Thursday, April 29, 2010


The Ross-a-tron is pretty hilarious. It's one of the reasons I love him so much. I can't imagine another man who could make me laugh like him. Life can be so hard and so painful, but if you have someone by your side who can crack you up so much that you fart and cry at the same time? You've got a gold mine, my friends.

Enter the Ross-a-tron.

Sometimes when I'm feeling confused or down, I ask myself, "What would the Ross-a-tron do?" Usually, the answer is: drink water.

No. Really. He drinks a lot of water.

So, sometimes I find myself walking towards the fridge, cup in hand, ready to drink some of the stuff. Because it really does fix a lot of things. Headache? Drink some water. Fatigued? Drink some water. Gassy? Drink some water. Upstairs neighbors being too noisy? Drink some water. Can't find your other shoe? Drink some water.

Other times, he does this little dance. He's pretty shy about it, because he doesn't really like to show anyone his hot dance moves, but when he does, OMG I'M DYING FROM THE CUTENESS. And so, sometimes I dance. If I'm feeling fussy. If I've managed not to leave a stack of dirty dishes on the counter. If there's more than one cookie left in the box.

Often, the Ross-a-tron eats. Ice cream. Like a professional. I've never met anyone in my life who could put away a bowl of ice cream like him. I'm all "tiny bites, tiny bites" and he's all "INHALE." It makes me laugh. He's adorable with his ice cream. So I've now taken to buying Breyer's Cookies n' Cream ice cream more regularly. There's a good show on TV? Get the ice cream. I hit all the green lights on the way to work? Get the ice cream. I didn't use the last of the toilet paper? Get the ice cream.

If he puts on a tiny hat, even though we're in our thirties and standing in the middle of a toy store on a Saturday afternoon, then I put on a hat. I mean, c'mon. He has some pretty great ideas.

That's what the Ross-a-tron would do.

with love from Pittsburgh,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the one in which i show you my bathroom.

I've emerged from the depression. Well, at least a little bit. And by a little bit, I mean enough to organize my bathroom closet. Whenever I feel stressed or anxious, I clean. And whenever I'm feeling a bit down, I organize. The depression from the previous days was, as you will recall, Quite Bad. And I worried that it wouldn't lessen. But, I woke Sunday to rays of sunshine streaming into my bedroom, and I suddenly felt a little less heavy. A little less hopeless. A little more willing to face the day.

I went to Mass, which was wonderful. There's something so healing about walking up to my big, gorgeous cathedral (do you like how I refer to it as "my" cathedral?) on a sunny Sunday and having a sense of homecoming. The choir was amazing, the homily was pertinent to my situation, and I just felt peaceful. Afterward, I walked down Craig Street to Starbucks and bought myself a little treat with a gift card my boss had given me. I sat outside on a bench, the sun warming me all over. I was alone, yes, but it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed watching the people walking on the sidewalks, people who were enjoying the sun and the warmth just as much as I was.

I decided to do something when I got home. I didn't want to crawl back into my bed, feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, hide from the living. I wanted to participate in some way. In a private way, in the safety of my apartment. But participate nonetheless.

And so I cleaned.

I love my bathroom closet. Well, it's really just shelves with a curtain in front of them, but it works well and looks pretty. I decided to make everything just. so. When things are just. so. I feel like I can breathe. It's the result of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother. Things were never just. so. And, so, I felt I couldn't breathe.

I like to feel as though I can breathe.

I fought through the darkness of the past few days. It may return, yes. But if it does, I'll just tell it that it can't stay forever. And then I'll fight through it again.

Today, a young girl walked into my office and said, "Hi. I know you don't know me, but I just...I just have to say something." I didn't know what was to come next, nor did my student aide, so we just waited. "I just wrote this piece," she said, "this piece for a non-fiction class. I've suffered from depression my whole life, and I just wanted, just once, to try to express what it's like to live with depression." I felt my hands get cold and clammy. "And you know what?" she asked. "They just read it in class and said it's too melodramatic. I mean, what do they want?" And then she started to cry. Right there in my office. This girl I didn't know. This girl I'd never seen before. "I feel like my whole life has been a lie," she finally said. And then she left. Crying.

And all I could think about was that somehow I knew what she meant. I wanted to run after her. But I was frozen at my desk. Unable to respond.

I said a silent prayer for her, though. I wonder if she's okay tonight. I wonder if she's hiding under her covers, avoiding the world and wanting to not exist.

I wonder if she'll feel the strength to fight through it. To try to make things just. so. So that she, too, can breathe.

with love from Pittsburgh,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

still hiding.

I stayed in bed most of yesterday. The depression was more debilitating than the previous days. I did manage to go to therapy in the morning, as well as eat a little bit. But most of the day was spent sleeping, hiding in the folds of my sheets and blankets, surrounded by mountains of pillows that functioned as a fortress to keep out the light and the day. The Ross-a-tron called several times, worried because he hadn't heard from me. My poor mom has been texting and calling, and all I can do is leave her a voicemail that says I'm depressed and not really wanting to talk.

I think I slept for two-thirds of the day yesterday. So tired. I was so, so tired. My body felt so heavy and achy, and my eyes felt droopy. And my mind just didn't want to deal. With anything. At all. Except sleep.

And today the sun is shining, and I'm still in bed, but I might just go to Mass at noon. And I'm hungry, and my cupboard is officially bare, so I think I'll have to do something about that. I'm still depressed, and I feel all balled up, but I do have to eat. So I will venture out into the world today for just a little bit so that I can take care of myself.

I know this will pass. It always does. But for now, I just want to continue hiding.

Friday, April 23, 2010

the boy met the girl.

Well, it's official: Boy did, in fact, meet Girl. Tonight's Eyetique event was a success. I arrived at 6:30 p.m., as requested, and met with B.K., the writer/director of the web series. She's so lovely, and it was really nice to see her again. She filled me in on what was supposed to happen once "Boy" arrived.

The goal was to have Boy (Michael Marra) mingle with the guests from 7-8 p.m. Then, at 8 p.m., Norman Childs, the mastermind behind Eyetique, would make some announcements and proceed to show the 5-part web series on a large screen. After the fifth episode, Boy would grab the microphone and ask the guests if any of them had seen Girl--whom he described as "freakishly tall", by the way--because he'd invited her to meet him there.

Yes, Boy has quite the sense of humor.

Anyway, I'd be waiting in a secret location until I was brought out into the crowd during Boy's speech. He was to be interrupted by my "friend" Evan, in the audience, who would yell, "Yes! She's right here!" Then I'd go up and meet Boy at the front of the party, we'd see each other, say, "Nice glasses!" and then kiss.

I haven't kissed another man aside from the Ross-a-tron in five years. This was, um, nerve-wracking. I enjoy kissing the Ross-a-tron. And only the Ross-a-tron. Like, a lot. I forget that as an actor, sometimes you have to kiss people.

Oh, and did I mention that Boy and I would both be wearing autographed Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys? (Nora, I'm looking at you.) That would be another one of the "cute" things about us: we like the same coffee, we like the same coffee shop, and we both arrive at a party wearing Pens' jerseys. (So much for my fussing and fretting over what to wear! It was covered up anyway!)

All of this did, in fact, transpire, and I got to sit in Eyetique's back storage room, alone, for 45-minutes so as to stay hidden from the public (which was very lonely and Not Fun At All), and when it finally came time for Boy and me to kiss, Boy decided to give me Quite the Kiss: a very dramatic smooch, in which he dipped me and performed what I shall henceforth refer to as One Hell of a Stage Kiss. There was much whooping and hollering from the crowd, to say the least. After that One Hell of a Stage Kiss, I reconsidered my previous decision to put on mint lip gloss. Messy, I tell you. Quite.

Afterwards, we all watched the blooper reel from the web series (which left me in tears from laughing so hard) and stayed for a bit to chat with guests. Finally, I went with B.K. to this wonderful little place called The Wine Loft, where we met up with Nancy Mosser, the city's premiere casting director, and her friend Tom. The four of us had a really lovely time, not to mention delicious wine and killer chocolate molten lava cake.

Being an actress does have its perks sometimes.

with love from Pittsburgh,
Laura (a.k.a. Girl)

p.s. If you missed the web series, go here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I sort of knew this was coming. I could feel it sneaking up on me, like a quiet energy waiting to prickle my skin with its sudden arrival.

I am depressed.

I've been feeling this way for a couple of weeks now, each day feeling heavier than the previous, my body and mind wanting only to sleep and hide and curl up into themselves. To become invisible in this world that constantly asks me to Live! Out! Loud! But I can't right now.

Tomorrow night I have a live event: the Eyetique Raise Your Glasses Party. I will have to be in character, as "Girl" from Boy Meets Girl. I have no idea what to wear, I have a blemish on my face, I am tired, I am sad, and I just feel empty.

But deep down I just want to crawl under the covers of my bed, in a little ball, my eyes closed and my ears deaf to the demands of the world. And I know I am not alone in this. I know that many of you suffer from this silent demon just as I do. And so I will push myself. Out towards the world.

I have been sleeping for two hours each day when I get home from work. Two hours. And then, I get up, brush my teeth, wash my face, remove my contacts, and go to bed. And when I wake, the sun pouring into my beautiful bedroom, all I want to do is hide again. I haven't really prayed in days. I didn't go to Mass on Sunday. I feel numb. If that's something you can feel anyway.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

being an adult isn't as much fun as i thought it'd be.

I told my therapist yesterday that I wish I was still seven years old. I've been thinking about that lately. Wanting to be a little kid. Missing the smell of the Crayola box, Playdoh, and construction paper. Yes, construction paper has a smell. Wishing I still lived in the suburbs of Chicago, playing in the backyard on the enormous wooden swing set/playhouse my dad built with his own two hands (complete with sandbox underneath). Imagining the rose bushes my parents had on the side of the house, the smell reminding me that everything was safe and beautiful and normal. Remembering playing with ants with my next door neighbor, Brian. We used to kill them and then wrap them up in blue Kleenex and bury them in the yard.

My mother used to put on this powder after her baths, the smell of which was my most favorite as a child. It was soft, calming, and so my mother. In the summer, when it was really hot and we had fans going in every room of the house, she'd come down to the kitchen in the evenings wearing a lightweight cotton nightgown, short sleeves and all, with its flowery print that I thought really was the reason she smelled so good. Her hair would still be wet, combed back neatly behind her ears. I'd be at the table, coloring or doing some such activity, and she'd lean over and kiss me on my head, her fresh scent surrounding me like a hug. Whenever I get sad about my mom's illness, I remember back to those evenings and I feel a little better. She seemed so normal then, so healthy, so beautiful. So much like a mother.

I've been thinking about my childhood lately. Remembering back to visits to my grandparents when I felt so happy and relaxed. Remembering my Nana and Pappap's house, with its secret stairwell, the Last Supper painting in the brick-walled kitchen, and the glass dish on the living room coffee table that always had jelly beans in it. Thinking back to my Grammee's apartment, the little spare room that I used to sleep in, the bowls of vanilla ice cream/chocolate syrup/peanuts we'd eat while watching The Golden Girls.

I've been thinking about all of the homes I've lived in: Wheeling, West Virginia; Palos Heights, Illinois; Mansfield, Ohio (two homes there); Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. I've been thinking about the several times my father sat us down at the kitchen table and told us we were moving. Again. And looking at my older brother Geoff and thinking, At least I won't be alone. Now he and I hardly ever speak.

Thinking of all the schools I went to, all the times I was The New Girl. Wondering if my brother was as nervous as I was, in whatever classroom on whatever floor of the building he was in. Those memories feel like they belong to someone else. Like those events really were a lifetime ago. I guess they were...

I miss my childhood. My therapist said I didn't get much of a childhood because I was forced to be an adult far too soon. And it's true. I became the woman of the house at age 10. And I never looked back.

I do not like being an adult right now. I want to play, to run around in the yard, to climb on the swing set my father made. Scribble with Crayola, the smell sticking to my tiny little fingers. I want to bury ants with Brian and eat ice cream with Grammee. I want to hide in the secret stairwell at Nana and Pappap's so that nobody can find me and ask me to be an adult.

I grew up into an adult when I was 10. And now, 22 years later, I am sad. And missing the child I never got to be.

with love from Pittsburgh,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

i'm not dead. just busy. but look at this!

Here's the last of my 5-part web series for Eyetique. I promise I'll get back to blogging soon.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

caption contest.

I'm serious. As in, I'm a serious ping pong player. Complete with Bob the Builder hat and bad-ass paddle grip.

In the comments section, leave a caption for this photo. I wanna see how serious you are.

with love from Pittsburgh,

p.s. Yes, this is how I spent my Easter Sunday. Don't judge.