Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can I Have a Peek?

Several many years ago some friends and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do on a bored Friday night.  No shows to go to, no parties, no good movies playing.... just nothing happening.  I don't remember which one of us, me, R, BFF or Butthole got the idea to go to Niagra Falls, but we were all in.  So we packed up a few things got in a car and went.  Those were the days when you could just go to Niagra Falls, you didn't need a passport, just your birth certificate, maybe.  No one ever seemed to check.  It kind of blows that you can't do that anymore.

I think this is the only Falls pic taken that weekend

My memory of the trip itself is kind of hazy.   I know the four of us shared a room at the lovely Marco Polo Inn.  I think we stayed Friday and Saturday night and went home Sunday.  And I know we had the best of times.  R and I were doing that interested in each other dance, BFF and Butthole were officially a couple at the time.  Two beds, two couples... do the math.  Nothing major is going to happen though, not with another couple in the room.  But R was a bit frisky and said something to me while we were cuddled in bed that unfortunately and hilariously for all, Butthole overheard.  "Can I have a peek?"

Butthole didn't get that nickname by accident.  He heard what R said and he ran with it!  It was the running joke of the whole weekend and I'm sure beyond.  It's hard to say when he actually gave up the joke.  If ever.  It didn't matter though.  It was fucking funny.

R and me at Niagra Falls - 1987

We did the touristy stuff... wax museums, Falls, etc.  Drank I'm sure.  Because truly, when weren't we drinking?  And just having tons of laughs.  I've only been back once.  BFF has been back countless times with her family.   Butthole... RIP, I don't know, nor do I know if R ever went again.  But the memory, or what I have of it anyway, of that weekend definitely lives on.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Done Part I

Ever feel that way?  You're just done.  You know it.  You feel it.  It's time to move on.  That's how I feel about several things in my life, maybe even more than several.  Right now I'm focusing on one particular thing.  I'm done with All My Children.  Yes, it was canceled back in April.  Yes, it last aired September 23.  But still I haven't been done with it.  It's lingered on as fans waited to see if there would be an 11th hour save.  And when there wasn't, we commiserated our disappointment.  Now, my AMC blog remains and will remain online because there is so much of the show history on it.   So in that respect I guess I'll never truly be completely done with it.  But in my heart, in my mind, I am done. 

I've held on to it for so long.  Soap fans are nothing if not loyal, and when I say I feel done, I kind of feel like a traitor.  I suspect some soap fans will treat me like one too.  But that is not something I can worry about.  I have to do what I feel in my heart is the right thing for me.  And letting it go is the right thing for me.  I knew that from the moment it was canceled.  If you read my first post on this subject, Mixed Emotions, you can see that I was already making my peace with moving on.  But each and every time I came close to articulating it, something bizarrely AMC would happen.  I was getting ready to write this post last week when a friend told me she got me the autograph of one of my fave stars from the show, Darnell Williams.  Jesse Hubbard!   Seriously, he's one of the main reasons I started watching AMC in the first place way back when.  And so I put my thoughts on the back burner, again.   And today, as I sat down to write this again, what do I find in my mailbox delivered via Priority Mail?  A copy of People Magazine's commemorative AMC hardcover issue signed by none other than Susan Lucci!  So it keeps feeling like the forces of nature are telling me not to let it go.   How does that keep happening?  

My warmest wishes always - Susan  Lucci
And then logic takes over.  It's just a coincidence and when that bit of excitement about the latest autograph or bit of news or whatever fades, I still feel done.  I still feel like it's time to move on and end that part of my life.  And it feels right.  Holding on doesn't. 

I'm blessed.  Truly.  So very blessed.  AMC has done wonderful things for me.  I've had so many adventures.  I've met so many people.... both of the celeb variety and fellow fans.  I've made lifelong friends because of AMC.  I've met people who I never ever would have met if we didn't have AMC in common.  I've received cards, letters, gifts, and countless words of encouragement and support through the years.  When my dad was sick, AMC fans were there for me.  When my Grandma died, they were there for me again.  They have always cared and been supportive.  Yes, when I look back on my time as a Pine Valley Diva I can honestly say I'm blessed. 

So how does one walk away from it?  Believe me, I've grappled with that thought for months.  Can I do it?  Can I walk away?  Can I end a part of my life that has all at the same time given me joy, heartache and a weird level of fame?  And the answer is always yes.   Yes I can.  Because I know in my heart that there is something else for me now.  I'm not exactly sure what it is yet, but I know that there is something else that will bring me all the things (aside hopefully, from the heartache) that my AMC site has.  Maybe it's this blog.  Maybe it's the book so many have been encouraging me to write.  Maybe it's just living my life and being who I am.  Whatever it is, I can't wait to find out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

All Women Are Bad

This song has been stuck in my head for a few days now.  Ahh the Cramps.  What's not to love really.   RIP Lux.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

46 Approaches

Monday is my birthday.  I'll be forty fucking six.  I'd like to go on record as saying, I don't like it, not one little bit.  But yeah yeah, it's better than the alternative, blah blah blah.  I'm trying to get to the "it's only a number" mindset because really, I don't feel 46.  I barely feel 26.  But I'm creeping close to that number that starts with 5 and it gives me agita thinking about it.

But then again, if I look at things today... right now, where I'm at and what I'm doing.  I feel pretty good.  I love my little business.  I love my friends and going out more and feel like I might be breaking out of a many years long funk of sameness.  I feel like possibilities are looming.  And it feels really good.  Dare I say I feel optimistic?  It's a new year and it's time to make things happen. I got a candy order (referral) today which is the only way for my business to grow really, referrals.  I'm back on the diet train and fine let's just say it... 2012 is the year of Lalia!

Which brings me the Debbie Downer portion of our show.  What gives me pause more than my own aging, is the aging of my parents.  It's hard to watch, and I have a front row seat.  My parents depend on me for a lot of things and that is difficult. My mom turned 80 this past October.  My dad will be 80 this coming September.  So often I feel such a role reversal and like they are the child and I am the parent.  Since my father's health declined, he has not wanted to do much of anything other than sit in is chair and watch TV.  He has created a life of being an invalid when he really doesn't have to be.  But it's what he has chosen for himself.  No amount of talking to him has changed it in the least.  Which in turn makes life difficult for my mom because even at 80 she is pretty vibrant.  But she is too timid to do things on her own and he can't be alone for too long.

About a month ago we had a scare with her.  I took her to get a cataract out.   After the procedure she was fine.  We even went shopping afterwards.  But by the next day, when I returned to do more shopping (it was before Christmas), it was very clear that something was very wrong.  My dad told me immediately that she was off and I could see it too.  She denied any problem and would only say she was kind of tired.  She had gone to the doctor that morning before I arrived, for the follow up on her eye and they were concerned about the pressure in her eye being very high.  But otherwise she was OK.  We did go shopping but she was definitely off.  She could barely keep her eyes open and her words were slurred.  I took her home, trying very hard not to jump to conclusions and felt that maybe she was reacting the anesthesia.   It had been over 30 years since she's had any kind of anesthesia, so maybe that was it.  After consulting with my brothers and my sister we all decided that it was in fact the anesthesia.   But it nagged at me that it was something more.

I went back again, the next day because she had to go back to the doctor for another follow up and see if the eye pressure was down.  Again, they thought she was fine.  And the pressure had gone down.  But she was not fine, not at all.  She could hardly function she was so tired.  She slept all the time unless she was up making something for my dad to eat.  The next day was Saturday and I called my brother and told him we have to do something if she isn't better today.  He agreed.  I wanted to take her to the ER, but she absolutely refused.  She would not go.  And interestingly enough, by Sunday she was a lot better.  Like 75% better.  It was really bizarre.  And when she asked me why everyone was so worried it was like explaining why you don't put your hand on a hot stove to a child.  I told her she was unfunctioning, that her speech was slurred, and it was very worrisome, and I really thought she had had a stroke.  She was a little stunned by that and I said, "Mom, you're 80!  I hate that I have to keep telling you that, but you are and you can't just blow things off anymore."  Honestly, I don't really think she knew where I was coming from.

All this trauma made me feel the aging process very strongly, just not my own.  My mind went to a place where I have tried to avoid it going.  If something does happen to my mom, what will happen to my dad?  Will he expect to come live with me, because my parents lived with me for about 8 months or so when he was recuperating and it was difficult to say the least.  It's something that I guess really needs to be worked out but when I think about how I don't want him to come live with me, I feel like the worst, most selfish person in the world.  When do you feel as though you have done enough?  When is it someone else's turn to take the reins?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stepping Back in Time

There's been an interesting phenomenon going on lately.  Several of the local punk bands from the 80's, my heyday, have been reuniting and playing gigs.  I haven't been able to attend all but I have attended several.  Last week one of them played at an old haunt, the Phantasy Night Club.  It's been many many years since I've been to the Phantasy, like double digit many years.  But the minute I stepped through the door I felt like I was walking back in time.

After walking in, to the left is the door that once was a vintage clothing store.  Directly in front of you, an old mural of The Beatles.  And then, the staircase.  The stairs that lead up the club.  How did I make it up and down those stairs on so many nights of drunken debauchery without falling down them?  I can't even fathom how I did it.  Then through the entrance and the first thing you see is the giant pirate ship in the middle of the club.  Seriously, a giant pirate ship.  It had a table and booth seats in it, enough to fit about 6 people, maybe.  Many nights were spent sitting in the boat, talking and laughing with my friends.  There's even audio proof of our silliness, but that is just too embarrassing to say anything more about!

To the left of the entrance are the restrooms and straight ahead is the bar and small bar area.  And to the right of that are some tables and chairs.  There's also a dance floor and another area of seating across from the first one and a stage, of course.  It all looked and felt exactly the same.  Eerily the same.  I was even with the friends I hung out there with, R and M, remembering old times and the great, and not so great bands we saw there.  I saw some faves... Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, and so many others, both in the Club and in the Theatre next door.  New Year's Eve's were spent there.  Friends bands played there.  I even have been on that stage myself, singing backup vocals for our friends band.  It's also the place where I infamously passed out from being so drunk that R took a Sharpie pen and drew big peace signs on my cheeks with Peace and Love written under each.

I have been loving the walk down memory lane.  I've felt more like myself since these shows and these reconnects with old friends than I have in years.  It's not that I want to go back in time.  We were crazy kids and had the best of times.  But being in the present is good too.  We're all older and wiser and I feel like having these guys back in my life now is how it should be.  Being out of touch with old friends for a long time, the immediate thought is, "we wasted so much time" but we didn't.  We moved on, made lives for ourselves and eventually realized the people we knew then, they're important.

This Saturday is another night out.  It's not an old band reunion but it is old friends who were in bands back then who have formed a new band.  I can't wait to see who I will run into and I can't wait to see the ones I already know will be there.

Yeah, they suck.  But it was still fun!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top 10

Hmmm my top ten posts of 2011. Interesting to ponder. Looking back on this year I can say it's been the best of times and the worst of times. Between the drop off in my business, the man being unemployed for most of the year, my guilty soap opera pleasure of over 30 years being canceled, 2011 kind of sucked. Then again, I had some pretty amazing things happen too. I won six contests ranging from a free pizza to a trip to LA. I was interviewed for the New York Post.  I was able to attend a farewell party for said guilty soap pleasure.  I was asked to be a guest blogger several times. I reconnected with some great old friends who I hope I never lose touch with again. And I finally got to a point in my life where I can embrace things about myself that I never did before.  An interesting year, most definitely.  As I look back, I can't help but think where I was in my life when these particular blogs were written:

January, 2011 :  To Richard, With Love.  When I wrote this I was feeling grateful.  Grateful to have a friend I could tell anything, and I do mean anything to, and not feel judged.  I'm still grateful.  I still love him.  And I know he will be a best friend for life.

February, 2011:  Turning a Corner.  Definitely one of my most controversial posts. But the fact of it is, I love this post.  This post was a turning point for me, a point where I really didn't concern myself with how anyone else would perceive what I had to say, I just wanted to say it.  It was a culmination in a several year long quest to rid myself of guilt and shame over stupid shit that being raised a certain way saddles you with.  It took me about 42 years I'd say, to recognize it.  And only three years to get rid of it.  Not bad.

April, 2011:  Mixed Emotions.  This post was my true feelings, how I felt when All My Children was canceled.  Feelings, emotions and thoughts I dare not speak out loud or on my AMC blog because I don't really know how many fans could really see where I was coming from.  Now, three months after the final airing, I miss it a little, but I have moved on and am now seeking my next adventure!

May, 2011:  Embracing the Third D - the series.   I cannot do a year retrospective without including the Embracing the Third D series!   This is still my most hit upon blogs and still some of my absolute favorites.  It was embarrassing, silly and just plain fun to write.  All the stars aligned and I became a storyteller.

June, 2011:  Sold.  A walk down memory lane in my Grandma's house, that, almost 3 years after she has passed, had finally sold.  This post was filled with beautiful memories of one of the most important people that has ever been in my life.

June, 2011:  You Are Beautiful:  A post very near and dear to my heart.  I still cry when I read it again.  It's about my beautiful niece and all the trouble she has had while in school making and keeping friends and became a story of triumph.  She is thriving in high school.   She is in honors courses, on the swim team and has been cast in the chorus for the school musical.

July, 2011:  A Year.  The horror of cancer never goes away.  Ever.  But I am privileged to know one of the bravest, strongest and most amazing woman going through that horror.  She inspires me every day.  This was my tribute to her.

August, 2011:  Answer the Phone Neil.  A story about a reconnect 23 years in the making.  A silly falling out kept us apart for 23 years.  But through the magic of FB we are now back together and I couldn't be happier.  There are just some people in your life you can never forget or never get over.  TM is one of them.

October, 2011:  Guest Blogger, Reflections from a Redhead.  When Janine asked me to do a piece for her Beauty of Difference series, I didn't think I had anything to contribute. But in the end, I did.  And this is that piece.  I'm extremely proud of it and honored to have contributed.

November, 2011:  Finding the Thanks.  Ahhh yes.  How can I not include a in laws story in my top 10 of the year?   I had to.  I just had to!   lol

Thanks for a great blogging year!  xoxo