Sometimes I forget that Morrison can dance his face off like a love interest in an movie a la good ol’ Bing Crosby days. He studied ballroom dance in high school, and so when the right song is on, he morphs from gentle giant who prefers to not draw attention to himself, to SLICK AND ALLURING DANCING SWAN MAN. The footwork alone is insane and he busts it out at dance parties like a secret trick. People tend to watch. And when this happens, sometimes I just watch him, too, with a big stupid smile on my face, as it’s sort of a thing from a dream, having a man who not only CAN dance, but WANTS to. I can usually get away with a bit of objective staring, until he pulls me up to dance with him, at which point I promptly step on his feet, at which point he spins me around, and which point I fall on my face laughing like a kid on one of those spinny things, at which point he catches me.
1.) Research place.
2.) Purchase tickets.
3.) RESEARCH EVERY POSSIBLE THING THAT COULD GO WRONG IN SAID PLACE, OR JUST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY IN GENERAL, AND THOROUGHLY CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT EACH OF THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU AS IF YOUR LIFE IS ACTUALLY A MOVIE WRITTEN BY AN GRADUATE SCREENWRITING STUDENT WHO BELIEVES THAT SOMETHING TERRIBLE MUST HAPPEN ON EVERY PAGE BUT WHO ALSO HAS A KEEN SENSE OF IRONY AND SO THE CHARACTER GOES INTO THE SITUATION BELIEVING THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE BUT THEN BAM THEY ARE PUNISHED FOR THEIR IGNORANCE VIA LOST PASSPORTS AND FLOODS!
4. Hey, take a breath. Remember you are lucky to go at all, and that this is what life is for. Experiencing another culture broadens your understanding of humans and
5. REMIND YOURSELF NOT TO RE-APPROPRIATE OTHER PEOPLES’ CULTURES FOR YOUR OWN GROWTH
6. Buy an absurd amount of gum as if gum does not exist in other countries.
7. GO ON YOUR TRIP, PSYCHO.
I woke up REALLY needing to find a picture of the book I learned words from as a kid, and HERE IT BE:
I think this was all of elementary school, opening this owl and shoving its contents into my head. I was always good at memorizing, not so much internalizing. And so when my vocabulary sort of froze at the age, of, what, 24? Is that when the brain stops growing? I ended up with a moderate but far from impressive collection of words. I know no fancy synonyms for moderate or impressive. For a writer, my arsenal is limited. When I read I do so with Dictionary. But every now and then, I meet a word that I like, and it sticks in my head like gum I can’t see. And so I try and trot it out, and it’s usually awkward like trying to make a friend as a grown up, HOW IS YOUR LIFE TODAY, PERSON? But if I persevere (a word that I know ONLY because I have a cousin named Perseverance) I can normalize it and stop saying it surrounded by question marks, like I’m on stage at a spelling bee. And so today, I declare to you, I will use my new words with alacrity, which is just a sharp and beautiful little word that I always say in my normal life, by which I mean, with willingness and cheerfulness.
Tucked somewhere south east of LA that I still don’t fully understand but I am Here so hats off to that — We find Temecula, another beautiful wine country, as if California did not have enough already. Here, a girl can escape to write and actually sleep ON a vineyard and allow her panic to meet relaxation and sample their wines until the Malbec flicks her off to sleep, safely tucked inside of one of her own ideas which will change completely by the time she wakes up.
Very pleased to announce that we have graduated from crappy, flammable Ikea furniture to sturdy, maybe slightly less flammable, moderately priced CB2 furniture. I am also proud to announce that the bookshelf contains a great many old issues of the Babysitter’s Club, and that Morrison plays video games on the TV. ARE WE GROWN UPS YET?
Looking at my schedule for next week, I realize I’m meeting with four different people so that they might ‘pick my brain.’ As a classic Gemini, I’m of two minds about this. Mind Pt. 1: I am happy to do it, especially in honor of those who did it for me when I was just starting out. If I can offer any insight that might help a person get to where they want to be, then good on me, good on them, and good on kindness. Mind. Pt. 2: my brain is currently in a million places. It’s held together by frayed bits of old friendship bracelet and sour punch straws and the subpar bobby pins that really don’t hold any hair in place at all. If anyone were to, at this point, ‘pick my brain,’ it actually might lose its structure entirely.
We are still on the jet lag struggle bus and keep waking up at 4 AM, like COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY AWAKE but also deeply tired but also desperately in need of toast. You lie there, convincing yourself you’re tired enough to sleep as opposed to just theoretically tired. You think of plays about pillows. You tell stories and make up songs. Here’s a selection from this morning, 5:45 AM, after we’d been just laying there in a hellish in-between for 2 hours:
Me: HOW’S IT GOING?
Me: You awake?
Morrison: I am now. But I’m trying to sleep.
Me: Me too.
A few moments of pretend rest.
Me: (SO LOUD): THE SUN’LL COME OUT / RIGHT NOWWWW / BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THAT RIGHT NOW / THERE’S THE SUN
Me: RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOWWWW! THERE’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW / THERE’S ALWAYS RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOWWWWWW
Morrison: are you done?
Me: (HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER)
Slept til 11 and spending the day on the couch surrounded by leftover Christmas candy, because this year, I resolve to give myself a break, and allow myself to just Be (on couch / surrounded by candy), and also because tequila and jet lag had an angry baby that now lives in my head.
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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Folks, if you’re just tuning in / playing along from home: we are in fact leaving on our honeymoon TOMORROW instead of YESTERDAY. Also, this is a terrible game show. There are no prizes. Maybe find something else to do. Other announcements related to the trip that I am going on, but YOU are not going on, so why do I force you to ride the waves of its drama with me?!: I’m not bringing my computer. Huge, I know. While I COULD get some cool staged pictures of myself ‘working,’ I am more excited to disconnect from my beast friend for a few days for the first time in years and years. I have nightmares monthly that I leave it somewhere. I will now do so on purpose, open my brain back up, confront my bad handwriting, force myself to not google my own thoughts, but instead just have them. The real question: will I blog? I can do so from my phone. And so, PROBABLY.