Full disclosure. I am drunk-blogging at my local watering-hole, as I am pushed to the brink with Eternal Summer, always on the quest of finding air-conditioned establishments to seek refuge in (this is SURVIVAL, here, people, REAL SURVIVAL). At this current … Continue reading
Hello friends back Stateside and elsewhere, As promised, here is an extended account of my amazing Land of Oz Roadtrip in photographic form!
When I left the the US on June 2nd, I originally had a return ticket booked (for soon-ish). But this week I thought, fuck it, I want to stay longer! Instead of the original plan, I am now going to embark on an … Continue reading
People are all,
“Heeeey Britt, it’s so cool that you’re a Big Time LA actor these days. Your life must be soooo exciting and glamorous. Show us a little bit of that Red Carpet Slice O’ Life!” **
To which I say:
(I’ve seen the edge of my Soul and it is Dark.)
**actually, I’m pretty sure no one has ever said this, ever.
**But, I am wrong, and you have in fact said this, or want to say this, please approach me. You are good for my ego and I love you.
As most of you probably know, I am getting my MFA in Acting at USC and I’M FINALLY GRADUATING THIS SPRING!! I could not be more excited to be free again and have agency over my time, but the past … Continue reading
I would like to a moment to tell you about this incredible woman:
This is my Grandma Helen Estelle Stone Smith Baespflug. She passed away on October 27th, 2014 at the incredible age of 98. My Grandma was my hero and I love her very much.
In an effort to get the whole family together (Grandma Helen had 7 children, if that gives you any idea of the amount of people we’re talking about here), the memorial was scheduled months after her passing on what would have been her 99th birthday.
I am now on Day 18 of mono (and think I can safely say I am almost in the clear! Finally!) and luckily made my goal of getting on an airplane last Friday to attend the memorial over the weekend in Tacoma, WA, with the added bonus of having my dear parents nurse me back to health. As much as I wouldn’t let the worry enter my head (I can really only take things one moment at a time since this virus has been plaguing me for what seems like years), I knew that I ran the risk of the stress of air-travel pushing me back a few spaces.
I guess it did.
To my utter heartbreak, I was unable to attend Grandma’s funeral the day after I arrived in Tacoma. I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain in my throat and ears. I couldn’t swallow without gagging and experiencing searing pain in my tonsils. It was clear that I needed to seek medical attention ASAP and spent the rest of the day doing so with my dad. It turns out that I had a bacterial infection on top of my mono (gotta collect ’em all!), which obviously sucks, but the good news is that antibiotics WORK. So I’m on the mend. But I didn’t get to celebrate Grandma’s life with my family members that traveled from near and far to be together. I wasn’t able to be there for my mom in the way I wanted and needed to be. This was really hard for me and I am very sad about that.
So. I’ve been spending the day journaling, remembering, talking with my mom, going through pictures… trying to make the most of this time. It feels nice.
Here are some beautiful photos I (re)discovered at my parents’ house:
I wanted to take this time, during my own time of reflection, to share with you, my friends, my thoughts and memories of Helen. Cause she was so, SO awesome. And you would all love her.
Here are things you need to know about my Grandma:
1.) She LOVED to dance.
My mom told me that she and my Grandpa would go out dancing every week until Grandpa passed. They were incredible.
I also remember Grandma dipping my cousin Michael on the dance floor on his own wedding day (she must have been 93 or 94 at the time) because she wanted to see the young whipper-snappers “dance correctly”. So she strutted up to the dance floor, literally took the lead, forcefully spun Michael around and dipped him. She bowed, turned around on a dime and strutted back to the seated area as the next lady came up to dance with Michael. Classic Helen. You minx!
2.) She LOVED my Grandpa Martin.
My Grandpa was one of the sweetest, gentlest men in existence. I love hearing my mom talk about him. He raised 6 girls (and 1 boy), so I’m pretty sure that automatically makes you a saint. He fought in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart. He passed away my freshman year of high school.
3.) And of course, Helen LOVED her kids. All 7 of them.
4.) She was sarcastic and witty as hell.
This is one of my favorite Helen stories.
After I broke off an engagement post-college (that’s another long story we’ll get into at a later date, okay kids?), my Grandma had some pretty snarky (read as: “spot-on”) things to say to me:
Helen: “Brittney. What is your favorite thing to drink these days?”
Britt: “I don’t know… Coffee. Purple Gatorade? Tea, I guess.”
Helen: “Are you sure it’s not booze?”
Helen: *Hysterical laughter*
Britt: “…okay, yeah.”
Not much longer after that, mid-conversation on (hopefully) a different matter, Grandma stops mid-sentence with a gasp to admire the many rings I was wearing. She quickly scanned my left ring-finger, noted that it was bare and unadorned, then slyly looked up at me.
Helen: “…So. That’s the scary one, huh?” (She says, totally dead-pan. This kind of delivery was her specialty.)
Helen: “You wanna stay away from that one, don’t you.”
Britt: (awkardly) “Oohhh yeah.”
Then, I’m pretty sure, we got up to get wine after that.
Helen: 2, Britt: 0
Well played, Grandma, well played.
5.) She loved putting you in your place. In the most hilarious, loving way possible.
I remember I came over to Grandma’s house with a friend in middle-school, early high-school, maybe, and she had strong opinions about us not entering the house until she was done tidying up. I insisted that “it’s FINE, Gramma, we really don’t care”, and barged my way through the front door. The 90-pound, 80-something-year-old woman forcefully, physically, pushed us back out the front door until she was ready for us to come back in. Which was literally like… 60 seconds later (during which time she opened the door as if for the first time seeing us that day, greeting us with a sweet Granny smile).
6.) Grandma Helen was an exceptional artist.
I think these images speak for themselves. Here are some of my faves:
7.) Grandma Helen should have been a famous costume designer in the Hollywood. (Refer back to #6 — you see what I’m talking about?!)
My mom, aunts, and uncle were all in different incarnations of bands in their youth. Grandma made ALL of their costumes, and there were always new costumes for different sets within a given show. According to my mother, Grandma Helen would make up to 20 costumes per show. I mean, WOW.
So check THIS out:
My mom brought some gorgeous pieces back for me from the memorial that my Grandma made. I wanted you to see what they looked like on a person — not on a hanger — so you could see these pieces in their full glory. But unfortunately for you, this means that you get Super Mono Girl as your model. Ohhhh BABY. Enjoy.
Not to mention, Grandma made all of the girls’ prom dresses in high school! She also made my mom’s wedding dress (and I believe all, or at least most, of my aunts’ wedding dresses). Dayum.
8.) Grandma Helen was the best Grandma ever.
I have so many fond memories of playing the day away at her house and in the large backyard with my cousins. My memories come in little snippets here in there; something strange or simple will jog my memory randomly. For example, I remember I was really obsessed with this bird book that Grandma had. I was just thinking about this the other day for some reason. I was super fixated on the large Snowy Owl that graced two pages of the book in full color. I would sit on the floor of her house or on the swing outside and look that thing for what seemed like hours.
There are far too many memories to write about here. But I just wanted to say that her presence, her home, her humor, all of it, painted my childhood with so many beautiful and vibrant colors.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and love one of my biggest heroes with me. This is the best way I can think of to honor her influence on my life and celebrate hers since I was not able to do so as planned this past weekend. Thank you for supporting me in sharing the things I needed to share.
Below are the last photos I had taken with my Grandma. I love them the most, I think. There is something so fun and free about them. They make me smile.
I love you Grandma and I miss you so much already. Teach me to be like you. Happy 99th birthday. You won Life.
KA-BLAM! 2015! Things are going great. Your career is taking off. You’re sort of, almost, over your death-fear of airplanes. You’re in love a little bit. The RAC album is on loop in your head. You walk with swagger. You look fly as hell. Things are GOOD.
2015 is gonna be GOOD.
FUCK YOU, BETCH!! YOU GET MONO!! BWAAHHAAAA!!!
Mono. Mono?!?! I somehow have mono. Who even GETS mono anymore?! Is this not a middle school thing?! I’m a grown-ass woman! And, yes, thank you to Every-Person-Whom-I’ve-Ever-Told-That-I-Have-Mono, no, I’m not kissin a bunch of rando-s up in here. I know exactly where my mouth has been, thankyouforyourconcern. It’s just– AGHHHHH– how did this happen?! And could this have come at more terrible time?!
I remember saying to Dani sometime last year when I was going a million miles an hour and my life was hanging in a delicate balance of Crazy / Awesome (any given day): “Ha! You know who could never, EVER afford to get something like mono?!”
Fun fact. It took me 36 (or so) attempts to write this fucking post. Because I keep getting too tired. TOO TIRED TO LOOK AT A COMPUTER SCREEN and TYPE FOR A MINUTE. I will get through part of a sentence or a half a thought and then completely lose my will to live.
But that’s okay. I keep at it. I will finish this post purely because I’m a stubborn asshole. Persistence. I’ve got that in spades.
….What is the point of this post exactly? How will I know when it is over? Will I ever get through the tunnel of this sick-vortex? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but all I know is that if I don’t finish this post today, THE MONO HAS WON.
But really. I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body. I could get into the nasty, woeful details, but I feel snarky today so I’m going to take that as a good turning-point-in-my-health sign and go with it. All you need to know that this is Day 11 and this is hands-down the sickest I’ve been in my adult life. One night (Night 4, I believe), I was home alone and sincerely thought I was going to die. True story. (I didn’t.) (True story.) You also probably need to know that I’ve watched all of the episodes of Parenthood and cried into my pillow (and it SUPER hurts to cry but not as much as it hurts to eat and drink. And be idle. GodDAMN it hurts to be idle…) and called my mom practically every hour on the hour. Maybe you didn’t need to know that last bit, but there you have it anyway. Slice of patheticBrittsicklife.
I’ve been super lucky though. I have the best friends in the world. I’m fairly certain I would be dead right now if nursemaid Dani wasn’t here making me eat and taking me to the doctor and the pharmacy and writing with me and loving on me and saying encouraging things like, “you’re gonna make it, kid!”.
I just need to get stable before I take off on another jetplane on Friday. That is my goal.
But you know what guys, you know what?! I am still making genius art whilst on my death-bed! Dani and I shot this beautiful piece starring my hand and her dino set. It confronts the complexities of universal longing and interspecies love, as well as bravely tackles the issues of diversity, ignorance, and the thread that binds us all together (love). I hope you enjoy.
I hope that constitutes a “button” on the end of a barely-passable stream-of-consciousness sick post. You get what you paid for, betches. I woke up like dis. Pucker up, lemme kiss yaaa.
Super Mono Girl, OUT.
Happy holidays everyone! Sorry, had to blow my GIF load before I could focus on typing a coherent sentence.
I am writing to you from my favorite high school hangout, Bertolino’s coffeeshop (open 24/7, bitches) in my hometown, Tacoma, WA. It is rainy as balls here. My plans include sleeping, eating, binge-watching Arrested Development on Netflix, sleeping, catching up on the five issues of Variety I haven’t read, and sleeping. Also, I’ve been alone a lot with my thoughts since being home.
I have so many different homes. Los Angeles, Portland, Tacoma… I know this comes with the territory of being a post-collegiate 20-something artist vagabond, but holy WOW. Some of the thoughts I have! I swear half the time I don’t know where I am, who I am, where I am going or where I want to go, what house I’m in when I wake up in the morning and what job I am going to that day. It’s a lot. But this life is what I choose and what I want. I want to take full ownership of that.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was really homesick for Portland, but now I am homesick for Los Angeles. It’s so funny how that shifts. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a quick weekend in Portland this month to shoot an episode of Random Acts and spend some quality time with my good friend Liz. The trip was very good for my soul. I can’t remember the last time I was able to completely relax for 24 hours. It was heaven. I slept in my old room in my best friend’s house that was beautifully decorated for Christmas, I had two cats and a dog to snuggle with, there was bottomless kombucha to consume, and I got to see my brother and some of my very dearest friends. Heaven! I needed that. And when Liz drove me to the airport at 4am on a Monday in the freezing 18-degree Portland winter weather, I was ready to go back to my new home.
Let me tell you more about my new home. When we first moved in, my “room” looked like this: And here is how it looks NOW: You like those classy make-shift walls and sheet-doors we discussed last time? Yeah, I like ’em too. We’ve been busy.
I’ve been busy.
My Few Couple Weeks:
The past few weeks have been a crazy blur of work, reconnecting with friends, parties, casting workshops, and glitter. I also wrapped up my audit of the Los Angeles District Court (because I am an all-around badass) and started a new job and quit said job on the same day (because I am an all-around badass).
As noted earlier, I flew back to Portland for a weekend to shoot an episode of the PNW webseries, Random Acts and spend quality time with my dear friend Liz. I flew back to LA after the trip at the crack of dawn to get to an audition on time, which made me feel kind of awesome. Awesome and sleep-deprived.
We had our first annual “A Very Ke$ha Christmas” themed party (and our first ever party in our new home). “A Very Ke$ha Christmas”, as in, this:
to achieve this:
…but in a Christmasy sort of way. Just think of the unicorns as reindeer and the glitter as snowflakes.
It is safe to say that our sparkly extravaganza was a hit. What are the ingredients for throwing a hit LA party, you ask? Let me tell you.
1.) Decorate the house with the appropriate mix of Christmas and glitter.
2.) Craft some vaguely Christmas and Ke$ha-themed signs.
3.) Have a Suz create some installation art.
4.) Sketchily make some sangria in a cooler with the “50% off” gallon of white wine you had at the house:
5.) Make the dress code bright colors, glitter, and anything with animals on it. If a guest shows up out of dress-code, proceed to glitter-bomb them. (Thank you Suz for the use of your craft-drawer glitter stash.)
6.) When you wake up in the morning to this, you know you have succeeded.
The past few weeks also brought SoCal Christmas parades in the 78 degree heat,
and the fabulous Christmas surprise of seeing the Broadway hit, Peter and the Starcatcher (THANKS, ScoLo!!). It was incredible.
These past few weeks have left me one happy Britt girl. Merry effing xmas.
I leave you now with my Scoreboard.
love, santa, & teddy bears,
Things have been very exciting lately in Britternet Land. As you may recall from my last post, I got drunk in space for hundreds of thousands of people to see. 700,623 documented viewers–to be exact (as of 12pm, Sept. 4th, … Continue reading
If you’ve read this blog before, you have probably read a few posts about a problem that Britt and I often encounter as actors/functional adults; a problem that may be the biggest challenge of choosing to make the arts your career path:
Britt and I are both doggedly pursuing art as a career, which means we end up living double-lives in the meantime. There are the “adult-y” things we have to do to make ends meet and there are the creative projects that we fill our lives with in order to stay artistically alive. This equals a ton of man-hours of work, which is why I kind of giggle when I hear this attribute stereotypically assigned to artists:
And THAT is bullshit!! Some of the most independent, hard-working, entrepreneurial folks I know are artists (including my Dani and Yours Truly). I often think of artists as ninjas… and you KNOW those ninjas trained their asses off to learn how to be badass and invisible. While also paying their ninja bills somehow.
Damn straight, Britt! THIS is the truth people:
So true. And doing all of the crap we do, while trying to stay sane and be functional and decent human beings at the same time, is quite trying at times.
So my lesson of this week has been that IT IS OKAY TO TAKE SOME “ME TIME.” Okay, yeah, it is somewhat trite, but seriously, I have to remind myself of this or my busy-ness will start to chip away at my sanity.
IT IS SO IMPORTANT!
Honestly, some days I just feel like:
When really, I want to be more like:
See? Cat Ninja. This cat ninja is kicking ass and working shit out. Probably because she allows for plenty of cat-Me-Time when not out kicking major dog and gopher ass.
Damn straight! According to my half-assed research on the internet (AKA googling it), cats spend 13-16 hours of their day sleeping. Straight up SLEEPING. That doesn’t count the time they spend eating cat food and stretching and licking their balls. I’m not about to publicly divulge how much time I spent this week eating cat food and licking my balls (too far? maybe), but let me give you an example of how I carved out some time for myself on Monday..
Dani’s super-special-me-time Monday:
- Get up in time to go to class (skip workout and get a full night of sleep)
- Go to movement class,
- Use the three hour break to LEAVE CAMPUS (gasp!), go to BIKRAM YOGA, and spend too much money on this absurdly delicious sandwich at Atwater Village Farm
4. Come back to campus for 3:00 p.m. scene study class, feeling rejuvenated
5. Stick around campus for rehearsal until the sun is long gone from the sky
Way to go, D. I’m proud of you. You are self-care MACHINE. And that falafel burger looks AMAZING.
Dude. It seriously was. No joke. Although, damn girl, I feel like part of the whole “me time” thing is not over-committing myself, and saying no when I need to. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to do the work that you DO commit to. I just read a great article by David Cain on Thought Catalog about being conscious of the things that you commit yourself to doing, and how they take up space in your head and heart.
I also found this little gem especially useful, courtesy of Justine Musk:
You should really do yourself a favor and check out the entire post by Justine Musk. Some of my favorite Badass Reasons to Say No (which I am sure I will use in the near future) include: “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes” (#3) “or your eyes” (#4), “My schedule… is up in the air right now. See it wafting down the corridor” (#5), and “I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be fucking stupid” (#15).
I would also like to give a special shout-out to reason #23, as it explicitly states hotswetymonkysex as a Badass Reason to Say No to things. And you know how Dani and I LOUURVE talking about hotswetymonkysex.
Hell yeah! We are trying to get as many horny teenagers to read our blog as possible. Too far again? Maybe. Yes. Definitely, yes.
…It’s never too far.
Anyway, remember to take care of your hot selves this week by doing some hot and sweaty bikram yoga, eating tasty food, and saying NO to people when you need to.
Yeah, back the fuck OFF, world!! Britt and Dani told me to take some Me Time!! (You’re welcome)
dani and britt xoxo