Saturday, August 29, 2015


S     T     E     P

B      A      C      K

Selfie at Clara's wedding.

Pro photographer's shot.
I found gold in the wreckage/
put it on a necklace.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Brownie Batter Oreos

Tired Oreo selfie because Bisque and I just played a three hour game of Monopoly.
There are so many dang kinds of Oreos out lately! These were the only unhealthy purchase in our grocery cart last Sunday. How could I resist, you know?

Authenticity: Yes, these do smell and taste like brownie flavor.
Enjoyment: Yes, an Oreo mixed with a brownie is a good idea. Of course. Duh.
Taste: Somehow Oreo has captured that slightly burnt taste of brownies, which I don't love. I get it's part of many brownies, but ultimately, it gives the Oreo smokey vibes. I understand without this, it would merely be a chocolate creme Oreo. I get it. I'm just saying.

Overall: B+, a good time, but the regular (or even chocolate) Oreo reigns supreme
Idea: I bet these would be EXCELLENT smashed into a bowl of vanilla ice cream

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Getting Paid to Make Things Up

Summer is ending. Cobra was here--an excuse to go to the Art Institute twice in one week. She's en route to a Fulbright and I'm wondering how many people notice I'm trying to pull off gym shorts as fashion. Yesterday afternoon I closed the bedroom door on me, UnReal on Lifetime, and some Oreos. This is August dinner.

I walk longer distances because why not. At rehearsal I say unabashedly, "I'd rather gossip than plan anything." Is the whole reason for doing art the dishing in-between? Eh. Or I go to Kam's studio to gab. Or it is nearing midnight but Tulsa is on the street with his green backpack. He comes over for water in huge plastic cups.

At Cirque de Soleil, our one planned date, Bisque and I see my old castmate. We split a cab home to the Northside. Bisque tells me Wrigley Field is important, and I say "Do not even." because Southside pride is strong. My shoulders are very brown, I notice, when I run in the sports bra only. Fish tummy. A Jar looks good, better than usual. Trimmed and hip. He is so vigorous with life and opinions I think about being a polarizing person and how truly wonderful it could be. I finished my screenplay. This draft anyway, and the things I dislike must come to an end soon.
Paychecks for improv!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Questions Surrounding the Trash Dress

Dollar told us last summer he discovered the local DJ in town was someone named DJ Jeff Buffington. I literally laughed just typing that. I love dancing, and I don't do it that often, so I was on board. So was Tulsa. Even the theatre bartender.

I packed two huge bags for this trip: show clothes, hiking clothes, exercise clothes, casual summer club clothes. It's so hard to be a girl. I fairly consistently don't know what to wear. What does one wear to any given bar? I decided what I'd really like to wear is a trashy dress. The kind all the girls on MTV Real World slither on every Friday. I tell Tulsa at heart, I am a trash person. If I had it my way, I'd be eating daily Taco Bell and listening to Kelly Clarkson on repeat. He didn't seem to believe me. "No I am!" Later I mentioned how much tanning beds appeal to me. He blinked, "Wow. You are a trash person."

There's a huge wreckage store in Maine--a warehouse of granola bars that have fallen off trucks and sport socks for fifty cents. That's where my trashy dress is, I knew. I asked the guys if we could stop there before the show. In the dressing room I tried on two leopard print minis and a hot pink thing with fake jewels for 9.99. Bingo.

Oh, the dance floor was hot and sticky. We had just finished two shows. Time to cut loose. And after lots of sweat and bumping and jumping we were propelled out of the bar by way of "Hit the Road Jack" via DJ Jeff. I liked the Maine air on my legs under a synthetic pinched cape. The one strap and the tight chest piece. It's comfortable for me.

We wound down in Tulsa's room. I thought about the dress, how I kind of wish I could wear it every day. "Tomorrow," I said. "Why shouldn't I wear it tomorrow?" Dollar said I'd look like a freak. "But who cares?" I asked, "You guys know me, and everyone else will never see me again." He shrugged. He was sitting on the floor in the doorway. I am still thinking about this puzzle. Of course I wouldn't dress like a Jersey mouse for a job interview, but why not today? Why would I still be embarrassed. Tulsa says perhaps the mental energy of knowing people are judging you is a time-suck, but who says we would need to pay that mind?

Saturday, August 15, 2015


1. If you think you are incapable of not screwing something up, the news is, you will screw it up. One of my friends dated a very nice, very committed girl and said he only thought it was "fair" to tell her he would ruin things "with bad communication." What do you think happened?

2. If someone thinks you are incapable of a job well done, and perhaps they don't tell you, but they send the brainwaves out into the abyss, what do you think will happen?

3. Beyond belief. Knowing.

4. Because someone told us there would be a meteor shower we stood on a beach at 1 AM watching the sky fall to pieces, waves lapping up footsteps away from us. But last night on the ride home, "Only the Good Die Young" blasting one more rocket shot down across the horizon of chain stores and fir trees. All three people in the car saw it, and I squealed, like "What are the odds we all hit the jackpot together?"
Lighthouse at sunset with my mom and aunt. Maine!
And I don't know what's the right way
to make them see that, see that. 
Cause in this maze, yeah, we're all flames, we're all flames.

Say there is a fire in the dark when I close my eyes 
And it's keeping me up at night and it's making me feel alive
I got a flashlight summoning up the stars 
And it's showing them where we are.
We'll be lighting up the dark. 
Oh oh oh flames. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Grapefruit Body Wash

Was only going to be in Boston for two days, so I used the grapefruit body wash in Bex shower, assuming two squirts would not be missed. I rarely eat grapefruit because it's so obnoxious, but if it's on a brunch menu? Some brown sugar-crusted magic? Sigh, sigh, I have the luck of remembering the first time I ever ate grapefruit. I was 3 or 4 and up tootling around the house as my childhood insomnia had me to do. First stop was usually my grandmother's recliner. Sometimes I could shake her awake and ask for a story. One this night, I'd like to think it was summer, but who knows, she grogged awake and asked if I'd like to try grapefruit. I did because what is that. She took me to the kitchen and explained the two halves, the special spoon, the tartness. I slurped it up. From then on every time I visited her I asked for some, but it was never in the kitchen again.

I liked the body wash so much the day I got lost walking through the city (making a 2 mile journey into 5) I stopped in a CVS to alleviate some of my back sweat and bought some. It's what I have been using here in Maine. A happy, fresh way to start my day. The new cast member Dollar arrived Sunday. I started noticing something in the tub--sometimes my pink bottle was suddenly open. I had left it closed. But then I started noticing sometimes I would walk into the bathroom to find the cap open, then closed, but I hadn't showered. Last night while brushing my teeth I asked both the guys to come into the hall. I asked, "Who has been using my grapefruit body wash?" Dollar admitted it. He seemed embarrassed (?) to be caught in a way that made me wonder if I should have said anything at all. "I don't care!" I said. I just wanted to know. Then, Tulsa: "Wait, what does it look like? Pink? Yeah, I've been using it too." It was like the time Hill and I were hanging out at our guys' house and we realized on the way to lunch we were all wearing the same deodorant. It made me feel gushy, honestly, that my castmates and I all pump the beady syrup into our palms once a day. I shouldn't have said anything, I thought. This doesn't matter. "You can use as much of my body wash as you want!" I exclaimed between spitting my toothpaste out. Dollar walked into the bathroom, picked up the soap, said, "excuse me for a moment," and opened it over the toilet. "No!" I whisper-yelled at 2 in the morning. He put it back. This morning I got the third shower. The pink line was lower.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Last Blueberry Days

TQ texts a text I have been getting a lot lately: “How’s Maine?” I tell her I’m loving it and I am sad to leave. She tells me she’s glad I have liked it, bummer I’m sad, but it’s “good you’re coming home.” I respond, “It’s magic and I get a free brownie sundae every night.” (Everyone on cast gets a free menu item after each show. Most get a beer, or some whiskey. But, oh, not I.) I see the three dots. “Whoa whoa whoa. I did not know about that.”

I learned a lot when I read the memoir of a woman sentenced to life in prison—terrible details,  but the thing that has stuck more than any other scrap is how adverse to change the writer was. Of course she didn’t want to move to a new prison or switch jobs, but she also didn’t like happy change. She didn’t want to celebrate a holiday and have a differently scheduled afternoon. She didn’t want the food schedule to change—even though it’s all disgusting.

My friend Bug doesn’t seem satisfied unless things are changing. Rapidly and harshly even. She starts to get restless three months into relationships ("Can we get married yet?") and can't watch twenty minutes of a movie without also watching YouTube videos. But so many of us, I think, are like the penitentiary’s leading lady. When I first arrived on this lobster island, it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just had to adjust, and that felt uncomfortable. But, I’m a morning person, but these strangers (they seem nice, and yet), but this style of play, and the air tastes much too fresh.

Snail friend on my morning run.
When I took the job I started saying this granola thing about leaving Chicago and clearing my head, kind of knowing it was just one of those things to say--akin to "can't complain" or some trite slop. But low and behold, if you build it, they will come. I feel better at improv (a bit), more centered, special, focused, ready to snip away fat and be. It was a thing I said until it was a thing that happened.

I am not ready to leave. Two weeks from today I will be lecturing, probably about thesis statements, and that image plus the image of me on an island waking up to gull caws and whoopee pie signs is not computing. We performed an improvised musical last night called “Why is my cucumber purple?” and then I thought on the sidelines about those emails I have been meaning to send. I accidentally opened my Bus Tracker app today and almost threw up.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Two Weeks In, Three Week Contract

The green digits square out a 3:40. If this were any other home, in any other profession, we would only be awake because of a terrible emergency. But. Tulsa quotes a Billy Collins poem--the one about angels. The one that ends, "and now it is very late, even for musicians." He gives a resigned smile: "it is very late, even for actors."

The men who have passed through these nail-up halls are all so physically fit. I see a lot of squats happening. In the yard, in the living room, on the deck outside the theatre. They drink ice cube blue liquor on lit patios but somehow eat chard in the morning.

Everyone is working on "projects" that are loosely named and lightly described because it all sounds moronic, but we dare not judge lest we be judged. And sometimes I stare for thirty minutes at this screenplay while the jack and jill door is the only thing between another tortured soul scribbling madly on a pad sketch ideas for a podcast. What possible words in the English language are more embarrassing than "podcast" and "sketch." We all toss up and serve the worst offender of all. "Comedy" we say. And we do bits in the parking lot. Writing that it sounds like a euphemism for drugs, and to some extent we have numbed ourselves and simultaneously depressed. Or upped.
I hope the fences we mended,
fall down beneath their won weight.
And I hope we hang on past the last exit,
I hope its already too late.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

3 3 3

I feel like a quote out of context
withholding the rest,
so I can be for you what you want to see.
I got the gesture and sound,
got the timing down.
It's uncanny, yeah, you think it was me.
Do you think I should take a class
to lose my southern accent?
Did I make me up, or make the face till it stuck?
I do the best imitation of myself.
The "problem with you" speech

you gave me was fine.
I liked the theories about my little stage.
And I swore I was listening,
but I started drifting
around the part about me acting my age.
Now if it's all the same
I've people to entertain.
I juggle one-handed, do some magic tricks, and
the best imitation of myself.
Maybe I'm thinking myself in a hole

wondering, who I am when I ought to know.
Straighten up now, time to go
fool somebody else. Fool somebody else.
Last night I was east with them

and west within
trying to be for you what you wanna see,
but I can't help it with you,
the good and bad comes through.
Don't want you hanging out with
no one but me.
Now if it's all the same,
it comes from the same place.
And if my mind's somewhere else,
you won't be able to tell.
I do the best imitation of myself.
Yes, it's uncanny to see
you'd really think it was me.
The best imitation of myself.
The best imitation of myself.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Since the Days Are Few

Since the days are few
and far
when you can actually turn off
the yakking, the grinding, the lurching,
the smacking, the shooting, the blistering,
the shrieking, the shrinking, the gasping,
the gossiping, the hurting, the whining,
the sinking, the soaking,
when you actually do,
actually do think
with some foreign sincerity
"Things are very good,"
grasp onto the line,
be hooked by it,
take the bite,
lose your cheek meat in the metal,
before you're yanked out of the water,
before you're hanging in the sky,
gills dry, unable to breathe.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lesson of the Maine Grasshopper

My morning run is full of grasshoppers. They sense me coming. They leap aside. Today one little guy jumped a few feet in front of me when he sensed my impending jog. Of course in five seconds, I was still headed right for him. He jumped forward again, even further. But, I was still on the same path, so he had to jump a third time. The little goober went through this vaudeville act like six times before finally, finally--he jumped backwards when he sensed me approaching.

I'm sure it didn't make sense to him at the time. But it was going to be long, tiring road with no rest if he tried to keep up with me moving ahead. A backwards step (or bounce) was actually the best option. And, honestly, from my perspective, it didn't matter which way this bug skittered. What is "ahead" to a grasshopper? To us?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Who Am I to Argue with Spotify Giving Me NFG for my Run?

The needle on my record player has been wearing thin.
This record has been playing since the day you've been with him.
No more long rides home,
no more of your station--
I didn't like it anyway.
Remember the time we wrote our names up on the wall?
Remember the time we realized "Thriller" was our favorite song?

Have I waited too long?
Have I found that someone?
Have I waited too long
to see you?

Maybe it's for the best.
Maybe it's not for anything.
It wouldn't be so bad to take this right from me.
No more long rides home,
no more of your station--
I didn't like it anyway.
Remember the time we wrote our names up on the wall?
Remember the time we realized "Thriller" was our favorite song?

Have I waited too long?
Have I found that someone?
Have I waited too long
to see you?

How many times I've tried.
It's simple to you, so simple to lie.
How many times I've tried.
Blatant mistakes of your design.

Have I waited too long?
Have I found that someone?
Have I wanted too long
to see you?

I've had so many chances.
Turn my back and I ran away.
I've had so many chances
to see you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Choice Analysis

I auditioned for the spring play my sophomore year of high school with a monologue I cobbled together from a Junie B. Jones children's chapter book. I thought it was pretty funny. Not sharp or anything. I got cast in a small role basically based on the directors (my speech coaches) knowing I was a good investment because I worked hard and had potential once I got more confidence and ripped off my braceface.

I told Henne I was cutting more of the book for my Humor piece for the upcoming Speech season. "Boring," he said. "You can do better." I guess it was a little juvenile. And maybe adult male judges wouldn't have the same sheen of nostalgia for girlhood in first grade. I chose something else and had a successful season.

At the State competition, in the final round, another girl performed a cutting of a Junie B. Jones book. She won first place. I got second. What do I think about this? I think I would have been better than her, but really I don't know. I can't know. I can't help but think if we had both done the same piece, even if we had been the best in the round, we simply couldn't have gotten 1 and 2. Really, if I were judging that round, I think I would automatically bump us down, paired together to 4 or 5. I mean, there's a lack of originality at stake, right?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blue Lobster Files

And then I was stuck. Snack to stuck just like that. Twigs that I can't break with my claws? What was it? Tough. Too tough. I waited. Then. Pulled up, up, up out. Sky, air, cloud, peach blob holds this box I am in. Peach blob whistles. Peach blob calls to other peach blob. Peach blogs look at me. I am not afraid. They seem like predators, but I feel, they will not be. Something is out of the ordinary.

Lot of other guys here. Our pinchers magically unworkable. What is this? What is this?

We arrive. I sense arriving. The other dudes are off, slopped together. My legs twinge. I don't feel good about where they're going. The pack of them. We're not meant to be in packs. But not me. Peach blobs get closer, more peach blobs. There is something special happening. I hope I find out soon. Something worth celebrating.

I travel with one peach blob in a mystic cave. A moving mystic cave. I understand light now. For the first time I really see it. In a way I didn't know it could be, without the come and go of wave haze.

Turns out the mystic cave is it for me. Lots of peach blobs. New peach blobs. Every day. And I see them change when they're with me. Something really big is about to happen, this I have known, but I cannot figure it out. I am also very bored. I don't have to look for food anymore, which was nice at first. But now, I'm not so sure. Perhaps in in preparation for The Thing Happening. That buzz of excitement.

And sometimes I am held on my back, and I can't breath, and the blobs--smaller blobs, bigger groups of them--are touching me. This used to concern me, but now anything out of the cave is at least interesting. I'm lonely.

Maybe The Thing will mean more companions. I like one blob. It has whiskers like mine. He holds me the most. I feel comfortable in his blob blobs. He shines with pride about The Thing, it seems. When will this thing happen? This very special thing in the air. What is it? Where is it? A huge guy stares at me all day. We have caves across from each other. "Hey," we wave, but we'll never even see each other without the glassy haze between us. Is he part of the special Thing? Does he know?

How long will I live this way? It's been longer than my life at this point. I don't remember the old home. No matter how many times I lose this clink clank on my back, it comes back. Nothing changes, forever on the precipice of The Thing. That happiness, giddiness, but what, what, what could it be, and when will I know? I'm starting to wonder if I will ever know. What a world! I'll probably never be let in on the secret.
Never knowing,
shocking, but we're guessing.
We're just moments.
We're clever, but we're clueless.