Thursday, November 30, 2006

How to Become a Stress Case

Since I know everyone's always looking for more sources for stress, here are a few tips and tricks I've learned through the long years of experience. Now, keep in mind that I'm no expert - though I was once told that the level of tension in my neck and shoulder muscles was normally only seen in car accident victims who were suffering from whiplash... Anyway, when I really want to stress myself out, here are a few things that I like to do:

1. Say Yes to Everything

Want to perform in my show? Why yes, I do. Want to perform in my show, which opens within a week of the previous show, meaning that you will deal with overlapping rehearsal schedules and many a late night, resulting in disappointed directors and no time to do your homework? That sounds great*! How about then auditioning for another show, meaning that while you're trying to polish up your lines and movement, get everything performance ready, and then actually perform for audiences, you'll also be trying to find time to prepare for and then perform at callbacks? Best idea I've ever heard. Oh, and hey, can you have a final draft of the 90-page play you've been intensively rewriting for months now to me sometime soon, requiring you to spend your Thanksgiving break going through the unusually extensive and time-consuming rewriting process you've set up for yourself as the only effective method instead of actually relaxing or spending time with your family? I'd love to! Can I help with the Stake Activity this weekend, too? Please?

2. Try to Be Perfect At Everything

Don't mess up a move in your Modern Dance class, get less than 100% on your Theatre History assignments, screw up your monologue, forget a line at rehearsal, show up late for a class or - heaven forbid! - leave the house without perfectly applied makeup every morning. Why, the world might end if you get something wrong! In order to really hate one's life, one must intertwine one's sense of self-esteem so closely with one's performance that the two become indistinguishable. This way, doing badly at anything can brand you an essentially bad person, giving you such a host of fears and insecurities that even daily massages from a good friend won't help you feel relaxed. The True Perfectionist is so afraid of showing a flaw that she would rather fail perfectly than succeed only in part. Ironically, the only thing many of us are able to get to 110% is our stress level.

3. Please Everyone

Don't talk to anyone unless they talk to you first. If someone else wants something, and it's in your power to give it to them, then do it, even if it was something you wanted. Do anything anyone tells you to do. Get in the middle of other people's business. Require everyone's approval, and worry constantly that you aren't receiving it. The list can go on and on.

4. Never Admit That You Want Things

Wanting things only makes it harder when you don't get them. Of course, not wanting anything makes anything you do receive completely meaningless, but that's beside the point. And admitting to others that you want stuff is clearly a stupid idea, because it's not like they would help you get it, right? Right?

5. Be Either Too Lazy or Too Ambitious

Actually, you'll probably get similar results from any kind of extreme. When you're too lazy, you never accomplish anything, so that you feel unfulfilled and worthless. But hey, I bet you watch a lot of TV, which could be a plus. On the other hand, be too ambitious and you'll inevitably sacrifice your personal life, meaning that one day you'll find yourself with everything you ever hoped for and no one to call and tell about it. Extreme behaviors can be a wonderful source for stress.

6. Trust No One

Once you realize that you have nowhere to turn - then, yes, the true self-destruction can begin. Never be vulnerable. Never tell anyone anything personal. Try to somehow convey to others that they can trust you without ever actually trying to trust them. Turn yourself into a happy little island - a party island if you want, like Jamaica or The Island of Misfit Toys, but don't let anyone come to visit because you're probably an island with a dormant volcano on it that could finally explode any day now and you just don't want foreign tourists around when a thing like that happens.

7. Care About Dating

This alone should be enough to send anyone off the deep end.

8. Run From Your Problems

Like if you have a ton of homework to do and it's past midnight and you have an 8 am class tomorrow, don't actually do your homework. Do something frivolous and wonderful like write in your blog instead. That's the smart way to live your life.

9. Love the Word "Should"

"Should" is a wonderful stress creator, because by using this word effectively you can create for yourself an entire imaginary world that will make reality look so disappointing that you'll never be really satisfied with it. I should be a size two. I should have a 4.0 GPA. I should eat healthy food instead of this food. This should turn the TV on. She should know what's wrong with me without having to ask. In the past tense it's especially powerful, because you can't even do anything to fix it. I should've known that was a bad idea. I should've just gone in there and told him what I was thinking. That should've happened six weeks ago. Oh, I could go on all day.

There now, by incorporating these nine simple tips into your everyday life, you too can know the joys of Stress. If you incorporate them and don't stress out, there's probably something wrong with you because really - these should work.

*The really sucky thing is, it is great!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Life, the Identity Crisis

Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't written anything in a long time. There are two major reasons for this:
1) In the words of Jon Stewart, "I'm not your monkey."
2) My life is rather absurdly* busy right now.
But I like my blog (nerdalicious as I feel saying so) and I like the approximately two people who read it, so I guess I'll keep it around.
So yesterday I was
walking through the HFAC (Fine Arts Building) on campus (as I often am, since I'm there a good 12 hours or so a day) following a preview performance of "Anne of Green Gables" (for Mask Club, this Thursday at 1, 2, and 4 o' clock), just minding my own business when suddenly this girl walked past me. Normally this wouldn't be so unusual except that as this girl passed me she said, "Good job, Emily." I turned around and she was looking straight at me, so I just said "Thank you." Then she walked off and I went up the stairs. Now, we all know my name is not Emily. It's Julie. But did I correct her? Of course not. Then again, maybe my name is Emily. Maybe the act of her saying "Emily" and me answering it made me Emily. Maybe I was interpollated at that moment! Oh man, I've been spending way too much time going to classes.

Anyway, I think the reason that I didn't correct her is because this is a part of a much larger problem: people don't know my name. People definitely seem to remember me - I certainly get the "Hey, it's you again!" reaction a lot following the first meeting. But when it comes time for the naming of names (like if I say, "Hi, Your Name!"), they always go blank. I've used people's names correctly only to have them forget mine so many times that it's gotten to the point where I refuse to use anybody's name in a conversation until they've used mine first. I'll perform very complex verbal acrobatics just to get around saying it, all the time knowing full well that I know their name (often first and last) so that I can get out of seeing them go "Oh...yeah..." with that awkward look on their face. You know, the one that says "She knows my name and I don't know hers! What do I do?" It doesn't help that I happen to be pretty good with names myself. Let me just quote this experience from my friend Ben Phelan's blog (originally posted Feb 2006) to show you what my life is like:
Well, that night while I was at auditions for Arsenic and Old Lace (I didn't get in, by the way. Thanks for asking.) I saw that girl. You know. . .that one girl that I just met mere hours before. I went up to her and said, "Hi, I know we just met but I can't remember your name, don't tell me. I'll get it." So, I tried. And I tried. And I failed. I must've guessed about fifty names before I finally guessed it. Julie! She then coolly and calmy told me, "And your name's Ben, right?" I felt terrible. It was the second most embarrassing thing that happened to me that day.
Now, Ben thinks that this is his problem. But this happens to me ALL THE TIME. And it's not even only people I've just met. I've come to believe that I just don't look like a Julie. I don't know what a Julie looks like, having assumed that that girl I kept seeing in all the mirrors was one, but I ain't it. I'd say I look like a Julienne, but that wouldn't be fair because I've never seen another Julienne. Besides which, people are less likely to guess that than Julie. Instead I most often get mistaken for Lauren, then Jessica, Megan, and now Emily. There's also this guy in my ward who consistently refers to me as Julia even though I'd say we're pretty good friends now, but I can excuse that because Julia is only one letter off and there's another girl named Julia in our ward. But even in addition to the false real names, I'm one of the most oft-nicknamed people I know. I've been called Flip, Flash, Princess (a personal favorite), and I don't even know what else to the point where people actually forget that I have another name. A disproportionate number of people switch over to calling me solely by my surname every day. In plays, my name is usually among the first to be replaced by that of my characters, which often becomes a nearly irreversible change.

It can't be that it's entirely my own fault; from an early age, I was trained to answer to names that weren't my own. My family used to love to recount the story of the day that I, then a small toddler, first climbed up onto Santa's lap. Mr. Claus turned to me and said, "What's your name, little girl?" In perfect seriousness, I answered, "Sister Glenn." My own family had ceased to call me Julie! No, I was referred to almost exclusively as either "Boose" (rhymes with Goose) or "Sister Glenn." I can't begin to explain to you why. As I grew older, these names faded away and my mother came to call me Harriet, again for unexplained reasons. Perhaps, then, all this current name-switching is the fault of a deep identity disconnect within myself that began in my childhood, the result of which is that I myself am unable to understand or "know" completely what my own name is, and I am therefore unable to communicate that awareness to others. Whoa!

At any rate, I suppose I'm rather used to it by now, seeing as how it's been going on all my life. And I honestly don't mind the nicknames - in fact, I often rather like them. Besides, things are looking up: today my partner for my Midterm fight in Stage Combat class - a guy I've known since January and had just spent two days slapping, hitting, and rolling over - said to me as we exchanged numbers, "Your name is...Julie, right?"

Yeah, maybe there's still hope for the world.

*Speaking of Absurdism, if you know Samuel Beckett then you might find this hilarious. I certainly did.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Love Songs & Negotiations: An Advert

Ever just really, really, really, really wanted to see a sweet 10-minute play festival? Well, you should now! Because this weekend (Thursday/Friday/Saturday) in room 1170 of the Talmage Building on BYU campus there is going to be a super sweet playfest. The theme is "Love Songs and Negotiations," which comes from the title of a Paul Simon song I've never actually listened to. Anyway, I'm the proud playwright to one of the 10-minute plays being put on! Hurray!

So please, drop by this weekend to check out all the plays, including "Trashpile," a lovely little farce about a couple who go to drastic measures to solve the problem of who, exactly, is responsible for taking out the trash. I'll be the MC (I never get why people spell it out as "emcee" - I mean, didn't you abbreviate it for a reason?) all three nights with my sassy new haircut, so be sure to be there!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nine Tips for Scoring Chicks

In my continuing quest to make sweeping generalizations about huge groups of people, I've noticed that all boys suck at dating. Having noticed this, I would like to fulfill one of my New Day's Resolutions: give more unsolicited advice, and deliver the first nine of Julie's Tips for Scoring Chicks.

Okay, let's start about by looking at the number one accepted model for chick-getting, the so-called "chick flick." First, a brief overview of a common plot variant seen in these movies. Ahem.
Boy meets Girl. Girl is hot (hopefully, Boy is also hot, but it's not a requirement). Boy falls for Girl (why wouldn't he? She's hot!). Boy asks Girl out. Girl says no (in most cases, Girl is already in love with Hot Guy, whom everyone knows is a jerk except for her). Boy asks Girl out again. Girl says no. Boy follows Girl around school; shows up at her place of employment; sends flowers, candy, teddy bears, love notes, love letters, and official Declarations of Love; publicly displays his affection in some loud and embarrassing way. Boy displays a frightening level of knowledge concerning Girl's hobbies, interests, internal workings, intimate secrets, and ancestral background. Boy chants "Go out with me. Go out with me. Go out with me." Girl decides that Boy is "funny" and "cute" rather than "obnoxious" or "stalkerish." Girl goes out with Boy. Much love, sunsets, and acoustic guitars. Boy and Girl have a tragic misunderstanding and/or someone cheats on someone and/or someone thinks someone cheated and/or Hot Guy suddenly decides he likes Girl, after all. Boy and Girl break up. A montage. Sadder acoustic guitars. It rains. Boy and Girl get back together.
*Note: it helps if Girl has an engagement that she can break off - because nothing's more attractive than a woman who will string you along out of self-pity until you're convinced you want to spend the rest of your life with her and then chicken out at the last minute.
Okay, this leads me to Tip One: Do Not Act Like the Guys in Chick Movies, because in real life, any halfway sensible girl with call the police. And believe me, nothing stalls a budding romance faster than a restraining order.

Now I'd like to briefly discuss the actual Asking Out Moment. To do this, I'll be analyzing a few real-life situations acted out by Hotface (aka, the boy I like) in his attempts to score The Most Amazingly Beautiful Woman in the World (commonly abbreviated as Julie).

Attempt #1
Hotface: Hey baby, whatchu up to fifteen minutes from now? I wanna take you out to the Wal-Mart!
Okay, there are a few things wrong with this. First of all, "whatchu" isn't actually a word. But even aside from that, Tip Two: Never Call a Girl "Baby" unless you know it's okay - ie, you're already dating her, and she says it's okay. A baby is a small, irregularly proportioned person who is completely incapable of coherent speech and most likely bears a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill. Now don't get me wrong, I love babies - I just fail to see why anyone would want to date one. Going beyond the Baby Issue, I'd like to point out Tip Three: If She's Known About It For Less Than Two Hours, Then It's Not Really a Date so much as a last-ditch effort to find someone to hang out with before you plunge irretrievably into boredom for the evening. At best, you're hanging out with a friend. Finally, while Hotface follows Tip Four: Have a Plan (after all, if she'd wanted to plan the thing she could've just asked you out), he fails on Tip Five: If You're at Wal-Mart, You're Not on a Date (okay, that's part Girl-Getting Tip and part memo to one of my ex-boyfriends). It's universally understood - or if it isn't then it should be - that Wal-Mart is a no-date zone. Even if you're on some more elaborate sort of date, and you just have to stop into Wal-Mart for a minute, you are not on a date while you're in Wal-Mart. Before you go into the store and after you come out, maybe, but never while you're actually in the store.

Attempt #2
Hotface: I...I...Iwantyoutohavemybabies!!
Tip Six: Don't Tell Her You Want Her To Have Your Babies. Keep that to yourself for now.

Attempt #3
Hotface's Friend: Hotface likes you.
Let me ask you, what is she supposed to do with this information? I'll tell you what her usual response is:
Julie: Okay.
Therefore, I would like to add Tip Seven: Ask Her Yourself. Please note the careful wording: ASK her yourself. The upfront "Hey, by the way, I like you" conversation has in my experience never been anything short of completely awkward. I would like to type two important words from that last sentence again, only bigger this time for emphasis: COMPLETELY AWKWARD. Do not just tell her. Do not tell her over IM. Do not tell her in an email. Do not tell her in a text. Do not pass her a note during study hall. If you have some kind of mental illness that prevents you from not asking her, then at least have the decency to face the awkwardness head-on and tell her yourself, in person. Because I really discourage this, however, I'm just going to add Tip Eight: If You Like Her, Ask Her Out. It's so simple. You don't have to stalk her, manipulate her, sit around waiting for her to come to you, or have some big monologue moment in front of all of your friends. You just have to ask her out. If she says no, then there you have it. If she says yes, then it means she's willing to consider it. And hey man, be considerate: let her consider it. Whoa, that's catchy. I think I'll put that on a tee shirt.

Attempt #4
Hotface: Hey Hot Stuff, wanna go get some eats?
I actually don't see anything wrong with this one. He compliments her, he's got a plan. And besides, he's Hotface! It's not like I'm going to turn him down! (Here's where we find Secret Girl-Getting Tip #1: Be Hotface. I can't put that one in bold, though, because it's a Secret.)

Because this blog is getting to be a ridiculous length, I'm going to just jump into my final bits of advice. Tip Nine: Never Underestimate the Power of Girl Network because Girl Network can hurt you. Girl Network here refers to the mysterious ability girls have to just know stuff about people. Do not offend Girl Network. Girl Network will know if you are a jerk. You do not want anyone in Girl Network to decide you are a jerk, because a sensible girl will consult Girl Network before agreeing to go out with you - and if you're a jerk, nobody wants to date you (unless possibly you're really really hot
, but that's another story). Don't avoid Girl Network either, though, because it can help you out a lot. If your reputation says you're an awesome guy, that'll increase your chances greatly. Also, you can use Girl Network to figure out if the girl you want to date is a psycho. Knowing this can prevent you from dating a psycho, or at least from being surprised that you've been dating a psycho.

Okay, that's all the advice I feel like giving right now. If you like what you saw here, you can probably purchase the rest of Julie's Tips for Scoring Chicks for the low price of nineteen-ninety-nine-ninety-five. Call now. I might actually answer my phone.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Finals: Isn't it About...Time?

To me, finals are like these distant cousins who for months keep sort of hinting that they're going to come visit you sometime, but refuse to tell you exactly when. Then one day as you're just getting out of the shower there's a knock at your door and there they are! And your house is a mess, and you've got no extra beds for them to sleep in, and your friends are coming over in less than an hour to take you out to dinner, and you've got your whole life to worry about for goodness' sake, but here they are. Sitting on your couch waiting to be entertained while their misbehaved children make a bigger mess of the already established mess that was once your living room. But no matter how much you want to tell them to just get lost already, you can't because...because they're family! Family with mob connections!

Now, at first Finals were just kind of annoying. They followed me around the apartment, guilted me into taking them to meet my friends, visited my classes, that sort of thing. But now they've started to turn nasty. They keep telling all my associates these embarrassing stories about when I was younger, spreading untrue rumors about me to people I don't even know that well, and hitting up everyone they see for money. Worse, they push me to do all sorts of things that I shouldn't. They put all sorts of delectable but desperately unhealthy foods in front of me, foods which are bound to murderate my delicate girlish figure. I abandon my social life to entertain them, I get mad at my friends because of them, they keep me up all night just talking about nothing. To quote a friend who was sort of quoting me, "Not helping."

All this wouldn't be so bad except that my Finals tend to bring along with them their close family friend, a bratty little kid named Proficiencies. The problem with Proficiencies is that he happens to have some very important parents, and he knows it. So Proficiencies has no problem demanding all of your time. In fact, Proficiencies is even able to distract you from Finals themselves (which Finals punishes you for quite dearly afterward). And annoying as Proficiencies is, there's absolutely nothing you can do except bend to his every whim and accomodate him, unless you want to offend his parents. I do not want to offend his parents. Your future semester* depends upon what his parents think of you. Fortunately, Proficiencies doesn't stay nearly so long as Finals, but he has this weird way of leaving you all obsessed with his visit. Did Proficiencies give his parents a good enough report of you? Does Proficiencies like you better than he does the other actors at your school? What could you have done to make Proficiencies like you better? Why, WHY did you tell Proficiencies to wait for just a minute while you took care of something else? It's all very distressing.

Thankfully, Finals have promised to stay for only a week. And while they do a lot of rotten things, Finals at least tend to leave when they say they're going to leave. Until then, though, I apologize to all friends, hobbies, interests, neatfreaks, social engagements, and dependents. I'm sorry that I've been neglecting or abusing you all. But you see, Finals are here. And Finals must not be denied. Not until next Tuesday, anyway.**

*And possibly eternity

**Though of course, on next Tuesday Finals' ugly nephews Packing and Moving are coming over. But they're another story altogether.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scents and Sensibility

So I have a bit of a heightened sense of smell, I think to compensate for my somewhat poor eyesight and unreasonably loud voice. I'm very smell-sensitive (or scentsitive! Huh? Huhhh?) in that scents will effect me quite a bit. For example, if someone so much as opens a bag of Red Vines in my near vicinity, I get very sick to my stomach. The smell of rose bushes from twenty feet away will always make me think of home. One whiff of Glacier Bay by Bath and Body Works will make me fall in love. It's pretty intense.

And while I can always tell when dinner's about to be ready and I could most likely find Froot Loops from any distance (just follow your nose!), this obviously carries some downsides as well. For example, there's a particular cologne or something - I know I only smell it on guys - and I don't know exactly what the scent is, but it makes me automatically hate the person who owns it. Like, I actually cannot stand them. It's hard to describe the scent - it's like a horrible mix of cheap musk, thrift store leather, and sweat, with a little hair grease or rotten citrus thrown in there for color. I don't know what this is, but if I ever do I'm going to sue whoever manufactures in it. This odor is so abrasive to me that I will automatically think bad thoughts about whoever wears it and avoid them as much as humanly possible. Don't worry though, friends of mine, I don't currently know anyone who smells this way - because I refuse to know people with this oppressive odor. It's a scent that usually hangs around sleazy-looking computer store guys with moustaches and slicked hair who follow me around the store treating me like an idiot regardless of how many times I tell them I don't need their help (I don't get these guys - it's like they look at me and think, "Look it's a girl! Wearing pink! She obviously doesn't know what she's doing here, plus she's not very bright, plus she totally wants me, so I should just stick close to her and make really patronizing comments. Yeah, then she'll definitely fall for me"). It's not a happy thing. Guys, girls, people, things - never underestimate the power of smell. Oh boy. Especially when it comes to dating. I don't know how it is for women, but when it comes to men I know a sweet-smelling dude with average features automagically becomes at least a point hotter than a really hot dude who smells gross*. Seriously. As for women, I don't care how good of friends we are - if your apartment smells like BO or too much garlic I'm not going to hang out with you. At least, not at home. Sorry.

All that having been said, I now list some of my very favorite olfactory delights (in no particular order):
- Clinique Happy (For Women)
- Glacier Bay by Bath and Body Works (For Men)
- Boss by Hugo Boss (the stuff that smells like vanilla)
- Gap Ohm
- Brownies
- Rose bushes
- Baby powder
- Cut grass
- Wrapping paper
- Chicken pot pie (home made - by my mom)
- Brut aftershave (but only if you're my father)
- Secret Platinum w/ Olay Conditioners - Velvet Powder
- Oranges
- Pears
- Rain
- Popcorn
- Books (Old and New)
- New cars
- New clothes

Some things I probably shouldn't enjoy smelling, but I really really do:
- Gasoline
- Car exhaust
- Chalk dust
- Nail polish
- Dry-erase markers
- Sharpies
- Unlit cigarettes
- Swimming pools/Chlorine

And finally, a couple of scents I just can't stand:
- Red Vines
- Other people's sweat
- Metal
- Milk (even if it's fresh)
- Honey
- Eau de Hate Cologne
- Passionate Kisses by Victoria's Secret
- Cigarette smoke on people's clothing
- Unwashed, unrinsed dishes (particularly whatever someone in my apartment left "soaking" next to the sink for like 12 years)
- Unshowered Male
- Halitosis
- Cooked broccoli
- My refridgerator
- My freezer

Okay, now, I don't know what the point of this blog was. I was about to try and summarize the "main point" or something right here in this last paragraph, but now I realize I didn't really have one. Just know that I'm very scent-oriented, and so if I suddenly stop hanging around you and you just can't figure out why, know that there's a chance that it isn't your abrasive personality alone. It may just be your body odor**.

*Actually, I once put off a breakup for like a week and half just because every time I got near the guy, I'd catch a whiff of his Very Sexy for Him (Victoria's Secret), which he happened to wear just exceptionally well, and then I'd forget why it was I wanted to break up in the first place (if I remembered I wanted to break up at all).
**Because the thing is, how do you tell somebody that they smell weird? I don't think you can.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Weeping, Wailing, and Teeth-Gnashing: My Thoughts

I'm thinking of crying more often. Not because there's anything wrong or I really feel like crying or anything; just because I think I should.

See, it occurs to me that other people cry a lot more than I do. And I don't just mean during sacrament meeting. No, this extends to all kinds of things. People cry at movies, plays, break-ups, actual traumatic events...everything. Throughout the course of my life with friends and particularly roommates, I've seen people cry many, many times. But the last time anybody saw me cry for real, I'm pretty sure, was my junior year of high school, when I came home crying after an atrocious day and ran into my mother in the kitchen. That's it. Oh, I've cried on my own a couple times a year since then, but when it comes to witnesses, I'm always the only dry eye in the house. I'm starting to wonder if I'm missing out on something.

It appears that tears* can be useful in a variety of circumstances. For one, it makes a person seem so very sincere. I can look you straight in the eyes and say "I'm really very sad right now" for hours if I want to, but you'll never believe me the way you will if a couple drops of salty liquid slide down my cheeks**. But there's a host of other sweet perks to be found in the world of the weeping. Now it's time for a few stories.

First story. I saw the last travelling Broadway show of "Les Miserable" they ever performed in Portland, OR when I was about 17 years old. The group I went with accidentally bought one too few tickets, so we all chipped in and bought whatever single ticket they had last minute, which just happened to be on the orchestra level. Difficult as it was for me to be separated from the group, I immediately and eagerly volunteered for the better seat (everyone else was on the second balcony). After the show I met up with my friends and everyone started sharing the moments that had made them burst into tears. They turned to me expectantly. "What part made you cry?" they asked. I stared. "Um." "You didn't cry?!" "Well," I said, "I came close to almost crying a couple of times." You should have seen the looks they gave me. The shock! The horror! I was branded cold hearted at best, completely heartless at second-to-worst. Men, women, all twenty-something of my friends. I'd never thought it was such a big deal. I mean, I absolutely loved the show. It was extremely moving for me. I just didn't ruin my mascara as a result, that's all.

Next story. The last time I had to cry on stage was for this play I was in right before I graduated from high school. Basically this role required me to sit on the stage and cry for two hours a night while the rest of the show went on - no exits, no entrances, nothing. Just me and the waterworks. I experimented with a variety of different approaches, finally settling on a decidedly external approach (they tried getting me to go from the inside out but they weren't very good at it and all that happened was I got really sad). Well, there was one performance where I got myself to start crying and then I couldn't stop. I walked backstage at intermission, tears streaming down my face. My male friends in the cast sort of stood around me awkwardly until one of them (playing the part of an ally, no less) finally burst out with, "Julie, you've got to stop crying! I feel automatically guilty and I don't even know what I've done!"

Final story. Last year I went to see "The Testaments"*** in Salt Lake with some friends, including another guy friend of mine I sat next to. By the end of the movie I could hear him sniffling in a familiar fashion, so naturally I shifted uncomfortably in my chair (I was not looking forward to a repeat of the Les Miz experience). He, misunderstanding the gesture, reached out and took hold of my hand. Apparently he thought this would be some kind of sweet bonding experience for us, the impetus for many a steamy relationship to come (Hey, remember that time we cried during the Testaments? We must have a cosmic connection!). But then he looked over and met my blank, dry-eyed stare. That put an end to that.

Thus we see that a simple spin of the waterworks can win a gal friends, sheer power, and unwanted suitors--uhh, I mean dates. That's in addition to credibility and general respect. Now I don't cry much by nature, and almost never unintentionally, but given all this evidence I'm starting to think maybe I ought to allow it a little more often. And I don't mean just when I'm watching "Stepmom" or "A Little Princess." An acting teacher I had once recommended daily yoga and drinking lots of water. Maybe I'll try that.

*Hey, that rhymes!
**Okay, so that's one of the grosser descriptions of crying I've written lately
***Of One Fold and One Shepherd

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Seeing Red...Whitish Red, That Is

My favorite color is pink. I feel you must know this about me before you continue reading (or not reading, more likely) this blog. I like having pink everything. Pink with glitter. I even go so far as to crave a pink Moto Razr phone, even though I know turning a phone pink is just another gimmick designed to entice financially irresponsible young women such as myself into spending money they don't actually have on things that only they believe they really need.

So then why, you might ask, doesn't this blog display more of my pink sensibilities? One reason, my friends, and one reason only: I kind of want people to read it.

Pink. When you think of it usually, only gentle things come to mind. It's associated with dolls, pretty princesses, and really pretty much anything especially feminine or girlish. Seems pretty innocent, right? But pink has a secret, sassy side. A little hint of danger, if you will. Can you think of any more divisive color? Have you ever heard anyone vehemently exclaim, "Blue? I HATE blue!!!" Have you ever seen anyone approach green, yellow, indigo, or violet with as much dread and loathing in their face? Go to such great lengths to ensure that no hint of red, black, brown, or even puce is placed within the walls of their home? I certainly haven't.

I suppose there could be many reasons for this. Perhaps pink is simply too nice. Maybe it's just too dang pretty. Could it be that pink is that one girl who will always be that horrible combination of both prettier than you AND nicer than you? You know, gorgeous enough to evoke your jealousy, but too nice to meet you halfway on the whole archnemesis thing and too all-around good to defame anyway. You wind up hating her just because. Or it could be, as my brother once explained it, that "Pink = Girl. Girl = Fear." I think that only works for boys though. But why is pink the Girl Color anyway? People like to point out something about baby girls being dressed in pink in the hospital or something, but they dress the little boys in blue, and I don't see blue becoming a Boys Only color as a result.

This of course leads me to my greater irritation, which is the fact that it's more acceptable to be masculine than feminine in this society. I don't get why. Even if pink is doomed to be the Girl Color (which is something that I disagree with anyway as I may have implied), what's wrong with that? Frankly, I find this bias against girlishness a bit insulting. I can't even count the number of times I've heard girls around here (and elsewhere) apologize for "being so girly." Neither does there seem a worse insult to a male than to imply that he's actually female. I say, what's wrong with being a girl? Don't we need both men and women in order for our race to perpetuate?* Admit it, everybody loves girls. We fear girls, but we love them. Just like how we're grossed out by boys, but we love them too.

In the end though, pink is just a color. Just a really pretty color that will alienate people if I use it as the background color of my blog.

*Actually, with the advent of cloning we technically don't need men in order to perpetuate the race anymore. But really, what's the fun in that?

Monday, March 27, 2006

The First Post

Why do I have this blog? I don't know. I think I just got one because my friends have them (curse you, Ben Phelan!!!). At any rate, this is my first post.


Okay, that's it.