Monday, April 30, 2012

NYC!!! AHHHH!!!

Spending time in my hometown, so fantastic. So much to say, so I will just ramble…

First I will brag that I went to see Any Day Now, which my husband edited, in the Tribeca Film Festival. It was great and it won the Audience Award! Powerful stuff, congrats to all involved.

On the way to the after party a drunk balding loser in a suit (!!!) grabbed my butt. As a kid, I was a victim of sexual abuse and I was not supported in healing that so I was often targeted by perpetrators throughout my young life. All that changed when I changed and in the past 20 years only two unfortunates have dared to cross that line, this guy and one other.

The first one was maybe 14 years ago on new years eve. I was working coat check. I held the guy’s drunken wrist and gave him the choice of being beaten unconscious or emptying his pockets into my tip jar. He was shaken and shaking when he finally gave me all his cash. In the end I was not that upset and found humor in it.

The thing is, neither threat was the right thing to do. There really is no satisfying response when someone crosses the lines of social behavior. Go crazy, hurt them? What will make me feel better and teach them a lesson. In the moment seeing them hurt sounds like a good idea but I am not sure that I want to stoop to their level. It is a tough one. Yes I would fight for my life, kill to protect my family’s life. But revenging an act that has already happened and I cannot change is a different story. Any solutions, anyone?

So, here I was a few nights ago, dressed up, happily walking along 8th ave on my way to the party and a guy in a suit grabs at my butt. He was with a shorter guy in a suit. I confronted him and he was arrogant, smug and drunk, and said he did not know what I was talking about. I was with some people and they saw what was going on and they came over to my side and the guy continued to be calm and smug. I did have the urge to hurt him. I might have been able to but did I really want to go down that road?

Instead I called the cops and had him handcuffed. I walked along with him as my sister called 911 and I told him that he was going to be raped in jail tonight. He thought that he would be able to talk his way out of it once the cops came. His weasel-y friend was not as sure and tried to run away. I mentioned to him that I had a bunch of witnesses with me and that yes, he was going to be raped in jail that night.

The police saw the situation for what it was, and my sister’s job title gave us some extra clout and credibility. I have not been in a precinct in decades, but New York’s finest were awesome. They had my back, they made the guy suffer and cry, as the fear that he was going to Riker’s became realer and realer. Ultimately I did not press charges, as I had places to go and a life to live, but I doubt that he will be crossing that line again.

New York, I love you and miss you. Not leaving Los Angeles for you. xH



Saturday, April 21, 2012

“Please” and “Thank You” are the f*ing MAN.

I grew up hating please and thank you. We did not value manners in our home. We did not have to say please and thank you. I hated it when I was at someone else’s home and the authority figure (asshole) would withhold something from me (or even from their kids, my friends) until we said the f*ing word. Say “uncle”. Say “I’m stupid” say whatever, because until you say it you can’t have the thing you want or need. “Please” and “Thank You” were the F*ing man.

I am using lots of %%#@&!! because it is the only appropriate way to describe the anger I had at manners, those stupid F*ing things that people made you do. I was mad as hell and I had to take it.

I may have mentioned before, I grew up in a pretty f*ed up home. As a kid, your home is the only home you have ever known so it seems normal to you. More than that, it is comfortable, familiar (thus family). I dreaded the idea of anything ever happening to my family and me having to be placed with other people whose awful rules I would have to endure. My home was rough, but it was also pleasantly, coolly….rule-less, manner-less, like the wild west.

In all fairness, my parents did the best they could. They had full plates to deal with. I am happy to be alive and I have gratitude for all they did do for me.

When my daughter was born I had a full plate too. I was in court fighting for her and thus I was busier than a new mom should ever be. I too did my best, which wasn’t ever easy and was often short of the goal. The horror of my court ordeal had some gifts, as every horrible ordeal does. One was that it gave me compassion and empathy for my parents and their “mistakes” because it showed me what extreme stress can do to a parent. I was lucky to have a lot of help and support; my parents weren’t as lucky.

Anyway, there comes a point when you start to teach you children please and thank you and I didn’t really even think about it since I did not value those words. I learned to have patience, appreciation and gratitude in life without being forced to say those words and now I use them genuinely and liberally. All of my daughter’s peers were using those words before I ever thought about introducing them to her…

But then one day my strong willed daughter was shouting her needs at me like any baby would and I did not like how it felt. PEAS!! TOY!! DOLL! HUNGRY!! THIS !!! THAT !!! GIMME!!! GIMME!! I did not like being shouted at and serving my master whatever the hell she wanted. Exhausted, confused and looking for a solution, I began to explain to my girl that if she needs something, she could ask nicely by saying please because it helps mommy feel appreciated. I told her that that mommy works hard and is happy to, but that mommy needs some thoughtfulness and by saying please it takes the edge off of the demand and makes it more of a respectful ask. In so many words, I told her that manners are polite and that I appreciated them. I am not the man, I am the revolutionary. I work with radical alchemy to make the world a better place. VIVA LA REVOLUTIONE, please. Thank you.


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...young girls they do get weary.... beautiful




Friday, April 13, 2012

i thought i knew but now i know

I am friends with 98% of my old friends and x boyfriends from 20-30 years back- the people I grew up with and went to hell and back with, danced till dawn with, rock and rolled with, stayed up all night with, laughed and cried with, succeeded and failed and tried with, picked up guys with, broke the law with, drank and did drugs and stopped with or without, got heart broken with, confided in and listened to, tried everything and did nothing with, watched the sun come up from an eastern European diner with.

We all have gone on with our lives and become the people we are today, all different from each other, but part of each other. There are still some weird old dynamics when we interact but we deal with it. None of us are as close as we were at the time. Still, we are social and reminisce when get together every once in a while and hang out and have fun. Some times it is great and sometimes it is exhausting. Either way, I am so grateful to have these people in my life, and to get to see them grow and fulfill their dreams and live their lives. I love when they remind me of fantastic tales about my life that I have forgotten or when I can go to them as a resource, to fill in the details. I love when I can be there for them if they are in need and when they are there for me. I love them, perod. They are my family and I have worked hard to have those relationships. Thank you dear friends and lovers, the ones who try and accept and are alive and human and beautiful. And god bless the few who were too mean or weird or messed up to stay in touch, or too mean or weird or messed up for me to stay in touch with, sorry you are in pain.

As for my family, I have peace with them all, how lucky am I? There were a few devastating members of my family but I have worked hard to be open to peace and forgiveness. It is a process, but worth it.

The stone heart thing costs the bearer way too much. Keep it soft and open. Try just a little more. And when you are 100% over your ego and there is still just too much pain to keep the relationship, then keep away but still keep your heart soft and open from afar. Hardness is unattractive, both visually and spiritually. I write this to remind myself. I thank the lord for the people i have found. Love on, dear ones….


Thursday, April 5, 2012

all transformation is possible. happy easter. love is big.


My father passed away over a decade ago. A few years ago I visited his grave in the Bronx and was followed out of the cemetery by a white foggy ghost. It was a hot sunny afternoon. The sun was high in the sky. I wore a cotton dress and flip-flops. An employee of the cemetery gave me a lift to the grave on his work vehicle. The sun was shining when he picked me up. Clouds appeared as we approached the grave. “That’s weird,” He said as he drove away, referring to the sudden cloud mass. Moments later he was gone and I was completely alone for as far as the eye could see. 

The sun was now covered by clouds, except for a few rays that came down like on a religious card. It was dark out at 2pm. I started to talk to my father. I talked about my feelings and our relationship. I started to cry. It started to thunder and rain. I was not afraid. I cried inconsolably for 20 minutes hugging the tombstone that I had picked out, draping my soaked body over it, yelling and howling and kicking out my grief. Then I was finished and I was completely silent. Still completely alone, I stood up and composed my self. In that instant the rain stopped and the sun came out.

I walked away from the grave in a soaking wet dress. It was hot out. A funny white mist or fog or something, something which I have never seen before or since, surrounded my feet. It followed my as I walked along past all the graves. I talked to it, laughed and joked with it. When I got to the cemetery exit my clothes and hair were completely dry. I stepped out of the foggy mist and it dissipated, disappeared. I said goodbye and crossed the street.

I have been thinking about my father. I encountered two happy successful versions of him this week. I spent time with these great guys who could have been my father Raul. They both had his features and mannerism, used expressions like he did, talked excitedly about subjects that he cared about, smiled like him. I felt at home and at peace, happy for his transformation and for my getting invited to be with him in different ways. 

Love is big. it doesn't go away. Everything is right here right now if you are paying attention. My life is magical. Everything is everything. Happy easter. Easter is a metaphor. All transformation is possible. Dig?