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

 

 

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

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?

A political post

As I sat down to compose my latest blog post, I ran through my list of ideas. Soooo many things going on right now. From my two-year wedding anniversary today 9/26 to the natural disasters that have caused far too much destruction in their wake, my mind is reeling.

But then, it got stuck on something that I believe has not only been increasing in quantity and intensity, but is the root of many problems America is facing…

Extreme partisanship.

Now, I should state I belong to no party. (Full disclaimer, I have been registered for a few so that I could vote in primaries.) But I act according to my principals, whichever party they fall in, and accept the consequences of doing so. I do, however, notice my views tend to fall more in favor with third parties but I don’t label myself because I’ll ultimately disagree with something in every group and I have yet to find a party that welcomes that, so I remain nonpartisan.

America, however, doesn’t seem to agree… Is it just me or is partisanship at an all-time high?

I know our current President does not exactly bring out the best in people but he was voted in and is something we must deal with. And it’s gotten many people to keep a watchful eye on what the executive branch is doing so cheers to that, right?

But damn, the partisanship.

Speaking to bases rather than citizens, the two-party dynasty hold, the lack of respect and platform for third party voices, crony capitalism deals, journalist biases so obvious my 6 year-old nephew could pick up on them, intolerance for anyone who disagrees with you, emotion-based laws lacking in practical logic….

America is broken and is reaching a boiling point.

So, what will come of it?

I don’t know. I’m not a prophet. But I do know a boiling pot blows off a lot of steam.

My philosophy studies led me to search for the truth and strive with every fiber of my being to see reality as it is and not as I want or wish it to be because I can’t make change for the better within myself and the world around me unless I see what I’m actually dealing with. Today, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on our political landscape in an effort to open a dialogue and create awareness with hope to inspire others to think for themselves rather than just toeing a party line….

The two-party system is dying as a new generation begins to take over political power. It’s happening slowly, though Trump has accelerated it a tad by being so extreme. But politicians are so beholden to party politics that Americans are nowhere near their top focus and the younger generations are beginning to say enough is enough. It’s time for the people to take the power back. What they want to do with that power remains to be seen…

Consequences will dictate a lot of what the near future holds. Once people see their desires in action, things start to get real, and fast. Look at San Francisco. They’re incredibly hospitable to the homeless but every time I visit (which is multiple times a year,) I see the city being more and more overrun by the very cause they’re trying to eradicate so how is that helping? Or take the NFL. Will player protests of the national anthem hurt their popularity and therefore their bottom line or will it make them even more successful? What will the fans choose to do?

The fact that mainstream media had no idea Trump was going to be president when it seemed really obvious led me to believe they are biased and a waste of my time. Silver lining – information is in abundance thanks to the Internet so the truth is out there. Citizens are becoming the journalists we need. Just be prepared to spend some time sifting through the muck…

Tolerance is key. The world is not perfect. Neither am I and neither are you. There will always be differing opinions. But I believe the fight starts when anyone tries to force something or someone upon another that is not welcomed. But before I pick a fight, I make sure I know what I’m fighting for and its worth to me… I have found that change often comes with pain. Lots of pain.

Nature could care less about emotions so it’s best to be reasonable. The great arbiter of life is nature and it has a way of always reminding humans who is boss. I find it best to listen to my emotions but apply them to logic and reason before doing any acting. That way, whatever Nature throws at me or gives me, I’m ready for it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well! But I do ask for respect. And I should mention I typically don’t understand the meaning of snarky or snide comments so if you choose to give one, be prepared that I will ask you to explain yourself.

#istherevolutioncoming?

 

 

 

 

40 Years of Wisdom

In five days, I will be forty years old.

The twenty-one year old Christina would probably be in awe of a few things, like the fact I’m not a size 0 anymore and I quit smoking cigarettes and my husband is in the other room…

As I was driving home from work last tonight, I was thinking of the coming of this new era for me and some things I’ve learned along the way, like when I was six and I backed my little legs (both of them) up against the exhaust of a newly parked 1970s motorcycle muffler.

You can see #6 below for the lesson learned on that one because I decided to list my “words of wisdom” in order of age, taking some creative license with the first couple seeing as I’m not quite sure I remember being two.

Each of these lessons have remained important to me to this day so I thought I’d pass them on in honor of turning forty. I hope you enjoy them… and the little stories I included along the way.

40 Years Of Wisdom

1. Breathing is a most important thing.

2. My mother makes me more at ease than anyone in the world.

3. I love my family but my brother and I are very different.

4. Playing outdoors is a really fun way to spend your time.

5. School is interesting. But I question if all rules need to be followed…

6. Engines are very hot and second degree burns are no joke. The scars have lasted to this day so point being – Be Aware Of Your Surroundings.

7. We all make bad judgements. Such as being in second grade and pooping your pants and not doing anything about it until you get home… (TMI?)

8. Teachers can be very effective. Thank you Mrs. Riordan. We all hoped to get your class!

9. I love my family, with props to my father who works very hard for his family and my Aunt J. who speaks her mind bluntly but has a heart of gold.

10. Life can suck and be beyond your control.

11. I am different from many other people I come across.

12. Fight for what you want. A big thank you goes to my parents for allowing me to make the choice to go to public school rather than private Catholic school for seventh and eighth grade.

13. This monthly interruption of your body is a thing all women must go through. Men do not. (Which begs the question, would men want to if it meant they could experience childbirth? Talk amongst yourselves…)

14. Boys are fascinating and the dark-haired, tall ones seem extra appealing to me… I am one of those with a type, considering all three of my long-term boyfriends (with one becoming my husband,) were dark-skinned with dark hair and had a height of 6’0 or above.

15. My parents and I will not always agree on things.

16. Driving = freedom with responsibility

17. I am much better writing essays than I am solving math problems.

18. College = freedom with responsibility

19. Friends can be your family too.

20. Whenever I try to fit in, I end up sticking out even more. Faking things just isn’t in my blood. (Sorority life was not for me, though I did meet some amazing girls when I lived in for the year, and one of whom has become a best friend for life.)

21. Drinking Alcohol = freedom with responsibility. (Bonus lesson learned – no matter how much you win, you will lose to the house overall when playing video poker in casinos in Vegas BUT you will likely have a lot of fun doing it while drinking free watered down cocktails at one in the afternoon so it’s important to question first if you’re okay with that.)

22. Difficult choices bring lots of pain. Make them anyways.

23. The road of post-college life is not straight. Not. At. All. And you are the driver so don’t let anyone else take the wheel.

24.  Servers make a lot of money in Los Angeles. But you earn every penny by directly dealing with people who are hungry and been sitting in traffic for two hours to go ten miles.

25. Age creeps up on you. But question, what’s really in the number?

26. Making films is the main thing I want to do in life, though I adore the hell out of writing and should do something about that.

27. Fulfilling a life goal is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can go through. I made my first short film after working odd film jobs for years and just talking about it without doing it. (I have now made seven, played at festivals around the world, write about filmmaking and have a feature script getting some nice attention, which hopefully will lead to making it as my feature film directorial debut… stay tuned!)

28. The years of life go by fast. (Oddly, 28 was a hard year for me. I was tested plenty by the universe and did not pass them all…)

29. My father is my biggest fan. And I am so very lucky to have him as a father. (This is around the time I finally realized it.)

30. I am not always as in control as I think. It’s important to see things as they are, not as I wish them or want them to be.

31. I am not perfect. And neither are all my choices. And I do not have all the answers like I thought I did at 21.

32. My parents are my true best friends.

33. Love comes in all forms. (My nephews taught me how to break down the wall I built, not wanting others to get too close… that is until they entered my life.)

34. I can be the change I want.

35. I must try. I must earn what I want. I must be honest with myself. The rewards will come. (They honestly do!)

36. True love does indeed exist. And holding out for it was one of the best choices I ever made.

37. Relationships take work and are not one-sided. Being in one means thinking beyond oneself. (Ask my husband, as this is not always easy for me but he shows me how through his own actions Every Single Day.)

38. Positive energy begets positive energy. Period. Just try it. You get what you put in. Yin and Yang. Cause and effect.

39. Marriage is a journey, not a destination. And when two people support each other, the sky is the limit.

40. Breathing is a most important thing. (And aging is inevitable.)

Bluntness

I sometimes get in trouble with people when I answer a question honestly and it’s an answer they don’t like or agree with.

Anyone else ever have this problem? Sometimes, I really get where Larry David is coming from but this isn’t the time to review his show….

I’m blunt. Many of my readers have figured that out by now and some I think even like me for it. My friends, my good friends who know me deeply, tend to really appreciate it and call on me when they need a blunt, honest answer that won’t be sugar-coated. I like that I can offer that but honestly, it’s not the reason for my bluntness.

Being blunt comes naturally to me. It always has. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had the mindset that time is precious so why waste it? Sugar-coating something or not being honest until it surfaces is to me, SUCH A WASTE OF TIME.

And one thing I’m not willing to do is waste my time. I don’t know how much of it I have, so every second is going to be worth it.

Back to straight-forwardness always coming naturally to me… One story that comes to mind is when I was 22 and a cop bothered me about smoking a cigarette in broad daylight in a place smoking was allowed. I couldn’t help but ask him if he thought he was protecting and serving by carding someone minding their own business and enjoying a cigarette before work when people were getting raped and molested? To his credit, he smiled and told me about “the problem” of underage smoking.

When I see people lie or sugarcoat things so as not “to offend” or “be rude”, I can’t help but wonder, isn’t it more rude not to tell the truth? Why let someone feel good based on a lie or puffery? Can they really feel good about that? And when did one person’s opinion need to be politically correct or adhere to another’s set of rules to be valid?

Black and white is my language. If I have to decode what you are trying to say, chances are our friendship will remain on the surface. And God forbid if I have to call you out on what you’re pretending not to say, all hell will break loose and somehow I become the devil… It perplexes me….

But to show that this is not one-sided, allow me two honest-to-God true stories:

At 18, a college freshman, I was dating a boy in my dorm who I had a major crush on. I had broken up with my high school boyfriend two months prior – I had been with him for three years. Dating wasn’t something I was great at, not to mention my HS boyfriend was the popular senior and I was the loner sophomore.

A few weeks into dating this new boy at my college dorm, I get upset for some reason and get jealous and wanted him to sweep me off my feet. The girl across the hall from me, who had become a friend of mine as much as one could in a few weeks, told me some things: “Wake up, girl. You’re not his fucking girlfriend, so don’t act like it. You’re being jealous and needy. You need to go with it. Grow up.”

She nailed it. I’ve loved her since and she’s a big part of my life now, a girl I love and will adore forever.

At 20, a girl I met at my sorority came over to my boyfriend’s house (the boy mentioned above, whom I ended up dating for four years) and while we were hanging out, I said something stupid, like I asked where something was and it was right in front of me. This girl, who barely knew me, said, “Open your eyes fuck head.”

I fell in love with her. So blunt. So true. I laughed out loud.

These two girls are my best friends in the whole world and have been, going on twenty years now.

My point is with all this is – I love bluntness. Maybe it’s not for everyone but it’s for me and as long as it’s the truth and nothing but, why do I keep coming across people who give me shit for it?

One of my favorite authors/philosophers, Jean Paul Sartre, once said, “Hell is other people.”

In my twenties, I thought he was on to something.

In my thirties, I think it’s sad.

But as I near being forty, I realize hell is other people only if we let them be.

My sister told me that being blunt is part of my personality but with it comes the understanding that people will react as they see fit.

Great point.

Being blunt is a choice and perhaps a way to live a more honest life. Try it…..

 

 

Start Small, Grow Big

I’ve been thinking lately about the difficult things. We as humans all face challenges, some much larger than others, quite a few of our doing and many in the face of adversity, but that’s where we define ourselves really, if you think about it…

I’ve made short films for the past ten years. Most have played the festival circuit, a couple have distribution, but I have yet to hit my stride and earn a living from filmmaking. I’m far from giving up though. That simply won’t happen but my philosophy is to see things as they are and take it from there.

At the beginning of this year, frustrated with the lack of securing the budget to get my first feature film produced, I decided to take the script I wrote (along with a wonderful contributor) and turn it into a book. I haven’t written about it in this blog yet because then it becomes real. Out there. So please, hold me accountable for it.

Allow me to add some facts. I adore books. I’ve read them professionally as a paid book analyst for film production companies and writers for a decade now and read about one book a month for pleasure. I’ll pretty much read anything, though I must admit I’m not too into comics and graphic novels but I have given them a try to be fair.

Once I started writing this book, I started to wonder what took me so long to get here.

But then, who cares? I’m here now.

As I prepare Part I of my book to give to my father, who always provides me with an honest, critical analysis of my work, I can’t help but think about my path here.

I began telling stories when I was seven, filling my neighbor friend’s ears with my thoughts. I then wrote my first script at 12, a tv show titled “Roommates” (true story, I called The Roseanne production office, posed as a teenager “doing a homework assignment and would love a real script to see” and asked for a script, which they sent and I studied for days but I digress…) and then went on to college, unfortunately not as a straight-A student by any means. In fact, I was on academic probation. Twice.

The one class I excelled in happened to be Screenwriting 101. A bunch of my friends hated the teacher and thought he was difficult and I kid you not, some were even getting Ds and failing, unlike any of their other classes. They bitched about him constantly. I, however, found the class to be the easiest one on my schedule. I would often do the assignments the night before and get A’s on them. At the end of the semester, I gave the professor a postcard so he could send me my grade and when I got it in the mail, I smiled. It read, “Are you kidding me? Tops in the class. A++++!!! Have a great summer.”

I channel that when I start to doubt myself.

It’s time for me to write the book I’ve been thinking about for perhaps all my life.

So here I go…

Please wish me luck!!

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
-Benjamin Franklin

The Facts And Nothing But

As I was leaving work tonight, a co-worker/friend and I were talking about some things I write and for the first time someone called me an “investigative reporter.”

To be clear, she used it in a descriptive manner when talking about my inquisitive nature.

I thought about it as I drove home. I’ve always been inquisitive and not afraid to ask any question (hey, no one’s forcing an answer!) but investigative… that word. It stuck with me and my brain started thinking….

Now, unless you’ve been under a rock lately, chances are you’ve noticed the tension in the air about the new President of the United States. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on the topic and most are not afraid to tell you it.

The wrath though. That’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. But that’s a topic for another post.

Trying to wade through the abundance of opinion, pontification, falsehood, agenda-driven “alternative facts” and just down right nasty lies has made the job of someone who wants the-facts-and-nothing-but insanely difficult.

The amount of time I spend researching something has escalated, as the truth-tellers have narrowed.

And that’s when it hit me.

have to some degree become an investigative reporter, out of sheer necessity to find the truth.

Well, you do what you gotta do.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
– Winston Churchill

Truth.

When the story about Edward Snowden first hit the news, I thought not much of it. A whistleblower. Cool. But let’s see where it goes. I said nothing.

I continued to research about the government of the land I live in, which I’ve been doing since I started getting involved in politics about five years ago. Each day I continue to grow more distrusting of BOTH parties. The only one in politics who has ever ignited a fire in me was Ron Paul and he’s never been given his due. BUT. He ignited the fire and that is the first step. He’s ignited it for many others too. He’ll go down in history for it, I hope (as long as history is written as is, not just from a few people’s perspective…,) and my generation and those before and after me will continue the torch he’s passed on. His son barely holds it, in my opinion, but…

Edward Snowden continues it.

I’m sure of it now after seeing the interview he gave to NBC news. He’s a man who believes in what he did for the people of the US. He tried and continues to try to harm no one. He wants us to know what is happening. He is my hero.

Is he yours?

Allow me to pass along an interesting story I think demonstrates true politics and the reason I no longer look at Democrats/Republicans the same.

I knew Ron Paul had mentioned something about Snowden. Was it positive? I think so, maybe, not too sure actually… I haven’t given Snowden full thought until he fully spoke. It was time and I’m glad he gave this interview. Ballsy. Think about it. Anyway, I listened. Then, I looked up what Ron Paul thought, AFTER I formed my own opinion.

It was the same.

That is truth. That is a political figure who DOES what he says and SAYS what he does. He is the real deal. It would match his principals to feel this way but would he stand by them?

It’s Ron Paul. OF COURSE HE DOES.

I learned that on February 13, 2014, Ron Paul petitioned for clemency for Edward Snowden.

My political hero fighting for another one of my heroes.

This is truth. These men will do as they say.

When was the last time you saw this strong behavior in the politician you vote for?

THINK ABOUT IT.

A most interesting mirror

can be in the form of a wildly precocious three-year old nephew.

Last weekend, this young boy no taller than my mid-thigh, spent three full days and nights living with myself and my parents (his grandparents) and I think I may have learned more about myself in those three days than perhaps I had in quite a while. I was also shuffling some other things around in my mind so perhaps it was fate that this weekend occurred or maybe I just paid more attention than usual, but regardless, I had the most fascinating weekend.

You just never know.

Rather than bore you with extended details of the entire seventy-two hours, many of which I was nowhere near my nephew, I thought I’d just write, in the form of a script, a few of the reflections I saw in this mysterious and honest mirror.

SCRIPT

At a modern family home in Los Angeles, a NEPHEW (3) and his AUNT (35) hang out and chat on various occasions over a three-day period…

Nephew: Are you going out tonight?
Aunt: Yeah.
Nephew: Why?
Aunt: I’m hanging out with my boyfriend.
Nephew: Just tell me, are you going to a bar?

Nephew: Let’s play Auntie.
Aunt: Hang on, I’m finishing up something on my computer.
Nephew: I want to play.
Aunt: Hold on, I’ll be done soon.
Nephew: You’re on your computer a lot.

Nephew: Your office is kinda dirty.
Aunt: Well… I haven’t vacuumed it in a while.
Nephew: I’ll do it.

Aunt: I’m a little sad right now.
Nephew: Why Auntie?
Aunt: Just not feeling very pretty right now.
Nephew: You’re pretty in your sparkly shirt. But not this shirt.

Nephew: Get up!
Aunt: I’m still sleeping.
Nephew: Why do you want to sleep more?
Aunt: I like to sleep.

Nephew: Why can’t I say bad words?
Aunt: Because they are disrespectful.
Nephew: But everyone says bad words.
Aunt: Uh…

Aunt: Here sweetie, I made you eggs and bacon.
Nephew: Why are these scrambled eggs brown?
Aunt: They’re burned a bit.
Nephew: Oh.
Aunt: I’m not great at making eggs.

And one for the road, taken directly from being on the road…

Nephew: Wow, outside is going by quick.
Aunt: Oh. Oops. Auntie sometimes drives too fast.