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Archive for April, 2011

From the Department of: I did WHAT?

posted by Sheva 4:30 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – I did WHAT? – the BLOG

The summer before I moved to Los Angeles, I worked as a mostly daytime bartender in a semi-hip California-style Italian restaurant by Dupont Circle in DC. The owner was a hot Italian guy who was married but always flirted heavily with the female staff and was rumored to have slept with at least one of the vixen waitresses he kept on staff.

The day I was hired to bartend, I actually had come in to inquire about a hostess position I heard was open. Immediately, they told me they needed a daytime bartender and put me to work. I had never bartended, but I always made sure to mix the drinks with plenty of alcohol so my customers were always happy.

Once, I remember seeing a friend of mine’s mother in the back, hidden section of the restaurant, sharing an intimate mid-day meal with a man who was not my friend’s father.

My best customers consisted of a few men who would come by during the day, sit by themselves usually, though the Hot Italian Restaurant Owner and staff would always fawn over them. They’d flirt a bit with me and order their vodka. One of these men was the head of the bank across the street, I think it was Citibank. Another was a billionaire Lebanese guy. It was a game for me, trying to see how many vodkas I could get them to order, just to see how high I could cause my tip to climb – into the double digits, and yes, once in a while, into the triple.

Never occurred to me these guys were actually going back to work, making decisions that were probably affecting thousands of lives. (Hmmmm… mortgage crisis, anyone?)

Once the billionaire Lebanese guy got pretty drunk, and wound up inviting me to his nearby apartment in the middle of my shift. I can’t remember anymore under what guise he invited me – I was going to be moving to LA shortly – did he tell me he could help my career somehow? All I know is that Hot Italian Restaurant Owner was more than happy to let me off in the middle of my shift if it meant pleasing this particular patron.

And what do you think that I – a Phi Beta Kappa Yale graduate, who had volunteered countless hours at Yale in the Women’s Center, raised by a family of feminists, granddaughter to the first woman lawyer of Texas – chose to do?

I went with him.

Was I that desperate for attention? For adventure? For money?

Somewhere along the elevator ride up to his penthouse, I began to worry. The guy didn’t “feel” dangerous to me, but still… I didn’t know him. I didn’t want to sleep with him. Obviously he was hoping he could get some kind of ‘play’ from me… So what in the world was I doing with him?

We got to his apartment. I don’t remember much – just that he sat down, and looked at me with his red face and glossy eyes like, ‘The ball’s in your court.’ At which point, I made some excuse and told him I should get back. If he tried to convince me to stay, I don’t remember it. All I remember is that within a few minutes, he had escorted me safely back to the restaurant. The owner winked and scolded me, and I have no idea if I played along or told him the truth: nothing happened.

The whole event was basically a non-event. Except, that now I’m a mother of 3, I SHUDDER TO THINK any of them would put themselves in an even remotely similar circumstance…

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Who Knew?

posted by Sheva 1:49 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Who Knew? – the BLOG

Dear, gentle readers. I can’t believe it is so… but it is. Today – and only today – April 26, 2011 – a mere COUGH –years after I gave up my teenage dream to become a model…

I am thankful I never was given the opportunity.

I spend a small but meaty chunk of my life feeling pissed that I didn’t get certain opportunities. Why aren’t I a world-famous writer by now? Never was given the right opportunity. Why didn’t I make it big as an actress? Never cast in the role that would have been my gateway to the big time. Why didn’t my band ever make it past local gigs at the Knitting Factory and the Gig? The right producer never did my demo. Or the right A&R guy never heard it. OR…

You get the idea.

I’m already embarrassed to be sharing with you what a whiny complainer I can be. I KNOW – intellectually, at least – that we make our own opportunities, that life gives us only what we NEED and what we are SUPPOSED TO GET, in order to help us grow, transform, & ultimately –yes, I’ll say it – have the OPPORTUNITY to be as happy & fulfilled as we can be.

But. Intellect ain’t exactly gut-knowing, now is it?

At age fifteen, after years of dreaming of being a “famous model/actor/singer,” I made my mother take me to a ‘walk in’ at Ford in New York. The woman was nice, and told me she needed to see pictures of me. I never sent her pictures of me, and I spent years feeling bitter that my mother wasn’t a proper “stage mother” and didn’t take control over my (as of yet nonexistent) career, submit the photos for me, and never give up until her baby was a STAR! (Wait – am I confusing her with Gypsy?) There was always a piece of me that resented her role in my never having “made it”, and I equally was pissed at myself for never having really “gone for it” (thanks to a crushing insecurity that made me incapable of taking criticism).

Today, I watched the TV pilot for my boss’s new Sony TV-produced reality TV show, that, if all goes well, will air on a big network in the fall. It’s about the modeling industry – a really gritty & semi-redemptive look at what goes on behind the scenes. My job in his company doesn’t put me in the limelight of the TV show – I’m in charge of developing a wellness program for the models & interested public, and I’m in charge of the company’s interactive magazine-style website. (www.NetworkTalentCommunity.com if you must know, and YES we will figure out a way at some point to shorten the URL – for now just bookmark it, for God’s sake! And sign up while you’re at it – it’s free & I’ve got to get my numbers up.)

Anyway, after seeing the TV show today for the second time, it dawned on me. Thank God I never sent in those pictures. Thank God my mother never forced me into the modeling or entertainment industry any farther than I begged to go. First of all, I wasn’t interested in fashion. I loved to write! Second, I was – as I said before – insecure. More than that – vulnerable. To people’s criticisms of me, to men’s sexual attraction to me, and to people’s opinions of me in general.

I would have been eaten alive.

I still had many rough patches growing up and in my early adult life. Rough relationships, rough emotional dips, rough financial situations. Life, in other words.

And here I am, today, stronger for it all. Happier for it. Better for it.

Who knew?

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

What is WRONG with these People??

posted by Sheva 11:58 PM
Thursday, April 21, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – What is WRONG With These People? – the BLOG

Okay, so you know how in my last blog I commented on the ridiculous store named FUK U?

(As ridiculous as they are, it occurs to me I’ve given them more press than I’ve given any number of my actual favorite places that actually DO deserve your business… I guess the saying is true, bad press is still press…)

Well, I’ve got another pet peeve. Move over, Tipper Gore: I’ve got a new congressional resolution for ya. Censor those god awful billboards that are up all over my city!

I admit, as a kid growing up “too cool for school” in DC, I railed against Tipper’s plan to put ratings on CD’s and records as much as anyone. How dare a grown up censor my music?! How dare that bloated, preppy politician’s wife decide whether or not I can buy an album, just because it has stupid curse words inside? Easy E was one of my favorite rappers:

I’m gonna hold it! And walk around the stage! And if you fuck up? I’m going to get my gage, and unload my barrel and laugh, cause I’m putting lead in your motherfucking ass. Psychopathic, but the hos are attracted, cause when I’m on hard? My dick’s at least a YARD!

…and I got straight A’s and went to Yale.

Suck on that, Tipper!

Until…

You know how everyone with kids tells you, everything changes once you have kids?

Yeah.

My son is now reading. I’ll bet you twenty dollars if we were to walk by that above-mentioned store, he would sound it out immediately and ask me what it meant. Hilarious, you pot smoking asshole who gave your store that name.

If I even THINK of my six year old hearing Easy E out of some stupid ass teenager’s car window… (AKA, my car window, 20 years ago. Wait, when I was only 8 years old? Never mind.) it’s a nightmare. How could I have put little ears at risk of such foulness, so cavalierly? Heaven FORBID a store would actually allow him to PURCHASE said item. Does anyone know Tipper’s current address? I’m ready to write her a donation check…

And Tipper, while we’re at it? Billboards. I don’t want to rate them. I want to ban them. Outright. I don’t want to infringe upon a company’s right to speak about their grizzly sex horror movie, but I DO want to thwart any and all plans they may have to advertise said movie anywhere my kids may pass by. It was ONE YEAR before a sign showing a graphic portrait of a zombie eating a half-naked woman was taken down just a half a block from my house (and a half a block from my kids’ old preschool). One block from that was a gigantic billboard for some other horror movie, I think it was called “The Eye,” which depicted a giant horrifying eye, held open by medical instruments while a creature climbed out of it.

I feel like A Clockwork Orange would scare my child less than some of these billboards.

Don’t even get me started talking about TV commercials…

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Sex Toys

posted by Sheva 1:18 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Sex Toys – the BLOG

I went today to a lingerie shop across the street from where I work, to buy some sexy undies for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party. The name of the store? FUK U. Not kidding. What is wrong with people? It’s like, a couple of friends were stoned and they came up with this AWESOME NAME for a store, HA HA HA HA!! And then they stayed stoned for the next few months while they applied for a license, ordered merchandise, incorporated and paid a contractor to remodel the expensive Melrose storefront.

Or maybe… just maybe… there are just people out there who live on a completely different reality plane than I. A plane where a store’s name, FUK U, is – pick one – hilarious, mysterious, a joke on the buyer, a joke on any adult who tries to walk her just-learning-to-read child by the store, or else just plain genius.

Anyhoo – I found some cute panties and started to pay, when my eyes drifted to the far side of the store. There, on shelf after shelf, were… not lingerie. Not underwear. Not teddies.

Sex toys.

And sex… contraptions. Things like, straps that you hang in your doorway with holes for both hands and feet (these are for Her; He gets to stand on his two legs – which I know because the very graphic picture on the front of the package told me so). Also, straps for various positions, straps for bondage, “bondage sheets” – which from the picture, told me it just lies under the person, catching all the bodily fluids (ICK), fuzzy handcuffs, and –

Wait a minute. That reminds me!

Of a time – oh, a certain number of years ago, who knows exactly, when I went to Texas for a weekend to celebrate my cousin’s bachelorette with a group of her closest girlfriends and my two sisters. My sisters had designated me the “gag gift buyer” on behalf of all of us, so I had gone to The Pleasure Chest (if you don’t know it, the name pretty much spells it out) to buy as many crazy sex toys $200 could buy.

I bought dildos, edible undies, fuzzy handcuffs, more dildos, vibrators, undies with the crotch cut out and whatever else I could grab without having to ask a salesperson for help. Packed it all in my suitcase, and went to catch my flight.

It was the handcuffs that gave me away. In security, as my bag passed through the baggage check. I had carried all the gifts with me, for fear that a checked bag could get lost and spoil the fun of giving her the gifts at the party.

A small army of airport security guards surrounded me. Never in my life did my face go as hot, or as purple red, as it did at that moment. I could barely breath as I “explained” the contents of my carry-on. Even though this was pre-9/11, they still made me go back and check the handcuffs, which I was able to do by going back to my original gate where I gave them my large luggage. There, the lady who accepted my carry-on bag to be checked, along with her friend, a gay male flight customer service guy, were really interested to know where I got my toys and whether The Pleasure Chest had locations farther south.

Maybe they’d like a store to go up near where they live, called FUK U.

My bags reached their destination, as did I, and we all had a blast that weekend. We drank lots of alcohol, played truth or dare and “I never” (whereby I simultaneously discovered VERY juicy dirt on my cousin and older sister while forever traumatizing my younger sister who was only about 14 years old) and other silly games (like “Pin the Penis on the Poster”), capped off with the gayest male stripper you will ever meet playing “who can get naked faster” with my cousin, and a pregnancy reveal of one of my cousin’s friends.

Seriously – The. Gayest. (The guy stripped for us, then hung out talking to us, waiting for his boyfriend to pick him up.)

All in the name of love & good fun…

c/xo

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Things I Recently Learned (While Traveling to Austin)

posted by Sheva 3:44 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Things I Recently Learned on my Trip to Austin – the BLOG

1. You know how, when you stare at someone in front of you or across the room, they somehow feel you staring and turn to look? I have recently learned that this amazing invisible laser power of our eyes is rendered useless when used on a person who has been locked in the airplane bathroom for close to fifteen minutes. Damn the cryptonic powers of the bathroom door!

2. You know how there are, like, 100 hilarious male comedians, and, like, about 2 good girl ones? I have recently learned that those two good girl ones each just published their own books – BEDWETTER by Sarah Silverman, and BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey. Don’t borrow them – buy them. Read them, then find yourself crying with laughter and convulsing uncontrollably as other airline passengers pretend not to stare.

3. The FOUR SEASONS has one of the most comfortable beds in the world. And the best blackout curtains ever. I recently learned that I still remember how to “sleep in” when there are no children or husbands around to wake me up. Lunch, anyone?

4. You know how the FOUR SEASONS is supposedly a really swanky hotel? Well, I recently learned that they don’t always answer the front desk phone, and their gym is really small. What’s up with that?

5. While I had met my little sister’s fiancé once or twice, I only recently learned (by hanging out with him & her together the whole weekend) that they are AMAZING TOGETHER and he’s a terrific guy. Go, Sis!!

6. So, moms, you know how when, you stop breastfeeding, your milk goes away after a few days? Well, I have recently learned that even if that happened painlessly & uneventfully with the FIRST two children, going cold turkey with the THIRD child can lead to crazy painful boobs and leaky nipples even though she was already down to one feeding a day.

a. Corollary: Even more recently, I learned that, upon returning to town, Baby was still able to nurse – milk had not disappeared – and my poor achy & sore boobs were happy about that although all plans to wean her have now been thwarted.

7. I recently learned that catching a plane mid-morning in Austin, TX, does not require the 2 hour advance check in that an LAX flight does. More like, 45 minutes, tops.

8. I recently learned that, while people in Austin are nice and smart, they could use some help in the ‘dying gray hair’ category. Also the “wearing fashionable clothes” category.

9. Welcome back home, self! Happy Passover to everyone else… Be back by the end of the week-ish.

Cx/o,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Adventures in Hollywoodland

posted by Sheva 2:11 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Adventures in Hollywoodland – the BLOG

I had some really excellent jobs after I graduated at the top of my class from Yale. There was my summer in DC, bartending. There was that waitressing gig where my boss thought he was Johnny Rotten. There was that very first job I held in LA, working as an assistant for a big executive at Atlantic Records, a young, hot, ex-ICM agent who liked to scream and throw things and who fired me four months into it for crying on the job.

And then there was the time I worked as an assistant for “Albert.” Albert (not his real name) was a creepy ex-Freudian therapist-turned producer. The ONLY reason Albert had gotten a job as the “Producer” in this pretty high level management company where he had just been hired before he hired me, was because his best friend was the head of a studio, and the managers were getting old and I guess that made them exceptionally naïve.

Albert talked in a low, fake soothing voice, just like you would imagine a creepy therapist would sound. He was bloated, with blotchy white skin and womanly fingers. He would make me sit across from him most days, “rolling calls.” I was instructed to listen to each call on mute, so I would sit there sometimes for hours, listening to him drone on, unable to take my eyes off his bloated, pasty cheeks and his smooth, tapered fingers.

Albert had no idea what the fuck he was doing. He would use the company’s hard-earned cash to option obscure stories that he thought somehow could get made into smash hit movies. He would talk all day to other slimeballs about nothing interesting, and the rest of the time he would try to impress me with disgusting stories of him frequenting the Monkey Bar or some other gross place where he would go with his more powerful friends to try and pick up chicks.

After a while, it became clear that Albert was going nowhere fast. With his blessing, I started interviewing with other companies. Albert agreed to help me give me a great recommendation if I found a better option, so when I interviewed with a producer who knew Albert, I was happy to have him call Albert to check my references.

Imagine my shock when the call came, and I stayed on the call, on mute as I always did, and I heard Albert slander me – tell lie after lie about my work ethic, my abilities, my accomplishments.

Like an angel, my cousin called me on the other line at exactly that moment, and she gave me the solid advice not to quit, but to stay and let him fire me if he dared, so I could at least be eligible for unemployment.

“How could you do that?” I confronted him. “You told me you would give me a recommendation. How could you lie like that?”

“You weren’t supposed to listen into that call,” was the best he could come up with.

I kept accusing him of lying about me, which he couldn’t deal with, and he did wind up firing me. I heard he got fired a while later, having spent the company’s entire coffers without a single production to show for it.

But hey… that’s show biz!

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Comments Off

Muscle Spazz

posted by Sheva 2:40 AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Muscle Spazz – the BLOG

We don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.

NO, I’m not talking about breaking up with people or losing grandparents.

I’m talking about full usage of our body.

Colds, flu’s – don’t get me wrong, they suck, especially the ones that make your body ache so much you are sure you are actually dying.

But the upside of colds & flu’s are that– barring death – you know what it is and you know it will run its course.

Not so clear cut is the debilitating yet mysterious leg muscle spasm. Tonight, I was wrenched out of a fitful sleep by the most painful shin and calf spasm of my life.

I’m no stranger to muscle spasms, or “Charlie Horses”, as they are affectionately called by people who obviously do not have the same low pain threshold I do & can therefore joke about these nightmares of muscular terror. But ½ way through my 2nd pregnancy (I generally would get Charlie Horses about every other night when I’m pregnant), I realized that when my calf muscle would cramp unexpectedly into a tiny little bouncing ball of pain, if I shot out of bed and stomped on the corresponding foot, it would disappear as quickly as it came, and no one was the worse for it except my husband who by that point would have awaken, scared out of his wits that I was under attack from a lead-footed burglar.

None of this prepared me for what I had tonight (twice, so far). It was the double shin and calf spasm, each a foil to the other, so that if I stretched my calf my shin muscle, crafty sliver of a muscle that it is, would spasm & contract painfully, and if I stretched and massaged my shin, my calf would contract. Damn this devious duo! It’s 2:14am and I already was pushing the levels of my bedtime by succumbing to both House AND Gossip Girl instead of sleeping at a reasonable hour, and then dealing with my middle daughter’s pee-pee in the bed situation and then dealing with my baby daughter’s wake up in the night for no reason situation.

(Quick props to my DVR. O, those devastating old days of missing House just to put my first child back to sleep for the twentieth time… How did I survive?)

Then after sleeping for just a half hour, my son – the one child who can be trusted to sleep soundly through the night until one of his sisters wakes him at 6am – came into our room and asked to sleep in our bed. I knew his room still smelled like urine from his sister’s recent spill, so I caved & let him join us. Back to sleep… and a half hour later, up again with the incomprehensible Chinese torture spasms that were my shin & calf. Back to sleep again, and another 15 minutes or so later – up again with the same torture, only this time they refused to be tamed.

I limped over to the computer to research muscle spasm remedies (My kingdom for a banana!) and found myself writing this entry.

Ew, disgusting. Just to be sure the muscles stay calm, I took one website’s advice & drank the only electrolyte drink I had in the house – apple flavored Pedialyte. No WONDER my daughter wouldn’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole of vomit, even after hurling everything else solid or liquid she had downed.

Na. Sty.

The coolest thing I just read was a short-term solution to cramping: pulling on your upper lip with thumb & forefinger. Huh?

Readers! Help! What else can a sister do in this situation? And don’t tell me send the boy back to his bed – I wouldn’t want to sleep in that pee pee cesspool either. And don’t tell me to clean up the pee pee – It’s almost three in the morning!

Miraculously, the muscles haven’t got into spasm since I sat down. Could writing really be a remedy to Charlie Horses?

In the meantime, I hope this is…

Goodnight.

c/xo

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

KISS MY GRITS

posted by Sheva 3:19 AM
Monday, April 11, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Kiss My Grits – the BLOG

I waitressed once. It was in Los Angeles. A hip, Asian fusion restaurant, the place was owned & run by a celebrity chef – this guy with dyed pink hair who thought he was as much of a rock star as his friends who actually were rock stars. Let’s call him “Josh Mark”.

Simply put, Josh was a slimy asshole. He punched out one of our best waiters on the overbooked New Year’s Eve (first seating, so we were short the whole night). He “pooled” our tips from that same New Year’s Eve and when we got our cut the following Monday, it was like a regular night’s earnings. His rock star friends would often come and order endless drinks and food and then tell us at the end of the night that Josh had comped their meal (he hadn’t), so we’ d have to use their “tips” to pay for the food.

I wasn’t cut out for this type of work – I cared too much what people thought of me and I tried too hard to please, so when the tips finally did come in, I was continually shocked, disappointed, and furious.

Readers: let me take this moment now to implore you: Give 20%. Don’t you dare leave 10%. Rule of thumb: Always leave at least dollar more than you were thinking to tip. SHUT UP, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR EXCUSES – FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHAT’S ONE DOLLAR? That waitress or waiter needs it more than you do, I promise you, and they are not making shit by the hour.

I admit, the restaurant traumatized me a little. Still, it was fun to work there. (In the way that anything that doesn’t kill you is “fun” for a writer who likes to spin crazy experiences into stories for general consumption.)

For example, the first night on the job, I shadowed a “real” waiter. Our first table was a young husband and wife…

Wait a minute… ‘Is he?’ ‘Are you…?’ Whoa.

The guy we were waiting on, my very first customer, the married guy sitting across from his wife, was none other than the same guy who, one month earlier, had given me some crazy drug at a party called GHB which I later learned was also called the Date Rape drug and if taken in too large a quantity, can kill you.

Lucky for me, the drug not only didn’t kill me, it also didn’t render me ‘date-rapable’ – I did have some fun with him while on the drug, definitely did NOT sleep with him, not that he didn’t try, but I do remember, I kept asking him repeatedly if he was sure he wasn’t gay. (Which he wasn’t, and I don’t think he was too amused by my persistent asking.)

[Side Note: I saw the same guy only three more times in my life – the first time was at a live show, where I discovered he was newly divorced and six months sober. The second time was on the street, where in passing, he told me he was studying Kabbalah. He was so excited about it when we spoke, and years later when I started studying Kabbalah (I still do), I wondered if he was still studying it, or if he had moved on from that too. The final time I saw him was on TV, when I watched him accept an Academy Award for Best Screenwriter.

Not telling.]

But I can tell you, thanks to the two or three short months when I worked for crazy “Josh Mark,” I did get to meet some interesting people. Pee Wee Herman was nice. The hostess was the “baby mama” of Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea’s daughter, and after the one time I babysat Clara, Flea asked me to come work for him as her full-time nanny.

I declined the offer, and soon after, left the restaurant business and never looked back.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

FACEBOOK JUNKY (a dramatic narration)

posted by Sheva 12:51 AM
Thursday, April 7, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Facebook Junky – the BLOG

LIGHTS UP

ON SHEVI (my new name, Christened by a well-intentioned friend who thinks BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) is way too complicated, never mind, when pronounced, my “new name” sounds like my parent’s old station wagon…)

SHEVI IS PALE-FACED AND POUNDING AWAY AT HER KEYBOARD.

It’s a little like cocaine.

You start. It feels a little dirty, a little exciting, a little like something everyone else except you has tried.

You go a little, then you stop, thinking ‘this isn’t for you, how do people get into this, the only people who like this must have no life, if anyone has time to really get into this for hours, they must REALLY have no life or else a pathetic one…’

Then-

It happens. You get hooked. (Or, you get outraged that your husband just started a week ago & already has more Friends than you do.) You start Friending everyone and their mother (literally) and you can’t stop and now it’s past 2 in the morning & your kids get up at 6am or whatever but you don’t care because now you’re looking at someone’s photos and you see MORE people you haven’t seen or thought about in decades and now you are Friending them too even though you never said one red word to them back in the day when you had a crush on them in high school and you realize you are Friending more guys than girls but you can’t help it and now HOLY FUCK is that a picture of that disgusting guitar-playing asshole who gave you a nasty disease when you were in college – TURN BACK! – but you can’t, and you realize how disgusting you are and how in the hell did this all get started and why can’t you stop and Jesus what will all these people think of you tomorrow when they see your ‘invitation’ for them to Friend you and how embarrassing that your best friend from high school has Friends you guys used to hang out with together, but she won’t accept your invitation what the FUCK did you ever do to her anyway, that bitch, and now you should be asleep but you’re wide awake and you’re going to get more Friends than these other people if you have to stay here all night and-

How in the world does my best friend from French Woods Camp when I was 14 years old, know my friend from Yale? And how weird is that that I knew that friend from Yale back when I was 10 years old, at a different camp, Camp Seafarer?

And how did that hot guy I used to crush on get so fat?

And do these people accepting my Friend requests even know who I am?

And who are these creepy random people asking me to be their Friends?

And – whoa – Tudor is DEAD? When did he die? I haven’t seen him since the last time I got wasted at Renees Bar in Santa Monica, back in the nineties… God, that’s right, that whole crew of us used to go there every Thursday night, let me see if they’re on Facebook too…

BLACKOUT

Winona Forever

posted by Sheva 8:53 AM
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below. Then, once you’ve listened, scroll down to the bottom of this page and listen to my song. It’s puurty.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Winona Forever – the BLOG

Ever had any regrets? I know it’s ‘hip,’ ‘progressive,’ and ‘spiritual’ NOT to have any regrets… Everything happens for a reason, right? If not for what I went through before, how could I have gotten to where I am today, right? I mean, I am who I am. My past is my past. No use looking backwards.

Right?

But then you have things like – Flipper. My tattoo. I got it when I was nineteen, because I wanted a tattoo, and I thought dolphins were “cool.” A few nights after getting the tattoo, I went to a bar to meet some friends. Pulled my shirt from my hip to show off my ink – the newest addition to my body – proud of my totem, this animal now etched into my skin, which represented my love of the ocean, my affinity with mystical creatures, my oneness with beauty and strength…

Straightaway, a friend announced, “Look! It’s Flipper!”

Flipper?

Not exactly a deeply mystical name for a totem. But upon closer inspection, my dolphin was blue, with a red tongue, jumping a wave and – yes – looking like a cartoon dolphin, smiling. Shit. It was totally Flipper.

Anyway, Flipper is a part of me now, has been for – um – at least 10 years, AHEM – but still… I’d say I could have made a wiser choice back then. Truth be told, I had just watched The Big Blue about 80 times, and that probably had influenced my decision to go with the dolphin motif. (Here’s a tip, ladies: it’s much better with the volume off.) I guess I’m still better off than those celebrities who ask for “Strength and Courage” in Chinese and then later find out they have “You’re a sucker” inked across their chest.

Even harder to come to terms with than Flipper, is my past behavior. Like the amount of mind-altering substances I imbibed/inhaled over many, many years, and the things I did while under the influence of said substances. Kids, if you are reading this, Mommy is just kidding. Now, who wants ice cream? Come quick to the kitchen, before it runs out!

As I was saying… I not only hurt myself physically, but I really blocked my growth from occurring. Worse, still, is the influence I had over others, encouraging, supporting and rewarding their bad behavior as a justification for my own. Not to mention those times later in life when I outright hurt one of my kids, lashed out, caring nothing in the moment for their pain because my need to punish was so great.

Children, if you are still reading this – I’m sorry.

The Kabbalistic sages have written that even worse than the things we do to hurt, are the things we say that hurt – gossip, slander, talking behind other people’s backs. And of course this is the hardest of the three not to do. I don’t foresee inking another Flipper into my skin in this lifetime. And though my actions still sometimes inflict pain, I am able to stop myself before truly causing harm. But to resist the temptation to say the thing that’s on my mind, about another person?

Regrets, regrets, regrets.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

P.S. Like Johnny Depp’s “Winona Forever” tattoo, this love song I wrote for my Not-husband, Marcus, (about 10 years ago when I was – um – 19-ish) is no longer relevant because I used his actual name in the lyrics. BUT, I don’t regret writing it, because it’s still a pretty song, so I thought I’d share it… Enjoy!

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Dear Marcus – the SONG

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