Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Closing up Shop

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     Yesterday, I completed the last of the BIG things on my never-ending story of a list. I closed my * COUGH * Bank of Evil…Oh sorry, I mean Bank of America account and got the USDA to sign off on Zoe’s international health certificate. Weeee hoooo! NOW I’m excited. Shit just got real. 


      I went to a friend’s spinning class last night because she’s unable to come to my So long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen....Cheerio!blow-out. As we were saying goodbye I got very choked up and had to cut it short so as not to lose it completely. It’s only been my second taste of emotion and sadness. I still had so much left to do that my drive and focus kept any other tearful good-byes safely at bay. The first breakdown came when I had to say good-bye to my work husband…I’ve referred to him in the past as Manchester. I flat out blubbered like a child…in front of him as well as for 20minutes in the car after he left. I spent more time with him than ANYone else in my life for the past 2 years. We even worked together for a year prior to that, but less intensely. That’s powerful. It’s fascinating how even in a work environment the kind of intimacy you develop. I could waste a lot of time talking about our relationship, but the bottom line is that he’s amazing and our relationship means the world to me.

Anywho, now that the list is complete and the time is here I fear more of these kinds of episodes where basically….I cry like a bitch. Soooo everyone get ready. This party could be reeeaaaallllyyy interesting. Doorbell rings, friends walk in, I burst into tears. Good times!

        I’ve tried to allow for reflection time as I’ve been plotting along but like I said, that damn list! Thankfully though, it has been the levy holding back the flood, allowing me to get shit done. But now I can really let it soak in… and let it all flow out.  I walked into my apartment last night and was completely overcome with affection and gratitude to my tiny little cave. I’ve been there since October of 2010. That apartment saved my life. I was desperate to get out of a less than desirable living situation and broken relationship, and I wasn’t on Westside Rentals for more than a few days when it appeared to me. The troops rallied to get me the fuck out and tuck me into my new home in a matter of hours, AND with a glass of champagne to celebrate. It helped that the place came furnished as I only had a bed, desk, and wardrobe to my name. My healing began that very day. As tiny as it might be, it has been one of my favorite homes. It felt like a big hug every time I walked through the door. The neighborhood is quiet and kind. My landlords were always gracious enough to let me travel weeks and months at a time with various friends (complete strangers to them) coming and going.

       And there is L.A itself….. Lows Ahn-hay-lees,  my hometown of the last 12-13 years. I am native at this point. This city has given me the cold shoulder, beaten me down, embraced me, taunted me, pushed me, pulled me, and ultimately forced me to become the person I was always meant to be. I fuckin love this town. Yes, even with the ridiculous traffic, insane cost of living, overabundance of hipsters and other categorical elitists. Every moment, joyful and excruciating, of my time here has prepared me for this next adventure.




         I am reminded of the quote, “Someday everything will make perfect sense. So, for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.”  It is often times flat out impossible to laugh or smile while in the grip of despair, heartache, confusion, etc…. I know I certainly haven’t been able to. But I can attest to the fact, with 100% certainty, that one day it will ALL make perfect sense. And even though I paid a high price for certain lessons and wouldn’t necessarily want to live through everything again, it was all worth it because I am an unstoppable force.

I know who I am, and I don’t need to apologize for it. I know what I want, what I will allow and what I absolutely won’t. I am very clear now about the people with whom I want to be surrounded. I’ve learned an open heart, while vulnerable, has the strongest beat.  ‘Why not?’ is an appropriate response to most questions asked with a quizzical brow.

There are hearts everywhere, and they will guide you onward and upward if you let them.
And when something is meant to be (like this move) EVERYTHING just falls into place, easily and relatively effortlessly. My visa was approved in 4 days, the things I'm moving clocked in at 230lbs LESS than estimated, and I'm gonna get $160 back from my BoA MasterCard and on and on and on.....I even found £34 in one of my purses!

 

       And so it is....with £34, an Oyster card for the Tube in London, a Brighton bus card, my cat, and all the love in my heart I will be doing a happy dance all the way to the airport this weekend. This will be my last entry stateside (ok, apart from the times I come back to visit).  I hope you’re all as excited to read my ‘This Ameri-Brit Life’ posts as I am to write them. If someone had told me as a teen that THIS would be my life, I never would’ve believed them….Someone pinch me puh-lease! This fucking rules!!!!
*TomGong: Baaaabbbbeeeee, I will see you soon! No more Virtual Insanity ;-) XO




L.A peeps, I will see you at the partaaaay at week's end, hhheeeyyyy!









Love, Hugs and other ‘Drugs’
XOXOX

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude and Garlic Chicken

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 
 
         I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday whether they were with family, friends or rollin' solo like I did. Yep that's right. My last Thanksgiving in the States for awhile, and I hibernated like a mo'fo....like only a true introvert can. I had quite a few lovely invitations, all from my favorite people, that at any other time I would've been all over. But since
A) I wasn't feeling so great at the start of the week as I mentioned when the movers were here,
2) I am mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted from this whole past month, and
C) I expended all my extrovert energy last night at Rochelle's birthday, the thought of celebrating in my Court cave was sounding better and better. No driving, no talking, no jam-hands (aka kids)?....Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner!
I'll take my gratitude with a side of Garlic Chicken from Versailles por favor. Thanksgiving L.A style bitches!

     Apart from going out to pick up my food for which I didn't even bother to change out of my pjs, I didn't leave my bed... (or rather, the amaze-balls air mattress I'm borrowing from Tim) ALL day! Fucking heaven I tell you. After devouring garlic laden chicken, black beans and plantains Zoe and I settled in to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, keeping alive my family's Thanksgiving tradition of ushering in the Christmas season with laughter and perspective.
 
I might've gone the unconventional route (surprise, surprise) when it comes to celebrating one of, if not my favorite holiday but that is going to be number one on my 'Thankful' list --
  •  Taking care of and honoring myself! I'm of no use to anyone in my life if I don't give myself what I need to be my best..... and I think we've all seen me when I haven't, it's not pretty.... not pretty at all.
  • Being so close to my family. My dad's call this morning started my day with a smile, followed by my mom's and my usually lengthy chat where I felt like I was right beside her as she prepared for her 'orphan feast', and the sweet voice of my even sweeter sister ended my day as I sat with her outside watching the fire. We're spread out all over the place, but it doesn't matter. I actually think it's good, the miles and time differences have been good practice for this next year. These three people think I'm some kind of wonderful, and have raised me to believe it too. I get my strength and chutzpah from their unconditional love, support, and confidence in me.
  • Having, hands down, the greatest friends on the face of the earth...No, in the universe. No...in the history of ever. Their love and generosity astounds me. It knocks me on my ass in fact. Their hearts are more open and their lights shine brighter than the average bear. These people are extra-ordinary. They see me, they support me, they push me, they call me on my shit and also sing my praise. Rochelle reminded me of a common line in one of our favorite shows, Once Upon a Time... "All magic comes with a price." It feels like the price of all the grace surrounding this magical time is having to say good-bye to these people. That pill is getting bigger and harder to swallow each day.
  • Being in love with a man who embodies all of the above, and makes me laugh....a lot!
  • Continuing to step outside my comfort zone and realize that sometimes the only transportation is a leap of faith.
  • Receiving a steady shower of magic... and HEARTS! From getting my visa approved in 4 days to weighing in at 200lbs LESS than my moving quote to getting to stay an extra week in my apartment for free.... I feel like with every heart I find, it peels away a layer of some kind of fog. When we start moving through our days/our lives more consciously we just SEE things differently. For me it shows up as hearts. When this fog lifts, more magic flows in.
  • Having the next three days off before my last week of work and life in L.A .... back into my cave I go :-)







9 Days Left......
 
 
 
Till next week: Love, Hugs and other 'Drugs'
XOXOXO






Monday, November 25, 2013

Operation Across the Pond: Part 1

     Today is a biggest day in Operation Across the Pond since getting my visa approval. King Relocation Services (a branch of United Van Lines) is here to pack/load/ship my stuff. And by stuff I mean this pile here in my kitchen, NOT including the couch on which the tree painting is resting. Essentially, everything could fit into the back of a decent size pick-up, so I feel I've done well.

 
 
 
It's been a whirlwind leading up to today, let me tell ya. My phone is constantly blowing up with alerts and calendar reminders. I'm even fighting the onset of a cold from all the go-go-go and stress of it all... stress from excitement, stress from nerves, stress from emotion, stress from forms....oh gawd, the mountain of forms! Just for that tiny little pile, I had to go on IRS.gov and get an EIN # and label myself a sole proprietor in order to 'import' my handful my books, artwork, tchotchke, and art supplies. Then there's Zoe's forms and protocol, all the i-dotting and t-crossing for her has me more paranoid than anything else. It's all " X has to be done 21 days after such and such..", "Y has to be signed within 10 days of this and that"...
The process of expatriation is an intricate and fascinating one; i.e realizing that I need to get some kind of expat mail forwarding service for things like my right as rain annual jury summons, and to keep certain bank accounts or credit cards open till I suss all that over there. My dad has happily offered to be said service, so I may just take him up on that :-)
I had one yard sale, made $80, and said "Never again!" If I thought people on craigslist were bad in regards to haggling, it's nothing compared to those that troll garage sales. There was one asshole who literally touched everything, asked to pay $.50 for most things, and then moved them and put them down somewhere else. Are you kidding me dude?  I got a permit for 2 weekends, and after one day's sale I called Salvation Army to come pick up the rest.
Let's see, what else? Oh! I sold my car.... to my mother.... gawd bless her! I felt a slight hesitation at first, but then thought why would I cut my nose to spite my face? I need to sell it, and she needed a more reliable way to get up and down her Arizona mountain. Win-win...done and done.
Rina and Mark have more than saved my ass and my wallet by graciously loaning me their extra car to drive in Misty Blue's stead. Thank you again you two!!
Once again, blessings!
 
 
    I just signed the last lil bit of paperwork for the movers... I'm sorry, the two iPod listening, backwards cap wearing, I-don't-really-give-a-fuck-attitude sporting twenty-nothings they sent me. For almost $3000 (hopefully not more), I'm less than thrilled with their packing skills and will be surprised if my shit shows up in one piece. The company told me they had to re-pack everything for customs. However, I had my stuff packed waaaay more efficiently and safely! I will be PISSED if I am over my estimated weight because of their lackluster job. I have no choice now but to let go of any and all attachment to those things, because the condition in which they show up may be unrecognizable. SERENTIY NOW! It's all a lesson. It's all a lesson. (said while rocking myself and sipping from the Starbucks Coffee Traveler I bought for them)
 
Whatever. At least my kitchen is now empty and the weight on my shoulders already feels a little less. Basically, my whole apartment is empty except for the air mattress I'm borrowing from Tim. Tomorrow, my carpet is getting cleaned so the list is slowly but surely getting smaller now. Time now to make some soup, then crash out under the covers...
 
 
 
Till next time.... Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'!
XOXOXOX
      
 
 
 
 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Rover Returns....ahem, The Rov(ah)

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     Was my last blog post really in July? Holy split-seconds Batman!! (certified #78 of Robin’s ‘Holy’ references, FYI) Time really flies when your life is in process of getting turned upside down and shaken… but in the best way of course. As of this post, The Rover is back! I am reclaiming my title and once again donning my crown of adventure as they are beginning again.

     Not that this is going to be news to most, but in my mind I’m still writing this thing to more than just the five of you. The BIG move I alluded to in that long ago summer post is now officially official as I received my UK Visa on Monday! The government sanctioned blessing adds that extra official.  And what a blessing it was indeed, because they only took 4 business days to make a decision and say “Meh, yeah she can come.”

       After 7 years, my dream of not only living overseas but specifically in England has come true! On top of that, I get to be with the man I love … TomGong! He has more than lived up to his superhero name by finding and booking Zoe’s and my flight, getting her carrier, AND finding us a sweet spot to call our new home…. all this in only 4 days!! Ggggooonnnggg

Our happy little family will be residing in a 2 bedroom flat in a town called Haywards Heath, a 10 min walk from the train station and just 20 min outside of Brighton. You can see it on the map here: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=haywards+heath+uk&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF-8&ei=tt97UrbtBeSdiQKOj4GYCA&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg



Here is a little sneak peek:



 The 2 bedrooms and bathroom are down that hall to the left



 Cute right?!





     Zoe and I now have exactly 30 days to get ourselves together, be out of our apartment at the end of the month, and ready to jump the pond on Sunday December 8th via Virgin VS8 at 6:50pm.

I’ve piled the handful of boxes into our kitchen, and I will receive my first moving quote this weekend. Tomorrow Zoe is off to the vet for an updated rabies vaccination and her international health certificate.  I’ve got everything else, desk, bed frame, wardrobe, housewares, etc up for sale. If you need something, I’m probably selling it!

     Since I am still working my day-job through all this, I may not be as social as people would want. I have to put my head down and focus with my limited free time…moving country is a smidge more involved than just moving to another zipcode.

I hate to admit, but my stress level has been more than high… I think we could call it Code Red. Poor TomGong! I love you baby. I’m sorry!

I am excited of course, that goes without saying…. but I wouldn’t say I’m overcome with glee 24/7. Or rather my glee is candy coated in adrenaline and anxiety.  I am equally overwhelmed by gratitude and awe, but also by to-do lists and dollar signs. I know it will all work out, and be fine once I land at Heathrow with my cat, greeted by my man in a brand new country starting a brand new life. I’m just being honest by saying there are moments in this process that are really trying.  I also know that it’s these moments in particular that make this new adventure abso-fuckin-lutely worth it!

    



       I will be having a going-away get together probably the first week in December, when people are back from Thanksgiving plans. I will keep everyone LA based posted.

I also promise more fun and funny details in future posts, but just wanted to give everyone the general low-down. 

I really can’t believe this is actually happening…. Someone pinch me! I'm gonna be a cool Ameri-Brit hybrid after all ;-)


XOXOXOX
Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'





Thursday, July 11, 2013

They Say It's My Birthday...

    They say it's my birthday this week... Sunday actually. For the first time in my soon to be 33 years I'm not bouncing over the moon excited and spastically planning every millisecond of the entire month to commemorate the sacred 24 hours. They also say there is a first time for everything. Side note, I'm not sure who this quintessential 'they' is, but let's welcome them to this little soiree as they seem to already be contributing quite a bit ;-)
    For my nearest and dearest, it's been rather strange that I didn't have the itinerary for July 1-31 already printed out and laminated 3 months ago. It was in Brighton that Rina looked at me in surprise one day and said, "Wait, what are we doing for your birthday?" I honestly hadn't thought about it once all year. In that moment, looking at the 'Why?' I realized it was because ALL my time and energy had been devoted to just getting me to Brighton. Beyond that, it was a blank canvas. Now, after having had, literally, the time of my life the excitement and spas-tastic quality still hasn't shown up. Pourqoui? I have been pondering this since my return actually, and it has taken me till this week to even begin to pinpoint a reason....not that there needs to be one of course, but this is me, soooooo..... yea, there kinda does.
At first I thought, is this just me becoming a normal person about a day that millions of other people can lay claim to and/or reaching that point of not finding the same joy in getting older? That wasn't it though. A) I will never be a 'normal' person and Secondly) Getting older is a luxury some people never get so No, that definitely wasn't it.
     I recently read a Facebook musing from my goddess of inspiration Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat,Pray, Love). She was confessing a startling realization that she and a girlfriend shared about not relaxing into happiness, to paraphrase. She talked about her happy marriage, her successful career, her amazing friends, etc and yet she realized she was almost holding her breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. This woman has an eery knack for taking my breath away in truth and making me cry in exposure....but in the best way of course. THAT was it.
I am happier than I've possibly ever been. I am proud of who I am, what I've learned and accomplished thus far, what I still have yet to do. I have an amazingly loving and supportive family and the greatest friends in the history of friends, bar none.... not to mention I am about to make my dream of the last 7 years of moving to the UK a reality....AND I have met the man with whom I want to share my life.  So like Elizabeth, I hate to even admit that I'm holding my breath even the tiniest bit. I do tend to subscribe to the belief that our thoughts manifest our reality, yada yada yada... so I hesitate to speak or rather write this out loud because I certainly do not want said proverbial 'other shoe' to drop. I am admitting to this because Elizabeth, her friend and I cannot be alone in this and I'd rather get it up and out and LET IT GO than let it fester inside and create real problems...i.e that oh so unattractive human tendency of self sabotage. I now realize that I was keeping my birthday ecstasy on the down low because I was still processing this ridiculously amazing downpour of blessings; allowing my heart and mind the time and space to fully receive them. It's like Arizona irrigation. I remember living in Phoenix whilst going to ASU and they (again with the 'they') would flood all the trees, plants, lawns in the middle of the night and even as I walking to class the next day the ground was still in the process of soaking up all the water. Seriously though who can relate to what I've said?
Since reading Elizabeth's confession I've been able to breath a little deeper and sink a little further into the arms of all these gifts....specifically the arms of my man. TomGong, even at 5000 miles away, every single day lives up to his superhero name by reminding me of the definition of a true partnership. In my last post, I told you there was more to that story... ;-)
Even since just typing this out, I feel freer .... and dare I say it.... more excited about my birthday!

    So then what ARE my plans for this weekend? The Grease Sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday night of course!! Sunday will be mellow, reflective, and full of gratitude... a little yoga, mayhaps a hike, an afternoon of exploring the tide pools at Free Zuma most likely and then dinner with the 'wife', Chelle ;-) 
Actually I do plan on gifting myself a little treat. In my self study and reconnaissance for this post, I looked up the anniversary theme for 33, and it is amethyst. This is telling and profound in so many ways, but I'll just share a couple. First of all, amethyst's main 'super-power' is protection (spiritual, emotional, mental and physical) which is perfect as I embark on this long awaited journey across the pond toward the new life and adventures that await me on the other side. Secondly, Tom and I didn't see each for 10 days after first meeting, but we talked (ok, texted) all day every day allowing us to quickly become good friends. Just 5 days in, I got the intuitive hit that I wanted to buy him a piece of amethyst. I thought myself quite strange for it actually, but went with the impulse anyway. I'm soooooo glad I did. I gave it to him the next time I saw him and even though I didn't necessarily understand why I was buying it in the moment, I got it like a ton of bricks when I gave it to him....as did he. Something clicked, and the amethyst just scooped us up into its protective bubble. We've been more or less inseparable ever since. Soooo yeeeaaaa, thinkin I'm gonna do me some crystal shoppin'  :-)


Like how I slyly slipped in the bomb about moving? I will leave the details of all that for next time as I am still in the early stages of it anyway.


 
Till next time kids.... Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trail of Hearts

   Tis an epic fail on my part to not have been posting every few days because at this point how do I possibly begin to describe the last five weeks. How can I even hope to begin? How do I give all the relationships -the beginnings, endings and more beginnings, the inside jokes that beget the whole new language of Zion, the moments of heartache and resurrection their fair due? It will be damn near impossible, but I owe it to myself, my readers and the memories themselves to give it my best effort.

    I always knew this trip was going to be 'big' but never did I anticipate the unfathomable number of gifts that were afforded me. As I mentioned in the previous post, the time and space leading up to it had a thick air of gravity, as in pregnant, which is perfect considering it was nine months from the time we heard about the Brighton Fringe to our arrivial. I kept trying to imagine any and all outcomes. If I'm being totally honest, primarily all having to do with the matter of some unfinished business with "Brighton" or as he would later come to be known, "The Kracken". As most of you know I had been consumed with little else for the last seven months. The energetic tentacles coiled around me were glaringly obvious to those closest to me, no matter what I might have said to deny it. Rochelle kept telling me that 'all will be revealed' so I played out an exhaustive myriad of possibilities to help prepare myself for anything. But when she said it wouldn't look like I expected (because it never does) I took it as a challenge and envisioned a hundred more variables. Even so, she was abso-fuckin-lutely right. It didn't fucking resemble even a fraction of what I'd entertained and rehearsed. As it turns out, despite all the pain I experienced we all owe a big Thank You to The Kracken or rather to the Universe for playing that hand on my behalf. It was he that told us about not only the Brighton Fringe, but also about the venue we ended up going with -The Lectern. I wasn't able to escape his grip because it was always meant to lead me to Brighton... to HoveActually where I found more love and joy than feels right to be given.
So thank you Ser Crisp. I wish you nothing but the best in all things. "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." - Goethe

    Firstly, the Zion family gained a new member in Hugo aka Fragelstein aka Fragel Rock. Aka a brother I didn't know I'd been missing or was ever separated from and yet when he showed up at The Lectern that second day my heart recognized a piece of itself in a stunningly lanky 19yr old sporting glasses, a plaid button down, sweat pants, and Chuck Taylors. Without hesitation, I threw myself at him with a hug. He is a phenom; open hearted, honest, brilliant,  ridiculously talented, nurturing, and the funniest person I know! This poor kid is stuck with me from this point on. Sorry my luv! ...and you'd better not be eating or drinking anything sugary as you read this ;-) X
Even Chelle was Zionized into the fam for the week she was there. We had a blast, which is no surprise, but the gift there was a conversation that further infused our love and friendship... ok, our marriage :-)
    Each member of the Zion family officially fell in love with one another or at least I can safely say that I fell in love with each one of them. I feel closer to Rina, if that's even possible. I reconnected with Kevin, and became smitten with a girl in mismatching socks, Miss Ashley.... those fucking socks! and of course, Huuuuugooooo! We are five very different and distinct personalities, and yet it never ceased to amaze me how cohesive we were and how easily we lived together. During our waking hours of anywhere from 2pm-7am our house was constantly erupting in laughter.
    And lastly, our merry little band married into that of The Lectern and...... we lived happily ever after although it wasn't without a couple days of charming our way past that British reserve with some good ol American bravado or rather "Balls!" I will go so far as to say we will be missed, crazy bastards that we are. As Rob so poignantly stated on the bus one night as we were making a scene and scaring the kid next to us, "It's ok. They're American. You get used to it."Don't be surprised if I walk back through that door sooner rather than later to order an Ass-Balls, followed by a Zion, and a glass of waaa-ter.
The function room upstairs turned out to be the greatest space and set up imaginable for the show. There was a tiny stage that we used for Conversation of Chairs to get that intimate and uneasy feeling with the audience that is integral to the work. We used the main floor for the other 2 sections; Episodes and Another Tarantino Story. We even were able to use the bar in one of the Tarantino scenes. The audience seating was set in a bit of an alcove and made it feel like a real theater and not just the upstairs of a pub. The space was an entity all its own and became the 6th company member. The day we had to strike the set for the last time none of us could leave right away. We just sat there waiting till it had said goodbye to each of us.

    The best gift of family however was getting to celebrate the 70 brilliant years of the best mother ever with rental car and bus adventures, laughter, and matching tattoos. I wouldn't be where I am, living the life I do if it wasn't for her and having her in the audience 2 separate nights beaming love and applauding my achievements is inspiring and humbling. XO

    Now. For the sake of Rover/CC Bella honesty, I must confess that it wasn't ALL puppy dogs and rainbows...(pretty damn close though. ) I must admit to falling on some seriously black days after a heady cocktail of disillusion/resolution/rejection. Mere minutes after stumbling away slightly dazed and confused from the clutches of The Kracken (finally) I found a review in The Argus that panned my pieces, 'Converastion of Chairs'. I laughed at first at the timing thinking, "Really?... I mean, Reeaaally?!" I scolded and thanked Hugo for trying to protect me from finding it and then began to spiral downward slowly at first, then warpspeed down that rabbit hole.
I will be the first one to admit one of my worst flaws is how easily discouraged I can become when it comes to my art. I realize not everyone will like what I put out whether it's a painting, a poem, etc. I'm actually already well acquainted with that. This was something else, something worse. I was left feeling like I couldn't trust myself.... in life and in love and that broke me for about four days. I felt unbelievably foolish, lost and more alone than I ever have in my almost 33 years. Dramatic much? Ha! Mayhaps. But I was feeling, If I can't trust myself, I'm 50 shades of screwed... especially since I don't trust all that easily or all that many.
    The Kracken/Argus debacle happened on a Wednesday and by Saturday I was chin deep in what Rina affectionately refers to as the Abyss...waters still rising. She and Mark wanted to take me out to dinner, Kevin wanted me to come out with them and all I wanted to do was go to bed at all of 7 or 8pm. Rina was about to let me have my way when she asked me, "Ok. Is there anything I can do to help? What do you need?" And I replied with a dry laugh, "A sharp knife."
"Right. Get your fucking coat on. We're going to The Wick."
Barely showered, dressed in an unimpressive but comforting brown sweater and an 'all out of give a shit' attitude we set out for Thai food at The Wick Inn. I was buried in my phone reading a dissertation from Chelle honoring my courage to follow my heart to the bitter end but advising me to stop reading reviews and against men outside L.A. While reading and replying, a group of guys talking to Rina and Mark started pushing our tables together and I see a guy watching me on the my left. His friend comes over to chat me up but this dude came on to the wrong girl with the wrong agro approach, and I let him know it. I was in RARE form that night. Even Rina and Mark's eyes were wide with surprise at my fuck all attitude. This poor twat genuinely apologized and moved back to the other end of the tables. Somehow though this other guy wasn't fazed at all and managed to engage me in a conversation about the Seven Sisters lighthouse that I'd recently tried to find without success. Whilst in the bathroom, I would learn later, Rina would reiterate I was not in a good place and offer him the opportunity/challenge to turn that around. By the end of the night I was talking openly and laughing my way back to the surface. Enter TomGong, nicknamed for the text-tone on my old Crackberry turned UK mobile. Anyone that was charmed by me at my worst that first night earns another chance, i.e my number.
Anyone that can actually then 'show up' and earn a place among the Zions, especially my soul brother can stick around even longer...and he did. He has shown up every day since, and exceeded any and all expectations. I'd be lying (like a hairy egg) if I said there wasn't more to that story, but that's all I have to say about it for now.

    To recap, I spent the last five weeks in LOVE.... with friends old and new....with our show, with art....with life. I may have felt lost for those four days but even in my darkest hours the hearts continued to reveal themselves and led me onward filling me with a stronger sense of security and trust within myself. They are my guiding light and my legacy.

I wrote all this in my journal during my 11 hour flight home as I did not sleep at all, and I listened to this song obsessively on repeat which alternated betweeen making me feel better and worse as I nursed the weighty trifecta of gratitude, sadness and joy.....


"All of your flaws and all of my flaws
They lie there hand in hand.."


   
Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'
XOXOXOXO



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Brighton or Bust

5 days!!! But whatever, who's counting?

      Before I launch into all things Brighton, let's revisit Coachella. For those not on Facebook or those on it but who are not my friends I first have to say, " Why the hell aren't we friends? I'm awesome. And humble, clearly." Second, I generously offer you a look see at the weekend's highlights:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151630666043474.1073741827.770763473&type=1&l=1343015573
Indeed, good times were had by all. As far as favorite performances, I'd have to say Jake Bugg, alt-J, Passion Pit, Local Natives, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Ben Howard, Postal Service, The xx, Wild Belle, Robert DeLong, Airborne Toxic Event, Alex Clare, Tame Impala...Two Door Cinema Club would have been awesome if their sound guy hadn't been deaf. We were watching xx and the minute TDCC started you couldn't hear ANYthing else. They sounded amazing, and clearly put on a great show but just too damn loud. If I had to narrow it to to 5 I would say alt-J, Local Natives, Band of Horses, Airborne Toxic Event and Alex Clare. I know you may be surprised that Ben didn't make that Top 5 list, because for those following me on Spotify I listen to him consistently bordering on obsessive. But I prefer the show we saw at The Fonda back in October. He'd broken his hand just a few days before Weekend 2 so his energy wasn't there in the same way, understandably so, and also there was a surprising emotional component for me this time (although I shouldn't have been surprised) that forced me to lower the Iron Curtain. Thus I couldn't really get into it. Pourquoi? you ask.... because the day after the October show there may have been that whole matter of a break-up. So that sucked. I listen to that album so incessantly I thought I'd built my immunity to any emotion of hearing it performed live again. There we are, super stoked to be 6 people deep from the stage and he launches into his first song. Cut to me, 5 seconds in, fucking falling apart, blubbering behind my sunglasses like a child, Bree and Chelle wiping my cheeks. I almost couldn't control it. Hence, the Iron Curtain. Shut her down! :-)
      It truly was a great weekend though, there was so much love and laughter... inside jokes to keep us in stitches for years to come. "Eat-it, eat-it, eat-it" ... "iDay!" ... and saying everything in double, " Is that cider or cider cider?" 
I'll be honest though and say in my slumps of being hot, hungry and tired I couldn't help but feel like, "This is awesome. I'm having so much fun. Is it over yet? Is it April 30th yet?"

    And so, moving right along. Not counting today (Thur) and not counting the day of departure I really only have 4 days! 4 days till I finally board the plane I've been itching to be on for 7 months! Fucking finally!!!! I have so much excitement as well as some anxiety that I don't even really know where to begin. I guess I will begin by saying that the closer we've gotten to leaving, the more gravid this whole Brighton thing feels. Rina and I talked about it at length a couple weeks ago... just about how big the opportunity is for us now that we've completely re-branded the company. That piece of the puzzle is where most of my excitement lies. It's in my own shit that there's some anxiety lurking, an appropo place I spose. I mean, of course I'm excited for myself. The first work I've EVER created/choreographed is being premiered at the largest performing arts festival in England. Hello?! Awesome-sauce! I am also nervous though for that very same reason. I'm not performing for my friends and family who think I'm fabulous and brilliant all the time. I'm performing for what I imagine is a very sophisticated and slightly jaded group of ... well, let's face it ... theatre-snobs...British theatre-snobs nonetheless. And gawd knows I love the Brits. I've wanted to move to the UK for the last 7 years to become some cool sort of AmeriBrit hybrid and have them welcome me with open arms. My fear is folded arms, sour looks, and disparaging dry humor at my expense. And I have an awful tendency to be too easily discouraged, especially when it comes to any of my 'art.' I've been known to hibernate under the covers cursing my artist instinct and deconstructing the question, "Who do I think I am?" Thankfully, those kinds of histrionics have lessened with age but the tendency is there. I am proud of this work though, really proud... especially for my first shot out of the gate. At the end of the day, that's all that matters anyway. People could think it really sucks, and of course that would smart a bit, but the truth is I AM fabulous and do occasionally have fleeting moments of brilliance. " And gosh darn it, people like me." :-)
     And then.... *Sigh. And then, there's Brighton. Or B-R-I-G-H-T-O-N. Or Brighton Brighton. So there's that.  

     The other aspect adding to the gravity of these next 5 weeks is that it is written in the stars quite literally. Today at 12:57pm is the Full Moon in Scorpio and is the first of three eclipses. "Because of the geometrical angles that are currently in place, we are going to experience two Lunar Eclipses with a Solar Eclipse sandwiched in between them. This three-in-a-row configuration is what is known as a wormhole. Just like in a sci-fi special effect (or for real, in the world of quantum physics) a wormhole picks you up in one place in time/space and transports you clear across time/space into brand new territory. Such is the lay of the land from this April 25th through June 7th. The more aware you are of where you want to go, the more likely you will be to land somewhere you will be happy to be......We are now entering into the Taurus portion of our journey, making the next six weeks a key time in the manifestation process, as Taurus connects to the tangible energy of Form.
 Think of this worm hole as a frenzied upgrade into higher ground as far as generating your own destiny goes."
I also love, being a moon ruled Cancer, the fact that the Full Moon in Scorpio is guiding me into this new adventure. The New Moon will shed light on possibilities and new beginnings on the 9th and another Full Moon (in Sagitarius) on the 24th will begin to wrap it all up...although I don't ever like my time there to be 'wrapped up'  (it physically pains me whenever I have to leave) so maybe said wrapping will be of all the gifts and opportunities the month has afforded me that I get to open again and again.
     Those who've been following this blog for awhile know that when I travel, magic usually abounds. And those following me on FB or even Twitter know I have a habit of heart collecting - not in the creepy way that that just sounded. It's funny to think my whole love affair with seeing hearts in everything all the time and documenting them began back in July/August, on our last ZDC 'Fringe' trip. That trip was a game changer, no doubt. I'm curious to see where and to what my heart(s) will lead me this time. Stay tuned ya'll....

     I have so much swimming in my head and heart that I could rewrite this post a thousand times over and still have barely scratched the surface of each of the things I touched on. As is often my way, I seek the assistance of music and leave you with a song that encompasses all and sums it up in a ridiculously perfect and achingly lovely way. I leave you with - Train Song.



   
Till next time, from across the pond :-)
Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'
XOXOXOXO


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coachellagain!

 

     It is indeed that time of year again, the time of a music whore’s wet dream. COACHELLA!!! We opted to be Second Weekend warriors this year, which means we will be battling the blazing desert temps of 100+. Hot damn, I say! Sweating my ass off in Hot Yoga these past couple weeks won’t be in vain after all.
The caravan heads out early Friday morning, getting us there a little earlier than last year and hopefully in time for an inaugural round of ‘Birthday Cake’ before White Arrows, the first band on my expertly created Xcel spreadsheet. Except, let me say even in my brilliance, “Damn you Coachella for scheduling The xx, Two Door Cinema Club, and Franz Ferdinand at the same fucking time! Same goes for Alex Clare and Lumineers. Curses!” And just in case you have forgotten or are just joining me, ‘Birthday Cake’ is the brilliant two-fisted concoction Chelle and I discovered last year while taking a sip of one another’s drink. You start with a sip of Fat Tire followed by a sip of tequila in Limeade juice and voila! – it tastes like a slice of birthday cake. Hand to gawd!
I've been avoiding any press or coverage from the first weekend, although I'm dying to know what 'surprises' this year may in store. We totally bailed before the Tupac hologram last year - major fail on our part.

     One might think that with my yoga training in March I wouldn’t need another ‘vacation’ so soon. One would be wrong. Post yoga, my focus has turned 200% toward Brighton and all the ‘business’ odds and ends of getting ready not only on  behalf of the company but also just for myself. It also means I’ve entered the athletic training bubble which basically means I go to work, work out, and go to bed. I usually cannot be reached after 8pm because I’ve been making use of the 'Do Not Disturb' feature on my fruit phone.  So to say I’ve been antisocial is a smidge of an understatement. I need this weekend to completely unwind, reconnect with my friends, and RAWK OUT!
And what better way to celebrate my last week and change in the States before I take Brighton by storm? ;-) 
I will, of course, be addressing everything surrounding this upcoming UK adventure upon my return. 

     But for now let’s focus on the subject at hand, THE MUSIC! For those of you on Spotify, I have made a general playlist as well as one for each day. Check em out. I’m sure I will stumble upon more bands than I’ve listed because as we know hearing a band live completely changes the experience. That being said, here is my list of who I’m super stoked to see. I've included a handful of links (they're in grey) to give you a scrumptious lil sampling. You're welcome :-)

FRIDAY: (Talk about baptism by fire – there will be much running to fit all these in)

White Arrows
Aesop Rock
Stars
Metric
Japandroids
Four Tet
Of Monsters and Men
Beach House
Purity Ring
Blur
Jurassic 5
FOALS
Stone Roses
How to Destroy Angels

SATURDAY:
Vintage Trouble
Wild Nothing
The Evens
Savages
Dropkick Murphys
Bat for Lashes
Violent Femmes
The Make-Up
Hot Chip
Yeasayer
Spiritualized
Franz Ferdinand
Phoenix

SUNDAY:
Three O’ Clock
Airborne Toxic Event
Thee Oh Sees
Tanlines
Pretty Lights
The Faint
Wu Tang Clan
Red Hot Chili Peppers




See ya'll on the other side....

XOXOXOX
Love, Hugs and other 'Drugs'