Saturday, February 28, 2009

Louis Vuitton would not be impressed.

Once upon a time, I worked at a medi-spa which specialized in non-invasive fat and cellulite reduction treatments. The medi-spa was run by a physician who, long before I arrived, had put into place some very strict yet necessary protocol regarding new clients. This protocol involved the obtaining of a potential client's credit card number in order to secure his or her appointment. Any time a client gave their credit card number, they were told that they would be charged the full fee for any appointment missed, if they failed to cancel or reschedule a minimum of twenty-four hours prior to said appointment. Every client, new and returning, was given this information over the phone and in all emails confirming and reminding them of their appointments. When I came to work for the spa, I took this protocol very seriously.

One morning, this strange woman walked in. She looked to be in her early to mid-twenties. She would have been pretty except that she had dried green crust clinging to her nostrils and a vacant look in her eyes. She was dressed well and she was carrying a brand-new Louis Vuitton bag - one of those bags that's so big it could hold the kitchen sink, only this one looked sunken in, as if it were empty. The woman walked up to my desk, staring and unsmiling. She was breathing through her mouth and from where I was sitting I could smell her sour breath. I inched my chair backwards because I didn't want to catch whatever bug was making her face look like a neglected preschoolers. All that dried snot was extremely unsettling.

"Can I help you?" I asked.
"I want my money." Snot Nose had been staring at me for at least twenty seconds and she hadn't blinked yet.
"I'm sorry?"
"You stole from me." Her lower lip began to tremble.
"I don't.... I don't understand."
"You stole from me three hundred dollars!" She was nearly shouting. "I make appointment and I cannot come from school and you steal three hundred dollars! I am very poor! I want my money!" If she's so poor, I thought, why is she carrying a Louis Vuitton bag? 

I asked for her name and when she gave it, it was as if she'd hit a refresh button on my brain. I knew exactly who she was and why she was accusing me of having stolen three hundred dollars from her. 

A few weeks before, she'd sent an email through the spa website asking for an appointment. She explained that she was a student at NYU, new to the U.S. and "very fat". She lamented her weight and her feeling that she had no time for exercise and no money for healthy food. She mentioned several times that she was "very poor" but willing to spend the money on the treatments if we thought they would work for her. Lastly, she requested that all communication be via email as her English was not very good and she found it much simpler to communicate in writing. 

My first thought was, if this woman is so poor, why is she spending money on these fancy treatments? Seriously. It's like Octo-Mom spending California tax dollars on acrylic nails and Starbucks runs. Not smart. But it's not my place to judge, so I wrote the woman back suggesting she schedule a free consultation with the doctor to determine how well the treatments might work before she just jumped in and started spending money. She wrote back that she didn't want a consult, she just wanted to get treatment started. When I replied to set the appointment I stated, in very clear terms, our cancellation policy. I explained that her credit card would be charged $150 if she did not cancel or reschedule a minimum of twenty-four hours prior to her appointment. She wrote back, "No problem!" and gave me her credit card info. 

She never showed up for her appointment. I sent a courtesy email expressing our regret that she did not cancel in a timely matter and that I had no choice but to comply with our standard policy. And then I charged her credit card $150.

A few days later, she emailed again, apologizing for missing her appointment and asking to set up a new one. No problem! I set up the appointment and, again, reminded her of the costly cancellation policy.

She did not show up for that appointment, either. I charged her again. And now she was standing in front of me, green encrusted snotty nose, quivering lip, Louis Vuitton bag, and all. And she was accusing me of stealing from her. And she was staring at me as if her eyes were poisonous laser beams that would blow me into a pink mist.

I took a deep breath and began an attempt to explain the situation, from the spa's point of view. By the time I finished, her whole body was shaking. She was clutching her Louis Vuitton bag to her chest and her eyes were screaming with fury. She did not shout, but there was a terrifying ferocity in her voice and she spoke through clenched teeth: "GIVE ME MY MONEY! GIVE ME MY MONEY! GIVE ME MY MONEY! GIVE ME MY MONEY!"

It suddenly occurred to me that she might be the type of person who would carry a sawed-off shotgun in her Louis Vuitton bag. I thought it might be time to call 9-1-1. Just as I was reaching for the phone, our cute FedEx guy opened the front door. 

"Good morning!" Cute FedEx Guy called out. The entryway is narrow and Snot-Nose was blocking his way. 
"Excuse me, miss" he said. He was pushing a dolly loaded with boxes and trying to get past her. She did not move. Her scary laser-beam eyes were locked on mine. I was trying very hard not to look as scared as I felt. 
"Miss, I'm sorry, I need to get by." Cute FedEx Guy tried again. And then it was as if a spell had broken. Snot-Nose gasped, turned on her heel, and rushed out the door. I let out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding.

Cute FedEx Guy unloaded his boxes, I signed for them and he left. I was on my way back to the physicians office to tell her all about Snot Nose when Cute FedEx Guy poked his head back through the door.

"Miss Frost? You might want to lock your front door. That woman who was just in here? She's standing on the corner screaming bloody murder." And when he turned to leave, I could actually hear it all the way down the block, the blatant shrieking of a savage lunatic. But then again, what is New York City without a deranged, snot-nosed weirdo screaming on the corner?

Friday, February 27, 2009

That's what you get.

One of the best pieces of advice my father has given me is: If you want to be a top student, always sit in the front row. Of course, I was a teenager when he said that to me, and too young/ignorant/bull-headed/self-conscious (take your pick) to pay attention to him. I'm much smarter now, so when Mike started school in January, I passed my father's advice on to him. And seeing as how Mike is much older/wiser/more confident/cooler than I was at 13, he actually took it.

On Tuesday he called me from school to tell me that several of his classmates had come up to him while he was studying in the library to ask for help with their homework. And they had said things like, "You're so on top of it, man. How do you do it? I want to be the kind of student you are." I could hear him beaming through the phone.

Wednesday he came home with an A on his health quiz and an extra hop in his step.

Thursday he came home with an A on his English paper and a story about the girl who sits behind him who asked if she could read his paper so she could "see what a good example of an A paper looks like."

Today he came home from school with an enormous, shit-eating grin on his face.
"How was school?" I asked.
"I sit in the front row in all my classes, right?" he begins. He looks so giddy I think his head might explode.
"Right. Because you're smart."
"Right. So, usually I'm the only person in the front row. But today, all of a sudden, there was a kid on either side of me."
"Yeah. And they were both LOOKING AT MY WORK."
"Like, copying off you? Are you sure?"
"Oh no! You're gonna end up being that dorky kid with the glasses who hovers over his work and hides it under his arms so no one can copy! I hated that kid!"
"Well, actually, I just wrote in all the wrong answers."
"Yeah. We were doing this kind of quiz where the teacher writes all these equations on the board and we're supposed to work them out on our paper and then he calls on us randomly to go up and put our work on the board. So I just wrote down a bunch of random numbers that didn't make any sense because I knew I could wing it if I got called to the board. But the guys on either side of me copied exactly what I'd written and then, they both got called up to the board where, of course, they just wrote what they'd copied from me."
"Oh my gosh." 
"So of course the teacher nails them because not only do they both get the wrong answers, but their work doesn't make any sense. And I just start laughing. One of the guys looks at me and says, 'Dude! What happened?' and I said, 'That's why I'm not the teacher' and my teacher starts laughing too."
"But why would you do that?"
"Because I'm pretty sure no one will want to copy off me again."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From the mouths of Poompys.

I'll admit it. I'm kind of amazed by how positively affected I am by my husband being a full-time student. I'm a little (slightly) (no, really, only a little) (ok, maybe VERY) possessive of my "alone" time with Mike and I was nervous that once he became a full time student while working a full time job I wouldn't EVER see him. But it actually seems like we spend a lot more quality time together now, even if it isn't as much time. Something about making the most of what you've got. Funny how that works. Plus, it's really a thrill to see him so happily involved in something. So excited about something. So interested in something. One of my favorite things lately is to sit in the living room and work on the laptop (read: pretend to work while I sit and watch him) while he's doing his homework. He's super sexy when he's studying. I don't know what it is.

All this being said, I have been equally amazed at his stamina and how happily he runs from class to studying to work and back again, with no complaints and a huge smile on his face. So I asked him. How do you DO it?

"Whenever I start to get tired or I don't feel like doing my homework, I imagine myself at 60 years old saying, 'Would you like a dessert menu, sir?' and then I can't study hard enough."

Whatever works, baby. Whatever works.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tonight on ABC at 10/9c

Sam (Jason O'Mara) recognizes a killer from the future and must stop him now - in 1973. With a little help from Penny (Patricia Frost), he just might be able to.

Hope you can tune in! But not to worry. If you miss it, it will be available on for free. Episode 12 titled 'The Simple Secret Of The Note In Us All'.


What would he do if I had the hiccoughs?

Me: I really am not happy with this new haircut. I mean, I always hate my hair for a few weeks after I get it cut, but usually I like it by now.

Him: Did you know Iran launched a satellite successfully?

Me: I just think the layers are too.... layer-y.

Him: If Iran can launch a satellite successfully, they can easily develop a ballistic missile system.

Me: I wonder if I should go back and have her touch it up?

Him: Their rocket is capable of launching long-range weapons. That means they are getting really close to becoming a nuclear power.

Me: (Long pause.) Are you telling me that Iran is getting ready to possibly nuke us?

Him: Yup. And the U.S. isn't doing anything about it. The news is covering Octo-mom and ignoring Iran.

Me: Why are you trying to scare me? I probably won't be able to sleep now.

Him: But at least you're not thinking about your hair.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Third post today? WHAT?

I know I can be verbose, so I'll keep it short and sweet. I just wanted to point out that Hawk and Strawberry Cup-Kate BOTH have their interviews up! And love them I did. I had a hard time coming up with questions because I wanted to be thoughtful, but they did a beautiful job of answering!

Thanks again to People In The Sun for getting this all started. Fun it was.

My brother-in-law's acting career takes off!

You almost can't help it. If you live in LA, at some point you do some acting. This is my brother-in-law, Mike's brother's, acting debut. 


It's not going anywhere.

A few weeks ago I read She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan. It's an incredible memoir about a transsexual man embracing his female-ness and making the transition to womanhood. It was a riveting story and I devoured it in two days. However, the night I finished it, I could not sleep. I lay in bed tossing and turning, surprised by how angry I felt at the author. I am all about people having a choice about what they do to their bodies and I fully support transsexuals who want to change their outer gender to match how they feel on the inside. But this woman had a wife and two sons and while I wanted to be supportive and understanding, as a married woman myself, I couldn't help but feel like she cheated them out of a husband and father.

Finally, after an hour or so of heavy sighs and twisting myself in and out of the sheets, Michael's tired voice came out of the dark.

"What's going on, baby?"

"Ugh! That book! I'm so mad! I just... I feel like her wife got such a raw deal. I just don't think I could stay married to you if you came up to me one day and said, 'Hey, I know I've never mentioned it before, but I'm really a woman on the inside so I'm going to have my penis removed and made into a vagina.' I would be heart broken! I just don't think that our marriage vows included 'through sickness and selective gender transition'. Am I a horrible person??"

By this time Michael was sitting up in bed and he took my face in his hands and stared into my eyes very seriously and said:

"Pumpkin, I would have both of my legs, both of my arms, both of my ears and one of my eyeballs removed before I would cut off my penis. You have nothing to worry about."

Monday, February 23, 2009

No, but seriously. Seriously.

Have you ever wished for something only to realize after the fact that you had it all along? Maybe you didn't have exactly the very thing you were wishing for, but what you had was pretty damn close? Like in that South Park Christmas episode when the boys are really upset because they are so busy saving the world that they miss their annual Christmas adventure? Or the one where the boys are battling aliens who've stolen their game console, and the whole time they are talking about how bummed out they are that they're not at home shooting aliens on their game console?

Recently I reconnected with my seventh-grade best friend. (Thank you, Facebook!) She's doing great. She's married to a fireman, she has a Real Grown-Up Career, she and her husband own a two bedroom house in a nice suburb outside of L.A., and they are trying for their first baby. They have my dream life. She asked what I was up to so I told her all about our bitchen, how our tenement is only 12 foot steps from the front door to the back wall and how we lie in bed at night listening to the ceiling disintegrate. I told her about pounding the pavement, the daily rejection, and how we're so broke we never know whether or not we can afford food. And she replied: "You are living my dream life." I was like, WHAT? ARE YOU CRAZY?

And then I had this flashback. November, 2006. I'm sitting in my cozy, sun-drenched kitchen, in my beautiful Hollywood bungalow, across from my 100-grand-a-year-earning husband, crying into my soup about how unhappy I am and how I would just be happy if I could live my dream of moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway. He says: we'll be broke, it will be hard, we'll spend a lot of money on a tiny, crappy apartment. I say: I don't care, it will be an adventure, it will be totally worth it.

Fast forward two years. February 23, 2009. Present day. The two-year anniversary of the Cross Country Move. Interior tenement apartment. Girl writing email to friend, bitching about how much she hates her life. She pauses, suddenly, realizing she is living the exact life that two years ago she claimed was her dream life.

How quickly I take for granted the things I once spent so much time pining for. Sure, my dreams have changed shape, but they had the freedom to do that because I accomplished the goals I set out for earlier. And how awesome is that? I've spent most of the last two years complaining about how hard and horrible everything is, instead of enjoying the adventure of it all. Yes, it's been hard. But I think it's time for me to quit my whining and learn how to pat myself on the back for checking goals off my goal list. And it's definitely time for me to start enjoying where I am right this second. I won't be on this adventure forever. Before I know it, I'll be looking back on this period of my life as something I did in my past. As my wise mama always reminds me, all we have is this moment right now. Love it. Because it too, shall pass.

Happy Anniversary, Dream Life. I'm sorry I said all that mean stuff about you before.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When You Are Real

For a while now, I've wanted to start posting photos of my embroidery projects. I think I'll start now.

Adam's older sister is expecting her third baby this summer. They don't know yet if it will be a boy or a girl. Adam asked me to embroider a onesie for the new baby and we decided on a story book theme. Here is a photo, right before I applied the pattern I created to the onesie. (Click for a bigger view.)

The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my all time favorite stories. It was read to me by my mama when I was little and I will most definitely read it to my children. It has such a bittersweet, beautiful message.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Monday, February 16, 2009


People In The Sun posted this interview recently (it's kind of like an interview-game) and I thought it was nifty, so I asked him to interview me. Are you really surprised? Isn't it clear by now that I really, really enjoy talking about myself?

Here are the rules for the game, in case you want to play too. (And I kind of really hope you do.)

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

And the interview begins... NOW.

1. Do you have a name you want for your first child?

Apple Martini. JUST KIDDING. I have a whole list of names, dude. It used to be all "unique" (read: lame) names, and names of rock stars and characters from books, but now it's almost entirely all family names. I love Gabriel, Jakob, Elliott and Caleb for a boy but those are not family names. I have a cousin named Jacob, but that is not the same as Jakob. Even though I pronounce it the same way. Girl family names are: Frances, Eva, Vivienne, Marguerite, Suzanne, Reba, Milan and Michelle. Boy family names are: Milan, Frances, Royal, and Eugene. My husband has threatened to divorce me if I name our son Eugene, Frances or Elliott. He says our son will be an outcast. I say he'll know how to throw a great right hook.

2. Are you going to live forever? Are you gonna learn how to fly high?

I don't know about living forever, but I am definitely learning how to fly high.

3. What role were you born to play?

Oooh. Miss Julie in Strindberg's Miss Julie. Maggie in After The Fall. Georgie in Spike Heels. I always dreamed of playing Emily in Our Town, but I think my chance for that has past. Kate in Taming Of The Shrew. Lady Anne in Richard III. I'd love to play Lulu in Wedekind's Lulu and I dreamed of playing Wendla in Wedekind's Spring Awakening, but I'm too old for that now. Sorry, I know you only asked for one. I could go on and on and on.

4. Is blogging a pastime or is it something else you can or can't name?

It started out as a pastime, but now it's something else I can't quite name. My husband and my father think I will make my mark on this world as a writer, not an actor. I have no idea where life will lead me but I'm open to all the possibilities.

5. Is living in New York still as romantic as it was on your first week there or is it just another place to pay bills and breathe tar?

Oh gosh, no. The romance is almost entirely gone. But it's not just another place to pay bills, either. I feel like a guest here. Probably because I've finally admitted to myself that I have no intention of living out the rest of my life here. Los Angeles is home and I want it to stay that way. That being said, as I wander street to street in this metropolis, I am constantly struck by the beauty of it, the sharpness of it, and I cannot believe I am lucky enough to live here, if only for a moment.

P.S. WATCH LIFE ON MARS ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25. I play Penny Margolis. You don't want to miss it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It breaks my heart

Best video I've seen all year. Even though it reduced me to a soggy, crying mess.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY. Let's keep love alive, people.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Go Fetch

The last couple of days have been particularly windy in the NYC. And when I say windy, I mean that even with an extra ten pounds of meat on my bones* I am having a hard time keeping my feet on the ground. It's been several days since the dogs have had any real exercise because, lets face it, I'm a lazy slob. Or else I just don't love them. I do, after all, let them fish their food out of the litter box. Hey, you know? Poop is like their chocolate. Who am I to deny them such a decadent pleasure? If that's not proof of my interest in their well-being, I don't know what is. 

This morning I was feeling livelier than usual so I decided to peel myself off the sofa and take the dogs to the park to throw a tennis ball around. Of course I forgot our tennis ball, so I was forced to throw one of the matted, feces speckled tennis balls already in the park.  You know the kind. It's been slobbered over and chewed on by so many different dogs it's hardly recognizable as a ball anymore. It's lost it's circular shape and most of  it's green fuzz. If it were a velveteen rabbit, it'd be real. This seems to make the ball all the more appealing to Valentine, and she's jumping around in circles, eagerly anticipating my throw. I draw my arm back and Valentine races towards the other end of the park. She likes to get a head start on the ball. I swing my arm forward and release the ball. But the thing is, not only do I throw like a girl, and not only has the chewed on lump of rubber lost all the qualities that once made it aerodynamic, it's really windy out. Really windy. The ball does not head in the direction I've thrown it. Instead, it launches right for Valentine and conks her in the back of the head.  She reels forward and all four legs go out from under her. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" I cry out. I jog over to her and crouch down to make sure she's all right. She responds by wagging her tail and nibbling my nose. Let's try that again, I think. I pick up the ball, she does her happy dance. I hold the ball over my head and she races to get her head start. I launch the ball into the air, the wind picks it up, carries it right to her, and she gets another smack in the head. "Baby, I'm so sorry!" I call out, as if she understands English. I rush over to her and stroke her face, scratch her ears, apologize. She nibbles my nose and my ears and wags her tail to let me know all is forgiven. I reach for the ball slowly, not sure she's still up for the game. The tail-wagging doubles in time. I  stand up and bring the ball over my head and this time, she hangs back behind me. Girl catches on quick. I raise the ball over my head and launch it. She stands about a foot behind me and watches as it sails through the air. "Go get the ball!" I say, excitedly. And then she turns and looks at me and I swear to God, if she had the proper set up she'd have said, "You get the ball, Bitch."

*We'll talk about that later. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Open Letter To The Asshole Who Doesn't Know How To Walk Down Stairs

Dear A**hole Who Lives In My Building And Doesn't Know How To Walk Down Stairs:

This afternoon it dawned on me that I owe you an apology. For nearly two years now, I have been quietly cursing you on a daily basis. Sometimes I curse you several times a day. At first, I just prayed that you'd be ripped from a peaceful sleep the way that I was when you stomped up and down the stairs every morning. Then, as I became more and more exhausted thanks to your uncanny ability to wake me up an hour before my alarm goes off every morning, I started praying that you'd break your legs and fracture your fingers. I realized I'd gone too far this morning when, at 6:00 a.m., I asked God to have someone wearing a ski mask smash in your skull, rip out your eyeballs and shove them down your bleeding throat. Just because you live your life with absolutely no regard for other people doesn't mean that I have to. I am sorry that I sunk down to your level. I mean, it isn't your fault that every time you stomp your way up and down three flights of stairs you scare the bejesus out of every dog in the building so that each one starts barking insanely, creating a cacophony of canine yelps that continues for thirty minutes after you are well out of ear shot. It's the fault of the people who have the dogs! Including me! What was I thinking when I adopted those furry friends? I should've known I'd never rest peacefully again, not when a neighbor might feel the need to stomp as loudly and heavily as possibly on each of thirty-six steps. You know who else is to blame, other than you? The building itself. For being so old and having such loud stairs. Of course, no one else who lives here makes as much noise as you do, except for that guy who is always slamming his front door. Except for him, every one else is pretty quiet. But I digress. From now on, you have my word that I will not wish you a slow, painful death. From now on, I will pray that you be killed quickly and swiftly. By someone wearing very heavy cleats.

Your Neighbor Who Hates You.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sometimes I'm kind of a dirty hippie.

My adored Kitty wrote this on her blog and so I was inspired to respond.

This past September I had the opportunity to fly to Washington State and spend a week with family I had not seen in a very very long time. Three of those days were spent in Olympia, WA, visiting my beloved cousin Angie, her husband Matt, their chihuahua Chip, and their 8 week old baby girl, Olivia.

Angie and Matt are probably some of the most seriously laid back, chilled out people I have ever met in my life. It is my ultimate goal to be as calm and easy going as they are. Angie is so laid back that when I arrived in Olympia, she handed me her new baby and did not ask for her back for the next three days unless Olivia needed the boob. I couldn't believe someone had trusted me with their infant. I was in heaven. I called it "New Mommy Fantasy Camp". All the good stuff without any of the waking-up-400-times-a-night stuff.

My first evening there, Angie let me put Olivia to bed. I was forewarned that Olivia would cry, long and hard, for a good while before finally zonking out. But not to worry! That is just her nightly routine. All I would need to do is bounce, coo, rub her back and let her cry. So, after her bedtime feeding and burping, after I changed her pants and once she started her nightly bawl, I started rocking and cooing. I was alone in the nursery with Olivia, and she was crying and crying and crying and crying. Screaming. It sounded like someone had just killed her puppy. Actually, it sounded worse. It was starting to make me nervous. I held her away from my body and looked into her little face, twisted with agony, and I didn't see a baby crying. I saw a person grieving. And it hit me, all of a sudden: Olivia is mourning her past.

I have always believed in reincarnation. Say what you will, but I've known too many little children who relate exquisitely detailed memories of lives lived long ago. Things beyond a toddlers imagination. I believe that when we are very small, we are still connected to our earlier existences and that as we grow and age, our minds become clouded with our current lives and everything else is pushed away. It would have to be because how could we function with the weight of our past lives on our shoulders?

As I looked into that tiny, beautiful, sorrowful face, my heart broke into a million little pieces. I pressed her to my bosom and held her there, sobbing with her, gasping with her, grieving with her. Until, at last, she heaved a sigh far too big for her tiny body and collapsed into a deep, sound sleep.

We endure so much in our lives. Even those of us who seem to have everything, who seem to be the golden children, we endure so much. Even in the easiest life there is heartbreak, humiliation, loss, distress. And the wonderful blessings that we have are worth our tears. The love that we've experienced, the joy we've known, all that is worth grieving once it's gone. And then, to start over from the beginning, not knowing what is ahead, not knowing what will happen next, even that is something to endure. And how wonderful it all is. Whether we are wallowing in shit and misery or dancing in a starry spotlight, at least we are alive.

Monday, February 09, 2009

25 things you didn't need to know, but now you do.

Everyone of Facebook is doing this chain letter thing where they write 25 random things about themselves that they think no one else knows. I wasn't going to do it, but then, a lot of people I really love did it and I actually learned new things about them, so I decided to do it too. And then I copied it and pasted it here. Because, why not?

1. I couldn't figure out how to use the 'note' function on Facebook. But then I did.

2. I used to fantasize about living in a place that snowed. Now I fantasize about living in a place that is sunny and warm year-round.

3. My ovaries talk to me every day. They say, "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A BABY, BITCH?"

4. I think if I had a really good camera that I'd be a really good photographer. But maybe that is wishful thinking.

5. I'm painfully shy sometimes and other times I am anything but.

6. I love boys. I feel more comfortable around men than I do around women. I think it's because I grew up mostly with boys.

7. My expectations of other people are so high that I am usually disappointed.

8. I am trying to learn not to have such high expectations of other people.

9. Those people who meet my expectations, or surpass them, become my idols.

10. Sometimes I think that all I want to be when I grow up is a mama.

11. The head casting director of a certain network once told me that I am not worth $5,000. And then I got a job on her network. Das Right. Suck it, I said.

12. I love my family more than anything else in the world. And then I wonder, "So why the EFF do I live so far away from them?" It's because I just have to, right now. They understand.

13. I recently gained ten pounds. I believe I should hate myself for it, and punish myself for it, but secretly, I like how my body looks right now.

14. My husband and I blame our pets for our bad behavior. Someone gassy? Blame a dog. Someone eat all the cookies and not save any for their spouse? Blame a cat. And then we berate them for freeloading. Why don't they get jobs and help out with the rent already?

15. I like the smell of dog breath. I also like cat breath.

16. I get really irritated when my husband leaves his clothes on the floor, but I don't mind if I leave my clothes on the floor.

17. Recently at dinner with friends, I announced: "Oh my gosh, you guys. Do you realize that we're GROWN UPS now?" To which my friends responded: "TRICIA, YOU SAY THAT ALL TIME. YES, WE'RE GROWN UPS. GET OVER IT." I didn't realize I said that all the time. But I think it a lot and it totally freaks me out.

18. I write a blog and I entertain fantasies about it becoming really popular, garnering thousands of readers, and one day supporting my family with its ad space. Like Dooce.

19. I think it's ok that I'm afraid of butt sex. I'm grateful that my husband is not interested in butt sex. I understand why guys like butt sex but I don't understand why girls like it. I, myself, have an intact behimen. I think talking about butt sex is funny. I like words like behimen, resipoo, anal-ease, etc. (That was like, five things, wasn't it?)

20. I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, and I'm totally ok with that.

21. I moved from L.A. to NYC nearly two years ago. Before I left, I said I was moving to pursue a career on Broadway. Now that I've been here for two years I realize that I really just moved because I needed to grow up. I was too comfortable in LA. Life was too easy. I think that moving to NY has been one of the best things I could have done for my spiritual growth. That sounds way cheesier than I meant it to.

22. The highlight of my day is often the email I get from my mama.

23. I enjoy balancing my checkbook, but only when we're not broke.

24. I love to type. I type really really fast. I would love to get a job as a typist.

25. I aspire to be a much better person than I actually am.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's not the worst thing I've ever done, but it might be the straw that broke the camel's back.

For the second time in three weeks I've spent the last two days fighting off some horrible, nasty bug. This time it's in my intestines. I'll spare you the gory details. When I finally rolled out of bed at 2 p.m. today, I couldn't tell if I was still feeling so horrible because it had been 48 hours since my last meal or because I'm really still so sick. Is that jackhammer pounding away in my skull a part of whatever is eating my intestines or is it because I haven't had a cup of coffee in two days?

Last night at work I was actually feeling so feverish that I think I had a hallucination. I don't know how else to explain the woman who appeared before me as I was trying to close down the office. She looked to be in her seventies and she was wearing a black coat and a garishly printed scarf. Thinking back, it could've been a Pucci scarf. Adam is always pointing out these really hideous articles of clothing people are wearing, things with geometric patterns in colors like puce and mustard yellow and neon pink and saying "OH! That's a real Pucci!" And I'm like, "Really? Someone paid decent money for that? It looks like what came out of my ass when I did that colon cleanse last year." Maybe Pucci is Italian for Pukey. I'm getting distracted. So she's wearing this horribly bright scarf, it's actually making my headache worse, and she's got this crazy little hat on, something with fur and lace and a couple of dead birds. Her make-up is caked on so thick I'm wondering if she's ever actually washed her face or if maybe she just adds more to yesterdays base every morning before she leaves the house. Her eyes are lined in black liner so thick it's scary, her eyelashes are gooped with mascara and her hot orange lipstick is seeping into the wrinkles around her mouth. Her appearance alone is startling, but then she's just kind of standing in front of my desk, swaying gently from side to side, staring at me. I didn't see her walk up or anything, I just looked up and there she was. Staring at me.

"Can I help you?"

"You don't know me. I don't know you. I was robbed today on the subway and I need money to get home." She points to the drawer where we keep the cash register. "Can you give me something?"

"Oh, wow. That's terrible. I'm so sorry. I don't carry cash."

It just pops out of my mouth: I don't carry cash. The truth is, I think I have at least five dollars in my purse, but there is something about this woman that is creeping me the EFF out. I'm watching her sway in front of me and wondering if I should risk offending her by reaching over and locking the door to the reception area so she can't come around. She's just a little old lady in a bad outfit, but something ain't right. And I definitely did not like the way she pointed at the cash drawer.

"I got robbed today on the subway and I don't know how to get home. I guess I'll just have to sleep at Penn Station. Unless you can give me some money." I swear she's staring at the cash drawer, but I can't be sure.

"Did you call the police after you were robbed?"

"No. The police don't care. This is New York."

"Well, why don't you call the police and file a report now? They'll give you a ride home afterwards or at least give you a taxi voucher or something."

"This is New York! They don't care! I live in New Jersey! I just need five dollars. Can you just give me five dollars?" Now I really think she's staring at the cash drawer. But I'm feverish so maybe I'm just being paranoid?

"I'm sorry, I don't have any cash. Don't you have someone you can call who can come pick you up?"

"I'll just sleep at Penn Station. Unless you can give me some money."

The whole time I'm talking to her, I'm thinking about my mom. What if it was my mom who got robbed and had to sleep in a train station because she had no money to get home? What if it was my mom asking some girl for a little bit of cash so she wouldn't have to spend the night in a train station and that girl was being a bitch and wouldn't give her any? The thought of my beautiful mama having to sleep in a train station is too awful, so I'm thinking maybe I should figure out a way to help this woman. Except the thing is, #1) my mom doesn't look or act like a crazy old lady. Except when she wants to for fun. #2) My mom would CALL THE POLICE THE MOMENT AFTER GETTING ROBBED. 3) My mom has lots of family members who would drop whatever they were doing to pick her up if she were stranded somewhere, so she wouldn't have to ask strangers for money. I'm also remembering those parables (is that the right word?) from the bible where they talk about the angels going down to earth and acting like sick beggars to see which humans are kind and which are greedy and I'm totally paranoid that God is testing me and that I'm failing. But this woman is creeping me out. And now I'm starting to get mad because I think she's putting me in a really awkward position. I'm starting to feel like this whole "I'll just sleep at the train station" business is a tool of manipulation.

"I don't understand why you didn't call the police after you were robbed. They'd have set you up with a way to get home."

She stares at me blankly for a moment and blinks her goopy painted eyes. "Because I was robbed. I didn't have a quarter for the payphone."

"You don't need a quarter! It's free to dial 9-1-1!"

Just then, one of the therapists comes around the corner. I breathe a sigh of relief because I suddenly realize I'm not alone in the building with this creepy woman.

"Hey, Jackie! This woman was robbed today."

"What? How awful!"

The woman starts jumping up and down. "No, no, no! I don't know her. She can't help me. You don't know me!" the woman is practically yelling at us.

"I don't know you, but I've seen you around before." Jackie replies.

So the woman sways over to Jackie and starts telling her story, how she just needs five dollars, etc. I lock the reception door and stealthily reach into my purse to check my wallet. I figure I'm better off giving her my five bucks and getting her to leave, than having her sway in front of me for the rest of the night. But I also don't want her to see me looking in my purse because I still feel like something is off with her. She's really creepy. Did I mention that?

"I'm sorry," Jackie is saying, "I really don't have any cash. You need to call the police. They will arrange a ride home for you."

I find three singles in my wallet, but that's all. "Excuse me, Ma'am?" I say. "I found three dollars in my wallet. That will help, won't it?"

She looks up at me, startled. "Where'd you get that?" she snaps.

"Um, in my wallet? I just thought I'd double check to see if I had cash and I have three dollars."

"That won't do me any good, will it? I need five dollars. Not three. This is ridiculous." And with that, she storms out of the office. Just like that. I mean, could she have been any more anti-climactical? Seriously? I thought for sure she was going to pull a gun out of her bag or put a hex on me at least. But that's it? She just leaves?

"OK, that was really weird." Jackie says. "I felt bad, but that was weird."

"WASN'T IT?? There was something totally off about her!"

"Yeah. Something was weird. But I'm pretty sure she works here. I've seen her around before."

"She WORKS here? Like, she's a therapist here? Are you sure she isn't someone's patient?"

"No, she's a therapist."

Did that actually happen? The whole thing was so bizarre it kind of seems like a dream. And I genuinely hope she didn't spend the night at the train station, but I mean, if she was really so desperate, why didn't she take my three dollars? Then she'd only need to get a hold of two more. And why didn't she call the police after getting robbed? And why did she wait until 10:15 p.m. before trying to figure out a way to get home to New Jersey? And also, if she was an angel sent by God to test me, am I going to hell now? Because I really think God shouldn't send creepy angels to test us. I mean, seriously. At least play fair, you know?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Reminds me of my college years.

This little kid has just had his tooth pulled by the dentist and he's still feeling the effects of the gas. Watching it was like living in the dorms again.

Happy Birthday, Adam.

I remember exactly the first time I laid eyes on the man I would marry. I remember the first time I saw the girl who would become the best girl friend I'd always dreamed of. But I can't tell you anything about the first time I met Adam*. My first memory of him takes place after we'd already met and become friendly, sometime during our first year at Cal Arts. It was dinnertime and we were sitting in "the caf" at a table in a little alcove that looked out over the balcony. There were probably five or six other kids at the table - it was our usual dinner group. I must've been eating stir fry that night because at one point I thought it would be funny to fling a spoon full of rice at Adam's face. Not that stir fry makes me want to fling rice, I'm just saying I had rice available and I thought it would be funny to fling it. That was right around the time that everyone thought it was funny for Amanda to call me "Bitch" instead of "Tricia", so I figured everyone would think it was funny if I threw food around. Turns out I was wrong. Adam was so mad he jumped up from the table and stormed off. He didn't even finish his cheeseburger and fries. I felt like a world-class jerk. I was afraid he'd never forgive me.

Ten years later he is the only person from that table I still talk to, and yet, I can't remember how we met. I can't remember how I got him to forgive me for that rice incident (though I can say that he absolutely HATES it when I tell that story - sorry Adam!) and I can't remember anything about how our friendship grew over that first year in college. But I know that by second year, we were inseparable. I remember long nights playing solitaire on his computer, sitting on his lap and laughing for hours. I remember karaoke at Mulligan's, the only place in town that didn't check ID's. Even back then, and still to this day, when he sings I go weak in the knees. I remember movie nights and deconstructing Shakespeare together and driving around Stevenson Ranch aimlessly. We did two shows together that year and we were in all the same classes. He gave me the worst haircut I've ever had in my life and then he called his boyfriend who came over and gave me the best haircut I've ever had in my life. He was one of the only people I could count on to steer clear of drugs, but he didn't judge me when I experimented. He showed me the beauty in real designer bags. He stood up as my best man when I married a gay boy and then he held me together when my heart was crushed into a million pieces (multiple times). He threw me one of the best birthday parties I've ever had. I've lost sleep over his broken hearts and tended his black eyes and cooked his dinner. He's treated me to cocktails and defended my honor and soaked up my tears with his sweater. When I married my soul-mate, he accepted this new man as his brother. When I was getting ready to move across the country he came over and cleaned my apartment just so we could spend a few extra hours together. We know how to push each other's buttons and we know how to admit it and apologize when we've hurt each other. He's the perfect friend for a wild night on the town or a cozy night on the couch. He is as loyal and protective as a mama bear. When we're together our bellies ache from all our laughter. He waits outside the bathroom for me when we're out and he doesn't answer his cell phone when we're spending time together. We worry over each other and confide in one another and adore each other. We are so alike that sometimes I would swear we share the same genes. When he moved to New York, I told him he was God's gift to me. He cried and said no one but his mother had ever called him a gift from God. But that is what he is.

I don't know why I can't remember meeting Adam. It seems almost as if one moment I did not know him, and the next moment he was so absolutely enmeshed in my life it was as if he'd always been there. As if all of my life before, there had been an Adam-shaped empty space and when we finally collided, we fit together so perfectly that there was no need for a recognition of a specific moment of meeting. We just joined hands and kept going, laughing all the way.

Adam, you are my brother. Happy Birthday, beloved.

*Adam is Archie from this story. When he read it he was all, "Why didn't you use my real name??" He's even as much of a narcissistic exhibitionist as I am. I love him.