Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Video

I have so much to share and say and many photos to post, but I have had one hour and 37 minutes of sleep and am at work (haven't been home yet since the shoot ended at 2:30 this morning).

In short, and for now: It was INCREDIBLE! So...much....FUN! Which is probably why I'm semi-functioning, successfully vertical, and retaining some semblance of mental acuity.

I will write more in full, probably this weekend. Stay tuned.....

...Have you ever been to American wedding?! Where's the vodka, where's marinated herring?!........................

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just call me Laura "Overwhelmed" Didyk (that could be my Ulimate Fighting name)

Here's just a few of the things doggy paddling around the murky waters of Laura's cabeza:

*must go buy this sad dress (for the video shoot) at the Good Will tomorrow after laundry:

(it has a slippery sashy scarfy shoulder-shawl thing that goes with it, oh, AND, it gives me bigger boobs...for three days I'll have something of a bust. Very cool!)

*stress out about shoes for the shoot...How could anything besides sneakers or Uggs be at all comfortable for so many hours? Laura in high heels is like a cat, well, like a cat in high heels...possible, but completely intolerable...

*give feedback to inmate Jeff F's science fiction story (he's actually pretty good)

*finish writing my bio note for this Fence anthology (Fence: The First Nine Years) in which they are including/re-printing a very strange poem of mine called "Friend"

*dial up a girl named Crystal about reading poetry submissions for her new lit mag

*get laundry together and ready to roll for first thing tomorrow morning

*dishes (and kitchen in general)

*4 turns to take on 4 games of Scrabulous (this one is hardly bothering me)

*make a list of everything I need (and probably a crapload of things I don't but will put on the list anyway) for my video adventure to the city

*worry about how I am going to do any or all of this and work 8 hours tomorrow...

I am, I am, I am superwoman, and I know what's happening...

OK, that's enough out of me...

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Theme of the American Wedding

From Olivia, the stylist from the casting company in charge of the Gogol Bordello video:

"The theme of the wedding party is BORING and then we spice the party with lively eastern european gypsy flavor!

Bring your best worst wedding gear...think sad 1993 prom for your dress choice."

This is going to be a riot.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Can Stomp When I Want To!

Thanks to GR for turning me on to this video. Mister Rogers is sitting next to Richard Nixon, fighting for money for public television. It's so bizarre and moving and lovely. If you can take 6 minutes and 50 seconds, please do watch. The interjections of the facilitator, John Pastori, are so great:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Post #50 (a)

I realize that I sort of skipped right over the fact that the other night's post was #50! That's kind of a big deal. I mean, whatever. But 50!

And I officially have run out of things to say. Is that possible? It's different writing when I know people will read it--and the people reading it are a confluence from every part of my life.

It doesn't help that I've pretty much just been working and playing Scrabulous on Facebook and so find myself unfilled with anything except: is "hae" really a WORD? Come on! And "za"? Seriously? Yes, seriously. It's slang for "pizza." And a totally valid move, apparently.

So glad I am getting down to what's important. Well, the words are pretty central to my well-being...

Have been reading an interview--Jonathan Lethem interviewing Paul Auster--and I find myself envious (jealous even) of their conversation around what it's like to work on a novel for 5, 6 hours a day. They are writing for a living. And it makes my writing life seem so paltry in comparison. Sometimes I think it's the goal. Other times, I'm not sure that's what my writing life is shaping up to be, or even wants to be. Sometimes I'm glad I manage to find time to have fun--see music, go to folk dancing events, get cast as an extra in a video.

But I also want to work harder. To dedicate more of me to the work. And I actually don't think it's so much about dedication as it is about confidence, believing that I'm going to get somewhere with it, that my writing is worth my time (and others). I know it is, but then I forget. Most of my recently published work is years it's scary, wondering if I can actually finish something now. Finish something and then do the work of getting it out there, in print.

Less e-mail, more poems? Less scrabble, more juice for essays? Less e-mail, less e-mails in return, more loneliness? Who knows the answer...

I know that even when I do shift my tasks, I often feel like I should be relaxing more, or cleaning more, or writing more, or having more fun, or playing more Scrabble. So maybe it's not so much about what I do, but where my head's living.

I know I work hard. I drive a lot. I try and keep my dishes washed, my clothes clean. I wouldn't trade my friends for anything in the whole world including an ultra successful writing career. I know I can have it's just a slow road. Sometimes slower than I would like.

A friend and I were talking recently, and he was talking about G-O-D. And he said that lately he's been noticing how he gets everything he needs, but it doesn't always come the way he wants it to. It's only in hindsight that he's in awe over how it unfolded, how perfectly, even tho it felt far from perfect at the time. He raised his hands in the air, and addressed the heavens: "that's why you're God! Because I could never come up with that shit..."

So I'm going to try and be in awe right now. And take my comfort--if maybe in smaller doses, so I don't feel weighed down by inaction, by too much typing and not enough imagining, by too many lists and not enough language.

At this moment, dinner at the Kripalu dining hall calls...and I must answer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Post # 50

Having a bit of the vertigo wooziness today. Sometimes it happens if I'm on the computer too long, or I'm tired. Both of which are true at this very moment.

I finally talked to the casting man. He said, "That's great you can come for the whole three days. If you need to, you can come and go, since you're just an extra and not featured." Nice.

Even so, excitement abounds.

I'll leave you this night with a quote from an elderly lady I interviewed about the yoga classes she's taking:

"I don't think there's enough laughing in there sometimes. One of the teachers one day said, 'Think about it. A bunch of us in here standing on one leg? Now, really, it's pretty funny.' And it is. It really is."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dice! Dice!

Thanks to my dad, who brought me up in the convo with Judge, the casting dude, I got a call, too! I think I am just a regular old extra (mmph), but I'm SO EXCITED!

hopefully things at work will go smoothly so I can go for the whole three days. More details to come tomorrow from Judge.

Oh, and get this, so the video is for the song "American Wedding," right? My dad and stepmom are playing the PARENTS OF THE BRIDE!

Now, if I'd gotten picked to be the bride, THAT would have been something.

This is still something, tho, as those of you know who have been following the vision quest (as McPolack accurately deemed it) that is Laura Didyk and Gogol Bordello... I have no idea what I'm questing for . . . but I know it's leading somewhere...even if it is to just more fun, more dancing, more pumping my fist in the air...

Friday, February 15, 2008

No Dice for Me, but...

My dad and stepmom got picked for the video!!! Holy cripes. Can't believe it. I'm hoping to convince GB's publicist to let me accompany, so I can continue this radio piece I'm working on--the narrative of which just keeps getting better and better...! I meet Eugene. My dad and stepmother get chosen as featured extras for the "American Wedding" video. My god.

I'm so jealous I could explode, but happy as hell for my pops. What a story!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday, Mid-Feb

I sent in my info and "head shot" taken in the professional studios called Laura's Kitchen.

I'll keep you all posted...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that in a couple weeks I'll be in NYC pretending to be at a mid-western wedding turned gypsy punk celebration. . .

Oh! Also, my pops sent in stuff, too! We both might be invited to the wedding!

Today was a frenetic day. The video announcement. My first day on FaceBook. Lots o' work. Writing. Editing. All day at desk. Trying to eat this new way, not sure if I'm doing it right.

All the while, trying not to focus on the fact that it's Valentine's Day. I know, I know. I'm not 13 anymore. It's Thursday. It's mid-February. I'm a grown-up...

I did get a lovely card from a friend out in AZ. It says on the front:
"With hearts...the best thing you can do is invite someone in, make them some tea, and secretly hope they don't break anything." The tea cups below the words say "love" and "hope" respectively. And at the top in small cut out magazine letters it says "take care in this small place..."

That's a pretty good day, I guess.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh my god!

How there am I? SO THERE!!! Well, at least I'm sending in my "very clear head shot".

From Gogol Bordello's My Space page:


We are casting for a 2-Day Shoot - A music video for GOGOL BORDELLO!

For the track "American Wedding"

The shoot will take place on

FEB 26th&27th in Brooklyn or Queens - Location to be determined

The video takes place at a mid-west influenced American wedding - typical decor / activities.

It will quickly transform into an Eastern European gypsy carnival / celebration

This promises to be a super fun shoot!


All types - Men & Women

All Ages
Specifically :

Polish / Ukrainian Men & Women

50 - 65 yrs of age


5-13 yrs of age
Availability for all days is not required - We would appreciate any time you can give us. Featured Extras will be needed everyday

If you are interested, please contact us with the following info:

height, size, hair colour, experiences, a very clear headshot, and a phone number where we could reach you.

Featured extras will receive some pay.

Everyone participating will receive a copy of the finished video / headshots from a professional photographer

Please email with any questions and send your information to…


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Alphabet Game

Just started doing a warm-up writing exercise that I was told about at the AWP conference. Every day for 26 days, before you work on whatever it is you're working on, do 5 minutes. Day 1: every word you can think of that starts with "a". Day 2: every word you can think of that starts with "b," and so on.

It is supposed to lure you into paying attention to language, to word, to sound.

Here are my favorites from my first two days.


May you find your own alphabet....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Changed my mind about the democratic candidate

I did. I changed my mind. I don't want to vote for Barak Obama. I want to vote for his wife.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Right now, I'm listening to the soundtrack of Me and You and Everyone We Know. Love that Michael Andrews (also did soundtrack for Donnie Darko).

On other fronts (besides what's blasting into my ears), I'm completely overwhelmed. I was a tornado this week. Did not stop. I was writing an article most evenings--finally done and in, thank the lord. Spent a lot of time deciding that I really care about the results of the democratic primaries. I feel tense about it...tense with friends. Tense because I don't feel smart enough, politically speaking, to make some persuasive case with bullet points about why I voted for Obama (I'm getting there). Tense even announcing here who I voted for. Why do I feel that? Maybe it's a hesitancy with creating an identity for myself via who I voted for, with advertising my deepest values, with saying: I'm with this camp, or that one, etc. I look forward to some sense of democratic-party unity once there's a candidate (not that I've ever considered myself a true democrat until now, or a true anything-political for that matter).

In all honesty, I'm just tense in general right now. The fainting incident, which has led me to the undeniable fact that I must go back to my diet of years ago that a naturopath put me on after my very first serious vertigo attack. This means:

*no sugar (thank god for agave cactus syrup)
*no caffeine (don't even get me started...I'm not there yet)
*no white flour (only a little hard...mostly just hard when eating out)
*no white rice (not that i ate much of this anyway)
*no potatoes (don't eat these either, except sweet potatoes, which I can eat)
*all whole grains and regular protein and eating every 2 1/2 hours (lots o' almonds)
*close attention to portions; there are grams involved and servings and measured amounts of things...and it's only a pain at first but then I can pretty much eye it once I do it for a few days.

In short: It means eating really healthy, really balanced meals, and never letting myself get too hungry. The only thing bad about this shift is that it's hard dealing with the phenomenon of craving. And that's just not a good enough reason to stay where I am. It also means being reminded how my commuting situation in addition to the driving I do for other things makes it harder to have a balanced routine.

How does one get it all done? The driving, the full-time job, the laundry, the feeding one's self (well), the friendships, the fun, the relaxation? The keeping things in order? The staying in touch? The reading? And, of course, the most important thing of all: the writing.

It makes me want to lay down in the middle of my storm-strewn apartment and give it all up... But I also know there was a time when I wanted nothing to do with the upper world. So on a day (perhaps tomorrow) when I feel less overwhelmed, I'll remember that I'm really happy to be here...and having all these tasks, all the stuff of life to juggle and manage, is actually a privilege, not a drag.

And if you've actually read this far, you get the grand prize of this uncensored control-V...pasting clipboard (no idea what's on it)!:

the bars I used to swing up to,
the bars I climbed onto
in my leotard, palms caked
with spit and chalk

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

NYC - Part2

I keep waiting to not be tired so I can write about my trip: the details about my epic subway ride, how the EMTs had to peel me off the floor of the L train at Lorimer Street, how they carried me out of the subway in an ugly collapsible orange chair (yup, like a queen, like a really nauseous, pale, dizzy, sweaty queen), the great team of folks that helped me in the ER at Beth Israel, and the devotion of a dear friend who stayed with me for the long six hospital hours.

And all of this followed by a great weekend in the city with another dear friend from the Northwest. We ate awesome food (Greek at Keffi in the Upper West Side; healthy Lower East Side cafe grub at the Life Cafe; Middle Eastern pizza, or "pitza", at Moustache's on Bedford in the West Village with another good friend; and other spotty snacks around town). We trudged through the rain (in good spirits) the night we landed in Keffi (yum!... a shared calamari plate which included not just squid but fried chickpeas, and, get this, fried LEMON slices...delicious...then sheep cheese dumplings with spiced turkey sausage, capers, and olives in a tomato sauce). After Keffi was a cab across town to the Hungarian House for a Greek folk dance class with the lovely and talented teacher Kyriakos Moisidis (1...2...3... 1...2...3... bounce... 1...2...3... 1...2...3...bounce), and live brass music.

And then there was the AWP conference, and the reunion with long-ago Alabama friends and teachers, energized conversations about writing and living and working, and a couple great panels I went to.

Here's this from Richard Bausch (which I think comes through him from a long-dead writer):
"Every great work is written a little at a time, over time, in tremendous doubt and if you're confused with your work, don't think you're doing something wrong. Return to it every day, let it know you are there, and one day it will bless you."

Monday, February 04, 2008

On the L Train: NYC, Part 1

Wed, January 30, 6:45 pm–1:00 am

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Frozen in Grand Central

I have some tales from my recent trip to NYC. This isn't one of them. But it's really fu-kin' great.

"I can't move my caht..."