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I Remember Joan

Joan Rivers died five days ago. She was vibrant and funny and fearless and then she was gone. She died at age 81, that’s a pretty good amount of time, although it would have been great if she were still here. My Joan only got forty-one years. She was vibrant and funny but I’m not so sure she was as fearless as Joan Rivers, in some ways I think she was. I wanted to write something because I was and still am a huge fan of Joan Rivers. When my Joan used to tell me to go to bed I would obey of course but when I knew Joan Rivers was going to be on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, or if she was subbing for him, I would get back up and watch it and when Joan Rivers finished her thing then I would go to bed. I’m not a comedian but I have been in some of my wildest fantasies.

Today would be my Joan’s seventieth birthday that is if she were still with us. You know what I mean. She’s dead like Joan Rivers. I was just trying to be polite. I’m doing my thing throughout the day. My Joan has been gone a long time so when her birth date comes around I usually don’t stress. I remember though because it’s a week away from my birth date. (uh hmm hint- a Sephora gift card is nice and simple). Today was a typical day. I go to work. I take a walk. I socialize a bit but then I decide to take a different route home. I decided to take the 437 Commuter bus home. It’s the marina commuter bus. Almost home and what do I see in a shop window? A red dress. How cute was it? I said to myself, “I have got to go over to that shop and check out the other clothes, that would make a really great date dress.” Then what popped up next? An RC Cola vending machine.

RC is barely in existence today and I don’t know when’s the last time I saw an RC Cola vending machine. Have you even heard of RC Cola? It’s pretty obscure these days, maybe it’s popular in the deep south. My mom used to drink RC and I remember the little bottles she used to get out of the vending machine. The thing you need to know about the red dress is, my mother used to always insist that I wear red for school pictures. I didn’t realize it for many years but in my school pictures for many years I am always wearing red. There were some low key times when she let up but for senior portraits in high school, she insisted again. Oh heck yea, tears.

Google published a doodle today in honor of Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday. I am a huge Tolstoy fan. I’m even thinking about learning Russian so I can read Tolstoy in the original Russian. If I have a bucket list, so far that’s the only thing on it. Any who, I put a link on my Facebook feed and I added the comment Leo Tolstoy’s and Joan Young’s(my mom) birth date and the birth of the name United States. I heard that United States thing on NPR this morning. I don’t insist on remembering my mom on her birth date but if it happens it happens.

On that commuter bus I was thinking about my Joan and how I would put her image in the background of something as a remembrance because I didn’t like the way some people stopped speaking of her after she died, some even before, as if she never existed. She lived with cancer for many years before she passed. There’s that colloquial language again. Maybe I was thinking of her in that way because I read a that the Broadway League was not going to dim theatre lights in honor of Joan Rivers, but then they reversed the decision. and then POW I see the red dress and the RC vending machine and I think I am remembering my Joan and maybe just maybe she is remembering me. i will always remember both my Joans.

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My Chanel Meditation

Chanel Photo
dear god

you know how i’m always praying for peace for mankind? and i mean it when i’m doing it but people are crazy, so that seems like a no win situation right now what with Syria and Ukraine and the islamic state of whatever they’re calling themselves right now. I could go on but you already know i’m sure. i’ve been feeling like i can’t make a difference in the world and i want to see some points in my accomplishment column. well i thought i’d change up a bit. i’ve never asked for clothing but this is an exceptional instance. i was perusing the august issue of Vogue and i saw a couple of photos that struck my fancy, nice quaint phrasing right?
the clothes spoke to me. you know how i just cleaned out my closet and donated a bunch of stuff right? well i’m going to need to replenish the closet with new goodies and by goodies i mean clothes and shoes and scarves and well other stuff. i need to wear something right? something might as well be really good.
any who, i promise to look cute in it when i wear it and i won’t throw out tons of attitude but it is Chanel so that implies that there must be some ‘tude but i will keep it within reason and i won’t smack anybody. i can’t say i won’t think about it. you know i’ve been trying right? there’s that guy i always say hello to and then call him a jerk in my head. well, i’ve started apologizing after i call him a jerk, even though he totally deserves it, but i apologize in my head anyway because i know it can be perceived as wrong. any way if you make sure i get those clothes i will make an effort to be a better human being like i’ll do more recycling and donate some more stuff to charity and by the way i just renewed my PBS membership, for the children of course, and that should count as something. i didn’t even ask for a thank you gift and they totally offered it to me. see. i’m trying anyway so i’m thinking if i buy the outfit could you make sure i get the money back as quickly as possible and by quickly i mean i don’t want to spend it at all but i do want the clothes, and by “clothes” i mean the shoes and bag that go with them because we cannot short change the look right? anyway that’s my prayer/chat/meditation for now. thanks for always listening.
i bet i could totally make a difference wearing one of those outfits. did i mention there are two of them? and if you want i will say a prayer for peace while actually wearing them, that’s if you want, but my mind probably wouldn’t be in the right place right then seeing as i was wearing my first Chanel. did i mention it would be my first Chanel? i’m not talking lipstick or blush i’ve totally had that, but clothes. i’m getting excited just thinking about it and you know how tired i’ve been lately. i totally deserve this! i totally would have gotten that promotion if was wearing Chanel. Anna Wintour would totally take my calls if i were wearing Chanel. i mean i’ve never tried to call her but if i did who knows?
is it to much to ask how these items will be delivered? i know. i’ve said too much. shhh. i’ll be quiet now and wait for the miracle. i need to look good when i’m wearing the September issue of Vogue.

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I Met Iman Today

I met Iman today. You know that international model who was a “supermodel” before they started using the term.  Okay I didn’t really meet Iman today.  I met Rachel her doppelgänger.  Now I just happen to think Iman is one of the most beautiful women in the world so I was very pleased to meet “her.”  I couldn’t stop staring.  Fortunately, Rachel was very nice so it worked out for me.

After I left my Iman, i had an odd thought.  What if Iman, the real one, were my best friend?  She would want me to take really good care of myself because that’s what best friend’s want for their friends.  Perhaps physically, maybe by getting some exercise and eating right and possibly using her makeup line, which fortunately is a really good product (whew), and emotionally so she would make herself available to me if I needed to talk through some things, and maybe, if I was doing something self-destructive she would call me out on it because that’s what best friends do.  Iman is such a gorgeous unique beauty I would think it would be important for her that I be myself and be my own gorgeous unique beauty.

OK, so really what I’ve been thinking about is what it means to really take care of myself, so I placed myself in the role of my own best friend.  Asking myself, “What would I say and do to myself and for myself as a best friend to myself?” It’s a twister but it makes since.  Wow. I would say to me exactly what my best friend in my head Iman said to me, not sure about the part about the makeup, but you get the idea. So as her friend I owe it to her  (and to myself) to do just that, take care of myself as if I were my own best friend.  How would you take care of yourself if you were your own best friend?

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12 Years a Slave

After seeing the movie 12 Years a Slave, I was reminded of what happened after Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States.  No. It was not a joyous movie to watch. Nobody was smiling at the end, but some of the reaction afterwards was kind of the same.  Everybody felt the need to hug each other and cry.  We all knew we had just seen something incredible, something we had never seen before.  Of course the Obama occasion included tears of joy but with those joyous tears were tears of incredulity.  The American population was ready to take a step that in most people’s minds was an impossible dream.  

  The movie 12 Years a Slave kind of gave me the same feeling.  Not the part where our jaws were on the floor at the end out of shock, well kind of, but the fact that we were all crying and felt the need to hug each other.  Yes, it was a difficult movie to watch.  I will admit I am a lightweight.  Hallmark commercials make me cry, even if I’ve seen them fifty times already.  The director Steve McQueen does not shy away from the truth, and we all know how horrific slavery was, which is why we haven’t been able to honestly talk about it, not really anyway.  

  Black and white alike should be in awe that African-Americans, I guess I should say Africans and their decendents survived that physical and psychological terror.  Here’s some more good news.  We are at a point where someone can make a movie with a very real depiction of slavery, which means that everybody survived.  One more secret out of the closet of humanity.

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The Stories that Stay with Us

I got invited to the 5th grade end of year swim party at Marybeth’s house.  I’m from a small town, so yes that really was her name, still is I imagine…and if you’re wondering she did have wavy blond hair and blue eyes, but that’s not really what this story is about.  Anywho, I needed a new bathing suit, so one day my mom came home with my aunt Jess(name changed to protect privacy;-P) and they brought two bathing suits for me to try; one was a bright colored patterned bikini, bright orange, pink with yellow and white, very summer very festive, and the second one was a rust colored one-piece with white piping and geometric cutouts on the sides, a more conservative choice.

They waited while I made my choice.  I chose the one-piece rust colored number with the cutouts.  I hadn’t developed anything yet.  I was just modest I guess.  Done.  My Aunt Jess looked at my mom and said, “told ya” or something to that effect and went home.  It turned out that my mother thought I would chose the bright colored bikini and she and my aunt had a bet.  I don’t think anything was wagered but certainly pride was at stake.  

On the day of the swim party I was not allowed to go.  She didn’t actually say, “You can’t go,” she just happened to be too tired to take me.  My mother was so embarrassed because she could not accurately predict her daughter’s behavior, so she decided to punish me by not letting me go to the party. 

I don’t remember what happened to the two bathing suits, but two years later my mother bought a flowery-patterned rust colored fabric with thread to match when I needed sewing supplies to make a skirt for home economics class.  I hated it, but after she died I kept that thread for a very long time. I still have and use those sewing supplies.

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Hi

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New Perspective

“The cure for your nerve damage is a weekly massage.  I’ll be happy to write you a prescription so your insurance will cover the charges.”  That’s what I wanted my doctor to say to me after we finally figured out what my issue is.  Wishful drinking, as you may have expected, that’s not what she said.

18 December 2012 was the last time I drove my car for a distance greater than a half mile.  So, for the past three months I’ve been using public transportation for my city travels.  It was a completely unexpected turn of events but it’s provided a few gifts I could not have expected.  We’re calling this a perspective shift because that’s what using the city bus system has provided, not a complete paradigm shift, but a view from a different angle.  One, the number of restaurants in Los Angeles is staggering.  I guess I probably already knew that.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore lots of streets on foot that I normally drive and I’ve found some pleasant surprises.  I finally visited Book Soup on Sunset!  Sunset is a lot less intimidating on foot amazingly enough.  Downtown Los Angeles is gorgeous with its mix of old architecture, new art galleries and cafes & restaurants. Can we say hello “Big Man Bakes.”  Downtown Culver City is dare I say it quite chic with lots and lots of places to eat, with many vegetarian options I might add.  This restaurant thing seems to be a theme.  I found a place in Santa Monica that prints t-shirts on demand.  Haven’t you come up with a slogan and thought to yourself that should be a t-shirt?  Each city and neighborhoods within each city have very distinct personalities and yet I discovered they are easily connected together.  I also discovered that lots of things aren’t as far away as I thought which is nice.   Getting to work on a commuter bus is very easy and seriously cost effective.  Yes.  I don’t have to pay for downtown parking anymore.  I plan to keep the commute part even after I can drive again which is supposedly in about another month.

Nice finds on foot.

My cure, if it can be called that is to stop taking vitamin B6 because that’s what caused the problem…and wait. Yea, I guess.  No really.  I’m grateful it wasn’t something much more serious. 

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Say It

Today I attended a funeral.  It was a pretty packed house.  The one thing I learned from this one and all funerals I’ve ever attended is this: If you love and/or appreciate someone, don’t wait till after they’re gone to tell their family and friends.  Tell that person when they are alive because that’s when it does the most good, that is when it is most appreciated. It’s pretty simple and yet so very powerful.  Start with, i really appreciate you when … Okay I learned a few things: The second is that people become saints after they are gone and the third is that you can find anything on Amazon.  I heard some traditional gospel music I hadn’t heard in years so I went looking for it online.  Bam! Amazon.com in mp3 format of all things. Crazy right? The main point of this is of course, don’t forget to spread the love.  

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Making a Contribution

Everybody wants to help but we’re not sure how. “I can’t afford to donate a school, maybe a couple of books but what does that do,” we’re thinking, not even sure you can take care of yourself you say. What if one of the ways it’s possible to change the world doesn’t require a donation of cash? It’s helpful, but if you don’t have a ton of it as apparently 99% don’t then it may not be an option. But, we all want to be a contributor. Right? Of course we do. Consider the concept of concentric circles. You are the center of the circle. Change the center circle. Change the world. It’s as simple and as powerful as that. Hmmm. Right. Sit with it for a while.

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Starting Line

Nothing happens if you don’t take the first step.  Running.  Flossing.  Healthy Eating. Meditation.  We all want to do it.  It appies to all endeavors in life. You think those Olympians started out that good? Here’s a meditation to help you take the first step.  It’s beautifully simple, courtesy of MC Chopra.  http://www.chopra.com/meditationchallenge-freetolove-dloffer

Cute title right?  It’s also the name of an athletic shoe store in Venice/Marina del Ray

You’re welcome;-) D