Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What happened to Christmas? You blink and then it's over.

So Christmas is over. I spent two days running around like a crazy person because I have two families, (three if you count my boyfriend's since we went there yesterday as well) and I feel like all I got out of it was a million pairs of socks and a broken break line in my mother's car.  (If you're wondering, then yes I almost died on the Pike this afternoon because the pedal wasn't working.  Great day following a fantastic morning.)

Where did the quality time with family go? Every place I went it I was just starting to get comfortable and more people would show up excited to see me, and then I had to leave again. My little cousin wanted to snuggle with me on the couch in her little pink boots and it was for all of 5 minutes until I had to put her down and get my stuff together.  I saw my dad for a few minutes of small talk and hugs and felt rushed and overwhelmed.  Walking into my mother's was like walking into a dorm room party, too many people walking over each other and too much stuff in the smallest space possible. 

Where was Jesus this year on His birthday? I went to church, but it felt like it was 30 seconds long and for some reason instead of packed from altar to doorway, this year the place was more than half empty.  The sermon was really meaningful and I started getting a little homesick sitting there, happy that I could share this place that was such a big part of my teen years with my boyfriend and some friends.  But why didn't people show up? Not to mention that no one said Grace at one meal I was partaking in, the entire two days. Yeah ok, the whole family isn't incredibly religious, but can't we show respect that it's The Lord's birthday and just pretend for 30 seconds that we give a crap over more than presents?

Is everyone tired this year?  Did the stress get to more people than just me?  I'm usually sad that Christmas is over in a normal way, but I'm horribly disappointed this year.  I felt rushed, uncomfortable, I was fighting with my boyfriend for going on 3 days now, and everyone keeps telling me, "Oh it's ok now, it's all over. No need to stress out anymore" I DIDN'T WANT IT TO BE OVER!! Can someone please understand this?  I love Christmas.  I love stockings, lights, trees, Christmas movies and specials, carols, presents, and being with my family even if other people hate it.  All these Christmas movies about people hating their family... I get it because it's funny, but honestly is everyone's house like that?

No.  Most people don't have a huge issue with being at home and having some cocktails with funny uncles and spoiling your sister's kids because they're not yours. But did I get to have quality time? I had a panic attack on Christmas Eve with all my running around, and my Christmas Day I looked at the clock at almost 9pm and was incredibly upset that it was already over and my boyfriend and I were still in a fucking fight since apologies apparently don't translate well via text. For the record, I had fun drinking wine and socializing.  However, the general uneasiness of others and having to leave places the second I got there was making me miserable.

You know what?  I'm still home.  My Christmas tree is still lit, and our stockings are still hung.  I still have friends to see, and I'm watching Christmas movies right now.  You know why?  Because my Christmas isn't fucking over.  In fact, when I see my friends tonight I think I will tell them that we are having "Navidad Parte Dos" and I don't want anyone arguing with me about it.  It's not over until the fat lady sings at midnight on New Years Eve so there. I don't care how grumpy everyone else chooses to be around the holidays, and I'm sick and tired of hearing how much other people hate their families and referring to the most wonderful time of the year as a "let's just get through this" ordeal.  I want to have fun and believe you me, I will.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree, why are you so depressing?

So it's December 1st.  It's a Saturday, and yet again I feel like I'm doing nothing with my life.  What did I do today realistically?  I filmed the finishing touches for a horror movie (my first full length film I've had a real role in) then I came home and did some research for my next youtube video I'm doing this week, and went out to a comedy show to see some of my friends.  And yet, here I am all of a sudden massively feeling as though I made a huge mistake in what I just typed and really accomplished nothing today.

Also I feel like an asshole because I was invited to a party tonight and forgot, but I have a fairly annoying head cold at the moment and probably would've drank myself into a really bad head cold if I had remembered, but that doesn't make me feel any less like a jerk and like I missed out on a lot of fun tonight...ugh.

I have a problem with feeling satisfied with myself.  I know everyone says that, but it's really true for me.  Do I make enough money?  Enough to get by, but I'm still considered poor.  Am I an actor for a living?  Yes, but I want to be in Hollywood.  Isn't my favorite time of the year Christmastime?  Of course, and somehow I feel awfully depressed at the same time every year.  So what's the issue here?  Like the saying goes, IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD, KID!

Right now, I'm sitting in my diningroom, thinking about how much of a failure my day was because I didn't record my youtube video.  Staring at my lit up Christmas tree as my only source of light aside from my computer screen, and trying not to kick myself over not doing it.  Instead, I got lost in watching other youtube videos whilst researching for mine, and my cold made me feel gross so I lost interest in recording for the day.  Will I still get my video out by Tuesday night?  Well I really hope so, I need to stay committed to this unlike all my other failed endeavors, like learning to play guitar beyond simple chords and knitting something better than a scarf.

Sometimes I feel like this blog is also a failed endeavor.  I don't want a vast audience, no that's not it, but I wish I posted more often than once in a blue moon, but I never want to post when I'm happy.  Why the hell am I so happy all the time that I can't be creative anymore?  I almost stopped writing music altogether after I met my boyfriend about a year ago, one song all year and I'm another failed guitar player who fucked around with it in college like every other emo kid with a broken heart and a notepad.  Instead I post funny pictures of babies on instagram and I'm skinnier than I've been in years because I stopped drinking away my feelings.  Thank God my comedy isn't self-deprecating, otherwise I'd stop being funny too!

I should be excited about Christmas.  I am, I mean I'm excited about it every time that I buy someone else a gift, and I'm excited about seeing my family and the next three weeks of holiday cheer.  I'm even excited about snowy days now that we're probably having a normal winter this year.  But I'm sad today.  Can I be sad today?  What right do I have to be sad?  I'm such a brat complaining about my life the way that it is.  But I felt stagnant this afternoon, like I wasn't able to do anything exciting with my entire life because it was all weighing on the lonely and lazy afternoon I had.

Christmas has always been connected with loneliness for me, and I can't seem to figure out why.  Maybe because my teen years were always boyfriendless and I never got a puppy from Santa like my mom predicted.  I think I posted about this last year, really I should be praying and thanking Jesus for this wonderful time of year, but instead I listen to Frank Sinatra's Christmas album and try not to tear up.  My boyfriend loves me and I don't know if I have all the time for a puppy that I should.  Yet here we are, India Pearl all sad and staring at her Christmas tree no matter how beautiful it is she can't love it for being so beautiful.  It's taunting me, and luring me into old habits of morbid reflection. Why did we put you up so soon, you twinkling plastic statue of sadness? Can't you go away until the 24th? I think you'd be better appreciated at a Macy's.

The problem with me is that I have a major issue with being by myself.  I don't necessarily mean relationship-wise, but any time at all.  If I'm alone at home for too long, I start to stare at the wall and make up things to be sad about.  I'll remember friends that I fought with and no longer speak to, or rehearse fights over in my head with my boyfriend from months ago and make up different parts of the conversation that I should've said differently and how I failed somehow, or I'll even think about a fight I had with my mother as a teenager and start to wonder how I could've yelled something to win a scrap with her.

One time I delved so deeply into my past anxieties, that I couldn't stop replaying an event that happened in my neighborhood when I was 7, with a girl who wouldn't stop picking on me and I started screaming in her face when she slapped me in front of everyone around us.  My mother saw the whole thing from the window and came to rescue me, told the girl's mother what happened, but the girl's white trash toothless idiot mother didn't give a crap!  She told my mother I should go play somewhere else and she shrugged her shoulders.  Even typing this out makes me want to scream at  her for being so unjust.  If I had been the slapper, my mother would've spanked my fanny until it was raw (not literally, just one of her beloved phrases to show how brutal it could've been if she had in fact ever raised her hand to our fannies. It was a very rare occasion that myself or my sisters' fannies were spanked). Ugh, I just want to punch that little girl and her mother in the face.

My point is, I can already feel myself slipping away into this depressing, past-depending behavior... and it's only December 1st!!  My season at the museum ended a month ago, it took me two weeks of relaxing to push my reset button and two weeks more to realize that the effects of change can only make me happy for so long.  For those of you who actively read my blog, you may notice that when I move somewhere or start something very new, it brings me great happiness... and then after about a month I start to realize that the feeling is only temporary, and I'm still very much insane.

I should've written a much funnier post about my high school reunion. Maybe next week.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Professional Viewing" and why I need to do more of that...

As an actor, I have slowly but surely gotten to the point over the past almost-year-and-a-half of living in the Boston area and being able to only depend on my work for a living.  Of course this also means that I am a very frugal person and am constantly finding ways to save money.  I would post a blog about the little things I do during the week to save, but I will save that for another time.  Instead, today is one of those days where I was going through some receipts and thinking about taxes, how I spend on my career, and how this ties into the holidays coming up.

I have been kicking myself about not going to enough shows and seeing more plays should be on my agenda.  I'm an actor, I should be watching other actors!  But sometimes I just feel very unmotivated to do so, and my number one reason wasn't even directly in my mind, my boyfriend just said it perfectly and off-handed one night.

He said, "When I was just out of college, all my friends were in plays. And after a while, I had to stop going.  I just couldn't sit through one more bad Shakespeare play."

So how true is that?  Am I not going to things because I'm not confident that they'll be any good?  Well, yes and no.  I do agree with the Shakespeare part, it's really hard for me to go see those things because it's not often that even the best actors I know can probably rock Hamlet's socks off.  And then there's the fact that most plays in Boston are between $15-$25 to go see.  That's about what I spend per week on groceries, and I've been trying really hard to save money.  However, one of my good actor friends has recently given me the best information:  you can write off half of that ticket price under what is called, "Professional Viewing".

The idea that I can write off things for my job has been known for some time now, but what I didn't realize is what I can write off a lot more than I thought because I do freelance work and worked as an actor on paper at the museum.  Here's a list of some other things I can write off on my taxes that I had no idea about:
1. half my cable bill (professional viewing)
2. internet bill/phone bill (emailing and calls is how I have to communicate)
3. movie tickets (sometimes, moreso when I'm doing films for a more consistent living)
4. MAKEUP (I need it for shows)
5. gym membership (actors have to be fit most of the time)
6. transportation (certain percentage of my subway passes)
7. manicures/pedicures
8. dental visits/teeth whitener
9. costume pieces I buy for myself
10. meals during a show, or when I have a work-related meeting
11. haircuts

The list goes on.  Basically anything that I need to look good is under this list, it's incredible.  But of course this brings me to my next point.  I was wondering what I would do this year when family members asked me what I want for Christmas.  Honestly, I am for want of nothing (to throw in an old phrase).  However, I do need a few things.  I don't feel comfortable asking for frivolous or material things that I can just go out and buy myself.  My main goal is to ask for things I really do need, so that my family can feel as though they're supporting me being an adult, instead of supporting me being a brat at Christmastime.  So I put together this list for viewing in a handy video I made for Santa Claus (and my family).

Of course there was one more thing that I didn't put into the video, but only because it's nothing that I truly need as much as new socks or a nice pan.  I have been working with a dinner theater company called Mystery Cafe, and hope to work with a local company called Pastimes World.  Pastimes sends actors in period costumes to corporate gigs and things similar to that, either by themselves or with other actors, in costume to do... well, pretty much anything such as mingling, talking in character, answering questions, singing, etc.  The reason why I would like to do this is because it's so much fun to be in costume, and even more fun to be at these gigs.  From my work in dinner theater and at the museum, I can tell you that people eat this shit up when they see someone in a colonial dress and they can go up and talk to them.  It's like they get the feeling back of when they used to stand in line to see Santa at the mall as kids.  But what's even better is when you become someone else and you see the sparkle in their eyes as you start to speak in an older tongue, talking as though John Hancock and Samuel Adams were real people that you might actually know, and the inner child of your audience comes out without their knowledge.  So I'm asking that anyone who doesn't check something off the list from the movie (using scribbless - see details at the bottom of this post)  and you still feel the need to get me a present, then the money I get this year will go towards a few dresses from this ebay store you can see by clicking the link below:

**VictorianChoice Ebay Store**
My favorite is this one ^

But from my friends and acquaintances who read this blog, I don't really want anything from you aside from Christmas cheer, and for you to come to my Christmas party.  The best way to celebrate the holidays is with family and friends, yummy food and some tasty adult beverages.  I am for want of nothing, as I have money to pay my rent, feed myself, and participate in the occasional frivolities of being 20-something. Happy Holidays everyone, and God Bless you.

**Any family members who were directed to this blog post and are attempting to see my Christmas wish list, please email me or message me your email address.  I have a checklist on a website called "Scribbless" that I will invite people to, so they can check something off if they bought it already.  You have to be invited via email to look at the list and edit the list.  This is to prevent from getting the same thing two or three times over.  If you need help explaining how to do this, I can attempt to walk you through it but step 1 is to confirm that you want to be invited so you do not delete the email that scribbless sends you.**

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letter of Intent to Save the E.S.A

Dear Red States:
We're ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we've decided we're leaving: "Legitimate rape." is almost reason enough!
We in New York intend to form our own country and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of the Northeast.

We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A).

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren. You get Bobby Jindal and Todd Akin.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.

You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Please be aware that the E.S.A. will be pro choice and anti war and we're going to want all our citizens back from Afghanistan at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

We wish you success in Afghanistan, and possibly Iran as well, but we're not willing to spend our resources in these sorts of pursuits.

With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the U niversity of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

We're taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.

Citizens of the Enlightened States of America

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Never complain. Never explain." - Katherine Hepburn

Recently I have been thinking a lot about how one progresses from the lower status in this business to the upper crusty part.  You know, how do people get from community theater in the middle of Nowheres-ville and then they're in an Oscar-worthy film that made millions in the box office?  Thank God that I've gotten so many connections this year on at least the semi-professional level or full-time actors in the area that can give me some advice.  Yes, I will admit it can be discouraging when you have no SAG waivers and no clue how to get Equity points in this small town, but it seems almost useless to go to the big city without at least a few of each so you don't look like you don't know what you're doing on paper in a place where noone's ever heard of you.  I am slowly trudging up the hill to at least get a foothold around this town, and I'm not stopping until I can get into some sort of union.  Union means India Pearl will be on the road to the big city, and with a lot of work experience to boot so I won't be some young dreamer without any training who thinks they're going to be rich if they simply move to Hollywood.  I won't move right now, because I don't think God quite has me on that path yet.  He's given me plenty of opportunity here and I'm not starving so why not stay where I'm happy at least until I start to look older than 16 in front of a camera.

When I tell strangers or even family members that I'm an actress, (and a full-time working actress who doesn't do much else) they seem surprised.  There's this look they give you that's sort of mixed up between pity, scoff, and awe.  It's as though they think they know why they should "feel bad" for you and then they feel obligated to remind you that it's a hard field and all that repeated bullcrap, but they don't want to be rude so they say in a nicer way, "oh, that must be tough! Lot of rejection in that field..." like they're saying anything that's news to you.  Sometimes they'll try to think of some second-cousin's-daughter-in-law that's an actress in New York and name some play they were in that you've never heard of, maybe for comfort that they know someone who sort of made it?  Although I suppose it's very common to do that in a conversation to name someone else who has the same line of work and the person you're conversing with.  But really the only response to that bit of small talk two cents is, "Oooo0o0o0o, ok... yeah that's cool." and hope you both think of something else to add before there's a dead silence.  

The other thing I hate is when I say to them I'm an actor and they interrupt me with an I know more than you do grin and they say, "You mean actress?" NO I don't mean actress, this is 2012 and I will use whichever feminine or masculine noun I prefer you sexist old fashioned numbskull because I'm an artist and I would obviously know more about what I'm calling myself in my own field thank you very much.  Or here's the question I can't stand getting, "Are you a good actress?"  What the heck am I supposed to say to that?!  I mean I'm getting work, and constant steady work at that, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm soon to be up for a Tony.  Maybe I should ask people that in the future, because they ask me that abut my music too I always get someone who wonders if I can actually play guitar or sing, as if I'm a hack with a Youtube channel and pretends like most people and they can't wait to oust me to the rest of the world as such.  I'll look at them and say, "Are you a good dentist? I've heard filling are really tough to do, patients are real hard to come by." or "Are you good at putting out fires, 'cause I know a lot of firemen who just don't know how to hose it down.  You sure you're not just rescuing cats out of trees?"

I get it, people don't know they're being rude.  It's also very easy to get defensive over your abilities and work ethic as an artist, because your work is your whole life.  So I decided to look up some quotes from other female actors that I really look up to due to their impact on Hollywood, and their sheer talent.  Everybody needs some sort of inspiration, and when you're feeling like the world is just a tough place and work is hard to come by, it's good to know that these women often felt the same.

There seems to be a law that governs all our actions so I never make plans. - Greta Garbo 

A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.
Marilyn Monroe  

Acting is the perfect idiot's profession.
Katharine Hepburn  

I don't think the money people in Hollywood have ever thought I was normal, but I am dedicated to my work and that's what counts.
Angelina Jolie

If only those who dream about Hollywood knew how difficult it all is. - Greta Garbo

 When I started out, I didn't have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.
Katharine Hepburn

Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Marilyn Monroe 
Acting is the most minor of gifts. After all, Shirley Temple could do it when she was four.
Katharine Hepburn

If you ask people what they've always wanted to do, most people haven't done it. That breaks my heart.
Angelina Jolie

Yeah sure they're not all a hundred percent understandable if you don't do what I do, or if you don't watch their movies and feel like you have some sort of secret connection to them when you read anything they say that's just plain real and not written down in a script.  But I like them. And the little sense that they give me still motivates me to keep at it.  Any time I think about what my life could be like if I gave up, my happiness would count more in the end.  And that's what truly matters.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

the summer of the fireflies

When I was 16 years old, my friends and I had what I hope all of us would call the best summer of our lives. Some of my memories may actually consist of two summers, the one after 9th grade, and the one after 10th grade, but the latter of which (aside from a few exceptional stories from the year before) was really the best summer.

Do you remember when summer really meant no responsibilities?  As soon as that last bell rang through the school halls, it felt like we were freed forever from the wooden rulers of tyranny and number 2 pencils.  The best part was, you weren't alone on that day.  Everyone was celebrating with you and we'd pile onto the bus or in someone's car if one of our friends was a junior and was old enough to drive, and we'd be off into the unknown.  Maybe we'd go to 711 and celebrate with taquitos and the latest flavor slurpee.  Or, perhaps we would take a walk down to the ice cream barn and rent a movie from Linda's Video, to later stock up on junkfood and prepare for a pig pile of a sleepover at someone's house.

In any case, sometime over the course of the next couple of days there would be a campfire in my backyard on Brierly Pond.  We would all bring our notebooks and class papers, tests and homework projects, just so we could throw them into the fire pit and say goodbye to another year at Millbury Memorial.  I remember throwing in the summer reading list and watching that burn simply for good measure.  "That's what SparkNotes are for," one of us would pipe in.  Then we'd proceed to stay up until we heard birds chirping or someone's Mom called to make sure if there was a campout or they were coming home before the sun came up.

Beach days were savored and plotted, like a fantastic getaway of sand, sun and ocean water.  We were lucky that you could drive about an hour in any form of Eastern direction and hit the shore.  It practically made your whole week to get one day on a kingdom of relaxation, toe wiggling, and sun bathing.  The ocean water was a sweet relief and a challenge of sorts, it was much tougher to do handstands with waves hitting your legs than in a still backyard pool.  Fried food, ice cream or even pizza was always around some corner, right next door to a shop of tourist junk and funny trinkets.  You wanted to stay in this funland forever... or at least until your skin started to bake.

My best friend Travis and I would sneak out on what seemed to be a regular basis.  We owned the streets of Millbury, meeting fellow sneakouters at the park or wandering around downtown hoping someone's dad (also a cop) didn't pull over and threaten to tell our parents if we didn't turn around and go home.  That actually happened often when we would sit in the "nest" (playhouse) of Elmwood st Park, but we would disperse and return later only to hop on the swings and smoke peach flavored cigars that Shaun bought for us.  The first time I saw a group of kids doing drugs (and said no) was at Woolie World, or Washington st Park as it was also known.

Travis and I  met our carnival working friend when we snuck into the Millbury 4th of July Carnival before it opened.  We spent three sleepless nights talking and getting to know him at our homes, giving him a bed instead of that tent he was inhabiting on his summer travels.  (if you're wondering, we did in fact get in trouble for that, our moms still tell us every summer to this day that we're not allowed to adopt any more Carnies...)

When I had campfires and friends over, everyone came.  There were smores, chips, sodas, sometimes a flavored cigar getting passed around as though we were trying to be adults and had no idea what that really entailed.  There would be the occasional nighttime canoe ride with a flashlight and giggling screams before the frantic paddle back to the group and the safety of the campfire.  There was the time of Crazy Naked Man terrorizing the neighborhood, and Millbury Police disrupting our fun but enhancing it at the same time, while they hunted down the serial naked runner. (That's a longer story saved for a later post, or a book perhaps).

Then there were fireflies.  They were everywhere that summer, all over the yard and down the street when we took walks.  They seemed to follow us on canoe rides and light up our paddle strokes, and then greet us upon our return.  Almost every laughter and tear drop of nighttime memories happened next to one of those glowing magical lightning bugs.  I still get a little sad whenever I see one today.  I dip into a nostalgic stupor, wondering if there's an old friend or my first love somewhere who still thinks of the same memories that I do when they catch a glimpse of those dancing blinking insects.

The days were long and lazy, sometimes rainy, but there was never any pressure of work, bills, obligations, schedules... Sometimes I compare that summer to what can only be described as a giant sigh of relief.  When there were quite literally no worries in my life, and my only intent was to have as much fun as I possibly could.  I ponder over those days whenever another summer comes along, wondering if I'll ever feel that way again.  Waking up was easy and going to bed was a surrender after fighting sleep due to too much fun and ease of life.  I wonder if it's my own head that I can't get out of, or there was something truly different about that year.

Maybe I just need a vacation.  I think all of the rush and change of the past few months has made me feel like I had no breathing room.  Still, will I ever feel that sigh of relief ever again?  Maybe I should just become a writer and forget about the status quo.  If only it were that easy anymore.  Maybe our parents were right, that those lazy days really do become somewhat wasted, and we will truly never get them back.  Did I already leave behind the best days of my life?  No, I can't say.  I'm still finding the answer to that.  But how to get rid of the panic of wasting time?  Most of it's in your head when it comes to reality.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Year Anniversary... of a rather unfortunate yet fortunate event

One year ago and one day, 4th of July 2011, I was working at a shitty sports bar in Somerville when I got fired.  I worked a double that day with no air conditioning because the manager didn't like to close the front windows, and had a strange feeling that some of the girls I worked with had been sniggering behind my back, with the exception of one who seemed sad whenever she looked at me.  When I asked her what was wrong she only smiled and said nothing while shaking her head.  I later found out that the other girls didn't like me for various reasons, and our manager thought it was easier to get rid of me without giving a reason, than to solve the issue of cattiness.  When it happened I felt betrayed, tricked, and gunned down.  I immediately went down the the Charles River to see a friend, buy a 6 dollar ice cream cone and drown my sorrows on the riverbank underneath the fireworks.

What I didn't realize until this year, is that being fired from that restaurant was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me after graduating from college.

If I had stayed at the restaurant, I would hardly have had any weeknights free, and I would not have gotten the nannying job I obtained about a month later.  Having a day job was a new thing to me, and because of that schedule I was able to turn my whole schedule around in order to fit the night life of Boston comedy and theater.
The following list of events occurred because I got fired from a job last year:
1. I started going to open mics between 1 and 3 nights per week, thereby putting in the time and making friends that I am still friends with some girls who make me laugh and always have my back
2. My job allowed for me to take off if I needed to go to an audition at Boston Casting, leading to my very first role in an Indie film
3. I met Will, which I guess could have happened if I had kept doing comedy but our schedules do mesh well together considering that I work days and we both like to do the same things at night
4. I took an acting class at Company One on Tuesdays because I always had evenings free
5. To go along with that, I started auditioning between 1 and 4 nights per week, and on nights I wasn't auditioning, I was doing comedy
6. Every part I got this year can only be attributed to the free evenings and work flexibility Tania granted me, and the experience I got from doing comedy so much elevated my auditioning skills
7. That leads into how I got my job at the museum
8. I got the part on the murder mystery dinner cruise because of someone I work with at the museum
9. I met more friends at my newest job that I feel will make up for every shitty friend I had in the past
10. My life is ultimately working out in a course of events that I'm sure will only lead to even better opportunities, and I am the happiest I have ever been because of where I am right now.

So as of this 4th of July, I think that my patriotism is not only motivated by my working at a historical museum, but because it is the anniversary of a day where I truly gained Independence and somehow got to where I am at today.  God Bless America, eh?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

find someone who makes it worth the fight

Last year while living in a 4-bedroom home in Belchertown during my last semester at UMass, I remember speaking with my roommate Ryan about his girlfriend.  He said, "We've been having a few fights lately, but it's getting to that point in the relationship where it's worth the fight." And I remember thinking, God I don't think I have ever felt that way. 

Too many times I have been in a relationship where a fight made me want to give up on the person.  I thought that it couldn't possibly be worth it if everything wasn't going perfect.  Lately, I have learned from experience that I fully understand that statement. 

The past few weeks have been tough on my stress level, because my job is revolving around building a show from the ground up.  My family is going through some personal things, I've gotten into silly tiffs with friends, my roommate's cat continues to sneeze on me while I'm writing blog posts and crawl on my back and annoy the crud outta me (despite his ridiculous cute factor) and I've been going going going trying to babysit and audition for other shows and rehearse for music gigs and do my best to keep working even outside of work.

Then of course my boyfriend, (who probably knows my moods better than I do somehow) has noticed that I have been extra grumpy lately.  Apparently I have been snapping, tired, and on edge for about two weeks now.  I literally had no idea that this was noticeable to anyone aside from myself, as I haven't been sleeping very well at all.  I stay up nights trying to rehearse lines with myself and I dream about work friends or have nightmares about my costume ripping or getting ruined, or losing lines in front of tourists.  This can't be good for my moods with coworkers, and it can't be good for my jaw that takes all the stress of my nightly teeth grinding routines.

So my wonderful boyfriend decided that this week he was going to surprise me with a fancy dinner at a fancy restaurant in a fancy hotel.  No, we didn't stay the night at the hotel, but we certainly had what I would consider to be the nicest dinner anyone's ever taken me out to.  I shit you not, the Omni Parker House made the best baked schrod I will probably have in my lifetime.  It tasted like it was dipped in butter churned by the virgin Mary herself, and baked in an oven by Jesus Christ. It was that good.

And what did we do after this wonderful dinner?  Well, we took a romantic walk in the Public Gardens of Boston, that's what.  And we kissed next to a fountain.  And a statue.  And a Hundred Acre Wood Tree.  Basically it was a perfect evening.  An evening that I will never forget.  So what did we do after that wonderful walk together?

We fought.  We had a ridiculous, bickering, nothing fight.  Something completely out of character for us!  And I was so upset by the fact that I thought I had ruined our evening, that I cried. Because I am an absolute stressball, and anything at all could have set me off. 

And what did my wonderful boyfriend do to make it up to me that we had fought over absolutely nothing?  Well, he happened to stumble upon some Red Sox tickets and asked me to go to that the very next day.  Again, did I mention that he's the most wonderful man that a Boston Irish girl could ever hope to date?!?! 

(Did he buy me a hot dog at the ballpark? ... DUH.)

And today, after a wonderful couple of days with my wonderful boyfriend, we had yet another nothing fight

But no worries my lovely readers, because for those of you who are unawares, we are truly a good couple and we are very much in love, and I have discovered something about relationships with every fight/bicker/back-and-forth that we have.  I have been told by many people in relationships that every couple fights, and I have been told by those people that you get through it, but I still remember what my old friend told me that really stuck with me about him and his girlfriend (they are still together) that when you two are really in love, it is worth the fight.

Here's how you know it's worth it: when I have fought with past boyfriends, I could feel the tension that would never break.  I knew that if I made my feelings too well known or couldn't keep my mouth shut when they weren't treating me well, it would end us, and that either one or neither of us truly thought that fighting would help us understand each other better.  We didn't have the real love or connection between us that would build a relationship up after an argument, but our differences would only separate and crumble us.

However when I am having any sort of tiff with my boyfriend, whether it be that I was too curt with him in the morning because my mind is elsewhere, or a full blown argument, I think we are fully aware the entire time, that no matter how right we both think that we are, neither one of us want to be fighting.  Not to say that other relationships have included people that always want to fight, but what I mean by that is, we are doing everything in our power during the talk, to get our points across, get past the anger, and continue forward together.

Never before in a relationship have I been in the middle of an argument with someone and thought to myself, they love me and I love them and we're just gonna say our piece and be better off at the end of this.  Granted, it's never fun or a great experience to have it out with the person you love.  But I will say that I do find a sense of knowing how much you love someone when you make it through to the other side and realize you're still just as secure in your relationship as you were before you started.  It's that discovery of knowing you're both on the same page with how committed you are to one another even through disagreements, that builds up your relationship.  The commitment to hearing and understanding your significant other can only help you both in the end and keep up a healthy relationship, even if you're both hating the fact that there is a raised voice or a heated temper.

I'm aware that this is a very long explanation, and I know there are books on this topic and I'm silly for trying to explain what I mean in a very long blog post but very short explanation on an extensive topic.  But I guess I'm saying that even though fighting sucks, right now I think I've got someone who's worth it.  And that's saying something right there.  I'm pretty lucky to know what that means.

Monday, May 14, 2012

you can lead a horse to water but you have to make sure they're not going to drown themselves

I have this friend.  Well, actually I have many friends.  One of the reasons I have many friends could be due to my big smile, my sparkling and cheery demeanor, and my knack for always saying things like, "You go, girl!"  Ok none of what I just said is how I describe myself, or why i think I might have more friends than my boyfriend or family members who by default, have to be my friends.

The real reason why I feel as though I have a variety of friends is because I like to listen to people.  I'm a problem solver, maybe a bit of a control freak, and somehow I can conjure up some bit of advice for pretty much anything.  I'm mostly an expert at telling people the blatant and not always gentle truth if they have a complaint about their dating life.  A conversation could go on for hours about whether this girl's ex-boyfriend was really a douchebag, or maybe she really did nag him too much.  Sometimes people mention they have bigger problems, such as money troubles or their car has been acting up.  Even if I don't have experience to provide "good" advice I usually chime in with at least a, "maybe get a better mechanic?" so I can contribute.  Could be conceived as annoying, now that I'm writing it down to explain myself, but usually I find that my input is appreciated, even if it's not useful.

I find that the concern for others and the willingness to listen is what gets me on someone's good side.  (Let's just clear it up here, folks.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn, there is a whiny and not-so-self-promoting side to this blog post).
There are acquaintances I have from comedy or acting that I have never hung out with outside of that setting, but I probably know more about their personal issues or family troubles than a far more average acquaintance.  I attribute this to my openness and how much I (sometimes annoyingly) dish out to people about how my life is going.  When someone asks me, "How are you?" it's very hard to me to simply say, "good, you?" and leave it at that.  So when I provide an anecdote, so do they, and a small bond forms between us.

One more lead-up to where this is going before I explain my personal dilemma of the week; I have had times where I'm on a bus, or a subway car, or in line at a taco stand and somehow a stranger starts telling me about their life problems.  No idea what it is about me, maybe it's just that my face looks non-judgmental, maybe I'm too nice and too good of a listener, maybe God is telling them that I can listen to their problems without running away screaming, but I've had more women tell me about their drug-addict ex husbands abuse or their alcoholic family members' financial troubles than a family counselor at a rehab institute... and I can't really figure out why except that I always finish the conversation with, "I'm sorry, I'll pray for you" and they really seem to love me for that in some way.

ANYWAY this week seems to be troubling for me because I'm at a loss.  Two instances where I'm at a personal loss for how to react to a friend and what my role is in their life when they come to me with an unsolvable-by-me issue.

 So I have this friend, and her family member is very sick.  I don't know how to comfort her, and I'm not sure what to say except that I'm sorry for her being worried.  Maybe we all go through that one, where a friend is suffering through a family dilemma and we're just supposed to pat them on the back and have a drink with them while they get through it.  See, I'm not that kind of person!
I feel like if nothing I can do or say will make them feel better, then I'm simply useless and I should just cut out my tongue and sacrifice it to the wellness gods and maybe THAT will somehow make everything better in the balance of sickness versus health in my friend's life... how do other people simply "be there" for their friends? Really, I feel like an awkward useless dumby, like there was a part of the friendship handbook that I missed when I played hookie to sleep in one day.

So then I have this other friend that has been going through a rough patch... well maybe they've always been in a rough patch, but they have had their ups and downs and right now they are most certainly down.  I have offered so much advice, so many phone calls, so many nights agonizing over what could possibly be the root of the problems, what causes their anxiety, whether it's job related or body related or just plain life related, and now I'm at a loss.

I can tell a starving person sixteen different ways to eat their dinner and pick up a knife and fork and put it in their hands, but they're going to stay starving if they don't put a fork with food on it, into their mouth, chew, then swallow.  I could write them a book, "How to Eat" and make them read it, but if they don't apply anything I'm giving them to their problem, then it won't be solved.  So now I feel even more frustrated because half of what I'm giving them seems like it's going in one ear and out the other!  They throw their hands up and say they're giving up on "eating", they may as well "starve".  How many times can you repeat yourself before you're just as ready to give up?

Of course, that part is somewhat made up and problems are never that simple.  But the point is, there is a certain point where as a friend you just can't do anything anymore because you talked until you were blue in the face, gave all the solutions you could think of, but whoever needs help can really only help themselves or seek out the help for themselves.

Maybe I'm throwing my hands up?  I get frustrated when I feel like I'm not being listened to, like maybe I couldn't get through to the person and I start being mean to them instead of just letting them run their course.  Then comes the mother/controlling part of me where I picture myself actually letting them run the course they're on, and I am terrified they're going to crash into a wall.  Should I just let them crash?

At what point, are friends supposed to stop the hand holding and advice giving?  Where are the lines between bad friend and letting them run free, or great friend and being a control freak?  I guess I need some advice on that one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the old man is most certainly snoring

Going on week two of rain.  Yes it's finally Spring, but wasn't this supposed to be April weather?  I'm confused!  Why isn't May a little bit sunnier and nicer??

I'm an avid believer in climate change, but it saddens me to see things happening to quickly.  A lot of people are incredibly uneducated on how this whole thing works, and I only say that due to the fact that last year when we had twelve foot Nor'Easters (only somewhat exaggerating) everyone had things on facebook that read:- Yeah right "global warming"
- Come on Al Gore, I thought you had something there!
- More like "global cooling"

and so on, and so forth. What people fail to realize it that climate change to any capacity, that which we have been so forewarned means just that: climate change.  It means that seasons that we knew as kids were a little different than those our parents knew, and the ones our kids will understand are probably going to be even more drastically different.

This year we didn't get a lot of snow in Massachusetts, or most of New England for that matter.  Last year there was so much snow that people in Brooklyn and Queens died in their apartment buildings when ambulances couldn't reach them for emergencies.  I was sad about the non-snow in our area, but grateful we weren't drowning in it I suppose.  There is a downfall about the early Spring we had though, and I'll tell you why that's especially dangerous for the environment.

The warm weather we had in March made the trees bloom much earlier than they should have.  Might not seem like a big deal, but then we had a frost or two.  Ok, so the trees can bounce back, right?  Well that could be the case, but then we have to consider that it was so warm that bugs were already out.  I saw mosquitoes in March!! Which also means that there must have been worms.  Worms and other bugs that birds usually eat.  When those insects are in their prime on a regular ideal sort of Spring, the baby birds are also supposed to be hatching.  When bugs come out too early, there's not enough of them to go around for the birds.  Therefore, the bird population suffers that year and the bug population is well, simply put, gross.
(Not to mention, this year they're projecting HUGE BUGS in the New England area because not enough of them died over the winter when it didn't get quite cold enough to kill some of the population off.)

Notice how it's only in places like Vermont, Michigan, and other states that are known for crazy amounts of snow that seemed to get any this winter?  But while ski season usually extends to almost April in Stowe, VT I ended up wearing shorts in the middle of March the entire time I vacationed with Will.  We were hiking through melting snow and sweating.  Nothing up there had proper time to slowly thaw out so we were going through waterfalls on the rock stairways and slush on the side trails.  Not to say that it wasn't a very beautiful experience, but certainly something I didn't expect or plan for ahead of time.

Now they're telling us that within the next 30 years some of the T lines could be underwater.  Lots of downtown Boston and lower Manhattan will be underwater if the glaciers keep melting at the rate that they have been.  We can't really do much to save the polar bears if they simply don't have a place to live.  Or penguins, or seals, or other ice-cap-dwelling creatures for that matter.  It's pretty sad to think about.  Sometimes I think about how evolution gave us all of these amazing animals, and then they will never get the chance to evolve into something else because we killed them all off.  Imagine what sort of animals would develop in the next thousand years if animals had the time to adjust to weather changes?  I mean let's be honest, we might not even be able to adjust in time, let alone them.

I can't really conclude this post, because there is no conclusion.  We are all told in too many ways about how we shouldn't produce so much waste, and pollution is bad, the environment suffers every time we drive a car or throw out a candy wrapper.  The fact of the matter is, most people just don't care.  Or they're duped into thinking they're doing something better by going to Starbucks instead of Dunkin Donuts when actually, the recycle bin at Starbucks just goes into the trash and they only have those to make us feel better.  (nope, not kidding).

Maybe all we can do is care more?  Or maybe it's too late.  Maybe some of the idiots who didn't think global warming would ever come to fruition will watch their cape house slide into the ocean one day.  We have to give the polar bears some sort of vindication, right?

Monday, April 30, 2012

I Geek Boston (among other things)

Can we just talk about how much I love Boston? 

I knew that I liked it before, I've always been a baseball fan, thought the T was pretty easy to get around on, and felt like all my visits were a mini-adventure, so moving here for the fun stuff was a plus when I took the career advantages into consideration.  Now I was blessed to no longer have to nanny to pay the bills, because I have a job as a full time actor at a museum.  I feel like I have some freedom, a dream job with daytime work hours and the rest of the time to do what I want.  No cleaning, no waiting tables, no hour + commute... ahhh yes.

But let's just talk about how I have a new found pride in this city, as though Worcester were a faint memory.  My new job has taught me so much already in the first week about how amazing our history is, and how much our ancestors got done working as a team for a common goal of independence.  I think this year the 4th of July won't just be about the fireworks, but about how happy I am to be a part of the tourist experience and teach people about the rich and exciting history that is Boston, Massachusetts. 

(Alright it's a geeky thing to talk about, and YES I am fully aware that I'm not being very specific but I didn't want to dedicate a post to the French and Indian War and how it led to the Intolerable Acts because I didn't take the job to teach high school level history on my blog, I'm just saying it's a lot of fun when your acting job is to portray an important part of local and national history and culture.)

I'm so excited for my second summer living out here, it's unreal.  This will be the summer that I'm no longer a newcomer, but an experienced explorer.  I won't be completely poor, just making enough to still have a bit of fun once in a while.  I will have best friends that love to go on mini-adventures and a loving boyfriend to make it all the more enjoyable.  This year is already panning out so well, setting up to have a fantastic summer and no worries are on my mind.  Sure I'm very busy the next couple of weeks, but I like to convince myself I can do everything even if something else may suffer in the end, like my sleep.

Sleep is overrated.  There's plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.  Or on your day off.  Either one.

I think I want to focus on the acting job instead of the theater shows for the next couple months, and do more of my music (OUR music since I have a partner).  This summer should be light and happy and creative, I want to stay up late writing my stories and spend lazy afternoons and evenings writing songs with my talented readheaded friend.  Harvard Square is calling our names to come play guitar and make enough money to get a couple Sam Summers or J.P. Licks scoops after a long day.  I wanna pluck some strings at the beach and sneak a hot dog even though I try to be a vegetarian.

I never thought I would get this attached, but it is gaining on my one year anniversary.  In the past year I have padded my resume, gotten nice teaser experiences in the business, met some great folks, gotten into a fun social circle, found some awesome new friends, continued to build old friendships, and grew in a wonderful relationship.  Oh I love that durty watuh... yep, gotta love being home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rest in peace... I never really liked that phrase

Mostly because the anagram (is that the right word?) is RIP which just doesn't seem like a sympathetic word in the first place.  But also, they're not resting.  They're not in their body.  Their soul is gone from this world, and has moved on from it.  Unless you believe that their energy is haunting a part of our world and can't leave for one reason or another.  But I hate going down the road of what people believe, because a lot of the time people don't believe in anything, and that literally breaks my heart.  NOT the point of this post, however.

Last week, I got about three phone calls in 30 minutes from high school friends.  The first one was telling me that someone we graduated with, had died earlier that day.  The name was familiar to me, in fact more familiar than the caller may have known, and at first my thoughts were,
"Someone is playing a prank on facebook, there is no way that this is true.  Joe is such a great kid, nothing bad could possibly happen to him.  Who thinks this is funny that they can put something online and people think it's true?"
When what really had happened, is an old friend of mine had indeed passed away.  It doesn't matter how, because he was still very young and a very good person, and had a lot of friends who will miss him dearly.

The next two phone calls were asking how I was doing and if I had known him well, something about the wake, I honestly can't tell you what was said but I completely appreciated those who had called.  One of which we haven't spoken as often as I would like to, and we were extremely close in high school.  Seems like a trivial thing to some, but the friends that you have when you're young and becoming who you are, will never ever be forgotten and mean so much.

Some of us, like myself, have a hard time comprehending a situation when it first occurs.  When my great grandparents died, I was the only one in the family that could keep it together, because it hadn't hit me yet mostly.  I ended up doing both of their eulogies and mourning a few months later when I really understood they were most certainly gone.
My brain couldn't wrap around the fact that Joe's death was a true statement, and maybe chose not to believe it, despite the fact that I later showed up to a campfire where many old faces were drinking and mourning, smoking and crying, but I still wasn't that upset.  I was bewildered, mostly.  Didn't think it was really happening.  Then Sunday morning in church when Pastor Cliff had said, "The funeral looks like it will be Thursday for Joey..." I looked at my friends sitting next to me and at that moment I said,
"Well this just became very real"
and started bawling my eyes out.

Is it selfish of me to be upset?  I don't think so.  But I tried so hard to hold back my tears almost telling myself they were unjustified.  He left behind a sister and a mother, and friends who payed much more attention to him lately than I have, and I had the gall to mourn him, or have it still.  But I couldn't hold back, either.  I'm avidly praying for him and his family, and for his family to have comfort in this time of distress.  I'm even praying for our friends that don't particularly believe in anything, because sometimes they take death the hardest out of anyone, not that it's somehow any less hard to deal with if you do in fact believe in the afterlife.

When I was 13, almost ten years ago, I met Joe Vangos at church.  We were both young, making friends, and attended youth group together (though I think his sister was a more avid attendee, and I was always a bit closer with her).  I remember Joey and I laughing together, sharing stories, sharing thoughts we both had on prayer and God in our very young minds, and just how much of a happy kid he was.  I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face.  We learned how to hang sheetrock together, played instruments (badly) together, and as we grew older and I moved away to college and other places, I came home to see friends and he was there.  I would see him at Christmas service or at the Hotel Vernon, and as we'd catch up again there was that smile.  Never a disappointment and he was glad to see you and ask how your life was going.

So when it finally set in my brain that this person was gone, even today almost a week later, I don't really want to believe it.  There are other friends and family members who are closer to him now/lately than I have been, but at one time we were just a couple of kids together, trying to figure ourselves out.  But it's real.  I heard from a few people in the past,
That's how you know you're an adult, is when your friends all start getting married, and then one by one they all start dying.  I go to to a funeral every couple of years.
So maybe this is a part of life that I haven't been prepared to deal with. But can any of us truly prepare to deal with it?  Any of us could go tomorrow, right?  A car wreck, sickness, freak brain embolism, getting lost in the woods, choking on your morning breakfast... not to say we should all live in fear, but I suppose the only solution for yourself would be to (quoting a country song) live like you were dying.

I hope that's not a cheesy philosophy.  But maybe Joe would've wanted that.  His relentlessly smiling demeanor would have wanted that.  We could all use a hug right now....

... and Joey gave the best hugs.

I don't typically get many comments on here, but comment if you have a nice memory of our friend.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Not to be too self-promoting or anything....


Next week April 4th-7th will be my first show in Boston, at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts.  Because I'm a big deal now people, let it be known that India Pearl is actually an actress post-theater-degree college life. 

The show is rightly dubbed "Blogoliloquy" due to its makeup of multiple monologues all being excerpts from fellow Boston bloggers.  Most or all of these bloggers are followed much more than I, which would grant them the awesome privilege to see their written word come to life onstage, therefore I am conflicted between the two following emotions of jealousy (obviously I wish more people read my blog, but I wonder what my audience would even be?  I should put more thought into that for future posts, like who the heck am I writing to anyway?!) and thankful (for the opportunity of the show as a relatively new actress and as a fellow blogger). 

I find the material relatable for a couple of reasons.  The fact that I write on a regular basis makes me truly think about what is my author aiming at and what were they possibly feeling when they wrote the words that I'm speaking?  Sure, I could jump up and down about how exciting snow suits or jazz clubs are, but it's easier to do so when I look back on a post where I also jumped up and down for something equally special to my heart.  Also, most of the blogs are written so well that I feel like I sort of know their authors already, which I'm sure is their intent as bloggers to relate to their readers.

One of our original instructions as actors was to not go to the blogs themselves and read the authors' other works, as it may or may not skew how we play the few pieces of material we were performing.  Sometimes with too much background information, your approach can change completely to something far from where you wanted to end up.  (It's sort of like being in a play after you watched the movie, and you suddenly start to imitate the other actor that played the part before you did.)  That being said, I can't wait to meet the chick I'm playing!!!

I know that's weird, but apparently we're about the same age, love useless junk, random accessories, Obama, and snowball fights.  In an alternate universe where we meet before I played her blogger personality in a show, we would've been those cool friends who wear vintage clothes without trying too hard and make fun of hipsters at bars in places like Harvard Square or Allston where we may or may not also sort of be hipsters but would never admit it.  So yeah, I hope she doesn't think I'm a creep when I hug her as soon as Justin tells me who she is at one of the shows and then I'm like, "We're the same persoooooonnnnn!!!!"

So for those readers that are interested in coming to see a great show put together for real Bostonians, you can go to and look up the title "Blogoliloquy" in the search bar for tickets.  I hope to see your lovely reading faces there!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I think I might be psychic, or at least deja-vu is ruining my life.

I'm not certain that the link will work, but I wikied deja-vu and it's pretty interesting to read about.  My whole life has had moments like this, where I dream something very detailed, or even just a brief moment, and then it happens.  Sometimes days, weeks, or even years later.  I forget if I had posted about a dream I had when I was a very young kid and how it influenced my becoming a Christian, but this post is more specifically about...


I've only ever had one dentist, because I have terrible fears concerning my teeth.  If my dentist ever retires, I will either let my teeth rot out of my head or just kill myself.  Because I would rather have to eat mashed potatoes for the rest of my life then trust some other psychopath to stick sharp metal tools into my face and tell awful jokes like, "the good news is, this will hurt you more than it'll hurt me."

The week before last, I had this very vivid dream about my teeth.  I've had many dreams where my jaw gets stuck in an awful wide open dead person rigamortis position, or it's wired shut and I can't open it, or all of my teeth fall out.  This dream that I had recently however, was far worse.  I was sitting with my boyfriend, and I was grinding my teeth, when all of them crumbled like rocks and pebbles in my mouth, and all I had left was awful silver broken stubs.  I woke up sweating, thinking about it all day, worried that I would never eat anything solid ever again.  My dinner was mashed potatoes that night just to keep myself calm.

During my wonderful vacation with said boyfriend after we fast forward to last week, we were driving around at ten o'clock at night, doing a junkfood run in the middle of nowhere.  He bought me a delicious ice cream cookie sandwich, to which I happily bit into. 
Suddenly, the worst possible thing that could possibly happen, well it happened.

Tears running down my face.
Body shaking.
Pieces of my tooth floating around in bits of chocolate chip cookie and ice cream.
Boyfriend panicking because I can't tell him what's wrong, as I have yet to open my mouth to see the horrorific after effects of my mouth falling apart.

There was nothing I could do but cry... and then maybe call my mom because that was the first thing Will suggested we do.  What a good boyfriend.  He knows me too well.

 Two days later I'm sitting in the chair at the dentist's office, hoping it's not as bad as I think.  When I looked in the mirror, half of my incisor was just gone.  It was brown and rotted on the inside, like when you crack open an egg and think everything on the inside is great but soon as it's in the bowl it's green and stinky and your pancake mix is ruined.  My mouth looked like those posters at the office next to my chair, where someone with mouth cancer has teeth brown and half gone, and the tagline says:  DON'T SMOKE - take care of your teeth or you'll look like this guy and you'll have to get dentures, trust us it's no fun.

Dr. Bob asks if he can look at the tooth, and he gasps I said,
"I know, it was horrifying"   he said,
"sweetie, that is worse than horrifying... be right back" and he leaves the room.  I'm left alone, panicking and waiting for my impending doom asking myself,
He may as well have said,
"your jaw is going to fall off... sit tight kiddo"

Turns out, it was the same tooth that I had a root canal on three years ago and I never got the crown.  I also no longer have dental insurance.  1200 dollars later, my savings account is crying, and I really wish I had Mass Health.  I was saving for something, saving to pay off some of my smaller loans, saving to eventually get a vespa or a motorbike or something vehicle-like that wouldn't eat at my wallet with all these gas prices rising.

Maybe I'd consider being a stripper if I wasn't such a terrible dancer, and I didn't already have a college degree...
Maybe I can hone in on these psychic skills of mine, read one of those "how to find your chakra" books and scam people like that chick on Main st in Hyannis who tried to sell me a happiness crystal for 200 bucks. (which she probably made herself out of superglue and some Claire's accessories)
Or... a psychic stripper... hmm that's new and innovative.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

wack fall the daddy-o, there's whiskey in the jar

I have often caught myself loving St. Patrick's Day almost as much as I love Christmas.  In fact, now that the nostalgic sadness of Christmas 2011 has ceased from my veins, I could say that it may even be my favorite holiday.  (Don't let me hear myself saying that come November!)  But yes, ever since I was a small child this holiday has had a very special meaning to myself and my family as we had many traditions and loving memories that go alongside of it.

Some people don't quite understand the love for a Hallmark holiday when it's clearly overly-commercialized and doesn't seem to have any sort of relevant importance to the rest of the world.  Heck, I'll admit that St. Patty's is just an excuse for a lot of Bostonians to go out and get shitfaced together and pretend that they're Irish when they may or may not have the last name to prove it such as a generic "Murphy" or "O'Brien". 
(For those of you who did not know this, India Pearl is my first and middle name, so yes it is my real name but my last name is a proud and unusual "Daughney" which is quite similar to more popular Irish last names such as "Donaghue" and the like. Please don't be annoyed if you're a closer friend and you had no idea, the only people who really know it are my family and whoever writes me a check.)

Anyway, when I was young I was told on a very regular basis that I was Irish, and my freckles were homegrown to prove it to the rest of the world.  I was brought home Woolie sweaters from Ireland when my Nana went on her travels, we had Irish music playing at almost every holiday aside from the 4th of July, and I was put into Irish Step Dancing class so that I would have to put on a little jig at family parties.  Everyone would say they were so proud of me for keeping up the tradition, and I was having fun being in the Worcester St. Patrick's Day Parade every year. 
God rest her soul, my step dancing teacher Mary McInerny passed away a couple of years ago from cancer.  Her kids were very young, it was really sad.

I remember every argument or hardship, tale of luck and happiness, and exclamation of emotion involved the Catholic Jesus Christ, the luck of the Irish, or both. 
"If that landlord thinks I'm payin the rent before he fixes the fuse in the basement, he can kiss my white Irish ass!"
"You pray to St. Anthony and your Irish luck will bring that lost wallet back to you."
"Don't forget, you're married to an Irish woman and you don't want to piss her off, she's smarter than you and you know it, you dumb drunk."
"Are you having another beer?" -- "Yes dear, it's ok I can still drive I'm Irish." 
And so on and so forth.  Once, when I was well under the drinking age, I was told that if I was a real Irish woman when I grew up, I would love Irish whiskey.  Well Mom, you were right.  Too bad Jameson is so effing expensive.

Every year my Nana and her husband and so many of our family members would help out with the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee.  (I want to say it was planned by the Teamsters, or the Teamsters were/are involved, but I don't want to misprint information this is just from my childhood perceptions and that my uncle worked for them.)  I would stand outside and some years it was nice weather, while other years it was freezing.  There's a picture of my mom and a couple of us kids sitting behind the judge's table watching the show, Our apartment was right off of Park Avenue in Worcester, which was so lucky because we could walk one block to watch the parade.  My cousin Ronnie and I would wave to the people on the floats, and beg them to throw us candies.  I would beat up whatever little flag-clad 4 year old that tried to take those soft-filled strawberry-shaped penny candies from the sidewalk before I got there.  I still say they're my favorite.  And yes, I'm aware they can rip your fillings out and they cost mere pennies.

The fall of 2010 when I went to Dublin and took a tour through the countryside, I was so happy I can't even express it into words without taking up ten more paragraphs.  I "shook the hand" of a crusade soldier and had massive luck for at least a week, (heck, maybe I'm still getting that luck) I toured the Jameson factory, I met some Americans here and there when I was missing home and my family that couldn't be in Dublin with me, I saw the Book of Kells and went to St. Patrick's Church and said a little prayer at both places, posed with the infamous Molly Malone, drank a Guinness at the oldest pub in Dublin, gushed over the green pastures in the countryside, and so on and so on. 

St. Patrick's Day might just be an excuse to drink for some people, but to me, or at least to the kid version of me, it means a whole world of things.  Who our family was, where our blood came from, the traditions of a country passed on through generations and being carried on in another country, it's all sort of a beautiful idea when you forget about the beer chugging contest.  I love my family, and I love our background, and I love Ireland and the Boston version of being Irish. Just the sound of Irish music makes my heart and soul cry and sing at the same time.  That's love.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone, I hope it's really lucky and fun for all of you.  Here's an Irish blessing that you all might know but I truly do mean it:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I want to add a small note here that my Nana's soon to be ex husband whom I don't mention very often and don't like to name on my blog, truly influenced a lot of my love for our background and being a Massachusetts Irish Catholic.  Even though we don't speak anymore, this time of year is a little bit hard because he used to be such a huge part of all of us getting together.  We don't wish to have him in our lives anymore, but I'll be drinking a whiskey to him this year in hopes that he's doing well.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's spring, we sprung ahead, and my heart is springing!

I'm not totally sure what my odd daylight savings time subject line means.  This morning I woke up in a terrible mood because I was overheated, dehydrated, and it was after "noon" (really felt like eleven 'cause they switched the clocks last night).  I said goodbye to my boyfriend who went to go play some basketball with his buddies, and I proceeded to be stuck on the phone for two hours with TMobile. 

They are awful, their customer service stinks, they're apathetic, they charge you for ridiculous things, and their warranty exchange is absurd. This post isn't supposed to be about my phone service, but wouldn't you think that paying a processing fee when your phone has a defect just to get another phone is a form of robbery?  Sure, if I broke my phone then I will gladly pay for the replacement, but since that is not the case I shouldn't have to pay to get another one.  And here's the clincher: they don't take formal complaints over the phone, you have to mail them a letter to file a formal complaint.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! 
"I'm speaking to a customer service rep right now on the phone, and you can't take my complaint?"
"No mam, they only process them through mail. Please be as specific as possible when you write the letter."
"Oh believe me... I will be."

That being said, I didn't get out of the house until the clock said it was 4:45 and I was very cranky.  I wanted to go to the gym, and then I missed the bus.  So instead of trekking all the way to Porter Square, and after realizing that I had almost missed out on this beautiful day altogether, I went for a run in the Tufts track down the street from my apartment. 

I was amazed at how much running in 50+ degree weather cleared my brain.  I had no headphones, no tv in front of me like at the elyptical machine, and all I tried to concentrate on was the green turf and trees around the track, and my breathing.  My lower back began to pang with jolts of tightening up so I had to stop a little sooner than I wanted, but it was still worth the trip.  Every time that my mind wandered to, "I have to do this and this and this..." I would stop myself and just look at the trees and think, "green... air... breathe... outside... sun..." and simple little thoughts like that to make myself happy.  It worked.

After a trip to Family Dollar and getting off the bus to return home, I just felt this rush of happiness at the thought that Spring was truly here.  Many other thoughts were rushing into my head as well, but mostly feelings associated with memories that simply happen every year when the weather is warm. (Halfway through this I realized I was typing about summer, but Spring is just an exciting enticement for what is to come)
Everyone is in a good mood because they're finally getting out of the house
You go out and stay up late without caring about the long walk home
The smell in the air makes you want to take that walk home
The middle of the night is like a whole 'nother day, just a different kind of day and sleep need not interrupt your enjoyment
Crickets keep your mind quiet while all the windows are open wide and you feel a comforting soft breeze
You feel like love is possible even if it's not real love, that's what summer is for
Walking around in your underpants in your apartment is completely acceptable, as is walking around outside in a bikini or something else that would otherwise be considered slut-gear
Campfires make you miss being a teenager
The rain, when the sky cracks open after five awfully hot days and you push your nose up against the screen door and breathe deep taking in the smell
Grass is a perfectly acceptable mattress 
Guitars and instruments are everywhere in the city, as though the sun brought a soundtrack with him upon his return
Booze and cigarettes are casual company for a lazy afternoon
Any night of the week is acceptable to be out and about

You're just plain happy and feeling free like anything is possible.

Monday, February 27, 2012

a little gold statue, a big dream fulfilled

I remember the first time I sat down and watched the Oscars all by myself, all the way through.  It was the year that Reese Witherspoon won for best actress, and I was so happy because I must have watched Walk the Line about a hundred times in a row.  Then I was very sad because Joaquin Phoenix didn't win for best actor.  Ok, so I'll admit that Capote was a great film and the award didn't go to waste, but those two country star players were just amazing together, and I thought how appropriate it would have been for them to both take home the award.  Oh well, I'm sure that when Joaquin gets back on the radar and off of his hermit kick he'll get another chance to prove himself.

That was in 2005.  Now, 7 years later, I still watch the Oscars every year all the way through to the grueling end, all 24 awards that are presented and sorted, and suffer through some of the musical numbers that have been less than Grammy-worthy.  But I really love everything about the show.

This is something I look forward to every year, along with the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the SAG awards... I could go on about why I really award season, but the Oscars are the all-American apple pie of award shows.  It's what film actors strive for, the movie role they get that year could be the role that scores them lifetime recognition, and people won't argue about your abilities as an actor onscreen when you've won such a prestigious award.  Actors become who they are because of that life-changing award.  Even actors that might get made fun of.  (Everyone has a Christopher Walken impression, but that doesn't negate the fact that even he won an Oscar and has massive amounts of respect from Hollywood at the end of the day).

Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep because she has worked her entire life to be a better actress day in and day out.  Her 17th nomination this year gave her the third Oscar of her career, and she really truly did deserve it.  After so many times of being nominated, she's got to win, right?  And you should have seen the shock on her face, and her excitement because of how used she had gotten to losing!  She's so great that one of her last nominations was for an only ok movie (The Devil Wears Prada) and only Meryl could shine through something like THAT. (Not that it was a bad movie, just saying we didn't foresee Oscar nods from it).

I heard her speech and I cried.  And I heard Octavia Spencer's speech, and I cried.  When I watched the SAG awards I saw Viola Davis' speech and I bawled my eyes out.  Seeing someone feel as though their life's work has truly made it all worth it in the end, makes my soul tingle.  I knew I wanted to be an actress when I was five, but when you see actor after actor shake and cry and laugh and yell and whoop and holler, it's no question as to why I want to do what they do.  You live the black sheep lifestyle of an artist, you become successful, and you are recognized as being successful.  It's an amazing outcome.

Now I'm not saying I want to become an actress just so I can win an Oscar, although of course that would be nice.  I am saying that I see their passion and their love for what they do pour out of them in that moment of winning.  That's what I want.  I want their happiness and love for what they do.  3 out of 4 Americans hate their jobs, and I never want to be one of those people.  Award season continues to inspire me, for the love of acting and being an artist.  There's nothing like it.  Follow your dreams people, you never know what could happen in the end.  Maybe you'll simply be inexplicably happy for the rest of your life, who knows.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is Lent considered just as cliche as a New Year's resolution?

I remember when I was a kid growing up and I'd hear about Lent.  I didn't understand what it meant, or why it was even important.  I just knew that it was "Catholic" and we didn't do it at our house.  I never went to CCD, and somehow was jealous of the group of kids I knew who somehow had a bond that I didn't because they were forced to take a bible class once a week to prove they were worthy to be a member of the church. 
"I got confirmed this weekend," some kids would say, "and now my mom says I don't have to go to church anymore."  Whatever it meant to be Catholic, as I grew in my faith I just knew that it was easily blown off and somewhat of a fashion statement to say you were one just so you had a "thing" with other Catholics.  It's a culture that Irish Massachusetts people tend to have, and oftentimes when I tell people I go to church and that I believe in God, they will say something to the extent of, "Well I'm Catholic, BUT..." as if to say they're covered either way.  They'll go to church for funerals, weddings, and maybe a Christmas or an Easter when their Grandmother makes them, but they'll save their lifestyles for when they have kids and make them go to CCD and suffer just as they did. 

But for what is the "suffering" that they put themselves through?  Is it just so they can continue a family tradition?  Is it because a part of them feels as though they have to, simply because everyone they know does it as well?  Or is God somehow in there somewhere in the mix, waiting to be discovered and weighing in on hearts to keep a luke-warm connection with Him?

So back to my middle school days of listening to girls at the lunch table, comparing their Lenten sacrifices. 
"Well my parents order fish n chips every Friday so that we don't eat meat, but last week my brother ate a bologna sandwich for lunch.  Mom made him go to confession on Sunday, but Father Reily said it was ok."
"I gave up chocolate, and then two days later I totally forgot when my Gramma brought over cookies! I felt bad but, whatever they were good cookies."
"Oh I gave up chocolate too!  My sister gave up ice cream.  Too bad her birthday is during lent, but she can still have cake."

If you see the pattern here, I never once heard God in any of these conversations.  I only knew, (after asking my pastor at the Federated Church) that because Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert, Catholics chose 40 days before Easter to give up something that tempts them.  And because Jesus fasted during that time, they had to give up meat on Fridays.  (Granted, there are Catholics who fast every Friday during Lent, or they fast periodically throughout, but those are hard people to come by these days).  ONLY FRIDAYS?!  And these girls were complaining about chocolate, when Jesus starved and prayed for 40 days with Satan trying to get knocked out in the second round??  Oh, I'm sorry I guess giving up sweets qualifies for your ticket into Heaven.  Didn't realize it was as spirit-breaking as being the Son of God and dying for sins or anything like that.

Ok, that was a harsh last couple of sentences, but the whole thing just seemed silly to me.  Until I decided to challenge myself two years ago and give up something not because I wanted to be part of the fad, but because I was trying to understand the real true point of Lent.  I didn't want to say I was doing something and then give up after three days like a gym membership after New Years when everyone does it and then everyone forgives each other for not following through.  That year I was determined to do something that would change my spirit for the better.  Jesus' spirit and faith and livelihood was tested during His time in the desert, so I chose something that I had an issue with that was making me terribly unhappy, and I gave it up.  I gave up sex for lent.

Two years ago I was in a dark place.  I was in a dark place for most of college, as some of my friends knew.  I was depressed and I felt neglected and alone.  The boy that I thought I would somehow end up with in a fairytale sort of ending, didn't turn out the way that I had planned and prayed for.  So I pursued attention and love from anywhere I could or couldn't get it.  I was used and abused, and while I was enjoying the attention, I felt awful most of the time.  Giving up sex made me realize that I had the ability to figure out well ahead of the game just what a man was looking for when he first met me.  Sex or girlfriend?  There's only two options, really.  Even if they don't fall in lvoe with you in two seconds, you just seem to know right away if he only wants to get laid or if he's more than just that.  The power that I gained over my self control and my discernment was absolutely a turning event in my life.  That was the Lent that snowballed into changing many habits that I had; habits of a girl that I didn't recognize or like most of the time.

Last year was a sad Lent for me.  I was trying to give up sweets and overeating, because those were habits that induced my bulimic tendencies.  If I ate a half carton of ice cream, I could be sure it was coming back up.  My bulimia was so bad, that I couldn't go to work at the cafeteria without eating three platefuls of food a couple of times throughout the night.  I remember taking home food to repeat the process when I got home.  I told everyone that I was giving up sweets, when really I was giving up the abuse I was doing on my body.  Honest to God, only through prayer did I get through beating an eating disorder, because He knows I wasn't telling anyone about it.  I was in therapy for four months and never said a word about it. 

Two years ago, Lent was something I decided to take seriously and truly explore what spiritual change could do when you sacrifice something the flesh is tempted by, even though I'm not baptized as a Catholic!  So this year I still have about a day to decide what I'm giving up.  I try to do it the right way and fast on Ash Wednesday, so maybe I'll be able to make a real decision by the time the sun sets.  Although I have nothing that's really killing me emotionally or physically this time around, I'll have to take something away or add a habit that I've been meaning to add that could really help me in the long run as oppose to only up until Easter.  Because if it weren't for Lent, I would probably be without any idea of what a healthy relationship is and I wouldn't remember what it was like to eat a meal just to enjoy it.  So I have a lot to be thankful for due to something that some people think is just as BS as a New Years resolution.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

days that make you feel like an incompetent know-nothing hack.

The following are things that I have gotten rejected from in the past week:

1. Two parts that I got callbacks for, and yes I'm fully aware that actors whine about that crap all the time but just let me be annoyed for 24 hours before my next audition tomorrow night and save your, "you'll do great next time" bullshit.  One of them was such a challenging and fun role and the other was with a really connected company, also a fun part, and neither of them are mine.

2. A job that had perfect hours (noon to 6pm!) and was 1 mile from my apartment.  My problem with this was that she started interviewing me on the phone without telling me that she was interviewing me... to clarify, basically she had said she wanted to meet with me and instead of meeting me she just started asking me very specific questions about how I would do my job if she hired me, obviously none of which I was mentally prepared to answer and I think that's completely unfair.  Don't call someone to schedule an interview and then just decide to do it now and make judgments based on answers that they had no time to think about or prepare properly for!

3. Being able to sing in the worship band at my church.  I'm SORRY WHAT?!?!  First off, this one clearly upset me more than anything because shouldn't I be able to count on my church to let me participate in church run groups?  I wasn't even allowed to audition, this was based solely (according to the guy who said no) on my attendance during the holiday season to church and how inconsistent it was.  Well I'd like to know if he held the same standard to students who went thousands of miles away to see their families and weren't around for a month??  Just because my mother lives in Worcester and I went to a Navigators reunion and my home church on those Sundays means that I was penalized and tabs were being kept on me?!?!  Wow and people wonder why I have trust issues.

Basically everything that can go wrong, has been going wrong this weekend.  I blame the full moon, idiotic people, inconsiderate people, bad luck with other stupid and I don't even know what else.

As an actor, I deal with rejection all the time.  But when it comes all at once from different parts of your life, it's a pain in the rear.  I'm miserable today, and that's all I can really say about it.  I need a punching bag.  I need a cocktail.  I need a hug from my boyfriend.  I need a girlfriend who whines about the same things I do and makes me feel like we're both in a rut together.  I need to pray and feel like it'll change something.

These are the sort of things that when you get rejection from all points, you feel like you're not talented in any aspect of your pursuits. 
Can't get a job?
I have no marketable skills for a job.
Can't get an acting gig?
I'm a shitty actress.
Basically, you start to give yourself horrible explanations for these things and it makes you hate the rest of the world for making you feel this way.  I don't want to hear that it's all in my head I'm mad and I want to feel justified in being angry right now, OK/!??!?!!