I used to think that laughter could only happen with someone else
And then I realized there is a way to laugh on your own
It seems strange.
How do you tickle your own funny bone?
But it is possible.
It requires a lot of lube, a discarded toothpaste tube, and generosity of spirit. I mean, spit.
Now it’s not what you’re thinking.
Get your mind outta the gutter. I would never so much as refer to … master-dating.
No no no… none of that talk now y’hear!
I just mean that SEX is like LIFE which is like LUCID DREAMING meaning
If you try too hard, nothing ever works out.
But if you just try enough and let go and let life lead you where it will
Then you will get where you need to be which might just be
Staring at the end of a toothpaste tube
Wondering whether you should throw it away or not
And maybe there’s still a bit of life left in it
But does it really matter if you throw it away? Is anyone looking and does anyone care?
No, probably not. Which is again, what life is like. And sex.
Nobody really cares much what you do behind your bedroom door.
They’re all too worried about you wondering about them.
So stop worrying and just chew on a big fat chill pill.
i want to be a bird.
not right this second.
i don’t want to die.
but i wish i could fly.
i don’t want to hang glide, or para sail, or skydive.
i just want to be a bird.
nothing comes quite close.
nothing like the feel of the air under your wings,
making lazy circles on warm gusts of wind.
no map to follow, just your own whims.
nothing i know comes close.
except my favorite pen, paper and my mind.
my favorite pen has a clicker at the end that feels good.
a nubby end that i have to push hard on to release.
the body of the pen is sturdy with a rubbery grip.
and the tip is sublime, like a fine cabernet wine.
paper can be almost anything, lined or not.
it’s my mind that matters more than a jot.
clear, clean, empty and serene.
a void, a hole through which my pen explores.
it’s the nearest thing to heaven.
a bird, a pen, and me.
All I want to do is write in one liners because it makes me feel a tad more poetic.
Let’s face the truth.
All of our attention spans are getting shorter: fact.
We are all sitting on our asses too much: fat ass fact.
The only way to counter this is to get off your ass and go outside more: #saysomethingnewthisisgettingold.
Seriously, we all just need to be able to play with ourselves more (still kinky sounding).
Ok, I’m breaking the rules and going for it now.
I am getting better at letting go and laughing at myself rather than taking myself too seriously. And if other people try to force me to be too serious, then I will breathe and let go and get quiet and give them a chance to catch up because everyone needs someone to be patient with them. Somebody was patient with me once when I was taking myself too seriously. So it’s time for me to pay it forward. Give yourself and others time and space to fuck things up. They will. You will. Deal with it, laugh, and let the shit go. And then turn on the fan.
Here’s what I know:
1) I know what I like. I like writing and observing life and then writing about it some more. Can someone please pay me to do that on a permanent basis? That’s really all I want to do. Is that so much to ask? I like studying people and relationships. That’s it. Can someone pleaaaaaase pay me to do this?
2) Then again, I suppose that if I were paid to do something that I truly love… maybe eventually I wouldn’t love it anymore.
3) Why are so many websites now obsessed with listmaking? The seven reasons why it’s good to be an alpha female? The ten surefire ways that you can reach nirvana? Why does my brain now think in lists as well? Is this a good or a bad thing? Should I make a list about all of the reasons why it’s good/bad to make lists?
4) I am obsessed with being single. It’s true. I fully admit it. My latest technique for overcoming the detestable nature of being single is (ok, I’m exaggerating about the detestable part but still) repeating the mantra in my mind (whenever I am bored and alone) ‘It’s cool to be single’ ‘Single is da best!’ ‘Everyone envies my singledom’ and ‘Being single is better than sex!!!’ (if I repeat it enough, I can brainwash myself into believing it).
5) Here’s what I learned today. The world appears more joyous when you feel more joyous inside. The way I can feel more joyous is to spend more time alone to clear my mind so that I can be more joyous when I’m around the world. When I’m really being myself (my SELF that has had a chance to feel content because I’ve spent enough time alone), I can walk around in ‘the world’ and literally almost feel like hugging every person I see.
6) I’m not a follower of any particular religion but I’m also not ‘against’ any religion per se. I grew up Catholic and that is pretty ingrained in me. However, I have a kind of anti-Go Fund Me attitude towards prayer. I’m not really ‘into’ prayer but I don’t discount that it helps people sometimes too. My attitude towards is– take it or leave it– that, like Go Fund Me, it should only be used when it’s VERY much needed. Not for frou frou stuff like paying for somebody else’s rent or for someone to go to Majorca when I can never hardly save enough to spend a day in Seattle without guilt. But, today, I’m asking for a little prayer. For someone. No need to know who or why. I just need a little help for someone. Gracias
I’m writing this because…
- I love my family and don’t see them enough.
- I have lived far away from my family for a long, long time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to share the tidbits of my everyday life with them.
- I’m sharing this with the world, too, because I think if we all shared a bit more about ourselves with the people we care about the most then we’d all be a bit (and maybe a lot) happier for it but all too often we hide away these little tiny details because we think they’re not important. So, believe me, I’m not going to subject you to this all the time (folks who aren’t in my immediate family) but just maybe you might think I’m weird and wacky enough and silly enough that, while you’re laughing at me, you might get a wild hair up your butt and try to do something wildly weirdly loving to your family, too.
To my immediate family (immediate in love and spirit but far away in physical distance)… here are a few things that happened to me today just so we can feel a bit closer despite the distance. I’d love to know the little things (and big things) that happened to you, too. Plus, I like lists.
- I just realized that I used to do this as a kid. Each night before I went to bed, I would lay down and recount all of the cool things that happened to me that day. Bad things, too, for sure but I tended to focus on the good stuff. Call me ‘mushy’ and ‘do goody’ but it’s true.
- I have been dancing and doing ballet plies and tendus a lot the past few days and my legs already feel stronger. They’re actually sore, in fact. I can only do a partial plie before it feels like knives are cutting into my thigh muscles. Yayyy for pain!!!
- My finances are going to be better in 2017. Not only is this a 2017 resolution but I’m also making a bet. I’m betting myself that I will get it under control by the end of this month. If I can do it, then I’m going to splurge and reward myself somehow. I don’t know how but I will. Maybe a banana split. Maybe a massage (that’s covered by my insurance). Something!!! If I don’t do it by the end of this month, then I don’t get a banana split. No, something worse. I have to run a marathon? No, I have to sit and watch all of the Star Wars movies back to back. Hahahaha oh now I am really going to lose some readers of this blog (not that I had that many to begin with).
- I’m committing to at least 5 minutes a day editing my one-woman show. So far so good. Well, yesterday I did at least. Today? Tonight? There’s still time.
- I took our cat Willow for a check-up. She actually has NOT gained weight for three years although she FEELS fatter than ever. She was very cute and cuddly in the car. She whined and whined and then finally lay on my lap and looked up at me and purred. The ladies in the vet’s office loved her to death, too. They all started giggling and laughing and smiling and cooing at her when she waltzed in in my arms.
- I found a piece of our roof that had fallen off onto the grass but then I got a good idea and phoned a friend who can take a look at it tomorrow. Whew!!! Thank God!!!!
- My friend is a godsend. She reminds me how important it is to slow down enough and quiet down my life/mind enough to be able to hear that inner voice that reminds me of what I want/need (and stop being a people pleaser/accommodator of everyone else’s wants/needs).
- I love making coffee the French way. Instant espresso crystals in a bowl of warm milk.
- I’ve learned how to harness the power of my own voice. When things get tough, when the world starts making too many demands, I literally slow down how I speak and punctuate each syllable that I speak in order to ground what I’m saying in reality. I refuse to be rushed. I make sure I believe every word that I’m saying so that I speak with conviction. This really works well with fast food restaurants when they think that I’m a guy ordering because my voice is low and they haven’t seen me yet, so I correct them after I’ve made my order. ‘THANK YOU AND ACTUALLY, JUST SO YOU KNOW, I AM NOT A GUY. MY VOICE JUST HAPPENS TO BE LOW BECAUSE I’M A FEMALE TEACHER AND HAVING A COMMANDING VOICE HAS HELPED ME MANAGE CLASSROOMS BETTER OVER THE YEARS.’ Ok, I don’t really say ALL of that but you get the gist.
- I am continuing to realize that I’d rather be alone and finding time to clear my head and figure out what’s up then keep running around with too much on my plate to keep up with. I’m finally more and more at peace with ‘LESS’ going on. I’ve always dreaded the ‘alone’ thing to an extent, but I’m finally finally finally really okay with less being more. I’m being more choosy with whom and how I spend my time, in other words. And yes, I know I’m repeating myself sometimes but like a mantra or self-affirmation that works, it helps me remember what I need to do to be sane.
If I learned anything in 2016 and that I will carry forth into 2017, it is this (sorry people who were hoping for handwritten blog entries…I WILL get back to writing those…I just need time to work up my finger muscles. It’s like playing piano after not playing piano for years. Pretty sloppy sounding. Thusly, my handwriting is sloppers, too, and I don’t want to put you through that misery. At least not today. Oh, and by the way, if I sound different at all today it’s because I am channeling the comedic genius of Maria Banford who I have been listening to non-stop for two days since my friend – the most amazing mechanic I’ve ever met – recommended her. With Maria, I have found probably the most kindred spirit in comedy that I’ve ever seen/heard and I can’t believe another human being exists on this planet who thinks/writes even remotely similarly to the way I think/write).
Ok, so here is what I learned. Nothing compares to the kissing of my cats. Well, within reason. I mean, I love my dogs. And I truly do. But there is something about my cats that is beyond compare. I think it’s the plethora of fur. It’s hard to nuzzle your nose into my dogs’ fur. Other people’s dogs may be fluffy but mine certainly don’t have enough. However, both of my cats, but especially Willow, have this bountiful rug of fur that is just bottomless. Delightful. There is virtually nothing as good as a good cat nuzzle.
I mean, Gizmo (the half Chihuahua/half-we-don’t-know-what-but-maybe-Corgi dog) is snuggable for sure. But his breath is pretty bad so if you get too close the fun of kissing his forehead starts to dissipate. And Daisy is deliciously delectable. Her fur is so soft. It’s as soft as it was the day we got her as a pup about a year ago. But it’s soooo sleek that there is just not much to nuzzle. I mean, it’s there but you can’t bury your nose in it the way you can Willow. Willow has girth and softness and a good smell that doesn’t include bad fish breath odor. I don’t know why she doesn’t have it but she doesn’t. Maybe she doesn’t open her mouth a lot. It makes sense. I mean, she’s not trying to lick me all the time like Gizmo so that’s probably why.
There are many reasons why I think more people should have more fluffy cats around to kiss. It would be hard for me to list all of the reasons why right here. I mean, I’m guessing eventually somebody might get bored. So let me just isolate one. Hmmmm, let’s see… I think the most important reason why is….. hmmm….the smell. Yup, it’s the smell. I mean, okay you know when you know a smell so well that it feels like home? Like, you go away on a long trip and then you come back and suddenly smell your house the way it truly smells but you don’t really ever notice that smell anymore because you’re in it all the time? Nevertheless, you recognize that smell. Something inside of you recognizes that smell as HOME. You know you’re home. That’s what Willow’s neck smells like. Home. Comfort. Home. This is where I belong. She is mine and I am hers. Home. We belong together, here. Maybe not always in this house but yup. She’s my cat. Our cat. I love her dearly. I can’t even imagine not having her someday. It’s not even possible. She’s just going to go on living ad infinitum. Yup. That’s it. There will always be a Willow. Whenever life gets to be too much (good or bad), all I need is a whiff of the space between her neck and her cheek and I’m fine again. Willow. The fat pillow. Willow. Phatty Fatmeister. Willow. The love muffin. Yummers.
There are so many kinds of writing out there but part of me keeps holding myself up to some expectation that I need to be writing a certain kind of novel or play. That I can’t write too much memoir. It’s self indulgent. That I can’t write about certain topics too much. That I can’t do this and I can’t do that. So many fucking can’ts in one’s mind. Pretty soon you can’t go anywhere or do anything. I’m fucking done with it. Sure I appreciate knowing what other people think about my writing but during the act of creation itself you can’t take all those people along for the ride.
That’s the lonely but also the exhilarating part of writing. You are alone with your mind. But the fun part is you get to trust where it will take you. It’s like lucid dreaming. You’re both in control of where you want to go and yet something inside you propels you and gives you ideas about where to go. Which is, of course, like life. We all want to think we know where we are going, but really… what drives and pushes and pulls us? Nobody knows.
I’ll never forget how, when I was in fourth grade, I began to slowly grasp the concept of what writing a letter was all about. Writing a letter was, to me, like talking on the phone. Why would you do it? What’s the point? What are you supposed to say? It baffled me. What is so urgent that I have to put it in a letter and wait for it to get to them? Why can’t I just wait until I see them? It made no sense. I’m still not sure I get it, but… I sorta do. I think writing, like a monologue, is just a way for us to make sense of our world. And when we are lucky, we have some people in our life who are patient and kind and maybe even love us enough to stop and listen and care about what comes out. There is something magical about putting that shit out into the world. Something final and concrete about it. We’re a little less crazy for it. That’s all therapy is, I think. Someone being paid to listen to your babble to help you make sense of it. And that’s a good thing. But you can do it for yourself as well. Or with a friend.
I don’t understand, for instance, why people read my stuff on facebook. I mean, I am super grateful, for one thing. But when people respond and encourage me to write more, I am completely dumbfounded. I don’t get it. I really don’t understand or can hardly accept that people want more of my stuff. It feels so vain and self-indulgent to post things sometimes, but then to actually hear that people want more of it? it makes me feel dirty. Yup, dirty because I am actually relishing in the fact that they’re enjoying it. I know! So weird, but true. Vanity is a weird thing for me. I am always deathly afraid of ever becoming arrogant and vain and yet, I know, I need to somehow accept that what I do brings joy and silliness to people and whatever else people get out of it. But it’s hard to accept (let alone type) it. It feels stupid. But it shouldn’t be that way. Why is sharing who you are a ‘sin?’ There it is. SIN. The word that I grew up with in the ole Catholic schools. God love ‘em those Catholics. I learned a lot but they also infested my mind with some pretty fucked up ideas (sorry friends who are religious). Vanity…is… sinful. Ok, yes it can be. Sure. Anything taken to excess can be a sin. Drinking too much Mountain Dew can be a sin. Watching too much porn. Sitting on your ass too much. Spending too much money when people are poor. All of that can be a sin..[Sin (in my definition) meaning causing harm to somebody, including yourself.] But what is ‘excess?’ is it excessive when you are simply stating what needs to be said and what might bring healing or joy or laughter or stupid fun to somebody else? I think the only time writing is truly excessive is when there is no longer a thought in your head in even the remotest sense that what you are doing is destined to be in anyone else’s hands or mind. When you are truly solipsistic. And even then… it’s ok to write. You just should probably not put it out there until it’s been looked at a few more times and considered with an audience in mind. I think the sad thing about our world is that there is a whole lot of chatter and nonsense every day, but we still so often don’t share what REALLY needs to be said to the people who REALLY matter. We are afraid. Afraid to tell them the truth about how we feel, good or bad. Afraid that what we say might embarrass us, or hurt someone too much and so we hurt ourselves in the process holding it in. But there is another option. Write it down. Fictionalize it if you have to but get it out. Don’t let what you want to say be squashed so deep inside you that you end up in the grave someday never saying the things that are dying to get out. Get them out. They will benefit someone somewhere who might also be inspired not to live a half-awake life either.
The day I decided to leave LA, I was stuck in traffic on the 405 frontage road. I went on the frontage road to get away from the 405 but there I was — stuck — and I could see all the cars above me on the freeway were stuck, too, and I got this overwhelming feeling of dread as I realized that I was locked in a canyon with no way out for god knows how long and I thought, ‘This is fucking ridiculous and I’m not going to keep living here anymore. I’m going to get the hell outta here just as soon as I can.’ And then I went back to sitting in my car for another three hours.
Now I am back here visiting for a week and it’s the same. I don’t know how people do it. The only things different are that the food is more expensive, eyebrows are more pronounced, and everyone is skinnier and more stylish than me but I don’t give a shit.
On the positive side, I will say this. People here are actually way friendlier than I remember. And I mean genuinely friendly. Even the seemingly superficial ladies at the makeup counter at Nordstrom’s seem very caring underneath all of the gobs of makeup. I shit you not.
I still can’t handle people walking up to you as soon as you walk into a store and hounding you nor can I handle the fake ‘Oh you look so wonderful in that sweater’ comments from the sales people who work for a commission, but those are pretty universal experiences. [I should have used the word ‘ubiquitous’ instead of ‘universal’ because ‘ubiquitous’ is a word that hardly gets used enough stage time these days. Fancy words are a dying breed. I say we resurrect them not to be snooty but simply to make sure we don’t start finding words going extinct in the English language.]
But when two frozen yogurts add up to $16 plus dollars at the mall, I go out of my fucking mind and there is no way in hell I am going to leave a tip. Now, at the time, I felt terrible that I didn’t want to rub my finger on the screen and accept the preordained tip that the machine told me to give her. Instead, I picked ‘No tip’ and then hung my head in shame while the LA yogurt lady gave me the stink eye. When she wasn’t looking, I pulled out a $1 from my wallet and then waited for her to turn and watch me insert it into her tip jar but I could tell that, by that point, she had lost all faith in women who definitely are not skinny nor fashionable enough and who are CLEARLY an out-of-towner since I appeared to have no knowledge of proper tipping etiquette.
Still there are certain things I can say with certainty that I enjoy about LA (hard to say ‘love’ but I can say ‘enjoy’ without feeling inauthentic). I love the breezy way you can spend most of the year outdoors with just a sweater at most to keep you warm. There are endless people to watch and study wherever you go. Even the snazziest, best dressed, most put together upscale dude who looks, at first glance, COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY superficial can surprise you by having genuine manners to boot. I was waiting in line at a coffee shop and – surprise surprise – this guy, who could have clearly stepped in front of me, let me go in front of him simply to be polite. I was floored. I probably wasn’t skinny enough or stylish enough for him to ask for my number, but still. At least he had manners! I was impressed.
No, I know. I’m being pretty harsh about this town but still… I do think the sun brings out the best in people here despite the focus on money and glamour that abounds. LA may be mostly about money and fame and working out and eating out at expensive ass restaurants (and I’m the first to admit that I do relish a good ‘eating out’ at a fancy ass bistro…no puns intended), but it also has an openness of heart that I like, and miss. Sunshine opens up people’s chakras in a very nice way indeed. And I miss it.