March 22, 2013
10 of my favorite people and why:
1. the way he makes me feel like i have the brother i always wanted…without the punching and the crying.
2. the way she texts me in the middle of the day at random to tell me how much she misses me.
3. the way he makes me love being a kid again while feeling protected…since the day i was born.
4. the way she always understands my thoughts completely…especially when i express them to her in the exact way they first formed in my own brain.
5. the way he makes me laugh so hard my sides feel like they’re going to rip apart and the more it hurts, the more i crave it.
6. the way her voicemail messages give me the best laugh on the worst days.
7. the way he’s always willing to listen to me, even about the same shit over and over again….and over again.
8. the way her energy calms me naturally and makes me want to stay all night.
9. the way he always makes me feel like a girl…especially during karaoke.
10. the way she saves her advice for the problems that really matter…and knows instinctively which ones those are.
March 10, 2013
10 things i ponder over while driving in Los Angeles:
1. city planners. [aren't these people being paid way too little or way too much? it has to be one or the other cause there ain't no rhyme or reason to this crap in my opinion. there is no good explanation for me being stuck in my car for 1 hour and managing to get exactly 1 mile. no. good. explanation.]
2. autopilot. [what the hell is that phenomenon anyway? i am intrigued by what happens to us when we enter this "autopilot" mode and literally feel like we've been asleep for the majority of a drive and realize when we get to our destination that we don't remember driving there. did our souls leave our body? did our subconscious get a good nap? did aliens invade my body because they wanted to test drive a 2008 Toyota Matrix?]
3. fate. [in the last month or so, i have passed or driven behind a close LA friend of mine oh...i don't know. almost EVERY DAY. he lives near me, but still. i'm now trying to ignore how often it's happening because it makes me feel a little crazy. but it does make me wonder. how many people am i sitting next to at a stoplight that could be my next great friend or my next great love or my next horrible breakup? and how many times did i pass them or sit next to them at that light before we met?]
4. money. [i want a new car goddamn it. and then i ask myself why? and then i ask myself what's wrong with my car? and then i hear my father's voice saying you don't even have a 401K and you are in your mid-thirties. don't buy a car. and then i pass the Lexus dealership in Beverly Hills and i get very very excited and i am very very confused.]
5. time. [i often wonder how much time i spend in my car and if i could only bottle that time and use it to work or take a vacation or sleep what kind of a person i would be and how much better my life would be and how much more evolved i would be. oh jesus i almost got in an accident. i should stop thinking about time and get back to avoiding being side-swiped by that idiot in a Mercedes suv.]
6. children. [depending on the day my feelings vary on the subject of children. sometimes i want one, sometimes i don't. when i'm driving i think about how my life would change and how everything i do would change because my priorities would change. would i drive slower? would i try to beat that light a little less often because my precious little baby is in the back? oh and now i'm thinking about how i don't have sex enough to have children and now i'm at a loss of why this train of thought has any reasoning at all.]
7. Drive. [if it's very late at night while driving in LA and that perfect 80's song starts playing i like to pretend i'm Ryan Gosling in Drive and it's infinitely more fun. or i start to think about Ryan Gosling in general and that's a lot more fun too.]
8. road trips. [when i was in my early 20's i loved taking road trips. i took a 7 week camping road trip in a Cabriolet for god's sake. now i wonder why the fuck anyone would ever want to pile 7 weeks worth of freeze dried food and pillows and lanterns into a tiny little convertible and get stopped at every border because they're dating an indian guy. oh those silly 20 year olds.]
9. Alaska. [there are several reasons i think moving to Alaska is a very cool and brave thing to do. the best of those is the mental picture i have in my head of my daily Alaskan commute. i picture tundra with no cars. no cars, no people... just the bright reflection of freshly fallen snow and the warmth of my heated seat. i've suddenly found myself in a Chevy truck commercial and i'm lovin' it. ]
10. music. [my car is where i listen to my music but it's also the place where i realize that i haven't downloaded nearly enough new music lately and then spend at least 5 minutes thinking about how i need to download more new music and how i need to make a note of it in my phone and then remember that i'll get a ticket for typing something into my phone while driving and how that's dangerous anyway and then...i start thinking about fate again. still haven't downloaded any new music lately. sigh.]
November 8, 2012
10 things I learned in 1 day after hearing 2 couples fight:
1. my new WeHo walls are thin. [good lord i heard every word of that shit. yes, every word. the "you said you hate me so get the fuck out" and the "if you try and use our baby as a tactic i'll call your mother." yeah. every word. hello thin walls of WeHo. i'm Tracy and we're in it together.]
2. the grass is always greener. [as a person still in search of a great relationship i have to say it was nice to remember that a lot of crap comes with that Holy Grail. even the best of the best relationships have knock down, drag out fights and to be honest, that's something i'll enjoy missing for as long as it takes.]
3. you fight better with age. [listening to 2 people under the age of 20 have a fight is both entertaining and enlightening in so many ways. entertaining when you realize you have no idea whose side you're on and you're furiously trying to figure that out. enlightening when you realize you used to fight that way many years ago and how awesomely dumb it made you look. thanks kids. many thanks.]
4. a baby doesn’t solve anything. [we all know this to be true anyway. well, maybe those 14 year olds on Teen Mom 17 don't know, but they can't spell the word baby so they don't count. turns out just because you have a 5 week old infant does not mean you won't scream & stomp & pout like you're 12. if anything, i think it gave my neighbors a terrifically unhealthy strategic tool to use against each other. i'm not even sure the teen moms would do that.]
5. stop & think. [when you have the privilege of listening to a very long argument from beginning to end, it becomes clear that no one actually stops and thinks in a fight. the next time i am in the middle of one of these throwdowns, you can bet i am going to try remember the guy next door repeating himself over and over again, saying some serious shit that well, you can't take back. thank God that baby doesn't understand English yet.]
6. women can be really dumb. [yes she's a 17 year old hippie. yes, she's probably not the brightest bulb in the bunch. still, women can be stupid. are you really crying for 2 HOURS about him hanging out with another girl? oy i feel for ya dude. so dumb.]
7. men can be really dumb. [yes, he's an 18 year old hippie and yes, he thinks he's God's gift to all lady hippies that ever existed. still, men can be idiots. did it really take you 2 HOURS to admit that you gave her a massage but you were just getting back at her for hanging out with some guy named Mike? oy i feel for ya sister. so retarded.]
8. everyone hates their parents. [i actually don't hate my parents at all, but this has to be said because both of these couples brought up how much they hate & feel messed up by their parents about a hundred times. what's going on here? too much therapy? i really don't know, but i figured it was worth mentioning.]
9. i’m patient. [5 straight hours of my neighbors fighting ~ with baby in tow ~ and i just laid there and tried to sleep. i didn't pace. i didn't put on headphones. i didn't call anyone to bitch about it. okay fine, i was slightly comatose & recovering from a terrible bout of food poisoning, but i'm still giving myself credit for some patience on this one.]
10. making up is still the best part. [aaahhhh, the golden silence this morning of 2 parents cuddling their infant and making coffee & breakfast. oh the joy of the teenagers walking down my street hand in hand in silence, knowing they've made it through some ritualistic test of coupledom. making up is still the best part, and they didn't even get to the sex yet.]
August 17, 2012
5 things that truly suck about moving:
1. reality check. [that moment when you're falling asleep at your desk from searching online and suddenly sit back and sigh. you've never had such a distinct view of how much money you make and how incongruent that is to where you'd really love to live.]
2. the reasoning. [the decision process of the "where" can be funny. it's become the most indecisive thing in my life lately. should i pick a neighborhood based on friends, work, dating, money, weather...or simply go with a street where i'm 94% sure i won't get shot?]
3. thinking. [thinking about packing, thinking about what i need and don't need, thinking about the timing of it all, thinking about which sites to use and pay for and how much to just drive around and see what i find that way, thinking about how much to think about it all. exhaustion. i'd rather just hang my bed from a tree and call it a day.]
4. work with no pay. [it's a full time job looking for a new home. i'm aware that if i really want to find the perfect place i'd better be searching every day, several times per day using multiple search avenues. i have a full time job that often exceeds 40 hours a week. i want my finding-a-new-home-that's-taking-up-all-of-my-time-and-sanity stipend.]
5. the empty bank account. [between the movers and the first & last down (or downpayment if you're actually buying something which most likely means you don't live in LA) and the new piece of furniture that you just had to have because you have a new nook that looks way too empty and the new cable setup fees and the huge grocery store trip that was necessary to fill your empty fridge...poor little bank account is crying out for help but nobody's home.]
5 things that are truly awesome about moving:
1. clean slate. [i lovingly anticipate the purge that happens with every move. that day i decide to go through my drawers and throw out garbage bags full of clothes i never wear and dishes that have a crack and paperwork i'll never need because i know in my heart i'll never get audited. moving is the one and only time i become the minimalist i truly long to be.]
2. clean slate part deux. [a new home is perfectly spotless. there's no cat hair floating around, no stains on anything yet. new windows, new paint, new locks, new neighbors, new address, new possibilities...new life.]
3. exploring. [there is this great month or two right after moving where walking around your new neighborhood seems like Disneyland. when every bar might be your next favorite dive. when every park is a new place to workout or have a picnic. when every neighbor might be the newest addition to your L.A. family. my advice: buy a beach cruiser and make your next exploration even cooler.]
4. housewarming. [everybody loves a good party but there's nothing like the housewarming kind. your friends drool over that spotless granite kitchen countertop while you play the role of host and use your new bar to pretend you're in an episode of Mad Men. this is simply what you always do on a Saturday afternoon. cocktails flow, people compliment, and pride abounds.]
5. things find their place. [i'm smiling just thinking about the process of looking around an empty home and picturing where everything will go that will make me the happiest. feng shui books get opened for the first time in years and there's great joy in moving that furniture around and around until i'm absolutely positive that everything, including me, has found its perfect place.]
July 9, 2012
Ten very different but Real versions of Me:
1. The Unfiltered Chatterbox. [the unfiltered part is really just another word for alcohol. parties at my house typically end in me remembering something crazy i said to someone crazy i shouldn't have and then i spend about a week wondering what and if i should do anything about it. so far, no friends have been permanently lost in this chaos so i've got a feeling this version of me isn't nearly as horrible as my memory serves.]
2. The Sap. [you wanna see a strong & independent Los Angeles woman transform into a pile of crying mush in under 5? turn on SYTYCD or Girls. i'm a sappy dreamer at heart.]
3. The Bitch. [a definite part of my personality i'd appreciate the ability to tap into more often. i obviously don't want to be an asshole or mean to people...but something to balance out the ridiculously over-accommodating Tracy would be nice. that's all i'm saying.]
4. The Victim. [an acting teacher of mine once told me my biggest obstacle as an actor was that i saw myself as a victim in life. i am constantly growing further and further away from this concept, but it's so easy on a grumpy day to let your brain whine "why....me?" pathetic but at least i'm honest.]
5. The Whore. [damn it's hard being 35. you wake up one day - somewhere around 31 - and realize that every fiber of your being wants to have sex all the time. and then you think, what the hell is this? and then if you're really smart you realize, oh yeah, my body wants babies even if the rest of me doesn't. and then you spend the next 10-20 years trying as hard as possible not to seem like a complete whore. cause you aren't. it's exhausting.]
6. The Comic. [every once in a while when the moment is right or the moon is full, i am really, really funny. some of my closest girlfriends would say i'm hilarious all of the time, but that's kind of like how they tell me i'm perfect in every way. maybe a bit biased. i will admit that one-liners on Twitter and chunks of time spent with someone who makes me extremely comfortable (yes you Bill K) enhance my stand-up tendencies. in these moments, i feel pretty cool.]
7. The Ditz. [place me in front of a tall boy who's cute and nice and flirty and every hour of college, tutoring, and generally accumulated brainpower flies out the window faster than you can say "absurd." i can comfortably be on stage in front of 1000 people, gracefully impress in a job interview, and confidently share my thoughts through a public blog. but an attractive flirty male is still, after all these years, my own personal kryptonite.]
8. The Therapist. [you got a problem? call me. i've been told i give really good advice and i listen with everything i've got. okay, maybe only if you're my friend already cause i really don't have time to start a whole new business.]
9. The Yes Lady. [i have this awful aversion to saying the word no. kind of like my fear of confrontation, i am logically aware that saying no can be a very good thing, and yet....meh. it's hard. i don't even worry if people like me anymore, so my brain's having a hard time wrapping itself around the meaning behind this one.]
10. The Quiet One. [i am a really talkative, open person about 90% of the time. but there is this very substantial part of me who since living alone needs to be completely silent for hours at a time with a great book or movie and nothing but the birds or crickets chirping outside. if my voice is hoarse from lack of use at 9pm, it's been a really great day spent with my favorite version of Me.]
June 27, 2012
it’s time for my final post featuring photographers that i love and this time it’s my good friend Sonia. the thing i admire most about the Son-Ster is the way she reveals the heart and soul of a person. the warmth & depth, sorrow & wisdom, pride & laughter of the people in Sonia’s photographs amazes me every time. i also finally figured out how to do this as a slideshow so hopefully you’ll all find this a bit easier. enjoy.
10 soulful pictures of people by Sonia:
June 18, 2012
i have started many lists, but as of late my brain keeps coming back to what can be captured through a lens. therefore, i am officially making June photography month!
a lady i know has always captivated me with her camera. her pictures move me to notice the small things in life and act as reminders that there is beauty in just about everything. enjoy.
10 hypnotizing displays of minutia by Sarine:
June 8, 2012
so, i have a friend who takes pretty amazing photographs. there is a haunting quality about a lot of his images that captures the feel of Los Angeles as well as the art & music scene here. obviously, his work strikes a chord with me so i have not only added him to my Blog Roll [at the bottom of each page] but i have decided to feature him in a post. enjoy.
10 intriguing photos by akirophoto.
June 6, 2012
10 examples of lovely chemistry:
1. The first look. [a glance as you get up to let them pass through your row at the movies. a locked stare that lasts 2 seconds but feels like an eternity in line at your favorite coffee shop. you catch your breath and realize you were holding it for much longer than that first look lasted.]
2. The authority figure. [that personal trainer who you love to complain about but secretly can't wait to impress with your newfound feats of strength. the tutor that seemed a bit nerdy at first until you realized she was going to save your ass in Statistics. all signs point to: please just tell me what to do.]
3. The first laugh. [the giggle that turns into a belly laugh where you hear their own personal raw sound of joy for the very first time. the second you realize someone else thinks something completely un-pc and just plain wrong can also be hilarious. the momentary thought that you may shoot water out of your nose or start crying and look ridiculous. the instant you don't give a shit if you do.]
4. The presence felt across a room. [in the midst of a fabulous party, Romeo & Juliet begin to dance. the imagined first time Lloyd Dobler saw Diane Court from across a high school classroom. sometimes, even with people and music and traffic and general mayhem happening in the foreground, someone in the background comes into shining focus.]
5. The common bond. [the dainty girl you sit next to on the train everyday who randomly tells you she's obsessed with hockey. the delivery guy who overhears you listening to The xx at your desk and mentions 2 similar bands he thinks you might enjoy. i am currently, as we speak, waiting to meet a man who loves Girls and wants to have an entire conversation about it over dinner. it'll happen.]
6. The shift. [a friend you've had for years who's always been there whenever you really need them. your mom's best friend's daughter who you see once every four family gatherings. the neighbor you went to elementary and middle and high school with who never seems to go away. they're one way forever and then...you cock your head and take another look.]
7. The situational touch. [oops, my arm just brushed yours reaching for the salt. oops, we almost collided going around the same corner and you grabbed my arm to steady me. oops, i sat on your lap to show you something on the computer and that was probably a little much.]
8. The comfortable silence. [sitting side by side in a car with no need to reach for the radio. the satiated smiles across the dinner table where the plates and glasses are empty. that late-night walk where the crickets are making more noise than the two of you.]
9. The save. [in college a classmate pushed my friend down to the ground and covered her with his body as a NYC pothole cover exploded and came hurtling towards them. friends one minute, lovers the next. i don't need any other examples for this one.]
10. The i have no freaking idea why. [and sometimes...every once in a blue moon, seemingly out of nowhere there's a tension, a feeling, a mysterious and intangible draw. no answer, no reasoning, no ideas about where it came from...and you'd be the last person to care. all you can do is enjoy the spark.]
May 24, 2012
10 Colors and what they Remind me of:
1. metallic black. [i have many movie obsessions but only one that's remained consistent and a total enigma: Batman. i don't love comic books, i know many of these movies were terrible, and yet, i find a compulsion to see every one of these in the movie theater opening night. thank God Nolan is in charge lately.]
2. dirty white. [pussy willows and New York snow. pussy willows were my grandmother's favorite plant and adorned every table at my long lost wedding. New York snow is...well, it's own species of snow. a mixture of grime and black street soot that reminds me of my college days and is something i strangely miss.]
3. natural wood. [i don't recall what type of natural wood it was, but the first house i ever lived in was this color. very 70's, very eclectic, very modern for its day, very cool.]
4. lilac. [nostalgia might be a touch much for this one, but a memory for sure. lilac reminds me of the shiniest pastel dress ever created; my "Azalea Belle" dress worn during the annual Azalea Festival in NC. white gloves, white parasols, shimmery lilac hoop dresses. it was my own personal nightmare that still makes me giggle.]
5. rusty brown. [the summer i spent working and living on Martha's Vineyard is filled with drug & alcohol induced memories. however, one that's clear and brightly sober is the vision of the cliffs of Gay Head. at dusk they turned a reddish brown that makes you think of the most beautiful sunset, baked directly into red clay. i miss morning bike rides to those majestic red cliffs where i could sit and write bad 20 year-old poetry all day long.]
6. molten silver. [solder. i wanted to be a tomboy but i had natural reservations about jumping and climbing and possibly breaking bones. instead, my father let me work with him in his speaker-making shop most afternoons and i learned to solder like no other girl can.]
7. cobalt blue. [my best friend from high school decided that was her favorite color as a kid. she proceeded to receive every gift for every occasion from every person she's ever met in the form of this color glass. i lived with her and her massive amounts of cobalt blue chachkies in Brooklyn circa 1998. lesson: be careful what you wish for.]
8. gold. [the Eiffel Tower shimmers and glows. you can be the most depressed, bitter person alive but standing in front of that tower of gold in Paris will make you love anything ~ even yourself ~ for a moment.]
9. Carolina blue. [never a true North Carolinian, growing up i rebelled against the waves of people surrounding me that HAD to love basketball and Carolina blue anything. but i did have an interest in an attempt to be popular. hence a very cute ~ and kind of slutty now that i think about it ~ cheerleading outfit with Carolina blue pom-poms on both shoes. i hold the school record for being the only unpopular cheerleader and i challenge all future Hoggard girls to try and break it.]
10. turquoise. [when you walk along the humid beach of Playa de Aro in Spain, stop at a vendor, pop a couple of fresh fried empanadas into your mouth, and take in the turquoise waters and the life of it all. only the Spanish know how to stay up all night, play all day, and eat like there's no tomorrow.]