Friday, January 30, 2009

Live Life Out Loud

...for some reason, that phrase popped into my head early the other morning when I finally went to bed. I googled it and discovered it's a fairly oft-used phrase and I'm not that brilliant.

I'd had a midnight conversation that night with an old friend from HS, and he was telling me how he checks my Crackbook page on a regular, cuz it's interesting and all about real life. I post all day over there, from my phone usually... and am pretty honest there as much as I am here about how I'm feeling, but because it's a "status update" it has to be one or two sentences. I'd do it here on the blog, except for some reason my phone doesn't post to Blogger all that well. I should investigate Twitter. But I need another web addiction like I need a hole in my head.

Anyway.

A spaghetti-like train of thought started when another HS friend told me he had been talking to yet a third friend about me and the third had remarked that I had always been popular.

And that's hilarious cuz I never felt popular. Not naturally, anyhow. As I've mentioned in other posts, I throw lousy parties, folk don't often travel out to the Rock to see me ("It's faaaar" "I don't feel like driving", "It's faaaar") and I spend the lion's share of my time by myself or with my kid. It's so bad that whenever I'm NOT with my kid, folk in the neighborhood do double-takes and ask me where my tail is. Even the bus drivers ask me... "going to get The Sun?"

To truly be "popular", at least by my definition of the word would be work for me... it takes calculation. And as far as I'm concerned, that takes away from what being popular is all about... I think folk gravitate towards certain people because those people are easy with themselves and easy to be with. And usually, people who make them feel better about themselves. I think I'm easy with myself but I don't think I'm all that easy to be with... if I were I wouldn't be alone quite so much. I also think my tendency to be honest about what I'm feeling--about anything, including the person I'm with--can be a little hard to take.

What I'm good at is being honest with myself, although that took a long time to happen. It took me getting kicked in the teeth by life. A few times. Cuz I've realized over time that in order to be honest with people, you have to be really willing to be honest with yourself. And that can be painful as hell. And being honest with people is no picnic either, cuz folk have an AMAZING resistance to hearing the truth uncut and raw. Especially when it's about them. And particularly in this country, in our society.

That thought came to me later on that same morning, after I'd put the Sun on the bus with the Moon and Shoefly, and crawled back into bed for my morning hour nap before I had to go up the street to the factory. I'd left the TV on, so I wouldn't sleep too heavily, and in my half-sleep I heard the Today Show do a piece about the "Commodification of Hope". I thought to myself that Candidate Obama's initial message of hope and of change swept the nation and into the hearts of little folk everywhere but if he hadn't gotten elected, it would have become some kind of a joke. The Gollums would have been sneering at it for ever, taking great pride in bashing the hopes of people.

But the message worked; largely because it was perceived by the rank and file, the poor and the desperate and those who were just plain ol' tired of the same ol' ish, as being uniquely honest. And the Candidate Obama made people like themselves, liked their own potential for change and greatness. So now that he's President, it's fast becoming a branding strategy. I already see that rawness and honesty becoming the shiny, plasticized and sanitized version, the packaged version, to be spoonfed for the next few years until we take it all for granted again. (The Pepsi logo now looks even more like Obama's campaign logo... and I'd thought his logo looked like Pepsi's to begin with. When we went down to DC with Opus two weeks ago, the word "TOGETHER" was emblazoned across a building wall, with the Pepsi logo replacing the "O". I had to do a double take to realize that it wasn't Obama's logo. Kinda pissed me off, not for nothing.)

It seems we can't accept the raw, emotionally naked and truthful need that humans have for hope and for change for too long. We cannot be honest--really honest--with ourselves that our lives suck, that things need changing. To be honest like that requires too much self-introspection, too much calling ourselves on shit, too much pain.

People don't like the real. They don't like to see people really cry, they get surprisingly uncomfortable at someone belly-laughing. Especially if someone is doing those things alone--they MUST be crazy cuz sane people don't laugh or cry like that. Think about it... when you see someone sitting by themselves laughing their ass of, what's your first reaction? Although I'll allow maybe it's just a big city thing... cuz I can tell you in NYC that person would get a really wide berth.

Folk don't like to see real pain or raw emotion. But we can deal with the sensational... because when it's sensationalized it's not real anymore--like an overblown caricature, larger than life. So large we don't have even try to wrap our minds around it, so we relegate it to the unreal.

Like the man who killed himself, his wife and his 5 children the other day. It's an awful story; I just happened to see it as it broke on CNN.com. It sort of hit home for me, that initial news story before the sensationalism set in... because of a small thought that had entered my head the other day, as I rode the bus into the city to pick my Sun up from school...

My phone starts blowing up at 8:30a with the debt collectors. The phone calls often overlap or come in back-to-back. And about every hour and half, the same thing happens. All day. I don't like it. But at the moment there's not a lot I can do. I can't make payment arrangements if I don't know when there's going to be money. So I just don't answer the phone... but I don't like it.

I have a health insurance policy now... another high school friend suckered convinced me to buy one, to protect my kid in case something happened to me. And it occurred to me that I am indeed, worth more dead than alive. Suppose I were to do something about that? Hand off my child to his father, and make myself go away.

There are several reasons why that would never happen; one is that I fought so damn hard and so damn long for my kid that even though SD and I are getting along now, there's no way I'd hand over my kid to him. And if I left my Sun to my family SD would fight them. Also... if I disappeared and it was found out I disappeared on purpose, no money for the Sun.

But the biggest reason is, overall life isn't that bad. There's stuff I don't like about it, stuff I don't like about me... stuff I wrestle with, things I need to fix, but I can't imagine not wanting to be here.

Poppy and I had been talking about this the other day, cuz Poppy's hurting right now. A lot. His back is out. And I finally told him that we had all been pretty worried that he'd decide to check out. And he was vehement about having things left to do, to say, to learn. He also said that he doesn't believe in heaven or hell, and just thinks things will go "black" when it's his time to go, and he's not ready for that.

While he was talking, I was thinking about how I felt about that. I'm not sure we go black... but it doesn't matter cuz I'm not at all ready to find out.

I'm far from suicidal. But I do explore the darkside... I will let my mind wander to the darkest regions and some of the scariest places. Usually I can pull myself back. Sometimes it's a lot harder to pull back than other times... sometimes I do get caught in the darkness. Sometimes it's hard for me to watch certain things on TV or the news because I can go too far into the darkness. I've learned to avoid certain things.

But most of the time I go there. Because I've felt for a while now, that there are some people that need retrieving from the darkness, and sometimes the person to do that is me. I think I posted here that I'd once had a dream that I had gone into hell to bring some folk out; it was dark and scary with scary people... and there was a big bonfire out in the distance on a stage and a bunch of people dancing around it. The people I was bringing out were scared; they huddled together afraid to be caught. We passed too close to some people and so we hid behind a big bush, watching the fire, waiting for our chance to escape. I knew that I was going to get them out. I woke up before I did... but I knew that they were going to get out.

Yeah I know. That's a tad narcissistic to think that this is my mission; even I think so. But I had another dream similar to that so I've sort of accepted it.

Not everyone wants to come out of the darkness, though. Not everyone wants to step outside themselves, outside of their comfort zones. Sometimes I get too close the core inside a person and I feel the white heat blaze out; I know I have to let them go... they don't want me there, they don't want to go inside there themselves. Sometimes it's really sad when this happens cuz I can see such freedom from themselves if they would. Other times it's just really dark and black and I know I can't pull them out.

But sometimes, people do come out. They turn off the white heat, or allow me to pull them out of the black, and those are the ones that make it worthwhile.

I take those experiences and I apply them to myself. I too, used to be very defensive of my core, and my issues. Deny, deny, deny. But it didn't do me any good, really. I ended up making a lot of the same mistakes over and over. I felt unfulfilled. Boxed in. Lonely. So I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore. And I decided that I can't very well encourage folk to let go of their cores and heal their inside or follow the light if I wasn't doing it myself. Because they would detect the dishonesty... and that in turn would only feed the beast inside.

So... I decided to live my life out loud. I go to the scary places in my head, and I write about it, and I'll talk about it you get me going. I allow myself to go where Ervin Lupoe went in case I ever run across someone I can pull out of the black before the black gets them. I allow myself to be angry, or crazy, or hurt because in doing so I feel joy and happiness so much more. Looking at what I wrote it sounds downright bi-polar... except that if you're in control of it it's not quite as crazy as it sounds.

But it's hard sometimes, and lonely. And a little scary. I feel I lose people sometimes because I am this way. But as I told the Fabulous a little while ago, it's a wonderment to be able to love wholeheartedly, laugh loud, cry hard. It's very freeing, and I highly recommend it....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Woke Up Sick Today

partially becuz I stayed up much later than I should have IMing the Fabulous.

Wait, backtrack.

Bigbear, The Sun and I went with the Brothers Sensei and the dojo and Shihan and a FormerBigStar to go see The Soul of Shaolin on Broadway. Shihan had the money for the will-call tickets, and Shihan is always late. But reliable. So we all knew he'd show up right at the critical moment, which he did, but BigBear believes in being on time/early (how come I didn't inherit that trait???) so she was kind of freaking.
Waiting for Shihan in front of the Marquis

But of course, Shihan showed up at the critical moment, and we all got seated. FormerBigStar and Shihan seemed to have grown up together and so FBS was very at-ease once Shihan got there; the two of them sat in the row behind BigBear, The Sun and I, keeping a running commentary going throughout the show. It was funny... reminded me of the days when you'd sit in a movie theatre on the Duece and talk at the screen.

I used to tease Nene, especially once he told me he was going back to Babymama, that FBS was going to be my future husband. Even though Nene couldn't do anything about that, it always made me laugh that he would seem to get a little jealous. I made sure to wear a low-cut blouse and tight jeans knowing that FBS was going to be there, and because I knew it would bother Nene. But... Nene couldn't really say anything cuz Babymama's older son was there, and plus I sort of wonder whether FBS is a little um, "happy". It's very hard to tell... mostly he comes across as being a major geek, and when he's comfortable he just acts extra-geeky but my real-world experience tells me if you have to wonder about it, it probably is.

No worries. He's still hellafine and I get tongue-tied around him. I was thrilled that Shihan made a point to introduce me and the Sun specially, and he was extraordinarily charming.

The show was great! Holy Cow. I love the martial arts... and I have a policy of "no regrets" in my life but damn I wish I'd kept up my studies from a younger age. I can't remember how long I actually took karate as a teen... maybe two years? And when my sensei sort of flipped out and fell out with Professor Ernest Hyman, instead of staying at the dojo, the Professor and I quit. If I could do it over I'd have stayed... and I'd be good by now. Instead I pressure the Sun. I don't know that I'll ever be that great myself... if I'll ever be able to last two minutes in a kickboxing ring or win a sparring match, cuz my lungs are all scarred by asthma and my knees are already straining. I don't think I'll ever get a full split again and my legs get all jelly-like when I sit in a horse-stance too long... but I want to keep trying. And watching the monks in these low-ass stances was amazing. And they could go from a push-up position to mid-air in a split second, and break staffs over their heads and abs and hold a rice bowl on their abdomen. And the littlest monk could throw his leg up behind his head without blinking... literally in the blink of an eye. But they could also fight...

The story was a little contrived and the music a little over produced and not live... and I suspect if you weren't already a fan or student of the martial arts and kung-fu movies in particular, you might get a little bored. But it was awesome.

Afterwards we got to pose with them.... well, I took the pictures and everyone else posed:
...and then we all headed home. In the subway at Times Square as we were all getting Metrocards, the monks all came down--I guess headed to their hotel somewhere. They all wore track pants and red down parkas. They were too cute.

When the Sun and I got to the end of the subway line, I thought we'd make the bus onto the Rock... according to the schedule we were 10 minutes early. But the freaking bus never showed... and we stood there huddled in the cold, just waiting. I didn't have the money for a cab.

By the time we got in the house, got the Sun some pasta (thank GOD I'd saved some cooked pasta) and got him in the bed, it was midnight. And I was on my way to bed, but got sucked into Facebook, which I fell asleep in front of.

So I woke up and was on my way to bed, but Fabulous was on, and even though I'd just wanted to say good night we ended up chatting for an hour.

I dunno. I go back and forth. The reality is his friendship is awesome... and I've been attracted to him since school. And everytime we hang out something great happens. And well, never mind. But I don't know anymore. I have no faith in my judgement.

I realized something today, though... and that was that one of the things I like about him is that he walks in the light. He's looking for his path... and for his "crazy"... but there isn't darkness in him the way there was in TomCat. So when I talk to him, even if it's to encourage him, I get recharged, rather than depleted... and that's a very interesting feeling.

The other thing I realized today is that he's at a crossroads. He is searching for his path which is probably why I'm attacted to him. And it was good to realize that today, because in all honesty it means that once he finds his path he'll move on. And I'm thinking if I tell that to myself from the gitgo, it won't hurt so bad when he finds what he's looking for and goes on his way.

Because I am the Comfort Doll... the cuddle when you're scared, the cheerleader when you're stuck. That's what I do. But at least this go round I get re-charged rather than depleted... and that's a great feeling.

So this morning when I woke up after very little sleep, and it was snowing, I didn't have the heart to rouse my Sun from 6.5 hours of sleep and send him off in the cold and the snow to school, and I damn sure didn't feel like sitting in the factory, so I called in sick, called Shoefly to tell her Sun was staying home, and I went back to bed. The Sun slept till 10:30A... I didn't even feel good until noon.

I answered some email and tried to do a little work, and then the Sun and I headed into the City to go to Violin, the Sun protesting mightily.

I told him though, that this was good for him... this was his ticket to college... this is what will keep him from spending his teenage years at loose ends. And I told him that I was so very proud of him, because I am.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

OH ISH

Fuck.

I think it's happening again.

This time much much more slowly and with less fanfare but it's definitely happening. And I'm so very tired of it all blowing to hell and I don't want to fuck it up but I dunno. And this time there is so much more at stake.

I came THIS CLOSE this past weekend to doing my usual "jumping-in-with-all-four-feet" thing... but I kept having flashbacks to a scrub. So I decided to wait... so that I could be sure of what I was doing.

Yesterday it clicked, and I knew I could walk away. I could leave Las Vegas behind. It's sad... so very very sad. Cuz for a week I believed in the impossible, for a month I believed in fairy tales. And for a few months afterward my world was inkyblack.

Saturday evening the Peeps and I went to the Thunderbird Social at the American Indian Museum. It was like a family reunion. The Indian from 125th Street. The lady I run into on 104th Street and Madison. Eagle Eye. The IronFeather Drum Circle. Mima. And others. I didn't dance, but I sat with the Sun and watched... absorbing the vibe, loving the flow.

I'd had a "crazy" the Friday before, really hurting, really fighting the blackness... and so I'd asked the Fabulous to just go out and be friends, cuz he always makes me feel good.

We met at the Museum and hitched a ride with the folk to Times Square. We talked, and looked up and saw it was 12:30; we had to pay our tab cuz the kitchen was closing. We talked, we couldn't get another beer because it was 2A and the bar was closing. We walked around the corner and discovered one of the last vestiges of Old New York... a tiny bar with an old ass bartender chick, a huge jukebox, a pay phone, and the walls and bar covered in pictures of prizefighters. And they served cheap booze. We talked, we played with his iPhone and looked up and saw it was 4A and we were getting kicked out again.

So he brought me home. And we talked and looked up and it was almost 7A.

And that's all there was. Except the glow has lasted all week... but I don't believe in Fairy Tales anymore, and I can't go through that inkyblack shit again cuz this time I may not survive it.
I can remember stories, those things my mother said
She told me fairy tales, before I went to bed
She spoke of happy endings, then tucked me in real tight
She turned my night light on, and kissed my face good night
My mind would fill with visions, of perfect paradise
She told me everything, she said he'd be so nice
He'd ride up on his horse and, take me away one night
I'd be so happy with him, we'd ride clean out of sight
She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie
She never said that maybe, someday he'd say goodbye

The story ends, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - of fairy tales - uh
No, uh - huh - mmm - mmm

She spoke about happy endings, of stories not like this
She said he'd slay all dragons, defeat the evil prince
She said he'd come to save me, swim through the stormy seas
I'd understand the story, it would be good for me
You never came to save me, you let me stand alone
Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold

My story end, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - no fairy tales - yes

I don't look for pie up in the sky, baby
Need reality, now, said I
Don't feel the need to be pacified, don't cha try
Honey, I know you lied

You never came to save me, you let me stand alone
Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold
I found no magic POTION, no horse with wings to fly
I found the poison apple, my destiny to die
No royal kiss could save me, no magic spell to spin
My fantasy is over, my life must now begin

My story end, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - no fairy tales - eh,
hey, hey - eee - mmm, mmm
Lord have mercy - ooo
ooo - mmm - oh Lord

-Anita Baker, "Fairy Tales"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crack Is Wack

In case anybody has noticed, I'm not nearly as strong or as together as people first think when they meet me. I'm not nearly as self-contained as I come across. People who have never met in real life but only know me in blog world maybe know, since a good portion don't know me in The Real.

And it's one reason why I often allow/don't mind/invite The Real to read my blog, in the hope that on those days I come across as bitchy/self-contained/strong they may realize that it's actually when I'm suffering the most. When I'm holding on the tightest to myself.

My outward calm hides the turmoil.

The Turmoil lately certainly is not as bad as it's been. BlackAugust, in my mind, is about the worst it's ever been.... I look back in the abstract and see an inkyblack, boiling cauldron of spikes. So it's not that bad. Actually, it's not bad... just tiring.

I'm approaching 44. In the abstract, I don't mind the number. I look good for the number. I can still tell my age and have people think I'm ten years younger. This puts me at about 34. I don't get carded, people don't think I'm in my 20's anymore but to still be thought I'm 10 years younger is good. Lately though, when people tell me I don't look 44, I feel a sense of fleetingness pass through me, and I think of this verse from the Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10):
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
and I'm reminded that it's all downhill from here. Hopefully a slow downhill... but downhill nonetheless.

I haven't gone out to celebrate my birthday in a while. I haven't tried to have a party in a while. I know 44 isn't a "milestone" number like 40 or 45, but at 40 I don't think I really felt like publicly celebrating. But this year I do. I think, really, I have a need to feel like Cinderella. So I booked a private pole-dancing class for myself and 15-20 of my closest girlfriends and family, and afterwards I'm trying to have a "hang out" for anyone who feels like showing up. The last time I remember trying to have a "real" party for myself was my 16th Birthday, and 10 guys showed up and no girls.

You'da thunk a memory like that would make me feel good. But it's kinda been the story of my life and it stinks. Cuz not one of the guys was my boyfriend, and not one of those guys ever became my boyfriend. And years later, come to find out... guys still remember that party and that they traveled long ways to get there. Over the summer when I'd gone to my high school reunion summer barbecue, a few of them talked about it. I had no clue what party they were talking about; I'd blocked it out. Then I remembered--duh! My 16th! And yet not one of those guys ever asked me out--at least not while we were young and single. Go figure. Cuz now they're old and married and the offers are just rolling in, the fuckers. The other night I was being IM'd by two of them (married guys) at the same time. It thoroughly annoyed the shit out of me.

Anyway. So I at least have 15-20 women friends invited by default to share my birthday, because I'm forcing them to be there by luring them with learning how to dance on a pole. Bribery works, I say.

Then something else happened that I don't really feel like going into detail about, largely because I think it happened in my own mind. But I'm not really sure. But it started to send me into a tailspin, back into that inkyblack cauldron. The one person I tried to tell, CNC, is so wrapped up in her drama with PrettyBoy (who I'm becoming convinced is completely insane and not worth the trouble she's putting in) that she wasn't really helping me be objective. And I only felt like telling her because she wasn't around for the original drama. Sometimes I do that... I have to spread shit around to those who weren't there for the original drama because to take it back to those same folks puts me back into the same spot. And I needed to view this from another vantage point.

But she was useless... and I felt myself being pulled into the inkyblack until I decided it was all in my head and I wasn't going to let my head drag me down again, and I think I've managed to pull myself back. But I understand why crackheads can't stop. There are some things you can't take just one hit of and walk away... some things are so powerful that you either let them consume you or you leave them alone altogether. And there's no rhyme or reason as to what things will hook you, either. I have alcoholic genes, but I've never contracted the sickness where I need to drink all the time, no matter how bad my life is. But this particular thing... this thing grabs me and pulls me under quickly and I don't know why. To the outside world I went into full-blown "Chihuahua Mode"--you know... little yippy dog with an annoyingly loud bark, who does so out of nervousness and frustration.

And nobody will pet me.

Fuckers.

Other life stuff, which doesn't really belong in this post but since I don't get to write everyday anymore I'll put it in, Random-Ish and Spaghetti-like:
  • We've all been concerned about Poppy. He had hernia surgery recently and it put him through the wringer. Having had conversations with Mr. Kip about why he needed to stick around, I brought it up with Poppy the other day to feel him out. I was relieved to hear other than not liking back pain and some other stuff related to the surgery, he still feels he wants to stick around, and I find that reassuring. Cuz Mr. Kip was adamant that he wanted out; he was done. And he was.

  • The other day, the 22nd, was Grandpa Truman's birthday. I never got to even publicly say "Happy Birthday" to him cuz I was pulling myself back from the precipice, but I felt him around. I know he and Mr. Kip have been watching over the Sun. I really need to write about how, but I need to go to bed and it's kinda long. I hope I remember to come back to that story, cuz it's a good one.

  • I'm loving the new President. The downside is I'm oddly and personally hurt by those folk who are adamant that he sucks, that he won't live up to his promises, and that one even said they hoped he failed. Mostly, they tend to be Caucasian but deny they are racist. But I find it a little odd that mostly, they are Caucasian. Now granted, Rush Limbaugh is an ass and a shock jock... but come on.... but I guess that's another post. Maybe I'll get back to throwing out my tiny little voice into the political wind. But I love him, the President... I'm actually excited to come home and see what he's done that day. I wonder if his openness and frankness will last... I find it refreshing that as a younger politician he doesn't play the same way the other politicians play. And I got a huge kick out of this story of him visiting the Press Corp. And everytime someone on the news says "The President" and I look up and it's a brown man, I get a giggle.

  • Just how crazy is Blagojevich? And how in the hell did he get elected? It must be cuz he's young and good looking. OK, kind of like Obama--I'll give critics that. But Obama at least makes sense. This guy... holy fuck. What was that whole thing about the old Cowboy Movies????

  • The Fabulous one is a good friend. I proposed to him the other day, when I was feeling particularly "yippy". He didn't accept or reject but it amused me to do so, and it didn't bother me that he didn't accept or reject. Probably because as much as I adore him, I can't see us married. Our worlds are so different even though our minds function the same way... but what the hell do I know. Other than crack is wack.

  • My kid is a great kid. I think one day he's going to be a rock star. The trip to DC and the suit and the accolades seemed to make it all click. He came home and picked up his guitar. He picked out some notes and then wrote them down, and the following day came back and played them all the same way he had the day before. He moved his guitar and amp into his room. I made an appointment with WhiteClogs to tune the guitar and show him some scales. The Sun is all excited. He's already recruiting for his band.
...and that's all until I have some time to delve more deeply into things. But first I have to clean up again... ugh...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm So Far Behind Myself

and I was seriously doubting my abilities, but two parents today assured me it's not just me. One of them was OneHalf, who I admire cuz she seems like she's got her shit together most days. She's a little crazy, yes, which is why I get along with her, but she's got the OtherHalf and she's got a MIL, and she's got two beautiful kids and her own home and is always up to something.

But she has a "thing" with the laundry, and the night before we had to leave for DC she texted me cuz she knew I was up. She was in the Laundromat with clothes. It was 1A. We had to be at Opus at 7A. Not a good look. And today she needed me to meet her to walk her lovely little BouncyGirl into Opus for rehearsal cuz she was in the laundromat again with 7 bags of laundry. And as much as I wished I could help her, I couldn't cuz I myself was running late to get the Sun to violin.

And while at Opus I ran into another father with his lovely two who was beyond stressed and feeling overwhelmed by life. And he's got a wife. And they both have jobs.

And I'm a single chick with no job so I guess I'm doing OK.

But I'm so fucking far behind myself I could scream.

But I wanted to say that throughout the whole period of time between the election and the inauguration, I've been holding my breath. Waiting to exhale. And yesterday, once he was sworn in I could breathe. I could believe. There's a man in the White House who's brown like me. Who's of mixed heritage like my Sun. But the hugeness of it still didn't dawn on me till this morning when CNN cut away from it's rehash of the previous day, because The President was speaking.

Holy Fuck but the President is my color. Ain't that some shit?

The Gollums are still slithering and hissing and saying they're not racist, but it's so pathetic now I don't even really feel compelled to defend our President anymore. Something tells me he can take care of himself.

But to me, the bestest part of the best day ever was the first dance by the Presidential couple. Wow. A love like that comes once in a lifetime. I don't think you can fake a moment like that. Watching them dance was like watching your favorite couple on their long-awaited wedding day, and knowing they'd be together forever. President? The greatest achievement a person in this country could ever have... but love like that is priceless. I'd take that over anything else any day. I was screaming and jumping and crying till the Sun grabbed me and sat me down. "It's OK, mom! Calm down!"

At :30 seconds into the dance, the look on his face takes my breath away, and at :33 seconds he says to her "How 'bout this?"



I hope he's a great President. I hope he can help to fix the economy, get jobs and industry going again, make health care easy to obtain. I hope he can fulfil at least some of his campaign promises, and I hope that he exceeds all expectations. Not because he's brown like me, but because this country needs him to be a great President.

But what I hope for more than anything is that he makes love cool again. That folk will look at him and her and realize that love is worth trying for, worth believing in, that family is essential to individual success. That our children need family. Need love...

So speaking of which SD and I are getting along famously, which I don't mind, but I'm starting to feel the walls close in again on me and I'm scared. He lost his job out there in Cali... terminated cuz he's now Vice President of his Union and is trying to organize the people (Yes, you read that right... SD. Who'da thunk it). I hope he's got enough out there to stay for, cuz God knows my worst nightmare is that he'll think there's something here in NY to come back to... and I don't mean his kid.

I don't want it. I lived it. I worked through it, I survived it and I know people grow and change but I don't want it.

Ugh. And what I do want? Just when I think I'm good and can handle not having it something happens. I know I felt like this before until something came along to distract me... but this one is dangerous. I've got to pull myself together and grab a hold of my life... have to remind myself and steel myself to focus on me and mine. Before I lose everything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Should Say Something

but I'm still absorbing. Still overwhelmed. And still very much behind.

And it still hasn't sunk in...

Plus I'm still recovering from DC.

So in the meantime... some video:



I watched the inauguration with the Sun's school:

video

Words, later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Hate Posting Sporadically

cuz I'm an all-or-nothing chick, so my natural inclination is to be so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I put off blogging.

But I'm trying to moderate myself, and besides I need to write. Keeps the voices at bay. But right now there's so much going on I can't really sit and think and write.

So, again, Random-Ish and Spaghetti-like, in no particular order:

  • This Violin thing... my kid's violin ensemble being asked to play in honor of Barack Obama's inauguration is out of control. It's definitely more than 15 minutes of fame. We're working on about 30 minutes, now. Kids have been on TV several times, people are starting to get under-cover testy about who was given "face time" or not (though I admit to keeping a running tally and while my kid hasn't gotten any "talk time" he's gotten considerable "face time" and I'll be a bragging mommy beeatch and agree with his father that it's cuz he's cute), folk are bogarting their way onto trips that they weren't really invited on, every time the poor kids rehearse there are cameras and reporters and microphones. It sounds bad but actually it's amusing, and since we parents get along great for the most part, most of what's going on can be giggled at. I'm giggling, at least. And I'm proud as hell of ALL those babies even if one or two of the parents I could really do without, and I am totally willing to pimp my child out to the cameras. Cuz I'm really hoping he'll get some kind of scholarship out of it. Or something. Us parents were joking they should get their SAG or ASCAP cards out of the deal, at least.

    But all jokes aside. It's really amazing. First off, that these little kids sound so good. Secondly, that Roberta believed in what she was doing and stayed in Harlem and gave music to these kids. Not because they are poor or underprivileged, cuz Harlem isn't what she used to be; the area is not as poor as it used to be. But Roberta has kept music education in NYC accessible to a wide range of folk, and for that I am grateful. And her kids in the ensemble (even the kids who just get violin in school and aren't in the ensemble) are some of the Sun's school's better performers academically, so she's really proof that music is necessary for the development of children.

    And the fact that our children were chosen to go to DC to honor our first brown President, well shit. Whoda thunk it? Certainly not me. Last year this time I doubted Obama would ever get this far.

    Here's their latest posted appearance:



  • So that "Miracle on the Hudson"...Wow. Although in NY we've been inundated with the story to the point of "JJJEEEEZZZ!!! We GET IT!", but still. I was watching the folks be rescued on TV, and I got shivers. It was so nice to see a good story, with a real hero for a change. But I can't help thinking how desperately America is looking for a hero right now. And I pray that they don't find anything bad out about Sully, cuz if they do the media will rip him to pieces.

  • This week is Passover for us. My little man was really upset that they had chocolate cinnamon buns at the TV Studio this morning and he couldn't have any. But I'm proud as hell that he has that kind of willpower.

  • We retrieved his phone from the Yonkers Bus Depot. Special shout-out to Towanna, who held the phone for us, and was pleasant and courteous on the phone. And all the other employees at the depot who were friendly and polite.

  • I've decided TomCat is a scrub and I was an idiot.

  • But the Fabulous is pretty freakin' cool. Just as a friend. And good friends are hard to find and should be cherished always, even if you never sleep with them.

  • We're going to DC!!!! How FUCKING cool is that! And while we can't confirm that the Obama's will be there, I find it interesting that the organizers are being extremely tight-lipped about who is coming... so ya just never know.
I'll have pictures and stories later. But right this second I have to go to bed. 5A wake-up call tomorrow...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Random-Ish and Spaghetti-Like

I'm tired.

Like I dunno... winter tired. Bone tired. And I've actually been sleeping.

They say "a woman's work is never done". It isn't. I recognize that other people seem to be FAR more organized and efficient than me. I may not be the best planner. I'm not the great housekeeper I used to be. Once the Sun came into my life it seems everything went to hell in a handbasket. Although while I was still working, I was pretty organized. I got up, got the Sun dressed and packed, put him in the Snugli or the backpack, got onto the train, got off at 125th, passed him over the turnstile to Bigbear, went back down to the platform, went to work.

So maybe I should say once I decided to go ahead and be an artist, everything went to hell in a handbasket. Maybe I'm just doing too many things. I feel like I'm never home. I don't have the time to do the projects and art work I want or need to do. The laundry is never completely done(how can only two people--one of them fairly small, generate so much laundry???), I'd love to cook for more than one day at a time but often don't manage to do that.

No, it's not Crackbook. Some of my best Crackbooking is done from my phone when I'm on a train. Though I do have days when I crackbook. No, it's not really blogwriting either. Besides, blogwriting is therapy for me. I don't write-I go nuts.

There just aren't enough hours in the day for one person. I'd feel worse about it except the two people I know who work from home/spend a lot of time shuffling the kids around--them being OneHalf and TheFatLady... neither one of them has time either. Neither one of them gets enough sleep. So I don't think it's just entirely that I'm a bad planner or a lousy housekeeper or an inefficient time manager. There's those things yes... but there just aren't enough hours in the day.

We slept late the Sun and I, and then I had to make him breakfast and hustle him off to Violin rehearsal. I was tired... had been up just about all night doing laundry. Then we shot downtown to 14th with Bigbear on a Trader Joe's run (Trader Joe's rocks), and then back up to the Bronx with a stop at Bona Vita Key Food for the rest of the stuff I needed. Then I came home and cooked. Did more laundry. Vacuumed. And I'm still behind.

But I needed to vent:
  • I still want to write my "I Think I'm a Racist" post but it's still percolating, and since Black History month is around the corner--my least favorite month--I'll save my post for then, and in it I'll also explore why I hate Kwaanzaa.
    .
  • I say I hate people, and I do. People suck. People are assholes. But at the same time, humankind is amazing. The history of our earth, or planet, the evolvement of language and custom and belief systems, the way we look depending on the region we originated in--all this fascinates me. We are all "Star Stuff". What make us up, the atoms and matter, is the same stuff that makes up the universe. What our bodies are made of; the cells, the plasma, the neurons, is all the same pretty much, no matter where in the world you find us. Yet each individual human is incredibly unique. How can you not believe in God... that there is a rhythm and an order to the universe? A plan?

  • Why are humans hellbent on destroying each other? I haven't commented on what's going on in Israel and Gaza. But I've been thinking about it a lot. I don't know that I can take sides, even if it was my fight. I don't know enough about the specifics... haven't done any research on it on my own, to understand the politics. As someone who follows the Jewish faith, I have a sense of loyalty and I do understand the need for a country. But as an American of displaced descent, I can relate to wanting to hold onto the land I came from, where I was born. I can understand resentment at being pushed off of that land. But the numbers of the dead and multiplying...

  • Tonight, walking to the bus from the supermarket, the sidewalk was a sheet of ice. I almost fell twice, and almost wrenched my knee out keeping my balance. The Sun, fascinated by the sleek, slippery surface and by the sound chopped up ice made under his boots, remarked "It sounds like I'm walking on broken glass. How come ice looks like glass, mom?"

    I didn't have a good answer for him. Why DOES ice look like glass? Two completely different substances, completely different temperatures. Yet, they're both slippery to walk on. And can be see-through. And can be shattered. And make crunching noises under your feet. I told him that a lot of things in life look very much like things unrelated to them. I think it's God's sense of humor, myself.

  • I've discovered I make slammin' Hot Chocolate. Granted, for the most part I follow the recipe on the Hershey's cocoa powder tin, but I discovered something thanks to a box of hot chocolate I'd bought at Whole Foods once:

    2 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder per per person
    2 rounded tablespoons demerra or turbinado sugar per person
    a dash of salt per person
    1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract per person
    dash of cinnamon per person
    for extra kick a dash of ground cayenne pepper per person
    1 cup milk per person
    1/8 cup or more boiling hot water

    In an appropriate saucepan, combine the dry ingredients. Stirring carefully but rapidly (preferably with a whisk) add enough boiling water to make a paste. Turn the flame under the mixture, stirring constantly. It will begin to bubble along the sides pretty quickly so be careful. It can scorch pretty quickly. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly until the chocolate is almost boiling. Using a funnel, pour the hot chocolate into a mug. If you hold the funnel a little higher than the mug, it will make the chocolate froth. Top with whipped cream.

  • The other morning I had to make a quick breakfast. And it came out so pretty and tasty I took a picture:

    3 large eggs
    1/4 tsp dried dill weed (fresh is better, but you'd need less dill weed if you do
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons half and half (or milk)

    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup coarsely grated Asiago cheese.
    (1/4 cup thawed/drained frozen chopped broccoli or leftover steamed broccoli if you like, or chopped tomatoes.

    Heat an oven to 550 degrees
    In a bowl beat all ingredients except the cheese and butter. In a skillet with a heatproof/metal handle, heat the skillet and add butter. When butter is melted, pour in egg mixture, pulling in the edges of the eggs as they set from the side of the pan. Lower the flame to low/medium. Once the eggs have mostly set, turn off the flame under the pan. If you're adding broccoli or tomatoes, sprinkle it on top of the eggs. Sprinkle the eggs with the cheese. Stick the skillet in the broiler, checking constantly. When the eggs puff up and get golden brown around the edges, remove from broiler. Cut into quarters, serve on top of buttered toast.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lost In Crack

as in Book.

Laziness, I guess. Crackbook is easy. But part of the charm of Crackbook is finding old friends. I've found a bunch of High School friends.

Holy Fuck but the majority of the ones I found are three times the size they were in High School. And most of the ones who are three times the size are minorities. And I'm not trying to be catty. I realize many people struggle with their weight. But there are people who have struggled with their weight all their lives. Ironically enough, the ones who were heavy in High School are either in very good shape, or at least pretty much the same.

No, folks. I'm talking about the ones who were as skinny as me. And I was a skinny kid. Us brown folk need to work on our diets cuz what we eat is killing us.

The other thing, is the men who are married... a good portion of them are hitting on me. Like HARD. And for once in my life it pissed me off. Twice in just about as many days I had to say "Dude... I've a policy. No married men/no live-in BabyMamma's". "Oh" they said. I mean, seriously, WTF??? Do I have "Comfort Doll" tattooed on my head? What is it about me that attached men want to hit it (and that's all they want) but unattached men run for cover? Oh and my other non-favorite; those fuckers in a relationship that's "complicated". Seriously. How fucking complicated can a relationship be???? Either you're together, or you're not. I don't get it. Even when SD and I were at our WORST, well, worst before court, and I hated/loved/feared him and wasn't even sleeping with him, I still considered myself in a relationship. And there was nothing complicated about it. I didn't WANT to be in the relationship but he wasn't letting me out. And for the most part, until I fucked up and tried to make myself believe the Cuban would ride in and save me, I didn't mess around. And you know what? I don't think SD fucked around either. And if he did, it wasn't "complicated". He very simply kept his shit under wraps and away from me.

Fuckers. This new-fangled thing they got these days call "hook-ups" is just beyond me.

But speaking of... one claims he will (Fucker, no you're not, you ass) and the other claims he won't. It'll get messy, he said. No it won't fucker, cuz how old am I???? How old are you?? What makes you think I want messy drama in my life?

Whatever.

So that's why I haven't been writing. But I haven't been crying and I guess that's a good thing. Matter of fact, most of the time I don't feel like it. Crying, I mean. Every so often memories sneak up and wack me over the head out of nowhere, but whatever.

I decided I'm going to try to coordinate a poledancing birthday party for myself. Last year I wanted to learn bellydancing, then I forgot about it. But this year I might be able to pull it off. At least I hope so. It could do wonders for my self esteem. And hopefully other people's, too.

My new logo project is beginning to get underway. I'm looking forward to it. The problem is chasing the little money at the factory is eating up my time... but I need SOMETHING coming in. My credit is shot. I haven't paid this months rent. I don't answer the phone. Whenever I DO make money, they're gonna come take it all. And while I want to file my taxes, I'm quite sure someone's gonna take my return. Cuz that's the kind of luck I have. No breaks for me.

But I'm not crying!

And last but certainly not least, the excitement surrounding my Sun's trip to DC to play for Obama is mounting. It's kind of funny too, that for the most part, the kids and parents have now gotten used to the sight of video cameras and reporters asking questions.

Opus very kindly came into an extra ticket for the event, and offered it to me for SD. So he's flying in to DC for the day, just so he can attend. He's thrilled. And even better, the Sun is thrilled, too.

To think that last year this time I wouldn't even have considered the remote possibility. But last year this time I wouldn't have imagined a Brown President, either... so there you have it. There can be miracles, if you believe....

Maybe if I actually believe I'll find my Ride or Die, it'll happen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Sun is Back

His dad dropped him off about 9:00p or so last night... both in very good spirits.

I had tracked his flight across the U.S. via the airlines website... and as soon as the site indicated the plane had landed, I stalked him via Sprint's Family Locator.

Gotta love GPS technology. It's a little freaky but useful. This picture indicates the Sun's location... you'll notice that he's at the gate. Only when the Satellite took the picture, there was no plane at the gate.


The Beast though hard and crinkly, was reasonably tamed. Over the week SD texted me that he had washed and conditioned it, and that it came out nice. Shoefly, when I told her, gave me a 10 minute lecture on why I should make sure to braid his hair when he goes...summer before last it was she who helped me detangle the ball of hair that sat at the nape of his neck. And she's right... but somehow it hadn't worked out that I'd braided it, and my gut told me it was the right thing to do.

And I think it was... SD needed to make amends with the Beast. He needed to have the Sun trust him again. He needed to accept the existence of the Beast as something that's important to the Sun. And the Sun needed to forgive his dah for cutting it. Two of the Sun's bad memories with regard to his father center around The Beast... there needed to be a good one. And it seems as though there was...

I'm still a little scared to release the Beast from the three bands holding it in place, though. I may cough up money I really don't have and visit las hermanas Domicanas (is that right?) tomorrow. They tame the Beast better than anyone.

The Sun called me from the AirTrain on his way to the rental car place, requesting "paaaastaaaah!" for dinner. So I made him my version of Spaghetti Carbonara:
  • 5 - 6 strips beef bacon
  • 1 egg
  • whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • ground sea salt, ground pepper, basil, oregano, Adobo salt to suit
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped.
  • About 1/4 virgin olive oil
Fry the bacon until crispy, drain, crumble and set aside. Don't discard the fat, but turn off the flame under the pan. Put the garlic in the fat and let it sit. In a separate bowl beat the egg adding all the seasonings. Boil the pasta last cuz Angel Hair only takes about 7 minutes. Drain pasta and let sit, putting the pasta pot back on the flame to dry out. Add olive oil and scoop the garlic from the bacon pan into the pasta pot. Turn off the flame under the pasta pot and dump the pasta, the egg and bacon into it, mixing rapidly with a pasta rake. Make sure the egg coats the pasta, and stir the egg up from the sides of the pot. Cover the pot and let sit a minute or two to make sure the egg has cooked. Serve with salad.

SD was quite pleasant when he came in; he had to unload some of the Sun's belongings from his suitcase. It startles me to see grey in his beard. He looks good though. Maturity suits him on so very many levels.

And then he was gone and my Sun belonged to me once more...

This afternoon he had his regular post-dah breakdown over wearing a warm jacket vs. a hoodie outside to play Nerfwar. I just hugged him. I told him I know it's hard to come back. He's glad to be home but I know it's a letdown from Cali, from video games, a different life, different parent. Rather than fight me he hugged me back and went on his way with the Moon.

I have to go get dressed now. I need to get some food in this house, using my $100 gift certificate.

And then later I'm going to blog about how I think I'm a racist...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

8,760 Hours Later....

this is where I stand:
  • I made peace with the fact that I'm an artist. I told Poppy yesterday that I'm actually quite comfortable with it now, because it's what I've been all along. What gives me pause me is that I know other people think I'm crazy/insane/intense/scary/going-through-a-phase/untouchable/unreliable/bewildering. This bothers me because believe it or not, as anti-social and low-tolerance-for-bullshit as I am, I need people. Certain people. And those people that I need I'm quite dependent on as long as I allow myself to be. If those people that I love and depend on think I'm those things and start backing away ("Stay awaaaay from the crazy lady!") it hurts. Of course, if they do that means they never really "got" me to begin with but still. It's hard to find that shit out. It means I have to spend some time resetting myself and adjusting to their absence. And I still need my "Ride or Die" and I worry that me being an artist is going to weed out an awful lot of folk. It takes a strong soul to make a commitment to an artist. Trust me... just ask the parents.

    But other than that I'm OK with being an artist. It's what I know. My earliest memories are of the smell of my mother's linseed oil, of paint tubes and brushes, and the sound of my father's typewriter. Of paintings everywhere and Marion Brown's saxophone and people talking about jazz and politics and art.

  • I haven't however, figured out how to afford my cherry-red, patent leather stiletto heels. Or anything else more useful and necessary like the rent. And I still have my mother and grandmother's champagne tastes, so this is sort of a quandary.

  • I lost my sanity at least twice during these 8,760 hours. Maybe more. But I recovered it so it's all good. Especially since my soul is pretty much intact. The heart hurts... but the soul is solid.

  • I loved someone wholeheartedly. Unabashedly and without apology. The problem was I still haven't figured out how to do that with someone who can return the favor.

  • 8,760 hours ago I was still at War with SD, and it seemed it would never end. Looking back, I guess it was the last "surge" before the enemy admits defeat and waves the White Flag, but at the time I felt I was going to be overcome. It's been weird, this sudden peace. But it's a relief. I couldn't have fought much longer. I was tired.

  • Have to add (after post was published) that some of my friendships intensified during the past 8,760 hours... and some dropped off. This is good. Y'all think I'm antisocial and bitchy (you people who know me in real life) but you should know I'm not. I just don't like being hurt so I keep myself close. But to those of you I love, I love 200% (cuz you do know I'm all-or-nothing), and I love when new people come into my life, or people I've known but didn't really know before get to know me/I get to know them... and so I appreciate my ever-closeness with my family, and my ride-or-die freindships with certain ladies (and you know who you are) and my new freindship with CNC. It made a lot of other shit that happened during the past 8,760 hours a lot more bearable.
Last night, New Years Eve, the abstract of it sucked. It was bad enough I haven't had my Sun here... normally during the break we do our Times Square date and hang out with friends and family and I have missed him so much. It's not so much that I'm attached to my child, which I am, but that my kid has an old soul and is great company. In fact, I often forget he's only 9, because in Soul Years he's as old as I am. His soul takes up an awful lot of room in this big apartment, and the absence of it is marked. My apartment is empty without him. He, however, hasn't missed me at all which doesn't make me feel sad. In fact, quite the opposite. I know there will be a time when he spends the majority of his time with his own friends, or hopefully a family of his own and it makes my mother's heart happy because I know he's going to have a good life, independent of me. And I'm happy that he has his Da. But he is good company and I do hate having to share him.

But I knew he was going and if I'd had my druthers I would have spent the holiday curled up on my RedCouch with someone cuddly and a bottle of champagne, but fuck it. Obviously this is not what God intends for me right now. Maybe never, and so I didn't want to be out in the street because I would have felt it more. As it was, being in my own apartment alone insulated me from feeling alone. I cooked. I Crackbooked. For the most part I avoided all the New Year's Eve shows and scenes from Times Square, until the last 15 seconds. Afterwards I turned it off, particularly since there was a song that brought back memories I'm going to do my best to put away forever. Well, at least until they don't hurt. So the reality of New Years Eve didn't suck too much.

The Professor IM'd me to say she hoped I wasn't crying, and I wasn't. I think I'm all cried out for now. I mean, what else is there to do but continue on? Make a way out of no way... push through till the finish. Never Give Up, Never Give In, Never Surrender. Do or Die. "Do, or Do Not. There is no Try." "It's a new Dawn, It's a New Day, It's a New Life for me... and I'm feeling good..."

Some people say that New Years resolutions are sort of a waste, that any time of year is a good time to start something new, and this is true, on the one hand. On the other hand, I suspect that those people who say things like that are mostly guilty of losing momentum and failing at their resolution, and therefore don't want to set themselves up for further failure. I've missed a lot of goals I've set for myself, but on the other hand I've met some of them. And I think that New Years is as good a time as any as starting new things, because it's a date you know you'll remember, and can go back and compare where you are now to where you were then. So I'm still a fan of New Years resolutions. But I think they should be more like goals... like the goals they set for my kid in his school at the beginning of the year.

So to that end, I found this list I'm going to borrow from my blogsister Green Tea Ginger:

The categories:
Things you learned this year
People you met
Things you don't want to take with you into 2008
Things you want to hold close as you pass into 2008
Things you're looking forward to in 2008
Things that were life changing in 2008
Things you hope to accomplish by the end of 2009

Now you can either give two answers for each category OR you can choose two from that list and give seven answers.

Things you learned this year:
  1. How to sew batten pockets for sails
  2. If it looks like a snake, then it is a snake.
People you met (that I liked... I meet people all the time. And do people I met on Crackbook count??? So I'll pick one from each category):
  1. Zach
  2. Christina
Things you don't want to take with you into 2009:
  1. My messy apartment.
  2. Alone-ness
Things you want to hold close as you pass into 2009:
  1. My unrelenting and unreasonable EverHopeFulness
  2. My Inner Child
Things you're looking forward to in 2009:
  1. Shopping
  2. Summer
Things that were life changing in 2008:
  1. Las Vegas
  2. The End of my War with SD
Things you hope to accomplish by the end of 2009:
  1. Becoming Financially self-sufficient again
  2. At least one artistic endeavor... La Vida Low Budget-the book, or a product line, something.
Happy New Year, everyone.
Abrazos