FADE TO BLACK

I have the most incredible people in my life. From sea to shining sea. One day remaining in New York.

The final days.

This week was a bummer. I cried. Frequently. I’m having a hard time facing the future. There were moments when I didn’t want to get out of bed because I felt such overwhelming sadness. But I did it. This little girl depends on me. And she deserves a strong mama.

The last five days have been filled with exercise and outdoor activities. I’ve been keeping us active. And Amber has been enforcing the very same. She’s such a terrific friend. Our rigorous schedule is partly for Ambra. But mostly for me. The sunshine and warmer weather have been such a welcomed help mate and respite from this cold winter. Both literal and figurative. I have three days left in New York City. My heart is full. It feels like it weighs a million pounds. The truly tough days are rounding the corner. But I remain bolstered by my village. I’m granted courage. I can do this. I got this. We can do this.

the shape of being.

I look so very much like my mother today. I’ve been thinking about her frequently as of late. I’ve considered how she raised me alone. Without any aid from my father. Whom I’ve never met. My mother worked and toiled to meet our needs. She gave her best for my future. I don’t know where she found the strength and courage to propel herself forward. But she managed. Love moved her tired feet. The older I get, the more I respect her sacrifices.

Today was tough. Hell, yesterday was a struggle too. My life is about to change. And I’m really and truly starting to feel it. The impending week looms ahead and weighs down on my heart. It’s beautiful and disarming how the world continues on while my existence unravels. The sun still rises. People continue to laugh and catch cabs. Lovers kiss. Candles are blown out with wishes attached to them. Life continues. Just as it should. I continue on.

Somehow, I’m inching forward. With love guiding my heavy feet. I manage to find buckets of reasons to be grateful for this life of mine. My daughter, prayers, and my incredible friends and family being chief among the list. All will be well and right as rain. Of this I am confident.

Ambra’s Book Club.

We have four more books to induct into the club. Our absolute favorites were Mostly Monsterly and The Dot. Happy reading to you and your favorite toddler.

1. Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer. A sweet tale of a not so scary young monster who finds the balance of being true to herself.

2. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. The story of an overly cautious squirrel who learns to loosen up a bit.

3. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Through the support of a marvelous teacher, Vashti learns how to find her artistic groove.

4. A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino. Take a tour of the Buckingham Palace, and learn about Old Ben from the comfort of your home.

As always, let me know what you and your kids are reading. I love your suggestions.

Meet Amber’s answer to loose leaf tea; The Mana”tea,” everybody’s favorite Floridian. Absolutely silly. But, endearing nevertheless.

I worked at LGO and the Luggage Room for over five years. That’s the longest job I’ve ever held in my life. I made some incredible friendships through LGO; Kira, Vanessa, Rachel, Anna, Ramsey, Dennis,  Heather, Allison, Ashley, Sandy, Maurisio, Chris Miller, Chris M2, Lisa, Erin, Francis, Jeannie Lee, Victoria, Amanda and John G. to name a few. 

These fine people toasted me when I landed gigs, they cast me in their personal projects, they covered my shifts so I could go on vacation, they invited my husband and I to their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, they threw me a shower when I was pregnant with Ambra, and best of all-they supported me and loved me. 

A few weeks ago I received the above text from John Gentry. Months ago I made a dry erase community board for the Luggage Room. It had menu/policy changes, gigs and announcements, and my favorite; an inspiration section. Because all of us served tables and bar tended to supplement our bigger dreams. I always took care of the board. And, for a month it was left untouched in my absence. I left my job without saying good bye. And many lovely co-workers continue to reach out to me, to let me know that I am loved and missed. Thank you John. I teared up at this text. View high resolution

I worked at LGO and the Luggage Room for over five years. That’s the longest job I’ve ever held in my life. I made some incredible friendships through LGO; Kira, Vanessa, Rachel, Anna, Ramsey, Dennis, Heather, Allison, Ashley, Sandy, Maurisio, Chris Miller, Chris M2, Lisa, Erin, Francis, Jeannie Lee, Victoria, Amanda and John G. to name a few.

These fine people toasted me when I landed gigs, they cast me in their personal projects, they covered my shifts so I could go on vacation, they invited my husband and I to their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, they threw me a shower when I was pregnant with Ambra, and best of all-they supported me and loved me.

A few weeks ago I received the above text from John Gentry. Months ago I made a dry erase community board for the Luggage Room. It had menu/policy changes, gigs and announcements, and my favorite; an inspiration section. Because all of us served tables and bar tended to supplement our bigger dreams. I always took care of the board. And, for a month it was left untouched in my absence. I left my job without saying good bye. And many lovely co-workers continue to reach out to me, to let me know that I am loved and missed. Thank you John. I teared up at this text.

New York has persisted at being a solemn blue-gray. These photos celebrate that decision. My daughter and I continue to make adventures and outings between my work schedule. Making time for art, parks, playgrounds, treats, and nature between rain showers. And sometimes, even then-we’ll weather the storm.

A fantastic series of witty witticisms spotted in Brooklyn. Which one is your favorite?

It snowed as I walked home from work tonight. I forgot how silent the world is when it snows….even in New York City. View high resolution

It snowed as I walked home from work tonight. I forgot how silent the world is when it snows….even in New York City.

I have lived in New York City for five weeks. I enjoy living here quite a bit. I particularly appreciate residing and working in Chelsea. A lady will NEVER get hit on in Chelsea. Because the men in this pocket, are definitely seeking other men. It reminds me of the safe days of attending a women’s college. But having men in my theater program. Gay men are clever, confident, and kind. And always shower others with support and praise. It feels great to get a compliment from a homosexual male. Because I know that it’s legitimate, and coming from a genuine place.

I am an auntie! Happy Birthday baby Mason. Those darling cheeks….I can’t. View high resolution

I am an auntie! Happy Birthday baby Mason. Those darling cheeks….I can’t.

Cabin fever.

We spent the weekend cooped up in the apartment. Which was such a shame since the temperature rose to the fifties. Ambra caught a bonafide NYC winter cold. I kept her warm, kept the tissues coming, and supplied bowls of hearty chicken noodle soup. After the third day of movies and coloring, we were getting cabin fever. So, we went out for a small trip to The Garage Antique Flea Market. It’s small but mighty in terms of treasures and curiosities. There were some gorgeous pieces that slipped through my fingers. Including the perfect silver and turquoise necklace that I’ve been dreaming of. At $795.00, that piece remains a dream. Zoinks! I look forward to checking out the other flea markets in the area while I’m in town.

If I can make it here. 

Six days ago I wrestled over posting the above image on Instagram. It felt like I was emotionally naked in the snapshot. Somehow it felt much too vulnerable. I hate being vulnerable. Those that know me best, know that I often navigate conversations by asking others about themselves. Questions and extracting trifles that will allow me to further understand who my subjects are. It’s my secret weapon of deflecting inquisitions and the focus from being on myself. I’m not super quick on my feet. And I have a slow and lazy tongue. I lack the talent for connecting my words and thoughts in the moment. Hence my Wonder Woman deflection. But oddly enough, I sure am drawn to those that allow themselves to be vulnerable and emotional nudists. 

I’m going through a tough time right now. As many of you know, my daughter and I are temporarily living in New York City. It has been the best and worst of times. In many ways I feel like I’ve walked away from my life in Los Angeles. It’s as if that life has vanished. It was scary as hell to come here. But, it was the correct course of action to take at this moment in time. What frightened me most about moving to another city, was how effortless and easy it was to start over. I moved in with my best friend and her husband, I found a congregation to worship with on Sundays, I discovered my favorite circuit of bakeries, I learned how to navigate the subways with a two year old, I secured a job, I learned how to grocery shop with a one bag limit. All of that frightened me. It showed me how resilient and strong I am. What I am capable of. But it made me feel like my life back home was fading away. Much like that family photo that Marty McFly references in Back to the Future. 

I’ve been building a relationship with the city. She’s sophisticated, cold, savvy, wise, and telling.  I’ve paced the streets at night. I’ve become closely acquainted with museums, galleries, shops, parks, kid’s clubs, libraries, and snooty rich neighbors. And it has made me truly stop and consider who I am. 

1. I am faithful. I’ve always had a close relationship with deity. I know who God is. We converse regularly. If I have a question or need inspiration, I take it up with the big guy. I feel His love. That sentiment permeates throughout my soul. It grants me peace and parcels out courage and conviction.

2. I am a mother. I love being a mom. I mean adore being a mama. Ambra’s mom-to be specific. At 2.5 years she is going through an extremely difficult ego-centric, self-centered stage. And you know what? She’s rocking it. I love that sassy little nymph. She is a total spitfire. And then, she’ll simmer down. Looking up at me with those saucer eyes and say, “I love you mama. I love you so much.” And you know what? There’s nothing better in the world than that. To know that Bryan and I have created the most marvelous treasure that there is. And I’m doing something oh-so right with my life. 

3. I am a woman. I am feminine, and sensitive and yet, I have rows of prickles. I yell. I cry. I say the wrong thing. My feelings get hurt. I’m embarrassingly human. Skin deep confession: I haven’t felt beautiful or pretty or even somewhat attractive in five months. But, I can laugh. And I can make others laugh. And I do so frequently. It fills my heart with joy as thick as honey on the comb. As a woman I have fears, hopes, strengths and weaknesses. I love the woman that I have become. I’m proud of the dark haired lady that peers back at me in the mirror. I really like her. She’s not perfect. But, she’s a decent person.

4. I am an optimist. My life isn’t going according to my plans. The past few years have had their share of setbacks and heartbreaks. But, I’m still dancing. I am incredibly grateful for my breath. I’m thankful that I can crack jokes when life feels like it’s going to swallow me whole. I’m glad that I choose to be happy despite circumstances. I find beauty in exercise, nature, flowers, my best friend’s growing pregnant belly, and the twinkle in my daughter’s laughter. I am invigorated by architecture, art, music, a good book, a weak cup of jasmine tea, and a stranger helping me on the street. I choose to see the glass half full. I’m not naive. I’ve known dark days. I’ve personally witnessed helpings of ugliness that exist in this world. But I CHOOSE to see the incandescent splendor that this sphere provides. I choose love. I choose chocolate. I choose faith. I choose friendship. I choose hugs and gentle kisses that make me dizzy. I choose poems and the perfect silk scarf. I choose to live the hell out of this life. Because dammit! It’s a gift. And not one that I will ever take lightly. 

So here I am. Completely vulnerable. An emotional nudist. You know exactly who I am, and how I am constructed. The veil has been pulled back. It’s not too terribly scary after all. View high resolution

If I can make it here.

Six days ago I wrestled over posting the above image on Instagram. It felt like I was emotionally naked in the snapshot. Somehow it felt much too vulnerable. I hate being vulnerable. Those that know me best, know that I often navigate conversations by asking others about themselves. Questions and extracting trifles that will allow me to further understand who my subjects are. It’s my secret weapon of deflecting inquisitions and the focus from being on myself. I’m not super quick on my feet. And I have a slow and lazy tongue. I lack the talent for connecting my words and thoughts in the moment. Hence my Wonder Woman deflection. But oddly enough, I sure am drawn to those that allow themselves to be vulnerable and emotional nudists.

I’m going through a tough time right now. As many of you know, my daughter and I are temporarily living in New York City. It has been the best and worst of times. In many ways I feel like I’ve walked away from my life in Los Angeles. It’s as if that life has vanished. It was scary as hell to come here. But, it was the correct course of action to take at this moment in time. What frightened me most about moving to another city, was how effortless and easy it was to start over. I moved in with my best friend and her husband, I found a congregation to worship with on Sundays, I discovered my favorite circuit of bakeries, I learned how to navigate the subways with a two year old, I secured a job, I learned how to grocery shop with a one bag limit. All of that frightened me. It showed me how resilient and strong I am. What I am capable of. But it made me feel like my life back home was fading away. Much like that family photo that Marty McFly references in Back to the Future.

I’ve been building a relationship with the city. She’s sophisticated, cold, savvy, wise, and telling. I’ve paced the streets at night. I’ve become closely acquainted with museums, galleries, shops, parks, kid’s clubs, libraries, and snooty rich neighbors. And it has made me truly stop and consider who I am.

1. I am faithful. I’ve always had a close relationship with deity. I know who God is. We converse regularly. If I have a question or need inspiration, I take it up with the big guy. I feel His love. That sentiment permeates throughout my soul. It grants me peace and parcels out courage and conviction.

2. I am a mother. I love being a mom. I mean adore being a mama. Ambra’s mom-to be specific. At 2.5 years she is going through an extremely difficult ego-centric, self-centered stage. And you know what? She’s rocking it. I love that sassy little nymph. She is a total spitfire. And then, she’ll simmer down. Looking up at me with those saucer eyes and say, “I love you mama. I love you so much.” And you know what? There’s nothing better in the world than that. To know that Bryan and I have created the most marvelous treasure that there is. And I’m doing something oh-so right with my life.

3. I am a woman. I am feminine, and sensitive and yet, I have rows of prickles. I yell. I cry. I say the wrong thing. My feelings get hurt. I’m embarrassingly human. Skin deep confession: I haven’t felt beautiful or pretty or even somewhat attractive in five months. But, I can laugh. And I can make others laugh. And I do so frequently. It fills my heart with joy as thick as honey on the comb. As a woman I have fears, hopes, strengths and weaknesses. I love the woman that I have become. I’m proud of the dark haired lady that peers back at me in the mirror. I really like her. She’s not perfect. But, she’s a decent person.

4. I am an optimist. My life isn’t going according to my plans. The past few years have had their share of setbacks and heartbreaks. But, I’m still dancing. I am incredibly grateful for my breath. I’m thankful that I can crack jokes when life feels like it’s going to swallow me whole. I’m glad that I choose to be happy despite circumstances. I find beauty in exercise, nature, flowers, my best friend’s growing pregnant belly, and the twinkle in my daughter’s laughter. I am invigorated by architecture, art, music, a good book, a weak cup of jasmine tea, and a stranger helping me on the street. I choose to see the glass half full. I’m not naive. I’ve known dark days. I’ve personally witnessed helpings of ugliness that exist in this world. But I CHOOSE to see the incandescent splendor that this sphere provides. I choose love. I choose chocolate. I choose faith. I choose friendship. I choose hugs and gentle kisses that make me dizzy. I choose poems and the perfect silk scarf. I choose to live the hell out of this life. Because dammit! It’s a gift. And not one that I will ever take lightly.

So here I am. Completely vulnerable. An emotional nudist. You know exactly who I am, and how I am constructed. The veil has been pulled back. It’s not too terribly scary after all.

The future.

I schlepped my two year old daughter through the dead of winter, carried a 45 pound stroller down the subway stairs, allowed kind strangers to hold Ambra’s hand to guide her down the steps, caught the 6 Uptown, and walked several blocks to get to our desired destination. Herculean effort. There are so many things that I want to see and do. For me. And unless I take my shadow, it’s not going to happen. I often wonder if the energy and coercion expended is worth the trouble. It is. Every single time. Our trip to the Guggenheim was worth all the hullabaloo that we managed.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the Guggenheim is a masterpiece. The spiral and rotunda made the experience dealing with the art singled out in my mind’s eye. Because Ambra and I started at the top, we walked down at a sloping decline versus the intended design of incline or ascent. It kept the mind fresh and present in the environment. It’s truly an awe inspiring, and hallowed space.

Photography is not permitted outside the lobby. Which really bummed me out. However, I left feeling artistically filled with inspiration for art, film, and photography. I learned about the movement referred to as “Italian Futurism” which occurred from 1909-1948. To be a Futurist is to be “modern, young, insurgent.” I love the idea of that sensation being spread from art, literature, film, and self-government. It quickened a surge within me. I want to be a Neo-Futurist. The future is here. It’s today. This very hour. The future is housed in every choice and stride we make.

This L.A. girl thinks that New York City parking lots are sort of precious. I love the light in this photo. And the graffiti. View high resolution

This L.A. girl thinks that New York City parking lots are sort of precious. I love the light in this photo. And the graffiti.