Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Non-Specific Fuss

This is an ailment my youngest, SOv.2 (Significant Other, version 2) is suffering from as of late. And you know, I was finding it irritating until I was sitting here at my desk reading, no, not what I am supposed to be reading, but of all things Backstage West - as if it will do me any bloody good in exile here in the desert - as if it did me any good when I lived in Hollywood. I'm reading it and enjoying it because it is all about my first love, acting. There will be nothing more fulfilling that I ever do for a living, I am certain, than acting. And since it is an endeavor one can't do alone (well I guess you could but people would think you insane) and if you can't get others to do it with you or let you play too, then you have nothing but the emptiness, the malaise that is the absence of fulfillment - thus, non-specific fuss. Non-specific not because the origin is unknown but because the remedy is.

I realized that SOv.2 is suffering from same. See, her first love is, well, how to put this, booby. The gal loves to nurse and would nurse all day long if I let them all hang out. But as she is 20 months old it is now time for some serious weaning because, well, Daddy wants his boobies back and Mommy is tired of it all, the biting, the sucking, the laying around waiting for marathon nurser to be done. Try as I might to not begrudge her I am just ready to be done! And funny enough, if I had another little SO I would willingly do it all over again. But as 2 years old looms I feel that she and I will both be better off without it. I worry about dependency issues. Just as with my acting, she has to learn to carry on in life and be happy without it. She may never get to suck on a booby again, I may never get to act in a play again, but we both have to learn to go on.

I suppose the non-specific fuss which I suffer from at times as much as she, is a way of lamenting the loss of the first love. And since we both suffer from it, the boys will just have to learn to live with us or ignore us when a bout of NSF arrives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm Published!

Well, not so much more as if you could say writing a blog is publishing... but it is on a blog not my own! Does that count?...

Besides the, embarassing, typo in the title I am fairly proud of this small article.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Dream Is Dead... Or At Least In A Coma

I had an email exchange with a, probably, incompetant real estate agent when I inquired about a 3 bedroom home for sale in a price range that was possible for us. Of course, it was in a 55+ community - why do only old people get to buy houses anymore! - and so we could not buy it. But he sent me several other listings of totally unworkable houses at totally outrageous prices even though I clearly stated we had two children and a low-ish income. But no, he didn't get it. So, I wrote a lengthy email to him reminding of said situation and railing against the outrageous housing market. His reply was to say that this market, in the Coachella Valley, was not as bad as other parts of California and he hoped our situation changed for the better!!! As if having a low income was a lifestyle choice or something. Patronizing *(&#)&*%^^&%!

But it's not just the home buying market that is out of control. It is also the home renting market! The rents here are like LA except without the job opportunity, culture, nightlife and activity. Jeez! It's like some landlords think their homes are too precious to rent, so they stay on the rental market month after month after month. I know, I've been looking at the listings for months! But will they come down to get a tenant? Noooooooooooooowwwwwaaaaaayyyy! "We aren't ready to lose money on the property" one woman told me in regards to her outrageously prices 2 bedroom condo. Not yet? Aren't you losing money already? In two months you have lost more money than what you would have lost in a year renting to me. But does anyone possibly think the problem might not been in the fact that renters and potential buyers don't have enough money to throw at the market but that the BLOODY PRICES ARE TOO HIGH!?

Not only can we not afford to buy a house but we can't even afford to rent the house that we can't afford to buy which doesn't make any sense. See, if we could afford that much for rent to pay you, lady, we'd just buy the damn thing! The paradigm has gotten inverted. You are supposed to be able to save money by buying a house! We, stupidly it turns out, thought we might be able to buy out here, since we have to be in exhile, might as well. But no dice, man.

And on top of that lousy irritation wages are stagnant. Most certainly mine are. And I am unqualified for anything other than working in the Industry apparently. Which sucks because I spent all this money and incurred all this debt to educate myself, in order to move up in the world. But here I remain, stagnating, somewhere near the bottom of the middle. Why oh why oh why didn't I just become an electrician... (not like they could afford a house now either so...)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I don't usually put links to other stories... mainly because I am not actually sure if it will work, but most probably it's more of an ego thing, but this article by Billy Crystal on writing I thought worthy.,0,4186085.story

Not that he, one of the most fortunate people in the world probably, needs more attention but you gotta love a guy in his position who can still admit that he's scared, is married to his original wife and has a sincerity that makes all his accomplishments and prosperity seem natural and not easy to begrudge. If only all people who were doing the things you wanted to do but didn't succeed at were so. It would make failure just a little easier to swallow.

Speaking of, this thing, failure, has been on my mind for years now. Primarily because I feel as if I have failed to achieve almost every professional goal I have set out so far. Or maybe my goals were not concrete enough, or not achievable in the first place. Maybe I mistook for talent and passion what was just ego and aimlessness.

I had a thought, this morning, as I was driving into work which just popped into my head: "If at first you don't succeed, change your perspective. You probably have already succeeded at something, you just haven't noticed." I willed it away but it kept sneaking back and repeating itself. I certainly hope it's not one of those new-agey cliche-y missives that I have grown so weary of. It's not that I mind them so much, I grew up in the Bay Area afterall where one is surrounded by new-agey, hippie, peace-love and understanding man, so I get it. I really do. I like it, it has its place. But frankly the power of positive thinking has been taken over by too many who have jumped on the bandwagon of this sort of emotional healing and refuse to get off, take a walk or look around. Its not a lifestyle, its a tool. One that is useful in quiet moments few and far between. That is when its effective. Its not an EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE deal. Like anything in too large doses it becomes repugnant.

And so, I am not sure what this little saying that keeps swirling around in my head is supposed to mean or do for me. Maybe the obvious, "change your perspective", would be a no brainer, eh? Or maybe its just the product of waking up hours earlier than you normally do having been up a good portion of the night with a sick baby. Maybe a little of both.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Apparently I have been tagged...

7 things I can't do
  • Clearly (here's your answer demondoll), dress myself properly
  • Lose weight, apparently
  • Find time and/or motivation to paste pictures into a photo album so that I won't (just as my mother did when I was a youngster) say to my S.O.s when they are older, "Mmm, no I don't know when that was taken and no, I am not sure which of you that is"
  • Dance, anymore... I mean the real Martha Graham kind
  • Math, although sometimes I get a brain fart and do it correctly
  • Remember my mother's birthday
  • Hold a grudge
7 bad habits
(Isn't this just basically the same as the above?)
  • Picking my skin
  • Calling myself fat
  • Obsessing over chin hairs
  • Picking my skin
  • Eating sugar
  • Ignoring my appearance (in the larger sense, not in the miniscule chin hair sense)
  • Picking my skin (I know, it's gross... but there it is)
7 fave tv shows/movies
  • Lost (thanks to Brother-In-Law for getting me addicted)
  • Location, Location, Location - on BBC America and its American counterpart, House Hunters (although they never give you home prices so somewhat less satisfying)
  • NOW on PBS
  • The English Patient
  • The Colbert Report
  • Supernanny and Nanny 911 (because it's always fun to believe that you are a better parent than 'those' people)
  • Whatever's on Turner Classic Movies
7 things i say most often
  • "Great"
  • I used to say "Everything happens for a reason" but I no longer believe that, I think now that's a load
  • "I look like a cow"
  • "My God, I'm huge"
  • "Great!"
  • "Mamma says no"
  • "Great!!"
7 most attractive things about my partner
  • Well, he used to have beautiful hair but he won't let it grow anymore... bummer
  • His sense of humor
  • His beautiful eyes, but I can't say as I appreciate much his current 'serial killer' glasses that cover them up and he won't wear his contacts much... bummer
  • That he has no problem changing diapers
  • He does dishes and laundry
  • He always says "We'll figure something out"
  • He's a kind, kind soul
7 randoms
  • It really irritates me when people say "Follow your passion and the money will come" because that's a load and the only people who say that have money and have already succeeded
  • I want to make a documentary on failure because we never celebrate it in this country, so consequently we all feel like losers in some regard because nobody ever talks about it and, a documentary about stuff because people have too much of it
  • I want to be wildly successful at some bloody thing before I die!
  • I just read in the Sunday Parade that I am supposed to now, because I am 40, be creating a 'new dream' but I can't figure out what the hell that is
  • I'm having some difficulty/trauma in coming to grips with sending S.O.v.1 off to preschool in a couple of months... he's so young!
  • I'm having my first mammogram today and I'm scared
  • I feel extremely lucky - to have been born in America - into sane-ish family - in the Bay Area where I learned early on that everyone is exactly the same on the inside - even if they look funny to you on the outside; to have really great friends all over the place despite the fact that I have not a one closer than 200 miles away from where I live now; and to have a lovely husband who loves me and two really spectacular kids

I Have Become Downright Provincial

So, it's happened and perhaps there is no turning back... perhaps there is hope. This is what happens when you move to the suburbs, I suppose. Not that we have all the attractive trappings of the suburb life; We don't own a home or a dog or have a backyard and frankly the schools are not so much better as less crowded. We still stuggle to make ends meet and often they actually don't from week to week. But somehow I still had a sense of hipness about myself, of being somewhat 'cool', as I had when I was living in Los Angeles and working in the Industry. Oh sure, there were clues that this had faded away. One was when I made an entry into my Quicken for the purchase of a haircut and noticed that the last haircut I'd had was 8 months earlier! I've stopped wearing makeup on my days off but I could still tell myself that that was my little rebellion against the Tyranny of the Cult of Youth and Beauty Towards Women. The fact that S.O. (Significant Other) and I have not been out alone at night for over two years we keep TELLING ourselves is because of the expense of an adequate and reliable babysitter and lack thereof.

I mean, we watch the right things, we listen to NPR and (sometimes) music still and we read the hip Internet sites... But it has happened, I've gone native. What was the clincher? I bought a pair of jeans online (gift certificate from S.O.'s brother) and when they arrived they weren't quite right. But I decided not to send them back because by the time I paid for shipping back and then forth I would have paid $40 for a pair of $40 jeans that were supposed to have been a bargain in the first place... but the real shame of it all is that they are Levi's - no, not 501 or even 505 - Levi's 550... Relaxed fit... Tappered (cringe)... Yes, that's right. Say it loud, say it proud: Mom Jeans. And I'm wearing them right now on a trip to Target to buy diapers wherein I will bribe my little S.O.'s, versions 1 and 2, with candy for good behavior in the store. So sad...