Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm feeling something inside, and yet I still can't decide if I should hide or make a wide-open grin

Obligatory reflecting on the end of another year. I like to do it in survey form because it helps to organize my thoughts - ask the right questions, target my thinking, see where everything is going. The truth is I think I needed it this year more than most.

A lot of people have had some bad things to say about 2010. And there certainly are many, many reasons in our world to say 2010 was a less-than-stellar year. There are many reasons in my own life to agree, but the truth is, after my 09, I had nowhere to go but up, really.

2010 was the craziest, hardest, best, worst, happiest, most confusing, FASTEST year of my life. No, seriously. I accept that today is December 31, 2010, but someone hit warp speed in September and I haven't caught up since that time. It's not the first time this year I remember feeling that way - more like the fourth. I learned so much. I gained SO much. I lost so much. I was both lazier and busier than I've ever been ever.

2010 saw the end of some of the best things to ever happen to me. 2010 saw my last day at Strasberg and my last day as a Clefto. The end of my time as a student (of academia, but certainly not of the world). 2010 asked the hard questions about money and life and what am I going to do now and where do I go from here (grad school?) and how on EARTH do I make this acting thing work?

2010 also saw the beginning of a new and weird phase in my life where I had to ANSWER those questions and I had to remind myself each day, every day, that I am happy and lucky to wake up in New York City and to be as much as I know how, not settling to do something that's NOT what I love. To keep trying to remember that I was brave enough to pursue something this hard, and to be proud of that.

2011 is the first time in my life that I can safely say I know nothing of what's coming for me. I don't know what to be excited about. I don't know what to be afraid of. (I do know that I ended both of those sentences in prepositions and here, in my adult life, is what I have learned - sometimes it sounds better that way, dammit.) But I do know there will be changes. I do know that I'm not ready for them. I do know that I'm really, really, really excited for them.

So here it is, my 2010 synthesized into a couple of nice internet generated questions, because I will never have enough words to say everything I need to want to have to LOVE to say about this crazy mixed up year.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? Not be a student. I'm sure there's something else but that feels like everything.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made a lot, I kept exactly two. I'm a glutton for punishment though, so I'll be making more. HAHA wait. Actually, I made one very important non-resolution, but that's the one I kept.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? Ugh. Still none. I HAVE to use my passport in 2011.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? Real world acting successes. A boyfriend? Haha.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 11/12 - NYU Commencement 2010. Because, graduation. Haha April 23rd, the most difficult work/tech/concert day of ever/my last Cleftos show. I don't remember the date, but the last day I left Strasberg as a student.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Graduating from college.

9. What was your biggest failure? Hm. I worked really hard to arrange something for my summer but didn't get anything. I... I'm not sure. Which is nice, actually.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Actually, I got sick a lot more in 2010 than usual - always just colds and stuff but I remember being sick at least 6 times in 2010 which for me is a lot.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My new mattress. Oh my god. Also maybe my cowboy boots. Haha.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? With each passing year I remember how lucky I am to know the people I know and how lucky I am to need them as much as I do and have it be okay.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Once again, appalled is better than depressed. A certain director, a certain former peer, some friends. Some national political figures.

14. Where did most of your money go? Rent. Rent. Rent some more. Food. Going out.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 5 Women, final Clefto show, graduation, summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010? "Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" - Elton John, "Rock and Roll" - Eric Hutchinson, "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z/Alicia Keys, "Love the Way You Lie" - Eminem/Rihanna. It's thoroughly unsurprising how many of these things are from Cleftos, once again.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

* happier or sadder? The sadder but wiser girl am I.

* thinner or fatter? Fatter. It's fine though, I have a plan for 2011, haha.

* richer or poorer? Poorer.

Ah, my oh-so-successful adult life.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising & saving money. Traveling.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Feeling sorry for myself, Facebook.

20. How will you be spending New Year’s? At Maya's with friends.

21. What was your favorite TV program? Rediscovering Grey's Anatomy. No real changes otherwise.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I... well. Yes.

23. What was the best book you read? Hmm. I loved The Princess Bride, I loved Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I very much enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. Hmm. What other new books did I read in 2010? I rediscovered leisure reading late in 2010 and it was great. So I read a lot of new things but those ones stand out most.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Eric Hutchinson's "Sounds Like This" album. The song "Carryout" haha. Um... I'm not sure. This was more of a rediscovering old albums that I loved year than a finding new albums I loved year.

25. What did you want and get? To graduate early. To move out of Harlem (sort of). A keyboard. A good part in the practicum show. A relaxing summer break. A new job.

26. What did you want and not get? Listen, I can't help it - a boyfriend. To get cast in things sooner post college. To go abroad ANYWHERE.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I recently saw The King's Speech and it was beyond excellent. I, predictably as everyone, looooved Inception. Oh! Pirate Radio! Did I see that in 2009 or 2010? Because if it was 2010, definitely that.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? TWENTYONE! It was the hottest day in New York City in 25 years or something absurd, but at midnight the night of we went out for a bit, came home. Shopped in the morning, watched Sex and the City and tried not to die of heat stroke, went to work, dinner with the roomies & bar hopping. Great fun.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Managing my money better.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? I don't know? More adventurous than 2009, I guess. New things were more likely to make it into my wardrobe if they didn't look like anything I already owned.

31. What kept you sane? Taking it one day at a time and mastering actually talking about it when something was bothering me for potentially the first time in my life.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? A holdover from last year - I'm still totally in love with Matt Morrison.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Prop 8 overturned, DADT repealed, why we didn't clean up the Gulf Coast for fucking EVER. I have to guiltily confess that I knew next to nothing about midterm elections.

34. Who did you miss? My California friends. My family. The usual.

35. Who was the best new person you met? Uh... I know that I literally have met new people in 2010 but I'm not sure?

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: I re-learned in 2010 that it's not worth it to try to be perfect, you will only kill yourself trying.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "This Broadway's got - it's got a lot of songs to sing; if I knew the tunes I might join in. I'll go my way alone, I'll grow my own - my own seeds shall be sown in New York City."

38. Make some new years resolutions:

1. Eat. Better. No more excuses.

2. Make and stick to a regular involved exercise plan: dance 1x a week, pole 1x a week, gym 1x a week. Minimum.

3. Take more photos.

4. Really seriously pay better attention to my money, and put more in savings.

5. Travel more.

6. Work harder. Each day, everyday.


1. Will you be looking for a new job? Probably. Probably not a new job, just a second job.

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship? Yes.

3. New house? Hopefully not, actually.

4. What will you do different in '11? Audition more, dance more, work harder.

5. New Years resolution? Made several. Think these are all actually achievable.

6. What will you not be doing in '11? School! Like at all.

7. Any trips planned? None yet but really, REALLY need to get some in the cards.

8. Wedding plans? Uh. No.

9. What's on your calendar? Work, auditions. Auditions, more work.

10. What can't you wait for? To see what happens.

11. What would you like to see happen different? A lot? I don't know.

12. What about yourself will you be changing? I'm becoming a grown-up. Weird!

13. What happened in 2010 that you didn't think would ever happen? Hahaha a lot, actually. I guess graduation, in that I of course always knew it WOULD happen but it was so so surreal.

14. Will you tell the one you love how you feel? I tell all the ones I love I love them all the time.

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 2010? Not terribly much, no.

16. Will you start or quit drinking? Hah. Neither.

18. Will you do charity work? To be honest, I doubt it.

19. Will you go to bars? Yes.

20. Will you be nice to people you don't know? I live in New York, that kind of behavior is considered a liability.

21. Do you expect 11 to be a good year for you? To be honest, 2011 is about to be the most uncharted, unscheduled, unstructured year of my life. I can't expect anything, I don't think, but I hope so.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now? After 08-09 I had a tough time picturing a more transformative year. Turns out, I was wrong, and it was 09-10.

23. Do you plan on having a child? Absolutely not.

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now? I really hope so.

25. Major lifestyle changes? Who knows?

26. Will you be moving? Hopefully not, actually.

27. What will you make sure doesn't happen in 11 that happened in 10? There're some things.

28. What are your New Years Eve plans? Dinner with my family & party with some of my favorites.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight? Haha I have no idea.

30. Wish for 2011? To make my theatrical career happen. To travel. To live and love more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland?

For the foremost part of my childhood/adolescence/teenage years in California I reminisced fondly about real winter. I remember the bitter disappointment of my first snowless Christmas, I remember the joy and novelty I felt seeing snow whenever we went to Chicago for New Years', and I remember the excitement I felt when the weather first started to dip in fall of 2007 when I had finally moved back to the East Coast.

Here's the thing. I WAS SO WRONG! I may have been born with cold weather - hell, my birth certificate says Chicago for God's sake, and not for nothing did I spend 6 years in CANADA of all places - but I was certainly, I must now concede, not bred with cold weather. Winter, as I was brutally reminded 3 years ago during my first east coast winter in ELEVEN YEARS, is a very different animal when you a) are 8 and dressed by your mother, and therefore are b) driven everywhere and c) don't care that you look like a bright pink marshmallow.

After a surprisingly cold October yielded to a shockingly mild November faded to an initially freakishly warm December (61 degrees in New York City on December 1st), it is now COLD. I have officially forgotten what it feels like to feel warm. And though seeing your breath is festive, and it snowed a little on Monday which I loved, and yes, cold air really does smell more Christmasy, as it turns out, my rosy recollection was pretty much entirely wrong. I, in fact, hate cold weather.

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:
- Losing feeling in my extremities within minutes of stepping outdoors. I have reasonably poor circulation in my hands and feet. Winter, as you might imagine, does not fix this.
- That my stupid smart phone is a stupid touch screen and thus from December-March, I face the choice of use my phone or retain mobility in my frozen fingers.
- Static. Static everywhere. Static everywhere all the time.
- Scary-tangled hair.
- The charming sensation of starting to sweat before you actually warm up when you sit your tightly bundled ass on a very heated subway car.
- That poor people, like yours truly, live in old apartments with poorly sealed windows and air conditioning units that let in abouuuut as much cold air as there is outside.
- How dry and itchy my face is all the time. Related, that my skin is so dry it STUNG to put perfume on today.
- Really, let's be honest: My Uggs are warm and comfortable but if someone's designed an uglier shoe besides Crocs, I've yet to see it. Catch is, NOTHING ELSE KEEPS MY FEET WARM.
- Having to breathe through my mouth because it stings my nose too much to breathe through it.
- The knowledge that there's no guarantee this will let up before April.
How'd you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island indeed. Leon Redbone, I'm about ready to take you up on that now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sing us a song, you're the piano man

I lost my oldest friend in the world today.

I'm told that as a baby, my friend was my first in-house jungle gym, only smaller and noisier. And certainly older, at that time having approximately 70 years on me.

As a toddler, I was afraid of my friend. It lived in my basement and I vividly remember finding a spiderweb tangled around my friend. But I always came back to my friend. Crawling on it, exploring the magical qualities I found it possessed if manipulated correctly.

The magic is what kept us together as friends - helping me to learn music, helping me to learn in general, listening to me when nobody else could, motivating me, challenging me, frustrating me, rewarding me, giving me more by doing nothing than I could ever have thought really possible.

My friend is - was, I should say - my piano. I remember sitting with my best friend in Toronto, herself a virtuoso pianist already at the ripe-old-age of about 6, teaching me to play "Ode to Joy" based off a milk commercial that then used the song as it's jingle. You might say it was my first lesson in ear training. I remember this equally well as I remember being 16, mired in the depth of problems only silly sixteen-year-old girls can have, playing piano by candlelight during a blackout and forgetting entirely that I had problems of any kind. I remember, too, being about 13 and at a piano store with my cousin, excited to get my hands on all kinds of sheet music to take back and share with my friend. I remember days I played the piano because it was fun, because I needed to practice, because I was upset, because I was bored, because I just... how could I not?

When I moved to New York, I accepted that I would not play piano frequently. Keyboards, are, after all, expensive. And take up a lot of space in a small dorm room. And being not a music major, practice rooms are hard to come by during the hours I need them, and it soon would turn out my practice room time had to basically be reserved for singing. But ah, to come home, to re-greet my friend, to tell it what I had learned and what I had seen. The piano was my constant. One among a number of things that really and truly never changed in the last 3.5 years.

But the fact is, the piano is OLD. Like, really old. Like, dated 1917 old. It's fragile. And nobody else in my family plays. And so when my parents decided that they were, in the long term, looking to sell our house, it became inevitable that the piano should leave us. Now it moved to another family whose little girl will grow up on it the way I did, hopefully. My friend can become her friend. Cycles, and all that.

It's just... I miss my friend. The space of wall where it lives doesn't look right, and I'm not sure how long it will take me to figure out that that's how it goes now. I am in, I am sure, for a very unpleasant surprise at Christmas when I return to this house having forgotten that my friend doesn't live here anymore.

I miss you, my friend. Thanks for everything.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I have to admit something: I've been a little, well, negative lately.

I suffer from, I will admit, a uniquely unoriginal problem. I am 21, I have recently graduated from college in an exceedingly unpredictable field in which I want to be succeeding more than I currently am, I have a "day" job that I enjoy but am not exactly stimulated by, I am perpetually broke, and I don't have a boyfriend.

What the fuck ever.

I have always loved Thanksgiving. It's not difficult to love a holiday with the basic premise of eating to excess, relaxing, and celebrating what's good in life.

Every year we ask the question, "what are you thankful for?" And I have to be honest - I contemplated this question this morning and realized that this time last week, I'm not sure I would've known how to answer it. Rather, I would have known what I was supposed to say to answer it but I'm pretty sure I would've been too bogged down in feeling sorry for myself to be able to say the words.

So it was refreshing, when I asked myself this morning, to remember that I am thankful. I thought about making a list, but it would take too long and for once, I don't feel the need to dissect and itemize.

Suffice it to say that I am thankful for so many things I couldn't even start to itemize and dissect. The other stuff will be there, and that's okay. You're supposed to be lost when you're 21 and six months out of college, I think. How else would we learn to find our way?

And hey, maybe Santa will bring me a boyfriend this year (kidding! Unless you're reading this, Santa, in which case I'm kidding less).

I am thankful. I am so, so very thankful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tee Hee

I generally work very very hard at a thing most people would call "maturity" or "being an adult" or simply "being the bigger person." And generally speaking, that works for me, or I should say that these techniques have lead me towards a mastery of suppressing a massive quantity of unproductive rage.

Periodically, however, there is NOTHING better than a dose of the sixth grade to remind you that sometimes, the immature path is waaaaaaaaay more fun.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh hey, about that "challenge" that was supposed to make me write more...

Oh, hello there blog. I remember you, I think.

So about that challenge. Maybe I'll finish it someday, maybe not. Maybe when I feel that I lack inspiration, I'll do the prompts that actually strike me as interesting.

I'm here today, however, because I have a confession to make. My name is Siobhan, and I am a perfectionist.

I know what you're thinking - perfectionism is generally not seen as a flaw. It's generally one of the things behind the kind of obsessive drive that results in greatness. In it's lesser forms, it at the very least means that one is organized, or dresses really well, or got straight A's.

If you knew me in my younger and more self-assured [read: self-righteous] years, you probably heard me espouse the belief that the most offensive thing you could say to a person was that you thought their life was perfect. It seemed to neatly wrap up everything I hated about a mindset that my middle school philosopher friends and I referred to as "Comparative Suffering." Which is to say, that I may know, proverbially, that children are starving in Africa, but it doesn't make me feel better about my objectively more trivial problems. Or whatever problems pre-teen girls throw around to make their lives seem more important than they really are. The point is, to turn to someone and say "Oh, what would you know, your life is perfect" just seemed so... wrong, so ignorant, so disrespecting of all the complexities of another person's life.

But here's the catch: I have lived my life in pursuit of being, as they say, perfect. I'm not proud of this, actually, as there is an extreme degree of arrogance goes along with such a quest. But I am competitive to a fault, a result of an unrelenting desire to be the best, to be right, to do it better, whatever "it" is in a particular case - be it grades, acting, singing, skating, or just about anything I've ever cared about.

By late high school I had at least started to accept that I could make mistakes - of the life varietal - and they did not constitute huge, epic personal failings. But it wasn't until early sophomore year of college that I had a teacher sit me down and pinpoint this perceived "strength" of mine as my greatest weakness.

We had begged for individual conferences on our acting, which somehow, as this sort of thing always does, quickly became quick but disturbingly accurate portraits of our psyche as assessed by this still relatively new to us acting teacher (a man who I now refer to as "one of my favorite people on this earth"). I forget what I told him that day, and not much of what he said stuck, except this - Geoffrey: "You're a perfectionist aren't you?" Me: "You could say that." Geoffrey: "It's no good, Siobhan. You've got to drop that. You'll be so much better that way." You'll notice he deliberately omitted whether or not he meant as an actress or a person...

Over the next two years, Geoffrey would continually ask me to stop being perfect. He meant it unfailingly as - well, an insult. He's that kind of teacher, you see. But it was a hard lesson to learn, for a girl so paralyzingly afraid of failing as I was then, that you could in fact fail, and fail grandly. But somehow the lesson clicked that day, in spite of years of hearing my mother telling me that I did not, in fact, have to be the perfect child, of my dad telling me I was entering a business where no such thing existed, of my friends telling me I was just a liiiittle too hard on myself. I spent that year, and the next, dedicating myself to a lot of things in studio, but the big one was as much a personal lesson as an acting lesson - I learned to fail grandly.

The reason I'm thinking about this all now is because I'm falling back into an old pattern. Auditioning is a competitive game, and again, the urge to win and be the best is something that I've found second nature for a long time. And now I sit at auditions and I see that I'm not as pretty as this other girl, or my headshots were printed at Walgreens and really how amateur-ish is that, or what if my singing isn't absolutely one hundred percent on point today, or how I have to get this one not for me, but because my friend already got some audition.

Do you see the problem with this logic? I do. To be able to correct all these problems would make me technically "perfect" but they wouldn't make me "good." And yet I'm scared. I'm more scared now than I've been in my life and I worry about what I will say at my next high school alumni event, because I was supposed to be the girl who skyrocketed straight to the top of the world. Again. THAT IS NOT THE WAY I SHOULD LOOK AT IT!

I don't want to be perfect. Or more accurately, I want not to want to be "perfect." It is, after all, so exceedingly boring. Thirteen-year-old me had a lot of things wrong, but maybe I wasn't so wrong about the offense of being "perfect." Maybe I should let "real" me be just as offended by the assumption that I won't be good enough until I've glossed over those flaws and those details. It'd make things a hell of a lot easier, after all.

Resolved, that I will go back to knowing how to fail gloriously. If graduating was jumping out of an airplane, I've been suspended in the air in a lovely yet ultimately ineffectual way for several months. In the beginning of November I think I finally actually hit the ground. It's go time.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 2

So it's after midnight which means I've already sort of failed, but it's still part of "today" for me, so I'm calling this not a total failing of the 30 day challenge.

Today's topic: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Firstly, the shallow but true: oh sweet Jesus I will be 31. THIRTY ONE. Oh god.

I've recovered now.

So the "answer:"

This is even more difficult than a non self-pitying answer to describing my single life. The ambitious answer - and I am ambitious to a fault - is that I will be on Broadway, in some kind of leading role, preferably Tony-nominated if not yet Tony-winning. Oh, and I'll be happily married. With a well-trained dog. And maybe also an adorable small child (very small child, if we're talking ten years from now).

The equally-probable answer is, in one of the following cities acting: Chicago, Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Edinburgh, etc. In a sit-down production, or making a movie, or touring, or shooting a pilot, or on a cruise ship, or getting an MFA, or maybe even directing, or who the hell even knows.

The most likely answer is in New York. Doing theatre. Continuing to make this life happen, because, well... what else is there? (Which I mean in a good way.)

Sometimes I wish that I had chosen a normal person's life who could see a reasonable path of career advancement, hitting life's ordinary checkpoints, knowing the perfect home I'll live in with the perfect husband and our 2.5 kids and a dog (no seriously, that much I know - I will never own a cat).

But again. Then I think... what else is there than what I've chosen? There's certainly no turning back now. So ask me in like 5 years and we'll see how far I am to scenario number one. Then we'll chat about 5 more years from that.

Oh and by the way - I intend to be well on my way to scenario number one. Don't even worry about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 1

So about how I was going to do that 30 day challenge on posting just... well, because I wanted to/because I need a vaguely more intellectual exercise everyday than reading on the train (note to self: Start reading Shakespeare & Chekhov on train).

Lateness notwithstanding, as promised (to, um, myself - I have no delusions of internet stardom), post number one of the 30 day challenge.

Your current relationship status - if single, discuss your single life.

I've been putting this off in part from laziness, but mostly because I've been looking for an adequate way to describe my single life that is in no way bitter, self-pitying, or involves the phrase "it sucks." I am reeeeasonably sure that I can accomplish the first two, but as to the third, my single life, frankly, sucks.

I have been described in the past, rather uncharitably but also not wrongly, as too independent for my own good. I make friends easily, and I trust easily, but always to a point*. I am, I will admit, somewhat reluctant to let people in and the idea of having to fully depend on other people is something I have trouble accepting either practically (because I'm a control freak) or emotionally. This is something my last boyfriend, who for anonymity's sake we will name HSB2, found... annoying, to put it mildly, throughout the course of our 8 month relationship and subsequent period of... involvement ("It's complicated," as Facebook would call it).

*This in no way insinuates that I am a loner with no friends. I have lots of friends, many of whom are close friends whom I trust completely. Besides, if you're reading this the chances are you ARE my friend, so rest assured, you pretty much know my life. Moving on.

So you can imagine then, that I am not the type of girl who easily says the following: I. Want. A. Boyfriend. [Cue Carrie Bradshaw voiceover: "There it was. The phrase single, independent women in their [twenties] were never supposed to think, let alone say out loud."]

HSB2 and I broke up (discounting the aforementioned involvement period) - well, suffice it to say it was a long time ago. So I know from where I speak on singlehood. And there are aspects of being single for which I can vouch entirely: the, ahem, afforded opportunities for fun, never having to feel guilty for not having enough time for your relationship, the ability to know who you are as yourself rather than as part of a couple, spending less money, even.

I don't think, however, I need to list all the benefits to having a boyfriend, and all of those things are sounding really damn good to me right now. It would be nice - really really really nice, in fact - to have someone in my life to fill the boyfriend-shaped hole. Let's not forget, even "ultimate single girl" Carrie Bradshaw ends up living happily ever after with Big.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

So I feel like I don't update this enough...

By which I mean that I often have blog ideas, but then I get too lazy to write them up and/or they percolate in my head but don't ever make it to this blog because I realize that what has bubbled around in my brain actually makes veeeeery little sense when I try and articulate it.

But then, on a friend's blog, I found this! Topics! For 30 days!

They're sort of random and esoteric and therefore interesting and yet still not the adult version of reading a survey on Livejournal. Wooo.

So without further ado, the challenge:
1. Your current relationship - if single, discuss how single life is.
2. Where you'd like to be in 10 years.
3. Your views on drugs and alcohol.
4. Your views on religion.
5. A time you thought about ending your own life.
6. Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.
7. Your zodiac sign, and if you think it fits your personality.
8. A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
9. How you hope your future will be like.
10. Discuss your first love and first kiss.
11. Put your iPod on shuffle, and write 10 songs that pop up. Without cheating.
12. Bullet-point your whole day.
13. Somewhere you'd like to move or visit.
14. Your earliest memory.
15. Your favorite blogs (I stole this from someone on Tumblr, which admittedly is a little more blog-community-centric, but let's be real, I do a lot of reading inanely on the internet).
16. Your views on mainstream music.
17. Your highs and lows of this past year.
18. Your beliefs.
19. Disrespecting your parents.
20. How important you think education is.
21. One of your favorite TV shows.
22. How have you changed in the past 2 years?
23. Give 5 pictures of guys who are famous and who you find attractive?
24. Your favorite movie and what it's about.
25. Someone who fascinates you and why.
26. What kind of person attracts you.
27. A problem that you have had.
28. Something that you miss.
29. Goals for the next 30 days.
30. Your highs and lows of this month.

READYGO, creative juices/intellectual curiosity/inane blathering about my life (listen it's a blog, these things, they happen.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Obligatory First Week of School Post

Obviously, you might be wondering how I intend to do this when, for the first time, there's no school actually involved.

This September, there will be no evaluating of my classes, no grudgingly accepting the transition back into papers and homework and waking up at obscene hours for class. For the first fall in my conscious memory I have purchased no notebooks, pencils, or folders; I have not visited a bookstore in these last weeks let alone the NYU Bookstore in pursuit of something I forgot to get for much cheaper on Amazon three weeks ago.
In the middle of August I was having, to put it generously to myself, a wee bit of difficulty accepting that I wouldn't be returning to class. It felt like too much too quickly, too big a change, too overwhelming a concept to accept fully. I found myself, upon hearing my roommates lament "Oh my god I can't believe I have class next week", saying, "I'll trade you," words I was pretty sure I'd never hear myself say circa last April as I was eagerly counting the days to graduation.

I feel the need to clear up a misconception, by the way (hah, she wrote, as though she has so much of an internet following eagerly awaiting her next inane blathering) - I didn't graduate early because I hate NYU, or because I didn't enjoy my experience here. I did it because it made sense and it felt right to me, but it has no reflection on my NYU experience. Sure, I rag on it the way everyone does their school, but it's kind of like making fun of your family - only you can do it, when other people start in on NYU I will fiercely defend my school and the education I got there.

Yet somehow it still feels like fall. Not being a student, at present, feels in many ways like wearing the jeans that lay untouched in my closet for this entire sweltering summer - a little off and maybe not quite right, but somehow much easier than I'd expected. I described to a friend, also a new alumnus, that my sensation walking around campus was not unlike walking around an ex-boyfriend's neighborhood: familiar and easy, but somehow wrong and not a little painful.

There's an - oh my god, I cannot believe I'm saying this, kill me immediately - interesting essay we had to read in fucking Writing the Essay of all things that actually sort of adequately describes my new phenomenon, however. It's called "Shadow Cities" and basically deals with the phenomenon of all humans naturally superimposing the places of their memories on the places of their literal reality. And I think this is more it now. It's not painful to be on campus, but for the first time I'm seeing both "campus" and "Greenwich Village." And it's something I actually kind of love - that my campus, though a campus for sure by my way of thinking, never really was that. I just have to learn how to accept it as part of the city. I have to learn to see literally lower Broadway, not just "around Tisch."

And somehow, beyond thinking it might never again, what with a) there no being school and b) the absolutely BLISTERING summer, it feels like fall. I'm wearing sweaters. I'm drinking hot froufy drinks from Starbucks. And my calendar is filling up, which is always important to combatting a sense of general apathy for me.

Also, for shits and giggles, I counted: in this non-student summer, I read nineteen new books. This is not, in truth, all that much, but a once-avid reader, my school life had considerably slowed my leisure reading life. I realize that a good number of these books may have, ahem, been the novels that inspired True Blood, but in general, it's good to know I apparently still know how to engage my brain, school or not. Ah, growing up. You are a strange, strange phenomenon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I have a new(ish) life goal

And it involves travel. Like, a lot.

See, here's the thing: I am an excellent traveller, which is to say that I am a pro at airports, I sleep on planes like a champ, I'm great at packing, I adore exploring new places, I'm reasonably good at not looking like a tourist, and I have a strong desire to learn new languages.


I am coming to realize I am extremely poorly travelled. I have been to 19/50 US states, and only 5 foreign countries, 2 of which are in North America. In 21 years. More to the point, I have not been out of this country in THREE YEARS.

With so many of my close friends claiming living relatives in foreign lands, combined with the good amount of these people that spent their summers abroad or traversed the globe studying abroad, it's tough to not start to feel... inadequate, if only because my own intense desire to travel is, in truth, so thoroughly unfulfilled.

So I'm making some lists, because that's what I do - I organize and I plan and I create goals. I figure at least several of these are achievable through theatre and the rest... well, I'll make a liiiiiittle money eventually, right?

Current top 10 list of places I would like to get in the next 10 years:
1. Spain. Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain.
2. Italy
3. Ireland
4. Greece
5. France
6. India
7. Russia
8. Czech Republic
9. Bermuda
10. Jamaica
...I started off in a sort of mental block about this and didn't get to 10 that easily at first but now, I must include the honorable mentions which are: China, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, the DR, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Morocco.

Places I have been that I would like to return (this is to say, all):
1. Japan, to see it as a grown-up
2. Canada, to explore beyond Toronto, and because I haven't been to Toronto in 5 years
3. England, to spend more time - possibly extended - there
4. Scotland, to go back to the Fringe specifically but also to experience more of the country
5. Mexico, to see places that aren't Puerto Vallarta


Perhaps I make it my goal to get to one of these places on my list in the next year. Even if it's the returns list... Montreal is cheap from New York... hmm.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

IDK, my bff coffee?

In high school, my friends and I made a bet I could stay caffeine free for an entire week. I believe the week ran Wednesday-Wednesday (see previous post about my memory for the inane and asinine - which yes, are faaaaairly synonymous but I love both of those words), and I was on the honor system for the weekend. Obviously therefore I cheated. Matt/Molly, if by chance you're reading this, my apologies.

I did, however, end up having to pay up anyway on the technicality that chocolate has caffeine in it, and since I had eaten chocolate during that week, I lost the bet.

The reasoning behind the bet was that at the time, at a mere 16, two local Starbucks branches already knew me by "name" and I was already well on my way to caffeine headaches when I did not start my day caffeinated. I had discovered, at the time, something that I know to be technically impossible but nonetheless still true somehow in my very backward psyche: coffee calms me down.

By this I mean to say DOES energize me (or gets me to zero, depending on the day), but since I was about 16, coffee has been a relatively integral part of my stress-management curriculum. I don't know what it is, but throughout high school and very often in college, those afternoons where everything seemed juuuuuust outside of my zone of rational control and I was dangerously close to lashing out at everything and everyone around me, a simple caramel macchiato/latte/hazelnut iced coffee/regular coffee usually did the trick to quell this antisocial and invariably counterproductive urge.

Logically and biologically speaking this should not be true and yet I find it is to this day. And yes, my time as an almost-psych major and then an almost-psych minor tell me that logically yes it's not all that strange it's the placebo effect and the strength of association and blah blah blah BUT I still think it's strange since chemically speaking, caffeine should make me MORE wired and inclined towards high-stress behaviors.

[If any of you hear a slight rotating noise, it's the collective sound of anybody who knew me in high school rolling their eyes that I bothered writing this.]

Mmmm, latte.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eyesight's the first to go, and I forget that other thing...

Despite the similarity in titles, this post bears no relationship to my previous ruminations over a silly film starring Rob Pattinson. Also, I am keeping said post, but would like to at least partially renege on the position posited in it for the following reasons:
1) Siobhan. The film stars Robert Pattinson for god's sake. I think you're just mad that you spent two hours of your life watching it and expecting it to become a quality film.
2) Hear that? That's the sound of your bullshit meter BLARING at you for pretentiousness and super false nationalism.

So now we move on to today's subject, one about which I have periodically ruminated for some time.

Today I left to have lunch with a friend, realizing that I was wearing an outfit which, though I've worn the component parts dozens of times, haven't worn precisely together since just under a year ago. With this friend. The occasion on which I'd last worn it occurred to me as I was dressing, but it didn't fully dawn on me until such time as I was walking out the door that that was the last time. My friend, being male, did not, of course, remember my having ever worn this outfit and nor did he comment. Or if he did notice, he wisely did not comment and it was likely less awkward for both of us that he did not.

A few nights ago, my dad presented my mom and I with cards at dinner that featured a picture of me at around age 10 (this is my guess - I am still wearing glasses, which changed circa 7th grade, and I am pre-braces, a sixth grade development). My mom posited that she knew exactly where the picture was taken, to which my dad and I both disagreed - what was interesting, however, was that I could identify the dress. I knew my mom thought it'd been taken in Baton Rouge, at my cousins' house, because it was an Easter dress. And though I recognized it instantly as an Easter dress, I knew instinctively that I was re-wearing it for a particular occasion, though what it was I couldn't recall.

I have always, it seems, had a peculiar memory for the seemingly insignificant details of my life - particularly those that happened a long time ago. I could not tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday (okay, trick question, half the time the answer to that is nothing) BUT I can tell you a vividly detailed story about something that happened five or more years ago.

Incidentally this has served me extremely well in my studies of the Method - I am (or, well, was, I guess) continually surprised what I could dredge up in terms of insignificant but somehow very important detail in the context of doing, say, a personal object or a private moment or a place. Both the monumental and the totally insipid - if it happened a long time ago, I likely have it stored somewhere in my brain in at least fragments of extremely clear detail.

Nowhere is this more crystalline than in how I remember what I was wearing (note to self: should have seen that play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore - would probably relate).

I know what I wore for my grandpa Don's funeral (age: 4.5). I know what Lydia and I wore the day we planned to come to school dressed as twins (probable age: 6), and what we wore the time we truly endeavored to convince everyone around us we were twins (probable age: 6.5). Partially cheating, because I owned all the dresses for sometime after, but I can tell you IN DETAIL about each competition dress I ever owned for skating. And I could probably give you a rundown of most of the rest of my dresses as well. I remember owning an American flag print bikini when we still lived in Toronto that I clearly must only have worn once, the April that Jess and Rach came to visit and we had a contest, in the frigid Canadian spring-winter, of who could stay out of our (very heated) pool the longest. I won, by default of the two piece bikini. I notably CAN'T tell you what I wore the day we moved from Toronto, which these days strikes me as ironic.

I remember what I was wearing the day I got into NYU and the day I moved into Rubin, and I can tell you what I was wearing for each of my significant firsts with boys. If you're a former boyfriend of mine/boy I was involved with/boy I dated and you're reading this (hahahahah. so very doubtful.) you're probably rolling your eyes in disbelief, given my seemingly shocking lack of sentimentality, but it's true. Quiz me sometime (haha that'd be a fun game, because how on earth could a boy prove me wrong on this? It's not like they remember).

It stands to reason from this that I'm a pretty good memorizer, and it's true - I learn lines quickly, and I've never really had any problem memorizing for class either. Yet I can know you for years and know, for example, what week of what month your birthday is in (first, middle, near [insert holiday in your birthday month here]) but I'm telling you now, unless you've told me the date literally DOZENS of times or more, I don't know it. I must, by absolute necessity, write something down in my calendar and my planner to remember to do it. And I routinely walk out of my bedroom both at in my apartment or at home (or at home or in my house, depending on how you want to look at it - I've strayed) to other rooms only to forget what I'm doing there. These also are all detail oriented things.

This is surely only further proof that it's possible I'm insane. But hey! If you want to know a detail about an incident that you were involved in that I was there for that happened 3 years ago, I'm your girl.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's my age again?

I'm pretty sure I might have regressed sometime this weekend - first, seeing American Idiot, while fabulous (review to come), brought me SO squarely back to high school it was just silly. Up to and including pretty much crying like a little girl hearing "Good Riddance" at the end after curtain call. Left the show convinced I mighttttt have been sixteen again. I have spent the majority of today watching The O.C., which some of you might remember as a show that aired when we were in high school. I was such a baby when I was watching this show! Aaaaand then I just watched videos of Downbeat.

21 going on how old, Siobhan? Oh goodness.

So to recap: I work ALL the time and THINK about work 80% of the time - making me about 45. I compensate by either a) staying in and going to bed insanely early and cooking - 50ish or b) going out on weeknights - 21 or c) watching tv in my pajamas all day, specifically, THE OC - 14. Oh or d) listening to Disney music (to try to pick an audition piece, but...) - 6.

So my actual age I think is roughly a hundred going on twelve. I think this is a great development.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why are girls so stupid?

As a forerunner to this post, I openly disclose that the kind of behavior I am describing is behavior to which I am not immune. I don't mean to be a traitor to my sex, and I'm not trying to pretend I've NEVER done some of these things that I'm so peeved by.

That disclaimer now standing, I think I want to move to an island where there are only boys. And not for the reasons you might think, despite what I may have said in the past about NYU being a boyless wasteland. Though that part of a desert island where there are only boys would be fun too. But seriously! Some of you may have watched True Blood - less of you probably read the novels, but that's a possibility as well. Anyway, main character Sookie Stackhouse is a telepath, and she likes being around vampires because they are quiet. I'm beginning to feel the same way about being around boys.

Obviously no, I cannot read minds (though my reading of these books/watching True Blood and listening to Sookie whine about it still has yet to convince me that it wouldn't be useful). But by comparison, boys are so QUIET emotionally. Drama? Boys don't care. They hit each other when they're mad at each other instead of going about all kinds of duplicitous, passive aggressive, steeped in denial bullshit, make stupid jokes that only they laugh at but don't care about it, and generally speaking, put everything on the table. Passive aggressive? It's a language they don't speak, and so they don't try. Few boys I know willfully enter into an arrangement that is destructive to all parties involved and try and justify it to themselves and write it off. They are, other faults notwithstanding, generally extremely loyal to their friends and understand the boundaries of not fucking each other over for very limited personal gain. Generally far fewer boys I know allow themselves to be walked all over over and over again. They don't pretend that they have their shit together only to make the same mistakes in rapid succession. They may be the cause of a lot of drama, but they seem to, blissfully, know to stay the hell out of it when it comes and not to drag a bunch of people into it with them.

Okay. So who am I kidding. Expect the sequel the next time some boy does something dumb to me, to be entitled, "why are boys so stupid"? But for now, I'm seriously considering that island full of men. [Okay. Maybe I'm considering it for fun too.]