Wednesday, December 29, 2004

True Loves

Tonight while cleaning out all the stuff I've shoved under my bed over the past year, I found my favorite photograph of myself with my old boyfriend. Not G, but one a couple before him, the boy I was with during college and for a year and a half afterward. The picture was taken the day I graduated from college. I was sitting in the football stadium with the other members of my class, none of whom I knew since I was graduating before all my other film school friends. Todd snuck up into the stands to surprise me, and we had the guy sitting behind us take our picture. In it we both look purely, simply happy, and deeply at peace, which is something we rarely were. I remember showing it to my step mom after it was developed, and she told me that she thought Todd looked really proud of me, and when I look at the picture, it makes me smile to be able to see that. I'm so grateful that I have that picture, some little bit of proof of something. The fact that Todd is still in my life is greater proof of that something, whatever exactly that something is. He is someone I know without a doubt I can count on to care about me. Even when I am wicked to him, even when I ignored him for months on end because I was in love with someone else, even when I'm dreadfully dull, I know that he's there, and he'll never not want me in his life. When we were dating, he used to tell me that he worried that if we ever broke up, he would lose my friendship, and I cruelly assured him that he most definitely would, so he'd better not break up with me. I'm so glad I wasn't able to keep my word on that. There are very few (in fact, truly only a few, as in three) people in my life who I can be completely honest with about my feelings and my state of mind, who I know I won't scare away or repulse when I admit that I'm having a hard time. When I tell him things, when I show him my vulnerable, aching side, he doesn't judge me. He formed his opinion of me long, long ago and he's never changed his mind or decided I was no longer worthwhile. This isn't to say that our friendship is perfect, because it's actually quite flawed in many ways. But the relationships that I've tried to make perfect have fallen out of my life, and this one has remained. I can hardly think of anything better then having something like that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

For once!

We are having a true, honest-to-God thunderstorm right now. Mira and Max are going absolutely crazy because they've totally forgotten what thunder sounds like in the past 4 years. I practically have, too!

I wish it weren't already 5:00PM so that I could curl up and take a nap, which short of sitting on a porch swing with someone you love, is the best way to enjoy a storm. Instead, I will make some tea and turn the lights low and just listen, for the few minutes that it lasts.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I've been thinking a lot this holiday season about that particular song lyric, and how it seems to sum up all that I most want in life, and all that I'm finding difficult to achieve right now. It's not that I don't have moments of feeling comfortable and joyful, but they've been in short supply as of late, and so the search continues.

The thing is that in many ways, I *do* have a comfortable life. I have a cute apartment with lots of soft pillows and good smelling candles, and I take a hot bath every night with sweet pea scented bubbles. For Christmas my mom got me a crock pot and a panini press, so I've now more ways then ever to make yummy, warm food to have with a glass of red wine. I have two cats who love to cuddle, and a heater that is noisy but effective. Physically, there is no reason for me to feel any discomfort whatsoever, really. But there's a hole, and I feel it, and it does in fact cause me to feel uncomforted in some really important way.

As for joy, until fairly recently in my life (within the last couple years), I hadn't really figured out how to truly experience or embrace it at all. I wasn't sure I even had the right tools with which to feel purely happy. I am very, very blessed to have learned I was wrong about that. But true joy, the kind that brings tears to your eyes and makes your skin tingle, is so rare. I haven't felt it for a while, and I miss it tremendously. Now that I know it's possible, it's hard to be without it. It turns out that a lot of the things that bring me deep comfort are also the things that bring me the biggest joy, and it's my greatest wish for myself, and for others, that those things come around once again to the places where they are lacking.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

And then there are other days...

Writing this week was significantly harder then last. Every word seemed to be a struggle, and when I was finally able to get something on the page, it all seemed trite, boring and out of place. I'm at the point where my characters' first impressions are there, and I need to now plunge into the deeper development of them. This is always where things get tricky for me, and when that is added to just a general lack of good ideas (which seemed to be the deal this week), it makes coming up with even five pages rather difficult. I don't know it was because I was so focused on website stuff this week, or if it's due to the holidays coming up and all that brings with it, or if was simply my hormones messing with me (which they are doing a lot of right now), but there were several times this week when I found myself staring at the screen, on the brink of tears.

Morgan says that I should go easier on myself, not have so many goals to meet each week, or at least not be angry with myself if for one reason or another I'm not able to meet them. I had to explain to her that right now, these little goals for myself are all I've got. My love life is in shambles (the debris of which I'm constantly having to climb over) and my career is severly off track from where I imagined it would be at this point. The things that are holding me together right now are my five pages a week and my almost completed website. If I can't at least live up to my expectations in those areas, I'm not quite sure what I will do with myself.

Luckily, I finished my pages a couple hours ago (with half a day to spare!) and actually felt good about the final few paragraphs, which will hopefully put me in a good position to start back up again on the 27th (taking next week off to celebrate Christmas as properly as possible). Baby steps.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If you must read one, I recommend "Writing Down The Bones"

I have no idea where bursts of creativity or inspiration come from, nor does anyone else, at least not specifically, or else there would be no need for hundreds upon hundreds of books about how to well, um, write books (or whatever other artistic thing one endeavors to do). But wherever it comes from, I've got a little patch of it this week and I'm rather happy about that. I think it's primarily due to the fact that I'm starting to get some real stuff DONE and it's creating the desire to want to do more. Hmmm... weird de ja vu... did I already write about this? Anyway. I've put myself on a very strict schedule for working on my book ("working on my book" is the absolute cheesiest thing in the world to say. Well, besides "working on my screenplay." Ick.). I'm giving myself a weekly page minimum just like I used to have in college, which was the last time I wrote with any true regularity (besides during Lent this year), and it seems to be working well. I've tried other methods in the past such as writing for a certain length of time each day or a certain word count, but nothing stuck. My schedule and emotional whims are too unpredictable to force myself to writeeverydaywithoutfailorImustnotreallywanttobeawriter. With this new thing, if I miss a day I just have to make up for it by Sunday night. And so far, with that in mind, I've NOT missed a day. The website is also coming along really nicely, and working on it sort of feels like my "job," but in a good way (have come to associate anything that seems like a "job" to be bad over the past several years). I love, love, love working on it and thinking about it. It serves as a good distraction from the other things that have camped out in my brain recently (they've not gone anywhere, but they take naps more frequently when I've got stuff to concentrate on). It's nice to feel good busy. I've so longed to have that feeling again. It's been ages. Years. It's come at a really extraordinarily high price, and for that I feel quite sad. I guess I'd like to think that one thing didn't cause the other, that I could be on this track even if I didn't just recently have my heart stomped upon, but who knows. One does what one must, I suppose, and if you're lucky, you find some small silver lining while doing it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"The kissing couple is next."

For most of this year, I have been without a soundtrack. Normally, I almost always have a cd that I am in love with, that I keep constantly playing in my car, and have pangs of longing for during the hours when I can't be driving around listening to it. I will listen to the same cd for month after month after yes, another month before finally retiring it with a respectful sigh to the cd shelf. In the past these albums have ranged from movie scores to the Beatles, but most often they are someone's well written, highly-singable musings on love (if either brilliant lyrics or singalongablity are lacking, the time I can stand to keep it as the featured pick shoots way, way down). I find myself in need of something that fits this bill, but everything I've tried lately has come up short. I don't know if I've become too quick to boredom, or if singers have just gotten lazy. But I guess that a great deal of the value is in the discovery, so I will keep looking...

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I did something unexpected yesterday. After having spent most of my life loving my hair color, and being told by every hair stylist I ever went to that I should never dye it, I went ahead and did just that. Over the past year or so (it might have been much longer then that, or much shorter, but my ability to perceive these kinds of things seems to not exist), my once very uniquely colored hair had become very dull, and I had failed to notice it. Like so many other things in my life, my perspective is skewed. The things I thought I had all in line, all on track, have gone completely awry, and other things I thought I'd never get a handle on are starting to slip into place. I'm bewildered. So I decided to change my hair. The most difficult thing about doing it was that I knew I would be saying goodbye forever to the hair I grew up with, the hair my dad loved to call "butterscotch." Even though it hadn't been butterscotch for quite some time, it was sad to officially let it go (it's more "coke with cherry syrup" now, by the way). Odd how hard it can be to give up something you don't even have any more. But I am trying.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Caramel Apple Cider

I'm drinking my tea early tonight because I have to be up at a more extreme time than usual tomorrow so that I can make my hair look pretty. Unfortunately, I'm realizing that not all teas are created equal. While this sleep tea was the only kind of tea I drank for years (having not been all that in to tea until recently, and drinking it only for the sake of helping with my insomnia), I have suddenly become a bit adverse to it now that I've been drinking my very lovely English Breakfast tea (purchased London) in the morning. Must find caffeine free version of like quality.

On the surface, this was a productive day for me. We're making great strides with our website, and it's starting to look real. I'm pretty excited about this. And after work, I started back doing something I haven't done for a long while but plan to do more often, which is bring my computer to the coffee shop so that I can write without the distraction of internet for a couple hours each day. I have always sort of thought people who did that were dorky (and not good dorky), and were just trying to look all writerly. But I've come to understand why a place like that can be condusive to creativity. I got more done in my time there today then I have in the past several weeks at home. Besides, it's fun to watch people go in and out (famous people count for today: 4), and make up stories about how they've spent their day. The guy sitting next to me was writing furiously in a college ruled notebook. I didn't want to be rude and stare at what he was putting down, but I noticed an awful lot of "I"s, so perhaps a journal, or an angry letter to someone. He kept sighing as if the words were taking a lot out of him. I know the feeling.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Green Bean Casserole

So it appears I survived my first major holiday alone. Not just "without family" alone or "single" alone (have done those many times before), but rather actually alone. "Sitting with cats eating a bologna sandwich instead of turkey" alone. It wasn't quite as bad as I feared it might be, although I can't say it was splendid, either, because obviously it wasn't. It's just that, at least in this case, it turned out that a holiday alone made for a similar feeling as every other day alone lately. I guess it's being with people one wants to be with that makes a holiday a special day, and without those people it's rather normal, only with fewer stores open. Good Lord, that sounds corny.

Have been battling loneliness today, though. It's my 5th straight day in a row without seeing a single person who I know, and it's starting to wear on me. There are so many things I am missing these days, and they seem to creep up on me the most when I am by myself. Today while cleaning I found the itinerary for the trip I was supposed to have taken this week, and I sobbed for 5 minutes as if someone had cut a toe off. I recovered pretty quickly, but it's small things like that which can do me in.

I keep meaning to write a more upbeat post since overall things have been going pretty well, at least in all the practical ways, and I want it to be reflected that I'm not curled in the fetal position on my bathroom floor or some such thing. But it seems that what has been true most of my life remains true now, which is that I really feel most inspired to write something when I'm struggling.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Oil of Olay

Tomorrow I turn 26, and tonight I used my first wrinkle cream. It smells like old woman, and I felt a bit sad as I smeared its pinkness on my face and neck (musn't forget the neck!). 26 has been a significant age in my mind for years. It was the age by which I expected myself to have accomplished a whole range of things, and most of them are still far beyond my reach. So I don't anticipate tomorrow being a particularly special day. I will spend it working for 9 hours with people I barely know, and then I will come home to my empty apartment and have a half pint of Ben & Jerry's frozen yogurt as my cake. I will listen to nice voicemails from my parents and my Grandpa and Grandma which will make me teary, and I will feel like I need the wrinkle cream.

But last year I had a nearly perfect birthday. In fact, it may actually have been completely perfect. I was camping with Gym, April and Hosea in Big Sur. In the middle of the night, I got out of the tent to go to the bathroom and looked up through the Redwoods at the sky. It was filled with more stars then I thought existed. I woke Gym up and made him come out and look at them with me. It was one of the fullest moments of my life. That was how I turned 25. So I will gladly take this lonely birthday as the price for having been given that one.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Today is my dad's birthday. My dad is the only one besides me who reads these posts, so... Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Two Jars of Pickles and No One to Share Them With

I've got a bit of melancholy today. The boy left for Philadelphia this morning to work on a movie for the next four months. I'm ridiculously proud of him, but already feeling some lonliness. It's his fault for being so much fun to spend time with.

I'm planning, however, to channel any blueness that comes up into my writing. I've been so happy with my personal life for the past year that I've not been able to muster much of the angst that my stories seem to require. This should help with that, probably more then I want it to. We went to see this girl play at a bar the other night, and both she and the girl who played before her were really awesome writers/musicians. It got my wheels turning. There's a lot I want to put out there, and there's no reason I shouldn't be kicking ass creatively right now. I've no excuses, which is sort of scary for me. I love it.

Monday, August 30, 2004

And then again...

Finally have internet again. I'm terribly excited about this. Embarrassingly so. Right now I am sitting on my floor at my makeshift desk, which is about 1 foot high. It was supposed to be much taller, but as usual it didn't go as planned.

Last night I had one of the most fabulous dinners of my life and I have been thinking about it all day. It wasn't just the food, of course. It was everything -- the atmosphere, the boy, my flip-flopped feet in a fancy restaurant.

But dang, was that Godiva cake amazing.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Oh, to be drowsy...

I hate flying. Hate it. Tomorrow I have to do it all by my self for the first time in a year and I'm dreading it. Dreading it enough that I am sitting here awake being worried when I should be sleeping since I'll have to wake up in about 5 hours. Bugger. When I get in this state, I can (and do) worry about everything from whether I need to start using anti-wrinkle cream on my eyes to whether I have some inherently horrible trait that will one day cause me to end up all alone. Right at this second, I am worrying about the fact that when I get back to Los Angeles tomorrow, I have to actually start working on this new direction I'm trying to go in my life, and that's terrifying. However, I have doubts about whether I will be able to solve all the issues behind this at midnight while sitting in my high school bedroom. It's times like these when I most need to sleep and when I most unable to.

Oh yes. I found my French cookbook at a little antique store in Elk Rapids, Michigan, where my family has a house on a small lake. It's a perfect book (though smelly) and I'm enjoying just reading the recipes, which is something new for me. Maybe I will read about how to cook the perfect egg, and that will lull me to sleep. Worth a shot.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

A World Away from Carmel

Los Angeles is wearing me out. Even though I have lived here for almost 4 years and have been aware almost all of that time how soul-less this city can be, it's just now starting to really catch up to me. I'm being affected by it and that has to stop. Last night I went to do some shopping after work. That in itself was stressful enough, as even doing something as simple as parking at the market is an ordeal during the post-work scramble. Then on my way home from the store, I was nearly ploughed over 3 separate times by idiots in their embarrassingly oversized vehicles who could easily crush my only slightly oversized vehicle as if it were tinfoil. Anything you may have heard about Los Angeles being land of the laidback and happy is an enormous joke. There's no sense of politeness or etiquette here on the roads or elsewhere -- when I finally managed to get out of my car down the block from my apartment, I was heckled by a truck packed full of skeevy 40 year olds as I scurried home, scowling so as to deter them as much as possible from leering at me. It makes me feel hateful, and I am not a hateful person. But, oh man, the resentment I have building for this place where I live...

This past weekend Gym and I drove up to northern California, which is quite possibly my favorite place on earth so far. The drive up was extremely taxing for a variety of reasons that were completely out of our control, but as soon as we arrived in Carmel, all that stress was quickly forgotten. It wasn't just because Carmel is so enchanting (although it is) or because the landscape is so utterly lovely (although it is), but because it's CIVIL. It's SANE. There are no stoplights in the town, only crosswalks, and when you attempt to walk across the street, the oncoming cars will ACTUALLY STOP FOR YOU. This is something that doesn't happen in LA very often, if ever. People here would run you over if it meant they could make it to Starbucks before the morning rush. It's unreal.

I'm starting to realize why it is that I am so desperately tired all the time. It's because 75% of my daily activities are huge struggles. Everything from getting money from the ATM to washing my car is made so complicated here. Perhaps most people don't notice these things or aren't bothered by them, but I'm naturally a very high stress kind of girl, so anything adding to that stress just gets hugely multiplied, whether it should or not. It's only when I take time out to do something small like walk up to the farmer's market on a Sunday morning that I feel much peace here. I'm okay with this in theory because I believe that life is in the details and in blissfully languishing in small moments. But in reality, I have a hard time accepting the thought of living too much longer in a place that makes the search for such moments such an enormous undertaking.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Green Window Sills

When I got home last night, I found that my windows had been misbehaving. The ones I'd left open in the morning were closed, and the closed ones were open, if precariously. Upon closer inspection I discovered that the building maintenance people had been in there at some point during the day and painted all of my window sills white. Sloppy, bumpy, bland white. I'm taking this as my cue to begin thinking about moving, as my darling green window sills (a perfect shade -- dark, but happy) were one of the last things in the building that retained any of the charm that existed there before the new owner took over the place several months ago and began making "improvements." These so-called improvements have made me embarrassed of my building, which I was once quite proud to be living in. It's a little brick building that had a marvelous green awning (now awningless) and smooth, slightly sloping cement stairs in the front (now covered with some sort of ugly Spanish tiles) that looked like it could be in a New York neighborhood. No longer. Now it's a bizarre mix of brick and tile and old and new and it's just... I miss my green window sills already.

Happily, I will not have to see the new white paint all weekend as the wonderful, amazing boy is bringing me up the coast (in the convertible, so I'm going to put my hair in a pretty scarf and wear my huge sunglasses and pretend it's 1955) to Carmel for the weekend to celebrate the one year anniversary of our first date. We're going to drink wine, eat cheese, bury our feet in the sand and be happy, as we are every day, that we found each other.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Four More Days

It's not a sign of a good day when one has already cried at one's desk by 11:00 AM. This job has taken such a toll on me. I feel so beat up. I need this in writing so that I will remember it when I'm freaked out a month from now about having no money.

Being here in this dark little room, sitting at this dark little desk, working for this dark little company makes me feel dreadful, dreadful, dreadful and I musn't forget that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Missing the Search

I am on the hunt for an old edition of the book MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Julia Child. A new edition was released in 2001 for the 40th anniversary of the book, and that one is readily available in most any bookstore. But I want an original, or as close to an original as I can find. One that has a nicely worn dust cover. One that has been thumbed through and propped up and perhaps even spilled on a bit. One that has more history then those sitting on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.

I am sad about how simple this hunt could be. I did a quick search on eBay for the book and pulled up no less then 30 of them for sale. I could buy one for $5 plus shipping and handling and be done with it as simply as that. I don't like that. I want to have to poke my head in every used book store I pass for the next 2 years until finally, on some rainy day on a trip to Seattle I will pull the perfect copy from a low shelf in a tiny, dark store that smells of mildew and pipe smoke. I want my heart to thud out of my chest when I see it. I want the owner of the store to think I am strange as I gasp with glee. I DON'T want the book to arrive via priority mail from some stranger in Nevada who I just happened to give my bid to.

We've got it too easy these days, in many respects. Thanks to credit cards and the internet, we no longer have to pine for things nearly as much as we used to, and that's too bad. When I was little, my dad made me a chart on a piece of cardboard that had spots for 100 pennies. I would dump my piggy bank out and line up the pennies on the chart and when I had a dollar I'd separate it from the rest of my money. I saved up enough to buy a cabbage patch doll that way, and I was unbelievably proud of myself. How are we to fully respect and appreciate our belongings when they are the result of a few moments of thought rather then months or even years of anticipation and longing? It takes the romance out of it, and thus takes much of the pure joy out of it as well.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Wire Photographs

Last night I spent several hours making little stick figures out of wire for a larger project I'm working on. It was the first time in a long while that I've done something that was truly engrossing, and it served as a huge reinforcement of the choices I'm making right now. This is my last week at a "real" job. I'd like to declare that it will be my last week at such a job ever. Period. But I'm not quite brave enough yet. Getting there.

When I finished with the Me Stick Figure, I noticed that I'd given her spirals of yellow wire hair, even though my hair has turned more and more red over the past few years. I'm no longer a blond girl, though obviously I still think of myself that way. Makes me wonder what else I might not be seeing.