Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Day of School

Not quite as anxiety-ridden as kindergarten but I was just a bit nervous today, especially with all these car woes. Yet I made it to the Composers Symposium in good time... AND I LIVED! And may actually be thriving (don't tell anybody!)...

I'm in there with four confident seniors -- and I don't mean almost senior CITIZENS comme moi -- and it's really quite refreshing. We're in there to woodshed music, share resources/personnel, get our various "chores" done for each of our recitals -- all together so we don't burn out the Composition professor!

Although Mason and Tyler have chamber orchestra pieces, I'm still the one who with the biggest ensemble, so I'm a bit nervous about that. At least we're going to share rehearsal dates when we get this ad hoc orchestra together -- such a great idea. I'm going to use Oxy/Cal Tech students whenever I can for all the non-musical theater music... and then I'm going to bring in the pros :)
BTW, it's final:

Sunday, April 20 @ 2 pm
A lovely Sunday afternoon recital AND I'M DONE!

Funny, as of last year they got rid of the senior comprehensives TESTING -- I can hardly believe it. But we all have to write thesis papers -- even if you're having a recital -- geez, when did I last write a 10-12 paper?!? And this has to get done first: our mission statement/"constitution" as it were.

It's cool. I can roll with the punches. It all actually feels like a wonderful adventure and I haven't felt this proud of myself in a long time...

PS. I'm looking for an excellent percussionist (who can also solo on marimba)... know anyone please? AJ? :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Retaking a Quiz

I forgot I took this test in November, 2005 and I was a "The Dirty Little Secret
Deliberate Gentle Sex Master (DGSMf). So I decide to take it just now... what's happened to me??? I'M A WIMP! (though I do like who I should "consider" this time :)

The Window Shopper

Random Gentle Love Dreamer (RGLD)

The Window Shopper

Loving, hopeful, open. Likely to carry on an romance from afar. You are The Window Shopper.

You take love as opportunities come, which can lead to a high-anxiety, but high-flying romantic life. You're a genuinely sweet person, not saccharine at all, so it's likely that the relationships you have had and will have will be happy ones. You've had a fair amount of love experience for your age, and there'll be much more to come.

Part of why we know this is that, of all female types, you are the most prone to sudden, ferocious crushes. Your results indicate that you're especially capable of obsessing over a guy you just met. Obviously, passion like this makes for an intense existence. It can also make for soul-destroying letdowns.

Your ideal match is someone who'll love you back with equal fire, and someone you've grown to love slowly. A self-involved or pessimistic man is especially bad. Though you're drawn to them, avoid artists at all costs.

Your exact female opposite:

The Stiletto

The Stiletto

Deliberate Brutal Sex Master

Always avoid: The Hornivore (RBSM)

Consider: The Gentleman (DGLM), The Loverboy (RGLM), The Boy Next Door (RGLD)

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test @ OkCupid - free online dating.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ask and You Shall Receive

"I want a community around me again. YES to that! I don't know where or any of that sh*t is anymore as two of my bestest friends are leaving town... and my immediate family is elsewhere... but I'm sure that'll all come to me if I keep saying yes and face my fears of being swallowed up..."

I got a call this morning to work a few hours a day/a few days a week at the theatre in Burbank that I interviewed with last summer for a marketing position! I really liked those folks, the commute would've been great (nil!) but they went with someone else, which is cool. They liked me, it was a good experience... and lookie, they called me out of the blue!

Just a few hours a week -- running around money, as they say -- but I'll be in the theatre with my peeps! YAY!

Happiness and Rehab

Celebrity RehabJoanie "Chyna Doll" Laurer, Brigitte Nielsen, Mary Carey

I thought it would be a train wreck, so Sunday night I had to watch VH1's Celebrity Rehab, just to see who these poor wretches were. Ends up, I got to meet "me" again... it felt familiar, and yes, even cocoon and homelike.

I don't want to rehash all my war stories about my life in 12-Step programs (there are other places in this blog to find that, I think?), because that's not the point right now; and if you've not known me that long... heck, one of these days we'll have a drink and yak about it all (just kidding!).

What IS the point of it, is that I just realized it's been 20 years since I set foot in my first 12-Step Room -- in the bottom of a church basement in NYC, June 1988. My first meeting was a Debtors Anonymous meeting where I literally thought they were going to take my credit cards away and close my bank account on the spot. After all, isn't that why that nice man in a suit and tie was there at the door?

How naive of me -- he was as sick as I was, and having never even known what AA was, I had no clue as to what I was going to happen to me. But that night I heard the phrase "I am a child of God" and the word "fellowship" and for about eight weeks I was in a meeting every day, sometimes even two -- I never had to be alone in this again. Yes, I was one sick puppy, and the only place I felt "well" was in a meeting. When I moved back to LA after those eight weeks (thank you NY DA!), I got into DA full force here, joining other program(s)!, speaking and sharing, and feeling "seen" for the first time in my life. To this day speaking in front of a crowd doesn't bother me because if you can tell 200 folks about the IRS garnishes and collection agency nightmares you have and that you live hand to mouth all the time... well, there's more to it than that, but let's just say it's easy, and I even grew to like holding the floor.

I loved being in the rooms 3-4 times a week because I got tons of truth -- and pain and suffering and hope -- in there. And I could be of service and help... and it was perfectly okay for the next minute to be the one bawling into the microphone and in NEED of those hugs and understanding...

Eventually (1993?) I saw my last meeting because I needed to know I could think on my own, now that I knew what I wasn't just full of "stinkin' thinkin'." I have never really thought about those days until that Celebrity Rehab show Sunday. Mind you, I didn't have a substance-abuse issue as these guys did... but I sure remembered the open-hearts and the difficulty of facing life head-on, with no crutches. It's good to know those meetings are still there... and I can go back if I need to. Do I need to?

Today, Andrea sent me this article in the USA Today, Psychologists now know what makes people happy that starts out:

"The happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don't care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities and, most important, forgive easily."


"Lose themselves in daily activities -- what?! That's supposed to make people HAPPY? Boring-ass CHORES?! How come nobody ever told me that before (Mom?) -- I've always KNOWN that happiness only came in the events you planned and goals you reached. NOT in making your bed, cleaning your house, keeping your gas tank and checking aocount full, making a meal... but wait, I DO feel happy when I get lost in my daily activities. HOLY F*CKING SHIT. What a revelation. I don't have live in the anticipation of all the highest of highs... and its corresponding depression and low. Thank God.

The other thing I saw in that article: "The happiest people spend the least time alone."

This little ditty has been coming to me hard and fast the last six months. After "enjoying" (!) a self-imposed, deep, painful, solitary, and yet healing period of ten YEARS -- yes, it's been ten years since I hit my head at Raging Waters -- I know it's time to come out again and play with others! And hey, if it means with a Mr. too, well, that's even better! After all those zillions of people in those trillions of meetings and all that service... I kinda couldn't hear myself and I needed to shut the world up... and now I'm peeking out just a little, enough to get out of all the little depressions I can get myself into when I hibernate too much.

It's been a slow, sluggish New Year... that finally has revved up because I'm seeing old friends again... slowly, slowly. Last week, a Saturday night out with Jeffrey to see Juno (movies), a beautiful lunch with Heidi Rose (metaphysics), and a great coffee catch-up with Christopher (musicals ) today... I feel good and am doing it slowly and gradually so I don't have to curl up and hide by being overwhelmed.

I know it sounds stupid, especially to people who've known me as a social butterfly, but this depression can be and is BAD. She's (Miss Social Butterfly) still in there, believe me... but she doesn't run the show anymore (she must be like 15 years old in there, dude). I have to finally admit it -- this peri-menopausal time of my life truly affects me... and it's hard to get out of that "pit" when I'm there...

And I get older, life's getting simpler again -- like in high school. Good friends, old friends, loving family, heartfelt connections, good laughs, fab food, healthy body, life purposes, life lessons. Life is simple. And happy.

Lastly, an inadvertent confirmation was this Saturday evening past. I spent it with an old family friend, Greg, and his wife Joy, who'd come up from San Diego with their daughters Tori (6) and Catherine (almost 2) to participate in a Tori's dance competition at the Burbank Marriott. That little Tori is a knockout singer and dancer, and she just sucks that stuff up -- of course to my absolute delight! Go Filipina girl! Joy, who like Greg is an engineer, was wondering how she got a little performer out of their genes... but I think she's got another one coming up in Catherine too...

In any case, it was fun to be around all these families and serious little (well, up to high school) dancers. Of course, I walked in as a senior division class did "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and I wept -- as I always do when I hear a musical theatre overture/number. (That was just for you, Maureen. :) Maybe one day some of these kids will be dancing in MY shows... it was inspiring to be around. [Even though it did remind me that when I saw my first dance recital at age 6 or 7 and our little Filipina friend was in a cowgirl outfit, I asked my mom if I could learn how to dance like that. Got shot down in a second: "You have flat feet" and that was that, no dancing for me.]

But the best part? Hanging with Greg and the baby almost the whole night. Mind you, I've known Greg since I was 14 and he was 4, he used to visit with his friends when he was high school for vacation, and flown out and stayed with me and his sister in NY, and we lived in the same house while he was in college. Now he's a grown man with a wife, two kids, a house, mortgage, cars, an officer, a pilot, and getting his Master's degree... how did that happen, and I'm still where I am?

[Cue: "Sunrise, Sunset": Is this the little boy I carried...] hehehe

Oh for Pete's sake, I wax poetic. The point is, it was incredibly good to be with family again, who see and love me without judgment and unconditionally. Nothing has changed over the years! I felt this this past Christmas in a big way with my brother's family, and Mom and Dad and their friends, and it came to home to me on Saturday. What a blessing... to feel such an embrace, to know I am loved. Thanks always, Greg... I love you back!

James Marsden, Katherine HeiglThe next day, I did make it out of the house to see 27 Dresses (2-1/2 stars of 4 from me, only because the leads, Katherine Heigl and James Marsden were great and of course, it's my story, she of 43 weddings)... and didn't sink too low recovering on that usually loneliest night of the week (Sunday).

I can admit now: I want a community around me again. YES to that! I don't know where or any of that sh*t is anymore as two of my bestest friends are leaving town... and my immediate family is elsewhere... but I'm sure that'll all come to me if I keep saying yes and face my fears of being swallowed up...

Enough! Have a good one...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Returning Student Application is in

Occidental College Glee Club 1979-801979-80 Occidental College Glee Club -- that's me in the front row.

Yes, I turned in my application so I can get the ball rolling and take my last class at Oxy:


The objective of this course is two-fold: first, to aid students strongly inclined towards composition in the preparation of their senior recital, and second, to ready students for continued professional growth in composition. Emphasis on individual compositional projects, performance workshops, analytical listening, and score reading. Prerequisite: Music 357. 2 units, CR/NC grading.

Holy Heck... wish me luck! (<--- that would be a "false rhyme" by the way, popular in pop music, NEVER acceptable in musical theatre! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Prince's Pork ChopI always know that at almost any time of the day I can count on a fab blog entry from Prince Gomolvilas over at Bamboo Nation, who writes like a fiend and cracks me up about everything. So here it is at 2:00 in the morning, thinking for sure he wrote about his friend, Diablo Cody, winning the Best Writer award at tonight's Critic's Choice Awards on VH1 for that FABULOUS movie, Juno. (More on that in a minute :)

So I check my blog reader, yes, there's a post on Bamboo Nation, and I find out I WON PRINCE'S FIRST CONTEST! Yay! We had to guess the current weight of his cat, Pork Chop, star of his YouTube video series, "Weighing Pork Chop." Prince so kindly let us Filipino-Americans enter the contest (we Filipinos will win him over yet), and how fun, the prize was a subscription to WIRED (which I just happened to pick up the exact one he was advertising, the one with Masi Oka on it from Heroes).

So I guessed that dear Pork Chop gained weight, knowing that all that filming and prima donna treatment makes one put on the ounces...the MANY ounces. (Witness the GLORIOUS pictures of yours truly advertising the documentary I'm in at ANMT... YIKES.) And I won! Thanks, Prince!

Now speaking of WINNERS: Go see JUNO!

Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Ellen Page in JUNOI was already warmed up to this movie because of Prince's blogging about Diablo Cody, the 29-year-old writer, and even going to the LA premiere with her and her posse. (Go ahead and go to his blog, search for "Juno" and his posts are yummy.)

So I went with the right movie partner for this one (hi Jeffrey!) -- after all, he's one of the few friends around who knew me when I was in high school like Juno -- which we both realized was 30 years ago this year -- EEK!

Into the pouring rain we went, to the AMC Burbank 16 on a Saturday night at 7:35 pm -- prime time date night, which BTW, I NEVER do -- and OMG, it was packed! We had to sit in the last row of the biggest theatre -- which I also NEVER do... and I got a little worried:

"I thought we were seeing a little indie film?" I asked. This theater had weekend blockbuster numbers.

But within the first three minutes, I was howling and didn't care that the damn idiots next to me still had to answer their fucking phones... Juno is a wonderful character, wise beyond her years but with a big heart to go along with that huge brain and smart mouth. I love how I loved everyone in that damn movie -- and I have to say, for being a writer, I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what's gonna happen. Yet I was so "into it" there was one point in the movie I realized very consciously: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE'S GONNA DO. I was hooked. (And I LOVE how she gets her name, Juno... and Jason Bateman (ooh!) and Jennifer Garner (yes!) ... and Allison Janney and JK Simmons... oh dear, I can't stop...)

Sorry, Prince, you said it all so much better than I could have here, so I'm just gonna COPY and PASTE your wonderful insights -- hey, after all, YOU'RE the playwriting teacher, not me (hehe) -- and it shows with your comments :)

* The story's simple premise sets up expectations about how things will precisely unfold, but you'll be constantly surprised at how the film seems like it's about something but will then reveal that it's also about something else and then reveal that it's about something else too. With each new narrative and thematic layer, Juno burrows closer and closer to its—and your—heart.

* The characters you like eventually show unflattering sides, while the characters you dislike eventually show their tenderness. This is the mark of a writer with a humane and understanding eye—don't let that fierce exterior fool you, folks.

* One of the many things Juno is about is how people and circumstances slowly chip away at our pregnant heroine's tough, sarcastic veneer—and it's ironic that she learns to become an adult when she stops trying so hard to act like one.

I know this is Diablo Cody's year -- what a refreshing, real, smart and funny writer. Go see it and make her some more big bucks.

(Here's the Juno TRAILER :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Carson Kressley, MY HERO

How to Look Good Naked
I went into this show with my fists clenched, ready to BARF at the premise... After all, I was the "non-believing friend, 'Kathleen'" that Trainer Andrew wrote about who hated the Dove ads and the all this "real woman beauty." "BULLSHIT!" was my response to all that. I'd also done a "makeover show" in 1983 on national and had a lot of feelings and opinions about that INCREDIBLE and INCREDIBLY MISERABLE experience... so my guns were out.

But I loved it. And guess what, I actually was listening... eyes welled up, but not overly emotional -- and that's a real change for me!

Carson Kressley was the BESTEST HOST EVER, her was fantastic -- funny, caring, knowledgable, non-threatening, sympathetic and strong. He even picked Layla, the woman he was helping up and spun her around -- NO WAY! I don't remember one time in my life I've ever been PICKED UP... even as a kid, because I was the one picking everyone else up and swinging THEM around... jeez, weren't there any adults who could pick ME up? But I digress.

Carson is the best. "Don't cry... well, you could cry... why are you crying?" And he was so full of honest answers, full compliments, and huge hugs ("Oh my god, are you trying to steal my wallet?") -- I wish I could take him home with me...

Apparently this show came from the UK, so they really had the opportunity to perfect the show and gear it exactly to Carson's strengths... we trusted him on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and we really do here. I think the problem with Tim Gunn's show was that they were trying to make it all about Tim Gunn and not really about the ladies... and Tim's not like that! This Layla woman -- I will never forget her and her willingness to love herself...

Finally... the best "makeover" show ever, where we get to see the process of change, not just these frickin' before/after pictures.

Go watch it online. CLICK HERE. Tell me what you think... PLEASE!

Now I'm off to my walk -- and I think I'm gonna buy a little something beautiful. :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

10,000 Steps

The only toy I bought myself (other than a lovely Greek dinner and a long-needed oil change) for the new year was this: a $12.99 pedometer from Target.

I guess you could call it my low-tech version of exercise. No machines, no trainer, just an information device -- clip it on and away I go, right? See where I am and see just slowly and logically see check out those 10,000 steps everyone's always talking about.

Well, in the four days I've had this thing on me non-stop, I've never gotten above 2,500 steps. YIKES! Now that's LAZY -- and it includes all the dog walking I'm doing with Nero here in Hollywood this week. Geez -- it looks like all I'm doing is walking up and down Franklin (his toilet) and walking back and forth to mine. Hm... and this week my back has even bothered me a little.

I need new workout shoes, I know that's part of the problem. But for once, I'm not worry about it. My appetite weirded out when I was up north with the folks (depression? bad cough? too much Filipino breakfast food?), I kind of like the small amounts per sitting I'm eating. Like Andrew, the Dynamic Fitness guy (and my former trainer says), small meals/more often feels better.

So we'll just make sure I increase the step account a tiny bit at a time, and get up to 10,000. I'll never be obsessed about moving around, but I can get better... I want to get back into my skin, this year. For real.


Edited 4:54 am

Just saw Kenneth Branagh a minute in ago in a scene from the TV movie Warm Springs where he's playing the Franklin Roosevelt after he contracted polio and couldn't walk. He was doing his physical therapy with a therapist in the pool and nearly jumped out of skin with joy when he got to five -- count 'em FIVE! -- steps.

I immediately needed to mention here that I AM GRATEFUL, dear God, GRATEFUL for those 2,500 steps I've taken each of my few days. And I'm humbled.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

Just in the nick of time...

I'm a bit ambivalent about how to use this blog nowadays... things in my life seem so personal, redundant, boring, scary... I don't know how much is appropriate anymore to post here or just find another therapist. (See?!)

My only HAVE TO DO this year: graduate from college. Period. That's it. 25 after I should have. I'm registering for that last $3,100 class this semester at Oxy and I should have my recital done -- and to tell you the truth, I AM SICK TO MY STOMACH. Breathe, girl, breathe... HELP ME BREATHE, y'all... gulp...

For now, just wishing everyone a HAPPY, WONDERFUL and FULFILLING New Year!