Wednesday, December 31, 2014

We've all had bad days ...

I've had a headache for the past two days. It's been really cold here in Los Angeles and I've had to turn the heater on. I had to say good-bye to my 15 year-old cat Squeaky last month. I had to say good-bye to my basset hound Bruce 2 years ago. My partner and I of 16 years broke up 3 years ago. My best friend died of cancer, my grandmother died and I got bullied so bad every day of my senior year of high school that I dropped out. 

These are all things that happen to every one of us, give or take. We deal with them. We don't like it but we deal. Can you imagine waking up every morning in a body that wasn't yours? Every day wondering what it would be like to be … to need to be somebody else? So uncomfortable in your own skin that not taking your life was a daily battle? I can't. 


Leelah took her own life on Sunday morning, stepping in front of a semi truck on Interstate 71. Leelah realized she was transgender when she was 14. Though she sought support from family, she received none. She posted a haunting suicide note to her Tumblr page, imploring parents not to react negatively if their child comes out as transgender, writing,

"Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say [to someone that they are wrong], especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me." For Alcorn, the situation sadly felt hopeless:
Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. 

Alcorn ended her note with a call to action, imploring society to stop ignoring the struggles faced by trans youth:

The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

I know first hand what it's like to live in pain. In constant fear of not being accepted. In constant fear of not being able to be myself. But I was (am) lucky. Lucky to have loving, caring family and friends. People who accepted me for who I am. People I could turn to for help. For advise. Or just somebody to talk to. My heart truly aches for Leelah. I hurt for her because she had no one to turn to. No one that would listen to her. No one to hear her cries for help.

My heart hurts for society as well. What have we lost? The poems and wisdom of another Maya Angelou? The acting talents of another Meryl Streep? A political powerhouse of another Hillary Clinton? The medical brain of Marie Curie?

Sadly we will never know.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On the bookshelf …

Travels with Casey
Benoit Denizet - Lewis 
Simon and Schuster 
Dog book, my favorite kind. Benoit loads up the RV for a month (turns out longer) long adventure across America. His traveling companion? His 8 year old lab mix that he (Benoit, not the lab) feels have not really connected in the 8 years that he's had him. Along the way they meet police dogs, farm dogs, dock-diving dogs, show dogs and dogs with nothing to do but bathe in the loving glow of their masters.    

Aligning Strategy and Sales
Frank V. Cespedes
Harvard Business Review Press
What can I say? Its a book to make me a better sales person. Normally books like this remind me of whats-his-name? The guy with the big head and teeth … you know who I'm talking about. Anyway, this was a good, informative read. 

The Animals - Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy edited by Katherine Bucknell
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US) 
Chatto & Windus (UK)
A love story of the oldest kind. Young man / Older Man. And this one lasted for more than 30 years despite a 30 year age gap. Love letters.  Hate letters. Jealousy letters. Tender letters. For anyone who has lost the love of their life. Or is still looking.  

Jennifer Saunders - Bonkers, My Life In Laughs
Jennifer Saunders
Penguin Group
What can I say about Jennifer? One word … my-side-hurts-from-laughing-so-hard. 

Future reads … 

A Sudden Light 
Garth Stein
Simon and Schuster 
Garth Stein wrote one of my favorite books … The Art of Dancing in the Rain published in 2008. I was so happy to find his new book on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble. I'll keep you posted. Oh, one more thing … the man is hot !

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A new way of thinking? Or the right way?

I have adored Meryl Streep for as long as I can remember. I truly believe she if one of the top actresses of our time. She embodies what acting is. She is diverse, sensitive, strong, weak, fearless, confident, funny, expressive, all encompassing, fluid … you get the picture. I worship her as an actress. But now I also see her as a living, breathing, caring, flawed creature. 

I found a post on Facebook that I am assuming she wrote. I mean … its on Facebook so it HAS to be true. I'd like to think it is. 

"I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me."

"I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature.

"I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me."

"I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate."

"I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise.

"I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance."I do not adjust either to popular gossiping."

"I hate conflict and comparisons."

"I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities."

"In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement."

"Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals."

"And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

 - Meryl Streep
I have lived in and around Hollywood for many years. Both physically and metaphorically. I have been involved in the movie making process and its probably skewed my view on many things.  People think acting is a frivolous career. It's not the act of acting that is superficial its some of the people that have chosen the career. I personally have been "touched" by the bug. Nothing has transpired … yet. 

Meryl Streep's words have really touched me in a way that I haven't been touched in years (keep the snickering to yourselves). 
"I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me."
How many of us do this? We chase after the approval and love of people who don't deserve it. We think "Please love me". No more. 
"I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.
And why should we? Life truly is to short to waste time on people that do not want to be honest, helpful, charitable and caring. 
"Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals."
This of course is the best. I have never trusted people that don't like animals. But better yet … I have never trusted people that animals don't like. 


Saturday, August 30, 2014

"This is what happens when you live in dreams he thought:you dream this and you dream that
 and you sleep right through your life"

- Beautiful Ruins 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Juice this !

I started a 3 day cleanse today. I ended a 3 day cleanse today. 

The Daily Puppy