Archive | September 2012


15 September, 2012


OK. Will someone please tell me WHEN it got to be September?

My birthday is scary close. I stopped having fun with those when I moved from Vermont and Larry and I celebrated them for 7 straight days. Kinda like Hannukah. Only ..not. Now, we have Rosh Hasashanna and Yom Kippur right round the bend, literally…. Meaniing another HOLIDAY DAY OFF FOR the bebes.


Yep. Holidays and Birthdays.ANOTHER ELECTION ONLY WEEKS AWAY. WOWZERS. Yes, everyone is suddenly developing opinions about politicians and taking sides.

I find it hard to keep up in general. On good days I try to grab the major headlines and get a few major pieces absorbed. ….Like the recent drama with Mitt Romney’s running mate and the Abortion drama? YIKES. (HEAD FOR ZEE HILLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)   And you know what drives me NUTS? President haters. Yes – those people who know NOTHING about the President or his policies, but hate it him because it’s popular at school. Seriously. Ask any 13 – 16 year old what they think of Barak Obama. Chances are, they will have a hate on for him.

Which I deplore. Because you can’t get political for a few weeks every 4 years and call yourself informed. That having been said, GET OUT AND VOTE!  VOTE. Do it by mail. Do it in person. Just Do IT.

Yes. I am getting riled up over that topic. I think I am getting aggravated by the smell of cleaning products. (Never thought I’d hear myself saying THAT! Usually if anyone other than ME is cleaning, I throw a freakin party. But moving on….)

Yeah. Moving on.

Life just keeps speeding on by. I started a diary called “How to Slow Down Time.” …YEPPERS! I actually did. That got lost in amongst the bills and hospital records, EOB statements, unopened mail, call logs and emails.

How I wish I were a kid again and able to feel the thickness of the moments, moving in slow motion, every dance, every note, every chore or audition or performance commanding my full attention. I miss the … nuance.  That absolute concentration – being in the moment. Moment after moment. (Many might find I am looking back with rose colored glasses…) . My high school drama teacher, Trudi Cohen, (whom I am desperately trying to find, BTW) used to say I was a great actress, but I had to focus more! (I was 13, ok?)

These days, it seems my attention is split between all the medical stuff I tell you about in my blogs and vlogs, and in the news you get, the news I read, the books I chew through and my recovery…. between the physical therapy-slash-TRAINING I am doing and the fundraising efforts about which I refuse to lose hope……..though I feel a little bleak, between you and me, given the fact that an article just came out in the GREENWICH TIMES about me (Hi. Small Paper. RICH CITY.) What’s worse????????? MANY of my RELATIVES LIVE THERE.

Feeling a bit dissed here, people.

Seriously. I am.

But moving on ……… I can’t get too glum. I have hope. I have to.

SO I am busy ………recovering. Which some days means HAVING to let myself sleep when I really want to be DOING.

Between texts and calls and Social Media en Masse. (I am presently obsessed with “Instagram” and burnt out on “Words with Friends”.)

…How do people keep up?

Speaking of ………. I just missed a ton of my friend’s birthdays. Yes, the Jewish guilt is kicking in in full force. lol

Sorry Guys! I’d blame missing your special days on the VD but that has to be getting old. (Vascular Dementia, for any newbies). It’s true, but still… Must be hard to hear over and over and over. (Kind of like being close to me! Having to say the same things over and over and over because I forget. AWKWARD!!!!!!)

So. I just wanted to say HAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

I am in an okay mood at the moment and pretty perky. I might be a bit high on fumes, as Brandon, 13, decided that spraying LYSOL (to which I am violently allergic) would be a good way of convincing me he’d cleaned the house (HA!). But other than that ey chun…….. really. Things are okay. I mean, I’ve been on a nearly two week pain bender and that blows REALLY MASSIVE MONKEY CHUNKS. Hideous, really.

But at this exact moment in time, my pain medicines are working and I feel ……..oh ——-KEVIN just opened the door to my room and HI. Brandon is standing in the hall. And I’m sitting on my bed, typing this, with my bathrobe open. (WHAAAAAAT? I was about to get OUT of it!!!!! Sh*t.)

See, I am supposed to be taking a bath right now. It’s got essential oils and Epsom Salts in it. For me! For my pain.

For the pain.

…Which is coming baaaacckkk!!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr——really? Yes. The magic 4 hour mojo is wearing off. SUPER. NOW I really, REALLY need that bath.

…….I’m just gonna skulk on into the loo, now, where my tablet awaits me (on a stool, out of reach of the water, don’t worry!) and my Eve Dallas novel comes to an end. I’m gonna drop the robe, and gingerly step into that steaming ……….tepid water..

Buzzkill. But fixable.

——————-What IS IT with me and getting “caught” starkers, anyway?


—-Happy Saturday Night, America. Happy …Night, World.





Some of you guys know – especially those of you on Facebook (find me! I am “songbirdLA”;) – that my beloved Dogger, Benny “Gooddog”, the Dude who has been by my side for a very long time, passed just over a week ago. Thank you to everyone for your kindness, your words and deeds. They have helped.

I wrote a blog about it. But since I haven’t BEEN blogging much, and I have been FORGETTING to email my BLOG GROUP the content of the blogs ………I realize news spreads like, well, Molasses on a cold Vermont Day. You know, the kind where you go outside and your boogers freeze? BOP!

You know, I started out to write something so totally different and fresh.

But that happens with me. I get distracted.

Yeah. I meant to write a whole different blog. I did. I was crying quietly about my little one. I miss him so much. People tell me I will see him again. They say he is in heaven. They say a lot of things. I think in time, I will come to my own terms about it all. Right now, I. JUST. MISS. HIM.

I want it all to rewind ……….so I can hold him one more time. But that ain’t happening. So.

On a happier note? I want to share a few pictures that move me. I hope you like them:


…………I finally chose his “Urn” last night. That was hard. It was so real. I will order it tomorrow. Dr. Brown (Best. Vet. Ever.) has his “woobie.” We left that with him, so he would have something with him thru the last part of this leg of his journey. I also bookmarked for purchase a little necklace that has a pawprint on it so I can put a lock of his sweet soft, clean hair in it.

God BLESS you, Benny. You are, er….were….. the BEST. DOG. EVER.

I love you so much. I miss you so much.

Thank you for being my bestest Bichon Buddy, in the whole wide world. You brought me so much joy. You grew up with me. You left me with a lifetime of happy memories. I will treasure you, keep you close to my heart, always.

I will leave with this memory:

Benny loved to “dance.” It’s a Bichon thing.

I used to play the song “Somewhere over The Rainbow” (by “Isreal Iz”……the reggae one, sung by a one-time 700 lb man who passed in 1997, but whose song reinterpretation has gone on to sell millions of records posthumously. The song is profoundly touching: here was a man who knew how to “interpret” a song (if not a lyric – as he pulled a Christina and flubbed the lyrics to the infamous and beloved cover song –). I always found the fact that though Iz was Hawaiian, his take on the song was decidedly reggae: it was so … fitting, as my Benny??? He was a Dreadlock Dog when his hair wasn’t combed out, man.

We would dance to the song. I would sing it and get on my knees and he would put his paws on my chest. I’d start to sway and we’d dance. I would hold his paws and twirl him. He loved it. LOVED it.

…..I sang it to him, quietly, one last time, together, when we said goodbye.

Goodbye for now, lovemuffin. I am so grateful to have loved you.



As Jay Jones, of Jay Jones, INI*, who I mentioned above, an Angel who has come into my life to bring me safely back into the world of exercise (peep him! Hire Him! He is the best!) said to me yesterday:

”Bee, you’re an athlete.”

Do you have any idea what it felt like to hear those words? Dear Lord. I had begun to think I would be relegated to the soft and puffy for the rest of this life, despite a vow to do everything in my power to assure it could be otherwise. He also told me I am so much stronger than I realize. (This was after a grueling, nearly 2 hour long session during which I nearly threw up THREE TIMES. My left side (again, having RIGHT sided MM symptoms, scary) was weak yesterday. It was strange and painful. I pushed through it. I tend to do that. —Push thru. Not puke.)

I am stronger than I realize.

I think I need to think on that some more.


Instead of an “Accident Wating to Happen” … I’d like to be an athlete waiting to happen.

I think I am. It’s just a matter of time. And help. Miracles. More help.

Energy. Pushing thru the pain. Patience. …The brain doesn’t heal overnight and it certainly doesn’t restore those precious pathways which are required to re-activate the BODY – the …. muscle memory, or ….well, memory in general. There are parts of my brain – large parts- that are just dead. That sounds so gory! EEEWWWWW!!!! MY GRAY MATTER’s GONE BLACK!

But it’s true. So I have to let time heal and restore. At the same time? I have to work harder than ever to MAKE new pathways exist, so my brain can “talk” to my legs, so I can maintain better balance, so my right leg doesn’t buckle, causing many a fall.

It’s a long time coming (back). But damn if life itself, life on life’s terms, doesn’t kick my ass on the regular just as hard.



(*think personal trainer meets physical therapist meets long-lost brotha meets kick-ass mentor)



10 September, 2012 12:30 pm

I’ve referred to myself in the past as “Calamity Jayne.”

Reading back on diary entries, blogs posted and not, and other notes about the last six years of my life, I see how lucky I have been to not have cracked my noggin open (accidentally, that is. Lord knows it’s been opened!). I’ve fallen, tripped, slipped. I’ve been paralyzed, in a wheelchair, in leg braces, used a walker…. I could go on. I swear, I should have just worn a helmet.

(But that would have messed up my hair.)

Yes… a helmet. With giant yellow flames and orange graffiti that screams:

“WALKING DISASTER! ALERT. ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

For all u pop-culture junkies out there, imagine this combination:

I am … Larry David, a la “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the fictional klutz (pre-Vampire, that is) Bella Swan combined. (Scratch that. I am neither rich, like Larry, nor a vapid perennial nineteen year old. Like Bella. Bella SWAN: how ironic is THAT nickname???)

Yes. As if the other side effects of Stroke, MMD and TBI haven’t been enuf , another freakin’ irony of post-stroke life? I’ve gotten clumsy. AWKWARD. Unfit.

So, I was never gonna dance the lead role in “Swan Lake,” people, but I’ve been, all my life, a very physical person. I’ve danced, ran, played school sports, been active in theatre…I was in a Afro-Carribean Dance company in the late 90’s

I spent years studying the history behind Hatha Yoga, learning Sanskrit, and devoting my heart and soul to the art and craft of Ashtanga Yoga.

Being typically paradoxical, I also boxed. BOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s me. Meditating one minute: sitting pretty in my“OMMMMMMMM” getting my Zen on, the next, dancing around like a Crazed Monkey, practicing my upper cut, right hook and jab.

I learned Tae Kwon Do. I did a lot of weight training, swimming, hiking and biking.

Just recently, as I have experienced a multitude of disasters, which I’ve chronicled above, so have other changes taken place. I am running out of steam to chronicle them here, but I will say this: between the good and the bad, I am somewhere in the ….middle.

Much like my life story.

Here is a quick run-down of a few of the C-C-C-C-CHANGES that have gone on this past month.

1.) Gini Watson (Kevin’s mom) came to visit. We had a blast. REALLY. That warmed me up. It also gave me an idea of what it might be like to live with a caregiver. More on that later, but it just seemed to flow. That gave me mad hope. I am holding on to that. (I will include pix of Gini and the family next time- esp her with her boy and the kiddos – she will treasure those, as will we).

2.) Mom continues to advocate like crazy for me, helping with advocacy stuff (and caregiver stuff) from 2,000 miles away. She has been focusing on two areas primarily:

a) Getting me in to see the many MDs I need to see before I lose my health insurance on 31 December of this year. AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most important are the appts with my new Neurologist, an “Epileptologist” (to see about my seizure stuff), and then —for another day ——– stuff having to do with the jaw surgery and eye surgery I have to have before that fell December Day cometh…

b) MEDIA: She continues to call, write and generally harangue. This has begun to yield results. There are 3 papers interested in my story as of now. More on that later. *** Promise.

Mom’s been doing all this – with a lot of support from my DAD, and my siblings – despite their own michegas. Their own drama and life stuff. Mom’s been sick. That she fights so hard for me blows me away. God bless the Mothers.

3.) ARTICLE IN THE “GREENWICH TIMES.” Alison Mango wrote it. It came out 1 September, 2012. More on THAT later. PLEASE READ IT. (Thank you, Alison…really, more on that later!) and HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to my new friends in Greenwich! Especially HI to my Mum’s old-school BFF- TONI! HI!!!!!!!!!!

4.) I’ve reconnected with more and more friends from days past. This has been amazing and their support has given me new energy to fight this fight. THANK YOU. I also have an actor friend who might be “endorsing” my cause. Prayers again. Fingers Crossed. Sign the Cross and Bless the Buddha.

5.) Benefit Concert and other Fundraisers and money-raisers in the works???

a) Daz Hurst, my former guitarist with Betty Power, has taken on House of Blues to work up some miracles. He has a genius business plan. This will entail releasing a limited edition copy to the public of “My Red Telephone.” (WHOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) And much more. Daz doesn’t want to raise a few grand. He wants to make it possible to write the check to “Rehab Without Walls.” —Amen. I am praying to all the deities I usually mention that this happens. I hold onto hope.

b) The other Fundraiser and money raiser events are ones that a few friends have begun working on. More on that, too. The idea there is to raise funds to pay for a Caregiver for a year to 18 months and to help with general cost of living bills. (REALLY. WHO IS GONNA HIRE SOMEONE WHO BLACKS OUT ON THE JOB????????? I have so many comedy bits that I want to include in these blogs but I’ve been awful serious lately. Like, for about18 months, lately??? —To be real, I think I got really depressed when the surgery like, saved my life, but didn’t “fix” me whole. I need THERAPY!!!!!!!! (the kids keep playing that song—grrrrrrrr….) Anyway, I got so down I kinda stopped keeping up.*** That, coupled with TIA’s, withdrawl from medications, trying new medications, pain pain and more pain ……….. trips to MD, Stanford, rehab, life, a sick Dogger, a Sick Bee…………Life……………..

***Ha. That was unintentional.

6.) After a 3 week break (due to one mother**!!!r of a TIA, and Jay’s schedule (the nerve, having a busy life! Lol), I’ve been blessed to have resumed working with Jay Jones, who I mention below. Jay is a miracle worker who came into my life this summer, and decided to take me on as a client. He is a personal trainer on paper but for me, as I tell you below, he is much more, especially as my situation is so medically ….tenuous. He takes care of me even as he pushes me to my limits. Thank God and Thank you JAY for giving me renewed hope.

7.) SYNOPSIS of this stuff: There are absolutely other things I have omitted here. But really? Who’s still reading? Lol

8.) I NEED AN EDITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is such a book in this. I have such plans, you guys. I mean, really. BIG. I am not going down quietly and I am not going to recover and fade into the background to live the rest of my life.

I have faith that with the help of all the above –mentioned things, along with Jay’s help and the continued help of my family, friends, my support system, and, I PRAY, a wider circle of support that these efforts might yield the support necessary to enable me to begin the “Rehab Without Walls” program ASAP, and to hire a caregiver for even 4 hours a day, 5 days a week — and the cost of living stuff would be good. But I’ll eat Ramen and live with 16 people in a studio apartment if that’s what it takes to get thru this with the above stuff. No really. That would be BAD for recovery.

I just ………….want to recover. I just ………. Need that last push to get me through. I want to live the life I was destined to live. I now know this all was meant to be part of the story. It’s not unreasonable to want to step into the next phase, is it? I feel like it’s time. I move slowly these days, peeps. It’s not like I’m rushing back on stage or to the studio. Though I am WRITING songs like mad. I just need to find a writing partner. find a writing partner. It is too much to be re-learning to play guitar AND compose the music all by myself, AND record it, too. SO ……keep your ears peeled for me, would you? 

Finally …..





September 2, 2012

10:15 AM

-It started with an itch. A sunburn itch. The worst kind, IMHO.* It hurts to TOUCH it but u just can’t NOT scratch it.

And these are BAD BURNS:

This is the 1st sunburn I have had in my adult life.


I happened to be between dreams when I got the itch to scratch. …And thanks to my semi-lucid

state I woke up to put Aloe Vera on the burns.

what’s the diff, u ask?

My reply:


(Possible spit included*** ???)

I have been up since 5 AM, pottering about. Sorting laundry. Folding what I could on my own. Clothes, towels, linens. In the dark. -hi. That was just a disaster waiting to happen, really.

Most peeps, with family, friends…

BBQ, beach.



~Thinking of it, I don’t have any plans for the long wknd.

It just occurred to me!

I could ….ask someone….

“Hey! Whatcha doing this wknd?”

(Now that it’s half over)

When u r homebound like me, u kind of grieve when everyone else resumes “normal life.” They go back to work, school, whatever they do …and u r alone. Again.

I am not a happy lone wolf.

I need a pack.

And without my beloved Benny by my side, always there to reassure me that I am NOT alone ………the truth is a slap in the face. A bucket of cold water during a hot bath.

I feel so …..lonely.

I need more than this.

…I miss my family & friends, gatherings on the East Coast–

I miss hanging with my buddies here in LA.

And u know? I AM stepping out back into the world.

It’s just such slooowwwww going!


I’m sure there r 10 different things going on today I could’ve done -MAYBE STILL CAN DO! – this would also be GREAT 4 Kevin & the kiddos: they need 2 start meeting UP w other peers, here in their new city!

~Sickness does not, it cannot, for me, anyway, have to equal a total withdrawl from life – just the courage to take baby steps back into that life.

So I guess it’s on me. Isn’t it?

I want to say it’s scary, but I am more powerful than that.




BRING IT! (& don’t forget my Cane, please…)



* IMHO = In My Humble Opinion (Pronounced “eeem-ho”)

Another good one we use a lot here, at Chez Buote-Schmitz??

“OTAAT” = One Thing at a Time

(Pronounced: “ooot-aht”)

PS: I will let y’all know how it goes…