Monthly Archives: March 2002

Dye, Eggs Dye!

I had a pack of rabid egg-dyeing enthusiasts at my house last night. I was surprised that they got as obsessive as they did – I was chided for not having real candles and two went to Walgreens to get real candles to drip no the eggs for more precision dyeing. Had about a dozen people show up. With kids, they’re all talking and babbling but in the kitchen there was a zen-like mood of attention to egg dyeing. I’d bought too much food as usual but the strawberries were the best – with the cream cheese fruit dip. Karen wanted to just stick her face in the bowl. Another successful party come and gone… I’m very blessed to have such wonderful friends.

I’ve started turning in my head what my birthday party is going to be next month. I’m thinking of doing a two-parter. One part is gathering a bunch of friends and doing an informal workshop on Your Best Year Yet – a book I’m reading right now that would be great to do with a group. And then retire to Buca di Beppo for big friggin’ dinner. We’ll see.

Then there was the carnage. Before all my friends came over, Ron and I were doing last minute preparations and I reached to get a plate and it fell out of the cabinet and broke five glasses – broken glass all over the kitchen. One shard hit my foot and I started bleeding on the floor. Remember the Holy Thursday where Andy was hospitalized for blood loss? The Jaws of Life, alas, were not needed.

Hobbling

I just got a raise! 3.5%! Rock on!

Rolling out the new templates over the text couple-a days… the side-bars are back!

I did squats on Tuesday evening and I can barely get down a flight of stairs without looking like I’m doing some sort of dance.

The pilot light in my oven has been out for about two weeks now. I didn’t think much of it and kept windows cracked open to keep things aired out until I could call the landlord. But, of course, that got lagged behind. Meanwhile my fire alarm had burned out it’s battery so I replaced it and it continued to chirp – even with a new battery. So I’d take the battery out before I went to bed so I didn’t have to hear the chirp all night. So yes, I’m sleeping in an apartment with a gas leak and no fire alarm. It gets better.

I’d noticed a musty smell whenever I entered my apartment – I’d open the door and smell it and then it’d be gone – I just assumed it was some sort of dry rot in the door jam – but it always went away once the door opened.

Yes, I’m that fucking clueless.

It wasn’t until last night, having burger night at Jury’s with Brigitte, that I put 2 and 2 together. Brigitte is big on fire safety and her eyes almost fell out of her head when I told her I’d let the pilot light remain unlit for nearly two weeks. Then I figured out the smell when I entered the apartment was the gas trying to seep out the front door and that’s why it always concentrated when I opened the door and then stopped. I also felt dumb that I hadnt’ really tried to find the pilot light in the oven – it was underneath – by the drawer that pulls out. I’m having an Easter-egg dyeing party tonight. Remember the Easter all of Andy’s friends died in a ball of fire? Remember when Andy burned his face off on Holy Thursday? Remember when we all had to have reconstructive surgery to repair our incinerated faces and we all looked the same. Remember that, Matt? (I’m Karen!)

So I got home and opened up the house to air it out and went to Walgreens and got a fire starter thingy and came back and carefully lit the pilot light. Remember when the guy that’s in Mensa blew up his apartment?

Sometimes, I’m a real dumb-ass.

________’s sister recently went to the doctor and was diagnosed with HP – not Hewlett-Packard – human papillomavirus (what they smear your pap for). The docs went in an froze a section of sister’s cervix to slough off cells for testing. Yes. Froze. Cervix. Slough. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the world ‘slough’ I think of loofahs or shucking corn. They did this to her Stuff. As _______ said, ‘when my sister told me that, I couldn’t feel my legs.’

Atari E. T.

Realized I totally forgot to chronicle the night that dad, Heather and I got E. T. home. We had the Atari 2600 game that was such a failure that season that it later was dumped into landfills. But I think mom was just coming in the driveway with Moby Dick’s fish (we nearly always ate fish on Friday – we called it ‘dick-burgers’) and we had spent over an hour playing the game. And finally we got E. T. home. The ship came down and he ascended into the heavens to sit at the right hand of the Lord. We were hugging and screaming and laughing we were so overjoyed.

And the deep fried breaded fish was wonderful.

Phoned Home

Happy to report that E.T. does indeed still get his sweet ass home. Brigitte and I went to see it last night and it remains triumphant film-making. I bet if the movie were made today that they wouldn’t let E.T. die – that pussy-marketers would consider that plot element too traumatic… the kids were rowdy for the first hour but once the shitstorm starts nobody said a damn word. The CG-effects added in compliment the film for the most part – though one or two times the creature moves too fast to match the expert puppetry of the original. And I keep trying to think up lyrics to the theme song: ‘E. T.! The muthafuckin’ spaceman… got his sweet ass ho-o-ome! La la lalalala la la!’ Surely somebody has already done this. Note to dad: Do we still have my Speak and Spell? Sell that baby on Ebay… and I hope we still have that E.T. trashcan I had in my bedroom forever.

Did anybody catch South Park this week? I watched it three times – to hear Cartman on Maury Povich with a tube top, turqoise eyeshadow and pink fingerless gloves say: ‘Whut-evah! I’ll do what I wun’! I ran for congress. And won. I had sex with an intern. Killed her and hid her body. I’ll do what I wan’!’ and then ‘Whut-evah! I’ll digitally re-insert Jabba the Hutt in the first Star Wars movie, I’ll do whut I wun’!’ Totally hysterical. And that Butters kid with a nutsack on his chin. One of the funniest things Cartman has ever said is: ‘Tom Hanks couldn’t act his way out of a nutsack.’ Nutsack is such a fun word to say.

Matt was in town this weekend for a voice/speech conference so we had dinner on Friday… he’s trying to decide if he is going to stay at Indiana University one more year or do as planned and come back to Chicago. I hope he comes back here.

Planning has begun for the cross-country extravaganza where-in Karen, Brigitte and myself drive across this blessed nation on our way to San Diego. We want to stop in Denver and Las Vegas. Ron was in Vegas this week on layover and said the Van Gogh/Gaugin exhibit that we missed in Chicago is there so maybe we can have a weekend there in a few weeks.

Totalled up all of my receipts for last year. I feel much better about not having lots of savings when I think of how much I spent on my plays in March, rolfing, acupuncture, boxing and paying off my desktop machine. Much much better. I lost a huge chunk of change on my plays (as I knew I would) – it was just important to me to get them produced. And it’s crazy how I can map out my year by my receipts.

No Ron for about five days – he’s working hardcore and got in at 2:30 this morning and might have to fly again today. I think the time apart is a good thing. I have enjoyed not spending any time in Boystown and sort of re-centering with my usual cadre/cabal.

Brigitte started coaching with my colleague Dara this weekend. I love Dara and knew that they’d be a great match… I think Karen moving is a good way to shake us all up a bit and get us on the move to get our house(s) in order and make It happen.

As part of my coaching commitments from two weekends ago, I committed to having 10 celebrations of my progress in the next year. I’d said four but Christina said, ‘How bout 10?’ and before I knew it I’d committed. This is part of my effort to stop and celebrate how far I’ve come and to sort of mark milestones. I’ve always had trouble celebrating progress – I’d rather get on to the next thing.

Was singing ‘Mr. Cellophane’ from Chicago this morning. I need to get back in a musical again. Miss that.

Matt got an anarchy A tattooed on his elbow – he cracks me up – he was talking about getting raised tattoos where you brand the skin first so the scar raises up and then you get the tattoo on the scar tissue. Goddamn that sounds painful! It’d be like pressing my arm on a George Foreman grill.

Amid my receipts from last year I found a free flight on Southwest voucher that expires in a week so I called mom and dad and I’m flying home for Easter after all!

Fridee

Hey friends… sitting here on a Friday afternoon. Have to help run a presentation in an hour or so and then have to stick around until 4:00 to help put away hardware from a meeting. Nothing much to report. I’m trying out a cyclical ketosis diet this week. Basically you eat no carbs for five days and then two days of carb loading then back no carbs. I’m hoping this’ll help me drop my body fat percentage. I’m trying not to be panicky or nutty about it but just focus on eating lots of proteins and fat and let everything else fall into place. I should be in ketosis right now – though it’s supposed to give you freakish breath and make your piss smell – nothing yet – but this is day three. Maybe I’m getting body-obsessive… I jsut feel like I’ve come so far physique-wise that I should go all the way. If I didn’t gain much more muscle and just dropped fat for the summer I’d be happy. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.

Vote Often.

Sitting on the train – I just went and voted in the primaries. I screwed it up. I’ve never voted in the primaries before so I didn’t understand choosing a partisanship – I thought that committed me to voting in the real elections later on. Once I figured it all out I decided on Democrat. I’d gone through the newspaper and looked at which candidates were pro-choice, pro-LGBT and pro-woman. And most of them were democrats… I thought to myself how foolish it is that I don’t know jack about the politics of the state that I live in. That as an artist, I should be entwined int his process and dialectic. Like how you can’t fart sideways without Tony Kushner crawling up your craw. Is craw spelled with a c or a k – and what is the craw – as in ‘that really sticks in my craw’. What exactly are we saying here. I know that when I was a kid there was a Krall’s bakery next to the barber shop where a treat for being good was a donut and chocolate milk. I realize though
that if I don’t vote I can’t whine and I don’t think I could ever give up te right to bitch and moan about the state of affairs in this world/city/state/district. I really hit the pavement hard at work yesterday. As soon as I got in one boss was swarming around me with Friday’s crisis that I missed. I’m trying to be resigned about the system we’ve put in and to state bluntly that tis’ a piece of crap and that I’ve made peace with that. I’m not going to pretend like it’s an easy to use system or anything… I think that if you are ever thinking of shopping for any kind of massive installed system in your corporation – that you talk to the system administrators of that system at other companies – they are the ones that get the calls from employees.

I found myself standing on Clark waiting for the bus again last night. Again. After all of my party line about not visiting Ron until he comes to my place I find myself, again, shivering waiting for the bus. I don’t blame him – it’s my thing… I’m always too accomodating. I’m always the one to travel to visit or play.

Had a really great workout yesterday morning – I’d made a new mix MiniDisc with Prodigiy, Nine Inch Nails, Marylin Manson and Lords of Acid. Hard core! I lifted ultra-slow to make sure I was using good form and that I wasn’t cheating anything.

I have this urge to shave my head lately. But I realized that I can’t do it – at least not until next week since I have to do re-shoot a scene from a film I worked on last summer and I have to look the same that I did last year. This was the film shoot where I had the multiple hour panic attack. Boy did it suck. How terrible.

I only had one notable attack this weekend at coach training. I’d taken a Xanax on Friday just to calm me through the initial burst of nervousness. But where before I’d get heated just sitting next to a person who was talking that I was more able to stay contained. It wasn’t until Sunday late morning that I had any sort of sweating fit and it passed quickly. I try to think of the energy passing through me. My recovery time is better lately. Clark and Division.

Last night we’re having dinner and Ron just blurts out ‘Do you love me?’ and without missing a beat I said, ‘Yes.’ I was sort of impressed with my reflexes when faced with a drive-by I love you. Bam! He was highly caffeinated and was all over the place. I’d lifted with him last night as well. We went to Howard Brown to get routine HIV testing and evidently there’s a syphillis outbreak going on so they asked to test for that too. Yikes. I didnt’ know you could syph just from kissing. I always get the same counselor and I always feel guilty for being sexually active when he talks to me. And I’m monogamous and committed right now…

Mo’ Tears

I had my cry yesterday morning before I went to coach training. A brief facial contortion and flood of sadness overcame me. Stayed there for a bit and then cleaned up and went to Starbucks.

The first day of my final weekend of coach training totally rocked. Great great stuff. This weekend is all about realizing that as a coach you are literally fighting for the lives of your clients – their lives, happiness, fulfillment and well-being. That we are warriors and sorcerers for people’s better selves. I like it because you get to be confrontational and cut the bullshit. At one point I asked one of my practice clients, ‘I think you’re being a pussy – you need to do this.’ Cutting to the chase in a big way. It’s slightly scary and when I had the same style directed at me it was just as scary. How much longer are you going to settle for a life that doesn’t do it for you? How much longer are you going to slowly die?

Everything Changes (Again)

I’m constantly struck by the American need to say, ‘Everything’s changed.’ Hiroshima, 9-11, the concentration camps, OJ, Kenneth Starr, the elections, JFK’s RIP, MLK’s RIP (note to self – when involved in wolrd politics – do not use full birth name), Vietnam…. This urge happens also at the personal level: changing to a Catholic high school, Jeremy’s suicide, starting college, ending college, moving to Chicago, kissing a guy, moving out on my own… I think we as humans feel this need to apply the rules of narrative to our random crazy lives at all times. That our lives can be packaged and re-told (and revised) into chapters and episodes and segments (with appropriate commercial interruptions). We like to think that transitions are transient and easily managed. Every once in a while I get my head out of my ass and realize that transition is the only thing you can count on. Things will never sit still. We are doomed/blessed to tumble in this crazy world – sometimes with full control, sometimes with no control – and sometimes with the illusion of both. And so again, everything has changed. Karen called yesterday to tell me that she is moving to San Diego. My heart lifted and sank at the same time and the stretch was dis-orienting. I was simultaneously overjoyed for her and also saddened that I knew immediately that our little clique of bliss we had created with a few others was going to slowly (or quickly) disintegrate. It’s funny that Karen seems to be the first one to transition out… she was the first one to move out when we all lived together. The first one to get her own place. The first one to go full-time. And now the first one to move away. I know she’s not dying. But I immediately began to play a film reel of great Chicago moments in my head. She hadn’t told Brigitte yet since they work together and she knew it would disrupt the office. So I walked over there and met them to drive home. We get in the car and Karen says, ‘Brigitte, Andy has something to tell you.’ ‘I do?,’ I say. ‘Yes,’ Karen affirms. We both start giggling. ‘You’re not having kids are you?’ Brigitte asks. I assure her, ‘No.’ ‘Brigitte, Karen’s moving to San Diego.’ The bomb dropped. Discussion ensued. Karen would not be joining us for dinner (she had choir practice – for some reason she’s got Jesus again or as she says, ‘I’m gonna rock out with The Lord!’). So Brig and I drove to her place for her to change before dinner. The tears came. In a big way. We were to meet Sarah for dinner so Brig had to figure out how to get her eyes back to normal – they were red as a Popeye’s chicken sign. Brigitte has a extreme phobia of anything near her eyes so it was with great trepidation that I suggested I put some eye drops in her eyes. So she laid down on the floor – to prevent anything major bodily harm – she shut her eyes and I put eye drops in. She had to yank her lids open with her hands to get the drops to go in – except her head was tilted so far back that they streamed out of her eyes, up her forehead and into her hair. We were laughing so hard we were crying… Finally I poured a bucket of Visine in each eye and she was able to get them in there and life continued.