soul shifting.

May 14, 2017

10 things that completely shift when you find out you have a life-altering disease:

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1. the taste of food. [i really cannot figure out if this is medicine related or the mind. i prefer to think that my brain immediately realized its own mortality and decided to try anything and everything it illogically hated before – just in case. i have much more respect for my brain this way.]

2. the passage of time. [well what can i say? it is just moving differently. a little slower… a little less rushed… a bit more boring but with more flavor. i can only compare this to being under water with music and light and a mixed feeling of dread and joy. hmmm. i think #2 makes me sound slightly bonkers. oki.]

3. the difficulty of addiction. [have you ever wondered if a doctor ordered you not to do something would it be easier to quit? and then wondered if that was your addict ego just prolonging the quitting and why some people can just stop cold turkey and others get cancer and smoke until their last breath and which one am i? a doctor telling you to quit is the only way to know who you are in this scenario and it turns out…it’s pretty easy. phew.]

4. the purpose. [well shit. it’s not being green-lit to make your movies or getting that perfect job or finding that life partner that feels like coming home or meditation or nothing. turns out, it’s all of it.]

5. the priorities. [i don’t really care about you. i mean, in the bigger sense of things. turning 40 said goodbye to about ten thousand fucks, but finding out you have a degenerative disease? oh hell no. i come first and everyone who loves me is saying it’s about time anyway.]

6. the love and kindness. [i really do care about you. because like it or not, like me or not, we live in a world and a community where we are all interconnected. may sound cliche but the truth is that every piece of love we put out there is a huge something. every. tiny. piece.]

7. the days. [like i said, time already moves a bit differently. i want to wake up every morning and think, what will make me happy today and god damn do it. today i ate 3 pieces of pizza and walked for an hour blasting music. each day a thing we have at our happiness disposal.]

8. the friends. [this morning i got a text message from a girlfriend that said “just thinking of you today and how thankful i am for you! love you.” no joke, this morning. and i get these all the time because i am the luckiest fucking person in the world. everyone deserves such love.]

9. the forgiveness. [i recently had my heart broken. again. and believe me, there are days when i think wow, that is absolutely the last person i will ever get to know in an intimate way. i am done – totally done forever. but then, i think about what my life would be like if i had never met him, and what if this disease does something horrible to me really, really soon. and then i think, thank god. thank god i got that time with another human being who showed me i still have the strength to crack my heart wide open and love. even when it isn’t wanted. my beautiful heart.]

10. the gratefulness. [the taste of food, time, quitting smoking, the ever-allusive purpose of life, myself, others, every day and every friend. forgiveness. for these things i am so grateful and i always will be, as long as i am here. make that as long as humanly possible.]

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15 seconds.

July 14, 2014

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10 fun celebrity moments in the life of me:

1. Han S. [i’m 18, fresh out of high school and fresh into Manhattan. it’s already cold and a bit blustery for fall. i’m rushed and stressed ~ as usual ~ so i’m dashing down the sidewalk, 2 large textbooks in hand, looking down to prevent major eye tearing and just as i make a sharp turn onto Mercer i slam into a body. this body is large and male and bending down to help scrape me and my schoolbooks off the NYC pavement. it’s Harrison Ford. he smiles and apologizes and looks at me quizzically. he is quite the gentleman. i run.]

2. The Green L. [i’m on another blind date ~ see my previous post if you’d like to know more ~ at a fantastic restaurant that’s one of my favorites in Los Angeles. we have had a drink and some oysters and are finally settling into the Q&A interview session that most blind dates become when the hottest male i’ve ever seen in person sits next to me. it’s Ryan Reynolds. i didn’t even think Ryan Reynolds was attractive before this moment. i was mistaken. this restaurant is small. the tables are touching. this beautiful creature’s arm is touching my arm. i have absolutely no recollection of the rest of my date. poor, poor guy.]

3. Marilyn. [so this guy i once knew once told me and a friend i still know that he was once dating a girl in a show that was once filmed in my hometown and that we should both come down to his bar and hang out with him and this girl. this is in the mid-90s by the way. we went because the girl was Michelle Williams and we were curious. she acted like we were stalkers there to abduct and kill her, she looked so thin we were afraid she’d fall off the barstool, and she was generally…not so nice. huh. years later, Blue Valentine allowed me to forgive her completely.]

4. Johnny C. [i’m sitting in a dark italian restaurant in my then neighborhood of Los Feliz when a crowd of young and boisterous men loudly make their way to the table next to me. they are laughing and attracting a lot of attention. all but one of them. it’s Joaquin Phoenix. this is way before the “year i grew a really long beard and faked going crazy with Casey Affleck.” this is way before Her or The Master – both of which solidified any and all love i have for this man’s talent. yet, i was fascinated by the quiet one with the sunglasses who emanated some sort of alien essence that made you want to walk right up to him and touch. what a weird thing that “x” factor is.]

5. Matlock. [i was a teenager and i was ecstatic to book a scene in a Movie of the Week that was not only a few pages but with the lead actor of the film, Andy Griffith. ecstatic. over the moon. nervous. elated. after 9 hours on set with this drunk old man yelling at me that i didn’t know my lines and line producers and PA’s and a bunch of other amazing grips and such constantly trying to make me understand that he was just wasted and didn’t know his lines and everything was going to be okay and it wasn’t my fault…well, let’s just say i wasn’t surprised that shit hit the cutting room floor like a sack of old potatoes.]

6. M. [there’s nothing like the misery of waitressing in NYC. especially at a 4 star celebrity owned restaurant. but we are not here to talk about the owner ~ i think that would push this post to the dark side. today, we are here to honor the time i served Dame Judi Dench. this is a simple one really. full of grace and style, she may be the most pleasurable customer i ever had. she made my day in a sea of horrible waitressing days. oh yeah, and the tip was great.]

7. Joey. [actual physical smash-into-one-another moment #2. i’m walking casually through a flower market in the cobblestone historic downtown area of my hometown when i turn a corner ~ again with the corners ~ and run smack into Katie Holmes. we mumble apologies, smile at each other, and move on with our respective lives. not without time for me to notice however, that a) this woman is extremely tall and i am extremely short and b) when we smiled at one another our facial expressions were like looking in a mirror. for a split second katie and i both were like…whaaaaa? i do not think i look like Katie Holmes so i don’t know. it was weird and i’m sharing.]

8. Lumbergh. [there’s this fundraiser i attend every year. i always go and i always have a great time, but there was this one year where a friend of mine said there was someone i should meet. next thing i know i’m chatting with Gary Cole for an hour about movie making, raising kids, golf, retirement, and god knows what else. this guy is awesome and YES it was hard to keep myself present in this conversation when all i was thinking was “mmm yeah, that’d be great… it would really, really help us out. mmm yeah.]

9. Rachel. [there’s this place in West Hollywood where you can get a kick-ass margarita, have some hilarious conversations with incredibly cute gay boys, and you used to be able to smoke. this attracted many types of people including myself and my friends in our 20s. and apparently Jennifer Anniston. every Monday like clockwork we sat next to this woman who didn’t wear a lot of makeup, typically had comfy cargos on, and was just an all around genuine sweet person. we drank, we smoked, we laughed, and we so wished she’d step 5 feet closer and join us. oh those Mondays.]

10. The Rage. [i’m 19 and working my second real job ever at the front desk of a small but over-priced gym in SoHo. my best friend has just started working there as well and is also sitting in this front area. my favorite gym member walks in and we greet each other warmly. as always, he asks me how i’m liking the book he lent me and i ask him something similar. he’s smart and cute and quiet and a reader and he’s always really, really nice to me. we’re sort of friends. he walks away to go and get his workout on and my best friend then spends the next hour explaining to me that i’m a total idiot because i don’t even know i’m talking to Zack de la Rocha. i had no idea who he was. no wonder he enjoyed talking to me so much.]

let me count the ways.

March 22, 2013

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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.

contradicting Tracy.

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.]

i can explain.

April 13, 2012

10 things we Rationalize:

1. addictions. [inner voice: we all need a vice. no one is perfect. there is a sadness felt for those who strive for the unattainable in life which we all know is a ruse. it’s just a cigarette. it’s just eating chalk. reality: that’s all you got? put the cancer stick down you crazy addict.]

2. things we don’t like about ourselves. [inner voice: this is just my personality. when you look at my parents, i actually turned out pretty great. i could have been real fucked up, but instead i have a few character flaws that drive a couple of people to tears. you can’t please everyone. reality: if i’m talking about it this much, i probably need to fix it.]

3. why they broke up with us. [inner voice: i know that it’s meant to be. i should feel lucky that she let me off the hook so early ~ before we got married and had kids and a mortgage and were really screwed. she never really appreciated me for who i am and it’s time for me to find someone who can and will. reality: you were ridiculously unhappy, had started sounding like a condescending parent while fighting, and it was over a long, long time ago.]

4. little white lies. [inner voice: what difference does it make in the long run? ignorance is bliss after all. will that fib i told about how much pizza i ate last week haunt me when i am on my deathbed? no. reality: why lie about anything? i am just deceiving myself more than anyone and since these are lies about nothing, that’s even weirder.]

5. toxic friends. [inner voice: i swear i can explain this. even the most toxic of friends teach me something every day. patience, that all people have flaws, the general human condition…it all has meaning and it’s important to see the bigger picture. don’t you dare think that i am lazy or avoiding confrontation or taking the easy way out. reality: you are lazy and avoiding confrontation and taking the easiest way out ever.]

6. buying things we don’t need. [inner voice: i work hard for my money. i am an adult and can make my own decisions about my priorities, material and non-material. who’s to say that an expensive emulsifier doesn’t make a person’s life more fulfilled? you? i need it. reality: if i want it, i should buy it. however, i am not allowed to complain to my friends about being broke next week.]

7. lack of will power. [inner voice: i would never want to blame everything on my parents so i’ll take responsibility for this one. but i do think it has to be a genetic thing. some people just have this natural willpower that i don’t. those people who can make it through the Master Cleanse for more than 5 days. perfect example. reality: your best friend can do the Master Cleanse for more than 10 days but she has been known to eat a pint of ice cream before bed. often. we choose what we care to complete.]

8. fear. [inner voice: when i was 7 i almost drowned in the lake by my house… my aunt died in a plane crash… i can’t think of a direct reason why i’d be afraid of choking but i read this awesome book on past lives… reality: the human brain needs fear to know when something is wrong. it’s not a weakness but a survival skill.]

9. non-personal communication. [inner voice: it seems like i don’t have time for anything anymore. i don’t have time to shower or cook or pet my animals. you see, life has become a sea of crap to do. don’t bother me with talking on the phone. send me a text, shoot me a FB comment, and we’re good. reality: i am now relying on the rapid progression of technology to avoid all human contact because i’ve always wanted to do that.]

10. love for a “bad” movie or book. [inner voice: i refuse to be pseudo-intellectual about everything and everyone. sometimes a little fluff can be a good thing. detune, turn your brain off, and just enjoy. it’s supposed to be “entertainment” after all ~ not studying for your LSATs. reality: if you love Twilight and The Jersey Shore it doesn’t make you a bad person or stupid. just admit it already and let people judge how they may.]