Sunday, July 24, 2011

Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton and Me

I love watching "Inside The Actors Studio" with James Lipton, it's a serious guilty pleasure. I look most forward to the part when he pulls out those index cards of his and asks the actor who he is interviewing those famous "ten questions."

The questionnaire concept was originated by French talk show host, Bernard Pivot, who was inspired by the personality driven Proust Questionnaire. For 26 years, Pivot submitted his own adapted version of the questionnaire to his guests at the end of each of his broadcasts.

Not only am I curious to hear what each actor's favorite curse word is, I secretly like to pretend that I'm the one up there on stage answering the questions in front of a huge auditorium of students.

Does everyone think that way or am I just that self absorbed?

Meh, who cares really. All I know is that I've been practicing my answers just in case I get that call one day.

What is you favorite word? Maritime. I'm not nautical or navigationally sound at all, so there is absolutely no reason for this other than I like the way it sounds.
What is you least favorite word? Chillax and all variations of it. It is a made up word combining the terms "chill out and "relax"and it's awful. Really awful! I want to kick people directly in their teeth when they use it in a sentence.
Me: "What did you do last night?"
Annoying word user: "Nothing much, just stayed home and did a little chillaxin' on the couch"
Me: "That word is awful, please don't say it again or I'll kick you in your teeth!"
Annoying word user: "Whoa, chillllaaaax!"
What turns you on? Honesty. I would much rather someone hurt me with truth than be lied to in an attempt to spare my feelings.
What turns you off? Disappointment. There is no worse feeling than to be let down by someone or something that you once had faith in.
What sound do you love? Laughter. Big, loud, legitimate, crazy laughter.
What sound do you hate? The Turbo Temp thermometers at work that obnoxiously start to beep when they are off their rechargeable cradles for too long.
What is your favorite curse word? Fuck! It's the ultimate in curse words. It can be used in all situations, good or bad. For example, "Would you like to leave work two hours early tonight?" Fuck yeah! or "Can you stay two hours late at work tonight?" Fuck no!
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Music Supervisor for TV or movie soundtracks.
What profession would you not like to do? Toss up between Janitor at a Porn Theater or Animal Masturbator. Both are legit jobs and both are ones that I would not want!
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? "What took you so long to get here?"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Complicated

Remember when we laughed for no reason at all and spoke to each other like two people who truly cared? Remember when there was a time that you'd "swim across the ocean" for me or that I'd give you the chance to catch me when I spiraled down into a free fall?

We were friends then. All those things we did and said were all based on the foundation of friendship.

How did we forget how to communicate? We're adults, we know how to use our words, yet somehow we find it hard to really know what to say, when to say it and how to ask for what we really need?

When did it all become so damn complicated?

Why do we lie to one another and to ourselves? Because the truth about the truth is that it fucking hurts! Things don't end with the truth, it's just where you begin again with a whole new set of questions and that's not for the faint of heart. Life is already hard without the extra added bullshit that we bring on ourselves, why spend precious time caught up in deception? That time would be better spent in search of the self-destruct button!

The truth is just as hard as living a lie. But the truth is reality, it's validity, it's consistency, it's fidelity, it's integrity, it's sincerity. The truth pledges your allegiance to another person. The truth is faith and devotion. It's loyal and steadfast. It says to someone, I care enough about you to be honest, even if it hurts like hell. That pain that you are feeling right now, proves just how much I care.

This thing where we try to keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other is bullshit. We pick and choose who we want to keep close and once we've chosen those people we tend to stick by them. No matter how much we hurt them and they us. Those are the people that are still with us at the end of the day, they are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space is exactly what we need.

Deep down we'd love to believe that we are hard and impenetrable. Our hearts can't break if we don't open them up to begin with, right? We're hardcore like that. But being hardcore isn't just about being tough, it's about acceptance. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to not be so hard every once in a while. You don't have to be callous every minute of every day. It's ok to let down your guard. In fact, there are moments when it's the best thing you can possibly do, as long as you choose your moments wisely.

We're scared, but sometimes it's good to be scared. It means we still have something to lose. We want clarity, but the thing about clarity is that it goes away and we simply revert back into cowards. Cowards who lose the ability to tell people how they really feel. We try to practice the art of forgiving and forgetting. While it is good advice in theory, it's not very practical. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back. When someone wrongs us, we want to be right. Without forgiveness, scores never settle. Old wounds never heal. We want to wipe the slate clean, but can we really? We are left hoping that someday we'll just be lucky enough to forget.

We went for a quick fix by ignoring the past that brought us here and suppressing future complications that might arise. Despite the fact that I'm swallowing Antabuse by the handful, you're still intoxicating. I'd like to run. I'd like to escape you. I'd like to forget you, but I can't. You're in my blood. So please don't chase me anymore unless your real intent is to catch me.

I've had many choices to make in my years and sometimes I chose wrong. Opportunities and chances we're missed along the way. Take all the time you need because you have choices to make and everything between us falls firmly on those choices. However, we do not get unlimited chances to have what we want out of life. Sometimes you have to stop, look around and breath it all in. Life is fleeting, this is it. It may all be gone tomorrow.

After we clear our heads and all the dust settles, know that we're friends, real friends. And that means, no matter how long it takes, when you finally do decide to look back, I'll still be here.

Surprise me just once and find a way to take my breath away.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Come On Get Happy

If someone were to randomly stumble across my blog looking for "happiness" they might be a bit confused by the actual content. I mean, here is a girl advertising that she is in hot pursuit of the happiness, but on the surface it sure doesn't look like she is having much success finding it.

Just where is all this so-called happiness? I assure you it's there, underneath it all.

Happiness is a no brainer. When your heart is filled with glee everything is radiant. Not a whole lot of thought goes into feeling happy. Rarely do we ever question why, nor do we over analyze the reason for our euphoria. We just live our cheery little lives with a peaceful heart and a big dumb smile on our face.

Sorrow, well that is one that we really have to pay attention to. Sometimes we have to make sure that horse is really dead before we can move on. We are wired to deal with affliction, in a way I think we secretly love it. Without it we wouldn't feel real. Why do we keep torturing ourselves with painful stimuli? Because it feels so good when we stop.

As the saying goes, "Ignorance is bliss." What you don't know can't hurt you and not knowing something is often more convenient than actually knowing it. We try not to delve any deeper than we have to in fear of what lies beneath. We are fooled into thinking that we have found the bliss, so we float awkwardly on the surface with that big dumb smile on our face.

You can only tread superficially for so long, eventually you have to make the decision to swim to shore or face the fears and submerge yourself completely. It's paralyzing because once we go under we begin to anticipate failure, we shudder over possible rejection and are terrified of making a decision, because what if we're wrong? What if we make a mistake that can't be undone?

We heed the warnings but still yearn to see it for ourselves. We have to make our own messes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to wash our own hands clean, only then can we fully appreciate that knowing is better than wondering, standing is better than falling and even the biggest failure is most certainly better than never trying at all.

So we weather through the storm and emerge safely on the other side, knowing that real happiness is found in the courage to get back up and do it all over again. Appreciate the small victories and the struggle it takes to simply be human. Welcome the familiar and be thankful for the things we'll never know. Recognize what you have for what it is and be grateful.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Learn to Fly

I've been harboring a lot of negativity as of late and today was reminded by someone special that despite all of the hardship and broken feelings, with a little encouragement we can still learn to fly.

Sometimes we quietly wait, hoping that someone comes along to help us through our struggles but occasionally we only have ourselves rely on. The survival instinct kicks in and we find the courage to be our own savior.

We strap in, buckle down and take flight, hoping that with our own wings and a prayer we have the strength to soar across the skies on a solo mission. 

I foolishly allowed myself to believe that it took someone else's power to thrust me into the atmosphere, but now realize that all that time, I was actually being grounded. How many apologies can I accept before they genuinely sound sincere? Your feelings, if true, should have built me up, not destroyed me in the process. 

I'm not like all of the other girls, I am the exception to any of your rules. You just didn't see that so clearly and tried to change me to fit your mold. It turns out that I was nothing more than an intriguing piece of uncharted territory that you set out to conquer.

You looked so fine in your beautiful little package, wrapped up in charming intentions and empty promises. Yeah, it enticed me into thinking that the contents of the gift were just as pretty on the inside, so I faltered. I gave into something knowing the the odds were already stacked against me. Like those who came before me, I was flattered by your fascination with me. You caught me at the exact moment that I needed an object to crave.

I let you in under false pretenses, an understanding that you were someone whose personality I was drawn to, someone who was fun and inviting. I discovered after diving in that it all was a bit of a mirage. A delicious hallucination. 

It may seem that I'm placing the blame on you, but it's really not your fault. You are who you are and I am who I am. If we were truly meant to be, neither one of us would have required any emotional or physical remodeling. If we both weren't so stubborn, perhaps we would have recognized that from the start or at the very least worked with what we had.

On paper it looked so good. You passionately unavailable, me thrillingly fucked up. Meh, what can you do? Lesson learned and we move along, but you've got to let me go. You can't have more than you deserve. It's not fair to put me in the position of trying to figure you out. I need you to be both beautiful and true. Your words were so damn pretty and I was drawn in like a moth to a flame again and again, but true words often aren't pretty at all and pretty words aren't always true. 

I needed something to help me burn out bright and you were that complication. Now I learn to fly.


You know that I saw you today, I heard you say hello in our own celestial form of communication and today, like every day, I was grateful.

You put a smile on my face, a lump in my throat and filled my heart with love with one single feather.

Even in death, you still manage to give me the strength to straighten up and fly right when my own quills are a little worse for wear.

I still miss you all the time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Piece of Cake

Sometimes the best times are spent doing close to nothing at all. A little red wine, video games and good conversation.

The thing that I love about "good" conversation is that it isn't always about the splendid, easy things in life. Sometimes the good comes from drinking Merlot out of a coffee cup. Sometimes the good is finishing in last place every time at a PlayStation game. And sometimes the good is all about getting out a little of the bad without discrimination.

That's seriously the good stuff.

All the rest is the icing, the sweet, luscious glaze that most people mistake for the good; but what good is a sugar coating if the cake has no substance, right? As someone who loves to bake, I know first and foremost that it's all about the cake! The best icing in the world can only help but so much, yep it's all about the cake!

Every relationship starts with all the proper ingredients but it's all in how they are mixed that matters most. Recipes are meticulous for a reason, try to fuse them together in the wrong order and you've got a cake that is nothing but flavorless, unfulfilling shit.

Rarely can you perfect a new recipe right off the bat, it takes some practice to do it actual justice. There are times when it isn't even worth the trouble, it tastes bad, it is always going to taste bad, so you dump it in the trash and move on. Other times you recognize that it's just a little off, but with some tweaking it could be super delicious.

What would they be if you didn't even try? Sometimes you just have to try.

As someone who has a long standing relationship with the idiom "cut bait and run," for reasons other than the fact that I hate to fish, I have a full appreciation in knowing that it's almost always easier to bail rather than to put forth an effort and that life experiences described as being a "piece of cake" really shouldn't be defined as "a very easy task." Unless you're being served a piece of cake and your sole responsibility is to eat it, there is nothing effortless when it comes to making a gratifying cake.

Who really cares what it looks like as long as you've infused it with your true heart and soul. It's not all about the pretty and masking the imperfections with a nondescript fondant finish. It's ok if it's ugly as hell, the undertaking will be worth it in the end as long as it tastes good.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Heart Shaped World

Of the tears that we cry for others, do you selfishly wonder how many you get in return?

It's not as if I wish hurt and sorrow on someone else, just having the knowledge that I meant enough to someone to shed a tear over is all I really need to know. It's so egotistical to actually read that in print, but seriously, could you turn the tables just one time and let me see you cry just a little for me?

You're always so stoic and unfaltering, would it kill you to show some true emotion, any emotion? You have a gorgeous mind and a divine soul, use them to their full potential. Skimming the surface of life only gets you so far and leaves a void of emptiness. Trust me on this one, I know.

I'm not foolish enough to think that we live in a flawless, heart shaped world, but what I do know about life is that everything that matters comes straight from the heart. Friendship, love, joy and pain...right there from the ticker! We were put on this earth to find people that we can connect with. They are the ones that we want to shower with refections of ourselves. Even the little things that we do to put a simple smile onto the face of someone we care about brings us joy in return and leaves us happily fulfilled.

In a perfect world, it would cycle like that continuously until the end of our days, nothing but happiness and joy, but that isn't how this so-called life of ours works. Hearts occasionally hurt for good reason. It allows us to appreciate the actual good that surrounds us that much more. It changes who we are for the better because we are inspired to do better and be better in hopes to avoid the crushing blow of heartache.

It is a sucking chest wound of a bitch to do something for someone when the certain level of appreciation you were expecting in return doesn't quite play out the way you had envisioned it. Precordial thump me the next time why don't you? The success rate is just as poor, but maybe, just maybe you will send my heart back into a normal rhythm instead of kicking a hole right through the center.

You see, it is in my nature to comfort and your gratitude is what I need to make me feel complete. Show me in return that I've done something that mattered. I need to you to need me in your life. That is what friendship is all about, not just wanting, but needing.

There are tons of people that I want in my life, but only a handful of those that I really need. They are the ones that inspire me to be a finer person. The ones that catch me when I fall. The ones that listen without judgement and wipe my tears with kindness. They are the ones that I can't live without.

We will no doubt act crazy and stupid and make regrettable mistakes along the way, but you know what, it's cool, this ain't about perfection. It's about the reciprocity of true friendship. You just gotta have a little faith, a trusting soul, an open mind, a receptive heart and sometimes an occasional tear.

I don't play the part of the mercenary often, I just want what is mine. I gave and now I'm wanting something in return. Could you cry just a little for me?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You Only Get What You Give.

Once there was a girl who packed up her whole life to move to the big city. She stumbled and fell right out of the chute; but she brushed herself off, held her head high and carried on. She met new people along the way, some that became structural parts of her life, while others stayed for just a while.

She pledged to keep in close contact with the good friends that she had left behind, they were the forever kind, the ones no matter the distance would always be there or so she thought. She took advantage of that way of thinking and forged ahead with her new, exciting life.

Her exciting, crazy, out of control, superficial kind of life. Oh there was fun to be had, but it came with a price and she neglected the bill until it was long past due.

Days turned to weeks and weeks to years, the fun continued; it was a party almost every day of the week. The girl was having the time of her life, it filled a selfish, shallow void that real relationships could not. No thinking, no feeling, no responsibility, no commitments, no pressure, no emotion.

Just emptiness.

Like all things, the party eventually came to end and it was time to carry on with the life she once knew, but it was a little too little too late. All of those "forever" friends that she pushed to the wayside and lied to through the years, on her quest for the frivolous; the ones that she thought would always be there when she finally came calling, we're gone. She had killed them all off one by one without even knowing it.

When they needed her, she hadn't been there and when her time came, they re-payed her by giving her back exactly what she had given.

Mistakes made, lessons learned and tons of soul searching. The girl vowed to be a better person and she is to this very day. Instead of pushing the tough stuff aside in exchange for a pretty, cosmetic existence, she learned to stay put and fight hard for the things that matter most in this life.

Honesty, truth, respect, reliability, consistency, communication, family, friendship, love.

She gives what she hopes and expects to get in return. While it doesn't always happen that way, she still gives without fault, because there was a time, not too long ago, that she wasn't able to "get" all of the good that she'd been given.

She accepted that life sometimes begins when the fun ends.