling deep in her throat. I dial 9-1-1. The dispatcher answers.

"I think someone near my apartment building is being stabbed or something horrible - something horrible is happening - a woman has been screaming for about 2 1/2 minutes now. I don't know where she is - "

And suddenly the screams move. They are no longer coming from outside. They are coming from underneath me. They are in the hallway below my apartment.

"Oh my god! It's in my building!" I am too scared to try to stop the sob that is climbing out of my throat.

And then, before I can stop him, Poompy tears the phone out of my hand and he's out the door.

"DON'T GO OUT THERE!" I cry at him. But he's gone. He's in the hallway. Shirtless, shoeless, he's down the stairs. I throw on a robe and before I even tie it closed I'm in the hallway. I'm down the stairs. There's no way in hell I'm letting him go out there alone.

The screaming is moving down the hallway, it's on the first floor, it's out the front door. I can hear Poompy on the phone with the dispatcher, giving our address and cross-streets. Then he says, "I see her! She's... she's screaming and she's with a man, he's trying to quiet her down... no it looks like he's comforting her. I think... I think she's just drunk. The guy looks embarrassed - no, I don't know them. They're leaving. They're - they're walking away. They have their arms around each other and they're walking away. I think everything is OK."

And with that, the screaming fades away into the hot August night. And then, and only then, every door on the first floor opens and our neighbors poke their heads out and ask, "What's going on? Is everything OK? I was too scared to go out there, I thought someone was being murdered!" Our super comes up from out the basement shaking his head, it was just some friend of one of the guys who lives in the basement. She was drunk and threw a fit. It was nothing. Everything is fine. Go back to bed. Strange how a sound in the basement can seem to come from outdoors.

I checked my phone to see how long we were on with the 9-1-1 dispatcher. Nearly three minutes. I didn't call 9-1-1 until the screaming had gone on for nearly two minutes. That woman screamed like that for almost five minutes and we're supposed to believe that nothing was wrong? But she's gone now so what can we do?

Poompy and I go back upstairs and I immediately start in on him. I'm furious. 
"How could you have gone out there? What if someone was being stabbed? You could've gotten hurt! That was so stupid, how could you -" 
But he cuts me off with a look and the fire in his eyes tells me I had better shut up and he says, "If you were being attacked inside our apartment building and not a single person came out to help you -- yeah it's great if they sit in their apartment and call the police, the police would be there in minutes, but that's minutes more you'd be getting attacked without help -- if NO ONE tried to help you -" he's shaking his head and his eyes have filled with tears but he doesn't have to finish the sentence because I've already wrapped my arms around him. He's my hero. I tell him that. "You're my hero."

We crawl back into bed and I lay there thinking he's right. Not a single person in the entire building bothered to come out and see what was going on until they heard Poompy's voice in the hallway. Until they knew everything was OK. Poompy's the bravest man I know. And then I hear him chuckling to himself. 

"You're the bravest girl I know," he says, smiling.
"What?? ME? I begged you not to go out there! I was terrified!"
"Yeah, but you followed me out there. You ran out after me! If someone had been stabbing someone and they'd tried to hurt me, you'd have gladly jumped on their back and ripped out their eyeballs, wouldn't you?" He said it like he already knew the answer. It wasn't even a question.
"Well... yeah. I learned how to gouge out eyeballs in self-defense class in 8th grade. It's not like it's a big deal or anything." I'm grinning.
"It was stupid for me to go out there. I could've put you in danger."
"No way. You were right. If it was me in the hallway, if I was being attacked, I'd be forever grateful to the guy who was stupid enough to try and help me. You're a hero."
"You're my hero. You'd stop at nothing to protect me. You're like a lioness watching out for her cub."
"Does that make you my cub?" I'm really grinning now.
"I guess so. Lioness."

If I'm his lioness, he's my lion.

I love you, Lion. Forever and ever.

If you are easily offended....

I have to thank Perez Hilton for exposing this ridonculous website. I am personally offended. I can't get my jaw out of my lap. www.wholesomewear.com is a website for a company that is trying to put us back in the 1880's. Sure, sure, they're just trying to cover up women's bodies at the beach by "highlighting the face, rather than the body". But that's just where it starts! It starts with beach wear and the next thing you know, Roe vs. Wade is gone (which it already is in several states - help I'm choking), women have lost the right to vote, birth control is illegal, vagina's are the root of all evil and we're all wearing burqua's.

ARRRRGSDFKLASJ;DFOWIEURPKKKKRAJSDLLLKGRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That's me screaming in type.)

For the record, there is nothing wrong with a woman's body and vagina's are not the root of all evil, nor are breasts women's way of stealing men's attention from God. There. I said it.

I was doing laundry at my local laundry mat the other day and there was a woman in there who was wearing a burqua. I'm sorry, what country am I in again? A woman in NYC wearing a burqua and gloves. It's 92 degrees outside, 95% humidity and she's in a laundry mat with no air-conditioning, wearing a burqua and gloves, doing her laundry while her husband (or was he just her chaperone?) sits behind her ordering her around. Then the guy turns to me and starts to order me around, telling me that I'm not doing my laundry right, I should do it THIS way, not THAT way. He kept stepping in between me and the washing machine to tell me what to do. I wanted to punch him in the face. I felt like he was certain a woman is incapable of doing anything on her own. Plus, he lets his wife wear a burqua. I'm genuinely sorry if it seems like I'm being insensitive to someones religious preferences or something. I don't intend to negate another person's religious beliefs. But why, in America, in 2007, are women still being forced to cover their bodies? Maybe I'm a little too sensitive. It's true that I can't think about my vagina without cringing. And now there's a company, an American company, devoted to coming up with ways to hide women's shameful bodies. We're supposed to be moving forward! Evolving! But instead, we're going backwards. I blame Bush. It's always Bush's fault. Damn Bush.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I won't whine about it anymore. I'm serious this time.

Last night I witnessed an unbelievable, completely insane, stunningly gorgeous summer-time thunder storm. I've never felt rain pounding the earth like this. I've never heard thunder so powerful. I've never seen so many lightening flashes, over and over and over again. Poompy and I spent a good portion of our night running up and down our street, twirling and whirling with our faces upturned to the furious storm. Laughing. We couldn't stop laughing. We'd gone outside to watch the lightening storm - we'd started out with umbrella's and a faint determination to be grown-ups and stay dry but within minutes both of our umbrella's had turned inside-out and collected pools of water in their tops. And by then we were soaked to the skin and we didn't care. It was lovely. Simply lovely. The air felt so cool and fresh. The thunder sounded like movie sound-effects. Lightening flashed six or seven times in a row before allowing the sky to grow dark again. It was absolutely magnificent. A gift from the heavens.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I am the unlicked cub.

Excerpt from Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley.

Bradley: I'm gonna tell you a little story.
Victor: Oh, please don't.
Bradley: Once there was a great big pregnant bear.
Victor: Are you really doing this?
Bradley: And after a painful labor, she gave birth to seven baby bears.
Victor: Seven.
Bradley: So she was very tired.
Victor: Sure.
Bradley: And she looked at her seven babies, and they were all gooey and slimy with afterbirth. And in that miraculous way that Nature has built the bear, she felt in her heart a tremendous welling up of material feeling.
Victor: Maternal feeling.
Bradley: Right. And this maternal feeling filled her with strength, so she licked and licked and licked her babies, one after the other, rendering them clean and fresh and beautiful. That is until she got to the seventh little bear. Right then, she ran out of gas, hadda seizure, and dropped dead. Muerto. And the six, well-tended little bears, with their beautiful brown coats, shed a tear, a tender tear, and bounded off into the woods. To have wonderful lives. And the seventh cub, the unlicked cub, went into show business.



I am not sure why, but somehow I am the unlicked cub. Not just because I chose to go into show business (well, let’s be honest here. I didn't really choose to go into show business. I mean I did, but seriously, my other option was an early death and since I seem to be some kind of a survivor or something, I chose show business) but because I am terribly self-defeating. It’s a daily struggle. Not to be self-defeating. It’s much easier to trash my self-worth than, you know, feel good about myself. (In case you haven't noticed) I've been really negative lately. That’s the unlicked cub in me. The good news is that I’m pretty aware of it, so I’m trying to counter the negative crap with some positive, flowery, butterflies-and-rainbows crap. Sometimes it works. Other times, not so much.

We all remember the miserably humiliating audition I had a week and a half ago. I was still so shaken up from that experience that I managed to completely sabotage my audition this past Monday. Let me take you back to Monday morning so you have an idea of how I treat myself. I got up that morning and I started to get ready for the audition. I ate a nice breakfast. I warmed up my voice. I took a shower. And then I looked in the mirror and I said, “You are so ugly. Your face is disgusting. What’s wrong with you? You’ll make a complete idiot of yourself if you go to that audition today. You’re pathetic. Moron. Idiot. You’re fat too. Just so you know. Ugly and fat. And disgusting.” Meet my inner-monster, Dip Shit. Dip Shit is the one with the vocabulary of a sixth-grader who says all those mean things to me whenever I look in the mirror. She isn't even creative about it. I hate her. But she managed to keep me in front of the mirror for over an hour, rambling on and on about what a disgusting, ugly, nasty, worthless-piece-of-human-flesh I am. By the time Poompy woke up, I was a tearful lump on the bedroom floor and I refused to go to my audition. Picture this: Poompy standing over me while I crouch on the bedroom floor crying that I can’t go to my audition because I’m too fat and ugly. Reading that as I type it, I see how ridiculous it sounds. But our words have a lot of power and I let myself ruin my day. However… an interesting thing was in the works. Is in the works.

I recently had a dream about Sandra Oh, who is an actress I have a lot of admiration for, where she sees me in a play and comes up to me afterwards to tell me that I, little old me, am her favorite actress, that she has all kinds of respect for me, and that I inspire her. And then she promises to always be in the audience for any performance I ever give, every time, ad infinitum. It was a truly fantastic dream. I tell my mom about it and then forget I ever had it. Then I get an email from Mamacita and she p.s.’s “What do you think that dream about Sandra Oh is about?” and I don’t answer her. But it gets me thinking.

Tuesday night Poompy met me at work to walk me home, just for fun. We decided to walk across and down through Central Park, even though it is longer, because it is so lovely. Walking through Central Park is heaven. It strips me of any sorrows or stresses or frustrations. We held hands like young lovers as we walked. We stopped at Turtle Pond and watched the turtles. We stopped at Bethesda fountain and sat beneath her and talked. We marveled at Cleopatra’s Needle. By the time we were back in Hell’s Kitchen I was totally relaxed and comfortable. So Poompy asked me what was going on and why did I sabotage my own audition the day before? I couldn’t answer. But I told him about my Sandra Oh dream. He asked me what Sandra Oh means to me and I told him he’s turning into my father. (My dad is wonderful at dissecting the meaning of dreams. But that’s always his first question when you tell him about a dream: What does [insert subject of dream here] mean to you?) Poompy ignored my smart-ass remark and reiterated his question.

When I think of Sandra Oh, I think of Dr. Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy. Dr. Yang is my favorite character on the show. She’s f-ing awesome. She’s a total hard-ass. She doesn’t let any personal crap get in her way, ever. Being a surgeon is her number one priority. Nothing gets in her way. Nothing. She fights tooth and nail to make sure she gets in on all the best surgeries, all the best cases. She’s a total Lion. She knows she’s a brilliant surgeon. She knows she’s the best intern at the hospital. She knows she’s got more talent in her little finger than 99% of the world’s best surgeons. And she’s not afraid to tell people exactly that. She’s all like, “Screw you! I’m the best surgeon in this hospital! Blah!” She’s not pompous or self-absorbed, she just knows these things about herself because they are true. And no one second guesses her because they know she’s right. She’s honest about everything, too. She’s not afraid to tell people Exactly What She Thinks. She doesn’t give a shit about what people think of her. She doesn’t cover up her feelings out of politeness. She doesn’t bend over backwards to please other people at her own expense. If she were auditioning for Broadway shows, she would not even think about letting an accompanist tell her to change her audition piece just as the audition was starting. I envy her. I envy everything about her. She’s my secret-fantasy of myself.

So I tell Poompy all of this. And he gets this very serious look on his face. And he says, “You know that Christina Yang is you. In the dream. Every one in your dream is you. So, there is a part of you that is just as strong and forward and honest and hard-assed and confident as Christina Yang. And that part of you came forward in your sub-conscious, while you were asleep, to tell you that she admires you. That she thinks you’re talented and wonderful. That you inspire her! The part of you that is Christina Yang has just promised you that she will never leave you. That you are so captivating that she must be present for every single one of your performances.”

It’s kind of thrilling to think that there is a part of me that is Dr. Christina Yang. And even more thrilling to think that that part of me actually admires the rest of me. So maybe there is a part of me that is a little monster, a nasty little monster with a tiny vocabulary and nothing nice to say. But if I know that there is also a part of me that is Dr. Christina Yang, I think I can survive this. I know I can survive this. I will survive this. I will survive. One day, all these little trials will make for some awesome chapters in my biography. I just have to remember that.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I think she might be a little near-sighted.

Poompy was walking the chiremlin through Central Park the other day when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, she starts to freak out. Growling, snarling, pulling at the leash, foaming at the mouth - she went from Sweet Mutt to Rabid Beast in under five seconds. Now, we are used to having to keep a tight rein on her when big dogs are near. She loves small dogs, but she always tries to start fights with bigger dogs. She's an instigator. But Poompy couldn't see a single dog anywhere. He couldn't figure out what she was so upset about until he noticed a life-size statue of a sled dog. He let go of her leash then and she raced at full speed toward the statue, shackles up, teeth bared, fierce as fierce could be. Just as she was about to sink her teeth into the bronze throat, she skidded to a stop and began sniffing the air. And then she walked away. As if nothing had happened.

And just for that, here are a couple of photo's of the little bitch looking particularly fiendish.