Thursday, January 8, 2015

Emotional Rescue

I'm back!

Okay, not totally. I still don't feel especially inspired to blog about anything in particular, despite the fact that the world is full of intense topics to opine upon. But the brain is at least starting to turn back on so I guess we'll start by randomly typing with the hope that something of interest shows up.

I have not been unhappy, things have been positive and chugging along as they should. Just not inspiring me to sit in front of the monitor in any other capacity than perusing recipes and hitting the like button on everyone's facebook photos.

There are always the same boring reasons not to create that I've mentioned many times before. Signs lately point to the main reason being exposure/vulnerability. I'm clinging to that because the other alternative is simply that I'm lazy and that's not very interesting. My dear friend Storm, who is the polar opposite of lazy and has already written a sold out one woman show and a memoir and tours constantly and writes great songs and will have one glass of wine and then stop like an adult rather than drink the whole bottle and then get sad about pets that died ten years ago or post really dumb status updates that have to be quietly deleted the next day, so she must be right about oh, EVERYTHING, is convinced that my continuing to remain behind the bar and not pursue a bigger life has to do with fear of blowing up.

Not in the Looney Tunes sense,



More like the sense that if I ever did get anything completed, it would sell at least to the point that I would be more prominent in the public eye, and that is a terrifying thought. Which is true. At least the fear part, dunno for sure about the sell part but it's nice to think that this would be the case. I know that everyone thinks they want to be rich and famous, but if it were true then talented people wouldn't ruin opportunities right and left the way they always do. I can count ten people off the top of my head that are more talented than a slew of publicly lauded stars, but who will never walk a red carpet or get noticed outside their own social sphere. Everyone has their reasons. In my case, I can barely handle it when someone disagrees with me on facebook about what I ate for dinner. For all this past badassery and a love of wardrobe judging, it turns out I'm a total wimp when it comes to being criticized and will avoid arguments with strangers at all costs. The idea of being truly hated all over the internet, and everyone who is public is hated by more than a few, scares the crap out of me.

The other resistance, especially lately, is that I, because of my age and past rock and roll career, am surrounded and friendly with a lot of people who live in the past. It bores the crap out of me and I don't want to fall into that hole. I love my history and I'm proud of it. I'm happy to share old photos on occasion and talk about it when someone is sincerely interested. I've got some good stories and it's fun to watch people's eyes get round when they're told. But there is an air of desperation in what's left of the "scene" to prove that each one of us was important once in some grand way. So there are a lot of old ladies and men out there posting photos from 20-30 years ago and ignoring what is going on around them now, and I don't want to get old like that. Yes, pop culture sucks, I'm not into it. But there has to be somewhere to turn for relief beside the scrapbook.

I see a lot of shows where people trot out the same Johnny Thunders songs for the 900th time and then everyone gets all maudlin talking about what a saint he was and how he would have done this or that if he was here now. I go to those shows and it's fun to jump around to Chinese Rocks. I love Johnny as much as the next guy. But come on. He was no deity and wherever he's at right now, he doesn't give a shit about who you're dating or how many photos you took with him when he was alive. Bass player, DJ, and miscreant Sam Hariss and I have a running joke in which we state things like, "Johnny would have never eaten his sandwich with that brand of potato chips." or "You're doing it wrong, Johnny didn't tie his shoes like that."

This is not to say I'm judging harshly, which would be hypocritical. It's more about poking fun at the (small and large) deaths that aging brings, and a resistance to succumbing too quickly. I like those old photos too, I looked better in them. Especially my arms. I loved my little bird arms, now they're all middle-aged lady big, no matter how many tricep dips are cranked out in a week. I like seeing myself standing next to Joey Ramone and it's fun remembering that the world was once magical. I just don't want to sound like someone's grandmother any more than necessary.

So I'm trying to find ways to exist in the present, as a has-been rocker in a world full of young people who aren't interested in rock and roll and insist on moving to New York just to re-work it to their Idaho standards rather than exploring anything the city might have had to offer before they got here two years ago to help mash it into a real estate pulp. It's a trial and error experiment that every generation for centuries must have to go through.

There is a delicious drink on the cocktail menu at Dream Baby, where I work on Saturday nights, called the Emotional Rescue. Last week a large party of girls fell in love with it and reordered it all night. But they couldn't remember the name:

Courtney My-Dad-Pays-All-My-Credit-Card-Bills: "Can I have another one of those Emotional Breakdowns?"

Me: "Sure, but it's an Emotional Rescue. You know, like the Stones song."

Courtney: "Huh? Okay, yes, one of those."

15 minutes later...

Courtney: Can I have another Emotional Relief? Is that what it's called?"

Me: "Of course you can. It's the Emotional Rescue."

Courtney's friend Ashley I'm-Gonna-Leave-My-Jacket-on-a Couch-and-Then-Accuse-the-Bar-of-Stealing-It-When-It-Sat-There-Unattended-For-Two-Hours-While-I-Ground-All-Over-an-Investment-Banker-I-Just-Met-to-a-Miley-Song: "Me too! Me too! I want an Emotional Thingie!""

This went on all night, until I found myself shrieking sadly: "Emotional RESCUE! Like the Stones song! For the love of all that is holy, Emotional RESCUE!"

Courtney looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Emotional Breakdown! Two more please! What are the Stones?"

And then my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I blacked out for three minutes.

I don't remember where I was going with this...Oh yes, living in the past, fear of change, fear of success, blah, blah, blah. I'll figure it out. In the meantime, thank you for bearing with me, I'm honestly grateful that people want to read these missives and have been nudging me to get back to it, and I hope that this New Year finds all of you fulfilling your highest potential as well.

Much love.







Saturday, October 11, 2014

Causes of the Common Cold


ME (honking into a tissue): What are you watching?

DREW: Marvel's Ultimate Spiderman

ME: Why does Spiderman look so weird?

DREW: He got bit by a deadly jungle spider.

ME (coughing loudly): Why does Batman have a brown costume now?

DREW: That's not Batman, that's Wolverine.

ME: It's just Batman in a brown costume.

DREW: It's completely different, and it's Wolverine.

ME: Well, he looks just like Batman.

(silence)

ME: But brown.

(silence)

ME (honking again): Why does Spiderman sound like a teenager?

DREW: You know what Mary? This is why you're sick.

ME: Because I'm a horrible person?

DREW: Yes.

ME (coughing): I was merely trying to feign interest in your interests! Hey, I like that costume! What's that one's name?

(silence)

ME: If you're not really into this, can we watch Project Runway?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim. 
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—,
And admirably schooled in every grace: 
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place. 
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
-----by Edward Arlington Robinson
This morning I learned that Drew Bernstein, a member of our rock and roll tribe who clothed every cool person and teen goth that ever existed, killed himself. He was a successful, attractive, smart, well-liked person and the news has stunned and saddened everyone who knew him. 




I didn't know him well, but I knew him peripherally for many years, liked him, and have heard from all accounts that he was a kind and caring person. I am honored that the photo circulating features him in a CSFH tee, and feel sad to see him looking so vibrant and alive while knowing that he is gone. To all his family and friends that may stumble upon this blog, I send you my deepest condolences. 

People are checking out at an alarming rate. My mother is regularly telling me that energy is intensifying and we are being asked to release much of what is old and weighs us down to make room for a higher vibrational form of being as the earth and its inhabitants move at a snail's pace towards this bullshit ascension that is, in my opinion, taking way too long to come about, if indeed it is coming about at all.

I kind of do know that it is coming about, but I still like to bitch about it because there's a punk rock part of me that needs to hold up a middle finger at all this positive, new agey, happy horseshit. Especially as I have had, since last November, some highly confusing and difficult months, starting with the landlord caving my ceiling on Thanksgiving and culminating in a perio-menopausal horror show that has only recently been managed with hormone replacement therapy. Sweet, sweet hormone replacement therapy. It's supposed to be temporary but I'm so much more happy and even-tempered now that the authorities will have to pry the medication out of my cold dead hands one day.

Essentially, I've felt nuts for the last year, and I am not alone. My Drew (not Bernstein) has too, and most of my friends as well.

I got this text from Storm today, after I sent her the news about Drew and after we had just had a conversation two days ago about Robin Williams: "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON???"

WTF, indeed? I imagine, that if this energy scenario is true, and if you are prone to depression or not in an even place to begin with, being energetically required to release old feelings, pains, traumas, etc. from this lifetime or others, could indeed be fatal. And to my mother's credit, she told me ten years ago that I would be seeing many people leaving the planet as they either had more important things to do on the other side to help with the shift or wouldn't be able to assimilate to what was happening comfortably enough to stay in body.

Anyway, beyond the new age scenario, which is a lot of guess work at the best of times, and into the more practical. 

I wasn't a fan of Robin Williams, I found his hyperactivity annoying and often unfunny. I wasn't that crazy about seeing him in movies because I found his hairy physicality distracting. But he seemed like a nice man and I get why other people think he was hilarious. I was struck primarily by the tragedy because of our nation's obsession with celebrity, and because it brought back the memories of personal experience.

I have at least a small insight into what the Williams family is feeling because the parent of someone I love hung themselves too, not too many years ago. The cause of death was not made public, mostly to protect the privacy of the family and memory of the person, and probably to stave off the kind of commentary that Robin Williams' family is now facing. I think it was very brave and generous of them to come right out and give the world such intimate details.

When someone commits suicide, the swath of devastation is wide and bleak. The ensuing anguish is almost untenable. Families are never the same, some don't recover from the loss. The people left behind have to work out issues on their own; they are left holding the bag. It's as if the person committing suicide states out loud, only once: "I am not interested in making sure that you are okay. I'm leaving and you will have no say in the matter." People left behind question their own value, why they weren't compelling enough to keep the loved one here, who they are, and how they will make themselves whole without the assistance of the person who created a hole. Suicide is an abandonment of the highest order.

So there's that: anger. Then there's the simple loss: sadness. Then there's the imagining of that person in that physical position in death: horror and anguish. You'd be surprised at how many people die in movies in exactly the same way that real people do, compelling one to leap over couches to change channels in vain attempts at preventing images that remind, images that haunt the psyche, images that cause a person to cry in their sleep from nightmares.

And lastly, there are frustrating and futile machinations in your head that try to turn back time: what could I have said or done to keep them here, to change their mind?

Zelda Williams, Robin's daughter, quit Twitter after some stunningly rotten tweets, including a couple fake images of his body, were sent her way:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/28773734

ABC News offered live aerial shots of the family home, to which people on social media objected enough that the network apologized. This gives some hope that we are not completely damned as a nation: http://www.thewrap.com/robin-williams-dead-abc-news-social-media-outrage-aerials-of-robin-williams-home-family-asks-for-privacy/.

A little compassion is in order and not that hard to provide. Instead of cracking callous jokes on facebook or ranting about what a coward this famous man was for hanging himself (which doesn't strike me as a particularly easy thing to do, so I don't get that argument), why can't we take this as a reminder to look at the people closest to us to check to see if they are okay. Because many of us are not, and it doesn't matter if we are famous, rich, popular, and beautiful. And when something like this happens, which it will because no matter how closely we check on each other, some will inevitably fall through the cracks, how about we simply pray or send good thoughts to the families instead of sending a helicopter over their house or a tweet of our opinion on how the person died? People who lost a father, a husband, a best friend, a girlfriend, a child, don't need our opinion. They need our empathy and understanding.

 I often think about L'Wren Scott, who was the summation of everything I wanted to be when I was a teenager--gorgeous, sophisticated, smart, dating a rock star, etc., and who also hung herself. Another informing element to all of this is that the things that we deem as most important to happiness, might not be. Wrap your brain around that for a while. I'm still working on it. In the meantime, I am holding my loved ones close and praying for the people who lost someone.

Which come to think of it, isn't that all of us?





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Special Purpose

As mentioned in my last blog entry, I was granted a Catalyst Session from my generous friend Jessica Beckwith: https://www.facebook.com/Thecatalystsessions. It was pretty eye-opening.

Jess asked a ton of compelling questions, which led to insights that I hadn't expected. It got very deep and I found myself getting emotional over childhood stuff that made clear the reasons behind sometimes questionable adult decisions that have led me to where I am now. It wasn't therapy, which I've experienced enough for this lifetime, but more a stroll down the trail of one's career trajectory.

Jess has given me some easy assignments for the summer, which are all pretty fun and involve scrapbooking and other creative means of discovering what kind of life I want to lead and how to allow creativity to flow in order to get me to that life. I remain hopeful and am enjoying much of it. I am very grateful to her for the insight and highly recommend you check out her services if you are in a similar place in life.

Writing featured prominently in our session and seems to be the direction I am most leaning toward taking. But the practicalities are nebulous. I know I can write, but what do I do with that? I have been stymied for years by what I assumed was laziness and procrastination. I can see now that the big block is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of sucking (which is kind of what procrastination is anyway, isn't it?), and a new one I hadn't thought about, fear of being TOO BIG.

Perio-menopause, which should be called HELL ON EARTH, has lately driven me into a corner of foggy and depressed confusion in which all of my past notions about who I am and what I want have been blown into smithereens. Happily, especially for Drew, I am now on good old fashioned Western medicinal hormone replacement therapy, which has helped considerably, much more than all the herbs and hippie-dippie mother goddess crap that I had been dutifully ingesting prior to the gift of some lovely and sanity-bringing prescription medication. I am finally able to sleep through the night without waking up every two hours to nuclear flashes that bathe one in sweat and despair, and my mood swings are not quite so lethal. But there is still an underlying existential sadness that has yet to be deciphered and/or conquered.

On a side-note, it still pains my ego considerably to speak of this publicly, so here are a couple of sexy, estrogen-rich photos to help me regain some sense of dignity.

1992...


2014...Thank God for Robert Butcher...


 Okay, that makes me feel better. Thank you for your kind indulgence.

Whenever I go through something painful or expansive I feel the need to go inward to find means of coping. Plus hormonally-induced depression offers the opportunity for lots of laying in bed or on the couch staring at the ceiling. Consequently, I have been doing a lot of meditating, praying, and listening to endless lectures from people who seem to be wiser than myself--anything to help feel a little more grounded and less anxious while in the middle of the maelstrom.

One of the meditations I did was created by my new favorite lightworker, Kyle Gray, to discover what your spirit animal is and what it has to tell you. Before I continue, I want to say that I understand that many of you are not as new agey inclined as myself, so I will not be offended if you think this is all a load of hooey and pass on this entry for a more entertaining one down the road. But these kind of exercises help me, so I offer them up for the like-minded.

Side note: I'm hoping that the new Borderlands game that comes out in October lives up to the other two and will make my brain less squishy and back into blowing stuff up mode. And on that tip, I've been asked to write a gaming column for a friend's fanzine, so that should balance out the quotient as well. I'll keep you posted.



I would prefer to expand my consciousness with a glass of wine or a new pair of shoes, but sometimes that doesn't do the trick and you have to work a bit harder. And I have always been pretty lucky with meditation when giving it the proper (and sober) time and energy. So far I have worked stuff out with my dead dad, met aliens and prevented myself from obsessing into criminal behavior, so I don't know why I'm so resistant to it.

This is a conversation I had with Michael Schmidt last week:

ME: I really, really, reaaaaaaallly want to go to a Cher show with you.

MICHAEL: You've never seen her?

ME: Never! Isn't that sad? I mean she's everything. She's practically...

MICHAEL: Your spirit animal?? I know!!

So I did this Kyle Gray spirit animal meditation and to my surprise and momentary disappointment, Cher did not show up on top of a mountain, full of sage advice and looking fierce in her half-breed outfit.


Instead, after following a little mental walk, I found myself standing on a beach with a panther. I have always been attracted to panthers, starting with a childhood crush on Bagheera in the Jungle Books and flowering wildly on a day that I was really irritated with a high school boyfriend who took me to see the 80's version of Cat People right after I caught him on the phone with another girlfriend. I was royally pissed off but once the movie started I forgot about him and became mesmerized by the idea that the spirit of a more powerful than us animal could live inside a person. I was quiet for the rest of the day as I imagined myself ripping his heart out with my teeth. It gave me a sense of power, I guess, that maybe I didn't feel I had on my own.

So it made sense that my first tattoo would be a panther. I very much wanted to be a badass instead of a nice Catholic girl from Michigan, and to make a statement to the world with something that was old school tough guy in an era when women didn't have tattoos.


At the same time, I've always felt like my love of the cats was a bit corny and obvious, and maybe a bit presumptuous on my part, if that makes sense? Like who the hell do I think I am to claim this fancy animal as my own? Maybe my spirit animal should be a badger or a meerkat. But I went with it and listened.

The message that I got was to accept my power and to stop diminishing myself into these corners of survival jobs, fear of aging, fear of being too little, fear of being too much, fear of not being loveable. Which is pretty much what the catalyst session with Jess told me as well: that I am an artist who has continually tamped my creativity down with choices borne out of fear. Conscious fear of not making a living and unconscious fear of the chasm that could suddenly open up if I allowed myself to be more successful, and thereby more public than I am right now. Which might seem very public to the naked eye, but this blog hits mostly friends and family who aren't going to hurt me or judge me in the same way that a larger space might.

When I was in the Cycle Sluts and things were happening in a big way, I felt uncomfortable with questions and interviews. I liked the stage part, but I didn't like the scrutiny part. I can see now that I shut the fame thing down on my own. I wasn't ready for it, it scared me. I'm comfortable being a big fish in a little pond, where there are no sharks. So I wonder, maybe most of us do this to ourselves unconsciously? What if the parameters we are confined by are primarily of our own making?

I have been lucky enough to know many outrageously talented individuals from all walks of life and in many career fields. The question often begs itself: why aren't they more famous, more successful? Why are some people who seem less talented more fortunate? The answer might be destiny and that the lessons in one particular lifetime aren't about learning through great outward success. But what if it's also that our varied fears keep us from shining as brightly as we could? And another question: is success the joy that we expect it to be? I have a friend who is a very popular performer and it has created tangible problems that don't garner much understanding or empathy from most, because people can't get past the "enviable" fame and finances. I have observed that it is difficult to feel safe or loved when everyone wants something from you.

I don't have any answers for anyone, just questions right now. I do know this: my soul will wither into a dried, cranky, mean ball if I have to bartend or office manage or bookkeep for the rest of my life. I am not knocking any of those things, I am good at them and enjoy them sometimes. But it is not my purpose. I love, LOVE this information about the path to purpose from TD Jakes--





Still, I haven't a fucking clue as to what my true purpose is. And how does one get to discovering or fulfilling that purpose in a world in which rent and dental bills must be paid? The thought seems so daunting, impossible even, the chasm so wide. As much as I've enjoyed bits of my random trajectory, I envy people who know what they want to do and got on doing it as soon as they got past childhood. So many of us live and die doing jobs that merely pay the bills. That voice in my head sometimes says, "Who am I to expect more out of life? Why should I be any bigger or happier than anyone else? There are people without homes or friends who would kill to have half of what I have been given. "

But another, newer, more loving voice says, "There is enough for everyone." I need to believe this is true.

So I'll  leave you with that today, along with Navin Johnson's discovery of purpose...






Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Slogging Through

This is such a weird time, isn't it? People I know are dropping right and left of heart attacks and overdoses. Everyone is in a funk. Two friends were in major accidents this week, one is still in the hospital and the other one will be recovering for quite a while. There's a full moon this Friday the 13th and I've been told that solar flares are messing with everyone's psyche this week as well.

I found out about one of those accidents yesterday, right before I left the apartment to go to Chinatown to see a new gyno about my hormone...ahem...issues. Her office is located right next to a fish market. Kind of ironic, isn't it?


My beautiful friend Kim Montenegro broke her arm in two places and had to have surgery to put steel plates in, and I walked down Ludlow Street in a sort of daze and panic as I tried to digest this new information after reading it on facebook as I put on my shoes to leave. She doesn't live in New York so I couldn't just run to her hospital, and instead kept with my plans for the day. But it felt weird and wrong. Was Kim okay? Was she in pain? What if she died? I stopped cold when I noticed yet another luxury high rise going up in the middle of a block, surrounded by Soho style overpriced clothing stores and gourmet coffee shops. Another one, really?? How is this possible? I stood looking up in frozen anxiety attack. My city in ruin, my friends in danger and pain. It's all too much to bear. I am a ghost in this town full of people I don't understand, who don't understand me. I am lost. Who am I anymore? I was once so sure of everything: where I wanted to live, what I was going to do, who I was going to do it with. Now I know nothing except that lately my heart aches quite a bit in the most nebulous and drifting way.

I've been a little bitter after the whole promised cosmic shift of 2012 didn't happen. I feel like I was lied to by a bunch of new-agey busybodies talking out of their asses. Fuck you, where's my giant space head full of psychic clarity and cheerful good will? I feel like I did when I was little and someone asked me if I wanted to go to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream. I thought I would get an actual basket of robins along with my ice cream and was devastated to learn there would be no free pets that day. Which sort of shows what a spoiled brat I must have been, because ice cream is pretty great. But that's how this non-shift shift feels to me. Like an epic, I-was-told there'd-be-pretty-birds style rip-off.

Reaction GIF: disappointed, despair, Lucille Ball

My mother maintains that things are moving consciousness-wise and that we are being asked to release all old energy in order to clear the way for higher vibrations and better days. I covered this in a bit more detail in the last blog, and yes, I do feel it in some ways, but it isn't happening fast enough for me. I'm tired of clearing, of dealing with issues, of feeling sadness and confusion. I'm angry that I found my place in the world and it's disappeared underneath my feet. And I feel like I've been working on this mental/emotional/spiritual crap my whole life. I was promised ascension, goddamnit, something magical and wonderful. I was picturing Hogwarts without the Malfoys (sorry, nerd-reference), instead I find myself trapped in the worst possible version of the 1950's: all jock-culture and corporate white men in suits, with the modernizing additions of Jersey turnpiking and Miley Cyrus tongue-wagging. And every day some new monster shoots up a school and himself and the argument against guns begins anew. Mental care! Gun reform! My cold dead hands. 'Merica!! Mankind is still so unevolved; we're practically digging in the dirt for grubs. How is this even close to anything resembling ascension?

And the arguments for solutions to societal problems look increasingly pointless. The gun thing now appears to me to be a spiritual malaise more than a political or legal one. I pray for the families of the people who are hurt or killed because that's all that I can think of to do. I'm over arguing it on facebook. I'm not going to change Joe the plumber or Ted Nugent's mind. Why waste my breath or typing skills on it? The only thing that makes sense to me any more is simple compassion for those who are hurting. Everything else seems like tilting at windmills.

Oi! This is depressing and whiny. Sorry! It's momentary and could just be the hormones talking. I do have a lot of fun and have an amazing life and a lot of gratitude for it. I know I'm luckier than many. I'm not discounting any of that.

I did have a moment standing in front of that awful skeleton of a high rise where, after the wave of sadness and fear went through me, a realization stepped into its place: that much of this intense heaviness has to do with forgiveness of self. The connection doesn't seem logical, but I was sort of free-falling emotionally and that's where the thoughts landed. That we walk around carrying the weight of our own self-loathing, that we are all so much more ready to forgive others than we are ourselves. We can't forgive ourselves for decades-old mistakes, for aging, for bad decisions, for being selfish, for being fat, skinny, messy, impatient, stupid, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. We can't forgive our many imperfections and transgressions, real or imagined. But if we could, if we could be as kind to ourselves as we are to new boyfriends or our dogs or celebrities that we think are cool, we would feel so much lighter and more free.

It wasn't so much a light bulb moment as it was a wash of that same compassion and sadness I feel for those bereft families, except it was for all of us, including myself, which felt new. So in the spirit of trying to get to that lighter place, I am writing today primarily to share some resources that are helping me stay sane (relatively so) for the time being, while whatever is supposed to be sorting itself out gets sorted.

First, apps: I'm obsessed with self-help apps lately. First two are "Hay House Radio" and "Hay House Now". If you are not familiar with Louise Hay, get familiar. She was ahead of her time when people first started getting into metaphysics, and she has created a large and lovely world of spiritual resource, much of it free. Everything coming from her direction has a very gentle energy, and we need gentle now more than ever.

If you are already familiar with much of this self-help stuff, some of the radio will get a bit annoying in that precious NPR kind of way...

https://screen.yahoo.com/npr-delicious-dish-dusty-muffin-000000345.html

I prefer "Hay House Now" to the radio because you can pull up free lectures on subjects you find interesting rather than randomly tuning in, but you can also occasionally hit on some very interesting teachers and conversations on the radio that you might have overlooked otherwise. Currently I'm fascinated by Doreen Virtue and Kyle Grey, who both work with angels, but dig around for what resonates with you personally. I've found that books or images connected to something that will resonate strongly with me almost shine visually brighter than others on the shelf or screen, but it's all varied paths to the same end, I think? I hope?

Another app that I'm loving is Mindifi hypnosis. They've got a variety and each app variant gives you one main hypnosis and urges you to buy the related versions. You don't have to do that unless you want, I haven't bought any yet and am currently addicted to the one that helps you sleep. You're supposed to listen to it sitting up and then go to bed, but I plug in the earphones, turn out the lights and am drooling into the pillow within minutes, which has not happened in forever. I frigging love being hypnotised, it's like having someone else do the work for you.  My only complaint so far is the lose weight hypnosis; the soothing voice keeps going on about "healthy weight". Screw that. I want to be hypnotized into super-skinny-get-mistaken-from-behind-for-a-16-year-old-cheerleader weight. Still looking for that one, I feel quite sure that I'll be able to forgive myself completely if I lose 20 lbs. But at least I'm getting a little more sleep now.

Web-wise, my friend Jessica Beckwith turned me on to Mystic Mamma: http://www.mysticmamma.com/. It's female slanted, but that doesn't mean men can't check it out, and I like the blogger's mix of the spiritual and astrological. Women are so governed by the changes of the moon, any man who wants to understand why his girlfriend is nuts half the time could look there for some answers. Jess also just informed me that women change every three days with the moon, which explains a lot: http://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/women/moon-centers

Jessica has recently started a business doing what she calls "Catalyst Sessions" using her 20+ years as a business enterpreneur, yoga instructor, spiritual student, artist and all around energy intuitive to help people hone in on what they really want to be doing and how to take steps to do it. She is giving me a free session, because a) she's a generous soul and b) it's painfully clear that I need some guidance. So I will be sure to let you know how it goes, and the meantime, if you are interested in something like that let me know and I will pass on more info. She is not advertising at the moment because it's deep work and not something to toss into the ether in a random way.

Okay, that's all I have for now. I have been asked to write a gaming column for a friend's new zine, and as you can imagine, I am very excited that someone is willing to make my bullshit look legitimate, so I will post that as soon as it's out.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Pause

This one is primarily for the ladies, advance apologies to my male friends...

I had allotted this time for yoga and sitting in front of my new LED anti-aging light that I spent 275 bucks on, but the urge to write is stronger. It's time I come clean about what is going on with me in 2014, an act which I have resisted out of fear. But I pride myself on my honesty and believe that one of my purposes in this lifetime is to share the things that I have learned, so let's just get on with it.

Side-note: this is the light. I had to sell the Nuface I told you about before, because my skin is very sensitive and the electric current was causing me to break out in hives. Zoe and I have a fabulous dermatologist friend (Dr. William Gael--he rocks!) who we torture constantly for beauty assistance, and he has a light and says it works. So I bought this one:


Drew rolls his eyes when I put on my pink goggles and go in. I will keep you posted on whether it works or not. I can feel a tingling sometimes when I use it, but the jury is out right now.

Some months ago I started having hot flashes. I refused to believe it was happening, but things got increasingly worse until I could no longer deny the reality. I couldn't sleep well because I was waking up over and over in a burning state, having to throw the covers off and the windows open. And then I got all emotional, distant and bitchy with Drew for no reason. I still tried to pretend that everything was normal, until he finally had had enough, and God bless him, sat me down and asked me what was going on even though he knew exactly what was going on. I burst into tears and said it out loud, the dreaded, hateful words:

 "I think I'm in the middle of menopause." He replied with a slightly longer version of "Well, duh."

Since then things have been better, at least between us. He is a stellar, kind, patient person and now jokes that he is a victim of "The Pause". I am working to be more conscious of how I treat him as my hormones rage in and out of control. I have never been a gentle person, except to animals, and it seems that one of Drew's jobs in this lifetime is to teach me how to be less harsh with the people around me.

But it felt like more than that. All of the normal herbs and bullshit that you are advised to take for this bizarre time in life, which is not unlike puberty in many ways, were not helping me. Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold, weepy, angry, terrified. The Pause is not sexy. I have spent a lifetime cultivating an identity that revolves around sexy. If I am old, which is not a valuable state for women in our culture, who am I? If I am not physically desirable, how can I be loveable? From where will I derive power if my primary power is gone? And on a basic, material level, I am working in service again, how long can I keep that up if I look old behind the bar? And how will I keep my man, who, is younger than me and because it's a goddamn man's world, still gets hit on by nubile, much-more-willing-to-be-accommodating 20-somethings?

Gah!!! The mind reels! More voddy, Darling?


Excruciating. But pretending that you are who you are not is not a good look for anyone. People who desperately try to pretend they are younger than they are become undignified and laughable.



I am aware that this is a process that nearly every woman experiences if she is lucky enough to live to an old age, and that it has its own rewards. Deep down I also know that regardless, I am vital and beautiful and will remain so in various forms until I die. But I am resistant, so resistant to change that my body has had to ratchet up the uncomfortability level in order to force me to pay attention.

I finally asked my mother for a reading. I don't publish much of her information here because she prefers that those who are ready come to it on their own, and there is a real fear that those who aren't ready will not receive it well. But I think that in this case it is valuable information for more than just me. This is what she got:

Her energy is shifting and much of what she is experiencing has to do with this rather than with menopause. She is somewhat in resistance to change as she identifies and honors herself with an image, much of it from the past. The new energy is trying to move in and she is hold tightly to the old causing her to be out of sync. She needs to rest more, center more, and actually live the truth that she knows...quiet the mind. (They are talking about rest as laying down quietly or meditating, not considering rest to be playing video games or watching TV). [Ed. note: But I just renewed my XBox gold subscription!]

She needs to clear her energy field when working and after coming home.  She  brings a lot of heavy energy home with her.  This can be avoided by keeping her energy field clear and filled with light while working through conscious intention and visualization.

There are many changes coming for her soon on all levels. The energy is changing and resistance to the new is causing a physical response. She must try and be open to any new ideas that may come that don't fit into her concept of who and what she is. She needs to begin to love herself for who she really is (Divine Being having a human experience) and let go of the belief that she is only loveable if she fits a certain image she is holding of herself.  

Her heart center is opening to new levels and she will begin to experience love for others on a new level...more on a global level.

Herbal teas and products like this can help the symptoms she is experiencing but it is mostly due to resistance to change and a letting go of the past. 
  
Be open to change dear one, do what you do but from a new level of awareness. Take the day to day experiences and begin to see them from a higher standpoint for there is in reality, nothing that is not in and of the Divine...it is only how it is interpreted that makes it what it is. You are loved greatly dear one and have much to offer. Allow this to flow easily and gently out to others while not allowing yourself to be validated by anything, anyone, or anything from the present or past.

She does not need to become a new personality, just an awake one. She has earned skills that make her a powerful light worker, and knowing and living truth does not mean a person becomes a wuss or doormat.  It is being who you are, doing what needs to be done, but with awareness.

So poop. Is the work never done? Every time I get over one bullshit scenario, a new one roars into view. I'm so sick of it. Life is so hard!


Apparently the education continues, whether welcome or not. At times I feel as if I am in the middle of mourning some nebulous something, which I guess I am. But I know that you can't get new stuff until you Spring clean out the old stuff. And I like getting stuff. I am resistant to talking about it with anyone out of mortification, yet it feels imperative to shed something, to get free. So against all panic to the contrary, I've just outed myself online.

I will try to inform on progress if I don't freak out and take this post down in an hour. In the meantime, send Drew your prayers.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Call of the Wild

I like to watch the show "Snapped" when I'm getting ready to go to work. It profiles women who murder, which I find interesting, and it isn't especially visual, they'll show the same photos and people repeatedly, so I can concentrate on drawing on my eyebrows without having to look at the television too much. Drew doesn't really get it, he thinks it's morbid, which is probably true, but even he will occasionally get sucked in and add commentary: "My, that's a handsome woman..." or "You'd think he would have noticed all that anti-freeze in his spaghetti..."

I saw one recently about two high school girls who fought over the same guy: a skinny little kid with a baby mustache who considered himself a player and enjoyed pitting the girls against one another. One girl was from a blue collar background, very pretty, a dropout who worked as a waitress, the other one was from a more middle class background, still going to school with straight A's, not as pretty but with other advantages. The competition for the boy's attention quickly escalated to threats via phone and text, harassment at the waitress job, aand generally picking at each other whenever possible until combusting into a physical fight in which the pretty waitress stabbed the good student, who died. So over some selfish jerk that neither one of them would probably love forever, one girl dies without fulfilling a blossoming potential, another one goes to prison for 27 years. Two families devastated while dumbass "playa" remained unpunished and claimed remorselessly on the stand that neither girl was his girlfriend.

Hmm...there but for the grace of God. In my youth I suffered mightily over many mistakes and got into all kinds of verbal and physical altercations struggling to keep my own prizes. Thank you, Jesus, thank you Lord that I had the presence of mind to leave the knives at home. But I feel great sympathy for the girl who didn't. You do stupid things when you're young and haven't got the full capacity to appreciate the likely consequences. One weekend in jail was enough to cure me of the need to be right, what would 27 years do?

I was at work on Saturday night a couple of weeks ago when a trio parked themselves at the end of my bar: an American brunette woman, American blonde woman and a European, possibly French guy. The women were in their late 20's, early 30's and each beautiful in a different kind of way. The guy was average looking, attractive, with a short beard and nondescript clothing. He had an accent and kept ordering whiskey sours for the three of them without knowing what they were called and without tipping. The brunette woman would notice and put a tip down for me, and one or two times handed money over his shoulder to me for the drinks while he fumbled with singles for what seemed an interminable amount of time, leading me to suspect that he didn't have a lot of cash and wasn't super pumped about paying for all of the drinks.

The brunette seemed most in control of the situation: she leaned against the wall looking cool and talking while they drank, whereas the blonde got bombed almost immediately and would sort of veer around wildly to stare at me with her mouth open. If I approached and asked what she needed, she gaped without response until slowly veering back toward the other two.

It was an annoying and somewhat bovine behavior. My apologies to the cows of this world for that reference, as they are generally more endearing when they stare, but that was the word that came to mind as I tried to ignore the constant eyeball.


The blonde didn't seem to like me much and didn't seem to know when to stop drinking. Euro-dude kept trying to order her another whiskey sour, to which I would reply "Hell, no!" and told him that if she couldn't form a sentence she couldn't have any more booze. She continued to stare with her mouth open while these exchanges went on, ignoring the consolation glass of water I plunked down in front of her. My impression was that Euro guy was with the blonde, as he seemed most interested in her, and the brunette was sort of hanging in there to keep an eye on her drunk friend.

The brunette thanked me for the blonde's water, and as it was late and slowing down, I asked her if she wanted to do a shot with me. She did, and we did. After the shot I waved my finger in a circle at the three of them,

"So tell me what's going on here."

She said, "This is my best friend, and she and I are in competition for this guy right now."

I was tempted to recite one of my favorite quotes, made by Rosie Perez in a pretty crappy movie called Untamed Heart:

"Look at him! He looks like a tumor sittin' over there. Ugh, and his hair! It just bothers me so much!"

I wish I could find the movie clip but it appears that no one on youtube thinks it's as funny as I do. And I can't do Rosie's accent justice so I stuck to the truth and said, "Really? But he's so ordinary. He doesn't seem to have much money, he's average-looking..." She turned around to look at him as he was in the middle of doing a happy little I'm-with-two-babes dance.


I rolled my eyes and continued. "There's a pot belly under that sweater. That's only going to get worse you know. And you're hot, and smart, and can have any single guy in this room right now. And your friend...Well, she's hot anyway..."

She laughed and said, "We just both really like him and I think neither of us wants to let the other win."

I went back to bartending and the stand-off continued for another half hour. Brunette got Euro-guy to dance with her while Blonde glare-gaped at me and spilled the water. I was a little nervous that left unattended she might vomit on my bar, so I refilled it and stuck it in front of her again.

Eventually Blonde pulled herself together, registered that the other two were dancing too closely for her liking, did a little foot-stomp, and ran out of the room. Brunette took the opportunity to grab Euro-guy and make out with him for a second before they both left the room to get their friend. I thought that was the end of the show but they brought her back for a convo. Blonde yelled at Brunette, Euro-guy tried not to grin too obviously with glee before chasing after Blonde as she ran back out of the room for the second and last time. Brunette turned and said,

"Thank you for everything." I replied,

"Dude, seriously. You have all the power. Don't hand it over to this doofus." She waved and left.

It wasn't exactly a bummer; the unfolding of a good drama is entertaining when you're bored behind a bar. But I did feel badly for Brunette, she was so much better than her current choice. It would have been nice to save her a little pain and suffering, as I already know exactly how it will play out. Euro-guy will happily sleep with whomever will have him, but will always lean toward the blonde. Someone will feel hurt and betrayed, harsh words will be exchanged, and the two girls will experience a rift in their friendship which might never be repaired, even though both of them will look back one day and wonder why they thought he was so duel-worthy. He will most likely go back to France and tell all of his friends how much fun American girls are...



There is no moral to this blog or way to wrap it up, just wanted to tell the story. I hope that at least a little of what I said to the brunette sinks in. People have made very wise statements to me that I didn't quite get at the time, now I understand them fully. Most of the time the words don't make sense until the experience connects. Knowing something in your brain won't affect behavior until you know it in your stomach and heart as well, so most of us are compelled to heed the call of the wild until it doesn't appeal so much any more. It could be worse, at least I got the lessons after a few smacks on the head, I know people who are still repeating their same mistakes at very advanced ages.



It's all a journey, I suppose. I'm sure I've written this before, but it bears repeating: I had a conversation with a friend in which I said,

"I can't believe I wasted so much time suffering and fighting over so little." She shrugged and said,

"Eh. You had to learn the lesson from someone. At least he looked good..."

Maybe that's all we can hope for as we repeat the mistakes of those that came before us: to be able to forgive the idiots we were, try to pass on the knowledge gained, and accumulate a few good stories and photos in the process.