Thursday, March 30, 2006


you complete me.

some people say the reason they love new york is that you can find anything here. and it's kind of true; there are entire, multiple stores here devoted to paper lampshades, or cake decorating implements, or vintage mannequins. there's a separate library just for the performing arts, with scores for every broadway musical that ever existed.

there's a lot of stuff here, but until now there has been a gaping hole in the retail web of new york.

it was made right last weekend, and yesterday i played hooky from work so we could avail ourselves.

giant bag of frozen chicken tenderloins! for six dollars!
emergen-C! seven bucks!
the good canola margarine i can't find at any other store!
affordable organic dairy products!
flash-frozen line-caught sockeye salmon!
pints of ice cream half as expensive as the bodega's!
the (natural, no sugar) peanut butter was ONE FUCKING DOLLAR and sixty eight cents.

they deliver to washington heights. for five bucks.

i danced in the aisles. next month, they open the wine store.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


i want to be a big girl.

i realize that this is completely unfair, but:

large people can really bug me.

sometimes when someone who is the size of two of me is in front of me and not doing anything particularly objectionable other than being so big i cannot move or see past him, i am suffused with inexplicable rage. i want to push him over. i want to mock his turtley way of moving. it's gross, and not like me. but i rage.

most of this is commuter rage, and has to do with men who are both large and have differing views of personal space rules than i do. the other day i was sitting on the train between two such men, both of whom had their thighs spread wide, squishing middle me into an extraordinarily prim pose: knees together, arms crossed at the elbow squishing breasts inward, hands on knees. even better, they both had wide, wide, be-coated shoulders that poked out further than mine, effectively pinning my smaller shoulders up against the back wall.

i was irate. and like most road rage, there wasn't really anywhere to go with it. i could have stood up, but i was exhausted and wanted to sit. i could have passive-aggressively "nudged" them the whole ride home--okay, i did kind of do that. but not like a total nerd. i just gave a sharp rebuke whenever the already inappropriate encroaching hit a new spike in ridiculousness. but: to no avail. when i leaned forward to take something out of my bag, claiming for a heartbeat my actual body-width in space over a 45 degree angle, the bookend men shifted for a second, and then spilled right back into my lap.

and here is the thing that is about to color the rest of life some shade of red almost all the time: gender fallout is everywhere. i don't think either of these guys got on the train looking for a woman to oppress, but i also don't think they would have expected a man to live with the squish. perhaps they would have stopped short of squishing him so handily in the first place, either out of a conscious or unconscious sense of respect for a man's personal space, or the simple fear of getting punched. or maybe because men's parts are sometimes less squishy.

and on my end, i ended up railing at myself about what, exactly, was keeping me from turning to either man and saying, excuse me, but could you move your knee? could you take your elbow out of my guts? could you stop pinning me to wall? do you see that i could hold a penny between my thighs right now because you are pushing them together with your gigantic heedless man legs, which are spread wide open while my own are pinched like tweezers? what is wrong with you that you can't register that you are crushing another person? and granted, i have not yelled or hit you or asked you to move, but how big a person do i have to be for you to see me/feel me/automatically respect my right to one whole seat's worth of subway real estate without my shooting off a fucking flare?

however mad i was at those guys, the voice in my head was my own, and it was saying, you're letting someone smash you. literally. and however wise it is (it's now my own turn not to want to get punched, or sworn at, or publicly smacked down) you're not saying a word.

telling, too, is that i don't really want to write about this here. i have revised this post seven times, my guard up for anything that seems shrill. even among the people i know and love, i'm cautious about trotting out my observations for fear that everyone will brand me as a one-note violin. which, frankly, is the worst part of all of this: not only is it hard to buck your nurture enough to realize the amazing amount of untoward stuff going on, saying something even one-third of the time you encounter it runs you a serious risk of being perceived as a humorless cult-follower with a gigantic chip on your shoulder.

me, too. i don't like those people who can't think of anything but their outrage. they are not fun at cocktail parties. not to mention how inherently suspicious, and easy to dismiss, someone seems when she claims the world is against her.

i know there are many middles in the ground between tireless and oblivious. but just last night i brought up the idea that one thing in our relationship was possibly affected by the gender norms that surround us.

and he looked like i had accused him of working for the nazi party. i literally saw this thing slide down over his eyes as he checked out of the conversation, as he denied out of hand something that, honestly, can hardly even be debated. the monkey would tell you he's a feminist, but somehow believes that gender can be discounted within the happy circle of our apartment. and i caught myself thinking: am i on thin ice? if i speak up everytime i see gender issues at play in our arguments (about housecleaning! about talking about feelings! i mean, duh!), am i going to be dismissed? worse, is the monkey going to go out drinking with his friends and say, "you know, i'm as feminist as the next guy, but since she started school, louella's really gone off the deep-end on this gender stuff."


the desire to be liked has done feminism greater harm than phyllis schafly and james dobson combined. this happens every day: a man passes judgment on my eyes or my boobs or my smile on my way to the train, someone grabs a friend's ass on a dark street and then pauses, smiling, to watch her reaction; i see an insulting television commercial, the guy next to me in line is calling his girlfriend a bitch repeatedly, to her face, and she is just standing there and i am, too. try to tell someone about it every day, and you're a crank or a whiner. and most days i don't say much about it to anyone, but i have to think the effects are cumulative. someday it's going to be me wearing body armour onto the F train, and smashing all comers in the face.

maybe then i'll get a whole row to myself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



there are ads in the subways for that whatever universe baseball challenge that appears to include only mexico, the DR, puerto rico and the US. and they have each guy (or, each of four big famous guys) and his position, in spanish, and did you know that shortstop is campo corto?

i am timer-corto. i want out of this (splendidly flexible, living-wage-paying, fully-non-secretarial) job (that i should be grateful to have until june). i want to be in the library reading books about my thesis ideas. or: pretending to read books about thesis ideas while actually making lists of camera equipment i would like to buy and potential baby names and checking my hair in the reflective window.

freedom is so close. i can smell it. it smells really good. and then later i will start complaining about it, probably, but for now i am straining at my chains. the grass is so much greener over there.

Monday, March 20, 2006



i am never bringing up the marriage subject with my mom, again, ever.

i told her about this sweet conversation i had with the monkey which largely respected my Not Talking About It Until One Of Us Is Ready To Butch Up And Ask rule regarding the large M, in which he managed to reassure me that he is not actually freaked out by large M without making me feel like it was a foregone conclusion and we were going to end up like my friend missy, who was shopping in fred meyer with her boyfriend and when they walked past the jewelry part said, hey, that ring is nice. and then they were engaged, and that is the least dramatically interesting narrative going.

i tried to tell her about this endearing conversation, and all she said was:

"i just want to shake him."

yes. by all means. let us beat him up. who does he think he is? the kindest, funniest, most patient and forgiving boyfriend ever? that's clearly no excuse. where's that MF ring?


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


ante meridian.

the best morning is:

you get out of the shower and dry off, but of course you can't get ALL the water and so you're kind of damp, and it's cold, so you roll your sopping hair into your hair towel and run back in the bedroom, saying


and he throws the covers open and you get in there and no one minds that you are a moist and chilly little water weenie, and you fit yourself into all the hollows and lie there limp until the shower-damp turns to sweat-glow and you are braising yourself in there, and you deliver a smooch to the side of the neck and roll out, and the wet skin makes this awesome moist tupperware sound, and now you are damp-shvitzy instead of damp-chilly and

so. much. happier.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


hash marks.

i've started thinking about what i want to do before school starts in june. one of the things i like about being an adult with no kids, a partner and a part-time job is that, for the first time in my life, i have a little bit of down time. in college i had two majors and a 40-hour-a-week rehearsal schedule. in seattle i actually was in plays. things i chose and liked, but that meant there weren't a lot of luxurious baths or saturday afternoons spent making bread.

do i make bread now? not so much. but i could if i wanted. and i do sleep in more. i read more. i actually watch movies. and the baths: oh, yes.

some of this will go away. and that's okay. but i'd like to get some good selfish time in before it evaporates.

plus, there's the organization that i'm telling myself i can accomplish before regimented study begins. i can start with a clean slate. i can at least mend that sweater and return the pants that don't fit to l.l. bean.

it was one of those uncomfortably anxiety-ridden mornings. not Big Crazy, but the days when i really remember what the Big Crazy is like. there is so much to do, both the kind i want to do and the kind i've never been good at getting done. this is making even the prospect of fitting in the good stuff sound like a chore. must take portraits of boyfriend! must ice skate! must bake cupcakes! must file papers, do taxes, organize desk and throw out a bunch of crap! must get high in central park again!

if i could borrow molly's inner therapist, i think she would say: so, are you going to make a list and methodically get those things done? or are you going to admit that if being messy and slightly slothful are your worst attributes*, you are probably an okay person?

because it pretty much has to be one of those, or anxiety wins.

(*she doesn't know about the pouting.)

Monday, March 13, 2006



readers of the public blog know that brown said no a while ago. to my great relief, yesterday we got the Big Envelope. from NYU.

that's right. i'm gonna be a . . .

i have no idea what the NYU mascot is. a sewer gator? a hobbled pigeon? a Sabrett hotdog?

what the fuck ever. the relief is enormous. i start in june (it's a 12 month program). there's still an outside chance that columbia will say yes, too, but i won't be holding my breath.

i woke up at six this morning to go look at financial aid stuff on the internet. i got bubkes from tisch; waiting on the statement about what complement of loans will be available. i'm finding that in the middle of all the relief and anticipation (i get a student ID! i get to register for classes! i get to buy books!) i'm a little bit scared and sad about the debt. i've been living on less than i've ever made before since i moved here, and while i'm pretty good at it, there's something very discomfitting about the way it curtails your freedom. and not just the freedom to buy suede boots. it zips everything into this one impersonal, immutable envelope: how much does it cost.

but. except for the whole forty seven thousand dollars thing, things are pretty happy.

and even though the belt tightening starts immediately, i'm getting myself a new pencil case, some gel pens and a notebook. you can't start school without school supplies, even if it's the wrong season.

edit: research shows NYU's mascot to be the bobcat, only one syllable removed from my alma mater's bearcat, and an in-law to my high school cougars. why do colleges even have mascots? i did once have a cat named bob, though, and he was an awesome cat. this bodes well.

Friday, March 03, 2006


a letter from northwestern university.


thank you for your recent application to the interdisciplinary theatre Ph.D. at Northwestern. unfortunately, the admissions committee has decided not to recommend your skanky ass for admission this fall. let me take this opportunity to say that we recognize how frustrating this must be--there were many applicants of outstanding quality, and then there were some who were totally hot, and then there was you. the decision-making was complex.

we would, of course, welcome your application next year, should you make some famous friends and try not to drool so much on your application envelope.


Tracy Davis

PS: spelled your name wrong on purpose, biyatch.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


the loneliness of astronauts, or: maturity loves company.

i just wanted to say, la Ketch did a pretty great job of summing up a lot of my feelings about Doing Something Else For A While. another friend of mine--one who started acting earlier than i did, and who is more successful--recently sent me an email out of the blue that she was bailing on her NYU MFA program audition and taking the LSATs so she could become a legal advocate for immigrants. she said that acting used to lift her up, and now it was holding her back, and she wanted to do something that made her happy and fulfilled. i was blown away, and also comforted: this is something that happens, and it's not failure or quitting. it is, i think, the discretion that is the better part of virtue. you don't get points at the end of your life for how doggedly you stayed with the sinking ship.

i was thinking about how long it took to nurse the decision to step away (frankly, i think some of it was in my head before i even moved here), and how long it was before i could say it out loud, and how now--even though it feels like one of the better things i've ever decided--i still get the deep sads once in a while about how this first great love didn't work out like i thought it would, at least not during this first go-round.

but overall, i feel so relieved that the burden is off, finally/for a while. i'm trying to remember this as the grad school decisions trickle in (and as i fight the giant show anxiety i mentioned below). i'm still in charge, no matter how many people say no thank you.



i am petrified that no one will come to the show. tomorrow, or, like . . . ever.

i sent emails and press releases and all sorts of shit, but this is new york and how a random person ever even finds out about a little off-off-broadway solo show and makes a plan to go see it sort of mystifies me.

it's out of my hands. i need to chill.

if no one comes, i owe them seventy-five dollars. this is my greatest fear: that the embarrassment will be compounded by the exchanging of money. i will have to pay someone dollars because my show drew no people. is there anything lamer?

the monkey said anxiety was coming off me in waves like heat last night. i am really really trying to relax. relax. relax.

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