Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gonna Ramble Myself Out of a Rut

John Wooden was a little ahead of my time though I still bow down to him as the basketball god that he is. He turns 99 tomorrow. He might be waiting around for another UCLA championship, but he'll be well past the century mark if that's gonna happen. Though Wooden is rightfully revered, Chick Hearn was the old basketball dude who I loved. I pretended he was my grandfather when I spent plenty of nights alone, watching Laker games of the Showtime era on our thirteen inch black and white TV that got three channels. And one of those was channel 9! Thank god; home of the Lakers and home of the voice of Chick Hearn, my fantasy grandfather and long-time Laker announcer. Inches from the screen (because that shit was still kinda snowy) I'd eat toasted almond ice cream by the bowlful, enraptured by the drama that was playoff basketball of the 1980's. Man, I would laugh at Chick's sayings (THE JELLLOOO'S JIGGLING!) and whoop at the TV when the Lakers kept my hope buoyant. Chick Hearn was the only celebrity that got a tear from me when he passed. He was good company for a lonely kid.

Hope, my specialty, is kinda waning lately. I'm not sure what it is. I mean, I kind of know, but it's the kind of know that I'm not good at talking about. If I talk about it or complain about it or let it in too much, then what? I dunno. Good, healthy complaining is not what I'm good at. I get frustrated and embarrassed. I get self conscious. I feel weak. Suck that shit up, y'know, because then what? I take a road so high, I'm out of sight. I'm on high, lost road. Where am I?

I took the girls to a couple more writing workshops at 826LA over the weekend. They were split in different groups on different days this time; more in their own age group. Mina's was back in Echo Park. While she wrote about Creatures of the Future, Maya and I went to the second-hand store across the street and browsed. I tried to convince Maya to get a navy corduroy jacket from maybe the 80's that had a huge sew patch on the back of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. On the front, in yellow, the name Andrea was embroidered and underneath was her title (I don't remember it now) in the Agricultural department. Then I tried to convince Maya that bowling shirts used to be the main reason we went to thrift stores back in the day. I held up a shirt for her to try on, and she said, "I can't wear that shirt. It says Lorraine on it." I was like, Yes! That's -- you want to -- Lorraine! It says Lorraine, dude. She wasn't having it. But she did go for the old blue Boy Scout shirt with the many patches. So, I got through a little. On Sunday, Maya's workshop was called "Secrets & Lies." Nice! It was about telling truth through lies through dialogue. How cool is that? This workshop was at the Venice location, in an upstairs office of the SPARC building. SPARC is the creation of Judy Baca. Baca has been the premiere, political muralist of Los Angeles for three decades. This is the building my mother worked at for years in the late 70’s, early 80’s. SPARC used to be the old jailhouse in Venice and I remember as a kid loving that some offices were actual jail cells, with bars and everything. While Maya was in workshop, I wrote a bit. But then I wandered the halls of a closed SPARC, swearing it used to be bigger and still awed by it. I didn't have my camera, but I took a few photos with my phone. Baca's work is still so relevant and interesting and phenomenal. She exudes power, mainly. Power in dissent. Power in cultural and gender self acceptance. It's the feeling I had there as a kid; these halls makes one feel powerful:


Here's some outside:

Usually, I would feel waves of inspiration from these, but I don't. I feel a warming, a homecoming, a deep resonation for sure, but I'm worn out. I wanted to curl up at the foot of the Goddess Tree painting and feel nothing. I guess the comfort was good. But inspiration is lost on me right now.

It's raining. We've waited for rain since June around here. There has been no rain since then, and the anticipation of the cooler weather and the bluster -- and the rain -- was temporarily uplifting. The rain is nice, but not as good as dancing around the house yelling, "Rain is coming!" It's been a long time since I've heard the syncopated clank of the roof drains and the constant ringing of Molly's wind chime. It's nice. I don't feel much more.

We watched a movie called Chocolate. It's a Thai movie about an autistic teenage girl who could pick up martial arts moves just by watching them -- then it was time to avenge her mother! It was awesome. The movie had some of the best fight scenes we've seen in a long time. The film was on the cheesy side - it's martial arts flick -- but seriously, that girl kicked ass, Muay Thai style. Mina watched it twice. One of the best fights, though one of the shorter ones, was between the girl and the bad guy's pawn who was more severely autistic for Battle Autism. The boy fought in a series of unpredictable twitches and B-boy moves. He wore Run DMC glasses and an Adidas track suit! The girl was taken aback until she picked up his moves - because that's her power! She was so good.

Writing a novel jammed in limited amounts a time -- and in the time that is the leftover dregs of the day – feels a tad futile and insignificant. It feels rushed and tangled. But maybe I'd think that with all the time in the world too. Plugging away . . .

I'm getting a new tattoo in a couple weeks. I'm excited, but because of how I'm feeling, I'm worried about it too. Like, maybe it's too much money to spend on fancy skin decoration. But it's going to be super dope. But as I get older, is it lame to keep getting tattoos? Don't answer that. I know how I would answer that, but still. I dunno. Then I think, maybe I should get a full-body tattoo because I think that looks better than old lady skin. I dunno.

I'm ok. I'll feel better soon. Got to, right? Where my high road at?

14 comments:

nola said...

I was born and raised in Alaska so I know all about seasonal affective disorder and such. But I get it differently.

It's fall now. Which means that plants don't send out blossoms or new leaves of hope. We pull in, suck in our energies.

I used to get bummed because it's the time of year when I don't have energy to do a gazillion things. But then I remember to respect this special kind of energy - the quieter, more focused, limited kind - which can be a little sad, but in a good way. Because through death in nature we have life later.

And I don't know if you get the Santa Anas like I did when I lived in SoCal, but man - those can cramp any style. They used to whip right through me mercilessly, bringing bad air and agitating. Then we read Esperanza Rising and the mother got so sick from the wind and I hated them even more. But that's not fair - they're just doing what they gotta do, and I gotta ride 'em like a choppy wave.

Anyway, you're right - it's a cycle. Enjoy the subdued nature of you now. Embrace sadness and its accompanying questioning pensiveness.

DJ said...

Absolutely - a body suit looks superb on old skin - very Victorian-curiosity! Hope you feel less blue soon but you're still out there, taking the girls to workshops and generally being awesome so you're doing ok!

Rozmin said...

"Yes! That's -- you want to -- Lorraine!" That cracks me up!

It's so good that you're encouraging your girls interests in creative writing. I remember that when I was younger, up until midway through college, I was really interested in CW as well. In college I realized that it wasn't going to be my career, but even though I didn't continue writing creatively I'm thankful that I got so much writing EXPERIENCE. Now it really helps me in my job. I'm sure Maya and Mina will reap benefits from this later on!

BTW, I found this app on the internet and I thought of you and your blog: http://lab.drwicked.com/writeordie.html

Basically, it forces you to write. In one of the modes it'll start erasing what you write if you don't write. I plan on using it for my thesis. :-)

hil said...

Even when you are miserable you are awesome. :)

Melinda said...

Yeah. I'm swimming in it too. We'll get our groove back. Stella did.

Also, that story about the Lorraine shirt? Hilarious and awesome.

Maven said...

I like Nola's comment.
And Lorraine.
I also like you.
XOXOXOXO

Rebel Girl said...

Write.

xo

Marigoldie said...

You're such a high-energy, radiant person that surely you must have to burn on low now and then. It's just physics. And you're still kicking ass all the time, no matter what. Those murals are incredible, especially the first one with the veins -- awesome!

I get really happy/sad thinking about early days of thrift shopping and how unique I felt doing that. Nobody I knew did it. Bowling shirts, hell yeah, and funky huge men's blazers. Anything with a name on it! I got a bad-ass red satin Adidas zip up jacket yesterday at the thrift store for three bucks. I got that old feeling.

The best part of this story is that lonely kid watching channel 9 and ball and having an imaginary grandfather in Chick Hearn. Woman, I love you so.

Karen said...

Hugs to you, talented, inspiring woman!

(((((Madness)))))

madness rivera said...

Thanks so much for all the comments. I felt much love reading them. I feel a little better. The rain has been nice; to be cliche, cleansing.

Man nola, lovely comment. Thank you. I'm the only person I know who likes the Santa Anas. ha. They have such a witchy stigma, but I dig them -- unless they're lending a hand the fires.

Yes DJ! Victorian curiosity. haha. I do love the contrast of tattoos with conservatism, which is why I love the thought of an old woman with many tattoos. When I was younger I saw a man in a full business suit & tie and when he reached for his paper or whatever it was, the lining of a full sleeve peaked out from under the cuff of his starched shirt. I thought, that's for me! Or when I read a piece on an accountant who wore turtlenecks and fully buttoned shirts every day to work, and her job thought she was the most hemmed up person ever, but she was only covering her full chest piece, which a coworker once saw on a weekend and nearly shit himself. This I love.

Absolutely Rozmin, thank you. I'll check out the site fully. Honing ones writing can only help. I'm not sure either want to be writers, but I just hope they can unlock some creativity or reach other regions of their brain. Maya has expressed interest in journalism and I'm trying not to act too overjoyed about that. No pressure!

Thanks Hil & Karen. And yes, Lisa, plugging away.

M&M - love you sisters.

And A, weeping over that. Thanks so much. Love you too.

Molly Chester said...

I love you!

Molly

madness rivera said...

I love you too, Molly. Thank you.

nola said...

I am thrilled you love the Santa Anas!

I always wanted to, because I love nature especially in its less-approachable forms, but they always made me sick on numerous levels. Soul sick, lung sick - I was not made to live in the desert.

So I am thrilled that you love them, because that gives more balance!

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