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December 28, 2003

Over It All Over

"All right, let's see if we can do this in one toke - uh, take."

The show is over! Hurrah! Christmas = officially over. Done.

jeez... it seems like I just started working there. I guess it always does, though. The days after a show closes are always hard for me in some weird way (over the summer, for example, the Equity Day Off was always the worst day of my week). It's something I've been told you never really get used to in theatre, you work intensively with a group of people for a while, then you pack it up and move along. A good portion of the cast was from out of town, and so they go away. The others I may see again around town in this play or that, but I wouldn't even have the courage to go up and congratulate 90% of them, if more than a month has gone by. That's how I am, and I know it.

So after the last show, and the post-last-show dinner, I found myself at home. With nothing on my immediate San Diego horizon. Trying to shake that feeling, that inexplicable, tangible, heavy feeling that I notice around me after a show ends. A cast member gave me a CD as a gift, a picture of a zippered banana on its cover. I put it in my computer and discovered a DVD feature. Surprised and delighted, I explored that for a while, and then just let the music play as I worked ... on stuff.

Whatever I tried, I just couldn't shake the show from my head. My brain just rolled the experience around until I didn't even notice it was what I was thinking about. But it was all I was thinking about.

What I didn't understand was that I was so ready to be done with it. So ready for it to be over. I was so overwhelmed and overloaded with the whole thing - and it had been so wacky for so many unmentionable reasons - that I thought I was going to be able to walk away from it with no trouble. In some ways, I thought I'd run and never look back. Part of me wanted to, that's for sure. I didn't think I'd feel nostalgic or sentimental. I thought I was over it.

I was SO tired of having to bite my tongue, and keeping the things I was experiencing to myself because they were not fit to share. Or because I was looking out for other people. People who were not necessarily looking out for me. I hated the position I had been put in, and I thought I would be ready as anything to say farewell.

But I guess I wasn't quite as ready as I thought. Maybe I never am.

I reminded myself of the many good things I gained from the show - and silently thanked whoever I silently thank for the people I got to enjoy. At the very least, I made an excellent female shopping/drinking/adventuring buddy. So far in San Diego I have met very few of those, so I was pretty thrilled at my good luck there. There were others I was reluctant to say goodbye to, as well, but little can be done. Theatre is just that way, and I certainly can't stay in the business if I can't deal with that.

Then again ... you never know who you may run into for an ass-kicking on the frisbee golf course. You never do know about that.

But I felt heavy. It would have been a good time for getting a little sloshed with some pals and forgetting about the show. Sleep off the liquor and the feeling I had. Let it all fade into the distance, into the soft-focus of my hazy memories. But it was not to be. Everyone was holed up for their quiet Sunday night, and I lacked the motivation to stir things up. So there it was.

As I sat working, the music played on. It was unfamiliar to me, and I was just jamming to the ambiance as I went about my business. Not to be outdone, however, the lyrics caught my attention:
I've thought it over and it
It's over and
It's over and
It's over and it's over

Yes. I get it. OVER. Did I really need to be beaten over the head by this word?
And I was very still for a while. My vision blurred, my cheeks were wet with warm tears. And for some reason that I didn't really understand, I just hung my head and cried.

And that was that. Over.

Posted by kati at 10:50 PM

December 27, 2003

Dead in the Water

"...and tell it like it is
it's like the old man said
We're dead in the water now
Dead in the water..."

So after a few weeks of work and play, another theatrical production comes to its end tomorrow. My first in San Diego, actually. It's been a good one, but unlike many others I have experienced, I am quite ready for it to be over. In some ways it's been grand - I've made some friends and was lucky to meet some good people along the way, and in other ways I can't wait to throw in the proverbial towel and get the hell out of there.

What I've learned:

1. You don't have to be a dick to be a good actor, but some people didn't get the memo. Oh well.
That's the way it's been since the dawn of time. I love that some don't find it necessary to buy into that crap. Those are the good ones.

2. Some people are NOT going to like me. I must accept that no matter what I do, or how much I want someone to like me, I may just make them crazy and ain't nothing to be done about it.

Now what a person chooses to do with this scenario is another story altogether. Sadly, I live in the real world, where "grown ups" have more power than I do: financially, socially, in a jell-o wrestling pit, wherever. I need to remember this, and remember that there is no use trying to buck the system. Conventional wisdom is about as flexible as raw spaghetti, and little old me won't be able to change that. sigh.

So I'm declaring game over. On this show I was the new girl, and I tried my GodDAMNDEST to get along, to fit in and be well-liked. I think I'm a reasonably likable gal. But in some cases, no dice. Hence: the declaration of game over. I'm calling it on account of rain.

I don't care if you like me or hate me. If my life or my friends or my hair or my pants make you angry or nervous or green with envy. Whatever. You can play that game if it makes you feel better. I won't. You win. You're not bringing me down there with you.

It's not that I don't like you. Sure I do.
But I'm not going to kiss anybody's ass so they'll like me, especially if I already know quite well that they never will. I'm just not going to do that. And frankly, it makes me a little sad that people work that way.

But they do ... conventional wisdom blah blah blah.

So at the end of this show, what I really learned:

1. I am thankful for the people who come into my life with every new experience. The ones who are worthwhile just appear. I don't have to work to get them there.

2. I am SO thankful for the San Francisco/Berkeley theatre scene. I didn't know how lucky I was to be a part of it for so long, and I can't wait to get back into it later on.

3. I am 20 years old, and I am done compromising at work. I'm good at what I do, and I'm only going to get better. If people have a problem with me then it's theirs to deal with - because I am here, and I'm going to live my life and do my job.

4. A little kindness goes a hell of a long way. And so does a little of the other thing.

.... and that I can remember

Posted by kati at 06:28 PM

December 25, 2003

A Christmas Conversation

"Open my eyes. Tell me the truth for once, and help me to open my goddam eyes."

It seems fitting, in my warped and sadistic mind, that the Yuletide season would be that in which I come to question the very nature of man. Or, at least, my perception of the aforementioned topic.

Perhaps it is best to say that I have been exploring, or endeavoring to discover and understand why it is that we interact with one another the way we do. I have of late been confronted with numerous examples of faithless, untrustworthy, essentially yucky folks ...

Oh fuck that. That isn't what I mean.
It's important to remember that, in this instance, I don't actually know what I mean, so it's quite possible that I will fail to make any sense of it.

What I'm trying to say is (albeit completely ineloquently):

Part of me feels like people suck. "Man" is just a big ugly animal, myopic and unconcerned with anything but itself. Compassion is a joke. Trust is complete bullshit. And love is something that was created for the purpose of helping this particular animal dupe other animals and get what it wants.

Part of me feels like it can't possibly be that easy to generalize and condemn. That there have to be exceptions to the rule. That people really can love one another, or trust. That it isn't a waste of time to try.

Clearly, I'm a little conflicted on the subject.

What I do know is that I still want the latter to be true. I want to be able to be open, and experience people. I want to let people experience me. I want to learn, and share, and interact ... and all that good stuff we're supposed to be able to do.

I also know that I can't always. That there are lines I will be unable to cross, regardless of my efforts. I know that I can't expect other people to behave in any certain way. And I know that by putting myself out there I am at risk, for attack or judgment or any of the unspeakable ills that we crazy fucked up people are capable of.

So I guess the conflict is that part of me is willing to risk it, and part of me is not. Part of me is ready to take the good with the bad, and part of me would rather play it safe and skip both. I'm half an unreasonably hopeful optimist, and half a total cynic. The optimist in me sees the cynic as a waste, as ugly and as shallow as the rest. The cynic sees the optimist as an idealistic twit. And boy, right now those two are having it out.

But I am happy to have gotten a new perspective on some old thoughts this Christmas morning (very early morning). I still don't understand much, if anything, and have innumerable questions that are crowding my brain, making it difficult to see anything clearly. There's too much. TOO MUCH!

But I appreciated the candor. And what I perceived as honesty. I say "perceived" because I feel unsure that I can trust my assessment of other people these days, or trust that I'm not being deceived at every turn. I guess that's the cynic at work.

But if honesty really does still exist, and sincere interaction is still actually possible in some form, then maybe the idealistic twit has a leg up.

And maybe tomorrow I'll feel totally differently.

Posted by kati at 03:09 AM

December 18, 2003

Call me Crazy

"You want a coke? Maybe some fries? The roast beef combo's only 9.95"

It's smells like broccoli where I am. I don't know what that's all about, but man it's just not cool. Potent, potent broccoli. It's not that I mind broccoli so much, or really at all, but having it scent lingering ambiently all around is a little unsettling. Someone must do something.

I'm so anxious to get my final final over and done with so that maybe, just maybe I can take my first deep breath in two weeks, and try to unhunch my shoulders a bit. My throat has been swelling up on me. I'm fighting it with all the vitamins I can find, so we'll see if I emerge victorious. I do feel somewhat successful already, as I swore up and down that I would not allow myself to get sick before school was over. There's a plague of sorts running rampant in San Diego. Everyone, and I do mean everyone has come down with it. And it's ugly, too. I'm at work or at my friend's houses, washing my hands like a maniac, praying that I'll be spared from that demon-virus.

The dog has conjunctivitis....
Jeezus, I'm going to get pink eye from the dog.
The irony.

Oh well, I suppose I'll manage.
Nothing could be worse than my recent total loss of sanity. In truth, I thought I had reached that point quite some time ago, but then when the last of it was actually gone I realized I had been operating on fumes for the last year or so.
I'm not crying in my beer, though. I don't actually have a beer at the moment, but I like the phrase. I'm standing on the imaginary docks I just created, and waving goodbye to my saner self, who is sunning herself on an imaginary deck chair, atop the imaginary cruise-liner that is just setting sail for the Bikini Islands. "Bon voyage!" I holler in my head, to myself. "Bring me back an islander! Or at least come back with a tan!"

She gives a distant wave, and then stands up and without a pause, throws the deck chair overboard and gives me the finger. She's not coming back, apparently. But I don't even notice, and just keep right on waving. Forever.

Posted by kati at 12:14 PM

December 13, 2003


Received in an e-mail from a friend. Worth sharing.



To realize
The value of a sister:
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a still born.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

To realize
The value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

To realize the value of a friend:
Lose one.

Time waits For no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.


Posted by kati at 01:16 AM

December 08, 2003

The Oreo Situation

As it stands, there is half a package of Double Stuf Oreos in our kitchen cabinet. Robyn and I are doing are best to not allow them to go stale, and we will undoubtedly be successful. The last time, we only had the regular single Stuf cookie in there. I've had them before, but it was not until this most recent encounter with the Double Stuf that I was able to put my finger on their mystery.

My ideal Oreo-eating experience is dunking them in milk until they get a little soggy and then eating them. If I'm feeling adventurous, I might untwist one and lick the frosting before dunking. Maybe it isn't for us all, but we can't all be perfect and it's okay.

The problem with the Double Stuf is this: too much of a good thing. Sure, the white filling is tasty and bad for you, but simply doubling it's quantity does not double the value of the cookie itself. The extra filling repels milk and lessens the ability of the outer cookie to get soggy. Trying to untwist the cookie for any filling removal results in it crumbling in your hands and making a mess. The experience is wholly dissatisfying when compared to eating the original.

And I daren't even ask why there's only one "f'" in Stuff. I don't know what that is supposed to suggest to the consumer. Either the Oreo people can't spell or they assume we can't. It's hard to imagine that I word like "stuff" would be trademarked or anything...

Now that I know this, I can avoid the trap. I have fallen victim to the advertising before. I see it on the shelves and think yes, yes ... Double Stuf is better. It's twice the cream! How could that possibly be wrong? But, for me is is wrong. I do not want the extra cream. I want my milk and my soggy cookie. My feeling on the matter is that bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to Oreos, leave well enough alone and if it ain't broke...

Posted by kati at 04:24 PM