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Perfectionsm, Perfectionsim, Perfectionism

There are countless things that happen and I think to myself, “I’m going to blog about this.”

Like:

  • That one time I took my Granuelita to the oral surgeon’s office…  A young dentistry intern arrogantly, cruelly attempted to humiliate and degrade the kind older nurse that was attending us.  Blood boiling, I thought to myself, “I’m going to blog about this.”  Topics of discussion: Elitism, Inequality, Sadism, Classism, Social Darwinism.

Like:

  • That one time my aunt wanted me to invest extra time and energy at work that I did not have.  A request which I counteracted with a clear, strict and unbreakable boundary.  A flabby muscle I’m working to strengthen.  To which she reacted with a tearful, “You’re just so gringa, Vanessa.  So much more AMERICAN about giving than we are.” Topics of discussion: Guilt as a form of manipulation, unhealthy co-dependence, you owe me, I owe them, self love vs. unmediated self-sacrifice for another’s “love”, family values in Cuban Culture, family values in Gringa culture…

Like:

  • ETC.

I didn’t blog about either experience, however, because I just didn’t have all the time I needed to get a perfect grasp on them.  Or so I believed…

What within the amassing pile of daily complications and contemplations ultimately proves THE MOST helpful or inspiring to someone else?  Which private details of one’s dirty laundry should be shared or withheld?  Hell if I know.  The perfectionist inside rages on with such strangulating questions, urging me to excavate the truest (most perfect essence) of every wrinkle and gray hair, each quip and camera angle … until I’ve extracted its perfect version.  Only THEN should I put it on display.

“You are to Work HARDER. DO more x,y,z. On everything. Until you’ve reached its BEST: Your blog, Your art projects, Next Sunday’s Yard Sale … PERFECT is the only option.”

I can’t.  I say it here, now, in front of my 8 subscribers, one of which is me, I can’t do this whole Perfect-thing … perfectly.  I can’t choose the perfect topic of discussion and blog about it perfectly.  I can’t financially capitalize on all of my talents and capabilities perfectly.  I can’t take a picture or write a poem or organize my emails or say “no, I can’t” or say “yes, thank you” … perfectly.  I can’t do anything perfectly.

I must accept the indisputable truth that certain versions of imperfect are the most perfect anything is going to get.  I must accept imperfect manifestations of perfect concepts if I’m to continue creating and taking professional risks and making jokes and hugging people.

What I’m getting at is that I’ve decided to give up working toward the ideal manifestation of an ideal because it’s impossible and torturesome.  I’ll do my best, nothing more, nothing less, and then get some rest.  Just like kids.  They have it made.

What exactly am I talking about?  Hell if I know.  I accept that I only know the gist of what I’m getting at and it’s okay.

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photo by Greg Sand

My beloved Amor Eterno — grouchy black toy poodle with a head of grey — my family, my friend passed away a couple of days ago.  You were deeply loved & will be greatly missed.  See you in 30 yrs, mi negra linda… Rest in happiness and peace.

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“I Apologize” – Oscar Brown Jr.

I apologize for being black
All I am plus all I lack
Please sir, please m’am
Give me some slack
‘Cause I apologize

I apologize for being poor
For being sick and tired and sore
Since I ain’t slick
Don’t know the score
I do apologize

I apologize because I bear
Resemblance most black people share
Thick lips, flat nose, and nappy hair
Yes I apologize

I apologize for how I look
For all of the lows and blows I took
On those Lord knows I’d close the book
As I apologize

I apologize for all I gave
For letting you make me yo’ slave
And going to my early grave
Yes I apologize

I apologize for being caught
For being sold, for being bought
For being told I count for naught
Yeah I apologize

I apologize for all I’ve done
For all my toil out in the sun
Don’t want to spoil your righteous fun
So I apologize

I apologize and curse my kind
For being fooled, for being blind
For being ruled, and in your bind
Yes I apologize

I apologize and curse my feet
For being slow, for being late
Because I know it’s me you hate
Why not apologize

I apologize and tip my hat
‘Cause you so rich and free and fat
Son of a bitch, that’s where it’s at
And I apologize


The Nothing hankers for more …

I can’t sleep.  Per the usual.  Restlessness ringing through my ears.  Had an amazing weekend.  After coming off of an almost crushing week of grad school application and article deadlines.  I just have two more pieces due this week!  Woohoo!

I wonder if there’s anything on my mind worth sharing or if I’m merely indulging in uncomfortable squirmishness via public platform.  Maybe a little of both?  Meh, who knows.  I’ve been working so hard on my book and film stuff that I’ve sort of taken a breather from my spiritual & psychological homework, and been coasting on the healing breakthroughs of other weeks and months.  This can only keep me sane for so long though before The Ache for deepening explodes tingling chimes into my arteries and rushes them down center chest into the entrails of my stomach lining. Thus producing cravings similar to the ones I get to eat and/or be fed at 5:20 in the morning.  Or the craving everyone gets to chug a cold 40 oz bottle of Mickey’s Malt after a long hard 14 days of back to back deadlines …

I think I’ll spend much of this week tending to the call for more … not with booze, food, women, or artwork / careerwork, however, but with the spiritual & psychological work I’ve been avoiding … To heed the ringing restlessness by listening to its needs, which call for me to tend to the deepening of my experience by evolving its point of reference: my perspective.

Unfortunately, outward blessings do little to tame inner The Nothing, which, as of now lies dormant, but once awakened wreaks reckless havoc on my spirit, mind, body … and consequential life.

Only spiritual & psychological maintenance / rigorously honest and thorough work on the dimensional levels of my inward experience will afford me the perspective I need to remain centered, humble, serene, and grateful for my outward experiences. Alright, I’ve rambled on enough.  Time to get into action.

But before I peace out, here are some passages I came across last week that effectively lulled The Nothing into REM for a brief set of savory hours.

They passed a warm palm down its chest, and quelled its ominous hunger pains …

Excerpt from a poem by Stacy Gnail:

‎To have demanded each seam celestial, appealed for planetary pleats. And when you saw the sun a sequin, the moon a button shaped from glass, and in the stars a pattern for a dress … to have stood then at the edge of the wood, heard a hound’s bark and my heart hark in return.

Excerpt from a poem by Troy Urquhart:

It begins.
Simply, or not.
It begins
as a word or a phrase
or a glance.
Or a sentence.
Frost would say
“it begins with a lump
in the throat.”

Excerpt from a poem by Rosa Alcala:

The body’s hidden face

The question, as we sit
by the grill, becomes:
What is the real animal
between us?

A poem by Suheir Hammad:

his approach
to love he said
was that of a farmer
most love like
hunters and like
hunters most kill
what they desire
he tills
soil through toes
nose in the wet
earth he waits
prays to the gods
and slowly harvests
ever thankful

Excerpt from a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Let us discourse – with care –
Powder exists in Charcoal –
Before it exists in Fire –

And finally, by my friend Dare Williams:

Love is a stranger in an open car…

– Img from my fave blog RileyDog


Love passages & quotes more than mini churros from Jack in the Box.

More from Conversations before the end of time:

“It is only by discovering the biological origin of this intrinsic human imperative to make art that we will truly come to understand what art means for human life and what its future might be.

… Today the question of ‘community’ is much debated — not only ‘what’ art is for, but ‘who’ it is for.

… To understand what art is, or might again become, Dissanayke claims that it is useful to consider the bigger span of human history and not just the restricted field of modern Western Society, in which art has become identified with salable objects rather than with kinds of behavior or ways of doing things that embellish and enlarge life. Although small-scale, less-specialized, premodern societies may not possess the abstract concept ‘art,’ they do offer all their members frequent opportunities to be ‘artists,’ and to be a vehicle for group meaning. The paradox of the isolated, elitist view of ‘art for art’s sake’ is that art is simultaneously sanctified and dismissed as rubbish; it becomes the subject of complex exegesis and yet is totally ignored; it commands millions in the auctioneer’s salon and yet is irrelevant to most people’s lives. According to Dissanayake, we are in this paradoxical spot because Western society treats art as a dispensable luxury, when it is really an innate behavior that is essential to our human, biological nature. Art, in her sense of making special, is important to the lives of everyone, not just to an elite group of artists in an art world. A fundamental human need is being expressed, and met by artistic activity.”

Thanks to one of my favorite blogs Riley Dog for the always splendid & stimulating image finds.


Venti Agoraphobia Latte w/ a shot of Awesomeness!

Alright, I’ve decided to take a break from the mania of emailing the 60-page list of killer blogs I compiled with queries for review of my book The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive.

It’s truly been a blast revisiting their pages, and clicking on their recommended links through which I have discovered a whole nother’ slew of kick-arse blogs!  The author of the now closed Readerville blog put it best in 2009 when he said:

“It’s been an exceptional nine years. In June of 2000, the web was a very different place than it is today. Online resources for readers were comparatively few but pretty terrific, and Readerville was proud to be among them. Back then, if you told someone you talked to people on the Internet, they still looked at you funny, and most in the book industry couldn’t really grasp the idea of readers handselling books to each other in forums such as ours. These days, I’m thrilled at the vast assortment of tools for people to connect online—from blogs to Facebook and Twitter, to the many social book cataloging sites, and beyond. Readers have resources nobody could have imagined nine years ago, and it’s a joy to see books being talked about in every corner of the Internet.”

Not only books, but ALL the arts!  There are SO many AMAZING Art & Literary Blogs. Visual, Performance, Culinary, & Journalistic (Politics & News), Activism. The list goes on.  Finally, we the world’s citizens get, and give each other, choices. Yum.  I have to stop subscribing to all their RSS feeds though or I’ll never be able to clear my inbox! Gah! We live in some fabulous times — Tis’ truly the Information Age. I’m thrilled!!!

I’m also pooped and I have group therapy/meditation in an hour so I’m going to make this short.

From ages 18 – 23, I was one of the hugest party girls — in Gucci look-alike Payless Shoesource stilettos — to ever strut the planet .  At age 25, I’d partied the party out of my system.

Being an extremist by nature , I have since then grown to hate leaving the house unless it’s to go to a film festival, art showing, or performance (theatre, dance, etc).

Contrary to the V-Dawg of yesterday, I hate parties, clubs, and 99% of social engagements.  Not only do I dislike them.  I loathe them.  A panic runs from my toes up to my head and back down again from the phase of anticipation until I am out of the situation.

Me & Kim Basinger are apparently the only agoraphobics in entertainment, lol.  The anxiety doesn’t come from being “afraid” of people or what they’ll think of me or blah blah nah nah.  I rarely buy into that boring nonsense.

I think mainly it comes from feeling wildly out of place, like a train that’s been derailed.  All I want to do — ALL THE TIME — is work on my writing and films.  Or hang out with friends 1 or 2 at a time — go get dinz and catch a flick, save the world one convo at a time.  You know, I’m 80-years old.

From reckloose to recluse.  Yikes!

I must face and accept that I am a bona fide introvert.  I absolutely positively do not like “hanging out” and absolutely positively love staying home and working on my art.  GAH!  My party-girl inside never thought she’d have to embrace this day, but alas … so it is.  What a pain-in-my-arse I have become at 27-years old ;p

Ah vel, I must accept my newly mutated ways and stop telling people I’ll go to their parties so I don’t have a panic attack, cancel last minute, and then suffer the punches of guilt in my chest for the rest of the day 🙂

Gah!  Tis’ sort of duro. Oh vell …

Anyway, speaking of working on art.  In doing my book promotion email fest 5000 today, I came across some awesomeness I’d like to share with you before I jam out the door to group therapy/meditation a.k.a. therapeutic convos with other like-hearted cray crays ;p

Enjoy!!! :

Some of Today’s Fave Blog Discoveries:

Some of Today’s Fave Photo Discoveries from Awesome Blogs: