Not an actress
Tuesday, August 29, 2006, 8:52 PM
As a kid, my dream of being a Dallas cheerleader was never going to happen—I wasn’t allowed to say much more than two, six, four, eight, who do you appreciate, and my boobs were never going to fill out those midriff length tie tops—so dancing was my thing. When I wasn’t jumping rope to Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, I was helping make up dance routines to Sister Sledge’s We Are Family, Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust and Blondie’s Rapture. It was easy to make up a dance routine to Rapture.
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
It was a three-girl group: me, Rhonda and Tracy. Four girls if Jenny didn’t have laundry or dinner duty, five of us if Charlie’s mom was feeling charitable, six of us if she wasn’t. Marky was a cute backstop, but he was more of a pain in the neck than a pouty lip hip swisher because he had an irritating habit of moving and singing to his own beat. And we took our dance performances seriously. As the oldest, Tracy was usually the choreographer, although Rhonda was known for pelvic grinding and I for a prehistoric version of an epileptic running man. Trying to move simultaneously was next to impossible, but we always gave it our best shot and we had a blast trying to make it all happen.
We Are Family was a favorite among the adults, probably because even as kids we understood that family should, er, unite in some way. I don’t remember the moves, but they were the most evenly timed of any of the dances we put on for the unwary present, and probably showed each us raising our right arm slowly over our heads in unison; doing a left-to-right foot pivot simultaneously, bumping our left hip forward and stopping dead for one beat to nail our audience with a coquette–ish drop dead, Fred look. Of course, when you end the performance by pelting your audience with Tootsie Rolls and Now-n-Laters, you’re bound to be a success.
As we got older, the dancing gigs morphed into summer plays. Well, one, co-authored by Tracy and I, Bernstein Bear style. It was awful and I think the unlucky adults subjected to it about choked on their sighs of boredom, but I laugh whenever I think of that play. It’s a lot like a Hollywood actor's life and how it can all go to pot if you don’t have a good writer or director. Then again, the bumps and crazy-idiot-stupid stuff make for the best times, so I'm just as content to be a bit player and not an actress.
I pass three traffic lights. If I catch all three of them green, I’m psyched for the rest of the day. The first light doesn’t really count because they’ve been doing sewer work ever since I moved here at the end of February, so there’s no thru traffic. And while walking across the road when the light is red makes me feel conspicuous and to want to say hee, hee, hee to the drivers who have to stop for the red, I don’t because once the light turns green, the first car in line usually beats me to the other side of the road before I even get to the third hee. Actually, I’ve heard a few drivers gun their engines and it always makes me laugh. It’s temporarily liberating and that’s better than no liberation at all.
The second light is at a major crossroad where lots of car honking goes on. Woe betide any driver who turns left on a red light if there’s a car hoping to make it through the intersection on a reddy-yellow. Geesh, my heart’s slammed up into my throat many times because of this kind of angry driver honking and each time I think, “Gee, I’m so glad I don’t have to get up two hours early just so I can drive to work.”
I catch the green here probably forty percent of the time. If I walk like an arm-swinging dervish or like one of the Comcast Slowskie turtles, I’ll catch it, but I don’t do either that well unless I'm concentrating. I’m too lost in thoughts about how Keanu Reeves looked in the The Replacements, wondering if maybe my slacks shrunk in the dryer or were hemmed a wee bit too high and yeowl, how bright my red hair looks in the store windows I’m passing. So it’s a crapshoot, which means my traffic karma dips or gains depending on this one light.
I’m home free approaching the third. It’s on one of those side streets that make drivers go gray waiting for the green light. Sucks for them, doesn’t for me. One day when it was raining and the old man was snoring, I walked right out into the intersection on a red. Yeah, damn, WHAT I’d just do? Whoops. Didn’t see anything but the umbrella over my head. Could’ve been killed. Paralyzed.
Good traffic karma must be mine.
In other news, I haven't been able to upload any craptastically-nifty photos for my last two posts, so I guess I have to rely on just words to create the ambiance in your head. Well. I never.
Lately, the hardest decisions I face each day are what to wear and what to eat. Sometimes makeup gives me fits, too. Should I go with the white eyeliner behind my black rims, or endure contact lenses with no eyeliner? I’m the pits at getting contact lenses into my eyes and when I’m successful, the lenses usually bother me all day because my eyes don’t want to produce enough moisture to make contact lense-wear comfortable. It sucks because I hate wearing glasses. I have a small nose arch and eyeglasses tend to slide down my nose. It’s annoying and makes me feel old with an oily nose.
I’ve thought about eye laser surgery, too. Lots of times. Around here, eye laser and cosmetic surgery top pizza and burger ads. Well, except for cars, maybe. I go to sleep at night dreaming about microderm abrasion, the not-so-meritable idea of hair wefts, and shiny black BMWs with opaque windows. And about how Keanu Reeves is looking to get married, but I’m pretty sure he wants a kid out of the deal. Plus, he smokes.
Anyway, I saw a magazine article on laser eye surgery once. There was a photo of someone’s eye being forcibly held open by some kind of black contraption that included a head harness. You know, to keep your head still when the laser thing goes to work. With me, they’d have to include sedation and body restraints. Just the thought of it makes my toes curl, which gives me foot cramp. So even if I did determine I was brave and/or nuts enough to get the laser eye surgery, the foot cramping would kill me. There’s not much worse than a foot cramp.
I’m sad that I probably won’t be going home for the holidays, so I don’t think about it much. But I know it’s there. The thing is, home doesn’t feel like home anymore. I don’t want to go back to the too-familiar place where I feel like a stranger. I don’t want to suffer through airport security, another plane passenger who farts during a three-and-a-half-hour flight, or lost luggage.
The first time I went back home (for Buddy) after moving out here, I had a crying breakdown in the airport’s public restroom because I had to come back and I didn’t want to come back. The sight of Los Angeles from the airplane was claustrophobic. From the air, it doesn’t look like there’s an inch of untouched land. It feels like I’m a giant looking down on a kid’s Lincoln Log building project that’s overrun the house and spread out into the front and back yards. And into other yards, as far as I can see, just on and on and on.
The second time I went home (for Christmas) was bittersweet because I almost didn't make it and when I did, I felt like I was standing in the wrong pair of shoes. Everything was familiar. I even had my old car back and drove it between Oogie’s and Ken’s house like I used to do when I lived there. Like riding a bike, man. And then I figured out what's worse than a foot cramp: being somewhere you no longer belong and feeling heartsick about it.
I’d like to start a new holiday tradition with my family. I don’t know what that might be yet, but it’ll probably involve airport security and smelly airplane passengers.
“I don’t have any spare dollar bills, but if you’ll share a bit of your story—why you’re here now, asking me this—I’ll buy you dinner at The Whatsit Café,” I said. As soon as I said the words, my mind raced forward, stopped in mid-thought, then zoomed on. If you've ever wondered what temporary insanity looks like, I’m sure it was on my face at that moment.
Still, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while—listening to a homeless person’s story face-to-face. I want to know more about the homeless, but I’m too chicken to approach anyone or do much more than wince when I see one of them sleeping on the sidewalk in broad daylight.
The guy took at least five seconds to decide, then said he wasn’t really wasn’t that hungry. It might’ve been due to that hat on his head, but more likely it was the look of surprised terror on my face. Yet another reason why I'd never make it as an anti-terriorist spy. Ah, but I sighed from every nerve ending at his answer. I guess I’m not ready to interview the homeless after all.
There's less than a month left before the fifth year anniversary of 9/11.
I can't believe it. Has it really been almost five years? It seems like just yesterday, or like just last night when I fell asleep hearing Lee Greenwood's song in my head and relived the images I'd seen on the news, in my dreams.
Yes, the fifth year anniversary is upon us. And as I wrote back in June, I'm going to remember what happened that day by being one of 2,996 bloggers who will remember the life of one of those who were lost. It's a collaborative effort that D.C. Roe calls 2,996 and he's asking bloggers to participate by writing about one of the 2,996 people lost that day. I imagine there will be lots written about what happened that day, and D.C. Roe is hoping that wherever we navigate through the Internet on September 11th, we'll see these tributes, or links to the tributes.
If you're a blogger, I urge you to sign up. There are still approximately 990 people left to remember. This is a worthy project to be a part of. D.C. Roe makes it easy for you by providing links to information about the person you write about. You don't have to be a star writer ... just someone with a blog space who wants to remember one person who was lost that day. Want to see how it's done? Check out Chez Diva.
And then sign up to be a part of 2,996.
It's the second IE error I've gotten today. The first was while I was at work.
I wonder if IE is having problems.
Meanwhile, please pass the argen-fargen wine. I'm pissed.
... Going to watch When Harry Met Sally because Bruno Kirby died today.
I was going to go and see a guy sing tonight, but I'm sick from a bar-b-que breast of chicken I ate for lunch. I knew I shouldn't have eaten it, but lately eating curious-smelling food seems to be my asinine way of living dangerously. If it's not a cosmopolitan, it's chicken. Pretty soon, I'll be impossible to contaminate.
I've been sleeping off and on all day and now I'm restless with bad patient syndrome. I'm not restless or energetic enough to hop into the shower, though. Not energized enough to do my hair or face. And I definitely don't have enough Xs and Os in me to brave the club scene. Actually, I'd rather choke on a spoonful of lima beans than to go out feeling and looking like I do now.
Besides, they're bowling upstairs and the horn player has been practicing all day. I've got all the excitement I need right outside my door.
Anyway, every time I visit this place, I think about how I should write something. And I've tried a number of times--you see how many entry drafts I have. Pah. Thet. Ick.
They're doing pipe work or something on one of the streets I cross on my way to work. It smells like Playdoh, so I figure they must be digging into the ground. But each time I cross that road, I remember when I tried to mix blue and red Playdoh to get the color purple and how it never worked. And how I used to make a lot of eyeballs out of Playdoh. That was my thing. Sketching eyes and forming eyeballs out of Playdoh. And snakes because they were easy.
I think it's time to change soap and toothpaste brands. I grew up using Coast soap and Crest toothpaste, but then there was Ken and Ivory and Aqua-Fresh. White Cloud toilet paper wasn't good enough anymore, it had to be Northern because that's the best brand of toilet paper for a man to use. I'm not sure why, it has something to do with helping to prevent butt cancer. Ken could explain it better, but he'd die first before doing something like that in a public place.
I almost had another panic attack last week but I was able to breathe through it. The shrink thinks that's damn notable. I was awake at the time, I think that's notable. When did panic attacks start being a threat to my sleeptime?
I'm thinking about Las Vegas for a family vacay, just me, Rhonda and Oogie; and some kind of writer's retreat for my vacation. I can't believe I'm willing to go alone. Two years ago, this never would have even been a possibity for me.
Pote, did you ever think about a writer's retreat? I'm looking at The Bishop's Lodge in California for 2007. Read the website. Georgianna, how about you? Ever consider one of these type of vacations? Kris? Anybody else?
I'm also considering Esalen Institute in Big Sur for a weekend retreat. Of course, I can consider until Kingdom Come. Action is what I need, so sayith the shrink.