Monday, January 30, 2012

this is so expensive - and it shouldn't be...

like a lot of people i know, i ran out of money awhile ago. i went into survival mode and had to drop my big plans to fix my teeth so i could pay my rent. many moons passed. as God would have it, i saw an ad in amazon local offers to get a free x ray and exam recently. time was not about to stand still for me. i knew what i had to do. i went in and got back on that horse.

so what’s the rush, you might ask. why are you pushing so hard to do this – and why now.

the truth is, healthy teeth and gums should be a priority for everyone. people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. my teeth and gums affect my heart – seems farfetched, right? not really. oral bacteria can get into the blood stream through infected gums and flow to the heart by attaching to fatty plaque in the arteries, contributing to clot formation and doing all kinds of complications: swelling of the arteries, stroke. and yeah, it gets worse. (yeesh.)

my overall physical health is a big priority for me right now. when i was younger, i could eat anything, stay up all night, not work out and everything was sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. i was a size 4 effortlessly. and now? to quote big maybelle, it ain’t like that no mo’. the bottom line, for me? if i want my face and my body to look and feel a certain way, i have to work for it. smoking (anything), drinking alcohol, recreational drugs – thank God that was never my thing. probably because i was too broke/cheap to pull it off. so that’s not a hump i have to get over. i’ve gotten rid of a lot of bad eating habits and for the most part, i eat clean. i exercise to the point of complete exhaustion every single day, thanks to my love of boxing. the body i had when i was in college is finally coming back to me. naturally, my teeth and gums should come back, too.

i don’t get it. people will put more time and money and attention into their car – check-ups, oil changes, shiny rims, sound systems – than they will put into their own health and well-being. they can’t tell you the last time they went to the doctor for a basic check up, but they’ve got 50 pairs of expensive shoes. they scoff at organic foods – “that’s so expensive!” – but they’ve got
a closet filled with the latest designer clothing. and going to the dentist? unthinkable. you go to the dentist when there’s a problem, when there’s unimaginable pain or when a tooth inadvertently falls out. you don’t just go to the dentist.

i don’t even want to get into health insurance rates, why we need a national plan, and how idiotic it is that we consider ourselves to be the greatest nation on earth but we don’t have one.

so here’s my current trajectory. i had to get my wisdom teeth pulled, which was earth shattering. there’s another round of dental work that happens within two weeks and then i wait for everything to heal and fuse with my bone. that should take 6 to 9 months.

once that happens, i get braces. i will probably wear them for two years. when the braces come off, i will have the beautiful hollywood smile of my dreams. more importantly, my periodontist says i’ve added 20 years to my life – and taken more than 20 years off my age – by doing this.

the good news? because i’m an actor, i can write off all the dental work on my taxes as a necessary work expense. so, there’s my silver lining.

see you in 2014.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

a teacher's prayer

i have absolutely no idea who wrote this -- but it's so beautiful, i had to repost it. enjoy - and happy sunday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

i've come a long way, baby

just when i think new york city has wrung the very life essence from the marrow of my bones, just when i think i'm done with this place because i simply can't afford to make art here, just when the fantasies of leaving overwhelm the dream of staying and staying alive creatively, something wonderful happens. i turn a corner and even though its pissing down rain and misery as far as my eye can see, the sun shines inside me -- relentless, insistent, defiant -- and everything shifts forward, everything changes and changes for the best. everything makes sense.

when someone tells me that i've wasted my time at any point in my life, all i can think is, why am i wasting my time listening to you tell me that? the truth is, there is no such thing as wasted time. not in the grand scheme of things. where ever i was, i was right where i needed to be, to change and become the person that God wants me to be. where ever i was, i was where God wanted me to be, to learn that lesson. where ever i was is a far cry from where i am now. everything is streamlined. minimized.

i am draped in bar chords. i wear them every day. there are bits of lyrics and phrases floating just above my head, just waiting for me to look up and scribble them down. pretty melodies are a luminous day-glo halo that never comes off, never goes away. and somewhere inbetween piano lessons and boxing sessions, i am gliding through the city in a shroud of humility and gratefulness. i feel a great deal of joy and sweet relief. i feel safe. i feel divinely protected. i feel loved.

God bless us, everyone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"off the air" is off the chain

somewhere around 4am found me bouncing out of bed listlessly and crash-landing onto the sofa, where i decided to channel surf to get my visual bearings before i ripped into rewrites. adult swim is always a good idea, even when they're playing something i don't like. and i don't like a lot of what's on their top 10 list - although i'm slightly addicted to robot chicken - especially the star wars parodies - and of course the venture brothers. squidbillies is insane.

after a rerun of king of the hill came and went, some wierd grainy footage slid across the screen and imploded, melding into day glow imagery of an eagle. when that bird took flight, picked up a goat and tossed it off of a cliff, i was riveted. i don't know why. it was so violent, so completely unexpected. drop dead hilarious, somehow. and strange. very, very strange. believe it or not, things got progressively more disturbing from there: a vivid, mesmerizing, stream-of-consciousness visual rant on animals. at first glance, it looks like one big acid trip. i was almost tempted to think, maybe i'd enjoy this a lot more if i were on acid. or at least high. and yeah, it smacks of psychedelia but it's actually way bigger than that.

it reminded me of superjail, definitely, when everything goes haywire with a superjailbreak and they do their trippy sequences.

mpb thinks that the warden of superjail looks exactly like james habacker, the artistic director/costumed host of the slipper room. (yes, they're still in exile and rebuilding the space.) i think he's right.
off the air also has that stitched together local cable access feel of tim and eric: awesome show, great job.

this is a less-bizarre-than-usual trailer, but it's still got that high creep factor that makes me flinch involuntarily if i watch it for more than 10 minutes.

that's the other thing. off the air was only about 10 minutes long, but really - that's just about all i could take, especially at 4 am. it was so definite about how random it wanted to be.

of course, everyone doesn't get it. of course, there are those that do. i mean, hey. whatever blows your hair back.

on the other hand, your eye has to mature and develop and grow, just like your ear and your tastebuds and your reading level and your intellect and everything else, if you are to fully engage and experience whatever it is that falls onto your lap or your plate. if you do it right, you keep learning and growing. reading is fundamental to this process. so is eating clean - i'm convinced of it. some people don't get past the basics. for them, pollock is splatter, coltrane is noise, foie gras is just chopped liver and dostoyevsky is overwhelming. what's especially discouraging is that the system in this country doesn't really encourage this way of functioning in the world. the public school system doesn't teach students how to think critically and the powers that be don't exactly encourage it.

too bad that the more visually arresting stuff on tv is so hard to find. now if only there were more than two episodes of this freakshow...

Sunday, January 08, 2012

the state of things as they are

happy new year, more or less.

i can't remember the last time i made any new year's resolutions. once i learned the difference between a goal and a priority, and then hinged it all on a deadline, stuff began to get done with a quickness in every area of my life. still and all, there is always the effort to stay objective, to stay open and to grow. because i don't like reaching beyond my comfort zone, circumstance almost always shoves me into the great wide open, kicking and screaming all the way. this year is no exception. the challenges keep coming and i welcome them, for all of what they will turn me into, much sooner than i think.

bad habits are falling away as good habits are falling into place. my daily ritual involves guitars and boxing, and a lot of writing and rewriting. and running. i absolutely drop-dead hate running. i love the stamina its giving me but God help me, i hate every second of it.

some days feel so easy, so forgiving. but lately, everything is so much work, so much discipline. even when i'm having a soak, i'm working that dead skin off my backside. but i'm fighting for the body i want and when i get it, i will fight to maintain it.

and that ain't all. but more on all that later.