Yesterday, in Parade Magazine, there was an interview with Kyra Sedgwick. Kyra Sedgwick is not Kevin Bacon, but she’s pretty close. And since today is the FINALE of the Help Me, Bacon project, and since I have not had the chance to directly ask Kevin Bacon for life advice, I’ll instead look to Kyra. Here is the final bit of wisdom I will draw upon as I move into the future:

Parade: What’s always in your fridge?
Kyra Sedgwick: Kale. I’m addicted to it these days! I steam it and then add flaxseed oil and spice—amazing.

Parade: Any other standbys in there?
Kyra Sedgwick: Newman-O’s cookies, the traditional flavor.

Parade: That’s a good combination.
Kyra Sedgwick: Right—it’s the yin and the yang.

The yin and the yang. Perfect advice. Ancient, sage advice. Life is about balance.

You know, it would have been pretty rad if I’d been able to find Kevin Bacon. But in retrospect, staying elusive was probably the best thing he could have done for me. His lack of concern for my life and my problems has meant that I’ve had to figure it out on my own. And that’s really sucked. But now, today, I feel liberated and proud. Proud like an American.

The goal of this project was for me to get a life in 90 days. The irony, of course, is that I’ve had a life all along. But I hoped to get a better one. A more stable and awesome one. Have I done that? It’s hard to say…

But here’s what I will say. Life is good. Life is going places. Life is just fine and Kevin Bacon’s services, from here on out, will not be needed. Today I’m going to watch fireworks. I’m going to eat a hot dog. I’m going to celebrate America and I’m going to celebrate life.

Before I sign off, though, I want to say how much this project has meant to me. I used to worry that my life would be boring. I worried that life would lead me in one direction or another and I’d be completely dissatisfied and unfulfilled. But this project has shown me that I don’t have to worry about that. Because when you care as deeply as I care about my life, you always have options. You can always change it for the better. And you can always, always appreciate the good you do have.

Thank you for coming on this 90-day journey with me. It’s meant the world to me. And even though Kevin Bacon did not directly come on the journey, he was here from the beginning. And you know what? He’ll be with me forever. That’s why I made a tribute to him. I leave you with that tribute. As much a tribute to Kevin Bacon as it is a tribute to all of you. And life. And me. And America.

Happy Independence Day:

There’s so much in life to be curious about. There’s so much to wonder at, speculate on, wrap your head around. You can quite literally drive yourself crazy. You can forget (as I have in the past few months) to appreciate just how far you’ve come in life because you’re too busy wondering where you’re going.

There is a Billy Joel song about this very thing. The song makes me angry actually. But only because Billy’s right:

Slow down, you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight, tonight
Too bad but it’s the life you lead
you’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need

You’ve got your passion, you’ve got your pride
but don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

They used that song in a real masterpiece of filmmaking called ’13 Going on 30′ with Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. As the title hints, Garner is a 13 year old who is magically transformed into a 30 year old because she’s so eager to grow up. Hilarity and life lessons ensue.

But back to me. There are five days left of the Help Me, Bacon project. And while my hopes about connecting with Kevin Bacon are realistic (i.e. slim), the last thing I want is this thing to end on an anti-climactic note. Thankfully I’ll have fireworks on my side…but I promise something more. I don’t yet know what. But I think it’s important. For me. For all of you. And especially for Kevin Bacon. So that if the bastard ever reads all of this he sees just how much he missed.


Five exciting, thrilling, momentous days left! Perhaps concluding in a fight:

Today I thought it happened.  I really did.  I was sitting in a chair eating chicken nuggets out of a tin foil sack (a makeshift lunch) when I turned around and less than five feet away I thought that I saw THIS GUY:

And to be honest, part of me panicked. I looked away. I focused on my chicken nugget sack. I thought to myself, “Oh. no. The time has come. You have to act. It’s like that guy from work says all the time, ‘Money talks and bullshit walks.’ If you don’t put down your nuggets, get out of this chair, and talk to Kevin Bacon about life, then you are bullshit. Except you’re not walking, you’re just sitting on your chicken ass. You’re a CHICKEN.”

It was a long thought. And then I turned back around to look at Kevin Bacon and my heart sank.  Again. Not out of panic that time, but out of a realization of great misfortune. Because unlike that fateful day in the Broadway box office just a few months ago, it was not dear, sweet Bacon. It was THIS GUY:

John Norris, former correspondent on MTV News. Who, I might add, looks suspiciously and maddeningly similar to Kevin Bacon. WTF, John Norris. Thanks a LOT, John Norris. Thanks for looking vaguely like the exact person I desperately need to make contact with BEFORE THE NEXT ELEVEN DAYS ARE UP.

God damn it, is life silly or what? What a trip. What a harsh bite off the apple of life. “MTV News: You hear it first.” Yeah, whatever. Here’s how I feel about that:

But guess what. I will rise above this awful note. It’s just like the formula with Hollywood movies (Hollywood movies starring Kevin Bacon): the hero is always at their lowest point in the third act. Well, I’m the hero of this story and this is my third act. Now all I need to do is gloriously rise from the ashes of this almost Bacon-filled day.

Thank you, more than ever, for your support. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of BLTs. I’ll let you decide what that means…


11 DAYS until the exciting conclusion. Stay tuned.

I saw a musical tonight.  The last line of it gave this message to the audience: “Love is more powerful than death.”  Whoa!  Love > Death.  I don’t know if that’s true.  I don’t know what death is.  I also don’t really know what love is.  But I don’t doubt the importance of them.  And I don’t know if it’s really fair to say that one is more powerful than the other.  It’s like saying that Italian food is more powerful than Mexican food.  No, they are their own entities.  Just because Italian food exists doesn’t mean that Mexican food can’t exist!

Okay…  You probably can’t get a firm grip on death or love via food analogies.

But anyway, I actually liked the line that opened the play even more than the one that ended it.  It said this: “In the middle of your life, anything can happen.  In the middle of your life, anything can change.”

That sentiment is just about the only thing getting me through the day these days.  The idea that any day anything can happen.

Here’s hoping that something happens on or before Day 90…

I started a job. Which is good. That was on the to-do list of activities. It was also one of the items I was most hesitant to do.

So far I like it, though. I’ve met new people. I’ve learned new things. I’ve ventured to a new and strange neighborhood.

I also still have time to pursue my varied interests.  This weekend that meant staging an impromptu photo shoot in a public restroom:

As Day 90, Independence Day, approaches, I’m not sure how to feel. I don’t necessarily know if I will have fully completed the mission of finding my life’s purpose. But I’ve certainly put in an effort. And that seems worthy of fireworks.

22 days ’til Kevin Bacon sends me an expensive and tasteful bouquet of fireworks.

You know who’s got more life advice to lend than Kevin Bacon? Dead people.

I didn’t go into yesterday morning expecting to encounter a medium and hear advice from the spirit world…but that’s what happened.

It’s a strange thing. Life. You go about your daily routine and your daily worries and part of you realizes that you’re not living to the fullest. Loving to the fullest. And you realize that if you fully comprehended how short a lifetime is you’d probably take more leaps of faith, more risks.

But it’s so easy to forget. It’s so easy to get caught up with nonsense.

I bring all of this up because I was visiting family in Massachusetts this past weekend, and my hometown is very close to where those tornadoes touched down last week. Everyone I know is fine. Just shaky.

Then on Sunday I encountered that medium. I encountered the medium in a building surrounded by devastation from one of the tornadoes. Cars in the parking lot were smashed. Trees and traffic signs were down. But the building remained.

I don’t know what to say about it, except that I’ve never seen my hometown so sad. I’ve never felt sadness and confusion in the air like that. And now I have no good transition, so…

This is what the medium told me he saw:

-Decorative frog figurines. And,
-A woman throwing books at me.

The medium didn’t know what the frogs were about. And neither do I. But he said he thought that the books were about education. He said the woman was telling me that I’m going back to school, but not to study what I’d expect.

Perhaps biology…


As a post script, I’d like to acknowledge the infrequency of my posts lately. I’ll say more on this in the days to come. I will say this now, though: I started a new job today. And this time it lasts longer than one day.

I just received an e-mail that changes everything.  I’m still going to continue in the quest to find my life’s purpose, but I will no longer need to think about what will make me happy in life AND allow me to financially survive.  I may not be happy, I may not find my purpose, but from now on I will financially survive:

(But just in case that doesn’t work out, I’m still going to work that ten dollars an hour temp job tomorrow.)

Good news to announce!  After nearly seven months of passively and actively looking, I’ve received a job.

         O Employment, keeper of my soul, my heart, my time.

I should mention that it’s not a long-term job.  In fact, I will only be employed for one day.  A temp job.  A very temporary temp job.

Still, I’m excited about it.  It’s a start, ya know?  It’s like when you’re weening kittens away from their mother.  You slowly start introducing cat food.  You supplement mother’s milk with cat food.  Similarly this one-day job will supplement my unemployment.

Oh, you know what else it’s like?  I watched The Fighter last night with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.  Mark Wahlberg is a boxer, but he’s on a losing streak.  So his new manager doesn’t go schedule him for major fights in Las Vegas or Atlantic City — he schedules him for fights in small venues that he has a good chance of winning.  To get his confidence up.

Hopefully that’s what this one-day job will do for me.  And eventually I, too, will be like the kittens in the video below.  Hungry for cat food. (i.e. a job.)

The other day I attended a college graduation and learned a lot of things from the speaker.  I especially liked this:

If you listen to your inner voice and you pursue your dreams, something kicks in that I like to call the guardian angel effect.  People will come out of the woodwork, often people you don’t know, to help you.

Whaaaaaat!  That’s exactly the point of this project!

After the graduation, a woman I’d just met came up to me and said, “You look like that new princess!  You have the same eyes.”

This gives me hope.  Because Kate Middleton is having a pretty great year.  So it stands to reason that if I have the same eyes as her, I have a chance to have a good year, as well.

While comparing pictures of myself and Kate Middleton, I stumbled upon a colored pencil portrait of her.  That reminded me of my recent visit to Times Square where I got a charcoal portrait of myself!  (I don’t recommend doing that.  They cost $40.) (I actually meant to get a $5 caricature drawn.) (When the portrait was almost done, I suddenly realized my mistake and said, “How much does this cost!  I only have eight dollars!”) (I felt pretty bad about it, so I gave the artist a hug to make up for it.  I think it made him very uncomfortable.  I felt bad about that, too.)

Anyway, here are the portraits.  The resemblance is uncanny…

Here are pictures of us with the men in our life for further comparison:

Dear ‘Help Me, Bacon’ readers,

On Day 45 I made a regretful decision: I channeled Kevin Bacon and wrote myself a letter.  I read an online biography of him.  I learned about his relationship with a woman named Tracy.  I learned about a movie featuring underground worms.  And I manipulated that information in order to give myself advice.

I realize now that the prospect of actually receiving a letter from Kevin Bacon is not impossible.  It was a slap in the face to myself, my readers, and the mission of this project to impersonate Kevin Bacon — no matter my good intentions.

I have cried wolf.  But I have learned my lesson.  Please forgive me.  Please forgive me.  I’ve never felt more pathetic or alone.

Below is a variety of covers of the Elton John song “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” that I hope will help me fully express my regret.   One of them is by Kevin Bacon.  That’s not true.  One of them is by me.

Sincerely, with love, best wishes, always yours,

Maribeth

It’s a sad, sad situation, indeed.

P.S.