August re-cap

Welcome to September. In August, I participated in an Instagram challenge called #augustbreak2020 that is created by Susannah Conway. She gives prompts for every day of the month and you post a photo inspired by that prompt. Some are easy, others are a little tough. The last day’s prompt was: August was…. My answer was a graphic of the old Talking Heads song “Once in a Lifetime” that has the refrain “same as it ever was.” That’s how I felt mostly about August. But there were some good parts.

Probably the biggest thing was the debut of my show on Twitch TV. It’s called LifeBeat: Conversations with Purposeful Womxn. It debuted on August 20. Here’s a link to watch the first episode: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/716592666. You know, I thought I had it all set up. I went in early around 4 pm (the show was going to start at 6 pm), and my publisher, Ted, was online and on the phone with me, and I’ll be damned if nothing worked. My computer’s camera. My internet connection. My audio. All the things went haywire, but at 5:45 pm, I had it all going and my guests joined me. It started off okay, but then one of my guests couldn’t hear or see us. Then I froze and had to disconnect entirely. Thankfully, the show remained online and live and the three of them (Skyler McCurine, Alanna Airitam, and Lindsay White) held it down while I tried to get back. I did and we wrapped up. It was a lesson in stress management and figuring things out on the fly. I hope the next show goes better now that I have one under my belt. The next one will be September 17 with Randi Driscoll, Barbara Nesbitt, and Karla Cordero.

Since I’m talking about Twitch, I’ll mention that I was on another show tonight. It’s another Puna Press writer, Adam Greenfield, and his show is called Viral Poetry Series. He asked me and another friend, Ed Decker, to be his first guests. I think it went well (way easier for me than hosting!) Here’s a link to that show: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/729702527.

August also saw more readings as part of the Heavy Hitters virtual poetry festival that has been going on all summer. It finished up on August 31st. That last week, there were sessions every night! It was a really awesome festival all in all. I have 17 pages of notes full of prompts, quotes, resources, and more.

I also read at a few open readings including Ugly Mug and Shout! Open Mic. I went to a Lady Brain workshop that featured Mona Tavakoli who is a percussionist and singer. That was really cool. I watched Barbara and Lindsay and Jeff play shows.

My new healthcare plan went into effect so I had a phone appointment with my new Kaiser doctor, and she set up a bunch of stuff that will happen in September (all the fun female exams).

There was continued racial injustice with more & sustained protests going on, especially after Jacob Blake was shot in the back 7 times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer. Then, the actor, Chadwick Boseman, died of cancer, much to the surprise of everyone. The death of this fine 43-year-old Black actor, who portrayed King T’Challa in Black Panther, was a huge loss for the Black community and for movie fans everywhere. His death served as a portal to mourn so much of who has been lost in this pandemic, a way to channel our collective grief over the loss of what was considered “normal” and at the same time realizing that the “normal” wasn’t great for so many people.

My constants in August remained the same and gave me strength. Walking, reading, weekly chats with Sandy, sticking with my community action plan, work, cooking up the Blue Apron meals for me and Mom, and the garden.

Looking into September, there are the aforementioned doctor appointments and some poetry stuff here and there, my Twitch show. I joined a progressive online book club that my friend Alanna started, and then y’know, more of the same of the above. Which is fine. I’m not complaining about my situation. But there are things that are just bummers. My sister & I were supposed to go to France in September. The trip’s been pushed to May, but who knows if that will even hold? I miss her. I want to meet her new puppy. I want to day drink with her. Go see a movie together. I know my mom would love to see her too. And I miss my friends in San Diego, and San Diego itself.

It’s important to remember that none of what we’re experiencing right now is ‘normal.’ That word has kind of lost its meaning. Who defines what normal even is? Things are shifting. We must adapt. And as I’ve seen on a sticker and on a hat I wear proudly: Do no harm. Take no shit.

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