Once upon a time, I blogged. Wait, even that doesn't go back far enough. Once upon a time, I made a lot of invisible friends on the internet, by talking to them about things we were all interested in. It was the 1990s. Eventually some of those 1990s friends went to a different place, a thing called a "blog." At that point, my long, circuitous, rambly, disconnected writings became that. A blog. And here we are, come full circle, back to a blog, but this time one that owns all of me--the weird witchy parts, the magical parts, the intuitive parts and the sensitive parts that didn't quite feel ready to come out to the world last time around. Here I am (again), world. Ready or not. It's my 2nd or 3d coming out party on the internet, so let's recycle some content.
25 Things You Should Know About Me Before You Decide Whether To Go Any Farther
You may have seen me in a BareMinerals Infomercial many years ago. It was a blast to film.
2. After writing (maybe even before writing), cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I literally cannot conceive of what it would be like to be a person who does not derive joy from the everyday alchemy of transforming raw ingredients into delicious, warm, nourishing, mouthwatering food, to be showered upon friends and family with loving abandon.
3. My father (who died at 45) was a terrible husband, a sad and angry man in private, a narcissist, and a jolly clown—everybody’s best friend—outside the home. He suffered his first heart attack at 29, and it is only now, in retrospect, that I can clearly see the unrecognized, untreated clinical depression that clouded the rest of his life. He was performatively generous to a fault, baking cookies and making candy for the staff of the hospital where he worked several times a week. He played Santa for Hire every Christmas Eve, and as a young teen, I would accompany him on “rounds” and we’d chat about nothing as we drove from house to house, Kris Kringle and his “elf” in a purple Pontiac. But if you failed to return the adoration he believed he was due...woe to you.
4. My brother (who died at 17) was a rage-filled adolescent young man who had some solid reasons to be. He was somebody I did not like much, but loved deeply, and I frequently find myself at family gatherings wondering whether he’d have eventually grown out of his flaming adolescent asshole-ish-ness, or whether it would have smoldered and cemented into something far worse.
5. My mother and I had a highly volatile and difficult relationship until my twenties. But...I’ve seen Rick Springfield in concert nine times over the course of 35 years. My mother has attended all but two of these concerts with me.
6. I believe the place where I grew up is cursed, and I hope never to go back there again.
7. I attended college on a full scholarship based on a college entrance exam score (I took the test still vaguely drunk from the previous evening’s theatre cast party). Without my father’s paltry life insurance money (the half paid to me, and then, just as it was almost gone, the half that would have been paid to my brother just a few months later...had he lived) I would not have been able to pay for books, clothing, tampons, glasses, gas, and all those other small sundries that add up to four years of living expenses. Yes: had the first two men in my life not died exactly when they did, I would not have been able to actually afford to attend college, scholarship be damned.
8. I fell into acting quite by accident as a fifteen-year-old and loved it. I majored in Theatre for one whole college semester before my advisor told me I was neither a) thin enough nor b) conventionally attractive enough to make a decent living in acting. I switched to a double-major in Psych and a build-your-own-burger major called “Communication Arts,” which at least let me put the wasted theatre major hours to good use.
9. My original ambition (to be a large-animal veterinarian) was quashed by the development of debilitating animal-dander allergies when I was 15.
10. I used to have trophies and medals from my teenage involvement in Future Farmers of America. I had a knack for recognizing fine animals--hog judging, sheep judging, cattle judging, that sort of thing. Also crop judging. I was voted the “Star Greenhand” in 1983, despite the fact that I did not live on a farm, nor have any life experience doing anything even remotely farm-related. I took Basic Agriculture because of the animal husbandry section (see #9) and as a result, can say I am curiously good at arc-welding. Give me the tool. I'll try anything twice.
11. I moshed for the first (and probably last) time in 2008 at a Me First and The Gimme Gimmes concert. Escaped with only one injury other than my pride: A deep, ugly bruise caused when my ass met the floor of the House of Blues at high velocity. My then-sister-in-Law (who’d dragged me to the pit in the first place) promptly took a cellphone picture of the “mosh trophy,” and that is the image that now comes up on her phone when I call her. I am, not surprisingly, more reluctant to call her than I used to be.
12. My 1st ex-husband is hands-down the smartest human being I have ever met.
13. My handwriting, never stellar, has disintegrated since the beginning of the computer era to a shameful degree. But I can keyboard at a rate of 125 words per minute, which is faster than I can write, anyway.
14. I have neither the imagination nor the determination to write long-form fiction, and while I have written both short fiction and poetry, I rather despise the results. Where I excel is helping others edit, crystallize, and refine their own work, and I've been a working editor since the late 1990s.
15. I was raised Catholic, up to and including Confirmation (as if I could have opted out when preparation for said “sacrament” was the entire sixth-grade Religion curriculum). I never believed any of it. I wanted to; I simply couldn’t.
16. I did become a semi-serious student of astrology, tarot, and magick in college, but my time, public interest (and belief) in those eventually petered out in the face of "cold hard reality Young Lady," as well. (Guess what? It's baaaaack, and with a vengeance!)
17. I am highly distractible and eventually lose interest in just about everything.
18. I used to draw and paint. See #17. I still buy art supplies (colored pencils, inks and brushes, oils, canvasses) and then let them sit in the closet, gathering dust, waiting for “inspiration” to hit. It’s been missing for at least 15 years. Guess what? It's baaaack, and with a vengeance.
19. I actively despise sports—both watching and participating. The borderline-violent us-vs.-them that sports encourages (taps into?) deeply disturbs me, to tell you the truth.
20. I found my birthmother when I was 27 and met my birthfather at 30. I know exactly where I stand on the Nature-Vs-Nurture question: finding my genetic family (including aunts and uncles) was like crash-landing back on the “home planet” after being born and raised on a very nice space station.
21. Most yoga positions are no challenge for me to get into; I am frighteningly flexible. It’s something I inherited from my birthmother. I tend to eschew chairs and flop into half-lotus position when given my druthers. (I am sitting half-lotus right now, in a chair.)
22. My birthmother and birthfather met in high school theatre. See #8.
23. My birthfather was an air traffic controller fired by Reagan who then pursued standup comedy and dinner theatre acting. See my Smart-Ass Tendencies, and also #8.
24. My 101-year-old-grandmother was one of my angels and literally opted out last year. We could feel her glowing in the days before she went. It was a transormative experience. I wrote, coordinated and directed the brief memorial that sent her to the sea. A single seal swam by to say Goodbye. This is all true.
25. I conceive of life as a long series of perfectly anticipatable losses. It’s a much healthier way for me to approach reality than harboring the illusion that everything will always be the way it is today.