Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday I made a big step toward conquering an old fear.

Since I was a kid, I've sung in choirs, but I've never never sung a solo.  In middle school I auditioned for "Oklahoma" - I said, "I'm an alto" and then opened my mouth & the highest, beyond soprano, quavering,  most terrified voice came out and embarrassed everyone in the room.  Later, my college boyfriend and his roommates (Teeter & Chick, funnily enough) were recording a Christmas album and he offered for me to sing one song on it.  I had a breakdown.  I cried, I cussed, I freaked out.  I didn't want to listen to my own voice and I didn't like the sound coming out of me or the nervous cold sweat I broke out into.  Even though it turned out ok,  I made them promise to not include it on the regular CD, only a special "gold edition," and every Christmas when my parents put it on, I get red & flustered and anxious.
Despite all that, I LOVE music and I've always said that one thing on my life list is: Perform a solo song for an audience.  And be confident about it.  Get over this dang stupid fear.

Last night, at our Side Work meeting (for those of you that don't know, Side Work is an artists collective & one of the things I'm most proud of in my life - you can read about it here) I announced that in our next show, I might want to sing.  And then, at their urging, despite stomach churning & sweaty brow, I sang.  And we had an impromptu jam session with Jamey & Johnny picking up instruments & Teeter using a bag of chips as maracas.

And it was awesome.

 I want to perform with the confidence & style of Jenny Lewis  [source]

In a couple of weeks, I'm going to sing in front of a lot of people.  Some friends, some strangers.  I'm going to dance and sing and enjoy it, and I'm going to put this fear to rest.  I'm going to cross it off my list.  Who's with me?  What fear can you conquer in June?

Today I am so happy and grateful for:
~ support
~ being ready
~ inspiration

xo! n.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Temporarily Out of Order

Sorry I've been missing for the past 10 days - wow, has it been that long?  I've been super busy making money, which is definitely a good thing, although exhausting.  I worked sixteen hours the other day!

I've been working on the Warner Brothers Studio lot, helping with production of some big events during their International Week.  I've been doing everything from placing/decorating buffets to working with security to make sure only those on the guest list have access, to golf-carting executives around the studio, to making sure the event photographers get the money shots.  A leg up from PA work, technically logistics, basically an assistant stage manager.  And as stressful as it is, I've actually really enjoyed it.  Events, especially those of this scale (BIG budget) are just like theatre & as crew, you operate the same way.  I love it.  Maybe after I travel the world working arts festivals, I'll go into SMing events... (Chick, are you listening...?)

Though my feet sure are tired.

It was an amazing event.  There were parades, shirtless cowboys serving shots, a jug band & can-can dancers on the back of a pickup truck, aerialists, fire-eaters, a burlesque show, a ferris wheel and merry-go-round, costumed performers interacting with the guests, fireworks and little person bartenders.  Definitely the coolest event I've ever been to, let alone been a part of.  Unfortunately, since I was working, I couldn't get any pictures.  Waaa waaahhhh...

Not much else is going on.  My friend Loz from Australia is coming to stay with me for a week starting Monday, so that will be awesome.  Until then... sleep.

oh and ps - speaking of, the memorial day fair is setting up in the park outside our house!  It comes every year at this time but we always forget about it & therefore are always surprised when we see the carnival lights flashing above the trees...

Today I am so grateful & happy for:
~ overtime
~ free food
~ being part of an incredible event
~ a purring kitten on my lap

xo! n.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The beginning of the end of my 20's...

As of yesterday at 9:20am, I am 29.  Twenty-nine.  Beginning my last year of this weird, uncertain, joyful but searching decade.

I'm not scared of getting older; it's a pointless fear.  You will always be older than you were yesterday, it's an inevitable part of being alive.  I wouldn't go back to the insecurities and obsessions of sixteen or twenty-two (although I might go back to a blissfully ignorant four); I'm really happy with who I am now and looking forward to who I'll become. 

I find that whenever I feel anxiety about my age (almost 30!!), it's because of expectations of what I think I should have by this time in my life.  What a load of shit; "should" is a dirty word.  Could I have had those things I think I should have?  Yes.  Did I choose other things?  Yes.  Am I happy with my choices?  Yes.  Can I still have those things in the future?  Yes.  So where's the problem...?  So silly.

My roommate Chick was out of town, so we didn't have our normal super-exciting blowout birthday surprise yesterday (apparently it's been planned though, so that just makes the celebration last longer... I like it!); I had a good, easy breezy day with a small group of friends.

I woke up to many lovely facebook birthday comments & the accidental stress of realizing I had to be at my friend V's bridal shower an hour earlier than I'd thought.  Whoops.  Got there a half hour late, sweating & embarrassed, only to find no one was there on time, not even the bride herself.  Whew!  Caught up with some of my favorite people from my old job, ate delicious middle eastern food that just kept coming, drank wine, danced, and felt like I was in Lebanon, surrounded by these friendly and beautiful Armenian women, in a gilded hall with foreign music blasting.  It was really fun & V looked gorgeous, as always.

at V's Bridal shower with the ladies from my old job

When I got home, Teeter surprised me with a beautiful, colorful bouquet and mimosas!  In another, not-so-birthday, surprise, our refrigerator decided to quit on us & Teeter had taken everything out to clean, unplug and re-plug it (still not working - balls!), so we sat in the disaster of our kitchen, drinking champagne and laughing, with Chick's new kitten Gumshoe (did I tell you about him yet? Adorable!!!) attacking our feet and climbing our shoulders.

Later, we met "my Sean" at Le Petit Greek, where our friend Michelene works, for an AMAZING dinner.  Oh my goodness, it was SO good.  Go there.  We sat outside & watched the hipster families pass (skinny jeans on a baby in a diaper??  Really??), stuffing ourselves with deliciousness and loving each others' company.

 my sean & me

Then it was on to Hamburger Mary's, a West Hollywood institution, for Drag Queen Bingo - so fun.  Our friends Cat, Matt, and RJ joined us, and we screeched in delight every time the queen called a number we had ("Everyone's favorite: I 69!!"), but despite getting very close, none of us got a bingo.  Waaa Waaaah...  After bingo was a confusing and funny burlesque show (Is that a woman?  Man?  Tranny?  Doesn't really matter, he/she is fabulous!!) and we pretty much closed the bar, laughing and dancing & playing the is-he-gay-or-is-he-straight game with the waiters.

Did Teeter just tell Sean a dirty joke?  :)

It was a great birthday.

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ amazing friends
~ so many birthday wishes!
~ no hangover today :)
~ being one year wiser & happier

xo! n.

Friday, May 14, 2010


New Escape Hatcher post up!

Are you facing an ending?  Losing a job, leaving a city, breaking up, saying goodbye?  Me too. 
In there somewhere, there's a reason to celebrate...

Read here to see how I'm finding the beginnings in my endings.

xo! n.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Visitation Celebration

I just spent a week in North Carolina and it was deeeeevine.

My friends in Charlotte gave me the tour; I spent my first two years of college just outside the city but somehow managed to never see all the cool parts.  From the bright, identifiable skyline to bamboo-bordered front porches to neighborhoods edging on ghetto (where "shenanigans" go down), and all the independent coffee houses, organic restaurants, and cheap vintage shops in between, we laughed and walked and ate.

I found myself thinking, yeah, I could live in a place like this.  Where I could walk to a coffee shop with live music.  Where I can find a vintage dress, in perfect condition, for under $20.  Where I can browse an indie art gallery & grab a beer next door.  Where there are theatres in the back of stores, in the park, in eco-friendly buildings, and guerrilla performers in the city streets.  A place that's more compact than LA, that has an identity all it's own, not trying to be everything pop culture says is "in" right now.

I saw my friend in "Evita" which, while it's not my favorite show, was a wonderful production and strengthened my conviction that I can do what I want to do, and be happy in it, many places besides LA.
Charlotte friends

 We had a Cinco De Mayo celebration and sat outside in the humid southern night, drinking mango margaritas, catching up, and watching my friends' new puppy alternate between sweet and insane.  There's really not much better in life than reconnecting with old friends as though no time has passed at all.

(I'm pretty sure you're going to find that to be a reoccurring theme on this blog as I travel over the next few months.)

Then I headed to Boone, up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to stay with family in a rented house with a view and celebrate my brother's college graduation.  It proved to be one of the most fun times I've had with family in years; my grandma was sassy, my dad's year-old dog adorable, and we laughed hard & loud over what seemed like unending amounts of food.  I got to meet my brother's girlfriend, talk music with my cousin, and teach my mom and grandma how to play pool, a game which brought us all together in mild trash-talking and loud woops of delight when the cue ball even struck another ball on the table. 

 the graduate! (and family)

We were silly and happy and relaxed with the Blue Ridge undulating around us like a cardboard sea in a stage play, shades of deep green and blue in layers, mountain peaks and clouds the caps of waves.

And I thought to myself, after ten years of living far from home (sometimes on another continent), I'm so glad that I'm moving nearer to these people soon.  For all of our issues and complications, we love each other; I'm so blessed to have this family.

I also got to meet up with another old friend who lives in Boone; again, although we've both been through a lot of changes, it was just like we'd never been apart.  Love it.

Today I am so grateful and happy for:
~ spending time with family
~ strong friendships
~ BBQs with views
~ my brother graduated college!!  So proud of him.

xo! n.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mayo Mary

**This post was written on May 5th, very early, but I had no internet access til later...  fyi**

It seems like lately, every time I travel domestically, my flights are delayed.  The last time I flew to DC, my flight was actually canceled & I was transferred to another airline, so I had to go through security twice.  Yikes.

Today, on my way to North Carolina for my brother's college graduation (yay!) and en route, stopping to visit some college friends (double yay!), my flight from LA was delayed after we'd boarded, just enough that it got me into Minneapolis 20 minutes before my flight to Charlotte was due to depart.  Just enough time to think I had a chance of catching it.  Just enough time to run to the gate, which, of course, was on the entirely opposite side of the airport.  And, of course, that flight was right on time.  And, of course, I missed it by, oh, about one minute.

Which brings us to why I'm having a bloody mary in the airport TGIFriday's at 6am, LA time.

For the record, that's 8am Minneapolis time, and that's still way too early to be drinking, I realize, but I pretty much got a 2 hour nap on the plane so to my body it's still Tuesday.  A weird, sun-never-sets kind of Tuesday.  And it's a vacation.  And did I mention I missed my flight and my 45 minute layover just turned into three hours?  Besides, technically, it's Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Margarita Day!  I'm cheers-ing you with my TGIExtraOlives Bloody Mary.   :)

Speaking of, I love olives.  And I love how the word olive sounds like I love.  Olive olives!  I crave them; one time, I was out at this classy joint The Magic Castle, and I wanted a dirty martini but I knew I didn't want that much alcohol, so I got a glass of white wine with 2 olives in it.  Weird?  I know.  Teeter and Chick sneered in disgust, but it was perfect.  Mmmmm…

I feel important typing on my computer in an airport restaurant.  Like a business person (as though that's a "thing").  I have work to do, leave me alone, I'm very serious!!  Little do they know… hee hee, you're in on the secret…  Though, I doubt I look very serious and business-like, in my hippie dress next to my neon green suitcase.  Then again, you never can tell with us "Millennium Generation"-ers; we do things our own way, apparently.  I read an article on the plane about how we're willing to search for jobs with meaning & want to skip the "shit" jobs at the bottom of the ladder.  I'm not sure if I'm a little in love with my generation for that & totally exemplify it, or if I think it's arrogant & somewhat lazy; either way, I am it, it is me, for better or for worse.

I am rambling, forgive me.  It's the product of no sleep, excitement, boredom, and yes, a little bit of vodka.  By the way (not really at all), the waitstaff here don't wear flair.  I wonder if they saw "Office Space" and knew everyone was laughing at them; I wonder how many TGIFriday's employees heard giggles and quotes behind their backs after that movie came out.

Allright, well, I think my breakfast is coming & I've prattled on long enough about nothing.  Bring on the toast!

Today I am so happy for:
~ traveling for great reasons
~ meal vouchers as apologies for delayed flights
~ delicious things

xo! n.
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