Monday, April 30, 2012

State of the Union

RE: my Facebook status this morning, “The dating game really changes as you get older and effin’ SUCKS sometimes” leaves one with the assumption that Berlin, aka Mr. Smith and I are done and such a one would be correct.  Ever since Coachella, (the clarity I referenced in my last post) I had a nagging feeling that a State of the Union conversation was most definitely in order…. in order and as it turned out on the docket for last night.  First and foremost, it sucks!  There was or is A LOT of good in our little story, but as you get older it seems like in order to really be fair to yourself and the other person you have to be more rational, selective and timely. You really do know inside of the first 90days whether the relationship is something promising enough to pursue and buy emotional stock in, or not so much.  Luckily, I did not completely take him by surprise. We were very much on the same page as far as our doubts and differences, one of the main ones obviously being the ‘kid factor’. He admitted to still being very undecided, and made an excellent point about the fact that when it’s not even on the table you look at that more seriously. As many of you know, I do not want my own children….never have. After examining that on a much deeper level and much family consultation, a month before my 30th birthday I made the decision to have my tubes blocked thus making it impossible to have children, because NO, it’s not reversible.  While that was absolutely the right decision for me, it definitely puts me in a minority and makes finding a like-minded partner a bit harder. If I ever did change my mind I would adopt, but will never ever put that out there as an option for someone to hang their hopes on. And interestingly enough, I would be okay ending up with a man who already had his own children. It sucks that one of the first topics of conversation on the first date now has to be, “Umm, excuse me, pardon me, buuuuut… do you want kids?” I said to my mom this morning, “ I sure did not pick an easy row to hoe…” in regards to choices I’ve made in designing my life. She said, “You’ve definitely chosen the road less traveled.”  *Harumph and sigh!
     So when I asked him if he thought we should quit while we were ahead, he looked startled and sad, but essentially agreed. The smaller differences, personality stuff, you eventually get used to and learn how to maneuver but with the more fundamental things do we really want to spend another three months, or more, getting more invested only to realize those things haven’t changed? I do not….as unfortunate as that is.  My heart couldn’t take it.  At one point he kind of laughed and said, "We're old. I guess this is what dating looks like now." 
Yep. Tis' true, the game done changed.....
     The night was sad, of course, a few tears forcibly made their escape but it was also beautiful, honest, pure and even fun.  No one got defensive, the communication was so easy and lovely and he still managed to make me smile and laugh. When this whole thing started I said Berlin was the best first date I’d had in 15 years, since Andrew, and in the end he was also the best breakup since Andrew. When Andrew and I broke up, it too was mutual and mature and honest and pure and beautiful…maybe not as much fun because we were dealing with the sadness of 7.5 years of love and history vs. 3 months, but still. I feel blessed and am so grateful you came into my life Mr. Smith, you definitely left a mark, in the best way … Thank you. 

In response to my FB post, someone sent me this joke/text: "Dating is like reaching your hand into a bag of broken glass because there's supposed to be a piece of candy at the bottom. There is no candy, stop sticking your hand in the bag." 
To which I said, "Um thanks, that's depressing."

Even though it sucks that this is how things had to play out between Smith and I,  I don't want to allow myself to become too jaded or allow a bitter taste to take hold in my mouth in regards to dating in general.  I mean, yea the rules have clearly changed now that 
A)  I'm not 22 and 
2)  know exactly what I want and need
...  but I think those are both good things, great things! I would never go back to 22 in a million years. I love being 2.5 months from 32! I also love knowing what I want and need! Maybe it just means that dating now loses some of its romance because you're trying to cut through the bullshit faster...? .... Or maybe because I've started wearing a shirt that says,
"DO NOT APPLY if any of the following are true; 1---, 2---, 3---, 4---, 5---"
 .... Too much? Too forward? hahahahaha...

The same person that sent that depressing joke 'redeemed' themselves with these wise words, "I'm taking a Zen approach to it, if there's candy in the bag I don't need to jam my hand in there, just be patient and pick out all the glass." 

But the best dating quote I've found is from Sex and the City (cliche I know):
 “.... I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

Tomorrow is a new day and a new month.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Injured induced creativity and clarity

Okay, so I know I promised a FULL report of Coachella when I got back…. 
But here’s the reader’s digest version instead:

Ok, ok….
1) Our little band of five, while pretty random (3 cool and funny dudes, and Chelle and I) was pretty rad. A merry band of five indeed :-)
2) Car camping is the way to go, and a trunk makes an excellent pantry
3) We had the coolest camp neighbors (XO to Hannah and Erik)
4) Chelle and I created a fantastic new 2 fisted cocktail we like to call, “Birthday Cake” ….a cold Fat Tire in one hand and Tequila with Limeade in the other. Alternate sips and repeat…..don’t know how or why but it totally tastes like birthday cake and is SUPER delicious!!!!
5) Clarity (curious coming after my alcohol consumption admission, but nonetheless true)
a.This sums it up: "Beware the temptation of staying in unfulfilling situations simply to avoid the painful process of self-understanding and change." -Yehuda Berg

6) Best shows of the weekend, in my humble opinion (and in the order of days)
  •     Gary Clark Jr
  •     Grouplove
  •     M. Ward
  •     The Black Keys
  •     Explosions in the Sky
  •     We Are Augustines
  •      Bon Iver
  •      Feist
  •      Radiohead
  •      Band of Skulls
  •      Santigold
  •      Fitz and the Tantrums
  •      Justice
  •      Florence and the Machine
  •      Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (although we left before the       Tupac hologram = DAMNIT!!!)

7)The only NOT awesome part of the weekend was the fact that my knee got jacked up, and because I had no choice but to keep walking, standing, and dancing (ok, maybe I had more choice in the dancing…) it got really stiff and swollen and I was a complete gimp by the end of each day. I’m in healing mode, and was advised to lay off for 4-5 weeks…. Soooo lots of acupuncture, adjustments, and massage.…..*Sigh….

I do not deal well with injury, especially since physicality is not only one of my main energetic and creative outlets, but also because it’s uh… my job! Luckily I have not had a complete meltdown because
A) I’m trusting that my body will respond and heal quickly
B) I’m trying to look at what else might be going on emotionally and mentally around this little hiccup, what it’s trying to tell me….
a. I need to keep rereading the quote in 5a

C) Redirecting that quelled energy into my 'art' ... 

    And here is where we're going to focus. As hard as it is for Wonder Woman to be temporarily taken down for the count, especially as many of you know I was just beginning training for my birthday triathlon ... being forced to stop and change my focus has me firing on all cylinders creatively. It's funny because the first time I jacked this same left knee ten years ago, (got thrown while mountain biking) is when I started making my first collages. Huh?! I just now remembered that.
   Anywho, I started/completed my most favorite collage to date last week and finally finished another one who's irritatingly unfinished quality and my lack of inspiration was constantly mocking me. It hung right above my bed so seriously, it was always whispering not so sweet nothings of its incompletion and my artistic inadequacy. Now it is officially complete and I'm quite smitten with it. I have all these other ideas brewing so fast I can't organize which to tackle first... I LOVE IT! The highlight of my Monday was actually at work when Adam came in from taking out the trash with 3 previously painted but perfectly good canvases that someone had tossed out!! Knowing that's how I've been fending off detrimental frustration and depression, he's been a huge supporter (he's an athlete so he gets the frustration factor) much so that he suggested I look into putting my stuff up in the likes of Abbot's Habit. I hemmed and hawed at first, because for some reason I'm quite sensitive about my art, more so than about my writing. People can really dislike my poetry or my blog and I don't give a rat's ass, because I have a certain confidence in my writing style and voice. But as for the collage painting, I realize it looks like something a child could do, and I'm the first one to admit I have about a third grade art ability. I do it purely because it makes me happy. Buuuuut after the really rad reception I got on Facebook after posting the picture of 'The Reel Me'.... I took his suggestion more seriously. I also remembered my own advice from the second to last blog about needing to continually step outside my comfort zone. I like the coffee shop idea, but I also have something a smidge bigger in mind, sooooooo stay tuned ....

The Brand Spanking New One 
'Heart and Soul'
(the base is made of the deflated balloons my niece had waiting for me when I came home from my trip)

FINALLY! (after 2-3 years of mocking)
'The Reel Me'

    I don't know why often times for me it takes getting injured or my body having some kind of 'freakout' for me to stop and really examine what's going on in my life. Actually yes I do...what am I talking about? Because I really live in my body.... so while I may be missing or just plain ignoring the external signs (pay attention to the signs people!) I can't ignore what's going on in my very home. With all the bodywork I've had done thus far and one very powerful soul sister assessment (ahem, Rina Mae) I got even more clarity, which I may save for another post....but not before setting these Adele's lyrics right here for you to contemplate in regards to your own life:
"Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there?"
--Chasing Pavements by Adele


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coachella Bound

      Today is my Friday, as I am off tomorrow morning (7:30am) for Coachella! FINALLY! I've wanted to go every year since moving here, 11 years ago! Being at my 90 days mark at work, I was not only able to take the day off but am getting paid for it! SCHWEEEET!
After an exhaustive back and forth “I need to sell them, I want to trade them, back to needing to sell em, and finally desperate to trade them” process, we (Rochelle and I) are now the proud owners of Weekend 1 wristbands! PHEW!! Clearly we are meant to go, because during the ‘desperate to sell’ phase, we couldn’t find even one semi interested soul to save our life. And apparently everyone was trying to trade their Weekend 2 for Weekend 1 passes, but we still managed to score some :-)GO US! Although I’m still not sure why, the line-ups are the same…we changed to be able to go with Mr. Smith. And actually we’re supposedly going to get dumped on with rain tomorrow… but thanks to Chelle’s expert camping prep, we will have an EZ-Up to keep us dry at the campsite.  Xcel spreadsheet, EZ-Up, chairs, tent, sleeping bags, food, beer and tequila….Yep we’re ready! Wait, whaaaat?! Yes between my uncontainable and brilliant planning skills not to mention my fantabulous taste in music I created a spreadsheet of all the bands I’ve executively decided we should see! Yep, yep! 
*Symbol Key:
  • ? = solid choices, but not absolutely necessary or conflicts with other more imperative acts
  • :-) = definitely want to see
  • :-D = absolute MUST



? 12-1:30
Abe Vigoda
:-) 1-1:40
Wolf Gang
:-) 1:20-2:05
:-) 2:05- 2:50
Other Lives
:-) 2:35-3:30
? 4:25-5:10
Neon Indian
? 4:30-5:15
Gary Clark Jr
? 6:20-7:05
:-) 7-8:00
:-) 7:35-8:25
M Ward
:-) 7:50-8:50
:-) 8:35-9:45
the Rapture
:-D 9:45-11
Black Keys
? 10:05-10:55
Explosions in the Sky
? 10:15-11:05
:-) 10:50-11:35
the Black Angels
:-) 11:30
Swedish House Mafia
:-) 12:00
Amon Tobin



:-) 11:25-11:55
Tijuana Panthers
:-D 12:05-12:40
Keep Shelly in Athens
:-) 1:20-2:05
... Promised Jetpacks
? 1:25-2:15
Mt Eden
:-D 1:45-2:25
We Are Augustines
? 2:15-3:00
Black Lips
:-) 3:40-4:25
Grace Potter….
:-D 4-4:45
:-) 4:40-5:25
Head and the Heart
? 5:10-6
Kaiser Chiefs
:-D 6:05-6:55
Andrew Bird
:-) 8:10-9
the Shins
? 8:35-9:25
:-) 8:40-9:30
:-) 9:30-10:20
Bon Iver
:-D 10:10-11
:-D 11:05



? 12-12:30
Sleeper Agent
?/ :-) 12:05-12:45
Gardens and Villa
:-) 1:10-1:50
:-D 2:05-2:50
Band of Skulls
:-) 3:25-4:15
:-D 4:45-5:35
Fitz and the Tantrums
? 6-6:55
the Hives
? 6-6:45
Gaslamp Killer
:-D 7:10- 8
? 7:45-8:45
:-) 8:30-9:20
:-D 9:45-10:35

      Of course, I’m crazy excited to see some of my all time favorite bands: The Black Keys, Radiohead, Andrew Bird, Band of Skulls, and Florence and the Machine. But I’m equally excited to see some newer bands like Fitz and the Tantrums, Miike Snow, We Are Augustines, We Were Promised Jetpacks, AWOLNATION, Gotye, Wolf Gang, honeyhoney, Other Lives, Givers, Keep Shelly in Athens, the Head and the Heart, Gardens and Villa, Oberhofer, Santigold and Beirut.
If you are on Spotify (and if you’re not, you should be! …. Google it and sign up!) and want to feel like you’re there with us, look for these playlists (and type them in exactly as they appear):

     I will have my phone with me, but not sure what the charging station situation is gonna be like, so I will NOT be Super Available Girl or even Semi Available…. but more a happy member of Aaron Bruno’s AWOLNATION :-)
And of course, I will be providing a full report complete with pictures upon my return! 



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Testing, testing... 1,2,3

    Monday night was the last night of one of my most favorite dance classes, Yoga Booty Ballet, taught by one of my most favorite teachers, the beautiful and open hearted spirit of Kristen Huffman. The existence of the class has not been extinguished altogether, she will continue teaching the class but completely on the eastside where she lives. She's been commuting for a looong time because of the great space that is Your Neighborhood Studio and a very dedicated group of followers. I was quickly reminded and honored that I'd been taking her class for four years going back all the way to YNS's original location.  I got very verklempt as I thought back to my first class and the expansive joy I felt.  I had tweaked my knee in a ballet class and was looking for a 'just for fun' class where I wouldn't have to think too hard, just to keep moving. And voila! I'd been itching to take this class for awhile, but at that time it was still only being offered out of Swerve on 3rd St near The Grove.... and I didn't want to drive that far. The class was exactly what I was hoping for, and about half into it  tears started pouring out of my eyes because I felt so from technique, frills and self criticism.... This was just some straight up booty shakin' and it felt AH-MAZING!!! It became a necessary part of my weekly routine, it was and still is like therapy. I feel so beautiful in this class, even if I don't when I first walk in... those 55-60 minutes make me feel alive and say, "Damn mama, you look gooooood".
And seriously, 4 years!?!? I can't believe it. Where were you four years ago? How does your life compare now? Those aren't always the easiest questions to look at and answer especially if you feel like you were in a better place. I try to always look and move forward, so I will not go into a specific pro/con comparison of my life now vs then... there are certainly improvements as well as things I miss.
    I also got verklempt at the thought that everything in some form or another comes to an 'end'. I invoke the air quotes because even if it is not an official dead as a doornail end, there is a metamorphosis.... as there should be. I am reminded of an article my mom sent me around the new year, "Make a 'new ending' every day, not just once a year" by Geveryl Robinson. She quotes another author (Maria Robinson) who says, " Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." and concludes, "So basically, New Year's day is any day we decide to take control of our lives and live up to our fullest potential.... Every day we live we have the opportunity to change the direction of our lives to produce a more positive outcome. So although New Year's day may come once a year, "New Ending Day" can happen every day of our lives." I acknowledge and honor Kristen for doing this very thing for herself!
       And of course, I have to look at myself as well.... Am I doing this? up to my full potential....Or rather am I doing this enough?  I have been receiving notifications from all the various WWOOFing organizations that my year memberships are expiring... meaning this is the very week last year that I decided to embark on my Eat, Pray, Love farming and meditation adventure. I'm almost as stunned by this as I was about the 4 year dance class revelation. I have many mixed emotions around this anniversary. In some ways I feel like I've come back to exactly where I was before I left, literally and figuratively, and that's been a bitter pill to swallow these last few days. I do know that that is not entirely true of course, and I'm grateful for the ways that it's not. For example, I have a job that pays me almost double what I was making last year, a really rad man who makes me smile and laugh constantly who despite my complicated ways still seems willing to hang around, and an opportunity to travel again this summer for dance. Those are not small things, I get that, I really do. Yet if I'm being really honest, I thought by jumping into the volcano (to use a favorite expression of my mother's) that my life would turn upside down and inside out, and instead it feels like I've just picked up exactly where I left off. Even though I'm in a great job, it's still a 'bullshit' job more or less. It's not how I want to be spending 8 hours of my day. And yet, I'm painfully aware that I'm not currently in a position to do exactly what I would truly want with those 8 that leaves me confused, questioning and doubting myself and my abilities....ALOT!  While it may sound like I'm whining like a spoiled child I'm really not ...I'm stating a feeling, which as we all know aren't usually intellectual, so keep that in mind before you all rush to correct me and tell me all the ways that I'm wrong and missing the big picture. I miss the excitement of challenging myself, preparing for something, making dreams come true. SO obviously then, I need to start finding ways to do that right here at home. Believe me, I've already entertained the option of packing it all up again.... but I think staying put right now is the more prudent course....and that's actually more challenging in alot of ways..... sooooo I guess I already have that going for me. hahaha! 

   Seriously though, I need to stay the path of opening myself up, stepping outside of my comfort zone, trusting, and possibly making an ass of myself. (Being in some kind of quasi relationship thing is a good first step at checking all those off my list immediately) 
So based on the other driving forces/dreams in my life besides travel and dance, I have compiled a list of ideas..... and I'm inviting you all to help me, challenge me, and make me accountable ... I'm begging you actually to quite literally PUSH me. 'If you build it, I will come'...... ok well maybe not to everything ya'll think up.... I've got a couple 'mean' friends.... 

MY LIST no particular order

#1 -- A Radiohead song (Talk Show Host) inspired photo shoot project.... Ballerina gone rogue ... 
Think me in a black leotard and tutu, crazy fishnets 

  • Some storyboard ideas include; dumspter diving, belly up at a bar throwing back a shot with the locals, close up character stuff like cigarette in hand and stage makeup/mascara smeared from tears and/or screaming or both... 
  • Ideally I would like to choreograph a gritty solo for myself, but I want to start with the photo shoot..... Who wants to be my photographer??? No fancy cameras required, my coworker Adam takes the best pictures of me with his iPhone :-)

#2-- Open mic nights 
(where I finally read my poetry OUT LOUD) .....
  • I have resisted this for several reasons. One of them being that spoken word has a tendency to really irritate the crap out of me. It can feel so heavy handed, poetry in general can feel like that....mine included.... and yet that is what comes out of me. I have no choice in the matter really.
  •  SO, who knows when/where this sort of thing happens? 
#3-- Submitting to poetry contests, journals and/or applying for writing fellowships
  • Even if it's just once a month ( I sent 10 pages for a poetry fellowship at the end of March)
  • I actually have some decent new stuff
  • Check in with me by saying, "Hey did you send anything in this month yet?"
#4 -- Doing a sprint triathlon

  • I saw a 3 month training program in Shape on Facebook today, and I've always wanted to do one!
  • I did some research and there's one around Simi Valley ON my birthday.... The dance company is not going to Italy anymore, and our schedule is up in the air so I might be here...
  • I just have to get my legs balanced out again so I can get back to the running part without my right knee getting weird.
#5 -- Auditioning for some community theater....
  • No, not acting classes... a theater that will let anyone audition. Yes I realize this is Los Angeles, but there's gotta be something somewhere. I'd be willing to look outside L.A (DeLise and Doug, know of anything your direction?)
#6 -- Taking singing lessons....
(even if it's just a couple)
  • A dream many of you may not know, but will not surprise you is that I would LOVE to be the front woman for some rockin' band..... but I'll settle to sing in public or on stage at least once.
  • I actually don't suck..... but would like some proper coaching
  • Would happily work a trade with someone.... an hour massage for an hour lesson would probably be fair
#7 -- Trying to get my art displayed or at least getting a portfolio together and shopping it around 
(and by art I mean my photography/poetography b/c as we know my other stuff kinda sucks)
  • Budgeting for getting some large prints made 

I know there's more, but that feels like a healthy and doable start..... I welcome any and all feedback/advice/leads on any or all of these ideas....

    In other news, Coachella is back on (long story if you missed it).... and now I think we got a lead on trading our tickets from second weekend to first weekend so we can camp crash with Mr Smith and company. Fingers crossed anyway, the deal's supposed to go down Sunday eve :-)