30 March 2012

lunch break

I'm not finding the energy to continue with this blog in this format at this time. And I don't want to be one who suddenly vanishes....maybe someone will miss me and worry.

I have another blog...where I go more into the challenges in my life. I don't want to compartmentalize and have this other life hanging in the balance.

Having been up for two days, I can't find the button to turn off the blog so i'll end here.

Whatever your choice is in faith and miracles, I humbly ask that you say a prayer for  me, because I no longer pray for myself. I wish I wasn't so cowardly, I'd join my friends over the rainbow.

29 February 2012

Whither whither, shall I fly

I attended a slideshow presentation on old Hollywood, and enjoyed it very much. Well, most of it. I get so very tired of people asking inane questions and trying to one-up each other, as if they have exclusive right to knowledge.
Today I was back in my agitated state of mind, but had a fantastic discussion with a friend on change, directions, and possibilities.
I continue to accomplish little of what I need to do and nothing of what I want to do.
I feel so very broken....like a porcelain figurine that's fallen from a shelf behind a chair and not noticed missing.

19 February 2012

Axe Wanted: Cherry Tree Optional

My Valentine's Day was lousy. And today hasn't been stellar either. After getting some great writing done, something went awry and while I have hope I can find it on a cyber clipboard, the loss knocked me into angst and tail spinning.

My last therapist sort of vanished on me two years ago after I came back from my Wisconsin weekend. She had helped me get up the gumption to actually go, because I was 12 hours away from not making the flight. I don't know if she thought since I did go, it was a happy ending  and I was 'cured' or what. She never called me to find out how I was, and I never called her.

The point of that story was: I've since frowned on traditional therapy as a source of guidance, but she did make one observation that is spot on, and unfortunately is becoming a problem.  She offered up that, given my 14 year relationship had ended, bound with the subsequent loss via death or relocation of key family members, pets, my boss, my priests, etc in less than a year, my ability to cope had been seriously damaged.

It's been wiped out entirely I think, and like 4 hours ago, when I couldn't retrieve my work, I went numb. Thus, nothing has been accomplished that needed to. No grocery shopping, no job hunting, no eBay auction postings.

Back to Valentine's Day. The morning started with dueling texts from Wisconsin. Then, we talked on the phone. At the end of the call, I got a formal apology and a wish for a happy V day. I hung up the phone and went into hysterics. I guess I'd rather he hadn't formally apologized. Oh yeah, he has a local guy he's apparently very interested in. I don't mind long distance romance, I'm not that crazy.

We talked a couple of days later and I, yes I asked how his Valentines Day was. Of course it sounded lovely. And I'm glad it was. I'm not mean in that way.  And I could very well go out the door right now and have a steak dinner myself. I should go out, because I haven't eaten very much today. This is not good for me physically and mentally. And even though this is Los Angeles, a major city, restaurants close early on Sunday. And it's late.

So, out the door I will go after finishing up a few things. I hope.

14 February 2012

One Moment In Time

Whitney Houston's passing has been a tough one but also a time to reflect and be still. As it was the weekend Princess Diana died, I saw the news on the internet, and went into 'stunned' mode. I picked up supper and brought it home. Industry town that Los Angeles is, the timing of her death,the Grammy's, the Academy Awards coming up, the town got very quiet, and most people went into a fog. I was on the computer most of Sunday...but what I accomplished if anything is a blank.

I came out of that fog Monday afternoon. My opinion of the media dropped by the hour, and I've stopped looking at the news. While some of the online comments make me wonder if people in general have lost all compassion; overall most seem genuinely sad. The news that her daughter collapsed took me right back to 1975 with my own mother's death.

I remember so well when Whitney came on the scene: 1985, watching her music videos at happy hour. And up until about 5 or so years ago, I'd have bet money she was 10 years younger than me. This meaning that she would have to had been 14 when recording 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody'. Of course, I was so much more mature and sophisticated....yeah right.

My hope is the autopsy and subsequent toxicology reports will conclude that Whitney Houston simply 'wore out'. That may be wishful and 'look the other way' thinking on my part. As I struggle with my own issues, addictions and bored bad-boy-behavior, I know too well how very grey these areas are. I get very angry at those who toss the word 'druggie' about. In my opinion, anyone who sees a doctor and is given a prescription is as much a 'druggie' as someone buying pills under a streetlight on Skid Row. That's where I agree with Tony Bennett on legalizing all drugs.
The blessing in this has been I've been eyeing some on line programs targeting procrastination....which I could use a swift kick in the ass about. I've been looking or trying to look 'below the surface' because that's where my 'illness' is: the stuff I see when looking in the mirror are the symptoms.

And I wished and wished for an exciting life way back when. Oh my.

10 February 2012

And Sometimes I Just Sit---

.....at the computer...or lay on the couch....or sit on the balcony. This has been one of those weeks. Where I thought Thursday was Friday....where I didn't eat alot because I wasn't that hungry.

I have been donating, tossing and selling much of the clutter. I think of my ex: who basically walked out of the apartment, taking his clothes, his computer, a table, a desk and not much else. All the pictures of us together, I've now sorted, cried about and put away.

Who will come out of this stronger? He who started with all new things and a new life?

Or the one who stayed, and reviewed every item, one by one.

26 January 2012

24 Years of Grateful California Living

My mind, as if thumbing through some old photo albums, still thinks back to January, 1988. That was the month I began life in a new city (dumping Houston for Los Angeles), a new home environment (living single in a River Oaks condo to having a live-in 'significant other' (1st in a series) in one of Park La Brea's towers (401 S. Burnside Ave 11B).
By moving west with Bob, I also escaped a merger-muddled career @ 'the new Foley's' for the prestige and stability of Federated's profitable 'crown jewel', Bullock's.This was entirely due to Christine Valentine's trail blazing when she moved there in August 1987 and skipped over Bullock's to land at Bullocks Wilshire.
Her flawless recommendation letter + Max's own stubborn insistence he be given the one Assistant Buyer opening.  He landed in what was called 'Utility Bedding' in the 'Home Textiles' division at swanky BDS. Less glamourously known as 'Pillows & Pads'  in Domestics at Sanger Harris/Foley's.

I got the job and a raise even with bad shoes. Yes, I was told my interviews were impeccable but my shoes were not worthy of a Bullock's associate. And wear a pocket square in a suit, not sport coats and trouser combos.

My smart-ass comment on my first day was that I was 'over' senseless mergers, I believe brought about the downfall of the American Department Store Industry. I've rehashed those awful days ad infinitum. Thus, 'nuff said and my naivete at just how bad things would continue to get,  STILL makes me ill.

But my love of Los Angeles carried me forward...I soon learned I had nothing in common with Bob, and he would transferred away that November. I couldn't afford Park La Brea alone, so I headed for Silver Lake, then bounced back Hollywood, then Montebello, then back to Los Angeles.

TONIGHT I am stretched across my sofa on the 6th floor of my beloved Hollywood apartment of 18 years.   I'm single, and satisfied with that. It does help that the delegate from Wisconsin has been lobbying me since December. He reminded me he doesn't 'do' blogs or have time for them, yet as managed to catch up on the 25-30 blog posts I've done around the net. And knowing he didn't like blogs, I was brutally honest in my writing and yet, he appears to be ok with that, boasting how he'd read every post. At my end of the phone, I was cringing.

Financials, the future and my career crisis dog me.  Retail seems to be one of dilution now. My life is one without health insurance and hating traditional medicine anyway...but from 'nowhere' I suddenly go into a panic. And such panic you never can  believe.
For me, my anxiety attacks came with my 'Story of Job' storyline that began in 2007 with my novel's first printing and hastened by Partner #3's departure in 2008.
These panic attacks have been ...triggered as they see fit, and have become the biggest boogeyman I've battled. ...and I only realized that last week after two 'new' friends pointed the pros and cons out to me. I am grateful for their insight.

I am very grateful to live in Los Angeles. It captured my attention as a child, and that fascination has never stopped. It remains a constant in my constantly re-written story.

14 January 2012

Thoughts on Twelve, and I Remember Mama

72 hours ago, I came to an interesting realization about my long-departed parents and thus, some insight about myself. As someone who is approaching 50 years and has pondered 'what makes me tick', 'who am I?' 'why am I here?', this was akin to finding the lock that an old key fits.
An old friend of mine would be throttling me now while saying 'STOP Navel-gazing!' It's true: I over-analyze. Thus, I blog onward.

The number 12 holds a unique place in my life. I was born on October 12. Thursday would have been my mother's 84th birthday. She was born January 12, and died on June 12, when I was 12. This month marks the 24th year I've lived in California. What all these 12's mean, if anything, I've yet to find out.

My mother, whose favorite movie was 'Valley of the Dolls', died of a drug overdose: her 'problem' or 'struggle' was in a time before the Betty Ford Center, before it was de rigueur to announce one's addictions. In fact, my family announced that she'd died of a heart attack, while privately blaming my father as the 'cause'.
Meanwhile, the 12 year old me blamed myself....illogical as that sounds, but nonetheless true. And I don't recall anyone talking to me about it. I continued to blame myself...and quite frankly, I'm  still forever trying to 'rescue' people: with no thought to my own self-preservation, it seems.

It was the summer of 2000, I think, and I was back in Texas, visiting my cousin Marcie in DeSoto. How the subject came up, I don't know, but I do remember her saying, in her wonderful plain-spoken drawl: "Oh, Hell! We all knew she was using drugs in the 1950's. In fact, we were surprised you weren't born with two heads!"
My mother worked for a time for a Dr. Green. Most likely he gave her something; Mama always had a very poor self-image of herself. But there was more to it than that. I asked Marcie her thoughts and her response made sense.

My mother would not want to be thought of as tragic or a victim of her times. I remembered Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft had said this about their mother, Judy Garland (who also died at age 47 of a Seconal overdose).  I paraphrase when I state they felt Judy lived her life as she wanted.

I thought of my mother: the youngest of 5 children, living in the shadow of her older, glamorous sister in Duncanville. Although Mama would re-write her backstory to that of a poor farm girl picking cotton, fact was her father had sold the farm and was working at the Federal Reserve Bank. Mama married her high school sweetheart, but this marriage ended in divorce. Mama thought Dallas was the ultimate big city, and she moved to the Oak Cliff neighborhood as soon as she could.

She met my father and they were married in 1959. He was 24 years her senior, had been divorced twice, with two grown children and was very much A Man With a Past. Daddy bought my mother diamond jewelry, large homes, two restaurants to run, a new Cadillac every two years and so on. Of course, material goods don't buy happiness, but the attention must have been fantastic.
Most importantly, I feel he gave her freedom. She did not have to work, she did not have to clean house(we had 'the help'). She gave him a child, me, and I remember her telling me that having a son was her goal in life. Not travel the world, not became a congresswoman, not to win  the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes.

Freedom can also become a prison. I never recall her telling us she wanted to stop knocking herself out with painkillers. Or that she even had a problem. She was busy planning my adult life: Medical and law school, marry a virgin have 3.5 kids, and I would hire her to work in my office. Mama really was into the Perry Mason scenario: a mink coat and leather gloved Della Street, racing into the courtroom with that all important file right on cue. She laughed at herself, could imitate anyone and worshiped Jackie Onassis. And I've realized that, given the choice, she wouldn't have changed anything.

Ironically, her death and that of my father's soon after gave me freedom: and that is their legacy. I miss them so very much, yet I would not have this life had events played out differently. And that freedom has served me well, and also imprisoned me.