Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meditation and All of It's Eventual Benefits

These days, I "meditate" for 15 minutes a day. I have not yet today, but I will.

I have been doing this for only 2 weeks -- so it has not yielded its amazing results yet.

So far it is just another task. Another way to pass my idle days of nothingness, coffee drinking, and "20 minute vitamin-D" walks. I am in Pennsylvania for 3 more days while I still have a "job" doing my shows at night. Then my grueling work of afternoon babysitting and stressing over the auditions I did not attend- will begin again in NYC.

The meditation results I am hoping for are: peace of mind, peaceful thoughts, physical beauty, happiness, amazing confidence, robotic indifference to my problems, physical beauty, glowing health, money, creativity, physical beauty, love, laughter, and physical beauty.

None of these have happened yet, but I have high hopes and even higher standards for my new and improved life.

It has become clear to me that all the noble and difficult things I do to try and improve my life are very selfish at their core, but I think that is true for many people. Or at least I tell myself to selfishly feel better.

These days I eat my buttery diet of psychotically and obsessively whole foods in order to attain brilliant health that everyone will be envious of one day.

I go for my daily walk in the sun to exercise a little bit, but not so much that I am annoyed, so I will be able to label myself as both lazy and healthy all at the same time.

I do a set of 15 girly push-ups once a week for the same reason.

I don't drink a lot of alcohol anymore because I want to feel amazing when I wake up.

I gave a donation to a few Christmas charities a few weeks ago (I hear that if you give your money- you become rich by the laws of karma. See? Selfish.) But I am ok with it, because otherwise I may never do anything for anyone else, and then where would I be?! I would have no friends!

Then again, why else would I eat well (minus the entire $5 dark chocolate bar I ate in my bed last night) and exercise moderately and not be an alcoholic? For someone else? For my parents to be proud of me? For my unborn children!? I don't know the answers to these questions, but again I am hoping that through meditation I will be able to answer all worldly and other-worldly quandaries.*

Coffee + Meditation

One last thing I have to say about meditation is that I know I will be very good at it one day. Because I make it VERY hard for myself to be in any state of peace by drinking a LOAD of coffee right before I meditate.

This seems counterintuitive- and- it is. But I assume it is also really flexing my relaxation muscles.

That is all for today, for I must go meditate. If I don't, my future amazingness is at stake.



*Actually, in a very roundabout way I guess I kind of do some of these self-improvement projects for my very hypothetical unborn children, because if my children are horrible, then that would be very annoying to me, especially if I am still in an unimproved, un-enlightened state.

Scary Underwater

When I was little and bored, I used to draw a simpler version of this picture below to freak myself out.

Mine was a little microscopic dude in a microscopic rowboat, with a mammoth whale-seamonster right below him.

ooooOoOooOOoooOooohhhh shiiiIiiiIIivvVvvveEeeerRszzss


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What You Care About Most

As we have already established, I love self-help books. And one day my life is going to be so amazing you are going to wish you spent your early twenties reading self-help books too. But never mind, I'll let you know when that day comes.

In a chapter in The Joy Diet about how to find out your "true career", Martha Beck writes that all of her clients based in NYC found themselves doing what they truly cared about the night of September 11th, 2001. Sally flushed her drugs away, workaholic Jack spent time with his family, cyclist Jimbob pedaled towards the towers in order to help people etc.

She urges us to remember 9-11, or another time of tragedy, to see what we, ourselves, care about most....

My Dramatic Story

On the evening of September 11th, 2001, I was a mere 13 years old.

I was an '8th grader' at my private all-girl's school, so life was good because we were finally allowed to wear white polo shirts instead of yellow. Yessss.

I remember now that I was friends with people who stressed me out that year- because they really loved school dances, whereas I would have rather shot myself in the foot. But I didn't, because everybody seemed to like dances, so I decided I would hold my shot, and try for one more year to see what the hell people loved about them so much. Was it the rap music I didn't know any of the words to? Was it the huddle of boys from Haverford School that were standing on the opposite side of the gym? Was it the pain in my feet that would jump-start what looks like a lifetime of footache? I don't know. And I nevvverrrr willllllll. People must have been drinking. That makes things better. I, however, was NOT.

Also, I could not use my ballet skills on the dance floor.

But anyway, life was ok, because I hadn't been forced to go to a school dance yet, because after all, it was only the very beginning of September.

I had spent that summer trying one last ditch effort to be a normal person and take tennis at the golf club where my family belonged. It turns out after years of trying, I truly hated swim team, so I had finally let that one go. But! I tried Tennis Camp! Because my so-far lifelong crush would be attending as well, and he was really awesome at tennis. He was also very skilled at bouncing the tennis ball endlessly on his racket. (He was an amazing swimmer as well but I just couldn't keep up the swim team for him anymore.)

I had liked him for years. Years and years. Our parents were very good friends but I had probably spoken 4 words to him in my life. And one of them I specifically remember, when I used the word "syrup" to describe the smell of the fog machine at a Swim Team Mixer- but I pronounced it with the wrong emphasis on the syllable- and I have never forgiven myself. Plus, extra-curricularly, my ballet lessons were really pulling me from his sphere of golf-club coolness, so I had to give tennis a legitimate try.

P.S. This guy is now 100% gay. Closeted, yes. But I am 100% sure he is gay. Which explains a lot, and set up my future life experiences quite poetically.

Me and Ballet

You also should know, that 8th grade would be the year that I petitioned for an "Independent" sport: Ballet. Meaning, I got to sit in the library with the other 3 "Independent" equestrians, while my whole class did sports, and 'we did our homework' and they talked about horses.

I really thought I loved ballet. I went to ballet school with tough girls with enviable belly-button rings who had mothers who smoked (whattt!!!???). They were all amazing dancers, and really good at tap and hip hop. But I was only mildy decent at ballet even though I "loved it".

However, that 'love' would turn into dread in just a few months when I started wearing a specially bought 32-E sized bra from the same bra manufacture that Oprah used. (Le Mystere, in case you are curious). Ballllleeettttt bodddyyyyyyyy.

Back to September 11th.

As far as the tennis is concerned, that was the last summer that I spent my summer outdoors. The rest of my school life (and life-life) would feature summers rehearsing musicals in a school cafeteria for 8 hours a day developing a nice pasty glow. Previous summer muscles would begin atrophying- and my beauty began to really become "unique".

So, this was the last year that I returned to school in September with any sort of sun-tan.

There I was, bronzed and wearing a white polo on a Tuesday morning in September. We had an emergency assembly in the "Assembly Room". Our head of middle school told us a tragedy had occurred and two planes had hit buildings in New York. Etc. I had never heard of the twin towers before, so I was just confused. I was sure it was some sort of accident.

When I finally got home in the early afternoon- I watched the news with my family (my dad was not there because he supposed to be was traveling, by plane, for business. So for a while he may have been dead, but my mother got a call eventually that he was in fact alive, stuck in an airport). But, no matter what was going on, I could not ignore that the time for my 4:30 ballet class was creeping up...

My mom said I should call to see if there were classes. Could it be? Could they be cancelled? I faced my fear of speaking on the telephone for that one evening to call the dance school. Their answering machine told me that, due to the tragedy, there would be no dance classes that afternoon.

Self- Help Book Question: 

What is Your Biggest Memory from the evening of September 11th? What did you truly care about most amidst tragedy?


Answer: My biggest and near only memory from 9-11-01, was ELATION that I had no dance class.

What I truly cared about most, was sitting in my living room and eating Whole Foods Snickerdoodles.

Do I remember spending time with my family? Thinking about my passions? Caring for others?

No, if one's actions in the aftermath of tragedy point to one's true passions, mine are NO DANCE and snacks.

And to this day, honestly.... that is still pretty accurate.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas: Cookies & Grandmothers




Fun Times For All:






mummy dearest
dad?

 

I made almond-flour ginger cookies. And they were delicious, however questionable looking.

My mother (who, to my knowledge, has never has baked a christmas cookie in her life) insisted from her comfortable kitchen window-seat throne- that I had to form some of them into "little men".

When I told her we didn't have any cookie cutters/rolling pins, she said that "organic shapes" were best.



Also, we have an old pot-belly stove-turned-oven with a numberless oven dial, so.... cooking times are not consistent:


They might look horrible to the naked eye, but they were good- and weirdly spicy.


***
Last night (christmas) my Irish-accented grandmother had muucch wine, and proceeded to tell me a story that I was "too young to hear, but achh, oh well": Once upon a time, when my grandmother had only 2 children yet, her mother in-law, my great-grandmother, told her that there was "such a thing as birth control now, you know".... the story went on and on- included the phrase "plowed away", and I nodded and pretended that this was all I wanted to hear from my Grandmother on Christmas.

Irish Grandmother

Also, my grandmother loves to point out my mother's "bum". Last night the three of us had a special conversation about how my grandmother has padded underwear to wear with certain "slacks" that give her more shape. My grandmother tried to get my mother to borrow the padded underwear to fill her out when my mom was undergoing chemo. She told me I didn't need any padded underwear.

Also, she claims that someone told her it is very normal to wear padded underwear in California.... I told her she should get implants.

***

My other Grandmother thinks that I should be lying about my age already. For I am too old at 23-almost-24! Obviously!

On Christmas Eve, she tried to tell my Aunt that I was a year younger than I am- and when I told my aunt the truth- my grandmother scolded me: "Don't tell them THAT!!"

For what purpose am I trying to trick my Aunt?

However, she wants to take me to a very, very fancy dinner tomorrow night at The Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia.

Maybe she thinks I deserve a little joy before I die of old age.

Besides beautiful cash, this grandmother gave me a very heavy Bill O'Reilly pen that has "PATRIOT" printed on it.

That's all the Christmas I care to write about now.

Merry Merry.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spiritual Spanx

I love Self Help Books.

Mostly Spiritual Self Help Books. Because want to be a Zen Master.

I like books about living in the moment and positive thinking, and sometimes the ones about ruling the world from your couch. Actually I never bought that one specifically, but this reminds me that I should.

I love them. And I believe in them. However, the times (hours, days, months) that I am not reading them- I forget all about implementing them and their "life enhancing" advice.

And, also...  this blog is absolutely the OPPOSITE of everything I learn in them. Complain-y. Orrrrrrr maybe not. Maybe I am actually tapping into my true nature and being honest and liberating myself. Its hard to say. But it is definitely not focused on the Zen side of my being.

So anyway- 4 days ago I started a new "15 minutes a day meditation" regime, where you essentially sit there and watch your brain explode with a million thoughts. You just watch your brain go mad and you sit there knowing you are not the brain going mad. And then you are peaceful. Get it? Of course you don't.

But, as I "meditated" upstairs just now, I was also supposed to focus on the feelings in my body and  notice and label them without judging them. Ommmmmm.

For instance: "I am angry. And it is like there is a glowing fire the size of a tennis ball swirling in my shoulder. It is orange and red and yellow" Etc.

So anyway, today I felt anxiety in the form of constricted breathing. I felt like I couldn't take in a full breath and that I was going to run out of air. As I started to panic that I was going to suffocate I remembered to just.... label it.... and feel the fear of suffocating to death... and simply describe it to myself. (all while fully feeling the fear of suffocating to death, which, by the way, is totally irrational. Why would I suffocate to death sitting on my bed?)

The perfect description came to me: It felt like I had spanx on my lungs. There was a pair of too-tight spanx on my lungs- and every breath was constricted. And since I was devoted to 15 minutes of sitting with no distractions- there is nothing to focus on but my imminent suffocation/the vague anxiety that is causing it.



The spanx were also sewn to my shoulders and my lower back so every time I breathed it would pull my body in towards my spandex lungs.

After I sat there with SpanxLungs for about 5 minutes, and allowed myself to feel the anxiety of suffocating to death, then the spanx stopped being too tight. So now....maybe my lungs are just wearing regular-old-underwear. Which is fine.

I hope you are enlightened by this story.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pants and Heels

I like wearing flats. 

Flat boots, flat flats, Little sneaky sneakers, Clogs- whatever.

Sometimes, on the rare occasion when I truly won't have to walk or stand, I will wear high heels with a skirt. For instance, to a family holiday party where my parents will drive me there, I can couch-it the whole time, and only get up to wobble around awkwardly a few times- to get a shrimp or pour myself more wine. 

The nights I have worn high heels out in the city, starting in a cab and tricking myself into thinking "I won't have to walk" never works, and they have been some of the worst nights of my life. Regret and pain and wobbling. And walking. ALWAYS WALKING. I don't understand women in tv shows and movies- or just plain famous people - or even real people wearing heels. How?

So, I'm already wearing mostly only flats, sometimes heals with skirts to make my grandmothers impressed with me on Christmas and Easter and some family member's holy sacraments.

Ok, let me get on with my point.

The original point of beginning to write this post was: When I wear pants + high heels, which is quite rare, I feel like a bonafide idiot. I literally feel like my brain gets stupider and my body gets awkwarder. And that my legs take on a ghastly strange shape and that the bottom of my pants disappear and that my head is going to touch the ceiling. And when I walk I look like a bird with bendy backward knees and a jangly stride.

Whenever I wear this hellish combination, it is because I trick myself into thinking that it will make my legs look long and graceful- or whatever they say in magazines.

Every time I wear high heels and pants I remind myself NEVER TO DO THIS AGAIN. 

It is quite possible that I am insane and that I look like every other person who wears high heels and pants... whom actually, by the way, look stupid too. Really they do, and so do you. 

you know exactly what I mean

The reason I feel so strongly about how terrible I feel in heels/pants, is because I am actually currently wearing high-heeled clog boots (so .... they aren't even real high heels) and purple corduroy flare pants (which is a whole other issue) and I feel like a pelican. And, even after feeling horrible in them, I am still wearing them now only to inspire myself to write this. This morning I thought I would be able to pull off the "flare and clog" thing going on this Winter 2011/12 - but I should have known better.

Also, earlier today, someone affectionately patted me on the arm and I fell over sideways.

There is no moral to this story.

Tis the Season


A Muppet Christmas Carol.

I didn't see this movie until I was in college. And it is my favorite childhood Christmas movie.

Nothing more to say.

I don't feel like complaining today. I fear its because of a spiritual self help book that has made me peaceful. If this lasts my writing is really going to suffer.

agh

Friday, December 9, 2011

Childhood Christmas Memories

It becomes more and more clear to me that I have a terrible long-term memory. Or maybe its just a highly selective memory. You tell me.

When asked to conjure up memories of childhood Christmases, as we are asked to do for the show I am currently in, everyone else in my cast seems to remember very specific happy, fun, exciting memories- yet I am scouring my brain for any sort of Christmas memory at all, and forget the good ones! I only remember the bad memories and the times gone wrong.

This is apparently the most of what I remember from childhood Christmases :


  • An awkward, scary christmas party of a family friend with mostly all adults- and a select few kids I did not know and never got to know. Santa was there, but I stayed away. There was also an indoor pool that was eerily lit. However, they had that cool mini moving display of those magic, magnetic moving wintery skaters which mesmerized me and my brother. The only consolation for the awkwardness of the party was the baked goods the random elderly would feed us as they patted our heads like a full-on cartoon. Can this memory be real? I don't know.
  • Speaking of, I liked putting cookies out for Santa. I thought it was unbelievable that he would actually have the time to eat them- but still leave a bite, always. Why? One year we didn't have any cookies to put out for him, and I was very distressed. My parents were not concerned and said he could eat some of the carrots we put out for the reindeer- but I knew he would not be happy about that.
  • I seem to remember every electronic gift I got that immediately was a lemon, or needed batteries we did not have. 
  • I remember the year we went on a scavenger hunt through the house to find a crate with dog supplies! We were getting a golden retriever! And then my mom gave it away. Two years later one of my xmas gifts was a stuffed golden retriever attached to a mini, faux dog bed. And, I was 14. Why? Why?
  • To break up this spoiled complaining a bit: we always had lovely, warm and jolly get togethers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night with my two respective sides of the family. And, yes, They are always great. But my memory is so bad that its all just a nice blur. Except I remember one year my dad gave me the pizza t -shirt he won in the adult "White Elephant". I also normally have to sing something awkwardly. Also, my cousin often also plays the trumpet for us all. He is now 16, so lets see if he does it this year. 

some more merrymaking.

  • One year my mother bought an electronic "Bird Calls" book with a speaker for the White Elephant. That was funny actually.
  • Normally there is some "hilarious" throw down between two adults in the white elephant on my dad's side, often involving Giants vs. Eagles paraphernalia. And at the White Elephant on my mom's side there were always some strange, comical gifts in the mix (Bird Calls). But, can barely tell you one specific story or example. BECAUSE I HAVE A TERRIBLE MEMORY, and details evade me.
look my dad got a gift certificate!
my uncle won ONION GOGGLES! Stylish AND utilitarian!
the first year my cousin Sean entered the  "adult polyanna" (White Elephant) he got stuck with my mother's decorative, birdhouse pitchfork.
  • When I was a teenager, there was a big blue couch pillow in with all of my Christmas presents. This represented the couches that were going to go in the basement. Which, I am sure my mother would have bought regardless of me or of Christmas. Thank YOU!
  • ONE year, when I was ... 4 or so.... Santa wrote me a note and said that I was not old enough for the sort of baby doll that talks and pees and stuff and I was SO UPSET.
  • Back when I went to Catholic School for 2 years (pre-k and Kindergarten), in the Kindergarten nativity play, I was the Narrator of the whole show, who was the only one who spoke. It was apparently an honor, but I was sad because I wasn't Mary. And obviously, Mary is the star.
  • One year we got a ping pong table in the basement, and my brother and sister and I didn't even notice it for hours, even though we were sitting right next to it looking at our other presents. That was actually pretty cool.
  • When I was ten, I cried to my mom when she wouldn't tell me for SURE if Santa wasn't real or not. She kept on saying "What do YOOUUUUUU think?" in this fake way. She was trying to tell me he was not real without saying the words. She got mad because I was too naive to understand and accept what she was trying to tell me.
  • My brother and I would have sleepovers on Christmas eve and sing happy birthday to Jesus in the morning on the years we remembered because it "made us feel less guilty and selfish". One year my brother was sleeping in my trundle bed, and farted too many times. As he was laughing maniacally I told him to GET OUT. He begged to stay in and I said the only way he could sleep in my room was if he slept on my desk naked, hoping he would choose to just return to his room. But, no, he slept on my desk naked.
Those are all the memories I have- I have some blurry memories from school, but most involve being sad that I didn't own any tights that were striped like candy canes like my friend "Gundy". And wishing that my bright red shirt fit me better. Probably also feeling ill from cookies.



Merry Christmas Season! May my memory improve only as well as my memories improve.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gossip Ain't Cheap and Alcoholic Cucumbers

The problem with having this popular blog linked to my naaammmeee, is that annnyonnne could potentially find it. And if I have written (negatively)(or just teasingly) about anyone at all, (for SPORT of course), they would potentially be able to find it and know what I have done. Even if I changed their name and used all sorts of euphemisms, it would be easy to guess.

So... alas.... I am left to make fun of myself, my mother.... and..... random people like postal workers, etc.

I can also only write about very neutral, acceptable robot-like goings on, like a sort of loveless robot. Which is fine, I guess. Except that this is MY BLOOGGGGG. AND I CAN'T EVEN WRITE IN IT. The only reason I linked it to my name in the first place is because I was sick of signing in and out of google accounts for anonymity.

In case you are excited for a juicy story about how I hate my boss and killed my lover, this confession does not accompany an actual story.

Also, on the flip side, my attempts at writing about happiness, joy, and the beauty-of-the-world always fall short because a) it is not my talent and b) it makes me want to hurl. So, I'll keep happy stuff to my personal diary that does not exist.

That being said, let's go for some cheap thrills! Have Want Need! Because it is Christmastime again! The time for making a list of things you want your parents to get you even though you are technically a grown woman who should be considering "giving back". And don't worry, I am considering it.

What do I HAVE!?

a dose of ye olde holiday cheer

What do I WANT?!



to learn how to make froth-art


What do I NEED?!


to be a cat. 
all sleeping, stretching, and walking around asking for tuna


***

Unrelatedly: Let me leave you with this quote:

Once you have turned into a pickle you can never be a cucumber again.

I read the quote and loved it. However, when searching for where it originated, I learned it is supposed to mean something like: "Once you are addicted to drugs, you will never be a fresh cucumber again, even if you get sober, sorry". Something like that.