Monday, April 24, 2017

Life at the speed of sound

So much happens every sec, no time to write it down, but I try...

So I wasn't allowed to drive in Los Angeles these last 3 months. My license expired in ny and I needed to renew it in person in Los Angels. I was able to get an extension, but it only permitted me to drive outside of California. I can be a real hustler, but I tend to be a goody goody when the stakes are high. I got back into town last week and I did not drive for a few days until I could take a cab to the dmv. A day later I drove my husband to the dmv because he was in the same situation.  I planned to get my car to my mechanic for an issue the next day. On the drive back from the dmv my car died on Santa Monica blvd as I was driving along alone and in the fast lane. The accelerator stopped working and some lights came on the dash and the truck behind me was honking away as I slowed to a crawl. I was able to coast as two cars passed me and then I pulled over and rolled into an illegal spot. Within minutes triple a was there.

The issue is expensive to fix and probably not worth it and I probably need to get a new car.

But I feel so much gratitude because I had an up to date license, no one was hurt, my kids were not in the car and I have triple a, Super easy tow to my mechanic. if I had driven to the mechanic on this day this incident would have taken place on the 101 and I am not sure it would have ended so tidy. I am in such a great place. I have the most amazing life with the most comfortable bed in the world, an amazing family, the best friends anyone could want, and as I sip my homemade lime basil elixir I understand the enormity of my luck and I feel so thankful to be alive and carless in l.a.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R_UpLtGEWoY



Thursday, April 20, 2017

The two things I didn't tell you

Lice are icky, but a part of having kids. You just deal with them. Even most of the most squeamish parents learn to accept them.  They are not as bad as fleas and certainly not as bad as bed bugs. They don't infest your place. They are drag because you have to do a bunch of loads of wash- clothes, outer wear and bedding- and you have to treat everyone in the household to a serious hair treatment but they go away pretty fast. You just have to be diligent and follow up to make sure that each and every microscopic egg got removed. Still the general public can get really horrified by them... That is why I did not mention that during the whole awards season lead up me and my family and lice.

I found it to be brilliant that while I was shopping for my Gucci and having cocktail dresses sent over from a really cool and generous shop that I was in the wake of a lice outbreak. My kids both got it and gave it to me. That was the first time I actually got lice as an adult. I thought I was immune, but no. I wanted to share the hilarity of my contrasting lives- Kensington Palace invites and lice follow ups- but I didn't want to scare off my generous sponsor. (Never mind, we won't be sending anything over). I had my final follow up check up a day before flying first class to the BAFTAs. I was clear. Thankfully. But I had to keep my little secret because of the delicate nature of everything. I didn't want people to shy away from congratulatory or consolatory hugs at the big events. We didn't have lice by the time we got there. But I could understand if people felt apprehensive. I don't blame them, that's why I didn't tell them. Ah the glamourous life...

The other secret ...oh you'll have to wait till next time.
Xh


Sunday, April 16, 2017

death and resurrection as Metaphors

i love the metaphor of Easter, how we suffer and "die" and then come back, rise again, resurrect. When I go through extremely painful challenges a part of me does die and then when I come out the other side I am a different person, stronger, smarter, more empathetic. It is not easy to "let go" of things that are not good for us- parts of ourselves, beliefs, habits, people, etc- it can feel like we are dying when we try, it can feel undoable, and then some outside force pushes us through and we curl into the fetal position barely making it, but making it out the other side, new and different. Or external circumstances happen, it is not even a choice- someone dies, or we are taken to court, or we lose someone/something, or some other calamity happens that affects our core, our family, something gets threatened and we have to fight with every bit of strength we have and we can't go on, we are done, but some how we do, we go on, we get through, and in time we are different, smarter, stronger, kinder. Easter happens all the time. Don't fight it, feel it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s__rX_WL100


Saturday, April 15, 2017

My hot unavailable boyfriend

New York is my hot unavailable boyfriend who causes me pain and heartbreak, who is so very gorgeous and fun and really couldn't care less about my human needs; when its fun it's great and when it's not, I pay. We just had a really good run. I ignored a bunch of my needs and just dug it.  Los Angeles, my dear good old friend who is there for me, solid and kind, provides me with ease and warmth, welcomes me with loving arms.
I left my hometown today, my greenwich village apartment with its beautiful view and its fireplace. It is impossible to be here without all of you. What will I do when I wake up tomorrow?

I can't move my body. I just got home. "Home" as in west coast home. I have two homes, east and west. It was impossible to say goodbye to my New York family, my family, the people I grew up with, as much brothers and sisters as my blood sister. I am back in the loving arms of the most wonderful people here, but the ties to my old old self are so very strong. This is glorious and hard.
I am too overwhelmed and wiped out to really write and find the words, but I am experiencing so many big feeling and I am going with it, and it is serious. I know all you dear friends here will kick in and snap me out of it, but the culture shock is so vey real and glittery golden idols can be so alluring.

I spent the morning in Washington square park with my kids and my mother and her significant other chasing giant bubbles while a New Orleans style funeral band played some serious instrumental versions of funk classics. The night before we did two boots pizza and ice cream from the truck in the same special place with amazing friends. That same week I did a photo shoot with super legend Guy Vanvoores. How lovely and lucky. Every minute life was dazzling, beautiful, exhausting, and magic.

On the aero plane today, some random guy was wearing a t shirt with a picture of an ex boyfriend of mine. Oddly, it wasn't a music related thing, just artwork of an ex. Really?

I suspect this blog is hard to follow. I get it. Now I have to hustle and get my kids started in their schools and then I will sleep every day for a month and then I will start my life again. My band, my friends, nature, great food....Talk to you then....
Kind of kidding....

Friday, April 7, 2017

I love ny part 2

we got off the metro north at grand central around 6 pm. The kids were melty. It was a long day in the country. We had come from a memorial. We were a little out of it. we got on line for a cab ( there is a cab stand there, like at the airport). the dispatcher was sending volunteers across the street to more cabs. I volunteered but it was a little unorganized and I didn't want to cross with the stroller and the kids and everything and find out that someone else had hopped in the cab. I didn't want to lose our spot. We needed to get home.

Then a cabbie comes along and seems to be interacting with the dispatcher and he asks how many we are. 4. He says, "Great, come with me I am parked over here". We follow. And then I see we have been suckered like dumb tourists- The guy is taking us to his town car a few feet from the cab stand. Not a reallybig deal, but a little deal, as we have kids, he may or may not have insurance, etc.

Harmless enough, I take it as a lesson learned and since we lost our place on the line, we go for it. He asks us where we are from, feeling us out. Hmmmm. We are going down 5th ave and I ask if it goes straight through, wondering if there is any construction today. He  says it ends at "union square, nyu". Hmmmm. We are flying down 5th ave and He turns on 19th, which will take us out of the way and add time to the trip. I ask him why he turned because I can see that traffic is running all the way to Washington square. And he says "traffic". Ok.

So I go into my coat pocket where I remember have the receipt for the same trip, opposite direction, when we left our place the day before. The only difference is that the first trip was during rush hour. $14 and change including the 20% tip. Cool.

I show him how to get to our building and I ask the price. $60 he says. Say what? $40. My husband gets out knowing to let me handle this one. I ask the guy to pop the trunk. My husband gets our stuff as I explain that we were on line for a yellow cab, which would have cost 12 bucks, and I ask if he has a meter. He doesn't. Ok then I am going to give you $14, which includes the tip. He tells me that it costs $20, which is a good price. I make sure the kids are on the sidewalk and all of our stuff is out of the cab. I give him the $14. He yells that I am "hungry", I guess he meant greedy. I don't want to rip off anyone. I want to support the greater good and bring everyone up along with me. I didn't take back the tip. I told him he picked the wrong people. He drives away yelling "Hungry". Whatever.

On a side note, he reminded me of what my lawyer told me in court. She said, " If someone answers a question starting with the word 'honestly," or "honestly?" They are probably lying." People in the wrong often  see or feel the opposite in their head. # 45 uses that word a lot. He also accuses others of all of the things he is guilt of- liar, fake news, the swamp, illegal, etc. it's the same when you or I attack someone, point a finger and there are 3 fingers pointed back.

Anyway, I couldn't believe I had fallen for such a lame tourist trick. I didn't pay his outrageous fee but I followed him to his fake cab. There were reasons, as the dispatcher was indeed sending people to different places, ( clearly still defending myself to prove I am not lame), but still, I got suckered. I guess I got a little soft these last 15 years. Not too soft, but a little. I guess it really is time to go back to LA.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y4xhujni4uM




Thursday, April 6, 2017

I LOVE New York


Day 1. Landed in nyc. Left our bags in our giant loft on the Bowery (ours for 2 days) and went to eat 10pm dinner with the kids at Odessa. Ran into two peope I know. Hugs. Happy to be home. Living the dream!

Day 2. Woke up to a rainy day, could not be happier. Hot coffee and the NY Times in bed. Living the dream!

Day 3. The Puerto Rican style New York accents of the administrative team at my daughters public school make me cry out of nostalgic no-longer-homesick joy. Living the dream!

Day 4. Moved into our West Village Prewar, (ours while we're here) with an elevator, a juilette balcony with a view, a dishwasher, a great view and a tiny parisain elevator. Could jump for joy typing these words. 

Day 5. Saw my mother and my sister! Living the dream!

Day 6. Had to call a guy and asshole. It was annoying to have to do that but joyful to do it. He needed to be shot down, as he was being inappropriate. Living the dream!

Day 7. Finally got to my beloved Coney Island with old friends, including a pal from the anarchist days, who I had not seen in decades. It was cold and grey when we left so I did not bring my suit or towel, but it got hot so of course I had to swim in my underwear, classic style. Could not be happier. Living the dream!

Day 8. Family day. So very happy to be here with everybody. Living the dream!

Day 9. Saw two rats. Living the dream (LTD)!

Day 10. Dojo is still there! Not on Saint Marks, but the other location is still around. I’d often crave that food, long for it. Over the last several years I would make a point to go there when we got to town twice a year or so, but then I would always change my mind and not venture over, not want to eat greasy food. Anyway, we got there. It was better than ever.  LTD!

Day 11. Went to Dojos again. Joy. LTD!

Day 12. Integral yoga natural foods is still there! The only vegetarian healthfood store in nyc. I am not vegetarian, but I love the quality of the food. LTD!

Day 13. Our elevator is the size of half a yoga mat. The outer door is heavy and bangs shut. The inner door is heavy and needs to be manually opened and closed in a very physically demanding way. The NY grind is real. I don’t care. Living the dream!

Day 14. Bed all morning in the half assed way you can with kids. Made decaf espresso and spinach fennel lemon juice. Glorious! This is the first time I have ever had a juicer. I always wanted one but was dissuaded by friends who told me they are a lot of work to clean. They aren’t. They are so easy to use and clean! Better late than never. Walked the Highline. LTD!

Day 15. Saw Kathy and Jimmy! Brunch with the family at Mogodor! Ran into Jesse! My son got hysterical at family Yoga because the teacher blew a Jewish horn and he got scared on some primal level. I carried him down five “please be quite” signs, down 5 stories while he howled bloody murder- poor, massage clients, meditation students and fellow yoga practitioners. Oppsy. LTD!

Day 16. Cut my knuckles on the brick wall opposite the heavy elevator door that I swing open with all my might. in new york, even when you have an elevator, it is a grind. LTD!

Day 17. Old friends are amazing! LTD!

Day 18. New Friends are amazing! LTD!

Day 19. Did I mention that groceries are 3 times what I used to pay. 3 times! Dealing.

Day 20. Village Natural restaurant is still there! LTD! An old friend used to work there in the early 80’s and she told me that a woman she worked with would arrive at work and put on tons of make up before each waitress shift and my friend would think to herself, “Oh honey, don’t bother. No one cares. Everyone here is gay or vegetarian or both” Ah the classic West Village vegetarian types, in my heart forever.

Day 21 and 22. Out of town for the weekend. LTD!

Day 23. The apartments I pass and peek into are mindblowing. Need to win lotto. LTD!

Day 24. Did I find a diamond? What?! LTD!

Day 25. Sometimes just the slant of the sun or the way a stoop looks makes my heart jump with joy. LTD!

Day26. Souen!

Day 27. Angelica’s kitchen!

...Front row bleecher seats for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Christmas trees and seeing the Christmas windows, the museum of natural history whale, the central park zoo snow leopard, the Bronx zoo camel rides, playing a couple of shows, a retrospective of my  over a quarter century long music career, snow days, protests, pottery, toasting marshmallows in our fireplace, living the dream, nyc style….

Yep, I got to come home and stay in nyc on someone elses dime for a fat chunk of time and it was so sweet. and i got to show my kids everything i saw and loved a s a kid, which was priceless. I really am in awe of the gift ad so very grateful. 

these months flew by. i didn't even get to see everyone. (if i didn't see you, dont take it personal, i have a two year old and don't get out of the house that much)we leave in a few days, which is going to really really really hard to so. i love new york.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s8oMyxqYseM


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ramos with out the "m"

you know that restaurant on e 115th street where you can't get reservations unless you have reservations and most of the patrons are celebrities or mobsters? they make that sauce? yep, i went to that place.

Quintessential New York.

I have connections, namely my friend David Breschel. He took us to the Los Angeles joint a few years ago. It was great- great crowd, great people watching, great food. Everything was cooked perfectly. it wasn't exactly the type of food that i eat, but it was flawless.

then he took us last week to the original, the east harlem one. This time is was all that and more- it was sublime. the crowd was all mob, no celebrity, and actually felt dangerous. I wondered for a sec if being there was worth being the possible innocent victim of a shooting. I am 51 years old and more than one woman gave me a "look", the kind I would get in high school from girls from the outer boroughs who could want to beat me up. The crowd was absolutely made up of people who would have beaten up my boyfriend, and possibly me. (Not that I couldn't take her, whoever, she was, but because she wouldn't fight fair, one on one) Why on earth would I want to be put myself in the situation in the first place? Why on earth would I want to be here? And then the food came and everything I just typed went out the window.

It was one of the most delicious meals of my life, even if 80% of it wasn't exactly food I eat. It was way better than the Los Angeles experience, which I will chalk up to ny water, what else could it be? And I would go back tomorrow, caution to the wind! Did I mention that the reservation was at 930 and we didn't take a bite till after 10? I normally eat dinner at 5:30 and often I do not eat anything after that. We didn't get home from dinner till 1am. I gained 3 lbs that have not left me.  I would do it again tomorrow, but luckily I can't. I can only go again, not of my own free will, but at the invitation of someone with reservations. Fucking New York. How I love your secret magical hideaways...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Otrt0iH9ubw




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Digging up my fathers grave with my bare hands


I visited my father’s grave today. I went deep into the Bronx and got down in the mud and started digging with my bare hands, unearthing a big fat worm. It can’t get much realer.

I had brought a pot of red tulips and I wanted to plant them rather than leave them, but I didn’t have a shovel so I just got down in the dirt and started digging with my bare hands. Something about the physicality and the fresh earth was really good for me.

The great thing about being an adult is having a choice. As a kid I did not. My relationship with my father is super complicated. I have not visited his grave in many years, and in the 21 years since he died, this is only the second visit.  I am doing it my way and it is perfect. I feel peace and love and forgiveness right now, which is a victory, but the real victory is that it is fine if I don’t feel those things, I can and I have felt whatever I needed to, whatever is true, no judgment or fixing or rules. True victory.

The cool part is that there is magic at the cemetery. My last visit brought out this crazy little ghost that followed my out to the cemetery gates http://hollyramoswrites.blogspot.com/2012/04/all-transformation-is-possible-happy.html
This time after planting my flowers, I sat and closed my eyes to have some quite contemplation and something small came charging at me, the patter patter of the feet approached me so quickly, loudly and directly that I could not keep my meditation going, and as the “thing” got within inches of me, my eyes flew open but nothing was there. Ha! Crazy but true. I am used to such shenanigans and did not bat an eye lash, but simply looked around for a few seconds to make sure, and then closed my eyes again and went back to my meditation. 

Incase you are an adult and feel like you don’t have a choice, I write this to remind you that you do. You do. You always do. The choice might not exist in the way you want it to, it might just be an internal one, a choice of attitude, but you definitely have it. I love you….

Saturday, March 4, 2017

INWOOD!!!!!

I visited the neighborhood I grew up in today. Yep, we did a spontaneous trip up to Inwood with the kids and hit the Dyckman House and Inwood park and stopped at Dichter's pharmacy and Soda Shoppe for hot chocolate before going back downtown. I walked past the school I went to from 1st to 8th grade. It looked so small even from the outside. I was dying to get inside, but it was locked tight. I stopped into the church I went to as a kid and that really looked smaller than I remember. I visited the 9/11 memorial garden there, that honors all the good folk from Inwood who we lost that day. We took a minute to feel that memory.

I hoped to go into another 10 shops that haven't been there for one, two, three, or four decades, but I still kept looking for them, I still kept hoping to see them as I walked the streets of my youth, bursting with memories. I remembered the smells and sights of all those ghostly shops despit the passage of time...Sundrops, the hippie store that used to be next to the Dyckman House; the weird store that used to be a few doors down from Harlem Savings Bank, which sold cosmetics and knick knacks, and use to have crazy great vintage cosmetics from the 70's; Fanny Farmers (who could forget that smell); White Towers, the delicious White Castle knock off. It was nice to see a few of the old places that remained. I adore Inwood and would have ran around visiting various important spots if I didn't have the kids with me, as they tend to have a smaller window than I do, before they turn back into pumpkins. I was dying to get into Ellen McM's building and see the elevator that I remember to be very tiny and Parisian, I recall the orangish bubble the lit up when you called it, and the very specific smooth flat buttons for each floor. Was it an Otis? I also wanted to climb the rocks! We will have to go back soon.

In typical A train fashion, we were leaving my hometown, going down the stairs to the subway as we heard the ding of the train closing its doors, and as we hit the platform, one second away from boarding, those doors did indeed close and we were left on the empty platform to wait for the next train to arrive and of course be swept clean before leaving again, and taking us home.

The problematic A train started running on the F train track after w 4 th street, so we used it to our advantage and stayed on for a stop and ended the day by going to downtown to Great Jones Cafe for dinner, it has been at least 20 years and possibly 30 since I have gone there and it was so delicious...blackened catfish, shrimp in garlic, pulled pork....the only thing missing was whipped sweet potato, which I thought I used to get there, does anyone remember if they used to make that, fluffy creamy sweet potatoes, somewhere between mashed sweet potatoes and whipped marshmallows? Anyway, we got the sweet potato fries instead. Perfection none the less.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEcQS4tXgQ

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Aftermath snacks

so I am in complete f*it mode. I got home from the academy awards and ate chocolate, two boots pizza (full on wheat and dairy, which I rarely do) and PORKCHOPS and I have continued int that direction all week! I am exhausted to the bone, which is weird since I am only 51 years old and I have a two year old and a seven year old; and I played a gig one weekend; flew to London and back the next weekend, doing an allnighter in there; threw a birthday party with a house full of kids the next weekend; and and flew across the country and back the next weekend, also doing an all nighter. One all nighter thrown into my regular schedule is enough to wipe me out for a while. Ha! I have been living vicariously through myself! My apartment is a disaster zone. I need some serious rest and relaxation, but since that is not happening I will still do chocolate and PORKCHOPS, bacon, cookies, potato chips and this new drink I am crazy about- carbonated rose tea, with hibiscus, lime And cardamom- by some company called SOUND. Is anyone else drinking that these days?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DaAuY36APVM

Monday, February 27, 2017

So inspiring

So Tom didn't win. No one wins everytime. That's part of the game. It's all good. To put it into perspective in terms of the odds, there were two people nominated last night who had both been nominated over 20 time. Sound mixer Andy Nelson, with 21 nominations, has won twice and lost last night. Sound mixer, Kevin O'Connell had 21 nominations and never won, until last night. amazing. It's a numbers game people.

I am a bit off, a bit run down. I had beautiful hair and make up and dress and the best company but I was not as comfortable in my skin as I was the last two big events. Even befor Tom did not win, I wasn't feeling great. He didn't win the BAFTA and it was still magical. Last night just wasn't my night. But we had a good time and went to the ball and the big after party, but I don't have much to say.

The show itself was one of the funnest ever, from the Justin Timberlake intro to the beautiful sets to the politics and speeches, tres inspiring on so many levels, never boring. the  shocking unprecedented miscalling of the best picture winner was really intense in person. I saw some one rush onto the stage, which isn't very obvious on the TV feed, and it was scary. I thought there was trouble or violence. Thankfully it was only a mistake and no one was hurt. A terrible mistake for La La Land. I can't imagine making the speech and then having the trophy taken away. I feel for those guys. And on the flipside, it was such a reversal of fortune for the socially important Moonlight. I can't imagine losing and then having the decision reversed, better than a dream come true, as Barry Jenkins kind of said. I am equally sad for the La La Land crew and happy for the Moonlight crew.

Well, La la land's producer Jordan was incredibly graceful in such an awkward moment when he said he would proudly hand his Oscar to his friends. The whole evening was very inspiring to me on many levels, as it usually is, but even more so. I just wasn't feeling the whole grandness or the after parties. Dinner was fun and I got to say hi to Viggo, but then I just dragged on until 4 am when a car got us to LAX by 425 and security felt me up and I passed out in my chair minutes after boarding at 530, waking only for a second when my husband shook me to convert my chair into a bed.

It is glorious to be home. I am so happy to see my kids. I am so happy awards season is over. Sorry to be a drag. It is not for lack of trying, or a bad attitude, I just burned out a little too fast this weekend. Happy to be in my comfortable organic bed. Glorious.

Love you all. Xh

Sunday, February 26, 2017

here we go...

you guys who know me from the way back know that i was a a feral cub raised by wolves. so what crossed my mind on the lower levels this morning was deep insecurity. i could easily plunge to the depths and drown there. compare and despair ...and all that jazz. the thing is, that swamp in the dark recesses of my mind will forever be there, that is part of the human struggle, or at least my human struggle. like every challenge, i can't magically make it go away. and like every challenge, it being there is not the issue, but how we deal with it. yes? so i changed the channel, so to speak, remembering who i am. holly ramos, btw, perfect as is, steering clear of the edge.

the other thing that went on in my mind is that i picked the wrong nail polish again this year! (ha! note to self, go with traditional dark red). i picked a gold and it came out a tacky yellow. but i pained over my dumb manicure with my big gold glitter and it looks great.

last time around the awards circuit (and the election) we learned that the frontrunner doesn't always take home the prize. never set your expectations according to predictions, don't expect to win, and certainly don't expect to lose. stay open to all possibilities. keep your eyes on the prize with desire and detachment. its anyone's game...a good practice for all of life.

it is an exciting race with with so many great contenders. i love so many of the films and artists nominated in all of the categories this year. it has been a great weekend hanging out with many of the nominees at various events in los angeles, and even some in london, and getting to know a few. we have also had many great conversations with our super cool drivers, about race, humanity, and saturday night fever! the world is full of amazing intelligent, kind, creative people, never forget that.

"Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent
kindness of the soul" Allen Ginsberg

i really wish i could bring so many of you to the parties and the awards with me. we always ask for as many guest as possible to these things and often we re not allowed to bring anyone. Tom's 80 year old dad will be coming to the academy awards today, which is really exciting for him and really special for us. i hope i get to dance this year, as this crowd is not always the dancey-est. but i have a cool partner in crime this year, another woman who will be going and who loves to dance (and of course she is british). I'm still a little nervous about my dress. keep your fingers crossed for me that it looks ok. i'll tell you all about it in the next few days.....

thank you everyone who helped us with childcare, clothes, jewelry, logistics, everything. i and we could not have done it without you... i am carrying you all with me, keeping it real, diverse, working class and a little bit feral. honored to be going, rooting for my man, (having fun since i was 6...) xxxh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe5PaIa0SX4


Saturday, February 25, 2017

the hammer, grilled cheese, and bubble and squeak

so i met with a pal today and it was so nice to be in los angeles. la smells so good, flowers 
everywhere! 

i forgot to tell you this, but in london there is a menu item called "bubble and squeak". it is some potato thing. it always makes me think of my two kiddos.

one night in london, tom ordered "grilled cheese" from room service and they brought up a piece of cheese that was grilled! so then he had to order bread. ah the brits!

today i had to go to a meeting and so  i set the clock and got up and went, but when i got there i found out it was cancelled. urge! so i took myself to the museum instead, the hammer, and there is THE MOST AMAZING SHOW going on there right now, Jimmie Durham, at the center of the world. the show is The much-anticipated first North American retrospective of this compelling, inventive, and complex visual artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist.

Jimme is native American Cherokee. if you are in LA, you need to make the trek over. so inspiring visually and politically and creatively. i was so happy to have the unexpected hole in my schedule, which led me there, someplace i wouldn't have gone otherwise. i used to take myself to the museum alone, pre kids, but that is one of the last things i would do with free time theses days, (only because there are so many other priorities) but here i was stranded in westwood, without a car....life is interesting that way. be open to the detours!! love you always. xh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOr4O66WZW0
https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2017/jimmie-durham-at-the-center-of-the-world/

ice cube, gwyneth paltro, leonardo dicaprio, adam sandler, larry david, skrillex...

ice cube, gwyneth paltro, leonardo dicaprio, adam sandler, larry david, skrillex, vince vaughn, felicity jones, octavia spencer were all at the party tonight. also there, but i did not see them were denzel, emma stone, amy adams, casey affleck. Oprah seems to go every year, but she wasn't there this year. drats!

we made it back to la. the kiddos got squared away, thanks to many dear helpful folk, especially my sister. the cold is getting better and i am ready to go to bed.

putting aside all of my petty concerns about glamour, all my urgent politics, and all my luxury problems of being so busy and having so much to do.... i am just so very grateful right now. i have the cutest, lovingest kids, the sweetest dearest husband, the kindest supporting family, and the coolest warmest friends. aside from any award season, i am one lucky blessed woman. i have a great life and great people in it. and on top of it all i have this neat opportunity to go on this wild ride and jet set around and hang at some fun parties and play dress up and have some great times. i have much gratitude and appreciation for all of it. i am enjoying the ride.
goodnight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qixQns6Xs4


Thursday, February 23, 2017

I got to call #45 a racist bully on TV!

So I hadn't left the house since Sunday. I fly tomorrow and I am trying to shake a cold. I colored my hair today and need to buy some false eyelashes. So I put big sunglasses on my sick makeup less face and I put my daughters silly hat with a Pom Pom over my wet hair and I went out. It felt great to walk around on this beautiful spring day!

Outside my door are all these barricades. Thy put them up when ever there is going to be a parade or protest. Uh oh. We have an early flight and have to get our kids into safe hands in the morning and we certainly don't need any delays. I am not a morning person, and can barely get to the airport on time with no delays. So I asked a doorman if he knew what was up. But alas he was wondering the same thing. Then I saw an eyewitness news truck, so I walked over to get the scoop and they told me that it was a protest against #45 overturning Obamas order regarding transgender kids getting to use the bathroom of their chosen gender.

Yay! I said. And as I walked away they asked my position on the matter. I told them yay that there is a protest. Boo to 45's ruling. Then they asked if they could interview me. It look a split second to decide, looking so goofy but feeling so passionately, if I should go on the record and on camera....of course. And I said ok but I look terrible. They kindly lied and said no you don't, you look like a New Yorker. Good answer....

I am not the most articulate when put on the spot, but I did ok.

I talked for 5 or 7 minutes about how irresponsible it is to mess with the standard Obama set up. How transgender kids are struggling enough and don't need to have more on their plate, like worrying about feeling unsafe or uncomfortable or being put in an unsafe position. They need role models who say we support your choice and we want to keep you safe. Then I got to say that 45 was a racist bully who hated everyone but white men, and how I would use the same word as Maxine Waters but it was network. The crew loved everything I said. I don't know what they will air, if anything, or when, but if I am on, it will be on eyewitness news this evening. I may not get the chance to watch, so if you see it, let me know. You may not recognize me in my silly hat and shades, but I am told I have a memorable voice! Ha!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Home sick

This post is not as boring as I think, right?

This is always part of the story. The crash, right when things are urgent, right when I am down to the wire, things to do, places to be blah blah blah.

It was inevitable.

Since getting back from London, I have been under the weather. I spent two solid days in bed and then I thought I was ok enough to go back to the grind. We had a birthday party for the kids on the weekend and me and the kids really felt beat up after it. But I ate some chocolate and went about my day...

I am a sensitive being. I don't drink or smoke or do caffeine, I rarely do sugar and I barely take anything stronger than an occasional aspirin if I am not feeling well. I am like this mainly because I am so sensitive so any substance, they all hit me hard and take a toll. But alas, there are hectic periods where I get really crazy and I USE LIKE AN ADDICT. Yep, I started using chocolate to get through the day and it worked for a while, gave me the energy to continue on, but like any drug, ultimately it kicked my ass and now I still have the cold, only worse, and I am down for the count.

I finally surrendered to being sick, mainly because I need to get well. We are all stuck at home for day # 3 now. I have not written because basically it is boring and I have little to say.

What else can I say? I am not working out, and I am accepting that my clingy dress won't look as good as I had planned. Oh well, fuck it. What else can I say, have a ton to do and I can't . Fuck it.

Today, we are all stir crazy and I have done everything under the sun with these kiddos and it is only 1 pm and no relief is coming. I couldn't get any help today so I am here with the gang and plum out of ideas. I feel like Vito Spatafore from the Sopranos. Remember him? One of my favorite all time episodes was when he tried to run from the family and he got a regular job and he was counting seconds hoping time had passed and he would look at the clock and it would be hours earlier than he had hoped. That's me! Ha! It's only 1 pm. I was sure it was 2:30. Anyway, I will get through the day and I will get to LA for the weekend, head cold be dammed. Oh, the glamour.

I am sure the lead up to the oscars two years ago looked very similar. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long....

Much love, xxxmommy holly


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-9IOKo6UPBg




Sunday, February 19, 2017

The lead up

so we are off to the academy awards on Friday morn, for a big weekend of events. I am still recovering from London. We had a joint birthday party for the kids this weekend, the house looks like a tornado hit and everyone in the family has been hit with a low grade fever that becomes a higher one for one night. It all seems emotionally connected, but indeed we have all been sick and are hopefully recovering. I am eating raw garlic regularly and smell like a....well like a piece of cut up raw garlic.
There is no school for either kid this week, so I have no time to run errands. i have a lot of planning to do for childcare etc, but luckily my sister is being a saint and helping in a monumental way. I could not do it without her. And the kids adore her, so as much as they miss us, they have a great time.

I don't know what to say really. I have lots and lots of responsibilities that can't be passed on to anyone else. The point of my life used to be to hustle everything and have no responsibilities. It was fun. Now I am a responsible contributor and participant, which is grand. There are days when I would love to go back, just for a few days or a few hours, but that is not possible. I accept. Life is amazing. I let 8 kids play with my make up yesterday. They wrecked everything. I wasn't uptight. That is a victory.

There is no point here. I am rambling, just typing. I will leave by urging you all to see the films nominated for best doc, primarily the ones that deal with race in America- OJ Made in America, 13th, and I Am Not a Your Negro. If you are reading me for the vicarious thrill and not the politics, I extra urge you to leave your comfort zone and watch theses three films. Let's talk about them. Change your mind and heart, educate yourself, be part of the solution, it is so attractive.
Love love love, xh

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dTJEu7Tngaw

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Holy hell, let's get deep

so, as lovely as I am, I am freaked out that I will be hitting the bloaty part of the month on Oscar night. (Yep I am still fertile). So my lovely dress, which is rather clingy scares me. I set up an appointment to have an alternate dress made for me yesterday, but the only day we could do it in time would be to begin today and then I woke with a fevered kid and couldn't get to the appointment. (There was another road block too, which cemented the letting it go). I took it to mean: stop stressing and wearing the dress I have, even if I have a fat stomach sticking out. Not ideal, but there comes a point where you have to give up the perfection, hope for the best, and deal with whatever comes down the pike. That is what a human does. Back in the day, I used to be underground super legend, so I  can still set my expectations to the non human standards, aiming for perfection and accepting nothing less. Alas, that luxury is long gone, which is a blessing, but not very ego stroking.

The whole Oscar thing is a dance between that old perfectionist with her ego and this modern mom with her limitations; desire and detachment. It is not a comfortable place for me. It takes practice, constant practice to dance on the edge, but keep it real; buy into and enjoy the fantasy and staying grounded. It is uncomfortable because it is slippery, tricky, and there is a sneaky mind confusing element in there. Does that ring a bell? If I wasn't so good at acceptance and surrender, I would be in for a real ass kicking. Somehow, because I am forced to live very much in reality, it eventually frees me to truely take the whole spectacle with a grain of salt and enjoy it for what it is worth. Does that make any sense to y'all?

It reminds me of back in the 90's, when I went around looking flawless to myself on a daily basis and then I had a rude emotional awakening that rocked the hell out of my world and I couldn't get out of bed. I got sucker punched by my own psyche, and slammed head first into another dimension, the demention where the universe says wake the fuck up and deal with the wreckage that fuels everything about you. Do you follow?

I recall one day leaving the house completely naked, emotionally speaking. I looked like the fragile wreck that I was. And a friend saw me and she reacted with hysterical laughter. She wasn't the nicest person, but she wasn't laughing at me, she was just laughing at how very fast everything changed, how my life had been upended in one day and how very visual my emotional wreckage was.

I thank god for that tornado that changed everything, otherwise I would still be living on the very surface of life, missing the beautiful depth.

There is this thing about external validation that tricks you into believing in false idols. Do you feel me? The ideal is to allow it all, take it all in, but to stay grounded in the process. That art makes all the difference in terms of your fate. That which remains unconscious manifests as destiny, right?  You gotta feel the feelings if you want to steer your own ship. Right on!

I still hope my stomach isn't fat and sticking out, but whatever. ( ps, not you, dear reader, but everyone else...please refrain from the " wear a girdle" comments, that is so besides the point ). Eternal surrender my friends, again and again, every day.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Swag and sleep, if you are interested

So two transatlantic flights and one all-nighter over the course of  three days and here is the aftermath: we got back to our room around 5 and had to pack all of our stuff up plus around 40 new lbs of swag, including a Carl Lagerfeld Chanel book, rose smelling lotions, cappuccino cups, a haul of chocolate, perfume, two journals, a few souvenirs and whatever I am forgetting. The champaign had to be gifted.

By the time we fit it all into our carry-ons (I avoid checking at all costs) and got ourselves presentable enough, we went down for breakfast and awaited our car. I slept at the breakfast table; I stumbled into the car and slept for an hour; and had just enough energy to get through security and get on the plane. I was asleep before we took off and woke, 7 hours later, to eat a snack and watch tv in my lovely bed seat, having some tea and crackers with jam while cuddled up with my pillow and blanket. Not bad.

Then it was ON: we were home and I was in full mom mode. Hanging out, giving gifts, going out for ice cream because it was my daughters birthday(!). Somehow, I got everyone fed and to bed and I went to bed at 11 and slept till 7:30. After I got everyone off to school I went back to bed for another 4 hours and one hour of reading in bed. That alarm was one of the hardest of my life. But I got up, what choice did I have? After rounding everyone up I let the kids watch tv, which is super rare on a weekday, and I slept another hour, then we ate dinner and I got them into bed and fell asleep with the them around 8 pm. I think that was the first time I have ever done that.

I hold very precious the few hours after they go to sleep and I get to have a calm clear mind and my life to myself more or less. I really need that space each and every day, but alas, the grandness of sleeping for 11 1/2 hours just might be better. Not sure. Anyway, it wasn't a choice. I woke in there for about for two minutes and stumbled into my bed and was out till 7:30am. I got everyone off to school and stayed in bed again, reading and getting another hour of sleep before picking them up today.

That puts me at sleeping for 33.5 hours and resting for another 7 (40.5 total) in the last 54 hours. I need to that more. I also happened to have a low grade fever and a stuffed nose.

Alas, the price we pay! I am so lucky to have been able to rest up after everything. I haven't had the little guy in school before October, so past events, gigs and vacations have never come with a resting period, which is so very necessary. Life is great what can I say other than...

What a drag it is getting old. But not that much of a drag that I won't be doing it all over again in a week and a half in LA. See you there, babies!


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9FUdjYOuEUQ


Monday, February 13, 2017

7 years ago

Alas, seven years ago, feb 13th fell on a Saturday. My oldest turned 7 today. She is amazing. Me and my husband were in London for the weekend, which was my first weekend away since she was born! Ha! Anyway, we came home today, intime for the birthday. It was so very lovely to see her face for the first time those seven years ago. And so lovely to see it this afternoon, when we got back. It was such an honor to get to take her home. I am so very lucky to have the family I worker really hard to create.  I am too exhausted to say more. Life is very very good to me. Much gratitude. Xh

Sunday, February 12, 2017

summary

just another average morning in london, i got to sit around and have breakfast with a lovely crew of bafta nominees and talk about film and the importance of women in punk bands and in bands in general.

hair and makeup is dropping by shortly. not sure it if i will post after the event to night...................

i didn't look perfect, but i just went with it, didn't stress.

the show was really really fun. tom didn't win, but that is par for the course. you can't always win. it was great that tom was nominated and that the film did so well.

lots political speeches and the vibe was all about the resistance.

the royal family was there, which was interesting, kate and william. we sat 4th row center. they were pretty close. someone in our party clapped when they entered, and someone whispered, "no, you are not supposed to clap!" but it was too late because all of the americans in the room had already started  clapping. faux pas.

13th won best doc!! this is so important, such an important film which need to be seen by everyone.

we went to the harvey weinstein party and it was great fun. there was a room full of chocolate fountains, marshmallows, parisian macaroons, and an assortment of other pastries. it was like walking into a free bakery/candy shop. take anything eat anything....talk about decadent!

there is always alcohol everywhere free and abundant. i don't really drink, but it is there. i got delicious elixers and non alcohol treats.

i got to dance next to dev patel, who was very gracious. i got to  talk with the two brilliant actors from I, Daniel Blake, i got to compliment viola davis, whose speech  made me sob to the point of messing up my face, oh well- feeling in more important than tidiness everytime. i have a few other great run ins and am staying up all night on adrenalin. great party great town. i heart london.

see you tomorrow, which is in a few hours, back in mommy mode. i miss those babies!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

oh hell, it feels so good to be pampered. so very needed by this tired mom. our suite is really nice with its lavender eucalyptus pillow mist and the neon pink radio in the bathroom that we left tuned to the classical station. i have always loved getting out of america every so often, it gives you perspective; it is great to see and hear other people, different countryside an cityscapes, and simple things like different toilets, so cool. get to of the old neighborhood.

I have enjoyed this city in the past as a young tourist on a non-existent budget and then with a semi-insider perspective, playing music here a few times. this is the first time i am getting to sleep in a king sized bed and type in my white robe sipping cappuccino. the luxury part makes it seem more like america, more homogenized, less foreign, more like a great spa vacation that could be anywhere, but i am still delighting in the un-American details. and delighting in the luxury. they are steaming my dress for me.

tom is speaking at a panel and i am enjoying doing nothing. i have no desire to exert myself, to see anything special. i am just being here with ease. oh yes. btw it is very cold and there is light snow today. i am taking a long  bath while watching a movie on the flat screen set flush into the bathroom wall The film is a roman period film, made in the 60's. a woman is tied up in the colosseum with a loose bull and a man wrestles it and kills it with his bare hands. the emperor does not want to give him the victory, since it was designed for him to lose, but the crowd demands it. i have no idea what film it is it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

none of our technology works. both phones, set up for international, failed. no text, nothing. and then tom went out and his computer locked me out because i don't know the password so i had no internet. i love pre internet living.  i went out alone and had a great time. you know the old saying " when in Rome, go to whole foods" i don't particularly love whole foods, but i got what i needed there.

anyway....
kensington palace was grand. that is where lady Di lived after the divorce. everyone was there. there was some hors d'oeuvres that i did not want and then tons of chocolate. we crashed an after party that was serving dinner and were held at the door because we were not invited, but some name dropping about tom got us in and seated, which we needed because we were starving. it was held at the prestigious Annabels and the food was off the charts, the music was amazing and the crowd was utterly glamorous and cool. even Mel Brooks was there. we talked to Harvey Weinstein who knew who Tom was and he invited us to his party tomorrow. the best part was that as dinner finished, the adorable pink haired girl dj segued into funk and disco and the gorgeous crowd including me all got on the dance floor. one of the problems with some of these events is that everyone just stands around. but this was a real party, my kind of party. it reminded me of an early greendoor party in that it was exactly what i like, small intimate space, cool stylish crowd having a genuinely special time with great music. different vibe from the greendoor, not punk or rock, but perfect. oh did i mention that our hotel is on wardour street, which reminds me of this song....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZeK2gY9fP8






its my party and i'll cry if i want to

I got my sequined dress out of jail. i have a dress to wear for the BAFTAS. 

i left the kids with my sister, god bless her, and went upstairs and cried. thrilled to be alone, i still cried.

Everything is cool. I am going to Kensington palace Saturday night for a party. I am wearing a silk dress by Theory. Theory is kindly dressing me and my husband. They do not make formals for women, but they make tuxedos and great party dresses. They are also providing my purse for the big event. I love their stuff and it feels so good to be taken care of. Thank you, MD, for hooking it up, thank you Theory for stepping up.


right now am sitting in business class, my chair turns into a full flat bed. our section is upstairs from the rest of the plane. ahhh divine decadence. there is no other possible way i could do a weekend in london. i just don’t have the luxury of getting a bad sleep. i can’t come home worse off than if i hadn’t gone, not with the responsibility of getting off the plane, no recovery time and being a mom,  immediately. 

on a completely separate note. i am haunted by what i read regarding the sessions confirmation, and how sean spicer had said "I can only hope martin Luther King's widow Coretta would support jeff session's nomination".(!!!!!) my skin crawls as i type that shit.

i use to work in a gallery in soho and there were was this couple who collected the art we sold and they would host big parties for the artists we represented and they would commission special pieces for their collection. it turned out that all of the money they were spending was embezzled. they actually went to jail in the end. i was and am still baffled by their choices, their motives. jail, for that?!!!

i bring them up because i am watching almost the entire republican administration sell their souls right now and for what? i get why the billionaire do it, but these senators and congress people? sell your soul, violate basic human rights, let go of every shred of your human decency, for what? i can only hope they all go to jail in the end, but apparently being a white supremecist is not illegal. i wish them all an empathetic epiphany.

alas, i will tell you all about kensington palace tomorrow…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-l9GQJRl9Y


Thursday, February 9, 2017

take a break

We fly to London tomorrow. Today was the day to do my hair, nails, run errands and pick up my dress. I had 5 childcare situations set up but because it was a snow day they all fell through. I had big anxiety in the morning just thinking about being housebound with two kids, let alone how much I needed to do but couldn't. The person doing my hair couldn't do it. My dresses were locked in a snow-closed business and there was not a lot left to do.

The last time I got my nails done was two years ago for the Oscars. I am not a nail girl. It is boring and a waste of money. I am too physical and I wreck the manicure that same day. The gel one is supposed to last, but it only lasted. 3 days on me last time. I went to the oscars with chipped nails. Still, it is a detail that needs attending for these things.

I noticed the nail place across the street from me was open, so I took the kids. I was going to get my gel thing done and let them soak their feet, play with the massage chair and get their toes pained. But the wait was a half and hour and my kids wouldn't last that long. I had them fed and ready and the wait wouldn't work, so instead we went to the park and played in the snow. 

My daughter is a wild child. she was doing flips and diving face first into snow piles. And at some point she came to me crying and said she need to go home. Her curls were caked with ice. At that point my son was standing in his sock in the snow, with a boot lying near by. I get a lot of anxiety as a mom from their wild energy. They are such wild animals and I am in charge of keeping them alive. Dear god.

I rushed them home, which was about  5 blocks and everyone was fine, but I was exhausted. We had some fun today but eventually we all clashed and yelled and eventually crashed and burned. I was not a great parent, more like a six year old. I was under too much stress and forgot to be the adult. I eventually mended with them and I colored my own hair and I am too tired to be stressed now. I wil get the dresses and the nails tomorrow befor I fly. What ever. Luxury problems.

The remedy for me right now feels like I need a gratitude list:
I am grateful for my strong working body.
I am grateful for the strong beautiful planet earth
I am grateful for snow.
I am grateful that my children are strong and healthy and have a lust for life and are wild animals and not goody goodys, not suppressed like I was
I am grateful for my eyes, and all my working parts
I am grateful that my husband lives his bliss, loves his occupation and is successful, which is rare and beautiful.
I am so grateful to be married to a kind hot amazing man
I am so grateful to get to play music and create fun events
I am very grateful for my show and this blog, which keep me from the hell of social media blackouts in these politically painful times.
I am so grateful to be on the right side of history and to be part of the resistance.

How do you know you are on the right side of history? inclusion, lack of fear, and lack of controlling ness are the clues. Our country has always been torn between people who exclude, who hate and fear and who want to control the bodies and sex lives of other people (ewww, controlling personalities are so unattractive) vs. people who are not afraid of "the other", who strive to unify and include all and who let others live and let live. It's so easy to choose the attractive path. Let it go, dudes.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xrOgYjp20j0


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

the f*ing dress part III: my dress may get snowed in

So I head to Brooklyn and call a friend to see if I can stop by and say hi. The pal lives on the other side of  town from the thrift shop I was going to. There was no logic in the move. I didn't have the time to make the stop or hang out, but I did it. I never hang out with friends when I have a free hour during the day. NEVER. I have so much that I need to do and so little free time. Nonetheless I walked to her place and on the way I passed a really great high end vintage place, Amarcord, that used to be in the east village, that I absolutely adored back in the day. It was not open yet. I had a really good feeling about it. I visited my pal and headed back to the shop, only to find that they only had two floor length pieces. I tried them both on.

One was a 1990's Tom Ford era Gucci that fit really well. It is super simple, almost like a black t shirt dress. I think I love it. I bought it. It is being hemmed right now, so I will know more when I try it on...

The Gucci and the old Oscar dress are both at the tailor. I was going to wear the old one to the BAFTAS in London this weekend. I was supposed to pick the dresses up tomorrow, on Thursday. As of right now NYC schools are closed tomorrow due to the impending snow storm. They have already called it a snow day. (Whatever happened to getting up and checking the radio?) the storm is supposed to be bad. I am not sure if I will be able to get the dress tomorrow. Hopefully before we fly on Friday, otherwise I don't have a dress to wear on Sunday.......

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The f*ing dress part II: the perfect dress!

I am so beat up by the whirl wind of events. My show was great but I need a recovery day afterwards and instead Tom had to go LA for the Oscar nominee luncheon. So I got left with the kids and no break. I tried to get a sitter but no one was available. (Whatever). We had a great time at that event two years ago. Anyway, it is a magical event and I am glad he went. He sat with Isabelle Huppert. I was fine missing it, I wish I could have gone but it's all good. Right now the main thing on my mind is that I just want to sleep. I never get to just sleep. It's looking like no sleep till London. We'll see. I am keeping this short and simple and going to bed.

I saw THE PERFECT DRESS, vintage Halston, from the 70's. I saw it on a the site I bought my Oscar dress last time. It would be perfect on me. But it was SOLD. I inquired to make sure there, or to see if there was any way. There wasn't. D R A T S!!!!

So I decided to get someone to make me something similar and I was quoted $3000!!!!!!

I can still look for a tailor. It will take some dialing but it is doable, but I am not sure I want to go down that road now. It will take time, a lot of time, to find the right fabric, tailor, and then the actual fittings, sewing... and it is still a gamble, not a given that it will work.

I did custom that I designed for my wedding and at some point I realized the dress just might come out looking like a school play costume and it was too late to turn back. It all worked out in the end but I was ready to just wear any old thing in my closet if the custom did not turn out right....and I am not so sure I am up for the thrill of the gamble these days.

Anyway, I took a few actions with good intentions. I bought something on etsy for cheap that might be reworkable. Waiting for it to come. Then I ventured to Brooklyn to scour the vintage stores and possibly find something I could repurpose into something close to the Halston, and, well, a whole course of events unfolded that I will have to tell you about tomorrow...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I-P_MDXq_oY

Monday, February 6, 2017

The f*ing dress Part I

oh kids, you know me, I like to like how I look. As a kid my dad had to take me to 20 shoe stores looking for my school shoes one year.  Sixth grade was the worst year of my life, as I was immersed in puberty, my parents were getting ready to split up, my best friend bought the last pair of really cool shoes apparently in all of New York (because I could find them nowhere), and I wound up with the ugliest shoes ever. Even looking back now, I can say that that was the worst year of my life, primarily because of how ugly my shoes were. My feet were still kid sized and we had a working class budget and though I searched , there was nothing out there. The pain was amplified because my friends shoes were so very cool. I suffered profoundly. I would still suffer profoundly if I were forced to look hideous and unattractive day in and day out. I know no one was looking at my feet and no one cared but I did. It's always an inside job...which brings me to my dress...

I'm five foot nothing. Gowns are not flattering on me. I need a really specific cut to look ok. I have no time to search hi and low for a dress these days. I used to spend my entire day doing that kind of thing. It is fun. But now I have two little kids and that luxury is not mine. It's not about the money, if there were a $29.99 dress at the Rainbow Shop that flattered me, I would be thrilled. I haven't found it yet. Still, I have no desire to mingle with the rich and glamourous and not feel my best.

In 4 days we are going to London, to attend the British version the of the academy awards on Sunday. I will be going to the big party at Kensington palace and then on the the event. It is the first time in 3 years I have been away from my kids, the second time ever. As a side note I will say that while I am not crazy about leaving my kids right now, due to all the mayhem in America, combined with the fact that flying takes a toll on me and is not my favorite thing, this transatlantic adventure is going to be like a spa vacation to my weary soul. I so need this break.

I need to get dressed! To be continued tomorrow....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aA2saK7ZIlc







Saturday, February 4, 2017

Did it

So I played my show. It was really fun. There is a horror, always, leading up to playing, the anxiety is overwhelming. I am mildly dyslexic in some odd undiagnosed way so I can play a song a million times and still forget the chords, not out of fear-it happens even when rehearsing home alone. I will never do it perfect, so I go up there with a certain knowing that  it will be imperfect, which is good and bad. The trick is to surrender into acceptance and try not to push to hard to compensate. It is all a delicate balance. And then viola! After the first note, it's always really easy and pleasant and fun.

So many people came out. It feels really great to play to a packed room. It was great to see all those beautiful faces. (Thank you everyone).

I got to sing a duet with Jesse (Malin) of Cigareets and Violets, a song I co-wrote, that I really love and that I have never performed. That was great.

And playing with the band, which yesterday in my mind felt like too dramatic of a shift, was just perfect. I played solo and then we rocked. The guys in the band played amazing and it was an easy fit and they gave me this great gift, the opportunity to play certain songs loud and fast with support, with a bottom of drums and bass. Weeeeeeeeeeehooooo!

So there you have it, the process and the end result. We have to fearlessly step across the gap every time. We have to just show up and do it.

And in the immortal words of one of my favorite works of art, hanging on Jesse's wall ( ha! I am paraphrasing): the struggle is normal. I have always loved you.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G-47-X3hDfM



Friday, February 3, 2017

What the fuck am I doing?

Alas, I am playing a show tomorrow. My judgement was way poor when I agreed to it. I am going to the British academy awards in London with my husband on Friday. I have to get a dress and shoes and hair and childcare and everything together and travel. I also have to get a dress for the Academy Awards in  3 weeks, which involves all of the same issues. It's almost like I have to go to two black tie weddings in different cities and instead of dealing with it, I am rehearsing a show!

If I may be blunt, as a mom of two kids, one of whom is 2, I am lucky if I get to shave my legs once every few months. There really is no free time for anything other than our routine. The show is enough. The academy awards in the same city as we are in is enough. Getting my hair done is enough. And here I am juggling all of this. I am not complaining. I am aware of the privilege. I am just trying to say that it feels impossible, and maybe it is.

On top of that, I decided to play part of this show with a band and I casually got one together and set up a rehearsal. It turns out that playing music with new people is a bigger deal than I imagined, kind of like dropping acid. But I did it. And it sounds good. And playing my tender solo stuff next to my punk stuff is much weirder than I had in mind when I casually had the idea to do a retrospective of my music career. I didnt think any of it out, because I have no time to think. And here I am.

there is always a point before a performance when I think "what the fuck am I doing." Sometimes I joyously count the days till it is over. Sometimes I consider canceling. Ha! I guess it is my process. It always feels great during and after , but the lead up is pure hell. Can't wait till it's over , and then I miss it once it is over. In fact I love having done it oce it is over. I love playing. But as for right now... How did I manage to agree to this and why? I guess because we are supposed to use our gifts and be of service. I am glad I some how got tricked into doing it. I appreciate the amnesia that allows me to say yes. I am in the crystal clear reality of regret right now, but I know it is an illusion. Fuck it. Life is short. Do something. The clock is ticking people, ignore it, but go do something.

Alas my friends - that is the inside look at what happens before I play. I promise the show will be entertaining. I can really pen a good phrase here and there and nail a melody. My special guests are amazing too. I promise I will bring it. Come on down. Sat feb 4 @ 9 @. Berlin. Dig it.



https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vB_RQkSWxug

Thursday, February 2, 2017

my husband was nominated for an academy award and I'm back..

So my lovely husband was nominated for his second academy award, for editing La La Land. I am so very thrilled for him. He works so hard and is so kind and it couldn't happen to a nicer person .

The first time around the whole experience was so very new to us and he was the underdog from a little film. This time around everything is so very different. He is part of this big film that has tied Titanic for the most nominations and we know the ropes a little bit. I am not jaded, this is not old hat, it is super exciting and I am going to take you along for the journey if you care to come...

I want to start by saying that my darling talented husband was kicked out of film school. He did  3 years and was kicked out. He finished college at the same school, with a different major, visual arts/ photography. I know the whole story of the kick out. When I just asked him why, looking for a way to write about it, he just said, just now as I type "Oh god, I don't know". He's so beyond the whole experience. I bring it up because my academy award winning husband who now has a second nomination was kicked out of film school. Never give up people, never stop doing what you want to  do, what you believe in, what you feel called to. Never sell your soul and live a dreary life of settling because someone tells you no. Don't give up your dreams because of external or internal obsticals. Strive on. Even if they don not manifest in the ways you were planning. It doesn't matter if you fail. Just never quit because of the gatekeeper telling you you can't enter...because they don't know you.

I'll leave you with that. I'll get to the dress, for those who care, and the unbelievable and almost undoeable schedule, and all my luxury problems, and all the ups and downs of the ride. But for now, keep moving in the direction of your dreams, just like in that movie he worked on.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The beautiful IRT

Growing up the IRT was a drag. I lived by the A and the 1 and I never took the 1. It didn't go anywhere I needed to be. 

Today I chose the IRT over the A because the A is notoriously slow and problematic. These days the 1,2 and 3 are always running fast. I got  to the station and a 3 pulled in in 1 minute, not 6, not 9, not 20. When it got to 14 th street, the 1 sat there waiting for us. It didn't shut the doors just as a I got off the 3. It was so polite. I ran over and jumped on. So easy.

Before I transferred, I sat on the 3 across from the most glorious young couple. They were right out of the early 80's Danceteria scene. The woman was so soft and gorgeous and feminine with a Debbie Harry bob complete with bangs, originally dark but made platinum and then double processed a fine pale champaign parfait grey, fluffy and messy and so pretty. She had a wide flat smile with flat teeth and wide cheekbones and full lovely lips, I almost felt embarrassed by how much I wanted to stare at her. She was angelic, no hard edges even though she was wearing great style. She had on black sweat pants, a black sweater, a long dark overcoat and high tops with a hidden wedge and she had long nails painted black. Every time she smiled at her partner, I almost blushed and looked away. The guy was all about Jean Michel Basquiat. He was dark and lovely and had that same hairstyle that Basquiat wore. Our eyes met and we exchanged a big smile.

At the other end of the train a tiny old white woman screamed at an imaginary enemy, pointing cursing and accusing.  She was so angry and kept it up the whole ride. My end of the car was so good it didn't matter. The only thing that kept me from thinking I was in a time machine was that the woman was knitting, something she would have never done if it were still the 80's.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tradition and destiny

"That which remains unconscious manifests as destiny." I am not sure who put it exactly that way, possibly me (ha!). (There is also Carl Jung's version "Whatever is not conscious will be experienced as fate.") I am fascinated with the concept that seems to prove true again and again. I hold onto it with great hope to see how it will play out with the current PE. (I'm just thinking that you can't be a compulsive liar, a drug addict, a sexual predator, and/or a compulsive criminal and them get put into a high pressure job and stop being those things. You will stumble and ultimately you will fall. I think it will happen sooner rather than later.)

My family is black, Latinx and Asian and white. My children are black and Latinx. I have every reason to be afraid but I am not. Here's the thing, I have been politically active  and I have supported those less fortunate than me my entire adult life. I have always accepted my civic duty, my human duty in the world to be of service and to consider other's well being, not just my own (imperfectly, but consistently and consciously). I was a sexually abused kid with no support, so I know what it is like to be in pain and need. When you suffer, you can transform it into something positive, you can let it teach you compassion. You make a choice to become better or bitter.

This election has shined a light on the amount of people who are racists yes. But also on the amount of people who just don't care about the "less fortunate"; people who never made the choice to become better, who hold their bitterness dear; people whose parents never taught them that we don't improve our lives by stepping on others, but by helping others up as well; people who are desperately out for themselves and don't understand that throwing others under the bus actually hurts everyone, including themselves; and people who I am guessing never learned in their churches, even though Jesus is famous for saying it, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."  Poor attitudes around service, responsibility, basic human kindness, and respect of other humans beings repulse me to say the least but these poor attitudes still exist (in at least 28%of the voting public) so now what...

The great news is that many good people who may not have consciously and consistently been practicing their civic duties are now participating which is a powerful and glorious thing.

I come from the airy fairy school of thought that says thoughts and words matter and while I am in full reality about what is going on in the world, I refuse to mentally and verbally support a hateful future. I refuse to project doom and gloom because the truth is we have no idea how everything will play out. It's kind of like when you get bad news, like a dreadful medical diagnosis. Ideally, you get clarity on the facts and then you stay positive, envision victory, and fight like hell. I am allowed to be hopeful. I have face real (WAY TOO REAL) danger before, looked it in the eye and overcame it. We can do this.

We can do this. Say it with me sisters and brothers. IGNORE the distractions- the sideshow, the tweets, the reality TV. READ and SUPPORT legitimate news sources. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE as you envision the future you want, without projections of doom and gloom. "That which remains unconscious manifests as destiny."

I leave you with my new year tradition of posting my favorite poem. I wish you all the strength and motivation to fight for equality in the new year, the capacity to stay in reality and hope at the same time, and the ability to be the change we seek with empathy, kindness, service and gratitude. Peace on earth, goodwill toward all.

Footnote to Howl

BY ALLEN GINSBERG
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul!
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!


                                                                                                            Berkeley 1955

http://youtu.be/v0hRSCzUcio