Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Apology and Confession

Apology ~ So, I commit to NaBloPoMo and I'm out by Round 6. BOO! My internet/wifi died. For a while, I was able to connect for 2-3 minutes then wait for 45 minutes to get the connection back. *sigh* My apologies for lack of posts.

Confession ~ I'm going to back-date. BOO! I know. I know! There will be a month full of blog posts. 

 ~ reese

Monday, November 05, 2012

11.5 ~ You're the Landlord

"This [the Capitol] is *your* building. *You* own it. *You* decide who can have an office in there and you can decide to kick 'em out. Same with the white one down the block. *Yours*. You're the landlord. You rent to who you want to rent. YOU own it." ~ Unknown via Richard Schiff

Sunday, November 04, 2012

11.4 ~ Disconnected

No wifi in the house. No knowledge of hacking into someone else's connection. Sorry - this is all you get today.

I'll make it up to you.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

11.3 ~ Retreat

My home wifi connection keeps getting interrupted (thanks AT&T) so I better type this out quickly.

I caught a tweet late last night - "I think I need to look into a retreat for myself..." I replied that I'd been passively looking at a get-away/retreat.

Work has been very stressful. I really need to get away and reset myself. I looked at spa weekends and mountain cabins and weekend beach houses. Although gorgeous and seemingly perfect, nothing about one of those options compelled me to do anything more than look. Then I remembered I'd bookmarked  Deer Park monastery in Southern California. Something about it really connected with me ~ the serenity, the silence, something very beautiful about it.

The gal I was tweeting with sent a link to a beautiful retreat in Sedona AZ. Sedona is absolutely stunning and known for its spa and golf resorts. What I read about this place connected with me as well as the monastery. I was actually more intrigued and interested in this SpiritQuest retreat. The focus is on healing and wellness, helping people get back to right. As I clicked around the site, this place grew on me and I decided this is exactly what I need! Then, I saw pricing. Whoa! It'll cost a pretty penny. A LOT of pretty pennies. I quickly discarded the retreat thoughts.

Then, I thought ~ WTH?! WHY am I discarding the retreat idea - money? I'm going to London in five weeks, spending just as much, if not more, as a week at SpiritQuest. Why am I balking at that idea? Why do I think it's not okay to spend that much money on myself? I guess vacations=good, healing=not so good. Lame. I KNOW it'll be worth it. I know *I* am worth it. Perhaps I will treat myself to a retreat in the spring.

How much would you spend on a week-long healing and wellness retreat?

Friday, November 02, 2012

11.2 ~ The Suite Life

Today's writing prompt, courtesy of BlogHer: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Psh. That's easy.

I would live in a hotel. Seriously. I could say I'd live in Hawaii or on a vineyard Napa Valley or in one of those cute huts with a glass floor that sits on the end of a long pier over clear blue water in Fiji - all of which would be incredibly lovely. I would still choose a hotel.

I love hotels! C'mon ~ welcomed warmly upon my arrival, a cute boy holds the door and helps me with my bags/luggage/stuff, there's a bar, there's a restaurant, there's a king-size bed. I like all of these things! I'd live in a modern and beautiful hotel, of course ~ overstuffed chairs in the lobby, flat-screen TVs, gorgeous fresh flowers in huge vases, black and white photos and abstract art work on the walls, free wifi, private cabanas with bar service around the rooftop pool. Ahh, ain't this the life?

If I'm being honest, what I love most about hotel living is no responsibility. Need something? Make a phone call - BOOM! - it comes to you. Dirty dishes? Leave 'em outside the room - BOOM! - gone. Someone to clean up after me. Make my bed, leaving extra pillows. Tidy up where I've left a messy trail.

Whoa! Wait a minute. This almost sounds like I want to live at home with my parents. Uh, no thanks. Don't get me wrong - I love my parents! It's funny how when I show up my mom all of a sudden needs something/anything/everything off the top shelves or out of the highest cupboards. At 6'2", I am my 5'5" mom's living step-stool :)

So, I'll take the suite life, thankyouverymuch!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

11.1 ~ OK, Call It a Comeback

Oh, hi! Come on in. So nice to see you again. How've you been? I'm so glad you stopped by.

Pardon the dust and spiderwebs - remnants of yesterday's Halloween celebration.

Liar, liar! Pants on fire.

Okay, fine. So, I haven't been here in a while. I know, I know! But, Life happened. And work. And summer. And concerts. And then fall showed up. And then I had to see Argo. And then I started a writing project. And I had to plan a trip to London. And then NaBloPoMo came 'round. And now it's November!

After such a long time, it's weird and awkward to just pop in here with an "Oh hi!" as if I'd been here all along.

I guess it's a comeback.

::drop the mic::

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Enter Sandman

I've taken to sleeping with lights on again. I wouldn't be so bothered if I wasn't already sleeping with the television on. The TV is a pacifier, a companion. The lights? Well, I just don't know.

I've become very close with Insomnia. We were inseparable for quite a while. I'd have fleeting dalliances with Sleep. But, Sleep is so elusive. Just like cookies for Santa, leaving the television on brought Sleep back to me. Aww yeah. Reunited and it feels so good! It was the 3 of us every night.

Leaving a light on started a couple of weeks ago. I don't recall anything of great significance happening, any sort of 'trigger' or what have you. THAT is as puzzling as why I get such comfort from sleeping with a light on.

First, I sought comfort in the lamp on my nightstand. The lowest setting of the 3-way bulb didn't cut it. The brightest setting was too much - it was hot and quite bright and I slept horribly. The middle setting was almost perfect. I tossed and turned that night, waking every hour or so to check the light, check myself.

The second night of the second setting of the 3-way bulb and I felt this was going to be okay. It was going to have to be okay. I woke up, restless and sweating. Oh, those summer nights! A cold washcloth outta do the trick. So, it's back to bed with coolness on my neck. I slept, unmoved, until my alarm went off at 6:30a. That's it! A cold compress on my neck solved my sleep problem. Huzzah!

Until I noticed the dressing room light was on.

That night, I slept with the two lights on and no cold compress. Again, I slept, unmoved, until my alarm went off the next morning. And I've been sleeping like that ever since.

I might try sleeping without my glasses on next.

But, one step at a time, folks. One step at a time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some days...Every day

Some days I don't feel like being tall. Every day I feel like being fashionable.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Summer Concert Dance Card

In terms of music, my summer is packed with concerts. And if the first 3 shows are any indication, my summer is going to pretty epic.

Thanks to a Goldstar email offer, I got a last-minute ticket to The Dukes of September ~ Michael McDonald (the Doobie Bros.), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) and Boz Scaggs. On the Jimmy Fallon show, they covered one of my favorite songs "I'll Be Good To You" by the Brothers Johnson. That was enough to sell me. Their set was a mix of covers - rock, blues, R&B - and several of their individual hits. My thoughts:

  • Michael McDonald should sing background vocals on every song to be recorded. He is THAT awesome.
  • Donald Fagen is incredibly electric to watch onstage. During Kid Charlemagne, he really came alive and his presence was so commanding. He's absolutely brilliant.
  • I expected Boz Scaggs to sing Lowdown and Lido Shuffle. He did Lowdown. He did not do Lido Shuffle. How does Boz Scaggs NOT DO LIDO SHUFFLE?! Pfft. He DID sing my favorite Boz song - Miss Sun - so I cut him some slack. Later, he did this insane cover of a Teddy Pendergrass song Love TKO. All was forgiven.
  • I would love love LOVE to be a back-up singer for this group.

Friday night had me driving out to the middle of nowhere to catch an amazing double-bill ~ Squeeze and the B52s. As much as I love San Diego, the surrounding areas scare the crap outta me. This Harrah's Rincon Casino is an oasis in the midst of a stark, depressing town. After winding roads, no stop lights and a thisclose to three hour drive, I arrived. 

The B52s were awesome! Start to finish, it was a dance party ~ 52 Girls, Mesopotamia, PLANET EFFING CLAIRE, Whammy Kiss (which I've NEVER seen performed live). The crowd was loving it! Sadly, the casino told people the B52s were up after Squeeze, so loads of people missed the set. We were singing and dancing. It was a great time.

Saturday night, I saw the same double-bill, but closer to home. The Greek is one of my favorite venues - outdoors, great seats, good vibe but the stacked, ripoff parking is horrible. This time, Squeeze opened the show. I LOVE these guys ~ Glenn was jovial and chatty, Chris was happy and dance-y, Stephen, Simon and JB were their usual exuberant, fun selves. They played 3 new songs - Tommy, Top of the Form and Honey Trap. Just like R. Kelly says, after the show, it was the after-party. It was crowded, chock full o'people who were somebody. Or, not. I loved watching these people push their way through for face-time with the bands. Knowing everyone in the room wants face-time, too, some people just did not move on, choosing to hold tight to the moment. A girl with a beach ball asked Cindy Wilson to sign it, but the pen didn't work. The girl asked this guy with a stack of CDs and LPs if she could borrow his pen for Cindy to sign. Dude said no. Really, dude? Whoa. Girl was stunned. Cindy grabbed a pen, signed the beach ball and the girl left happy. SO interesting watching the interrupted conversations, the calculating movements, the eyes darting, stopping, dismissing. A guy leaned over to me "So, who do you know?" I stuck out my hand, introduced myself. "I know you." Luckily, he walked away as Glenn came over to say hello. I said my hellos to all, collected hugs, had lovely chats then decided I'd had enough. I collected one more hug, said my goodbyes and limped up the hill to my car with a smile on my face, lovely words in my ears and a heart full of love.

I doubt any other concert this summer will be as up-close and personal. And, I don't care.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

random sad thoughts and questions today

Special work presentation today of all the movies slated to be released this year. One of the trailers we watched was for Cloud Atlas. It looks beautiful and intriguing and confusing and trippy. And, a particular scene had tears welling in my eyes.

Not because it was sad or particularly emotional...Halle Berry was reading someone else's letters, reading someone else's story - very 'killing me softly'...and as I watched, I wondered who will tell my story? Who will speak of me? Who will share my stories? Who will I share my stories with? This made me incredibly sad and pained.

I thought about Father's Day, all of us sitting at my sister's house that afternoon. My dad asked us to share our memories of him. So, we did. My sister told some of her favorite Dad stories - busting her when she was on phone restriction; the one with all the report cards under the mattress; the one where she lost me in Sears. Then, my nephew chimed in with 'Mom, tell the one about your watch!' We all laughed - my niece and nephew have heard all of these stories over and over and over again. Enough to obviously have a favorite one to hear.

Who will tell my espadrille story? Who will remember the songs from the pageants? Who will know that Grandma made lemon meringue pie without meringue for my birthday every year? Who will I tell? Who will tell for me?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nothin' But a Good Time!

I've worked in the entertainment industry for over ten years. I'm lucky to work at one of the most recognizable studios in the world. And, I'm lucky not to be jaded - walking on the lot still makes me giddy. 

In these ten years, I've had the chance to experience some incredible things - TV show tapings, an intimate tour of shooting locations for Blade Runner with Ridley Scott, even a movie premiere. But, last Friday night was THE MOST INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE EVER!

A few weeks ago, I sent an email offering to work the Rock of Ages premiere. Honestly, I didn't expect a response. Secretly, you know I wanted one.

So, I waited. Patiently. (Hey - I'm a Taurus, we're patient people.)

And, I was rewarded. My name was on the staff list for the premiere and after party WITH POISON AND DEF LEPPARD. OMG OMG OMG OMG! Talk about giddy - was I ever! I had two assignments for the night - inside and outside. AND - we were to dress in 80s attire! Aww yeah! I mean, really. It's Rock of Ages! THE epitome of 80s rock - big hair, acid wash, neon jewelry and blue eye shadow. COME ON! 

I only had a week to come up with an outfit. Finally, I narrowed all my possibilities down to 2 options. All the while, I'm fretting about the night because it would be my first premiere - what could I expect? What would be expected of me? What do I do? What does all this mean?! Thank God for Liz and Karen! Both assured me, reassured me and answered all of my silly questions. Beyond that, both were excited by how giddy and excited I was to attend. And, they helped with my outfit.

Fast forward to premiere day - a lot of Aqua Net and a lot of blue eye shadow. Ai yi yi! I wore my English Beat Special Beat Service t-shirt, black lace mini skirt, tights and black motorcycle boots. My hair was slicked back on one side, the other side hanging down over my eye. I wore a gorgeous orange/red eye shadow with blue eye liner that extended out to my hairline. Oh yeah. I rocked that look on one eye. I also wore one earring. Dude, I was kinda rad.

Inside the theater, I was nervous. David walked me around, showed me the sections and tried to calm me down. Once the soundtrack started, I was totally fine - I just sang, rocked it out. It was fun and we all were there for a good time, so I had one.

I think it's awesome to see movie stars. On only two occasions have I been the "loud obnoxious give me your attention" girl - the time I saw the Ocean's 11 cast playing shirts versus skins basketball (::thud::) and when I saw Ryan Gosling last week (::thud:: #2). Other than that, I'm "Hey, look" and the end.

But...put me with musicians? Oh, my. It's a different story! This theater was filled with 'em. I wanted to tell Lita Ford how she inspired me to be courageous. I wanted to explain to Kevin Cronin exactly what I felt when I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time with Roll With the Changes blaring. I wanted to yell at Debbie Gibson for throwing away the roses my friend gave to her. Segments of my life were represented in that room. I wanted to address each one. I wanted to thank or yell or hug and relive each one.

At the after party, I handled a table - making sure the guests had what they needed. I was pretty damn close to the stage. I was pretty damn close to tears. When Poison came out, all I could do was dance. So, I danced away from the table. The band ran through six classic songs - so much fun! I love it when I know all the words :)

Then, Riki Rachtman came onstage. My 15 year-old self started to shriek and yell - It was starting...


OK OK OK! We will. We will.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen


My teenaged self took over at that precise moment. And, we moved right on down, in front of Vivian Campbell and Rick Savage, to the side of Joe Elliott. ::swoon:: 

Def Leppard ran through six songs ~ Rock of Ages, Hysteria, Foolin', Bringin' on the Heartbreak, Armageddon It and, of course, Pour Some Sugar On Me. Holy crap! I danced and screamed and sang and screamed and enjoyed the whole thing! It was amazing. They were so incredible! I am trying to find adequate words...I can't.

I tried to hold onto the night...did the best I could...but it ended. I know other premieres and after parties won't be like this one. That's okay. I am so ridiculously grateful to have been there, done that.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Hostess Lemon Pie

Last week, as I stood in line at a corner store, the Hostess treats stand caught my eye. Twinkies, HoHo's, Suzy Q's, SnoBalls, Zingers (the raspberry ones with coconut!), Ding Dongs, Hostess Cupcakes with the swirly design and powdered donuts had me smiling and drooling. I stopped when my gaze landed on first row of the stand. That's where the Hostess Pies were lined. Without hesitation, I grabbed a lemon pie.

Hostess Lemon pies remind me of field trips and Mt. View Elementary School. The night before a field trip, Mom would take me to Ray's Market to pick out treats for lunch. I always chose the same things - Funyuns and Hostess Lemon pies. In the morning, we would make my lunch. I would pack my lunch bag while Mom wrapped a frozen soda in aluminum foil.

By the time our lunch break rolled around, the soda would be slushy and cold - truly a favorite part of my field trip lunches.

I sat in my car, holding that lemon pie, smiling. I hadn't had one of these things since I was a kid! Quite silly how excited I was to eat this. I broke off the corner, popped it in my mouth. I didn't taste the lightly frosted crust. I didn't even taste the tangy lemon filling. I was too busy savoring memories...

Long bus rides, singing "99 Bottles of Beer" and stopping before we were out of the 80s, enthusiastically pumping arms in hopes one of the truck drivers on the road would sound his air horn, cheering wildly when a trucker obliged. I know one trip was to see the King Tut exhibit when it hit Los Angeles in the 70s. I could not tell you one thing about that collection. What I can tell you is how fun it was rolling down the grassy hill of the George Page museum. I do remember holding onto my glasses for dear life because I couldn't imagine trying to explain to my Dad how they broke! I do remember shrieking and laughing - that pure and joyful sound that escapes when, in that moment, all you know is glee and fun. Oh, how I giggled! The sheer delight of dizziness and nausea as I lay at the bottom of the hill. The uncomfortable I'm-covered-in-grass itchy feeling during the long bus ride back to school was easily tolerated because there was so much fun behind it all!

All that from a Hostess Lemon Pie.

Monday, April 09, 2012

So, yeah...this happened...

Last year, I was under 12+ years worth of clutter.

Last night, I had out-of-state visitors stay over.

Monday, April 02, 2012

B is for Birthday

In less than a month, I'll be 45.


I sing this song every year ~ woe is me, I'm , I haven't done this, yada yada yada. I'm singing, again. But this time, with feeling.

Before turning 40, I was depressed. It was a tough birthday, tough number to wrap my head around. All of the things I thought I would have accomplished by that age had not happened. It was tough reconciling my 18 year old thoughts and dreams and plans with my 40 year old reality. Eventually, I worked through it.

One of the things I was truly bothered by was that I had no kids. I told myself even at 40 there was plenty of time left to have kids. Nevermind that I was traveling quite a bit. Nevermind that my disposable income was going directly to Nordstrom. Nevermind that I'm a compulsive hoarder. That stuff didn't matter because I still had a chance, the window of opportunity was still open.

I'm now thisclose (if not closer) to 45...and that window is now thisclose to closing forever. I know my situation hasn't changed much ~ I still travel, I'm still a hoarder. In my head, it's completely logical. In my head, I've convinced myself I don't want children; it just wouldn't work for me. In my heart, I still hold close those 18 year-old dreams of family. I'm so sad and I can't stop it.

Birthday. Boo.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A is for Anything

I've done several NaBoPoMo's. I've done Instagram's Post a Picture Every Day in February. I've even done 30 Days of Music. Now, thanks to Kelly over at Southern Fried Children, I'm all about the A to Z blog post Challenge.

In the name of motivation, I'm pretty much down with anything.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life Lesson from the Slackmistress

‎"Don't be an a**hole. Do stuff with your life. Help others. And don't be an a**hole."


Dear Slackmistress, I love you. In a non-creepy way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My head has been reeling and my heart aching at recent news regarding race and racism in our country. I'm sad and scared and outraged and really so stunned, cloudy with disbelief at things going on...these things in my head have kept me awake the past few nights.

The 14-year old boy in VA being told by his English teacher to read a Langston Hughes poem "blacker...c'mon, I thought you were black." Fire that teacher immediately. NEVER let her teach children again. EVER.

The murder of 17-year old Trayvon Martin in Florida by a Neighborhood Watch captain who claims self-defense and has not been arrested. The man had a gun and 100 pounds advantage. The kid had an Arizona ice tea and Skittles. This is so outrageous, the whole thing...I can't even, I don't know. I just get angrier with every story I read. Then, I heard the 911 tapes. Heartbreaking.

WHY do these things continue to happen? WHY are racist comments and actions easily accepted, without question? Why? These actions happen readily; comments roll easily.

I've always been sensitive to race issues. So much so that I rarely, if ever, speak of the effects. But I can't go one day without reading some news item with racial overtones. It makes me so sad...and hurts...and scares the heck outta me for my nephews. Do we have to teach them how to 'hide' their blackness when dealing with police and security? Do they have to be keenly aware of what they wear? What they say? Where they go?

All of these things...i can't even think just makes me incredibly sad and angry and scared...and i don't know what to do with it all...i don't know how to deal with it all.

I definitely had issues with my race while growing up. I never told anyone I was Black. As if not saying it made it so. I don't even know where I'm going with this...I can't think straight right now...i just have no other way to get this out...and its not making any sense, i know but

Monday, March 12, 2012


My iPhone died late yesterday afternoon. I am lost.

No Words with Friends.
No Scramble with Friends.
No text with friends.
No Instagram.


A friend on Facebook posted "Don't you feel free? Like, it's a vacation?"

No. No, I don't feel free! I am truly sad. I had to wake up to the buzz buzz buzz of an alarm clock instead of the lovely voice of the lovely George Michael singing "Wake me up before you go go!" I missed my 2nd alarm, as well...the equally lovely voice of the equally lovely Simon LeBon encouraging me to "Reach up for the sunrise! Feel the new day enter your life!" buzz buzz buzz

I was so desperate that I actually blew into the connector port of the phone like it was some video game cartridge! I'll have to spend my lunch across town at the Apple Store, praying they can fix it.

Until then, iSuffer.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

For my girl friends and their girl friends

Please read this post by my friend Jennifer. Then, get a mammogram.

Mami, Deconstructed: Lucky: I’m the lucky one. On Feb. 15 I was informed that I have Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS). In short form, this is an incredibly curable...

DIY Hair Color

This morning, I found a stray eyebrow hair. So, I put on a headband and I was mortified! Tons of gray. TONS! I was going out of my house looking like this?! And no one told me?! Gee, thanks, "friends" - appreciate it.

Suddenly, I felt old. My shoulders rolled forward, my back hunched over, I was cold, and my arthritis was acting up.

When I got to my office, I closed my door, laid out my tools, propped up a mirror and did what any self-respecting roots-showing girl would do - colored my hair.

I'm feeling much better, thank you.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Birthday Tour

For the past several years, the English Beat has played a show on or around my birthday. I've flown to Sacramento, driven to San Luis Obispo, and spent weekends down in Solana Beach just to see my favorite band for my birthday. When I checked their schedule for 2012, nothing was on the calendar; no worries, something would be added.

Rewind: Summer Tour 2010. Squeeze and the English Beat tour together for 2 weeks. And, so was I. My days were filled with travel and friends. My nights were filled with songs from my high school days. I danced onstage, backstage, side stage and in front of the stage, singing every word to every song by both bands. I had the time of my life! And now...

It's Summer Tour 2010 again! Squeeze *and* the English Beat *and* I will be rippin' and rockin' the east coast at the end April, the week leading up to my birthday! Woo hoooo! What a way to turn 45 :)

I am so freakin' excited! It's going to be amazing and incredible and soooo much fun! How could I be depressed about turning 45 with THIS on my horizon?!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Mentoring 2.28

When the 2012 Workplace Mentoring session started in September, Kimmie and I made a commitment to show up. Due to my hectic work schedule, I haven't been able to live up to my end of the agreement. Yesterday was the first time since December that the two of us have seen each other.

I was happy to have a 'one-on-one' session - 90 minutes for the two of us to talk and catch up over lunch. Each one-on-one we've had, Kimmie chooses chicken alfredo from the pasta station. This time I decided to join her. When we got in line, the pasta chef greeter her with "Hey! It's chicken alfredo!" The first time she had it, the chicken alfredo was the special of the day; since then, she's had it 'made to order'. The pasta chef started Kimmie's order - grilling the chicken, adding the garlic and veggies - then asked "What kind of pasta would you like?" Kimmie froze. Her eyes went wide. "Uh...I...what...I just want chicken alfredo," she stammered. I described the different pasta available to her: long skinny noodles or short tube noodles or flat noodles or stuffed noodles. "I don't know. Which one is the best one? I don't know." She saw that I had chosen penne, so she chose penne too.

After we ate, we decided to walk around the lot. "Which way would you like to go?" I asked. She froze. Again. Her eyes went wide. Again. "I don't know. Which way is best?" I told her last time we walked around the sound stages, let's go the other way. "Okay!" she said brightly and off we went.

We talked and joked, walked through storefront facades and stopped to take pictures. We walked down a side road because there was sun and we were both cold and ended up at Starbucks. "I love Starbucks!" So, inside we go. We're standing in line, reading the menu board, and Kimmie mentions she always orders the same thing but maybe she should try a different drink this time because it's too cold to get a frappucino. At the register, I order a white chocolate mocha latte somethingorother with whipped cream. "And, for you?" Kimmie froze. Her eyes went wide. "I don't know. What should I get? I don't know." Completely frustrated and out of patience, I ordered the iced version of the white chocolate mocha latte somethingorother. Both are sitting on the counter, ready for pick-up. I ask "Which one would you like?" It was a three-minute ordeal - "which do you like? which one do you want? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." I said they're both the same except one is hot, one is iced. I stood there, waiting for her to decide. She took the iced drink, I grabbed the other, and we walked out.

I asked her why she doesn't make decisions. ::shoulder shrug:: I asked why she was paralyzed when presented with options. "I don't like to make decisions. What if I make the wrong choice? You said 'Left or right?' What if I say left? I might miss something going on to the right. I don't want to miss anything!"

I told her that's part of making a decision - either way is an adventure. If you don't choose one or the other, you miss out on both! Something wonderful and exciting could happen no matter which way you go. She confessed she gets chicken alfredo each time because she knows what it tastes like and she likes it; and what if she tries something else and doesn't like it?

I confessed that making decisions was tough for me, too. Making decisions, giving opinions - I hated to do it! What if I want sushi and everyone else wants burgers? Kimmie nodded her head. "Yes!" I told her to trust herself, listen to herself. Don't be afraid to make a decision or share her opinion. We talked about this for a good 20 minutes. "Next time, force me to make a decision. Tell me I have to try something other than pasta." Ohhh, no! I will do no such thing! She's going to have to trust herself, listen to herself and choose on her own. We hugged, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

I walked back to my office with such a warm and full heart. I really wish someone had shared these things with me when I was in high school. I'm just so glad the lessons were learner - better late than never. And, I hope these lessons and moments shared stick with Kimmie long enough for her to share with someone else.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Leap Blog Day!

Today is Leap Blog Day ~ hooray! I have invited the very funny and very lovely Kelly from Southern Fried Children to leap from her blog to mine. So, after you read her guest post, click on over and give her blog some love. And, without further ado, please welcome Kelly!


(Thank you, Rissa – for allowing me to guest on your blog. One of my favorite things about you is your passion for music. So I knew I had to write something musical for you. I took it old school!)


There became a pattern to my afternoons: Off the school bus, rush down the block, stop abruptly at the end of the driveway, tear open the mailbox. Stare dejectedly. It hadn’t come.

Days went by and if I asked my mother once I asked her a thousand times, “When do you think it will be here?”

“They said four to six weeks, honey. It’s been 10 days.”

I had seen the advertisement during Saturday morning cartoons. I was already in a musical mood, rocking out to Josie & the Pussycats, and when the commercial came on, the sound stopped me dead in my tracks.

Donna Summer.

If ever a white bread, seven year old Southern kid could will herself into the super glam, mega-afro’d, stunning Queen of Disco, it was me. Only twenty years and unfortunate genetics separated who I was on the outside, and who I longed to be on the inside.

I ran all the way to the kitchen, repeating the number.



Digging through the junk drawer, looking for a pencil. There’s never a pencil in here! And finally, scribbling the number on an envelope with the tiny stub of a purple crayon.


“Mom! Please can I order it? Please? I saved money from my birthday and I’ll do extra chores and wash your car! Anything you want! Please?”

My mother was not a fan of disco. She had been, at one time, until my father made her trade in her Bee Gee albums and platforms for George Jones and a giant belt buckle. The final straw had been an incident involving a too-tight feathered headband and momentary loss of consciousness. Still, she acquiesced.

I don’t know that I have ever before or ever since anticipated something as much as the arrival of that 12 x 12 inch cardboard sleeve full of vinyl magic.

Finally, it arrived.

It was a Saturday morning when the mailman came to the door and I heard the words – “C.O.D.” I ran to my room and carefully opened my jewelry box and extracted the $12.99 plus shipping and handling, and ran back to the door. I handed over the cash, sweaty from my palms, and took delivery of the package.

It was the first piece of mail I’d ever received with just my name on it.

It was the first album I had ever purchased with my own money.

I raced back to my room, carefully unwrapped it, and marveled at the most singularly awesome piece of cover work I’d ever seen.

I don’t know how long I stared at the cover. I would revisit it time and again, wondering – what did it mean? Looking at those static bodies, all big boobs and leisure suits, knowing that if I stared long enough, they’d start moving. How can you look like that and not move your body? How can you listen to something by a band called ‘Natural Juices’ and not want to shake it?

I pulled the album from the sleeve and blew gently across the surface. I was careful to hold it only on the sides, like my dad had shown me. Onto the record player, the switch flipped, and it began to spin. Slowly, carefully, tentatively, with a wildly beating heart and shaking hands, I lowered the needle.

FRIDAY! Ba da da dum, da dum! thank God it’s FRIDAY!

It was amazing, it was perfect, it was disco.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


OK - here's the situation...

A new job opportunity has presented itself to me. It's not full-time guaranteed work; though, I'm fairly certain work will be steady. I'll have no medical benefits nor retirement plan. I would be able to set my own work hours/work days. The job requires I Maui. My initial reaction? I'm outta here! Without hesitation. I fell in love with Maui. I felt slow and happy and relaxed. Maui didn't feel like home; but it felt like it could be. I need more specifics re: the job and the reality of work. On my list of pros and cons, only two cons were listed: no medical benefits, no retirement. There's a slight queasy fear rolling around my stomach. And THAT gut feeling is what's pushing me, urging me to say yes, to pick up and move. Isn't that weird? My fear is compelling me to say yes instead of no. "More experiences" is on my 2012 goals's an adventure! It's something new! It's me saying yes instead of no!

I'd miss my family. My parents are older, fairly healthy but, still, they're in their 70s. I'd miss my brother's kids growing up - 8, 6, 4, 1. My great-nephew was just born last month - I'd get to know him from afar. "Island fever" is a slight concern. Though Hawaii is much more expensive than the mainland, my lifestyle would be different, wouldn't it? My way of life, quality of life would change - for the better, right?

If I were 30, I'd be gone. Gone! I'm middle-aged for fuck's sake! What the hell am I thinking?! Give up a full-time job with security and benefits and retirement and stock? Am I crazy?? I may be. I'm giving this serious thought. As much as fear is propelling me forward, practicality is reeling me in - "Whoa! Easy, Turbo." I could be successful as a wedding officiant. When it comes to destination weddings, wouldn't couples want to be married by a kama'aina or kanaka? And, with civil unions legal in Hawaii, I'm sure steady work would be mine. There are several hotels on the island, not just the one resort. I could certainly build up business - website, word of mouth, convince all of my friends to marry in Maui.

So much to consider...oh, how I would love to do this, make this move...a lot of questions need to be asked and answered...what an incredible opportunity and experience! It's exciting and terrifying!

What are your thoughts? Am I crazy?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whitney's Homegoing

Yes, I sat here for 4 hours watching Whitney's homegoing. Incredibly moving and loving and beautiful and funny and poignant and a perfect sendoff. Kevin Costner was surprisingly touching and honest. The Winans moved me with their singing and words. Removing the flowers, preparing the casket, and the pall bearers hefting her to their shoulders all while "I Will Always Love You" played through the church? Well, I lost it.

(Friends, hear what Kevin Costner advised young girls seeking fame: "Guard your bodies.")

What an amazing send-off.

Hoping peace is yours now, Whitney.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wait. What? How can it be my last day in Maui? I didn't even get to post about Days 2, 3, or 4!

So, it is my last day. What a drag. I have had an incredible time on this island ~ a wedding, new friends, loads of love, a beautiful island, and whale watching from my balcony. I could get used to falling asleep to the sounds of wind and waves, ocean breeze blowing through screens, eating ahi tacos at Paia Fish Market.

I had a wonderful body scrub and massage on Saturday morning at Mandara Spa, onsite at the Wailea Marriott. The facility is small and simple. I found the Relaxation Lounge to be anything but. Despite the candles and bamboo decor, the chairs were much too rigid. I get that the space is merely a waiting room; but give me comfy, cushy chairs or sofas. It is a relaxation lounge. The worst part of the room is that waterfall. Ai yi yi! The waterfall takes up one length of wall. The stonework is nice, but the water rushes out too fast. It's not soothing whatsoever. The sound is not calming like ocean waves; it's loud and crashing and monotonous. I ended up sitting in the steam room.

25 minutes of body scrub, 25 minutes of massage. Heaven. After the scrub, I was taken to the shower to rinse. My skin felt foreign it felt so soft and smooth! The best part? The scalp and foot massage. Ho-lay mo-lay! I nearly wept as she worked her magic on my poor aching feet. (Sidebar: I only packed a carry-on bag for this trip, so only 2 pairs of shoes made the cut. With all of the walking I did wearing slippah, next time, I'm spending the cash to check a bag.)

After the spa, we took a trip to Paia Fish Market. This place is about as big as a 7-11. The fish is fresh, caught that morning, so the options change daily. I opted for ahi tacos - foodgasm! On a slow day, the place makes $5k. On a busy day? They rake in over $30k! Dayum! If I lived here, they'd certainly get most of my money. As a matter o'fact, the Paia Fish Market is getting the last of my cash before I hit the airport today ;)

Yesterday's wedding was absolutely fantastic. Steve and Chrissy were so calm about it, while I stressed out. I wanted to ceremony to be perfect for them - they're my friends! I ended up creating something beautiful for them that was fun and personal and even made a few people cry. The Wailea Seaside Chapel at sunset is breathtaking - the sun filtered through gorgeous stained glass into the candlelit chapel. They had chosen a harpist, which suited the room perfectly. The whole room was exquisite. Their wedding coordinator did a great job with all of the details. (Sidebar: I was told there's a job waiting for me if I decide to move to Maui. Hmm...). The ceremony was short and lovely. The reception was long and lively. The 2 of them together are wonderful to watch and their friends/family are so full of love for each other. I was so honored to be part of it. Looks like I'll be heading to Denver soon :) Steve and Chrissy ~ I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness and an abundance of joy!

Today, I blog...I pack...I eat Paia Fish Market...and I go home. *sigh*

It's been wonderful, Maui. Let's do it again, soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maui - Day 1 (2.10)

Day 1 ~ Maui

I'm a pretty good flyer. Sometimes turbulence happens and I'm okay with that. But, this LAX-OGG flight? I was not okay. You know it's bad when the pilot calls for the flight staff to take their jump seats 3 times during the 5+ hour flight.

We're staying at the Wailea Marriott ~ a sprawling property with an infinity pool, a water park-like pool for kids, a Starbucks, gorgeous foliage, and a spa. My room faces the ocean. I could sit on this balcony all day…I kinda want to sit on this balcony all day. Why do I not live here? *sigh*

Earlier, while getting ready for dinner, I kept hearing a lady screaming, shrieking. I didn't see any commotion outside my room, then realized the luau was going on on the other side of the building. Maybe she was scared for the fire dancers or something. Ready to go, I walked out to watch the sunset. The lady was below the landing, still screaming, still shrieking. There was an eruption of applause and screams ~ 3 whales were about 200 yards offshore, breaching! Not just once, several times in a row. It was fucking incredible! About 300 yards from that, another whale was slapping the water with its fin. Shamu? The whale was slapping the water with its fin! So incredibly moving and amazing and I felt so small yet connected and oh, how I wished there was a hand to grab at that moment and I felt lonely and started crying. Then, I got mad at the beautiful sunset because I couldn't see the whales anymore.

After a enjoying ridiculous amounts of sushi and sake, I'm back in my hotel room, sliding glass door wide open, listening to the waves crash against the rocky shore. I know whales are migrating past right now…and I want to see them…I want them to call me up and say "Hey, we'll honk as we go by!" I'm silly, I know. I am feeling so much right now! I don't understand most of it and I can't explain any of it.

The rhythm of the wind and the waves…my lullaby.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Whale Watching 1.14.12

Spent Saturday morning whale watching off the coast of Ventura (north of Los Angeles). We were chasing 3 grey whales (likely 2 males and 1 female) while a huge pod of dolphins (well over 100!) chased us. It was a fantastic day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Being a hoarder sucks.

I came home to a 'surprise apartment inspection' notice. Awesome. My insides liquified, my heart raced then dropped to my stomach, and I panicked.

I should be okay. If not, well...I should be okay.

But, seriously - being a hoarder fucking sucks.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Leap Blog Day!

Check it ~ Leap Blog Day!

Short version: visit site, sign up, select a guest blogger from the list, wait for someone to select you, write, yay!

Get and give some blog traffic.
Get and give some blog love.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Girl of 100 Lists - 2012...

  • "Be open to a change in direction. Know that the path I walk today will never lead to the same tree tomorrow." (thank you, Kurt Sutter)
  • more experiences
  • less things (however, if the 'experience' is to purchase a new 'thing' - a handbag, a pair of shoes, a dress - this goal may be broken, on occasion)
  • stuff out
  • furniture in
  • friends in!
  • London
  • soda out (my sincerest apologies, Dr. Pepper. We were so good together.)
  • read good things
  • write good things
  • do good things
  • love
  • Love
  • LOVE!