Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘The Things I Don’t Do’ Category

She is my muse, love.  My life.  My soul, which I never knew or believed existed until I felt her breath… my breath, filling my lungs.  Lately words have been flowing from my heart that I never expected to hear, feel, or believe.  It is as real and as drastic a transformation as I have ever experienced.  Apparently, it is wholely possible to look forward to speaking to someone just moments after hanging up the phone – to miss someone mere seconds following farewells.  It seems that, despite all doubt, in all appearances, potentially, probably, ipso. fucking. facto. that love not only exists, but that I find myself eyebrow deep in it.  This is a first.  Many firsts, in fact.  But, certainly the first time I find myself deep in something that did not require legal, medical, or moral assistance to get out of.

I am writing this for the same reason I’ve ever written anything, because I have to.  I have written, to date, a number of letters beyond my ability to count (which is to say, I’ve run out of fingers and toes) regarding the subject of love, the subject of my love, addressed to… well, you get the point.  I have killed four pens, 2.5 notebooks, and three packs of evelopes in just a couple of months.  So for anyone wondering if The Duke of Glimmer has been writing… he has, but only for one person as of recently.  And although she prefers not to share my attention, I’m sure she’ll grant me reprieve in this case.

My love is music, for I found her through music.  My love is friendship, for I found her through friendship.  She is dance, and light, and laughter… gorgeous hot days, and long desert nights.  She is drugs – I will not lie.  The greatest (seriously, the greatest) drug I’ve ever known.  I am convinced she is the path to my enlightenment – if that is a thing and it can truly be achieved.  And if not, I’m just fucking happy.  Really happy. Happy enough to write this sappy post that you will probably read, say “awww,” puke, then take an insulin shot.  And that’s fine.

The point is that it’s real and it’s out there – love.  It’s not something you’re expecting to find, or that you seek out on purpose.  It just grows, organically – non GMO, always fair trade.  I didn’t even know I wanted it until love found me, but now I’ll fight with the passion of a thousand souls to keep it, this fire that burns in my heart.  There’s no formula, just live your life and let it find you.  It will.  Somehow it found me.  Somehow there’s a beautiful woman in this world who is just like me, but better… so much better.  Genuinely, just ask Tracy, she’s better… and she loves me, lucky fool that I am.  So for anyone struggling or lonely out there – trust me, if you’re holding the glimmer, sooner or later the universe will send someone to share the burden.

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It’s been a rough one, glimmies.  I’m sure all three of you were well aware of our absence (please just let me believe you were at least.. I need SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN right now….), but SHIT has gone DOWN in the last month and I haven’t had enough time to formulate words in to a post.  Let me rephrase that- I’ve had MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME to write a post because I am officially unemployed.

 
yep.
 
Dream company? see yuh.
 
How did this all happen?  Well, I’m still in a haze of “unclear”, followed by shock, and the inevitable depression.  I wish I could write a series of events leading up to my “departure”, but I genuinely have no idea how it happened.  I was never warned, I was never counseled, hell I was being praised on a daily basis.  I guess not being “the right fit” in a group of 40+ year old scorned women, means I’m not ready to dedicate my life to being…a 40yr old..scorned woman?  Maybe my boss didn’t like exclamation points after my “Thanks” for the 20 Lakers tickets, handful of Clippers games, soccer games, concerts, or other notable events.  Maybe the board meeting I single-handedly prepared for 4 people (that turned into 12…the day of the meeting…at the penthouse of the Ritz…) wasn’t up to par, but the grateful emails from all attendee’s seemed to validate a good job?  Maybe he wasn’t happy that I was on vacation in the desert, sitting in my car, on the phone with the travel agency for over 30 minutes, scheduling same day flights and hotel accommodations to Texas and then a quick day stop in New York? Maybe I just wasn’t good at creating an entirely new filing system on my second week, purging an entire 4 foot cabinet of unnecessary files, and filing 6 years worth of stuff his last assistant “forgot” to do. Maybe learning their expense reporting program on my own and presenting him with an expense report for a months worths of receipts ( ON MY EIGHTH DAY) that i took it upon myself to track down from various hotels and restaurants across the country because his last assistant “forgot to do one and couldn’t find the receipts”….wasn’t good enough for him?
 
Who. knows. 
 
All I can remember is an HR rep walking in to his office at 4:15, his door opening at 4:30, and a calm “Hey Tracy, can you step inside my office for a minute” from ex-bossman, followed by “you were an incredible employee and we hope you can find another position within the company, but….” Then some blah, blah, blah, and ex-bossman interrupting HR rep with “I’m really sorry, but I’m late for a meeting.”  He stood up and walked out.  I didn’t get a hand shake.  I didn’t get a thank you.  I didn’t get an “I’m sorry.”  Just like that, it was done.  The HR rep asked for my badge, my parking pass, and told me I wasn’t allowed to touch my computer “for security reasons” and to grab whatever I could off of my desk.  She handed me a parking validation to get out of my lot.  And then, I left.  Just like that.  No tears, until I turned the corner on my last walk to my parking structure, where I started bawling uncontrollably and sprinting to my car.  To make matters even more comically worse, the validation I was given was expired.  I COULDNT EVEN EXIT THE GODDAMN PARKING LOT.  I drove around feverishly, trying to find a parking attendant, who then told me I would need my original parking pass to exit.  I tried to stay calm, but instead yelled “I JUST FUCKING LOST MY JOB AND I WANT TO GET OUT OF THIS FUCKING PARKING LOT.  THIS IS ALL THEY GAVE ME.  OPEN THE GATE BEFORE I DRIVE THROUGH IT.” And she did.  And I drove home, crying uncontrollably, calling my mom, calling my friends, yelling at drivers at the top of my lungs with the windows down, being THAT GIRL on the afternoon commute home.
 
(ps writing this is totally NOT THERAPEUTIC, DUKE.)
 
I’m so embarrassed.  I’m also pretty sure that’s the reason I’ve failed to inform MANY of my friends and family.  I just……ugh…I felt so important. I felt like the coolest kid in class being able to call friends on a whim to join me at the game that night, or for a concert, or whatever AWESOME thing was given to me for that night or weekend.  I know that friendships are more than some REALLY AWESOME GAMES, but to be able to give that to somebody?  Fuck man…it was just so damn cool.  I felt like a rock star.  Every. Night. Of. The. Week.
 
and then it all just… disappears.  Do you realize how difficult that is?  
 
Fortunately for me, I have the absolute most incredible support system in the world.  My meltdown lasted all of 22 hours, followed by the best soul-searching dinner of my life with Duke (granted, we were knee-deep in Tennessee honey (ie: whiskey…keep up kids..))  Duke, being one of the wisest in my arsenal of friends, reminded me that not only do I now have the opportunity to do whatever the fuck I want, but I can also go back to school and finally get my degree.
 
So, that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to pursue my dream of writing (without three hundred run-on sentences. ((HA or triple parenthesis! (((LIES.))) Who knows, this whole blog may take a new form of Community-esque amazement? I can’t even begin to imagine my new daily character encounters! Maybe it wont? All I know is that I’m holding the glimmer, as strongly as I can.

Step in to My Office…

He awoke from the haze of a six month hangover on March the 8th, in this foul year of our lord 2012…

Shit.  It’s Thursday.  I’m stuck in a box with no windows.  And somewhere outside this dim closet the sun is shining on people who’ve probably made far better life choices than myself – or yourselves, for that matter.  Because if you had any brains you’d be out there enjoying the day too, instead of slaving away for time off you’ll never get to take.

Let’s stop right there before I take you to the dark place too early.  Explanations will not be administered for where I’ve been and why I haven’t written.  Those of you who know me understand that I tend to disappear for hours, days, months at a time.  If you don’t know me… well, you’re starting to get the picture.  Our inconsistent rapport will eventually lead you to the conclusion that I’m the trainwreck cousin who shows up at Thanksgiving with a different look and new trashy girlfriend every year, only to rail against an establishment I never quite challenged head-on, then leaves sloppy drunk and doesn’t call again until Christmas – to tell you things have changed and I’ll be doing missionary work in Liberia through spring.

There I go rambling again.  The point I was trying to make is that Whitney Houston was a terrific singer, and it’s a fucking tragedy what happened.  Whitney, and Amy Whinehouse, and Lindsay Lohan… what? Oh Lindsay’s still alive?  She can’t sing, either?  Sigh… where have all the talented drug addicts gone?  I wonder if heaven’s got a coke dealer…

Alright let’s reel this thing in, because I haven’t even started yet, I don’t think.  So let’s focus on the substance.  The real reason I haven’t written, besides the lack of motivation, time, or thoughts worthy of wasting paper/webspace – is that nobody reads anymore.  Sure, you read the headlines that NPR posts on facebook.  But when was the last time you finished the article?  No, you’re into the internet memes about what your parents think you do and what you really do (spoiler: your parents think you do nothing that matters, you actually do nothing that matters).  You’re checking out the gif of some kitty falling off a table, or the latest youtube video about Shit Douchebags Say (something  something something FAG! something something let’s get some PUSSY!).  And if you  feel the itch to make a difference in the world, update your status to what color bra you’re wearing to fight against breast cancer, or grow out your chest hair to show solidarity with Greek austerity.  But you’re certainly too busy being interesting to care about what anyone really has to say, or what’s actually going on around you.  You’re too fucking busy being an armchair activist.  Maybe you’re sitting there saying “well what the hell have you ever done to make a difference?”  “Not a mother flippin’ thing,” I reply.  And even if I had (which I have), I wouldn’t tell you – because I’d rather entertain you with my sins, and hedge them privately with good deeds, like putting strippers through college.

All you have to do, to change the fucking world, is watch this goddamn video, and share it with 13 people, or else Kony is going to steal your grandmother in the night and make her a Ugandan prostitute. Isn’t this just a sophisticated version of the old chain emails from myspace?  Facefuck has become an amazing place, where information is shared and movements have taken shape.  But I hate to burst your bubble, awareness is not a movement.  Cures, solutions, revolutions, they don’t come about because you’re aware of the problem.  If people sat around at work and sent each other videos of kids dying from Staph infection – we’d still be waiting for someone to invent penicillin.  Hitler didn’t burn in a bunker because of viral internet memes making fun of his Michael Jordan mustache and love for killing Jews.  And, as powerful as twitter is, it still couldn’t stop Ahmadinejad from stealing another election and throwing anyone who protested in jail.  So keep updating your statuses to complain about gas prices – just don’t forget who’s slapping economic sanctions on who next time you’re at the pump.  Hashtag just sayin…

One would think taking some serious time off from writing would provide an opportunity for thoughts and ideas to cultivate in the mind.  One would think…
 
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy where or who I’ve been since I last disgraced the interwebs with my complaint-laden gibberish.  Hazy snapshots come to mind, but much like a conversation with my parents – I can never divulge anything more than generalities and insignificant details.  I’d like to say that I’ve grown as a person, learned about myself and the world, gained culture and wisdom and understanding; but the reality is I’ve burned off too many brain cells to have possibly gained anything more than an early onset of alzheimer’s and a lifetime ban from… well, it’s not important.
 
Lately I’ve been wondering how much is too much?  How far is too far?  At what point do we stop pushing the limits of public intoxication and weekend warriorhood?  When do we make the jump from running-into-the-stands Ron Artest to sweet charitable goofball Metta World Peace?  What the fuck does Metta even mean, anyway?  (Editors note: I’ve decided that Metta is my new favorite word and officially a new glimmer game.  See how many times you can use that word in a day; via email, casual conversation with your boss, to the girl crying in the bathroom stall next door…you get the picture. Game on!)
 
Maybe I was supposed to cut the shit after college, but it has only gotten worse – or better, depending on your perspective.  These days I have money to party in ways I always wanted when I was a broke student living on spaghetti and Italian dressing.  Now, every year feels like a competition to outdo last year, and the result is always the same – I’m the big winner.  The best is yet to come, which is both exciting and frightening, because as I keep surpassing myself – I’m almost positive that my body is losing.  It has to be.  Something has to give at some point.  It’s only a matter of time…
 
Normal people chalk up their hazy years to youthful rebellion and move onto the long boring phase of domesticity as a result of their ensuing maturity.  They get real jobs, settle down, have kids, and everything else takes a backseat to “life.”  I’ve started a career, not a star-studded one, but a career to be proud of nonetheless.  One that requires me to be a responsible upstanding adult, which I appear to be during work hours.  I’m surrounded by nice people – friendly grown folks who work hard even on their days off, pick up their kids from school, pay their mortgages, remodel their homes, and occasionally play golf or poker if they have a couple of hours free.  Nice people – fucking squares.  Did they start off that way?  God forbid.  Was it a gradual breaking of the exuberance and spirit that once had them preaching free love and Tuesday night skinny dipping?  It seems that even the ex-hipsters and night owls eventually sold out in the name of practicality and parenthood – two concepts with which I’m entirely unfamiliar.  
 
The other night I tried something completely outrageous and out-of-character.  It was despicable, unforgivable; my parents would be proud.  I stayed home, and did nothing.  Actually, I stayed in my hotel room.  I’m living at the Marina Del Rey Marriott right now, not that it matters or that you care – it’s just a detail to flesh out the story.  So, on a weekend night (it was Thursday, but I had Friday off), I sat in my hotel room, ordered room service, and watched my view of the pacific ocean with its sandy beaches and docked sailboats.  It was quiet, serene; just lovely.  I remember thinking, which is already a big deal for me… “Maybe I can do this – mellow out and step back from the edge.”  I’ve always been attracted to the locomotive lifestyle of monsters and rockstars.  All my heroes had the grit to push their limits, and as a result cranked out some incredibly profound bodies of work.  But, then again, all my heroes are either dead or in rehab.  Perhaps there’s something to this simple life of sobriety.  It seems a moment can be enjoyed without slurring obscenities over loud music, or offending patrons at late night diners.  Of course by 10pm I was absolutely bored with the view, the television, the room, the book I brought, and myself.  I hit the 8th floor for some free concierge Chivas, and the rest of the weekend was a blur from that point on…
 
Some might call that a failure in abstinence.  Clearly I’m a little off when it comes to prioritizing my free time.  My idea of fun can range anywhere between high-fiving dancing midgets to looking into the very face of God (sometimes in the same night).  In the middle of a year when I’ve lived harder than ever before, asking to stop and smell the proverbial roses is a tall order.  In all honesty, it feels like the only time I have to reflect on this hellish existence is the thirty minutes after pouring myself into my desk chair, before the calls start coming in and the meeting notices pop up for the day.  Break up the monotony of work through play – earn the right to play through work, and sleep when necessary.  Sounds great, but every system or schedule heads toward chaos.  A wrench in the machine, or a week or two off the grid might be just the necessary break it takes to perpetuate the craziness and keep the plates spinning in the air.  Hah, a week or two… I could barely stand four hours.  Like any exercise though, one can’t just max out right off the bat.  You build up.  So my four hours can be expanded to an entire evening, and eventually a weekend, and then a whole week.  A whole week… I can feel the neurons regenerating at the thought.  It sounds like madness comparing relaxation and sobriety to working out, but I suppose some people have to try to eat more pizza, watch more television, and remind themselves what a sunset looks like through fresh clear eyes.   
 
So I do admit, a holiday (that’s English for vacation) from the insanity is in order, but I don’t plan on slowing down permanently anytime soon.  This year will pale in comparison to next year, and that’s just how I like it.  How far is too far?  We’re not there yet.  Taking a break gives me the chance to reflect on the good times passed, and plan bigger and better ways to conquer the night.  This has nothing to do with rebellion, or having trouble appreciating myself, or running away from any deeper issues.  I know what I’m looking for – to fulfill a dream – the American Dream, the fucking Global Dream.  The dream of participating without restraint in the human condition.  To use up the body I’ve been given tasting the fruits of life all over the world.  The operative word for the unattainable here would be balance.  Personally, I don’t believe in it.  If everything is in equilibrium and you’re feeling comfortable, you’re probably sleeping too much.  At our age, only the flounders feel any consistent level of comfort.  Monsters thirst for more – not as an indulgence in gluttonous bullshit, but as a quest for the kind of experiences mere mortals only see with their eyes closed; not to repeat the same fun and games until we grow tired and give them up, but to challenge ourselves to break out of the box we live in and truly feed our souls.  When my time is up, I won’t be looking back to say I missed out by sitting on the sidelines.  What would be the point?  To live in consistent boredom until the end of time, in hopes that heaven will make up for everything that passed you by on Earth?  Sounds a little uncertain to me.  Because when I finally do settle down – it won’t be because I was too scared to find what I really wanted.  In the meantime, I’m going to test my tolerance for discomfort by taking deep breaths and experiencing some calm.  And if you see me sitting there obnoxiously tapping my feet, it’s not because I’m fiending – it’s just to remind myself the ground is still there…
 

This is my life

 
…Goodnight Tracy
 
Welp.  The day of reckoning is upon us. In a mere 24 hours, I will be with Jesus.

Hahahahahahahahaahahah.

 Right. 

That guy wouldn’t pick me out of the “Who’s Going To Heaven” lineup even if it was between me and Charles Manson (Wow.  Shit. Just. Got. Real.)  I mean hell, I’m heading to Vegas this weekend solely to be with the sinners and celebrate our rise to power as all the good kids get dragged away.

-tangent-

Can we talk about how this is actually supposed to happen?  How do two hundred MILLION people miraculously disappear?  Do they all die a plague like death over a span of ninety minutes, getting bit by rats and popping boils?  Does one know they are chosen as they start self suffocating at 6pm (eastern folks, eastern.  That means 3pm pacific.  We good?)  Will chainsaws magically appear in the kitchen of a “chosen one” for their significant other to saw them in to bite sized Jesus baggage? What if all two hundred MILLION are dragged up to the clouds at the same time, while Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” screams through God’s loudspeakers?  I just…I need to know how this is physically happening.

-And, we’re back!

As Duke posted earlier, there will always be regrets.  Every person in my life knows I either hate them or love them (ya, start thinking about that one now..), so I have no regret in not including them in my list below (this is after all MY list.  Shouldn’t I have the final say who and what makes it on?). 

 

  • I never got to quit my job

(“OOOHHHHHHH! BIG regret you pansy ass!”- everyone who just read the first bullet point.)

Ya. I get it.  I’m wasting a spot on the elitist of lists. Seems like the most trivial of regrets to waste on such a noble scroll, but I’ve dreamed of that day for the last two years.  Remember when the “I quit” video of a hot chick with note cards spelling out the reasons she is quitting her job went viral?  All my coworkers gasped, my mom emailed me WHILE watching, begging me not to watch as she was afraid I would follow suit but in a less tasteful manner (she knows me so well..), and my newsfeed on Facebook was aflutter with commentary and reposting.   Personally, tears dropped with every single turn of a card as I was overcome with emotion.  She was so…thoughtful.  So…brave.  She was everything I ever wanted in a two week notice.  Granted, a week later, turns out awesome chick was just a fake (thanks again for crushing the dream that some people really do have balls in this world).  She still inspired me; and in a few days, I will 100% regret not shitting on my bosses desk, grabbing his hidden stash of 18yr scotch, throwing up the deuces, and screaming “fuck you corporate” as I exit the building.

  • I never got to eat a Big Mac

(please call the Un-American police as I have committed a crime….and then see sentiments from bullet point above and apply here as necessary)

I’ve never been a big fan of hamburgers.  As a child, I can remember inhaling hot dogs (literally, not figuratively) at family functions and BBQ’s, while Dad yelled that his burger wasn’t bleeding anymore and he could never eat such tainted meat.  Years later, I would come to find that my hot dog eating abilities would turn in to an obsession with seeing how many Dodger Dogs I could stuff in my purse and sneak out of the “All You Can Eat” section at Dodger Stadium (The record still stands at 22.  This is not a joke).  On the rare occasion my mom allowed her Mercedes to be seen in a drive-thru, I always ordered some form of chicken (yes, form.  I saw the other viral video of an unnamed restaurant mass producing their “nuggets”.  While the unfinished product would induce projectile vomiting from most, I immediately got in my car and drove to the nearest…rhymes with Shmick-Fonalds.  The same thing happened after watching “Super Size Me”.  I’m a marketing and advertiser’s dream.)  Regardless, I’ve heard wonderful things of this sandwich, special sauce and all, and do truly regret never being able to experience the joy that is Big Mac.

  • I never met Howard Stern

Oh, Howard, my hero.  I listen to you daily, religiously even. Your words, your reasoning, your undying devotion to becoming the king of all media have kept me on the edge of my seat during countless morning commutes and road trips. I know there are a multitude of reasons why we never crossed paths.  Mainly, I’m not an actress, porn star, author, tranny, athlete, comedian, game show host, willing to get naked on air or film (for free), but also because I live in Los Angeles.  I ponder what I would actually do standing face to face with my hero, but ultimately know I would stutter for words, pee my pants, and turn around in to a full paced sprint, hoping at the very least that the encounter makes it on his show.

  • I never really released my road rage

Maybe it’s just me (truer words have never been spoken), but every single time I get behind the wheel, it seems every horrible driver was notified via press release to get on the road and find me.  I’ve had my fair share of verbal confrontations (just because the window is up, doesn’t mean you can’t read my FUCK YOU lips).  I may be slightly overzealous with the only sign language I know as you cut me off at my exit on the freeway, but I’ve never stopped the car, stepped out of my vehicle and verbally… (or physically. I’ve been in one physical fight thus far in my life.  It started with ketchup and ended with me waking up in a police station with a fat lip, black eye, and no memory of how I got there. Baller.)… berated the asshole who almost made me spill my coffee.

Of all things I regret, I must admit that not focusing on my writing would top the list.  The poor regret didn’t even get a bullet point….(or a complete sentence…ugh)

So wherever you end up on Saturday, be it Hell, Heaven, or rehab, just know that life is one big regret. You either live or exist; but we all die.  Billy Joel and I can agree on one thing: “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.  The sinners are much more fun…”

Maybe I’m off my hinges, but it seems like our generation is really into this concept of “no regrets.”  It’s a nice idea – covering up the fact that certain events in your life have left you emotionally and physically scarred by insisting they made you the person you are today, and that you’re happy with who that person is.  It’s good to lie to other people about your internal satisfaction, for the same reason the Joker took a knife to his mouth – because a smile tells the world everything is okay.  But let’s cut the shit, because the clock is ticking and there’s a heck of a lot we missed out on.  We missed our big chance to ask Susie Peppercorn to the 8th grade formal.  We wish we had been more trusting of the nice guy who promised us candy in his van around the corner (Jolly Ranchers would have been worth the risk, in retrospect).  We should have thought of a game plan instead of letting the words flow out of our mouth like syrup mixed with desperation when we talked to that pretty blond at the bar last Friday.  I’m just being straight up – the magic book has scientifically proven that the world is ending in a few days.  So we can either get busy living, or get busy wishing we had lived more.  Since I still can’t bring myself to believe in magic – I’m going to pour myself a drink, and get busy regretting all the stuff I didn’t do with this life…

  • I didn’t get to escape from prison.  Why would I want to go to prison?  Come on, didn’t you ever watch OZ?  It’s awesome.  Rick Fox was on it.  And yes, I realize one has to be arrested, tried, and convicted before such a possibility can arise – and I certainly have no regret in failing to participate in these endeavors (although in all honestly, I’ve come closer than I’d like to admit).  I just always wanted to start a riot in the mess hall to create a diversion, dig through a concrete wall with a rock hammer, crawl through grinding turbines of power generators, sneak up on guards and stealthily break their necks with my bare hands, climb on the roof of a compound with flood lights searching as the helicopter flies in through darkness just in time for me to grab its dangling ladder, and pull myself to safety with machine gun bullets whizzing past my head.  It might be the claustrophobia caused by my crackerjack box of a cubicle that has me jonesing for an epic jailbreak, or perhaps I’ve seen Shawshank Redemption one too many times.  But for once, I would have liked to be the one who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side…
  • I regret not building that kick ass fort every kid dreams of.  I’m talking about a fort built of pillows and plywood, forged out of blankets and brawn.  Three stories of no-girls-allowed-big-boys-only fortliness, with a secret stash of playboys under a loose floorboard, a system of string-and-tin-can telephones connecting all the other forts in the neighborhood, trip wires surrounding the premises to warn us of approaching adults, a bar, pool table, jacuzzi, fly maids, a butler, a tricked out stage setup with automated light shows, huge plasma television, a kitchen with a chef, stripper p…  What?  Too much?  Hey, ask any guy – we all wanted one (as kids, and still today as adults), and if you were one of the lucky few who actually had it – I hope Jesus condemns you first.  You don’t deserve heaven, because you’ve already been there.    
  • I wish I had performed stand-up.  I think of comedians as class clowns who were never forced to grow up and get real jobs like the rest of us.  They live the dream, drunkenly offending and badgering their audience while occasionally sharing a gem or two about life – kind of like what we do here at HTG, but on stage… for money.  I’m not trying to say I’d be particularly good at it, because in truth I stumble over my words when struggling to make awkward conversation with the cashier at Vons (she’s only known me 20 years).  I guess for starters (is it late for starters?) I wish I had the nerve and comedic prowess to do it, but that’s neither here nor there.  It would have validated my existence on this Earth to be one of the few people to ever command a microphone and make people laugh, on purpose. 
  • I really wanted to hold a public office.  Even the city councilman from Bumfuck, AR gets his own parking spot and his name immortalized in some registry log for having voted to remove the stop light next to Art’s Barbershop on 6th Street.  It’s history, man, and I wanted to be a part of it – even a small one.  Getting elected to a public office validates your existence because lesser beings agree you’re more qualified to lead than they are (seriously, that’s what you’re saying by voting instead of running – if you think you can do better, you should).  Anyway, just like comedy, I’m not saying I’d be any good at it – but there’s just something appealing about wearing a power suit, and accepting briefcases full of money and free weekends in Laughlin as payment for allowing untreated waste from the local power plant to be rerouted through the city’s drinking water facility.  
  • I never got published!  I know it’s a pipe dream, but all I ever wanted was for someone to stumble across my facebook page, read my status and say, “give that man a book deal!”  I guess Shit Duke Says wasn’t as big a draw as I’d hoped.  And cocktail napkin musings aren’t taken too seriously, regardless of how nicely they’re bound together when shipped to Random House.  So, instead, I’ve kept my day job – sneaking over to our blog whenever nobody is looking (like right now, for instance) to put together wild gibberish with the intention of entertaining my fellow working men and women – who want, just as much as I, to creep out the window of reality and puff on the magical dragon of procrastination.  The intention was always to use this as a stepping stone – a practice ground to develop my skill (or lack, thereof) until it was worthy of sharing on a professional level; at which time I could execute my blogger-in-crime’s method of quitting with a bang, and move on with my rockstar writer lifestyle…  

But, that’s all in the past.  Like a spiteful bitch mother who blames her children for the loss of her dancer’s figure, I have nothing left but regrets and broken dreams.  “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain…”  Here’s hoping they read books in Hell.  Say goodnight Tracy.

If one defines the word “survive” as “still breathing”; then yes, I survived boot camp.  Barely. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

On that fateful Wednesday afternoon, I saw a shadowy grey cloud loom over the San Fernando Valley and thought to myself, “Self.  It’s going to rain.  You are in the clear.”  To further support my notion that an exercise class would never force its poor, fat students to stand out in the cold rain as they threw medicine balls to each other, I gave the boot camp a call.

The phone rings, and a burley sounding man answers, with (I shit you not) patriotic band music in the backround. I cringe.

“Hi……..(long, awkward pause), is this Feel the Burn Boot camp?” –me

“Why yes it is! Are you registered for our class tonight?” –burley man

“Well, yes. But it’s my first class and I was just curious if you still hold classes in the rain? I mean, it’s very cold outside and with the rain, I’m afraid I’ll catch some kind of pneumonia!” –me

“Rain or shine sweetie; just like the coupon says.” –burley man

“Oh. Ok. Well, but what if it starts raining really hard?” –me

“Rain or shine lady.” –burley man

“Right. Hmm… well…What about snow?” –me

“Lady, were you even alive the last time it snowed in Los Angeles?” –burley man

“Do you mean last weekend in the foothills, or in 1989? And my answer is yes to both.” – me

“What’s your name?” –burley man

“Tracy? Why?”-me

“Well, I will see you in two hours, Tracy.” –burley man

(fuck.)

*sigh*

(super fuck.)

And thank God for that rain.

Remember my pretty sweat issue?  Well, when you’re covered in mud and grass, tree branches and leaves hitting your head, heavy rainfall and surrounded by beached whales, my now fairly reasonably attractive sweat wasn’t even noticeable.  In fact, at one point I mentioned to one of the whales that I couldn’t tell if I was sweating, crying, or if all this “wet” was my soul escaping my body, which resulted in a few laughs.  At that point, Sgt Burley Man picked up on my comedy routine, called me out by name and promptly asked yelled at me to do jumping jack/push up combos.  I rolled my eyes, of course, and fell flat into the mud and in push up position.  You better believe I was getting every single penny out of this horrible “work out”.

As I watched a few of the whales wander off from the “too brutal” work out (it was fucking ridiculous and I have no idea how I even mustered the idea or energy to get out of my car, let alone complete the class), my integrity kicked in…or something like that.  I told myself: “Self, you are not allowed to leave.  If you leave, you will become a beached whale.  Nobody likes a beached whale.” So I stayed.  And my body still hurts.  A week later.  Maybe it was from the medicine ball sprint throw?  Maybe it was from leap frog with your hands tied together with weights?  We’ll probably never know seeing as I’d rather push needles into my own eyes instead of attending that god awful class again.

And I now see nothing wrong with beached whales.  People help beached whales, right?  Maybe they just wanted to lay in the sun for a bit? What’s wrong with that??

PS- What ever happened to Missy Elliot?

Editor’s note: I cannot emphasize how mad I was at myself for even blogging about this, which then forced me to actually attend the class, in complete fear that my 4 readers would verbally and then physically attack me for fabricating such an exquisite piece of writing.  But, I showed up.  And, well, as we can see, it took a mere 7 days to compile my thoughts, let alone have the actual ability to type one post. You win again, Groupon.


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