Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Crushes and Crushing Headache

The strangest thing... I have started having crushes again! How weird is that... Is this some odd hormonal phenomenon, or perhaps some psychological response to nearing *gulp* perimenopause (I'm so thankful they created this starter menopause, get you used to the idea before you actually take off, sort of like a menopause tricycle). I haven't had a crush since I was in elementary school. I didn't 'do' crushes (of celebrity/notable/famous people) when I was in high school (only the more dangerous i.e. obtainable local boys - which, in retrospect I realize, can get you into a lot more trouble) because I was, yes, just that cool. I thought they were REEEDIC-U-LOUS! How pathetic, I thought to myself, spending so much emotion on someone you'll never have!

But now my perspective is slightly less obnoxious and stuck up. Now I just figure, oh what the hell, who'm I hurtin'? (Except maybe the feelings of S.O. just slightely, but he knows I only have eyes for him so... get over it babe - he reads the blog)

Celebrity Crush: Leonardo DiCaprio - now who would have thought? I would never stoop to a crush that everyone else had! How proletariat! (My crushes in elementary were the Monkees - yes, several years AFTER their series, not even contemporary, Sandy - Lemur, will remember that - sorry, inside joke) But he's gettin' some gravitas on him. Blood Diamond anyone?

Brain Crush: Craig Ferguson - now I know this sounds odd but I just read his first novel... I'd heard an interview with him on The Treatment (thank you podcasts) and was struck by how similar we thought about the world. I'd never heard anyone articulate so well how they think, and I just kept saying to myself, I think just like that! Although, if we ever had a conversation we might well bore each other to tears.

Bad Boy Crush: Denis Leary - I have always had this theory that liking the bad boy, for women, is never really about the bad boy - it is about how cool am I to be the one that he settles down with! But I like Denis Leary's bad boy image on his show Rescue Me because it is bad and also three dimensional - he plays the bad boy we all (those of us who have dabbled in the bad boy dating scheme) knew was there deep down inside but that they just couldn't articulate (and ok marrying, yes, marrying scheme too...).

Crushing Headache: Yesterday, I started in on a, what promises to be a 24 hour plus, migraine round about 2pm. I've seen The Secret - yes I have and I'll admit it! - (or as we say around our house in faux Australian accent Tha Sak-rut) and have been doing my affirmations and trying to look on the bright side and all that. And yes, naysayers, I do feel better about myself and my life and really, if nothing else like, say incredible prosperity, riches beyond my wildest dreams, etc. comes of it, isn't that really enough? Anyway, those negative voices just begin to get, as S.O.v.2 says when S.O.v.1 pisses her off "reeewee reewee an-gee!", and then they fight with the positive thinking you've been doing and oh the battle!

I blame that in-fighting for the migraine. But then when I looked in the mirror this morning and realized my skin is clearing up (see post several weeks back - means I've ovulating probably) I realized it was probably a migraine brought on by hormones. Or maybe my affirmation "I'm so grateful to have beautiful skin" is taking affect... who knows... it's all bigger than myself and I release control over it, over it all! I'm even sitting here slack jawed... well, that may just be because my head hurts less when I do that... My mother did tell me the other weekend that I am not letting go enough. And she is probably right. I do have a tendency to over think - and face it folks if you're thinking about it, you're trying to control it! This is why I have stopped trying to fix the movie Flags of Our Fathers - a passtime S.O. and I enjoy after seeing a bad or film that didn't quite work. Makes for interesting conversation... but right now... my head hurts...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


What: “Live Theatre at the Gallery”
"4 at 40: Mothers’ Letters to Their Daughters”

When: April 26, 2007 - 7:30 pm Press Preview
April 27, 2007 - 7:30 pm - $12.00 Tickets at the door

Where: Dezart One Gallery
2688 Cherokee Way Palm Springs, CA 92264 (760) 328-1440

Dezart One Gallery proudly debuts "Live Theatre at the Gallery", with an original play written and performed by Daniela Ryan, “4 at 40: Mothers’ Letters to Their Daughters”. The story spans five generations of women in one California family, from the first settler, to a modern day mother. Each mother desperately reaches out to her daughter through a family tradition. On the mother’s 40th birthday, she writes a letter to her daughter in an attempt to bridge the generation gap between them, passing on valued lessons learned from her journey in life. The family’s history is, in essence, California’s own, from stoic determination to take the land, to prosperity, to the comforts and uncertainties of modern day life. Each mother learns something about herself as she shares her story with her daughter. For those who have a mother and/or a sister or daughter, you will relate to the characters as they capture the intimate portrait of relationships between women and their daughters and the generational and historical influence on those bonds.

Daniela Ryan is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Theatre Arts. In addition, she has a Masters degree in Film and Television from San Diego State University. Ms. Ryan has worked in the film industry for the past 10 years. She began acting at the age of 7, performing in local and community theatre throughout California. In Los Angeles, she co-wrote and performed in Demeter Theatre’s acclaimed play “Speaking of Evil”, the story of an ambivalent Nazi, Kurt Gerstein. She is a writer and associate producer of film, working with a local independent film production company. A fourth generation Californian, Ms. Ryan resides in the desert with her husband and two children.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Military Fatigue

I have had a persistant interest in the war in Iraq since 2003. I started working for a company called Basra Entertainment, yes named after the city in Iraq, in June of 2003, for an expat Iraqi. One of the first projects we took on was a documentary project about Iraqi women and their plight under Saddam Hussein and after (never realized because of the situation in Iraq). Being the Associate Producer of the company I dove into the research. What I learned was shocking - Saddam Hussein was as much of a monster as any dictator there has ever been. The case for deposing him, simply because of his cruelty towards his own people, was strong. I wondered why the Administration didn't pull out this argument along side the WMD bogus one. Perhaps they considered Americans more self interested than they actually are. Claim, that if we don't invade, there will be a mushroom cloud spouting from our soil imminently and this will convince them. But claim the moral authority to depose a despot and they think it won't fly.

Tell the American people after 9/11 that what they can meaningfully do to 'help' the country is to shop. Ask them to sacrifice, to contribute to the war effort - like the American public was asked to do during WWII - and the Administration thinks it won't fly. Oddly enough, I believe, that had they asked for some sort of sacrifice instead of asking for consummerism the war would be more popular now, no matter the outcome. I think we can safely surmise that Karl Rove knows politics but knows sadly little about human nature... makes one wonder if he actually is...

Last night we watched "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib". Painful to watch and embarassing to say the least. "Proud to be an American" just does not hum itself in one's head after watching that. I have watched a number of documentaries on Iraq to this point and more in my Netflix cue to come. Our current project is a screenplay following two pre-teen boys in their lives in Iraq from late 2003 to 2006. The writing is hard. It is not a pleasant experience, but something about it feels also important. It is a little message but one that if we can convey may make us all feel just a little bit like a contributor instead of simply an observer.

Which brings me to my title. In this war, I've no doubt like in any, it is difficult to even be an observer. There have even been some documentaries about conspiracy theories which I have stopped watching in the middle or refused to watch at all, much to S.O.'s disgust. (Think he thinks I am trying to hide my head in the sand) But as a mother I do have to draw my line in the sand at exactly the place whereby if I cross it I will go into despair. It is not my children's fault this war is happening and they should not have to pay the price of a destraught mother. We all have to put up the wall at the boundary just before where we can continue to function. I feel like I have a pretty wide boundary, but there was a long period of several months where neither myself nor the President of our company could really continue to talk about Iraq as we did regularly. This screenplay has forced me to return to immersion in the subject and I am feeling fatigued. It is that fatigue that the MPs in the "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" speak of that once you get there you either break down or detach.

I don't blame anyone for not wanting to look at this war. Especially when we are stuck with an atrocious Administration who have usurped our Constitution in countless ways known and, certainly, unknown. It feels hopeless. The best we can do is hold our breath and wait for Nov. 2008 to roll around and then again for Jan. 2009. It is a long time to wait and we have to carry on. I have to continue to research, watch documentaries, write painful scenes of death and despair and hope that I can keep myself from slipping in so that I can continue to raise happy children.

Can any of us imagine ourselves in the place that families of wounded soldiers, Marines and sailors have found themselves in? Denial is a lifesaver for human beings. It most certainly has been for the families of military and the men and women during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan as well. But we must draw the line at institutional denial... and I think this is what we have seen for the past 6 years. Maybe now is the time for those who haven't yet, stand up and yell.