Saturday, December 31, 2011

You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight

Well, at the end of 2010, I promised myself I would blog more and I have.  And now it's the end of 2011 and I am not sure what I will promise myself in the new year.

This time, last year, I was getting ready to go to a party in Berkeley.  This year, I am laid up on the couch with a cold, at a friend's house, cat sitting for her while she is out of town.

No big plans, just:

You and..

Me and...

The Bottle Makes Three Tonight!

Alright, 2012, BE AWESOME!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tales From The Couch

I just came down with a nasty cold that has rendered me somewhat motionless, but not entirely.

For the past couple of months I had been taking Wellness Formula Herbal Resistance Liquid along with some Emergen-C packets, thinking I had beaten this chronic ailment that has been going around, from what I read on Facebook.

But now, it has gotten me.

So, here I sit, almost immovable, grateful for an internet connection, a couch, and cable.  This combination, along with a daily dose of Theraflu and other drugs, oughta get me through this week.

I guess it's time for me to play catch up- writing wise.


1. Coming off the news that Kim Jong IL died, I reveled in the spike in interest of North Korea.  For a day or two, more people paid attention to just how repressive that country's regime is.  What else can we do to raise awareness and get people MAD? 

2. I waited until December 23rd to start Christmas shopping.  I did alright.  I only had to buy for my teen nieces who live in the suburbs.  I was determined to get them gifts that did not come from a mall. Mission accomplished.

3. I lost my wallet in da club.  That's right, I went clubbin last Friday night and  now I could add another line to  the Katy Perry song, "Last Friday Night"

"I went clubbin after dark, and I never saw a park, lost my wallet on a lark....Last Friday Night.."

Pure poetry in pop music.

I didn't realize I had lost my wallet til the next morning. I stumbled out of bed around 11am and was getting ready to go to Starbucks and my purse seemed lighter.  My heart sank. I had so much fun the night before, and now it was ruined cuz someone took my wallet?

I checked my bank statement online and there was no unusual activity on my ATM card or my gas card, so I am thinking either someone turned my wallet in OR it's still sitting on the dance floor between the couch and the speakers inside da club.  The club doesn't re-open today until 4pm and they don't have a phone, so I guess I get to go in there with this nasty cold and find out what's up. *Praying it's still there*

In the meantime, I had to race out to the bank, and tell Darnell, the banker, about my situation. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I lost my wallet. I need to cancel my ATM card.

Darnell: Where do you think you left it at?

Me: In da club

Darnell: You wuz in da club?

Me: (putting my head down on his desk), I was in da club.

Darnell: What club?

Me: Somar.

Darnell: That place is always packed!


So that's how I spent Christmas Eve, running around trying to cancel whatever was left in my wallet that night.  But I still think it's on the floor inside da club.

4. Christmas Day I picked up my 87- year- old grandmother in San Leandro and we high-tailed through the Caldecott tunnel, upon a few different freeways, and into suburbia to spend with my family.  Total number of freeways and highways driven on Christmas Day: 7.  My right foot went numb.

5. The Day After Christmas, I slept like a baby. I felt brand new. I was rested and peaceful. I finally had a chance to clean the apartment I have been cat-sitting at.  Then I raced out to da club to see if it was open. It wasn't.  Then I got my nails done with my friend Peggy, aka, Pegeisha.  Then I went over to my hip hop teacher's, Tati's house for some milk and cookies. Okay, we had meat and potatoes, but it's all comfort food. And then we played word games.  Around 9:30pm, my throat started hurting and last night, as I tried to sleep, I could not swallow without excruciating pain, even though I took Nyquil before I went to bed.

And I lay.  Grateful for a couch, a kitty, internet and cable.

Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It Has Been a Bizarre Last 48 Hours

I was looking through my "journal" today, hoping to come up with some sort of "2011 Life in Review" post, but I noticed I didn't journal much this past year, hence the quotation marks.  How did THAT happen?

Probably because I was blogging instead.  In the meantime, this past weekend has jarred me emotionally with news about friends and relatives being very ill.  As I have been processing all of this,  I just found out Kim Jong Il died, which doesn't make me sad of course- but it adds to the wierdness of my weekend.

If I could send people to just one website about North Korea, I would direct them to One Free Korea

All of the North Korea junkies go there, so it's a great place to start if you are looking for information about all things North Korea.

Okay, back to processing all the bizarreness of this weekend. Is that a word?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Alternative Christmas Traditions in the San Francisco Bay Area

My mom was always very good about getting up early, turning holiday music on, and cleaning on those weekends that lead up to Christmas.  Today I was reminding myself of my mother.

I wiped down counters, dusted shelves, windexed mirrors and sang along to the radio station 92.1's non-stop holiday music mix.  With a Christmas Tree scented candle perfuming my apartment, a whisk of childhood memories came flooding up.
I only know Christmas how the Donahoe clan celebrates it.  As I would get older, I would see that other families from other areas had their own unique traditions and experiments.   I can only write about my own.
Donahoe rule #1:
"Santa are your parents, okay? Now what do you want for Christmas?"
That's right, the Donahoe children never believed in Santa Claus and don't feel sorry for us because we got stuff anyway.  When I asked my mother later on about why we never did the Santa thing, she replied, "it was the 70's and you didn't lie to your children."
I remember my dad opening up a department store catalog and telling me, "circle what you want."   Now, I didn't get everything that I circled, but I knew that at least my wants would be heard. Who has time to write a list when you can just circle the picture?  I want two magic sets please! Abracadabra!
Donahoe Rule #2:
"You don't always have to wrap the presents."
One year, my parents, who were raising four children, decided they would just number the presents instead of wrapping them.  I believe I was "number four" for fourth-born.  On Christmas morning, they made us kids stay away from the tree until all the gifts were numbered.  Then we simply grabbed the boxes that had our numbers on them and opened them.  Oh, who has time to wrap presents when you have four kids?
Donahoe Rule #3:
"Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes."
One year my mother decided she didn't want to get a big tree, so she bought a small Charlie Brown type tree and put it on this shelf that was to the left of the entry way as you entered our house.  I gotta tell you, that truly bummed me out.  Our presents were put under this tiny tree.  I preferred the traditional 6 footer that my sister and I could crawl under and stare up at the lights.  You know, the kind of tree the cat could get its claws on and knock down all the ornaments.  Those are the best.  Fortunately, there was only one year we had a small tree.
Donahoe Rule #4:
"Do you really want presents? Wouldn't you prefer money instead?"
As we got older, and became four teens who were difficult to shop for, my parents started having "Money Trees". They would put money in envelopes with our names on them, and then hang them on the tree.   We all got the same amount once our loot was collected.  All I could think about was heading for the mall the next day so I could buy a brand new pair of Jordache jeans.  Oh, I was so cool.
Donahoe Rule #5
"Once you turn 18, you are knocked off the "You-automatically-get-presents" list."
Yup, now that we are all grown ups, we only give presents to the kids, which means my two younger nieces. My oldest niece is now 20 and she got kicked off the list two years ago.  She's fine.  She knew it was coming.
So now I get to shop for two teen girls this Christmas.  What should I get them? Should I just cut them a check and call it a day?
Happy Holidays.  What are your family's quirky holiday traditions?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Life of a Writer

"As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone.  Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.  It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.  Having anybody watching that or attempting to share it with me would be grisly."  - Paul Rudnick

I have friends who, in their spare time, love to bake, create things, and decorate their walls with lots of art.  As I type this, I look around my apartment and I have bare walls and nothing is baking (I have never turned the oven on in this place since I moved in 2007).

And if I have any spare time at all, I prefer to spend it writing or watching a documentary.  In the meanwhile, my apartment stays cluttered.

It's a matter of priorities I guess. If I have any sort of creative energy at all, I prefer to write it down.  It's a messy process though.

"I type in one place, but I write all over the house." - Toni Morrison

I have always loved to write.  My first memory of writing stories was in the fourth grade when I wrote about things such as, "Stanley, My Pet Basketball" and "As The Curtain Rises" (about acting on stage).  My teacher told me she loved my stories.

I had quite the imagination then, as most children do. I kind of wonder where it went, since I tend to write more autobiographically these days.  I also prefer to read non-fiction over fantasy as well.  I have never read or watched anything remotely having to do with Harry Potter and the like.

If I am going to sit still and read a book, I want to learn something.  I prefer true stories about lessons learned because that is what inspires me.  Most of the books in my apartment are only half-read though, with dusty book marks in them.  I can pretty much put any book down, which is sad, really, since that is considered illegal by most writer's standards.  Writers are supposed to be reading all the time.  I, however, prefer to people watch.  I blame it on my self diagnosed A.D.D. 

I would like to be more well rounded and have a burning desire to make Christmas cookies, knit quilts and paint abstract art.  But unless someone reminds me to do these things over and over again, being crafty does not enter my mind most days.

It's just been in the past couple of years I have felt compelled to start sharing my true stories.  For awhile, my love for acting, with a side of dance, took the forefront in my life.  But now, it's time to write.

I just hope I don't end up being some crazy cat lady buried behind a keyboard, hair unkept, wearing a bathrobe all day, a la Carrie Fisher in Season 2 of the television show, 30 Rock:

Save me Carrie Fisher, you're my only hope.