Wednesday, August 31, 2005


i look like a dork in bike shorts.

and my thighs are sort of aching. but: i now own a bike. get ready, manhattan.

my p. in new orleans is okay, although she doesn't know anything about her house yet. i am thinking of her and trying to appreciate that however sad i get about leaving here, i'm returning to an intact household.

and the seattle trip provided more cud to chew on than i've previously implied. summary: people are in favor of graduate school. they support a certain hey-try-it-out approach, and don't seem to think i should be overly concerned about loans and useless degrees. and one wise, wise chum had this to say about my realization that half of why i do anything is so that i'll get a gold star next to my name:

"if you can get past that, sister, there's no end to what you can do."

we agreed it might be a lifetime struggle.

also, two of my most intuitive friends laid money that new york would grow on me in ways i can't currently imagine and that i will want to stay. i have to say this makes me kind of giggle, but . . . who knows, i guess. if i really am going to grad school--assuming i, you know, get in--i guess we'll be there for at least a short while.

mostly, they were very reassuring. things will be okay.

and pictures to follow of the best baby ever in the world.

Saturday, August 27, 2005



it's beautiful and full of babies and the air smells good and everything i can see is home.

right now, if i could pick something about myself to change (magically, not through "work," or anything) i would make myself less worried.

i am loving seattle, and as always it's too short and half-bittersweet because it feels unnatural to leave when i'd like to stay. which brings on all these questions about the future, and where we will live and what we will do and now the monkey has no savings, zero, and seems to have an odd block about fixing that problem by changing jobs or working more so that more money comes *in.* and he's lukewarm about having babies and how can i even be thinking about that when we can't find a place to live where we'll both be happy?

i know i said we'd just leave the truth turds on the plate, but i'm finding it hard now. my guts want to know what the plan is. when i got here and started driving around, my chest opened up a little and i felt the way i did that time that i visited from san francisco and realized: you don't have to live somewhere that makes you feel bad. you can just change it.

it's not that easy once you're no longer a sole-proprietorship. i'm not here to charm anyone out of his dream. and another year in new york isn't going to kill anyone--our apartment will appreciate, i'll . . . i don't know, take some classes. maybe i really will go back to school, although my thinking about it is so knotted up i feel like saying to hell widdit, i'll just work this software job and have the same argument with myself in five years about How i Can Ensure Meaningful Work Even When Performance Isn't Happening.

i took off my ohm necklace--that was probably a mistake. i'm gonna go get on that.

(don't you worry, goslings. it's a marvellous visit even if i'm painting a dark picture.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


swing low.

i'm done packing and i'm having a giant beer.

you know what i love?

taking a trip and not having to pack any of the crap we call "toiletries" because i am only going to family, and to friends, where i can use the shampoo and have a local toothbrush already in the drawer, and can waltz into someone else's bathroom to borrow the hairdryer.

that is the fucking best.

i thought today about how when christmas is coming, some days in seattle it's sort of colder and grey but it makes everything stand out, people cheeks and noses and their umbrellas, and their hand knit scarves and their pom-pon hats. you wouldn't think you could miss this, but it feels like it's a person. being in the still life while the drizzle condenses on the outside side of the windows. and it's not christmas right now. but it will be.

Monday, August 22, 2005


and she saw that it was good.

the best one gave me a necklace with an ohm thingy that's going to protect me. i'm really looking forward to that. my friend molly brought me vodka from her trip to st. petersburg. an old friend brought me some paper to encourage me to write things down, and mith levy--who knows that poor girls want to be choosers and not beggars--brought me bookstore credit. and the table bought my mac and cheese. things could hardly have been better.

it is dawning on me, just how hard it is going to be to cohabit with success during my lean times. like most actors, even though i have a sincere love of language and respect for the tradition of performance and, you know, whatever: i am basically an approval junkie. and i am not feeling very approved, as you know, and living with someone who is doing a lot of basking has been sort of like eating a migraine cupcake.

he is very understanding. and i'm beginning to cut myself a little slack. so it's hard for both of us. eh. he'll make do. we're both trying to be as kind and gentle as possible, and that's enough.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


you don't have to go home, but you can't sleep here.

sometimes when i am having a pity party, i decide to buck up and make a list of all the things i'm glad i am not. for this to work, it can't be list full of very very serious things, like having a terminal or disfiguring illness, because then the guilt interferes with the cheering. it's more like

i am glad i do not have a "glandular problem."
i am glad i am not the older sister of someone famous.
i am glad i am not allergic to dogs.
i am glad i am not someone who likes cheetos.
i am glad i am not one of those people who get confused between silly and stupid.


i think i would, actually. i think it would be nice.

Everything is far
and long gone by.
I think that the star
glittering above me
has been dead for a million years.
I think there were tears
in the car I heard pass
and something terrible was said.
A clock has stopped striking in the house
across the road . . .
When did it start? . . .
I would like to step out of my heart
and go walking beneath the enormous sky.
I would like to pray.
And surely of all the stars that perished
long ago,
one still exists
I think that I know
which one it is—
which one, at the end of its beam in the sky,
stands like a white city . . .

Ranier Maria Rilke

Wednesday, August 17, 2005



my boyfriend got me a present.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


i am a waiter in a furniture store.

tomorrow is my birthday.

the best birthday i ever had was number 26. everyone i knew in seattle--and quite a few people i didn't--crammed into the blue room at the capitol club. an admired acquaintance gave me a five dollar bill inside a mickey mouse birthday card, and insisted i wear the money safety-pinned to my dress. a nice gay man i had just met showed up with a dozen roses for me. no one threw up. i was recently single and two guys i'd wanted to flirt with in earlier days showed up and wanted some action. one brought me a book of neruda poetry. but that didn't matter, because the monkey came to the party. he came in late, after a show, and we both got squeezed into side conversations as we squeezed through the throng toward each other but we each reached a hand toward the other and squeezed those in a gesture meaning,

i'm ridiculously glad you're here.
and that you're squeezing back.

that party was the beginning of the very best part of the best part of seattle. this play i was in had just started rehearsing, the best one had not yet moved away, the monkey existed and was present and i had odd faith regarding what a good thing that was. that night the place that revolved around me was a good--and a crazy and a fashionable--place to be. sally field c'est moi. they really liked me.

it hasn't happened like that since. the next year, made bold by my triumph, i tried to throw the same kind of party, belatedly, as i'd been gone for the summer. leaving the country for a few months right after announcing you're moving to new york right after holing up with a new love and skipping many occasions doesn't make you a social queen, though, and not many people came. the bar had to un-rope off the place they'd roped off in reservation for my throng.

the next year my birthday was the first day of the monkey's rehearsals in st. louis, in the middle of his twelve-week absence, and we were fighting. the best one and i spent it by ourselves, and she made a lovely, quiet evening out of soothing my feathers.

some months after that, and i hate admitting this, the monkey and i threw a party that literally one person came to. even the positive rsvps bailed. we'd bought sixty dollars of cheese and mulled a bunch of wine. a few weeks later the monkey's birthday "party" was witnessed only by the best one and one other guy, a new friend who happened to bring with him a french lady, a drunk lesbian from D.C. and an underwear designer. it was in the middle of a blizzard, but the monkey was secretly scared that perhaps attendance wouldn't have improved much had the weather been fine.

i know what's to blame. i am a hermit. we live in an isolated neighborhood and we spend too much delicious time alone together and neither of us is single and compelled to be social by the need to find a makeout partner.

this weekend, i will dip a toe back into party waters. friends will gather. my little dress is at the dry cleaners. i've saved up enough cash to get tipsed on cocktails and take a cab home. it is not against the rules to sit on a lap or two. i may finally know enough people to make this work.

Monday, August 15, 2005


thos. wolfe is mad wrong.

i am going home again.

for a visit.

and i'm supposed to have lunch with a friend on a friday afternoon, and she asked if i had a favorite place i wanted to make sure and eat at while i'm home. i'm sure i do, but i can't for the life of me think what it is. actually, i think it was the longshoreman's daughter, but i just found out it died while i was gone (what else, seattle? has the troll been demolished? lake union silted up? gasworks park gone electric?).

where do i want to eat lunch that still exists?

first one to remind me gets a prize.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


potentially worse than an irish terrier dressed up as kelly bundy.

something that actors can be hired to do:

"The New Food Guide Pyramid Musical Program is a creative nutrition education program and winner of the New York State Certificate of Achievement Award (May 2004) for promoting all three of the Eat Well Play Hard (EWPH) core strategies. The program consists of a series of nutrition education classes in conjunction with rehearsals and a performance of an original nutrition/entertainment musical, The New Food Guide Pyramid Musical, performed by 3 actors and the school children themselves for the assemblies of the 4th and 5th graders. The musical emphasizes not only healthful eating habits, but also physical activity as an important component of a healthy lifestyle."

okay, so, i kept reading and they're looking for *child actors,* which seems negotiably less gross, or at least diminishes the chance that a recent graduate from some regional MFA program will be compelled by mounting student loan debt to contemplate dancing around as a dry salad or lean roast beef sandwich. i am most assuredly not against educational theatre, or theatrical education, but this "nutrition/entertainment musical" (wtf, mary?) seems likely to make everyone in its path a leetle dumber.

but still. i remember this one time i had an agent for about five months and the only time he called me was to see if i'd fit inside one of those cartoon character body costumes, the kind that are made from rigid plastic and have their own cooling unit, because a matress superstore or something was having a very important sale. that was gross.


my favorite.

is when the fedex man walks in, sees that no one is at the reception desk, and then walks past two men to get to my tiny study carrel and ask me to sign for packages. because, having boobs and no grey hair, i am obviously the receptionist.

if i were not actively trying to reign in the shrivelling bitterness, i would speak here about the people who came in to the casting director's office yesterday, who are really a lot like me except successful. that part's funny. they're normal actors, maybe a little more attractive, maybe a little more confident, but mostly similar to me, except that they just finished doing five episodes of three different court room dramas. i have no idea what makes them them. for reals. it's very tummy-dropping to listen to them assume that you have an agent and have met sam waterston, because in the circles they work in, everyone has. which makes my circles look a lot like cow pies.

i kind of wish this whole thing were one of those bad family circle cartoons, where little billy runs around everywhere leaving a trail of black dashes, as if his principal objective has been to shit bricks all over town, and though it looks confusing at first, you can always sort out the convoluted way he got from here to there. i would like to follow the shit brick trail of these people and figure out how they did it, because without the map, looking at them and looking in the mirror, it's hard to imagine that there even is a path.

Monday, August 08, 2005


a prince among men.

oh, you guys. you guys.

not long after i first met the monkey, i told him that one day peter jennings was going to die, and no one would understand why i was so sad.

he seemed like the best of everything. the best of smart, the best of handsome, the best of talking, the best of sincerity, the best of certitude. i watched the broadcast tribute in his honor tonight--remember about me being a nostalgic fart?--and couldn't believe how much i'd missed of what he'd had to say. like, all of the seventies. i remember coming home from camping on september thirteenth, and seeing his tired, slightly grey face. i was trying to think of who i think he's like, who has the same role in my mind, and all i could come up with were jon stewart and vaclav havel. he was--or his persona + his face, which was what you got on tv, i guess--something that made me feel okay about living here and living now. and he was a constant. a constant good.

i know it's altogether shlocky, but i thought he was amazing and i am so sad that he's gone.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


baby fat

my mother sent this to me today. she likes to point out that doting parents have surrounded me with educational toys, and i have reached into the drooly mouth of our schnauzer, rufus, to grab the yellow plastic squeaky bulldog because i prefer it, in fact like it so much that i am seconds away from putting it in my own mouth.

i am really taken with how many little bits viewable in that picture constructed the border of a world, the only world i had: the sliding doors to the kitchen that were made out of some weird fiber, the second hand brown velour recliner (it spun all the way around. you could go fast.), the weber grill in the yard, the yard, the bushes you can see in the yard with red berries i believed were poison until i ate one to see if i would die and i didn't die, the sliver of eld inlet you can see over the poison berry bushes which is actually, i know i'm a nostalgic fart, making me cry a little bit; the baseboard heaters.

it's funny that the photo came today, because yesterday i was looking through the oldest journals i could find, from my first years in college, to see if anything qualified as hilarious enough for this. and i ran into a report of a fight my mother and i had in which was really blistering and awful in a way i don't recall unless faced with it. if people who knew my mother now were told she'd said some of this stuff they wouldn't believe it, which is probably par for the course. and i was remembering the house we lived in while i was a teenager--we moved from the house on eld inlet when i was almost thirteen, the summer before highschool, into a subdivision on the westside where all the houses were the same.

i have dreams about the old house about twice a week. i dream about the new house never. probably because i had a lot of zits and bad hair and adolescent sturm und drang at the new house, you know, nothing big, just the thousand natural shocks, and at the old house i had a bazillion books and my own woods and all the rocks and crabs on the beach, and it was perfectly natural that my dog was my best friend, and at night you could get out of bed and lie on the carpet next to the lowest windows, the ones that open out like a breadbox door, and hear the seals on the johnson's float calling out over the water.

my mom told me over the phone that our old house is almost unrecognizeable. where we lived went from being the sticks to Waterfront Property a few years after we left, and the new owners have cut down most everything and made our fallingdown house into the kind of thing my father used to call "a gin palace." she drove out there a while ago and inspected the whole scene, and she kept on about it for forty minutes: where the guest-house would be, which camellia bushes were still going, why the driveway had to be repoured, how my treehouse was still there.

i was annoyed; i wanted to talk about something else, like appliances or makeup. but now i get it, because the three of us (four, with the dog) still live there. it's where we were at our best. when i dream about that place, it feels like what i would pick as an after-life: i'm a complete person, nothing i need is out of reach, i have my dog, i have my rocky beach, there is no future, nothing is my fault. i want to go there on vacation. yes, to the seventies when we had our own well and a leaky roof and one had ever called me a bitch. i would like to go there.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


potentially worse than kelly bundy.

so, i'm going in to a casting director's office tomorrow. they called me to come in for an audition for an independent film earlier this week. when i got there, they handed me a sheet of sides. the paper said,

"can i help you?"

"have a seat."


they called again today. i thought maybe they were going to offer the the two-line day player part. instead, they asked me to come in as a reader--they do this, and i do it, and it's because they usually throw an audition my way in thanks. i've been feeling, um, down about all things career, so i'll take it. i feel like maybe they should pay me, but whatever.

the movie? that i'm the reader for?

stars an irish terrier.


outing myself.

i walked through a protest on my way to work yesterday. i didn't know it was a protest because it was mostly kids singing chant-songs in front of a building that displayed a poster reading, "go back to school in style!" so i thought it was a promotional performance. the chant-song was mostly the words "never ever ever ever ever!" i didn't really get the import.

but it turns out the kids were protesting a new video game (are they still called that, even?) called Bully. i don't know much about the game--i don't think it's even been released yet--so i have no business saying that it's offensive. it does, though, seem to include some graphic portrayals of school violence.

i work in a sideline of the gaming industry--dayjobwise, anyway--and the office was abuzz with disparaging remarks about the protesters. all day long i heard people say,

"i mean, there's a market. the games are rated. they're not for kids!"

"what, kids need a game to teach them how to throw a playground punch? there were bullies before there were computers!"

" . . . so now your kid is going to go on a violence spree* and it's [game producer's] fault? where were you? where were the parents?"

i dunno; maybe raising their voices against something they saw as harmful to their kids.

i can say this: in the office, it appears i am alone in thinking that something being legal and profitable doesn't categorically excuse any questionable morality involved. i'll admit that whatever is actually involved this bully thing doesn't push quite the same button with me that the beating up of prostitutes does in one of the company's other games, but i still think: who gets up in the morning and thinks that it's a great idea to make up games about beating up anyone? prostitutes or school children or anyone? free country and all, but sometimes it means you're just free to make money by kind of being an asshole. corny as it sounds, i have a lot more respect for the people who made the effort to protest, in this situation, than i have patience for the people who condemn them.

a friend made a good point about the irony involved in protesting violence in a video game when there's an ill-conceived, largely unprotested war going on. but listening all day to people talk about what dumbasses those protesters were made me want shake up all the cans of free soda in the fridge and laugh when they exploded on the expensive casualwear of the assholes who think that in this particular setting, the protesters are the ones who deserve the most derision.

*i'm not sure exactly what a "violence spree" is, but the man was very indignant about it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


you're nice, but chocolate doesn't fix it.

world, i am so furious at you.

if you want to know exactly what kind of small petty person i am today, i am the kind who cannot get over the fact that other people get to do what i want to do and i haven't yet been picked to join the club.

that sounds pretty weak and passive. and not like the fierce warrior kitten i occasionally promise i will turn into. today, though, world and world people:

i just can't get over how much i can't get over it. i feel like i will be sad and angry, sangry, about crap that is almost completely out of my control and sort of guaranteed to make me not like myself for the *rest* of my *life,* unless something really bad happens to me and i am sangry about that instead. i know that maybe i will only cry for my lack of shoes until my feet disappear, and then i will be sorry, but: christina applegate who says on the television that she always thought she'd be a workaday hoofer on broadway but oops! she turned into tee vee star instead,

go hide in a hole. i completely tritely hate you. right now.

Monday, August 01, 2005


and if he is a girl,

the best one and i had some brunch this weekend, and i talked her into going makeup shopping with me afterwards. the best one can't visit seph0ra without incurring serious damage, so i appreciated her willingness to put herself in harm's way so that i could investigate some facepaint. it was lovely, though, to run around the store with tissues and disposable sponges, yelling for each other to come try this. at the height of the madness, she pointed to a forty-dollar product called something like, "face perfector," and said, "how can i not buy this? i have to. it will make my face perfect."

she also mentioned that her fun and lovely elder sister is having another baby. this is great news. the sister will be visiting here later this month, and i'm looking forward to meeting her first kid, sam, who has an invisible friend named desiree who is a man.

one of the other cousins, the girly one who is like two years old and already gets excited about clothes shopping and toe-nail polish, had this to say about the impending arrival:

"when he cracks out* he will be a tiny milk milk baby and if he is a girl, we can put lip-gloss on him."

*we think that 'cracks out' is a piece of confusion regarding the delivery process, possibly born of seeing baby chicks come out of eggs in commercials for easter candy.

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