Friday, November 13, 2009

One with Singapore

One night that so vividly remains in my memory when I think of moving to New York City 4 years ago was my first night there. I had "set up" the room I was subletting as good as I possibly could, having only shown up there with 3 suitcases, one of which had a blow up mattress. I had unpacked my clothes into little piles along the wall, inflated the mattress and made it up, and pulled out my laptop. The ceiling in that apartment was huge because there was a loft and it just made the nearly empty room seem even more cold and lonely. I sat down on the air mattress and looked around thinking, "What have I done?" I just felt like I didn't belong in that city, in that apartment, in that world of New York City.

When I took the subway, I would always manage to get lost or board the train going in the opposite direction. I felt like I was constantly looking for a friendly face to ask which way was what! One day when I was looking for an audition, it had started to pour down rain and my umbrella had flipped inside out and got so mangled I just pitched it in the garbage. New York City garbage cans were often full of umbrella carcasses on particularly rainy and windy days. I had been walking around the same 3 blocks, but it seemed like whenever I reached the street corner, I realized I should have gone the other way so I'd turn around and reach the next corner and still somehow be wrong again. It seemed impossible and I literally stood on the street corner, in the pouring rain, not even caring anymore, just wanting to go home and about to cry. Someone felt sorry for me and said, "Where are you headed?" Then they pointed me in the right direction. (And who says New Yorkers are cold?) I remember thinking I had never felt so alone, while constantly surrounded by people.

Eventually, I learned the subway route. By the time I left I could tell you the order of pretty much every stop on all the trains in Manhattan. I'd hop in a cab and tell the driver which roads to take to get to my destination the fastest. I felt confident walking down the street and didn't have to stand on the corner and stare at the signs when I came out of the subway so that I could get my bearings. It wasn't until about 3 months into living there that I felt like I belonged there, though. I was on the subway platform, listening to my ipod, on my way to work when a young woman came up to me, looking worried, and asked if this was the train she took to get to Union Square. In the few months prior, if someone asked me how to get somewhere (which they rarely did, because I looked lost and vacant most of the time) I would say, "I'm sorry, I'm new here. I'm having trouble figuring it out myself." But the flip had switched. I knew where I was. I said, "No, you have to go to the other platform. Just take the stairs up here, and make a right." As she walked away, I felt this new ownership of New York. I became a "city girl." I loved it.

Moving to Los Angeles had a different feel because you are always in your car. I had a navigation system so I became much too reliant on that. I definitely believe that I didn't know LA as well as I should have by the time I came to Singapore because I was always staring at that stupid Garmin instead of looking out the window and figuring it out. But, it saved me a lot of hours of getting lost and missed auditions, I'm sure. I never quite felt "at home" in LA though. I think California is beautiful and I love the weather, but I don't know if it's really fitting to my personality.

The past couple of days I have been gloomy. It's partly the weather, and partly that I haven't really started rehearsals yet. Everyone else is well into their rehearsals so I feel left out. I had my first fitting today and as I was transferring trains a frazzled looking Australian mother with her small daughter stopped me. "Excuse me, miss," she said, "I'm looking for the train to Clarke Quay. Can you help me?" Instinctively I wanted to say, "Uh, no, sorry. Just moved here 3 weeks ago." But I realized I knew the answer! "Yes, just take that escalator down to the purple line. You'll want to get on the train heading to Harbour Front. It's just one stop." The mother breathed a sigh of relief, "Thank you!"

I walked off and couldn't help but smile. I don't think she realized that she helped me a lot more then I helped her. I know I have a long way to go before I feel like I completely belong in Singapore, but in that moment I felt like I took a big step in the right direction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Erin Go Braugh

I haven't blogged in a few days because I've felt pressure to write something about Singapore. As I haven't been in rehearsal or working, I've lacked inspiration to write. That's the story of my life: when I'm super busy, I always manage to find time to do what I love, but when I'm bored and have all the time in the world, I tend to do nothing. It's a nice little system I have going.

I just read my friend Joan's blog, which I do on a nearly daily basis because she is great at keeping up with her blog and her stories are always heart-warming and lovely. She just posted a blog about her name and it inspired me to write because that is certainly a subject I relate to.

I have really always hated my name. Mostly because I feel like I'm a very feminine "girly" girl and my name is very plain and sort of asexual. Whenever I say my name, whether at a doctors office, the DMV, a class, you name it, I get the response, "Is that with an "A" or and "E?"" And instead of smacking the person asking that question on the head, I just say, "With an "e," as in E-R-I-N." And in my head I continue, "The only way a WOMAN would spell it." Which, I know, nowadays there are thirty different ways to spell the name, but really, no offense, its original form and meaning is to be spelled ERIN, not Eryn, Erinn, Aryn, or whatever other combination I've seen through the years.

Erin is the romantic, poetic name for Ireland. It can be used as a male name, (in fact, I went to school with a male Erin, but that was really the only guy I have ever met,) but because of it's meaning it is really meant to be a female name. And "Aaron" is a male name and I have NEVER met a girl who spells it that way, yet I'm always asked if that is the spelling of my name. So even though it has a beautiful meaning, for me, that gets lost in the day to day hacking of it.

My mother was going to name me Megan, but she said when I was handed to her as a beautiful pink cherubic baby with blazing red hair, she thought "Erin" was the only fitting name for me. As my mother smiled retelling the story of my birth, all I wanted was for her to go back and name me Megan. My confusion with my name only grew larger when as a child my mother said she had to run "errands." Erins? huh? It took me many years to realize that wasn't about me.

I always wanted a cute girly name like Sally, Katie, or Brandy. Anything with a "y" or "ie" would have sufficed. When I was around ten I loved the Archie comics and named pretty much every Barbie doll or stuffed animal I had "Veronica" because I loved that name. No one would confuse Veronica for a boys name. And you just imagine Veronica to be in high heels, have beautiful long hair and wear red lipstick.

As I got into high school, and actually acquired friends of the male persuasian, they would all call me "Muroski." Although, no one ever pronounced my last name correctly so it was usually more like, "Mur-ow-ski," but I preferred it all the same. It wasn't very feminine but it was sassy, and that was definitely more "me." It caught on, and in college, pretty much everyone called me Muroski. All of a sudden, even though "Erin" couldn't be shortened or made into anything that felt like it belonged to me, I felt like at least part of my name defined me!

And then along came Julia Roberts in her award winning performance in Erin Brockovich and I was quickly back to despising my name. Because now, instead of having the powerful, spunky "Muroski" moneker, I had everyone going, "Hey, it's Erin Brokovich." And if I introduced myself for the first time, I ALWAYS, I mean EVERY TIME, elicited the response, "Oh, like Erin Brokovich?" Yeah. Just like Erin Brokovich.

Now the Erin Brokovich ship has pretty much sailed. I still get it from time to time, but certainly not like the 3 years at the end of my college days, thank goodness. And although I don't know if I've completely embraced "Erin," I know I love being called "Muroski." So much so, that I have to admit, I don't think I will ever change my last name. When I think of who I am and my name being my identity, I don't think I could be "Erin Who-si-whatsit," or any other last name. As my good friend Beau said to me one day when I was with him in NYC and I was feeling really sad and confused, "You're ERIN MUROSKI. You know that, right?" And, I thought, "Yeah . . . YEAH, I AM Erin Muroski! I can do anything! I rock!"

In the spirit of embracing your name no matter what, though, I have to say that I love that the only person who ever calls me "Erin Marie" is my father. I think if anyone else even tried to call me that, I'd have to correct them and let them know that is reserved for my Dad only. And although you wouldn't think my name could be shortened, my mom is the only person who calls me "Err" (pronounced like the first syllabel in "error.") So I guess there is comfort in "Erin" after all these years. I'd still prefer it if you'd call me Muroski, though.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaking Wind

Since we arrived in Singapore, my tummy has been going crazy. I've sure it's a fun combination of jet lag, stress, culture shock and the fact that my tummy is always my Achilles heel. Nonetheless, I am in Asia and I wanted to try some alternatives to going back on any prescriptions.

A couple of my friends out here tried a Chinese Medicine doctor so I thought "why not?" His office is in Chinatown and it's right by our hotel. It was a tiny little store in the sort of 'mall' of Chinatown Pointe. I just sat next to the doctors desk and told him what I had been feeling in my stomach. Then he took my pulse for quite a few minutes, one arm at a time. During this, he only broke the silence once to say, "You are under a lot of stress," to which I replied, "YES."

After that he told me I have what the Chinese call "wind" in my stomach. I need to get the wind out. Also my kidneys are very tired. All that from taking my pulse. It was really interesting.

We went to the front desk and I was given tablets and a bottle of black liquid that I was to take 3 times a day. The medicine is hideous. Completely disgusting and I hate taking it with a passion. I call it "my yuckies." But I gotta say that in the four doses I've taken since last night, I feel better. My stomach has calmed down a lot. I ate more today then I've been able to eat the whole trip. Plus I just feel more energize in general. Plus, it was only $22! That sure beats the heck out of any medical bill I've gotten in the last year . . . or EVER.

Next fun thing to try: Acupuncture.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top 5

Heading into my fifth day here in Singapore I figured I'd let you in on the top five culture shock surprises I've experienced in this short and very jet lagged time I have been here.

5. I don't think the people of Singapore eat breakfast or know what it is. Being a HUGE breakfast enthusiast, this has been troubling. Del and I spent close to an hour walking around the shopping areas by the hotel in the 95% humidity trying to find some semblance of breakfast food with no luck. We ended up getting a box of granola bars at a drug store. Each day I think we will find somewhere for breakfast and we never do. Our hotel offers an "American Breakfast" which is a buffet for S$19.00 that includes Lo Mein noodles, seasoned potato wedges, salad, baked beans, and your choice of organge or apple juice. Yes, obviously they have a complete handle on what an American breakfast is.

4. The subway system here ROCKS. It is so unbelieveably clean, you could literally eat off of the floor. And I lived in New York, so trust me when I say I'd be completely mortified for the people of Singapore to see THAT kind of subway. The platforms are enclosed so you don't feel like some pyscho is gonna push you into the tracks. There is not a bum or random "artist" begging for money to be found. It's very easy to find the train and direction you are looking for and the escalators are lightning speed fast. It's very cool.

3. The prices of alcohol would make your jaw drop. Thank goodness we got a bottle of Belvedere and a bottle of Jim Beam at duty free! It's the only thing we'll be drinking for a year. A bottle of Jack Daniels here? Sure! That'll be $108. Absolut? Why not! That'll be $135. Yikes! And when you go out it's no better. Try $50 for a bucket of 5 beers. And that was a "special." Looks like I'll be having a very sober year.

2. Restaraunt service is bizarre. A server won't come up to you until you go and get one and then they are less then enthused. Then they bring each drink and entree randomly at different times. Plus, the other day, we were brought our check and asked to pay before we had received our food. Also, the gratuity is always included but it's usually like 7% so the waiters and waitresses won't come back with your change unless you track them down, hoping you'll forget or just get annoyed and leave.

1. The term, "No butts, no cuts, no coconuts," has definitely not been spread around the schoolyard here. I wondered on the first day why there are signs everywhere that say "Please wait in Que." I was thinking that was obvious when you are purchasing groceries, or waiting for your subway pass. I quickly learned waiting in line is not a concept that's widely respected in Singapore. It's normal to have someone completely walk in front of you while you are waiting patiently in a line and get service before you. They aren't being rude, it's just their culture. It's actually fascinating and surprises me everytime I see it.

I'm so sleepy so I will leave you with that for now :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All Shook Up

I'm glad to say that the rest of the trip after Taiwan was much better (sorry, I wrote 'Thailand' in my last entry, but meant 'Taiwan.' I blame it on lack of sleep and SCoA.)

The flight to Singapore was nice and smooth and I popped a sleeping pill and slept the whole way. Del and I got our first passport stamps ever at Immigration and we were greeted by Gregg, Jason (both our managers) Chelsey, Seth, Bryce and an HR rep named Theresa. It was so nice to see everyone! We got to the Hotel Re! and I was delighted! It is a really cool Art Deco style boutique hotel. When we got to our room Del and I cracked up because it is lime green and white with two huge glass panels with the imprint of Elvis on it right above the bed. Awesome.

We went to the hotel cafe bar on the patio and had drinks with a bunch of other performers before hitting the hay. Now we are off to Sentosa to lay on the beach with a big group of performers. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh Screaming Child of Asia

Del and I are in the Taipei airport in Thailand, exhausted, clinging to the only outlet we've been able to find. The past 18 hours have not been pleasant, NAY, they have been quite horrendous.

Everyone I know who has already gone to Singapore for Universal has posted things like, "Wow! That wasn't that bad! The flight was great!" I was setting myself up for that kind of experience, but that, unfortunately, seems like a myth.

Our flight from Orlando to Los Angeles wasn't that bad except that it took an extremely long time for Delta to decide whether our IPA work passes were "legitimate" or not. But when we arrived in LAX, things turned for the worst. We had to recheck-in and go through security again and the lines and crowds were incredible. Then, as we are waiting at the gate, I came face to face with the Satan-child that would soon have me thinking disgraceful things I never thought I could wish on a child. Literally the entire 2 hours of that layover were spent staring in disbelief at how a 2 year old could have that kind of energy at 1 am (4 am our time because we had gotten back on an east coast schedule.) Every person at the gate shared the look of fear that spoke, "I hope this child is not sitting by me."

Once we finally boarded, late of course, Del and I neared our row and I saw it. My greatest fear: Screaming Child of Asia. At first it was even really hard to hate him as much as I did because he honestly was really adorable at first glance. But my wish to fall into the seat on the plane and drift off to sleep was plucked from me immediately. Now, he didn't scream because he was upset, no, he just screamed, nonstop for hours, sometimes with a smile on his face. I brought earplugs: they did nothing, not when we were in such close proximity. In addition to sitting right near SCoA, the seats were smaller and closer together then a domestic flight. Del literally didn't fit. He had to put his legs out into the aisle and he looked miserable. I got maybe 3 hours sleep total between waking up to SCoA and the insane turbulence that lasted 6 hours. Oh yes, you read that correctly, 6 hours. And one hour of the turbulence was so bad that even Del looked at me like, "Oh shit." I was too busy hyperventilating with tears streaming down my face to respond.

We got to the airport in Taipei and when we found our way to the skytrain to take us to the terminal where our next flight would be, who was waiting for us but SCoA, now with no pants rolling around on the ground of the airport. Now I've been up for 24 hours, in airports and I can't help but imagine taking his lips to my sewing machine and running them through. I seriously have been imaging harming this child. What I should have been imaging was harming his parents, who literally ignored him through all of this. They let him scream, and lay on the airport floor, facedown, and didn't bat an eyelash. I know I'm a germaphobe but when you see other people with surgical masks on because they are fearing H1N1 it's hard to imagine why these two people decided to breed.

Okay, that's my rant :) Just wanted to keep this blog accurate and up to date now that we are on our journey! haha! And I promise I won't harm any children . . . but I can't help thinking about it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Silly Ang Moh

Hello gang! I'm sorry I've been M.I.A. for the past couple of weeks! It has been wonderful being home and spending time with family and friends, but it also made me kind of lose focus on any kind of "routine," as far as writing goes.

Today is the big day. Del and I will start our journey to the other side of the world! We leave Orlando at 7p, fly to Los Angeles (ironically enough.) Then we have our 15 hour flight to Taipei, Thailand. While in Taipei we have a 10 hour lay over, which I only just realized in the past few hours. I'm hoping it's a fun airport! Then we have one more 5 hour flight to Singapore. So, we arrive in Singapore at 8:45PM their time, 8:45AM eastern time and 5:45AM pacific time on Friday. I can't wait!

I got my Tylenol PM and all sorts of distractions to take with me. I'm hoping I'll be able to sleep a lot on the long flight so it goes by quickly. We also have our little Singapore travel books to read.

So far my favorite book is our "Top 10 Singapore book." It tells you the top ten restaurants, places to shop, liveliest bars, etc. It also has beautiful pictures (which seem to be lacking from a lot of other travel books.) The day I got the book I happened to flip to the page that has the "Top 10 words in 'Singlish'-The Local Patois." How fun! Yes, the 'Spores' as they call themselves speak english but they have their own local slang. I figured I'd have a headstart if I knew how to speak the lingo.

Most of the words were really interesting and made sense as far as what you think would be popular slang. They have the most popular exclamation of surprise, the word for God, the word for "idiot," etc. But my favorite is number 3 on the list: Ang moh. The book defines it as, "Ang Moh, meaning 'red hair' is the local slang for a Caucasian with that hair color. It is not usually derogatory."

Not Usually? Oh, well that's a relief. Clearly I'll be fitting right in then, huh?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hell Week

I’ve often heard “waiting is the hardest part,” and never fully appreciated it until this week. I’ve heard it mostly in the context of hearing about a role or an audition. I don’t think I will ever complain about waiting for news as seemingly trivial as that.

In preparing for Singapore I had been doing all the packing, selling and organizing one would normally do as well as catching up on all those doctor appointments you put off from week to week. A dentist appointment, eye doctor (so I don’t have to wear the dirty contacts I’ve had in for months for a year in Singapore,) a physical and a yearly “lady doctor” appointment. Because of my mother having had breast cancer in her mid-thirties, this year my “lady doc” decided to send me off to have my first mammogram. That was the last “to do” on my list. Probably out of fear, but nonetheless, I did it.

After having my girls smashed to smithorines I put it out of my mind and didn’t even think about it until 4 days later when I got a call from my doctor. I thought it was because I have a forty dollar deductible I still hadn’t been able to pay so I picked up the phone ready to explain that the check was in the mail. Instead I was informed that the radiologist needed further screenings because they found a cluster of calcifications in my left breast and a 4 cm area of questionable tissue in my right breast. I have often felt that it was just a matter of time with my vast family history of cancer, but I didn’t realize how close that “time” might be.

I was told this wasn’t unusual for a first mammogram. They don’t have other pictures to compare it to so they need to be thorough. I went back to the Breast Health Center. I had about 8 more x-rays of each breast. The technician leaves the room to see what the radiologist says. She comes back in and says, “We need a few more.” About 6 more pictures later, I felt like my funbags were completely numb at that point. Then the radiologist comes in to tell me that the good news is the right breast is fine. I just have very dense tissue and once he got more pictures he wasn’t worried about it. The bad news is that the cluster of calcifications in my left breast is questionable and possibly precancerous. I will have to get a biopsy to know whether or not everything is okay. He layed that on me, turned on his heel and headed right out the door. And, there was a total of THREE people who said the phrase, “Your breast tissue is very dense because you’ve never had children.” That didn’t make me feel old and barren at all. Not one bit.

Then, I had to wait another 5 days for the biopsy because the soonest they could fit me in was Wednesday morning, the day we were leaving for Florida. The night before we were supposed to have our going away party which is why it was cancelled. I felt bad for not explaining but, at the time, with no answers, I was having a hard time with everything and didn’t want to say it all out loud over and over again. I didn’t want to put the “sad Erin” vibes out into the universe.

The biopsy was not a fun experience. You lay on a table, face down, boob through a hole in a compression clamp, and you are about 6 feet in the air. My boob was shot up with local anesthetic, an incision is made and they put a large needle in to extract a sample of the calcifications. There’s not much more disconcerting then putting a body part through a hole and having it poked, prodded and punctured. They also leave a small clip in my breast so they know the spot where they took the biopsy in future mammograms.

I went back to my practically empty apartment and waited until our flight that night with an ice pack on my tit. Poor Del had to finish up everything to get the apartment ready for us to leave, including selling the rest of our furniture (or giving it away in some cases.) I tried to do some things (because I’m extremely stubborn) and ended up making myself bleed and causing lots of pain. We flew home that night but I have to say, from the moment my doctor called that first time, I wasn’t myself. And now that I was waiting for the biopsy results it got even worse. You always think the worst.

I was told I wouldn’t know for 2 to 3 days which meant Friday or MONDAY at the latest. This is when I realized that waiting really sucks. It may not be the hardest part, but it certainly feels like it for someone who doesn’t deal well with grey areas. I feel like I’ve always needed to know “the next step,” so I could tackle it and do all I can. When I am just waiting and have nothing to do but think about the “what ifs” I am miserable.

Tonight, a day early, my doctors office called and told me the calcifications came back benign! I was surrounded by my mom and dad and we all just cried out of joy and relief. There is something they found, called a scientific name I can’t remember (they are emailing me the paperwork) which I have to be very aware of, but I’m okay for now. Thank God.

I will say it has made me realize, if the test hadn’t been benign, it would have royally sucked, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. My friend, and a breast cancer survivor, Christy Wurzbach said to me, “Either way, it’s going to be okay.” And coming from someone who can speak from experience, I realized she was right. This time, I got the results I wanted to hear, but if I don’t next time, it will be okay.

Thank you to the few who happened to know what was going on for one reason or another. Your support and prayers made me feel so much better, you have no idea.

And FINALLY, after months of contract renegotiations, work visa stuff and health scares, I get to be excited about Singapore!!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Whew! It felt like a really long road to September 12th, the first day of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This was my second time participating in the walk, but it was much more challenging this time. I'm sure the declining economy has everything to do with it, but raising $1,800 is never easy. I really started to feel like it was stressing me out and I was starting to forget why I was doing it. Especially once I accepted the contract for Singapore, my mother said, "It's too much, you raised a lot of money but maybe you should just leave it at that." But, I couldn't. I made a commitment to raise $1,800 and to walk 39.3 miles and I was going to do it.

First, I'll tell you WHY I decided to do it the first time around. I was living in NYC and my mothers birthday was coming up. I felt like I always got her the same thing (a collectible shoe figurine which she loves, but it's nothing she needs,) or something that I think she'd love, but come to find out later that she was just being polite and has never used it. So, I was sitting on the subway and there was an ad for the Avon Walk. It was only 2 months away and on further research I learned how much money I had to raise in such a short amount of time. But I did it! And the experience of walking all over New York City was amazing. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, the 59th street bridge, even the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. It was amazing! The night you spend on the campsite is inspiring. Seeing the survivors and those fighting breast cancer that are involved with the walk makes all the little problems and hang ups in your life disappear. You think, "This woman is fighting for her life, and she's here. I'm so blessed!"

When I saw an ad early in the year for the Los Angeles walk, it was a no brainer. I was excited to experience it in a new city, and in a new place in my life. Last time around I was very depressed. Living in NYC was not good for me and I found that although I loved the walk, I really didn't break out of my shell and connect with anyone. This time, I am in such a happy, great place that I was talking to everyone and what an experience!

The thing about the Avon Walk is that there is so much support and love surrounding you. Everytime I felt like I could take another step, there was a group of people waiting on one of the street corners, cheering, holding signs, and saying 'thank you for walking,' that kept me going. Between the woman with no hair from chemo holding a sign saying, "You are walking so that I can live," to the man with a long grey beard, smoking a cigarette with a t-shirt that read, "I'm a breast man," I couldn't stop laughing and crying. I also specifically remember a woman along the way that was waiting at a street light who didn't hoot, holler, hold a sign or cheer, but looked everyone right in the eye and said quietly, "thank you."

I felt really proud to be a woman. I was surrounded by all of these women, young and old, who were huffing and puffing and all of us in pain by those last few miles but kept going. Especially the second day when we had all walked a marathon and slept in tents, woke up the next day as sore as I've ever been in my life to say, "Yeah, I'm going to walk another 13 miles." One of my favorite signs was, "Proud to fight like a girl."

I thought of my mother so much. I thought of her when I heard stories from women who lost their mothers to this disease. I thought of how lucky I felt that I didn't lose my mom when I was just 8 years old when she was diagnosed. I thought of how I'd never know that she would come to nearly every performance of every show I was in, that she would have never made my costumes for me when I starred in the high school play or see how proud she was of me at my college graduation. I don't know what kind of woman I would be without her. I feel like I am the strong woman I am today because of her and seeing her fight the disease. I just felt so humble and lucky that my mother is a survivor (cancer free for over 20 years now!)

And with all this "woman power," I saw some amazing supportive men! Husbands walking with their wives, holding their hand and wearing signs on their backs saying, "I'm walking for my wife, cancer free for 5 years!" Husbands, brothers, sons all walking for a special woman in their life. It was really beautiful. But the biggest difference for me this year from last year was the support I got from Del. If you had told me 2 years ago when I participated that I'd have this wonderful guy see me off at the starting line, bring me dinner after the first day, set up my tent for me, and be there at the finish line to help my nearly crippled butt to the car, I'd tell you you're crazy. I didn't think guys like him existed, and if they did, there certainly wasn't one out there for me. It made things so much easier to know that after that next step, I'd see him there waiting for me. And this was in Long Beach so the poor guy made 4 different trips in 2 days to do all of this (while wearing a pink t-shirt, no less.)

Now I just have to decide which city to walk in for 2011 . . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Apple A Day

I haven't felt super inspired to write something in the past few days so here is a little vintage blog from my myspace posted on August 4, 2008 just after working in Wisconsin for Ford.


The best thing to happen at AirVenture in Wisconsin happened yesterday in the last hour and a half of work. The show was pretty dead because everyone had started flying home. We were just hanging out, sitting on bales of hay (of course, all in a days work) when an old man in a jumpsuit (which is typical at an airshow) came up. The back of his jumpsuit said, "Wanted: Rich Widow. Send pictures of plane."

I guess he was asking my friend Dahlia questions about the F-150 and I was chatting with Steve, one of the guys who keeps up the track/obsticale course. Dahlia brought the man over to us and he started discussing how his wife bought him a brand new truck. Steve said, "That's a good wife! You must be a good husband. What's the secret?" He said, "An apple a day. You gotta give your woman an apple a day."

He starts explaining what I thought, at the beginning, was about fruit but "apples" were just a euphemism for sex. "You see, there are several days of the month that you can't give her an apple because she is on her menstruation, so you have to give her an apple 2 or 3 times some days. As long as you are averaging 365 apples a year, you are being a good husband."

But, oh no, it didn't stop there, "And I'm gonna let you in on something else, don't waste your money on that K-Y crap. Shit's too expensive! Get some mineral oil. It does the job just fine. You can also use it to style your hair. Add some iodine to it and you can use it as tanning oil, too. It's got a lot of uses and it's cheap!" In the middle of this, may I mention, the daily parachuting man with the American Flag falls from the sky and the National Anthem plays. The old man stops his rant, puts his hand over his heart and sings the National Anthem. " . . . And the hoooooome of theeeeeee Braaaaave!" Then he immediately continues, "And don't worry, I checked with the gynecologist and it's perfectly safe." (I would love to meet this gyno.)

The old man continues to explain how his first wife tried to kill him several times. She had a blood transfusion after an accident and contracted Hepatitus C and had to take medication. The medication made her crazy so she tried to stab him with a meat cleaver, hit him over the back of the head with a shovel while he was gardening, and slowly poison him every day by putting rat poison in his food until his intestines were bleeding.

Then he explains, "I just bought a new 2-seater airplane that I am naming 'Little Orphan Annie' and I need a redheaded woman to ride around the world with me. Are you over 18?" I told the man I was and he said, "Good. I don't want to be brought up on no statutory rape charges." At which point I excused myself from the conversation.

Oh, Wisconsin. You amaze me every year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I touch my face

I touch my face in my sleep. Not like sleeping on my hand, it's different. It's wierd.

I lay on my back with my arm stretched up above my head then I crane my hand up in the air and lightly touch my nose, lips and cheeks with just my middle finger. I'll trace around the curves of my face. I've often woke myself up doing this. I've tried to google it, but apparently, I'm the only wierdo that does it.

Del and I brought it up when we were on vacation with my parents and my mother responded, "Oh yes, you've always done that, even as a child." What the heck?! Del makes fun of me all the time for it. He says he's going to video tape it so I can see how bizarre it is. It goes on all night.

There's really not much else to this story. I was just hoping to reach out a creepy craned arm to any other face touchers out there . . .

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Saturday I had 2 back to back airbrush tattoo gigs. Yes, temporary airbrush tattoo artist is among one of the many odd jobs I've had throughout the years trying to make ends meet as a performer.

The first event was outside at a company picnic . . . during the Los Angeles heatwave and wildfires. It was a joyous experience: being outside in 114 degree heat and barely being able to breath through the smoke for 5 hours. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of the event, but I had to work another one that night. Luckily, this one was in doors.

I arrived at the event (a bat mitzvah) and noticed all the banquet staff was early 20's typical server types. (I can recognize this, since I was one. Now I'm a typical late 20's server type. There's a difference.) One of the young guys asked me if I needed help loading my stuff in. Maybe it's the feminist in me, or just the fact that I'm stubborn but I replied as I always do with, "No, that's okay! I'm used to it!"

As I lugged my equipment from the car to the banquet hall, I realized how ridiculously exhausted I was but now I've already refused help. So, I thought, "What would Niki and Rachel do?" Niki and Rachel are my girlfriends back home that I spent my early twenties with. We were the "blonde, brunette and redhead" inseparable trio. I never understood how they easily flipped the switch from bawdy, funny, strong woman to helpless, flirty sex kitten whenever they needed something or wanted to attract someone of the opposite sex. I have always been so matter of fact and sort of flirt-tarded that I wasn't able to master the ability. But I thought, what the hell, I'll never see these people again, might as well try it out.

So, I went into the restroom and took my hair down, tousled it a bit, touched up my make up and hiked up my boobs. I walked out and saw all the young guys over by the bar so I walked over and said, "So . . . you guys ready for an exciting night of mixing non-alcoholic drinks?" And I gave a little giggle, eyelash bat and smile. The next thing I knew, all of my equipment was being brought in, I was being offered drinks and food from the bar and was given a number to come by anytime and be on the guest list for the club. Apparently, embodying Niki and Rachel worked! Now if only I could use it to get my car lease paid off . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Comedy Fights Breast Cancer

I can release my first big sigh of relief! I had my fundraiser for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer last night and it was much more successful then I had imagined. Only 3 seats open by the time Dan Bialeck started his comedy CD recording!

Honestly, I'm exhausted because I ran around all day yesterday in preparation and then had the event, then worked in the morning. I barely slept because this Los Angeles heat wave/brush fires are making it difficult to get comfortable (between sweating my ass off because we only have AC in the living room and not being able to breath.) So this will be short and not particularly well structured.

Here are some things that touched me:

1. The friend who got her shift covered to come support me. (even after donating a ridiculous amount and me begging her not to worry if she couldn't make it.)

2. The friend and her husband that rushed over and donated an amazing raffle prize even though they get limited time to spend with eachother. They spent an evening with me for charity.

3. The friend who came even after it was too late to see the show to donate just because she wanted to support.

4. Walking on stage to do the raffle, announcing that all the money brought in that night was for the underprivileged who are fighting breast cancer, and getting an enthusiastic burst of applause.

5. Making more then my "I'll be happy if I raise this amount," quota and feeling like I have a good chance now of raising enough to do the walk.

6. Giving people prizes!!!

7. Hearing all the laughter throughout the show. Del and I had to man the lobby so we didn't get to see the show, but overhearing the laughter was a cool experience.

8. The amazing conversation we had in the lobby during the show. I fall in love with Del over and over again all the time.

9. Standing in Target with Del realizing he is really going to pick out a pink shirt and wear it for me for the event. That's love.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in any way at all. This has been such a different experience from last time and I only have $275 to go! I think I can do it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crazy Rick

Crazy Rick came into the restaurant to see me again. We call him crazy Rick because he comes in like a sweaty, smelly tornado, always greeting me as he enters the threshold of the front door regardless of the fact that it is 40 feet from where I am standing. "ERIN! ERIN! HOW ARE YA?" And it doesn't end there. Nor does he lower his voice no matter how close the proximity. He tells me the same thing every time he comes in, "ERIN, LISTEN TO ME, ERIN. I'M 73 YEARS OLD. I PLAY TENNIS EVERYDAY, AND I'LL TELL YA SOMETHING ELSE, ERIN. ERIN! I LOVE MY DOGS. I MEAN, I'M IN LOVE WITH THEM. I'M AS STRAIGHT AS AN ARROW BUT I'M IN LOVE WITH MY DOGS. I KISS THEM AND I TALK TO THEM. I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING BUT I LOVE MY DOGS." This part is always the same, however sometimes I will get a little bonus. One time he brought the dogs IN the restaurant, even after telling him many times he is not allowed to do that. He brought his motely crew of dogs in and shouted, "I JUST NEEDED YOU TO SEE THEM ERIN! THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL! I NEEDED YOU TO SEE!" Or, there was the time he lifted his shirt up to his chin to show me how fit he is for 73.

Today Rick didn't come in to dine. He came in and looked very somber. He wasn't even shouting (well, at first anyway.) He said, "Erin, I was driving down Ventura and I thought, 'Is this what Erin really wants? Does she really want to give up everything she has here to go to another country?' Is that what you really want?" I gotta say that it struck me! I said, "Yes, Rick, I think this is an exciting adventure, and I'll be back in a year and come return to all of these things." Rick grabbed my hand and said, "Good. I just wanted to make sure it's what you really wanted. I was driving down Ventura thinking about Erin and I had to stop by. You are a good human being. You are always nice to me and I know you are a good human being because you ask about my dogs and I know you love animals. I really hope you don't forget me when you are gone." I looked him in the eye, gave him a smile and said, "I promise I won't." He smiled and trotted out, "I GOTTA GO BACK TO MY DOGS! WE ARE GOING TO GO HAVE A BEER AND HAVE A TALK!"

Maybe Crazy Rick is starting to care about a human being after all.
That, or I remind him of a dog. I can't decide.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Up to Speed

So let me bring you up to speed . . .

In case you didn't know, I am moving to Singapore in October to perform at Universal Studios Singapore for a year. I am SO EXCITED for so many reasons!! This blog is for anyone who wants to keep up with me and what I'm up to.

Del and I made the final decision to go when we were in Florida visiting family and things have been quite a whirlwind since. First of all, let me say that I can't really say it's "definite" until we are accepted by the Singaporean (or "Spore" as they call it) Ministry of Manpower. I have only actually called it the "Ministry of Manpower" once. I prefer to refer to it as the Ministry of Magic, because you can't take the Harry Potter out of this girl. That somehow sounded innappropriate.

Anyway, the Spore Ministry of Magic has to approve your work visa and until that happens, we aren't really "definite." However, this process can take 3 weeks, so for all intents and purposes, we have to assume now that we are going and start the process of preparing for that. We plan on going home to Florida on September 29th for a few weeks before we go. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

The list of things to take care of before we leave seems to be unending. But, I feel like that may just be part of the adventure. Especially since upon arriving back in California, I woke up the next morning to find my checking account cleared out. Apparently, someone has stolen my identity and created a duplicate debit card for my account.

As I'm sitting at a desk in Bank of America devastated over this and thinking, "What the heck am I going to do," the bank associate Maria looks at my ring finger and says, "So, you aren't married?" I'm not sure if this is something that bank associates are coached to say to "start conversation" but it just seemed very jarring and out of left field to me. "Um, no. No, I'm not married," I stammer. "Oh, but do you have any children?" Now this one feels like judgement. Almost as if she's looking at me like, "Why aren't you married? By now you must surely have CHILDREN!"

"Nope, no children," I replied vacantly. She just says, "Oh," as she continues to type away on her computer with her acrylic french tip nails, but instead of white tips, they are fuschia glitter. Then she proceeds to ask if I own a house or if I just rent, and I can't remember anything after that. I think I've blocked it out. Probably not the conversation you want to have the day before your 29th birthday when you feel like you haven't accomplished nearly enough and you are almost thirty.

More on my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and life in general soon . . .