Saturday, October 31, 2015

70: CHANGE YOUR MIND


so I believe in saying affirmations as a means to change your thinking patterns. It is like believing in magic in same ways but there is reason behind it too.

There are a bunch of sayings that say something to the effect of; thoughts become beliefs, beliefs become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character or destiny or who you are. Put another way, what you think is  what you say, what you say is what you do , what you do is who you are. Forgive my lame paraphrasing, my internet is down and by the time I fix it and post this I am way past researching. Google it yourself for accuracy. Anyway, you get the point. Poppy slogans that speak volumes. My life really did improve when I got conscious about my random thoughts and beliefs and consciously started looking at the words that came out of my mouth.

A N Y W A Y, I say this silly affirmation all the time. “I win, I win often, I win big.” I got it from Chellie Campbell, so check her out if it interests you. It is silly but fun and easy so why not say it all the time. Here is a list of things I won in the past 12 months, which totaled around $2000

two ipads: one from a contest at work, one from a drawing ay school that I did not even know I was in.
a $50 amex gift card: Christmas party raffle
one night hotel stay at the hilton: contest at work
a free in office teeth whitening: drawing at a fair

(my husband won a bunch of cools things this year too, including an academy award, a BAFTA and an Indie Spirit award)

the 2 work contests were competitive, and the other 3 were random as hell. Anyway, I was going to an event that has a raffle included in the entry and a friend said, “of course you will win, because you always do” and my thought was- there is enough to go around- Let me share my secret, so I write this because I wanted to share it with you if you are interested. Think like a winner and win free stuff. It is so fun.

CHANGE YOUR MIND


Thursday, October 29, 2015

71: adventure and freedom part 2



so as I was saying the other day http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2015/10/73-adventure-and-freedom-pt-1.html this guy hustled, not as a sex worker but more like a grifter or carnie, or the character paul newman plays in the film of the same name. anyway, he hustled instead of having a job and thus became my role model for how to get by in the world because he was the first person I knew who didn’t have a lame job, but instead got by in a different way that seemed fantastic.

I realized later that his way was not ideal at all, as you can imagine, but he planted the seed of hope in me as I struggled along to find my way in the world, to figure out what I wanted to do and how to support myself without any outside help, support or guidance. I was starting a square one, or below that, a little kid in the world, trying to figure it all out and I had good instinct, just not enough information.

Figuring out a hustle is great but it still is a kind of paycheck to paycheck thing unless you get really lucky. it is a real gambler’s game and does not turn out well for most as they get older. Later, a smart person explained to me that you never want to use what you got to live a lifestyle, you want to use it to get to the next level. That is hard advice to understand or to apply when you are struggling. But I stand by it. I am still figuring it all out, doing it differently, trying to find balance between freedom and adventure and responsibility. 

Take care of yourself both today and in the future. I still appreciate that hustler’s appearance in my life diverting me from the awful working class path, inviting me to do it different. Everything you do matters. You might go down some road that might seem to lead to nowhere but along the way there is often a fork, another path, an unexpected one, that takes you to where you were meant to be, or where you need to be. Hugs to you all. xh

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

72: exactly 100 vague words in one take, not edited



What happened today was not a coincidence. I got a block of rock or ice in my chest as thick as me, from front to back, from collarbone to diaphragm, a brick of anger. I am hoping that there is a phenomenon akin to global warming, but not harmful, that will melt this glacier into clinky ice cubes in a cool drink. Maybe raindrops will seep into the rock and freeze in a kind iceage and break it to bits. Whichever way it goes, forces beyond my control need to step in and help. And they will. They are. Amen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

73: adventure and freedom pt 1

back in my early 20's i had this boyfriend who was a real hustler. he didn't have a real job, he just made money doing various things here and there. for example one day we were walking along in the east village and he saw a vacuum cleaner in the trash and he plugged it in to a lamppost outlet (who knew you could do that? he did) and it worked and he carried it to a fortune teller's storefront business and sold it to the woman there for $40.

I watched from the street through the store front picture window as the heavy set Romanian woman shook her head no and he bent down and plugged in the machine and started vacuuming. They said a few things to each other and  she left the room.  game over. or so I thought. and she came back with her purse and pulled out two twenties. It was sold and i was sold too. I loved that this person existed. he became a role model for me- proof that you could be a grown up and not have a shitty job, but instead a fantastic life of magical adventures. my idea was supported by the fact that because he did not have a job he stayed up all night watching old movies on tv. when he would tell me about them the next day i would feel envy. I wanted that same freedom.

I was wrong on so many points, but I was moving in the right direction. My parents were blue collar working class and did not have careers they loved. their dream for me to become a receptionist so that I would have health coverage did not sound appealing to me. It sounded like a death sentence. The shitty jobs I had in high school and college did not make my heart sing, but made me crazy to find a way out. I thought this guy held the key, knew the secret. At worst, he was at least a living example of someone who did it different. that was good enough. tbc.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1lc4rqh7ZU

Monday, October 26, 2015

74: what a difference a day makes.



Giant raccoons wander by me by the light of the full moon and coyotes run by, shining in someone’s headlights. It is wild out here in los angeles. All the creatures are out and about and seeking me out. I am so in the flow it is not even funny.

I had no awareness that I was in the flow as a gig was handed to me so easy, as I rehearsed in the neighborhood, down the block, piece of cake. I had no idea I was in a band and that I was supposed to be in a band. The channels opened and everything feels different. Light years ago I had resistance and now it is all free and easy.

I had spontaneity tonight, which is super rare in these parts amongst my crowd. We are busy people with lives and yet someone was free to have dinner right then and there when I called and it was so fun and great. Not only was she available, but another friend happened to be in the restaurant next door and I could have joined her spontaneously if I needed a plan b. I was getting everything I needed and proof that there was more right there a few feet away.

I am getting everything I need with such ease. Everyone I encounter and speak with is saying what I need to hear. People are telling me they have empathy for me if I need it, anytime. Those words are so foreign and rare but are being said, to me, truthfully.

I actually won an ipad today on top of everything and I did not even know I was in a contest to win one.

That is the power of expression, one silly morning time gig, and everything is different. Man did I need to play that show. I did not even know I needed to do it, but a friend knew and invited me and backed me up and got me there. I did not have to pull the train in my teeth al by myself, like I used to, because everyone was pushing it for me, happily, easily.

Life I not always like this so I just want to acknowledge it and express great gratitude. Thank you world.

The simple truth is that you always have everything you need, you just forget sometimes. and sometimes it is so abundant and easy that it is comical. I write this not to brag but to remind us all. 

be a good friend to someone, do for them what they cannot do for themselves. xxh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGAMSfMflJI

Sunday, October 25, 2015

75: My show


So... I talked about some of the feelings that came up around playing. After I said yes, I really wanted to call and change my mind. It would have been acceptable. Everyone would have understood. But I didn’t. I talked about the dread to my husband and he reminded me that I did not have to do it and I reminded him that I just needed to talk about it, I did not need to be pursueded one way or the other.

Then, when I committed internally to doing it, I still counted each day until it was over. I would rehearse my set each day, one run through per day just to stay sharp and then say oh good, only 3 days left. Next day, rehearse it and say, oh good only two days left, etc. That was the best I could do to get through what felt like too much to handle with a family that included a baby.

However!!! After the smoke has cleared and one person has proposed making a band with me, I am actually open to making a band. The cool part was that my goal was to be a role model for my kid and to touch at least one person and alas, more that a handful of peolple have told me that my performance inspired them. I L O V E that. 

I am one quarter through my last 100 days of bring on this side of the mountain of a century. I cannot believe the words I am typing, but I am just going with the flow, I might be in a band now. I think I am in a band now.  More to be revealed!


do the next right action

https://youtu.be/bcnIhzaDTd0

Saturday, October 24, 2015

76: overcoming inertia




tornado in my body, flooding of adrenaline, hurricane of fear, desire, doubt, confidence, full throttle of brain concentration while the sun beat on me at high noon in the desert and all the while my body was doing several things at once including the physical work out of singing and pushing air.

So I played my first gig in 6 years today. It was fun to get up there and I think it was really great for my daughter to see. We rocked it and had a good time, so the goals were met. Sweet success.

They say that singers have the lowest incidents of cancer. I wonder why. That aside, it felt great to sing. I love being the singer and I am really grateful for the kind invitation and opportunity to do what I do. It is great to have friends who inspire you to leave the comfort zone, who believe in your gifts even when you don’t and who bring loving support to you. I am lucky and appreciative.

The only drawback of the show was the effect on my body. It is this intense event and it wreaks havoc on me. It takes a lot to come back into myself and calm my system. I got off stage and immediately had to deal with two kids who want and need things and I was in a whole other mode. Luckily it was naptime for my son and a short conscious nap cured me of all ills.

A bunch of sweet people had lovely things to say and told me how I needed to keep playing out, which was a great compliment, but I do not have a big desire to do that. It is true that when you are doing it on a regular basis, it gets easier, becomes more matter of fact, but I am not going to be doing shows on a regular basis. So what is a good approach for once in while shows? Not sure. Naps help. Does that make me an old lady? oh well.

i wonder when i will start djing again, other than here on my blog...

Do your thing. It doesn’t matter if you do it perfect or rough and wild, a little or a lot, just do it. xh

speaking of which, a dancefloor fav i used to spin

Friday, October 23, 2015

77: so f*ing cool and even beautiful


In third grade a nun yelled at me because my long tangled hair was in my eyes. She violently pulled my hair back into a ponytail and fastened it with a painful thick rubberband. The worst part was that she pulled it all behind my ears, which I hated because my ears stuck out a bit and I always made sure to cover my ears with my hair, even when in a ponytail. I tried to pull little pieces free to cover my ears and make myself look a bit more attractive but the hair was so tight and the band was so sticky and it really hurt.

For some reason I was going to my friends house for lunch. I never did that on a school day but my mother must have had something to do that day. I cannot fathom what that might have been. Anyway, the way I remember it is that when I got to the house, my friends mom was there but not my friend. I do not know if I was crying or if I talked about it or if she could just tell but for some reason she fixed my hair for me. I remember how tenderly she brushed it, without pulling at the knots or pushing my head around. I had never had my hair brushed so kindly before. And then she kindly styled it  in an early 1970’s style, giving me  some lift in the back and some wave in the front, letting my hair swoop down over my ears and then beautifully swoop back up in the back. I could not believe my hair was capable of looking so f*ing cool and even beautiful. I will never forget what she did for me.

Be kind to someone who might be having a hard day.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

78: Speaking of LIVE AID




30 years ago, Me and Caroline went out to Dancateria. We somehow got a ride back to her place in co=op city in the Bronx, is that what the neighborhood was called, really?  and slept there and got up to an alarm clock to see Black Sabbath play early that morning, the original line up, who had not played together since 1978. So I am always fond of rocking out with a 11am set.

god bless Black Sabbath. Di you kow that the Stonehenge bit in Spinal tap was based on a true Sabbath story; this is from wikipedia: The tour in support of Born Again included a giant set of the Stonehenge monument. In a move that would be later parodied in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, the band made a mistake in ordering the set piece. As Geezer Butler later explained:
We had Sharon Osbourne's dad, Don Arden, managing us. He came up with the idea of having the stage set be Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down and gave it to our tour manager. He wrote it down in metres but he meant to write it down in feet. The people who made it saw fifteen metres instead of fifteen feet. It was 45 feet high and it wouldn't fit on any stage anywhere so we just had to leave it in the storage area. It cost a fortune to make but there was not a building on earth that you could fit it into.[78]


Anyway, get out of bed and do something, anything, with your life!!!!!!

Gee, I wanted to post this rare gem, but could not fiind it online other than on the entire album, so Fast forward to 27:02 if you want to hear the track I was thinking of “GET OUT OF THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD”, brickface and stucco

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

79 days left-100 words: a few things people told me:



-His parents stopped speaking on their wedding night over a ceremony issue and never spoke again.
-She got crabs from a dj and went to see a hasidic OB GYN, who looked at her private parts with a big magnifying glass while wearing a yamaka, an image I did not see, but will never forget.
-He killed someone and did time, and did work, and changed, and he now glows with beauty called transformation. I did see the glow.
-She accidentally left the faucet on when the pipes were frozen. Later the bathtub fell through the ceiling like in Breaking Bad.

don't keep a secret that weighs on you. Tell someone safe. get support.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

80: I should not be writing about this but I am going to anyway




I am playing my first show in 6 years on Saturday and I really do not want to do it.

I should not be writing about it because once I write it I cannot take it back. I cannot call in sick and cancel the show. You will all know my vulnerabilities. Oh well. I am human. Now you know.

Terror, I feel terror about performing.

Let me start form the beginning. For years I played guitar and fronted in an aggressive punk band. It was amazing but it was all done without structure or technique. I never warmed up or knew what I was going to do. There was an element of brilliance there, I quality I look for when I see other artists. Very controlled work is often boring to me, even when displaying amazing technical talents. I love the magic that appears in raw edgy chaos. But in that place there was also an element of not being connected to my true self, which is what being out of control is all about.

I worked for years to relearn music and do it in a very present way and I did some touring and recording and that was a whole other thing with some amazing aspects to it, but it was always challenging to put myself out there. I had to face many demons everytime I got on stage, demons I always had, but never had to acknowledge before, and it was so much work. It always ended fun, but it was also really hard and scary at first.

So I was happy not to play all these years. I was not missing anything and I am not even sure why I said yes to this show in the first place, ala, but here I am.

The very day I booked the show I changed my mind and wanted to cancel out of fear, a fear which is pretty oppressive. But I didn’t cancel, I just sat with the feelings. Urg.

Anyway, I am playing sat morn at 11:15 at the Ivan Hoe Down. Not many people will even be there. (private message me if you do not know where that is but want to be there). My ego wants you to know that I was invited to play the prime spot, but I will be at Dia de los Muertos at that time so I took the morning spot. I am fond of my time slot because Black Sabbath played around that time at Live Aid. It is a classy slot.

Anyway, I decided to play the show not because I wanted to overcome my fear or get back into playing shows but because I wanted to be a role model. As women, we really have a responsibility to do our creative work and make it public, because as much as the world has changed, it is still mostly men in bands and men writing songs and men making films and writing stories about boys and men and we need to represent the other side. So I am doing it for my girl. I am representing. And when I look at it that way, I can do anything. I still might feel oppressive terror, but I can look that fear in the eye and do it anyway, because I have bigger fish to fry. I have to represent for my girl. I am still in terror, but what else is new. 

Please swing by if you are in los angeles.


Be of service, be a role model. Do something outside of your comfort zone. REPRESENT.

Monday, October 19, 2015

81:do what you love, watch empire



I have never watched soap operas, daytime or night. I almost never watch network tv other than a Saturday night live or a late night talk show maybe once a month, if even that. I am not a tv person or a soap person. But I am here to tell you that Empire, the network soap on Fox, is brilliant, but you probably already knew that. If you didn't, then please keep reading. empire has an amazing cast that must be pinching themselves every night because they get to do the most hilarious camp AND make history every week with their ground breaking topics. They cover homophobia, black lives matter, mass incarceration, and more, while having cat fights, killing enemies, doing lesbian scenes with Marisa Tomei and delivering some of the best and the worst one liners ever. this show is too good to miss. It is pure joyous fun of the best kind because it is relevant. the show actually matters. the music is cool too. Oh, and it is supposed to take place in ny but they barely try to find locations that look like ny, which is geniusly funny. catch up on Hulu and the watch it every Wednesday. 
Find something you love doing and do it. Xh


Sunday, October 18, 2015

82, do I amuse you? Part II




So I was a bit deprived of going to amusement parks as a kid, among other things. And then in my twenties I got into some business that brought in lots of fast cash and I went insane giving myself all the things I had never gotten.

I took cabs and ate at restaurants and bought dresses and make up and even some couture. It was all terrific. The best thing I did was go to Coney Island just about every weekend and ride the rides as much as I wanted to. I could ride the cyclone 5 times in a row, skee ball till my wrists hurt, get every silly fortune told to me and go home with a pocket full of plastic rings and trinkets that made me so happy and looked beautiful on. I still wear and love plastic arcade jewels.

One night I was out and about and my boyfriend disappeared, did not say goodbye. We were not doing so great, but it was weird. I found out the next day that he went home with someone else and for a short spell, maybe even just 24 hours, they were a couple. It was really painful to be what felt like to me targeted so aggressively, I mean, just break up with me if you were that mad or I was that bad. I wound up at coney island after hearing the news through the grapevine and that day I rode the Zipper, the worst possible ride and then I jumped off the pier with some friends on a dare. It was just what the doctor ordered.

I am taking a stab in the dark here, but I think that going on really intense rides might help change your brain in some way, shake up the neurological pathways, or shake up the chemistry or just create energetic activity the way that drugs or shock therapy might. I think that because when I was in the most pain, I needed to go on the most rides, the wildest, and it made me feel so much better. And wasn’t it wild. To be young and roaming the streets, free and looking for kicks, and to find some, for a fleeting moment. 

Thank god for boardwalk scenes, Coney, the Jersey shore, Santa Monica, whichever one, where ever. I am still madly in love with throwing cash around for cheap thrills and getting my kicks to the max. 

Find what you need, what you lacked, what you long for, and give it to yourself until you are sufficed. Give your 6 year old self what she needed. xxH

Saturday, October 17, 2015

83: do I amuse you?




no I am not going to write about Goodfellas, but amusement parks, one of most fav things in the world. I can’t do crazy rides anymore, but I love going to boardwalks and fairs and parks and just reveling in the whole scene, and I love bringing my kids. I just may ride the cyclone again before I die, or not. I really like my spine and am not that interested in injuring it. But it is tempting.

My two amusment park memories are not particularly fun or joyous, but here they are. One is being 3 or 4 and going to Palisades Park in New Jersey and my parents putting my sister and I on a ride that was a boat that went around a circular track pool. When the ride started it became apparent that the ride was for older kids. You actually had to steer the boat. My sister who was 5 or 6 would turn the wheel and we would bang into the metal wall and jerk around and then she would try to right the vessel and turn it the wheel the other way and we would slam into the other side of the pool. It wasn’t terrible but it was bad. My mother started to panic and freak out from the viewing area and my sister got a bloody nose from the slamming and my father got furious at the people who ran the ride. I watched helplessly, wanting to fix everyone and unable to. Finally, a guy who worked there jumped from onto the back of our boat and, squatting behind my sister’s seat, up on the back of the ride, he steered the boat until the ride stopped.

It was traumatic, and my parents did not take us to amusement parks after that. Palisades closed and the only time I got to go on rides was on school trips. I, however, was not traumatized into not going on rides. I loved them, still do.

Then, a friend’s family took me with them on a family trip to a fantastic amusement park late one summer around sixth grade. We ran wild all day. It was absolutely spectacular. At the end of the day before we got in the car we went to the bathroom. It was late, dark out, the park was closing. After I peed, I found my hands paralyzed. I absolutely could not zip my pants back up. My fingers no longer moved when my brain asked them to. I was terrified, freaking out in my stall, unable to ask for help, horrified that something was wrong with me. Then, as usual, after an eternity, I absolutely willed my broken body to work. Making a paralyzed body work was easier than leaving the stall with my pants half on, unzipped and having to explain myself and having anyone know that there was something wrong with me. 

When I came out of the stall I saw my friend’s mother kneeling down, zipping her pants for her outside of the stall. She told me about how her hands did not work and how she tried to press her body against the wall to try to close her snap but she couldn’t do it. We laughed alot as I told her I couldn’t either.

To this day I am not sure what happened but I think we were just frozen because we were not wearing much clothes on an end of summer night that got cold and that we were just unaware of how cold we were because of all of the stimulus.

I think I will write more about the joys tomorrow. In the meantime, try to give yourself what you did not get enough of, treat your self the way you wish you were treated as a kid. Amen.

Friday, October 16, 2015

84: may my death be grand




I like to think of myself as invincible and fearless. I will start out by saying loud and clear that I have been proved wrong on more than one occasion. Still, I hold on to my story.

When I was trying to become a mother, I never even considered that I might be “too old”. Preposterous! The doctors would scowl at my age and I would roll my eyes at them. What do they know. In the end, I was “old enough” for it to not work enough times for me to chose adoption and what a gift that was. I cannot imagine having a different baby than the one I got, wouldn’t trade it for the world. Alas, the gifts that come with tragedy always blow my mind- even if things don’t go according to my plan I know it will all be perfect. Still, I have a plan.

My vision for myself is to grow old and stay very healthy. I plan on being 100 and then some, happy and with all my faculties intact. I know I will die someday, but I cannot believe it will happen for a really long time. I used to have a fantasy that when I got to be 100+ and things started to fail, that I would jump into the Niagara River and go over the falls to my chosen death. I let go of that for many years and recently it came rushing back to me. I still hold it as a possibility.

Visualization is a tool used by very successful people. Sometimes when I am in a turbulent plane and I feel fear rise up in me I visualize my self at 100 sitting by my pool with my long white hair next to my healthy white haired husband and our white old cats and our grown children. It reminds me that I am not going to die on that plane, because I am going to be growing old somewhere in the future.

Anyway, I may be wrong, this may be impossible, but I like to have visions that just might help shape my life and one vision is that no matter how I die, I want to be really present and enjoy the whole experience. If I go over the falls I want to do it thrilled, like I am riding a rollercoaster. If I fall from a great height, I want to experience flying and feel free and happy until the crash that i won’t feel because I will be gone instantaneously. If I am lost at sea I want to play in the waves and swim with the dolphins. And if the circumstances are less than perfect, I hope to transcend my body and be present and grateful for every last breathe, in and out, in and out, thank you, thank you , thank you and see everything there is to see and feel everything there is to feel and go with a big fat smile. May my death be grand.

however things transpire, as dear Mark Twain said, "Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." peace out.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

85, got to give it up: this is why someone does something awful




When someone does something terrible- is unkind, hurts someone, fails to be there when they are counted on, lies, whatever- inevitably it is because it is easy. Really simple. Most of the time they are just doing what they know, what they are used to, what was done to them, and to do the opposite takes consciousness and willingness, both of which are hard work. In some way they just do not know better. They may have a sense of what they are doing but they do not know how to do it differently Pretty simple.

That is why we don’t have to take it personally. It’s never about us, it’s always about them and their limitations.

I know because I watch myself and my limitations and sometimes I do not even know how to do any better. I try my best. Everyone is doing their best. Let go of resentments, they just can't. Love on…

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

86: create the life you wished you had in 100 words


I did not grow up with the luxury to trust that anyone else would be there for me or have my back, so I could not afford to get into trouble. Once, at 8 or 10, home alone and bored and hungry, I looked in the freezer and for no reason I stuck out my tongue and touched it to the icy wall and it stuck. Absolute terror rose in me.  Panicking, I grabbed my tongue in both hands and superhumanly pulled till it ripped free, leaving a tiny piece behind. It hurt but the sweet relief overwhelmed everything else.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

87: i'll take you there


There is a great blue heron and a white heron living in the water across the street from my house. I see them everyday. They are like a miracle, visitors who grace my day and make my heart skip. Special creatures in my line of vision, serving to remind me of all the good things on this earth. Me and my daughter take walks over to look at them in their habitat, feet in the cool water, long necks curving, beaks pointing like a whether vane. Mmmmmm, mmmmmm. Lucky, happy me.

Today was brutally hard emotionally and physically. Some days all the psychic dust gets kicked up and gets in your eyes and nose and mouth and chokes you and blinds you. So hard to get out from under the big fat fucking feelings of fear and anger. But then I get to see my herons and I feel a little better . A little better is enough for today.

Monday, October 12, 2015

88: I am playing a show


I was in bands for a few decades and took a break when I started to try to make a family, which is its own creative project. In some ways I do not miss all the hard work and time it takes to play shows, but I forgot how fun it is to make music, especially in community.

As I have said before, I do not have much by way of free time with a baby. In a year or so that will change but now is not the time for projects, but this was just handed to me. “wanna play a show? I have a slot for you, I will accompany you.” so I said yes. 

Somehow i found some time and energy to rehearse. I am not planning on being perfect. but maybe bringing some fun and light into the world. 5 songs, me and Jonathan Sterns. Free and easy. At the Ivan Ho Down 11:30 am (similar slot that Black Sabbath played at Live Aid) oct 24th. $5. It is a fund raiser. See you there.

Don’t forget t bring your truth, beauty and goodness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7q5h3mZWC0

Sunday, October 11, 2015

89: truth, goodness, and beauty, part 2, as promised...



ok, I said it was mindblowing, so I am typing it out for all you lay people. You Buddhists out there already know…
This is what we all recited together at the memorial;

“Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics, they are not produced, not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor diminish. Therefore in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, formation or consciousness; no eyes, ears nose, tongue, body or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or dharmas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind consciousness; and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death or ending of old age and death.

There is no suffering, no accumulating, no extinction and no way, and no understanding and no attaining. Because nothing is attained, the bodhisattva through reliance on Prajjna Paramita is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid and he leaves distorted dream thinking far behind.”

This is what the monk wrote, asking us to let go of worry around the event:
"let our hearts tune in to the non-structured nature of love. Why bother with all the details and mechanism while life needs much of our love more than anything else right now, right?"

i am just absorbing the power of these words. i can read them over and over. love!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CjKAWyOb74

Saturday, October 10, 2015

90: truth, goodness, and beauty


Today was my mother in laws memorial.

I was in some degree of denial as we drove down the 5 for an hour to get to the Buddhist Temple for Loc’s funeral. We dressed light and summery because it was so hot. I did not want to get disapproval from the relatives for not doing something right, but it was too hot to do any better, 99 degrees in these parts.

I will preface the story by saying that having little kids is a lot of work, I get nothing done each day other than caring for them, and caring somewhat for myself. I have 18 months of paperwork cluttering my office, as nothing has been put in order since the baby came, but alas, you do what you have to do. I was indeed prepared to organize and host the event and get all the food and such. Instead, I was treated like royalty, yet again. Being treated like royalty has been a reoccurring theme this year and I am getting used to it and inviting more.

What happened was that there is a Buddhist monk in the family, and his congregation kindly and generously hosted and handled every detail of the whole affair. Everyone at the temple welcomed and embraced the generations of Loc’s massive extended family. The place was packed and there was enough healthy delicious vegetarian food to feed an army. The ceremony was gorgeous, and included an abundant alter teeming with offerings. We recited passages that were mind blowing, that I will have to tell you about tomorrow, but that ended with bringing it all back to truth, goodness and beauty. And by the way, we were dressed perfectly. No one wore black. Everyone was in white or colors. No one cried. They all came with warmth and love. The eulogies were so heartfelt and filled me in on so many details of the life of the woman who gave birth to my husband and changed my life.

I felt inspired and changed by the practice and sharing of Buddhist philosophy, as one woman said how beautiful my kids were and noted that it is a great time and a lot of work. When I replied that it was challenging, she replied back that it was an opportunity to expand my heart and love even more, that it was a gift. BAM, keep me on course by changing my perspective.

The affair was brilliant, generous, enlightening, and miraculous, a gift I never expected, but I fully embraced. It was the perfect send off for Loc and her long rich life, and I can only hope my funeral is as lovely and perfect. Once again, the gifts that come with death surprised me beyond my wildest.

Friday, October 9, 2015

91: my one and only fist fight, which happened at CBGB's of course, where else?


I told this story a long time ago. It is a really entertaining one about my one and only fist fight.

It happened, classically, at CBGB's. I was in my twenties and I casually slept one time with some guy, who, I did not know at the time, or maybe I did but I did not care, happened to be some lady's boyfriend (I won't name names but she was a bit famous. Alas there I go again protecting the guilty again). I had gone to see Dramarama, a band that Clem Berke, the Blondie drummer, was drumming in. I had on dirty white tight leather pants that I loved and a black wool ski cap, ala Wayne County, a signature style of mine. I also happened to be wearing a big gold ring that was a tiny replica of the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture, “LO” on top of “VE”. During the show I overheard the girlfriend ask some guy if I was Holly, not a great sign. Later when I went down to the bathroom, she followed me down and started verbally attacking me, yelling at me something about (uhhhh, I cringe as I type this word, it is so vulgar, and of course was her issue, not mine) “crotch rot”, yikes. She was big and scary and relentless, “whaddaya do? Go around sleeping with people’s boyfriends? Did ya give him crotch rot?” “blah blah blah” on and on. I was alone down there in the cbgb’s bathroom hell, like a prehistoric cave cut from stone and used as an outhouse, and I was a bit scared as she blocked the only exit. But I managed to say the only thing I could think of in a quiet but very snotty voice, trying really hard to look too cool to care “You know what I do? I do whatever I want.” I walked past her back up to watch the band and I figured that was that.

When the band was over, I want outside and she came at me again with the yelling so I turned away from her and she pushed me! I asked her to keep her hands off of me and she pushed me again so I turned to her in a real OH-NO-YOU-DI-N’T moment! Instinctively, without thought, I did the only thing there was to do, I fought back. I put my whole self into it and threw a scrappy punch with my pre-yoga puny arm.  And holy mother of god I landed it on her face and my beautiful Robert Indiana Love ring cut her face and drew blood.

My father had taught me to fight as a kid and he always said to go for the nose because it bleeds easily and blood scares people. I never planned to use his wisdom. A few people who knew both of us were standing around and were aware that the woman was yelling at me and was much bigger than me. As soon as I hit her, this guy Ricky pulled her away and stopped the hideous event. People were calming her down as she was howling about my ring and the cut on her face. I went around the corner with an ex boyfriend and cried. Clearly i had "won" the fight, but I just needed to discharge the big feelings. I was cramping the ex’s style, as he wanted to be out a rockclub wheeling and dealing but he tried to act nice. He called me a cab to get rid of me and i went home.

As for the guy, who was the cause of all this mayhem and was certainly not worth fighting over, I had hooked up with at one of the GREENDOOR parties I threw. I, being the swimming pool lover that I am, happened to find a space in the east village, new york, where someone had an above ground swimming pool in the concrete back yard of his tenement apartment where we could have pool parties. I remember going to breakfast after the party with him and some of my friends. I went home with him as the sun came up and together we peeled me out of a still wet chlorine smelling bathing suit in the bed. Then I forgot about him until the incident occurred. Ah, the good old days.

The day after the fight I stormed into the record store he worked at. I am not sure what I thought that would accomplish but I was furious that he had made trouble and involved me, set me up really, and that I had to defend myself as a result. He saw my fury charging at him and from across the room he said that this was not the time or the place.  So I said in my too cool to care voice so that the entire store could hear, “You disgust me.” And he was history.


Epilogue: Years later the guy married someone I knew casually. The incident was water under the bridge to me, no hard feelings.

The crazy part is that the woman came up to me years later and apologized! Again water under the bridge, no hard feelings.

And me, I’m just thrilled to have gotten everything I might have ever thought of doing out of my system so I can just be here now in my beautiful life with no regrets.

Defend yourself. Get the bullshit out of your system and live your beautiful life to the fullest, my friends.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

guns and roses: me and guns and other weapons. 92 days


92 days left. Today I desire to facilitate logic, reason, respect and serenity in this discussion and I am not open to any other form of discussion here. I grew up with guns in Manhattan. My father hunted and had a few rifles in the closet. I had no interest. He taught us to never point a gun at anyone and to never play with a gun. I never did. They were not loaded. There were bullets in the house as well, but I never thought about them or thought about putting the bullets with the guns. Many people on both sides of my family keep guns.

My father also kept a concealed knife on him at all times. He had a special belt buckle with a blade on it. The buckle served as the knife handle and the blade lay flat against the leather belt, slipped into a leather enforced sleeve sewn onto the inside of the belt. He was arrested once and the cops did not find the knife because it was so well designed to conceal. He was way too fear based for my taste but to each his own. He had his reasons. I have mine.

I have shot guns at a shooting range. It was incredibly fun, great sport, like playing pool, all about precision and aim. My first shot  was dead on right between the eyes of the paper target. I felt incredibly proud of my skill and glad to have it in the, god forbid, event that I might need to use that skill

There was an incident at my daughter’s preschool and we wound up getting a security guard for a spell. My emotional reaction to it was that I wanted the guard to be armed, but them I thought about it calmly and realized that that would be insane. The only people that should be armed are experts and guns at school would lead to more accidents.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing book Blink, he talks about what makes someone an expert: People who have worked on and developed their taste buds and thus can name every flavor in a cola or a wine; People who can look at a work of art and know if it is a fake or not in a glance, just from a gut level message to the brain; Soldiers or law enforcement agents who in a crisis actually slow down time in their mind and experience everything in slow motion, can see what is happening and what needs to be done, and can do it with percision. His book deals a lot with police procedure and race and is an essential read in my humble opinion. The book’s studies actually helped change police procedures, which, when implemented, help to steer cops away from getting caught up in the herd mentally that has lead to a gross amount of bullets in a body, and instead,  help keep them in that sound decision making place. So I would never think that guns are a good idea in schools, because teachers and security guards are not experts in crisis and because where there are guns, there are accidents. Just like more children drown in families that have pools (1 see source below) in their homes. It is a fact that more children die in accidental shootings in homes with guns (2). And I would extend that logic to be places (like schools) with guns.

All that being said, I have no strong attachment to the second amendment and the right to bear arms. I am not interested in having a gun. I do however respect other people’s rights to have guns but I do not think they should have unlimited freedom, because that would, and does, infringe on everyone else's freedom, yes? I believe in the right of pornography to exist, (freedom of speech, 1st amendment, yeah?) but not in a way that imposes it on people who don't feel like viewing it every time they leave their home. EVERYONE has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Alas, most “freedoms” need to be regulated until we evolve into anarchic utopia of self regulators who unconditionally respect other people’s views and space. Sorry Charlie, we are not there yet. We must learn to live together. But how?

I can see that there is some serious propaganda and agenda on both sides of this issue. It is a difficult matter to digest. I invite everyone to slow it down and speak intelligently and check the sources of your information. I have no answers, but I do support reform and I do not understand the resistance to having guns be like cars, with licenses, records, restrictions and accountability. Jeepers, even pools are regulated. There is something wrong (and scary) with the lack of statistics on government sites and with the hysteria that comes up around the mere mention of reform. 

Brothers and Sisters come-on now.




1 Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.1,2  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.-Center for Disease Control and Prevention

2  Every year 1,500 children die from guns and many more are seriouly injured. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes the best way to prevent gun related injuries to children is to remove guns from the home. Half of all unintentional shooting deaths of children occur at home and almost half occur in the home of a friend or relative. Most of the victims of unintentional shootings are boys. They are usually shot by a friend or relative especially a brother. –Center for Injury Research and Policy.