RIP Paulo Emanuele

As I sat down to type this blog entry, I turned on the tv to find some background music and I landed on Palladia’s Soulstage performance of Erykah Badu live in concert.  She was performing On and On from her first album, Baduizm.  I immediately flashed back to a time in my life when Baduizm was in my cd player on repeat, all – the –  time.  And ironically…the blog entry I had planned to write is about that same exact time in my life.

In June of 1994, I graduated from UCSB and moved back home to San Diego.  I re-kindled relationships with old high school friends who still lived here (i.e. BFF Mariana, Lisa, Sean, and Lems) and struck up new relationships with the crazy wild film production peeps I met at my extras casting job at Stu Segall Productions (Steve – my hubby, Rob, Benjie, Hayley, Hunter and Danny, to name a few).  Holy black-outs, did we like to have fun.  We went out on the town, several nights a week, enjoying our booze, our cigarettes, our music (i.e. Dee-Lite, Spearhead, G-Love, and Erkyah Badu).  Throughout the course of a few gluttonous, indulgent, dehydrated years, we frequented a few key places…Shakespeare’s Pub, Cafe Sevilla, The Lamplighter, The Alibi, Nunu’s and by far, the best bar to ever grace the streets of San Diego, The Green Circle Bar.

The Green Circle was on the corner of 9th and F, which in those days, the pre-Petco Park “East Village” days, this neighborhood was sketchy, to say the least.  But we loved it and we risked life and limb for it on a few occasions.  On top of the funky cool decor and the funky fresh music, including the top local DJs and live entertainers, namely DJ GreyBoy and the GreyBoy Allstars, there was a palpable, soulful energy to the place for which I cannot find the right words.  It was just cool.  And, it didn’t hurt that one of the owners was a family friend.  So on nights when we would arrive too late to beat the line, I would walk to the front of the line, ask for him by name, and they would usher us right in.  The family friend I speak of was Paulo Emanuele.  I am writing about him tonight because he died yesterday in a plane crash.

I haven’t seen him in years as he closed The Green Circle, and a few other establishments he owned, and moved to LA.  He had split with his girlfriend, who was the real connection to my family, so I lost contact with him and haven’t spoken to him in over 10 years. But nevertheless, my heart sank this morning when my mom called me to tell me the news.  He was a motivated, energetic, charismatic go-getter.  He loved life.  He had a golden touch, as most of his business ventures were successful.  He was most recently the General Manager at Airliners.Net, (click in the hyperlink, their site has a nice tribute to him).

My thoughts went immediately back to that time in my life, with a sense of bittersweet nostalgia.  I have Paulo to thank for many a rockin night back in the 90’s.  A lot of wonderful memories were created in those days (even if some of the memories are a bit hazy).  My friends and I still tout The Green Circle as the Best Bar in San Diego History.

But, after reflecting on those days and smiling, my mind then goes to his young daughter, Eden Moon, who is only in her early teens and has no idea that she has just joined “The Club.”  My heart aches for hers.  Her broken heart that will now endlessly ache because daddy is gone.   Someday, hopefully, my book project dream will be a reality, which she can read to find some solace. Til then, I pray for her and their entire family.

Thank you Paulo, for the memories.  I hope you are sipping a cocktail, listening to some acid jazz and flashing those pearly whites, charming the pants off all those that have gone before you.

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i don’t like gogs, Mommy

So, I have a parenting dilemma…

I’m afraid…of a lot of sh*t.  I’m afraid of heights, confined spaces, big dogs, creepy crawlies, free-falling roller coasters and unicorns, just to name a few.   I’ve learned how to live with these fears, but I really don’t want my children to learn these fears from me.  So, herein lies my dilemma…how do I keep from passing on my many fears to my daughters if I’m too afraid to teach them how to not be afraid?  But to that point, I wonder, is fearfulness a trait that is learned or rather is it inherent in a personality from birth?

Ever since Lily was born she has been afraid of things, even before I had a chance to teach her one way or another, so I do think some of it is genetic.  Things like loud noises and hmmm…dogs scare the crap out of her, and they have since Day 1.

It’s an interesting predicament I find myself in, when the things that scare her, also scare me.  I want to be the strong, invincible mommy, but sometimes I am having a freak-out of my own.

Case in point #1 – The other day, while at my brother-in-law Greg’s house, their GIGANTIC German Shepherd was let into the house while Lily and I were alone in the livingroom.  He ran ran through the room and the poor girl was terrified.  And I must admit, I don’t blame her.  I am scared sh*tless of this dog.

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So, although I tried to calm her by saying, “Don’t worry Lily, he won’t hurt you,” I was actually freaking the f out too.

I know I inherited some of my fear of dogs from my mom who won’t come within 10 feet of a dog.  And I am also fearful because one of my younger nieces was bit twice by a dog on her lip and is scarred for life.  Nevertheless, I really shouldn’t be so petrified of my own family’s trained, lovable dog.

“I don’t like gogs, Mommy,”  she said, the next day over her mac n’cheese and tomato lunch.  Inner Monologue  “I don’t blame you, honey.”  Whatever I did end up saying, probably didn’t comfort her much because I have a feeling she can see right through my facade.

Case in point #2 – Last week at PlayWerx, an indoor jungle gym activity center for kids,

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Lily went into the climbing apparatus and somehow made it all the way to the top.  When she screamed “MOMMY!’ from the tippy top I knew I would have to go in after her.  I left Lexi on the ground playing with another mommy/baby team and headed into the miniature, seemingly harmless labyrinth.  As soon as I hit the first tunnel, in which I had to crawl on my hands and knees up to the next level, I felt a rush of claustrophobia sweep over me.  My vision blurred and my breathing became shallow and fast.  Inner Monolgue – “Are you kidding me that I have to crawl through this thing right now? Breath Mary, breath.”  Once I reached the top I was fine and my anxiety attack passed.  But I thought to myself…no wonder Lily is afraid.  She’s got a chicken sh*t for a mother!

So, all you parentals out there who are kind enough to read my blog, any advice for this cowardly lioness?  I really don’t want my girls to be afraid of the simple things in life, like: thier friend’s pets, swinging upside down on the monkey bars, walking the balance beam, the hair in their 8th grade science teacher’s ears (like our beloved Mr. Boiko – RIP), science fair projects, or speaking in front of the class (yes, even though I love the stage I am terrified to speak in public).  I guess I need to tackle some of my fears first before I can be a decent role-model.  Or maybe I just send Daddy to the jungle gym next time…

because I said so

It’s here…the inevitable, utterly annoying WHY? phase. It’s here and it’s gonna drive me to drink, heavily.

Lily, let’s wash your hands before lunch.

Why?

Because your hands are dirty from the park.

Why?

Because of all the dirt and germs from the other kids.

Why?

Because you were touching things a lot of other kids were touching.

Why?

Because that’s what happens when we go to the park.

Why?

UGH!!!!!!

Just wash your hands!

Why?

BECAUSE I SAID SO!

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Why?

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This apple did not fall far…clearly.

Did you catch the last glance back at camera?

Two words

Teething sucks!

A nearly perfect day

Today’s historic event has left me hopeful and invigorated, yet at the same time a little melancholy, as I wish my Dad was alive to have experienced it with me.  Although I am quite certain he would not have voted for President Obama, or been a big fan, I still wonder what he would have thought about this day.    I think he would have had something very profound to say about him, supportive and kind.  And he would have been proud of our country’s collective unity.  Pissed off about an inevitable tax increase, but nevertheless proud.

He was always the person I went to for information regarding politics or history.  He was incredibly knowledgeable.  Beyond, beyond.  Growing up, his diatribes on political issues and historical events bored me to tears.  Now, I shed tears because I desperately miss those diatribes I once disdained.  Oh, just to hear his booming voice make a smart ass remark about CHANGE…nothing would make me happier.

Today, watching the inauguration, with my girls and husband, I was filled with pride and joy.   I dressed the girls and myself in red, white and blue to commemorate this day (no, we do not wear matching outfits to theme parks).  My parents both taught me the importance of patriotism.  Today I felt it like never before.  My heart was a tight knot in my throat, butterflies did sommersaults in my tummy and the hairs on my arms stood on end as I prayed with the rest of the nation for our new illuminous leader.  I held Lily in my arms, with our hands over our hearts and sang the national anthem through my tears.  “Mommy’s happy tears, Lily.”  It was a day I will never forget.  It was nearly perfect.  I just missed my Dad.

Brand New Day

“At this defining moment, change has come to America.”

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The collective mental state of our country is shifting.  It’s the power of The Secret on a national level.  I’m reminded of a song from the 1978 musical The Wiz

Everybody look around
‘Cause there’s a reason to rejoice you see
Everybody come out
And let’s commence to singing joyfully
Everybody look up
And feel the hope that we’ve been waiting for

Everybody’s glad
Because our silent fear and dread is gone
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

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And a big shout out to the model makers at LEGOLAND for re-creating this historic moment in thousands of little LEGO bricks.  Thanks for helping me feel like I have experienced this day first hand, in a miniature, plastic sort of way.

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Godspeed to you President Obama.  God Bless America.