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Hi everyone, welcome to New Blog! Melissa Webb and I made the costume I'm wearing in this photograph! Here is my latest entry in "New Blog." Tues Jan 31/published Thurs May 18 Rainy 8am and I’m back. From this view, from the booth, I can see the dangling lights, which are a major feature of this place for sure. Like helmets, family pizza restaurants, like a castle, like floating old-fashioned UFOs. But they are attached to this very particular feature that adds a lot to coziness- wooden beams all reaching out and across over the counter, from where these lamps dangle. The walls painted the same beige as the counter, real wood bordering the tables, fake wood creating the booths. “Impatient am I, tightly wrapped!” That’s a line from a play I wrote a long time ago. Of course some stick permanently. Clear decisions. I love this diner because the old name is in neon in the window and the shade only obscures it a little bit, leaving the word “restaurant” aglow. That feels so anti-capitalistic. Also the fact that the word “New” preceded the name of the diner in neon for I think around 40 years before it closed. I’m taking that cue for “New Blog,” even though I hope it lasts a long time. I guess the major difference between notebook and laptop- the visual of me writing in this sequined notebook is more— maybe because I’m a performance artist, maybe because I’ve made some films, but I zoom out on a scene I’m in every now and again, and there’s a satisfaction of seeing me being the writer in the corner rather than the person on my laptop, still a writer, and of course I could be working the stock market in my little notebook, but…. it really looks like that when I’m on my laptop (I’m kidding)! Because there’s not always time for hand writing, then typing—I know! I’ll scatter a bunch of papers and sketches all around my laptop to give this diner world the impression of what is true- I am an artist! Art must be happening here! Still kidding, I will not do that. Why do I have a powerful specific love for the aspect of things that are “imperfect?” I think it’s a self-protection mechanism because it’s hard to accept imperfection in myself, which I believe is connected to being the daughter of an immigrant with a chip on her shoulder (see my pandemic web series, “Chipping Away at the Chips on your Shoulder.”) When someone showed up at my birthday walk with a present I was like oh wow! What am I supposed to do with this? At a traditional birthday party- as kids we would open presents as a big highlight- at an adult party you sometimes have them on a table and look at them later and write thank you notes- I didn’t have a place for them, I realized I didn’t want to put guests through watching me open them, so I started stashing them under the table… my backpack splayed open by the table, we ran out of hot cocoa in the first 45 minutes, no trash can, the birthday candle broke… messy. But I loved so much of what did happen… I’m awkwardly punk as a “middle-aged” person. Middle aged!! What a freaking weird term, used mostly, from my recollection, to describe someone people find uninteresting or annoying. You never hear, “I met an eloquent, stunning, middle-aged diva…” Middle aged is more likely nestled in a string of negative adjectives. But I tried the word “adult,” “an adult punk,” and that is way too broad, as opposed to a teen punk. We’ll go with “middle aged” punk. So anyway at the party I felt a little embarrassed at how much I threw it together, but, oh well, parties are mysterious. Sometimes you prep a lot, sometimes you don’t. Monday Jan. 30, 2023/published May 3 , 2023 I dedicate this episode/post to my friend who said (around 8 years ago) I should write a blog because I have an exciting life, and to my friend who welcomes everyone to the magical writing circle. Ever so slightly beige is the counter in this diner, the next morning after my birthday gathering. I’m sitting at a seam in the counter where one panel meets another and they are two different shades of off white or very pale brown. How does everyone know each other? My friends don’t gather at 8am lively and full of joy and laughter but I wish we did. We did create a small parade yesterday. A very messy birthday. Messy and emotional. A very messy birthday, but really neat. Neat as in neat-o. People in the diner are calling jokingly to new arrivals. “How are you doing?” “He’s not too good.” “Oh, you lost? You lost the fight?” I am about to dine on some home fries, which makes me a diner at the diner. I turned 50 yesterday. Maybe my birthday will somehow symbolize my year? If so it will start really difficult and almost terrible, but then get actually great. I want to squeeze some wisdom out of it. Last night after everyone left I opened a present that a friend made me… a drawing of some leaves that said “Forever growing, never grown.” I received incredible gifts this year that will last. I’m starting to see a new pattern emerge where I have a birthday walk every year. The pandemic really started it. Doing something over and over makes it more serious, and you can tweak it. Even though my birthday morning got really dicey, my friend said she wanted to go to yodeling camp and she makes such earnest comments like that. Something I need to talk about in this brand new diner is— well it used to be a different diner and I came a few times but now it’s new to me and both names are still on signs out front… “Where’s the respect seat?,” demands the costumer who is saying funny things up at the counter. “We don’t have one,” and there is laughter. It’s so generous in humor when someone sets you up to say the punchline by asking a ridiculous question, thereby making you a satisfying clown if you’re at all willing and interested. OK, it’s official. Maybe it’s partially because I rarely allow myself caffeine but there is a certain intense joy I get from writing in a diner. I brought my laptop but I feel like using pen and paper, especially because I’m sitting at the counter. OK, the thing I need to talk about—this is addressing a deep longing that I will have to address if I want to be true to myself: my relationship to you dear reader. I vow to never stop writing and collaborating on plays. But I want to work on this direct connection, without the other amazing magical theatrical mediation that I will not neglect, I want to work on this connection too, where I write things down then transmit directly to you through channels. There’s just such a constant longing, there’s a reason for that mysterious connection. I fell in love with art a long time ago, and I want to share this timetime with you.

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