Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flaws of Consumption

I recently gave up caffeine--it wasn’t intentional at first. When at the ER a few weeks back, the doctor told me that I needed to cut caffeine out of my diet to help with my intestinal pains until they knew for certain what was going on. As I was recovering from being sick, Kirby told me that this eating plan—I refuse to call it a diet—that we were going to do necessitated us cutting out all forms of caffeine from soda to coffee.

Of course, this was not what I wanted to hear. Coffee and I are old friends; some of my favorite memories are of me clad in my white trench coat, scarf around my neck with my coffee and cigarette as I made my way through the Public Gardens in Boston. I use coffee as a reason to get up in the morning, the last push of energy before a big night on the town, the small treat I allow myself to go out and get when I am cranking away on my writing. It’s been as much a part of my life as anything else and something that I romanticize on a regular basis. Needless to say—it was going to be difficult.

After a painful few days, I found myself over the headaches and general crankiness that comes from the withdrawal. I was able to pull myself out of bed and into my morning routine a bit easier, I worked around the writing/coffee connection with mineral water and a champagne glass, I would take an extra long shower to re-energize before heading out into the social whirlwind. It was easy to work around the actual mechanics of my coffee addiction.

But what I realized was how much I used coffee to prop myself and ignore what my body needed. I found myself getting more and more tired in random ways; I could start to feel how hungry my body was getting when before I would use coffee to give a boost of energy and could actually feel that moment when I needed sleep as opposed to cover up the tired with a last minute jolt of java. Doing this led me to really sit down and consider how I am actually living in terms of my health; of how much I used caffeine as a way to ignore food and sleep and all the things that a human being actually needs to make one function.

It’s amazing all the little things we do to try and control what is so basic for existence. That I was constantly running on empty when it came to my stomach and on fumes when it came to sleep bank. It has forced me to be more careful about not only trying to eat right but eat when I need to—not waiting until the point that I am so hungry anything will do. That it makes my sleep better and deeper, that it teaches me not push my body so far out of the safety zone that I become a zombie and how much better it feels to know how my body wants and needs to work as opposed to just forcing it along.

But with all that said—I still miss that jolt. That rush of energy and focus that caffeine seems to bring on some level. Eventually I had to work back in decaf coffee just for my own sense memory, a way to trick myself into thinking I was giving in. I have found that Fresca goes well with vodka, that I can do Sprite in restaurants and that I can usually find a decaf version of almost anything drink I like. The pull of the caffeine still lingers but can be tricked.

But I have to admit when Kirby told me that the eating plan—not diet—allowed for caffeine to be reworked into the meal schedule—I have to admit my heart did a little leap. We’ll see if I can handle the temptation—even though I know the flaws of consumption.
Have and Want

“Try to put your happiness before anyone else's, because you may never have done so in your entire life, if you really think about it, if you are really honest with yourself.”Margaret Cho

I have been thinking a lot about this quote as of late. Recently the boy and I had to split up our weekend plans; he had a birthday party for a West Hollywood friend of his and Dominic was having one of his film nights for gang in the Valley. One of the hardest parts of any relationship is trying to figure out how to balance your life, your plans, your schedule and your friendships with whomever you’re dating—but this was the first time I really felt that Johnno and I had faced this issue.

And I did feel really guilty in the week or so leading up to the parties—on one hand, Johnno has been to so many events with my friends where as I have only had a handful with his, but then Dominic really tried to move the film night around to accommodate a slew of us and I was one of the people he took into consideration. But as I thought about the weekend and all its plans, I found myself saying that “I have to go” in regards to the film night.

It wasn’t until one of my nocturnal coffee walks that I realized that I really ‘”wanted” to go to Dominic’s for the film festival. That I shouldn’t feel bad about making that choice, that it didn’t make Johnno’s party any less important or make my relationship with him any more or less one-sided. That if I really sat down and thought about my life, I spend too much time thinking that I “have” to do things instead of “wanting” to do things.

The truth is, if I am honest with myself, the only things I have to do in life is eat, sleep, paying my bills and that’s it. I don’t “have” to hang out with people, or call my family, or work more at a job or diet and workout. I do those things because I want to. There is no shame in saying that—it doesn’t make me a bad person for realizing that the choices I make in life can come from being about myself more than being about expectation.

So often we put ourselves into situations where we feel forced to do things rather than choose them. We do things out of imagined obligation, out of self imposed guilt or expectations that we some created in our own head. At the end of our lives, those moments where we feel forced, put up or choice less are not the moment we’ll wish we had. And there is something freeing about owning our actions out of desire than internal pressure—it makes the choices more pleasurable, more rewarding and more important.

I work out because I want to look good, I put extra time into my job because I want to succeed for myself, I write my blog because it clears my head, I talk to the boy every night because I want to hear his voice. My relationships exist and grow from my own words and deeds; I am the best friend for those I choose to be, I am the son I am because I work to be that person, I am the words I give myself out of my own determination.

And by allowing this, I take so much pressure off of myself. Are there times where I will be torn? Be disappointed in myself or other? Wonder if I could be more and done more? Of course. But at the end of the day, I sleep better because I know I choose to make my own happiness and my existence on my own terms and for my own purposes.

How can I not be happy about that?

I have been of a wreck this weekend—anxious and tender, prone to over indulgence or underestimating what I need, on pins and needles or running on adrenaline. There’s been a whole lot of all or nothing type behavior which can be great at times but draining at others.

See, the truth is I am on the cusp of getting everything I want. It sounds vainglorious, trite, and egocentric but it is where I stand at this moment. But conversely I am always at the end of being uncertain about everything; subjected to the whims of others, the winds of fate, the universe at large.

This past week I finally got the phone I had been waiting for—the producers at my summer job, ‘BB’, called me in to talk about my future with the show and particularly about promotions. This sent me into a bit of a tizzy because I have wanted so long for this moment to happen but I have always been scared of when and what would happen next.

And so on Friday I went to have my meeting with the higher ups; one of whom I have been friendly with since my first season on the show and the other who I know mostly by sight and an exchange here and there. I could barely figure out how to get dressed, how to string two sentences together, how to keep myself from looking how I felt. It didn’t help matters that the meeting didn’t start till about 20 minutes after it should have and I found myself trying not pace but pacing all the same.

I think I managed to make a good impression during the meeting; there was a lot of talk about my resume, my life goals, about various opportunities for me with the show if I want them. And even feeling that strong and happy coming out of the office, I still felt like I had somehow managed to not be 100 %. I have always subscribed to the idea of not splitting your options and spent most of the meeting fixated on one aspect of the show but didn’t take advantage of the ideas that were being floated my way.

It wasn’t until later with the boy that I realized how much my single-mindedness felt like a bad decision in retrospect. I was at a loss at what to do to try and recoup whatever ground I gained and it wasn’t until the boy and I talked things out that I decided to send my thank you email with an explanation of sorts about where I was coming from. Thankfully one of the producers replied quickly and explained that he understood exactly what I was talking about and not to worry.

Added to my weekend was the fact that Johnno is looking to make a move over to the Valley side and away from Mar Vista. If you know Los Angeles, you know that having someone live that far away when dating can be a bit hard—add to the fact that I don’t drive and it becomes a bit of a handicap at points. So we spent the remainder of Friday looking at various apartments that we found on-line and stumbled across one that could be perfect.

It is right in the middle of everything between being walking distance from my house, easy access for him to get to work and near a bunch of the group. The neighborhood was one that Kelly and Lizzie had lived in back in the day, looked cute and did just barely fit into the price range. We called to try and set up a look see for this weekend but the manager/owner never called us back and so we’re waiting to hear if it is even still available.

But the best part of the apartment is the way it will free up our relationship. So much of our time together is very much in synch but there are time when we want to see each other more, other times when we need to be apart to do separate things but it’s hard to look at one another and say ‘okay—go away for a bit and come back around later’. This apartment would free us from that feeling and would be a huge boon. I think we’re both very aware of this and on the edge of our seats to see what comes out of this.

And so I feel like I am on the cusp of having everything all at once—the perfect job, the perfect relationship set-up, the perfect living situation, the perfect life for now. And yet I feel nervous because so much of this feels like it could not happen, that it could go awry. I don’t deal well with ‘wait and see’ and so I feel like I am crawling out of my skin at points.

It’s like hanging on the edge by fingers and toes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Manifesto Or No More Ego

(Taken from Tomato Nation)

The Vine: January 15, 2005The Vine: January 18, 2005 »25 And Over
If you have reached the age of 25, I have a bit of bad news for you, to wit: it is time, if you have not already done so, for you to emerge from your cocoon of post-adolescent dithering and self-absorption and join the rest of us in the world. Past the quarter-century mark, you see, certain actions, attitudes, and behaviors will simply no longer do, and while it might seem unpleasant to feign a maturity and solicitousness towards others that you may not genuinely feel, it is not only appreciated by others but necessary for your continued survival. Continuing to insist past that point that good manners, thoughtfulness, and grooming oppress you in some way is inappropriate and irritating.

Grow up.

And when I instruct you to grow up, I do not mean that you must read up on mortgage rates, put aside candy necklaces, or desist from substituting the word "poo" for crucial syllables of movie titles. Silliness is not only still permitted but actively encouraged. You must, however, stop viewing carelessness, tardiness, helplessness, or any other quality better suited to a child as either charming or somehow beyond your control. A certain grace period for the development of basic consideration and self-sufficiency is assumed, but once you have turned 25, the grace period is over, and starring in a film in your head in which you walk the earth alone is no longer considered a valid lifestyle choice, but rather grounds for exclusion from social occasions.

And now, for those of you who might have misplaced them, marching orders for everyone born before 1980.

1. Remember to write thank-you notes. If you do not know when a thank-you note is appropriate, consult an etiquette book — the older and more hidebound the book, the better. When in doubt, write one anyway; better to err on the side of formality. An email is not sufficient thanks for a physical gift. Purchase stationery and stamps, set aside five minutes, and express your gratitude in writing. Failure to do so implies that you don't care. This implication is a memorable one. Enough said.

2. Do not invite yourself to stay with friends when you travel anymore. Presumably you have a job, and the means to procure yourself a hotel. If so, do so. If not, stay home. Mentioning that you plan a visit to another city may lead to an invitation to stay with a friend or family member, which you may of course accept; assuming that "it's cool if you crash" is not. Wait for the invitation; if it is not forthcoming, this is what we call "a hint," and you should take it and make other arrangements.

3. Do not expect friends to help you move anymore. You may ask for help; you may not expect it, particularly if your move date is on a weekday. Your friends have jobs to go to, and you have accumulated a lot of heavy books by this point in your life. Hire a mover. If you cannot afford a mover, sell your books or put them in storage — or don't move, but one way or another, you will have to cope.

4. Develop a physical awareness of your surroundings. As children, we live in our own heads, bonking into things, gnawing on twigs, emitting random squawks because we don't know how to talk yet. Then, we enter nursery school. You, having graduated college or reached a similar age to that of the college graduate, need to learn to sense others and get out of their way. Walk single file. Don't blather loudly in public spaces. Give up your seat to those with disabilities or who are struggling with small children. Take your headphones off while interacting with clerks and passersby. Do not walk along and then stop suddenly. It is not just you on the street; account for that fact.

5. Be on time. The occasional public-transit snafu is forgivable, but consistent lateness is rude, annoying, and self-centered. If we didn't care when you showed up, we'd have said "any old time"; if we said seven, get there at seven or within fifteen minutes. Do not ditz that you "lost track of time" as though time somehow slipped its leash and ran into traffic. It shows a basic lack of respect for others; flakiness is not cute anymore, primarily because it never was. Buy a watch, wind it up, and wear it everywhere you go.

6. Have enough money. I do not mean "give up your scholarly dreams and join the world of corporate finance in order to keep up with the Joneses." I mean that you should not become that girl or boy who is always a few dollars short, can only cover exactly his or her meal but no tip, or "forgot" to go to the ATM. Go to the ATM first, don't order things you can't afford, and…

7. Know how to calculate the tip. Ten percent of the total; double it; done. You did not have to major in math to know how this works. You are not dumb, but your Barbie-math-is-hard flailing is agonizing and has outstayed its welcome. Ten percent times two. Learn it.

8. Do not share the crazy dream you had last night with anyone but your mental wellness professional. Nobody cares. People who starred in the dream may care, but confine your synopsis to ten words or fewer.

9. Learn to walk in heels. Gentlemen, you are at your leisure. Ladies: If you wear heels, know how to operate them. Clomping along and placing your foot down flat with each step gives the appearance of a ten-year-old playing dress-up, but a pair of heels is like a bicycle — you need momentum to stay up. Come down on the heel and carry forward through the toe, using your regular stride. If you feel wobbly, keep practicing, or get a pair that's better suited to your style of walking. It isn't a once-a-year prom thing anymore for a lot of you, so please learn to walk in them.

10. Have at least one good dress-up outfit. A dress code, or suggested attire on an invitation, is not an instrument of The Man. Own one nice dress, or one reasonable suit, or one sharp pair of pants and chic sweater — something you can clean up nice in for a wedding or a semi-formal dinner. You don't have to like it, but if the invitation requests it, put it on. Every night can't be poker night. Which reminds me…

11. Do as invitations ask you. Don't bring a guest when no such courtesy is extended. Don't blow off an RSVP; it means "please respond," and you should. "Regrets only" means you only answer if you can't come. If the party starts at eight, show up at eight — not at seven-thirty so you can go a "better" party later, not at eleven when dinner is cold. Eight. Cocktail parties allow for leeway, of course, but pay attention and read instructions; your host furnished the details for a reason.

12. Know how. Know how to drive. Know how to read a map. Know how to get around. Know how to change a tire, or whom to call if you can't manage it, or how to get to a phone if you don't have a cell phone. We will happily bail you out, until it becomes apparent that it's what you always need. The possibility of a fingernail breaking or a hairstyle becoming compromised is not grounds for purposeful helplessness.

13. Don't use your friends. It's soulless. It's also obvious. If the only reason you continue to associate with a person is to borrow his or her car, might I remind you that you have now turned 25 and may rent your own.

14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. College is over. The war stories have their amusements, but not over and over and not at every gathering. Get a library card, go to the movies, participate in the world. Working is not living. Be interested so that you can be interesting.

15. Give and receive favors graciously. If you have agreed to do a favor, you may not 1) remind the favoree ceaselessly about how great a pain it is for you, or 2) half-ass it because the favoree "owes you." It is a favor; it is not required, and if you cannot do it, say so. If you can do it, pretend that nobody is watching, do it as best you can, and let that be the end of it. Conversely, if you ask for a favor and the askee cannot do it, do not get snappish. You can manage.

16. Drinking until you throw up is no longer properly a point of pride. It happens to the best of us, but be properly ashamed the next day; work on your tolerance, or eat something first, but amateur hour ended several years hence.

17. Have a real trash receptacle, real Kleenex, and, if you smoke, a real ashtray. No loose bags on the floor; no using a roll of toilet paper; no plates or empty soda cans. You are not a fierce warrior nomad of the Fratty Bubelatty tribe. Buy a wastebasket and grown-up paper products.

18. Universal quiet hours do in fact apply to you. They are, generally, as follows — midnight to six AM on weekdays, 2 AM to 8 AM on weekends. Mine is a fairly generous interpretation, by the by, so bass practice should conclude, not start, at ten PM. Understand also that just because nobody has complained directly to you does not mean that a complaint is not justified, or pending. Further, get your speakers off the floor. Yes, "now." Yes, a rug is still "the floor."

19. Take care of yourself. If you are sick, visit a doctor. If you are sad, visit a shrink or talk to a friend. If you are unhappy in love, break up. If you are fed up with how you look, buy a new shirt or stop eating cheese. If you have a problem, try to fix it. Many problems are knotty and need a lot of talking through, or time to resolve, but after a few months of all complaining and no fixing, those around you will begin to wonder if you don't enjoy the problems for the attention they bring you. Venting is fine; inertia coupled with pouting is not. Bored? Read a magazine. Mad at someone? Say so — to them. Change is hard; that's too bad. Effort counts. Make one. Your mommy's shift is over.

20. Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else's, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things On My Wall

So I haven't been too deep as of late and decided that i would try and use random objects to give insight to who I am. i tend to find what people choose to surround themselves with is really an unspoken insight into how they are...

This is on the wall of my closet... It is also probably the picture that really shows the most in what I like about color, texture and art. Anyone who knows me well, and has seen my room, has certainly noticed my fondness for the color orange. I'm not sure if it is the Leo in me or the dramatist in me but this color in this shade just seems to inspire me.

On top of that, the use of the blue and grean peacock feathers as a juxposition to the orange just stirs up that sense of clashing but stirring visual interest that I like. Add to that how the peacock is one of my favorite animals as well as the details on the lavish dress' feathers and it just seems to be everything I like in a picture. Color, texture, as well as the simplicity of it just being an ad that turned into something more for me. I like the everyday as inspiration and that is what this former ad gives to me.

Obviously this is the light switch on my wall. It's funcation, well designed and pretty to look at. That's all well and good but not why I chose it for this blog. Because this thing took forever to find--it's a testament to my attention to details. Someone may only notice once or twice but it reminds me of how important evry little part of the whole is. It's something that i try to carry in my work, my relations and my world view. That we are the sum of all the things we put out into the world. Even the smallest detail.

This my good luck bamboo. It might appear strange that I have such a thing; that I seem flip and very nonspiritual but at the end of the day I take comfort in the ideas of luck, fate, hope and chance. Each piece is meant to represent a bedroom in the apartment and hopefully to watch over each of us as we live our day to day existence. It must work pretty well--I have had the same three stalks since the third year of this apartment and it's been about 7 years since. Here's hoping.

Now this might seem like a similar idea to the first picture--a classic piece of art, a protrait of repose and quiet but that's not why I hung this. It's the front of a card from my friend Lucy; she had mailed it to me years ago as a way to just say hello. The card was about missing each other and thinking of each other but now it hangs in my bathroom. I use it to remind me that even though a person might be far away or gone it doesn't mean they have to far or gone from my thoughts. That relationships are not just about the ones current in my life but about all the people that I have known. That I should remember to call or write or just think about the people who matter to me and remember to show they that I care.

Now this is a gift from Edie--it's a calender of 'Hot Priests of the Vatican City'. She found this present when working on the Bond movie in Italy and was quick to snap one up for my Christmas gift. It reminds me that for all of my illusions and pretensions that I have a fun side, a tacky side, a goofy side. That as much as I ove art and books, cocktails and clothes, witty and double meanings I am also someone who can be relaxed and playful, in jeans and with beer, read Cosmo and watch CW as much as anything else in my life. It also reminds me that my relationships are just as much about the unexpected fun (Because who expects a hot priest calander?) as much as the hard times and the complicated times.

And each of the things reminds me that I am more than just one thing at any time. And that my life is about more than just the moment and what is touchable in the second. It helps to know that and to be reminded when all else is in doubt.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

Talk about revenge

"I am going to be in the room when you have your first child and spit on its face before its even all the way out of you..."
I don't know why but it makes me laugh....

Friday, May 08, 2009

Who Needs a Doctor?

So I spent sometime in the ER this week. Long story short--I had a bit of a tickle in my throat for the ost part of last weekend but by Friday had ended up in the grip of full blow illness. I was feverish, crabby and at times cranky as I spent most of the day bedbound. Normally I would have told the boyfriend to stay away but he and I had plans with his friends--a rarity--so I felt guilty about having to pass. So i told him to come over post dinner so he could see for himself how sick I was. And that I could make him bring soup.

See, i have this thing about being independent which roughly translates to 'I don't need you'. I'm not sure if I gained this trait from my childhood, from my parents or various events that have happened in Los Angeles but whenever I feel weak and out of it I prefer to go it alone. But I let my guilt about having to cancel my plans trump my need to be alone. And so Johnno came over.

Which ended up being a great decision. Bceause as the weekend continued I felt still worse and worse and the boy had to put up with cranky, messy, achy Rory and managed to handle it without leaving or killing me. (which amount to really the same thing at this point.) He was good at giving me space if I needed it, trying to come up with new ways to help me and was the one who finally convinced me that I needed to head off to the ER Monday morning.

And that is where he was a really champ. Whenever I get to that point I tend to become a bit unglued between my fears and my crankiness and my worries about how bad things could get. I become my least flattering verison of myself and someone that I wouldn't spend time with--if I had a choice.

And the boy handled it beautiful. He let me be panicked within reason, he made smart choices when I felt I couldn't but most of all he didn't take it personal that I might have felt the need to send him away. He was supportive of not only me but my need to be independent if I needed it. Johnno was the perfect mix of there and gone--hands off but only far enough away to catch me if needed.

It made the whole weekend worth it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Don't Fight the Awesome

I think this should happen every ten years in my life. That this act just appears somewhere random to please me.

Seriously. How. Awesome. Is. That?

I know I owe a more substantial blog--I should be talking about ER visits or the boy or how I redid the living room because I was bored or how I am 98 percent sure of where I will be this summer. I could talk about giving up caffiene or eating crap all week, about the lives of the Dollhouse or how much time I have spent watching 'The Game' on BET.

Instead I spent my night standing on my little porch, with a glass of white wine in one hand and a smoke in the other, and just let the Santa Ana winds blow over me as I stared up into a clear sky and followed the moon. About how I let a feeling of contentment wash over me as I felt the cool breezes ruffle my hair and drit smoke out past my line of vision. How happy I felt with my lot in life; with the friends I am blessed to have, the boyfriend who has become my most favorite person I know, to have a career that I love and a life I live on my own terms. That I am so fortunate to be able to lead a life of such simple pleasures and one of my own choosing.

That I could say that I was 100 percent happy. No questions or qualms, no self doubt or lingering questions. That if I had die in that one instant I could say I had it amazing.

I could say I was able to hold happiness in my heart.