Monthly Archives: July 2008

A Mix of Insomnia and Really Bad Cramps OR…

a pretty good idea. Here it is. I think that I will abstain from sex. Maybe it’s just a ploy because I have been dry for about 7 months now and instead of making it seem like no one wants me, I will turn it around to say that I don’t want any one. In fact, I can’t wait until it’s been a year! At that point it will be the longest that I haven’t had sex since I was a virgin. And I will throw myself a party.

I’ve decided that most of the men I have slept with (and all of the ones from Los Angeles, of course) I only slept with because I wanted them to love me. This is wrong and emotionally painful. Plus, it usually wasn’t very good sex, which is arguably the real tragedy. So maybe I should just say that I abstain from sex. I won’t even put a disclaimer like “until I find the right guy” or “until he proves he’s serious” or “until I’m really fucking horny and can’t take it any longer.”

I do have to clear something up. I think sex is great. I enjoy it quite a bit. But I don’t think that I am doing it in an emotionally responsible way. So I think I won’t for awhile. Willingly. I love making out, that’s all fine and fun. I actually think I like making out more than I like having sex, to be honest. It’s such an art form. Sex can so easily turn into “fucking,” which, frankly, I very much dislike. Making out is beautiful. It’s poetic. It’s intimate and sensitive. And if it’s not, then it’s easy to stop or change. Stopping someone mid-fuck is not only potentially painful, but embarrassing. Bad kissing can be thwarted. But. I have never come across a bad kisser that I haven’t improved. I love teaching someone how to make out with me. It’s even better when the man is responsive and intelligent enough to teach me a thing or two back.

So there it is. It’ll go on my shelf of Resolutions next to not holding grudges and my newest mantra “Through trust and positive expectations, I can have the very best of life.” I feel good about myself.

A Few Moments

Some funny or odd incidents in the last week:

1) On Friday me and my brother took my dad to the circus. It was a complete surprise, a belated Father’s Day gift. It seems like a stupid thing to do, especially if you think you know my dad, but the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus is a tradition. Whenever the circus came to New York, Dad always took me and my brother. We would buy the hollow plastic swords that lit up. We’d each get a balloon animals, my brother a shark, me a unicorn. We’d get those obnoxious spinny things that light up and make zinging noises. Popcorn, hot dogs, cinnamon pretzels. This was in the old days where you actually did sit inside a huge red and orange striped tent, the Big Top, and you could smell the hay and the elephant manure and hear the roaring of the lions behind the curtain. And you were crammed on bleacher seats with hundreds of other New Yorkers and their children as they talked loudly and over each other. Dads from the Bronx saying sternly, “If you run awff again, I’ll kill ya, then what will I tell your mutha?” Moms saddled with diaper bags wiping chins and noses, promising treats if her offspring behaved. This was the circus of my childhood. And it was the only child-like entertainment that my dad thoroughly enjoyed. He never liked amusement parks or Disney movies or cartoons. But the circus? Man. He friggen loved the circus to the point where we still, as a family, remember the theme song of the head clown from when I was 6. Seriously. Everyone can sing it because my dad never forgot it.

So obviously when I found out that the Ringling Bros were coming to Los Angeles, I had to get tickets. And I did. One of the many great things about my dad is that it’s really easy to keep a secret from him. He lives in a world of his own thoughts and musings; such an Aquarius. He’s constantly absorbed in his current philosophy of life, or a new history book he’s reading, or the score of the Yankee game, or figuring out another way to get an acting job. He doesn’t remember specific names or dates (unless it’s about history or baseball). If I had left the Ringling Bros tickets out on the table, he probably wouldn’t think twice about them, if he even noticed them. His eyesight being bad doesn’t help his detective skills either. So that being said, he had no idea what we were going to see until we were inside the Staple Center. Seriously. After I gave him his ticket to get in, he had to hold it up to his nose so he could see it and then he burst out laughing. He was so happy, I felt my heart twinge a little bit. I almost cried, what can I say? Childhood sentimentality + Daddy issues = Jasmine Blubbering Idiot. I didn’t cry though. I was too amazed by the fact that there still booths of those hollow plastic light-up swords. I can’t believe they were selling the same crap. No balloon animals, though, damn it. Additionally, everyone was very very well-behaved in a California, air-conditioning sort of way. No yelling, no light-up toys whizzing around in the dark, no offending animal odors wafting from back stage. It was very civilized. What a marked difference between the coasts. Regardless, our seats were great, the show was great (there were a LOT of animal acts!! Eee!!) and, although the music wasn’t the same, it was great to be surrounded by so many happy little kids. It must have been Go To The Circus Day at all the surrounding summer camps because there were hundreds and hundreds of little kids in groups of matching t-shirts. They were great, it was really a marvelous, magical afternoon.

So the show is over, we leave the Staple Center and make our way back to the car. We all sit down, my dad beaming and happy, my brother and I full on hot dogs and too much soda. My dad starts the car. So after this amazing afternoon of being with Dad and remembering the Good Ole Days and all that, my brother, slouched in the back seat, finally says after some thought, “The Ring Master was kind of a dick.” My dad and I solemnly agree.

Classic Joshua Family.

2) So after I went to see the Dark Knight, I had to drive all the way back to Ventura (in order to drive yet again back into LA for the circus, oy). The problem was that it was 3am and I was tired and worried that I was going to drive off the 101 into a cliff. I dug through my CDs to find the most gaudy mix I could find. I couldn’t find my Disney mix, so I put in my musical mix and blasted it all the way home, which worked out fine. But now I realized how much I love musicals (God help everyone else) and so I play the CD all the time. Though, honestly, I’ve gotten an extremely good reaction! Twice at stop lights I happened to be listening to “We’ve Got Trouble” from The Music Man and once I was singing along at the very end of the song (a screechingly high, classic musical ending) and I turned to look over and see an entire family applauding me and grinning in the car next to me. I was asked if I was an opera singer (ha) and then the light turned. The second time, I happened to be listening to the same song and these two middle aged women in the car next to me started babbling about how much they loved that musical, but what was the name?? The Music Man, I say over the din. They are giggling and squawking in glee as we drive away from each other. I dunno. I love that shit.

3) I found out on Saturday we’re going to be playing before Kevin Costner’s band in Ventura. Except that it’s not going to be on the same stage. It’s going to be three blocks down the street from where Kevin is going to play. But I’m definitely going to tell people that I’ve played before Kevin Costner. I have a phone number from my dad where I might be able to reach him. . . I’m thinking about calling it, but I keep chickening out. Garsh.

A Good Motto for Relationships

I just said this to K on the phone and wanted to write it down. . . publicly.

The more I know who I am, the more I will know who I will want to be with.

Aha, a test already

Alright. My new resolution not to hold grudges? Here was the test.

I applied, interviewed and got a job as part executive assistant, part writer for an educational video company (his advertisement actually called for “50% writer, 50% executive assistant, 100% MUSE”) When I interviewed, the man, my would-be boss, who shall remain nameless, already seemed very proud of himself. That’s fine. I accept that. I noticed a degree from USC on the wall. He was impressed with my Groundlings training, wanted to know how far I had gotten. He bragged about how he had taught his son life lessons with improv instead of football. Alright, whatever, that’s fine, I suppose. I laughed at his jokes, no matter how stupid. He talked about how he ONLY wanted to hire women because they were so much easier to work with. I listened to him preen himself on how funny he is and lament how people don’t know how to work hard anymore, which reminded me of an aristocrat saying with a longing sigh “It’s so hard to find good help, these days.” But I agreed enthusiastically. I said that he can and should call my references to check my work ethic. Fine. He gave me the job. . . . but said it wouldn’t start for a few months. I agreed and left happily, feeling renewed and satisfied that I had done well for myself.

So I emailed him a few days later, asking if we could come to a written agreement of some kind, you know, just to see how serious he was. Well, obviously not that serious because he said that if I should get other “opportunities,” that I should take them. I thought “Aw shit, this means he probably won’t contact me later. . . oh well.” I left it alone. But then 20 minutes later he sent me another email. Not even a full sentence. “Or you could do some temp office work.” That’s it. I talked about it with both my parents. They both agreed that I should hold out for the “real” job, the one, in fact, that I was “hired” for. I wrote him a polite email saying that I appreciated his offer very very much, but that I would prefer to wait for the job that he posted.

Okay. At this point, I admit, instead I should have asked for clarification on what a “temp” job meant to him. What it means to ME, and the rest of the world, I think, is that you do grunt work on a TEMPorary basis and then they get rid of you. I thought, well, he’s already hired me for a position that I actually want. . . why would I take something else when he already thinks me good enough for a writing position? Now. I’m not above grunt work. Not at all. God. Both my parents are actors, the biggest lesson EVER EVER EVER is “paying your dues.” Especially creatively. I get that. I respect that. I have done it many times. But I didn’t assess this situation as “paying my dues.”

Not only was I wrong, but Mr. USC felt that instead of professionally letting me know that I had misinterpreted his partial-sentence, he would write me a series of emails telling me how “untested, shallow and inexperienced” I am. He also started listing “lessons” that I should learn, kindly numbering each one “Axiom #1, Axiom #2,” etc. Also, FYI, there are “good writers” who would kill for a chance to get their “foot in the door,” who usually have to get day jobs (THE HORROR) and don’t make a living off of the measly existence that they squeeze out of their written words. Also, he spelled “misconseption” wrong.

Okay. Breathe. Breathe. It’s fine. I had a wonderful Fourth of July with my family. Why let this (no insult, see?) person try and ruin it? No grudges. No grudges. This man has every right to his opinion. If his feelings were hurt by me turning down his temp position, then he has a right to them.

Well I have a right to my fucking feelings, too. And this is what I would LOVE to write back to him. But I won’t. Because I will be above this. I promised myself.

Dear Mr. USC,

Before I say anything else, I would like to offer my most profuse apologies for insulting your kind and generous offer to be your personal gopher and ass-wiper. Clearly, it is only my extreme naivety that would allow for me to interpret such an opportunity as beneath me. You are right. I should have LEAPED at the chance to kiss your shiny boot. Instead of politely and professionally (none of that, yuck!) declining as I had, I should have offered to bring a collar and a leash as well! What a fool I am!

But thank the snowy top of Mount Olympus I have you in my life to show me the way of The Writer. You, who have an office in a storage shed behind the railroad tracks next to a mechanic’s shop. You, who has a Pantheon of Real Writers at your fingertips, but who was humble enough to post a cryptic advertisement on CRAIGSLIST to find someone as unworthy and shallow as me to fill the Muse-shaped void in your educational video world! What a guy! I put this to you, good sir, where on God’s green earth would I be if not for your guidance and encouragement? Why, I would be eating my fingernails for breakfast! I would be licking dew off pine cones for beverage! If I hadn’t been so fortunate as to stumble upon your kind wisdom, I might NEVER understand what it’s like to be an artist! I wouldn’t know a real opportunity for career advancement from Adam if not for your educated advice!

And so while this Muse faux pas might have soured our professional relationship, I want you to know that I will treasure your Axioms in my heart for always. I will tattoo them on my chest. I will paint your words on wings and wear them day in and day out, to remind myself of my grievous error. I must have done something just awful to upset the Furies. The Greek tragedies of old appear as light-hearted humor compared to my baleful tale of misery. Medea? What a whiner. Odysseus? His woes are but a PITTANCE compared to my burden that I must carry, knowing that I troubled your lofty brow with my ignorance and bad manners. Please, just please know that this great disappointment, to not be able to pour your coffee in the morning, will be enough punishment for me. I can only prostrate myself in front of you and the Almighty Zeus and hope that someday, some lifetime, you will find this unworthy woman acceptable for mingling with the rest of the mortals.

Yours sincerely and eternally,

Ahh! That feels better :) Next, please.

Grudges and Family Pictures

I recently read aloud an extremely angry poem that I wrote about a few friends betraying me in high school. While I think it’s a good poem from a critical sense, I was disturbed by the opening line “I hold onto my grudges, just in case I need them later.” What an awful idea. It was cathartic to write and I think it was well-received in class, but I think that it’s a horrible way to actually live your life. So I’ve decided to let go of the grudges that I have been collecting for the past few years. I think it’s really fucking stupid for me to dislike people and then wonder why I’m by myself. So I’m going to stop. This includes, but not limited to: last lover who forgot to mention he was still living with his girlfriend who (oh, yeah!) he hadn’t broken up with, my treacherous best friend in high school, the guy humiliated me on a school trip by talking loudly about how much I ate, that teenage girl in the video store who got me fired (I think I worked there for one week), evil first boyfriend. (I also purposefully left out Los Angeles and the Boston Red Sox. . . I’m not that evolved yet).

Listing them was really helpful. I had to admit it aloud, I guess. It doesn’t make it go away but at least I am trying to be conscious of all the pain I’m holding onto by still harboring feelings of ill-will toward these people. I’m making a half-year pledge to stop wasting time disliking/hating them. It doesn’t change who they are. It doesn’t change who I am. It doesn’t change what they’ve done. It just makes me bitter and unpleasant.

I got three more assignments from my freelance guy. . . I won’t write a word until he tells me how much he’s paying me, now that I’m not on probation anymore. I feel slightly guilty at being such a hard ass, but I think that is what you have to do. I’m not going to slave away on a boring handbook on financial planning without knowing how much I’m getting paid for it.

Okay. I think that’s good.