Friday, April 20, 2018

Maisy

 Last Wednesday morning, a woman walked into my pilates class at 6 am. I recognize her and casually say hi. As the class progresses, I notice the logo on her sweatshirt. Accenture.  I calmly take a breath and ask "Do you work for that company?" She says yes.  I tell her my ex husband works for that company, and then I say " he would be shocked and amazed to hear the dog is still alive."
36 hours later, Im at the urgent vet care center with that decision that all pet owners fear and dread.
Massive bleeding in her belly from unidentified mass, probably cancer. She is in pain. Surgery and follow up Im told could cost me $10,000.00 which I HAVE, BUT she will probably be in even worse pain post op, and then with treatments and Dr visit's which she HATES...Im left with a Sophies choice decision. Put her down to save her pain, or keep her alive to save me pain. I took the first road  for her as the medication put her into a coma and then stopped her heart.

Im a long term pet owner. I have had animals since I was 6. My first cat Tigger, lived to be 14, my next Malcolm, 21. Ive had to take care of my Dads dog while he was sick, and after he died for about 7 months. I left Cody on a ranch in Arizona, where she became the alpha dog til she passed in 1999.

This is a far greater hole in my heart, I know that. This dog was my soulmate.
I used to joke and tell people that this dog held my happiness for me, so I COULD BE A BITCH and get stuff done. I definitely feel like all my happiness is gone.

My ex husband and I got this dog to save our marriage. Bad idea. She ended up being the last straw in the camels back. And my horrifying husband at the time would threaten me with "you know when you leave, you aren't taking the dog" even though she only listened to me and followed me around the house.

One horrible Saturday 13 years ago, I took my step kids to see my cousins, and then on the way home dropped the kids off at the grandparents house.
I came home to find a very quiet house. Normally,  Maisy would come bounding down the stairs, but no. I call her. Nothing. I go upstairs and find her in her crate, but she won't come out. I pull out her dog bed and see a small hole in her right sight. She has been shot.
I call emergency vet in New jersey and go racing up the turnpike at 12 45 am. I carry her into the vet screaming "she's been shot, please help me!" (my husband was in Sterling, Va, where he worked)
They stabilize her but dont have the equipment for the surgery to save her, so they send me back down the turnpike to Philly.
The waiting room of that facility was surreal. One family with a very thick South Jersy accent was complaining about their dog had gone and eaten the rat poison AGAIN, because the morons put it down in the same place twice...WOW.
The vet bill totaled $6,000.00.  Gary refused to pay it at first. That was right before I left.
Last night the waiting room in Rohnert park was just the opposite. Calm owners talking to each other, a lovely pit bull who kept slobbering on me cuz he could feel my distress.
But that was all before I knew. Before the choice and final awful decision and then procedure.
Unlike the 13 years previous, she was still walking when they brought her into that low lit room.
She obviously still wanted to head home, and for the first time, I had to say"we are not going home, we need to stay here for a bit." They left me with her for a few minutes. she had her little IV in her front paw. I made her lay down and did a wide second on the floor and just covered my body onto hers, telling her how grateful I was. How sorry I was. How much she helped me live better. That she was the best dog in the world and I was trying to make the pain go away.
Then the Dr came in and explained how it would go. It was only painful for me, as she was asleep first and snoring.
Sometimes at night, I couldn't sleep, and would listen to her snore, and it gave me so much peace.
Then the snoring stopped. And she was quiet. They left me alone with her a few more moments as I heaved and wailed over her  round body that still felt alive to me.
When they came back to take her away I was fine until they moved her, and I saw how limp she was, and I fled.
In the car, I waited a few moments before driving home. I got home. I emailed my mother. I tried to watch TV but gave up. Went to bad. No clicking feet following me into my room. I wake up in the middle of the night. No snoring. I woke up this morning and no dog face in mine, telling me to get up.
How do you go on after this? I had to leave my step children, but I knew they were safe.  I wish I knew Maisy was safe. I have to believe she is a free spirit now. But she hates to be away from me more than any codependent dog I know.
Ending this post with grace is above my pay grade today. #hollow

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America

In 2003, I was visiting my future husbands family at a community lake. We were in south Jersey, where he was from, and the the topic of 9/11 came up.
It may have been the first time I talked to some one  who's opinion was different from mine, or it may have been the fact that my future sister in law was telling me how she and her husband laughed because the news reports were so stupid in the early accounts of what was happening. She laughed as 2000 plus people died. I felt so angered that any one could laugh (and suddenly horrified at where I was heading!)

I was in Manhattan on 9/11. I was supposed to work that day. I tried to walk downtown as everyone was walking up Eigth avenue. It was the most scary and awe inspiring day of my life. I saw amazing acts of courage, and humility that day and following week. New Yorkers came together.

And Ive just read the last piece of evidence that completely solidifies my belief that our Government planned and perpetrated the whole thing.

My last 12 years have been about gravity and its properties. My life has also been about living in absolute truth and trying to only bring love and joy to those I meet.
I have had to let go of some very important people in my life because of the negative and selfish energy that I no longer tolerate in any form.
When I first heard the theory, I too could not believe we were capable of killing our own to get something. I knew we killed hundreds of thousands of "others" around the world (with very little evidence left behind) but because Im a bit of a bigot..working on it PEEPS... I didn't see who we really are.
I knew about the supporting of the Nazis and the involvement in all conflict starting over in Asia in the past century, but I could not believe this one.
And then I saw a documentary...and it had slowed down the images and you can see the charges going off. I have a picture that a friend of mine took from the Brooklyn Bridge that he did not publicly sell (I believe) and you can see in this photo as well....things projecting out as the building goes down...but nothing moves in two directions unless there are two different forces simultaneously at work..

The amount of innocence lost and injustice that continues to prevail as we massacar in the name of Global peace is disgusting. The estimates  of drone deaths to date (as of Feb 2015) are 2500 but we have to assume these numbers  to be low so as not to freak us out.
Lest we forget the American teenage son of a suspected terrorist who was killed with 5 of his friends as they sat eating an an outdoor cafe. This kid was born and raised an american ....had gone to look for his Dad, but had not found him ...two weeks after WE found and killed his father, we did the same to him.
Its called a kill list.  And our government is still perfecting the METHODS with which we put someone on the list and how fast before we act on taking them out. Based on computer data and scientific efforts, we are also saying globally that our war (?) on Terrorism will  last  at least into the next decade.

Who the hell do we think we are? Im sure in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when we realized we were going to be the new super power of the world, we thought about the good we could do, and lives we could now save with all out resource and riches. But it got twisted some where.

Capitalism. As soon as someone realized you could sell crap, and then make money off those that bought the crap, a new age in feeding off each other and competition have ruined the idea of community, both where I live now, and where I grew up.
As we head into yet another circus of election, I can only stand and gawk at what is now accepted as truth, and/or rhetoric that is supposedly "democratic".
 Democratic to me means that WE the people elect into office those whom reflect OUR views.
What Ive seen happening in this country makes me furious and disgusted at the same time, because I believe we once truly did STAND for something.
We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.
What the fuck has happened to that?
So yeah US...Happy Birthday America.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

my sister

My sister died on August 29th... on her death certificate it reads September 1st, 2015.
For the record, my world shifted the moment she died. 10 pm EST time 7 pm PST, full moon, saturday night . I went crazy for the few days following that exact second and I did things that were not only destructive to my body but could have destroyed what little reputation and credibility  I have left in the world.
Something in my heart shifted to a self destructive place at that horrific moment, and I did not know why for three strange days.  I only knew I wanted to die myself.
When I did receive the FB message that she was dead Tuesday, Sept 1st, it all made sense, in a really awful way.
I have been wandering in a daze now for the past 6 months. So many details to deal with her death that I was finally sent into a tailspin, going at 200 mpg until my body gave out last week. I got the flu for the first time in 6 years. I mean, really sick, where everything seems underwater when you're vertical, but horizontal, its like a bad acid trip, or worse,  puking up and down the stairs.

She was really my only family even though she was only my "half" sister.  My family dynamic has always been tricky, so trying to describe my sister and I's relationship is not sweet. If I were to try to explain all the different parts and relatives involved, you would need a flow chart. I will keep it to just us.
As a child, she tortured me, being terribly jealous.  I spent my childhood fearing her, hating her and idolizing her . I think that to be about the most normal of what we were to each other. She also stole a lot, lied a lot, and could eat whatever she wanted in huge amounts and never gain a pound. This, to a fat kid, was the cruelest joke of all.

My sister influenced my opinion on music, my sister taught me how to drive at the age of 12. She taught me how to look at art, as she could turn trash into treasure. My sister taught me how to roll a joint. She taught me how to be patient and listen (because I had to) and she also embarrassed me  at parties and drove me crazy and locked me out of my own house and was a giant pain in the ass.

Yesterday was FEB 29. Leap year, and I thought it ironic and karmic at the same time. This year there was a six month anniversary. I didn't know how to feel so I just went to work. I came home still woozy  from the flu and decided to watch the Spike Lee movie about Michael Jackson..
One of the things we used to do as children was dance to songs. We would choreograph routines to The chilites, Diana Ross and the supremes and of course, The Jackson 5.
The movie was so well done. It had amazing footage from when the group was just starting out, and I was always such a huge fan cuz Michael was my age. It was almost like I grew up with him and the movie was a joyful experience of his music and dance. It also reminded me of the limitless joy that my sister had. The fearless but fragile wanting to acquire as much knowledge as possible about everything .  I mean everything.
One of the the worst parts of this process is going thru all her stuff, and realizing I didn't know her as well as I thought I did. She had notes and clippings about recipes and self help books and addresses...
This whole process involving lawyers and police and a really icky alternate party that keeps trying to hurt me, because they hurt so much themselves has made this part of my life a really sad time, until I saw this movie.
Im up and dancing and not really sad until the end when they start talking about how he is still so missed..and what an amazing talent he was, and how lucky we are to have all the footage so we can still see him whenever we want.
The very last shot of the movie was footage of his birthday party in Brooklyn in 2009. Thousands of people dancing and celebrating.  Then they flashed the date, August 29.







Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Baryshnikov (or My Left Foot)

This story is a good one on how NOT being present in your life will have you MISS the GOOD.
 Ive been telling it in my Pilates classes all this week. Then my friend in NYC sent me a short clip of the man himself dancing....Oh so beautiful. So let us return to yesteryear...when Im a chain smoking model/actress/dancer 2nd ad in the big Apple.
  Here I am in 1997, working in the industry (TV and FILM) but still dancing and auditioning. Still taking class as much as I could til I sprained my left ankle on set and continued to work/walk on it that very day. I was a foolish brat who never gave her body a break. You can imagine I didn't take class for a good two months with a severe re-sprain like that...but of course I finally wander back in.
My body looks ok, but my left foot looks like shit. It won't point at all. I stick it out and it looks like a club.. Hopefully a few classes will stretch those tendons out.
If you don't know the obsession with dancers and feet, they are a BIG DEAL. Basically, if you've got good feet, you're in....its ALL ABOUT THE FEET.
Im standing in my usual spot in studio 2 in the corner along 72nd street facing east when you know who walks in.
He took class at Steps often, and was very professional and courteous at all times. (Unlike some who sailed in on SATIN RUGS and expected to be treated as though they were ABOVE the rest of us).
He walks in and stands directly next to me at the barre. Holy Shit on high, Ive been waiting to take class with this guy my whole stupid life, but TODAY?! TODAY my foot looks like shit, and he is standing in front of me facing east which means reverse....is MY LEFT FOOT...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Suddenly it wasn't about standing next to the greatest dancer of all time and watching him, but my self obsession and my brain made it about how IM NOT GOING TO LOOK RIGHT TO HIM...wtf?
As if he was interested or could care about another dancers feet in front of him...He is too busy working...not me.. Im too busy freaking out. SO for almost an hour, with Misha standing less than a foot and half in front of me (or behind me)...I could have watched HIS FEET!  I could have smiled briefly, maybe made eye contact for just a moment...that would have been great, HUH? But BOO HOO on me, Im too wrapped up in MYSELF.  SO I did not look at his amazing butt,  nor watch his feet. Nor even get a slight whif of his sweat..cuz I wasn't there. For 45 minutes of what could have been the BEST class of MY ENTIRE LIFE.....I WAS NOT THERE FOLKS. I was so busy thinking about my left foot, that I missed the whole class.

After barre, I left and cried in the dressing room for about an hour...so disappointed in myself and my inability to enjoy life. Always focusing on what was shit and not what was amazing.
I was amazing. I was gorgeous back then, and I bet you ten to one that if I had smiled at him..he would have smiled back! I probably could have even made a little joke and gotten giggle out of him, but NO. I decided to turn the whole thing around and make it crap. 45 minutes of crap.

SO what is our lesson, Boys and girls?
Wake UP... its your life and if your not in it, its passing you by!!
Let me be your cautionary tale.. start living now and get into the moments..cuz thats your life...cuz that was a whole boat load of moments that I trashed FOR NO REASON....
Your life is not your appearance.  Its not your clothes or shoes, or even body.  Its YOU.
 I have lived in that so called "perfect body", but I didn't know what it felt like cuz I felt like shit most of the time. This was  just when I started stunt work, too... My life was so good. But I was shit in my life.
Change how you see the world and yourself.. slow down and try to be present and experience things as they are, not how you were taught they are supposed to be.
I somehow thought that when I took class with Baryshnikov, I would be so good as to IMPRESS HIM?  How delusional, self obsessed and grandiose could I be? Its not what it looks like but how it feels.

I feel pretty good about myself these days. But I have regrets and this one is up there.
Live now, be a child, put down the device and look around. The world is a big beautiful messy fantastic place...You only have to feel it.
















Saturday, May 30, 2015

the truth about LA

Los Angeles. The city of Angels. I dont think so.
In my life span, I have lived in LA collectively for almost half. I have never stayed here longer than now. I moved back here in 2007, so that makes 7 years here. I never lasted more than 5. Im starting to feel the pinch.
For much of the time spent here, the level of angst and anger that I see in the faces of nearly everyone was a complete mystery to me. It seemed juxtapose to the surroundings of this beautiful place as well as the so called "Californian attitude". I grew up in SF, where Californian Attitude is KING, and I used to make a joke that there was just too much oxygen and sunshine down here and it corroded your brain. Unfourtunetly, I was not far off.
The very nature of any city is to allow people to civilize and commune themselves. To work together.
Living close together means you are not alone, and if you need help or a cup of sugar, you are supported. Its supposed to make life easier. Its supposed to bring people closer.
Los Angeles was built by and for the movie business. That business is built on aesthetics, money, power and judgement. Its also built on competition, meaning every man for himself. That is what drives this town. This is a place where people wrap dog shit in a bag (sometimes!), but leave the bag on the sidewalk. This is a place where people talk on their cell phones in romantic restaurants and dont talk to each other. This is a town where the cyclist's are so entitled and self righteous, they ride in packs, and terrorize motorists.This is a town where Mom and daughter dress alike, in hot pants and 4 inch heels.
I have seen  animals and children, ignored or endangered for the sake of a text or phone call, to the point where the animal or child nearly gets run over in the street.
The level of self indulgence and lack of humanity is everywhere. Customer service is hard to come by, and I haven't even mentioned the driving yet. That could be its own blog.
One of the worst things is there is NO ASPCA in LA County. The civic regulators sort of gave up on controlling a population that has too much money, or none. The rich want to keep tigers on the property and the poor raise chickens and bunnies to eat.
I have found myself in difficult situations with finding animals along the road ("wow, I really need to fix that hole in my fence. Thanks for finding my dog") or dealing with dogs that bark and bark and bark, and there is nothing to be done. I found five rabbits in my back yard in east LA. Two white and three brown. They were obviously escaping someones dinner pot.Thank God bunnies are EASY to rehome.
But it is now tragic. I live in a condo strip which means two sets of condos face in to a main driveway    in San Fernando Valley.
I saw two feral black and white cats on my second night here. They would wander up and down the driveway but stayed closest to one particular house. Then I started to see dishes of food on that same house lawn. Some one was feeding them! I asked other people who live here, and some said yes they had seen them, but most just shrugged at me.
People here think they are being kind when they feed a stray or a wild animal.
You would cry if I told you how many times Ive seen people feeding coyotes and squirrels. To the point where Ive had a coyote go aggressive on me AND my dog (COMPLETE REVERSAL OF INSTINCT) and seen squirrels so fat they can barely climb trees. One homeless guy told me he kills the fat ones  and eats them. I hope there are no children in the park that day.
You leave wildlife ALONE. You don't feed wild life because you break the cycle of these animals either dying off or being able to get food for themselves.
If you want a cat, take on the responsibility of having one, and caring for it, and keeping it safe.
There are 5 kittens that I have now rescued. Three I found along the driveway one night (I believe the mother was moving them) and two I rescued out of the dumpster. They had jumped in, but were too small to hop back out. Some idiot had left the lid open. This town. Thanks to God I was taking out the trash. They would have been dumped into the Garbage truck the following morning.
There are still 7 more kittens and three (not two) adults females and one huge gray Tom cat.
Im trying to organize a "kitten wrangle" to save the little ones. I don't know how its going to go down, but I have to do something. I have to act, I can't sit and watch.
The 4 adults will have to be euthanized as there is very little hope for adoption. People will adopt an adult dog, but not a cat.
So as Ive been feeding them and trying to coax them all into a state of comfort in my back yard, I know its only to trap and kill some of them. Im heartsick.

 In this city of angels, I feel alone.



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

drag

The word "Drag". I know the definitive orgin comes from Shaekespear's day when actors dressed up like women (Dressesd as girl) but to a kid raised in Ca in the 1970's, drag has meant "bad" or a bummer or something hard to do...so when I met my first drag queen at 14, I thought, of course this is DRAG..it must be...and HOW FABULOUS!

I grew up ugly and then got gorgeous over one summer. I was the ugly duckling story come to life. And though it was wonderful to finally be beautiful, after so many years, it was also eye opening.

I became very aware that people treat you how you look..I had been ugly as a girl, now I was beautiful.   It left me feeling I had no one to trust since even my parent's treated me differently.
 I found myself, as well as found myself in a group of close friends from HS. We would travel, by bus if we had to, to see Rocky Horror Picture Show every weekend.
Many in this group felt as I, misfits.   But the beautiful thing is that we found each other, and created a family.

Every weekend The Strand theatre on Market Street would have midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. What a scene outside the theatre it was.  For a girl of 14, it was magical and happy where all accepted all.

I was raised in a beautiful household but I was ugly ..so therefore un-wanted, I never fit in...but here, we all didn't fit in..and so we fit together, and it was amazing.

There was this one drag queen. Kevin. She was 6'4 in heels, always the biggest blonde (platinum) wig and white dress, as if on way to wedding. God she was gloriuos, and loud and sooo happy to be herself.  I loved her.

Ironically this is the weekend after mothers day...and I post that my mother ignores me on FB..she always has and always will..

I will never forget when I realized that these girl's (some of 'em) were abandoned by they're mothers too.
And I see why I identify and love these art forms. They too feel alone.

Ru said it best.. on season 5 to Roxy " we get to choose our own family"

I wept..and this morning through this afternoon, I felt a connection in a room full of total strangers.

Most of the selfies I got taken by the queens or their assistants as my hands were shaking.  I was so excited to be there among these fabulous people.
Tomorrow I go back to have a pic with the queen, RuPaul, herself.
Just to be near her today outside a convention curtain, I could see her on the other side..laughing.

Today they were all laughing.....some were hungry and tired by 1 pm, but the feeling in the air was joy...we were all there to celebrate FABULOUSNESS and it showed...all the queens I had the nerve to stop for a snap, STOPPED dead and let me know "of course" and some even said we love you too...Chad Michaels let me talk to her for five minutes....."oh Oh honey, Breathe"

It was the most, and the best is I went by myself for myself to see the lady herself...all fingers crossed tomorrow I will.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scary

Ive always been a fan of being scared. The hair going up on the back of my neck, a slight felling of vertigo, increased heart rate. The sense that I'm out of control and its going to get worse before its get better.
When I was little I read a lot of horror stories and there were three separate  instances where I had to PUT the BOOK down. I mean, so scared that I had to stop reading.
These were works of fiction, that I knew were not real.  Then I grew up, and learned about real fear.


"Annabelle"  The movie came out about two month's ago. Its about a doll. Whether they stuck to the actual story in the movie, its based in truth.
I first heard about this doll from the movie "The Conjuring" about a couple (The Warrens) that investigate paranormal occurrence's around the country.  They were an actual couple.
The movie is based on one of their more terrifying cases, not to do with the doll. In their history, we see their basement of haunted objects. Annabelle is one of them.

There are those that are still skeptical about the reality of the fourth plane of existence.   A place where the spirit world can cross over into our dimension, which is considered to be the third plane.
There are those who rely merely on science and are now convinced that there are FORCES that we can not explain. There is another plane that many do not experience but who know is there.
We also know there is a strong pull between harmless spirits and harmful ones.
Whether or not you believe in ghost's, spirits and demons, they exist. There are things that go bump in the night.
Ive been studying Witch Craft and Paranormal Occurrence also since I was a little. I have had several instances of spirit interaction or meta-physical experience in my life. I have always felt more sensitive to my environment than most. There are forces out there. Annabelle is a clear indication of that.

Now, in my opinion, Hollywood frequently gets it wrong, so in the movie  the doll itself has been modified to scare us. We see her in a glass case, a classic European porcelain style doll, 24 inches tall, dressed as a child, pretty with brown curls, a huge sharp crack running down her face starting from inside her left eye. Its a frightening image to be sure. I was fascinated when I first heard about her and decided to research it myself.
I am almost sorry I did.
The actual story is this.

The doll was given as a gift to a nursing student. It had been purchased in a second hand store.
The roommate was the first to notice that the doll seemed to move her body(face down to sitting up, arms and legs crossing)when the two where not home. Then they started to find notes.  A  spiritual medium(not well informed unfortunately) was called in and surmised the property was haunted by a seven year old girl, Annabelle, who had died there.
During the seance, the plight of the spirit seemed to soften the fear of the two girls, and through the medium, Annabelle asked if she might stay.

To outsiders this all sounds nuts. But it makes sense to me. These two girls were nurses. Who better to feel compassion for a lost soul, literally. I understand why they agreed. But if you don't know, you never INVITE a spirit in. They called the doll Annabelle from that moment on.
At this point, it gets beyond weird, the doll moving from room to from now, leaving notes 'help us' or 'help Lou' who was a skeptical friend that kept telling them to ditch the doll.

Lou starts to have dreams where the doll is strangling him. One night when he and one of the roommates are planning a trip, they hear rustling from the other room. Lou goes to investigate and first senses a strong presence, and then is clawed by something, under his shirt.

This is when the three of them finally get in touch with the Warrens.  The biggest problem now is that the spirit in the doll is demonic of nature, has been invited to stay. It has to be removed from the premises, and the apartment get a exorcism.
On the drive home, the Investigators stay off the main roads to avoid an accident. But they claim that on every turn and twist the car would nearly stall out, loosing steering and brake control and only after the doll was sprinkled with holy water, did the car perform as it should.
There were many more 'instances' once the Warrens got Annabelle to their home, and they finally had a special lead glass case built for her. Apparently one young man, after being told the history of the doll, went up and banged on the glass, challenging the spirit.
He was in a motorcycle accident on his way home and died about an hour later.
I think the scariest piece is this.
Annabelle is NOT a porcelain doll at all. She is a regular Sized Raggedy Ann. I thought of posting a picture of the real doll here at the bottom, but I don't even want that image on my hard drive. Its in my head. Thats enough.
Look her up, but I warn you. That flat, familiar white face, with those black triangle eyes, and the fact that I and EVERY little girl I knew had one back then.
Raggedy Ann.   Annabelle.        yep...scared.