On the Basis of Awesomeness

 

The other day, my friend Baker Jen and I went to see “On the Basis of Sex.” The movie was awesome and I loved it dearly. My affection for our lord and savior RBG continues to grow.

 

When Baker Jen and I were making our way to our cars, we spotted this sandwich board…

 

Always Believe in Yourself

 

Relevance and inspiration abound. As does my gratitude.

Bubye 2018

 

Bubye 2018

 

Most people I know are ready to toss 2018 into the wood chipper. Here in the States, among people with a modicum of integrity, the past year is viewed for the poo-show it was. Good riddance.

 

But there were glimmers of vitality and joy. Just the other night I danced my ass off and that was definitely a highlight. Not only that, but when I sat and watched other party-goers tear up the dance floor, I felt a joy bubble burst in my brain hole and just about smiled myself to death.

 

Rodin at the Norton Simon Museum

 

I saw amazing art, locally…

 

4th Day_Hyde Park_Christo and a Queens Swan

 

and abroad.

 

Sunset in December

 

The Los Angeles sunsets brought ridiculous awe and wonder to my front door. Thank you smog!

 

Bentley My Lover Dog

 

I got to visit with a dog I adore. Only this time he decided to show his love for me by going to town on my leg. As this is very uncommon for this well-behaved soul, I think his affection may be due to a past-life experience. Maybe Bentley and I were lovers in another time. I do hail from white trash, so maybe there’s some dog in my lineage. Whatever the reason, it was unexpected and not cool, dog.

 

Desert Respite

 

Mister and I had a desert respite. It was fun and restful and beautiful and we got to see dear friends. Win-win, y’all.

 

Blindfold Puzzle

 

While in the desert, I witnessed my friend SJ assemble a puzzle while blindfolded. Yep. She discerned which side of each piece was up while blindfolded. She separated side and interior pieces while blindfolded. Then she put the mutha together and it didn’t take very long. I love this gal for a lot of reasons. And now I love her even more.

 

Beer Advent Finished

 

Mister and I finished our Beer Advent Calendar, and we had a blast doing it. All those German beers were a treat. And the cans look so amazing on the mantel. As we don’t live in a frat house, they’ll be coming down today, however. That’s alright. We enjoyed them while they lasted.

 

I got through the first draft of part two of the book I’m writing, and as my goal was to get it out of my head before the year’s end, I’m feeling pretty good about that. Miles to go, of course, but still. Sometimes baby steps are incredibly fulfilling.

 

Mikki and Lorinda 2003

 

I also reconnected with someone I love more than butter. If you know a soul who seems to be part of the fiber of your being, then you can appreciate how I feel about this chick. She’s woven into me. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Gratitude abounds.

 

2018 was a janky year, I won’t deny. But there were moments that stood out, moments that made a difference. And I want to do all I can to make even more stand-out moments come to life this year. It won’t be easy, y’all. My country is still being slowly destroyed by the worst president in history. Jackasses around the globe are discriminating against human souls in more ways than I can comprehend. Our environment seems to be dying. And don’t get me started on gender issues. Honestly – it’s enough to break a person. I know a few folks who have fallen so deeply into depression that they may not make it back. I’m not kidding. That’s heartbreaking.

 

But! I’m not ready to give up. In fact, I’m just getting started. You want a piece of me, 2019? Bring it on. I’m your worst nightmare – a Club 50, optimistic, brave, excited creator. And I’m about to make this year my bitch. Here we go…

 

Happy New Year!

 

Strangers

 

Love

 

During the month of February, 12 years ago, I sold my first CD to a stranger. I know this because it was such a pleasant surprise, at the time, that I scribbled a note about it in my then-current calendar. When it came time to transfer significant dates to the next year’s calendar (things like International Talk Like a Pirate Day and Tom Baker‘s birthday), I took that little note along. And I’ve done so each year since.

 

I just got an accounting of digital music sales and it was lovely. Not for the money (of which there was barely enough for a beer), but for the information contained in the report. Canada, Japan, the UK – all were shown as places of downloads of my little songs. It really made me smile and reminded me of that day, 12 years ago, when someone I never met paid for my musical art. My heart really needed that boost this week. And I’m so grateful the world gifted me with that sweet energy.

 

Though the world doesn’t know it, I still carry dreams and ambitions for music. I have plans (that shall remain private for now), I have hopes. I have many new songs. I have the soul of a creator. Denying it doesn’t change the fact. It only gets me down. So I don’t deny it. I own it. I practice voice training and work on songs. I paint things I want to look at. I weld art for my own home. I cook good food to savor and share. I create, when and where I can. If I don’t, my soul shrinks. That’s no good for me, and when I’m not good to myself, I’m of little use in the world. And just as I cannot deny my need for the best me I can be, I also cannot deny the fact that the world needs me to show up every day. To be a good human. A good citizen. A good artist. You know what I’m talking about, I imagine, because you know that the world needs you, too. Desperately.

 

So – this month. I endeavor to move toward creativity, with kindness and purpose. I endeavor to love deeply. I endeavor to be the best me I can. And I do it with gratitude for the global souls – strangers – who have reminded me how it feels to be appreciated. My heart overflows…

Laying Low

 

 

As I told you a few days ago, I had some surgery. I’m doing just fine, thank you, and I expect to keep feeling better every day. I’m following doctor’s orders, as well as thinking good thoughts. As I write this, I’m very nearly chipper, I tell you.

 

But the day of the surgery wasn’t fun. Pre-surgery details were okay, mind you, but after I woke from the procedure, I didn’t feel too peppy. This is to be expected, I suppose, given the meds one receives during surgery. But I was surprised how long the danged stuff stuck around in my system. (I also threw up in the car on the way home, and I super didn’t like that. I’m guessing Mister didn’t, either.) I slept on and off all day, then through the night. I was a little nauseous that evening, for a spell, but it passed and I’ve been pretty good ever since.

 

I’m the type of gal who will go for a hike when I feel good, which is ordinarily okay. But right now I’m trying to remind myself to lay low for a while, so that my body can recover. It’s tricky. But I know it’s for the best. At least that’s what I’m being told by professionals and non-professionals alike. (I’m looking at you, Mister.)

 

For everyone who checked in on me – I thank you. Your sweet wishes were not only appreciated, but they also cradled my soul. A gal can’t ask for much more than that.

This Is What 50 Looks Like

 

 

Today is my birthday. And I’m 50. As I recently snapped the above photo, I’m gonna say it counts toward what my being 50 looks like.

 

I can’t speak for others, but I’m feeling pretty good. Thankfully, this round-numbered birthday hasn’t brought me any undue anxiety or worry. Am I in awe? Yes, I am. I mean, half a century! Wow! There was a time when I doubted if I’d make it out of my teens with a pulse, so hitting the big 5-0 is a surprise.

 

I’ve done a lot of looking back in recent weeks, and I’ve come to this singular conclusion: it’s been quite a life. Even with the downturns and down times, it’s been a gift. I’m kind of amazed at the amount of love and joy I’ve been allotted. And I’m grateful.

 

This morning will see me getting my annual birthday doughnut. I’ve got too much work to tend during the day. Then we’ll see what Mister has planned for supper. That guy. He may be the biggest part of what has made this life of mine worth living and recounting.

 

If anyone is wanting to send birthday wishes my way, I ask that you do so by enjoying your own life. Please live joyfully! The world needs all the love and positive energy you and I can muster. It echoes. I swear it does.

 

Happy Birthday to me. Love, me.

Today

 

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. That depression can be debilitating or merely annoying. It can break me in body and spirit, or it can challenge me to break it. Sometimes, for no reason at all, I’m filled with joy. That joy can be the kind that’s bubbly and giggly. Or it can simply be quiet and smiley. The latter is the type of joy that struck me yesterday and it was lovely.

 

If I wanted to decipher my happiness, I could point to avoiding the news as a source. Or maybe the long walk from yesterday morning. The nachos I had for lunch could deserve some of the credit. But I’m not in the deciphering mood. I am merely content. Content to go about my business. Content to handle life, at least for today. And because I know how good the joyful moments are, I’m grateful.

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. Thankfully, today is not one of those days.

Lazy Sunday

 

 

Today is the last official Sunday of Summer. But don’t try telling summer that. Where I live, we’re expecting a high of around 97 degrees. Da fuh?

 

Anyhoo – my intention is to be lazy. To enjoy the day without worrying over accomplishing things, to loll about and be present in the moment, to share the company of Mister. To try and stay cool, dang it.

 

I am also fully prepared to scrap my intentions and work on this or that, to tackle a job, to take care of bidness.

 

Either way, I hope to go where the day takes me, and to meander with grace and gratitude. After all, it’s the last official Sunday of Summer. During this calendar year, there won’t be another like it. I’d say that’s reason enough to live it fully, wouldn’t you?

 

Cheers.

Thursday Memories – Cute

 

 

The photo above was taken 20 years ago. (Gulp.) Look at me – I was cute, for cry-eye! I loved that outfit. The skirt is long gone, but I still have the hat and the velvet jacket. When I wear them now, I get loads of compliments. I guess my old clothes now qualify as “vintage.” Go figure.

 

Now that I am my age (ahem), compliments aren’t tossed my way as often as when I was younger. Mind you, I go about town in my work/painting clothes most of the time, and I’m not on the make. I’m past flirting to get my way and I’m also past tempering the truth to make others feel better. So not only do I walk around in the world looking like trash, I also don’t hold back when I encounter a jackass. For example, perhaps I should offer apologies to the pharmacist who said he’d gotten the dates wrong on my prescription because he’s new, which led to me telling him that if he’s new to numbers, he’s in for a rough road no matter where he works, as using numbers for dates isn’t new and that maybe he should come up with a different weak-sauce excuse for the next time he screws up. But I didn’t just meet me. That guy will not be getting an apology. But I digress…

 

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t go fishing for compliments. I am generally happy in my own skin, which negates the need for external validation. But I am human. And I do respond favorably to authentic, nice words (especially on those days when I’ve relied on the kindness of lipstick, earrings and a comb). I also respond to not-so-nice words. And those times, rare though they are, are a bit bleak. (I’m talking to you, lying pharmacist.) I once had a dear friend who repeatedly made fun of the way I dress. I know how I dress. I know my taste isn’t for everyone, and I’m cool with that. But you don’t say mean stuff about something so shallow to your friends. Dag. You don’t act like that with anyone. It’s lame. And ugly.

 

Anyhoo – yesterday I was out in the world and I got not one, but two (count ‘em – two) compliments from strangers as I went about my bidness. I didn’t have my lady parts hanging out, and I wasn’t wearing make-up, so I don’t know what the hell was going on. Maybe L.A. was experiencing a group-high. Maybe the weather agreed with me. Maybe the fact that I was consciously aware of being grateful during the day showed on my face. I really don’t know. But I don’t have to know.

 

When I told Mister about my 1-2 punch of compliments, he said I should take it where I can get it. Wise man. I should probably remember to compliment him on that.

Shadows

 

 

The other day I woke up with a sore throat, along with a grand appreciation for life. It was an odd start to the day. My body definitely didn’t feel too good, and yet my mental disposition couldn’t have been brighter. Since I didn’t just meet me, I knew my mind was going to determine the course of my day, no matter how crappy my matter (body) felt.

 

I had to deliver some stuff I’d been proof-reading, as it was due for publishing… And can I just say something about that? I know some people get all excited when they’re about to undertake a pleasurable job or task, and I’m no exception. My engines are revved when I’m asked to get out my red pen to dissect the printed word. Seriously. I felt like crap when I worked on that package, and it was still fabulous! I wish there had been more of it to proof-read! But I digress…

 

So I delivered the paperwork, then walked back to the train, through Korea Town. K-Town is hopping and a lot of fun, but I wasn’t sure how lively it would be at 11:30 in the morning, so I kept my expectations kind of low. Plus, I was on the ill side of things, so there wasn’t much energy for raised expectations anyway. But I decided a pit stop, for medicinal purposes (ahem), was in order. Beer Belly more than satisfied that yen.

 

After my early lunch, I headed to the train station and made my way home. All told, I only walked a couple of miles, but I was fairly worn out from the outing (danged sick self). I tried to do low-energy jobs the rest of the day and mostly managed to pull that off.

 

Sometimes I tend to keep to the shadows in life. I don’t always interact with the world and I don’t always feel sunshine-y. During those times, the shadows are familiar and comfortable. Safe even. There’s nothing wrong with that, I know. But when I do venture into the light, even if my body isn’t quite well, I am often rewarded with joy and gratitude, just for being alive. My profound appreciation for both shadows and light is immense. As I’ve learned in painting class, you can’t have light without shadows, nor can you have shadows without light. I get it. And I’ll take both, thank-you-very-much.

No Good Reason

 

 

Do you ever find yourself feeling not-so-hot, for no good reason? Like – life is pretty good, you know? You’re doing great, even. You’re loved. You get to have fun. Your basic needs are met, and then some. And yet…

 

That’s how I felt when I went to bed Sunday night. I have no real complaints about life. I want to be clear about that because I don’t feel sorry for myself and I don’t want anyone else to feel sorry for me, either. That isn’t the point. Truth is – I just get down sometimes and have to ride it out. And I’m always surprised by this, because there’s no precursor, nothing that tells me the down times are coming. They just happen. And when these times happen, they suck.

 

So that’s where I’m sitting at the moment. I’m trying to remember to count my blessings instead of focusing on the blues. I’m also trying to remember that depression isn’t me. It’s something I occasionally go through, but I am not defined by it nor am I at its mercy. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it will last as long as it lasts. But it isn’t me. It isn’t the girl whose glass is overflowing. It isn’t the girl who is grateful just for waking to a new day. And it certainly isn’t the girl who loves this life more than butter.

 

Sorry for oversharing, if that’s how you read this. But I haven’t made a habit of lying to you, and I see no reason to start now.