Monday, January 31, 2011


My sleep was disturbed yesterday morning when my brother called me to ask me to speak with my mom. My mom's dog, Roxie, died this morning. My mom was crying...hearing or seeing or knowing that my mom cries for anything is almost intolerable to me. I never feel so helpless. I tried my best to comfort her, but I know what she was feeling. About 3 years ago or so, I lost my two cats, Floofie & Mooshka...they blessed me with their presence for 18 great years. I was hoping for 20 but it didn't work that way. So I go to thinking about losses and misses.

There are different types of losses. There is material loss. This is loss of home,job, investment, etc. Material losses can literally cause you to STOP in your tracks. It brings about fear, real and concrete anxiety, and tend to make you question your worth, e.g. how successful you are in life. I have found so far in my own life experience, that as devastating as these losses are, they really are all replaceable. And I have noticed that these type of losses usually indicate that something better is coming, and open your life to second chances. You may not feel very positive about it when you're in the eye of the storm. However, in about a year or two when you look back, you will find an an odd way that you are grateful for all that happened.


Then there is emotional and abstract loss. You can't quite hold onto it, and the loss tends to never ever be replaceable. Emotional loss brings about the most INTENSE and OVERWHELMING feelings you will ever experience in your lifetime. It is the Emotional Loss that can literally bring you to your knees, knock you out, take the world out from under you, make you cry out in a way you never thought you could, and put a whole in your heart that most likely can never be filled (or at least sometimes, that's just how it feels). This type of loss is usually due to loss of a relationship, a lover, a friendship, parents, children...basically it's a personal loss...a loss of a person. And I have experienced these type of losses in my own lifetime as utterly agonizing. These type of losses truly put a huge mirror in your face, forcing you to find out more about who you are, how you felt about a person, where you can improve on yourself or others. It also makes you question if you are/were good enough? But these losses are IRREPLACEABLE because each person on this earth is so divinely unique. How can anyone really be replaced at all? Your experiences with these people are unique as well.

Some of these losses are necessary. Sometimes the cliche is true: "Sometimes people are in your life for just a season, or for a reason, or a lifetim." There are times when some relationships outgrow each other, and the relationship no longer serves either party. There are times when the relationship you have with the person has simply become just took you a LONG time to wake up and see it. These "losses" are needed for your emotional and spiritual (and in desperate situations - physical) well-being. So the loss is hard, you feel it, but one day you look back and you don't feel regret. You are affirmed through your own life's improvements that you made the right decisions.

And there are romantic losses. For me, personally always a real rough one. For men (and I could be wrong), I think they don't truly feel the loss until, oh, I don't know, six months to a year later. They suddenly "wake up" and say, I let that good one get away. Women, on the other hand, go into sheer panic and anxiety and before you know it, they are behaving in ways they would never IMAGINE; making fools of themselves and ultimately without intention, making him run further away. These losses have GREAT lessons in them...I believe that the loss of a relationship is only a real "loss" or failure if you didn't learn anything from it. No one should walk away blaming the other person for 100% of the blame. Sometimes you have to ask yourself if you did anything directly or indirectly that contributed to the break. Either way, the longer you were together, the longer it takes to get over it. There's a belief that it takes 1/2 the total time the relationship lasted to get over it. For me, absolutely NOT true!!

But then, the loss of someone through death...Hmph! You just don't get over that, do you? And then of course, you are forced to question if you treated that person with are forced to ask yourself if you could have done more, given more, loved more. These are the losses that change you forever. These are losses that are the exception to "time heals all wounds." Not true. Then there are what I call "misses."


When you lose, you miss. If you lose something, you tend to miss it, or you miss the security you thought it gave you. When you lose someone,you WILL miss may miss the good times you had together; the way that person looked at you; the intense pleasure they gave you (you know what I mean); and the comfort of knowing that this person was not just a partner but a really good friend. You miss the special places you went to together, or the little rituals that you uniquely shared and you KNOW you most likely won't experience with another human being. But it leads me to wonder: does that person experience as much of a loss as you did? Does the other person think of you, or do they truly miss you...and lastly, what keeps both parties from DOING something about it instead of just missing...

I was just thinking about it. I've had lots of losses and many misses but all in all, a GREAT and fulfilling life!! I'm just

Sunday, January 23, 2011


When someone stands in front of a microphone, who are they?
When someone stands in front of a microphone, what does it mean?
When someone stands in front of a microphone, how did they get there?
When someone stands in front of a microphone, why?

I was watching Oprah's All Stars on the OWN network tonight. There was a young talented woman, who sought Dr. Phil's advice about how she could get over her incredible stage fright. As she spoke with Dr. Phil about her concerns, she began to cry. She talked about how frightened she was. She described the physical changes that she not only went through, but the changes that actually took over her to the point where she simply couldn't perform. And then she got to the real truth: she was self-sabotaging herself because she was afraid of the "what-if's". What if I fall? What if I forget the words? What if I sound bad? What if my voice cracks? And the ultimate and most debilitating one: What if they don't like me? What if I'm not good enough?

Even if you're not a singer, you've experienced that "what if" feeling. It may be when starting a new job, or when presenting a crazy, new idea to someone at work or in your own family, when you have to give bad news to a loved one. You know, deep down, the fear is essentially about rejection. We all want to feel accepted. We all want to know we belong, that we feel validated...and as simple as it sounds...that we...are...liked. That is how the majority of people experience these thoughts and fears in an average every-day setting. So take that one step further, and imagine feeling all that and then having to stand in front of strangers, sometimes thousands of strangers...what do you feel now?

The microphone, in my eyes, is actually an audio version of a microscope. It picks up EVERYTHING! I've heard people say many times, "If I can just have a microphone, I will sound better." That is such a false perception. The mircophone will simply magnify what is already there. So if you are nervous, that EXACT nervousness seeps into that microphone through the wires, and out to the speakers for all to hear. If you are off key, it not only sounds off-key, it sounds loudly off-key. Ah, and then there is the spotlight.

So if the microphone is a microscope, what is the spotlight? That's right. The spotlight is the magnifying glass. It ENLARGES everything that is there. So if you are nervous, if you are shaking, if you are sad, if you are happy...that spotlight makes it that much larger! Oh yes, and the spotlight makes the truth more visible. If you are sad, if you are insecure, if you have ANY doubt about who you are, about what you can do, the spotlight will swallow you alive like a nuclear cloud!!!

And the stage? The stage is a blank canvas. When that person walks out onto the stage, it is a blank canvas for that person to write on...what will they create? What feelings will they evoke? What impression do they leave when they walk off? And when your performance is over, that's it. It is permanent...and just like yesterday, you cannot do it over again.

Think of all these things. And for a moment, make believe you are standing off stage, there are 10,000 people out there waiting to be entertained, and you're listening to the emcee say, "Up next...put your hands together for..." There is applause, but it's polite applause because no one's ever heard of you before. So you take that first step toward the microphone. As you walk, are you shaking? Is it in your legs, or your hands? Is your heart in your throat? Are you having doubts? What's going on in your head?

When I first walked on stage to perform No Reason to Cry, I felt all those things. But mostly, all I kept thinking was 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God! How am I going to do this? My heart. I didn't know my heart could be so loud. Have you ever heard your heart beat louder than the external sounds? You will NEVER feel more alive, nor will you ever be more afraid. Think about a time when someone scared you, caught you off-guard and threw you off so unexpectedly that your soul literally jumped out of your skin. That is how I felt. I walked out onto the stage. I had waited for this moment for 17 years, and I had a chance to finally do what I dreamed of doing. I walked out onto the stage, and there they were: these strangers called an audience. They weren't people - at least it didn't seem that way - they were just eyes...eyes everywhere. Eyes looking up and down, hopeful eyes, curious eyes, judging eyes, scary eyes. And I began to talk into the microphone: "(Ahem) Hhhhhhiii." Holy crap....what am I supposed to say? The music started. I began to move side to side to the beat, and I opened my mouth. HUH? What the hell was that? Oh, NO! That's not me?! That cannot possibly be me. I wasn't even 30 seconds into the song, and I SUCKED! I sounded too nervous, too out of breath, and I'm almost certain I looked like a deer in headlights! That night is kind of a blur to me. I do remember sitting in my first limousine (it was more like a hearse, but it was black and it had tinted windows and a it was a limo, dammit!) and I remember crying the entire ride home, while everyone reassured me that it wasn't "that bad."

I continued to perform that way for another 6 months. And finally, I think I Cher-smacked myself, like Cher did in Moonstruck, and I "snapped out of it!" I finally told myself that if I truly wanted this, if I truly wanted to be a recording artist, I had to STOP being so scared. I began to tell myself that the level of nervousness simply reflected how much I really cared. So, I cared a LOT!! I began to tell myself that I was allowed to be as nervous as I needed to be, that I could freak out, cry, doubt myself as much as I wanted to OFF stage. I also learned that a pre-show routine was necessary. My personal choice is a little quiet before the show (I've had a lot of people misunderstand my silence. And they've asked, "What's wrong with Judy?"). I also MUST say a prayer everytime. So if you happen to see me with my head down before a show, I'm not shunning anyone, and I'm not being anti-social. This is what I do...Oh, yes, and I have to have my room-temperature water, lol. The water to me is like the blanket is to Linus of the Peanuts cartoon.

Twenty-four years later, I still get that rush. I still feel my heart in my throat. I still shake inside, and sometimes I will catch that inner monster of a voice saying, "Oh, my voice is not 100% today" or, "What if I crack? What if they HATE the new song?" But I tell it to shut up. Yep, just like that. Shut up!! And I've made a deal with myself many years ago: I told myself that once I greet the crowd...I am not allowed to be scared anymore. And it has worked 99% of the time. Because I have been on stage for more than 24 years now, the microphone feels like a tool for me to send a message of joy,love and good memories; the spotlight feels like a sun warming my skin, and the stage feels like a living room where I entertain my friends!! I have been blessed with good recordings that have succeeded, I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities to hone my talents, and I have been blessed with people in the audience patient enough to watch me evolve and support me during the process. It hasn't always been great - I've fallen onstage, I've had blouses fall off, pants rip, zippers forgotten to be zipped up, I've forgotten the lyics...and all the bad "what-ifs". But you know what? I survived. I didn't shrivel up and die. I've had moments of sheer embarrassment, but I am still here. And I am loving what I do! Why did I write this blog today? I have a favor to ask:


Next time you see someone walk onstage, and you have no idea who they are, or whether or not they possess talent, and you don't know if you will be entertained...

Please remember how scary it is just to walk up onto the stage, how terrifying it can be to open your mouth, and remember that you are part of those gazing eyes that lay upon that person. Just be compassionate. You don't have to lie, but please give that person the benefit of a smile....and if you respect the courage it took for them to stand there...applaud!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Don't know how to even begin this blog. Because...
How do I say this?
I f#$*d up!!
A brick just fell on my head. A lightbulb just went off in my brain. A lightning bolt just struck right through me.

I did it. It is my fault. I was so mad at him. I was so angry and hurt and disappointed that I blinded myself from something so obvious: the fall of the relationship was my fault. I know, I know, you'll say to me, "Judy, you're being hard on yourself. Judy, you're a good woman - you didn't do anything wrong." All these things are true. But...

Allow me to try to explain. And I may not even make sense right now because I've only had this revelation for the last 10 minutes, but I know I am on point because I'm literally stopped in my tracks - and the truth has a way of doing that - it forces you to stop wherever you are and get it...I can't move until I get it out.

If you follow my blog, you will know I have had a series of disasppointments in my love life; some you know - others I haven't shared yet. But what you know so far is that I've been cheated on, I've been lied to, and literally used. The Lobster made promises he did not keep...led me on, kept me in the dark, and when I supported him most, he left me behind - literally. Navy Guy, after saying he loved me, came with me to Beatstock, took pictures of the limos without me in them and after the show - I never heard from him again. And there was another who cheated with another woman & became a father; I forgave it all just to be left again. And I had a father, that although I know I love him and we have a better relationship now - but as a child, I'd be waiting for him to pick me up to realize hours later,(sometimes in the rain) he wasn't coming. So, in a nutshell...I have issues with feeling abandoned. I thought I'd worked through them, but I didn't realize that I let the anxiety, the fear - get in my own way.

I am guilty. I did not cheat on him, nor did I lie. But I am guilty of what many women's this thing I'll call the instant relationship. I jumped too soon. Ugh...I'm not expressing it correctly. Not using the right words.

In other words, things in this last relationship were GREAT!!! I mean that...great chemistry, awesome and open communication, intense physical attraction, and lots of fun. I was so happy, so excited...We shared some really wonderful moments...and because it felt so good, so perfect...I became afraid. And that fear made me want to know "where is this going?" "What am I to him?" "Where does he want this to go?" Yes, these are all good questions...but there was NO reason for me to bring it up so soon. But I did...and I did on more than one occasion - I think to the point that he felt pushed in a corner.

The truth is I didn't know how to live in the moment. Guys are better at this than we are, ladies. The men always feel like, "we're just having a good time." I'm not talking about players - I'm talking about your average good guy...I was happy. I got carried away & I tried to make the relationship more serious than it was and more serious than it had to be. I didn't do this on purpose. I thought I was protecting myself. I thought if I could hear him say, "Yes, you're my girl" or "Yes, this is serious," that I'd somehow save myself from the surprise exit that had happened so much in my past. What happens when we do this too soon; when we make things more than they really are instead of living in the moment? We appear desperate; we seem anxious, afraid...and we all know that those qualities scare people, appear unattractive, and push them away from us even more.

He told me it wasn't me. But after really thinking about it today, I believe it was me. It wasn't that I wasn't pretty enough, or kind enough to him, or fun enough, or sexy enough...but I was too wound up which I believe really became unattractive. I did have a couple of friends warn me. "Judy, just take things day by day. Don't worry so much. If it's meant to be, it will be. Just have a good time. Just because certain men treated you a certain way in the past, doesn't mean this one will." I let my past scare the crap out of my present...damn! Damn! Damn!

I always tell my friends that failed relationships are only failed ones if you didn't learn a lesson from them. For the past few weeks all I kept thinking to myself was, 'I can't find the lesson...what did I do? I didn't do anything?' But now I see it. I feel it. It is clear to me...I drove him away by wanting too much too soon becuase I was too afraid to be too hurt again. So, if you are in any way remotely in the same place, STOP right now. Live by the moment. Enjoy him/her. Their presence in your life is a blessing. People are brought into our lives to force ourselves to look into the mirror. And today I just truly saw my reflection in the mirror. I am not an ugly woman - I was just too scared of a woman. I feel so bad right now. I'm not hating myself...not at all, but I'm not liking myself too much right now. Damn! Talk about regret...damn. I wish I could fix this. He would be worth it. Truly. I mean that.

If he does ever read this...Je suis desole - I'm sorry. And if he gave me another opportunity, I'd fix it. I would. Live for's all you have, ladies and gentlemen!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Cleaning up clutter can do amazing things; not just for the space you're clearing but for your soul too! I've spent the last few days REALLY clearing out Peter Walsh, the de-cluttering/organization expert: remove EVERYTHING out of the room, ask yourself what your vision of the room is; what mood would you like to to convey; then in two piles (keep and not keep). It is pretty awesome that,in life, if you leave yourself open enough, you will see that answers fall right on your lap. It's like when you are almost broke, feeling horrible, and one day you reach into the coat pocket...and BAM, there's a $20 bill! Well, I was feeling a bit lost, and I was throwing LOTS of paper away, I found this email a friend sent me from 2005 (2005 really? Yes, lol, really!)...and BAM...there it was - some things I needed to be reminded of. Here's the email:


If a man wants you, nothing will keep him away. If he doesn't want you, nothing can make him stay. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. Allow your intuition to save you from heartache. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that's not meant to be. Slower is better. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.

If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then, heck no, you can't "be friends." A friends wouldn't mistreat a friend. Don't settle. If you feel like he is stringing you along, he probably is. Don't stay because you think "it will get better." You'll be mad at yourself a year later for staying...

The only person you can control in a relationship is YOU...Always have your own set of friends separate from his. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later. You cannot change a man's behavior. Change comes from within. Don't ever make him feel he is more important than you are...even if he has a better education or in a better job. Do not make him into a quasi-god.

He is a man, nothing more nothing less. Never let a man define who you are. Never borrow someone else's man. If he's cheated WITH you, he'll cheat ON you. A man will only treat you in the way you ALLOW him to treat you. All men are NOT dogs. You should not be the one doing all the bending...compromise is a two-way street.

You need time to heal between relationships. There is nothing cute about baggage...Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you...relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals...look for someone complimentary...not supplementary.

Dating is fun...even if he doesn't turn out to be Mr. Right. Make him miss you sometimes...when a man always knows where you are, and you are always readily available to him - he takes you for granted. Never move into his mother's house. Never co-sign for a man. Don't fully commit to a man who doesn't give you everything you need..."

Actually, I believe this message rings true for both sexes (Men, just place a "she" in place of the "he." There are some truths here...

Well, I hope this gives us something to really think about - it made me take a hard look at myself. I'll leave you with this quote from the book "He's Just Not That Into You.":

"Beware of the word "friend". It can often be used by men or the women that love them to excuse the most unfriendly behavior. Personally, when I'm picking friends, I like the ones who don't make me cry myself to sleep."

Thursday, January 6, 2011


In the 24 years of my career, I have not spent ONE New Year's Eve with my family.  in the career of music, New Year's Eve is the most important night of the year.  And that is true because of this:  for the most part, you get paid double!!!  Yep!!  And if you have 2 or 3 shows in one night - the mortgage/rent is paid; the car insurance is paid (for the year!)...and there's lots to invest & put away for emergencies or to reinvest in recording, wardrobe, etc. And like any other "normal" human being, the money can be very alluring!  And in the last three years, I have been on some stage somewhere about 25 minutes before midnight. I do my show and then my job is to count down.  10, 9,8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

And there I am...on stage...happy that it's the New Year; happy to see everyone hugging and showing completely inapppropriate public displays of affection....and....I am alone.  At some point I walk over and hug my road manager...but he always has some date there, lol.  And so this New Year, for very first time...I had NO show booked.  Part of me was terrified.  Why doesn't anyone want to book me for New Year's Eve?  Um, hello, anyone there? Part of me knew that I had an alternative:  to sing with the band, Mirage.  I really wanted to, God knows, because I'd been so busy during the year, I barely got opportunities to sing with them.  Also, a member of the band is preganant, and unfortunately her mom had just passed away - I know I was needed.  BUT...I had a chance to finally be with my family.   As pressured as I was feeling - and the pressure was only coming from me, lol - I decided to go with family.  Life is far too short, and with the passing of my friend's mom, oh, no...I was going to be with Mom!!!

Allow me to divert for one second...       

I made a decision a few months ago to restrain from blogging about my love life, or lack thereof.  So I'll update you and save you all the ugly details so that I not sound depressing . Here's the long, short story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl crazy about one another. So they get into the car of couple-dom.  Boy & girl are driving down the lane of love...he's speeding and they are laughing, holding hands.  Then...Boy  SLAMS on the brakes....and because girl didn't wear seat belt (in other words because she let her guard down) girl gets ejected from the passenger side.  End of story.  Heart broken A G A I N ! ! ! Ah, the lessons of life...when did this all happen?? You guessed it:  just before the New Year.

Okay back to before...

So you can just imagine the mood I was in.  Ugh...I was, scratch that, I was ENRAGED! I mean I'm talking I wanted to break something, burn something, smack someone hard in the face...the kind of smack that leaves a mark. No, no...I don't condone physical violence.  The last and only time I broke something out of an enraged tantrum was about 8 years ago...and let me tell you, that was the worst betrayal of my life.  But that's for another blog, another time...perhaps when I feel I have nothing major to write about.  Oh, sorry, did I digress again?  I was not only enraged, but profoundly disappointed, tremendously hurt, and well, feeling quite betrayed.  Say what you mean, and mean what you that really so hard?  I was in my car, listening to only angry songs by Evanescence, Limp Biskit, My Chemical Romance, Pink...yea, I get kind of in a rock mood when I'm mad. LOL.  I drove the hour and a half to my mom's house, and as soon as I parked the car, I began to cry.  I wanted to go in, and run into Mommy's arms...when I feel extreme emotional pain, my mom's hug is kind of the only thing that makes me feel better.

I walked in through the door and feigned happiness.  Well, I hate coming over to mom's and before I can say hello, I'm crying to her.  And then, in an instant, my sadness was erased (temporarily, at least.) 
"Titi Judyyyyyyyy!!!"
It was my niece, ray of sunshine that pierces through my cloud every single time I see her.  Thank God.  I hugged her as hard as I could. I was gratefully distracted as we played Operation and Chutes and Ladders.  As soon as she said, "I won,"...the urge to cry emerged. 
Mom: "Judy, why dont' you go upstairs and say hello to your brother?" 
Me: "No, ma...not now. Not yet. I'm angry with men right now."
Mom: "Uh, oh....don't'll be a new year, new things...You're angry, huh?"
Me:  "Mom, you have NO idea...I'm tired of being disappointed, hurt, betrayed...especially when I know I have done nothing wrong."  And a single tear came down.  Enough. Nope. Not gonna cry.

I could smell the food a little later on.  Inhale aroma. Exhale joy!!! Mom was making one of my favorite dishes:  Breaded steak, white rice, beans and tostones (fried plantains). Yummmyyyy!!  I walked into the kitchen and Mom was not only cooking, she was dancing to Gipsy Kings!  It was quite a different picture from last year.  Last year this time, Mom was crying, she wasn't walking, she had to be taken care of by my sister and I as she was recovering from hip replacement surgery.  She was a mess, lol.  Now, she still walks with a limp, but there was no better vision right there and then - to walk into the room and seem Mom dancing!!  And that's when happy Judy, deliriously-drunk-with-joy Judy joined in the party.  I began doing the crazy, arabic-sounding, Native-American sounding, Gypsy-sounding trills that the lead singer does.  I LOVE doing that, okay, I love making believe I can do it, lol.  And as my sister was doing her hair, I began singing to niece came over to see what the noise was about, and I began to laugh.  God, laughter truly is healing!  Laughter immediately dissipates the's nature's natural cure!! 

We were dancing to Baila me, Bamboleo, Djobi Djoba, Bem Bem Bem Maria and Volare! If you've never heard them, you need to.  I began to teach my niece the basic salsa step and she, of course, took it to the next level:  "Wait, Titi Judy.  Look. look. Watch what I do:  the Samba."  And I don't know what the heck she did.  It was some sort of out-of-control twist. It was great.  My sister joined in, and we were all over the place, dancing, singing, laughing. It was the best hour I've had in a long time.  When dinner was ready, we sat together at the table, just us girls and listened to Kool and the Gang; musical selection brought to you by Mom. Gosh, my mom can cook! It was so good.  I ate too much - my stomach was hurting.  From there we drove to my other brother's house.  For those of you who have followed my blog, he is the brother who had the hand accident with the snowblower. By the way, he's doing great!  He did all the physical therapy...there are scars BUT he's back to work, and has full use of his hand.

At my brother's house, it looked as though the party had begun without us.  My brother, sister-in-law, niece, three of his friends were surrounded by food.  There was no way I could even look at it...that's how full I was!  But my brother introduced us to something called a short beer:  43 Liquor with heavy cream on top, served as a shot.  It looks like a mini beer.  So he insisted we all do a shot together - including Mom!  LOL. LOL.

"Come on, HAVE to do this with us!"  I felt so conflicted. One side of me felt like Mom doesn't need to be drinking.  But the other side of me that knows Mom doesn't do ANYTHING crazy, that side of me wanted her to do it.  You need to understand that in all the years of her lifetime, my mother has somehow found a way to maintain her innocence.  You need to think Shirley Temple, Three Stooges, Marx Brothers' kind of humor. Here's the great part.  Mom agreed to the shot, and in a second as we said 'cheers', it was over. But there was Mom stil holding it, and sipping it.  My brother cried out:  "Nooooo, Mom!  What are you doing? It's a shot!!" I interjected:  "Mom you don't sip a shot. You have to take it in one gulp."  My brother continued, "Yea, Mom...drink it like you drink NyQuil."  And then she answered us, "Okay, well show me."  So we all had to do another shot just to "show" her, lol.  And there we all were...and we all did it together. My mom's reaction?  "Okay, guys...that's it? big's okay."  LOL.  As we watched Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve, I remembered being a child and staying up to watch that big ball drop.  The sense of collective anticipation is inspiring actually, and it was no different as an adult. 

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  And for the first time in more than 20 years I had a LOT of people to hug...I was NOT alone. And I felt good.  For a moment, I had to stop and pray for my other sister-in-law, Claudia who had lost her father that very same morning. It was impossible to be too heart bled for her.  2011...a chance to begin again, to write and sing new songs, to be loved by someone who loves me equally and in the way my spirit needs...that is my wish, my personal wish.  As I went to go to sleep, the insomnia had set in yet again. The rage had been diluted to anger..but really anger is just my soul's way of saying, "Ouch! You hurt my heart! You hurt it, and it did nothing but be kind and loving to you..." Okay, let me not be so dramatic.  The pain was still there and I allowed it flow. But I know when I look back at New Year's Eve, the memories of dancing, laughing, taking the shot, being hugged by family...will ALWAYS bring me joy!!  Happy New Year to ALL!!!