Tuesday, December 30, 2008

i'm freaking ready...

bring it on, 2009.
I'm ready for a new year and a new slate.
I'm ready for new adventures and change.
I'm ready to travel entirely by myself for the first time in my life, on MY terms and on MY schedule.
I'm ready to go back to school and make a career change that will pull me out of the current "single-serving" Fight Club (before all the fighting started)-esque existence.
I'm ready to take my life back.
I'm ready to move forward.
I'm ready for our new President to take office.
I'm ready to rebuild my savings account (and I'm even ready to start the whole student loan process again)
I'm ready to use the cute tips I found online to redecorate my apartment using construction paper (!!??)
I'm ready to stop missing him and I'm ready to stop counting days/weeks/months since I last felt "ok". The truth is that I hadn't felt "ok" for a while.
I'm ready to stand up for myself, to stand on my own, and to stop feeling pulled in every direction but the direction I want to go in.
I'm ready to stop being jealous of other people's lives, and start living my own.
I'm ready to make changes that will get me out of LA...and lead me to the next adventure...

2009 is going to be amazing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

soundtrack...saturday evening edition

1) single ladies (put a ring on it)...beyonce
2) lover, you should have come over...jeff buckley
3) rehab...rihanna
4) liked you better before...little jackie
5) no surprises...radiohead
6) back to black...amy winehouse
7) american boy...estelle (featuring kanye west)
8) about a girl...the academy is...
9) i don't blame you...cat power
10) new shoes...paolo nutini
11) say you miss me...wilco
12) lonely...yeal naim
13) a gentleman caller...cursive
14) on the radio...regina spektor
15) wisemen...james blunt

Thursday, December 18, 2008

on keys and the holidays...

there is a key sitting on my front desk.

this key is not on a key ring anymore. it doesn't clink and slap against other keys, those which were used far more often in the past 3 months than this single, lone key.

it is just a key.

but this key was more for me. it was a symbol. it signified more than a key probably should. a key is just hard metal, bent and pressed and shaped to fit the lock on my door, with a band of teal plastic to distinguish from the other keys it used to hang out with. and now, it is alone, sitting on my front desk and waiting for a purpose again, waiting for meaning.

my initial thought was to immediately pass it off to a girlfriend, someone who lives close and could check in on my apartment while i travel, someone who should have a key "just in case." someone who won't use it to surprise me when i come home from business trips. someone who won't use it to enter after a day at work, holding flowers, or some other surprise they've brought to dinner.

but i can't. it meant so much for me to give him that key. it was access. to me and my life. which was something that i resisted giving to anyone for so long.

that key can't NOT have meaning. it would be a waste.

so i'll leave it on my front desk for now...until i'm ready to let him go.

there are very few things as heartbreaking as watching someone you love walk away from you. walk away from the life you had together, carrying the remnants of that life in his hands.

but that's what i did.  i watched him walk away with all that was left of his physical presence in my apartment.  he is officially gone, gone, gone.  and he left the key behind.

and now it is christmas.  it is christmas, and i have a key and memories of the holidays past, when love was fresh on our tongues, families were met, presents exchanged, and a christmas dinner was prepared by a jewish girl from los angeles for a family in utah.

it is the most gut-wrenchingly painful holiday season of my life, with these memories of what was, and thoughts of what i believe should be.

but i am launching myself forward as hard as i can.

i have been filling my time with friends.  they are my holiday gift from the universe, these friends of my very own, and we share stories, drink coffee, drink liquor, laugh at each other as we dress up in silly outfits for theme parties, put on our favorite outfits and make fools of ourselves at karaoke, show up in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday to drink vodka and cry together, watch ridiculous movies...and generally love each other.

maybe he won't come back.

and maybe...maybe it will be ok.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

it's a little bit funny...

there are actual parts of the day when i forget to miss you.

the sharp and thrusting pain has dulled into something worse...a constant ache that is manageable, but never gone completely.

i'm moving forward...i guess. i go out with friends. i eat meals. i can even listen to some music. i sleep through the night for the most part.

but sometimes the effort of moving forward throws me back.

i flirt with other men...but that feels futile and i don't really put much effort into it. i even slept with another man. the sex was fine, but it made me miss you too much, and i kicked him out of my las vegas hotel room less than five minutes after he finished. i think he was upset.

it all makes me feel more than a little dead inside.

i stumbled across some old emails from when we first started dating...i wonder what happened to that couple? the couple who said things like "you quiet my soul" and "you have a beautiful spirit" and "i don't expect anything. i just want you." they were good together.

it's funny that, even now, it's the same for me. i just want you.

i yelled at you last week. for the first time ever. even when we were together, we never yelled. last week i fully embraced my rage, and the idea that i don't have to sugar coat jack-shit for you anymore. it felt great. i raged at you for about an hour, then we settled back into our usual habit of easy talking and laughing.

we diffuse each other.

you quieted my soul right up until the end. now it's all about when you're going to come collect your things, making sure i get everything of mine from your place, going on trips without each other and wishing you would wake up, grow up, get a clue, anything to shake you back into realizing that this is an exercise is futility.

you have gone on 3 trips without me since it happened. 3 trips that i tried to get you to go on with me for over a year.

we celebrated halloween apart.

we will celebrate thanksgiving apart. christmas. new year's. then our birthdays.

next week i go on another business trip. and next week, another business trip will end with me coming home to an empty apartment.

baby. i still just want you. it's just that simple. and just that complicated.

Friday, October 24, 2008

may i cut in?

well, well, well...here we are again.

depression, my old friend. the constant and steady unwanted compadre that follows me throughout happiness and revels in my despair.

why are you such a bitch?

everytime i get just a bit out of your reach, you catch on to my coattails and manage to pull me back safely into your arms. you howl in pain when i find happiness, and seem fulfilled and glowing when i end up weeping in your arms.

your black velvet skin (i hate velvet) is wet with what seems like an endless supply of tears...every time i run out, you rush to refill the reservoir, like my sad sad soul is a brita filter that you use to filter out the good thoughts like the lead in my LA public water.

and, of course, you seem to become a more complex mistress everytime we are re-introduced. what's this now? social anxiety? bitterness? isolation? well, pile it on, lady, we're having a pity party, and no one is invited. you're a mean mean bouncer at the club of my heartache.

and i am putty in your hands

you tell me to push away the things and people who could help me.
and i do.

you tell me to sit alone and avoid human contact.
and i do.

you tell me to be angry...but not too angry because then no one will love me...
and i do.

you tell me to believe you when you say i will never be ok again.
and i do.

i believe all of it. the loneliness, the isolation, the anger, the sadness - oh, the deep, deep sadness - all of it adding up to another dance with the lady in black.

and this time, i don't feel like fighting it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the war...

i cannot drag myself up from my melancholy.
i cannot peel myself off the floor.
interacting with others hurts my eyes
i feel like i have to squint to see straight.
i want to curl up into myself
and at the same time make myself large enough
to destroy entire cities (picture a sobbing godzilla).

i want to be quiet
but i want to rage.
i don't want to be touched
but i want to fuck
total strangers
who don't know me.
know nothing about me.
(no, i don't give a shit about your dog.)
fuck them wildly and then politely
excuse myself from their presence.
so i can go back to being small and quiet.

i don't want them in my house
or my town.
i want them to make me forget
just for one moment that we were happy
and great
for awhile.
and that once
for once
i wanted for nothing.

i want to throw things and break
windows (and your face)
and hurt everyone.
and i want to stay in this corner with
my chin on my knees
where no one can see or touch

i want to be invisible so i can scream and
no one will know it's me.
i want to disappear into nothing
and forget and that i loved.
that i ever knew what love is.

i want to remove you from the fabric
of my soul
so i will weave over
that fabric.
with meaningless people whose names
i will forget on purpose.
with the regrettable follies of youth
that i never wanted.
with myself - closing myself

it's not there.
but it always is.
i want to hate you forever
but i want you even more.
i don't believe this is something i will
recover from.

i fucking hate you.
why won't you just come home?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


saturday mornings are the hardest.

i'm still trying to find the rhythm of my new life.

i took so much pleasure in the routine we had fallen into...we would sleep in, i would make coffee while you made eggs (because the one thing i cannot cook is eggs...), we would do the thing we always joked about..."nest"...the stupid yuppie shit that i used to make fun of...farmer's markets, wandering around town puttering, holding hands...

so these days, i sleep in if i can (i can't really), and when i wake up - for some stupid reason, my brain hasn't processed the idea that you won't be there next to me - i get that sinking feeling of reality setting in.  i make myself coffee...too much coffee...and i have a cigarette...too many cigarettes...and i set about filling my saturdays...

finding a new rhythm, a new pattern, a pattern for myself, that doesn't involve you.

which is pretty impossible, because you are everywhere and in everything.

our rhythm...the rhythm of our lives together...is over...the sweet little ways and details i loved are gone...i'm done, tapped out, exhausted from the hours of crying, re-building the walls, hoarding the love i have left like gold, pushing everyone away.

my rhythm looks like solitude right now.  avoiding social situations, keeping my own counsel, asking no one for help, letting the anger seep into my bones.  i just want to be alone.  the smiles i force feel so fake on my lips, and i haven't really laughed in a month.

shit.  a month.  a whole fucking month.

my rhythm is in counting days since it happened, counting days until i get to go away.  i have to create my own things to look forward to, since you took away the daily joy i had.  so i'm going on a trip.  by myself.  my own adventure.

my own life.  MY own rhythm.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

what more is there to say...

next week marks a month.

a month since we said good-bye.

i'm making my own plans now.  i have gotten through at least 4 non-consecutive days without losing my shit.  i am eating (small) meals.

i am not "ok".  "ok" is not the right word.  neither is "better".  it's a long way to "better".  there are things i cannot do and places i cannot go because they pull me down into your memory and swirl around my eyes and then...

it feels like i am trying to put my bones back into my skin.  it's stretching me in ways i never thought i could go.  it feels foreign.

all of this love that i had building up inside me, all of these feelings and expectations and hopes that i never wanted and never thought i would have...it all came flooding to the surface with you.  and now it is gone, and i all i can think about is what i had, and what i lost.

the capacity for love...i didn't think i had that.  you proved me wrong.  you brought me to life, to my full self.  i thought i was pretty full before...but this was above and beyond what i believed i was capable of.

i thank you for that.

i am folding into myself right now.  feeling very protective of myself and my process.  i don't want to share it with anyone.  i don't want to talk to anyone about it (except for my brand-new therapist...woohoo!)  i want to sit with it, like a new food or a good wine, this strange new feeling and experience, roll it over my tongue, savor the bitter-sweet-chocolate-burnt-coffee-raspberry-rotten milk taste, occasionally test it, poke at it with things like good music and old movies...pick at the scab, if you will, to see if it still hurts.

it does.

for some reason, it surprises me every time.

i'm not rushing out of this.  i cannot stop waiting for you to come home.  i haven't stopped expecting you to be at my apartment when i get home.  at the same time, i know that i cannot continue as i have...taking personal days, never leaving my apartment, sitting in solitude and silence...

i released you.  i had to in order to live.  but i miss you every day.  the thought of having to miss you every day for the rest of my life overwhelms me.  i miss you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

soundtrack o' rancor

great news, sports fans! i've found my anger!

and in honor of crawling off the floor...

1. u +ur hand...pink
2. dialate...ani difranco
3. long way to happy...pink
4. tears dry on their own...amy winehouse
5. irreplaceable...beyonce
6. the rooster...big boi
7. a gentleman caller...cursive
8. let him fly...the dixie chicks
9. try (just a little bit harder)...janis joplin
10. lie to me...johnny lang
11. take a bow...madonna
12. ring the alarm...beyonce
13. something to remember...madonna
14. sweet revenge...the spooks
15. burn...usher
16. new soul...yael naim
17. maps...the yeah yeah yeahs
18. you were mine...the dixie chicks
19. who knew...pink
20. i'm still breathing...katy perry

and for extra emotional torture: come close...common feat. mary j. blige

it would be inaccurate for me to listen to this music and apply their stories to my own. there was no cheating in my relationship. there was no anger. until now. the feelings of abandonment, loss, and fear translate into the end of any relationship.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

pulling me up from the ground...

what i opened my email account to find from my BFF:

are you still there?
i'm guessing you went home early.
i'm glad.
i hope you go to yoga
and then go home and lie on the floor
if i was there, i would go to yoga with you
and then go home and watch "waiting for guffman" with you
and i would rub your feet
and we would paint each other's nails
and then i would stay at your house
and eventually it would start to smell like me (stinky)
and not so much like him
i will wait with you, best friend.
i will always wait with you.
i will never leave you.
i love you.

even in the deepest darkness that is consuming me right now, her light shines so freaking bright.
i love you, too best friend.

an open letter to my heart...

dear beloved...

it has been 3 days since we talked. in that conversation, you and i determined that it would be best to not speak or see each other for a while, as it is clearly too painful for me, and thus for you.

we also discussed why i am so insistent on moving forward so fast to "friendship" or "healing".

it is because i feel like i am dying.

it feels like i am waiting to die. because how can there ever be joy again in my heart if i do not have my best friend?

you were my home. now i live on the street, constantly cold, shivering, and afraid.

i cannot work. sleep only tricks me by allowing me to dream of you, and so i do not want it for a companion. even food, which i have so enjoyed for all of my life, has lost it's taste, and when i remember to consume it, it is only because it is a matter of survival. which feels pointless.

for me, the joy is gone.

and perhaps, even if you did come back, the joy would not return. at least, not as it was. at first, i know there would be very little joy. there would be hurt feelings, and guarded hearts, and more tears. and there would be talking. (unlike now) but, maybe, just maybe (and this is the maybe that keeps me from falling so low that i cannot rise in the morning) it would be a different and more potent joy that would be an entirely new experience.

but it is more likely that the joy will not return in any form that bears a resemblance to you. you have gone. and it seems unlikely that your mind will be altered from your current path.

and in the loss of joy, down at the bottom of a barrell where i feel safe - confined and alone - i have a found a spark of anger.

i grew a heart FOR you. i filled that heart with love FOR you. and you took that heart, and cherished it for a time, and exchanged that heart to me with yours. and we made that love feel so powerful and pure that it felt like it actually might be something good that could last forever. but then you took it away and remain resolute that it was not to be forever.

and now i am without that love that fed me. and without the counsel of the most trusted friend i have ever known. and i do not know how to survive being without you...without you. and you threw away the greatest thing that has ever been for either of us (which you have admitted).

and yes, i am angry. and yes, i am sad. and yes, i exist still. and yes, i am "surviving". for what else is there to do?

and now we wait. we have agreed not to speak until you are ready.

in the meantime, i will pick the pieces of you out of the heart, one at a time, until there is nothing but a thick scar, and never again will i allow that part to grow.


Thursday, October 2, 2008


i'll start by getting up each day and taking a shower. i'll put on my clothes and makeup and go to work. or to get my hair done. or to have coffee with a friend.

i'll put my shoes on. i'll keep breathing. i will set small goals everyday.
i will begin to mark the passage of time not by how long it's been since i've seen him (5 days). or how long it's been since i could call myself his girlfriend (12 days).

i will reconnect with friends and community.

i cannot promise that i will not cry every night. i cannot promise that i will not wish every day for him to come back. i cannot know when i will be ready to give him his stuff back, to really know that he is gone.

i can only try. and i can only take it one day at a time.

the pain might lessen. but for now, i will allow myself the time it takes to feel the pain.
in the past, i have always pushed past the pain, put my shoulders back, my chin up and said "what's next?" and what's next has been a new job, or more jobs, or a new town. but i cannot push past this. this is entirely new in and of itself. i cannot ignore that i am mourning, and i cannot be embarassed that i hurt so much that sometimes i think my legs will give out.
i cannot ask the "why" of him. why doesn't he come home? why does the love go away? why does everyone leave? why couldn't he be happy with me?
i am allowing myself to be sad. for the first time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


failing and flying...by jack gilbert...

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
Or the marriage fails and people say
They knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
Worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
On the other side of the island while
Love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
Through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like people who
Came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
And said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,but just coming to the end of his triumph.

special love to jack gilbert for his words...and the BFF for sharing them with me...

soundtrack..."musical" edition

i have always loved loved loved musical theatre. since i was a kid.

i stage managed many musicals through college and out in the "real" theatre world...they are my favorite type of theatre to watch, and to work on...

my favorite professor, who directed many of the musicals i worked on, would say that musicals are even better than "straight" theatre (non-musical), or even real life, because in a musical, when just speaking your mind or your emotions no longer can express the depths of what you're feeling, and just walking around the stage is not enough...you have to fucking dance...and you have to fucking sing...

i completely agree.

it's so powerful that it just BURSTS out of you in a song. there are few things that i would compare to the rush of belting (badly) a really powerful musical number, written to be raw with emotion. i wish real life could be a musical...

here is a list of some of my favorite songs from musicals. songs that, for me, burst out of me when what i'm feeling cannot be expressed without musical accompianment...

1. gimme gimme...thoroughly modern millie
2. i'll cover you (reprise)...rent
3. you should be loved...side show
4. new music...ragtime
5. sarah brown eyes...ragtime
6. i never wanted to love you...march of the falsettos
7. holding to the ground...falsettoland
8. what would i do?...falsettoland
9. not while i'm around...sweeney todd
10. climbing uphill...the last five years
11. stars and the moon...songs for a new world
12. any time...elegies
13. i'd give it all for you...songs for a new world
14. hitchhiking across america...infinnite joy
15. i can do better than that...the last five years
16. still hurting...the last five years
17. defying gravity...wicked
18. you can't stop the beat...hairspray
19. i'd rather be sailing...infinnite joy
20. without love...hairspray
21. make them hear you...ragtime
22. set those sails...infinnite joy

the albums/recordings listed here are my favorite versions of the songs. some of them come from original musicals, but were re-done in revues of the composer (in the case of William Finn's music that i have listed)...

let the music burst out of you sometimes...it feels fucking great.

Monday, September 29, 2008


again, nothing new here...but i'm re-discovering a lot of my music right now...

1.  tall trees in georgia...eva cassidy
2.  nothing lasts forever...maroon 5
3.  the recluse...cursive
4.  stay or leave...dave matthews w/tim reynolds
5.  come away with me...norah jones
6.  in the deep...bird york
7.  hide and seek...imogen heap
8.  goodnight goodnight...maroon 5
9.  this too shall pass...india arie
10.  same old lang syne...dan fogelberg
11.  lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off...panic! at the disco
12.  easy silence...the dixie chicks
13.  making days longer...rjd2
14.  secret garden...bruce springsteen
15.  ex factor...lauryn hill

and...bonus track:  so what...miles davis

i'm not really trying to break a mold here, or introduce new artists...i usually have to look to BFF for the newest music...she's way more informed than i am...but i'm digging on my iTunes library right now...and i like to overshare...

coming soon:  the "musical" edition...

i know you're trying to help...

but fuck you.

and that is what i think everytime someone over the past week has said:

"you'll find someone better"


"there are other fish in the sea"


"at least you know now, and not five years from now"

or, my personal favorite:

"the good ones stay. if he's a good one, he'll come back and stay. if he's not good, then you're better off"

listen, i honestly honestly do appreciate you making the effort to be sympathetic, even though it's a pretty lame and stereotypical response when confronted with someone who's heart is breaking in front of you.

i'm not really looking for sympathy. what i'm looking for is empathy. i'm looking for understanding. i'm looking for someone to look me squarely in the eye and say "dude. that sucks. it's going to suck for a while. it's going to hurt for a while. maybe it won't be a long while, but it will hurt. and it's ok to be sad for a while."

don't give me your typical (and, frankly, outdated) response to the end of a love. it's like you have NEVER felt it before. and i know that's not true. every one of us has had their heart broken. it happens every day. so don't give me your fake sympathy, please.

save it. give me something real.

this is about compassion. this is about looking at another HUMAN being and recognizing that they are in pain, and maybe you should just not say anything at all. i know it's considered 'polite' to share a response. fuck being polite. i don't want it. i am raw and unhinged and sensitive and vulnerable, and all i want is for someone to acknowledge that it's ok to be sad about losing a lover.

maybe it's LA. maybe it's our culture of disposal. disposable cell phones. disposable razors. disposable cups. disposable love. we're NOT SUPPOSED to care. we're SUPPOSED to be able to bounce back right away. we're SUPPOSED to not really care.

well i do care. i spent a lot of time pretending i didn't. but dammit, this fucking hurts. it hurts over and over again in all kinds of different and unique ways that i have never experienced before. i am sad. i will continue to be sad for as long as it takes for me to no longer be sad. i will cry myself to sleep while clutching his t-shirt for as long as i want.

so, thank you. honestly, thank you. i know that this is awkward, me crying in front of you. i know that you aren't sure what to say, and while you may feel pity or sorry for me, please understand that i don't want that. i want you to look at me, broken in front of you, and dig into yourself and remember being heartbroken. over anything. i don't care what it is: a pet, a family member, a broken bike, or maybe your own loss of the person who made colors brighter and seemed to filter the purest sun to shine on you every moment...i want you to dig deep and find that experience, and then i want you to remember what you wanted to hear then. and what you hated hearing then. i want you to find your COMPASSION. i just want this to be ACKNOWLEDGED as legitimate.

and then, if all you can come up with is "there are other fish in the sea"....save it and let me help you.

say nothing. hug me. and if you feel like you need to say ANYTHING, then say:

"i know it hurts. and it might hurt for a while."

the pieces...

it's happening so fast...

the pieces of him, the physical evidence of him, are starting to fade from my life already...

washing the sheets...which means there is no trace of the way he smelled...

using the last of the half and half, that he bought, in my coffee this morning...

even the smallest things...like using the last of the razors that he bought for me at costco...things i took for granted every day that seemed so natural they could be considered silly...they are like a punch in the gut...they were all evidence that he was here...he was real, i didn't dream him...

the things i have to do everyday to go on living will slowly erase him, they will get used up...even though i realize that i have the best parts of him in my heart and my memories...

a year ago today he helped me move my life from san francisco to los angeles. he drove the truck carrying my entire material life the 400 miles to start our life in this strange and familiar town...and so every part of my apartment is filled with him, to the point that even when the razors, half and half, contact lenses, shaving cream, t-shirts, movies and books are no longer here, he still will be...

i don't know how i can escape that.

i still can't believe it's real.

Friday, September 26, 2008

playlist o' weeping...

I've been avoiding music for the past week (seriously, i almost freaked out at a store when etta james started with "at last")...but today I put a few songs on a playlist, hoping to jar a catharsis...

it's nothing new or too creative, but it's working for me...you'll notice that there are several artists that are repeated...these are artists that i have gone to many times over the years for soothing, balm-like relief for any sort of heartache...

1. i just don't think i'll ever get over you...colin hay
2. brightest...copeland
3. breathe me...sia
4. there cannot be a close second...copeland
5. lies...glen hansard and marketa irglova (from the "once" soundtrack)
6. look after you...the fray
7. that particular time...alanis morissette
8. goodbye my lover...james blunt
9. fidelity...regina spektor
10. hold on...sarah mclachlan
11. ordinary people...john legend
12. never is a promise...fiona apple
13. where does the good go?...tegan and sara
14. next lifetime...erykah badu
15. chasing pavements...adele
16. microphone preacher (i write your name on my thumb)...HYIM
17. romeo and juliet...dire straits
18. fear...sarah mclachlan
19. holes...ani difranco
20. my way home...citizen cope
21. when your mind's made up...glen hansard and marketa irglova (from the once soundtrack)
22. samson...regina spektor
23. this year's love...david gray
24. full of grace...sarah mclachlan
25. the entire soundtrack to "the last five years"...jason robert brown

#8 has really been on repeat. say what you want about james blunt, but dude knows how to croon about the end of a relationship with your best friend.

#13 seems especially appropriate right now. and a friend of mine listened to it over and over again when the love of his life left him.

#16 is one of the most beautiful songs i have ever heard in my entire life. it is, literally, poetry set to music. it is one of my favorite songs, and, ironically, it is one that he introduced me to.

some of them are indulgent, weepy, "chick" songs. eh. i'll take it.

i suggest that anyone who has ever been in love purchase the soundtracks to both "once" and "the last five years"...they are amazing.

enjoy. or, you know, sob uncontrollably on the treadmill at the gym. whatever works for you.

what do you listen to when the floor has fallen out from under your life?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

and the waves keep on coming...

when i was a kid, my dad taught me how to swim in the ocean.  how to dive under the waves as they are cresting so that i wouldn't get crushed or knocked around by their enormous power.  

you have to respect the sea, for she is a cruel mistress.

i love love love swimming in the ocean.  there is something so peaceful and freeing about it.

sometimes i even let myself dive under the waves a fraction of a second too late, and i get tossed around like lettuce in a salad spinner back towards the beach.  to give up any semblance of control to a power that laughs at our tiny human attempts to put each and every part of our lives in compartments and analyze every human emotion and thought until there is nothing left of it.  there is something enormously humbling and beautiful in getting tossed around by the ocean.

right now, the ocean is my life.  i dived under the wave a hair too late, and it is tumbling, tumbling, tumbling me backwards. and sideways. and upside down.  parts of myself that were long forgotten or perceived to be overcome are surfacing.

and, just like when i let the ocean toss me, the second i am able to reach the break of the surface, gasp for a breath, and check to make sure my swim suit top hasn't fallen off, another wave is right behind me, and i am under yet again.

i think i'm fine, and then...whoosh.  another reminder.  another calendar entry that i forgot to erase when it happened, marking a social event we had planned, another note, another picture, a toothbrush, or piece of him that i forgot to shove into the shopping bags - compartmentalizing him into nothing - crashes down on my head, and i can't breathe.

this morning, it was a sticker.  a sizing sticker from a pair of jeans he bought the other week, that had somehow gotten stuck to the hem of one of my dresses.  i put the dress on, saw it, and ended up in the fetal position on the floor.  the other day, it was the laundry.  the last load of laundry i will ever do that has his clothes in it.  his t-shirts made me weep until i was shaking.

it all seems so pathetic.  it all seems so melodramatic.  but what you have to understand is that my entire future, all of the dreams, all of the plans, everything i had come to believe was indestructable has been demolished.  those were dreams i never thought i would have.  plans i never believed i would count on.  trust.  gone.

and now...now what?

you have to respect the sea.

right now, i guess i just doggy paddle until the next wave comes.  then, maybe i can find my way back towards the beach.  and someday, i'll be able to swim in the ocean again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

it is broken...

i struggle with some very dark fundamental delusions that nothing good lasts forever. i know in the fabric of my soul that everyone will eventually leave.

and in doing so, i set myself up to fail.

if everyone is going to leave anyway, why should i bother letting anyone in? why should i invest in someone? why should i allow myself to love anyone?

and so i put up walls. they are very high, and they are covered with barbed wire. at the top of the walls are evil little gremlins who like to feast on the souls of newborn puppies.

those gremlins see the good stuff climbing the walls, and report immediately to my brain and my heart, calling in the defenses, reminding me over and over again that there is no point in letting that good stuff get any closer.

and so i have existed for most of my adult life. it's not just about love. it's about work, it's about friends, it's about luck, it's about my karma. but the good stuff that has to do with love hurts the most.

as the love-related good stuff climbs the wall, the fucking gremlins really let loose. they call in every point of attack they can find.

shut down.
do not communicate.
do not engage.
do not call.
do not answer their calls.
make sure you are clear that they mean nothing.
tell them nothing about your childhood or family for as long as possible.
be mean.
be flirty.
be unavailable.
be neurotic.
push them away.
don't let them in.

but damn if sometimes that love-related good stuff isn't stronger than my gremlins and neuroses.

and it gets over the walls.

into the minefields.

and then the gremlins wait it out. they know that the love-related good stuff is gonna try to get back over that wall any minute now. the other shoe WILL drop. and then they can say "see. we told you so. no one wants to stay inside the wall. you're not enough."

and then, when it is over, and my gut is burning and i haven't been able to keep solid food down for three days and i've smoked 3 packs of cigarettes in as many days, and i can't sleep because the smell of him is still in my house, and sometimes in my dreams i catch a whiff of him and my brain says, "dude, it was all just a nightmare, just reach over and touch him." and when i do, he's still gone and will never come back. when all of him that has been my life fits in two nordstrom's shopping bags by my desk, and all that i get to keep of him fits inside a prada shoebox...when all of that is added up...and i realize that the gremlins are right. no one wants to stay inside the walls for very long.

the gremlins get to be right. i get to lose my best friend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

on white slavery and conjoined twins...

ME: come over
BFF: okay are you working from home today. because i should leave now so i can beat rush hour
ME: no, i'm at the office today
BFF: in the valley?! no. you come meet me. i am not driving from the west side in traffic to meet you. you're going against traffic
ME: ok, i'll come meet you in South America. better traffic fo sho.
BFF: just go south on la brea for like, a long time
ME: i can prolly hitch a ride on a coke train or something, or with some white sex slaves down to central america, and pick up a donkey in panama
BFF: HA! sell yourself into white slavery to come meet me for coffee...
ME: STOP IT. i'll punch you in the duodenum
BFF: i will sock you in the ovaries straight to the baby maker
ME: make out with me
BFF: okay
ME: gentle, gentle now
BFF: (whispers) "is it in yet?" (gross breathing in your ear)
ME: EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. nooooooooooo. you just ruined the magic.
ME: now i'm not in the mood
ME: go get me a pie
BFF: I have a suggestion. now, it's just a suggestion. so think it over.
ME: anal? wait.
BFF: we get the reverse siamese twin operation. where we are actually CONJOINED on purpose
ME: that's a different suggestion entirely
BFF: and, anal. but, later after the anesthesia has kicked in. i have a very tiny anus.
ME: i think i'm putting this in the blog. because we are sick. the world needs to know about how sick we are.
BFF: make sure to include the part about my very tiny anus, it's a strong selling point of mine
ME: i'm putting in anal, all the way back to....white slavery
BFF: honey, that should be the title of your autobiography.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

on formatting a free blog...

BFF: i think the dots are cute because they make your blog feel like a nice purse. put that in your blog

BFF: "I like your blog because it feels like a nice purse"

ME: perfect.

Monday, August 4, 2008

a frequent conversation with myself...

um...internet, i have a confession.

i have body image issues.

no big surprise, i know. i'm a woman in my mid-twenties who lives in the united states. in los angeles. in the 21st century. kind of the spawning ground for body image issues.

but i'm not brining it up to place blame on location, age, or even society or culture.

i bring it up because i realize that i've always had these body image issues, and my geography in recent years has served those issues in different ways.

as a college student, my weight yo-yo-ed pretty regularly, depending on my activities, eating habits (i toyed with vegetarianism for a few months, during which i lost about 15 pounds, but then gained it all back pretty quickly), schedule, relationships, etc. i've never been "overweight", but i've had enough cushion for the pushin' to make me uncomfortable in a bathing suit. i also started smoking in college, which, tho i did not realize it at the time, would play a huge role in my weight issues.

eating was not so much a "comfort" in college, as it was pure sustenance. and, given my class/extra-curricular schedule, sustenance usually came late-night in burrito form. not healthy. i did not have healthy habits, and pretty much ate what i could right before i passed out from low blood-sugar in order to continue working myself into exhaustion. at this point, i did not think about my "body image issues" in those terms. sure, i knew i needed/wanted to work out, but there were NOT ENOUGH hours in the day, and i remember thinking "as soon as school's out, i'll get into shape". it could wait. the culture of college allowed this attitude. "everyone gains weight in school". the implication being, to me, that "real life" and therefore "real life habits and behaviors" could wait until after i donned that cap and gown.

i was at my heaviest as i graduated from college and headed to new york. the weight quickly dropped, as i was walking everywhere, smoking like a chimney, and frequently could not afford full meals. heap onto that a healthy dose of loneliness and a splash of depression, and yep, that's a recipe for weight loss for this girl.

eating in new york was a luxury. and, yes, i relished my jutting hip-bones with the same satisfaction that i relished the first cigarette of the day. but, perhaps naively, i still did not see my own relationship with food. even though i was unhappy in new york, i felt sexy as a "skinny" new york girl. the culture in new york, for me, was about going-going-going, about surviving, about being sexy and wearing black (i was ridiculous). it made sense at the time to not be eating regularly (did i mention i was ridiculous). but in all honesty, i didn't think too much about food or weight while in new york. no, i was mostly obsessed with how to make rent...

i maintained my weight pretty well through the san francisco years. the first couple of years in san francisco continued to be lean, financially, which meant that food was seriously budgeted. i was also working anywhere from 2 - 3 jobs at a time, which gave me little time to obsess over my abs, and also meant that i was on the go very regularly, which gave me little to no down time to snack. as the finances balanced, i learned to enjoy cooking and taking my time with my meals. i gained some of the weight i had lost in new york back, but not enough to raise concern. i continued to smoke in san francisco. attempted to quite twice, with little success. i DID start to notice that every time i quit smoking, i would get insanely hungry, and thus i started to fear a bit that quitting would cause a significant weight gain.

eating in san francisco became, very naturally, a part of life. while i still wasn't "working out" regularly, i discovered yoga while living in san francisco, and that helped keep me a little toned, at least. and sane. :) my "body image issues" were practically non-existent, and i remember at one point thinking "thank god i'm not obsessed with my weight. i have enough neuroses". meals were enjoyed, food was a gift and a treat. in san francisco, the other girls i was friends with didn't seem to talk about their weight very often, people seemed more comfortable with and accepting of varying body types. i mean, it's san francisco. it's one of the most politically correct places in the country. i wasn't that concerned. i was also unaware that, apparently, as my mid-twenties approached, i was reaching my shelf-life and that AGE was going to become my enemy (said sarcastically). there were other things to think about. racism! politics! culture! theatre! being active in your community!

that's when i moved to los angeles. um. i don't mean to piss on your silver lining of a cloud, but it's fucking hard to find community here. in fact, it's kind of a lonely city, despite having great friends. i started to SEE myself when i moved to los angeles. and i, frankly, wasn't that impressed with what i saw. surrounded by beautiful actors and actresses, models, ads, hollywood, santa monica (mecca to beautiful people, btw), and the dreaded southern california beaches. i saw myself through different eyes. i felt lumpy. unattractive. started counting calories. complained about my weight a lot to my friends and boyfriend (something i NEVER thought i would do, and god help me, i'm trying not to let it into my relationship). finally joined a gym in order to do something about what i've started viewing as my "disgusting body". obsess over my thighs and compare myself to other women. i had a job when i first moved here that was so awful and demoralizing that i hated myself as much as i've ever hated anything (including manpris. ew) and that certainly didn't help with the self-esteem.

here's the thing: according to the scales at both my doc's office and my gym, i haven't ACTUALLY gained any weight since i moved.

so what's changed? sure, it would be very easy for me to blame the fact that i now live in LA, the capital of beautiful people. it would be easy for me to blame my fashion magazines, which i am OBSESSED with. it would also be easy for me to blame hollywood, with their impossible standards of beauty.

but, you know what? that means i'm not taking any responsibility for myself. yes, i believe there is a double standard about weight and beauty for women vs. men. yes, i believe that hollywood and the fashion industry play a large role in the impossible objectification of beautiful women. however, i also believe that i have some pretty deep-seated self esteem issues that i have never fully explored or worked on. these issues may never have been brought to the surface if i hadn't moved back to LA, and that might have been ok...for awhile. but, as they have now, i suspect they would have continued to manifest themselves in other ways, like, oh, multiple failed relationships with unsuitable partners.

i do not blame LA for GIVING me a complex about my body. i THANK LA for giving me opportunities to balance my life in other healthy ways (like having a successful relationship with a wonderful partner and finding a healthy, successful career) so that i can take the time to view and accept my self-esteem and body image issues.

i now work out 2 - 4 times a week, as my schedule allows, and try to find different activities to keep myself in shape. i'm no where near where i'd like to be. and the issues continue to manifest themselves, especially in social situations that involve bathing suits. but it's getting better, slowly. i'll be there eventually.

my geography changed. the issues didn't. they just got a new niche.


with a chinese lemon chicken baby...

mmmmmmmm....brown rice...


Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Heidi Collins...

i watch CNN every morning as i get ready for work. i have enjoyed, for a long time now, the relatively un-biased, fair, and smart news reporting that goes on. they present the news with little or no unnecessary personal commentary or annoying banter and hollywood gossip that so many local morning "news" shows seem inundated with (especially here in LA)...however, of late, i have noticed a steep descent into the abyss of the local news reporter quality. meaning, the anchors on CNN seem to be getting stupider.

Heidi Collins is one of the many talented anchors on CNN's morning news show. she's pretty, generally intelligent, and usually does a good job. this is a woman who has interviewed political giants such as Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell. She has journalistic excellence awards and been nominated for Emmys. She was a huge part of the CNN news team during the capture of Saddam Hussein, and has worked extensively for Anderson Cooper (silver fooooooooooox). Apparently, she is also an expert in militay and aviation issues. all that said, i cannot overlook the decline in her general attitude over the past couple of months...

specifically, i can't stand her attitude towards stories that, i suppose, she doesn't consider to be "real" news. the under-handed jabs, the comments, the "banter" with fellow anchors and reporters that is supposed to be "witty" but instead reads as mean and petty.

for example: today, she and her fellow anchor, Tony Harris (lovely fellow, a bit chatty, but lovely) were covering the box office numbers for "mamma mia" and "the dark knight", which both opened to impressive showings this weekend. perhaps not the most significant news story of the day, what with wars, presedential elections, the olympics, a plunging economy, gas and oil prices, a global climate change crisis, amongst other notable topics, being on the agenda, but nevertheless, a full 15 minutes was devoted to the box office.

not only does ms. collins spend a fair chunk of that 15 minutes mocking mr. harris for seeing "mamma mia", she (and, to be fair, the reporter covering the story whose name escapes me also participated in this adventure) mocked the whole of the audience who saw "mamma mia". with comments and facial expressions. the general tone of her commentary was that seeing "mamma mia" is totally beneath her.

the classy train didn't stop rolling there, though. because next, the reporter shared with ms. collins and mr. harris that MANY of the attendees of screenings of "the dark knight" honored the occassion by dressing up in homage to heath ledger's joker. the reporter had pictures of these audience members. and ms. collins made fun of each and every one of them. they scared her. they freaked her out. they have too much time on their hands. they are ridiculous.

it was like watching the head cheerleader pick on the kids from the drama club. it was not fun to watch. it was rude, SNOTTY, and downright mean.

listen, i don't watch CNN for your personal commentary or opinions on movies, lady. or for your opinion on any PERSON who goes to see those movies.

it was irritating to me because i can GUARANTEE that most of HER audience went to see those movies this weekend. her attitude and behavior in presentation of stories affects how those stories are percieved and received by her audience, and she needs to keep that in mind and adjust her attitude.

i mean, it's CNN, for god's sake...do your news. she's not even giving an opinion on the movie (which she hadn't seen), she's just making fun of her own audience.

if i want biased and judgemental reporting, i would watch Fox News, and if i want insignificant and frivolous prattle, i would watch the Today show...or Regis and Kelly... i want none of that, which is why i watch CNN.

report on the box office numbers, if you must, and then move on to Iraq, the presidential election, the economy (yes, i understand that the economy, especially our local economy, is greatly impacted by / interested in the box office), the olympics, anything.

but shut up about what you think about joe-schmoe who was so freaking excited about "the dark knight" that he wanted to pay homage by dressing up.

Adjust your attitude, Heidi. It's not attractive and does not do your obvious intelligence justice.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

season 5

is it just me, or are the majority of the contestants on the new season of Project Runway just awful? 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

listen to me!

i have a ridiculous obsession with platform shoes.

this obsession has plagued me since long before the recent fad of designer platform spike heels in neon and crayon-hued colors that are great for both weekend bar-hopping AND for climbing corporate ladders at the office (seriously, how can you NOT respect a woman in pin-stripes and D&G stilettos?) burst forth upon the scene (a fad in which i have happily partaken).

it has plagued me in an almost cruelly subversive way, by creeping into my mind as i shop for shoes (while holding a perfectly pretty and sensible heel with no platform in one hand, and a monster of a platform, with buckles and peep-toes and a contrasting platform - but NEVER in cork - i will invariably be drawn to the platform, eschewing the pretty and sensible heel for an overwhelming urge to tower over every living thing within a five-mile radius).

but why? how? when?

well, i can answer those questions...i can trace the obsession to it's very roots.

it started in high school. junior year to be exact. at the time, i did have a "look"...i had a bizarre collection of anything that i thought looked "surfer" or "preppy"...two looks that do NOT go together. oh how the epic battle between the gap and roxy raged in my high school closet. but, in a single moment, i found what i believed was the most perfect opportunity to blend those looks.

the platform flip-flop.

the 4" platform flip-flop.

the red 4" platform flip-flop.

i wore those suckers every day. not only did i feel, very deeply, that they effortlessly blended my inner surfer with the black capris and cardigan that was one of my favorite outfits, but i discovered the TRUE reason why designers have long tortured women's feet with platforms and heels of all shapes and sizes.

they make your legs look bangin'. and really, really long.

in no way, as a 17-year-old girl, did i need to be making my legs "look bangin'." OR really, really long for that matter. at that age, i had already reached my maximum height, which was well above average, and was consequently taller than almost any male at my high school. that fact remains true to this day. nevertheless, i was in love with those platform flip-flops, and a version or two of them would be with me until well into my senior year of college.

This was my first foray into platform shoes...in college, the obsession grew to include platform boots (ankle, calf, and knee), platform clogs, platform slides, platform strappy sandals, the inevitable (and still glorious) platform wedge, and the Nirvana to my Viking: platform sneakers.

now, this was before i really understood the concept of developing a "shoe budget" for myself. i believed that quantity outstripped quality in terms of importance, and so I took to the DSWs, Shoe Pavillions, and Famous Footwears of the Greater Los Angeles area in search on anything i could put on my feet that would make my legs look longer. I've since discovered that they have really great shoes and deals at these stores, but at the time, my eyes were only for anything platform and hideously ugly.

back to the sneakers.

i cannot, for the life of me, remember what possesed me to purchase these platform sneakers. I bought them on Melrose Avenue, in one of those stores that kind-of-sort-of-maybe sells black market knock-offs of things like Dickies jackets. i was with a group of my quasi-goth friends (it would be easy to blame this on them...but it would be a lie), and i remember one of them buying a floor-length black suede jacket with safety pins holding it together on the sides, with a distinctive dragon pattern stitched in silver thread on the back. the jacket cost $400.

the sneakers cost about $30. they had black suede uppers, with black rubber soles of a height measuring 2". black laces. the soles had a single thick red stripe. on the sides of the shoes, right where you would see a Nike swish or Adidas triple line...on each side...bright red, orange, and yellow flames. that's right. big, bright, obnoxious flames. they went perfectly with the uniform i was required to wear at the restaurant i worked at, and were the perfect balance between leggy excellence i sought in platforms, and the "hard-core rocker" attitude i wanted everyone to perceive me.

it goes without saying that no one, outside of the four friends i was with at the time of purchase, thought they were that cool.

after a while, i didn't think they were that cool either...but the novelty never wore off. after i quite the restaurant job, i wore them for a couple of halloweens, as a joke...but, maybe it felt dishonest to be joking about something i had once been so excited about...long after i'd grown out of my platform boots and flip-flop phase and into the strappy, peep-toe, platform pump part of my adult life, for some reason, the be-flamed platform sneakers stayed in my closet.

until this past weekend, when, as i went to go add my latest (platform, slingback, black) purchase to the closet, i realized that something had to give...and i didn't want it to the structural support of my shoe shelf...so, along with a 10-year-old pair of running shoes and a pair of aged black Steve Madden pumps, the platform flame sneakers found their way to the good will pile...

adieu, sweet friends...

photo to come...