I'm Annoying The Shit Out Of Myself
I’ve made my living as an “ARTIST” for many years now, so I feel at least I have an excuse for why I’m such a spaz. Hey, I’m an ARTIST!
About once a year – usually near the end of the summer because it’s often the end of a long, slow work period – I freak the fuck out and wonder what I’m doing with my life. I question every career choice I’ve ever made, I wallow in self-pity, I wonder why my phone’s not ringing, I can’t focus on a single thing and and the voice in my head plays something like this:
I wonder if I should try to do more stand-up I wonder if I should just quit doing stand up I wonder if I should write a book maybe I should become vegan it was probably a mistake to cancel my gym membership just to save money I haven’t had an audition in a million years maybe I should go back to school and become a doctor I hate school school sucked I really should practice the piano since I have a piano now I should really practice the guitar I wish I had a new guitar I’d really like to do a play there are no good parts for Asians in plays I should write a play what should I write a play about are marshmallows vegan I wonder if I should try to date again men are such a useless waste of time unless I need something heavy lifted I’m so glad I found a reliable guy to lift heavy shit for me for $60 omg I hate it when I see someone I know on Tinder gross so glad I deleted all of my online dating profiles I wonder if I should get pet health insurance I should probably Google that I should figure out when Aubrey and I are going to go to Minnesota next I should write my memoir how did Alan Cumming find time to write two books wtf I wonder how long he’s doing Cabaret would I be a bad mom if I took Aubrey to see that I really want to see it I really should write that script about my dad’s hijacking I should just find someone to write that script about my dad’s hijacking I wish I could dance I’m such a shitty dancer what should I eat for dinner I should try to just eat vegetables and fruit all day tomorrow why are hot dogs so delicious I just don’t know if I could give up cheese forever cheese and butter god I love butter I want to go to the movie theater where the seats recline when’s my next stand up show
…and on and on. And while we’re on the topic of ADD, the yard of one of my neighbors is up on a hill and I can see it from the window where I sit at my desk. Every once in a while their dog runs around in a big, empty, dry dirt area and I think it’s a goat, but it’s not. It’s just a dog. Looks like a Border Collie mix. Like there’s a wild goat running around the SF Valley. So add this to the stream of bullshit: IS THAT A GOAT UP THERE?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a tad dissatisfied with my career right now and it’s causing me some anxiety. No one is starving to death… yet… but things are not going the way I want right now and I think I need to get a little wacky before I have my next great idea. Or I may just have my mid-life crisis and become a complete embarrassment to my child. I think that’s what normal people do, right? People who work normal jobs.
I have found it to be near impossible to do anything artistically productive when I’m in this state of mind. All I seem to be able to focus on is the daily minutiae of life. Grocery shop. Walk the dogs. Empty the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher. Call the dentist office. Sort the laundry. And we’ve all had slumps but no matter how many well-meaning friends say, “You should ____ (go for a walk, take a class, do some yoga, hire a life coach, get laid, have some wine, take a nap, make a spreadsheet, read The Secret, take the Landmark Forum, try CrossFit, write something),” it doesn’t matter. You can’t just shake a funk. Funk has to make its own exit when the time is right. And you can’t force creativity and that’s the only way I’ve made my living for over 17 years. I suck at everything else, so I’ll just be here. Riding out the funk wave.
And in the meantime, maybe I’ll do a pilates DVD. My abs feel so flabby.
People Want To Sleep With Me
OK, well just ONE person. My kid.
I’m feeling V-E-R-Y conflicted about one of those ridiculously “big” parenting issues. Well, it seems to only be big and controversial here in the US, but I’m talking about co-sleeping. In laymen’s terms, that would be “letting your kid sleep in bed with you.”
There are various reasons people choose to co-sleep or not and the biggest controversies surround infant co-sleeping when there is a supposed danger of rolling over on your tiny little person and smothering it. I’m waaaay past those years and I’m not having anymore kids, so I don’t give a crap about that. I’m talking about Aubrey. My 6, almost 7 year old who has been a champion sleeper all of her life. She still is, for the most part and 99% of her life she has slept independently, in her own room and bed and slept VERY well.
Lately, she has been asking to sleep in bed with me and getting emotional about it. This happens maybe once or twice a week. Generally, I do not cave. I re-state my reasons why and after a hug and kiss and a reminder that I’m right across the hall if she needs me, I close the door on a teary eyed little girl and she is asleep within a minute or too.
Recently, during one of these episodes, I asked her why she wanted to sleep with me so badly, she stated that she didn’t want to be alone. And I said to her, “But you’re not alone! You have Nelly (that’s her security item – an elephant). You have all of your stuffed animal buddies…” And she retorted, wailing, “But I just want to sleep with someone who’s ALIVE!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!” Don’t we all, honey? Don’t we all?
She DOES know how to push my buttons, so it’s a hard call to make. Some nights are more emotional than others and I can tell there is a direct correlation between her non-sleep related anxieties and her level of crying. Tonight, the asking started early and I knew right away it was because she’s thinking ahead about a 10-day trip she is taking with her dad. She loves her dad, but she is already worried about missing me. We had a really great day together today and she was feeling particularly close to me. When she first asked and I told her no, she started to collapse. After some discussion, I finally told myself, “What the fuck? She’s going to be on the trip in 2 nights anyway, so who gives a shit?” (Yes, I do curse that much, even in my own head.) I was also too tired to deal with crazy crying at the end of a long day, so I caved and said yes.
The funny thing is, she’s dead asleep right now and I’m not even with her. I’m in the dining room writing. Honestly, I think she just wants to sleep on my bitchin’ memory foam mattress.
I would never let this become a habit. The only exceptions I have made in the past are when we travel and share a bed in a hotel or my parents’ house, if she is sick (which is rare) or the ONE time she woke up during the night and was scared. I’m not kidding… once. She really is an amazing sleeper and I think a big part of this is because I have worked hard to foster healthy, independent sleeping patterns. I try not to judge anyone who co-sleeps. I don’t know their kid or family situation intimately and it’s your kid. You do what you want. My opinion; what I experienced in my own childhood, heard of from some other close friends’ and witnessed with my own kid, is that allowing long-term co-sleeping fosters and encourages a child to act on and embrace irrational fears. I think it’s super far from the worst thing you can do as a parent and I’m fine with other parents doing it if they feel it’s right for their family. But is sure is hard to say, “no” when they are begging you through teary eyes. And I’m no iron fisted rule-enforcer. Clearly, I said yes, tonight. So what I’m trying to find out now is, how much is too much? What is ok for us?
I’m not asking for you to answer these questions and I’m not even asking for your opinions because clearly, I have my own. But I’m curious – if you’re willing to share and you can DM me if you want – I’d love to hear from you! Can you answer this question for me:
*Did YOU sleep in bed with your parent(s) on a long-term basis as a child and how do you feel about it now as an adult?
*And if you are a parent, did your own sleeping arrangements as a child affect your decisions on sleeping as a parent? Please let me know!
(OK – last blog I stated that the next item on the table was HOMESCHOOLING – but I lied. Homeschooling got preempted by CO-SLEEPING. The HOMESCHOOLING shit hits the fan next. Promise.)
Tonto? More Like No-No.
OK, so that was a pretty lame post title, but I haven’t had coffee yet.
Not to be a big Debbie Downer on the 4th, but someone recently asked me if I think it’s offensive that Johnny Depp is playing a native Indian in the new Lone Ranger movie.
(And btw, I’m going to use the word “Indian” referring to Native Americans, Indigenous People, First People… because the Indians I know tell me they use the term Indian. Really. Straight from the Indians’ mouths.)
My two cents? Acting is acting and I think the best person should get the job but it only makes sense that that should probably be within that part’s specific race if it’s designated as such. I.e. Denzel Washington is never going to slather himself in white makeup and play George Washington. Can you imagine? People would riot!! WTF white people?!
I think if an actor of Japanese descent plays a Korean character, so what? An Italian guy plays a Jewish character, Mexican American plays a Colombian American (heeeyyy Manny Delgado!), ok but a blue eyed caucasian playing an Asian character is just stupid and racist and Johnny Depp playing Tonto is gross. Asians and Indians seem to get screwed the worst in this arena as enough people finally realized it was racist to do it to a black role and Latino roles are coming along, but they still get screwed too. Anyway, here’s something to chew on:
I’m a tech moron so I don’t know how to put this link on here in a fancier way, but it is a small sampling. There are many, many more examples out there.
On a cheerier note… HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! As an immigrant to this country, my adoptive country and the only home I’ve known (I came here as a 5 month old) I am so proud to be an American. (please don’t sing that song) I am so grateful to live in a country where anything is possible, where I can stand on stage with a microphone and say anything I want – about religion, politics, sex, drugs, children, animals – ANYTHING. And then get paid for it! I’m grateful to live in a country where I am valued and was educated and where I know my daughter can achieve whatever she wants. I’m grateful to live in a country that supports me as a single mother. I’m truly living the American dream and there is no place else I would want to call home. This is my country.
Have a safe and happy 4th!