Thursday, September 17, 2009

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Whew! It felt like a really long road to September 12th, the first day of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This was my second time participating in the walk, but it was much more challenging this time. I'm sure the declining economy has everything to do with it, but raising $1,800 is never easy. I really started to feel like it was stressing me out and I was starting to forget why I was doing it. Especially once I accepted the contract for Singapore, my mother said, "It's too much, you raised a lot of money but maybe you should just leave it at that." But, I couldn't. I made a commitment to raise $1,800 and to walk 39.3 miles and I was going to do it.

First, I'll tell you WHY I decided to do it the first time around. I was living in NYC and my mothers birthday was coming up. I felt like I always got her the same thing (a collectible shoe figurine which she loves, but it's nothing she needs,) or something that I think she'd love, but come to find out later that she was just being polite and has never used it. So, I was sitting on the subway and there was an ad for the Avon Walk. It was only 2 months away and on further research I learned how much money I had to raise in such a short amount of time. But I did it! And the experience of walking all over New York City was amazing. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, the 59th street bridge, even the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. It was amazing! The night you spend on the campsite is inspiring. Seeing the survivors and those fighting breast cancer that are involved with the walk makes all the little problems and hang ups in your life disappear. You think, "This woman is fighting for her life, and she's here. I'm so blessed!"

When I saw an ad early in the year for the Los Angeles walk, it was a no brainer. I was excited to experience it in a new city, and in a new place in my life. Last time around I was very depressed. Living in NYC was not good for me and I found that although I loved the walk, I really didn't break out of my shell and connect with anyone. This time, I am in such a happy, great place that I was talking to everyone and what an experience!

The thing about the Avon Walk is that there is so much support and love surrounding you. Everytime I felt like I could take another step, there was a group of people waiting on one of the street corners, cheering, holding signs, and saying 'thank you for walking,' that kept me going. Between the woman with no hair from chemo holding a sign saying, "You are walking so that I can live," to the man with a long grey beard, smoking a cigarette with a t-shirt that read, "I'm a breast man," I couldn't stop laughing and crying. I also specifically remember a woman along the way that was waiting at a street light who didn't hoot, holler, hold a sign or cheer, but looked everyone right in the eye and said quietly, "thank you."

I felt really proud to be a woman. I was surrounded by all of these women, young and old, who were huffing and puffing and all of us in pain by those last few miles but kept going. Especially the second day when we had all walked a marathon and slept in tents, woke up the next day as sore as I've ever been in my life to say, "Yeah, I'm going to walk another 13 miles." One of my favorite signs was, "Proud to fight like a girl."

I thought of my mother so much. I thought of her when I heard stories from women who lost their mothers to this disease. I thought of how lucky I felt that I didn't lose my mom when I was just 8 years old when she was diagnosed. I thought of how I'd never know that she would come to nearly every performance of every show I was in, that she would have never made my costumes for me when I starred in the high school play or see how proud she was of me at my college graduation. I don't know what kind of woman I would be without her. I feel like I am the strong woman I am today because of her and seeing her fight the disease. I just felt so humble and lucky that my mother is a survivor (cancer free for over 20 years now!)

And with all this "woman power," I saw some amazing supportive men! Husbands walking with their wives, holding their hand and wearing signs on their backs saying, "I'm walking for my wife, cancer free for 5 years!" Husbands, brothers, sons all walking for a special woman in their life. It was really beautiful. But the biggest difference for me this year from last year was the support I got from Del. If you had told me 2 years ago when I participated that I'd have this wonderful guy see me off at the starting line, bring me dinner after the first day, set up my tent for me, and be there at the finish line to help my nearly crippled butt to the car, I'd tell you you're crazy. I didn't think guys like him existed, and if they did, there certainly wasn't one out there for me. It made things so much easier to know that after that next step, I'd see him there waiting for me. And this was in Long Beach so the poor guy made 4 different trips in 2 days to do all of this (while wearing a pink t-shirt, no less.)

Now I just have to decide which city to walk in for 2011 . . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Apple A Day

I haven't felt super inspired to write something in the past few days so here is a little vintage blog from my myspace posted on August 4, 2008 just after working in Wisconsin for Ford.


The best thing to happen at AirVenture in Wisconsin happened yesterday in the last hour and a half of work. The show was pretty dead because everyone had started flying home. We were just hanging out, sitting on bales of hay (of course, all in a days work) when an old man in a jumpsuit (which is typical at an airshow) came up. The back of his jumpsuit said, "Wanted: Rich Widow. Send pictures of plane."

I guess he was asking my friend Dahlia questions about the F-150 and I was chatting with Steve, one of the guys who keeps up the track/obsticale course. Dahlia brought the man over to us and he started discussing how his wife bought him a brand new truck. Steve said, "That's a good wife! You must be a good husband. What's the secret?" He said, "An apple a day. You gotta give your woman an apple a day."

He starts explaining what I thought, at the beginning, was about fruit but "apples" were just a euphemism for sex. "You see, there are several days of the month that you can't give her an apple because she is on her menstruation, so you have to give her an apple 2 or 3 times some days. As long as you are averaging 365 apples a year, you are being a good husband."

But, oh no, it didn't stop there, "And I'm gonna let you in on something else, don't waste your money on that K-Y crap. Shit's too expensive! Get some mineral oil. It does the job just fine. You can also use it to style your hair. Add some iodine to it and you can use it as tanning oil, too. It's got a lot of uses and it's cheap!" In the middle of this, may I mention, the daily parachuting man with the American Flag falls from the sky and the National Anthem plays. The old man stops his rant, puts his hand over his heart and sings the National Anthem. " . . . And the hoooooome of theeeeeee Braaaaave!" Then he immediately continues, "And don't worry, I checked with the gynecologist and it's perfectly safe." (I would love to meet this gyno.)

The old man continues to explain how his first wife tried to kill him several times. She had a blood transfusion after an accident and contracted Hepatitus C and had to take medication. The medication made her crazy so she tried to stab him with a meat cleaver, hit him over the back of the head with a shovel while he was gardening, and slowly poison him every day by putting rat poison in his food until his intestines were bleeding.

Then he explains, "I just bought a new 2-seater airplane that I am naming 'Little Orphan Annie' and I need a redheaded woman to ride around the world with me. Are you over 18?" I told the man I was and he said, "Good. I don't want to be brought up on no statutory rape charges." At which point I excused myself from the conversation.

Oh, Wisconsin. You amaze me every year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I touch my face

I touch my face in my sleep. Not like sleeping on my hand, it's different. It's wierd.

I lay on my back with my arm stretched up above my head then I crane my hand up in the air and lightly touch my nose, lips and cheeks with just my middle finger. I'll trace around the curves of my face. I've often woke myself up doing this. I've tried to google it, but apparently, I'm the only wierdo that does it.

Del and I brought it up when we were on vacation with my parents and my mother responded, "Oh yes, you've always done that, even as a child." What the heck?! Del makes fun of me all the time for it. He says he's going to video tape it so I can see how bizarre it is. It goes on all night.

There's really not much else to this story. I was just hoping to reach out a creepy craned arm to any other face touchers out there . . .

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Saturday I had 2 back to back airbrush tattoo gigs. Yes, temporary airbrush tattoo artist is among one of the many odd jobs I've had throughout the years trying to make ends meet as a performer.

The first event was outside at a company picnic . . . during the Los Angeles heatwave and wildfires. It was a joyous experience: being outside in 114 degree heat and barely being able to breath through the smoke for 5 hours. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of the event, but I had to work another one that night. Luckily, this one was in doors.

I arrived at the event (a bat mitzvah) and noticed all the banquet staff was early 20's typical server types. (I can recognize this, since I was one. Now I'm a typical late 20's server type. There's a difference.) One of the young guys asked me if I needed help loading my stuff in. Maybe it's the feminist in me, or just the fact that I'm stubborn but I replied as I always do with, "No, that's okay! I'm used to it!"

As I lugged my equipment from the car to the banquet hall, I realized how ridiculously exhausted I was but now I've already refused help. So, I thought, "What would Niki and Rachel do?" Niki and Rachel are my girlfriends back home that I spent my early twenties with. We were the "blonde, brunette and redhead" inseparable trio. I never understood how they easily flipped the switch from bawdy, funny, strong woman to helpless, flirty sex kitten whenever they needed something or wanted to attract someone of the opposite sex. I have always been so matter of fact and sort of flirt-tarded that I wasn't able to master the ability. But I thought, what the hell, I'll never see these people again, might as well try it out.

So, I went into the restroom and took my hair down, tousled it a bit, touched up my make up and hiked up my boobs. I walked out and saw all the young guys over by the bar so I walked over and said, "So . . . you guys ready for an exciting night of mixing non-alcoholic drinks?" And I gave a little giggle, eyelash bat and smile. The next thing I knew, all of my equipment was being brought in, I was being offered drinks and food from the bar and was given a number to come by anytime and be on the guest list for the club. Apparently, embodying Niki and Rachel worked! Now if only I could use it to get my car lease paid off . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Comedy Fights Breast Cancer

I can release my first big sigh of relief! I had my fundraiser for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer last night and it was much more successful then I had imagined. Only 3 seats open by the time Dan Bialeck started his comedy CD recording!

Honestly, I'm exhausted because I ran around all day yesterday in preparation and then had the event, then worked in the morning. I barely slept because this Los Angeles heat wave/brush fires are making it difficult to get comfortable (between sweating my ass off because we only have AC in the living room and not being able to breath.) So this will be short and not particularly well structured.

Here are some things that touched me:

1. The friend who got her shift covered to come support me. (even after donating a ridiculous amount and me begging her not to worry if she couldn't make it.)

2. The friend and her husband that rushed over and donated an amazing raffle prize even though they get limited time to spend with eachother. They spent an evening with me for charity.

3. The friend who came even after it was too late to see the show to donate just because she wanted to support.

4. Walking on stage to do the raffle, announcing that all the money brought in that night was for the underprivileged who are fighting breast cancer, and getting an enthusiastic burst of applause.

5. Making more then my "I'll be happy if I raise this amount," quota and feeling like I have a good chance now of raising enough to do the walk.

6. Giving people prizes!!!

7. Hearing all the laughter throughout the show. Del and I had to man the lobby so we didn't get to see the show, but overhearing the laughter was a cool experience.

8. The amazing conversation we had in the lobby during the show. I fall in love with Del over and over again all the time.

9. Standing in Target with Del realizing he is really going to pick out a pink shirt and wear it for me for the event. That's love.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in any way at all. This has been such a different experience from last time and I only have $275 to go! I think I can do it!