Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 61: There Be Monsters Here!

I'm off the edge of the map......Day 61 on a 60 day experiment!  So if you're interested in following the further adventures of me....please join me at my new blog VerbYou.  This is the very last post on this 60DaysFaceless experiment.  Thanks for coming along!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 60: Curiouser and Curioser

So technically this is day 60 and should be my last day BUT I did say until May 1st and I'll stick to that.  61 days instead of 60.  I think Facebook will survive one more day without me.  I'm starting to plot my return post.  Think about what will go there in that re-inaugural text box.  Not sure what that will be yet.  Perhaps a photo.  

The picture today is from a note I found taped on the wall at the entrance to the radio station when I stopped in there this weekend.  It's handwritten, mostly craziness with sprinklings of Biblical subtext.  My first thought was that crazy people don't use the internet to write their manifestos.  Next I thought that they should quit throwing Jesus under the crazy bus, they are damaging his street cred.  Between them and the Westboro Baptist Church folks God is going to need a better publicist. 

I thought about someone actually taking the time to so neatly print this out on unlined paper in such precise rows.  Writing it down, driving to the radio station, finding some nasty dirty medical tape to use to tape it to the wall....that's commitment to an idea and to communicating a message.

Are we so committed in the things we communicate?  Do we put so much thought and time into our Facebook moments?  Should we?  Obviously, not to the extent of CRAZY but perhaps on some level having an actual plan with an idea before we share it with others is a beneficial thing.  Facebook and Twitter seem to be stream of consciousness styles of sharing, where you plug everyone in to your inner monologue and let her rip!

I'm not sure that's a good thing.  The process of discovery gets lost.  The process of sharing intimately, privately is rendered irrelevant.  Are we willing to give up our authentic intimacies in favor of not so intimate megaphone shout outs?  Maybe that's easy for me to say since I have the ability to speak my mind to thousands of people on the radio each day.  But the truth is, I don't speak my actual mind.  I speak the facet of me that appeals to the target listener.  It's very specific communicating with a certain type of recipient in mind.  There's no real right answer to any of this, just thinking through the new paradigm this type of access has created in our lives.

I've missed everyone.  It will be fun to be back.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 58: Who Matters?

There was a moment tonight after the end of a 17 hour day and several hours of doing it again and again and again to get it right....when the director told me what a great job I was doing.....and said she wished you could see me in this play.  I was doing so good until that moment and then I broke down.  My heart fell out of my eyes and bounced on the floor beating "miss you...."miss you"...."miss you."  I wish you could see me too, I'm really proud of this.  I want to share my important moments with the people who mean the most to me.  I want you here for all of the best parts of life and not just as the person I call when things get scary and I need to hear that somebody believes in me when I don't.

We are all so close, just a phone call, Skype, Text Message or email away.  And it's not close enough.  The virtual world we share isn't enough to share.  I need flesh.  I need to be able to see your eyes.  I need to know that when you are in pain I am right there with you.  We are scattered all over the country....(scattered like snowflakes, New York to LA) and dammit when I sang that song at my birthday party I knew I didn't just mean Christmas, I meant all of the time.  How do we make it so that we can have enough access?  How do we bring all of the parts together?  I want my heart beating in me where it belongs.

These moments....they only matter if we share them with the people who matter.  Giving the best parts of ourselves to people whose only capacity is the shallow end of the pool is a waste.  I want to share myself with people who matter.  I'm diving into the deep end, without a snorkel or water wings.  I'm not gonna crawl, I'm gonna butterfly.  Who's ready to float?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 55: Too Tired to Sleep

<-------- I take copious notes in meetings.

I have hit that point of exhaustion where silliness has set in.  Lucid, wonderful creative space where a million ideas could become art if only I had the time to pace them in the wilds of my mind.  I want to run with the animals that kick up the dust in there, run hard until my thighs are frothy and sore and my mane is flying in the wind.  I started a poem....and can't finish it because I know it's like a half boiled egg, to runny to lose its shell.  I have to let it simmer a bit longer.

My belly is growling in the most distracting way.  It doesn't want to let me sleep but I don't want to feed an 11pm monster and watch it grow.  More water.  More water.  Everything needs more water right?  The roommates made popcorn, the kind you cook in a popper on top of the stove where you crank the handle so it turns just right in the kettle, and the smell has been wafting up the stairs to my room.
This space is where I should be creating.  I know the minute I stop typing I am going to close my eyes for an instant and wake up to an alarm buzzing with my fingers cuddling the keyboard of a dead little Macbook like a mourner at a wake clings to their compassion.

This is the time I'd normally be Facebooking.  I'm going to be responsible and use it to sleep.

Sleep is > (not = to!) Facebook.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 54: Cheater?

My cousin asserts that I may be cheating. I can see her point of view so let's explore.... When you set up a GMail account you are now automatically enrolled in Google's Google+ feature. I haven't done much with Google+ and rarely check the account that mine is linked to but last week I added that email account to my cell phone so now every day I get my mail on my phone, including prompts to add friends and family as friends in my Google+ circles. I finally have started relenting and adding people when I get the prompts. I also uploaded photos to the account from my phone. I have no idea what my Google+ looks like or even what it does and how it works, I'm saving exploring that for May 1st when I end my social media "fast." I suppose in that context it could be argued that this blog and my poetry blog are actually cheating as well. I'm not going to sweat the details. My intent was to stay off Facebook and reduce my consumption of the mental junk food I get from the site. I know I've done that and I'm glad for it. My use of it will be vastly different when i return. I thought about whether or not I'd go back and look at what everyone else has been up to and decided that I won't. Just like in real life, if I've missed it, I missed it and there is no do over. I want my moments to be live, in person, in the flesh with you. I want to hug you, wipe your tears, hear your laughter and share real life things together. Ain't nothin' like the real thing baby....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 51: Keep Working On It!

Not every day is roses. (Today was/is!) But the thing we all seem to forget in the inbetween times while waiting for the bloom is the process. All living thing have a process. There are things that need to happen in a certain order for the fragrant aroma to fill your yard. You have to tend the soil, plant the seeds, grow the bushes to maturity with adequate water and sunshine and nutrients before the buds appear. The painful process of pruning requires lopping off the weak arms of the bush so the nutrients can go directly to the branches with the most potential to bloom. Then, one day as if by some miracle those tight buds unravel smiling and seeking sky. Of course we immediately murder them and throw them in a vase...but that's not the point right now. The point is, all living things require the process of growth. In our instant gratification grasp for more, now, the most we forget to take the time to nurture the most important aspects of the things that matter. To me, this is the biggest detrimental side effect of the availability of technology in our society. People who don't balance well and have issues with moderation may rely solely on the convenience of technology to communicate and may not take the time to nurture their relationships with appropriate process in place. This Facebook hiatus has given me the chance to unplug so I can better plug in to the right components in my life. Imagine you're using an appliance that requires plugging in to the wall socket but you plug it into a socket that only supplies half the power that it needs to run. Let's say it's a throw in the ice, the fruit, the protein powder for your life smoothy and you hit the button hoping that in 30 seconds you'll have a refreshing mouthful of breakfast but instead it sputters and never even makes a full rotation. A bit frustrating yes? A similar kind of half-powered unworkability can happen when we are plugged in to the wrong kind of power sources in our own lives. So I guess that's been a good lesson for me during this hiatus from social media. Life is a tight wire juggling loved ones over a pool of piranha. If you don't pay attention you might drop something precious. Life is a process and it's worth paying attention!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 49: Twelve Days 'til Facebook

Twelve days left until I can plug back in and I am wondering if I will.  I was in a conversation with my co-worker about what I miss being off of Facebook and I had to admit that it isn't much.  

I don't miss being stalked by my ex's paranoid girlfriend.  Or the other crazy lady that makes my life miserable via her husband every time she has a spazz attack about me.   (Hi neurotic basket cases, thanks for reading.  If you think this statement is about you, it probably is.)  I don't miss people's indignation when I don't know *every* minute detail of their life just by being their Facebook friend.  I don't miss being asked "Did you see what I posted?"  while they snicker, refusing to tell me and instead making me have my personal experience with them over the impersonal venue of the masses online.  I don't miss the pseudo culture.  The hoaxes.  The parade of bandwagons on which to jump.  

I will say this, anyone on my friends list, family included, who hasn't taken the time to contact me outside of Facebook during this hiatus, when my contact information is available on my "about" page to my friends is going to be removed as a friend when I get back on.  This means I'll go from about 650 friends down to about 50 which will make my friends list MUCH more manageable and Facebook much less consumptive.  

I am really shocked at the number of people I considered to be good friends, who live right here in my own town, that have not even sent so much as a text message during this down time.  I'm sorry, I don't have a single friend that I let 60 days slip by without contacting.  Hell most of them hear from me at least once a week on some level.

So I can log back in twelve days from now but I envision my participation to take a turn and my availability to as well.  I will still photo blog my life.  I will still keep up with the people who matter but my circle is getting smaller, tighter and more complete.  My patience with surface level interaction is waning.  If you're not worth knowing completely, I completely have no desire to know you.  

I want a life of flesh.  Not skin.  I want a life of knowing the beat of your heart, not the flush of your cheeks it causes.  I want you under my skin and me under yours and if we say we are friends I want it to be because we have known the worst of one another and accepted each other unconditionally with love.  

So thanks Facebook for giving me access to 450,000,000 people who use you on a daily basis, about .00000125 of those are my "friends" right now and .0000001 actually behave like friends.  All this connection certainly leaves one feeling a disconnect!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 47: Breath Catching

This busy bee is buzzing in so many directions it is nearly impossible to keep from being dizzy.  I can't wait for simpler days when I have the time to clean my floors!  This weekend was no exception.  Friday I woke with a little head cold and by noon had a full blown sore throat.  I went home and my roommates took one look at me and started loading me up with vitamins and infusions of healing quality.  It was to be the start of Laurel's birthday weekend and I went ahead with our plans to go to see the musical Gypsy Friday Night.  I went home and had a good NyQuil sleep and did nothing before rehearsal.  My sore throat was abated but the head cold stubbornly hung on.  That's fine, for me the greater danger is the sore throat.  I tend to be highly susceptible to strep and tonsillitis and was happy to have avoided either of those.

After 5 hours of rehearsal and an hour at the radio station, Lolli and I finally got home Saturday and started getting her things ready for her party Sunday.  All of the boxes were ready to go in the dining room, I just needed to load them into the car.  I decided that I should do a couple of organizational projects to make the party go smoother and put together a sign in list where I could keep track of parents' names and numbers if their kids were being dropped off at the party.  I also made some little punch cards for each child to ensure they each had a chance to play the games we had and that they all got their goodie boxes at the end of the party.  

Since it was birthday weekend, even though her birthday wasn't officially until Sunday, I let Lolli open her gifts from me Saturday Night.  I had gotten her some Monster High Dolls.  Lolli isn't into Barbie, but she digs the darker more interesting Monster High Dolls.  At this point she had amassed 6 of the 20 different characters.  We spent the rest of the night taking shoe boxes and making each of the characters a personalized box that could serve to hold that character's personal items and also be their "bed."  It was fun to spend the time collaborating and raiding my linen drawer for "bedding" materials for the project.  We fell into bed sometime around 11pm ready to sleep!

Sunday morning started early with a planned 8am call to one of the grandparents to open gifts, then a 9am Skype date with her dad to open more gifts and in between and after making pancakes for birthday breakfast and getting showered and ready for the day.  Her Dad further enhanced her Monster High Collection with a great skirt (worn for the birthday party), a poster, 2 more character dolls and Draculara's car.  Make that 8 of 20 in the collection.

And we were off for the big party, to be held in the game room of a local Yogurt place.  We got there and were able to haul everything from the car, set up and get organized just before the first guest arrived.  Whew!  Lolli told me that I could "take the day off" since I had "worked" all of her other birthdays.  She let me know that she was going to host her party and I didn't need to do anything, she'd take care of it all.  I asked her if I could "please" do a few things just so I knew she still needed me around and she graciously allowed me the opportunity to keep busy.  Seventeen kids came and everyone had a great time.  All of the kids got to play the games and win prizes.  They enjoyed pizza and cupcakes and yogurt, there was karaoke.....I'd like to say we all enjoyed it......really I'd like to.  

All in all, it was a great party.  Laurel was a consummate hostess, getting on mic several times to direct activities, keeping her friends busy and full of Capri Sun or pizza.  We had one sad moment where a couple of little girls sang "Firework" by Katy Perry and I saw Laurel crumble from across the room.  She ran to me with big tears in her eyes and a trembling lip.  She and her best friend Stephanie used to sing that song together and Steph had moved away at the start of school.  Laurel misses her terribly.  We went out on the patio and talked a few minutes I let her sit there and collect herself and another little girl came up looking for her.  I explained that she was a little sad and why and the girl offered to go talk to her, grabbing a Capri Sun and tissue on the way.  A few minutes later Laurel returned, all smiles.  Apparently the girl had two best friends move away and knew just what to say to help her feel better.

Tons of laughs, smiles, gifts and moments of silliness later and we were home, car unloaded, accompanied by a little girl who arrived late for the party and came for a play date after as a make good.    We had a few hours to relax before it was time for me to head back to the theater for another rehearsal late into the night.  When my alarm rang this morning I had slept 5 hours and did not want to get up.  My boss (and morning show partner) sicked out of work today which is a good thing because that means I can leave a bit earlier and catch a nap before yet another rehearsal.  The good news is we only have 2 weeks until the show starts.  And I'll be done with rehearsal in time to cook a normal dinner this evening and have a normal night at home and make my juice for tomorrow.  It seems like a luxury!

It was strange not to be Facebooking photos and details of the party and the day.  I have no idea if she had birthday wishes on her Facebook page or not, I am sure she does.  I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks.

These moments of catching my breath.....of my breath catching in my throat....of busy and happy and sometimes the feeling that time is slipping too quickly by me....these moments remind me that there is nothing I cannot do.  I am Kali the 8 armed goddess with each hand holding something precious and wonderful.  I am Athena with enough wisdom to make it through any challenge.  I am imperfect but perfect in my love for this child and she has made me a much better woman than I otherwise would have been.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 43: Number 2

Sometimes I have to acknowledge that my child is INCREDIBLE.  Today is one of those days.

That is all.

Day 43: Newsflash!

Guess what?  I am not you.  I have no desire to infect my interpersonal spiritual device with your corrupt operating system.  You've had that virus for so long you think the slowness that has overtaken your reaction time is a normal thing.  In truth, you're diseased and I am relieved that I have escaped with my life.

How you lie to one person is how you lie to the world and yourself.  You try and lie to make yourself a good person.  You try to lie to make yourself the hero of your story.  You try to lie to cover up your flaws. 

I come at the world flaws first but with a resolute code of behavior that is not up for compromise.  I don't lock step.  I don't fall into line with the others.  I don't play nice but I do try to play in reciprocal fashion.  I give what I get.  I don't build a facade of "nice" to hide behind.  I'm not nice, I'm a realist and a pragmatist.  The only person whose hero I have ever been is mine.  I don't know what the hell I'm doing most of the time but I am aware of what I am doing all of the time and I am aware of the impact of my actions on the world and the people around me.  

I am not going to apologize for the skin that has grown over my humanity.  it is thick, plated fleshy armor hiding my vulnerable places.  It is unyielding.  I am not going to apologize for the life that has made it so.  It has shaped me into this form, this being and like a tree that has grown sideways with the wind, I have not grown the same as others around me.

Sometimes I feel very alone.  And I tell myself I was born alone.  I will die alone.  And I'd better get used to being alone with my thoughts and really learn to enjoy being within myself.  Writing it down, it sounds like bullshit.  Humans are social creatures.  We gravitate towards other because we thrive in social groups.  I crave the intimacy of sharing my thoughts and vulnerable places with another human being.

However, we have to go back to my unyielding aforementioned resolute code of behavior.  I don't suffer fools.  I don't candy coat.  I work and play hard and my life is busy and full and wonderfully organic in growth and opportunity.  If you do not have a parallel ethical standard we will not survive in any form of relationship with one another.  Not as lovers.  Not as friends.  Not as colleagues or associates.

I am completely secure in my lack of conformity to the mediocre standard of the lowest common denominator.  You can have half-assed.  You can keep surface level.  You can take your shallow hand me down culture and shove it up your ass.  If you can't be your whole self...if you can't tell the truth about every aspect of your fucked up flaws....if you can't be true to you.....then you won't ever be anything but false to anyone else and I have no intention of being your safe place and confessor.  I have no intention of participating in your fall from grace or impending redemption.

Today's newsflash:  I have no tolerance for your weakness because you've never done any type of strength training to improve the things you can control.