Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by branleighbarber.

I have to go temp in the morning. My Mom will be thrilled. So I can't post as much as I'd like, I have to go to bed instead of staying up late and f-ing off as per.

Today at Matthew's, I watched some of the footage that we've shot for the show, and I was pleased and terrified. I love it, but I feel like we need another month. For the past three weeks, I've felt like my head is about to explode, and it's only getting more intense. It's exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding all at once. Kind of like how a joint rolled with PCP might be. If you do that kind of thing. You holding?

Last night was a typical example of how things are wonderful/insane. We assembled Anne, Porter and Birch, had them all costumed and warmed up, and prepped to shoot the opening part of one of our short films for CALENDARIZE!. Unfortunately due to a scheduling snafu, our trusty camera man John didn't make it. So here we are, Porter, Birch and Anne onstage making bad-political comedy "troupe" magic in ill-fitted wigs and hiked-up pants, Sara chugging the suspiciously flat 40 oz that was bought to use as a prop and trying not to cry, and me just smiling my neutral smile (the one that means I could freak out and kill you or kiss you ever so sweetly). Sara & I just looked at one another and had a silent moment where we acknowledged that there was nothing we could do, not a thing. And then we looked at our awesome friends onstage and laughed hysterically. It was delightful to just let go. Sometimes you have to (CUE "Falling" BY BEN KWELLER).

I am sensitive. I cry easily. When I get frustrated, I freak out and bawl. Take, for example, the debacle that just took place in my apartment. On my way back from editing I stopped at my bodega to grab dinner. I had visions of yellow bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, but instead I settled on pink grapefruit yogurt and an old favorite, tortilla chips and salsa. I splurged on fancy hot green salsa that cost about as much as I would normally spend on a single beer, and marched home to devour it. But there was a wee problem. The salsa jar would not open. The lid was impossible to twist off. I tried my hardest to yank it off and only managed to hurt my hands and turn beet red in the process. Now, if you know me you know I do not like to ask for help carrying things or opening things. I am strong and tough and I don't play that whole dainty card, ever. I HATE when people assume I can't do things for myself. So I was goddamned if I was going to let a stupid little jar beat my ass. I tried running the jar's lid under hot water. Then in a huff I stomped to the computer, went on Google and realized that duh, it was COLD water (who needs science?! I have lipgloss!!!). That did no good. I was starting to whimper but was determined not to freak out. I put the jar into the freezer and busied myself with another kitchen task. I yanked it out a good fifteen minutes later. No dice. I then angrily pulled a mixing bowl out, dumped in the contents of two ice cube trays and water and plunged the jar of salsa into an ice bath. The water sloshed everywhere and I swore bitterly. This yielded similar shitty results, and I felt my eyes well up with tears. My hands hurt, there was water everywhere, and still the the jar was impenetrable. In desperation I yanked the rug guard out from under my bed and tried to use it for grip traction. While it certainly held snug to the jar's lid, I only managed to simulate the early stages of a heart attack for the Chinese family across the street who watched me through my kitchen window as they ate. That was it. I started to sob in a fury. All that money on a godammned jar of salsa?! That wouldn't even open?! I contemplated calling the customer service number on the side and raving at them, then I realized they had little to nothing to do with the canning of their product. I stood, feeling beaten, holding the bottle of salsa, whimpering. I had done a number on the label- it was tattered. But the only solution was to go back out in the rain to the bodega and demand a decent bottle. So that's what I did. I'd like to tell you I did so in my nightgown, barefoot. But no, I put on a bra and even pants. Sorry.

I trudged back into the bodega and the man who had rung me up earlier smiled. I held up the jar of salsa and said, "It won't open, and I tried everything." He looked at me, smiled that patronizing "womens is dumb" smile, and took the jar. This huge man, I should mention, is about 6' tall, and is built like a bodyguard or a pro-wrestler. He could snap me in half easily. Watching him struggle with the jar for the next 3 minutes was a hedonistic pleasure. The vein throbbing on his temple was accented by his ever-deepening shade of crimson. He stuck his tounge out one side of his mouth and heaved whole his co-worker taunted him by calling him (what else?) a girl in Spanish. He looked at me with a new sense of respect when I shrugged and said, "I told you it was stuck." We were just about to throw in the towel and go for a new jar of salsa, when there was a tiny "snick" sound. The jar had miraculously unsealed. I smiled at the Lucha Libre wrestler, took my worse-for-wear jar, and marched back to my apartment smiling. Best goddamned salsa ever.

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