Vicks and Kicks: Doing the Winter Solstice Rag

Today I drank one gallon of water, four large pots of ginger and lemon tea, and a liter of orange seltzer. I ate two kale salads, a vat of ginger-chicken-garlic soup, and tons of Vitamin C. I slathered a jar of Vicks Vaporub on my chest, nostrils, and feet, which are encased in cozy fleece though I normally don’t wear socks in the dead of winter. And I took two salt-lavender-eucalyptus baths. Which is to say: I am so sick of being sick that I am admitting I am sick and treating the damn symptoms. I stayed home all day: napped, lit candles, meditated, shuffled my butt to James Brown. Generally heeded what my higher self was telling me.

Body as alarm clock, ain’t it always the way.

Let’s call this malingering cold the Winter Solstice Detox, because it’s coaxing me into shedding 2018 toxins along with the tremendous energy December 21 will release. Don’t get me wrong. The origins of the illness are hardly high-falutin’: late nights, cocktails, generally dissociative gallivanting. But that behavior’s been fueled by resignation, romantic rejection, false bravado, and I’m letting go of them, along with everything else blocking my voice and heart from finding a bigger home in the world.

So how can you ready yourself to shine as the days lengthen again? What can you release? Friday is the darkest day of the year, and during that long, long night, bid farewell to everything keeping you in the dark. Then light a candle for everything you wish to make brighter.

Painting: Mickalene Thomas.

A Wolf in Red Lipstick

How I feel

I’m nearing the finish line of the first draft of my book and it’s filling me with a terrible anxiety. I’ve gone totally broke while writing this. I’m unearthed stories about my past that irrevocably have changed my present and maybe my future. Some alliances haven’t survived; others have formed or reformed. And there are so many questions I’ve put off until now: Will anyone give a fuck about this story? being the first and foremost.

Continue Reading →

MGM Musicals Are Always Fair Weather

All I want to do this time of year is watch old movies and write new things. Today I’m doing both. The bubblegum glitter and waggish wit and general tail-wagging of these 10 MGM musicals always, always cheer me the fuck up. Not especially swellegant phrasing, but true just the same.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
It’s hard for kids today to imagine the excitement we used to feel when this musical about a lost Kansas girl aired on CBS every November. But even the youngest skeptics are sure to candy-crush on this film’s whirlwind soundtrack, glorious Technicolor, and iconic cast, including a gingham-clad Judy Garland crooning mournfully of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy