Thanks for the memories, Salma!

images5.jpg So the current play I’m working on feels like a Mexican soap opera. I’m not trying to be totally racist. Allow me to explain. I read some interview with Salma Hayek where she described as her old soap opera days in Mexico as insane, because you’re in a scene and have to wear an ear bud because they constantly give you new lines to say.

This play is nuts. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. There are fight scenes, music, singing, dancing, there’s a dog in the show, two actors were out because of illness, one threw his back out. We show up to rehearsal and get scene rewrites. Today, I’m supposedly getting a new song for the recorder, which I just learned how to play two weeks ago and kind of suck at. My husband tutored me in a few monologues last night, and he was like “I don’t feel like you have a point of view. What’s your objective?” And really, I feel like a beginner all over again, because I have no objective other than to memorize my lines in time. We open Saturday. You feel me?

Completely unrelated and true, the fight choreographer asked us to pose in martial arts stances and make those “whooo-aaaaawe” sounds they used to make in those old pics. I felt like a douche bag (DB) but I tentatively raised my hand and said, sorry, I just can’t do that. I can’t make Asian gibberish sounds, because it makes me uncomfortable. To completely overthink the matter—does it bother me when other people do it? I don’t know. Old-time martial arts flicks are so ubiquitous and a part of American culture that everybody kind of does the crane pose with accompanying noise—BUT I CAN’T DO IT! IT MAKES ME FEEL CREEPY and like a total traitor. Other people are doing it in the play, which I don’t care about. But if it offends you, please know that I’m honoring the cause. if you come see me in the play and listen carefully, you’ll hear me say “NoIdon’tthinkso,” “Whatchoocallit,” and “Ilovechocolatemilk.”

My husband gives me advice like “Don’t worry about it” and “Have fun with the part,” which is like against my nature, but I’m to try. That sounds so healthy.

sorry paul

paul-giamatti.jpg Oh dear god. I don’t think my mom should be allowed to interact with anyone famous. My parents, husband, and I went to the movies tonight (saw “Beowolf,” which was okay, kinda stupid, but who cares, I seem to like all movies, good and bad) and Paul Giamatti was there alone. I hate running into celebrities b/c they make me nervous. I just have like this inane smile plastered on my face and any ability to speak quickly flees from my body. We were all shoved in together like cattle being led to slaughter (it’s packed on a Friday night with teenagers) and David actually says hi to him b/c the Oscar winner is shoved between him and my dad. After he passes us, I inform mom who he is. “You know, the guy from ‘Sideways.'” And she says aloud, “Oh! But he’s so much chubbier and uglier in the movies!” And right then, he passes us again–possibly, POSSIBLY within earshot, which made me want to hurl.


why i’m sleep-deprived and decaf-latte dependent

new-amsterdames.jpg I’m playing the flute, learning the recorder (staving off Alzheimer’s–big yay), memorizing lines, putting on a newanchorwoman accent my husband kinda despises, and trying not to kill people in my fight scene for this farce called New Amsterdames. I’m going to play a Chinese adoptee TV reporter, who’s as aggressively cheerful as they come.

It’s at HERE theater Dec 1-16, and in Queens Theater Dec. 17 and 18. What else? Go to for more info.

The other thing I’m going to see is a night ten-minute plays, one of which is mine “I Like You LIke a Brother,” originally produced by Christine and Michelle and their cohorts at Fluid Motion Theater & Film Company. That gig will be on Dec. 1-3, 7 p.m., Spoon Theater. I’m going Dec. 2, if you want to join me cringe or hold my head up high, I’ll make reservations. It’s $10 and proceeds go to NY Cares.

tip of the day

images4.jpg There have only been two instances where I’ve seen a grown woman with a salad colander on her head–once, on my friend Jen in a play where there was time-travel and I think her character wore it when it was supposed to be the 24th century. Then the other time was last year on an inspirational speaker we booked last fall. The latter lady wore the collander to demonstrate that you need to use a different perspective to be creative in business. The “wacky” speaker was also coming across a tad racist, as she kept alluding to black people being great when it wasn’t really relevant, know what I mean? In any case, with both ladies, I thought it looked tarded.

That’s my tip of the day–don’t wear a colander on your head. Or at least, not in public.

going to mom’s is like going to a spa, kind of

images3.jpg I went to visit Mom last night after rehearsal and asked if I could take my makeup off with her makeup remover. No problem. She followed me into the bathroom, giving me all of two inches of personal space, got out the goods, and proceeded to cottonball my eye liner off without any warning.

I think like when you give birth, you clean your baby all the time b/c all they can do is lie on their back and wave their limbs feebly? My mom never got over that stage. She like bent my face toward the sink and pointed to the soap I should use (which was the only soap out, duh), and then, unsatisfied with how I washing suds-ing my cheeks, pushed my hands a way, and soaped my face. I dunno. It’s very Korean Mom, to have this sense of ownership on a kid’s appearance, this utter lack of regard for any kind of boundary. And as we co-washed my face, I tried explaining that I actually wash my face 364 nights of the year. “What about the fifth one?” she asked. “Well, I’m here for the fifth one.” But instead of assuming that Mom thinks I’m mentally retarded, I decided to go with it and pretend I was at a spa. Ahhh.

My Animal Kingdom

321_the_call_of_the_wild.jpg Wow, some days dealing with people at the job, I feel like we’re all in Animal Kingdom. Sometimes, the dynamics are so guided by territorial and survival instincts, I have to tilt my head back and bray at the fluorescent office light on the ceiling to underline the point (only with friends, not in the middle of meetings). Recently, Co-worker A went to Boss with grievance about Co-worker B, and without going into detail on the freaking Web, Boss was clueless and Co-worker B smoothly dodged the lobbed ball-style attack. Naturally, Boss was shocked that the office wasn’t one big happy family and was rendered paralysed, until he was gently guided back to his delusion by Co-worker B.

Not that Boss is a bad person, but everyone should understand, behavior you exhibit to your peers is usually different than the one you exhibit to Boss, so how could a Boss really every fully grasp a department’s dynamics? And as for Co-worker A, I thought fighting behind the scenes would have been more effective. It reminds me of a story of one my husband’s cousins–she instructed her daughters (ages 4 and 5) to not fight, and so now, instead of fighting in front of their mom, the girls fight quietly behind closed doors. When she passes their bedroom, she can hear them grunt once in while as they punch each other.

And that, is how, I think a proper office fight should go.

Sorry to be so oblique, but you know you’re not supposed to write about jobs online. In fact, if any of my Esq. friends tell me to take this down, I will!

lou reed

images2.jpg I think one of the toughest things of working the 9-to-5 for years is that your days start to feel identical with no remarkable events to mark the passage of time, and then all of sudden, you relate to songs in a different way. Like I was listening to this Lou Reed song where the line was “one day, you wake up and see your father’s face in the mirror” and I was like OH MY GOD!!! I KNOW WHAT HE MEANS! I’m so depressed! I have to quit my job!

I mean, I didn’t quit my job, b/c I like having money and being able to pay for the mortgage, and I really can’t handle the overwhelming anxiety of being unemployed, but it doesn’t mean I don’t fantasize about it every day! Anyway, that’s all I want to say. Damn you, Lou Reed, for making me feel.

That, and my web site pics have all gone to pot. I will call Ed and see what is wrong.

harry freaking potter

images1.jpg I just finished. It was not easy. I’m in rehearsal and at work and don’t always get a seat on the subway. At home, I love my husband, but he talks to me while I write and read, so I’ve had like 3-page sitdown periods, or I’m in this world, picturing these insane showdowns, but my husband is right next to me talking about what happened to the Knicks that day.

I just want to thank all my friends who have been supportive through this journey. (Ha ha.) The book was not easy to carry on my commute and I think my left hand will have to recover from holding it open. Kudos to Nancy for resisting when I pressured her to tell me the ending. Thanks to Becca for suggesting I start reading YA books when working on my own. And who can forget Christine. When I told her “I can’t believe Snape! I don’t buy it!”, Christine looked at me completely poker-faced, like she was practicing occumenlancy (I think that’s how you spell it. Actually, I think it’s wrong) and didn’t give any of the story away, just said it’ll all tie together in the end. And it totally did. I am a very satisfied reader.

belated halloween

images.jpg When I first moved to NJ, I went trick-or-treating with my friend Jen in fifth grade, and she had this kick-*ss costume her mother made her–she was a gigantic Lipton tea bag. Like her baseball cap had a string and label attached and her entire body was covered in this rectangle, white pale bag which made her look like, you know, a gigantic bag of tea. It was awesome. I told her that I remembered going as a Korean for Halloween that year, which in addition to being redundant, is like the laziest costume you can come up with. (And if you don’t know what this means, you just don a traditional Korean outfit, and presto). That year, we had another lazy trick-or-treater in our posse–Mayumi Negishi, who went as a Japanese person in this spectacular kimono.

But peel back another layer of memory–during the school day on Halloween, I had another costume on. I had been dressed up as a movie star. In Staten Island, where I had moved from, the costume was a hit, made up of my mother’s huge sun hat, blouse, skirt, scarf, every necklace in the house, topped off with her Elton John-esque, huge clear plastic 70s sunglasses decked out in rhinestones and flowers. Dude, I thought I was hot stuff, glamorous, completely undercover in this rocking awesome, get-up, and happily went trick-or-treating with my cousins Ed and Aim…who that year were dressed as Koreans. (It’s kind of a standard standby).

In NJ, my new school, I thought I’d relive this glory in the school’s Halloween day parade. I didn’t really think about the fact that this was a much wealthier, more sophisticated school than my old one, so some of the costumes were so good I still remember them. Patrick Marquez was Pac Man–someone in his family had created a gigantic, yellow, cardboard sphere, that covered Patrick except for his legs. Inside his Pac Man globe, Patrick wore an eye mask that made his eyes like Pac Man’s eyes–mini-inverted, black Pac Men for pupils. He was so in character (he couldn’t see, but man, the attention to detail.) It’s cool, it’s cool, I tell myself. I’m still strutting my ten-year-old stuff (this must have been after the mullet perm grew out a bit) in my movie star costume. Then I saw Marissa Baumann, also dressed as a movie star, but not in a garage sale way. She literally looked like she had walked off a 1940s red carpet, in a floor-length blue gown, fur stole, elbow-length gloves, and cigarette holder. And when she asked what I was supposed to be, I noticed she had blue eye shadow and mascara on and experienced one of those inner-flower-crumpling moments. I could have said “I’m Dustin Hoffman in ‘Tootsie,'” but you know, comebacks only come to you long after you need them.

Of course, when I see the Staten Island photos, I don’t look like a movie star. More like a weird interpretation of my mom…(or seriously, I did kind of look like Dustin Hoffman.) Eh, but who cares, I looked psyched and I had fun. No lesson here. It’s good to have these moments where you’re a legend in your own mind.

recorder update

recorder2.jpg I’ve been practicing the recorder–trying to teach myself how to play it really–for this play that’s going to open December 1st, and I don’t see how there’s any possible way I can master this instrument sufficiently for the show unless I was like in jail or something and had nothing else to do. You know, like then, i’d have gobs of times to just memorize this crazy fingers that require like your ring finger to 1/2 or 3/4 cover a hole. It kind of reminds me of soduku, which I’m not very good at. I guess I’ll offer up what I can, but I don’t want to mess up the actors. They have to sing and dance to the music. I’ll get going and sound pretty good for a few measures, and then miss a fingering and this dying quail sound comes out. That would be rough if you were on stage trying to concentrate, you know? Oh dear.