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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Voice Lost

I think I made a New Year's resolution last year to "talk less and listen more" but I can't find it anywhere, on blog or otherwise in print. If the universe speaks to one it is talking to me. Over the last few days I have contracted yet another flu/cold thing. Starting the day before Christmas a sore throat began to manifest but I was cooking this year so giving in to illness was not an option. S.O.v.2, the baby gal, had already been to the doc on Tuesday for pink eye but she too was not mending but getting worse. Christmas day I just concentrated on cooking dinner and getting everything out on time and warm - the constant challange! I was sort of oblivious to the family goings on - the kids opening presents, the kids throwing all the sandbox toys over the fence into the neighbor's yard, the toy explosion they detonated.

Dinner complete, everyone fed and a kaluha and coffee in hand and it really hit - I felt awful and had the worst sore throat I'd had since childhood. So, Friday morning, egged on by my mommasita (ironically enough I recall a Christmas dinner two years ago at her house where she was too sick to even come down the stairs so I cooked, she resisted all insistence that she get her butt to an urgent care) and S.O. I hiked mine and S.O.v.2's big and little (respectively) butts off to the urgent care. Two hours later and prescriptions dropped off at the Rite Aid I was beat and didn't emerge till late in the afternoon only to find my family heading off to their hotel.

Oh, did I mention that when I woke up on Friday morning I had no voice? And it has not surfaced yet, two days with no voice. So, yes, universe, I hear you. Talk less, listen more, that is my new year's resolution. Whether I like it or not.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Pretty Perfect Day

I say a pretty perfect day begins with art and ends with art.

This morning I began my newest job (yes, I have a few of these) as a Teaching Artist with the McCallum Theatre Institute. Well, technically speaking I have already started but hadn't been in a classroom. This morning I joined a fellow Teaching Artist to sit in on her first session in a unit studying flamenco with 5th graders from a local elementary school. I love kids because they aren't particularly charming or adorable or fascination or whatever the many adjective people lob onto them. They are just real, which is frankly, damned refreshing. They aren't particularly trying to 'be' anything or 'do' anything or 'accomplish' anything, they are so busy learning and being and absorbing that they can't help but be real.

Then as I was driving home I heard a thunkety thunk and thunk to myself, "Self, that doesn't sound good, better look at that when I get to my destination" Well some kind citizen honked at me to tell me my tire was flat. So I filled it up but that piece of rubber was having none of it. It blew before I was two blocks from the gas station. So I called S.O. told him the situation, called Triple A. All of this could have pissed me off but I was in such a great mood that it just seemed like the next thing to do. I did worry slightly that I would be late picking up S.O.v.1 from school but I was sure I could flirt the tow truck driver into swinging by the school, so I wasn't really worried about it. BUT the amazing thing was, when I was on the phone with Triple A (I had pulled over next to a vacant lot with a bunch of date palms in Rancho Mirage) I notices a squirrel running across the lot. My eyes followed him and then I noticed a red tailed hawk swoop out of a tree, follow him around and then land on him, grab him, hold him down till he was dead and then eat him. Now, I know what you're thinking, "Yella, weren't you appalled? Where was your compassion for the squirrel" and my answer to you would be "No. It seemed perfectly natural" and it did. It was fascinating. It was, frankly, just life and/or nature (whichever you prefer) in action and so it seemed kind of great that I was there watching it.

Then I had some minutes - uninterrupted!!! - to read over the notes from the session of that morning. Then the tow truck driver - who was a lovely human being - arrived and took my car to the tire repair shop. Whilst there the shop owner recognized my truck and remembered S.O. who had had a tire repaired there just a few weeks earlier. Apparently S.O. made an impression....

Then the tow truck driver dropped me off close to my neighborhood! Nice! I mean, I was well within walking distance anyway, but he just saved my bunions a little bit of wear and tear. I just had to tell him it was good karma.

So, got home, drove S.O. to work, went and returned an unneeded cork board and left with seldom seen cash right next door to a Coffee Bean. Had 45 min. till time to pick up S.O.v.1 so sat and had a coffee and !!!!45 min. of UNINTERRUPTED time to brainstorm some story ideas!!!

Picked up S.O.v.1, went to return my brand new glasses with the antireflective coating melted on and manager apologized profusely. HAD two quarters to get S.O.v.1 a treat from the candy machine, came home, did his homework, picked up S.O.v.2 from school, shopped for dinner, ate and then....

Went to see a Flamenco dance group from Spain at the McCallum theatre with S.O.vs1&2. The look on S.O.v.2's face alone was worth the imminent fuss that comes along with starting an extracurricular activity AT bedtime! She was just beside herself happy within the first two minutes of the dance. And during the second act I noticed S.O.v.1 doing flamenco hands in the air while watching riveted! For an artist there is just nothing better.

They were just amazing. Muscular, passionate (I do not use that word often), sinuey, emotional, raw and human. Compania Flamenco Jose Porcel. If they ever happen to your town, I wag my finger at any who miss it.

And then we went to pick up the S.O. at work. Yes, at 10:20pm there was indeed fuss but I would do the day all over again, exactly the same way. I don't even miss the nap I desperately needed all day after being sick with a cold for the past three days... sometimes joy just wins out over ill.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Cynic Will See You Now

I sit here this morning happily eating crow for my cynicism over the election. I must say, you surprised me America. I was not convinced you had it in you. Perhaps it is because I live in a primarily conservative area where even the working class are Republicans (oxymoron perhaps?). Perhaps I was just so hurt by 2000 and 2004 that it was my defense mechanism. Or perhaps I am just more of a negative sad sac than I ever realized.

No matter. I was wrong. Today I happily admit that I didn't think you had it in you to elect the smartest candidate America, but you did it. Congratulations. How does this shade of egg look on me?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Will They Ever Stop Patting!

It's bad enough that The Greatest Generation, boosted by their lobbyist Tom Brokaw, does it constantly "We saved the world!" But now the Baby Boomer Generation has started in on it (and they are different from their parents how again?), "We changed the world!".

http://www.usaweekend.com/08_issues/081026/081026health-forever-young.html

Well grand, congratulations you Boomers, you all must be so proud... all that protesting and burning of draft cards worked out just grand. So now groups can't really protest anymore - note both political conventions this year: sure protest is 'allowed' (those are strong air quotes) but was so shoved to the fringes as to be irrelevant. And what about all the protest over the Iraq war? Millions of people marched, made signs, wrote letters, yelled pleaded and what happened? (What generation was George Bush born in again?) Now government just ignores protest and does what it wants anyway. They're mavericks!

And we no longer have a draft. Now we just have stop loss. But that volunteer army feels so relieved that there's no draft. "Phew! Wouldn't want that common rabel with us here for three, four tours... oooo pinch me, come on tour five!" The Boomer parents must be so proud of their kids and grandkids in Iraq and Afganistan.

As you can see from the attached article the Boomers are lauding themselves for changing medicine (thanks for all that Vioxx and Viagra), changing the way we eat (that high fructose corn syrup was a GREAT idea), the way we exercise (OK, I'll give you that one) and communicate (except with their own kids who they just keep saying "Good job!" to but keep forgetting to remind them that they will actually have to work hard and have integrity on the job").

And you know, I wonder, what generation Alan Greenspan belongs to? And all those other guys, Senators who decided to forego regulations, or CEO's who created fancy financial 'products' (I would really like to pop the person who coined that phrase one, it's not a cookie for christ's sake!), real estate folks who pushed the second home market and said "We can list your home for $15,000 more than it's worth and probably get even more on top of that!" that indeed have changed the world. Even before the 'financial crisis' the Greatest Generation had left their grandchildren and the Boomers their children in a position where they were NOT better off than their parents. But a shrug of shoulders and a shout of "Charge it" and they looked the other way - for all the many years the economy moved away from industry and manufacturing, to service now to... what, consumming.

Where were the hippie values when food became industrialized? Where were they when cars and car culture grew from necessity to insanity? Where were those values, that angry protest when our government stopped calling us citizens and started referring to us as consummers? What's next? Maybe someone would like to just be honest and start calling us cogs.

Yes, they saved their own world the Greatest Generation, just not for us. And yes they changed the world, for the better, then for the worse, and now disaster (the ultimate flip-floppers). They say all parents want their children to be better off than they were. But they also say actions speak louder than words. I guess the Boomers were just so mad at mommy and daddy that they didn't care if they scorched the earth for their own kids, and grandkids... and maybe their kids too....

Keep patting yourselves on the back.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain's new slogan "If Elected I Will Save You Money!"

That's right, if elected a female Republican Vice President will be cheaper to pay! Since Republicans do not adhere to the equal pay for equal work doctrine (oops, sorry threw a confusing word in there, doctrine another word for 'plan') then that means we, the country will be able to pay Sarah Palin less!

Best figures I could find:
Cheney salary $208,100 per year
Palin will save us over $40,000 a year (Cindy can buy a new pair of shoes on that!) at a frugal $160,237 a year.

Wow, pretty and a bargain! Why didn't we think of it sooner! Who says McCain doesn't care about the budget!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Reasons Why Sarah Palin WILL Get McCain Elected

"She's so pretty" - She almost reminds me of the high school cheerleaders who were pretty, popular, snide, poking fun at 'different' or nerdy kids was their platform.

"Voters don't vote on VP because it's not really the VP who runs the country" we liberals like to think. But don't tell that to Dick Cheney, come on now, people, see look, you made him cry. Everyone knows Cheney has been working diligently all these years on his own on our behalf, destroying shoring up the country for us. Of course he runs things. Who do you think sneaks quietly into the White House quarters and slips a drunken finger off the button each night?

"Well, at least their ticket is all white!" (See post "Who's Your Daddy" February 13, 2008) - or I could be wrong and we hate women even more than we fear black men... well, not if they're pretty. "If they're pretty and we make then VP will the sleep with us?"

"Sarah Palin, bet she drinks beer huh?"

"McCain is gonna pertek the wealthy. I'm gonna be wealthy one day. I just know it. I been prayin' on it."

Everyone likes to think they have 'small town' values - even if they didn't grow up in a town all that small. And we all KNOW Palin has small town values just from growin' up in one... hmmm, wonder where her daughter grew up? (Shotgun weddin's invented in small towns?) How those values workin' out for you, Bristol? Yeah, she looks pretty happy. Of course, everyone knows the 'rules' per se are for them. All of those people who can't realy handle themselves.

Palin will remind voters that not only does she have small town values - but McCain has them too - because his own homes and staff make up a small town, not to mention Cindy's jewelry collection - the yearly budget... of a small town! See!

'Cause them religious people only mind when you neglect the baby in utero...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In The Making

Maybe there is something good about living here in the desert (at this time of year I am grumpy because I am hot and have to drive a car sans aircon to work, so I find it difficult to be grateful, oh between late June and early Sept., the time the rest of the country is frolicking and basking - plus I haven't had a vacation in about 3 years... that doesn't help). I mean, yes, it is pretty and most of the year is lovely weather and all that... but it is distinctly devoid of creative stimulation. I have been seeking and have found many people - but most of us seem to be on permanent seek mode here with little find.

In any case, this lack of stimulation leaves a lot of time on one's hands. Time, which, if I were in LA I probably would not be availing myself of. Because LA is so stimulating. Just going to the Coffee Bean down the street was full of interest and curiosity - enough that I did not get a lot of writing done. Short bursts of creativity sure, but volume-wise I have done more while living here.

Granted most of you have not read or may ever read any of my work... but something happens here that never happened to me in LA. I have just finished my first novel. I wrote and performed my first solo performance, I've written several short stories and articles for a local magazine (Dune Magazine - dunemag.net for those of you who are interested), several screenplays including one for the production company I work for and written a couple episodes of a web series I am working on with a partner. So I have been busy, and working, and productive... but now that all of these projects are completed and/or on summer hiatus and/or in holding pattern I have nothing to work on.

And with nothing to work on comes an odd sort of restlessness, sleeplessness, a creeping panic even. And when this happens no manner of creative desert community could help. The only thing I can do is write - something, anything... even writing a letter helps.

Now if I were in LA just driving around town I would be confronted with a thousand bits of stimulus that would suggest a story, a scene, some dramatic activity I could get involved in. I would be continuing acting class and auditioning, looking for a play to be in or a new job or working on a show with friends. I'd be supressing the panic with lots of things and people and projects. But here it is just me and my computer. There is not the same sense of urgency in creativity here too, that there is in LA, that urgency to create, which I suspect, drove many to LA. But here it is all about the beauty and the pleasantness and the 'lifestyle' (my new unfavorite word - worse than 'moist' way way worse) and the just being happy to live in such a beautiful place! Oooooooo pinch me!

It is that Bay Area dark side, the cynical, that was branded on me from birth by my extremely sardonic family (I didn't really even understand any other kind of humor for years) that creeps out and won't be shoved back - no matter how good the weather and no matter how many chapters of The Power of Now I have read. No, deep down I just don't buy it - that all is well in paradise - and it makes me just want to &(&#^*%*&#@ write something! That is how I show my ingratitude for living in such beauty and magnificence, I write something subversive... well, subversive for ME, which being a 'nice' girl is only so raw...

I've been thinking about this short story where two neighbors kill their spouses on the same night and then have to cover for each other... maybe that's next...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sacrifice

For some reason I had been thinking about things and this thought popped into my head - probably because I just finished my novel and now that it's done my mind is seeking new stories - this thought, that I had thunk before but never quite in these words. And when I did I thought, "Ah, that's so true".

This thought was as follows:

Women sacrifice their self for love.
Men sacrifice love for their self.

Now before you gross generalization fiends start ringing off your bells, I know, I know, it's gross, it's generalized, it's a platitude which makes it not true for some people and maybe even many. We are 'liberated' after all (if you call being able to have a job and be paid less and then be able to go home and do the house work too liberated I suppose) and shouldn't be sacrificing anything for anybody.

But the fact is we do. Women, in general, sacrifice. We sort of... can't help it, I suppose. But that doesn't make it feel any better. And the reason I say I think we can't help it is because we sort of don't realize we've done it until it's already been done, till it's too late and to rectify would be so much worse.

And, dare I suppose that there might even be something... genetic about it? Now, settle down y'all. Men can be gentle and giving and very generous - they have the capacity if they choose to use it, this is true. But back them into a corner where you are asking them to do something that would force them to lose their sense of themselves and you have a fight. Again I am generalizing people.

But women will inevitably... do the right thing. Whatever consequences that right thing brings upon us. You can make all the "Sex and the City" movies and TV shows you want but women will always do what they see best for their kids (and they are looking mind you), try to make everyone else comfortable even if they themselves don't feel so, make sure everyone is fed and thanked and isn't offended... and then after the party is through try to figure out what is right for themselves.

Meanwhile, your hopes and dreams for your liberated self are slipping through the cracks in the floor boards just as you are sweeping. Your sacrificial self is bolstered and supported and help up by everyone around you as admirable and worthy. And then if you try to 'take' time away from the kids, from the housecleaning, from the spouse you either really do or are expected to feel guilty. Like they can't make a grilled cheese without you (well, in my case that actually may be true)

Harumf! Maaaaaaaaan, being liberated is hard.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Add to the Annals of Less for More

Ah modern life. They myriad conveniences that we enjoy... prepackaged food our subject matter today.

Andy Rooney famously skewered the "less than a pound of coffee in a can for the same price" years ago. Since then almost all packaged coffees pose as a pound while minutely announcing - in the smallest possible font - on the farthest nether regions of their package that they are indeed 13oz or 12oz or the, basically insulting, 11oz. Now we can add to that pasta. Pasta used to be sold by the pound per package. Easy, measurable, a bargain calculable... no more. I have just noticed (and maybe I haven't been paying attention) that pasta is now in the "Let me charge you the same price for more!" category of 12oz.

That should be the new motto of all grocery stores "Now Bringing You Less for More! - Prepackaged for your convenience" or maybe "New! Improved! Less!" "We Know What You Need and are Bringing it to you, now in smaller packaging and you only pay exactly what you used to pay!"

Please add to this list at will.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maybe I'm missing something

Do you ever get these emails that offer some nice thought or words of wisdom and then at the end they threaten you to "forward this email to as many people as possible!!" Because if you don't bad things will happen. But if you do good things will happen.

At 5 people you will find a penny in the street
At 10 people you will find a dollar and someone will smile at you
At 20 people you will find that missing 20 dollar bill you thought you lost and your spouse will want to have sex with you
At 50 you will get a new job! a new car! and your in-laws will stop bothering you!

Or whatever the hell they say... anyway, it all sounds a little punitive to me. That is exactly what does not attract me to religion. The whole specificity of do this and good things happen, do that bad things happen, burn in hell, etc. just never appealed and seemed, frankly unrealistic given the kinds of things that go on in the world. Certainly millions of Iraqis are not bad people, certainly millions of Chinese are not bad people!

Anyway, I don't generally forward these emails on. I spit in the face of these emails basically if they threaten me at the end. (I don't mean that literally by the way) I mean, don't get me wrong, I like the nice sentiments as much as anyone, only why does it have to go and get spoiled at the end.

And then I got to thinking... well I'm not finding that many pennies on the street... so maybe the Universe IS punishing me because I'm not forwarding them on! Oh my! Watch out all my email contacts! Here come the smarmy/threatening emails winging your way!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Random Thoughts About The Race

OK, so why are we so exercised about Hillary Clinton staying in or dropping out? Isn't this the way an election campaign is supposed to work? Can you imagine two white male candidates coming this close to a decision at the Convention?

They are both good candidates and both would make a great President - we hope. So the question for those Americans left to vote is whether they are more misogynist or more racist? Didn't we have, a mere 8 years ago, a 'lesser of two evils' campaign? Isn't that what the media was overwrought about then? "They're both the same" they said, "There is really no difference at this point between Republicans and Democrats" they said. Can we all stop listening to the media please? See how right they were then? What makes us worry now?

Can we look at the evidence:

Bush: One ill-concieved war, millions dead

Gore: One Academy Award, one Nobel Prize

No difference my ass!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Three-Year Oldisms v.2

So we are standing in Trader Joes line. We had just dropped of S.O.v.1 at school... S.O.v.2 loves being a pseudo only child. We had lunch and apart from our friend visiting from Australia momentarily traumatizing S.O.v.2 - because she had tried (for her daddy) to snatch the check for lunch back, which he snatched back, insisting on paying... and apart from the hiding under the chair for a moment while said friend went to pay the check... she was having a swell time, cheered up pretty fast once we went into Trader Joes and the promise of a colorful balloon loomed large.

After wandering around, pondering healthy snacks and blueberry soda we decided to check out. While the adults talked behind her S.O.v.2 looked around as toddler's do observing her world. As she came to the senior gentleman in line in front of us she made her way down to his footwear.

Suddenly S.O.v.2 says (loud enough for him and us to hear):

"Socks with flipflops! That's just crazy!"

The older gentleman did not acknowledge this comment - we hope he was in as much loss of hearing denial as S.O. Because when I repeated to S.O. and his friend what she had said we had a hard time not busting up.

Who thought they gave badges for the Fashion Patrol to three year olds!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Must Hear

For anyone skeptical about the motives of the Administration you must listen to this...

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1236

Thursday, April 03, 2008

CLEM

I've been thinking about starting a new blog... but of course no one reads the one I already have... how do people find blogs anyway? I keep wanting to post until I realize I have almost nothing to say. Well, I mean, I do have things to say but they are dreadful and boring.

CLEM. Well if you've recieved an email from my 'home' email recently then you've seen my quote - as we, so many of us do now, I never really did until I got really frustrated with this obsession with stuff and bigger stuff and newer stuff and more stuff and then storage space... I always HA-TED paying for a storage space when we first moved here to the beautiful prison that is the Coachella Valley. But surprisingly enough our Hollywood apartment was bigger than our identical rent Palm Desert condo, and so things had to go in the brink. Then when we moved into our house - my own beautiful cell (and getting prettier, we painted our kitchen last weekend!) in the beautiful prison I decided that if we couldn't keep it somewhere, neatly stored in our own house then damnit IT GOES! Thus we got rid of about 24 boxes of books - hate to see them go, but somehow they seem to keep coming back, in paperback form. I fear my Significant Other was somewhat traumatized by the enormous piles of not only books but small pieces of furniture and stuff, just stuff, stuff, where the hell did all the stuff come from and what did I buy it for anyway!? And S.O. was also traumatized by my willingness to, without even looking at things for but a moment, chuck it. The garage (the typical man's purview) is still cluttered with stuff he can't seem to figure out where it should live.

Not that I dislike the action of procuring the stuff. It is always fun, I get that. I've had my fun too. But I am now obliged to seek restraint. Financial instability (bigger mortgage than rent bill, less income, you know how it is) will force one to think hard about what really is the meaning of that new thing and do I really want to forego not having to cook on a Friday night and ordering pizza? My answer is usually 'no'.

So, as a reminder to myself and others, and probably to some extent to seem more Gore-like, I added a quote, which is not so much a quote as a... an... uh... well, I thought it up but assuradley was not the first in history to ever say it. Consume Less Eat More. No wait, what am I saying! That wouldn't make sense, no no no, it's Consume Less Enjoy More. Sort of my motto, my credo, my own way or aim of a way to live... and I have tried... oh Lordy lord knows I have tried and still continue to... but 'tis hard. Ah man, wish I were better at it... but sometimes Easter comes and you just can't decide between robbins eggs or chocolate eggs so you get both... or one bag of plastic eggs at 79 cents a bag or two... I mean, it's only 79 cents... THAT'S NOT THE POINT! Then you just hide more candy for your two children and they find it and sneak about 12 pieces each before you notice they haven't handed it all in and then in about a week and a half you feel like you need to send your toddlers to sugar detox! Thank God Betty Ford is just a few minutes away.

So anyway, consume less, enjoy more. I thought, since I am expert apparently at nothing else, except... well me, and even there only nominal knowledge... I'd give it a shot... so here goes.

http://consumelessenjoymore.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 31, 2008

Testing, testing, one two three

I've got no idea whether this will work... but all three of you should be listening to this weekly audiopodcast!

" "

Monday, March 17, 2008

Things I've Been Thinking

Arrogance is always followed by incompetance.

Some men collect women like some women collect shoes.

When will we stop consumming each other?

Why don't we care that we are all under surveillance?

Everytime I try to do less I get busier.

When I sense to myself "I know who I am" I don't have a laundry list of items that make up me, but I am satisfied that that is the answer.

When I realize the aliveness of me is when I feel most happy.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

OK, I Know But...

Am I the only one who is noticing that we, Americans, have been and are presently, totally obsessed with STUFF? I have been hammering around at this subject for years... mainly, probably, because of my lack of it...

I was just talking with the Mother (mine) about this and with S.O. the other night... remember a Time Before Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? That damn program started it all. Remember it was on Saturday afternoons when absolutely NO ONE was watching TV because not programmer ever thought anyone would be interested in rich people - how boring! Now it seems that is all we are interested in. And as Michael Moore has so aptly pointed out we all think that someday that might be us, rich that is.

Am not religious, wasn't raised that way, but I am beginning to understand that passage about the rich man and the eye of the needle and milking the camel and whatnot... But maybe them biblical peoples were really talking about us. I mean, how pious, how balanced, how peaceful can you really be when caught in the throes of envy, or greed, or debt? All so stressful, in'it?

Where is the peace in stress?

I remember the peace I felt - and the possibility I felt - when I was a little girl B-LRF (Before Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous) - when I felt successful and pretty and OK with myself... that last time was about, oh, 7 or 8... But how can anyone who watches, listens to, reads any media anymore really be OK without tremendous effort?

And can we just stop pretending that the media has no influence. Can I just mention a few things you NEVER would have wanted: an iPod, an SUV, an infinity pool, a Carnival cruise, Taco Bell... do I have to continue to make my point? Really, what was wrong with taco night at home with the family? What was wrong with a road trip and seeing giant dinosaurs or the world's largest ball of string? What was so awful about seeing all your friends from school one summer when you hadn't seen them in weeks at the community pool? What was wrong with the station wagon you could lay down in the back of and look at the clouds as mom drove? What was wrong with the surprising randomness of the radio when suddenly in a totally blue funk and yous absolute favorite song comes on the radio?

OK, OK... so, let's just face it. Let's just admit our sins and come clean. We have been dazzled by the shinny thing across the room and we have not been paying attention to the life right in front of us. Can we just admit that having all the stuff is way more work than we ever expected - that the 3,000 sq. ft. house is way too big to clean alone and we feel guilty nor can we really afford to have Conchita come in and clean. Can we admit that the SUV gets dirty and ratty too, just like any old car? Can we admit that even if the vacation costs you $3,000 you are just as likely to fight and not get along if that's what you do as if it's a $300 weekend? Can we just admit - oh please someone else admit this too! - that a $100 blouse gets stained as easily as a $12.50 from Old Navy and you can't throw it in the laundry? Can we just admit that inside a rich person is a beating heart, a spirit, a love, an ambition, a hope a dream and there is the exact very totally totally SAME! thing inside a poor person?

Come on, what is all the stuff for... really?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Three Year Old-ism

S.O.v.2 is having trouble relinquishing babyhood (as am I, hers, not my own) and so plays 'baby' often. In addition, she has a love/hate relationship with the Pull-Up. She wants to wear her Hello Kitty underpants but she clings to the modified diaper, most days wanting the Pull-Up. But this morning she just simply could not decide. Is there anything more heart wrenching and adorable than a 3 year old sobbing and saying "I want to go commando"?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stockholm Kitty

Over the weekend we went to my mom's house in San Diego to enjoy a day at Legoland with the kids, including cousins, and for S.O. and I to enjoy a childfree and relaxing time at a Veterens For Peace function on Sunday. We had a delightful weekend but decided to come home Sunday night instead of Monday morning as S.O. had an interview, I a dentist appointment... and thank goodness we did!

When I got in the house I heard that feignt muffled meow you hear when a cat is underneath the bed or clothing or something... When I got to our bedroom it was clear where our kitty, Wasabi, had spent the weekend! In our closet - shut in because Mifune (other cat) does not know how to work a door handle! Poor guy, he used a couple of S.O.'s dress shirts and his robe for a potty and had to sleep nearby of course. I mean, it's not cool for humans to have to do it but it's like an insult to cats! He looked crazed when I opened the door and reluctant to come out.

Mifune is STILL not getting along with him. We aren't quite sure why - something akin to survivor's guilt I guess. But the funny thing is, even though he was clearly miserable in there, he keeps wanting to go back in! He keeps standing by the door and letting out the most deserate meow. It's obvious, he has kitty Stockholm syndrome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weird Dreams

What is it about dark chocolate that gives you weird dreams? I had restless and persistent ones last night about being married to a junkie and me just living with it... It was an exhusband actually which is, I think, weird. I don't usually have dreams with real life people from my own life, usually actors or unknowns - to me although I am sure they put in winning performances in other peoples dreams, they are usually very good. When it happens it is always disconcerting and makes me search more for meaning than I normally do. And they tend to stay with me longer throughout the day...

But nothing is weirder than the imagination of a 3 year old. S.O.v.2 has some pretty vivid dreams. When she remembers them she shares. Usually she just remembers having them but no details (who knew dreams started so early! But of course S.O.v.1 started having bad dreams about this age too). A while ago she shared with me the dream about being flattened - ala Looney Tunes (though she doesn't watch them and to my knowledge has never seen a steam roller flatten a cartoon duck) and then cut into pieces and eaten.

Last night she told S.O. and I the rules of the house. Too many to put down here but I will share a few:

"Number 1 - We don't throw in the house (very good),
Number 3 - We don't throw cupcakes in the house,
Number 3 - We don't put cupcakes in our hair,
Number 3 - We don't eat cupcakes on the floor,
Number 3 - We don't share cupcakes with the cats..."

Like that, you see where she is going with this... She always has some crazy three year old-ism... I must share them more often. When they are past this age (like S.O.v.1) you forget how damn cute and purely entertaining they can be.

Need I Say EVEN More???

What Is Sexist?
Submitted by christine on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 5:31pm. Be-Elected
BE ELECTED
by Christine Bowman


The National Organization for Women has endorsed Hillary Clinton. BuzzFlash has not.* Instead, we've been very critical of her record and of certain campaign moves. But we sure don't want her to lose because she's a woman.

NOW's President Kim Gandy has responded to email she has received with a commentary, "Below the Belt." She identifies media behavior that disparages Hillary Clinton and, she argues, women as a group. Listen up:


Excerpts:

The press have been brutal to Clinton, no doubt about it. Whether consciously or not, too many reporters, commentators, pundits and the like appear unable to critique Hillary Clinton without dusting off their favorite sexist clich├ęs, stereotypes and insults. Some of these remarks seem mild, while others are offensive and truly outrageous. Taken together, they create an environment of hostility toward all women, not just Senator Clinton. At this moment it feels like she is a stand-in for every woman who has ever tried to get ahead and be taken seriously by the powers that be.

There are four common themes in media coverage of Clinton's candidacy:

First, Clinton is criticized using a gender-based grading system. The media evaluate how she looks, dresses, talks, laughs and even claps. She is held to double standards familiar to working women. A man demonstrates toughness and strength; a woman who behaves similarly is called icy and rigid. His behavior shows compassion and warmth, but her similar behavior shows too much emotion and maybe weakness. He knows how to work the system; she is manipulative. He shows a mastery of the subject; she is nit-picky. He thinks through all the options before charting a course; she is calculating. Familiar?

Second, our society still has not come to terms with ambition in women -- it is suspect. Clinton is frequently charged with doing or saying anything to win. But I think it has an extra sharp anti-woman overtone as it is used against Hillary. In other words, everything Clinton does to win the election -- strategizing, organizing, confronting, comparing and contrasting -- is interpreted as calculating, fake or just plain evil. But when a man campaigns hard, refusing to cede an inch, they call it . . . running for office!

Third, Clinton is presumed to be where she is today because of her husband, Bill. The fact that Clinton has a famous former president for a husband is used to discredit her own achievements and to imply that maybe she couldn't have made it on her own. I’m trying to remember if any of these commentators implied that George W. Bush shouldn't be taken seriously as a candidate because his father had been president. Or that people shouldn't vote for a certain male candidate because he clearly got a leg up from his powerful family's money, legacy? Or say from the advantages bestowed by his wife's fortune? Who's to say that if Hillary had taken the fast-track first, instead of Bill, she wouldn't have risen to the top before him?

Finally, when all else fails, belittle the voters. Women voters are irrational and biased, and voting only on the basis of gender, the press are happy to intimate (at least about the women who are voting for Hillary), and they not so subtly imply that all voters are stupid and shallow. When the pundits try to mind-read the general public to guess why they cast their ballots one way or another, they often conclude that voters make decisions based on the same superficial traits that fascinates the talking-heads themselves -- like who seems "comfortable in their own skin" or who strikes them as annoyingly nerdy.

One more thing: Hillary Clinton, and women in general, aren't the only ones subject to gender-based assessments. Barack Obama and John Edwards have also been degraded when the media detect in them "feminine" characteristics or behaviors (like paying attention to your appearance) that supposedly are unbecoming in men. That's right, both women and men can be poked with the "girls are icky" stick.

Regarding women and men and politics, we really ought to be past the tree house-years. It's not just those in the public eye who are hurt when the media promote sex stereotypes. Daughters everywhere are hearing the message that a woman can't be as competent and effective a leader as a man. Or that all strong women are ball-busters (or nut-crackers) -- right up until they finally reveal that they're just weepy wimps. (Never trust a crying woman. She's after something, you know.)

Just so you don't think I’m making this up, here are a few (of course I had to leave out MSNBC's Chris Matthews because he deserves a whole list all by himself) -- of the latest offenders:

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2008
Relaying a joke told by Penn Jillette: "Obama is just creaming Hillary. You know, all these primaries, you know. And Hillary says it's not fair, because they're being held in February, and February is Black History Month. And unfortunately for Hillary, there's no White Bitch Month."

Katie Couric, CBS's 60 Minutes, Feb. 10, 2008
Interviewing Clinton: "What were you like in high school? Were you the girl in the front row taking meticulous notes and always raising your hand? . . . Someone told me your nickname in school was 'Miss Frigidaire' -- is that true?"

David Shuster, guest-hosting MSNBC's Tucker, Feb. 7, 2008
Regarding Chelsea Clinton making calls for her mother's campaign: "[T]here's just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea is out there calling up celebrities saying, 'Support my mom.' . . . doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

Lester Holt, MSNBC's primary coverage, Feb. 5, 2008
Incredulously, apparently shocked by exit poll results: "With the field of Democratic candidates reduced to two, we asked primary voters, 'Who would make the best commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces?' And here, it was Hillary Clinton who was the clear favorite. The first woman candidate with a serious shot at winning the presidency beat out her male rival -- look at these numbers -- 50 percent to 35 percent. Keep in mind, this at a time the nation is fighting on two fronts."

Andrew Sullivan, TheAtlantic.com, Feb. 4. 2008
"The second bout of public tears just before a crucial primary vote - after no evidence that Senator Hillary Clinton has a history of tearing up in front of the cameras - provokes the unavoidable question: should feminists actively vote against Clinton to defend the cause of female equality?"

Bill Kristol (New York Times columnist), panelist on Fox News Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008
"Look, the only people for Hillary Clinton are the Democratic establishment and white women . . . . White women are a problem, that's, you know -- we all live with that." After other panelists stated their disagreement, Kristol responded: "I know, I shouldn't have said that."

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, Jan. 30, 2008
"Like Scarlett O'Hara after a public humiliation, Hillary showed up at the gathering wearing a defiant shade of red."

Mike Barnicle, guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Jan. 23, 2008
"[W]hen she reacts the way she reacts to Obama with just the look, the look toward him, looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court, OK?"

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, Jan. 23, 2008
"It's odd that the first woman with a shot at becoming president is so openly dependent on her husband to drag her over the finish line."

Tucker Carlson, MSNBC's Tucker, Jan. 22, 2008
"It takes a lot of guts for a rich, privileged white lady who is one of the most powerful people in the world to claim that she is a victim of gender discrimination. . . . She hasn't driven her own car in almost 20 years and she's a victim of discrimination? I mean can't we both agree that's just BS?"

Gail Collins, The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2008.
"The women whose heart went out to Hillary knew that it wasn't rational. . . . they gave her a sympathy vote."

Chris Matthews, guesting on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Jan. 9, 2008
"Let's not forget -- and I'll be brutal -- the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York."

Sexism, like racism, is not a progressive value.

*(BuzzFlash doesn't endorse any candidate in a primary.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Need I Say More?

This from the Huffington Post yesterday:

Why Is David Shuster E-Mailing With Anti-Hillary Group C.U.N.T.?
New York Observer | Felix Gillette | February 13, 2008 12:05 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Read More: C.U.N.T., Chelsea Clinton, Citizens United Not Timid, David Shuster, David Shuster C.U.N.T., David Shuster Chelsea Clinton, David Shuster Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Breaking Media News

It was a little before midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 27 that MSNBC correspondent David Shuster hit the "Send" button on a curt e-mail to Republican rabble-rouser Roger Stone.

Days earlier, Mr. Stone and others had filed papers with the I.R.S. to form a "527" organization dedicated to educating "the American Public about what Hillary Clinton really is." The organization was called "Citizens United Not Timid," i.e., C.U.N.T.

"Hey Roger Stone," wrote Mr. Shuster in an e-mail to Mr. Stone's personal Web site, the Stone Zone. "Why not put your own name on this?"

Mr. Stone was in no mood to take flack from an uptight reporter unable to take a joke. Mr. Stone felt the suggestion that he was hiding behind the site was ludicrous. After all, he had invited reporter Matt Labash of The Weekly Standard to sit in on the organization's planning meeting.

The next afternoon, he responded. "Hey David Shuster," Mr. Stone wrote back. "I in essence did when I let the entire planning meeting be on the record for a reporter."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who's Your Daddy?

I have been wondering about why Hillary Clinton's campaign for President is seemingly imploding. Then I realized, Duh, of course it is. Wonder! Why has it done so well so long is what I should wonder about!

I mean we should have all realized the country was not ready for a woman for president when the media made hay of her cleavage and no one was outraged. Nothing like the indignance that was exhibited by liberals with a platform (unlike us liberals with blogs that three other people read) when the Foxies made the connection between the way Barack Obama dressed, sans tie, and Ahmadinejad's tendancy to go without his as well.

The dislike of Clinton (by the way, why is it OK to call her 'Hillary' but we say 'Obama'?) is as without comprehension as the adoration of Obama is without substance. But this really isn't an essay against him. It is obvious to me why we don't like her as a nation. It has some to do with the Right vilifying her and some to do with the fact that she stayed with her husband after he cheated on her (we like think she should have thrown all his clothes out the window onto the White House lawn in outrage and righteous indignation, making a scene and not caring because she was standing up for her rights as a wife) but the real reason she'll never get elected (my prediction) is that we don't want to be in trouble with mom.

If she were prettier she might not evoke the stern momness she does. But of course if she were prettier we'd think her too dumb to be president and she never would have made it this far (we also would have accepted her staying with her husband if she were prettier, but that she is so smart makes it seem that much more calculated and weird "what was she thinking?"). We categorize as human beings and the more complicated life becomes the more we do it. It is a defense mechanism, as well as a survival mechanism. It is too risky to take each person for who they are, to understand them.

Right now the liberals in the country are excessively priding themselves on seeming to take Obama at face value - but really they are just being swept up in rhetoric (anyone who's been to college will recognize this phenomena from either rhetoric class or debate club or even a beautifully written but lacking in substance term paper, usually written by one's self!). He just sounds good! He just performs well on the platform, sounds intelligent (and his wife, by the way, seems to us like the type of woman who WOULD throw his clothes on the White House lawn if she caught him in any shenanigans!), looks good. Liberals are excessively priding themselves on being able to like him despite the fact that he's African-American.

But it's like being at a party and getting caught up in the excitement, going off to toilet paper the Principal's house, doing a really amazing job of it because just everyone was there! and then being put in detention all day on Monday morning (believe me... really, I'm serious... I know!). But if he gets the nomination - which the media is now solidifying with their own 'done deal' rhetoric (and if you don't believe they have any power in that direction Exhibit A: John Edwards campaign - The most forward facing and progressive of all three major Democratic campaigns. Disclaimer: I was a supporter, and yes I voted for him in the CA primary even after he'd suspended his campaign because I want him to weild control over Clinton and Obama to keep their eyes on the ball! Us, remember us? The American people? We he work to pay those taxes, wouldn't it just be nice if the government would spend some of it on us - instead of handing us a few hundred bucks in May and saying "Here, go buy yourself something pretty") then there will be a moment when the nation will panic (the Republicans already are) and think to itself "Oh my god, what if he wants to pimp the White House?" Especially if, as I read the wish in a comment post to an Alternet story, he should choose or even consider Harold Ford Jr. (Rep. from Tennessee) for Vice President.

But to get back to my original point: We don't want a Mom in the White House. Men do not evoke the same emotion because most men are not the disciplinarians in their household (and if they were in yours, you're probably not afraid of Clinton). Bush is like the 'drunk dad', man you can get away with anything if you can manage to distract him long enough. (Didn't we elect him because we 'wanted to have a beer with him?' Little did we know he wanted to have many, many beers with us.) Clinton (Bill) was the benevolent father who just wanted you to do well in school, would listen to everything you had to say - for the ten minutes a week he spent with you - and left all the discipline to his wife. Bush Sr. was the nasty, one cocktail a night "to calm my nerves if you could just get those kids to shut up!" father. We didn't like him so we voted him out. We didn't like Carter because he was too earnestly good because he felt he could trust you let you fall on your face - so we voted him out and elected a father figure who seemed to have it all under control - Regan - who left all the discipline to mother so he would never, in your eyes, seem like the bad guy. But after growing up and looking back, what did he really do to take care of us... he was charming, and compelling and... and... "was that really an insult when he said that to me that way when I was 6? Was he really laughing with me or was it actually at me? And what ever happened to my college fund?"

So there it is. We don't want Clinton as President because she will make you do your homework and your chores and no arguement about it from you, little mister! We may need it as a country, but we don't want it. We want to be wooed, we want to be paid attention to and made to feel special. We want to be able to be dropped off at school and say with pride, "That's my daddy!". Is it no wonder that all the youngest of voters are the most enthusiastic about Obama? By the way, on the otherside some of the most enthusiastic young voters are all for Huckabee, because they want the Wizard of Oz in the White House - it is magic you know!

So we may be wooed, we may be allowed to eat all the ice cream and cake and candy before our dinner we want, we may be allowed to shirk our chores and our homework but we'll pay. We'll have the hangover in the morning but our leader very well may be a caught in the headlights doe, looking around wondering why the rhetoric doesn't work with real life, why the corporations won't roll over and give up control, why won't anyone agree on anything, why is it so difficult to get out of Iraq without making it a bigger mess... Or we'll really panic at the polls and vote for the familiar, comfortable old white man...

Woo woo

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lonely

I've been missing things and people this week.

I've been missing the Bay Area. I grew up there, in Hayward for my childhood and part of college and Oakland and Berkeley where I lived where I was going to college and then trying to 'make it' as an actress after. I miss the places I used to tread. I miss, oddly, walking alone... and some of what I thought at the time were the most scared or lonely or fearful in my young life I now long for. I remember going to movies alone in Berekely, sitting (and laying) near Strawberry Creek on the campus of UC Berkeley between classes when it was warm reading and dozing, I remember this little cafe on University Ave. that I would go to and study at - they had the best lentil soup. I remember and miss the soup cafe at the intersection of Telegraph Ave. and Dwight(?)... and the salad restaurant that you couldn't ever find a table after standing in line for 20 minutes... it's not only college that I miss...

I miss people. I miss Bay Area-type people. They were willing to take a chance on new friends... I miss LA too. I miss the places we'd used to go and the way they would change - you'd think about going to some restaurant and head there only to find that it had closed just last week. I miss my friends...

I have noticed in my life that I am not so much drawn to people (that just doesn't work for me, everytime I am drawn to someone either they don't like me or turn out to be crap friends) as people are drawn to me. This is how I have gotten the BEST friends of my life. That is not arrogance, au contraire (SP???), I only mean that I don't know what I'm doing but I am graced to have people in my life that know way better than me!

All my best of friends have been people that have been the one's to either 'make the first move' or been the persistant friends (because there always is one) and then once I fall I am like the stalking one (don't let me go!). When I make the choice it usually doesn't work, or it ends up being one of those cordial friendships where everyone is oh so happy to see you but a 'real' friendship, ya know where you, like, call each other on the phone and stuff... hasn't really happened so much for me out here. Except for my one, very busy gal pal, Judy.

But I miss my friends! I felt like, when we lived in LA, that I had 'made it' friend-wise. That all the people I considered to be my best pals were the best people that I was likely to ever meet and become friends with. And I was happy. I was content. Not with how much time I got to spend with them - this is the great downfall of couplehood - you never get to spend enough time with you friends after. And AC (After Children) is just that much worse, which is why friends with children end up spending so much time with each other and not with the sans children friends.

And then being 'out here' does not help matters much.

I attribute much of my melancholy for all things past a reaction to S.O. having lost his job. You know, when you teeter on the edge of a precarious lifestyle you tend to think back. Maybe I am just longing for easier lifestyles, ones that can't be lost with a job loss.. or maybe I am longing for parts of myself that I left behind in those places. The Bay Area, san Diego, Los Angeles... all dynamic stimulating areas... and here I am.... in the... desert.

We have lived here coming up on five years and thus far I do not have a friend that I long for...

I love LA

I love SD

I love BA

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Only Thing That Trickles Down is Attitude

I was talking with S.O. the other night about my failed acting career - a subject that comes up way to often for his taste no doubt. It is a subject that bothers me, a lot. Some psychologists/therapist/counselors or Dr. Phil promote dissecting and event in one's life in order to come to some conclusion or closure perhaps. I'm sure there are some out there that think one ought to just drop it and move on (I would guess that would be the therapist S.O. would send me to) but they don't get TV shows so...

And then driving to work it occured to me that my (relative, i.e. not being able to make a living at it, NOT a qualitative judgement) failure as an artist is a family legacy. It seems there has always been a struggle between intellectual pursuits and artistic ones. Intellectual have thus far won out not necessarily to the good either.

My Grandmother told me several times when she was alive that she dearly wanted to be a ballet dancer but that was "just not something her father was going to let her do". My Grandfather was a jazz musician in his teens and twenties, playing both piano and stand up bass. I always wanted their baby grand in my house, but alas, when they died I did not own a house and even now that I do it would have taken up the entire living room!

My uncles too have experienced the push pull of income vs. art. My youngest uncle was a painter and a musician and gave it a go in his early years. At some point he moved to my grandparents' neck of the woods and all his artistic pursuits slid away until he was at the very end of his life. His very last painting, which he did shortly before he died hangs in my foyer. It is a painting of three cups. Any of your who know anything about tarot cards know that three of cups means celebration. I look at that painting and always think the message he is sending is "Celebrate the life you have"... It is sad to think that he left off his art and music until the very end... maybe instead the message is "celebrate your art".

We all have some 'art' whether it be writing or performing, dancing, singing, knitting, gardening. Don't we just get wrapped up in how unsuccessful our art is? And why is that?

My oldest uncle struggled with intellectual pursuits - he is IQ wise a genius and went to Berkeley where he left off intellectual pursuits for more personal ones.

Ironically, my Grandfather, who was by all estimations outside himself a successful professor. He taught at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State and finished his career at USC. His emphasis was the Middle East and something akin to a chaos theory applied to international relations. He was consulted by presidents, sultans and CEOs. He made a handsome living, had a nice house, a vacation home, a wife, three kids. But he never felt successful or appreciated in his career. It is a sad irony to have left off a pursuit you love in order to do what is 'right' or expedient and then end with such a feeling of dissatisfaction.

Although I continue to pursue art at several angles it is the acting that always feels like a let down. I always felt as if I were trying in a vacuum, as if everyone else out there knew just what to do to 'make it'. And I always felt there was a lack of support from my family - not that they weren't obstensively enthusiastic (families mostly tell you what you want to hear), they were. But there was something under the surface - skepticism, perhaps. I am entirely too sensitive not to have absorbed this and taken it to heart. Which leads me to my title, the only thing that really trickles down is attitude. We are all willing to share our opinions and energy with each other, no matter how destructive they may be. I guess there was not much support in my family for me to become a 'crazy actress' as I remember my Grandfather once saying.