Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cake or Death?*

Today is the day I've been half dreading for a few years. 30. Thirty years old. The more I say it, the more accepting of it I am. And really, I don't get what made me so anxious about turning thirty. So far it's not so bad. Grey hair did not suddenly sprout from my head. I still feel young. I still get carded! I still get carded! Sorry, I felt the need to say that twice, it's fun to say.

So, I kiss my twenties goodbye. It was quite a decade. Marriage. Life of retail management. Home ownership. Divorce. Travel. Relocating to Bakersfield. Tons of mistakes and learning experiences. Bankruptcy. Theatre. Falling in love with Daniel. Getting diagnosed with RSD. Lots of doctor appointments/medical procedures. Marriage. Losing Nana. Trying to extend our family. Photography. Getting paid for my photography. There were some really tough times in there, but looking back: the good outweighs the bad. The wonderful memories are more vivid than the crappy ones. I'm proud of who I've become in the past thirty years and I'm looking forward to everything this next decade has to offer.

A friend told me the other day that 30 was the new 20. Maybe. I know I feel more confident and excited for the future now then I did ten years ago. I also feel a little bit wiser and a lot more grateful for everything I have and the people in my life. So. Yeah. I'm not dreading being thirty anymore...not even a little bit. Cheers!

*Cake, please. Oh, and how about that new banner and colors?! Thank you, Ali! I love it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Not Gonna Do It

I think it might have been my early exposure to late night showings of 'The Legend of Lizzie Borden', 'The Exorcist' or 'Gremlins'. It might have been those freaky Vincent Price movies I caught glimpses of. I'm pretty sure seeing 'Critters' when I was eleven years old was a bad idea. Those"critters" still freak me out. The fact is, I hate scary movies. I don't like the gore. I can't stand the screaming. That tight feeling I get all over my body : tension, panic. I can totally do without all of it. Honestly, I don't get the fascination people have with spending money to be scared. Lucky for me, I married a guy who shares my distaste for the horror genre.

Daniel and I have a good friend that says we "secretly love scary movies". Um. No. No we don't. He says that our affinity for 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' proves that we at least like scary movies. I argue that Buffy & Angel are television shows and do not get as scary as say...something like 'Hostel'. The entire point of those shows is not to scare the bejezzus out of me. Oh no, Joss Whedon includes humor, angst, romance and drama. His stuff doesn't scare me, so it can't be horror.

That same friend called us last week to invite us to go see 'The Descent'. "What's that?" And then I remembered the trailer. "That's supposed to be the scariest movie ever! No way!" Our friend and his girlfriend kept prodding. They told me it wouldn't be that bad. They told me I'd like it. They even went so far as to say that scary movies are an aphrodisiac and seeing 'The Descent' (coupled with some raw oysters) just might help us conceive...that night when we got home. Heh. Well, first of all....being scared out of my wits does NOT put me in the mood. Secondly, I bet our specialist would disagree with that theory. Third, the timing was ALL off for the baby making. So we declined and I think we ended up watching the 'Blade' series off of iTunes.

I know what you might be thinking. Blade? Isn't that about vampires? Yep. For some strange reason, vampires don't scare me. I like the cheesiness of 'Blade' and the bad acting doesn't bother me. The blood doesn't bother me either. Maybe it's because it's just a tv show and they don't go as far as the movies do. I was obsessed with vampires when I was in high school. Francis Ford Coppola's 'Dracula' came out my Junior year and it sent me in a flurry. I read all the Anne Rice books. I had scary movie stills and posters posted all over my room (along with Madonna and fairies). I couldn't wait for the disappointment that was 'Interview With the Vampire' to come out. My parents were probably worried for a while there. It was a little creepy. Anyway, I got over the obsession but I guess it sort of explains why I like Buffy & Angel too.

So, what is the draw? Is watching a horror movie about facing your fears? I'm afraid of snakes - so will watching 'Snakes on a Plane' help me overcome my fear? No. And that's not the point at all, right. It's entertainment, silly.

For some people. For me, watching the trailer is enough and sometimes even that it too much. For instance, I decided to watch the new trailer for 'The Grudge 2' yesterday. It's got Buffy alum S.M.G. and it's the sequel to a remake of a Japanese horror film set in Tokyo. You've heard of it, I'm sure. So I watched the whole preview and jumped a few times, but it wasn't that bad. Minutes later I'm in my kitchen doing dishes and I jump because I heard a dripping noise. A dripping noise from a sponge I didn't ring out made me jump! No scary movies for me. Not gonna do it. Ever. Again.

This post brought to you by the letter "W" for wimp or wuss and the letter "S" for Scaredy-Cat. Also by the letter "B" for bejezzus...because it's fun to say. I like the double z's.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Like A Good Neighbor

I think Daniel and I are good neighbors. One, we don't leave clutter out on our porch or lawn (like the guy down the street who has a VERY large model of a battleship). Two, we make sure our yard looks good by paying a nice gardener to take care of it weekly. Three, we 're know, we wave every once in a while. Four, we don't throw wild, crazy all night parties. Five, we don't play our music loud. Six, we don't argue so the whole neighborhood can hear like the crazy people across the street. Seven, I try to keep the dogs quiet. Eight, we don't park in front of their house even if they park in front of ours (and steal Daniel's spot). Nine, the dog children don't use other lawns as their bathroom area. And ten...I can't think of a number 10, but trust me we're good neighbors to have.

I guess that's why I get so annoyed with our neighbors.

On one side of us we have a very old couple who is barely ever home. Aside from this one time the little old lady jumped out from behind a tree to talk to me, we haven't had barely any contact with them. Occasionally I see her hiding in the bushes, but whatever. They're quiet and nice enough....and they seem to really like their foliage.

I'm constantly annoyed by the family that lives on the other side of us. Sure, they're friendly's not that. It's all the work they do on their house - at seven in the morning. It's the people they hire to fix their roof who I catch staring into my bathroom as I'm about to get ready for a shower. They don't let us know that they'll be having work done to their house or apologize about the noise until the work had already been going on for a couple days. To me, that is too little too late. I'm patient and I avoid confrontation at all costs, but there have been times when I just wish they would go away.

So, they're moving. YAY! They sold their house and will be gone by Sunday. I wish it were sooner. Three times this week they have knocked on our door before 9 am. This morning I looked in our backyard to see what the dogs were freaking out about and lo - there was some exterminator guy walking through my backyard and he'd left the back gate wide open. Grrr. Oh, and to get that yellow and blue tent up on their rotting garage they took down two pieces of our fence without permission. My dogs may annoy me sometimes and I might threaten to give them away after I find a big hole in my sofa, but I do not want my little munchkins running away. Go ahead, wake me up. Disturb me before I've had a chance to properly get out of my morning funk. Let your contractors peep in my windows! But don't you mess with my dogs safety! Damn it! Exclamation point, Exclamation Point!!

This post brought to you by the letter "C" for cranky, the letter "E" for emotional, and the letter "H" for hormones. Oh, and also the letter "G" for GRRRRR.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bakersfield "Spotlight"

This past June marked my fourth year in Bakersfield. I moved here from San Diego after sleeping on an old futon in my parents’ living room for 7 months. I'd left behind a horrible marriage and was ready to start a new life. Bakersfield seemed like the logical place to go.

Why? That was pretty much everyone's question. No one understood, least of all my parents or my former employers. I was leaving behind a good paying job, friends, my family and San Diego for Bakersfield? Why not L.A. or Chicago (where I had job offers)? Why not stay in San Diego? What was there to do in Bakersfield?

The main draw for me was that I'd be living with my best friend from high school. We'd be able to do all the things I missed out on doing before. Moving in with her and her roommate was instant family, instant friends. It was living in my own space with two girls I thought the world of and being included in theirs. It was late night Rusty's delivery, Ouji board nights, eating out almost every night and always having a friend to talk to. Four years ago, Bakersfield was my place to start over. It was small enough that I didn't feel like I would be swallowed whole and I liked the proximity to L.A and San Diego. Everyone was so friendly and I felt like I belonged here for some reason. I moved here wide-eyed and ready for new beginnings and second chances. Bakersfield ended up being where I found me again.

If you ask me on a bad day what I think of Bakersfield, I'll probably correct you and call it Bakers-Hell. I might roll my eyes (I hear I do that sometimes) and I'll probably tell you I wish we lived somewhere else. I miss San Diego - the Zoo, Balboa Park, the ocean and downtown. I miss The Old Globe theatre, the museums and La Jolla. Sometimes I wish we could just pick up and move to Chicago (where I lived for 3 years) just to be near all the museums, Navy Pier, Michigan Ave., the great architecture and all of those great theatres. Other times, I wish Daniels work would relocate us to Houston just so we could have the adventure of being in a new place and closer proximity to our friends in Austin and surrounding areas. But that's just on a bad day. I don't really think Bakersfield is hell. As much as we daydream about leaving, we've had some good times here.... we’ve made a home, good friends and great memories. There are times when I look around and wonder why we're here...but other times where I'm grateful I made the sudden decision to start over here. My life would be so different if I'd chosen the other options.

I think when we finally do leave, that I will miss the Spotlight Theatre the most. I realized it today when I was eating in the cafe.... so many of the great things that have happened to me in the past four years have happened because of that place.

Four years ago, I walked nervously into the lobby of the Spotlight for my first audition in gosh, eight years! It was for a reader’s theatre version of Letters Home and I got the part of Sylvia Plath. We only had one performance and only about five people (other than my parents, Nana and my roommates) showed, but it felt so good to feel the lights again. I was so happy to be a part of a production after so long that I cried when I got off stage. It was a good night...that has led to my involvement in many other productions.

A couple months later, I was cast in Commedia del Arte where I met Daniel. He and I became fast friends and before the run of the show had ended, we'd admitted to each other (and the rest of our cast) that we'd fallen in love. The show may not have been the best thing either of us has ever done, but it will always be my favorite because it's what brought us together...and we made some good friends (like Kevan Klawitter...who we miss dearly).

Last December I was asked by director Julie Jordan Scott to photograph a dress rehearsal for "The Miracle on 34th Street" at the Spotlight. That night was an amazing night for me because it was a way for me to be involved creatively in theatre even if I wasn't a part of the cast. I loved catching all the actors expressions and movement...I loved the feeling of holding my camera for more of a purpose than just photographing my dogs and flowers. After that night, I was hooked and volunteered myself for other productions... which led to me doing the same thing for "The Underpants", "The Thing About Men" and more recently "The History of Rock & Roll".

Every show I've been involved with there, no matter if I were audience member, photographer, cast or crew.... has given me friends, great memories and important lessons. I've become a stronger person directly and indirectly because of that place. I have pushed myself and learned a lot about who I am and what I am capable of. Four years ago, I never would have imagined myself as the photographer for the Spotlight. I would never have believed it if someone would tell me I'd fall in love with a cast member - and marry them! I walked into that lobby just wanting to be a part of something again - I guess I got my wish.

So... I guess wherever we end up someday, I can honestly say that Bakersfield has been good for me. Despite what people may say or believe, Bakersfield has a lot to offer if you know where to look...for me, it was in a little theatre on 19th street.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


What were you doing 1 second ago?
Leaving a comment on Nanette's blog about quickies. What? She tagged me.

What were you doing an hour ago?

Locking the dogs up in their crate because they wouldn't stop harassing the gardeners.

What were you doing yesterday?

Attending a "candle party". Shut up. It was fun.

What were you doing a month ago?

Starting a plethora of hormones to help us make a baby. Going to ComicCon. Just so you know: Hormones + Heat + 1000's of people at a comic book convention = Cranky Keely. Don't get me started on that damn green stroller.

What were you doing a year ago?

Recovering from our wedding and honeymoon. Thinking very seriously about getting another dog child to keep Bailey company help Bailey destroy our house.

What were you doing five years ago?
Living in San Diego. Managing a furniture store. Getting a divorce. Good times.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Living in Chicago.

Who would you like to tag?

Jen. Mel. MatildaKay. And anyone else who wants to share.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad dog!

I love our dogs. Some people might say I love our dogs too much...and to that I'd say: maybe. It's no secret that I consider these dogs family. They are my pseudo children. I know, it may sound a little silly...but part of me feels like I'm a mom already because of these rascals. And when I say rascals, I mean evil spawn. It's gotta be motherly love that gets me through the havoc they reap in public and on our home.

For example:

Just a few days ago, we came home to find a two inch hole in our new sectional. We know it was Max because he had sofa stuffing stuck to his lip. I also have a sneaking suspicion that this was retaliation for taking his blessed Lazy Boy recliner away. He loved that thing. I could have screamed, but instead I just laughed. Screaming wouldn't have turned back time and saved my couch. It might have felt good, but laughing felt better.

In all fairness, Bailey hasn't done anything bad in quite a while...most of her episodes were when she was a puppy. She's matured a lot. I mean, she whines like a little baby if we don't play with her on her schedule and she won't turn her back on the chance to eat a bra...but she's a good girl.

Happy girl

We try to take Max with a grain of salt. He just barely had his first birthday and he's still learning what is acceptable behavior and not. I think most of his issues stem from eating. Max is always a hungry boy. As demonstrated, he can't seem to resist anything. It's all food to him...even my sofa. Maybe it's our fault for putting him on a diet? it seems he's found the need to supplement his abbreviated diet with bookcases, sofas, oh...and occasionally a nice poo snack. Our friend Alison calls him Poo Daddy.



Since shipping them off isn't an option, we just love them. Unfortunately, we can't really sit them down and explain that destroying our furniture is bad. We can't force them to get a job or do chores to pay off the damage they've done. Spanking and yelling doesn't help if we don't catch them in the act. So, we just love them - flaws and all.

And I look up obedience classes to enroll them in.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Wicked" Fun and Bad Manners

Last Saturday afternoon, Daniel and I checked into the Hilton Gaslamp in downtown San Diego. We relaxed and then got ready to go to the theatre to see Wicked. My husband ironed his shirt for the first time in ages and I did my hair and makeup. It was an event. We looked good. I should have taken a picture of us.

When we got down to the lobby, we asked the guy at the front desk what the quickest way to the Civic Theatre was. He suggested we walk since it was just a turn to the left and then 4 blocks away. Four blocks later, we were at the Pacific movie theater. Clearly, I need to annunciate better. We kept walking for a few more blocks, made another left and arrived at our destination with time to consume bottled water and a cheese tray for two before we took our seats.

The show was fabulous. It was an amazing experience to see those characters come alive after being a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz movie and the Wicked book. I felt like a little girl watching every scene with anticipation for what would come next. I was mesmerized by the voices, acting, costumes, set and lighting. It was awesome!

Sorry. I must interrupt this post to bring you this list:

How To Be a Bad Theatregoer & Drive Keely Crazy

1. Complain about how awful you think your seat is (in the front orchestra) while there are little kids sitting in the nose bleed section of the theatre excited just to be at a theatre.

2. Arrive at the theatre late.

3. When arriving late, (instead of waiting until intermission to take your seat) walk slowly and upright to your seat as the play is going on. Pause and watch the action (blocking the people behind you) if something really cool seems to be happening on stage.

4. Stake your claim on both of the armrests and elbow the person sitting next to you frequently.

5. If you can’t see the action on stage, go ahead and just lean into the personal space of the person next to you.

6. Huff, puff, sigh deeply and yawn loudly so that everyone knows how much you hate your seat and how bored or tired you are.

7. Have a conversation with the person next to you during the show.

8. Take numerous photos of the actors on stage and illuminate the space around you with the bright green light from your camera.

9. Wear so much perfume/cologne that the people around you want to gag.

Seriously. What gives? Are people so ignorant or am I just hyper sensitive to all of this? As much as I loved getting to see Wicked, a part of my experience was tarnished because a lady sitting next to me did 6 of the nine things on my little list up there. I ended up switching places with Daniel during intermission because I was so close to telling her to get her elbows and hands (HANDS!) off of me. To hear her talk before the show, you’d think she was a regular audience member, so shouldn’t she have known better? OY!

We now return to a calmer, happier Keely:

Oh well. I still loved the show. Getting to be a part of theatre is always special to me, whether I am sitting in the audience or acting on stage. I am consumed by all of the creativity. A clear sign that I enjoyed the show and the actors is when I get teary during their curtain call. I don't know if it’s the camaraderie I feel for them or what… but it’s a little embarrassing. Last Saturday night, I got just a little choked up...and it wasn't because of the smelly lady sitting next to me.

Oh - real fast. In "Getting Pregnant News": Last night Daniel told me he'd seen my blog post yesterday and he thanked me for what I wrote. He went on to tell me that he's actually "sort of excited" to be giving me injections in the stomach again. I told him "Cool, I'm glad that's fun for you!" The man cracks me up! He says things on a regular basis that I wish I could share with y'all, but it's not family friendly. Anyway, I figure if sticking my stomach with a little needle is fun for him - then I'm glad...some couples might consider that a stressor in their relationship. Not us. As much as we want to be pregnant and have a baby, we're enjoying every bit of our time and keeping our sense of humor about...well, everything. I think having the first round of treatment not work was good for me. Sure, I would love for the next pregnancy test I take to be positive...but eventually it will be.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Negative, But Staying Positive

So. Today was actually the day my doc told me to take an at home pregnancy test. The plan was to take it this morning and if it was positive, then rush to the lab for a blood test confirmation. The good news is, no blood test today! The sorta sad news is no baby either.

I'm fine and as the title states, still staying positive...but I'm not going to lie: I had gotten my hopes up that everything would work on the first round of treatment. I kept telling myself to chill out. I said over and over again that all that nausea was just the stomach flu, but I wanted it to be morning sickness. I was excited to get to tell Daniel, our parents, his sister, and everyone else the good news. Now, we'll have to wait a little bit longer.

And that's OK. Good things come to those who wait, right? I'm reminded of the fact that after having a horrible existence/marriage with Assface and then some time alone where I began to believe (and accept) that I would always be alone...that Daniel and our relationship is even more precious to me than I ever would have imagined another person could be. I feel like I appreciate what we have more because I never thought I'd find someone like him. I know that when we have our baby we'll feel similarly...when the time is right.

So. I've put a call into our doctor's office and I'm waiting for a call back. They'll prescribe more medicines, Daniel will be injecting me again and I suppose we'll have another ultrasound in a couple weeks. But don't expect to hear about it on here. From here on, (unless something monumental happens) it's back to our regular programming. I've got some blogs in the works. Some rants. Some anecdotes. Some observations. Stay tuned.

In other news: I got lucky! JustJenn was having a blog giveaway and I was won of the winners! I am so I told her in an email, I needed some good news today. Finding out I was a winner brightened my morning a bit. Thank you, Jenn!