What the Whaaaa???

We are living in a Brave New World, 1984 is code for 2017 and Androids Do Dream of Electric Sheep.

 

I’ve been avoiding this topic, that of the current American government since the election. Since the Republic has come into power I haven’t been able to find the words to describe my state of consciousness. I guess I could say that I’m in shock and have progressively fallen deeper in shock every passing day since Jan. 21st 2017.

 

Since T-bags election I’ve been manipulated by sales people lying to me about their product, hacked twice, once on my Netflix and another time on instagram, received telephone messages with a 1970’s sci-fi computer voice stating that I was being sued by the IRS and needed to call the number they provided immediately, and the piece de resistance was the $9000.00 I won from the government for being such an outstanding citizen because I always pay my taxes…interesting how the IRS is simultaneously suing me for not paying my taxes and giving me thousands of dollars for paying my taxes; the catch? I had to give them my personal bank information and they would transfer the money. What, the government doesn’t own checks? Crazy breeds crazy and the crazies are coming out in hoards. It’s like a dark cloud has shrouded the planet (or maybe it’s just New York haze) and all of the damaged shysters are coming out in droves ever since the biggest dickweed in American history has been elected President of the United States. I have nothing against choosing to be a shyster as your personal career path, I always say do what you love, but for the love of God, do it well. If you’re going to steal why not steal from those who can afford to loose, why steal from people who might get evicted because you stole their rent check or whose children might starve that month because you’re the dickhead who fucked them over. Why not become such an amazing shyster that you manage to steal from all the fuckers bragging about the multi-gazillion dollars they posses…ehem…Mr. T-bag…ehem….

 

In all honesty, I don’t know how to talk about the current political climate.   It is all so unbelievably ridiculous that I almost feel foolish discussing it, questioning how anyone can waste their time arguing against these idiotic politicians who are working to pass the most moronic policies that will destroy the very fabric that this country was founded on. And arguing with the people who voted for this?! They call themselves American but are they so blind and ignorant that they can’t see that the current president and his lackeys are the most un-American individuals that have ever had that much power in the US government in history? I can’t describe the amount of times, growing up Canadian, that I heard throughout the years, how Americans hated Communism…naturally they elected a mentally handicapped American version of Hitler, makes total sense.

 

It’s all so ridiculous it’s surreal. I feel like I’m living in a very dark comedy about some very stupid individuals playing monopoly with real money whilst smoking crack, who perform group rituals wearing hooded robes and devil horns chanting in circles before sacrificing a goat and eating its heart right before signing documents destroying the freedom of the citizens who voted for them.

 

I read The Handmaids tale in high school and thought how interesting but totally implausible, a culture couldn’t possible regress to such extent after progressing so much. Well, here we are in 2017 and the current president of the United States, aka: the Free World, wants to take away health care and basic human rights from it’s citizens. He and his administration want to remove a womans right to decide what happens to her own body. He wants to go to war with every brown country on the planet and his besties are insane dictators that also have massive mental problems and keep their citizens imprisoned within the invisible lines of their countries boundaries.

 

The president himself is a caricature, a disgusting example of a human man that 99% of women on the planet look at and cringe, right before the words, “eewwww, gross” erupt from their mouths. His disgusting appearance would be something that I wouldn’t normally address, a politician’s lack of attractiveness has never been the important bit, but his atrocious personality and idiocy drive me to fight dirty sometimes. He’s an icky, slimy, ugly, gross ass dude. The type of dude that you make fun of in the club because he’s so oblivious that he actually thinks he’s got a shot. The kind of dude that touches you without being invited and you shrivel into a little ball in disgust because the skin on his hand is so disgustingly slimy. ICK. The kind of dude that your girlfriends come to save you from. The kind of dude that you walk away from confused that he had the nerve to attempt to hit on you in the first place, he must have a mirror somewhere in his house. The kind of dude that makes you think, if lizard people actually exist he is one of them.

 

This entire reality feels so hypnagogic that I genuinely wonder if the all-encompassing “they” aren’t waiting until next April 01st to announce the worldwide gag. If I were an audience member in an auditorium, (Because lets face it, we’re all audience members watching this atrocity. The only difference is that we can’t walk out and whatever policies are passed will affect you and everyone you care about.) I would laugh so very hard at the absurdity of it all, but living in the city where the presidents wife resides and participating in protests and speaking with locals and listening to the outrage of citizens coming to grips with the horrific reality that has just taken place; the damage that is already in process and the damage that we are all fearing will be next, is genuinely frightening.

 

Which is why I don’t know what to say. Not really.   I’m completely dumbfounded as to how this lunatic was elected in the first place, are so many Americans that oblivious? I’m tired of hearing the intellectual, analytical analysis’ of the people and their geographical ignorance and bigotry and sexism and etc., etc., etc. I’m tired of hearing about the most likely mental instability of the current President of the United States, don’t tell me you didn’t realize this whilst watching his reality television show. I’m tired of hearing about the investigations into his ties with Russia. As far as I’m concerned, he was a man who had so many counts against him before ever running for President that he should have been denied participation from the beginning. What we need to analyze and take responsibility for is how the American people allowed a man like this to run for President in the first place, and I mean all Americans. Stop hiding behind your denial, own your part. Then, once we take ownership for our mistakes we can work to remove him and his team from the government.

 

I haven’t found the silver lining yet and everything around the world seems to be imploding in it’s own way.

 

My solution, as of this moment is to live off the grid. Become 100% self-sufficient and create the life and atmosphere that I want for my family and myself. Fuck you dumb as government officials. I’m going to build an eco friendly, organic, free range, fair trade home and there is nothing you can do about it. You’re all morons or dickheads anyway, and I’m not just referring to the American government, Canada, you’re in this too, so are you France and England and Korea and Russia and every other country in the world that has dumb ass policies and dumb ass people running those policies. You Can ALL Suck It.

 

 

Nicotine

Part I

 

Emotional Withdrawals of smoking

 

Holy Shitballs Batman, I’ve Gone Batshit Crazy

 

The very first time I quit I had heard over and over and over again, “just breath through it. The craving will pass in a minute or five if you just breath through it.”

 

This was bullshit.

 

For the first 3 days that “craving” was like one continuous state of consciousness, blanketed by an eternal fog that gave me flashbacks of the 18 hour acid trip that I had when I was 16 years old. Mid-way through day two I was totally mind fucked and freaking out that this was going to be my brain without drugs for the rest of my life. I couldn’t just breath through those cravings the first few days, I had to breath through the still when it would grace me with it’s presence as I kept repeating, like some cracked out yogi, “it’s only three days, it’s only three days, mecca lecca high mecca hiney ho, it’s only three fucking days.”

 

By mid-day day 4 the fog lifted and I was able, even if just for an hour, to understand that this was going to get better and that I didn’t fry my brain on nicotine after all.

 

I made it one miserable week that very first time I quit three years ago. Every day of that week was filled with waves of rage, fear, and depression. I was completely irrational and would explode out of nowhere, for no reason. Everything bothered me and I wanted to punch everyone in the face all the time. When I lit that first cigarette on the following Sunday I was free, I felt sane again. I knew it was the mirage of addiction but I didn’t care, I just wanted to feel lucid. I had been smoking for over 20 years. For the following three months, I tortured myself with one cigarette a week, not realizing that I was never truly cleansing my system of the nicotine, which meant that there was never a day that I didn’t crave smoking, which inevitably led to my failure. One cigarette a week, a year and a half later had worked it’s way back up to 4 a day. Good by most smokers standards, but not good enough.

 

About 6 months later was the second attempt. I didn’t last two days before the insanity of the psychological withdrawal got the better of me.

 

The third time was truly magical. I had decided to quit while my mom was visiting.

 

Don’t worry, she knew.

 

We had planned that she would come and visit for one week and stay with me while I went through the first withdrawals. Because I already knew about the mind fuck that was about to happen and because I had my beautiful loving parent taking care of me, I felt safe. My main withdrawal this time round was feeling stoned, other than that I slept more than usual, ate more sugar than usual and cried a little more than usual. I was so happy and grateful to have my mom here to help me that I almost forgot about the other withdrawal symptoms. I was a super hero and felt like I was on my way to being a non-smoker FOREVER!

 

My mom flew out on day 8.

 

I lit my next cigarette on day 9; not for any stressful reason, just because I wanted to test the waters. I wanted to see if I could smoke a cigarette and not feel withdrawals the next day, and you know what, I did and I didn’t. It worked. Two days after that first cigarette, I smoked my second… and so… it began again.

 

I was going to quit. I needed to quit. It was imperative that I quit.

 

For a woman who is so dead set on living her life in health and happiness and freedom it was pretty ironic that my main crutch was killing and depressing and imprisoning me. Every single day that I did smoke I thought about quitting. Every single day I thought about how much I stank to passers-by. I thought about children walking with their parents and the second hand smoke that I was blowing into their lungs. I thought about how my hair smelt, especially in the winter and how unattractive it was when I smelt it on my clothes. Every single day I thought about how much better I would perform in my athletics if I didn’t smoke and how not being able to run 5 minutes in a row wasn’t because, “I just didn’t like running all that much”, but rather it was because my lungs couldn’t sustain the oxygen because I was killing them slowly. Every single day I thought about the snarls from the smoker haters and the neighbors wishing that I smoke in front of someone else’s building. There was no question. No debate. It was going to happen. But the very first thing I needed to do was forgive myself for failing. The second was to forgive myself for smoking. The third was to devise a plan, BROO HAHAHA!

 

I analyzed my experiences and put a plan into motion. I knew that I needed to feel supported and safe. I needed to feel cared for and needed people that I trusted around me. I also knew that I needed this support for longer than a week. I knew that those first few weeks were pivotal to my success and that I needed to create an environment that was conducive to said success.

 

The quit date was December 21st, 2016. I was flying home for the holiday on the 20th and there wasn’t a chance in Hell that I was going to quit on that day.

 

The next day it was.

 

The following three weeks were riddled with cravings, rage, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, irrational outbursts, sleepiness, judgmental criticism, nit-picking, emotional regression, flashback, and so much more I can’t even describe it all. By week three I truly felt like I was going insane. I was staying at my mom’s house and was the most horrible houseguest anyone could ever dream of. Ok, not that bad, I cooked almost ever day, cleaned on occasion and was often entertaining, but my mood shifted like the tides and no one, including myself, knew when the next outburst was going to erupt. I felt like I was going through a second puberty experiencing high hormonal shifts, excessive emotional sensitivity, taking offense at just about everything and flying into an angry lecture at the drop of a hat.

 

In week three I had one massive outburst where in the middle of my rage driven, loud, irrational lecture about nothing in particular, except everything that I hated about everything, something clicked. I had one second of awareness amidst the madness. I saw that what I was arguing, and the words that I was speaking were all ridiculous and completely irrelevant. They didn’t mean anything and held no weight. They were just angry words that I was yelling out angrily at my mother, the innocent bystander. Her patience is truly something to be seen. It was in that moment that I saw all of the emotional insanity for what it was, withdrawal, and it was in that moment that I was finally able to apologize and begin to heal.

 

I had no idea of the amount of pain I was avoiding with every cigarette. I had no idea the feelings I dismissed with every inhale. I had no idea how much the nicotine dictated my interpretation of my emotional reactions to things. It was a blockade and I feel like those first three weeks were the flood after the tsunami, every pain and insecurity and frustration and annoyance and judgment came rushing to the surface as a means for expulsion.

 

45 days and counting.

 

UNFRICKEN BELIEVABLE!!!!

 

NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DID I THINK THIS WAS EVEN REMOTELY POSSIBLE!!!
But you know what, I knew that I would keep trying forever until I succeeded, even if that meant to the death. “En-Garde El Capitain Cigarello, I took you down sucka!”

 

Before I begin to explain my journey of strange and unusual side effects that I have been experiencing since becoming a lucid non-smoker, I would like to apologize from the depths of my soul to my mother. You grew me in your belly for nine months, popped me out of your vagina (because according to your story I just popped right out), raised me in your home until the age of 18 and have continued to raise me in your heart ever since. I am so very sorry, from the bottom of my soul for those initial three weeks of madness that I put you through. I went temporarily insane, flying in and out of rages that were driven by trivialities. I was constantly irritated if not down right aggravated, picking on your ever last move. I apologize for taking all of that deep-rooted angst that had very little to do with you, out on you. I am so very sorry. You didn’t deserve such cruelty and disrespect. You are the woman who popped me out of her body and raised me more brilliantly than the majority of mothers that have ever existed on this planet. I am eternally grateful that you are my mother and ask you humbly for your forgiveness. I could not have quit without your love and support and patience.   Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!

 

Part II

 

Physical Withdrawals of Nicotine

 

Sense of Smell

 

Have you ever seen that movie “Push” staring the Oh So Delectable Chris Evans? He plays a dude who can push things with his mind. Impressive. I know. Well, there are super villains, in the movie, who are called Sniffers. That’s right Sniffers and you guessed it, they smell things, and get information from them. When anyone ever asks me what my super power would be, (and yes, I have been asked this many times) I think about what my strengths are and exaggerate them, for instance, I can jump really high naturally, so I would be like super man jumping skyscrapers in a single bound….and….I have an insane sense of smell, always have, even before I quit smoking….so, I think it goes without saying that I would be a Sniffer…only for the good guys….

 

Superhero power aside, it has been said that cigarette smoke destroys your sense of smell, which destroys your sense of taste, which will lead to all kinds of cancers everywhere in your body, and that when you quit smoking your sense of smell increases and you’re able to taste food again and the possibility of cancers exponentially decreases. Yay!!!! Right?!? Mostly…

 

Because I’ve always had a great sense of smell, I never really had any trouble tasting my food; I never needed to douse it with hot sauce or salt and often smelt and tasted the subtleties in gastronomy. Since quitting, I’m thanking the good Lord that I’ve quit in winter when many of the smells of the city are frozen in scentless hibernation and my super sense of scent has time to adjust, because had I landed in NY, 44 days cigarette free, with this superhero schnaze, I certainly would have died from a cerebral aneurysm triggered by nasty scent stimulation.

 

Humans create some massive stank on a regular, daily, minute to second basis and it can be absolutely disgusting. Walking down the street I smell the roses at the local Bodega followed by the fart of the dude sitting on the box in front of the coffee shop. I smell the perfume of the woman clad in fur in 40 degree weather, followed by the body odor of the dude who hasn’t showered in days, coming out of the gym. I smell the cologne of the handsome suit, not too much, just enough to make me want to come in a little closer for a nice sniff, then his stank ass breath. I know what you’re thinking, “how creepy are you to lean in close enough to a total stranger to smell his breath?” I’ll be honest really fricken creepy close, my super scent is not that super. His fault, quite frankly for wearing such nice cologne; my creepiness paling in comparison to the masturbator hiding on the subway platform or the frotteur on the rushour subway car, or the grab and go subway stud. I digress, creepy subway experiences are for another post. What was I talking about? Oh yes….Fart fart fart, fart fart, fart fart. Farts of all shapes and sizes and scents. Everybody’s fucking farting in the city. The worst are the scents on the subway. WTF people, WTF? You have IBS, ok, you get a pass. You have Crohn’s, ok, you too, go ahead, pass go. The rest of y’all couldn’t you wait until we are all able to walk away from your stank, couldn’t you at least do us all that one solid courtesy?

 

Right, so I’m exaggerating…slightly, for the effect, but you catch my drift. If my sense of smell was super powered before I quit smoking, what do you think it’s like now?! Insane in the membrane!!!!

 

Side Effect #1 of quitting smoking: You get your sense of smell back

 

Digestion Progression, Hunger and Metabolism

 

You better believe I’m going there! Yes, we all do it, we all shit and fart and process the food we consume. It’s disgusting to most, lovely to others, and when I die I will be grilling God as to why It found it necessary to create this as humans primary means of expulsion; until then lets talk about the effects of nicotine on the digestive tract!

 

I know right, a topic you have been dying to learn more about!!!

 

I found so many articles and studies written on the gastrointestinal diseases that can occur as a side effect of regular nicotine consumption. Here are two that I personally found interestingly descriptive.

 

According to an article written by Jack Claridge for Tummy Trouble, nicotine can greatly affect digestion, from enhancing IBS symptoms to inducing Crohn’s disease. So all you IBS and Crohn’s subway farters, note to you, if you’re smokers, quitting might minimize your symptoms if not possibly eliminate them. ( I am not a medical professional and you should seek professional advice over mine)

http://www.tummytrouble.co.uk/nicotineandyourstomach.html

 

A more clinical article describing the metabolism and pharmacological actions of nicotine is, “Mechanisms of Disease: nicotine – a review of it’s actions in the context of gastrointestinal disease”, written by Gareth AO Thomas, John Rhodes and John R Ingram, published by Nature Clinical Practice: http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v2/n11/full/ncpgasthep0316.html Also describes certain digestive diseases as side effects of regular consumption of nicotine.

 

These studies aside, I had trouble finding any clinical research on the side effects of quitting nicotine so forgive my anecdotes but here is my personal synopsis, from my own research and personal experience…

 

I think most of you are aware that nicotine is a stimulant and as a stimulant, side effects could include, fast easy digestion, feeling full, and a faster metabolism. But what happens when you are taking the stimulant several times a day for over 20 years? It no longer acts as a stimulant but rather acts as normal digestion; in other words, regular bowl movements, regular hunger pangs, and regular metabolism. Which begs the question, what happens when a smoker of 20 odd years stops smoking cold turnkey?

 

Well, let me tell you, constipation, starvation sensation and a slowed metabolism.

 

I started having regular bowl movements one month after I quit smoking cold turkey. I went from a healthy regular mover, at least once, often two, sometimes three times a day to, nadda, nothing, niet. Days went by without one ounce of physical movement. The gas on the other hand was a whole other story. That was knoxious and toxic and quite possibly dangerous to anyone in the near vicinity. I would guestimate potentially as lethal as toxic cow farts, that are allegedly destroying our ozone. Yes, I do believe that I contributed, in that first month, to the deterioration of the ozone with my knoxious fumes. Going out in public was hazardous to overall human health.

 

After the first month my inards did finaly start to move more frequently and I am proud and grateful to admit that I am back up to once a day activity and looking forward to the continued progression and regular reliability in that department.

 

It has been said that the reason new non-smokers eat more stems from a Freudian theory about oral fixation. The basic gist being that a smoker is so used to having a cigarette in his/her mouth that he/she just has to stuff his/her face with food 24/7. Well let me tell you, this is a total load of bollox. My theory: I have just been ingesting a stimulant for 20 or so years and now, out of nowhere, I’m not. My body, that was used to hunger satiation through the production of sugars derived from the absorption of nicotine is no longer getting that satisfaction and is realizing that it is actually hungry for real food!!! Holy MOLY!!! FOOD!!! Where I used to be able to go until lunch before eating, I am now hungry 20 minutes after waking and continue to feel real hunger ALL DAY SON!

 

How ‘bout that metabolism.

 

(Said in valley girl accent)

 

You are well aware by now that I’m not pooping as much as I used too and yet I’m totes hungry, like all the fricken time and ummm, you’re so not going to believe this buuuuuhht my metabolism has all but disappeared.

 

I mean stimulants…well…stimulate.

 

With every cigarette came increased heart rate, increased digestion, increased metabolism…not to mention increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cancers…but who’s counting. I am physically active, which does reduce the risk of my becoming morbidly obese. I have gained, what seems to be around five lbs, (I don’t actually weigh myself so wouldn’t know exactly) two of which have gone directly to my boobs (thank you) and am confident that this will be the gist of it given that I’ve been very active and extremely health conscious for many years now. That being said, I am finding it extremely difficult not to supply my dopamine deprived brain of sugars and treats and junk food. I have actually craved gummie worms and sour patch kids. WTF? I haven’t craved that shit since I was 20.

 

The solution you ask?

 

Clinically, I couldn’t tell you, I am not a medical professional and have not performed extensive scientific studies on this shit. Personally though, I believe the solution is time. My digestive functions are semi proof of this. I believe that in time my body will reconfigure itself to it’s healthy, regular functions, all I need is patience and understanding. I’m easy on myself most days. Eating those sugar cravings like the world is going to end tomorrow and then gyming most of it away. I am actively understanding that I’ve just put my body through a major upheaval that it doesn’t realize it’s going to thank me for later and is torturing me for now. I love you body. I’m sorry I tried to kill you slowly for almost half of my life. Believe me when I tell you that in two more months you’ll be flying high and in a years time, you’ll be praising the Universe for giving me the strength I needed to battle and beat this beast.  But until then, I give you grace and leeway, so what you gotta do consciously and we’ll get through this together.

 

Side Effect #2: Complete digestive upheaval, Hunger like no other, slower metabolism (couldn’t think of a cheeky phrase for that last one).

 

 Increased Oxygenation

 

Smokers inhale smoke everyday, which inhibits the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is essential to life as we know it. (obvious) As a smoker, we reduce the flow of oxygen throughout our bodies, causing shortness of breath (also obvious), lower blood/oxygen levels, (pretty obvious) and decreased circulation (slightly less obvious).

 

This has been the one area of complete success from the get go. I noticed improvements in my body after the very first day. The first run I went on, I ran longer than I had in years. The second run I cut my time by 10 minutes. When I take full deep belly breaths I can almost feel the oxygen coursing through my veins, no exaggeration. I still have chest tightness and minor coughing, but from what I’ve read, this is a normal part of the healing process. I used to get numb feet if I sat in the same position too long, that doesn’t happen anymore. My hands and feet were ALWAYS cold, now they’re only cold when they should be. My orgasms have increased in length and strength and multiplicity. Who knew? Had I known I would never have started smoking in the first place.

 

Side Effect #3: Oxygen is in my body

 

Skin and Overall Health

 

All in all everything (aside from my digestion) has experienced almost immediate improvements. My skin is softer and pinker (less grey, I assume from all the oxygen flowing through it) and less fine line-y. My decreased fine lines might be caused by my increased weight, but maybe not, maybe the excess oxygenation is creating a faster regeneration and elasticity…whaddya think…sellable idea? My hair smells good, even when I haven’t washed all week. My skin smells nice and sweet, even when I don’t wear perfume. My eyes are clearer. My endurance is longer. I have more energy. I sleep better. I wake up alert. I feel free.

 

So I’ve put on a few pounds and have a psychotic sense of smell. The weight will work itself out and the nose I’ll get used to.

 

I have yet to develop my psychic ability but I can honestly say that I truly desire to be a non-smoker for the remainder of my life and look forward to the day, week, month, year, decade that passes where I don’t think about smoking, not even in passing. Someone who has never smoked a day in their life doesn’t ever think about picking up a cigarette and I look forward to being that person one day.

 

You might be asking, why I’m telling you all of these intimate personal details about my bowl movements and mental breakdowns and the reason is this, had I known the possible plethora of all side effects, emotional and physical, and had known the possible length of time for all of these side effects to go through their process, I might have been successful the first time round, or at least the second. It might not have taken me three years to get this far, maybe just one. If in the end I can help one person then I consider this post is a success. The main fear for me was always feeling like the “off” feeling or “crazy” feeling or constipated feeling was never going to go away. If I can ease just one persons anxiety, the humiliating transparency is worth it.

Crossroads do Exist

crossroadtraintrack

“Eventually all the pieces will fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.” Orebela Gbenga

 

This is an important time for me.  I’m at a sort of crossroad and I’m not sure exactly what direction to take.  I’ve been at crossroads before, but they mostly involved just me; this particular situation involves other people

Backstory

Three months ago I was on the phone with my immigration lawyers (I’m Canadian, in the US on a Visa).  We were discussing the possible options for my resting status in the USA.  Option one:  I reapply for the same Artists Visa but only get one year, rather than the original three.  Option number two:  I find a new sponsor and a new three year game plan and put together a new portfolio to apply for a new three year Visa.  Option four:  I become so famous that the American government wants to give me a green card.

Back-backstory

I fell in love with New York for the first time when I was 16.  My mother took me here for the weekend with a few other members of our family and I remember exiting the airport, getting into the cab and feeling totally and completely awestruck as the car drove on the FDR Highway to our hotel in midtown (typical tourist destination).  The buildings were so tall and congested, I’d never seen anything like it and the cab driver, like so many cab drivers in the city was excited for me, a proud immigrant, proud to be living in a city that so many people around the world revered.  I envied him and he knew it, he, in a way, envied himself, something I’ve only recently come to understand. 

It was summertime in the city and the sun was hot, the concrete steaming, the white noise endless.  People were everywhere and movement was constant, never a moment without something flashing in your periphery.  The energy was vibrating and every sense was stimulated, like just coming out of a London club still jacked on E.  We did all of the typical touristy things, went to a couple of Broadway shows and they were FANTASTIC!  Went shopping and the sales were phenomenal and ate at delicious restaurants.  We walked and walked and walked, went to central park and took a double decker bus around the city.  I fell in love.  I knew as I looked out of the window of that yellow cab, driving to the airport looking at the FDR highway’s skyline that I would be a New York city resident one day.

Flash-forward to present

I’ve been living in New York for five years, currently in year six, something I’m very proud of, an accomplishment worth envying.

More recent backstory

I moved to New York to go to school and have been living off of Visa’s ever since.  About a year ago I started feeling a discontent like I had never really felt before…or should I say, like I haven’t felt since I was 18 years old and moved away from home for the first time.  About a year ago I started feeling homesick for my family.  I’ve been living on my own since I was 18, save for a year out of undergrad when I was messing up my life because of the aftermath of my father’s death.   Once I straightened myself out I moved and haven’t returned since.  I’ve lived in 5 different cities, never staying longer than 4 years in each until now.  New York is where I believed I was going to make my permanent home, until about a year ago.

My nephew was born two years ago…I know what you’re thinking and you know what, you’re right.  I am not ashamed.  I do want a baby and he is the jewel of my eye.  I am a woman in her late 30’s who wants to have a baby and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I love children.  I always have and I would make an excellent mother, I really know this in my heart and soul, truly.  The love that I felt for my nephew was a new kind of love, a love that I’d only heard of and I knew right then and there that the love I would feel for my own child would be out of this world.

A few years ago, my thirty something friends who were all married and having babies of their own started asking me if I would consider in vitro.  I’d always wanted to have a partner to make, have and take care of a baby with, so my answer to them was always no accompanied by a long drawn out explanation that always felt like an excuse.  As I would explain to them my desire of wanting to share that experience with a soul mate, I would watch as their eyes glazed over with that look that says, “grrlll that ain’t never going to happen now.  You ain’t no spring chicken and you’re eggs are shrivelling right this moment, as we stare at you in judgement, so you better get on it.  There ain’t no such thing as Prince Charming, ain’t you heard???  You best do what we did and find the easiest schmuck to breed with so that you can be just as miserable as we are on the daily, but hey, at least you’ll have your baby, and we’ll get closer because we’ll all come together to complain about our husbands all while pretending to ourselves that this is human purpose.  Or just get a baby put in you.  Either way we’ll be able to get together and talk, because we all know that once a woman reaches a certain age, if she ain’t married and doesn’t have children, she ain’t got nothing to talk about, cause after 35, that’s the only thang she got and if she don’t got it she a freak.”  I’m not exactly sure why the voices have this accent, none of my friends actually have this accent, and I’m not totally sure what kind of accent this is…it just seems fitting somehow.

Needless to say I’ve been disconnecting from my old friends more and more as each year goes by; not because of insult so much as lack of compatibility.  I see the world differently and have come to see that my explaining myself to people who follow old world doctrines is futile.  I end up feeling like I’m making excuses and they can convince themselves that I am delusional, that I am too picky and that they made the right decision following the pack because now they are miserable just like everyone else, but that’s how it’s supposed to be right?! Everybody Loves Raymond being a pinnacle example of what my generation expects out of a marriage.  At least they are all miserable together for the same reasons.  I choose to be happy, albeit lonely but would bet cash money that my happy days trump their lonely ones, and I’m the single one. 

Which is a great Segway to why I’m not married.  Again, not by conscious choice…or is it???  Of course I take responsibility for the fact that the few proposals that I have had, I said no to and that although my heart was broken more than once, I broke the majority of hearts.  Everyone talks about men having commitment issues but for whatever patriarchal reason (fitting description given our current political climate) women were never allowed to have commitment issues.  So I sailed through my teens, twenties and half of my thirties never really realizing that that was a major issue of mine.  I was absolutely terrified of being swallowed whole into the deep dark depths of another human being never to be seen again.  I saw it first with my mother and my biological father, then again with my mother and my step-father, then again and again and again throughout the years with myself and my friends and family.  The main difference was that my friends married the people they gave their personalities away for and I ran from them…so…there’s that.

My friends in their 20’s are much more hopeful in regard to my romantic prospects, speaking to them (the best ones anyway) leaves me with a sense of hope, which is a gift that I am grateful for.  But they, like most humans reaching the mid-late 20’s are coupling up and soon will be breeding their own beautiful little bitties.

All this being said I do feel like I should mention that once upon a time I did fall very deeply in love with a man that I believed I was going to marry. I was broken hearted by a few that I felt could be “the one”.   In a way, I have tried it all.        

So…How Now Brown Cow?

The love that I once felt for this still great city is waning like a tired relationship.  My feet are getting itchy and the desire to run is percolating.  The fear that I’m living in an ever increasingly lonely loop reverberates on my brain like the rings of a water drop and I meditate to get my clarity back.  I refuse to fall into the loneliness depression.  It’s a depression that I’ve fallen into before, a very dangerous state of consciousness that if I fell into again, I fear I would not come out of.  I’m not ready to die, not quite yet; I still have a few things I’d like to try here on this tiny little planet in the middle of nowhere, before I hand in this towel.

Which brings me to my career.  “Of course!”  You say.  “What else?  A late 30’s, single, heterosexual, white female with no divorces and no children who seems relatively sane and accomplished.  IT’S HER CAREER!  SHE WAS ALWAYS FOCUSED ON HER CAREER!  Ok, I feel better.  I feel more comfortable reading this now.”  You sigh relief that you’ve discovered the explanation.  Admittedly, living in New York with this description is not all that strange, and actually is acceptable if not downright expected in some circles.  I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve heard people say that, New Yorkers don’t get married and have babies until they’re in their 40’s.  And this is accurate.  So many New Yorkers are focused on their careers and do desire to be autonomously successful before sharing their personal existences with other humans.  Another reason to a long list of why I love the city so much.  It really is progressive.  But is that enough? 

It’s true, I have been focused on my career my entire life.  I’m an artist.  My art is like a limb.  It doesn’t define me but it is essential to my composition.  I would feel phantom limb pain if I couldn’t create.  This in combination with my fear of being swallowed whole make a tincture that is relationship challenged.  Lord knows I like a challenge, but I think it’s time that I start picking my battles rather than have them pick me.

As the action oriented person that I can sometimes be, I decided to hire a PR lady to help jump start my fame.  3 months later, $6600.00 down the drain and nothing much to show for it.  Save for an article by a very nice lady from Metropolitan Magazine, I bought empty promises and a shit load of name dropping.  The most infuriating thing about this particular situation is that I could have generated more publicity and events on my own with that dough, but my doubt, insecurity, general fatigue and apathy and advice of my advocates swayed me to choose to hire a publicist.  Pretty much everything that I stand against.  It did prove to be fruitful to my education and confidence in my personal ability, which is no small feat but came at a cost, literally, that I could have avoided.  Lesson learned.  Fame will come to me if fame works within the doctrine of the Universe’s desires for me.  Other than my Visa and my desire to make a comfortable living at what I do, fame, in and of itself, is kind of irrelevant. 

Three months ago I was on the phone with my immigration lawyers talking to them about the possibilities for my future as a resident of the United States of America and I realized that my priorities have shifted.  I am at a crossroad.  Either I meet the man of my dreams and marry him and practice making beautiful babies with him every day (favorite possibility), move back to Canada to be close to my family or become so super famous that the American government wants to give me a green card. Applying for an artist Visa (unless already famous) is one of the most trying things I’ve ever done, one I would rather not repeat; the trial not worth the effort.  I would totally go for my green card and might actually decide to do so but think that if I was accepted I would move out of New York.  I don’t want to continue to live in lonely New York single. If I am to be single, I will with family, mainly my nephew, because he truly is the most majestic creature that was ever created.  Canada does offer free in vitro fertilization for its citizens so that is always an option.  But the idea of moving to a smaller place where I can see the stars at night, smell the trees in the summer, swim in the water, grow a garden, live off the grid (or at least almost), have a real studio outside of my living quarters, and spend time with my mother and my nephew, sounds incredibly inviting right about now. 

In the end I want to continue to be progressively happy.  I want to be able to share my sorrows with the people that I love and trust in my life, without fear of being judged.  I want to be financially stable to where I can live in a comfortable space, work in a comfortable space and not worry about paying my rent.  I want to be surrounded by the people that I love and meet more people to love.  I want to work on solo projects and collaborative projects that make a difference in the world.  I want to affect change whether through part time yoga teaching, part time painting teaching, and full time creating.  As long as I’m here, alive, living on Earth I want to make a difference, directly or indirectly.  I want to feel love as much as possible for as long as possible because I believe it is the only reason we exist in the first place.  I want to learn about the stars in the sky and contemplate whether the sky is real or an optical illusion.  I want to read fantasy novels for children.  I want to do yoga every day and learn how to do a full length handstand/arm balance sequence.  I want to be a superb baker.  I want to paint beautiful paintings that get more beautiful with time.  I want to make movies that are visually captivating.  I want to meditate and feel Gods presence. I want to share my thoughts, ideas and philosophies with people who are not only ready to listen but also ready to dialogue.  I want to work with others who have integrity and drive and passion.  I want to make love with one special man that I choose to make love with who chooses to make love with me.    

I have been working toward these goals throughout my life, but I am coming to a point where I’m going to have to make a decision.  Turn left or right?  I’m still not 100% sure about where I’m going, but I am 100% sure why I’m going there.  That’s something, right?! 

 

 

American Election 2016

The energy in the city last night was quiet and tense. My usually packed 7pm yoga class was sparse and somber, the instructor started class with a five-minute meditation that was very much needed. The few people actually in the gym were simply going through the motions of working out while maintaining their sight line on the nearest television screen posting updates of the election.

I am heartbroken.

The energy in the city today is quiet and somber, a depressed sort of shock vibrating through the streets. Compassion in still silence and gentle apologetic smiles emanate from the people, a majority understanding in New York city, that something in this country has gone terribly wrong. A country that I’ve admired my entire life, and still do if I pay attention to all of the beautiful people that I’ve met over my 9 years here. But, I’m scared. I’m scared for myself, I’m scared for my friends who are my family, and I’m scared for this country; a country that represented opportunity and peace and freedom, a country where dreams were made, a country where individuality, ingenuity and passion were encouraged. Sure there have always been bigots and racists and sexists and nay sayers, but they exist everywhere, what was so magnificent about this country was that you could always find someone who believed in your dreams as much as you did. You could always find the possibility for opportunity. The desire for success was not just a pipe dream but was something tangible, something pliable, something attainable.

What about my friends of color, what about my friends in interracial relationships, same sex relationships, what of their children? What about transgender people, are they going to have to be afraid of Trump grabbing their pussies? What about all of the females in the country? What about people of varying faiths? What about the majority of Americans? If we include, immigrants, people of color, LGBT community, divergent faiths, and women in the USA, they make up the majority of the American population, so is this to say that the majority of Americans are now in danger of loosing their freedom, a philosophy that this country was founded on?

What now?

In this disgusting exhibit of bigotry is an opportunity. The extreme hatred and ignorance that has permeated this great land is atrocious and frightening… but it also represents how Westerners have evolved; the other half of the country proving that Capitalism is not longer satisfactory, that equality and egalitarianism is the desire, that acceptance, humanitarianism, environmentalism is the goal. Often before great change there is a great divide, a divide of extremes that provokes the laymen to stand up and do what’s right. Maybe this day is the day that real progress and change can begin to take place. If I know my American compadres the way that I believe I do, they are not going to sit around watching while their country goes to shit, they are going to stand up and fight. The term revolution has been thrown around for several years now and maybe now is the time that a great revolution take place. We the people do have the power and sometimes we need a massive kick in the ass to make that change. This is most certainly a MASSIVE kick in the A$$!

Before the Women’s Movement, women were regarded as less than and were denied many rights. Before the Civil Rights Movement people of color suffered through segregation, oppression and violent hate crimes. Before the Gay Rights Movement people had to hide their identities, were ostracized and condemned. These issues have not disappeared, but there has been great change and progress. The new generation of children are growing up in a world where being a woman, person of color and/or gay is no longer a hindrance on success. That is progress. We mustn’t let an A$$ HOLE alter or change that.

If there is any light at the end of this tunnel, I hope it is this. I hope and I pray that this election is proof that half of the American population are finally ready for an egalitarian community that nurtures one another, that supports and enhances education, small business, environmentally friendly power, nation wide health care, peace, truth, equality, love, compassion and understanding. Over 120,000,000 people is a lot of power and I hope and I pray that this once great country will fight to be great again. The United States is like no other country I’ve ever been in, the people are like no other people in the world, I have hope that things will be made right and that the country that I grew to call home will be a better place.

Don’t Hate Me Because I Eat Meat

I’ve been eating a vegan diet for 6 weeks now. I’ve read that it takes 3 weeks for your body to adjust to a new eating plan, and get over any toxic cravings it might have from the old eating plan. I’ve surpassed that point and for all intensive purposes, according to many vegan experts and vegan athletes and vegan doctors and vegan nutritionists, I should be feeling better, more energized and satisfied.

Unfortunately, I’m not finding this to be my case. Being as athletic as I am I was concerned that being a vegan might inhibit my performance, but reading and listening to so many vegan athletes talk about how they perform the best ever as vegans, assured me that all of the legumes, grains, fruit and veggies would provide enough sustenance to maintain that very important aspect of my life. My athleticism has saved my life on several occasions and for obvious reasons it’s not something that I am willing to let go of. For that reason, my increasing lack of energy and endurance has started to be a real concern (as it should be regardless).

I think it’s fabulous that there are people who can live their healthiest, most energetic, strongest self on a vegan diet, but it really doesn’t seem to be working for me. After 6 weeks of veganism, I am more tired that I’ve been in months, I don’t have the endurance and strength that I used too and am loosing my muscle definition; where I was once aiming for a real 6-pack, I’m now just wishing to get my 2 pack back. I am constantly hungry even though I’m eating just as many calories as I was when I was a meat eater and if you think I’m a “fat vegan” you’re wrong; I started my vegan diet by ordering meals (that I cook) from a company that creates organic vegan recipes, filled with whole grains, legumes, veggies, nuts, etc. I make sure that my body gets everything that it needs. I am a body conscious woman. I’ve always had a very strong mind body connection and have always been able to recognize when something needs to change.

So…I’ve decided to be vegan-ish. I bought a few really amazing cookbooks that have some of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever tasted, the deserts are magical and everything that I’ve made thus far has had rave reviews, friends asking for the recipes! I don’t care for milk enough to bring that back and have found some fabulous companies that make really delicious dairy-free butter, yogurt and ice cream. I love beans and lentils and love the combination of rice with them. Sprouted gluten free wheat berry bread is one of my favorite breads, nuts have been a longtime go-to snack, and I’ve recently discovered that I love farro, an ancient grain that is jacked with nutrients. I don’t crave sugar like I used to and have overall better gut function (aside from the initial beans everyday thing…I’m sure you can figure that one out). I love making my own chia pudding, nut butters and nut milks and have discovered so many different sources of protein that I’m almost paralyzed by analysis.

Here’s the thing, aside from knowing my body and listening to what it needs and providing for it, I am also from Viking, French and Native American decent, all big meat eaters…and…ehem…warriors. I think that there is some weight in that, like in the animal kingdom, giraffes eat the trees and lions eat the giraffes. One is no better than the other, and I’m certainly not going to go out and become a cannibal but I believe that there is some truth to different humans requiring different forms of nutrients to function at their personal highest capabilities and truly believe that meat is good for my body. I also believe that meat is not good for other peoples bodies, in the same way that carbs play nice with some and not others, in the same way that some people have peanut allergies…I could go on…need I say…gluten…

The human race so consistently desires ONE clear cut answer for everyone, all the time, everywhere, in every way, for everything, and the reality is that that does not exist, it never has. And even when we find something that fits the majority there are always exceptions to the rule and then just when you think you have all the answers, the majority rule shifts and changes over time… you catch my drift? Just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone and just because it works now doesn’t mean it’s going to work forever. Ya, I know you know this already, but I heard that little naggy voice inside your head, either cheering me on because you’re a meat eater and love it or nagging me because you’re a vegan and love it. Either way, meat eaters or not, humans should be more conscious of what they are consuming and less judgmental of others’ choices.

Here’s my shtick, I’m not one for extremes. I learned a long time ago that what keeps my mind, body and soul at peace is balance and what seems to be my body’s balance is incorporating meat into my diet. I’m not going to eat it everyday, probably not even every other day. I’m not going to bring dairy back (save for the occasional ice cream because it’s delicious). And I am going to maintain my vegan food by continuing to cook delicious vegan recipes, drinking homemade vanilla cashew milk, and experimenting with making my own butter-less butter, etc etc., but until I have the time and the energy to loose time and energy experimenting with a solution, meat is making it’s way back into my body.

A part of me feels guilty and wants to apologize, but I can’t do that. Before trying veganism, I always ate free range, organic meats. The leanest, healthiest and most natural of all meats, produced by farmers who respect the animals they slaughter. (Oxymoron? Perhaps.) This is a part of who I am at this time and listening to my body, treating it with love and respect includes feeding it the right foods for me. I’ll probably give the Vegan lifestyle another go at another time; who knows, maybe in 50 years when I’ve decided that being strong and athletic is no longer a priority, I’ll happily slip into a plant-based regime once again. Until then, I choose to gain my strength back and eat choice meat every now and again because my body loves me for it, not to mention find my abs.

That’s it, that’s all folks! 😉

Cannes Film Festival Part Deux

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Welcome to my second installment of my experience at the Cannes Film Festival. To those of you who’ve read the first installment this post might come as a surprise. To those of you who haven’t…

Many memorable experiences in my life have been riddled with contradictions; with great success travelled sorrow, with great love, loss, with great pain, enlightenment and vice versa. I’m working on leveling out the playing field and most days am quite successful but every now and again life throws you a curve ball that you’re ready to hit. Cannes was one of those curve balls for me.

I grew up in a time when films were a little hard to come by, compared to this day and age. Believe it or not, not that long ago, having a VHS machine was a luxury and going to the movie theatre a treat. Since before I was conscious I’ve loved stories. My mom would read different stories to me every night until I was old enough and literate enough to read them on my own and once I discovered film I was in wonderland. The Never Ending Story still topping the charts as one of my all time favorite movies, did I mention of all time?!

I love movies. I love everything about a good movie, I love the story and storytelling. I love cinematography and scene composition; how a seemingly mundane view can appear enchanting on screen. I love the soundtrack that enhances whatever mood the scene calls for. I love great acting in all of its exaggerated flair to its subtle perfection and everything in between. I love how in a great film all of these aspects come together to create a heartfelt romantic tale, a heart wrenching tragedy, a comedy that makes your belly laugh or a magnificent work of art and sometimes all of the above. I love the escape that a great film can induce, the magic that it produces and the inspiration that can ensue. I love how a great film sticks with you like glue and can guide you, affect you, make you think, laugh, cry, feel euphoric, rage driven and love. I love how the movement of a film, the color, lighting, and composition can feel like a painting in motion. I love feeling the films magnificence and imagining all of the individuals who came together to create this work of art; how their beings must have been so synced and how proud they must be with the finished product. I love thinking about the audience that will watch these great films and how their psyches and spirits might actually shift, how their minds might experience something new and expansive, even if it’s something as simple as a smile. I love every genre, every type, every kind of film and what sitting and watching for a couple of hours can produce. It’s magic.

I have had an abundance of fortune in my life and having the opportunity to attend Cannes was one of those fortunate experiences. My second movie on my second night in Cannes was a pinnacle experience in my movie viewing history; if sitting in a theatre, surrounded by talented film makers, actors, writers, directors, producers, wasn’t enough, I was about to embark on an epic journey that poetically depicted love in all of its magnitude. A film that for me exemplified the true nature of love and what we are willing to do to save it when we’ve developed the consciousness to feel it.

Captain Fantastic! Not a typical sci-fi/fantasy superhero movie (admittedly a favorite genre of mine), but a real life superhero movie; a movie about a family that took action to create a lifestyle to be the change that they desired to see in the world. A brilliant magical film that portrayed love in every conceivable capacity. A film that held so much weight in its delivery, so much beauty in its simple cinematography, so much poetry in its writing and magic in all of the actor’s liberation of said poetry. How seamlessly it flowed from one scene to the next, how acute it was to it’s genre and deliberate in it’s exposition. I have to say that Captain Fantastic touched my heart and fuelled my soul and has since become my absolute most favorite movie of all time…that is…after The Never Ending Story.

Capain Fantastic reminded me why we create. It reminded me why such things like the Cannes Film Festival exist in the first place. These events were not created for the ridiculously posh; they were created for the artists struck by genius. They were created to celebrate and give grace to the many voices needing an outlet. They were created to provide opportunities that might not otherwise be available so that we the creators can continue to create and be inspired to create. They were created to connect such genius even if only for a moment, that we might remember what it is we are doing here on this beautiful little planet of ours.

I met many passionate, enthusiastic talents at Cannes, many individuals who came together to inspire and actualize. I will always hold close to my heart all of the brilliant voices with vision pursuing their dreams and following their drive with passion and determination. Their great ideas are the foresight. Their voices the insight.

It is a rare opportunity indeed to be immersed in such vibrant energy, surrounded by overflowing ardency. I am grateful to the Universe to have aligned just right that I was able to experience it, regardless of all of the absurd pomposity. After all, the pompous were there to encompass the creative energy that they’ve always desired but have never possessed. We the Creatives hold the magic of the Universe. We the Creatives have been given gifts that are too great to ignore. We the Creatives shall create new vision, new sensation, and new inspiration for all who witness it. For that I am thankful.

Making the decision to travel life through artistic endevors is a challenging and sometimes frightening decision. Courage is a necessary attribute…stubbornness helps! There are few things as magnificent as being in the presence of Creatives when they are in their essence. The joie de vivre that emanates from these humans whilst in their glory is addictive. I believe that a love force is at play during these times. That force, much like the force produced in Captain Fantastic is purpose in action. If only humans could harness that force within them in any capacity, what a wonderful world it would be.

One by one, may every human experience their own brilliance in their own way so that their hearts could hear the whispers of the trees and their bodies feel the heartbeat of purpose. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, from the housewife who gives love everyday to her family, to the truck driver who loves the open road and is friendly to strangers to the painter working day in day out in her studio to the filmmaker gathering individuals together co-creating to the scientist working on a cure to the farmer growing organic produce to the yogi sharing insight…you get my drift.

A little secret that isn’t really a secret, everyone, even the “pomps” have the ability to create beauty, it’s a choice, I made mine before coming to this planet, have you made yours?

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes

I was invited to the Cannes Film Festival by an actor/director who asked me to produce a painting that would be part of the narrative in a film he is currently producing, directing and acting in. This film was not being showcased at Cannes this year; he was at Cannes to promote (much to my surprise given that I was never told about the premise before accepting the invitation), a short film currently in postproduction about a blind painter; a very funny punch line to those of you who know me, a cosmic inside joke indeed. I would have had to be blind to ignore the absurdity at Cannes.

Let me explain…

The longer I’m on this planet the more I’m finding human beings of becoming…(perhaps they always were “being”)…stranger and stranger. I knew before going to Cannes that I was entering foreign territory. I knew that many of the individuals that attend these types of things are specifically strange and unusual in ways that make me question humanity on an existential level, but I had no idea to what extent.

Disclaimer: I did meet some wonderfully strange and unusual individuals who have that special spark that makes life worth living. Beautiful human-like specimens that follow the beat of their own drum to create art that will potentially change the course of human consciousness. I am very grateful to have had the pleasure of meeting these wonderful people!

Those stories are for a later date because all while meeting these young beautiful talents, I couldn’t help but be blatantly aware of the “big money” circling the festival like vultures waiting for their kill. This particular post is a release, a verbal vomiting of the insane pomposity and entitlement that radiates throughout the streets of Cannes during the festival and possibly beyond, given that that region is known for it’s most lavish visitors all summer long.

And so…I apologize in advance for any offence had and hope to see some silver lining at some point about something!

It all started to hit me on my 4th day at the festival. I was in a strange headspace, after having not slept very much the previous three nights (Sober I should ad. Sobriety is not a popular concept at Cannes). I had lost my headphones, my forearms were burnt, I was loosing my voice, hadn’t shat right since arrival, the waiter was taking forever with my teeny tiny little petite French coffee and the wind was forcefully pushing tables and chairs over like a hurricane was about to erupt. Waves of uncertainty were culminating in my psyche and feelings of confusion as to my personal responsibilities. I couldn’t seem to hold on to my God guidance and it was leaving me in disarray.

Aside from the outlandishness of the festival the political climate in France seems to be at a pivotal stage. After speaking with some locals about the current issues with the French government, finding out that many of the local people feel as though their country is being run by a dictator, I felt lost and helpless and angry and frustrated. No wonder the locals seemed especially grumpy, (even for France) surrounded by pompous assholes who are rude and choosing to ignore what is happening in the world, some of them quite possibly creating the worlds most dire issues.

The “celebrity sensations”, God-like personas and reckless wealth was disgusting. Ugly, short old men walking with young plastic ladies with RBF’s, (they must be androids given their apparent complete lack of human sensibility); older woman frozen and swollen from years of plastic surgeries and Botox and fillers, so many people with their noses so high up in the air you would have thought that there were roses floating above their heads, awe struck average Joe’s desperately waiting for hours; pining to get one look at a celebrity walking the red carpet. The saddest of all the young up and comers who most likely have genuine talent and drive being sucked in to the superficiality of this stupid lifestyle that some old, insecure, fear driven fools invented and proclaimed law; not realizing that life is meant to be lived in freedom and art is meant to awaken consciousness, not buried in anxiety and arrogance.

There is something severely wrong with what humans have deemed important and what humans have chosen to accept as reality – because it is a choice, even though so very many have chosen to ignore that fact.

I’m at a stage in my life where I see more clearly than ever before. Being an artist has always been my solace. To be an artist is to be free, to develop genuine appreciation for the genuine. Everything else that our culture has developed superficially to gain outside sources of worthiness becomes futile. We don’t abide by social structures, not because we want to rebel, rebelling is just the side effect of our inability to live our lives according to ludicrous doctrines that frightened child-like grownups developed in the past.

In our younger years we blindly follow our intuition that will continue to dictate our life’s journey if we embrace it. As we grow and gain experience we delve deeper into consciousness as a means of knowing and embracing self, realizing that it is the only way to truly create great art.

Artists have always been labeled as the unstable ones, but this is a farce, artists are the most stable ones, the most in tune, the most compassionate and the most understanding, the most interested and welcoming. We embrace the world and it’s magnificence because we feel it surging through our bodies and continue to create because of our desire to give thanks to such magnificence. True artists live by the beat of their own hearts, whether they are aware of it or not. That beat is what makes great art great. That beat can’t be faked. That beat strums at a cellular level and whether you believe in frequency or not, it is felt.

We are developing a world that fears feeling; a world that does everything it can to block out that heartbeat and for what? Is fame really so great? Is aging really so horrible? Is money and power your sole defining quality? Are you so frightened and insecure that you go about your days in ego driven desperation, constantly seeking outside sources of validation?

Why?

Wake up!

Live in freedom!

Be a true artist no matter what your craft!

Be the kind of person that you would be proud to know.

PMS

What is PMS exactly and why is it that in this day and age of great medical advancements we haven’t figured this one little thing out that has been with us, literally since the beginning of humanity?

PMS, otherwise know as Premenstral Syndrom (IT’S A SYNDROME!!! That explains so much.) The Mayo Clinics definition: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20020003

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It’s estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.

Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. But the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense.

Still, you don’t have to let these problems control your life. Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Ok…care to tell me something a little more concrete???

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5031

Premenstrual syndrome: A combination of physical and mood disturbances that occur in the last half of a woman’s menstrual cycle after ovulation which normally end with the onset of the menstrual flow. Physical features of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include breast tenderness and bloating. Psychological changes include anger and depression.

Monthly chemical changes may be responsible for PMS. The chemical changes may involve sex hormones, neurotransmitters, and opioid peptides.

PMS can be mimicked and must be distinguished from other disorders. The most helpful diagnostic tool for PMS is a menstrual diary. Treatment of PMS includes exercise, dietary changes, emotional support from family and friends, and medications. The medications for PMS include diuretics, pain killers, oral contraceptives, drugs that suppress ovarian function and antidepressants. Abbreviated PMS.

Hmmmmm… only slightly less vague with the added possible reasons why it happens, but still no explanation as to the purpose and the added advice of filling our bodies with toxic chemicals that might cause long term damage and illness to the consumer. GRRRRREAT!!!

Why does my appetite increase exponentially? Why do I crave not only more food in general but also chocolate and cakes and cookies and ice cream?

Why am I jam packed with so much energy that I could run a full length marathon and so exhausted the next day that I could sleep for 24 hours straight?

Why am I rage filled, annoyed with every living human being (except my nephew) and truly desire to punch people in the face?

Why am I bloated, constipated and gassy the week before my period only to have diarrhea the day after I start my period?

Wikipedia explains: While PMS is linked to the luteal phase, the causes of PMS are not clear, but several factors may be involved. Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle seem to be an important factor; changing hormone levels affect some women more than others. Chemical changes in the brain, stress, and emotional problems, such as depression, do not seem to cause PMS but they may make it worse. Low levels of vitamins and minerals, high sodium, alcohol, and/or caffeine can exacerbate symptoms such as water retention and bloating. PMS occurs more often in women who are between their late 20s and early 40s; have at least 1 child; have a family history of depression; and have a past medical history of either postpartum depression or a mood disorder.

To read the full Wikipedia definition follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_syndrome

So… aside from being told what I’m already excruciatingly aware of, given that I’ve experienced these symptoms personally, every month (give or take a month or two) for the last 20 odd years… know one really knows why.

Do you know what I’m going to do with all of this excess, since know one seems to know exactly what the purpose of it is??? I’m going to use it to get shit done, fuck all dat shit, pun intended. If I’m gonna be jacked on hormone crazies, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, bloated and constipated and wanting to punch just about every living human in the face, I might as well use that to get shit done! I’ll be bitchy and grumpy and bossy and just overall disgruntled and quite possibly unpleasantly abrupt, but fuck it, until someone can actually explain to me what is happening and why, I’m going to fuck all a y’all (not really, not only don’t I want to fuck the vast majority of you, I also know you all have nothing to do with any of it) and GET SHIT DONE.

Dear James Franco

james-franco001 JamesFranco002 james-franco004

 

 

Dear James Franco,

I’m an artist living in New York and have recently contributed to your current charity to raise money for an AIDS FREE generation https://www.omaze.com/experiences/red-james-franco?ref=james-franco and have two propositions for you! Aside from the actual competition to win a portrait of me painted by you, I propose that we paint each others portrait, simultaneously and put the paintings up for auction and 100% of the proceeds go to the cause. Imagine it now… a James Franco original and a Gaetanne Lavoie original, up for auction for a wonderful cause! Your name is much more household than mine, but I am emerging and the painting would be an excellent investment for a collector.

Here’s a link to my CV and website:
http://www.gaetannelavoie.com

Medium: oil on linen Size: 70" x 40" Available through www.stricoff.com

Medium: oil on linen
Size: 70″ x 40″
Available through
www.stricoff.com

Feel free to creep me, do a background check, call my references. I’m the real deal!

This cause is a great one and I would be honored to contribute in any way I can, which is why I donated in the first place.

My second proposition…if you dare…is a group exhibit and donation. I have many artist friends who would be more than happy to participate in something like this, who would be happy to donate their artwork to charity and I’m pretty sure that some big names in the art world would be more than happy to donate! This would benefit not only the charity but the artists and art world in general, bringing fine art back to where it should be, to the masses.

I’m posting this proposition anywhere and everywhere I can think of, given that I have absolutely no idea how to contact you directly and really have no idea if it’s ever going to be received or read or responded to!

Is that the right… to? Or is it too?

Anyhow, below is an example of a portrait in process, just in case you want immediate gratification. It’s of a friend of mine Zach Brown (also a very talented artist). It’s not finished yet, but is a good example of what I can do with a handsome man! 😉

Medium: oil on linen Size: 28" x 22"

Medium: oil on linen
Size: 28″ x 22″

Critique on Lisa Levy’s critique

Women getting naked for the sake of proving some socio-polical point of view is hardly original and a very popular theme in performance art, from Aliza Shvarts’ Abortion Art to Deborah de Robertis’ Origin of the World and everything in between.

Ironically Lisa Levy’s performance is just as pompous as her desire to critique the pompous nature of art today. You would think that a “self-proclaimed” psychotherapist would be privy to this…

What better way to get instantly recognized than to sit naked in public for two days. Who has the ego again???

Girl Please!!!

I’m tired of listening to artists complain about the pretense and competition in the art world when they are the ones propagating that pretense and competition by creating a gimmick piece derived from thoughtless subterfuge.

To read the article on Levy’s performance click the link below.

bushwickdaily.com