Dear 2015…


I’m so glad you are here. 2014 was riddled with so much angst and uncertainty that for much of the year it was very scary.

In all fairness, 2014 wasn’t a total bust, however, I personally struggled and was unhappy for much of it.

So, as of today I am all “in” and embracing 2015 and hoping of all hope that this year treats me with love, gentleness, success, and kindness for me and my entire family – we all deserve a break.

Thank you 2015 for arriving, I’m glad you are here.

One of the many reasons why Robin Williams was an amazing man

My friend Kate shared this story of her encounter with Robin Williams during a particularly difficult time in her life. :

“I am sitting with my kids who are in a wagon singing So Long, Farewell and pretending they are sailing to Ireland to pick up trash on their next expedition. And a text from a dear friend just came in. And then another and then a news alert. And before the sideline commentary starts about this being just another spoiled Hollywood star with a list of addictions who couldn’t get his shit together, let me share a little story I haven’t told anyone. Not my best friend, not my parents, not anyone. Because it is too precious to me. But now is the time. And now is the place.

After Greg died I went on a travel quest of sorts, scattering his ashes where he requested and trying to piece my life and my soul back together as best I could. I spent quite a bit of time flying between LAX and Oakland, as I was living in West Hollywood but contemplating a move to San Francisco or Marin and visiting my best friend monthly at a minimum. Post 9/11 it wasn’t always easy to get a Tupperware of your late husband’s ashes through TSA security and at LAX one afternoon I found myself on the receiving end of an agent with a power trip like no other. After several threats of telling me I was going to have to toss the ashes, and me going ballistic and falling into hysterics and finally having a real cop come in and look at the death certificate I always carried with me, I made it to the bar still crying and clutching my little container. I sat in a corner table facing the wall with my whiskey on the rocks, and I felt a hand on my shoulder. And a soft voice asked “miss, I just want to be sure you are ok. I see you are traveling alone, and I saw what happened, and I just really want to be sure you are ok.” And through my tears I could place the voice but couldn’t actually believe that Robin Williams was just casually strolling through LAX and would actually take the time to stop to see if I was ok.

I was still crying that ugly cry where you are trying to catch your breath, and I gave him the Cliff Notes version of circumstances. And his eyes got a little glossy. And his voice got soft. And he said to me “Addiction is a real bitch. Mental illness and depression are the mother of all bitches. I am so sorry for all the pain your husband was in. I’m so sorry for the pain you are in now. But it sounds like you have family and friends and love. And that tips the scale a bit, right?” And he walked me to the gate as we were on the same commercial flight.

He was a gentle soul. He made us laugh and he made us cry. He made us feel with his craft. He was honest about his demons. He was open about his mistakes and his faults. He was obviously in pain.

Mental illness and severe depression are the mother of all bitches. Damn straight.

Rest in peace, Mr Williams. May you find the peace that alluded you here and may you keep the angels laughing.

Thanks for being there that day for me. You were the angel I needed. And I know you spoke from experience and I appreciated that.”

I miss my hood.

I miss my hood.

This is where I spent the first 12 years of my life. I really miss it, even at age 51. I went home this past weekend and toured my old neighborhood. My teenager was with me and I showed him my childhood home, my elementary school and all my favorite hangouts. Everything seem to be so small. The faces sure have changed- diversity is truly on Queenanne hill and I love it. The roads seem narrower- and things seemed almost overgrown. But it sure felt good visiting where I grew up.

It’s all fresh – nice to meet you 2014

The idea of being 50 is just weird. The truth is in less than six months I’ll be 51. One of the creepy things about getting older is that the time goes by much faster – oh, and things from my childhood appear much smaller. For instance my childhood home seemed like a huge house but really was a small bungalow. Waiting for Christmas was always something that seemed to take forever. I couldn’t wait to turn 10, or 13, 16, or 18, or even 21. Looking back I want to say that I was even excited to turn 25. I’m not sure when time began to pass me as if I were standing still but it did. I the blink of a eye days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years and before I knew it three decades have passed since high school.


So what I’m trying to say is I welcome 2014 with open arms. My hope is not to make or keep resolutions so much as my goals is to learn something new every day, embrace each day fully, be grateful for my time on planet earth, love my family and my friends to really stop and smell the roses and experiences that we all have.

I feel like I have dodged a bullet


We all sit side-by-side in those uncomfortable chairs. We read old magazines from 2005 – we read newspapers from last week – we make small talk – we text – and we wait, and we wait, and we wait. We see red rimmed eyes, we see friends, partners, and family members holding hands and giving reassuring pats on the backs of those they wait with. We hear “.Mrs. Smith would you please come back with us for more pictures there’s something the doctor would like to talk to you about.” And we know that is secret code for we think you have cancer. We mouth I’m sorry when we know someone has gotten bad news. We pray, chant, meditate and secretly hope to whatever deity is around that it’s not our turn. As we look at each other we wonder what our personal stories are. We are someone’s partner, wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend. We worry about being sick, we worry about surgery, and we worry about dying.

I really worry about dying.

Friday was a really long day. I was at the hospital all morning having a lump looked at. The waiting part was the worst. You see, I have always had this feeling that it’s going to be my turn in the cancer barrel it’s just a matter of when. So many friends before me are part of this ugly club and I watched, waited, held hands, and worried right along with them. When I discovered this lump and I confirmed that this lump was truly here by my husband and then by my physician I just felt resigned.

Thankfully I have a really good circle of support. I have an amazing friend who lives in Minnesota who is a breast cancer survivor who has been through all of this shit. She talked me through my wait time and what to expect.

Thank you Kathy I love you.

I’ve had lumps before and I’ve been I think pretty calm about them because they’ve always been the same – however, this one wasn’t the same. It was different, hard, not painful, and it made my doctor nervous. When he got nervous I got nervous.

The weird part about all of this is that it turned out to be negative and it wasn’t really a lump it was an enlarged lymph node in fact I have got many many lymph nodes in my body that are enlarged- that is another issue and the puzzle that we have to solve next week but for today there is no cancer and I am so thankful.

So for today I feel like I dodged a bullet


20131109-151456.jpg I feel gray. Nothing is black or white with me these days. And my world certainly is not technicolor. I don’t know in or if I’m out- i’m not sure if I’m up or if I’m down.

I’m just gray.

Which I don’t think is much different than being just “meh”

When we first meet someone and decide to embark upon a relationship most of the time our best foot is put forward. And then after time we begin to get comfortable and sometimes incredibly complacent. We began to speak to our significant other pretty much any way we see fit – and that doesn’t always mean very nicely.

The farting in front of each other begins – the door is left open when we pee or God for bid poop. We forget to say please and thank you and I appreciate you and sometimes the I love you’s are replaced with grunts – or sometimes even silence. Passionate kisses turn into pecks and sometimes pecks turns into kisses on the forehead or the cheek.

Often we become lonely. And we try to fill that void or loneliness with something. That something to some people is food, to others it’s alcohol, to even others it’s drugs, shopping, sex, or other people.

And when our world crashes around us and we look at the ruins at our feet more often than not we are just so dismayed and outraged and we wonder how in the fuck did I get myself into the situation in the first place?

How did I get here?

So then we begin the often brutal and very painful process of really examining who we are, what motivates us, and why we are making the choices that were making at present time. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty – but we hope for a better outcome.

What I do know is that in my 20s I would have had one hand on my hip and my other arm out pointing at someone and saying this is your fault ! this is your fault ! this is your fault ! you make me feel blank!!!! Refusing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for my choices or my life.

In my 30s and well into my 40s I would have gone the other way and fact I did go the other way and I accepted responsibility for every fucking thing. Everything was my fault! And I wore that martyr badge so goddamn proudly. Lay it all on me! I have big fucking shoulders! I can carry the burdens of the world on them just try me out!

And so now I am 50- The age of balance and hopefully enlightenment. More importantly I’m beginning to become inundated with my feelings. I’m not just happy or angry. I am everything in between.

So for today I am gray.