Saturday, July 23, 2016

Gratitude Saturdays #236- 245: Of high opinions of oneself, world music, and rose baths

Happy Saturday, all! Well, I'm woefully nowhere NEAR where i should be with my 2016 Things to be grateful for in 2016, so I figured I should return to my natural discipline and change that! ;-p

236. Starting the day with music rather than the news.

This morning, I awoke to strange bird noises. It sounded like a woodpecker rather than the usual pigeons and doves and occasional seagull, which was strange, because I don't believe I've heard a woodpecker here in the city. I awoke, and walked Henry while listening to Louis Armstrong sing "La Vie En Rose," Van Morrison sing "Into the Mystic," and Ella Fitzgerald sing "I Love Paris." Henry and I were both happy.

237. Late night baths with rose salt

Put me to bed last night.

238. Sweet presents in the morning

My honey had grabbed a sweet little gift for me at a wrap party for a film that I was unable to attend!

239. Thoughtful people

I wish I were more thoughtful

240. A blazing orange sunrise to match the Leo dawn

241. Feeling pretty

This isn't always important, but then again, maybe it is. I haven't felt too pretty recently, or, I should say, a few months back. I was languishing with walking pneumonia and hormonal bloat. TMI? Well, a few months into some supplements and dietary and seep and lifestyle changes (oh, is THAT all?) I am starting to feel like my vibrant, clear skinned, well rested, passionate self again.

242. Un Amor by Gypsy Kings

I think I have listed this before. I don't care. Sometimes I wonder why I have ALWAYS like "world music" or "adult contemporary" better than, say, pop. And don't think this is just a thing about me in my 30s. Even in high school I was listening to Lila Downs and Nina Simone over whatever pop was on Top 40 (KCLD!) And it isn't that I don't like pop... I do... or rather... I CAN. It's just that I want music that moves my deeper soul, and so I love songs like "Into the Mystic" and "Un Amor," because it hearkens to an ancient rumbling... I think of it like me: passionate, classic yet exotic somehow, a little primal, a little timeless. Eternal.

243. Having a high opinion of myself

This used to be a bad thing. Like, it meant you were stuck up or snooty or narcissistic. But actually, there are times and places where we deserve to be PROUD of ourselves and somehow in my youth I converted my fear of being self obsessed and snobby and arrogant into some kind of self deprecating, low self esteem, keep self small to make others feel big thing. What a waste of my teens and 20s! Look, I am not advocating narcissism (although I DO keep a blog AND take selfies... hmmmm....) Okay. Let's put it this way. Carlo told me that in Italy, the definition of narcissism is slightly different than how we interpret the word here in the US. I think it is VERY important to have a high opinion of oneself, a high self esteem... because arrogance is the opposite of TRUE self esteem.

Besides, it's a lot more fun to celebrate my wins and be honest about my losses when I am not pretending that my life is small and meaningless or that I lack talent. Blah. So 90s.


244. Growing up wiser, not older


245. My personal trainer, Kristen

Who is prepping me to shoot my TV show this fall and for whom I can't be late so I gotta jet. Tata!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

FICTION FRIDAYS: My Life as a Phone Psychic, V NYC 2012: Part Two, Chapter 11

Did you read the Previous Chapter?

Then here is Chapter 11 from Part Two:

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Chapter Eleven
            Lily sits, receiving what one might call fantastic hair and makeup attention for episode three. Emily is gone and has been replaced by a really fabulous with a lisp sort of guy, Tyler. He is really fast and really good. He’s not as sweet as Emily but he is a lot of fun and tells Lily that his grandmother was psychic. He’s from Georgia and carries that strange southern mysticism, Savannah style.
            Harley comes in, exuberant.
            “Lily. You will never believe who is here for the show today.”
            “Who. Oprah? Or… Maddy?”
            Harley stops and puts down a pile of shirts.
            “How did you know?” she whispers… “You’re not supposed to know!”
            “Hello, psychic!” Tyler says, not quite rolling his eyes.
            “Wait. Seriously?” Lily asks. “I was making a joke.”
            “But… it’s only episode three of the show and I wasn’t expecting her until episode six,” Lily says. She’s joking again, and yet she’s having one of those moments wherein, although she hadn’t consciously thought any of this previously, it was still in her world of existence and she has KNOWN this already…
            Harley laughs.
            “Well, I think you should wear teal,” she says, handing Lily a silk blouse.
            “Always with the teal. Still… I know who else is in the audience,” Lily says. She sees him, smiling a knowing smile, joyful in the waiting.
            Harley smiles.
            “Michael O’Malley…” Lily is excited for her. Harley’s long lost love, the one from college, the one that got away. “Harley, you are actually, literally blushing,” Lily says. “For cute’s sake.”
            “Lily, is it freaky to be so psychic?” Tyler asks.
            “No. Sometimes.”
            “Are you psychic about your own life?”
            “Am I? Hmm…” Fixating on the vision of her made-up self in the mirror, Lily slips into her thoughts…
            The visions of drowning have dissipated somewhat. That seems like progress. Is this psychic ability? Is this denial?
And As We Wind On Down The Road
            Lily, on stage, only three episodes in… she is rolling now, reading audience members one after another. It seems like eons until finally there is a break and as the lights dim, Lily speaks into her microphone, saying thank you, and asking for a drink of water. David interrupts the PA and brings Lily the water himself.
            “Your mom has gone home, and, I think Jones wants to stay with you now,” he says.
            Lily sighs. She isn’t sure this is the time or place, but he brought it up.
            He wants to know what Lily wants… but to ask Lily feels too dangerous, just as to tell David the truth is too dangerous for her.
But what is her truth? She is attracted to both of them and for different reasons, and she doesn’t really know where things are going in any area of her life, except for the sound of waves the beckon her to a feeling of finality somewhere in the back of her mind. And she wants David, and she needs him to take an action toward her again. She needs him to call for her, to ask for her.  Delicately, she responds.
            “I love having you stay with me,” she says, despite the danger. I have to open up sometime… 
            “Okay,” he says… “You know, maybe we can have a meeting about it again. Have you… been… going away? Since we’ve been staying with you?”
            “No,” she says, looking out into the audience… “Which is really cool.”
She doesn’t mention that she has been leaving her body to watch herself sleep, and that she has secretly been passing out in the bathroom from time to time, but only for minutes… No, she will strictly answer the question he asked. And she doesn’t want to be saved. Not by David.
She wants to be loved.
            She smiles, realizing this for the first time… she gasps, leaning in to touch his arm. He smiles curiously.
            She wants him. She wants him to love her. LILY. Not the psychic, not the show, not the success she is helping him build, not the problem, not the damsel in distress.
            “10 seconds,” a PA says, running past. David smiles, inhales a sharp laugh and runs to his place.
            Lily stands, smiling, stunned.
            Then she turns to her left. Jones has been watching. He is not happy.
What’s Up, Pussycat? Whoa…
            “Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen,” David says. His back is to Lily. He wears a pair of jeans... Great shoes…. A button down shirt half tucked in.
            “It’s our favorite talk show host, MADDY!!” The audience goes wild and Maddy, a tall blonde, androgynous talk show host, is walking out, smiling a toothy grin.
            “Hello, Maddy,” Lily says enthusiastically. 
            “Hello, Lily!” she says.
            “You don’t want a public psychic reading,” Lily says. Maddy laughs.
            “No, but I do want to know how this works,” she says. Lily smiles. That’s Maddy. She wants to know how and why. “And I happened to be in town. But next you have to come on my show…”
            She’s got a big secret, Lily sees, that she does not want revealed. And so she asks everyone else about themselves to hide that… Lily will not delve into that, for it too public now to share a deep personal pain.
            “You are expanding your existing shows,” Lily says, instead. Maddy laughs, shaking her head in amazement. “Ooh! And announcing a big contest.”
            “Well, girl! This is fun. But don’t go giving away all my secrets.” She means it, too.
            “Maddy,” Lily says, and then her heart skips. She hears Harley’s voice ringing through her ears and realizes the heart of Harley is calling for her to do a reading about Harley and Michael. “I have information for you. You have a new dog?”
            Maddy looks surprised.
            “I do,” she says. The audience claps. “No one knows, though, until now…”
            “He is really excited to be with you and the love he brings to your life is going to cause you to further dedicate your charity work with animals and the humane treatment of all pets.”
            Maddy is speechless.
            “That’s what I was going to announce,” she says. She laughs.
            “Well, Lily, you beat us to the punch, but then, we were hoping you would,” David says. He points to where a screen is coming down and Maddy is now announcing her new organization to increase awareness about the human treatment of animals.
            Maddy reaches across and squeezes Lily’s hand.
            “Thank you,” she whispers off-mic.
            “For what?” Lily asks.
            “Oh, honey, you know,” Maddy says. She smiles sadly, then returns to watching the video about her new organization.
            A line of people is waiting outside the studio. They are waiting to get autographs from Lily and Maddy. Lily and Maddy oblige, taking photo after photo, tirelessly. Toward the end of the line is a homeless man in a long green duster. Lily locks eyes with him and feels that she is him. Suddenly she has the distinct experience of being in his body, looking at her. She smiles at herself and waves, and then finds herself back in her body, waving at him. He nods gallantly, then turns and walks away. A security guard approaches her.
            “That was weird,” he whispers in her ear. “I was about to ask him to leave.”
            “Why?” Lily asks.
            “Sometimes homeless folks give us a hard time,” he answers, shrugging, and walking away.
            Lily nods as another woman approaches her and Maddy, giggling.
            “I just love both of you!” she giggles nervously, posing as Maddy’s handlers take a photo of the three of them.
            Lily searches for where the homeless man went, but she can’t see him, and she can’t tap into his energy. She smiles for the flashing camera.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Soulful Sundays: ruminating on losing meaning to gain life

Last night Carlo and I watched "Thin Red Line" again. Carlo has to watch it as research for a film he is acting in this fall, although to be fair, in his LIFE life he was already in the military and police for many years...

As I feel we as humanity are raging a war within, and I mean that from a oneness perspective as well as on an individual level, I feel that we are longing always for that innocence of childhood, of the water, of the light; we apply meaning where there needs be none and miss so much of the beauty of what is truly happening for...

We are not avatars and we are barely wise.

Is this true?

I don't know.

But it definitely isn't not true, at least now, at least in this swirling and remixing and reimagining of what it means to be human, what it means to be alive.

In "Thin Red Line," Jim Caviezel is so pure hearted- as he is in almost everything he does- and I love watching Sean Penn be jealousy of that purity and fight to get back to a state of such innocence even though they are having to act as men, whatever that means.

And what does it mean to be a man? Well, that I do not know, as I shall never be one, at least not in this life.

And what does it mean to be a woman?

For that answer I seek not my mind, not my heart, not my body,

but all, and yet more, all of me, I seek to reach out to everything all around me to feel the wind, the air, the elements; to hear the sound reverberating back to me within MY experience of aliveness;

for it is in the reflection of such that we have any knowledge, and perhaps more importantly

is simply to be,

and from that being,

to love.

And it always returns to love, doesn't it?

Fiction Fridays will be back soon, so will Gratitude Saturdays.

For now, go hug a tree.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Gratitude Saturdays #222-235: Of Shakespeare, redemption, and peppermint bon bon ice cream

Hello, my fellow humans. Amongst you there are poets, lovers, readers, writers, family, friends, fans, a few haters and a lot of seekers, a few who have been found.

Many of you know that I am listing 2016 things I am grateful for in the year 2016- collectively! Meaning every [sic] Saturday I add to the list.

It's been a busy few months and a sad week, and here in the USA this is the week we celebrate "The 4th of July," aka "Independence Day," aka the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted back in 1776 and the Colonies were no longer the Colonies of the British Empire.

The rumblings of the world are impossible to ignore right now, and all those years of colonization are starting to erupt across the globe, as imperial forces (if only spiritually and philosophically, yeah, right) are attempting to continue their dominion over the hearts and minds (and lands and resources) of those who have been exploited.

I ask you now, what is your independence? Truly? What is the freedom you seek?

I ask myself this and the answer is something about

opening my heart to light, love, the divine

you know, the usual spiritual talk

but something deeper-


At least Shakespearian, which, of course, is at once primordial and cultural, defining human in noble spirits as well as those of lesser virtue.

I have an audition for a cool piece to play Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, and I am filled with sorrow, and aliveness, and humanity this week, after the sort of loss that leads a woman to look at all her losses and all her mistakes, not in self-pity but in self-reflection; not to make true the story of it all but to look at my part in it. Was I truly the heroine, or was I playing at a grosser game?

And so, I offer this week's Gratitude list:

222. Reviving Ophelia: this book I read in college in between eating disorder rehab stints, and now that I have grown out of that age and into womanhood, I wonder what I might know had I been different, only the world being what it is, I don't think there was any other way for a woman like me to be.

223. Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia in Mel Gibson's "Hamlet." A role I saw as a young actress that defined partially how I wanted to be! Of course I am nothing like Helena Bonham Carter, or only very slightly, but I didn't get that at the time. I still want to be her when I grow both up and young.

224. My childhood/ high school sweetheart Jonny, and all his innocence. I saw him recently, he was in town shooting a Coke commercial (he grew up to be a D.P.) and for all our shared "baddie," and trust me, we both grew up to be pretty badass in our 20s, and even when I haven't seen him in a few years, together, we are right back to two innocent creatures with a shared love of movies and a eep esire to show the world that precious talent we tuck inside our hearts.

225. Discipline. I don't mean the inner governor or the wicked stepmother variety. I mean the kind that gets me up every morning, walks the dog, works out, warms up, rehearses, writes, and reaches out to casting people for auditions. The kind that diligently works on the projects I am writing and doesn't take a day off because I'm too sad. Oh, there are days for that, I suppose, or days where it would maybe be appropriate to take the day off, but for me, the discipline carries my spirit THROUGH those times in a way that gets me out of my pity party and focused on something more bright and shining.

226.Your humanity.

227. My humanity.

228. Henry's pure doggie-hood.

229. Meg Ryan movies

230. Peppermint bon bon ice cream

231. 16 bars of an uptempo rock song

232. Casta Diva

233. The ability to sing them both

234. Singing

235. The fact that where I grew up and throughout my childhood, we all called mint chocolate chip ice cream "peppermint bon bon" ice cream, even though no one else anywhere on the planet that I know of does.