Archive for April, 2013

Mind the cap

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

So to cap off the perfect day of walking on sunshine even on a rainy day, I say this about that – I spent hours meeting with an old friend about work stuff and life stuff and good stuff and while sitting at the bar at Serendipity, a man came over and wanted to hug me several times and tell me I am beautiful. Okay, stop it already I said aloud but inside, I’m like, bring it on. Then the bartender told me when my friend went to the bathroom, “when he goes you stay” and I’m like what is it with this place – are you all starved for SELF ACTUALIZED BALD HEADED WOMEN or what?

We were drinking Riff Pinto Grigio, my favorite new white wine, that has a screw cap that the bartender said you could fill with resin and turn into kitchen magnets. But I digress, then we all settled into a group hug and talked about what is wrong with the world and what would make it right and I again, quote, here my favorite line of the night, “I don’t mind what happens.”

God if this isn’t my life right now than you tell me what is? And what a fabulous way to live.

The sign says you gotta have a membership card to get inside

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

When you’re lost everything is a sign, and so read this and weep. I woke up this morning without the negative tape playing in my head that says YOU ARE UTTERLY ALONE AND HAVE MISSED THE BOAT AND WILL DIE THAT WAY and instead I heard the birds chirping. I meditated, had my coffee, and then wrote a post on my new blog and immediately had a response – read: there are people out there reading what I write (insert high five gratitude fist pump right here).

Next, and this one requires a drum roll, that’s right, I was paying bills and checked my account and suddenly was rich beyond rich (for me these days anyway). I am not kidding folks, what has been scraping by was suddenly converted into a deep breath balance because half of my homeowners insurance that was escrowed on the LaLa was returned (insert heart pounding joyous HELL YEAH right here).

Midmorning, I interviewed a guy who was the 100th person to like the Facebook page of the new blog that someone is reading and we talked about white parents of white children and I moved one step closer to the work that I have begun and I felt good. I felt good because we connected on this subject and there is room to keep moving forward (insert victory lap here).

And then I got a call from a friend and ex neighbor who said to me, “Rachel, you are the best at making lemonade of anyone I know. After all the reframing you have had to do with your life, I just want you to know that you continue to inspire me” (insert warm glow down to the toes here).

A friend wrote a hallelujah message – she put herself out there for the new business she has started and someone skipped across her radar opening a doorway to help move it forward (insert attagirl for a friend here).

I picked up Tin from school and was taken aback by the scowl he greeted me with, the same scowl he has received me with every afternoon for a week and me searching for answers as to what, why, how, and also just feeling very bad in general because I blamed myself for his disgust with me. I searched online the question: “Why does my four year old scowl at me when I pick him up from school?” and ran across sites that ranged from “I’m a stuck at home mom and depressed” to “Four year olds aren’t humans” — then I called Tatjana after having dropped him off to tell her and she had just gotten off of the computer searching for “how to get four year olds to wash their hands” – so we had a good laugh and I chalked it all up to parenting (insert mantra: parenting is neither good nor bad, it simply is here).

Tonight, I’m meeting a friend to talk about my business and about kicking up some dust and doing things differently. I was on the phone with a long-time source of mine today who said it so succinctly: to innovate and move quickly in this fast changing world you have to be free of chains (insert advice if you haven’t learned how to make lemonade, now is a good time to start here).

Those were the days my friend

Monday, April 29th, 2013

It used to be that you could tell me that you wanted to sit up till the wee hours of the morning and debate the population boom while drinking bourbon and I wouldn’t flinch. I wouldn’t. Now I’m hard pressed to know what I even want to do on my birthday because it’s out with the old and in with the new (and I just happen to be part of the former). A friend posted some pics from Jazz Fest past and I saw myself as if I was someone else, back then that is.


Rachel go lightly, flirting my way through life and always ready to have a good time.

And now, the good times are being redefined. When was the last time I had a good time – well, last night in my living room, with a glass of Suhr Luchtel and friends on my right and left talking about our past, present and future. Ask me where my good time was had today, I’d say watching my son’s heartthrob crush on my friend’s fiancé – you could just see the stars in his four year old eyes. Tomorrow, what will my good times look like? I’ll just have to see now wont I?

Time is swiftly making its revolution around the sun, and I’m spinning right along with it. I guess I am thankful I’ve made it this far (that is if I get to Thursday), but truthfully I look at my younger self in photographs, and I see why my laugh lines are etched so deep in my face.

And I reckon that’s why they call me lucky if they call me at all.

Taurus Redux

Monday, April 29th, 2013

My horoscope has not changed for over a week. I think it is trying to drive home this point.

April 29, 2013
Taurus (4/20-5/20)
Growth is a good thing, but you should take a break from pushing yourself right now. Today will not be best spent challenging yourself or starting any difficult (if revelatory) conversations. Settle in to a routine right now, and find comfort in doing the same things in familiar patterns. There is something to be said for predictability … plus, if things never got boring, shaking them up again would not feel nearly as wonderful. Let the dust settle on your newly renovated life.

The Power of Nada

Monday, April 29th, 2013

I got myself all worked up about housing yet again and then last night tried to take it down a couple of notches. What am I waiting for? Entertaining friends all day and night yesterday, I had candles lit in the living room; I watched the streams of people moving in and out of Jazz Fest in the pouring rain and in the sunshine; I cooked breakfast for friends, served dinner for friends. In other words, I have a house, the one I’m living in. So what is the deal with the freak out on housing?

I have an offer in on a lot, a letter sent out about another lot, and just secured the number of an owner of yet another lot. There are lots of lots. But late last night when I lay in bed ruminating, as I’m want to do, I thought about the lots and about the house that I would build on the lots and about the life I would have in that house on that lot, and I thought what the hell is wrong with me? Why am I projecting out and out and out when I’m living now and now and now?

This morning, I read a few passages in my Power of Now, and came to the distinct conclusion that I need to channel the Power of Nada – el podre de nada – that is what I need instead of all of this ruminating about how when this happens, then this will happen, and then I will twinkle my nose and be transformed into that place where my life begins. Good grief.

A woman emailed me this morning, she had stayed at the LaLa when I was renting it out via VRBO. She wanted to know about the cabinets in the kitchen, the specs etc. I sent her a photograph and I told her what I knew about them and said I had sadly sold the house in January. I was surprised by what she said, she wrote back that she could totally relate because they too had downsized, had sold their great house, but that they had in the meantime, found their dream house and she knew I would too.

Wow, the comfort of strangers. That was relatively effortless. Sometimes, and it seems like a lot of times these days through cyber space, a stranger reaches out and pats you on the back and says, “I’m proud of you.” “You’re doing a good job.” “Keep it up, it will all be okay.” And there you are right as rain.

Today, ommmmmmmm, I’m channeling el podre de nada.

Godfather’s Day at the Fest

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Sunday was lounge for the lord and listen to my playlist called God on Sunday and watch the Jazz Fest crowd come and go through the rain. We walked over with Evan and Nina and got VIP passes backstage to hear Evan play with the Kid Ory tribute band. There is nothing like the stench of the Fairgrounds after the pouring rain.





Note to transitioned self

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

I had to remind myself yet again while I sipped my black coffee out in the backyard this morning of what I am doing here. Answer: Living.

Recently, I was caught up again in the lemmings’ path in the real estate market, which heated up and there was this GET IT NOW OR PERISH feeling about housing. I found a house, a lovely old queen on North Broad and I instantly imagined it gloriously restored and amended a bit to make the perfect home. Only at a cost. Not only the amount of money, the amount of time (read: living deferred time) and emotional cost.

A friend of mine is in from New York and he said as he put his arm around me and held me tight: you’ll know it when it’s right, and this appears to need you to put everything you have in it meaning it will take take take not give to you. Sound familiar?

Ahhh, my friends, where would I be without them?

So this morning, I sipped my coffee and Tin played with his trains in his room inventing colorful stories about the journeys they were on. Percy goes back to the world. Thomas is going up up up into the ocean and Spencer is staying in the station. I thought about my narrative again, and how I would like to write this moment forward.

I want to write about each precious day and my being in it. So this morning when I saw the mourning dove on the fence and immediately thought “egg abuser” because I remember the doves who built a nest in my window box filled with herbs on Mason Street (San Francisco) then promptly abandoned the eggs laid there.

Perhaps this dove is different? I don’t know.

The whirly gig that I’m on has stopped in freeze frame at very similar situations/people/places as I’ve experienced in the past, but I’m changed so I have to now re-evaluate whether the situation/people/place has too – that’s where I seem to be spending my energy as of late – that and keeping an open mind and open heart and trying not to judge even the mourning doves based on past experiences. Because obviously not all mourning doves abandon their eggs or there wouldn’t be so damn many of them cooing in my backyard.


Jazz Fest 2013

Saturday, April 27th, 2013







Rushing, bad

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

A friend at the Green Market was telling me about her pregnant friend who had to suddenly move out of their apartment and find a house and has been frazzled. My friend said you should never rush into anything like that. And I so bravely said, yeah, I know. I don’t want to be rushed.

That same evening I got the call to look at the house asap. It was in my neighborhood. It looked great from the outside and we had to put in an offer inside unseen.

Dang – so glad I didn’t get this one – lord today, it needs everything!!

It just goes to show you.

Yesterday, I went back in the closet

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

So yesterday started much like any other day. Get up, fix Tin breakfast, and after he was in school, write a post on my new site about the harrowing effects of racism in our society and then PAUSE, EMERGENCY, TAKE COVER, TORNADO WARNING came through my telephone taking away all the white noise and producing nothing but crisis silence. I grabbed my phone and sought shelter from the only place imaginable in this shotgun, Tin’s inner room, inner closet. The bathtub was not a choice because if you know anything about a New Orleans shotgun, the kitchen and bathrooms are all built after the fact and are usually shaky like a trailer.

Once in the closet, I called Tin’s school and got a little miffed when the person who answered seemed a bit cavalier about this impending doom. I urged them to put the nursery kids into the library, the interior room and she called back and said they were doing that. I then wrote an email with follow up info about the tornado and still got the impression that I was overreacting but didn’t give a fig because, well because, it’s Tin for godsakes.

I got a text from a friend that the watch was extended and so I made myself comfortable and listened to the freight train thunder – the sure sign that this is a tornado. And then after an hour, there was a dead eery silence and I got up and realized I was locked in the closet.

In my email to the school I had said instead of discussing an action plan, you should have one, and now here I was in the closet, with no action plan because the only person who had keys to my house was Tatjana – whose phone had been turned off for an hour and a half during this whole event.

So now I’m texting everyone – my old neighbor in the Can Company to go knock on Tatjana’s door, my friends who think it is hysterical, and one friend who texts: “Grrrl, get outta that closet” – but I must say Tornado’s are not funny. It sounded like a train coming through my house and a friend who was eating lunch in Metairie said she saw an 18-wheeler get turned over as well as light posts coming down and wind that almost sucked out the windows of the restaurant.

No tornados are not common to New Orleans. The first that I had ever heard of and I think that was ever reported was in 2006 right after the 2005 Federal Flood, around Rita.

Thank god I was dancing in the streets to the Stooges Brass Band come night time because Tornados and me are not a good fit.