Archive for November, 2009

Finding Gratitude

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

mood: quiet | drinking: koolaid-tasting vitamin water
us_house

In the spirit of the impending holiday, I’m going to make myself a little list of the things I am grateful for.

I’ve realized recently that I’ve spent the better part of this year griping about all the changes in my life. Time to step back and take a breath and notice the things that haven’t changed, or that have changed for the better.

So. Here they are, off the top of my head: Ten things that make me happy to get out of bed in the morning.

1. Boy. Through good, bad and ugly, he’s always there when I wake up. It’s an easy thing to take for granted in the hubbub of everyday living.

2. LeeLoo. She’s had a tough year, and is coming up on her 12th birthday, which in dog years is rather geriatric. But she’s hanging in there and is always ready with a lick and an eloquent Boxer sigh.

3. Our new home. We’ve only been sleeping under its roof for 10 nights, but it already feels like home. It’s cute, it’s cozy, it’s ours. And at night, you can see the stars so brightly and the ocean thunders so loudly. I feel incredibly lucky to be here.

4. My family. Mom & Dad were here just a few weeks ago, and my sister and I were talking about how weird we are, among most of our friends, that we actually enjoy spending time with our parents. I’m grateful for that kind of oddity.

5. My friends. Recently a small group of good people gathered for chicken pot pie at a cozy restaurant in the Castro to celebrate my birthday, and I looked around the table at all these people who love me–just love me, asking nothing of me in return–and I was overwhelmed with my good fortune to have all these lovely ones in my life.

6. Books. I’ve been reading so many good ones lately. Right now I’m nearly finished with Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. God, I love books. I love getting lost in another world or being enraptured with the turn of someone else’s phrase. I would be lost without words in my life.

7. New acquaintances. You’re never too old to make new friends, and I’ve made two new forays in that direction recently, meeting Louise, the friend of a friend, and Julie, who took my photo for her art project I live here: SF. I love those unexpected moments when you connect with someone new and think, “Huh. This chick’s pretty cool.”

8. Etsy. Yes, I know, it’s geeky. But this website has opened me up to a whole new world of artists and crafters and seamstresses and amazingly creative people. My sister bought me a Lisa Falzon print off Etsy for my birthday this month and I’m totally in love with it. How else would I have discovered an illustrator in Ireland and have one of her pieces hanging on my dining room wall?

9. Creative outlets. My writing group, first and foremost. The girls in this group rock my face off every time we meet, and I’ve written some things this year that would not have been possible without their input. And then there are the cinepoems. Michelle and I just continue to work so well together and continue to churn out new ideas. We just finished “Homogeneous” and already we’ve got another shoot in the works for December.

10. San Francisco. As I said in my last post, I just really really love this city. It’s a beautiful, weird, wonderful place and I’m so happy that I get to call it my home.

As it turns out, there’s so much to be grateful for, even in the midst of a truly crazy year. And I am, I am grateful. And lucky. And blessed.

And so are you.

-Lo, choosing the bright side.

i live here: SF

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

mood: delighted | drinking: teashalott2

It’s no secret that I’m in love with this city I call home. I’ve been living in San Francisco for just a couple weeks shy of 10 years now, and I think I love it here even more now than I did the first day I arrived.

That’s why I was eager to be a part of a very cool art project called i live here: SF.

Last week I spent a few hours on a fine sunny morning at (and on) Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park with Julie Michelle (aka TangoBaby), shooting a bunch of pretty amazing pictures for her website.

Julie has been chronicling the faces and stories of the people of San Francisco for nearly a year now. In her own words, “It is my goal to share some of the spirit and fascinating layers of this city through the eyes and visages of those who live here.”

I’m happy to be a part of Julie’s art. My photo shoot and story are featured on her blog today. Go check it out (there are more photos if you click through the link at the bottom that says “see the rest of LaDonna’s photo shoot”).

Be sure to read all the tales my fellow San Franciscan’s have to tell, too. And if you’re a San Francisco native or transplant and you want to be a part of the i live here: SF project, just drop Julie a line at ilivehereSF@gmail.com.

Fair warning, however — you could spend hours on her site. (They’d be hours well spent, though.)

It seems to be a good day to be featured on SF blogs… “Homogeneous” got a shout out on Muni Diaries today! Check it out.

-Lo, trying to work a Lady of Shalott sort of vibe.

All God’s children are not beautiful.

Friday, November 13th, 2009

mood: almost there | drinking: agua

homogeneous_startBreak out the confetti cannons. A new cinépoem has arrived.

I’d like to present the latest This Blank Page poetry production, Homogeneous, featuring the voice and face talents of the lovely Emanuela Quaglia and the always fabulous Jim Doll.

This is a cinépoem like no other. Not only because you get to actually hear from the guest stars, but also because we filmed it “in triplicate.” Just take a look, you’ll see what I mean. You can view it on The Cinépoems page or on YouTube. (If you do head over to YouTube, be sure to leave us a star or five, yeah?)

Thanks to my fellow compatriot, Michelle Brown for her continuing dedication to the art of cinépoetry, which sometimes includes getting in front of the camera, and also to Kathy Azada (who served as production assistant AND extra). And special shout outs to Melissa Fondakowski and Darren Rodriguez for their sparkling cameos.

Go. Watch. Enjoy.

-Lo, trying to make herself presentable.

If Wishes Were Fishes

Monday, November 9th, 2009

mood: stretched | drinking: extra-strength tea

wishes

There’s no use pretending otherwise. I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I’m worn too thin.

And I’m mostly out of words–the good ones, anyway. It’s very rare that I run out of words totally and completely. So I’ve got a few left in me, as you can see. But I can’t promise that they’ll be anything worth getting all worked up over.

So I sit here on the eve on my *whispermumble*nth birthday (that would be Tuesday, November 10th, if you’re keeping track) and try to gather my wits and set down a few thoughts that have some semblance of order.

Every year, on my birthday, since as long as I can remember, I have the overwhelming compulsion to get all reflective and write something profound, some gorgeous and overwrought statement about myself and my life and the meaning of it all. This year is, in that respect, no different than all the previous years.

In all other respects, however, this year has been very different. It’s been quite a son of a bitch.

The last few weeks alone have been, well, I don’t have the right word that will adequately define the last few weeks. Insanified? Critchy? Whoppadoozical? I don’t know.

It all started about the time we closed escrow on our new house. Which is good and lovely and amazing and yay and all that. However, we haven’t moved yet b/c we wanted to do some work on said house before unloading all our boxes. Electricians were hired, plumbers were called, I took a week off work and painted for 7 straight days. Etcetera.

In the midst of all that, my mom and dad came out to visit from Illinois, so there was a lot of back-and-forth between my house and my sister’s place, 2 hours away.

My grandmother came out with my parents, and ended up falling ill while she was here, so there was a bit of consternation.

Then my in-laws were in town for a little bit, at the same time as my parents. Then Boy had to go out of town for a bit. And I had to go back to work. And LeeLoo developed a giant hematoma overnight on her ear that required surgery and stitches and the cone of shame. As soon as that one was healed, she grew herself another one on the other ear.

So as you can see, it’s been Whoppadoozical.

Now I’m back at work and trying to pack up the apartment as well, because we move on Saturday. So taking the time to write this post feels like a self-indulgent luxury. But necessary, somehow.

Anyway, as I started to say a few paragraphs ago, it all really started before all the visitors and plumbers and painting. It started right before that with a couple of fairly life-shaking events.

And I don’t mean to be a tease, but I’m not going to tell the world wide web about those events right now. I’m not ready to talk about them yet. I have barely had time to figure out what they mean to me. But I likely will refer back to them at some point in the near future.

It’s just important for me to realize, in the context of my impending birthday, that I have never experienced such a year of change and upheaval and alteration. I guess if I go back all the way, it started just over a year ago, the first week of November 2008 when my Nana died, I got laid off from my job, and attended a funeral on my birthday.

Things just haven’t gone back to normal since then. But I have hopes that they will. It will be a new kind of normal, but still…

So I suppose that is my birthday wish this year. A return to normal. Some semblance of peace. Me and Boy and dog and fog and a little bit of quiet. That’s all I ask for.

And, let’s be honest, a few un-normal things like a new adventure across the sea wouldn’t be out of the question, either. Don’t want to get too boring in my old age, after all…

-Lo, in need of new words and more time to write them.