Monday, January 22, 2007

Today was a day like no other. I lost my car keys right before an important client meeting, I missed project deadlines, every product I'm working on simultaneously combusted, the dog peed on my duvet and sheets and I didn't drink one lick of water.

I decided to not let stress get the best of me, but employ something the Dalai Lama must've at one point in his existence (this one or any of them) said about the virtue of patience and kindess as an approach to overcome angst and turmoil.

Plus, I have this big ol' Jesus Saves marquee outside my living room window. That must mean something, right?

The blurry red signs is that one that touts "Jesus Saves". It's rather picturesque, I just need a zoom lens to capture it.

All I can say is that for the pieces going awry, enough is counterbalancing it for me to appreciate all that's right with the world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I've carried a matchbook in my car for five years. It's from a bar called the "Good Luck" where, after two martinis, D. and I first kissed. I don't even notice the matchbook anymore, but yesterday I started snapping shots of it and thinking.

Married life with D. was blessed. Not always bliss, but good living. We were both lucky because we had a real partnership, a good time and enjoyed each other. We operated well in the Ying Yang sense. He focused my talents, I helped him unleash his. He taught me how to think through things and successfully get from A to B (something I could never do). I taught him how to flow freely.

I think I'll always keep that matchbook in my car. It's the key that unlocked a new universe for me. How rare and lucky I've been.

Is the matchbook a lucky charm? Nah. But I think D. and Good Luck will always be linked in my mind.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fondue or Die

Oh, loft living. It's going to be rich with tales. Know how I know? This was posted in the elevator when I came home from work last night:

Fondue. Or die.

I don't think I have anything further to add.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I miss you, you

I've missed you!

Why are you forsaking your writing duties? I've been asked a million times (in my dream world, I mean, I've been asked).

Here's the breakdown, if you didn't figure it out already, I am no longer living with my husband. I moved out and am figuring out what to do with myself in a artsy fartsy downtown high-ceilinged loft.

Not a bad place to figure out these kinds of things.

Everything about the adoption? On hold. Everything we've discovered about the life of Fizzlita? Rearranged. What I know about this new living arrangement? Abso-frickin'-lutely nothing.

What I can tell you is that the Queen of Spain (no, not any real royalty, this Queen) sent me a link to an article she wrote for the Huffington Post that was published in the Chicago Sun Times, with a PICTURE I TOOK of her and her little girl. Her article and my image? Published smack mutha freakin' dab in the middle of a metropolitian newspaper.

My picture. Published. Taking up two pages of a tabloid newspaper.

I'm in awe. Shocked!

AND. I want to be paid. I mean, a woman needs to be paid, right? Aside from the principles of journalistic integrity. You know. Checking your sources? Giving props where props are due?

Nonetheless, I am thrilled and want that tabloid Chicago Sun Times article that I didn't write hanging in my living room.

For the record, the Chicago Sun Times photo editor told me, "so sorry! We don't know how this happened. We'll pay you the freelancer's rate."

Up in this mug, we take the Fizzle Rate. That's for stealing my picture and not giving me credit. It's a little higher than what they pay stringers. I'm from the industry afterall.

Since we've missed each other, here's a picture of me for you to hang on to. It's of me in my new digs. But let's talk before you send it to the Washington Post, yes?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Word Associations

You know how words trigger associations? Today my mom told me she took my niece and nephew by the Balian Mansion, and the mere mention of those two words took me far back to a sweet, sugar-cookied memory buried not so deeply in my holiday closet.

When we were kids, my parents would load us in to their neon green VW bus and drive us down to this huge, pink mansion - adorned with Christmas lights and stuffed elves and reindeer and snowmen. Tour buses would pull up, unloading families and tourists and children in front of this ornate, over-tinseled, garish building. In other words? Heaven to a little girl.

I love those moments like today, when a mere mention of a word or two can trigger such a strong and positive association. In a moment's time, I was transported to a different era in my life, when I was young, believing and hopeful; a time when I dreamt about Santa and left plates of cookies for him (and ecstatically made my sisters reread the note --written by my mom -- he sent me thanking me and telling me what a good girl I was).

As you grow older and there's bills to pay, mouth's to feed, stockings to stuff, it's easy to lose sight of that youthful wonderment. Particularly with the rampant commercialism of the holiday. Believe you me, the running story of this holiday season is how everyone's being boxed down by the consumer next to them fighting for the same "'Builder Bob" play set.

But that moment I had today, succinctly remembering the childlike zeal I had as a 7 year old picking out Christmas gifts from Pick 'n Save for my siblings, laying out the stocking my mom made for me the year I was born, putting my own Fizzle box of ornaments on the Christmas tree and waking up at 6 in the morning and being corraled in our bedroom until our parents could wake all the kids up so we could run to our toys's wonderfully priceless.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pour a 40 for my City

Since this is going to be a Los Angeles themed post, first things first...

Que viva los Bruins!

I spent a lazy Sunday waking up at 4:30 a.m., running a half-marathon on the eastside before a 2000 calorie breakfast midtown and an evening hanging Christmas ornaments at a friend's in the valley.

That's LA for you. You can drive 200 miles in a day, just to shuttle yourself from location to location.

Not to complain. Because really? I'm in love. With my city.

I have always loved Los Angeles in the way that I love my niece, my dogs or a french fry perfectly done. Deep-seeded, unconditional and with motto respect.

I've heard those who say Los Angeles the same way they'd say "seat me near the open line sewer, please."

Why no love for this city, I ask? Is it its size? The complex reality shows have imbued it with? Is it jealousy over 70 degree days in the dead of winter?

I admit you have to have a Thomas guide, GPS and a phenomenal amount of free time to sit in traffic to navigate it, but given that? This is a city for those who appreciate people watching and the quirks of uhmanity. It's gifted in attracting people who brazenly discuss the most private details of their lives in the most public of forums. It's pretty good if you're in to the outdoors and wonderful if you're artistic or a dreamer or business savvy. It has a quality of discovery.

I dig all that. But what I thought about when I was looking at the 5,000 faces shivering in the cold yesterday morning, getting ready to run from Griffith Park to Downtown was that this cultural mecca is diverse. Everyone's different. I love that it's majority minority, it's rich, middle class, poor, gay, transexual, funky, cosmopolitan, gangsta, fake, cold-blooded, down-home, by the ocean, by the mountains, by the desert, international, erudite and struggling. You can go down a block and hear 15 different languages or pass Buddhist temples, Islamic temples, Orthodox churches, Kabbalah cults, Scientology labs or Hare Krishna airport greeters.

As I ran my 13 miles, I took a moment to take it all in. I know the streets I ran like the back of my hand. But I never can get over the richness of the human landscape here. It's powerful.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ready for heavy? Let's dig in.

Growing up, life was a struggle. It wasn't all dark corners and horror stories, but it was rough.

My mom was/is extremely insecure, immature, violent and angry. Like everyone, she had reasons for her baggage. Valid ones. Unfortunately for me and my sisters, she never chose to deal with her demons.

When it came to parenting, she couldn't find it in herself to put her children first, instead viewing us as competition -- we took attention away from her needs, she wasn't willing to share my dad with anyone. Our youthful "neediness" (aka needing a caretaker) struck a raw nerve in her, the one that reacted with anger, physical and verbal abuse.

My sisters all had different ways of dealing - my oldest sister felt like a failure. The second became a mother to the rest of us, the third simply turned off feelings and stayed below the radar. My coping mechanism was probably the worst for my mom's fragile personality - I chose to challenge, question and push change. This angered my mom and led to abuse of one kind or another, which led to more of me fighting back and saying I didn't deserve to be abused. Which...well, you get it, wicked cycle.

I knew instrinsically the abuse was wrong. Nor was I buying that I was as bad as she said I was. But still? I wasn't able to stop myself from internalizing the way she saw me.

In her words:

Worthless. A bitch. Mean. Fat. Ugly. Combatitive. "Brutally honest". Unntrustworthy. Unlovable.

I couldn't fathom a family life where every day wasn't underpinned with stress, fighting, namecalling and hatred. I never knew until college that other people's mom's didn't call them a "fat ugly bitch". It was a joke that she once swung a 10 lb. block of cheese at the back of my head and I nearly blacked out.

I remember when she finally put down her boxing gloves and stopped throwing plates, books and wine glasses at me. It was when I was big enough to hit back. It happened twice that I socked my mother. I hate that I had to resort to violence to dissolve that part of our dysfunctional relationship.

Sadly, it didn't stop what I continue to think is the more painful scars - the verbal abuse. I had enough resolve to survive the physical piece, but the verbal abuse just gets in there. Sticks in crevices of your memory and can't easily be excised.

It's been my focus as a married adult to deal with my anger, to deal with feeling unloved and to slowly attach and develop bonds of trust with others. I've come a long way. The world's not at bay while I look through cynic-tinted glasses anymore.

Recently, tho, I've taken two steps back. I'm overwhelmed by the challenges and unrooted. I'm hearing her looped voice in the backdrop that says I'm useless, that I'll never do things right.

I know there's something I'm supposed to take away from understanding all these pieces about her, and about me. Intellectually I know I'm lovable, that I deserve love and that, in exchange, I am capable of giving love to others. But right now it's the most vulnerable place in the world to give my love to another.

I keep my mom in my backpocket when I struggle with these issues.