Friday, April 27, 2012

once upon a time

super amazing photos from when duane and mechelle got married nearly TWO YEARS AGO!

life lately: wish list

to go with my exciting, new book, "The Lunch Box"

2. This BHLDN dress
to wear to a wedding in may
(also, on my wishlist is for it to fit properly and make me look gorgeous. too much to ask?)

3. 2012- 2013 season subscription to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

I love theatre.
I want to see all of it.

5.  purple hair
i used to want rainbow
but the cost and time effort doesn't
balance out the effect.
so purple it is!

i miss being on stage

is this the post-college slump?

is this what it's supposed to feel like
to get out of college
and have no money to move forward?

"why are you still in cincinnati?" i get asked, all the time.

"i needed alone time." i say.
and i did, that's true.

it's the easiest way of saying
i found myself with no money after college
and no job.

and people don't see my "fruitions."
they don't see the "where i was/where i am now."
even aaron,
has no idea how far i've come
or what i'm working toward
or where i'm going.

so is this what in-between feels like?

is it supposed to feel like every day i'm practicing things i'd not like to practice?
that every day i'm practicing how not to hate my life working in a cubicle
how every day i'm practicing "optimism within constant disappointment?"

i refused to believe that this was my life.
i started working harder, finding any option i could.
i started waiting tables, and that helps.

but i still haven't been on stage in a year
and i still haven't booked anything in a year
and i still call myself an actor.
i still plan.

the plan is TO MOVE.
and to move,
i need money.

and to make money as efficiently as possible,
i need to work.

so i'm working.
i'm working a job that blatantly undervalues me.

"get a new job," some say.

"audition for this company," others say. "what are YOU doing to further your career?"

i do. i have. i'm always one step ahead of them.

Playhouse, Ensemble, Cincy Shakes. Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Dayton Human Race. Internships, Shows, Company Members. LPK, Cincy Zoo, Newport Aquarium. University of Cincinnati.

now i find myself in a rut. a rut that stretches far, far ahead of me, as i practice "working in an office," and "waiting tables." a rut that has no career path, no career ladder, nothing, because it isn't what i loved or what i learned when i went to school.

it's a rut i'm trudging through while i save money to leave.

"well, what can you be doing here that you could do before moving to LA," aaron asks. he looks at me skeptically, and i see that he sees me doing nothing, he sees me stagnant.

"i'm doing all that i can," i say, and i sigh, because of what he does not know about me, because of the things in my life he has no frame of reference for. i remember again that my boyfriend sees me achieving nothing, none of my goals, and that he didn't meet me early enough to see me when they were on fire. it's too complicated to explain the biz to someone who has this point of view on me, too complicated to explain how relevant the here and now of what i'm doing is for my future.

so i'm left with a quiet voice, no outlet.

i'm too tired to justify myself to those that don't get me.
that is not worth my time.

and yet, my actions do nothing to speak for me.
my actions are The Rut, the waiting, the wheel of continual disappointment.

"so working your office job kills your soul?" aaron asks.
i know he doesn't understand.
and he can't
and he won't
and my options are limited.

i saw a play last night.
a musical.
"thunder knocking on the door" at playhouse in the park in cincinnati,
and it was AMAZING.

i felt on fire.
i watched the actors onstage,
and i pretended that i was doing what they were doing.
i felt their arms reaching up
i felt their dialogue sinking into each other
i felt their feet walking the ground, swishing in dresses, bathing in tech light.

i felt on fire/
i weeped through the entire performance.

THERE is my life
but i'm living it over here.

"someone give me a role!" i beg, silently
and i feel idiotic, and naive, all at once, all the time.
an actor among MILLIONS yearning to speak out, to have a part, to live.

my first step is to Move.
to move i need money.
for money i need time + a job.
for a job, i continue The Rut.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

the lunch box

said aaron.

"I almost forgot!"

he hopped out of bed
he ran downstairs
"you need your glasses!"

i hear him thunk down the steps
i curl up and smile
i hear him thunk up the stairs
run through the living room
and then slow down.

he comes gliding slyly into the room, drinking a cup of water.

"just needed some water," he says,
and i know he's playing because his eyes are lighting up the way they do
and, besides, he's got one hand behind his back and i'm not four years old. 

"Close your eyes," he says,
and i do, because it's fun to see him so excited
and it's fun to play along :)

he put something beside me.
"open your eyes," he says,
and i do
and i see a book and i immediately go "eep!"

the book
is adorable.

i start flipping through the pages.
simple lunch ideas
cute, small, tasty combinations.

"this is perfect!" i say
"i've not been into lunch lately!"

"i know," he says, "you stopped talking about lunch and stopped being active about groceries, and i thought maybe this could get you excited about it again. it looks right up your alley."

i kiss him, because he's delightful and patient and quiet and wonderful, and heck that deserves my kisses if anything ever did,
and then i just paw through the book,
page after page
of happy, lovely, tasty reasons to be excited about lunch.

in which the lady wants to do delightful things

a chocolate fondue pot
in a stoneware jar that you order online and it comes in the mail and suddenly you've got a fondue pot that reheats and it's adorable and totally fun.

and i thought
"wouldn't it be fun if i started delighting in things like this?"
"wouldn't it be fun if i allowed myself to order something like this and try it and test it and blog about it and create a tried and true gift guide?"
"wouldn't that be GREAT?!"

it would be great
but just as i was about to splurge of the moment
buy a parisian chocolate fondue pot
i saw that this cannot be shipped internationally
and my dreams were dashed immediately.

for now.
we shall see what happens the next time i get hooked on something quirky and cute.

Ask a Lady: I Need to Learn to Keep Quiet

Dear Ask a Lady,
I am planning a wonderful surprise day full of fun, adrenaline, adventure and merriment for my husband in honor of his 33rd, like, 5 months....and found a great deal on the perfect once-in-a-lifetime thing for him.
I am now seeking a sneaky way to make sure that he keeps that day clear, without ruining the surprise.
You see, I made the rookie mistake of ever-so-breifly mentioning in the passing the surprise in question. He thought it sounded incredible but said we couldn't afford it.
If I simply ask that he set the day aside from work and all other obligations now, he will, undoubtedly, be suspicious and guess exactly what I have planned, or he will insist that I tell him why.
I'm sure he will forget all about it in a few weeks time, but if I wait too long to inquire about him keeping that day clear, then I lose out on making the reservation for it that I need to make, and that could devastate the entire plan.
What should I do? Do you have any sneaky tricks up your sleeve for reserving the day without letting the cat out of the bag? What should I say if he asks why he needs to keep the day clear?
I Need to Learn to Keep Quiet

Here’s a good idea: Two days before, tell him that you’re pregnant and that you have a doctor’s appointment and that you’re REALLY, REALLY upset and afraid and (maybe sneak a few tears in,) then pull the Wife card and tell him that HE HAS TO BE THERE FOR YOU and he’ll clear his schedule to go to the doctor with you right away, obvs.

Just kidding.
Although I know that would work.

Easy-peasy. J
"I'm sure he will forget all about it in a few weeks time"
Go ahead and make the reservation now.

But don’t tell him till three weeks from now.
It’s so far in advance that he still most likely won’t have anything on his calendar, and you can just pull the “I’ve got a surprise for you!” card to use. He’ll know it’s a surprise, but he won’t know it’s the amazing-full-day-extravaganza, which, by the way—Will you be my wife, too?
Lady X

a happy thing!

i have a scarf with heart print on it

would be such a happy thing. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


i think i recently forgot to talk much about this
but i was cleaning off my phone
and stumbled across this picture again

i suddenly find myself wanting sushi again.

i love this commercial.

when life hands you lemons...


i'm not joking.
listen friends,
i was down on my luck.

i hadn't taken off the way i expected to after college.
i was working a job outside my interest
not interacting with people on a day-to-day basis
and all my friends had moved away.

the job i was working wasn't paying me enough to pay my bills
even though
they told me i would
even though
i'd been working with them for four years.

i was having spectacular auditions
but not roles

and wasn't getting enough ahead to work for my FUTURE.

and then i started waiting tables,
and everything changed.

i'm working harder.
i'm working happier, and i'm working longer.

 i chose a restaurant and a business i believe in.

this is the thing about life--you don't always get to make the choices you want to.

but, in its simplest form, choosing to work at a restaurant is not a big deal.
so-- choosing the place you want to be is possible.
you're there every day because you want to be there.
there are plenty of other jobs akin to serving; you chose this one because you wanted it.
being a server is an active vocation.

your job, every day, is to enjoy your time.
if you enjoy your time, your guests, will enjoy their time.

every day the give and take is PRESENT.
you talk, connect, and play with your customers
and in turn,
you are talked too, connected with, played with, as well.

you make tips.
before a shift
you need to put a tank of gas in your car
and after a shift
after six to eight hours of very hard work
you can.

the reward is immediate
and representative
of all that you have just done.

leaving a restaurant after six hours with 120 bucks is an incredible feeling.
hell, i could leave with 60 and be happy.
that is how incredible the payback is.

it's the people and the experience that keep this job satisfying.
the product is superb
the people are excited to be there
and i, in turn, am as well.

when life hands you lemons,
go wait tables.
you'll practice active living
practice making positive choices
be reminded that good rewards come from hard work
and feel satisfied day to day that you've contributed to goal you believe in.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the mullet of resumes

did some work on my resume last night
decided it was all kind of "blahhhh" and boring.

i mean,
a resume is a required element
one cannot have an interview without it

but they're so boring
and i'm so much more than that.
and i began thinking

so i perused my mind,
and pulled out some wrapping paper
and double-sided taped them together
and cut around the edges

and now
my resume is all
business in the front, party in the back.

(actually, there were a couple of "personal" steps in there in which i decide to edit my resume after the finished product, run out of card-stock, have issues with a printer, run out of double-sided tape, and end up taping everything together in the midst of getting dressed for the interview, but COME ON, i can't NOT have a fantastic idea come to manifestation once it is born, amiright?)

Monday, April 23, 2012


the coolest sisters

my sisters went to prom.
they look effing amazing.

they're dresses are "home made."
i have the coolest sisters.

i remember i used my very first tax return to pay for my senior prom dress.
wait, hold on....maybe i can find a photo.....



all the important moment of my life
happened on those porch steps.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

i want this book

the almost-psychic

"i'm psychic," she said, and she smiled her wide, big smile
full of teeth
against such pale, white skin
full of brown freckles
and light eyebrows
and red, red hair
and wide, brown eyes.

"i'm psychic," she says again, and i lean in closer and she winces her eyes and opens that mouth and smiles so big.

she's actually, super old, and she and her husband are both the "soft" kinds of folks
the kind of soft that you see folding over itself and rolling forward into themselves in life.

but they're in my section
and i'm waiting their table
and i don't care who they are or what they do
we're both here to enjoy our time
and that arrangement works. :)

she begins again.
"are you a voice major at CCM?"

i pause.
i don't want to hurt her pride.

"noooooo......BUT i WAS an acting major. i graduated march 2011."

"oh." she says.
she looks unperturbed.

she breathes out, focuses on me again, looks intently at me, pulsing into my soul.

she speaks.
"do you build things next door at the ensemble theatre?"

i pause.
i don't want to hurt her pride.

"noooooo......BUT my boyfriend builds things next door at ETC. He's the technical director."

she looks positively delighted.
"oh!" she exclaims, and claps her hands, rejoicing in the fact, perhaps, that she's gotten so close.

and i wonder
this "almost psychic,"
so delighted to be completely wrong. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

the sweetest thing

i got home at 11 last night

after going into work at 7
and then walking into my second job at 4


so i parked kind of in front of a fire hydrant.

YOU try finding parking in clifton on a friday night.
i was tired.
a police car drove past me.

i decided to take my chances.

so aaron gets home
(he was out with a friend,)

and says
we have to move your car. it's right in front of a fire hydrant.

i said.
i knew it, but i didn't want to believe it.

"i'll be right back," he says
and i'm happy because i don't have to put on real pants or real shoes and my pajamas continue to suffice.

so he gets back
and tells me where the car is
and we have a happy sleepy evening of chats and catching-up. :)

then, suddenly, it's morning
and i'm trying to get out of bed to get into work by 9 am, again.

i like it,
but hey, it's a saturday, right?

so i get up.
i go downstairs
do my hair
my make-up
eat breakfast.

aaron stumbles downstairs at some point
disappears outside

where did he go?
i poke my head around the corner,
he has disappeared.

i get ready 
walk out the door.

aaron is back,
and now he wants to walk me to my car.

we step outside
it's cold! i say
and aaron walks me to the driveway, hugs me, kisses me, says "see ya later!"
and i think he's changed his mind about the car-thing because it IS cold (srsly, wtf?)

"i told you i'd walk you to your car," he says pointedly.
and he points
and i look
my car,
which was parked a block and two streets over last night,
is sitting right in front, waiting for me.

i love him
and i die
from happiness
and hop in my car and wave vigorously "good bye"
and drive to work happy and content. :D

Friday, April 20, 2012

riding a bicycle

that's a good thing to hang in a couple's bedroom
not barf-tastic and mushy
did i say inspiring?

so i bought it
and then a 50% off frame from michael's
and hung it up yesterday
on some hooks that aaron already had hanging on his walls.

and then last night,
in the deepest, darkest hour of the night
it fell down
and i practically pushed aaron off the bed
trying to "jump into his arms"
because the CRASH! was on my side
and it terrified me
and then i basically figured out all was okay
and went back to sleep
but aaron did not
because he's relatively smart when he's semi-conscious after being just woken up from a gigantic CRASH! in the deepest, darkest hours of the night

and he said, "don't get out of bed on that side,"
and i mumbled okay
and then he got up and picked it up and cleaned up.

only the frame was broken!
no glass shards, shatterings, or pieces!

which i think is mildly impressive.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Introducing! Ask a Lady: New Job

Hey friends--I have so many conversations with friends where everything loopty-doopty-loops back into everything else.
People are universal.
WOMEN share universal conundrums.

I'm hoping to start airing a LOT of them here, soon,
a place where we can all throw in our two cents and help a Lady out.

begins our Thursday Ask a Lady!

Hey Lady-- Any chance you could give me a little advice/pep talking for resumes?
I am having trouble getting geared up to redo my resume for some new jobs.
Any advice?
you know what? i just re-did my resume, and i did so because i kept thinking, "why isn't anyone paying me what i'm worth?" what am i missing? and then, i decided to make my resume all about the really great things i've done in every job. i started talking about what i actually DO on a day-to-day basis, and it was really such an ego-boost for me.
Once I got started, I just couldn’t stop.
but you see--at ten thousand villages, i had A LOT of responsibility. i really did help train volunteers and develop new processes for the business based on what we needed. and, as a really young girl, i opened and closed that store all by myself. that's pretty great. then, even, here at the IRB i "triaged' calls from medical doctors and research investigators and now i'm a consultant on their work and i train my co-workers in our electronic system.
my advice?
just like acting, your resume can be YOU and ALL YOU and does not have to conform. sure, there's a "protocol" for setting up your resume, but it needs to be YOU and YOU and you. actually, look at this: loft resumes
i'm going to submit my resume to them SOON and give it a facelift, becuase i've thought for A LONG TIME that i wanted a prettier resume, and now, people are actually designing them that way.
so do what you want.
who says your day job has to be a shitty one?
make it your SECOND JOB.
as an actor, chances are that you're going to be spending 40 hours a week somewhere for awhile. make that reality tailor to you. it can be flexible, it can be temporary (if you want that,) and honestly, it CAN be amazing. find an AMAZING job. go work in a shop somewhere. maybe walk into stores you like and TALK to the owner, and THEN give your resume. be a shameless advocate for yourself, on paper, and in real-life, and you will make things happen.
but do the breakdown: if you currently need to spend 40 hours a week somewhere--that's FORTY HOURS OF YOUR LIFE you will not get back. don't settle--find a second job, not a "day job," or a "temporary job."
this is your life--do it right!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

sliced geode earrings

so months ago
i posted about a sliced geode earring that anthropologie was selling that was beautiful and amazing for like
or something

and i was all
NO WAY am i paying 70 bucks for a slice of geode lined in gold paint
when i know
that thousands of museums across the country
sell geode and WHOLE AGATE ROCKS
for like, four dollars apiece.

and then i stalked the website for months
and watched for these beautiful, amazing earrings to show up in the sale section

and they never did.

not even in stores!
my only assumption is that they were beautiful enough that someone did not have to make an executive decision to make these babies go on sale in order to increase their desirability.
i mean, they ARE that beautiful.

yesterday i was cruising around ye olde etsy
and found
(which is totally the way knock-offs go)

which are actually

one of them isn't lined in gold, but it makes up for it with a sparkly center

and the other IS lined in gold, and it's A LITTLE TOO THICK, but hey! maybe from far away they look amazing.

i'm still on the fence about buying them.
someone please to god talk me into it.
what do you guys think?