Thursday, February 26, 2004



today, i had three girls come in for a group session. mostly, they wanted to talk about boys. i asked them what they looked for in a boyfriend:

they said:
"nice smile."
"yeah. and a good body."
"a butt!"

me: "what about . . . you know, if he's nice or not?"

"yeah. also nice."

me: "but what if it came down to 'nice' or . . . like, something about how he looked?"

they said: "ABS!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


i want to be sedated.

i'm still sick. but now, i know where to get an airhorn in manhattan. i wonder if there are other banditas out here from the old west who get nostalgic for their childhood when they walk into a marine supply store.

Monday, February 23, 2004


pretty my mouth.

dear boyfriend,

it isn't just how bad i missed you, or that you showed up at the airport with a sign that had my name on it, or even how incredibly clean the apartment is (i noticed this afternoon that the tub was bleached. nice job). i watched the two vital tee vee shows you taped for me--including the next week sneak peek. i am amazed.

it's that today i'm sick. really sick, the kind that makes you not get out of bed, and no one has taken such care of me since i was a child living in my mother's house. you're really my family, you know.

and when i get better, i am going to attack you.

Friday, February 20, 2004



comments will be back next week.



this post was all about seattle and how my love for it does battle with my resolve to come home, and is eventually vanquished, but i spy something's up with the template, so . . . later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


the cat's in the cradle.

biggest pluses of a few nights in my parents' house include

*hearing the story, for the first time, of the only other man my mother ever slept with, and how much she liked him.

*recording my dad playing blues guitar to keep in my archives and remember for all time, no matter what.

*the beautiful rain, and getting lost on our way back from a town with only one stop light.

*my cat franny has decided she loves me again.

*being tolerant of my mother's brand of false presentation and realizing it's not that hard.

*knowing i'll see seattle in about 24 hours.

*i love those parents so much. god bless 'em.

i worry sometimes that every thougt about them, both the frustrations and the happinesses, come with this little tag attached that says, watcha going to think about this after they're dead? i think that's awful. but everytime i get impatient, or everytime i'm lost in a hug, a little voice says, remember this for later! always be nice! savor their relative youth! tell them you love them each time one of you gets in a car, because you never know!

i'm trying to stop. sure do love them, though.

Friday, February 13, 2004


and so the puppet is father of the man.

my dog triumph is apparently in deep merde.

thank god people are continuing to die from parkinson's and be destroyed by alzheimer's while tiny insentient embryos get america's vigilant protection.


old bully makes good.

i have reasons to hate san francisco. but, increasingly, also reasons to find delight in it.

if anyone ever told me i couldn't marry the person i wanted to--and, you know, it wasn't because the person was a child, or unable to make decisions, or a big plastic doll--i would want to knock his or her block off. and when an old man on the train began to preach last night about how women who kiss women are ruining the world, i wanted to knock his block off. we'd just seen a play about a compassionate, non-violent human rights leader, however, and so i didn't even swear at him.

and, actually, once i realized he was crazy, i didn't mind so much. after the female kissing riff, he started going off on how the government was persecuting michael jackson because they couldn't stand for a black man to have any money. if paranoid freaks who shout sermons on trains are the face of new conservatism, that face should have a really big clown nose on it.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


i'm a perp, part II.

i got fingerprinted. i told the very nice man--probably about my dad's age, with gigantic fingers--that i felt like i was a perpetrator. he said, "you're just going to perpetrate the classroom. that's a good thing!"

and when i walked out of penn station with enough time to get a sit-down coffee before heading up to Current Employers, there was a herd of tiny school children swarming the sidewalk next to a parked yellow school bus. they had hand-colored art project Elmos hanging around their necks by yarn tethers. the teacher had one, too, although her Elmo was missing one of its very prominent eyeballs and she was saying loudly, "angela! vickie! hold your buddy's hand!" about half the Elmos were missing an eyeball. those were the ones i liked the best.

i went into the coffee place, got my drink and turned around to see someone who had a sort of comical knit hat with earflaps on. i knew this one guy in seattle who wore sort of comical knit hats with earflaps. then i remembered, he just moved to new york. then i realized, that's him. so i had my sit-down coffee time sitting down with an acquaintance and his pal, who randomly had all sorts of good advice for me. (for the curious, it boiled down to: there's nothing much for it but to relax and take risks.)

there's a new theatre company in manhattan looking to hire alums of my grad school. a fellow alumna needs part-timers at her restaurant. there's a happy hour at rudy's tonight. a dramaturg i know and love just sent me a wonderful email full of heartening idealism. i'm going to see my family next week, and i've spent most of this week inside the warm bosom of my family here, my warm warm home.

this very morning, the worry about this job jump was spreading and leaping in bizarre ways, so that i felt concern well up in me about all sorts of unlikelies. i told the monkey, "i'm worried that the great depression is going to come back. we'll have to eat water soup and stand in breadlines. what will we do?"

listen, you. if you were any more all right, you'd be hurting yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


survey says: enough job drama and drama job!

all right, already. i suppose i can countenance a break from the play-by-play of Continuing Job Capers 2004. i have, however, been assured of the job's complete flexibility, and had a conversation with the acquaintance who did it before that was very reassuring and exciting, and pending a conversation with potential boss guy, am considering it a go. still kind of scares me, but.

the theatre company i was cast into is applying to do our show at the new york fringe. as much as i was dreaming of not being here in august, when the urine smell hits its apex, it might be a lot of fun. they can do it without me, though, and they may have to, since i'm back west for a wedding the weekend before the festival opens. the festival itself is on shaky financial legs, and so there's always the chance, too, that it'll collapse before the summer (if you haven't heard, this is going around like some sort of asian bird flu). but: possibly work to look forward to.

i'm in seattle next week. i'm very much looking forward to it. sort of more, maybe, than i was at christmas. i'm happier here, now--in a way, it feels like the trip home was a necessary part of feeling settled in new york. i'm sure being cast in an ensemble of charming creative types and generating new work every week has something to do with it, too. if you're there, i'll be seeing john kaufmann's show on thursday, and yipping out for drinks after.

last night after work, i took a steaming hot shower with an ice-cold beer. when i got out: there were pork chops!

i live in a magic house.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


missed it the first time.

i just replayed the message the drama therapy man left me. he says, "i'd like to use you for this project." he said that part, then the part about this is how you get fingerprinted and here's when we can have an orientation, and all that. so the "all that" isn't for if i get hired, it's for when i can start. assuming i'm amenable.

i think i am, right? this is all just happening so fast, mister butler. i'm not even sure what i'd be doing on a day-to-day basis. i am pretty sure, though, that if it involves kids and the arts, it's better than what i'm doing right now. and i put a quick email in to the acquaintance who put this all in motion, asking if she could tell me anything about what the job is like.

this is one of those feedback-is-welcome times.


i must take the A train.

if you were stupid enough to think that bacon was healthy, be smart enough to think again.

i do love bacon, though. especially on top of meatloaf.

i'm getting fingerprinted this week, so that the board of education can check me out. if all goes well, it sounds like i may be a drama therapist as early as the last week of february. this is exciting news.

it also strikes terror into the heart of young women afraid of quitting jobs. the monkey says, and he is right, that this is a good lesson for me to learn: be not afraid of dropping the business-, profit-oriented dayjob like a hot potato--after all, they would drop you in the same manner if something better came along.

could it be goodbye, corporati, hello harlem schoolchildren? reader, it could.

Monday, February 09, 2004



sometimes i wish this were the kind of office with a bowl full of chocolate for people to have.

or, maybe just if there were someone funny.


in my town, they were more like shurgard storage bands.

on sunday, after visiting the neighborhood we wanted to fall in love with but didn't, we stopped by some depressing co-op open houses and then bought some software.

each of us dorked out for hours with garageband, apple's new music toy. i'm sure it makes actual musicians squirm and ahem, but for those of us with no particular skills? it's magical. i sort of can't wait to be home alone with nothing to do. last night i made my own fake funk band.

it was a funny weekend. there was a disturbingly long-lived urbance in our harmony, which we got past, but not as easily as before. i had one of my first end-of-my rope feelings. i wonder, sometimes, if my sort of violent insistance on honesty and transparency isn't a selfish demand that my way of coping be the one we employ . . . but then i think: if there's anything it's okay to stick to unyieldingly, it has to be telling the truth. it shouldn't be so difficult to coerce/cajole/presto/chango someone into telling you how he feels. and to quote tom petty, i won't back down.

i did feel a lot better when things were back to normal, though. it's the best normal i've ever had.

Friday, February 06, 2004


update on my drama (therapy)

the guy called back at five. we talked, and he sounded reputable and kind. the program is still funded with the money initially set aside for 9/11 after-effects, although they see much more varied stuff this long since the tragedy. it's one on one time with individual kids, most likely in west harlem, three days a week at a set hourly wage (which is slightly, though significantly enough, more than i'm making hourly now). bottom-line-wise, it means a net loss of about $55 a week, but only three work days instead of five. it sounds like the work is hard, and sometimes frustrating; the schools don't have a lot of money and some of them sounded sort of . . . well, zoo-like, in terms of the ratio of kids to adults.

i think i'd like to do it, assuming there's some flexibility for auditions and, of course, that he offers it to me. i recited my history of working with kids as a drama teacher, and said he thought i sounded like a good fit.

i'm not crazy, right? i'm a little worried that the, um, five hundred a week i've been making answering phones is pretty much as little as i can scrape by on. it was going to go down to four fifty, assuming the company extended health insurance benefits to me, but that was four fifty including medical and dental. this will be four fifty with no benefits, and possibly no opportunity to save for a rainy day, a pap smear or a root canal. then again, it's only three days a week. maybe i could find another small part timey job to make up the difference. possibly.

maybe i'm just excited about something different.


baby, it's cold/icy/slushy/gross outside.

i'm calling the drama therapist today. i just found out the program he's looking for help with is one that provides mental health services to people, including public school kids, having trouble coping with what happened september eleventh. there might be a more important job somewhere, but probably not one that i'm qualified for. anywhere.

i had a hard time leaving the apartment this morning, what with the monkey still in his sweats and stubble and bedhead, and the roiling grossity of the weather. especially since i had to go all the way downtown to my new pretend agent's office and drop off headshots. i braved it, though--and when i got to the office, i was unnerved. it was smaller and messier even than this one, except the mess was made out of headshots. there was one grumpy old man there--not my pretend agent, who is a woman--with droopy trousers and a dirty face, who seemed to think my "agent" only represented children, so could i please bring in headshots of my kids? he did, however, ask if i did "audience shows." i was unsure about this, as most shows, in general, do have an audience. it turns out, though, that working an "audience show" means getting paid forty-five bucks to sit in the audience of, in this case, The People's Court, while they tape. all day.

it might be one of the few dayjobs more soul-sucking than this one. thanks, pretend agent. hope you don't ask the children to do that.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


"not to mention my own long history of therapy!"

i just followed up on an acquaintances call for folks willing to be drama therapists. could it beat sitting in this office? just possibly.


acorn and tree.

i just realized, when i took my coat off inside the office, that i have toothpaste-spit dribble on one boob. this has been happening to me about twice a week since my breasts began to make an appreciable bump in my chest. i don't know when i will decide it is worthwhile to lean over the sink the entire time i'm brushing, but in the meantime, almost all my little wool sweaters have white drip marks on one teat or the other, because i don't dryclean often and that toothpaste stuff is wicked durable. you can try to pat it off with water, but it doesn't work.

when my grandmother was a painter, she used to lean across her palette and get her breasts in the paint. i remember her giving me a lesson one time, and leaning into the yellow ochre, and saying, "one boob or t'other always gets in one of the expensive colors, y'know."

maybe there's a boob-stain gene.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


i'm a perp.

first, let me bate: i did not know that the best one's groundhog/nip joke was also john stewart's leading line for the monday episode of the daily show (substitute "masturbation" for "frigidity") until i saw the re-run at seven pee em last night. comic geniuses clearly think alike.

second, it was very rainy and awful last night as i trekked to penn station, meaning i was less than patient when it came time to encounter the hordes of people streaming out of the subway system towards their amtrak and LIRR connections, the ones who make sure no one who needs to get *in* to the subway system can use the turnstiles in the reverse direction. when one of the service doors opened, i went through it--i have an unlimited metro card; there was no net loss of revenue to the city, and i was not stealing. i was, however, stopped by a plainclothes transit cop and sat down on a pee-smelling bench for twenty minutes while he made sure i didn't have a warrant. then he gave me a sixty dollar ticket. i find this ridiculous, and plan to appeal.

still. i'm sort of happy. i have less to do this week, and more time to appreciate the monkey, who's treated last week's annoying schedule with infinite tenderness. i find him delicious, and am buying him cupcakes today to prove it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


so long as someone feeds me.

yesterday, the best one told me that punxsutawney phil had come out of his burrow and seen janet jackson's naked breast so we would have six more weeks of frigidity.

Monday, February 02, 2004


number one for big fun.

well, i'm cast. after eleven grueling days of creativity, they called to ask if i want to be part of the show. i said: yes.

now, the wait is on. they won't tell me who else was picked until everyone confirms, and i'm dying to find out. this is the type of project that could be great grand fun with the right people or sort of . . . purgatorial, with the wrong ones. please let the right ones be the ones they thought were right, too.

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