Saturday, January 27, 2018

We need to talk. (said with a super serious face)

Assooo... (as germans say + serious sigh)  There's a time in each relationship - any real relationship - when a talk needs to be had.  Talks are tough.  I had three this week and, after one of those talks, I was so drained that all I could do that night was cuddle my blankets while rewatching comfort movies.

The talks I had this month; tricky interpersonal dynamics I've worked really hard to rewire; and the perspectives I've had to change all inspired this blog, in which we are about to break stuff down!  Ready?  My arms are akimbo, and I've got a serious look on my face, which means I am definitely ready.

[1]  We do not know each other.  You're a stranger to me.

I mean that for everyone, and I mean it optimistically.  No matter how fond I am of someone, no matter how excited I am to have met this one stupendous human out of all the 8 billion souls populating this world, I basically consider someone a familiar stranger until we've known each other for at least five years.  I may know your name.  I may know your middle name, if you have one.  I might know your job and if you have a food allergy, but that's surface information.  There is always more to discover about a person, about the dynamic you share.  My emphasis is on the process of growing close with someone, in the most appropriate context, a bonding process with potential to be so wonderful and so enjoyable.  Why rush it?  Plus - assumptions are usually inaccurate, and they only make an ass out of you and me.

For folks I met over these last few months, don't worry.  This phase is the fun part, before things get enmeshed and complicated or plateau out.  I'm here for hikes, tea dates, texts during the day, to learn your hobbies, to hang out.  If you keep calm and be kind, that's the best way to get to know each other.

[2]  Not my boo, until I say you're my boo.  ¿Me entiende?

So much to say here.  In this regard, people become primal and weird, and it makes me shake my head.

A.  When I look in a mirror, I see an afro puff hairstyle that stopped being popular back in the 1970s.  And I stare at my teeth, thinking "I really need to get braces."  So it's always a nice (and appreciated) surprise when I meet someone who genuinely wants to get involved with my outdated and fusty fashion style.  BUT - and this is a message for anybody who, in the future, might want to date me - until we have a talk explicitly discussing the start of a romantic relationship, there is no romantic relationship.

B.  Over the last few years, my romantic preferences has become unquestionably clear!  I gotta say, this is one of the top things I most value about my 30s.  I know what the heck I want.  I walk into Starbucks, "a small flat white with a pump of vanilla, only one, and caramel if you don't have vanilla."  I call to get my hair did, "I need the person at your shop who won't pull at my roots too much."  Negotiating shared resources, "I'm going out tonight, so can I use the washing machine around 2pm?"  The same goes for what I need within the intimacy department, "So this is actually happening.  I'd like two date nights a week, for one year.  I don't need to meet family, and I'm not ready for your friends.  I just want to get to know YOU - twice a week, dinner, blankets, fun pillow talk, for the next year."

Of course, it wouldn't be that mechanical.  I'd be feeling excitement and a sparkie for this special cutie pie.  However, I want to make clear what my nonnegotiable baseline is.  If that baseline cannot be met, then I repeat that there is no romantic relationship.  Next summer I turn 35 years old.  I know my mind and heart, and I cannot fool around anymore.  It must be two nights per wk for a year, or it's nothing.

To anybody interested in dating - before approaching me, please be available for that amount of time.

C.  I am both friendly and friends with males, and my gregarious personality does not mean I want to have sex with these men - especially not the married ones.  So it's been since preschool, when my best friend at daycare was a super sweet and smiley boy named Oliver Cherry.  In grade school during recess, I usually played tag and other games with a Vietnamese classmate named Khan.  At some point in high school I remember my mother questioning me, "Are you really just friends with these boys?"  To her credit, when I said that I was just friends with these boys, she simply said "Good, that's great.  I'm proud of you, because I can't really do that."  I complain alot about my mom, but she instilled in me an acceptance of all - male and female - and I'm grateful for that, and I stand by it.  I repeat that I have always been platonic friends with men.  I imagine I always will be.  Just friends, and that's it.  Period.

Socially and emotionally, Jan 2018 turned out to be both exhilarating and exhausting.  To everyone in my life, whether I've known you for 2 months or 20 yrs, I'm here and I like you a bunch.  Let's just keep cool and calm, and be thankful that we get another day when we can say "Oh hey!  How're you doing?"

Deal? (a wink)  Thanks for the talk!  (and a smile)  xoxo

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

holiday cards + little christmas

Hellooo to YOU.  (I know, two posts in one week.  Don't question it!  Just enjoy!!)  And hellooo to 2018.

Around this time last year, I wrote one of the lesser-read blog posts about my new year card.  Yesh, I prolong the holiday season into every January, by giving loved ones new year cards with some small presents.  Why should all the merriment end after New Year's Day?  And my answer is that it shouldn't.*

As a preface to the 2018 card, I must mention that this year's design had a big visual impact on me.  When I read the artwork on the card cover, I see an image playfully exaulting a very nocturnal time of year, which is also celebratory.  I like the backdrop of a blue sky that is full of festive flora and stars!  The illustrator is an artist based in New York State, and her name is Cindy LaColla.  This is her site.  If you appreciate high-quality stationary, then I would recommend purchasing from Cindy's online shops.

Last year was amazingly good for me.  At its essence, this entire blog has been about my gut-level craving to establish a meaningful career within the creative sphere and, after several years and three laptops of countless cover letters and résumés, I now have the worklife I've been dreaming of for a very long time. Nothing could surpass that milestone.  It truly was the best thing to happen in my 2017.

This year I want to grow into my job and get better at it.  On one work project, I do lots of networking, but I need to improve my representation of this project.  Someone interested in our program requested an informational meeting, which made me extremely nervous.  My stomach churned, flipped, then flopped.  Regular readers may notice this is a struggle across the board in different settings - coming out of my turtle shell.  But I wanna get better at feeling more collected during those visible moments.

Tangentially, that reminds me of the dialogue from Woody Allen's Annie Hall:
Hollywood Christmas party is in session with music, milling people, circulating waiters holding trays...
  1ST MAN 
  Well, you take a meeting with him, I'll 
  take a meeting with you if you'll take 
  a meeting with Freddy.

    2ND MAN 
  I took a meeting with Freddy.  Freddy 
  took a meeting with Charlie.  You take 
  a meeting with him.

    1ST MAN 
  All the good meetings are taken.

Anyway - happy new year!  Happy new year to Ivy and Ned who keep the Brattle Theatre going strong.  Happiest new year to my wonderful primary care provider who has taken good care of me for so many years.  Happy new year to Jeff Goldblum, who has been the very best crush I could have adored for these past twenty-three years.  Happy new year to Barbara, Jenny, Susan, Jesse, Ben, Evan, Beth, and Portland - my companions during the workday.  Happy new year to Vera, Mike, Frances, Phoebe, David, Jenn, Jenny G., Iryn, Butters, and Jimmy - my companions over the weekend.  And happy new year to YOU too, sugarcube.  With a small margin, there is a reliable core of a hundred international readers per blog post, and I send to you electronic pecks for both cheeks.  Cross my heart and promise another year of rants about poverty and cinema.  Stick around, because ya make me wobbly in my knees.  xo

* This is common in other parts of the world, says Wiki.  I guess some of us just don't want the festivities to end!

Friday, January 19, 2018

the compassionate practice of art journalism

Hoooy boy!  My oh my, oh sweet holy moly my...  Now (an admiring sideways glance), how do you look a thousand times more beautiful since our last rendezvous back in September 2017?  Where is that healthy and luminous glow coming from?  Phew - YOU are seriously knocking my socks off, once again.  Wowsers.  Well, you know I heart these reunions, and I truly appreciate your return to A Broke Bridge.

Where the hell have I been, is probably the question.  I will tell you:  I have been writing for a blog called New England Theatre Geek (NETG), an arts journalism website that reviews theatre throughout New England.  All of my writing experiences expose me to different aspects of this craft I so deeply delight in, and it's been intriguing to me whenever a theatre's administration requests a certain type of review.  For my part, with my writing I like acting out different voices, and I would happily experiment with any type of review that a theatre requests, because I strive to be nimble with my handling of the English language.  However, I've found it alittle surprising when, once or twice, there have been polite petitions for a review to be like this or like that...  Going to a performance as press, strings are suddenly attached to a critique; other people's emotions, man hours, and precious funds are invested.  Consequently, my writing becomes part of the theatre community and requires a level of compassionate decorum that I had not initially expected and honestly that I don't always execute well.

Mostly, writing for NETG is a privilege that feels like this a whopping dollop of luck fell into my lap.  Becoming a New England Theatre Geek was one of the best things that happened during my 2017.  I attended one performance in particular, where I pinched my eyes shut and urged myself to take in as much as I could because that amazing night would never happen again.  I have loved cinema since I was a little girl, and I'm coming to understand theatre as well.  Thanks to Elizabeth Hunter who is always looking out for my creative growth.  Elizabeth, when I sit silently burrowed into the corner of your couch, please know that there is a grateful and more emotive person in my belly yelling, "ELIZABETH!  CAN YOU HEAR ME DOWN HERE!  Bishop is too reserved to throw her arms around you and give you a huge hug.  But she's really thankful for your guidance and camaraderie.  ELIZABETH!  GAAAAAH!  CAN YOU HEAR ME, GIRL!?"  (Ack - damn my aloof Bostonian ways.)  So Elizabeth Hunter kindly recommended me for this writing position to the editor Kitty Drexel, who welcomed me to NETG, and I hold an infinite appreciation for the both of them.

Here is a link to the NETG site. If you ever want to go to the theatre, then just holler in my direction, and we could hang out at a playhouse, witnessing in person art in motion.  Thanks for being YOU.