Monthly Archives: February 2009

Rest is the new black…

Be careful what you wish for...

You might just get it.

And you might just deserve what you get.

I don't want anyone to catch a cold or a flu.

I had a flu that lasted four days.

It started on Wednesday night, right after my class at Liberation Yoga.

I felt that it was coming on all day. You know the way it does.

I'm getting a cold!

What do I do?


Get the necessary remedies, medication, food, to stave it off!! Get rid of it ASAP so I can get on with my life...stat!!

I had a cold right around the time I was moving but was saved by a friend dumping chicken soup and zinc and oj at my door. It kept me from getting me down and I was able to move into my new place without a hitch, just a sneeze and a minor earthquake, but all went well.

there is no friend dumping chicken soup at my door.

I get home from my Liberation class and cancel my appointments for the following day even though I can't afford to.

I go get the necessary meds to take me through the night.

I will be fine by Thursday afternoon.

I am no where near fine by Thursday afternoon. I cancel Friday's appointments. There is no sick pay for moi.

Ironically, there are no calls. Apparently all of the friends that need me for advice or help daily, know that I am sick so they avoid calling me. Perhaps in fear that I might ask them to get me soup. Alas, I am self sufficient and my freezer and cupboard afford me many days of being on my own without leaving my apartment if I chose, to heal or survive World War III. I was raised well.

All I've wanted to do since I moved was spend some time in my apartment, appreciate its splendor and the cable I signed on for. I haven't had the time, so now is as good a time as any.

I can't do anything on Friday and I resign myself to the fact that I will be here in my fabulous apartment, so I may live it up. I try 'On Demanding' some movies but my cable box jams. I call the cable company and try to sleuth the problem with them.

After a half an hour I realize I don't need to see 'Nights in Rodanthe' that badly and there is plenty Reality re-runs and Lifetime movies from the early 90's to keep me nodding off for a day.

The cable woman tells me she'll send out a tech person in a week and a half and gives me a great cold remedy.
I will be super busy in a week and a half but I'll take your garlic and honey hot water tip and give it a try.

I'll be fine by Saturday anyway.

I wake up Saturday and can barely move, let alone sneeze without my entire bed vibrating along with it. I pad my way through my studio in my old terry slippers. It's quiet. I make coffee and take my tylenol cold day. I don't do oatmeal but I have it and it's warm so I do it. Yum. I can't taste it anyway. Calories I can't enjoy. Great.

I get back into bed and drink my coffee, read my book. I sit in the quiet. It's a good book. It's a good quiet. It's a gooood coffee. Something about coffee when you are sick. I drink plenty of other fluids to balance out the caffeine, but caffeine when you are sick, it's awesome. When you are in the foggy haze of cold meds, it just brings you back.

I can get used to this.

I'm restless.

But, I can get used to this.

Very little e-mails and no calls.

Its funny when you drop off the radar.

I can get used to this.

I watch horrible Lifetime.

I see who won Project Runway two years ago.

I finish my book.

I eat macaroni and cheese and chicken soup.

Not together.

I think I can taste it.

Nope, I can't taste it.

Wasted calories.

But, I'm happier than I've been in a long time.

I want to exercise, leave the apartment. I hear it's beautiful out.

It's LA. It's always freekin' beautiful out.

Where is the rain when I'm feeling like rain?

Tomorrow I will feel better. I will go for a run, go grocery shopping, resume normal tasks.

Now I will sleep and not look at the clock.

I will sleep in the day and wake up in the day and sleep in the night and wake up a bit in the night and go back to sleep.

Night sweats.


I will be better tomorrow.

I wake up Sunday and actually say out loud, you have got to be kidding me!

Still sneezing, still sounding like a middle aged male late night radio talk show host in the midwest.

Kinda sexy and creepy at the same time.

I actually attempt to run. Maybe it will work itself out of my system.

I can actually hear my mother in the middle of my 90 beats per minute dance music telling me I'm a fool for getting out of bed.

Me, who can run anyone on the Santa Monica esplinade out of their Nikes.

Me, who thought twice about asking the guy at the lifeguard stand if he could give me a ride home.

Me, who smartened up and stopped at the gas station on the way home after a measly 3 miles for a zone bar and a water. I'm dehydrated and famished.

Just let yourself.



Yourself be!

I get home, shower and prepare more soup (doesn't get old, even when I'm not sick) and turn on the tele to watch all of the beautiful people pose while entering the Oscar Ceremonies.

There is nothing like watching the Oscars when you are sick. Everyone on the television is beautiful, smooth and polished while I am blotchy, bloated and have a raw and red strip of pain between my nose and my lips.

No calls. No emails.

I am alone with my soup and I am happier than I have ever been.

I go to sleep as the beautiful people pile out of the Kodak for interviews and parties.

I have work to do tomorrow.

I wake up Monday morning without an alarm clock.

I drink coffee.

I do yoga.

I meditate.

I eat breakfast.

I am clear.

I am rested.

No fuzzy Tylenol cold hangover.

A little congestion but no post nasal drip.

No lethargy.


I'm awake.

I'm alive.

I'm ready.

Ready to work...ready for all the possibilities that might fill my day.

I go to my clients. All lessons clear and inspired. Where have I been?

I'm so excited.

Like, I just won an Oscar excited but haven't shared it with anyone.

Where have I been?

It sucks to get sick.

I'm so glad I got sick.

I'm so glad that sickness forced me to stop. Stop absolutely everything. Everything that was a priority in order to take care of what is the first priority, myself.

I can't believe that I have neglected myself for this long.

I apologize to myself that it took a flu/cold to make me stop and take care of myself.

One can be no good, absolutely no good to anyone without rest and taking care of oneself.

I am now a huge fan.

Not of the cold, but of the rest.

I think it's gonna be the next big thing.

I think rest is the new black.

I think you will see it on all the red carpets this 2009.

For someone who hasn't gotten more than 5 hours of sleep most nights for the last 6 months, I'm going to tell you right now, I think you can never underestimate the power of rest...for at least eight hours...and maybe a cold that will force you to sleep.

I hear everyone's doing it.

It doesn't cost a fortune either.

You heard it here first.

Give me a C, a bouncy C…

I'm buzzed.

And, no, not in the traditional, had a few glasses of wine or a smoked a dubbie kind of way.

I am constantly searching for my Tadasana (mountain pose of strong standing stillness) amidst
my current situation which includes much movement and tumult: car problems, adjusting to singledom, my new move, new computer, an uncertain economy and last but not least, the health of my father.

So of course, I would chose this time to join a choir.

This is supposed to be 'fun', a way for me to disconnect from my daily obligations of work etc. and find a new community of people that like to get together and sing songs.

Back in August, a few weeks after the break-up, I met up with my ex, who still remains a bright light in my life.
We met at Starbucks on Montana and 7th.
He was late- very common for him.
I was early - very common for me.
So it worked out that I ordered my short skinny latte and sat down next to the Community bulletin board, tip tappin' away to some jazzy java tune, waiting in weird feelings for our first 'meeting'.
Up on the board was a flyer, recruiting members to audition for the Angel City Chorale.
Never heard of 'em.
I took the flyer down immediately. (There were others, I wasn't hoarding).
I'm going to do this.
I didn't think twice about it.
Most people cut their hair when dealing with a break-up.
Well, that actually did happen, but much later.
I need this.
I need something that is totally different and scares the shit out of me and has nothing to do with anything career related.
I filed the flyer away, met with Bryan for a lovely chat and didn't think about the flyer again for days.
I dug it out of my bag o' papers and to dos. I considered tossing it, but I couldn't.
I called my agent for vocal coach recommendations.
I was blessed to be led to an amazing coach; Bill Haller ( and we hustled through four sessions.
We discovered or shall I say, he encouraged me, that since my musical theatre days of Middle Soprano, that I am actually a first Soprano.
I can also sing super low. Alto.
So I guess that's a good range.

All that chanting and kirtan has paid off.

The last time I really sang was before 9/11, in NY when I was doing a musical theatre program at NYU.

Before that, I was in the chorus of school plays where they created roles for people just to cast us.
I was in all the classics, supporting the leads with real roles and songs.
Have you ever heard of the neighbor children in The Sound Of Music? I'm sure they had them in real life, but not in the play, not in the movie. But at Holy Family, I was one of them, singing in the background with my dress clothes-pinned shut and my parents snapping photos of me like I was a star.
How sad.
And cute.
And sad.
The audition was one of the scariest things I've ever done.
I have, in fact, auditioned for Broadway and Off Broadway musicals when I was in my 20's and had bigger balls.
Now that my balls are sagging a little, it takes a little more oomph to get me to do something that scares the Kundalini out of me. Actually, that's not really true but it sounded funny. I do things that scare me all the time, but this, a choir, was totally out there for me. More so than living in China alone or jumping out of an airplane or running a marathon or losing 50 pounds. And, it was never really on my consciousness to consider.
And now, here it is, like auditioning for American Idol.
I need to do this.

And I got in!
Say what?
I was so excited...
Until the terror set in.

Because of the above said distractions, I didn't join them during the holiday season, but I volunteered and listened the CD's they recorded and watched there concert and observed this large group of men and women sing there hearts out.
It gave me goose bumps.
You know what, I'll admit it, I was so moved, I even cried at one of the songs they performed at Christmas. It was actually a Jewish song with words I didn't understand, but it sounded so beautiful, I just freekin' wept.
How could I not want to be a part of this gorgeous creation?

Tonight, was our first rehearsal of the Spring Season.
New member orientation was a half hour before the three-hour rehearsal. People loaded in. New faces I have never seen before.
This large city with so much to do and all of these people were gathering together in this church in West LA to put together to sing and prepare for a show.

I have battled tremendous traffic this week. More than I think I have in my many years here. I logged almost 100 miles each day this week. I've actually gotten shorter from sitting so much and my road rage, which has remained dormant for years, has come out of me like hives from a peanut allergy. I eat, drive and talk on the phone all at once and think, I am quite a site. I am losing my presence in life and here I am adding more to my plate.

It took me 45 minutes to get the 5.6 miles (MapQuest’s measurements) to the rehearsal space.

I don't know if I can do this every week for 'fun'.
I want to be home.
I want to spend time in my expensive apartment that isn't really that expensive but much more expensive now that I am solo. I want to watch my expensive basic cable that I am never home to watch. I want to sleep more than five hours a night.

But, I am here.

The first few minutes of the orientation were like the first few minutes of homeroom freshman year. Awkward smiles and a few pleasantries were exchanged by the newbies. The old timers hugged and laughed and caught up on, "What did you do for Summer Vacation" type chatter.
I must admit I even looked around for potential cute crushes.
After a half an hour of talk on where to park and scheduling for the upcoming season, I was already hungry and my head was spinning.
We were hooked up with 'buddies' that signed us in, helped us pay our dues, get our sheet music, find our vocal section to sit in. My buddy never showed. I watched each new member find their buddy and I was left with a few other newbies, lost and buddy-less. I remembered junior high and picking teams for dodge or volley ball. I was always the last of a few, usually me and the other fat girl who smelled, waiting on the gym floor for the teacher to acknowledge that we needed to be placed, that we weren't chosen by the team captains to participate.
I know it isn't like that, but it felt like that for a fraction of a second...
That seemed to last a millennium.
I hated those days.

But, I'm here.
I was chosen to be here, with them.

And, I chose to be here.
And, I got here in one piece after hellish traffic.
I was given a great alternate buddy. He was lovely and guided me where to go. He'd say, everyone is overwhelmed the first rehearsal. It gets easier.
I heard what he was saying but I was also listening to everyone else, distracted as the room that didn't grow in size, grew in capacity.

Jeez Louise, all these people!

I found my section.

Then I found the kitchen with snacks.

If I didn't eat something immediately, I will implode, right here into an orchestra of nerves and body parts.

Nice meeting you all, BOOM!

I didn't give a rat's tail about calories, I opened a bag of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and dug my whole right hand in there. I grabbed as many as I could and shoved them into my big soprano throat.
My buddy looked at me and asked if I was ok.
I said, I frinkmndaringpluch. Then I swallowed. I'm in the wrong place! You picked the wrong person! I'm in the wrong section! First Soprano!?!? I'm lucky if I can speak.
Then I let the nuts and sugar fill my blood and everything was better.
Low blood sugar, I said.

Spinning stopped.

Crisis averted.

I can't believe I'm a yoga teacher.

I can be peaceful, but that peace comes when I'm in my element.

Why do I keep choosing elements that make me feel like Woody Allen on his worst day?

Ready to bust a gut and sing.

Thankfully, it is a choir. There are solos, but I'm so far from considering that as an option. I'll be lucky if I can keep up.

Sue Fink directs the choir.
She gets up on stage and I can't take my eyes off of her.
Her energy and passion, knowledge and patience (it's only the first day), is staggering to take in.
I look at her and feel life.
I see her yoga and I can breathe again.

Then we have to sing.

This season's music, World music!!
Oh my goodness, my favorite!!
I'm so excited...

Until I see most of this 'World music' is in other languages.
Well, not a problem.
Music is written in a language I can't understand so why not throw 20 songs in foreign languages into my mix?
Now go!
Is nothing easy in life? Even my fun?!
What the fu!!!??

I followed a long as much as I could. But, I forgot everything. Whatever I had learned in the past about notes and beats and quarters and thirds and 16ths and pints and staff infections, went out the cathedral ceiling.

I realized that if I just watched Sue and listened carefully while the other parts were singing, mouthing the words to get my mouth used to forming them, I did much better then when my head was low trying to follow when and where the Soprano part comes in with the Alto and Bass and whatever the hell else they call the other groups.

Fink separated the parts and trained each small section carefully. Just listening to the sounds, these men like creamy hot chocolate, the women like spicy curry, the men, like sweet wine, the women like crème fraiche.

I know, more food.

But seriously, I watched her with her fierce hands and steady voice, mix these people and ingredients in a way that in moments, sounded beautiful to me. Maybe not perfect to the most trained ear, but to me, it was magic.
I knew I wanted to get into the kitchen with this mad scientist/chef.

Well, not the real one with the macadamia nuts, but the musical kitchen, she was the head chef of.

When I lifted my head and heard this overwhelming group of 150 merge into powerful soulful voices, I was blown away.

The old timers just looked like they were doin' there job like they always do.
But me, I looked at everyone like they were toys at Christmas.
Does anyone else think this is the most awesome thing ever?

There was a second Soprano, also named Laurie, who sat next to me and shared notes and helpful hints. I was so thankful for that as well as all of the people that took the time to introduce themselves and save me from that effort.

It's daunting and after the first 2 hours, I had a headache through my entire body.
If I listened to the highest soprano, I could match that voice. If I listened to the middle soprano, I could match her voice. If I listened to the altos, I could match that voice.
Hey, I have a voice!!
It might be little now and a muffled in this sea, but I get to have a voice here.

I don't remember NYU and I don't remember musical theatre.
I saw people tapping and just looked down at my leg and saw it moving with their taps, like it was instinct.
I noticed on some songs that I would rock back and forth with a beat. Weird, yes, but it seemed to work.
I thought, maybe I can get this.
I looked at the sheet music, song after song, and language after language. I never got it at the first try, but after that, I was able to come in strong.
I know I didn't sing loudly. I took my time and let the others sing until I got my song legs.
I listened to the way Sue would tell us how to pronounce a note or draw it out. I looked down at the page and saw scoops of lines. I think I know what she means.

I know that there are others here in my position, but right now, I'm alone in my quest. I don't know the others yet.

I always give myself a hard time if I'm not perfect right away. I know there is no way for me to be close to good right away so I relaxed a little to let myself progress.

If I teach a class and watch a newer student force themselves into a pose, even if I tell them not to, it makes me sad that they can't allow themselves the ability to trust the process of progressing to strength, conquering the steps one at a time in patience.

So, why would I not allow myself that same permission in what one might also view as yoga? Singing for some might be like yoga to me. Many yoga poses are still quite challenging for me. I'm sure the same goes for singers and writers and actors and welders and accountants.

We all have paths colored with different levels of experiences. The path is the peace. You have to be gentle with yourself wherever you are on the path. If you are lucky to be further along than someone else, it is your gift to share that strength and knowledge to help guide someone else that's behind you.

To feel badly about where we are on a path will only create obstacles in helping you move forward in a smooth and fluid way towards a success colored with rewards that can only be seen and appreciated when from that place of peace.

After a while I actually found I got the hang of it...for the moment.

There is a lot of work ahead of me. I will have to work harder just to listen and observe and find my place since I cannot read music. I'm good at the listening and observing. And, I work really hard and learn swiftly.

The idea of working at my 'fun' isn't the most appealing to me, but perhaps that is just what fun is for me, work.

I like challenges and sinking my teeth into something that is not easy. If it was all easy, I guess I would stay home and watch my cable.

I'm not quite sure how much time this will take. I have a lot of 'work' to do in my everyday life and a lot of play and down time I really need to schedule for myself.

By the end of the night, every part of my body ached.

I thanked and goodbyed everyone I could but I really couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Because, I was buzzed. I knew there was a computer at home waiting for me to write it all down.

This is the thing that comes naturally to me.

Writing is my music. It's my yoga too.

I have a lot to do, but maybe it's not a bad thing that the thing I have to do is sing a lot. I can do it in traffic and I can do it in my expensive apartment alone, while doing laundry.

There is a community in music. There is a community in choir. This choir, the Angel City Chorale, seems really special.

The people are all ages and all so different and beautiful. But, what brings us together is one thing, the love of music, being in union. And that is yoga.

Some people, even in this big group, will shine brighter than others.

I'm OK as long as I can be one of the watts that make us brighter as a group.

This was day one and I was moved by the sound and the words I didn't understand and the characters and notes and lines that made no sense to me. But we made a sound, together.

And in this time for me, a time of much movement and tumult, it may as well have a great soundtrack.

Growing pains…

When we are little we are not afraid.

We fall and cry.

We fall and laugh.

Everything we take in is new and amazing.

Limbs, fruit, television, people, touch, toys, movement, standing, walking, falling, crying, getting up, falling, laughing, getting up again. It's all new and has no consequence.

As a parent, we are renewed in the newness of it all and it is all-precious. As a child, we are simply growing. Like a root through soil, finding its place and space where it is.

When we are kids, beginning to socialize in school and with those outside of our family, we begin to become protective. We don't run around naked so much in front of strangers. We curb our actions and thoughts into actions. And, we are growing while this is happening. Like a flower from a branch, reaching and expanding, understanding its place and space where it is.

As teenagers, protection is necessary as we grow into bodies that seem more adult than when we knew when we were little. Maybe our minds are still childlike. Maybe our peers make our minds want to be more like adults. We are growing while this is happening. We have bloomed and begin to understand place and space where we are in relation to others.

Chemicals, bones, skin.

It is all stretching, strengthening and flowing within our bodies.

It can be alarming, exciting, scary and emotions can be rampant in all of the years that we live because they are all new territory to be explored, with every fall, every inch of growth, every moment we become aware of the world around us.
We hide, we expose. We're scared and we are free. Life is all ahead of us. Life is.

Thankfully, for most, we have our parents or teachers to help us on this insane journey as we grow into real life human beings interacting in the world.

As adults, parents, single people, we are on our own.

I still talk to my mom every day but I'm still on my own, 3000 miles away from her. Even when I was living in New York City, I was still on my own even though she was physically closer.

The thing is is that even when we are done physically growing - we are at our height, regular or fluctuating weight, yearly changing age, we are never done 'growing'.

However, we leave the growing to the kids.

There are heavier, more tangible transitions for kids. We see it in their pictures and their clothes. Expanding their space and size.

As an adult, we are expected to be, as is, in the space we inhabit. We manage and there are no rulebooks or classes for that. If there are they are considered hokey, new age, self-help and wacko. And maybe Oprah is there, but even that feels weird to rely on as guidance as we navigate adulthood. Ok, sometimes Oprah is just the breath of fresh air you need to get through the day. That and a glass of wine.

But our minds, our minds are always growing. Not in physical space, but mental, emotional and energetic space.

I realize that as I accrue birthdays and fine lines, that I am still not done growing.

The things that I wanted when I was a child, a teenager, a young adult, are still there. But, they have shifted.
Life experience does that to you.
Dreams never die, unless you put them to sleep.
But, daily motivation, drive, passion, struggle, suffering, achievement, failure, days and months and years add to one's perspective, reality, response from the world and ultimately your response to all of the above in how you want to take your life in each and every next step.

I recently spent some time with some of my single girlfriends who shared with me mostly horror stories of their Internet dating experiences. Both of these women, beautiful, strong and successful, were single by choice. They did not want to settle to just have a husband and family. But they long for that.

I recently spent some time on the phone with some of my married girlfriends from high school. Two of them had married very young and have at least three children. They both seem very happy and tired, but absolutely satisfied with their choice even though the thought of my life as a single girl in glamorous Los Angeles seemed to be the topic they kept swaying back too.

I recently spent some time with myself. The single, glamorous girl in Los Angeles still pursuing her dream as an artist. I'm alone. I'm living the dream and still holding out for a love that may or may not be ideal. A love AND lifestyle that may or may not result in family or home. The girl who lives to practice yoga and go out to the beach and make up new work outs to share with others and help them feel fulfilled and satisfied in their lives.

I looked at my life.

I looked at how I am needed by my friends and family and how I need my friends and family now more than ever.

As I transition into single life and a life with an ill parent, I am no different and I am the same. I am choosing to live the life on my own, with all of its success and sadness and growth. Being able to reach out and knowing I need to reach in to myself and find the things that I need now, not before, not later, but now.
I am choosing this and I am growing. And it is painful. And there is no tollhouse cookie or after-school special to reward me at the end of the day when I come home. Just me.
There are no bones and skin that are stretching, but my mind and my emotions and life is expanding in ways that I will be unsure of and sure of on some days and no days.

I looked at the life of my girlfriends, attached with husbands and families, settled, happy and unsettled. I looked at the life of my other girlfriends, unattached with no husbands or families and in some cases, no jobs and unsettled.
I realized, we are all no different.

We are all still growing and changing and learning from each other and our experiences, very different but equally challenging.

As adults, we have no parameters.

As children, we have school and our parents to set them for us.

As adults, we assume from what we see, what we should do.

Perhaps for some that is to get married and start a family. For others, that is to explore the world outside of marriage and family and look for something else.

I used to think my mom friends had it rougher than the single folk. That they were at a different, higher, stronger and tougher level. But I was wrong.

I find it amazing that I ever thought that my parents and teachers had the answer to everything.

We are all the same.

None of us have the answers but we surprise ourselves when we do, for ourselves and those that have the questions.

I see the success and the pain of others. I feel it most for myself. I see the comfort and longing of others. I see the same for myself. I see both sides.

And I see myself. My bones and skin have settled in their size but my mind, wants shift the way they did as a child. I still shift and question. I'm still uncomfortable and unsettled. But I still live like it's all still in front of me for the taking and giving.

I don't ever want to lose that.

I don't' ever want to lose the fact that my life has been designed for service.

To give as much as I can, only taking in what I know has been received.

It might be silly, but it's what I want.

I know for me, this time is rough, but I have to do it on my own, allowing myself the ability to nurture, nourish, replenish, grow, and bloom the way I need to settle into a life that I want.

Wherever you are in your life, childhood, adulthood, marriage, singleness, parenting, don't lose your love for life, playing, grow,