Monday, December 31, 2007

Toodles to Two-oh-oh-Seven

Amandarin has a yearly tradition of "the year in review" utilizing the following 40 questions. I like them and thus will gak them here, as a way to "wrap up" 2007 and send it on its way.

1) Was 2007 a good year for you?
It wasn’t all the ZIP, BAM, WOW that I was hoping for, but it had some great moments, and I think it laid some really good groundwork for 2008.

2) What was your favorite moment of the year?
There are many: Swimming with Sea Turtles in Honaunau; Watching the Pu’u O’o vent erupting against the night sky; Surrounding myself with the cats of the “Kitty Motel” at Best Friends.

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Anxiety attacks; one of my BFF’s moving far away with hubby and baby; leaving Spuds at Best Friends that last cold morning.

4) Where were you when 2007 began?
Slack’s living room, trying to hold an inebriated Tag upright!

5) Who were you with?
Some of the coolest peeps in Hollywood blogdom.

6) Where will you be when 2007 ends?
Plans are to be at Slack & BetheBoy’s. I’ll probably be supporting Tag again too… if his plane lands as expected. *frets*

7) Who will you be with when 2007 ends?
See 5

8) Did you keep your New Year's resolution of 2007?
I don’t follow all the rules of “resolution”… but I do think that I followed through on plans and moved forward in several areas of my life.

9) Do you have a New Year's resolution for 2008?

10) Did you fall in love in 2007?
Just a little bit more everyday

11) If yes, with whom?
Him (oh… and him)

12) If yes, do they know?

13) Are you still in love with them?

14) Do you regret it?

15) Did you breakup with anyone in 2007?
Not that I can think… but I will be ending one crappy relationship soon.

16) Did you make any new friends in 2007?

17) Who are your favorite new friends?
Dancer, Charlotte, Mouse, Scooter, HoneyBear & all the beautiful souls at the Kitty Motel

18) What was your favorite month of 2007?
It's all one big blur

19) Did you travel outside of the US in 2007?
*sigh* nope

20) How many different states did you travel to in 2007?
5 (if you count my CA travels to Palm Springs and Monteray)

21) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2007?
No, I was blessed once again

22) Did you miss anybody in the past year?
Yes, several people who for one reason or another have left my life.

23) What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2007?
We really enjoyed “Surf’s Up” LOL! I also liked “Music & Lyrics”, “Pride”, “Eastern Promises” & “Ratatouille”. I have not seen, but am totally looking forward to “Sweeney Todd” and “The Water Horse

24) What was your favorite song from 2007?
um... I’m so bad at this sort of thing. This year, I fell in love with the song “Daughter” by Vienna Tang. (however, she released it in 2002)

25) What was your favorite record from 2007?
*draws a blank*

26) Did you see any concerts this year?
Um… I don’t think so. I’m not much of a concert girl. However, Tag may have dragged me to something (then again, that might have been 2006)

27) Did you have a favorite concert in 2007?
see above

28) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2007?
LOL… it would seem that way, since I can’t remember a damn thing!

29) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2007?
They all come in bottles with prescriptions on the front.

30) Did you hope for something you didn't get in 2007?
yes, but I’m still moving forward in pursuit of that goal

31) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
Not all my moments were shiny and glorious, but I don’t think I’m ashamed of anything.

32) What was the biggest lie you told in 2007?
“No, I really enjoy working with you. Really”

33) What was the worst lie someone told you?
“I feel great. I’ve done all my work and I’m ready to move forward. There is definately going to be some changes around here."

34) Did you treat somebody badly in 2007?
I don’t think so, and certainly hope not.

35) Did somebody treat you badly in 2007?
Yes, and they will be sorry in about 3 weeks.

36) How much money did you spend in 2007?
BUNCHES. I was paying off a LOT of my debts.

37) What was your proudest moment of 2007?
I pulled off a lot of difficult feats at the office. Looking back, I’m proud of what I contributed to the special events at work.

38) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2007?
Crying like a 4 yr old having a tantrum, as I sat on the ice on the bunny hill, during my first ever day of snowboarding.

39) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2007 and change something, what would it be?
Can I please just be brilliant at snowboarding on the first try? That would be cool

40) What are your plans for 2008?
Big Changes. New Communications. Follow the bliss and get the f’k out of LA.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rainy Beverage Spazebas

Last night, Slack and BetheBoy hosted a small Blogger gathering at Bar Lubitsch. Tag and I braved the rainy LA streets (and the hideous LA drivers) in hopes of stepping out and getting to know some fabu new folks. Mission Accomplished! Not only did we get to meet Randi, Mike, Leyla (and her honey), Annika and Rachel, but I also got the chance to taste my first absinthe.

Please understand that the night gets very hazy from that point.

I do have the unfortunate recollection of stopping at Del Taco sometime after midnight. If the smell of the car this morning is any indicator, we apparently ordered two overly ripe and really dead forest creatures who had recently frolicked through industrial waste. Oh, and a small Cherry Coke.

Gastrointestinal issues and wicked strange dreams aside, it was a lovely evening. Thank you to all who participated. I look forwards to the next eclectic gathering.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Year in the Body

Well, I popped on Blogger last Thursday, in a brief attempt to jot down words to immortalize the passing of yet another year. However, my birthday makes me annually cranky AND the massive company holiday party (of which I was in charge) was last Thursday night, so instead of fluid writing, I had halting moments of verbal constipation, interrupted by "urgent" requests from co-workers.

However, I awoke Friday morning with the Muse sitting on my bed. It's been a while since I arose with a poem building itself in my head, so I rushed for paper and a pen to scratch down the morning's first utterances.

What came out was unlike any of my previous poetry. Usually, I am a fan of free verse, unrhyming and arrhythmic. This piece stirs the memory of beat poetry, more appropriate to a poetry slam than an online reading. Its style is clearly inspired by some of the Sage Francis works that I have been listening to lately.

No matter how odd the phrasing may be for me, the feeling behind it is clearly one inspired by birthday blues. It gives voice to the fury of futile attempts to defy aging and keep up American society's flawed definition of beauty. Directionless rage, turned within, damaging body and soul.

Me Carve Pretty Someday

gotta pain buzzin’ underneath my skin
rage & slice, drag it out from within
Put it on show
Let everyone know
Fat ugly insides, jiggling round there

Television, magazine
Teaching me to purge
Fighting to be clean
Get it out, set it free
Stab into the real me
Flay & peel
Defy what’s real
Till I’m standing there
in nothing
but my BONES

then wrap my bones in skin
hold me up
call me thin
at time, age and gods’ design
cut, pull, tuck & suck
tiny girls are good to fuck
spray adhesive just to hold it all in place
no lines allowed on my titties or my face
draggin’, pullin’, cutting, fightin’
still losing time’s cruel race
I’m so dry and tight
I’m wearing BEEF JERKY

looking in the mirror
still hating what I see
paintbrush and exact-o knife
create ‘the perfect me’
blood red, my color
bringin’ out my eyes
small cuts, band-aid hidden
distract me from my thighs

Screaming to the godless sky
Make me pretty or make me die

Screaming to the godless sky
Make me pretty or let me try

Screaming to the godless sky
Make me Pretty
Make me Pretty

Grab the frilly edge scissors and a dying hope
Like a 3rd graders’ snowflake
Gonna carve myself pretty
**DISCLAIMER: No folks, I'm not suicidal. I'm not even angry today... just OVER IT, ya know? Worry not, I'll be fine.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Obligation & the Last Few Weeks

Some time ago, I put on my side bar that small icon with the raven that says B.W.O. It stands for “blogging without obligation,” which I believe to be a great concept. Too often, I hear the tale of a blogger who began writing as an exploration of self, and continues as a need to please the reading audience. Blogs have a way of taking on a life of their own, morphing and becoming unrecognizable to the writer. I wanted to state my intention to not fall prey to that phenomenon.

However, I then signed up for NaBloPoMo , during which the goal is to post every day for a month. I signed up with the best of intentions, hoping that I would be inspired to communicate more frequently. Instead, I began to immediately feel the pressing weight of obligation. Quantity over quality seemed the result and I found myself resenting showing up at the blog. That was not my intention, and so I let myself off the hook and gave myself the permission to post as needed.

It didn’t hurt/help that November was a crazed month, filled with stress at work and then a wonderful vacation far away from computers. Hell, far away from cell phone reception or most of society. Tag and I spent the week of Thanksgiving volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

If you’ve never been to Southern Utah, I highly recommend the trip. Zion and Bryce National Parks are some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever hiked. There is magic in their deep red rock formations, and a quiet thrum of vibrational energy that affects me body and soul. Not far north, there is both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. 100 miles to the south is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. In short, if you like being outside, awestruck by Mother Nature’s talent for architecture, Southern Utah is Paradise.

Angel Canyon and Kanab are in what is called the Golden Circle, a centrally located resting point between Zion, Bryce, North Rim and Lake Powell. Best Friends owns 3,800 acres in the canyon, and leases several more from the Bureau of Land Management. On this chunk of land, they run the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the country. Housing literally thousands of dogs, cats, bunnies, horses, burros, pigs and birds, they are sure to tug at the heart strings of any animal lover. The volunteer program starts with a heart-warming video and orientation, wherein you set up your schedule for each day you are available. We chose to spend each morning session (8:15 – Noon) working with Dogs, starting with Puppy Socialization class for the first 30 min. Our afternoons were mostly spent working in Cat Town, except for Wednesday which was spent in the Triple R Rabbit Retreat.

Duties can range from dog walking, pet grooming, playing and petting, to kennel cleaning and poop scooping. As much as I love animals, I did wonder whether or not I could spend my day off covered in feces and dirt and still feel like I was on vacation. Answer: Hell yes, I can! So much so that I’ve applied for a job at Best Friends and am seriously considering moving myself to that tiny town.

Animals never cease to amaze me, with their ability to forgive and forget. Particularly these animals, so many of which have been abused or abandoned. Sure, there are a few like Filly and Tobie (rescues from Hurricane Katrina) who walk on leash as far from you as they can… but even they are learning to take food from their caregiver’s hands. The process of recovering trust can be slow going, but these sweet creatures have not given up completely.

Words fail me when I try to capture what I experienced there. I can only say that I was happy. Happier than I’ve been in a while. It felt like a part of me that has been missing for a few years now was able to make a fleeting appearance. Best Friends is not only healing for the animals. It’s healing for the people who spend time there too. And as a butterfly sends a wind around the world, so does that little bit of focused healing cause a shift in the energies of Earth and all her children. It is Best Friends' philosophy that kindness towards animals is one step towards healing our planet, and I agree. And if you are not, in some portion of your life, creating a more positive tomorrow…what are you doing?

The desk job weighs even more heavily on me now than it did before. My soul, which felt leaden, has now darkened to numb. Add to that the fact that office politics and fragile egos have stirred up a mess of drama which left me broken and sobbing last Thursday night. I wake each morning with that sense of dread, that heavy weight of obligation rattling like ball & chain around my ankle.

There is a line in Parenthood, in which Steve Martin’s character says, “My whole life is HAVE TO.” I don’t want to wake up one day and find that is my life. Or perhaps, I’ve already had that waking moment. This LA life does not feed my soul. Its cluttered streets and angry people tear at my already tattered edges. In the quiet of Angel Canyon, I found a lightness of being that I have not felt in a long while. Although there were tasks to do, some unpleasant and challenging, there was never that foreboding sense of “have to.” There was choice and there was joy and there was a vibration of healing in each soft muzzle. Each time this office job pulls me to tears, I open up these pictures and remind myself of the great souls that I have had the pleasure to meet and to love.