Adventure in Teeth Kicking

In my head this is a thing I don’t do every year, but this is absolutely a thing I do every year. So let’s recap the worst year ever, and let’s talk about kicking some serious ass in 2016. Sound good? I think so.

To be fair, 2015 wasn’t all dread. It was hard. That’s true. Some of it was down right shit.

From the very beginning of last year things started wacky and terribly dehydrated. Because as is my custom, I spent my New Year’s Eve making sure everyone else was okay, had not a drop to drink, of anything. Not water. Not booze. I got grouchy, but these kids had a great time. And carried me through the whole year. As you’ll soon see. I think even I’m about to realize 2015 wasn’t as bad as I remembered.new year new you

Then there was the whole panicked month of January. Putting together and directing a show that ends up starring three of your best friends. Your band drops out. You panic. You get a new band. Your best friend and one of your actors breaks up with you. Your show is on Valentine’s Day. And you cry for three solid days including work, excluding rehearsals. Still you find yourself with what feels like the most amazing project you’ve ever produced. Probably because it also came with a bunch of emotions, but also because it came with an absurd amount of support from so many people. I still can’t get over this.ssg 3ssg 1ssg 4

For every month of this that endured. The old friends and new friends. The real discussions and the pure silliness that came out of it. The potions and the motions. The puppy-headed monsters. Proverbs and no-verbs. These monthly Shakespeare readings are keeping my theatre brain alive. Those that participate, whether for pie, friendships, words, or any reason at all, make each month so fantastic.

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An internet challenge brought me 30 days of my own mediocre creativity, but it did force me to create, which was good for my brain. It’s proven even better now. Because while the final products are not the best things I’ve ever produced, I’m still proud to have produced them.art 1art 2art 3art 4art 5art 6art 8art 9art 10

 

This year allowed me some amazing opportunities to see and meet some fantastically funny and genuinely kind comics. Not all of them pictured. But so many incredible people. From the Puterbaugh Sisters who always treat me like a person to Danny and Mike who were just such treasures to spend time with to Bobcat Goldthwait who saved me from my rent being late without knowing it and gave me life advice to Brooks Wheelan who just wanted to talk about Bobcat Goldthwait to playing host to Kate Willett. And diving into improv again and unlocking some emotions that terrify me and suddenly connecting with a good buddy in the process. Comedy has been kind to me. It took a dark turn at the beginning of the year, and some things got lost, but it also forced us to band together and hold even tighter to each other. Which I love. It’s made us stronger. It’s made us smart. It’s made us love what we’re doing even more. Comedy, you keep doing you. You’re healing so many broken spaces.comedy 1comedy 2comedy 3comedy 4comedy 5comedy 6comedy 8comedy 9comedy 10

And a year of a heart-rending break-up. A year of a bone-breaking fall. A year of a head-injuring fall. A head-injuring fall that has caused enough complications, terrifying complications that even I don’t want to live with me, so many people are still here. Still here holding my hand. Holding my hair back. Holding my head in their lap as I cry. Crying in my lap, because I’m not alone in life being terrifying. Because one trauma can awaken trauma. And you’ve let me live, and die. You’re letting me die alive, and you’re letting me struggle to live. And I thank you for letting me fight for that. (not all pictured)

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Because as much as 2015 was terrible, and it was, I survived. 2016 might also be terrible, but I’m determined to do more than survive. I make no resolutions. I stand by my friends, as they have stood by me. 2016 though, 2016 is mine. It’s ours. I’m going to destroy. I’m going to chew it up with my mechanically and expensively straightened chompers and spit it out in 365 days. I’m going to kick its jaw off its hinge. I’m going to rip it asunder. I’m going to make more violent metaphors than I’ll make in my entire life, because 2015 broke me apart and actually broke me. 2016, I will break you.

Plus, lest we all forget, 2016 will bring us another Leap Day, where nothing counts! Because real life is for March.

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Adventure in the Waiting Game

I saw my new doctor two weeks ago. It was devastating. She hardly said words to me, and when I asked for more information about my MRI results, she led me to check out. Never to be seen again. There is some, it’s not good news, I guess. There’s some news.

I received a call from the neurologist’s office. I was scheduled to see a general neurologist, but he looked at my MRI results and symptoms and recommended me to the Multiple Sclerosis specialist. I know that doesn’t mean that’s what it is, but it definitely means I’m heading toward some answers. Which is pretty encouraging. I feel good that I’m getting a real answer, or that I’m on my way to one. I’m scared that this is what the answer is going to be. But I’m hopeful to finally be in the direction of help. Unfortunately, I have to wait now until December 8, instead of November 18.

It’s a terrible feeling when your mind is betraying you. A mind I had, mostly, come to trust. I have, usually, an impeccable memory. But now I feel like I’m floundering to remember the simplest tasks and words. Last night, and this I guess is big news too, I sucked it up, put my fear aside, and went to a worship service at the Salvation Army. It had its set back, but I’m glad I went. Standing by a dear friend, with a dear friend behind me. It’s true about being protected on all sides. Because there was someone there that makes me feel unsafe, and I didn’t give it a second thought. I mean, I bolted out of there when it was over, but still. It’s a step. But my hands were shaking the entire service. My hands clutched the seat back in front of me. For balance and to steady my hands. But ultimately something deeper was revived.

What really scares me about all of this is the being alone. I know that I am surrounded by people who love and support me. The collection of cereal I’m still wading through is proof of that. The encouragement. The prayers. I know I’m not alone. But I am physically on my own most days. I like living alone. I prefer it, but some days I get scared. And not just because choking to death is an actual fear of mine. Long before I’d started watching 30 Rock. 

But now there are new factors. Like trying to get out of bed and having a migraine so crushing I collapse to the floor, where I stayed for a couple of hours. Like when I forget how to get somewhere, but know I have to get there in my car, which I may or may not remember that I’m driving. When I’m scared to death of how the future looks and don’t have any of my dearest friends right next to me or down the hall anymore.

I find myself trying to stay too busy. Because I don’t want to be alone to think about things. I’m scared to. But then I find myself playing a part. I feel so far from myself. No. That’s not true. I feel dishonest. I feel like part of me is hidden away. I assume a lot about what people are looking for or expecting of me. That I think I’m supposed to appear fine all of the time. That I think I’m supposed to have it all together. That I’m supposed to be bubbly and excited about every person I see. **Spoiler alert** I’m not. Sure, that’s part of me. But if I could be sincere about how I feel all of the time it would be simultaneous and constant screaming paired with sobbing, which I’ve found, people don’t love for you to do. Life feels tense everywhere. I have to be upbeat or super approachable or helpful or friendly, and I’m not saying I can’t be those things. I can. I have been. Part of me is. But I’m just so damn scared of fading away. Of being rendered useless. Of spending the rest of my life on my own, because if I feel like a burden now, it’s only going to get worse. And that truly terrifies me.

I didn’t realize just how proud I am of my mind until I started to watch it fade away. I don’t know how people survived this way without things to remind them. The notes I carry around in my person or pockets. The list of reminders set in my phone. The things I just keep repeating to myself. I’m still not doing great with locking my door. I can’t seem to get that one to click. (you’re welcome).

Adventure in Lists

Over the course of 26 months my dear friend Brett Jenkins-Braun has challenged our friend Erica Anderson-Senter and I to join her in 26 30-Day Challenges. For the month of September it’s 30 Solid Days of Lists. I was going to explore my first list with my list of lists I’d be making, but I love lists too much. So here we go. List one. Is TOO COMPLICATED!! So probably several different lists for this one list topic.
Favorite TV shows. Top ten TV shows? Best sci-fi/supernatural shows? Best dramas? Guys! I could do lists of types of TV shows I like. That’s. I have a problem. Ok.
I have to do them in no order at all or I’ll die.
My favorite shows first, the ones u watch time and time again. Habitually. ritualistically:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
X-Files
Gilmore Girls
30 Rock
Freaks and Geeks
Firefly
Black Books
Doctor Who
The Cosby Show
Dawson’s Creek

It’s actually a pretty terrible first list. I won’t apologize for that.

Adventure in Fictional factual

And now the 50 influential characters from all sorts of places.

“Whoever said, “The more things change the more things stay the same,” definitely had the right POV. ” -Clarissa Darling

“I’ll stay home and watch public television.”-Stephanie Tanner

“Jessie, let’s go to the lost and found, because you’ve lost it.”-Kelly Kapowski

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” – Miss Piggy

“When you set aside your childhood heroes,
and your dreams are lost up on a shelf, you’re at the age of not believing and worst of all you doubt yourself.”-Eglantine Price

” I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without anybody trying any funny business.”-Liz Lemon

“The key is to be direct, and vague, yet obvious and subtle.”-Cory Matthews

“What the fuzzy?” -Pepper Ann

“Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!” -Ms. Frizzle.

“Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. A popular guy died, and now I’mpopular because I’m the misery chick. But I’m not miserable. I’m just not like them.”-Daria Morgendorfer

“I want to be a starving artist so I need to ring up more debt.”-Jane Lane

“Ask him something serious!”-Lenni Frazier

“Here’s a quick recap: There was boredom followed by dullness with a dash of echh!” -Sabrina Spellman

“10 to 1 you can’t dance to it.”-Fox Mulder

“It’s really nice that you guys missed me. Say, you all didn’t happen to do a bunch of drugs, did ya?”-Willow Rosenberg

I can just hear you in private. “I dislike that Anya. She’s newly human, and strangely literal” – Anya Jenkins

Seeing a teacher’s actual lunch is, like, so depressing. Not to mention, her bra strap.
– Angela Chase

Bet ya on land they understand, that they don’t reprimand their daughters. – Ariel

I’m a big, tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything – Megara

I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. – Alice

Forever is an awfully long time. – Wendy Darling

 Ah! I just said “bet your buns” to a nun! – Laverne Defazio

I’ll let you in on a little secret about the so-called fearless: We’re not as tough as you think we are. – Jen Lindley

Dad, give me one good reason why there can’t be a woman president. – Lindsay Weir

I think I know Aslan when I see him – Lucy Pevensie

Life isn’t all fricasseed frogs and eel pie.  – Puddleglum

Why would he threaten to kill you in public? – Miss Scarlet

I refuse. I absolutely REFUSE to be an onion – Harriet M. Welsch

I need a new name. One that’s not worn out from use. – Winnie Foster

It’s for some stupid, noble reason, isn’t it? – Ginny Weasley

If you tell anyone about this, especially your brothers, I’ll beat the shit out of you.
– Roberta Martin

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. – Jo March

“People never like me and I never like people,” she thought. “And I never can talk as the Crawford children could. They were always talking and laughing and making noises.”
– Mary Lennox

We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us. – Anne Shirley

What we Tucks have, you can’t call it living. We just… are. We’re like rocks, stuck at the side of a stream. – Angus Tuck

One girl is worth more use than 20 boys. – Peter Pan

Look here! I don’t believe the whole thing can be half as bad as you’re making out; any more than the beds in the wigwam were hard or the wood was wet. I don’t think Aslan would ever have sent us if there was so little chance as all that. – Eustace Scrubb

But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did. – Edmund Pevensie

Sir, I am at great unrest, and I cannot lie longer in sloth. – Eowyn

If you wanna be a member of the Scooby Gang, you gotta be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then.  – Xander Harris

I was going to be a fighter pilot. Or, possibly a grocer. – Rupert Giles

Insane? If giving away all your worldly possessions, renouncing society, and learning how to purify and drink your own urine is insane, then, mmm, yes, color me insane.
– Eric Matthews

You’re supposed to bag the nematod, not cream it! –  Doug Funnie

I’m always late. That’s why I don’t wear a watch. They depress me. – Trent Lane

The first time I saw this episode my dad pointed out “That’s a federal offense.” Swoon

But before I had this, I was lost too. You see what I’m saying? You need to find…your reason for- for living, man. You’ve got to find, your big, just gigantic drum kit, you know?
– Nick Andopolis

Oh, terrific. Do we do that before or after we flap our arms and fly to the moon?
– Red Fraggle

That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with.
– Kermit the Frog

Oh, how little you understand bears, Kermit. My mother loves surprises. – Fozzie Bear

I finish work, I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take myself for a walk, and go to bed. – Rowlf the Dog

Photography’s an art. You gotta have the right film, you gotta have the right exposure, and you gotta scream just before they get the food to their mouth.  – The Great Gonzo

Adventure in Life’s a show

In continuing with the theme of better understanding me, I offer you 50 TV shows that have shaped me into whatever it is I am. For better or worse. In an exciting random order.

01. Laverne and Shirley

02. Happy Days

03. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

04. Gilmore Girls

05. X-Files

06. Full House

07. Boy Meets World

08. 30 Rock

09. Dawson’s Creek

10. Magic School Bus

11. Clarissa Explains it All

12. My So-Called Life

13. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

14. Hey Arnold!

15. Animaniacs

16. Doug

17. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

18. Star Trek the Next Generation

19. Arrested Development

20. Firefly

21. Daria

22. Black Books

23. Kids in the Hall

24. Saturday Night Live

25. Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman

26. The Muppet Show

27. Freaks and Geeks

28. Sesame Street

29. The Brak Show

30. Duck Tales

31. Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers

32. Doctor Who

33. Fraggle Rock

34. M*A*S*H

35. Are you afraid of the Dark?

36. All That

37. Salute Your Shorts

38. The Adventures of Pete and Pete

39. The Carol Burnett Show

40. Ghostwriter

41. Muppet Babies

42. Gummie Bears

43. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

44. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

45. Home Improvement

46. Murder, She Wrote

47. The Jetsons

48. Get Smart

49. How I Met Your Mother

50. 24

Adventure in Leap Day

As you know Leap Day happens once every four years. As you also know it is the day that Leap Day William comes out of the Mariana Trench to trade all of the children’s tears for candy. And if you don’t wear blue and yellow you get your eyes poked and your hair pulled. Oh, you didn’t know the last two? You probably don’t watch enough “30 Rock” then.

The philosophy of Leap Day is nothing you do counts. It’s not a real day. “Real life is for March!” Today even the weather has refused to go about its usual business. The weather is all “Still February? It’s supposed to be March right now. I’ll do what I want!” So it’s 69 degrees outside and mad sunny. So we’re clear it is still February. More like Fakeuary.

I dressed like this.

I once again looked like a cartoon character. Specifically I felt like I was supposed to be on Doug, but I don’t regret it. I ate a hamburger.

I had a dream last night that I aced an audition. Big crazy audition. There was a stage, and I belted some serious notes, which I absolutely can’t do. But it did make me really want to audition. All I could think about all day was if I knew where an audition was I’d go. I don’t even really want to be in a show, I just really want to audition. I imagine I’m glutton for punishment. Or at least ridicule.

This Face

I don’t regret this face at all. I don’t regret tweeting it to “30 Rock.” I regret only one thing about this picture. I regret that you can’t see that my skirt is the mullet of skirts. Knee-length in the front, mid-calf-length in the back. I’m sorry you can’t see that.

I don’t have much to say about Leap Day. Not really, except that it makes me wish I was ballsier. To go out and do outrageous things I’ve never done before or wouldn’t ordinarily do. As it is, I’m not. I used to be, but I’m not anymore. I don’t know when that happened, but I suppose without any sort of audience in front of me I have no reason to be weird. I’m just regular weird. I should have lots of cats weird. Not Hayley’s playing floor is lava in the middle of this restaurant weird. Maybe some day I’ll get back to that. Or better, some combination there in the middle. A nice balance. Some day.

In the meantime, my big crazy thing of the day.

Shamrock Shake

I was just saying yesterday I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake, and I had no real desire to have one. Today I remembered it didn’t matter if I had one. So had one I did. My first only Shamrock Shake. That crap’s sick. PASS.

As Jack Donaghy says, “Leap Day is not a day to work, it’s a day to live! To celebrate!” So get on with it! Real life is for March.

Adventure in the Lies We’re Fed

“God has made someone special just for you.”
“Everyone has a soulmate.”
“Just wait for the One.”

THE CUSS DOES THAT MEAN?

I blame many things. I won’t buy into the lie. I don’t think God’s ever said he’s making one person for us. Granted there are some cases in the Bible that show God telling people to marry very specific people. So where does it come from? Where do Christian girls get this idea? I’d rather have someone tell me to just keep my legs together than lie to me. Now I get that this all makes me sound very cold and jaded. As it is, I’m not. I feel surprisingly not cold. I just don’t buy that there’s one person for every person. I know too many wonderful people in the world, some of the strongest people I know, who have been single their entire lives. They aren’t 20-somethings either. They’re 80-somethings and 50-somethings and all sorts of ages. It’s a failure to keep our focus. It’s the belief that we deserve more than God is giving us. It’s taking our eyes off of Christ and the Kingdom that let us believe that we deserve to have one person made just for us. When really the “best” person for each person is the one that makes you better use to the Kingdom as a pair.

Until that day comes I’ll blame Dawson’s Creek.

And when that’s done, if we stop and think about soulmates we can understand that it doesn’t have to mean someone we’re destined to marry. Destiny. Blergh. So let’s look at a different Dawson’s Creek point, as I will continue to blame it. And Disney.

Because it’s nonsense. I’ve seen 30 Rock. There aren’t many princes left. So it’s just ridiculous. And from what I understand most princes are asses. I’m good with a peasant.

Because I’m not a princess. I’m kind of a bitch, but I’m not a princess. So let’s just get that crap out of here. K?

Dawson, Joey, Pacey, Snow, Disney, quit it. And teenage and 20-something Christian girls, refocus. Please, for your heart’s sake.