Say what you want about Obama, about what he was actually able to accomplish during his eight years, about how he handled the economy and healthcare, about what he did to taxes, say all of those things, make an angry list, shout them at your television or into your bank account, but at least acknowledge this: while our new president conducts his first press conference like a shareholder meeting, and its contents could basically be boiled down into ‘Nanny nanny boo boo,’ pointing fingers and shifting blame and hiding behind arbitrary stacks of paper arranged carefully so as to scream meaning like the set of high school play, Obama was, and is, a unifier. Last night, he challenged all of us, liberal, conservative, in-between, to stop searching our feeds for information that affirms our own beliefs, but to seek facts. He asked us to consider each other’s points of view, and above all else, to remember our humanity. OH RIGHT, THAT.
There’s a thing going around instagram, Best 9, in which people post a grid of their best nine pictures from 2016, summing up a year in their lives. Whenever everyone is doing something it kind of makes me not want to do it, as I am no sheep, by which I mean BAAAAAAAA I’LL JUST DO IT HERE INSTEAD but with 24 pictures because I LIVE MY OWN LIFE (IN GRIDS.) And so with no further ado, it has been a magnificent year! I:
Ate that chicken pot pie in a blizzard, wrote for American Gods, had a beautiful production of my Heaven play at South Coast Rep, found the perfect overalls and wore them approximately 170 times, washed them about 3 times, took a surfing lesson with Elizabeth, had a Dewey’s pink lemonade cake to call my own at my Easter pot luck thanks to my Mom, ran a 5K with a little girl Monet who ate gummy savers the whole way thanks to Blaine, celebrated 2 years with Mo at Red Lobster, patroned Ru Paul’s drag con, got after that no speaking above a whisper resort life in Joshua Tree, spent some time writing at Space on Ryder farm in upstate New York, went to Carrie’s Beyonce themed beybe shower (then later welcomed and met her dear little Sebastian who I am now calling Bash / 2017 let’s see if we can get that going), and then also:
Had the most perfect of bridal showers complete with hats and tiny sandwiches, spun for 3 hours in YAS-a-thon for cancer research, made Ina Garten’s flag cake, welcomed little nephew Mojo, worked on The Cake at the Alliance, Echo and Ojai, did Vegas so hard bachelorette style, tried on a bunch of white dresses / picked one had a bunch dress fittings / obsessed over its details and its accessories namely did I ever mentioned that Ferris Bueller cropped leather coat? / GOT MARRIED / cast my vote for a woman president for the first time, attended Blaine and Jason’s non baby shower baby shower, read Vivian Howard’s incredible cookbook, and started writing for This is Us. And so, a great many things.
Last week I started to have dreams that I was left out of something creative, being mocked for output or performance. Personal favorite: I dreamt I had to play a drunk dog onstage and the reviews were terrible (this dream brought to you by the first night in Hong Kong, surrounded by every stimulus possible.) I think the dreams stem from a feeling that I haven’t accomplished enough creatively this year, like I haven’t dug enough into my own heart / brain. I’ve been working, yes, but I feel, in general, sort of uninspired, like the questioning part of my brain has been numbed. It’s most likely because the majority of all extra time and emotional brainspace I had went to wedding planning. And so, I will forgive myself, hope that 2017 brings characters / moments / stories / questions, big new ideas, but ALSO, more cakes / adult onesies / trips / love, FOR BALANCE.
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This morning on set, the Santa Ana winds were a blowin’ and we were outside filming a car ride scene containing humans and feelings, no spoilers. The dry wind whipped into my eye holes, and suddenly I sneezed 27 times and then my eyes wept for the next four hours, but not from feels. I was unflapped, because for months, my eyes have been leaking but not from feels. I have been doing nothing about it, except just making every person I interact with think I’m ‘going through something’ as tears pour down my face as I relay that the printer won’t work. I always feel oddly ashamed though, when asked, Are you crying? when I say no it’s just my eyes , I wish I had a profound story other than Air. I am not trapped in a poem. It’s just the air.
* unzips and steps out of empathy and understanding, just for a moment
OUR NEW PRESIDENT’S SENIOR COUNSELOR IS A DANGEROUS WHITE SUPREMACIST WHO HAS PENNED ARTICLES SUCH AS ‘BIRTH CONTROL MAKES WOMEN UNATTRACTIVE AND CRAZY.’ HE HAS CALLED ALL FEMINISTS DYKES. SINCE WE ARE BEING HONEST, SIR, AND UN-PC, AND SAYING WHAT IS ON OUR MINDS, AND NOT CENSORING OURSELVES, AND EXERCISING OUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH, THEN I DECLARE YOU A FAT ENTITLED GARBAGE PERSON, WHO WILL SOON BE RECEIVING VATS OF PERIOD BLOOD VIA THE US MAIL. LIKE YOU WILL NOT EVEN KNOW WHERE TO PUT IT. IT WILL FILL UP YOUR LUNGS. YOU WILL DROWN IN IT.
* l0oks at side pile of empathy on the floor. Attempts to put it back on but it’s too full of holes.
To those who are joyous today, I understand that you are frustrated, disenfranchised, desperate for work, for a change that feels real, trying to feed your families, clinging to what you’ve been taught is right, if not a little ignorant as to how to actually change your circumstances. I am, too. I understand the way the government works just about as much as a I get how cars run or electricity happens. I do not have a brain for understanding complex systems. I have a creative, empathic brain that loves humans, good ones and bad ones too, that is constantly questioning why they do what they do. I have built a whole life, and livelihood, around these questions. This sort of brain that God gave me is exactly why I hope that you 1.) get the life that you want for you and your family, and the means with which to give them that life and 2.) that you do so WITHOUT condoning sexual assault of women, without apathy and anger towards those who don’t love exactly like you do, who aren’t from exactly where you’re from. Obama said it this morning. We’re Americans before we’re Republicans or Democrats. But even before that, we are people.
I’ve either got my bosses’ flu or my other co-worker’s sinus infection or maybe just a case of pre-wedding planning / post-cleanse exhaustion. Whatever it is, I took myself to the doctor yesterday in hopes of getting ahead of whatever it is. I so rarely get sick at 1.) I’m a huge and overdramatic wimp about it and 2.) I have no idea how to deal with doctors. The nice purple haired doctor woman began by telling me that Western medicine is unreliable. She then sent me to Whole Foods with a shopping list including gut drops and immunity drops and whole pieces of ginger. She also suggested regular acupuncture and long deep sleeps. All of these sound lovely and I’m doing them but personally, I find the BEST cure to ANY ailment is to obsessively google your symptoms until you in fact feel worse. In doing so, I have stumbled across a diagnosis, which is also the best / worst LA thing I have ever heard. Apparently, during or after a cleanse, a person can experience what is called a HEALING CRISIS. I repeat, A CRISIS OF HEALING, in which a person becomes weakened by the bacteria dislodged in their body during a cleanse. And so, I PLEASE ASK FOR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS DURING THIS DIFFICULT HEALING CRISIS TIME.
Sometimes I get stuck behind a garbage truck and I’m like wahhhhhhhh, I am stuck behind a garbage truck, garbage truck how DARE you, but then I remember: THE GARBAGE TRUCK IS REMOVING AND DISPOSING OF MY GARBAGE, MY ACTUAL HUMAN GARBAGE, and then I am suddenly 20% more patient, which lasts for half an Enya song AND THEN I REALLY JUST NEED THE TRUCK TO MOVE REGARDLESS OF ITS CONTENTS.
My brothers and I are all two years apart. It makes it easy to know exactly how old they are, and also my own age, when I’m really stuck. As long as I remember how old one of them is, the rest of our ages, including my own, are a rudimentary math problem away. About 900 times through my teens and twenties, I thought to myself: one day, we will all be in our thirties, and that will be insane. It took forever to happen. Nearly 30 years, you might say. In fact, youngest brother Tim turned eight for ten consecutive years. But finally — TODAY, TIM IS 30, which means I am almost 34, which means Pete is 36, which means Dan is almost 32, which means WE ARE ALL IN OUR 30′s, which means we are definitely, 100% no longer children regardless of how much string cheese I still consume. I would just like to go on record on behalf our parents and applaud each and every one of us for paying our own rent, making sensible fashion and life choices, and just being supremely good at getting older. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TINY TIM! WELCOME TO OUR DECADE!