2018 Resolutions

i have decided

  • Practice piano at least 2x/week. New scale each week, and all my fave music.
    (I don’t think I’m moving it again! I can’t believe how much I’ve spent to move it for the last 10 years, when I NEVER USE IT.) (I also can’t imagine being without it.)
  • Master circular breathing already!!!
  • Practice guitar regularly.
  • Start hooping again!
  • Ooh! Start juggling again.
  • Finish learning Tarot and start reading.

That’s it. I’ve been doing yoga and belly dance since we closed the show. That’s easy to keep up. Classes suit me. It’s self-direction I squander.

I have some other intentions. Like everyone, I want to lose weight. I gained 10 lbs after we closed! One month, TEN solid pounds. Oh well, I can blame the holidays, like everyone. I was so close! Only 10 lbs and I would’ve been back at my high school weight! Instead, I want to lose twenty now, which is a little overwhelming to consider.

I’ll get there again. It was exciting to see the old me. I was fat and miserable with Jax. Why didn’t I see it? (The answer: Depression is not necessarily a pervasive bad feeling, but the inability to feel anything at all.)

I have Jax and Carrie to thank for the Pack ‘n’ Panic diet. Whenever they were there, I hid in my room with nuts and oranges. It’s pretty much all I ate. It kept me nutty and orange, and I lost 15 lbs before the move! (Another 5 by the time we closed.) I looked great in my almost-nothings as Adelaide. minky goodness

I’m traveling! My bestie Jordan’s husband is finally being stationed somewhere stateside, so I have to fork up the $$$ now or I won’t get to see Bavaria with a tour guide, a free place to stay, and the best laughing companion I’ve ever had. I’m in some debt, which I don’t like, but you know what? I don’t have kids. I can juggle a little damned debt and live my life! Germany in springtime? Happy birthday to me!

I would also like to go to Indidjinus in Oregon in July. But only if I stick to my resolutions and master circular breathing, for the love of all that is holy!

I don’t really consider Texas traveling. It’s more like going home. I’m so excited. Baby!

Happy New Year!

****

Oh yeah! I wanted to get back to the band, and I have. I’m basically opening for Kate MacLeod on Thursday! It’s not really the band, just Bill and me, acoustic… before Kate MacLeod!

Okay, okay, it’s just one song, but Cry Me A River. (ha!) I’m excited to see Kate MacLeod again. And I’m singing for her!

Bill’s going to interview me, too, before we sing, for his online show. He’s doing a new thing, a variety hour of sorts, so we’re all chatting for a spell. He tentatively suggested Burning Man as a topic of discussion, but I’d much rather discuss Guys & Dolls.

Oh! How I miss it.

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Dreaming of Wherever…

It has to be a city, or even just a big town. A college town. Not for youth, but for Community Ed, and… feel.

Just the other day, Boise occurred to me. It would be really easy, not far at all. I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the drive alone, with those old lady cats of mine. I never considered Boise, because of the trauma I experienced there.

I swear to God! What is that?!

I look at patterns. If it keeps happening to me, then I’m the common denominator. It’s on me to figure out what I’m doing to attract, create, permit, or aggravate… whatever. But I had nothing to do with a random Boise State housing assignment to a coed apartment inhabited by, among others, a pervert who tried to kill me!

The fuck? How does this keep happening to me?

I’ve accepted that the chaos of my childhood has kept me glued to chaos as a kind of touchstone. I simply don’t understand it if it doesn’t hurt. It’s my job to divorce myself from that connection. If I don’t, I won’t stop repeating it. But I had nothing to do with meeting Roger T. Black, or with putting him in prison. He did that.

I’m also not responsible for a sexist institution that dismissed me and ignored reasonable complaints of alarming, disturbing behavior. “Histrionics of a woman” is such an unbearable insult. (The word itself! Hyster  – Greek – “Of the womb” = hysteria.)

“Oh, go on now. Silly, dramatic girl,” Boise State “said” to me, practically patting my pretty little head. That mentality pisses OFF!

I don’t think about it often. Almost never. When I do, I’m mad all over again that my parents didn’t direct me to sue that fucking school. Boise State endangered me, for real. I cannot believe I took out student loans for the privilege! Then I flunked out! I’m an A student, if you hadn’t guessed. If I’m doing it, I’m doing it well.

Fuck Boise State! I should have been compensated for the crime they committed against me, not just Predator T. Black, a gangrenous diabetic who probably died in prison. (Actually, he probably got better care in the hoosegow than what he was providing himself.) (And he only got 3 years for Disturbing the Peace, because he didn’t actually pull the trigger, just told the neighbor he was going to. The police broke down his door and hauled him off when they found an arsenal of weapons and ammunition – illegal in student housing – and detailed plans of my murder drawn up in his room. As well as buckets full of his waste. He only used the girls’ bathroom to masturbate in, leaving a pile of cigarette ash to identify the deposit as his. Oh, he almost burned down the building, too. There were holes burned into his carpet from the many times he passed out smoking. Thanks, Boise State, for checking up on me after months of abuse and weeks of reports and complaints.)

How did he even get near campus? He was a sexual predator, using his GI Bill – still – to “go to school,” with its endless bevy of victims. Hell, Housing will serve them up, right across the hall. BSU didn’t skip due diligence; they didn’t do any! Then they humored me when I brought aggressive, dangerous harassment to their attention, until Roger T. Black nearly killed me! Actually almost killed me. As in, he had a plan to kill me.

I could have sued them for millions, and I should have. I will never not be pissed about that. Fuck not being litigious as a sort of religious moral stance. I’m your daughter!

That said, Boise’s lovely. 🙂

The weather is similar to Salt Lake without the inversion. There’s a huge Burner community, so I can find like-minded artistic weirdos, and I’m still close enough to attend Utah events. Huge belly dance community. Several troupes commute here twice a year to perform in Salt Lake’s biannual festivals. Huge African Drum & Dance Corp. They come to our annual camp every year and invite us to their events. And Boise is probably Idaho’s only southern town not completely right-wing zombified. At least no more than I’m used to.

Boise is an hour-and-twenty from mom (and my darling toddler nephews). There are some former-Mormon high school friends in Boise to meet up with. I can visit Marko for blank drums and didgeridoo fests and general laughs. Hell, I’ll see all my Salt Lake friends more often if a visit is an occasion. It always works out that way.

Boise??? Wow! Why not!?

Spokane? Pueblo, Colorado, popped up. (?) New Mexico? (Close to Texas.)

Speaking of Texas, flights were too expensive to visit my bestie during Christmas, so I’m headed down there for a week on Jan. 10. I’m so excited to see that baby!!! She’ll be 4-and-a-half months then. She belly laughs and chatters, and holds such enchanting attention. Her 4-yr-old sister is in love with her, and interprets her coos.

I was laughing yesterday, because I sent all of my childhood Strawberry Shortcake dolls to my best friend’s daughter for Christmas. It was a little hard to do. I’ve saved them for almost 40 years! They were intended for my kids, but even when it became clear that I wasn’t having any of those… oh, my dolls! I’ve had them my whole life! The care that went into that collection! They’re pristine. They are loved, still.

Yesterday, I Googled “vintage Strawberry Shortcake coloring books,” because the 4-yr-old doesn’t even know their names. (Shame on my best friend!) This was another reason I struggled with what had already been a difficult decision to part with those ever-loving dolls. I knew my bestie, who played with them just as I did in the 80s, wouldn’t remember anything about them (much less everything). I know her little daughter has far too many toys for one child (or 10) and my dolls have already been lost in the mix. They are not being valued properly! (I loved them.) But I had them in a box, in a box. Packed away in my cedar chest for decades, bringing no one even a moment’s joy. They are more valuable being played with by a 4-yr-old I love, even when they’re forgotten by her tomorrow.

So, I thought she and I could have all sorts of fun with a naming ceremony, and meet all the other friends that aren’t in my collection, by coloring together. What I found instead were sales of nearly $40 on dolls in worse shape than the ones I passed down. I had to laugh. A play date with a little girl in Texas has more value than a dollar sign.

I’ll keep telling myself that until it’s true, haha!

Merry Xmas! Love, Xie

****

I’m looking forward to 2018. I didn’t think it was possible for anything to suck harder than 2016, after Dump’s election win (God, that hurt!), but a whole year of that man is too terrible to imagine. I mean it when I describe his presidency as an exercise in imagination. Doesn’t it feel that way to you? Like a bleak dystopian novel that can’t be real? We’ve all had to go numb just to get up in the morning! It does scare me a little to inure myself so completely. I mean, that’s how the apocryphal “it” happens. But, worst case scenario, he’s out in 3 years. (I still describe that election cycle as akin to an abusive relationship. And it’s the new normal!)

I gotta say, I never dreamed I’d be the old lady who said, “The world was too terrible a place to bring a child into,” but I feel it. Not just environmental catastrophe, disregard for human rights, indifference to rape, and near-daily mass shootings. How do we explain the dissonance between the way we ask our children to behave and the cruelty and deceit of our own nation’s leaders?

Not even those horrifying things. Parenting in the cyber age is beyond my imagination and emotional endurance. That alone. You cannot undo what gets online. The bullying there transcends my ability to understand, and I wouldn’t want to face sexting with my pre-teen. Every modern parent will. I’m out, and I’m relieved.

As a childless woman, I will never cry the tears of the damned. Worry and pain for your children is worse than anything we soloists endure alone. I can get through anything. Motherhood is its own brand of terror and heartache. I’m not sorry to avoid it.

That’s not to say that fighting against the final slamming shut of that window didn’t hurt like hell. It was hell to finally learn the plot of that story. I’m nobody’s mother. Ouch.

Jax was my attempt to slip a sperm past that gate, and that recalls Jax ‘n’ Carrie, the real reason 2017 can suck it. They nearly killed me, and they knew it. It was obvious how sick I was. I confessed as much the innumerable times I begged to be left alone – begged – and Jax was there when I swallowed a bunch of pills. I haven’t been that close to suicide since my 20s. I wouldn’t have survived them then.

Oh. That was awful. It makes me sad to remember, and I remain incredulous.

Thank god for Guys & Dolls! Praise my courage and tenacity! And talent, and beauty, and vision. I really like about me that I can find worth and beauty in damn near everything. So I keep finding it.

2018 is a true new beginning. Everything I look at and touch will be new. I’m terrified, and so excited. 2018 is the year I trust my strength, stop testing it [in unhealthy ways], and enjoy my fucking awesome life!

Happy New Year. It’s a good one this year. I hope yours is, too.

****

Oh! I forgot a photo of my most recent drum, and a whole new direction that I love!
drum
12″ on wood frame with mallet
details

Inversion Blues

I feel more strongly than ever that I need to get out of Salt Lake. My time here is done, especially now that I got everything I wanted from local community theatre.

Washington state has been calling my name all my life. As a child, it was Seattle. I soon learned that green requires rain, and I’m a desert baby. I get depressed without my sun. (I get depressed with massive sun. Imagine life without it! Oy.) Light lamps, blah blah blah…. The inexpensive ones are ineffective, and that’s not the point. I want to play in hot summer. I don’t want to live in gray, cool drizzle. Plus, who can afford Seattle? (And who wants a huge mechanical eye-sore in the corner? I surround myself with beauty, thank you. I’m a Taurus.)

For years, I’ve dreamed of Spokane. I went there for a choral competition in high school and have never forgotten that beautiful small city. Now I just want some town in northern Idaho or eastern Washington. North Idaho scares me, because even though the Aryan Nation went bankrupt, they’re still there, and the reputation of the area attracts loners, rightwing hatemongers, and since the 90s, retired racist LA cops. Yuck.

(My sister’s husband picked Idaho out of a hat, to escape Mississippi. He didn’t understand that it’s 2 states: Northern beauty and Nazis, southern potatoes and Mormons [with their own history of racism that’s almost more insidious because it’s sublimated and denied. “We made that right. We gave blacks the priesthood.” Boom, done, no more work to be done, end of conversation]. Dan only knew that Idaho was white and he didn’t want to raise future children around black. Grosser still, he found empowerment, position, and status in Mormon priesthood – and a pretty blond girl who thought he was worldly because she’d never left her hometown.) (Never would.)

So… eastern Washington. Someday the market will crash again. Maybe 10 years. By then, I will have been without my cats for some time, traveled freely for a couple of years, and I can buy a home, sans property tax, and get a dog and cat duo!

I can’t breathe. I hate hating Salt Lake. It’s not right. It’s so beautiful here. The soul revolts in air that stinks, and stings the eyes, and pains the throat and lungs. I HAVE AN UNREMITTING HEADACHE LIKE CHINESE WATER TORTURE. Inversion sickens everything in me. I hate hating my beautiful 20-year home.

My goodness, what Salt Lake has been and done for me! It will hurt to leave! I’m a Taurus. I don’t like change. And I do dearly love this city, this beautiful valley. I feel so connected to the earth here, my ancestors, my history, my people. I love the strange cultural dichotomy between the pious and the progressive.

The pendulum swings as far raucous as it does righteous in Salt Lake City. For years, I partied with the wildest. Now, I love the insistent voice that will not be silenced by money or Mormons, and says NO to the bigotry and crime of the Republican regime.

But the fact is, we’re a city in a bowl that experiences a weather phenomenon that traps and compresses smog. And… The wheels of change are too slow to ever make a difference in air quality here. Inversion is never leaving Salt Lake City. So I must.

My cats are so old. Do I drive them through Idaho to rent an apartment in a small city I pick on a map? Do I leave a good unskilled job that will never be matched for freedom and pay (I paint my drums here!), with people I actually like (who can stand me!)? You just don’t find that in the non-committal world of marking time for a check.

I have rare gifts here. The art and dance scene are so accessible and inexpensive here.

But I have few friends. My besties are all gone, have been for years. My chosen family has changed quite a bit with the obsession of one man, which prevents me from enjoying the company of my group. It devastated me to finally give up on the personal friendship I once treasured, because year after year he lies about accepting my boundaries. Eventually, again and again, he returns to sexual harassment and bullying until another screaming match ensues, followed by months of not speaking.

Finally, I told him the truth: I give up. There’s nothing to fight for here. I have to accept your terms, too, and they are that you will not respect mine. It breaks my heart, I told him, that I can’t give you any of my love, because ultimately, always, you demand SEX LOVE. (He said that!) If you’d accept my love as I have it to offer, I went on, I would pour it out onto you! I love you! And being loved by me is really something. But I don’t have sex to offer, so I can’t give you anything. I have to accept.

I took a break from the crew during rehearsal. I was excited for the next gathering, to show him that we can be in shared space and even enjoy one another’s company socially, like we used to before his predatory obsession, but he throws tantrums like a child and ruined the whole party, pissed everyone off.

(He’s a Taurus, too! Day before me. We’ve shared our party for years. He’s a frightening reflection of the weak expression of Taurus, that I recognize. Check yourself.)

He fought everyone, and everyone left. It was a Halloween pre-party and no one went to the main event, because he was such a jerk! He went alone, and bitches about it to this day (from what I hear. I haven’t seen him). If he can’t force a woman into bed, he’s gonna make everyone miserable.

Or so he thinks. We went back to his house, with his wife, who’s always there when he’s chasing me like a rutting bull, and drank in the hot tub. We had a great time.

So sad.

So it’s time. I can get the cats sleeping pills, and drive. I think I’m moving next October!

****

Oh my gosh, I just realized something. I moved here 21 years ago this month. That means if I move next year near this time, I will have lived in Salt Lake for 22 years! And you know how I love my 2-by-222s! Now I have to do it! It’s now. It’s time! I’m going!

Okay. Mind, open. Washington state is a dream, but I’m listening to whatever is right.

Repaired!

I’ve hated my second drum since the moment I put the last color down. Marko put it in the store – Dancing Cranes (where pieces are selling!) (Crazy) – but every time I saw it there, I absolutely cringed. I finally took it back and repaired it.

I knew I knew how to fix it! Marko kept trying to reassure me that someone would love it, and I kept trying to convince myself that the very thing I hated would be the thing that might draw someone else to it. But it was a screw-up, and I knew it.

This drum taught me about color. Each row has to relate to its neighbors, in saturation, light or depth, or in hue. Otherwise, it’s out of joint, energetically. This drum was ugly.

And now it’s not! It’s bright, jarring even. But it’s not wrong. Hooray!
Drum #2

Drum 2 Before

Before

It’s so nice to paint again! I quit after Wind In Her Hair took the wind out of my sails. Then my Depression hit in earnest and I lost the ability to enjoy anything. Then Jax and Carrie joined in the tag-team assault that began their marriage (and nearly killed me). Then I got into the show, specifically to thwart suicide. Next, I moved out and recovered.

At last, I can enjoy my life again! And now that the show has closed, I can paint.