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!

 

So Long, Sucky Year. Hello Hope!

 

Happy New Year!

 

Many, many years ago, while living in Boston, I walked along Newbury Street and passed a homeless lady. She was a regular in that area, and I was used to seeing her on that block. As I walked by, she sang out, “Help the homeless! And happy fucking Mother’s Day.” It did, in fact, happen to be Mother’s Day, so her chant wasn’t terribly odd. I did find it to be terribly funny, though, and I’ve never forgotten it.

 

I bring that up now because in my mind, I’m singing, “Happy New Year! And happy fucking Mother’s Day.” You’re welcome.

 

Seriously – it’s finally here. That god-awful 20-and-17 is behind us. Personally – I’m hopeful. Last year was ugly and depressing. Truth be told, the ugly hasn’t gone away. But at least now I know about it. We all know. And knowing is good, y’all. We know what we’re up against. And we can choose to be better than those who continue to choose ignorance. Better makes me hopeful. Better makes me smile. It’s the right choice for me, and I sincerely hope it is for you, too.

 

As for that homeless lady in Boston, I remember crossing her path on another day. It was summer, and my friend Beaver, who was wearing shorts, was walking close to the lady. As Beaver passed her, the homeless lady looked at Beaver and loudly said, “Ha. I’ve seen better legs on a piano.” You’re welcome for that one, too.

 

Happy New Year.

 

And happy fucking Mother’s Day.

And So It Ends…

 

 

The 2015 Christmas tree is no more. This weekend found us taking the bugger down and tossing it to the curb. That’s how we do in the city.

 

 

After not having a tree for a few years, I really loved living with this one for a few weeks. It wasn’t perfect or anything, because it was real. And all real things – like people – have flaws. Beautiful, natural flaws.

 

 

Now all things Christmas are packed away and the business of a New Year has begun. I can honestly say I’m ready and happy to embrace 2016. Woo-hoo!

 

Forward March!

 

“A place in they memory, dearest,

Is all that I claim;

To pause and look back when thou hearest

The sound of my name.”

Gerald Griffin

(1803 – 1840)

 

 

 

I had this idea for a New Year’s Day post, about some of the things I’d like to accomplish this year. Things like reading more, and the number of paintings I’d like to sell. I was also trying to deal with home projects and repairs. And I was doing a good job of turning all those thoughts over in my brain, but then my mind jumped in the fray and turned everything upside down. Minds will do that sometimes, you know.

 

Anyhoo – before I knew what was happening, my good writing intentions were lost in a fog and I found myself sitting in a makeshift tree house. I immediately recognized it, as I had dragged the plywood up into that tree with the help of my kid sister when I was 10 years old. It was so familiar, sitting there, and then I saw her. Me, as a child.

 

To her credit, she wasn’t afraid of the grown me. Though I did have to tell her who I was. God love her, she became wide-eyed and happy to see how we’d turned out. That really touched me. And then the questions began. I told her we live in Los Angeles, and that we’ve seen a decent part of the world. I told her we are married to the love of our life. I told her we have our very own beautifully flawed house and that we adore it. I told her we create art and we live an artistic life and we know amazing, talented people. I told her there is good food for our belly and clean clothes for our back. I told her we smile more often than not, and that we are so blessed to know joy. I told her that though lack is known to us, it isn’t really part of our grown-up experience. I told her we would be okay, and that she should hang in there. And I told her I love her. And I meant it.

 

And then – just like that – she and the tree house were gone. And I was home, in Los Angeles, with bills and repairs and projects and responsibilities. And I was grateful for each and every one of them.

 

Happy 2016 friends.

The Final Countdown

 

 

If you’re like me, you’re dealing with a lot of regular life, while also getting ready to celebrate a New Year. Even if that means settling in at home and keeping it low-key.

 

If you’re like me, you’re probably going over the past year and thinking about the good stuff (and maybe avoiding the bad moments), while looking ahead at some of what you’d like to accomplish as you move forward into 2016.

 

If you’re like me, reading the number “2016″ is awkward with an almost sci-fi feel in the craziness that is the passage of time.

 

If you’re like me, you realize that the passage of time is such a gift, and you know you could start crying if you let yourself think about it too much.

 

If you’re like me, you acknowledge you’re somewhat of an emotional nugget, and you don’t hold it against yourself.

 

If you’re like me…

 

You know what? Be like you. The world has enough of me. The world needs you. For reals.

Hello Earth!

 

 

Now that my belly is full of lucky black-eyed peas and cornbread, I feel prepared to face this shiny New Year with gusto. I think.

 

Truth is, I’m no different than I was two days ago, and the world kind of feels the same, too. I’m not a resolution-making gal, so I don’t have that hanging over my head. (Thank goodness.) If I lived in a cave – and I am that kind of gal – I’d probably not even know what day it was. I’d probably not give a second (or first) thought to a whole new calendar. I appreciate the optimism of a New Year, though, and it is that feeling that warms me now.

 

That and black-eyed pea belly.

The Rearview

 

 

This year has been a doozy. There have certainly been some ugly times and occurrences. I don’t deny that. But as I look in the rearview at the last 12 months, I’m choosing to focus on some positives. I thank you in advance for indulging me…

 

Slippers – Yes, after decades of wearing socks for warmth, I finally broke down and got myself some damned slippers. I’m wearing them as I type and I wear them all the time! I love them truly. I love them madly. I love them deeply. I had no idea slippers could change my little world.

 

Saying Yes – This year saw me taking a different tack when faced with situations/opportunities that frighten me. For example, in the past, I never would have said yes when asked to participate in a public reading. But I did it, so there you go. Other experiences have been added to my life as well, and a few more are already on the calendar. When I was recently asked to do something very cool and very scary, I told the organizer the truth: This idea is amazing and yet the very thought makes me terribly uncomfortable. Because I’m afraid, I think I’d better say Yes. I’ll participate.

 

London – I about blogged that trip to death. And I’m still talking about how great it was! No doubt, Mister had a lot to do with that as he was such a great fellow traveler. But there was also something magical about the vacation. Sure – Kate Bush was a dream. But so was the Harry Potter Tour. And so was Dinner By Heston Blumenthal. And so was our beautiful Navy-colored hotel room. And so was every other fabulous thing. Again, I’m still talking about it.

 

Painting – I finished a painting a couple of weeks ago and I can’t tell you how happy I am. I’m a slow painter, y’all. I own that. So when I decided I wanted to finish this particular piece by year’s end, my painting buddy Nicole laughed and laughed. (Sadly – she didn’t just meet me.) Betting her I would finish spurred me to actually do it. And I did. Good for me.

 

Books – I read some top-notch books this year and reading is one my greatest pleasures, so I’m quite happy with this one. And I’m reading a couple of grand books now. As I’m known to say, no matter how long I live I’ll never get to read all the books I want. So I’ll take what I can.

 

Letting Go – This one is partly due to having read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I certainly don’t claim to be a Master or anything, but I’m learning people. And that counts. It feels good to not have to try and make sure every friggin’ thing is just so. We all know how well that turns out, right? The work on this one continues.

 

My Kate Bush Mug – This may seem like an odd thing to love, love, love, but I do, do, do. Love, love, love it I mean. I keep it on the back of the shelf, so when the dishwasher is holding a few to-be-cleaned cups I reach in and find the Kate mug. I can’t tell you how big I smile when that happens. The cup reads “It’s coming! It’s in the trees!” It makes me very happy, y’all.

 

D2T2 – This little creative idea was born at the end of last year during a beautiful, drunken afternoon. And though it’s been challenging to undertake an artistic endeavor each week of the year (yes – I know we dropped the ball a few times), it’s been inspiring. And I have to say – the creative wheels seem to be turning more than before we undertook the task. What’s more – these projects netted art! How cool is that?

 

Mister – Nothing I write here could ever come close to conveying my truth where this guy is concerned. I can’t properly describe my feelings, my respect, my love. To say I’d open a vein for the man is just scratching the surface. I love him more than butter. It’s crazy. It’s surreal. It must be love.

 

I could keep going, but this is a pretty nice list. And to end it on the love of my life seems appropriate.

 

So here’s to the New Year. To New Adventures. To New Opportunities. To New Life. Cheers!

So Many Possibilities…

“White. A blank page of canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities.”

Sunday in the Park With George

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine

 

 

 

Ah, the New Year. Once again it is shining before me, inviting me to make plans. To dream. To aspire. To create.

 

I don’t remember when I hit the age of seeing each New Year this way. I’m certain I didn’t pay much attention to it as a child. I doubt my younger self was reflective or sentimental about each New Year. I can’t imagine I ever teared up at the very gift of waking to a day such as this, back when I was a kid.

 

But I am at that age. I do recognize the blessings of waking to this day. And, heaven help me, I do make plans and I do aspire.

 

And on that note, Mister and I are working out some details for a 2014 challenge. (We were inspired to give ourselves a weekly challenge after following the blog of an ex-pat, living in the UK. It’s a great blog and I highly recommend it.) Parameters and guidelines are still being solidified, but our basic goal is to actively create something artistic, each week of the year. That’s a broad endeavor, and can range from cooking a gourmet meal to going on a photo expedition to reciting a Shakespeare play. We’ve tossed out a multitude of creative ideas, and we’re revved about the possibilities. We’ve not limited ourselves with any rules such as no repeating an act, so there may be multiple photo sessions over the course of the year. (There may be multiples of other creative acts, too. We’ll just have to see how it goes.) As I said, we’re still hammering out the guidelines.

 

We’ve decided to include others in these acts of creation. Over time, our group of friends has come to include musicians, painters, singers, songwriters, comics, actors, sculptors, designers, engineers, chefs, dancers and on and on and on. Art can be found in just about every single vocation on the planet. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. I know accountants who are amazingly creative. I know electricians whose work can be described as nothing less than art. Creativity is all around us, and we think the inclusion of our creative friends can only serve to elevate this little challenge of ours. We’re hoping we can all take a turn at stepping outside our milieus. That we can broaden our creative circles. Speaking for myself, I’m super-excited to try some new-to-me activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my little world, there are many challenges ahead. My rose-colored glasses haven’t shielded my eyes from the truths of life, or from the work that surely lies in store over the next few months. Certain hills are going to be steep. But we’ve got to climb in life. Sometimes there’s just no going around. If I can tell you anything at all about the very little I’ve managed to learn of this living thing, it is this: after climbing to the top of any of life’s hills, the view is spectacular. And so very full of possibility.

 

 

 

It’s a Wonderful Life

 

 

I don’t know how you’ll be spending this last day of the year. I hope that if you look over your shoulder, you’ll see more smiles than sorrow. I also hope you won’t have to go to the extremes of George Bailey and Clarence the Angel (Second Class) in order to find your gratitude for simply being alive.

 

You matter. Your life matters. The world wouldn’t be nearly so sweet without you in it. It really is a wonderful life.

 

Cheers to you and yours.

Lollygagging

 

 

I can’t help it. It’s the end of the year, and I can’t seem to do much of anything but lollygag. And I like it, dammit!

 

Maybe this is a time to stop trying to help it. I mean, the New Year will be upon us soon enough, and there will be work, goals, resolutions and general life to contend with. Maybe a little lollygagging now is okay. I vote for yes!