Tears for Tori


Most days you can find me ranting in a corner about how obnoxious and detrimental social media is for the human spirit. I mean it's a daily grumble, but then I have days like today and I realize I can put up with the demons if it means we get to keep the connections.

Backing up a bit.

Today I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw this beautiful picture of a blonde woman breastfeeding her son with her young daughter in her other arm and I just had to click. I was fully expecting a caption about freeing the nipple. Instead, I found a eulogy to the mother featured in the picture. She passed away yesterday... 37 years old with two small children...her son only a year old.

To say I lost my mind is an understatement.

I burst out in tears and sobbed for a woman I do not know. It didn't matter that I had never heard her name before; I found myself crying and saying over and and over again, "I'm praying for you Tori. I'm praying for your family."

I couldn't stop devouring the pictures on her account. The milestone moments of her son getting older...all of the sweet moments of her with her children. Her love for her family is splashed all over her page and the pages of her friends and family.

This morning I hit the ground running. Z is sick so I had to nurse her, give her a breathing treatment, feed her, dress her and get her out the door to her nanny's by 7:45am. I was patient and kind when she was with me (I say that because it's not always the case and when I do explode I feel terribly guilty), but the moment I was home alone I collapsed into a grouchy slump on the couch; totally pissed at my circumstances.

I know we should never discredit our feelings. Yes, my morning was overwhelming for me, but I couldn't help but feel guilty after reading that mama's story. She was sick for a year. She learned of her cancer when her son was born. She only had one short year with him. I'm sure she had days where she was in pain. Days when she felt like giving up and here I was kicking rocks because I was unable to eat breakfast before doing all of that. It put it all in perspective...really damn quick.

I lost my father when I was young. I've only had that perspective of loss in my heart: that of a child who has lost a parent. Now that I am a parent I feel my father's passing in a whole new way. What it might be like being the parent and knowing you'll have to leave your child soon. I'm grieving loss in a whole new way and I just can't deal. Figured I'd write and see if it made me feel better to get it off my chest.

Tori's story touched me in a really raw and powerful way. I have a feeling her story will stay with me from this point on. Years ago I interviewed Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com. She mentioned how motherhood had changed her...how it had connected her to every animal on the planet...every mother. I understand that connection now.

It's beautiful, but man is it painful.

I hope that father has endless amounts of support. I know she has a sister who was very present in her and her children's lives. For those who want to help...There's a GoFundMe for the family.

I'm going to hug my child just a bit longer...kiss her a bit more and not feel one ounce of regret when I document my love for her on social media. Those children will have their mama's account information one day and they'll see just how much she loved them. I never thought I'd say it, but I am so very thankful for social media.

Blank Slate


Shonda Rhimes named it. She was talking to the youth in the audience...the black girls still in school who are all dreams; dripping in future potential, but I listened just the same.

She was describing me. Someone who doesn't yet know her path. I haven't done anything that's noticeable...impressive...noteworthy.

I'm not gonna lie. I feel it. I constantly sense the fact that I haven't done anything yet. Shit. I feel it and I can't wait until I can put that crap to bed.

Can this just be the year I put the crap to bed?

Can this just be the year I add some actual work to my stinkin' IMDB page? Yes, I actually have one of those.

I wait for the characters I need to come alive to pop up and start talking to me. (I tend to get random inspiration right when I climb into bed...or when I hop in the shower...it's sensory deprivation. I'm not crazy. That's a thing.)

At the end of the day I just wanna make it. I am so frustrated with stagnation. If I turn up soon with a buzz cut dyed green you'll know why. #ThangsGottaStartHappening

Brushstroke Number 324


I recently read this essay and pelvic thrusted one too many because that's what I do when I whole-heartedly witness someone sharing helpful truths. I mean...

Artists frequently hide the steps that lead to their masterpieces. They want their work and their career to be shrouded in the mystery that it all came out at once. Its called hiding the brushstrokes [] If you dont get to see the notes, the rewrites, and the steps, its easy to look at a finished product and be under the illusion that it just came pouring out of someones head like that [] I always swore to myself that I would not hide my brushstrokes.

HELLO! No one ever shares the process. Trust me. I've been asking for a really long time; trying to find a way to walk through that door I'm constantly talking about. I'm obsessed with the door. I want shirts made with a door and a light bulb. I'll rock it all the time and finally retire it the moment I book my first film. (I tend to over document urrr thang so don't you worry your pretty little heads about missing that most momentous moment.) Operation Door Hunt is MY LIFE.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some of my brushstrokes because I figure it's a good idea to share the optimistic days just as much as the hard ones. (wisdom poke: listened to this podcast with Nia Vardalos talk about whiners and took it as a sign to get myself to a laptop.)

I am waiting for a book to come in from the library so I can begin the process of writing my first pilot. I did a pitch for a contest...which is wayyyy different. For this endeavor I have to go legit. I need to go grasshopper student on this ish and figure out how to execute this extraordinary idea I've had bouncing around in my head.

So once I get the book I'll get to work, first reading and then writing. Hopefully my brain allows me to check back in from time to time. Why am I doing this? Because Hollywood is witnessing a shakedown. I've finally learned how actors I know kept getting auditions and finding the doors I've been searching for: they were attending workshops with casting directors. These casting directors were then booking them based on their workshop performances...Light bulb moment followed by lots of "ahhhh mannnnn" sulks because basically that ish is illegal. No mo workshops... The door hunting game became that much harder.

Back to the pen! Back to writing my own stuff and hoping I can pull some magic door out of the situation.

Happy door hunting and brushstroke sharing!

What's The Opposite of Defunct?


...Because basically I'm trying to bring my blog back from the dead. 

Do people even blog anymore? I'm not talking about the powerhouse sites that are awesome businesses. I mean the interesting personal blogs that were all the rage for a hot minute. 

I'm looking around at some of the old sites I use to read religiously and many of them stopped in 2014. It's sort of sad. 

Any who, Luv and Kiwi isn't dead...yet. 

Yesterday I wrote a post asking what the heck I should do with my bad days and thankfully some good hearted folks responded and gave me some awesome suggestions.  I shall be trying affirmations, sound baths (google that magic!) and wine. Which reminds me...I need to go pick up some wine. 

Easier to write than do. Kid's currently napping. I need a wine delivery service. STAT. 

I woke up this morning still feeling the pains from yesterday. (Bad days tend to sit in my bones and leave me with aches and pains.) The kid was up a lot last night...I got out of bed and had to hit the floor running which is never good for emotional healing. No time to connect or reflect or process, but work is over, baby is sleeping...I've actually decided not to pick up the dang house. Instead I'm sitting and chilling.

I know it seems so very depressing to write about the hard times, but at the end of the day it means I still have hope... a part of me still believes some day I will succeed and I'll look back at these times and say, "See, it was hard but it's possible."

That's my pat on the back for the day...the tiny one thing that doesn't make me want to bawl: I still have some hope.

Where Do You Stick the Bad Days?

I've had a terrible, no good, bad time for far too long.

Hyperbolic moment: This terrible, no good, bad time falls somewhere between "less than my whole life but more than a comfortable rut."

I had a bad bell pepper yesterday. I saw the rotten part and instead of throwing the whole thing out I decided not to be wasteful. I  cut the bad parts out and ate the rest. And it was delicious. Made a great salad.

So right now I'm trying to figure out how to cut all the bad out so I can happily eat my metaphorical life salad. I seriously need to know what to do with the bad. There's a lot. This is gonna sound dumpy. I apologize. It is.

So acting is hard shit. It's so hard and I can't seem to figure out how to get started. I'm just failing at it all so miserably. I decided I'd enter a writing contest and try to create my own doors into the business except this morning I found out my pitch wasn't accepted into the next round. That was an ouch, but I'm super used to rejection...except then I started seeing all the folks around me who are SAG. And I started to wonder if my rejection is a bit worse than others...life so bad maybe I should take a hint. I've been here ten years (almost 11) and I have ONE lousy voucher.

Back to how my day began to fester and rot...

I was rejected. I was feeling some kind of way about having absolutely no leads or bright ideas about what the hell to do to get my career moving AND I had to continue to work and play the part with my current full time job. Working at a place that doesn't value you or the work you do gets super snazzy when your dream job starts to drift and go fuzzy. I managed to remain whole and not lose my shit to"the man" but then I was reminded that I've been at this company for ten years...and have been passed on a deserved promotion three times. Go sit in a corner, Tish.

Went and picked up my daughter. Clearly sensing it was a perfect time to go ape shit; she unleashed an epic meltdown upon me followed by a messy poop, but I still felt okay. "Hey acting is suffering, but I've got this mom thing going on so it's understandable. We can't have it all, right?"

Then her pediatrician called and told me I had missed a doctor's appointment we had been waiting a month for. I just plum dumb forgot.

And that's when I lost it. Full on mega tears...sobs...the works while pushing my daughter in her stroller in our neighborhood. (i.e. totally crying in public.) "Okay so this mom thing is suffering too. Can anything go right?"

I was supposed to go to a friend's going away party tonight, but I knew me going and spreading my gloom and doom vibe wouldn't be the nicest way to say goodbye. Plus, I have rice and purple cauliflower in my hair from my darling daughter's dinner drumming session. I have heartburn, a stomach ache...The bouncers would have bounced me right back to my car. Do not pass go, Tish. Go back to the damn corner!

Basically I'm winning.

It all seems pretty rotten. I had a moment where I saw a sliver of a silver lining (say that five times fast.) I thought I could write a post and make it funny and turn my frown upside and booty bump it out the door, but the more I write the more I sit here thinking my salad is screwed.

I feel like the sad astronaut in the movies who spins out of control with nothing to grab onto. What the heck do I do?!

Do I write a web series?! How the hell do people produce that shit?! I don't know how to make movies! I've never been in one, remember!?

Do I just continue to show up to these draining commercial auditions and hope it somehow/magically leads to some tv/film casting director seeing my work? Dear GOD that depresses me.

Do I give up?

I don't even have questions formed for the parenting/mom shat.

Full-time job questions? The damn thing pays the majority of our bills...our insurance... Just pray I don't get canned? I got nothing else.

Okay so the dump is over. Did you make it this far? If you did, thank you! And I'm sorry. There was a point to all that. I promise.

I need your help.

I need to ask you the most important question...

What do the happy and successful people do with their bad days?

I feel like if I find out the answer to that I can begin to baby step my way into something good and productive.

I know what happens to a dream deferred. (Langston taught me.) No clue what to do with the bad days, but if there's a place I can send them so that I can try to achieve SOMETHING...ANYTHING in this damn life then I'm all ears.

Timeline Terror


I know comparisons rob us of our joy. I also know that we're not robots and we have our own timelines to follow. That still hasn't stopped me from the thoughts that start bombarding my brain once I lie down in bed and try to shut down for the night.

I feel like acting is slipping through my fingers...that maybe I missed my chance somewhere in the ten years I've been in LA. I'm not sure when, but friends are doing the damn thing all around. Heck, younger friends are accomplishing their goals and just blowing the hell up with good fortune. I see careers taking off and people living out their purposes and yet I'm here... almost 35 and I'm still in the exact same place I was when I arrived to LA; green and hungry.

I'm tired now. I have a small child and she and I are physically connected which makes film shoots and sets seem like a dream I shouldn't even be allowed to hope for.

I've been working on a writing pitch for a contest. I'm not a writer. I'm not even close to writing fiction well, but I realized a while back that I was acting like an insane person. I was doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. So I decided I'd take a chance. So I'm writing and it is hard. My brain hurts. I've been on my deathbed for two weeks now; so my window for creative time is about 15 minutes once the kid goes to sleep. 15 minutes...then I pump and go to bed myself.

I think maybe it would have been better if I had never had a dream. Maybe I'd be content with a full time desk job and life would be happier.

I had an audition the other day I did not want to go to. It required me to be super fit according to the breakdown (um, I haven't worked out in over two years) and do a bunch of rigorous activity which scared me shitless considering the plague I've been living with affects my lungs and energy levels. I did it, though. My agency said it would show that I'm a team player... I thought, "of COURSE I'll get this one because I really put myself out there."

Then I didn't get the callback... and my writing needs a bit a lot more work and I found myself back in that familiar place of hopelessness where I don't know what to do. Not one flipping clue.

I wonder if there are others out there like me. Like I said, everyone around me is doing the dang thing. They're booking jobs and they're happy with their careers and their art and their work. I'm just trying to find my place and my purpose...because I'm slowly figuring out that maybe the world has been hinting at me for years that acting isn't going to happen for me.

I read this great quote on someone's Instagram recently: "Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours brighter."

It's not that I worry about blowing someone else's out. I worry that people will just stop inviting me to the party because my inability to shine is somehow contagious.

Like I said, scary thoughts as I lie down for bed.

It's been awhile since I've written...this is why.

2015: The Year in Review


Poor blog.

Ms. Blog got no love in 2015. The coming of the Ziggy threw the world as I knew it into utter chaos and I am just now recovering from that crazy chick's arrival. (Eight months in...)

I loved putting this year in review together. I laughed at just how home-bodied I've become. Almost every darn picture was taken in my home because that's where I've been holding up like the cute little mama hermit that I am.

Having a baby... I seriously go dumb trying to think how I can summarize such a thing. It's impossible. I can dabble in the details: This year was all about survival. Pure, unequivocal hang-on-to-your-big-girl-panties-folks! survival mode.

It's like I entered this mom machine. It tumbled me around; knocked the living shit out of me a couple of times (had me crying in showers and cars and shat...) and then spit me out as this crazy being who googled everything and couldn't stop taking pictures of the alien creature she popped out of her hoo hoo.

I've survived on 2-3 hours of sleep some days. I've been pooped on both literally and figuratively. So much newness...battles to get back to the old me just to realize that I'll never get her back. I'm this new entity; this brand new Tish that I'm slowly growing to understand. It may be cliche, but I don't give a rat's arse. It's the truth.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and cuss out loud; surprised at the woman I see. She knows how to keep a baby alive (a task I swear I once thought was beyond my grasp.) She has a weird new patience and a crazy amount of love and adoration for her daughter. She surprises the heck out of me.

When I was pregnant I was all dreams and theory...how I'd mother and parent. I laugh at that woman now. I have no time to philosophize and dream. I am what I am. I've learned to stop planning...stop controlling and just let her life and my new life unfold. Woody Allen isn't my favorite cup of tea, but I love his quote, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

God was laughing mighty hard at the old me.

I think I may start a vlog in the new year... a place where I can help other mamas out there who experienced the fear, loneliness and panic that I felt when I became a mom. It's a work in progress...just like me. I just know that having someone out there who gets it is necessary for that wonderful buzz word I keep mentioning. That's "survival" in case you too are working on three hours of sleep.

So here goes, 2016... I walk freely into the new year without expectation. I'm winging it folks! Let's see how I do.

Movies to See. This is My Kind of New Year's Resolution


I don't do so nice with resolutions...much too ADHD...the world changes too damn often once you have a baby (you can't resolve to do anything...Mr Universe laughs at people who think they have control...over anything...even bowel movements)

BUT I CAN resolve to see great films when they come out... here are some I've stumbled upon. This better happen. First I see the good films. Then I get inspired. Then I ask how can I get in these great films. That is how 2016 will go.

I really do have a psychic sense...

Okay so here are the films....

(She's on How to Get Away With Murder... I'm a fan.) 

Is it wrong that I feel like I've watched a film after finishing this post? I could spend a day watching trailers and feel accomplished...but I'll see the films. 


That Mom Life though...

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