12.09.2008

jewelry for toughies

Dames and dudes:

I updated my HardWearables site with a bunch of new photos. They aren't great photos, but they'll do for now. Take a look, think about your loved ones, and then about the fact that you haven't gotten any shopping done yet.

If you get an inkling to get your hands on my hardware, email me. I can hook you up with a day or two lead time; esp. if you live in Seattle.

10.27.2008

which is geekier?

A little background ... my department and a bunch of other depts. that used to be scattered around the city have recently moved into the old Safeco Bldg. in the U-District. There was a training today for meeting coordinators to learn the AV systems in the various conference rooms. At the end of the meeting, this exchange occurred.

WHICH IS GEEKIER?

This question (asked semi-jokingly): "Can we use the triple projection screens in the auditorium after-hours for a tri-player World of Warcraft session?"

... or ...

This answer (in all seriousness): "I'm going to have to say no, and not just on a professional basis. Personally, I'm very involved with VAWL, the Vigilante Anti-Warcraft League, and intervention league for people addicted to World of Warcraft."

9.17.2008

de plane! de plane!

So I wanna get some more tattoos. I've held off for years since my first/last ones (back in college) ... not because I didn't catch the bug ('cause oh I did), but because of my CAREER. Well, fuck! Fuck THAT. I figure, what the hell? I'm not acting, I still want the tattoos... done deal. I can regret it later.

That reminds me of an old BFL joke:
Leaping off cliff in the throes of carpe-diem-ness: "No regrets! NO REGRETS!!"
Realizing 2 seconds later that you just leapt off a fucking cliff: "Regrets! Oh, regrets!"

Anyhoo ... tattoo. Where? What? Advice welcome. I have some ideas, but what I really want is someone really cool and intuitive and talented to interview me and then design me something. Does that happen? Do people do that without you having to be a millionaire? Many things I'd have once considered tattooing have been ruined by others. Things that inspire/intrigue me but that have been co-opted by or are so closely associated with subcultures that I'm not actually a part of (e.g. celtic or celtic-inspired, pin-up girls, gargoyles). God(dess) bless all you folks, but I am not one of you.

What's a girl to do? I don't know; you tell me.

If I achieve inspiration, I will let you know. Hell, I'll post pictures!

I remember when I got my first tattoo. I was 19. I went in thinking I would get a little shamrock on my ankle, and (typically) walked out with the moon and stars on my left shoulder blade. I was at college, 19 years old. I didn't need Mom & Dad's permission at that point, but wasn't immune to their definite influence or to my self-imposed guilt. So I waited until afterward to tell them. They were a bit used to me by now (being their daughter and all) and barely blinked in front of me when I told them; although I bet they had a lively discussion later. They merely paused, and that pause was legion. Among other things it said, "we love you," and "why would you do that?!" and "I can't believe you are our daughter" and "well, it's your body." Later, I swear they got a kick out of telling their friends. "Our crazy daughter, you know Peggy. She nuts, but we love her! She got a tattoo! Can you believe it?" They got to pretend more shock then they felt and at the same time hold up the indy street cred of their daughter. Anyway, in my imagination they secretly loved it.

My parents raised me to be an independent thinker. And oh I bet they rue the day! I love you Mom & Dad! Best gift EVER.

9.12.2008

McCain the heartbreaker

I have not agreed with McCain much of the time since I started paying attention to him (in his failed bid for the White House), but he was someone that I learned to respect greatly. "There's a thinking man," I said to myself. "Goshdarnit, we may not agree, but he has integrity. He actually thinks. I think we'd be okay if he were elected." Oh, if wishes were horses ...

The current John McCain is a shell of the previous John McCain, and I am sad when I see him speak now. As I watched his acceptance speech at the RNC, I wanted SO BAD to see the McCain I'd come to admire. As much as I want this whole right-wing fiasco of a goverment to collapse under the weight of its own lies, I wished with all I had that the real John McCain, the one hiding deep down inside, would burst through and show what he used to made of.

I may have cried. At least I felt like it. I want Obama to win so badly it's stupid to even talk about, but I still want the aliens to return McCain.

Anyway, I'm not expressing anything new or intriguing or provocative. If I'd cared to count, I would've already lost count of the number of my liberal friends who feel the same way. And I guess not just them ... Here's a fiercely independent, conservative-leaning blogger who nails it for me: Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic.com: "McCain's Integrity"

IN OTHER NEWS:
I'm back! I think. Maybe. Lotsa changes; lotsa thinking and poking around at various aspects of my life & being. Existential for sure, but no angst involved. It turns out I like to process before I write, rather than while I'm writing. There's been much in my life to process, and therefore no writing. If you're still there, then: Hi stranger!

2.11.2008

the first monday of the rest of my life

It is only appropriate that I celebrated the eve of my fulltimeness by staying out WAY too late and drinking a WEE BIT too much. I had a low-grade hangover all morning.

Hey, look at me! I'm an adult!

2.10.2008

turn and face the stranger

I was featured in an essay that Mike Daisey wrote for The Stranger this past week. If you read this blog or know me pretty well, it's easy to identify the friend of the story as me. Setting aside the main thrust of the essay for a minute and focusing on ME because this is MY BLOG ... It was interesting to read my situation as a story. Mike sent it to me before it went to print, and I giggled when I read it. Because I seem so tragically romantic, which is not how I feel inside. But what he writes does not ring false, and I endorsed it fully. Because it is sad, isn't it? I live my life - it is impossible to view my own life as a narrative. I've come to peace with whatever this decision might mean for me and my future, or else I wouldn't've been able to make the decision in the first place. But as a narrative, it's kinda fucking depressing, for real. If it wasn't me - if I didn't know the person Mike was talking about - I would've felt a tangible loss upon reading about it. Not necessarily for her - the friend - but for the broken system we (theater folk) are trying to make a living in.

An unexpected and gigantic benefit of having a little piece of my life turned into story is that it became this thing outside of me that I can look at, like an object. It is now separate from me as well as inside me, and I get the best of both worlds. Being able to poke and prod it from the outside has released me from it's power, and I feel such freedom. It's real!

THEATER IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THEATER! I now feel truly right about my decision to give up acting. I can also see clearly that while that might mean forever, it also might not. I've rejected the "all or nothing" "yes or no" "professional or amateur" mythic paradigm of artistry. Now I - me, myself - get to define when and how I will or won't pursue it, and with whom. My shackles are broken and I defy your definitions!

2.07.2008

here's a fucking health tip for you ...

If you eat like shit, you will feel like shit. Trust me, I've done the research and it's true.

1.16.2008

turn and face the strange

LOTSA CHANGES! (You get a super special secret kiss if you can name or describe that BFL show and/or sketch.)

Oh, by the by ... I've given up theatre again. You can see my past reflections on this subject (in chrono order): here (in which I break up with acting) , here (in which acting & I patch things up), and here (in which I continue to question my relationship with acting).

I haven't spilled much about my experience with The Women at ACT Theatre. As long as I live, I will think of that production as a gift. An incredibly unique, wonderful and truly special experience. I really have nothing bad to say about it. I loved every minute. And yet, ironically, it was during the production that I realized that my previous semi-facetious disavowal of acting was perhaps actually my prescient subconsciousness prepping me for future action.

During the show's process, I looked at the actors around me (in and out of the show). They mainly fall into 3 categories. They either:
  1. are supported financially by someone else,
  2. worry constantly about money, health insurance and the next job, or
  3. are young.
I mean, really. What am I gonna do? Pushing 40, I'm gonna give up a stable day-job that I like, excellent health insurance and a steady paycheck? I'm gonna go Equity and schlep constantly to pick up theatre work, which most of the time won't even be acting?

Yeah. Seriously? I doubt it. It's laughable. It's also not how I want to live.

I have a friend that has to totally re-budget if she wants to spend $10 at a spontaneous lunch out. I have another friend who lives in a 2-room dive. They are both older than I am. I've got dozens of examples like this. Don't misunderstand - I have no judgments related to them as people. More power to them, and I am honestly thrilled that they are living their dream.

I guess it's just not so much my dream anymore.

Although I also think it's ludicrous to say that I've given it up forever. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I do know that this time feels different than last time when I think I was simply burned out. This feels more permanent, like an actual life-change decision.

In closely related news, I am 2 weeks away from going fulltime at my job. Kage (my jobshare partner and dear friend) decided to pursue another career (which is so exciting and I am so supportive of). Considering these reflections I've just shared, I decided the time was ripe to see what is was like to be a non-actor. Just about the same time, my boss got promoted and asked me to go with her. So I'm also about to be promoted. Weird, right? Doesn't it all seem kinda destined?

I'm pretty much at peace with this for myself, although I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the broader and more general societal implications. How frustrating it is that the world does not value what I am really fucking good at. The tiny niggling nagging feeling that I'm losing the fight by giving up. But t the same time, these feelings seem romantic and self-indulgent.

How does it change you inside to linguistically change how you self-define to the outside world? For as long as I've been a self-supporting adult, I have always been an actor who has a day-job. Now I'll be a 9-to-5er who will maybe act sometimes.

1.08.2008

H to the O

For the first time in weeks, today I drank as much water as I should. In related news, I also peed like 100 times, but who cares? I know from experience that it regulates as soon as my body's flushed some of its toxins. I'm also trying to cut back on my diet cola consumption. At one point, I'd quit it altogether, but then I quit quitting. Now I'm going to quit quit quitting. I'll have to find new ways to get my caffeine. Maybe I'll just start taking speed. I'm joking. DON'T DO DRUGS.

I am finding that it's not the lack of desire to workout that keeps me from it; nor is it the lack of time anymore now that the holidays are over. It's simply that sometimes I get distracted and I forget. Yesterday, for instance - I wanted to workout, but I also wanted to get this project done.* I planned to work on the first half of the project, take a break & workout, and then finish up the project. Well, I forgot to workout. So thoroughly, in fact, that it wasn't until I was reading in bed before sleep that I remembered. The same exact thing happened the day before with a different project.** Apparently this is a tendency of mine, so I need to refine my system. Maybe decide approximately when I want to workout and set an alarm.

TODAY: 1 hour of stationary bike, 100 crunches, 30 push-ups
Prior: I wanted to work out, but I almost put it off to get some little thing done "real quick." Trying to fool myself again! I steered myself to workout right then while thinking about it.
During: Enjoyed it. Easy to do when I have the TV to distract me (which we do in our workout room). I had thought I'd only bike for 1/2-hr, but I changed it to an hour when I realized that The Biggest Loser was on. I swear that is the best show to watch for inspiration. Those fuckers work SO HARD; it's impossible to skimp on a workout when watching that show.
After: Felt excellent, and proud that I pushed myself a bit. My butt hurts from the bike seat. I still detest push-ups.

*The project I was working on yesterday was making a tea cozy. It's my first project with my new sewing machine! I should say "am" instead of "was" because my first attempt failed. Well, no. It didn't fail - it's a kick-ass looking rock-n-roll tea cozy; it just doesn't fit my teapot. I made a newbie mistake (because I'm a newbie), and left too little for seam allowance. Anyone with a smaller pot need a cool tea cozy?

**The project that distracted me on Sunday was creating a new vanity website. Check it out; I love it!

1.07.2008

this is all i did today

I am glorying in newfound web vanity.

In other news, although I never quite recovered from STAYING UP UNTIL FOUR IN THE MORNING, I had nary a sign of hangover. Which is either a true miracle or a freak oversight of nature that I'm sure I will pay for imminently. In the meantime - HEY! you guys that own whoever makes Emergence-C ... I have no right to feel as good as I do, and I thank you.

1.03.2008

bullshit, yoga is relaxing

I'm kidding. Kind of. Seriously, though - that shit is HARD.

TODAY: 45 minutes of beginner's yoga
Prior to: Felt rushed; was worried about how much time I had (or rather didn't have) before I had to leave for the 14/48 meeting.
During: Felt good - the stretches in particular. The woman on the DVD I have does an excellent job of getting me to visualize various muscle activations & grounding, and also describing how it might feel. This helps me a lot, since I don't have a personal coach in the room to monitor me.
After: Glad I fit it in; I really needed the stretching. Yoga's a bit sneaky -- at the time, I felt like maybe I should have done more, but now (a few hours later), my body feels even the little that I did.

Tomorrow, I have the same time crunch issue with work & 14/48. I will try to make it home in between the two and bike for at least 1/2-hr. (stationary bike).

1.02.2008

get on your bikes and ride

So. Turns out that fitness is still one of the first things out the window when I get busy. Not a surprise to me, truly. At least it wasn't the very first thing I threw out the window. And I kept my weight steady throughout the holiday season, even though my habits slipped. I can only guess that some of my base level habits have changed for the better, and I'm actually getting more activity & eating better all around, even though it hasn't been at the forefront of my mind.

2008 is a brand new year full of promise, and I intend to participate in an August triathlon in Seattle. 1/2-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run (or thereabouts, depending on the final route). I was persuaded (quite easily) to do it by a friend who was going to do it again only if she could round up some other gals to commit. So I'm in, as well as some other lady friends of ours (it's a female-only event).

The most exciting development is that my mom's going to fly out to do it with me!!! She's a seasoned triathlon competitor, so it'll be pretty cool to be able to join her finally. And maybe my dad'll come to shame Monkey into getting up that early to come watch. ;-)

Today was the first day of my active "training." (I'll take the quotes off when I feel like I'm truly back on the fitness wagon, and not just playing catch-up to what I should have been doing for the last 2 months.) Monkey has consented to be my "pace-car" and I think is excited to have a reason to get back on the wagon himself.

The main thing for me is to take in manageable steps. I get clotted up when I try to think of the totality of being in shape enough to run a triathlon, and then I just want to play computer games and let my avatar run for me. So - I have given myself a very achievable goal of doing some kind of fitness activity every day, to be increased in intensity as I progress. One step at a time. I know that planning also important for me, so I will ponder possibilities & decide each day what my activity will be for the following day.

TODAY: Monkey & I jogged approx. 2 miles. Around the neighborhood, not the track.
Weather: A light rain, but not too cold, and not unpleasant.
Prior: I didn't feel like doing it, but I said I would force myself, and I did.
During: The first bit was hell, and then I kinda caught my stride - more so, anyway. My lungs burned from lack of recent cardio, and that feeling has lingered a bit (it's been about an hour since getting home). My legs were sore from painting last week, and from bowling the other day, and the running loosened them up. By the end, I wasn't out of breath, but simply tired in my body.
After: Glad I did it, but frustrated that it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped.
Notes to self: Drink more water. Remember your sense of humor. Don't get fussy with your helper, because he's doing it for you.
Tomorrow: I don't have much time tomorrow due to work & the kick-off of the 14/48 festival. I will plan to do yoga either before the meeting or before bed.