Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Gift To The Earth

Over the weekend I traveled home, was maid-of-honor in my friend’s wedding, got a horrible stomach flu, met my college roommate’s new baby, and was asked approximately forty-three times when I was going to “find that someone special” and “start having children.”

It was a long weekend.

And not just because of the flu.

I love my friends back home very much. I am so proud of them and celebrate the choices they make whole-heartedly.

But when I go home, I am often pressured to feel those are the choices I should be making.

In fairness, the pressure does not come from my friends. Usually, the people who clap me on the back and ask me if I’ve found that “special someone” are over sixty and think Sex and the City is pornography.

When these people look at me, they see a single woman who needs some encouragement.

But I think these well-meaning people would choke on their lefse if they knew I don't feel like my life is missing something just because I’m not a wife or mother.

Why don’t they clap me on the back and tell me congratulations for being a smart, confident, single woman who is chasing her dream?

I mean, there are so many milestones in a single person’s life that should be celebrated.

- Not marrying the wrong person.
- Getting a promotion.
- Figuring out how to light your circa 1938 gas stove (seriously, I deserve something for that!)
- Being brave enough to leave your friends and family behind and chase something you’ve dreamed of for years.

And how about the biggest accomplishment of all?

- NOT getting pregnant all those years I could have. (Mom, could you please check to see if Dad is still breathing.)

I should throw myself a party! I can just imagine the invitation:

Please join Jessica, as she celebrates never conceiving a child. A commitment ceremony to herself will be held at sunset on Malibu Beach, followed by a party in her studio apartment (which she found and pays for by herself) where there will be lots of alcohol.

She is registered at Pottery Barn.

I could finally get those sheets I’ve always wanted!

And to really make me confident I’m on to something, I found THIS.

I couldn’t believe it. My single person choices are even eco-friendly.

So, happy Earth Day everyone!

I’m not having a baby.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tales From A Los Angeles Grocery Store

Despite what you might think, there are a few things I won’t write about on the Internet.

Relationships – Because that could get messy.

My Day Job – Because I’m not stupid.

Sex – Because my brother reads this.

Crystal Meth – Because I don’t know anything about it.

But one subject I am about to break the Hollywood Hotdish silence about is body image.

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding it.

A woman living in Los Angeles complaining about body image is just so cliché. It’s just so over-emphasized. It’s just so Hollywood.

But as I was trying on dress after dress yesterday at Urban Outfitters, staring at myself in the mirror, and mentally swearing off sugar, carbs, and all food that can be described as “delicious,” I decided it was worth a mention.

Because I do think about it. A lot.

Too much, actually.

Now, I’m not the kind of girl who originally wanted to be a model and then – with a bat of my eyelashes and a toss of my hair – fell into acting.

In fact, I have a hard time liking those actors.

In spite of the fact that I’m probably (and hopefully) more talented than those actors, I wrestle with one dominant emotion every time I'm sitting in an audition surrounded by them.


A terrible, crippling feeling of poor self-worth.

Even though I know I’m better than that.

Even though I try and repeat what my dad always tells me:

You have a better personality than her!

It’s hard not to feel self conscious about yourself when you’re sitting next to a model.

I mean, who the hell cares about my personality?! She was on the cover of Vogue for God’s sake!

In a town that places so much emphasis on how you look (and what you drive, and what you wear) it’s hard to drown those thoughts out.

Yesterday, a friend of mine even refused to go to the store because he (HE) was in sweatpants.


This is a man who loves sports, who wears a baseball hat the majority of the time, who drinks beer - and not the fancy kind!

I was so shocked at this that I decided to do a little experiment. Could I go to the store in sweatpants?

When I stopped to think about it, I don’t think I ever had.

Now, I’m sure most of you are thinking: IT’S JUST THE STORE.

But in Los Angeles, going to the grocery store is an event. (Remember the red carpet?) I have seen women pushing carts in 6-inch heels, men picking out hamburger in Prada suits, and children begging for candy in dresses that cost more than my rent.

But I was determined to try this out.

I wore my sweatpants that sagged in the ass.

I wore that mustard-yellow t-shirt that has an obvious stain across the chest.

I didn’t brush my hair, I wore my glasses, and I didn’t even put on one bit of make-up.

I held my head high and waltzed into that store!

And even though the whole time I prayed I wouldn’t run into Steven Spielberg in the frozen food aisle, I did feel incredibly free.

I didn’t care about body image because I didn’t care AT ALL!

I picked out pears and smiled at strangers. I pushed up my glasses and read my coupons.

I got to the checkout and I was feeling good. I was feeling sexy and strong and beautiful!

And I looked at the cashier, held up my bottle of salad dressing, and said proudly:

Is this fat free?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big Dreams

A few nights ago I dreamt I fed a hot dog to a shark.

In a laundry room.

While sitting on the dryer.

As you can imagine, it did not end well. Turns out, a great white shark's jaws are a lot bigger than an Oscar Mayer Weiner.

I narrowly escaped with my hand and apparently the shark was not satisfied becuase it flopped around (it was beached in the laundry room after all) and came after me.

It bit me in the inner thigh and then I woke up.

I know that this has nothing to do with Hollywood, or acting, or even is anything you want to read about.

But it's just SO WEIRD. And I've not been able to get it out of my mind since.

I mean, what does it mean??

So I thought I would turn to you, my readers (all seven of you) to give me your thoughts.

So, I ask of you:

What does it mean when you try and feed a hot dog to a shark in a laundry room?

Friday, April 2, 2010


Last night for supper I had two dried out Easter Bunny Peeps.

I can’t remember what else I ate that day.

I am in the midst of working on a project with Noah. A big, time-consuming, career-driven project.

I feel like I’m back in college (without the quick metabolism and disillusions of grandeur.)

My freshman year, all I could think about was keeping up my grade average. Luckily, I had a roommate - Chelsea - who was the same kind of freak and became my best friend. There was even a weekend where we did nothing but homework.


We would stare at each other across piles of papers, give a half-hearted thumbs-up, and say, “College is so awesome…”

That was also the year I almost accosted my history professor because he gave me a B+. When he told me a B+ was considered “excellent” by college standards I told him I had my own standards and could he please tell me how to get an A!

It’s amazing I didn’t become addicted to pills.

Chelsea and I later learned the word time management and were soon putting off homework to watch VH1’s “I Love The 80s” and taking late night trips to Coldstone.

Looking back on my freshman year I wonder what I was so afraid of.

Nowadays, I’m working like I worked in college. The same crazy hours, the same neglect to my diet, the same freakishly high standards.

But one major thing has changed.

If I had failed a class in college it wouldn’t have really mattered. Yes, I probably would have needed oxygen but it would not have affected the rest of my life.

Someone has yet to ask me about my college grades on a job interview or on a date.

Are you from around here? Are you a smoker? What grade did you get on your ‘Religions of Asia’ paper?

Not once.

The difference now is, if I don't work hard, there are real life consequences. Consequences like having to keep up my Ramen diet and having to wait until my fingers are numb to turn on the heat.

Real life success doesn’t just mean a mark on my transcript.

It means I was right to believe in myself.

It means I can stop eating Peeps for supper.

It means I can stop working three jobs (I’m lucky to have) but not passionate about and start working one job I am.

Success in the real world is not just about validation.

It’s about being able to provide for myself.

It’s about being able to get a one-bedroom apartment, travel to see my friend’s new baby, and being able to look back and think it was totally worth those years of struggle.

So here’s to real-world success!

And Doctor Sandgren, if you’re reading, thanks for giving me a B+ and some much needed perspective.

I hid under the bed for a week after that grade because I thought the world would cave in.

Surprisingly, it didn’t.