October 26, 2007

How Itunes saved my sanity

When people would ask me who my favorite band is or what my favorite album is, my response always sounded weak. But it was true. It was that I am a song person and not necessarily a band person or an album person.

Don't get me wrong, there are several albums that got me through my teens and my twenties and sometimes, my thirties. But in general, I relate to songs. Which is why I have been a fan of the mixed tape or the soundtrack. Through songs from various artists, I could feel a story based on my mood. And when the invention of Itunes came along, it enabled a whole new level for me to express myself through individual songs of my choosing.

This past weekend, I went to my dad's in AZ and downloaded all the past cd's I gave him into his Itunes. And it was interesting to see how far I have come based on some of the mixes that I made for him and what I was going through at the time. Why did I put that song on? Or, man I am glad I did.

On the drive to my dad's I was listening to KCRW until the signal went dry. And it was like I was driving to my own soundtrack. Watching the hills turn into mountains. Feeling the air change. Watching the sky open up before me.

When the radio no longer had reception, I turned to my Ipod.
And within no time, it seemed, I was in Phoenix.

A great, relaxing weekend, celebrating my dad's birthday. The pool was too cold to enjoy, although I did jump in for a few minutes.
BBQ chicken and corn on the cob tasted amazing sitting outside in what I like to call "Desert Living". My dad has these speakers outside that look like rocks. My Itunes wafted through the rocks out into the desert evening, while I sipped (okay, heavily chugged) my wine.

The drive home wasn't so great. It was windy. And I had to hold onto my steering wheel for dear life just to stay in a straight line on the road. Then sand storms blasted a vision of beige before my eyes leaving me to wonder if I was not in a Lawrence of Arabia type movie. The only thing that calmed me down were my tunes that I continued to download at my dad's...
Spoon, Goldspot, The Gentle Waves, Kendall Payne, The Rosewood Thieves or some of the stuff I alreay had...New Pornographers, Morrissey, Vaya Con Dios.

Listening to this great music as I drove through what felt like the different levels of Hell (wind, sand storms, fires, ash, traffic, armageddon sky over the LA skyscrapers), I felt that I would be okay.

And I was. I got home safely. Changed from driving clothes to going to meet Zappy and Gamby clothes and headed out for a nice bottle of wine and dinner that I like to call "City Living".

Interesting though that the music was still in my head and the soundtrack was the same even if the landscape had changed.
Music is pretty cool. Good music is really cool. And songs that I can pick and choose to create my own playlists from...it pretty much is the coolest because it keeps me sane.

And sanity is the new black in my world at the moment. I am digging it a lot and it goes with everything. Except crazy, which is sooo last year.

Posted by Kirsten at 11:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 16, 2007

Balancing Act

Try as I might, I have yet to master the art of a balanced life.
It's not my personality.
But I am working to make it a facet of my personality.

I have gone from being a hermit lately watching my netflix, writing my essays and working out to being the fully fledged out-goer that I used to be. There is something about this time of year that gets me really inspired. Really excited about something that I feel is on the horizon. Or maybe it is right in front of me, but I can't see it. Either way, I feel movement swirling around me. Some good. Some bad. Neither balanced in the way I would like.

This weekend, I met up with my neighbor and new friend L and her friend J to go to the Art Crawl in SilverLake-Atwater Village-Sunset Junction-Los Feliz.
It was cool, but more important, it was really fun. I wasn't sure how the evening would go since even though L has lived across the hall from me for a year, we have not really spoken to each other. It was the Labor Day power outage weekend when we realized we had a lot in common. She thought her friend J and I had a lot in common, so you mix us together into a night of art and great conversation and I have another reason why I love this time of year. Anything is possible. And inspiring.
It was an early night. So balanced living attempt - achieved.

Sunday night was Mads's bday dinner at Dominick's in West Hollywood. This has been the year of our gaggle of gals coming back into each other's lives in a more mature way. It all started with Ennui's bridal shower. And now we are back in touch in a way that feels less co-dependent and more liberating. The food was delicious and it seems that there are a ton of Libras that were out celebrating their birthdays too.
We headed out to Bar Lubitsch after dinner with half our party.

It was a nice change of pace to be out late with my friends.
The next morning, I didn't agree with that last sentence.
Balanced living attempt #2 - not achieved.

Work is a powder keg of emotion, tension and power. All the things that make a good soap opera but living and working in it tires me out. If I wasn't already pooped from all the frivolity I am enjoying, I might be able to handle it a little better.
Balanced living attempt #3 - not achieved.

But working out is definitely allowing a little more of a release from the chaos. Balanced living attempt #4 - achieved.

I am torn between wanting to take a meditation class or a kick boxing class.
Nothing says balance more than Ghandi meets Jean Claude Van Dam.

Okay, maybe that idea in general is pretty unbalanced.

The funny thing about the word "balance" is that it can also be defined as what is left over...like the balance of a bill.

And if I look at it that way, I am pretty balanced. I have cleared away a lot of crazy stuff from my life. I have cleared bad habits and negative thought patterns.

What is left is what I have to work with.
Which is my balance.
I feel like I am a little further along than I thought.

Posted by Kirsten at 12:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 12, 2007

Twenty-something Memories

My Twenties
That was the topic of the latest storytelling group. It seemed to be a strange and daunting topic at first. What one event would I retell to define the topic?

How much have I changed and how much did I want to explore that girl who felt like she was still so lost in the shuffle of life?

Gamby hosted it at her place last Sunday. Her boyfriend who lives out of town, happened to be in town. I had never met him. He was really great. And he also happened to cook for us. Even though Gamby is as allergic to the kitchen as I am, she made some rocking roasted pumpkin seeds. Gamby's man didn't stay long. He made the food for us and dashed away. I think men get scared when groups of women gather to share their deepest thoughts...especially when we write it out and then TALK ABOUT IT.
But maybe he really needed to meet his friend for dinner.

I went first with my story about how a decision I made to take the leap of faith to quit my job and start acting, changed my life. How I faced harsh critiques that I didn't have IT and not to keep trying because I really wouldn't maie it. But something in me kept trying and I did it. It was about how, at 26, I kind of began to hear my own voice. A voice that drowned out the naysayers in my life. The voice that decided that my life was not to be sidelined by coveting others' strengths. It wasn't easy. But it was an adventure. And in rembering that experience to tell to the group, I found a new strength in me for my 30's.

Everyone's stories were unique. And prompted really great discussions. From self destruction to horrid moments that shed light on your future for the better. From how preconceived notions about beauty can haunt you and how changing your destiny when you're traveling and feeling lonely can create the most beautiful unexpected romance.

It was an enlightening evening.
My twenties no longer felt definable by a decade but rather by moments that became amazing memories.
Some better for storytelling than others, but nonetheless, my life.
Which I must say, is pretty great.

Posted by Kirsten at 04:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 09, 2007

Candy falls out when you crack open Pinatas

I hosted Pinata last Thursday.
I was very nervous. And that worried me. Since I had been hypnotized for my Vidiots performance, I did well. I thought the relaxed performance would carry over for Pinata. But the difference was that I would also be hosting Pinata. And that made me nervous. And the hypnotism DIDN'T carry over.

I had had a very emotional day at work. Crazy former boss lady was splashing my name in the gutter. I had meetings with supervisor to discuss and alas, it didn't go well.
So with this sort of pang of ick in my craw, I headed to Bang Theater.
I met the other performers and was helped by several people at the theater in terms of setting up for the show.
There really wasn't much for me to do other than to be polished and charming.

That, however, was not going to come easily. If at all.

The show began. I rambled about how I was standing in for the regular host and then I warned the audience that we will throw candy at them at the end of the show. Hence...Pinata.

I went first and my voice couldn't find its breath. Poo. Not good. But after my first audience laugh, I was able to find a rhythm that worked. I got several unexpected laughs, which was nice.

The other performers were great. Most of them were absolutely amazing actually. It was a great show. When it was over, all of us performers went back on stage to throw the candy at our audience.

Apparently, Jazzy, who was there supporting me along with Reb and Reb's sis, was reaching for some softer packaged candy and was conked on the head by a small box of milk duds.

After the show and our goodbyes to everyone, Jazzy and I drove around and caught up with all the latest gossip in our lives. We took crazy pictures of me in front of a mural outside that taco place on Beverly and Fairfax at the gas station. A homeless person wandered into one of the shots. Apparently, she wanted to be in pictchas too. But this wasn't a team shot. So we patiently waited until she moseyed along.

Jazzy started to rub her head in the car.
"I am totally getting a bump on my head."
"From what?"
"From the Milk Duds box"
"Um...didn't you hear my warning at the top of the show? What were you doing that you didn't see a box coming at your head?"
"You said candy would be thrown. You never mentioned BOXES of candy would be thrown"

And then I laughed. As someone without a bump on their head is wont to do.
"Hey, it hurts" she said rubbing it.
I laughed some more.
Which finally made her laugh, begrudgingly.
"It still hurts." she finally said like it was the end of a story.

"Candy, life and love always do." I said trying to sound poetic.
But it sounded more like I was trying to sound poetic.
And I may not even have said it out loud.
I may have said.
"Cry me a river. You got some good candy, didn't you?"

Yeah, I am nothing if not sweet...like candy that hits you on the head.

Posted by Kirsten at 11:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 02, 2007

Little Dramas

A rule of thumb I am trying to live by is not to go sniffing in areas where you know the information you uncover might hurt you.
I have really tried to be more disciplined about this.
But I have setbacks.
Like today.
But it's okay because it comes on the heels of me telling everyone that I am doing just great. Because I really am. Which makes any unwanted news that I sniffed for perhaps sting, but not gutwrenchly ache.
And really...stinging over aching is preferable.

On a lighter note, my therapist hypnotized me for my show last week and it worked. I didn't have stage fright and I was totally focused.
It's still working because I am hosting Pinata this Thursday and my nerves haven't gotten the better of me.
In fact, the only dramas I am faced with right now are:

1. For all the exercising and eating healthy I do, why am I still so big?

I am looking into it.

2. I took portrait shots of my pregnant friend this weekend and they turned out amazing. She absolutely glows. I posted a few of them on my flickr.
I was showing them to a co-worker when I noticed that someone listed one of the shots as a favorite. I all but squealed with delight.
Until I looked at his page. Which listed none of his own shots. But all his favorites of other people's shots. Which would have been great if his favorite shots were artsy.
But they were all of women who are really really pregnant. It actually made me sick to see my friend's photo co-mingling with this man's collection of pregnant woman shots. Like he had a fetish of bellies. So I took it down. Now I feel like I kind of exploited my friend. But she is aware of it and says it's all good. Still, the feeling leaves me a little creeped out.

3. Why didn't I do ALL my laundry this weekend? Why just a portion?

4. I accidentally deleted several contacts from my email account. And I don't know which ones, so I don't know how to replace them without an in-depth investigation. Which I don't have time for.

Other than those pressing (and yes, I did just say pressing) dramas, I am doing just fine.

Thanks for asking.

Posted by Kirsten at 03:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack