Pride

I’m so inspired by this young lady, and hurt by the Mormon Church. Still.

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Danny and I had so much fun at Pride! I hadn’t seen him since we closed Avenue Q.
(P.S. I desperately want to believe in a god who gives his holy city the initials SLUT.)

danny

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Dancing Cranes

I started painting 6 months ago… and I’m now in my favorite store! Marko added me to his stock at Dancing Cranes Imports. This gorgeous world market has a giant koi pond at its center, a vegan cafe, a performance and workshop arena, as well as massage therapists, tarot readers, reiki practicioners, and so on. It’s eye candy for original, artistic, global fare. Here’s my corner!
dancing cranes

One Big Union

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So excited to see this show today! Joe Hill was a labor activist and musician who was executed 100 years ago for a murder he may or may not have committed. This Plan-B Theatre original play contains Hill’s own songs, recently released to the public domain, and also highlights his work with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who visited him in jail here in Salt Lake, and went on to co-found the ACLU.

rebel-girl

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was the inspiration for this 1915 battle hymn.

Plan-B is the only theater in the United States that produces entire seasons of original works by local playwrights, with emphasis on socially conscious themes and issues. It’s owned by one of my dearest friends and his husband. http://planbtheatre.org/

It’s a relevant stage experience, following a week that has seen boys at a local football game chanting, “Grab her by the p*ssy!” and a white van trolling Rose Park, a Salt Lake City neighborhood rich with immigrants, screaming, “Trump is President! Build the wall!”

Don’t mourn… ORGANIZE!
joe-hill

*****

It was amazing! Very emotional at times, as they were describing precisely what we’ve been living with this week and for the last 18 months.

I have to go to more shows at Plan-B! I’m so cheap. I always say, “Next time,” and next time never comes. If nothing else, I should be supporting my friends. The real reason, of course, is that theater transforms us! It makes us think, laugh. It gives us a break from everyday and all that that entails, but it can also light the fire of our own creativity. Above all, theater connects us. This was wonderful.organize

My Drums Went To Their First Show!

grateful-goddess markos-and-my-drums

my-first-showNone of mine sold this time, but they will!!!

Even better, here’s my latest and greatest. It’s 13″ on a wood frame – huge difference in sound integrity and just… overall goodness. Plastic/petroleum sucks – and I really nailed the color relationships this time. I love it so much, Marko told me it should be mine. Secretly, I think he just loves me and wants to watch me play and laugh and be happy. It’s something we can share and love together. For 8 years, he’s been begging me to involve myself somehow in his art, by giving me chance after chance to create my place in his studio. I’ve dabbled, but I’m lazy and it didn’t connect until I finally decided to hand-paint mandalas on his drums. Marko advised me not to part with this for less than $200, but I don’t think I’ll let it go at all. It has such beautiful tone and color!latest-and-greatest

Speaking of stepping into my creativity and honoring the opportunities in my life, I’m recommitting here and now to sticking with the didgeridoo until and after I master circular breathing already! (Marko has also given me hundreds of dollars worth of didgeridoos and didge-boxes. Hell, he even paid me for awhile just to ship them, but I didn’t check my emails enough to keep the job!)

The Original Didjbox original-didgeFollow the link to Marko’s online shop, to see his original patented design. He’s the first in 400,000 years to alter the aboriginal instrument, and once he invented the didgebox it was immediately incorporated into designs all over the world, by individual craftsmen and artists, as well as by companies that make a killing off of his design. (A U.S. patent means nothing in the global community, but it still proves Marko’s place in the world of music and innovation.) You can make the most amazing works of art now that are functioning didgeridoos, because of Marko’s invention at their core. If you’re into didge, you know his name.

Here we are at Burning Man in 2008, with one of his hand-crafted leather didgeridoos. marko-and-me

Utah’s Didgeridoo Maker Here’s a link to the online article about Marko that appeared in Utah Stories. Ironically, I’d been pitching the idea for months to the owner of the urban rag mag before he stole my [unrelated] article, printed it verbatim, and didn’t pay me. Our relationship had begun to erode, because as much as I loved the content and angle he presented of my beloved city, the man can’t edit for shit. With his permission, and a pittance of pay, I was doing it. His ego is so big, however, that he continually corrected my corrections, incorrectly. After about 3 months of this, he realized he’d never given me credit in the staff bio as editor. I begged him not to, and finally had to confess why. I tried to be tactful, congratulating him on what he’d created, but reminding him to stick to his strengths and delegate to others what their talents can serve. He was offended and took back the article I was currently writing, then published it completely, unaltered, with one paragraph added, crediting (and presumably paying) the author of that paragraph.

He sent another writer to feature Marko in the very next issue. What a baby! He showed me! But it’s a great article. I like Al Sachrov, who wrote it, and I’m very proud of My Man Marko, Utah’s Didgeridoo Maker.
marko

Halloween Capers

and Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve been taking a Community Ed class at East High here in Salt Lake. Quinn decided on a break from teaching djembe [that threatens to be a long-term shift], and I needed focus and music in my life. I’m not terrifically self-directed, so I pulled my old guitar out of the garage and started again with Beginning Beginners. I love it.

My wrist has not complained like it did when I dusted off my rusty, twanging dreams 4 years ago, when my real journey with Fibro began. I definitely feel it, but pain patches and yoga really seem to be taking care of me for now. LARGE BLESSINGS!

My body is my own again!

It’s clear that the janitors come during our class, because every week when I leave, the halls simply sparkle. For some reason [I’m weird], last week I got the idea to leave notes for the cleaners. I giggled and giggled dreaming up my caper and yesterday, I finally played out my little impish frolic. I ducked around a corner every time I heard someone approach, then re-emerged to post another note. No explanation can capture the why of this, or how hard I had myself laughing.

Trick or Treat!

Halloween is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY!

2011

Redhead Costume Idea … FIRE Itself!

second-floor

thank-you

“Excellent Work!” “Wonderful Job!”

My Body is Rejecting Yoga

I hit a wall on Tuesday. My feet seized up so badly I couldn’t do any of the balancing poses and, while the rest of my body didn’t feel pain, necessarily, it was weak. Everywhere. Tip to toes, depleted.

Thursday was worse. My practice was beset by utterly ineffectual effort that… failed! I was straining, aching, sweating, shaking like a convulsion, worrying – “Am I injuring myself?” – and praying for the end of class. One step forward, 2 steps back, as they say. A most halting beginning.

3x/wk. proved too much to start, so for the remaining 2 weeks of my intro membership I’m content with 2x/wk. Then, I plan to join the studio and continue to stretch and breathe into the strength that will come. (I intentionally chose phrases other than “power through” or “push,” because my body is tired, working as hard as it can, and deserves love and patience.) I’m not as strong as I once was, and that’s okay. I don’t want to think in terms of force, which would hinder the process of growth, I think. I accept where I’m at and will continue to strive for my best.

I am scared, though. I entered Thursday’s class anxious for a repeat of the cramping of Tuesday, and got it. Worse.

Last week I lost 1 lb. This week, none. That’s okay, too. (Grrr.) 154, exactly. I binged today, for the first time this year. Three weeks is a long time for me. I feel pretty good about it. And I enjoyed my chips ‘n’ dip like an old friend. But I’m not even trying not to smoke anymore. Oops. (After the party Saturday…)

Oh! I haven’t even mentioned how much I love sunrise yoga! The studio is on the second floor of a downtown highrise, and the north and east walls aren’t walls, but windows! We start in the dark, yet, and watch the dawn sky change in color behind towering, snow-drenched mountains. I’m inspired.

I’m sewing, painting, creating. The drum I made last year with Marko got a makeover… drum resize

… and a white elephant gift got a facelift. It used to say, “It’s OK to have emotional baggage as long as it’s pretty and it matches.” I say it’s okay to have emotional baggage as long as you’re creative with it.emotional baggage overhaul resize.jpg

Speaking of bad Mormons, I’m not one anymore. I got impatient waiting on the feedback that must necessarily come through the attorney’s office, since I forbade The Church to contact me, save through him. He’s backlogged with thousands of clients’ removal requests and letters of reply, so I called the Church directly and spoke with a very nice man named Dave in the Confidential Records Office, who told me I was no longer a member as of Dec. 7, 2015. 🙂

I was baptized June 6, 1981, by my grandfather. That was one of the challenges of letting go, officially. Grandpa was enamored of me. I never felt such love. Invalidating ordinance work done by his hands, that he believed in, felt something like erasing him.

Dec. 7th was the Day of Infamy, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. My grandfather served in WWII, and died in 1999 at 74. Removing his blessing, I mourned him again.

It was the right thing to do, but there’s no question it was a death.

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Salt Lake City and The Wasatch Range

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Salt Lake in Winter

The Jig Is Up!

The jig is up! I’m staying in Utah! It’s obvious now that I was manipulating an opportunity for my friends to beg me not to go. (None did.) (Bastards.) A year ago on Facebook, I started my LIVE LOVE SLC campaign as a good-bye to the city I’ve loved for 20 years. The result was a year of enriching cultural activities that I always mean to do but say I don’t have enough money when the time comes. Generally, we enjoyed inexpensive things but we splurged on some really worthwhile occasions, as well, and I’m so happy we did. At the end of one year, I have more memories, the same amount of hangovers, and no more or less money than if I’d missed out.

I’d planned to save massive amounts of money on rent near family in Idaho, and travel travel travel. I could get any old job. I’ve always had any old job. Instead, I accidentally fell into a temp position that was clearly the perfect fit for my office and for me, and they offered it to me right away, permanently. I took my time to commit, until I could secure a situation here that will meet my needs and goals. And now I have. I can drive a couple of hours to see my kin, cuz the last of my 3 best girlfriends is leaving Salt Lake (for Germany!) and I’m buying her car.

I hoped to take the bus-and-bike lifestyle to a decade, but I’m satisfied with 9 years. I’m pleased with my contribution to less congestion in the air and on the ground. I’m excited to visit my grandma, who just turned 89, and my new baby nephews – only a year apart! – back home. I’m excited for road trips and music festivals. I’m excited to hike! I’m excited for freedom and convenience, and I hope I don’t get fat. I lost 20 lbs 9 years ago, by accident of peddling.

I’m excited to stay. I thought the presence of Idaho State University would give Pocatello the community education opportunities I so love about Salt Lake City, but there was nothing. It’s too bad. Could be a charming town.

I get to continue djembe! Since African has become too demanding for my body to sustain with Fibromyalgia, I’ll switch to belly dance, and keep the beat for SLC African Drum and Dance Corp instead.

And even with all 3 of my best girlfriends moved and gone, I still have my Chosen Family, a beautiful band of artists and weirdos who love to laugh, love fun, love each other, and love me for being loud and lovely and strange and obnoxious when drunk, or sober. Sometimes I look around at my people and think, “How did I get so lucky?” Sometimes I look around and think, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

I get everything I want!

****

Ha! My neighbor just told me I dashed his plans. “We were going to have coffee-colored babies.”

“With cream,” I added.

“Yeah,” he said. “I figured it would take me about a year and a half to get you to fall in love with me.”

“I don’t have that kind of time!”

Guess that’s as close as I get to the begging I was hoping for from my  jerks, er, friends. 😉