Dear latecomers: This blog will make very little sense at one point unless you've turned off "Teenage Wasteland" on the playlist to your left. Song #2, "All Becomes One" accompanies this blog entry. Please forward playlist to song #2 NOW. Gracias!
The decade of the ‘0s is wrapping up. Un-freaking-believable. Remember the Y2K panic when nutjobs were stocking up on canned goods, cash, barrels of water, and guns…convinced the world would come to a grinding halt when its computers' programs all rolled over to the year ’00? I didn’t stock up on anything beyond beer and chips that New Years Eve, but I did have just a slight twinge of worry that the ATM machine might eat my card the next day. Which it did. But only because I was overdrawn. Too much has happened over the past decade to reflect properly in one blog entry. 9/11. Our Ben. War. Grandma Gwen making it to a feisty 100 as if by sheer will, only to will herself gone the next summer. Too much for one entry. Too much for one book. So let me just stick to 2009.
For me, 2009 could simply be described as my year of discovery. I discovered a lot about myself and about others. I discovered places, faces, talents, terrors, music and muses. Everyone makes New Years resolutions, which usually last six weeks at best then fall by the wayside. I’m no better. Let me introduce you to my museum of resolutions. The treadmills that end up large clothes racks, the knitting gear in the bottom of the hall closet, the 20 words I learned to say in Spanish. Todos ellos cayeron en el camino. (Don’t be impressed…I Google translated that…just like you’re about to do.) But I decided that 2009 was going to be different. Why? Because I was a couple of years into my @#$%ing 40s and knew that if I put off change one more year, I’d put it off forever. I was determined that when 2009 came to its close I wouldn’t be the same Suzanne. Well, it’s closing. You tell me.
I’m by no means a delicate flower, but there’s 40+ lbs. less Suzanne than there was last Christmas. And next year there’ll be even less of her. I discovered just a little more willpower and resolve. I quit the PTA. Not because I didn’t enjoy it (stop laughing) but because I knew I needed to devote more time to working on Project Suze. While I still have “people pleasing” ingrained into my soul (that backstory’s a whole other book), I discovered the ability to say “no” on occasion. You don’t see me wearing the scout uniform this time around. I do whatever I can, for whoever I can, whenever I can…but I can’t lead everything anymore. I discovered I don’t want to.
I discovered it’s never too late to make new friends. In “real life” I’ve made terrific friends through #2 son Ben (how Charlie Chan did that sound?). For example, I have a new red-headed male kindred spirit down the road who, despite having an equally warped and filthy sense of humor, somehow managed to attract a lovely wife and make three sons…all of whom I’ve seen naked. Several times. I have two lovely new mom-friends in the neighborhood…one whose son shares Ben’s first name, the other whose daughter will assuredly one day share his last. Remember, the girl’s family pays for the wedding. The rehearsal dinner will be at Applebee’s.
But most of the progress in Project Suze (a completely narcissistic title I admit), has come as result of my discovery of social networking. Screw MySpace. I’m not 17 or in a band. I’m a Facebooker. I keep it for day-to-day, face-to-face people. People I’ve actually met. Or am 100% convinced I’d like if I did. I’m also…I’m...I’m…I’m a tweeter. SHUT UP. Let he who has not updated cast the first stone. Yeah, I tweet. God it feels so good to admit that in public. I USE TWITTER. Wow. Like coming out of the blue birded, fail whaled closet. (Yes, I’m well aware some of you don’t get those references. Too bad for you. Google.) Say what you will ~ relatives, kinda-relatives, naysayers. To paraphrase Chico Escuela, “Twitter been berry, berry good to me.” If you don’t get that reference, please just click on “next blog” at the top of this page!
I’ve met lots of great people through Twitter. Met online, then actually met in the flesh. John from Vieques, Puerto Rico, a telecommuting techie who shared tidbits on his beloved island, then eventually a few drinks at sunset. Flo from Burbank, a writer-turned-lawyer who shared advice on sitcom writing and life in LA, then eventually a great sushi lunch near Sunset and Vine. Steve from LA, an television writer/series creator/all-around great guy who bought Boy Scout raffle tickets from me before he even met me, then let me parade a friend’s Flat Stanley around his show’s set. Sarah from London, a techno-wizard who’s me circa 1990, and will be sharing a pint with me in a few weeks during her visit to New York. But I wouldn’t be toiling on scripts and planning my next visit to LA if it weren’t for two particular tweeters…Kara and Gavin. I’ve never really been able to toot my own horn. But I have no problem tooting theirs. Like it or not, here it comes kids.
Kara. (I’ll omit her last name for her privacy…but give the okay and it’s in kiddo). A Philly gal moved west. Phillies fan to rival any man. Hardest working woman in her field. Not an exaggeration. Works for and with an industry icon. Pure happenstance how we met online. It involved international travel, the BBC and a midget. But we clicked, connected and eventually met on the east coast a couple of times, then out west. Verizon owes us both a huge “thank you” for our rabid texting during the World Series (Wahoo!...@#$% Lidge!) Despite her frantic pace and weary workload, Kara has always taken time to help a friend. A lot of people in her position would have blown off the world’s oldest newbie. But Kara’s an incredibly supportive person who I consider a mentor, and more importantly a true friend. You’ve been helping me work on me and my goals. Now…let me help you with your frozen yogurt dependency.
Gavin. Gavin Heaney (I don’t care if he wants privacy, he’s not getting it). As Cali as they come ~ from the too-long blond locks to the board wax and guitar picks in his pocket. Hardest working man in his field. Not an exaggeration. Works for and by himself; not yet an icon. Again, pure happenstance how we met online. It involved the “I Love You, Man” movie soundtrack, east coast insomnia, west coast PR…and a midget. But like Kara, and at exactly the same time, we clicked and became friends. Despite booking gigs and promoting his newest Latch Key Kid album “All Becomes One” (available on iTunes, Amazon or through www.latchkeykid.org …yeah, I can promote with the best of them), Gavin took an actual interest in what I was doing, helped flesh out a story idea, critiqued it along the way, and put me in touch with someone who could offer more expert advice; someone who has since also become a very good friend. I’ve blogged with his songs in the background before, and you’ve probably wondered who the hell he is. Well he’s a renaissance man. Correction: a renaissance dude. Whatever LKK song you’ve involuntarily heard on this blog…every word sung, note penned or instrument played was done solely by Gavin. If you want to “meet” him, check out what some kids from his old high school just created (but be sure to first turn off his song that's on the playlist to your left):
So 2009 was my year of discovery. I discovered I’m not as old as I actually sometimes feel, that I can still become something/somebody new. I discovered I’m not completely without talents. Although I can’t animate/produce/compose/sing/strum…I can cook like a demon, write decently, make people laugh and still iron the crap out of a pleated shirt. I’ve discovered I’m not too proud to ask for help from friends when needed. And when you discover friends who can create something from nothing, and still take the time to help you along your way, you’ve got to toot their horns. So “toot” to all of you. Here’s hoping by this time next year, we’re all in the places we’d love to be, doing the things we’d love to do, with the people we love by our side.