Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 128

Yesterday I ordered 4 books on Elder Care from I am not playin'. Whenever I enter new territory, I like to be as knowledgeable as possible. I love doing research anyway especially when I get to put whatever I learn into practice. I had started paying attention to the fact that I may have to care for my mother a while ago and the time has definitely come. I want to be armed with a plethora of information and resources in order to make sure that my mother is well taken care of. I certainly don't have all the answers at the moment, I'm not even sure what the questions are, but like I've said before, there are some first steps that need to be taken. Just to make sure I don't procrastinate, God has blessed me with yet another job. I had a callback for a Disney movie today and booked it! I have been on the Disney lot numerous times, but today for some reason, I decided to wander around after my audition. I went to Starbucks, visited the archives and a courtyard with bronze statues of Walt Disney with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and hand prints of many people who have worked for Disney in various capacities. As I strolled around it felt so peaceful like it would be a really nice place to work. They even have their own gym and a wellness center. Oh, and as I was walking into the waiting area for my audition, I ran into a comic friend of mine who worked there. How ironic! We had a long chat after my audition.
So now, I have to get to South Carolina, bring my Mom back to New York and get back here for my shoot in late July. Just a little sumpin' to make this challenge all the more interesting. Let's see how it all works out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 127

God must have something really good in store for me right about now. This has been a year of purging. I haven't had so much "newness" in a long time. Old things are falling away and all things are becoming new. Does this mean I have finally grown up? Every time I turn around these days there's some new thing in my life. Today, it's a new mobile phone. Now that may not sound like a big deal, but I'm a baby boomer. I never even used my old phone to its fullest capacity and I've had it for years. Now I have a phone that does even more stuff and the things I know how to do are done differently. I've also got a new land line, new financial institutions, a new way of looking at my my finances, a new relationship and a new mom. What does it all mean? I have no idea, but one day I will look back and say, "Oh...that's what that was all about."
I celebrated 6 years of serenity in my program yesterday morning and I shared about what's going on with my mother and asked for support. I got several phone numbers and chatted with a few people at lunch who have been where I am now. I'm building my team cause I know I can't do this alone. I don't think anyone can possibly know exactly how this will all turn out, but at least I know what the first couple of steps need to be. Everyone tells me it won't be easy (and I believe them) but they have faith in me because they know me to be a strong woman (I believe that too). It's time for me to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before me. I can't even pretend to know what I'm up against. I know my mother and there's nothing easy about her. I get my strength from her and I'll need it more than ever but I don't want to use it to struggle with her, I want to use it to advocate for her. I want her to know that I have her best interest at heart and that the outcome of this situation needs to be a win for everyone.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 126

What a spiritual connection I have with my sweetie. The day after my car battery died and I got a replacement, the same thing happened to him!! I feel like a teenager in love and it feels GOOD!!! Unlike in my youth, I know this is real and for all the right reasons. Danny is totally in the mix as far as my decision making regarding my Mom. I have amazing friends (Ralph, Jack, Carol Ann and others) who have been talking me through this process guiding me in the right direction. Lydia, Sherri, Danny and others have been praying with me. My facebook friends have been praying for me and Mom. I realize now that this is not a one shot deal. It's one day, one step at a time. (I may have said that before). It's like being on a journey to an unknown destination. I just have to trust with all my heart and soul that when I take the first step and do what I have to do, I will then know what the next step is.
I've had talks with my agents and managers and may have to take some time off from my work to concentrate on Mom. Maybe stay in New York for a while. I know it will all work out, there is nothing to fear. Her health and well being is most important now. A long conversation with my dear friend Ralph put a lot of things in perspective for me last night. I am grateful for all the love and support I have been receiving from people I love and trust. I have nothing to fear.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 125

What a difference a day makes!! Woke up early this morning with the intention of calling AAA, getting a boost, driving to the Honda dealer, then taking the bus to Paramount for my audition. Well, I did get up early, called AAA and found out that they could check my battery and if that was the problem, replace it on the spot. When the tow truck arrived in front of my home not one but two gentlemen got out to help me. Jose was the younger one and the more mature man is to be called Papa. The battery was dead, they replaced it, checked the alternator and $115 later I was good to go. That took all of 6 minutes, but they stayed longer because Jose had a testimony. He shared all about the glory of God and how there are no mistakes in life. Everything happens for a reason, we have to trust and stay out of God's way. Now how did he know I needed to hear that? God is making His presence known everywhere I go. Just before this happened my wonderful man prayed that everything would be OK. Danny may be 3,000 miles away, but he knows who to call when I need help. Somebody greater than you and I.
I was feeling so good after that, I went to get my car washed, went to my audition and then picked up my friend, my sista Carol Ann and we had a girl's afternoon. Lunch at Versailles and off the mall to do a little shopping. I even got my eyebrows done for my shoot on Friday. Now I have to do my hair. Wanted to blog first cause I'll be up for a while.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day124

Back in LA and hit the ground running. As I stood at baggage claim yesterday waiting for my luggage, I checked messages. Two auditions. By the time I got home...three. Another one was added today. As a matter of fact, I have to go watch a movie to prepare for tomorrow's appointment. Went to the dentist between auditions thinking I could get my teeth cleaned in 15 minutes. What was I thinking? Clearly, I wasn't. Can't stop thinking about my Mom and what she needs right now. Wondering if I have what it takes to step up to the plate. My closest friends tell me that I can do this. At the dentist, I spent so much time chatting with the doctor about my Mom, I ran out of time and had to cancel in order to make it to my second audition in time. I just paid for the session since it was my misjudgment. The doctor did offer some good insight so the visit was of value.
At my last stop before driving home, my car died. Just wouldn't start. Ironically, there was a AAA tow truck in the parking lot I was in helping another member. I caught him just as he was about to pull off, and he gave me a boost in two seconds, off the record. I drove a few blocks home, turned off the engine and it wouldn't start again. I'm so numb right now, I couldn't even get upset. I got my neighbor to give me another boost and I drove to the Honda dealer but they were closed. Since I just came from New York, the land of public transportation, my plan for tomorrow is to call AAA, get a boost, drive to the Honda dealer, then take the bus to my audition. I can do this. I have a dear friend who's an actress and doesn't drive and she makes it to every audition and job she gets. If she can do it, so can I. I'll let you know how I made out.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 123

As I sit here at 7:50AM on this Monday morning waiting for Danny to take to me to the airport, I replay the past 3 weeks in my head. It's all very surreal. To think that the original plan was to take my Mom to South Carolina to see the newest addition to the family feels more dreamlike that the actual events that have occurred. The whole nursing home drama, seeing my Mom as someone I almost don't recognize and knowing that I am responsible for her care is HUGE!! I know it will all work out somehow, but I have no clue how to make it happen. I don't think I'm very good at all this. I will be still and listen for answers, ask for help, do research, whatever it any means necessary my Mom will be taken care of.
And how does one fall in love in the midst of all this is beyond me, but Daniel Chisolm has been by my side each and every day through this difficult time. And not just holding my hand...we went to see theatre, dance, restaurants, church, BBQ's and spent a lot of time together. We were actually dating after knowing each other for 32 years. And during this amazing time together, I love him more than I ever did before. We're gonna be a teary mess at that airport, my tears have already started.
I'm even contemplating work on the east coast although I love where I live in LA, and my career there is flourishing. Before I left, I felt like I was on the verge of something but here I would be starting all over in a sense. It's intrguing in a way.
First things first, I need to help get my Mom back on track and take it from there. This is not a situation that can be handled quickly. I know I have to come back to New York get our business in order, get my Mom to her doctor and take it from there. I have an idea of what I think the perfect scenario would be, but I am not in charge, God is. I pray to know His will.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 122

Let me catch you up on what's been happening the last couple of days. My Mom is FREE! Out of the "facility" that I can now call a nursing home even though she was only there for physical therapy. It broke my heart to see her in there day after day for only two hours of PT. She was miserable. But now she is in a beautiful home with our extended family and lots of support until I can get there and bring her back home. Lots of decisions need to be made in the next few weeks but this is an ongoing change of life experience. With a little room to breathe and some help from my support system, I know I can handle this.
In the meantime, my wonderful Danny surprised me with tickets to Alvin Ailey at BAM last night. It just gets better and better. We make 20 year olds blush when we're out together and he awed our beautiful waitress last night. When my man stepped away from the table for a minute, she just looked at me and said..."Wow, he's such a gentleman"... All I could say is, "Yes he is..."
I may have to relocate back to NY to take care of my Mom because I have to, but I would relocate back to NY for my man because I WANT to. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 121

The day has finally come. My mom is due to be discharged from the "facility" today. Tomorrow morning my extended family is taking her to South Carolina for a couple a weeks, maybe a month until I can figure out what to do. I am facing some of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my entire life. I'm trying to break it down into segments. One thing at a time, but the ultimate question is this: How do I maintain my life, my career and my sanity and take care of my mother at the same time? She wants me to give up everything to come live with her in New York. Gee, that sounds familiar. Isn't that the reason I had to move to California in the first place 25 years ago? How did we get back to this place again? At my Mom's age, she's beginning to revert back to childhood and she wants to take me right along with her. We'd both be playing in the sandbox together. In my opinion, it would be a very sick, twisted, co-dependent, dysfunctional situation. So what are my choices?
Life is so complex. While I am now faced with a decision I've always dreaded, I am also faced with two situations that I've always wanted. A flourishing acting career in Hollywood and a partner that loves me unconditionally. He can't be left out of this equation. I think he has a plan for us, but he's never been one to interfere or tell me what to do. I know he has an opinion about all of this, but he lets me figure things out on my own. I know he supports me and has my back no matter what and that's one of the many reasons why I love him.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 120

Lawd today, I need a meeting. An acquaintance of mine suggested I give someone from program a call and get to one. I believe they are right. A whole lot of childhood issues are coming up right now as I try to figure out how to hold on to my life and take care of my Mom at the same time. To be honest with you, she is not making this easy for me but she's only doing what she knows how to do. I literally have four days to figure out how to get care for her while I'm L.A. next week. A couple of people suggested Assisted Living and that might not be a bad idea on a temporary basis. I contacted a place where she could stay for a minimum of 30 days and I will be going to take a look at it later today. I'm gonna tell my Mom she's going to camp. lol. It certainly would give me a chance to breath and the space to really figure some things out. This whole care taking thing is more than a notion.
First we have to get her out of that "facility". We had a team meeting yesterday and wore the social worker down so she was ready to request a release from the doctor. The doctor no one has ever seen. Ghost doctor. He's supposed to sign the release papers today and I won't take no for an answer. We found out yesterday from the dietician that my mother is not supposed to be eating certain foods because of a certain medication she is taking. The "facility" has been serving her food from that list almost everyday. Let him try to keep her there...I will go off!! The nice little good daughter everyone has been seeing the past three weeks will turn into Linda Blair from the Exorcist. I will shut that facility down!!! I could probably start some sh*t right now, but I want to get my mom out of there first.
I've been up since 5:15AM. Can't sleep. My mind is racing. So much to do. Of course I had to call my sweetie. He always knows exactly what to say to make it all better. I love you Danny, have a wonderful day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 119

Back-up has arrived. Tina and Sam (my sister-in-law and brother in my head) drove up to New York from South Carolina to see their "Grandy" (my Mom). I met Tina at the "facility" this morning while Mom was having her physical therapy. Sam joined us later and we took Grandy out for a ride. We took her to her house and she was thrilled. Just having Tina and Sam there was comforting enough, but I know she was ecstatic to set foot (and busted knee) in her own home. We all chowed down on oxtails, plantains, and Jamaican rice for lunch and had to constantly watch Grandy cause she wanted to flit around the house. She was mostly concerned about the plants I hadn't been watering and mailed she hadn't opened. We got everything done that she wanted and she even agreed to let us take her back to the "facility". I thought sure she was going to resist. We're all going to her team meeting tomorrow at 10AM. Unfortunately the insurance company says all decisions concerning her release date and at home care have to come from the "facility" so we have to be compliant. I was hoping my Mom would be able to go home this week because I have a shoot in LA next week plus I know she really wants to get out of there. I'm not quite sure how this is going to work out but I have to trust and believe that it will.
Spent the evening with my sweetie who always knows just what to say and do to ground me. He's so sweet, gentle and tender just when I need it the most. For some silly reason, as it started to get late, I had this moment of vulnerability where I though he wanted me to leave. I was all teary eyed and everything. All of a sudden a small but long box appeared on my lap. When I opened it, there was the most beautiful necklace inside. A silver heart on a silver chain, bling!! Then I was crying for another reason. Tears of joy. His timing was perfect (as always). I have no reason to doubt that Danny loves me. Ever. If I have a vulnerable moment again, all I have to do is touch my heart (just like he has) or look in the mirror, cause I'm never taking it off!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 118

May have missed a day or two of blogging due to another incredible weekend with my boo. He has been my rock through all of this stuff with my Mom. Today he took me to church. Lord knows I needed that. It was a great service and I love being his "girl". He allows me to be a lady and it feels so good to be introduced to all his friends and watch him shine. I don't have to be "on", just have to be me. Everywhere we go people have so much respect for him. My sweetie is an amazing man and more will be revealed about him in future blogs. I'm just not ready to go there just yet. I know some people will have comments, be shocked and may even disapprove, but I really don't care. My relationship does not change who I am, my friends or my associations. Nothing will change in my life (from my end) expect the addition of the man I want to share it all with. This man has been in my corner for 32 years and I'm just now realizing that he is everything I've ever wanted in a relationship. I've never been such good friends with someone and then become their partner. It's really kinda cool. Like I say in my solo show, "I don't know what form God is going to pour my soul mate into." comes the reveal...God has poured my soul mate into a form named Danny Chisolm. A man who knows me like a book and still loves me unconditionally. Guess I'll have to go change my facebook status now.
As far as my Mom is concerned, back-up has arrived from South Carolina! The extended family has come through. Tomorrow we will double team the powers that be and see if we can get her released from the "facility" this week. Send positivity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 117

What a wonderful day. First of all, let me say that the weather here in NYC has been quite nice lately. When I first got here it was hot (not as hot as it gets) but the last several days have been just perfect. Even had a little rain which I always enjoy (just not too much of it). I have to thank God for that blessing because I keep forgetting to water my Mom's garden.
Today, I finally got to cross that darn car off the list! I paid for the towing and storage, handed over the title and got my Mom's license plates. Don't know how other people may have handled that, but I really don't care. It's done. I'm not so sure I want her driving anymore anyway. We're taking this one day at a time.
Took my boo to see my girl Sherri Shepherd in LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE tonight at the Westside Theatre. It was so good to see her on stage and off. That's one hard working sister and a true friend. Before we parted, we prayed about my Mom's situation and the decisions that are before us.
Now, for the piece de resistance: After the car and before the theatre, I went to see my Mom at the "facility". I heard music coming from the recreation room and peeked my head in. Patients were all lined up like they were waiting for a show. There was a man in the front of the room setting up equipment. I thought it was karaoke or something but then he started to sing. Nice voice. I ran back to my Mom's room, plopped her in a wheelchair and rolled her around to the rec room. We sat in the back drinking ginger ale, discreetly giggling and pointing at people. At one point she got a little teary eyed when the singer sang a Nat King Cole song. Wow, I had never seen that before. But then she busted out a big smile watching me do the Electric Slide with the social worker, psychical therapists and some of the patients. To make a long story short, next thing I knew, I was granted permission to take her out for a few hours on Monday. I haven't told her yet, it's going to be a surprise. The "facility" doesn't know this, but I plan on bringing her to the house. She will be thrilled. Unfortunately I have to bring her back. Or do I?......

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 117

Tried to cross the car off the ever growing list of things that need to taken care of today. After several conversations with the auto body shop and both insurance companies, I drive all the way to where the car is located only to find out that I am expected to pay all the towing and storage fees and the third party insurance would reimburse me for only 20% of the total. I am so numb these days, I couldn't even get upset. I got back in the car with the intention of going to get the money in Queens and somehow ended up at the Midtown Tunnel. Since I had an appointment with a loctician in the Bronx later in the day I decided to stay on that side of town. I'll deal with the car tomorrow.
Started making some calls to see who may be available to help my Mom out when I go to LA for work later this month.
Got my hair did by the lotician and even though the style was not exactly what I wanted, I did enjoy having my hair washed, conditioned and braided. We sipped on some wine and I even got a bonus hand massage from her daughter. When I take these braids out, my hair will be fierce!!

A Clear Channel - Day 116

It's about 6AM. Hanging with my boo but I can't go back to sleep. He's up doing his morning ritual and preparing for a big audition today. My mind is racing with the continuing events surrounding my mother's care after her car accident. I thought I would stay in NY until after the 4th of July when I felt confident that my mom would be safe and secure in her home once again. Right now she's scheduled to go home June 23rd but if I form an alliance with the insurance company, she may be able to go home before that. Of course it couldn't be that easy. Got a call from my agent yesterday that I booked an industrial that I was up for in LA. It works June 25th. So now I have to figure out how to make this all work. Guess it's time to call in a team. Get some other people on board to help out. My mom has always been so independent and raised me to be the same, it's hard for either one of us to ask for help but we both need to get over that now. I'll tell my mom about the LA gig when I see her later and we'll have to start making some calls. I'm also up for a short film which shoots in LA the same week as the industrial. It would be nice to book that too. Two gigs while I'm there, I can check on some things and possibly come back to NY. Everything is so up in the air, but I appreciate having to make these decisions. It's teaching me to take care of myself during this challenging time. Today I will be able to cross one important thing of the list....I'm getting rid of the car. The '89 Toyota Camry is history!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 115

Took a Mom break today and went into the city for the first time since I've been here. I had a meeting with my east coast agency's office. I wanted to test the climate for work here in New York in case I end up moving back to take care of my Mom. It definitely looks like there is work for me if I am interested in building my theatre credits. Lots of regional theatres cast out of NY, and with my LA credits and a fresh new face, I'm sure I could be working in a relatively short period of time. It's not going to happen overnight and my agency needs to know that I will be around for a while and that am free to take work as it arises. It would involve some travel but would be top of the line productions. I can't believe how I suddenly have these new life changing decisions to make simultaneously. Taking care of my Mom, a brand new relationship and a major career move. I haven't even talked to my manager about this yet. That's the next call I have to make.
After my meeting, my sweetie met me at the agent's office and told me he had a surprise for me....we went to see In The Heights!! So there we are on Broadway watching really good theatre reminiscing about how my acting journey started on a New York. stage in the first place. My friend Sherri Shepherd is doing an off-Broadway show and we're gonna get tickets and surprise her one night this week.
To be honest, the idea of moving back to New York for a minute is becoming quite exciting. The only thing I would hate to lose is my Santa Monica apt. and the best manager I've ever had. If I can hold on to those two's on!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 114

Another full day of caring for Mom. I'm falling in love with Fresh Meadows. I spent a lot of my younger school years driving through that neighborhood. P.S. 26 and Ryan JHS. It's a cool little hood. One of my best friends, Susan Bernstein lived over there. Lately, I've been running errands on that little stretch of 188th St. near Horace Harding Blvd. Anything to get close to a Starbucks. Today I went to Kohl's for the first time. I thought it was a store more like Target, but it's a department store like Macys's. Used up my allotted shopping time at Dress Barn so only had a few minutes to get some PJ's for my Mom at Kohl's. I will be back to both stores. Somehow I left Dress Barn with a store charge card. I didn't mean for that to happen (Dave Ramsey would be very disappointed) but I will deal with that later. Maybe I'll just buy a bunch of clothes and some jewelery and pay it off when my commercial starts running.
Another late night hanging with my boo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 113

As I touched on in my previous blog (yes this naughty girl missed a day...again), despite the fact that my mother is still in a facility I have not been able to break her out of and there's a ton of work to be done in dealing with the car accident, I have managed to have an absolutely fantastic week due to a special person in my life. This person has always been special, but we have taken our relationship to a whole different level...a much higher plane and it is blissful. Everything I ever wanted but was asking the wrong people. As they say in program, "Stop going to the hardware store expecting to buy milk." I am finally in the right place with the right person. I have no doubt. Between this "new" love interest and my Mom's recovery, like my cousin said earlier this week...I have a lot to think about. We all know the only way to approach this situation is one day, one step at a time.
I even managed to have a show biz moment today, I auditioned for Paul Mooney who is performing at Black Spectrum Theatre in Queens. That's where I got my start in theatre baaack in the day. It was nice to see the artistic director, Carl Clay, as usual and the musical director Derek Galloway, who I forgot to say good-bye to. I'm sure I'll find him on facebook and if I book this gig, I'll see him back a the theatre. At first the gig was to be on June 19th, but now it's been changed to July 3rd. I was thinking about staying here til after the 4th of July, but that might depend on if I book an industrial in LA around June 21st. I'm on avail.
One day at a time, one day at a time....

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 112

New York in the summer. I'd almost forgotten what it was like. Despite the fact that my trip is not the trip I envisioned when I purchased the tickets, many unexpected blessings are being revealed. I have a new found loving relationship with my Mom and find myself rather projective toward her. I have fallen in love with someone who has loved me unconditionally for 32 years. I went to church and got my praise on this evening and sat on the steps with a bunch of folks in front of a Brooklyn brownstone til 1 in the morning. Just like back in the day. I have an audition for Paul Mooney on Sunday and an appt. with my New York agents on Tuesday. It's so nice to be in a place where nobody cares what you do. People just care about you and genuinely want to know who you are. Everywhere I go feels like a family reunion. Even the sistas with locs have styles I've never seen before. So guess who's going to see a loctician this week?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Clear Channel -Day 111

Taking care of a parent is no joke. Today I escorted my Mom to her follow-up appt. with her orthopedic surgeon. It was the first time she was outside the "facility" since she'd been admitted a little over a week ago. Before we even left I had to almost "create a scene" as she would say, to get her a seat belt for her wheelchair. There she is in an ambulette, wheelchair strapped in but she was not. The driver says, "I'll be careful". Are you kidding me? The reason why she is here is because of an accident that I firmly believe was the other person's fault, so what does you being careful have to do with anything? I told everyone we were not going anywhere until my mother was strapped in. Suddenly a seat belt appeared. I wheeled my Mom around for the first time today, which was a comedy in and of itself. I'm about a graceful as a bull in a china shop. I need a Wheelchair 101 class or something.
Well things are looking very good healing wise and the doctor said she could be home. I went back to the facility, announcing that we would be leaving immediately and was told it wasn't that simple. Apparently there are procedures. Oh....I see. Does that include a SEAT BELT!!!??? In reality, my Mom will start doing exercises for the stairs in her home, the home will have to be assessed and items ordered for her home to insure her safety. Hopefully she will be home sometime next week. I'd better start cleaning up!

A Clear Channel - Day 110

If I had come home last night, you'd be reading more than this sentence right now. Shhhhh.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 109

One of my peeps from inside NYPD came through today. She called to say that my accident report was waiting for me at the front desk at the 105th Precinct. When I got there, there were two copies waiting for me and they waived the $10. fee! Nice start. Having all the information I needed, I proceeded to the accident site and took some pictures. It definitely looks like the driver that hit my Mom was at fault, I don't care what the New York stop sign law is. I chatted with the mailman who said he arrived after the accident took place and that there are a lot of accidents on that street. Obviously, that means the city should put up some more stop signs don't you think? slow people down on that road. Had a long chat with a nurse case worker at the insurance company and I have an idea of what is going on with my Mom medically. It's looking very good. Her progress is amazing. And....I spoke to the towing company lady...faxed her a copy of the police report and she contacted the other driver's insurance company. They are coming out to take a look at my Mom's car.
For the first time since I've been here I don't think I will toss and turn in my sleep tonight and I actually turned on the TV.