Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Cards – Life Lessons and More

Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Never say never while you can still breathe. Don’t give up on a dream that still wants to live. I might be late on this bandwagon but sometime last year, I paused my DVR after an episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, like millions have done over the years to read  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity card #463. The last one. He succinctly explained, “It’s time to write the last vanity card. Which is what this is…All things that never should have happened in the first place must come to an end. Don’t cry for me Argentina. Or West Covina.”

I was sad…OK, a tad depressed. “What? After 18 years why stop now?”

For those living in a cult or under a rock, the unique vanity cards for Chuck Lorre Productions have become a “trademark” appearing at the end of nearly every episode of his acclaimed productions like Grace under Fire, Cybill, Two and A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike & Molly and many others. They are usually editorial snippets, personal musings or random observations.

I considered launching a virtual protest march demanding that we, the viewing and more importantly, the reading public,  not be starved of the non-literary gastronomical delight of peering into Chuck Lorre’s brain. Then it occurred to me – Nah… maybe without this little distraction he could have more time. Time to volunteer at a nearby shelter, become a crossing guard at any school of his choosing, you know, do something more wholesome.

So, imagine my surprise at reading  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Card #464 after the next episode. It was a short, terse card, written by a clearly pained Chuck who realized that nobody cared enough to protest or beg him to re-consider. All he got were a few, nonchalant “literary shrugs” that didn’t cross the ear threshold. Yes, the world would still spin on its awkward axis, pigeons will still desecrate hallowed Hollywood Boulevard where knock-off stars have obstinately ( I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence) refused to twinkle, and people were far more interested in a YouTube video of a child falling asleep after 14 strokes of soft tissue paper over his cherub face. Yep! Nobody really cared.

Credit: EmmyTVLegends.orgBut I did. It would be sad to see these “self-congratulatory snippets of a mind, screaming for attention” end. They are at least are better than the deplorable selfies assaulting our  virtual spaces, (No thanks to the inventor of the selfie stick.) even as I wholehearted agree that Chuck’s Official Vanity Card Archives are nothing short of a “Herculean attempt at curating a set of pointlessly unique, haunting, very painful, also petty, most times personal thoughts.” (All quotations are his words)

Well, if I piqued your interest, you would be very pleased to know that at this time of writing, there’s Vanity Card #500 and I hope counting. For one, I am glad. Sometimes like Chuck Lorre, we have to pause and reflect on anything we’ve been doing maybe, mindlessly for a while –  like a marriage, a friendship, a job or the attempt to immortalize oneself (a.k.a. blogging) and ask yourself:

  • Does it matter?
  • Do I matter?
  • Will anyone even miss me if I stop?
  • Why? For sanity’s sake, why am I doing this?
  • How does this promote world peace (*_*) ?

Question everything. That’s what makes us human, but never say never or give up on something or someone you love. Don’t walk away if it still wants to live. Let it.
The 2.0 version might be refreshingly more meaningful, wiser as it matures just as Lorre’s post-463 vanity cards have become. Curious? Check out card  #482 , my new favorite.

Image Credits: ChuckLorre.com & Google Images.

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In Search for Passion and Meaning

Action Lady! Credit: Pixabay

Lady Action.  Images Credit: Pixabay

When did pelvic thrusts become the measure of excitement and passion? Emoji’s are facing stiff (puny, I know) competition from our need to express our approval with virtual grunts.

For most of us who work, our weekend schedule can reveal the road map to our passion – a football game, a writing workshop, a crafts hang-out, hanging out with the kids, volunteering at the food bank…you name it.  Spending our free time mindfully ignites a creative spark. If you do it once and feel the buzz, you’ll do it again.

I’m one of those with short bursts of artistic passion because come Monday, the mechanics and daily grind of life takes over, so I’m in awe of professional artists, creative geniuses and single parents. How do they do it? How do they sustain their imagination, excitement, energy and enthusiasm? Because they are eternally curious and never stop learning.

I want to be curious again, to look forward to something other than bills in my mailbox. I am working on being more consistent. Everyday, we have to give ourselves permission to be more spontaneous, follow the intuitions and hunches, break the habits that drag us away from our extraordinary core.

Image credit: Pixabay

The key is doing it daily, create new challenges and as Brené Brown advises, in her book Daring Greatly, quoting Theodore Roosevelt’s, Man in the Arena speech – “Don’t be the critic… be the one whose strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again…there is no effort without error and shortcoming (for) the one who spends himself in a worthy cause.”

We cultivate passion and meaning by scheduling time to be creative, showing up daily at the roll call. Success may result in fist pumps, pelvic thrusts or whatever rocks your halo, but even more important, is rising up after a failure, choosing to not retreat but live wholeheartedly.

I’ve done some passion-seeking work from the list below. You are welcome to share your ideas.

  • Take that course you’ve put off in art, music, writing, cooking, pottery, poetry, dancing etc. ( I’m taking one – Poetry in America : 1700-1850 )
  • Keep a journal – the wise number their days.
  • Ask your parents about an old photo, a family secret, the family history.
  • Introduce yourself to your community. Visit that trail, fishing camp, Japanese garden etc.
  • Run with an idea and ask for help.
  • Rediscover the wonder of your local library.
  • Sleep in with your kids on the weekend.
  • Apologize sincerely to someone you’ve hurt. ( I’m still working on this.)
  • Explore what your soul really needs.

There’s so much more, but here’s a good start in our search for passion and meaning. We are either dying slowly or living brilliantly. Chose life.

Visible as Dawn 2 – A Haiku

Another Haiku Friday…

Haiku Friday

Image Credit: Pixabay

Visible as Dawn 2

A Haiku by Ama Danesi

The dare of tight

coils and obstinate

springs, free as air.

Visible as dawn – A Haiku

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

I’m all for Haiku Fridays, so here’s mine.

Visible as dawn
by Ama Danesi

Pineapple on my head
unruly stalks, roots above
ground – visible as dawn.

 

Not a pretty sight but it makes getting dressed in the mornings easier.
Inspiration – Natural hair, as in kinks, roots and all. There is both strength and vulnerability in showing up in the world raw and natural, just as you are.

The Making of a Craftsman or Artisan

http://pixabay.com/en/paint-art-image-artists-painting-198735/

Credit: Pixabay Images – An Artist

Whoever said creativity was easy, a buzz from the subconscious, has not been through the dark night of the soul. I have. I wept with my protagonist wondering, why…why am I doing this to myself?  So lately I’ve been spent. Drained by the sheer grit of finishing the first draft of my novel and now with trepidation, I’m commencing the rewrite process.

Erwin McManus of  MOSAIC said, “the person who steals is terrified of creating.” Now you know the reason for our overcrowded county jails. Creativity is soul-breaking hard work, demanding diligence, responsibility and a thick-skin to withstand inevitable criticism. Yes, Criticism. My retainers are proof that I can look at my reflection (cute as I am *-*) and still find fault. Nobody wears halos, visors maybe. 

Wikipedia Commons -  A Craftsman at work

Wikipedia Commons – A Craftsman at work

The craftsman shows up and plugs away, like someone possessed by the need to show themselves worthy of another sunrise. I must admit these last few weeks has been hard for me. I’m like a brow-beaten Lebron James, after losing 2014 NBA finals to the Spurs, soaking his weary muscles in a bathtub of epsom salts and reprimanding his kids, “I don’t want to hear anything about basketball.”

Here’s what I did today to avoid writing:

  1. Washed my hair and deep conditioned it twice.
  2. Created a head full of twists ( that accounted for 55 mins.)
  3. Browsed used car websites – Craigslist, CarGuru, KBB, Recycler , then Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills for a good deal on a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS 550 Coupe, steel-gray body and ash-black leather interior.
  4. Searched online for a white gown (Service of songs; dress code – white) and  in the process, I was sorely tempted to buy ten pounds of  Kansas City steak from QVC and from HSN, Twiggy London’ s flag-inspired tee-shirts.
  5. Served myself two large scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream.
  6. Teared up as I went through three trunks of my native African clothes, reminiscing about each occasion that called for another gele* (African headgear)
  7. Read and deleted spam comments (Yep… Akismet obviously needs help)

Then something good happened. I decided I’d better write or feel guilty when I step on my scale tomorrow on account my creamy indulgence. Motivation can come from anywhere, as far as it works. As artists when we stay away from our craft, we experience an unsettling, a foreboding that time is slipping away and with it the miracle of chances.

If we wait too long, it’s so easy to slip into a dissatisfied and depressed state. Off-track we get moody and our words become wind – destructive, unkind – blowing restless in all direction of our lives. Now I’m learning to pray – Lord, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, can you please create through me today?

 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Eph. 4:28 (NKJV)

Art is everywhere. This  video shows Segun Gele, a Nigerian *gele artist profiled on CNN, reveling in the work of his hands.
If you haven’t…you’ve got to read  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Fight the resistance. Be encouraged. Create something that makes you smile today 🙂