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Almost One Month

20 Jul

I have two very good friends who recently came back from a month living abroad in Paris.

…They are multiple-discipline artists, who went, not as tourists, but to live and work amongst the natives. They are writers and painters and chefs and builders of bookshelves and boxes of homemade goods you can send all over the world, to administer creature comforts and small tokens of love to people you know…far and near. They had saved up their pennies and dollars and coffee allowances for god only knows how long, in order to secure that tiniest of flats with only a hot plate and toaster oven, in that magical city…because that experience was a requirement for their art and soul. So they made it happen.

…And so, (naturally) the leading question of nearly every person who sees them since they’ve come back, is more of a demanded statement: “Didn’t you just have the most amazing time ever?!?”

…And the answer: it isn’t quite exactly what one might expect. 

It is something like this:

“It was incredibly difficult. And we’re really glad we went.”

This does not mean it went poorly. This does not mean they didn’t enjoy it. It means: sometimes, even getting what you want is hard work. Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed no matter how prepared you think you are. Sometimes the language barrier, the tiny living conditions, the just not being where you know everything and where it is and should be, is stressful and exhausting and…a lot.

One month can be a long time.

…And I feel like all of that, is exactly where I am with this new job. 

Somewhere inside, I have to believe I am at the place I am supposed to be, but my fourth week in: my struggles are not rosey and beautiful. They are hard. Still. Like stress headaches and tear-bursting-while-on-the-toilet, kind of bad.

…I miss the stupid fact of just “knowing” things. I miss auto-piloting my day-to-day masses of crap. I miss being overwhelmed, yet still feeling fully capable. I miss that when shit came down– I knew how to fix it.

I have been, and always will be, my toughest critic. I expect a lot of myself. And yet I feel like a grace-period of a month is more than sufficient to not feel like this anymore.

…I’m in mutherfucking Paris!

…I should just be blissfully contented beyond relief!!

…Isn’t this what I wanted?! Isn’t this what I left for?! More money and some damn self respect? 

I’m the holder of a Company Credit Card. Head of all accounts. Unlimited spending on whatever the hell I need to make this place bop and beep to whatever the hell tune I want it to.

 …And yet…

One month in– I somehow miss that abuseful bastard job, like it was my own pillow.

What-the-actual-fuck, you guys.

I’m exhausted. Still. Only kinda more so. And feel too full to add any more in. I *think* I’m still glad I left, but that totally depends on the day. 

I saved up all my “hope” pennies, and dollars to get here…and it isn’t heaven at all. I don’t super understand the language. The numbers are kinda douchey, but they treat me like a person and buy me lots of really good coffee.

…Yet, I am still incredibly overwhelmed.

This is all to say: New job – still processing.

~D

Last Day

23 Jun

Today: I end a ten-year shitty relationship with my job.

…In this day and age, that is epic stay-power, but I’d have to state truthfully this was more from fear of change and the “devil I don’t know,” than anything else. As is often the case with toxic relationships, this one seduced with constancy, and the thought that “this is better than nothing.” As if it was my responsibility to take the years of bull shit, because isn’t that what you have to do when you’re an adult and have bills to pay?

 … Doesn’t everyone who doesn’t make their primary wage via their passion, hate their job?

My theory was always: more or less, yes. None of us want to do the “thing we have to,” so we are all more or less in our own little “Office Space” versions of Hell.

…But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? What if you don’t have to hate the place you spend 8 hours a day at, five days a week? I’m not saying it will take the place of your passion, I’m just saying: maybe it doesn’t have to suck the absolute life and soul out of you.

…What if?

I waited too damn long to gamble that option. And today, I walk away from what I know, and freefall into that which I do not. On the lists of terrors, that’s epic height for Anxiety-fueled people. 

…But I’m doing it. With faith. With hope. With a whole hell of a lot of cheerleaders in my friends and family who have done nothing but back me 3000% of the way.

…It takes a lot of guts to stay by your post no matter how bad the weather gets. It takes more to realize that the storm isn’t your problem, not of your making, and aside from standing beside a friend in need…nothing is worth living like this. For years and years.

It’s only money.

I am not for sale.

I am worthy of a relationship demanding respect in all aspects of my life. Even the place where I earn my bread and butter.

Even my non-dream job.

Dignity.

This is the day, I get me some.

~D

33, And Counting…

25 May

 I have 33 job applications out there. 

…Have taken 5 Interviews so far, and every day at work is like trying to survive a crawfish boil…as a fucking crawfish.

Once you get really serious about it, applying for a new job is actually taking on a second full-time job, unto itself. You really can’t half-ass it if you want to win your release from this other job-Hell.

…Course, adding to that problem, is the fact that you already have that full-time job which is stressing you out this badly to begin with.

…So: you get monster headaches and migraines and stress-cry-release in your car at lunch, while sitting in the Amtrak parking lot under a tree…(the closest, safest place just off campus)…where you hit the job boards some more, do your call-backs, conduct your first-round phone interviews…then go back to work and dive into that shit-hole for another four hours, before you come home, take a walk to at least *try* and uphold some form of mental health release, then hit the job boards again…with Buffy figuratively slaying all your life-shit in the background. 

Until you pass out.

My strategy is simple: get out. Whatever it takes.

…Except not really “whatever”…which is why I still don’t have a new job.

I won’t give up nights or weekends. Thems theater holy times, and I am unwavering in my faith. 

…If this whole thing has taught me nothing else, it is that middle management is the butt-boy of already shitty Corporate U.S.A. No life, or outside interests, and willingness to do absolutely anything for money has become a minimum qualification. Fuck your degree.

…Guys: it’s only money.

I’ve skipped paying a bill before. Ain’t never skipped a performance. That’s my quantifier of “life balance.”

…And so: I search on.

…And on, and on, and on…

…So many job boards: I wanna puke. So many applications, I have to log the fuckers just to keep track from email to voicemail to first and second interview notes. The back of my car is a damn mobile office, less a fax machine. I’ve got my Interview Suit on permanent stand-by, front of my closet. And the risk of losing my shit in a stress blow-out at any moment of day or night, is, (I feel), imminent. 

(Someone should be selling tickets.)

…Yet, I plaster that crap on, for every single phone call I get, offering me hope. I’m the most charming mutherfucker you’ve ever met! You only wish you could hire me! If only I’d sell my soul and give up every Saturday and Sunday, and take the second shift after hours, Friday…

But: I won’t.

I’m bruised as hell, but I’m still standing. After TEN YEARS in this damn place. 

…I can make is a few weeks more, to stand by the few morals I have left.

So few…

…Sooo few…

…I mean: where’s a damn casting couch when you need one…?!

~D

We All Look Like A Tim Burton

21 Mar

How you know someone is mid Tech Week # 10:
They show up in public looking like a damn disaster, and give zero shits.

…At night, this might not be so very glaring…in the day time, in line at the grocery story, or under office lighting…it’s straight-up horrifying. I just caught sight of myself in the office bathroom mirror, and I’d cast me right now in any zombie movie ever. As-is. Or as someone with horrible (multiple) substance abuse issues.

…Or, anything by Tim Burton.

Last night’s remenants of water proof mascara…which truly apparently IS…is still clinging and bleeding down my lower lid, onto the exhausted bags under my eyes. My 50’s hair of curls from last night, are a wild, crunchy, fro of untamed fury. And while I was too tired to shower this morning, or more than slap some face base on, I am kept from total cadaver status, only due to the (I’m sure) toxic lip stuffs I use to stain my mouth that insanely red-red that no one but whores and Drag Queens now use. And whereas I would mind zero-much being compared to a Drag Queen, I unfortunately rather suggest a lower-end former in appearance.

…I LOOK, like I’m in the middle of Hell Week. Every classic symptom. From shitty exhausted lack of hygiene, to the overwhelming desire to fall asleep into my fifth cup of black coffee.

…And, I dunno if its the ongoing weather trend or not, but people have been just enormously shitty for two days solid on call after call after call.

 …And, Mrs. Johnson showed up last night.

I just took my first (and only) break of the day at 1:45. We have our first early call tonight. I haven’t walked out doors or had a whiff of clean air in two days. They’ve added a command performance on Tuesday. The pills aren’t helping the general warzone of my lady regions.

…I want to go home.

And sleep.

But strangely enough, even more than that…I want a clean run of this show. And I want it: tonight.

~D

For Piss Sake

11 Jan

It is the third day of Boss being at the Corp meeting out-of-State. It is the fourth day without a printer/fax/scanner, the second major fire day due to Customer Service order entry errors at Corp, customers keep calling to make last second product changes for shit we do not have in stock… AND, the sewer lines are shot, so I have no place to pee out this well-intentioned tea-detox I started,  last night. 

…Technically, we shouldn’t even be OPEN without a working place to pee. And yet, here I am,  squeezing my pee-part muscles as hard as I can, because I am the only one here (again), and am still waiting for authorization for the multiple thousand-dollar repair estimate to be “ok’d,” by a guy who can pee any fucking time he wants to,  off the side of the goddamn yacht he’s on right now, at the Corporate meeting. 

(…And I know this to be true,  as I saw the Yacht Club dress code requirements, stipulated in their travel itinerary.) 

…Am super glad I started that Calm sleep app two days ago…because “exhausted ” on top of this would have pushed me over the edge. Right now,  I’m rested, supremely irritated,  and really really have to pee. 

…It could be worse,  is what I’m saying–without invitation for it to become so. 

A printer is “supposed” to arrive today. The WHS Chick is “supposed” to come back from her ongoing 3-hour-long paint pickup trip (at some point), and whatever all that may be: I AM leaving early today (after all this ditching business) and someone else will have to deal with the Roto Rooter guy this afternoon. 

…Cuz, fuck this noise. 

In Other News: Put in for another audition that popped up from outta nowhere on the boards, it doesn’t look to be raining after work during my hill-hiking time,  and am doing bud script brainstorm session with my Pan of a Princess Leia after dinner. 

So: this now-crap is all cosmetic dirt under my feet. Very, very soon. 

…Oh look,  the FedEx truck. Gotta go learn network wiring now… 

~D

McWinkerson

9 Jan

So here’s a first: think I put the wrong contact in my right eye…cuz everything’s been blurry and off all day. And it’s more than just a little annoying. At this point in my paper working day,  it’s given me a headache and made me nauseous. 

…So now I’m taking my “lunch, ” pacing the office while winking through one eye so I can type this without vomiting. 

(…she said, with hope.) 

It hasn’t been a great Monday. 

…But I’ve had worse. 

(…this is me: being positive .)

Oh,  hey,  and while we’re on that subject: didn’t get the show,  but did book a paid stage read in Feb. So…that’s like getting the vaccination shot and feeling only nominally like shit, versus not getting the shot at all and wasting away without aide. 

… I still feel diseased, but with the “good drugs,” so I don’t notice it as much at the moment. 

…Which is helpful. 

…What isn’t so helpful is the pacing and writing with only one eye. Things are getting squidgy. 

Shut it down, dude. 

But first: if you haven’t yet — see Bright Lights, and find whole sadness of joys. And also: add to your life-list for someone to creative-crush on you as eloquently as Viola Davis does on Meryl Streep. And also: try to be more like Meryl Streep…just like you know: in general. 

Over-and-out. 

~D

Last Brothel Shift Of 2016

30 Dec

After prepping for an uber Month/Year-End hell, (which will be my first day back to work on the 3rd), I ordered a hot dog: delivered, and spent money I don’t have right now to repurchase Debbie Reynolds films I hadn’t updgraded yet to DVD. 

…It is a necessity. 

…So has been the (thus far)  6-film fest-binge. Which will continue. She was one of the closest of the family who raised me to do the things I do with the work ethic that I do ’em. 

She’ll always be a necessity for me. 

(..Am still kind of perplexed about the hot dog bit, though. I think maybe it’s some kind of strange kiddom regression…)

Anyway. It was a damn good hot dog. 

…In other news: the office is ready to purge out 2016, like a bad hangover…which is a lot like these past few weeks have felt for me. I truly want nothing more than to see this last chunk of time disappear in a loud gulping flush of awful, to the sewer where it belongs. And if people I love could stop dieing for five fucking seconds,  I might even fit in a thought towards non-shitty aspirations for the New Year. 

…I expect it to at least start well,  standing under an explosion of fireworks from the Space Needle with m’bud, and still holding out hope that one of these last two callbacks will lead to a new show and positive focus,  directly after. 

…It won’t be from lack of trying. 

And maybe THAT will be the new mantra of 2017.

…I’ve had worse. 

Meanwhile, there are those summer shorts I need to fit into 6 months from now, so these long freezing-ass,  rainey walks will continue. (Which I’ve grown to despise, even though I know they are really good for me right now.)  And I’ve a lot of film therapy coming my way. 

…So,  there’s that. 

…And only two more hours to the work day. 

Even you could do that. 

…So let’s count it down together…

~D

Dear God,  Not Snow! 

9 Dec

I live  in the most hypochondriac state in prob’ly the entire world, which is hilarious because we are considered granola by like most other state standards, and could feature on the cover of every Wheaties box from now to kingdom come. 

…We are outdoorsy as hell, will climb anything, run anywhere,  backpack for months, grow and compost our own food with our our waste products, join in every diet fad, fuel up with every vitamin supplement in existence, put sunscreen on when it rains, and show up in droves to picket dirty energy Big Biz when it wants to build some kinda new cancer-inducing shit in our backyards.

…All of which is rather industrious of us.

…But we also, will go absofuckinglutely bat-shit, if anyone, at any point, mentions the word, “snow.”

(We do it with “earthquake” too…and coming from the mountains of CA, I think both fetish-freakouts, are hilarious.)

…I think it’s because we are not properly equipped for either, in any great way…in that they happen so infrequently, there is no “plan of attack.” We only have enough plows to attack major roadways, so: you’re screwed getting out of your neighborhood to them, and they don’t do the useless-but-regular trainings for school children and employees to duck-and-cover under desks and stand in doorways — in case of a quake. 

…We are made to feel essentially helpless in these moments, which I suppose is what fuels the end-of-times panic reaction that both words elicit…so that everyone is running to Costco stocking up their built-from-100%-recycled-material panic rooms, and debating every possible disaster scenario over the water cooler, like: Move over “Survivor XX,” shit gets real now

…Which is essentially what we’ve been dealing with — all week long–from customers and retailers and builders. 

…Until, finally: it came. 

It snowed for five seconds last night, and my side of the state is all:

(Throwing up hands)

“That’s it!  Cancel everything! Close all the theatres and the schools! Blackout the offices!  Bet you’re glad you maxed out your Lowes card on that generator! And slugged that guy in Costco for the last giant flat of Dinty Moore stew! Where are the cell battery back ups?!  Holy hell, how will our Christmas gifts from Amazon even make it through now?! ”

Five. Seconds. 

Today at work, everyone I talk to is like, “Wow, yeah, we need to cancel that… The weather is just too crazy of an x-factor. ” And outside my window, as people continue to live in their little worlds of total hypochondriac denial: it is raining. 

…Not even a lot. 

 …It’s even doing that half-assed. 

…It’s spitting. Weakly. 

…Which is one of many reasons that my current home town just cracks me the hell up. 

(Together with the slogs of people who sign up for races all year round. Because, they claim there’s this thing called “runners-high.” Which, unlike Santa, is totally fake. And everyone knows it.) 

~D

Everything’s Broken

16 Nov

…No, *not* Politically. 

Although… 

(…Yeah. Very much that too.) 

…I am actually referring to the office. Where I am pacing. During my Lunch 2.0. Because our phones and servers have been down,  all day long, with no idea of when they will be back up again. But because I’m employed by idiots,  I’m still here at the office. 

…”In case. ”

“In case” of what?  I dunno. Because even the few times one or the other has worked today, it crashes thirty seconds later,  and we are back to square one. 

…And this being…you know,  *this* century and all…there is absofuckinglutely nothing for me to do but file papers, without the Internet. And I’ve done that. So now I’m being paid to take a second lunch and type a blog into my phone. 

…Which I guess is me: winning .

…Even if it is winning on a stupid technicality. 

(Which I think a lot of us are kinda “over” with,  this week.)

…Anyway. I’d say, “I digress, ” but I wasn’t really aimed anywhere to begin with…so… 

…yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh. 

(I got nothin’) 

I am only writing this now because I’ve FB’d as much as can stand for the day, already read the new Guardian stage reviews, updated my Fitbit app, and watched a bunch of blurry episodes of “Remember WENN, ” on YouTube… 

(…then Google’d all those actors to find out what they’re doing now, and why that show hasn’t been released on DVD, so I can buy it.) 

…And now I’ve got a headache. Prob’ly from watching and reading things for hours on this tiny screen. 

…And I’m sad for the family loss, of an extended family member. 

…And I’d rather be outside, walking these thoughts out in a proper walk in you know…”air”…for free, than stuck here, pacing a damn lobby for pay. 

…And then after a while I could pop on my audio Winston Churchill book…

…And let my mind go back to places it wants to be. Back in London. Back before a lot of things got sad and shitty. 

…But Winston Churchill rallied. So, I will too. 

…And at the Dames retreat -and-meet tonight, I’m gonna flip the finger to day-3 of Mrs.Johnson’s visit, while wearing pj bottoms and my London Tube tube socks…and eating: whatever the flying fuck I want to. 

(Mostly of salt) 

(And potatoes.) 

(And prob’ly: bread.) 

So really, this is a blog about absolutely nothing. 

…And you read it anyway. 

…Cuz, we get it: you n’ I. 

Hang tuff, friend. 

Peace, 

~D

Cuz You Wanna Know

7 Nov

I love that I have so many friends who immediately want to get in touch,  post vaca, and catch up. But y’all are a little bit loving me to death. 

…I got this awesome cold from Cecil, about two days before we left London, and exacerbated by a truely fucking terrible trip home, that shit grew to totally consume me. I feel awful. Even with the left-over meds from my last cold-from-hell. And (of course)  I’m at work now, cuz I’ve spent every day off for the foreseeable future…so it is all compounded with excess of paperwork and data entry back-log,  plus with two Daylight Savings times added into the mix (UK does theirs the week before ours), I feel like I’m pulling 15-hour days right now. 

…For instance, how the fuck is it only 1pm?  I’ve been awake since like 4:30 this morning. 

…Anyway… My phone keeps beeping and buzzing with mssgs and IMs and emails and FB notifications that I cannot keep up with because: codine and remember how I’m really sick? 

…So this is me saying,  “Yes, I am ignoring you. And yes, it is on purpose,  but I have to right now. Cuz something’s gotta go. And I’m really broke again, so all the few brains I do have, need to funnel into the place that pays my bills.”

I know. I say, “fuck that! ” too. But it’s just the grown-up rules. 

…Hopefully,  by like next week, I can rejoin the human race again, remember that I have friends, and tell all the stories of our magnificent trip (including all the behind-the-scenes action, and blooper reel –in detail.) 

…But for now: please apply the applicable number to your personal situation. 

1. I love you,  too. 

2. Kick ass at that audition. 

4. Wipe the floor at callbacks. 

5. Yes I want to meet over drinks/food/coffee soon. 

6. I really hope I can see your show before it closes, but I don’t want to be the hacking/honking bastard screwing up your solo. 

7. Prob’ly, but let me check my dates first. 

8. Oh my God, that made me laugh so hard I pissed my pants just now, and am raining snot down my face in a gooey waterfall. 

9. Yes. I can’t wait for it all to be over with, too. 

10. Tater tots. 

~D

So Many Things

3 Oct

Sometimes… I don’t write much while working on a show. Often that is code for other things…like the kind of experience I’d rather have disappear into the ether for all of time. Sometimes it’s just because I’m too damn busy and can’t be bothered. And sometimes it’s because I’m living the moment fully and will set time aside later to reflect on it. 
This show was halfway parts two and three. 

Am very thankful to have done a thoroughly joyful, silly show with a lot of my dearest friends. We opened a season, slaughtered the season ticket sell projections, and while it was never meant to be Shakespeare, we played hard, enjoyed the fuck out of one another, and learned lots. 

…Having worked with the director before in “Narnia,” I’d no idea what to expect of the process, sans 30,000 children in creature makeup… But knowing the “woman,” I figured we were in solid hands. Finding a new favorite Director out of the gig was bonus-town…because she knows her comedic beats like a mutherfucking pro (not that I doubted her, it’s just not my own particular field and difficult to judge when in beaver makeup.) And “why” she quickly became a favorite is due one part on her persona and equal on her run-of-the-room.

My favorite directors trust their cast to do the job they were hired to do. We have different job titles because we have different jobs. Having worked under every variety of Director from vice-grip Dictators, to absent cluelessness… I’ve come to the conclusion that my preference neither ignore you nor manhandle you. They trust you. They give you guidence, then let you take the leash. They allow you to explore, create, make mistakes…learn. And then, they modulate. They study your choices and adjust. They understand what your intent is and marry it to the theme. They allow freedom of expression, but are so studious on the work that they can give you a note like, “lift her on this line instead of that.”and the next night, that beat is magically solved, beautiful, and perfect. 

Collaboration is king in theatre. It is the solvent to awkward “real life” relationships I seem to suck at. Finding a fellow artist who speaks my same language, I am always as surprised and delighted as if I heard my mother-tongue in deepest Africa. Finding one in a friend I’ve known for some time in a variety of ways, makes me feel both a little dickish and also winning. It isn’t that there is doubt. It is that people need their moment and roles to shine. And I’m a distrustful bastard by nature. So: even more fight. 

…Long and short of it being: “Hey, J.Y… You’re a good fucking teacher, can’t wait for the next time.” 

Next: You know when you have a real talk with a person you only “casually” know…like through another friend? And you know how that can be awkward as hell, because “people” and you go together in none of the ways? But then you end up having this super long artistic joygasm conversation that kinda creatively blows your mind? Had one of this weekend. Which then launched me into closing and strike and presenting at an awards ceremony… On zero sleep-juice, but all the artistic-yay…which is my main purpose on earth to obtain…meaning: I gained a legitimate real life, serious new theatre family-friend, and am exhausted today. 

Totally worth it. 

…These past two months of “crazy”: totally worth it. 

…Sharing a dressingroom exclusively with Cecil for an entire run: bliss. 

…Learning the subtle command of a friend’s artsistic influence over yours: educationally rewarding. 

…Being paid to play and work with the family you’ve hand-picked: fucking priceless. 

Hot damn, I’m lucky. 

(And I know it.) 

~D

All The Whys

6 Sep


Omg, who is in charge of Retrogrades, and why are they acting like such an asshole!?! 

… This day has been predictably dickish  (coming back from a 3-day sales weekend),  but even more than necessary. To be gross and inappropriate  (because it’s my fucking blog and I can),  today has been a hung-like-a-Clydesdale-mid-f***,  kind of day. 

… Everyone (including myself)  has been an asshole to deal with, rail was late, trucks and builders were no-show, everyone is screaming at and about someone else, on multiple lines, and the urgency of getting a goddamn shed constructed this absolute second,  is on par with a heart or kidney transplant …and that is without exaggeration in the least. 

What the fuck is wrong with people?! 

The only break from insanity I received, was when Cecil stopped by at 1:30 to deliver a coffee and take me outside to breathe and not answer a phone for 20 minutes. Which helped for the 20 minutes, but not enough to really recharge to a necessary level required for Asshole #47 who wanted to go into his independent financials on how he could buy and sell our company ten times over if he wanted,  and if  I knew what was good for me,  I’d find a way to magic the rail delivery to before Thursday, “or else.” 

… It wasn’t enough to help with Bitchface #52 who needed me to know that I personally was totally ruining her daughter’s wedding because I couldn’t move our build lead-time to this Saturday. Or Asshat #29 that it doesn’t matter how much “extra cash”  you tell me you can throw at the deal, I can’t manufacture a builder from a stack of Jacksons, when they are already booked two months in advance.

I already don’t like people. Days like this launch me into festering-turd-hatred of them. 

… And tonight,I need to spend hours making dick jokes at rehearsal…trying to make them funny… when really, it’s just an autobiography of my retail working life, minus the sex. And also, nothing is funny right now!

Not even my go-to “This is fine”  Flaming cartoon:

… Or the fact that my sidewalk is growing tomatoes :

NOTHING!! 
WHY?!?! 

~D

Rent Paychecks & Food Orphans

8 Jul

image

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

The Burgermeister Meisterburger Troll

25 Feb

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Have survived another visitation by Corporate for inventory count, calling it out loud as I watched the rental car pull off our lot.

…Every quarter the counts have to be made, which (in a perfect world) should be the only time we see these people. But (of course) it isn’t. Not when you’ve gone through all the management changes and shit that we have. For a bit there, the bastards were occupying our lobby and reproducing like fruit flies…tag-teaming one for the other…or sometimes swapping two-for-one, across months and months of time.

…Since then, we’ve gone from 32nd in the Nation to 3rd, and finished counts in 2.5 days instead of 5…so: here’s hoping we’re off the shit-list now, and those asshole good-ol-boys can go dick around in someone else’s lobby for a while.

“Why so hostile?,” one might ask, (if one were anyone other than a late-middle-aged white man.)

…The reason is, of course, due to the fact of how little has actually changed in Corporate America since the Don Draper years. And having to try to do actual work while it actively fights against you in the form of dozens of long-lunches, loud conversations by your desk, no tangible answers for anything important, half-assed problem solving, and lots and lots and lots of cigarette smoke.

The Chief-Boss of our region is actually one of the longest-term employees of the company, therefor, likely the most useless. He paces the lobby on this cellphone at all hours, wheezing and attempting to cough up the same deep phlem ball he’s been culturing in his lungs since prob’ly 1956. Through this, he yells into the phone, as if attempting to cover the west to east coast miles in lung power he obviously doesn’t have, in between puffing on an unending supply of Winston’s.

…This bastard, every time he comes, soaks our branch in hotel suit, mini bar, write-off Happy Hours, and BMW rental fees, across weeks at a time, while constantly on the phone with other places, doing whateverthefuck, but certainly not in the least helping with things here.

…In fact: he smells up the place, drinks all the coffee, and yells so loud on that fucking phone, it’s like a major battle just to get my own crap done. And so: I despise him.

You would too.

…Even if you didn’t know that he looks like the love-child of Burgermeister Meisterburger and a Troll from Trolls 2.

…But now: you do…

…And now he’s gone…

…For (God-hope) at least a month or two…

…If we gotta have this 1960’s office crap, why can’t we at least get the benefit of the old, “bottle in my file cabinet/flask lunches” to compensate?

~D

Tent City: A Soap Saga

29 Oct

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They cancelled all the Soaps from my childhood, but the memory remains clear (and will for life) of the high-stake emotional roller coasters of inbreeding, murder, mystery and hysterical outbursts they produced. Whole towns stuck in perpetuity of land lock like Brigadoon, where everyone had an evil twin no one knew about, and people would continually die and then come back to life again…or have massive reconstruction surgery to look like other people…for reasons that never made any sense, but were totally based on actor availability at the time.

…A part of me mourns their loss. They were fucking ridiculous, and if you missed one day you’d have no idea what the hell was going on anymore, or who was married or sleeping with whom…but it was an easy way to kill a sick day.

….I only bring this up because New Boss has taken to eating lunch in his office, while looking out his windows. It’s his new favorite thing. I know, cuz he’s told me. His very own tent-city soap, which he narrates while I type away in my office.

To set this up, (if you’re new, like he is) you need to know: we are located just out of the Port. It ain’t the greatest side of town, and has been the topic of many blogs across the years about Dancing Tweakers, Stoned Homeless Models, a Tunnel Tranny (prostitute crossdresser), et al. From time to time, we will also find ourselves the neighbors of a transient Tent-City…which will start with one, and multiply to half a dozen “homes,” collecting across several days to a month, until the cops come, bust them all, and they load of their kits like travellers, gone by the next day, until they mysteriously re-emerge slowly again, several months later.

…So happens, New Boss, got hired just after one of such transitions, so that one day while eating his yogurt he hollared out:

Boss: Hey! There’s a puptent!
Me: Oh yeah. They do that. Must be city rebuild time.
Boss: What?
Me: Yeah, it’ll start with one or two…and if they don’t get busted another will show up soon..then another…
Boss: Seriously?
Me: Yep.
Boss: What do we do?
Me: Nothing. It’s not our property, they never come in our yard or anything to bother us.
Boss: They just “live” there?!
Me: Yep.
Boss: On the side of the overpass?!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Just like that?!
Me: Well, I mean…it’ll grow now. If no one busts em.
Boss: What do you mean?
Me: Watch. You’ll see…

…And he did. Totally fascinated. For over a week now. Like its some kind of social human study on transients. Every lunch: he’s sitting there,watching them eat and drink and have domestic disputes just like they were a living soap opera, playing out their daily dramas.

Day 2

Boss: There’s another one!! Look!! Now there are TWO tents!
Me: Yup. I told yuh…
Boss: …Same piece of grass, but like 20 feet away.
Me: it’s like a “gentleman’s agreement” of land rights. Those’ll redistribute to smaller plots as it continues to populate.

Day 3

Boss: That one has a bike now. He looks like he’s talking to someone but I can’t figure out to who.
Me: Prob’ly no one. They frequently have arguments with the air and trees and things.
Boss: Seriously?
Me: We had one dance outside the tunnel for like three hours one day to no music at all.
Boss: Like, for money?
Me: No, for fun. He just felt like it I guess.

Day 3

Boss: Five!! Five tents!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Not to be gross, but…where do they…you know…go to the bathroom?
Me: There.
Boss: Where?
Me: Anywhere. There…or there…or there…
Boss: Just–Out in public?
Me: Well yeah. It’s not like they travel with Honeybuckets or something…
Boss: Seriously?!
Me: You’ll see. Literally, at some point (unfortunately)…

Day 4

Boss: OHMYGOD! THATWOMANINFAKFURANDHIGHHEELSJUSTWALKEDACROSSTHESTREETTOTHATOTHERPATCHOFGRASSSQUATTEDANDPEED!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Just like that!
Me: Yep.
Boss: I can’t even. And that guy! What’s he doing do you think?
Me: Picking the ground for cigarette butts and needles most likely.
Boss: Woa.
Me: Yeah, I can’t handle the shoot ups part…s’why I’m super glad my office faces the tunnel and I don’t have to see when they do that crap. Too much traffic.

Day 5

Boss: Fight!! Its a fight!
Me: They’ll calm down in a minute. All they do is yell…if it got violent, the cops would stop and make them all go away.
Boss: So they just stand there screaming back and forth? What does that resolve?
Me: I dunno. Nothing. What does it ever resolve.
Boss: It looks like it’s about that fur-coat lady.
Me: So I’m gonna guess she banged someone she shouldn’t have and now her boyfriend is pissed.
Boss: Well yeah, but..I mean…one would guess based on her behavior and dress that that is like her “job” so to speak.
Me: Oh yeah, no, she’s totally a prostitute…but that’s just her job. It’s like what’s-her-face in “A Hundred Ways To Die In The West.” It’s an agreement you do what you have to for livelihood. She’s just not supposed to like cozy up with someone for “fun.”
Boss: And that guy was “fun”?!
Me: Dude, you’ve seen their world. At least he still has most of his teeth.

…And so on.

…It is a bizarre and horrible fact of life that people can and do live this existance. And of course there are a variety of reasons they do…though the communities in our area of the Port seem mostly due to mega substance abuse. After years of watching them repopulate and relocate and come back again…one sorta becomes anesthetized to their presence. Like neighbors in New York, we ignore one another and do what we do to survive. One only realizes how matter-of-fact it has become when it is seen through fresh eyes….who are clearly old enough to have seen it before, but never on such a close-up, daily, routine and basis.

…In time, our neighbor’s lives will become as face-valued and unsurprising to New Boss, as a coma victim waking up after 20 years lost out at sea, or a backstabbing evil twin who stole the other’s identity and even his own wife couldn’t tell. Because that’s just the way it rolls in America…sadly.

…At the moment, at least, Tent-City has a most consumed witness to their daily stories…until one day when we come in to find they have moved once again, to greener pastures.

~D

Hard Truths

27 Aug

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It is arctic-freezing in the office.

…Two air conditioners war from lobby to the WHS Pimp’s office for the sake of incoming clients, who never arrive. I, meanwhile, have turned to ice, attempting thaw now by spending “lunch” pacing…while one-thumb punching in this blog.

I feel a little bit awful.

…This is because Cecil and I spent last evening getting blitzed. Which seemed like more than just a good idea at the time. It was a long-coming, multi-purpose necessity.

…Like the tater tots and pizza, which followed.

At around 11 pm.

….Also now: a regret.

…Funny thing about blow-out binging…it never seems to adhere to the: “chances you don’t take” regret rule. And why is that? It’s only fucking fair.

But, no. No, but no, but…no.

(Another water swig, pausing to make sure it goes down n’ settles.)

Minimal Hangovers are like the nagging mother of bad ideas. Not a big enough punch in the gut to say, “Wow…am so not gonna do that again in a long while.” More like,”There are smarter/healthier ways of doing things, and you should be a more responsible adult…with two more long work days ahead.”

…Minimal Hangovers are the bitchy little “I told you so’s” of day-afters. Which sorta just pisses you off more than prob’ly a full blown blitzer.

…At least then you could be like, “Yeah! I told you that was a totally serviceable set of reasons to get tanked! See! A repercussion that is equal to the joy/rage/disappointment/situation which preceeded it! Embrace it, as it all pukes out in front of you!”

(More water. And more.)

….Have peed no less than ten times today. An every-swallow effort to force-cleanse in the opposite direction of how it currently wants to. And I have done this. To myself. No denial here. Only regret.

…Regret and insane yearning for some fucking ginger ale.

So: there is that, then.

(Water, water, water…to infinity…)

…Also: I want a taco.

Why?

~D

Everlasting Purgatory

13 Jul

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The space “in-between” isn’t supposed to suck. We are given to understand that it is merely a holding pattern…like a plane taxied out on the runway, waiting it’s turn to take off. You’ve already boarded, already departed from your last gate, and have moved on to the next part of your journey, but have yet to quite lift off into final assent.

….My entire life is in this holding pattern.

Office, Theatre, Life, Finances…everything I own or identify with, is in a metal tube just sitting on that fucking tarmac. And contrary to what we are told about purgatory: it really sucks.

Like…a lot.

At this point, I’ve done all I can do. I’ve chosen the destinations and booked the flights and now…because I’m only human, I gotta just sit here in suffocating stillness, wedged between this screaming infant with dirty diapers, and one of those too-much-cologne-smelling Insurance Salesmen…who never shuts the fuck up. I feel absolutely surrounded by an attack force zoned specifically at my nerves and their Achille’s heel, and because I already left the gate and bought the tickets, I’m stuck here at their total mercy.

I HATE having no control. HATE it.

…And so, the only thing which has benefited in this past month, has been the only thing I CAN control: this goddamn Fitbit.

I am currently 14lbs down, 3 weeks in, because that thing on my arm is now my BITCH. I can’t control a callback, but I can control if I eat a Milkyway. I can’t control if that job recruiter will call me in for an interview, but I can control if I down a whiskey (or ten.) I can be depressed on the couch right now, or flip it the bird and get the hell outside for a walk.

…I have inadvertently turned fitness, into a form of saying “fuck you!” to everything not working in my life. (And all the things which might at some point suddenly decided to maybe work out, whenever/if ever, they finally get their shit together.)

…I’ve considered it a new strategy. Something that will take all the fates by total surprise. Because anyone in the damn world would rather dissolve at the end of these nonstop shitty days-and-weeks, with a bucket of fried chicken, a Blizzard, and a fifth of booze. By NOT doing that, I psych them out… I pull a different hand I’ve never played before. I take my usual patterns I love, which comfort me, and toss them out the window with a Thelma and Louise abandon.

Screw you, purgatory! If I gotta be stuck in this hot tar-smelling, tube of a shit-fest, I’m gonna do it my own damn way!

ADAPTABILITY, BITCHES!!

(as inspired partly c/o OITNB, season 3…second time ’round.)

~D

Orange Is The New Orphan Black

17 Jun

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…You know those days when you’ve lived about three lifetimes before 10 a.m.?

…All week.

It’s Wednesday.

…I’ve been trying to escape to worse realities than my work-life, by hitting up “Orphan Black” and “Orange Is The New Black” Season 3’s respectively. Episode after episode, like a crack-junkie…complete with falling asleep, waking up to them still playing on my phone at 2 am, rebooting and falling asleep to them  again, because I can’t NOT watch them…even when I’m exhausted.

…I do this and tell myself, “Well, at least you aren’t sleeping on a mattress made of maxi pads…” “At least psycho militant clones aren’t out to harvest your uterus and fallopian tubes…” “At least you don’t make 65 cents a day sewing panties, with a side business flipping inmate-used ones on the internet. ” “At least you haven’t changed wigs five times today, to play other versions of yourself with your actual life depending on not fucking up who is which.”

…It’s so bad, I’ll put it on freeze to eat an egg sandwich over the sink as fast as I can, so I can go back and finish streaming Cosima cutting a scalp off and ripping out the brain, without vomiting all over my couch.

…It’s so bad, the dark shitty life of lock up, makes me laugh like I have an unrealistic bond with murders, and find watching their social politics as intriguing and All-American, as “The West Wing.”

…Anyway, it makes for surreal sleeping patterns, and stream-of-consciousness, at a slight delay of reality.

Case in point: Monday morning, when I pulled in and parked next to a Forensic Van in our sales lot.

…I mean, in the past 12 hours, people had been locked in desert jails, used gnawed off rib bones as keys, folded under the influence of talking scorpions, undergone experimental brain treatments, and got mysterious red-eye diseases that like a week ago would have REALLY freaked me the fuck out. Not to mention: survived face-crushing, and rape, committed multiple homicides, built shanks out of lollipops, brewed alcohol out of prison fruit, and attempted suicide with depression meds.

So what is a Forensic Van compared to that??

…Then I remembered: I don’t have a talking scorpion, genetic freak-mutation, or diseased eye-balls after all…and my street cred doesn’t depend on used underware and Raumen noodle spice packets. A Forensic Van on a Monday is prob’ly a pretty big deal. I mean: when you’re in a consignment industry.

…This did not stop me, however, from climbing the steps over piles of wall-pieces and crap all over the walk, and bracing myself for (hopefully) not a lot of blood.

…The thing being: I was prepared, totally prepared for blood. And possibly a dead body. Or maybe several. And pretty physically self-secure in the fact I could shove any improvised weapon into any body part with a dead-eyed fierceness, impaling without impunity…like they’d stolen my soap to use without asking, and left an errant pube on it. (That shit costs money! Commissary your own, bitches!)

…Like those idiots you scream at in horror movies…I was sucked into my dark fake TV world’s, and totally just kept on walking, as if it was no big deal…side-stepping all the signs pointing to the possibility that it might be. And also, this was “real life.”

…Because here’s the thing: Violence, well written black comedic irony, and Sci-Fi DO deaden your realistic reactions.

Obviously.

…I mean, it wasn’t even 8 a.m., and like some kind of animatronic idiot, I totally just went for it…for whatever I’d find , like those stupid cheerleader/babysitters in every scream-movie ever.

…Which ended (thankfully) at an anticlimax, finding only a robbery.

(…We’ll talk about how a robbery is an anticlimax, some other time.)

…Meanwhile, the Tuesday that followed was so awesomely terrible, even possible-homicide-Monday was better, so Wednesday had to win in the “less shitty” department…and how you know is: no one got arrested or punched in the face.

…Also, today is when I hit the amazing call-to-arms Piper panty monologue, (with heightened musical underscore, which I have dubbed the Henry V battle cry of 2015), and laughed so hard I had to watch it twice in a row, to actually hear it.

…Which quite possibly saved my entire day.

…Which, in context, is pretty tragic actually. But it’s better to laugh till you cry about underware, than accept an office day at face value.

…Also, “Can I go, now that I’ve watered your ego-flower,” is like my new favorite always-phrase. I shall use it constantly, when Corporate returns next week.

…Anyway, in my head.

~D

Reboot

2 Jun

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Hi, remember me? I was this person you knew once…used to read my stuff, prob’ly cuz it made you feel like a normal put-together human who has way less issues than…well…me? Yeah, I’m still here.

My last fresh-start month wasn’t so fresh, so I decided to go dormant for a bit, sleep off the hangover it left behind (so to speak)…and now, look! It’s a new month again! Reboot 2.0! And I really mean it this time.

…Truth is, I’ve missed you. Ten or twenty times I could have used you as a good blow out exercise…but instead, I finished the show, made some new plans, went with Cecil on a mini Vaca, and came back with some super specific purpose.

I HAVE A PURPOSE!

…And now, it’s time to blog again.

…Mostly influenced by the reemergence of our friend, the home-challenged-cross-dressing-sex-working-substance-abuse-filled-office-neighbor* (*formerly known as “The Tunnel Tranny.”)

He came back today.

Retook up residence by the overpass tunnel, just outside our office. Cecil was excited, inquiring if he was “the” T.T. of previous blog-note. The WHS Pimp swears it is, and I suppose with the like-hours they worked in this space, he aughta know. Though for a while, I debated the fact. Despite his women’s tracksuit jacket, and proclivity to pose in random very specific postures, he would hold through out the day, as if for a photo shoot…or a ghost class of artists studying his form.

…Mostly I denied it, because the T.T. was never present and “about” during my hours of operation. And this gentleman very much was. In fact, across six hours today, (wherein he only moved from his spot just opposite our window once, during a momentary downpour), he was exceedingly present.

He was coversational…(to the air)…had several loud political debates (with a bug?), rehearsed his flirting and solicitation come-ons (with the fluted wall), and conducted his own dance party, during what we chose to take as our coffee break…so we could watch.

(…Dude had some mad hip-hop, Beyonce-bustin’ skills, is all I’m sayin’…)

…And as we watched him, sing his songs, direct from his probably drugged-out head, and get down with his bad self, grinning like a five-year-old kid, I turned to Cecil at her desk:

Me: Lookit this guy. He has no rent, no car, no credit cards, no bills, no job, no responsibilities… it’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, and he’s singing a song and dancing like a rockstar, while we dumbasses just watch from our hell-hole office, like animals in a cage. Something is super, super wrong with this picture.

Cecil: (with a sigh, and momentary glance of longing his way) Yeah…

…Which is to say, “there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…” And if that guy can find ’em and make ’em work for him, so damn well can I!

The end.

~D

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