Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 1990

This is me.

New Years Eve, 1990.

It was the first time my parents had let me stay up to ring in the New Year.

Clearly, I’m pretty excited about it.

Note the adult-sized glasses and the bangs that don’t quit.

I had worked diligently to make the confetti. My mom had provided the party hats, and my parents had sacrificed one of the last adult holidays they had.

My father looks like he wishes it was New Year’s Eve 1981.

But all that aside, the thing that stands out most for me in this photo is my crazy joy. I mean, I look like I’m going to have a happiness seizure.

It was the excitement of staying up late and the promise that it was a new year. Who knew what would happen in 1991!

(Turns out, my first boyfriend would tell me he loved me and my mom would decide that a bowl-cut would really ‘bring out my eyes.’)

But all that was still unknown for me. The year had not yet begun and it could be anything I wanted it to be!

I miss that.

These days, I have a better haircut but a worse attitude. I’m cynical about resolutions and new beginnings. I just don’t have that hope like I used to.

But this year, I’m bringing it back.

Who knows! This could be the year I get the role that will change my life. This could be the year I
make more money as an actor than at all my other jobs combined.

This could be my year.

So here’s to the girl from 1990. To the girl who was convinced joy could be found in anything. To the girl who knew with all her heart that the future would be bright.

Twenty years later, I want to be that girl again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I went back home for Thanksgiving.

It took me four planes and fifteen Dramamine but I finally made it to my grandparent’s farm in the middle of North Dakota.

It was 7 degrees. It was desolate. It was wonderful.

In between eating ‘salads’ made up of whipped cream and cookies, explaining to my grandpa that being unmarried in LA does not mean I’m a leper, and warming up the car for an hour before it’s warm enough to drive, I had time to think about all the things that I was really thankful for on this trip back home. (It was Thanksgiving, after all.)

And when I returned from all the peace of North Dakota to the bright, harsh light of Los Angeles the transition was a little rough.

My manager called and told me I did not get that role on Parks And Recreation and my health insurance company informed me they do not take IOUs. I needed a little pick-me-up and decided to pull out that list take a good hard look at it.

To remind myself of the clarity I seemed to have back home.

It was surprising home much better it made me feel.

So…with no further ado:

I Am Thankful For…

1. The flight attendant who high-fived me after I accidentally hit a button that turned on all the
flashing lights on the plane.

2. The snow.

3. My grandpa who still asks me to recite the nursery rhymes he taught me when I was four.

4. The fact that I rarely laugh as hard as I do when I’m with my family.

5. My direct flight back to LA from Fargo.

6. People from my hometown who always ask, “So – are you famous yet?”

7. Lots and lots and lots of wine.

8. Lots and lots and lots AND LOTS of food.

9. The fact that despite serious turbulence our plane did not crash.
10. The clarity I seem to have back home.

And even though it’s harder to make a list of simple, thankful thoughts in Los Angeles I am thankful for one big thing.

That I’m here.