12.24.2007

joy in your heart vs. poke your eyes out

What is your favorite holiday song? Mine: O Holy Night. I am not at all religious, and it still makes me cry. Just read this as if for the first time: A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices; for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. I just cried a little typing it. What do we need more than anything if not a new and glorious morn to break?

Least favorite? Mine: I don't even want to tell you, because it'll get stuck in my head. Maybe I can sneak up on it; let's see. ... Little Drummer Boy. Quick! Sing something else to banish it before it takes root!

12.14.2007

fell off the wagon, but will hitch a ride to meet it at the next pit stop to climb back on

Where've you been?
KIDDING!
I'm know it's me who's been gone so long.
C'mon baby - don't be like that.

The Women at ACT Theatre closes this weekend. From Sept. 11 to Dec. 16. I think it's like 80-85 performances total. 8x/week in addition to holding down my day job (p/t job, but still). I can count on one hand the number of pure days off I've had in that entire 3 month period, and most of those have been in the last 2 weeks. Not complaining, mind you, BUT! It'll be nice to have my regular life back starting next week.

Quick health & fitness update:
=>My weight has stabilized at 144/145 lbs. I'd like to drop another 5 or so.
=>My workout routine is solidly out the window and has been for 3 weeks now. Zilch. I've been a very bad girl. I have many theories & reasons, many of which I hope to amuse you with as soon as I can get some goddam sleep.
=>In January, I will begin training for an August triathalon. That should kick my butt into gear.

Gotta go ... I'm at my day job right now, and I mainly stopped by to let you know about a new DIY venture of mine ... check out my new-found craftiness at www.hardwearables.com.

I love you. I really do. Seriously! Come back here!!!

12.13.2007

why hello there stranger

Where've you been? KIDDING! I'm know it's me who's been gone so long. C'mon baby - don't be like that.

The Women at ACT Theatre closes this weekend. From Sept. 11 to Dec. 16. I think it's like 80-85 performances total. 8x/week in addition to holding down my day job (p/t job, but still). I can count on one hand the number of pure days off I've had in that entire 3 month period, and most of those have been in the last 2 weeks. Not complaining, mind you, BUT! It'll be nice to have my regular life back starting next week. I have so much to spill about the experience, but you have to be patient just a little while longer. (As if you're on the edge of your seat, right?)

I'm at my day job right now, and I mainly stopped by to let you know about a new DIY venture of mine ... check out my new-found craftiness at www.hardwearables.com.

I love you. I really do. Seriously! Come back here!!!

10.22.2007

tiddlywinks

I am the most tired I remember ever being while simultaneously being in an incredibly good mood.

An incredibly good mood does not necessarily equal patience with others when I'm this tired.

It wasn't until we were up & running fully after opening night that I realized ... I'm not in this play very much at all. I'm not complaining, mind you. It's just interesting that the rehearsals were deceiving. Time spent in the rehearsal room did not equate to onstage time. It did, however, correlate to time spent changing my costumes & wigs

When I'm tired, I pretty much eat anything I crave.

I've finally passed some magic threshhold -- I feel way worse when I don't work out than when I do.

Riding the bus is actually easier than driving & parking.

I miss you all terribly. I am sad to miss you, but I'm having a ball.

9.22.2007

hard habit to break

Ego is a funny thing, isn't it? It comes on unbidden, to the best and worst of us. It has many flavors. Sometimes it's called self-esteem, and it reminds us that we actually are pretty great. Go a little further down that road and you run into self-importance, which makes others want to punch you. Keep going until dawn and you enter megalomania ... a hateful land where nobody will come visit. Backtrack and head the other direction and pretty soon you'll find pride, which is a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there. And make sure you don't take a wrong turn into self-righeousness! Winding through the entire land is the river of insecurity.

I loved mixed metaphors.

Oh shit, I forgot I had a point. Don't go yet!

I have a very small part in this play. So small that even though I play 3 parts, it's still small. I'm just about 37 years old (years young, rather - YEAH!). I've been around this town for almost 15 years, and I've worked as an actor the entire time. I'm a good actor (pardon my self-esteem), and yet I play leads & supporting roles on the fringe for no money and (if I keep up this rate) bit parts in the big houses once every 10 years. Not exactly the vision of my life I held 10 or 15 years ago. What happened to my bright acting career? Haven't I paid my dues? What about fame and fortune? Actually, screw those witches Fame and Fortune -- what happened to eking out a living by acting?

Here's the thing though ... I don't actually feel these things. Not really. It's only a residual memory my ego has retained - a Pavlovian response. It's not real; it's not accurate. It might have been 5 or 10 years ago, but my life and loves and desires are so different now. I'm content, I'm happy, I'm centered. I love my day job, I love having health insurance, I love having money to buy things and living in a nice place. I love traveling whenever I want to. I adore the freedom of not being a professional actor.

I am thoroughly THRILLED to have some bit parts in this show and to work with amazing people and to get paid for it. It's a blast, and I freakin' love my 15 castmates, 12 lines, 5 costumes and 4 wigs. I don't expect it to be my big break like I did the last time I was in this position. I am delighted simply to have this experience in this moment in time, and that's absolutely true. But I have to remind myself of this. When you want something for so long - or think you do - it becomes a habit.

Not to say that I wouldn't also adore being a professional actor.

Human beings are complicated.

9.21.2007

gymming it

The facts, in cold hard numbers. Numbers do not lie, my friends.

11 = days I've belonged to a mainstream membership gym.
8 = days I've worked out at the gym since joining.
3 = days I didn't feel like working out, but did anyway.
1 = days I didn't feel like working out, and went home instead.

Not freakin' bad, if I do say so myself. Oh, and I do -- as often as possible.

I miss Cody terribly, of course. It's a lot easier when there's someone there pushing you and expecting things from you. But I'm proud thus far that I've stuck with it all on my own.

older. wiser?

The facts, in cold hard numbers. Numbers do not lie, my friends.

11 = days I've belonged to a mainstream membership gym.
8 = days I've worked out at the gym since joining.
3 = days I didn't feel like working out, but did anyway.
1 = days I really didn't feel like working out, and went home instead.

Not freakin' bad, if I do say so myself. Oh, and I do -- as often as possible.

I miss working out with Cody terribly, of course. It's a lot easier when there's someone there pushing me and expecting things from me. He's there in spirit, though. Some days what gets me into the gym is the fact that I don't want to have to tell him that I slacked off. Also, what would all that money and hard work have been for if I'm just going to dump it?

I make deals with myself: "I don't want to go work out." "I know, but you'll feel better." "Not today, I won't. I really think I should take the day off." "Alright; that's cool. Just go and do 15-20 minutes on the elliptical. C'mon - it's right around the corner! Then go home." "Seriously, lay off. I'm not in the mood today." "Alright. It's your money." "OKAY! GEEZ! I'll go! But just 15 minutes on the elliptical." Then of course - 15 minutes on the elliptical, and I feel great and want to keep going.

There is a pride thing at gyms, too. This gym is pretty mellow - friendly, diverse, no attitude that I've noticed. Pretty much it's not crowded and people leave each other alone. But still --- once I'm there and on the floor, my vanity won't quite let me retreat to the locker room after such a short time. What might people think? Of course, they wouldn't think anything - who am I that they'd give a shit? But it just seems lame to go to a gym and then not do a full, adequate work out. I can't stand to think I'm being lame.

Damn that Cody! Now that I know better, there's no going back.

9.15.2007

hear me roar

FACT: There are more female actors than male. FACT: There aren't as many parts written for women as men. FACT: The pecentage of "quality" roles narrows down the field even farther in comparison.

Every actress in every city in every format in every genre knows this line up & down. Most of the time, we (actresses) know each other through auditions - and, of course, almost always reading for the same roles. Can you imagine the company meeting the first day? There was about 100 people in the room, introducing themselves and what they do. "Peggy Gannon, actress." 16 of us out of 100, "So-and-so, actress." Not an "actor" to be found. I cannot tell you how thrilling it was ... you don't know you've been missing it until you get it. And in spades, baby! Sixteen beautiful, talented women, most of whom I've watched and admired for countless years.

I've been very lucky in this regard - I've been in several all-female shows in the last few years, and it looks like I've got another one coming up this year. The difference is subtle but extraordinary without male actors in the room. I'm not sure I can even put my finger on it enough to explain it to you in words. A different energy? Certainly a different style of communication.

9.14.2007

breaking up is hard to do

Cody and I are taking a break. I know, right? Don't cry.

Actually, I just started rehearsals for a professional theatre show in addition to holding down my day job (with the blessings and help of an incredibly accommodating job-share partner). The fact is, no matter how much I adore working out with Cody, I simply do not have one day free until mid-October. In a lot of ways, the timing of this has worked out brilliantly. I was starting to feel like I needed to stumble out of the nest to see if I'd fly on my own. Not whether I can fly, mind you, I know I can. But would I? Or would I rather just choose to land on my couch with a bucket of cheese? Well, now I guess I get to find out.

Sink or swim, baby! Sink or swim.*

*I can preliminarily report that I'm actually more like treading water right now than sinking or swimming. Not bad, but I gotta step up my groove. I got big plans. More soon.

9.13.2007

like no business i know

I started rehearsals Tuesday for my first professional show in ages. Saying this, naturally, makes me want to tangentially debate myself regarding the use of the word "professional" when applied to the theater, but I will leave that for the bar -- presumably after a few drinks. For simplicity's sake, I mean a decent wage-earning acting contract at a large Equity theater. Obviously, I've given up giving up acting. Well, who can blame me ... how else am I going to get rich and famous?

Anyway, it's The Women, at ACT Theatre. It's a huge play, and it's going to be all kinds of Gorgeous. It's also going to be a technical mule. But other people who are really good at what they do get paid to worry about that, so I just get to enjoy the acting process. Or not enjoy it, as may be on some days.

I adore first rehearsals -- the same way I adored the first day of school. There's often food, and a company meet'n'greet, and paperwork to wrap up, and bios to proof, and design presentations, and exciting news about where to park and how to claim your comps. I LOVE THAT SHIT. It's the orchestral overture of the rehearsal process. And then, you sit around the table and read and talk. And talk. And talk some more. Um, hi - yeah. You had me at hello. Seriously. LOVE.

As Artistic Director, Kurt Beattie gave a speech to welcome the show, and it was truly inspiring. I wish I was one of those people who records everything on their phone or whatnot; I will never be able to recreate it. He started with the recent stabbing death of Mark Weil in Uzbekistan, and reminding us why the creation of theatre is so vital, and that we've become complacent in our country, but that our complacency doesn't absolve us of the responsibility of this torch we carry. I'd've taken to the streets right then if he'd asked. No question.

Enough for now. I have a million thoughts about the project and the process and what it's like to be so lucky as to be among such talented women and to be directed by Warner Shook. I'll be back soon.

9.07.2007

3 burning questions

1. Now that we're not kids anymore, is there an adult alternative to the terms "boyfriend" and "girlfriend"? Partner = too clinical. Significant other = blech. Lover = ew. Sweetheart = it's what I currently use, but it's cutesy.

2. What's with drooling in my sleep on a regular basis? It's new, and I don't approve.

3. Am I the only women left who bikini waxes but doesn't want the "landing strip" look? Just clean up the natural "V" please.

8.23.2007

a case of the mondays

A friend just reminded me of one my favorite TV show quotes; it's from The Drew Carey Show*:

"Oh, so you don't like your job? Why didn't you TELL me?!
There's a support group for that! It's called EVERYBODY and they meet at the bar."
*I want to carry that show around on a keychain, I think it's so adorable.

8.21.2007

well, just don't

On an almost cellular level, I sincerely abhor the new catch-all catch-phrase when someone thinks they're making a clever point: "I'm just saying." Or - even worse - without the pronoun: "Just saying."

Oh, really? Is *that* what you're just doing? Saying? Well, I'm just punching you in the nose, you self-satisfied fuckwad.

I despise it. It has this air of undeserved smug finality, as if god itself has made this person the mouthpiece of the final say in the matter. Always with the implied silence of an ellipsis, as if daring you to disagree with their obviously airtight summation. Oh, I see! If it's you that's saying, well - that's it, then! Case closed, everybody! He just said!

Please don't just say, "Just saying." It's rude. Say what you want to say, and then, if it's a spirited discussion, maybe back it up with a few well-reasoned points. Then let others say. It totally works.

8.17.2007

acting 101

Hang with me through this post - I promise I'm making a point here about my fitness (albeit perhaps obliquely).

As I progressed through my acting training in college, I was taught - and encouraged to employ - a wide variety of styles and methods. We started with basics in Fundamentals of Acting (the title of our majors' intro course): text & character. This was followed very closely by - practically simultaneously with - objectives (goals) & intention (how you achieve them). As I and my peers progressed, the scope was widened, and we learned other techniques to supplement and enhance the basics (breath patterns, emotional recall, alexander technique, lessac vs. linklater, bippity boppity boo). We would learn and practice these techniques in isolation, which is necessarily the way of teaching (although not the way of acting or of life, really), but the idea was that they were all building blocks for a well-rounded actor. (I now prefer to think of it as a road-map, but that's neither here nor there.) Even though we were focusing on kinesthetic response (for example), we were expected to use all the already learned tools at our disposal as well. Sometimes (often, even), whatever technique we were focusing on would start overshadow the acting, rather than serving it. And in those cases, the notes after the performed classroom scene would inevitably include the phrase, "Go back to Fundamentals."

Although it sometimes felt like it, this was not a slight meant to indicate that we weren't worthy to be in an advanced acting course. It meant that we skipped a few steps, and we needed to go back and build the foundation before we heaped our technique on top. As I've gotten to be older and a more and more experienced actor, Fundamentals are second nature. I don't have to think about them, I just do them automatically. Like reading or riding a bike or swimming. Once you learn it - really learn it - you can't even imagine what it felt like before you knew how.

Sometimes, though - not often, but sometimes - I can't seem crack the nut. I have a picture in my mind of what I want to achieve with playing a particular character, but ... I. CAN'T. SEEM. TO. DO. IT. It's crazy-making. Rehearsals are frustrating, I can't get off-book (which I normally excel at), and I can tell - or imagine - that the director and my castmates are anxious and annoyed. I'm letting everyone down, and I begin to resign myself to the fact that this will be one of my failures. You can't win them all, right? But who can accept that? So I make a last-ditch effort, and try to simply read the play as if for the first time. I try to get a clean copy of the script so that I'm not focused on my already highlighted lines, or blocking or notes to myself.

"Go back to Fundamentals."

Five'll getcha ten that by the end of that script-read, I cracked that nut wide-fucking-open, and am now eating all the walnut crumbs. Usually I find that I have been stupid and blind and running into the wall over & over insisting that a door should be there, when all I needed to do was take a step back and see that the door is actually a little bit down on the right. You can practically hear the tumblers all down the line of the play -- click*click*click*click*click!

My point is this --- when something like this that should be working isn't working- it's almost always operator error. When I'm not doing good acting work in a play, it's ME. And I can change it. If I want to.

Same with my diet. I've been gaining weight. I'm back to pre-detox weight, and I've been unhappy and grumbling about it. It seems to me that I'm eating pretty good, but the numbers don't bear it out.

And also the same with my cardio. I was up to 3 miles jogging, and now 2 kills me. I didn't seem to me that I slacked off that much, but let's check those stats again, shall we?

Nobody to blame but myself.

Back to Fundamentals.

push me, pull you

Remember - back in the 80s - when I gave up acting? Well, the truth is that I apparently can't keep my hands off acting. We fought for awhile, but now I guess we're back on. On again, off again. Just like a high school love affair. But that's not exactly apt, because acting is legion. It's not just one boyfriend that I keep falling out with, but a whole bunch of different boys who are kinda sorta different, but end up eventually bugging the shit out of me for the same reasons. Therefore, just like life, I need to make better choices. I will only date acting when it's really worth it, and not just when I'm lonely and need a cuddle.

I have boys for that.

8.05.2007

blog infatuation

I love maps. Absolutely crazy for them. Consequently, this is my new obsession ... strange maps

I am ga-ga.

7.16.2007

dorothy was right

I was doing my laundry the other day and I reached automatically into my pockets for quarters.

...

I just realized that means nothing to you unless you know this: we just moved into a house with a washer/dryer. And oh so many other perks. My new home is the fucking garden of earthly delights. I am not kidding. Two stories, a front and a back yard, a bedroom, an office, a workout room, a true guest bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a driveway, a garage, a basketball net, closet space you wouldn't believe ... I am in bliss.

I am simply searching for the perfect living room curtains.

i fell off the wagon, and hit the ground hard

Hello, I've been avoiding you. Oh, it's not you - it's me for sure. The last several weeks have been a whirlwind of classic "real life" activity. I won't got into it again - I cursorily explained it in my last post. However, in the last post, my bad habits hadn't been creeping back in yet. Although it seems that I did anticipate them quite eerily.

Yes, it's true. I am humbled to report that my forward momentum ceased. I was phoning it in. I wasn't doing anything on my own in between workouts because I was busy and (I justified) at least was working out 3x/week with Cody. But then I was dissatisfied with my workouts because I wasn't ever getting anywhere because I wasn't doing anything on my own in between workouts. And even at my most avoidful, I can easily spot that circular logic. Eventually.

I was driving to my workout a week ago, kinda not wanting to go and fantasizing about excuses I could use to cancel. And then I thought - what the hell am I doing paying for a personal trainer? I'm not remotely wealthy enough to throw money away, not to mention my time and energy. And I'm sure Cody appreciates the money, but his time and energy are worth more than that, too. So I had 2 choices. I either quit, or ...

So I walked in and asked Cody for help to "recommit." And the fates bless him, he sensed exactly what I needed. Instead of the workout he had planned, he pulled out his laptop and made me set new specific goals. I, of course, hated this and immediately regretted my rash declaration.

KIDDING! Well, half-kidding. I don't love goal-setting part of it, but I'm living proof that it works, so I took my medicine and immediately felt SO MUCH BETTER. Hindsight being 20/20 and all - it was so clear to me that I'd been coming into workouts with a ... how to put this ... with an emotional barrier. I knew I wasn't doing the best I could, and so I was distancing myself from the process. It makes it easier to ignore that I'm the responsible party.

GOD! This workout/fitness process is so close to my acting process that sometimes I find it disturbing. If you're an actor, you may know what I mean. Another rumination for another day.

More soon ... I just wanted to let you know where I'd been off to.

6.16.2007

i'm still standing

It's been a cRaZy month. First the detox, then there were (are) some upheavals on the workfront, then we decided to get a second cat, and now we're suddenly moving at the end of this month! It's been mostly good stuff, but big changes for me. Stress levels are rising, and although it's not bad stress, it's stress none-the-less. Stress without anxiety, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, my past patterns would indicate that this is exactly ripe for me to slack on my fitness & health routines, and to start eating a lot of comfort food. I'll be monitoring myself closely because I know it's a tendency of mine; however, so far - I'm doing really well (if I do say so myself). I've made sure to do some kind of exercise every day, and while I'm not skimping on my food desires I'm also not eating crap. I'm staying fairly balanced. This bodes well for me, I think.

If you'll allow me to pat myself on the back for a self-indulgent minute:

  • I jogged 3 miles for the first time the other day. I had been keeping it steady at 2 miles for a long time now.
  • Monkey & I went on our first hike of the season, 6.6 miles roundtrip. It was a steep hike, and I was tired. But good tired, like I wanted to keep going; not bad tired like I wanted to just fucking go home RIGHT NOW - which is what I have often felt. It was lovely - I kept up pace, and I was able to enjoy the entire hike. It felt fantastic in every way.
  • I'm maintaining my weight at in the 142/143 lb. mark. I am back down to a size 8 in most off-the-rack brands.
  • I'm not very often having to remind myself to exercise; I just do it. It's starting to become a habit. Brilliant!
I have some new stats, but Cody still needs to email them to me (CODY!).

I hope this lovely season of almost-officially-summer also finds you and yours hopeful, happy & healthy.

6.11.2007

meow + meow = ????



We got a new cat last week. His name is Sebastian, and he's about 1-yr. old. He's a total lover. Our original cat, Turtle, is also a lover. But she's been an only cat for a few years, and we're not sure how the whole thing's gonna go down. It makes me sad and anxious to see our baby all stressed out & hiding under the couch and hissing and growling. She's never been like that; up to this point, she's always been very calm & present & playful. New people don't bother her; even kids running around chasing her doesn't stress her out. She loves it. But she's not loving this. Yet. (If ever.) I know it's bound to be a difficult transition under all but the very best of circumstances, but Monkey & I are losing our shit a little.

SUNDAY 6/3
We brought Sebastian home. We set the carrier down in the living room so that Turtle could sniff around and recognize a new presence. She hissed a bit -- she obviously wasn't thrilled, but she didn't freak out. We closed up our bedroom & sequestered Sebastian in there, and let Turtle have the run of the rest of the place. She was very wary and standoffish, but seemed okay.

MONDAY 6/4
Monkey let both of them roam the whole apt. for a few minutes, and it didn't go so great. Sebastian was just trotting around exploring, and Turtle ran him into a corner behind the toilet, hissing & growling. Stressful! Monkey separated them and put him back in the room. We found out later (too late) that it was probably too early to do that, but we'd taken the advice of one of the gals at our pet store. Anyway, Turtle took most of the day to recover to her "normal" self, but no major damage done. We hope.

TUESDAY 6/5
Kept them separate. Turtle seems recovered and calm. No hissing through the door. Progress appears to have been made.

WEDNESDAY 6/6
Accidental encounter. Sebastian got out. He's ready to go exploring. We spend time & play with him a considerable amount, but he's still mostly kitten, so he's EAGER! He snuck out between Monkey's legs and Turtle was the one who got backed up this time, under the couch. He was put back in the room and she recovered quite nicely. That evening & night, we switched them. She got the room, and he got the rest of the apartment. For the first 1/2-hr. or so, she crouched and hissed at everything she sniffed that smelled like him. But she kept exploring, and by an hour into it, she was calmed down and fine and kicking it on the bed with me while I was reading before bed. She actually seemed quite curious about his smell.

THURSDAY 6/7
We switched it up again, and let Turtle have the run of the place. Our den is spearated from the living room by french doors, with windows. We closed the doors and put him in there instead of in the bedroom, so they could see each other. It took an hour or so, but then Turtle finally seemed to be getting used to it. Throughout the day, the hissing became less frequent, and they were watching each other more than anything.

FRIDAY 6/8
Another accidental encounter, in the bedroom. He backed her into the closet. He's definitely more physically aggressive than her now. We separated them quickly, and she recovered instantly. Very soon, they were hanging out by the french doors again, watching each other and playing some footsy through the gap.

SATURDAY 6/9 & SUNDAY 6/10
Much of the same. We decided on Saturday to remove physical barriers bewteen them on Monday. We are feeling quite hopeful. Eager, even.

MONDAY 6/11
Oh boy. Lost my eagerness almost instantly. Rough morning. I am exhausted with anxiety. Turtle has been crouched under the couch all morning, making horrible alien sounds from her insides. It makes me want to sob like a kid. At first, it seemed that Sebastian wanted to sniff around her and maybe even play, but she was having NONE of IT, so now he just chases and bats at her when she growls. Monkey & I are worse for the wear. Later that same day: The progress made in 12 hours in unbelievable. It's like a miracle. They aren't buddies by a long stretch, but they're both cautiously walking around the whole apartment. They can sleep in the same room, groom themselves and eat in front of each other. Although there's also still hissing & growling & chasing & whatnot, it has lessened to the point that has given me a new-found hope.

TUESDAY 6/12
We decided to stick with our plan of a few weeks ago and go hiking today. We figured the cats aren't showing any signs of killing each other, and it would probably be better for them to sort some things out for themselves for awhile without the freak energy of their nervous-nellie parents around. When we got back, everyone was alive. Not only that, but one was asleep on the couch, and the other on the bed. What a g-d relief!

WEDNESDAY 6/13
Even better. Tentative advances interspersed with hissing & chasing jags around the apartment that seem fairly harmless, incredibly short-lived, and easily recovered from. I'm finally feeling like I can let down my slightly manic "let's all be best friends forever!" guard.

TODAY 6/14
More of the same. They aren't curling up on the couch grooming each other like in my fantasy world, but I can see that in a few months, they might be. Turtle seems to grudgingly accept Sebastian, but ONLY on HER TERMS, by god. He seems okay with that.

I am pre-emptively calling this thing a qualified success.

6.04.2007

tally

For those of you keeping score at home ...

  • I started out the detox at 148.6 lbs.
  • I hit my lowest weight on Day 11, at 138.2 lbs.
  • The morning of Day 14, right before I ate my first proper breakfast in 2 weeks, I weighed in at 139.8 lbs.
  • I have gained weight slowly but steadily since then, and I seem to be evening out around the 142/143 lbs mark.

6.01.2007

morning has broken

Now I know what it was. It was like the last week of school after exams have already happened, and the professor is still giving you homework.

That's what yesterday was.

I have eaten, and the sun is shining. However, in a cruel twist of fate, as I was driving home from rehearsal last night ... I swallowed, and I knew - without question - that, all of a sudden, I was sick. And yep. I woke up with a full-blown cold this morning. Ain't it a bitch?

5.31.2007

the final countdown

Today is the last day of my detox diet. That makes tomorrow the first day of the rest of my life.

Honestly, I wouldn't have stuck this out all 13 days if I hadn't publically said that I would. I wish it had been a 9-day detox. It's not that it's been difficult to go without regular food - not since day 3, really. However, I have not received any noticable benefit in the past several days, apart from some more weight loss. My overriding feelings at this point are of utter boredom and moderate annoyance. I am receiving nourishment, but no joy. Yesterday's switch to raw veggies & fruits provided some minor excitement, but I long to be truly sated.

I'm glad I did it. I'd even do it again, possibly. No way in hell for 13 days, but maybe for 3-5 every once in awhile to clear my system out. Conceptually, I'm thrilled that my body's clean and that I'm starting from a clear slate, and I'm eager to monitor how I react to my standard fare. Pragmatically, I'm sick to death of the whole g-d thing.

Catch me tomorrow ... I bet I'll have a better attitude then.

5.29.2007

he's nobody's fool

My friend JJ has a post over at his place that is well worth checking out. I'll do it no justice by trying to capsulize it here, but it's about sexism and hatred and fear. It's wonderful, and I'm still chewing on it and untangling my thoughts about it.

i dream of broccoli

11 days down, 2 days to go. Tomorrow, I will actually get to chew food for the first time in 12 days. It's like Christmas - I want to go to bed early so that morning gets here sooner.

Imagine what I'm going to feel like on Thursday night! My brain may shut down. I think the first thing I'll do upon waking on Friday is toast some bread. Sprouted whole wheat bread. With just a little organic honey. Mmmm ... I have been yearning for toast for days now.

Oh my god. My brain IS going to shut down. For sure. Holy crap, I can't wait.

(You can't hear me, but I just giggled maniacally.)

5.28.2007

monkey detox - RIP, May 19-27

Monkey decided on Saturday to stop his detox as of today. He went 9 days, and lost 10 pounds and change. YAY MONKEY! Here's his explanation & his reaction to the detox:

Thanks homies for putting up with my detox "blog" - This, alas, will be my last entry... it's the 9th day and I've went from 181.6 to 171.6 pounds and will probably lose one more lb. by tommorrow morning, but I'm pulling the plug after today. We haven't even opened or broken into my box of product, so Peggy and I will return it and split the money. We're both fuckin' sick to death of those goddamn powder feedings. She plans on continuing, but I'm happily putting up my gloves. I don't feel any failure; it's clear I have the willpower to finish, just not the reason or drive. EVERYONE seemed to suggest that after day 4 or 5, you'd feel better and have increased energy. This was just not the case for me; I feel fine, but the mind-numbingly DULL grind of clean living has made me moody (as Peggy can attest). An extreme half day headache on Day 7 didn't help either, besides feeling I was wasting away one of my first open weekends in a million years. To say I'm euphoric about eating in one day is an understatement. It was an interesting experiment, clearly good for my body and my future habits, but doing it sucked!!! "Dirty" Shoogs* is back!!!

*"Shoogs" is a nickname of his from way back.

He's right on about being sick to death of the powders. By now, I only actually look forward to 2 of them. I kinda like another, I don't hate 1 more, and I dread the other 3. This wasn't the case early on - I was mostly into all of them.

As he mentions, we'll be returning a completely unopened box of product. One box is designed to be a complete 13-day detox program for 1 person. However, they give you enough powder for 18 days if you want to extend it for a few days. So we ordered 2 boxes. Even after 9 days for both of us, there is still enough powder left for me through today, and through tomorrow if I supplement it a bit. The practical issues of getting the money back from that second box (about $150 split between us) outweighed my personal "need" for me to stick to this particular program. The thought of losing $150 bucks just to open the box for me only for 2 or 3 days made me crazy.

I hereby affirm that I am not (repeat: NOT) stopping my detox. I am going all 13 days, like I wanted to. However, I am altering it. I am supplementing the powders today & tomorrow with a small handful of whole fruit & ice to make smoothies. I think with that addition the taste won't turn me off like it has been, and they will last me through tomorrow. Starting with Day 12, I will be adding a limited amount of organic fresh fruit, veggies & raw nuts back into my diet. I will keep to the same 7x/day schedule, and maintain (or increase) my water intake.

Day 14 will be a heavenly day. I'm already planning my (sensible) meals.

5.26.2007

hey! open up! it's meme!


My life was normal, okay. Happy even. I had been tagged for nary a meme. I didn't know what I was missing!! Now I've got 2 on my plate!

TWO!

I am beside myself with anxiety and glee. Memes are like the in-crowd. You're delighted they even noticed you, but now you have to make sure you wear make-up everyday and that your shoes are perfect and that you never have a booger EVER. Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls knows what I'm talking about.

The first meme comes from Tina over at The Gallivanting Monkey:

I ask you to tell us 3 fantasies about yourself if you were a total, unbelievable success. Like the hero of all future reunions.
This meme made me realize that my dreams are humble but fierce. Here we go ...
  1. I have the courage & resources to act in alignment with my beliefs. ALL THE TIME. I have built, decorated and furnished a home as green as humanly possible, with only exactly as much space as we need. I clean it all myself (again, green) because I like to clean and it's good exercise. I buy my food local, organic & sustainable. I buy my clothes, shoes & accessories from local textile artists. I've finally realized how to dress myself appropriately for all occasions. I speak up when I see injustices in public, but with humor & kindness - in such a way that doesn't anger or embarrass anyone. I have at last figured out how to engage in productive & valuable discourse with someone I disagree with. Where I used to think - "That sucks, but what can I do about it?" - I now know what it is that I can do about it. And then I actually do it.

  2. I know how to do maintenance on my own car. I can play guitar. I know Aikido. I know how to swing dance and how to salsa. I'm working on a book I'll probably never finish. I have a workshop where I create ... things! I don't know what yet, but whatever I want.

  3. I'm not famous, but I don't have to audition for anything anymore. People just call me and offer me stuff. Good stuff; exciting stuff. Not just acting stuff, either, but I am sought after as a director, a dramaturg, a producer. People truly like to work with me as well as are always impressed with my ... (well, since it's my fantasy) ... my GENIUS coupled with my HUMILTY.

HA! That was entirely fun. Thanks, Tina, my love!

Memes ahead: Suzanne has issued me a challange over at Perfecting Procrastination. Perhaps I'll get to it tomorrow. Or the next day. Some day soon.

hanging in there (midday of 8th day of detox)


I feel good. I'm over the hump, and now it's just a test of wills. I know I can make it through. But will I? There's no chance of me cheating; I don't even feel the need. However, there is a real chance of me simply choosing to stop early.

It's not about hunger, and it's not about being a slave to food. It's about the pure sensual, physical, social, romantic joy of eating. Texture, taste, temperature. The contrast & compliment of varied flavors. I really, truly miss it. It's not so much the food, it's the eating.

The biggest reason keeping me from quitting early? Vanity, pride, the fact I won't be able to claim that I really did it.

I think I'll do it. At this point - why not, right?

5.24.2007

keep on keeping on (morning of 6th day of detox)

As I highlighted in this post, I tend to think of quantifiable amounts in fractions. Yesterday I hit the 1/3 mark, and by the end of tomorrow I will be over 1/2 of the way through this g-d trial of will. Once I hit a fraction that seems substantial and not simply depressing (like day 1 being 1/13 - that’s just sad), I feel ridiculously more comfortable. It seems manageable.

I feel ... well, I feel okay. Pretty good. I’m not hungry. I’m hardly getting cravings anymore. Except for the fact that I am not eating actual meals, I feel fairly normal. I’m able to get through work with no problem. I’m able to go to my regular workouts with Cody (although without my usual verve, and he’s altered them a bit to support the detox). But I am still waiting for the surge of energy, the amazing clarity, the euphoria that everyone talks about. It’s like a freakin’ holy grail.

I mean, I didn’t really do this to feel normal, ya know? I could have gotten "normal" by not doing a damn thing. I don’t intend to be discouraging. I truly don’t. There are very specific positives, and I am fully aware of them (mostly because I remind myself of them constantly to keep my spirits up). The one tangible is that I’m losing weight like a mofo. That helps immediately to boost my morale, even though I know that some of it will return when I eat solid food again. But, so far, all the other benefits are intangible. I believe they are real and worthy, but I can’t see or feel them (yet).

And so even though it’s not really hard anymore, it’s still mainly a head game. Passing the 1/2-way mark and moving into bigger fractions will make the game easier. I hope. But it’s kinda boring. And it’s still all I think about when I’m not distracted by some other activity. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to distract me from it.

Ultimately, I think I’ll be glad that I’m doing it, and I’m gonna stick it out. It's only 13 days out of my whole life. Meantime, I am still hoping & waiting for the holy grail.

5.21.2007

oof (middle of 3rd day of detox)

This is hard. Really hard. Day 2 sucked ass. I woke up with that same headache, except a little worse. It diminished a little as I had the first "feeding" (as Monkey calls it, which totally makes me giggle). We distracted ourselves with a movie, and then went to see an apartment for rent down the block. The whole time I kinda feel like shit, but I try (and mostly fail) to have a good attitude and pretend that I can tell I'm rounding a corner.

It makes it all the worse that I chose to do this. I actually start to get angry at myself for committing to something so ridiculous. It feels ludicrous, but I am trapped because I told so many people, I'm blogging about it, and I don't want to be a quitter. Which is, of course, why I told so many people & am blogging about it -- so that I wouldn't let myself off that easy. So far it's working.

After Monkey left for work yesterday, I was in a bad place. And not just mentally, which is what it had been up to then. Actually physically. I had no energy, my muscles ached, I didn't even want the feedings - I forced them down even though the smell made me want to gag. I know enough about myself to know that that's the way my body reacts to stress; so I soldiered through. I just treated it as if I were sick ('cause that's what it is, really), and holed up on the couch with a comfy warm blanket, my cat, the tv, a NYT crossword book, my current book, and some dvds. And then I proceeded to mostly sleep with the tv on.

It sounds horrible, doesn't it? I don't think it's actually as bad as it sounds. Unpleasant, sure. Like a low-grade flu or cold, except without any of the symptoms save body depression ... which in the grand scheme of things is not that bad. Most of that is the mental game, I think. You gotta keep your eye on the prize. I am viewing yesterday through the lens of today, of course. This entry would be a lot different if I'd had the motivation to write about it yesterday afternoon.

By the time evening rolled around, I was feeling markedly better. Thank god, because I had rehearsal for the show I'm directing. Then Monkey & I watched another movie and went to bed. He fared much better on Day 2 than I did.

Today ... I gotta be honest --- I'm not feeling great, but I can see how tomorrow I might be. My muscles are still a bit achy, a twinge of headache is still present, but I'm breathing easier. I feel like you do when you've been sick for awhile and you wake up one day and you just somehow know you're better. You don't feel 100%, but you can tell you aren't sick anymore, and now your body just needs to catch up. But still - I want to eat. That hasn't gone away. I'm not necessarily feeling hungry, but I would like to chew something. That's a challenge, but it's not insurmountable. It's getting better.

It seems like Monkey's about a day behind me. He's having the day today that I had yesterday. I will do my best to be kind. Both of us are trying valiantly to stick with it.

5.19.2007

eye on the prize

I started a 2-week detox diet today, kind of a hard-core one. Monkey's doing it with me (thank god). I am chronicling it over here at my other blog, if you care to read about how it's going and, more specifically, what I'm going through. I've not done anything like this before, ever. I was nervous-excited before I started, but I'm done with that. Now I've got my head down ... it's a buzz-saw at crunch time, people.

In other news, I'm going to finally finish my road trip journal entries from last summer. I can't exactly remember why I stopped, but I only cleaned up & posted my notes through July 14th, so I've got about 1/2-month's worth to go.

I also need to post about Hawai'i. DAMN! Where have I been? Get on it, PEGGY! Well, enjoy these pics in the meantime. I'm hungry.







starting line (late on 1st day of detox)

Before our detox (naked in the morning after "relieving ourselves" but before eating or drinking anything):
Monkey = 181 lbs.
Me = 148 lbs.
... we'll see what happens as we go.

Today, I have had frequent ... well, not really cravings. They aren't focused enough to be cravings. More like urges - half-formed thoughts of what I might decide to eat before I come to my senses and remember that I won't be eating at all. The only challenging part about today (so far) is trying to stay in the moment. I start to get a little crazy when I think about not eating for 2 whole weeks. I mean, who am I kidding?! I freakin' love to eat. Why in the world would I choose to do this detox? I have gone mad! I start to hyperventilate a little, and then I calm down and realize I only need to concentrate on the next 2 hours.

I expect that to get worse over the next 2 days, and then taper off. It will be my greatest obstacle, I think.

I haven't felt actual hunger at all. These drinks come every two or so hours, so by the time I'd really start to feel hungry, I get to drink another one. They aren't bad; I actually like the taste. Favorites are already emerging; ones I can tell I'll look forward to and also ones I will drink as quickly as possible to get it over with. But none of them are hateful.

I have had an underlying headache since about 1pm. Not too bad; only slightly distracting. I took a nap at about 2:30p. Could not keep my eyes open. I set the alarm to make sure I didn't get off-schedule, and woke up at 3:15p. Kicked back again in bed after that and did some crosswords until I fell asleep (again!).

Obviously, my method today is to take is slow & easy. I am going to take advantage of the evening sun and take a walk right now. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

I swear, people ... if Monkey & I make it through this, then anyone can do it!

detox day 1

Hey y'all, I started a detox! I am on day 1 and I don't have much to say about it yet, except to explain the basic concept, so you can get an idea.

It's a regulated all-liquid diet. There are 7 different powders and they're mixed with 8-12 oz. of water or non-dairy milk. One every 2-3 hours, 7 times a day, for 14 days. The powders are all made from whole foods (vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, grains, blah blah blah), and each of the 7 is designed to focus on a different body systems (lymphatic & circulatory, endocrine & reprodutive, nervous, digestive, muscular skeletal, respiratory, and finally - whole body).

The main focus for me is an overall body detox to give me a quick & good baseline for future eating habits. I do expect to lose weight, and that certainly won't make me sad, but that's not my intent, that's just the icing on the cake. (Which, of course, is forbidden on this diet.)

My sweetheart (Monkey) is doing it with me, and that gives immeasurable relief. We live together, and it will be so much easier to peer pressure each other into sticking to it the whole way & not cheating.

I'll post stats (weight, etc.) later today. Right now I gotta go workout w/ Cody.

5.14.2007

itsy bitsy part 2

So there it is. Me in my bikini. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess, depending on your point of view), you will not get to see the whole thing. Not on purpose, I just didn't get any pictures of it. And that's because, surprisngly, I hardly wore it. We spent most of our time NOT laying around beaches but rather hiking or swimming in surf a bit too rough for convenient bikini wear. The one beach, Kehena, where I would have worn it all the time was a 1/2-mile from our cottage - it became "our" beach. But it turns out that clothing was not needed at this gorgeous black sand beach populated with free-spirited locals. And when in Rome ...

5.10.2007

among or between?

Thank you, SLOG, for cross-posting this list of commonly misused words. Grammar pedants (you know who you are) will sigh in agonized relief and pound righteously on their desks in agreement. For my part, I will ask the age-old question: Should the dictionary & grammar rules define usage or vice versa?

Here's a fun game: Go down the list & count up the number of mistakes you've been making for god-knows-how-long*. No cheating (even to yourself)!

*At least according to this list. Which I'm guessing is arguably not definitive.

5.04.2007

quick show of hands ...

Puking (due to drinking too much). Preferably:

  1. before you go to bed?
  2. the next morning upon waking up or soon thereafter?

4.23.2007

gone fishin'

Wish me & my bikini luck!


gone fishin'



See you next week!

4.21.2007

itsy bitsy

Dear bikini,

You'd better be worth it.

Love,
Peggy

Posted by Picasa

you can't have an assessment without asses

STATS17-Oct-0622-Nov-0623-Dec-0622-Jan-0726-Feb-0726-Mar-0721-Apr-07
Weight (lbs.) 166166162157155154151
Fat/Lean Mass (lbs.)57/10955.5/110.550/11244/11342/11341/11338/113
Body Fat %34.533.531282726.525.5
MEASUREMENTS17-Oct-0622-Nov-0623-Dec-0622-Jan-0726-Feb-0726-Mar-0721-Apr-07
Chestxxxxxxxx36”36”36"
Waistxxxxxxxx31”30”29"
Hipsxxxxxxxx37.5”37”35.5"
Upper Armxxxxxxxx10.5”10.5”10.5"
Thighxxxxxxxx21”21”21"
Calfxxxxxxxx14.5”14.5”14.5"
TESTS17-Oct-0622-Nov-0623-Dec-0622-Jan-0726-Feb-0726-Mar-0721-Apr-07
Sit & Reach9”1’2”1'3”1'5"1'5”1'7”1'7"
Sit-ups20283232353537
Push-ups15263318242430
Pull-ups1529232691010
T-test14.97 sec.14.22 sec.13.62 sec.13.60 sec.20.52 sec.19.65 sec.19.46 sec.
Plank59 sec.1 min. 22 sec.1 min. 45 sec.2 min. 8 sec.1 min. 20 sec.1 min. 20 sec.2 min. 2 sec.


A few things to note, if you’re keeping track (which I assume only my mom really is – hi Mom!).
PUSH-UPS: Jan-07, I graduated from on-the-knee to real push-ups.
PULL-UPS: Feb-07, I graduated from easy to medium. ("Hard" would be full bodyweight pull-ups.)
T-TEST: Feb-07, another 2 lengths of stuff was added in (lateral & sprint – whatever the hell that means).
PLANK: Mar-07, I graduated from forearms to extended arms (push-up position). February’s plank was shameful and shall never be spoken of again. But check out April's plank ... hello, nurse!

GOALS:
Get to below 150 lbs, w/ body fat at 25% by the end of April. ALMOST! So close I could taste it. But check out April's measurements. I feel really good.
Greater flexibility in lower back.
I’d like my fitness routine not to be the first thing I give up when life gets busy; make it an ingrained habit.
More intense cardio. For real this time.

4.20.2007

help your selfish

I can't believe I was all like "me! me! i! me!" in my last post, when what you really want to know & see I sorely neglected.

Here is a picture of the Hokie Bird:


And here is picture of what the Bird looked like when I slept with him:

... except younger.

4.19.2007

old exit 37

VT has obviously been on my mind this week. Flashes of memory are surfacing like bubbles. I thought maybe I'd try to give me & you something else to remember about Tech for awhile.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University = VA Tech = Tech = VT. The VT logo was designed by a math student who based it on the notation for the square root of 1.


These are my very best college friends. From left to right, we have Stephanie McGinnis, Lynn Marie Bagley (sitting), yours truly standing behind Lynn, Sioux Madden, and Lee Worley. We were at Spring Fling of my sophomore year - that's the huge year-end theater department bacchanalia. 1990 - check out all the awesome hair! Lynn, Sioux & Lee changed my life, individually & severally. I loved them so much. I still do.

Lee taught me self-defense, and also how to be actual friends with a guy. He was older than me and he laughed easily and talked even easier. He was a huge influence on me; and helped me through a lot of angsty late teen confusion. Anyway, after acting class one day, we were standing at the water fountain, and I spit a whole mouthful of water in his face. Stupid youthful impulse. He thought it was hilarious (thank christ), and swore he'd get me back. A few months later, I'd forgotten all about it, and we were at the library. We were walking & talking and he stopped for water. As he stood up, I just knew I was about to get soaked - it was a gleam in his eye. Before I could react, he spit. I could do nothing; there wasn't any time. At that exact moment - I shit you not - a girl walked right in between us and got the full blast. I escaped! He profusely apologized to her (with me unhelpfully in fits of giggles), and then chased me all the way back to the PAB (Performing Arts Building).

Lee also crashed an exam of mine. HA! I just remembered this. I was kind of a secret math genius (boy, sure have let that skill founder, haven't we?), and I passed my AP Calculus exam in high school with a 5, so I only needed 9 credits (3 semesters) of math in undergrad. (Interesting, because I passed AP English with a 4 and only needed 3 college credits -- that's what you get for going to an engineering school, I guess.) I took Real & Unreal Math (yeah - don't ask because I don't remember), Statistics & something else I can’t remember right now. I loved Stat, it was so interesting. I guess I should say I loved the subject itself. The exams sucked ass, and seemed to have no bearing on what jazzed me in class. The final was unbearable, except for the fact that Lee - who wasn’t in the class - waltzed in about ½-way through the test. It was a big enough class that only Sioux & I would know he wasn't supposed to be there. He had a loud and hilarious conversation with the TA, where he pretended he'd just woken up and needed to take the exam. he grabbed an exam, sat right at the front, scribbled his way through it in about 15 minutes, and then left. The TA didn't know what the hell to do. It was HIfuckingLARious.

All my math classes were EARLY. Which, ya know, sucked. There's more than one reason I was a theater major. I left the dorm one winter morning for an 8am class. It was a bitter 25ºF, and I was bundled. Two and a half hours later, I was slogging back to my dorm with all of my bulky outer clothes in a heap in my arms because it was now 65º. Friggin’ crazy. It was my freshman year, and I’d never seen anything like that. By senior year, I secretly waited for it to happen. There was always one freakish week in late January/early February that felt like crazy spring. The trees would bloom, we’d all skip classes, we’d feel young and all-powerful. Then the trees would crawl back up inside themselves and reality would slap us upside the head, in the form of a raw wind cutting us in half no matter how appropriately we tried to dress.

I much preferred my classes on the north side of campus. I hated having classes across the drillfield, because that necessitated actually having to cross the damn thing. Winter was the worst. When created in the 1880s or sometime like that, the drill field was level with the road around it. Over the years, it sunk because of an underground lake. It was about the size of 4 football fields in an oval, and it was a huge bowl that basically created a wind-tunnel. When the wind was fierce (i.e. the whole g-d winter), you could let your self fall forward into the wind and still be standing straight up. It was magic. Ear-freezing, frostbiting magic. It would either take you half or twice the time as normal depending on whether you were traveling with or against the wind.

Now that I type it, I realize that I'm not sure if that underground lake story is true, or even plausible. But we all believed it.

Another thing we all believed -- that a hokie is a castrated turkey. I'm sad to say, it's a myth. It's true that our mascot is a turkey called The Hokie Bird. The turkey part comes from when VT was a military school for boys who couldn't get into VMI (or so they were derided). The VMI boys made fun of them by calling them "gobblers" - indicating that they ate too much - i.e. weren't fit or elite enough for VMI. The Techies took it and turned it around by using a turkey as their self-appointed mascot. Yes. Before my time, we were the Gobblers. Awesome! The Hokie part comes in from a popular VT cheer which started "Hokie hokie hokie hi." From that, they become known as the Hokies, but kept the turkey.

Oh, and also - I slept with the Hokie Bird. Thank you very much. He was a theater double major. And in really good shape. REALLY good. A lovely boy; I really liked him. Barry Ellenberger. God, we were children.

Ahh, memories. Funny things. These aren't the ones I even thought I was going to spill, but there they are.

Here's a picture of one of my favorite places on campus. It's a hill on the very northeast edge of campus, right where it connects with downtown Blacksburg. I'll always remember the drillfield in winter, but this place equalled summer.

crisis of faith (or, let me eat cake)

I have been SO GOOD over the month. I have been eating incredibly well, mostly staying between 1500-1700 kCals/day. (Only two days I broke it, and they were planned.) I have not been drinking alcohol. I work out with Cody 3x/week, and I do cardio 3x/week on my own. I have upped the intensity on my cardio.

And still ... I cannot break 148 lbs. And that's naked in the morning before breakfast. (Sorry for the graphic image. Oh, wait. No I'm not.) On my assessment on Saturday, I'll be clothed after breakfast, so I won't even make my 'below-150' goal.

My point is -- why do I bother being good?

*sigh*

I'm exaggerating for effect, of course. I know why. But some days it's really frustrating.

This, of course, is where Mom or Dad would helpfully pipe in with, "Well, kiddo, no one ever said life was fair."

4.18.2007

32 x infinity

I found this, which goes a ways to providing the reflection I've been aching for. From the BBC website.

i had my hindsight checked - surprise! it's 20/20

My home has largely been a news-free zone for the last few days. I think I want to watch, to stay informed about what they’ve discovered, but I can barely watch about 30 seconds before I literally cover my ears and say to Shoogie, "I can’t." I’m not a very delicate soul, either; I’m pretty hardy. I gotta tell ya, too - it’s not the thought of the killings that keeps me from the news. What I can’t stomach right now is all the news noise that keeps us from actual thoughts of the killings. All the postulation, the shots-in-the-dark (pardon the expression - ha ha - cry cry), the woulda-coulda-shoulda, the knee-jerk reactions (in some cases, with an emphasis on the jerk). It minimizes the impact; it diminishes the import. Talk talk talk ... all manipulated so that - what? So we don’t actually have one single moment to think clearly and truly about what happened? I don't know why, but I can't watch it. It's offensive.

A deeply troubled human being shot 47 other human beings. On purpose. Shot 32 of them dead. And then he shot himself in the face. We can never know why. If we could, it wouldn’t be enough.

4.17.2007

in other news ... pigs fly

I jogged 2 miles around the track today.

"Uh, Satan? Yeah, Peg here. Dude, I'm really sorry about this --- but you might want to go shopping for some winter clothes."

4.16.2007

a mile in my shoes

Yesterday, I jogged around a track 4 times. This means I jogged a mile. One whole mile. I want to be clear on this next point: It's not the mile that's the big deal. It's the fact that I ran it. ON PURPOSE. I chose to do it. In fact, it's even worse than I realized at first ... I actually wanted to. In fact, I may even do it again tomorrow.

Oh lord. I have to drastically re-draft the secret image I hold of myself. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, now it turns out I'm a jogger.

I jog.

Oof. I think I need to lay down.

deadly day

A lone gunman opened fire this morning in 2 separate shootings at Virginia Tech. It's all over the news channels, or you can google it and find it easy. I can't link to it, because I can't watch it anymore.

VA Tech is my alma mater. It's where I became a fledgling adult. It's where I met & fell in love with my former husband. It's where I learned to drink a whole bottle of Andre pink blush champagne in an evening at a party. It's where I learned to be a real actor. It's where I fell in love with Shakespeare. It's where I learned how to express what was inside of me. It's where I learned how not to by shy. It's where I learned that the world was bigger than I was.

This on top of all the senseless lives lost in ones & twos & soldiers & civilians all over the world.

I am unspeakably sad.

4.12.2007

aloha

My sweetheart and I are going to Hawai'i at the end of the month. I gave Cody carte blanche to kick my ass and make said ass just a little bit tighter before I head out with my adorable swim suit. He accepted the challenge with glee. Secretly sadistic glee.

This is now what I think during workouts:

"bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini i hate cody bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini ..."

Aww, Cody. Don't cry, I was just teasing. Here, eat this cheese ... it'll make you feel better.

Geez-o-flip. Now I want cheese.

bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini bikini

4.11.2007

school of life

Okay, so I owe you two (TWO?! yes, two!) monthly assessments. But not right now. I'll do 'em later tonight ... unless I'm too busy smoking, drinking whiskey & eating cheese to bother. (I kid because I love.)

The thing about the assessments, though, is that they're kind of like getting a grade on an exam. The grade has varying degrees of import based on who you are (teacher, student, strict parent, etc.), but it's not necessarily wholly indicative of long-term and secret internal success. I study hard, I do my best; but at the end of the day, I feel as much about my assessments as I did about my grades ... pleasantly satisfied if I did as well as I hoped, slightly disappointed if I didn't. Either way, by the end of the day, it's forgotten. (This is why I was always a B-student who was smarter than most of the A-students.* And had more fun.)

Anywho, blah-di-blah blah blah ... off the top of my head, here's my baker's dozen of non-assessment successes since October 2006 (which I attribute directly to my fitness focus):

  1. I quit biting my nails. Without any effort on my part. I just stopped. And, girl lemme tell ya -- I'm an old-school nail biter from back in the day. I've never had unbitten nails that weren't fake.
  2. I quit smoking. This I did on purpose.
  3. I have only been sick once this season. It was a bad one, but quick. Other than that - not even a sniffle. And people were dropping like flies all around me. Sick flies.
  4. I can count on less than one hand the number of times I've had trouble sleeping.
  5. I've joyfully given up clothes I loved because they didn't fit any longer ... I'm back to a very comfy size 10. Granted - the assessment does cover weight & measurements, but the joy cannot be adequately expressed in a number.
  6. I stretch every morning (mostly).
  7. Last summer, I barely made it around Green Lake once (blading). This season, I go around twice without even debating.
  8. Even at my most busy & stressed (this past Feb/Mar), my anxiety level is extremely low. I haven't felt this overall calm since ... well since adulthood.
  9. My auditions are easier. I don't mean easy like "piece of cake" - I mean that I have an comfort and ease in the audition room I've never felt before. I still get nervous, but I don't choke it to death. I can let it flow without much effort.
  10. I'm saving quite a bit of money. Again with hardly any effort on my part. I don't eat out as much (and when I do it's a real treat, and worth the wait). I also am buying more food to actually cook rather than processed food to zap. This is way cheaper.
  11. I haven't seen the inside of a hangover in months. I haven't given up drinking booze, and I seriously doubt I will. I'm not a self-deprivation kinda gal, and I was never a heavy drinker to begin with. But when I do drink, I drink less alcohol & more water. Again, not really trying.
  12. I feel it just as much when I don't work out as when I do.
  13. I just last week gave up diet coke. It just stopped tasting good.

So, yeah - right?! I am very pleased. Sometimes I pretend I don't want to do it anymore, but I really do.

(*Hmm. Someone's quite full of herself, huh? Oooh, fancy pants, all smart & shit.)

4.09.2007

hi honey i'm home

Hello? Anyone there? My goodness. Everyone's gone. That's what I get, I guess. I should've left a forwarding address. My goodness, this place is filthy; it needs a good spring cleaning & airing. I'll just start here with these cobwebs, and then go through that huge pile of unopened mail & newspapers ...

There! Smells like possibility. Wha -? What the? Who's there?! BLOG! You startled me! What are you doing hiding under the couch? C'mon out, I'm so glad to see you!

Oh, blog --- I have so much to tell you. Would you like some tea? Hey, what's up? Are you mad at me? C'mon, baby ... don't be like that. I promise, it wasn't just you. I've neglected everything these past couple of months. Yes. Yes, I did. Yes. I promise. Oh, don't cry, my darling. I'm back. To stay.

Maybe.

Awwww! C'mon! That was a joke! Come back here!

4.06.2007

i'm complaintful today

I was writing the date today and realized that in about 5 months I will get a thousand emails helpfully reminding me that on Sept. 8th, 2007 @ a little before 7 (am or pm, you pick) that the date & time will be FOR ONE SINGLE SECOND ... dum dum DUM ... 9/8/7 6:54:32. Awesome! A veritable solar eclipse of chronometry.

This is the last year for this, isn't it?

benefit of the doubt

Perhaps you are not aware that there are guidelines that govern the path at Green Lake, particularly if you are a GL newbie or infrequent user. That's okay, it's cool. But now you know. There are. Tell your friends!

Please, Green Lakers, please make sure you are on the correct side of the path. Walkers, runners, joggers, baby strollers, adults who walk with little kids who "ride" a "bike" --- you can ambulate in whichever direction pleases you, but you stay to the inside. Check the signs, check the brass inserts in the concrete ... you'll find I'm correct. I get the outside, but I can only travel counter-clockwise. That is the delicate compromise that has been struck. We all have to give up something.

Oh, and lordonaboard make sure your awesome fucking dog stays close to you and that the leash doesn't cut across lanes. If I am killed, your dog will unfortunately need to be put down.

Confidential to the man with the smart mouth who was walking GL with his family one dusky eve: "No, YOU check the sign."

4.04.2007

careful what you wish for

I had this audition recently. Everything I tend to like these days - a cool play, an amazing director, a great part and (the deal maker for me) only 2 scenes! Dreamy. I prepared, I did well. You can never tell, but I got the impression that I was in the final running. I thought I might get it, but I didn’t. I got the call, hung up, and I was all like, "I wonder what I should eat for dinner." It is in that moment that I realized I needed to take a sabbatical.

So I’m giving up acting. It is therefore certain that within a short period of time, all the most amazing opportunities will fall from the sky into my lap without any effort on my part.

And let’s be true --- I’m not really giving it up. Per se. Maybe. It’s simply true that you never know what’s around the corner. Maybe the perfect acting opportunity will come along and I will be thrilled and grateful to accept, maybe the perfect acting opportunity will never come along and I won’t even notice, maybe I just need a season off and before I start losing my tater mind about not performing.

I just know that right now, I’m excited to find out what it feels like in the short-term. I’ll move on to medium-term and long-term later, when they get here.

3.09.2007

hi becky!

It's lame to post simply to apologize for not posting and then to say I'll get back to it soon.

None-the-less ...

1.31.2007

beauteous mankind

I love inside jokes. The whole concept of them. I mean - the jokes I don't always (ie. almost never) get. And I for sure think that inside jokes should hardly ever (ie. never) be aired in a public forum.* But I'm talking about those private inside jokes that aren't usually even jokes --- they're more a shorthand for "I love you, I get you, we have a shared experience that means something pretty cool and we both know what it is, even if we could never explain why if pressed." Phrases and exchanges that are not meant to exclude outsiders but to share a wink with insiders. They are not even meant to be overheard by others; indeed, often you might be mildly (but not unpleasantly) embarrassed to realize you were witnessed in such an exchange. Usually they involve a small group (e.g. a couple or my mom, dad & me), and in rarer circumstances a larger group that has a very close and long-term bond (e.g. Bald Faced Lie, or a football team, I guess).

When I am accidentally privileged to overhear or witness such an exchange, I am captured by the efficiency and wonder of human connection. It makes me smile a secret smile. We are a complicated species.

*Say, in a sketch comedy show, for instance. Jokes that are created at a bar or a party are usually advised to stay there. Seriously, dudes - your friends don't even think it's that funny after 2 or 3 repeats.**

**I should know, having propagated perpetrated AT LEAST one evening's worth of bar jokes on unsuspecting audiences (luckily not all on the same evening) ... Model Airplane Building, anyone? You know who you are.

In other news, today I realized that I have been usuing "ie." and "e.g." incorrectly forEVER. I had them backwards. DUH. That'll teach me. Something.

To use them correctly, I guess.

1.28.2007

i'd like to thank the academy

STATS17-Oct 200622-Nov 200623-Dec 200622-Jan 2007
Weight166 lbs.166 lbs.162 lbs.157 lbs.
Body Fat34.5%33.5%31%28%
Fat Mass / Lean Mass57 lbs. / 109 lbs.55.5 lbs. / 110.5 lbs.50 lbs / 112 lbs.44 lbs. / 113 lbs.
TESTS17-Oct 200622-Nov 200623-Dec 200622-Jan 2007
Sit & Reach9”1’2”1'3”1'5"
Sit-ups20283232
Push-ups15263318
Pull-ups15292326
T-test14.97 sec.14.22 sec.13.62 sec.13.60 sec.
Plank59 sec.1 min. 22 sec.1 min. 45 sec.2 min. 8 sec.

Wow! So I've lost 9 lbs overall, but I've lost freakin' THIRTEEN POUNDS OF FAT! And the push-ups look like they went down, but no my friend ... I graduated to real push-ups, so I have now set a new baseline. The pull-ups were up from last month but still down from 2 months ago. Weird. I can only assume I was cheating prior to last month.

My new goals & promises:
=>In 3 months, below 150 w/ body fat at 25%.
=>Comfortable in a size 10 again.
=>Up the intensity on the 3x/week cardio.
=>Come to workouts the way I would come to rehearsal.

Next time I will tell you all the other side benfits of my fitness journey -- things I never could've expected. (How will you sleep after THAT cliffhanger, huh?!)

1.19.2007

darn tootin'!

SPF-1: No Protection -- Chili Cook Off

WHEN: Monday, January 22nd @ 6pm
WHERE: Theatre Off Jackson, on 7th just south of Jackson in the Intl District
HOW MUCH: $10 at the door gets you inside, warm, eating chili & voting for your fave. An add'l $5 gets you a bottomless beer or wine cup. No-host bar for hard liquor.
WHY: I'm on the Steering Committee for this solo performance festival, and also directing Shoogie's show in it. This is an early kickoff event & fundraiser for what will become a yearly festival. This year's line-up is really exciting! Let your budget (or lack thereof) be your guide ... live auction, silent auction & raffle for cool items to fit all budgets. Or just come give us love and eat some chili; that's cool, too!

i'll take the rocking chair but not the walker

How I know we're (mostly) adults now:

  • We "hosted" (at a bar) our joint b-day party starting at 7pm last night, and the first few guests showed up ... at 7pm!!
  • My ex-husband and various other exxes of attendees were there and it wasn't awkward for anyone.
  • No one got wasted.
  • Shoogie and I were the very last to leave and I was still in bed by 11:30pm.
  • I was in, alert, and ready for an 8am meeting this morning.

What still gives me hope for our last vestiges of carefree youth:

  • Ass-grabbing strangers and friends alike.
  • The playful yet unyielding focus on the extremely nice tits of our server.
  • Shoogie and I were the last to leave, and had to cover the leftover bill from people who forgot to pay or underestimated their share.

1.04.2007

having my cake and eating it too


My ass-kicking friend (& best coworker in the world, by the way) made me this "cake" for my office b-day celebration. God bless her & them for letting me stick to my minimal sweets resolutions this early in the year.

1.03.2007

disclaimer

Oops - I forgot to tell you that no animals were harmed in the making of that last pictoral. It was staged, and I am a trained professional (*snort*).

And also - I do NOT wear that headgear when I work out.

Seriously. I don't!

Shut up.

1.02.2007

safety first ... a story in pictures by Cody & Peggy

1. A typical day.                             2. Uh-oh, I'm falling!

3. Ooh, bad luck!                             4. Thank god for my safety helmet!

the rule of 3 - a birthay recap

9:30am Early morning crank call. A whispering woman who didn't want to wake up her boyfriend asked me to guess who she was. I hate that shit, but I stayed on the line because it was my b-day and I thought it might be a friend of mine fucking with me and I wanted to act like a good sport. She knew my name and she did tell me her(?) name (which I didn't recognize, and which I won't disclose here because I suspect it was false). She said we had mutual friends; that she's never felt this way about a woman before; and did I want to hear about the dream she'd just had about me? No, thank you. *click* Lucky me. Jesus. What, am I 19 again?

1:15pm Our neighbor Don came by when we were almost ready to ditch for the weekend. He was going into shock and needed sugar. Holy moly. Knowing nothing about diabetes, we had no idea whether that sounded right or not. We took him at his word, and Shoogie cut up a pear and gave it to him immediately, and gave him the rest of our stash of fruit for later. I was in the shower, and Shoogs hung out in the hall and talked to him for awhile. He wept almost the entire time, and was visibly upset that we were going to be gone for 2 nights. Awesome.

2:35pm We missed the 2:30 ferry.

Since bad things come in 3s, the whole rest of our weekend in Port Townsend was amazing.

dream a little dream

About a half-year ago, I spoke of my college wish/dream book and my friend LMB who still kept her book and updated it on a regular basis.

A few years ago, she and her husband added an item to the book that is within spitting distance of coming true:

This is a very delicate email to write and a very personal plea. After 1 & 1/2 years of searching, we think we might have found the perfect building for our rare/used bookstore and P.I. firm. It is located right on the border of two Chicago neighborhoods, Morgan Park and Beverly. It is right across the street from a little green park and a Metra Station. It is within blocks of the Beverly Arts Center, the police station, a post office and a high school. The building is beautiful and perfect for what we need. However, the downpayment is just a few thousand dollars out of our reach. We need to raise approx $11,000 and we think we can scrape up about $7,000.

FYI, she did not ask me to post this; I am posting it of my own free will because she was one of the most important people in my young semi-wayward life. I love her. You don't know her, and none of us have money to toss around; but if you have the inclination and ability for charity right now, you can pitch in to the dream. Just like public radio fund drives and theatre rent parties ... no amount is too small and no amount goes underappreciated.

Also, a rare bookstore/private eye firm? How Dashiell-Hammett-cool is that?