March 24, 2008

growing up

I always took pride in the fact that my immaturity is what kept me looking younger than my age.
But it also kept me acting like it too.

Usually when I come to Europe, I have a sense that I am still a teenager, embarking on the beginning of my life. I get nostalgic for the time when I was an exchange student. I get envious of current exchange students, wondering how their lives are now and how they will turn out.

I would relish the differences in the cultures and feel torn upon my return to the states. Torn between two cultures that I wanted in my life.

But today it hit me.

This is the first trip to Europe where I am just sort of being present. Not over-thinking what people are like over here and how they are different in a good way. Not wishing that the bread and the butter in America was as tasty as it is here. Not wondering how people get in relationships over here and they seem more romantic somehow.

I am not doing anything that is taking me out of my life.

I am enjoying myself.

I think the difference is that I also enjoy my life in general. I am not looking for an escape which perhaps, in the past, I was. Especially when I traveled.

I am not exactly where I want to be in my life.
But I am getting there. And it is close to being precisely what I have always wanted.
And maybe it took a little maturity to start to feel it.
Or maybe I am feeling it and thus, maturing.
Either way, I am grateful.

I just hope I can still maintain the look of immaturity I have been sporting for so long.

That part I kind of dug.

Posted by Kirsten at 06:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

mads got hitched

I am sooo tired.
Today was the day I woke up from a whirlwind weekend, the likes I haven't seen in ages...if ever.

I went out with Timo Friday night. It was so much fun and I think he is just dreamy. He is an out-of-towner, and I am going out-of-town, so who knows what will happen, but for the time being, I am floating.

Sat night was Mads's rehearsal dinner. Good times at Mexico City. Lots of margaritas and chips. Thank god for Spanks so we could all fit in our dresses the next day.

Cue next day...picked up the calmes bride ever. Went to get our hair done. Jazzy had coffee waiting for us at the salon as she was having the finishing touches done to her hair. I don't think I have ever seen a maid-of-honor ever work so hard. She was sister/florist/maid-of-honor/gorgeous/wedding-planner-finder/toast-giver and a great dancer.

She rocked. And so did the bride.

Who had no appointment to get her make-up done but walked down the street to Fred Segal and had an amazing make-up artist Daniel do her make-up without any waiting. And she looked gorgeous.

I picked her up and we headed to the Chateau Marmont where the room she and Steven would be spending their wedding night was waiting for us to get ready. Arlene, the photographer and friend to us all, had somehow through her connections, gotten Mads upgraded to a 2-room suite. It was lovely.

After getting ready, we headed to the ceremony. It was a block away from my house so I was pretty stoked.

It was a beautiful wedding and reception. I am truly happy for the newlyweds who are going to New Orleans for their honeymoon this week. Jazzy is heading to Portland, and I am heading to Europe.

A wonderful weekend that went by too fast. It was fabulous.

But this morning I am feeling the pain a little.

It was all worth it.

Oh yeah, and happy St. Patty's Day everyone.

Posted by Kirsten at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Buried My Past at Pioneertown

What a difference a week makes.

I went to my therapy appointment last week and came to a life changing realization...

I take on every unnessary issue as my own and then get resentful that people don't take care of my needs. I feel like if I don't take control, things might fall apart. And then I am frustrated that I feel like I am always on the sidelines taking care of everyone while they are having fun.

My therapist said..."what if you went to your friend's Bachelorette Party in Palm Springs, just as a participant? What if you just enjoyed yourself and didn't worry about the planning? Or the rules? What would that be like?"

I told her it was like she was speaking Chinese. I couldn't fathom how to do this...this not controlling thing.

But I decided to try it. Just be.

So I prepped myself for the weekend party extravaganza in the desert with Mads and the gang by trying to unleash old habits.

We rented an amazing mid-century house with a pool and a hot tub. There were 9 of us ladies.

It was an wonderful weekend. Sure there were the tense moments that are almost expected when you get such diverse, independent personalities under one roof, but for the most part, it was the vacation Mads wanted it to be.

My Ipod played THE best shuffle in the world throughout the entire house on speakers that gave you music to the pool, the patio, the living room and the dining room.

Sat night was the actual Bachelorette party. We went to Pappy and Harriet's Palace in Pioneertown. A saloon type pool hall/bar/ essence..the best place to have a bachelorette party.
Nat and Zappy had the idea to go there.
We made fun of them because we had to haul our asses out of the hot tub in the afternoon to start getting ready to go out at 5pm.
Who starts a bachelorette party at 5pm? What are we? 80?
But it was a great decision.

We ran into Cherry Vanilla, whom Mads, Nat, Ennui and I knew from working for Big Name Director way back when we all were less cynical.
We met a few Germans man named Timo and Goran.
Hmmmmm Timo.
Ah Timo.
He is an actor/model in Germany and is here until May.
He and I hung out the rest of the night.
Magical. That is the only word I can use to describe the night I had.

My friends made fun of me when I ran into them in the bathroom

Friends: "Oh there you are!"
Me: *gushing* "Hi Guys"
Friends: "Hi there blushy"
Me: "He and I have so much in common"
Friends: " breathe oxygen...he breathes oxygen-"
All of us laughing and then me saying "I am going to go find my German again. I will be where they are serving beer."
Ennui: "You mean, the bar?"
Me: *giggle* "yup"

My friends had their own great time. Some guy named Marty bought shots for the girls and told the band that Mads was having her last hurrah as a singleton. The lead singer brought Mads (who isn't exactly a limelight whore like I am) to the stage, introduced her and told everyone to buy her drinks.
Which I think they did.

Jazzy was the poolshark, Zappy held court with the bulk of a co-partying bachelor party, Nat made friends with a guy Reb is friends with on myspace, Mads saw a friend from high school who is the girlfriend of a guy that Julianne used to be roommates with, and Zappy knew the bartender from New Jersey.

It was like our own little vortex in the desert of synchronicty.

The drive home was long and Julianne likened it to playing a video game she was not allowed to lose. Winding through the desert, dark roads back to Palm Springs, she did a great job.

Several of us ended up in the hot tub. The day light savings change occurred and all of a sudden, it was 4am.


But it was worth it.

I am tired. But still grinning.

It was hard to say good-bye to our lovely house.
It was wonderful to arrive back in LA all safe and sound though.

And when I saw my therapist today, I told her that due to the work that came out of last week's session, I feel like I began a new phase of my life.
The phase that works out for me.

At Pappy and Harriet's, you can write on the walls in the bathroom, but the mark I left there wasn't made by a sharpie. I buried my past in the desert, under the stars with a German, while my best friends danced inside and giggled at a book called "Position of the Day" that Mads had acquired (perhaps I gave it to her - doh!).

It was good-bye to Mads's single days.
She gets married next weekend.
She is gaining a new life.

She isn't the only one.

Big Sigh.

What a difference a week makes.

Posted by Kirsten at 11:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2008

Spring is in the air...Palm Springs that is

Life is sweet right now.
The air feels like the right amount of Spring. Not too hot, not too cold.
Last night's Pinata was fabulous.
Props to Alex Alexander, Penelope Lombard and Kate Danley, who in addition to being my friends are excellent writers and storytellers.

And now...9 ladies are about to embark on Palm Springs to usher out the age of Mads being single.
Oh yes, it's Bachelorette Party, Mid-century modern house rental-style.
It's a real Bachelorette party style. It is.

And we are going to have some fun!

And probably break a few hearts.

But that is how you do it Mid-century-modern-house-rental-style.

Now you know.

Posted by Kirsten at 05:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2008

Feb 7th

The storytelling/writers group I created just had the latest evening get together. The topic was picked in January. And it was to write about what you "did" on February 7, 2008. I put DID in quotes because when we picked the date, we purposely picked a dated that hadn't happened yet.

Here is my essay.

The year is 1988 and I am listening to Kasey Kasem’s weekly countdown in the kitchen of my host family’s. I am an exchange student in a foreign country and this is something I do every Sunday with my younger host sister. A remake of the song, Hazy Shade of Winter comes on. I like the song. But I didn’t bother to listen to the lyrics until years later.
I didn’t have time for lyrics. I was 18 and had other things to do, like learning how to flirt in another language.
My adult life was just starting. And my possibilities were endless.

Years later, I listened to the lyrics.
“Time time time, see what it becomes of me. When I look around at my possibilities,
I was so hard to please
But look around, leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter”

Deep. And a little painful.

When I was little, life seemed to take forever. The school year lasted a long time, summers seemed endless and getting to be an age where I could make my own decisions felt like it was eons away.

Now, a year will go by and I will be heard saying, “What? It was just New Year’s. How can it already be Halloween?”

I can go a whole month of staying home on weekends and becoming a hermit and it will go by in an instant. Suddenly it’s spring and I am only just starting to get excited to wear my winter boots and tights.

It all goes so quickly and one would think that would create an urgency to get more things done. Because now I am more aware of time and how it goes. And yet, I still do the same things day in and day out like something will change.

When the topic of writing about a day that hadn’t occurred yet came up, I was intrigued.
Not because it was an interesting idea. Which I think it was.
But more because we had a power in our hands to create the story we wanted rather than telling a story that had already happened.

And I wondered how many people in our group would create a spectacular day just for something to write about.

And wouldn’t we want to do that every day?

Wouldn’t we want that chance to make every day count, every moment something we are accountable for.

Something more meaningful than the usual, Sunday-itis laundry detail or a carefully scheduled list of exercise classes?
Wouldn’t we all want that for a story? For our lives?

The irony is that February 7th …came and went. And from the stories I heard from the others in the group, their days were just the same as any other day.

Is that just life? Or is that complacency?

I wish I could tell you that my day was something out of the ordinary.
But the truth was mine was like any other too.
The one exception to the routine was that in the evening, I went to meet Natalie at the Westside Pavillion to see a screening of the Vince Vaughn film about comedy [see entry on February 09, 2008 entitled, "Vince Vaughn's long titled movie"].

I was sure that this little jaunt would bring about an amazing story.

Sure it was the end of the day, but hey, you can’t control all aspects of the thing you are attempting to control.

End of the day is better than no part of the day.

So that was it. That was February 7th.
Nothing out of the ordinary. Even cowboy-boot-wearing/mullet-sporting comic is the kind of encounter I happen upon quite often, especially in Los Angeles.

And I was perplexed. What does it take to create a new energy? If thinking about it in advance or trying to plan out new vibes doesn’t work, are we all at the mercy of happenstance?

And after that day, I decided that I was going to try and do a little something different every day. Whether it was changing a negative thought to a positive one, or deciding to say yes instead of no, or in dating, say no instead of yes. Turn left when right is what I always do.

And without sounding too much like Oprah, things are changing.
Suddenly my world is slowing down a little and I am able to enjoy things as they come. And a little magic is getting in.

I realize that it’s not about one day. Although, your life can change in one day, in one instant sometimes, the change I was looking for is more of a collection of moments. A collection of February 7ths.

I have stopped having a blind routine. I am smiling at strangers. I am running into old friends. My neighborhood suddenly feels like Mayberry. And I feel popular. Like I am the mayor of my Mayberry village. I wave at people and stop and chat. I don’t worry about checking everything off my list on the weekends. I still exercise. I still have a plan, but I am allowing spontaneity to rule a little bit more.

I just had a birthday this week. Other than New Year’s, I don’t know what else makes you aware that time is happening and you can either ride along with it or fight it, but either way, you are headed the same direction.

I have decided to ride along. See the sights that the ride brings, and try and make my future still feel as hopeful and bright as it felt when I was 18. And the lyrics still seem deep, but with this new perspective…not so painful.

“Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That’s an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again
Look around, the grass is high
The fields are ripe, its the springtime of my life”

Posted by Kirsten at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack