Friday, December 30, 2011

My own Year in Review

“A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.Tennessee Williams

It’s time for my own version of this and some reflecting of my own.  A friend sent me an email suggesting some things to ponder and so I share some of that with you.   This year I got brave, I married someone, which by the way, is not an easy task when you have lived most of your adult years as unmarried.  I applied for a grant making myself known to arts organizations and professionals in the field which made me have to overcome a lot of my own inadequacies and lack of confidence.  I began the process of creating a new piece of work.  I took on a role in a play that I didn’t feel qualified or prepared to do but took it on anyway and feel more in touch and connected and grateful for this experience.  I started to let go of things that weren’t working anymore and weren’t my responsibility to begin with, including some relationships.    I faced some setbacks, not getting the grant, losing my kitty, not having a business work the way I hoped it would.   And so as the door closes on 2011, I say goodbye to some things and open to others.  The intentions stay with me, to say yes to opportunities that would further me as an actor or writer, that I check in with myself and not take on too much, that I strengthen the relationships that I have by being present with those people I cherish and to make myself available to the possibilities rather than be trudging through the doubts and fears.    And I give myself permission to change my mind about any of it at anytime. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last SHOP LOCAL post for the season

So a few last things that I came across that I needed to pass along:

Toma Sol Cafe in Mission Hills is a little coffee shop that strives to be green, selling organic beans (Cafe Motto) and teas and other delicious goodies, including a gluten-free carrot walnut muffin that was DELICIOUS! 

Emilia's Sugar Plum Nightmare is the latest production from Talent to aMuse, suitable for kids ages 8 and up and those desiring a funny bone to get tickled.   The production is held at the Liberty Hall Theatre in the Paradise Village Plaza, a beautiful retirement community just up the street from Paradise Valley Hospital in National City.

Gifts of Health and Wellness:
Esther Maya is a yoga teacher I work with at Poses Yoga who offers Reconnective Healing sessions and sells Usana nutritional products.  
Club Pilates is offering an AMAZING deal of 10 classes for $85. You can purchase this deal up until Christmas on their website.  These are for group reformer classes that normally run anywhere else for $35-$55 PER CLASS.
Yoga Del Mar is offering a great new student special: $75 for One Month of Unlimited Yoga, $70 for 6 classes + FREE yoga mat, or $135 for 11 classes + FREE yoga mat.   This studio offers a variety of classes with some of the best and highly regarded and knowledgeable teachers. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Word of mouth is the BEST form of advertisement a business can get.   Please consider doing your own post on your own blog about places in your town.  If you're in SD, send me your suggestions.  And do your own OCCUPYing this season LOCALLY!

This Saturday is Ocean Beach’s annual Holiday Parade.  When I moved here I thought this was the best parade I’d ever seen.  The Geriatric Surf Drill team is hilarious.  This is real family fun and a great excuse to go to OB and do some SHOPPING!  I’ve mentioned OB before but here are a couple of places I haven’t mentioned:
Olive Tree Market – I used to love walking here and getting something good for dinner or just some cheese, but they have so much more including a large selection of wine for the wino I mean wine aficionado on your list. 
Dog Beach Dog Wash is the place to take your pooch after a day at dog beach.  A gift certificate for a wash is a nice gift for the pooch lover on your list.

Look no further for your candidate for 2012.  I love Amy Poehler and this character.  Available on Etsy and made in the USA. 

Book Darts – a new way to mark your passages or keep your place.   

La Jolla Farmers Market Sunday Mornings 8 am – 1 pm:  SO many vendors and wonderful items here including handmade bird houses, lavender gift items, art, too many to list but here’s a couple of their vendors:
Locally Grown retails their clothing items that send a statement literally, procured and manufactured tshirts made in the US.
Chef Betsy G  makes delicious GLUTEN FREE goodies.
Laurel Nation Designs makes beautiful jewelry.  

Radiance Yoga in Mission Hills offers a new student private session for $75.  This is an incredible value to have a very skilled and trained teacher help assess and provide for your needs.  Just check out their instructor bios, many have degrees and have been practicing yoga since the 70’s. 

Friday, November 25, 2011


This is #3 in a series I’ve been doing about Shopping Local.  My hope is that others do this in their home town.  The other two posts are here and here. 

Mission Hills Area

Maison En Provence is a beautiful little store filled with household and other gift items hand picked by the owners from France.   Little lavender sachets to gourmet food items, there’s bound to be a nice gift for someone special. 

The Huddle doesn’t have a website.  What they have is old-fashioned diner style food.  Located at 4023 Goldfinch St, they offer no frills but it’s a great, inexpensive place to eat.  They offer gift certificates and they also sell their homemade jams and during the Holidays, PIES at $7 a PIE.  Did you miss that?  Homemade pie, the granddaughter affirmed she was still traumatized after last years experience, they roll out the dough and make them there.  And when we bought our Holiday pies, it was buy 3 get one free….

Olivetto is a cozy cafĂ© and wine bar that I’ve been to a couple of times.  A great place for a girls night out, their truffle fries are delicious and I’m assured their wine selection is very tasty. 

Fridays in Mission Hills, there is a small Farmers Market that sells lovely food items for the Foodie on your list. 

Intrepid Shakespeare Company is offering a HUGE 50% off discount on their entire season subscription for 2012.  That’s an incredible deal when you see what it normally is (hint less than the price of movie tickets).  Offer valid 11/25-11/28 (Black Friday through Cyber Monday).  Use Coupon Code: 2012 when checking out online. 

Magazine Subscriptions – who doesn’t like a great magazine?  Just a few suggestions:  For writers or readers who like to take a walk in a different slice of life The Sun, to better living and how to simplify the everyday things Real Simple,  for those trying to incorporate healthy eating options into their lives Vegetarian Times.

Spiritual Cinema Circle sends spiritually uplifting and inspirational movies on a monthly basis and you keep the DVD.  I loved what they would send, often several short films and then a feature length movie on one DVD.  Great for families looking to spend quality time together. 

Here’s a post from a blog I follow instead of buy something, make something, includes suggestions, pictures and instructions. 

Your suggestions, comments and feedback are always important.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Photograph by
Tiny leaves come tumbling down the street
as if to warn me with high, sweeky voices
"The wind is coming! The wind is coming!"
And around the corner, the wall of you hits me
as if to threaten of things to come
and your potential for destruction
and like that you are gone
only to rumble throughout the trees
filling the air with the sound of your fury
and your possibility. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The second installation of where to Shop Local (for the first one click here).  Create your own list I'd be happy to repost or tweet your blogpost! 


 Glimpse Living has the motto of Mindful Products for the Home, Gift and Body.  Committed to bringing products that are made by people and for people, they carry hand crafted items, candles made from soy, bags and oh, most importantly, some beautiful one of a kind hand made journals from an artist in Colorado.  Located on Ray Street in North Park, she has an event coming up on November 19th, featuring the edible art created by Jennifer McHugh.  May not be the event to shop at for some of the other items as she moves her store items out but definitely one to attend for a unique experience. 
(Reminder, my friend Cathleene has an artist reception the night before at Mystic Water Kava Bar, you could pop over to Glimpse then!)

San Diego Writers Ink offers a variety of classes and opportunities for writers.  From an ongoing meetup to writers meetup at Lestats (buy the punchcard as your gift) or more intensive workshops from Poetry writing to Novel writing, there’s something for everyone. 

Feng Shui? Offer someone the gift of being able to literally change their life by moving their stuff.  Amanda Collins is a Feng Shui consultant and teacher and offers in home consultations as well as classes. 

Animal Lovers:
*Have a friend with pooches?  How often do you hear them talk about taking them to the groomers?  Take them to South Bark in South Park or buy some goodies online!
*Pet People in La Jolla started their business in San Diego in the 90’s and now have locations across Southern California.  Each time I go, they are helpful, friendly and often give samples of the products they carry.  And their pricing is very competitive compared to other chain stores.

I have it on good authority that Cygnet Theatre is running a Black Friday special and it’s your great opportunity to get tickets at an amazing discount.  This is the last year they are doing their holiday show “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 

Tea anyone?  Try Halcyon Tea in South Park for the tea lover on your list.
Coffee Lovers?  Caffe Calabria  in North Park roasts their own as well as  Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla.  Better Buzz coffee has drive through locations throughout San Diego.  Your Mamas Mug in Ocean Beach is another great stop for coffee and goodies. 
Mariposa Ice Cream in Normal Heights is like Ben & Jerry’s only Ben & Jerry just setup shop and never went global. 
Niederfranks in National City is another old fashioned ice creamery locally owned since 1948. 

The Grove in South Park has a selection of yarn, books and other delightful things.
November 26th is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY and a friend is participating in a Holiday Craft Show from 10 am to 4 pm at 10328 Julio Place, Santee, cash only no credit cards.
Claytime Ceramics in Ocean Beach gives you the opportunity to create your own ceramic sensation or get a gift certificate for someone else to create their own.   

East County Brake & Tire (619) 442-9666 buy a college student a brake job and they will THANK YOU for it!

Places to Shop:

South Park – Listing of businesses and types can be found here
Ocean Beach - Each Wednesday there is a fabulous Farmer's Market but so many shops to find interesting things.  December 3rd is their annual Christmas Parade, a great time for kids and adults alike. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh I WANT one! Vitamix contest

Do you want to win one?  Then click on the link above! 

In my previous post, I blogged about Clea's services as a health and wellness expert.  She also maintains that blog with recipes posts for gluten free living.  She's running this contest on her blog.  Hello?  It retails for $500 and is AMAZING.  We stayed at friends this summer who had one and I fell in love with it. 

Friday, November 11, 2011


So after a recent chain email about not buying crappy things made in China for gifts, I thought I would create a list of local (San Diego) places to buy things and I'm also listing a few friends that sell online goods and what they are. 

1.  Toys/Fun Things:
Squid Hats/Funny Hats Josh Freeman makes these here in San Diego and sells them on Etsy.
So Childish is a boutique that sells children's toys and clothing in South Park.  
Babette Schwartz is a fun store in Hillcrest that carries things to tickle your funny bone.  And while you're in the neighborhood, check out some of the other stores that are nearby and locally owned. 

2.  Clothing/Jewelry/Accessories 
Moondog Treasures
My friend Susan is the talent behind Moon Dog Treasures, making malas, bracelets and necklaces.

Wink Parlour is Norma who works at Twiggs Coffee Shop and sells beautiful jewelry when she's there (I know Friday mornings for sure).  Some of her pieces have unique stones, like green amber, which I had never seen.  She has a show on November 12th at 6:30 pm at Twiggs with other local artists.

Perspectives at Moonlight Beach is a boutique that offers one of a kind jewelry and accessories from local artists.   

Kristin Bags - I met Kristin in San Diego and I have one of her bags that people LOVE and want, she's in the middle of making new designs at the moment but you can take a peek at her website to see some of the styles.  My bag is washable and gorgeous, she often makes them out of faux suede and vintage kimono material.  For those of you that know what mine looks like, it's a Jipsee and it's a large.  

Think organic has to be expensive?  Can't buy something made here?  Try Vuori,  a local clothing company that in preparation for their 2012 line, is clearing out their t-shirt inventory at the low price of $10.  Hello!!!!
 Ecotopia in North County offers a variety of items, organic clothing, books, eco-friendly items.
Leaping Lotus is a 21,000 square foot home to a variety of vendors selling jewelry, furniture, home decor and numbers of gifts in Solana Beach.

3.  Restaurants/Coffee Shops - Want some ideas here they are:
City Delicatessan - They offer gift certificates in any amount, think about buying a gift certificate for a cake for someone who is always hosting parties. 
Big Kitchen - Judy the Beauty has been running this local eatery for a long time, great breakfast and eclectic atmosphere, you can't have a bad time here!
Twiggs - my local coffee house favorite, they offer little coffee gift certificates and they're also a bakery.
Saffron - one of the best places for Thai take out or dine in, DELICIOUS!
4.  Food/Wine Baskets etc - For a variety of tastes.
Rosie Lees British Foods in University Heights, 4657 Park Ave., she sells lots of delicious treats and even makes some herself, you must stop in she doesn't have a website.
Chuao Chocolatier - they're local and OMG delicious chocolate! Located in UTC Mall and Encinitas.
Meghini Winery is located in Julian, if you don't want to drive out there, they ship to you or anyone else.  I shipped 2 bottles of their white dessert wine to my mom this year and she loved it.  

5. Hair Cut/Spa Services/Massage - there is this WONDERFUL thing called SPA WEEK and two of these places offered up their specials well after spa week was over.  So if you're looking for a deal sign up for Spa Week and their newsletters, you won't be sorry, the other was a generous donator to VDAY this year:
Envious Skin - in University Heights, small space, tranquil environment, great deals.
A Better Body Salon and Day Spa - in Clairemont, a little larger and great deals. 
World Spa - in University Heights offers unique treatments. 
David Cienfuegos - my hairdresser, if you didn't know I am normally blonde and everyone comments on my natural red headed look, he works out of Frederick Michael Salon in Mission Valley but sets his own appointments. (619) 540-0462.
Rhianna Basore - a talented local actress day jobs as a stylists at HS Salon in Encinitas (760) 942-8888
Massage - Don't buy a gift certificate from that chain massage store that is probably paying their staff $15 of the $100 you're paying. 
Kat Masse (858) 245-4436 
James Armour (619) 318-4934
Renee Gauthier (510) 406-2000 Private studio in North Park also offers Yoga
Maya Montoya (619) 548-0455 (specializes in Thai Massage and yoga)

6. Fitness/Gym Memberships/Yoga - oh FYI I do private yoga classes in people's homes, hit me up if you want more info but here's some other suggestions:
There are a LOT of local gyms in San Diego that have websites and offer gift certificates.
Yoga Classes - I'm rating these according to my own experience and assessment of peoples needs
Gentle aka stiff, maybe not in shape, or needs more relaxation:  A Gentle Way Yoga in La Mesa. 
Most yoga studios also have Hatha or Gentle Hatha classes, if they don't then keep looking but check these out:
-My teacher, Arturo Galvez, teaches at UCSD Rec department (great yoga packages through there) and has public classes at Liberty Station
-OB Namaste in Ocean Beach offers a variety of classes including more challenging Vinyasa.
-Full Circle Yoga on El Cajon and 39th offers a variety of Iyengar classes gets you knowledgeable and helpful instructors.  
-Yoga Del Mar in Del Mar offers a variety of levels of classes in a variety of styles with knowledgeable and experienced instructors. 
Pilates - best kept secret in San Diego is Club Pilates, who offers inexpensive (think $11-$15 versus $45-65).  Multiple locations.  
Health and Wellbeing - Clea Shannon is enormously talented, she's a yoga instructor, artist and she does nutritional consulting for living gluten free.  She does events at places like Whole Foods but she also does private consulting for wellness.  

7. Fine Art/Photography  - Don't head to the big chain portrait studio for the family photo.  Do you have a friend who is an actor?  Need a nice portrait for your own website or business card?  Like Fine Art Photographs for your office or home?  Look no further than these two, Paul Savage who took my wedding photos and headshots and has a collection of Fine Art prints,  and Kymri Wilt who in her travels gets beautiful shots and also does headshots. The value of having a professional take your picture is worth every cent you pay.  It's in their best interest to give you the best look.  They know what they're doing from years of experience.  Having had terrible headshots, wasted money and wasted time, I can recommend both. 

My friend Cathleene Cienfuegos is an artist whose work is currently up this Saturday November 13th at Ray at Night in the Mystic Water Kava spot.  She will be having an artist reception on Friday November 18th and her work is available for purchase.   Some of her work is more abstract but her latest works incorporate mandala and yantra. 

8.  Books - think that used bookstores are a bad idea?  Did you know some of them also sell new?
*Blue Stocking Books - they sell new as well and their selection is eclectic and interesting.  They also will let you trade in your old books on account for discounts on your purchases. 
*Ebooks anyone?  Here's a recommendation, and I'm hoping someone is reading this out there that might buy this for me!  Written by women who decided not to grow up, Whimsy for Wendys is a manual for all those looking to keep life fun! Another more spiritual and uplifting is the ebook from one of my yoga students on Amazon called It's Time: The Path from Struggle to Grace, available on Amazon. 

9.  Beauty Products - 
SkinFolk sells at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and her stuff is so deliciously wonderful.  
Nubonau sells products like Intelligent Nutrients (founder of Aveda who has now created a line that is off the grid produced and amazing.  

10.  Other/Gift Certificate Ideas/Etc.
The San Diego Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum is located in Vista and offers tours for children and so much here.  They even sell the woven items like rugs and other items.  Small admission price makes a great gift for a family, maybe just check out their goods at their museum store. 
*Support local actors, directors and organizations.  While a show in December is great but everyone is usually so busy so January and February are great times and if you're buying in advance its usually better.   Playwrights Project is an organization who has been developing young playwrights (teenaged) with their Plays by Young Writers Festival they do each year.  Contact them about getting advanced tickets.  InnerMission Productions produces VDay shows each year to raise money to end the violence against women and the ticket price is tax deductible.  San Diego Junior Theatre is youth theatre and they have 3 shows opening in January.  New Village Arts in Carlsbad has dedicated an entire season to using an ensemble of actors for their shows.  

The Athenaeum Art Library is a private library offering art classes, small membership fee and even a younger crowd art experience known as the AList. 
Cooking Classes - so many to choose from but check out Cups in La Jolla or Great News in Pacific Beach. 
My list may be incomplete.  You may have to comment on the stuff you find and where.  Please do!

Posted this yesterday more to follow later = SHOP LOCAL

While this rants a lot about China, I think it's a great suggestion on alternative ways to give this yea.  I will be reposting another note with a list of where to buy toys and other great things locally here in SD that aren't from a chain store and support local business:
Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles
of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!
It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
* Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
*Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
*Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
*Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin's on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
*There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy
eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
* Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their
financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
* How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
*Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
*My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
*OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.
They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
*Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
*Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
*Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.
Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Friday, October 14, 2011

On being afraid

at the center of everything
like a big immovable stone
just would like it to leave
so I can see the space left in its place

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finding room

Recently I took a vacation from Facebook.  It's turning out to be a long vacation.  From being a total timewaster to also thinking I'm 'connecting' to people I realized that more of my time was spent there rather than face to face or phone calls.   Now with google plus and the revamp of Facebook it seems there are more bugs aka changes to get over, meaning the learning curve keeps getting curvier, i.e. more time spent on the web.  The digital age keeps bringing more and more technology but how much of it is really helpful?  Yes, Facebook is a great way to connect but it also brings a new problem of communication dysfunction.  A comment can be misconstrued moreso that what someone actually says in person.  And a message can be completely taken wrong, leaving the person on the receiving end to think one thing while the sender believed to be saying another.   What's the common denominator in these scenarios?  My vacation continues...

Friday, September 16, 2011

A new blog

Cheers to finding my space and deciding upon a url.  Yes, it was a decision.  For one, why?  After multiple email addresses, business start ups, websites, user names, etc I decided to make things mine by literally putting my name on it.  Calling it mine and having my name on it to me means there's no mistaking who this belongs to or who is providing content.  Secondly, I am tired of checking old addresses or explaining what certain things mean or meant.  Jennie O Six is my name, period.  So onward we go. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Old poetry 2005

Last night the women got together
The women got together to share
To share about their experience,
strength, and hope.
Experiencing a life that is not always happy
Having the strength to reach for another day
And the hope to experience another day.
And the women prayed for the one who was not there
The one who needed their experience, strength and hope
but was lost.
And they prayed to the universe for the lost one
as the stars shined brightly in the clear night sky.
They say miracles are just coincidences,
strung together by tiny pearls of collective wishful thinking.
But if you were there with the women you would know
that on that very night there were no coincedences.

Monday, September 5, 2011

On Living

Once I was small, born
pushed into this world
and someone cared for me
fed, changed, clothed
made sure I was warm
loved the best that they could
until I was able to do it myself.

First moving
fingers, hands, seeing
then the many movements
wobble, then small steps
until run, leap, turn
all in the many ways to live this life.

Frustrated at how time can stand still,
change things, and leave some things the same.
Waiting for or with or yearning for something to happen now or yesterday,
not realizing how lucky we are to just be here at all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mt. Baker

This is my picture, we're up at Mt. Baker in Whatcom County, WA.  You're looking down at a glacier stream.  I spent a few hours with my dear friends carefully traversing over snow pack that was melting, but not enough to open the rest of the area before winter's approach.  We got to experience the quick weather changes, it went from really cold to warm in a matter of minutes.  We carefully went to one of the many waterfalls that were carrying the melting snow pack to the streams and rivers below.  And that crisp mountain air filled my lungs and gave my heart a little boost.  I love snow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thank you Theresa for this forwarded email - it's for us all

Pass it on-not sure who wrote it but it's powerful!

It’s your life.
Are you living boldly?
Or are you playing it safe?
Safe is risky. Safe is an illusion. Safe is death.
Whose life are you living? Yours or someone else’s?
It’s your life. Not your parents, brothers, cousins, friends or neighbors.
We are constantly bombarded by the media and sold the lie: “Who you are is not enough!”
We are taught to fit in. To play it safe. To seek approval. To be realistic. This process begins from the moment we are born. We are told who we need to be in order to get love and survive. We learn to play “The Game.” But ironically the better you play the game; the more you lose … YOU.
Conform: Don’t make too many waves. Hold back your full self-expression and authentic truth, so that you can be popular.
Settle: Staying in relationships that don’t light you up because it’s safe and comfortable, so that you have security and won’t be alone.
Be practical: Don’t pursue your dreams and true passions. Be realistic and responsible so that you don’t look like a fool in society’s eyes.
Don’t be too happy: If you’re too happy (especially for no reason) people get irritated, so only allow the minimal amount.
Life is short and before you know it, it is over. The real question is not “When will I die?” but “How will I live?”
When you get to the end of your life will you be able to say that you lived fully, and did all you dreamed to do, or will you be filled with regret?
Did you lick every ounce of bliss out of life?
We glorify saints, but they live in remote lands. We glorify the angels, but their feet do not touch the ground. We glorify superheroes, but they’re not real. It takes true courage to be in this life, with all its mess, it’s ups and downs, light and dark, sweetness and bitterness. It takes courage to be who you really are. Perhaps this is why so many of us turn away, and settle, opting for safe lives of soul-numbing superficial satiation. It’s easier to stay skeptical, be jaded, live in the mind, hide behind sarcasm and erect walls of defensiveness. Sadly, it’s easier to play small and protect ourselves from the disappointment of living full out, with all its risks.
Even to the extreme, my friend, when you display great feats, it doesn’t take real courage to firewalk, skydive or climb a mountain. It really doesn’t. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and speak your truth to those around you.
It takes courage to face your addictions, and get help.
It takes courage to reach out and risk vulnerability in love.
It takes courage to pick yourself up off the floor after rejection or failure.
It takes courage to humble your ego, give up defensiveness, and simply say, “I’m sorry.”
It takes courage to open your heart and love, after your heart has been broken or betrayed.
It takes courage to forgive, even when you know that you’re right.
I say it takes real courage to be who you REALLY are.
What is it you really want to be, do, say, live and express?
Dive in.
Do it.
Climb it.
Kiss more.
Say it.
Travel it.
Let it.
Seize it.
There comes a moment in your life when you just have to say the 2 magic words!
Be bold. Be you. Go for it.
Say it. Loud……………..
“F&%k it!”

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Flood - a poem by me

Funny little anecdotes that people say when you're having trouble,
small things, meant to give some relief or acknowledgement to what is ailing,
sometimes wholeheartedly and sometimes flippant, but intention is there for something.
Like, when it rains it pours, or this too shall pass, or take comfort in the small things
all meant to benefit the receiver with some form of comfort.
But what I would say to you is
"I'm going to build you an ark"
because you, my friend, are in the midst of a flood of biblical proportions
and there is nothing that I can give you to hold back the waters.
Moses, get your fucking ass here now and part the seas!
Noah, get to hauling some trees up in here
cause the sky isn't falling but filling with this water
and unless you've got gills this isn't gonna be pretty.
Forget about the morter and the paste to hold the foundations
the sails, the weather vane to predict when it's all gonna be over
hell, just make it float. 
We just need it to float.
No need to find some way to phrase it pretty or make it make sense
it has no sense at this point
Wild, wicked endless water is pouring in from all directions
and it's dirty, useless and good for nothing,
except maybe for us to all label it definitively,
it's a whole lotta fuckin' water.
Let's not have them drown with our anecdotes and smart things to say.
Make some floatation devices with kind choices of words
because in this kind of weather, I can't build you an ark
I can't give you anything that can bring a relief to what is ailing you
not even a wise word of wisdom because in biblical proportions you have received that water that drowns the whole earth,
been swallowed up whole by a whale,
locust have invaded your lands and killed the crops,
and the tide keeps taking you out way beyond the shore.
But I can still see you out there in the horizon,
dog-paddling, sometimes floating on your back,
sometimes swimming against the riptide,
and that's when I realize
you are your own ark.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Other people's poetry

Mary Oliver 
her poetry is a gift
here is one of them

Photo: Unique Photography Concepts dot com

The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

A Poem

Flock of Birds by Giedrius Varnas @ Deviant Art
There are all sorts of ways that we can bond:
we can like the same sport or team, tv show or talk show host,
we could have watched the same cartoons growing up,
or loved the same movies.

But most of the time
you are you
and I am over here,
and we bond over failed suicide attempts,
or loved ones who were successful the first time,
or senseless acts of violence we experience.

If we could only remember daily the strangers eyes we look at
could simply reflect our own soul
and maybe we would try harder to bond over a shared smile
an experience of happiness for no apparent reason. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Remember when the world was new

I saw a friend's picture of her daughter's first grade class.  It was the official school picture, you know, the ones with the teacher standing to the side and all the kids are lined up by height in rows.  Except in this picture, the teachers allowed them to make the silliest faces, just brilliant.  It's more than adorable.  And it just reminded me of what it was like to have the school picture taken.  And that my mom would spend time ordering the pictures.  And that it was a big deal to give one of your pictures to someone, like Grandma and Grandpa.  To get dressed up and make sure that your hair was right because who knew that your hair could actually be wrong?  And wearing your favorite pink shirt was awesome even though it may have been a size too small and stained by chocolate pudding.  Who cares, I'm wearing my pink shirt!  And just how big a deal it all was.
It reminds me of how happy I was as a kid.  How exciting it all was.  What I had for lunch, did we get to play a new game today, what happened on the bus ride home and we were going to go on a field trip to the fish hatchery!  Everything was so exciting.
It reminds me that once, I was very excited about life.  And I still can be.  Can I begin again?  Tasting raindrops, feeling the wind on my face, smelling the ocean, getting all dressed up to go to THE MALL, going to see a movie, writing a poem, petting my cat.  Not just getting excited about one thing, but all things.  Experiencing the taste of life.  It's all we have.  And once, it was everything.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life on life's terms

Sometimes things can be very overwhelming.  Bad news in the media, at work, at home, in the neighborhood can make life seemingly unbearable and sometimes even horrible.  There's a tendency sometimes to oversimplify, throw out suggestions such as 'make a gratitude list' or even shine over what is going on.  While these have been things that I have done or throw out, they are not really dealing with what is.  I believe that the essence of the statement 'Life on Life's terms' is recognizing the ups and downs on the roller coaster of life.   We are born into this life and we will all eventually die.  Whether we believe we will come back or not is irrelevant to the process of dying and grieving that those who remain will experience.  There will surely be someone in our lives who will make bad, even horrible choices and their decision to act on those choices will affect our lives and the lives of people around us.  Whether they are politicians or lone gunmen, we all have to live with those decisions.  So while these events go on, and seem to go on forever sometimes, where I choose to live is in the now, allowing myself to feel the emotions that come up as a result of these events and staying present with them.  By staying present with what is, not projecting what the future holds but rather allowing myself the experience as unpleasant and grieving as it is, I acknowledge what these events are.  I create space for myself to be just a human being in this place called Earth, and know that I am here to experience what life has to offer, sometimes unkind and sometimes unpleasant.  I know that sometimes all that I can control, is what I choose to respond with. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is this feeling?

A large majority of my time is spent undoing some of my thinking and the subsequent feelings that arise out of that thinking.  Lets call it the self-centered wheel.  It's mostly comprised of cynical thoughts from feelings of frustration and inadequacy and it loops forever.  Until I get to a "present moment" place of here and now and what's going on now.  Then I can attach to happy and joy and get out of the wheel.  Sometimes. 

Last Monday night, I married my friend.  And what I can describe adequately as one of the best days of my life.  Yes, there were moments where things weren't quite right.  But overall, everything was perfect, everyone had a good time and all the planning, cajoling, hysteria went away for this perfect evening.  I followed some friends advice and let it all go.  I took that moment that Kevin walked up to get me to walk up the aisle and looked at him and knew this was all about us and our love for each other.  And that we chose to be with each other.  And that it wasn't forever.  Life is finite, it can all end tomorrow with a car accident.  I remember everything, I remember each moment, and I had the best time!

It is a beautiful thing.  And I have been feeling and surrounded by this love from everyone.  I have yet to experience something like this and now in this feeling, in this breath, in this time I have right now, I'm choosing to stay here.   In the love.  In the joy.  In the peace.  For as long as I can.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Love, Actually

There is a film with this title and what comes to mind in this movie is the relationship between the characters played by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, two of my favorite actors.   There's this moment that breaks your heart, where one spouse catches the other in an almost affair.  I remember specifically the moment, where Emma Thompson all in one small scene shows how devastating love can be, where you are in love with a person who may be doing something horrible to you and yet you are completely in love with them. 

It's that element of romantic love that fades and what is left in it's place but the space of time, shared experiences, connection, sometimes children.  What I have experienced in my life has led me to no longer believe in that "fairy-tale love," the type of love that sweeps you off your feet and leads you down the happily-ever-after path.   That idea in romantic love where you meet your partner there's this fulfillment that happens.  I've seen too many times and been in the position too many times where that person doesn't meet your needs, falls short or doesn't want to meet your needs. The last time I got swept off my feet I ended up on the floor with a dirty rug.

What I do believe now is that you are very lucky to have that person in your life that loves you, recognizes you for your worth, values you, wants to be that partner, wants to stay your friend, wants to share their life with you and you return the favor.  What I believe now is that there isn't just one person who will meet all of your needs and it's unrealistic to expect that.  This is why I try to maintain my friendships outside of the relationship.  Love isn't something shared with just one person but your friends and loved ones.  A deeper expression of love is to be able to hold space for not just that person but all the people in your life to grow, evolve and change.  It's this expression of love, unconditional love, that allows me to freely give, without so many expectations and in that, I can hold space for myself and love myself as well.  To get love, you gotta give love.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Letting Go

Big day is coming and this week has been a flurry of planned and unplanned tasks.   I felt really heavy and burdened by a number of things and then the unplanned and unexpected happened.  Yesterday came some perspective.  Not necessarily the "see the bigger picture" but more like, "connect with the reason why all of this is happening."  In this space, I reconnected to that love that I feel and ultimately why we're here.   By reconnecting with the love, I feel now excited about what's happening, rather than burdened.  I feel more alive, this is a good thing, this is a celebration.
I also connected with the fact that I do not need to do or respond to everything that comes my way.  I delegated some things and others I simply didn't respond to.  Will something not get done?  Yes, probably.  Will it not getting done lead to more difficulty later?  Probably.  One of the key elements I have found is by letting go I am allowing myself to live with the consequences of that action.  Good or bad.  Indifferent or not.  I don't have to figure out the end.  So much of time and space gets taken up with planning for what is going to be, rather than what is.  Yes, plans need to be made.  But how much time and space and agony is taken up when those plans don't fall into place?  By letting go of the outcome, I allow space for the ever-fluctuating, pulsating and changing nature of the universe.  I allow for others to have their own experiences.  I put the responsibility of those decisions back in the laps of the deciders, not taking on things that aren't mine.    And ultimately, what do I trust?  The idea of failure or the idea of reasons, seasons, change and unexpected surprises.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest bloggers

I'm considering inviting some guest bloggers to blog on here.
One, they can use this for their own sounding board.
Two, it offers my readers a view other than mine.
Three, it may just be a fun little exercise in letting go and testing my control issues.
Your thoughts???

Monday, June 27, 2011


soaring above
some where.....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

World wide what?

I got spammed this morning on FB and luckily enough, removed it thank you friend.
But lately been feeling the pull to pull away from this internet thing.  Not just because there's these links to depression and spending time on the internet.  But it's a little too much.  Like yesterday, there's a local yoga studio that had over fifteen status updates on the FB thing all surrounding one event.  While this is annoying, it's an effective way of using their FB status to promote an event.   But how effective is it?  And how much time am I spending on looking at the FB statuses of friends, people I've come into contact with previously and are friends on FB, searching for things only to find stuff that is optimized better coming up first on Google search, etc.  Yes, the internet is a great tool, we all communicate better, but quite frankly it's also a sounding board for a lot of people who long to take their aggression and anger out on others.  Yelp, for instance, can be a helpful tool but it also has so much griping and unsubstantiated griping that really is hard on small business owners and gives a false idea of how good a business is.  One review I saw blatantly lied about a business practice and yet is still allowed online and figures into how a business is rated. We won't even go into the online posting boards, think craigslist, and see the horror going on there.
I run into people all the time that aren't on this internet thingy.   Some are stuck in the dark ages about things. But others, well, their life doesn't seem to be too much affected by their non-use of the internet and all things digital.  They deal with humans on a one-on-one basis.  They seem pretty ok and happy.  Hmmm....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shades of Green

I fit the term "green eyed monster" a little too literally.  Lately, it's pervasive not just in eye color but in mental states as well.   And I have various reasons for it's justification.  Things not going so well, I can look towards the 'current state of blah-blah-blah and look at blah-blah and it's crappy that blah-blah and they don't deserve blah-blah' and well it's become the blah-blah-blahs.  Jealousy is a seldom admitted but often feeling that is so unattractive and leaves me petty and miserable.  And yet it disguises itself well.  Root of it, well, that's where the murkiness lies.  Insecurity, small mindedness, sense of some sort of loss, low self esteem, but ultimately it's roots are somewhere in 'I'm not enough-ness' and in that state, well, it's a sorry place to be.  But as humans, we can trace the roots of jealousy all the way back to infancy.  Studies have show infants as young as five months exhibit traits of jealousy
So what can I combat this with.  When I look around at the current state of blah-blah.  A gratitude list is one way.  Being grateful cultivates a state of happiness.  If there is something that I want in another person or circumstance, wanting it, not coveting it, creates a state of lack.  Can I adjust this to a feeling of 'this is something that I can attain and I am grateful.'   I'll get back to you on the rest, for now, the human experiment continues....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I just spent a great deal of time purging my inbox, sent items and trash from one of my emails.  Note the term 'one of my emails.'  I have several.  And it's all about to get a little less complex when I change my email address.  You see, in attending a bridal show where you have to give your email to win prizes, etc, they give your email address to EVERYONE.  So I have been getting regularly spammed by them and the rest of the wedding sites (i.e. David's Bridal, The Knot, etc) whose "partners" are also sending me emails.  I was going to change my email address anyway but this just prompts it to happen more quickly. 

In my former life, we used to keep emails.  We kept records of what other people sent us as it sometimes was necessary to create a 'paperless' trail of events that happened, find out who did what and when and why, and sometimes, letting people know that they were notified of said policy, event, etc and why didn't they do what they were supposed to.  The list is endless on why we kept emails.  Some even printed them out and starting keeping files.  I think now of what all of that information did.  And most of it did nothing.  One place in particular I can think of kept tremendous amounts of that information for naught.  The players are now all gone, the people who are there could care less and everything applicable to why we kept the information doesn't apply anymore.

In my current life, I have a bad habit of keeping emails in my inbox for a long time.  It starts with it's something I need to respond to.  Then in turns into a to-do list.  And then it becomes another thing I look at and wonder why I'm keeping it.  So today, I purged.  Deleted.  Removed.  Found all the things sent and deleted them too.  Unless it's something that I'm going to follow up on, then I need to follow up on it.  Today.  Not wait, not question, but follow up on it today.  If it's something I need to refer to later, such as an email from a film producer and I'm waiting to get a copy of said film I was in, then I file it in my "acting" folder.  Some day I'm going to purge those folders too.  Because someday, I'm not going to be here anymore.  My stuff is going to be someone's responsibility to clean up and get rid of.  They're going to wonder why it was important to me and what exactly did it pertain to.  I'd rather not have that burden of sifting through my junk be on someone's shoulders.  Because most of it won't matter any more. 

I think of old beliefs and thoughts that come up from time to time and do some purging there.  There's a big pattern of holding on to things.   Whether it's from family or not, it's my job to purge them.  It's my job to remove and put things in the trash.  I don't even have to examine where they come from or what they're doing, I can just delete.  Sometimes they are a little harder to delete and other times, it's like saying goodbye to a wart, thank you for nothing and see ya!  My active practice of reflection on and off the mat helps me do this.  I make room for other things.  Like freedom and space.  In my mind, in my life.  Room for peace. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Is there competition?

My experience in the past few years is that it takes a lot of work, self-promotion and marketing to be a yoga teacher or run a yoga studio.  Like other jobs, there are a lot of people applying for the same jobs, as a number of yoga studios have discovered teacher trainings are a great way to make money.   Don't get me wrong, I think that it's incredibly hard to run a studio.  The expenses on just the building alone and utilities can be astronomical.  And the insurgence of corporate run studios churning out teacher trainees, even advertising "become a teacher in one week" makes it really difficult for the smaller studio to compete.  Or does it? 
While the rise of the corporate chains have brought more locations, more exposure to yoga and more opportunities for those teaching, smaller studios often have more seasoned and experienced teachers, a variety of styles of yoga and often more pay to teachers.  However, these generalizations don't always dictate experiences.  While attending a class at one of the chain studios, with teacher who probably had six months of experience, I experienced a deep savasana at the end of one of the classes where I went into that alpha-state of pure consciousness and non-attachment, true bliss.  And at a studio, a teacher with a lot of experience insisted I go into a headstand after I explained about my constant neck injuries resurfacing afterwards, insisting on instructing me the "proper way" and that I had been practicing it "wrong."  And yes, I was injured afterwards. 
When I was seeking my teacher training the first time, my values were how can I do this quickly and least expensively.  I also didn't want to wait on a waiting list to get in.  The cheapest and quickest took place over three months.  90 days.  And then I was done.  My values were different that what they are now.  Now, in my second teacher training, I want to learn specifically from a specific teacher that has amassed a large amount of knowledge over decades on the teaching and practice of yoga.  The training takes place over a period of two years.  My values have shifted.  The first time, I needed to finish quickly and least expensively.  Now I value the learning process over a period of time.  I will actually end up paying less that I paid for the original teacher training and I get the value of paying that over two years.
There is a value in each and every experience in life.  Whether it is learning something, the hard way, the easy way, whatever way or having an experience that you normally don't have.  When I open myself up for something new, I am inviting myself to take a step into the void and experience something that ultimately shows me something.  Wherever I find myself practicing.  If it's in a gym, corporate studio or a converted garage, I open myself up to the experience. 
And in terms of competition, I read this in my classes sometimes, it was a letter from Martha Graham to a friend:
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. "

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Susan Foxley Coming to San Diego

Susan Foxley is coming in June to do a workshop in San Diego for us.  Coming from the LA area, she is a life coach, yoga teacher and massage therapist.  I have been subscribing to her blog feed for a while.  You can connect to it here.  I find her simple yet effective suggestions for living life on life's terms to be insightful and authentic. 

I find that often times I am overwhelmed with the amount of information that comes to me, hundreds (wish I was exaggerating don't ever give your email out to a bridal show) of emails, blogs to be read, books to read, programs and movies to watch.  I am looking forward to an afternoon that doesn't require any of those things. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Training Day

So in getting "ready for the big day" there is this urgency or felt urgency to "get in shape."  And this time of year brings out the commercials of "Get in shape for summer" or "get your bikini body ready." 
I don't really feel out of shape.  In fact, I'd say that I'm in pretty good shape.  My love reminds me daily of how buff I am.  But somehow the chord of neurosis is struck when thinking of "fitting into my wedding dress" when, actually, it doesn't matter what size that dress is, because, I haven't purchased it yet!  Somehow, the self acceptance and comfort that I have is replaced by the desire to get to my 17 year old self and become "thin again."  What is "thin again?"  And what does that mean?  To get back to my 17 year old self would be like taking up stretch pants, smoking cigarettes, bleaching my hair beyond recognition and waiting for someone to love me who probably doesn't deserve my time, energy or my bleach blonde hair.  To get back to my 17 year old self's weight is like wanting to replace all the muscle that I have with some fat, start eating junk food that will surely send me to the gastrointenstinal specialist and create such anxiety that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs will eventually make their way back to breakfast and after dinner mint time.  Yes, been down that road thank you.  I have no real desire to get back to that 17 year old self, so why would I want my body to go there?  What "ideal" am I clinging to that makes this somehow desirable much less attainable?
At the end of the day, what truly matters is that the person that I am marrying knows what I look like and loves it.
At the end of the day, we'll be married.
At the end of the day, ultimately, we need to love ourselves enough to be able to love someone else.
This is the Training Day.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Didn't really plan it this way

So having to say yes to some things and no to others.
Yes to starting my rewrite and revamp of a project.  This feels good.
Saying No to wedding planning and all the hoopla around that.
This doesn't feel good anymore for various reasons.
Carving out a little more peace and a little more creativity.  Kevin was right, we should have eloped.  But then again, no one would have been very happy with us about that.  So reminding myself that this will happen, everything will go according to plan, people will show up and ultimately, we will be married by the end of the night. 
Which is what I want.  And what I'm saying yes to.  Because of many things but this is one of them. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

And it's Sunday

As you know, the world didn't end.
And yet, I'm very sorry for your loss.
Your loss of face, faith, trust and beliefs.
Your loss of identity, commitment and the world you lived in.
And while your pain of of this loss may seem insurmountable
the fact remains that your loss of these things
has brought you closer to who you are
and what you truly believe in.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End

 A couple of "rapture-inspired" friends have done a little post I found really interesting:

"In honor of what will, according to Biblical guarantee, occur on May 21st, pal and fellow blogger Delia Knight at threepageslonghand and I ( are writing 21 things that must be said before The End. Please join us. These can be serious, touching, funny, loving, unkind- whatever is real. You don’t have to fully identify the recipient if you would prefer not to- use a pseudonym or initials. GO!"

Yes, you can order a team t-shirt from deerlife's website.

I'm not going to make any comments about today that are uniquely snide or condescending.  I have in my lifetime experienced what it is like to be a fundamentalist religious person.  I'm sorry for what today is bringing to a lot of people, disillusionment, disappointment,  loss of faith, and unfortunately a lot of other horrible things.  So here is my list and I'm going for it.  

1.  C.R.F.  - You're wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  You're so screwed that I can't begin to make this effectively come across to you.  But today will.  And then come see me.  We'll have a big chat about what metaphor, allegory and mythology is.  You'll see.   And then you'll understand.  That is of course, if you don't off yourself first.  Remember, I used to be one of you.
2.  KT - You're a wack job.  I hope you don't teach children anymore.  You probably suffered in life. I think giving a kindergartner a report card like that is pretty cray-cray.  Thank God I got a good laugh later.  And my mother never took you seriously. 
3.  Adam - We ate parsley and pretended it was spinach and that we were Pop-eye..  I never knew what really went on in your house.  Only that you were my friend and I had so few friends it was nice to have a friend like you.  My mom said she saw you on some TV Evanglist show and that you had been adopted by some family.  I hope they loved you and took good care of you.  I wish you well.
4.  Alice - Thank you for teaching me to be kind.  And to laugh at old movies.  Because they are funny.  And special.  You are too.  Thank you.
5.  NM - I ran away to your house.  We tried to fix my teeth.   We got in lots and lots of trouble.  We had lots of fun.   I guess what you saw in my childhood and I saw in yours should make this story sad.  But I don't feel sad.  I feel like I truly know what friendship is.  The ability to see a person as they are, not a creation from circumstances, and love them.  I don't know where you are or what you're doing.   But I understand your need to find yourself, your own identity, without having someone tell you who you are and what you should do. 
6.  JTB - You saved my life.  Saved my life.  Don't ever forget that.  I am here because you said what you said and did what you did.  I will always love you and your family for that.
7. RT - You were one of the many men that stepped up and showed me what a real man can be:  a father, a caretaker, a righteous and just authority figure, a loving person.  You were not perfect but who is.  You are much loved and much missed.  Thank you.
8. TTJ - Thank you for putting up with my crap.  You are awesome.  One of my sisters forever.
9. ST - Ditto.  You rock.  I loved having you as my adopted older sister.  I love you and your kids.  Thank you.
10.  CHN - If you are still alive, get some help.  Get clean.  It kills me inside that you have lost them both and don't care.  It is never too late to get off the merry-go-round.  It's never going to stop until you get off.
11.  NN - You know what you did.  And how many you did that to.   I don't believe that you can ask God to forgive you if you're not sorry.    And if you're floating around thinking that all is good and you're on the winning side now, I hope today is a big slap in the face.  Big.  And then you're sorry.
12.  AI - I don't waste much time on you other than the clarity I have now.  I won't waste one more breath or sentance.
13.  BP - I know exactly who you are.  And exactly what a piece of garbage.  You will get what's coming to you, I don't have to ask a punishing God or karma for that.  All I can say is you better pray that you never make the mistake of coming across my path with anything less than an apology.
14.  TO - Thank you for being the sociopath in my life.  And helping me understand that no amount of love in the world can change someone if they don't want to be changed.  I wish that was different.  But you also helped end my cycle of dating drug-addicted, sociopaths.  Thank you.
15.  Family - we have complicated ties.  And complicated storylines.  Thanks for being in the parts where you counted and made the difference.  And sorry for the mud and the muck.  It hasn't been easy for any of us.
16.  JKH - Freud was sort of right.  What I really think, I came here to save you.  We agreed on that before we came.  And then when that came off, we changed.  I would do it all again.  All of it.  You are an amazing person.  I don't want to imagine my life without you.  I love you.
17. KS - You are my lucky charm.  I wish I would remember this when I get mad at you.  I wouldn't want to spend a minute without you.  You are amazing.  You jumped into the great void.  I'll jump with you anywhere.
18.  Dad - It's complicated.  Your drug takes over like none other.  Heroin should be her name.  I wish you all the best.
19.  A - You abuse people.  You need some help.
20.  J - It's been horrible.  We survived but couldn't keep our relationship tied.  It's complex.  I'm so sorry.  I don't know why I hated you so much.  That is my weakness.  You are nothing to hate and don't deserve that.  I wish I had been better.  I love you and am so proud of what you've done.  You did it. 
21.  Left blank - in case I have more later.