Friday, September 29, 2006


potentialy TMI but totally true:

i just realized this:

i don't know about you, but i pretty much spent my twenties trying not to get herpes. by the grace of god and at least a little good sense, successfully. and now i'm thirty, and now i'm getting married, and barring events of such scariness i can't stop to ponder them,

i am never getting herpes.

i am done. i can just cross that one right off.

this is right up there with never again having to see my face in the mirror the morning after a break-up.

Friday, September 22, 2006


note from the trenches.

i have a presentation in my queer theory class on wednesday. every time i think about it, i come a little closer to shitting myself.

also, in my composition class, it has become apparent that no one is taking the time necessary to get Nosestrip's name right, and so he has decided to go by a pseudo-literal translation of his name: Big Fire.

i'm humbled, and tickled.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


six of one.

1. i'm worried that the wedding will be too short. we only have the space for five hours. i didn't really think about it when we were deciding; it was all about the where and not the how-long. five hours doesn't even seem like a normal party, much less an adequate celebration for an occasion of this magnitude. we may not be having a lot of traditional trappings, but make no mistake: the magnitude is large. it's important to me that this is a big deal. i know it's a big deal no matter what, but i need to know there'll be some time to live in it while it's happening. i'm starting to have that feeling about maybe we just should have picked a nice spot in the woods and set up chairs and had a big sweet hippie wedding. also, i occasionally remember that people are dying in darfur and i'm thinking about a ridiculously expensive party.

2. i am not worried about the wedding, because i am worried about school. i am taking this one class that makes no sense. i have talked to the most savvy of my classmates, and it makes no sense to them, either. we agree: we feel dumb. the teacher is a great guy, and extremely knowledgeable, famous in his field, and a great lecturer. why are we not getting it? the theory is just too dense and we don't have enough time or enough clues and handholds. pro: we are all in the same boat and it is not just me. con: i leave the room crying because the Ph.D.s all seem very comfortable and in a year, i am supposed to be like them. i am not like them.

3. i really want to move back to seattle. let's be honest, i've wanted this since my sixth month here. i am trying to be open about where we might move--it was enough of a compromise for the monkey to decide not to stay here--but i can tell i really really have my heart set on going home. when i get there, *if* we get there, it will not be the place i remember. i will have lived here as long as i lived there (how is this possible?). i am sort of not an actor anymore. who would i be in seattle if i wasn't an actor? can i even do anything with this master's degree? scariest: what if i would rather move back than do the Ph.D., which, even if i get in might make me feel like a birdbrain all the time and mean another four years in a city i don't necessarily love that does not contain my family. this choice is open to me, but if i move back without a terminal degree, nothing will really have changed since when i lived there and hated my dayjob. except i joined a union and am now relatively uncastable in the circles i used to frequent.

4. when is the monkey going to learn about money? when is he going to understand that saving for the future is not something you do when there is money left over but something you do at the beginning of the month? if there is only so much money coming in, and you don't end up with enough to save, you need to stop taking cabs and eating expensive salads. this is how it works. i am marrying a two year old. i love him, but i do not want our retirement to be compromised because one of us was the ant and one of us was the grasshopper. we keep having this conversation, and i keep thinking it's handled, and then it's not handled. i feel like my choices are: constant harping (doesn't work), or relax-and-have-faith (doesn't work). i would like to say it's his life and he's going to have to live with the consequences, and in the end that's true--it certainly isn't anyone else's--but it will be our lives together in which we eat ramen at sixty and the monkey is still bartending and we don't get to travel.

5. i took this amazing dance class. ADS was out at ann richards's funeral and so another of her pals, elizabeth r0xas came in to teach. i kicked a little bit of ass. not much to brag about in a class full of people who are clearly on the movement short bus, but it felt good to be good at something. and now my butt hurts.

6. i won an award. or rather, the company i've worked with on and off for the last three years did. it's the sort of ridiculous 0ff-0ff-broadway equivalent of the obies. it was an awkward evening; the presenters (who were surprisingly famous) did a good job of navigating the tricky space between admitting that most of us participating new york fringe theatre are doing so only because we're not getting hired somewhere "better," and praising the spirit that keeps people working at theatre even when it's a difficult pain in the ass and the chances it sucks are high. it's an easy scene to disdain, but i left the evening thinking that it really is in the poor theatre and the small theatre that you can see why the art is necessary. and with an even-bigger crush on lisa kron.

Friday, September 15, 2006


the willies.

we started new classes, and i had one on wednesday that gave me the worst recent attack of the Academic Jeebies on record. didn't get it. not what the professor was saying, not what the students were saying . . . and there are a bunch of PhDs in this class, so they are saying some stuff i am totally unprepared to deal with.

the thing is, i'm pretty sure i'm smart enough. whatever's at stake isn't the "smart enough" part. it's some other thing that i may or may not be able to do well or sophisticatedly enough. it's some combo plate of talking the weird talk and understanding those who do and certain affinities i may or may not share . . . i don't know yet. i feel like this year could easily be turned into one giant audition--for the PhD program, but also just sort of in general: to see if i'm good enough. i'm really looking forward to when i am mature enough not to care about this question.

i also have a certain famous person teaching a class on performance composition. i think it'll be good, but man is it weird to be back in an acting studio again. more on this one later, but here's what i think: i think i am finally old enough not to care about giving an acting teacher the right answer.

Monday, September 11, 2006


okay, and thankful.

i think it's odd that one of the things i remember wondering about most clearly is if and when television would ever go back to normal; it seemed so impossible that we'd watch sitcoms again and peter jennings wouldn't be on camera 24 hours a day. it did, and now it's so normal that this is the first anniversary that snuck up on me.

i saw a tiny bit of some kind of 9/11 movie last night while i was checking to see if that show was on (i know, shut up), and in spite of myself something moved in my chest when i realized that what i was seeing was a depiction of the big before. i access the before all the time, so i don't know why a video approximation should cause the chest bubble, but there you go. i forget that the before could have lasted all the way to now, that there was a way for it not to happen that we didn't manage to find.

i also had a terrible dream about you, in which i was the bad guy, which is strange in that you are definitely the bad guy. it is highly doubtful that our prime time schedule will ever return to what it was, and we might not ever even talk about it, but on days like this i wonder if it wasn't maybe a big mostly blameless mistake, and i'm so glad you didn't die.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


okay, for now.

the monkey's dad is out of the hospital.

so, they're biopsy-ing the polyps on his liver, and we don't know anything yet, but apparently the doctor is pretty sure that if it is cancer, we aren't dealing with anything fast-moving. so the for-now looks okay. no word on whether the giant thing they removed from his colon was cancerous, but i'm hoping no news is good news. if and when they need to resect his liver so it can regenerate like a new lizard tail, monkey-dad's doctor knows the one liver guy in georgia able to do the surgery. so, that's good. right now it looks like they're just dealing with being home and waiting, again, for further word.

(dealing with medical issues is one time when it becomes radically clear that your family and someone else's family are Not The Same Thing. my parents would be all up those doctors' shit, demanding answers and making plans and buying books from amazon on whatever might possibly be wrong with one of us. not that that's better; my parents and i are obsessive, insomniac and terminally tightly wound. this lack of furor amazes me, but i'm not at all sure it's not a more comfortable way to navigate all of this.)

some jerk stole our bikes over the weekend. the monkey rode his to rehearsal on friday, and both ours were there when he locked it up for the night. turns out a third of the bikes in the (locked) bike room are missing, so the building people are reviewing the security tapes. i don't think we're getting them back, though, which is a bummer because my dad gave me that bike and it had some sweet memories attached. and it was purple and practically brand new and i put the bell on myself. we have homeowner's insurance; i think the deductible is probably about the cost of one of the bikes, but we'll see. jerk who took our bikes: i hope you needed them more than we do.

Monday, September 04, 2006


there are better days.

the monkey is in atlanta, where his dad is in the hospital. there's some stuff going on.

and it's really not good stuff, you guys. it's the bad kind, and i want to form a shell outside him that will just keep the bad out indefinitely, and not only can i not do it i'm not even in atlanta.

he was so freaked out on friday night when we heard. i've never seen him like that. he wanted to go to this party we were going to go to anyway, even though i told him it was fine if we didn't go, and when we got there he turned his social up to eleven and became this manic manic guy. and when we got home i asked him if he would take a big deep breath, and he just flew into a million pieces.

the monkey is doing pretty magnificently considering, especially considering we don't really know what's wrong yet. no one seems to be asking a lot of questions of the doctors, which would be driving me batshit, but they want his dad to recover from surgery, i guess, before they have a big conversation about the outlook.

i was thinking about whatever do you do to help someone with the unhelpable task, and i had this frozen ice pick feeling that i get whenever mortality creeps into the same paragraph as him. on some level, losing someone you love in the very center region, one of the people at the heart of you, is the same whether they're old and sick or struck down in their youth. if anything happened to the monkey i don't know what i'd do. i know this is the wrong thing to say, but i am worried that my life would be over. i don't know that i could go back to the life he's not in. i think that is probably bad to say, but it's really true. if he were gone, i think i might want to be gone, too.

which is all just to say that a cloud is passing over and we'll figure it out and if there's more sadness to come, we'll deal with that, too. but when death enters the conversation i feel so paralyzed that it's like my understudy takes over while i sink into my ankles. they way you can love those people is what makes life a good thing, and i suppose it wouldn't be the same life if we all knew we were here forever, but this is the nightmare side of loving someone: they can be gone.

Friday, September 01, 2006


when the privileged beautiful people come back to capstrano.

so last night was this big t1sch party, where all the graduate students in the department drank wine and ate catered asian food. including the MFA acting kids.

they were all there, wearing their weird black dresses and cowboy boots and no makeup or incredible makeup; they were there dancing too big and being perfectly okay with it; they were tossing their hair and flaunting their skin and pretty much acknowledging that right now, before any real world action has hit, they own the world.

or not. maybe they're sad and scared and have their own demons to wrestle. it took a lot of discipline not to hate them, though.

i'm trying not to be so touchy; i'm going to continue to know actors for the rest of my life. they are some of my favorite people. there just may be this year or two where hearing about their successes makes me want to jump off something tall.

the party was still fun. afterwards i tried to bring my classmates to the monkey's bar, but it was like herding drunken cats. they stopped in union square to dance to some drum music for a while. it was very olympia.

on the chipper side, my engagement ring is finished. we picked it up and he put it on my finger and everything. i still occasionally get a little squeamish about the weird ownership symbolism (which, you know, we made our peace with, and it can't have bothered me that much anyway because i clearly wanted one), but: let me tell you, on a purely aesthetic level, it pleases me so intensely. this ring is beautiful. i have never seen one i liked better. it is tiny and dainty and incredibly sparkly and every time someone sees it they say, "oh, classy."

photo to come, but man, it can be hard to take a macro shot of your own hand.

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