Saturday, February 27, 2010

New York in Los Angeles

Missed a blizzard in NYC by about 8 hours. Feeling so blessed to have made it out and across the country to 70 degree sunny weather in LA.

Saw Haviland's awesome concert last night with Andrew-- so fun! And today, Spellman and I went to the Paramount lot to eat lunch. While we were there, we walked through a New York with significantly better weather. Magically hoping that Spring in NYC doesn't wait too long, once I head back. I mean, it will be March, afterall.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

sometimes he's wrong, but sometimes...

"You have to love before you can be relentless."
-- Jonathan Franzen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Paddington: on why I have only liked one dog in my life

Paddington ate bubbles. Paddington was the ideal dog for a sparkplug kid like me because Paddington was a willing guinea pig for all of my schemes and experiments…like “Paddington the Christmas in California Reindeer” game, or the “How Much Peanut Butter Can Paddington Eat?” game. But of course, my favorite was “Paddington and Princess Zadie Go to the Beach” game. He loved this game equally as much, if not more, than I did. I would make magic bubbles from my bubble wand, and I would try to blow them high into the air so that when they floated back down, Paddington would fly up and catch them into his mouth with a snap. With a chomp.

And over the years with me, Paddington the Jack Russell terrier had developed innards of steel. He could eat anything. He wanted to eat anything. Especially if it made him burp or me laugh.

Paddington lived his little doggy life for me, and I would do anything for Paddington.

One afternoon while we were playing “Peanut Butter,” Tammy, Dad’s girlfriend poked her British-looking face into the living room.

“Love, your father has suggested we head to the beach. What do you say? Paddington, what do you say?”

I dropped my spoon of peanut butter, and ran with bare feet down the cold wood hallway to load up my toys. I changed into my ruffled, pint-striped bikinnini. Dad said it was a bikinnini, so it was a bikinnini. Standing on the uneven concrete of our Long Beach driveway, I pulled my ratty blonde hair into a ponytail because we were going to take Tammy’s blue convertible. I don’t know what kind it was. For five-year-olds, cars don’t have names, only colors, and this one was big and blue and old.

Dad turned on the radio and we listened to Mel McDaniel, “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On.” I sang loud into Tammy’s ear because she didn’t like country music. But I sang, “Ooh ooh! Nah, the girl cain’t help it! Lord have mercy, baby’s got her blue jeans on!”

When Paddington was my dog, I could sing as loud as I wanted in Tammy’s ear because the wind on the way to the beach would suck up my voice and carry it out all the way across California. When Paddington was my dog, it didn’t matter how ratty my hair got in the wind, because he would always love me, and so would Dad, and so would Tammy. When Paddington was my dog, I never thought about people loving me so I sat up high on the backseat of Tammy’s big blue convertible and I let my hair go as crazy as I could-- so crazy that nobody would ever be able to comb it or put it braids ever again.

When my stubby legs hit the sand, I ran towards the beach watching my feet the whole way to the water. I was so cool because when I ran fast, I looked like a Flintstone. And really, much like I still do today, I resembled a cartoon. Not much about the way I look or act has changed since those days on the beach.

I still jump around with animated stories and use my closest friends as guinea pigs for my schemes and experiments. But they don’t jump like Paddington did. That’s why the freedom I felt with Paddington only lasted as long as he did. Then, I feared nothing, was offended by nothing, and had no flaws. I was perfect. Now, I make lists for myself, seven long, of each.

I am paranoid or neurotic, I can’t decide. I am repetitive. I am defensive. I am confrontational. I am bossy, manipulative, and egotistical.

I am scared of dogs, I am scared of dancing with other people. I fear sports equipment and being yelled at. I am scared that my dad will die and I will need him. I fear for my life that I will fail and end up just like my mother. And more than anything, I am scared that I have become someone who will be lonely and will be alone my whole life.

But Paddington lived for me. He jumped so high he could look me in the eyes when he ate those soapy bubbles. He jumped as high as I would blow them, just so he could see in my eyes how happy he was making me. Over and over again, he would jump, because I was worth it. I was Paddington’s favorite. I have never been someone’s favorite since.

Paddington was only my dog for six months because Paddington was not really my dog to keep. When Tammy left my dad, she took her English dog with the English name and her English face and married a guy with the same name as my dad. She had a baby, too. I think about that baby a lot. He should have been my baby brother. And Paddington should have been my dog. I wonder if that baby fed Paddington peanut butter or bubbles. I wonder if that baby savored every moment with Paddington because maybe that dog was his last chance of not being afraid of anything, like Paddington was for me.

I didn’t miss Tammy’s voice or her cooking, but I missed trips to the beach, and I missed Paddington. I would have done anything to stay with that dog.

When Paddington was my dog, I laughed louder than even Dad did. When Paddington was my dog, I was British too, like Tammy. When Paddington was my dog, my hair wasn’t ratty, it was curly. When Paddington was my dog, I didn’t need moms or brothers or friends because I didn’t need anything. When Paddington was my dog, I never thought about dogs that might not be as nice as Paddington. He could eat anything. He wanted to eat anything.

copyright 2002 by Ryann Ferguson

clowns and romantics

Beneath my clownish public persona and extreme love of jokes, there’s nothing but a day-dreamy, wanderlusty, Keatsy, Burnsian romantic.

The kind of romance that’s about landscapes and language (perhaps as a substitute for personal romance, or perhaps as a metaphor for it- who knows…)

As someone who’s life has been lived largely in her mind as opposed to her body, I can’t help but feel a little safe or comfortable in expressing indirectly what I feel very strongly. Even in writing, I tend to overwhelm people. But I’d like to get lost in a quiet, dreamy place, where I felt genuinely still.

What to make of my simultaneous desire to move/to run/to be still I guess is something I’ll try to figure out in St. Andrews. A place, I feel, where my voice will both echo and get lost on its echo. Which for some intangible reason, seems like the thing that I want.

cryptic quotes & dinner with other Aries

Does anything in the world actually make sense besides your friends?
Looks that let you know you aren't a total alien?
I don't see any of mine nearly as often as I'd like, but I am sure am thankful when I do.
Even if they do sometimes wear mini ballgowns to dinner, while I'm in fit shoes
or occasionally turn your stomach in knots or disagree with you on universal health care.

Monday, February 22, 2010

mentally off to another country

6 months until Scotland, but tonight (and many nights/days before I leave) I'll be spending a lot of time in my mind going to Russia instead of Scotland.

Steven and I are trying to get it all together to have a 45 minute industry reading of Nicholas & Alexandra before I go. I've been feeling so stalled for so long on writing (part of why I'm going to St. Andrews in the first place) but the last week or so, I finally seem to have gotten it together.

Finished Rasputin's big Act II solo (pretty proud of it so far) and we're working on that tonight as well as reworking the big trio that ends Act I.

After that, I'm having dinner with my favorite other Celt, Bebhinn. Irish, Scottish... love it.

a sort-of secret

Well I know it's not posted anywhere (except here) but it's true: I'm moving to Scotland in the fall.

I've been accepted into the Masters/PhD program in creative writing at St. Andrews in Fife, and this September I'm leaving my life in NYC behind to return to my Scottish roots!
It's wild because I put this in motion literally years ago and now it's really happening. Living in Scotland is one of my life time goals, but I anticipate some serious complications when it comes to leaving the place where I've built my career and my life for most of my 20's.

Like leaving my job. Which is why even though I've wanted to shout to everyone, I can't quite tell the world yet. But I have so many things swirling around in my head about this move, so I wanted to write them down and share them with a few select folks.

So that's it for now. More soon!

Why Stop Now?

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