I gave my home a colonic!

January 13th, 2012 → Leave a comment

Washing away that hot dog I ate in the third grade.

Did you know that the human colon holds 6-7 pounds of waste in the crevices and nooks?

(Maybe you didn’t want to know that.)

Last year I threw down a lot of shows, including the world premiere and short 3-city tour of CAT LADY.  I did a run of Going Green the Wong Way in San Francisco.  I raised almost 10k for the development and touring of those shows through my fan base.  Thanks to crowdfunding, I realized that despite the isolation I live in as a self-employed artist working from home, there are people (some I’ve never met) who like what I do enough to support it (THANK YOU).

Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest toured into it’s FIFTH year EVERYWHERE including Virginia Tech and a medical conference at Stanford.  I finally got to live my dream and travel for weeks and weeks alone through Southeast Asia and fell in love with life and myself again.  I put another year of home ownership under my belt– I still can’t believe I’m a performance artist and homeowner!   Thanks to Groupon, I learned to breathe via four months of yoga at four different yoga studios in Downtown LA. (Yep, I’m a Groupon Hussy.)  I inadvertently learned that when working at home, sanity really does come from daily fitness and leaving the house for a few hours while the sun is out.   Best of all, my dream job came true when American Public Media’s Marketplace show invited me to be a regular guest commentator!

It was a year packed tighter than a sausage.  And I’m glad it’s over.

On the love front, in 2011, I was in a great but brief relationship that really reminded me that there was such a thing as respectful people who have their lives together.  And that it is possible to be in a partnership where someone doesn’t yell and put you down to get their point across.   I just about gave up hope that there was such thing as good people. It didn’t help that I had been working on a play about pick-up artists for the last three years which brought with it, all sorts of wanky energy in my love life.  Last year’s brief brush with healthy love got me  in a great mindset about relationships again.  I feel protective of my heart and energy.  Most importantly, I love myself. For the first time ever after a break-up, I thanked my partner for the time we shared.  And when all my friends were sending knee jerk girl sympathy emails of “Fuck him. You deserve better”– I didn’t give into the bashing.  I replied, “He was a great person.  We just didn’t work out.  I’m just grateful that I got to experience that relationship.  I learned so much.”

That’s some adult shit right?!

What kept bugging me all last year though? My home.  I bought this place in March 2010 and still had yet to get some art on the walls and really claim the space as my own.  I got so use to leaving home, I damn near forgot what a home was.

I had pictures and paintings from past lives stacked against the wall.  I enjoyed the potential of virgin white walls, but also felt overwhelmed at defining who I was through my surroundings.  I was so used to waking up in different hotel beds every week, that deciding on consistent things to look at was an impossible task.  My performances are so specific and articulated, yet paradoxically, in my private life, I couldn’t make a decision on how to define my life in my very own home.  I didn’t expect to buy a loft, and the cathedral walls here seemed to eclipse all the tiny post-college art pieces I had in my possession.  So I left the walls blank for almost two years!

At the time I bought my home two years ago, I had been a few months out of the world’s worst relationship with a filthy broken verbally abusive man who refused to let me to hang my art because he didn’t want more holes in the walls.  He said it would prevent him from getting his security deposit back from our landlord despite the fact that he intended to live there indefinitely, had painted the walls different colors, and already lived there for years.  Crazy right?

I unfortunately think the fear of breaking the walls and lowering my property value followed me for the last two years.  But last week, I took the hammer, fearlessly threw nails through the walls and claimed my rightful home.  I have a few “woodpecker holes” from pictures I didn’t quite hang straight and had to do a few tries to get right… I don’t care.  That’s why god made spackle.

I must have cleared at least two carloads of crap out of the house.  I gave away a seven year old cat pee stained  futon mattress (thanks Oliver) to someone on Craigslist.  I’m even slowly selling off my yarn collection.  Yep, the yarn obsessed Kristina is being replaced with a whole something exciting else.

I thought it would take me two or three days to clean out the house.  Nope.  Turns out a project like my home and art archives takes TEN DAYS to clear through.  But now!  I have my dream home. I have an office where you can see the desk!  I have visual points of focus in the home.  I have my Cambodian glamour shots up in the living room!  I have ADULT FURNITURE!   There’s a lot more work to be done too. I feel a bit guilty like I’m late for the race of 2012.  I didn’t do much of any work these last ten days.  I’ve just been cleaning, clearing, re-arranging.  But it’s the necessary foundation for this new transition in my life.

I’ve actually hired home organizers and assistants to help me with my home in the past.  But something about just being home and being home for the first time for months that has really kicked my own ass to get this done on my own.

I’m learning that the biggest transition to an adult home office is eliminating plastic and cardboard storage units. I had so many files inside milk crates which were clumsy and collected dust.  I replaced brown cardboard boxes, with the “classy” IKEA cardboard storage boxes with metal corners.  I am finally learning how to “display” things rather than cram them into a bookshelf.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal to some, but this is huge to me.  I finally have an adult home! And it’s mine!  And I don’t care if I don’t get my security deposit back because I own this house!  So take that stupid ex boyfriend from three years ago! I am no longer a casting candidate for Hoarders! I am the best version of myself that I could ever share with the world!

So this is a whole energy shift. The direction of my new creative work has to change.  I’m no longer interested in mining my interior and fileting my history.  I’m bored with identity politics– I’ve been for years.  I’m interested in the rest of the world and turning over as many new ideas as possible. I want to make truly innovative ideas come to life– faster than ever.

I will always love theater, but the timeline for making theater can be hellishly long. Proposals, grant deadlines, readings, presentations dates, courting theaters, production details– it’s all necessary to make great theater, but holding onto ideas (especially show ideas on suicide and depression) for that long was also holding my life hostage.  After last year’s James Franco debacle, the invitations to be a blogger and commentary from some big magazines and websites couldn’t pour in fast enough.  And I couldn’t jump on any of the offers because I was on tour, mired in production, or just passed out.

While you won’t see me touring as many different cities and shows this year, I’ll still be touring and making new work.  I do my first international run this year when Going Green the Wong Way goes to the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland!  I will also be doing a three week run of the same show in Los Angeles!  Exciting!  So I’m choosing projects more selectively.   I used to be scared that if I didn’t take EVERY opportunity offered that people would forget that I was alive.  I’m now focused on learning as much as possible and making some really strategic decisions.

2012 is the “flip the script” year for me.  I live in Los Angeles, and it’s time to let people know that I’m actually here and can work here.  Hollywood baby.

I’ve also decided to quit drinking for year. Goodbye Wong Island Iced Teas!   I realized after too many drunken nights of volunteering to be random gay couples’ surrogate mother, maybe I needed to change my interior as well.

My mother’s reaction when I told her I was going sober?  “Good.  Save Money.”

Category: artist life.

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