Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
For a long time, I thought I was, but then I grew up a little, took a look at myself, and I realized I'm a left-brainer. I'm more about the logic, the problem solving, the organizing and not so much about the creativity. It wasn't easy to accept it, but what choice did I have (see, that's logical).
But I still day-dream about it. My admiration of the artist is deep and I spend a good amount of my recreational time appreciating it. The auteur, the visionary, the one who can show me a different perspective or a forgein idea - I like those guys.
Artists are either lauded or despised in our culture. They're the richest or the poorest of people, but those of them that are driven by their desire to express an idea, regardless of it's marketability, are my favorites.
Elvis Costello is a good example of an artist who has ideas he wants to explore; maybe you'll come with him, maybe not, but he walking down his own path, and it's clear that he's driven by a specific vision without a whole lot of angst about how many records he'll sell.
I think Michael Jackson could have been that kind of artist. How great would it have been to see him explore other musical genres without attention to record sales? He was clearly talented, but talent muddied with a drive to be adored doesn't seem to be a good formula for artistic greatness (not to mention a happy life).
Now that I've embraced my lack of artistic talent, I'm free to enjoy, despise and criticize the creative landscape. It enriches my left-brained life.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
My problem began long before the invent of the internet. Back in the day, I’d keep my ear to the ground to hear all about the love lives of celebrities – who was paired up with who/who dumped who. People was like having a daily ½ glass of house chardonnay. Even though I had a problem, my dealer’s stash was limited, so I was able to keep it under control.
When Thirtysomething was the big prime-time hit, I started to think of those characters as my friends. I looked forward to seeing them weekly (I never missed an episode even during those unbearable pre-TIVO years) and was genuinely upset for 24 hours after Gary died in a tragic bicycle accident.
Now, I’m drinking heavily. Twice-daily visits to Perez Hilton, LA Rag Mag and Page Six have made me the most uselessly informed mommy in Van Nuys. Last night I watched 5 minutes of Jeopardy and when the answer was: “What show was Chad Michael Murray on?” I yelled, “ONE TREE HILL!” to no one. Now, I’ve never seen One Tree Hill and probably couldn’t pick Chad out of a lineup, but I do know all about how the gays love him and that he had a short –lived marriage to an actress on that show. Why do I know this?!! Why do I let it take up space in my brain?!! As I said, I have a problem. I am powerless in the face of gossip, and my dealer is available 24/7 at the push of a button... well, a string of buttons.
Here’s more proof: I was the first one in my office (and probably the Valley) to know Michael Jackson was dead, because I had TMZ on my screen when it was posted! (I spent the next week playing MJ videos and singing “Man in the Mirror” while faux-sobbing, but my connection with MJ’s crazy-ass is for another time.)
Like most addicts, I’m ambivilant about my addiction. Hate it/Love it/Hate it. I’ve vowed to quit before, and I’ve always fallen off the wagon. What do I find so damned interesting about those people? I guess mostly that they’re not me, that I get to feel superior to them, that I can wallow in their problems and avoid my own. It’s probably not more complicated than that.
But I do dream of getting clean – imagine it: really losing weight, solving global issues, having meaningful conversations with my children. Not likely, but I like to consider the possibilities.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I had always been a die-hard liberal Democrat. I was known to shout down family members who defended the policies of Ronald Reagan and defend a woman's right to choose with fisticuffs. So when I landed with a political consulting firm raising money for democratic politicians, it was a dream-job. I rubbed shoulders with lefty pols who became U.S. Senators and got to know the inner-workings of electoral politics. I even held a personal fundraiser for a new-guy: Bill Clinton. I followed that job with a long stint at a green PAC. I loved my job, the people I worked with and thought I was doing the lord's work.
Then, gradually, I realized that I was identifing less and less with my lefty friends. It seems that I'd spent too much time in the white-hot political kitchen mixing a recipe like this:
- A noisy dash of Dennis Prager
- An exhausting cup of parent-hood
- A bitter spoonfull of Monica Lewinsky and feminist hypocracy
- A shocking pint of 9-11
- A shitload of time working in the political sausage-grinder
I mixed it all together over the course of a few years with a healthy dose of cynacism. No matter how much sugar I added, I lost the taste for politics altogether.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still a political junky, have voted in every election (even the small, stupid ones) that I've been eligible to vote in and I was lucky enough to witness this President's historic inauguration on the Mall in the company of my young son, but I just can't get worked up anymore. [I even didn't feel the elation of the throngs on the Mall during the swearing-in, but I faked it well enough.]Behind this evolution is real pain. I don't know who I am politically anymore; I'm all over the place. Pro-Iraq war and a Bush-apologist, but Pro-Gay Marriage and a supporter of Obama's health care reform. There's not even a word for my politics anymore and it makes me really sad. I feel so left out.
I am a patriot. I've travelled some and have realized how free we really are - more free than any other nation - even the democratic ones. I wouldn't live anywhere else and think we are (get ready) superior to every other government on the planet. Among some liberals, that's blasphemy. But I can't relate to the right either. I mean - how fucking crazy are the birthers?! [Full Disclosure: I'm still a registered Democrat, partly so my husband doesn't boot my ass out of the house.]
So, here I sit - betwixt and between. As usual.
Monday, August 3, 2009
And it’s not good for me.
Facebook has become one more way for me to be positive that my life is not just inadequate, but the worst one on the block. When one of my “friends” posts: “watching my precious child’s summer day fade into twilight” or “squeezing my awesome husband thank you for these beautiful roses,” I think – Shit. And alhtough I don’t do it, I’d like to post: “fighting with my kids to put their shoes on” or “gritting my teeth ‘cause he didn’t kiss me hello”, but then I would be showing my over 500(so there!!) friends how things really are here in suburbia… monotonous, frustrating and even lonely.
Even people who I KNOW are not having the Best. Summer. Of. Their. Lives. look really good on Facebook. Beach visits, cart wheeling, and bbq-ing are just build-up for those whose summer is awesome. One friend’s pictures of her family in Paris sent me directly to McDonald’s to drown my sweaty sorrow in french fries (no homage intended).
Really, those friends can go to hell. [Okay, not really.] While I’m working away (well, for that I am lucky) in the sweltering Valley planning a vacation to…um… NOWHERE, I wish these jet-setters wouldn’t share their elation at their trip to the Pompedeu Museum or at least, they could temper it with tales of jetlag.
Look. I’m a cynic. It’s just a part of my DNA. I try to be grateful for the small things, but my mind wanders pretty quickly to the crappy big things that just aren’t what I want them to be.
So why do I keep coming back?! Maybe I’m hoping that Facebook will transform into real interaction between human beings where we describe our inner lives in more than 10 words ‘cause I know self-doubt and anxiety are human traits that most of us share and it’d make me feel better to know that I wasn’t alone.
Not that I’d post any of this there – I have an image to uphold.