Did an on-line radio show today as the call in psychic. It was for a friend who is doing this and I was doing him a favor.

Or so I thought.

I had a really good time. The hour flew by. I went with my first hits on people and they were satisfied and pleased. I am amazed how easy it was.

Is this what they mean when you do something you are good at and it is easy?

hmmmm.

Impatient

I am dealing with a terrible case of the “instant gratification takes to long”. My sister is moving from LA to Seattle, but it is taking too long. One of my best friends is moving back, again, not fast enough. I find that I am impatient with people I work with and with customers. I know some of it is because I have a low tolerance for idiots right now…but seriously, I am just so annoyed by the tempo of the world.

Which is causing me eye tics and palpitations, and making coffee my friend and my enemy. I do not know why I am so twitchy, but I hope it passes.

In the meantime, I hope that people can survive this.

He has risen…

Happy Easter. That special time of year when I look at hats and baskets and pastels and know that spring is near. The time of year when I am constantly cold, because I want summer NOW so I quit wearing socks and coats and therefore end up with frost bite, cause the weather is not all that different from March when I wore wool socks and scarves and coats.

Today is the beginning of a new time, as most days should be, “This is the first day of the rest of your life” and all that. I am going to try to take this day and turn it into a beginning. I am going to make a list of the things that I want in life. I am going to redo the to-do of my life. I am 50 and I realize I have done a lot of what I set out to do as I sat in school daydreaming out the window of my 4th grade class.

Here’s some of the highlights:

1. went to and lived in Australia.
2. had a reading for a play I wrote.
3. got published.
4. bought a house.
5. had a house with a large garden and yard, front porch and claw foot tub, and lilac tree.
6. ran my own business.
7. found a job that I can do easily and enjoy going to (for 11 years in July)
8. traveled to most of the places on my list.
     still need: Galapagos, Japan, Scotland, the Spain/South of France/Milano tour, Greece, Iceland.
9. been to Hawaii twice.
10. been to Disneyworld.
11. own outright the perfect Toyota truck, like the land cruiser I wanted all growing up with the side door.
12. have enough money most of the time to feel safe.

I am not putting on my list the waterbed, microwave, bent wood rocker, and perfect Denim outfit with the smiley face shirt and matching hat, because those were the dreams of a 10 year old in the 70’s. But the other dreams of that 10 year old have happened.

What hasn’t happened:
1. living on the moon with John Travolta.
2. John Denver letting me sing with him on stage.
3. meeting Gene Kelly.
4.wiggling my nose like Samantha Stevens on Bewitch and suddenly being skinny.
5.being the next Carol Burnett on TV, Broadway and the movies.
6. having all the men who I have had crushes on all my life have crushes on me. (and/or not be gay)
7. growing old with Kris.
8.winning the lottery.
9. being Erma Bombeck.

In general, most of what I wanted I have come to terms with. I am thrilled that I have done all I have done so far. Now all I have to do is look at the next 50 years and plan what I will do with them.

It’s always good to have a list.

The Pattern

When you think about the things you have done with your life over the years, and you see what works and what doesn’t, you begin to see a pattern.

My “Pattern” is that I get in situations where I spend other people’s money, create a great work environment, and then hire wonder talented people to work with. The other pattern is that I do all this without getting much credit, money, or safety and usually in an enterprise that is either sinking or going no where. I am always at the whims of the money, the owner, the market. And this is where I need to change the pattern.

There are people who do this in all sorts of ways and ride the crest of the wave into a joyful life. (today’s role models are Tina Fey and Chuck Lorre) I am like a person with water wings in an ocean where the surfers are riding beautifully and I just wait there, ready to be knocked over by the next wave and drown. I have drown a number of times in my life, and I am here to tell you that the salt water up the nose part is excruciating and disorienting. The pressure of the surf on your chest is terrifying and unbearable. The feeling of leaving your body is strange and discomforting. And watching the panic ensue as you watch people move your body onto the beach and start pounding on it is heartbreaking.

Painful as the part when you slam back into the reality of what you are is, the truth is that you now have a different perspective. You can see the pattern of your life and take away the parts that work and the parts that don’t.

Right now I am sifting through the rubble of my last 50 years (yeah, yeah, I know, mixing metaphors). There is a lot of drowning and explosions and chaos. And I am ready to emerge from this latest drowning with extra strength, special joy and a bag of better metaphors. (yes, I should have used a fire metaphor and then I could use the whole Phoenix thing, live and learn)

What do I want? What do I like? What fits? What is my Pattern?

I’m working on it.

50 and Change.

Turned 50 this week. Got a cold the next day. I notice that after I hit any milestone I always get sick. Like the Universe is saying, “slow down, pay attention, this is important.” I have been sick a lot this last year.

This is the first year of my life that my Mom and Dad have not been here for my birthday. I feel a sadness around this that penetrates my bones. It makes it hard to breathe. It is also freeing in a way that is both uncomfortable and delightful. It’s very hard for me to explain. But I know that my life has changed forever and I now tread forward through the forrest of my life on a completely different path.

For my birthday this year I held my friends and employees and sister hostage and told them they had to come hear a reading of a play I wrote almost 20 years ago. I felt it was important for this current group of people to know that I could do more than run a video store. It was a nice experience, but it did not do what I thought it would do. It did not make me feel different. It did not bring me to a place where I felt I could launch out as a writer and begin to make life moves. All it did was remind me that I am who I  have created and that person is slightly talented, slightly motivated, and slightly lazy. I want things handed to me, I want things easy, I want things now. I am just like most people. And I am not this great creative person that people (read:family) have said I am.

I wonder if this is the time in my life, this next 20 or 30 years, where I finally decide to be happy with my small life. I finally decide to accept that I am going to be alone. That I finally just breathe and let this path be my friend and just quit fighting? I am ready to quit fighting.

50 is a big number, and truth be told, there have been many times in my life when I really REALLY did not think I would make it this far. So there’s that.

Nearly done with 2011

Posted on Facebook this a.m.

Today I take a moment to think back on my accomplishments for the year, big or small, they are making me the person I am today.
1. Survived and am going to thrive after the death of my remaining parent. 
2. Enjoyed one more year of working a job that I love.
3.Finally settling into my new home and have left behind the sadness of leaving the old one. 
4.Building a relationship with my last living sibling.
5.Went on a blind date and did not do anything horrific. (Booyah!)
6.Lived the whole year as 50 and decided it is ok, so I will be ok when I actually turn 50 next Feb.
7.Got a good nights sleep, FINALLY! (thanks Fritz)
8.Got my car repairs finished.
9. Had an office for my psychic work, for 6 months!! And made business cards.
10. Actually could think of 10 positive things.

Goodbye 2011, it’s been nice.




Easier to think of the things I have released this year. 


1. Being someone’s kid. 
Which includes:
Letting go of the false information that has been fed to me by my parents about my sister. As she and I compare notes, I realize that my parents were on a quest to keep us separated. They fed us false information to keep us apart, because if we compared notes on them, well, we would have probably smothered them each in their sleep. The lies, the falsehoods, the blatant attempts to control us and make themselves look good, when in reality, they made a muck of things… astonishing. I wonder if their lives would not have been easier if they had only told the truth. But I am letting that go with a “did the thing they thought was right”. And they can no longer hurt me or Pat. 
But also includes:
Getting to know my sister and to be present as we both discover who we are without the influence of our parents.


2.Realizing a dream of having a studio where I could write and do psychic work, and then letting it go after 6 months because I am apparently not ready to support it. But I did it and for a brief 6 months I had a very full keychain.
Which also includes:
Thinking that I want to take care of other people to the point that a psychic does. I am fine with the occasional reading, but to have and sustain clients is not something I am interested in. 


3. Letting go of the house on 27th. And coming into comfort with the place I live now. I still miss my bathtub and my garden so much I ache sometimes. But less is more. 


4. Releasing the stick that I have beaten myself with for all my life. The stick that I am not enough (or too much) that I should, could, would be better, happier, more successful if only I…. (fill in the dots). I tried out living 50 this year, since the idea of being 49 was soul crushing to me. Living all year with 50 dangling over my head, ridiculous. So I just jumped in and was 50. No fan fair. No hoopla. And I decided to adjust my attitude accordingly. 30 was lived in recover and fear, 40 was lived in working to make something of whatever it was I thought I was supposed to be. 50, well, if I don’t have it now, I never will, so calm the fuck down about it and enjoy what I have. 


5. Releasing more of that which no longer serves me, be it my addiction to wheat or my compulsion to shop when I feel bad. I release things that no longer serve me. 


And you know who you are.




Now let’s get on with it, shall we. 





Fudge

Yeah, still thinking about the death of my parents. This game changing event has really been an eye opener.

The other day my sister and I, who are finally communicating without the censor of parents, started comparing notes. I would tell her a story that I had held onto and was either angry, hurt, or some other useless emotioned about, and she would tell me her side of the same story. Trixie, those parents of ours. I would say.”Well you never”, and she would say, “Well Mom said”…. Lots of insights.

We are working through the holidays together now. Lots of old family traditions, which having moved away years ago mean very little to me now, are suddenly very important. The day we put up the Christmas tree was on Mom’s birthday, December 5th. Mom was a total egoist about this. She owned Christmas and would let us borrow it. We would assemble the artificial tree, then my sister and I would fight as we put on the lights. Dad avoided it all by being out on the ladder putting up the outdoor lights. Then Mom would make a big deal and we all had to come in and calm down and focus on her. She would take out her bell. The first Christmas ornament she and dad had gotten. (Back story: he was campus security at University of Wyoming, Laramie, and we was making rounds and saw this on a tree that some science department had thrown out after their Christmas party, so he brought it home to Mom.)

This ornament is a bell with an angel inside it. It is blueish grey. It was so beautiful as a child, that I never noticed until recently that it was plastic. Mom would wait until we were all quiet, she would place the bell on the tree and announce Christmas can happen now! I was sure for years if anything happened to that bell Christmas would never happen.

My sister and I compare stories. She tells me she hates putting up trees, she hates the lights, she hates the bell. She hated it all because we would always take the tree down on her birthday, Jan 2nd. She also puts up artificial trees, she is allergic, so now I get why we never had real trees. And she never puts lights on them. The year after Dad died, mom and my sister came up to visit me on Christmas. I thought it would be a nice change and we could all be together. I had a really hard time mustering up the energy to put up my Christmas tree, so a friend and his boyfriend came up and opened all the Christmas boxes I had and put up a tree. It looked exactly like a tree from my childhood. It was frightening. I was shocked. My mom was pleased. My sister was shocked.

That Christmas was lovely, and then afterward I threw away almost all the ornaments from the tree. And the tree itself.

I use the excuse that I work retail to explain the lack of tree. And it is true, all I do is work, sleep, work, drag myself to parties, repeat.

This year with Mom gone, I am trying to get my sister to come for Christmas. Out of the house she shared with my parents for 18 years, to my new condo where I have room for a little mantle christmas tree. As we talk about this she says, “you know, we are orphans now.”

It hits me.

And traditions are the ones we remember. Mom standing over a sink with a hot pot of fudge, beating it to make it just right, but only after she poured me off a little of the caramelized candy, before she made it fudge, for me because I liked that. Divinity like angles wings that would amp you up so you were talking like a squirrel on speed. Mom burning the rolls in the oven. Ho ho bags (gifts to big to wrap were either put in pillow cases or covered in sheets;  bikes, stereos, giant down coats.) Stockings with an orange in the toe.  Being told we had to sleep in ’til at least 4:30am because Santa would not be finished before then. The year we bought my sister a leather fringe purse, and I told her it was a bag of worms, she reached in touched it and threw it across the room (her excuse is it was early and she was not awake.) The Purple, long handle barred, banana seated, white flowered basket bike (Dad took my old police auctioned Schwinn and transformed it in the garage out back in the freezing Colorado winter after he got off his 4 to midnight shift.)

Lots of these things are the memories that make up my sister and me. 50 year old orphans. And I am happy with most of this. Bitter sweet with some. Darn right sad about others. I never learned how to make fudge. Mom learned from Dad’s Mom, who learned from hers…

So I think about the fudge and how it is gone forever, but the memories are still intact.

P.S. A Piece of Fudge dropped into Mom’s Jet Fuel coffee, and a dollop of whipped cream from the pies. Nothing better.

When a Spoon becomes a Porpoise.

Mom, for as long as I can remember, has had a weird time with words. She often, as I find in my own later years, probably wrestled with the hormone thing for a long time. But she would just wave her hand and say “wait a minute, wait a minute ” and then get right on track. A few years ago, as my dad ran sliding into his grave, she had a stroke, something that is common in our family. Our heads just blow up. My sister has lived through three aneurisms. I have had cousins drop from strokes. My Grandpa had at least 4 that we knew of. So mom’s stroke and TIA’s are just what happens. The fact that the Alzheimer’s has added the layer of dimensia is just the frosting on the cake. 
As I visit her and she struggles with the words, I notice the communication is still clear. It may be from years and years of my Grandfather’s funny horseplay with words. Mom always told the story of how he called meringue “Maren-Gooey”, so much so that Grandma actually asked for a piece of “Maren-Gooey” pie at a restaurant and turned beet red. We all play with words. When Mom called a spoon a porpoise, I just figured it was regular Mom stuff.

Now I know better. But the communication is still there. The language of laughter and smiles and funny faces and hand signals and funny nonsense syllables that were already part of the vocabulary of our nutty family. The way we always used words in illicit ways, to bring so many more layers to our language. 
So sure, where before my mom would touch my hair and tell me it was amazing, she now touches me in the same gentle way and says “your head is Amizible”. But I know that she means my hair is amazing, cause my mom always said that, the inflection is the same. The letters may be scrambled but the intention is there and it is an Amizible thing. 
P.S. Mom died from Alzheimer’s on October 9, 2011 at 9:25pm in San Fernando, California. She is survived by her two daughters, and a little brown chihuahua.

7days 7 pages, or the hell of starting to write again.

I am easily distracted. I mean that in a  happy loving Disney sort of way.  Shiny objects distract me, if my blood sugar is low I not only cannot finish a thought, I can hardly use my words, I enjoy “bejeweled quest” WAY too much, I have other excused…

But mostly I am not interested in being in my head right now, and apparently as a writer, that is somewhere you need to venture occasionally. If only just to look at yourself procrastinating.

I had writer’s block once. I had a really good writing practice, 5 or so pages in my notebook every day long hand, an hour walk and then at least 2 hours at the keyboard. Then one day I just couldn’t move. I looked at the pages in my notebook, I went from lines, to no lines, to graph paper. I changed pens and pencils. I moved around in the house. I went to coffee shops. The door had slammed shut, HARD.

Kris was still alive then and he was the king of the pragmatists. I complained and bitched and whined. He arrived on my doorstep with an unwrapped reem of paper and handed it to me and said, “Use 5 pages of this every day. I don’t care if you rip it up or wrap fish in it. 5 pages everyday. And I will call you every night and we will talk about our normal junk, and you will tell me what you did with the paper.”

Daunting, yes. But it worked. I did things to those 5 pieces of paper that I never thought I would. I made pom poms, I colored, I did origami, I cut little signs out and used scotch tape and made signs for the garden rows, I wade up balls of paper and played with the cat with them. And every night we talked about what I  had done to those 5 sheets of paper.

And surprisingly a couple of months later I had a first draft of a play.

The reason I am mentioning this play is that I have been away from my writing for a long time. I have been  working in another creative garden. And though it has been wonderful, I realize it is not fulfilling my needs. One of my friends took me to Hegdebrook last weekend (look it up on line, it is awesome). There were all these women there, writers who get to stay for 2 weeks and do nothing but write. I was overwhelmed by the garden, by the nature, by the cabins and by the women, who I saw as role models for my next step in life. And then the Education Director, who I want to put in my pocket and carry around all the time she is so amazing, said “playwrites work here.”  There was a crack in the armor of my fear and I was struck by lightning. Oh, right, I do that. I like to do that. I am actually not bad at that.

And I stepped back into very comfortable shoes, the shoes that I have had in my closet for a long long time. The Writer shoes.

So when my friend posted a challenge on face book, 7 works of art in 7 days… I decided I could do 7 pages. Never being one to challenge myself to failure, I figured if I can’t do a page a day I should be shot.
So I have e-mailed myself a page a day. Just so it is labeled and out there and has a date stamp on it.

This morning on face book, another friend’s blog popped up, and I had the ah ha moment of “hey, don’t I have one of those? By cracky I do! Well, hell, let’s use that….

So here it is. Technically day 5, but I see this as a new beginning….

50

Been very busy trying to survive the self imposed insanity that is my birthday. I am always disappointed no matter where I set my expectations. (up, down, next to the curb for the recycling truck, shot out of a cannon to the moon…) And this year at 49 I am feeling especially disagreeable. So I began what I call pre-emptive strikes. I called my family early and talked a long time, thus alleviating the need for them to remember to call me. I planned an escape to a spa and told everyone that I did not want anything for this day. I set up a few dinners before and after and I was done. BUT what I needed was a plan around this being 49 thing. I do not want to live a year of “oh my god, next year I am 50”

So FUCK it! I am fifty now. I am doing 50 for as many years as it feels right. I am skipping 49, which brings to mind Miners and NFL teams and I am just plunging into 50.

famous 50s?

50 ways to leave your lover
50 50
50 bottles of beer on the wall

Well, I am sure I could think of more if my brain were switched on.

So happy 50 to me…