Proverb for the Day Archives: January 2017

Life would be easier if I was happy being mediocre.
A moral compass can only point you in the 

right direction.  
If the early bird gets the worm what time do I need to arrive for the lobster?
I like murder mysteries but I don’t want to become one.  
If you have time to clean, you aren’t reading enough.
When you already have justice you don’t need to fight for it. 
You don’t have to give up all your toys just because you are “grown up.” 
Don’t let there be a day when you say “I give up.”  
Unfortunately , humanity is only more important than business if you are humane. 
You don’t have to be practical. You don’t have to be solvent either. 
Research before you speak. 
A rainbow only shows itself in the light.
Other people’s negativity isn’t worth worrying about. 
Not everything I say is political. Just most of it. (Particularly given the fact that less than 100 years ago I would not have been allowed to vote.)
Don’t fight for your own freedom only to turn around and chain others. 
Great things take time. 

You have overcome challenges before and you will overcome them again. 
Why break someone in when you can get someone that is already broken. 
The worms crawl in. 
Make America think again.
Girls just want to have fun-damental rights.
Do not belittle others. Do not belittle others. Do not belittle others. Do not belittle others. Do not… but it would be so easy…. belittle others. No. Stop it. Just…. (sigh)…
Really? You actually believe that shit?  
Dissent is patriotic. 
We cannot hide behind our hands from the world around us.  
Some people just want to see what happens when they destroy what others cherish. 
Whatever you do, do it well. 
Mortals create all the tragedies.  
Progress takes place outside the comfort zone. 
To become happier, be grateful for what you have.

New Year Goals

Happy New Year!

Here is truly wishing you a great 2017. I know that 2016 was rough for a lot of people and I hope that 2017 is an easier one. That said, I had a lot of really great things happen in 2016 that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on, even for all the bad things that happened during the year. It is easy to dwell on the negative instead of the positive, so here is to good thoughts and positive thinking!

That said, I don’t usually set New Year’s resolutions for myself. If I want to lose 5 pounds, read more books, whatever it is, I usually don’t wait ‘til the start of a new year to begin the endeavor. However, this year I have set – I will call it a goal – for myself and I really hope that I can manage to achieve it. That goal is to be happier and have more fun in burlesque. “Fun?” you say… “Isn’t that why you do all this burlesque stuff? To have fun? Is it not fun?” Well, yes, it is fun. It is still fun. But it has become less fun because my expectations and demands for myself have increased to the point of obsession…

Let me take you back in time to my second ever burlesque performance. I had a great time, I was over the fright and dismay at my First-Ever burlesque performance and all I had was pure enjoyment. I got on stage, I danced, the audience screamed. I was so happy and excited. After the show, I cried. And Mr. Velvet, being the caring person that he is, asked, “Why are you crying?” And I said, “Because I had so much fun and I may never have that much fun doing this again.” And he basically said, “That is stupid.” He said a lot of other things, too, but they amounted to basically “What are you thinking? Of course you will always have fun as long as you want to have fun and if you aren’t having fun then stop doing it…”

But you know what? I was right. And he was wrong. Because sometimes I know myself better than anyone else knows me, including Mr. Velvet. (And sometimes he knows me better than I know myself, so neither one of us is right 100% of the time – although we would both really like to be right 100% of the time. Or at least I would… I think he really just wants me NOT to be right 100% of the time…)

But, as usual, I digress. So, why did I lose the fun? Because I place such great demands upon myself and upon my psyche. And I do a lot of things. And they are fun, but they are less fun because I have demands upon myself and others have expectations of me and I have expectations of what I should be providing others. And sometimes I get scared because I am afraid I am not progressing or I get so stuck being afraid that I can’t always take the next steps I need to take. My brain gets in my fucking way because it is shouting “What are you doing? Why do you want to do that? Oh, that step again? Don’t you have anything new?” You know, all the negative shit. Because my brain is not Stuart Smalley and it doesn’t tell me every day, “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!”

So, I have a lot of expectations of myself and where I want to be and what I want to achieve. I have drive. And most of the time that is great because I get a lot of shit done. I do shit and then I do more shit. The bad thing is that I worry that the shit I do really is shit. Not that it isn’t fairly okay shit, but I want to make great shit. I want to “Be all that I can be…” and I am not even in the Army. Well, maybe I am in Velvet’s Army. My huge army of one person.

So, in my effort to make better shit, I forget to have fun making it, creating it. I have the initial idea, which is fun!! And then I get caught up in the doing and the thinking and the “how can I make that better” and sometimes it starts to become not as fun. Now… you say “well, if it isn’t fun, you should just stop doing it.” WRONG!

First of all, it is still fun – it just isn’t as fun. You know – it is like your first trip to Disneyland as a kid is AMAZING… and as you get older it is still fun, but it will NEVER be as fun as it was when you were 8 years old and experiencing everything with a fresh eye.” Well, I just need to figure out how to bring more fun to a non-fresh eye. The question is: How do I bring a little more joy into the process and still improve myself and what I am doing? And have more fun. And sex. I need lots more sex. ‘Cause that is always good to throw in there, too. I could just go out on stage and suck, but that wouldn’t be fun either. (And when I say suck, I don’t mean the sex kind of suck because, while that might be fun, it would not be legal to do on stage…)

Second, my brain won’t let me stop now. I don’t even want to do things sometimes but I am compelled to do them and my brain… will… not… stop. I choreographed a dance to “good old desk” one time, even though I know I cannot take a desk on stage and do this dance, but I had to choreograph it because until I did I could not get the idea out of my brain. It is like my brain is possessed. And then, there is this Trump Hair act that I am working on now – which I did not want to make, but my brain said “HERE IS AN IDEA…” and then the other part said, “how could I possibly …. “ and then my brain said, “You will figure it out, grasshopper…” And I did. And then I figured out the next part and so on and so on. But I can’t stop because my brain won’t let me do that either. And if I did stop, then I would not just be not having as much fun, I would be absolutely miserable…

Now, how am I am going to have more fun? I am not sure, but I am hoping my brain can help me on this. I mean, since I now have it as a GOAL, and since I am DRIVEN, I am hoping my brain will start pushing for FUN, FUN, FUN!!!! Isn’t that how it is supposed to work?

So, wishing myself achievement in my goal of fun (and sex) and hoping the same for you! Happy New Year!

 

 

Proverbs for the Day Archives – December 2016

I value the opinions that you keep to yourself.

 

If you can believe in absurdities you can commit atrocities.

 

Teamwork is about the team, not about the leader.
I am proud to be a feminist.

 

Sometimes you just have to let a ship sink.

 

I am not your parent, therefore, you do not get to treat me like shit.

 

Everybody knows something you don’t.

 

I always have answers, but they may not be answers to the questions that you are asking.

 

The secret of a good bluff is not to bluff.

 

I have no idea what I am doing out of bed.

 

Focus on what is right rather than who is right.

 

Your decision-making skills closely resemble those of a squirrel when crossing the road.

 

Don’t blame others for things you do.

 

We do everything for a reason, even if we don’t know it.

 

Why blame yourself when you can blame technology?

 

I am sorry. My ears heard you, but my brain was too distracted by everything else to actually pay attention.

 

When you stop trying to be perfect you can get better.

 

Don’t start a war you can’t win.

 

I don’t have a problem with caffeine.  I have a problem without caffeine.

 

Beautiful shoes are not worth falling on your face.

 

I am not here to apologize.

 

Create the world you want to inhabit.

 

The holidays: that time of year when we travel sometimes long distances to reunite with our families and remember why we moved away in the first place.

 

Tis the season of re-gifting.

 

I know you are an angry unhappy person.  Just try not to be a bitch about it.

 

The future is promised to no one.

 

I will only worry about the voices in my head if they start telling me to stay home and get pregnant.

 

Let’s be irresponsible together.

 

The worst monsters we will ever face are the ones we create ourselves.

 

 

How The Trump Stole Feminism…

How the Trump Stole Feminism

                                    By Nasty Velvet

trumpgrinch

Every Her down in Her-ville liked feminism a lot…

But the Trump, who lived just north of Her-ville, Did NOT!

The Trump hated feminists! The whole feminist reason!

In his white male mind, women in control was treason.

It could be, his head wasn’t screwed on just right.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all

May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.

 

But whatever the reason, his brain or his shoes,

He stood there on inauguration eve, hating the Hers,

Staring down from his penthouse with a sour Trumpy frown

At the warm lighted windows below in Her-town.

For he knew every Her down in Her-ville below

Was planning a feminist march, just for show.

“And they’re wearing their pantsuits!” he snarled with a sneer.

“Tomorrow I’m inaugurated! It’s practically here.”

Then he growled with his orange fingers nervously drumming.

“I MUST find some way to stop feminists from coming!”

For tomorrow he knew all the Hers and Her-Allies

Would wake bright and early and rush for their rallies.

And then, Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

 

Then the Hers, young and old, would sit down and speech

And they’d speech! And they’d speech! And they’d SPEECH! SPEECH! SPEECH! SPEECH!

They would speech on Her-rights and more on Her-equalities,

When Trump only wanted to know “Were there Hotties!”

And then they’d do something he liked least of all.

Every Her down in Her-ville, the tall and the small

Would stand close together with guitars and bells ringing.

They’d stand, hand-in-hand and the Hers would start singing.

They’d sing! And they’d sing!

AND they’d SING! SING! SING! SING!

And the more that Trump thought of this feminist sing,

The more that Trump thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”

“Why for so many years I’ve put up with it now!

I MUST stop these feminists from coming! … But HOW?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!

The Trump got a bad hombre awful idea.

“I know just what to do!” The Trump laughed in his throat.

And he made a quick Abe Lincoln hat and a coat.

And he chuckled and clucked “What a great escapade!

With the coat and this hat I look like old Honest Abe!”

“All I need is a horse…” And Trump looked around.

But, since he was in a penthouse, there was none to be found.

Did that stop old Trump? No! The Trump simply said,

“If I can’t find a horse, I will make one instead!”

So he called VP Pence, grabbed a mop with a strut

And he tied a mop tail to the crown of Pence’s butt.

Then he loaded some bags and some stockings he’d rinsed

On a huge roller suitcase that he hitched up to Pence.

Then the Trump said, “Giddap!” The Roller bag started down

Toward the homes where the Hers lay a snooze in Her-town.

 

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.

All the Hers were all dreaming about women who dare.

When he came to the first little house on the square.

“This is stop number one,” the old Trumpy Abe hissed.

And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney, rather tight for the grump.

But in Abe’s stove pipe hat it seemed fitting, thought Trump.

He got stuck only once for a moment or two

Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue.

He saw little Her-pantsuits lined up in a row.

“Those pantsuits,” Trump grinned, “are the first things to go!”

Then he slithered and slunk with a smile most unpleasant

Around the small house which befitted a peasant.

He took everything he thought Hers found essential!

High heels! Dresses! Curlers and bath oil!

Then he stuffed them in bags, then the Trump, very numbly,

Stuffed all the bags one-by-one up the chumbly.

He slunk to the bathroom. He took the Hers blush.

He put all the birth control in the toilet to flush.

He cleaned out that bathroom as quick as a flash.

Why that Trump even took the last bit of bath splash.

Then he stuffed all that goop up the chimney unseen.

“And now!” grinned the Trump, “I’ll take the washing machine!”

The Trump grabbed the machine and he started to shove

When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast and he saw a small Her!

Little Jennifer-Her who was two and demure.

The Trump had been caught by this tiny Her daughter

Who’d got out of bed for a cup of cold water.

She stared at the Trump and said “Honest Abe, why?

Why are you taking our washing machine? WHY?”

But you know that old Trump was so twisted and sick

He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick.

“Why my sweet little tot,” the fake Abe Lincoln lied,

“There’s a buzz on this machine that won’t buzz on one side.

So I’m taking it out to a repair shop, my dear.

They will fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”

And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head

And he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.

And when Jennifer-Her went to bed with her cup.

He took the machine to the chimney and up.

Then the last thing he took was a pencil for writing.

He felt they’d have nothing and in that was delighting.

The one speck of hair spray that he left in the house

Was a tad too tiny to style the bangs on a mouse.

Then he did the same thing to the other Her houses

Leaving hairs spray too little for the other Her mouses.

 

It was a quarter past dawn… all the Hers, still a-bed

All the Hers, still a-snooze as he piled stuff up to Pence’s head.

Packed the suitcase with their pantsuits! The lipstick! The hairspray!

The birth control pills that the women took each day!

Thirty-three flights up on the glass elevator

He rode to his penthouse, feeling like a savior.

“Pooh-Pooh to the Hers!” he was Trump-ishly humming.

“They’re finding out now that no women are coming!”

“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”

“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two

Then the Hers down in Her-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!”

 

“That’s a noise,” grinned the Trump,

“That I simply MUST hear!”

So he paused. And the Trump put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow…

But the sound wasn’t sad!

Why this sound was EMPOWERING!

It couldn’t be so!

Hers should be crying and cowering!

He stared down at Her-ville! The Trump popped his eyes!

Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Her down in Her-ville, the tall and the small,

Was singing! Without any pantsuits at all!

He HADN’T stopped feminism from coming!

IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Trump, with his Trump hair flying to and fro,

Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”

“It came without pantsuits! It came without hairspray!

It came without birth controls pills Hers took each day!”

And he puzzled three hours, ‘til his puzzler was sore.

Then the Trump thought of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe feminism,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a suit.

Maybe feminism… perhaps… could there be more to it?”

And what happened then? … Well, in Her-ville they say

That the Trump’s hombre balls Shrunk three sizes that day!

And the minute his pants didn’t feel quite so tight,

He worried about his own four-year plight.

He was not prepared for the presidential stress.

He worried about how he’d manage this mess,

One he was unprepared to handle… if he… HE HIMSELF…!

The Trump must confess!

Proverb for the Day Archives: November 2016

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

 

Sexual assault should not be a partisan issue.

 

Some people make me nervous when they don’t say anything. Other people are better with their mouths shut.

 

Some days you just do what you can.

 

I know how urgently you needed that report so it could sit on your desk for two weeks.

 

People can (and should) be sexual without being sexist.

 

People are driven by emotions beyond our comprehension.

 

I am pussy hear me roar.

 

We don’t live in Mayberry anymore.

 

Get your hand OFF of my pussy.

 

It is not selfish to take care of yourself.

 

Be gentle but fearless.

 

Learn from everything.

 

Be the light.

 

To keep a fire going you have to periodically add fuel.

 

Inspire others with your words, your deeds, your art, yourself.

 

Argument is 90 percent emotion and 10 percent nonsense.

 

Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.

 

All of us are smarter than some of us, except for when we are stupider.

 

The mind is our best friend and our worst enemy.

 

Yes, I called you an asshole. I thought you knew.

 

Give thanks for what you have, what you dream, and who you love.

 

Hell is the truth learned too late.

 

Annoy your relatives by thinking for yourself.

 

I just want my pajamas and a hot toddy.

 

I’ll always be there when I need you.

 

Obstacles are there to teach us something.

 

Dare to be diverse.

 

 

 

Burlesque is Freedom… So is voting.

Warning: This post contains soapbox rhetoric.  Please abstain from reading if you will be insulted by concepts such as freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, equal rights, etc.  Thank you –

Burlesque is Freedom…

So is voting.

So, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this month. Sure, I had lots of ideas, but none of them was really ready to pour out of my fingers onto the page. And then I got a text message from one of my coworkers saying that ANOTHER one of my coworkers was not voting. Actually, more than one. Not voting? Craziness! Now, I feel that not voting is craziness in a normal environment, but as someone who works for a quasi-governmental agency (day job) I feel it is essential for me to vote. While we are a “non-partisan” agency, we are impacted daily by the decisions of the elected individuals, the rules they create, the regulations they disintegrate, and so very much more. I feel my job provides a crucial protection to the people of the United States. How could someone who works for my agency think that voting – their vote, their say, their VOICE – is not important? Every day I go to work I do important things, but voting is even more important than the things I do in my job because it is my right and my responsibility alone. People have worked hard to gain the vote. From the revolution (no taxation without representation); to the birth of the U.S.A. as a nation; to the creation of the constitution; to the drafting and approval of the bill of rights; to the fifteenth amendment prohibiting the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude; to the nineteenth amendment prohibiting the denial of the right to vote based on sex.

 

Freedom. The freedom to vote is so important. And it is directly linked to our impact on society. Women worked and strived and risked their lives to get the vote. People have died trying to register blacks to vote in the south. People have been maimed, tortured, killed for voting or for trying to vote. People have fought wars and have died to gain a vote of representation! Do not take this amazing freedom and ability to vote for granted. Your failure to vote, to express your opinion, could result in great harm to yourself and others. What would happen if we all decided our vote was not important and stopped voting? Would we leave the decisions to the rich elite as it was originally designed to be? How lop-sided would our already crazy country look like then? And what else would we lose? Undoubtedly our own self-respect… at least eventually.

 

Maybe people aren’t comfortable voting. Maybe they don’t trust their judgment or politics makes them uncomfortable. Get over it. A lot of people aren’t crazy about going to the dentist, but you do it because it is part of being an adult. Luckily, I grew up in a household where politics were discussed (even in front of the children) and my opinions were actually heard. As a child I watched the news and read the paper, listened to my parents and other people talking about a topic. I had opinions. While I am not an advocate of lowering the voting age, I know children who are more knowledgeable about politics and ballot propositions than adults I know. If you are not certain about a ballot proposition, you can abstain from that one. Some of them are pretty confusing and the voter information isn’t always clear or succinct. But I always make the effort to understand them (and if I can’t say I am a proponent for something, I am probably going to vote “no.”)

 

I discuss politics with Mr. Velvet, but I would never let him vote for me. I respect his opinions, most of the time we agree, but sometimes we don’t. It is my vote – not anyone else’s.

 

Growing up in California I took a lot of things about voting for granted. Such as getting my voter guide in the mail with my polling place. It even showed pictures of how the ballot looked, very helpful as it turned out. When I moved to Louisiana for six years of my life I realized how spoiled I was. We got no voter guide in the mail. We got no information on polling location in the mail. I had to buy a paper to find out my polling place and figure out what we were even voting on. While the privileged often don’t think about the extra burden to others, finding and obtaining a paper or otherwise getting the basic information on where to vote was yet another hurdle to overcome. In Louisiana, I saw many people turned away if they failed to bring their voter registration card, unless they were older, white, and male. In those cases I saw people vote who had no identification with them at all. And then there were the voting machines. There were signs next to the levers that you pushed to show your vote. At the end you hit the lever to open the curtain and everything reset. Being suspicious-minded I had all sorts of horrid thoughts about those voting machines: 1) The candidates could be reversed – I had no way to tell what order they should be in. 2) The votes were going nowhere because nothing was actually recorded when I opened the curtain, or 3) the votes were recorded in the machine, but no one ever came to collect the results from that machine. Compared to the transparent process in California, Louisiana seemed to be rife with corruption, but I voted anyway.

 

Which brings me to another topic – Bombshell Betty asked me recently for conversation because she already knew my opinion – how I felt about posting political information on my Facebook page. You may be my Facebook friend and you already may know this, but I do. I am political. I am a human, a woman, before a burlesque performer. My thoughts, my politics, my person, my on-stage persona all inform my burlesque performing. They inform my acts. Even the acts that are fairly innocuous are informed by the fact that I have studied women’s history (and the history of burlesque), that I believe passionately in women’s rights, that I have thoughts and feelings and beliefs about the body and our rights to our body and about showing that body and about expressing things through our body. I do not silence my thoughts and opinions on stage. Why should I limit myself to my physicality? I stopped any pretense of being a silent performer when I started MCing. If I can have a voice in a theatre, I can (and, in my opinion, should) have a voice outside the theatre.

 

And Red Velvet has people who will listen. If I can say something that will cause one person to stop and think about a different perspective, then I have been successful. At the end of the discussion, they don’t even have to agree with me. But the process of uniting people and getting them to converse intelligently about a topic can create the opportunities and can lead to amazing things like understanding, compassion, and maybe even negotiation and compromise. We can’t do that without a conversation.

 

Now, that sounds all nice and pretty. We know the reality can be anything but that. I have had a lot of political conversations on my Facebook page and then I have people I unfriend or at least delete their posts. I delete conversations or unfriend people that don’t follow my rules – I have a few. I unfriend people who don’t want a conversation but want to call me stupid, call me names, etc. for expressing my opinion. That is not a conversation, that is bullying and I don’t put up with that. Particularly because I tend to see it more expressed towards political opinions of women than I do political opinions of men – even though those political opinions may be the same. Don’t park your articles and opinions on my Facebook page without engaging in conversation. If I post an article and someone else just posts an article saying awful things disagreeing with my article, their post will be deleted. I agree with freedom of speech. Just go do it on your Facebook page. You can put up signs representing your political candidates on the lawn of your house all you want. Just don’t put them on my lawn. Same with my Facebook page. If you want to have a conversation on actual issues, I am happy to engage. I am happy to discuss. I don’t know everything and I may learn something. You may also learn something. If you don’t want to learn something, then don’t engage. Freedom of speech is your right to talk, it is not a right to repress the thoughts, words, and opinions of other people.

 

I may not respect your opinion, but I respect your right to have an opinion. I may think you are an idiot. I won’t say that, but I will argue my point. (I managed to work in Louisiana for six years without calling anyone an idiot to their face even though I had people tell me that women in the work force resulted in a worse standard of living for everyone, that they couldn’t deal with women in the workplace and to get out of their office, and telling me that they could at least be honest and admit that they were racist and sexist.) I think freedom of speech is important. But even that has limits. Inciting violence against others is not protected, and yet I see it happen all the time and then people touting that it is “freedom of speech.” People don’t understand that these rights were created to protect everyone – not to protect the few and the privileged.

 

Okay. I will get off my soapbox now. But, please, if you are registered – go vote. If you are not registered, go register so you can vote in the next election. Don’t have an opinion on your vote? Please feel free to ask me – I am more than happy to give you my opinions… Just go, vote. Exercise your freedoms or you may lose them.

 

And let’s give thanks – because right now, we still have those freedoms. Let’s hope they continue.

Proverb for the Day Archives – October 2016

Each of us can be the start of something beautiful. 

What our brain perceives is often not correct. 
Apparently it was too much to ask for…  
Some days my life is just a tent away from a circus. 
When juggling priorities some balls may drop. Try not to let it be the exploding ones.
Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up. 
I am only super woman when I have to be.
No one else is going to look out for your best interests. 
Being courageous takes practice. 
Those who anger you control you. 
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. 
When the game is over, the king and the pawn go in the same box.  
Some people don’t want clarity, they want loopholes. 
Paranoia breeds more paranoia. 
It’s time to drink too much champagne and dance on the table. 
Some people are not smart enough to know they are stupid.
I would rather die on my way to the moon than die hiding under my bed. 
Another beautiful day ruined by responsibility. 
Belief does not equal truth. 
Fashion changes, style remains. 
Fear makes people crazy.  
People aren’t just misinformed: People are completely unaware that they are misinformed. 
Every new day is a new opportunity to dance. 
It’s what’s inside that counts. As well as what can be pulled outside through a bloody gaping wound. 
People love to hate monsters. 
The second banana is still a part of the bunch. 
There are always more things to stab. 
Women are not supporting characters in the movie of a man’s life.  
I can’t fix everything. 
If you think I am a bitch today wait until you see me when I am in a bad mood.

Proverb for the Day Archives – September 2016

I don’t remember asking for your opinion. Oh, that is because I didn’t. 
Today is the first day… since yesterday. 

There are rules in life. Some of them should be broken regularly. 

Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t. 

As far as anyone else knows, I come from a nice normal family. 

Being a freak is not a bad thing.

It’s not a failure, it’s a learning experience. 
Let me try to appease you with meaningless platitudes. 

It isn’t as difficult to think of ideas as it is to relinquish them. 

No one else can feel it for you. 
The main thing that holds us back is what we say to ourselves. 
Shit happens. That’s why we have toilet paper. 
Even if you are a sheep, you still need to decide whether you will follow the shepherd or the wolf. 
Some people have nothing to complain about but complain anyway. 
Suspicion is not proof. 
Sometimes you have to do what is best for yourself. 

Foolish mortal. 

Society should not value conformity more than creativity. 

You can’t be impartial if you have a pony in the show. 

The world needs all the good people it can get. 

You can rely on some people to be unreliable. 

I don’t have the bandwidth to deal with that today. 

Don’t pass over your successes. 

Please hold on. 
Why fight like a man when you can fight like a petulant 6-year old?
It’s the little things. Except for when it is the big things. 

It’s not what you own. It’s what you are. 

Drive…

You may have noticed that there was not a posting (or newsletter) in August. I decided to take a month break.  With none of my ongoing shows or classes to promote and a hectic schedule (which included two burlesque festivals, a work trip and surgery for Mr. Velvet) I decided I had enough to do.  Sometimes even I need to take a break.  But, this little break led me ponder the topic I want to address this month.  Drive…

I like to drive. Well, not in traffic.  But, under normal conditions, yes, I enjoy getting in the car and going for a drive.  But, that is not really the kind of drive that I am talking about…  Really, I was thinking about driving yourself.  Do you have personal drive?  And what is drive anyway?

I guess I started thinking about drive when I was in LA for Burly Picks and my dad says to me something about me always having “drive.” My brain immediately evokes thought bubbles picturing me in high school sitting in my room listening to music or propped in bed reading books and eating pomegranates.  Really?  I had drive?  I never thought of myself as having drive.  I got good grades, but to me it was because school was easy.  Not because I had … drive…

So what do we mean by drive anyway? Here is one definition:  (of a fact or feeling) compel (someone) to act in a particular way, especially one that is considered undesirable or inappropriate. As in “he was driven by ambition.”  Including force (someone) to work to an excessive extent. As in “you’re driving yourself too hard” or “he drove his staff extremely hard.”

So, do I have drive? According to this definition, I suppose I have developed drive.  I do want to get things done.  I don’t like the feeling of failing to accomplish things.  I am the person who gets home from work and immediately does the small laundry list of things to be done:  like, read the mail, put away my clothes, feed the pets, etc.  Do not deter me.  Why?  Am I driven?  I don’t think of it as driven so much as giving my mind the ability to actually rest.  If I don’t take care of things first then I (personally) have one of two potential outcomes: 1) I won’t really relax because I will be thinking of the things I need to be doing or 2) the things won’t get done because once I sit I will not get back up again.  Is that drive? Or is it just knowing myself and taking care of things in a way that is more effective for me?  I think of it as he latter.

Sure, I love to have drive when I am completing a new number. Of course, I don’t really think of it as drive so much as I do excitement, inspiration, or motivation.  It is much easier to create when you are inspired by the idea.  But even within excitement or inspiration there are other factors  which can get in the way of that “drive,” including, but not limited to, work, family, other obligations, fear, lack of confidence, etc.  In the number I am currently working on there are some costume issues which I have had to work through (and am still working through), and which I think will work but am uncertain of how effective they will actually be.  For example, I decided to make power mesh gloves for the first time because I didn’t want to pay someone else $50 to make a pair of mesh gloves that I am then going to cover in sections of fake fur.  So, with power mesh fabric at $6 a yard I figured I could mess up quite a few times (if need be) before I succeeded.  But last night I made my first glove and it was a success.  Was it drive or excitement or inspiration that caused me to make that glove?   I mean, I am excited about the act, but not necessarily about making gloves, and I was a little fearful about doing it and the difficulty and whether it would turn out okay.  But I pushed myself to do it anyway.  (And it turned out fine.)  Is that drive?  I prefer to call it discipline.  Discipline is that great helpmate that pushes you forward when you are otherwise stuck, not motivated, not inspired, or just not feeling it.

Now, if you have had a bad S&M experience, you may have some negative connotations with the topic of discipline. But assure yourself, we are not talking about bondage and discipline here (although if that works for you, I say go for it…) just a little bit of self discipline.

So, I think I have a lot of discipline. (Or at least I try to…)  Some might call it “adulting.”  It is doing the shit that needs to get done.  Sometimes it is doing the shit you don’t like to do.  Like taking out the trash…  Not a fun thing in my life.  But I really don’t want my house overrun with stinky bags of trash, so taking it out is the adult, or disciplined, solution.  Yay!  Let’s take out the trash!  Not because taking out the trash is really that fun and exciting, but because the alternative sucks…

I tell people I love my job. And I do.  I like what I do, I feel that what I do is important and makes a difference, and I like (most of the time) the people that I work with.  Does that mean that I love every moment?  Of course not.  I am not an idiot.  I don’t particularly like doing my time sheets and scheduling the office is difficult on a good day (I try not to touch it on a bad day…)  But, nothing is perfect and I know that these things need to get done, so I do them.  With that in mind, it should be easier to be disciplined about the things we actually enjoy in life.  Sometimes it is harder because we put ourselves, our art, our joy last on the list of things to do.  I find myself doing that.  But, if we want to get something done, we need to prioritize it and develop discipline around completing it.  A lot of things inspire me.  I have whole notebooks of choreography ideas, costume ideas, craft ideas.  I have choreographies that I have completed and never performed.  Sometimes it was the creating that needed to be done, not the doing.   Some ideas won’t let my brain go until they are complete and sometimes there is just a catchy tune in my head that won’t leave me alone until I choreograph it.  Those are fun and easy and I love doing them.  But most things don’t come that effortlessly.  Even the acts that I have passion for require some discipline to get the choreography right, to practice, to get the costuming together, to make sure it all works correctly and seamlessly.  It isn’t all easy.  Also, the more you do something, the better you get at it.  So, if you are disciplined about choreography, choreographing will get easier and will require less discipline.

With that said, is it more fun if I am inspired? Hell yes!  I try to do costuming in advance because I like to sew but hate it when I am under a crunch and am stressed.  I would much rather do it on a day when I feel like doing it and can enjoy it rather than being stressed and in a time crunch which is going to make more things go wrong because I am in a hurry and then I am going to be in even more of a hurry because I wasted time screwing it up and I am going to hate it that much more.  So, I try to plan ahead as much as possible so that I am not stressing.  Which is also part of discipline…

It is also easy to procrastinate.  Sometimes I put off a difficult project to work on easier ones because I tell my brain “but this inspires me – I should do it now.”  So sometimes, even great things like inspiration can be an excuse.  Am I really that inspired, or is the fear from this much harder project making me be inspired by something else, anything else, so I can leave this other thing alone for a little bit?  So, sometimes inspiration isn’t really our friend.  Discipline can help get you through those periods and get you back into working on that delayed project or make sure you do what you committed to doing, even if you are “inspired” in the moment by something else.  It isn’t perfect, by any means.  I still have one dance half way choreographed.  I dropped it because I was stressed and needed a break and now I am doing something specifically Halloween themed, so I have a specific deadline.  But I will get back to the other act because of discipline.  Because if it was just the inspiration that pushed me to finish that act, I would never pick that act up again. Yes, I was originally inspired, but that left long ago when the fear of risk and potential failure entered my brain like an unwanted demonic possession.

So, am I driven? Some days, maybe, but not others.  But I try to be disciplined.  Because the drive – that can propel you forward.  But the discipline is better (not flawless, but better) at keeping you going when you are not motivated, when you are not inspired, and it helps you keep moving through all those feelings like fear, doubt, depression, anxiety, and sometimes just feeling like shit.[i]  Because those things sometimes are the biggest inhibitors from keeping us doing what we need to do and what we love to do.  So, do you need to be driven?  No.  Disciplined?  It keeps me going when I don’t have anything else.  And when I get there, I am so happy that I did…

[i] Picture me crying on the floor stretching because I have a headache that hasn’t gone away for two days.  Mr. Velvet says, well “Why are you stretching? Come and sit down.”  And my response: “Sitting down hasn’t helped me feel better and if I am going to feel like crap whatever I do I might as well get something done.”

 

Proverb for the Day Archives – August 2016

I am unique. Just like everybody else is.

Sometimes people are so involved in their own issues they can’t see anyone else around them.

Embarrass your offspring.

Some days I don’t trust anybody to do anything.

If you get everything done on your daily list, you don’t have a long enough list.

If only we remembered the compliments half as well as we remember the insults.

Don’t pay $11 to save $10.

The people who don’t think they are fucked up are the most fucked up of all.

Some people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

Old age is no place for wimps.

Leave me alone. Don’t tell me what to do.

If we are what we eat, I must be delicious.

I didn’t disappear. I knew exactly where I was.

We can’t all be the same. Thank god.

If you think you are perfect you risk being crucified.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Keep calm and eat more bacon.

I swear I am up to no good.

Communicate early and often.

You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

I used to be a people person. Until people ruined it for me.

It isn’t everyone who can be satisfied with mediocrity.

If you are going to lie, try not to lie about things that are easily verifiable.

Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience.

I am only nervous because you insinuated that I should be.

What doesn’t kill you makes you want to kill others.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I am tired of listening to stupid people.

I will respect your time when you respect my time.

Just shut up and dance already.