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Thursday, July 1, 2004 03:52 pm

Grace about town 7-1-04

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Six months ago, I wrote down my New Year's resolutions. I figure now is a good time to take some stock and do some reflecting.

Not really. I'm not in the mood for anything that deep at the moment. It's summer, for crying out loud -- reflection can wait for the bitter chill of winter. But then again, winter is a better time for s'mores.

The interesting thing about some of these resolutions is that because they were actually published in the paper, it somehow gave them a lot more weight. It was kind of alarming, seeing them in newsprint like that, and I'm thinking maybe that was the catalyst for some of the changes that have taken place for me lately.

Here's a rundown of my list:

• I resolved to enter a loaf of French bread in the Illinois State Fair. Hmmm. I might as well do this; luckily, I have some time to figure out how to enter. I bet the entry form isn't too complicated.

• I said I'd take a vacation in the South of France. Hmmm again. I've probably already taken so many vacations this year that I won't be able to afford the S of F in 2004. But then again, you never know.

• I revealed my secret desire: to be a standup comic. I confessed my terror at the thought of attempting standup comedy again: I had gone to open-mic nights in Los Angeles, and they were fairly dreadful experiences. I never felt comfortable; the other aspiring comics were apathetic and never, ever laughed at my stories; I had to wait around forever; and it was, overall, horrible. Doing comedy shouldn't be an unpleasant experience -- isn't "painful comedy" an oxymoron?

But this is one of the resolutions that's really going well. I realize I may be more ambitious than I kid myself into thinking I am -- because instead of trying an open-mic night here, I decided to do a one-woman show: just me on the stage for a whole hour instead of 10 quick minutes. Makes perfect sense. Grace logic. And not only that, but I decided to do a whole series of them. I'll be performing Grace Talk #2 at Stella Blue on July 29 and 30.

Go figure. I don't normally think of myself as brave, but maybe I didn't realize the potential terror of trying this show thing, because it was all just a bunch of fun. I'm looking forward to doing more and more of them, and I hope you'll be there.

• OK, a really big resolution was my vow to have one nonhorrible date this year. At the time, I didn't feel that this was overreaching. But then I concluded that I should have set a higher goal for myself. I did manage to have a few nonhorrible dates in the first part of the year, but now I realize that I should have said I wanted a really good date. I started feeling that this was not possible for me personally ...

... until My New Boyfriend (MNB) showed up at my door -- with a sweet-smelling rose from his garden.

The funny thing is, I'd been feeling so good about life, so busy and energized, that I kept scoffing at all those stupid love songs clogging the airwaves. I was utterly bored with friends' talk of romance issues, relationship concerns, all that hooey. You don't need to love to be happy. I felt liberated, free, independent.

But now, suddenly, let me say I'm perfectly happy with each and every sappy song that plays on the radio. I even sing along, as long as nobody has to be subjected to the torture of listening to me.

I'm in love. It's been a while since I've felt this way. To be perfectly honest, I know I've never felt quite like this. It's kind of intense and a little overwhelming, and I spent a bit of time at the beginning of the relationship saying to MNB, "I'm not ready for anything like this!" and "Relationships always go bad -- you do know that, don't you?"

But MNB has managed to keep me calm. He's ... well, incredible. A sweet, wonderful guy. I keep telling him I'm sure that his tragic and fatal flaw (or a flaw that I invent) is bound to appear sooner or later, which will cause me to flee -- to another state, if I have to (because this has always worked quite well for me in the past). He doesn't seem afraid. "I'm a pretty fast runner," he says matter-of-factly. "I'll catch you."

Wow. Indeed. Too good to be true? Time will tell. All I know for sure (at the moment, anyway) is that the second half of the year looks as if it's going to be mighty fine.

We'll see.

To see Grace's latest video click here.

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