Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Shhhh

   I find my head swimming in circles these days. Sometimes I'm drowning in my own crazy haze of grey matter but for the past two weeks the Mendocino Coast has been fogged in so I was also surrounded by solid gray matter. It's borderline depressing and many folks are affected by SAD. But, I'm learning to catch more waves of joy, surprise, chance and good stuff. Throw myself a lifeline. Still, sometimes, in the dark I can get consumed with worry over debt, money, health, fear,violence, extinction, etc,etc...

Today, the sun, literally, came out.



The blinding, glorious, opulent, generous and infinite sun. I basked. I understood why many cultures began their religions with Sun Worship. I went to the beach. It wasn't the usual brisk 60 degrees with north winds blowing my mind.  It was warm (77 degrees maybe?) and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. Spectacular! Tons of driftwood stood sanctified in sculptures.





 Even surrounded by this exquisite nature my mind still whirred, swerved, clicked and clucked. I put my bare feet into the very cold pacific and squeaked with the thrill of it and then I walked down the beach splashing in the gentle easy tide.





 They say that you bathe in negative ions near and in the Pacific. Negative ions improves you mood, releases stress and smells so damn good. They even make negative ion machines that you can buy to improve your circumstances, but the great green and blue wide ocean provides.




 I Met two lovely strangers in from Chico, (originally from Israel) and after a short introduction spontaneously told them about my disappearing husband, who vanished almost 20 years ago. I don't know exactly why I told them that story. I think we were talking about the pitfalls of marriage and possible consequences therein, so I mentioned it, (or maybe I'm just weird, a little bit crazy with all this mercury in retrograde and dawning solar eclipse coming this Thursday to a solar system near you). We parted ways after the lovely gent of the couple gave me a small sticker with the image of the Buddha which said, "suffering sucks". I took that as my cue to meditate.

It's difficult for me to meditate, but according to the FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE written by me and my mom, it's one of the most PRACTICAL things you can do to calm the fuck down. Most meditation specialists say you are required to practice 20 minutes of meditation each session, but just the pressure of that alone prevents me from meditation. My mother and I feel like starting with one minute of meditation is enough. We find that one minute, (clocked on the stop watch on your phone) of full meditation and total body relaxation can change your world. But Hey! It's even hard to keep my mind quiet for even ONE MINUTE! (One minute of peace please).

One needs a really good Mantra to meditate. One needs a Mantra you can't argue with or subdue in anyway.

I have been through a couple of mantras during my time here on earth. The first was given to me in 1973 when I was 13 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and it was a "nonsense" word so it did little to distract me from my much more exhilarating pubescent train of thought. After that I stopped meditating for 20 years. Then I tried OM. That really didn't do it either. I couldn't keep track of my in and out breaths with OM because of the closed mouth formation. And my mind was no match for it so that didn't last long for me.

Now, at the age of 56, I have discovered the perfect Mantra: One that is amazingly successful at quieting my mind. It may be one of the oldest sounds in the world if not the most comforting. It's probably one of the first sounds we hear out of our mothers mouths. There is nothing better to calm my mind and soul.

I'm going to share it with you now...
Shhhhh.
Say it with me now
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you can finish the breath with little sh sh shhh's
Just continue the Shhhhh until the breath is completely out and you'll know when it is.
Try this for one minute and increase amount of time when and if you want to do so.

I love talking about my mother and the release of our book,THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE  at this Virgo time of year. My mother's birthday is on the 6th of September. She would have been 77 but she passed in 2010. She still stays in touch.



Spoiler alert: Part of my mother's mental illness gave her delusions of being the Virgin Mary (Virgo related as well) and so I thought the last piece of driftwood I saw today as I was leaving the beach was a perfect example of the magic of being crazy like me and my mother. She was watching over me the whole time I was there.

 I feel this ultimate celebration of her life with the release of the book!!  It's now on AmazonKindle at a very reasonable price and the softcover comes out at my book launch at the Gallery Bookshop in the Mendocino Village on Friday September 23rd.  Thanks for tuning in.



Monday, August 22, 2016

A Book Is Born

It was My mother's last wish that I publish.

Here's to To full filling that wish. Here's to bringing form to idea and imagination and sharing it with the world. WE HAVE A BOOK! A BOOK! A book to cherish and hold, to pass along, to sit happily on shelves in libraries, universities, bedrooms and offices. A BOOK! A BOOK! A book to take to the beach, on a train, on a plane, in a tub, on a rainy day, in the waiting room at your therapists office!

A book is born. Today I held my mother's and my book in my hands for the first time. THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE ( (Weighing in at .73 lbs.)




 Here's the compelling and joyful glossy cover, a paperback, smooth as a baby's ass with the swaddled image of Caveman John nesting in the lap of a 500 year old Grandmother Redwood tree looking a bit like a happy lunatic.


The Back Cover brimming with invitation and praise from smart people  (Dr. Jed Diamond and Lasara Firefox) and a photo of my mother, Shelly and me. 91 pages tucked ever so gently in a perfectly bound papoose. Creme colored paper with Crisp alphabet strudel. Pages of content, confrontation, guidance, wizardry, laughter and sorrow and ultimately triumph! Hot off the press. Warm in my embrace.  It smells like a book, feels like a book, must be a book. I can flip the pages. Thank you Cynthia Frank at Cypress House Press in Fort Bragg California for this terrific outcome.

There's something of immortality staring back at me from the pages regarding the idea of passing on the oral herstory through the eyes - of the mother and the daughter: a continuum.  

We defy the odds, breaking ground, rejecting the hereditary paradigm of doom and gloom and mental illness and psychological disease.When do we get to see the world though this most precious and life affirming, positive lens? The Mother Daughter Continuum whispers back to the beginning. An egg inside and egg inside an egg inside an egg. I'm reaching back 3 generations to my grandmother who died, mad, in an insane asylum. Now, I feel as though, she is liberated because it has always been my belief that madness and genius go hand in hand. What secrets shamed her into insanity? What treasures and gifts were we denied? I believe my mother and I are a  tribute to what may have lurked in her hysteria.

We are all set upon a treacherous trail just by being born. Life itself can be extinguished in a moment, yet when one is destroyed emotionally, you must live on in the physical, which sometimes seems unbearable.  One may now get to the bottom of it and then navigate through the emotional tides of life and all the capsizing we are subject to. For it is true: Life happens, shit happens, good shit happens. We don't know what's next, but if we know we're we are coming from and that there are practical tools ready and available we can learn to crawl and walk and run and eventually...fly.

Happy Birthday THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE! (in paperback) Welcome to the world.

Here's a plug from my nephew Clyde Mighty:

video
fly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I Hate The Internet

I hate the internet. I think it might be the worst thing that ever happened to us. I know, it's ironic, crazy even,because I'm speaking to you through that very medium. Still, I hate the digital world we've become. I miss having real photos developed at the drug store, double prints, one for you and one for me. I miss the voices of my friends and family which have now become reduced to blue thumbs up or cryptic emogis. So few people answer the phone anymore. They just don't have time. Still it takes me longer to write a text then to call you and tell you I'll be over in a half hour. Something about people's voices is so important to me. To hear their tone, their laughter, their anguish. So much is misconstrued through texts because we can't hear the tone.
I guess you could say I'm old fashioned. I act and write for the theater. The internet is not good for theater.
I used to produce my own one-woman shows (Family Secrets & Oh My Goddess!) and I used three mediums; Newspaper, Radio and Flyers. I used to sell out my performances and do very well. Now, I've moved away from those dying outlets in to the internet and I'm terribly tangled. Sometimes it makes me crazy. It's hard to sell the show, fill the house and it seems most people don't even know I'm performing because it just wasn't in their feed.
I do use Facebook a lot! I try to promote my work there. But, I do think I might have a problem. Some nights Facebook eats my Face. I try to leave, but then there's something trending about riots in Milwaukee, so I cut and paste and tweet it.  Then back to facebook to see if anybody liked my new profile picture and on and on into the wee hours.
  I try to tweet often, especially about Black Lives Matter, The latest news in Cannabis and my upcoming shows but seriously, what I have to say is way more than 164 charcters. I ask you is that really all we have time for?This whole txting thing and the reduction of language, of spelling annoys me to no end. I hate that I have 254 followers and hardly anyone retweets me because thousands of people are talking about #ThingsIdontunderstand. Why is the pound sign "#" called a hashtag? And why do I give a shit?
I'm a writer. I'm in love with words. I'm a member of the Definition Protection League. We issue news flashes to protect the true nature and spelling of words. (Words like joyful and helpful are missing the second "L" so we are left half full)
It's a new digital language and the fact that some people never use a pen is very weird to me. The feeling of the pen on the paper is sublime, it actually makes a smooth sound while it draws tiny symbols that mean everything. It's good for the brain  But we don't have time for that. Keep it short. Our attention spans, like our words, have shrunk like a wool sweater in a hot dryer. LMAO

I remember having so much more time. Time to write. Time to talk on the phone while standing or sitting in one place. Time to go out to dinner and the movies and then for drinks to talk about the movie instead of endlessly singularly binging down the stream. Yet, there is something so persuasive about those reality shows and the eternal nature of them. I'm a fool for Project Runway and Top Chef and Of course I've seen every Season of  Orange is the New Black. Yet, in each there is a fierce and rude, sometimes violent competition. There are more winners and losers  than ever. Everything is competitive, Skin Wars, Wife wars, Hell's Kitchen even Cake wars for God's sake. You can literally sit in front of that screen for the rest of your life and the trough never runs out of screen wars. And we wonder why we are a bunch of bitchy bullies.
And, still, with this global unlimited access
there seems to be so much more isolation, depression, violence, suicide, abuse and people feeling awkward unless they're getting a constant screen buzz. So much information all the time and how do we know what's even true on the internet, it's full of shit! You don't have to ever go out of your comfort zone on the internet, you can delete whatever you want and only believe the things that flash across the screen.  We talk about programming our devices, but I'm afraid the devices are programming us. Taking away our humanity and turning us into programmed droids. Add daily doses of mind blowing pharmaceuticals to fight rampant mental illness  and we've got trouble big Trouble. 

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it's true. We've lost something profound with the tech revolution and I haven't even discussed drone technology or robot-cops. And Hollywood is so good at projecting the coming zombie/robot apocalypse that it could really happen.  Or maybe I'm just hearing more about it on the internet.
So there's my rant. I don't know if even two of you will see this on the internet, because there are literally a zillion other things you could be doing on it.  But, this is for my mental health. The act of expressing my outrage and hatred on the internet of the internet is the perfect medicine tonight.

Don't Forget you can now download my new book THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE   written with my dearly departed mother. It's so helpfull.
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Monday, August 15, 2016

The First Practical Handbook For Crazy People - Book Release - A Mother-Daughter Continuum

It's been a while since I blogged. I was just lamenting the other day about the fact that when I started blogging back in 2005 it was a novelty, there weren't that many Bloggers and there was a good chance that you could reach out and touch a great deal of people. I had started with my Breasts Not Bombs Blog through which I chronicled the peace demonstrations I had orchestrated to bring attention to our topless activism and our efforts to stop war and remind the public that underneath it all, we are human. Still I had only a few followers and longed for a wider audience. Prior to blogging I had done radio commentary for 11 years on the community radio station in Mendocino County where I live; KZYX. I know I reached a lot of folks through the airwaves and I used the internet as a back up.

But then the Blogging floodgates opened and what seemed liked millions of writers took to the Blogosphere and freely distributed their opinions on zillions of subjects and I retreated.

I'm really an old fashioned girl, so I returned to grassroots activism. I founded the first Medical Cannabis dispensary in the Village of Mendocino and provided medicine to thousands of patients struggling with Cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, depression etc, etc, etc. After 2 years of that we were raided, I went to jail and turned the whole experience into a One-Woman Show for the theater called TAKING THE HIGH ROAD - Comic Confessions from Behind the Cannabis Curtain which I have been touring throughout California.

So, why am I returning to Blogville? Well, I find myself brimming over with Political commentary and I have just released a Book! THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE - Making The Best Of Mental Illness - So, I thought it was time to return to the Blogging Community and reach out to an audience craving relief from the constant madness of this explosive and confusing world.

THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE was originally written by my mother, Shelly Glaser. She had spent most of her life, since she was 4, trying to navigate mental illness. Both her mother and father were sick and she became subject to the horrors that lurk in the dark mentality of insanity. Somehow, she not only survived sexual abuse, abandonment, and foster care to go on to fall in love with my father, have children, sustain gainful employment, graduate law school, write poetry, plays and this book. She would often tell me she had to stay alive to finish this book. She did. Her last wish was that I publish.

My mom died in 2010 of kidney failure, an unfortunate side effect of the Lithium that kept her sane for 27 years. I, of course, experienced monumental grief and it wasn't until 2015 that I picked up the manuscript and got down to editing her work. In the Process I was so inspired I thought; Why not include my experience around mental illness, especially through the eyes of a daughter who most certainly inherited the crazy gene. I wrote the second half of the book (Sherry The Sequel) based on my ability to not only avoid a diagnosis, but to become a great actress, write my own one-woman shows, have a family and live a scrumptious life.

Also included in the THE  FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK.... is a questionnaire that my mother "channeled" that is a groundbreaking approach to address the basic questions in life that help us make "informed choices" rather than repetitive, self destructive behaviors. The Outline includes the topics: Who are You? Why were you born? What do you want? and What will you do? In fact, the reason my mother went to Law School in the first place was because she wanted to get into the prisons and juvenile system to administer the questionnaire and help those who saw themselves as "victims" realize their full potential and realize their purpose here.

I've just uploaded the book to Amazon Kindle and it would be so marvelous if you, kind reader, if you feel any resonance with my story, would download today. Print copies will be available soon.

So, I'm back blog blog blogging. I've got so much to say and perhaps there is an audience waiting, wanting something that has hope, humor, healing and a radical feminine point of view. I mean, when have you read any kind of MOTHER-DAUGHTER continuum before. I like to think I'm still breaking ground in a world that is almost completely broken.