Product Placement

You push against foot traffic with the same fatalistic aggression you use to push against turning thirty. It’s hopeless, yet you try anyway. Commuters jostle for position like racehorses and for the same disheartening goal: to run in circles just to end up back here at the same time tomorrow, 24 hours older. You run your fingers through your too-thick frizzy hair, trying to tame it, to no avail.

“Jennifer! You should really do something about that hair!”

Without breaking your stride, you look over your shoulder for someone you know. But among the human throng by the green, graffiti-stained newsstand there is no one familiar, save the proprietor making rapid exchanges of magazines for money.

Wrath Of The Twitching Blob Blog

“Where have you been?!”

My little Twitching Blob Blog was angry. She was spitting and curling her lip and baring her teeth.

“I thought I was your favorite!”

Her claws dug into the computer.

“We were having so much fun and then you left!”

In short, she felt abandoned.

And she was right. My little Twitching Blob Blog and I had explored so much together. We shared our passions, opinions and creative writing. We spoke from the heart, revealed fears and desires, explored satire,  warned readers about temporary assholes and Charlie Sheenapologized,  questioned, exposed and even cleansed. My creativity was blooming and constant and delicious.

The Master Cleanse: What I Shit For Love

The request.

“Cleanse with me,” said my live-in lover, Doug. I thought he was offering a sexy middle-of-the-day shower, something we hadn’t done since those blissful first three months of our relationship. That was four years ago in 2002.

I pulled my shirt over my head in record Paris Hilton pout-time.

“What are you doing?” he asked. “I’m trying to talk to you.” He thrust an unassuming little yellow book at me. I sheepishly replaced my shirt while he started in with that crazy Southern California talk. Something about cleaning his digestive system of all the horrible hormone-injected, mucus-filled supposed-food that he’d been shoving into his mouth for most of his adult life. All it would take was ten days and some discipline.

Four Words I Never Thought I’d Say

I once covered my concrete cubicle at a soul-crushing job in red construction paper. The fluorescent lights and white walls were emotionally debilitating. The eternal power point presentations defeated me. Office gossip dulled the once-sharp edges of my brain.

Hence the red construction paper. It was a desperate move in self-stimulation.

Although it paid the bills in between acting gigs, after ten years in the corporate world, and this particular company for four, my general life enjoyment was simply shot.

Because My Mommy Said So

It was the biggest decision of my life and I didn’t want to blow it.

I sat cross-legged on the old yellow carpet in my bedroom, surrounded by college applications. Notes were crammed into every margin available in “The College Book,” the bible for high schoolers looking for general outlines of schools across the nation. My father had taken me on several road trips to visit countless schools, during which I had taken more copious notes. Now the applications lurked around me like a sea of sharks and my notes were kelp to my need for a lifeboat.

America: The Procreation Nation

Once again, God-fearing patriotic men are fighting to take away women’s rights to abortion and birth control in order to preserve the fabric of America. And as we all know, the fabric of America is woven from our collective ability to get married and procreate.

That’s why they want to abolish anything that could prevent little human beings from being pushed screaming into the world.

Reality By Appointment

Hulking under huge instruments, the cameramen moved like awkward aliens with no social boundaries. They shifted their focus rapidly without regard to personal space, blinding their subjects with large lights. Every time they approached, I attempted to shrink my 5’2” frame into something even smaller. I tried to be as uninteresting as possible. But most of the party guests were speaking loudly, exaggerating their reactions and even seemed to laugh harder – an odd sound to hear at a small charity benefit.

A Letter From 2,800 Miles Away

Ten years ago, I had been living in Los Angeles for just two years.
I wrote the following a few days after September 11, 2001. 


Dear Grandma New York,

I wish I was with you now.  I wish I could sit with you and hold your hand as you slowly recuperate. I’m jealous of the rest of the family who was – thankfully – there after it happened. And I am glad that they are there to comfort you as the doctors diligently repair your wounds.  But I am so far away, Grandma.  I can’t hug you and hold hands with all the people who line your bedside. Instead, I have to send my heart from here.

Please Read With Your Eyes Closed

“Turn around.”

It was the ninth false start I had with my student, Julie, for this one-minute drama exercise. After 20 classes with her, I was familiar with her delay tactics. After standing in place for a half a breath, she’d walk to a corner of the room. I’d gently coax her back. She’d hide her face; I’d convince her to drop her hands. She’d spin in circles, I’d get her to stop…all of this took longer than the exercise itself, if she would just get to it.

College Reunions & Problem Buckets

I won’t be traveling 3,000 miles to Saratoga Springs this month to tempt nostalgia at my 20-year college reunion. To think I graduated two decades ago is as perplexing as the fact that skinny jeans and boyfriend blazers with rolled up cuffs are considered fashion-forward again.

Since I won’t be visiting my renovated alma mater, I’ll miss out on clinking martini glasses while reminiscing with former classmates about how much Coors Light out of a keg tasted like stale urine.