Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Be Still My Heart! A Touching Post from Blogdramedy

Have I told you about my blogger crush? Well, if you read this post, then you know how much I admire Blogdramedy and today she wrote a really funny and sweet post that me all gushy inside and reminded me once again why I love blogging. Check it out....

Monday, October 22, 2012

11 Answers, 11 Questions

The ever-inspiring @alexandrawrote tagged me on twitter for a writing exercise/inspiration that also asks for a little blogging community love. I love me a writing challenge but even more so, I love me any kind of distraction that will quiet my nerves this week! So, here we go, here are the "not-a-chain-letter-blog-chain-rules:

-Answer 11 questions

-Create 11 new question

-Tag 11 brilliant minds you'd like to pick to answer them

-Feel the creative juices flow. 

Here are my answers to Alex's questions and my questions are below...

1. What film do you most often quote dialogue from in conversation?
Definitely Anchorman.

2. White after Labor Day, blogging about politics. I do both. What’s a rule you think is made to be broken?
I don't think we need to say "God Bless You" every time someone sneezes and coming from a someone who suffers from allergies, it's quite embarrassing when you are in the middle of an attack and people keep blessing you. I'm not dying, just rejecting pollen. But maybe that is more of a " polite manner" I just don't believe in.

3. When you win the lottery (when not if – positive thinking): one time payout or the yearly installments?
Yearly installments. There's no way I would know how to handle a one-time payout.

4. What is your favorite TV show theme song?
The theme song to House, Mad Men and Rescue Me.

5. Taking a page from James Lipton, what’s your favorite curse word?
My favorite curse word is Motha'fucker!

6. When reading the newspaper, what section do you pick up first?
Confession, I really only read the front page. Everything else I read online.

7. If  Zoltar could take you back to being a kid for a day, what day would you pick?
I would not ever want to be a kid again but if I had to pick a day it would be in the 6th grade when I hit a grand slam over the bungalows and they never found the ball. I was cheered in at home plate.

8. Do you read your horoscopes?

9. Downton Abbey – really well written or just a fabulous soap opera?
Never seen it!

10. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up? Or, if you were like me and liked dressing up year round, what was your favorite ensemble?
My favorite Halloween Costume was when I was sixteen and I dressed up as Sally Bowles from Cabaret. 

11. I know we type and everything, but what’s your favorite writing instrument?
My favorite writing instrument is the pencil!

1. What do you say when someone sneezes and do you expect them to say thank you in return?
2. If you could invite any seven people to dinner (alive or dead, fictional or real) who would it be?
3. Favorite fictional character from a book?
4. Favorite Fairy Tale?
5. If you could say one thing to America, what would it be?
6. How would you like to be remembered?
7. If you could have experienced another time period, which would you choose?
8. Desert island question - one food, one friend, one movie...who/what would you pick?
9. If you could pick only one mode of transportation for the rest of your life what would it be?
10. Name three places you need to go to before you die.
11. Tell me about a time when a teacher truly inspired you. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Me, The Be Good Tanyas, and 289 Miles

A week ago, I pulled a stop, drop, and roll and for all intents and purposes, I felt very much like I was on fire and not the good James Brown kind of being on fire, but the bad Scott Glenn kind a la Backdraft. My anxiety over the wedding and getting married and coordinating a million details felt as if it was swallowing me whole and I could not get happy about this approaching life change. As I sit here now, I'm laughing at just how emotional I was because I always forget this one simple truth about myself: I hate change. Change is messy and change is scary and change is beautiful. But man, it puts me through the ringer.

In the middle of my freak out, I was invited to a friend's house up in Cape Cod for the weekend and not just any friend, or any little house in Cape Cod, but a friend who has an amazingly strong spirit and sense of faith and this wonderful home happened to be in Truro, minutes away from one of the most magical places on the planet for me: Provincetown, Massachusetts.

I asked for the afternoon off and headed out for a six hour drive. I put in The Be Good Tanyas, and rolled the windows down. Nothing cleanses quite like a road trip and nothing purges quite like a sing-along. A couple hours in and a hundred plus miles away from New York City, I felt the reigns of my anxiety start to loosen. The solitude of the car combined with the drive through a New England Autumn created an opening for me to see a bigger picture. By the time I arrived at the home, it was dark. I was greeted by a group of women, most of whom I'd never met before, and a hot meal followed by a crackling fire. There were talks about fears and faith and weddings and families and creativity and struggle. But the most important part was that it was the kind of weekend that demanded I be present. It was the kind of weekend that demanded I chip in as part of a group but also share some of my talent. It was the kind of weekend that allowed for love and healing and letting all those messy fears just spill out of us or be shook out of us with a good dancing session to Chaka Khan and Janet Jackson. It was the kind of weekend that let my mind go quiet and amazingly, what I wanted to say for my wedding vows came right to the forefront of my mind.

Standing on the beach of Herring Cove, while watching a gorgeous sunset, I saw a seal pop his head out of the water. As I stared at the seal, soon a number of seals popped their heads out of the water looking at us standing on the sand. I felt that same feeling of magic tickle my soul as I took a big deep breath of chilly sea air. By the end of the weekend, the anxiety had gone and the joy and excitement of getting married was finally allowed in. Sometimes I need to step away to step inside. Sometimes I need to stop and watch a sunset. There are seals waiting to look at me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Barack Obama and the Eminem Strategem

One of the greatest gifts facebook has given me is the reconnection with a few old friends that surely were it not for this social media behemoth, I may have lost complete touch with and not because we meant to, just because our lives split paths after college. One of those treasure is a friend from NYU. We sat through many a writing class together, sweated through many critiques together, and spent a a few writing binges watching the sun rise together with two other birds of a feather. I miss reading and hearing his writing and today was given the great treat of reading a little political piece of his (that he posted on facebook) on how Barack  Obama can win tomorrow's debate along with the election by using the Eminem Strategem complete with a potential mic drop if it weren't attached to that stuffy podium. I give you Dayton Young....

Barack Obama and the Eminem Stratagem

President Obama can win tomorrow night’s debate AND the election with nothing more than 60 seconds of time … and a clever bit of political gamesmanship.

You see, throughout the campaign season, Mitt Romney has done his best to make the election about one issue and one issue only; the state of the American economy. The American economy, Romney argues, is struggling due to Obama’s failed policies. Romney has promised to stimulate the American economy with massive tax cuts as part of an intricate plan. When pressed on the specifics of his plan, however, Romney has continuously evaded giving any specifics on how his plan might work.
Critics have suggested that in order for his plan to work, taxes will have to be raised on the middle class by a disproportionate amount. But as long as Mitt Romney refuses to provide any details of his plan, any such attacks are merely unfounded speculation, leaving Romney free to make whatever claims he wants with no political repercussions.

It’s a genius plan, to be honest. But it has one weakness; it only works so long as it allows Romney to stay on the offensive. All Obama needs to do to spoil Romney’s strategy is to put him on the defensive. The trick, though, is not to call Romney a liar or to analyze the few details Romney’s given thus far.  We know that won’t work; after all, the President tried to do that during the first debate, and it played perfectly into Romney’s strategy.

No, what Obama needs to do is much more simple.  Romney has asked for quite a bit of rope throughout the campaign thus far, and President Obama just needs to give it to him by saying the following:

“Mister Romney, you seem to want to make this election about a single issue. You want to make this election a referendum about my record on the economy. Well, I’m happy to oblige. Let’s make it about the economy. During my first term in office, I’ve accomplished massive financial reform while providing necessary assistance to American citizens in need as well as the industries our economy relies upon … all while bringing the unemployment rate down below 8% as I promised. My plan is to keep this great country on the same track for the next four years, and the experts and I agree that the unemployment rate will continue to drop and the American economy will continue to grow. So what’s your plan?

You’ve said before that you don’t want to get into the details of your plan. You’ve said before that you don’t have time to get into the details of your plan. Well tonight I’m going to give you all the time you need. The floor is yours, Mister Romney. Take all the time you want. The American people want to know your plan. The American people deserve to know your plan. So I’m asking you right now to give the people what they deserve. And if we run over time, that’s okay. I think that America’s financial future is important enough to pre-empt Seinfeld re-runs. I think the people at the network will be okay with it. I think the folks at home will be okay with it. So go on. Tell us about your magical plan to kick-start the American economy by cutting taxes for the rich without raising taxes on the middle class or cutting Medicare. Go ahead. Just make sure you tell the truth.

The floor is yours.”

There are three possible outcomes that could arise from this challenge:

1.    Mitt Romney gives his plan in detail, and it is as good as the former Governor has promised.  Under a Romney Presidency, the budget will be balanced simply by closing tax loopholes, thus providing a great benefit to the lower and middle class while simplifying the tax code and maintaining current levels of entitlement spending for the elderly and under-privileged. (And let’s face it … if Romney can do this, he’s clearly the best candidate and everyone should vote for him.)

2.    Mitt Romney gives his plan in detail, and his critics are right; the “result is a tax cut for high-income taxpayers, a tax increase for middle-income earners, and a huge increase in the deficit.” In this scenario, the next day’s news headlines will be focused on Romney’s campaign lies and his favoritism towards the wealthy.  Public opinion will bounce back towards the incumbent and doom Romney’s campaign. Or …

3.    Mitt Romney continues to deflect the question.  This is the most likely outcome.  After all, if Romney’s plan were as good as he says, surely he would have shared it with the public by now to cement his ascension to the Presidency.  And if his plan isn’t everything he’s said, then he knows that sharing details would be political suicide.  So the only option he’d be left with is to hem and haw and stutter and deflect, giving Obama the opportunity he needs to regain control of the issue … as well as the election.

This is what I’ll refer to as the “Eminem Stratagem.” If you’ve ever seen the movie 8 Mile, then you’ll surely recall the final scene of the film; up first in a rap battle, Eminem disarms his rival Papa Doc by acknowledging every insult his enemy has to say about him is true.  Sure, Eminem has made some mistakes in his life, but those mistakes are the costs associated with making tough decisions and the audience understands this and empathizes with him.  When Papa Doc is left without his easy attacks, he reveals himself to be a simple name-caller without any real message of his own.

And while it would be a fantastic emphasis for President Obama to drop the mic following what would be a legendary diss, he doesn’t need such theatrics to succeed; all he needs to do is give Romney exactly what he wants and make the debate about whose financial plan is better for America’s future.

Besides, the microphone will undoubtedly be attached to the podium.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Quote of the Night

"We grow the country from the middle out. Not from the top down." - Joe Biden


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Under Pressure

Overly metaphorically dramatic photo
Last night I dreamt that we had slept through the rehearsal dinner but I didn't realize it until the wedding and I was so disappointed because I couldn't even get to sleep during that nap and I was so sad that I didn't get to spend time with my family. In the dream, I'm in my wedding dress at the right venue, but almost  no on showed up because everyone had trouble finding parking. Even a bridesmaid and groomsmen had not made it to the ceremony. And then after the ceremony we moved to the back and the tables were not set up. The linens weren't down, the flowers had not arrived and I remember looking at the clock and understanding that it was 8:00 and the wedding was over. I wandered through the empty venue as fold up tables were messily arranged with nothing on them and realized everything had gone wrong and I couldn't even find Mike. Needless to say...I tossed and turned pretty much all night long, awoke every hour and was wide awake with anxiety from 3:45 - 6:45 this morning. If this is what these next three weeks looks like, I'm out.

The good news is, I awoke realizing just how much fear I am treading through right now. When I got to work I finally felt easier about letting go of some responsibilities that are no longer mine because I physically and emotionally cannot continue with my plate this full. This is normal. Everyone keeps telling me. And then I wonder, but does it have to be so cliche?  I didn't want to post this picture, because it implies a storm coming. Not implies, it just plain is a storm just before the sky breaks. But I thought it was a great image of "pressure" and heavy are those clouds in my mind. I keep telling myself, this is just part of it and I even had a stranger tell me over the weekend, "If your a conscious bride, there are WAY more feelings than just being happy."  Thank you, stranger? Maybe it's misplaced excitement, like how I stayed up on Christmas Eve far too late because I just couldn't sleep knowing all of this excitement would await me in the morning. But I don't remember being scared of Christmas morning.

Enjoy the beauty and drama, I say. Enjoy...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hey LA....Check out Jenny's Art Show

A couple of months ago, a soul sister of mine decided to take a break from New York City and moved to Los Angeles for a while. She moved into a Los Feliz bungalow, reconnected with family, and started producing so much work! You may remember her, the lovely Tuesday Treat, Jenny Ziomek, who still remains one of my most read posts and my guess is that's because of all of her beautiful illustrations and drawings. Jenny also was the illustrator behind my wedding invitation...

... not to mention she was my partner in crime during an epic letterpress marathon. But for real, Jenny's work always makes me feel good. Her colorful illustrations make me feel as if I am taking a breath of fresh air. There is a lightness to them, even a touch of whimsy. But what I love most about her LA drawings is how she has captured its ethereal qualities in scenes where I wouldn't normally experience that. Even though she is a transplant, I think her experience in New York City has helped her quickly unearth some of the core "LA-ness" that is that sprawling metropolis.

So in short, if you live in LA, go see her show this Saturday, October 6th from 2 -5 at Mornings Nights at 1523 Griffith Park Blvd. because you will feel lighter afterwards and because like everything in LA, I'm sure it's only twenty minutes away from wherever you are.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In The Words of Plato...

"...time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain, therefore, awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters."

Whenever I feel that tightness, that sense of urgency roiling in my chest, is when I should stop. It is a sign that I'm gripping the reigns instead of easing up and what horse do you know that could move forward while being pulled back? I am a horse bucking, reigns taught, bridle tight with a permanent spur digging into my side telling me to go faster. With the wedding around the corner, I am everywhere and nowhere. I am playing hurry up and wait. I have things to do that can't get done. People that want to help with no jobs yet to give. Feelings run rampant with an enthusiasm from others that I can't match.   Bursts of elated joy followed by bursts of sheer panic. I want to remember this time and all of its beauty and drama cause I know it will pass quickly and because I know it will one day be important to understand it in another role. Or maybe it will still be something impossible to understand for another as in the Kenneth Koch poem how One Train May Hide Another. 

I want to remember that it was all really fast and exciting and surreal as well as remember how complicated and confusing and messy it all was. I want to remember the witch doctor telling me I had unprocessed grief and that brides sometimes misunderstand the jitters. I want to remember that it is also a time of grief, a rite of passage perhaps, or at the very least a milestone life marker. That it isn't just about creating a "No-Play List" or deciding between beef skewers and pigs in a blanket. It isn't just about dress fittings and wedding bands and the color of the bridesmaid dresses. It's about unearthing the past to make room for the future. It's about leaving some unchecked baggage behind along with the suitcase packed full of "what ifs" and "I should have." It is also about opening a dresser for new photo albums and jokes only he will ever know and learning odd things about each other that when you think about it, make you kind of proud that you know. The first line of defense against his crankiness is food. He doesn't mix liquids with dinner. He still thinks to pour you a glass of whatever he's drinking just in case you might be thirsty. Don't misplace the Neosporin. 

I want to remember that I was not a great bride-to-be and in many ways I was a very laid back bride-to-be. I want to remember that I wish I could have done some things differently, but the pain that came with taking this step surprised me just as much as you. I'll be honest, I had some idea there would be other feelings other than joy, but no idea how many and how deep and scary and how sneaky. But, oh the lessons learned.

I want to remember that there is something else out there greater than me. That I don't have to do it alone even though that's what I prefer because it's what feels right. That if I allow some room for mystery, I might just be pleasantly surprised. I learned that people don't change, but if I pray for good things for them, I will.  And I learned that taking the words "you should" out of my vocabulary lets me live a little bit freer and love a lot more bravely. But, I learned most importantly  not to say it to him.

I want to remember that even though we fought a lot during this process, we strengthened our resolve about marriage. We deepened our relationship. We kissed and made up every time. And I want to remember that even though we still don't know any of the answers, we keep asking questions. And is there anything more you can do than that?

I want to remember that look you give me when I was just your girlfriend and I want to see if it changes. I want to remember. I want to remember...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Have You Met Blogdramedy?

[This is not a photo pf blogdramedy, but I imagine this is what she wears when doing housecleaning]
I have to admit, I have lost a little steam with the blogging world. Real life has been very busy and I have been neglecting the community I love so dearly - the blogging community. I used to browse a couple blogs a day. I commented, I retweeted, I shared on facebook. But lately, I have not been doing anything. And I'm realizing that it's just not good for me. The times when I think, I just can't give that any more of my attention are the times when I probably need to step outside myself. Thankfully, I do subscribe to blogs, and one that I consistently get emails from is the lovely blogdramedy. After reading her post this morning, I felt that some attention/gratitude paid was due.

I have never met blogdramedy in person but we met over the internet and through our blogs last year when I participated in her very fun and inspiring BlogFestivus writing challenge.  12 stories, 12 days, only 144 words a piece (12x12) and each had to include the correlating subject from the Twelve Days of Christmas. I think some of my favorite writing on this blog came from that fictional challenge. Sometimes Blogdramedy will think of me on Fridays on Twitter and give me a #FF (Follow Friday) and I'm sure I've found some new followers or maybe even readers because of her efforts. She has even had me guest blog on her blog, another piece of mine that I felt proud of (which for me, is something I don't always feel). She does right by her readers and for that her readers do right by her. But, even better, she writes about writing, too, and always has some snippet of inspiration to keep the creative juices flowing...not to mention, I love her writing! She asks the really important questions like: Do you think Mitt Romney was more concerned that Jesus was married or gay? or Do you think the band Earth, Wind and Fire left out "water" on purpose? She has the kind of voice that makes me think we would really get along in real life. And with that I'd like to introduce you to the fabulous blogdramedy: attention must be paid. (@blogdramedy)