Monday, August 31, 2015

Sisters of Mercy

In third grade my teacher at Catholic school was a nun named Sister Leonce, I think. If I am wrong, if anyone wants to correct me I would be happy to hear what her name was. And while you are at it, I cannot remember what the order the nuns were. Were they sister’s of mercy? Luckily some of the Good Shepherd kids read my blog and might be able to help me out here. (This is what blogging every night with two kids looks like: I think of things and have no time to fact check, barely check spelling and grammar, and so it just gets written, it is a work in progress.)

Side note: a bunch of the nuns had interesting names, some with a French origin. There was an ancient ancient librarian named Sr. Victoire, Victoix? I am not sure of the spelling, but the pronunciation was Vic –TWAH. Pretty cool name, she could have been 100 years old, and she wore a black habit and floor length dress, unlike some of the more modern nuns who embraced the 1970’s styles for nuns of lighter colors and just below the knee dresses. She wore black stockings and boots or high cut shoes that she could have been wearing since the turn of the century. Sr. Victoire was hunched and wrinkled and may have been going deaf or blind, and ultimately was not so pleasant to me.

Sr. Leonce, on the other hand, was a decent egg as far as I recall. One day a boy was giving me a lot of attention. Attention from guys made me incredibly uncomfortable. It was late in the afternoon, we were all just reading at our desks, doing nothing. I was reading a Paddington Book. The teacher was sitting at her desk, not teaching and she got amused by this boy. I am not sure what he was doing but he was making a show of his affection. She called him up to her desk and he told her that he liked me. They had a conversation about it. Then he sat down and she called me up. She just chatted with me which was something I had never really experienced before, not from a teacher, or any grown up ever, really.  She was light and playful and she asked me some questions good-naturedly something like, “So, is M giving you a hard time? Does he like you?” Something like that.

I was a deer caught in the headlights. I had no idea where this was going. I was used to things going haywire and me figuring it out before it did and knowing how to duck and cover, knowing how to survive, knowing how to take care of myself. I had been taking care of myself since birth by figuring out what I was supposed to do to suffer the least possible hurt but I could not figure her out and know what to expect. I stood there and kind of shook my head and grunted, kind of answered her and she smiled and scooted me back to my seat. Nothing happened.

I went back to my seat and held the Paddington book in front of my face for privacy and I sat at my desk and cried.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Death comes sweeping down the hallway in its sunday best

Dr. Wayne Dyer passed away.  I am very sorry to hear the news but alas, they say that he was excited about transitioning and seeing what is next in the adventure. His presence on the planet will be missed but his extraordinary body of work remains.

I am facing so much death and loss right now and thinking about it all. I have been telling my daughter about what might happen next when a person dies. She is full of wonder and questions and since I have no idea, only ideas, I am trying to pass those along to her. She is into reincarnation and heaven and the rainbow bridge and a person’s spirit that lives in our heart, that can be with us always. I am leaving the door wide open for her to explore. All I know is that photos of Loc have been magically turning up around our home and Vietnamese woman are randomly entering our life and I am encountering older asian women, looking at me knowingly, everywhere I turn, and it is not a coincidence as far as I am concerned…

I have also been researching this new green burials and cremations where the bury your un-embalmed body or your ashes in a graveyard that is just a field of wild plants.  I have more to say, but this is just about all I got tonight. More on that tomorrow...

Rest in peace Wayne Dyer, or fly in wonder. xH

Saturday, August 29, 2015


There is this one actress who is in a few things and she is amazing, really out there, brilliantly vulnerable to the point of unease on the viewer’s part but you cannot take your eyes off of her. I can’t, anyway. She makes you wonder if she is that good or just nuts. She was at a party I was at and at first glance she seemed nuts in full drag at a backyard daytime party, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, I related to her. When I was in my 20’s I did the laundry in full drag, heels, couture, floor length pieces, and false eyelashes. I put on the whole bit just to go out in the daylight and lug a heavy bag across the street. I was on my own glamour planet, I get it. So I let her dress code slide. Then I heard her talking to my daughter.

They were both petting an old dog who was laying on her back, happy to have her belly petted. The actress said to my kid, you have to pet her right here and she scratched the dog as close to her reproductive organs as possible without it being sex. My girl just looked at her like she was weird and said “That’s her privacy.” The actress said “No its not, her privacy is over here.” My kid knew better than to argue with a crazy person and she was silent, continuing to pet the dog the way she was before the conversation, without engaging. The actress walked away. Kids can be so smart. Question answered., did the ramones really do a country number?

Friday, August 28, 2015

yes, Ringo, thank you...

This is a hard week for my family, so I did something hard for me, I asked for help. I sent and email out to friends and acquaintances in my area asking for help with the daily tasks and people were so kind and showed up so generously and helped me and most importantly gave me moral support. Everyone was so nice and it was so helpful and felt so good.

Tonight was the only night someone did not come. And what was amazing about that was that it made it so obvious how much the visits helped. I made it through tonight without help but it was so much easier the other night.

I have always believed in being of service and helping whenever I can and I have lived my life that way.  Still, I really feel uncomfortable asking for help and can rationalize how I don’t really need it but in the end I just did need it and do need it right now, and I took the action and asked. I find that people are happy to help when you ask. I am so lucky to have good friends.

Kindness saves lives! Peace out!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New York City Snapshot 1982

There was a time when I worked at Flip on 8th street as a teenager and I would take a graffiti covered train from 207th street to get to work several times a week.. Before I got the job I had to get working papers since I was just 16 and I remember I went all by my self to some office somewhere, in Spanish Harlem maybe, and filled out a form and showed my birth certificate and then I was allowed to get a job and get a paycheck. I think that was where I got my social security number.

I would show up to work in tight black bondage pants that I custom made out of regular pants because I couldn’t afford the BOY of London version. My dyed blonde hair was long and shaggy and in my eyes and I would get bored steam ironing some cool vintage clothes that I would try on first if it looked like I might want it, or I would put price tags or security alarms on the clothes carry them out and put them on the floor. I would do all kinds of things to kill time, and take the clothes up in small bunches making lots of trips. I worked in the basement most of the time, but I just wanted to be out on the floor to see what was happening in the world so I would go out there every chance I got..

I remember one cool summer night I was working the bag check, sitting in the window of the booth, dangling my high top sneakered feet over the side, wearing lots of black eyeliner and my black leather motorcycle jacket even though it was summer, leaning my head back into the wall like I couldn’t care less, because I couldn’t, and just watching the crowds of people walking down the street. Eighth street used to be a vital thoroughfare, buzzing with modern energy, alive with the new wave vibe. Then in a blink of an eye David Johansen, former singer of The New York Dolls, walked into the store right past me and all of a sudden I cared. It blew my mind that someone so cool would shop with the common folk, wear what other people could buy, walk among us, lean and tall and all that and more.

Later, I would get off work at 8 when the store closed and meet my teenage lover who would wait for me outside the store with his drummer in the drummer’s van, parked illegally, and we would drive over to the east side and get pizza and get some beer and go see some amazing band, usually for free, because we didn’t have a lot of cash and we would get on the list somehow. Thunders, the Dead Kennedys, Lydia Lunch, Minor Threat, The Bad Brains,  The Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Cramps, and so many I cannot think of right now, they were all current acts playing around NYC.  It was all free and easy. We were young and alive and lazy and creative and running our own lives, manifesting our own destinies. We were in love in the greatest city in the world, at its peak. Everything was happening before our eyes. We knew things were pretty cool, did not take it for granted, but ran with it, wild in the streets. As I type this it almost does not sound real, but it was.

It’s never to late to live the life you want. (oh fuck, it does not get any cooler than this.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Suffragette City 100 words on a Wednesday

It was a mere 95 years ago today that women got the right to vote. Men who owned property were voting for 226 years. African American men got the right to vote by 1869.  Those numbers speak for themselves. Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two of my all time heroes, spent their lives fighting for this right and died not seeing it become law. But their work mattered and eventually it did become law.  I honor them both today. Thank you. Brush up on Women’s history and teach it loud and proud to your children. This stuff matters., yes I quoted this very intense song in my high school yearbook

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Down on the Street

The first time I heard the Iggy and the Stooges was at a club called 2+2 at a hardcore show, I forget who was playing. I’ve written about this monumental moment before. I was a teenager, there with my boyfriend Jesse, and they were playing the Stooges over the PA and we were talking about the band. I had seen and heard all about Iggy in Creem magazine, but that was the first taste of blood. They soon became one of my favorite bands.

We always thought the lyrics to the sing “Down on the Street” were “down on the street where my baby shines.”  Most sources will say it is “where the faces shine”, but “baby” makes such a good lyric and Iggy was such a romantic, after all.

Past forward to: one time I made a flyer for the GREENDOORNYC club, I made all the flyers, but one time I made one and I quoted that song, “Ain’t no wall,” And I put the date on the flyer but I forgot the location and address. I remember Johnny Dynell of Jackie 60 saying something flattering about how we didn’t even need to put the location, referring to how underground we were. It was one of those brilliant mistakes. Of course everyone knew where the party was, or found out, the night was as crowded as ever.

Anyway, I was thrilled to see the song used so well in Diary of a Teenage Girl, which you absolutely must see, when they are jumping on the bed singing it like a page out of my life, some of my favorite lyrics ever written, “Aint no wall!!! Ain’t no wall!”