April 8, 2010

It took me a long time to write this story, because it is so hard to tell.  Before, when I was talking to my therapist, she told me that one day, I’d be able to control my feelings, if I just let myself feel.  I still can’t, but that’s not the point.  The point is, that when you know eventually the pain will subside and life continues, you can push through.   I haven’t had a rebirth or any sort of thing like that. 

I don’t believe in it.  God, rebirth, divine intervention are all bullshit to me. 

I believe in the past, that is why I am a historian.  I relish in things that have gone and over analyze what once was to learn what might be.  My strength to hold on tight to these memories has been a burden, one I can’t let go of because there is fear in me.  If I let go of the way it felt, I may just let go of everything, and I’m no Buddha. 

It’s weird to say a few years ago, as once it was a day ago, a month ago, a winter before, or two summers gone, but I must be honest with the facts. November 2007, Robert Herman died of cancer.  A disease that slowly ate away at his stomach and later his pride.   An experience that people have frequently,not unique to me or them.   And so it was, that very Thanksgiving would be our last together.

In the beginning it didn’t click.  I didn’t have a reaction.  I try not to do the what if’s and what have you’s, but, I go over the moments in my head, wondering.  I just try to recall what happened and trace back to the events, like CSI.   My dad called me to say, with no change in voice or inflection, “I have cancer, daddy’s gonna die.”   Blunt was something he excelled at, rolling them too.  Daddy’s gonna die sounded so ridiculous and what a way to say it.   His way with words always was poetic. I asked him the usual questions about where it was, how far along it was, and what the doctors say.  But, stomach cancer is unpredictable, nearly incurable, and the best doctors to cure it are in  Japan.  And, Robert Herman was not going to Japan, he never had sushi in his life!

If not Japan, than Tampa, Florida, the nostalgically warm home of my Uncle and Aunt; Tommy and Debbie Herman.  All of their names are reminiscent of baby boomers and I tried to think of names that could be similar, to give the same feel, but I just couldn’t find anything more perfect than what they already are.  

Their house was full of windows, it had great snacks, there was a backyard with a golf course on it, I had my own room, which was my cousins room, and my dad was in the room nearest to the backdoor.  He went out there to smoke cigarettes.   During all of it  he quit for a while, but once he found out things were going downhill he said “fuck it all” and took up the habit again.  I think it’s what killed him.  The smoking, not just during cancer, cause who could blame a dying man for smoking cigarettes, was the culprit.  He could do acid and heroine at the same time and I wouldn’t care.   But, before, when he was a young man and then an older man too.  The Tampa house is where he spent most of his time.  It was a vacation home on an awefully morbid holiday.   

To be honest, the best part of the house was the unlimited pot and not only during the cancer but before too.


March 2, 2010

Anthony Bourdaine is in Ecuador.  Lots of colors.  I didn’t even think I wanted to go there until about 1 month ago in January.   I finally got my ass out of my house and auditioned for something.  A program called Dramatic Adventure Theater.  Actors, directors, and writers, travel, learn about theater and the country in the country, teach young kids, and come back create a show and perform it.   Sounded right up my alley.  Shea even wrote me to suggest I send in my headshot and resume, and said “I’d be an idiot if I didn’t apply.”  I didn’t want to be an idiot.  I applied.

 The interview was a mess.  I drove in, thinking I was clever, and clearly, as you can tell from my tone, it was not.

4 Day Weekend

February 27, 2010

Day 3 of my 4 day weekend.  I am not bored but I do feel like my brain is rotting.  Let’s just hope there are no holes being created up there.   I’m leaving the house tonight.

Waiting to watch this Tsunami hit Hawaii, but American news isn’t telling us what happened to Chile where the earthquake hit.  And, I want to move to California. 

It’s strange how we are all waiting to watch a Tsunami hit an Island.   I think this must be the first or one of the first times where we have been able to watch this event happen in real-time.  American’s are being filmed sitting on top of mountains, safe but able to watch it.  People in their visors and leathery tan skin, awaiting natures wrath from a safe distance.  The news channels are all covering it, but really they are covering nothing.  Because nothing happens while we wait.

The tsunami Outlooked Hawaii and said it would be there at 11:04 Hawaii time ( what time is that, Pacific Ocean?)  Apparently the tsunami works for a non-profit organization and is running a little late for its meetings, as usual.

Golden Girls

February 26, 2010

Two snow days in a row has made me incredibly unproductive.  Being sick and glued to the Olympics doesn’t help me get off my ass.  In fact, I have been such a champion sitter, my ass is hurting.  I am sore from sitting.  I did a few laps around the apartment and then sitting, get up for a snack… now, this should be an Olympic event.  Watching TV I imagine myself getting the gold medal for power lounging.  

Golden Girls is on, and I am sitting on the couch waiting for Donat to get up from his nap.  It has been such a wonderful snow day.  The snow has been falling since last night and work was cancelled, which means that one of my programs was cancelled too.  Four day weekends are rare and although I do feel lazy, there isn’t much I can do.  I am sick and can’t really play in the snow, but I went outside and put my leg into a large pile and it was almost to the top! 

I tell people here about our hurricane days in Florida and they laugh.  People must think it’s funny that kids get trapped in their homes while 80 mile hour winds go by.   But, really it was fun.  I could hear the wind howling outside and the trees breaking and slapping into houses.  Afterwords we’d go outside and play on trees that had fallen over and find roof tiles in the street.  I miss the soothing sounds of Florida.

Before I Hit the Road

June 18, 2009

As a little girl, I never wanted to travel.  Shocking as it might be, I never wanted to leave the comforting home of my “I want to be your best friend instead of a good mother” mother and my (sorry dad) non communicative father.  They did the best they could, debatable.  But, regardless of my unwillingness to realize how awesome traveling is when I was 10, I did have an interest in the foreign cultures I grew accustomed to year after year at sleep away camp.   I learned that Israelis are pushy, Australians drink a lot,  Eastern Europeans work in the kitchen and clean the toilets, and the English have funny little accents that make even the harshest words sound like a delightful blip of the tongue.

I guess it was always in me, or something was rubbing me the right way my whole life. My mom calls me a gypsy now.  I have this feeling, I can’t explain, that makes me want to go.  Call me whatever you want, I have to travel, I get anxious when I sit still.  Maybe traveling is something I know I can control.  Mostly, I think I just can’t focus and my ADD/fear of commitment ads a straw to the camel.   I fear committing to really, anything. I get bored, and traveling  has been the greatest panacea for any ailment I have had.

What seems like another life time ago, I met a boy, and somehow someway bought a ticket to South Africa without thinking. Only now I know how people must have thought, but something told me to go.  I drove out of the airport in Cape Town seeing the beauty of Table Mountain.  In the car I was nervous as hell, 19, like totally American, and saw a township.  The tin on the roofs glistened in the African sun and in that very second I realized I knew shit about shit and wanted to know more.

Now, I am a writer, I want to act, I want to travel, I want to be involved in politics and in change. But, my fear of making the wrong decision, not knowing if I chose the right path, has halted me.  I am on hiatus from decision for now.  All I want to do is travel.  So, I decided that my perfect job: Travel Host, is the only route.  A somewhat mix between Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown. I hear they are just handing those jobs out.

In August, I am going to Brazil, and like usual I’ll write E-mails or blog, send pictures, and make commentary on what I see.   But, I will try to blog  and maybe I’ll get lucky and everyone will read it and I will become a travel channel guide.

I wonder what Brazil will be like.  I always get nervous before a trip, like I made the wrong decision, like I didn’t book the right ticket.  Maybe I wont have the right shoes or enough money.  Maybe I will compromise my safety, most likely I will.  Then I try and remeber the other trips, but that gives me more anxiety.