Monday, December 29, 2008

A full fruit tree??


Never go to WebMD.com, or within twenty minutes after reading "symptoms" of horrible, life threatening diseases- you will be positively certain that without a doubt you are carrying that disease. Googling potential illness' is a way to make any person insane.


It's usually right when everything starts to look shiny and happy that I worry I've "settled into my shoes" a bit too easily. Henceforth; strange ailments, panic attacks, long standing colds and frequent "freak out" moments that involve irrational tears and short breathing. This entire cycle sends me straight to GOOGLE. Then to ease my worry after I've convinced myself that I have "numbness of the hands" frequently and am certainly having a stroke, I start googling "QUOTES ON LIFE" to counter balance my irrational fears and blanket them with a nice soothing quote like,


"Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it."


This particular one I was transfixed on for an hour or so while I over analyzed the "fruits" of my life and whether or not there were enough, meaning how much action have I taken, should I take more? Is the fruit limitless? Do I have a full fruit tree? Or is there just a lonely little pear sitting looking for it's other pear friends and afraid of falling soon because it is getting a bit ripe...? The "pear" is obviously my current opportunities and life, if we're comparing actions to fruit I would HOPE that my tree was full of all sorts of exciting fruits. An abundant fruit tree.


Since I'm currently back in my home town, living back with my parents (to reverse the silly amount of debt I was willing to put on myself so that I could eat more pastries than necessary while in Europe) I've started to question where I'm at, both mentally and geographically.


What is it that fuels me? What excites me? Am I going to run this circular marathon of happiness/unhappiness, contentment/discontentment forever? Is that what I think I need to see in my life in order to feel like it's "going somewhere." The lulls mean that when you get back up you rise ABOVE them, right?


Strangely enough, I'm not actually lulling.....my calendar is booked full of upcoming shows- finally MY music, my voice and I have an incredible social life, great friends and a great man....yes, there's still this huge chunk of my consciousness that needs to see MOTION. That still compares everything to her life/experiences in New York or Los Angeles and then when I tell myself I'm settled in Denver, I swear- I have instant hives. Even though, I do love Denver. When I don't see any sort of travel, change in pace (this almost always means physical movement to a different spot on the map) or anything out of the ordinary; experiences, jobs, people, etc. (and I realize that NO, my life isn't ordinary at all, but I have a fear that it will become that way.....) I get antsy.....really antsy. Thus, I stare at my fruit tree and wonder how in the HELL I can fill it up just a little bit more.


During my "Google" frenzy, I came across this one:



-Nelson Mandela


I believe I am capable of living the most extraordinary life- always, continuously bettering my life and experience (starting by accepting music as a main focus in my life and accepting loving relationships, this is a damn good start) so when you SEE and truly believe in the ability to live a life of greatness, to settle would be a shame. So seek the "fruit" I shall.....




IF YOU WEREN'T SETTLING, WHAT WOULD YOU FILL UP YOUR FRUIT TREE OF EXPERIENCE'S WITH????



WHAT DO YOU WANT......?




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hi, my name is Chelsea Talks Smack and I used to be a serious blogger......

until, I got a boyfriend.


Oh shit. And then- what happens to CTS? She starts worrying about what color underwear she wore yesterday so that she isn't wearing hot pink two days in a row. They're not observent enough to recognize that they're different shades of hot pink.
Chelsea Talks Smack B.B. (before boyfriend) was likely to get online and jabber about failed dates, or potential dates with d.bags who she was projecting to be better men than they ACTUALLY were, so avoid drinking herself into sad-single-girl-oblivion. That's an actual place if you didn't know, and it's an oblivion that requires a special invitation.....and truthfully, it's not a party I'd like to be invited to again.

So, after returning from Europe I was thrown into a serious schedule of juggling performing, new friends, making new music and trying to organize and band and then BAM- boyfriend scheduling. Are you people aware that this could require and entire planner of it's own?? This is by no means a bad thing, it's just an extra job. One that I've committed to making work.

My poor little CTS blog has gotten the shaft (not the literal shaft, just a shaft- now that we're talking about real mean, real shafts are involved so I just wanted to be clear) and truly, I MISS CTS. I miss my blog friends and I miss the release that I get from being about to stand on my little soap box in the virtual world and talk to a thousand of my closest friends about my mood swing, my diet and my nagging urge to renounce my possessions and travel to Thailand (this is on the "life list" somewhere down the line)

I didn't want to be become one of those bloggers (nothing against you who are this way- I still love you) who gabbed about all the things that that her and her Knight in Shining Armor did together, i.e. hung up new shelves, cooked an amazing chicken saute, shopped for turtlenecks and rocked cousin's newborn baby, all the while cooing over how cute their children would be together someday. That just wasn't my schtick......BUT- then my inner romantic who Tivo's wedding shows wants to just scream from the top of the mountain that she's never enjoyed playing Scrabble with someone SO much in her life. That the idea of doing stupid things like stopping at the gas station to buy eggnog and beef jerky, or pick up cute vases from IKEA together sounds fun.....perfect even.

Chelsea Talks Smack, the heartbroken, sometimes jaded, sometimes hopeless though never short of hopelessly romantic has turned into a love consumed junkie. A feign. It's like heroin. Cuddling and crossing off thigns on our "date list" and that just makes me feel a bit toolish, but at the same time.....I feel like the luckiest tool in the world.

So I'm sorry to you CTS but this Chelsea is going to get a little gushy now and then, and though the internet and this blog has been the closest thing to me (which makes me sound like a nerdy tool) I've replaced you with something that actually has a heartbeat. Which feels nice.

That being said, you're still my number one and I'm finding ways to make time for you too.......

more to come later....

I have to go "make" my lovely little Christmas present. God, I am a sucker.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When things are BRIGHT.....


One day you're alone, the next you've met this incredible person who so easily and effortlessly was the exact thing you'd subconsciously been waiting for; though, completely doubtful of them actually existing and by some uncomplicated, divine hand they're placed right there at reach.

One day you're certain that this is the resting point, the point where everything just settles and this is "it." The kind of "IT" where you're not moving, you're just steadily existing in one spot....seemingly forever- when you turn on the "tune out" button and in a moment, "it" has shifted and suddenly you've opened doors and said "yes" to more than you could possibly handle. You've taken a routine and shaken it up, grabbing each little piece and carefully placing them into this new mosaic of a life you've jumped into, then standing back and admiring how well the mismatched, colorful pieces fit together...

One day it's just a dream, the next it's reality.

But it isn't a day, it isn't a single date or action.....it just feels that way. It's a combination of slight shifts in your life. The things you've said no to and the things you've said yes to without hesitation that makes it all feel like ONE DAY. The "one day" when everything just worked itself out was really a slow moving process of thoughts, actions, desires, fears.....that all come together into an acknowledgement of being.

Everything I've wanted and everything I haven't wanted has been placed in the same garden and been watered by the same powerful and contradicting energies, thought process and vibrations and thus flourished into this significantly new way of existence. Of presence.

Everything- everything I'm thankful for and the things that I'm not....I can take full responsibility for feeding...for giving the power and attention to the things that are unwanted and for believing in the things that were so desired and are satiating every intense physical and emotional yearning that I've had......

There is no limit to what we can do- to what we can have.....we are that limiting factor. Circumstance, placement, status, disadvantage...those are trivial things that, unfortunately, we graciously give too much credit, sometimes it's simply easier that way.

"The Universe is not under pressure and neither are we. The baby chick comes out of the shell when it is ready; the fruit falls from the tree when it is ripe and we transform into Spirit when the time is right....don't push the river, let it be."

I read that today and it was so perfect for everything that I'm feeling right now. The goodness that is consuming me was certainly unexpected, though all of it was planted very cautiously and tended to meticulously and optimistically....even in subtle ways when doubt was the stronger belief.

Love came when it was meant to, when I was ready for it. Music came when I trusted that I had a voice for a reason and the right people came when I was unafraid to live in all of the brilliance and spirit, inhibition and confidence that I knew was lurking behind some unnecessary and unjustified negative belief that stood, firmly, in it's way.

Our thoughts are what we plant, our energy is what we water it with....our truths are decided by what we believe, in our heart and in our minds and when the things that we believe are fed consistently with non-belief they'll stay buried under the soil until eventually, they're completely forgotten and will remain unfulfilled prophecies sitting somewhere beneath new cluttered ideas and half-hopes.

Allotting ourselves more responsibility for what grows into our lives is a powerful AND scary thought.....until you see that the good you've grown was brought into being by your own hand.........

and that, is a fucking amazing feeling.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANK YOU


Saying thank you simply isn't enough. The depth of my gratitude isn't as simple as two words, yet those two words hold so much weight, relief, validation.....and still, when I say thank you, it will never be enough. Words mean so much to me they fill me and inspire me, but when I go to say "thank you" I just hope that whether I were to say the words or not, the people I'm thankful to and the world I'm living in, would feel it through my energy, the way I operate and function, the way I give.

I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to wrap my heart around the people I love. Not my arms, my whole, entire soul. I always say too much because it's never truly enough of what I FEEL. If I can relay the energy and the bottomless love I have for my family, for my FRIENDS....I would pour gallons and gallons of complete, unconditional, enveloping, warm LOVE and my deepest gratitude.

The words "thank you" aren't enough when I want to show my parents that for the past 22 years I would have collapsed without their strength and nonjudgmental support, even when I sometimes didn't deserve it.

The words "thank you" aren't enough when my friends have taken in all of my flaws, my neurosis, my unreliability, my fickleness and they've loved me anyway.

"Thank YOU" doesn't FEEL like enough when I look at the people who have given me a hand, a dollar, a hug, a phone call.... when that little gesture was the exact thing I needed to keep going.

To all of the people who have read my blogs and followed my stories, who have reached out and proven that the world is full of people who are trying to CONNECT; of people who are just like me, of people who stumble awkwardly and manage to get making it look effortless and graceful, of people who are confused and people who are simply trying to exist in their purest form even if they feel like it's imperfect. THANK YOU.

My gratitude runs thick and strongly through every vein, every stream of energy and motion. Since "thank you" is all there is that can put a label on this feeling, then THANK YOU.

I hope that today whoevers table you're sitting at, or if you're sitting alone...whatever dinner you're eating, or drink you're sipping that all of you find a moment of gratitude and bask in it. Maybe you're waiting for a thank you or you have someone who needs to hear it, today you're allowed- you're expected to be vulnerable and open. Expressing gratitude shouldn't need a designated day, but if there's any perfect "starting place", that time is now.


Fully, unconditionally, nakedly.....I THANK YOU. Thank you for words, for life, for colors and light, for bagels and cream cheese, for bunnies and crunchy snow, for lace and leather, for softness and intensity, for "yes" and "no", for "wrong" and right. For the ability to breathe and walk freely, to express and create, to make mistakes and the ability to learn from them, for free will and irresponsibility. For past and present, connection and re-connection, insecurity and perfectionism, confidence and acceptance.


For every moment, for the past 22 years until NOW....I am whole with unequivocal GRATITUDE.


"THANK YOU" because that's all there is.....


WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR????

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's not my fault, it's my birthday's fault.


Life has gotten in the way of my "virtual life." It's like I have these two, whole and complete separate worlds and when one is thriving the other is lacking. Writing and words for me are like therapy....so when I really am in need of therapy, I'm writing a lot. When I'm out living and doing the things that later may require therapy, I'm writing less. Right now I'm on a steam train flying five thousand miles an hour and I've become a "yes woman."
Sure, I always say- SAY YES, and now that I've started to, I really really want to start saying NO again......saying yes means motion, motion means expectation, expectation means follow through, follow through means perfection, and perfection can equal straight EXHAUSTION. But I'm not saying it, I'm keeping the paralyzing NO out of my mouth and my mind. Drive on steam train, drive on.

My birthday is rapidly approaching, and I started to think of time and how little of it we actually have, so saying "yes" to life around me seemed appropriate....and I STILL feel like I won't have time to fit "it all" in. Music, romance (I'd like to mention that I've released the many that I was juggling and then there was one....there is one, a really great, great one.....I wish I could smile without using stupid punctuation and that'd properly express how I feel, I digress- more on that later......) career, money....and though money is waning, I am on this perfect, perfect path of MOTION. So, when my Mom busted out the "birthday book" that breaks down personality types (or flaws?) I started to worry again.....all of the things that I do to sabotage, to be indecisive, to feel lacking or restless are all to blame on my birth DAY. The truth of it is eerily similar, or as if the author sat down, dove into my brain, stalked me- then came up with "Why Nov 26th people are the way they are."

TELL ME, DO I HAVE ANY HOPE, TO KEEP THIS TRAIN ON IT'S TRACKS??....

"Those born on Nov 26th display peculiarly distinctive manner
when doing most things. Hardly cut from the standard mold, those born on this
day stand apart from their fellow human beings (a little gloating-sorry). Their
ideas tend toward the philosophical and expansive, but at the same time manifest
a markedly pragmatic, down-to-earth streak. Highly focused on accomplishment and achievement, Nov 26th people nonetheless view their own creative work or
personal development as being more important than all the honors and rewards the
world has to offer. Some born on this day even come to see living itself as a
creative endeavor (absolutely) and thus deeply value the wealth of everyday
experience. Yet at the same time their minds soar with the most fanciful and
romantic of ideas.
Since it is impossible for Nov 26 people to give up either the
practical or the imaginative sides of their personality, they must attempt a
synthesis of the two. This seeming contradiction can occupy a great part of
their energy for many years, but if they can find a way to reconcile these sides
there is no end to the accomplishments they are capable of achieving. Usually
the key to this synthesis is life experience, but until this synthesis occurs
those born on this day may find themselves swinging back and forth every few
years from basically logical, pragmatic endeavors to more fanciful ones (holy
shit yes. that is me.) A measure of success may be achieved on either side of the
spectrum, but a vaguely dissatisfied feeling that part of their potential is
being wasted will persist (?!?! yep.)
For Nov 26th people, relationships with lovers can be
problematical, primarily because their individualism and love of freedom often
outweighs their needs for a permanent mate
. Many born on Nov 26th are
alternately ardent and cool, unable or unwilling to make a lasting commitment.
Usually they value friends of the same sex more highly than lovers, and are not
only more faithful to these friends but also capable of greater intimacy with
them as well. Ultimately however, they themselves are usually the ones who do
the rejecting in relationships, sometimes out of a kind of "first strike"
mentality where they sense rejection coming and act on impulse. Thus they can be
dangerous people with whom to be involved. (fucking. true.)
Needless to say, Nov 26 people can be reticent about marriage
or taking on the responsibilities of children. Those who choose to remain single
may be very unhappy from time to time going through life on their own, but feel
that this is better than getting tied down in an unalterably permanent
situation. This type of Nov 26 person likes to flaunt his/her individualism and
finds it difficult when social mores become too oppressive. Yet at the same
time, emotionally committed or not, most Nov 26 people move well in society, once
they figure out what it is they really want to to do and integrate the
disparate elements of their personalities."
STRENGTHS: INTERESTING, FREE- SPIRITED, UNIQUE
WEAKNESSES: TROUBLED, INDECISIVE, INCONSISTENT
So, it's written in the stars.....am I completely fucked?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Quilted Life


Yesterday I slept in until noon to avoid eating lunch and breakfast because I gorged on McDonald's at 3am after staying up late after my show downtown, drinking wine from a jug and jammin' out with new musician friends. Sleeping to not eat may sound like twisted thinking, but seriously, I'm thinking it's just smart and thrifty. What do you do if you wake up early, spend money, eat food. Or ya know, work- but I've come to terms with the fact that I will never be functional or productive before 11am, unless I'm hired to have a seat on The View....then I could manage to pony up my game.

My thoughts are going to be pieced together here, cause that's a bit how my life is right now. Piecey. Like a big 'ol quilt. There's a couple jagged pieces that need some work, then there's the plain ones that look completely unnecessary, the heinous overly flashy squares and then a few quality ones bringing the whole thing together. Even the shitty squares are needed or the whole thing would fall apart (unless I went in and replaced them with new squares, don't worry- I'm getting there) ......So here's my quilted life at the moment:

Good squares:
-I still have arms, legs, and all of my phalanges. This is a good square to build on, my body is healthy and functioning.
-Speaking of my body, I am now a certified ZUMBA instructor, which means I'm insane and should maybe considering doing a little speed before each class in order to actually have the energy to do it. Plus, my body is going to be rockin' when I add that to my schedule a few times a week.
-I'm not sure if this square is good or HYSTERICAL....I just got hired to write for a new website and my tag line (given to me off of observation?) The 20something Dating Guru ....oh yeah. You didn't read it wrong it says GURU. Now, usually this would send me into a fit of manic laughter, but back to the "good square".... currently I'm "talking" to 8 men (more than ever at one period of time, it's tempting to call myself a pimpette.....realllllyyyy tempting) and the numbers are growing. Which means my calendar is pretty full, my inbox of text messages is overflowing and thankfully, I have enough subjects to write about to seem guru-y. But the truth is, I'd like to narrow it down to one. The play is fun, but I like undivided attention, both giving and receiving. That sounded sexual, but I didn't mean for it to....You get what I mean.
-The Christmas drinks at Starbucks are back. This aids my sanity like you wouldn't believe.
- I'm singing two nights a week in a show which reminds me every time I'm there, that the music is m heart and that the stage is my home.

The Random Squares- that don't seem necessary but are:
-
Gossip Girl. It's sickening how much I love this show....and would like to be a writer for it. ....sick.
-Rice cakes. Look, I've talked about my love for the rice cake in previous blogs. You can fashion anything on a flavored rice cake, they're slimming and fun to eat.
-Has anyone seen the pair of purely sequined black leggings at Express?? Yeah, cause I want them.

Bad Squares:
-Still broke....but things are looking up. That songs "everyday I'm hustlin', hustlin', hustlin'..." is my Eye of Tiger song. I even look like Rocky when it plays in the background.
-The past two weeks I've woken up everyday with intense cravings for melted cheese and salt. The good part of that square is that I'm not pregnant. Just pregnant with ravenous grease love.
-Living at home with your parents while you're "in between" is a real sex-stopper. Even when you're a pimpette, asking someone to tiptoe in order to not what "Papa Bear" is not a pimp move.
-I need a manicure so bad, it looks like I clawed myself out of a hole.
-Anything past Christmas when it comes to a "life plan" is a complete mystery....right now, I'm looking forward to baking pumpkin pies, Christmas cookies, sipping eggnogs, my birthday! and attempting some sort of caroling excursion. Nothing like getting the people you love together to sing about chestnuts and reindeer.
-The worst thing is, the only thing that's really making these squares shitty...all comes down to a dollar sign. And from what happened with the economy it's very clear that one day you can have millions, the next day you have nothing....so why can't we stop ourselves from getting so caught up in such a fleeting thing??


There's been days when ALL I can see are the squares that need fixing, they stick out so much I've considered torching the whole thing. Sometimes when things are bad, the idea of erasing it all to make it better gives more relief than trying to fix target areas. Then there's moments, days, weeks even, when all I see are the good squares, the fucked up ones are kinda cute and bearable. So when I'm in those moments where I'm wrapped up in this horrendous quilt of doubt, fear, anger, lack, fucking aggression and discontent.... at least I have a blanket.


WHAT SQUARES ON YOUR QUILT ARE PULLING YOUR FOCUS???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Know You're Broke When........

On the heels of such excitement over the new President elect Barack Obama, I went from SUPER HIGH ecstatic, to....wow "back to the real world, presently." My real world is definitely feeling the heat (it looks nothing like MTV's); looking for a new job, more bills than ever and I have a a feeling I'm not the only one. Here's how I know.


YOU KNOW YOU'RE BROKE WHEN:

  1. You skip the Peppermint Latte at Starbucks because you don't want to pay the extra 60cents, instead, you still get a latte- you just chew up your Dentyne Ice gum and stick it in the cup. Tastes minty fresh!
  2. You take all of the change from the bottom of your purse and bring it to Coinstar for "drinkin' money!"
  3. You start buying things like canned corn, in bulk.
  4. You feel like splurging, so you take yourself out and buy a BIG GULP.
  5. You search through the dumpster at a movie theater for old popcorn in trash bags.
  6. Drip dry.
  7. You'd be willing to trade sexual favors for a tank of gas.
  8. Who said ketchup doesn't substitute for marinara sauce? It totally does.
  9. You used Trick-or-Treating as an opportunity to grocery shop, door-to-door.
  10. You send your little sister on a "scavenger hunt" around the neighborhood for; detergent, trash bags and tampons.
  11. You audition to model in a hair show for $50 bucks, in turn you get a Hillary Clinton cut.
  12. You go to Ladies Night at a military bar, surrounded by Republicans all for the sake of $1 wine.
  13. You thought the orange gas light was supposed to be on, for mood lighting.
  14. Suddenly getting naked for money doesn't seem like a terrible idea? 25,000 to flash my boobs? Why not.....right?
  15. You've gotten really good at hitchhiking, it's a whole new skill.
  16. You offer to babysit. ugh.
  17. You've said, "it's not moldyyyyyyy......"
  18. The Craigslist "FREE"" section is your new homepage.
  19. You're doing everything by candlelight to save a few bucks. And the planet, of course.
  20. ....you run out of matches, so you're sitting in the dark.
  21. Your friends send out a search team, "we haven't seen her in weeks...."
  22. You're getting certified to teach a "fancier version of aerobics" to avoid selling seasonal candles at Bath and Body Works.
  23. You start going on dates with anyone who asks. What? I wanted to see a movie.
  24. You can officially add "Shot Girl" to your resume.
  25. The people at your credit card company recognize your voice when you say, "I'd like to get an extension....."
  26. Savings?
  27. You offer to help people remove their McCain/Palin bumperstickers, "1 dollar for a dollop of Goo-Gone!"
  28. You put your socks on your hands to substitute as a loofa, thus saving a trip to the Laundromat.
  29. You comfort yourself by saying, "Mo' money, mo' problems. "
  30. You steal toilet paper rolls from restaurants and shampoo from hotels. Just bring a suitcase, they'll never know.
  31. You steal people's leftovers when no one's looking. They barely touched their food, I swear.
  32. You start stapling your resume to telephone polls, any takers?
  33. You're back at home with Mom and Dad, minus the allowance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A TIME FOR CHANGE


CHANGE:
1.to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

2.to transform or convert

Change.... the seasons are shifting and the leaves are falling, the weather is urging us to change attire and the whole world is waiting in anticipation for change. Sure CHANGE is Obamas campaign slogan, but whether you're voting for Obama or not, CHANGE is what our country is ready for. It's what the millions of people are outside waving flags, plastering bumper stickers and standing in line for. It's what the volunteers who have been sleeping on floors and knocking on doors of strangers, facing up to people with different beliefs are asking for.
ItalicItalic
So much of the time we wait for some EVENT; New Years, birthdays, the first of the month, to CHANGE when really, every day we have the opportunity to choose change. Maybe it's change in relationships, maybe it's the energy you roll out of bed with before you go to work.....there's little things we say, "I'd like to do that..." or "I wish I...." or "If this were different...." well change doesn't come in one BIG step then it's done, change starts small. Change starts when we decide what words we choose to say- to ourselves, to our friends, to our coworkers. Change starts when we go left instead of right, when we open our minds, when we close ourp0 mouths and decide to listen instead.

Change starts the minute we wake up, IF we choose it.

There's a lot I'd like to change; I'd like to change the way I worry and use the energy I fuel it with for something better, I'd like to change the way I obsess over the 5 mini Twix I ate and instead be glad that I could eat at all. I'd like to change the way I procrastinate returning emails, the way I suck at putting my clothes away and that my room looks like a fifteen year old girls who's obsessed with teeny boppers and graffiti? I'd like to change my diet, my dating habits and the oil in my car. The beautiful thing? I can, I can change all of that. TODAY.

The other day when I canvassed for Barack Obama, I had the privilege of seeing Michelle Obama speak and spoke about the ability we have as Americans to achieve our dreams, but only if we change. If we make education affordable so people that want to be Doctor's, teachers, artists, lawyers aren't buried in student loans when they graduate and thus have to do something other than what they dreamed in order to pay them off. So that we don't have to see our friends and family skip a visit to the doctor's office because they can't afford it and risk getting sick or six feet under thousands of dollars in debt.... (my Dr appt. the other day $200..... for a simple check up)

If we let the people around us, that are hard working people, live a better quality of life then we live in a better WORLD.

When we change the way we think about people that are different than us, that have chosen a different path, religion, sexual orientation, we live in a more accepting, PEACEFUL world. Peace isn't as complicated as we make it, and it IS attainable, if we take the steps necessary to CHANGE.

Today we are given that right as AMERICANS to make a change....to be proud of our leader, to feel like we have voices that are being heard- so use them! GET OUT TODAY AND VOTE. PLEASE. PLEASE. It's our duty and our privilege.

Change starts somewhere, what change do YOU want to see?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In LIMBO- minus the fiesta


When you stop talking and writing about what it is that you're feeling and thinking, its a lot easier to be completely confused about WHAT emotions you had in the first place.
It's like you lose track of where the current feelings even originated from. That is why, I am officially starting back THIS WEEK....writing, every night....I say this with the most sincere ambition. Though there may be some evenings in there when I get distracted catching up on Brothers & Sisters, over analyzing one sentence text messages, searching the fridge for a lone Fudgecicle or simply spending my time doing other things that don't involve being wrapped up in the virtual world 24/7. I'm going to try. For my own sanity really.

Right now, I'm in limbo and not the kind that involves flowery lei's, pinatas and some variation of mix CD'S that have "La Bamba" as a hidden track. That limbo is much more fun and might I add, I have quite a flexible back, so I always kick a bitches ass.... and now that I think about it....maybe the whole concept of needing a "flexible back" whether or not you're bending over backwards under a broomstick or just bending over and straining in awkward positions under a "life stick" that's invisible, but most certainly there, is really what getting through these tricky limbo-y situations is all about. Stretching out your back, so that it is indeed flexible enough until you're kicked out of the game and back to real life- which isn't always that terrible, especially if there's a terrific cheese dip and punch bowl.

Limbooooooooo.....all the flexible back talk really makes me think of sex. Sorry, my mind wandered for a moment.....

ah, sex..... we could all use a little more of it eh? Even those of you assholes who are already over indulgent- I'm not mad, just jealous. I've been you....it's so much fun to know that when you're at the grocery store picking out avocado's or filling up the car with gas, that the lady next to you probably didn't have as much sex as you did last night and that therefor, makes you a winner. It's an inner honorary medal we give ourselves....everyone likes to medal.

Back to limbo, the non-sexual kind. Sorry, it's hard not to drift when you start throwing around terms that involve flexibility, especially when it's starting to get chilly outside and the idea of body heat instead of a fucking humming, rickety heater is so much more appealing.

I'm at that place where everything is just sort of, EH. It's there, it isn't terrible but it isn't great. There isn't anything pressing, there isn't anything waning....it just is. It's a blah neutral, which I've found usually turns into a blah grey, then a blah BLACK, then a blah "oh shit, I'm having a mental breakdown." I don't do well with earth tones when it comes to my emotions.....I prefer to describe them as sparkly yellow, golden, vibrant magenta....flaming red, whatever. Not eggshell, tan, nondescript. There is nothing worse than nondescript for an artistic personality, or maybe for any human being for that matter. Nondescript emotionally is some lack of control, a form of apathy, a plateau....nondescript emotion is like a big black hole of nothingness and feeling nothingness makes you see nothingness in your future, which thus leads you into a whole twisty cycle of "nothingness thinking" which is neither empowering or productive. That's sort of where I'm at.....

So, if I could get a swift kick in the ass with some sort of Tickle Me Pink hue I'd feel a bit better.

Work is almost nonexistent at this point, I'm on the hunt for new ventures and hunting for dough doesn't leave any space for me to hunt for adventure and I don't do well with that. Dating is....sort of there....I'd like it to be a little bit more than where it currently stands, which is also testing my patience which, I have none of. Right now I have no trips on the horizon, no auditions, no steamy evenings, not even the prospect of a one-night stand which wouldn't be terrible.....as long as there were no crabs involved.

Listen, I even Googled how much a Playmate gets paid if she appears in a pictorial in Playboy......yeah. Obviously that speaks volumes about where I stand financially at the moment, no one shows their goodies for free. Intentionally anyway.

So here I am, limboing under the life stick that could drop tomorrow and everything could go back to PEACHY KEEN. That's the thing, when you're under there looking up, about to fall to your knees or dislocate some disk, it feels like FOREVER.....then when you make it, it seems like nothing so you go back for another round. I'm so ready to be out from under the "stick."
No more limboing between having a lot and then having what feels like nothing.....or maybe that's exactly it; maybe this whole limbo game is really just a lesson in perspective that I need to learn, I don't have nothing I just have a different variation of something-at the moment. Maybe all this limboing is really just my own dissatisfaction with the uncertain times and daunting prospect of "normalcy" in place of fulfilling my exceptionally high personal goals and outrageous-bordering on delusional dreams.

Should I just embrace the limbo and be grateful that my knees and my lower back can still stand the strain? And HEY, we all know there isn't a game of limbo unless you're at a seriously kick ass party, or a bonfire in Hawaii.....right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some things in life ARE FREE


"You have to do what interests you first......then, hopefully, the money comes."
Richard Branson

Doing what interests you means that a lot of the time, you're doing it for free. Nothing comes from free? BULL. My labor is coming for free....For the first time in my life I am volunteering, doing shows for FREE and writing for free, and coincidentally I'm also the most BROKE I've ever been in my life and have more debt that I've ever had. Actually, I NEVER had debt until I decided to parade myself around Europe, which I have to remind myself was totally worth it every time I have to turn down dates with friends and stay home and eat rice cakes and drink four day old wine/vinegar instead.

But I haven't quit anything. I haven't said "NO" because the dollar sign wasn't attached to the opportunity and even now when I'm struggling to pay a single bill, I'm reminding myself like Richard Branson said, that success comes when you are thriving in your work. When you are doing it because you LOVE IT. Such a simple concept that's easily thrown out when you're swimming in a pool of desperation.

Because of my trip, I knew that I needed to CONNECT more with people. I wanted to offer more of myself and my time. I wanted to do something that wasn't a means to an end, I just didn't know what would be a good "fit." My heart would be too weepy to work with children or people that were really sick...so what else? Funny, as I was getting my annual pap-smear, STD testing (keeping it safe) birth-control refill, that I sat spread eagle in front of my Doc and asked if I could start volunteering. I figured, Doctor's office's are scary, Planned Parenthood is "taboo," condemned by many and at the same time imperative to women's health issues. When I was a teenager having sex and afraid get the proper preventative needs in order to not pull a Bristol Palin, the mere thought of PP made my hands sweat. As I sat in the waiting room I saw mini-me's feeling the same way....all they needed was someone that they could talk openly with, ask questions, feel safe and not feel judged. Women's rights and women's health has always been important to me and giving people the proper education, so that they're SMART, not careless, but informed was what made me make my decision. I wanted to be an activist for THAT.

So the other day when I went for my volunteer interview at Planned Parenthood I had to remind myself as protesters ran up to my car and forcibly offered to "SAVE ME" while waving banners of dead fetus' in front of my face that I was there to "do something good." Not to run over a bunch of Bible thumping radicals. Though, when a woman in her late 60's climbed a ladder to peek over the fence and yell over a bullhorn at patients, I crossed my fingers and hopped she'd fall and break and hip- that her baby carriage full of plastic dolls missing appendages, covered in fake blood wouldn't break her fall.

Screaming at people going in to pick up a pack of birth control, or volunteer (like myself) that they're, "GOING TO BURN, YOU AND THE SINNERS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD ARE GOING TO BE CHARRED IN THE FIRE-Y DEPTHS OF HELL FOR KILLING YOUR BABY. YOU'RE GOING TO BURRRRRRNNNNNNNN...........Come talk to us, we'll "SAVE YOU." is certainly not something that I think "GOD" would deem at non-judgment and tolerance. It simply crosses the line and uses the Bible as a way to instill fear, which from my understanding wasn't the prophet's intentions at all.

It would have been easy to be intimidated by them, but their bigotry made me that much more passionate. People are entitled to their opinions and I certainly wouldn't WANT everyone to think the same way as I do, but to use your Bible and your faith as a means to threaten, bully and frighten people isn't what any higher power would call RIGHTEOUSNESS. To assume that the people walking through the doors aren't just as devoted to their faith as you are is pure ignorance.

So when I picked my hours to work, I signed up for the proper orientation, etc. there wasn't a single ounce of myself that begrudged the fact that I wasn't going to get a paycheck every two weeks, because I knew what I was going to do would just help bring AWARENESS and acceptance to something that shouldn't be thought of any other way.

Sometimes life tests us; "So you LOVE singing so much.... then we'll give a show, where you'll sing for FREE." Do you take it? Me, of course. "You're passionate about women's rights, well how passionate? Are you willing to give up a few hours....for FREE?" Now, more than ever. While certain things have fallen out place for me that gave me some security, enjoying the new things that have stepped in is the only way for me to be thinking on a level that generates more good.

Which, is sometimes a hard thing to remember when you're driving around on empty.

All in due time, all in due time......

What is it that YOU'D do for FREE???







Sunday, October 26, 2008

Little White Lies


Ah, there's been a lot lately. It's like, I'm at that point when I've started having to censor a little bit of what I say so that I don't completely sabotage it before there's anything "real" to actually talk about. My blog is common knowledge, to everyone in my life. What I really want to say may be premature before I say it, so I've chosen to be a bit more discerning with recent topics, and that's fucking frustrating.....caution isn't one of my strong points. Either in action or warning.

I've never been afraid of being open. It's just what I do. I came out of the womb with bleeding- heart-sewn-to-arm and since then, it's grown into it's own appendage I've gotten used to having. When I meet new people, I spill; I say too much, I say enough, I leave little to the imagination. I like to blame it on my desire to exude "warmth." If you will.
When I go on a job interview it isn't uncharacteristic for me to say, "Well, I'm really bad at staying in one place for an extended period of time....so, just thought I'd give you a heads up."

Honesty isn't a choice, it just is. The problem is, sometimes when things marinate for awhile in your mind, what was truthful at the beginning of the thought, changes into a different truth by the end of the thought and people have a hard time keeping track of that.....it's the human saga, or my human saga titled Wishy-Washy.

The other problem, most people don't take well to the actual truth.

Does that make any sense? Or does that sound neurotic, or is it neurotic to say, "does that sound neurotic?" I think so.

I digress......

So much of the time we're constantly full of WHITE LIES, little harmless "factions" to make us sound more; interesting, smart, intriguing, worthy, credible, deserving.....etc. We add an extra week to our internship on applications; we turn one day of volunteering into "experience doing charity work." Rather than saying from the beginning that we usually bail before we can fail, or once we start dating I'll be exercising my Wandering Eye, we impersonate what we WANT our truths to be for other peoples satisfaction.

I don't think it's that we want to be liars. And really I don't think it's because we don't believe we're enough as is. We fabricate because we want to be accepted, like my parents said, "you're only lie if you are unable to tell the truth."
Unfortunately, I think we've created a society that enables the inability for people to be truthful, from the start.

When you do on a job interview they don't really want to hear the truth. They don't want to hear that you'd rather be designing shoes or taking care of your babies at home. Instead they want to hear you lie and say, "my intention is to grow with the company." They want to hear buzz words and bumbling overcompensation pleas.

Dishonestly doesn't stop at the work place, but is expected in social situations and human interaction. Politeness has taken precedence over honesty, even if the honesty isn't hurting anyone. Honesty can be annoying, threatening and complex if it's foreign to yours and rocking the boat can be scary if there's a shitload of passengers who can't swim.

I saw an interview with Bon Jovi once ( oh yeah, I totally went there and am quoting Bon Jovi.....) and he said when writing songs he is "as close to the truth as possible." My wise folks took this piece of JohnBON wisdom and instilled the same in me....pretty sure I could have quoted Shakespeare and said, "The truth will set you free" but hey, Jersey boys deserve a little play every now and then too and I believe what he said is what most of us are missing in our day-to-day lives.

The little white lies aren't harmful to anyone but ourselves. They minimize our OWN truths and give the power to those we're falsifying for.... as if someone else's truths were more valuable than our own. The more we're worried about saying the right thing to appease, the more we tell ourselves we aren't justified in our own "rightness" and thus the acceptance of our half-truths continues.....

It's OK to be clueless or confused from time to time, it's OK to have no fucking clue how you're going to "make it" and it's ok to tell people so. It's OK if you've decided to acknowledge you're feelings for someone and it's terrifying and it's OK if you're a little bit timid about diving head first into someone/something new. It's ALWAYS OK to feel exactly how you're feeling and if you're the only person there to validate those feelings then that's fucking OK too.

Whatever you were thinking about "factioning", half-truthing.....lying about today....it's more than OK to just, tell the truth.









Wednesday, October 22, 2008

......BAG LADY......


"You don't want to be the type of girl who has a lot of baggage."

People always use that term; BAGGAGE. We tell people to stay away from the guy with the crazy ex-girlfriend cause of the "baggage" or a man shudders when he finds out that his object of desire has "Daddy issues" because that means more, "baggage." Any type of spawn, leaching family member, stalking ex, emotional damage or bitterness = baggage. And really, the list can go on, baggage comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Friends warn us, steer clear O' the baggage.

It's like we're all supposed to somehow avoid having bags.

Before my trip I stood in front of my suitcase and stared at it for about 20 minutes, trying to visualize what it would look like to roll my clothing into such tiny balls that it'd actually fit into my pea sized suitcase. First off, I suck at visualization, mental images have no room in my brain full of rantings. When the suitcase was finally full, it was amazing how much I could actually FIT into a carry-on suitcase, that's smaller than my torso. In one tiny bag, I had enough to last me over a month and enough that from one sweater change to the next could completely change "my look." What's in our bags (both literally and figuratively) can be a wide range of things that express different parts of you...and your story thus far.

Then, the other night when I was having wine with a girlfriend she mentioned "baggage." Having it, not wanting it, not having it, whatever....the whole thing became this discussion about;

is having baggage avoidable??

For instance, sure I could have gone to Europe without my carry-on and I could have rocked one outfit the whole time, but bringing my yellow hat and my checkered scarf gave me some character. Whatever was in my bag wasn't a NECESSITY, in fact, most things aren't. The things in my suitcase were just little expressions of ME....and essentially, isn't that part of what baggage is??? A handy way to carry around those "extras."

None of us want to carry around a bag full of bricks, that's simply too exhausting. But to say you have, at one time, carried around a bag full of bricks....doesn't that add to your character as a person now? Can't you see the strength in your arms and feel the occasional pinch in your back because of that "silly bag of bricks." Your back aches and your stories from carrying that piece of luggage around made you, just a bit stronger in mind and in body.

We ALL have baggage. In some form. We've each carried around different shapes, different colors, different varieties of baggage and somewhere along the line we've lost a bag, traded a bag or "emptied the load."

Having baggage isn't the problem, it's simply how you deal with it.


In my bags I have a long, lengthy and tumultuous heartbreak. I have a piece of LA and a piece of New York. I've let friends hop in and take a ride, I've zipped them up and carried them around, then let them go when it was time. Sometimes the bags were empty, just for show- for flair. Sometimes they were heavy, they bruised my legs each time I carried them up the stairs, pressed against my thigh and sometimes, they were light as a feather.

In my bag I have carried feathers and I've carried boulders. I've appreciated when they were light but knew that if I ever had to carry something else I'd be able to, because I'd done it before and there was nothing too heavy that I wasn't able to handle.

Part of living our lives is learning that no matter how "heavy", burdensome....or inconvenient something is; it's only temporary, and part of our lesson is learning how to carry on whatever it is that we're lugging around and do it gracefully. People don't always need to know how heavy things are getting and sometimes you may need to take a rest, unzip and let some things GO.

My bags are my accessories, I'm unashamed and drag them about proudly. I mean, imagine how boring it'd be if we didn't HAVE any bags?......I like knowing I can open one up and look over it's contents, then choose whether or not I want to bring any of them out.

So tell me, what are you carrying around in YOUR "baggage"??

Monday, October 20, 2008

Final notes from the road and other random musings

In Zurich, Switzerland


Throughout my trip I kept a little notebook (actually a big notebook) in my purse that I'd pull out at cafes, street corners-that sounds different than I meant for it to.... hotel rooms and train rides. I recorded a lot of thoughts and notes in "real time." So now that my journey has come to an end, I thought I'd share some final words before Chelsea Talks Smack resumes to it's usual smack-talking, men musing and neurotic self explorations.....

Here it is:

NOTES FROM THE ROAD
  1. If you're nice to foreigners in foreign countries; they may give you a slice of free cake. NOTE: This was written my first night in London when an Italian girl working at a coffee shop befriended me and gave me a slice of amaretto cheesecake...
  2. Hipsters, are universal.
  3. Even in England, where they speak English when an American opens their mouth, they look at you like you're an alien.
  4. It's illegal to feed the pigeons....?! No toppins a bag the days of Mary Poppins are over.
  5. WHEN IN DOUBT: Look for a sign, an arrow or a landmark and FOLLOW IT.
  6. When you're traveling alone, get used to people "borrowing chairs" from your table. You'll only feel like a tool for about five seconds, then resume eating.
  7. The handles, switches, etc. are different. I spent approx. 4 minutes in a dark bathroom in every country before I found the light.
  8. There's a fair chance people may look at you like a leper while drinking alone, it's a good idea to practice the "stop staring at me face" or a super large smile. Either one will make them look away.
  9. Note from Tate Modern in London: Jackson Pollock said something like, "modern art is the energy inside people's bodies that they cannot express...." Hm. What is my "unexpressable outlet?" What's yours?
  10. MEN ARE MEN, NO MATTER WHAT COUNTRY YOU'RE IN. Cat calling is multicultural.
  11. Humans are interesting, even in some of the most liberated countries, people are still trying to "do the right thing." Which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.
  12. Huge backpacks make you look like a janky tourist. It's true, watching backpackers catch a train made my back hurt for them.
  13. If you're lucky enough to have seen a lot of theater in America, don't expect to be super impressed with the theater/cabarets oversears. Let's just say, stick to historical art.
  14. Act like you know what you're doing.....even if you have no idea.
  15. To European cops: Is keeping your finger on the trigger of your machine gun really necessary? Because it makes me extremely uncomfortable.
  16. Europeans think our diet is bad; uh I'm confused, do we eat loaves of bread everyday? I think not. How the hell are they not obese?
  17. Long train rides suck less when you have an ipod and the "bar car."
  18. French people make smoking look tempting.
  19. Europeans, not nearly as vain an American's....it's refreshing to feel accepted and beautiful not matter what you look like.
  20. "Clubbing" is universally the same; cheesy men, cheesy music, overpriced drinks.
  21. There isn't a stigma about meeting men in bars like there is in America....maybe because not ALL Euro men are chasing tail when they're chasing their vodka.
  22. Chivalry; sorta dead.
  23. Standing in line is a concept completely lost on Italians.
  24. Fanta is not a good substitute for orange juice.
  25. If you suck at time management, giving yourself enough time, being on time, etc. you'll really suck at traveling. ;)
  26. Pigeons will poop on peoples heads in any country....pigeons are just assholes.
  27. Note from a park in Florence: "I just saw a Keanu Reeves and a John Mayer look alike...every country has their version of John Mayer...."
  28. Little Italian kids like to make out, FULL ON PDA.....while on school field trips.
  29. I had no idea how much I loved sausage until I came to Germany.....sausage is a brilliant invention.
  30. Note, Munich in real time: a little German baby just blew me a kiss.
  31. We could take some tips on the importance of family over here in America. Families are most certainly #1 in their lives.
  32. Note from Bavarian restaurant: Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy just came on the radio, I was enjoying my strudel and now I feel like vomiting.
  33. Many of us envy European lives but it's just a lifestyle choice. We can all live European lifestyles if we want, no matter what country we're in.
  34. They actually think we listen to Tom Jones? Does anyone out there seriously listen to Tom Jones?
  35. Fries are a popular staple. Fries with steak, fries with chicken, fries. fries. fries.
  36. Note from Amsterdam in real time: I like to imagine that if I lived here I would buy fresh flowers everyday and keep my shutters open for the sun to pour in. Would I ride a bike? Probably, but very terribly.
  37. What's the deal with half pints? Ordering a full pint in countries where standard beers come in half pints will make you feel like an alcoholic. You'll appreciate the American drinking way.
  38. I'm excited to have a frozen dinner when I get home. (Disclaimer: I'm hoping I was drunk when I wrote this?)
  39. Smile, it helps.
  40. It can be seriously intoxicating to be "semi-anonymous" I understand the urge to perpetually be on the run.....
  41. Always, always buy yourself dessert. Native desserts are an imperative indulgence.
  42. It's time to stop jammin' out to Celine Dion circa 1998.....it's time.
  43. Note from Brussels in real time: I wonder if I were as confident walking around in America as I am here, if I'd meet as many people as I have in Europe......? People, also meaning men.
  44. Waitress' and bartenders are "over it" no matter what country you're in.
  45. People smoke, drink and guzzle caffeine like a motherfucker....we're downing smoothies, vitamins, 8 gallons of water and staying "smoke free" and we're still unhealthy. I wonder if our health has more to do with our minds than our bodies??
  46. I'm so glad we aren't charged for ketchup in the States. Let's celebrate that shall we.
  47. Bathrooms aren't free most of the time....really? What a messed up way of taking advantage of people. I mean, of course I'll pay you 30cents instead of peeing myself.
  48. Coffee is universally welcoming. I'm really disappointed in people who don't love such a friendly beverage.
and in closing in real time from Germany:
In this moment, I am thinking I am SO lucky and so blessed to be, me. I am SO incredibly grateful, more than I have been in a long time. I love that I am genuinely in love with my life and the life I'm creating....it makes me want to pour all of it out and share it with everyone, so they too can feel as genuinely content and happy.

I love that I love being open and exploring and I love that I am truly, in this moment, letting it be.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Go BIG and Go HOME


Less is more, totally not my style.

Initially I wasn't supposed to come back to the state until Oct 28th.....then, after the first few nights in a hostel and then having to make the decision so often from whether or not I'd like to have a hot dog from a street stand, or a traditional local meal.....the money started dwindling quicker than planned.

When I planned my entire trip I knew if I were going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I didn't want to just say, "I've been there, but I couldn't afford to do that...." Living beyond my means? Sure, maybe. Nothing outlandish however. I didn't go shopping, I didn't splurge on expensive Italian designers (though, at this point it wouldn't have really mattered had I decided to buy a couple pairs of shoes) and I didn't stay in lavish hotels or dine anywhere with a dress code.

I just did it RIGHT. I went to Europe and I tasted the Belgian chocolates (tasting obviously means, I ate, like, a box..... I tasted many flavors), I didn't cook in the hostels, or eat day-old bread. I'm sorry, I didn't come to Europe to eat DAY OLD BREAD. If I'm going to Europe, I'm going to eat fresh, piping hot bread straight from the oven in a local bakery. Fuck, if I'm EATING bread my bread is NOT going to past due, the bread in itself is a celebration away from my usual American lifestyle where I munch on diet bars, frozen dinners and canned peas. What's the point in flying across the ocean to diet and grocery shop for every meal?

I did exactly the things that I wanted to do; I walked where Shakespeare and Dickens walked, I toasted drinks with new friends from Bosnia, Poland, South Africa, Ireland, and ever local country I was in. I charmed the pants off people without speaking a word of their first language, I stayed up late and wasn't controlled by the restraints of TIME, half the time I didn't know what day it even was.

I listened to my body and my instincts, that under most circumstances are lying completely dormant under the weight of daily American stresses and day-to-day monotony that allow little space for "following instinct."

Often, your instincts, though they may be right, are inconvenient, which make them easier to ignore and make excuses for. Inconvenience in everyday life is scary, it forces you out of your ways and means something is going to change and CHANGE means accepting what is and where you are. Change quickly brings you into the present.

Instinct was my watch in Europe. Instinct brought me into different cafes and restaurants where at the the end of the meal I was kissing the cheeks of people that started as strangers. Instinct changed trains and routes, seats and booths, instinct made me wander down small streets and stumble upon cemeteries older than our country. Instinct brought me to Germany where, initially, I hadn't planned on visiting and because of instinct, I spent hours drinking Bavarian beer with new friends and watching the sun come up in a Greek restaurant where, though the owners didn't speak English, stood up and taught me Greek dancing until my face was sweating and patrons were clapping. Instinct made me feel welcomed genuinely.

Instinct, brought me to Europe in the first place, where though it would have been nice to be with someone, I ended up relishing in the fact that I was alone. These stories were mine. This life that I'm creating was based on a series of choices, based on my instinct.

So sure, maybe I had one Leffe Blonde too many in Brugge, maybe I stayed a little bit too nice of a hotel in Paris, and yes I could've observed the art without the audio guides, but I really wanted to hear the stories of the artist work....so sure, maybe I spent a BIT more than necessary.

I went BIG. I did it right and I don't regret, a single choice.

Though the trip was cut a couple weeks short, this was really just a peek into everything that I'm planning to experience for the rest of my life. In one month alone I met more people, created more stories, laughed and danced and pondered and APPRECIATED more than I have in a long, long time. Too long.

Traveling softens you, it opens your heart, and your eyes. My trip was just a glimpse into what happens when you DO follow that internal gift of instinct that we're born with. It reminded me that life is about LIVING it, and why let another year go by that's just a blur of time and dates, meetings and deadlines? That certainly isn't for me.

GO BIG, even if it means you have to go home, you have to "pay for it", etc. LIVE, drink in what's right in front of you, you don't even have to go to Europe....we're constantly surrounded by magical things.

When you do choose to truly LIVE in "it"the universe will show it's appreciation in return, I know it did to me.

CHEERS.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I AM.....stoned?


There really isn't a whole lot to say about Amsterdam other than it is a twisted, lust filled, intoxicating little world that easily sucks in even the more prudish tourists. One minute you're walking down the streets scoping out wooden shoes and frites smothered in mayonnaise (wtf?) the next you have a perfectly nice stranger on the street offering you 'shrooms (wtf?)

I AM STERDAM, their famous sign makes even more sense after you've been there....through my visit I was able to say at various times; I AM insane, I AM in love with this place, I AM an artist, I AM brave, I AM making out with a Dutch boy? I AM aware, I AM so lost, I AM a bad ass I AM anonymous and naturally.....I AM....stoned.

When in Rome, when in Amsterdam? When in...wherever, do as they do, otherwise what's the point in traveling all the way around the world to stick to your stale ways. The whole concept of being able to walk up to a counter and discuss joint size and strength was so amusing to me I looked like Pollyanna at a weed convention. I'm no stranger to this natural little gift from nature by any means, but when I sat down, legal joint in hand, clearly looking like a newbie, a group of hippies befriended me, lent me their lighter and bought me a cappucino. Ah, I feel the stoner love. Let's chill and chill we did listening to soul and blues music on comfy couches and sipping large leafy tea's and extra strong coffee.

The few days I was in Amsterdam I drowned myself in it's culture. The quaint canal alleys and the crowded streets of every ethnic cuisine you could possibly think of, I wanted to sample something strange and foreign at every place. If I didn't know how to pronounce it, that's what I wanted to order. I cruised down the river and got lost on purpose, I marveled at the height of Dutch people and managed to only get hit by a bicycle once.

After visiting the Anne Frank House, The Van Gogh Museum (who is now one of my very favorite artists, I have an even deeper respect for him after visiting the museum) I decided....alright, it's TIME to buy some souvenirs. If you're going to go to any country and buy souvenirs, what better place that Amsterdam? Everyone wants wooden shoes, obviously.

After picking out a few wooden shoe keychains, the man at the counter struck up conversation when he noticed I was amused that he was reading Bill Bryson essays and laughing out loud while reading them to his coworker (who I found out later was his Mother) we chatted for a bit and then, since this is the way it works in Europe, we decided to meet up for drinks when he was off work.

Sitting in front of The Bulldog Coffee shop, waiting, I hear a ZOOOOOM and there he is, on his little Vespa in all his Dutch glory, coming to meet me for a drink. Ah, I have such a newfound love for meeting foreign men and flirting my face off....::sigh:: so wonderful, vampiness if a fun quality to have in the bag and whip out when necessary; foreignly, anonymously or exclusively. He was even more handsome than I'd noticed while consumed with the overstimuli of tiny things and shot glasses.

We shared a couple Heiniken's and proceeded to get closer and closer to each other until , OOPS! we're making out!

NOTE: This sort of behavior is VERY, VERY, VERY unlike me. I would like to point out that, which you know if you've been reading, I do NOT date, I do not make out with strangers, it's like pulling teeth for a man to get my phone number and I NEVER ever....have one night stands...........usually. Funny, that when I DID stop looking, men were flocking like herds of wild boars. If there is such a thing.

I hopped on the back of his Vespa and clutched to his chest while we zipped through tiny streets and quickly approached large groups of people, but managed to part right through them, Moses style. He showed me what the canals looked like at night with the lights lit around them, he explained Dutch culture and held my hands and asked about all of my rings. The night was followed up with an "unofficial" tour of the Redlight District which made me feel like a whore for being so amused with such licentiousness, I wanted to shake off the American way of shunning sexual things and embrace is. Sex, sex. sex.
That's the thing; Amsterdam, is crazy but completely sane and full of all types of people; turn on's and turn off's, dealers and tourists.... yet, nothing about the city feels dirty or "wrong."

There isn't a sense of judgment or guilt...it is what it is. Could have something to do with the fact that there are over 300 nationalities living in Amsterdam alone. Literally, every next person you meet is from somewhere new and the only way to live in harmony with people from such different cultures is to; accept them. What a concept, one that we as American's have a bit of a hard time grasping.

Though sex and drugs may be abounding in Amsterdam, it is a lovely city and I believe it's because everyone is living harmoniously, the way they desire. Even if their desires aren't akin to that of their neighbors, they still live their "right" way and that's just fine with those around them.

Almost everywhere I went I talked with the people next to me; people from Ireland, Bosnia, Holland, South Africa, Poland, and the list goes on. We shared drinks and cheers' in different languages, PROST! We talked about politics and travel, sex and food (two of my favorite things.)

Then, at a very brave moment I struck up conversation with the keyboard player at a packed jazz/blues bar. Then when he asked me to get up and sing with them, without hesitation I got on stage and took the mic.

I soaked in the energy of the people and pinched myself when my inner voice said, "Yeah Chels, you're singing with a JAM BAND IN AMSTERDAM, people are loving it and You. Are. Radical."

Amsterdam kicked my inhibitions straight out the window. My usually waning confidence was at a steady HIGH for four days straight. Amsterdam made me feel like I was pulsating with lust, passion, fervent energy and unabashed self assuredness. The way I felt in Amsterdam is the way I hope to feel most of the time in the states.

I wondered as I walked down the street, if I walked this confident, felt this "awake" everyday....what would change in my day-to-day life? I'm guessing quit a bit.

So in all of my "debauchery", Amsterdam was surely a highlight; the one night, the spliffs and the microphone. Dutch men, wooden shoes and other "wooden things"......Amsterdam made me think;

I AM MARVELOUS.

Your turn: I AM ______________________

Sunday, October 5, 2008

When in doubt: MISS YOUR STOP, ON PURPOSE.


The night before I've left for almost EVERY city, I picked the destination and figured out accommodations only 24 hours in advance. Risky, but that's livin'.

Initially the plan was to go from Florence to Munich but finding a place to stay was incredibly difficult since it was the end of Oktoberfest and people were getting as smashed as possible before they had to wait an entire year to do it again, in full Lederhosen and Bavarian garb. So, I changed the plan and decided I'd go to Innsbruck for a couple nights, then Berlin.

I get to the train station for the earliest train which ended up being two hours late, which by this point, had me a bit cranky....I couldn't look at another panini or I was going to kill someone. Finally, get on the train and I'm sitting across from a handsome Italian man in purple pants, hey yo, awesome.

Immediately I was thinking, well this eight hour train ride won't be that bad....I can stare at Sleeping Beauty while I listen to super sexual Toni Braxton songs and I can imagine what it'd be like to make out with him, how long it'd take me to learn Italian? What our children would look like? etc.

An hour into the train ride, I woke up to some Italian man standing in the doorway asking if he can "switch seats" with hot purple pants, so him and his friend can sit together...........
let's just say it was a fair trade, I was sure the train had crashed and a model in the form of a 6'4-Italian-Jude Law-esque type was awakening me in heaven. THIS was my new train partner. Charmed life? I think so.

Italian-tall-Jude Law and his equally handsome friend take their seats....:: ah this will be good. They must be models:: Aftermaking eye contact on and off, hello, hard NOT to stare when beautiful men are sitting directly in front of you....speaking in foreign tongue?! Yeah, I'll gawk if I want to. We finally spoke to each other; they had a running bet, "is she Italian or is she American?" They were split, until I opened my mouth.

For the next four hours we talked about life, where they came from, etc. etc. Were they models?? Oh no my friends, it gets better.......Italian-Jude Law....was a PERSONAL CHEF who split his time between Italy and Santa Barbara....holy, damn, I AM IN HEAVEN. Did someone say let's make another sequel to Before Sunrise/ After Sunset? If you haven't seen the movies, you must.

When I told them I was skipping Munich cause I didn't have anyone to go to Oktoberfest with or anywhere to stay, they said...."No, you have to go to Munich. Miss your stop and you can hang out with us."

Innsbruck? Munich? Berlin? They all have sausage and schnitzel...do they all have Italian Jude Law? I think not.

Munich it is.

No idea where I was staying, where I was going, or how much of my mind I'd actually lost I said, CARPE DIEM I'm going to drink with the Italians and conveniently fall in love with the chef so I never have to attempt cooking again in my life.

As we pulled up to the train station in Innsbruck, I just didn't get off the train. Auf wiedersehen!

Ah, being impulsive always suits me well.

Luckily, one of my very best friends has family, a boyfriend and friends in Munich who were kind enough to pick me up at the train station, open beer in hand as a welcome and then tell me where to get the best currywurst after getting me very drunk on huge liters of amber ale. Talk about hospitality.

The next day I waited for my future husband to give me a ring.....I waited, and waited.....he finally called and I missed it. By the time he called again I had already meandered around Oktoberfest by myself, looking for drunken, tall, beautiful Italians...but if you've ever been to Oktoberfest you know it's really just a huge CARNIVAL and it's IMPOSSIBLE to move through crowds, let alone find your husband. No, really, there's rides and cotton candy.

It was like a scene in slow motion from a chick flick, that will hopefully have a happy ending. When we finally got a hold of each other I had already left and he had been calling, I hadn't been getting the calls.....OF COURSE, since in a movie it wouldn't happen any other way.

He was already off, back to Italy and I to Berlin......the whole reason I was in Munich was because of him and we were now going our separate ways. After a week of Italy there was no way I was headed back there to continue the pasta inhaling gluttony, so him and I reluctantly said our goodbye's over the phone, "until next time."

::Sigh:: I had a real life "meet cute" straight from a movie that was left without a complete ending....looks like I may have to show up at his doorstep and sing for my dinner when he's in Santa Barbara????

Oh, and yes. He knows about this blog.

Cheers to honesty.









Thursday, October 2, 2008

There's NO place like HOME


Tuscany is intoxicating. Literally, I drank two bottles of wine for lunch.

No, but as I lay on a lawn chair at the top of a mountain and all I could hear was the buzzing of foreign bugs I did my best to settle into what "peace" is supposed to feel like. I was one of five people staying in a 50something room villa in the quietest, smallest part of Tuscany (Loro to be exact) and I still couldn't lay in bed and comfortably fall asleep. My brain wouldn't let me. It's as if I've become to accustomed to the American way of "busying" ourselves, that relaxing even on this trip, (which is certainly not something most responsible working people would do) I couldn't let myself enjoy just BEING.

So, I tried meditating. Nope, didn't work. I tried doing some jumping jacks so I'd waken by body just enough for it to get tired, nope....that didn't work either. I tried falling in love with Tuscany so much that I pulled a Diane Lane (aka Frances Mayes) and bought my own damn villa. Instead, I couldn't stop thinking about...everything else.
So I turned on CNN and ended up throwing ridiculously fat purple grapes at the TV screen when Sarah Palin came on until I lost the signal and was forced to go outside and just SIT. Oh, twist my arm....fine. I kicked the wall with my leather boot when I found out there was only limited internet and I threw my fists in the air like, "Dear Jesus, why does Tuscany not come fully equipped with wireless???"

Fine, fine fine fine. I'll effin' SIT.

I sat....and listened, listened to the nothingness and watched the tiny lizards crawl in and out of the cobblestone and chase well fed flies and bumblebee's. The Tuscan sun tanned the left side of my face and the tomatoes that tasted like HEAVEN mixed with sugar, grown in only the finest soil of HEAVEN, filled up my belly. I told the universe right then that I'd be happy living on tomatoes for the rest of my life if they tasted like that and to please let me nap, then after tasting the fresh olive oil grown in the soil I was trying to let my feet sink into, I started to understand the sitting....the quiet pleasure of sitting.
Sitting, whether I was in Tuscany or New York, Los Angeles or Denver, was something that I needed to LEARN to enjoy.
Maybe I did need to fly across the country to figure that out??

Later in the evening after wine tasting, Maura our wonderful host revealed the strangest piece of information.....the workers that pick the olives aren't paid in Euro's.....they're paid in, wait for it, OLIVE OIL. People here WORK for OLIVE OIL?!?! No wonder they aren't worried about wireless....they're currency comes in the form of a different type of green.

Tuscany is where everything closes from 1-4 and businesses shut down sometimes from Sept. until April. Tuscany is where the base to any meal is a pound and a half of olive oil, which I learned in my TUSCAN COOKING CLASS!!! (AH!) and where their idea of a great meal is a five hour ten course meal that requires a barrel to roll you back to your room.

On the fourth day I learned that this is the way these people live...simply and comfortably. They don't worry about tomorrow, wireless connection?, or being "connected" at all, they're proud and happy to be "Typico Toscane" I heard this phrase a lot.
Napping is expected and wine is meant to be consumed by the gallon. Sunflowers and poppies grow wildly and horses roam without fences. When everything is closed you snack on proscuitto and gather in the street to watch strange tourists (like myself) look around for "something."

I checked out of my villa, headed to Munich and of course as I approached Florence....I felt my body getting queasy.....the olive oil, the 29 pounds of bread, risotto, crostini, linguine and honey covered croissants started to form a super power against me and procedeed to MUNCH on my insides until I was now KARMICALLY FORCED, to sit. Or actually, become practically immobile...so much so that I had to rent a hotel room in Florence for the evening or I would have had a heinous eight hour ride to Munich that could have possibly included a little bit of vomit.

Tuscany taught me now, as I SIT thinking; that though it may not be a lifestyle I'm used to, people all around the world are enjoying JUST WHERE THEY'RE AT. They don't yearn to leave, they love their towns and their ways....they're insane olive oil and the fact that their idea of eating vegetables is having Funghi pasta or tomatoes and mozzarella.

People all over are SITTING, contently while so many of us run a muck, through muck or with MUCK in our stomachs trying to find the perfect spot to BE content.


The more I travel and the more I'm learning is that maybe it is "ok" for all of us to not NEED to yearn for more, more, MORE all the time.....maybe there really is "no place like home."







 
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