Sometimes an Actor Writes a Blog Post After A Long Drought

Sometimes an actor hasn’t written a real blog post in months, and she feels guilty about it. And then she sits down to write and a lot of stuff comes out that she’s pretty sure many people can relate to. And sometimes she realizes she’s talking about herself in the third person and wants you to just read it, already. For all of the family, friends, colleagues, Muggles, aliens, actors, artists and humans who stumble across this, thanks for being here.

Sometimes auditioning takes forever. Anytime you’re told that you’ll have some news by the end of the week, they don’t necessarily mean THE PARTICULAR WEEK YOU ARE IN. It just means the end of whatever week they decide to give you the news in.

Sometimes the most nerve-wracking auditions are not the ones for people you’ve never worked with before, but the ones where you’re in front of all of your friends and the people you respect not just as artists and creatives, but as humans. The ones you’ve probably had a glass of wine (or 4) too many with, or who let you cry on their shoulder when you got divorced. Personal example: Andrew Lloyd Webber? Easy as pie! Alex Timbers? I can’t handle thinking about potentially disappointing him. I would have to quit the business and become a sherpa.

Sometimes you go to an audition feeling incredibly proud of yourself for not conforming to the “audition uniform” of a dress and heels, and then the casting director tells you that while you were the most talented person there, you didn’t get it because you looked like you were going out to the club. And that you need highlights. And to learn how to use makeup. And she’s completely right.

Sometimes they make you audition for roles you’ve literally created, and played for 6 months. And sometimes they give your role to someone else. And sometimes you have to look at press photos on Twitter of the person who got it, who is wearing your old costumes. And sometimes that’s a really terrible feeling.

Sometimes very important people eat entire bags of chips during your audition ballad. Very, very loudly. Like, I’m talking crunching so loudly that the piano is drowned out and you mess up because you’re having a debate inside your head about whether or not you should stop in the middle of your song and say something, but how could you do that because this guy is basically in charge of whether you get this job or not, and now the song is over and you’ve completely blown it. But at least his blood sugar has been maintained.

Sometimes you have to say no to auditions, jobs, concerts, etc. Sometimes your life is more important and you’re not willing to be away from your new husband to do a show for 3 months in Connecticut. Sometimes you love your life more than your career, and that’s okay.

Sometimes everything is going exactly the way you’ve always dreamed of, but you can’t help feeling unfulfilled.

Sometimes the thrill of walking in your stage door every single day is much more satisfying and emotional than a billion Opening Nights combined.

Sometimes you get really bored waiting to work one day a week on a TV show. And even though it’s very well paid boredom, it can still make you feel useless as a human.

Sometimes when people call you a “Broadway actor/actress,” you can’t help feeling like a fraud, as it’s been years since you’ve actually set foot on a Broadway stage.

Sometimes you audition for a workshop of a new musical, and you book said workshop, and you love it and meet one of the best directors you’ve ever had the privilege to work with. And then said new musical is announced to move to Broadway, and you’re going with it, and you have to drop out of a project that would have taken you out of town for 3 months. And then said new Broadway musical is cancelled just two weeks into rehearsals, and you are devastated. But then you audition for the most exciting project in your career, and you book it, and if you had been out of town for 3 months you would not have been able to audition. So sometimes, in the bizarre cosmic strings of this universe, Cancelled Broadway Musical = Most Exciting Moment in Career Ever.

Sometimes you read the paragraph above and realize just how confusing it is. Bottom line: Sometimes bad things make way for good things.

Sometimes, “But it’s work” is not a good reason to accept a job or an audition. If you do not want to understudy, you do not have to. If you want to dance joyously in the ensemble for the rest of your life, you do not have to pretend to want anything different. If you pass on 37 auditions because you only want to play leading roles, that is okay.

Sometimes, “But it’s work” is absolutely a good reason to accept a job or an audition. We are humans with bills to pay and other humans to take care of. Who says actors aren’t allowed to be unhappy at work sometimes? Just because we’re living the dream doesn’t mean the dream isn’t difficult at times.

Sometimes, the girlfriend of the guy you’re playing opposite in a show hates you, and you get into a drunken screaming match in the lobby of a hotel in Atlanta. And then 4 years later she becomes one of your best friends, and one of the strongest, most honest women in your life. And the story goes down in the books as a win for all of you.

Sometimes you and your husband both go out of town on different tours to play dream roles, and in exchange for that dream coming true, you end up getting divorced. And sometimes, that’s okay.

Sometimes, your ex-husband marries the girl he played opposite while on said tour. And that is also okay.

And finally, sometimes, the random guy you’ve known for 8 years who once got your mom and dad house seats for his Broadway show asks you to marry him. And you finally have clarity on your perspective as an actress, as a woman, and as a partner. And even though happily ever after is not instantaneous or constant, you realize that it’s a state of mind rather than a state of being. And sometimes, you find the strength to keep on going.

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“Bachelor in Paradise” Recap! Heaven or Hell?

We’re back. WE. ARE. BACK.Bachelor-in-Paradise-1500-logo

After a snooze of a season with JoJordan emerging as the final victorious couple (for now), even the opening credits of “Bachelor in Paradise” give us all hope that the good times are here again. It’s a grand gathering of some of our favorite zany characters from previous seasons of the shows, all hoping to find love in a hopeless tropical place! (Special shoutout to Daniel, Lace and Jared, whose intros show that they’re not afraid to make fun of themselves.) And away we go!

We get a quick recap of some our BIPers, including Nick (Most Valuable Runner Up), Lace (the nutty hottie from Ben’s season), The Twins (Emily & Haley, who are apparently being treated as one human being), Evan (fixes penises), Chad (meat eater), and Daniel (Canadian who literally can not pronounce the word “Bachelorette”). Chris Harrison is actually, physically there to greet all of the hopeful, sparkly eyed alumni who are there for the right reasons. Or…are they?

We welcome Amanda (young single mom from Ben’s season, looking fantastic), Nick, Jubilee (military girl) and Evan first. Jubilee has been calling Evan “The Penis Guy” from her couch, so she doubles down on her efforts to learn names and give everyone an honest chance here in Paradise. Then come Vinny (JoJo’s season? How quickly we forget), Carly (Karaoke singer), Grant (JoJo’s season), and Daniel, who is NOT impressed with any of the women who are already there. He actually goes so far as to say that they are like “washed up street dogs.” Earlier in the episode, he likened himself to an eagle who is not willing to settle for a pigeon, so early observations of Daniel tell us that he loves animals. Oh, and also that he’s a disgusting pig that I wouldn’t even eat bacon from. Suck on that, you Mean Canadian.

(Also, adopt, don’t shop.)

Sarah arrives (Sean’s season, sweet as pie), and I am reminded that while she is not the sharpest crayon in the box, her determination to find love makes her incredibly likable. And then, we have The Twins.

HALEY FERGUSON, EMILY FERGUSON, CHRIS HARRISON

(ABC/Rick Rowell) HALEY FERGUSON, EMILY FERGUSON, CHRIS HARRISON

Haley and Emily, Emily and Haley. They insist that they are different, though they go everywhere together, do everything together, speak at the same time, and actually put up with the rule that if a guy gives one of them a rose, the other one automatically gets one too. I mean, for real? Nevertheless, Daniel the Mean Canadian perks up when they arrive, doubtless with visions in his head of Dancing Twin Maids-a-Milking all around his bed. He further solidifies his role as the only Canadian I’ve ever seen who is a real dick by wishing for some “fresh fruit,” as all of the fruit here looks like it was “bruised in transport.” I could say the same about your face, Dan Dan.

Then we have someone named Izzy, who insists she was on Ben’s season even though no one remembers her, Lace, and Jared, who we all remember from last year’s BIP as Ashley I.’s awkward conquest, and who we all pray gets to actually have some fun this year. Jubilee is excited, but so is Emily. So we can assume that Haley is also excited.

And then….CHAD. He arrives, much to Daniel’s excitement and Evan’s dismay. Some people, guys included, have been excited to meet him, hoping he will be entertaining and fun. More on that later. MUCH more. Daniel and Chad instantly couple up and wade into the ocean together while making plans to dominate the resort. Chad lists his priorities in what I like to think is in order: “Me, Daniel, roses, alcohol, girls.” That sounds about right.

And Chris Harrison is back! Wow, he might actually be staying nearby this season. The men will give out the roses at the first rose ceremony, and all of our friends are let loose to find love and get some seriously intricate sunburns. The first couple to delicately emerge are Vinny and Izzy (which is awesome, cause WHO?), Lace and Grant (briefly), and Chad and all the lunch meat from the fridge , which is inexplicably encased in a fridge-shaped basket. But Lace gets drunk after her first sip, and pushes Grant to the side in favor of Chad. And this is where the craziness begins.

Lace. Oh, Lace. She and Chad spend approximately the next 40 minutes drinking, kissing, fighting, name calling, making out, wrestling, acquiring a whole lot of bruises that they won’t remember in the morning, making friends with the blurry spot that hides all possible pornographic shots from the viewing audience, dumping each other’s drinks in the hot tub, and hitting each other. Yes, you heard me correctly. Lace starts to sober up after a bit and comes to her senses enough to realize that a wasted guy calling you a “bitch” isn’t anyone’s idea of Paradise, no matter how many muscles he has. She finally draws the line when he tells her that he’s going to “throw you under a bus, hold you down and dogtie you up and make sure you smell like peppermint.” I believe that is a direct quote. I’ll wait while you stop screaming and pick your jaws up off of the floor.

While this is all going down at the house, Jubilee and Jared are out on a date, as Jubilee got the very first Date Card! Jared was thrilled to go, and they look at their dinner in a room filled with piñatas. It’s all going well until A FREAKING CLOWN SNEAKS THROUGH THE PIÑATAS AND SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF THEM HOLY GOD I WANT TO DIE THIS IS THE WORST DATE IN EXISTENCE HOW DARE YOU ABC. Jarilee is much less horrified at this than I, and they begin to hit the piñatas and laugh a lot. Then the clown mimes sex, and I’m OUT.

JUBILEE SHARPE, JARED HAIBON

(ABC/Rick Rowell) JUBILEE SHARPE, JARED HAIBON, A CREEPY CLOWN

Back at the house, Lace is trying to shut Chad down by walking away from him, not speaking to him, requesting that he leave her alone, and doing everything that is mature and appropriate to do when someone is harassing you. Lace is still drunk, but seems to be more in control than she has all night. Although she does admit that on a scale of 1 to 9, she’s a 9 disappointed. Perhaps she lost the 10 in the hot tub when she was trying to drown Chad “playfully.”

And then, I do believe he commits a cardinal sin and calls her the worst name you could ever call a woman: a c*nt. I refuse to even type the whole thing, it offends me so. Sarah takes this opportunity to tell Chad exactly what she thinks of his behavior, and he responds by saying, and once again I QUOTE, “Fuck that one armed bitch.” I’ll wait while you sweep up the remains of your TV and/or laptop after throwing your rosé glass into them in a rage.

Yeah. Yeah, we are going there. After years of fairly tame rudeness and “most dramatic moment evers,” we have finally gotten to what is truly….The Most Dramatic Episode Yet. But this time, it’s not about heartbreak and romance. It’s about an obviously mentally unstable man who is unable to control himself and his emotions. It’s a horror show. And it’s not over yet.

Daniel and Evan both try to get through to Chad because for some reason they still believe that he maintains any semblance of rationality. Chad swings at Daniel and goes stalking off on the beach, grunting and flexing like the Hulk. Finally Chad passes out by the hot tub, and one little red crab seeks shelter in his hair as he snores like the Chad Bear that he is. There is peace for a few hours.

The next morning, Vinny and Izzy (Vizzy!) are smitten, Lace has regained her senses and is once again flirting with Grant, and Chad has woken up in his bed with no underwear on. And thanks to some of the guys, we know it’s BECAUSE HE POOPED HIS PANTS. Chad. Pooped. His. Pants. And vomited all over himself, but that doesn’t matter because HE POOPED HIS PANTS. Is it funny? Kind of. Is it sad? Incredibly. But what is even more pitiful is how he wakes up and joins the rest of the group as if nothing happened. He doesn’t seem to think that calling Sarah “Arm-y McArmenson” is anything more than a casual joke between friends.

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Poopy pants in Paradise.

Luckily, Chris Harrison does. He gathers our love seekers and gives Chad a chance to explain his actions, but Chad seems completely ignorant. According to CH, “[Chad] told everybody at this hotel last night to suck a dick.” Hearing those words come out of our wonderful host’s mouth is startling, not to mention indicative of how big of a problem there is. CH asks Chad to leave, and Chad is…absolutely shocked. Shocked. He can not believe that he has done enough terrible things to earn him an early flight home. He tries to plead his case, but verbal harassment, attempted physical violence and soiling articles of clothing with excrement are enough crimes to kick his poopy butt out.

And here’s where it gets truly, truly sad. Chad paces around the property shouting phrases like, “I have nothing in my life,” and “This is my life and you’re gonna make me look like a bitch,” and “I can never be the Bachelor now, what else can I do?” And there it is. A desperate, sad, lost man who is searching for a place to call his own in this crazy world. Unfortunately, reality TV is not going to help him find it.

And we are To Be Continued! Next week’s previews still include Chad, so I don’t think the focus is going to be on love until he is actually gone. Rest up, fellow BIPers. We go 2 nights a week from now on, so drink those protein shakes and get in shape for a LOT of drama.

This One’s For the Girls (And Guys Too, I Don’t Discriminate)

I work out. Yes, I do. And I don’t love it, but I’ve learned not to hate it. It’s hell when I’m actually in class, feeling like a failing stripper-in-training as I pulse my hips to the sky until my muscles literally give out. But I can’t deny that I always feel better afterwards, and if I do it early enough in the morning, I can forget it ever happened until I have to do it again.

At Physique 57 the other day, frustrated with myself once again for glancing over at the woman next to me once every thirty seconds to make sure I was keeping up, I had a major epiphany. As much as we want to be “skinny” and “in great shape” and “healthy,” I don’t know that we ever give ourselves the opportunities to be truly satisfied with how we look and feel.

Think about it. Remember the last time you left the house while your hair was miraculously behaving itself, and how great your curves felt in the new dress you decided to debut that day? You felt on top of the world, like no one could stop you, like those construction workers on the corner would have too much respect for you to whistle, but would be forced to bow down and revere the goddess that is you. NOTHING could burst your bubble.

Now remember what burst your bubble. What was it that knocked you off your cloud of hotness? I will bet that 85% of the time (that’s definitely a scientific statistic), it was merely seeing another woman who you thought looked better than you. You saw her coming down the block, with her perfectly effortless style and her chic heels (who can wear heels all day??), and you instantly curse yourself for not wearing the wedges that give you blisters but make your calves look great instead of the flats that are more comfortable yet have seen way better days. In an instant, all of your confidence disappears like a guy in my 20s after a one night stand, and you deflate like a sad balloon.

I mean, I defined “competitive” in high school. If there was a musical, I auditioned for the lead. If there was a cheerleading squad, I wanted to be captain. If there was a student government, I wanted to be secretary (I’ve always loved office supplies). I graduated 30th in my class of 425 mainly because I couldn’t stand when my intensely smart boyfriend got better grades than me. High school offers endless opportunity to exercise the competitive streak that we are born with.

A proud moment for me.

A proud moment for me.

But as we get older, those opportunities dwindle. So we naturally start to compete with each other and compare ourselves to the other women at the gym, and strangers on the street, and even our own best friends. Without a field hockey game to throw your competitive energy into, it has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, our self esteem can take a major hit because of it. Being the best at being skinny is not the same as being the star of the Debate Team.

I have a friend who has been unhappy with her weight for years now. It always pains me to see how frustrated she gets with her body, because when I look at her, all I see is beauty and grace and loyalty. She is an exceptional mother, in fantastic shape because she loves running, and one of the most thoughtful friends I have. She is sexy and funny and smart, and her boss would have a very difficult time running his charity without her. She is an inspiration to me and to everyone else who meets her. But when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t always see those tremendous qualities.

But think of it this way: There will always be someone skinnier than you. Always. BUT there will also always be someone wishing they had your body instead of their own. So why not just remove ourselves from the equation and (gasp) put all of that energy into appreciating our own bodies? Our small boobs, our big butts, our freckles, our thin hair, our huge boobs, our flat butts, our wildly uncontrollable hair. Keep working out and making healthy decisions, but do it because it feels good, not because you want to look like the girl on the spin bike next to you. Because she probably wants to look like the girl in front of her.

We are more than our body types. We are brains, and kindness, and creativity, and positivity, and wisdom, and mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends. We are extraordinary beings, no matter what shape we are.

So next time you realize that you’re comparing yourself to another woman, smile at her instead. Acknowledge her beauty and her health. And then, compliment yourself on being a bad ass in so many ways, and continue on your confident way as if the sidewalk is a catwalk. And make those construction workers speechless with your gorgeous glow and your fearlessness.

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My Silver Linings Playbook

So it’s no secret that I’m divorced. And if you didn’t already know that, hey guess what? I’m divorced! I got married when I was 29 years old to someone I really loved, and it lasted for almost three and a half years before we split up. It was the most devastating thing I have been through in my life thus far, and I do not wish or plan to repeat it again.

But it was also an opportunity to shed any expectations I had for the direction my life was going in as a whole, and to open myself up to all possibilities, any possibility at all. For me, the key to surviving this dark period was establishing the positive side of every situation. I had great days followed by weeks of not wanting to leave my house or speak to anyone who wasn’t delivering me pizza, wine or bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. Finding silver linings was imperative, or I would have curled up in a ball at the bottom of the shower and never gotten up again.

So here are a select few of the times I found to be the most difficult to survive, matched with their extra-perky, optimistic cheerleader counterparts. Ooh, but let me be annoying for a second and remind you to always have safe sex. Divorce is hard enough to swallow, so make sure you don’t garnish it with a side of herpes.

Sad Part: A big, empty bed without your former partner in it.

Silver Lining: A big ass EMPTY bed all to yourself!!! Roll around, spread out, and best yet, you now have the authority to invite whoever the hell you want to join you in it. Just make sure to buy new sheets first. Basic rule: If your ex’s skin touched it, replace it. Now you can get those pattern-drunk Vera Bradley towels you’ve been coveting!

Sad Thing: You have to go back to that hellish dating scene.

Silver Lining: You get a whole new stable of “Sex and the City”-style dating stories to horrify your friends with! One of my favorites is the guy who wore an ill fitting Hanes tee to an upscale restaurant, peppered our appetizer without asking (DEATH TO HIM), and then insisted on taking me to a piano bar on Karaoke night even though I told him I basically bathe in desperation for a living. Oh, and then there was the chef who instantly proclaimed his inability to socialize with women unless he had a drink in his hand. What a fun future that promised to be! But a few hours on some crappy dates led to some of the best bonding sessions I have had with my friends, recapping these terrible evenings over a glass of wine or frozen yogurt. And speaking of friends…

Sad Thing: You REALLY don’t want to repeat your sad story over and over again to every single person you know.

Silver Lining: This is one of the only opportunities you will have in life to figure out who your friends really are. As we grow older, we collect friends from various jobs, schools, homes, etc. until we feel like we don’t know anything more about them than what they post on Facebook. But something as deep and intense as a severe breakup or a divorce will immediately establish who is in it for the long haul with you. BM6MZ75CcAA8ixBIt’s a very difficult process to completely extract yourself from a marriage or a relationship, and sometimes it feels like it will never end. So the friends who actually want to be there as you alternately obsess over the new person you’re dating and sob angry tears over your ex for hours on end are the ones you keep forever. Just make sure to keep them hydrated and well fed.

Sad Thing: You realize that you have no idea when you’re going to have sex again. It could be never.

Silver Lining: It most likely isn’t never. You WILL have sex again, and who knows who it could be with? How exciting is that??? It could be with a hot neighbor, or a longtime crush, or that really attractive person you swiped (swept?) right. In my case, it was an NFL quarterback. Yeah, that’s no joke. The Divorce Gods were seriously on my side there. I mean, if I were less mature, I would say that I’m preeeeeeeety sure I won the Rebound Competition with that one. But I’m not, so I won’t. #butidid #iwon #reboundcompetition #NFLQUARTERBACK #IWINDIVORCE

Sad Thing: You can’t concentrate on anything.

Silver Lining: Sometimes the best things happen when you don’t pay attention to them! I Klonopin-ed my way through an audition and two callbacks for a show, barely remembering any of it because the rejection wounds were so fresh. Somehow I booked the show, and I’m convinced it had to do with the fact that I didn’t enter the room with that God-I-hope-I-get-it attitude that can lose actors more jobs than any other factor. The less you care about something, the more it will want you. So take advantage of this moment and go book some jobs or win the lottery or write that best-selling novel!

Sad Thing: He took the dog.

Silver Lining: I can’t help you here. This is the worst feeling ever. All I can say is wait until you’re ready and get a new one. But it hurts.

Sad Thing: You now live alone.

Silver Lining: Throw a party! When I decided to stay in my ex-marital home for another year, I threw what I called a Re-Housewarming Party. It was an all day affair, and I invited all of my good friends to stop by whenever they wanted. The only rule was that they had to bring something that I could put in my apartment. BM6td0bCcAAHX-GIt didn’t have to cost any money, it just had to come from their heart. So at the end of the day, I had a home full of new things that reminded me of the people who loved me most in the world. Pictures and homemade potholders from my best girl friends, a crystal passed on from a good college friend that still travels with me wherever I go, a “Scandal”-sized wine glass from a newer friend who just innately gets me. And the best gift of all, a set of St. Louis drink coasters from the man who is now my fiancee. That day he began as my friend and ended as the guy I drunkenly made out with. Those coasters now live on the coffee table in the apartment we share.

See? Possibilities and adventure are everywhere. If you are brave enough to close a door and stand in a seemingly empty room for a while, your eyes eventually adjust to the dark. And then, you will finally be able to see how many things have been waiting in the shadows for you.

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I WANT CANDY*

Food, food, food, eating, healthy, food, yum, food, hungry, fat, skinny, heart, food, food, food. It’s all we hear about, all we read about, all they’re talking about on TV, in magazines, even in the ads in the subway where I practice my Spanish. We are officially obsessed with food and how to eat. There are diets upon diets upon diets. No carbs, all carbs, all bacon, organic only, eat like a caveman, eat like a French woman, eat like someone who doesn’t eat. We literally take pictures of our food and plaster them all over the Internets: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and our newest social media app: Periscope, where you can show people what is in your fridge. In real time. Because people will actually watch this. Seriously, try it. Then follow me on Periscope @pattimurin.

The main message in all of this? Eat Healthy!

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This is horrifying.

Whatever the heck that means. One year dairy is in, then it’s full of hormones and will make you fat. Red wine and beer drinkers live longer than teetotalers (SAT word alert), but don’t have more than one glass a day, or else you’re considered a binge drinker. Carbs are terrible for you, then all of a sudden they’re totally fine as long as you’re eating whole wheat products that taste vaguely like the dirt you used to plant your seeds in in elementary school science class that you may have tasted when no one was watching.

Full disclosure: I like to eat crap. In-N-Out is my church. My regular concoction at Yogurtland has been described as “a whorehouse of flavor.” Right now I’m eating a dinner fit for a ten year old boy rushing from baseball practice to Boy Scouts: mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, with a healthy side of barbecue sauce. I’ve been known to eat one singular food group as a meal, and it’s usually cheese. I just don’t gravitate to healthy foods, no matter how hard I try. Even when I have salads, they’re filled with cheese (cheese is a big part of my life) and croutons and enough dressing that I can’t actually taste the green stuff at the bottom (I think it’s called lettuce?). After years of trying to clean out my diet and clean up my act, I finally came to a crashing, yet remarkably simple realization.

You know why it’s so hard to eat healthy? Because it’s AWFUL. Healthy food is TERRIBLE. Vegetables are the Earth’s revenge for trampling all over it. Earth literally said, “Dude, I JUST decorated! You gonna cut my babies down to make prom corsages and those stupid subscription inserts for magazines that you already subscribe to? Fine, then I’m gonna grow a bunch of crappy tasting green edible plants and you’re gonna eat them because I will make them good for you! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” Damn you, Earth. We coulda had candy trees.

And then we decide to cook these nutritious little devils, to make them more exciting! I am absolutely baffled at this idea. Why would I take something that, in its raw form, tastes the best it can ever hope to taste, and make it hot and limp? Hot and limp are not words you want to describe anything in your life. Trust me.

(Note: raw carrots are exempt from this blog. There is nothing more satisfying than a crunchy, freshly peeled carrot. Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to them.)

Beet-Pancakes

DO NOT BE FOOLED. These are beet pancakes..

To make vegetables good, you have to disguise them. There are entire cookbooks that exist solely filled with recipes designed to hide vegetables in them. Beet flavored pancakes? Punishable by 3-5 years in a minimum-security prison. Pureed cauliflower that looks like mashed potatoes? Expect divorce papers. Spinach in my brownies? That’s literally the meanest thing anyone could ever do to me.

But what about deep frying, you say! Yes, deep fried asparagus is obviously preferable to sautéed asparagus, but then you hear the voices in your head telling you that “deep fried anything is most likely not as good for you as non-deep fried anything**.” So using this logic, as long as your Oreos aren’t deep fried, they’re healthi-ER for you than deep fried asparagus! Right? No? Great.

And the worst offender of them: kale. Is there anything worse than kale? To make it even remotely interesting, you have to stuff it in a salad and pour dressing all over it, or make freaking CHIPS out of it, and THEN sprinkle said kale chips with weird seasonings like coconut or cayenne. Whose idea was that? Give me ten full-fat sour cream and onion potato chips instead of a whole bag of kale chips any day. I’m not that hungry.

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A perfect meal.

But you know what tastes great all by its lonesome? Chocolate. Chocolate tastes amazing without cream filling or peanut butter (even though it is drastically improved by peanut butter in 99% of cases***). Guess what else tastes awesome all by itself? Cheese. When push comes to shove, cheese don’t need no crackers or fancy meats to make it better. You can shove that stuff in your face straight out of the package. So it’s tasty AND convenient.

I get that we have to avoid obesity and keep our hearts going as long as possible so we can live long and prosperous lives, watch our children grow and finally have money and time simultaneously so we can travel to the Australian Outback. So I shall continue to do my best, if only for the sake of my fiancee, my parents and my future children. I mean, I want to be alive to bake them Squash Pizza.

Just kidding. I would never be that cruel.

*There are absolutely no scientific facts in this blog. I am not a scientist, even though I read every UberFact on Twitter and most of the articles in Dr. Oz magazine.

**I just made up this quote. I didn’t actually quote it from anywhere. It just seemed like it belonged in quotation marks.

***This is a scientific fact. For sure.

What I Did For Love

1374291_724263284266109_1603825607_nSo I openly and loudly consider myself one of the luckiest women alive, because somehow I managed to find one of those incredibly rare and unique men who is kind, loving, loyal, intelligent, funny, laid back, and who puts up with me willingly and happily. Oh, and he’s hot. Like REAL hot. Good work, Murin.

Fear not, this whole blog is not going to be a sickeningly delirious post about how much I love my fiancee and how lucky I am to have found him and blah blah blah chick lit novel I can’t believe he’s mine what did I do to deserve this. No, I deserve him. Oh, I freaking deserve him. Because when I look back on everything I went through to get him? I can’t believe I lasted this long without becoming a nun or a cat lady, or worst of all, a contestant on The Bachelor.

So for a moment, let’s travel back in time to my younger (stupider), more innocent (stupider) days, where I was willing to give 98% of men a chance to be my Prince Charming, and I believed that every time a guy slept with me, he obviously must love me and would never be able to live without me. Yes, I did all of the standard insane things one does when their adrenaline and emotions and libido are all racing to an unforeseen finish line. I called too much, texted too much, stalked MySpace (yup, I said it), and IMed with my friends late into the night, cutting and pasting every IM chat I’d had with him, analyzing all the different things “gotta go now bye” could possibly mean.

When I was in college, I wore the same kind of deodorant that my crush wore because I wanted to smell him all day. It was Old Spice. What I smelled like for love.

Also in college, I was SO determined to make an ex-boyfriend jealous that I somehow finagled myself a solo in a presentation for the whole theatre department which involved performing a striptease down to my underwear and seducing a guy. (Fun trivia, it was Mark Fisher of Mark Fisher Fitness! And for you musical theatre nerds out there, it was “Some Other Life” from Hello Again.) And as Mark Fisher had not yet invented his stellar Snatched workout program, I was not snatched in any way and had somehow gained 22 pounds my freshman year. What I did for love. Or revenge?

There was yet another college boy who I was sure was the love of my life. One summer night while we were both home with our parents, we each drove halfway towards each other and met at midnight on the Palisades Parkway, just to say hello. Actually, that one is kind of awesome. Except that he happened to be my boyfriend’s best friend. #whatididforlove #oops

One night, while I was out of town doing a show, I had a one night stand with someone I was working with. I knew he was leaving the next day, so when it came time to go back to my hotel room, I purposely left my bra in HIS hotel room so I could go back the next day and see him one more time before he left. When I knocked on the door, he told me he had already packed his suitcases and he didn’t find a bra anywhere. I mean, dude, I know it was there. He still owes me a bra. What I lost for “love.”

When I was 24, I somehow convinced myself that the guy I was meant to be with was a 20 year old who illegally owned a gun, grew weed in his closet, and kept all of his cash in his underwear drawer because he didn’t have a bank account. But he was sooooo sweet. What I could have gotten arrested for for love.

Within one year, I flew to three different states to visit three different guys and then never saw them again. What I paid for love.

I moved to Long Island to live with a guy I had only been dating for 5 months, and started working as a nanny. I was away from my wonderful apartment that I shared with my best friend in the world, away from my favorite city in the world, and away from where all of the auditions were held on a daily basis. Which meant I gave up a little corner of my own dream of being on Broadway, because it was just easier to stay home and cook him dinner. And for the first time in my life, I actually had to think about my answer when he asked me, “So how long are you going to do this acting thing for?” What I sacrificed for love.

I got married and divorced. What I really truly believed in for love.

And the worst offense of all? I, Patricia Marie Elizabeth Murin, lifelong New York Giants fan, rooted for goddamn New England Patriots. What I am still ashamed of for love.

For all of you singles out there, it took me way longer than I hope it takes you to learn what it means to really know yourself, and to respect yourself when it comes to dating and mating and love. Because if someone really loves you? They won’t care if you own a sweatshirt with the logo of their crappy football team on it. And if you really, truly love someone? You’ll never even consider buying one.335098_374674802558294_1896347909_o

Let’s Get Physical!

There’s a new revolution going on, sweeping the nation faster than a Law & Order: NCIS: CSI: Miami of Ohio spinoff. Everyone is either doing it, talking about doing it, talking about NOT doing it, or just dressing like they do it so they don’t feel left out cause they don’t actually do it.

I think it’s called “exercise.”

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I discovered “exercise,” in the standard sense, about 2 years ago. I was going through a divorce and felt that clichéd superficial urge to be as skinny as possible, desperately needing a change of lifestyle while stuck in the same apartment I had been living in as a married woman. And what better way to do it than go to an insanely freaking expensive ultra-luxurious urban country club with hot trainers and a steam room that piped eucalyptus through the vents? Oh yeah, I was on TOP of it.

(You could argue that I’ve been “exercising” all of my life, since every time I do a show that involves any kind of movement or dance, I’m “exercising” on a daily basis, sometimes for as much as 7 hours a day. But because it’s what I love to do, and I’m being paid to do it, it’s just not the same as the necessary evil so many people put up with on a daily basis, dragging yourself out of bed, going to the gym/park/studio where you intentionally make yourself sweat for 30-90 minutes, and all you get at the end is a high-five. If you’re LUCKY.)

But somehow “exercise” has become a true part of my life, and one that I actually (no don’t say it don’t say it) enjoy (dammit I said it). And through the trial and error of the workout regimens/classes/crazes I went through, I’ve finally found what works best for me and makes me as excited as I can possibly be about going to a gym. It will never rate up there with getting an unexpected package in the mail or sweeping the Musical Theatre category in Jeopardy while your non-actor friends look on in amazement, but I do feel good baring my abs at a Skivvies concert, so it’s pretty much worth it.

So for all of my very official research on “exercise,” the following is my very official findings on some of the places I have visited, all with the goal of finding a positive environment in which I feel comfortable sweating my butt off while being supported by the instructors and staff.

EQUINOX

These people are SERIOUS about fitness. These people have stock in Lululemon, own different workout shoes for running, training, walking, jogging, standing and peeing, and have way better hair than I do. These people literally “woke up like this,” have no problem accidentally on purpose elbowing you out of a good spot in class, and unironically drink fresh green juice after a workout at the smoothie bar. These people are not my people, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be your people.

www.equinox.com

image2PHYSIQUE 57

The hardcore cheerleading of Barre Classes! The instructors are ready to ROCK, pump you UP, and be your best friend as long as it means you keep pulsing until your thighs actually give out and you melt into a puddle on the floor! Smiling is your best defense here, as is making pain faces so it looks like you’re working harder than you are!

www.physique57.com

THE BAR METHOD

Out of all of the options out there for barre classes, this one is that sorority in college that you didn’t belong to, but are almost sure liked you anyway. A pretty Midwestern girl named Kristin who pronounces the word “per-FECT” taught my class. She actually seemed disappointed with my work because I knew what I was doing. Like, she was so ready to be my Big Sister and bond over 2 pound weights and encourage me that maybe in a few weeks, I would be ready for 3 pounds. But I didn’t give Kristin what she wanted, so she turned her attentions to Joy, the other new gal in class. I proceeded to go home and write in my diary, agonizing over whether I wore the wrong thing or said something stupid, and would I ever be invited back to the house??? But my ass hurt the next day, so I will go back and try to win Kristin’s sisterhood once more.

www.barmethod.com

PERSONAL TRAINING

Can be done at most gyms. Is expensive. Makes me look like Xena the Warrior Princess, and not in a good way.

Jimmy--Taylor_220x329Luke-Milton_220x329TRAINING MATE LA

For my West Coast friends, this is the best workout you will ever have. Not just because the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout is fast, efficient and appropriately difficult. But because the classes are led by incredibly hot Australians WHO YELL COMPLIMENTS AT YOU. Luke and Jimmy will know your name immediately upon entering, and once you see their butts in those almost-too-short-but-not-quite shorts, you will never forget them. (Full disclosure: My fiancée has just as much of a crush on Luke and Jimmy as I do. They’re THAT AWESOME.) A 45 minute, fast-paced, loud and fun workout, you will thank me profusely if you are able to attend a class. I’m not kidding. Go now. NOW.

www.trainingmatela.com

SOULCYCLE

At the one SoulCycle class I took, I was shocked at how many men were there. Then I realized that the instructor was simply stunning, with her little tiny sports bra and 6 pack abs and long flowing hair that never seemed to absorb sweat, no matter how hard she pedaled. There are candles and positive reinforcements and happiness, which I’m pretty sure is all there to distract from the searing pain going through your thighs as you struggle to pedal in time with the music. Being someone with an innate sense of musicality, it drove me INSANE that I couldn’t always keep up. Candles or not, this is spin class, and it hurts.

www.soulcycle.com

BIKRAM YOGAyoga

That’s just nuts. I ain’t doing that.

CLASSPASS

I’ve recently found my groove by joining something called ClassPass, where you get to go to as many classes you want at any of the hundreds of participating gyms. Physique 57, Crunch, FlyWheel, dance classes, Pilates, lots of yoga, etc. It’s only $99 a month, but the catch is this: you can only visit each studio 3 times in one month. So it basically forces you to change up your workout daily, or at least try new studios and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Therefore, I hereby promise that I will someday get up the nerve to take a pole dancing class and be sure to report back to all of you.

www.classpass.com