Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Life: The Words I Never Said

"You know what bring me happiness in life: appreciation." - Don


Over the last week and a half I have had what I would very much consider a life-changing experience.  For the first time in my adult life I acted in a play, an experience that opened me up to far more than just a creative side of me, but also to a different world within Boquete, Panama where I currently live.

At the same time as my play was taking place, our Panamanian maid, Fani, who we have come to view as much as a mother as our maid, was visiting the doctors concerned that some pain in her chest and arm may be related to some sort of cancerous growth.  While I spent Wednesday performing our first show, two of my housemates were driving her down to David to do whatever they could to help her expedite the process.  Fani is a single-mother of 3 children, one of which now lives in Panama City pursuing a career, the other two of which are 14 and 8, and very much in need of her financial and motherly support.  She is also 39 years old but looks like she has lived the life of any 3 of us in this house combined.

On Thursday I had a group of 15 friends of mine going to the play (a group which I was supposed to be a part of up until Sunday) and Fani requested a ticket.  In spite of the fact that she understood virtually no English at all she wanted to come and see me perform in my absurd Australian accent that I had been walking around the backyard for three days practicing.

After the play I got to do something I had been wanting to do for a long time but didn't know how to approach: give Fani a hug.  I thanked her for coming and gave her a hug that was equally disproportionate (the other way around) to what I actually meant by those words.  I wanted to tell her that I loved her.  I wanted to tell her that I hoped with all of my heart that she would come out of this okay.  I wanted to thank her for calling me "el nino" because I'm the youngest in our house, for always giggling and calling my Anna Kendrick background "tu inspiracion," for always having a smile on her face while she wandered around our house attending to our daily messes.  I wanted to thank her for becoming a part of our family while still being very much a doting employee.  I hoped that she understood in the big hug that I gave her that I wasn't just saying "gracias para venir."

On Monday, the day after I finished the five performances for our play, I was out with a few friends and received the news that tests had come back showing that whatever issues she was having weren't cancerous.  I smiled for at least 10 minutes straight.

After a week of having to worry that she might die and leave her kids behind for an uncertain future, a week plagued by sleeplessness to the extent that she asked a housemate if we had any sleeping pills that are completely foreign to her (yay for my ambien being useful), her heavy burdens had been laid to rest.  She had been given new life.

The day before I had been hanging out smoking a joint with a few cast mates and one of the older ones, a musician in his 60's, said to us something so simply profound that I immediately wrote it down, "You know what brings me happiness in life: appreciation."  The remark was partially inspired by how much he was enjoying the experience of acting for the first time in his life but far moreso how after several shows we went out as a cast to hang out, a cast ranging from age 18 to 65, with a wide variety of backgrounds (aside from that we were all American but one).

Life doesn't require a drastic experience like finding out you don't actually have cancer to stop and appreciate it but for so many it often does.  I have found new life out of horrible circumstances, most significantly when I emerged from my first ever bout with horrible depression about a year ago and realized life was something worth living.  But I have also found new life out of incredibly amazing experiences, like acting in a play, or going to Coachella and discovering my love for sharing music as a community.  It shouldn't have taken Fani potentially having cancer for me to stop to appreciate her role in my life, but to some extent it did.

I want to write about my incredible experience that I had last week in participating in my first ever play but I wanted to make sure this blog showed what I truly appreciate: the love I feel for my family and friends, the love I feel for Fani.  I am so thankful that you have found new life, and I am just as thankful that you will be able to continue to share it with us, your gringo family.

Much love.


This song just happened to be posted in our music group on Facebook on Sunday and seemed all too appropriate:

And a bonus track:

Sunday, January 6, 2013


This blog is rated S for un-Saintly material.  You can read it Grandma and Grandpa, but you (and I) might prefer you didn't.

This has to start with a guilty admission: I follow McKayla Maroney on Twitter.  Because I'm interested in gymnastics.  That apparently makes it better.

In browsing Twitter today I clicked on her profile and scrolled through to see what sort of pics, I mean nonsense, she had recently posted.  Included was a re-tweet of a top-25 list that pegged her as the 24th best actress of 2012.  I at first questioned the list before noting that Selena Gomez was rightly placed at #1, therefore giving credence to everything else the author had to say.  Plus, the site has 213,000 followers which means they flat out know their shit.  I began to wonder about the absence of other esteemed actresses such as Alex Morgan and Carly Rae Jepsen, but Jared knows best.

It seems as though "actress" is also being loosely defined these days by our world-ordained actor-definer,  While browsing the IMDB list of "IMDb: Hottest Pics of the actresses on IMDB" (I swear this was not a normal day for me, although not altogether atypical) I decided to actually click the actress profiles of all the girls I was looking at, spurned on by my lack of knowledge of virtually everyone on the list, and the desire to be the only male in the world to do so.  In doing so I stumbled across Jayden Cole, best known (according to IMDB) for her roles in the stellar films, "Bikini Frankenstein" (subtitled "She'll love you to pieces), "Life On Top" (surely no connotations), "Bikini Royale 2" (I was so worried they wouldn't make a second), and "Dark Secrets" (this ones just a blatant euphemism for the dark recesses).  This led me to seek further information on her heretofore stunning acting credentials.  Not only was she the star of these critically acclaimed films, she had also received an award nomination.  I clicked.  "Best All Girls Couples Sex Scene" for her unforgettable role in the gut-wrenching classic "Pin-Up Girls 5" which she of course shared with Victoria White.  I assume its one of the Oscars they just breeze through real quickly in the middle because no-one really cares about them.

Her profile on IMDB described her, in the very first sentence, as a "buxom and shapely redhead stunner" which I quickly understood as the best way of describing her acting.  I went on to learn that she had a background in horseback riding, in case I was looking to fill that niche role of the happily bouncing horseback rider.  Then came the boomshot..."Jayden not only began her career in the adult entertainment by appearing in the pictorial 'Girls of the OC' in the August, 2006 issue of 'Playboy,' but also was featured on such adult websites as Danni's Hard Drive, Wicked Pictures, and Digital Playground. Cole started performing in girl/girl hardcore films at age 23 in July 2009."


What the what?  Since when did online pornography qualify as IMDB material, or better yet, acting experience?  Next thing you know I'm going to see profiles of girls from Red Tube:

Name: Monica...something
Born: At least a year before McKayla Maroney
Height: 5' 7" (when standing)
Known for: "Threesome Sex with Horny Chick", "Teen Needs Sex Treatment", "Just Hit It"
Description: Blonde, fake-breasted, and down for just about anything, Monica hails from Eastern Europe...

Come on people.  We are defiling the sanctity that is the Internet Movie Database.  I get that it has "internet movie" in the title, but that was supposed to be because it is LOCATED on the internet, not because it incorporates any and all internet material.  If you're going to make a list of the hottest actresses on IMDB I think a prerequisite should be that they are actually goddamn actresses.  Being able to keep a straight face while he unveils his enormous thundercock doesn't count (ok they usually smile, which I guess is pretty good acting, because I'd be trembling in fear).  If I wanted the list of the hottest actresses on IMDB along with a bunch of slutty adult performers I would've clicked on that list instead, but I couldn't find it.  The idea of a hottest actress list is to engage the reader by giving them people they may have actually heard of and thus inspire interest.

But for those of you who are interested in reading through such a grossly smut-inspired list, here it is in all its glory...I'll be re-joining you tomorrow.  But be forewarned, the author's primary and pretty much only requirement seems to be incredibly large breasts.  For redheads, that seems to be his absolute only requirement.  Oh, and how in the world is that first chick the same Alexa Vega from Spy Kids?  How old am I?

Jailbait...Failbait.  A little Deadmau5 and Cypress Hill collaboration.