I Met A Boy

I had decided not to kiss a random just because of tradition (or my inclination when I’m drunk and dancing). I want the first person I kiss in 2018 to be someone meaningful, someone I enjoy, someone I love or want to love. (Then I thought, what are you? A Puritan? If someone cute and anonymous wants to kiss you, kiss! Kissing’s fun!)

In other words, I was playing it by ear. So much so that the friend I was meeting to go with to an all-nighter ended up throwing a spontaneous party that was in full swing by the time I arrived – in full costume – and we stayed in. It was awesome.

And I met a boy! He’s cute, tall, bearded, with blue eyes and brown hair (my fave). And… full-spectrum color blindness. I’m writing about him now because for 2 days I’ve been imagining life without color, and I can’t bear it!

I don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. He can decipher color. It just doesn’t have any value to him. It’s not an identifier. It isn’t anything.

Color is everything to me! I’m sitting here at work, coloring!

Years ago – a decade or more – my bestie Kim said, “You describe the world in color. You should start painting.” I thought she meant canvas and images that have to conform to some sort of something-beyond-remedial, and my mind said, “I can’t.” That “no” closed the door to trying, which has, so far, been the theme to much of my life. Little did I know that I would paint one day!

My goodness, my life is a freebie in so many ways. It really is incredible. I’m so blessed. I wouldn’t have thought to try… anything… if Marko hadn’t been there for 10 years, waiting patiently for me to find my way in his studio, and ready to supply me with cost-free, risk-free inventory! With fun and a friend attached, no less. I’m really lucky.

My drums! This man will never understand the high I get making my drums. Since I started painting last year, I’ve developed an emotional relationship with color.

My hair! He can never love my beautiful hair! Not even kidding, my heart is breaking a little inside. It’s silly. In 5 years max, I won’t even be a redhead anymore. It’s getting to be such a hassle to henna as much as I have to now, I was considering letting it go for my birthday this year – a nice, solid 45 – but I can’t do it. I love my hair!

And he can’t. He can’t see it! He can tell I’m a redhead, but it means nothing to him. That’s a tough one for me. The easiest way to make me feel adored is to go weak in the knees over my pretty, pretty red hair (and to tell me about it over and over again).

I remember in the 90s, my first friend with color blindness tried to explain how he can tell I’m a redhead, so I didn’t really press this fellow much. I already know I can’t be made to understand. It’s not the freckles. It’s a spectrum on the gray scale of black and white, and I don’t get it. (There is color, too, but without the impact.)

(I’ve looked at old black-and-white headshots, specifically to see if one can can tell that I have red hair, and one can. It isn’t the freckles. It is, truly, something about the depth of the shade. But I know I’m a redhead, so… ???)

My suitor’s response to “What’s it like to be color blind?” was “What’s it like not to be?”

AMAZING! That’s what!

My favorite color is Deciduous Leaves In The Late Afternoon Sun, not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill grass green, which I usually have to settle for (and also love, of course), for… my wallet, planner, dishware, decorative pillows, you name it. I mean, you’ve seen my bed. COLOR! So thrive my soul!

the girls
The Girls

It’s certainly no deal breaker, but it challenges me. That’s the hit to my vanity (which, if I didn’t drive the point home, is honestly stretching me. Is that something I need?). Beyond that, though, it really is curious to consider how such a trivial-seeming thing might precipitate various, small inabilities to relate. I talk about color a lot.

Remember this vision board I made for the New Year a couple of years ago? (Quiet, in terms of color.) There’s the beardy I was dreaming of then. (I’m a pogonophile.) vision board 2014 I’m excited about this guy. I don’t feel that as often or as easily as I used to. I didn’t have it with Jax. He was just a convenience I’m ashamed of now. (Men and women can’t be roommates without having sex? How common.)

Here’s my vision board from the year before: COLOR!
manifest!

I think I’ll do those again. They’re fun. It’s a throw-back to scrapbooking days and it’s cool to see how much of it I accomplish over the course of the following year/years.

Happy New Year!

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2018 Resolutions

I’ve got ’em! And I have to do them this year, because it’s my last in Salt Lake.

  • 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, so I’ll keep that up in January. I may not continue into February, because I think I’ll be rehearsing another show: Damn Yankees! I’ve always wondered why that show isn’t done more often. During Guys & Dolls, I wondered that very thing aloud when someone told me it was part of the 2018 season at Hopebox.

Yay! A new theatre and another great part. (Another sex kitten. Hm, maybe I need to look at something. Nah… She’s just fun to play!)

I have some other intentions. Like everyone else, I want to lose weight. I gained 10 lbs after we closed! One month, TEN solid pounds. Oh well, I can blame the holidays, too, just 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 more overwhelming to consider. I haven’t looked that good in years. 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?

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 – hahahaha! I never put that together – and I lost 15 lbs before I moved! (Another 5 by the time we closed.) I looked great in my almost-nothings as Adelaide. Got half of it back, but… you know.

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.

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 madman 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 an unbearable insult. (The word itself! Hyster  – Greek – “Of the womb.” I’m on fire, I’m so mad right now.) “Oh, go on now, you silly, dramatic girl,” Boise State “said” to me, practically patting my pretty little head. That mentality pisses OFF! Fuck you.

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 BSU committed against me, not just that of Roger T. Black, a gangrenous diabetic who probably died in prison. (Actually, he probably got better care in the hoosegow than what he was providing for himself. And he only got 3 years!)

How did he even get near campus? It was clear he was a sexual predator, using his GI Bill – still – to “go to school,” where there’s a constant display of victims. Hell, housing will serve them to you, right across the hall. Boise State didn’t skip due diligence; they didn’t do ANY! Then they humored me when I brought abuse and peril to their attention, until Roger T. Black nearly killed me! No. Actually almost killed me.

I could have sued BSU 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 plus from mom (and my darling toddler nephews). There are some former-Mormon high school friends in Boise to hang out 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. (Taurus)

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 his election (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, Dump is out in 3 years. (I still describe that election cycle as identical 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 emotional endurance. That alone. You cannot undo what gets online. The bullying there transcends my ability to understand. I wouldn’t want to face sexting with my pre-teen. And every modern parent will. I’m out! Gratefully so.

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

2017 had Jax and Carrie, too, and that nearly killed me. I mean, dead. Oh. my. gawd. I haven’t been that close to suicide since my 20s. I wouldn’t have survived them then.

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

Damn, I’m tough. 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. Goddammit. 🙂

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

Week One

155 lbs! Apparently, uterine lining is heavy. I don’t expect my result to be quite so satisfying next week. But! I finally made it to yoga this morning (It only took a week), so that should help. (I signed up for a trial membership – unlimited for 30 days.)

It was sure easy to dismiss my alarm all week. 6 o’clock is awfully early for a girl like me. Now that there’s money involved, I will attend no less than 3 classes per week. I don’t waste $$$.

I came home and took Before pics. When I get back down to my normal weight, I might post them with Afters. Might.

Oh. I smoked 4 cigarettes Wednesday.

Hey, break a resolution, begin one. It’s about balance, really.

Skinny Was My Superpower

And I ate everything!

I learned that some girls in my school had what they called “The Christie’s Thigh Diet,” because my legs didn’t “splat” when I sat down in my cheerleading outfit.

So I ate more. To show off.

Well, 40+ happens to everyone, ha! I bought a car on September 1st and gained 19 lbs. in 4 months. (9 years on a bike, and damned proud!)

I am 5’6(-)” and 159.6 lbs! I think 5 lbs/mo. is healthy weightloss. I’d like to reach 130 by Summer, and stay there this time.

When I got home from Spain last year I was 129 lbs. But, you know, being held captive and fed once a day will do that to you. I told my best friend that “The Brian and Chrissy [forced] Diet” was more effective than the one those girls named after me in high school, and at least one good thing had come from the trip.

But my visit triggered dormant PTSD, which triggered a loooong binge, and I ate everything. I finally got it under control after 6 months or so and held steady at 140-145, not minding if I did or didn’t lose weight.

So that’s what I’m doing this New Year’s. Diet and exercise, like everyone else. I don’t mind being average. 🙂

And quit smoking. (For good! 20 YEARS in May! Unacceptable.)

I quit Diet Pepsi in October! Hey!

I expect Salt Lake Power Yoga to bring me back to my athletic body and relieve the newly unremitting pain of Fibromyalgia. (Since Spring, 2015 was spent in constant pain, with a week to 10 days off here and there. It was aching, exhausting, and extremely challenging to retain my signature enthusiasm. Before this year, I never considered medication. Now I’m studying.) (It seems awful. I really hope to keep it natural, and controlled.)

I have to say, I hide weight well. It’s pretty evenly distributed. It’s like everything just puffed. I got as much back fat as I did boobs but they fill an A cup now, so there’s that.

Oh, guess what else happened in 2015? Psoriasis. *sigh*

Coconut oil seems to help, but I’m still finding new patches every so often (since November). I’m hoping to avoid steroids or immune suppressors.

I’ll continue djembe lessons and drum for dance classes. I’m joining a guitar class on the 13th. I’m anxious. That’s what began my journey with Fibro 4 years ago. Refamiliarizing myself with chords and frets, I developed pain in my left wrist until it seized up to the point of requiring a cortisone injection to move freely again without screaming agony that woke me up nights. Other joints joined in, but only the left big toe needed cortisone. None of those joints is 100% now, and that wrist is particularly moody, but not unbearable.

I have to try. I want to play and sing! I want to write shitty music.

Life is strange. I would have thought it untenable, my reality. My body hurts. I’m tired and lack endurance. Aching like I do – worse and worse, in ever-new muscles and junctions, then finding scaly patches of goddamned skin that spread and won’t go away – is very frustrating. And I like my life. Huh. tough

Everyone has something. Some people have lots of somethings.

Okay.

Hope you’re rollin’ with it and having a good time, too.
Blessings in 2016.blessing

Eve

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

40 has been a hell of a year. Much that I’ve achieved makes me quite proud, really, and it’s a good feeling to be satisfied with your own courage and success. I’ve also been revisited by familiar demons, in new and rather frightening ways. 2013 gave me pause. It alarms me still. I had the standard failure of a new romance. It looked and seemed different in the process of discovery but hindsight shows, of course, that it’s the same problem I always have: me. I chose the wrong person for the wrong reasons – truly not knowing or seeing it – but reflection reveals the same old habits. There’s something I’m missing in my selection process. Once the breakup has begun, I’m all-too-aware of my flaws when responding to things that go wrong. I freak out.

I will give myself credit for leaving my ex-boyfriend quickly. Not working? Don’t linger! I didn’t figure that out in my youth. I guess to have mid-life flashing before my very eyes really does help me to cut ties that hold me back. So that’s hopeful, I suppose. No. The fact is I was in danger. I was running. I wasn’t leaving a bad situation quickly due to any wisdom or self-love (or love of anything). I still marvel that I found a job, started said job, found an apartment, and moved into it in one week. But being impressed with my mad urban survival skills is not the same as behaving better in/out of a relationship.

*sigh*

I haven’t spoken at all about the decline of my body. I’m so afraid of what it means and will the pain just continue to increase? I can’t even begin to voice my discomfort and anxiety for fear of making it “real” and lasting. I’ve finally taken action and made some decisions that I’ll talk about in the coming year as the results show themselves. Or don’t. (Please work! Please let me get better!) It’s a bitter thing when the body betrays.

That said, I’ve had some profound spiritual experiences, “promptings,” the Mormons call them. I’m kind of going through it right now, but I believe that the changes I’m in the middle of are necessary for the next big step. There’s something I’m missing. There’s something in the pattern of self-destructive behavior that I don’t even see. I am in the process of fixing that, right now. I believe that my physical symptoms are an opportunity for me to work on the whole being. Aches that I’ve ignored for years because they don’t plague my every waking moment… now do. It’s the same with my spirit. I’ve been ignoring my intuition my entire life. I want to trust myself to listen to my guides and angels before a misstep onto the wrong path results in danger or cruelty. My angels have to SCREAM at me before I listen, even to the good stuff. I realize later that I heard them all along, but I ignore it. Actually, I dismiss them as delusion or hubris. Mormons call it “the still, small voice,” and I don’t know what the hell to do with it. I grew up screaming in a screaming family. I want different, but I don’t know how to create it. I want to choose the right course and then navigate the difficulties of life thereupon – kindly, gently – rather than jumping from catastrophe to sanctuary to disaster to quivering mass of failure. Again. (I’m not there right now but I have been, like a default setting, for the whole of my life.)

Speaking of blaming my upbringing, haha! Remember when I told you, “My family gets together, decides what my behavior means, then tells me about it during the holidays”? My mom’s Christmas card implied that I am adding to a burden of sorrow on my grandmother’s shoulders because my immediate family has not yet come to an amicable reconciliation. In fact, I have. I gave my cache of free tickets to “How To Succeed” to anyone who wanted them, and hung out with everyone at Thanksgiving, hugs all around and hand-me-down clothes from my wealthy friends, a holiday tradition. I participated in the sibling gift exchange, and sent mom and dad a book for Christmas. https://wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/happy-one-year-blogiversary-a-review/

I’ve never spoken a word to my beloved grandparents about the terrifying reality of life in my immediate family. I haven’t said one negative thing. Ever.

I couldn’t believe it. The timing was like a sick joke to prove me right. Dr. Phil would call me a right fighter. When I’m in the chaos of immediate anger and emotion, I don’t care about solving the problem. I care about keeping score and proving myself the more-wronged party. Deep down, though, after a little time in the Cave of Solitude and Recovery, I secretly believe that they’re right. I’m just a horrible b-word (insert “brat” and “bitch” here), who blames a loving family for things they don’t do. But there it was in black and white. Now I get to reconcile myself again to the fact – proof in hand, neatly penned on a Christmas card – that they continue to employ emotional manipulation to bully me.

Perhaps they don’t know how to avoid the truth of their own dysfunction now that their scapegoat has decided to love herself enough to leave toxic people behind, even when they’re her own family. All I know is that cutting them out of my life is the right thing. Even the smallest dealings with them take me weeks of recuperation. I’m fragile, and they are the chink in my armor. I’m capable of personal and interpersonal greatness, I feel it, if I turn my back entirely. Not just on my sister’s racist husband, who physically assaulted me, but on all of them. In the context of my immediate family, I hate myself. I have the right to walk away, no matter how ugly they make it.

I got that card 3 days ago. I’m not going to answer. What could I possibly say?

I was juuust starting to second-guess my decision to maintain distance from them. In a way, I feel like this was what I needed to trust myself. I get to protect myself, even if I’m shamed for doing so. I’m reminded to celebrate and honor my intuition, regardless of what is said about it. The change I seek is to put this into practice somehow, to make it my lifestyle in 2014 and the second half of my life.
survivor
I have survived. I’m a rockstar. Now I thrive.