Oh but anyhow, the reason we're here in these parens to begin with is that Carly and I are looking for a space to hold auditions on Sunday August the 26th, and if any of you New Yorkers know of a proper space you could donate to the cause of gay television achievements, give a holla.]
In my most recent Sunday Top Ten, inspired by Lozo's inspirational suggestions, I detailed things I would like to do before I die. Item One included a COMPLETELY UN-EDITED list I'd drafted in 2002 which expressed my (somewhat mislead and strangely Eastern-Religion-Centric) pre-death intentions.
In what may seem like a repetitive or unambitious move, but is in fact an AWESOME move ...
MY COMMENTARY ON MY OWN LIST FROM 2002 OF "THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO DO BEFORE I DIE," AS REFERENCED IN THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY TOP TEN.
1. go to italy, frolic in vineyards like liv tyler: So, in 'Stealing Beauty,' Liv Tyler treks to Italy to lose her V-Card. It's like 'A Sure Thing,' but with really lush yellowy vineyards and Mazzy Star and Art. I don't wanna give away the ending, but let's just say it's not just grapes that got popped on that vineyard. I actually took Italian for a semester, but our teacher sucked and so I kept accidentally skipping class to go frolic on The Diag. I took it Pass/Fail.
2. accept, with grace, one very solid rejection letter for a solid manuscript: My body, while walking down the street, cannot "accept with grace" the prescence of a tree, pole, newspaper-box or other human body. I don't do anything "with grace." Also, what is a "solid" rejection letter? As opposed to a "flimsy" rejection letter?
Perhaps I was referring to the phenomenon of receiving rejection letters from people who haven't actually read the manuscript.
I used to do that all the time when I worked at the lit agency.
Here's an excerpt from my favorite one that I wrote to an aspiring author, which for some reason never got sent, which's why I've still got it :
Thank you for sending me your manuscript. I appreciate your patience while I've considered your project.
I hope you appreciate my patience in trudging through the first five godawful pages of your manuscript, only to discover that the vomit-inducing opening was actually a dream. I felt, more or less, that you are, perhaps, a bit of a cunt.
I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.
3. solidify musical taste: Obviously I was obsessed with turning liquids into solids, or perhaps turning gas into solids, or something, I don't know. I think I was torn between my boyfriend's Newfound Glory/Good Charlotte and my Melissa Ferrick/Ida. Somewhere between those two poles, I was vacaliting, alarmingly, needing solidification.
4. have a relationship where i don't freak out all the time
There's a few ways to accomplish this. I've done all three:
a) Be a mature grown-up.
b) Date someone you don't really like. Then you can be like "Sure, whatevs, make me watch the Yankees all afternoon, or go out with your ex-wife, I don't care," and sort of secretly hope he falls back in love with his ex-wife, who, hypothetically, he calls "J-Ro," (like J-Lo? But her last name was not "Lopez"? But she was Latina and grew up in the Bronx?), so that then you can go make out with girls.
c) Date someone who freaks out so often that you don't have any time to freak out yourself, because you are constantly mediating their freak-outs. This is also a good way to lose your mind very quickly. If you're into that kind of thing, which apparently I am.
5. make the most masterful mix tape ever: When I do, I will name it "Most Masterful Mix Tape," and the first track will be "Nineteen" by Tegan & Sara.
6. write a book: So I says to Mabel I says ...
7. make a movie: I'm making a television show. It'll probs be really popular and they'll wanna turn it into a movie, like what happened with "Beavis and Butthead." What did you like better, the movie or the book? I liked the show better, honestly.
8. learn to grill: I can grill. How hard is grilling? I grill shit all the time. I'm the grillmaster. I don't have a grill I live in New York I want to move to Hollywood.
9.watch/help a friend start a business that promotes independent artistic visions, or else do it myself: Carly, Haviland and I are putting something together right now to do this exact thing. Seriously you guys ... amazing things are going to happen. I mean not to sound like a H.P.Stillwell text message but AMZING THINGS R HAPPENING!!!! ILY!!!
10. live with ryan again
Ryan and I lived together in Manhattan in 2000, on bunk beds, so super earnest about New York City: eating our Grey's Papaya hot dogs, dating older men with apartments bigger than ours, hosting parties for our cool pre-hipster Hipster friends, like the Poloroid Gallery Opening, when we hung my friend Jake's poloroids on our exposed brick and Sarah got her friend from the Dallas BBQ (where she worked, obvs) to bartend for free. We had a bottle of Triple Sec left over for our entire term of residence. I'd like to live with him again. Once we thought we'd live together forever.
11. find a nest with krista: We did. The East Harlem Nest; our 10,000 books and her nest-like fluffly white bed, which we shared platonically for many months. Seriously. My therapist told me yesterday that I "fold into people." I cannot get that out of my head. All day. "You fold into people." "You fold into people." It's strange to be so independent and simultaneously so reliant on a select few, sometimes dangerously so, sometimes beautifully.
12. join something in which i know not-one; ender bold, unfearing, make honest and uncynical efforts to make new friends: I used to be so scared of people! I mean, really, just petrified! Then I discovered alcohol, the internet, and also, probs, confidence. Urghm.
13. make my own website: To put this in proper context; we still had to wire computers to a wall outlet in order to connect to the internet back then. So like, websites, whoa! Now everyone's got "their own website." Who saw Newsweek this week? I did, Haviland subscribes.
14. have a darkroom in my house, which i use, a lot: "My house." Would be Step One. My parents lived in LA before I was born and Mom always told me how Dad'd turned one of the bathrooms into a darkroom. That'd be hot, another thing to feel guilty about not doing enough of.
15. learn to draw: TB and I drew together a lot; she has great angles, I could draw her forever. "Chase" and I like to [get stoned] and draw with colored pencils and crayons and stuff. Sometimes this has embarassing results, like my illustration of Sean and Emma from Degrassi. Chase is good, though. So is TB. I do okay with cartoons. I think it's too late to learn anything about drawing now. Especially w/o MacDraw.
This really approaches some larger issues; like becoming a person who can go to the gym for overall wellness rather than the adreneline shot that is rapid-fire cardio or the slack that is reading magazines on an elliptical trainer.
Howevs, I've made yoga pants a regular part of my life. I think I lived all of 2004 in yoga pants. There're no photographs to contradict this recollection.
Yoga requires patience and calm, and I've got none of that. The idea of yoga stresses me out. I used to go to yoga every week because it helped with my Fibro, and went irregularly before getting real and stopping. My favorite position, if anyone cares, is Downward-Facing Dog, followed closely by "the tree pose." Do with that what you will.
18. learn to meditate: Durrrrrr.
20. have a child: This is sort of a gimme.
21. get a job at a magazine or a newspaper: I feel like intern-ing at nerve.com counts. Freelancing? People ask me often why I'm not working at a magazine.
When I was writing that killed article for [redacted] magazine, my editor was telling me to change the weather reference in my article from snow to spring because: "You can't say that it's like snowing? Because people will be reading this in the spring, it'll be like 70 degrees out, spring, lovely, and they'll be like, ohhhh, snow, yuk," and I was like, "OK, but do you remember the day I was talking about? When there was that awful snowstorm out of the blue? In March, randomly?" And he was like "I don't experience the weather. This is the exciting life of a [redacted] magazine editor: I get up, I go underground, I come up, walk into work, sit in my office, and then, later, when the sun has set, get in a car, go straight home, go to sleep, and wake up again, go back to work." However, when I asked him what would happen if I devoted all this time to the article and it got killed, he said "well, that's the life of a freelancer!" So the grass is always greener, etc.
But really; I don't know if I want this anymore. I don't want it to be like on that annoying MTV show with the blonde girls who are all bitches. Unlike other workplaces, which're filled with kind interesting people. I don't know what I want. Argh. The primary reason I don't work for a magazine is that I have not applied to do so, the secondary reason is that everyone I know who does is overworked, underpaid, and cranky. You have to really believe in the power of finding the right jeans for your body type and the best hair gel of the year.
Wait. I already am overworked, underpaid, and cranky. So maybe I should try to do this. I dunno. Probably this blog would drill 10,000 nails into the coffin of my application.
22. go to sleep early, consistantly, for at least a year: I think that goes hand in hand with having a child/family. At least I hope so, because I don't want to have to be on cocaine in order to have a family, because cocaine is really expensive. Also drugs kill. Also, sometimes if you do a lot of drugs then you have to become a stripper. I learned this on the teevee.
23. learn how to get out of destructive relationships, carve myself into the right ones: Right now, Tegan & Sara are singing in my ears: How do you know when to let go? Where does the good go? Where does the good go?
24. return all phone calls: OR train all your friends to never call you. Yeah? Then you don't have to return phone calls from anyone except for professional things (still a problem) and DirectTV (also, not my problem, as I no longer live in the apartment DirectTV, but somehow, still is).
25. really love my body, even if i will never have a flat stomach: Is this possible, here, today, in Western culture? I can't talk about this one. It makes me feel like a Dove ad or something.
26. help save a chinese baby: "Help"? But not like, do it all the way? I did a project on China's One-Child policy as a senior in high school and was struck with a deep sense of responsibility. It's like going to see some political documentary or something, you leave like "God, I'd be such an asshole to not do something about Global Warming after seeing that." Unless it bored the fuck out of you, and then you'd just be like "Whew, glad that Power Point presentation is over."
27. travel to india: This is probably where I could get more in tune with the meditation mentioned above and the Zen Buddhism described below.
28. learn something concrete and experiential about Zen Buddhism: What does "experiential" mean? Is it possible that my vocabulary has actually gotten worse than it was when I wrote this list? I read Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Also, I use the word 'Zen' a lot. Like, "I'm trying to be Zen about this," I say a lot. I also refer to this behavior as "passive-passive," which's my general strategy in cohabitation and anything work-related. I don't know anything about Zen Buddhism except what I picked up from The Dharma Bums.
29. gain pregnancy weight and not have a mental breakdown about it: Obvs I hadn't yet seen "The L Word." If I had, I'd've learned that wealthy smokin' hot British women with six-packs enjoy making sweet underwater love to pregnant ladies. I dunno, it could be fun to be fat for a while. I've never really taken up that much space, horizontally, which's clearly why I've always been sort of fascinated by it in more ways than I could describe here w/o sounding like a totes weirdo. Though I also suspect I'll get into that aforementioned yoga thing real fast. Like Christy Turlington. Or Nicole Richie. She's preggers and hasn't gained one ounce.
29. cross-country road trip: Everyone wants to do this. And we all will. The first thing I need is a car, and a really good mix tape-- a masterful mix tape, if you will. It'd be nice if this went hand in hand with moving to West Hollywood. Oh BUT! Speaking of romanticised road trips, we're driving from NYC to Austin, TX next March for SXSW. If you are cool, you should come. Or just stay home and read about it on my blog. Your choice.
30. live with jake: It's amazing how someone can be more or less the center of your intellectual universe and then it can be like, 2007, hypothetically, and you can not even know where they are in the world. I think he's in California.
31. regain/embrace independence once more before I get married: I was so lost then! I was so just a part of my boyfriend's universe! He said jump I said how high, he said let's go to PacSun I said okay, he said let's get a condo, I said, let's do that then. When I broke up with him it was violent running; it was cold, I think, for him. We worked together and at first that was too much for him to bear, our manager offered him the night off and Pistons tickets because he'd fainted upon my arrival for my shift. He kept literally poking me. Like, poking me every time he wanted to talk to me. When the wrong person pokes you, it can feel like they're literally sticking their finger through your skin and mushing everything up like pudding, it's so gross.
32. listen, focus, pay attention: I'm content to just strive towards this for all of time. It's the most important thing of all, to pay attention; and it keeps getting harder and harder.
33. see the indigo girls with my daughter: "aww, indigo girls with little rieselette!" (Haviland, on previous post comments). "Big fan of "Rieselette." A cross between a chocolate-covered caramel nugget candy and a wristlet? Oh, and a child." (Annie, re: comment, re:post). I wonder if Amy Ray will still be hot when she's like, 100, which is approximately how long it'll be before I'm mature enough to have a child and then actually take it somewhere where it'll have to stand up on it's own. Literally, like stand up? This one is really just embarrassing, no matter how I spin it.