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Tis that Time, Again.
December 31, 2011

If you’re in need of some amusement, feel free to review the FIVE whole blogs I managed to log this year. Five. The gaping holes in my written year lend themselves rather succinctly to outlining the kind of year I actually had. In the interest of a year-end comparative I went back to the end of 2010 to see what I had written, I wrote nothing. So there is a change! This year actually ends.

Never been a huge fan of year-ends, less concerned with new years than I am with new birthdays but I regard both with general disdain. The demarcation of time passed has always served as an opportunity to beat myself senseless over failures, rather than any kind of celebration of growth or success. In the last few days I’ve vacillated between my usual ‘look, look at what you have not done’ thought processes and the conviction that articulating any of those thoughts would be a disservice to my friends. That’s new.

If I said only one thing about 2011 and what I’ve come to understand from it, it would be this: I get by with a little (or, a fuck-ton of) help from my friends. 

This whole positive spin thing is new so in keeping with the #1 thing I learned this year, I’m gonna borrow a friend’s model. Mostly.  This post will cover 11 successes, celebrations or understandings I’ve experienced in 2011.

1.) I get by with the help of my friends. In more instances than I can count I have been carried through this year by friends in my life. I’ve shared this before but it is worth repeating, some of my closest friends can be counted among my family and it is my friends that constitute my family. Got it?

2.) I’m still standing. See, #1. In February of this year 2010 came to a crushing close. Sounds dramatic, I know. The fact remains, though. My father died in the first week of November 2010. It took weeks following his death to end his life. Arranging the funeral, sorting and filing paperwork. It seemed to me at the time that there was roughly 6842 questions that had to be answered. I can take charge of anything, just ask my friends, and I did. Then I returned home and sorted out my own life which had fallen into it’s own state of disarray. At the point that everything, everywhere was back to rights the reality of his death caught up with me. In the second week of February, I got up one morning walked the three(?) steps to the end of my bed and dropped to my knees. I hit a wall. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t get up. In the hours, then the days, weeks and months that followed that morning friends in my immediate circle saved my life, carried my weight, sorted my head and kept me going until I could stand and move on my own again.

3.) I managed to put together two years. See, #1 & #2. Thank the Great Pumpkin.

4.) This year has afforded me the opportunity to see a number of unfuckingbelievable concerts! Slash in Oregon featuring TK!!! They think they were featuring Myles and I’m glad he was there BUT that show features Todd (are you kidding me) Kerns.  Merle Haggard & Kris Kristofferson under the stars at the Greek. Foo Fighters x 3, the Forum shows were fantastic but seeing the Foos on Record Store Day at Fingerprints in Long Beach goes down as one of the most incredible shows that I have ever been to.The Golden God Revolver Awards featuring LOADED with some appearances by others like…the OG Alice Cooper band! Oh, and did I mention Loaded? Loaded at the Viper Room in April, can you say happy birthday to me?! And,to take the live music year out! BOB SEGER!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have not seen Bob since 1996 and listening to him and Alto Reed in a sold out Staples Center was staggering. All of the Bullets were fantastic but Alto, shit.

5.) Orange belt. I got my orange belt in Muay Thai this year. I didn’t start at orange, of course, that’s just where I got to. In Muay Thai, generally there isn’t a belt system but the Master at my dojo was done ‘coaching’ parents on the progress of the younger students. Turns out the belt system works for me, too. It has been a measurable system of growth. Besides the pretty color scheme (Ha.) the thing about Kick boxing in general that works for me is it helps me to focus on nothing but the next step in front of me. When I don’t, it hurts. Real straight forward means of getting centered. Being focused and getting centered amounts, for me, to getting right. I never feel more together than I do leaving the dojo a sweaty, stinky, bruised disaster. I love it. 

6.) Travel. There is pretty much nowhere on this planet that I don’t want to see. I grew up in a family, in a town where most never leave. For various reasons, see #3, I believed for a huge portion of my life that I would die in that same town without ever leaving it. For that very reason, trying to out run that belief I began taking road trips at ages most kids wouldn’t. I had to. That need to travel has never left me, for some time including this last year, I’ve been in a position to direct that travel impulse. 2011 saw trips to two of my favorite places, Salem, Oregon in February and Seattle this past October. Oregon was a show jaunt with my Loaded family. Seattle a trip to see a once in a life time event featuring a life long hero. June afforded me my first travel to Europe. I got to head over to England to witness (and participate!) in my friends’ wedding! In the process got to see London and any number of sites and places that I have only ever dreamed of. This holiday season took me to the Bay Area on a couple of occasions and to the Sacramento area which I’ve not seen in quite some time.

7.) Guitar. This year saw the return of the guitar to my life in earnest. This one is still all mine for now.

8.) Books. Reading is a huge part of my life and this year there were a number of books that left their mark upon me. Duff McKagan’s autobiography, It’s So Easy and Other Lies deserves a post unto itself frankly. To say the very least it is a staggering tale of fortitude and perseverance. Susan Casey’s, The Wave: In the pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean was sent to me by a friend and has left me convinced that the next hobby I shall undertake is big wave surfing! Rick Riordan’s, The Son of Neptune, Book Two in the Heroes of Olympus series came out in October! Bless Riordan! His adventure series’ are some of the funnest books I’ve read. And, last though not least, everything written by Edward Bear has been read, reread, quoted and carried around with me over the course of this year.

9.) Dream Job. By the grace of a friend, I had the opportunity to see how an industry I’ve dreamed of being a part of operates. I learned more than I wanted to and less than I needed to, if that makes any sense. And, even if it doesn’t, I know that I got an opportunity to see from an inside perspective how a project evolves and that is not a place I could have garnered on my own.

10.) I’m a grown up. You might think that that one would have occurred to me sooner but you would be wrong. I figured this out, wait for it…by virtue of my friends. On multiple occasions, in recent days I have found myself dumbfounded by the unsolicited characterizations friends have made of me. To the degree that I recently declared somewhere that I hope to be the person that my friends believe I am. That’s the benchmark, right there and at some point I must have met it otherwise they would not have had reason to mention the virtues they think I posses. So, at the risk of repeating myself, I hope to be the person my friends believe me to be.

11.) New year, new birthday. This one just amuses me. I mentioned at the outset of this post my disdain for new years and new birthdays. As fate would have it I head into this new year knowing that on my next birthday Guns n’ Roses, the band that brought me to music in the first place will be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. A few friends and I will be on hand to witness the induction and I could not be more excited about it. Nor, would I be there at all if it wasn’t for the kindest gesture from a dear friend. Bring on the New Years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you does not begin to cover the scope of my gratitude for the friends that have brought me through this year.

Love you lots. Happy New Year!

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Again.
April 5, 2011

It begins (again) with a remodel.

Happy & The Crappy: IV
May 15, 2009

Banner movie week! Of this planet, Disney’s Earth is amazing! The score is fantastic. James Earl Jones doing the voice over is what James Earl Jones does best! The Planet that’s pretty incredible too! This joint, it turns out, is spectacularly beautiful. I’m going to Africa. South America. The Arctic. And all points in between.

Out of this world? Star Trek was fantastic!!!!! So great. I grew up with a Trekie Mom so naturally I’m a Generations Gal but THIS movie is so well done! I laughed my ass off. My nephew was giddy too and IDK if that kid has ever seen an episode of Star Trek. So much fun. If you haven’t, do. Spock is a pimp, I’m just saying.

The Happy & The Crappy:III
May 5, 2009

On my last work trip I saw Dolphins playing in the water. A 17 year old girl was ‘struck’ and killed. And, I saw my first whale. I couldn’t tell you what kind of whale it was…but I saw it crest and blow, it was awesome. One of the more exhausting trips I’ve ever had.

The Happy & The Crappy: II
April 3, 2009

Casting on. Check. Knit Stitching. Check. Purl Stitching…in like, the next hour. Come Monday (one of my favorite songs, btw) I’ll need a new hobby.

The Happy & The Crappy: I
April 1, 2009

I can Cast On!!!! I can NOT knit stitch or Purl. Awesome.

‘fire on the mountain, run boys run’
March 29, 2009

Today, I am learning how to knit and how to blog. You read me right. The knitting thing is a direct result of my current (vain?) effort to quit smoking. What the fuck else am I supposed to do with my hands? The blogging thing that’s trickier. Er…what am I supposed to do with the voices in my head? I kid, I kid. I NEVER let those voices out.
I have been trying to complete the second stitch on my knitting needle for about four hours. It’s going well. At this rate I will have mastered the ‘art’ somewhere near the end of the millennium. I have no idea why I have decided to quit smoking. In part, it’s because of the haters. For real. Is there another vice which people in general feel so compelled to run their fucking mouths about? If I’m not smoking in your house (I’m not. I don’t even smoke in mine.)? In your car? Or near you for that matter is it any of your business ? If this is the part where the, ‘it is about my taxes paying your medical bills’ argument kicks in? I say, “Please, have another drink.” Sure, you can drive. Send me a bill for the cost of your incarceration. “How about another Big Mac?” I’ll buy and pick up the cost of YOUR triple bi-pass. The point is we ALL got vices but this one seems to be everybody’s business. Smoking and gay marriage are apparently the purview of everyone in the world.
The dying part, sucks. It seems to be a miserable way to go, OF COURSE, I can think of worse. The only reason I’ve heard FOR quitting which seems to have STUCK is the logic of those ‘small’ voices in my life. (While it is true that the aforementioned voices do resonate in my dome, they are not in fact “those voices.” ) I’ve yet to rationalize a method for explaining to the children in my life (Who, inexplicably LOVE me? They just DO.) that we are all going to die, so, just deal with it. “Go on, step outside. Let’s see what happens, Kid.” Seems a bit much for my three year old cousin to process, yeah? So, she wins. They win. For now.
Blogging. Writing when I was younger was how I processed everything. It was the ONLY way in which I would engage in the world on ‘my terms.’ My communications or at least my verbal aptitudes, left much to be desired, intentionally. Writing was safe. Anything else that needed to be addressed music conveyed for me. I’m not sure when I stopped writing. Probably, about the time I started using ‘big girl’ methods of communicating? Today , though…well not TODAY literally, just today generally, I’ve begun to try and process ‘my terms’ as they existed then and as they manifest now. So, it stands to reason writing has become compelling again. Thusly, today I knit and I blog. Did you follow all that?

Hello world!
March 23, 2009

What are you doing? Being present? Lately, I have been attempting to learn to “stay where my feet are.” Turns out my feet wind up in really cool places. So, I’ll use this space for my own ends of course to blog-log-track where I am.