Thursday, June 30, 2005

You know what I need? And pardon me for sounding totally shallow and inappropriate with this comment, but I'm going to say it anyway. I need a really aesthetically beautiful man in my life. One of those men you see in a movie and are just mesmerized by. I'd be okay with just having him around to look at, if he didn't mind just being looked at. That would be fine. And not to downplay the attractiveness of my current male friends because a lot of them are really hot, but in their own way, or in some strange way that only I find attractive. But I'm talking about rippling muscles, perfect hair, chisled jaw, piercing eyes good looks.

So in addition to all of those qualities in a man I am looking for that I listed so long ago in the hopes of manifesting such a partner for myself, let's add: I'd like to be with a man so beautiful, I never get tired of looking at him. But not so vain that he never stops looking at himself.

Tee hee.

Oh! And a very happy anniversary to a very dear couple I know who moved far away and I miss very much, and a very happy birthday to a very dear friend of mine. I hope you all have really lovely days. Full of hot men.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I slept in my own bed last night! Hooray!

When I bought my futon, I bought one that would be extra comfortable, so that when people come to visit my house, they can hopefully get a good night's sleep out of the deal. And granted, it is a comfortable futon. But there is something about sleeping in my own bed. Having my house back as my house, not as an apartment with a bed in the living room and an oven where I keep my clothes. I feel like a person again and it feels good.

I did my nails last night, too. Since I'm not playing Leroy again until July 8, I figured now is my chance to look like a girl. They're purple, but a sort of pastel purple, so nothing too crazy. I like it. It is, to be honest, the only color of vegan nail polish I have. Buying nail polish is hard -- there are so many fun colors, but so many of them are completely inappropriate for an office type setting.

Speaking of which, I found another job at the University for which I could apply. It would be a different department, different office, very similar responsibilities. I keep telling myself I should go ahead and just submit my resume -- what can it hurt, right? They won't necessarily want to hire me, and even if I'm offered the job, I can decline if things are changing here or whatever. But it is still a very scary thing to be thinking about. Leaving this office where I have spent eight hours a day for the last five years. Leaving my boss who I really like and get along with. The rest of the people in this office's not like I expected everyone to remember. I knew most people would forget. But the people at work? Who have it written down on their bulletin boards? Who make a big deal out of it for everyone else? I'm sorry, I don't want to sound petty, but it hurts. As if I didn't already know I don't belong here. And if I got a different job at the University, I'd still have my same medical, dental, retirement, and vacation benefits, but I might actually be utilized, you know? My talents might not go to waste on a daily basis. It can't hurt to send off my resume, right?

Happy things. I fed Herman this morning. I hope he likes it at my house. I really like having him there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oh! And for those of you who are wondering, I only had one piece of cake all weekend. I know, I failed. But I had cookies yesterday and lots of pizza on Sunday, so it was still an All-Good-Food-All-The-Time weekend. Not a total loss.
So it really was just another day. I marched in the Gay Pride Parade. Hung out with a bunch of people, none of whom even knew. And then I went home, ordered a pizza, and watched television for the rest of the night. I got phone calls from a bunch of people, which was nice. The ones who knew but forgot were exactly the ones who I knew would.

The strange part, though, is that since it really, truly, honestly was just another day, it doesn't feel like it happened. I know it did, but it doesn't feel like it. Weird. Anyway. Moving on.

If you ever get the chance to march in a Gay Pride Parade, take it. It is so much fun! Even in sweltering heat, even outside walking for three miles in the middle of the day, it is so much fun! So many people, so many styles, so many winks and gropes and chances to flirt. So much fun. I was, for the most part, creeping people out, dressed as Leroy, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I hope this turns into a yearly thing.

And for the record, no, I am not gay. I was there promoting "The Bad Seed." But I saw one guy on the news say that it's not about whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever. Pride Day is about celebrating who you are. I think we could all use a little more of that, especially if it involves bright colors, bubbles, and fun music.
Wow, lots to catch up on. I may have to split this up into several entries.

I have a new member of my family -- Herman. He is a pepperomia, whatever that is. A cute little hanging plant, that will supposedly get more vine-y as he gets older. He's really cute and unassuming and he gets along fine with Owen. So between Owen and Simon and Herman and Nigel and Charlene and I, it's no wonder it gets hot in my aparment. But I like my little family. We're totally non-traditional, but we each have our place and we all get along, and we all love each other, so that's what is important.

Welcome to the family, Herman!

Friday, June 24, 2005

I think I just might have to have an all cake all the time weekend this weekend. Because let's face it, life is just that much brighter after you've had some cake. Cake cures all. And if I'm ever going to have an all cake all the time weekend, it should be this weekend. And anyone who would like to join me in my all cake all the time weekend is more than welcome. I'll be eating vegan cake, of course, but that shouldn't stop you from having some, too, either vegan or regular.

So finally, I get the summer I've been waiting for. The summer I've been wanting. The summer so sweltering hot, you can't sleep, can't breathe, can't move. I love it!

I slept in my living room last night to be near the window fan without moving the window fan, and it was kind of nice, because my cat joined me. As much fun as it is not to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, it is exceptionally nice to wake up and see a sweet little fuzzy face staring back at you and to be able to give that sweet little fuzzy face sleepy kisses without falling back asleep with fur on your lips. I don't know if that made any sense or not. I woke up at 4:30, kissed my cat, and went back to sleep. It's more fun to talk about the other way.

Long weekend ahead. And here's hoping the Cubs pound the Sox. Go, Cubbies!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

There is a paper clip holding my shoe on, and I must say, it is doing a really good job.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So I'm feeling pretty good. I have plenty to complain about -- job still sucks and I don't want to be here, I'm feeling kind of fat as of late, I don't forsee another day off until mid July, etc. -- but none of it is really getting me down. I know that if I hang in there long enough with the job thing, something will happen. And even if that something is me getting fired, I know I'll still land on my feet. I always do. With the fat thing, I know it is because of my cycle. It's funny how in tune with my body I became once I became vegan. But I know there are a couple of days every month when I just can't seem to stop eating, but there will also be a couple of days where I don't feel like eating at all, so it will all balance out in the end. And the no days off, well, that one is a little annoying. I would like to have one day wherein I don't have to talk to anyone if I don't want to. No answering the phone. No going to work. No going to the theater. Maybe go see a movie, but alone, so the only talking I have to do is saying, "One, please," to the person at the box office. Just a full day that is mine. I have, just within the past couple of days, rediscovered the joy that is video games. I pulled out my Super Nintendo and played Zelda the other night and was really enjoying it. Yes, I suck at it, but it was really fun.

Video games. Hot topic, and one on which I have a lot of opinions. I don't like point of view games, where you see the back of your character's head, or sometimes just your character's gun in the bottom center of the screen, and everything else moves around you. Call me a wuss, but I get dizzy with those games. Yes, the graphics are amazing and lifelike and blah blah blah, but I get dizzy with those games. And I don't like not being able to see what's behind me. I like profile type games, like Super Mario or Sonic or even things like Donkey Kong, where you can see what's in front of you, what's behind you, where you need to go next, that kind of thing. Yes, the graphics are primitive, but I love them just the same. Tell me Mario in the frog outfit in Super Mario 3 for the original Nintendo wasn't adorable. Go ahead and try. Won't work. It was like he was wearing little green footie pajamas. So cute. Anyway.

I don't think that video games are the root of all evil. There are a lot of good things to be learned from video games, like hand-eye coordination, and they keep the brain much more active than simply watching television. Did you know that you burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television? It's true. But video games stimulate the mind more than TV does. That's a good thing. And I think that with proper supervision, any child will be able to tell the difference between violence in a video game and violence in real life. A lot of that, I hate to say it, has to fall on the parents. Which is why, maybe, they should stick to fantasy type video games like Donkey Kong instead of realistic You're Fighting In Iraq With The Latest Military Technology games. I dunno. Just a thought.

But yeah, I have rediscovered the joy that is video games. And I would very much like to have a day wherein I don't have to do ANYTHING, and I can sit around playing video games and trying to keep my cat from chewing apart the controller cables. But else than that, I'm doing pretty good. My apartment is staying cool enough (so far) that I can kind of sleep. I wish Owen's sleeping rhythm would fall back in with mine so I wouldn't have to keep shutting him out of my room at night. There really is nothing sweeter than waking up next to a sleeping cat. Watching him yawn and stretch, bleary eyed, as I carry him into the kitchen to get breakfast. If you have a pet, you know the joy of which I speak. Now imagine that, followed up by a day of video games and cartoons and junk cereal. Perfection.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

So my security deposit is supposedly on its way to me, after being sent back to my old property managment company because they put the wrong zip code on it. I moved across the street from a building they manage and they put the wrong zip code on it. After I left them my forwarding address in an envelope with my keys, they put the wrong zip code on it. They got the right street number, but the wrong zip code. Not sure how they managed that one, but hey, at least my security deposit is on its way. I'll be interested to see how much it is.

They said I could stop by and pick it up, too. I think the last place I want to go is into that office.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Happy birthday, Grandma!
I spent too much money this weekend. Kind of a monetary bulemia, characterized by binging and purging, but I think the binge is over, and I should be good from here on out.

I got paid last week, ending my month-long monetary drought, so I had to spend some money. I put gas in my car and got it washed. I went grocery shopping (and have decided that my fridge is a mini-fridge, because while I did buy a lot of food, it's not that much more than I used to buy and the thing is PACKED). I went to the mall to try to buy some new underwear, but they didn't have anything cute and in my size, so I bought three new tops instead. Kind of girly things that I'm not sure yet if I can pull off, but if I'm going to be a girl one of these days, I'm going to have to start dressing the part. I'm wearing one of the new tops now and I go back and forth between thinking it is really cute and thinking it makes me look pregnant. But all in all, the things I purchased were things I needed (except the clothes, but you have to treat yourself from time to time), so I don't feel too bad about it. I'll be back on my budget for the rest of the month.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

One music festival that I will not be in.

I'm glad they e-mailed me to say I wasn't accepted this year, though. At least I don't have to sit and think about it anymore. And I knew I wasn't going to get a slot -- this was my practice year.

Next year, though, I'm going to knock 'em all on their asses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I got an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion in the mail yesterday. I was kind of worried that I hadn't gotten one yet, and I'm kind of relieved that there is, in fact, going to be a reunion.

The strange thing is, there are really only about three, maybe four people who I would want to see. One, I think we could probably catch up in about ten minutes. One is the first guy I ever went on a date with. I hear he's married now. One is a woman who is a fantastic artist and I'd love to see her and talk to her again. And then there's the one who won't show up.

I know I've talked about him before, but I want to talk about him again. I really miss him and wonder if he is okay. I know what it is like to need distance from the people you knew at a certain point in your life, but I still want to know that he is okay. He was so sweet and so intelligent and so wonderful, but so miserable. I want to know that he is happy with his life now.

I remember at our senior breakfast, we all had to fill out a survey thingy, with our favorite movie, etc., that is supposedly going to be presented to us at our reunion so we can see how we've changed since then. Under favorite actor, I saw on his sheet that he wrote my name. This is before I could get cast in anything, because I was part of the wrong clique. But he knew I wanted to be an actor, he knew how much I loved movies, and he put down my name. I want him to know that I am an actor now, and that I'm in a Jeff Recommended show. I want him to know that I'm a musician, too. I want to share that creative side of my life with him, because we shared our dreams of that kind of a life back when we were in high school. Is that selfish?

I have no idea how to find this guy, and I guess I just hope that if I talk about how much I'd like to see him again enough, he'll appear somewhere, out of the blue. I am alomst 100% sure that the last place in the world he will reappear is at our high school reunion - he hated that place even more than I did, if that's possible - but I'm tempted to go just on the off chance that he'll be there and I can hug him and tell him that I miss him and I should have been better to him when we were in high school, I should have been more present. I hope to meet his wife (if he has one) and shake her hand and tell her how lucky she is to have a man like him.

I know he won't show up. I'll go to the reunion, see my other friends, and generally have a miserable time. But I will spend the next four months with little butterflies in my stomach, anticipating the chance that I might see my friend again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I have to admit it, I've been reading personal ads as of late. I'm sorry, but they are funny. And I would like to offer a few words of advice to those of you out there who might be considering writing a personal ad.

1. Do not list among the things that you like to do, "having fun." This is akin to saying, "I am a human being, of the person sort." EVERYBODY likes to have fun. That's what we're all about. If you weren't looking to have fun, you wouldn't be on a dating site in the first place. Tell us a little bit about what you consider fun and that might be helpful. "I like to torture small animals" will tell us loads about who you are, as will "I like to blow bubbles in public places." But simply saying "I like to have fun" tells us nothing.

2. If you are 22 and "sick of the bar scene," you've got problems. Maybe you had a good fake ID and you've been going to bars since you were twelve and getting nowhere, but still. That, in and of itself, tells us a lot about you. If you are the sort who was never into the bar scene, tell us that. But to be so jaded when you are a whopping 22 years old is a pretty big turn off, especially seeing as most of the people reading your ad "just want to have fun."

3. Calling all of the other people who post personal ads losers and crying out that you'll never find a decent person on [insert website here] will do nothing for your social life. Especially if you continue on to say that the women on the site are full of shit when they say they want to meet a nice guy but none of them has given you a chance because you are four-foot-two and weigh six hundred pounds and just want to be loved. There is something to be said for honesty in personal ads, but lambasting the general public will not make you more popular.

4. It's lovely that you include a picture with your ad, really it is. But if it is a picture of you from 100 yards away, or one of you with 16 of your closest friends and no indicator as to which one you are, that's really not very helpful, now, is it?

5. Spelung und gramer do cont. Honest. If you're add is ful of erors, that speks volums aboot hoo you r and what ur aboot.

I think that should about do it for now. Just follow these five steps to a better personal ad and I can pretty much guarantee you will get more responses. Or some responses. Maybe. I don't know. Do personal ads even work?

Monday, June 13, 2005

I just found out a man I knew died yesterday. I didn't know him terribly well, but I was lucky enough to be at his wedding, and to dance with him from time to time. We shared some really wonderful times, and I knew him well enough to know that he loved life. He loved his family. He loved being a part of the world around him. He always had a smile for everyone, and a kind word. He is in one of the pictures hanging in my office. But the cancer in his brain turned out to be too much for him, and now his wife, daugher, and unborn child will have to live out the rest of their lives without him.

My heart goes out to them. He was a beautiful man, and the world is a sadder place that he is no longer in it. We will miss you, Scott.

Friday, June 10, 2005

You know, I have come to really love Pat Hughes and Ron Santo as Cubs radio announcers, but there have been so many moments in the past three years where I have wished, really wished, that Harry Carry was still around. When the Cubs were the Division Champions in 2003. When the Cubs played the Yankees. And now today, when the Cubs are playing the Red Sox for the first time since 1918 when they met in the World Series. I can hear him going crazy. I can hear him on each of the two home runs that have already been hit by our beloved boys in blue in this first game of the series -- "It might be. It could be. It is! Ho-ly cow!" I never met the man, but I'm getting misty because I miss him. "Ah-1, ah-2, ah-3! Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don't care if I ever get back for it's root, root, root for the CUBBIES. If they don't win, it's a shame. For it's ONE, TWO, THREE strikes you're out at the old ballgame. Let's get some runs!"

That's not to slight Pat and Ron. I have grown to love Pat and Ron. They have such a wonderful rapport with each other, and they both truly love the Cubs. Not only do they love baseball, they love the Cubs. That makes all the difference when it comes to announcers. And Ron gets so excited when the Cubbies do something good. But I still miss Harry. I grew up mesmerized by his giant, tinted glasses, and the way his bottom lip was always wet like he was drooling. I grew up listening to him play games with the players' names, saying them backwards and forwards and upside down. Harry Carry was a voice of comfort for me growing up, and he will always be the voice of the Cubbies, and it makes me sad that he doesn't get to see the team he loved so much doing so well and/or making history. I know he would have loved this.

I miss you, Harry Carry.

But yay Cubbies! Beat those Red Sox!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Man, I really just can't make myself care about my job. I have so much crap lying around in my office and I just can't make myself do anything about it. I just can't. What's wrong with me?

Oh, yeah, that's right. This job doesn't care about me, and hasn't for a very long time.

That's not to say the people I work with are insensitive bastards or anything -- they're not. They are, for the most part, a lovely group of people and they are the reason I have stayed here as long as I have. But the job itself, with all of this restructuring and reorganizing and whatnot, I seem to be the only one who nobody is talking to. My co-workers are being wooed by other departments. My bosses get to talk to their bosses (even though nothing really gets to be straightened out). And I get to sit in an office full of paper, doing stupid, menial tasks that an untrained gerbil could do, all the while, being NOT talked to. I don't know what is going to happen to my job. I don't know what is going to happen to the jobs of those around me. And I'm tired of it. So I just don't care anymore if my stack of "things to be filed" reaches the ceiling. You know what? I don't have any more space in which to file things. I don't care if this travel reimbursement doesn't get processed today because the woman who gave it to me will collect receipts for six months before she hands them in to get reimbursed. And I really don't care if these little meetings get scheduled or not because when it comes time for the meeting to take place, it will most likely get canceled because something more important came up.

So I'm sorry, but I'm turning into a crappy employee. But you know what? I busted my butt trying to impress the people here for the past five years and where did it get me? In a room full of paper. I don't want to be in a room full of paper, especially if nobody is talking to me to tell me if I'm going to have to sit in a different room full of paper sometime in the near future. I want to be on a stage, either in full make-up and costume, or with my guitar. And you know what? I can see those things happening. I have a show tonight, and one tomorrow, and our extension is almost sold out and I have a music-type show in a couple of weeks and blah and blah and blah. So please forgive me if I don't give a rat's ass about this job. It's sunny outside and I can't be bothered with filing.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

So I feel good. Not physically (Monkey SARS), but for the most part, I feel good. And it's a little unnerving. But if I talk about what it is that is making me feel good, then maybe just the fact that it is out there and acknowledged will mean it is okay, you know? Anyway.

It is finally hot outside. Yes, this makes it kind of miserable to try to sleep at night, but I think I figured out how to make my bedroom cool enough to sleep in. I think I need to get another fan, though because...

My apartment is too big for one fan to keep it cool. I know this could sound like a bad thing, but it means my apartment is big. Big enough that I can have people over. Big enough that I can close Owen out of my room at night and he can run around and have his night crazies without waking me up. Of course, then he's really vocal in the morning and we have to have a good chat before I go to work, but it is also really nice to talk to my cat in the morning. He has a lot of really good things to say. Which brings me to...

My cat. I know I gush about him all of the time, probably more than I should, but he really is just about the most beautiful thing in the world. I love him for moving with me and making the best of this new situation. I love it that he still likes to sleep in my closet or the kitchen cabinet. And I love it that he gets antsy for me to get out of the shower in the morning so we can talk and I can kiss him a million times before I go to work. If you've never had a pet, you won't understand, but if you do have a pet or have had one in the past, you know the bond that forms there. He is my love, my joy, my baby. And he's been really great while I've been sick, too, just sleeping next to me and hanging out and stuff. Thank you, smooshy face.

The show I'm in is doing really well. Really well. We're extending the run, all of the critics love it, our audiences love it and keep coming back to see it multiple times. It's crazy and a little unnerving. But I got to see DVD footage of it yesterday and I look pretty good. I look not like me, so that's encouraging. I've always wanted to be the kind of actor who looks different for every role and really brings to life the character who is supposed to be on stage/the screen. So I like it that I was able to transform myself into this creepy janitor guy, and then I can go home and put on a skirt and look like an elf, as my stepmother called me. I take that as a good indication that I am doing well in my craft.

I have this new friend who I have never talked to in person, but we've e-mailed a lot and talked on the phone and I think she is exactly the kind of friend I needed, namely a girl friend. I'd been feeling a lack of girl friends as of late, and I think I found myself a good one. We have this wonderful, open, honest on-going conversation thing happening. We both appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses and are working on a bunch of things together. I kind of like knowing that I have someone in my corner who is always happy to hear from me, who likes me anyway, you know? I know there are other people in my life who fit this description, too, but there's something different about having a girl friend (and no, not in a romantic way). If you're not a girl, you won't get it. If you are a girl, you know of what I speak. You need those girl friends to talk about everything and nothing with, to be your cheerleaders, to share intimate moments with.

I found a silver needle white tea at Whole Foods last week and it's really yummy. Not quite as good at the stuff at TeaNY, but still tasty. And yes, I'm still drinking tea even though it is really hot outside.

I also have a really good guy friend right now. Completely Platonic, but a really good guy friend. One of those people you can most likely call up at the last minute and say, "You wanna go grab a beer?" and he'll say, "Sure. I'll be there in ten minutes." It's nice to have one of those. We always have fun when we hang out, and I feel like there's a decent give and take in our friendship. He supports what I do as best as he can, and I support what he does as best I can. We're invested in each other's lives, which is really nice. And honestly, it's that much nicer because we're not romanically involved. There's no pressure, no expectations. Just lots of e-mails and darts and movies.

My bedroom is green now, and I have fish on my living room walls.

My job still sucks, but I've stopped caring. Honestly. I come in and do what I'm supposed to and I go home and whatever happens to my job is what will happen to my job. I'll be fine. I know I've been broke this month, but I also know that I will be okay. Whatever happens. If I end up quitting this job and working at Trader Joe's, I know I'll be okay. That's a very comforting realization to come to.

I'm going to see two Moby shows next month.

I'm going to get to meet my new girl friend face to face in a couple of months.

I'm working on the kids show I'm going to direct in the fall and I'm getting really excited about it. I'm talking to a couple of guys about doing the music and the stuff I've gotten back so far is incredible! I'm really excited. I think it's going to turn into a fun little show.

I played my guitar for a bit yesterday. I sometimes go for a little while without playing and I kind of forget how much fun and how therapeutic it is to pick up my guitar, bang on it for a while, and sing out as loud as I can. I need to distribute some flyers for my upcoming show. Maybe I'll do that this weekend.

I think I have a weekend to myself this weekend. To do with as I please. Which will mean cleaning up after the party I'm throwing and watching the Cubs/Red Sox games.

So yeah, I feel like I have a lot going for me right now. It's slow going, but it's going and I'm content.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

So I got a copy of the DVD that my mom (with some help from the guys at work) made of a performance of the show I'm currently in and I have to say, I'm creepy. I look like this midget janitor who idolizes Gollum or something. Which, aside from the midget part, is kind of what I was going for. But it's really funny for me to watch the DVD and then go look at myself in the mirror, especially because I've been wearing skirts and dresses to work for the past couple of days since it's been so hot out. I see this shriveled, twisted, creepy man, slinking around the stage, and then this svelt, attractive pixie staring back at me from the other side of the mirror. Just an interesting juxtaposition, I think.

But I also have to say this: since I don't look like me on the DVD, I can watch my performance with at least a pseudo-non-biased opinion and I have to say, I'm pretty good. I am creepy. I am engaging. I am entertaining. I think there's things I could do better, but my walk is not mine. My posture is not mine. My voice is not mine. It's kind of cool to watch.

Okay, enough tooting my own horn for now. If you all want to see the performance, come see it! We just extended the run for two weeks in our theater, and then we're moving to a bigger theater to do the show on Friday nights for ten more weeks. So there's plenty of time and opportunity to see it. And, if you see it in person, you get to see more of my facial expressions than you do on the DVD. So come see the show!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Good morning!

The weekend started off for me on Friday afternoon when I went to check in for the Walk at the Hyatt downtown. There is something about being in a room full of that many people, who all want to change something that is wrong with the world – in this case, breast cancer. There were dozens of people, men and women, with the names of loved ones on their t-shirts. There was a woman asking the people standing in line if they needed any more donations to meet their minimum requirement, holding up a blank check. Just being there was almost more than I could take. On my way out, I stopped to look at some pink ribbon jewelry that a woman makes to raise money year-round. I didn’t buy any of it, but the woman said to me, “Together, we can beat this.” I hugged her, agreed, and the tears started flowing. I sobbed in my car the whole way home.

I thought a lot about how selfish it was of me to want to shoot the film on Sunday, and about how selfish it was of me to want to be there for the second day of the Walk. I thought about everything I was going to miss out on the second day – the rest stops, the conversations, the amazing thrill of skipping across the finish line. I realized that the Walk is something bigger than me, and that is why I wanted to do it in the first place. We spend so much of our lives focusing on what is immediately in front of us; here is my chance to look at the world as a whole, and to make a little dent in it. I decided that I was going to skip the film and do both days of the walk.

Saturday morning, I woke up earlier than any human being should have to wake up on a Saturday morning. I packed my backpack, loaded up with water and snacks and spare clothes in case I needed them, and my mom and aunt picked me up to take me to Soldier Field – thank you, guys! I had some breakfast when I got there, did some serious stretching, and before I knew it, it was time for the opening ceremony. The woman on my right was walking for the fourth time, in the hopes that her daughters will never know the horrors of breast cancer. The woman on my left was celebrating one year cancer free. I hugged them both and we all set out to conquer the first day.

The path was in many ways longer this year, but in many ways, shorter, too. I found myself clipping along with the front of the pack at about four miles per hour. I hit the six-mile mark without even realizing it. My breaks at the rest stops and quick stops were quick and efficient – replenish the liquids as needed, visit the port-o-johns, stretch, keep moving. By lunchtime, I was a little sore, but feeling good and about an hour and a half ahead of my pace from last year.

The afternoon was long, though. I missed my friends from last year. Yes, I made new friends and had lots of people to talk to this year, but it wasn’t the same. I missed our calling out “lateral!” when we would pass other groups. I missed singing “Put your hands up in the air!” when we would raise our swollen hands to try to get the blood to flow back out of our fingers. But every time I found myself missing them, I would look at the names on my shirt and remember all of the love and support you guys gave me to take with me on the Walk, and I would smile and keep going.

Also, by the halfway point, I was starting to hurt pretty badly. My left hip was really tight and no matter what stretch or combination of stretches I did at each stop, it didn’t want to loosen up. Fortunately, my mom met me at the halfway point and massaged my hip for a bit, and then even walked about a mile and a half with me after that, so I felt much better, both physically and spiritually.

At rest stop E, I received a great honor. Every three minutes during the Walk, the staff and crew hand out pink ribbons to a walker selected at random that say, “Every Three Minutes” on them. These ribbons symbolize the people who are diagnosed with breast cancer as we are walking. They are given out at random because breast cancer strikes at random. They are even given out during the night because breast cancer does not sleep. At rest stop E, I was selected to wear one of these ribbons and I wore it with pride for the rest of the walk, remembering the people hearing for the first time, “You have cancer.”

Shortly after rest stop E, the winds picked up and it got downright cold outside. It was sort of a welcome change, considering the afternoon had gotten uncomfortably hot and muggy. Nonetheless, we were worried it might start to rain, so I pulled out my poncho and got it on with the help of one woman who I walked with for a bit. I was just in time as it turns out, because it very suddenly started hailing very hard. The hailstones weren’t very big, maybe pea-sized if that, but it did, in fact, hail on us. The hail turned into big, old, fat rain, as Forrest Gump calls it, and while our backpacks and heads stayed dry, our feet, shoes and socks were soaked. Fortunately, the rain didn’t continue for very long and at the next quick stop, I was able to change into dry socks. The cool air and the rain rejuvenated me somehow and for a little while, I forgot about how badly my left leg was hurting. But I was pretty sure I had a blister on my left foot from walking in squishy socks for three miles. At rest stop F, I subjected the medical staff to looking at/touching my pruney feet, was given some moleskin to cushion the forming blister (which was too small to actually lance at that point), and set off to finish the last mile and a half of the walk!

I remembered this stretch of the walk from last year – through residential neighborhoods, kids outside playing, telling us how much farther we had to go, my friend meeting us and walking us into the Wellness Village. I was very much relieved to find another woman walking into the Village at the same time and pace as me, or I would have missed my friends too much. She also helped keep me going even though my left leg was now threatening succession from my body, so I thank her for that. At approximately 5:15pm, we entered the Wellness Village, greeted by dozens of walkers and crew members, cheering us on. What a relief!

I checked out of the Village and a friend of mine picked me up and brought me home – thank you to him, too! It hurt to sit down in his car. It hurt to walk up the stairs to my apartment. It hurt to lie down and stretch once I got here. I remember being stiff and sore last year, but I don’t know what I did or didn’t do differently this year to hurt so badly. I made what I think was a very wise decision to not do the second day of the walk, nor the film. I fell asleep at about eight o’clock and woke up every time I went to turn over and my left leg said, “I don’t think so.” I did get some rest, and woke up with my cat by my side, looking out for my health.

I don’t think any serious damage was done to my leg. I’m sure I’ll be fine with rest and stretching. But I feel like I really put in a good effort this year. I walked through rain, hail, and scorching sun. I cried I don’t know how many tears. I hugged a half a dozen strangers, drank four liters of water, and three of Gatorade. I used probably twenty port-o-johns and walked 26.2 miles (limping badly for the last four miles) so that someday, people will no longer have to hear “You have breast cancer.” With your last minute donations, we raised $2,900 so that people who are diagnosed but don’t have insurance or a health care provider can get the help they need. We made a difference this weekend. We did something that is bigger than any one of us. There were over 2400 walkers this year who so far raised over $5.6 million, and the donations are still coming in.

I thank you for being with me on the walk. I thank you for your love and support and encouragement. I thank my mom for walking with me, and Amy for the phone calls/text messages of encouragement along the way. I will wear my beaten up leg as a badge of honor, a sign of all of the hard work you guys have put in over the past months.

We made a difference this weekend. Thank you. And I’ll see you all next year!!
Much love,

Friday, June 03, 2005

I'm scared for this weekend. I have a show to do tonight, I have to go check in for Event Eve, I have to finish writing last minute names on the shirt I'm wearing for the Walk, I have to pack up everything I'll need tomorrow on the walk, I have to make my apartment at least semi-paintable, I have to pick up beer for the woman who is painting my apartment this weekend, I have to think about what costumes I'm going to bring to the shoot on Sunday, I have to do the Walk tomorrow and pray for rain on Sunday, but if it doesn't rain, I have to go be in a movie on Sunday, and all of this while I am sick. I'm scared that I won't get it all done. I'm scared that my body will give out half way through something. I'm scared that I will forget something. I'm scared that I won't get enough sleep or that I'll get too much sleep. I'm scared that the woman coming in to paint my apartment won't be able to get at the walls because there is too much crap in the way. I'm scared that my cat is going to run around puking all weekend. I'm scared that I'm going to get horribly sunburnt.

I know in my heart of hearts that everything will turn out fine. It always does. This weekend is just a perfect example of Kitty taking on too much at once and freaking out when it all comes to a head. So for the moment, I'm going to eat my trail mix and drink my silver needle white tea that I found at Whole Foods last night and decided I needed to treat myself to. Once the weekend starts, I have no real control over where it will go. I can just hang on, do my best, and hope that nobody dies. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It's strange to walk past my old place every day now with the knowledge that I can't go in there anymore. I'm sure it will get easier as time passes, but it's strange for now.

I also got an e-mail from a woman I haven't talked to in probably six years -- not since I graduated from college. She sent me a "my past six years in 50 words or less" e-mail, and I sent one back to her and realized that the past six years of my life can't be summed up in fifty words or less. It's like you have to pick an area of my life and then I can talk about it in a few words, but all of it at once? Can't do it. I guess that's a good thing.

I thought I had something really pithy to say today, but it has left me. Ah well. I'm doing the Avon Walk and shooting a film this weekend, so that should be fun. Assuming the monkey SARS doesn't kill me first.

Ugh, I'm boring today. Sorry about that.