Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a roundup of 2008

where do i begin....
ringing in last new year in boulder, colorado with triple trouble, my best friend and my love
learning that $90 for an open bar is not a deal
an emotional breakdown with my boss of a year and half
declaring myself a writer, quitting my job and letting go of hollywood and a useless ego
my blog and facebook
a valentines day visit
a plan to move back east
a younger sister
a party at the Spanish Kitchen where I am most surprised by the visit of an old college friend
he tells me not to get too comfortable in jersey
comfortable but not too comfortable
a drive across the country
snowboarding the bowl in Aspen
a hospital visit in boulder
creating a home with Mike and doing it for real this time...and man, is it real
acquiring a part time job in script reading
An awesome soccer team
New Orleans Jazz Fest
Dancing to Stevie Wonder in the rain
a job at a school in Greenwich Village
daily visits with Carmen
lots of train rides
Two canoes
Reconnecting with friends in Vermont
weddings
exes
Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
aruba & mike's family
An older sister
Spanish
Game night
Dare I say, poker???
A surprise birthday party all for me!!!
writing...a lot
a visit to Imagine
a friendship with my old boss
godsons
teach for america...or grad school
grad school
gotham writers
registering voters in Pennsylvania
a new friendship with a sassy woman from queens
and another friendship with a smart ass from highland park, nj
seeing Obama speak in the rain in a run down town in Pennsylvania
reconnecting with Lindsay and establishing a writing group
a hairline fracture on my rib
more visits to the hospital
a cough but the will to beat it without antibiotics
i win
a bottle of wine with Tara
and a warmer heart
lots of books
new music
enjoying films as an audience member and not someone who works in the entertainment business
a visit home where i recognize my own growth first
an appreciation for my home in Jersey and my life with Mike
new york.....
and my heart sings.
Thank You.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

'tis the season

the holidays are hard.
i am reminded of this as a friend has been sleeping on our couch since Christmas.
I want to ask what happened
I want to know why he crept back home at 3am so not to see anyone and grab some things
but I already know the answer
The holidays are hard.
I plug into my iPod which for some reason I forget to charge every night
even though my morning commute is so much more pleasant with it
but today i had the urge to listen to tori amos.
i have not listened to her in maybe nine years
which makes me feel old and curious all together
i find the song that is stuck in my head and i can't remember how or why it got there
i click on "little earthquakes, leather"
and suddenly i am eighteen singing the lyrics to this song feeling them rip through my soul
i am violated and broken
weak but finding strength
humiliated and angry
looking for an escape
i am reminded of that horrible night the day after christmas so many years ago and
i remember disappearing up into northern california for four or five days and spending new years eve with people whose names i can no longer remember.
i was eighteen, and one of them was twenty-seven like i am now
i was eighteen and one of them was twenty-five, nineteen, or eighteen like me
there was a girl with a tattoo that meant "brother" in some chinese letters
and i remember her telling me her brother had gotten "sister"
we went to the house of some child actor who i have not seen in life or on tv since
i did not spend new years eve with my friends that year and instead made a new years resolution to forget all of those people that were there the night after christmas
i see them on facebook
still spending new years together and i am proud of the best new years resolution i ever made
i am reminded why i no longer listen to this album
but i can't help from indulging in the miserable nostalgia of it all
i feel old and it feels good to be far from eighteen.

Friday, December 19, 2008

something real

baked goods with chicken scratch writing
the words spell out H-a-p-y- H-o-l-d-a-ys
big smiles with no teeth
and santa hats and reindeer antlers atop teenagers

hot cocoa or apple cider if you like it spicy
snow on evergreen
salt stains on jeans
and chapped lips to go around

songs of bells and mommy kissing santa
the essential grinch or two
perhaps some eggnog
and definitely the hap-hap-happiest christmas since bing crosby danced with danny fucking kaye

three cheers for winter on the east coast and christmas on the west.

Monday, December 15, 2008

cleaning house

this weekend, i cleaned house.
starting with a long overdue talk with a friend who is a shark by nature, artist by heart,
and a poet in her soul
we talk about the missing piece
and i realize that too long a part from her makes her my missing piece
it was nice to find it for a night
i party with friends and with people i judge
and yet we all manage to have a great time
a friend of mine tells me the importance of keeping friends in check
and so i attempt to put him in check
and he deflects my questions but in an entertaining way so we all laugh
i ask him if he is happy
he says no in a sobering moment that is quickly swallowed up by his stand-up routine
and the night rolls on...
on saturday, i do laundry and organize and make mix cds for a special cousin
and on sunday, mike, toast and i decide to clean house
we throw away pieces of people that left long ago and
for the day i feel just a little bit clearer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the importance of stopping....really stopping

a minute to minute flood of interruptions
or short interactions
communicating while disconnecting
nothing feels real on this phone call
a constant compulsion to be connected to people through the most impersonal of ways
i check my email a couple times an hour
i flip through news websites
never really fully reading the articles
maybe half to get the point
i get a coupon for a sale-40% off
i am broke...very broke....
but i do need jeans
and i have been looking for a hat
i visit once
i visit twice
and i walk out with two pairs of jeans, a hat a shirt
i feel dirty
ashamed
i do not need any of it
but i would like to have pants that have no holes or rips
and i have been looking for a hat that keeps my ears warm
maybe i did need them
these buys are justified
my bank account disagrees
i confess to him
"i think i have a problem"
and within five minutes i am convincing him that i do not
i leave my credit cards at home
could i get away with leaving my debit card, too?
i am amused by this comical reversal
i used to reject the notion of shopping
especially at anything not vintage
and now i love them in that
"i hope this is caressing some bullshit insecurity" kind of way
i consider returning one of the jeans and perhaps the shirt
but all i really want right now is to stop
stop buying
stop worrying
stop obsessing
stop moving
and just listen
really listen
stop all distractions and
listen to the person i should be reconnecting with
in order to communicate with love
forget anger
and get into the fucking holiday spirit.
i shall see where my guilt lies tomorrow...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

what's at the top

i search through a mass of entangled chains and charms
knotted with an earring or two
my jewelry box is a jack-n-box
full of hand me downs and beaded beings
nothing is worth anything except for the tiffany bracelet and necklace bearing a cross
i was given them in september by my three god sons and their parents
i keep them separate
i don't wear the crucifix though i did try it out for a day when i went to pennsylvania to register voters
i thought it might be a sign of peace or neutrality
don't mind my yellow polka dot sweater, designer jeans and hippie hair
i am a catholic, see?
i untangle a couple more necklaces
two are ornamental stones from new zealand
jade to be exact
one is a piece i wore everyday for many many months
and now i look at it as a rare and precious relic
a piece of tombstone for a former self
one that felt a connection with new zealand or at least a curiosity
and now sees it no more than a place i once visited
a place it may be hard to return to
which makes the journey there precious and rare...like a stone
i come across a religious necklace and bracelet given by my grandmother
it is a prayer necklace though not a rosary
i know i wore them once but i can't remember when or what for
and then i come to the toughest of knots
a broken chain and locket given to me by my mother
she had engraved 2003 on it for my graduation from college
and on the other side she had put "LDA"
she is the only person in the world who still references my long forgotten middle name
i try hard to untangle this web and everything i do makes it worse
i find another necklace
another heart
given to me by her, but this one i have never even taken off the piece of plastic it is fastened to
i don't know why i keep these pieces
when i touch them i feel sad, guilty
but i know i will never wear them
my mother had wanted to come to my college graduation and i had told her no
she had not been a part of the struggle to get their
she did not deserve to relish in the hour of my spotlight
i am reminded of my sixth grade graduation when i had asked her not to come
she showed up and i ran inside my classroom hysterical until mr. molina came in and talked me back out to rejoin the class
she was gone
and again my eighth grade graduation
there was a rumor that she stood in the back of the church and watched me receive my creative writing award
we weren't even talking at that point
my high school graduation she came as an invited guest
and a friend i had since i was twelve met her for the very first time
she was last friend to meet her
i don't even have that friend anymore
i undo the knots and i bury the locket and the other heart necklace underneath some cheap beaded ones because i can't stand to look at them anymore
earlier today i had mentioned that i needed a bigger jewelry box but now i am reminded why i keep a small one
you can only see whats at the top.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

in bloom

"i think i like him"
"thats awesome! i think thats the first time i've heard you say that in maybe years"
she gives a demure laugh
"i know...and then we made out for like an hour"
to have sex with someone can be as casual as a handshake
a risky business transaction
and if both people get off than you know it was a good one
but to makeout with someone is something...
"this is going to sound kind of skanky, but i like this one..i don't want to do that," she responds to my careless joke about the potential of kicking her roommate out to have the room alone with him.
i start to see my friend as the beautiful vulnerable girl that exists within her
but sometimes only comes out in small doses
kind of like a flower that only blooms in the winter
a flower that can go for months or years without tender love
or thoughtful care or even attention
but still finds the fortitude and light to bloom in the darkest of days
resilient in her belief that all people are good they just need a chance
strong like the lonely flower that refuses to be suffocated by an earth that just doesn't see life the way she does...
our conversation drifts and i can tell she is tired but in that dreamy cloud nine kind of tired
i can feel her glow over a genuine crush reaching through the phone
i hang up ecstatic at the idea that my friend has a crush!
and i am sixteen all over again
sometimes i wish we had known each other during that time
but then i realize that maybe our friendship is special because we didn't know each other at those times, but rather these times
the twenties
like a second puberty or aimless search
both just as frustrating, both just as frightening, both just as exciting...
i find myself getting butterflies for milady
and it is not so much that she has a crush
it is not about her talking sincerely about a boy in a long time
or about her having some passionate loving
it is because it is winter and the flower is blooming.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the question of ambition

the current issue of vanity fair has a stunning spread of kate winslet with a rather short interview.
the quote they choose to put in bold large font running across one of her pictures reads something like:
"i never really had any ambitions...i was fat."
i read about how she never really had an ambitions because she was a fat girl and she never saw any fat actresses. she now holds the record for being one of the youngest stars in hollywood to earn five best actress nominations.
i read an article from a published writer who talks about how great it is to a young writer
an unpublished writer where you have no audience, no expectations, and are still developing your voice
writing just to write
there is something to be said about the absence of ambition
ambition can be blinding, narrowing, punishing
it can drive you
but what if you can't see the course?
what if the drive is what is in the way?
i can remember a time when i just wrote because i had to.
because i didn't feel write unless i had.
but as soon as someone told me i had "talent"
as soon as i had some "success"
writing became something i feared
something that had the power to hurt me
after many years of failures and or just short of failures
maybe it was many years of incomplete pieces
i feel like i have finally found the love of writing again
the reckless abandonment i once had with it
and perhaps it is because my ambition has opened itself up to the possibilities of other endeavors.
or perhaps i have been humbled my blind ambition and now have a greater appreciation for what is.