Wednesday, December 31, 2003


the reckoning.

i remember at the close of last year, the best one looked me in the eye and said, "well. 2002 didn't suck." although it sort of started blue, it was also the year she and her man became inseperable, she moved near the city of her dreams, and i met the monkey. she's right, it really didn't suck.

it strikes me that i'm ungrateful. i'm doing an unscientific poll, here, about the most recently past year, and coming up with incredibly good things. if the last last year was the year i fell in love, this last one was the year i stayed in love. which is what i really wanted all along. and it's the year i did something frightening, finally, and as pale as the new life sometimes seems when it's held up to the fully-developed ektachrome one i left behind, it's really quite fine. i'm still worried about work, both the kind that pays and the kind that satisfies (and also the maybe magical unicorn kind that does both), but overwhelmingly, this year has been full of stuff i maybe should have been more grateful for.

if i can name what a year is for, i might name the next one the time of Getting It Done.

luck, everybody.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003



they want to see the blog. i mean, the job people. who might hire me. it's a job that has to do with search engine stuff, and they work with blogs, and i think they're only sort of generally mildly curious.

but, man. i'd like to show them, but then i either have to change the URL or never, ever, ever write about work. the job guy said it was okay if i didn't want to share, although it sort of feels weird to tell him i won't share.

help me, rhonda. what would jesus do?

i mean it. suggestions welcome.



the interview went well. however, things are always going well, and then i think a certain thing is going to happen, and then maybe it doesn't. see also, the audition i had the week before christmas, and when i used to date people.

when i got home, after visiting the monkey for coffee and dogwatching between his split shifts, there was an email waiting for me. it was a pleasure to interview me, and i have a writing assignment. Due Monday. i could look at this as an affront to my proven ability, but i'm feeling good and perhaps i call it a chance to exhibit my mastery. anyway. see you jokers later. i got homework.


it's back.

we got home last night, and everything is more or less the same as i remember home to be, except same feels better than i remember. the apartment smelled clean and good, and stretching out on our own bed was like taking a comfort pill. it's even warmer in here than i recall. we let it all hang out and ordered some japanese food. to top it off, i slept. not perfectly, but well. for those of you playing along at home, the insomnia continues its impressive winning streak, but last night i slept..

and, i have a job interview today. no rest for the wicked. time away made all of these very small resolutions in my heart--not the kind you immediately break and then feel shitty about, just small ideas about how better to build a life out here. time away is good. and then you come back.

like i said, good news.

Thursday, December 25, 2003


to all.

good night, and for those of you who are wondering? or trying not to wonder?

there's good news. there's good news to be had. not about anything specific, but just in general: there is some good news. i promise.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


did i just say you can't go home again?

oh, yeah. AND: my mom took me to the mall with her to do some last minute stuff, and then walked me around the bon marche homestore picking up MULTIPLE SPECIFIC THINGS that were each the TRASHIEST THING IN THE STORE, saying, "isn't this cute?"

one of them was a snowglobe with jesus and mary and joseph in it. i said, pained: "mom, that's just wrong." she demanded to know why. "well, it's sort of a dopey, indiscriminate mixing of the secular and the sacred. you know? there weren't, like, snowmen in bethlehem at the time of the first noel."

she actually stuck out her tongue at me and said, with a voice full of fourth grade, "how do you know? where you there?"


you said it, thos. wolfe

everyone who will live in the united states all their lives should at least move well out of their region once. i never realized how freaking bizarre the size of the grocery store in my hometown is. certain manhattan neighborhoods could fit inside the complex. you could push six carts abreast at certain places in the meat and fish department--department! it's more like a concourse.

and people smiled at me more. i can't quite form a theory about the whole "rudeness" question. it seems that there are two competing stereotypes: that new yorkers are the rudest people on earth, or that they're misunderstood and actually the least rude, in their fashion. neither really seems to be true; it's just an entirely different place. on almost any other continent it'd be three countries away from where i grew up, so perhaps it's not strange that i have a hard time picking up cues.

i'm so very glad to be home, subject to my parents' bad movie taste and gigantic house. we'll go to mass tonight, i'll see a few people i only see once a year, i will briefly and uncharitably congratulate myself on still being skinny, i'll need a kleenex during the our father and then i'll head home to sleep engulfed in a family love that strong enough--say whatever you want, or whatever i've actually said--to draw me to break stride during every orbit i've ever taken. everyone's healthy, and by tomorrow night, everyone'll be here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


will she remember me?

today, my mom and i visited the home of my oldest friend. oldest as in we've been friends since our moms were best friends and were pregnant together. but not in a creepy sorority way; we're both pretty interesting, cool people but we separated paths for a long time in school. mostly because she was gorgeous and a cheerleader and very good with people while i was a basket case with high grades and bad skin.

she's awfully cool now. she's extremely beautiful, but she wears it in such a completely guileless way that it makes absolutely no difference except how happy your eyes get when you look at her. she married this cool guy and moved around with him while he's learning to fly airplanes. i met him at someone's wedding three years ago. they seem entirely happy, and far more interesting than i guessed normal people could be. they're beautifully normal, except when i say normal i don't mean it like creepy the way i usually do.

i hung out with their first daughter, samantha, tonight. we cracked each other up. she gummed a cookie. i stroked her tiny, tiny foot. i told her that she should hang out with me when she can, as she gets older, because i will teach her to smoke and buy her beer and birth control. my friend laughed, but later she whispered: "seriously, i might take you up on the birth control. i'm not sure i can give her the talk."

and i watched her, with a baby on her hip in her mid-twenties, and it looked really good to me. i never thought it would. part of that is because she's so eye-stoppingly phsyically gorgeous, and i can tell i think that if i had a baby at twenty six i would magically look like that. and feel like what i think it feels like to be beautiful on the outside. but there's something else going on in her pretty face, too, a happiness . . . a satisfaction, that i envy. i would like for that baby to be all it would take to make me feel like i was doing what i should be doing, doing good, doing fine.

i would like to know what i could do that would make me feel, this is what i should be doing, i'm doing good, i'm doing fine. despite being happier inside my core than i've ever been, my outside feels like a flop. like something that didn't pan out. you know, like a dessert that you think is going to be fabulous and you work and work and then you eat it, and it's kind of like, well . . . i guess chocolate cake never really sucks . . .

i'll figure it out. but i wish there were less figuring.

Monday, December 22, 2003


the morning.

the best part is that as lovely as it will be to be home for christmas, right here in the last half hour before leaving for the airplane, i don't want to go. i spent all night when i should have been sleeping opening my eyes every couple of hours to watch the monkey, and scoot in two inches closer.

when i get home, the parents will have strung the tree with fishing line guy wires so that the cats don't knock it down, and my mother won't have everything wrapped and will want to do laundry, and my dad will be goofy glad to see me but will only talk about my car, and we're going to watch _roman holiday_ on the couch.

it's all magic.

Saturday, December 20, 2003


watch him.

friends, i don't know if you love mitch hedberg, but i do. i love funny people but i don't always love standup. mitch hedberg is like the funniest guy at your college party doing standup. friends of mine back in seattle know him, and i used to hit them up to have me over to dinner when he was in town. because i am sure he would make me laugh so hard something came out my nose.

he's on tv right now, and he just said, "if you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit." see?

see also maria bamford.


i had a small tantrum today after having to go to three totally shitty grocery stores to get supplies for tomorrow's cookie party. i believe i should be grateful for the apartment i have, full of love as it is, but i also can't wait to move. if i ever have the scratch.

but i'm liking the cookie party prep. i'm home alone, watching the mitch hedberg special, sometimes listening to jazz, baking gingerbread and chilling sugar cookie dough in the fridge. the monkey brough home fir boughs and we put them all over the living room. it smells foresty. in two days, i go home to where i'm from (where it actually is foresty) for some curling up and some regeneration. and someone loves me.

i remember wanting this much. and i was right to want it. it's nice.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


yes, ruth, there is a santa claus.

my former office buddy, sarah, occasionally forwards emails from her mother, ruth. i love ruth, although we've never met. ruth is a poet and a watercolorist. i think she's in her late seventies. in case you were wondering, this is what ruth wants for christmas:

>>Sarah, here is a Christmas list if someone insists on getting something.  I don't expect all of it, and I don't need any of it.  Except the pen.
Measuring cups like Maria's
Sanford ball point pens like Steve gave me last Chirstmas.  black, medium point
I pckg. computer printer paper
Humming bird feeder
Paper clips
Mink coat
Gold Spray paint
Small travel alarm
Lawn mower sharpened
Roll of chicken wire
Pierced ears  [next year]
l carat diamond earings
Frango chocolate
warm slippers.
Pruning shears
Long handled claw.<<

long handled claw.



it's seven days until christmas.

i'm always surprised how fast advent goes. i know everyone else thinks the prep starts too soon (like, october)--and i'm with them on the giant commercial signs and television spots and stuff like that, but i always feel i should start thinking about christmas earlier. it's my favorite time of year, hokey as that is, and i want full mileage out of it. i need more happy.

i interviewed at a new restaurant opening four blocks from us in queens. i was asked for my measurements, and was i okay wearing something tastefully slutty? "like the rockettes wear," she said. "like, a christmas skating outfit."

this restaurant doesn't open until after the twenty-fifth, so i'm not sure what's with special christmas outfits. much less skating outfits for cocktail waitresses. but i said yes. yes, i'm okay with looking like a skanky figure skater while doling out margaritas. that is what i've always wanted. thank god i moved to new york so this dream could be come a reality.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


about my global presence.

there has been job paranoia going on. i'm really scared about not finding a way to make ends meet when my unemployment gravy train ends in january. i've been applying for all sorts of appropriate and inappropriate work, much of which seems far lesser (in pay, prestige, cleanliness) than the work i had back home . . . but you know, whatever works.

yesterday, however, i got an email from a recruiter at a giant software company. this guy must have run a search on my old company's name and found my resume posted somewhere, because he's looking to fill an impossibly-technical-sounding position that has everything to do with the software of the last company i worked for. so he sent me an email asking if i was interested.

i am somewhere between 98 and 103% sure that there is no way in hell i can even fake my way through this job. the position has the word "technical" in the name, for one thing, and even though i worked at a software company, i was never very . . . technical. also, the email itself is a study in puke-making software marketing speak, from the "improving of enterprise value" to the "post implementation optimization and application/solution maintenance."

however, i really hope the recruiter does not google on those strings and see this post, because i wrote him back and was all, "yes, that sounds perfect. i am totally interested in ameliorating enterprise value. when can we meet?"

theory being, if someone's dumb enough to hire me for this job, i'm smart enough to ride it until they fire me. hold your thumbs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


it's nothing i can't handle.

last night, the monkey accidentally smacked me really, really hard in the eyeball with his elbow while we were making the love. for those of you who can't imagine how this happened, getting out of your cold-weather jammies in a hurry in the dark is harder and more ungainly than you think.

it was the weirdest sensation ever. i saw this explosion of white light, and then i started crying like a baby. it didn't even really hurt, it was just such an odd time to get hit with something. and right in the eyeball, man. there's no good time to get hit in the eyeball with something both blunt and sort of sharp, but during nookie has got to be one of the more disorienting ones.

anyway, i was sure i would have a shiner this morning, but i don't.

Monday, December 15, 2003


silent gag.

the monkey's sister sent us a christmas card--to us, with a particular note inside addressed to me, saying i must be something and she looked forward to meeting the woman who was making her brother so happy. in his mildly estranged family, this seems to be about the equivalent of asking to be my blood sister and giving me half a pendant printed with "-est -iends." i'm quite flattered.

what truly grosses me out, though, is that she included a photo of her four children. one, an infant, is wrapped--swaddled, even--in a white napkin; the eldest girl is holding him on her lap, a blue napkin on her head. the eldest boy has a green napkin draped over his head and has one hand protectively on his sister's shoulder. the little middle boy is in the background, also with a napkin on his head, looking upwards. one assumes, towards the star of bethlehem. the whole thing is shot in front of a snowy solid white background like they're at the portrait studio at sears.


Sunday, December 14, 2003


cheese on that?

i cannot get a job. bleh. worse, i don't want a job, or at least not this country's definition of one. i'm spending time and worry shopping for something i actually desire about as bad as a case of athlete's vagina.

i should be so lucky, i suppose. this neighborhood in queens is full of folks who have to schlep at ungodly hours to do work i'd never consider.

i guess this is why people temp.

Thursday, December 11, 2003


in which famous people spill coffee on their pants.

last night, the monkey and i were invited to a workshop of new plays, at the same theatre where we experienced the disastrous stank the night before. it's an ongoing series of work, featuring a handful of mentored playwrights and a few famous, established ones doing the mentoring. there were some actors reading and a lot of folks observing, like we were. it's not open to the public; you have to get invited by someone at the theatre. we felt so slick.

i don't know if you get off on being around famous playwrights, but i almost wet my pants. it was fabulous. david henry hwang put his coat on my my coat in the coat pile. even better, the four mentored playwrights who had their work read were each great. we haven't seen a lot of good work here, and so it was refreshing, and a large relief. also, the actors were very good. also, the artistic director beetled around introducing us to everyone as "extremely talented actors." well.

i think most importantly, though, i had the good new york feeling i haven't had in so long. you know, about how this is an incredibly specific, miraculous place where things happen that don't happen anywhere else. this playlab does NOT happen anywhere else, couldn't. you could have all the funding and the best intentions in seattle and it would never, ever happen. it's nice to live where the playwrights are.

then we got shitfaced in the mexican restaurant downstairs and watched a tubby middle aged playwright with food in his beard and a show currently on broadway get sort of low-level, lifestyle drunk and work to fascinate pretty twenty-something girls. then he got out a bottle of ritalin and passed out pills. as we left, he was trying very hard (you remember this from your sophomore year of college) to explain something very important about the magic of theatre to a playwright who only spoke french.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


hey, do you smell that?

last night, the monkey and i were involved in a reading and discussion of a new play, sponsored by a theatre here. the play was unspeakably bad. the playwright is a student at a writing program i had previously been interested in attending--and, in truth, it may be too early to write off the entire school, but boy, howdy. it was stanky.

the best part was that when i went to the cooler when we finished and were on break, the monkey followed me and then gave me the hairy eyeball while i was drinking my water. his eyeballs said, holy shit! mine said, i know! and suddenly i thought about how awful it would be if i didn't know. i mean, if we were in the same room while a pukey play happened and then i had to wonder what he thought about it. sometimes i envy folks who date civilians; it must be easier in a lot of ways--one stable income, no professional jealousy bugaboos, closer-to-normal schedules, lack of gorgeous cabaret-singing exs . . . but it is worth a LOT to know someone understands what stanks.

actually, we met (the second time, for real) doing a bad play. i'd forgotten that.

i'd also momentarily forgotten that an ex-crush of his, who happens to be blonde and very beautiful and have graduated from a very good MFA program i've auditioned for a zillion times, asked him to work up a cabaret with him.

yep. great.

i gotta work up my own thing. i have an audition in a week and a half that calls for a two-minute piece of my own devising that affects me personally and will communicate something of my "artistic self." i'm not even sure what that means, but any guesses are welcome.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003


selling my soul to dick wolf.

there are a lot of pay-to-play operations out here that feed on the hopes and fears of starveling actors. today, i patronise one of them.

i'm trying to swallow my gorge at showing up to an audition where i'm required to have fifty dollars in cash in my pocket, but really, i don't know what else to do. being new in town, i'm largely reliant on the audition announcements in the trade papers, which really, are de la merde. plus, even for the ones that sound interesting, i don't get called after i've dutifully emailed, sent headshots, hugged tikis and said novenas.

(note: if you're wondering if this lack of response is because i suck, i don't think it is. i may not be frances macdormand, but i've seen other non-equity actors audition and i am not at the bottom of the barrel. also, no one can tell if i suck from an email. it could be because of a lack of new york credits, but jaysus. if that's why, my head will explode.)

anyway. i'm doing it. bleh.

Monday, December 08, 2003


s'alright, s'alright.

thanks for staying a while, john lennon.

Sunday, December 07, 2003


day of rest.

you have to love sunday night. buying the spinach in the snow and bringing it home, bridal-boquet-style, to the monkey, who is sitting rapt alone with his bourbon in front of the PBS airing of hugh jackman's "Oklahoma!"

chicks and ducks and geese better scurry.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


contraction and release.

i stuffed my loathing into the smallest possible zip-loc and dragged my butt through the feet of snow to dance class this morning. i have not been to class in years, and re-entry can be exceptionally painful.

this one was okay, though. mostly because the teacher has a pink mohawk (i know, but it's not gross) and is french and named Saba. he's sharply funny and really very good. i was dismayed--the technique was a little too advanced, and there's something seriously wrong with my hip joints, i know everyone's tight but i am, like, broken--but then, i looked around, and everyone sucked. since i no longer have to be the best one in the room to try anything, i was doing okay assuming i was the only one, but when i discovered everyone looked like crap, it was even better. then the magic dance guy asked us to run across the floor, and then said,

"i think you have forgotten why we run. why do we run?"

(the class is silent. i breifly consider saying, "because something is chasing us?" and then someone says, "for life?" and someone else says, "for love?")

"yes. you run for love. you people run like something is chasing you. let me see you run for love."

and let me tell you, running for love is fun but you could not look dorkier if you were a giant dildo.

Friday, December 05, 2003


high and on the inside.

well, i did it. i quit my scene study class. i went one last time, and i just couldn't keep still and my bullshit meter went off five times and it was way, way too long even though there wasn't much work to show because the man, while brilliant, talked for forty minutes at a stretch after any small thing was accomplished. he's a dear man, and he's right about all the stuff he's saying, at least the part of it i can comprehend a purpose for. but $260 a month could pay for a weekly shrink and perhaps a thai yoga massage every once in a while. i can't conscience it, even though for some reason i feel guilty for quitting, as if i'm disappointing someone.

and the job interview was similarly not stellar. half as much money as seattle to do something less interesting. god. not that i know what i'll do instead; less-awful options aren't exactly leaving notes on my pillow. something will come up. before, erp, my unemployment runs out.

which is all to say, of course, that it's snowing like all grab-ass out there. i walked around in it, it was wet and nasty, but lovely all the same. there's a snowfight going on outside my window. someone just said, "danielle, your butt is white.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


gimme shelter.

god. i'm not even working, but this was a twenty hour day, and i'm ready to just say to people who want to know what time it is listen freak, step off.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


all for one.

it's funny how much i miss my parents, sometimes. i'm almost thirty; i didn't think that feeling would stick around this long. it's really more like being suffused with tenderness for them than my actually wishing they were here or i was there. it's just that it was the three of us against the world, and the world was so small. no one gets them like i do, in all their ridiculousness, and i worry what the world is doing to them, especially my despairing mama. they are such sweet, sweet people. sometimes i think about what it'll be like when they're gone, and i want to spend every minute speaking into their answering machines i love you i love you you know i do you're the best.

Monday, December 01, 2003


you say you want a revolution.

i wouldn't even know about this if it weren't for maud's site, that's how far from the zeitgeist i dwell.

funny, though; theatre kids, especially the great majority of us who come from such geekdoms as band, film club, D&D, amnesty international and the school library, are very fond of being inside the club. we curry the favor of those we suspect to be nearer than we to success or ability or a casting director or a pretty girl. we use special words designed to keep the uninitiated out-of-the-know. we exaggerate our own specialness, and agreeably bask if it's ever confirmed. maybe some folks in the larger world are above this behaviour, but i have met very few of them. if bloggers adore small fame and get to pack a few more endorphins into their day because they know a growing body of readers enjoys what they post, who's anyone else to throw stink-bombs into their small pond? jennifer howard doesn't read like enough of a salinger hero to generate admiration by calling everyone else phonies.


i miss you, james b.

it's world AIDS day. perhaps it was always smelled sort of like an overly-nineties, middle-class liberal holiday, like earth day and national feng shui month, but it still matters to me.


tandoori, you sweet disease.

we went out for an expense-account evening last night with yet another member of my writers' group who happened to cruise through town. i'd met him before, on his turf in san francisco, and he's really lovely, and his family, too. sue was there, with presents for me from her mother i've never met, and we all had indian food. sue, it turns out, is so deathly allergic to foods involving cultured dairy that her throat will swell and close up if she even smells them. this gave me a perfect opportunity to ask the waiter a life-or-death question about our dinners: a pink spotlight came down from the ceiling, and the restaurant hushed as i said, "is there any yogurt? because if so, one of our number will die."

we talked, and sue admitted she's finished her novel, and leary talked about his novel, and i talked about how i can't write a novel. i'm a little upset at how poor a storyteller i am for someone who loves to tell stories. and i don't mean ancedotes: i mean long ropy narratives, with muscles and opposable thumbs. i don't mean some short play where everything that happens in the fiction (except one thing) actually happened to you in your actual life. i mean a novel. i mean a good, theatrical play.

it's upsetting, and i thought that maybe a class would help, but man--going to some "how to write a novel" class has got to be the worst ever. did don delillo have to go to these classes?

probably not.

in closing, i will say this about new york: even though i know i pay seventy dollars a month for the privilege, and moreover the turnstiles swing for *anyone* with the appropriate card, i feel a small gush of pride everytime i feed my metrocard into the subway gate and it beeps and i turn and i've gotten inside once again. it's nice to be allowed in.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?