Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Dog's Life, In Memory Of Bonkers

You came into our world 11/19/2006 from the County Animal Shelter with no idea of what your story was. You left our world 5/24/2020 in your living room with a story to leave behind.
I am healing from the pain of a loss that I never have felt in my life. A loss that rocked me to my core.
I am constantly reminded of you as I have social media memories that pop up daily. I have your ashes on my shelf and have one of your favorite babies on my shelf. Lovely people that you made friends with have created art and you even have a pin,a magnet and sticker now! You taught lessons, you created peace, you made us laugh and you made us cry.
I miss you more than words will ever be able to express but I am so full of love and great memories of you. A great friend of yours named Manny said that you made him a better human. A great friend of yours named Moes felt pressure to make a drawing of you that served your memory well. Chuck and James painted a mural of your beautiful face. Pedro has a Bonkers shelf. Bri wrote a lovely memory. Jason even made you into one of his famous uni cycles. You touched so many of us and we are eternally grateful for the gift of your friendship and undying love.
Thank you for being a wonderful friend, a healer, a comedian and for keeping us on our toes for all of the years that we had you. I am eternally grateful that I looked in your eyes all of those years ago and decided that you needed to be saved, you in turn saved me. I love you big dog....may you be eternally happy and digging holes, running free and munching on treats.
Thank you to everyone who has immortalized him in some way and who will contribute to the book that will be written (this is taking time since every time I write, I have to wipe away tears which is pretty hard to write seeing through those). I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Human Connection

I wanted to share a few stories with you. They are both true stories. And I want to make it known now,that self glorification, kudos or "look at me" is not the goal with these stories. The goal is to share a human experience and how important human connections are.
The first one will be The Story of Robert and his Dog. The second will be the story of Chad.

The story of Robert and his Dog. I met Robert along the underpass on Van Buren Street while waiting for the light to turn green. He had no sign, he had no sad look on his face. He had a scruffy face, dirty clothes and a scruffy pup. He had a smile. I handed him some change and a bottle of water. He said thank you with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. I waved as I pulled away. I would see Robert on the side of the road or by the corner 7eleven pulling his pup in the wagon behind his bicycle. Every chance I got I would give him some change or a bottle water. He is full of gratitude and a smile every time that we cross paths. I became worried for a bit when time passed and I had not seen him. One morning on my way to work I spotted him in the laundromat parking lot. I quickly pulled in and rolled my window down. I said "good morning Robert, I have been looking for you" and his reply was " uh oh, so is everyone" and he laughed the biggest belly laugh and made me laugh as well. I asked him how he had been and how his dog was. He told me that he had recently had a fall and had to go to the hospital for a week and luckily someone was able to look after his companion. He told me his story and how he has had the dog since he was a puppy. Not once did he ask me for anything. We just shared a great conversation. In parting, I gave him my lunch, a few bucks and some water. We exchanged names again and he thanked me multiple times. I pulled out of the parking lot feeling full of gratitude for this life that I live. I still come across Robert and his Dog frequently. One evening I saw him on my way to the grocery store. I asked him where he would be hanging out and he told me exactly where. He has his spots timed out so as to avoid trouble or harassment or cops. I went to the store and bought him a sandwich, fruit, crackers, a gallon of water and some dog food. When I pulled up alongside him and told him that I had some stuff for him, his eyes lit up. He smiled and thanked me a million times. He waved to my daughter and thanked her as well. Now every time that I see him, he waves and that makes me happy and feeling fortunate.

I recently met Chad on the Alma School Road off ramp. I was four lanes away from him and the light turned green. I felt compelled to give him something, anything. That morning I had packed myself a snack of watermelon and water. I drove 3 blocks to jump back onto the freeway and get off at the exit on his side of the street. When I stopped at the red light I noticed his sign. It said "Hello, I am Chad and I am homeless and a little hungry"
I called his name and said "hello Chad, my name is Tianne. I have some food and water for you if that would be alright?" He stood up and walked over to my van. He was unshaven and wrinkled from age and sun and he had a huge smile! I gave him my watermelon, a fork, some water and a few bucks. He talked to me for a minute and then my light turned green. I wished him safety and relief from the Arizona sun. He waved and yelled out "God bless you young lady". Tears flowed from my eyes as I turned the corner. Tears of gratitude.

I believe in the human connection. I believe in humanity. I believe that "whatever is hurtful to you, do not do that to any person"
I believe in being kind. I believe in treating people with respect and dignity until proven otherwise.

I choose to do what little that I can for those less fortunate because we could all find ourselves in a similar situation. I believe that a smile will brighten most peoples day.

I just wanted to share these stories with you. Again, I am not looking for praise. I wanted to share the stories since I did not feel that they were stories to be held in.

Please remember that not all people that you encounter on the side of the road are hustlers, or druggies. Please remember that we all are looking for love, acceptance, connections and life.

I leave you with peace, love and gratitude.

Just a Short Note

It has been awhile and boy has a lot happened within just a short time frame.

Let me just begin by saying that the current year 2020 has been one hell of a roller coaster indeed.

Where do I begin? First of all we still have children in cages and camps. Raging wildfires in two of the Worlds largest ecosystems, deadly flooding, Volcanic eruption, Earthquakes in areas that have not had one in at least a hundred years....oh and yes, we still have children in cages. Ongoing police brutality, never ending racism and still, children in cages. We have had locust swarms in biblical proportions, never ending war, religion scandals, riots and ongoing police brutality. Oh, and let us not forget an ongoing pandemic, sure to rear its head again and again. Mass incarceration and children in cages. Murder by the hands of the righteous and entitled. The death of legendary human beings. Plane crashes. Riots and protests.

An uprising. A change is coming. We are beginning to open our eyes wider. We are starting to come together en mass. We are starting to speak up, speak out and use our voices in creative ways.

We must come together! We must continue to fight for our fellow man/woman/child. We must rise up and embrace one another and celebrate one another. The time of division has to come to an end. We must unite as one people. We must be a voice for voiceless! We must yell, write, protest, vote!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

An introspective look at my favorite color

This one is for all of my fellow Goth / Emo kids. We are MANY that is for sure.
I love the color black, all shades of it. My son from a young age made sure to tell me that black is the absence of color....yes Pedro, I am aware :)
For many years, my closet consisted of all shades of black with a few pops of color for good measure. The love affair started in middle school. I realized that when I wore black, I disappeared. It was magical. For someone like me who seemed to be the target for everyone's tricks, this was amazing! I mean when I wore polka dots and neon (this was the 80's after all) they picked me out of a crowd and teased me, making me the example of how far their cruelty could go. However, I soon noticed that when I wore all black they walked right by me.
Hmmm....maybe I was on to something. I began to wear black a lot more. And I wore my straight hair down and in my face. It was such a comfort to be able to blend into a wall, or a classroom. The other thing that came along with wearing black was that I felt powerful! I have no idea why or what created that feeling but boy did I run with it. When I wore black I held my head high, I looked people in the eye, I walked without fear. Suddenly, I began interacting more with my peers. This led to making friends with an unlikely bunch and we are still friends to this day.
Now, I ask did the color have some mystical power? Did it have some force over me to make me feel better about "me"? Or was it all in my head? I do not know the answer, but it felt great.
After I got into high school I took 3 years of classes with an amazing teacher named Ms. Joan Barker. She taught Marriage, Child, Family Development. She was everything to me. She was my teacher, my mentor, my rock. I had a tumultuous life at that time and she was there for me in class, out of class and a phone call away.
I took her course, by my Senior year I was advanced level. Seems that I was learning as much as I could about life, things that I was not being taught outside of class. Now, I did not listen to most of what I learned. I did not follow any warnings or guidelines....had to learn the hard way ( very much par for the course with me) but I did take away very important things and lessons that still carry me to this day.
In this class I learned something about wearing color. She would teach us about how we wore color and how others perceive it and even judge us by it. Every single time she spoke about black, she looked at me (insert eye roll here) I did learn that red was considered an aggressive, take charge color. If your colors were too bright, you are not taken seriously. And if your colors were too dark, you are not assertive enough. But what she did tell us about the color black was that we were hiding when we wore it (meaning head to toe) I always had to speak up and tell her that maybe we wanted to hide and she would admonish me in front of the class and tell me that I did not need to disappear and that I have a voice. I would argue back that I felt powerful and strong when I wore it, she would tell me that I was using it a false shield. Holy hell, I could not win that one, no matter how hard that I tried.
Back to the present, I still love black. I still wear it with my head held high. I still feel powerful and secure when I wear it. Did I realize that it was an escape for me back then, a way to hide from what life was throwing my way? You bet! Do I realize as I am older that we cannot escape, we cannot fade, we cannot be silent? Yes!
I wear black now because I love the color. I wear black because it goes with literally everything. I wear black because it is slimming. I wear black because it makes me happy. But most of all I wear black because it screams out to the inner Goth girl that I am still here, I survived and sometimes I still need to disappear and that is OKAY...in moderation of course.
So I ask you, what is your take on color? How do certain colors make you feel?
This has been a walk down a short memory lane. I leave you as always with peace, love and happiness <3

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Popularity Rant

Lately, this has been invading my mind and I see no other way out of it other than to throw it out into the universe. Maybe it is the creative market being invaded by people who have no soul, no passion or love for what they are creating. Maybe it is my impending 30 year class reunion. Or maybe it is people who come out of the woodwork who never gave a fuck about me, trying to give a fuck now. Maybe it is fake ass people flooding social media.
I believe that I may have written about this before but always nice to revisit those issues that still gnaw away at people...it's me, I am people
The popularity syndrome is as old as time ( I believe anyway) and it has never faltered. Each decade, each generation has had their own form of it
It seems more rampant now since technology has brought forth the monster known as social media, the demon that we all love to hate
I have always hated the concept of popularity yet I always wanted to be accepted. I despised the "popular" kids just as they despised me (the misfit)
Now, do not get me wrong I had some great friends and I got along with everyone. I was not confrontational and I was sweet. I was a pushover and tried so hard to be cool but yet, still stay weird. It was a weird internal battle that always raged within me. I was weird and I embraced it, I actually never thought that there was anything wrong with me until I got to middle school. 7th grade changed my mind about people 100%
See, I was a product of a divorced home so I shuttled back and forth between parents. That took on a whole new level of chaos when my Dad moved to Pennsylvania. I had to leave my hometown and my dear friends behind. I was to spend my 7th grade year with him. I go to the Junior High there and they give me an academic test before enrolling me. After my testing they tell me that I am in the top percentile. I am like "uhm okay, can I just get this school thing over with" (Remember, I am now the dreaded new kid)
So in this school they divide kids based on their test scores. We had 7 sections of a seventh grade class, broken down like 7-1, 7-2 and so on. So, 7-1 and 7-2 were the cream of the crop, 7-3 through 7-5 were high to mid range, 7-6 and 7-7 were the "troubled kids" or learning impaired kids.
I was kind of in a shock, where I went to school in California we just went to school man, we all learned and those of us who could not grasp it, got tutoring or one on one time with a teacher or teachers aide. My 12 year old brain was trying to grasp this concept even after school began. I tested above average so I was put in the mid high range. And here was to be my first lessons in popularity.
I was in the "goody two shoes" group (as people so lovingly called us) however, I did not quite fit in. See, I was poor so I was not like "them" and they made sure that I knew it. They did not talk to me as we sat at our segregated lunch tables. We had to sit within our numbered groups. My fellow classmates were not very friendly, with me anyway. They ignored me and looked at me like I had a disease. It was lonely at that table.If we had friends in other groups (which I did), we were not allowed to sit with them.....tell me the logic in that.
Longest story short, this was my first lesson in not belonging or in not being popular enough to be around or even speak to certain people.
Now, I get back into my current popularity theme.
Being a poet, an artist, a musician or a creative leads us into another form of popularity. This is much like High School where you have the beautiful ones, the rich ones, the narcissistic ones, the humble ones, the viruses and the lot. Social media while it may be a necessary evil to some, can also do so much damage. We find ourselves in comparison mode many times "look how many likes they have, look how many followers they have, look at how perfect their lives are....and the list goes on. The bullies have snide remarks or degrading comments for others that they see below their standards. The insecure ones wallow in despair over not being good enough. The secure ones are looked at as trying to be all that....and again, the list goes on.
I have tried to fit in most of my life, tried to be cool, tried to be nice, tried to be mean, tried to be beautiful and popular. All that I ever wanted really was someone, anyone to accept me as I am. Weird, cold, funny, loving, sarcastic, creative, sappy, loud, unrefined and just plain Ti. The girl who just wanted to be something important in this big, wide World. To leave my mark and make an impression on the Universe. We all can say at one point, "if I knew then, what I know now I would have done so much better"
But you know what? I would not change it for the world. I grew up with so many different experiences, but they are my experiences. I was able to experience life on so many levels and it truly made me who I am today. I accept myself! I love myself! I am (dare I say) proud of myself! And I have left my mark on this world by bringing two amazing children into this world who are my best creation by far.
I guess the reason for this long winded( unapologetically long winded )rant is do not pay attention to the popular kids. Be you!
Be magnificently you! Create how you want, create what you want! Stop trying to be something or someone that you are not. Those that matter are paying attention and really, that is the best kind of attention. To hell with the naysayers! To hell with the "cool" kids! To hell with the "in" crowd! To hell with the people who tell you to try something different so you get accepted! Fuck that! Do it your way. In the end you may or may not make it big but you know what? You will make it on your terms, how you are meant to make it. Follow your dreams no matter what they tell you. And never, ever change who you are to conform to someone else's standards of greatness! Fuck that! Fuck them!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Time For Change, Time For Speaking Up, Time For Speaking Out!

I just feel the need at this point to share my feelings. I just need to write this out. I just need to share this with the World.

Realizing that life is precious has me feeling some sort of way. Realizing that we are not promised tomorrow but more than that we are not promised the next minute. I have seen too many of my friends, loved ones, neighbors and community members die due to violence, illness and accidents. Obviously we cannot prevent accidents or some illness but we can prevent violent endings. It lies in OUR hands. The sooner that we realize that we do not have to give in to the AGENDA, the better for humanity.
You NEVER know when life can end. You NEVER know if this is the last time that you can say I love you to someone, or to hold your child or to comfort your friend.
Our current state is in disarray, I mean let's face it though, it has been since the Europeans settled here and changed this land. Coming in and destroying land, oppressing the people, creating greed and terror.
No different than today right?
The current government has created a hailstorm of hatred by not denouncing it. They just go along with it. Our president (the actor) has played both sides of the fence. In one breath he denounces killing and racism and blah blah blah and then in his next public outing he cheers while people chant "send her back"
If our "leaders" act like masochistic, racist, hateful bullies then that in turn gives people the green light to act the same way. You see when a person who is in charge condones certain behaviors, then the people will act in accordance. Think about this for one moment. As a parent, my children viewed me as "in charge" I cuss, alot. So, my children saw that all through their lives. So, in turn they cuss. I ate junk food, they ate junk food. I stayed up late, they stayed up late. No boundaries were set. Do you see my point?
I am so very tired of reading about more killing, more desecration, more destruction and more tearing down of our families. I am tired of seeing my communities ripped apart by separation. I am tired of seeing our people being killed. I am tired of seeing my neighbors taken away from their families while they are working jobs that most Americans would NEVER do! I am tired of our communities being divided due to racism. I am tired of our family units being destroyed. I am just TIRED!!
It is time for all people to stand up and fight against the powers trying to divide us! It is time for all races to unite and stand against the powers trying to make us hate one another. It is time for us to unite as ONE people to defy the powers that want to destroy us! Before this gets worse than it is and believe me it CAN and WILL get worse! Denial brought forth by people in power and media outlets who deny that racism is not a problem, are feeding fuel to an already large fire. This is eerily similar to those that denied that the Holocaust was not real. This is eerily similar to those that downplayed how bad Slavery was. This is eerily similar to those that IGNORED what was happening during the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Genocide is upon us. Look at the 10 stages:

What are the 10 stages of genocide?
Stages 1, 2, 3: Classification, symbolization and discrimination
Stage 4: Dehumanization
Stage 5: Organization
Stage 6: Polarization
Stage 7: Preparation
Stage 8: Persecution
Stage 9: Extermination
Stage 10: Denial

We have people in power telling us through media that Racism is not a problem. That hatred is not being condoned. I call BULLSHIT. It is evident in how many mass shootings are being carried out by white men who just so happen to have hateful rhetoric in notebooks and computers in their homes. Who are able to purchase semi automatic weapons but then they are supposedly mentally ill. Mental illness is not an excuse to commit murder. And mental illness is not something to throw out there as an excuse to get away with committing murder. On the other hand we have people of color being shot for having a phone, for tying their shoes, for having a busted tail light, for raising their voices??!! Where are our voices for the voiceless?! Where are our power in numbers?! We need to speak up, speak out and stand up for our rights...the rights of humanity as a whole! We need to come together now more than ever and FIGHT BACK!
Believe me, I was educated on social issues at a young age. And I still take the time to educate myself because there are so many things that I do not know. I took the time to read about Slavery, The Holocaust, Civil Wars (both foreign and domestic), Civil Rights and Genocides through out the ages. I was a child at the age of 8 reading about Civil Rights while my friends laughed at me. My parents talked to us openly and without a filter on what really happened and how they had friends of all colors and had to hide it from their families. Can you imagine that? Can you put yourself in that position where someone would beat your ass if you brought home someone of color?! I cannot imagine that life and nor do I want to. My children are of mixed race and I never would want to experience hatred directed at them.
I am speaking out, I am speaking up and I am speaking loudly! I want to have a voice for the voiceless. I want to have an opinion for those who are too afraid to say theirs. I want to stand together with my community and stand alongside them in their fight. We NEED to stop what is happening in our country. We NEED to become accountable for OUR actions. We NEED to speak up! Period!!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Melancholy Musings Very Personal, Very Brief Year in Review

2018 was a helluva year! I don't do all of the "New Year Resolutions" but I will say that I will strive to grow, better myself, heal myself, love myself, love others, forgive, face fears and live life fully.
In one year I accomplished so much. In one years time I was able to face fears, write, forgive, make amends, move forward, love, practice patience a little more (this one is a challenge sometimes), make friends, walk away from toxic people and continue on a path to clear my spirit.
I produced 5 Zines, I participated (and sold a piece) in an art gallery show, I participated in First Friday events, I participated in Second Friday events, I participated in Art Festivals and a Zine Festival, I got stickers printed of my art and my photography, I produced Photo books and some included my poetry.
I supported my artist friends, I supported my DJ friends, I supported my foodie friends, I supported small business and local business, I supported my creatives out there by shouting their names from the rooftops, sharing their work with others or purchasing something from them.
I could never have accomplished as much as I did without those who have supported me and cheered me on. I am humbled by the people both near and far, close and distant strangers who always have a kind word or who are willing to help me along this journey. I appreciate you all.
I want to shout out to my daughter Briahna who is my biggest supporter, my rock, my side kick, my helper, my confidante, my counselor, my advisor, my daughter....without her I would be pretty lonely. She is a great help and a great spirit and silly as all hell, which makes me laugh even when I want to cry. Thank you Bri <3. I have made some amazing friends along the way and learned to appreciate them much more with each passing moment. I have strengthened bonds with those I hold dear and learned to appreciate what I have and who I have in my life more and more each day. I just want to say that anything is possible as long as you believe that you can do it. Anything is possible with hard work, determination and positive thought. This next year I will work towards what works for me, what feeds my soul. I will write more, no doubt about that. I will capture more beautiful moments. I will surround myself with nature and let that heal me. I will strengthen bonds and love fierce. The biggest goal that I have at this moment is to write a book. I do not know the subject, I do not know the size. That is what I see for this year thus far. Here is to living life, here is to loving life and here is to being true to you. Shout out to all of my friends and family for hanging around for another year and here is to many more! Peace, Love and Happiness....always!!