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On Being Brave – Man Up and Grow A Pair – #8 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series

On Being Brave – Man Up and Grow A Pair – #8 In The Achieving Emotional Grace Series

 

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

~ Anaïs Nin

I’m not a big fan of feeling uncomfortable. This will probably surprise some of you who know me and have witnessed the glee I take in making other people uncomfortable. So, see, I can totally dole it out but I want to shoot myself in the head when I’m in an awkward situation. Which I do entirely to myself much more frequently than I like.  I am usually the victim of my own ridiculousness.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about discomfort and how cowardly it can make you. And, being a coward means you potentially miss out on a lot of amazing things in life because you hide yourself away out of protection. Or a sense of propriety. Or a misunderstanding that anyone else gives a shit.

A whole lot of the time we put much more weight on our personal risk than others do.

I made a conscious decision to try and do one brave thing a day. I want to get more comfortable with the risk that naturally goes with courage.

I am not talking about physical bravery. I am perfectly happy to be a coward with physical pain and will continue to embrace avoiding injuries.

I’m talking about emotional bravery, which can have a much longer recovery period and leave some pretty nasty scars. But also can lead to living an honest life without regrets. And that just sounds really good to me because if there is one thing that I want to avoid more than feeling uncomfortable it’s feeling regret. There is always the risk that I’ll end up with a big stinking plateful of both but it’s a risk I’ve decided I’m willing to take.

Every day we have a choice. We can live a small life, protecting ourselves and, thereby, creating distance between ourselves and others. Or, we can choose to live a bigger and riskier life that will ensure we make those connections outside of ourselves.

It’s scary to open yourself to another person. No doubt about that and you won’t get much of an argument from any other breathing, upright human.

But if you take a minute to think outside of your own experience and to set aside any expectations about what you want the outcome to be, being honest with others about your feelings, your concerns, your passions, your grief is ultimately what we are here for.

And being open to supporting someone else’s courage is a very big gift. One that can, literally, change lives.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement
that something else is more important than fear.”

~ Ambrose Redmoon

 

2013: An Awkward Death

2013: An Awkward Death

I am, admittedly, slow on the uptake for writing about 2013. After all, 2013 was so last month!

I’m going to blame it on my blinding anticipation of the new season of Downton Abbey. Damned Brits.

So, what can I say about 2013? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was a year of weirdness, it was a year of boredom, it was a time of unsightly rashes and a time of emotional outbursts.

Does it seem to anyone other than me that 2013 has had the longest death scene ever? Haven’t we been trying to wrap this year up since about June?

The long, awkward death rattle of 2013

turkish2

So, here are a few of the oddities, in a vast sea of weirdness, from the year that made me tilt my head and say “Whaaaa???”

Zygote Infamy

Imagine having a lifetime supply of fame before you even develop limbs. Then imagine eventually being born to some of these parents.

  • We have yet more Kardashian blood on our hands now with the arrival of North West, who will most likely be bi-polar before hitting kindergarten.
  • His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge selfishly took all the focus off of the final season of Breaking Bad by being born.
  • This created…something:

Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose

  • But, to balance that, so did this:

Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard

  • Brad and Angelina did NOT have (or go get) any more children this year.

Dennis Rodman’s Love Affair

Celebrity couples are just like us!

Dennis Rodman, Kim Jung Il

They show their love in public.

They laugh together!

They laugh together!

They have serious discussions about stuff!

They have serious discussions about stuff!

They clap!!

They clap!!

Same Sex Marriage

A tip o’ the hat to California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

These states legalized same-sex marriage, thereby ensuring they will all be better pressed, accessorized and smell of lavender.

And, a wag of the finger at the rest of you states. You can all continue to wallow in the stench of backward thinking and fear while living in your trailers that lack tasteful yet vibrant throw pillows. No pop of color for you!

Paula Deen

Paula Deen loses endorsements due to stupid racist remarks = $12.5 Million

The sustained consumption of salt, butter and bacon causes obesity and diabetes = $450 Billion

A Spike Lee/Jaime Oliver/Paula Deen Fight Club session = Priceless

Paula Deen

Spike Lee

Jamie Oliver

God’s Bouncer

Mario Jorge Bergoglio, (ex-bouncer, chemist and janitor) dares to be the bad boy James Dean of Vatican City with his crazy ideas of relieving poverty rather than focusing on old news like homosexuality, premarital sex and abortion. What are you, some kinda Christian?

This kid's the pope!

This kid’s the pope!

Don’t get me wrong – My membership card expired many years ago. I mean, I am a thinking human with ovaries who birthed two males of alter boy age, all of which are cause for concern in the Catholic Club.

This Guy

Shut your pie hole. Really.

Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson

So, in closing, I bid 2013 a tardy adieu and good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you in that freaky ass on the way out.

 

7 Things I Love About You: A Letter To My Beloved Coffice

7 Things I Love About You: A Letter To My Beloved Coffice

My Dearest Coffice,

With the end of the year nigh upon us, I wanted to take a moment to let you know, beloved coffice (Scenes From A Coffice), how much you have given me this year. You have been my rock and I want to take a moment to let you know of my deep feelings for you.

  1. You were there for me with open arms as I narrowly escaped the life of an unwashed shut-in and an awkward family intervention. You’ve provided me a safe haven in which to mix with other nutjobs with similar afflictions. You have been my savior.
  2. Living in a place as lovely as Santa Barbara, you have been an island of rough edges in an otherwise shiny, tanned and well-pressed city.
  3. You know what I totally love about you? I love the fact that I hesitate before sitting on any of your numerous well-worn couches and chairs for fear of contracting a new strain of antibiotic-immune super virus. Just like home.
  4. Your staff provides the perfect balance of irritation and cool. And, thank you, dreadlock girl, for not laughing at me when I asked if you had hemp milk. I could see that was a real effort and it did not go unnoticed.
  5. Your WiFi has been as steadfast and consistent as my love for you.
  6. You play the coolest music. This of course contributes to my wasting hours of time hitting Shazam over and over again instead of writing. But, I now have the freakin’ most awesome playlist on the planet. It’s like my mixed tape of love for you.
    (Yes, there was that one day when someone decided cross-over country music was the right choice.  I am not unreasonable though and have chalked that up to a lapse in judgment only. No relationship is perfect.)
  7. I hope I’m not overstepping any sense of propriety by saying that your tomato/avocado/lemon pepper toast is nothing short of sublime.

So, in closing, I thank you for always being there for me with a tepid smile, wobbly tables and your abundance of outlets. I am hopelessly devoted to you and I will thank you when I receive my Oscar for Best Screenplay, assuming I ever finish it because OMG I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

Forever yours,

Irene

My Movie Briefs – Take #1

My Movie Briefs – Take #1

That’s right, I hand wash my unmentionables.

It’s the holiday season again! Time to get out the big box of decorations, bake treats, dig out my clapboard and director’s chair and listen with a child-like sense of magic as the nominations start to roll in.

That’s right, it’s the start of award season and I, for one, need to change my pants because I AM SO DAMNED EXCITED.

Knowing how busy we all are preparing for that “other” holiday, I figured I’d do a mini-review of the movies that look to be award contenders during this, the holiest time of the year.

Sort of a Reader’s Digest version without the old people cartoons about prostate cancer and hearing loss.

So I present a niblet, a trace, a whisper, and a whiff of my opinion on some of the movies I’ve seen thus far, thereby reducing the essence of the gigantic human effort of creating an enduring piece of cinematic art to one or two snarky lines.

Here are my Movie Briefs. (Not to be confused with my actual lucky movie underwear I’m wearing right now.)

Nebraska – This is nothing short of a renaissance for pissy, stoic geriatric Midwesterners. It’s finally your time in the spotlight! And Will Forte, you adorable bastard, call me.

I’m freezing and it’s too damned loud in here.

Blue Is The Warmest Color – Finally, I can now go out in public to watch my foreign lesbian pornography under the guise of French art house noir! If real porn were one-tenth this good, well, I’d probably have to quit my job.

Dallas Buyers Club – Heroine-chic is so 90′s and so OVER. If you are not sporting retro HIV-chic then I simply cannot be seen with you.

12 Years A Slave – Terrific, fantastic, impactful movie that states what we all grudgingly know deep down inside – white people are just very bad.

Captain Phillips – Tom Hanks acts out exactly how I responded to the news I was having twins with his amazing portrayal of PTSD. Nailed it.

I don't accept this! Re-do the ultrasound now!

I don’t accept this! Re-do the ultrasound now!

Blue Jasmine – Mental illness has never been so exceptionally well dressed. I wanna get me some of that!

Gravity – Sandra Bullock is one badass chick, floating through space all perfectly toned yet “sciencey” at the same time. Only thing that would have made it better is if they threw Melissa McCarthy out there with her. Now that is a buddy movie I can get my arms around.

Enough Said – So adorable, heart-warming and moving that I am suddenly drawn to overweight, balding yet soulful middle-aged men. That’s right, I’m looking at you, Dennis Franz. Call me.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for round #2 when I’ll give you the 411 on depressed folk singers, dysfunctional families, techno-erotica, corporate greed and Walt Disney. Deck those halls!