This One Time (When It Was So Hot) 

19 Aug

There are two air conditioners on full blast,  and at 10 am it is 76  degrees in my office. 
… The heat in here has officially broken me. Two days ago, (because I couldn’t stand it anymore) I went clothes shopping. For shorts. Which was horrible in and of itself, minus the hit to my bank account…because clothes shopping is from Satan anyway…never mind when you’re being forced into purchasing an article you despise, on top of it. 

I haven’t purchased  shorts in over 16 years. I have never worn the one pj pair I had in public, even to take trash out or get the mail, because of all the body image things I can grouse about, my legs are number one. 

I have Fitbitted my damn ass off, and still have yet to achieve any forward momentum in achieving leg-awesomeness. (Which, yes,  I am extremely bitter about…cuz I’ve got a damn badge announcing  I just hit  5,000 lifetime miles this week,  since clicking  the fucker on my wrist, and you’d think that would be enough to counteract and retro fix a few bags of potato chips here and there.)

… But I digress: shorts. 

They are evil. 

… As are overhead dressing room halogen lights. And tiny,  helpful teenagers wearing a size 0 who want to help “get you another size” because all that weight you lost a year ago didn’t stay lost, and virtually everything you try on,  stops at half-mast, just under your ass. 
… So desperate was I,  two hours into the enterprise, that at some point… when I’d gone delirious from clothing OD, having broken out in a sweat which made everything even harder to get on, and look worse if I ever managed to achieve it…  I reached out to a sundress and threw it on the stack. 

A sundress. 

… An item I have never purchased in the entirety of my life. Ever. 

Because I don’t really “do”  girl clothes, and by that I mean: I’ll wear them if a costumer throws them at me, or I’m going to an Opening, but not on a voluntary basis. 

… Yet once on… besides the super-naked-underneath feeling of having nothing squishing my ass and hips like a butt girdle that is a pair of jeans…I hated the visual affect about 10% less than the shorts, so ended up buying them. 

Three. 

Three “summer dresses. ” 

One of which I am wearing, for the first time, today. 

… Which feels odd. And bottom-naked. And you have to move and sit differently. And I’m overly-terrified I’ll accidentally walk around with some part of it all caught up in my underwear…like all of a sudden I can’t be trusted to pee like a grown-up or conduct myself with correct dress-wearing acumen. 

… Because I only do this girl-clothes thing, kitted up in spanks and nylons, in a theatre environment, two hours at a time. An 8-hour day of willy-nilly pant-commandoism, in the real world, where breezes happen at whim, and chairs have cold or sizzling seats, and you can’t bend over into a filing cabinet without underwear-mooning the room, are things I now have to worry about. After I’ve learned I have to. Because something embarrassing has just happened, regarding those things, bringing them to my attention. 

… Which is all to say: I kinda feel like an alien wearing a suit of people-skin… all foreign and pretend blend-inny. But at the same time…it is, at times, a welcome breeze in the nether-world. *

(*Shout-out to my “Underpants” crew.**)

(**Which sounds way worse than I was intending it to. So, naturally I’ve left on purpose. But also wanted to make sure I pointed it out. Cuz “funny”  is only funny if you slam it over the head ten or twelve times, then point at it and say, “Get it?! Do you get it?!”) 

~D

I Wrote A Little… 

8 Aug

So… ‘member that time I bought that blank journal under the pretext of filling it with writing exercises to get me actually creating real wordsmithery again,  versus whatever the hell you wanna call this blog thing? 
… And,’ member how I have like 15 of those journals just sitting in my house, because of serial journal-purchase-syndrom, still waiting for words to be put in them,  and still totally empty, or long since converted to “show-research-journals?” 

… Cuz, ‘member how, (like dusting my house), I totally operate on a best-intention basis, but then often fail in my goals because I don’t wanna dust, potato chips are delicious, and facing a blank piece of paper with proper punctuation, plot, and sentence structure is really hard work? 

Well, chalk one up for me, bitches!  Cuz, I dun wrote me a story. 

It was Sunday. The place: my bed. I had just finished coughing myself awake,  and lay there re-exhausted from my efforts. Thinking to myself, “Well, I don’t even care what time it is…I’m so not getting out of bed after all that,” I decided to hide my apparent misplaced weekend-lay-about-in-bed-all-day guilt, by grabbing one of previously described blank journals and popping up my autoprompt app. 

…Hating the first two offers on demand, I took the third, and started scribbling long-hand, for what I assumed would be about fifteen minutes. 3.5 hours,  eleven pages, and a giant caffeine headache later, I realized that I’d just completed the mutherfucker, and really needed a damn cup of coffee (or 12.)

…Because,  that’s the way time works when I’m actively “Arting.” Sketching, researching, line-learning, blogging, or writing…once the juices get goin’,  I seriously cease to notice the present reality surrounding me. I’m told that I come by this honestly as an inherited trait. Apparently my great grandmother would start painting in the morning, and still be at it late into the night,  with only a depleted sleeve of saltines and empty glass by the canvas as proof of any pause for even sustenance. Which I completely understand, and could “see”  with multiple empty stomaches and/or late night writing sessions on whiskey turning into early morning hour alcoholic tendency accompanied by dry Cheerios by the handful,  direct from the box…which doesn’t really count as morning alcoholism because technically, I  hadn’t gone to bed yet, so it was still just really-late-yesterday o’clock, and anyway stop with that judgy-look,  just because you like to hide your morning alcoholism in disgusting tomato juice…!

…Anyway…where was I going with all this? Oh yeah: I wrote a little, this weekend. On like, a real thing. And it’s all pencil-scratchy, with horrendous spelling, and some of the words I can’t even really make out entirely because even stone cold sober, my creative writing comes out looking like a ten year old,  arthritic physician wrote it, but still. It’s mine. I haven’t reread it since…so,  it’s prob’ly terrible. But, I did it. I said I was going to,  and: there it is. 

… Only,  don’t get too excited though. I have no real intention of dusting, or giving up my post rehearsal junk food. It’s about “baby steps,”  people. And at 3.5 hours, I’ve already clocked overtime in good intentions this week. 

… The rest is just gonna have to hold its damn water for a while. 

~D

On A Break, From Learning Lines

6 Aug

I feel so incredibly lavishly spoiled to say that phrase, so I’m just gonna say it again… 
“… On a break, from learning lines… ”

…Isn’t that divine? Isn’t it a lusciously brain-gasmically delightful collection of words forming this ultimate pampered-spoiling sense of artistic security,  dipped in a tantalizing chocolate coating of savoring yet-to-comeness?

… It has been so long since I’ve viewed this part of the theatre process as “fun”  or even a part of the artistic process…because it was always about getting the hell out of the book,  so I could “start to really get to work.” Like,  all of these years of working back-to-back-to-back on projects, I  was just totally taking advantage of the fact that there was this one distasteful part to BE “gotten out of the way,”  so I could do the other “real”  stuff. But,  after theatrically being unseasonably  dry since basically February…it’s like your first taste of wine after two weeks of antibiotics for a terrible cold you just can’t fucking kick, (going on round three. Not that I’m bitter.) 

… THIS SHIT IS MAGNIFICENT! Learning lines is suddenly like the best damn aperitif* EVER! 

(*Note: due to my total inability to spell in English,  never mind French,  my phone autocorrect  just suggested that line-learning is like the best damn “apartheid”  ever…which I’m pretty sure it isn’t even remotely, so: I win this round, autocorrect. You’re drunk.  Go home.) 

… Anyway, the point is: I have a job  again,  thus a sense of purpose reinstilled*. (not “reinstalled,” autocorrect. I said: Go. Home.)  I’ve got a character I am responsible for. Which exists in a literary context whom I am charged to bring to life in corporeal form. On a stage. And speak words. Which I am now learning in her specific sentence structure. So I can pretend it is my own. Which is a real grown-up job that people can get paid to do on this planet. And I am one of them, again. So: “hellz,  yeah,  and hallelujah!” 

(Sigh. Cough-cough-cough. Sigh.) 

… I just got worked up on fake theoretical paper while type-yelling, and it still made me cough. 

… I am so damn tired of this fucking cold. 

It’s the third version of it that I’ve had this summer, forcing me to everything from sleeping sitting up for days on end (which my neck-kink-from-hell is totally still yelling about), to not tasting food for weeks at a time (pretty sure I’ve pulled an “Ab-Fab” and have eaten potpourri “chips” a few times while streaming “Reign”  at 2 am while not sleeping,  and never even noticed),  as well as totally admittingly wearing Always pads for at least a week before my actual period, so when I coughed so hard that both ends leaked a little, no horrified small child in the cereal aisle would point at me and loudly tattle, “Mommy, that diseased lady just peed her pants!” requiring a messy human biohazard clean-up, in aisle four. 

… In short: this ongoing cluster-cold has totally humiliated me into a diaper-wearing, bronchial-honking,  codeine-addicted, hunchbacked,  snot-monster. 

.. And yeah,  I just totally wrote about it, to take my own power back. So,  suck it, viral-infection-from-hell! I’ll own all the shit* (*autocorrect :”you mean shot? “) you throw at me, and still get a job where they trust me to inhabit*(*autocorrect:” you mean habitat? “)  a fake person when I can’t even bodily take care of the real one I’ve been entrusted with! So fuck* (*autocorrect:” You mean duck? “) you! 

… And also: autocorrect?  It’s like…you don’t even know me. 

~D 

Line-Dom, Character Actor: For Hire

13 Jul

I’m paid in wine and tacos, am only available post-walk and laundry-washing, and will task-master your ass, tight as a Drill Sergeant. 

… Or (perhaps more appropriately), a Dom. 

… Have taken up a temporary second existence as a line-driller, for all those assholes (whom I love),  who have off-book deadlines, unlike some people we know. It’s a bittersweet existence. Line-learning is the only part of the job I don’t enjoy, so I envy none of that sadistic frustration in cramming two hours or more of text into my brains. 

… But, the rest… 

… Dear God, I do miss the rest of it. 

… Character analysis, relationship discoveries in rehearsal, trying to get to the the bottom of a difficult moment, playing with the comedy to find its every button without breaking it… wresting out a shitty day in a good growl of anger or heaving sob, turning all of it to your supreme benefit and cleansing. 

Being an out-of-work Actor is as shitty as it gets in my world…(and it can get pretty damn shitty, so that’s really saying a thing.)  I miss my “out”  and coping partner like as if a part of my anatomy dropped off back there, and is just laying on the ground, useless,  depressing, and frankly,  not super functional. 

… Am trying to plug along best as I can, but instead of passing time making it easier, it gets more unsettling, my walks more intense and kinda anger-fueled (with nowhere else to filter daily frustrations),  and I’ve gone back to watching so much BBC programming, I have to actually think about not speaking in an accent,  as a natural default. 

This is my only way to cope. 

… And now, I’ve added other people’s scripts to the mix…drilling my poor theatre-family bastards harder than an oil rig in Texas. 

It is rough to be mid-30s, as a woman: period. 

… As an “actor,”   even more-so. 

… Even as a “character actor” … (which frankly has surprised the hell outta me.)  I thought NOT being an ingenue would have guaranteed me “roles for life.”  But, aside from Agatha Christie…no one wants you,  except as the very occasional spinster aunt, or  nosey neighbor. Hollywood states you’re too old to be a mistress anymore at this age…but, I’d even get those if they popped up anywhere on the boards around here…though, they seem to be “out of season,”  just now. 

… And though I am old enough to play early mothers and wives,  “maternal” and “submissive but supportive”  aren’t my specialties…I’ve done ’em, but only rarely with joy. And all the good “fucked up” delineations of these are in that 40s to 50s range. 

… What I’m built to kill at right now are shrinks, or lawyers, or P.Is ….hell, even a person in the throws of a nervous breakdown, or a junkie on  the street…where are those roles in the theatre cannon for women?

(…Outside of Miss Marple, and the cast of “Rent” types.) 

… Anyway… here I sit. Watching the boards and waiting. A perfectly good “that one chick” who can play just about anything needed,  provided someone wrote it down on paper at some point. And then theatres put it into their damn seasons. 

… It’s really about trekking the mountain, waiting for all the 40-something roles you get to at the summit, but meanwhile thinking, “How the fuck am I gonna stay limber on script reads and ‘town gossips’  when I’ve got Martha in Virgina Woolf waiting for me up there?!” 

… I dunno. Any other lady-actors out there feelin’ m’pain?  

Meanwhile: I’m on a severe FB diet, as I have long come to the conclusion that death and politics are stressing me out almost as much as my day job. Which means that almost any existence I have on it,  is me posting something I read from the Guardian on a theatre thing, an occasional blog about general nothingness, and/or how excited I am about this one show I’ve seen on Netflix. 

… In fact,  if I had money to put into stock or properties…(like for instance, had I won that last Lotto Mega Million) , I’d have invested heavily in Fitbit and Netflix, as they are my consistent saving graces. (Together with the revolving Repertory Theatre that is “English Actors In General”  c/o iTv and the BBC. ) 

… I just want to BE them. How is that wrong…? 

… Is it October yet? God, this” wait for vacation” thing is fucking arduous.

~D

Rent Paychecks & Food Orphans

8 Jul

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Am watching this show that makes me want to cook all the time…an artform I am rubbish at, but like to pretend I can do anyway.

… My amended versions of fake recipes are entirely based on what seems like a good idea at the time, spun on its ear, with the hodge-podge of nonsensical foods and condiments I have to work with directly in my cupboard and fridge. This is because it was rent paycheck week, so I am poor again, but just as determined to invent something of culinary awesomeness with nothing at all but what I’ll refer to as the leftover Food Orphans in my kitchen.

… There is no lettuce, but I have zucchini and cucumbers. Lots of beans and rice…but no bread. Eggs without milk. Hot sauce in three varieties…and chicken broth…spaghetti with no sauce, and one can of albacore tuna.

… Every condiment in tiny takeout packet form, and every salad dressing…but no butter or sugar. I have a $12 Moroccan spice and a $3 Italien seasoning mix, but also a tiny packet of zillion-dollar-an-ounce Saffron, as well as a box of cornflakes, a thing of Shake-n-Bake, and cupcake decorations without ingredients to mix and make the cupcakes.

I dunno how half these things got in my house. Mostly, other people have bought them and left them, over time. Because everyone cooks there…not because the kitchen is posh and high-functioning…it is a galley with zero steel surfaces and a human dishwasher (me)…but mostly because I will ply free booze to anyone who will cook for me…so I can grate and cut things and pretend I know what I’m doing when I don’t.

Because I love food.

… And I love the process of making it.

… And so, when I go through friend-cooking-withdrawal… I click a food show on Netflix, get a burr up my ass, and go pretend I know how to go it alone with inventiveness.

I WILL FIND ART ANY WAY I CAN, AND PRACTICE IT, TO MY HEART’S DELIGHT… SO JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT!

(The struggle is real.)

(… And not just for my palate.)

Next: Am starting to get frustrated with the ever evolving world of job hunting. You want this one who never calls, constant calls from all the ones you don’t want…the best jobs are too far away, the close ones are shitty, requiring your every night and weekend probable take-over. It has become a vicious cycle of the phone ringing and binging all day long, but always ending with anticlimactic fizzle.

My phone is quickly becoming sexually frustrated as hell, as I re-sweep the same damn ads over and over and over again, and Insurance companies haunt me like a mouth-breather on a crowded bus.

… Also, every accounting department known to man.

Trust me. You don’t want me in Finance. Or to sell things to people. You want to bury me in the back office where I can chew massive amounts of paperwork while speaking to no one…for hours and hours.

… Maybe I’ll start looking into the mortuary arts. It’s people-related, but only barely. It’s quiet, low stress, and there are no constant calls bitching about returns and repairs.

(No, but seriously. I should consider this.)

Meanwhile, why isn’t it 4:30 yet?

… Mrs. Johnson has arrived and gives zero fucks about the remainder of the work day. She just wants her forced 15k walk out of the damn way and a Pamprin cocktail with a whiskey chaser. And then: some pajama friend hang time.

… Which she’s damn-well gonna get. (I’ll have you know.)

The end.

~D

Mr. Jingles

29 Jun

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We have a mouse at work.

…We know this, not only because of tiny poop presents on our keyboards, and teeth marks through the package of every granola bar from the Costco box… we know this because we have seen him. At first, in darts and flashes of fur, and now in week two, the tiny asshole –bold as you please — just wanders from office to office via a sequence of holes in our crawlspace, meant to wire our Internet in.

… Traps have been laid, food stuffs have been sequestered, and we await his end-times. But thus far, he’s been too good at the game, and flaunts his wins daily. (Including his ultimate finger flip of shitting his tiny little shits, all over the place.)

Our Warehouse Chick has name him: Mr. Jingles.

He may or may not live up to the role.

Every day now starts with vigorous Lysol wiping of every surface and pen, no one so much as goes to lunch with a cough drop on their desk, and every sighting has become like an office drinking game (minus the booze and real fun.)

Someone: (yelled out) “Mr. Jingles!”
All Else: (answered, like a toast by all present) “Mr. Jingles!”

… Despite the disgustingness… we sorta all want him to win.

So it goes, in the totally classy establishment, I work in.

Next: My year of Fitbitting (and it’s erased blog) are the only current events I own. The blog (killed via Internet or some other technical burp during posting) was meant to celebrate my win of an every day constancy…my 365 days of ass-busting, my over 6.1 million steps, over 16,100 on average per day. But after it ceased the Web world, I thought: “Ain’t that a general F-you from the fates, who watched me work this hard all damn year…”

… So I didn’t rewrite it. That’s my finger, back at them. I did the thing, I know all it meant, I guess I don’t need the witnessing to own the full meaning of it.

Sometimes enough is enough.

(And somewhere, my shrink –prob’ly imbibing on an all-expense vacation I’ve helped pay for–just applauded.)

Meanwhile: It’s heat. And walking. And heat. And head cold ending.

… It’s finally regaining a sense of smell in time for 4th of July BBQ eating, setting friend dates, applying for jobs, watching the casting boards while salivating for just the right thing at just the right time… Hoping to be back into a happy and healthy head and life space, surrounded in higher pay, actual appreciation, and an artistic outlet to fully invest in.

… It could happen.

(And I wish it would fucking hurry up about it, already.)

~D

Insane Wisdom & Adorkableness

14 Jun

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My bottom left wisdom tooth has been driving me to the brink of insanity for the past three days.

…Actually, today is tolerable. The last two weren’t. Today it has downsized to annoying aches, which is a giant downgrade from the constant throbbing want-to-smash-my-head-into-a-wall-to-stop-the-pain, of where I have been. A LOT of Advil has been forced through my body, as well as many goops of Orajel. Monstrous goops. Essentially, I have no feeling (or taste buds) on half my face. Which I’m strangely okay with, vs the alternative.

… Because I refuse to go in and get this bastard taken out right now. Because they will want to take ALL of them out. And then, there will go all of my London bucks. And that shit just ain’t happening.

… At least I can say that at the moment, (due to finally getting some sleep last night.) Yesterday at around four p.m., I was contemplating oral surgery as a less painful “out” on account that these aren’t easy extraction teeth as they are growing weird… they’d have to drug me to the point of no longer feeling pain for some odd hours…which would be a first for several days now. And even with hospital anxiety, and a giant wave of pain to follow, I was seriously considering it. Because “now” is always more pertinent than “later.”

… But then, today, it was less horrid. Which fixes nothing, (I know), but if I can make it till mid November, at least I’ll be poor from fun, and have had a trip to look back on, rather than poor from teeth with nothing to look back on but stitches and more holes in my face.

It’s about perspective.

Mine, right now, needs to live in happy, hopeful places. So I am pushing that as much as humanly possible. A little too much food-happiness has been involved lately, leading to too much bottom and thigh happiness…but with a screaming mouth of pain, that should pull back some, and voila: balance will be restored.

… Have also been attempting to focus on only light and passive viewing and readership this week (after several weeks of intense historical and political gigs.) It’s all about simplicity, with adorkable things like “New Girl” Netflixing. Because: it’s easy. And I need something that is, right now.

… Even watching a person who is my literal age, with crazy Powerpuff Girl eyes, strange 70-year-old-woman-meets-kindergartener fashion sense, who crafts with construction paper for adult pleasure, and makes up songs about wildlife. It seems to make her happy. Which makes me laugh. (Frequently: out loud, for reasons I’m still not really sure about.) So we both win.

…And I can give myself a bit of a reprieve from election crap and horrible Orlando happenings, which seem to only anger and stress me out more.

For now: I bow for our losses, and set up for some quiet brain-away time.

Peace, loves.

~D

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