Monday, December 31, 2007

And Bubbles is the best Powerpuff Girl.

Followed by Buttercup.

No offense, Blossom.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Have you ever admired someone from afar and sort of built up in your mind how funny and intelligent and charming they must be? And then you get a chance to actually meet said person and talk to said person and hang out with said person and said person turns out to be just as charming and intelligent and funny as you hoped they would be?



Thursday, December 27, 2007


So the thing is this: in a lot of ways, Christmas has just sort of lost it's luster for me. I know, it's a terrible thing to say, but it's true. I don't do most of the things I did as a child and haven't done most of them for many years. We don't bake and decorate a million cookies. I don't get a tree. I don't even put lights up in my house because my cat will chew the wires. We used to go to a tableaux service at church that I haven't been to in over ten years, I'm sure. And then this year, both my grandmother and my dad moved out of the houses that I have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in for the past I don't even remember how many years. We've tried to start some new traditions within my family as my family has changed and I enjoy some of them (our white elephant gift exchange, for example), but this year in particular was a year of a very new Christmas for me and it just didn't feel like Christmas. And somewhere along the way, I don't remember exactly when, but it became uncool in my family to want to open presents. We had to wait and be patient so as to not appear greedy. Which I can understand, to a certain extent. And to be perfectly honest, there isn't a whole lot that I want that one can put in a box and tie a ribbon around. But when nobody in the family wants to open presents (or admit that they want to open presents), it also takes some of the joy out of giving presents away. I want my family to be excited about the things that I'm giving them. I know I don't have a lot to give, but I do try to give gifts with some meaning to them and a lot of love behind them, and it's fun when you give somene a gift and their face lights up. Or when you are a kid and you see one really big gift under the tree and you wonder who it is for and what's inside it until you just can't take it anymore and somebody has to open it. I miss that. I miss the joy and the excitement and the wonder that was Christmas when I was a child.

I think things will change when I have a family of my own. I can begin to create new traditions that feel like home to me with my own children and I can experience the excitement and the joy through the eyes of a child again and maybe I'll get back into the holiday. But as it is, it's a day wherein I don't have to work, which is nice. And I get to see my family, which is nice. And we exchange gifts, which is nice. But it's not a magical day anymore. It's not a day I look forward to all year. And I know it is supposed to be a celebration of Christ's birth, but he was born sometime in the middle of summer, as near as we can tell, if you look at things from an historical perspective, so it's even a little hard to get behind that one. And I know it's supposed to be a time of year to let the people that you love know that you love them, but I try to do that all the time. Tell my family and friends and you guys one some random Tuesday in April that you mean the world to me. So I dunno. I'm sorry to be a downer, but Christmas just doesn't do a lot for me anymore. I hope that changes. I miss the magic of it. I miss the excitement. I miss the feeling of home.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Or, if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you all had a really nice day on Tuesday. And the rest of the week/month/year for that matter.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So we played our last show of the year last night and I have to say, it was pretty great. One of my friends went home with a screaming slingshot monkey. My mom sang two songs with us and totally stole the show. And we debuted a new song that met wiht a lot of really positive feedback. It was really a great way to end 2007 for the band. Here's hoping 2008 is even better!

I do have one sort of downer thing to talk about, though. I don't even know how many people I asked to come see this show, in emails, with phone calls, giving out flyers, all that kind of stuff. And while I didn't expect the strangers who just saw a poster in some store to show up, there are a lot of people who I at one time or another considered to be my very good friends who weren't there. Who haven't been there for years now. Granted, one could make the argument that I don't participate in their lives anymore either, but when one is never invited to participate, how is one supposed to know when to step in? So today I deleted 58 email addresses from my address book. It's always sad when you switch over from one group of friends to another, but it's one of those things that has to happen, you know? Because otherwise, I will continue to invite these totally disinterested parties to be a part of my life, they will continue to be completely unresponsive, and I will continue to be disappointed and hurt. I have to say, it felt kind of good to get rid of the addresses. Cleansing in a way. I think it will make for a good start to the new year -- at least I won't be intentionally setting myself up for heartache.

But thank you to everyone who did come out to see the show last night. And to everyone who has been to see my band play in the past.'s going to be a great year. We're going into the studio in January, we've got potential gigs on the horizon's going to be great.

Friday, December 21, 2007

So, it's been a crazy week. I've been doing three people's jobs for the past couple of days and I'm a little nuts because of it, but I told my boss that if I survive into next year, somebody owes me a cookie. It has been kind of fun in the "push yourself to the limit to see how much you can handle" kind of a way, but it's also been exhausting. Which is why I'm looking forward to the long holiday weekend.

That, and I have a gig tomorrow night that I am totally geeked for. I just hope a lot of people show up.

I got my hair cut on Wednesday and I have to say, I'm not diggin' it so much. I have Joan Jett's hair, which I think worked for Joan Jett in the late 70's/early 80's, but I'm not sure it works on me, especially with red hair. This hair style needs black hair. And a serious drug problem. I have neither, so I'm going to go back tonight and get it cut off. It's going to be drastic, but that's okay. Not shave-my-head drastic, but drastic. People will be able to see my tattoo, I'm thinking. And I'm good with that.

But yeah, the holidays. I've been so busy this year, I haven't really been able to get into the holiday spirit. I did a lot of my shopping online, and I've been taking the train to work, so I haven't had a whole lot to do with the holiday hustle and bustle. But I do want to let all of you out there know that I'm glad you're in my life. I hope you have a wonderful, happy, and safe holiday season, whichever combination of holidays you choose to celebrate, and I look forward to chatting with you (even though it's kind of one-way) for many years to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So I think I'm actually in decent shape, holiday-wise. Most of my shopping is done. Or at least most of the shopping I'm actually going to do. It occurred to me that I could go buy a billion ornaments to have as back-up gifts should I need one, but then I decided to just bake for the people in my office instead. That idea makes me much happier. So yeah, I have stuff for people, which is a good place to be a week out. I'd like to get a couple more little somethings, and I'm waiting on a bunch of somethings to show up in the mail, but I think I'm in good shape.

How are you all doing? Staying warm? Is there snow where you are? There's plenty here if you'd like some. Just pop on by and take a truck load home. I don't think anyone would mind.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Running up stairs in 4" heels is neigh on impossible.
So I think there is something wrong with the boiler in my building that controls the heat -- it's been on almost non-stop for about 24 hours. Meaning when I woke up this morning, it was about 90 degrees Farenheit in my apartment. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. As we all know, I'd rather be too hot. I'm just saying. Hooray for a screwy boiler. Until it explodes and we don't get any heat at all. That's gonna suck.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hooray, I'm awake at two o'clock in the morning!

Kidding, of course. Not about the being awake bit, but about the hooray bit. I'm not very pleased with my state of consciousness at the moment.

I have a lot that I need to do and a lot that I want to do and they aren't quite matching up right now, which is kind of irritating. I need to go Christmas shopping. I need to get more clothes to wear to work. I need to learn everything there is to know about my new job from someone who does not volunteer information, even if it is known to be helpful information. I need to clean my house. I need to spend time with my friends. I need to get my phone number to a certain person who I'm kind of afraid doesn't want it and I'm not sure I want to know that this person doesn't want it. I need to promote my show more. I need to get in gear for the musical I'm directing in the spring. I need to clean my house (yes, I know I already said that, but it's that bad). Yet lately, all it seems I want to do is sleep. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we moved at work and I changed jobs and all of that kind of stuff -- by the time I get home, I'm just wiped. I'm stressed out all day, worried that I'm not doing enough or that I'm not doing the right things, and worried that I'm going to be late to work ('cuz I have to take three trains to get there, or two buses, or some combination of trains and buses), and worried that it's going to take me forever to get home ('cuz it takes me two trains to get home, or two buses, or some combination of trains and buses). And I'm worried that not enough people will show up to my show on the 22nd, and I'm worried that my hair is looking like crap, and I'm worried that I'm eating too much and I'm worried that one day, my heat won't come on anymore and I'm worried that since I'm not driving every day anymore that my doors are going to freeze and fall off again and I'm worried that my friends are annoyed with me because I keep not hanging out with them and I'm really worried that not enough people are going to show up on the 22nd.

I know it won't be the end of the world if we don't meet our quota. But I really want to meet it. Exceed it. I want people to start to take notice of the fact that this is a really great project I have going, largely because I don't want to disappoint my band mates. But that's a whole other thing.

So I come home after work, eat dinner, and fall asleep. It's becoming this pattern. And if I know anything, it is that things change -- I will not be in this pattern forever. I will, someday, stop feeling totally inept at work and the stress level will go down. I will develop a new pattern that I will then want to get out of. But my current pattern has me awake at two o'clock in the morning on a fairly regular basis. I hope that changes soon.

Whereever you are, I hope you are sleeping well and having lovely dreams.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I got a mention!

So many of you know that I did the costumes for a show called "7 Santas" this year. Threw together seven Santa outfits (each one different, four built completely from scratch) in about two week. Well, the Chicago Tribune reviewed the show and even though they weren't crazy about the script, they did have this to say about the production from a design standpoint:

"In most Christmas stories, Santa Claus never really develops into much of a character, so Goode's take feels especially fresh. And director Robert Bouwman along with costume designer Kitty Mortland (who gives each Santa a distinctive look) do a nice job creating an alternative universe populated by out-of-control Kringles."

I got a mention!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Toasting bread in a frying pan is not an exact science.
So I've decided that I really don't like dating. The prospect of dating kind of gives me the heebie jeebies and I'm trying to figure out exactly why. I think it boils down to sex. Because, see, in this day and age, when someone says, "I would like to date you," the underlying subtext, 9 times out of 10 is, "I would like to spend time with you in the hopes of getting in your pants." And that, to me, is an odd statement to make. What if I don't want you in my pants? Or what if the jury is still out? Will you wait through three weeks of deliberations before there is a verdict? And what are you going to do in those three weeks? Will every conversation center around sexual innuendo? Or will all of your actions be focused on showing me what a great, wonderful, trustworthy guy you are? Because both of those choices just reinforce the fact that ultimately, you want to get in my pants. So all of that crap makes me feel ooky. And not in the good way.

I was talking to my best guy friend the other day and I said I wonder what kind of conversations I would have if I was a guy. For example, now when I play a show, I come off stage, say hi to my friends, and often times, some guy will offer to buy me a drink and will start chatting me up. I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that wouldn't happen if I was a guy. Maybe it would be some girl chatting me up, wanting to get close to the guy who was just on stage, but in that respect, I'm a guy. I probably want to nail her anyway, so maybe it wouldn't bother me. But would any men come up to me after a show and say, "Hey, man, great tunes. You see the new [insert your favorite band here] album yet?" And then how does the rest of the conversation go? I guess my question is, how do guys talk to each other when they're not hitting on one another? And why don't men ever talk to me like that? Call me crazy, but I think if I was thought of as a person, a musician, a talented performer instead of a hot female musican/talented performer, I would find that to be a huge turn-on. Maybe this goes along with my own issues of I prefer the chase to the actual prize, or my I-want-what-I-can't-have thing, or my general feeling that it can be hard to be taken seriously as a woman, but yeah. I just want to be thought of as a person. I don't want to know that you want to get in my pants. Not until sometime after I've decided that I want to get into yours.

I really am insane, huh?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So today I started my 90 day workout plan. I'm keeping an honest food diary at the same time. Not following their recommended diet plan, per se, but maybe starting to keep track of things from a portion size perspective. And I have to say, I think today went pretty well. The workout was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Granted, this is just phase one and I couldn't do all of the push ups, but I was able to do all of the reps of all of the other exercises, with weights, even. I think I'll move on to phase two when I can do the push ups. And I'll increase the weight on the other exercises as I go.

I also got rid of my TV that was pretty much dead anyway. I bought an old one off of a friend of mine super cheap, so I'm going with that for the time being. It's not great, but it means I can do these silly workouts.

And I think I'm being pursued by a new gentleman caller, let's call him, and I'm not sure how to feel about it. He's cool. But he's a smoker, which is a very big negative. Not to mention the fact that my last relationship so turned me off of relationships that I really don't want to get into anything for a long time. I will admit, though, that it is flattering, and flattery is hard to ignore. I dunno. We'll see. Maybe I'll just hang out a bit and see what happens. Who knows? He may lose interest when he finds out what a nut job I am.

And I've been learning the ropes of my new job this week. Did I mention I got a promotion? It's kind of exciting and kind of frightening. A little less frightening because I've actually gotten to learn some very useful, important things in the last couple of days. My inner science geek has been somewhat stimulated, too. It's one of those moments wherein I kind of wish my degree was in something other than theater so that people wouldn't automatically assume I'm an idiot. Because I'm not an idiot. Far from it. But anyway. It's fun to learn.

I hope you all are doing well and staying warm. Big plans for the holidays?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So on my way home from band practice last night, all I could think about was how much I wanted to write something about how amazing my bandmates are. And when I got home, I ate some ice cream and passed out. And today has been crazy at work. So here I am, way after the fact, trying to get back to that super-wonderful-can't-stop-grinning-like-an-idiot place so I can write something about how amazing my bandmates are. Seriously. I brought them a new song yesterday and told them to just go ahead and make it dirty. It's kind of a dirty song anyway. And they ran with it to the point where when I closed my eyes to listen to them, I could picture a sea of concert goers jumping and dancing like idiots, hands in the air, hair flying everywhere, smiles on every face. And I can't even begin to tell you how much joy that image brings me. That I wrote a song that could make people do that. And I somehow feel strange saying I wrote the song because I did, but a lot of what is going to make people want to jump around like idiots is the stuff that my bandmates added to it to make it better.

Funny side note: my drummer broke the high hat last night (kind of -- it's not beyond repair). And after playing the new song about five times in a row, she asked if we could play something mellow 'cuz I think the new song kind of broke her. I don't mean to break my drummer. She's amazing. But she is small. And when we were done with practice, my whole head was ringing, not just my ears. I probably could have passed out on my guitarist's couch, I was so exhausted. But man, that's what making music with great musicians is all about. Breaking drummers and killing singers. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

It's kind of strange to me that my name is becoming something that means more than just me. It's the name of a band. It's a "we," not an "I." And not in that weird relationship way, but in a way that makes it okay to use my name with the plural form of a verb. We're a group, represented by my name. It's just odd. Cool, but odd. And I have to say that if my name has to represent a group of people, I'm SO glad it represents this group. We make good music. And, we're nice people. I would hang out with these people if I wasn't in a band with them. Which hopefully means that if we ever tour, we'll have lots and lots of fun on the road together. But yeah. It took a long time to make it happen, but I think it was well worth the wait. I am part of exactly the band I want to be a part of. How friggin' cool is that?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So lots going on.

I got these CDs today that I actually paid for/signed up for a long time ago. It's a compilation CD to promote awareness of teenage drunk driving. My song on it doesn't have the best production value, but if you overlook that, I think it's one of the better songs on the disc. And there are some pretty good songs on there, so I'm kind of excited. I think I'll be more excited, though, when my band goes into the studio and records some stuff that I don't have to apologize for the production value of. I am selling these ones, though, so if you want one, lemme know.

And I'm starting to get nervous about our next show. It's December 22nd and we have to bring more than twice the number of people who showed up last time for our Elbo Room gig. I think we can do it, as long as not too many people leave early for the holidays, or as long as a bunch of people come into town for the holidays. But those that do show's going to top our last performance there, I can promise you that. I'm so excited. I hope that one day we have a manager or something so I don't have to worry about getting the proverbial butts in seats and I can just focus on putting on a good show. I think I'm good at putting on a good show. But we have new songs (including a fun cover) and a guest appearance's going to be a great show.

But for now, it's time for a tofurkey sammich. Mmm...tofurkey...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okay, so I know that this is going to be contrary to just about everything every guy has ever been told about how to treat a woman, but just bear with me.

I think I figured out what it is about guys hitting on me in bars that bugs me. It's not the getting hit on part; that's actually kind of flattering. It is the moment when "groovy cute guy" turns into "romantic wants to get laid without letting you know he wants to get laid guy." Let me explain.

You see some guy in the bar, or he sees you, and you think, "Wow, he's kinda cute." And you watch him out of the corner of your eye, or whenever your glance happens to move in his direction and you see that he's good with his friends, some of whom are women, and you think, "You know, I wouldn't mind talking to that guy." And at one point, you catch him looking at you, too, and you smile to let him know you're not going to bite his head off, and he comes over to say hello. You chat and laugh and joke around a little bit, feeling out the waters, and he seems cool enough, so when he asks you to dance (even though this isn't really a dancing type place), you accept. And then BAM! He only looks at you out of the top of his head. His smile has turned into "Mr. Serious Look" that says, "If you were to come home with me, we would make love, not fuck" or "I can make all of your pain go away," which is ridiculous because you just met ten minutes ago so how does he know that you even have pain that needs to go away or that it's pain he wants to deal with? And you try to continue to make jokes and keep things light-hearted because you know in your heart of hearts that even if this was the guy for you, you're not going home with him tonight because you don't do that kind of thing (anymore) and you don't want to give the wrong impression. When he goes for your butt on the dance floor, you grab his hands and bring them back to the neutral zone. So he sways a little deeper and tries to hold onto that moment of anticipation right before what he is hoping will be the best kiss of your life, but he holds on a little too long so now it's just ridiculous and you're counting down in your head until you know he's going to kiss you and you wonder if you taste really badly of beer, or if he's going to taste really badly of beer and you wish you could break away for a second to put on Chap Stick, but that would mean you actually wanted to kiss this guy and let's face it, you're bored with him already. And he still has that "I'm sensitive, and I could show you how sensitive if you came home with me" look on his face.

I'm sorry, this may be the unpopular opinion, but that's not romantic. That's predictable. And you know that it isn't going to be the best kiss of your life because you know very little about this guy and he knows very little about you. Neither one of you is invested, but he wants you to think that he is so that he can skip ahead to the physical part, while having you think he's skipped ahead to the emotional investment. Emotional investment takes time. It doesn't happen during a drunken dance at a bar.

So I guess what I am saying is this: if you're hitting on a girl in a bar, just be you. And keep being you. The you that hangs out in bars and talks to strangers. Don't show your romantic side or your sensitive side yet. If you are romantic and sensitive, that will still come through in the conversation. And when you do decide to go in for a kiss, don't wait too long for it because trust me, from the moment you say hello to her, she knows you're going to try. Let it sneak up on the both of you.

I think maybe this is why (at least part of the reason why) I liked the drummer so much. When we went out, he was just him. Our first date, he bought me a drink to celebrate my emancipation from my dull day job, he played his show, talked to me a little between sets, and gave me a ride home. Quick kiss in the car and when I got out of the car, he came running after me in the rain for one more. It was something out of a movie. Of course, the big problem with the drummer was that when he was supposed to be sweet, charming, sensitive guy, he was sitll Mr. Rock 'n Roll. Moderation, people. It's all about moderation.

There are moments when it is okay to be that guy. Just don't turn into him ten minutes after meeting a girl at a bar. Especially if that girl is me and you want to talk to me again.

I think I'm done now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I started exercising yesterday. I haven't gotten my new, fancy, fun tapes yet, so I just did one that I've had for a few years. I'm not as sore as I remember being the day after I work out (after not working out for a while), but I am a little. I wonder if that means I didn't try hard enough during the video or if I'm in better shape than I thought. Either way.

I'm giving myself an hour a day to exercise and I'm sticking to it. I even turned down a couple of things that I could have done tonight in favor of getting some exercise, so I'm on the right path. Look out, little butt, here I come!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I got my new coat last night. My mom has been concerned for some time that I don't have a warm enough winter coat, seeing as most winter coats are wool or contain down, i.e. things a vegan chooses not to wear. And I guess she's right. For the past couple of winters, I've sported the 17-layer-hobo look. So she made me a coat. It is unlike any other coat you've probably ever seen and it is gorgeous! And quilted with this batting that is vegan friendly and supposedly warmer than down. I haven't gotten to wear the coat in sub-zero weather yet (I just got it last night), but so far, it feels nice and warm to me. And did I mention it's gorgeous? I feel like I'm wearing Joseph's coat of many colors, even though mine is black with a blue lining. It's just elegant and wonderful and it will hopefully keep me warm this winter.

Thank you, Mom, for my very own dreamcoat!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I don't understand the whole daylight savings time thing. I know it was thought up so that we could get the most out of the sunny daytime, but really, it just messes things up.

A couple of weeks ago, I was kind of sort of complaining about the fact that I had to get up before the sun. But when I was driving home after work, it was still kind of light out, so it felt like I didn't waste a whole day. Now, that daylight savings time is over, I get up and it's light out, but I drive home in the dark, so I'm tired and useless and feeling like it's time to go to bed when I get home. I think I'd rather have evening sun than morning sun. Of course, in another month, I won't have either, so it's probably moot anyway. And with them expanding daylight savings time so that we're using it more than six months out of the year...why not just stick with it? I'm sure we've gained or lost a year along the way somewhere in the grand scheme of things because the earth doesn't rotate on an exact 24 hour day rate. Let's just keep our clocks at the same time all year around.

Though the kind of crazy part about it is that it's only about six weeks until the shortest day of the year. That's kind of encouraging. Though what I always forget is that it still gets colder after the shortest day of the year because the spot of the planet on which I reside doesn't have as much heat stored up in it to offset the short days of minimal sunlight irradiation. On the up side, my office has several heating options available to me at the moment, so I'm comfortable at work, and even though the timing of it is really odd, the heat has been coming on in my apartment, so I'm pretty good at home. Get this: my heat at home comes on at about 7 or 7:30 in the evening and stays in a sort of on-and-off pattern until maybe 11. And then it kicks back on at about 3:30 in the morning until maybe 5:30. So it's only really annoying because when I get out of the shower between 6:30 and 6:45, my towel, which has been sitting on the radiator, is not as warm and fuzzy as a towel sitting on a radiator should be. It's actually kind of cold. Oh well. Maybe when the temperature hits 3 degrees, the heat will stay on longer.

And speaking of feeling useless when I get home, I bought myself a present today. I know y'all are going to laugh at me, but I'm going to try this 90 day workout program. I know it comes with a diet plan, too, that I won't be able to participate in because it won't be vegan, but I can do the exercising part. I may need your help to bug me to stay on it, though. I think this is something nice that I can do for myself -- promise myself a hour a day to get some exercise. I know, it's such a seemingly simple thing to do, but I can never seem to do it. I always think, "Well, I'll go for a walk after dinner because I'm really hungry now, so I'll hurt if I go for a walk first," but then by the time I'm done eating, my cat is asleep in my lap and/or I have to be at the theater or band practice or something, and when those things are done, I'm just too darn tired to ride my exercise bike for a half an hour, you know? I know it's all just excuses, and that's why I want to change it up. This program varies the workouts you do each day, and it's just a 90 day commitment. If I see an end in sight, maybe I can stick with it better. Of course, when the 90 days is over, working out will be a habit (it takes 21 days to form or break a habit) and I'll be more likely to stick with it. Plus, if I start in the next week or so (depending on how quick my purchase gets here), I'll be about six weeks in by my next big show with my band and I'll be one smokin' hottie. Or so a girl can hope.

I'm so excited for that next big show! We're going to have new songs in the set and a special guest appearance from a special guest who I'm not going to tell you who it is so you have to come see the show to find out. And yeah. It's going to rock. I started working with my drummer last night on having her do some background vocals to fill out the live sound a little more. And we're working on a really fun cover song that I don't know if you know it or not, but even if you don't, it's fun. It's gonna be sweet. Anyway.

Down with daylight savings time. Up with exercise. Up with my band.

That sounds weird.

Be good.

Monday, November 05, 2007

So during the day, I'm a receptionist. I sit right near the front door of the building. As it happens, the front door itself is in a little alcove type thing. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about -- the front of the building is straight across, but where the front door is, it indents about two feet. Well, a lot of people like to stop in our little alcove to light their cigarettes and/or check their appearance in the glass doors (which work very well as mirrors. And I can't help but wish that there was a button I could push that would make a very loud noise in the alcove to scare these people away. There is a law, after all, about not smoking within fifteen feet of the entrance to a building. And these people are literally a foot away from the door. Some of them almost get hit when my co-workers go outside and only avoid injury because my co-workers are too nice.

But yeah, a little button I could push that would make a loud noise that would scare people out of our alcove. That would be fun.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I posted. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy. Really busy. Home for about six hours a day kind of busy. Including sleeping time. So I have lots of randomness to spout today.

First of all, a belated Happy Halloween! I had fun. I wore fangs to work, and one of the guys in my office came as Dwight from The Office, so I messed with him a little. In the spirit of the show, of course. I think it might extend past Halloween, though, and I don’t know how to feel about that yet. I don’t know that I’m established enough here to start rocking the boat. But then again, I really do like the people here and if they mess with him a little...I dunno.

Which brings me to my next point. I’m pissed off at the job I had over the summer. They really messed with me. I’m so paranoid now that I’m going to do something wrong at this job where I am now and I’ll get fired for it. I know that for the most part, I’m doing a good job. I’m getting a lot accomplished and I can cover well when things need immediate attention. I know that for the most part, they appreciate the fact that I am here. But I’m still afraid that something is going to happen, that the rug is going to get pulled out from under me with no warning over something really stupid. Because let’s face it, the really stupid mistakes are the ones that I make. Like not recognizing that the guy in the semi should be making this delivery to our factory, not our offices, even though the invoice has our office address on it. I kind of hope I get an actual 90 day review so maybe I can breathe a little easier. I feel like I’m walking on thin ice even though I’m almost positive that I’m not, and that’s a pretty miserable place to be. I’d like to see it in writing from my supervisor that I’m not on thin ice. Even skating thickness would be okay, if not completely solid ground. We’ll see.

And because of this, I’m tired. All of the time. Very tired. Though part of the tiredness comes from the show I’m working on right now. We only have two performances left and I don’t know that I’ve ever met the end of a show with more relief. Okay, that’s a lie – there are at least two other shows I’ve done in Chicago that were so bad I was thrilled to not have to do them anymore. But I do want to talk about this for a minute and why I’m having such a hard time with this show.

As an actor, I put on plays. So called, because as an actor, I get to play on stage. Normally, this is a lot of fun. But what people need to remember (actors included) is that this is also a business. You are hired for a job and you are expected to do that job. For the technicians, it’s easy to see what their job is – build the sets or create the lighting design or whatever. For actors, there is more to doing the job than putting on clothes and make up and spouting lines under hot lights. There is research that needs to go into your characters. There is a responsibility to the theater and the rest of the cast to show up on time and participate. And what floors me is that some actors out there with degrees higher than mine from more reputable universities don’t seem to get that. Yes, my theater is a not-for-profit storefront theater. No, the actors don’t get paid. Yes, we ask that the actors do the scene changes and take responsibility for their props and costumes. But that doesn’t make the shows that happen at my theater any less valuable, respected, or valid. Actors are still expected to show up on time. Actors are still expected to put everything they have into each and every performance. Actors are expected to wait until the show is over to start drinking. Actors are expected to be quiet backstage. Actors are expected to stay focused on the job at hand. I’m having a really hard time not saying anything to them, because while I’m not their director, it is my theater, and I do take pride in being a member there. I take pride in the shows we put on, no matter what the critics say about them. I throw myself into every project that I take on there and (silly me), I expect the same from the people I work with. Especially if they have a degree higher than mine from a more reputable university. I expect actors to be aware of their bodies and where their bodies are in space and in relation to the other people and objects around them. I expect actors to bring positive enthusiasm to the show every night. And I know it’s hard when the rehearsal process wasn’t what you expected, but you know what? You’re an actor. Suck it up and pretend. I’m sorry to vent like this, but it really bothers me when my theater is shat upon like this. It’s just not cool. So I’ll be glad when this show is over. Because also, then I might be able to get some sleep.

Speaking of which, I wasn’t dreaming there for a while, but the past couple of nights, I’ve had really weird, very unsettling dreams.

Not last night, but the night before, I dreamt that I was on a trip in India, staying in a sort of hostel. And one rainy night, I was told that I had to go into this other building and come out with a bag full of stuff. While I was doing this, I knew that the keepers of the bag were being killed by someone else. So me, the bag, and a couple of people who used to be held by the keepers of the bag came back to the States, where were supposed to stay in a sort of safe house that was fronted by a T-Mobile dealer. We showed up at the T-Mobile dealer and the bag was taken to a secure location, as were the people who came back with me from India. And there was a knock on the door. I looked through the peephole and the people outside seemed innocuous, so I let them in. They were federal agents looking for the bag and the people from India, but they arrested about six other people working at the T-Mobile store instead. And it was all my fault.

And then last night, I dreamt that I married a guy I had never met so that he could get his greencard. And I knew that this would relegate me to a lifetime in a loveless, sexless marriage. Because I don’t want to have to get divorced. Even if we waited long enough that the INS wouldn’t care, I don’t want to have to get divorced. There was a friend of mine from college at the wedding who I haven’t seen or heard from since college, and as he was dancing with me, he suggested that I take a lover. Which is also a very unappealing proposition. And on my wedding night, I stayed alone in my hotel room. I woke up and looked at my hand and saw that I didn’t even get a wedding ring out of the deal which made me almost unspeakably sad.

Meaning I think the stress of the job and the anger with the show are getting to me. Again, I’ll be glad when the show is over.

But there are the bright spots in my life, too. My friends are still amazing. My mother is wonderful and she’s making me probably the most beautiful, elegant winter coat in existence. My cat makes me smile every day. And I am so in love with my band that I honestly don’t care if I ever have another boyfriend. Other people dedicate their lives to one specific person; I think I could be okay with dedicating mine to my art. And when I have these guys backing me up...I’m stunned that such great musicians believe in the little songs I write and want to make them something great. I’m amazed that they show up week after week for practice, wanting to make things better and better and better. I’m so in love with my band and so grateful that I get to work with them!

So yeah, that’s what has been going on while I’ve been neglecting my posting duties. Some good, some bad. I have heat in my apartment, so that’s good, too. And I get to start working on the musical I wrote and will direct as of this Sunday. Eep. That will be a show full of positive energy, that will make my cast want to come to the theater every night. That will make me want to go to the theater every night.

I hope you are all well and staying warm!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Any of my science geek friends will get a kick out of this. I know I did. "Simply place your microscopic black hole on the surface of the earth and wait." Charming. Simply charming.
My 2000th journal entry will be about how odd I am. Appropriate, don't you think?

So yeah, my sleeping patterns are completely off. As are my eating patterns. And house-taking-care-of patterns. If it wasn't for the money, I couldn't do the whole 9-5 day job thing. My ideal day would start with me waking up around 9am, having a shower and breakfast, playing with my cat for a while, then going about my day with the things that need to get done -- errands as necessary, various bits of correspondence, etc. Maybe have lunch around two and work on music or art or something. Spend my evening at the theater or at a club doing a show. Come home and have a snack. Go to bed around 3am. Wake up again at 9. Or something like that. But this whole day job thing, with the waking up at 6 so I can be there by 8...I get home at 6pm and want to take a nap. On nights when I can, I sleep from about 7 to 10. And then I'm up until 3. Like tonight. I managed to get some exercise in around midnight. Fortunately, my exercise bike doesn't make much noise, or I'm sure my downstairs neighbors would hate me. Maybe that's where I went wrong, because now my mind is racing all over the place and I can't get to sleep. Which is why I'm blogging at quarter to three in the morning. I'm fantasizing about things I wish I could say but know I shouldn't, and trying to schedule a reading of my play, and thinking about my gig tonight, worrying that there won't be enough bands or that nobody will show up to be in the audience, and thinking about my show in December, and trying to plan out my produciton and rehearsal schedules for the show I'm directing in the spring, and getting mesmerized by how beautiful my cat is, and wishing that the heat would come on in my apartment because while it isn't exactly cold in here yet, it is getting a bit chilly and I'd really like to be warm. That was the nice part about being sick -- I had a fever so I was warm enough. That, and I had no appetite for a few days, so I think I lost a couple of pounds. And I'm thinking about the fact that I'm getting older and my metabolism is going to be slowing down so if I want to maintain the weight I'm at now or lose weight, I'm going to have to start paying a lot more attention to not only what I'm eating, but how much of it, and I'm going to have to make a conscious effort to get exercise, no matter how much I'd rather take a nap with my cat on my lap. And I really should have done laundry today because I have no idea what I'm going to wear to my gig tonight and it's much better to make those decisions when I have all clean clothes because then the options are limitless, as opposed to now when I'm just going to have to go with what is clean, and I didn't wash my costume, either, for Wednesday, which either means I get to wear a grubby costume for another week (which isn't technically the end of the world) or I'll have to figure out some way to do laundry tomorrow around my show. And one of the sammich shops at which I play had to let me go for budgetary reasons and it kind of made me feel like doing cartwheels. It means I get my Sundays back, and that place was a little annoying to play, too, because of sound issues and the fact that I was sitting in the window so when the sun is shining, I'm baking, and when it's cold out, I'm freezing. But I got my Sundays back and that's good. My friends had a baby this week, too. A little boy. Welcome to the world, Samuel! I have to finish up his "welcome to the world" gift. Hopefully in November. Hopefully in November I'll get some semblance of a life back. Hopefully in November, I'll be able to get on some sort of work out routine. Hopefully in November I'll get to hang out with my friends again. Hopefully in November, I'll get some sleep.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


So I'm feeling a little better. I can breathe through my nose again, which is nice. Though I probably should not have been singing for three hours today. I kind of blew out my voice on "Me and Bobby McGee." But that's okay.

I honestly don't have anything interesting to comment on today. How dull. I'm sorry. I'll try to do something stupid and irrational tonight so I'll have a good story for you later. In the meantime, enjoy the nice weather!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wow. I've not been this sick in a long time. My skull hurts. My sinuses are plugged, but not enough so that I can actually blow my nose. My body aches everywhere. I feel like a zombie 'cuz I'm just sitting around breathing through my mouth. I have no appetite, but I do have (drum roll please) a fever! And this is after I've taken drugs which are supposed to make me feel better -- the fever only came down by about .2 degrees. I can't remember the last time I had a fever. And of course, this is just about the worst possible time for me to be sick. I stayed home from work today and I'm trying to not have to do my show tonight, but my director (who would really be the only plausible understudy) has the stomach flu.

Wherever you are, I hope you're feeling better than me. Drink orange juice to make sure you don't catch this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In general, I love October. I'm not sure why, but I've always had a special affinity towards October. Maybe it's because of Halloween. Maybe it is because October air is completely different from the air the rest of the year. The wind blows a little stronger to knock the brilliant leaves off of the trees. The light is vivid and crisp. And you shift to warm, comfortable things like soup and thick sweaters that you haven't worn in months and are still new enough to make you love them (as opposed to in January when you've been wearing the same, shapeless sweaters for months and can't wait to shed them and get some fresh air on your skin). October is just magical to me, somehow.

Unfortunately, my body doesn't feel the same way my heart does about October. My sinuses are staging a coup at the moment, trying to free my esophagus from the clutches of my too-tight throat. The mucous warriors in my nasal passages are trying to fight their way down to help my esophagus whatever way they can get there -- internally or externally -- and I think they just might be victorious. And in the midst of all of this, my brain has decided to play the conscientious objector card and has moved to Fiji for a brief respite. So if I seem a little off for the next couple of days, that's why.

I really do love October, though.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but I have to say that I think I'm just a little bit in love with the show Pushing Daisies. And I'm only just a little bit in love with it because it is only two episodes old, but they have been really wonderful episodes. "...and Digby thought about how much he loved salt..." It's just charming. The actors are adorable, the writing wonderful, the art direction is beautiful, and it makes me smile every time the narrator speaks because I believe it is the same guy who narrated the most recent version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which as we all know, I loved very much. And it's one of those shows with a premise that is just unique enough to be able to sustain for a while, you know? The only thing I can see maybe getting old is how they get around the lovers not being able to touch, but so far, they've been pretty inventive. I dunno. I think it's just lovely television. In the way that makes me want to buy a new TV set because mine is really on its last legs.

So yeah, Pushing Daisies. Check it out. It'll make you smile.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh! And I hope the Rockies sweep the Diamondbacks. Rockies/Red Sox, I say. And then Rockies win the Series. It's about time the National League won. (Yes, I know the Cardinals won last year, but there are some teams we just don't like to think about in terms of them doing really well.)
Congratulations, Mr. Gore!

Actually, congratulations are in order for all of the Nobel prize winners announced this week. It just struck me as particularly fun that Al Gore and the people fighting to raise awareness of global climate change won the peace prize. Mostly because it means we could have had a Nobel prize winner in the White House, as opposed to a man who dragged our country into a disastrously expensive war under false pretenses.

Congratulations, Mr. Gore!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I'm not even really sure what I wanted to write about today. I'm a little unfocused. We had a show last night that was in some ways not so great and in other ways really wonderful. It was not so great because there wasn't a huge crowd and we all messed up a time or two in playing the songs. It was really wonderful in that there wasn't a huge crowd, so I actually got to talk to some of the audience members. And the sound guys thought we were great. And I think my drummer's boyfriend got some good pictures of us, unobstructed by random concert-goers. And let's face it, every band has to have the stories about playing random gigs for three people. There were more than three people there, but you know what I mean. It was fun and I think it will contribute to keeping us real.

So tonight, we're going to look at a recording studio. And I need to call another guy about another studio. When did I become this person? It's kind of odd. I used to play in my living room for my cat and now I'm going to be calling a guy who has recorded a lot of bands who I have heard of and respect to see if he'll record me, too. These little songs I played in my living room for my cat. That other people have started playing with me for strangers who dance around like crazy and smash their hands together when we finish. It's just a really odd transformation. And it's that much stranger to think that in the midst of all of that, I come in to work every day and sit at a desk and answer the phone and troubleshoot problems and things like that. Or is it that in the midst of my day job, I do the music thing? I'm not sure which one is predominant. I know which one I would like to be predominant, which is why I'm doing what I'm doing. It's just weird that I'm doing it. Who, in a million years, that knew me growing up, would have ever imagined I'd be a rock star? I guess I've just lost that fear of asking questions. You ask enough questions and get enough answers, you start to find that these formerly daunting things are really quite doable. I wanted to put a band together, so I talked to people. I wanted to play shows, so I wrote to venues and booking agents. You do enough of that stuff, and something is bound to come through, right? Right. You want to get recorded, you talk to people, and bam! You're touring studios. It sounds strange, right? But this is my life. This is what I do. So it's not really that weird to me. I'm amazed and thankful that I get to do this and I recognize that it's out of the norm, but a lot of things that once seemed unattainable are starting to look somewhat plausible. It's just a weird place to be. Amazingly cool, but weird.

And totally random -- I got a bug bite on my rear end that is placed exactly wrong to make a desk job fun. I'm just saying.

Monday, October 08, 2007

So this year wasn't our year. How heartbreaking was it to get swept by Arizona? And as much as I hate to say it, I now have three teams that I have to hate with a burning passion. Plus one that I just really don't like.

But I think what is saddest for me is not that it will be at least 100 years between World Series wins for the Cubs, or that we played so hard and did so well for so long only to be crushed, or that the curse has not been broken. It is that I won't get to watch the Cubs play baseball for six months. I won't get to listen to Pat and Ron on the radio. They're done for the season, and all I can do is wait until next season. I would plan a trip to Arizona for spring training, but I'll be directing a show then and probably shouldn't take a vacation in the middle of that. And to watch these guys's like hanging out with my friends. I have come to realize over the years that one of my absolute favorite things in the world is to see people doing what they love to do. Which is why I get choked up at concerts or while watching awards ceremonies and whatnot. Here are a bunch of people who get to do what they truly love and are really good at for a living; how lucky are they? So to watch the Cubs play -- this team has more heart and soul than any other team in baseball. Those guys want to win it so badly, largely because they haven't for so long. I think everyone wants to be on the team that finally breaks the curse, you know? Everyone wants to be part of the team that finally brings another World Series championship to Chicago, for the first team to do it two years in a row, for one of the oldest teams in the league, in the greatest ballpark in the world. How can you not love to watch those guys play? Yes, it hurts when they lose, and yes, it's hard to see them not living up to their full potential. But every day, they are back out there on the field, playing as hard as they can. It's the ultimate test of faith and hope, to be a Cub, and to be a Cubs fan. And for the next six months, all I can do is wait. Read up on off-season trades and aquisitions. Write a letter to Hendry offering to break the curse by bringing my cat to opening day. Honestly, though, I think Owen would hate it. But I would do it if it meant possibly bringing a pennant to Chicago.

Thank you for an amazing season, guys. I loved watching you play, even when things weren't going so well. And I'll miss you for the next six months, until I get to see Derrek Lee up at the plate again, and Theriot making a fantastic, mid-air throw to first, and Zambrano chugging around the bases like he's running through quicksand. And DeRosa...I thought DeRosa was our most valuable player this season and I'm excited to see him in the old pinstripes again next year.

To next year!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lots of randomness today.

I'm getting the crap kicked out of me by this show I'm in, and not in the good way. I like it when a director busts my chops and pushes me to do things I never thought I could have. But that is not what I'm talking about on this show. This show is the splinter in the finger that won't come out and almost looks like it could get infected. I don't think it is, but I did cut it open this morning with my nail clippers and some nice lovely puss came out. But the splinter did not. Which is annoying because I have a tendency to clap when the Cubs do good things (which they didn't do a lot of last night), and I had to clap like an idiot so as to avoid slamming my splinter in between my hands. I may give it another go after work. But in addition to the splinter, there's the guillotine blade whacking me in the forehead (which it doesn't do anymore because we changed things up, but still, getting whacked in the forehead with a guillotine blade is not something I would recommend), this lovely cut on my wrist that I don't even know how it happened (which I now have a band-aid on with Neosporin because it was hurting like a mo fo this morning, too, and now I get to look like an Owen Wilson copy-cat), and the seventeen bruises on my shins and calves from climbing top of the coffin and moving the guillotine around. Granted, I bruise easily. But this goes back to something I said months ago about no matter how old I get, I will always look like I'm twelve when I wear skirts because my legs are so beaten up. So yeah, this show is kicking the crap out of me.

Oh, my Cubbies. It's just game one. There were some beautiful defensive plays last night, on both sides, sometimes with the results I was hoping for, sometimes not. I am kind of wondering about the line-up from last night, not so much for who was in it, but literally for the batting order. I know we used about 130 different line-ups throughout the season, but the ones we were using at the end there were pretty good and last night's line up wasn't like those ones. Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Floyd, DeRosa, Jones, Soto, and the pitcher. I think. Give or take Floyd and Jones. But Joes was in the number two slot and Theriot was number eight or something? Didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But it's only game one. We'll win tonight.

I have to say that one random nice thing about the Cubs being in the playoffs is that I'm talking to my brother a little more. Yes, it's text messages about the Cubs, but every good relationship has to start somewhere, right? In case I haven't mentioned it, my brother is a really wonderful person. I should start calling to just say hi every now and again. I'm really bad at that.

And I think I've also decided that sometime before I die, I'd kind of like to date a guy who drives a motorcycle with a sidecar on it. Just so I can ride in the sidecar. I think that would be fun. Show up to some big premiere or the Oscars or something in a sidecar. Which has me wanting to revisit my list of things I want in a potential partner. Like I really don't want to be with a smoker. Or someone who sees me as a project that needs to be figured out and solved or fixed. Or someone who puts all of the responsibility for his happiness on me. Or someone who needs to be fixed. And silly as it sounds, I'd really rather be with a vegetarian. Someone who is artistic and who would never think of putting his art on hold in favor of other things. Someone who really is an optimist, even if a jaded one. Someone who listens to the things I say and knows that the words I choose are the words I intend to use, not masks hiding some other hidden meaning or agenda. Someone who ohlds me so that I still feel it three days later. That kind of thing. I know there are more things on my list, and I know that the more things I add to my list, the smaller my chances are that I'll actually meet said life partner. But I'm okay with that. I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones. I think that's how that goes. Anyway.

I should do some work now. Enjoy your day and go Cubbies!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I have a new injury to add to the list of the most obnoxious injuries you can get, right up there with a papercut to the knuckle. A splinter on the inside of the knuckle, right at the joint where your finger bends, so that any time you try to bend your finger, the splinter gets pushed in a little farther, and any time you pick something up or open a door, it gets pushed in a little further and all you can do is wince. Because it's on your own hand, the inside of your hand, so you can't get a good grip on it with the tweasers and you can't bend the knuckle backwards enough to make the skin taught enough to get in there with a needle. It's just a pain in the ass. And people say it will get absrobed with time, so really all you can do is spend a few days wincing and washing your hair very gingerly until this scrap of plywood becomes part of your blood stream.

Nine o'clock tonight, baby. Nine o'clock.

Monday, October 01, 2007

When most people say they have wanted something their whole life, they mean for the last ten years or so. I don't think most people have that vivid of a memory beyond about ten years ago. People say, "I've wanted to make partner in this firm for my whole life," and really, they mean, "Since I got a job here, I've wanted to make partner," because really, what two year old knows what law firm he or she wants to be partner at?

I will admit that there is a little bit of exaggeration when I say this, but not that much. I have wanted the Cubs to win the World Series for my whole life. Granted, I should perhaps say, "I have wanted the Cubs to win the World Series for as long as I can remember" because although I swear I was born a Cubs fan, I probably wasn't very aware of them until I was about two. I don't remember watching my first game on TV, I just remember Cubs games being on a lot. I remmeber loving Harry Carey and switching over to the radio so I could still hear him during innings 4, 5, and 6. I remember my first game at Wrigley was a doubleheader when I was maybe 8, and we got there in the second inning of the first game and left in about the seventh inning of the second game and I have always felt gypped that my first trip to Wrigley, I didn't get to see a complete game. I remember having a Cubs shirt on which the arm holes were a little tight for my liking, but I was going to wear it anyway because it was a Cubs shirt. I remember Jody Davis and Rick Sutcliffe and Larry Bowa and Shawon Dunston and Andre Dawson and Keith Moreland and Ryne Sandberg and Lee Smith. I remember game 7 in 2003 and how my brother didn't breathe after the fifth inning, and the deathly silence that fell over the crowd as we lost. I remember cheering my heart out for the Cubs to come out for one last bow, to thank them for a great season, but they didn't, or couldn't, come back onto the field. I remember going to a standing room only game with my brother and having a blast. I remember going solo. I remember going in April when it was freezing, and in July when we were all just melting in the stands. I remember sitting up close and way far away, but still knowing that even when I was just cheering at home, that the Cubs could hear me screaming for them. I remember Hawkins' first appearance at Wrigley after he was traded. I remember Maddux's 300th win. I remember heartbreak after heartbreak as the Cubs lost time and time again. And I remember learning to hold onto that faint glimmer of hope every time the Cubs won that maybe, just maybe, they could get back in it. I know there are a few years there when I kind of tuned out, but it was always in the back of my mind to keep an eye on how the Cubs were doing. And now they are one of the major bright spots in my life. Even when they are losing, there is always baseball. And the Cubs play with more heart and soul than any other baseball team out there.

I will not be in attendance at the rally downtown today because I have to work. But I am cheering for the Cubs with everything I have. The thought crossed my mind to drop out of the play I'm in (that opens on Friday) so that I can camp out at my local bar for the month of October and watch the games. I would never actually do that, but the thought crossed my mind. And you know I'm going to bring my walkman to the theater so I can listen to the game before the show and tune in as soon as curtain call is over.

Eleven more wins. I know we have it in us. We just have to make sure that they come in a nice, orderly fashion -- we can't lose the first three and win the last eleven; it won't work that way. We have to make sure wins come first. Just keep hitting, guys. And keep up the pitching. And know that you have an entire city behind you. More than a city -- there are people all over the country and all over the world pulling for you. Because we all want this. And we've all wanted it our whole lives. Let's make history this year!

Go Cubbies!

Friday, September 28, 2007

We're singin'
Go Cubs Go
Go Cubs Go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!
Go Cubs Go
Go Cubs Go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!
I know, I know, I've been remiss in posting about the show Tuesday night. I've been trying to find the words to describe it.

All day Tuesday, I was nervous. Not that we wouldn't have enough audience there, but because of who some of the audience members were going to be. I was going to have at least two ex-boyfriends in the crowd, a friend from high school I hadn't seen in ten years, my entire immediate family, and my friend from Boston all there at the same time. I wanted to make sure they would all have fun and I wanted to be able to say hello to everyone and what if they didn't like my music? Then what? And I know that all of that is stuff that is out of my control, but it was making me nervous all day anyway.

So when I got to the venue, I was feeling a little bit better about my performance abilities and whatnot, but I started to freak out when by 9:00pm, we had seven audience members. That's not enough to be invited back to play again. And let's face it -- people tend to fink out on Tuesday night shows. People have to work the next day, or they're tired from work that day, or whatever. It's hard to get people to go out on a Tuesday. Which is kind of the point. At this venue, and many others, if you can bring a good crowd at a bad time, they figure you have to be able to bring an even better crowd at a good time. It's kind of an audition.

But then people started streaming in. A guy in whose wedding I stood up. My Boston friend. My brother and sister-in-law had about eight of their friends in tow. My high school friend. The drummer from the band I used to be in. And a whole bunch more people I hadn't expected to show up at all. It was incredible! Almost like a reunion of sorts. I was doing my best to talk to everyone, knowing full well that meant I wasn't really talking to anybody, but I did, at the very least, get to say hi to everyone, which was nice. And I got to hug my friends who I hadn't seen in a very long time, which was also wonderful. And then it was time to play.




I don't think we've ever sounded that good, even taking into account the song wherein I spaced out and started singing again too soon. We recovered from that, and my little technical malfunction, to put on an amazing show. Amazing. People were singing along to songs they had never heard before. People were dancing. And after every song, the crowd was so loud I got that ringing thing going on in my ears. They started chanting for an encore when we were done, and the sound guy said we could do it, so we did it. And again, the audience erupted in cheers. It was insane. Best crowd ever. Best sound we've had so far. Great bartenders and door guy. It was all around just...exactly what I needed to feel like a rockstar. A real musician with the potential to make a career out of this.

I know not everyone who hears my music will like it. But so far, a lot of people are getting a lot of enjoyment out of the songs I write and that feels so amazing I can't even tell you. I'm realizing more and more lately how much I've given up to be able to do the things I do, so it's really nice to know that my efforts haven't been wasted. I'm accomplishing exactly what I want to accomplish. How many people get to say that? And how lucky am I that I'm one that does?

I didn't want to go home after the show. I wanted to just play again. Just keep on playing all night while people danced and talked and drank. But eventually, I did have to leave. And I carried all of my equipment out by myself and drove home to curl up with my cat and a crossword puzzle before going to sleep. And I went in to work the next day with none of my co-workers being the wiser as to my stardom from the night before. I kind of like that. I'm a normal person who does normal things. I'm just super crazy lucky that I get to play music for a room full of cheering fans every now and again, too.

So thank you to the Elbo Room for letting us play -- we'll be back soon, I can almost promise you that (working on logistics as we speak). Thank you to the sound guy for making us sound amazing. Thank you to the bartenders for keeping the crowd lubricated. Thank you from me specifically to my bandmates for making my songs sound so much better than I ever could have on my own. And most of all, thank you to everyone who came out on Tuesday night to hear some music, spend time with friends, cheer, dance and drink. You guys made this gig one I will never forget.

Thank you! And keep an eye out for future gigs because we're only gonna get better.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So we're getting down to the wire. The magic number is four, with only six games left to play. We have to take four out of six games. Or pray that the Brewers do worse than we do. And I have one question:

Where is the city-wide buzz about the Cubs?

Two years ago when the other baseball team in Chicago was doing well, the whole city was alive with energy. Reports of their daily games topped the sports segement of every newscast. Pictures of the team in victory covered the newspapers. Even former Cub Ryne Sandberg encouraged Cubs fans to get behind the other team, partially because when it's the Cubs' turn, fans from the other team will get behind us.


Tackleball season has started (aka American football) and the horrendous performances of the Bears seems to be topping every newscast. Sports commentators can't stop talking about how horrible our quarterback is. And then they talk about how sad it is that the other baseball team, who won the World Series two years ago, is in last place in the AL Central this year. And then they mention, in the last thirty seconds of their broadcast, that the Cubs won again and are now three games up on the Brewers in the NL Central. What the hell? Where is the excitement? Isn't it good for our city that the Cubs, who started out the season with just about the worst record in the league, have come back to sit alone atop the National League Central Division? I mean, come on! Reporters live for this kind of thing. In the off season, we fired the old manager, hired a new one, spent obscene amounts of money on some new, key players. We've had brawls this year and injuries and trades and rumors and there's the whole speculation thing about what's going to happen to the Cubs next year with the selling of the Tribune Company. And despite all of this (or perhaps because of it), the Cubs are leading the National League Central Division. This has been one hell of a season to be a Cubs fan. So why are they last on the bill on both television and radio sportscasts?

I'm wondering if it has anything to do with a sort of knock-on-wood mentality -- if we get too excited before the division is ours, then it won't happen. Or if it's because the NL Central is the worst division in the league (or the best, depending on how you look at it -- if you have that many teams all playing each other more than anyone else, and so many of them are right around the .500 mark, wouldn't that imply that everyone is just about equally good?). The Cubs aren't going to win 100 games this year. Not even 90. But the Cardinals won the World Series last year with only 83 wins on the season and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that St. Louis was all in a hubbub over it. Or if it's just that too many times, the Cubs have gotten only so far in the post-season that the mass media no longer believes that we can actually win the whole thing? With the other baseball team, there was no goat curse to stand in their way. We still have that to deal with. But we also have DeRosa and Soriano and Lee and Ramirez and Theriot and Lilly and Zambrano and hell, even Fuld and Soto. And we want this worse than any other team in baseball, I can promise you that.

So on behalf of the relatively quiet Chicago media, GO CUBBIES! I have hope. I have faith. And you know I'll have my radio with me for every game, no matter where I am.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's just about that time of year again when I get up before the sun and don't get home from work until after sunset. It is kind of cool to get to see the sun do it's thing on both ends, and I have to say that in general, I really like my new job. The work so far has been stuff that at least makes me feel like I'm doing something or accomplishing something. No, it's not earth-shattering, change-the-world kind of work, but I stay occupied. And I really like the people here. We're starting to get used to each other and more and more bits of personality are starting to show. It's fun. And I do like that I get to listen to Lin Brahmer in the mornings again. I missed that. But it is kind of sad to not see the sun much anymore. Or to only see it through the window. Oh well. At least it's still warm out so I can wear skirts to work and don't have to pull out the sweaters and (gasp!) pantyhose yet.
You know, it's amazing what getting rid of anger and grudges will do for you. I was very badly hurt by an ex-boyfriend a while ago and I guess, looking back on it, I never quite got back to myself, you know? He somehow had managed to make me doubt myself and feel worthless as a human being. Which is funny because I know (as do most of the people around me) that one of the last things I am is worthless. I'm quite the useful sort. But to be involved with someone in that sense who makes you feel less of a's hard to recover from that. I dated after him, a great guy who told me every day how wonderful I am, but I still didn't feel it about me, you know? I looked in the mirror and saw adequate, not amazing.

But I recently was able to make peace with said ex-boyfriend. I was able to say my piece and I think he actually heard it, so I was able to get to this lovely place of indifference towards him. And ever since then, I look in the mirror and see extraordinary. I see attractive. I see useful and competent and intelligent. All because I let go of my anger.

You should try it. Forgive the people who have hurt you and move on with your life. You'll be amazed what is still out there for you. (And I mean that as the royal "you," as in anyone who might be angry or holding a grudge about something, not directed at any one specific person.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Okay, there are those would would argue that I am smarter than the average bear. There are probably those who would disagree with that statement, but for the duration of this entry, let's just pretend that I am smarter than the average bear. (No, not literally, Dwight.)

What the hell? Seriously.

I know it's hard work to be a postal carrier. Especially on icky rainy or snowy days. And I know that it's easy to zone out for a minute or two and get distracted and that sometimes this means the mail goes to the wrong place. But when mail is put back in the mailbox with the address blacked out and the words "Not at this address" written on it in large bold letters, do you take it back to the same place that just said that it was delivered incorrectly? I think even the average bear would say no. And yet, this happens on almost a daily basis here. Sometimes, I'll get the same piece of mis-delivered mail three or four times before it finally goes back to the sender. I admire the tenacity, but really. The US Postal Service has such a bad rep for poor delivery service anyway; it would make sense to follow the instructions printed on the envelope in large bold letters to "Return to Sender" because the addressee is "Not at This Address." I mean, really.

And, as luck would have it, my paycheck got lost in cyberspace over the weekend. Hooray for direct deposit! The payroll people sent it and got a confirmation that it went, but my bank had no record of it ever showing up. Until they decided to check all accounts and for some reason, it was waiting to go into a non-existent savings account, which is why it didn't show up in my checking account. So then they put it into my checking account. Twice. Plus one thousand extra dollars, just for fun. They took the thousand dollars back within hours, but the second paycheck...well, here's hoping they still leave one in there when they "fix" everything.

And finally, my bathtub. It doesn't drain anymore. At all. I cleaned the hair trap, I stuck my fingers in the drain to get anything that had made it through, I poked around with a piece of floral wire, and I spent a good half an hour plunging, but nothing. I had to empty the tub into my toilet with a bucket in order to be able to bathe this morning. So I try to call my landlord to let them know that there is a problem and the phone just rings and rings and rings and rings...literally, I cooked my lunch (two minutes in the microwave) and they still didn't answer. Really? Not even voice mail or some automated system? Not even voice mail or some automated system. Four times I tried calling, each time letting it ring upwards of 20 times before hanging up and dialing again. I even tried calling directory assistance to see if perchance they had moved and got three new numbers, none of which went anywhere. So I tried the original number again and bam! Someone picked up on the first ring. Seriously? Seriously.

Now, back to me being smarter than the average bear. How do things like this happen? Deliver the mail to the right place. Pick up the phone when it answers. Put electronic funds transfers where they are supposed to be. Okay, maybe the last one is a little tricky, but how about just transfering the right amount of money once it has been determined that money should be transferred? Is it really that difficult?

Sorry. Had to rant for a minute there. Back to your reguarly scheduled programming. You were watching COPS, weren't you? Good grief...
I think it's interesting that ever since the show Floss! ended, I've been flossing more. I don't know if it's because I suddenly decided that I should take better care of my teeth, or if it's because I miss Floss!ing so much that I'll take it in whatever form I can get it. But yeah, I'm flossing now. Kind of regularly. If not daily, then at least weekly. That's better than yearly, right?

And I know that one certain reader is going to lambast me for this because, well, that's what this reader likes to do (I do think it's kind of cool that I'm popular enough to get hate mail), but I also think it's kind of interesting that I'm the kind of person that people miss. I spent so much of my childhood feeling invisible and honestly walking around completely unnoticed, that it's just interesting to me that on several occasions now, people who I thought were long gone from my life have reappeared to say that they miss me. I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing -- each situation is different -- I just find it interesting.

Oh, and I want my Jim. From The Office. I'd even settle for a Tim from the British version, but yeah, he's such a great character. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years.

Um, I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said. It was one of the worst days I have ever experienced and I hope that nothing like that ever happens again to anyone. I feel for everyone who lost someone in the towers or at the Pentagon. And since then, we've really screwed the pooch. On that day, the whole world was behind us. Within a month, we became one of the most hated nations on the planet. 2008, baby. It can only get better from there.

And a very happy birthday to Moby. See? Something really good did happen on this, day, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Okay, so I've been to a few shows now whereat the artist on stage invites an audience member up to help sing one of the songs. I would like, if I may, to offer a suggestion to any future artists who happen to be coming to town, planning on doing the same thing.

Pick me.

You can forego the whole, "Who out there knows this song?" bit and just say, "Is Kitty here?" I'll come up from wherever I am because I do know the song, I probably know the harmony, I'm not afraid of microphones, and I'll actually make the song sound good.

Arrogant of me, I know, but I'm just sayin'. Just trying to help make your concert sound good.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Well, I'm staring to get the feeling back in some of my toes. This morning, there were four of them that were, essentially, not attached to the rest of me. I know they had to still be there because I could see them in the shower and I wasn't falling over when I walked, but had you asked me about them while I was sitting in the middle of the day, I would have said that at least four of them had defected to Cuba. I know, I know, it usually goes the other way around, but I have odd feet. And apparently stinky ones, too. Why do the comfortable shoes have the worst odors? Stupid all-natural-good-for-the-environment shoes. So comfy. So cute. So stinky.


Monday, September 03, 2007

So it happened and I cried. A lot. I cried when I first saw my sister-in-law in her dress, hair and makeup finished. I cried when I first saw my brother in his tux. I cried when they took pictures of my family. How many people get a family portrait after the parents divorce? Not many. But we now have one and it made me cry. I cried when they signed the marriage contract and through most of the ceremony. And I cried telling my Texas friend about it on the phone today. But the main thing I have to say is




Hands down. The rehearsal dinner was amazing. Seeing so much of my family, from both sides, was amazing. My brother's friends were amazing. My brother's inlaws were amazing. I was totally happy with the weekend before the wedding even happened. Yes, the manicurist ripped two of my cuticles to the point where they bled and yes, my feet are screaming at me today and yes, I'm totally exhausted and wiped out and poor. But oh my god, was that fun. Everyone looked beautiful and the food was great and I actually got to visit with people and I drank enough to last the rest of the year. Even a sad, misguided but apparently well-intentioned run-in with an ex boyfriend couldn't ruin the weekend. It's kind of sad that the weekend ended with that, but oh well. I have fun pictures to look at, and more on the way. One of these days, hopefully I'll get to see a picture of me -- there weren't any on my camera -- because I clean up good. And apparently, red is my color.

So yeah. Welcome to the family, sister-in-law. Congratulations and best wishes to my brother and his wife. And if you ever have the opportunity to go to a wedding for one of my family members, I must recommend that you take it. We know how to throw a good party.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rabbit, rabbit. Happy September.

Random note: my cat is just about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Even when he's driving me crazy.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My brother is getting married in two days.

I somehow can't really wrap my mind around it. It doesn't feel like we're old enough for that yet, though I know we are. And I can't...I don't know what. I'm so overwhelmed, but in a good way. It's like the love going into this wedding and the creation of this new family is so great that I've been living in it's shelter for the last week, and I haven't even really been doing very much. But the silliest things are making me cry. I hemmed my dress and cried. I tried the dress on and cried. I bought a card and cried. I'm signing the card and crying. It's just...

I love my brother. A lot. I'm not sure that I communicate that to him very well, but I do. And to see him this happy and this excited and taking this step in his say that I'm happy for him sounds so cliche and small and insignificant. So I cry. And I laugh and smile as the tears stream down my face. And I'm guessing I will continue to do so for at least two more days.

I love you and I'm so happy for you.

I love you.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm going to be a mess at my brother's wedding. I finished hemming my dress today, so of course I had to put it on and I must say, I clean up good. But of course, the whole time I'm working on the dress, I'm thinking about what a huge day it is for my brother and how excited he is and how happy he is and I just kept crying. I know I'm going to be a mess at the wedding. I know I am. But you know what? I think that's okay. I bet he cries at mine, too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This one is going to be long and rambly.

My brother is getting married next weekend. Every time I say that or think that or write that, I start to cry. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am for him and how much Kleenex I'm going to have to bring with me. I will be the bridesmaid whose makeup doesn't last more than ten minutes. He is such a wonderful person and he has found a wonderful woman and they both really want to be doing this. Not just getting married, but sharing their lives together. Moreso than the wedding, they are looking forward to a lifetime together and that is so wonderful. So wonderful. I'm crying again. I'm so happy for you guys and so excited for next weekend!

And I start my new job tomorrow. I'm happy to have some sort of stability again. To have health benefits. Yes, I'll have to buy more office clothes, but I can handle that. I'll be able to afford it.

You guys know I'm not a liar, right? Not about important things, anyway. You know that if I love someone, I tell them. You know that if I'm upset, I'll talk to the person I'm upset with. You know that in general, I am a very honest, straightforward person and that I don't manipulate other people into doing things for me. I just don't. You know I'm happy being single. You know I'm dysfunctional in a relationship. You know that I'm a loving, caring person who does everything she can to not hurt other people or animals, right? Because I also know these things to be true, but they have come into question as of late. I just wanted to check and make sure I'm not sending out messages that I'm not intending to send. I'd tell you if there was something important that I had to tell you.

Speaking of which, I'm getting more and more excited for my Elbo Room gig. I was out promoting this weekend. I played an art fair and another sammich shop and got some new fans. Though one guy at the sammich shop told me to sing through my sinuses, not my throat, and I thought that was kind of strange. I always thought that breath support should come from the diaphragm and move unhindered through an open and relaxed throat to be shaped by the lips, teeth, and tongue. I don't want to sing through my nose. I try really hard not to. I do, sometimes, get throaty, but that's a stylistic choice I employ for certain songs (Bobby McGee, for instance). But then these two other lovely gentlemen tipped me two dollar coins. Not only was it nice to get a tip, it was nice to get two gold coins. I love the dollar coins. They feel European to me. I do have some problems with the design, but on principle, I love the dollar coins. I wish more people used them.

And I'm in the middle of this strange sickness wherein I have to watch every Gilmore Girls episode that I own. I'm being very non-productive, though the upshot is that I know it will end when this season does because I'm on the last season of episodes that I own. I better finish soon because I have a lot of things to do that just aren't getting done.

My mom told me once that she pictures me ending up with a guy like Luke from the Gilmore Girls. I do really like his characters. But I think I need to hibernate for a while, dating-wise. While I am over the moon that my brother is so happy, I think that for me, dating is way more trouble than it is worth. Especially for someone like me who doesn't play games or manipulate one's partner. People don't know how to handle that. I'm in a relationship with someone who is being honest with me? Can't be. She must be lying about being honest. Which means up is down and socks are to be worn on the hands and purple really is a fruit. Yeah, I'm good with not having to put up with any of that crap.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My old college roommate found me. Yay! I'd wondered what hapened to him. Of course, MySpace is being silly at the moment and won't let me log in, so I can't read the message he sent. But it's good to know he's still around, you know? Man, between him and my high school friend, I don't have anyone left to miss. Well, not true. I guess I could start wondering about all of the boys I had crushes on in elementary school and junior high. And/Or, maybe if I put it out to the universe that I wonder how Moby is and what he's been up to, he'll contact me. Tee hee. Wouldn't that be cool? Sadly, though, I can't really wonder where he is or what he's been up to because I read his online journal with almost frightening regularity and as we all know, I'm really bad at lying. Oh well.

Hi, college roommate. Memonade?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rant time.

If you know someone is coming into your workplace, possibly for a very long time, don't wait until the end of day four to make some sort of human contact and then act surprised that the person isn't staying.

I like the rain. I really do. But when it rains every day for a month, that gets a little old. And today was particularly bad. It felt hurricaney. So of course, I had to go out in it.

If you let people know that you don't trust them, you will find them not trustworthy.

I know I'm a vegan and I'm supposed to love all living things, but I hate fruit flies. Seriously.

I think that's about all I can say without getting into trouble, so I'm going to stop for now. Let's just say it's not been a good week. I am looking forward to starting my new job on Monday, though. Hooray for financial stability! And good timing, too. My TV is crapping out, my printer only prints yellow, and I think it's almost time to redress the frets on my guitar. Yay.

Enjoy your evening.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So I'm not normally a big advocate of high heel shoes because they are normally just about the most uncomfortable thing one can wear (right up there with thongs and garter belts and corsets), but I have to admit, they're sexy. I recently bought myself two pairs of heels that I can wear to work -- just classic looking pumps, a black pair and a brown pair, and I caught a look at myself sideways in the mirror today wearing the brown pair and I have to say, it was kind of hot. Something about a classic pump...

Okay, I'm stopping now.

Oh! Except, I got a job. I start Monday. Hooray!

Monday, August 20, 2007

So we got it. My band has this really big show coming up. Well, kind of big. It's at a venue whose name is recognized amongst people who know the music scene in Chicago, but it's on a Tuesday night. That's kind of how they work. You have to pay your dues by bringing x number of audience members to a weeknight show in order to get a slot on a weekend, and if you bring x number of people to the weekend show, you get a better weekend slot the next time and so on and so forth. And in this case x does not equal x. But my band gets to play this venue and I'm so excited about it, I can hardly tell you. It's one of those kind of surreal things. But I'm also kind of scared that we won't get enough people to come. I know a lot of people, and I know a lot of people who will say that they will come, but who will actually not show up at the last minute for whatever reason. And most of the time, I let that slide and say no biggie, just come next time, knowing they won't come then either. But this time, I really need everyone to show up. For real. Even if they show up early in the night and tell the door guy they are there to see me play and leave before I actually play so they can get home before bedtime -- I just need the door number at the end of the night to be big. I need all of these people that I know to not think, "It's okay if I don't go because she knows a lot of other people who wll go," because if everyone thinks that, nobody will show up and I'll be up the proverbial creek.

So please mark it down on your calendars. September 25th. I'm playing a show at the Elbo Room and I'd really love it if you were there.

It's really odd to give dating advice to the person you once considered the love of your life. Especially if that advice is to date someone who isn't you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So a friend of mine is a really amazing artist and he had his first show last night. Of course, I had to go. And of course, I couldn't help but compare the entire evening to an episode of Sex and the City. Somehow, they're always going to gallery openings on that show. Granted, this was at a bar, not a gallery, but still. The people on TV dress better, but the drama is still there in real life. And I felt very old and not hip. I think it was good in that I did a bit of networking and hopefully the next time they do this whole art show thing, my band will get to play.

And I found myself wanting the 23 year old who wishes he was a Brit pop star, wearing jeans from Trainspotting, being too cool for everything in general. Of course, I didn't want to talk to him, or even hear him talk, I just wanted to make out for ten minutes in hte back room and walk away, to leave him in his 23-year-old anguish. I'd be just another example of everything that is wrong with the world and why he is completely justified in hating it and I'd be okay with that. If I saw him again at another opening, I'd just walk past as if we'd never seen each other before and that would be fine.

But of course, none of this actually happened. Instead, I danced like an idiot in shoes that were not made for dancing and he chatted up another girl. Or she chatted him up. Either way, there was no making out for me last night. Just some pseudo-inappropriate dancing with cute young gay boys. It was fun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

There is a semi-famous scene from a movie wherein Jim Carrey asks the driver of a vehicle in which he is also riding if the driver would like to hear the most annoying sound in the world, and then proceeds to yell very loudly. I would like, if I may, to take issue with this scene for just a moment and propose that there is an even more annoying sound than Jim Carrey yelling:

A smoke detector whose battery has decided to die at three o'clock on a Friday morning.

I know that there are those who would say that a smoke detector itself makes a really annoying noise, and they would get no argument from me. However, when a smoke detector goes off, it is a constant noise, that usually only lasts until the smoke is cleared. When the detector's battery is dying, it is a series of chirps, spaced at some unknown interval, ranging anywhere from 30 seconds apart to one minute apart, that continue until the battery is changed. It's like Chinese water torture. And I know that there are those who would argue that the battery deciding to die at, say, eight o'clock in the morning on a Saturday after a long night of drinking would be very annoying as well. Once again, I would have to agree. However, on a Saturday morning, one could simply disconnect the battery and go back to bed, making a mental note to change the battery out later in the day when the hangover lightens up enough to allow one to stand on a chair or stepstool without fear of falling off. On a Friday morning, one is most likely trying very hard to get that last ten minutes of sleep before one has to wake up and go to work, and the smoke detector seems to know this, sending out yet another obnoxious chirp just as one starts to drift back to dreamland. It's worse than the snooze button, because one never knows when it might chirp again.

This morning, I just dealt with it until I absolutely had to get out of bed. At which point, I changed out the battery and went on with my day. Hooray. At least I know the thing works.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So I don't know what it is about multi-line phones, but they either don't ring at all, or all of the lines ring at the same time, usually with calls from people who have no idea who they have reached or who they need to talk to. Except for the last caller, who happens to the President's wife or something and she gets so annoyed with the wait time that she's snippy on the phone. And she has every right to be. I would be, too.

No, this scenario did not actually happen today. There were bursts of seventeen calls all at once, followed by periods of deafening silence, but nobody was really snippy with me, and I think I only put one person into the wrong voice mailbox. It was a telemarketer anyway, so with any luck, he didn't actually leave a message, or the person getting the message tuned out as soon as the company name was mentioned and didn't even notice that the message should have gone to someone else. In my defense, they have very similar names.

But anyway, such is the life of a temp. I would like to offer some advice to regular office staff who has to work with temporary employees, to make the transition a little easier.

1. Introduce yourself. Even if someone else introduced the temp to you in the 8 am office tour, introduce yourself again later in the day. Just like at a party, the temp most likely did not remember the 47 names thrown at him/her in a six minute time span. He or she is focused on remembering the name of his/her contact at the company, and maybe the President's name. Along with the names of the President's family and other important potential callers. I know it sounds awful, but the temp will probably not be able to match up faces and names for sixteen various sales staff personnel. So as you walk past the temp's desk, say hi and don't be ashamed to reintroduce yourself. Especially if you want to get your mail.

2. Be patient. Yes, we all hate phone calls from telemarkters, but some of them are tricky bastards, and some of them just might share the same first name as your spouse, so when the temp calls you saying, "I have John on the line for you," please understand that the temp doesn't know that you don't know this particular John. Admit it; you probably know six or eight other people named John, several of whom you would like to receive a call from. But the temp doesn't know that you don't actually work with John from AB Company, so cut him/her some slack. Just say, "Would you please put them in my voicemail?" or something to that effect. Growling is not necessary.

3. Don't be afraid of your temp. Yes, there are plenty of inept office workers out there who somehow manage to get $12/hour to sit on their asses playing online games. But staring at the new temp as if he/she is an animal in the zoo is not the way to treat even those kinds of temps. If nothing has exploded in the office by lunch time, it's probably safe to assume that your temp is an actual person with actual thoughts and feelings and who wouldn't be horribly offended by even some silly small talk like, "Man, it's a scorcher out there," or "How about them Cubbies?" You just might get to know a really interesting person.

4. Don't dismiss your temp. Again, there are plenty of idiot temps out there. But there are some good ones, too. Go ahead and give them things to do, even if it is just photocopying. That is your number one way to weed out the good ones from the bad ones, and it will give your temp something to do beyond staring at his or her own hands. Temps not utilized become lazy. They begin to expect slack days at the office and are then put out by project work. But if you put your temp to work, you help hone his or her skills at the same time that you lighten your own work load.

So I hope that after our little talk here, you are a little better prepared to work with your temp. Remember, you are doing just that -- working with your temp, not around your temp, not in the general direction of your temp, but with your temp. Love your temp and your temp will love you. Don't love your temp, and he or she will tell the agency about it.

I'm just sayin'.

(Disclaimer: Aside from the rather quiet day today, I'm kind of enjoying this assignment. Please don't fire me.)