Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday

It's Thursday night and I have almost finished my first week working as a new mom.  I have met interesting people and renewed my joy of being a craft bartender.  I will definitely post more this weekend, but I love working in Malibu and I cannot wait to show photos from the pier.  My new website should be up and running within the next 2 months.  Stay tuned...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to Work

Back to Work


The time has come for me to return to the workforce.  I begin training at my new job tomorrow and I'm excited, terrified, sad, happy and confused by the influx of emotions churning through my brain.  I'm lucky, I found a night job so my husband will watch Cora while I work and I get to be with her during the day while he works.  I also lucked out by finding a sweet woman with a daycare in my apartment complex today.  That was lucky, and she has a baby a week younger than Cora!  Looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

We spoke for awhile on my front steps and she cracked me up when she said she wants to exercise to lose her baby weight.  I guess I am not an isolated case nor is the new mommy I met last week who has a baby one month older than Cora, she also wants to lose the baby fat. 

It's weird to think of vanity when you have this beautiful cherub staring up at you.  Then you step out the front door and realize you live in southern California and that it's swimsuit season all year round.  

So, I'm ready.  I have my giant new bras and my fat pants have been washed and hopefully not shrunk.  I purchased new bras tonight and I can fit my head in one cup.  I'm officially wearing my grandmother's bra.



But, knowing that I'm going to work here everyday...


And come home to this everyday...





Makes me realize, life is wonderful!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shopping for Fat Pants

Shopping for Fat Pants

 

Well it finally happened!  I found a job.  I begin training next week and I'm excited.  I will have a reason to drive to Malibu a few times every week so I can tend bar in a restaurant on the Pacific Ocean!  I was extremely excited to get the welcome letter until I skimmed down to the part that said, uniform requirements...dark jeans.  Oh gosh, seriously, I have to buy something with a button and zipper, no more elastic bands or sweat pants?!  I began to sweat.  I was a size 25 when I left LA, and a 26 when I came back, then I had a baby, what on earth could I be now?!  I got past the panic and with determination, left my home today to put together my new outfit for work.  

First up, a long sleeve button down shirt.  I thought this would be good because now that I'm not a XS/S anymore, medium I will be able to handle.  First stop...thrift store!  I will take any excuse to head over to Sherman Way in Canoga Park to peruse the funky shops on their strip.  I lucked out in the first shop.  The clerk was a breast cancer survivor who hooked me up with 2 dress shirts for $14. Yes, I didn't haggle an Armenian store clerk in a thrift store.  When I grow up I will be exactly like Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!  I already know this...

...and I'm totally fine with that.

Well, back to the clerk, as soon as she found out I would be tending bar in said shirt, she looked at my poor hanging boobs housed in the sports bra the have been living in since I found out I was pregnant and she said I needed to lift them up.  She then showed me a glimpse of her post surgery breasts and told me to stop complaining about my saggers and be proud.  I gave birth and everything grew, I need to be proud and let them shine like they were meant to!







I promised I would take better care of them and left her store happily to head to the most terrifying mall in LA, Westfield Topanga.  Seriously, I have mild panic attacks in most malls and I think this one is about to get even bigger with a Grove like addition coming by next Christmas.  

So, now was the inevitable time to find out exactly how fat my pants had become.  Sigh, I walked past a few shops, turned around in circles trying to figure out where things are in this mammoth of a mall, and I found a Gap.  I stood at the dark jean area and was baffled.  I really didn't know what to do, so I picked the largest size I could find and slinked to the back of the store to face my new body in the mirror.  The woman working asked if I was okay and I said no, I just had a baby and I'm in a new body and I have no idea what size I am and I'm scared to try these on!  She looked at the size and said, that looks right, try them on, it will be fine, these aren't even that big!  So, I did, they fit and I have my first pair of size 30 jeans!  Yes, Jess, I said it online!

After deciding to purchase the jeans that I no longer think are really fat pants, they just feel like it because I live in Los Angeles and I'm trying to be an actress and most girls are teeny tiny like I used to be, she and I annoyed most of the shoppers by having a great heart to heart about having babies and how wonderful it is.  She was rail thin and told me it just takes time and to enjoy my baby and screw losing weight fast.  It probably won't happen and who cares really.  

The conversation with the woman at the Gap as well as the with the one in the thrift store make me feel so happy to be a girl.  I don't know if men can have heart to hearts like women can and I love it about our sex!  Today I felt awesome about my not so fat pants, the fact that I have the power to lift up my giant saggers and I found a bar, on the beach, willing to take this new mom and put her behind the bar!  Now I can get back on track with my acting class and afford to live in Southern California!

 


 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Blues

The Blues

 

Soon I will become one of those moms who works.  I wish I could be a stay at home mommy but that's just not feasible right now.  So, in a couple of weeks I head back to the wonderful world of bartending.  Yes, I found a job that will take me, fat pants and all!  I will be working on the pier.  I will have an ocean view and will make money to provide for my tiny boo.  I'm conflicted.  On one hand, I'm happy I will be able to buy things for her and afford to pay my own bills I had before I got married.  On the other hand, I think, to heck with it!  Do I really need a phone or would it be better to just hang out with baby?  I'm not sending her to daycare.  My husband and I are sharing baby duties.  I will watch her all day and he will watch her at night.  So, I guess that's good.  I'm just really going to miss her when I'm away.  At least I will be away during the witching hours and when she sleeps and I get her all day when she smiles and plays.  So, there is light in this.  Just still feeling glum over the separation.
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vaccinating Baby Cora

Vaccinating Baby Cora

 

Today was the worst day of my child's life.  She is two months old but by far this was her worst day.  We had our first round of vaccinations.  I am thankful for the kind words of encouragement that it's worse for me than it is for her but I absolutely do not believe that anymore.  

I'm not sure what was worse.  The vaccination or the screaming hours afterward that have me drinking white wine.  I'm a pinto noir drinker but my Mom is in town so tonight it's Moscato.  
I earned it.  I earned this sweet glass of wine.  My day was horrible.

It began with a drive down the 405 to LAX.  My husband conveniently left town for some engineering training in Louisiana.  I coerced my mom into coming because I need a babysitter for me since I am a new mom.  I am beyond glad she is here but sorry I put her through the torture of watching her grandbaby's look of terror as the needles were piercing her baby thighs and I was hovered over my baby, tensed up, shoulders to ears, trying not to cry as my child screamed bloody murder at the top of her lungs.  No, that wasn't fair to put my mom through, but I'm a selfish narcissist living in LA, she knew what she was getting into when she raised me to be this way.  

After the shots, Cora seemed completely fine.  We got Arbys, Cora took a nap.  We ate Arbys, Cora woke up and smiled and played a bit, then out of nowhere, I guess the memory of her traumatic afternoon descended on her mind like a plague of fire biting mosquitoes and she let out so many blood curdling screams I thought we may need to go to the emergency room.  My mom sent me to the store for baby Tylenol.

I rushed out the local CVS.  I noticed that today on this warm southern California day that absolutely no one else was in a hurry, especially not the two women walking down the middle of the road in the parking lot.  Seriously, why do people do this?  You aren't on a sidewalk.  You are in a road.  Where cars drive.  Do you really need to swagger your ass slowly in the middle to prove a point?  I get it.  You're special.  Now let me the fuck by!  I sped around them and gave them a dirty look.  They didn't care.  I didn't either.  I was in a hurry to stop my baby crying.  Then I came upon an open spot in the parking lot and a man was standing behind what I assumed to be his car.  He was on his phone, texting, tweeting, facebooking, who knows, but at the moment I tried to pull into the spot, he decided to walk in front of it without looking.  Yes, a grown man in his 50s.  Sorry zombie, I'm not stopping.  Get your face out of your phone and look where you are going.  You are in a drugstore parking lot, people have needs here!!!

I finally made it in and out in a flash and was home quickly.  Of course the woman in the BMW SUV sat at the exit lane of the strip mall and went through her purse for a minute but in this case, my horn alerted her that maybe turning into traffic isn't the place for organizing.  She turned.  I turned.  She decided to get over to my right lane, then across traffic to the far left lane without looking, in traffic...my baby is still home crying.  Screw the idiots!  I'm speeding home!

Once home, we gave her the Tylenol.  We gave her a bath.  We shushed and rocked her.  She screamed like a wild animal.  Every scream broke my heart into a million pieces.  She made a full tear tonight.  She has never made a full tear until tonight.  It was horrible.  Painful.  Exhausting.  Yet now I cannot sleep.  I'm just listening and waiting for a coo, a flash of happiness as she sleeps.  

But I can say this, I would rather have a painful evening like this than subject my daughter to disease and sickness that could have her hooked up to machines suffering for days, months, even years.  I would rather face this small battle with her and cry it out than play roulette with her health because the internet told me so, or because a Playboy vixen or reality show airhead says it's worse to vaccinate than not.   

These days it feels that my only choice is vaccinate and get autism or don't vaccinate and watch your kid die.  Such an awful choice.  I chose to listen to my doctor and trust my gut, to read the news and see that diseases are on the rise because many are turning against vaccines and infecting others.  The vaccinating herd is thinning.  

I'm a mom who has chosen to vax.  It sucks.  I hate it.  But I just can't stand to think of what would happen to her if I didn't

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lying to Children

Lying to Children

 

Have you ever lied to your children or to other people's children?  What lies do we tell tiny little people as they grow into the world?  Sometimes I get scared as I tell Cora stories of where babies come from and how farts are the incense of a baby's butt.  I mean, she's only going on 10 weeks so she doesn't understand, but when she does, should I curb the stories?  I mean, my parents told some great tall tales as I grew up.  But what's appropriate?  Where do you draw the line between stories and lies and how do you discipline a child when they spin tall tales?

I realize all of this will surface as she and I grow old together.  Until then enjoy this Paul Bunyon Disney cartoon we all enjoyed in elementary school!

 

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lies My Parents Told Me

Lies My Parents Told Me

Before I get into this, I just have to say... I have really awesome parents.  They did have some lies, but they were completely innocent.  For the most part, they were honest about the world but they told a few bold faced lies and how I found out the truth to them changed my perspective on life quite a bit.

Lie number one

The Tooth Fairy

The image of the tooth fairy as shown above will always be burned in my brain.  I found out the tooth fairy was my dad after I lost my two front teeth.  Let me explain my Dad's usual outfit he wore around the house.  Tighty whiteys.  You weren't considered a member of the family until you were witness to my Dad lounging in his recliner, watching tv after a long day's labor.  


In fact, my dad is a fan of The Goldbergs because it's the first show to really depict Dads loungin in their underwear. 

Anyhoo, most little girls grow up thinking this is the tooth fairy...


But not me.  I was stirred awake early one morning by a heavy breathing 260 lb man in his underwear.  I kept my eyes closed so as not to ruin the stories I had been told.  But after that day, I never lost another tooth.  I had to have 12 pulled at the dentist office because they wouldn't come out.  The dentist said it was because I had growth retardation in my mouth, I think it's because, in my mind, the tooth fairy was dead so what's the point of losing teeth?

Lie number two



My mom told me unicorns didn't make it onto Noah's arc because they were playing and dancing and ignored the warnings of the impeding flood.  I'm still not sure this isn't true.  

Lie number three


Santa Claus.  Now here's where it gets tricky.  I'm still not sure this is a lie.  I admit.  I believe in Santa Claus.  I remember the evening I had the heart to heart with my dad about the large fat man who delivers toys to good little boys and girls.  He told me to watch the sky and if I looked close enough, I would see the sparkle of his spirit in the stars.  He told me Santa wasn't the story I had been told but something so much bigger.  He also said he comes to those in need through spirit and I had never been in need so Santa sent his love through my family.  Awesome way to tell a kid about Santa!

The lies we are told as children don't have to end in heartbreak.  We can and should still keep the legends alive.  This world needs bright spots of magic to chase away the dark.




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What was scandalous in my youth isn't anymore

What was scandalous in my youth isn't anymore

I grew up in the middle of America.  In what's known as a flyover state.  I grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  In case you didn't know, it's a suburb of Tulsa.  Tulsa is known for an oil boom then bust, but with hydrolic fracturing it's starting to boom again.  Oklahoma itself is known as the buckle of the Bible belt.  I grew up learning that the Bible was the only way and anyone else practicing another religion was destined for an eternity in hell.

Fast forward 23 years and I found myself in Dallas, TX.  Not much of a jump.  I still attended Christian churches but met a ton of sinners.  People cheated on their mates, did drugs openly but hid it under suits and ties during business hours and lived so scandalous that even a seasoned prostitute might blush.

And then I moved to Los Angeles, where I would find the biggest scandal of all...true freedom of religion.  I found myself in the midst of Buddhists, Hare Krishnas, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Hindus and Scientologists, just to name a few.   I met all these people who were on a different path to God and I was brought up in a society where that is just really unacceptable.

I spent nine months in Oklahoma and left a little over a year ago.  I spent most of my time reconnecting with my forward thinking parents and getting to know my husband.  As usual, I was separated from the general public and the discourse on their view of Christianity.  In fact, before I met my husband, I went out on a date with a guy, who upon hearing how I viewed God told me he didn't want to take me to church because he was afraid I would burst into flames.  I laughed and told him if anything I would be a bright flash of glitter in a grey sad place.

Growing up I was told that questioning Christianity was scandalous.  Grown I have been called a Pagan, a Hindu or Buddhist.  The truth is, in my heart I still hold Jesus sacred but I respect and acknowledge all religions.  I believe Christ's true teachings are a mixture of everything.  I don't think He would ever shame any of us into believing something we just aren't comfortable with.  I also had a hard time listening to the local rhetoric on why some of the people in town couldn't hang out with others due to their sinful nature.  Jesus hung out with criminals and prostitutes, he wasn't a dick.

It took a long time for me to be comfortable with how I saw Christ.  But the scandal isn't in my divergent attitude of acceptance, for me, the true scandal is in how some have strayed so far from His teachings that they have closed their hearts and minds to the amazing love his grace can bestow.


The Most Scandalous Thing

The Most Scandalous Thing 

 

I entered a blogging challenge with the website Blogher and the first entry is to discuss the most scandalous thing I have ever done.  Here's the thing.  I got married at 36 and have lived in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years and before that I lived in Dallas for five.  

Have you ever played the drinking game I never?  I have and I pretty much have to take a shot for every single I never someone else says...so, I can't pick the most scandalous thing but the good news is...my daughter probably won't get much past me!



 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Celebrity Culture

Celebrity Culture

 

This is more of a rant than anything.  Not a bitter rant, but one that I have had building up that I need to get off my chest.  The adoration of celebrities, living or dead, and some of the nonsense that people will post over and over again on social media.  Celebrities are humans, they are not saints.  For the most part, many of them have had exposure to insanely talented writers and directors.  The beautiful words they speak onscreen were, most times, not of their own creation, but of a thoughtful writer, tirelessly toiling in dark rooms to bright coffee shops allowing their imaginations to run wild as they pull from experiences of their own lives and painstakingly create the drama actors love to play and audiences love to watch.  Sometimes these writers affect a celebrity so much that they are forever philosophically enhanced and transported into deep thought, but many of them still cheat on their husbands and wives, snort copious amounts of cocaine and live weird lives we can never dream of.   We seem to fixate on those, but why?  Why do we quote misfits?  Why not pay attention to the amazing ones if we are going to pay attention at all?

For example, what is with the eternal marketing of Marilyn Monroe?  I'm sure she was a nice lady, and I in no way wish to speak ill of the dead, but why do we let our little girls, teens and single women everywhere look to her as some kind of patron saint of sultry.  She was divorced three times, had a documented extra-marital affair and she died of a drug overdose, either by her own hand or many conspiracy theorists believe she was murdered.  She was a tragic figure no doubt, and insanely beautiful, but she was an actress.  A deeply emotional yet fragile woman who didn't make it to old age.  Her story isn't that rare, but she was famous, so we hang on her every word while forgetting that what she went through actually wasn't glamorous.  It was terrible.  She was a little crazy.  That's ok, but not really role model live your life by her quotes material.  


 This, by far, is my least favorite quote.  Yet many single women have tried to live by it at one time or another, probably even me in my 20s.  But to this I have to say, get control of yourselves ladies!  Why would you want a man who would be attracted to you at your worst?  Find a guy who takes you for you and show him your best for as long as you can before the holes in the facade crack.  Don't torture someone into loving you, it doesn't work, and if it did, would you really want a man that desperate?

Johnny Depp, you are also on my shit list.  Years ago he went on about his love for the mother of his children.  Well now, he's traded that old broad in for a younger model and this quote made the rounds...





Oh really Johnny Depp, thanks for the astounding insight on how not to hold onto a relationship for the long haul.  I will post this if I ever get sick of my husband who fathered my child and desire that hot new model that just moved into town.  Oh wait, it doesn't work that way, I'm a chick.  Yes, Johnny Depp is hot and he plays quirky characters, but if I'm going to look to a celebrity for my life lessons, I will take words of wisdom from Tom Hanks before I listen to your life advice.



Also, The Dude, who doesn't love The Dude?


And for the ladies... I give you Cate.




 So, if we are going to continue down the path of idolizing celebrities, let's pick the logic of those who we can actually relate to.  The ones who stayed human and didn't demoralize their unions or drug themselves through life and to death.  Let's aim higher.  

I remember, years ago, after moving to Hollywood and realizing I was on the other side of the looking glass, a woman I went to high school with was having trouble in her relationships.  She would throw that horrible Marilyn quote up on her myspace page and complain about wanting someone to save her or for her life to have the ending of a romantic comedy.  I was incensed and angered by this.  I had seen that this was fantasy that a writer dreamed up, not true reality.  As much as I wished for it, Jake Ryan never ended up standing next to his Porsche outside of a church after my sister's wedding.  I don't have a sister, but that's beside the point.  



Life takes work.  You can fail.  You should fail.  You can succeed.  You should succeed.  And you can love and be hurt and you should do both of those things.  And every single time you get hurt, you get back up and you move forward, because the love of your life could be the next one or the one you are married to but forgot why.   The point is, no celebrity quote is going to make your life easier, and if you are clinging onto the quotes of drug addicts and philanders then maybe you deserve the shit you are finding in your life.  Until you depend on your own quotes and your own higher self, then you will keep attracting the same garbage.

Rant over.  Live well friends... and stop living your life by Hollywood's make believe terms.  Trust me, I'm on the front lines and I am witness to the make believe of fantasy every single day.