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It’s not weird, it’s not. (Say that fast.)

Lately I’ve been having this conversation with my dogs –

What? You don’t have conversations with your dogs? Really? I find that hard to believe.

I’ve been talking to Valentine and Theo about change. After all, there are going to be some pretty big changes coming up. There have all ready been some little changes; all our stuff has disappeared into big boxes and the cats are gone. So I explain this to them, and then I tell them about how we’ll be driving a big truck across the country, and we’ll spend the nights in campgrounds and friends homes, and then we’ll be in California! California, where the sun shines year-round, the sidewalks glitter with mica, and the markets are cornucopias of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I say all of this to the little dogs, who blink, yawn, and promptly fall asleep.

When I was a little girl, my brother, who’s birthday it just was, worked on a video for a kid’s TV show about a little girl who learned a lesson about change. After all, there is only one thing that doesn’t change, and that is the fact that change is inevitable. Just when you think you’ve found your groove, things change. Just when life gets cozy, things change. Everything is always changing. The girl learns this lesson and at the end, she gets a red cape and a red crown and she becomes Captain Change! And she learns to feel really good about all of the opportunities change presents.

I feel like that kid in the red cape. Change is wonderful! It gives us an opportunity to grow, and learn, and figure stuff out all over again. Change keeps life exciting, presents challenges, keeps us limber. And the changes coming up are awesome changes, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that change is also really scary and frustrating and is making me grind my teeth at night. Which is why I talk to my dogs about change. I’m really talking to me.

Mish Mash

This photo isn’t really related to this post, except that it is. I love this photo; my friend Christine took it at the after-party for her gallery show, and she has perfectly captured a moment when we were out enjoying a night with friends, having fun, and not thinking about canceling ConEd, or finding movers, or whether or not we can live without the salad spinner for the next eight days.


I am Captain Change, embracing the discomfort, and moving forward with an open heart.

25 Days Till

Today is twenty-five days until we load our truck. We got home from Esopus around four o’clock, dropped our stuff and headed out to scour the neighborhood for boxes. Between the corner pharmacy, the corner market and someone’s trash pile, we got us enough boxes to last through the whole dang weekend!

So now we’ve made a slightly obvious dent in the packing. I have decided it will be fun to do periodic updates, so all my Internet friends can see how the move is progressing, and so those of you who are so eagerly awaiting my return to Los Angeles (all twenty-eight of you) (what? I have an enormous family) can see how things are coming along.

There will be pictures.

living room 25 till

I loathe my little point-and-shoot camera, fantasize nightly about something decent with changeable lenses and a speed that allows for shooting in low-light without a flash, I have no idea what kind of camera that would be, but it would probably be able to perform magic compared to what my little Olympus does. These pictures are the way they are because I hate flashes and would rather post something that’s fuzzy and orange than something that has flash beams bouncing off of every surface.

We love this room. We really, really, really love this room. When we first moved in we thought we’d rent it out, someone could close the french doors and have complete privacy, you’d be surprised what people will rent in the city. But soon we were too much in love with this room. It’s been our multi-purpose room, our art studio/living space. This was the room where Michael discovered his love of painting, and where he started carving in wood. That coffee table is where we’ve curled up on blue sword-fish cushions for family dinner every night. It’s also where I spent most of my time writing. I love the space, all that room to stretch out and practice yoga in. And all the sun, perfect for our tiny urban garden.

living 2 25 till

This room has held so much happiness — this apartment gave us our first sense of home since we moved to the city. Even full of boxes and half-blank walls, it still feels like home. Which is probably because home isn’t the stuff that makes up a room, it’s the people we share the room with.


We’ve still got a long ways to go, packing wise. We haven’t even touched the kitchen, except to start emptying some of the cabinets and carrying their contents into the living room. Why? I don’t f-ing know you guys, I was getting tired. That’s when we decided to call it night and stuff our face with some of Mike’s Famous Fancied Pizza. Read more for Mike’s recipe for Mike’s Famous Fancied Pizza!

Read more…

Not to put too fine a point on it

once upon a time

Soon we will be once upon a time…*

Yesterday Adam picked me up in his little blue bug and we  drove down to SoHo to go to this little shop that he’s been dying to take me to, and that I’ve been dying to visit since I read about it three years ago. It’s called Evolution and they sell taxidermied animals and human fetal skeletons and cheese-dusted grasshoppers for eating. It’s amazing. I bought myself a pair of earrings made from the wings of jewel beetles. They are so fabulous I wasn’t going to buy them because I didn’t think I could pull them off, but Adam talked me into it and I’m really glad he did. It didn’t occur to me until afterwards that maybe the wings aren’t responsibly collected and that I’ve ignorantly supported an ecologically unsound endeavor, but Mike insists that beetles are beetles and they way outnumber humans and always will, and I did a Google search and couldn’t find any information leading to the devestation of jewel beetle colonies, so I think I’m in the clear. In any case, I’m going to wear them and love them and give praise to the spirits of all the little dead beetles, for I have the most fabulous earrings in all the land, thanks to them.

Afterwards we headed back to Adam’s where we listened to Audra Mae’s new album, which is incredible, and which led to us having one of those weighty heart-to-hearts that is the verbal equivalent of looking at your vagina in a hand mirror while sitting in a circle with other women who are also looking at their vaginas with hand mirrors, whilst everyone talks about their feelings. Sorry for that visual, I suppose I could have likened our conversation to belly-button-contemplation, but whatever you want to call it, it helped me realize why I‘ve been in such a funk lately. And I feel so much better now. Once the monster is out in full view, it’s not nearly as scary.

Mike and I are about to completely change our lives. Again. We’ve finally gotten comfortable in New York and now we’re turning everything upside down. And it’s wonderful, and it’s what we want, and we’re really excited, but it’s a big hassle and there are a lot of unknowns and  we are going to miss this life we worked so hard to build. On top of all of that, there is the fact that we are moving to Los Angeles to settle down and start a family and I am acutely aware that if things go according to plan, and yes, I know how often things go according to plan, but if they do, this is the last year of our childless life. And I can’t wait to have a child, I am so excited to meet the person who is an extraordinary 50/50 combination of Mike and me, but I am mourning the nearing end of my sleep-late-on-Sundays, stay-up-late-talking-over-glasses-of-wine, run-out-for-icecream-at-midnight life. I mean, if I think I’m busy now, what is my life going to look like when I’m living with someone who depends on me to wipe their ass for them?

Then I think about what it was like to play with Olivia, my cousin’s two-year-old daughter, and the wash of love that swept over my heart so that I felt I’d never loved anyone as much in my entire life, and I am overcome with thrilled anticipation to watch my own children grow, to help them discover the world, to teach them and care for them and love them forever.  I know it will be awful sometimes and I know I will have days when I’ll dream of running away and days when I’ll secretly wonder WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING, because that’s life. That’s life no matter what we do. But the rest of the time? I am really excited about that.

Of course, I’m getting way ahead of myself. We’re at least a year away from even attempting to conceive, so what I should be worrying about is moving across the country in five weeks, not what our life might be like two years from now. It’s time for us to start packing, we need to reserve the moving truck, we need to get our ducks in a row so we can make a clean break. We’re nervous and we’re sad but mostly we’re so excited we can’t believe it’s really happening. And I think now that I can admit it, now that I can say out loud what we are knowingly giving up, it will be easier to roll with the punches and land in L.A. with our feet first and our hearts open wide. Keep your fingers crossed. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

*photo by Christine Lindebak

Big News

St. Andrews

Once upon a time we had a little house and a little garden, and then we moved into a tenement.

We’re moving back to Los Angeles. In August.  I know I told you we’d decided to start saving up for it, but it’s funny the way life works because I put that out into the Universe on June 9th and two weeks later all this stuff fell into place, we found someone willing to take over our lease, we realized we’d saved enough to cover the costs of a move, and you guys, we’re finally going home.  We’ll be back on the west coast in eight weeks and I seriously can’t even believe it’s real.

I’m also completely freaked out.  Moving cross-country is no easy feat, in fact, it’s just about the most horrendous task I’ve ever carried out, and while at least this time we’ll be landing in a city full of our family and friends, a city I grew up in, a city we adore and have greatly missed, this move is bound to throw some wrenches at us.  For one thing, Mike’s finally found part-time work and now he’s going to have to start the dreaded job hunt all over again, in a city where there is hardly any work at all.  I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Also, we’re going to have to find a place to live.  I had really hoped we were settled in for at least two more years, I loathe and despise moving, we didn’t want to leave the city at least until Mike graduated from school, but this job offer is not going to wait and when it comes down to it, if neither of us ever has to experience another city winter, it will be too soon.  But finding a place to live!  I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than try to find decent digs in the San Fernando Valley within our price range.  Still, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and let myself dream of a little house with a little garden, and two bedrooms so we can have a nursery an office.  Doesn’t that sound perfect? It totally does! A little house with two bedrooms and a little backyard with a garden to grow things in.  And hardwood floors.  And lots of windows.  In the San Fernando Valley. For under a thousand a month.


Hollywood Flowers

Hollywood, 2006

Three Years

The city of New York and I celebrated our third anniversary last month. I realize that it’s like beating a dead horse, the way I go on and on about how moving to New York changed my life, but I really believe it was one of my most defining experiences. I’m not sure what that says about me, that the most important and life-changing experience I’ve had is the time I moved across the country, but that’s not the point.

I’d never really visited the city before I moved. I’d spent approximately sixty hours in New York when I did my showcase right after graduation, but I don’t count that because most of that time was spent in rehearsal, performance or awkward “networking” which was really just me standing in a corner stuffing my face with cheesecake. The day after the showcase I walked by Tiffany’s on my way to have coffee with an agent and then I met up with my best friend from high school and wandered around in Central Park where I bought an ‘I <3 NY’ t-shirt. Then I hailed a cab and went back to JFK. The next time I went to New York was on February 23, 2007. I had two suitcases, a sublet, and a really big dream.

<i>Standard new-to-New-York snap shot.</i>

Standard new-to-New-York snapshot.

Three months later Mike and I were living in a Hells Kitchen tenement with a dog and two cats.  A couple of weeks before that we’d sold and/or given away everything but our mattress, some favorite books, our computers, the x-box, the microwave, a toaster oven and our TV.  That’s actually a lot of stuff, I see that now.  Our downsize was truly a first-world downsize.  My point is that it was a big deal to get rid of half our life and haul the other half 3,000 miles to a city neither of us knew anything about.

Like most people who run off to New York, we were chasing a dream.  I pictured New York as a mecca of bohemian artists, linking arms and blasting people away with incredible works of art.  I thought we would move to New York and find a family of artists and we would all rent a huge warehouse on the Lower East Side and everyone would live there.  It would be our home but it would also be an art gallery and a performance space.  We’d write plays together and perform and build sets and write music and make all our own clothes.  It was going to be a commune for artists, an art-share, and we were going to change the face of theatre in America.

<i>Smiling through exuberant terror.</i>

Smiling through exuberant terror.

The day I landed in the city I was saucer-eyed and hopeful.  I stayed that way for about six months and then I fell apart.  New York was nothing like I’d imagined.  I couldn’t find anyone who had even slightly similar ideas about art that I had.  Broadway had been bought out by Disney and I didn’t even have a bathroom sink. I became miserably homesick.  I felt like all of my friends and family were in Los Angeles living my life without me.  I became cripplingly depressed.  I spent weeks sprawled on the sofa wearing filthy sweat pants and eating ice cream from the tub.  I watched every single season of Nip/Tuck, How I Met Your Mother, House, Lost, The Shield, South Park and Desperate Housewives available on DVD.  I believed my life had no purpose and I wanted to die.

You could say I got discouraged very quickly.  That would be true.  I realize now that it takes more than six months to settle into a new city, it takes more than six months to make good friends and find your footing.  Knowing that now doesn’t change the fact that my first year in the city was easily the worst year of my life.

The second year started out with a bang.  I signed with an agent and I started working.  I did a couple of little projects I was crazy about and a couple of little projects that were so awful I’ve blocked them from my memory.  I put more energy and effort into my acting career than I ever had, and considering how new I was to the New York scene, I had a great deal of success.  But I was miserable.  I was almost as miserable as I was the year before, only this time my TV-and-ice-cream jags were punctuated by little acting jobs that inspired short bursts of hysterical happiness.

The third year something changed.  We moved, I changed jobs, Mike made the deans list, we started nesting, we met our neighbors, we made friends.  I started writing.  I began exploring neighborhoods I’d never been to and I found restaurants, vintage shops, galleries and cafes that belong in story books.  We saw free concerts in the park, visited museums we’d always talked about going to, scored free tickets to multiple Broadway shows, and did a little traveling around the east coast.  We started living in the city.  And I fell in love.

Happy Anniversary, New York.  What they said about you was true.


The snow's only been gone a week and already I miss it.