Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Monster At The End of the Book

When I was little my mom used to read me a Sesame Street book called The Monster at the End of This Book starring Grover. The whole premise of the book is that Grover really believes there is a monster waiting for him at the end of the book and so as you turn each page he begs you not to turn another page. I think my Wreck My Journal book has a monster at the end of the book and I really don't want to turn the pages.

I did complete the first page, I'm not sure that my name is written illegibly enough. For the backwards instruction I decided on writing it backwards by beginning with the "n" and ending with the "e." I still find myself hoping that was alright. Seriously I have major perfectionist issues don't I? -- You don't really need to answer that I, I think I know the answer. Being completely honest, I'm a bit afraid to open the book again. I suppose the only way to get past that is to do it so I will right now...the second page is a list of instructions 1. Follow the instructions on every page. 2. Order is not important 3.Instructions are open to interpretation. 4. Experiment (work against your better judgment).

Okay so "follow the instructions on every page" I like that, guidelines, things that tell me exactly what to do...except that I get the feeling these instructions are going to tell me to do things I don't want to do.

"Order is not important" even that kind of bothers me. You have to understand that I do many things in order. I even eat in order, yes, I know, I should probably not be admitting this, but I eat one thing at time. On a plate with a few things, say meat, rice and vegetables. I eat the vegetables, then the meat and then the rice and then drink my beverage. Odd I know, but that's what I do. Order is very important...but I can follow this direction.

"Instructions are open to interpretation" now this is where I really start to have issues, if you're going to give me instructions, I'm going to follow them, interpreting them will only make me wonder if I've over analyzed them, not followed them enough or completely re-written them. It makes me nervous.

"Experiment" I didn't do well in Chemistry...

Okay, since order is not important I will open the book once more tonight and find a page..."Take this book in the shower with you" Really, really? Sigh...okay...I'll do it, but I don't think I'm going to like it and I don't think the book is going to like it either...

If there is a monster at the end of the book shouldn't I just stop now...I suppose that would mean I missed the point entirely -- of both the Wreck This Journal project and The Monster at the End of the Book. After all the monster at the end of Grover's book was himself, so does that mean that in a way I am my own monster, holding myself back from doing the odd things the book asks me to do -- I think it does. So first thing tomorrow morning this book and I will taking a shower!

The end 2010

So here it is the end of this fantastically amazing year. I'm not sure I'm ready to say goodbye to 2010. It was a good year for me and for many people I know. I'm sure that 2011 will be good, but sometimes it's hard to jump into something when what you are leaving has been so good. But in less than 28 hours we will be doing just that whether I'm ready to or not. Someone once told me that they way you spend midnight on the turn of a new year is a sign for how the rest of your year will be...I'm not sure if I believe that or not but if it is true it means that the rest of 2011 will find me in large crowds surrounding by many drunk people, but with two of my best friends on the planet. So I guess buying into what I was told that can't be too bad of a way to spend the year. (For those of you wondering where the large crowds of drunken people will be, I'll be spending tomorrow night on the Las Vegas strip.)

Looking ahead there is a lot of good things headed my way in the next year. Theatre Unleashed has some amazing shows on the horizon, I'll be going with one, possibly two shows to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, that yet to be discussed project I keep hinting about will be getting underway and I'm sure there will be things I don't even know about pushing their way into my sights. On a personal note I will also be starting the "Couch to 5K" program with a friend of mine. For some reason at the age of 3cough cough cough I've decided that perhaps challenging myself to do something like run a 5k and perhaps more seems sort of like a fun plan. Ask me if I still feel that way in a couple weeks!

And so I hope whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year has left you feeling happy, content, relaxed and ready to start another fantastic year.

Have a Happy and Safe New Years!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Art of Imperfection

So yesterday one of my roommates gave me a book titled Wreck This Journal written by Keri Smith. The entire purpose as stated on the cover is to wreck the book. The second page has a warning that says "During the process of this book you will get dirty. You may find yourself covered in paint, or any other number of foreign substances. You will get wet. You may be asked to do things you question. You may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in. You may begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You may begin to live more recklessly."

That entire statement scares me. I am a stage manager. By nature we like things organized, completed, tied up in little packages, fixed, in a word perfect or as close to perfect as we can. I am also an only child, now I know that some only children will absolutely disagree with me, but generally an only child also likes things as close to perfect as they can be. I'll admit it I am a bit of a perfectionist. Growing up my toys were never broken, my games and puzzles were never missing pieces, everything had it's place, everything was neat and tidy. So seeing an opening statement like the one above terrifies me. Books are not supposed to be destroyed.

So I took a deep breathe and turned the page only to stumped by the first set of instructions. They seem simple enough, but I soon found myself worrying that I would do them incorrectly. It's my book, can't I complete them anyway I want? Apparently my brain doesn't think so...#1 write your name in white -- first thought, how am I going to write in white and have it be seen? second thought, I could use white out, I don't have white out, I'll have to take it to work tomorrow. Third thought, am I over thinking this, no it says write my name in white. Okay #2 Write your name illegibly... I don't know how to do that. What if I write it and you can read it, then I've failed and it's only step 2 of the first page. Alright so I'll skip that for now and continue to think about how to write my name illegibly. #3 Write your name in tiny letters -- okay now that I can do, but do I write it normally with a capital E and a capital S or all caps or all lower case, dilemma, I went with all caps, but still found myself wondering if that would be alright. #4 Write your name backward -- this is where I stopped, write it backward -- do they mean actually write it backward as in nire or am I suppose to write it normally but start from the right side of the page and work my backward so that it will still spell my name but was written right to left instead of left to write.

At this point I've begun to doubt my success rate for following the directions in this book. I want to complete it I really do, but there is this over powering voice inside my brain telling me to make sure I do it correctly. I think my over achieving, perfection wanting brain is missing the point of the book. I will try again tomorrow, once I figure out the meaning of the writing your name backwards. I'm a bit scared to turn the page. If this page was this difficult the next page probably won't be much easier. It'll be good for me right, destroying the book. I'll let you know how it goes :)