Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Politically Speaking

For the first time ever, I watched as a President of the United States was sworn in.

I keep thinking that if someone like me, who is normally ignorant of politics, who willfully tunes out when the subject is brought up, can sit and watch a President be sworn in, then there is something amazing happening.

No, I don't know about all of his policies, and yes, I do know that people think he will bring the country down and have no respect for him. But because he is the first African-American to be president the country has changed. I think he is an incredibly smart man from his speeches alone. Not only does he know how to deliver them without sounding ignorant, this is a man who knows the importance of inspiring others.

I know some of us wonder if we're putting too many eggs in one basket. Placing all our hopes onto one man is a little much. He's only one man! But to hear him speak - how can you not be hopeful? Do you know what I think is amazing? He knows we're in difficult times, he knows that everyone is putting all their hopes on him - and yet - he's making sure to tell everyone, and often, that it's gonna take a village. When was the last time we had a president who tries to inspire people to work together for a better country and government? Who was the last president who tried to not only better the government, but tried to better people of our country?

I like that Obama has been telling us up front that he knows it's gonna take a long time for things to feel better - economically, politically, and globally. I'm so glad he's acknowledging it. Yes, he is a symbol of change, but just because he's the first black man in that seat, it doesn't mean he's the only to save our country from ourselves. We have to keep voting, we have to keep voicing our differing opinions, and we have to keep helping others as well as ourselves. How will you try to help others? Will you have a bake sale for the Vets? Will you sell embroidered hand towels to help fund the local high school's music program? What can you do to help your life be a better one? How can I make my life better by helping others?

These are huge questions and the answers can be long and complicated. I don't want the weight of the world on my shoulders, I'm sure Obama really doesn't either. So you do what you can, right? A little goes a long, long way. I have often been overwhelmed at the idea of volunteering. Luckily for people like me, there are lots of areas to volunteer in. I'm choosing to read to kids.

How did this turn into a ramble about volunteering?

What I like about Obama is that he something new for people to pay attention to. His prescence alone is causing people to look around and see things for the first time. I'm pretty sure Bush Jr. didn't inspire that. I just hope that people see this man and respect him and our government that made it possible for him to be president. I hope that if you don't like something you know you have to the right to work for change, to debate with your friends and family. I hope that you're inspired to..., to.... I just hope you're inspired. I think this country is ready to be inspired again, and to make strives forward.

I'm excited.

Friday, January 16, 2009


It's Friday and I ain't got shit to do.

Well... no, that's not true. A friend is throwing a party tonight because she's leaving town to pursue bigger and better things. And while I know it'd be good to get out and go, I'm debating. I'm debating this whole weekend.

What do you do when you have little cash? Do you stay home and watch TV and read? This is highly tempting, especially since I am house-sitting for Steph and Ryan. (They have quite the lovely flat screen TV - it's huge!). Part of me doesn't want to be a hermit. The idea of being a hermit this whole weekend actually bums me out. But maybe, maybe I should be a little more practical.

Here it is, the 16th of the month. My first check for Freshi Films won't come until the end of the month. I only have about $40 in the bank, I need to put gas in the car, and I need to make this cash last. I'm holding out that I will raise the money for rent, (I did it last month, didn't I?), but what if I don't? What if all I have leftover for this month is $240? That would mean that I didn't go buy gas, it would mean I didn't travel anywhere unless absolutely necessary. It means that I would take myself out of a social atmosphere that I do know I need to exist. Every little bit counts right now - the mileage of my car is huge, especially as I have a quarter of a tank left. Going across town to visit a friend when I have no money to spend may not be wise. Granted, if I had the cash, I'd go in a heartbeat. I can't carpool, I'm out of everyone's way. Would she be heartbroken that I didn't go? Not necessarily. I know she'd be bummed, but I also know I wouldn't break her heart.

Much of the weekend is like this. There are events that would be fun to go to, (workday for the Ark, a movie screening at Freshi, the first night of 3 shows at The Hothouse, Monica's birthday, and a hike with Genie, followed by another show of improv on Sunday). This is a full weekend of fun. None of it costs a lot. But by the time I finish driving back and forth between the Valley and the Westside, by the time I finish paying for shows - I'd be broke until I get paid next, at the end of the month.

Money is not easy. I've decided that it's not what I need to be happy, as witnessed by last month, getting horribly sick and depressed working an eight hour day. I can't rely on my friends to always come and rescue me, (as they heroically did last month), I can't hope that money will come out of the woodworks and I'll be able to pay my rent and then some. I think I need to be practical.

I've been reading a wonderful book, (recommended by my fantastic friend Darin), called "Mindset," by Carol S. Dweck. This book talks abouthow one can approach the challenges in life - whether it be about intelligence, relationships, business, etc. The Fixed Mindset basically sees a limit to what it can learn. If it doesn't get a problem right away, doesn't figure out how it works, it gives up and thinks very little of Itself. The Growth Mindset sees a challenge as a chance to grow, it looks forward to the challenge, it knows that failing just means you're learning, and you have to work harder, and it welcomes working harder. So I think the thing to do here is email my friend my apologies. And then, knowing that the lack of money is what has gotten me here, take this opportunity to earn more and challenge myself by working on the massage business. Because it's all I have left to do.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'm still debating. I think I might not go out to The Valley, or spend the gas to go out and bond with people at Freshi since it's not mandatory. I won't go to The Ark and help out for the same reasons. Now, the next debate is Monica and her birthday. She's my roomie. I think I need to go, I think I have to go. I don't want to hurt her or disappoint her.

These are the hard things in Life. Do I look back on this night and reflect, "Coulda, shoulda, woulda?" Will I be satisfied with my choice? Probably not. Hell, I might even go later, you never know. But I think it's best to rein myself in and not act on a whim. I'm going to tell myself this will get better, because it has to. I knew that when this year started, there would be challenges along the way. I still know it, and I know I have to get through them so I can make this year truly great.

In the great words of Jennifer Warren, "Onwards and Sideways!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Patty Jean's Running Wish List

As you know, I'm crazy to start this, "I want to run a 26.2 marathon," endeavor. In light of Amy the Writer's recent blog about zombie apocalypses, I'm also doing this so I can run long and far, far away from those brain eating creeps.

Genie, my running-partner-in-crime,
and I often talk about strategies to run better. Lately, we've been talking about shoes. And as I went jogging for the first time in a week, I was reminded how I need several items to make running a more productive and pleasant experience.

Awesome Running Shoes
Knee brace
New armband for my iPod
An iRun nifty pedometer thingy
Clothes that wick
A Road ID, because those things are just a cool idea, and a good one

'Tis not an easy list to come by, for one such as myself. I'm friggin' broke. But with promises of my new job and places to teach, and promises of massage clients building, and getting actor gigs, I know that these are not out of reach. I just have to be patient. That's all. In the meantime, I have to not go crazy, especially concerning my knees and feet. Don't want to fuck myself over before I even get to run a 5k!

By the way, our first planned 5k is February 1st, that's right - Super Bowl Sunday. We'll go run, pass out, and then watch the big game.

Now...on to some stretching, (and don't even get me going about a Yoga Wish List!).

Monday, January 12, 2009

This pic just cracks me up.

For all you non-dinosaur believing people out there. Jesus even loves the velociraptors. They need love, too!

Friday, January 9, 2009

1/9/09 Hello Again!

I've been meaning to put in a post since the New Year. Yet, I kept putting everything off since I wanted time to write up everything. And the longer I went without writing, the more I needed to add, and the less I wanted to spend hours typing out a blog.

Today, it occurred to me that if I keep waiting, I'll never post anything! So here's the new goal: post as the ideas hit me - doesn't matter if it's one a day, ten, or once a week. That way, it won't build up again. As for what I've missed topic-wise the past couple of days? I've never been so excited to start a new year, I feel very positive about everything that's coming my way, and I got a new job!

Today's random story:

This past week, all I've been talking about with Genie is how I wish I had more cash, so I could do some real grocery shopping. Get me some good, healthy food. Like veggies, and meat, and milk, and juice. (Mom & Dad bought me some staples of food to help me out when I visited. I can't believe how helpful that's been!). So, here's me, with a check for $250, an amount I haven't seen in months, and I can't believe how excited I am that I can take out $60 and get a huge amount of food from Trader Joe's. I get more veggies than I normally do, treat myself to string cheese, chicken stir fry, and multi-grain english muffins, and the best tofu corndogs that money can buy. I was so good, I spent $52! Woo hoo! Lots of good foods and with cash left over! What should do with the $7 and change? Save it for a rainy day? Nope. I get out of Trader Joe's, and drive right next door to Wendy's and order the chicken nugget meal. Large.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.