To be or not to be

Well, writing has been intense these past few weeks. People are reading my work, new ideas are being developed, and most importantly I’ve been hearing the writing via actors which has been substantially helpful and great. Sometimes I sit alone in my little office, or at a cafe and I stop and think…how long can I go on believing that I am going to be a writer? It’s a tough position to be in. Writing and hoping that some one out there will recognize you for the weirdo that you are and give you a platform to express yourself in. And then there’s this other part of me that is already proud of the platforms I have been able to be part of with my writing and dancing and acting. It’s a struggle, you know? – To accept and sink my teeth into what it means to be an artist and specially a writer. I hope that this work will lead me to something meaningful and life changing. I have visions of opening little libraries in poor parts of my home country. I wonder if I’ll ever get there. I wonder if people (by then) will lose touch with the feel of paper between the fingers. I hope not. I will continue to write and share, and hopefully get myself in a big enough platform to cause some ruckus and change some minds. Until then…a venting I will go.

 

 

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Working with friends and their dogs

I may start this new cool hip job in Los Angeles, and I should be excited. Except it means that I will be working under a close friend. A friend who is a supervisor, if you will. And I don’t know how to deal with that. I mean, her dog hates me. It has been proven by the fact that when I was there with her, the dog barked at me non stop. Is that a sign? A sign that I should NOT do it…accept, try—should I defect and let it go telling myself, well at least I can still have a relationship with my pal! Or should I bite the ****** and go for it. Go for this new exciting career change which deals with people pleasing and all the things I love to do.

Last Friday I worked as a temp to help with phones. The day went great. But I have to admit, there’s something insulting when a dog barks at you to leave an office. I was to make the dog comfortable due to its anxiety. You’re lucky I love you, I told the friend.

Is this a risk worth taking? I don’t know. Already my pal told me I will have less time for writing. Sigh. I feel like I’m being sucked away at by some invisible machine that wants me to bend and kneel. What of my writing? WHAT OF IT?!

What of surviving in this world?

What of retirement?

I sip my mango juice by this computer and ponder quietly to myself. Soon it will be time for beer with friends, a chance to escape reality for at least a little bit.

Happy new year Blog Land!

Forgetting to love

Hi Blog Land.

I am having a bit of trouble getting my characters to fall in love, or to display “real” love…between “real” people. I don’t know if this is because my relationships have been precarious, or if it’s because I am currently riding on a different wavelength from my partner. We are going through a nasty hump, but it’s nothing to be dramatic about. We are both aware of it and just allowing each other to express the apathy that comes after being with someone for over six year. Ugh, you smell! Ugh, walk faster! Ugh, ugh, ugh! You know what I’m talking about; trivial situations that don’t really mean anything. Or at least don’t really amount to anything that means we are horrible people. Passive aggressive, yes. Weird, yes. Unwilling to grow up, definitely.

My poor characters meet in high school, and they have a child during their last semester. Although I know someone who’s gone through this situation –what I’m really having trouble is, getting into the mind of my male character. Why? Because he also will also enlist in the army. I have interviewed two veterans in this process, and quite frankly the military experience is a sensitive subject. Aside from there being a lot of different titles in the Army, there are also some topics that were really uncomfortable for some of my subjects. I wonder if this is the character I must let go of. It hurts me to say this, but he might be. Or maybe I can work more on my lead character, and focus on him afterwards. Right now, they’re not gelling.

They always end up in some argument in my head, or some dramatic situation that causes my character to do something extreme, which frankly doesn’t fit my current style.

Maybe I’m afraid to go there.

Well, we’ll see where it goes. If you have any good suggestions about the development of love – please share. I have a good idea of my experiences, but sometimes it’s good to get some feedback outside of my personal circle. Ugh, this feels like the time my male acting teacher stood in front of class and asked me to imitate his sexy walk. Apparently, I sucked at being a sexy woman. My life!

Alrighty.

Back to people watching and eavesdropping.

Dreaming Big

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Lately I’ve been allowing myself to dream big. This is because I feel like a wave of change is around the corner. Change is coming and no matter how much I drag my feet, and try to think about all the horrible things that can happen it will still creep into my life.  I know that in the end, this change will be for the best.

More writing, more opportunities, more art, more beautiful people to inspire me, more weirdos to eavesdrop on (that’s not an insult because I consider myself a huge weirdo), more parties, more books, more dancing, more love, and etc. etc. etc. All I have to do is be prepared, practice, and do my best.

Then all these big dreams might become big realities. If you ever question if that is true, check out some of the beautiful landscapes in this world. Once, San Francisco burned down, and then San Francisco was rebuilt— all because of big dreams coming to life.   I am going to continue to dream big, and I hope you do too. Never settle Reader.

Never.

 

Waffle Hell House

A few nights ago I was in Tennessee with my bf and sister. It was one of our stops on our way back to California from our road trip.

We kept passing by big Waffle House signs on the road. They made extraordinary claims like, “BEST WAFFLES IN TOWN!” and showed images of nice fluffy waffles dripping with maple syrup. The smiling waitresses in the billboard promised a welcoming smile. I thought: Could such a place really exist?

We arrived in Nashville around midnight, hungry and tired. The Waffle House was the only establishment open other than McDonald’s. I’m not big on nuggets or burgers, Reader, did you know there’s ammonia in that food?

Anyways, so we go inside and the smell of fresh buttery batter infused our nostrils along with other amazing odors like sizzling bacon, fried sausages, crackling eggs, and the comfort scent of hash brown potatoes. All of these fragrances pranced about, and we delighted in the limitless possibilities and combinations.

The waitress looked over her shoulder because there were no tables available, just stool chairs, but we wanted to sit down and Eat—with a capital “E“, Reader. The road was long and hard (no pun intended). She takes one look at us and says, “A table should open up soon.”   And a moment later, one table does open up and an elderly couple quietly exit out with their canes. The table is wiped down, but when she finishes she forgets to tell us to sit down.

:/

We are tired from the road, so I ask the closest employee to me–the cook– “Is it okay if we sit?” He sneers at the waitress and responds with a heavy grunt, “Yeah it’s okay. Sit down.”

We sit down. My sister walks over to the juke box and inserts one dollar. An investment she would soon regret. Among the music collection, this rock enthusiast is able to find Johnny Cash and Oldies (songs from the 50’s & 60’s). She settles for Cash, in hopes that the six tracks she has picked will delay any type of Christian Country Music. Nothing against the Christians, but sometimes that’s all the radio would play on the road. So there we were, listening to “Folsom Prison” and waiting for our menus.

After a few seconds of awkward silence and a good staring from the locals and other like minded visitors, I decide to go to the bathroom. I hoped, like Uma in Pulp Fiction (90’s reference, if you don’t know it — WATCH IT!), that in my absence someone would order my meal, so that when I returned—a hot plate of waffles with eggs and bacon would be waiting to be devoured by ME. Alas, we did not even get to order.

The Waffle House, was a Waffle Hell House, Reader! All those amazing smells, and nothing for us lowly Californians to enjoy. We got stares from other tables, the waitress practically ignored us, the cook was so nervous an angry with the two ladies he was working with, that he wasn’t cooking eggs properly. Eggs, Reader! One of the easiest things to master in the kitchen (in my opinion anyways). An order from another table was returned, and we watched the waitress push the clear slime goo off the plate with a random fork in the sink. Where are we? Why are we being tortured? 

My boyfriend’s eyes were slightly glazed, he blinked and looked around — Was nobody going to help us? Why couldn’t we order food? The cook was yelling at the two waitresses, but they could care less. Something must have happened before we entered the establishment, something REAL bad. The mood in the room suddenly became clear: anger, disappointment, disagreement, miscommunication—etc. etc. etc. All those little dramas we all have in our daily lives in a nice package of three, and for everyone to see! I mean, the kitchen was the diner — there’s no way you could not see the mess.

That siren! That killer siren of a billboard!, I thought to myself. Where was our smiling waitress?  My Nashville waffle dreams were ripped apart. Right behind the waitress we saw waffles burning, the timer was ignored, the beeping noise resounded like a time bomb in the cook’s head–in all of our heads, the burnt eggs were scrapped off the flat burner with rough passive aggressive strokes, the flies collected around the trash (they received more pleasure than I did that night), the Tennessee Goth kids in the table next to us leered with disgust, a couple clutched onto their belongings on the other side of the room, a man who looked like a cowboy slept under his sunglasses (it was midnight!), the lights flickered from bad energy, Cash kept singing the blues, and the music weighed us down as if it was sucking our soul dry.

After the second song, we left. All my sister could say, “Well, there goes my dollar.”

That night, the food devil won, and we drove our tired selves to a McDonald’s and ordered chicken nuggets, or as I’d like to call it: food for zombies.

Awk

That’s my annoying abbreviation for the day. It stands for AWKWARD AS F***. And yes, that F is supposed to spell out something vulgar, but I am trying to stay as classy as I can here.

Speeches.

They are the worst.

I mean, I know a few peeps who like to talk out loud and hear themselves 24-siete, but man…

when one is not in love with speech-making (and by one I mean ME), it is just a miserable process. Why must we endure it? Thank goodness for my random theatre stint a few years back. Now when I go up in front of people I usually pretend to be someone else. Being someone else comes easy to me, I just pull out whatever comes out of my @$$ and go for the ride. In the past, I’ve used politicians as a source of inspiration. People like Eleanor Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy; I try really hard not to do the accent. It must look weird on a brown girl. However, yesterday caught me off guard.

There I was ready to talk to a bunch of dancers about the life of this famous dude, who was one of the most AMAZING performers of his time when all of a sudden (as I walked to the stage) I drew a blank.

Dammit, who to be? Who to be? Should I channel the people I’ve recently found interesting? The massage dance goddess who released jelly fish into my head, or the girl from outer space who laughed like a hyena? No, no — not them.

The second stick on the clock moved 5 spaces, and people coughed with anticipation/boredom. I took a few more steps to delay my time and like a f***ing cat did a circle around myself. I fidgeted my fingers on the page. My feet (bare because this was a dance studio after all) wet from nerves began to leave prints on the wooden floor. Forget this, I thought and opened my mouth.

I looked out towards the girl who had conveniently fallen asleep behind her shades and was now leaning against the wall with her mouth open; making her look interested and involved.    Another random cough, and I finally spoke.

That is when everything changed, Reader. I mean — seriously — as a writer, you know sometimes we get into our characters heads and pretend to be different people in order to channel an authentic energy out of us and onto the page or on the stage, in this case. What came out of me, however, was a shock to everyone who has heard me speak…and to myself, actually.

It was when I started talking, and it was a serious topic too–about how lynching in the 1940’s was an inspiration for this choreographer guy, when unexpectedly this twelve-year-old girl came out out of my mouth. She came out of my mouth and materialized in front of me. Awkward as f*** little twelve-year-old Lis, scratching her left leg, standing pigeon-toed, and thinking about what English words to use because she was still in ESL.

The sound of her voice began at the back of my throat and pushed its ugly way towards the space between my nose and my forehead. For all you singers out there, you know what I’m talking about—-> The fu****g head voice. Yes, I sounded like a little girl on helium.

I kept reading from my page while looking at people (for dramatic intent), but all the while felt as if I was being possessed by some ghost. A ghost from my bratty past, who sounded just like Stephanie from FULL HOUSE (90’s reference again), lisp and all!

What. The. Hell.?. 

 * * *

Well, Reader, now I sit here in my room. Downing a black cup of coffee, and thinking about the way things went down yesterday. In all fairness, it wasn’t that bad of a report. And I probably didn’t sound as bad as I thought I did. In fact, I had forgotten about little Lis, and her accent from the 90’s. What ever happened to that girl? I suppose, in that moment of fear, she was the most interesting person I could think of. I am glad she got to talk and have life again. Even though it felt awk the entire time. SO AWK.

the midnight post

It’s always around this time when I get the itch to write something insightful, meaningful…or life changing. I want it to be the kind of writing that a reader soaks in instantly, and connects with me.   Something life changing would happen when they would read it. They might laugh in agreement, or cry out of frustration. It could change the life of this hypothetical reader; she or he might might get enlightened in the process. Maybe?

Get real loser! (<– Self inflicted insult #1)

Then I think, you are so narcissistic! (<–Self inflicted insult #2) And I let it go. I let it go, and dive into some random routine that leads me to an all night internet binge, which in the process, burns my face because of computer screen radiation.   I’m sure I need glasses now. My skin looks like leather. And I am almost positive that the internet gods have punished me by letting people subscribe to my facebook. Random people, that is. Like my mother.

The itch to write is strong at first. I might write a short horror story, but halfway through life takes over with emails and scheduling. I end up planning for the next day in color coordinated pens. Each color represents the urgency in a task. Red is very important. Blue is take a chill pill (when you get to it). Green is potential money option. Yellow is, Oops! I didn’t write you into my calendar (<–Lying to myself, so that I won’t feel guilty for not hanging). I mean–even the concept of hanging out has become a task in my life. That’s just not right.

I wish I could be like those mysterious writers out there who have all the answers, you know? The ones who sit in front of their computer screens for hours being brilliant.    Someday.      Something to aspire to be, I suppose. That insider club must be nice.  I mean, I wouldn’t even mind being one of those mystical writers out there, who are in tuned with astrology and shit. They can help you figure out the perfect mantra for your self esteem issues. The ones who write on a daily basis. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind that.

Alas, I am as lost as the next chap, gal, chica, or chavo.

Still, that’s the kind of writer I sometimes pretend to be. The writer that has all the answers. The writer that can solve the problems. Etc. etc. etc. Fantasies, fairies and fart. All ephemeral!

I mean, really, what  do we know? As people? As writers, bloggers, or stalkers who listen into your conversations.

If anything, I think writers are kind of creepy. (<–Self inflicting insult #3) Us writers, we eavesdrop, write notes about how you wear your clothes, how you move your hands when you talk, try and wonder if you were born a mouth breather or if that is just a way you show interest. This is how some writers develop characters. They look at you. They stare when you are not noticing, and they wonder if you are single. If you are still a virgin. If you’ve ever killed anyone. If you’re wearing underwear. Etc. etc. etc.

I’ve been lead to believe that technically, in the “real world,” I can’t claim to be a writer unless I’ve been accepted into some type of “official” publication. However, I sense that if I don’t consider myself a writer from the get go, then what is the point? Therefore, I am going to claim to be a writer. It’s a hobby, a passion, and obsession — so why not? To the rest of the world, I am an aspiring writer. And you know what, I’ll take that too.

But enough rants. I am going to get to my point. The point of this midnight post is, that I have to keep writing. I just do. I figure, this is a good space to do it in.

Even if do end up doodling on my calendar, or making coffee to catch (what I like to call) “the Netflix random pick of the night.” I am going to make an attempt to write in this blog at least once a week.

I will confess:   I am a procrastinator.

I am also petrified of someone reading what I write. I am sure many can relate. Yet, this is my attempt to be mature. To practice expression in the written form, and in a public forum. To be  vulnerable (gross). I’m not going to lie, I’m a little scared about the process.

I just want to be able to express myself without caring what anyone thinks. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s time to do what I love to do. Write. Clear and simple — like the imaginary pen stroking on my screen, fluid.

I will begin this blog with this sincere apology, that most of what I will write might have absolutely nothing to do with your dreams and aspirations. I may not be able to fix your self esteem issues, your inability to maintain a coherent and proper conversation, or help your life ease on through. And to be frank, I don’t want to. There’s a reason why life is tough. This is how one becomes interesting. Don’t you want to be interesting? And who you are might be the next character for my book. So keep your flaws, please. I might be sitting next to you in cafe listening into your conversations. I can’t stand people who are normal. Please stay interesting and weird.

On a final note, if you do find yourself in a public area with a bunch of writers on their little MacBooks tic tacking away (probably waiting to be fed creatively), be a pal and give them some information. Send some weirdness their way. We really do want to know if you are wearing underwear. Make sure to mention the color.