20 and 13

 

 

I’ll refrain from any more dark reflections and simply wish you all a blessed, healthy New Year. I wish that for all of us. Every single one. Amen.

Silver Freakin’ Linings

 

 

One of the things I try to remember in life is that all parties must come to an end. That includes pity parties, friends. And it is high time I rustle up some positive waves, Moriarty. (If you get that reference, let me know and I’ll buy you a cookie.)

 

So – drum roll, please – here are some of my favorite moments from 2012…

  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – This movie is still my favorite of the year. When I saw it, I was crying while smiling so much, my grin muscles hurt. In the best possible way.
  • Summer Olympics Games – All that fitness! All that sport! All that Brit-ness! I am a certifiable Olympics junkie, yo. Can’t hardly wait for the next games!
  • War and Peace – Finishing that book was a big deal. I’m a reader, friends, but that hefty mama is a booooook. I’m glad I read it. It was on my life list.
  • “Downton Abbey” – I finally started watching this series and it is so good, my brain hurts. And the only cure for brain-hurt is more “Downton Abbey.” (I’ve only just started watching and am not caught up, so please don’t tell me anything about the show! No spoilers, y’all!)
  • Neil Diamond’s “Hot August Nights” anniversary show – Neil Diamond rules. Word.
  • Health – It really is precious, folks. Good health not only allows one to actively function each day, it also allows a gal to walk 17 miles when she wants. That leads to my next highlight…
  • The Great L.A. Walk – Walking from downtown L.A. to the ocean was a highlight of my year. And I’m very proud of myself for completing the trek.
  • Friends – A reason, a season, or a lifetime. It hurts to lose friends, but life goes on. And though some friendships run their course and end, others are for the long-haul. I am blessed to have some friends in my life that, well, that I’ll know forever.
  • Mister – Let me try to keep this brief. That guy is the love of my life. Plus infinity. Brief enough?
  • Glimmers of Hope – Rough year? Yes. But you know what? Each time I found myself down this year, I soon found myself illuminated by a glimmer of hope. Hope continues to sustain me, to nourish me. Hope. Yes

 

I could go on and on about CDs, podcasts, sights, sounds, hoorahs and woo-hoos. For the truth is, this rough year held so many beautiful highs, so many silver freakin’ linings – I can hardly count them all. That’s what we call being blessed, friends.

 

Oh! There’s one more highlight I’m grateful for: you! Thanks for reading. Thanks for responding. Thanks – period.

Party – Georgia-Style

 

 

 

After yesterday’s shall we say – heavy post – I’d like to lighten the mood. With that in mind, I send my very bestest vibes to my cuzzins in Georgia.

 

They’re gathering for a gi-normous party tonight, honoring Shady Grady and his beautiful bride, Susie. Shady and Susie were married this past summer, here in Cali. Many friends and relatives were unable to make the summer trip west, and tonight’s party is an opportunity for them to honor Shady and Susie, Georgia-style.

 

Though I’ll miss being part of that shindig, I’ll be sure and raise my glass to the happy couple. Cheers, y’all!

A Long December

“A long December

and there’s reason to believe

Maybe this year will be better than the last.”

Counting Crows

“A Long December”

 

This song has been in my head all month. I want to believe it. I really do. But I can’t always pull it off.

 

I’m not Manic Depressive. At times I may seem to be, but I’m not. Truth is, my natural state tends toward joy. Toward happiness. My very cells – left to their own devices – would beam with enthusiasm for life! And I love that about myself. When I am swimming in my very best Mikki-ness, I love me.

 

This has been a tough year. I’ve painted a smile on it, but it’s been rough. Mister’s job continues to demand more time and energy than one human can muster, so I rarely see him. We were forced to move, unexpectedly, and while that was hard enough, the situation was made even more heartbreaking when we learned our one-time best friend could have given us a head-up, but chose not to. So not only did we lose our little rental home, we also lost a friend. I had some health issues pop up, and until everything was handled, I was freaking out. (Thankfully, everything was handled and I’m in tip-top shape.) And now, as we approach the end of this challenging year, we’ve learned we must move yet again. This one might break us, folks.

 

I know the world is full of beautiful souls, souls who are suffering and in need. I know there are those who’ve experienced unspeakable loss, and devastating atrocities. I know there are human beings who manage merely to survive, and little more. I am not so deluded as to compare myself to even one of these souls, so please don’t assume otherwise.

 

But though we are – each and every one of us – a part of the greater world, we are also – each and every one of us – the centers of our own small worlds. And as much as we strive for awareness of the greater world, we are often overwhelmed by the weight of our small worlds. Well, I certainly am overwhelmed.

 

And that’s where I find myself now, as a New Year approaches. To use Stevie Smith’s words: “I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning.”

 

This is when those tend-to-joy cells are a gift from God. No, I’m not as smiley as I’d like to be. Yes, I’m trying to deal. And maybe that’s why the Counting Crows song has lodged itself in my brain. Maybe there really is reason to believe this coming year will be better than the last. Maybe.

 

In the meantime, going through the motions will have to do. And perhaps I should allow that song to fully play in my mind, for I seem to always cut it short, well before the end…

 

“And it’s one more day up in the canyon.

And it’s one more night in Hollywood.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean.

I guess I should…”

Fluffy Little Clouds

 

 

When I first moved to California, I marveled at the clouds. They seemed so familiar, but not in a first-hand kind of way. I recognized those clouds. I knew them. But from where?

 

One day it hit me: those clouds were from Looney Tunes! Those fluffy little clouds, floating against that perfect blue – I had grown up watching those same clouds in animated form each and every Saturday morning. Those clouds served as the backdrop to my laughing at Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and the Roadrunner.

 

They don’t always show themselves in their Looney Tunes fashion, but when they do, I am as enamored as ever. And they always make me giggle. I love those fluffy little clouds!

Meal of the Year

 

 

On Christmas Eve, we gathered with friends and had the meal of the year. There was antipasto, shrimp cocktail, 2 types of stuffed shells, swordfish piccata, stuffed pheasant, braciole, green beans, braised brussels sprouts, salad, shrimp & pasta salad, garlic bread, apple pie, pistachio gelato, mascarpone cheesecake, biscotti, wine, grog and various other beverages. Here it is, 2 days later, and I’m still stuffed. Everyone kept saying it was their favorite meal of the year, and I won’t lie – it was pretty danged awesome.

 

 

At the end of the night, Mister and I realized we’d both had a great time. In fact, we’d had too great a time, and neither of us could drive. So we played it safe and called a taxi. When we finally woke on Christmas morning, we drove over and picked up our car. Soberly.

 

Believe it or not, that’s a highly successful Christmas! We had a fantastic time and we lived to tell about it!

 

Hope your celebrations were safe, merry, jolly and memorable. Really, what more could we ask for?

Merry Christmas From Hollywood!

 

 

Have a Holly-Jolly, y’all!

Buon Natale

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve. It’s a holy night for a lot of folks. For me, it’s a time to rekindle my belief in magic, and a night for being with beautiful souls. And, naturally, it’s a night for a bountiful feast.

 

For several years, Mister and I have been blessed to spend Christmas Eve with dear friends and their children. The aforementioned feasting takes place, along with laughing and smiling. The creative people we commune with on Christmas Eve are all such positive beings, one can’t help but be inspired simply by their company.

 

Whatever your beliefs, wherever you may spend this day, I wish you peace. And I do hope you find yourself in the company of beautiful souls, maybe even experiencing a little magic.

 

‘Tis the season, you know.

My Precious

 

 

You may remember the above photo from a post about my computer blitzing out on me. It wasn’t due to my actions (or inaction), and it was just a big, fat bummer. After a lot of pain and suffering, it was made right in the end. And I was happy.

 

A few days ago, my computer blitzed out again. This time, it was due entirely to my actions: I spilled coffee on my precious. And y’all, I may have done the old gal in this time.

 

She’s with a tech right now, being diagnosed. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook. I’m trying to be hopeful, and confident in the tech’s abilities to undo the damage I’ve inflicted. I’m trying.

 

But the truth is, there’s a small part of me that’s already dreading the cost of a replacement computer. There’s a part of me that aches over the time needed to re-install all the software and programs. There’s a part of me that wants to burst into tears.

 

This wasn’t part of my holiday plans, and I’m heart-broken over the whole affair. And I’m terribly disappointed with myself for being so danged klutzy. Which I truly am. Klutzy, I mean.

 

I’m hoping Santa will bring me some good news on the computer front. And if you happen to have an in with the big guy, maybe mention that I’ve been a good girl this year, and ask him to sprinkle some magic dust over my precious. You know, if you’ve got an in…

Welcome!

 

 

Apparently the world did not end.

 

To all, I say Welcome! We have the whole of the rest of our lives to live! Ain’t it great? I hope it’s a clear day – I want to ride my bike in celebration of being alive. There’s nothing like a good bike-ride to help you feel your glass is half-full (if not downright overflowing).

 

Too bad those Mayans weren’t glass-half-full kind of folks. That sort of sunny perspective really does make for smiley days. And much like Buddy the Elf, smiling’s my favorite!