Wednesday, July 17, 2013


As I seem to be locked in a temporary writing pattern of Greek Mythological exploration (please enjoy “Icarus” and “Pandora” below), I had to admit that I was absolutely fed up with Morpheus.
Mythic god of sleep, dreams, Gothic teenagers and noir graphic novels, I was sick and tired of being TIRED!

If I have one spectacular gift in this Universe aside from my occasional wordsmith musings and adaptability to mimic actresses in Hollywood (sans insult); I pride myself in my Olympian capabilities to sleep, perchance to dream!
But as my burgeoning travel plans are beginning to squeeze the delicate synapses of my anxious nervous system, I’m finding that my usual hardcore, nearly cutting off oxygen to an arm underneath my Charlie Brown head, and crusty Sensodyne toothpaste residue puddles of drool on my pillows are far less frequent...

My beloved Sleep was becoming elusive!
Was I only half way conscious when I tossed my head upon my cherished pillows?  All I knew in the moment was that SOMETHING needed to be added to my airline checklist. And grabbing a nearby pen off the nightstand, I scribbled down whatever came to mind in my Limbo-dwelling thought process (apparently written in Greek?), as I sat up stupidly the next day trying to decipher the code. 


My next evening was no less distressing, as flopping over to diagonally encompass the expanse of my luxurious Egyptian cotton bedding, my high school sweetheart Brad suddenly appeared and “stared” me “awake”.
“What are you doing in Los Angeles?” I wondered, absolutely befuddled since (as far as I know) he’s a happily married man.  “And who’s that behind you?” I asked, as my college sweetheart Christopher (also married) suddenly sat up hogging the sheets.  “And why are you both soaking wet and reeking of chlorine?” I demanded to know.

“I was a swimmer!” Brad reminded me.
“And I was a diver!” Christopher chimed in.

Oh, FFS.
“Yeah, well, grab a towel out of the bathroom and dry off before you both catch a cold” I dismissed them as I snuggled under the blankets.

But grabbing a pen and paper a few moments later, I scribbled down the next indecipherable code.

Stupidly assuming that the worst was over, I once again I laid my head down the following night to quiet the demons and achieve some seriously desired rest.

And almost content, I was approximately two minutes (and two puffs into a cigarette in my dream???), when my deceased Grandma (on my Mom’s side) started berating me for “sucking on cancer sticks”.

Apparently, there’s no rest for the weary!

Beyond thankful for all of the emailed advice I’ve received on how to travel these days (items that I never would have thought to bring, as well as excellent suggestions to buy water in a bottle AFTER security checks); lovely gestures on my parent’s behalf (Hello?  Yes, they have shampoo in the home Fortress, as well as in the hotel and Casino where I’ll be staying in New York); and even hush-hush hints from my sister (who’s a fellow ciggy smoker with tips on electronic cigarettes); I figured that AT LAST I could finally claim a tiny bit of sleep.
But as luck would have it, apparently I’d STILL left something off of my checklist that had become a freaking mile long.

What now?  What’s left?  What could I possibly have forgotten?

Whilst I can’t exactly PROVE it, I suspected that my pea-brain was up to something sneaky in cahoots with Morpheus, minus my consent or control...

Although I thoroughly resented the absolute lack of sleep all night after flopping around like a beached whale on the sand trying to catch its breath, I sat up at six in the morning, accepted the fact that Morpheus had other plans on his agenda and decided to attempt to decipher my codes.

Quite frankly, “Alto-gu” seemed rather obvious, as I was feeling particularly petulant from lack of REM, and I crankily needed some sort of oral pacifier.  
Duh, Altoids!  And gum!

(Hmm...  I may have to rethink my preferred packaging since I’ll be searched by the TSA, and they quite rightfully seem to have sort of an “iffy” sense of humor...)

As to “pashm”, my friend and Script Supervisor Bonnie had reminded me that despite the outdoor humidity during my travels, it’s never a bad idea to bring along a sweater for the indoor air conditioning.  And giddily scampering off to stuff my favorite pashmina gift from my pal Tara in my carry-on, I once again had to rethink that choice too...

(Too much for airline travel and fellow passengers?)

Yet certainly “4glpnz-cas-zplb” couldn’t jack me up, right?
“FOUR different colored gel pens on the airplanes for your crossword puzzles?” my Dad questioned patiently.  “Maybe you could get by with only two colors?” he suggested helpfully should my writing implements be confiscated as liquids and/or sharp objects.

“Maybe” I cringed.
(Good Lord, how does anyone with a bit of OCD travel ANYWHERE these days?!?!  My occasional bouts of OCD make me brilliant at my job as a Stand-in and have kept me working as an Actor too!)

Regarding “cas”, I was reminded that indeed I would need cash for my cab to the airport, as well as a few single dollars if I could check in my one hardback suitcase at the curb whilst they printed out three boarding passes for the day.  And scuttling off in Cecilia (my Toyota) to take care of financial business at the bank prior to my travels, we managed to transfer two (seemingly unrecoverable, as the EDD website has been down) weeks of Unemployment into my checking account via a bank teller.

As to “zplb” however, I confess I was rather stymied...

Now, I don’t know if you believe in The Universe occasionally pointing you in the right direction when you need it; but scanning for a new roll of aluminum foil to use in my toaster oven as I strolled about a local store, my eyes fell onto a box of Zip-Lock baggies. 
“Zplb”?  Could it be for toiletries?  (Good job, pea-brain!)

However, even equipped with everything I could ever possibly need for my travels, Morpheus kept his elusive distance night after night after night...

Argus-eyed at three, four, five (etc.) in the morning, I discovered that apparently all of my dreams could be fulfilled with a nothing more than a credit card and products sold on infomercials.  And granted, I was exhausted, but that didn’t make me STUPID!
“Just what are you up to?” I finally confronted the cranium.

In what I’ve decided must be some sort of unusual coping mechanism, Morpheus has kept me wide awake for the last few nights; but has recently descended with a Thor-like hammer at about 2pm in the afternoon to knock me out of the blue into a coma-like oblivion until dinnertime.

And quite frankly, it’s not a bad plan...  (I’ve learned not to question The Universe.)
I’ve become rather accustomed to the white noise hum of my A/C during the day with the blinds drawn; and with the occasional dialogue from my TV with the volume set on low, I do believe that my tiny little pea-brain is preparing for me to sleep ever so pleasantly as I aviate from 10am to almost midnight.

(Plus, I bought some Benadryl, just in case...)
Looking forward to visiting my loved ones!


Saturday, July 6, 2013



“Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway.”  ~John Wayne
With a subtle “click-click” out of the side of my mouth, I summoned the necessary presence of one of my many High Horses from the stable to assist me with a particularly worrisome task.  And who should arrive, but a mighty stallion named “Daedalus” (yeah, it’s Greek and I can’t pronounce it either), who snorted disapprovingly in my face.

“Look, I don’t know how to fly” I fessed up, feeling very much like a lame fledgling waddling shamefully through a nest of twigs. 
But lowering his neck and giving me a hoof up, I clambered aboard Daedalus for strength and comfort as I began searching websites for airline tickets.

Granted it was a wee bit difficult to see the keyboard what with all the clawing at the ground, digging of heels, and attempting to break out of the reins (that would all be me), but eventually I managed to log on to the Bob Hope Airport information page. 
And there were links to airlines to map my trip!  Frankly, astride my High Horse, I could achieve anything!  Oh, Daedalus was fueling my hubris!  I could fly ever so close to the sun on my own wings (i.e. credit card), and with such minimal flights!  I could visit family and friends in two different cities in a week and a half! 

Yes, strap on the man-made wings and I will soar!
“Hmm...” my beloved friend (and Travel Agent) C2 mused on the phone as Daedalus and I circled anxiously in our comfort zone corral while she checked her computer.  “I’m not sure if you read the fine print on the websites, but there aren’t any direct flights for any of your travel plans.”

“Let’s see...  I can reroute you through JFK on the east coast, and maybe have you switch planes in Detroit on this one, but you’ll probably have to go through Atlanta on that one...  Wait.... uh-oh...”

Uh-oh?  UH-OH?!  Who wants to hear “UH-OH!” from a Travel Agent?!?!
“Let me play with the dates and see what I can do that might accommodate your special needs” she smiled lovingly over the phone.  “I can even get a travel cart for you, if your hip still hurts!  Boop, boop, boop!” 

(Well, I quite liked the sound of that!  Perhaps I should pack my tiara and attempt to use my cheap LED scepter as a cane?)
But, Uck...

I was stressing.
My pea-brain was spiraling out of control. 

Since the last flight that I’d spread my wings for was essentially an up and down swoop and plummet from Los Angeles to Las Vegas five years ago (Yeesh, I barely got to suck down my one and only free drink on the plane!), not to mention the fact that my visit spanned less than forty-eight hours; luggage wasn’t really required aside from a set of PJs and a change of clothes.
But, Uck...

I was now looking at essentially ten days of travel.  In the air.  ALL across the country.  And waaaay out of my comfort zone. 
CUE the anxiety!

From day one of starting this blog, I’ve been painfully honest with all of you who are kind enough to pop by and have a read and I thank you for your kindness!

But frankly, I’m nervous...
Yes, I’ve paid for all of my reservations, but I still have reservations.

How do I pack for this trip?  How much cash will I need?  How disgustingly humid will temperatures be?  Will I be able to make all of my connections?  Will my luggage survive the journey?  Will I find the next terminal for all of my plane changes?   (And why must they call it a “terminal”?) 
To top it off, there will be “airplane-people-germs” everywhere!!!  (Perhaps this wasn’t the best week to TiVo a marathon of the Emmy winning show “Monk”...  (One episode in, and I had to vacuum again.))

Yet most importantly, with plans to check only one bag and a guarantee of aisle seating on only half of my flights, where on earth (if you will) would I stow mighty Daedalus?  Inside a teeny overhead bin?  Crammed under the seat? 
I think not!

Working myself up into a full-frenzied blather, my personal control issues were, well, spinning out of control...

After roughly three days of seriously stubborn negotiations on my part (Daedalus brutally kicked me at the thought of a red-eye which made me change planes at Chicago O’Hare at 5:11 in the morning); a handful of emails (Daedalus had no interest WHATSOEVER in my parents driving all the way to Detroit and us sitting in a car for hours (where would he lie down?!); as well as repeated lengthy telephone calls (Daedalus and I salivated at the thought of a temporary lay-over in Las Vegas) with the world’s most patient Travel Agent, apparently this bat-cave dwelling, angst-ridden misanthrope, who despises leaving her comfort zone, will be experiencing the hospitality of four different airlines, seven separate flights and hourly lay-overs (in no particular order) at Burbank CA, Phoenix AZ, Chicago IL, Detroit MI (TWICE), Ft. Wayne IN, Syracuse NY and JFK in New York City...
“Are you planning on checking any luggage?” my brilliant friend and Travel Agent wanted to know as we finalized the details.

“One bag.  I don’t want to have to lug it everywhere.”  (Metaphorically, my MENTAL baggage (and you know, my HORSE) could easily disrupt the weight of the planes.)
“Understood!” she’d agreed.  “So how do you want to pay?”

And that’s when push came to shove.  (Hence my choice of photo for this post.)
“It’ll be a Master Card” I nodded ‘assertively’ (hey, I’m an Actor) as my quivering anxious fingers pulled the plastic from the wallet in my purse.

As my parents had generously offered to reimburse me for my flights should I make the time to spend a week with them, I had to admit that we’ve spent far too many years apart.  In addition, I have three “new” family members whom I’ve not yet met; plus I made a heartfelt promise to attend a small, intimate wedding on the east coast for one of my best friends who found his soul mate.

Yes, the flights were costly (taking into account my “special needs”); but if I could successfully tackle Standing-in on a post-coitus scene in bed with actor David Spade (I did!), for a Network Run-Thru, then I could certainly spread my wings for this adventure, and not let down my family and friends!

“Well hello there!” my fiend RJ beamed over the phone.  “We got your emailed itinerary, and we can’t wait to see you!  How are you?”
“I’m panicking a little...” I fretted.  “I don’t fly!  I don’t know how to do this!” I whimpered, wiping puddles of sweat off of my palms on my cozy indoor jammies as I lurked about in the comforting darkness of my sanctuary.

“Piece of cake” my seasoned traveler pal (who flies all over the world every other day) offered.  “Toddler in a mini-van.  Just bring what you need to keep from being crabby.”

Voddy-logically, Daedalus and I sat down to formulate a workable plan together.

“Toddler in a mini-van” I repeated the mantra as we scanned the bat cave for comforting items whilst I whipped out a pen and pad of paper for a check list.
First and foremost, the mighty stallion nuzzled my heroic “Wonder Woman” tote as a carry-on to contain nerve-calming crossword puzzles (brilliant!); followed by a snort at my Kindle Fire and earplugs (genius! -– as well as a hearty equine-mucousy reminder to pack tissues and loads of hand sanitizer); and disappearing into the kitchen, I’ll be darned if Daedalus didn’t clippety-clop back with an oats and honey granola bar in his teeth.  (OK, maybe he was just hungry for a snack, but what a terrific idea for my travels!)

Now, before a handful of you lovely kind readers hop upon your own High Horses to admonish me for my angst, share your tales of lengthy travels and how effortlessly you gracefully gad about the world; please understand that I have no real fear of flying.  After all, my Dad got his pilot’s license when I was quite young, and I have only fond memories of buzzing about in a tiny twin engine jalopy!
Nay, I’m facing mythological demons of my adult control issues...

I suppose it’s rather appropriate that my deceased Grandpa (on my Dad’s side) showed up randomly in a dream for a family dinner.  Most everyone was there (although my pea-brain re-cast one of my nephews with young actor Graham Patrick Martin whom I worked with years ago...)

(Sorry, Austin!); and whilst no one else could see him, my Grandpa was dressed ever so smartly in a blue plaid shirt that matched his glistening blue eyes.

But it wasn’t until a few days later that I remembered my Grandparents putting me on a plane back home from a visit to Florida.
“Gee, I hope THAT’S not the pilot” my beloved Grandpa had said, pointing out a man in cap and uniform.  “He’s got shifty eyes.  And I think his hands are shaking!”


Yes, billions of people safely fly all over the world every single day. 
And billions of people also have dental work performed too.

But neither means that I won’t be an angst-ridden puddle oozing down the exit ramps out of every single plane!
Biting the bullet, saddling up and slowly preparing for take-off,

~Fledgling P (and mighty Daedalus!)