Happy Birthday, Padre

Today is my dad’s birthday. I’ve talked about how much I adore this man and his incredible creativity and sense of humor before.

In honor of his birthday, I’ve published live one of my latest creations from one of my strangest characters. Check out “Meet Zee: Documentary of a Weirdo” live online now.

I don’t mind if you don’t get her. She’s not for everyone. And I know my dad will love it. And that’s all I care about.

Love you daddy. Now enjoy your weirdo daughter.

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Gymversations

Shut up.talking-cell-phone-bench-press-set

Sorry. Not you.

Unless you were  the asshole on his phone the entire time he was lifting last week. If that’s the case, SHUT UP.

Allow me to explain my rudeness (which is brought about by your rudeness).

I get it. I do. You’re super busy and important. You have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany. And you quote movies to make people laugh because you probably don’t have a lot of original jokes of your own. I get it. And I get you.

But I don’t want to hear you. I’ve got my headphones in. Do you see? Of course you don’t. You’re not looking at me. You’re staring at yourself talking on the phone in the mirror and you’re enjoying what you see. Meanwhile, the rest of us are wondering if you’re going to be giving up that coveted flat bench anytime soon so we can actually use it.

But you don’t care. You’ve gotta talk to your buddy about that chick you got digits from last night. You haven’t called yet. You’re playing it cool. Playing the game. As a woman myself I’ll be surprised if those digits were actually real. But maybe you knew that. Maybe you called immediately when you got home to tell her goodnight and realized they weren’t real. And your feelings were hurt. And you cuddled up with your blankie and watched The New Girl to feel better. But you don’t want your bro to know that. So you’re gonna pretend like you didn’t call. And that you’re totally the man. And that you’re amazing.

I hear you.

No. I mean I physically hear you.

And you’re annoying. And you’re saying nothing of import. And this conversation can wait. So get off the phone and get back to that bench press. Or I, the only chick in this weight room, will throw you off of it. And that’ll be embarrassing for you. And your bro on the phone. And no amount of New Girl will be able to laugh it away.

So hang up, shut up, and please get back to lifting.

I thank you.

She’s coming…

zee movie poster 1The weirdo, Zeekeela Tloxlan, is finally going to be coming to the big screen.

Not long ago, she made some time to be followed around and interviewed for a short documentary.

The documentary has been pending with a spectacular team handling all aspects of it’s post-production.

But soon- very soon- the world will see her for who she truly is. A friggin weirdo.

Premiere date is tentatively set for Wednesday, November 5th at El Cid Theater. Then she’s gonna be submit like crazy to whatever festival is willing to give her strange self a little screentime.

Then she’ll be released to the general public. That poor, unsuspecting general public. It doesn’t even know what’s gonna hit it.

She’s such a friggin weirdo. (I secretly love her. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.)

Actual Gym Boyfriend!

Ask and ye shall receive.gym couple

You guys… I have a gym boyfriend. One more meeting and he’s basically a gym husband at this point.

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

Here’s what happened: I got a late night workout in last week. I was doing stuff on the bench press. I remember because I remember thinking how lucky I was to snag a bench press. Little did I know that was only the start to my luck.

I was doing combo moves, one of which included using the bench press to step up in like a horizontal lunge.

Two guys were not far from me on another machine. I didn’t pay attention to them. How could I know one was my future gym boyfriend? We can’t always tell these things!

So I’m between sets, resting for a minute and magic happens. A guy comes up to me and says, “I like your shoes,” and smiles. I was like “Oh… yeah… thanks.” I wore my ridiculously bright shoes. I didn’t even realize I was like a bird in the wild with my crazy colors attempting to attract the opposite sex. But that’s exactly what I did.

Then he smiled at me. Yes. You read that correctly. He SMILED at me.

So I put my headphones back in and looked down. Keep in mind, my last gym fling didn’t last. I don’t know if I’m ready for more gym commitment. I just didn’t know.

But he and his friend stayed closed. He made funny faces at me. I made my eyes wide and awkwardly looked around. He asked if I needed a spot. I didn’t have any weight on the bench press because I was focused on high reps not heavy weight. I said no but thank you. Then I started forcing myself to breathe because this is the most I’d talked to anyone at the gym in a very long time.

Then I went to a different section to stretch. It was by the stairs to go upstairs. He wandered around saying hi and bye to various people. Before he went up the stairs, he made a point to say bye to me. He made it a point, you guys. It was… exhilarating .

I mumbled bye awkwardly and continued stretching.

I haven’t seen him since. But I can’t wait until our second gym date. Maybe I’ll even make eye contact this time. WHO KNOWS!

Podcast episode 55: Being Open – Show Notes

photo1 (1)On this episode of Femoir: The Podcast, there’s a lot of discussion of the adventures and pitfalls of being open to the world around you. To your left is a picture of one of my favorite people, Renee Colvert, who I met through just being open to the sillies of this crazy world.

And now, as promised, is a list of ways you can be more open. I promised maybe 10. I’m providing 11. Because I don’t understand limits.

 

 

11 Ways to be more Open

1. Say “Hi!” to a stranger

2. Make eye contact with your Barista when you tell them your order

3. Say thank you, [their name] to your cashier.

4. Ask a co-worker how their night was last night. Then actually listen to them without any agenda.

5. Ask someone a question about something they just shared with you. They’ll be shocked you were listening. You’ll be shocked that you’re learning!

6. Compliment a stranger. Click here for some more details on this one.

7. Ask someone you don’t know well to coffee. Accept that it could be uncomfortable. It could also be awesome. You never know. It’s just coffee.

8. Go to that random Facebook event your friend invited you to.

9. Go to a bar, sit by yourself, smile and look around. See what happens.

10. Throw away your to-do list for a day and just say yes to whatever strange things come your way.

11. Uncross your arms when you’re listening to someone. You’ll look and feel more open to whatever they’re saying.

The White Shirt

I knew that the white shirt I was wearing was a pretty one. I knew because I had just worn it that weekend for the first time in a few years, and the weight that I’d dropped agreed with the new way that this shirt fit me. When I showed up to see my boyfriend wearing that shirt, his eyes got a little bigger and he said “That’s a nice shirt.” From him, that was the equivalent of screaming on top of a mountain “Holy shit-you look really hot.”

So I wore it a few times in a row. Sue me. Doing laundry when you don’t own your own washer and dryer is expensive and I wanted some mileage out of the shirt. On this particular day, I coupled it with my skinny jeans and great brown boots that had a manageable heel and little bit of attitude. And I gotta admit- it did make for an awesome outfit. I looked good. Normally, I look fine. That day I looked good. Really good.

Of course, it was the day my boss asked me to walk a few blocks to the post office to drop off some letters in the afternoon. No big deal. I actually love the excuse to walk somewhere in LA. It makes me feel like I’m back in Chicago again- except without all the stress of having to bring three change of clothing options for any possible weather pattern that may occur in the ten minute walk. So I headed out the door. Great outfit on.

Now keep in mind, this is Los Angeles- a city where women wear heels like sneakers. No…literally. High heels while going running or playing tennis. I know I’ve seen it. The heels are everywhere. And having on a good outfit is expected around these parts. I walked out with my hips a-swaying and my head held high.

So why, then, did I suddenly feel like I was the only female walking through a giant construction site filled with men who haven’t seen a woman in five years? It’s literally a six minute walk to the post office. Within the first minute, I’d been cat called. I was walking by a car repair shop located right next to my day job’s office and I could feel their eyes on me. My boss once suggested I go to this place for an oil change. I tried. I got the creepiest vibes ever and decided to drive 45 minutes one way to my regular shop instead. That’s how much I don’t like this repair shop.

Someone made a whistle sound with their mouth, and I knew I was the likely subject causing it. There was nobody else around and- even though I didn’t want to look over- I could feel the eyes. Another whistle and some laughs or grunts. I couldn’t tell the difference at this distance and I was sure as hell not going to look in their direction to find out. These men creep me out when they’re not looking at me, let alone when they are.

Why the whistle, anyway? Am I a bird that responds to a high-pitched mating noise? Has anyone ever actually responded to a cat call and started a meaningful relationship from it? Has anyone ever started any relationship at all because of it? What’s the point? I can only imagine that women who have extremely low self-esteem would ever respond to that type of interaction with any interest. And the types of women who would respond to that are certainly not the types that men like to have around- needy, insecure, unsure of themselves, constantly needing approval… you get the idea. So, really, no good can come out of that whistle. Why even do it then? I guess I’ll never know.

After the second whistle sound, which secured my notion that these men were- in fact- starting at me, I started to feel self-conscious. I suddenly didn’t know how to properly walk. Was I walking sexy before? Should I change up my walk? How can I somehow change up my walk to retain the confidence I have in myself yet get rid of the supposed sexiness that is causing all this attention in the first place? But I had to do it in a way that doesn’t change any part of my movement at all so as not to let them see that they’re affecting me at all. It’s impossible. Instead of worrying about it too much, I kept my hips a-swaying and my head held high. And I hold out hope that a woman in heels and a dress comes along soon to distract them. Surely this white shirt isn’t powerful enough to detract attention from a woman in heels and a dress. That’s like car repair shop cryptonite.

After pressing on and making it past the car repair shop, I had to cross a six lane street. Yes, I had a light, silly!  I’m not some superhero! If I were I would have just flown above the car repair shop, spit down on the workers so they wondered what hit them and flown away giggling before they could see that it was me!

The problem with crossing this street now is that I’ve already started to feel a little self conscious. I knew I looked pretty good, and those workers made me think I must look like a total babe, so now I had to walk across a line of cars who are stopped, staring forward, and have nothing else to do but watch the slow pedestrian in front of them.

Whatever. I keep my hips-a-swaying and my head held high. I finally make it to the post office. Normally, this would feel like punishment because it is the US Postal Service after all- the place where hope and dreams go to die. But on that particular day, it felt like a relief. With all the freaks and weirdos wandering around in and out of the post office (most of them employees), I could disappear into anonymity again. If you ever want to feel ignored, the post office is the place for you.

I headed inside. Just as I was about to open the door, a young man yelled something at me. He said, “Excuse me?” My hand on the door, I turned around.

I know better than to turn around. I’ve talked to enough weirdos and freaks in my life to know not to engage random people on the street. You very rarely meet a soulmate that way. But I can’t help it. I am, after all, born and raised in the midwest…so of course I turn around.

After living in major cities for a while, though, I have developed one protection mechanism. I have a totally annoyed look on my face. Creepy people hate it when you talk to them with an annoyed look on their face. They’re known for picking up on subtle human social cues. So I turn around, annoyed face, and answer, “Yeah?”

It was a young man who’s a few feet behind me. He’s walking fast to catch up to me. I kept my hand on the door as if to show how I’m clearly busy and on a mission. He said, without really looking up, “Can you do me a favor?” I knew there is no way in hell I’m going to do anything for this man. There’s absolutely nothing I will give him and there’s no way I’m going to be even mildly inconvenienced by him. I’m already giving like three extra seconds of my life to listen to him! Why would I give anything more?

I stood there waiting for him to tell me what the favor is. I didn’t even answer (because I’m such a badass!) but I kept standing there (because I’m such a pushover!). He said, “I just wondered if you could do me a favor… can you go on a date with me?”

For any of you out there thinking “OMG, how cute is that?” Let me first encourage you not to use text talk in your head. It’s very important that- at least in our mindthoughts- we don’t abbrev. If we abbrev everything all the time, we’ll forget what the original meaning before the text talk was. So, rethink that now, please.

For those of you now thinking “Oh my gosh, how cute is that?” Let me thank you for changing up that thought to be more complete, and then tell you a little back story.

About three months ago, when I was first training for my current day job, I went to a grocery store around the corner from the office with the girl who’s job I was taking over. It was a few days before she was moving across the country to be with her boyfriend and start a new life and family with him. When we walked into the grocery store, a young man approached her and said, “Excuse me? Can you do me a favor?” Michelle, the girl who’s job I now have, stopped and said, “What?” and the man looked coyly at her and said, “Uh, can you go on a date with me this weekend?” Michelle laughed and said, “No, I don’t think so.” I answered, “She’ll be across the country living with her very serious boyfriend hopefully fiance at that point so… she’s busy.” He walked away and went about his day. We did the same- after making fun of his “do me a favor” approach for a minute.

Fast forward, and there I was not far from where this original incident took place. And there’s kid asking me the same question in the same way it was previously asked who looks a lot like the guy who approached Michelle in the grocery store. Can I prove it was the same dude? No. I didn’t take a picture or do a sketch of his face afterwards. A picture would have been weird and a sketch would have made him look like every other sketch picture I make…a blob with disproportionate features. Plus…it would have certainly been a lot weirder if I had gone back to the office after the incident and started sketching down the face of this guy for posterity. Who does that?

Having said that, I’ve probably talked to enough creepers in my life that I am likely a person with at least a couple sketches of my face in some back alley box somebody is holding onto for posterity.

Anyway, back to the post office. Ugh. The post office. So gross. So grimey. So sad.

Sorry what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, outside the post office. The dude. And the favor. Which- let me just add- is a pathetic and not charming way of asking any woman out ever. Even if he lucked out and got some really altruistic woman to agree to a date, it would be out of literally doing him a favor. How sad. The whole thing would be out of pity. Not a good way to start. Then again, I’m sure the same woman who respond to cat calling may actually appreciate a man with low enough self esteem to ask for a date out of pity. I guess these people exist. The magic only has to work once.

I didn’t have the heart to both embarrass him by calling him out on using the same line on both me and my friend a few months ago and then rejecting him. So I just said, “No, I don’t think my boyfriend would like that very much.” And walked away. Which is a lie. My boyfriend wouldn’t care. Sure, he wouldn’t be really fond of the fact that I would say “yes” to dates with other guys. That’s obvious. I don’t mean that. I mean that he would not be threatened at all by a man who would be willing to approach a woman and ask her for a date as a “favor” without even really having the confidence to make eye contact. My boyfriend is one of those alpha males, you know. Confident. Aggressive. Few words. Tall. Intelligent. Handsome. Strong. Pure masculinity. Mmmmmm.

What?

Oh. Sorry. I went away for a minute. I’m back now.

Another reason the line I gave was a line was because that wasn’t my reason for rejecting him. Boyfriend aside… (aw man! Now I’m thinking about boyfriend again. Tall. Handsome. Mmmmm. I’ll be right back…)

Anyway! If there were no other outside factors keeping me from saying “yes” to this man, there’s still no way I would do it. Too pathetic. Too obvious. Too victim-y. Too weak. I would eat him alive. A guy like him coming up to a girl like me is like a gazelle wandering up to a hungry lioness asking directions to the shadiest spot in the safari. Many a gazelle has been killed that way. When will they ever learn? Come on, gazelles! Just get GPSes (GPSi?) already!

I walked away from the man- for his own good- and went to the post office to drop off my letters. And then started the long trek back. Yes, as I passed the car repair shop I heard more whistles. Yes. I counted. A total of five for the entire trip. Five whistles and one date proposal. That’s how nice this white shirt looked. Why did I count the whistles, you say? I am an actress, after all. I can’t pretend to not like attention.

Was it flattering? Truth be told, yes. It was very flattering. But I hated every moment of it. And I loved every moment of hating it. And I can’t wait to wear the shirt again and love hating every new moment of the attention it brings. I’ll wear it with a little heel to make my hips a-sway and keep my head held high. And I’ll disgustedly glare down any man who looks at me.

Ah, the complicated ways of we women.

Couple stays together for fear of gossip about Facebook status change

Tracey Thomas and Ricky Lane have been officially broken up for two weeks. But that’s in the real world. Online, specifically on Facebook, they remain an item.

But, why? The two have no intentions of reconciling. They only dated for about three months before they decided they were incompatible and completely bored by each other. Unfortunately for both of them, they had already taken the plunge and were in a Facebook relationship with each other. In order to avoid the notorious broken heart symbol and the numerous friends and acquaintances who would comment on the personal change, the two have just decided to leave themselves together online.

This story is not an isolated one. Since it’s inception, Facebook has taken the already muddy world of relationships and officially made them “It’s Complicated.” On the one hand, many people rush into being in a Facebook relationship out of excitement to show off a new significant other and to know that significant other will have officially gone off the market for others checking their profile. On the other hand, they often look before they leap, leaving them regretting having to have the world know when they go through something as awkward as a public break up.

And officially breaking up is just the tip of the ice-Zucker-berg when it comes ways Facebook has changed our social interactions. Between who we allow to see what, how we can manipulate our privacy settings, how we throw and plan and promote parties and social gatherings, how we keep in touch with people we haven’t seen in years and may never see again, how we say goodbye to loved ones, and how we tag our pets as humans are just some of the hundreds of new anxiety-building methods that we have to communicate with one another.

It’s the little broken heart that sets the break up apart from all else on Facebook, however. Both Thomas and Lane (among numerous others) agree that their hearts were not broken when they broke up with each other. They just want to avoid the numerous people who will comment on the status change. Or, even worse, send messages condoling them or writing notes about starting over and tagging them in it.

So, they stay together. And, as a result, still hang out with each other once in a while, mostly so friends can get a picture of them together, tag it, and there are no worries about whether or not their still together from well-meaning friends. The Facebook relationship, for these two, is almost like choosing to make the commitment and have a child together. Though they no longer want to be together, they must put up appearances so people don’t judge them or stick their nose in their personal lives.

Ah, the perils of the new world.

While describing her status as “creeper magnet,” woman is approached by a creeper

Last Saturday night, Betsy O’Mally went out to grab some drinks with friends. The process should have been simple enough: Grab a taxi, get to the bar, grab a drink, go home.

Unfortunately for O’Mally, she is a self-described “Creeper Magnet.” This title means that at any given time, she may be approached by a stranger who immediately strikes up a conversation and shares the innermost depths of their life struggles with her and/or acts like they’re old friends. Luckily, these are mostly harmless interactions and none of them are long-lasting nor are the strangers aggressive in any way.

This particular Saturday night, O’Mally’s friends got to see her magnetism in action on two occasions. First, when they piled into the taxi cab and headed to their bar, which was luckily a short distance.

In trying to make some small talk with the taxi driver, it quickly became apparent that the driver was not only a chatty fellow who loved sharing specific details, but he would also not be one for small talk. He immediately began talking about how residents of the city were not appreciate of taxi drivers and how he was moving to the east coast-as if somehow they have a record of being polite and welcoming to all professions.

The conversation, which O’Mally is happy to share details of if you ask her, lasted the entire duration of the taxi ride. As they were all exiting the taxi and the driver continued to talk, O’Mally turned to a new friend and began explaining how she more often than not has long conversations with her taxi driver. She explains that this is part of her status as a “Creeper Magnet”, and what that entails.

As she explains this to her friend once they’re inside at the bar, a man approaches her. His eyes light up as he embraces her and screams, “Hey shortstalk! Long time no see!” She stands uncomfortably as she is hugged by this stranger. As he lets go of the hug, he says, “Did I just see you a couple hours ago?” When she assures him they’ve never met, the man laughs and shakes his head saying, “Oh shortstalk. You’re just a jokester.” He continues to laugh as he exits the bar.

For O’Mally, this is a first. She had never been in the process of describing how much strangers tend to love to come up and talk to her and been approached by a stranger who began to talk to her. It took some convincing to her friend that she had never met the man before because of the awkward interaction.

O’Mally simply sits and waits for the next interaction. When and where it will happen is up to fate, though fate seems to be making these interactions more frequent every day.

After lackluster small talk, man makes things awkward by asking woman out

While making small talk at a local bookstore with the seemingly friendly clerk, a woman learned a lesson about perceptions and reality. Rather than letting bygones be bygones and leaving another possible meeting up to chance, a bookstore clerk decided to make things awkward for both parties involved by writing the following email:

“Okay, so this is really creepy and stalkerish, but I remembered your name from your credit card when you were in [book store name] tonight, and I googled you and found this email address. So… I’d love to take you to [restaurant name] some day, if you’d like, or get coffee or some such socializing type activity. I should have asked you when you were in the store, but I didn’t, so I resorted to this lame tactic. So if you’d like to hang out sometime, I’d be quite happy to do so, and if you’re getting that “restraining order” feeling just reading this, we can never speak of this again and pretend we never met.”

The woman, unsure what to do with said information, is currently remaining silent. All she will comment on is her disappointment in being unable to visit the bookstore ever again.

Preemptive Thank You?

I was walking out of a busy building today and there was a person a couple feet in front of me. I assumed that they were going to hold the door open for me-since it was a double door thing- and so I said “Thank you,” before they actually held open the door. It was only a moment before it happened, but it still made me think. Was it presumptuous of me to assume they’d hold the door open? What if they hadn’t and I had wasted a “thank you”? But if I just forego the “thank you,” then I look like a jerk.

My life is very difficult, clearly.