#SundayMotivation

They made their AFL debut the year I was born. Just sayin’.

Well, here I am.  On my couch on Super Bowl Sunday, uninterested in the game (well, hell, no Dolphins), having just been diagnosed with shingles, and unemployed.

So what’s next, you ask?  This week, I’ve managed to ensure I’m as busy as I’ve ever been, and it’s all for me.  There’s that.  And there’s time to think.

When you leave work you loved, that helped shape the person you are, that (you hope) made a difference for a lot of people and your employer, there is a lot of thinking to do.

 

The obvious, easy question is “what job next?”.  But I think the more important questions are “why that job?  what kind of work (not just a job) will challenge me, fulfill me, and oh, yes, pay me properly?  where are my “gifts” most useful and appreciated?  where will I find my future?”

Of course, these are also the hard questions.  But I’ve never been lazy, so I am mulling all this.  And it’s actually quite exciting.  Even if you are happy with your work, I highly recommend it.

After all, you never know.

 

Evening update:  Everyone who reads this seems to be focusing on the shingles.  Well, yes, they suck, but life happens.  It’s the rest of the post I hoped you would like!

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Ch-ch-ch-changes…

It’s almost February.  And then, I will be unemployed.  Why doesn’t actually matter… as I said on social media when sharing my news there:

I am sad about leaving my work of the last 23.5 years, of course, but I am excited to move forward.

I made this choice, and I own it, gladly, even knowing I will soon be unemployed for the first time since 1990 or so, but “forward” and “choice” and “gladly” are the key words here.

Of course, it’s not all a bed of roses.  There is worry and, yes, fear, involved in this step.   And there are so many details!  I’ve seen all my doctors and filled my prescriptions; I’ve found and purchased an appropriate health plan going forward (NYS makes it really easy, thank goodness); I’m taking full advantage of various services of The Actors’ Fund (my favorite helping hand for entertainment professionals);  and I have made plans.  Lots and lots and lots of plans – some involving my job search, and some personal goals for which I will finally have the time.  Yay for de-cluttering!

It’s surprising to me that many of my friends are (kindly and generously) calling me “brave”, because really what I feel is reckless.  Really, really, really reckless.  But I’ve written before about my decision-making process (well, more than once, but that’s a good one), so maybe you understand.   And already there have been both ups and downs – help from the most unexpected sources, and a surprising lack of anything from some “expected” sources.   It’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure.

All that said, it’s time.  Time for me to take this step.  Time for me to be about me.

And then we’ll see.

 

 

Today We Marched

Yes, again.  This year, I marched in New York, but I didn’t actually march.  I joined others in forming a wall.  What, you say?

Well… we believe:

  • In standing in solidarity against any actions that threaten civil and human rights.
  • That xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and bigotry have no place in the White House or in society.
  • That Black Lives Matter.
  • That people with disabilities’ rights are human rights.
  • That LGBTQ+ peoples’ rights are human rights.
  • That indigenous peoples’ rights are human rights.
  • That immigrants’ rights are human rights.
  • That environmental rights are human rights.

And we know:  We are indivisible. One nation, one for all.  Every life and every voice are equal.

We wore jumpsuits marked with bricks that repeated the vile things 45 has said about women.  We stood, silently and hand in hand, for over two hours, as the marchers passed by.

They cheered.  They took pictures and video.  But mostly, they felt the power of taking the idea of the wall and making it our own.

I cried.  Most of us did.  The sense of solidarity, of commitment, of togetherness, reinforced my belief that if we continue to persist and resist, we can save America from this administration.

Let’s do this thing.

Rabbit, Rabbit

“How did it get so late so soon?  It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

I can’t believe 2017 is almost over.  It’s been a tough year for a lot of us – in fact, for our country – but this is not about that.  This is about birthdays.  December is a big birthday month in my family… there are four, in fact.  One of those birthdays is even mine.  And birthdays mean presents, right?

Except… Facebook has added a function allowing you to “donate” your birthday.  Sounds great, but like so much in life, there’s a catch.

What, you ask?  How can there be anything wrong with asking people to support your favorite cause to celebrate you?  Fees, that’s what.

If you use the Facebook donate function, a fee of almost 7% will be deducted before your chosen charity gets the gift.  And that’s just too.damn.much.

So, I’m donating my birthday, but not through Facebook.  Here’s the deal:  if you would like to support my favorite charity, it’s The Actors’ Fund, helping those in entertainment (including me, sometimes).

But I also know that it’s been a year in which many important causes have called on our pockets, and you may be supporting one of those.  Great!  I’d love to hear about it.

Or perhaps you’re tapped out on giving.  We’ve all been there, and there’s no shame in it.  So, if you so choose, pick one day and be kind.  Practice a random act of kindness, or even more than one, and then come here and tell me about it.  I’d really love to hear about that.

Happy birthday month to me!  And my mother – I miss her every day.  And my oldest sister, who is one of my rocks.  And my baby cousin, who gives me hope for the future.

And thanks to all y’all, in advance.

 

 

*Update:  Facebook is dropping some fees.  That said, I still think it’s better for an organization to direct people to its website, so they can learn more about that organization.

September 24, 2006

I know, you’re like, “Why is she writing about some random date?  Is there some holiday I don’t know?”

Well, no.  On September 24, 2006, I lost two men who were very dear to me.  I’ve never publicly told the story of that day (and the day after – you’ll understand soon) because I wasn’t sure what relevance my simple story might have.

But in the world we are in today, remembering the hard stuff, and knowing that I made it to the other side, is something that gives me hope.

September 24, 2006 was a Sunday.  As I used to do every year,  I was working the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids Flea Market.  (It’s Sunday, September 24, again this year .  Go.  Buy stuff.  It goes to a great organization.)

It wasn’t open quite yet, when those of us there saw two friends coming toward our booth, and even as we shouted greetings, we knew something was wrong.  Among the first words from ML’s mouth were “Patrick died.”  The reactions were indescribable.

See, Patrick Quinn was not only a giant of the industry (and the labor movement), but an extraordinary man, dear to more people that he probably ever knew.   The rest of that day is almost a blur, but what I remember most is sitting in our office, calling the people who needed to know, so they wouldn’t hear rumors or see it in the paper – listening to them cry and rage, or worse, fall silent and not speak before hanging up.   And then, that night, we raised a glass in Pat’s memory for the first time, but not the last.

I didn’t sleep that night – I think most people didn’t – and the next day in the office, I, at least, was wandering aimlessly… until a friend came to find me, and forcibly dragged me into ML’s office, demanding I sit down.  I just couldn’t.  I kept saying “just tell me” until she told me that there was a rumor going around that my dear friend Eric Muratalla had died Sunday in his hotel room in Chicago.   I sat then.  And I begged her to reach out to verify it, as she was sadly able to do.

I left them.  I had to get away.  And then I started calling people.  I had to hear it myself, and I did.

For the remainder of the week, I distracted myself planning.  Buses to Patrick’s funeral.  Travel and hotel to California for Eric’s funeral.  And I worked.  It was my work that brought both these men into my life, and neither one tolerated slackers.

I know, it’s not much of a story.  But as the eleventh anniversary of that day approaches, I needed to tell it.  Even more importantly, I needed to remind myself that even the darkest days will be followed by the sun if we believe.  And I do.

 

 

I’m So Tired, Part Two – Another Rant

I’m #reclaimingmytime because #neverlessshepersisted and I am part of #theresistance.

But, DAMN, I’m tired. I’m even more tired than I was a year ago.

We’ve had 45 in office now since January, and many of the same people are STILL attacking Hillary Clinton. Those same people (and others) are attacking our future as well (see “Kamala Harris”). These BernieBots and third-party voters and stay-at-homers, who through their actions gave us this toxic administration, are still trying to blame the woman who is no longer in public office.

What scares them so? Well, for one, no-one likes to admit they were wrong. Look at how many people said 45 and HRC were basically the same, and even with the truth staring them in the face, they cannot acknowledge they were wrong  (see “more people than I can name”).

For two, I think they are afraid of the truth in Hillary’s book.

We’ve already heard some of it, and they are losing what’s left of their collective minds. But I think it is about.damn.time.

When we will be ready for a woman to be a full human being? To be right and wrong and honest and unkind and kind and forceful and lose her temper and NOT APOLOGIZE? I want to support that woman. I want that woman in office.  Goddamn it, I want to BE that woman.

But that won’t happen in the current environment, and no, it is not because the women out there are not qualified, or not ready, or not whatever aspersion you try to cast because really, you just don’t want to vote for a woman. It won’t happen because we still think of women as “less than” and we try to prove that through the purity testing in which we engage. And no-one, not even Saint Sanders, can pass that test.

So, try something. Take, for example, Kristin Gillibrand, one of my Senators and a personal favorite. And change the name to Kevin. I bet, even if you don’t want to admit, that for a hot second you liked that person better.  Try this any time you want to say about a woman “I would choose her if she only…”, and be honest with yourself if you would test a man the same way.

Really, in the world we should be building, quality is genderless.

But we need to try harder.

 

 

Civility

I first moved to Washington Heights (AKA “Upstate Manhattan”) in 1996. I have been using the same subway entrance/exit since then.  Why do I care about your subway stop, you ask?  Well, because it’s changed.

We have three elevators, as this is one of the deepest stations, and when I moved north, at least two would be manned daily. The operators took pride in their elevators, it seemed to me,  as they were clean and smelled good, and one operator in particular went all-out on seasonal decorations and music.  When using the elevators, almost everyone greeted the operators on boarding and thanked them on leaving.   People smiled at them and at each other.

Then the MTA (or so we were told) got complaints about the decorations and the music, and they disappeared. We went to one manned elevator, with no back-up if the operator needed to step away.  The elevators got dirtier and smellier and people didn’t smile at the operator or each other.  I’m often the lone voice saying “hello” on entering and “thank you” on exiting.  And I’m not really very nice.

More recently, a post showed up on Facebook about someone asking for help. The details aren’t actually important, as those who thought asking for help/expecting it was inappropriate were not swayed by any information or real-life examples offered.

As I said, I’m not basically a pleasant person. My natural expression is the epitome of resting bitch face, especially since the corners of my mouth turn down unless I am actively smiling.  Add to that that I can be pretty adamant about right and wrong, at least in public behavior, and the current loss of civility I see around me is setting me up for disaster.

What happened to “excuse me” when you bump into someone? Do we not recall that stairs are made for both up and down, and sidewalks are for walking – in both directions – and that as in driving (at least in the United States), it is courteous to stay to the right?  If you see someone approaching a door you are entering or exiting, should you not hold it for them?  Why do we stare down at our laps to ensure we don’t see that pregnant/lame/overburdened person enter the subway, in case we might be tempted  to offer a seat?

I am not per71176_321645363993_49793_nfect on any of these, or many others, by any stretch. And it’s easy to say the negativity surrounding last year’s election has emboldened people’s worst natures.  But honestly, I started seeing this “decline” as far back as I can remember, and it makes me sad.

 

So, just to be sure I hit all the high points:

Hello.

Good morning/afternoon/evening.

Please.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

Have a lovely day.

Peace.

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