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!