Being sick never hurt…

Except when auditions are around the corner. Being an actress/singer, getting a cold is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Getting to auditions and booking a role is hard enough without coughing up pieces of your lungs or having your nose run like Niagara Falls.

I almost never went to my Annie audition because of my cold. But I decided testing out my ability to sing well while being under the weather would be a fun personal challenge. I love challenges. So I sang with a slightly melted Halls cough drop in my mouth, cherry flavored—yum, and thankfully got called back for the role of Lily St. Regis and one of the Boylan sisters. The role of Lily called for a nasally singer, and nasally was definitely working out for me that day.

The day of the callback, I managed to kill the sickness, but the cough, as coughs do, stuck around in my lungs like an insatiable itch. So, mouth full of cherry flavored cough drops, I sang for Lily, danced for Lily, and cold-read for Lily. Then I had to stay around to sing for one of the Boylan sisters and do another round of dancing for ensemble. I ended up staying at the callback for about five hours. Near the end of the night, the director sent everybody home but me and one other girl. We were both going for Lily. We knew each other from working in another show together, and I was well aware of how talented she was. Gorgeous and talented.

I have to interject a random thought here. In a tight battle of auditioning, my brain usually starts wandering off in other directions in order to keep my nerves down. So I’ll admit, while the girl and I were sitting anxiously in the hallway waiting to be called into the rehearsal room to learn a song we didn’t know, I was thinking about guys. That’s right. Guys I really like. And there’s not that many…so my brain really was tempted to distract me into daydream mode.

And then the director finally called us back in to sing again. This would be our third time singing. We both sang the best we could with how unfamiliar we were to the song. Later the director asked me to come back the next night to read for Grace Farrell.

Grace Farrell?! I thought. I didn’t even think I had even the slightest chance for that role. When viewing the audition breakdown, I knew they were looking to cast an Equity actress in the part, so I completely disregarded auditioning for Grace at all.

The next night, I showed up and sat with all the other Grace potentials. It was one of those moments where we were all sizing each other up. Each one looked very different, but very specific. Beautiful women and all apart of the union, and all of which have played many a leading role with major theater companies. Being new to California, I hadn’t had the chance to up my role credits as of yet. I have played leading roles in the past, just not in California. A couple of the actresses discovered my non-union status and eyed me curiously.

So I started thinking of guys again…all the while attempting to keep my itching cough at bay.

The director brought us in, we sang, we read and we waited. Then the director let everybody go, but asked me to stick around for a while longer. That’s when my gut flipped over. When the director asks you to stay, usually that’s a really good sign. But you can’t ever know in this business. Everything is so unpredictable, you can’t EVER assume anything.

The last few minutes of the night were spent with me reading with the only other man there reading for Oliver Warbucks. It was just the two of us. Then we were let go as well, with unanswered questions. We were told we’d hear by Friday, and I couldn’t wait!

Friday came and I got a voice mail from the director saying that he didn’t want me dangling, but that he just wanted me to know that they do want me in the show, just can’t figure out what role to offer me. That was tough to hear. Not a yes, not a no. An “I don’t know.” I can’t STAND “I don’t knows.” Those answers eat away at me until I start scratching my skin off. Every day after that, I waited by the phone like I was waiting to hear from a guy I really liked after a great first date and that he said he’d call me soon, BUT HE DIDN’T!!!!

Yes, that’s exactly how I felt. Auditioning is just like dating. Stressful.

I counted the days and started to think I didn’t make the cut. I was also seeing people on Facebook announcing their roles in Annie, one of them being the actress who was with me on the first night of callbacks. She landed Lily, which she would be amazing at! But it really started making me feel very discouraged. So I began planning for future auditions and a possible showcase that I had to register soon for. It wasn’t until the fourth day did I finally get the call.

“Hello, Christanna?” the director said.

“Hi, how are you?” I said.

“Good. Sorry this has taken so long. We had a lot of things to work with. But listen, we’d like you to play Grace.”

“Are you serious?” That was my first response. I couldn’t help it.

“Uh, yes. I am.”

Then an explosion of yeses and absolutelies tumbled from my mouth as I paced the living room in my underwear (because I was in the midst of changing clothes when I got the call and now didn’t have the mental ability to continue dressing…). I’m pretty sure I blasted the director’s ears off as well.

And there you go. It’s almost been two years since I moved to California, I’ve done four shows, and I’ve finally booked my first lead here.

I guess I should be sick more often…

Eh, maybe not.

Annie-CMT-Logo

A Hawaii Whim

Four months ago, my parents were discussing their Hawaii trip with concert leader Ed Lojeski. The trip would consist of four rehearsals and two large choral and orchestral performances for the Fourth of July. It was a concert tribute for the men who died at Pearl Harbor, and all the men in service to this day, called Salute to Valor. My parents, along with choral groups from all over the country, were to be singing on the battle ship USS Missouri.

And, as usual, I would not be able to join them. My parents have been all over the world. I have never stepped outside of the North American continent. It was only a month before the time of events did I know I was suddenly signed up with a plane ticket and a book full of music with a large solo waiting inside.

So my whim to Hawaii began. I finally was going to step off North America and fly half way down the planet to one of the most popular vacation islands ever.

My parents had arrived on the island a day before, but as soon as I arrived, we dived into Pina Coladas, Lava Flows, and Mai Tais. Once rehearsal started, we wouldn’t be able to “party” too much. But I think I squeezed in as much as I could. Winking smile

The banana pina colada was my favorite.

Being that Pearl Harbor is located in Oahu, I didn’t get to experience the tropical island feeling as much as I would have liked. But I shouldn’t complain. On one of our days off, we did get to go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. Exactly where I wanted to be!

Getting some sun and heavily covered in sunscreen.

It took me sixty seconds to get used to breathing under water before I turned into the water baby I used to be, and started hunting coral sharks. Didn’t find any though. They were sleeping beneath me, hidden by the coral. But I did get to play mermaid with the other fishies, one of them eyeing me oddly before disappearing. I wanted so badly to go deeper into the caves, but knew without gloves and other proper gear that I had better refrain from my adventurous instincts. Probably not a good idea to get hurt before the concerts.

I did find a ring, though, amidst the coral. Smile My treasure

Gave it to Mom.

Later, we explored Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri. Also, we enjoyed being entertained by the luau show, The Creation, while we drank Mai Tais with Ed Lojeski and TV host Wink Martindale. Definitely had a full day of swimming, exploring, eating, drinking, and watching gloriously tanned and ripped Polynesian men in skirts dance barbarically…oh, sigh.

The rest of the week was spent in rehearsals with tropical dinner breaks. I hate rehearsals, but I can’t complain when they’re on a luscious island. The first concert was inside a large theater.First concert. This was where I sang my solo, “O My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”…phew, what a title! I had some big shoes to fill with this song considering it was my dad’s staple. He was the only one who could sing it and blow people out of the water. But because of Sweeney Todd where Dad played Judge Turpin, his voice had gone to the bass land and couldn’t warm back up to tenor heaven in just a week. In order to sing “Red Rose,” you have to be able to float notes. So he said, “You got it, baby. Do it well.” Great…

As intimidating as it was to replace Dad, the audience seemed to really like it, giving a roaring cheer as their response. Dad still won’t let it go… I’m on the hunt for a recording. It’s not very often that I actually feel proud of one of my performances, so when I do, I’d kill for a copy.

The second concert was performed at the stern of the USS Missouri, followed by fireworks over the ocean and accompanied by the Pacific Navy Band, who were incredible! And MORE Mai Tai’s were to be had!

All in all, I sang my very best, Mai Tai’ed myself out, wore skirts and sundresses every day, and remained braless for the entire trip.

And I DID get leid… Winking smile

Being twenty-six. Going where no twenty-something has gone before.

There have been only a few stages of my life where I noticed a massive physical and mental change occur. At thirteen I knew my life from there on out would be hugely different. At eighteen, I knew my childhood had gone and I panicked. I truly felt I wouldn’t survive as an adult. The transition was terrifying.

But I made it to twenty-six. And, again, I sense another major shift in my body and mind. I have confidence now that I can survive the adult world and be happy in it. At twenty-six, working is addicting, even though I am worn out faster. Going out is less appealing as it is to going home and spending time with myself. Of course, this is surely the result of being ridiculously busy.

At twenty-six, all-nighters are no longer easy to do. Coffee no longer keeps me awake, but remains a comfort in the morning.

At twenty-six, I finally obtained a Victoria Secret body, something I had been obsessed with and working on since I was sixteen. And, although my body is stronger than it has ever been, it hurts more. My lower back is now a constant pain and my right knee is weak. Vitamins have become a part of my daily life. And I have high-cholesterol, shocking news that somehow made me feel old. And yet, at twenty-six, I’m still arrogant and carefree.

I’m much more curious and brave at this stage. I want more and more to go where I have never gone before and experience new things. If I can live through it, I want to do it.

Finally I feel a confidence in myself I had never had before. My beliefs and opinions on how to live one’s life is richer and more well-rounded than the days of being naïve and close-minded. I am more fascinated with the way people react and feel, and I’m always searching for newer information. I still feel like I haven’t learned enough.

Emotion is something I have FINALLY been able to make sense of and control. I can rationalize better than I’ve ever had. When I don’t like someone, or they me, I can accept and be okay with it. Because it is impossible to be universally liked. However, treating those you don’t get along with graciously is important.

I have FINALLY learned to be patient, something I’ve been working on ALL my life. That’s an accomplishment I’m really happy about.

I am no longer in need of being needed by a man, as if I thought that gave me some purpose in my life before. It really didn’t.

On the other hand, I have also for the first time, experienced what it was like to be in love, something that had eluded me before. I lost it, but I crave to have it again. Although, strangely, I have no interest in looking for it, I am genuinely excited about finding it. I know now that I have the capability to feel that way, and it is incredible!

At twenty-six, I have come to accept my obsessive compulsive behavior as a unique and intriguing quality, although I may be the only one who feels this way.

And, even though I feel like I am still sixteen years old, in that youthful, playful sort of way, I am now accepted and taken seriously by the adult world. Something that I’ve yearned for most of my life.

Probably one of the most shocking discoveries I had come to realize was that I now want a child. Being someone who never liked or wanted children, I am still puzzled by this sudden change. Maybe by twenty-seven, I’ll go back to normal.

And maybe the reason I’m writing this is to put a mark in time so that when I’m old, I will remember. Hopefully this blog will still exist somewhere in cyberspace by then.

At twenty-six, I still don’t know where I’m going in my life, but instead of being scared by it, I am thrilled. Someone once told me their twenty-sixth year was a good one. I got a feeling, they’re gonna be right.

Thataway

Terminator in Vegas

So I had to post The Terminator’s story of his adventure in Las Vegas this weekend. I’ll never understand why anyone would DARE to steal from the Terminator. He’ll KILL you. And it just so happened to be his birthday as well! Here it is:

“How did you spend your birthday in Vegas, Duizie?”

Well it started off by realizing my iPhone was missing at 5am when leaving a casino to go get some sleep at the Excalibur. I went back looking where we had been—no sign of it. I reported it missing to security and logged onto “Find My Phone” app via Brandon’s phone. I have auto lock but we locked the phone remotely anyway. GPS showed the phone across the BLVD at another hotel. Went there, looked around the parking area where the GPS was indicating—nothing. Reported to their security as well. I knew the battery was low so I figured it wouldn’t be locatable soon. Got back to our hotel between 6-7pm and used a computer to look at the tracking. Still showed Tropicana parking lot area.

Got some sleep then got up at 10am and checked tracking. Showed the phone at a mall north of the strip ten miles away! Sent note to the phone trying to get a response. Nothing.

“Let’s go,” I said and Brandon and I followed the location signal. We tried sending the signal to see if we could hear it.

There were about six kiosks in area. One was a phone case and accessory place. Didn’t hear it make noise, looked and listened at different kiosks. Brandon even tried calling it and it would ring, but no answer. Then he tried again and suddenly it went straight to voice mail, so we knew it was off now. Finally I went up to one of the phone kiosk guys and randomly asked how their chargers worked. He showed us a solar charger.

He showed me the solar charger on an iPhone.  MY IPHONE!!!

He had turned it off probably because of the sound it was making when signaling it. And you needed the lock code to silence it.

I said, “Does the phone turn on?”

He said, “Yeah I just turned it off. It’s not mine, we’re just using it to show how the charger works.”

I said, “You know why it’s not yours. Because it’s mine.”

He was also trying to make a sale with someone else at the time when I said that.

He said, “What do u mean?”

“I tracked my phone here and you obviously can’t unlock it.”

He explained that the guy working yesterday left it here so he was using it for examples. I said that I had had it last night so that’s not true.

So he says, “If you can unlock it, then it must be yours. Take it man.” And, of course, I unlocked it.

I got his name and the kiosk info and went to report it to the mall management. They took down the info and looked up the owner of the kiosk and we called him. I informed him that my phone went missing and I tracked it to his kiosk being used by his employee. He was confused but I wanted him to know that his employees were using a stolen phone to sell his products.

I can’t prove the guy took it, but he had it so that’s the best I could do. Up to the owner now.

So long story short, I lost my phone, got to play FBI tracking it down, and now the phone is back in my possession. “Find My Phone” application on iPhone is pretty cool and accurate. But it really helps when the thief works at a phone charging kiosk and keeps the battery charged!!

Eating for first time today and relaxing. 3:30pm

Happy Birthday to me!!!

You really CAN lose and win in Vegas.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TERMINATOR! Glad you got your phone back!

Terminator and I

Looking for Luke Skywalker

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Or actually in a little town called Glendale, there was a thirteen year old girl who fell in love with Luke Skywalker.

Luke Skywalker

Every night, when her parents went off to work and she was left alone to her imagination, the little girl would put in the laser disc of Return of the Jedi and reenact the entire movie. Sometimes, depending on how much time she had throughout the night, she would play all three Star Wars movies, becoming Luke Skywalker in her mind, feeling the changes and emotions he experienced, pretending to fight with Leia over Han Solo, instead of the other way around, until she had the entire original saga memorized by heart.

But it wasn’t Han Solo’s swashbuckling, rebellious personality she idolized and swooned over. It was the passion of a young adventurer, of someone who wanted so much to be apart of something bigger than himself, and, in turn, becoming bigger than he ever could have imagined. Of a boy who grew into a man who was loyal to his friends and family, believed in something great, and held onto that belief with unwavering, but always tempted, perseverance.

The little girl not only wanted to be Luke Skywalker, but was crazy about him. Every blue-eyed glance, every sideways smile creating a soft crease into his cheek, every clench of his fist, every swing of his green lightsaber, made her fall over and over about him. Sometimes to the point of pausing the laser disc on images of Luke having a concerned expression (specifically in Yoda’s hut). This was, of course, before internet was fully functional and she had to rely on the pause button. If any of you remember the laser disc machines, it wasn’t easy to “still” the picture without it turning into a blue “pause” screen. There was a “still” or “step” button that would make the picture freeze in place. And it wasn’t always easy.

So you can imagine this thirteen year old girl trying to figure out how to keep the picture frozen in place so that she could swoon over the still image of Luke looking distraught over Yoda’s death…Yay for internet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, of course, there’s always the distraught look hidden by the black cloak…

Luke's Brooding

That little girl was me. Obviously.

There’s nothing sexier than a black cloak over a black jumpsuit fighting bad guys. And looking terribly concerned. At least, this was how I felt at the early stages of my adolescence.

One day, while I was with my mother inside Barnes and Noble’s Bookstore, I went off into the science fiction section out of curiosity. I hadn’t seen any Star Wars books before until then. I had no idea other authors had expanded far past the movies and that there were many more adventures. One particularly caught my eye. Barbara Hambly’s Children of the Jedi.Children of the Jedi cover

It was the woman’s image beside Luke who really caught my attention. Finally, a love interest for Luke, I thought.

So I begged my mom to buy it for me, and as soon as we got into the car, I immediately started skimming the pages to anything that had Luke talking to some other woman. I never actually read the book. I just skipped to the pages where the character Callista dialogued with Luke.

After consuming myself with this book, I became addicted to finding other Star Wars novels with different love interests for Luke. I had gotten Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy where I was extremely intrigued by Mara Jade, but highly disappointed that nothing really major happened between Luke and Mara in those stories (other than slight sexual tension of course). Apparently, that wasn’t enough. I wanted more! Every visit my mother and I made to Barnes and Noble, I got a new book, hoping that some sort of romance would happen for Luke. I wanted him to find happiness and love so badly and HAD to be with the right person!

I got extremely excited when Zahn finally wrote the two novels, The Hand of Thrawn series. Hand of Thrawn DuologyThis was where Mara and Luke finally fell in love after years of an on and off friendship, and in the most adventurous and stubborn way.Which was perfect! I loved that Luke would be the sweet, gentle, and loyal guy who was always slightly naïve about someone else’s affections for him. And that Mara, who was the stubborn, highly fiery, no-nonsense woman, but who was also loyal and honest about her feelings and affections, would be the one to land him. It was exactly how I had pictured it.

Around this time, I was fifteen. And I wanted to be Mara Jade. She had a dancer’s body, and so did I. She was a red head, and so was I. I bought green contacts to make my steel eye color to be emerald green. I already saw myself as her, could you tell? I was (and still am) fiery, passionate, logical, loyal and very affection when I chose to be, and with the right person.I wish.

I also wanted to be the type of person you didn’t mess with. A badass. That if you messed with my closest friends and family, you would be dead on my list. Mara would assassinate anyone who got in the way…but she was trained for that. And…well, I was trained to be an opera singer and actress. So I could pretend…

As I got deep into high school, I had become so obsessed with Luke and his romances that I even wrote two Star Wars novels starring my own character Lilliya Starr as his love interest. I made it so it could fit into the chronology of books and had it where Mara had actually been killed off to make Luke available. This was in 1999, years before the authors actually DID kill off Mara. Of course, my stories were filled with mystery and adventure, but there was always exciting sexual tension between Starr and Skywalker that it made it fun to write. And there were six books for me to create. So…that was fun. Not quite done yet.

As I got into college, I realized I was actually comparing my boyfriends to Luke Skywalker. It never occurred to me until I started dating a lot of different guys.

That one is too A New Hope…That one is too Empire…That is NOTHING like Luke.

To emphasize my obsession even more, my mother knew I was looking for a guy with the last name Walker just so I could have a son and name him Luke Sky Walker. Or maybe just Luke Walker. It was always fun to think about.

Because of my mother’s knowledge of this, I had been set up on a blind date with a guy who had the last name of Walker. Didn’t work out, but I am STILL on the lookout.

However, I’m not looking for the name anymore, although that would be a fun plus, and it’s not the physical appearance either that’s catching my eye. I realized recently that, after every relationship and date I’ve had, I am looking for a guy who is caring, compassionate, loyal, brave, spiritual, affectionate, positive, strong, adventurous, has been through the tough times and knows the hard life, motivated, and thinks beyond and outside himself. (I know, this is becoming a match.com-ish speech)

In short, ever since I was thirteen years old, I have been looking Luke Skywalker. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted. He IS my dream guy. And if someday I meet a man like this—and I’ve gotten close—I’m gonna say, “Do you like Star Wars? Do you believe in God? Yes? Well, then, let’s fly outa here. You do own an X-wing, right? Sweet.”

And hopefully he’ll smile at me like this…

 

Preferably without the woman on his side.

And I’m never settling for less. No one should.

Remember Papa

Hello, Papa. Do you know?

You made me a writer. You made me a mathematician. A thinker. An analyzer. You taught me how to observe when you took me to all those museums and libraries. You taught me to keep my eyes open and wide. You taught me the importance of words and how they must sound when spoken, and how the original pronunciations were more important than the newest version in the English language. You also taught me that temper was best used when controlled and quietly expelled. It had more effect that way. You taught me to sneak candies like 3 Musketeers and chocolate ice cream bars and Butter Pecan ice cream cones behind Mana’s back because it was fun.

“Don’t tell Mana,” Papa whispered.

“I won’t.” I didn’t think much of it, of course, while I was shoving a Musketeer bar down my six year old esophagus.

Papa and I would watch Papa’s favorite movies, one of them being The Princess Bride. I always thought the grandpa in the movie was like my Papa.

And when Papa was tucking me into bed, I always asked for a glass of water because… “I’m thirsty. Can I have some water?”

“As you wish,” Papa said, winking in reference to the movie we’d just watched…again.

So Papa went downstairs for a drink of water. As he did, I hid under the covers of my bed, flattened out my body as much as possible so that I would hopefully blend in with the thick comforter. And waited. I heard footsteps creek on my wood floor.

“Kitten Lee? Are you hiding?” he said. “I wonder if you’re in the closet. Nope. Maybe under the bed? Nope. I wonder what would happen if I accidentally poured this cup of water on the bed…”

I squealed and threw the comforter up before he dared. And this was how he always found me. It was a nightly thing, my pathetic disappearing act.

Although, there was one time when I actually did disappear for a good hour or so in Green Lake, Wisconsin. This was our summer hang for the family. I pretty much grew up there and had many adventures. One of those adventures involved me in hunting down a wild deer flitting through the thick forest. At six, I was confident in knowing that I knew these forests well, but when the deer led me in circles, I couldn’t seem to find my way back to the clearing of camping trailers. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that the sun was going down and the forest was darkening.

So, being part singer, I decided to sing loudly in the forest about how lost I was, but that it was okay. I remember vaguely that I was coming to terms with the idea that I might be stuck there forever.

And then I heard a very stern voice shout out, “Christanna!”

“Papa?” I shouted back. Because it definitely sounded like his stern, you’re-in-trouble voice.

“Get over here now,” he said loud enough for me to follow. I couldn’t see him yet, but followed his voice. As I pushed myself through sharp branches and bushes I finally reached the edge of the forest where Papa stood in a bright green clearing of grass. But I had one more step and it was through a thick cluster of grass weed, which was about my height. Tears started running down my face because I thought that there was a snake and I couldn’t reach Papa.

“Get over here,” he said again.

“There’s a snake!” I cried, shaking my head.

Christanna,” he said with that serious tone hinting grinding teeth.

That was enough for me. Usually that meant I was in serious trouble. So I jumped through the grass weed and ran to Papa, throwing my tiny arms around his waist.

Papa held on tightly as well and said, “Don’t do that again, okay? And we won’t tell Mana.”

I just nodded. He waited until I calmed down and then I told him all about my adventures in the forest and why I got lost. It was all because of that deer leading me in circles! As he led me through the grassy meadow, he taught me the Inch Worm song.

Little did I know my entire family was out searching for me in the far corners of Green Lake.

Papa was always right about everything. He knew where to look first before anyone else. At the Father-Daughter Dance when I was in first grade, Papa went with me because my dad was singing somewhere else (as opera singers do). But that night, he won a prize for me because he guessed the right amount of jelly beans in a jar. I remember thinking I could never do anything like that. Papa always knew the right answer.

So much so that it would drive me nuts sometimes. I would never argue with Papa, but the older I got, the more I wanted to be right instead of him. So it became a challenge to be successful for Papa.

I was being homeschooled during junior high by my grandparents. Papa taught my English, Math, and History courses. Mana taught my Science and any other extra-curricular activities.

“I’m scared I won’t be ready for high school next year,” I said to Papa as we were going through our English lesson.

“Don’t worry about it and concentrate on reading,” he said.

“But, Papa—“

“Would you concentrate please? And trust me,” he said sternly.

He was right, of course. When I entered high school, I was ahead of everyone in Math and English. I didn’t have a history course that year, so I couldn’t really compare that one. But I had never met a mathematician who could write, or a writer who could do algebra equations and actually enjoy it! I loved both.

One day during my freshman year, I had finished writing a Star Wars novel just for the fun of it. It involved my own original characters blended with the Lucas originals and was a story far into the future lives of the Skywalker and Solo families. I gave my finished product to Papa to edit for grammatical errors. I didn’t expect any reaction out of him.

Instead, he said, “You’re a writer. This is very good.” And I don’t think he’d ever been a huge fan of Star Wars.

The older I got, the more I wanted to make him proud of me. That all of his teachings did not go to waste.

In college, I took a Musical Theater degree. It irritated me to no end that Papa would say, “What are your real courses” when I would tell him what classes I was taking. I always thought he didn’t respect my degree of choice. I later changed it to a degree that included intensive writing courses. I did it for myself because I enjoyed it so much.

But when Papa asked again, “What real courses are you taking?” I became more frustrated. Especially when he asked every year. I was starting to think he wasn’t paying attention and that he should have been proud that I was taking writing courses.

It didn’t quite hit me until he asked again, “What real courses are you taking?” after I had already graduated. That’s when I knew the Alzheimer’s was real. That’s when I knew…my Papa wouldn’t know who I was one day.

That he won’t see me get married like I hoped. And have a family. And that he won’t be there to tell his great-grand kids about the importance of pronouncing “often” with the “t” silent because that is the original pronunciation. Because Alzheimer’s cheats.

“Why don’t you pick on someone your own size!” I would say, if it was worth it. It’s not fair to burn the brain, but keep alive the body. A person is nothing without his mind.

I always thought you would last forever, Papa, as I do everyone else who I love more than anything. But somehow death seems to be logical now. Not just any death, but a death you controlled with your last remaining thought. Because Alzheimer’s is terribly unfair when it comes to killing. Instead, you’re killing it by sleeping. By never letting your brain wake up. Taking control, taking back the pride, power, and intelligence you once had. That’s the Papa I remember.

So you were right, Papa. You were right to instill in me parts of you. I realized one day recent when I was eating my dinner, that I was eating like you. I had bits of my food perfectly organized on my plate so that I had would end up with one bite of each at the end. That’s how you ate! You were stubborn—I am stubborn. You were an analyzer—I am an analyzer. You needed control and order—I need control and order. And not just in me did you help develop, but in all the children and grandchildren that stemmed from your life you gave away parts of you.

It is good that you sleep now, taking down the Alzheimer’s with you. I was never a fan of him anyway.

We will miss you of course. But you lived fully. And you lived long. That is all that matters. This is all I need to remember, Papa. This is enough.

Love you.

 

My Papa...I've cybered you now. <3

Awkward Exes Serving Awkward Exes

Being a server sometimes means you’re gonna have to serve tables that know either too little or too much about you. In my case, I have on occasion had to wait on my ex-boyfriends’ exes. Not just exes, but the women who had broken my ex-boyfriends’ hearts. Which would make them the “big love” my boyfriends had lost at some point not too long after. And these women always seem to know who I am.

I’m starting to confuse myself, and probably you, so let me throw some examples out there.

Years ago, after I recently broke up with my first boyfriend, Cameron, I had to wait on his high school sweetheart, someone Cameron had a hard time letting go of after they had ended their relationship. Needless to say, it was someone he had loved hard for and I knew this while dating him. They had also kept in touch during my relationship with Cameron, always making me wonder if he was ever over her. It didn’t really matter anyway, considering Cameron and I didn’t work out. But what was awkward was that I knew certain private and personal things about her and she definitely knew certain private and personal things about me.

So when I announced my name (which is incredibly unique) and that I’d be taking care of her, I knew the smile on her face was purely superficial and nervous. This, in turn, made me uncomfortable, so for the duration of her dining out, everything was tense.

Irony, I think. Why is it that the ex-love of my recent ex-boyfriend somehow ends up sitting in my section when I know they are entirely unaware of my existence at The Restaurant? Especially when we had never met before?

But it doesn’t get anymore awkward than having the ex-WIFE sitting at your table. THE ex-wife your ex-boyfriend talked to you about for hours, telling you things she probably wouldn’t want you to know. And, as far as you know, she might know things about you that you wouldn’t want HER to know. And not only is it an ex-wife, but a recent one at that. Tricky, tricky…

I had never met her before, but had heard plenty. I also knew she was aware of my existence, but it was hard to say if she could recognize me by looks alone. I knew she would know my name, though. So, as I watched her tiny figure gracefully sit, looking with those extremely arched eyebrows, puffed out cheekbones and lips, I had to consciously restrain myself from going in multiple directions like a chicken with its head chopped off. For a split second, I felt guilty. Maybe it was because I had felt like a mistress when dating this man. Being hidden from his personal life always made me feel like I was in an affair and that if the wife found out, I would be in huge trouble. But it was his EX-wife. And he was now my ex-boyfriend (or more like a whim/fling/situation #2…refer back to situation #1 for clarification). “Boyfriend” doesn’t seem to fit this particular guy anyhow.

Still doesn’t change the fact that it was nerve-wracking. I swiftly passed by the table without greeting the ex and her date, and grabbed Ethel, another server, saying, “I can’t take this table. It’s HIS ex.” But really, I could have; however,considering it was dead in the restaurant, I knew Ethel could take it off my hands. I just didn’t feel like testing out my acting skills at that particular moment. I was just happy she didn’t walk in with her daughter. I could just feel the bile rise up my throat if that had happened. He did such a good job at hiding me from his daughter, how ironic would it have been if I got to meet her through his ex. Not that I wanted to be hidden, but he felt it best for his daughter not to know about me. Again, the Mistress title being labeled onto me. And again, I want to vomit. If only I was a Super Ex-Girlfriend, I wouldn’t feel so pathetic…Yes...this is more like it.

There was always another reason to vomit, and it was because I knew he had really loved his ex-wife. She was his “big love” just like Cameron’s high school sweetheart was his “big love.” And both ended up in my section. Years apart, but in two separate states, and yet still the same irony. Still the same awkwardness. Because, I too, was an ex. And I hate serving exes.

The Five Stages of Death

Broken Heart Emo…as my friend Sarah calls it. I call it something else, but hers sounds cooler, so I’m borrowing it. They go as follows:

1. Depression

2. Denial

3. Anger

4. Acceptance

5. Happiness

These are the things you go through after a broken heart.Aw...

I like to break down my healing process in these simple steps. As I go through each one, I get really excited when I get closer to number 5. Therefore, I have SOMETHING to look forward to, because, as we all know, there is NOTHING to look forward to when you have a broken heart.Hilarious!

I already passed through number 1, Depression. Hate that stage the most. Always feels like the hours last for days, so you try to sleep them away, hoping that, when you wake, you’ll be at stage number 5, but no luck as you realize, waking, that it’s still day 1, stage 1. And sleeping doesn’t help either because all you have are nightmares. So you’re pretty much screwed during this stage.

Then, suddenly, stage 2 appears out of nowhere. This stage usually comes in different forms depending on the situation and person. You can either deny being hurt, find a rebound, deny that you ever felt anything at all, beg the person back thinking that it can be fixed, etc. All these things are representations of the heart not fully accepting the reality of the situation. Also a pretty crappy stage. Humiliating in many respects. Thank goodness I’m not in this one anymore.

STAGE 3!!! I like this one. For some odd reason, anger is probably one of the most satisfying feelings for me. I feel exhilarated, powerful, and strong. I feel like I can take the pain I was feeling and shove it up someone’s ass. TAKE THAT, Pain! You can’t touch me! (Don’t know why I consider this odd…really isn’t. Anger is a lot of fun.) Went through this one for a while. Moved on, though.

Stage 4, Acceptance. This one is kinda sad. Poignant, really. It’s like the ending of a really good romance movie where it didn’t work out, but, like Hollywood’s style, they leave it open-ended and somehow positive. But the acceptance stage is a good sign. It means you’re almost there. Almost back to normal. Almost back to not giving a crap about anyone, or how you are as a person. Back to being the one and only YOU that has no connections or responsibilities to anyone but yourself.

And this leads me to number 5, Happiness. Where you only think of yourself, and your life, and the friends and family that are apart of it, the people you choose to be apart of it. And this makes you happy. You no longer care about what brought you down in the first place. Happiness brings Death to everything else you felt. Death to the broken heart. Death to the depression. Death to the denial. Death to anger and acceptance. So you laugh. You laugh so hard because you haven’t in so long.

I laughed so hard tonight, my head was pounding and my side was splitting. For no apparent reason, I laughed insanity. My friend Anne thought IHappy was on drugs. I exclaimed, “No! I AM the drug!” And laughed some more. Because you survived. Because you wasted. Because you mourned over something that wasn’t dead. Because you felt sad over something that wasn’t apart of your life. Because you lied to yourself. Because you believed in someone else’s lies. Because you were gullible. Because you were stupid. Because you were everything you didn’t want to be. Because you know you’re gonna go through it again.

Because you were human. And lived.

I like stage 5.

Wolf

I prefer wolves for men. Mystic_Wolf_1280x800

Let me explain.

I’ve always been afraid of the “wolfman” since I was a child, and yet, always fascinated. It was when I had first seen Universal’s Wolfman, the original, and I couldn’t wipe the image from my mind. This man-wolf tried to kill the woman he loved, because it was depicted in this film that the Wolf was pure evil.

Not so, I have decided, after watching the film Wolf, starring Jack Nicholson. Wolves are scientifically considered to be protective and loyal to their chosen mate. Wolf is a perfect example of this.

As much as I know of myself, at the ripe age of 25, I am very headstrong and stubborn, not to mention slightly violent (this is something I am able to contain, of course, THANK YOU, CONSCIENCE)…can I just say that if I were an animal, I would definitely be a WOLF. Therefore, I’m looking for my Wolfman.

Mind you, not a bad wolf. Bad wolves need taming. Bad wolves kill, ravage, are unstable, and probably have rabies.

Good wolves are protective, strong, loving, brave, and, most importantly, loyal. They protect their mate and the cubs they bear.

I am a good wolf. Although I’ve been afraid of wolfmen as a child, I now am attracted to them. The strength, courage, and loyalty is everything. And I give back these qualities to those I feel need it, and therefore, hope for it in return.

I am looking for a wolf. A good wolf.

 

Grr.