Rock Bottom

Posted June 17, 2012 by Dana
Categories: Uncategorized

Ok, so can we talk about hitting rock bottom? What and who defines rock bottom? According to popular movies,  autobiographies, Spanish soap operas, my dad’s family history and Avenue Q, rock bottom usually consists of at least one of the following: losing your job, a bad relationship break-up, moderate to heavy drug use, suicide attempts, losing a game of Monopoly, a death in the the family or close friend circle, frequent bouts of crying, weight gain, depression, hopelessness, losing a championship sports game and any other kind of negative thing/event that goes on to negatively affects your day-to-day life. According to Webster, rock bottom is “the lowest possible level.”

During RAFA’s Peter Pan production weekend, I was told by an intoxicated individual who is rather involved in the organization that I was at rock bottom. Now I know it was meant as a joke and there was no intentional malice or insult intended and though I am not one to accuse anyone else as being too dramatic (in the wise words of Lady Gaga on the Simpsons “There is no over the top!”) I think thats just a bit too dramatic. I mean, I have a job, a degree, a car, a place to live, both my parents are still alive, I’m pretty enough to show my face outdoors during the day and not just at night (sometimes my hair is not so hot – but you win some, you lose some), my physical condition is great – I am not at rock bottom. However, it has been hinted at by several individuals, while not intoxicated that I am at the lowest of the low.

Some people think that by “just working at a dance studio” and living at home, I am wasting my life away. In fact, I thought that for a while, but in reality what does it actually matter? I just started reading a book called The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. One of the premises of the book is how the ever cliche American Dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which frequently translated into a picket fence house, a paying job, religious freedom and a family has morphed into this horrific social and narrasistic fame, fortune and glory lifestyle. And I have obviously witnessed this shift. This idea of the “New American Dream” was infested in my brain until I realized  how misconstrewed it is. Moving to another state/city, or going to the most prestigious law school, or even just moving out of my parents house is not going to give me fame, fortune or glory. I’m going to be poor (since many schools don’t allow you to work your first year of law school), miserable, lonely and stressed out. Plus I have almost all the things now that the old American Dream stood for – why get too greedy?

I’m not going to shrivel up and become worthless if I don’t leave my current job at RAFA  this fall – in fact I really love working here even if its not the studio featured on Dance Moms (and let me tell ya, the RAFIA would be much more entertaining). I’m not giving up on going to law school – I am going to do that no matter what – but does it actually matter if I do it this year, the spring or next year? I’m 21 years old and in all honesty being an adult sucks. I’m not at the age where its weird for me to still live with my parents and I’m not interested in going out to fend for myself. Could I do it – absolutely I could live on my own and be completely responsible for everything – but why should I do that yet?

Basically the moral of this story is that the generations coming up (and even part of mine) are being exposed to unrealstic excpectations and are nearly certain to have a misconstructed view of themselves, their goals and what’s attainable. Basically, they’re screwed. And sadly these new ideals are more quickly than we’d like to believe becoming the accepted norm.

But that still does not mean I’m at rock bottom (I’m sure you are all thinking that the first sign is denial…)

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And so we begin again

Posted June 9, 2012 by Dana
Categories: Uncategorized

Its’s been a while. But I have decided that I feel the need to complain publicly about my problems again, like most of my too-much-personal-information generation.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since we last left off. My life was consumed with RAFA’s 2012 Formal Production of Peter Pan and I managed to get a new nickname (besides Gluestick – its now also Octopus) as well as several other job skills including, but not limited to: music director, tap cleaner, assistant director, prop mistress, ticket sales and Mr. Smee. The production was great, but after dedicating a literal year of my life to Peter Pan, as soon as it was over I couldn’t help but wonder what to do with all this newfound time.

I suppose I could focus on my personal pursuits – but that requires a great deal of decision making, which is not my strong suit. I usually base all my decisions on what is funniest and I usually end up ok, but this time is a little more challenging and none of my options seem particularly hilarious. I was accepted to Texas Tech Law in Lubbock which is really super. Its a good school, they have a great law certificate in BioDefense that I would go for and they are like pennies in comparison to many of the other schools I looked at/applied to. However, like all delicious ice cream sundaes – there is the whip cream (I hate whip cream. Its mega disgusting and serves zero purpose.) Here are some of the negatives:

  • I don’t have a place to live in Lubbock
  • I’ve never been to Lubbock
  • It would not be reasonable for me to take my dogs to Lubbock
  • I do not drive on express ways, so I could not drive myself to or from Lubbock
  • I don’t know how many times my beat-up 2001 Honda civic could make it to Lubbock and back if I could find someone to drive me around
  • There are no direct, non-stop flights from Houston to Lubbock
  • I don’t have a job in Lubbock and law school doesn’t really want you to work your first year because they want you to focus on school (how they expect you to live on no income is something I still haven’t quite figured out)

So, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do about those things. Now, I have applied and put on the waitlist for  University of Houston Law part-time program which would be even better than Tech – if they actually accept me. Because here: I have a place to live, I could still work, I have my dogs, I could take a bus or figure out how to drive myself from Clear Lake into Houston and life would be just dapper.

I honestly am just in a period of denial that I will eventually have to make some kind of choice here, so I focus on other things, like that fact that I get to to New York for 10 days in less than 2 weeks! That is way more fun to think about. I love New York. And I am actually really good at navigating the Subway.

I met Rachel Dratch when I went to NYC in April at her book signing. She is mega cool and she remembered that one time Kevin called and Aaron and I said “Hi, we love you!”

The MOMA is free on Friday afternoons. And its always free if you are a piece of art.

 

I can’t wait to go back!!! I’m chaperoning the BAHBT Scholarship trip and we are going to have a blast. Just think lovely thoughts.

Year in Review: 2011

Posted January 1, 2012 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences

Tags: ,

This year was 365 days long. It had 52 weeks and 12 months. It was busy, full of Disney magic, new friends, new experiences, new puppies, sunshine and everything else that’s in the “everything nice” category. This year was also a little sad, kind of boring, slightly lonely, rain and everything else in the “life sucks” category. Here is a quick run-down:

January: I said goodbye to Aaron, RAFA, my family and Houston and moved to Florida on the Disney College Program where I worked in entertainment and really wished I would have driven my car there. I flew on a plane by myself for the first time and also for the first time in over 10 years. I didn’t die. I met my two best Disney friends, Courtney and Hannah, and learned that I hate sharing a bedroom.

February: I turned 20 in Disney, which was quite fun. Courtney and I went up to sky in a hot air balloon. More Disney Magic. I was asked to apply again for that internship I wanted so badly last summer.

March: Disney Magic.  Aaron and his mom came to visit me over spring break. We celebrated our 34th anniversary with pins and everyone in Mickey and Minnie’s que line trying to get us to kiss. Perfecto.

April: Disney.  I flew home for a weekend as my belated birthday present to see Gaga’s Monster Ball a second time. Fantabulous. Aaron and I ventured to this entirely bizarre rave with his then boyfriend. Not so fabulous.  I interviewed for that internship I wanted so badly yet again and I finally got it. I spent like $1,000 getting my stupid car fixed – something about belts. I flew back to Florida.

May: My family came to pick me up and stay for a week at the Wilderness Lodge. Have I mentioned Disney Magic? They “met” me at work  and my mom started to cry. We spent the night in Clearwater Florida before coming home. I enjoyed a few weeks of unemployment before that dream internship of mine started. I watched a variety of Jane Fonda exercise videos and wished I lived in the 80s, until I realized how pathetic I was and  joined the YMCA.

June: My dream internship started. I kind of didn’t want it any more. I had to ride the bus downtown twice a day. I wanted to die. I started training to join the Air Force, until I realized that was probably not the best idea. So then I decided I should go to law school, which seemed like a better idea. I interviewed for a weekend job as a waitress on a dinner cruise boat – I didn’t get it. I was invited back to RAFA and took the job.

July: I quit that dream internship. They were pissed. Bygones. I returned to RAFA to help with the BSW production of Willy Wonka. I was lonely, so I adopted my puppy, Foxy, from BARC. I went on a weekend trip with Aaron and Kate to Schlitterbahn as our one last hurrah – super fun. Foxy got really sick and took several years off of my life. Aaron, Kate and I went clubbing and saw our previous ballet master at the gay club downtown. I also saw one of my co-workers from the internship. Hilarious.

August: Foxy was still sick, but I hoped for a miracle and somebody up there granted me one. Foxy became a normal puppy. I said goodbye to Aaron as he left for college in New York. I started at RAFA full-time and ended up teaching Musical Theatre. I also traveled to Beamont to obtain my Zumba teaching license. I am indeed  “licenced to Zumba.” 

September: My only friends were Foxy and my parents. I was asked to co-direct RAFA on Broadway. I was also busy preparing for the LSAT in October.

October:  RAFA. I took the LSAT the same day ROB opened. I dressed up Foxy as a pirate for Halloween – she was really cute. I taught musical theatre on Halloween and dressed up like a snowman. I missed Aaron.

November: RAFA.  My LSAT score sucked. I decided to take it again in December. I took a weekend prep course downtown and then my dad and I drove to Austin for a practice proctored exam ( we got lost on the way there – my mom will never let us live that down). I did much better on the practice proctored and renewed my faith in the law school goal.  Foxy graduated with honors from puppy school. Aaron finally came home for Thanksgiving and I went with him to his grandma’s house to celebrate where I openly admitted that I will never be responsible for cooking/hosting a Thanksgiving meal. My dad quit smoking – major event.

December: RAFA. A little involment with The Nutcracker. I took the LSAT again and I’m still waiting for my score. We had to put our wonderful Riley down because he got really sick. My dad got a new truck – a Toyota Tacoma. I started truck shopping, only to realize what I want is much too expensive.  Against my will, I was dragged to celebrate Christmas in Chicago. The drive was long, Foxy and Holly had fun, I won $50 at Bingo with my Grandma, my dad started smoking agin from the stress, I tried to teach my Grandpa how the Internet worked and we almost got attacked by a pit bull.

That pretty much brings us up to date. The days were long, but the year was short.  2012 will probably be our last.

Happy New Year!

Positive Thoughts for Foxy

Posted August 1, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences

Tags: , ,

My dear friends, I am not a terribly religious person. I was raised Catholic, but I am not currently a devout member of any kind of organized religion.

I do, however, believe there is a higher power. The details of which I am not so certain, nor do I wish to be. Yet, be it God, Jesus, the saints, the universe or just Grandmother Willow, I ask you all to please pray, send good thoughts or good wishes to my poor little Foxy.

My darling pup had kennel cough which turned in pneumonia and now could be influenza or distemper. She has been in the hospital since Friday and I had to take her to the emergency vet before that. She has improved a little bit, but still won’t eat. I have only had her since July 12th, but I am attached. She is precious and I love her, so although she is currently costing me a fortune, the universe told me today that I need to keep trying. We have a wonderful vet, but even so there is that chance that she may not pull through and just thinking about that breaks my heart.

So please keep her in your thoughts and/or prayers. St. Francis is the Patron Saint of animals and I have a prayer to him and one to whichever Lord you believe in, if you would say them for Foxy. It is a Novena if you say one of the prayers for nine consecutive days.

Prayer for a Sick Pet

Heavenly Father,
Please help us in our time of need,
You have made us stewards of Foxy.
If it is Your will, please restore her to health and strength.
I pray too for other animals in need.
May they be treated with the care and respect deserving of all Your creation.
Blessed are You Lord God, and holy is Your name for ever and ever.
Amen.
 

Prayer to Saint Francis for our Pets

Good St. Francis, you loved all of God’s creatures.
To you they were your brothers and sisters. 
Help us follow your example of treating every living thing with kindness.
St Francis, Patron Saint of animals, watch over my pet (Foxy) and keep my companion safe and healthy.
Amen

 

 

 

 

The Latest Chapter

Posted July 21, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences, Very Busy

Tags: , , , , , ,

So I quit my internship to go back to RAFA earlier than planned to help with Willy Wonka. The internship people were not pleased, to say the least, but its one of those things where I had to ask myself: in ten years, will this matter? Its been less than a week and I have yet to see it negatively impact my life. The internship was not a waste, however, because it taught me a lot of things about myself.

  1. I cannot commute to a job or anywhere for that matter. I hate it and it makes me so cranky I can’t function. If its more than like 20 minutes away from where I live, forget it.
  2. I must have variety. I cannot do the same thing day in and day out because I am easily bored and then with the cranky again.
  3. I like to work with or around people. I am capable of working alone, but I prefer to work directly with someone or for someone.
  4. I cannot stand ineffective communication. I will not tolerate it.
So, Wonka is going well, it’s a lot of fun to be basically teaching again and going back to RAFA is seriously like going home. And there’s rarely a dull moment, which is why I thrive. I would much rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Although I would love to be a big fish in a big pond, ideally, I would not be have to be fish at all.
Anyway, in more exciting news. I got a puppy.
Introducing Foxy
AKA Sexy Foxy
I adopted her from BARC (the city of Houston animal shelter located in a legit ghetto). BARC had so many animals that they lowered their adoption fee to only $20 two weekends ago. So, basically I got her on sale, but then we took her home and the poor darling has so many aliments and illnesses that I have spent more than $500 at the vet so far. But look how cute she is.
She is four months and even our vet will admit that she has quite the prima donna personality, which is hilarious because I picked out a dog just like me. She is hell to give medicine to (which we have had to do a lot), she refuses to use the dog door to go outside, she doesn’t sleep at night and she is a little piggy with food, but I love her all the same. My parents love for her is debatable, especially since they do so much babysitting for me while I work and parade about the town. But look how cute she is.
Speaking of babysitting, Aaron, Kate and I are heading to New Braunfels this weekend for a trip to Schlitterbahn and Greene. Our own end of summer bash. We will be having way too much fun in the sun. I will probably come back the color of a tomato, but….
WORTH IT!

I See You Baby – Shakin’ That Ass

Posted July 9, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences, Sketch ideas

Tags: , , , , ,

So, Aaron Kate and myself spontaneously decided to go to a club last night. This was quite the decision, considering the fact that none of us had ever actually been to a club before.

After the Gaga concert in April, Aaron and I met his bf at a rave, but raves are not really clubs. Although (pulling a Stephon here) the rave had everything: light shows by guys with glow stick gloves, girls wearing boots with the fur and baby skirts, the guy with a spiderman mask and a gas mask on, strobe lights, pool tables and an underground level. I swear I laughed the entire 45 minutes we were at the rave and worried about how many drugs I unintentionally inhaled the rest of the night.

Anyway, last night we decided to go to Southbeach, a gay club, and the only thing it had in common with the rave was the hilarity factor. Thank God. But, it still wasn’t the best night of my life.

First of all, no offense, but it was kind of full of losers. Like older queerbos were literally dancing by themselves and there was hardly a crowd (and it was a Friday night). Then the music was mega techno, which would have been fine, except they played the same song for what seemed like hours on end. We were there for over an hour and we only knew a handful of songs; they didn’t  play any Gaga or even any  like Brittany Spears or Madonna or Cher. It’s a gay club for christ’s sake, what were they thinking? The DJ was sitting behind a glass booth and I was really tempted to knock on his window and tell him to switch it up a bit. There was also this male stripper, who was basically just a body builder guy in his undies doing hip rolls, not even touching the pole. Yet, he probs made more money in the time we were there than I make in a week cause guys were sticking all kinds of dollar dollar bill yos in his undies. Also some strange characters ( again its a gay club – leave us alone) were trying to dance all up on me and Kate, so we had a great time making  freaked out faces and literally hopping away to avoid their grinding male parts.

The funniest thing of my life, however, was that I ran into a guy that I work with at TUTS. It was super-mega-akward because it was when we first got there and were trying to scope out the scene (cause we had never been to a club), so I was on like sensory overload and here the buster comes strolling up with his bf. Then he felt the need to introduce everyone to everyone, which I so didn’t understand because (a) the techno was blaring so loud you couldn’t hear shit – according to Kate and Aaron I even heard his bf’s name wrong and (b) we were so not going to hang out with him, I mean that’s just weird.

I just thought it was completely ironic that of all the gays Aaron knows, I ran into somebody. Lord knows that would happen to me.

One song they certainly didn’t play, which is now one of my top faves is the YouTube sensation I See You Baby (Shakin’ That Ass). So here it is for your listening pleasure.

A New Best Friend

Posted July 7, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences

Tags: , ,

My dearly beloved husband of 34 years, Aaron, will be trapezing off to the Big Apple next month and leaving me here all alone. This is mega roles reversed because I left him for Disney and he was miserable here and now he’s leaving me for NYC leaving me miserable.

So I am going to do what everyone does when left alone in despair. I am going to get a puppy.

I had a dog a few years ago who had to be put down and it just about broke my heart. After that, I swore I would never want to get a dog again.

I would just like to publicly take that back. I want a dog now, guys.

I am looking for a female puppy, preferably under three months old, so that I can train her to adapt to the ways of our crazy household and develop that strong puppy bond. I also don’t want a big dog because I hope I might be able to take her with me when I finally do leave. She has to get along with other dogs, since we have two and she can’t be mean.

I am looking at all the local animal shelters, but puppies go faster than older dogs since everyone wants a puppy (until they realize how much work they are and take them back – which is why all the older dogs are in the shelters). But, I just thought I’d put the word out in case anybody knows anybody who has puppies they are tying to give away.

I have seen a few potential puppy candidates that I hope to meet this weekend.

Kourtney - 2 months old

 

Lady Bug - 2 months old - but she has another adoption offer

 

June Bug - 6 weeks old