Scott kindly paid for me to have a massage this evening at the Massage Therapy Center on Sawtelle. I've been in so much back pain and couldn't find the gift coupons my Mom always gives me for Christmas every year, and I certainly can't afford to pay for one right now so it was really nice of him to offer to do this for me. I love this place. It's so mellow, sweet-smelling, and blissful. It smells so good. I could spend hours there and if he weren't there with me I probably would have lingered. There are candles flickering everywhere, pretty music, nice locker rooms with fresh water and fruit, and the best steam room that smells like eucalyptus oil and never fails to make me feel exhilarated and happy whenever I open the door and that blast of warm steam hits me. I don't know why I like it so much, it just makes me happy.
Scott is too shy to have a man work on him whereas I always prefer a woman. There were only two therapists who were both free at the same time so I arranged for Scott to see the woman and I took the man, Robert. I'd never seen him before and something about his energy kind of scared me. He was sort of wiry and intense. He had some control issues, had me do things that no one else has ever asked me to do there, shushed me when I really wasn't being loud and have never had anyone tell me this there before, and despite the fact that I thought I knew what I wanted and needed, I ended up getting exactly what I really did need instead.
I had wanted a comforting, relaxing, Swedish type of massage, but seeing, or feeling, how wracked up my back was, he immediately set to work on me using a deeper, and more sports oriented kind of massage, so I just went with it. He had me do all kinds of resistance work with my muscles, and he pulled and stretched me and worked deep on my back. He worked so deeply that I had to put myself into a kind of meditative state, breathing through the pain that was definitely at a level seven or eight on the pain scale, just to get through it.
Afterwards he told me I'd be sore and tight for a couple of days and to put ice on my back, which I am doing right now as I write this. If this undoes some of the damage I did to my muscles when I was lifting, carrying, and doing way too much before and during Burning Man, then it'll be worth it.
In the dressing room afterwards I ran into this woman coming out of the sauna who was really shy about my seeing her naked and apologized to me. Apologized to ME for being NAKED? If I could go out every single day naked without getting arrested or stared at I would. I hate and love clothes. I just want life to be clothing optional. I seriously don't understand why this is a shocking concept to people. Don't they know how beautiful all of our bodies are and that naked does not equal sex or perversion? I wish I could see more naked people. I love nudity, male and female, old and young, naked, naked, naked, gimme, gimme, gimmee, more, more, more!!!!
After our massages we went up the street to a little restaurant called The Sawtelle Kitchen. I had a great dinner and was so happy to be there -- in this kind of Euro/Japanese outdoor cafe setting -- but Scott was in a bad mood, didn't like his food, and wasn't enjoying himself, so it kind of put a damper on what could have been a wonderful evening while I was just grateful and happy to be out doing nice things with him.
I think I may have started his bad mood spiral by telling him that I didn't like his hair cut. He has such beautiful hair -- I would trade hair with him in a second -- and I hate it when he gets it all shaved off. Every time he does it I beg him not to do it again. Then he agrees with me, says he won't shave it all off again, tries to get it cut in a way that won't make him look bald, and then he does it all over again.
Scott is a very sensitive man who acts like he's much tougher than he is and it's sad because I don't think people, and I'm including myself in this, get how very vulnerable and sensitive he is. But I'm not responsible for the unbreachable walls he puts up around himself, walls that put and scare people off, even me.
He is so handsome, but like me he's also overweight, and I think he looks so much better with at least a little hair. He thinks that the short skeechy buzzed off football hair style makes him look more corporate -- makes him fit in more at work -- and I disagree, I think it makes him stand out, but I don't know, I don't have to be in his body, stuck at work, hot and sweaty with lovely, sexy, thick hair that makes all the other men jealous. But when he buzzes it all off like that, in addition to diminishing his appearance in a kind of Samson without one of his very best features kind of way -- there's really nothing for me to run my hands through or grab onto when we make love : (
All that aside, I know it's his hair, and he has every right to do whatever he wants to, or with, his appearance. But I'm an opinionated gal and I'm not going to sit by and say nothing or lie. Then when he gets angry and defensive it just makes me more determined to get him to see it my way. Oh well, I can't be sweet all the time, I'd like to be, but I'm an Aries and I can be opinionated and pushy when I don't get my way.
I just started watching Bonaduce, wow. I read his book about a year ago, but I had no idea he was still so messed up. Poor guy. Poor wife and kids. I hope things improve for him. I have to say I sure enjoy watching the show though. I love reality TV, I can't stop watching it.
Beau has two friends over today. They've been playing their guitars in the room right next to mine. Now they're playing MP3s. Teenage boys plus amplified music with the bass turned way way up equals big pounding headache for the Mommy. When did I turn in to this old person?
I'm so glad the Jet Blue Airbus landed safely and that all of the people on the plane are okay. I had been watching their plight on television and it looked as if they were getting ready to land when we had to leave for our massage appointments so I taped the news. Then we listened to it in the car. I had been praying they would be okay and I felt like crying when the plane came down safely. I can't imagine how frightened those poor people must have been. They knew there was a problem with the landing gear but they didn't have any idea how serious it was until some of them turned on their TVs in the plane and saw all of the news coverage.
I'm watching Martha Stewart's new Apprentice show and am really enjoying it. I like the kindler gentler PR spin that they're trying to put on her, I don't know if I buy it, but I think it's a good idea. I just really dig her so whether she's being sharp and business like, or polite and cordial, either one works for me. You wouldn't dislike a successful billionaire businessman for being less than friendly when he's got to cut to the chase because he has ten thousand important project balls in the air so why do we expect Martha to be all cuddly and warm?
I worked on cleaning and organizing my room today. I have so much stuff, so many papers and collectibles, makeup, and junk, that I could probably do this every day for two solid months and still not be through. Well, maybe I'm not being fair to myself. Maybe if I worked on my room, my two walk in closets, the bathroom, and the bathroom within the bathroom, all day every day for two solid weeks, I could get it all done.
The practice fire spinning poi balls that I bought for Beau to work with arrived today and he was thrilled with them. He started playing with them right away and took them to school. When he came home he was showing me some new moves he'd learned, then he showed my Mom, who stopped by, and our neighbor and friend Caryn, and they were both impressed, which I'm sure made him feel good. Then after that he showed me how to do it and we played around outside spinning poi balls for about an hour. It really works your chest, back and arm muscles.
I was home sick most of this week. I don't know if it was psychosomatic, or as a result of all of the stress and worry over money and the hurricane and Mom and the cats and the RV or if I really did have some kind of late summer cold, but I really felt out of it and crappy all week. My back was so cramped up I just had to lay in bed alternating ice and heat. Atra thought I didn't come see her like I always do because I was afraid she would ask me to do her homework for her. Honestly I never even thought of that. I just don't visit people as much as they like to have people come over. I'm a wee bit shy and reclusive and I don't think they really get that about me. They are probably the only people I ever see, other than people I run into out in the world when I'm doing errands and things. I never go out with friends. I'm just too shy. I'm working on it...
I am a little sad about Atra's daughter and nieces not being able to model for the fashion show for us. Anna Marie said that she can't have anyone modelling who can't come to her studio for a fitting first and the only day she can meet with models is on Saturday. Guilan, who would be perfect for this because she has a size twenty-four waist and most of the dresses are verrrrry small, works on Saturdays and can't get off. Same for Sara. But hopefully Amita will go Saturday and find something pretty to wear.
Anna Marie is going to be unavailable for the entire month of October as she is moving her studio and going on a second honeymoon to New Zealand, but I don't understand why I can't bring a few of my own dresses home, (she has the collection there at her studio) and see if the girls fit into them. Argh. I don't want to complain though because they are all so kind to be doing this just to help raise funds for these worthy groups, and of course they're helping me realize a dream I've had for a long time now.
I missed a telephone appointment I had on Monday with Margot who was going to do a kind of family business history interview with me for the PR for the show that she's arranging. I've been so embarrassed about this that I haven't been able to make myself call her to apologize. I was flat on my back there for a couple of days, then I had extensive dental work. I had a three hour dental appointment and actually swallowed and then coughed back up the thousand dollar crown they were gluing onto my tooth. It was so funny and a little scary too. I felt something hit the back of my throat and it got stuck there so I quickly sat up and started trying to hock it up like a cat with a hairball. My dentist and his assistant froze and everyone got really quiet while I tried to cough it back up. It took a few tries and was really embarrasing for me but then it finally just shot out of my throat and landed in my lap. I asked the dentist if he had ever had this happen to anyone before and he said, "Only once."
Then I had this deep sports massage that made everything hurt for a day or so, and now I'm finally better.
Here's a dress of my Grandmother's that I couldn't afford to buy : ( The same person who won this dress bid up to six-hundred pounds for another dress and just paid forty-three dollars for a Schiaparelli label, a label. I have to admit that I am super jealous of all of these people out there who can afford to pay any amount of money for something when they want it -- whether the item warrants that price or not. Thank God I didn't get into a bidding war with this woman, (I think it's a woman), because then I would have really been pissed at losing the dress. Although sometimes the petty small-minded vengeful part of me comes out and urges me to bid against people who I know will outbid me just to force them to have to pay more for something. I would never do that, but the fantasy helps when I'm feeling angry.
I'm having a hard time passing up on the dresses of my Granny's that I'm seeing on eBay. I take it so personally when someone bids them up so high that I can't afford them. In my semi-impoverished paranoid state I imagine that they're all someone I know who wants to own one and doesn't care about how much more it would mean to me to have it. I wanted this one but I can't keep spending hundreds of dollars for these dresses. If I could take care of my son, our pets, the people who work for us and depend on me, and continue to buy these dresses, there's no question that I would. It kind of boggles my mind that my Mom won't support me in trying to build this collection -- that she doesn't want to spend a dime on these beautiful dresses they made.
And I'm going to put all of today and tonight behind the cut but come see -- you don't want to miss out.
Beau is getting out of school early today, after he participates in a hurricane fundraiser, so I'm going to pick him up and take him to get a new cell phone battery at Verizon to replace the one he had that broke for some reason. Afterwards we're going to see if the one Mac store we know of that's near here can fix his Ipod that has been broken for ages. Actually he has two Ipods that are both broken. The first one was always acting weird and I probably should have returned it, but I tend to misplace receipts, and hate returning things anyway. Then last Christmas I gave him the black and red U2 one that everyone wanted, and now that it's broken as well, argh. I swear it's always something.
Mouse is sitting on my lap watching me type, Curly Girl, (who is doing so much better that she's actually playing like a kitten), is playing with one of the fuzzy, shiny-blue pom pom balls that I bought to dangle from my hat at Burning Man, never had the time to do, and ended up giving to the cats. They're loving them and this has been a good cheap toy solution. Buggie is hanging off the top of the TV, twisted kind of sideways, upside down, swiping her paws at any image that moves by fast or appeals to her. I'm so used to her doing this -- playing with the images on the screen -- that I don't even notice when they're doing it, and I get surprised when someone points it out to me. Our cats always seem to be watching or playing with the TV.
We're watching Montel, (I like Montel, I'd like to hug him and give him a kiss -- he seems like such a good man), he's doing a good job of showing the human side of the story from a more individual, close-up perspective. I've been seeing so many images of ruined neighborhoods from the air, shots of the convention center, and talking head reporter stories with just brief interviews and commentary, and it's really horrible and devastating, but I think it helps us to see things from a more personal perspective.
When you see someone looking at the ruins of their home, or showing us their own home video footage taken before, during, and just after the hurricane, these things just really grab you. They had decided to stay when everyone else left because they thought their house was strong enough to withstand the wind. The man had nailed plywood to every window and door, and they had a big generator, and thought they could wait it out. But the wind sucked the boards right off the windows and doors, pulled all of the siding off of their home, and within a short time they were completely flooded out. They went up to their second story bedroom and shot footage of the water coming up the stairs. They really didn't think they would live so the woman started making calls to family and friends to say good-bye.
She couldn't reach any of their kids in New Orleans so she called 911 just to let them know where they would be able to find their bodies. She told the operator that she was sorry they hadn't followed directions and left with everyone else and that she didn't expect to be rescued because they knew it would be impossible. She just asked the operator to find a way to let her family know where they could find them so that their wouldn't suffer looking for them. Then she called everyone she could reach and said good-bye; she called her seventy-two year old Dad and told him what a good Father he had been. Then miraculously a friend of theirs managed to come back for them. He had left but somehow came back, got a boat, and came to rescue them, or they wouldn't have made it.
We're still having rat troubles here. Not my pet rats pals, but the rats that live outside, the fruit rats. I won't kill them and they won't go away so we have problems. They've made a home for themselves in the walls of our old chicken coop, (it's actually a very nice chicken coop, but we don't have chickens any more, sob, sob, because my neighbors are intolerant and difficult, and I just can't deal with the stress of fighting them over it any more), which is flush up against the library and powder room which have been converted into Ana's room and bath. Apparently they have now chewed their way into the library and are keeping Ana up at night eating my books. Oh God what am I gonna do? There's no way I'm going to kill them so I have to try to find a humane relocation solution, which has never been easy to do. I can't see myself inviting that goofy Fundamentalist guy back again, besides he wasn't much help and mostly just wanted to talk to me about how Jesus had saved him.
I went to get my hair colored back to normal today. I met the nicest woman, I always meet terrific people, especially when I go see Ashley. Her name was Dede and she was sixty-five but looked like she was in her early forties. She's a singer songwriter whose husband had been the head of BMI but died tragically in a fire : ( She was upset because she had just come back from Texas and was worrying about the coming hurricane. She said her Father built the Astrodome. I don't really know what that means -- whether he owns it or was the architect who designed it -- but obviously she felt a strong connection with it and was very involved moving the evacuees from the Superdome to the Astrodome -- but I didn't want to pry so I didn't ask.
Dede said that her Mother died when she was twenty-one and her Mother's best friend told her at the time that she would look after her for her Mom, and she really did, becoming a kind of second Mom to her because her stepmother sure wasn't. Her Mama, (she called her Mama), died a week ago and her funeral was going to be held this week. Dede had just come back from Texas where she'd been doing all kinds of volunteer work relating to evacuees who'd been staying at the Astrodome when she got the news from her best friend, this woman's daughter.
She wrote a poem and sent a big heart shaped bouquet of flowers to the funeral home and was wondering if she could summon the energy to turn around and go right back, when this new hurricane came along. Now because of the evacuation obviously no one is going to be able to attend the funeral and her friend and surrogate Mother is going to have to stay behind and wait it out. How sad. She said that her Mama was a real character with a strong sparkling Texas personality and had wanted to be buried in her brightest pink suit with beautiful makeup. Dede said, "I wonder if she's laying there thinking, 'I got all dressed up in my bright pink suit and no one's come to see me.' "
You think about all of the babies being born, children getting lost, the sick, and the elderly, but I've never thought about the dead, what would happen if someone were about to have a funeral and no one could come? Imagine how hard that would be to have to leave your Mother behind unheralded, unburied.
Ooooh, our power just went out, everything went completely black and silent for a moment, and then it came back on. We had a blackout the other day and it's scary when it happens because it forces you to look at how totally dependent on power we all are. Someone said we'd had a couple of small earthquakes yesterday. with all of these terrible natural disasters happening, it's hard not to think there's something global and dark happening and that we could be next.
Beau's school, New Roads, is so terrific. I am falling in love with his school more and more every day. All of the teachers at the middle school told me that we would love the high school even more and so far it's proving true. They treat the kids with so much respect and they foster such a sense of community and responsibility in them. Today they ended classes early so the kids could work to raise money for people affected by the hurricanes. We've been donating canned food, stuffed animals, blankets, clothing, etc., and the school has raised enough funds to give full scholarships to two children who have relocated here permanently from New Orleans. But today they really went all out to try to get the kids to be involved. Parents cooked and brought southern themed foods, mostly barbecued things and baked goods, and all of the money raised from this is going directly to help family members of students who live in the regions that were the worst hit. Then the kids came up with the idea of doing a quietathon and a jumpathon and we sponsored them with pledges based on how long they could keep quiet and how many jumps they could do.
I just so admire this team of teachers and administrators who are working so very hard to raise good people who will go out there in the world and give back. I remember how much I worried about where Beau was going to go to school, whether I'd have the kind of pull it takes to get him in to the top rung impossible-to-get-into private schools. I wanted to do what everyone else was doing and get him into Harvard-Westlake, Brentwood, or even Crossroads, and now I realize that everything really does work out for the best. He is where he is meant to be. We are not the kind of people who would have fit in well in any of these high pressure schools, (well, with the exception of maybe Crossroads), Beau would have been miserable, and this is so great for him. I'm just really happy. I hope it stays this way : )
I saw Renee Russo at the market today. She is so beautiful. She looks even more beautiful in person than she does in print or on film. She had masses of auburn hair, down to her waist, and was wearing a tee-shirt and tight tiny jeans and boots. I've always liked her, before she was an actor even. I had a Scavullo picture of her that I put up on my wall because she was one of my absolute favorite models. So naturally I was really happy for her when she made that rare transition from modeling to acting, and at what can be considered a late age in this youth obsessed industry.
I told her how much I love her work, which is pretty much the only thing you can say to a fellow actor, without seeming scary stalker fannish, and she was so gracious and sweet. She said, "Thank you SO much!" She's probably heard this a gazillion times but she was really enthusiastic and friendly and that was nice. Then about ten minutes after that, when I was at the pharmacy, I ran in to Michael Keaton. He was smaller than I thought he'd be, his face was kind of freckled and weathered a bit, he was balding all around the top of his head, and he had an interesting bouncy kind of dancer's energy about him. But I didn't feel the need to say anything to him or bother him. I just thought it was curious that I saw two super successful actors within such a short period of time.
I'm going to catch up on all of the many shows I've managed to record with my well used DVR tonight. I've gotten so accustomed to being able to fast forward through commercials and rewind interesting things I'd like to see again that I just don't want to watch regular TV anymore. I prefer to tape things and watch them later. Right now I have a Diane Sawyer interview with Barbra Streisand playing. I met Diane Sawyer and she was a doll, just as charming and gracious as you'd ever imagine her to be. She just asked Barbra about heartbreak and how long it took her to get over her worst broken heart. Barbra said, "I don't know if it ever quite leaves you." Diane said, "Can't you always cure suffering by saying, 'What was I thinking?' Doesn't that cure some of them when you look back and think, I was nuts?" Barbra said, "No..maybe because my father died when I was fifteen months old, and then that leaves a kind of void that you realize as you get older that you'll never fill," and this really resonated with me, "you know suffering...what is that saying? Suffering is the resistance to what is. You try all these years in therapy to fill that void and then you realize that you can never fill it, really, so then you stop suffering because it's the truth." I can so relate to this feeling of their being a void that hurts, the pain and suffering of this, and trying to fill it with anything that will mute the pain just a bit. I know what it is to be abandoned. I understand this feeling from the inside out, from conception onwards, and I so hope I've managed to put this behind me. No more abandonment and loss please?
I am a HUGE Barbra Stresisand fan. I love her talent, her politics, and her compassion. I fell in love with her in seventh or eighth grade and it really intensified in high school. I used to buy her albums and play them over and over again, singing every song until I had each song memorized and could imitate her perfectly. Then as I got older, my love and admiration for her remained, but my passion for her lessened in intensity. I saw her once in Century City at the movies. She was sitting across the aisle from us and no one recognized her or bothered her. She was so dressed down, almost dowdy looking, this goddess, this fireball of talent, and I was surprised.
She said the one thing she couldn't live without is love. So sweet and true.
Okay, well, I guess that's more than enough for me and for you...
Big loving hugs,