Thursday, May 27, 2010

Several months ago I was hanging out with a friend. He brought a few beers over one night. It was that night that I realized my feelings for him had changed. Literally, the moment I opened the door and saw him standing there. Later in the evening, I saw a bottle cap from one of his beers. It had a phrase on the other side.

"Here Now"

That phrase has incredible significance to me. When I saw that cap, I thought, this is a moment I want to remember. This is a guy I want to be with. But does everything have to have significance? Can't this just be a bottle cap?

I think a reason it hit me so hard was because of the weight behind that phrase. It was something M and R used to say. We all adopted that phrase. Be here. Now. Be present in this moment in your life. Here. Now.

He called me as I was about to go in to a shift at Papa Johns.
"I need you."
"Are you okay?"
"I just walked home from the hospital."
"I'm on my way."

I had to call Worst Mistake and have him cover for me. I remember standing in my parents kitchen. Not knowing what had happened, but knowing it was bad. I remember the phone cord was really long. I went to his apartment. His door was unlocked. Open. I walked in. He was on his bed, which has always just been a mattress on the floor.

She'd had a seizure. I found out later that she'd been bulimic for years. She'd told him that night. She was in a coma in the hospital. They'd been at his apartment. He had to call 911. They walked him through basic life support until they could get there. It was Halloween. Her heart stopped twice. Once in the ambulance and once in the ER. They had to shock her. He watched it all. I can only imagine what that must've been like for him.

We went back to the hospital and pretty much stayed there for three days. I remember walking the long corridor to her room. We hated that walk. It was this weird honeycomb shaped hallway. Sort of sectioned off. We just wish it had been one long hallway. At one point, I took him out to eat. I can't remember where. Some chain like a Chilis, but it wasn't Chilis. He ordered food, then laid down in the booth and cried. Our waitress dropped our food off and looked at him and then at me.

"Please bring us a To Go box. I don't think we'll be eating here."
"If you don't mind my asking, what's wrong?"
"His girlfriend is in the ICU at Good Sam."
"Oh. My husband's best friend was there 8 months ago. Motorcycle accident. I really liked the layout. The way it curved like that. It gave you privacy. I hope your friend is okay." She wasn't.

Wow. I never realized that. It make the walk better. To see it from a different perspective. Our waitress smiled. Left the check, and went about her business. I looked at the name on the ticket. Angel.

On the way back to the hospital, I parked in the parking garage. I missed the first available spot b/c I wasn't paying attention. The second spot was slightly tight, and I just didn't want to bother with it. The third spot that was available was just right. And it was directly next to her car. Her parents had flown in from NY and were driving her car. Of all of the spots in this giant parking garage, the first one I took was next to hers.

See, I feel like I've been show certain things in my life. Running in to that waitress was no accident. Her name? I mean, come on. And the fact that she had a story about that particular ICU. A story which made it easier to walk down that horrible hallway.

A few years ago my dad had major heart surgery. We had to drop him off at the hospital the night before for lab work and prep. My sister and mom had gone off to get something to eat.

"I can't believe how strong you are at the moment. I need you to be strong for your mom and your sister."
"If they could see things the way I could, they would know there was nothing to worry about."

He'd been diagnosed with Marfan's Syndrom a few short months before. It was before the first snow fall. Before he ever had to shovel the driveway. Before they started moving into their new house: carrying boxes; going up and down basement stairs. So many things that could've killed him. They wouldn't have found it in time if he was just going to die on the operating room table. I knew that. I knew he would be okay.

Like I said, I can see things. Here Now has been a huge mantra in my life. To find it on a bottle cap about an hour after I realized I had feelings for someone was quite a shock. I hadn't thought about R in a long time. I hadn't thought about those three days. Was I reading more into that bottle cap that is there? Does it have to have significance? Why does everything have to mean something?

Because it does mean something.

To me.

Be here. Now. In this moment. Don't worry about what's behind you. Don't agonize over the future. Just breathe. Be present.

I pulled a muscle during my work out this morning because I haven't done strength training in over a week. So I decided not to spin. Which is fine b/c I'm still healing from a very important lesson learned last week: don't spin within 24 hours of a wax because YOUR SKIN WILL PEEL OFF. I took a shower at the gym and one of the zippers on my bag broke as I was getting my stuff. I get out of the shower and realize I forgot to pack a clean shirt. So I have to put back my nasty, sweaty work out shirt on over my clean skin.

It's not even noon and this day has already bested me.

You win, Day. You win.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hug Attack!

There's a guy in my complex who has a dog. He's a nice enough guy. I first met him a few months ago and we chatted for a bit at the mailboxes. He invited me over to have dinner sometime with his girlfriend. I never went. I've seen him a few times since them--no big deal. He knows I do improv and I've mentioned that my only friends in Austin are improvisers. He says I should come out with him sometime and he'll introduce me to other people.

The last time I saw him was a little creepy. Previously we'd been around the complex; not directly in front of my building. This time I had my dog and I ran into him with his. We chatted for a bit, but I really have nothing to say to this dude. As I'm walking up my stairs, he says, "You're looking good." Like it was a throw away line. GROSS! It was totally creepy. We'd sort of already said goodbye and I was walking away and too much time had passed for him to say something. Anyway, that kind of freaked me out. Especially since he watched me walk into my apartment.

Yesterday I ran into him again. Again, polite chatter, but I needed to get moving. He comes at me and I think we're gonna shake hands or something, BUT HE HUGS ME! I do the polite pat on the back and scoot away as fast as possible. I was totally unprepared for that hug. What do I do now??! We've hugged goodbye once. Now he's going to expect that. How do you turn down a second hug? Now I'm paranoid whenever I take the dog out. Ohdeargod I hope I don't see this guy at night.

OK, so this it not a rhetorical question. What do I do the next time I see him if he goes in again for the hug? How do you say to someone, "I'm sure you're very nice but I don't know you that well and don't feel comfortable hugging you."? I mean, there's no way for this not to be weird. If I don't say anything, I'll get hug attacked. If I *do* say something, it will be super awkward. Man, I cannot remember a time I was hugged against my will.

Maybe he is cyberstalking me and reads this. If so: PLEASE DO NOT HUG ME. IT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I will, it seems, never learn. Last paycheck was about half of what it normally is because of the fire above. I couldn't work for an entire week. Last week was a new week, but I had improv literally 7 nights in a row, plus teaching, coaching, and training sessions. So I only did the minimum amount of work. Every Friday I say I'll just work 5 hours each day for the weekend. That way, by Monday I'll have almost hit my minimums. If something comes up during the week, I can go to that. Duke has invited me to hang out on his days off a few times, but I'm always scrambling to get my hours in. This weekend wrapped up my crazy improv marathon, plus Nanna was in town. So I didn't work one drop until Monday. I was able to get in 7.5 hours when I was kicked off the system. My claims are stored on the common drive. I can't process claims if I can't access the common drive. I emailed our IT guy and my supervisor to let them know I was having problems. Then I shut everything down and figured it would re-set itself over night. Sometimes it does that.

Not this time.

Marlynn called me the next day to let me know our server blew up. Everything is down. Our IT guy had been working all night trying to fix it b/c he had jury duty the next day and wasn't going to be at work. Turns out it won't be fixed until Friday at the earliest. I'm crippled. Marlynn is overnighting me claims. It is 3:07 and they have not arrived. I have to pick up the dog from his last day of training, walk him, shower, and coach tonight. My processing time availability for the day is fast departing. I can work a full 10 hours tomorrow, but that won't be enough to hit my minimums. My next paycheck is going to be super small, as well. And yet I'm hemorrhaging money. I just dropped close to $1800 on another round of personal training. At the end of the month-once class and high school is over-I'm going to sign up for dance lessons. If I were working a full 40 hours a week, which, by the way, isn't hard, I would not be worried about spending all this money. And yet, I am super lazy and not motivated to get stuff done.

Something has to change. But what? How do I get out of this rut? How do I manage my time better? If only I'd worked 4 stinking hours a day over the weekend, I'd be at my minimums and I wouldn't be worried about my paycheck. But no. I'm slacking and having too much fun. Fun isn't wrong, necessarily, but when it's getting in the way of daily responsibilities, it should be reigned in a bit. I have several mini-vacations coming up: LA, PHX, NOLA, and even an overnight at a spa. I have PLENTY of down time. And yet, I can't quite seem to squeeze in work. I love my job. I love the flexibility it affords me. I just can't seem to get a handle on it. I remember Barb saying she'd never telecommute again. She'd tried it several years ago. "I'm just the type of person who needs the structure of an office." I think I might be that type of person. So how do you change who you are?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Man, Improv and I are just not clicking this week. Last night was my worst NSL show. The night before was our worst GG show. Tonight I have another GG show with LAFF. Hopefully that will go better. Well, ya can't be on all the time, I guess.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

who looks at my flickr account? why do i go from 1 view one day, to 150 views the next. i'm just curious as to who is browsing through my stuff.

in other news: this work week is over. tomorrow starts a new pay period. thank god. this past week was insane stress for me. friday i am going to enjoy a hardcore work out with jenny followed by some spinning. then katie and i are gonna walk the dogs. then i'm meeting liz for happy hour. and i have a late NSL show. next week will be better than this week. i'm willing it so.

everything hurts

There are a lot of retired people at the gym in the morning. I look at the old women and wonder what I'm going to look like when I'm in my 60s. They're so cute in the group classes with their little friends and their pastel colors. The men are just as adorable. One guy today was walking the track in a plaid shirt and khaki pants. I just wanted to give him a hug!

I think I'm gonna make a cool old lady.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

trying to remember my dreams last night. they were weird. the first one i was living with faith in a bungalow-type place. i got up to feed the professor, and i saw there was different food than what i put out. i fumbled around in the dark until i found the living room light. when i turned it on, there was a huge dog and bunny rabbit laying on an ottoman. in the middle of the night, the apartment complex had broken in and delivered these two animals at the request of a friend who wanted me to look after them for a while. most of the dream was spent trying to track down that friend b/c i just didn't have time to take care of another person's responsibility. oh, and my bedroom light wouldn't turn on. i think i spent a portion of the dream trying to change lightbulbs only to figure out that it was really a short.

the next one was an ocean dream. i had my surf board and the boston boys were there. it was this enclosed place: short beach that you had to go through these giant steal doors to get to, then water, then jungle. and there were so many people around. i swam out against the waves, trying to get to this dock at the back by the jungle. once i reached the dock, i knew i'd be able to surf. the water was clear and nice. one of the waves came quickly after the second, and i didn't have enough time to surface and catch my breath. i thought i was going to drown, but at the last minute i was able to pop up. i made it to the dock, and the boston boys & a few other improvisers were there. big sam, i think. i just remember chaz saying he thought i would do really well, but i was afraid to stand up on my board b/c there were so many people around i didn't want to accidentally hurt anyone. so i swam out to a place where there were no people. to the far left was a testing area for some government program. the middle was off limits. so i was restricted to the original area. when i got back, the water had drained. everyone waited around for a while until an announcement was made that they shut off the ocean. we trudged back in. someone had let my dog out, so i had to catch him. then there was something with a criminal and i was an FBI agent (which i had apparently been all along) and i had to chase him for a really long time and there was a nuclear blast that i lived through b/c i found a metal roof top to a shed that i held up.

weird dreams. still not enough sleep. went to bed around 12:30 then i woke up at 5, 6, 7, and finally got out of bed around 8. boo on that.

Monday, May 03, 2010

tonight was a fun show. i think matt, patricia, and i can only get better. hopefully we'll have more opportunities to play in the future. i felt like my personal performance could've been better. at one point i realized that a couple of my characters held her hands in the same manner. nitpicky, yes, but it bugged me all the same. and i could feel myself slouching. i've seen several pictures from past performances where i'm slouching. do i slouch in real life? i hate slouchers. i don't want to be one.

i wanted to hang out after, but i was a ride giver to someone who needed to get home. which is better, anyway, the more i think about what this week entails. class, rehearsal, and a training session tomorrow. high schoolers and rehearsal wednesday. GG show and training session thursday. on top of all of that, i need to squeeze in a minimum of 5 hours of work/day. i'm so far behind in my emails and referrals it's daunting. stupid fire above me keeping me from work for an entire week. hopefully i can fall asleep tonight. i've been having problems with that, lately. but, to be fair, a couple of nights ago it was due to a long phone call back west.

i spoke with faith today and perhaps wasn't the nicest. there has only been one other time that i've stopped her in the middle of telling me something to let her know i can't hear about it anymore. this time was her latest weight loss scheme. when she gets back from cannes, she's going to do this crazy 500 calorie/day plus some kind of pregnant woman supplement for like 28 days. yes, you will lose weight, but it is ENTIRELY UNHEALTHY. i was a nutritional counselor in ohio. i have been extensively trained in what the body needs to survive. plus, i find it an interesting topic and have read several books. and having personal trainers on and off for my adult life has given me an insight into that, as well. so when i hear that my mom is doing some crazy cookie diet instead of eating well and exercising, and faith is going to basically starve herself for a month and take some pills, it's really hard to take. once you go back to eating normally, you will gain it all back. BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T CHANGED THE HABITS THAT GOT YOU THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. *and* it's really hard on your system--your heart in particular--to do that. if you're going to be so restrictive, you literally need to be checked on every week to be safe. she already has a bad relationship with food in her past. i worry about what she's going to do to herself. LA is a really hard place to live. i watched sarah b who is THE SIZE OF MY LEFT LEG I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING poke her belly while looking in the mirror--upset at what she saw. THAT'S WHERE YOUR ORGANS GO. YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY BE ANY SKINNIER. i'm so glad i'm out of that place. i'm a pretty average size girl, but i was definitely on the big side in LA. it's depressing to go into an audition and out-weigh everyone by 20 pounds. so, i know she feels that pressure. i just wish she'd be smart about it.

and my mom is killing me as well. i flat out asked her why she didn't just change how she ate, and she said it was because she didn't want to. fair enough. but when you're on a ton of meds, if you add exercise to your daily life and cut out the ice cream, it can only help. i remember johnny telling me how he'd take a shot of insulin so he could eat a stack of pancakes. THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S FOR. guys, i love you. you are my family. please stop killing yourselves. it makes me sad. to my mom's credit, though, she emailed me this morning to tell me she started her thing and that she also worked out today. i hope it's one of those "if i can only lose 10 pounds that would help jump start me to healthier ways". that's definitely how it's been for me. i've been working out with a trainer for 3 months now, but i haven't really changed the way i eat (which resembles a crazy sugar addict). after the first 6 weeks, even though i hadn't dropped a pound, i'd shed 2% body fat. that felt good. and saturday i weighed in the 150s, which i haven't seen since 2008. so, it's been much easier recently to stay focused and not scarf down all of the donuts in a 5 mile radius. my clothes are fitting differently. i'm feeling better. i'm gaining more confidence. i guess i just want to be a good example for mom and faith. i want them to be healthy. i want us all to be healthy. throwing a pill at the problem doesn't fix the problem. sometimes it can make it worse.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

April was not a good month for my friends in relationships. Lindsay and Chris called it quits for the last time. He's moving to Spain for a while. Then, a few days ago I'd noticed the wife of a friend of mine posting FB status updates like, "I found an apartment." So I emailed my friend questioning the use of "I" instead of "we" and found out they're divorcing. This morning I woke up to an email from a close girlfriend of mine letting me know that she and her boyfriend broke up *and* her father passed. Holy cow. Slow it down, Universe. (ETA: yet another divorce between two acquaintances of mine--found out tonight.)

Last week my parents and I had the What Are You Doing With Your Life talk. I told them I'm doing exactly what I want to do. My job is something that pays the bills--it's not a career. Improv is not a hobby, it's what I do. If that paid the bills, I'd do it full time. But it doesn't. I'm more creatively satisfied at this point in my life than I have ever been in the past. I feel that the work I've been doing lately has been good and I really love teaching. I'm happy with my apartment and dog. But, in a way, I feel like I've let them down. I know they want me to have a family and get married. They've never pressured me about it, and for that I'm thankful. But I've always known I'd never have the "traditional" life they thought I'd lead. I mean, even as a kid the way I was taught life goes is you go to college, get married, and have a family. That's not the path I followed. Almost none of my friends in the entertainment industry are married, while almost all of my friends outside of it are.

And now L & C aren't together anymore. I think they were sort of pinning most of their expectations on her--maybe not consciously. Now they have two single daughters who don't exactly have marriage at the front of their minds. I suppose I feel like I'm a bit of a disappointment. Which is ridiculous, yes. I know they're proud of me. But one thing my folks want in their lives is a grandchild. I never made the connection before that my choices can affect my parents in that way. Again, they've never voiced this to me before, but I could hear it when we spoke. When I told them that this is it: I'm doing exactly what I want to do in life. They were like, "Oh. OK. Well, good, as long as you're happy." I am. I *am* happy. I am doing *exactly* what I want to be doing with my life. I wish I could give them what they want, but I can't. Hopefully they can settle for pictures of the dog.