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Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #930577
Blog started in Jan 2005: 1st entries for Write in Every Genre. Then the REAL ME begins
It Hurts When I Stop Talking

Sometime in Fall of 1998, when a visit from Dad was infrequent, and primarily at the mercy of his 88 Toyota making the 50 mile journey, I was being treated to lunch. The restaurant was my choice, I think. Sisley Italian Kitchen at the Town Center mall was somewhere my dad had not yet tried, so that was my pick. Either I was being treated to the luxury of lunch and adult conversation without my husband and 5 year old son in tow, or that's just how the moment has lodged in my memory. The more I think about it, they probably were there, but enjoying the Italian food too much to bother interrupting.

Daddy and his lady friend at the time, Anne, came up together and made a day of it with me and the family. We were eating together and talking about some of my scripts, stories, coverages, poems and other creative attempts that really were not seeing the light of day. I think I'd just finished a group reading of The Artist's Way and was in a terribly frenetic mood over my writing. I think I'd just given them an entire rundown on a speculative Star Trek script.

My Dad asked me point blank, “Why don’t you write it?? Anne agreed. It sure sounded like I wanted to write it. Why wasn't I writing seriously? It's what I'd set out to do when earning my college degree in Broadcasting many years earlier.

Heck, I should, I agreed non-verbally.

“I will.”

But, I didn’t.

Blogs can be wild, unpredictable storehouses of moments, tangents, creative dervishes, if you will. I'm getting a firmer handle on my creative cycle. My mental compost heap (which is a catch phrase from Natalie Goldman or Julia Cameron - I can't think which, right now) finally seems to be allowing a fairly regular seepage of by-products. That may be a gross analogy, but I give myself credit to categorize my work in raw terms. It proves that I'm not so much the procrastinating perfectionist that I once was.

Still, I always seem to need prompts and motivation. Being a self-starter is the next step. My attempt to keep up in the Write in Every Genre Contest at the beginning of the year seemed like a perfect point to launch the blog.

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January 31, 2019 at 12:38pm
January 31, 2019 at 12:38pm
This article:

In which a 22-year old mother fell and died navigating subway stairs with a 1-year old in a stroller in New York. I realize now deficiencies that I note about Los Angeles transportation are maybe better than places like New York, Boston, and Chicago that have older systems. I always assumed their attempts at accessibility were far better due to having larger, older, and far-ranging systems. The idea that not all stations, or even every other have an elevator or lift of some functionality really surprises me since the Americans with Disabilities Act has been official for almost three decades.

There is abuse by commuters of transportation infrastructure (elevators), and that could be addressed with educational campaigns. Maybe just like driving in Los Angeles, if people would commit to only driving alone on the highways when absolutely necessary, the same pledge could be in people's minds about crowding the elevator. Use it when your arthritis flares, but maybe not everyday, okay? Ans most of all be kind to the machine that gives access to all that push a stroller, assistive devices or roll in a chair.
January 20, 2019 at 10:51am
January 20, 2019 at 10:51am
My dad returning home from a convalesence and my older dog beginning the decline of old age has filled the last two weeks. I am A little sleep deprived and this does not help my eye strain. Also, Just realizing the table height where the couch bench is comfy at Starbucks is not very ergonomic. Ah well.This time of quiet, silence, contemplation -- hibernation. it is so necessary. perhaps last year and the year before that has disrupted the Spiritual Center's collective sleep.

When I have been woken several times in the night by the yips of my dog, Max, the next morning is a struggle and time really, just disappears -- I cannot focus on its passage -- am I sleepwalking?
January 10, 2019 at 8:00pm
January 10, 2019 at 8:00pm
I wandered away to seek out the name I remembered being a "something of Peace" that happens in January (I assumed due to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday) and after thinking it was a "Season of Peace," titled my entry as such. I later found what I was remembering was a sixty-four day Season for Non-violence starting January 30th and ending April 4th each year. This span is begun and ended on the memorial dates for Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. As I think about how and when I select my WDC costumicon around Christmas, and that I prefer the dove, I wanted it to be noted here as a connection to the Winter and its season of Peace. I will develop this more. I need to actually, mindfully develop the attitude, not just the intention to write more about it. (As I was reminded by my Notes from the Universe (TUT) statement, I am still developing an attitude of compassion. The question is...am I applying myself to that really, or is it just words, then no action?
January 2, 2019 at 7:47am
January 2, 2019 at 7:47am
I cannot let myself not write into the blog just because I have no photo to go in it. I suppose that I would have to have a Premium membership if I really wanted to have photos everyday. Wonder if bloggers ever think of themselves as a part of a big neighborhood? So many people joke, and many blogger agree, it's not like we are writing stuff other people see. Of course, the initial intent is that what one places in a blog is of interest to someone else, somewhere. But much like we have become with real neighborhood neighbors, we do not talk, may not know a name to go with the face, really may not even seek it out. Maybe one time or another you venture to their door to mention something amiss with a sprinkler head, or to borrow that cup of sugar...nah, no one does that anymore, huh?

I do have a neighbor in a medium sized apartment complex (OK, beside my landlady, I know 3 other people's names, but sadly that is my across the way neighbor, Rachel and her granddaughter Amanda and their closest neighbor Manny (I think his name is Manny, that's where I started to say, "sadly" as I am not sure) And I know he has two daughters, but I do not know their names. Rachel has been a carpool buddy a couple years, so we got to know each other well, and I have gone to family events. My family so rarely does "events" we only reciprocated once or twice. Rachel has been more of a benefactor always graciously letting us utilize a carpet cleaner of hers. In return we generally do a service of fixing or doing something or another to make something work without having to schedule maintenance (who, if you have dogs, as we both have) make you take off a day.

That seems like it has nothing to do with prettying up my blog entries, but the lesson from my interaction with this neighbor, is the invite and or the favor is almost always accepted on both sides, no matter what the mess you're walking into looks like. My place, much more than hers needs the benefit of more cleaning hours.Maybe this is also part of my problem of "not having more readers over" I don't think my maintenance on "the place" makes it worthy to entertain guests...well, new year, so maybe my goal should be to make it presentable to guests.

I leave a welcome mat at the door -- it's a start.
January 1, 2019 at 10:52am
January 1, 2019 at 10:52am
My mum and my nieces -- so cute, the three of 'em

When everyone's in the mood -- that's happiness. It doesn't matter that everyone cannot be in the same place, especially nowadays. Started 2019 with a bit of a plan for preparing my dad to move back into his single flat and checking the newspaper site. The prep has to do with cleaning his place a bit and seeing if I can remove some of the smoker smell. He's been diagnosed with COPD, and I don't have it worked out yet to get him an air purifier, but I want that to be a next step. I really have to search around for more laundry of his to do, as well{ as my household's. Looking at the paper, I got myself in the usual trap of reading the comments after an article. A couple of people have to whine and moan about the cost, inconvenience, or supposed politics of a parade? Where do these inhumans spawn from? It's a parade -- a beautiful, evocative parade....I told folks either love it or leave it alone. Anyway, I am looking forward to it. From a distance -- televised.
December 31, 2018 at 2:45pm
December 31, 2018 at 2:45pm
I am in a constant mindset of noticing things that could work better with just a little refinement. I think up social programs that could make the way smoother for people. Most of last week, I fumed internally, and sometimes publicly on Twitter, about service failures at stations within the local Metro system. Elevator outages that strand wheelchair users, that type of thing. It prompted me to think about how just a person being available when a patron encounters a problem improves the situation. I would willingly volunteer to MAKE A PERSON'S DAY JUST A BIT BETTER.

Today, reading about changes in State law, I came across this: "State education officials must help develop media literacy programs to teach students how to spot fake news." This looks like an opportunity as well. I have the degree and media background to develop a school-age curriculum, and to teach it. Now, just like my memoir in the works, I need to actually write what I believe is possible, and not just talk about what a great idea that is for me.
December 21, 2018 at 1:07pm
December 21, 2018 at 1:07pm
The actual poem by Rumi is titled, The Guest House. Its first stanza begins with with an awkward phrasing that is really, just so right in the way it trips the reader in a first pass at reading it.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

The distinguishing statement of the whole poem comes at the end:

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide....
November 6, 2018 at 7:02pm
November 6, 2018 at 7:02pm
I did not follow my own challenge in writing a blog post for each day in October based off a reading. Partly this was due to higher volume of work in week three of October, and in part some health issues for my dad that needed attention. Now, being in November, I glanced back at the document I had been reading from -- chose the October 31st reading. Found it interesting that Ernest Holmes spoke frequently about the questions in people's minds about psychic power. I guess that he must have had many curious people making correllations of "supernatural" with "spiritual" or "magic" with "metaphysical?" His text was from the Thirties, and his talks were popular in the Fifties -- So, I should not be surprised.

In the reading that started, "Mental tendencies set in motion cast their shadows before..." he introduces the idea that the power of a Psychic is merely an application of logical deduction. That is not a new idea, but so many people tend to disregard building any understanding of logic, that it leaves one open to letting anything out of "their norm" in an arena of magic. Maybe some just wish to exist naively -- I know I do sometimes. There is the real focus we should have for each other: let's encourage each other to have mental tendencies that are empathetic and supportive of others.
September 22, 2018 at 3:38pm
September 22, 2018 at 3:38pm
I am by nature, not a complainer. I move along where I can. There are times when I "let go" more easily by telling "the story." I do realize that I do get to a place of enjoying telling the same story, and sometimes the story evolves ans changes -- but if I am right, the telling of the story many times allows me to change myself. The true goal.

I received a text from a friend, today -- he's planning a training -- wanting to know if I can suggest any that would be interested. And besides answering the shout into the Universe, he then asked how work was going. Been workin at a new location (same job)
September 11, 2018 at 6:39pm
September 11, 2018 at 6:39pm
Approach. This is a theme I came up with about a week ago for something I would name a data visualization/ presentation I imagine myself making to a museum I'd like to work for. The topic it would be making a point to answer is this: What's the best way tocater to a variety of patrons. What reward makes the museum an attractive destination destination? The people of Los Angeles would be making many different choices in transportation options to travel to the museum. Whether it is by solo car, school bus, or light rail -- people make different approaches to the location of their choice that day. Some dedicated people, either with very little resources and money to expend, or someone with plenty, make up the potential museum audience. But above all, it is their experience of their approach which colors their initial experience once arriving at the museum.

Consider a family of six utilizing a combination of commuter train, light rail and metro bus (assuming someone from county's edge or beyond) making a day of it. Or a tourist. What is the approach experience of a neighbor? Someone who simply walks in off the street, a USC student, a Central L.A. or Southpark resident, a transient? You already can question whether each of these has the same expectations, the same educational/experience base, or if each will receive the same treatment upon entry to the museum.

We ask everyone employed at a public institution to treat others fairly, to advise our guests and each other of the agreed upon rules and the unspoken agreement to uphold standards for conduct. We do this partly for the attainment of an agreed societal culture, of which we count our museums and libraries as major contributors and catalogers of the evolving culture. Moreso, we hire people to populate the museum who are themselves, interested in the goals of our institution, educated, and, we hope, upholders of Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws. You know, those laws that evolve with us, that state that we will act in our hiring and working relationships so as not to discriminate against people for categories of description over which they primarily have no choice -- their genetics, including sex determination at birth or their outward gender identity, disability, their skin color, their nationality, citizenship, cultural identity or perceived religious background, age, and status as a veteran of armed service.

Whew, that's a lot to remember, but maybe not so much when you just advise others to avoid assumptions above all, and work hard to avoid classifying people when making decisions. Instead, let's just look at our goals based on people being people. What do people want? Maybe just to be heard and respected in their speaking, or even in their not speaking.

I had an experience, just a morning ago, that kept me quiet (afraid) in the moment, but really brought so many things into focus, even to restart/finish my memoir and increase my desire to do this "approach" themed project. And it involves taking the light rail on a still new ( two-month ) commute to work.

I could identify the people involved as being different races from mine, that point did have relevance to the argument and my experience of the confrontational nature of it, but instead, for this retelling, I will leave that out. While travelling on the light rail, I witnessed a male travelling with a female, who was pushing a stroller, establish "their spot" standing in the train car. The stroller contained two babies, the only unusual thing to note about that was that one was comfortably laid in what I would identify as the storage section of the stroller under the main seat. It appeared that a younger infant lay in the upper compartment. Nothing unusual about the conversation of the adults, seemed like they were making sure they had everything needed to drop the babies with a caretaker.

A few stops after, a man with a bicycle entered the already crowded train car. I was seated across from the space where bicycles are intended to be placed in the train (marked as a long box outline on the floor) and highlighted by a large bicycle image against a yellow background on the back wall). The couple with the stroller happened to be occupying the front half of this space -- too much of it to easily fit a bicycle in the remaining space. The man with the bicycle did however aim his bicycle into the remaining area. Immediately, the man of the couple shouted that his kids were there and became confrontational, verbally abusive and racially and politically pointed in harassing the bicycle user, insisting that he move his bike away, preferably to the next car. He also seemed to want to claim the territory of the neighborhood the train was travelling through and insist that the bicycle user leave the country. The woman was in agreement with her man's outrage. The outraged man additionally reached into his bag, in a way that I thought was likely to result in him brandishing a gun. Instead it was a black handled two-foot blade that emerged (also black, somewhat curved and wide on one end like a machette). This and the urging of the passenger right next to me convinced the confused bicycle user to move as much out of sight as possible.

The couple continued to crow about their perceived outrage and righteousness until exiting at Vermont/Athens. I and so many others around me really stayed quiet during the whole encounter. As far as I know no one called the police. I was angry at myself for not being able to say anything. However, as my husband pointed out when I told him about the way it cowed me, he said that's just how some people are, and probably for the best. I do feel that I took the steps I was capable of, namely, asking the passenger seated next to me if he was "OK" after-the-fact, and thanking him for the small part he did contribute to diffusing the confusion. I also happened to get off the train at the same station the bicyclist did, so I also asked him if he was "OK." The only compassion I could offer was agreeing that the man who was outraged seemed out of his mind.

So, in retelling the story several times, and in what I have additionally taken in in the whole day since, I have released a great deal of tension in just one day. I have no better insight into what made the one man so confrontational, but I respect myself more, even in my not doing much in the moment. I recognize myself in that quiet. Even in that fear. And a day later, I can think of things, strong things, I might have said to the bully. But I am a writer, not a soldier or a gang member, or whatever it takes to face down that weapon-toting kind of wrong. Being a writer is my talent, after all. I deny my talent too often, but in situations like this, and in so many unlike this, the comeback arrives twenty minutes later in the mind, and maybe thirty hours later on the page. I document. I don't immediately make it a script, or a prize-winner. And even now, I have left out the details and words that might make it influence, manipulate emotion, or give it drama. That is my process. And I can own that and use it. I have to be willing to go through all the analysis first, as well as take the next steps.

In this way, the way we see others, and acknowledge their "approach" we can better ourselves and we can better everyone's experiences. We all have a lot of steps to follow to get there for ourselves. But that's the only part you have to see clearly. When you can get it right for yourself, then maybe others can wake up to their part.

WDC 18th Birthday Masquerade Party

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