Breaking the Internet Without Kim Kardashian

I’ve been enjoying my time offline…or, at least a version of what I think is “offline” (but not really ’cause I still check my Facebook status about a bazillion times a day).  Let’s just say that while I admit that I’m addicted, I am getting more and more comfortable with being unplugged for minutes at a time–which is at least something.  Yeah, can you believe it?  MINUTES!!

But even with that, I couldn’t escape the Meme monster that is Kim Kardashian.  I mean, this post has already mentioned her like twice already, but I refrain saying her name another time because I’m superstitious and hey, I watched Beetlejuice the movie so y’know something totally bad would happen if I did…so…nah.

So what have I been up to?  Well, a lot actually.  Just nothing really in the raise-your-hand-’cause-I-wish-to-share-every-little-detail kind of stuff.  I’ve been contemplating autumn leaves  for example.  I’ve taken up reading again (albeit slooooooowly) and still am taking obsessive notes on everything I see and hear and think.  That’s been interesting.  But even with all of this, I’ve come to realize just how lucky I really am.

What I will share with you is that I’ve been interviewing my mom which is both insightful and hilarious.  If anyone knows my mom, they know she’s just adorable.  I mean the woman has this chipmunk face and can match the strangest colors in a wardrobe that would put Audrey Hepburn to shame!  Recently, she even shared some old photo albums with me that were eye-opening.  If it weren’t for my mom dressing me, for example, I probably would’ve been made fun of all throughout high school only because my mom’s taste in clothes surpasses anything I could come up with.  Does anyone remember me in the 80s wearing different color shoes on my left and right feet?  Yep. Totally my doing.

It was interesting to listen to my mom’s point-of-view for the first time.  Events that were so significant to me fell off of my mom’s radar and some that seemed benign were really telling.  I was able to hear her side of the story and to record them for posterity but also I realized that they were all just stories and histories which were flawed and skewed.  That’s the trouble with memory…it isn’t as precise as one would hope.  Even if it were, it still is and always will be a moment in time.  It isn’t always consistent and it isn’t always easy to pin down or define.  That’s because we are human beings. We are forever in flux.  We are infinite, ever changing.

What I once thought was the coolest thing in the universe falls away and becomes a fad or a temporary obsession.  But, what doesn’t change is the root interest in mystery, wonder, magic, fantasy, love and love and love.  That’s our truest nature.  Compassionate, free, loving, honest, kind, peaceful.  My sister sums it up best (as she is always wont to do) when she says that there are only two natural states: Peace & Joy.  Enveloped in the preceding list above are all aspects of these natural states of being.

But I’ve also discovered that it involves more living in the present moment which is stolen from us every time we select a link that brings us to some cool article about something we’ll forget over time.  The real staying power behind every great thought is the ability to break from those chains (digital or otherwise) and take the time to absorb what is readily available all around us.

The fact is that the internet is already broken.  It is a mosaic of people’s thoughts, ideas, innovations, efforts, trials, concepts, experiences.  But it isn’t the same had these not been enjoyed first.  How can you do that?  Well, stop watching/reading/commenting.  Just live.  There’s plenty of time to sort out the details later and to assess and encapsulate the moments.  Well, actually, there’s not enough time but don’t worry about taking a selfie or a video.  Some things just can’t be described.

Not even Kim’s butt…whoops!

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<html ERROR!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Haha…just kidding…

Until next time, folks!

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Oldest Trick in the Book

2012-09-29_15-27-05_816Snow White and Prince Charming.  William and Kate.  Kim and Kanye.

The world loves a storybook romance, a Prince and Princess tale that always ends with a happy ending.  Every blockbuster success has always followed this formula and women everywhere (myself included) have flocked to films, products, media posts, articles, books, magazines, fashion to purchase symbolic relics of that myth of a magical union.

Hey, I Bought the Twilight Books Too:

I can’t say that I wasn’t aware of this.  I definitely was not an innocent bystander.  I genuinely enjoy the concept but not in a traditional way.  I am a woman who believes strongly in Women’s Rights, Feminism, and Equality.  I’m also an artist.  Put those together and you get a very perplexed, pensive, concentrated woman itching to get to the bottom of why I do the things I do and make the choices I make.  Plus, I am prone to naturally analyze everything, so I was shocked that just about everything I liked had these archetypes in them.

Why I Enjoy A Happy Ending:

I’ve watched some sad movies and read sad books where the endings weren’t easy to discern and there were many shades of gray.  It’s not that I reject these completely, it’s that it’s not as satisfying.  Documentaries that “make you think” and full-length indie films that challenge the viewer with downright unlikeable characters or characters that you cannot relate to at all are okay in small doses.  I’ve come to realize that my personal response to Cameron Diaz dancing around a table with Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law gives me the warm fuzzies.

It all boils down to hope.  I want to believe that the fantasy of a perfect relationship can actually exist.  I want to believe that everything (no matter how sordid or twisted the plot-line) will eventually work out in the end.  Maybe there’ll even be a wedding or a kiss at the end.  Then, I can sigh and pretend and wish and dream and then move on with my life.  It’s like taking a breath after being submerged in water.  Because, let’s face it–we live in uncertain times.  Every day I see a news article about the terrorist group ISIS, or see another darn commercial about saving a life (the two and four-legged kind) and have to endure a heap-load of reality before lunch that would turn anybody’s stomach.  Too much makes me feel like the walking dead.

So I like to be able to go to the supermarket magazine rack and pretend to know what the future King and Queen of England are planning.  I like to watch Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt finally walk down the aisle and see their children’s doodles on her veil.  I like to believe that all’s well somewhere on some remote plane and that my access to it is just a movie ticket away.

I. Get. It. I’ve been indoctrinate since birth.  I will always respond to “heartfelt” sentiments on Valentine’s Day, the big, warm sweater-hug from a cup a cocoa during the Christmas season, and will always cave to buy a ticket to the latest Titanic-Avatar-Harry Potter-Twilight-epic-blockbuster-of-the-year.  I can’t help it.  I even want to buy into the mythology extending these moments with rides at some theme park, super-expensive passes to fan conventions, and the occasional purchase of marketed products and gimmicks for a more visceral experience.

But then it happens…

Regret.  I mean, it’s not so much that I didn’t enjoy myself immensely as I participated in these novelties; it’s the fact that afterwards, I create my own backlash.

Rain Room_Shadow Box 2I Spent How Much?!  Go Ahead and Smack Me in the Face:

The price of purchasing the Prince and Princess products (alliteration, yay!) is that you are literally giving yourself the same type of temporary high you would if you were shopping for a sweater and end up with a cart full of “impulse” purchases.  We all do it.  But, why do women who truly are loving every minute of it returning to Debbie Downer mode once the craze is over?  In addition, when we continue to “buy into” the marketing for whatever it is, why do we feel so dang ashamed for coming full circle and behaving the way we have been regimented to behave?  Why the self-loathing?  Why the guilt?  Why the yard sales?

Wouldn’t it be a much stronger position to accept ourselves just as we are? Why can’t I say unabashedly that yeah, I dressed up in fantasy clothes like Bella from Twilight because I liked it? *gasp!*

*hushed voices from the peanut gallery*

Isn’t it more empowering to shamelessly say, “Yes, I bought this lipstick shade because Beyonce Knowles wore it at the MTV Video Music Awards.” Or to charge a heap-load of cash for a scaled model of the Starship Enterprise?  I mean, who cares, right?!

The fact is that I live in a free country where I have the ability to enjoy these things.  Images and celebrity can be a lot of fun as long as you’re not stalking anyone, stealing anyone’s identity, or turning your home into a hoarder’s paradise.

It’s just an escape that can be held onto long after the lights have come back on and you’re heading to your cars before another work week.  And what the heck is wrong with that?

 

 

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Mockingbird Story

The Cloister GardenWhen I first moved to this apartment, I found out that my backyard hosted a lot of birds.  I asked my landlady about seeing these diverse birds and she informed me that our rear garden was part of an avian migratory path.

The first year was such a treat: I saw blackbirds, a Blue Jay, cardinals, and other beautiful birds that I cannot name.  I marveled at the variety and noted their colors and bird calls.  As time went on, every time I saw my landlady and we got to the subject of birds, she’d mention the mockingbird and always asked whether or not I’d heard it.  I’d always say, ‘No’ and go on about my business wondering, what’s the big deal about hearing a bird anyway? But then I’d see my landlady and she’d ask me, “Did you hear the Mockingbird yet?”  and I’d admit, “Well, I may have but I really wouldn’t know what to listen for.”  She’d clarify, “The reason they call it a mockingbird is because it mimics (or mocks) the songs of other birds.”

I was certain that I was way too in-observant to even notice something as subtle as a singular bird that mocks other birds.  So I filed the topic in my mental Rolodex called, “Other Random Memory Bank” and forgot all about it.

Oddly enough, I didn’t have long to wait…

Early in the morning on a particularly bright and sunny Saturday, I heard a successive rapid-fire series of tweets, whistles and chirps that were too quick to be coming from different birds.  It was a pleasant surprise and a deeply resonant realization that I was an aware person highly sensitive to my environment and most specifically to SOUND.  It was beautiful.  It was lovely.  It was the greatest sound I’d ever heard…EVER.

But there were other lessons in that moment.  It wasn’t just that I had confirmed my ability to perceive such a fleeting thing, dispelling the myth I told myself that I was not a competent observer of my world; it was the fact that I got to experience this in my own way.  It was the profound awareness of the difference between having someone tell you about something and then experiencing that something for yourself in your own time and at your own speed.  Some things defy verbal definitions and methods of expression.

It is the same with letter-writing for me.  For who else could view ideas, and thoughts scribbled in my own hand, sentiments which are saved, innovations stored, jotted down and reserved for the solitary independent artist setting it down.  The written word is its own miracle–a marriage between the mind and the body coming together to create something, capturing a moment in time, a feeling, an expression that was important enough to mark.  It is pen to paper.  It is paint to canvas.  It is an impression in ink which cannot be recreated and is attached always to The Source–be it God, our Creator, the Architect, the Almighty Spirit, the Hub, the Jellyfish, the Is-and-always-will-be eternal blob, the Great Googly Moogly…

I am, at this moment, feeling expansive

eternal

connected

plugged-in and

HAPPY!

There is no time for self-doubt.

I am GREAT.

Repeat it as a mantra…

Ad nauseum…

Until you are ready to HEAR IT!

*Feel free to comment and post your own wonderful moments that defy explanation.  I’m looking forward to hearing what others are hearing, seeing, doing.  And for those who are unwilling to publicly share on a blog, you can always send me an email at:  honeyandy305@gmail.com or Join: The League of Extraordinary PenPals

As always, Thanks for Reading!

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Leave a comment

The Woodland Creatures Have Conspired Against Me!

This morning, I awoke to the sound of a mockingbird making a horrible racket.  The series of loud chirps, tweets and whistles could not be stopped and made one heck of an alarm clock sound.  You see, the woodland creatures have come up with clever ways of startling me and my peaceful states. The birds enjoy chirping early in the morning on weekends (don’t they know it’s Sunday?!) or just get restless on their perches in branches just a stone’s throw away from my eardrums.  Mind you, I do not mind relative daily chirping if, of course it’s kept to a minimum.  But just as I thought no other creature could disturb me, alas, I was wrong.  The photographic proof is here.  On two occasions (on the same day no less) both a Squirrel and Creepy Cat were on two separate parts of my roof (the West and North sides respectively).  You’ll note in the photo just how Creepy this cat is…staring at you and lurking in the bushes.  As for the squirrel, well let’s just say he’s stealthy and sneaky…besides, he is from the rodent family so…yeah.

But how can one stop the overall attack on all sides?  Birds from the air, cats and squirrels on the ground from blocking my only exits from the building!  I guess I’ll just have to wait things out and hope that these were isolated incidents…at least until next time…mwahahahahaha!

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Leave a comment

When One is Lost

Can anyone really and truly be lost in this world? It’s a rhetorical question,  I know. Part of the fun used to be getting lost in a new place and then having to rely on myself to find my way out but over the years, I’d become complacent and allowed the known world to pervade the unknown one. Further,  I’ve had to face a mild form of anxiety while navigating the unfamiliar places that used to be like such fun!
How did I manage before all of this? How did I face every challenge in my life thus far with seeming ease? Well, I have to be honest with myself: I didn’t.  I was more adventurous for a time, but as the years went by, I found myself gravitating to a world I already knew. I don’t think I was ready to really face the reality that comfort and convenience are two of my favorite things.  That’s not to say that this is a bad thing, or an unhealthy thing. I don’t believe that. I know that certain ways of life don’t apply to everyone and that if certain avenues of my life were supposed to “be”, they would’ve been.
Silly Rabbit, Why Panick?
I ventured outside of my comfort zone and found myself in SoHo. Now, some may say “Big Deal”, “So what?”–but for me, this part of NYC I haven’t exactly conquered yet. The “downtown” part of NYC (where all the “cool” kids go) is known for its eclectic,  artsy, bohemian, hep-cat, laid-back, Hipster vibe. I love that. But as a youngster who was introduced to the mid-town experience by both circumstance and necessity (I used to work off of 53rd St and 6th), I knew that another NYC existed…but I was too frightened to explore it.
Disclaimer: Again, I own these feelings and do not think (as some folks do) that one MUST conquer every obstacle. I don’t think that that’s realistic because it is a personal response to growth and comes to everyone in its own time and at its own pace. It’s kinda like learning to swim by being forced into the deep end of the pool or finally deciding for yourself that a) you don’t wanna learn b) I can do it, but I gotta do it slowly. Contrary to popular belief, I believe that either choice is completely fine and depends on WHO YOU ARE. You’ll know when it’s right or whether it’s not for you at all.
So there I was trying to complete a task of retrieving my recently purchased (and expensive) cell phone.  I had no other choice than to go back and get it which pissed me off brought me to the unwanted challenge of having to get there by myself and back home…on a week day…during rush hour. Ugh! So again,  fate had planned it and the writing was LITERALLY on the billboards:

image

Conquer Your Heart Out

No prob.

Anyhow,  I want to stress how the gods were trying to tell me something…not only did I have no choice but to go, but after retrieving my cell phone (did I mention it was brand-spanky-new?) but then it died as I was navigating back…and da-da-DAH! NO CHARGER!!!! (Homer Simpson says, “D’oh!” and Stewey Griffin says, “Blast!”)
So I got lost. As much as anyone can get lost in a sea of smartphones and helpful people and navigation maps. So…not really THAT lost, but panick did set in and I almost cried…almost.
I’m So Jersey It Hurts:
When I decided not to play victim and to listen to my gut instinct, I only lost about an hour and a half (which is pretty good when you’re downtown in this post 9-11 world). Dont ask me what train I took, don’t ask me to recreate that again for your entertainment, k? But I realized something that I had almost forgotten about myself: I’m extraordinary. Oh, and smart. I’m really smart.
So I figured I’d impart this bit of wisdom (?) to my loyal readers and will now share some pretty cool pics of what I would’ve missed if I had never gone. Thankfully,  that didn’t happen:

image

image

image

image

image

Greatest City in the World…
Many happy travels…and I hope you all get a little lost…^_^

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Leave a comment

Remember To Breathe

That thing that’s beating, that thing that keeps ticking like a clock in your chest, that thing keeping rhythm like a metronome…yeah, that thing. What you missed yesterday doesn’t matter. The list of stuff you gotta do today…also doesn’t matter.  But, you are ALIVE. You’re human and breathing. Your hardships, your trials and “The Story of You” isn’t who you are.  You are here. A dot. You are an infinite piece of the puzzle, as necessary as a keystone in an arch, as important as a pinky in a hand.  So where ever you are breathe deep. And remember who you are. You’re beautiful.

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Leave a comment

Here’s The Finished Shelves

One of my fans wanted to see my bookcase after I finally got it up. Well, here it is:

image

Since then, I’ve also learned how to make origami paper cranes. My VERY amazing sister made two into a mobile (because she CAN!):

image

Learning never stops. Unlike the bookcase & paper crane mobiles, human beings are ALWAYS works in progress, never finished products. Tell me about some of the lessons you’ve learned or created recently. *Bonus points if you did it with your own two hands!

Posted in I'm A Sucker For Nostalgia | Leave a comment