Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blizzard+Caipirinha=No Blogging

I want to apologize for my forthcoming blog-fail. I'm in New York for the next few days, as I have been for the past few, but things are getting a bit hectic and I know that I won't be able to keep up here. I'll finish Reverb10, after the 1st, I'm sure, but it will get done.

In the meantime, I'm drinking my way through the five boroughs. Just kidding, good luck getting me to go to the Bronx. Enjoy your next few days, friends.

I'll be back on New Year's Day with a hangover and a mimosa to ring it all in...


Monday, December 27, 2010

Jumbled A.D.D. Post

I don't know if you guys heard, but it snowed a little bit here in the Northeast. I was supposed to get a ride into the city today with my parents, but they've bailed to stay home, shovel the driveway and play hooky from work. Since NJTransit has also decided to play hooky, I'm stuck here, editing photos and generally trying to get some work done. Sitting in my teeny-tiny bed wearing a hat and hood and listening to James Taylor.

 I woke up this morning and instead of helping my parents shovel snow, decided to take pictures of them in the act. I'm not sure if they were upset or not, but when my Mom sees the picture of her Muckluck boots and pj pants she'll rejoice, I'm sure.

While it would've been amazing to wake up in the city in the storm, I'm pretty glad that I'm here. Only a few of my NY friends are around and it would've been lonely. Sure, my family's excessive noise has moved me to exile in my bedroom by noon, but at least there's food in the fridge. I've been scanning and editing my cross-country photos for the past few days, so I'm going to post a few here:

West Texas-Cowboy
 Edenton, North Carolina-Tree Island
Edenton- Colonial Jail
 White Sands, New Mexico-Boy
 Austin Motel-Bug
West Texas-Water Tower
White Sands- Ford
 San Antonio-Mission Flower
 Mission San Jose-Crosses
 West Texas-Church

Now, to finish up, today's Reverb10 Prompt:

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Ordinary moment, full of joy. Easy. Right before I left New York, I got a babysitting job in Tribeca one Friday night. I arrived and met the kids, a 10 year old boy and a 6 year old girl, and they showed me around their (huge) loft apartment and introduced me to their neighbor. As soon as their parents left, they went over to the computer and put on the YouTube video for "Dynamite". They piled the couch cushions on the floor and began jumping off of the couches onto the cushions and dancing to the song. These kids could move. The moment was a little bit sad because I realized that I was too old to ever do something like that again, even though it feels like yesterday that I was jumping onto couch cushions with my brother and dancing to the music, but more than sad it was just amazing to watch. Pure joy.

PS: For those of you just coming back to the blog world...hope you had a lovely holiday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some Reverb10

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

Proof that everything is going to be alright. Proof. Where's the proof?

Honestly, I don't have proof that everything is going to be okay. I moved to LA, left behind my whole family, all of my closest and oldest friends [with the exception of a very special few who I came to by coming to LA], rear-ended a Vietnamese man whose girlfriend's neck is fragile (whiny bitch), nearly broke my foot, ran out of money, and signed a lease on an apartment right before the roof started leaking.

I'd like to think that all of that uncertainty leads me to this point: I trust myself and my decisions. All of those bad things happened but I'm okay. Those problems are all being solved (or solved as best they can) and the proof that everything is going to be alright is that everything is alright right now. Sure, I cried for several hours almost every day for awhile, but I'm not anymore. And, best of all, while I'm happy to be home right now (this blizzard is really beautiful), I'm not too worried about being upset when I leave. My life in LA is shaping up to be quite nice and I'm actually excited to go back. A few days of snow is going to be enough for me to get my kicks and then I'll be glad to go back to driving with my sunroof open and my arm out the window. Everything will be okay because it has to and I won't settle for anything else. So there.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

This is not easy but I think I've got something.
This is a photo taken from my going away party back in October. I don't know who took it because several people had the camera throughout the night but I know that I was genuinely happy, genuinely laughing and that's who I strive to be. There are hundreds of photos of me laughing like this, but most of them are slightly more forced, which is why I like this one.

December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth and touched your soul?
Well...touched my soul, huh? I ate a lobster that came pretty damn close to shiatsu-massaging my soul back in June. They pulled that bad boy right out of the ocean, put it in the pot, boiled the shit out of it and then plopped it into a paper container and handed it to me whole. I could've eaten ten of them...but I didn't. Oh man, that lobster was great.

Also, speaking of things that were great. I ate my weight in Ricotta cheese last night with the splendid display of Christmas Stuffed Shells my aunt made. And then I couldn't say no to her homemade Red Velvet cake or impressive display of homemade cookies. Needless to say, I woke up at 8:30 this morning to take a spinning class at the gym. Then I decided against it and went back to sleep for another three hours. When I finally did make it to the gym I didn't realize that I'd have to drive home in a snowpocalypse. Follow me on Twitter if you wanna see the snowy pictures. As for now, I've got a long Instant Queue on Netflix that could use some gentle stroking.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Like That I Found A Theme Song

I've been obsessively listening to this song for the past few weeks, it's by Now It's Overhead, a band I only recently discovered. I've listened to the words but haven't been able to hear all of the lyrics. Yesterday I even said, out loud, "if my life were a tv show, this would be the theme song"; this was before I read the lyrics. I just uploaded the scratched cd into my computer to upload to my iPod for the plane ride home tomorrow (oooh technology) and in the process tried to google the name of the song and possibly even the lyrics. This is what I found:

you're feeling caught in a trap
worrying all of the day
always a storm building up
for rain
you want to live in the sun
you're moving to a new state
through mountains on the ocean
just droning open road
just driving you away
just rest your eyes
it's time to let the sirens die off
time to let the sirens rest your eyes
and your head opens up
when you finally say
you won't go back where you came from
no way
from poison fear erosion
just washing you away
from loud to quiet
rest your eyes
it's time to let the sirens die off
time to let the sirens rest your eyes
And then I [guess, can you guess it? c'mon, I know you can!] cried. Because this song doesn't just sound like it could be the theme song to my is.

Christmas is tomorrow...more on that later...
Here's a video someone else made with their d70 taking a picture every 3 seconds. My song is their choice. Must be their theme song too. Enjoy!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two Days of Reverb10

December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

I actually traveled quite a bit in 2010, which is pretty rare for me. It was all Continental US travel, but it was pretty eye-opening, actually. I was in New England all the damn time, it seems like. Let's break it down:
January: West Dover, Vermont
April: Finger Lakes, NY
May: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
June: Rockport, Massachusetts, Westhampton, NY
July: Atlanta, GA, Destin, FL
August: Lake George, NY, Boston, MA
November: Cross-Country Drive- New Jersey; Virginia Beach, VA; Edenton, NC; Charleston, SC; Athens, GA; Atlanta, GA; McComb, MS; New Orleans, LA; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX; For Stockton, TX; White Sands, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Sedona, AZ; Grand Canyon, AZ; Laguna Beach, CA; La Jolla, CA; Los Angeles. Sigh.

(PS: if you count the fact that I also drove through Delaware, Maryland, and Alabama I've been to 19 US states this year. If you count Connecticut, which I've also driven through (plenty) this year, that's 20. That's pretty cool)

Next year? I'm getting out of the country, and I don't mean Canada or Mexico. Maybe Mexico, it's close enough, but I really want to go to South America. I don't know if its in the cards for 2011 (as it's a "saving year"/"building year") but it's getting put in the works for sure.

December 23 – New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

I don't know. I like my name. What does this even mean? I wouldn't want to introduce myself to strangers by a different name. What am I supposed to say? "I'd like to introduce myself as Felicia VonBananapleghm?" Call me Adria, that's my damn name.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just the Reverb10

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

 No no. This is scary. I don't want to do the "five years ahead" question. When I imagine myself five years from now any outcome is scary. Either I'm doing the same thing that I'm doing right now, pounding the pavement trying to make it in "the biz", or I've given up entirely and have begun pursuit of something else (not something I want to necessarily resort to before I'm 30, but who knows) And even worse, either I'll be scarily settled down and like, ugh, married or something, or (even worse) totally not. I've never been one of those people who sets time limits on things. A guy I dated in high school and I once made a pact to get married if either of us wasn't by a certain point in time. He said 27. I said 32. I said no way 27, not in a million years is that my "settling" year. What was he thinking? We spoke recently for the first time in years and he reminded me that our deal time was coming up. I told him to let it go before his girlfriend of three years figured out that he was having conversations about getting married. To someone else. But back to the task at hand, I've never been someone who sets serious time goals about things like that. I believe in giving things time to take their course. My parents got married in their thirties and they're still together almost thirty years later, so seriously, no rush.

Anyway, advice to my current self from the future:

Take your time to do things right. Don't rush into important situations unprepared. Stop being lazy and take the time to think everything through. The decisions that you make now are crucial, not because you're at a point of no return, but because you have the ability to propel yourself to great heights, right now. Think it through, be careful, be cautious and learn yourself. You are your greatest ally and best friend. The support system you've built around yourself is a wonderful one, but it may crumble or prove ineffective, so trust yourself above all. And take your time, please take your time. And stop eating so much bread and cleaning your plate, leftovers will sustain you for longer than you think. Also, be creative and adventurous, your hobbies need to develop now, don't give up on them, they will keep you sane. Keep writing and start saving money, just a little bit, but all the time. Get out of debt and back on top of things. This isn't as hard as you think it is, just put the wheels in motion and it's all yours.

 Advice to my younger self ten years ago:

 Let yourself be the person that you know you are and stop listening to the people around you for clues as to how to behave, you've got it right. Keep writing and stop saving money. Don't let that boy touch your boobs no matter how many times he asks. Learn French, just figure out a way to get it into your brain. Go to France, stay there, don't get stuck in one place, travel and learn how to speak French. Don't get too excited when the boys finally like you, be nice to them and remember that they're just as worried about you as you are about them. Start taking voice lessons and don't stop. And learn how to play the piano. [God I wish I could play the piano] Stop being mean to your parents, they just love you. And talk to your family, talk to your aunts and uncles and grandparents. 60% of them won't be around much longer, so get the good stories out of them now and try and appreciate them and their humor and beauty and life stories.

It's probably because I just took some vicodin (hey, my foot really hurts today), but writing that last little letter totally made me cry. I can't believe how many people I've had to say goodbye to in the last ten years. I don't mean to be such a blueblog (get it, like blue balls? Ugh, painkiller pun fail, that's not even what I meant, I meant such a downer. Aaaaanyyyway...) but I still can't believe how many people have just....died. I know that's life, but ugh. I just miss them. I just miss them, that's all.

Oh, positive note! (sort of?) Today is my Dad's 60th Birthday! He's the youngest sixty year old I've ever known, and happy happy happy birthday to Rich!


Monday, December 20, 2010

A Very Practical Christmas...Season

So in the hours between last night's post and this afternoon's (it being afternoon despite the fact that I'm surrounded by coffee cups and cereal bowls, wearing my pajamas and slippers and thinking its 10 am) I've done a good bit of thinking about what I want to write about. I even started writing a few things in word documents: a vignette that opens with a be-robed (shut up, it's a word) woman standing on her balcony peeling a grapefruit, a ridiculous poem about how it won't stop raining in LA and I don't have an umbrella, and the beginning of a story about nothing because I'll probably just scrap it. So I've decided to write about something else. It being the season of holiday cheer, pine-tree smell (real or fake), everyone wearing dumb sweaters and thinking it's ironic or something, and too much booze with the excuse "It's Christmas!" I figured I'd write about all of that nog-y goodness.

I grew up one of those kids, celebrating Christmas and Chanukah every year. Now before anyone accuses me of over-holiday-ing or says something stupid like "well aren't you Lucky McLatke", which by the way, no one would ever say, but I think it's kind of funny. You know, because Mc-anything is Irish and Latkes are, like, Jewish. Oh maan, I need more coffee. Aaaaanyway, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Sure, Chanukah entitled me to 8 days of "celebrating", but it wasn't quite the St. Nick special. Mostly I wore ugly grey sweaters and received absurd presents from my Jewish side of the family. My parents bought me an SAT Prep guide when I was 12 (yes, 12) and passed it off as a Chanukah present. I was all, "Oh wow you got me homework for Chanukah. The miracle of lights would be if I actually wanted to spend my free time doing word problems. Pass me another piece of fried carbohydrates? Ok, thanks." My aunts and uncles usually sent checks, so that was fine. $20 was $20 closer to that $40 pair of Abercrombie and Fitch track pants, so whatever.

Ah, but Christmas. Christmas was the cats pajamas. My brother climbing into my bed at 6:30 am, talking a mile a minute about the gifts in the living room (the only time he ever talked more than I did), slowly walking down the hallway towards the tree, anticipating the gifts. Nothing was ever wrapped, they were splayed out on the floor, organized into sections, one for each of us and then small sections full of practical gifts for my parents. I always wondered why my parents weren't more upset that Santa wasn't bringing them something more interesting than a new stapler, six pairs of socks and film for the camera. In retrospect, I totally get it: why buy yourself something you don't need to fulfill a charade when you can buy yourself something that you do need and pass off Santa Claus as a highly practical adult who understands the needs of both parents and children. Clever Mom, very clever.

I remember one year, after I knew the secret, hearing my parents trying to assemble my little brother's new bed in the living room to set it up before Christmas morning. That was the first time I realized that Christmas, while thrilling, festive and exciting for me, might just have been a pain in the ass for my parents. Since this moment, every Christmas has been slightly less magical than the last. For several years now I've recognized the fact that Christmas is only magical if you are making it so for either yourself or someone else. Chances are, that magic will be slightly reinstated once I have children of my own and I can see their faces as they come downstairs (or slightly to the left of their sleeping corner in the cardboard box we live in on the east side of the east river) to find all of the gifts that Santa Claus brought them. I'm in no hurry to rush this moment, but knowing that it will [probably] come is somehow reassuring.

In the meantime, I would like to express my surprise satisfaction with television Christmas episodes this year. As much as I dislike admitting that I watch it, Glee churned out a pretty holly, jolly seasonal romp. And of course, of course, my new favorite: Community, knocked one full-on out of the park with their claymation "believing-is-the-essence-of-holiday-cheer" episode. That's all. Now on to Reverb10 for today.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

This year I should have kept better track of things: time, money, events, etc. Sometime around June I went out and bought two moleskin notebooks and that's something that I should've done many, many months earlier. I also should have run another half marathon, or at least a 10k. I said I was going to and then I just got too busy, my plans kept changing and I didn't. Now, with my foot still healing (a lot better already, though) I can't run for another week or two, which is going to seriously impede forward motion on this idea, but I'm convinced that I can do it. I'm going to sign up for a race as soon as I can start running again and I'm going to do it.

Of course I have regrets about the past year, but this was a year of going-for-it for me, which is a new concept. I never thought that I'd be brave enough to up and move across the country (or up and move anywhere away from NY), let alone get a bike to ride around the city (yes, it was stolen after two weeks), order a camera on, buy a car on eBay, and get on stage alone and tell jokes.

Okay, I've had four cups of winter blend coffee already and eaten only breakfast food today and it is now 5:15 pm PST (I've come back to this post since starting it this "morning"). I think it's time to sign off and start my Godfather dvd marathon. I'll leave you with the Hipster Family Christmas Photo that I made my brothers pose for with me last year. Enjoy:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Used To Be [insert adjective here]

 So I just re-read some old posts of mine and I used to be funny. I used to write about things like dreaming about transvestites and working at a desk job and it was kind of funny. And occasionally it was good, too, like that time I wrote about my break-up with New York, or the time I wrote that weird dialogue. I'm enjoying the whole Reverb10 thing, it's allowing for a lot of reflection, but it's not allowing for the same "creative freedom" that I used to have on this blog. Whatever that means.

I want to keep doing Reverb10 through the end of the year, like I said I would, but I'm going to try and go back to my old ways and write some interesting stuff again. The blog has felt a bit "needy" and self-indulgent lately. So, tomorrow expect something better. I hope...

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

I don't know how to answer this. Not one bit. What healed me? I guess trusting my instincts? Does that work? I wish I could say that it was a witch doctor or a German physicist or something ridiculous, but probably just trusting myself. I'd be going crazy right now if I didn't trust that the decisions I've made over the course of the last year weren't the wrong ones.

In 2011 I'd like to be healed further in this regard. I want to be able to fully trust myself.

This question confuses me. I think you need to be a little bit more broken to be healed and I don't feel broken yet...I feel discombobulated and detached, but not broken.

It's Sunday, I can't get my thoughts to congeal.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reverb10: A Look Into the [frightening] Past

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

This comes with a little story. Growing up in the ridiculously competitive suburban town that I did, I developed a sort of backwards, strange complex of inferiority. Since nearly everyone came from well-to-do families, nice houses, and forward thinking parenting, almost all of the kids were go-getting intellectually (of course there were slackers, but not the general population and most certainly not the popular kids), this gave me a bit of a complex. I had good test scores, I loved reading and writing, I took AP History and Literature, I liked learning (mostly), and I wanted to do well in school. I was terrible at math and science, even when I tried, which was almost always. [PS I'm currently convinced that I'm the math version of dyslexic, like number dyslexic. I can't put numbers in the right order or repeat them correctly, it's really disconcerting. But I can add and multiply better than I ever used to...on the up-side I guess). Despite all of the aforementioned information, I graduated high school with a GPA around 3.3 (I don't remember these things, I have better stuff to worry about these days), a pretty good SAT score, and got into a good college. But I just barely graduated in the top half of my graduating class. Because of these facts I always thought I was a smart person, but never thought that I was a very intelligent, very creative thinker. This is going to sound masturbatory [I'll take any excuse to use that word in writing. Any] but over the course of the past year I've realized that most people are dumber than I am. The world isn't like the bubble that I grew up in, the world is full of unmotivated, unintelligent, uninspired, uninteresting people and I am not one of them. Just because I don't really remember what mole day is celebrating (other than my friend Sarah's birthday, and she'd be happy to tell you what mole day is, I'm sure) or how to factor an equation does not mean that I'm not a very intelligent person. I realize that this whole answer makes me sound like a douchebag, but it's coming from a good place, I promise. I really thought that I was not very smart growing up because everyone around me was a self-flagellating overachiever (no offense) so I feel better about myself now.

December 18 – Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

I want to try saving money in 2011. I know people say this all of the time, but I really want to do it. The past few years have been building years, but I need to start saving now. There are things that I want to be prepared for and I don't want to feel like a college student every time I check my Citibank balance. So maybe this means less luxury items in 2011, or maybe it just means working more, working harder and working through more social "obligations", but I think that's a good thing. Everyone here knows I tried stand up in 2010 and it went well, so no more words necessary.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friends...or other 90s sitcoms

December 16 – Friendship: How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

I could write about any number of the unbelieveable, loyal, fabulous, gorgeous, hilarious, smart, successful (okay, not yet but almost...) friends that I have, but all I'm going to say is, some are silver and the other gold, make new friends and keep the old.
That's not actually all that I'm going to say, because I've had a big glass of wine and I'm never one for succinct-ness. One of my favorite people of all time returned to me this year. We spent four years of college together and then she moved to the middle of nowhere for two years and then, in June, she moved to New York and it was glorious. I'd forgotten just why I love her so much and why her friendship held the immense value that it does in my life. Of course, now she's in New York and I'm in LA, but knowing that after two years apart (with only a few short visits) we could still retain our closeness (and even build upon it) was really satisfying. I know that she'll always be one of my best friends and that's a really nice thing to realize.

As for the rest of you...shut up and don't complain that I just talked about her. I'll get to you once I've been away longer, right now it's just a nice break. (Totally kidding, I really miss my friends).

Oh, one more thing before I hit the hot tub (haha, California is hilarious), I realized that you can be friends with your parents. My dad and I are still working on this, but I think my Mom and I are pretty close to the "friend" point. She'll still reprimand me for almost anything, though.

I promise a real post soon. Apartment hunting has stolen my soul. I THINK we've figured it out though, so...time for all of the wine.


Reverb10: Day 15

December 15 – 5 Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Ummm okay, I guess here goes:

-Skiing in Vermont in January
-Easter with my grandmother, before she passed away
-Cross-country drive a few weeks ago
-Just Kids by Patti Smith
-Running the NYC half-marathon
-Afternoons in Central Park...always
-Finishing writing a play at the beach in the Hamptons
-Having a reading for that play my friend and I wrote
-Shooting my scene in The Smurfs
-Hiking in Cold Spring, NY with my friends and my cousin.

I'm sure I could have thought of more with more time on hand, but I think that's a pretty comprehensive list for the year.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reverb10...Day 14

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

 As cliche as this may sound, I've come to appreciate my family in whole new ways this past year. With the sad passing of my last remaining grandparent, I've come to realize that family history, connection, and closeness is not something to take for granted (which I've always done). You only get one family (maybe two if you're lucky enough to marry into a group of people who accept you as one of their own) so you might as well appreciate the shit out of them.

How have I expressed gratitude? Well, to be honest, I've basically just talked about it. My mom and I talk a lot and I've been telling her how much I've grown to appreciate my family over the past year or so and it's something that we're both happy about (I think she is...), and something that I've gotten better about showing to the rest of my family. Showing rather than telling as the rest of my family are boys, and boys don't like to talk about feelings. So I call my brothers more, and I try and have more adult conversations (we still talk about farts and boobies, though. Sometimes.–lots?)

I can't think right now, I'm in apartment hunting hell. What's better, a huge amount of space in a gorgeous, usable loft space with nothing cool in the neighborhood, no closets, a [shared] rooftop pool and hot tub, but plenty of space to put armoires/racks for a decent price, or very limited space in a pretty cool area (although up and coming so not quite there) but with two free parking spots, a great view, and a private hot tub, but also no closets and nowhere to even put a hanging rack and no oven, but with an outdoor patio for a really good price...or living near the beach in a cute apartment for the same price as the loft but with no amenities...but in a great neighborhood near the freakin' ocean. heeeelp?


Monday, December 13, 2010

A Real Post-Plus Reverb10

I'm going to answer today's Reverb10, but I'm saving for later, because I feel like I owe the internet a real post today. Answering the questions has been great, but I would like to write about something else. A list of things that I'm enjoying right now:

1) Cleaning. I know, how plebeian of me. BUT, since I've been basically immobile for a week this place has become a little bit unruly. This morning the foot was feeling considerably better so I vacuumed, wiped down the counters, and started in on the bathrooms. I feel ten pounds lighter.

2) Tom Waits lyrics. Sure, listening to Rain Dogs is a visceral experience, but have you ever sat down and read through those lyrics?

3) Internet shopping. It's not nearly as much fun, no, but since walking around is about as much fun as hobbling down the street while passersby stare and wonder if you're permanently handicapped or just hurt and walking like a lopsided clown–oh wait, that's what I'm doing–, online shopping is the way to go this year. Already got 95% of my gifts for the family...and they're pretty spot-on this year.

4) The anticipation of flying home for Christmas. I know I just got here and I spent FAR too much time complaining about the cold on the East Coast, but there's something pathetic/depressing/mean about a Christmas tree in the sand at the beach and it being 80ยบ. I want to put on my coat, hat, gloves, scarf and red lipstick and whine about trying to get a cab on New Year's Eve. I want to be cold. I want it to feel like Christmas. I want to see my friends. I want to be hit by a gust of hot, dirty, air from a subway grate and smile about it. I want to smell street nuts. I'm just really excited to go home. I know that's bad, very bad, and it will be incredibly difficult to get on the plane to fly back here on January 4th, but I'm still psyched about the trip.

5) Band of Horses. Two years ago, when I first moved to New York, one of my co-waitresses gave me the Cease to Begin album and it still reminds me of December 2008 and makes me crave bagels and working the brunch shift. Never thought I'd say I missed working brunch, but there you go.

6) Terrible hip hop music. That stupid Rihanna song, What's My Name has been stuck in my head for roughly three weeks, and it kind of doesn't bother me. Secret? I love listening to shitty music while driving.

Now, on to today's reverb10:

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

The next step to making my ideas happen is being proactive. I've already decided that I'm not allowed to wait for things to happen, I have to do them myself. So I've decided to spend today writing stand-up and letters, in a public place. And I'm going to make myself look pretty and be social and do this in a public place. I need a few things, in this order 1) a career 2) income 3) some friends, so let's Seriously, I'm going to get off the computer now, shower and eat lunch and get out of here.


Reverb 10...

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Cohesive me. What does that mean? A moment where I felt absolutely at ease in my body? Where I was 100% comfortable as me? This may not have been the year for many of these moments as I feel as though I spent most of the year doubting "me" and challenging the ideals and images I have of myself. Because of this it was difficult to not step outside of myself and judge from the outside in. Normally, I would say that this isn't a practice I would encourage, but I think I need to have been doing this for the past several months to discover important things about myself. This all being said, I've been wracking my brain for the past twenty-four hours to figure out an answer to this question. What I've come to realize is that there is no perfect answer to any question, just an amalgam of acceptable answers to choose from. So I have an answer. Back in June, in Rockport, Massachusetts, after a few drinks [maybe this "cohesive me" shouldn't be the result of a few drinks, but oh well!] I was sitting on the porch at the hotel, across from the ocean, and looking up at the stars. Now, looking at the stars never gets old; it sounds cheesy and storybook, but it's true, it's always interesting. This particular night was especially clear and I was met with a deep feeling of smallness. Over the course of the next half hour or so, through conversation and thought, I felt both uncomfortable in my own skin, and a part of something whole and enormous: the universe.

Rockport, during the day:


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eleven. Or Nine?

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

Ooooh, I like this question. I like it because it's a list question, and I love lists. Eleven things my life doesn't need:

1) Doubt. This is not something that is easily eliminated, but I have to stop doubting myself. I need to be positive all of the time about my career, especially.

2) Melodrama. No one's life needs melodrama, unless you're on a soap opera (and if I get that chance, I'd happily accept). My life has been relatively drama-free, especially in comparison to the past, this year, but that doesn't mean that I don't allow myself to get all Joan Crawford occasionally, and that's what has to stop.

3) Poverty. No, I haven't been living on Ramen noodles and leftover toe cheese in 2010, but I could use a steadier cash flow in 2011. I don't need no mo' poverty.

4) A MetroCard. I'll be in New York until January 4th, so technically I will need a MetroCard for four days in 2011, but I think I have a few old ones. So I guess I don't really need one. Weird.

5) Injury. I'm probably one of the top ten most accident prone humans on the face of the earth. Do you disagree? I'm always bruised, bleeding, or swollen somewhere. I don't need anymore of this. No mas! Do you hear me? NO MAS!

6) Laziness. As soon as I stop being injured I'm going to get my ass in shape. Like crazy exercise shape. And I'm going to be insanely proactive towards the career I want. I'm sick of putting things off, they need to be done now. No more being lazy.

7) Debt. It's not as if I owe a lot of money. But I do owe some, and I want it gone.

8) Comfort. I know this seems like a backwards thing to say, but sometimes being comfortable isn't good for growth, and I've already established that growth is good. I need to feel out of my comfort zone in 2011 so that I can benefit from new experiences.

9) The DMV. I've had enough of the DMV. In 2011 I don't need to go at all and I'm not going to. So take that, the man!

I can't think of two more things, and I think that's okay. I don't think that that's being lazy, I think it's fortunate. Eleven is a lot of things to get rid of and I don't like letting go of things unless it's absolutely necessary, so I'm stopping at nine. I will say this though, my life doesn't need any more loss or sickness. WAIT! That's two more!

10) Loss. My Grandmother passed away in May, I wrote about it here, but she was very old and had had a full, fortunate life. Unfortunately, in the past six years she had watched her eldest two children (my aunt and uncle) lose battles with cancer and that's just not fair for anyone to have to do. A girl that I grew up with but hadn't seen in years recently passed away as well and 2011 is just not going to be like this. 2011 is for growing and living, not for loss and dying. I said it, so it shall be

11) Sickness. I don't want any news of cancer, illness, or chronic anything in 2011. Like I said in point 10, living, not dying in 2011.

Phew, that was a tough one. Be back tomorrow with another!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisdom, Grasshopper, Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

I usually associate wisdom with people like...well, like my parents, or the Dalai Lama, or Oprah, not with myself, so this is a toughie. It's difficult to assess this question because I made so many difficult decisions this year but I'm still not really sure if they were the right decisions. I think that leaving my restaurant job in New York (which was the impetus for this blog, actually) was a wise decision. Sure, I made less money than I needed or ever thought I could live on, but I gained the freedom to negotiate my time on my own terms. If I hadn't made the decision to quit that job I probably wouldn't have decided to move to LA as I would have felt committed to the job (isn't that absurd?). And I'm glad that I came here...I think. No! I am glad. This is very good for me.

The other wisest decision was to start watching Breaking Bad. Just kidding, I'm not that pathetic [yes, yes I am].


PS: Most UNWISE decision of 2010? Eating a macaroni grilled cheese. Macaroni and cheese, between bread, grilled. For lunch. Today.

Recapping 2010-Reverb10 cont.

So after today's post I'll be all caught up with Reverb10, which you guys should all check out because it's a pretty awesome little movement going on!

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

Another somewhat vague answer, but in leaving New York for LA I had to let go of the tight knit community that I had grown so accustomed to. It's funny because yesterday I wrote an answer to this question about how distancing myself from my community had allowed me to see myself in a different light, but then last night I had a mini-meltdown in which I realized how much I miss my community and the me that existed in it. I guess I have developed an appreciation for what I used to have because I no longer have it. In 2011 I'd like to become a part of the stand-up comedy community. This is something that I was beginning to do in New York, but only in anticipation for becoming more involved once I got here, so now's the time!

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

It's very difficult to assess ones own attributes, isn't it? No matter what I feel like an asshole for writing about myself in such a positive manner. But since I have to (and I've committed to this, so I guess I do), I guess I'd have to say that my energy makes me different. I get very excited about simple things and tend to have boundless energy, which makes me, generally speaking, pretty pleasant to be around.

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Honestly, I don't remember the exact date of the party, or what I was wearing or what we were drinking, but I had a party in my old apartment on E 3rd st sometime in January or early February and it was off da hook. Sorry. But for real, it was awesome. I invited a few people over and it just escalated into a full-blown party. All of the girls from the restaurant that I worked at came after work and they brought along with them a few bottles of Montepulciano and one of the regulars...a middle-aged (sorry, the truth hurts, huh?) Italian man hopped up on one too many of the aforementioned Montepulcianos and espresso. We went to the dive bar around the corner and I just remember smiling to the point of jaw pain.

Look at me! I'm all caught up. And my ankle is almost healed. I'm pretty tired, but I'll tell you guys about the time that I embarrassed myself at an art opening tomorrow...


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb 10-Catching up

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

This is not an easy question to answer, but I'm pretty sure I've got it. Last winter I was training for the half marathon in March, and in February my training was at its most rigorous. The race itself was invigorating, but one of my training runs was by far the moment I felt most alive. Since it was winter, in New York, I would run completely bundled up in the mornings. One morning I went out for a seven mile run (I think) and it was brutally cold, the kind of cold that reverberates in your body for hours after you warm up. I ran from my apartment in the East Village down the East River, rounded the tip of the island, turned the corner to face the Hudson River, was blasted with a massive gust of wind tunneling down from the Adirondacks, or Canada, or wherever those wind spurts emerge from, and looked left to see Lady Liberty saluting me. As I continued through Battery Park I ran towards a mime dressed as the Statue behind me. He looked down at me as I passed, smiled, and high fived me.  This kind of encouragement, from a complete stranger covered in metallic green paint, was exactly what I needed to keep going. I had a tradition with myself that I would end runs with a cup of coffee and some sort of breakfast pastry at Joe's on Waverly Place, so I finished my distance in the West Village and wiped the cold sweat off of my face in the tiny little bathroom at Joe's, drank a big cappuccino, and ate my cran-walnut muffin.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

This is easy. The drive across the country was full of wonder, full of exploring, learning, viewing, and breathing in the pulse of each new place we stopped. Discovering the vast history of the colonists, Native Americans, settlers, and natural wonders of America made me appreciate the diversity and majesty of my homeland. I know that we have a lot to work on as a nation, but we have a lot to work with, and, as ridiculously trite as this may sound, I'm proud to be an American.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I let go of a piece of myself this year. I let go of the idea that I always need to be the loudest, most entertaining person in the room. I still haven't completely let it go, but I'm on my way. Letting this aspect of my personality go wasn't so much a conscious decision as an evolution (and a result of deciding to drink quite a bit less), and I still kind of miss the rush of feeling like everyone is paying attention to me and everyone likes me, but I realize now that most of that was a false feeling. It's a sad letting go, but a major part of the growth that I talked about yesterday.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I don't make a lot of stuff, other than in the kitchen where I generally make experiments and guacamole, but if you count photography as making something (and I would) then I made some pretty cool stuff this year. I'm by no means an "experienced" or "great" photographer...yet, but I'm taking steps in the right direction. I bought an SLR film camera and learned how to use it this year (after wasting a couple dozen dollars–not so bad–on developing blurry, half-photos to realize that the lens was broken) and for that, I am impressed with myself. I know it's not rocket science or curing cancer, but it's something that I've wanted to learn how to do for years, so [pats self on back].

I'll finish catching up tomorrow.

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trying Something New-Reverb 10

So I've been thoroughly under-enthused about the idea of blogging lately, as if that wasn't evident. And then on Sunday night I rear-ended some Vietnamese guy in Hollywood [no, that's sadly not a euphemism] and sprained the shit out of my foot, so now I'm in the middle of a car insurance nightmare (mostly because the car isn't even registered in my name yet, it's that new), doctors appointments, Vicodin, and trying to figure out how to pronounce the name of the guy I hit.

My friend Ali (at The Way Ali Sees It) has been doing this whole Reverb10 thing, which is designed to "reflect on this year and manifest what's next" so I figured that I'd jump on that bandwagon and use it for some inspiration in the way of blogging for the time being. I'm behind about a week (it started Dec 1st), so I'm going to post two or three a day for the next few days to catch up. I don't usually do stuff like this, but I was so enjoying reading other people's that I figured I'd join in!

Without further ado, Reverb10

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

 As trite as this may sound, my word for 2010 would have to be "growth". While I still, in many ways, feel like a child, I would have to say that I've grown towards adulthood in a major way in the past year. I learned how to enjoy myself by doing things other than drinking myself into a near coma and flirting with any guy wearing flannel. I also pulled off moving across the country, which I'd say is a major growth. I'm still 5'5", but I'm a big girl now.

I can, with a certain amount of positivity, say that I want my word for 2011 to be "opportunity", or "work". I want to work my ass off next year, but to do so I need to be awarded a certain amount of opportunity for progress. I'm willing to put the work into everything, all I need is a tiny window of opportunity.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

This one is much more difficult. Each day I procrastinate and spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. I'm not sure where all of the time goes, but enough of it does not go towards writing. As most of you who read this blog know, my major pursuit is acting, not writing, however, with the amount of free time that an acting career oftentimes affords a person I would like to be practicing another craft. Everyone knows that you cannot improve upon something that you do not practice, so write, write, write is where my head should be. When I'm not acting or promoting myself [sigh, I hate that part] I need to be scrawling, scribbling, or typing. I let myself get too wrapped up in everyday things and don't sit down to work enough. I must stop. I will stop. But I won't stop cleaning my kitchen. That has to continue.

The December 3rd prompt is more daunting than I thought it would be. I'm going to tackle that one later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Multi-Grain Katy Perry

Gutentag, amici and happy day of rest (if you're not Jewish, in which case, happy day-after-the-day-of-rest). I woke up this morning and made myself blueberry pancakes, which I'm pretty sure I've never done by my lonesome. It was equal parts depressing, tasty, and multi-grain mix. Now I'm sitting on my balcony looking intelligent...
 I know you're jealous of my slippers.

Last night I went to a house party in Venice (if by "went to" you'll accept: stood awkwardly outside on the phone until my one friend retrieved me from the curb and introduced me to all of his already drunk friends who were watching Animal Planet) and as I was leaving, circa midnight, a car with Pennsylvania license plates was coming down the street. I was standing at my car as he passed and the "gentleman" yelled out of his window "Damn! They wasn't lyin' when they said California girls was fine! DAMN!". I wasn't really sure where this was headed so I hopped into the batmobile pretty quickly and locked the doors, u-turned, and got the eff out of there (just kidding, I got super lost and it took me almost an hour to get home). However, yes, however, I felt that that guy was going to drive home to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or wherever he's from in Pennsylvania and have the wrong impression. I thought about pulling a double u-turn and following him to inform him that "they WAS lyin'" because I was most certainly not a California girl (at least not yet...) and that he needn't look further than the great metropolitan city just two (three? one? four?) hours northeast of his hometown to find such fine-ass specimens like myself. If he wants a California girl I'll happily direct him to the nearest Best Buy to purchase the Katy Perry album.

Sayonara, mates! Off to sell cupcakes off of a food truck. Yup. Employment calls and it's a beautiful thing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

All I Want For Christmas is...Christmas?

I bought a shimmery, green, bow at Target yesterday and affixed it to the front door of my apartment and it still doesn't feel like Christmas-time, what do I do?

For the past several years it seems like the holidays get less and less climactic and now that I find myself in a place where I can walk around in a t-shirt dress all day in December how can I scrounge up some semblance of holiday spirit from within? I tried putting on my electric fireplace last night when I got home from dinner, poured myself a big glass of red wine and tried to get all cozy, but that's when I realized that I couldn't drink anymore, shouldn't have driven home because I had no recollection of my experience on the freeway (I think I may have said out loud, to my GPS, "Help, Emily*, just pray that you can get me home safely"), and that I wasn't cozy and Christmas-y, but drunk and on the verge of passing out. Sidebar: I only had four beers, over the course of three hours, so I should have been fine, I just...wasn't.

*My GPS is programmed with an Australian accent and her name is Emily. It's pretty rad.

Anyway, back to my point (I'm going to try to stick to some sort of format from now on, promise), I want it to feel like Holiday time!! I grew up celebrating Hannukah, as well as Christmas, and I'm not even so much as acknowledging the holiday by lighting candles this year. I said that I was going to make latkes, but my "nutritionist"(read: boyfriend) advised against it as I keep claiming that I'm trying to lose weight. So fried potatoes out of the picture, and menorah-less (and too broke to rationalize buying one) I don't know how I'm supposed to feel the spirit of my ancestors.

In the past I've been able to force myself into the holiday spirit by turning on the tv and indulging the endless barrage of cheesy holiday movies, but there's no cable in my sublet (I know). OR, or, baking a bunch of cookies. Or throwing my annual holiday party, with all of my friends coming over and dropping their snowy boots at the door. Or stepping outside into the cold and just simply feeling it. That just ain't gonna happen here. I also don't own any Christmas movies. I tried to buy Love Actually, or Elf, or SOMETHING yesterday at Target, but they were all sold out. I guess everyone out here has the same issues.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with an elliptical machine and later,