Twenty Thirteen

So my resolution this year is about writing. It’s about this blog becoming an actual platform for the stories of my experiences that have informed my philosophies on life – personal & political & anything between. As I’ve said many times: the only thing I truly feel like an expert in are my own experiences and my reactions to them. By articulating them here, I may be able to find a way to share what knowledge I’ve unearthed through pursuing love, through enduring pain, through aspiring to be as fearless as possible and my ever-growing need to embrace doubt and truth as recklessly as possible. Maybe these stories will be useful or inspiring, either to others or simply reflecting back at myself.

So I promise 24 stories this year. Two a month. There are days when I feel that I could write entire novels of my life, and other days when the lake of inspiration is dry as a bone, but over this year, I can do 24 pieces of this puzzle which forms my personal picture.

Anais Nin said it best: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” — I’m taking that to heart this year.

So I’ll start with this past year. 2013 was an exciting year of my life. To be honest, pretty much every year since 2007 has been a progressive attempt to top the previous one in terms of challenging myself, embracing new experiences or diving further into what I’m capable of. Continue reading Twenty Thirteen

On & Up

We’ve all made mistakes in our past. We’ve dated people we probably shouldn’t have, wasted time and money, hurt people (intentionally or unintentionally) and otherwise made regrettable decisions. Mistakes are lessons if you learn from them, and what matters is that you try not to make them again. If you have crappy patterns, deliberately change them.

If you want a good future, move on from your past. Give others that opportunity as well. Move forward. If others won’t let you, leave them behind. Everybody’s got a journey, and sometimes you get to hold hands along the way, sometimes you have to fight and walk in opposite directions. But never stop moving. Never stop trying. Never stop striving. Never stop doing. Not for anybody else, but for you.

Baring More with Peter Paradise

Long before I became the subject of hundreds of photographs by Judd Weiss, I modeled for Peter Paradise of Boston. I posted a few shots of our work together in the past, but as both of our birthdays approach, I wanted to share some of our story, and some of the best work I feel we ever did together.

The next few photographs will include some semi-nudes, so those who would be offended or disinclined to see these (hello, family!) should probably do themselves a favor and not look any further. Spare me the lectures, too. Continue reading Baring More with Peter Paradise

Forgive Me

Yom Kippur is a Jewish Holy Day also known as the “Day of Atonement”, which occurs soon after Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). There is a lot of ritual and tradition surrounding the occasion, but my bastardized overview concept is about atonement for one’s sins. I once observed a Jewish friend of mine apologizing to various friends for hurt they had caused, to take responsibility for their actions and to move on from that in the new year. Despite not being a practicing Jew myself, I felt it was a good enough tradition to adopt, and try to recognize it every year with a “moment” of repentance.

I have no deity to confess or repent to, nor any arbitrary moral requirements besides those of basic ethics – to not harm others by my actions.

So this is for you. And my sins are those against others.  Continue reading Forgive Me

A Bad Batch of Prohibition

Lately I’ve noticed a slew of news stories referring to a “bad batch of Molly” killing young partiers in the mostly north-eastern United States. This is a tragic story. Drug overdose is a tragedy. But the media compounds these tragedies further through their irresponsible misrepresentations of the facts.

Happy Little Pill.

I really wish the news media would stop using variations of the phrase “bad batch of Molly”. The drug they’re referencing is called MDMA, but this is not MDMA. It’s being represented as such, but it’s not. I’m skeptical that there are even traces of MDMA in this shit, but sure, maybe there’s some. We haven’t even gotten the toxicology reports back yet, but that doesn’t stop the news from blaming Molly because the victims allegedly thought they bought Molly and everybody’s got a fetish for speculation over facts. But MDMA is not what’s killing people here.

People are dying from shitty drugs sold by sketchy people because they have no way of knowing what they really are. Because they are illegal. And people are scared to ask for help, or ask the right questions at all, because what they’re doing is illegal.

Stories like this make many people decide to double-down on our wasteful and useless drug war. Hell, as the Obama Administration decides not to pursue intervention in states legalizing cannabis, how else will law enforcement keep their funding up? These terrible stories beg for “something to be done”, and it looks like we’ll see further crackdown on party drugs. But the War on Drugs is wrong on a number of levels – and yes, I absolutely blame the War on Drugs for these deaths.

Dear reactionary news media, go find the real story here – that government prohibition of recreational drugs makes them far more dangerous – and please leave Molly alone.

The Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston was my home before I moved West. Boston will always be “home” to me, that place I go to see the family (blood and chosen) that made me who I am.

This afternoon I received the news that two bombs had exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. Copley is a familiar place to me – I used to work a block away, and I’ve watched the Marathon go by many times, in the past I’ve greeted the runners as they finished their 26 mile run.

As usual, when a tragedy strikes, things are chaotic. Reports were coming in from every media source, I sent and received dozens of text messages checking on the whereabouts and well-being of the people I know and love in the area.

It’s been six or seven hours since the first bomb went off. We still don’t know who did it. We don’t know the full count of people injured, though there have been two confirmed dead. We don’t know much, and news media simply recycles the same story until there’s something new to add. We are surrounded by images of emotion, of blood and pain and smoke and fire, and incredible videos of people who ran towards the explosion, towards the people there who needed help. There is such a mix of feelings – the pain of knowing that some humans do this to one another, but the hope found in knowing how many come to help, how many come, selflessly, to give, and reach out to one another, strangers united by their humanity.

MarathonRunnersWhen the dust has settled and we’ve learned more and had time to try to make sense of this tragedy in Boston, perhaps we’ll take a moment to reflect on the fact that being the victims of bombing, whether foreign or domestic, is a terrible thing. 

Maybe as we heal from this hurt, we can take some time to learn where other bombings have taken place in the world lately. Maybe we can try to help. Maybe we can try to stop them. Maybe we have that power. Maybe it’s time to look to our leaders and demand we no longer be responsible for this feeling we’re experiencing, experienced by others around the world.

No person, no nation, no people should feel what Boston feels today.

Love (Found & Lost) Along the Road

So, the context provided in the entry before this one should explain that I’d followed love to a strange set of life-decisions. After having planned for over a year to move from Boston to Los Angeles, I finally did, and a year later I left to drive haphazardly across the country. Because of a Boy. Seriously, read that damn entry first.

So I left Los Angeles on June 3rd. It was very hard to do. My stuff was in storage, my birds were in their travel cage, there was less money in my bank account than I’d hoped, and I was very, very, nervous. I had just moved to LA a year before. I’d been so excited to start my life there. I kept looking at my favorite restaurants, favorite haunts, thinking to myself that I’d be back in two months, that I’d just settle right back in, hopefully bringing the Boy back with me.

The only way I was able to leave was by reminding myself I’d be back soon. Reminding myself that I had an adventure to go on, and that I’d be home again before I knew it. That the time would fly by.

So I drove to Las Vegas. I checked into my hotel room at The Artisan, a hotel I’d stayed at many times before and have stayed at many times since. I spent the next two weeks working – booking tables, selling bottles, hosting parties, Go-Go dancing, bar-tending private parties, gambling even, all cash and quick. The plan was to make as much money as I could fast, and to head East.

A few days before my expected leaving date, I met Ghost. Ghost has a real name, but I don’t feel like using it, as few people know it and by keeping it close I feel it makes him still belong to me in some way, even though I’m giving away this story.  Continue reading Love (Found & Lost) Along the Road

The Context (Leading up to the Summer of 2011)

Two years ago, I was in a very different space. So different, in fact, that I can barely recall it, so I flip through journals and pictures and try to reassemble the jumble of memories. I loved a Boy who lived 2,000 miles away from me, and I struggle to remember why. I try to remember kisses and adventures on chemicals in a forest land in upstate New York where we found one another among the clutter of New Age festival wildness.

Two years ago, I packed my life up and drove across the country for three months. That’s the story I’ve been wanting to tell, but before I do, I have to explain why I did, which is a story in and of itself. So there are few entries to read, and they’re autobiographical nonsense of a girl in her early 20s who seems to make a lot of life-altering decisions for boys. But these experiences, for all that they twist me around and make me run off on crazy paths in alternate directions, they’ve really shaped who I happen to be.

So, I guess we’ll back up to July of 2010, when I flew from my home in Los Angeles to New York for an annual hippie festival I’d been attending for years. It was already set to be a wild adventure – I flew out with clothing, a sleeping bag and a pillow, but no tent. I had no room for one in my baggage and decided I knew so many people at the festival that I would find someone to let me share their tent. It was a crazy idea, I’ll admit, but I love those kinds of situations. I have always made the best of not knowing what comes next, and Brushwood is a real home for me, filled with friends of my parents, friends of mine, former lovers, and lovers yet to be discovered. Continue reading The Context (Leading up to the Summer of 2011)

My Socrates

On March 23rd, 2009, a great man passed away. I meant to post this on the anniversary of his death, but I’m off by a few days. I have recently been talking more about him, as he inspired one of my tattoos (that story is for another entry someday).

This is what I wrote, the day of his funeral.

I was a student at Manchester Community College from June 2002 until May 2005. One of my very first classes was Critical Thinking with Eugene Rice, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-11am. I was 14, he was 72. Our connection was dynamic – we were both full of questions and answers. I developed my questions through rebellion and discovered my answers through speculation, and presented both arrogantly. He achieved both through experience and trial and error, and presented both in various fashions, from elegance to antagonism.

What we had in common was a desire for thorough knowledge, and an antagonistic spirit to achieve said knowledge.

He hated the word “teacher” he told us, one class, due to his belief that it implies indoctrination, preferring to refer to himself as a “mid-wife”. Knowledge was already inside us, you see, and he was simply there to assist with the birth of it.  Continue reading My Socrates

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” – Anais Nin