Thankful

With the craziness of a pandemic and justice for #georgefloyd protests, life has been turned in all directions. And with good reason. Police are being called out for the horribleness that their force has become, and slowly we are seeing a desire for true serving and protecting citizens (despite the color of one’s skin) in a way that has never happened before.

For that, I am grateful.

Those in the police force are being held accountable for their actions. And no, you are not God, despite what you think.

For that, I am grateful.

Religion – which is a choice, despite those who believe their way is the only way – is slowly being understood as a personal choice rather than a forced way of living.

For that, I am grateful.

It is no small measure to have mass amounts of people supporting black individuals for justice. It is long overdue. And we are changing for the better.

For that, I am grateful.

A revolution has been brewing and is coming to change the destructive ways the US has grown. Lobbyists be gone. Wall Street preference be gone. It’s starting… (sadly, I think the FED is delaying consequences as long as possible.)

But… for the former, I am grateful.

Differences between gender, race, sexual preference – that is the beauty of life – and should be celebrated, not admonished. And finally, we are figuring that out.

For that, I am grateful.

#blacklivesmatter #metoo #schittscreek

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

 

 

Music as Memory

Sunday funday… wait, what day is it? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday… phew

Here in Los Angeles, we’re on this permanent lockdown of sorts, so pardon me…

But yes, let’s return to Sunday Funday even though days of the week don’t matter that much to me right now…

Anywho, my husband and I are preparing to BBQ so randomly, I decided to listen to some music I used to listen to ALL THE TIME, and when I say all the time, I mean it. My iPod was permanently attached to my ears from ages 25-28, which would explain my hearing loss but I digress.

Music was everything to me then. I was single, living alone and working my ass off in post production and filmmaking. I had little time for anything else but music was my constant. And listening now to some of those songs that comforted me then, ones I listened to on repeat like Death Cab For Cutie’s “Transatlanticism” or “Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles or “Goodbye to Romance” by Ozzy or any LCD Soundsystem album, is like a blast to the past.

Music is a time capsule unlike any other.

I flashed to the walks I would take to the bank and having an answering/fax machine or printing directions when I was going far… it all came crashing back and it was a wave of love… love of another time, another way of living, a younger me who I think would be proud of the 42 year-old-me, though if I told her about this pandemic and Donald Trump was president, she would have laughed like I was crazy…

And speaking of crazy, music is a God send, no? Pardon me as I go listen to Flaming Lips “Do you realize??” and remember Silver Lake days of indie rock music, Barefoot wine and MNRC – Monday Night Record Club.

 

A Yes In a Sea of No’s

Any writer can tell you part of the process of being a writer is seeing and hearing the words “thanks but no thanks” over and over and over again.

And damn, it can be painful. Over time, I’ve become rather numb to it, instead focusing on and believing in the work that I do, though also assessing feedback – compliments and constructive critique – and acting accordingly. Notes from generous editors have at times made my work all the better. The hard part is figuring out which notes to take… but I digress.

While splashing around in this sea of no’s, when a YES comes your way and a piece of your writing – in this case, my flash fiction – gets published, it can be one of the most meaningful experiences, especially when the publisher gets what you’re trying to do.

My YES came from a fellow WordPress site – 100wordsofsolitude.

100 Words of Solitude is a project started by writers and professors in an effort to capture individual perspectives on what the world is currently experiencing. They’re selecting 100 pieces of 100 words each from writers all over the world and they have generously accepted one of mine and published it yesterday.

It’s a micro piece of fiction where I attempt to explore the disconnect in the age of Coronavirus. I would love to hear your thoughts!

And a big thank you to the curators at 100 Words of Solitude for finding meaning in my work and sharing it with others.

Wednesday Wonders… 5 Ways We Are Changing For The Better From The Coronavirus…

My past few posts have been a bit depressing so I thought for this one I’d write about the ways I am seeing the world change for the better, due to the pandemic at hand.

Sure, we could argue till we’re blue in the face about how this all started, how governments are responding, how people are acting, but seriously, what good would arguing do?

“Love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘You’re wrong.’” – Unknown

And as someone who loves difference of opinions because it’s the best way to learn, I am going to ignore that noise and focus instead on some good things I’ve noticed come out of the #coronavirus and well, that’s something to shine a spotlight on, isn’t it?

5 Ways we are changing for the better

We’re so damn clean.
Anyone else notice how sanitized people and things are getting? I mean, how can that be a bad thing? Hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze and not breathing on top of people… all wonderful traits that are getting instilled in people as they become routine.

The pause leads to thought.
In a weird way, the world is pausing. The wheels have largely stopped and because of that, what was once the norm is now anything but. We’ve been forced to find a new norm with stay-at-home orders and loss of employment among other things. But with these new limitations, we are led right to an important aspect of our life. Our HOME. If it’s your temple, you’ll take comfort in your design. But if on the flip side, you don’t like what you find, well… isn’t that in itself a gift because now, you see it as it is and can do something about it? When one is busy, it’s way too easy to ignore important things.

We’re learning what’s essential.
By definition, essential means what is absolutely necessary. And we are learning what that is! In a world filled of an abundance of distraction, eye candy and material goods, this lesson is not one to be taken for granted. It’s a gift to be able to stop, see what one really needs, and then progress from there to form a healthier state of being. And isn’t it interesting to find out what you do really need, when all bling and glitz and distraction is removed?

Gaining awareness of what teacher’s do and how grossly underpaid they are.
Full disclosure, I have no children by choice. But I am seeing those who do have children, are getting a big taste of what teachers actually do and how incredibly challenging it is to teach children. Perhaps now people will think about where state money should go (not with words, but with actual action and legislation) as the importance of this position has been elevated and revealed for all to witness. Education does not have pharmaceutical lobbyists but imagine if it did….

Letting nature breathe.
Sadly, it had to be forced upon us by a global virus, but a ray of light through this storm is the fact nature has been allowed to do as she would without our massive intervention. The environment is not infinite, despite what the 1980s/90s thought. And allowing it a chance to reset, enjoy itself without our intrusion and just breathe a sigh of relief to be allowed to do so, is perhaps the very best gift this pandemic has given us. Has given the world. And well, that’s pretty damn good.

What positive observations have you observed? #coronavirus

 

Sunday Meditations… We have an opportunity here… #coronavirus

First off, thank you to those who are working their assess off so the rest of us can remain healthy and safe. YOU – those in healthcare, emergency services, grocery and delivery – ARE the REAL HEROES in this scenario – not the government. THANK YOU SO MUCH

That said, I’ve been thinking about the opportunity that we as individuals, citizens of all nations, have been given because of this virus.

Yes, the virus is killing people but….

it’s allowed the world to breath.

THE WORLD.

Do you understand what that means? Because I can barely grasp the significance myself at first thought…

Animals are returning to their natural habit… smog is clearing and here in Los Angeles, it’s downright gorgeous (that’s where I live.. tell me about where you live please!) Dolphins are abundant here, before yes, but now so are whales, right by our pacific coastline.

And then priorities… how have they shifted? Family and loved ones are the top while careers are put on pause. It makes you think about how you spent your time before…

What will happen when the virus is vaccinated and people try to live on? The world will be different from here on out, no matter who or what you believe, but what’s important is how different YOU are when this is over… at least, that’s what I’m thinking for myself.

Because I’ve changed.

Already.

Have you?

And despite the understandable financial struggle, I’ve watched nature live without much interference by man and that has paid me plentiful.

And now, I wonder…

Can we can rise from this, better than ever before, knowing now what’s truly important….

Things or People?

Truth or Money?

#coronavirus #thechoiceisours

Tuesday Thinking… Where We Are At #Coronavirus

I’ve been thinking a lot about where the world is at. Face masks. Self-Isolation. Quarantine. (there is a difference!) Social Distancing. Non-essential businesses closing to stop the spread. The spread of something that started with an animal in China. And what do we learn? So little… And what comes… the typical bashing of Trump (ignoring what Congress is doing,) being angry at China and going to the extremes based on emotion rather than logic.

Perhaps this will be controversial to say but someone has to say it:

The government is the problem.

Yes, it’s easy to say Trump should have done this, China should have done that… but if you study the past fifty or so years, the timeline builds to this. Capitalism never having a chance with corporate welfare and insane backhanded deals. Congress making loads off the people, not only through their insider knowledge (which they declared was okay to have… of course they did!) but with making sure their lobbyists and those with money were set BEFORE the people.

This is simply a consequence revealing itself in times of distress… Remember what happened when the banks/stock market screwed themselves? The government to the rescue! Man… it could have gone such another way in America.

Sigh.

But… I do believe the virus is targeting those who allowed this… think about it. Children are barely affected…. THANK GOD, BUDDHA, ALLAH, etc….

I know this is a time of pandemic. But one has to ask… if we truly had a government of the people, by the people, would we have come to this? And why is the wealth so concentrated among BIG BUSINESS and GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS? Will it take this devastation to return to our constitution…? To a government meant for the people, not the elites who declared themselves so?

And if that is the case, could that be the silver lining in all of this?

 

11 Things I Discovered While Staying Home #coronavirus

It’s been weeks since we’ve all begun to “social distance” ourselves from one another and opt to stay home except for the bare necessities. And then came the orders to do so… FYI I’m in Los Angeles, one of the worst hit but we’re doing okay, relatively speaking, as we shut everything down early on…

During this time of being homebound, I’ve made some discoveries that I’m thinking I might not have, if this virus never came about…

Inspired by John Krasinski’s Some Good News, I thought I’d pass them on, not only to share but to commiserate and laugh as a whole. I’ll be ignoring the basics, like how fast a bottle of hand sanitizer can go or the fact toilet paper is a hotter commodity than food, and sticking with more, let’s say, odd ones…

11 Things I Discovered While Staying Home #coronavirus

1. There is in fact a limit on how much I can sleep a night when given the freedom of zero alarms – eleven hours!

2. Showers can become such little priority that, well, I won’t even write how long I went without noticing I hadn’t taken one… (hint: how many sides to a square?)

3. I love the hell out of my husband. He’s my best friend who makes me laugh from the gut. Now, I know. This should have been a given, not something I am just now discovering, BUT as someone who loves, loves, loves alone time, this could have gone two ways when forced to be together nearly 24 hours.

4. It pains me to say this but reality tv is insanely awesome to binge on. I can not get enough of Married At First Sight. 

5. I miss my job. Truly. And again, this could have gone one of two ways….

6. My OCD (yeah, I’ll admit, I’m clinically diagnosed) has finally served me well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most of this COVID protection shit, I’ve been doing for years…

7. The Couch. All hail the Couch.

8. I’m a pack rat in the oddest sense. I throw most things out but adore hoarding free samples, receipts from every damn thing I’ve ever purchased over $50 dollars and office supplies. Clean out your stuff and trust me, you’ll learn a thing or two about yourself…

9. There is a BIG difference in having kids and not having kids. HUGE. MONUMENTAL.

10. Bad habits can be more dangerous than this flippin’ Covid-19.  B.E.W.A.R.E.

11. Nature always wins. So, why do we keep betting against it?

Gym Observations

Hi All!

Been a hot minute since I wrote about my weight loss journey. Still rocking the gym five to six days a week and though I am all about pizza and bread and wine still, I have employed moderation to maintain my weight, though still want to shed ten more pounds… (Don’t we all?)

Anywho, as someone who now goes to the gym more than she ever thought she would, I have a few observations about gyms and gym etiquette that I would love to share with my readers, so here goes!

7 Observations From A Gym-Goer

1. Sweat, while a natural body activity, is really disgusting when it’s left on shared equipment. Rule #1 – wipe up your sweat! Though most do, there are those who don’t and they give us germaphobes a run for our money.

2. Mirrors are helpful and hurtful. Yes, they help you eye your form and movement but damn if they are not a constant reminder of where you are versus where you want to be. So, I’ve begun to change the way I think of them to use them as motivation rather than a source of depression.

3. After making a gym visit part of my morning routine, it’s become more enjoyable. At first, I would go whenever I fit it in but I noticed that if I didn’t go before noon, chances were I wasn’t going to that day. For me, the gym is something I like, but not loved, and it takes a lot of energy, which I have most of in the morning. My husband, on the other hand, likes to go at the end of his day. It works for him. Point being, once you figure out what works best for you, the gym is less a nuisance in your day and more a part of it, at least from my experience.

4. I can take the grunters. I can take the full faces of makeup and perfume smells. I can even take the machine hoggers. But what I can’t stay quiet about are the gym-goers who watch stuff on their phones with the volume up. Come on! Of course, we all want to do it, but have some respect and either use ear plugs or simply don’t do it. No one should be forced to listen to your news program or children’s videos or the latest episode of the Kardashians (for the love of all that’s holy!)

5. Machines under the air conditioner are coveted and rightly so. They are the gems, at least for me whose body runs at 100 degrees at all times, and once you figure where these machines are, they will be the best thing to get you to stay at the gym and not leave mid-workout. Well, that and discipline, of course ;)

6. Women can be just as strong as men. I get that genetically, males and females have differences making it perhaps easier for men to gain strength, but let no one tell you men are inherently stronger. Just walk into a gym and you will see that is definitely not the case.

7. I am typically the only one wearing flip flops. I know it’s more dangerous but I don’t use free weights so is it really? the crew at my gym let me slide and I feel more comfortable. (For those who don’t know, I wear flip flops 365 days out of the year, whenever and wherever I possibly can. I even bought a “fancy” pair…)

Do you have any of your own gym observations? Please share!

And stay tuned, the holidays are approaching and I’m going to try to do the impossible – continue to lose weight and be healthy…

 

 

 

 

Lessons from time spent with my 90 year old Nonna

When my mother called to ask if I would join her on a trip to visit my 90 year-old grandmother, without hesitation, I said yes and began to look forward to it.

Growing up on the east coast, I spent quality time with my Nonna but when my immediate family moved to Los Angeles when I was ten, our visits were not as often but were still filled with quality time whenever we saw each other, which was yearly. As she aged, my Nonna could no longer travel to us but I could still travel to her and have managed to get out to NY on average once every two to three years. Distance is an obstacle but I believe time spent with others is not about quantity but rather quality.

As I wait for my plane to board to return home, I’m reflecting on the past four days I’ve spent with my Nonna and how amazing it was to be around this lively ninety year-old Sicilian woman. And I learned a few things I’d like to share…

  • Age is but a number and does not define a person.
  • Being in the moment can be just sitting there, in a person’s presence.
  • See things for yourself before you form an opinion, regardless of what others tell you.
  • Love keeps you young and alive. Bottom line.
  • Family is a window to look into to help understand yourself.
  • Letting others be who they are is perhaps the best thing you can do for someone you love.
  • Making a 90 year-old laugh is one of the greatest joys I’ve experienced.

I wish so bad I could just take her home with me and let her breath the Pacific Ocean mist for her remaining days (though I think she has a looooooonnnng time to go!) but alas, that is likely not to happen as she told me she can’t travel and the rest of my family are there with her…

“In ever conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future.”
– Alex Haley, author

 

 

My phone shatterd and all hell broke loose

Okay, I’m exaggerating. Kinda.

I would bet good money that I am among many people whose lives are attached to their phones. And when said phone gets broken or goes missing, life as we know it changes greatly.

I hate to admit it but I couldn’t even remember my husband’s phone number. When I dropped my phone, I was at my restaurant job and he was expecting me to pick up dinner. Only thing is, I always shoot him a text to confirm what he wants and what time I’m leaving.

I panicked. Crap. I couldn’t even call him from the main restaurant line because I didn’t flippin’ remember his number.

Ask me what my parent’s home number of yesteryear was and I can tell you in a minute. That was a number I had to memorize – 818-906-8651 – because there were no cell phones yet. I haven’t used that number in almost twenty years but there it was, on the tip of my tongue, which makes me wonder – do we retain much less these days with the ease of smart phones, the internet and AI?

Being away from my laptop, I couldn’t do simple things that most take for granted these days, like checking traffic or emails. Does anyone remember the days that when you left your house, you couldn’t be gotten ahold of? (Picture above is a throwback to that time period…) I reminisced for those days recently when a co-worker was trying to contact me and used several methods because I hadn’t answered within an hour. 

When did immediate response become so expected?

Not having my phone for twenty hours was not fun but it also made me realize how damn dependent I am on it, and others in my life for that matter, and I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

Technology should aid us, but not hinder us, right? Are we using it correctly? I’m starting to wonder as I read about COMPUTERS talking to one another without human prompt….

Perhaps we are getting carried away with technology and need to start reigning ourselves in… what say you?