Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My old apartment looks so boring now that it is white and empty.

My new apartment looks all cluttered.

The insides of my face would like to be on the outside and I'm doing everything in my power to prevent that, but I feel like I'm failing.

I'm covered in paint.

I let them weigh me at the doctor's office today and everyone is right -- I have lost weight.

I slept most of the night with a Kleenex sticking out of my right nostril because it would spontaneously run and I didn't want to wake up on a snotty pillow.

I think my head would be much happier if it was somewhere else.

My office is a mess, but I just don't have it in me to clean it today.

It's almost June. How the hell is it almost June?

And I'm almost done with the whole moving thing. I hand in my keys today. It was kind of hard to paint over my walls and remove every trace of my life there. I was listening to Moby's "Hotel" as I was painting and it seemed somehow fitting with what he says about hotels and why he named the album "Hotel." I spent five very full years in that apartment and now I'm trying to make it look like nobody ever lived there. They will never know how many times I cried or how hard I laughed or how often Owen and I fought and played and napped together or that I spent the most intimate night of my life in that apartment. In my new apartment, I have only been vegan. I did a LOT in the five years I lived in that apartment and it is sad to see it all washed away, covered up in a coat of white paint.

My face hurts.

The really strange thing about my new apartment is the lack of mirrors. In my old place, the closet doors in my bedroom were mirrors, so I could see myself, full length, a million times a day. In my new place, the one full length mirror is on the outside of the bathroom door, so I don't see myself in it very much. And I've been seeing myself in costume so much lately that I've kind of forgotten what I actually look like, without make up, in normal clothes. I have no idea if I look good or not. It's kind of odd.

I'm ready to go home now and take a nap. After I gargle with hot salt water. The doctor told me that would help.

Juice is an amazing thing.

Trail mix with raw nuts isn't quite as satisfying as trail mix with roasted nuts.

Do they sell replacement heads on the internet?

Friday, May 27, 2005

So last night, I went where all of the non-pretty people in the world go to party and truth be told, I don't remember the last time I had that much fun at a club. There was a particularly large man in a kilt, dancing his heart out. There was a Robert Plant wannabe. There was a guy who seems to think it is 1782. There were real-sized women. I loved it. I almost didn't go because I was so tired, but I'm so glad I went. Everyone was just there dancing, having fun. I wasn't concerned about people watching me on the dance floor because everyone was dancing for themself.

And I got to hang out with a bunch of friends who I see very seldom now. I miss them. New friends are nice, but old friends, the ones who know you, are a treasure. Our lives just kind of pulled us apart, which is really sad, but it was wonderful to get to see them again and know that they're still there. So thanks, guys, for that.

I had a lot more to say about going out last night, but it has left me. Oh well. I had fun, and I think I may have found a new place to just hang out when I don't want to have to interact with people, but I don't want to sit in my house alone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Oh my god, I could see Moby twice more this summer. He's playing at Summerfest and the Taste of Chicago. Granted, I hate the Taste of Chicago, but I'd go to see Moby play again. Two days in a row, I could see him.

Okay, now I am in a much better mood.
Man, if people didn't know I've been moving for the last week and a half, they'd think I had a very abusive boyfriend or something. I have:
  • A very nice bruise on my upper arm (right)
  • Bruises on both wrists
  • Two smaller bruises on my lower arm (left)
  • Two bruises on my right shin
  • Three bruises on my left leg
  • One bruise on my lower back
  • One scratch/bruise in my armpit (left)

I'm a mess. And last night, between about 2:45 am and 6:15 am was the closest I have had to a decent night's sleep in a very long time. I think. But since it was such a short amount of time, I really don't feel rested. I'm tired and sore and cranky and I feel like my eyes look puffy and my skin is breaking out like crazy. I tried playing my guitar yesterday in my new house -- the first time I've done that since I moved in. Didn't sound very good. I'll have to just keep at it.

On the up side, I got my dining room table and chairs yesterday and they are all assembled and in place. So cute! I am very happy with my purchase. No, it is not the greatest, highest quality table in the world, but it will serve it's purpose, I'm sure. I think I need to make a list of things that are currently bringing me joy:
  • Owen perched himself on my dining room table last night and did this kind of sideways-sniff-the-flower-in-the-vase thing that was absolutely adorable. Sometimes he is so beautiful, I want to weep.
  • The Cubs have won three games in a row now (knock on wood).
  • I'm wearing my sneakers at work for two reasons -- 1) my boots that I normally wear to work are still at my old apartment and 2) I'm tired and sore all over, so I thought I'd go with comfortable footwear today.
  • My coffee shop now carries a green and white tea blend.
  • I'm in a show right now that is getting recognition and big, appreciative audiences.
  • Even though the vast majority of my stuff is in my new apartment, it does not yet feel cluttered.
  • My money troubles are temporary.

I know, I was really reaching on a couple of those there, but it is the simple things that bring the most joy, and it is on those simple things that I need to focus during times like this when I have a lot of stress and very little control over when said stress will end/lessen/go away. I just heard that something may be happening to my job, soon, too. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing, I don't know. And I won't know until it happens. On the up side, my car will be paid off in January and my other living expenses have gone down significantly, so if I have to leave this job in January, I can do it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Next time you are feeling crappy, try this and I can almost guarantee you will feel better:

Get into your car.
Turn on the radio or the CD player.
Play "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers on the radio or the CD player.
Slam dance.

(Now, by "slam dance," I do NOT mean "ram your car into other cars/pedestrians/random things hanging out by the roadside." I mean bounce in the driver's seat. Let your right shoulder lead your dancing. Slam your shoulder into the seat behind you. Bop your head back and forth and side to side as feels appropriate. Randmolly punch the air in between yourself and the windshield. That is what I mean by "slam dance.")

Become aware of exactly how silly you must appear to every other car around you.
Revel in exactly how silly you must appear to every other car around you.
Dance harder.

You will feel better, I guarantee it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I've logged more stairs than I care to count. My legs and butt are sore. But my place is livable. I still have some odds and ends to move over from the old place, and then I have to clean and paint it, but I can live in my new place, no problem. And I'm supposed to hear from the shippers of my dining room table today to find out when they can deliver it to my house, so sometime this week, I'll have a dining room table.

And I'm back at work this week, too, and hating it already. So much mundane work for me to do, and absolutely nothing interesting. Schedule meetings. Distribute correspondence. Check the status of a couple of projects. You know, if "The Bad Seed: The Musical" continues to do as well as it has and all of our dreams about it come to fruition, I would have absolutely no problem leaving my current job to go be on Broadway or something. But I don't think it's going to go that far. And at some point, we may have to invest in a wig because there's no way I'm going to stop growing my hair back out. I miss my hair, damn it!

Friday, May 20, 2005

My old apartment is starting to look empty and my new apartment is starting to look lived in. I felt like a horrible mother the other night, though. I moved Owen over to my new place and he was petrified. I don't think he slept all night, nor did I. He just set up camp in my bedroom closet, presumably because with all of my clothes in there, it smelled like home. He's doing better now. He still prefers to be within visual range of me, and he tries to make a break for it when I open the front door, but he's getting more and more comfortable as I bring over more and more stuff.

I really do like it here. With all of the craziness and headaches and sore muscles, I think this was a good move.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

So the move is coming along. Not as quickly as I might have hoped because I need to keep it largely empty so we can shoot a film in here. But it's coming along. I took my first shower in the new place today. Not fantastic water pressure. I'll have to dunk the shower head in vinegar and see if that helps. And the stains the tile cleaner created in the bathtub seem to be fading. Either that, or I'm getting used to them. One of the girls from "The Bad Seed" came over last night to talk about paint and I'm really excited. I think it will look great.

So yeah, I'm excited to get it all together and finished and bring Owen over here so we can start this new chapter of our lives.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sweet jebus, I'm tired. I didn't go to bed any later last night than I have the rest of the week. I did have a couple of beers after the show, but not enough to get wasted or anything. But I woke up this morning, much against my better judgment, completely prepared to instantly go back to sleep. Owen wasn't having any of that, though.

I have to be really distasteful and gush for a minute. I love my cat. He's got such a sweet face and a sweet meow and yes, he drives me nuts a lot of the time, but when he looks at me like, "Where are you going?" as I'm leaving the house in the morning, my heart just melts. And when I come home and he buries his face into my chest while I scritch his back...if you've never had a pet, you have no idea what I'm talking about. But if you have had a pet, you know exactly what I mean. This animal isn't an animal. It is another living, breathing being that is fully dependent on you for all of it's needs, and it knows it's needs will be met, and it thanks you for that. As much as it irritates me that Owen wakes me up at the proverbial ass-crack of dawn every morning, there is no way I would rather be awoken than by his sweet face nudging mine or him stretching onto my stomach. He'll sit there and watch me trying to wake up. It's adorable.

So yeah, I'm looking forward to a couple of days wherein I can wake up when my body is ready to wake up. Jebus knows next week is going to be crazy with the move and everything, so I have to enjoy this weekend of peace in between. Finish packing. Start cleaning. For on Monday, I will have a new home.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I'm checking websites almost obsessively to find "Bad Seed" reviews. I've only found one so far, and it is good. The music got a nod, as did a couple of the performances. Yay!

I hate to admit it, but this show is growing on me. I missed the cast when we didn't do the show for four days. I'm looking foward to performing it for the next four and a half weeks. I guess that's a good thing, huh?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My friend's dog passed away yesterday. You all know I'm more of a cat person than a dog person, but he wasn't a dog. He was a family member and a friend. He had so much character! He was the sweetest dog you could ask for, with these eyes...the end was rough for him. I'm glad he's not hurting anymore, but it's sad to see him go. You are very much loved, Scooby, and will be very much missed.
Random tidbits because I'm bored stupid:

I'm waiting for white tea to take over the world. It is so much tastier than green tea, and better for you, too. More antioxidants, less caffeine. And yet if you go into a big coffee/tea chain store, they don't have white tea available. You either have to buy it loose or in bags at the grocery store, and even then, not every grocery store has white tea. Trader Joe's does. This is why we love Trader Joe's.

The Cubs really aren't a "streaky" team. I think that might be why fans still go to Wrigley day after day, year after year. There is always the possibility that the Cubs will pound the crap out of their opponents. Every day, every game is a new chance. Even in the middle of a supposed slump, they'll pop up for a game and shut out the competition 12-0 or something like that. I love it.

Speaking of the Cubs, I'm getting tired of people ragging on them because they don't have Sosa or Alou and because they are in third place in their division right now. Hi, the Cubs are leading the National League in home runs. Derrick Lee is leading the National League in all three triple crown categories and this is a guy who doesn't usually get hot until June. Ramirez and Patterson keep knocking the ball out of the park -- Patterson alone got two homers last night. Granted, there is something that is not clicking, or we'd have a much better record than we do. I blame LaTroy Hawkins. Sure, his teammates say he loves the Cubs as much as any of the rest of us do, but the man can't step on the mound without giving up two or three runs. Dusty Baker needs to give him a few days off. Let Rothchild work with him a little, get his control back. Then put him in for one or two batters in the sixth inning and get him out of there. That's how you'll get him his confidence back. That's how you'll get the fans to stop booing him. If he gives up two runs in the sixth, we still have plenty of time to catch up again. If he gives up two runs in the ninth, we're screwed, see? So yeah, lay off of Hawkins for a while and I think the rest of it will fall into place. Yes, we have a lot of injuries, but those guys are doing their best to get healthy again, and we still have a lot of great ball players out on the field busting their asses every day. If all you look at is wins and losses, no, the Cubs don't look like the best team. But if you actually watch the games, you'll see there is a lot more to this team than wins and losses.

I'm kind of excited to go back and do the show tonight. I miss my cast mates. I miss singing my song. I don't miss the make up, but the rest of it, I'll be excited to get back to. And tomorrow, a bunch of the reviews should come out, which will hopefully translate into bigger audiences. Hooray!
Another $80-some-odd-billion to fund the military efforts in the Middle East.
The Arctic Wilderness open to oil drilling.
Gasoline prices holding steady at almost $2.50/gallon.
United Airlines offered the option of eliminating the pensions of all of it's employees to save itself from bankruptcy.
Less than half of the kids in Chicago public schools are going to college.

Since when are big businesses more important than the people who work for them?
Since when is a six-month oil supply more important than the pristine beauty of this country?
Since when is military action in other countries (which is all post-war action, mind you, as the "war" ended two and a half? three years ago?) more important than educating our children?

I'm sorry to get political on you. I'd been quiet for a while. But then I hear about a grenade thrown near President Bush and my heart actually jumped. Why couldn't it have been a real grenade? He wouldn't necessarily have to die; just get hurt. Something to wake him up to the fact that he is doing a crappy ass job of running this country. But it was a dud. Intended to scare him. Very easy to forget about.

Maybe I should be moving farther away than just across the street.
The artwork is mostly down off the walls. The medicine cabinet is empty, save the items I'm going to need for the next couple of days. The bookshelves are bare. My desktop is cleaner than it has been in years. I'm actually moving.

I know people move all of the time. Every weekend, there is somebody moving. And it's not like I'm leaving all of my stuff behind to start a completely new life or anything; I'm just moving across the street. But there is so much of my history in that apartment. I wrote dozens of songs there. I cried countless nights. I laughed and squeaked so often and so loudly, it no longer scares my cat, or the other cats who live in the building. I mourned the loss of my first true love, and then found him again. I became a vegan in that apartment. I found Moby living in that apartment. I made a dozen films and became a company member at my theater. I cheered for so many Cubs games, and cursed so many opposing teams. I would go for long walks all around the world, and always felt safe once I was back in my little corner of the world.

I'm not saying I won't have new, great memories in my new place. I'm starting off my life there filming a movie for my friend. And of course, Owen will be with me. But it's sad to say goodbye to those old memories. For every new chapter that begins, another has to end.

That, and I'm going to be broke as hell for the next month. All liquor donations will be happily accepted. I'll get you back in July.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

And they're off! Festival submissions are in the mail. Man, was that nerve wracking. Thank you, to Miss Lesley, for giving me a couple of tips on my press kit. The one I sent off is not fantabulous, but it's not horrible either, I don't think. And now I know what kinds of things I need to keep track of for future press kits. Once it's started, it's easier to build up. It's the first step that is the hard part.

And worst case scenario is that I don't get into either of these festivals this year. This does not preclude me from playing elsewhere or submitting again next year. But if I didn't submit, I wouldn't get to play. If I do submit, there is a slight chance I might get to perform. And it is for that slight chance that I suck it up, prepare myself for the little financial hit (submission fees), and send out what I have to send out. And then I pray that the people on the submission committees hear the same things the people at my concert on Sunday heard that motivated them to stay and hear more.

So keep your fingers crossed for me! And remind me to get one of my concerts reviewed one of these days so I have some press to put into my press kit.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm going to do it. I'm going to submit my music to a couple of music festivals. It would be helpful if I had other music festival experience, but the only way to get festival experience is to play festivals and the only way to do that is to send in tunes and cross your fingers. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to get a press kit together and submit.

I played a show last night for a room full of strangers. Literally. There was not a single person in the audience that I knew. And I hate to admit it, but it freaked me out and made me not want to play. But I reminded myself that I had no idea who these people were, either, and they deserved to see a good show just as much as anyone else. If I do get into these festivals and things, it's not going to be my friends in the audience. I have to get used to playing these gigs solo. So anyway, I got up and did my set. I was pretty sure the people there were there to see the guy who played before me and that they would leave as soon as I got on stage. A bunch of them did. Well, they waited for about four songs from me before they left. But a bunch of them stayed. And they really enjoyed the songs I sang. They laughed at "That's What You Get." A couple even sang along when I did "Scarlet Ribbons," as a tribute to my mother. And when I was finished, three of them bought CDs and one asked to be put on my mailing list.

It never ceases to amaze me the people that my music reaches. Going in, I would have thought that generational differences would prevent my music from speaking to the people there. But it didn't. My music got through. They let it into their hearts and really listened and really enjoyed it. I guess it just goes to show that I shouldn't judge my audiences prematurely. I should have confidence in my songs and I should just play them the best I can and let the listeners decide for themselves if they want to listen or not.

So thank you to the people at the Red Line Tap last night who stuck around to listen to a twenty-something year old singer/songwriter. It was a pleasure to meet you and play for you. I hope to see you out again some day.

Friday, May 06, 2005

So the show I'm in right now received a Jeff Recommendation. For those of you who don't know, the Jeff Awards are kind of like the Tonys, but are specific to Chicago theater. Meaning, this is a big deal. This is the first Corn show to receive a Jeff Recommendation. Ever. In fourteen years of putting up boys in dresses shows, this is the first one that has been deemed worthy of a nod. That's pretty exciting.

Apparently, it kind of works like this -- members of the Jeff Committee will go see shows and if X number of them like the show in Y number of categories, the show will get a recommendation. Then, throughout the run of the show, the rest of the Committee members will go see it and score it on their own, too. If X number of members recommend the show in the same category, the show (or actor, director, choreographer, etc.) will get a Jeff Nomination and can attend the awards ceremony, which will be next year. Right now, we have no idea in what categories we got high marks, and I don't think we will be allowed to know, unless, of course, we get an actual nomination. My curiosity is, of course, piqued. Is it the script that they like? The music? A specific performance? The lighting? I want to know when we'll know if we got an actual nomination. Because something like that looks amazing on your resume. "I was in 'The Bad Seed: The Musical,' which earned a Jeff Nomination for [insert category here]." Or better yet, "I was nominated for a Jeff Award for my performance in 'The Bad Seed: The Musical.'" Tee hee. I'm giggling as I'm writing that, too.

Regardless, this is excellent news and we're all really excited about it. If anything, I think the number "Mean" deserves mention. It's great music, great choreography, and excellent lighting. Opening night, the audience started applauding before the song was even finished because they just couldn't hold it in any longer. It is a beautiful number in it's creepiness.

And I guess it is a good thing, now, that I decided to do this show, huh? Thank you, Robert, for twisting my arm into doing this part. I'm glad I got to be a part of Corn history.

And thank you to the Jeff Committee for recognizing our little storefront theater. We put a lot of hard work into this show and we're thrilled that you like it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm ready for this month to be over. I don't know that by "this month" I mean "May," but rather the last four or so weeks. I'm ready for them to be over. They seem to have been characterized by me doing a lot of stupid things. I'm smarter than that and I'm getting tired of feeling dumb.

So here's hoping the next four or so weeks (and beyond) are characterized by wise decisions and happy days. Warm days. I wonder if Mother Nature got my letter yet...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Today my brother turns 30.

Happy birthday, Andy!

I remember idolizing my brother when we were kids. Whatever he was in to, I wanted to be in to, too. I think that kind of goes with the territory between siblings who are only a couple of years apart, but he was also in to a lot of cool stuff when we were kids. Magic. Making fires in tuna cans. Model planes. Baseball. Drawing. Legos. He was so smart growing up, and I was so eager to keep up with him. We used to play for hours, either just the two of us, or with our other two honorary siblings. And yes, we fought like wild animals sometimes, but just a few years ago, my honorary sister told me that Andy has always been fiercely protective of me. I never saw it, but she said it was there and I trust her. We had a birthday party for my brother at my grandmother's house over the weekend and there was a lot of reminiscing about Andy as a kid and he was just a really wonderful person. And he still is. He is thoughtful and considerate and funny and brilliant. If anyone ever wanted to make an argument for yuppies being good people, too, they would need to look no further than my brother. (I know that sounds kind of mean, but I think you know what I mean.) We don't always agree on everything, we lead very different lives, but I cherish the time I do get to spend with my brother and I am honored that he is in my life.

Happy birthday, Andy. I love you very much.

Monday, May 02, 2005

So how come they don't make right and left footed socks? I know they now make socks with individual toes, but that's not what I'm talking about. I don't want individual toes. I don't like having things in between my toes. Flip flops -- can't stand 'em. I'm talking about socks that are slightly slanted in the general toe-al area. Have you ever purchase socks that are not slanted in the toe-al area, but rather have a seam across the toes that then gets all bunchy by your little toe? And it rubs against your toe and creates a blister. And you think to yourself, "If I switched my socks, this funky extra bit of seam would be on the big toe of my other foot, and it wouldn't bug me so much," so you switch your socks, only to discover that the other sock also has a funky extra bit of seam that was hiding on your big toe, but now has nowhere else to go beyond the already-ready-to-burst blister on your little toe. If they made socks especially for right feet, small right toes would not have to suffer. If they made socks especially for left feet, small left toes would not be blistered. But alas, they don't. They only make unifooted socks and millions of small toes everywhere pay the price. I ask you fashion industry, do you care not for our feet? You make all these lovely, tortue devices and call them shoes; must we suffer when we're not wearing shoes as well? Let our left feet be proud to be left! Let our right feet be proud to be not left! We've got custom built houses and shoes and cars and furniture, personally designed diet and workout plans, personalized videos you can buy at the mall, it's high time we had specilaized socks!

Oh, and if you could make them argyle, that would be fabulous.
Dear Mother Nature,

Hi! How are you? It's been a while since we chatted. Sorry about that. Things get crazy for both of us around this time of year, I know.

I see that some of the trees and flowers are starting to bloom. Things are looking lovely! Kudos to you!

If I could ask a little favor, though. I know you can't rush great art, and I must say, the trees and flowers and bugs and stuff are truly great art. They inspire every other piece of art ever created by man, and you deserve major props for that. But if you would be so kind as to look at your calendar. It is now May. And it's still cold outside. It's been cold outside since October. Now, I know I have the option of moving to somewhere warmer. I like having that kind of freedom as a mobile being. But I really do like my home in Chicago. And Chicago isn't always this cold. In the summertime, it actually gets quite hot in Chicago, and every year, I look forward to that because frankly, I don't like being cold. And this eight months of coldness is getting to be a bit much for me. So if you wouldn't mind, could we get a few more degrees of warmth sometime in the near future?

Other than that, things are going quite swimmingly. As I said, I'm really enjoying the flowers this year. They smell particuarly lovely.

Thanks! I hope you are well.