Wednesday, August 1, 2012


 Trailer Park Girl writes of life at a trailer park, and life way beyond the park.  Her blogs are filled with soap box rantings, politics, observations of people and situations, soul-searching, senseless musing and crap like that.   
She pushes you to look inside yourself, and almost always, make you laugh out loud.
~ Anonymous (review)

So I'm sitting in my hair salon, where Lonnie is working some damn good magic on my hair.  As I sit with the dye on my head, ( something I swore I'd never do when the gray began its formation of a small, persistent army) I search for a magazine that grabs me.  I have absolutely zero interest in looking at Vogue or Elle with all the anorexic ladies the world see as beautiful. I pick up Harper's July 2012 edition and thumb through to the section called "Findings."
I love Findings.  It's like a "quickie" when you don't have time for hours of sex;
breakneck, to the point and satisfying.
Findings offers up a bunch of facts and recent scientific discoveries from all the major global
laboratories, universities, etc.  It's one or two gratifying, factual sentences without the fluff...
Recent discoveries, research-based suggestions for your health, advancements with this global study or that and yada yada yada...
My favorite finding, which caught my eye and provided me with one of those
"things that make you go hmmm" moments was this:
"Vanilla yogurt gives mice glossier coats and bigger testicles."
All you gentlemen reading this should make note, then get your asses down to Food Max and stock up.
Me after just 4 days of eating vanilla yogurt
Vanilla Greek Yogurt has been my favorite foreva and as you can tell, it's working.
I'm thinkin that because of my gender, somehow it directed itself to a different body part, yet in the general vicinity. 

Note to self: When you shut a door on "blood family" aka ‘kin’ some 44 years ago, they shut their side of the door as well.

I suppose the wisdom lies with the ability to truly know doors.
Intuition has something to do with it.  Understanding too.
But most important, in this writer’s opinion,  is effort.  
I made no effort to know my kin
Let’s take a walk down Self-Examination Lane for a moment.
For many years, I  blamed everyone else for slamming their doors on me.
How dare they?
I wrote 'em off like a boring church sermon and knew they had their reasons;
She's a “left-wing radical, hippie-lovin, trailer trashin, forget the 9-5, care-free, artist freak, dyke” for starters.  SLAM!
But then last weekend, I saw them again, at my aunt's funeral. I went to see if sealed doors could actually be pried open.  I went to see if there were any findings worth discovering.
I went to say, "Do we have anything in common after so many years?"

My childhood memories are filled with their faces, their laughter, our kid-pranks.  I loved Sunday afternoons; running with my cousins through the clothes and sheets that our grandmother had hanging on the line.  I loved playing hide-n-seek in the "apartment house" next door.  I loved the peach cobbler made from scratch.  I remember sneaking into grandma's room with my cousin Desi, carefully opening the dresser drawer and looking at her dainty doilies and scarves. I can still smell grandma's scent.
Then one Sunday, I think I was 9 or 10, my father informed us that we were no longer going to grandma's.  SLAM!
A very important, loving and established door shut. And that door has pretty much remained shut for 4 decades; shut through graduations, marriages, births, celebrations and deaths.

I went out of hunger. I went on a thread of hope and possibility.  I tried to make an effort, taking with me the understanding that life is what it is and the past is the past, and really all we have is this single moment.
Then of course, there's the intuition. And I held steadfast to that too.  Intuitively, I've learned that when you are sincere and come from a true heart place, people will meet you halfway.
Doors quite possibly can be opened.

Now,  I'm not talking about Facebook friends.
As social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linkekum become more integrated in our modern culture, some people think that the benefits outweigh any downsides, while others believe the dangers are more pressing and hazardous than any upsides.
Personally, I dig it. All of it!  I dig the exposure, the information, both factual and fiction, comical and stone-cold serious.  And I dig the doors which, for me, especially via Facebook, have been both slammed in my face, but more so, opened wide as a fat baby's mouth.
The "friend request" component is an interesting thing, isn't it?
Awhile back, I received a plethora of these requests from the long lost people in my life; those that I hated in high school and college, so why the hell would I want to "friend" them 40 years later?  Anyway, it's a door.
But rather than taking a handle or turning a knob, one sits in front of a keyboard and decides,
with the click of a button, to confirm or deny a request.   I had my old boyfriend, his best friend and his wife all "friend request" me.  Oh! They were thrilled that I confirmed. They sent long private messages of excitement at the prospect of "connecting" again and possibly seeing
each other.
Then they read my Facebook wall and personal profile. UH  OH! Tisk. Tisk.
Seems they're still lovin the Lord at The Southern Baptist Church on Las Posas Road, the very one I attended in my teens.  And guess what? They don't much take a liking to queer folk.  SLAM!

But, I've had so many cool doors open as well;
former students, old friends, people who I will probably never sit with or share a glass of wine, yet, we share news, political articles, jokes, photos, and as maple syrupy as this may sound, messages of inspiration and hope. But Cliff Stoll, a Berkeley astronomer, who has been using the internet since 1975 has a different thought. Cliff once said, "Spending an evening on the World Wide Web is much like sitting down to a dinner of Cheetos.  Two hours later your fingers are yellow and you're no longer hungry, but you haven't been nourished."
One thing that cannot be disputed.  The doors that are opened, via the internet, are limitless. 

Intuition, understanding and effort.
Intuition in which our senses clearly speak,"Offer a buck to a homeless person, (small door) but don't invite them to move in with you." (big lesson)
Understanding that the whole door opening and door closing thing cannot be "hinged" with expectations.
And finally, effort.  You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.
It takes effort.  There's a line from a song by The Indigo Girls that says, " gotta tend the earth if you want a rose."

May doors open for y'all today.


  1. Val, After initiating a blog of my own I have even MORE appreciation for your gift in writing. Truly! Your style is so satisfying to me as a reader, just as seeing a great photo of Frida. I"m glad our doors opened to one another again after so many long years. : ) And, yes, like your opening quote states; "She pushes you to look inside yourself, and almost always, make you laugh out loud." That's a fact!

  2. Mmmmmmyummmmmm....... now that was a bit of nutritious reading/writing! I love laughing out loud in a spontaneous burst, and I love that now I will move through my day with a more open heart door.
    Very cool photos as well! OX

  3. I loved this stroll and walking through a few doors with you Val. Felt the lesson in this for me was to keep the heart open enough to notice the next door cracking and to notice the one who might meet you half way is likely walking through that door....

    The Indigo girls also say "The hardest to learn was the least complicated."

  4. Beautiful Val, this resonates with me today

  5. I like your blog today...made me laugh, but also think of the closed doors...and open ones, in my life. I have always been thankful that I was born in the U.S. and CA, a woman, white, and to a loving family. I have been fortunate that I have had more open than closed doors.

  6. So what happened??! Did the family doors open when you saw them at the funeral? Inquiring minds want to know! V2

  7. Hi cousin Val. I do not tweet or facebook, heck, I have never even 'blogged' before. But I was very moved about your posting 'findings'; I can't tell you how happy I am that you came to my mom's memorial and reconnected with all of us. I hope you know that I never meant to ever 'shut' the door on you, but more than likey forgot to look through the opening and seek you out. I have such fond memories of goofing around too and no amount of time can change that. I always remember you being so fun - we really just lost touch, but you were never forgotten. Time goes by too fast! I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with you and making new memories now that we are older and wiser!

  8. WOW! YOWZA! I am so blown away and humbled by all of your comments. Thank you a thousand times over. My heart is full of all of your words and my door is always open to each of you! ~tpg

  9. oooh, i LOVE this! the Door, so poetically written and makes us all think that yes- the door can be closed or opened from both sides. beautifully said!

  10. At long last, I found your funny, insightful, thoughtful blog! Oh, it was better than ever...the hilarious vanilla yogurt thoughts will find me heading to Patek's Grocery to stock up! That was so very funny...thanks for a great laugh. And then here came the swinging doors and I really started paying attention. I admire your honesty, your grit and bravery at going to your aunt's funeral and how poignantly you captured those feelings of separation. But then came special remembrances of running through your grandma's sheets hanging on the line...your remembering her scent. Oh, my...this was a delight for all my senses, for I could just see you there as a carefree child. And now it looks as though the doors are opening again for you and your cousin, Desi. Indeed, as you said, doors do open both ways, if we're willing to take the risk.