Posted in Family, Life, Relationships

It’s OK to be Single!

Next month, my younger cousin is getting married and for my paternal side of the family, that means that my sister and I will be the only single female first cousins remaining. Many family members love to point this out to us and bring up the usual slew of questions that all singletons loathe. When are you going to find yourself a good man and settle down? Aren’t you lonely? You aren’t getting any younger. Don’t you want to have babies?

My usual response to the “Don’t you want to settle down and get married?” inquisition is often “Sure. Once I find a man who is willing to marry me in a cemetery on Halloween at sunset and honeymoon in Transylvania, then I will get married and spawn.” The best part is that they think I am joking…those who know me know I am actually telling the truth.

I am 37 years old (turning 38 in October) and I have no problem with my single status. I was raised to be independent. I can bake a cake from scratch and while it is in the oven, I can build bookshelves, install a garbage disposal, fix a toilet, snake a drain and sew an apron or two. I can take care of things myself and I cringe when someone tells me that I need to find a man to take care of me.

Many of my friends went to college for their MRS degree; I went to follow my dreams. Yes, there was a time where I thought I would meet the right guy while at college and we would get married, have kids, etc.–the Midwestern life path. But that didn’t happen for me. I met a lot of Mr. Wrongs. I was trying to figure myself out and many guys came in trying to change me or mold me into what they wanted me to be.

I know who I am and I finally like the person I have become. I won’t change that for any guy. I also won’t go back to hiding certain aspects of my life. If the right guy comes along then he will accept me for me–the light, the dark, the crazy and everything in-between.

He would have to accept that I am very independent–I am a self-rescuing Princess. If he wants a damsel in distress, then I am not the girl he is looking for.

My career is important to me so I would need him to understand the entertainment industry and not flip-out when we attend events with celebrities. Celebrities are just people who make a lot more money than the rest of us.

And I wouldn’t want to be with someone whose only interest in me is my career. I have had to deal with guys trying to use me for my work connections, hoping it will help them with their own careers. But I am now an expert at spotting those guys–and there are so many of them here in LA.

Speaking of LA, I am also a curvy girl. I am not a skinny minnie, “please feed me” supermodel looking kind of woman. I have large breasts–and they are real, not silicone. They actually move and if you ever see me run, I would be holding them so I don’t give myself two black eyes.

And right now, I am not in the best shape. My body has taken a toll from all the grief and stress over the past 15 months. I used to be thin but I have packed on 20 pounds thanks to comfort food. It would be nice to have a guy who would be interested in getting healthy again with me, maybe even encourage me. I used to hike every day and workout 5 times a week plus dancing–I am working on getting back to being that version of myself and would need someone who understands that.

Here in LA there is a pressure to look a certain way and I don’t look like that. I hate wearing make-up. I don’t like that whole “getting ready” process of hair, make-up and dressing all girly. I can do it. Sometimes I have to do it but thank God for my girlie girl friends and my gay guy friends who will help.

I also have cats. I only have two so I haven’t hit crazy cat lady status yet but my cats are my furbabies. If I had a bigger place, I would also have dogs. All my babies come from rescue shelters and I do have to be careful because I would take them all home if I could.

I am also a big GEEK. I have the same birthday as Carrie Fisher (which I have discussed with her several times) and I am a huge Star Wars fan. Not liking Star Wars is a deal breaker for me (they don’t have to love it like I do but they do have to like it enough to watch the movies) and pretending to like Star Wars will definitely not fly with me. He wouldn’t have to attend all the conventions with me but he would have to be able to understand my love for all things Han and Leia.

He would also have to understand and accept my love for Dracula. For me, Dracula links me to my late father. My Dad was a huge Bela Lugosi fan and he always dressed up as Dracula for Halloween when we were kids. He even named our dog Bela. I have also befriended the Lugosi family so my Dracula collection is priceless to me.

And of course, Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. I was born on October 21st so Halloween is a part of me. I once had a Halloween themed bathroom just so I could keep the decorations out all year round (I also had a Bates Motel bathroom in my Reno apt). I have an entire storage space housing all of my Halloween decorations–and I like the scary decor, not the cutesy crap.

But even if a guy could handle the independence, the career, the curvy body, the anti-girly girl, the animal lover, the geekiness, and the love for Dracula, Halloween & the like, there is an aspect of my life that most men can’t get passed and some friends have trouble dealing with it as well. I descend from a long line of gypsies that left Italy and settled in West Virginia. I have inherited the familial “gifts,” along with several other family members. I have been able to see and hear spirits since I was a child. I have taken classes to hone and control these “gifts”–though my ability to know when people will die feels more like a curse than a gift. I guess you could label me as an empathic intuitive medium. Someone even called me a lightworker and a natural healer. I have also studied shamanism. The geek girl in me likes to say that I am Force sensitive–the Force is strong in my family.

So, as you can see there is a lot going on and I haven’t found a guy who can handle me–all of me. Maybe I will find him, maybe I won’t. I am good with being alone. Yes, it would be nice to have an understanding partner-in-crime that I could drag to work events, movie screenings and comic conventions but I have friends and an awesome intern/assistant that often step in as my plus one. I would rather remain single instead of settling into a life with the wrong person.

I would hope that if my family truly wants me to be happy then they will just accept that this is the life that I have chosen for myself and whatever will happen will happen. They see me as “37” but I see myself as “only 37.” I still have a lot of life ahead of me and I still have so much to do. I am trying not to focus on what I don’t have. I am grateful for what I do have. I am OK as I am so there really is no need to continue the inquisition. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Thank you and good night!

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Posted in Life, Relationships

Finally Letting Go

On Instagram, there is a feature that has suggestions for people you might want to follow. The other day, a guy from my past popped up in the suggestions. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in years so I clicked on it to see how he was doing and wound up clicking the “follow” button. Crap (actually, I used a different word)!

I knew he would get a notification that I was now following his feed so I couldn’t immediately unfollow, that would be mean, or so I thought. He didn’t have a lot of followers so I decided to just leave it.

But then I started to think that what I viewed as a nostalgic “let’s just see how he is doing” kind of gesture might be taken the wrong way. My thoughts of making peace with this man from my past and the unrealistic hope that we could someday be friends again might not come across when he sees the new follower notification.

I have no idea what he thinks of me or if he is still upset over things that were said and done in the past. For me, I have let go of any negative feelings toward him. I will forever care about him and wish him the best but I now realize that he is in my past and that is where he needs to stay. I am not the same person I was and neither is he.

I don’t want to go back and relive a time where, in reaction to how he treated me, I was ashamed of the things I said and did. I didn’t like the person I turned into when I was dealing with the insecurities of being ignored and treated poorly by a man I thought I loved.

Everyone comes into your life for a reason. This man was a long, hard and often painful lesson. By having him pop-up in my Instagram suggestions, I think the Universe was trying to tell me that he is fine. I don’t have to worry about him anymore. It is OK to leave him in the past where he belongs. I can finally let go.

So I clicked the unfollow button and he returned the favor by making his account private. So there it was. A book I started when I met this man over 19 years ago was finally closed. Time to focus on a new book.

Posted in Family, Life

Conversations with my Dad

At this time, exactly one year ago, I returned to my apartment after work and sat down to call my parents, a daily ritual since I moved to Los Angeles. With my parents in Detroit, I knew I had to catch them before they went to bed. On this particular day, my parents had been in Ann Arbor. My mother was having some medical tests done at U of M. I had talked to them on the phone earlier but I looked forward to my nightly tradition.

When I called, my Dad picked up. We had our usual “Hi Daddy,” “Hi Daughter” exchange. My mom was already in bed and he was in the living room watching television. He was watching the western Silverado. So I talked to him about the cinematographer John Bailey, ASC and stories he told me about the making of the film. Then we segued into a discussion about Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, a guy I dated who was a former child actor and then he started giving me advice on my love life. This was typical for us. We talked movies, my job, his job, family stuff, my cats, their cat & dog and whatever other random subjects popped into our heads. I wish I could remember every single detail of that conversation but I didn’t really pay that close attention because we talked every night and I assumed I would talk to him again the next night. I do remember telling him I was suddenly feeling so tired and I wondered if I was getting sick. He told me he was really tired too and that his leg was really hurting lately. He told me it sucks to get old. I got on his case about getting his back looked at again and the new developments made with back surgery. I had done some research for him. We talked for about an hour. This was a little longer than usual. We averaged half hour conversations unless we had some interesting stories to share or some veterans thing to talk about. And the conversation ended the same as always, “I love you,” “I love you too,” “Talk to you tomorrow,” “K, good night,” “good night.”

If I had known that was the last conversation I was ever going to have with my Dad, I would have paid attention. I would have memorized every detail. I would have recorded it if I could. I would have asked him so many questions and told him so much more. And I never would have let him hang up.

The next day, I was not feeling well at all and I kept wanting to call him. But I waited. I knew I would call him when I got home. I would continue our nightly ritual. I knew he was working and he had my nephew’s baseball game. Plus, I wasn’t feeling well and I was considering going to Urgent Care and I didn’t want to worry him.

I wish I would have called him. I wish I would have listened to my instincts and the repeating record in my head telling me to call him. When I got home that night, I sat on my couch, getting ready to call my parents but my phone was ringing instead. It was my brother. He was calling to tell me that at my nephew’s baseball game, Dad collapsed in the stands. He had sat down, told the guy next to him that it sucks to get old and then he fell backwards. He had a massive heart attack, a result of Agent Orange disease, and he was gone. Just like that. They tried everything they could–one of the coaches was a cardiologist. They got him to the hospital but he had been without oxygen for too long and there was nothing else that could be done.

So exactly one year ago, at this exact time (6:30pm) I called and talked to my Dad for the last time.

I can’t believe that it has really been a year. I still talk to my Mom every day–OK, I think we actually talk several times a day. But it is not the same as hearing his voice, his laugh, his pep talks, his advice and his jokes. I got him for 36 years–though I didn’t do all that much talking in the first year. I also know how lucky I was to have that kind of relationship with my Dad. I was blessed to have this amazing man as my father. Now as we are approaching the official one-year anniversary of his passing, I am still in shock that he is gone. I would give anything to have him back for just one more nightly conversation.

Posted in Family, Life, Relationships, Spirituality

Something Strange Happened: Signs From My Dad

I spent most of yesterday bedridden, recovering from an allergic reaction to food contaminated with black pepper (yes, I am allergic to black pepper), and I opted to binge watch shows on Netflix. At some point in the evening a close friend texted me asking for advice. During our text conversation, I opted to pull a tarot card for her. I grabbed the deck I use most often and took out the major arcana cards, leaving the minor arcana in their pouch. I proceeded with a one card reading for her then placed them face d20160407_210740.jpgown on my bed. After a few minutes, I decided I should make myself some tummy tea and headed into the kitchen. I noticed that both my cats were in the living room, fast asleep with one on the couch and the other on a cat bed (resting up for their nightly 3am crazy house run). When I returned to my bedroom with my cup of tea in hand, I noticed that the minor arcana cards had slipped out of their pouch, perhaps when I climbed out of bed, and only one card was flipped over. I set my tea on the night stand and leaned over to see that it was the Ace of Cups trying to get my attention. I sat down on the bed just in time for my youngest cat, Elvira, to spring onto the bed, landing amongst the tarot cards before jumping to the top of her cat tree. Another tarot card flipped over, this time it was the Three of Pentacles. From previous tarot classes, I know that the Ace of Cups represents a new relationship and that the Three of Pentacles represents two lovers coming together to design/plan their future (often a marriage card). Considering I am single, the obvious conclusion is that someone is trying to tell me it is time to stop focusing on my career and start focusing on my love life. That someone would be my father.

Back in September, I went to my clairvoyance teacher, mentor and friend Adela Lavine for a medium reading with my Dad. Usually my Dad wants to talk about my brother, sister and my Mom. For the first time, he focused on his plans for me. “I raised you to be independent but not that independent.” He said that he was gifting me a man. He wanted me to have a family. He said that I had the career, now I needed the love.

My reaction to the reading…I pitched my first article to the magazine. I decided to continue working on my career. But my article just hit news stands this month so I guess my Dad is finding ways of reminding me of his plans for me. So my reaction to these strange new signs…I am heading to a production studio for a set visit for a possible story idea to pitch for my second article.

Posted in Life, Personal Challenge, Relationships

Single’s Awareness Day: Personal Challenge, 2-14-13

Today is known as Single’s Awareness Day or what I like to call “Make Single People Feel Like Crap” Day.  Since I am single and have been single on every Valentine’s Day since I was born, I have certain traditions for celebrating this day.  But since I am striving to try something new every day, I discovered something at Target yesterday that has enhanced my celebration.  I discovered Red Velvet Pop Tarts!!!!!DSC_0229

So now, I am sitting here and starting a new tradition.  I am eating my Red Velvet Pop Tarts while watching the 1967 film, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Following this glorious holiday film, I will watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho followed with a Ghost Adventures Marathon.  Since I highly doubt I will find a man who would enjoy my February 14th traditions as much as I do, I think this is going to be my Single’s Awareness Day celebration tradition for many years to come.

Happy “Make Single People Feel Like Crap” Day!!!

Posted in Exploration, Life, Personal Challenge, Photography, Southern California, Tourism, Travel, Universe, Writing

Kicking Off Pasadena Art Weekend with ArtNight: Personal Challenge, Day 26 (10.12.12)

Friday night started Pasadena’s Art Weekend with ArtNight, a night where the local museums are open to the public with free admission.  There are free shuttles to take patrons to and from the participating museums.  Food trucks and live performances would also be available to the ArtNight participants at specific locations.  I read all about Art Weekend in the Pasadena Weekly and I was excited to check out some of the exhibits–specifically the Pages exhibit at the Art Center College of Design’s Williamson Gallery.

Pasadena City Hall

According to the ArtNight website, Pasadena City Hall would be the transportation hub where patrons could catch the free shuttles that would transport them to any gallery of their choosing.  There would also be live entertainment and food at the City Hall hub.  So I decided that I would begin my night there.  I took the Metro Gold Line to the Memorial Park station, located near City Hall.  Pasadena City Hall is a work of architectural art.  It is a stunning sight to see, especially at night.  Once I arrived, I was greeted by an ArtNight volunteer who gave me a map of the museums and shuttle routes.  I was also given the official Art Night sticker, proof of my participation in the nightly event.

I looked at the ArtNight brochure and noticed that I needed the North shuttle to reach my destination, Art Center College of Design.  So I sat on the steps of City Hall, enjoying the live music as I waited for my bus to arrive.  Many shuttles showed up and many shuttles left.  I saw the East shuttles, West shuttles and Central shuttles go past me, many times.  I didn’t see a single North shuttle.  I kept looking at the brochure but it was too dark to really see the map of the routes–I couldn’t make out one route from the other.  I saw several others waiting around, waiting for the North shuttle as well.  There were ArtNight volunteers roaming around but they didn’t seem to notice all the people standing around looking confused.  No one seemed to understand which shuttle went where or how to locate the North shuttle.  Finally, a woman (perhaps one of the event organizers) stepped forward to assist with the buses.  Several people asked her when the North bus would arrive.  Her reply. “The North bus doesn’t come here.  It leaves from the Pasadena Museum of History.  That is the only place where you can catch the North shuttle.”  Seriously?  I had wasted all this time waiting for a shuttle that was never going to arrive.

Live music at Pasadena City Hall

I quickly hopped on the first shuttle that would take me to the Pasadena Museum of History.  I managed to catch the West bus, a bus that actually traveled very close to Art Center (when it stopped at KidSpace) but backtracked to the Museum of History.  I end up chatting with a family that was just as frustrated as I was.  But they had actually started the evening right at 6pm–I waited until 7pm).  They managed to stop at the Pacific Asia Museum first.  So we all arrived at the Museum of History and had to wait in line for the North shuttle.  Thankfully this area was well-organized.  They had signs for each bus so you knew where to wait to catch the appropriate bus (they should have done that at City Hall).  After three shuttle loads, we were finally on the North shuttle headed up to the Art Center gallery.  (This was not a short shuttle ride).

I was so excited when I finally arrived at the Art Center’s Williamson Gallery.  I made my way past the student work and into the new Pages exhibit (this was the opening night for the exhibit).  At first, I was in heaven with an exhibit focused on books.  There were some beautiful photographs of books and a floor to ceiling sculpture of stacked books (I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the artwork).

As you made your way toward the center of the exhibit, you had the opportunity to view books and book pages on loan from the Huntington Library, USC Special Library, and Caltech.  For me, this is where I started to feel like the Universe was playing a cruel joke on me.  Many of the books on exhibit were books I had seen before, when I went to the Huntington Library.  It was January of 2011 and I was at the Huntington Library on a date with Big.  However it was the manuscript poem, entitled “Beer” by Charles Bukowski, on loan from the USC Special Library Collection that led to my “Mr. Big” freak out.  When Big and I went to the Huntington, we were going for the Charles Bukowski exhibit.  Big and I are both book lovers, the book exhibit was our agreed favorite part of the Huntington (I hadn’t yet explored the gardens when I went with him).  Big and I met when we were at USC so the whole Charles Bukowski (and Beer, another story I won’t mention), Huntington and USC connection was more than I could handle.  It was too weird of a coincidence–the Universe is trying to tell me something, in my opinion.  Plus, as a lover of books, I don’t like to see books being destroyed, especially in the name of art.  Cutting up books or whiting out the majority of the words just feels like a crime to me.  So I was done.

Drawing of a typewriter at Pasadena City Hall

I made my way back to the shuttles.  One was leaving and the other still had space.  I boarded the shuttle, watched as it filled up and watched as we all just sat there.  The shuttle driver was on break.  It was 9:25 pm when the shuttle driver finally decided to return and begin our journey back to the Museum of History.  Once we arrived at the Museum, then we had to catch another shuttle back to downtown Pasadena, were the majority of the museums live.  The event ended at 10 pm so there wasn’t any point in trying to make it to another museum when the shuttle I was on had just departed the Pasadena Museum of History at 9:40 pm.

Pasadena City Hall

I arrived back at Pasadena City Hall at 9:59 pm.  I wasted the ArtNight experience on the Art Center–and shuttle experience.  (And the whole Big connection didn’t help matters).  Once again, the Pasadena “bus” service did not work in my favor.  At least now I know that next year, I should arrive at 6 pm and stick to the Museums closest to downtown.  Or as my California sister advised, “stick to the food trucks.”