November 26, 2008

Trying A New Approach

Getting to know me.
Getting to know all about me.
It's no small feat.
I am a changeable, fickle beast.
I am so many contradictions to myself and have hidden so many layers away only to have them come out in subversive ways.
I guess that is the result of a people-pleasing nature, a feeling of abandonment (how cliche) from way back in my childhood and my very critical upbringing.

Or maybe I am just part freak.

Who can say?

I have always felt like I had to be one or the other. Of whatever.
I never fully accepted my shades of grey.
I didn't believe it was possible to. I would take the stupid challenge of dates to "be adventurous" lest I look like soggy toast.
Then, I would be more innocent lest someone mistook my adventurous nature for whorishness.

It's hard to get it just right.
Dating has been hard in that regard because, as Mr. Blondie says, I have a "radical acceptism" for the odd.
So odd people, pervert people, fetish people, flawed flawed people seem to think I understand them.
Or at least I don't judge them.
And for the most part I don't.
Judge them.
But I don't understand them.
For all my complexity at understanding the underbelly of humanity, I am very simple.
I am very childlike.
And in embracing the underbelly, my needs, my basic core needs never got met.
So I went into therapy.
And after figuring out how I got to this place, we are now trying to unravel how I get past it and move forward in a healthy way.

There are tools.
There is listening to the screaming voice in my head that says "run", there are the tummyaches.

I have always been afraid of "open relationships".
What the hell does that mean? Other than "I am not ready to commit to you right now."
And people can take it for what it is and be happy for the moments.
Which is what I have been doing lately.
But the universe is testing me.
Every time I feel okay with a new level of accepting something, a new level is presented that gives me pause.

I am dating 3 people at the moment. With the option to add more.
But I really want only one.
Or maybe I don't want any of them but I want one of my own and these circumstances leave me feeling sort of half loved, half happy and half abandoned.
That is my own choosing.
I suppose.
The time is coming where I will blow this whole arrangement of dating to keep dating to make sure I don't fall in love before it's time to bits. Because I fall easily.
The stave off has lasted longer than it ever has in the past but I know myself and I just want love.
Pure, monogomous, respectful, no-one-else-will-do love.
The kind where when you meet each other, the rest of the people you have dated fall away.
And I guess that is why it feels a little weird to me.
All these faux connections to avoid connecting.
Are really connections.
And the only one I am fooling is myself.
Mr. Blondie, D, Mr. Boro...these aren't bad guys.
In fact, they are pretty amazing. And in my patience with my boundaries, I learned not to be so black and white and I found something really joyous in the adventure.
But these guys are where they are and they have set their boundaries.
They are happy with that.
And I have been okay with those terms.
Until now.
The lines are shifting.
I am getting to know myself a little better.
And what I know is, I want something I am not getting.
I don't like sharing.
I don't like "open".
It leaves too much to my already active imagination.
Half terms are not my terms. Anymore.
Half love is not the love I want. Anymore.

I am embracing that I am part adventurer and part mere mortal.
I am embracing that not-prude and not-crazy-sex girl don't equal death.
There is something in between. Nestled in this life, is the way I am.

How do you tear down your newly made fort?
Without stomping it to bits and making sure all the pieces are broken?
And without cutting yourself in the process?

How do you stand up for your new feelins and beliefs when you are still crawling?

I don't know. But I gotta try.

Posted by Kirsten at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2008

At The Movies

In theory, it sounded good when my neighbor Lisa mentioned she was going to see Slumdog Millionaire and I invited myself along for the ride.

I reality, it was great.

However, I was able to finally admit something that has been lurking in the recesses of my brain for awhile: I have a weak constitution for violent films.

The first 5 minutes, Lisa and I both were covering our faces and peeking through fanned fingers to see our protagonist being electrocuted for the possibility of cheating on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire".

When the guy at the Arclight announced to us which movie we were about to see and how long it would last and to turn off our phones and other devices, he said the name of the film but pronounced it "Slumdog Milliner".

I didn't give it a second thought. Until he said it again.
I looked at Lisa and said, "He can't say Millionaire. He said Milliner...twice. Isn't a Milliner someone that makes hats?"
We giggle.
And then the previews came on.
Then the film started and we began the tense ride that would last for 2 hours.
In the film, all the characters ALSO pronounce the word "Milliner". Lisa and I started giggling again.

The film was great.
It did, however, give me a tummy ache and I realized that I am just not as hungry for violence as I used to be...and I never actually used to be.

The film stuck with me though as Lisa and I made our way over to Amoeba to find the film she was trying to tell me about that she thought was similar to the one I am watching called, "You're Gonna Miss Me" about Roky Erickson.

We finally asked someone with the vague request like, "Um yeah, we are looking for a film about someone who is a musician that goes crazy and it's from the past few years."
The girl couldn't help us and Lisa and I realized that this is when a handheld computer/phone would come in handy and then we realize we have all just become so readily curiosity satiated as a culture. No more going to the library and looking up articles on microfiche...
And yet, there we were trying to find the answer to an obscure question.
Then the woman's co-worker said, "Devil and Daniel Johnston" and Lisa squealed, "Yes, that's it". Then he said, "if you like that movie, you should see the film about Roky Erickson called 'You're Gonna Miss Me'" and Lisa and I giggled again.
"That's what I am watching that made her think of the one we couldn't think of" I rambled.
The guy could give a shit and showed me with his lack of attention.
No worries for us. We were using Amoeba as our own Wikipedia plus she was looking for the guy she thinks is cute who works in the dance/electronica section.

We headed to Coffee Bean to get some java and there was a huge line in there for the bathroom. The reason for the line? They were people lining up at the Palladium to see....the Backstreet Boys". Really? Waiting overnight? it was kind of surreal.

We took the subway back home and continued to go on about the Slumdog Film.
The only negative,we decided, was the running time. For my squirmy nature, it was starting to grow long but I would be loathe to figure out what should have been cut.

I am just glad that there was one Bollywood-esque dance number.
It was the very end, but it did me good.
The main character won a lot of rupees in the film. I don't know what that is in dollars, but the film was worth what I paid.
Even if I am no Milliner.

Posted by Kirsten at 07:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2008

And Deep Breath...

This week was so much inhaling without exhaling.

I went to the doctor to inquire about the bulge on my neck.
It's possibly a cyst.
What does that mean exactly?
Don't know.
Now I am taking anti-biotics and the pharmacist says, "be careful you don't get a yeast infection."
To which I replied with a skeptical look, "Do I really need this? I think a yeast infection might be worse than the bulge going down in my neck."
She cheerily said "it's not guaranteed you will get the yeast infection."
Oh well. good. No guarantee.

This week, I also had a very special evening with Mr. Blondie. But the next morning, an old feeling plagued me. A feeling that I had experienced many times. And had never taken care of. He could sense it but I did the passive aggressive thing of saying "I am fine" because I wasn't sure what else to say. I wasn't exactly sure what was bugging me.
I figured it out. It was a multitude of things: PMS, my baggage, new emotions, old emotions of martyrdom, etc. But I was clear of what I needed to say to him. Part of it was me. And the other part was him and how I handled what I felt about that.
So I emailed him.

Once I hit Send, I felt very liberated that I was taking care of my boundaries. I was unsure how he would react but that didn't matter any more.

So without a response from him, I went with KABOss to the Comedy Store to meet her friends and see Jeff Richards host a night of comedy for hunger.
I met KABoss and her friends at Saddleranch when we realized that the pizza place we wanted to go to didn't have alcohol. We weren't getting very good service at the old Saddleranch.
Our waitress, a beautiful, overly made up actress/model (obviously) was kind of snippy with us.
So KABoss says to her friend (I think they are like the WonderTwins of Mischief), "mention headshots and casting"
So when the waitress returns, they start going on about how they can't find an actress/model of such and such height and they have been looking for days.
The waitress trips up on the order, obviously flustered.
Suddenly, she is our best friend and offers us free dessert.
She also overheard KABoss's friend Ally talking about how when she was younger and would go to bars, she would tell people that she was one of the dancers dressed as a ghoul in the Thriller video.
The waitress overheard part of this.
She told us so.
Then she proceeded to tell the neighboring table of hip-hop/dj/menu-spinning boyz that they were in the midst of a Thriller Ghoul. All of a sudden, (while I am taking bites of the ginormous dessert of brownie and goodness) they yell, "We love you" to Ally. "We dance all the time like MJ". KABoss was kicking me under the table to avoid showing how much she wanted to laugh.

It might have been the heat lamps, or the wine but we were delirious from laughter at this entire event. And we hadn't even reached the comedy portion of the night yet.

We arrived at the Comedy Store to meet even more friends of Ally's. Everyone was very nice and more to the point, they thought I was hilarious. Was I having a good night? Or am I naturally this funny? Or had the wine taken an effect that I was unclear about?
No time to figure it out ...the show was starting. Jeff Richards was hilarious. He did pick on me.
KABoss, still harboring a cough, laughed. The resulting sound was akin to a snort.
Jeff heard it. "Who snorted?"
Ally pointed to KABoss who was next to me.
"Was it you?" he said to me
"Me?" I squeaked.
"Yeah, both your friends are pointing at you."
"Maybe" I said trying to keep this Q&A from getting any longer.
"Maybe" he imitated my flirty purr.
And then he moved on.
KABOss HAD been pointing at me. She sold me out!!!!
It cracked me up. Especially being the attention whore I am and especially since I was in a jovial way.

There were some hit and miss comics. A few that I loved were Al Madrigal and Ben Burr (I think that is his name). Shortly thereafter, I left. I didn't stay until the wee hours when (from what I heard this morning) one of our party decided to heckle the bejesus out of the comics.
Thank god.

As I was heading back down Sunset towards my hood, I noticed I had a vm.
I checked and it was from Mr. Blondie.
He said all the right things.

Maybe it was the evening's laughter, the wine, Mr. Blondie's response or the fact that there was not that much traffic but for the first time this week, I felt super shiny. I felt whole.

As I crashed on my couch, I smiled and went "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" to the fear of my cat.
I plopped myself into bed and sighed.
Life is good.
And the weekend is sooooo nearly here.

Posted by Kirsten at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2008

Worse than a Vampire

Work has been getting to me.
Not quite like in the days of Vile Boy Boss and Vile Girl Boss.
Not quite like in the days when I got shingles several times.
But still getting to me.
I am grateful that I have an additional boss KickAssBoss (KA BOSS) who grounds me and makes me laugh.
Like when I am stressed to the gills, she will whisper, "Do you want to be tickled?"
And I bust up.
I am easy to diffuse.
It doesn't look like it when I come at people with my temper but I am.
It's scary I am sure since I am usually pretty good-natured (with an edge) so when I unleash my temper due to unreasonable requests from idiots, I lose it.

So I thought I was doing better to control the stress.
I get massaged regularly.
I meditate.
I laugh a lot.
I date. Which can sometimes lead to more stress but that is another story.
I find ways to unwind. Some less debaucherous than others.
I play WII Bowling.
I play Scategories.
I travel.

So what the fuck when yesterday, my stress has found a new way to get under my skin...literally.
I asked My Namesake at work to rub my neck a little (she is a massage therapist) and she was like, "I can see something sticking out of your neck."
"Yeah, it's like a big knot, sticking out of your neck."
I question other co-workers.
They mention slip discs, vertebrae, stuff that makes me want to faint.

I decide to get a massage and see if it can be rubbed out.
The massage therapist kept saying in his thick accent from wherever, "Breathe Christine, breathe."
Meanwhile, my feet and arms are flailing from the pain as he pressure points my neck.
Some of the swelling went down.
In the car ride home, however, I try and rub it out some more and because it is slippery, I feel my nail scrape the skin on my neck.
I look down and see in my nail, a long piece of skin.
Double Ow.
I am a mess.
Universe! What gives? We were getting along so well.
The swelling has gone down but I am trying to decide if the pain if from the knot or the scratch. It's like I am a cyborg and someone found my achilles heel.
"Get her from the neck - that will take her down" they would say.
So in order for "operation me not going down" to occur, I need to beg Ginny for more icy hot, ask My Namesake to rub to bump a little more and send loving thoughts to the pain in my neck.

Bump on my neck, you are so lovely. Too lovely to stay so large. So please be a doll and git!

I will keep you posted.

Posted by Kirsten at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2008

Weekend Warrior

My weekend felt like I had a weeklong vacation. I accomplished a lot (even did laundry and shopping), didn't experience Sunday-itus and I got some sleep. Not a lot but some.

Mr. Blondie and I went to a concert Friday night in West LA.
Mads used to tell me when I dated Farkle that it is good to be out with the guy on an actual date even though living in a world of comfortable seclusion is nice. And since seclusion is how we lived our dating life, when he finally took me out, it was like I was dating a new guy.

She was right then.
She is right now.

I hadn't been out yet with Mr. Blondie, so it was an experience to learn that he walks really fast. As do I. Thank god I was wearing my comfortable boots (still looking good, natch) since I had to keep the large gait consistent with his since we were running late.

It was also interesting to see how he turned heads.
The lady that worked there who knew him was quite smitten with him.
She was flirting up a storm but he barely noticed.
She looked at me askance like I was an afterthought; like a fart whose smell just hit her nose.
"Where are the bathrooms?" I asked
"Oh," she said relunctantly, "over there," and she pointed like you would to a homeless person who asks you where the bathrooms are in a fancy restaurant.

It kind of made me laugh.

After the concert, he and I headed to an afterparty in Hollywood. The crowds being what they were, we weren't summoning the parking gods so we hit it back to my place.

I finally rested after a week of ups and downs.

The next day, I took a 5 hour nap and in the evening, drunk on El Compadre margaritas, my Neighbor Lisa and I walked to Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One design agency in Echo Park to see an exhibit. I ran into Spencer, Delmy and Gavin. I also saw the hipster who irritated me on voting day when he stood in front of me all anxious and wiggly. I knew as he stood in front of me Nov 4 that, even though he was dressed for a more professional gig, he was a Los Feliz hipster type.
And seeing him at the studio, I found myself happy with my accuracy. He was less irritating. Maybe because I wasn't forced to stand behind him for an hour or maybe it was the margaritas parading through my blood.

The next day, I went to an amazing workshop with the same people I met a few weeks back. I almost floated out of there two hours later, high on their energy. And the weather couldn't be beat. Sunny, breezy, clear, and fabulous.

Once home, I got ready for Evren's (of Evil Maria) little bday soiree at Cobras and Matadors.
Yum yum. It was nice to meet some new people. One friend of his in particular I found a kinship with. Perhaps because she reminds me of Sarah Grace McCandless or perhaps because we are both natives of LA (she of Silverlake and I of Venice), she made me laugh and I felt very familiar with her.

I practically threatened her to become friends with Evren on facebook or myspace so I could become friends with her too. Because there is nothing so friendly as a crazy lady screaming at you to take action so we can be online friends.

I had to bail early, because I had a date. A Sunday night date.
Bookending the weekend nicely.
Jazzy, peeved I was leaving early, said, "You better end up marrying this guy since you are leaving early."
I don't think that is happening but I kept thinking of her words and they made me laugh.
I ran into a friend from Portland as well.

A packed weekend.

I felt rested.

Until today, when my eyes wouldn't stop watering and we had meeting after meeting at work of how to try and recapture the efficiency we had prior to a week ago when the bizarro gods turned my well oiled machine into a clusterfuck.

But I guess that is what Mondays are for.

Especially if they follow an amazing weekend like the one I just had.

What usually happens after a great vacation is you feel like you need another vacation just to rest.
And today is no exception to that rule.

Posted by Kirsten at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Several years ago, in a life inhabited by me but feeling very much like someone else's, I went on a date.
With a guy I wasn't interested in.
It wasn't out of the ordinary except that at the time, I wasn't dating much and the whole nature of it not working out felt so much like the way my future would be.
Luckily, I decided to turn it into a comic piece for a personal essay salon.
And I performed it several years ago.
I killed it.
Laughs by the second.
I taped it so I can tell you that I am not exaggerating.
I also memorized it.
And you can hear how nervous I am when I begin.

It's a piece I have never done again because I like to move forward and to quote Roy Cruz, "we all want to be prolific".

So in the past year, the Goddess Christine has greenlit me to be her Pinata Bitch and I willingly accepted.

Pinata defined by Wikipedia is "A succession of blindfolded, stick-wielding children try to break the piņata in order to collect the sweets. It has been used for hundreds of years to celebrate special occasions"

Christine's Pinata is a personal essay show where just like the pinata, we break open and let our stories fall out onto the audience. There is also real candy lest someone think we liken our stories to real chocolate. But you get the symbolism of it, I think.

Last year, I had a piece about my mom and the Dutch Santa Claus which can only be held in my memory as being one of the best performing nights I have ever had. The audience embraced me and I was in the zone.
And because I am a freak, I psyched myself out the next time I did Pinata.
I was fine and I got laughs, and my dear friends supported me but I felt less than.
Less than my shiny self.
Less than my perfect piece that I had done before.
What if I was a one trick pony?
The pressure.
To quote Frank Hundley, "there is a power in being underestimated" and he taught me how he embraced it.
I realized that I had been doing it all wrong.
I had been fighting against myself to be seen, to be heard.
But to come from behind allows you great freedom.
But what about when you have already been behind and now you are on your game?
New pressure.
Stupid head games.

So I did Pinata this last Thursday.
And I was going to do a piece based on my one woman show that never happened.
But it wasn't gelling (kind of like the one woman show) and I was starting to freak out.
In Vegas, I talked drunkenly about it with Mads.
"I think the problem with your show and perhaps the problem with this piece is you aren't sure of the point."
She was right.
But but but ....
How do you remedy that?
I woke up with the lightbulb over my head and realized that I had never done that original piece for Pinata.
I would do that instead.
It made for a more enjoyable week that I had a piece that I now already knew.
I already knew it killed.
I already knew I could be more converational.

But mid-week, I realized how much I have changed since I wrote that piece.
And I had memorized the beats where the audience laughed. What if it was different this time?
Oh shit.
Had I just made the biggest mistake?

Thursday arrived.
I didn't send out a reminder email to my friends.
I practiced the piece and tweaked it to work a little better.
I showed up to the theater and was surprisingly calm.

My Neighbor Lisa showed up to my support me and the wonderful new friends I have met through Bang were there too.
But my usuals weren't. Other commitments. I didn't take it personally.
I didn't worry.

I went first.

And I read my first line. No laughs.
The strange thing was...I didn't care.
I knew this story.
And I decided to really tell it. Not tell it for laughs but really just own my presence on stage.

And I got some laughs.
But more important...I realized that deserved to be there.

I wasn't as needy.

I was in amazing company of the fellow readers and I kind of basked in the glow of being a part of it.

The audience was kind of chill for the other readers too but it wasn't disinterest.
It was the opposite.

Everyone came up to me and told me how they liked the piece.

It felt good.

I reached a new echelon of self confidence as a performer.

With a story that I wrote about a time that no longer existed.
About a person I no longer was.

The Pinata has broken.

Time to collect what falls out.

Posted by Kirsten at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2008

Show me the way to Vegas

Saturday morning, bags packed, I drive over to pick up Mads for our brief trip to Vegas.
She needed a get-away and I needed to be a sidekick.
I have only been a handful of times to Vegas and none of the times had I been the driver so I figured Mads would have all the driving directions for me since she had planned the trip with the skillful eye and shrewd business sense she has.
She gets in the car.
"So do you have the directions," she asks.
"Um, no. I thought you would."
"Well do you have a Thomas Guide?"
"Yeah, but not for Nevada. Just LA."
"We are so retarded"
And we cracked ourselves up.
She didn't want to call her husband or go back upstairs to use the computer lest he make fun of her.
From there we started to drive towards nowhere. Well, towards the 10 Freeway at least since we knew heading east was the way to start.
I have been labeled dingy before so this kind of thing fell in line with things I may have done but Mads is not usually apart of these moments and I could see her stressing it a little. Not the fact that we wouldn't make it to our destination, but the idea that this could come back to haunt her (possibly in my blog - mwa ha ha- wicked laughter).
We called Zappy who wasn't answering her phone. We left a vm.
Then I decided to call my dad.
Mads pleaded, "We don't want more people to know about our stupidity!!!"
I was more concerned that we were already driving and needed the directions than to be worried by reputation.
My dad, to whom I have already run the risk of looking less than streetwise by asking on-the-fly questions answered his phone.
"Dad, hi, I am on my way to Vegas. Quick do we get to Vegas?"
Mads put her hand to her head and shook it.
He told us and laughed and ribbed us. But at least we now had a plan.
My dad even told us our exit. Good Dad. Better than Google Maps.

We were underway.
It was awesome weather, awesome driving conditions.
The least awesome part was us blowing any gambling money in the first hour of being there.
Mads is a bit more of a risk taker in these moments than I, but we both still came out feeling a little like we had to do something super shiny to remove the dull edge that losing gives you.

We changed outfits and went down for drinks.
Why we hadn't started drinking the minute we got there was beyond us.
Rookie mistake.
Because once we were drinking, we were unstoppable.
Bon Mots from Mads included:
"I have a gift where I can totally tell if someone is British. Like that couple over there...they're British."
"Are they?"

Um....that's called guessing.
And I can play it too.
But we had better things to do.
Our next venture was to to accost anyone we saw and tell them they had to pose with us so we could document our Vegas adventure.

We ran like crazy children all over the casinos and restaurants, getting photos and chatting it up like we were rock and rollers. It was awesome. We were given several "VIP" (still a line) passes to a night club. Mads got hit up by a young guy who fell hard for her stylish ways. Thing is she is newly married and it made her uncomfortable to be in that position. Earlier, she said she would be my wing-woman but it was more like a flight out of there when things got harry. Ha. It was okay though since after a brief stint of dancing among the go-go dancers and hopped-up twenty-somethings, we decided we had run out of steam.

We walked a little on the Strip but our feet were starting to show signs of ouchiness so we headed back to our room.

Next morning, we had breakfast at the Wynn and then drove through downtown. It was was one of those glorious mornings with blue skies and no traffic which can only heighten the awesomeness of any trip; particularly this one.

We knew our way home without any calls to anyone.

The trip was brief. But the effects were lasting.

And we didn't even mind that we left some money in the Nevada desert.

Posted by Kirsten at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack