Sunday, March 28, 2010

Baby you can drive my car..Or.... Better Living through capitalism




videoyes, baby, you can drive my car. or anybody else who wants to can as well. it seems the only road i will be on for the forseeable future is the proverbial one. my license has been revoked by my neurologist, Dr. Faber, for being a repeat offender. a repeat offender of what, you might ask. of being a "bad" epileptic and running around, reaking havoc by not sticking to a prescribed regiment of anti-convulsant drugs. Now you might say, "brooke, you gave me a ride home from the show last week", or "Brooke i saw you pull up in front of the history museum", or "fuck you, i've seen you driving everywhere". "you" would be correct. notice i was penalized for being a bad epileptic. i started writing this post the day after i saw my neurologist and it is well over 2 months since then now, so my frustration of not being able to drive is way past the point of "fuck it, i'm driving!" you see, it is a game, they say your license is revoked but as to whether they actually contact the DMV and report you is another story. soooooo, after 2 days of not being able to get myself around, i say screw it and take the chance. now don't think i am out and about risking everyone's lives by getting behind the wheel. i am on a new med that is working really well for me and the chances of me flipping out while behind the wheel while on said drug, are very slim.

now lets fast forward a bit. said drugs were working, then they stopped. it is now 1:30 am on June 3rd and i am sitting at St. Lukes hospital looking like Pinhead in a surgeons cap, on a sleep deprivation order, so they can cause a seizure and track what happens in my brain. this blows healthy proportioned chunks. i have to be up here 5 to 7 days, hook up to an eeg machine, no shower, can't move further than from my bed to the chair, VIDEOTAPED the whole time, and i can't use the bathroom. a nurse brings in a bedside comode. shoot me please. there is no dignity in life. as much as we all like to pretend to be civilized and better than the plankton on the bottom of the ocean, we are not. OOHH i am so tired. i can't do anything, not even sleep. and my head hurts, and i am constipated because i can't go to the bathroom on a bedside comode with some nurse watching me. i can't run or swim. which just kills me. the alternate title of this post is better living through capitalism. i was going to praise the miracle drug Keppra, until it stopped working for me. instead i will talk about how much i love my new running shoes, Newtons. they're not really new, i have been running in them for about 7 months now, but you want to talk about a product changing your life? capitalism sucks and so does healthcare and medicine having anything to do with for profit industry, but every once in awhile it works out for me. seriously, Newtons changed everything about the way i run. i am having my fastest times and less injuries. they cured my shin splint problems. they are drugs for your feet. but in a good way.

oh, here is "Shari" at 2 in the morning to draw my blood, please excuse me a moment................

seriously, Newtons are the bomb, and they were probably developed in a lab and tested before being "prescribed" by your local running shoe store salesman. but, if they don't work for you, you can take them back and they won't cause anybody to get hurt or have a heart attack or a bad rash or whatever.

i will promise to have a much more thought out and cohesive post tomorrow that is fresh and full of insight. i just feel like ia m losing my mind right now.

and if it worked, the video is of my little atticus singing "Full Steam Ahead" by david gray. he really likes that song and he is super cute singing it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Janet is still a friend of mine too. She won't go away. Come take her.






Our last night on the road was spent in Oklahoma City at a Days Inn. I thought for a moment about going back down to the memorial at night to see it lit up and maybe check out the museum, but then i thought i would spare all the guards having atticus throw rocks at the iron gates again. the gates that were placed there to remind everyone not to be violent. poignant, i know. sorry to bring it up again. i am a little obsessed with the place. i know why and i don't know why. it is like going to a place you thought only existed in a story. or you forgot existed. i am not explaining my self well. i wish we all had special brain/mind/thought recorders like in the Kathryn Bigelow movie Strange Days, then i could just upload what i am thinking and trying to convey here and you could all download it into your heads instead of me vomiting from the fingertips for 6 paragraphs trying get across a portion of what is going on upstairs, in my head. here is an attempt.








The okalahoma city bombing happened toward the end of my senior year of college. i remember it vividly because i was in rehearsals for a production of Macbeth. I was one of the witches and we were in tech week. it was a technically challenging production. they beheaded Mac on stage and the witches came up from the orchestra pit in a billow of smoke and light, big battles, a cauldron that looked like a huge mastodon skull, you name it, we had it. so, there was a lot of down time while they were figuring that all out and we would sit in the halls outside of the theatre in Horrabin Hall and talk, do homework, run lines, what have you. and they had these tvs hanging in the corners at the end of every hall. that evening at rehearsal, they had all the tvs on the news, covering the blast. i remember being horrified and intrigued at the same time. it was all anyone could talk about of course and no one could take their eyes off the images on those tv screens haunting our rehearsals. The world Trade Center bombing had occurred only little over a year before this, but that seemed different some how. that was New York City, where things like this were supposed to happen and the terrorists were middle eastern Muslims and were supposed to hate us. this was somehow displaced, hard to get your head around beyond the obvious tragedy of destruction and loss of life. At that point in my young life, i don't think i had ever been to Oklahoma City or even thought about it that much. It wasn't that far from me really. I was in Macomb, IL at Western Illinois University, but it might as well have been a million miles away. like it wasn't real because it was just some mythical place that things like that don't happen at and i never saw it with my own eyes.


so why babble on again at length again about Oklahoma City? i don't know, i guess it is the idea of a memory becoming a reality again. putting a face with a name, even if it is 15 years later, and the inevitable emotions and nostalgia that are attached to it like a long, rickety line of boxcars being pulled. time and the passage of time is just weird and scary to me and this was another unexpected reminder of that to me, i guess. enough about Oklahoma City. it goes back on the shelf.


so, the picture up top is of the Plexiglas portraits of Janet reno and harriet tubman. behind them is eleanor roosevelt, betty crocker, madeline albright and lena horne i think. they are still on my front porch. another piercing reminder as i drove up to my house, you can't run from your problems, janet reno will still be there. 3 of my neighbors have for sale signs in their yards now. i wonder if they would appreciate me moving these before they have an open house? maybe i will wait until one of them asks me. seriously, what do you do with these? i know i just need to throw them out, along with all the other casualties from ending my theatre company sitting in my living room and get on with my life. they are not needed anymore. although what they were used for was an important part of my life and will always be, that time has passed and it is time to stop holding on. i have a real problem with that i have discovered. i guess i have always known, just never wanted to admit. i hold on to the past, live in it almost, to an unhealthy extreme and it is stopping me from moving forward and that just has to end. what is even worse than that is that i get caught in the "what ifs?" if only i had done this or if only i had done that. that's about as useful as sole less shoes. but i find myself doing it, spending countless hours of my days and weeks thinking, replaying scenarios in my head. The great George Bernard Shaw wrote one of the greatest plays in the world about the greatest human being ever, St. Joan. In the play Joan becomes fed up with the gasn' and crabbn' coming from the men around her who are all talk and no action and finally says "aahhhh, if! if! if ifs and ands were pots and pans, there would be no need of tinkers!" if you know me, you probably have heard me quote this line quite often. it is time i start to practice what i preach. "Par mon martin!" an actual Joan quote i should follow a little more if i am going to say it too. it literally means "By my staff or sword" which joan probably meant literally, but i need to lead by my so called convictions and stick to them. just like her. more on my devotion and obsession with La pucelle in another post. a lifetime devoted to a an illiterate french girl who died at 19 because she refused to give in, give up or say if.


the other picture is johnhenry and atticus playing checkers outside of a Cracker Barrel in Joplin, MO, because a road trip really isn't a road trip without a stop at a cracker barrel. i took this trip to get away, to think, to spend some time alone with my boys, to figure some things out. even if i didn't get the answers i wanted or thought i would, i still did do all of those things. i had a lot of time alone with my boys. maybe too much. i discovered spending 24/7 with a 3 year old, even if he is mine, is not something i enjoy, and i have to come to terms with the fact that that is who i am. i am not super mom. i tried to force it on myself and it didn't work. i have a lot to work out. i will be unraveling the lessons learned on this trip for awhile. just because i am not literally still on the road with johnhenry and atticus, doesn't mean i am not still on this road with them and my older son Dane and everyone who crosses my path as i roll along this crap shoot called life.
johnhenry went back to school today, his teacher is way pissed dude, but fuck her. all of his school work is done. atticus is still sleeping at 8:30 in the morning because his schedule is so off. i started romeo and juliet rehearsals yesterday. it was actually just a first fight rehearsal. i am crossing off one of my "always wanted to play" roles from my list, Mercutio. it is going to be kick-ass. plus it is good incentive for johnhenry to get his homework done. i have promised him he can come to rehearsals with me to watch the combat only if all his work is finished. life is going on, day by day and that is how i have to take it. trying to think or plan to far ahead will make anyone crazy. for now, get johnhenry through the 4th grade, get through R&J and then a much needed break from the stage for awhile. my sewing machine is repaired, i have a new laptop, all my paints in the basement, a movie i want to start working on and my friend meg and i are going to plant a vegetable garden with our children this spring. i have plenty of ways to keep expressing myself, just need to keep on keepin' on. artists man, it sucks sometimes. why didn't i want to be a banker? or anything else that was a little less narcissistic and a little more lucrative.
i'll be back. like i said, just because i am not "on the road" doesn't mean i am not on the road. i have lots to say and i like saying it. excuse me, i believe Janet needs my attention.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

i must have taken a wrong turn at albuquerque

whenever i hear "albuquerque" or see it written, i always think of bugs bunny tunneling through the ground then popping his head up, looking around and making the observation that it doesn't look like Pismo Beach and he must have taken a wrong turn at albuquerque. i was telling johnhenry about it as we passed through there again on wednesday and spent the night. he said he didn't know what i was talking about. i need to show him some old looney tunes. looking back, so much of that was for adults too though. and what happened to heckyl and jeckyl? woody woodpecker? i haven't seen reruns of those shows in decades.

the trip home has been mostly about that, getting home. we did stop in tucumcari for a picture at the historical marker. it has been a very quiet trip home. the boys have been rowdy, especially atticus. he gets very antsy, and i know it is very hard for a 3 year old to sit for so long. the silence is with chris. ironically it speaks volumes to travel 1500 miles in a car with someone and have nothing to say to them. i am not sorry i called him to help me get the boys home. their safety is paramount and i am experiencing some problems with my epilepsy that i have never had before that has me shaking and parkin' out like michael j fox on a cold day. don't know if it is the new med or what, but i can't drive and i need to get to my neurologist. it is just unfortunate that it is just solidifying our fate with one another. but that isn't what this trip was about, it was about my boys and me.

my biggest boy, dane, called me last night. he has been trying to figure some things out for himself lately. such an amazing and talented young man. so kind, sweet, amazing drummer and now he wants to do hair. i say great! whatever makes him happy and gets him going. it is not what i would have chosen for his life, but there is a whole book i can write about dane and the love i have for that child and what having him at such a young age did to my life and his. another time. anyhooooo, he is coming back to st. louis to be with his girlfriend madi, start doing music again and go to school to do hair. he says he will still be able to be creative, be himself and make money and do his music. sounds like good thinking to me.

after tunneling along these last 37 years i look around and this doesn't look like Pismo Beach to me either. never thought this is who or where i would be. never thought i would have 3 kids with such a huge difference in age. never thought i would dislike motherhood so much. i know you are not supposed to say that, but it is true. it doesn't mean i don't love my children. quite the contrary, i love them to the point of obssessive worry and sickness. part of why i dislike motherhood. never thought a lot of stuff. but who does? i guess no one ends up where they thought they would be.

heading home today form Oklahoma City. David Gray tickets tonight. a birthday gift from a very, very dear friend whom i hold close to my heart. i am taking johnhenry. i figured the show would be lost on atticus, even though he is the bigger fan.

Maybe i took a wrong turn at Albuquerque along the way somewhere. maybe we all did. do we go back and look for it? or just grab a carrot, walk around and take in the sights?

Steve, she was a friend of mine










January 1998, i spent my 25th birthday in Las Vegas with a bunch of friends and family and the next day was married at the Candle Light Wedding Chapel to Matt Wirman. An impulsive move, as always, it was my crazy living n LA days. What does that have to do with this trip and my dog? Getting to that. about a month and a half after our wedding, just as we were settling into married life, as much as you can when living the lifestyle we were in LA, Matthew's father died of a heart attack. it sent matt into a bedridden depression. i could write a book about that whole situation. his dad had been a pathologist, had a stroke and almost died while matt was in high school, that took its toll then etc........ so, my husband depressed and in bed, i went about my days and was at my manager Susanna's house for my weekly meeting. she worked out of an office at her beautiful home. her husband kurt was rob zombie's head sound guy and did sound engineering for lots of rock acts, so it was a fun place to be. long story short, she was not only my manager at this point, but a good friend, and she knew what was going on with matt. her husky Willy had just been hit by a car and died and kurt bought her a new puppy, a siberian husky named Lilly. kurt and susanna also had a huge yellow lab named Cutter. Well, they never had Cutter fixed and before lilly made it to the vet for surgery, cutter got busy one afternoon. Then on May 1, 1998, 6 of the most beautiful little creatures came into this world. little yellow puff balls with bright blue eyes. susanna and i thought it would be good to give matt a dog. something positive to put his energies and love into. get him out of his depression. the one boy pup was promised to someone else, so we took a girl pup and i named her Steve. and that is a story for another post. a story from college. but it is Steve, not Stevie or Stevie Nicks. Just Steve, my dog. and she was the best dog in the whole world. i wish i had pics on my computer of those early days, but they are all at home on film. but we started raising our little pooch with the fuzzy paws and blue eyes and pink tongue. she slept with us and and went everywhere with me. auditions, the store, shopping with my friends, anywhere i could take her. And the dog beach in Ventura county. this beach is right at the county line sign above malibu on the PCH. it is hidden, and you take this ancient staircase made of concrete down a cliff to get to it. but you can take your dog and let her run and swim and spend the day secluded and hang out with friends or by yourself and be. and we took steve there a lot her first year and a half of life and she loved it. i think it was my friends magan and matt who first found the beach to take their dog Bea.








well, it had been a long time since i had been there. i have visited LA many times over the years since i moved, but haven't gone up to the dog beach. memories are funny things after awhile they don't seem real anymore and you think they are something you read about or someone elses's life. walking up to the entrance of that staircase was like a time capsule cracking wide open. a life so long ago, it doesn't seem like mine. but it was mine, it is mine, and i came here to put my dog to rest, to put my past to rest, to share it with my sons and make some sort peace with it all.








The pics are of the beach and the total hour we spent there. enough to soak up some sun, put my dog in the ocean and try to remember the person that i was. the one who wasn't afraid to literally drive over mountains in the snow, who was fearless and didn't let anything stop her, who was crazy and nuts, but didn't let it stop her. the girl who ran on that beach with her puppy, would she have ever believed this is where she would end up?








Well this is where i am. and i am going forward. johnhenry and atticus loved the beach. johnhenry and talked at length about steve. johnhenry didn't know life without steve. he kept trying to tell me he remembered coming there. i told him that would be difficult since he hadn't been born yet, but who am i to say, maybe an earlier life or inutero memories? atticus found a bunch of great sticks to be wands. he thinks he is all the Harry Potter characters wrapped in to one and even though i have bought countless official Harry Potter wands, Atticus only likes wands he makes himself. kids are cool that way, you buy them all this stuff and they just want an old stick.


Goodbye Steve. You are still a friend of mine.




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We all have a Mecca, this might be Johnhenry's











We are in Los Angeles. Beautiful drive on the 10. it had been awhile. was at the coachella festival back in 2005. that area around the valley and indio is so beautiful. johnhenry marveled at all the wind farms. i realized i was just looking and thinking and not shooting any pics or video so i need to do that on the drive back.








with the change of "plans", i decided not to call on friends to stay with and we got a hotel room in anaheim close to the disney downtown walk so i could take johnhenry to the Lego store there. i know legoland is here and we don't have time or funds for that. next time, but we did go to the best lego store ever. johnhenry was in heaven. just look at the pics. johnhenry is lego mad! he builds all the time. legos cover every inch of my home. i am glad he was able to go and and get some stuff. they had a station where you can build your own mini figure. he enjoyed that.








had to say buy to angie, which made me sad, but i am planning to come back through after i am done dealing with some stuff and we are both in a better place. the boys enjoyed their time with aunt angie and atticus keeps asking to play with her rocks. a discovery, atticus loves rocks. maybe he will become a geologist. he likes to throw them, dig in them, look at them, keep them, hold them, it is all about rocks. we are in a good part of the country for that.








we are off to the beach with steve. johnhenry is full of questions about when i lived here in LA and was an actor and when i was married to his dad and when we got steve. so i plan on spending the morning on the county line dog beach, with my beautiful little son, and we are going to say good-bye to our dog together and i am going to tell him all about it and answer all the questions he asks me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What a long, strange trip it's been







From the top we have the boys and i enjoying the mystery that is The Vulture Mine, an abandoned gold and silver mine outside of Wickenburg, AZ where people drive around in big pickup trucks with bumper stickers that say Proud White American and Drill Here, Drill Now, Drill Cheaper. Scary and not just because the mine is supposed to be haunted by all the dead miners. i told Angie to just pretend she was the nanny so they wouldn't try to shoot at us. the second picture is at a train park in Scottsdale. a lovely day. we had a picnic, then road the train and toured an old engine and coach car. the same day Atticus bought his boots, spurs and hat. he hasn't taken them off since. was also the day i locked my keys in the car. that sucked. i only have one set. luckily Chris was still answering my calls even though he didn't have to, and he was able to give the AAA number and have them come out. what a great thing AAA is. seriously. they were there lickity split, put this little air baggy thingy in my door and had it open in 2 seconds. who knew? the 3rd picture is at this beautiful park with this hella big fountain that shoots way up higher than any other fountain ever i guess, i ran for a bit while angie watched the boys and then afterward we played like fools. johnhenry has been in rare form. mr. comedian. telling jokes and doing all this physical comedy. he has also been a huge help with his little brother. playing with him and looking out for him.


so, i haven't blogged in a few days, as you can see we have had full days. plus angie doesn't have internet like i said before and getting the boys together and making them sit somewhere while i sit online seems counterproductive to the trip. plus, the trip hasn't been going exactly as planned. which is okay. i guess. if you are going to take a trip of discovery and ask questions, you have to be ready for the answers, whether you like them or not or if they are the answers you wanted or not. i was feeling lost and like i needed to reconnect with my children and see a good friend. i needed some distance and some peace. but wait, here it comes, cliche' alert, something i already knew but i am stubborn and impulsive and have anger management issues and i don't listen to anyone. anyway, peace isn't out there people, if it isn't in you, you aren't going to find it. and if you have a bunch a crap you are dealing with, you are most likely going to bring it with you.


issue number one. dealing with my children, on my own 24/7, especially Atticus has been a chore. i have always tried to be honest with myself about things. notice i said tried. i don't want to start lying to myself on a "journey of discovery" or whatever cheesy ass thing we want to call this at this point. In the movie Terms of Endearment, Debra Winger's character Emma says to her husband Flap, played by Jeff Daniels, as she is dying "As hard as you think it is going to be, you end wishing it was that easy." they are trying to decide what to do with their children after she dies. i love that line. it is so true. parenting is so hard. there are so many ways you can fuck it up. mentally, physically. and if you even hint that it might not be all this its cracked up to be, or it doesn't make you happy, you are an ogre, a terrible person. I wanted so much for this trip to be blissful and have this alleluia moment of motherhood while i run through fields holding my children's' hands and finally come to terms with my place in this world and at peace with motherhood. notice earlier i said i try to be honest with myself, because i can also idealize and romanticize things like a motherfucker. it is so frustrating having my head. my greatest asset and torment in life is this ability to be on both sides. anyway, that moment hasn't come, isn't coming. the opposite. i have become more overwhelmed actually. and i know with atticus it is mainly the age, 3 is very difficult, but it is full throttle all day long and he takes so much attention that i am finding it hard to effectively give time to johnhenry. i wanted so much for johnhenry to see the good, fun, loving side of me that used to be there, and now he is just hearing me bitch and yell all day because my patience is gone, shot, lost. my intention has been lost. don't get me wrong. we have done some great fun things, gone to parks, ghost towns and gold mines, road trains and had picnics, saw Alice in Wonderland(underwhelmed by the way), but the whole thing has left be overwhelmed and tired and i am admitting my limit has been hit.


issue number 2, my fucking meds again. so i am epileptic. some know this about me, some don't. probably have been most of my life, was officially diagnosed when i was 16 when i had a grand mal seizure in the kitchen of baby daddy number 1's parents's house. i had been having petite mal seizures for years, just didn't know what they were and never told anyone. they were these lovely little sensations where i would smell sweet smells and my head and hands would buzz and i would zone out and dream while awake. i was having one of those when i blacked out and woke up in the back of Richie's car in the parking lot of my mom's clinic. she is a nurse. i had started flopping around like a fresh caught fish on a dock in richie's kitchen out of the blue. that was April 1989, about 8 months after my first son was born, and a little over a year and a half after my stepfather had killed himself. i mention all that not for sympathy or anything like that, but stress, physical or mental, can bring on more seizure activity. they think. that is the problem. they don't know. anyway, so began my 21 year battle and love/hate relationship with epilepsy and anti-convulsant medication. it sucks. it has changed a lot over the years but it all fucks with your head and i hate it. plus my seizures have always been random or partial. so like a bad little epileptic, i go off and on my meds a lot. i recently went back on a lovely little med called topomax because of i was having petite mals and partial seizures on the left side of the body that were also very painful. this drug controls those. but like all drugs, it has side affects, like jitters and this one makes me forget to eat sometimes but also makes me really panicky and affects my sleep and makes me a little sad and moody. i hate it. i have tried this one before and went off of it for all these reasons. and the memory. most anti-seizure meds affect the memory, as an actress that sucks as you can imagine. so i am trying to adjust to this med again and it is not going well and it really isn't going well while i am trying to relax with my boys and get some time away from my failing marriage to think things out.


so why am i writing all this. why am i not writing pages about the crazy adventures my boys and i are having. because this is the reality of it and i would be lying if i did that. also, where i thought angie and i could find strength in each other both going through a tough time, i think it has been a bit much that we are both having such a rough time in our lives and are under a lot of stress and it is coming out. so we are over sensitive and snippy and bitchy. so i did a bunch of thinking the other night because i haven't been able to sleep, and i thought about the rest of the time i have and what was best for the boys and i called chris. he isn't very happy with me that i blogged to the world that we are having problems. he isn't as open about those things with his family and friends as i am, but as much as it kills me at this moment and i hate to admit it, i need him. maybe not for everything he wants me to need him for, but i do need him. driving the boys through those unexpected blizzards, the lack of sleep, having them 24/7, my meds fucking with me and the over all lack of peace finding, has left me feeling like it wasn't the safest choice for me to drive the boys by myself back home. so i asked him to come here and help me. for all of my problems with chris and our marriage, he is an amazing father and he loves our boys. he couldn't love johnhenry more if he was his own son and i need to put my needs, wants and swallow my pride and really do what is best for my boys. there is no one i trust with my children but him. so i called him and i was expecting him to tell me to go to hell, which i probably deserved, but he didn't, he came here to phoenix because it was the right thing to do and he is a good man. something i never give him enough credit for in our marriage.

soooo...... there is a poster i used to own that had a picture of a man holding his head in his hands and the caption said : FAILURE, When your best just isn't good enough. it was a joke of course. am i a failure. no. have i discovered i have limitations? yes. do people fail sometimes? yes. it is how we learn. i am still on this journey, i just know now i needed to put my oxygen mask on firmly first before i put anyone else's on.
now to decide if we go on to la tomorrow or not, or if i go on alone and fly back. we shall see. i know i am not driving anymore.
nothing is as it seems, it seems.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

DUUUUUUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




We are in Phoenix. Arrived about 4ish yesterday. what a crazy wild trip it was. the weather alone. johnhenry and i waxed poetic at length yesterday about how many different weather patterns we drove through and how quickly it would change. we invented the term schizophrenic weather. just like the night before with the New Mexico blizzard out of NOWHERE!!!, we started our morning in Grants, NM cool, but blue sky, little cloudy, then flurries, then straight out massive winter weather and ice as we passed into Arizona. I have to admit, i had no idea that i would have to deal with winter weather this time of year in AZ and NM. i new i would in Flagstaff some, but this? but wait... we drive a little over an hour and it stops. blue sky, beautiful! Then we start to head into Flagstaff. Still not bad and then like something from the apocalypse, i can't even see the road once i turn on to I17 S heading down the mountain. i have a lot of this on video tape and as soon as i figure out how to post video or convert some of this or whatever i will. and yes, i was taping while driving. but i quickly stopped as our lives were hanging in the balance. i think some car must have gone off the side because a bunch of cops and news crews were blocking a scenic outlook off. people were honking at me and passing me. i stopped a couple times and contemplated calling for help. i am not going to lie, i was fucking scared a couple times. like i said before, me, whatever, my kids in the car, the rules change. and i wasn't ready for that much ice and snow. and i don't think they were either. they didn't have anything plowed. nada. needless to say, we made it down the mountain and johnhenry and i have a great tale to tell. then we had a great discussion how amazing it is to live in a country where one hour we were driving through a blizzard down a mountain and the next we had to crack the window because we were hot and he was naming all the cacti he had learned in social studies. what a crazy thing.




note about johnhenry. sweetest boy in the world. after my freak out during the NM blizzard, which the boys weren't really that aware of, the next morning in the hotel, he said to me "i wasn't worried about atticus or me, i knew you would take care of us. i was worried about you because i knew how scared you were for us and that hurts you and that hurts me." i am not making that up. what 10 year old boy says that? how did i get this boy? he truly is so special.




i have so much i want to say right now. so much i want to write about. so much has happened in only 3 and a half short days. so many stories. my head is swimming. like the character Richard in The Hours, which if you know me i am obsessed with that movie and book, he says to Clarissa, "i failed. i wanted to write about it all, the way the flowers looked in your arms just now when you walked in the room, the way this towel feels between my fingers, all thread bare, your smell. no matter how much you start out with, it ends up being so much less." i know that sounds depressing, but wait. there is so much to life. so much to do, experience, take in, sense, listen to, be, love and sometimes you want to do it all. i have wanted to do it all. but the truth is you can't. and maybe life is learning that that is not failing, it is just reality.




i want to tell the world the lady in the bathroom in amarillo telling someone on the cellphone their mother was dead and she was riding her harley back to new jersey to take care of the arrangements and don't worry, while i was trying to keep quiet and his pants were down and i couldn't get his diaper on. the cowboys in winslow AZ and the little boy with spurs that atticus kept calling woody and the family we met at the super 8 and the sunrise that made cry and all this stuff, how could you ever explain every second of all those moments? and that was just the last 2 days. let alone the last 37 years. dudes, i am all over the place.




the picture at the top is my bestest bud angie. we are visiting her in phoenix. she, like me, is out of work and trying to figure stuff out. we met in college, when my other bestest friend Amy and i were rooming together and angie lived on our floor. that was a long time ago. she doesn't have internet right now cuz she is cutting costs so i am at starbucks and the boys have been really good while i post this.




love and peace and learn to edit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

a blizzard and a panic attack


i love driving in the middle of nowhere for signs like this. diners with no other message but EAT. Classic. we didn't eat here. it was next to a gas station we gased up at out side of Amarillo TX, but i had to take a picture. if i ever own a restaurant, i want to have a sign that says EAT. what else do you really need to tell people.
okay, i really need to get back on the road here, but on with the title subject. so we had this picture perfect day, blah, blah, blah. tons of time to think and talk to johnhenry. i came to some realizations about myself in realtion to chris and our marriage and things i have been blaming him for instead of taking responsibility. more of that later. so, we get to Albuquerque, stop for dinner. Angie told me to stay there and get a room. i wanted to get a little further, say Gallup, then stop. They were having snow in Flagstaff and she was worried, so she checked the weather and thought we shoud be okay to Gallup NM. We get back on the road not 20 minutesand the wind picks up, semis start passing us and snow starts pounding us. we hit a surprise blizzard in the mountains. i about crapped my pants. after our beautiful day, how did this happen. snow wasn't even on my radar. now, i don't care about myself, but when i have my 2 baby boys in the car and it is pitch black and i have been driving all day and visibility is ZERO with snow coming down like a Little House on the Prairie very special episode and i think the next town is 100 miles away, in my very Brooke way i have a panic attack. scary dude. way scary.
angie gets on the horn and finds a little town clled Grants , only 40 miles away, still 40 miles, in a blizzard, in the mountains. we drove 35 miles in a 75 mile zone. i had trucks honking at me like you wouldn't believe. i don't care. i'll drive 5 miles an hour if i have to. so we arrived in Grants. found a room at a Super 8, put the boys in bed and i can't even take a sleeping pill because i have to be able to wake up if the boys need me, so i did take a xanax to calm the nerves.
no we are on the final stretch to phoenix. although last night has left me freaked out i must say. there is snow in Flagstaff, but at least it is day and i will be able to see. and i will drive 30 miles an hour again if i have to. i will say, if i can handle last night, i can handle anything. i can do this whole life thing. i can dammit!

I've Been to Paradise, But I've Never Been to Albuquerque




Well, yesterday was an amazing day in so many ways. The weather was something out of a Peter JAckson dream sequence. We had the biggest bluest sky from Oklahoma City all the way to Albuquerque. If you painted it, no one would have believed it was real. It was so amazing to look out the window and watch the landscape change from Oklahoma to Texas to New Mexico. I would remind the boys to look up from their portable dvd player and look at it. Johnhenry would humor me and say "cool, a mesa." It was all lost on Atticus. He is only 3. I realized i am not taking enough still pictures. i have the video camera with me and am taking tons of video, which isn't the safest since i am driving and johnhenry is supposed to be my DP and now refuses so i have been taping while driving. so today i will take more stills.




before i get too far off track, the Oklahoma City Memorial. We started our day there yesterday morning. i have to say, i am so glad i went and took my children to it, but i had such a conflicted, emotional reaction. we just went to the memorial outside. we did not venture inside the museum because of Atticus's behavior and time. you pull up on the street and park at a meter out side the plaza just like the building is still there. and then you walk around the side and you see the chain link fence filled with flowers and teddy bears and pictures and runner's bibs and notes etc...... and then the big iron gates with the message and the doorway and i have to say, i got all choked up. At the top of the post is a picture of the entrance. I find it interesting? ironic? that it says "May all who leave here know the impact of violence." don't get me wrong. i think it is a great thing to say and i do hope all who see it are affected and moved and see first what a useless, senseless, mess violence is. but was this monument put together by the federal government? the city of Oklahoma City? the families of those who were so needlessly killed? i don't know what i am exactly trying to say here. this is where i have so much going on in my head and i can't staighten it all out. all i know is, i was standing in front of this field of chairs, on a near perfect, blue sky day, wind blowing, with my 2 youngest sons, and johnhenry asks :what are the little chairs for?" and it tell him those represent the children who died and then i tell him what happened that day and i am genuinely moved and so is he because we are there. But then i start thinking about the bombs that have gone off in iraq and how many little chairs they would have to put up that country for people to stand in front of and remember and it all just didn't seem fair to me. does this make sense. why isn't someone submitting plans for a memorial to remember all the innocents killed in Bagdhad? And we want be to remember the horror of violence so we create this beautiful landmark to honor these innocents and then look we have done as a country since. i guess in short, i just had a problem rectifying the two and an even harder time explaining it to my son. We haven't started to discuss what happened to the ex-American soldier responsible for the bombing yet. i don't even know where to begin. that is part of my whole blame vs. responsibility and excuse vs. reasons thinking i am doing right now. i think America could do some of that. Don't we exist as a nation because we created extreme acts of violence to prove a point and stand for what we believed in? don't we train men and women to do very violent things in the name of freedom? sorry, i will step down now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

License to post

i was just reading my post i wrote last night after a long day of driving in the rain and 2 Xanax. It is all over the place. i meant evey word of it. i am just not very sure how clearly it was delivered. this blogging is all very new to me. how do you edit your thoughts? streamline what you want to say? i have so much going on in my head. plus i have spent some time this morning looking at other blogs and they are all so fancy. mine is not. i need to work on this.

the boys and i are off to get our free "hot" breakfast and then to the Oklahoma City Memorial and then on the road again toward Phoenix.

i am thinking a bit this morning about the differnence between excuse vs. reason and blame vs. responsibility. in everything, marriage, friendships, career and life in general, i think it has been very easy blame some other people for why i am unhappy and blanket a bunch of excuses with reasons why things aren't happening. i have a lot of driving to do today. think i will think on it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day One


Where do i begin? I guess at the beginning, as with most things. Of course we didn't get started on time. We didn't leave the house until almost 9:30. I wanted to be on the road at 7. But i wanted to get a run in and i let the boys sleep in. Plus Chris, my soon to be second ex-husband, was running around, busying himself and holding me up by "helping" me get ready. Chris's idea of helping is to sit for 2 hours and label all the power cords to the various electronic devices I may or may not want to bring with me on my trip. Or printing a bunch of maps i didn't ask for and then complain to me that he is late for a meeting because he was helping me get ready. One of the many reasons my second marriage is failing and why i had to get away from my house and chris and just be with my boys somewhere else. Shall i post a pic as we are about to depart?

This is Johnhenry, me, holding what is left of my dog Steve in a box and Atticus, on my front porch this morning. The sleds and shovels are still out from the winter. The plexi-glass images of Janet Reno and Harriet Tubman that were part of my theatre company's set for An American Daughter are still sitting to the right of Johnhenry. A little background. After 5 very successful years as an SPT, the company i co-founded and co-artistic directed went on indefinite hiatus due to the economic state of the world of professional not-for-profit arts in this country. That happened in October. The same month i lost my beloved dog and my purse was stolen while i was swimming laps at the Y. i felt like a fucking country music song. Anyway, we have been slowly liquidating the company and the i just don't know what to do with the plexi-glass Janet Reno. Do you throw it away? See, i am all over the place. This is why i needed a rip to clear my head. So when i finally was able to get Chris to quit forcing his way of life and travel and ways of the world on me, we left for our adventure. And it was beautiful. Fully armed with a cooler of goodies and a video camera, we took off. i am documenting the entire trip on video as well. The sun was shining. It was warm. A great day for hitting the road. And it is amazing you know. As soon as i am away from Chris, my 3 year old Atticus, who can be a handful, becomes so calm. kids are so intuitive. they can feel all that negative energy. and the minute it is gone, wow, the difference is amazing. We drove through MO without a hitch and then hit OK. And then it rained really, really hard. We had seen several signs for museums for things like Jesse James and the history of Vaccums and such and we decided to pass. But the rain and the fact that i have testosterone filled boys lead us to the world famous JM Davis Arms Museum. Basically a really big warehouse with every weapon ever maufactured, ever. It was here i had my first major discovery of trip. I am a terrible mother. I don't know my children. i have let my all my own shit get in the way being their mom. all the time i have spent nursing my wounds from my own shitty childhood and chasing these crazy aspirations of stardom and artisitic fulfillment, i have missed out. did i learn nothing from missing out on Dane, my oldest son's early years? We are standing in this fucking gun museum and we get to the section with more modern weapons and johnhenry starts rattling off all this information about all these things and what they do and what they are used for and what they are called etc.... and i am like "How do you know all this?" and he says"Call of Duty on XBox and my dad." I had no idea. So now we are sitting in a hotel in Oklahoma City. i am so tired. Atticus didn't even nap. i am going to take my boys to ok city bombing memorial tomorrow morning. i have never scene. i want to share that with them. i want to unglorify a bit for johnhenry what violence and weapons are. and i want us all to learn a little bit more about each other. good night.

oh, and my typing AWFUL. no consistency in punctuation or spelling or grammar or anything. maybe someday, i will have an editor. until then...sorry.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So we begin

My name is Brooke Edwards. I am heading to Phoenix to visit my best friend Angie. My 10 year old son Johnhenry and my 3 year old son Atticus will be coming along for the ride. So will the cremains of our beloved dog Steve. She was 11 when she went to the great dog park in the sky in October and I haven't been the same since. A lot happened in October that has had me not quite feeling myself since and I am going on a journey to get over myself, come to terms with what is, see one of my bestest friends ever, (who is having a bit of a time herself), take my beloved dog's cremains to the beach in Ventura County, CA she loved and played on as a puppy and throw them in the pacific ocean, and bond with my 2 youngest sons. I would love to bond with all 3, but my oldest is 21 anad has to work and can't come. It is what it is and that is part of what this trip is about, embracing what is. So I begin.