Trying to Find a Balance

So far, 2013 has been quite the exhilarating year; one of my life’s motto’s is “Never a dull moment” and so far, it’s been an incredibly accurate one.  Sometimes I wonder if I should just take a breather from it all – a stay-cation, a me-cation – just to ensure that my priorities are where they should be and see that my ducks are really in a row, not off having a Harlem Shake-off. But taking a break wouldn’t be very me like in the longrun; I need a way to regain perspective without altering my view – but isn’t that just a paradox within itself?  My music collection has been piling up and I easily have over a years worth of music I need to sort, categorize and label – all in due time, of course. This morning my gmail account had over 5000 unread emails; granted, it’s now down to 2893, but still – that’s a shit load of reading and deleting to be done.

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, and integrated wholeness.”
Stephen R. Covey

The Kitty Bungalow calendar is up to date and all spankin’ pretty, my social life has been in full force lately and Beatnet, the music forum I helped to co-found, is taking off; it’s been an insane whirlwind and I couldn’t ask for anything more – well, except maybe a few hours in the day, but I’m viewing this all as one big learning experience.  One thing that I don’t talk about much is the little bit of OCD that I carry around in my back pocket – it doesn’t appear often, just when the world seems like it’s collapsing on itself into a black hole of a moment, but when it does it definitely comes out to awkwardly frolic.  It presents itself in various forms, but mostly through something called dermatillomania – it’s basically as unsexy as it sounds but suffice it to say, for a long time it took up most of my time.    It’s in no way glamorous, sexy, cute or even remotely attractive – in all honesty, it’s something that I despise about myself; but to love myself is to embrace my everything, even my shortcomings: and this is one of them.

Essentially what this year has been about is filling those voids in space and time where I’d revert  back to my old ways – there are always hiccups and moments of insanity: I might dance four steps forward, but sometimes life throws me three steps back. What keeps me from doing that is my future, and knowing – wanting – a better version of myself.  I have a habit of emotional hoarding – I keep my feelings, emotions and memories in neatly organized boxes in the back of my mind.  I used to think that while I was in my moment, enveloped by numbness and drowning out the sounds of the city, that I was saving myself – that essentially, I could fix myself.  Ironically, what I’ve come to realize is that time is truly the only remedy for old wounds: time, space, distance combined together can all give us the power to overcome.

In the days of Kings and Queens I was a jester;
Treat me like a God, or they treat me like a leper.
You see me move back and forth between both:
I’m trying to find a balance,
I’m trying to build a balance

-Atmosphere-

Tattoos: The Cultivation of My Obsession

A few weekends ago, my family came down to Los Angeles to visit me  and every time they come to visit they take the liberty of embarrassing me with stories from my childhood.  Some of them I’ve heard probably almost a hundred times – so even if I don’t remember what happened as a child I have a full fledged recollection through their eyes.

Sometimes it’s little words or phrases that they say jokingly to each other; but then there are these distinct memories they just won’t let go. Like when we were on a family trip coming back from Oregon and needed to make dinner plans, I leaned over to my dad and asked  ‘So, what’s the plan baldy‘ (FYI: I was 4; I’m now 27 and still find it hilarious) or the time I went camping and accidentally sprayed mosquito repellent in my eyes (this I’m stoked I don’t have a full memory of).

Well, one conversation that I distinctly remember with my family was about body modification.  I had my ear cartilage pierced a few times in High School (once at 16, the other at 18), and I found myself getting a bellybutton piercing right before I left for college.  I’d intended to hide it from my parents until I left for college, but then the inevitable happened.  One night I had a stomach ache and asked my mom for some medicine; why her initial reaction was to raise my tank top and observe my stomach are beyond me but there it was in all its glory.  To quote the woman, “There’s a special place for people like you – and it’s called hell.” With feelings so strong about a hypothetically  temporary modification, just imagine the words being thrown around about something permanent like a tattoo?

Well, in defense of my 27 year old self – I can proudly say:

“In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.”
– Nietzsche 

To be honest, getting a tattoo didn’t cross my mind until I was already in college.  My roommates and I had gone up to Solvang for a day trip and stumbled into a hole in the wall store called The Mystic Merchant and they had a whole section of their store devoted to runes: posters, books, necklaces and stones.  We took turns running our fingers over the necklaces with these foreign symbols, each trying to find an idea that resonated.  One friend was a fabulous writer and slam poet and chose the rune ‘Kenaz’ – the rune of creativity. I took some time, and ended up with ‘Gebu‘ – the rune of balance.  I wore the necklace for a few weeks after I’d gotten it, and each time I took it off I felt almost physically ill.  I went through two faux-rope necklaces because I refused to remove it, and then I had a genius idea: what if I just got a  tattoos? So, I did… and ever since, I’ve developed what some would call a slight obsession with them.

There’s something so intrinsically beautiful  in finding an image or idea that is so real, so true, to me as an individual that I want it to permanently become part of who I am in the process of becoming.  There are a few tattoos that I’ve been developing over time; one I’ve been drawing them over and over so frequently that I could do it in my sleep.  A few of my more artistic friends have even taken the liberty of sketching out their versions of it. I’ve had these ideas for 4 and 6 years, respectively, but I figure I can take my time since it’s something that’s forever*.

Well, things took for the interesting this past weekend. I was introduced to a new friend, a fast friend if you will. We made it official and did the whole Facebook thing and I noticed their kickass cover photo (above).  As I looked closer, I saw a tattoo on the neck of the model.   At first, my head said “That’s a badass model, getting a tattoo on her neck…” immediately followed by “…what the hell is so amazing that you would need to get it on your neck?!”  Well, take a look for yourself because it’s something that resonated immediately with me. The next day I went with my friend to an amazing tattoo parlor out in Venice called the Black Diamond Tattoo.  My friend and I had walk-in back to back appointments with the incredibly skilled Big Boy; I was in and out in 15 minutes with minimal discomfort.  Sure, there were a few times that I whimpered a little but all in all, I could still have a conversation and I didn’t cry (yay me!). I’m still in shock I went through with it; but each time I look at it or see a picture of it I become so elated.  The next part was breaking it to my family that their daughter had some new ink, but to my surprise both my parents were supportive. My dad actually told me it was “cute” and then my mom  had something to say that caught me by surprise: You didn’t use color? That’s boring.  Well, guess I can’t win ’em all.

“In music the passions enjoy themselves”
-Nietzsche-

Introducing: Sake

I’ve already introduced my youngest ball of fur, Stella, but I think it’s about time everyone meets the main little man in my life – Sake!

Going to UC Santa Barbara for college, it was easy to get carried away in the party scene. Like, way easy.  But first, you should consider my facts: I didn’t have a sip of alcohol until I started getting my college acceptance letters and I didn’t get drunk until the second semester of my senior year.  The only parties I went to were at my then boyfriends house, and even then – I wasn’t that interested. But in Isla Vista, that all changed – and quickly!

I have a hard time saying no to fun and entering my final year I decided it was time to simmer down some; the only problem was – how was I supposed to develop that reflex where I was compelled to stay in?  Having a pet at the time meant that I had to think outside of my party-induced, slightly selfish only child ways and devote time, energy and love to the growth of another creature.  I was ecstatic at the notion; especially when my roommate at the time laughed at me and told me some women use that same line of reasoning to get pregnant and have children. Now, thinking back to that moment – I’ll now gladly take being a catlady any day of the week!

Full Name:  Sir Sake III

Nickname: Saks, Sir Saks-a-Lot, Mr. Kitty

DOB + Age: Feb 2006 + 6.5 years

Type: Korat

Favorite Place to Sleep: Curled around my head, on top of the laptop, in my purse

Hobbies: Eating, singing, chasing Stella around the apartment, cuddling with new friends

Favorite Toy(s): Plastic and shoelaces

Pet Peeves: Not having fresh food, not being the center of attention

Introducing: Stella

ImageIt’s only right that my first ‘realpost is about one of the loves of my life – and I should give fair warning now: I love a lot of things; but not all things are my cats!  That’s right, *surprise* I’m a cat lady.  Now that we have that out of the way, meet the littlest meow face of the bunch, Stella.  I got Stella in the summer of 2008; right after I moved to Los Angeles.  I was living by myself for the first time and Sake needed a friend, so I took myself down to a local chapter of the Los Angeles Animal Services to see what I could find.

Now, I’m going to jump on and off of my soap box SUPER quick: Adopt, adopt, ADOPT! There are so many worthy, sweet, smart, cuddly animals at the shelter – why would you deny them the chance at a fabulous life with yourself? You know you’re awesome, now get a pet to prove it! // end rant.

I walked into the cat room at the animal shelter, took one look around and immediately my eyes were drawn to the center aisle – the most adorable bundle of fur was rolling around, screeching with delight as another cat whimsically batted at a toy in the corner.  I turned around to the aide, and before I could say a word – they knew and immediately laughed my way: “You want to see the grey kitten, don’t you?” And oh, did I ever.

Now, I’ve had cats the entire 27 years I’ve been alive – but never have I ever raised a kitten!  Bringing Stella home turned into a glorious challenge, thankfully there’s a book for that; The Cat Biblecame highly reccommended, and I can see why – for cat owners new and young, and for those that just fancy felines – this one’s for you.

Image

Now, time to introduce the little lady of the house – Miss Stella!

Full Name: Estelle Bearington

Nickname: Stella, Stell, Stellz, Stella Bella Bear, Kitten face

DOB + Age: May 2008 + 4.2 years

Type: Grey and White American Shorthair Tabby

Favorite Place to Sleep: With her head on the pillow and anywhere inconvenient: laptops, keyboards, heads

Hobbies: Knocking lighters off of coffee tables, sleeping like a real person, singing, turning off my alarm clock

Favorite Toy(s): The laser pointer, Sake, paper bags and shoelaces

Pet Peeves: Not being allowed to drink from my cereal bowl, loud noises

Hello, Kittens!

Well, hello hello my lovely readers – I hope everyone is having a splendid Friday!

Time and time again, I start blogs with very narrowly scoped intentions – through the past year, my BlogSpot – which was once my dumping ground for this, that and everything – has become my personal safe haven where I vent about my sometimes interesting anxieties and issues; my Tumblr is now an aggregate of my varied musical tastes and videos of adorable animals – but the one thing that I missed about blogging was connectingConnecting to both my surroundings, my friends and myself.

To me, blogging is cathartic.  It gives me a chance to lay it all on the line and walk away with a new outlook on life; but in a way, my blogging lately has become so segmented – and I’ve been looking for a way to cohesively gel the different aspects of my personality into one stream of consciousness.

So please, bear with me as I get my barrings one more time; there’s so much worth sharing and engaging in, that it’s almost a shame I haven’t created a space like this earlier.  I want to provoke different ways of thinking and provide insight to those who are looking for it; in the past year I’ve become a fan of cooking, DIY projects, photography, and travel.  Add to that my lust for live music, engaging discussions, street art, adventures and my two adorable cats – and this blog will be full of fun for just about everyone.

So sit tight, hold onto those pretty little heads of yours and let’s get down to business.