Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Manifesto of Sorts

Quote of the Day:
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability
to choose one thought over another.
~William James~

Current Local Weather:
Overcast but finally,
albeit after too long of a time,
hopeful for health.

Currently on my iPod:
"Takin It To the Streets"
Taylor Hicks
Do I Make You Proud

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

I sat down at about 4am yesterday morning and wrote a letter to a friend, but really it was more for myself (yeah, yeah. narcissism...whatever) . I woke up and was extremely bothered by where I was, and not in reality (well, that would be a lie and you'll see why in the following post), but in my soul. I just HAD to get it out of me and I wasn't going to even attempt to give in to the sleep fairies hovering around my foggy glasses until it was on paper, or at the very least, electronic paper.

So, here it goes. FYI: As compared to my older posts, this post is decidedly sans kitschy photos and references to anything but the real, too-sick-to-care (both mentally and physically, and for good measure let's just add in emotionally, too) what others think of me, me.

Dear ____ (name has been changed to absolutely nothing to protect the innocent)

I guess this is going to be one of those nights where sleep teases me with fits of thought, restless writing streaks and the casual anxiety that has become commonplace in my life these days...

So, what happens when C doesn't sleep?
Someone ends up with a long letter in their inbox. Therapeutic for me, amusement for you, win-win all around.

The last month or so has lent me considerable perspective as a human being on what life means, at least in my opinion. I've been half-assed delving from time to time in the writing of my medically dramatic, not too serious memoir. But as I was laying in the bed at memorial that last afternoon, after the custody mediation, I thought to myself...why would anyone want to read shit about me?

Sure, I have a following of jazz fans, but in writing this, that's neither here nor there. I almost have to start over in my "Non-fiction book writing career" if I want to make anything of myself and in promotion of this hopeful-to-sell-before-the-second-coming kinda deal.

So I wondered and thought and thunk and kerplunked while staring at the beautiful rain, albeit cold rain, outside my window on floor 7-5 at Memorial Hospital and came up with this instead: (One of the very kind nursing assistants, a little numb in white/gray matter asked, why don't you watch TV, get your mind off which I replied with a nice as I could be tone while feeling like I'm dying, I'm a writer sans pen, to get my mind off things, I decidedly place my mind on other things and write in my head for a later date...) A book about searching for life among the almost dead.

Of course my medical catastrophes will be enriched with literary license, and my critical and unfiltered potty mouth and sense of humor will also be present. But, this will largely be about my travels writing the jazz book, finding joy in cooking for dozens of people and seeing their careers blossom right in front of my eyes at the retreats and how writing and immersing myself feet first in the literary community and living through hell, has taught me to seek life among the living dead (I.e. the 9-5 cubicle, taco bell eating, pale skinned, illiterate, placated by mass media, plagued with papparazzi envy, celebrity lovin, if-it's-at-Michaels-it-MUST-be art society we're forced to live in.).

I'm so tired of professionals that live with their professionalism written on pseudo wood plaques on their little professional office desks, looking down on people like me, you and pretty much everyone in my little but loving circle of friends. As artists, we're not stupid, no matter how big or small our lives turn out to be. All art, even the bad shit, has a purpose, in turn, allowing purpose and a meaningful life to enrich the lives of those who create it.

Office professionals, salesmen, lawyers, truck drivers (a lot of them write...I could do around all day and think of things to write...) wait staff, nurses, doctors, HR administrators...they've all got potential to reach and find their purpose in life through their jobs too. However, when one allows their job to sequester them to a life where shopping at Wally World is the only activity they do and art means posters of rock bands and Debbie Gibson on their ceiling and American Idol is the only time music invades their brain, then they become, by no fault other than their own, the true outcasts of what our society should be.

Alas, this isn't the case. People like me, you...the ones that end up living under a bridge after poor sales of their first novel or book on jazz, are the outcasts in our own ways. After being told that the career that I've busted my ass on since 2006 is not a real career by a decidedly (at least in her own mind) important person in our little community known as the Springs, I felt defeated. Downtrodden. Cast among the homeless and almost-dead, invisible crowd with too much socially unacceptable hair and drool in ALL the wrong places. But I realize that this "professional" is right. I don't have a "job." Instead I took a long and winding road that is less traveled than it should be. I followed a dream and instead of it being a job (a word so deftly shared by that poor sap of a man in the bible...your friend and mine, Job) I have passion and life within me despite my situation...and this is something that shares a lion's share of hope that resides deep among my too often situational/circumstantial depression....I must...REPEAT...MUST allow this feeling to remain omnipresent in my life instead of that ho-hum complacency so many others have allowed their lives to embody.

Does this thought and subsequent thoughts that will reign upon my consciousness in the near days mean that I've fully realized my goal of becoming an arts snob? Hmmm...not so sure. But I worry. Hell, if I got paid to worry I could build adjoining cabins for all of my friends (so we never have to be too far or too close in our nonrelationships) in Telluride. These would be so grand that they'd make those celebrity dwellings look like a wanna-be architect/toddler with legos and blue prints, built them. Also, as a mother, I've learned that worrying often leads to nothing other than gray hair. (Good reminder to have my sharpie out so I can touch them up) Worry is my current major in the university of life. As a matter of fact, I'm a bonafide doctoral candidate in the subject waiting to present my dissertation any day now.

Hopefully my anxiety will allow me to graduate from worry to okay-ness with not just any life, but my life. (insert any Billy Joel song at this point in the blog and you'll have a great soundtrack)

Hopefully my imaginary paycheck forged by my worrying mind will turn into a real one. can dream, right?

So...I'm meeting with a web designer on Monday, for lunch. I've been talking with him for quite a while. Jim Lewis. (This makes the fourth, yeppers...FOURTH Jim Lewis I know.) Weird. But I spoke with him eons ago about my sites and he's never let me forget. A true salesman. He even called to check on me in the hospital. Hmmm...I hope he's not stalking me. But then again, if he is, does that make me a celebrity?

Time to put my money where my mouth is or whatever that saying is. I have friends on standby that are willing to advertise on their sites, my editorial services (1000.00/manuscript isn't unheard of, right? ...I suppose it's standard fare for someone of my the literary community) and query writing services.

I'm going to fight for what I believe to be a real dream, not what anyone could quite call...a hobby. And also, fight to move up the ladder, more aggressively so, than the past. I had been quite aggressive (believe it or not) until my ass found a new home at Memorial during my preggo days w/ Miss Natty Poo. I'm going to break this ridiculous cycle of dependence/neediness/circumstantial everything that is so fucking far from my actual character that I don't even recognize who I am most days.

I suppose writing this book will help.

Writing letters like this certainly does and is more to my chagrin than yours, I'm sure.

On that note, Natty Poo is awake and in need of a bottle and changing. Ta-Ta my dearest reader...or two.

Yours in Manifestos, Magic Cups and Mostly Memorable Mommy Moments,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Infamous Kissing Cousins: Regret and Guilt

Quote of the Day:
One's real life is often the life
that one does not lead
~Oscar Wilde~

Current Local Weather:
Latent heat followed by gusto amounts of electrical activity
near the intersections of regret, shame and guilt.

Currently on my iPod:
Innocent Bones
"The Shepherd's Dog"
Bryan Sutton

Dear Friends, Family and My Family of Friends,

They say, whoever they are, that regret is the worst enemy any one person can have in their lives. Worse than Hitler, worse than that Hussein dude and worse than its counterpart, guilt. I think some people truly think regret and guilt are kissing cousins, but they're not.

Wikipedia (if it's on there it must be true, right?) defines Guilt as:
...the fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense.[1] It is also a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believesaccurately or not—that he or she has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation.[2] It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

Nowhere in this definition of GUILT, does it talk about regret.

However...REGRET is defined as:

...a negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often expressed by the term "sorry." Regret is often felt when someone feels sadness, shame, embarrassment, depression, annoyance or guilt after committing an action or actions that the person later wishes that s/he had not done or having not committed an action or actions that the person later wishes that s/he had done. Regret is distinct from guilt, which is a deeply emotional form of regret — one which may be difficult to comprehend in an objective or conceptual way. In this regard, the concept of regret is subordinate to guilt in terms of its emotional intensity.

Yet in the definition of REGRET, GUILT is mentioned. And not only is guilt mentioned, it's mentioned as a deeper form of regret than regret itself. Hmmm....

Question is: do you have to feel regret for the things you're guilty of?

Answer? I don't think so. For those of you who personally know me, you know I've been through an admitted amount of hell and back over the last few years. But I have survived it all. At least thus far, right? Tomorrow always has potential for failure and success in either mild or extreme circumstances. But they are only that...circumstances.

I was speaking with a friend this week who happens to be going through her own hell. She was lamenting on how she knew this would change her, and probably for the worst, but she was going to take it all in stride. That she had her REGRETS in everything, including her children...and felt, on top of it all, GUILTY for the issues that were solely hers but bleeding over into everyone else' lives.

I am not one to talk about having past issues or cheap knock offs of Louis Vuitton luggage sitting in my trunk...yeah, you heard me, I've got junk in my trunk...

(Tom, Meg...thanks for this lesson...)

But sometimes, even when the junk in our trunk is causing us to have to not only find, but accept, bigger britches than we're used to wearing, we must press forward knowing that a wider load isn't the end all be all of our lives. Take heed of what Tom and Meg did in that cinematic masterpiece JOE Vs. the VOLCANO...they didn't let their baggage sink them. Instead, they used it to stayed afloat and ultimately learned that sometimes staying afloat was more than a blessing, it was the key to their survival.

In my humble opinion, guilt is for those that have committed crimes and religious fanatics.

Regret, I'm afraid, is something that seems to be a part of everyone's baggage with guilt as its carryon at some point or another. But it doesn't have to own us. Coping techniques and various types of therapy can sometimes ward off these feelings when we're at our worst, but they generally aren't a long term cure. At least not an immediate one. You just can't let it own you and shape your life from here, I'm talking RIGHT NOW, on out. It has to be a "thing" in the past. Unless you've maimed another human being and/or have some brunette politicians daughter/rocker chick from the 80's in a deep well in your basement, forcing it to but lotion on its skin, let it go!

I've always thought that living with regret is something no one should have to do. Living with the feelings of guilt AND regret seem to be a self-inflicted punishment that harbors misery as its greatest asset and drug. Whatever you have done, it was meant to be done or done to you, for better or worse. I certainly have made my lion's share of mistakes over my so far short 34 years, but every one of them has made me stronger in some way or another. And that strength wasn't obvious, in any one of those lessons, at first or even at the five or ten year mark. It only became clear over time.

Am I saying this because I think I'm better than any of you? Absolutely not.

It's just too bad that as humans we take these things and let it go around in our minds, or our friend's minds, until we're practically paralyzed with the thought of whatever we did as our former selves. It's poison. This is when we need to be honeybadgers. Ya know, the crazy nastyass kind that don't give a f*** if poison is coming from their food. They just get back up and go on with their crazy ass, fearless ways. (although I highly recommend you keep your love and careful regard for your fellow man, unlike the honeybadger.
But these days, it's harder to keep our perspective than it used to be. I just have a strange feeling that we're all going to be honeybadgers before we know it. We're already eating poison, intellectually speaking, on a regular basis and having to get up and move on regardless...more on that in a later blog...Thanks Walt!)

So, when you're at your worst and think that this feeling will be your closest enemy for the rest of your life, think again. Let it, instead, keep you and everyone else afloat as a lesson learned instead of a weighted participle of grief on your shoulder. Remember, it, whatever it is, could have been worse.

You are worth the world. Always.

Yours in Honeybadgers, Honing in on the Future, and Housing Feelings in their Proper Place,


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The House is Burning

Quote of the Day:
Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver.
Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.

~Richard M. Nixon~

Current Local Weather:
Rain. Yeah right.
Currently on my iPod:
Whataya Want From Me
Adam Lambert

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

Have you ever sat in a house, burning up in your own skin and wondering what the problem was? Has that house been yours? More often than not, it's been mine. I sit unaware that I'm the one with the floor burning beneath my feet, sweating, stinking up the whole town and waiting for rain or wind or the apocalypse/nuclear winter to cool things down. Where is my reality? Somewhere amongst the ashes, is my guess.

Yet these days the heat outside and in, is unbearable.

I've got issues with the following: (and who doesn't...)

Bills. (They just don't stop coming in, EVER.)

Love. (It was love at first sight, every time.)

Rest. (Break? Who? What? When? Do adults get breaks?)

There are some days I wonder if becoming an addict of some sort would help. I know it wouldn't help with a damn thing, but I do know that it might help strengthen my tolerance of such widespread feelings of impending doom.

But the bigger issue is how to really solve my other issues. I try. I try my very best to figure this out daily. But instead of resolution, I listen to music, write words in an orderly manner and allow the arts community to invade the very fiber of my being. I can't live without it. It's my life, my breath, my support, my family.

I recently had a woman of incredible power (albeit short lived...hopefully) in my life tell me to get a real job. (I could smell charred flesh all around me when she started in on her lecture, as I thought of my chosen profession as just that...a profession!) it hot in here or is it just me?

But it turns out, the majority of the 9-5 world doesn't consider anything having to do within the arts as work. I know. I've asked most the people in the world for their opinion. (Not most, just most of those I care to hear from) Yet without the arts, writing, painting, dancing, Glee etc...we would be trapped in a burning house, oblivious to the colors the world has to truly offer. Most folks don't give a rat's butt as to how the arts get to where they currently are (youtube vs Julliard vs American Idol) they just know that they're always there for use and abuse.

A good friend of mine by the name of Bryan Pedas recently commented on my blog that he was blissfully happy writing 8 hours a day for no money now that he quit his "real" job. Bryan writes some of the best fiction I've ever I have to ask this, if there weren't Bryan's and other folks that aspire to be the Rachel Berrys and Adam Shankmans of the world, where would we be? I have the feeling that we would be lifeless drones and clones of folks like this guy:

(I will be the first one to admit that I'd never like to have the ACTUAL job or be the ACTUAL person portrayed by Steve Carrell on The Office, I will gladly take on the roll of Mr. Carrell's ACTUAL wife.)

So before you criticize and condone another person's life or their chosen artsy-fartsy occupation, ask yourself this, where would you be without them and their art? You wouldn't be reading this. You wouldn't be listening to the Warblers sing "Somewhere Only We Know" because there wouldn't even be a group known as Keane. And you most certainly wouldn't be able to laugh at your cubical hell through shows like The Office. Some of us are perfectly happy with having little to no money or helping represent those with little to no money. Deal with it. It's our life, not yours.

For the artsy fartsy folks who read this, I think you should go ahead and let the house crumble around you, all the while making sure you've got a gaggle of survival supplies waiting just in case you too are found with your feet burning.

Yours in Work, Well-Done Flesh and Waking up,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspiration, Acceptance and Other Oddities of A Cultural Norm

Dream as if you'll live forever,
live as if you'll die today.

~James Dean~

Hot. Hotter. Hottest.
Messy atmospheric changes followed by a storm
consisting of a slight depression of attitude and increase in
gratitude towards the greater good.

Forgiveness (Release)
Sean Jones
"No Need for Words"
(do not go another day in your life without hearing this track)

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

Today, is one of those days. The entire year, thus far, has been composed of many of “one of those” days. Largely because I think I’ve let it get to me in addition to outside karmic forces that think they’re cooler than me and are trying to take over my soul.

Last night I had one of the worst nights of my life, arguably so. Details are not important. But, I do know that the night was preceded by one of the best days I’ve had in a very long time. And today, even after the antics of the night, was better than the last.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with a new “client/writer” in the role of me being the agent, him being the, yeah...uh...writer. :) His name is Chris Lemig. He is one of the BEST memoir writers I’ve ever spilled my noggin on. He’s taught me, or rather, schooled me, on the concept of finding inspiration and life amongst a new start/beginning.

He had obliterated his soul, a suicide case years in the making. His will to live had lost the battle. But he fought, for some reason that isn’t ours to know, and won. I surely wouldn’t be as strong today if it weren’t for knowing his story and seeing that he made it out the other side alive and well. What I continue to see sparkle through his eyes is this, it doesn’t matter where your troubled and challenging past lays, it’s how you map your course for the future that paves the way to success. Of course success doesn’t mean monetary success or the acquisition of material goods, it means success in the small stuff in life. As in staying sober another day, waking up and thanking whatever god, spouse, child, friend, lover or loving animal you have by your side, for being there one more minute to see you through the murky waters of reality.

The journey outside your personal wasteland is only something you can control. Sometimes it’s not so clear that this is the absolute truth. Sometimes it’s too clear. Regardless, we must forgive ourselves these personal trespasses and allow this particular truth to reign supreme.

I spent most of today in a “vision planning” event/potluck luncheon for the city of Manitou Springs, Colorado. This town sits shoulder to shoulder with mine and is one of the best places on Earth. Heaven? Close enough. In this town, it’s easy to feel like you’re Norm on Cheers. Everyone, at least it seems that way, knows or wants to know your name and is happy because of it.

Manitou is a town that knows that planning for the future, as we are the only ones who can truly control it, is the key to its present and further success.

To open the meeting, a video was shown. It opened with a woman giving her reason why she loved this town. She said, “I love Manitou because when you’re here, you can be any kind of weird you want to be.”

Now wouldn’t that be something else if we, as a collective whole, felt that being our own personal kind of “weird” was perfectly fine and accepted everywhere, kinda like American Express? Those feelings and voices of self doubt seeded by the outside world and it’s various colors of negativity, often discourage this. What if we became flowers instead of weeds, treasures instead of trash? The trash that now composes the core of our earth would seemingly disappear. Can we control how others feel? Absolutely not. Can we control how we represent ourselves and show others how we feel about them? Yes.

The Mayor, a State Representative, City Councilmen, Independent Business Owners, Lovers of Manitou, Artists, Natives etc. came together during this event to become a (And thank you to Bren for this phrase) collective unit of critical thinkers. Together we can do anything, apart we can do nothing. In the meeting we learned about the past and present and then found from within each other, what the future means to us.

We were asked questions like, if we could have three wishes...?

What if there were no limitations etc...Those in charge of our future in Manitou didn’t want to hear us argue or debate on how to use budget surplus and/or deficits, they wanted to know our stories, our goals and our dreams regardless of boundaries set by the societal norms.

Dreams, aspirations, goals and visions were shouted out, argued over and written down. Copious creations of mission statements were created using our skills as professional day dreamers, lovers of the world and critical thinkers.

Turns out, our core goal as a community, is to remain as one that is built upon the shoulders of love, togetherness and the wish for a better future regardless of our challenging beginnings, middles or ends. We then talked about how to take these visions beyond our borders and become a model for others. The wretchedness of the state of world affairs disappeared allowing the perhapsness of a brighter, better and healthier future to become the center of our thoughts. We built an invisible web for our fellow Springs dwellers in our minds. And although this web, on the outside, may seem like a trap or negative space we are stuck in, in reality, it is a net. We agreed that this could only add to our “net worth” as a community because it would allow us to catch those that were down, needy and troubled before they fell.

This is something, I believe, most of us search for our entire lives.There isn’t a soul on this earth, whether alone or in a cast of thousands, that doesn’t need someone to know them, to care about them and to catch them when they fall.

Pipe dream? Probably. But for one day, I, and I’m sure others did too, felt that this was completely doable and made an inner bargain not to rest until the doing was done. Without these dreamers of dreams, today would have been a day that I fell, even though I didn’t let it show, and may not have been able to get back up.

And just as Chris has inspired me through the sticky sweaty sweet smell of rebirth beneath a heat lamp of exhaustion and reality, these visionaries have shown me that a vision must be seen with your heart and ears as a gateway to your soul.

I am grateful. Always.

Yours in Dreams, Drinking in the Healing Springs and Doing,


PS: If you’ve been following the “foot” saga on Facebook, CNN or Twitter, (That would be the Cicily News Network, not the other more biased one) you’ll know that I, once again, have been completely shit upon by my own body. But, at least this time out, it wasn’t involving my entire body, just a mere appendage. And, so far, so good, kinda. I haven’t lost the foot, so that’s a good thing. I think. One of these days I’ll have a real hollow wooden leg, and as my buddy Travis would say, I can not only “pull off” the pirate look, but have a great place to store tasty adult beverages. And if I really CAN pull of the pirate look I am that much CLOSER to having Johnny Depp as a life long mate. Right? Stay tuned. If a wooden leg becomes an ever closer aspect of my future self, I will let you guys design the carvings. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Quote of the Day:
You can not hate on me, because my mind is free.
~Jill Scott~

Current Local Weather:
Pollen. Cherry Trees. Fish Trees**.
Claritin D Season has finally arrived.
Late season moody clouds looming.

Currently on my iPod:
Give up the Funk

(Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

How are you? Really? Tell me more...get it out of your system...afterall it's Spring cleaning time.

This is one of the hardest times of the year. And not because it's often mistaken for a time of renewal and love and wonderfulness...because it is the time of year that sneaks up on us unsuspecting adults...We think that winter might last all year long. That the coziness of our sweats and loveliness of the fire in the hearth will continue to love us back, embracing our need to bundle up and snuggle down.

These feelings of warmth are short lived, unfortunately, and soon replaced by the constant feeling of impending doom.

The reality is this: school will soon be getting out for the summer. The ever present question of what to do over the summer...MOM! WE'RE BORED! So how do we juggle schedules and "vacations?" It rapidly becomes a trip to Nightmare city.

Then there's the shame and fear of your ever-widening hips being exposed to those c
ancer-causing and stressful stares and UV rays at the community pool in just a matter of months...eeks, make that weeks.

And certainly last but not least, there's the regret of that lover you met in the junk food aisle at the grocery store. It's good to have someone with you during the holidays whether it's for the right or wrong reasons, right? After all, it could be worse.



It's worse than the fate of an empty inbox on match
.com. It's worse than your mother trying to set you up with a distant cousin because she doesn't want to deal with you moaning and groaning on New Year's Eve...

But no, not this year. You were not going to be the Bridget Jones of Powder Springs, GA. You didn't have to go to a dating website to find all you needed. You felt that you were so lucky in the beginning to have found TRUE LOVE!

He felt so good and was right there when you needed him. He held your hand and rubbed your should
ers through all of the holidays with your family. His name? Mr. Mallowbars, Mr. Quarter Pounder with Extra Cheese, Mr. Number One Meal Chick-Fil-A,

Mr. Yes, I'll take a super sized fries with that...Mr. Ramen Noodles, Mr. Snickers Ice Cream Bar, Mr. Russel Stover...he goes by ALL of those names and more. He's a real con-artist.

But he's also the one that stopped just short of being, THE ONE..(Mr. Washington, I'm still waiting for my phone call) the one whom you thought you had seriously dumped weeks ago but is being annoyingly persistent...texting, calling and wanting those late night booty calls at the refrigerator door and has the audacity to show up at all the local stores, waiting for you, beckoning for your lips at completely inappropriate times.

He is the one you really, honestly, seriously really had committed to. He loved you no matter what you looked like. But he is an asshole, a jerk, someone you can most definitely live wi
thout...the same one that is currently ruining your chance of moving on to find true happiness with the newest crush at the mall, aka Mr Gap skinny jeans and his current love, Ms. Old Navy Strappy summer-dress.

When will it ever end?!?! Ah, the madness....

Alas, this time is upon us and most certainly causing the demise of the self-esteem of women and girls in every dressing room in the we speak, there are ma
ny of us who are trying on our "new" selves and praying that the latest trend bodes well with the skin we're currently residing in. But why is this?

Why is it that we, as a species, feels that we must look "new" and in touch with today's latest trends only to be disappointed by the end of May that all the clothes that were new and shiny and wonderful are gone, on clearance and betraying us with every mile we walk
in the public eye?

But, fashion isn't our biggest enemy. Sure, it can bring someone down and possibly land them a spot on TLC's What Not To Wear....but it's not really an issue. Not in the bigger scheme of things. It's what happens in those dressing rooms and school bat
hrooms and in the privacy of private bathrooms in the homes of women and girls everywhere that should be more disgusted with. It's the itsy bitsy tees and the ordering of stripped down celery and water for dinner that we should be worried about.

I LOVE PINK. I loved her with her first appearance in the public eye. But I reall
y fell in love with her when the song, STUPID GIRLS, came out. No, I'm not calling anyone stupid, but geeze, she's right. Listen here:

It is spring coming up on summer and the societal norm says that women should be "bikini" perfect. Embracing your inner beauty and trying on a bathing suit just isn't something that usually goes together. It's like asking for the perfect bowl of Mac-n-chz and then when it arrives, pouring ketchup all over it and taking a bite. Blech! (yes Chris, that was for you)

So I want to challenge all of my lady friends, their daugh
ters and their daughter's daughters and every other woman I know or would like to know AND all of the men who love them to do something different this year. Instead of "Spring Cleaning" inside your house, why don't you consider cleaning out something much more important...oxyclean and scrub with bleach that wasteful, gutter-ish school of thought that American marketing execs have created within. Regardless of who you are, where you are on the road to success or where you are on the scale, the bigger picture needs to be one of love. Self-love. Self-esteem, self-interest, discovering the real self you have inside kinda love.

Who gives a s*#@ what you look like. Self-respect is much different than and much more important than just the "look" you're sporting. Yes, take care of yourself. Break-up, on a per
manent basis, with the man in your pantry and his greasy, ever disgusting fingers. Don't let him taint your view of yourself. Chocolate and fries only land you a seat in the upper class of misery. Take care of yourself so you can be there for your kids, your spouse, your best-friend, your dogs and cats and fishes....take care of you, get to know you this spring. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the size you're struggling to smear on your ass right now in the Gap dressing room is equivalent to your self-worth. It's not. Never will be.

I know WAY too many people in my life right now that don't know the difference between the two. Including myself on more days than not. I'm writing this as a self-declaration. I will not let my looks trump my real self. I will not let any man, woman or in-between judge me for anything less or more than I actually am. Please don't let me down by letting someone get to you in such a way that your mind becomes cluttered with the wrong kind of crap. Fill it with ideas, informed decisions and love instead. You are worth the world.

It doesn't matter where you're at right now, it's probably filthy. Clean it out and remember that you're not alone. We've all been there or will be there at some point. Stand up for you. I love all of the people in my life, regardless of where we are, where we've been or where we're going...

Yours in Self-Esteem, Satisfying my Inner Sister and Sizing Up the Real Reason Why I Write,


**FISH TREES: These are Bradford Pear Trees that are in bloom as we speak, in GA. They lined the campus of my high school and smell like Rotten FISH! Hence the lovely affectionate pet name they earn by all of the kiddos at McEachern High School.**

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Ex-Life a.k.a. I'm Still Waiting For Nick Cage and/or Denzel Washington to Ask Me to Marry Him

Quote of the Day:
Don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -
The Main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good ge
ts away.
~John Steinbeck~

Current Local Weather:
A break in the clouds will soon
reveal that all was not lost.

Currently on my iPod:
"The Very Thought of You"
Sean Jones
The Eternal Journey

Dear friends, family and my family of friends,

Life goes on. Sometimes at the pain and suffering of everyone and everything we know, but it goes and goes and goes, kinda like the energizer bunny from hell. It is what it is. Everyone grieves, some of us just show it and experience it in different ways than others or than the traditional expectation of grief.

Today is Valentine's Day. This damned commercialized and horrific spectacle of American's ability to waste all kinds of money is in honor of some historical Christian martyr named St. Valentine . With hindsight being 20/20 at all times, it's only fitting that this day started because of a martyr. Given today's commercial hype of what today is SUPPOSED (assumed without the basis or probability to be likely) to be, if it becomes anything but the epitome of the Mass market Jewelery commercial world or the sappy romantic story portrayed on films like Sleepless in Seattle etc, it becomes a disappointment.

Just for the record, Wikipedia defines Martyr as somebody who suffers persecution and/or death for refusing to renounce a belief or cause. Usually this is a religious thing. Sometimes, especially after a particularly rough break-up or heartache of any sort, we become martyrs. We go into denial. We firmly believe that without the person we were once physically and emotionally attached to, that we will die. And we will gladly die in order to get that person back in our lives. Without them, we can't live on. We become victims of sappy love songs by Journey and Air Supply. We wash ourselves with the water of denial and pretend that we're clean, okay, happy. Life will eventually go back to the way it was because that's the way it should be.

But this is where the disappointment starts, your so-called "life" ends and the pain begins to multiply like gnats and maggots on a piece of rotten road kill in the middle of July.







We allow ourselves to relish in martyrdom. We don't want to cause any further harm or pain to the person that used to love us. Of course we don't want to do that. It was never an intention in the first place, but it was entirely one sided in the other person's mind up until the moment they destroyed the ideal relationship by breaking it off. After al, if you set out in a relationship to hurt someone, than there's something seriously wrong with you. Like, WTF? Really? Maybe you're the rebound sort of person in any relationship you start and never truly finish. Maybe you're an expert voodoo practitioner and want to experiment with someone's trust and heart...

This isn't the case for most. It's certainly not the case for me. I believe that it's healthy to own a voodoo doll, for therapy reasons. Just to get it, whatever it is, boyfriend, girlfriend, college prof that failed you more times than not, family members that failed you etc...out of your system. But it's only a silly, nonsensical and temporary solution. We're talking about the life you've modeled in your head, not the actual life that is being lived out in front of you. This isn't the real you or the real life that all the world can see, mock and destroy in less than a nanosecond.

This is reality.

I recently went through a horrific breakup, twice over. They are both still in progress, I suppose. I'm living right smack in the middle of my soon-to-be ex-life and trying very hard, to gain perspective.This is the most sought after skill and asset anyone can get after a breakup. Perspective. Usually a good friend is there to teach you all about it or slap you until you understand where it is you need to start and where it is you need to finish.

Tonight, I was talking to a good friend of mine and he asked me if I had written men off completely...I took a minute and thought long and hard about it and said, no.

This doesn't mean I think love is wonderful.

This doesn't mean I think my life is anywhere near okay right now. But I'm not in denial anymore. My ship has docked and I'm now standing on the shore with my water wings deflated and my ability to swim, gone...I'm living in quick sand and failing miserably at surviving.

This means I currently think that love, romantic love, SUCKS ASS. But this isn't a forever thing. I hope.

(Nick Cage, this blog is for you. If you're still wondering if I'll marry you, the answer is yes. Most. Definitely. But only if Denzel Washington doesn't get to me first.
You both have my home address and my cell phone number. Please call, text or email me and please lift the restraining order. I promise not to show up at either of your homes naked, ever again. Really I do.)

So back to reality. What to do now. I don't yet consider myself on the market. I want to love more than I do now, after all, love is the most awesomest, best thing ever. I want to be loved by someone other than kids and family. I want a companion. But I'm not looking. I need to raise my beautiful girls first and teach them to do as I say, not as I do. That's the good thing about life lessons. If you learn them early enough in life, you have the opportunity to share your experience, for good or bad, better or worse, with those younger and more wide-eyed than you. If only I could go back to the 8-yr old me and tell me what not to do. But then again, I wouldn't be who I am today without the pain and heartache and tragedy and comedies of my life thus far, right? Right.

So, I honestly don't know when/if I ever will consider myself on the market again. Trusting someone, as a friend, lover, companion and to put the toilet seat down in the middle of the night and to lie to you when you cook something horrible and tell the truth when you have lipstick on your teeth, is going to take some time.

I need to get over it and get on with it. In this sense, this blog is for me. It's only purpose is to put in writing what I need to be doing and get out of this current rut. I need to fall back in love with my original purpose and recognize that the person I was with these other people is not the person I want to be. After all, as my psuedo- I wish she was my real sister, ex boyfriend's sister said and rather bluntly so, why on earth do you want to be with someone that doesn't love you back.

She was right. I don't. Yes, I still love him.Very much so. If he asked me now to take him back, I would probably take a good long pause to think about it as I still think the world of him even though I shouldn't. But then I would say no. You're not the one. You never were. I know I should be more jaded but I'm not yet there. I'm past denial, past anger, past everything but the depression of it all.

But I can still love. I have the confidence in myself to do so. I can still want love, great sex, good wine, saucy risotto and someone to share the joys of life with. But it's just going to have to be someone truly wonderful and special and someone that thinks the world of me (honestly so) just as much as I think the world of them. It has to be someone that isn't a part of my ex-life and someone that is part of my new life. Someone that loves my kids and me for who we are. I don't really care if it takes another lifetime and a half to find this person, for if it never happens, it's okay. What's that saying? It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Yeah, sure.

But do know that although I'm not myself lately and haven't been for a while that I still love you. All of you. My readers, my friends, my family, and everyone in between. Even those that have done wrong by me and that I've done wrong to.

Enjoy the rest of your Valentine's Martyr-ish kinda day and remember that you don't have to die inside in order to be loved on the outside and inside of who you really are.

Yours in Love, Wanderlust and Losing it All Just to Find You Were Never Lost in the First Place,


PS: Speaking of love, keep your eye out for the next edition of Daniel Casey's cool site: Gently Read Literature. I have a review of an awesome, absolutely loved-it novel, Van Gogh's Ear by the stupendous writer, David Nash, coming out in the March issue.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How Grey’s Anatomy Can Save Your LIfe: One Line of Dialogue at a Time a.k.a. the real story of what happened last year.

Quote of the Day:
Depression is the inability to construct a future.
~Rollo May

Current Local Weather:
White Noise coming in droves from the
Microwave Vent in order to quiet
the storms inside.

Currently on my iPod:
The 2nd Happiest Song in the World
The Project

Dear friends, family and my family of friends,

I’m not one to follow television shows. Okay, that’s a lie. I am. If I had an actual television and cable, I’d be a sucker for a few shows that are on right now.

Grey’s Anatomy
Modern Family
and of course, my absolute favorite show...beating out 90210 from my teen years, Glee.
I’m addicted.
I can admit it but I’m not quite ready to go into recovery.

I know it’s been a long, long time since I’ve blogged on here. But it’s been a long, long, looonnngg time since I’ve even felt like myself. My life has kinda turned upside over the last nine or so months. Throughout these nine months of my pregnancy (thank you Dr. LaMonica and Dr. Martin for making sure it was a nine month pregnancy instead of a seven month one) I spent the better part of 15 weeks locked up in medical hell. One week was in the ICU courtesy of Mag Sulfate flooding my lungs. When the docs asked the father, if it came down to it, would it be me or the baby, I knew I was screwed. Or at least thought I was, but that was after the fact. I didn’t actually hear them say this, but they did. I then spent one week wondering if I was going to live. This wasn’t the week in the ICU. This was the week I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my internal right jugular. Nothing says, you may be dead any minute now, than when the doc comes in, gives you the prognosis/diagnosis and then sends in the clergy to ask you if you need anything and if he can pray for you and then the social worker to help you fill out a will/durable power of attorney.

Then there was the birth. C-section with a massive blood loss that rendered me, as my doc put it, profoundly anemic. What a joy it is to be in my skin!

Not to mention crippling depression that lingers on a daily basis but is somewhat clearing. Every single day, not knowing if it was going to be my last, be painful, or be wonderful will mess with your head. Talk about a range of emotions.

So what do I have to show for all this shit?

Natalie Jane.
December 7th, 1020am
7lbs 11oz.

She couldn’t be more perfect.

So back to that thing about being myself. One would think that it would be even harder now that I’m a mom, again. Starting over in the game of life in ways you will never know about. I could blame the hormones from the pregnancy. could have been that I needed a break from who I was in order to take a step back and really look at the world around me. My rose colored glasses shattered one afternoon and I began to see the world for what it was. I would like to believe that I found out what is truly important to me. I found love, in all the wrong and right places. I found sacrifice. I found out what it means to fight for what you believe in. I also found out that sometimes what turns out to be the right solution for you is not the solution others thought should have played out.

Going through the amount of trauma that I went through in a small amount of time will change you. It would change anyone.

Now, my life is planning writing retreats (October folks. If you want info, email me), watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix while I feed my little one in the middle of the night and then praying, begging, borrowing and stealing snippets of sleep. And I’m trying to get healthy...actually I’m not trying. I’m GOING TO get healthy and stay that way for the rest of my life. This is the year I say good-bye to all the docs and medications and other shit that I’ve been carrying around as if it were a Prada handbag. (Thanks Kate)

Last night, while feeding an infant and obsessing over Grey’s Anatomy, I heard this: “When the battle chooses us, that’s when the sacrifice turns out to be more than we can bare.”

For now, think about that.

I believe the writers of Grey’s Anatomy knew what I needed to hear in that moment. I wouldn't say they saved my life, but they sure as hell helped me gain perspective. Again. I wish I was friends with the writers.

I heard the line, “I’ve heard it’s possible to grow up, I’ve just never met anyone who’s actually done it. Like children, we never give up hope.”

I won’t say that I’ve given up hope, but I think it’s about damn time I actually grow up and take more responsibility for who I am, where I am and what I’m doing. Being aware of this is sometimes more difficult than you would think. Try it some time. And when you try it, don’t lie to yourself about any of your current factors. Not that I’m trying to change the world, but hell, if more of us owned up to our true realities, the world might work a little bit better and more of us would get off our asses and try to truly change it.

So I continue to watch Grey’s each night, wondering if by season 3, Meredith will finally get back into McDreamy’s pants. Then again, McDreamy is just that. A dream. He’s not real. In the end, just like the nursery rhyme, life is but a dream. Is it? Really? I sure as hell hope so because this means that one of these fine sunny days in hell, I will wake up to the life I’ve earned and was always meant to have. For now? For now, I’m going to continue to put myself out there even though I’ve decided that all the craziness will make me crazier, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Yours in McDreams, McShit and McDoing the Right Thing,