Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ah life.....


As if I even have a moment to sit and write… but here I go…

What’s great? Well I watched a film from 2006 online about the band CRASS, my fav band from my high school, called There Is No Authority But Yourself. CRASS was the premier anarchist punk band, as some of you know. The intensity of their rage was equal to Ian McKay in Minor Threat, another fav of mine. I was mad, yep, but Crass was more than just rage, they were also so cool and smart and political. Yes, life times ago I was right there with them. I loved their minds and souls and everything they embodied. I even quoted them in my high school yearbook. A lot of what they were doing truly aligned with my personal beliefs at that time, as I was off the grid and in subculture for most of the 80’s and then some.

For last two decades I have been on the grid, purposefully and happily, I might add. But I still hold dear their anarchist aesthetic, how they were authentic artists and activists, quite beautiful to behold- even if I can’t listen to them and don’t agree with all of their raging beliefs anymore. Ah, life!! The movie is so fun, great to see where it all lead.

What else, Crissie Hynde, live and solo on kcrw this morning. She sang Talk of the Town, never my fav song, and made it sound so beautiful, her voice is so lovely and she was so down to earth and cool.

Lastly, amazon tv show, Transparent!!!! I am only two episodes in but so far it is killer acting writing and subject matter and do a see HOLLY WOODLAWN appearing!!???. Alas, there is controversy that the main transgender character is not played by a transgender person, but progress not perfection, people. This is historical and brilliant. Now let me go make a bottle for my baby.. miss you all… love on dear ones. Ah life….

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gratitude



Oh hell, when ever a rich successful famous person dies from the disease (depression, mental illness, addiction, any of the versions of that disease), it resonates so deeply for me. We all have pain, and the external things, the fixes, do not fix it or make it go away. Success, money fame don’t fix it. Drugs alcohol medication does not fix it. Nothing can fill the hole.

If you are lucky, you find a way again and again, every time it revisits you, to deal with the pain, you find the strength to feel it, and get through it, with support, compassion, softness, help. Sometimes just someone on the other end of the phone is enough, if you are lucky enough to remember to pick it up and make the call. Practice remembering, make it a habit.

This week I did this little exercise where I posted 3 positive things a day for 5 days. For me it was a positive thinking exercise, remember what I am grateful for. Tonight’s list was going to be 1. that I have a good body to go through this life in, nice enough looking, nice smelling, all the parts work, amen. 2. That I have a great comfortable organic chemical free mattress. 3. Gratitude for a simple cup of tea.

Somehow, for tonight,  that was perfect but I want to add that I am grateful for everything. Everything. Everything in my life, my family, friends, kids, husband, job, brain, time, energy, peace, kindness, struggles, challenges, yoga, meditation, communication, knowledge, spiritual paths, information, luxury, faith, support, love, love love. For whatever reason, for today I have the tools to navigate my trauma, my story, my pain, and for today the struggle is so small, soft, mild. It’s a good day, a good life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I wish you all great internal peace, the strength to get through your troubles and access to the great joy of life.

Peace to the family and friends of Robin Williams.

http://youtu.be/czf9y0u0Cn0

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Alex Chilton, the Letter


I am reading the new Alex Chilton bio, A Man Called Destruction, and I needed to tell this one…

When I was a kid we had this one babysitter called Barney. Her name was really Bonnie, but my parent’s heavy New York accent turned it into Barney, so I always felt bad for her for having a boy’s name. She was interesting looking. At the time I found her very unattractive, but thinking back she was kind of brilliant- long and thin and dressed in all black, straight leg trousers and a turtleneck, thick black framed eye glasses, and a red afro-ish head of hair. I thought of her as homely, but she might have been a stylin’ cool beatnik. There were no beatniks in my world at the time, so I had little to compare her to.

Anyway, I cannot remember but either we had a 45 of The Box Tops song The Letter or she would bring over 45s when she babysat. Alex Chilton was the singer of the Box Tops, and he was a mere16 years old when he cut the vocals and the song sky-rocketed to number 1. The deep soul vocals sounded like they came from someone more mature and, as it said in the book, people were often shocked to find out The Box Tops were a white band.

I was so young, 4 maybe 3, that I could not understand what the song was about. I felt the urgency, the sex, the soul, i knew it was about something dark and adult but could not comprehend the story. I recall not understanding how a “baby” could write a letter.  I remember later my cousin explaining to me dead pan that “the guy wanted to get back with his girl.”

Barney and her long slim black-clothed body would lock my sister and I out of our bedroom and play The Letter over and over on our stereo and dance back and forth in a trace while we peered through the key hole, curious, shocked.

The Chilton book is pretty amazing, I am loving the period I am reading about where Alex stopped doing drugs and alcohol and was humbly taking day jobs and playing shows and had a great attitude. It is rare in a riches to rags story that someone shows so much character and is so victorious inside, in the mind. I don't know how the story ends and I shouldn’t write this until I finish the last 40 pages, but I am. Human beings are amazing, no matter how the story ends. The journey is the same, fucking hard, and we do our best. (oh god, I hope he dies happy and doesn’t descend back into the messed up Alex before the end…)

What song to end with? The Letter, where they are lip syncing and goofing around? The Replacements song? Or The Way I Walk, by the Cramps which he produced…. maybe all three

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

True love


Thirteen years ago today (or tomorrow, I am bad with dates) I met my lovely husband. I bumped into him, unplanned, at the Gen Art after party for the Margarita Happy Hour screening.

A mere 12 hours prior, I was in Los Angeles about to go to the airport. I was there for the film screening in the Los Angeles Film Festival. At the screening I had met a guy who had gone to school with the film’s director and who hooked up with my girlfriend. He seemed like a really good guy. As I was walking out the door to catch a ride to the airport he said to me “you should meet my best friend, we’ve been friends since kindergarten.” I wanted to roll my eyes, but made a mental note of it, because I liked the idea of someone being a friend since kindergarten, it spoke of strong character.

So there I was 12 hours later at the after party and I overheard someone say that they went to school with the film’s director and I just knew that it was “the best friend”. At the time, I had no idea he would be my future husband. Still, I walked up and said his name.

My husband remembers it differently. He recalls coming up to me. Alas, memory is a funny thing and we will never know what really happened, but we met and the rest is history.

I had been walking the wrong path up till that point, dating really unavailable men. You can read all about it here: http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2013/03/heartbreak.html
Anyway, things changed because I worked really hard to change them. I have become available to the life I really wanted.

Then last week I had an incident happen that shook me to my core. It was a great disappointment around my core wounds. It was no one’s fault really, just a chemical reaction of personalities bumping into each other and churning up ancient cellular pain. The feelings that were brought up were colossal. I was so sad and I wanted to curl up and disappear. I felt so depressed and did not feel able to fight my way up for air, did not feel able to shake the heavy gluey hellish muggy cloud of despair that had engulfed me. Old poison can still be quite powerful. Urg.

I was reminded of something I had read during 9/11- that when a big crisis/emergency happens often people get lethargic. They mill around and do not fight or take initiative. I do not know if it is because they are in shock or in the freeze part of fight, flight or freeze, but it happens, it is a known phenomenon. The antidote for it is to think of your family. People who think of their families are the ones who rally, who fight, who escape, and who may even lead others to safety. Even Elie Wiesel talks about how thoughts of his wife were what helped him go on when he could no longer go on in the concentration camp.

I often use this tool, use thoughts of my husband and my kids, to get me through difficulties. It may not be a big emergency that I am confronting, but when you come from a traumatic upbringing, even a small incident can feel overwhelming. So instead of curling up and giving up, I think of my family and it works. I fight, I survive and I thrive. 

Fight for what you want and who you want to be. It is within your reach. If I can do it, you can do it too. I write this to remind myself.

And I am grateful.  I say this to my husband again and again,  and I will say it now: Thank you for making my life. 
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what is a great love song to end with ? hard to pick. i think this one feels perfect...

Friday, May 2, 2014

ring of fire



The first six weeks of life with a newborn are called the “ring of fire” because you are going through the hardest part, the Mount Everest of parenting, as I like to say because I like to compare most big challenges to Everest.

So you have this brand new helpless creature in your home that you need to keep alive. My two babies have been of the variety who want to be held round the clock and cry when you put them down. I am not sure if there are babies that don’t mind being put down, but basically you have your hands full 24/7 and it hard to cook, much less eat or shower. Then the cherry on top is that you have to wake the baby every three to four hours to feed them in those crucial first 6 weeks, so you are super sleep deprived, catching a few winks here and there. The common suggestion is “sleep when they sleep”, but when they sleep is when you are trying to get a few things done, which is impossible, thus the ring of fire. Live through this, my friends. We did it.

Alas, we made it through our ring of fire this week, but things did not get particularly better because our son is an eating machine and wakes every 3-4 hours to be fed without our prompting. I am not complaining. I am thrilled to be doing it.

The more interesting part for me is how the whole universe gets involved, messing with my entire life, the way your life might flash before you at the time of death. Birth is no different. My mommy issues are up, my daddy issues, my birth story, my fears of intimacy and commitment, my maternal instincts, all of my core wounds have burst open, every cell is in a revolution to fix the past and improve the future, heal and reveal. Crazy how it works, how when you are in your greatest challenges, more challenges get heaped on you. And on top of that my hormones are insane just from being next to this little guy. Everything is upside down, wild, unpredictable, alive!!!!!!!!! Ring of fire indeed. I say bring it on. I dare you.

Having a newborn is brilliant: magical, hilarious, miraculous, exhausting, fascinating, boring, inspiring, challenging, fun, love-filled, almost undoable, fantastic really, just like a good life, but with higher stakes. Amp it up!

Much gratitude, y’all


love is a burning thing...
http://youtu.be/It7107ELQvY

Thursday, April 3, 2014

sunny


oh my, where to begin? i am a mom again, for the second time. that was the plan, the dream. it is an incredible feeling to achieve a dream goal.

so the journey was not written about here because of etiquette. like with first trimester pregnancy and in vitro fertilization, adoption is a shaky prospect. nothing is a sure bet. the prevailing thought is to refrain from talking about it because the disappointment that may happen is very real. during my first round of in vitro I told people about my process and then I had to deal with my miscarriage, the stark emptiness of having no baby at the end of all that hard work and spent money, and then having to explain my devastation to all these well-meaning hopeful smiling faces asking, “how’s it going?” dreadful. so I learned to tell a confidant or two and otherwise hold my tongue until there indeed was a baby. As you might imagine, this was hard for me, storyteller, feeling-processor, and bloggermouth.
now I get to tell you. a couple chose us to adopt their baby. the due date was in four weeks. after much planning and many expenses, the due date was on hand and we were notified that they had changed their minds. one reason to  not tell everyone about your possible adoption, or even set up a nursery or stock up on supplies, is to keep you from attaching to a baby that is not yet yours and may never be. the concept makes sense but the reality is that it is hard not to attach to a house you are trying to buy. a baby you are dreaming of raising means the world to you, no matter the circumstances. so yes, when we “lost” “our” baby a few days before he was due, the grief was the same as with my miscarriages.
that adoption had seemed meant to be. we had been ready to adopt with our agency for over a year and I had not felt much longing. then one day I felt completely ready for our second child. every cell said “where is our child?” that same afternoon, we got the call that we had been chosen and that the baby was due in a month! it all seemed so perfect, auspicious, meant. the timing was ideal, could not have been better. And then it was gone. we were the same as before, nothing had changed except for the palpable emptiness of no baby coming. devastation.
several days later it was suggested that i go to the park and lie under a tree, to let the earth absorb some of my sadness. once there I found myself having a conversation with the baby. I have experiences like this all the time. It did not freak me out. I said “I really wanted you baby. I am here for you, ready.” someone spoke back to me, saying that he was really trying to get to me, wanted to get to me and was ready. I did not know what would happen. I wondered if the people who had changed their mind would change it back. I was not about to hold my breath and wait. I sobbed from the bottom of my heart and felt better.
several days later I was given a massage. I needed it more than I knew. I slept for the next twelve hours.  when I woke I felt like a new person. I felt that I had released all of my grief and I felt ready to move ahead in acceptance of life. I was ready to be a mother to our second child and I could let go of the fact that it “was supposed to have happened last week". I could handle the mystery of waiting until it did happen, whether that was in a month or a year or whenever. urg. I did not like it but I could do it.
the next day we got a call that a baby had been born two days ago and if we wanted to adopt him, we needed to get to the hospital.  we dropped everything and went. we were at the hospital for 9 hours and went home that very same evening at midnight with our son.
if you look back at my blog, you can see the story there in the subtext of all of my posts, because, I have to get it out one way or another. not sure how much I will be writing in the upcoming months, maybe still once a week. we will find out, won’t we? miracles abound in this magical life of ours. ttyl.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bras


The women’s liberation movement. I was there! I remember being a kid in the car and driving past a woman and my mother saying to my father “she’s not wearing a bra,” as if it were newsworthy. There were women on TV burning their bras. I saw it happen. Women were sick of the confines and restrictions. They rejected the old ways. Things changed. I grew up in a braless world. My experience was that women’s bodies were casual real free normal human.
When did it all change back? When did not wearing a bra become a big deal again? When did women’s bodies become obscene if not perfect and  slim and hoisted and girded and hairless. Yikes.
Wear a bra if you want and don’t if you don’t. This is a much bigger issue. I am just saying… thank you to all of the female artists out there who are changing the world, showing images of women that look different from the status quo, allowing humanness to be seen and heard, portraying women of all shapes and colors and sizes dressed and undressed as just the way it is, because IT IS JUST THE WAY IT IS. Thank you to all of the women out in the world who are just being them selves. Do your thing. Be yourself. Love yourself. Change the world.