Sunday, October 28, 2012

oh i love the world

Dia de los muertos.

“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” 
Mark Twain

“Oh! I love the world! That is what pure art makes me feel”
Holly Ramos

Ah yes, the parking sucks and the graveyard is a madhouse almost like a san genero feast, still, I love going to the Hollywood Forever Dia de Los Muertos party every year. Dressing up walking with the masses, eating greasy food and seeing all the beautiful people and skeletons. The crowd is so peaceful and everyone is so cool. The alters are stunning and the performances sublime. This is my L.A.

My daughter is too young to sit still and let me do a full skeleton face so we did white face with some black on the eyes, ghoul style. She was thrilled to wear tons of flowers in her hair and jewels and makeup. I did my best to dress like a skeleton but came out looking pretty shabby due to lack of time. My worst costume ever, but who cares. We made it there.

Daughter got the idea to dance some freestyle interpretive dance on some graves and that was pretty fun. Then we found the stage with the Vera Cruz style bands playing traditional beautiful music with guitars, tiny guitars, harps and various strings, sung by gorgeous humans. Oh I love the world. That’s what pure art makes me feel. My daughter felt it too. She sat and watched for over and hour, as three different bands set up and broke down. Beautiful women stomped their feet and danced with beautiful man in traditional garb, like brides with lots of eye liner and lashes. What an attractive people. And of course we could not help but dance to La Bamba, the most famous song from that style music.

My daughter wants to go back again tonight. She does not yet know that that was a once a year event. On our way to the park she let me know that she did not want to go to the park, but rather the graveyard! I can’t wait till next year. In the meantime we still have a few days till the actual day of the dead, starting on Thursday and ending on Friday.....

I miss you dad. I hope all is well over there. Please come visit on thursday night. I will be looking out for you.

“Dia De Los Muertos is a time of celebration on remembrance. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together. It is also a time to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of the cycle of life and death. Rather than deny and fear death this event teaches us to accept and contemplate the meaning of mortality.”

Oh, I love life.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

long live art

Me and my husband

Oh lord, me and my husband are two different creatures. I have never needed to find a partner who has the same taste in fill in the blank as me. Being really different and having different taste leaves lots of room for growth and new ideas. It keeps me young and vital to have someone who adores and supports me but does not reinforce all of my taste, which, in turn, does not keep me stuck in the mire of my own clutter. I am free to move around and grow and change and delight in our differences. And on top of that, he introduces me to all kinds of new things that I may never have known or appreciated otherwise. We like the phrase “less stuff, more life”. To me that includes less stuff I hold onto mentally as well.

When we put our daughter to bed, there is a short period of time where we are quiet, to make sure she falls into deep sleep. We will read or go online for that spell. Tonight I went online and saw that Jackie 60, a favorite nightclub of mine from the 90’s, is re issuing their tee shirt, which are beautiful. I want one. I browsed their website,, looking at the brilliance that is Jackie 60 and viewed a few clips they posted from the Jackie 60 movie. The clips were of my dear friend Marti, aka Marti Domination, doing her shoe dance, and then Flowrider and friends doing gay male go-go in Man-O-Rama. Both clips were stunning. My husband came over with his iphone and noted the clips I was watching and then showed me the clip he was watching, a young Walter Cronkite reporting about the Viet Nam war. We both laughed at how our clips were such great examples of our different personalities and tastes. Then he held his phone up to my computer, putting the 1960’s serious Walter at his news Desk reporting about the horror, in the stunning wash of vintage colors and textures, next to the barely dressed, perfectly bodied men, Flow and friends, dancing in the 1990’s brimming with sexual energy and joie de vivre. “Makes a beautiful piece,” he said. He was right. I am so lucky to be married to my gem of a husband with his brilliant taste that is so different from mine, and not so different.

No need to let differences keep you apart. Sometimes love looks different from what you were expecting. Do not let a small mind rob you of your dreams. Luxuriate in expansion. Stay open to the infinite possibilities.

60 days ago she was such a lovely child. now here she is with a gun in her hand. one of the greatests...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life begins outside your comfort zone

Life begins outside your comfort zone. That is what I heard twice this week. My mother used to say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Just do it. For me all of the challenges used to be about external risks. Cut your hair, make a band. Go on stage. Audition. It still is about things like that, but more and more it is internal risks that I have to step up to the plate for. My biggest challenges are about growing, changing, feeling more, going deeper, getting closer to human beings, loving more. Love is the biggest challenge. Love yourself, love your neighbors, love each other, love your family, love your kids, love your partner. To love is a verb. If you want to love someone, act lovingly. That is so fucking hard sometimes. Challenge is often (mostly?) about being willing to move through uncomfortable feelings like fear. Even if you are trying to get rich or win a race, there might be physical obstacles, but there are also mental ones, self doubt, fear.

In the end, playing it safe keeps you old and unattractive. Venturing into the light, into love and openness and vulnerability helps to keep you young and soft. Really, everything that we resist, that we are afraid of or closed to just involve resistance to feeling something. It’s just a feeling, an uncomfortable feeling, the world isn’t going to end!!! Caution to the wind my friends! Nothing ventured nothing gained. Open your heart. I am always writing to remind myself. Just do it. We can all just do it. Its easy, actually, once you get past the resistance.

Friday, October 12, 2012

On Being a Mother

Oh man, this stuff does not come natural to me. Being a mom is work.

You know how the Ike and Tina version of “Proud Mary” starts with her talking about how they “never ever do nothing nice and easy, we always do it nice and rough.”? That describes me on my journey to mending my broken concept of family in order to create a new beautiful one. I have jumped through hoops, worked my ass off, to have a warm and wonderful family. It is not a given. Almost every one of my x boyfriends remains childless to this day. Many of my long-term female friends are childless as well. I do not come from maternal stock. Never gravitated towards it. Until I did. Then, when I changed and grew into the longing, I had to go out and develop the necessary qualities. Not an easy task.

Until recently, I lived a selfish life of cultivating ease. This is itself was revolutionary. I wanted a life different than the one I inherited. I wanted comfort and easy. I worked hard to live simply with the ability to take great care of myself. I like to sleep late and carry very little, so that is what I did. I was born with an imperfect spinal structure and carrying weight does not feel good, so I figured out a way to live where I did not have to “hump gear” so to speak. I did lots of yoga and other self-care to feel good in my body. It was a priority. I manifested it and then I gave it all up to manifest something else

I had to really really want to be a mother in order to let go of my cushy set up and start plowing a field everyday. The getting up early and carrying a pack mule’s load is the opposite of what I ever strove for. Despite tons of work that had strengthened my body so that I can carry my 35 pounder and her stuff, it is still a daily challenge to show up in the way that is required. And to be quite honest, being available for a relationship with my husband is just as challenging and not my first nature. I was not born or built or bred to be a mom or a wife, get it? That is my starting point, my jumping off point. So what did I do? I leapt and the net that I had spent a decade sewing, actually appeared.

That being said, I am not complaining, just setting up the contrast. Who cares about a little hard work- I can handle daily challenges. I traded in one cushy life for a whole different experience and I am so f*ing glad I did it. I have gratitude everyday for the choices I made. Being a mother with my husband is the best thing I ever did. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have for the institution of adoption, which has allowed me this experience. I cannot imagine what life would have been like if I were deprived of this. I know it would have been cushy and fun, but what I mean is now that I have gone down this road I would have it no other way. I am so lucky and happy, even when I go to bed exhausted night after night, wiped out by my toddler. (they say it gets easier, we shall see.)

I was once told that my misspent youthful ways would rob me of my dreams if I did not change them. I did not have many dreams at the time, but I started on the road less traveled to reverse my nature or my nurturing, whichever was the case. It was a conscious choice. I worked on my constitution, my very foundation, in the same way that some people work on their career, and I manifested gold, do you see?

So all I can say is if you want children or marriage or success, and it is not being handed to you and if feels too hard, or you believe that it is being withheld from you, or you buy into the idea that some people are richer or prettier or younger or better and they are the people who get to have the “thing”, just remember my little tale. It is the truth: Work hard and you can have your hearts desire. You have to be open. It may (or may not) look different than you planned or imagined. But it is there for you. If I could do it, you can. Trust me. If you want something, go get it, do it, have it, make it happen. With your hearts desires, the benefits will outweigh the cost. They always do…..

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sympathy For The Kids

In Catholic grammar school we had a special class one day where the boys and girls were separated and the nuns talked to us about girl things and the brothers (which was a weird order of celibate male teachers who were not priests, kind of like male nuns) talked to the guys about boy things. Man, that was a bad place to get your information. A lot of these folks had serious problems that led them to this life style choice and while I won’t judge them for it, I do wish that they did not get to teach kids about sex related issues.

Quite honestly, there were a few good nuns and brothers and a few very bad ones, and a bunch fell in the middle as just OK, or messed up people who were trying to do the right thing to heal whatever wound they had. The problem was that they really did not have positive resources to help them things got distorted and wacky stuff went on all the time. I do remember one rather harmless brother who really tried to teach us and care about us, telling us that “doing something once as a boy scout did not make you gay”. At the time I remember not being sure if he was trying to convince us or himself.

So on this one peculiar day, all the girls got brought to the lunch room for the inside info.
Sister Veronica told us that god made our bodies perfect and god gave us “public” hair to protect the part of our bodies that babies come out of. Did she really never hear the word pronounced properly before and get it that wrong? Next, she explained the purpose of getting your period, pretty accurately, and also added that “sometimes it may seem like we have a cold down there, but t is normal to have some discharge”. It was not until I tried to get pregnant and really studied fertility, that I did find out that there is a particular point in your cycle when you are ovulating and your body makes a very special fluid referred to as “sperm conducting fluid” that helps keep the sperm alive and get it to its destination. Perhaps this is what she was referring to? At the end of the class we were all given little boxes with a sample shampoo and a maxi pad. We were told not to show it to the boys or we would be in big trouble.

That was our sex education. Luckily, I had a mother who was progressive about sex and had already explained things to me intelligently. I really appreciate that, and I feel for the poor souls who had to rely on Sister Veronica, who probably had to rely on some nun’s limited knowledge when she was younger.

Me and my girlfriend threw away the dated old lady pad because we already knew about tampons. We shared a cigarette on the walk home from school while my friend ranted about the incident, “’Public’ hair? What’s fucking Public about it?” I still wonder what the boys learned that day.