Monday, April 30, 2012


It's a Monday! No doubt, you are all eagerly skipping into work today. You are filled with anticipation knowing that this week is filled with delightful promise of exciting opportunities and paychecks. Or perhaps, one or two of you have a slightly slower spring in your step and the anticipation is closer to dread than delight. No matter: it is Monday. You are ready to go! You have coffee in hand. You've opened your email. You've closed your email and decided that reading this blog would be a terrific enhancement to a week already filled with outrageous possibilities, or that it would be a good way to procrastinate—a way of making the weekend last just a little longer.

So, to kick off your week in proper fashion, I bring to you the following question: is there one thing that you can never refuse? It could be anything: Mardy's Munchies cupcakes, champagne, a man with a hang-dog expression on his face, hot Cheetos, or a massage from your old boyfriend. Is there something that breaks your willpower consistently?

Picture it: you are walking down the street. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. You're wearing something fashionable (and if you are me, it's because your friend has made a clothing chart for you), and you have a determined look on your face. You have things to do, people to see, and you will not be deterred from your mission. And then it happens. Perhaps you've seen the food truck of your dreams. Perhaps Tiffany (or Barney's) is having a 95% off sale. Maybe the phone is ringing and the name that pops up on your phone is full of dangerous (and best avoided) promise. What is your siren call?

I have few traditional vices. I'm not compelled by drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or a raging libido. I don't spend a lot of time with fast food or tanning beds. But there are still things I respond to strongly; attachments that will always be temptations. I'll drive 40 minutes out of my way for a cupcake, but it takes an act of God to get me to the grocery store. I'm supposed to avoid certain foods, but I will cut someone who gets in between me and cheese. Chocolate and I are absurdly close. However there are certain emotional attachments that will always create havoc in ways that my other temptations do not. I will always pick up that call or answer that email. I will always be aware of him. No matter how much I should avoid the situation, I find myself flirting with disaster anyway. Emotionally or physically unavailable men—hello, catnip.

And you wonder why I advocate hermit living?



Friday, April 27, 2012

Things You May Have Missed

I was catching up on some internet reading, and I thought I'd share. These are things you may have missed, but clearly your life will not be complete until you read about them. No need to thank me—we can all be mystified, fascinated and entertained together.

Animals Talking in All Caps

The entire site makes me smile, but this one was too priceless not to share. Bookmark this tumblr and brighten your day.


Beautiful People Travel Free ('s mission is simple. They connect attractive people with generous people for world travel, or as CNN puts it, they connect "rich people with good-looking people who want to gallivant around the world on the rich person's dime." Now, I am going through a frugal period, and the idea of world travel is looking appealing again. So, in theory, I'd love a generous person to start paying my bills. Sadly, after looking at the site, I feel that I don't quite measure up as a potential for patronage. Also, my brain automatically goes to the "danger" place. Even though the site includes safety guidelines, traveling anywhere with someone you don't know sounds like a risky prospect. Plus, though it quite specifically states that it is not an escort site, I have a hard time believing that anyone is that generous without expecting something naked in return. This is problematic for the more uptight among us (ie me). Still, something intriguing for you to check out if you have a black belt and are feeling adventurous.


Cosmetic Foot Surgery

I love the way I look in heels, but, alas, I can often look more like a little kid trying on her mother's shoes when I try to walk in them. So, I can appreciate the desire to want them to be more comfortable and for your body to feel more stable in them. However, I feel like hitting the cosmetic surgeon in order to make pretty shoes happen is taking it a bit far. Surely, in the endless universe of shoes, you can find a pair that are both appealing and not so damaging that you'll be incapable of walking (in or out of shoes) down the road.


Eat More Chocolate!

Well, you don't have to tell me twice. Out of my way! Though I did believe that chocolate kept me sane, I did not know it might also be boosting my vision. I need my vision to be boosted, so I'm actually a little disappointed in myself that I haven't already had a couple of pieces along with my vitamins (plus, according to this article, it will also help my heart, protect my skin and do other fabulous things for me). Clearly, my impulses indicate that I was a doctor in a past life, and that the wisdom has secretly stayed with me (so secretly…).


Five to One

Don't forget that this show runs from April 28th through May 1st. It looks like it's going to be highly entertaining. Plus, this way I get to claim that I went out clubbing on a Saturday night (as the show is at The Roxy). Wins for everyone!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Unrealistic Desire

There is nothing so consuming as an unrealistic desire. I'm not even sure it matters what it is: unattainable career goals, inappropriate men, getting into a size 2 again…. All of these things have the power to take the concentration off of realistic and necessary activities and put it firmly in dreamland.

I have made unrealistic desire an art form. I could justify it by saying that being a writer requires a certain dreamlike approach to living. I need fantasy to fuel the projects that will someday be written. But I have a feeling it's also been a subtle form of self-sabotage.

Wrapping myself in the strong arms of yesteryear, complete with "it's only a matter of time until we get back together" thoughts, kept me out of the deep end of the dating pool (hell, it kept me out of the foot bath) for years. It was time wasted hoping for something that was never going to happen. While the movie star/character gazing is fun, it's a distance-r, too. Deep love for Mr. Darcy is delightful, but holding out for a hero often means not looking for something real. Wanting a man you can't ever have (either because he is married, dating someone or fictional) can only keep you entertained for so long (20 years… 25 at most). And in most cases, the decision is ultimately unfulfilling.

Have you ever put something off until you've lost weight? I do this almost daily. I've put off getting photos taken, going out, dating and even going to the doctor pending some sort of miracle weight loss. Would I be happier with my body if I suddenly looked like a 22 year old swimsuit model? Sure. Does that unrealistic desire keep me from doing things that need to be done? No doubt.

Now I'm looking at my "career" and thinking that my close relationship with unrealistic desires could be reasserting itself. I'm going to need a job at some point soon, but I keep plugging away at the hope that writing will start bringing in a living wage. Sadly, with the business the way it is, this really isn't likely—at least not any time soon. Yet the determination that this be so, has made me hesitate to commit to something outside of that. Plus, I don't drink coffee and couldn't make a latte if my life depended on it.

I'm not saying that dreaming is a bad thing. It keeps people creative and innovative. But at what point does a dream become an unrealistic desire that is only detrimental? At what point do you say, "George Clooney is never going to date me (or ABC is never going to pick up my show)," and move on?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Emotional Pitfall

How do you know if you are in the midst of an emotional affair (or if your partner is)? How do you define it?

I've always had male friends and because I'm perpetually everyone's little sister, I've often been a sounding board for them. This has meant everything from listening to them vent about their on-again-off-again girlfriends to reading drafts of their books. Spending an hour on the phone with a man wouldn't raise any red flags for me. I've had real friendships with these men—but those relationships have never been sexual. In fact, there was never even a thought of it. And yet, there was at least one instance where a girlfriend of one of these men has been bothered by the relationship.

Did these situations constitute an emotional affair because I was giving them the support they needed? I never thought of it in those terms, but also I never inquired as to whether or not the men felt an attachment that would have caused concern for the girlfriends. I knew nothing was going to happen on a physical level, so I didn't worry about it. To me, they might as well have been girls, and I wouldn't think twice about supporting a female friend of mine.

Do men secretly get annoyed when their girlfriends share their feelings and thoughts with another girl? What if her best friend was male? Even then, I'm not sure men feel as threatened by it. They might posture a little until they start feeling secure again, but unless they actually see signs of physical threat, I'm not sure they take great exception to the issue.

What do you do if you are already close with a man, and he starts dating someone? I hate when women dump their friends when they start dating someone. Is this really any different? Is that first relationship necessarily disposable in order to avoid potential romantic relationship insecurities down the road for him?

I know what you're thinking: "Have you ever dated someone with strong ties to someone else?" Yes, indeed. One of the EX's closest friends since childhood was female. I would never have demanded that he stop his friendship with her because I was suddenly on the scene. I trusted him, and I never felt shortchanged by her presence in his life. Perhaps that is the key to a successful male/female friendship once the male is romantically involved with someone—making certain that he doesn't use you as a replacement for an emotional connection he should be having with his partner. Of course, the amount of control you have over someone else's perceptions of you is debatable, so how you would actually do that remains a mystery.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blind Leading the Blind

Nothing like a traffic jam at 7:15pm on a Sunday evening to give a girl plenty of time to reflect on the fabulous possibilities that await her. And by fabulous, I mean annoying and potentially disastrous... is what the old me would have said. The new me only thinks positive thoughts. Which is why even though we have pretty much all agreed that blind dates are a bad idea, I am still willing to make this happen.

Quick question: is sexting first base or does it depend on exactly what is typed? I'm just trying to get a handle on exactly what I'm going to face since this technology didn't exist the last time I went on a first date.

I am sensing that some of my potential gentleman callers have expressed some degree of reluctance about being set up. Normally, I would assume this is because they've seen a picture of me (btw, "No, in real life she's sort of cute" is my current marketing campaign), but the new me assumes that this is just because they are nervous about how awkward set ups can be. This I understand. I too am experiencing a tad bit of trepidation about stepping from behind the curtain.

Being the crafty problem solver that I am, I'm encouraging a vetting process. I'm even seriously considering slipping a questionnaire to friends while they are vetting the potentials. It could save a lot of time. Beyond the normal status questions (single, straight, serial killer), I thought these would also be useful:

  1. How do you feel about being mocked (if I promise to be gentle on the first date)?
  2. How do you feel about spending long hours discussing Russian literature before I let you hold my hand (which still might be moving too fast)?
  3. How do you feel about being second guessed about everything? No, I mean everything. No, really.
  4. How do you deal with television sports conflicts? For instance, if your Yankees were on TV and my Indians were on TV, how would you feel about the fact that we'll be watching the Indians play?
  5. Describe your favorite first date and use the words "classical music," "picnic in the park" and "reading you 19th century romantic poetry."
  6. Describe in what ways you are most like Colin Firth.
This should go well!

Is Honesty Enough?

*This post includes spoilers for season 5 of Californication. Turn back now if you haven't seen it and don't want to be spoiled.


Does honesty absolve you of responsibility in relationships? Obviously, it doesn't in literal terms: you can't say, "I'm going to hit you now" and then hit the person without consequence using the "I warned you" defense. Can the same be said for emotional responses and consequences?

Because everything relates to fiction for me these days, look at the situation between Carrie and Hank in the fifth season of Californication (and I should preface this by saying I in no way favor the way Carrie chose to deal with her emotional issues). From what little we know of their actual relationship (which was mostly explored off-screen and presented after the fact at the beginning of the season), Hank and Carrie were together exclusively for nearly a year. They were regularly sexually involved, she had a key to his apartment, and he knew she wanted the white dress and all that comes with it. While he told her that he wanted to keep things simple, she became emotionally attached to a man who was not ever going to love her—something we, as an audience, believed, but sadly she did not until too late.

You could say that Hank acted honestly: he was always straightforward with her, and when he suspected that she was going to ask for more than he could give her, he ended it. But she accused him of "stealing" anyway. Yes, you could say her actions before and after those accusations indicate that she was unhinged, but her accusations did resonate with me (and for the sake of argument, let's pretend I am not similarly unhinged).

I would have rolled my eyes and dismissed her if they had been together only a couple of months. She was a big girl, no stranger to sexual relationships, and he told her that he didn't want anything serious. She has to take responsibility for listening to what he wanted and still thinking that she could change him. Intellectually, we all know that isn't going to happen in real life and it certainly wasn't going to happen in the case of Hank Moody. On a purely logical level, we know this.

But they were together a year. Was it really unreasonable for her to develop feelings for a man she had a relationship with and hope that he cared about her too? And make no mistake; spending a year in a relationship in your mid-30s is a bigger commitment than spending a year with someone in your 20s because if you want to have children, the clock is ticking. By her own admission, she didn't really "get it" until she saw him with someone he actually loved and realized that he was just killing time with her because he couldn't have what (or who) he really wanted. On an emotional level, was it unreasonable for her to be angry that he wasted her time?

I don't think this issue is uncommon (the issue itself, not the crazy way Carrie dealt with things). People stay in relationships that aren't going anywhere or aren't working for a multitude of reasons: love, access to sex, comfort, a desire to avoid confrontation, laziness and fear of being alone all come immediately to mind. But even if you aren't lying about what you want, are you being honorable in your dealings with another person if you know what they want is not something you can give?

Friday, April 20, 2012

From Zero to Sixty

Once a month I take part in probably the most fabulous wine club in the world—definitely the most fabulous in Los Angeles. Not only am I learning about wine (and thus expanding my brain and staving off my inevitable mental decline), but the group is comprised of great people (yes, I do like some people). Unfortunately, the flowing of good wine and entertaining conversation (and the occasional Meat Loaf sing-along) can lead to advanced jocularity and ill-advised decision-making.

Thus, I come to the following situation. After some lovely white Burgandy and a tiny bit of sparkling wine, I decided the best idea ever was to require all of my female friends to set me up on a blind date—at that exact moment. I had very few criteria: the man needs to be single, and he can't expect sex on the first date (or, let's face it, ever).

Two of my friends immediately sent off text messages that will no doubt alarm me greatly at a later date. But for the moment, I'm thinking positively. Sure, at best these attempts might only lead to chaste sexting using two intermediaries, but that will still count as the best date I've been on in years. Also, I've been assured that one date will be so bad, that my friend will want to tape it for YouTube. Hello, income! Finally—I mean, I am still out of work, so how can I refuse that offer?

Perhaps my calm acceptance stems for the fact that I don't actually believe any dates will result from this folly because I feel like there was mass penile shrinkage occurring simultaneously throughout the city when those texts went out creating real cases of "date avoidance." Or at least the contacted men will take every possible opportunity to avoid me for the foreseeable future. For instance, we'll see a sudden spike in the number of men in Los Angeles volunteering for immediate Peace Corps placement or long term live-in drug trials.

But the important thing to remember is that I am totally open to the idea of dating—completely open and looking forward to it. So very much. And I am in no way using right now to find the fastest, cheapest flight away from this city. Because that would be wrong. Probably.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Caption Me!

Because it was entertaining last time, here's another chance for you to add your own caption. What was I thinking at this exact moment?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Fame Thing

I have never wanted to be famous. Wealthy? Yes. Respected? Yes. Famous? No. It has never been a goal for me…until Saturday night. If I could have been a famous person on Saturday night, I would have signed on the dotted line.


I went to see In Paris starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Sinyakina on Saturday night at The Broad in Santa Monica. It's an interesting play—very avant garde, with clever staging and dialogue done in Russian and French with English subtitles. While I've seen Baryshnikov dance many times on stage, this was the first straight production I've ever seen him do (it may actually be the first play he's done it outside of workshops). He is actually on stage far longer than most of the audience realizes: He is stationed on the set taking in the audience as they reach their seats close to curtain time. It certainly sets a tone!

As it turns out, Kenneth Branagh was sitting a couple of rows behind us. We saw Emily Mortimer in the lobby. By all appearances, they were going back to meet Baryshnikov after the play concluded. They get to do that. I did not get to do that. They are famous people, and, in this one instance, I really wished I was.

I feel like I've been fascinated by Baryshnikov's story since I was a little kid. As a cold war child, I remember the talk about his defection (though I was five when he actually did it). I remember the event made out of his first performance as a citizen of the U.S. in the mid-1980s, and White Nights was a sensation. I didn't see the Oscar nominated film The Turning Point until I was older, but I made a point of seeing every stage performance I could. There was even a poster that belonged to my roommate in our senior year college apartment, and I gave the Kirov a special nod as I passed by one day.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think he's one of the few famous people I would really like to meet (despite my reluctance to ever speak to strangers). I have no idea what I'd say to the man. I'm not sure I have anything specific in mind. Knowing my luck, I'd be struck speechless. Still, as wishes go…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Year 2

I've been trying to come up with a new branding concept for year two of the great escape that is my life. I like "Year 2: Electric Boogaloo" the best. Alas, the first day of this new year seems to be off to a less than magnificent start—and it's only 8:30.

I missed my first appointment of the day. Apparently when they were working on my apartment, my alarm clock got turned on to "aux" setting—this means it won't work at all in any useful way. This means no alarm. Delightful. No problem. I just moved the appointment to Thursday. The new me is flexible and not at all thrown off my rhythm because the entire plan for my day was scheduled around it. It's fine. Look at me bending.

Of course, the second appointment of the day involves taking cable equipment back to the company—which would be fine because it's all in excellent, even dusted, condition. Except years ago I removed the back to one of the remotes that had a poor connection. It used to be by the TV. It is not by the TV now. Do you have any idea how many times I've moved furniture (and etc) in this apartment? It could be anywhere! Now the newly flexible me is tossing this apartment looking for a small, black piece of plastic so that I don't get charged the $1 million fee that will surely be attached to returning the remote without the back. Fun!

Did I mention that my allergies are going crazy, and I can't quite see out of my left eye right now?

But it's okay. None of this will throw me. It's Electric Boogaloo time.

Right after I find that little piece of plastic.

Monday, April 16, 2012

1 Year Later

So. Here we are. A year ago today, I started an experiment to see where life could take me if I quit a job that was making me increasingly despondent and pursued an entirely different life. I had a long list of assumptions about the year and a whole world of expectations. Nice to see all of those have come true.

Or not.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can spend every day working out.

Reality: I have spent zero days working out.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can take dance classes every day.

Reality: I haven't been in a dance class in four years.


Assumption: I'm going to try a lot of different jobs by taking different internships.

Reality: Zero internships came my way—most seem to require that you are enrolled as a full-time student. Student of life does not count.


Assumption: I've always wanted to really learn how to play tennis.

Reality: Still hope to learn to play tennis.


Assumption: Maybe I'll take a cooking class?

Reality: Nope.


Assumption: Maybe now that I don't have to be up by 5am every day, I'll date.

Reality: Hilarity.


Assumption: I'm going to travel again.

Reality: I'm giving myself half points on this. I have flown more this year than I have in recent years, and I've certainly logged more time in the car than ever before. Still haven't managed anything exotic, though.


Assumption: I'm going to go to Santa Barbara on a random Tuesday if I want.

Reality: Check. Check. Check. Hell, I went up there because I wanted breakfast at a certain place.


Assumption: I will spend more time going to cultural events in Los Angeles.

Reality: Check. Even though I've always had theater tickets for major productions in town, I really have started seeing much more of the city. Some of these events have even been at night—which never used to happen before.


Assumption: If I want to go to a local lecture about art, I will.

Reality: Check. I've indulged in tours and lectures at the local museums on a number of occasions—though more in the fall than lately.


Assumption: I'll be shocked if I'm not working again by September.

Reality: Welcome to my shock. To be honest, I did work nearly right away after leaving my job—just not for money. It took quite a while to actually focus on being out of from under the old job and that schedule. In fact, there are times when I still feel attached to it. If someone came to me tomorrow and said that I had to return to my old place of business, it probably wouldn't surprise me, and I'd just pick up where I left off. I suppose that is a sign that the transition hasn't entirely settled in my mind yet.


Assumption: At the end of the year I will know exactly what I want to do and will be well on my way to achieving the new goals.

Reality: Ummm. This one is tricky. I know what I want to do: I want to make a living wage as a writer (and/or producer). That's a good thing. This is solid progress. I'm not wedded to a particular platform. I want to do it all. The one thing I have learned is that until I've signed a contract and a check has cleared, I will have no idea if I'm close to achieving the goal or miles away from it. Things just change too quickly. For someone with my personality, I'm not sure I won't end up being very cranky with this reality. In fact, I'm certain I will. And I am realistic. Eventually, I'm going to need to pay rent and need a job that takes care of that reality. But I'm not ready to give up quite yet. Next week…well, that's a different story.


Assumption: A year is a really long time.

Reality: It was over in a blink of an eye.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rare Specimen Spotted

I must preface this blog with the admission that I have only heard about this specimen sighting and was not an actual witness to these statements or sentiments (and possible rending of cloth).

My friend L has met two men who were lamenting over the fact that they can never find women to date because the women they meet just want to have sex and then move on. LAMENTING! I don't know if there were actual tears, but there may have been.

Now before you make any snap judgments about these men, you should know that they are both successful men (actors) under 45 (one is actually in his late 20s), seemingly intelligent and attractive. What I found most interesting is that they felt like women didn't take them seriously as real partners, only hook-up buddies at the end of the night. I'm not saying that they haven't taken women up on these offers, but I am saying that they appear to be looking for something different-- and they aren't finding it.

There could be many reasons for this.

1. They are looking in the wrong places. It is truly rare when a loving relationship based on shared intellectual passions and respect is born from a meeting at a club. Everyone there makes the assumption that everyone else is a player. And being actors they have both perception and fame-whores working against them. So, if these guys are searching the clubs for the future Mrs, they are probably going to be finding drunk 23 year old girls rolling the dice at STD roulette instead.

2. If they are staying home because they hate "the scene" then they aren't meeting anybody. OR they do what I do and go to places that aren't conducive to extended conversation with strangers (like movies, theater, etc).

3. Women in LA decided at some point to behave like men. They saw the only women engaging with men at all were women who adapted to the casual sex environment. The problem is, I don't know a ton of women who actually respected that "come and go" behavior when men were the only ones doing it. It can't come as a shock that many men don't either. Oh, they still have sex with those girls, but now no one seems particularly fulfilled with the choice. Don't get me wrong-- a lot of people are having sex, but I just don't see a lot of people who are happy.

4. L has not yet given them the names of the 40 awesome single women she knows not looking for players or casual anything.

I wish I had the answer. I'd like to say that if both genders valued real connection over one hour stands, then the shift would occur out of necessity. But I can't see that happening as long as people think that "keeping it simple" actually keeps anything simple or creates anything real (except for those STDs, of course-- those you get to keep).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Five to One

I received an email from Natasha Chesler (writer, producer, director and choreographer) about a live show coming to the Roxy at the end of April (April 28-May 1), and I had to share with you because material that explores the lunacy of the LA dating world always grabs me. This live show was created around the claimed statistic that in Los Angeles there are five women to every guy. I have no idea if this statistic is true, but it feels true. Plus, if you look at that one guy—the odds of him also being single, straight and regularly showering are even worse (so it's more like five women to every 1/3 of a guy).

Not only does the show tell the stories of these five women, but the key art evokes All That Jazz. You know me. I'm not capable of walking away from that. It boasts an excellent creative team and outstanding cast. All this means you should buy tickets to see Five to One here:

And I promise not to jump up on stage and join the act (though I'm already digging the embedded song on the home page, so maybe I shouldn't guarantee that).


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Working Out Doesn’t Work Out

I have really good intentions when it comes to exercise—loads of them, really. I read all the yahoo and msn articles about working out. I glance at Shape Magazine at least once or twice before buying a home decorating magazine at the newsstands. I watch Judy Greer's Reluctantly Healthy. The problem is I rarely see results from exercise, and I put a lot of time into it.


  1. Search for work out motivation: 3 hours each day (or at least it flits through my mind every day over the course of 3 or 4 hours)
  2. Change into work out clothing: 1 minute to an hour (depending on whether or not I get lost along the way)
  3. Realization that I don't really fit into my work out clothing: 20 minutes of solid depression
  4. Stretching in preparation to work out: 3-5 seconds
  5. Walk to the refrigerator to get water: 2 minutes or more if I'm distracted (hydration is very important, so this is time well spent)
  6. Proper positioning for crunches: 1 minute (it takes a little effort to get me down on the ground these days)
  7. Getting up to find iPod: 10 minutes (it takes even longer to get up)
  8. Repositioning for crunches: 4 minutes (because I've already broken a sweat looking for iPod)
  9. Doing crunches: 30 seconds (I like to get at least 5 crunches fully completed)
  10. Water break: 2 minutes (again, it's important to hydrate)
  11. Cool down: 5 minutes prone on the floor (I don't want to unduly strain anything)
  12. Wondering if I've worked out enough to justify the pita chips in the bag I can see on the counter: 5-10 seconds (I'm a decision-maker)

So, you see, I don't think it's my routine. My routine is sound. I'm just not getting anywhere. Huh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ballerina Girl

I seem to do everything just a bit out of step with the rest of the world. I want to believe that this makes me creative and unique. In actuality, it probably makes me delusional and provides proof that I have no sense of timing.

Case in point: most girls have their first pointe class in the 12-13 year range (if they have been taking ballet class through childhood). In keeping with this tradition, I took my first pointe class at 27 after having one preliminary ballet class (I was a modern dancer in college and beyond). Naturally, this meant that I was taking class almost exclusively made up of young girls, all of whom were taller than I was. And no, that isn't awkward at all. Why do you ask?

I bring this up because I feel you won't really know me until you've seen me in a canary yellow tutu (and I expect you all to start mailing me your tutu photos). Sadly, I don't have a full-length photo of what would surely be held up as a symbol of dance as we know it. Seems like a tease, right? Do not despair. I have this photoshopped (because that poor man doesn't deserve to be blogged) half image for you. While you don't get the full effect of the tulle, you do get to enjoy the gold lamé crossing my bodice in a delightfully dreadful way.

I think it is clear here that:

a) I was dancing in Big Bird: The Early Years,

b) Dance recital costumes are never pretty, or

c) Both.

I got through the performances that year and then I immediately quit taking pointe class. It was as though I had something to prove and once I did it, I was done (or at least satisfied watching other people make their toes bleed). I feel like this impulse to prove something is shooting through me a lot these days (and then fading into a pool of lethargy somewhere around my knees). While I really doubt you'll see a repeat of that yellow number, you never can tell where that particular impulse could take me this time (hope it's somewhere green).

Monday, April 09, 2012

And the Universe Laughs Again

My year of experimentation is just days away from coming to a close. It is stunning to me how fast time has gone by and a little frightening. I had hoped that by now people would be throwing money at me because I'd already become this much sought after writer/producer/travel blogger/modern-day philosopher. I haven't given up that hope (and I do have a few days left for that to happen within the one year deadline).

But here comes the glitch… that tiny piece of temptation that the universe just loves throwing my way: a competing law firm is hiring for the job I used to do. Almost a year to the day, a job I know I can do, that would probably pay me more than I was getting paid before (and I didn't complain about my old salary), is up for grabs.

Nearly a year to the day this comes to my attention—when funds are beginning to run lower, dreams of Jimmy Choos are running through my head and opportunities for something else creatively fulfilling have not presented themselves to me.

UGH. You're killing me, universe. You're killing me.



Thursday, April 05, 2012

Randoms for Thursday

Blast from the Past

Do you ever suddenly, absolutely need to hear a song that you probably haven't heard for 15-20 years? That was me last night. I was overcome with the need to hear "The Flame" by Cheap Trick. I don't remember ever owning the song before—in fact, I don't remember owning a Cheap Trick album. And yet, I had to have this song immediately. Thank goodness for iTunes.

Judy Greer

Judy always makes me smile when I see her (unless she's doing something super serious and then that would be awkward). She should be everywhere. If she were eight inches shorter, I'd have her play Kate in the series that I hope to someday make of this blog. Much to my delight, it turns out that she is in a new place I just discovered: she does a series called "Reluctantly Healthy" for Yahoo. I discovered this because I'm incapable of not clicking on a link that guarantees me a flatter belly, and kept clicking on her other pieces because her reaction to not eating sugar would also be my reaction to not eating sugar: disdain and fake vomiting. So, check out Judy and the tips here:

Context is Everything

Have you ever noticed that some things sound incredibly romantic in context, but out of context actually sound creepy and slightly stalkerish? For instance, that Cheap Trick song I mentioned earlier has really lovely lyrics in context: "Wherever you go, I'll be with you." That's charming. That's swoon-worthy—unless, of course, the person singing them to you is someone you can't stand and is in violation of a restraining order. Then… not so much. Same goes for "I will find you" by Clannad (from "The Last of the Mohicans"): "No matter where you go, I will find you…if it takes a thousand years." Sure, when Daniel Day Lewis was yelling it, it might have seemed like a good idea. Otherwise, it sounds like witness protection isn't going to be the guarantee you thought it would be.

And these are the things I think about on a Thursday morning. What are you pondering?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Someone full of wisdom recently told me about a journal called "642 Things to Write." Basically, each page has a prompt for a writing assignment. Since I'm frequently staring at a blank page desperately seeking inspiration, this item seemed like a must buy. Let's just hope it becomes something I actually use because, alas, I'm quite good at finding things that seem like they are going to be wildly useful and then never touching them again (as evidenced by my closet full of clothes with tags still on and shelves full of self-help books I'll never get around to reading).

What sold me on this particular journal? Jessica Strawser wrote a review and listed her favorite entries (, and I could not stop thinking about this one: "You can keep only one memory from your entire life. What will it be?"

It's such a simple question, and yet, despite wracking my brain for days, incredibly hard to answer. Logically, it should be a memory that includes all people I have been closest to or an astonishingly major event: a graduation, an award, an exotic vacation, a marriage (if I had one of those, which, of course, I do not). The odd thing is that the big events in my life are a little fuzzy. I only remember the small pieces of them rather than the experiences in their entirety. They've blurred by at an alarming rate and my memories of those events are really based on what other people have told me rather than any true connection to them.

I have memories that define relationships in my mind, but each one is different depending on the person sharing the moment with me. I have long ago memories of my father teaching me how to drive in the mall parking lot on a very early Sunday morning. I have memories of taking my mother to Malibu and watching her delight as she stepped into the Pacific for the first time. I remember seeing a man across a crowded theater and knowing that my life would never be the same (for better or for worse). I remember getting locked in stairwells, sneaking into a Rosie taping, a Garth Brooks concert in Central Park and meeting David Tennant using stealth clearly learned from ninjas. There are wine clubs, Soviet nights and chipping at the wall efforts before going through Checkpoint Charlie. I've met people I've admired and every once in a while there has been adventure. Christmases, birthdays and family vacations are all stored, ready to be retrieved at any nostalgic call. How could I choose only one? And without the memories of those other experiences, who would I be?

If forced by gun-toting memory stealers, I suppose, against all odds, I would choose a quiet moment: my parents and I sitting around a table putting together a jigsaw puzzle, Christmas tree in the background, Perry Como on the radio—just the three of us talking about life and sharing memories of events past as the snow fell outside. It's not a moment in a vacuum—our shared and individual histories are always at play. "Do you remember the time…?" "I can't believe that llama spit on you!" "God, it was hot that day." Keeping that memory would, in essence, be keeping our history safe.

Your turn: "You can keep only one memory from your entire life. What will it be?"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

So, What You’re Saying Is…

Undoubtedly, most of you took a gander at this article today ( while trying desperately to ignore how much you hate the sound of your boss's voice, or the inane questions of the guy who sits across from you. It didn't work, of course, but it was a temporary respite, I'm sure.

I read this in my usual post-sanity/post-employment/post-contributing member of society location: my couch (while occasionally glancing up at the window to judge whether or not I'm motivated enough to go to the park). One thing came immediately to mind: I am so screwed.

You see, if you are under 33 and miserable, this article should bring you hope. Apparently, you are not yet secure enough to truly be happy. Also, if you thought you were happy, this study would beg to differ. Still, that's all good news for you. If you are actually 33 and experiencing some mild cases of joy, but with overwhelming bouts of dissatisfaction, that's ok. You've just crossed the milestone and are poised for greatness while still having the physical ability to enjoy your life. Kudos.

And then…there are the rest of us. Poor bastards. Evidently, we hit our strides 10 years ago: we supposedly had confidence, skill and reached a sexual peak. Swell. Sadly, though, I don't remember any of that actually happening. Did you guys stride? Was I sidelined reading a book somewhere? Could be. It would be like me to miss my own peaking because I was reading about someone else's. Still, I feel like I would have noticed it.

What now? Have I missed the happy boat? I'm 10 years post-happiest age, and I don't remember content. I'm not fulfilled or secure and my accomplishments seem to be getting smaller as I gaze back at them in the rearview mirror. The biggest upside I can find is that I have great shoes.

Well…that's something, I suppose.



Monday, April 02, 2012


You know how it is. You kind of know the URL of the website you need, but you don't quite remember it. You give it a guess. Often you are right. Once in a while, things go amusingly wrong (provided your employer has very flexible content controls).

Of course, I never really thought about this issue in relation to this site… until last week when I received the following text:

Did you know when you accidentally leave the blogspot out of your address you end up on a site for Russian mail order brides?

No. No, I did not, but it does explain some of my Twitter followers (who are, no doubt, confused as to why they ended up with a nun instead).

Now despite the potential difficulty with branding issues down the road, I actually found this to be hilarious, if for no other reason than the fact that I have an academic background in that region, so the Russian aspect brings a nice symmetry. As for the "mail order brides" part: can you think of a person less likely to be associated with this type of enterprise? Though, I suppose I can see the wisdom of arranged marriage—particularly if it gets you out of the dreadful dating process.

Anyway, think of this as a PSA. Type carefully, kids (unless you are thinking of buying a wife, that is)!