Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pranariffic Yogabutt

Whew! Everyone across the board is adamant that 2016 has been a terrible year.

I'm in agreement for the most part. It's so sad to know that there's an assembly of supervillains prepping to take over our country. People are dying right and left, one of my lifelong best friends left unexpectedly, I know another friend who lost both parents this year. Many people are upset about all the celebrity deaths, which don't upset me too much unless there is a personal connection. We have their bodies of work to enjoy, and I believe they're fine on the other side. I think that death means getting out of this difficult and accelerated school of life and getting to go home for the spiritual equivalent of summer vacation, shoes optional. Honestly, that sounds awesome to me. Also, there is so much going on in the world with the living that I want to keep my focus there. Bowie doesn't need me. Living girls in hijabs getting hassled on the train need me. I will admit that I would have liked to see Carrie Fisher hang around for a little while longer though.

There is so much to discuss, but I can really only speak of my own personal stuff because that's what drives me to write. My goal is twofold: I hope the little bits of illumination that come my way can help others in similar situations, and I look to sort out my own thoughts and feelings by putting them down.

My upheaval started in 2015 and continued through until exactly December 24, 2016, when the fog dissipated and the emotional load lightened. I posted this on Facebook already, it's an interesting article on numerology that is very close to exactly my experiences of the last two years: http://astrostyle.com/9-universal-year-numerology/

I have had a hard time blogging over the last two years because I wish to protect the people I love and I haven't been clear on what to say. I haven't understood my own motivations, my decision-making abilities, my ability to love, my self-worth. I experienced creativity-crippling self-hatred, which was mirrored in a few negative messages that came my way, mostly from strangers. I did a lot of escaping, a lot of drinking, a lot of socializing. Storm Large (my friend and partner in drugs, sex, and rock and roll for 30 years) and I both marveled at the way we regressed after decades of working on maturing. There has been an attitude of fuck it, we're always going to be messy and never properly tamed no matter how hard we try, so let's die if we must, let's live it up while we can.

There can be a lot of fun in that, and I've got some entertaining photos on my phone that will never see the light of social media. But the downside to escape is that you never really do, especially when you're over 40 and you know better. You wake up the next day and assess the damage to your middle aged face, then suffer the work day with a recriminating hangover. In the end it's undignified, depression-inducing and counterproductive. And most importantly, it's wasted time, of which there is a finite amount.

This was the first holiday season in 13 years that I would not be following a list of happy traditions with Drew. He has his girlfriend now (I call her "The Nose" or "Number 2" because I'm a jerk) and I am with Sam. It's strange and new, it's been difficult at times, emotional, confusing--it is what it is because I made my choices. Sam is Jewish and so much younger than me that Christmas is different for him. And even if it wasn't, you can't just pop one person into another person's place and expect to continue on unchanged. It's not fair and it's not realistic. So for me this season has been tentative, one of examining and embracing the newness. Change can be good, but with that comes a mourning of what was, which was, for the most part, lovely. I felt that I had an inner home with Drew, and for better or worse, that is gone.

Storm and I spent hours on the phone dissecting our lives and our feelings, and decided that it was time to go with the weirdness flow and do something life-affirming and healthy. She picked me up a few days before Christmas in a rental car and we drove to the Kripalu retreat, a lovely place located in a former monastery in the middle of mountains, next to a lake, replete with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. We were determined to rejuvenate our livers and find enlightenment: four days of yoga, no TV, very little phone or internet, organic, mostly vegetarian food, and seminars on things like gratitude and Ayurvedic healing.

The trip exceeded our expectations. It was both inspiring and life-changing, despite the fact that we were our usual dick selves. We became immediately obsessed with the meals, which we called feedings, because the food was so good, healthy and plentiful that we could stuff ourselves without guilt. We planned every day around when we would eat, then sat in corners together, forking into our mountainous plates while whispering a running commentary on our fellow guests. We laughed so hard we couldn't breathe.

Storm: "Look, there's rapey McDowndog. Avert your eyes."

Me (referring to a couple who were supposed to massage their own feet in an Ayurvedic seminar, but instead she sat on the floor and rubbed her husband's feet while gazing up at him in what could have been either fear or adoration)---"The foot people are here. I think they're terrorists. Don't they look like terrorists?"

Storm: "You know they've been screwing all night, look at her hair."

Me: "Eeeeuuuw...oh wait. There's no way she's a terrorist, her name tag says 'Cindy'."

Storm: "I need more soup. Do you want more soup?"

Me: "I think I saw cake. I'm gonna go look."

Okay, so more full than fully enlightened. But we tried. Storm is much nicer than I am so I worked on following her lead on opening my heart to strangers. Or at least to not be rude to them when they tried to engage in friendly conversation. By the end of the four days I forgot to be quite so shitty and even chatted to a woman about the eggs, very inappropriately during the silent breakfast. She snickered and elbowed me. Shut up, yoga butt.

We got massaged, sat in the sauna, meditated, did a ton of yoga, and ran on the treadmill. I tried to take off a tight hoodie while on said treadmill and got knocked off in a spectacular display worthy of youtube. Both of my knees are skinned and I'm covered in bruises. My whole body ached, but I didn't care, we just kept going.

On Christmas Eve, on a whim, I signed up for a tarot card reading and that was when something deep shifted for me. I didn't ask any questions, just told the reader to give me a general overview. I liked her; she was no nonsense with warm voice and a hawk's gaze. She flipped the first couple cards, pointed, looked at me and asked, "What is this grief?" She flipped one more and tapped it and said, "Broken heart."

My eyes got hot. I felt exposed. And surprised at my immediate visceral reaction.

I shook off the looming tears and told her a little about my situation. I told her I caused the dissolution of a long-term relationship with a very good man. I told her how it was my fault, my confusion, my instability that had caused pain to others, not just to him--my family, his family, our friends, even our pets. She continued to set cards down quickly, glancing at them and moving on. She looked at me and said, "You are carrying a heavy burden of guilt that is keeping you from moving forward. Let it go. This is not your fault, it is 50/50. He wasn't hearing you. You could have handled aspects better, we always can, but you did your best. You are doing the work you're supposed to be doing. This is necessary."

A great weight lifted off of my heart. A weight so heavy I didn't realize how much of it I had taken on. I have heard this same thing a number of times from friends but I didn't believe it. You know that thing you carry where you think people don't really see your secret inner awfulness? Deep down I believed what I've always believed--that I am a bad girl, a bad person, a destroyer. This is why we can't have nice things.

She told me to eat warm, comforting food, to wear silk pajamas, to watch movies I love in soft blankets, to be quiet at home and simply be nice to myself. Pretty basic advice, but I needed it. Do we think to do that for ourselves? Most of the time I'm festering on how I need to lose 10 lbs or running out the door to handle the 20 things I've got to do that day. I am far more unkind to myself than I am to the strangers I not so silently judge while stuffing myself on the dinner menu.

She told me a lot of other things too, about Sam, about my friends, about my future, all good. But these are things for another day.

After that I had warm oil drizzled on my third eye center until I was spacey and fully basted like a Thanksgiving turkey. I flopped around the endless halls with my oil-soaked hair matted to my head, no makeup, sweat pants, slippers, banged up knees. I felt like a little kid, for once unbothered with my appearance, snickering with my lifelong pal over our dumb inside jokes. I felt loved by her, by every experience. Everything on this trip kept steering me to be gentle to myself, to take care of my psyche and my body, to feel the love that was being handed to me freely, and to at least try to be gentle with others no matter how weird they are with each other's feet in public.

So I was given a huge gift this Christmas--to feel healthy, free and loved. It's been a long time coming. I know how lucky I am to have had the opportunity, so if anyone is curious about what it entailed, the tarot reader's name, anything like that, feel free to email me. I'm happy to pay my good fortune forward.

And as a special holiday gift, I'll leave you with this photo of Storm, who was beyond pleased to discover that our shower had a glass wall facing the beds. You're welcome, internet.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Full Moon, Dense Boobs

The full moon last night is kicking my ass. I'm puffy with water retention and find myself being forced to accept that people are gonna let me down sometimes. I'm walking around with a ball of rage in my belly while my head simultaneously understands and empathizes. it's disconcerting and I believe there are a couple of glasses of wine looming in the very near future.

Upside, I got a "psychic" reading from the fabulous Shirley Southerland yesterday and she reassured me that all is going according to plan and that the upheaval of the last year and a half were necessary to make room for what's coming. I'm supposed to stop beating myself up, enjoy the moment and quit overthinking everything to the point of paralysis. Lord. What is this mysterious "enjoying the moment" that you speak of?

So I've got a lump in my breast. And typically me, I didn't even think to ask Shirley about it. I don't think it's anything and the only reason I'm blogging it is because the ensuing conversations were pretty funny. Please don't email me that I'm being flippant about cancer, that is not the case.

Cancer doesn't run in my family and my doctor thinks it's probably a small fibroid. I rarely check my breasts and work hard to ignore all mammogram recommendations because it's a rotten procedure that makes me both giggle and squawk in agony. I know I'm fine, but I happened to check myself before seeing my fabulous and funny little Chinese gyno who insists I visit her for regular check ups before she'll hand out the lovely hormones I depend upon in order not to kill people. And I found a small knot in the side of my left boob. When I mentioned it she felt it for herself and then puffed up to her full 5' 2" height and insisted I behave like a proper adult and go get some prescribed titty torture in the medieval mashing machine.

I freaked for about two hours. I thought, really, I need this right now? I already live in a constant fever pitch of inner drama when there's nothing dramatic happening. It's exhausting. People think I'm grounded because I'm great in emergencies and emit a weird calming energy for others. Completely untrue. It's constant chaos inside this bad, bad brain.

When I'm happy, I find myself flying. In the rare moments that I felt good when I was young I would imagine giant black lace wings coming out of my shoulders, carrying me through the day, just high as can be on life. In adulthood there have been moments when I've walked the streets late at night actually hoping to be murdered, obliterated, wiped off the planet like an insect, leaving only a bloody smear on the pavement to be washed away by the dirty rain. It's not wanting to die exactly; more like wanting to cease to exist, cease to feel. I still look up at tall buildings on some nights and imagine flying off into oblivion.

I am not bipolar or depressed. I am too lazy for that kind of commitment. It's more a heightened dark sense of drama and humor that's been there since birth. Everything looks like a movie to me. My favorite book in the 6th grade was Jane Eyre. I imagined my 11 year old self in those austere locations--misunderstood, suffering from an overabundance of feelings in a cold, hard world. Wednesday Addams in a 1970''s world full of Farrah Fawcetts.

God bless my poor mother for her infinite patience with her children, because my sister is equally ridiculous. She got sick a few years back with a buildup of yeast in her system from too many hardcore antibiotics and had to cease eating anything with wheat or sugar, which pretty much just leaves vegetables. She lost it completely and spent a hysterical week sobbing that she was going to starve to death while simultaneously stuffing herself with cucumber slices that she carried around everwhere in Tupperware, like a cold, plastic blankie. You could barely understand her declarations of dangerous hunger because her mouth was so full. And she, like me, loves to send out long, dramatic texts when drunk or ill.

It's gotta be genetic.

So I trudged to Chinatown in the hot sun for a bout of truly vicious mammograming and ice-cold sonogramming.  As I lay there waiting for the last frigid and greasy sonogram on my beleaguered and by all reports lumpy left boob, I ran everything through to the worst conclusion. Double mastectomy, no hair, blogging tediously about my "journey", until the final days--my long-suffering friends enjoying my meds (you're welcome) as I lay in the hospital emaciated, haggard, incoherent, unloved and dying after living a dissipated and self-absorbed existence in which not much was accomplished.

This simply would not do. I am no hero. Suicide would clearly be the order of the day. But how? Jump off that building I'm always eyeing? Roller coasters make me cry and my feet tingle when I look over balcony railings. Carbon monoxide in a garage with a car running? Who do I know with a garage and a car in New York? No one. Okay, I do know a shit ton of former junkies. Drug overdose, heroin probably the easiest to procure! But how much? And that means I'll have to quickly learn how to inject myself. Hmmm...

I called Drew, who let's just say had more than a passing acquaintance with substances during his youth.

"Hey. I have a lump in my boob and I'm probably dying."

He played along, because he knows the insanity better than anyone. "You can't lose your boobs, they're your best feature. And you're annoying enough when you have a cold."

Me: "I KNOW. So I might have to kill myself, and I figure drugs are easiest, and since you're no stranger, to...ah...substances, I'm gonna need your help."

Drew: "Well, if you get to kill yourself with dope, then I get to do it too! I'm fucking tired!"

Me: "Okay, that's fine, but you're buying."

Drew: "That makes no sense. If you're dying who cares who pays?"

Me: "I'm the one whose DYING! I DIE, you BUY!'

Drew: "You really are a jerk. it's about time God finally smote you."

Sam, my too young and completely under-equipped to handle my brand of crazy new boyfriend said, God bless him--"You know I'll be there for you if it's something."

I said, "No way. This would be way too much for you."

He waved his palm in my direction and said, "This whole...ah..."thing" is too much for me."

I called my sister and told her my plan and she informed  me that she has three little titanium pieces in her breasts from lumps that were biopsied and benign and that according to her doctor our family is genetically predisposed to "dense breasts".

She then said, "Soooo, just saying suicide might be a little extreme. Think of all the good wig options."

To which I replied, "Hmm...I do like a good wig...But still. I will not be a positive role model. I'll be terrible and whiney and overly dramatic and it will be a huge torture for all of my friends."

She said, "You're already whiney and overly dramatic and torture your friends. You'd just be doing it in a wig."

I said, "Eh. I guess it could be all right, as long as I don't end up crying and eating cucumber slices."

She sighed and said, "I was DYING of starvation. It was a TRAGIC SITUATION."

So I guess we're all good. Business as usual. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hate Mail

As mentioned in the last entry, I've been meaning to write about hate mail. 

I've never pushed this blog too hard. I post it on facebook and on my twitter feed, that's about it. It's personal in nature and not for everyone, and I figure if people are meant to find it they will. It gets 2500-3000 hits per month, which is already more than I ever imagined it would.

I like being a small fish in a big pond. As much as it appears that I love attention, which I do, I only really like attention that I can control. Meaning I love attention from friends who love me, I'm terrified of attention from strangers who hate me. 

When things were heating up with Cycle Sluts from Hell I loved being on big stages playing to large crowds. I loved the exchange of energy that comes with a good show: people wanting to touch you, the fists in the air, the feeling of being all powerful, the feeling of connection. My id dancing with your id. I did not like one on one conversations offstage with people asking me about myself and my band. I felt too exposed and would usually crack jokes to deflect attention. When out of my element, I often came off cold and bitchy, which still happens sometimes. It's a defensive posture. i was so shy as a kid that I literally couldn't get words out. I wanted to speak, my mouth wouldn't work. In adulthood it manifests into a sort of insular way of behaving toward strangers. Many people I know have anecdotes about how coldly I behaved the first time they met me. I do a lot of apologizing. 

But now I'm grown up and better equipped to not be an asshole when a new person tries to talk to me. Although my sister still hisses, "Be nice!!" under her breath when making introductions. And with the maturity of age you would think that I would be a little thicker skinned. But I'm not. Any little bit of not-nice mail sends me into a nervous tizzy. I have people out in this world who dislike me, but I know most of them and I think they're jerks too. And I don't have to hear from them. And that's the way I like it. 

So cut to the meltdown or whatever I can call the last year and a half. From the outside it looks like I left my amazing, hilarious, loving, handsome, kind, generous partner of 13 years for no reason for a boy young enough to be my son. If I had money I'd probably be driving a new convertible sporting the female version of hairplugs, whatever that might be (long blonde extensions?). This guy knows...

That's from the outside; the truth is far more complicated and agonizing. But the end result has been the same. I couldn't write, sleep, was manic and drinking too much, acting out. Some of Drew's friends hate me. I can see people giving me the side-eye when I'm out at shows, predatory women stalk my blog and facebook page looking for ways to get to Drew. My family clucks and discusses crazy me over dinner. I've always been the crazy one, no matter how hard I try to be good. I'm like a much sluttier and less chipper version of Maria--no asset to the abbey whatsoever.

The jig was up. I finally had confirmation about what I've always secretly believed to be true-- that I am a psycho, faithless, off-the-rails, selfish piece of shit unworthy of love.

And because I was bleeding this self-loathing out of my pores, bits of mail started rolling in to substantiate the energy being exuded. In the space of a few weeks, and at my lowest point, I got a facebook message that stated that I should eat shit and die. I got an anonymous comment on the blog, from someone who clearly knows me, calling my writing maudlin and juvenile and advising me to take a break from writing altogether. And lastly I got an email from Drew's sister stating that he hates me, that my behavior was ugly and despicable, my friends mere mindless groupies too afraid to tell me the truth about my low nature. 

That last one put me in bed for two days. It was actually Drew who talked me back into a vertical state. And Drew that I keep talking to about what happened. How did we get here? Who am I? Who are you? Why am I destructive? Am I hateful? Why do you love me? How do we find our way to peace after all this devastation? Then my mother sent me that email I posted in the last blog and the fog lifted. I am burning off shit that I've been carrying my whole life. I have made the choice not to rise any higher with my writing or (in the past) with my bands because I have felt unworthy and fearful of exposure. 

This isn't maudlin. I don't feel sorry for myself, I'm grateful to finally get clarity.This is life and I am writing about it because I think most of us feel the same way and we need to talk about it. We need to come clean and support each other. 

I love that line in the Black Crowes "Cursed Diamond", I've quoted it here before: "I hate myself. Doesn't everybody hate themselves?"

One day recently I freaked out on Drew. I'd been clinging to this notion that he was perfection and I was the opposite. I'd been dragging around my Catholic chains and apologizing all day, every day. My bad, my bad, my bad, I am bad, I am bad, I am bad. He said some things about his new girlfriend that set me off and something clicked. I felt like Travis Bickle. This is a woman who would not take it anymore. He wasn't perfect. There were a lot of things that he did/wasn't doing that helped create and exacerbate our dysfunction. He was half of the equation. I wasn't evil, I just didn't know how to fix it in the moment. I wasn't raised viewing healthy relationships. Neither was he, so we both went to our comfortable, fucked up corners and I was the one who finally said it couldn't go on the way it was. What a revelation. And what a gift to be able to talk to someone so candidly after so much damage and sadness. We are speaking more deeply than we have in years.

So, for the first time in my life, I feel ready to start working on steppng into more light, and I'm ready to face outside internet hatred without ingesting it like sweet antifreeze. Maybe that's the lesson in this excruciating chapter. I am a cursed diamond, which is way better than being the garbage I thought I was. So tell me you hate me in an anonymous email and I will counter that with maybe you're not so great either, and I have a whole crew of mindless groupies who would beg to differ. And that's pretty cool.

Much love to you my friends. All your flaws and foibles are what make you interesting. Perfection is boring and it doesn't teach us anything. Don't let the haters tell you any different. 

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Photo by Don BlackCat

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Mom Wisdom

I'm back! Kind of.

I had a whole half a blog written about various bits of hate mail I've received over the last few months, but I scrapped it. I'll get to that eventually.

It's been impossible to fully explain what I've been going through for the last year and a half because I haven't understood it myself: blowing up my life, blowing up Drew's life, confusion, darkness, drunken excitement, anxiety, guilt, guilt, guilt. Spinning like a kid does looking at the sky and then realizing that I couldn't stop, the clouds were spinning me, unable to slow down or see or even feel the ground.

The movement is finally slowing enough to begin to feel a modicum of peace. Drew has a new "friend" and is happier and we are talking almost every day in a deeper way than we have in years, and this has freed me to focus on myself and how I got here. I have cried every day for weeks, but it feels more like a burning off of old sadness than a current depression. It's difficult, painful, but do-able. I'll get to all that later as well if it seems interesting enough.

In the meantime, this morning I received a most profound, generous, and beautiful letter from my amazing mother that brought with it much clarity. Ordinarily I wouldn't post something so private, but I think that many of my friends will be able to see themselves in some of what she's saying. I will also post a link to a radio interview she did if you want to know more about her.



I am being guided to write to you about the childhood things you are trying to clear.

You were always even as a child, very intense, very creative, and very bright.  You did not blindly accept everything but tried to conform because you were the child and I was the parent.  It was apparent early on that you needed structure, and I was still very catholic and could only give you what I knew at that time which was reflected in the structure as I was taught.  This did not resonate with you and so you accumulated a great deal of guilt and confusion over not resonating with what I was telling you. My energy at that time was not your energy, but you tried.  You were a very nice person, but often acted out and still do in defense of yourself and your own feelings-- little sensitive girl tried very hard to be something she was told  she should be, but didn't feel. 

When we carry in cellular memory a lot of some energy, like guilt, it will pop out in all our life experiences because it is right there ready to activate.  Many of your experiences of late have caused it to the surface as the easiest emotion to access which in turn then causes you resist and feel like a failure. As you recognize this, you can say; "Oh you again"  and then just move on giving it no power.  True power, needing no defense, comes as we realize who and what we really are, our true nature for it is already within us just awaiting our recognition.

I am very sorry that I caused so much confusion for you growing up.  I was going through a great deal of confusion myself.  My world wasn't working and it was my journey as well.  I have discovered that we choose our families to be born into that will activate the energies we need to clear.  I came in to a very catholic family in order to move beyond it.  I have memories of being in convents and monasteries.  It was time for me to move on, but when you were little I had not yet done that.

You choose to be my daughter in order to clear and move beyond an energy of superiority brought with you from lifetimes of being privileged. (this is channeled information)

We have balanced each other in many ways.  You opened me to so much especially when I would go to NYC.  You were always polite and kind to me even when I was so out of sinc with where you were. I learned to love all the characters and see how narrow my world had been.  I think I have helped you to understand who and what you really are on deeper levels. 

What you are clearing  now is  the accumulated guilt about who you are in comparison with  some concept of who you think you should be in order to be accepted, spiritual, lovable, a good person etc. etc.  This has been reflected in seeking validation from men, from friends etc.  Real validation can only come from self.   When a person realizes that they already are that which they seek-- perfect manifestation of Divine Consciousness, the need to defend, explain, protect etc. the small sense of self just dissolves.

We all seek love and acceptance because that is what we are made of, but each can only seek according to the level of their state of consciousness. You sought it in drinking, partying, affairs, etc. thinking that these old solutions would work, but you are in a new place now, becoming aware that these things are outgrown defense mechanisms.  

You are right where you are supposed to be.  This is a graduation, a shift into a new and higher state of consciousness in which you can be yourself and feel good about it.  We can never lose who and what we are, with all our talents and individuality, it all just shifts to higher and better forms.

I hope this helps you understand what is going on right now.  I love you very much.  When you were a baby I used to just sit and look at you, such a beautiful child.  It is time for you to love you as well.

Lots of love,


If you want to know more, this is a radio interview she did a few years back.

Gratitude, gratitude.
Hope this summer finds you healthy and happy my friends.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I Break My Own Heart

I break my own heart
Against barren rocks I
slam it hammer it it push it.
Pausing only to wipe the blood
and dirt from my eyes.

I break my own heart.
Like a stubborn child
I will not listen to reason,
or be held
in loving arms.

I choose instead to run
toothless and cackling
through the streets.
My knuckles raw from pounding,
filthy with pain,
blind with rage.
My heart broken.


I wrote that poem in 1992 and continue to write varying versions of it regularly. It is the underlying thread in the fabric of my life.

I can see my crazy choices as I'm making them, but I make them anyway. For the most part I don't mind. I know that the cosmos/my subconscious/whatever contains deeper reasoning that I don't always see right away. I have long since stopped regretting past bad decisions because I know I had no alternative but to make them. I am not here to be content. Some of us can sort that, and most of us get to be content some of the time. But there are bigger fish to fry. And hopefully, we learn something with each dubious choice and make a slightly better one on the next go-round.

The last couple of days have been difficult for me emotionally because of a relationship that I want very much to sort. I lead a blessed life, I am surrounded by love, I am offered cosmopolitan experiences at every turn. This weekend alone I was treated to a free dinner and drinks at a cunty new hotel and the next day handed tickets, champagne, and stellar company to see Kiki and Herb's sold out, brain-meltingly good show. On top of that I had deep, loving conversations with close people in my life. I am so very grateful for all that I have.

And yet many times I choose to focus on the smaller things. I choose impossible situations for myself and then rail at the sky when they prove to be impossible. I love people who aren't equipped to love me back the way that I need, I ingest things that are unhealthy for my body, I don't sleep because I'm festering. I don't create because I'm too busy destroying.

It's exhausting.

Someone I am very close to is experiencing some difficult mental machinations right now as well, and as I sat quietly, for once, thinking about it all, one word came bubbling to the surface and hung there in my brain in neon lights.



We are all sorting through the debris of trauma in our lives. Small trauma, large trauma, doesn't matter. Each one of us is hurting in some way. We are putting back pieces, starting bands, raising kids, working jobs, behaving as if we are sane when madness lies just under the surface, waiting for a mere scratch to come bubbling up and taint everything with anxiety and harsh words and pills popped. It's a miracle we can all get up and do anything under the weight of all the trauma we have experienced.

Seeing this word caused a dam to break inside of my heart. Suddenly I have so much compassion for myself. For my friends. For those who have wronged me. We are all doing the best we can under our own varied circumstances. We must be gentle and forgiving with ourselves and with each other, it's the only way to keep the madness, the sadness, the badness at bay.

That's all I've got for you today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Serenity Now

Soooo...I haven't been blogging much lately. Inspiration comes and goes and I've had some entertaining adventures, but I've maintained radio silence to protect the people I love until everything in my life, which is very much in transition, sorts itself into a more peaceful place.

I can tell you this much. I danced on the edge of a quiet insanity for most of 2015. It was excruciating but weirdly exhilarating at the same time, like standing at the edge of a cliff looking down. At the beginning of this year I knew I had no choice but to take a break from my 13 year relationship, which I had, prior to the chaos of last year, assumed, would have sworn on a stack of bibles, was the final and perfect relationship for me. Put a fork in it, I'm happy and done.

None of it has made much sense on paper. I have caused intense pain to someone I love very deeply who has always been loyal, loving, generous, thoughtful and kind. I am horrified at my own capacity for destruction. My family is beyond irritated with me. Half my friends think I'm insane, the other half shake their heads and mutter, "mid-life crisis".  I am terrified that I am making enormous mistakes that I will come to regret and which will inevitably lead to the just reward of dying alone on an ice floe much like the silent screen harlots that came before me.

But I've been doing my homework and have learned that this is not an uncommon occurrence for women in perio-menopause. All those lovely hormones that drive us to couple up and nest go kablooey and suddenly we refuse to cook dinner for our loved ones anymore and opt instead to run wild in the streets on our orthopedic old lady shoes. It's not a pretty picture.

If you are interested, Dr. Christiane Northrup is amazing and hits on this in these videos.

I'm trying to roll with it and trust that there is a higher plan for all of us that we don't always see right away. And I'm doing a lot of inner work. I am so fucking sick of inner work. Why can't wisdom and serenity be derived from wine and percocet? But continue it must or go mad. Attempting to stay in the moment and meditating and quiet time and yoga and writing crap down. And randomly bursting into tears at the anything on TV, that seems to be on the menu as well. Eat a bag of dicks, ASPCA ads!

Sigh... I am lucky to be surrounded by some very aware people, and have had a couple of intense/interesting psychic readings during this time of chaos, which ended up more like life-coaching sessions with dead loved ones chiming in here and there. I have been told that I have to go back and heal childhood shit, which of course you don't need to be a psychic to know that this applies to almost everyone. But I did get some specific advice and upon reviewing my notes some 8-9 months later I see that much of it could apply to anyone.

So while I'm working on my mid-life crisis, I thought I could at least throw some things out there that other people could use:  Let go of pre-conceived ideas and go to the basis of what real love is about.
The answer lies in self-love.

It's okay to feel love when you say it, look people in the eye and allow yourself to experience it.
Be more spontaneous.

It's okay to say no. When in doubt, don't. Choose to be gentle and non-reactive. Walk softly. Stop being so judgmental. This is not your last lifetime and you are going to see some of these people again.
[UGH!! Noooo! I guess that means this standard behavior is out-- 1:05 mark]

Quiet time is imperative.

Mood swings are a signal that I am not grounded.

Be truthful with myself on all accounts.

So that's it for today. I will try to bring you something more entertaining soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


All of our heroes are leaving. I guess we’re at that age; our rock gods are in their dotage and there are no new deities to take their place. The loss permeates our daily existence. I can’t even talk about how rock is dead anymore. We’ve talked the death of rock to death.

I have acceptance. I’ve mourned my neighborhood, my city, my subculture, all of it, for quite a while, and now I’m in a fairly serene mental state over it. I still mutter under my breath at screeching sorority girls when I’m walking through my neighborhood on a Saturday night, but for the most part I know it’s their hood now and that’s the nature of things. I’m old enough to stop taking the cycle of life so personally.

This December the world lost the one rock god I knew personally, Lemmy Kilmeister.  Many writers have listed his accomplishments and planet-wide influence, his integrity, intelligence, individuality, sense of humor and talent. There will never be another like him and it’s wonderful that much of the world knows it and mourns his passing. 
I have documented him often in this blog, and friends already know the stories well enough: CSFH toured with Motorhead in 1991 and the band was very good to us. It was a hilarious few months, and I learned more about being a proper rock musician during that brief time than in all my other earth-hours combined. Lemmy took a shine to me in particular, enough to mention a crush in his autobiography. I probably should have gone for it when he leaned in on our second night in London and whisper/growled into my ear, “I fancy you, Raffie.” But he scared me; I liked pretty boys that I could share clothes with and control. I politely declined.  He didn’t mind; he had plenty of other appealing opportunities, although he never gave up the good fight. We got close as we traveled and remained friends throughout his life. Not enough to speak on the phone regularly, I can't say I was one of his closest, but enough that I sent him text messages on birthdays and holidays, and saw him and the band when they played New York. After the shows Lemmy usually allowed me and a couple of his other female friends into the dressing room first. He liked the feminine attention; beyond that I think he simply wanted to unwind with people he knew before the inevitable hand-shaking and fielding of repetitive backstage comments and questions from mostly strangers. Whatever his reasons were, he treated me like a queen. He always made me feel special, he often said, “I love you.” upon parting.  I know I am not alone in this experience. The night Lemmy died I got a call from a mutual friend that he had left the planet some 10 minutes before. The friend wanted to tell me before it hit the public. I felt kind of room-spinny, overwhelmed by the information. I spent the rest of the night skimming the surface of my thoughts and emotions; not allowing myself to drop into the truth of it too deeply. I was afraid of the depth of that emotional hole. The next day I took irrational offense to any facebook post not having to do with him. How could people act normal or pay attention to their dumb food photos when he had died? I saw Lemmy three months prior, in September 2015 when Motorhead played Jones Beach. He was visibly not in the best of health: the show was short, they didn’t play a lot of the faster songs, and he seemed weary, his energy and body smaller than it used to be. Afterward he allowed only a very small inner circle into his dressing room, about five people, plus a couple of our guests. Lemmy’s dressing rooms were usually full of his exuberant energy, friends, fans, groupies, and food and alcohol--primarily his beloved Jack Daniels, surrounded by large bottles of Coke. I hate the hangover that comes from that combo but I drank it anyway when Motorhead played. Plus Lemmy would always let me nab his own newly made drink and quietly make another one for himself. I liked drinking his drinks rather than my own. It was another unspoken way in which he allowed me to feel special. This time there was no whiskey, no large tables of food or drinks for a horde. Just some cups and ice and vodka and Lem sitting down, looking weary. He said hi and got his hugs from everyone and we settled in. I poured myself a vodka on the rocks and sat across from him. I put my hands on his knees and looked him in the eyes and said, “How are you feeling?”

He cocked his head and said, “Eh…”

I said, “What are you gonna do?”

He replied, “I’m gonna keep going. Drop dead onstage.”

I said, “Okay, then.” And swung around and sat on his chair with him and took this selfie. I love his sweet and open expression here.

Everyone stayed for some chit chat and photos, but we were all conscious of overtaxing him, and didn't stay overlong. Before we left I looked deeply in his eyes and said, “I love you, Lem. Take care of yourself.” I worried afterward that I was too heavy in that goodbye, my demeanor too indicative of fear about his health instead of upbeat and encouraging. But it was how I felt at the moment and he knew it anyway.

Lemmy always saw through the “badass” trappings I put forth and understood a deeper truth. He gave me the original mock up of the 1916 CD cover (sent to him for approval before it went to print) and wrote on it, “To the Slut who is not, from one original to another. Love, Lemmy.” It's framed and hangs over my bed.

This is a story that only my band and a handful of those closest know. I'm telling it now to illustrate what kind of person he was and why he meant so much to me personally.

I was a mess on that tour. My father had died unexpectedly a few years beforehand and I wasn't even close to processing it. I had just been through a nasty break up with someone I loved desperately that sent me into a years-long spiral. I didn't know who I was, I hated myself and was acting out in the usual ways--drinking and smoking too much primarily. And then there's my personal favorite: numbing pain by using people as drugs. 

I couldn't stand my thoughts when I was alone; I wasn't comfortable without distraction. And being on tour, even though you're constantly surrounded by people, is essentially lonely. So I picked the likeliest candidate among our band of travelers to be my tour boyfriend. We weren't compatible in any real way; no history, no thoughts or ideas in common. He was simply attractive enough and in the right place at the right time. I don't think he knew what hit him.

It got volatile almost as soon as it began. It scared me and I knew I wanted out after a couple of weeks. But we were on the road in foreign countries and all trapped together and I felt terrible about being so unprofessional and about bringing this energy to my band. I was willing to deal with everything as peacefully as possible to make up for my bad behavior.

Lemmy and the other members of the band (Phil primarily, sometimes Wurzel and Philthy) and a couple members of their crew would often ride overnight on the Slut's tour bus. They wanted to be near the girls and we loved watching them pile on with their overnight bags. Lemmy never slept anyway, he would sit with the driver or in the overhead front lounge, watching oncoming traffic, smoking cigarettes, drinking Jack. He saw everything that was happening with me and in quieter moments he chided, always gently. He was never annoyed that I chose someone else, he just rolled his eyes and whispered things like, "You can't be serious..."

One night he bought a pink pacifier at a truck stop in Germany and left it in my bunk next to me while I slept. I knew it was from him the moment I opened my eyes. I got the message. I wish I'd kept it.

Somewhere in France there was an extremely drunken night exacerbated by the fact that the tour boyfriend was angry at me about an incident that had happened earlier in the day. As we sat in a club drinking, he reached out and smeared my red lipstick across my mouth and up across my face. I took out a mirror, wiped my face clean, and reapplied the lipstick. He repeated the smear. I took a deep breath, took out my mirror and repeated the clean up. He reached out and repeated the smear.

I dumped my drink in his lap and stood up to leave. He stood up and slapped me so violently across the face that I saw stars. Then he took a cue ball off a nearby pool table and threw it at full velocity through a room crowded full of people. It cracked a hole in the wall and stuck there. Someone could have been killed. He was hauled out immediately and I stayed behind to clean myself up and give people a chance to calm him down before we all had to get on the bus again.

I was weepy and Lemmy was furious. I've never seen him so angry before or since. He took me into a corner and wrapped his arms around me. I pressed my face into his chest and he said, "No man ever hits a woman. Ever. Not on my tour; not in my presence." He didn't tell me that he told me so, that there are consequences to poor decision-making. He didn't ask me what I did to instigate the fight. He just took over and took care of me and made me feel safe, probably for the first time in years. For a few moments he filled in for the father I desperately needed but didn't have. At his core he was a gentleman who loved and respected women, and he understood me better than I did myself.
My band generously allowed me to make the choice on how to proceed, and I chose to forget the night and get on with the tour. Lemmy didn't say much more about it. He knew I'd learned a lesson and I stuck as close as I could to him for the rest of our time on the road. He hated that I kept my glasses on and didn't dress up on travel days, he regaled us with history lessons, and he sang all the lyrics to Orgasmatron (the song he was most proud to have written) into my ear as we all drank in the back of the tour bus listening to tapes made of the shows each night.

When our record company refused to cough up for hotel rooms on occasion, Motorhead paid for them rather than allowing us to sleep in a cold bus parked for the night. On the last night of the tour the Paradiso in Amsterdam neglected to put in an extension to the front of their stage so that CSFH had room to play in front of all of Motorhead's extensive gear. Lemmy cancelled the show, causing a full blown fan riot. They set things on fire and broke up the place. He didn't give a fuck. if we couldn't play, they wouldn't play. We went out and got way too high on space cake instead.

I will never forget his kindness, his friendship, his wit, and his generosity of spirit. He was a true rock star in every sense of the word. I hope I get to see him on the other side.

I've posted this one many times. It's my favorite, standard bus shenanigans.

Somewhere in France. Just found this one, it feels like a little nudge from beyond.

Backstage convo, standard Kilmeister light reading on the table. 

Update: 1/27/16: I've had a few messages regarding the tour boyfriend and I'd like to clarify. He is a great person, we are still friends and there is no ill will. Things just got too crazy. I don't want to vilify anyone over one mistake they made 25 years ago.