Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Entry #13, 1 year later                                           For GiGi

Happy 2014, everyone! I hope this is our best year ever. 

The last time I wrote it was February 27, 2013. At that time I shared my concern about my friend David Black, in the last days of his life with cancer. He passed away a month later, right around St. Patrick's Day. Perfect for that Irish lad. I hope he celebrated with a giant glass of Irish whiskey (though I know it was more likely a great, aged scotch) I'd known David for over 30 years. He was my brother David's best friend.  So, he was like a brother to me. I miss him and can't believe he's gone.

I lost a few friends and acquaintances last year. One friend I'd known since grade school and reconnected  with in 2005. That loss hurt the most. Gigi was a grade school friend that I had reconnected with about 10 years ago. After 30 years, she saw me in a commercial and knew it was me. Gigi had 6 kids, a great husband and big, beautiful home that went with her big, beautiful heart and even bigger smile! She was a joy and our reconnection after all of those years made our childhood friendship feel much closer than it  actually was. We delighted in being together, reminiscing like those little girls at St. Martin of Tours School.

As adults, our lives could not have been more different. She had a husband and huge family and I had no mate and 2 small cats. So, naturally we went in and out of touch since 2005. At Christmas time 2012, I decided to call her and her number was disconnected. I had a bad feeling because she had just been diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2006 and we hadn't been in touch since 2007. I held my breath and did an obituary check on and sure enough, GiGi had passed 5 years ago. 5 YEARS AGO???!!!  How is it possible that we had not been in touch again in all this time?! And why didn't her husband call to tell me she died?!

I can't remember when I've cried harder. I felt so sad, guilty and angry with myself. I can't think about her without crying. There are a dozen reasons why people lose contact, but no amount of logic could be of comfort. I was as stunned by how long it had been since we saw each other as I was about the fact that she died. 
Was I in a coma over the past 7 years? Did I damage too many brain cells with all the pot I smoked in the 70's and 80's?  How did this huge gap in time happen without my noticing?  Where did I drop the ball, or more accurately, how could I have dropped interest in how she was doing with her cancer?  Can I really call it denial? My self-punishing nature can't bare to give myself that much slack. Surely I'm just a self-absorbed, shamefully lazy person.  I would rather have been in a coma.
I scoured my house and the internet for pics of her and did a lot of Facebook creeping to see her kids all grown up, graduating from college, the oldest daughter with a small child of her own, the youngest a soccer star at university. It's hard to see them so much older than when we first met. Another painful reminder of the passing of time.
Life can be cruel.  I can't get a redo on my friendship with GiGi. How I wish I could.  All I can do is use that experience as a lesson. I can't cure any one's illness, but I can hold their hand and make them laugh or make them dinner or any thing they desire, while we are together.
It's really not asking too much to be there for a friend in pain; whether physical or emotional. The important, most healing part, is to simply BE there. That's all.  And it's really all you have power over.
I love and miss you, Gloria (GiGi) Smith. Please forgive me.  Love - Jeannie

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blog Entry # 12                                           What really matters.    

It doesn't matter if you're rich. It doesn't matter if people like you, think you're pretty, smart or funny. It doesn't matter if you pay your bills on time, if you have great credit or bad credit. It doesn't matter if you have a clean or messy house, a groomed or overgrown yard, the most stylish clothes, the straightest/whites teeth or the prettiest, smartest kids. It doesn't even matter if you are the greatest spouse, parent or child.

The first and most important thing that matters in this sweet, perplexing, confounded and beautiful life is being physically healthy.


Without your health, all of those other things that you thought mattered so damned much, don't really matter at all. When you don't have your health and you are faced with the possibility of dying before your time, (whatever that means because after all, "when it's your time, it's your time", right?)  you can only fully appreciate the breath you are taking each moment and the beauty that is right in front of you - whether it's the laughter of your child, the gesture of a friend or a gentle breeze. Every present moment matters most.

I have a very good friend who is fighting cancer. He's fighting with all his might. I can't imagine fighting a life threatening disease, so at times like this, I often wonder how I'd handle it. Don't you wonder that about yourself?

Would I be the kind of person who cries every waking moment? Would I be a complaining, angry whiner?
Would I be a gracious, positive good spirited fighter?
Would I ask for help when I need it?
Would I resent people who couldn't be there for me?
Would I be resentful of healthy people?
Would I talk openly about death or refuse to have that discussion?
Would I make amends with those people I've wronged or hurt?
Would those who have hurt me make amends?
Would I bargain with God?
Would I still have faith in God?

Would I ________________________________________? Fill in the blank for yourself. Ask yourself what you might do, and then make note of how you would likely handle the situation - and be honest with yourself. Then ask yourself how you'd like to handle that situation.

No one prepares us for these situations. There is no standardized course in illness, death and dying for the average person. It's probably a good thing. All that thought about illness, death and dying might make you ill!

I don't know for sure what I would do, but what I do know is that I would not worry about my big ass!  If I were very sick, I might even be grateful for my big ass - for the luxury of being fat enough to POSSESS a big ass! One girls' big ass is another one's blessing, I guess.

If I were fighting for my life, I wouldn't worry about most any of the things that occupy my mind on a daily basis. At the moment, all I can worry about are the friends who are sick and how I can be of service to them. 

It's a choice designed as much for self preservation as it is for helping preserve my friend.

Being active in his healthy future is a gift to me. It's a way of showing my love, but it's also a way to really see HIM again once the shock of seeing his illness passes. It allows me to get passed the shock and adjust to a new normal where I can see him, not just his illness. 

My friend is putting in a great fight and this fight has certainly changed him, as it would anyone.  He has managed to maintain a really upbeat attitude which has really freaked us all out just a little! No one can understand how he can be so upbeat in his condition? Who cares - it's a good thing.

He has tried traditional medicine and is now on a holistic path for treatment. It's a gutsy move, but he's a gutsy guy. 

The only way to fight a life threatening disease is to think, behave and be sure others think and behave as if you will win that fight. It means moving all of the negative out of your path. It means eating, drinking and behaving in a healthy manner and laughing as often as possible with people you love. And at times, that fight means you will "fake it til you make it" and live "as if".

So, I'll continue to take my supplements, strive to eat healthy and be grateful for the good health that I have because I know one thing for sure - without your health, you have nothing.  With your health, you can make all those other "things" a reality.

I hope you know that too. Here's to your health. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blog Entry #11         The Fuck It - Life's Too Short! Diet

I know that life is unpredictable, at best. I know that death is inevitable. I also know that it could happen to any of us at any time in our lives; healthy diet or not. But what I CANNOT understand is why I have to know so many people who have died or are beginning their process of dying, all at the same time! 

And that's why I just ate 3, huge cupcakes, covered in thick, pink frosting. Why the fuck NOT? It was either eat 3 huge cupcakes or kick the same cat that I was in such distress over losing just a couple of weeks ago - which would have seemed psychotic after all the effort to find him. I couldn't have bared seeing his perplexed kitty expression and I wouldn't have been able to explain it to him - I don't speak CATonese - so I ate the cup cakes. And by cup I mean HUGE, French style coffee bowls -  because in my food world, BIG really IS better.

You see, in addition to saying goodbye to 4 friends in the past 1.5 years - one just a few days ago - in the past 4 days, I've heard about 2 friends who are terminally ill with cancer, 2 who have suffered aneurysms and are now in coma's, and one who is making his hospice plans after a 2 year fight with non-specific carcinoma.

Today, it got very "specific" for him. It is now in his kidney's, lymph nodes and other places that I couldn't take in after hearing about the first 2.

I couldn't take it! I had to do something about it! So naturally, I posted a pathetic, Debbie Downer "when will all this bad news end" update on facebook, but then all of the "who died now?" questions came pouring in. I know that these friends didn't mean to seem insensative, but given the tender state of grief that I'm feeling, I just wanted to slap each of them and remind them that we are talking about people dying - not another lost pet!  So, I deleted the post and angrily began frosting the cup cakes that I made for my birthday.

When I made those cupcakes, I promised myself that I'd be VERY disciplined about when and how I would enjoy them. I made them to honor and love myself on my 54th year of life, believing that I had every right to celebrate with a bit of sweetness.

Well, today that Namaste bullshit went right out the window! The way I saw it, I had 2 choices: 1.  Kick the cat who was driving me crazy to let him outside or 2. Eat the stupid cupcakes. It didn't take me long to decide.

I frosted the first one so angrily that it crumbled. The frosting was too hard, so I tossed it into the microwave for 20 seconds. That worked. I was now able to frost 3 of them in rapid, Lucy & Ethel at the candy factory precision.  I took a couple of coffee bean extract capsules just so I wouldn't regret it too much later.

I stood over my kitchen island consuming each cupcake without one ounce of regret, guilt or shame. I cried. I ate. And then after a big glass of skim milk, I wiped my tears and my mouth and let the cat out.

I don't feel better, but I do feel a bit calmer. Probably the sugar coursing through my veins, tarring my arteries which will likely cause some sort of cancer within a year.

At least now I know how it all happens: Grief---------> Bad Food Choices---------> Cancer-----------> Death.

Please put me in something slimming for the viewing. It's all I ask.

Next week: Dealing with Grief in a Healthy Manner. Maybe.

Please pray for David B., Ernie V., Eddie G. and Jimmy M.

I'm still so sad and angry, I can't even bring myself to tell you how wonderful these men are. I'll do that soon.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blog Entry #10                        Happy Eat-Your-Weight-in-Chinese-Food 
                                          With Your Mother Day!

Here's the deal - yesterday was the ever-dreaded... Valentines Day..
Or as I affectionately call it  NOBODY-BUT-MY-MOTHER-REALLY-LOVES-ME DAY!!  So, the way I see it, I had 2 choices: #1 Drink everything in the liquor cabinet (a caloric nightmare) and then drunk-dial all of my old lovers (while eating cold pasta and raw cookie dough 'cause all that drinking made me ravenous!) to ask "Whhhhhhy?! WHHHHY DIN YOU LUBME?!! *hick* I WUZ BOODIFUL! I WUZ SWEET! I....I....I godda throw up! I HATE YOU! CALL ME?"  *barf*   Yep, that's prettay, prettay darned close to how that would've gone. Or  #2 I could coach one of my favorite young actors, Allison Cirner, and then buy Chinese food for me and my mom so that we feel loved by each other and full from one of our favorite foods. These lines are often blurred.

Don't believe me? Just ask my mother...
On the one hand it's wonderful that my mother is that aware of something that most people take years of therapy to dig out of their subconscious. But on the other hand, it breaks my heart because I know just how important food is to her happiness. She was very poor as a child, with so few happy moments that it's hard to imagine - both of my parents were that poor. 

My father, his 4 brothers and only sister were on "relief" when they were kids. That's what it was called in the 30's - Relief. Now it's called Welfare. I doubt that those handouts gave any of them much relief. They were still piss poor and living right at the razors edge of the American Dream.

When my dad was just  a kid, he witnessed his father getting hit and killed by a truck...or a trolley...I can't remember exactly. Even before that happened, he was a "dead end kid". If you don't know what that is, look it up. There were great films made about those kids in the 30's, starring Bing Crosby as a protective, hard nosed priest that kept those kids on the straight and narrow. And that's exactly my dad's story. A priest named Father Moran kept my dad in line when he could have easily gone down the wrong road. He was one of those kids who got by on their street wise, hand to mouth survival instincts.

So, as with all very poor people, the most important factor in both my parents survival was food.  My dad loved to cook, he loved to eat and see other people eat his cooking. My mother isn't quite as into cooking, but she loves to go out to dinner. When she grocery shops, she always buys WAY too much food - enough food to fill the refrigerators of several people - she does it so that she can give my brother David and I bags full of food whenever we visit her. (those Green Monsters you saw in an earlier post) 

The other day she told me that she was so unaccustomed to receiving gifts, or even the essentials when she was a kid, that she still isn't comfortable receiving gifts. She feels much more comfortable giving.

And so, that's what she does...because food is love. At least it is in my family. And as long as my mom is still here, I'll have an ongoing struggle appreciating the love while keeping the food and my relationship to it, healthy.

I owe all of this healthy insight and sudden good attitude about Valentines Day to the coaching session I had with Allison earlier in the day. Allison is applying to college theater programs. I recommended that we work on young Emily's "Goodby World" speech from Our Town. She loves the piece and I'm so glad because it's one of my all time favorite plays, and the speech is so beautiful and tender.

This monologue allows a young actress to show great range in her ability to go from a very young girl to a young woman who shows a very mature appreciation for her family and all that comes with it - of every aspect of being alive.

In the play, 26 year old Emily has died giving birth and comes back to earth in spirit form in order to see the people she loves, one last time. In an effort to help Allison deliver the most honest interpretation of the speech, I asked her to paraphrase it, using her own life in place of Emily's. I asked her to look around her own living room, and to think of her parents, her brother, her dog and all of the other, more mundane aspects of her real life that she would miss.

When Allison did that, we were both brought to tears. It worked and she got it. She got what she needed for the monologue to ring true!

So it's this speech that reminded me that I don't need a man or any other source of love to appreciate Valentines Day.  I have plenty of love to appreciate, right now.

Here is the end of Emily's speech.

Emily: Goodbye to clocks ticking — and my butternut tree! And Mama's sunflowers — and food and coffee — and new-ironed dresses and hot baths — and sleeping and waking up!

Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anyone to realize you!

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every,
every minute?

Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some.
Since starting this blog entry in the wee hours of this morning, I learned about the passing of a loving, talented friend and colleague, Jim McCormack, who really did appreciate life while he lived it - every, every minute. 

From Jim's Facebook page:  I'm just the cute little Irish kid your grandmother warned you about. I am the incredibly fortunate husband of Beth, the very blessed father of Heather, Aidan and David with the burden of son-in-law Richard.

I love music (can't imagine life without music), performing live--onstage or in any impromptu setting (pretty much I'm always "on"), generally anything Arts-related, reading, baseball (GO INDIANS), seeing live theater, being part of the collaborative creative process that is live theater, doing voice-overs, hugging trees, hiking, driving or traveling to someplace new, doing photography and just enjoying being alive...    January 24, 1950-February 14, 2013 

     For the rest of us still here, trying to sort it all out, my wish is that...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Entry #9                    
State of The 'Fat Tuesday' on
North Korean Nukes,
A Standoff with a Wild and Crazy Ex-Cop,
That Dangerous Drone Rex Reed and his Strike on
Melissa McCarthy's Ginormous Pączki.

Some might say that today was no different than any other day in American news.I'd say that today was uniquely jam-packed where news is concerned. Like an enormous Pączki, filled with a gooey concoction of Korean nuke tests, the murders by and shoot out with LA's ex-cop Christopher Dorner, President Obama's call to reform the laws on assault weapons and Rex Reed's assault on Melissa McCarthy.

There was a lot going on, so in light of all this unease, it just seemed silly to focus on my big ass, even if it would offer some light hearted escape.  I just can't do it in the way that I would like to. So, I'll focus on one of the most disturbing news item of the day -  the attack on Melissa McCarthy. 

I know - "Why on earth would you focus on that, Jean?" I'll tell you why. Because in a day of such epic concerns, the American media is still interested in what one ignorant, attention seeking, irrelevant critic has to say about the size of a beautiful and talented actress.  We are still a country of sizeist bullies, even though plenty of people came to Melissa's defense in retaliation.  

What the hell America? Is this what we really care about in a day like today? Yes, we are a celebrity obsessed culture, where what we are is more important than who we are, but when a news item like bullying a fat girl is just as important as a nuclear detonation, it makes me want to hide from the rest of the world. The world that looks at America as if we are the drunk relative falling into the hors d'oeuvres table.

I also watched a tiny bit of Katie Couric's show today, where she talked with women who have been raped while serving in the US military. A documentary called "The Invisible War" was created to shed light on the subject. It reveals that in almost every case, ZERO punitive action was taken against the offenders.  The film production team has pushed for policy change in this matter and Secratary of Defense Leon Panetta has changed some policies, but no where near enough change to match the consequences of such offenses in the civilian world.

It's been said and debated before, but now more than ever, I believe that there really is a war on women. Whether it's picking on fat actresses, rape in the military or countless other events around the world that denigrate women, these are the news items that stood out for me today.

So, excuuuuuuuse me if this is the only light hearted offering I can muster today. If your like me and you feel frustrated about the headlines, just do what I do - chew a few Bit-O-Honey and call the Psychiatric Hotline.

Next Blog Entry - The Search for a female Pope.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blog Entry #8                      

   What's your BIG ASS fear?
Mine is that one day, I'll recognize my ass
 on the WALMARTIANS Website!! 

Like THIS Poor Woman

or THIS One!

It could happen you know. I shop at Walmart on occasion. At 3am. In my pajamas. And slippers...that look sorta like shoes (if you squint from 5 aisles away).  And on more than one occasion, I've seen those Walmartians wearing clothes that I own! This also happens on the VERY RARE occasions that I watch HOARDERS on TLC, Tuesdays and Wednesdays back to back from 1-9pm.  Yeah - I've actually said "Oh, I have one (or more) of those" out loud!

And there my friends, is the ugly beginning of the end. The BIG FAT END! If I ever see my big ass on the WALMARTIANS website, kiss my big ass GOODBYE! I won't be able to go on. And just so the end is not without some joy, I'll be sure to eat every Big Mac and fries I can get my hands on before I off myself with a ham sandwich, like the late, great, Mama Cass Elliot.  And I'll do it on a Monday Monday in her honor.

I always wonder if these poor people recognize themselves and what their reactions must be if they do.  Are they mortified or are they sitting in their double-wide trailer, proudly summoning their COUSBANDS - "Hey, Bubba! Get over here! I'm on the TV!"?  Who knows! All I know is that I never want to be one of those unfortunate, fashion-nasties. 

Then again, I used to think these were sizzling hot looks ...

Would you like my syrup on yo pancakes?


Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?

I can take dictation and snorkel in this outfit.

Well, at least I had a small ass back then. That's the only reason you are seeing these pics now. You know what? I thought I was FAT back then. Each and every time. It's a shame, isn't it?

Whether you're an actor or not, women seldom feel good enough. We rarely feel free enough to say "I'm good enough" or "I'm perfect, exactly as I am."  No matter how many times you hear those consoling compliments from friends, there is always that nagging doubt that they are being honest. Every day is an audition.  Every day is a chance to feel less than. It's a cruel reality for women of a certain age, but especially for female actors of a certain age.  Yet, if your greatest joy is to perform, you keep at it, hoping that your talent doesn't go to waste. Hoping that people will see that you have more to offer because of your age and experience, not make you feel diminished by it. 

It must be late because I'm getting more and more maudlin. I'm also frustrated because I can't seem to get a straight answer about the call back I did last week. For Crissake! Did I get it or not?! Why have I had to ask about the casting decision 3 times already, only to receive cryptic replies that say nothing?  It's OK! You can tell me! I'm taking 1,000 supplements -  you can't kill me, no matter how many times you say "NO"!

I think I'll take my frustrations out on my closet and burn those "GOLDDIGGA" sweat pants of mine.

Good Night.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blog Entry #7  The Cat Came Back to The Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel!    (and we celebrated with a cake)

I hoped he would. I prayed he would. I said a chant outside in the full moon and  even sprinkled my own urine around my house so that he would. (my friend Diane swears by it)  And he DID! Weirdo came home, safe, sound and really hungry. 

He was missing for 7 of Ohio's coldest days, and in that time I received more loving support than I ever could have imagined, from friends and strangers alike.

I said it before and I'll say it again, 2 legged creatures have the capacity to love 4 legged creatures like nobodies business.  It's a beautiful sight to behold. It makes me think that when we put our minds to something, we mere mortals are capable of BIG, BIG love and anything we put our minds to.

Yep, it was a cause for some serious celebration. So, I did what any happy woman on a diet would do. I baked a cake! Strawberry cake with a light chocolate frosting. It was just OK. No big deal. (and looked absolutely NOTHING like this one. Think slightly lopsided in a square Pyrex with frosting smeared on top and also along the edges of the Pyrex)

NO! NO!! Don't make that face! It was all for Weirdo! He was sooooooo hungry! Little shit didn't even taste it. I had to eat a very large portion of it or how else would I know that it was safe to give the rest away? I had a friend over for dinner the next night and he had one small piece. The rest I gave to a friend who came by to drop off a costume I lent her.

OK- it may appear that I have lost all hope of staying on this path of most resistance, but a remarkable thing happened. I discovered that since taking the Green Coffee Bean extract, I now only binge on forbidden foods when I am really HAPPY and feel like celebrating!!

That's a breakthrough folks!  This GCB Supplement not only metabolizes fat very quickly it has actually curbed my appetite in a significant way with out any side affects. I have no idea why it does that, but it does. So, I've found that when I do feel like pigging out on something, it's for a celebration.

So the only logical thing to do is to make sure I am miserable for the rest of my life and I'll be guaranteed to leave a very sexy corpse! OOOOOOOOH YEAH! BRING ON THE FAILURE!

So, now the only trick is to see how I do with this knowledge the next time I'm in a celebratory mood.  What will I do? Can I really make a big change in this area? I hate feeling deprived of anything that gives me joy.    Well I have to try, so I won't bake a cake. Or if I do, I'll have to make it something sugar-free, fat-free and....let's face it....taste-free! No, I've tried that before.  That never works. There is no celebration with something compromised that is impersonating something wonderful.  It doesn't work for food or men.

There are more dangers in those foods that have "substitutions" than those that are pure fat, sugar and salt.  For instance, have you ever seen what goes into making fat free dressing? Let's just say you wouldn't want to pour it near an open  flame. Too many chemicals for me these days.

I know! I'll make myself my favorite HOT CHOCOLATE!! It's so uniquely rich and flavorful and it takes a good while to consume. Especially if you drink it out of this mini jacuzzi, as I do. So that will be the splurge. This size is 200 calories and takes a solid 20 minutes or more to consume. Way better than cake.  It's Mexican cocoa. Nothing better.
BAM!       --------------------->
In the meantime, I am still very proud of myself. I had a mini breakthrough about my current eating habits. It's not going to change the world but it may change mine.  And that small step is a reminder that this is a process of SMALL STEPS! Not big, sweeping miracles that happen over night.  

All of my doubt and worry about my ability to change at this age was put into perspective tonight when I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I know it's just a movie, but it was the inspiration for tonight's blog entry.

Judy Dench's character had some closing lines that were so beautiful, I had to share them.   Below is an audio clip. The photos are my from my garden. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blog Entry #6.               The Call Back Diet                                   

Don't judge me. There are times when you just have to reward yourself for a job, possibly, well done.  Today, I had the opportunity to do a call back for the play I auditioned for last week. I'll find out just how "well done" a job I did in a week or so, when they make their casting decisions. In the meantime,  I am very happy to have auditioned twice for a play as meaty and funny as this one, for a director with a very impressive resume, whom I'd never met prior to the first audition. When all of that is on the table, it's time for a mini celebration - in the form of chocolate. And only ONE piece of chocolate!

Proud of me? Don't be. I found that one piece of chocolate in the Barcalounger while fiendishly hunting for that #$%&! nail polish that I wore at the first audition! (pant, sweat, stub toe, pant some more)

YAY! I found the nail polish and went to the coveted  call back!

I think all that frustration is worthy of a piece of chocolate, don't you? You can bet your life that if there were 2 or 3 or 10 pieces of chocolate I likely would have eaten them all. So, it was a big ass deal that I waited until I got home to eat that one stinking piece of chocolate! I also had a glass of wine. I only have a drink at home when I have company, and after auditions or performances, to "come down", as it were. Yes sir, I can finally kick off my sensible shoes, cut myself out of my Spanx, open that ONE piece of chocolate and consume the remaining calaries for the day in the form of a crisp, unpretentious but formidable for it's vintage, white wine.

Now, let's review the audition. Like many actors, I question every choice I make at the call back.  Mainly because it's my last chance to get the role. That's it. But deep down I know it's pointless to bother with doubts because whatever I think worked or didn't work could be miles off from what the director thought worked or didn't work.  On top of that, this very nice, young, organized director with a very impressive resume, was very hard to read. He had me read 1 scene with 1 other actor and 1 monologue from the play. That's it and no 2nd reads on either. In and out in about 8 minutes. (insert sex joke here) Just like the first audition.

So, the question becomes - Was I released early because he loved me and didn't need to see any more from me? Or was I released early because he hated me and didn't want to see any more from me? Ooooh, yeah. It's like that. It's even worse at times, but I don't want to scare you off.  Some of this neurotic musing is designed to entertain you, and some is real. You'll never know which is which. That's all the power I have at the moment and I'm holding on to it.

This level of doubt does not happen as frequently for other experienced actors who audition 5 or more times per week in New York, Chicago or LA. Those actors are auditioning for stage, film, television and radio on a regular basis. Well, let's just say, they audition much more often than actors in Cleveland, anyway. If they are really good, well known for their work and connected, they barely have time to obsess about auditions. Those of us in the hinter lands take our opportunities to heart. And after the audition, we have to live among the close knit acting community, hoping we can survive the let down until the next loin-girding opportunity.

So, after a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine, the next logical thought is - "I was FANTASTIC! Why do I doubt myself? Silly, magnificent Diva!"  Then I slap myself, get into my prettiest jammies and re-paint my nails that I smudged rushing out the door earlier. 

It really was a pretty triumphant day in small measure. While hunting for that damned nail polish, I found that 1, precious piece of creamy, Hershey's milk chocolate "Nugget", sprinkled with shards of almonds...and toffee and wrapped in shiny gold foil, like a miniature bar of 24K gold, glistening in the dusty darkness of my milk chocolate brown, leather Barcalounger recliner.  *sigh*   Why couldn't there have been TWO pieces of chocolate? 

Um...what was I talking about?  OH! Not only did I find the piece of chocolate, I ALSO FOUND THE REMOTE CONTROL THAT WAS MISSING FOR 2 WEEKS! WOOHOO! You'd have thought I found an entire bag of that chocolate when I found that thing. It happens to be the color of dark chocolate.    

   If only it could change this...                         and this...                               and this.....

and MY BIG ASS!     Maybe I need D batteries.  Maybe Ron Popeil will invent something.  Hurry Ron.

Ah well, maybe the remote can't magically change my unwanted parts. I am lucky to have found 2 out of 3 things that I needed today. Everything but my cat. My Weirdo. If he had come home today would my good lucky mojo have expired, making it impossible to be rewarded with my cat and an acting role? Is that how it works? I used to be a fairly 'glass half full' sort of person. I used to be fairly giddy while everyone else in the room was jaded, cynical and full of fear, and I used to wonder "what happened to those people to make them so insecure?" Now    I know. They were aging, gaining weight and searching for the one source of affection that has suddenly disappeared.

Look, I  know I'm being ridiculous. I know that I'm a very fortunate woman in many ways. 1. I have a loving family. Well - it's large enough to do the rounds and stay in one place just long enough before things get too ugly, anyway. 2. I have a large handful of loyal friends. I used to have more friends, but I don't need a lot of friends. I need loyal ones. 3. In one form or another, I do what I love for a living.  4. I work from home...hell ...5. ...I HAVE a home!  6. I have my health...mostly. And 7. I have the privilege of being fat enough to go on a diet while much of the world is starving. 

Did you know that there are roughly 7 billion people in the world? With an estimated 925 million being under-fed/under-nourished (13.1 percent), that means almost 1 in 7 people are hungry on a daily basis.  Sobering information as I sip my $6 wine.

So, at the end of this day, and every day, I know how fortunate I am to be a whiny actor who just had an opportunity, a meal and a glass of wine. 

I know it's all ridiculous on many levels, but as long as I'm here, playing in this sand box, I'm going to have my occasional gripes about how often I get to play and when I can get the prettiest bucket. HA! See what I did there? Bucket - aka butt, ass, derriere! oooookay, i'm finished.

Ya know, typing to you makes me feel better. The wine helps too. I can now put my audition, my remote and my fears in their proper place - for now.

Damn - Where is that cat? 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blog Entry #5

The Lost Cat Diet for Weirdos!

My cat, Weirdo, has been missing since the coldest day in Cleveland's history, Tuesday, 1/22/13. So, this entry is more therapeutic than informative or inspirational. 

To those who are wondering "why would you let your cat out in this weather...or at all...and without a collar/tags?!" I hear you. I have tried to get him to wear a collar since I've had him. He was an orphan when he came to my home, already neutered and crying like a little kid "I need a home, damn it!" I took him in without hesitation. He was too adorable for words and let me pick him up immediately.

As for the collar attempts, he has lost every one that I put on him. I tried the flea collar with tag, the manly black collar, a red collar with a name it, he hated it. The same went for my cat Wacko. He was also an indoor/outdoor cat and never wanted a collar, but unlike Weirdo, he never stayed away this long and certainly not in this weather. Add to that, when Weirdo wants to go out, it's a fight to the finish! He stomps all over my printer, my phone and anything that has buttons and beeps, turns on and off or talks to him. It's so annoying that I eventually give in. I keep thinking "he must have some serious kitty business out there!" I believe in individual freedoms, for man and beast. Now I wish I didn't.

It's been a sad few days. I am exhausted and yet uplifted by the process of looking for him. People from every walk of my life, as well as complete strangers, have been helping me search on facebook, Craig's List, TV stations, and even friends with psychic abilities.  I'm deeply grateful to you all.

It's awesome to see 2 legged creatures' capacity to care for 4 legged creatures.  I am so in love with my cats, some say that I should spend time on the couch of a friendly professional.  But this sort of love is nothing new to people with pets. They get it, especially single people with pets. To us, they are the children we didn't have, and in some cases, the children we wished we had instead of the one's we have. The children who we can count on for unconditional love - well, as long as we feed them. But, barring any unusual cruelty, cats will love you no matter what, as long as you feed, shelter and love them.

My way of loving is not for all cats! So, the cat that comes back to me (which is ALL of them) is a special breed.  I kiss, bite, squeeze and chew on any part they will tolerate. Believe it or not, they come back every time, accept for Tuesday, 1/22/13. I was very busy preparing for an audition; trying to print my resume, (frustrated because my wireless printer isn't making the connection) rehearsing the monologue I was given to perform, and deciding what to wear. I was feeling great accept for the printer situation. Nothing was more important than that audition - not even whether or not I let Weirdo outside that day.

I finally found a pic and resume that I had in a folder, so I didn't need to print one. I got dressed and left the house at about 8pm. I was so focused on this audition that I didn't even eat until very late in the day, at about 5pm. I was focused. I wasn't hungry.

After the audition which went well and very fast, I drove around my old neighborhood (see my last blog entry, 1/23/13) So, I didn't get home until 10pm. When I got home I realized that Weirdo wasn't home. I looked high and low in my house, called him out of the front and back doors, called my neighbors and posted a notice on facebook. I stayed up all night, lying on the couch in hopes that he'd come to the window as he always does, scratching and meowing so I'll let him in. It's a glorious feeling to see that sweet face, so eager to come back inside to fight with Pukha and snuggle (put up with) me.

He never appeared. I posted on lost pet sites and Craig's List. I posted fliers in 50 mailboxes and called 4 Vets/Animal Hospitals and shelters in the area. I can't sleep well and I'm not remotely hungry.  I have consumed less than 1200 calories in 2 days.

That's my diet- Stress over the loss of my sweet kitty. I feel so guilty for not paying attention to where he was that day. He is so lovable, maybe someone took him in out of the freezing cold. After all, that's how I found him - wandering around, meowing for a new home. 
He was there when my other cat, Wacko, was dying. Here is a pic of him comforting Wacko. I was there to see them laying together, and video taped them as he put his left paw on Wacko. I think I cried for a solid hour. These animals have intelligence, humor and empathy. Why wouldn't anyone want that sort of calming influence in their home?

I keep hearing things that sound like him scratching and meowing, but nope - not him. I even heard loud knocking this morning, so I jumped out of bed, nearly breaking my leg. I ran to the door, but there was no one there and no footprints or paw prints in the new snow that fell on my porch that morning.

I can't imagine how people who have missing children have the will to go on. It's torture enough losing a pet that you love and get so much love from.

I will say this though -  I don't have much of an appetite. I don't recommend this diet.
Trying out my new camera during the first snow, 2012.