Archive for movies

PR / NY / LA

Posted in 37 with tags , , , , on May 16, 2011 by ana

Why do I feel guilty when I wake up late? This is something that annoys me about myself. There is no reason I should feel this way, specially on the mornings after I worked late, but I do. It’s one of those things that ties along with how difficult it can often be to be kind to yourself. I meant to wake up at eight and go to a workout class but instead slept ’til ten. I was so tired when the alarm went off, and I felt congested and groggy. It’s allergy season, well it’s always allergy season in LA because something is always in bloom. Whatever is blooming right now is not my friend.

Friday, Stevie and I watched Modern Girls and drank Gin & Tonics. Gin has never been my thing but the drinks she made were so yummy and refreshing that I think I’ve had a change of heart. Modern Girls was one of my favorite movies when I was twelve. When I was growing up there was a video store on the corner of my dad’s street. We could rent movies there and they would bill my dad later. From sixth grade until about ninth grade I would rent five or six movies every weekend. Often I would rent the same movies every weekend. In Puerto Rico at the time there was little access to a lot of music and stuff that wasn’t completely mainstream. Cassettes that had been copied two or three times would pass from friend to friend but for some reason video stores often carried a bunch of really cool stuff. I rented Sid & Nancy, Liquid Sky, Suburbia, Dogs in Space and Mondo NY from that store along with a lot of other eighties movies. Modern girls was one of those movies that I would watch over and over again. All those movies, along with some other things, I think contributed to why I am somehow not exactly, fully typical puerto rican. Of course, that’s all changed now. You can get anything on the internet. It’s funny to go home and see a girl wearing a shirt with Siouxsie Sioux’s face. That would have been such a prize for any of my friends.

Saturday, I went to the beach for a friend’s birthday. Before heading there I stopped to buy some little cakes and sweet treats at a bakery. I left my bag on the counter when I realized I hadn’t put any coins in the meter and ran out to put some money in. So I think it’s official- any drop of New York blood left in me has now been sucked out by LA. Not too long ago Milly and I had stopped to get coffee before going on a hike and as we were walking out I pointed to a table where someone had left a lovely Prada bag and an ipad while they odered coffee or went to the bathroom. “Can you imagine if someone did that in NY,” I said to Milly. “Her stuff would get swiped right away. Who leaves their stuff laying around like that?” The answer is me.

I headed west a little aghast. The drive through Malibu Canyon was beautiful and endless. I think I’ve been to the beach six times since I moved here, usually because someone who is visiting wants to go, and that may be why. Well, I also have this aversion to the beach in California because it feels too cold to me. From the time that I was three until I was ten I lived two streets away from the beach in Puerto Rico, and the water is very warm there. But I love the ocean, and it seems silly to live so close and never go. When I lived in Brooklyn I would sometimes take the train to Coney Island just to sit in the sand and look at the water.

Saturday night at the movies

Posted in 37 with tags , on March 13, 2011 by ana

It’s been a while since I went to the movies. Last night I watched Jane Eyre with my friend Alicia. Before the movie we had a small feast at Hungry Cat. There is nothing like spending time with someone who knows you well and totally gets you. It is a quality I appreciate in my friends more and more and that I hope those I love feel from me. During dinner Alicia told me something she had been holding back since Christmas. She told me that at a party someone in my family had said that they had never liked Leo. The way they said it was very ugly. Alicia was conflicted about telling me and I loved her both for telling me last night and for waiting to tell me because back in December it would have crushed me to hear it.

My first reaction to what she told me was that I had always suspected they felt that way. Then I felt hurt. This is not the first time that my family has had something to say about my loves but it always surprises me. By now they should know who I am. Who a person chooses to be with is so personal and complex, and I’ve never understood where people get off being so black and white about how they feel about someone elses’ mate. Then I thought how much my parents, my siblings had loved Leo and I felt loved because of it. And for like the fifteen-hundredth time in my adult life I felt grateful to be born to my parents and not to anyone else in my family.

At the movies I kept thinking I’ve never really written what Leo was like. I’ve written about how I felt but I’ve never described him. He is short, dark with a salt and pepper pompadour, and for my taste an impeccable dresser. He was sweet, loving, funny, silly, full of details, talented, hard working, and he was never afraid to tell me how much he loved me. We laughed all the time. He would happily drive across town to bring me something I’d forgotten. He derived pleasure in pleasing me be it running to the market or rubbing my feet. He was also incredibly indecisive, always late, somewhat critical, and very OCD, and he often didn’t really hear what I was saying to him in terms of my needs. My love for him was passionate, honest, and generous. And that is all that should matter to anyone who loves me.

A quarter of the way into the movie I thought of a Saturday night soon after Leo and I had separated but had not yet split. I had gone to Hungry Cat and the movies with a friend. How hard that had been. What a mixed bag of emotions I was then. And then I thought- what my uncle thinks about Leo is his shortcoming not mine. I am trying to live my life as open-hearted, true-to-me, and fearlessly as I can. And right before I got caught up in the story and carried away by Jane and Rochester into the English moor I thought- I have become the woman I always wanted to be!

Posted in friends with tags , on February 15, 2011 by ana

A while back my friend Coco suggested I watch the movie Eat, Pray, Love.

“I think it will speak to you,” she said.

“Really?”

“I know, I know,”she said. “Trust me.”

I rented it and although I don’t care for Julia Roberts I love Javier Bardem. I watched it. It spoke to me.

I can’t say that I would have taken it in so well if I were not in the state I’m in but what can I say, I could relate. And now when ever it feels painful to think of Leo I do what Julia said at one point in the movie. I send him love and light and drop it. Hey, it’s good advice.

I never had any interest in the book but now that I’ve been writing this blog, and after seeing the movie, I am a little curious. I found a short excerpt online and read it. It seemed okay and it sent me into a panic. I have been getting so much joy writing this blog. So much direction and inspiration. But as soon as I read one page of Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing I went into serious doubting Dora mode- someone already wrote about heart break and finding themselves, someone who already had a writing career, someone who had already found her voice. How is there ever going to be room for me.

God, I hate that. How many times have I kept myself from finishing work because I judged it or compared it. It is a constant struggle to remind myself that all I have to do is show up, do the work, and not worry. Everything in my experience points to great things happening when you just let it go and show up. Any work I have ever finished, any work I have ever been proud of is because I just did it and shut up.

Over and over I remind myself- just surrender to the moment. Over and over I think- this moment is exactly the one I’m meant to be living. And as I become more available to my own life and I value me more I find that spectacular things happen all the time. I feel joyful. I book work. I show up over and over to my writing. And little by little I am able to catch myself going into fantasies and projections about how the future will somehow be better than now and bring myself back to right here.

And that is where I want to be always. Or at least more times than not. This is a big shift for me. Huge.

2010

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 13, 2010 by ana

Continuing with my eighties movie marathon in the past week I’ve watched Kiss Me Goodbye, Hello Again, and Absolute Beginners. I’m probably more than half-way done with my packing, moving, and storing. During the week I go to the old apartment and take as much as I can then find it space in my new room.

In a week I leave for PR. I can’t wait to be home. To see my mom, my cousin, my sister, my friends, and to walk around and go to the beach. This weekend I bought a few things for my trip- a pair of wide-leg black pants, a long Grecian-looking leopard print dress, and a bra with black stars and matching shorts. For a day I had that lovely feeling off having something new, of looking forward to wearing it, but then I thought what’s the point. Lately I feel that way about a lot of things- what’s the point of going to class, what’s the point of working out, what’s the point of going out. This feeling is so contrary to my natural state of being. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel that way for now and that it will pass.

I left my home with Leo in great part because I could no longer handle the limbo-his inability to make a decision. But limbo, albeit a different type of limbo, has settled in my life. The days seem to pass and I just float in them. Everything seems different. Sometimes I feel excited about all the new possibilities that will eventually come my way. I look forward to the energy I will get once I’ve gotten through it but other times I just feel aimless and tired. Everything is new. I’m not quite sure who I am in this new life.

This week I ate so much. Last week I had no appetite. This morning I got my period so I hope the fat, bloated feeling I have is due to that. I went off the pill and all moth long I’ve felt like I was getting my period. I’ve been on the pill for the last five years or so. I guess this is my first real period in a long time. This is a new chapter in many different ways. I have started a new journey by breaking things off with Leo and part of that new adventure is a path towards a baby.

Yesterday was filled with ups and downs. I had two great conversations on the phone with my mom and my little sister. But then I talked to an old friend and realized how distant we were. I know I haven’t been so good about keeping in touch but I grew tired of always having to go out of my way to see her. Then my mom called to say her neighbor had passed away from a stroke. This whole year has had a surreal quality form beginning to end.

At some point in December I usually write a list of all the things that have happened in the past year. This year has been really hard to write it. I know that I’m forgetting many details but this is what I have so far-

New year’s in Miami with Leo and his family,

my stepdad and my grandmother passing away three days apart from each other,

going to PR for their funerals and being with family,

taking Alexander technique classes with Jean-Louis,

my sister moving to LA,

feeling so happy and content spending time with Leo and sis,

going home again for my mom’s birthday,

doing a series of three Reiki sessions,

being in PR while Leo worked there, staying in a hotel, and swimming in the roof top pool on our last morning,

house sitting for friend’s in Silver Lake- feeling madly happy and in love,

moving,

going to Sanibel island with Leo and his family,

his mom asking me why he hadn’t asked me to marry him and telling me that she thought it was because he was too close to his family,

traveling with my mom to DC and NY,

traveling with Leo to Spain,

jet-lagged in NY having dinner with Leo’s sister,

Leo’s sister asking me why her brother hadn’t asked me to marry him and then telling me she thought it was because he was very religious, and that he wanted to raise his family that way,

waking up the next day and walking from 39Th street to Houston and back crying,

crying on the plane,

unpacking not only from our trip but from our move,

our first house guests,

making goat cheese ice cream,

crying, crying, fighting, crying,

slowly realizing what was happening,

trying, crying, exploring koreatown,

writing,

spending my birthday in Napa,

moving out,

my dad visiting,

spending time with friends.

I know that so much is missing but right now that feels like an accurate map.

Babs part 1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 22, 2010 by ana

I have been watching a lot of TV lately. It’s smack dab in the middle of the room where I sleep, and it has fancy cable. Now that I sleep alone I can sleep a little later because there is no one going to work in the morning. I have fallen into a new routine where I don’t go to bed until two-thirty or three in the morning. At that time very few people I know are awake. In fact, maybe some people I know are waking up. During daylight savings there is a four time difference between LA and PR.

Last night I watched an episode of Bored to Death and an episode of Oprah-the one with Barbra Streisand. Barbra Streisand always reminds me of my mom and takes me back to our old house where for a time my mom always played a cd of hers. I have been thinking about that house lately. How tired and exhausted my mom always was. How we all used to always hang out in the kitchen. I have never lived in homes with really cozy living rooms. Neither my mom or my dad have houses were people gravitate to a room to read or spend time in. At my mom’s apartment everyone sits around the dining room table. At my dad people sit in his living room but it’s not super comfortable. This also true of my dad’s beach house and of our family’s house in Spain. Our own living room in Korea town was not exactly uncomfortable but it didn’t have that comfort that I pick up in other peoples living spaces. It was more style over substance.

Back to Barbra. I’m not sure if hearing her sing The Way We Were was really the best thing, as I was crying the entire time she sang and I woke up with it in my head. I only saw the movie once a long time ago when I was home sick Senior year in High School. I remember bawling in front of the TV and I remember the clothes. I know it’s cheesy but I have thought of that last scene in the movie a million times ever since this break up began because it feels like that-two people heading on two different paths.

Last night I decided it would be too much to see Leo at Thanksgiving. I know seeing him will send me into a deep sadness the days after. Right now, I’m still reeling from the last time we saw each other. I don’t think I have ever experienced heartache quite like this. Well, maybe the first time my heart was broken because like now, it was so hard to make sense of things. I was twenty-two the first time my heart was broken. Back then I really didn’t know how to handle it. I think I am more graceful about it now, smarter. That first boy who broke my heart, it’s funny, but out of all my exes I know he is the one who holds me in the sweetest regard, and I know it’s because of how much fun we had. That was a short relationship but it had a lot of sparkle.

My lovely friend said to me last night, you can’t let this drag you down, great things are in store for you. And I know this is true in my head, but my heart is still with him. I’m going back to the apartment today and I know that’s going to be painful. I can’t even bring myself to tell people it’s too strange, too painful. I can’t yet. And I feel shitty for it but right now I have to do whatever gets me through the day.

Saturday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 20, 2010 by ana

It’s raining, and I’m in bed with Ziegfeld Girl on the background. I love listening to the rain from bed. Today is my dad’s birthday. When I called him he was having lunch with his girlfriend and her cousins at a restaurant right on the water. He sounded happy and relaxed. I liked hearing that in his voice. I like his girlfriend. She’s good for him.

I woke up thinking of all my things in the Korea town apartment and how painful it’s going to be to pack them up. Some things are shifting in me, some stay the same. It really doesn’t feel like we’ve broken up, I still feel very much linked to Leo (this is what I’m going to call him from now on, it feels easier than boyfriend or ex.) Every morning I wake up hoping that the heaviness that has settled in my chest will have cleared up. No such luck. I don’t think any of this will really start to sink in until all my stuff has been moved out of the place. I know I keep repeating myself in that matter, it’s just, it haunts me. I know it’s the next step but I can’t even begin to conceive of getting it all together. It will be one harrowing, weep fest.

This really is a divorce isn’t it? It feels like my parents are nursing me, from 3,000 miles away, through a divorce. I’m so emotional that thinking of how much love and concern they have for me makes me cry.

One of my best friends calls from New York. Thank God for friends. It’s funny how similar her situation feels to mine even though she has been dating a guy for three or four months. It feels similar because in both our cases it’s about asking for what you want and what you need. I miss her. It feels good to talk to someone who you really don’t need to say anything to. My spirits are lifted.

The thing is that even though I can’t believe it right now, I know there may be someone out there who can make me happier. For as much as I love my Leo, for as much as we like to get dressed up and go out to dinner, for as much as he turns me on and does it for me every time, for as much as we love going to concerts together, for as much as we laugh, for as much as we like taking baths together when we are tired and cold, for as much as we share the same low-brow/high-brow taste for things and enjoy enjoying the good life, not everything was sweet. His needs always superseded mine. So maybe there is someone out there who can also take care of me. Maybe that is the why.

Yes, today is a “why?” kind of day. And maybe the answer is that someone out there will actually dance with me at every wedding or party that we go to. Not just once a year when I have begged, when I have said a million times, as cute and as sweet as I can- dance me up. Someone out there will dance with me because they now how happy it makes me to dance with my man and because they love dancing with me. Someone out there will hold my hand during a bumpy plan ride. Someone out there will get to a plane on time because he knows how much it stresses me to be the last one in. Even, even if this means that he will have to make a sacrifice because he doesn’t like to sit in a plane waiting for everyone to get in. Maybe someone out there can make me happier in the long run.

Maybe this will all make sense one day. Right now, I’m stressed about Thanksgiving. Leo and I will see each other then. I don’t want to feel extra, extra sad on Friday or Saturday. I know it’s a week away. Part of me wants to tell him not to come. Part of me doesn’t want to do that to him. Part of me wants to see him.

For now I’ll just have to do what my dad said earlier over the phone-take it one day at a time like they say at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 19, 2010 by ana

Eighties movies are keeping me afloat. In the past week I’ve watched Tootsie, Deceived, The Legend of Billie Jean, Suspect, and I have Cloak and Dagger and Weird Science recorded and ready to go. I know some of these are technically in the early nineties, never mind that I was in High School, they bring me the comfort of childhood. When Spies Like Us beckons late at night, will I heed its siren song? Probably.

I now have to think twice about putting on eyeliner because it might smear if I cry, and there is a 95% chance that I will at some point in the day. I’m trying to make some sense of why my life has come to this crazy, inexplicable place. So if it’s comfort movies, well, better than comfort food.

How do I heal my heart? How do I let go of a man with whom I feel so connected? How do I move on?

Right now, small things stop me in my tracks. I go to the newsstand, see a New Yorker, and I’m reminded that I will have to change my address. I’m not ready. So I don’t yet but the moment is coming. One more concrete step away from each other. There are so many steps to take before things stop catching me off-guard and causing me pain.

I’m in transition, treading water. I can’t say that it feels like I’ll never have fun again because for as much as I have cried lately I have had some fun times. I can say the same for feeling peaceful or happy but it does feel like I’ll never be the same again. There were moments in my relationship were I felt so completely satiated, moments when I thought-nothing can top this. Simple moments when we were just driving somewhere or kicking back in bed. That simple satisfaction, I’ve never had a hard time finding on my own, but to feel that with someone else… that seems completely unattainable ever again. I know that can’t be true. That it’s only because I’m still deeply in love, though it’s a love full of mixed emotions now. I can’t wrap my head around the possibility of feeling something equal or better with someone else. When I do I guess I’ll be truly close to the light at the end of this tunnel.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 19, 2010 by ana

Julie & Julia is on again so I’m watching it. It seems these days it’s either comedies, eighties movies or PBS. Just today I was thinking again about people who find their paths what seems like magically. Fate somehow finds them and they finally fall into place. Julie Powell came to mind as did a young, weepy Sophie Dahl, and an older Julia Child. How does one find one’s destiny? Maybe I’m a fool believing that I will find mine or that it will find me. How do people become who they are meant to be?

There are so many things troubling my mind and heart. Yet, I feel, I hope that there is a reason for all this. That I will find my way and feel true stability, true love, true devotion to a passionate, creative cause. I see women all the time that write blogs, who live creative lives, who are creative moms- nothing huge, just plain simple day to day inspired living but nothing has fully ever clicked for me, there is a thirst in me. So, I just write because right now this blog seems like my only true connection to my cause.

Eighties movies

Posted in family with tags on November 9, 2010 by ana


Sometimes when my parents come to town I get really sad. It makes me realize that they are getting older, that they are so far away and that maybe our lives together will always be lived in short moments-phone calls, a weekend here, a holiday there. It makes me question why I live so far from them. Living away from where I grew up was a journey I began to dream of in high school, maybe even earlier. Sometimes I wonder if I have out grown it. Is it time to come home? I have asked myself that question at different times throughout the years. I have been living away for eighteen years. Do I stay here and pursue my dreams or do I start a new life back home. I miss my family, the sense of community, the sky, the beach, the smells and the sounds of home.

 

Today is a gorgeous day in LA. I have acting class in a half an hour, and I’m parked outside the class typing. I haven’t woken up sad for the last few days but I have carried sadness with me most days. I saw my boyfriend three times this weekend and while seeing him was nice, it also makes it really hard to not think about us if he is so present. Kingdom of Rust by the Dove’s just played on the radio. It makes me think of all the concerts we have seen together. The last few-Phoenix, Belle and Sebastian, Arcade Fire were really hard for me, were bittersweet. I cried during all three.

 

This weekend my sister was feeling strong heartache too. She slept over and we watched Into the Night on TV. Into the Night was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I have always loved movies were the characters lives are transformed through the events of one night. From After Hours to Modern Girls to Adventures in Babysitting. It does not matter if the movie is good or not, I’ll still like it. Into the Night is an odd little movie with Michelle Pfiffer and Jeff Goldblum. It’s very much an LA movie. They drive from LAX to Marina Del Rey, Malibu, Century City, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Downtown-all over the place. David Bowie, Jonathan Demme, Roger Vadim, David Cronenberg and Jim Henson have cameos in it. And the score is fabulous in a very eighties kind of way, like it was composed on a little Casio keyboard. It takes me right back to being in seventh grade when I used to rent and watch five or six movies in one weekend. Those nights at my dad’s where I began to dream of a different life away from Puerto Rico.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 3, 2010 by ana

Last night I shot a commercial. It was so much fun to be on set, to get your hair and makeup done and be someone else for a little bit. We wrapped at 3 am, and although I was tired I couldn’t fall asleep until 5. I was so wired. Because my spirits where high when I went to sleep I thought I would wake up feeling light and like my old self again but I didn’t. I felt a little sad and confused about all my romantic stuff, and like I didn’t get enough sleep. I also felt joyful and excited about the commercial. Isn’t it funny that we can be so many emotions at once. Almost like a recipe- 1 tablespoon of doleful, 2 teaspoons of delight, 1/4 cup of hope, and a pinch of lonesome.

It should come as no surprise that I’m fascinated by people who found their bliss late in life. They give me hope that I too will find my voice in it’s full grace. Yesterday, Julie & Julia was on TV. The movie didn’t do much for me in the theater, but on TV it was different. Don’t you find that sometimes certain movies transform into something else when you watch them at home?
This time around I really could relate to Amy Adam’s Julie Powell. A long time ago someone gave me the Julie/Julia book as a gift but I couldn’t get into it. I now have no idea were it is, which is a shame because now I’m interested. Now I realize that we have something in common, and that maybe there is something I can learn from her. She was where I am-lost and searching. I went looking for her blog and came across this paragraph in an entry she wrote on the day that Julia Childs passed away.


Julia Child began learning to cook when she was thirty-seven years
old. She started because she wanted to feed her husband Paul. She
started because though she’d fallen in love with great food late, when
she did she’d fallen hard. She started because she was in Paris. She
started because she didn’t know what else to do.

Who knows how it happens, how you come upon your essential gift? For
this was hers. Not the cooking itself so much – lots of people cook
better than Julia. Not even the recipes – others can write recipes.
What was Julia’s true gift, then? She certainly had enormous energy,
and that was a sort of gift, if a genetic one – perhaps the one thing
about her you can pin down on the luck of the draw. She was a great
teacher, certainly – funny, and generous, and enthusiastic, with so
much over brimming confidence that she had nothing to do with the
surplus but start doling it out to others. But she also had a great
gift for learning. Perhaps that was the talent she discovered in
herself at the age of 37, at the Cordon Bleu School in Paris – the
thirst to keep finding out, the openness to experience that makes life
worth living.

Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy, I hold myself back, I judge my worth and that of my work-the writing, the acting, the photographs, the collages, and I expect too much from it right away. It has always been that way since my art school days. One of the very first things I learned in acting class is that you can never judge the character. Instead of judging them you have to find their humanity. I judge my writing. I judge my performances specially the ones in class. I never give myself the chance, the time, the space for my gifts to reveal themselves. I get scared. I run away. I don’t want to be like that anymore, which is in part why I started writing this blog, to see what part of me gets collected in the day to day writing, to see what it ends up being about. Is it about relationships? Is it about finding my voice? I’m not sure yet what it will end up being about. But it’s about me. It is about showing up and hopefully finding that being true to the work, without judging, will give me a path, something more than the sum of its parts.