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Girl on the Left

In this blog I aim to write with punch and passion about the things I adore.

My aim is true: to use this blog to spark joy in followers’ lives. To bring people together. To give unusual insight into what’s going on.

Years ago a guy saw me holding a copy of Left of the Dial and asked if the title referred to politics.

“No. It refers to culture. I played alternative music on the radio that was dubbed Left of the Dial.”

My intent in using the Girl on the Left URL was to get at the theme of living your life left of the dial.

I don’t like that the word Left has been conflated with the Liberal political party.

My goal was to reclaim the word Left in the true sense of being progressive.

Two of the definitions of progressive on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary are:

1a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress.

b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities.

As an Artist I’ve always been in the vanguard in writing and talking about things that are five years ahead of the times.

My motto is:

Individuality is what makes a person beautiful.

In a Different Light

This selfie I took without foundation. Only wearing black eyeliner and Rose Flair lipstick.

As the pandemic enters the second year this is my indoor outfit:

Black-and-white striped tee shirt, black sweater jacket, and black Athleta City pants. With silver globe earrings.

The point is it’s going on the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

I’m grateful to be alive and breathe air on a sunny day.

This is the difference–time moves on. You either move with it or you wither.

How is it that this selfie is okay? It lies in how we see ourselves. I see myself in a different light after surviving the last year.

Without altering your photo into a strange unrecognizable You I say it comes down to the super-effect of rosy lighting.

Our Zoom selves should be adored not send us running for cosmetic surgery.

At 55 I accept that I don’t have Karlie Kloss’s creamy skin. Nor will I go under the scalpel. Only 5 feet tall I won’t grace a runway either.

The day has come when I can stare at my face in the mirror and be okay with it.

For a lot of us anger is the natural reaction when we realize we wasted so much time viewing our perceived flaws under a microscope.

Today is the day to change this tune. Our time on earth is getting shorter.

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

What I’ve learned:

To love myself better than anyone else could ever love me.

This should be the goal for all of us:

To see ourselves in a beautiful light.

Doing Things Differently

The vaccines were not approved to prevent COVID-19.

The FDA gave Emergency Use Authorization for the use of the vaccines.

This is because the need was so great that the agency allowed the vaccines to be greenlighted after the clinical trials were shortened.

With faith in America I went ahead and received dose one of the Pfizer vaccine. There was a 15-minute waiting period after.

The injection took two seconds and I didn’t feel a thing.

The side effect of the vaccine was that I felt unwell—I was “The Lady with the Spinning Head.” A strange feeling in my body all the next day.

No–I might not have gotten the vaccine if the need wasn’t great. This is because though the side effect was minor it felt severe while it lasted.

Getting inoculated will bring us one step closer to normalcy. To street fairs and outdoor festivals and travel on vacation.

Should it turn out that there’s a new health risk in those of us who received the vaccine I will be okay with this. The coronavirus is no joke.

As a gregarious person I was willing to get vaccinated after having limited social contact in the last year.

Going on the second year of the pandemic the reduced circumstance has changed my outlook.

I take inspiration from Alicia Keys the cover model of the April Allure.

April is the month of Sprouting Grass Moon according to the rhythm of nature.

Honoring the natural world and living in sync with the seasons is one way I’m doing things differently.

In coming blog entries here and at my Flourish blog I’ll talk about how surviving the pandemic has inspired me to make changes.

Date or Dud–You Decide

Re: my Dreaming and Wanting blog entry:

My dream was dashed that I tried to make happen in February.

Would a woman invite a man on a date? I invited to lunch a guy I was interested in that I met over the summer.

He thought my offer to meet was fra amici or between friends.

While eating my French toast he told me he had a girlfriend.

This is how it is in modern life:

You must be bold and say: “I would like to take you on a date. How about we go to lunch?”

Otherwise.

I went on an accidental date 20 years ago.

A guy asked me to go to the Brooklyn Museum. Thinking it was to be a friendly affair I said yes. Little did I know he was angling for a girlfriend.

The way it is a modern guy or gal will think you’re just being friendly.

You must specify: “I would like to take you on a date.”

This makes it easier for a person to turn you down. Rather than having them waste your time going on a “date” that will lead nowhere.

You’ll want to pucker up the next time.

While they’re searching for an exit door when they realize your true intent.

This is how it rolls.

Do I have a Plan B?

Yes. And a Plan C.

For better or worse [and I think worse] I have gotten the reputation as “the woman who is looking for a boyfriend.”

This after over 12 years of writing a newspaper column about living and loving in the Big Apple.

Trust me. You do not want to meet a person for the first time and the first words out of their mouth are:

“So–you’re the woman looking for a boyfriend.”

This is not what you want to be famous for.

Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Finding beauty in a broken world can be a tonic for the hard time you’re going through.

Smearing on a new shade of lipstick won’t bring about world peace.

Yet I find myself wearing lipstick on Zoom meetings. This makes all the difference in how I feel.

Now that 3 bags of clothes are gone (I can see my bedroom rug again!) I feel like my load has been lightened.

Fashion is where you find it. I take inspiration from books.

My latest haul from a trip to Barnes & Noble were two books: Anatomy
of Style
and How To Not Wear Black.

The first book features famous models and actresses and talks about their
style preferences. With photos of the women in their standard outfits.

My favorite models featured were Kate Moss and Liya Kebede.

I find this book to be like taffy: sweet candy yet hard to chew. Your
confidence could nosedive seeing the photos of these attractive women.

Too for inspiration I recommend the first book by Scott Schuman The
Sartorialist
. In the book he features photos taken on the street of often
ordinary people dressed in distinctive digs.

This book was published circa 12 years ago. It stands up to the test of time.

I own easily over 15 clothes and style and makeup books. You need to have a
hobby to cheer you up when your city has gone into lockdown. Reading the books gives me joy.

Being able to find beauty in this broken world is nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Define beauty.

I’m happiest wearing my world indigo hoodie black trainer pants and sneakers
to make a run to the deli.

“You look adorable” the woman behind the counter tells me.

I’ll take adorable over sexy.

I’ll take blogging to the beat of a different drum.

We can’t all have Liya Kebede’s cheekbones.

Yet we can take inspiration from how she dresses and from her humanitarian business ethic.

National Clean Out Your Closet Week

The third week in March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week.

Every year I write about this theme in the blog. The Salvation Army truck driver took off my hands 3 bursting donation bags full of belts, clothes, and pocketbooks.

It is strange to be in the position of having size 2 Petite summer pants become so loose that they no longer fit.

When other size 2 Petite pants are so tight not even a snake could fit into them.

Oh–the perils of the sizing system in the U.S.

That’s why a lot of American women run out of a department store dressing room in tears.

It’s not unusual to have pants and jeans of four different sizes in your wadrobe.

2, 4, 6, 8–no one appreciates the guessing game as to which item will fit when you order online and the box arrives at your door.

On the other hand it is not odd to suddenly fall out of love with the clothes you used to wear.

Goodbye, khakis. Hello, black jeans.

To stay young at heart you should refresh your wardrobe every so often.

The older I get the more obsessed with clothes and dressing up that I’ve gotten.

As a Generation X girl I don’t want to fade into the woodwork.

Millennials can have their avocado toast as they’re so famously accused of coveting.

I’ll take a good coat and boots in this NYC chill that doesn’t warm up until early June.

Fashion is where you find it–and you can find joy in the clothes hanging in your closet.

Donate the items that no longer suit you. Get rid of the pants that no longer fit. Say farewell to the colors that make you look ill.

The spring is here in one week. Having hope is called for.

Editing the contents of our closets can spark joy.

Who wants to spend the morning agonizing because your closet is bursting with items you don’t wear?

Keep the items you love.

Call the Salvation Army truck to take away good-condition clothes that could bring joy to a person in need.

This is a win-win.

The Power of Identity

A review of this book showed up on another blog this week.

I take inspiration from people with their own identities.

Thinking about this more it’s why I decided not to list (she/her) as my preferred personal pronouns after my name in my work email.

I would rather list Christina Bruni (Chris/Christina) which I’m considering doing.

The focus on gender as a defining factor in who a person is is what I don’t like.

Of course this is where the term non-binary comes into play.

Yet even with that can’t a person choose to identify in another way?

Why can’t a person write in their email Jane Doe (Artist/Activist)?

The point is that I’m impressed with anyone who has the courage or confidence or chutzpah to choose their identity.

Rather than conforming to a traditional role that they’re told is the only acceptable one.

I think it’s time to focus on the passion and personality that each of us brings to the table breaking bread together.

A quote from the Queer Advantage book that should be required reading:

“I genuinely believe that life only works, and success only works, if you’re being authentically yourself…. [The] only way to achieve success is by sticking to what is authentically true to you.” 

Adam Eli, Activist

On Having Silver Hair

Not only is my hair turning gray it’s gotten dry. I’m treating myself to a haircut at a better hair salon in March.

Since I feel my current hairdresser screwed up my last haircut. It seems like my hair color has changed overnight.

My hair might turn totally gray within the next 2 years. Keeping my hair its natural color is my way of making a political statement.

Why would a woman be happy to have gray hair? This hair to me is the dawn of freedom from traditional feminine conformity.

From the rule that says you must remain thin attractive and young for the rest of your life or you’re toast in other people’s eyes.

I confess to staring in my bathroom mirror and eyeing the silver hair that is taking over my head. I’m grateful that my hair is turning silver not dishwater gray.

Dare I say I’m excited to be getting silver hair?

This heralds a new chapter in my life–I’m glad to be turning the pages away from history and writing new scenes.

This is why I’m happy to have silver hair.

When I get a haircut at the new hair salon I’ll post a photo of my shining head of hair.

p.s. – I’m too broke to get the upkeep of a dye job : )

TJ Maxx Jewelry Maxim

I bought this necklace easily over 7 years ago in TJ Maxx.

My mother has told me: “Racism is terrible.” I too have a strong aversion to hate.

As an Author and Advocate I seek to promote healing and recovery. I believe that a person can recover from whatever obstacle they face.

They could be a victim of a microaggression or actual racism. They could have an illness mental or physical. They could have been born on the wrong side of the tracks. They could be not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

Whatever challenge a person faces–whatever obstacle either internal or external stands in their way–I believe a person can rise up and change their life for the better.

The way to fight stigma of any kind is to dare to act true to yourself. To show up as [insert your name here] in every interaction you have with another person.

My M.O. is to show others by acting true to myself that you have the right to be who you are without being hated or judged for who you are.

I ask you:

Why can’t a person decide to love others in the face of being told not to?

Why can’t we refrain from hating and judging people we haven’t met?

My intent is for this blog to be a respite from the real world.

To be a place where followers can take joy in what I write.

Where what I write contributes to making life on earth better.

I’ve decided to take this blog in a more positive direction.

Choosing carefully what I write to send a message of hope and optimism.

Though the year has just begun I believe each of us can overcome whatever struggle we might be facing.

You do you. And I will do who I am. Together we can change the world.

Dreaming and Wanting

Dreaming of making something happen and wanting to do this is a healthy way to grow as a person. Acting to get this goal is the difference. Not saying: “Maybe someday I’ll______________.”

Do it today. I abide by this quote magnet. Leaping without a net can seem like a precarious act that will end in doom. Only I’m going to take the biggest leap of my life this winter.

You haven’t truly lived until you dare do something that terrifies you in the pursuit of achieving your wildest dream.

My go-go goal is out of this world. It might not come true. I will report back on what happened after I take this leap.

I say: wear lipstick under your mask. Dress up even though you’re staying inside. Talk to your true-blue friends on the telephone.

The vaccine is coming soon for more Americans to receive. It’s not the end of wearing a mask to get vaccinated. It’s the start of progress towards the eradication of the coronavirus.

In time life will return to normal. I hold out that this life can be better for all of us. It’s time to be grateful for what we have. And for everyone to have the courage to Leap every chance we get.

Stay tuned. I hope to have beautiful news in the coming weeks.