Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy birthday, baby G

Whatever you may believe, I hope your holiday season is merry and bright.

I, for one, am capturing the moment of my first Christmas in my new house. Cat is roaming the dining room and has no idea that she is about to receive a huge stocking full of catnip toys. I still have wrapping to do, but my shopping is mercifully finished. I'll be chanting at 11:00 with friends and then off to the parents' house for a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic extravaganza.

This might be my best Christmas yet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Old School

I went to see a play reading with my cousin A and my friend D last night, and I pulled out my new (hot pink metallic!) dayplanner and started transferring birthdays from my 2008 planner to my 2009 planner (there was a bit of time before the play started). And D said, "man, that's old school...I haven't seen anyone use a dayplanner in I don't know how long." And I got to thinking of how lost I would be without my dayplanner.

Since I was in high school, I've always used a paper planner. In 9th grade, we would decorate them with stickers, and the entries are pretty hilarious. I think the leather one my sister got me with my initials embossed in the side perished in the fire in my parents' garage last year, which is a shame. I'd love to look at back at the events and people that were so important in high school, and laugh at what I thought was drama then. I think it would be a good lesson.

I was thumbing through last year's dayplanner, and I was struck by how easily I could fall back into the past just by looking at it. But not in a bad way - I think we select the moments that we remember, and we sometimes put our rose-colored glasses on in order to see them "better." Which is fine. But looking at that past definitely reminds me to avoid past mistakes in 2009. So here is another short list of resolutions, relating to dayplanners.

1. Don't overbook - it's not fair to the people you're with, or to yourself.

2. Take time for yourself, and schedule that time wisely and often.

3. There's nothing wrong with an empty page - sometimes doing nothing is the best thing of all.

4. Keep jotting down song lyrics, phone numbers and titles of movies and books. You will look back at them when you need them, and there they are.

5. Send old-fashioned birthday cards, with a stamp and everything.

6. Keep your lists short.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the bitch

People are always asking me about my tattoos...not that I'm complaining, but I figured I'd just explain them once and for all and then I can just refer people to the website. So here goes...

The "star within a star" on the outer wrist of my right hand:

Dunno...I was 20 and wanted a tattoo. If I really wanted to give it meaning, I could say that it represents me...a star within a star (haha). Plus I think in our little group in high school, I was the star (Aurelia was the sun, Natalie the moon). I quite like the little tattoo - it's like jewelry that I never have to remember to put on or take off.

The "queen of spades" on the inner wrist of my left hand:

Okay, this one actually has meaning. When I was growing up, my family would play hearts around the kitchen table. Me, my dad, my sister, and usually my Aunt Honey (my mother was prohibited from playing hearts with us when the queen of spades magically fell out of her hand and on the floor behind her). Every time I got the queen of spades, I had to decide if I was going to pass it (unless it was the hold hand) or try to shoot the moon. For those of you who don't know how to play hearts, you either want to get all of the points or none of them. (A more in-depth description of the game is here.) All or nothing. The queen of spades (the "bitch") is worth 13 points, and each heart is worth 13 points. If you get all 26 points, you have "shot the moon."

Sometimes I feel like I was dealt the bitch in a hold hand. And my only option is to try to shoot the moon.

Next tattoo? (They're addictive.) A phoenix on my left arm. I'll let you figure that one out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the little things

beauty can come from the most random places. and a wonderful night doesn't have to be much more than a few great minutes of conversation. that is all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

OMG

I just saw a commercial for the Snuggie...one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. I was actually just staring at the television with my mouth hanging open.

Also - why is it that every time I put my duvet cover back on I spill on it within 1 hour?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Balance, Dear Grasshopper

Soooo...a while back I posted about trying new things. Improv classes, poker night, etc. I think I focused so much on filling my life up with stuff that I forgot about the all-important balance aspect of life. And now I'm feeling a little overextended. However, the play I'm stage managing is almost closed (9 more performances), improv class is over - I have a feeling that I'm going to go from over-extended to under-extended. And then I'm going to fill my life up with stuff once again. The glass is never half full/half empty - it's either filled to the brim or has only a drop in it. I think maybe one of my resolutions for next year, and one thing that I will start to chant for, is balance.

But what will I bitch about if I'm not completely overextended, overwhelmed and under-rested?

I'm sure I'll find something.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This Modern Love

I have a mild obsession with Danish Modern furniture. To the point where I just go to the Craigslist furniture section and search for anything that is Danish Modern. It's kind of fun, as I get older, to notice these things about myself. To envision what my perfect house would look like; to embrace the fact that if it's Tiffany blue and belongs in a kitchen, I will buy it (I found turquoise cutting boards, very excited); to catalogue my likes and dislikes and use them to paint a picture of what my future might look like. I've definitely gone down a few wrong roads in the past couple of years, and every step in the wrong direction is a lesson in what doesn't work for me, just as every step in the right direction is an affirmation that I am slowly but surely growing into, dare I say it, an adult. I don't know why I associate "adulthood" with home decor inclinations, but I do. Just as my mother wants everything in her house to be "white, clean, like a hotel," I've realized that I lean towards vintage items, warm tones, and yes, Danish Modern furniture. The only thing I wonder is - as I grow older and more opinionated and keep developing these preferences, will I stop "trying things on for size"?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Doing Good

Driving back from the theater last night, I started on a bit of a self-reflection jaunt. Twenty-seven years old, while certainly not "old," is closer to thirty than I would wish. There's a line in Song of Extinction, "I do not know if I do any good here...55 years old is a time for asking questions about this." But maybe 27 years old is also a time for asking questions about this - so I don't get to 55 and want to go back and do it all over again.

Time is a tricky thing - the minutes and hours tick along slowly enough, but all of a sudden you wake up and it's December. And you don't even remember what your resolutions were last year, so you have no idea if you've "succeeded." But lately, upon reflecting on the past 11 months, the only thing I wish for in the past year is that I began to do some good here.

So here is some "good" I'd like to do in 2009:

--find a volunteer niche that I enjoy - either something with animals or in a hospital or school
--put my creative energy out in the world - hopefully through playwriting and improv
--spend more time with my grandparents
--spend more quality time with myself

The last one is tricky - I spend time with myself all the time, but it isn't quality time. I figure it fits into the whole "doing good" theme because how can I help others if I'm not present within myself?

Hmmm...to think this started out as a post about Danish Modern furniture.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And speaking of writer's block...

This is awesome.

I'll be back soon, I promise. But in the meantime you can amuse yourself with the above.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Etcetera, etcetera

Hi friends,

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. I've been busy, I've been cranky, I've been tired. Tonight is to be my night of rejuvenation, and tomorrow Hot Link Wednesday will be back in full effect.

Til then,
NoHoJax

Monday, November 10, 2008

Only in Dreams

Okay, ignore the fact that I haven't updated my blog in a week whilst I throw something shiny at you - here! here! over here!

I got held up - by life. I had a feeling silly old life would get in the way...and it did.

But I just had the most fantastic dream, and while I'm not going to share it, I will share that it gave me hope. I'm going through a tricky time right now, and I'll take all the inspiration I can get, even if it comes while I'm sleeping.

And it wasn't even a concrete, "something awesome happened" dream - it was just a kind of groovy, "surrounded by friends" and "warm fuzzy feelings" dream. So that's cool.

My schedule has calmed down (a bit, just a bit) so I will hopefully return to currently scheduled broadcasting. I'll try to come up with some groovy things to blog about this week to make up for my absence, much as I bring my cat little toys to make up for neglect. I'm going to make an awesome parent... Look - something shiny!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Go-Bama

I'm nervously excited about tomorrow. I'm going to chant in the morning for the first time in weeks, then I'm going to vote on my lunch break, then I'm going to watch the results...with my Republican mother and my father, who is luckily a Democrat but is in support of Prop 8. And I hope to taste the sweet sweet nectar of victory on both counts. I will check in tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nnnnggggghhhhrrrrrrrggggg.

So tired. So very tired. Absence of posts the past few days, I hope my few readers understand. The play is going well, I no longer feel like tearing my hair out, I'm just ohhhh soooo tired. More to come possibly tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ugh.

And then there are days like today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stage Management

So I know Wednesday is usually Hot Link Wednesday, but I'm gonna save Hot Link day for a day when I really don't have anything to write.  Maybe tomorrow, or Friday.  Anyway - we had rehearsal tonight - the first solid tech-thru since cue-to-cue on Sunday.  

I was recently bitching to someone about how I feel like I haven't really been giving my all to this play that I'm stage managing, and how I felt bad about that.  Stage management can be a very thankless job, and I think I was sort of feeling that before it was even happening.  But. 

But tonight was an awesome night.  I forgot.  I forgot how awesome it is to put up a show, and to hang out with like-minded people who love to create theater, and who like to stay after rehearsal and shoot the shit and talk about nothing...and everything...

I forgot.  I forgot how much fun it is to give line notes in the presence of the playwright, who totally appreciates that you are making sure that the actors are saying the lines that are supposed to be said, the lines that she put herself into when she was writing them on the page. 

I forgot.  I forgot the camaraderie that develops in the booth between the designers and the stage manager, as I try to turn their vision into each set change, each lingering moment of letting the actors and the scene "breathe" for just the right amount of time before pulling the audience into the next scene.  

I forgot all of this because I was looking at it as a job, a task that needed to be done, and not a joy.  A lifestyle choice.  A hobby, and a dream come true. 

So I'm posting this in the hopes that next time I am going into tech week feeling like an unmoored boat, I remember that it really all does come together, and that it's fun, and that that's why I do this in my spare time, when I could be sleeping or watching bad television or reading a book.  Because I love it.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

90210

These girls seriously need to eat a sandwich. 

This show is so bad, and yet I can't stop watching.  Oy. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Which Came First, the Turkey or the Turkey?

I'm not sure why the question popped into my head. 

All I know is, I was driving to my improv class this evening, and I wondered - how do countries get their names?  Oh - I know where it came from - on NPR, they were talking about Rwanda.  So I wondered how Rwanda got its name.  And then I wondered how Italy got its name...and so on, and so on.  And then I started thinking about how people possibly answered questions like this before we had the internet.  If you had a random question like this before the age of "googling," you'd be completely screwed.  I can't even wrap my mind around the possibility.  If you really wanted to know the answer, I suppose you could go to the library and look for history books, and check the indexes for name origin, or something...for every country...I'm exhausted just thinking about it. 

So I got home, and googled it.  

And for the first time I think EVER, google failed me.  I googled the simple phrase "how countries get named."  And the best answer (and by best, I mean the one that made me laugh the hardest) was from WikiAnswers, in response to the question "How did the country Turkey get its name?"  The answer:

becuse somone saw a turkey running around the place and thus it got's it's name

Below that on the SERP (search engine results page, for those of you who aren't "in the know") was a link to the following, also about Turkey: The Straight Dope.  I quite like the idea and motto of this website - "Fighting Ignorance Since 1973 (It's taking longer than we thought.)"  I will be poking around it further once I finish this post. 

Okay, let's try Rwanda, the source of the original query - typing in "how Rwanda got its name."  This is happening in real time, people.  I have no idea what the result will be.  Let's see.  

Got it - also from WikiAnswers:

Rwanda got it's name by Mason Gibson, a really big loser

Did the same guy who answered the Turkey question answer the Rwanda question?  Is he just going around WikiAnswers making up nonsensical answers to questions?  So now - the dilemma - do I google Mason Gibson, or just try "how Italy got its name" and see if I have more luck?  This is like a choose your own adventure book.  And I choose...to google "Mason Gibson Rwanda."  Here goes.  

And...nothing.  Just the same WikiAnswers post again.  

Okay - Italy.  Googling...

And now, from Yahoo Answers:

The name italy comes from the word Italia.  This was the name of a rebellious area of the Roman Empire in what is now central Italy.  Italia, in turn was named after the people living there, called the Italics. 

But how did the Italics get their name?  This could go on forever!  But wait - there's a Wikipedia entry claiming that Italy got its name from Italus, legendary king of the Sicels.  And here's another different answer:  Did you know that Italy got its name from the ancient Romans?  They called the southern part of the peninsula Italia, which means "land of oxen" or "grazing land."  ???!!!!???

I now see why teachers discourage using random internet pages as sources for information.  There are a million whackjobs out there...making...shit...up.  And who knows what is true?  I'm starting to doubt all the information I get from the internets.   

Maybe I'll try the library. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tired

Just had a 12-hour rehearsal.  I was standing the whole time 'cause I'm too short to see through the window when I'm sitting down.  Going to bed now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

I am in a good, but tired, mood, and therefore feel like doing a post in list form.  This is a list of things that make me happy...in no particular order (and this is by no means a complete list):

1. raspberries
2. lupita (my cat)
3. hearing from an old friend
4. the sound of rain
5. rocking out alone in my car
6. my tattoos
7. checking off things on a checklist
8. good theater
9. laughter
10. the smell of just-washed laundry
11. taking a bath
12. arranging flowers
13. tea and backgammon
14. Boont Amber
15. frisbee in the park
16. thrift stores
17. dinner parties
18. The Party with Peter Sellers
19. the "Hang In There" poster with a cat on a branch
20. good coffee
21. baking the perfect pie crust

What's on your list?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Willpower

Just resisted In-N-Out.  Very proud of self. 

That is all. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stir Crazy

My parents are going to London tomorrow - I'm so jealous!  I still haven't figured out how to simulate a vacation without actually going anywhere, and I'm still desperately craving a change of scenery.  

This weekend is the first tech weekend for Song of Extinction, then this whole next week is tech/dress, next weekend we have dress rehearsals, and we open the following Friday and run for five weekends.  So there will be no going out of town for me, definitely not until the end of the year at the earliest.  

I saw the theater for the first time tonight - it's an awesome space, and I'm really looking forward to running the show there.  It may not be a vacation, but it's certainly going to be a welcome change of pace.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hot Link Wednesday

I started my day off with this hilarity, which I actually had to watch 3 times to absorb all of its awesomeness.

A couple days ago, dear sister showed me this (some sort of bacon-lovers networking site in beta, it looks like), and I poked around further and found this (my fave of the bacon blogs) and this (not as good but still funny)...

And speaking of food porn, I am completely in love with this food blog - it makes me want to rummage in farmers markets and can my own vegetables and make my own stock and do all sorts of other amazing foody things.  

Went here for dinner - still in a food coma.  I will definitely be going back. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Slutty Noun

Halloween is fast approaching, which means that many many girls are trying to figure out how to wear the least amount of clothes possible while still conveying the idea that they are dressed up as something other than a whore.  And I am continuing my tradition of commenting on that trend by simply putting the word "slutty" in front of a noun and calling it a costume.  A look at costumes past:

2007: Slutty laptop - short silver dress with a white "Apple" symbol sewn on the front.

2006: Slutty lamp - short black dress, lampshade on head.  

2005: Slutty mustard bottle - short yellow dress, red "French's" logo sewn on the front.

This year?  

Slutty tree: short brown dress.  Green leaves, if I'm feeling ambitious.  Otherwise, I'll just be slutty branch.  It's eco-friendly, it's fun, and I get to wear green eyeshadow.  

Monday, October 20, 2008

What Came First?

I completely forgot to blog yesterday! Which is odd, because the blinking cursor has become such a big part of my day these days...often daydreaming about what to write and wondering if anyone will read it, anyway.

The blog didn't totally leave my mind - yesterday morning I was eating a breakfast burrito with chicken, and trying to think of other occasions in which you eat both a chicken and an egg at the same time. (I came up with chicken quiche, a chicken omelet, and a barbecue at which you might have both chicken salad and egg salad.) I was also wondering what the probability was that the chicken I ate laid the egg I ate. I think pretty slim. But who knows? As I am not in the chicken/egg business, I'm just guessing.

Anyway, I thought that would make an interesting blog subject.

I think I was wrong.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Something I Can't Deny

This post hearkens back to Bianca's post, which hearkens back to Oprah (because doesn't everything?).  Anyway - here goes...something I can't deny. 

I am lazy.  I am one lazy beeyatch.  I would rather sit on my ass and watch Sex and the City reruns than do anything substantial.  Or so I tell myself.  But the secret?  I don't think it's actually true.  Because the thing is, I could.  I could come home every night, sit on my couch and watch whatever bad reality television happens to be on.  I could let my house go to shit, watch the laundry pile up and everything get increasingly grimy and awful.  Some people do, and they're totally okay with that.  But I don't, and I'm not.  When I was unemployed earlier this year, I was so...effing...bored.  So maybe I'm not lazy.  Maybe I'm just not passionate enough about anything yet to focus all of my energy and attention on it, and so the in-between times feel like laziness.  But maybe those in-between times are just...marinating.  It's certainly something to think about.  To "marinate" about, if you will.   

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bring Flowers of the Fairest

I'm planting my garden tomorrow!  Elfin thyme, sage, bougainvillea, rosebushes, a red banana tree, and a bunch of other plants whose names I don't know.  I will post pictures when it's done.

I have a black thumb, but it's okay - because I have a guru.  Dean, at Sego Nursery - he helped me make a garden plan of action.  He told me that if I follow his instructions, the plants won't die.  (Sounds like a ransom note, doesn't it?) Apparently it's like cooking - yes, some of it is instinct, but with enough practice, the instinct can be developed.  So there's a new goal to add to the list, a new skill to aspire to...gardening.  How quaint! 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little Miss Cranky Pants

Remember those great books, Mr. Messy, Miss Bossy, with the awesome crayon drawings? Mr. Happy was the big yellow one?

Lately I've totally been Little Miss Cranky Pants.  And for no reason. Life is good, cat is healthy, friends are great, and I am cranky.  For the past month or so.  No reason.  Not sad, not depressed, not pessimistic. Just cranky as shit.  (Is shit cranky?  I imagine it would be.  I mean, it smells like shit, it looks like shit, it tastes like...you get the idea.)  It reminds me of a song lyric: "...like life is just a boring chore and I'm living proof."  Is that it?  Am I bored?  

Doesn't matter - I just want someone to hit me upside the head and yell SNAP OUT OF IT!  Seriously.  Go for it.  Hit me.  I might hit you back in the moment, but I'll totally thank you for it later.  Because the thing is, I have it pretty damn good.  

Hmmm....Little Miss Cranky Pants....I may have just come up with a fabulous Halloween costume.  (There's always a silver lining, isn't there?)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hot Link Wednesday

The Dodgers lost, so I'm bummed, and my "stories" (aka Project Runway) are on, so I gotsta make this quick.

Here's a cool site that I like to read while I eat my lunch at work (reading about the food that I'm eating while I eat it...strange): heateatreview

And here's a funny funny that I found today: uta joblist

En-yoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poker? But I don't even know her!

Tonight is my first poker night. I really wish I had one of those green see through visors with the white piping and the lights, but I'll have to make do without. Apparently none of us (the players) are very good at the poker, so it should be interesting. I hope someone at least knows the rules - 'cause I sure don't.

I feel like I've been more experimental lately, what with the improv and the kickball and now the poker. Trying stuff on, seeing what fits. I've realized the title of this blog really should be "A Jax Grows in NoHo."

One of the daily silent prayers in my Buddhism practice is the following:

"I pray to bring forth Buddhahood from within my life and accomplish my own human revolution, change my destiny and fulfill my wishes in the present and the future."

Heady stuff. I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around the human revolution bit of it, but I'm all about wish fulfillment and changing my destiny. Oh, and being a good person of course. I think part of changing one's destiny is going outside of the comfort zone - which brings me back to the whole idea of doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult for the sake of growth and change.

Hmmm, from poker to human revolution in ten sentences or less. I like it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heh

ehcadaeh a evah i won

(yawyna siht sdaer ohw nosrep ylno eht era uoy ecnis)

?kniht uoy od tahw ,yadrutas no rennid rof angasal gnikam fo gnikniht saw i ,b - hcihw fo gnikaeps .goh angasal a mi imalas a gnah og .eno kcip ot evah i .cihcysp tep a sa sthgilnoom ohw reteerg tramlaw a ,latsyrc tsyhtema saw roetcarahc dnoces ym dna nietslegabnexolnedlog eniale saw retcarahc tsrif ym...sretcarahc ruo did ew - ssalc vorpmi dah i yadot

.ma i naht derob erom era uoy neht siht daer nac uoy fi

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RIP John

On a more serious note - I just saw this story (another article here) on the evening news, and am horrified.  Horrified.  I have no words.   

Fried Chicken and Entropy

Why is it so hard to do things that are good for us, and so easy to be bad?  

It sounds like a stupid question, and maybe it is, but think about it - losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, learning something new - all of these things require discipline and commitment.  Whereas eating fried chicken and chainsmoking while sitting on the couch watching The Starter Wife is oooooh soooooo easy.  I guess it follows the law of entropy...as I learned it in some science class years ago, it's about a gazillion times more likely that a pyramid of cans will topple into a pile than that a pile of cans will spontaneously form a pyramid (I'm not a scientist, folks - I'm sure there is a better explanation than that, but I'm proud that I even remembered the word "entropy").  But why?  I guess it has to do with growth, and change, and becoming a better person, and all sorts of other lofty things.  It just seems like the deck is stacked.    

I pushed myself beyond my normal limit on my hike this morning - ran about 1/3 of the way, finished the 6-mile hike in an hour and forty minutes (previously, my fastest time was about two hours, just walking).  It felt good.  I was telling my mom I feel like my brain thinks my body can work harder than it actually can - my mind is ready to run the whole thing, but my legs aren't agreeing.  Which is a good thing, I suppose: my mind is willing.   I'm sure my legs will catch up eventually.  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Jax of All Trades, a Master of None

This blog has no angle.  

I've been reading about blogs, and what makes a successful blog, and I've learned that it's all about having an angle.  Be it celebrity stalking/mocking, weight loss, parenting or technogeekery, people want an expert.  Well, I am not an expert.  In anything.  But I think that's okay.  Because I'm not trying to make this a "successful" blog.  I'm not looking for advertisers or a huge readership.  

Which leads to the question I've been pondering ever since my tenth entry, where I seemed to run out of steam: why am I doing this?  And I think the answer is simply to see if I can.  If I really want to be a writer, I need to be able to write.  And not just in a diary, but in a way that is comprehensible to the outside world.  I need to have accountability and structure, and topics and opinions.   I need to practice observing the world around me and writing what i see and feel, so that's what I'm doing.  Maybe someday I'll find an angle.  But for now, I'm just gonna write and see what comes out.  

All right, that will be my self indulgent philosophical tangent of the week.  Back to cleaning house.   

Friday, October 10, 2008

Out Sick

Called in sick to work, calling in sick to blog.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Search and Ye Shall Find?

For work, I'm currently reading Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters by Bill Tancer. It's a book about how our online searches speak to who we are as people. The premise is that our deepest desires and fears are most purely revealed by analyzing our actions when we are alone with our computers and the Interweb.

The "what people are doing online" part (looking for prom dresses in January and porn pretty much all the time) is pretty much what I expected. The "why it matters" bit is what I find intriguing, and I'm finding that Mr. Tancer doesn't delve into that as deeply as I would hope. Once he finds the answer, he moves on to the next "problem." Whereas I want him to keep asking "but why? but why?" until he can't ask anymore. I think I'm looking for a deeper appraisal of human nature, and I'm getting "2+2=4." One example - his data shows that the visitors to confessional websites such as True Mom Confessions tend to be affluent women in the suburbs. But why? He leaves it up to the reader to surmise.

Sometimes the internet feels very lonely to me - like being at a party surrounded by people but not having a close connection with any of them. Sometimes it feels small - you get that sense that you've somehow reached the end of it, that there's no more to see. Social networking sites like Facebook make the internet more social, with a live feed of what your friends are doing, where they are, who they're friends with - but you're just seeing what people want you to see. That's why Click, in spite of its shortcomings, is fascinating and scary at the same time. Because there's the public internet (our Facebook, our Myspace, even this blog) and then there's the private Internet - our search histories and queries, our "stalking" of old love interests and our googling of possible new ones. And obviously the latter tells more about us than the former - but what, exactly, is it telling us?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hot Link Wednesday

Ugh, what to write, what to write...

How about a link? Those pictures are absolutely stunning. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I just gave you 10,000. Maybe looking at those pictures ate up all my words.

Couldn't be.

Well, maybe.

Ooh, here's another link - that one is to my friend Mel's fundraising page for her breast cancer walk. She's walking 60 miles in 3 days, go Mel!

Another one - Postcards from Yo Momma - a site that almost never fails to amuse me.

Here's a recipe for low fat tuna casserole - my sister made it a couple nights ago and said it turned out well. I think she added some parmesan.

Here's the website for my current fave restaurant.

Here's a cool art website where I bought a print earlier this year.

Here's the couch I'm thinking about buying (ooh, it's on sale...).

Another site that makes me laugh - Stuff White People Like.

And finally, a neat little color test - I got a score of 28.

Weird, I feel like I just cleaned out my purse.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Growing Green Things

I've been craving small town solitude lately. I think I have an internal voice telling me that the weather is supposed to be getting colder (even though it isn't actually getting colder) and I'm supposed to drink tea and curl up in an armchair with my cat and a book, while rain falls outside the window and green things grow. I have the cat, the tea, the armchair, and the book (actually, I don't really have the right book...any suggestions?), but I'm missing the rain and the green things growing. And I'm craving a place I've never been. Portland, Maine, is close, but it was too wide open for my purposes. I need a forest, and crashing waves, and pickup trucks, and dirt roads. I need a cottage, or a treehouse...something shingled with wood. Lots of steel grey, faded brown and deep mossy green. I've never had such an acute craving for a change of environment - I think I, like my plants, am languishing in too much sun. The traffic, the smog, the wide flat land, the endless lights of a city that has grown too large - it's all overwhelming me. So how do I slow it down? Without the resources or the vacation time to run off to a small town forest by the sea, I need to figure out a way to bring the idea of calm and solitude into my life.

Instead, I'm watching 90210. Which is kind of the opposite of the above. But I'll keep thinking about it until I figure out how to create small town solitude in the Valley.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Elaine Goldenloxenbagelstein

Improv class today. I'm taking improv classes with Tim Simek, the founder of Slow...Children at Play. I swear, it is the three hours of my week that go by faster than any other three hours - comparable only to Cati's dance classes. My friends Tristan and Laura are in S...CAP and I've gone to see their shows a couple of times. Improv is really cool, and really hard...when it's done well it's freaking hilarious, and when it's bad it's...well, freaking hilarious in a very different way.

Our assignment for next week's class is to come up with one or two characters, complete with costumes, props and fleshed out backgrounds. So I will take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and start figuring out one of my characters. Let's call her....Elaine Goldenloxenbagelstein. Elaine Goldenloxenbagelstein was born and raised in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. Elaine was born Elaine Finkelblatt, to Howard and Sheila Finkelblatt, who made a modest living as tour guides in "the big city." She was the youngest of ten children, and the baby of the family, the apple of her fathah's eye. Elaine lived at home with her parents until she met her husband, Saul Goldenloxenbagelstein, who owns a chain of dollar stores that started out small and then spread like wildfire across the country. She's now a millionaire, but still shops at the outlet malls in Paramus. She especially enjoys the Build-A-Bear workshop, along with Color Me Mine. She has a collection of stuffed bears that she created at Build-A-Bear, along with a collection of porcelain cats (the Color Me Mine stuff, she gives as gifts). She wears track suits and sun visors (I'll have to go to Salvation Army this week to find a track suit) but she also always wears her pearls.

Well, that's a start, albeit a rough one. I'll come up with more about Elaine throughout the week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Words on a Page, Words on a Stage

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm stage-managing Song of Extinction by E.M. Lewis at [Inside] the Ford during November and December (teach a bitch to embed links, and watch out!), and we had our first (almost) all-cast rehearsal yesterday. We're at the stage of rehearsals where the actors aren't off-book yet (meaning they still have their scripts in hand, for the most part), so rather than having my face buried in my script taking line notes (noting which lines the actors mess up so I can tell them what words or lines they omitted or changed), I got to just sit back and watch the rehearsal. I was sitting between the director and the playwright, as the latter took notes and the former tweaked the actors' motivations and gave them ideas for how to approach the scenes. It was very cool...in fact, cool is sort of an understatement. It was...I don't know, magical? Stunning? None of these words seem right.

I took a playwriting class a couple of years ago, with a teacher/writer that I really respect and admire, Lee Wochner. (In fact, Song of Extinction came out of Lee's workshop.) I was trying to write a play (obviously) but I think it was hitting a little too close to home as far as subject matter, and I sort of gave up. I wound up writing a short little 10-minute play that was produced as part of Moving Arts' awesome Car Plays show, and abandoned hope of writing anything full-length. It was great that I created something that got produced, but I've always been a little bit angry at myself for giving up so easily on the harder task, and the one that would require more of myself - more soul-searching, more struggle, more stamina, but ultimately more reward.

Every time I see or read a piece of theater that moves me, I have a slight twinge of...something (not doing so well with the whole "finding the right word" thing today). It's not exactly regret, because let's face it, I'm only 27 and it's not like I don't have time to write a play in my future. Cigarette smoking notwithstanding, I plan on being around for quite a few more decades. But the thought of it is so overwhelming that I don't even know where to start. There's a lot of fear there - that if I actually really buckle down and try, I'll realize that I'm not a writer. That I don't have it in me. And the thought of that happening is really scary. So what's scarier? The possibility that I'll fail, or the possibility that I'll go another 5, 10, 20 years without really trying? It seems like an obvious answer, but tell that to the blinking cursor that stares at me from Microsoft Word every time I do try.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Let's Go, Dodgers (clap clap, clap-clap-clap)

I'm really getting this one in under the wire - the goal is to blog every day this month, and I realized on the way home that I was getting close to midnight without blogging. But here I am...phew (I know you're relieved too).

So I'm not really one for organized sports, but this has been a big weekend for the Dodgers. We just won the (wait, let's see if I can remember...) National....League....Division....Championship? Sure, that sounds right. Anyway, I was at the game - and it was super fun! It reminded me a little bit of Cal Football in 2002 when we won Big Game for the first time in, like, 7 years. Apparently we haven't won anything this big for 20 years. I think. So that's exciting. And this means we could win the World Series.

Now call me crazy, but I feel like something that's called the "World Series" should involve more countries than just the one. But that's just me.

On another organized sportsy note, Shelley and I played kickball yesterday. It was fun. I'm very sore - either kickball is more of a workout than I originally thought, or I'm very out of shape. Or both - I suppose they're not mutually exclusive.

So - happy for the Dodgers, sore from kickball, stoked to go hiking tomorrow morning - it's been a very active weekend. So even though I have more to blog about (including my father telling the man at the plant nursery today that he looked "Oriental" and not "American"...sigh...), I think I'll save it for another day and call it a night. Let's go Doyers!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Date Night

Every time the weekend rolls around, I think of the Sex and the City episode where someone says they're doing like, laundry or something on a Saturday night (or was it Friday? whatever.) and Charlotte gasps and goes "...on DATE NIGHT??!!"

This is because for the past two Saturday nights, I've been hanging out with my mom. (gasp...on DATE NIGHT? Yeah, Charlotte - get over it.) My feelings on this are ambivalent (so many people misuse that word, btw - it implies the coexistence of two opposing feelings...most people think it means you don't care, but it actually means you feel strongly in two directions. It's one of my favorite words). I actually really like hanging out with my mom - she's funny and strange, and she makes great dinners, and she likes to play Wayne Newton really loud and eat in semi-darkness. But I have to admit, and I hate to admit it, that it does make me feel sort of lame. I mean, I'm 27 years old - shouldn't I be going out to trendy bars and hitting on emotionally unavailable guys, or something? But the thing is - none of my friends really do that. And I don't really have any interest (or the funds) to do that. I guess I'm just worried that there will come a time that I will look back on these "party" years and realize that I didn't do much partying at all.

Anyway, gotta go - time to email my mom and see what she's doing tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Enjoying the Happy Medium...

...which is really the calm before the storm.

I feel like right now I've struck a good balance of spare time, work time, play time and alone time. I'll enjoy it while it lasts, because in about a month I start stage-managing another play for my theater company, Moving Arts. The play is called Song of Extinction, written by E.M. Lewis, a friend and local playwright. I'm super excited because it's an amazing play and I'm working with some really talented people. But I'm a little intimidated by the schedule - Thursday, Friday, Saturday evenings and 2 shows on Sundays for 5 weeks. Goodbye free time, friends and sleep! Through that whole period, I will still be attending improv classes, with a showcase on December 1. Which is also exciting and intimidating. But aren't all good things?

I went running again this morning - it was a little hot and gross out, and I didn't choose the loveliest route (just ran a mile down Lankershim and back up) but at least I did it! Very proud of myself.

And as for the debate...no comment. Other than to say that I played Palin Bingo, which was very enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yeah, I Like Chick Shows

I used to be one of those girls who didn't embrace my "girly" side. I would focus on the facts that I prefer whiskey on the rocks to cosmopolitans, am generally down to get dirty with the guys in a sporting event rather than watch on the sidelines, and have the mouth of a sailor instead of a lady. But over the past few years I've discovered that I definitely have a well-developed girly side...and the strongest indicator of the "pink" in my personality (as I like to think of it) is my TiVo.

I recently realized that I have about 60 episodes of Sex and the City on my TiVo, along with Project Runway, Grey's Anatomy, the new 90210, Privileged, and the Golden Girls. Holy chick shit. Not a single sporting event, no Family Guy or Simpsons, not even Daily Show. And the books I've been reading!! Twilight, The Manny (though I hated that one), The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (okay, that one was for book club)...well, maybe it's just the television thing. And mani/pedis. And girls' night. And gossiping. The list does go on.

However, I think that the lines are getting blurred. I came home last Saturday afternoon and my roommate and his best friend, both straight males, were in the dining room re-hashing their old relationships. I'm not used to hearing that - though I don't have many straight male friends, so who knows? Maybe when the ladies aren't around the guys braid each others' hair, drink cosmos and read Cosmo. I doubt it - but it was refreshing to realize that dudes care a little bit more about relationships than I think we think they do. But there's a trade-off. There is such thing as a guy that is too sensitive (at least for me) - man-ginas. Not so into that.

My point? I guess that it's not as cut and dry, "pink" and "blue" as I thought. Which gives me hope. Hope that I can retain my blue tendencies and still keep discovering my pink side. And hope that I can find a guy that strikes the perfect balance (and thinks I do t00).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Day in the Life

7:15 a.m. - the alarm goes off. Decision time. Get up, make coffee, chant, go running, or...go back to sleep until approximately 8:55 a.m. and leave myself about 10 minutes to get ready and run out the door?

Generally, option B wins. So I'm hoping that if I blog about it, option A will start to creep forward in the running more often. This morning I woke up pre-alarm (shocking, I know) and wrote for a bit before coffee, chanting, running, taking a leisurely shower, having time to actually pick out an outfit, and heading off to work.

And it was awesome. I used to think I hated running, but I think I just hate the idea of running. Or maybe the idea of getting dressed to run. But the actual running part of it is euphoric, amazing, gives me time to just listen to music and be in my head for twenty minutes. So here's hoping that tomorrow at 7:15 when the alarm goes off, I'll remember this and I'll get out of bed. Here's hoping.

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Post (wow, creative!)

This is my blog.

It started out as NoHo Blog (Adventures of a First Time Homeowner) but that didn't inspire me. I'll hang onto the "NoHoBlog" URL just in case someday it does, but I needed something more generic. Something that would allow me to post any random thought. And to be honest, there haven't been many adventures thus far as a first time homeowner. It's much like renting, except that when the toilet breaks or the roof leaks or the chimney is crooked (as it is now), I have to figure out how to fix it myself. Or ignore it. Lately I've been taking the latter approach. But I digress.

I actually didn't even want to call it "A Jax in NoHo," because this particular Jax has aspirations of being elsewhere, but just "Jax" was taken, and "Ajaxin" sounds like some sort of weird non-necessary prescription drug that you see a commercial for on late-night tv with people running around looking happy and flying kites in nice parks. Feeling awkward? Uncomfortable? An itch in your nether regions? Take Ajaxin...it'll fix you up right.

Speaking of commercials, has anyone seen the commercial from the High Fructose Corn Syrup people? A chick with her boyfriend in the park, a popsicle...it's hilarious and odd. And hey, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE5aSUcU3YA.

Digressing again. So...blog. I was inspired by my friend Bianca to start one, because she sent me the link to hers (hey, here it is: http://asinjagger.blogspot.com/) (I have to get someone to show me how to embed links in blogs) (Should really be able to figure it out, considering I WORK for a WEBSITE...) (Hey! I figured it out!) and I really enjoyed it. Like Bianca, I will try to post every day. Also like Bianca, I probably won't wind up posting every day. But...well, I've been trying to do the Artist's Way again, morning pages, all that, and I figure maybe I'll start out small - instead of doing morning pages (which are supposed to be private, which a blog obviously is not), I'll start a blog. Perhaps I'll learn something about myself. (Perhaps I'll learn that I like parentheses.) So...here goes. I figure if it's horribly boring, you don't have to read it. No harm, no foul. I probably won't even tell anyone about it until I've established whether I will continue with it or if it will languish in cyberland. At least I'm trying to write something, which is better than the past year of not really writing much of anything at all.

Welcome to my blog.