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yeah dating is cool…but have you ever had stuffed crust pizza?

9 Mar

hi, y’all! so what’s up with my looong-a$$ writing hiatus, huh?!!  i wish i had a good excuse like “hey i was supes busy stopping ebola and/or bill cosby”…but it’s nothing that noble.  instead, i’ve been busying myself with some narcissistic self-improvement/creative/dope-a$$ ish that was carefully curated on my extremely important 2015 new year’s resolution list (aka all the crap that i won’t actually do because i have the follow-thru of an ADHD chihuahua i’m WAY too busy).  like, for example…i don’t mean to brag, but i wrote a very special piece about life and relationships and other ridiculous things that i submitted to the LA Times’ column “LA Affairs” in january…but since it’s been 2 months, 23 days, and 6 hours since i hit the “send” button (i mean who’s counting?!) and after checking my inbox and junk mail 1,249 times for a response to no avail, i’m gonna assume that my inclusion of such references as (1) delicious ramen (2) my deep disdain for drummers, and (3) a supreme admiration for vibrators might have been a touch too “next level” for the Times.

Oh and i’ve been really busy trying to figure out how to date.

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Dating at age redacted is beyond weird no matter where you live. But doing so in Hollywood when you’re not a victoria secret model is THE WORST at best…and utterly soul-crushing at worst.  gone are the good-ole days where boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, boy gives her a 10-carat cartier diamond and boy and girl live happily ever after in the palisades after a few stints at betty ford (oh, and in this aforementioned scenario the boy is george clooney, duh).  instead, if you’re a single gal in LA you have to tinder and match.com and plenty of fish and wear pants not look like a shut-in crazy lady when you go to the fancy grocery store in your neighborhood and try not to fall down/talk to yourself and deal with your real fear of being abducted by your date and waking up in a tub in an undisclosed location somewhere in the valley less a kidney and pay for a gym membership that costs as much as your rent while you wear enough makeup to look not like an extra on ‘the walking dead’ but not too much where it looks like you’re a basic b*tch trying/care and pretend to be easy breezy beautiful cover girl when in fact you are neurotic bundle of weirdness loosely contained by rapidly aging skin that you now have to care about and shave your legs (all of them) which means buying razor blades which are freakishly expensive and consult your astrologist for sun sign and rising sign compatibility and date actors/doormen/musicians/other sundry poor people who are prettier than you (and know it, giving them the total f*cking upper hand) and pretend to like hiking + juice bars + quentin tarantino and answer stupid questions like, ‘omg you are perfect why are you single” when clearly you aren’t perfect because they don’t call you back after the second date.

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it’s all this bullsh*t complexity that’s led me to oscillate between a) embracing the utter hilarity of dating weirdos in a weird town at a weird age in a weird time in my life and not giving any of the f*cks and b) espousing the life of a shut-in while i watch gilmore girls (again) and order flat round carbs covered in delicious meat and cheese while i talk to my ex’s cat about how dying alone can’t be half bad except for the haunting question of “who will delete our porn gilmore girls fun facts search history?”

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stay tuned for the rest of 2015 while the above-mentioned two realities wage war in “livin la vida coco.’  will she actually wear yoga pants AND actually go to yoga?  does she like her date enough to actually consider shaving ABOVE THE KNEE?   will she actually order a veggie pizza for once (who are we kidding…I NEED THE F*CKING BACON DAMMIT!)? will she avoid “that’s what she said” jokes until the 3rd date? you will just have to watch this space…

Just like i’m watching the white space on my ceiling while i wait for that hot guy at whole foods who weirdly just asked for my number even though i looked like i had just rolled out of bed (because i totally had) and might have had pizza crumbs on me and definitely was buying only wine and really expensive hippy toilet paper…

————–

P.S.

Amy Schumer for President!

californication

16 Nov

sh*tballs.  i can’t believe its only 11 days away from the ole birthday.  when the last one stared me in the face, i was surrounded by strippers! just kidding aunt nancy. hey, everyone else: it’s kinda true about to begin a new decade and end a two-year relationship. weirdly, i was optimistic.  giddy even.  change is f*cked up and scary and did i mention f*cked up? but it’s also trés invigorating.  i liken it to eating at a delicious, exotic restaurant that all of a sudden-like you notice has a B health safety rating.  that warm feeling in your tummy could signal either wonderful food satiation OR an epic case of impending sharts salmonella…and only time will tell you which one it’s gonna be.

11 months and three weeks later, the poker dealer of life has shown his cards. and he had a full house whereas i got a hand akin to a long episode of watery diarrhea without the resulting skinniness.  uh yeah.

to be brutally pathetic honest…i think the hardest thing about entering this new age number thingy is that i’m doing it single.

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maybe it has something to do with the fact that i recently found out that the ex has moved on before me (translation:  i should be the first one to find someone else because i’m clearly a vindictive b*tch  the better person).

don’t get me wrong, i haven’t been a nun…although black and white is very slimming on me. i’ve had periodic bouts where i feel like i’m living an episode of californication and i’m a slightly milder, less drunk/snort white powder off a slutty girl’s a$$ version of david duchovony (again, just kidding work/family members/any nuns that might be reading this).

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and then there was the time when even allowed myself to feel a little bit of the feelings except it wasn’t related to buying shoes but was actually connected to a living, breathing human male person which was weird and horrible and strange and stuff.  and i’m a freakishly independent lady who likes to be her own boss (translation: i need to have the freedom to binge-watch gilmore girls in my pjs while i eat bacon pizza without judgement or interruption).  and i’ve never needed a man to define my worth cuz i can look at my bank account all by myself and see that i’m worth at least $186.78 once my rent check clears.

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when i share with my friends about my frustration in my search for mr. right, they usually respond with a sweet, “just focus / work on you”.  and it’s that advice that makes me become a raving lunatic (translation: even more of a raving lunatic than usual).  that’s because for a long time i’ve worked on me. i’ve done A LOT of work, and i continue to do the work.

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and while i’m far from perfect, i’m pretty proud of the girl that i see in the mirror.  she works hard.  she loves hard.  she’s honest and sometimes brave and usually kind (unless you go by ‘mrs. clooney’).  she doesn’t rob banks or shoot up heroin or eat delicious donuts far too often (there might be one lie buried in this sentence…so much for honesty!).  but i fear that if i continue to look too long and hard on “me” i’ll become a selfish c*nt.

yes, i’m prone to be excessively hard on myself and like to get all judgey-pants on my perceived poor progress on achieving level:beyonce. but when i really think about it, i have a lot to be proud of this year and beyond and even more to share with george clooney the right person.  i mean, when i come up with funny/dirty puns or trip over my own feet yet manage to not break an appendage or find my way to somewhere without my gps, i wanna share it with a hunky, shirtless man with a big d*ck heart who finds it endearing that i’m such a spaz. is that too much to ask?

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so i’m putting out in the universe via blog because i’m 100% sure that whomever is in charge of destiny TOTES reads livin la vida coco, duh.  so here it goes: i’m ready.  my abs still suck and i still behind on my laundry and let’s not talk about my need for a pedicure…but i’m ready if you are. sweet, wonderful, sexy, non-convict* you!

and since it’s FINALLY cute boot weather here in LA, this means you won’t have to see my ratchet toenails, mr right.  a coincidence?  i think not.  thanks, universe!  let’s do this thang!

—-

* but if you’re this hot convict, i’ll make a ‘no-convict” exception.  also, pls excuse all the penal jokes in advance.

raising kane

24 Jul

the bad news? i didn’t get the job. the good news? i have not one BUT TWO BOTTLES OF VODKA IN MY FREEZER OH THANK YOU BABY JESUS!

for those keeping score (i mean, there could be a “coco job-hunt fantasy league” out there), i’m zero for three with prospective employers. which is kinda okay, because now i’m closer to becoming the susan lucci of job hunters. except i’m nothing like susan lucci other than the losing part since she’s in ridiculous shape and has AHHMAZING cheekbones and has slept with nearly every man in pine valley. and those cheek bones! did i mention those cheekbones? f*ck the daytime emmys when you’re erica kane.

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sleeping with half of pine valley>;daytime emmy

after reading the rejection email 567 a few times, i was tempted to eat an entire box of ice-cream sandwiches. or weep in the face of my cat’s smug, judgmental looks. but just when i was ready to cry my eyes out in a REALLY LARGE bowl of cheetos while i watched steel magnolias for the umpteenth time, i heard something. it was a voice with impeccable diction…asking me, “what what would erica kane do? would erica kane let this get her down?” oh hells to the no. “would she bitch-slap anyone getting in her way…and look fabulous doing it?” abso-freakin-lutely. “would she crumble in the face of adversity?” not only would she stand tall in her finest stilettos, she’d also take on a new, rich, hunky husband AND start a new fragrance company AND exact revenge on her nemesi.

so with this new outlook, i better put the cheetos away get to bed so i can get my beauty sleep….because starting tomorrow, i’m gonna be raising some serious kane!

Sweet, sassy dreams, y’all.

a is for apathy (and a pole-dancing b*tch)

10 Jul

today is a big day, y’all!  okay, it’s not a “secure-a-divorce-and-custody-settlement-from-tom-cruise” kinda big day…but i do have a job interview with a cool little non-profit.  if i get the job, i’ll be working with my angeleno peeps in some tough hoods to help improve their health and nutrition.  while i’m super stoked about this potential opportunity, i REALLY hope they don’t look at my refrigerator as part of the interview process.

one of the things i did have to do was to answer the following (and in one-page no less…holy “keep it short and simple”!)

“What social problem is most compelling to you? Pick one or more organizations to partner with to address this social issue. What would you do? How would your solution engage a broad and relevant community, who would benefit, and how it would ultimately drive impact. And feel free to get creative with it!”

crap.  how do you pick one problem in a world filled with a bazillion challenges?  while i was tempted to write about the global plight called “the kardashians” (especially in light of their recent breeding), i decided against it at the last minute.  instead, i drank a bottle of wine and watched three episodes of queer eye for the straight guy did a heavy dose of soul searching and this is what i came up with:

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A is for Apathy

One word: Apathy. 


Apathy kills.  Apathy allows bad ideas to permeate our society.  Apathy prevents good things from taking root in our communities.  When individuals feel disenfranchised, bitter, overwhelmed, it’s often the path of least resistance that’s adopted.  I’ve done it.  You’ve done it.  It’s better to dig a proverbial hole and put your head in it until things get better.

We wake up every morning to sensationalized news that tells us this group is killing that group…or that this celebrity is divorcing that celebrity. With globalization and boundless means to communicate, we’re bombarded with information that is often of poor content and quality. All the while, there are babies starving in the Horn of Africa. Our national debt is of astronomical proportions. There’s a rotating roster of politicians getting caught doing extremely unsavory things.  And then there’s Lindsay Lohan.

With all this noise and bad news and lack of clear solutions to these overwhelming problems, we just soldier on.  We go to work.  We come home and make dinner.  We check our Facebook and watch Dancing with the Stars.  We go to bed and do the same the next day.  That’s because there seems to be no other viable alternative solutions.

 But there are solutions. And it’s our responsibility to get that message out there.

We must reinvigorate our communities to re-realize that if there’s something they want to change or improve, they can do it.  I think we’ve forgotten that the smallest of efforts can truly make a difference.  In today’s world of social media, even the shyest and most docile person can become a community leader.  But we must teach people how to do this.   We must get to know our neighbors again so we can join together.  We have to put away the Blackberries and iPhones and PlayStations and pick up the phone.  We need to listen more and speak less.  We need to teach our children to think critically and be stewards of their schools.  We need to take less and help those with less more. 

When we take small, tangible steps to making a difference…whether it’s for improving the nutrition in school lunches, expanding the offerings in the public library, or addressing growing illiteracy rates…we can make a difference.  It may not be easy.  It may require long hours and being unpopular with some people in the community.  It may mean learning how to tweet or to create a website.  But if you can get others mobilized, the power of one is magnified with compound interest.

So how do we re-instill these values and skills?  We work with corporations and foundations to support programs that promote activism in our schools and communities.  While a Bank of America may not be a good partner for such endeavors for obvious reasons, there’s plenty of community-supporting businesses who share similar values.  Using existing community structures and creating and/or bolstering ones where they don’t exist, we can instill a sense of shared common values and teach people how to identify and address the key challenges in their spaces.  When you share how an elementary school girl in Scotland single-handedly influenced school officials to improve her school’s lunch program or how millions were moved to lobby against the atrocities of Uganda’s Joseph Kony through a simple video that went viral, it doesn’t seem as scary.

 So let’s think big, act small and kick some proverbial ass to make things a little bit better.

——————

after i hit the “send” button, i felt a whole heap of  ‘katie holmes’ better…which was kinda weird and confusing and odd at first. but then it hit me.  i’d been fighting with my own personal plight of apathy for a while.  and to write a short manifesto as to why i’ve chosen to make a career of helping others kinda helped to reignite my own internal pilot light (and supes glad the wine fumes didn’t combust!).  while i’m not cured from the feelings of burn-out and jaded-ness that i’ve acquired after 12+ years in my field, i did realize something:  i do miss seeing someone be the best they can be with a little help from others (including me).

okay, enough of this “we are the world” BS from the coco…barf.  let’s just forget that just happened.  instead, let’s discuss how i can teach my cat how to do this, ok?

have a great tuesday, y’all!

accidental beauty

19 Jun

well, i had every intention of going to hip hop class yesterday. but since my back was killing me from attempting to get my shower curtain rod back up after its epic collapse (long story…but can’t stop giggling every time i say, “rod”) and since i’m all “cry/must eat all the twinkies that exist in the western hemisphere/i HATE everybody, especially skinny b*tches” pms-y, and since none of my cute dance clothes were clean, the cards were stacked against me from the start.

once i was done shaking my fists at the sky at all the unfairness (and to get all the twinkee crumbs off my person), i figured i should try to get some writing done. i wasn’t really sure what i’d write about since i hated everyone and had excessive amounts of delicious twinkie cream all over my hands and was hopped up on my tried-and-true midol/red wine combo therapy. yet, coco was hell-bent on getting something typed up…especially as the alternative activity i dreamed up that consisted of force-feeding hostess desert cakes to hollywood’s emaciated might not be such a good idea.

so i surfed my favorite blogs to see if i could steal something for inspiration, instead. nothing.

i even went to the grocery store for more twinkies and red wine as an offering to my inner blog goddess. nada.

i took a walk around my neighborhood for ideas. zilch.

after working up an appetite for something that wasn’t high-fructose corn syrup or fermented grape-based, i made a pit stop to chipotle. while eating my carnitas bowl and swearing under my breath at the world, i found it. hark! blogspiration! i locked eyes with a douchy/hot guy with ridic/awesome red shoes and his size 0.5 perfect girlfriend. as i pulled out my iphone to surreptitiously take a picture of their sexy, tattooed, uber-fit perfection disgustingness, i noticed this picture in my photo library:

then i freaked out.

you see, i don’t remember taking this amazeballs photo. did someone…most likely a ninja….steal my iPhone, crack my security code, randomly take this awesome picture, break back into my apartment and slip my phone back into my purse? because that’s totally the most rational explanation.

i sat there dumbfounded. i don’t know any ninjas. and i never realized ninjas were so adept at photography. and why did said ninja decide to take THIS picture?

so many questions. so few answers.

and then i realized…

I WAS THE NINJA!

WHOAH!

while attempting to take a picture of this cool mural of a kitteh cat on saturday, my iphone camera froze up.

i kept trying and trying and trying to take the pic to no avail…even though i was 30 minutes late to see this (which included a screening of shia laboef’s beef rod…fyi: what is it with coco and her pre-occupation with famous-persons’ phalluses?). finally, after dropping f-bombs like a boss and rebooting the phone, i was able to FINALLY get my shot and rush to my show.

in my haste to get the camera working, i must have inadvertently taken the ninja shot. and while i was really sad thinking that one of the coolest pics i’ve ever taken was a fluke, i then started to look at the photo in a whole new light.

an amazing photographer friend once told me, “it’s all in the angles, coco.” and staring into this picture, i now know what he means. i would never have thought to take a picture from this vantage point. why focus on the dirty grey sidewalk when there was so much beauty to be captured on the surrounding walls? and why the excessive dutching…and in the direction AWAY from the mural? and the lovely couple emerging in the background…i don’t even remember them (prolly due to my preoccupation with swearing and general frustration-rhythm nation). indeed, i would have NEVER have thought in a million years and after a million glasses of red wine to compose a shot like that.

and what this picture has taught me is singular: open your heart and mind to new perspectives, new angles. it’s so easy to look at something and see it one way…your way. heck, our brains are trained to do this in its mission to be efficient processors of infinite information. but when we do this, what are we missing? are we ignoring splendor that’s been staring us in the face? are we failing to see a solution that was there all the time? are we somehow cheating ourselves from experiencing the accidental beauty that can be found in any given situation? well, i’m thinking it’s time to turn things on their proverbial heads and see what I can discover.

so now that i’ve charged myself to look at things a bit differently, i’m hoping that i can also (finally) find the ninjas in this picture. wish me luck!

happy tuesday, y’all!

would it be weird if i told you i wanted to make-out with your dad?

13 Jun

bad coco! i TOTALLY planned to write a whole bunch last week. however, after seeing an AMAZEBALLS job posting for a professional blogger-person, I decided to focus on the business end of things (which, interestingly, is also my favorite slang phrase for my a$$). so i ended up spending most of the week exploring whether i could actually make a living off writing about VERY IMPORTANT things like falling down a lot and/or posting pictures of my cat. thankfully i have some awesome-sauce friends in the social media biz who spent their evenings teaching me about things like creative portfolios (i asked, “can i do a modeling portfolio instead? i give amazing tyra eyes and i can totally photoshop myself into a size zero”) and google analytics (eww, numbers. gross.) and hootsuite (the only way i remember this site is that it rhymes with my favorite frenchy word, “toute suite“…toute suite! just saying it makes me feel tres chic.) and virality (bad when it comes to herpes, good when you’re talking about facebook). i even signed up for twitter (and have an awe-inspiring SIX TWEETS to my name! holla!!). needless to say, it was an exciting and scary and overwhelming week! thankfully, all of the aforementioned meetings included an abundance of adult beverages and swearing.

and then there were the pep talks. as evidenced by this and this and this, i’ve been a big ole negative nelly cum scaredy cat of late. and yet my friends still somehow put up with me. they buy me martinis and margaritas and tell me it’s gonna be okay. and one even reminded me of this very important fact:

and then there’s been mimi. mimi—who i might add is a mother to 4-year old twins and acts and blogs and has a job and a husband and a grown up house–is kinda a busy woman. yet she is always there to talk coco off the ledge with grace and humor and insight. two weeks ago when i was at potentially the darkest hour of questioning my career and value and talent and general existence (how camus-riffic of me!), she told me a beautiful story.

mimi grew up in a loving home in new jersey (yay, bon jovi!). her family has provided her with life-long inspiration and support that she taps into to this day. yet, mimi and her dad, joe, have always shared an extra-special connection. a prolific writer, joe spent every free moment writing poetry. he wrote about so many things. the mundane and the remarkable. nature and family. joy and peace. he believed in the underdog and fought for the broken and battered and obscure and powerless through his words. a friend wrote about his poems, “joe was a gentle enemy of self importance, vanity and worldly success in most of its forms. he liked failure, the idea of it…his poems sing the joys of being laid off, the pleasure of sick days, the happiness of wring in an empty house.”

joe passed away at the ridiculously-young age of 49. when he departed this world, he left behind hundreds of pages of poems and haikus and even a manuscript written under a pseudonym on and around his basement desk. he never saw this work published during his time on this earth, but through the devotion of his family and friends, they published a beautiful book of selected poems a few years after his passing.

when i was telling mimi that i was more than petrified to jump the public health ship that i’ve been sailing on for 11 years to become a “real writer of nonsense”, she told me that she believed in me. when i questioned my talent and capability and my mental health for even considering becoming a writer, she told me that i could do it. and when i continued being a naysayer, she told me this.

“my dad would have given anything to be unemployed and write all day. that was his real dream. you are living his dream! if you don’t do this for yourself, do it for him”.

well, wasn’t that an effective way to shut me up?! bring up the whole “deceased dad” thing! but, seriously, these words have stuck with me. they’ve been echoing in my head and my heart since that day. and when i opened up my mailbox today, i found a package containing this:

yup, that sweet dear woman sent me a copy of her dad’s book of poems. let’s just say i was glad i wasn’t wearing mascara at the time.

and since i opened up that envelope, i can’t put that damn book down. poem after poem, i’m simply in awe of the guy. boy, does this guy know his way around a poem! so much so, i fear that if he was here today, i’d prolly want to make out with him (sorry mimi and mimi’s mom…but he’s just that good!)

so as i get back to my poetry, i’d like you to leave you with the one that makes me smile most:

Poetry Is the Art of Not Succeeding

by Joe Salerno

Poetry is the art of not succeeding;
the art of making a little ritual
out of your own bad luck, lighting a little fire
made of leaves, reciting a prayer
in the ordinary work.

It’s the art of those who didn’t make it
after all; who were lucky enough to be
left behind, while the winners ran on ahead
to wherever it is winners
go running to.

O blessed rainy day, glorious
as a paper bag. The kingdom of poetry
is like this — quiet, anonymous,
a dab of sunlight on the back of your hand,
a view out the window just before dusk.

It’s an art more shadow than statue,
and has something to do with your dreams
running out — a bare branch darkening
on a winter sky, the week-old snow
frozen into something hard.

It’s an art as simple as drinking water
from a tin cup; of loving that moment
at the end of autumn, say, when the air
holds no more promises, and the days are short
and likely to be gray.

A bland light is best to see it in.
Middle age brings it to flower.
And there, just when you’re feeling your weakest,
it floods you completely,
leaving you weeping as you drive your car

——

for everyone who’s been awesome….my thanks and love to you all.

risky business

31 May

hollywood.  it is not only the land of kardashians and kale…it’s also mecca for risk-takers.  you can’t swing a cat without hitting someone who’s in the throws of risk-taking in the pursuit of his or her dreams.

(please note: coco does NOT endorse the swinging of cats because a) it’s just a saying b) that would be seriously f*cked up and c) you won’t live to see another day as the cat will win.  cats always win because they are awesome.  so no cat swinging, ok?)

so how did coco, queen of playing-it-safe, end up in a city so incongruous with her lack of appetite for raw food diets and yoga risk?

(btw…omfg…did coco just use the word “incongruous”?!  like a boss!  my 9th grade english teacher is freaking out somewhere right now. )

well, after 5+ years of scratching my head on this one, i’m gonna stop asking.  instead, i’m gonna start embracing where i’m at and what i can learn from others in hollyriskland.  so it’s official, y’all…risk is SO gonna be my b*tch!  and since i know my aunt nancy is reading this, she need not worry i’m gonna shave my head, join the hari krishnas, and pick up an opium addiction…

this will NOT be me…at least not in the foreseeable future.

instead, i’m gonna start small.  try new things.  face that little voice in coco’s head that says, “you can’t….you shouldn’t” and ask why the fudge not?  and if that little voice doesn’t have a better reason than “it’s scary”, then i’m gonna punch it in its imaginary face.

this makes me giggle something fierce…

i took a big leap today and faced something head-on that’s been instilling fear in me more than my upcoming credit card bill. and yes, i might have felt like throwing up a few times after and have oscillated between rocking myself in the fetal position feelings of total regret and moderate “wtf, coco!”  but i also feel free.  good, even.  and while that might be the 5 pm vodka cocktail speaking, i can’t help but to think that i can do this.  i can free myself from the self-doubt that holds me back. i can truly believe that my feelings and desires and dreams are valid and kinda awesome. i can be okay with making mistakes and learning from them.  and most importantly, i can allow myself to not only dream and actually consider a life where that dream comes true.

and if that’s still mr vodka speaking on my behalf, he’s a pretty awesome spokesperson.

carpe that freakin diem, people!

xo

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