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Aug, 2014

My Misery Does Not Love Company

I sat outside for the last hour and a half and got a small sampling of the Perseid shower from my backyard. I wish I could stay up later to see it when it’s more visible, but alas, I have to be at the dentist tomorrow morning at 8am for crown #2 prep. Don’t be jealous.

Anyway, I saw at least four or five meteors and staring up at the sky, in solitude, was both beautiful and humbling. I don’t know about you, but sometimes witnessing something massive makes me ache a wee bit. I felt the same way when I visited Sequoia National Park and saw the tremendous redwoods. Small and alone.

Strangely, I’m very comfortable with feeling alone in the universe. Maybe because I come from abandonment and spend a large part of my childhood feeling alone, betrayed and misunderstood.

There is so much talk about depression swirling around social media and the internet following Robin Williams’ passing. I suffered from a bout of depression in my youth (pretty much a blur now) and once again, after the birth of my beloved Aubrey. While I never felt I would take my own life, I am familiar with the dark cloud of hopelessness that is depression and I hope to never sit beneath it again. I am fortunate that my experience with depression has been episodic rather than chronic. I can not imagine what it is like to wrestle with that beast regularly.

So just tonight, while sitting beneath a sprinkle of flashing meteors, I remembered that a quote from one of Robin Williams’ movies was what helped me make sense of some of the harder times in my life and I recall it almost every time I have a personal struggle.

Robin Williams’ Russian defector character “Vladimir Ivanoff” from the 1984 movie “Moscow On The Hudson”:

“When I was in Russia, I did not love my life, but I loved my misery. You know why? Because it was MY misery. I could hold it. I could caress it. It was my misery.”

That one scene from that one movie helped me learn to embrace the struggles in life as a part of the journey. To love even the worst moments because they belong to no one else. I have experienced the greatest joy making a life that is mine and mine alone.

So maybe I’m a freak or just an extreme introvert, but the sensation of being alone – that ache, that pang – is one that gives me clarity and makes me feel alive like nothing else.  For this, I am so grateful.

If you can, do yourself a favor and go outside right now. Look up and feel small.


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Aug, 2014

NYC Like A Grownup

I’m happy to report I’m officially out of my funk. I know you were all on pins and needles wondering, “I wonder if Amy is still freaking out about her life?” Well, I’m still a little freaked out, but feeling fine about that. I think this is one of the traits that artistic folks share is that we’re ok with the unknown. We even embrace it at times. We are, however, allowed to have a miniature nervous breakdown every once in a while.

So now that that’s over, we’re getting back to life as normal. I’m writing from good ol’ Stage 5 on the Fox lot in L.A. Aubrey is shooting her first scene of season six and it feels like we never left. Seriously, this felt like the shortest hiatus yet, but I think that just means we were having a really great summer. It flew by like…  like something that flies by really fast. I got nothing.

After Aubrey’s done working tonight, I shall embark on my own much needed adventure: a last minute trip to NYC to have fun. That’s it. Just to have fun. Stay with some girlfriends, visit college friends, take in some Broadway shows, eat some great food and then back home. Once again, the main purpose of this trip is to have fun. It’s time for me to reset my sanity meter and enjoy some of life’s great pleasures without Aubrey. Not that she isn’t fun. Don’t get me wrong, but last time I was in NYC with Aubrey, she wanted to eat at The Olive Garden in Times Square. And we did. Let me repeat that: We ate at The Olive Garden In Times Square. I also spent $100 EACH for us to have “Tea With Eloise At The Plaza” and it sucked. Like totally SUCKED. The Plaza should be ashamed. Anyway, I’m going to NYC like a grown up this time and I can’t wait.

I shall perform the following activities during this NYC trip for me and for me only:

– cutting up food
– butt wiping
– hair shampooing and rinsing
– shoelace tying
– teeth brushing
– blowing on food that is too hot
– carrying shit
– reading anything

It’s gonna be great!!






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Jul, 2014

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.

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