Friday, January 23, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood



Obsessed with Kiesza. Love this song and video. Love her style. Love the 80's influence, background singer, her crystalline voice.

Amanda Charchian's beautiful photos of nude women in landscapes.

Lena Dunham on ABC, short interview. Love.

Bought this book today, read an excerpt in Tin House and was really impressed. Lacy M. Johnson's The Other Side

Wounds That Time Won't Heal: the neurobiology of child abuse

Rene Denfield writes a deeply moving essay on the legacy of suicide in her family:  The Other Side of Loss

The murder of Tamir Rice continues to horrify me, and America. Tamir Rice and The Value of Life the new release of video showing him lying, dying, unattended to, while his 14 year old sister is thrown to the ground and handcuffed will make the most hardened heart cry out. 

Mark Lucach writes stirringly about his wife's nervous breakdown from Bipolar, in The Pacific Standard

Karrie Higgens is one of the most exciting new voices in writing I've come across in a  long time. Her essay Strange Flowers is, without being hyperbolic, brilliant.





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

hideaway



once life has a rhythm and color and taste you realize the true depth of despair that you had been in. that does not mean the despair had no value to you, had no life. it had subtlety, endurance, resilience, craftiness, craft, evocation. it had beauty. if you were not connected to other human beings- and you were not- you were connected to the natural world in a way that bordered on animalistic. you played inside of bushes, emerging briar filled and with the drops of rain from leaves on your lips. you played in canyons, brushing against coyotes and snakes, worshiping the sky, dirt, venomous and snappish hermits that lived there, emerging with sticks and reeking of sage. you undulated in the great Pacific, stung by a jellyfish on the shore, rubbed raw by sea salt. you understood that you were alone/not alone. you survived with your mouth full of dirt and hands full of bees, stingers embedded in your fat little palm. you spent years like this. you were not in a cave with only shadows, you were in a shadow with many caves. 'i don't understand this life. and i don't want to leave it.' olive kitteridge says, following the motion of birds above the great ocean outside her window. that's right. yes, that's it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood ( I'm in The Rumpus, ahhh!! )





take a seat and read!



I am thrilled to be the Sunday essay of the week in THE RUMPUS. Please take a read and comment, I'm nervous! We, The Crazy Ones

I donated for this lovely writer and blogger and speaker and lover of women, Jen Pastiloff. She could use our help, ladies. She's one of the good ones.

This essay by Emily Kaiser in The Washingtonian is a beautifully expressed piece on loss and the shaping of a generation. How Millennials Mourn

Interesting story of a 16 year old boy who ran away to avoid chemo and years later is now healthy and cancer free.

Astonish yourself and look at our universe

One small step in the right direction for a cause near and dear to my heart, something I fight for and will continue to fight for is an end to solitary confinement at all in prisons- in Penn. they have stopped using it for mentally ill prisoners.

New research supporting that depression is an allergic reaction to inflammation. All the more reason to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, and the largest part of that? Avoiding sugar. Take your fish oils and probiotics, people!

Janine Canty writes a searing and original essay for The Weeklings: Don't Blame Yourself I really loved reading this and read it twice.

We use primarily glass and stainless steel for everything. Another reason why: BPA-Free and Plant Based Plastics More Dangerous Than We Thought





Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Justin Timberlake and The Baby



It is 2001 and I am in Culver City, California, on an enormous sound stage worthy of old queens like Elton John or Cher. Music thrums through my body, at maximum capacity volume before eardrum rupture, so loud that the bottom of my feet sting slightly from the constant vibration. I am dancing, I am covered in shimmer body lotion and my taut mid-section is exposed as I tip my pink cowboy hat over blonde braids and wink at Justin Timberlake.

The room explodes in an incandescent shimmer bomb of confetti and Justin, two feet from myself, is perfectly groomed, gorgeous, slim, electric- a dancing dynamo with twenty-five cameras pointed at his face. CUT! the director roars, and the entire room sags like a deflated balloon. Justin smiles at me as I pantomime being overheated, waving at my pink cheeks, and I smile back. The group of girl dancers I have been hanging out with for the last ten hours giggle behind me like a cartoon chorus. A few hours before, when I stood in a circle of four people talking, one of which was a world famous pop star, I felt the same kind of ridiculous giggle threatening to erupt inside of me. ' Everything is so close to happening, ' I thought. ' There are so many things that I believed were out of my reach and now I know that they aren't. '

Two weeks later I was looking at the pink positive sign on a pregnancy test. I was twenty-six, unmarried, and already a single mother with a child from the same man I was now pregnant with again. We had broken up just a few months before.

I was working part-time at a preschool so that I could work my hours around my son's hours at school, also attending college at night, when I decided that I was going to pursue my life long interest in acting. My own ability to handle so much more than I thought I would be able to- school, good grades, single motherhood, work, writing- had inspired me to look above and beyond goals already set.

I began answering ads for bit parts and auditions, sending a headshot and an inflated 'resume' of my past entertainment experience. I answered an ad for dancers in an N'Sync video, and received a yes, you are hired! The set for the video was enormous and thrilling, with two gigantic white staircases on each side, climbing up to a top platform with a circular spinning disk that N'Sync danced on, and in the middle of all this, on the ground, there was a gleaming dance floor with secret doors and mirrors for special effects. All the N'Sync members were friendly and sweet, some definitely on the prowl for a quick hook up with an 'extra', which is what I was. Justin was very likable- polite, funny, charming and an incredibly hard worker who contributed ideas to the director all through the shoot and entertained us with an impromptu beat box session on the overhead mike. We danced and stopped and danced and stopped from 5pm one night until 5am the next morning. We ate free food and smoked cigarettes and chatted with the singers.

The positive pregnancy test two weeks later was possibly even more life altering for me than the first one had been. The first time, yes, I was young and had nothing- but: I was young, I had nothing- nothing to lose, everything to gain. This time, I was in a place in my life I found intoxicating, a place of empowerment and learning and mothering and dancing on sounds stages with famous singers. Meeting and watching Justin work was a formative experience. Not because of his celebrity, but because of the level of success he had achieved at such a young age. It was clear, watching him talk with the director and shoot jokes to the staff before practicing his dance moves while the rest of the group chatted up the gorgeous extras, that Justin was the standout,- and not only because he was talented, but because he clearly did not take that talent for granted. I was impressed that despite his fame, he was not smug.

I had to make a decision. I have never in my life felt so entrenched in a cliche- the fork in the road had come thundering out of the sky and Zues's hand, and speared me right between it's points.

I chose my baby. I chose to be a single mother of two. I chose to become large and unwieldy and impregnated and breastfeeding, everything opposite of a lithe young dancing queen. At first, I mourned. I knew I was giving up something, something mysterious and thrilling that probably would never come my way again.

I felt deeply at the time that I was being tested. I am not a religious person, or a person who has a particular set of beliefs about what human life means or is. Yet I had a sensation so powerful it reminded me of a physical workout, in which you are tempted to give up, but know that enduring will bring a deep satisfaction and sense of pride that will last long after the memory of a struggle has faded.

I know that my bright lights, big city moment did not come at the cost of my heart. Am I pro-choice? Yes. Do I believe that everyone should do what I did? No. Do I know it's what I had to do? Yes.

Now we tease Lola that Justin Timberlake is her 'real dad'. She actually looks so startlingly much like him that I am tempted to wink up at the sky and say ' I get it! '




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ever

Ever is diabolical.

EVER: Mommyyyyyy!!

ME: I'm on the phone, just a second.

EVER: No!!! Mommy!!!

ME: Ever be quiet please.

EVER: yelling, No, nooooo, noooo I won't! Mommy answer me!!!

ME: Sweetie, give me a minute. I'm almost done, please be quiet.

EVER: Mommy I need you!

ME: No you don't.

EVER: Yes I do!

ME: Ever stop!

EVER: Mommy answer me!!!!

ME:  What is it?

silence

ME: Ever? What? What did you want?

silence

ME: inarticulate noises of frustration

silence

EVER: Mommy? Mommy? Mommy!!!


ahar-wa[oeihw[0wih!!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood





take a seat and read



" Without feminism, I would have been the worst bitch in the world " Vivian Gornick in The Believer


A blogger is being publicly, repeatedly flogged in Saudi Arabia. Please sign Amnesty International's petition to free him: SIGN


Melatonin as cancer treatment in Life Extension


'Sister, Interrupted: A True Story' by Maria Alexander in Medium, a heart rending story of what the consequences of distracted driving can be.


'The Disappearance of Rosemary Tonks' by Ruth Graham in Poetry Foundation. A writer with ascending renown and fame who walked away from it all.


I love this! A dad creates drawings based off things his toddler says, and things he hears himself and his wife say to her I Am Not The Babysitter


I am looking forward to reading this novel: Descent


A night out with Lena Dunham and Her Girls, in Inside TV


Continuing the important, national discussion about concussions, one family talks about the son they lost to concussions playing high school football.





Thursday, January 8, 2015

January





January, you little fucker. Just when I…

Underwater eye, rolling in the water. Observation without action. Being alive is…


There I was. In a different light cone, there I am. Quarks glued perfectly together. Happy with big shoes on a Chevy in a hat I bet one of my Grandmother's  knitted. They are both dead now. In a different light cone, do you think they are there, knitting for their first grandchild?

I'd like to say Hi Daddy.

I'd like to hug my sister.

They're still alive. In a different light cone, do you think it was all all right, in the end?

In the end, there was a BIIIIG sign that said:

NOW WHAT MOTHERFUCKER

So if you have your eyes squeezed shut, like I do on the very top of the roller coaster, you won't see the sign. 

lala my eyes are open
lalala

I have this book I bought for the kids, when Lola was a toddler, by Maya Angelou, called Life Doesn't Frighten Me. And I've been fascinated by this book, this poem with art, since. It has Basquiat paintings. Of course it's possible for life not to frighten anyone for a period of time, you know- a few days, a month, even a highly lucky streak of a years. But a lifetime? A lifetime of mostly, almost all the time, not being afraid of life? It's been the work of my life to not be afraid of everything, of myself, of other people. The strange, amazing, wonderful thing it that somehow I never learned to be afraid of love. That has been the engine that has powered my life. That, and sex and awesomeness.*



*thank you Jack Donaghy for your mind vise.





Saturday, January 3, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood






take a seat and read!



This is a newsletter from The Realm of Caring that has a feature from my friend Elizabeth Aquino, who writes on her blog about her daughter Sophie's seizure disorder and the amazing results they've had with cannabis- after many medications have failed. 

One of my favorite authors gives one of the most entertaining writing interviews I've ever seen. Pat Conroy, and his wife who is also a writer, Cassandra King.

in The Gaurdian, It's Silly To Be Frightened of Being Dead by Diana Athill

If you believe that your reality is valid, that is matters, you can change the world like this 10 year old little girl did. As I read this, I kept wondering: What if she had told herself she was wrong, silly, just a little girl and didn't know any better?

An old one from Dressed Up Like a Lady: True Love and Divorce

Oren is a dad blogger of two who has Stage Four lung cancer. Read his words: Chemo Talk

Black and Missing Foundation: Providing An Equal Opportunity For All Missing

On 37 Paddington, important, deeply personal writing about the police and black people: PTSD 

So in love with this song It's on my running playlist and I dance down the street :)








Thursday, January 1, 2015

so long and hello again!! 2014/2015







haters, hate. potatoes, potate. everyone else, swim in love and energy. it's what we got.


While I saw complaints about the Facebook end of year summary- a NYT article, even- for me, it was poignant and eye opening. I suppose it's very modern that it took a Facebook app for me to realize that the last year of my life was exceptional.

Last year I made the biggest professional leaps of my life- I moved from freelance, pieced together work to working for a large corporation from home. I continued writing freelance: exhaustion, accomplishment, fatigue, discipline, coffee, stress, joy, exhaustion. 

My first book was published. This is a touchstone that will, for the rest of my life, light up underneath my gaze. 

Mr. Curry quit his job and moved into another profession, one that pays for overtime and gives him paid time off, one that values and rewards his incredible work ethic with what work is meant to reward us with: money. As in, 'you did a great job' is awesome, but it doesn't pay the bills.

Ian turned 18. He's in college, working, and Lola's best friend.  Dakota started recording his band's first album while going to school and working. Lola continued being a perfect person: she makes movies, writes poetry and short stories, spends time with her friends, watches Ever, climbs in bed with us almost nightly to talk and read or watch Netflix. And Everkins, the light: literally. Ever is atomic energy. I look into her face and am filled with joy and boundless love, and I have been the luckiest person on the planet to love the way I love my children. 

I TURNED 40!

Everything that is most important to me, I have. This is a secure knowledge that is an 'it from bit'- a reality created from information. My children. My children. My children.

My mom ( hi mom! ) and I have the best relationship we've ever had, in my cone of light. ( inside nerd joke ). 

My in-laws live close and my sister in law and family live close and we are so blessed with their love and friendship, our family.

Lura, if you read this, I love you, I miss you, I think of you all the time. You don't have to come home to come back to me.

Blog readers, I love you. Blogging has transformed my life. I am enriched, emboldened and comforted here. 

This next year is going to be about family first. always. and then: my work
                                                                                                          my novel: it will be finished.
                                                                                                             
music
novels and books of all kinds, all sizes 
swimming
hiking
dancing
laughing
movies
Netflix
snuggling
friends
playing outside
art
travel
family get togethers
publishing
eating delicious, organic foods
coffee ( made at home, add organic whole whipping cream )
running
ridiculous behavior of all kinds, all sorts

LOVE,
m.m.e                                                           


HAPPY  NEW YEAR!!!!

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