Archives for posts with tag: Grand Canyon

It is such a beautiful day today I almost can’t describe it.

This weekend was great fun.  Too much fun to blog.  Easter should be spent with children and friends with children.  Fat on chocolate and ham.

Woke early Good Friday morning and drove the twins to Pasadena.  They spent the weekend in Arizona at a Mumford and Sons concert by way of the Grand Canyon.   They are on their way home now.  I filled my weekend with lunches and dinners and a pedicure.   I went to AA meetings and walks with friends old and new.

There were moments this wonderful spring weekend when I felt as if I were my old self (pre The Penguin) but couldn’t work out why.  There were moments when I experience the very illusive peace of mind I had been craving for many, many months.

It all seemed to begin after we had chopped out the great bush of Bougainvillea.  I understood that any change, however destructive, can be very creative.   By freeing up the view I could see clearly.  My over-view, perspective and willingness all remade.

I had to own up, once again, to misdirected anger.  I am not angry with him…I am angry with my nemesis.  He is not that man.  By demanding answers from him I forego the courage it takes to ask my nemesis why he did those terrible things.

What The Penguin did to me scarcely compares to what happened before yet I am willing to blame The Penguin for all that is evil in the world.  Of course he should never have lied his way into my life, nor should he have used me to help him.  He should never have said ‘I love you’ without considering the consequences.

Our moment in court next month could be used to heal rather than to punish.  To move on with amends and explanation rather than two disparate men re-entrenching their anger.

This time next week I will be in NYC…a camera shoved in my face.  I must admit that I am ever so slightly excited.  I am excited to see D.  I am excited that I am going to have a gay old NYC summer.  Hamptons, Fire Island…one last gay hurrah!  Even though it is not my show and I am merely an adjunct I am excited by the prospect of showing a different, more vivacious side of my character than the one you saw last year on Sex Rehab.

This time next week?  I am not living in next week, I am living now.

Therapy this morning was great.  Every meeting/group/session I attend things seem to get better and better.

Cloud over Route 66

I managed to stay in my bed until 6am.  Winter finally arrived in LA and there were flurries of snow in Malibu.    The city now has a backdrop of snow-covered mountains.

Feeling fractured today.  Balls and lower back still aching.  Don’t trust doctors.  Especially here where they just want your money.  Hail socialized medicine!

I finally watched episode 6 of Sex Rehab.  Kari Ann continuing to provide a rich seam for the producers to mine, almost not worth commenting on until Selma’s dismissal.  The facts are:  Kari Ann failed every one of the mandatory drug tests and was not thrown out of the Pasadena Recovery Center.   Active drug users are not allowed to stay in Rehab because they are actively using drugs!  The excuse for the meth found in her pee was that she was also taking prescription medication that may have made her test positive.  So, whilst the ‘rules’ applied to Selma they did not apply to Kari Ann.  Kari Ann’s behavior would never have been tolerated in any regular rehab facility.   Selma should not have been provoked daily by the antics of a known drug user in the facility.  Selma, in my opinion, was thrown under the bus for the sake of MORE drama.  Disturbingly, both Drew and Jill seemed complicit with the producers rather than with us the patients.  After Selma’s firing was aired the attitude within the community of recovering men and women toward the show changed considerably, in fact, Sex Rehab lost a great deal of credibility and for that I am very sorry.

Since the New York Times guy interviewed me I am feeling more suspicious and less warm toward the Producers of Sex Rehab.  Whilst I feel that I am being fairly represented, albeit not chronologically, others are not.

Grand Canyon Chic

As for James all I have to say about James is that you witnessed an ‘incident’ between us.  After our spat we all got on very well.  I taught him to knit, went to his house, have been in contact since.  The ‘incident’ between Jenny and James happened 5 days after we arrived in rehab.  Most viewers fail to realize that the show was shot 7 months ago, we were in the facility for 3 weeks and that there are 504 hours of real time shot on 20 cameras squeezed into 344 minutes of TV.  You see only a fraction of the work, interaction, activities, etc. etc.   It takes months to edit a show like Sex Rehab.  The project ping pongs from Producer to Network until the amorphous ‘show’ takes shape planished by the tiny suggestions, remarks and notes of all the concerned parties.

As a filmmaker would I have edited it differently?  Of course I would!  As a Brit I am probably more ponderous than most Americans.  We like a slower pace; we like to ‘live’ with the characters.  Along with millions of other fellow Brits I used to watch the Big Brother contestants sleep at night.  It was reassuring.

I promised Luna that I would take her to Runyon today.  Today is a perfect day for a long walk.  Cool, bright, views as far as Palos Verdes.   The little dog is in pain-his dewclaw all swollen and pink.  Luna in on my lap watching me type.

Gracelands Bus Driver and Pink Umbrella

For those of you who may think that I have not explored my adopted country I want you to know that I have driven four times across the United States from LA to NYC and back again.  I took both the southern and the northern routes. I spent time in New Mexico, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Florida, and Mississippi.   I particularly liked Memphis.   I was stunned by the Memphis neighborhoods that had a church on every corner.  In Arizona I marveled at the snow covered Grand Canyon. I listened to folk tell their stories and wrote them down for a novel that will probably never be written.  I wanted, briefly, to retire to Austin.  I gawped at the massive crosses on the interstate highways, I ate barbeque, catfish and chicken fried steak and scoffed at the provincial cuisine.  My eyes widened when I saw the black men in Tampa Florida who all looked like stately Massai warriors.  I smuggled the dogs into non-pet friendly hotels and was glad that I drove in the winter rather than the summer.

I have lived in your country for 5 years now and I have loved  your warm welcome however London is calling me.  It is charming me, convincing me to come home.   I am committed to LA for the next six months then I really must be moving on.

By the way, this post should have been called, Fuck you Larry King!  as yesterday we were bumped from appearing on his show-we were meant to be appearing on Friday.  Amanda Knox trumped us.  Damn you Amanda Knox.  Damn you.

Interstate barbeque Memphis

The last picture of the big dog..

October 11th 2009

Runyon Canyon 8am.

Many dogs, did not count exact number. Fewer people. Overcast but from the top of the canyon I am able to see the ocean through the light mist.

On the way up I overheard an industry type talking with his female friend about our VH1 show. It was oddly satisfying. The last days of anonymity. I don’t suppose people here or in New York will see the show. Few of my friends watch that kind of TV, even if I am in it.

The little dog scampered through the dry brush hunting for small mammals. In London we had the privilege of Battersea Park. Dogs unleashed charging around the huge, manicured lawns. In Whitstable he explored the beaches, in Paris the Tuilleries and the Jardin des Plantes. It really was a magical time for the Little Dog. After all he has been through.

The Little Dog was found behind a trashcan in east LA. 8 months old, his eye badly cut, his paw broken, traumatized by cruelty. Thankfully he was nursed to health and not murdered at the pound. When I first met him he was angry and distrustful. My friends urged me to get a less damaged dog but I recognized in him what had been so badly lacking in my early childhood. He was desperate for love. For three weeks he barked at me and pooed in the house and peed any time I would go near him. Then one quiet night I lay on the sofa and he hopped up beside me and our great love began.

We have had quite an adventure. We drove to New York and back (twice), visiting the Grand Canyon, Albuquerque (where we smuggled him into a hotel room), Memphis (where he ate at the interstate barbeque) and other cities along the way. We arrived in New York to frozen pavements and new snow. The Little Dog loves cities, he checks every path and every bush. He screams like a child when he sees a cat or a squirrel and leaps acrobatically at pigeons. He doesn’t appreciate being taken to a dog specific park, he sits beside me looking at the other dogs disdainfully. Once, in Tompkin Square Park he caught a rat but when it squealed he let it go.

The reason we drove to New York rather than take the plane, as we do now, was that at that time I had another dog. A beautiful Boxer/Pitt originally called Maggie but became my Big Dog. She arrived a month after The Little Dog. The three of us carved a life for ourselves in Malibu. Maggie was the most sweet, intelligent, funny dog. Everybody who met her immediately fell in love with her. She loved the Little Dog and taught him how to hunt, routinely catching lizards and gophers and squirrels. She really was a remarkable dog. She would go to any lengths to find a thrown ball, and if there were more than one she would herd them with her huge paws until they were just where she wanted them. The little dog and the big dog were inseparable. They would spend hours patrolling the huge Malibu garden then come home at dusk and lay happy and exhausted by the roaring fire.

She would have loved Whitstable but God had other plans for us.

On June 30th at 7.50am she was killed by a truck on Franklin Avenue. Unable to control her urge to catch squirrels she leapt across the road. She didn’t get killed on the way over. She was making her way back to me. When I saw her on the other side of the road I asked what she was doing? She tried to make her way back but the truck, unable to see her, tangled her in its wheels and scraped her across the road. From her face to her waist she was fine but below her waist she was torn to pieces.

She was desperate to live and held on until we got to the animal hospital but the vet could not save her and my darling Big Dog died in my arms.

We buried her in the garden in Malibu. My friends came from all over LA. Paul dug the hole and Sarah sang a beautiful lullaby.

I think about her every day. I remember her velvet brow. I miss her in the evenings in Malibu when she would fearlessly chase away the deer and the coyote. We both miss her. I had never been so sad, not when my grand mother died, not when relationships had ended. I cried solidly for a week until I had no more tears.

The most important thing the big dog taught me was to go into any situation with my tail wagging and if people don’t want anything to do with you not to take it personally.

Some day soon we will find another dog for The Little Dog to play with but when the time is right.