Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Edith Piaf- Non je ne regrette rien

I regret nothing!

I live my life with the intent, power, and words that Edith Piaf has put into this song...
Amazing woman, tragic life, eternal spirit. Enjoy this video!

Friday, December 25, 2009

the art of gift giving...

In Japan, there are two things you do a lot..bowing and gift giving.
These are two facts of Japanese life. One would think, it being so far from American customs, that it would be hard to pick up. To the contrary. The bowing sets in almost instantly, as it is done everywhere for absolutely everything. By the second or third day, your body has muscle memory, and takes over.

After awhile the awkwardness of it all is taken over by the intrigue. It is interesting to watch. To understand the level of respect that the Japanese hold, just for their fellow man, is admirable. There is no caste system, where one group of people deserve bows more than others. Everyone is equal. Everyone is important. When you sit back and watch it, it's a beautiful thing.

Gift giving is also a fact of Japanese culture. There is no investigation into how much the gift costs, or what it is made of. It's just the act of taking the time to think of someone else, and give the gift, that the Japanese appreciate most. You can bring a small bag of candies, or a cake to share, into work and the gratitude is overwhelming. People do this like second nature here.

I once hit the car of a fellow teacher as I was pulling out of a parking spot. While I was freaking out, she was assuring me that everything was ok. I couldn't afford much on my salary here (anything really) but I went to the 100 yen (dollar store) and bought her a handheld fan. She was so surprised the next time she saw me, she nearly didn't accept it. For me, I felt it was the least I could do.

Gifts are important. There is no other holiday that embodies that more than Christmas. Christmas is number one, and birthdays are number two.

True to Japanese culture, it's not 'what' it is that's there, as much as the fact that something is there.

I was speaking with my mother recently who concentrated on the fact that people just don't have it this year.

This is true. I feel that means that those who do have it should not take that for granted, and those who don't still have the abilities to make things, even together, as a family. It starts with a creative approach.

I love the JFK quote.

"When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."

These times, yes, are full of crisis ALL around the world. But, there is no denying the opportunity that awaits these times as well. Be creative. Be simple. Be outside the box. Be grateful. Be giving. It will come back to you. That's how the Universe works.

Give what you can. If all you can afford is a $1 fan, then give it but give it with pride. If all you can afford is a handmade card with crayons, then draw the best damned card you can and send it to whomever it is intended. If all you can afford is a smile. Then smile so hard that the other person will think you recently underwent a facelift.

But give what you can. The receiver's reaction is all the more worth it. I am grateful I was able to pinch my pennies this year and do the same and supply every single person on my list with something. I make that a priority.

Christmas is over, in Japan, but I have been invited to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with the office staff of one of my schools. I am looking forward to it. Now, I must head to the store to find a gift. I am thinking a small cake...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Evierobbie Christmas in Japan 2009...

It's officially Christmas Day in Japan, and Christmas Eve in New York.
As much as I wanted to be home, and others wanted to be here, it wasn't feasible. So I was trying to find a way to share my Christmas with you all.
Two weeks ago a friend of mine, Kotoyo, had a Christmas party that I attended and shot video of. The video below is a peek into my Japanese world during this holiday! I love and miss you all.

In Japan, Christmas is not a big deal. Everything is still open, and the attachment to Christianity is enough for the Japanese to be 'ma-ma' (so-so) about the idea of the holiday. Therefore, I will spend this holiday doing what I love most, writing. I am going to cook an amazing breakfast, and set up shop at a Starbucks in order to fully embrace my creating. I hope you enjoy the video! Arigato!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a writer's winter...


"The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in the winter; the fleshy, in the summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissue and the blood." -John Burroughs

This quote is warming me during the tail end of the worst snowstorm in this part of Japan, in 25 years....

Monday, December 21, 2009

emotional protocol...

Are we conditioned to react certain ways, in certain situations, as the process of grieving and letting go commences?

Over the past few months, but more recently over the last week, I feel like I have been in the middle of emotional protocol...certain feelings that are necessary (habitual) in order to keep it moving, as well as keep it together.
No one knows our personal patterns better than ourselves.
Some turn to anger, while others turn to art. Some saturate themselves in alcohol while others attempt osmosis through random sexual encounters.

Tonight, I sit in my semi-warm Japanese apartment, drinking plum wine that is a bit too sweet, yet potent enough to purge my thoughts into words. I have been fighting these words...and as per usual, they have been fighting back. This is what happens when you are a writer.

The pen is, most definitely, mightier than the sword.

The holidays bring up an array of emotions for me. Snow glazed streets, cuddle weather, slow holiday music, and the gift of giving all put me in a state of emotional confusion. Not to mention, the effects of Seasonal Affect Disorder.

When there is no significant other in my life for the holidays, I do feel a 'piece' missing. This feeling has since been magnified due to the isolation of being in Japan, kind of newly completely single, and alone in my staying in Japan for the holidays.

This is the first Christmas away from family, friends, and even the possibility of intimacy. I can say, I am officially feeling it...

I long for the same attention I will not ask for. I crave a body to lie next to...a body complete with a heart that gets excited in my presence. I miss so many simple things...a text, a call, a "hey you", a "you're beautiful".

This is the other side, that I have written about before, to the type of life I currently lead.

Emotions have compounded for many of the friends here, in the wake of the bomb dropped on us that one of our main components is breaking his contract early. He leaves tomorrow
for a vacation to Thailand, and will not be back in Niigata.

It has started already. I revisit the process of attachment and detachment. Saying goodbye, indefinitely, is the worst part. In fact, it is the only true part of the traveling experiences I have had, that I genuinely despise.

I feel the internal pulling...wanting to capture every moment from here until March 19th, take it with me and hold it dear to my heart forever. You start nearly memorizing conversations. You start wondering if you will ever be in the same place, same time, with these people ever again.

The imminent goodbyes are becoming too real too early. These are friends. There will be a point, sooner rather than later, where I will have to do the same to thousands of students, dozens of teachers, and seven schools.

I have Japanese friends who barely speak a word of English, but whom I've developed the Universal language of pure love and friendship. Them, I will have to leave here in Niigata, as I continue on whatever journey I am supposed to lead. I only hope to leave a piece of me here as well.

Lately, I have been reminded of that last day I had in Paris...

Waking up alone because Brittany's flight left the night before. The apartment was bare and I had to move my bags into the hostel next store. That day I walked around aimlessly.
I ended up in a cinema house, watching a film completely in French, subtitle-less. I felt so alone. The night before, I had premiered my first short film in a full sized movie theater and had never felt a rush that incredible in life. I was on a 15 out of 10.

Then the next day, I was alone. With an uncomfortable need for company, I got on that Metro to Larmark-Caulincourt to La Femis. There I spent the better part of the day with Jarod. We went to Sacre Coerce and ate gelato. I wanted to scream out so badly, "Please don't leave me," when he had to depart for prior scheduled plans.

I ended up on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower...

There was the first time I truly felt groundlessness. The ultimate vulnerability of having everything you have ever thought you wanted in life being ripped from under you. In what seemed like a flash, my entire five weeks in Paris hit my psyche with such power the only thing I could do was smile.

I realized then, that whatever I was destined to do in, film, and writing were going to be a part of it. Up until the summer of 2006, I had fallen in love with many men, and many things.

But that day, I fell in love with my life...

Japan has been round two. I have not felt this alive since that day, on that grass, staring at the Eiffel Tower, whispering to myself "Did I just do that?"

"Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for." -Dag Hammarskjold

Sunday, December 20, 2009



I know I look a mess,but the girls at ECS really hooked me up. Mizuho I love you. My last night class got ditched so they could play dress up with me and put me in my very first kimonos. I was also in a green version of this. What I found interesting is that the cloth reminded me of kente designs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my best friend`s racism...

This morning I woke up to a rather urgent message from my best friend, B, telling me to check a note her boyfriend T has written on Facebook.

The context of the note is this...apparently for a month B has been on the receiving end of some blatantly racist words and video in regards to her being in an interracial relationship. This has led to the letter you will read below, as well as porn being sent to her. I would like to precede this letter with a few facts.

T is a very successful African-American male (with mixed Black and White origins) artist in Detroit.

B is White. She is also a Harvard and Columbia graduate, MacArthur Fellowship scholar, Doctor Beyond Borders, surgeon, teacher, single-mother, cancer survivor, and under thirty years old.
She also happens to be my hero. B also has a flawless way of accomplishing this while preferring to rock tossed hair, high boots, and short skirts.

She has traveled to every single place I ever wanted to visit on Earth, probably twice, and with the mission of bringing food and medical care to those who die from even the most mundane of diseases, from lack of water and food. This includes Africa, which only adds to the irony of this woman`s letter.

Keep that in mind when reading this below, and when considering the questions I pose after it.

This is an excerpt taken from the attention T has put in regards to this situation:

`Without further ado, here is the message sent to my girlfriend today from "Armani Afrika", in all its graphic and hateful glory:

I don't know if you remember me but i remember you. I've struggled back and forth as whether to contact you or not. After much discussion among my community of friends we discovered our equal concern. Also, let me say I know that some of the other women involved in this discussion have contacted you in the past and sent you some very messages and videos. Know that I had nothing to do with that. Though I may agree with the sentiments, as a woman I was horrified. Detroit is a very small community with a tight knit art scene. TB is somewhat of a fixture on that scene and is admired by many of the younger up and comers. Here in lies my problem. He has a responsibility to end the white girl trophy myth. A successful black man should be with a successful black woman, not a ditzy little white girl who has to flaunt her body to feel important, rather then educate herself and take back her pride. As a black woman I understand your attraction to T, but it has become clear to us that you two seem to be in a somewhat serious relationship. Having you on his arm around town is starting to isolate him from certain parts of his community. I understand that he is a young attractive man who mistakenly finds the novelty in playing with a little barbie doll, but know that he deserves a true queen on his arm, not some little ballerina girl. I know what youre thinking. It doesn't matter, love is blind, yada yada. Well, let me tell you something in this city it does matter. I know you probably think his kinky hair is so exotic or who knows maybe you think it'sghetto and that gets you going. But what do you really know about it with your vanilla party girl hair? You think it's dangerous when you wrap your legs around him and welcome his black cock inside you. Do you understand that everytime he takes you to his bed he is essentially telling the world that he hates himself as a black man? Lastly, let me just appeal to you on an equal level. I see you have a son. To be clear, T will never commit himself to you. You are a shiny toy who will fade over time. Do you really want that for your son? I'm assuming his father tired of you too. Take my advice and take the time while your still young to feed your mind and make something more of yourself. Plan for your future. What will you do when you can't dance anymore and your pussy is all torn up? No man, black or white will want you then.... If you have any real feeling for T. Do what's best and stay away from him. Again, you have been warned. Peace.

Dear "Armani Afrika",
My girlfriend rocks; you Suck.

Best Regards,
T B`

Why, in the final weeks of 2009, are we still going through this?
In the comments section, I will post the initial reaction I had to this post, but I felt the pure racist nature of this needed more concentrated attention.

I will say, personally, identifying as African-America, yet having an entire side of my family being of Italian, Irish, and German origin, in regards to relationships I`ve experienced a great amount more racism from other `sistas` than I have ever from White women, or Asian women, or Spanish women.

There is a sense of hate that lingers extensively under this situation. I don`t mean hate in regards to the opposite of love, but hate as in bringing negativity to the positivity in someone else`s life.


Monday, December 14, 2009

the Talent Age...

I was watching "Morning Joe" today with Joe and Mika on MSNBC.
It opened with a personal favorite of mine, Deepak Chopra. If you aren't up on his books regarding enlightenment, intention, and positivity, you should get on it.

During a segment, they began talking about the concept of a Talent Age. How theorists are saying that we had an Industrial Age, which gave way to an Information Age that so many of us are familiar with, and we're now approaching a Talent Age.

The premise is, many of the left brain activities that people and businesses need, can be done in the speed of light with the technology built during the Information age. We are prepared for the pendulum to shift towards the creative.

This age will be defined by those in the arts and those who use creativity and innovation in their business endeavors.

Obviously, with me, this would strike a chord. I would like your opinions on this.

Speaking of the creative...this past week I found myself at FM Niigata's radio station recording my voiceover for DJ Minoru Chris's show on Sound Splash.

It was an amazing experience, full of laughs.

I had a moment taken right out of Sophia Coppola's "Lost in Translation".

Chris, "Can you say it with more intensity?"
I erupted in laughter, predicting that the next request would be for me to say it more mysterious. When you live in Japan, you realize how on point that film truly is.

It parallels this whole concept of Talent Age because in walking into their studio I was brought back to the prior radio and television stations I used to work in, in NY.
You have the business suits on the Sales floor.

"I will take you upstairs. You'll be more comfortable there," Chris said.

Upstairs was the creative hub. Japanese celebrity signatures adorning posters of themselves, polaroids of people in compromising positions, Macs on every desk, and relaxed attire.

I was at home. Niigata definitely got some cool points, and my international creative connections just got a huge jolt in linking up with Chris...

The Talent Age commences...

As of January 4th
Sound Splash Niigata FM Radio
DJ Minoru Chris' Show
and my voice....too cool

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"I want your voice..."

That's what he just said to me.

I was knocked out in some much needed sleep, only to have my cell phone go off before hitting my zone of REM.

Pissed, I looked at the phone and saw it was the manager of the bar I work at on the weekends.
Not picking that one up. Not at damn near 11pm on a 'school night'.

Something told me to check the message though. I could barely decipher what he was talking about. All I heard was a guy wanted to meet me and pay for something that had to do with radio.

The sheer curiosity made me call back.
I did, and was given the contact info for this guy.

Within five minutes, I was just booked to do a voice over talent for a new FM Niigata radio show, in Japan, that starts to air in January.

How bizarre....and cool.

Back to bed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Most people don't know that when I was in Middle School I used to create elaborate mazes in my notebooks. As the creator, my goal was to somehow stump myself. They would take up the entire space allocated on full sheets of notebook paper, as well as the back binding of the books themselves.

I haven't done this in years.

Today, at lunch with a second grade class, I saw a kid trying to create a maze of his own, with little to no luck. I asked to use his notebook and began going in on a maze that drew a crowd around me. One little boy pushes to the front and, in Japanese, explains that he wants one in his book too as he pulls out a pencil kit. The full notebook was laid flat and I was going in on one side, while he was creating one on the other. I thought this was a competition. The kids were in bliss. I heard a few "Unbelievable" and "Sugoy's" floating around.

At one point the kid hits the book lining barrier and instead of stopping, drawing right into my maze, making them connect.

We connected through art.

When the class was finished with their "Gochisou sama deshita" offering after lunch, I went over and signed the maze.

The look in this kid's eye is hard to define but he didn't smile. He gave me the most intent and grateful look, and stuck out his hand to shake mine.

I smiled and shook.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome homie."

Monday, November 30, 2009

what comes first?

the question or the belief?

Fresh off an international Skyping with Ariel, and in response to a Twit by Concep, I have myself thinking...

It started with my current FB status update.

"Do you question what you believe in? If not, you should..."

Far more complex than "what came first, the chicken or the egg?"
How do we shape our beliefs? Do the questions come first?
Or do the beliefs, which lead to more questions?

Routines, daily obligations, and the buzz of the cities work as a very effective mirage to throw up over what it is we truly want in life.

Ariel, fresh off a five month trek around South East Asia, Keith in Chile, and I presently nine months into setting up shop in far apart yet we all have the same internal conflict.

Traveling outside of your comfort zone, and embracing the unknown, makes you question everything you ever thought you knew about life, and yourself.
Traveling on journeys (not vacations) have a way of gutting you that your everyday life absolutely cannot.

Businesses you have worked hard for, degrees you have spent thousands of dollars on, time you have allocated working for what you think you want, think you love, all can be blown to bits if approached with the right journey for enlightenment. It is not guaranteed that these ideals will change, but they will damn sure be tested and questioned...until the true you appears....

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Beyonce's Thanksgiving Special gives a glimpse into the passion, art, and work ethic of a star.
This was a great feast for the motivation going into the New Year.

As an artist, though my art doesn't require a stellar voice and breathing exercises, I can only admire a woman of this regard.

Success takes work, lots of it.
Beauty requires both the inner and outer components.

Beyonce is a powerhouse.

From someone of the same generation, I thank her for keeping the dignity, grace, and power of a true woman.

Perfection....Jay-Z is no fool. Good choice Mr. Carter.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yahiko Mountain...Niigata, Japan

Halloween day...

Megan, George, Mariana and I went to Yahiko Mountain/Shrine. This is the video documenting our mini road trip, the things we saw along the way, and people we met once we got there...

Yes, every once in awhile it hits me...I live in Japan.

express yourself........

When I was in Middle School, I used to blast this song. In cassette form I, quite literally, destroyed this track in my walkman, purchased from the dollar store. I don't know if I realized I was an artist, nor writer then, but I knew I was different. I had to express myself. Muting what I believed, thought, or wanted would result in extreme anxiety and I'd lock myself in my bedroom to either read or write.

Contrary to my friends' upbringing, I did not have a tv or phone in my bedroom. Not so much that it wasn't allowed, we just weren't in a position to accomodate it. This is where my writing and speed reading was nurtured. To this day, my mother says that R. L. Stine's Goosbump books were the best investment she ever made into my childhood. I find this to be true. I remember being in elementary school and we had a Goosebumps crew. We used to devour and pass off those books like we should have been in a cypher saying "puff, puff, give." Books were my crack.

They were also a mark of maturity. You could guess what age someone was, by what phase in books they were reading. Goosebumps was elementary going into middle school. The immediate move up from Goosebumps was anything by Christopher Pike. "Prom Queen" being a favorite of mine. Once you were finishing high school you starting dipping into Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or my top choice James Patterson. That was the literary evolution, though most tapered off after high school, mine kept up. Somewhere in my house there is a black garbage bag filled with my old books.

Building a vocabulary was great but it still didn't help in defining why I had this need to express myself...I just knew I had it.
I've never grown out of that person. To the contrary, I've grown more into her. I've never been able to relate to the fear many people have of this.

So I ask, what are people afraid of when they fight the urge to express how they feel, cry, scream, or even talk through silence?

Sometimes you have to express yourself. You have to let it out.

Relationships are a supreme example of this. At some point, true feelings, motives, definitions, expectations, and compromises have to be expressed. Note expression does not equate to emotional suffocation. That's not my point. My point is...

Ultimately, feelings (love) must be expressed. It must be said, to eventually have the ability of being shown. The choice, declaration, holds the first power. Speak up...

Particularly with men, I find the strongest (and most well equipped emotionally) to be those that have an understanding of how they feel and the courage to let it be known. That, is sexy. For those too timid, I leave you with the possible reality of your own situation...where you aren't expressing, someone else very well may be.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"DBIC" song...

This past Tuesday, I was at one of my favorite schools. Inside this school, is also one of my favorite classes. It's a Special Needs class with the most entertaining bunch of Japanese kids I have ever met. Made up mostly of boys, with one female student, and two pairs of brothers.  

No matter what grade I eat lunch with, I make it my business to check in with this class after I finish lunch. I usually end up playing games with them, or faking an understanding of Japanese to humor the conversation of kids who simply don't care if I understand them or not...they speak regardless.  

I walk in, to an uproar of excitement, but one boy in particular caught me off guard with his conversation. He'd, undoubtedly, be dubbed one of the fat kids. Six years old and 60 kg (132 pounds) he was half of one of the sets of brothers. 

Looking plump, in his red shirt, I noted only having him in class once before, yet he went on a lingual rampage...  

"Evita Sensei, do you like apples?" 
"Yes, I do." 
"Do you like grapes?"
"Yes, I do." 
"Do you like bananas?"
"Yes, I do. Do you like apples?" 
"Yes, ski des."
"Very good."
"Evita Sensei, do you know 'DBIC song'? 

Now I'm lost. All of us teachers look around at one another confused.  
"DBIC song? No, I don't know." 
"Yes, DBIC song."  

Still confused, I am trying to grasp onto some familiarity when he begins singing... 

"A,B,C,D,B,I,C!" "Oh shit!" I said in my head. He's talking about the ABCs. This kid rearranged the alphabet, and apparently I didn't get the memo. He was singing, proudly and happily. He was thoroughly enjoying himself.  

I love it. Looking at him, I responded.. 
"Yes. I know the ABCs. You're absolutely right A,B,C,D,B,I,C."  

There was too much enjoyment and glee in this boys face to shatter his dreams. He'd learn the correction sooner rather than later, but in that moment I inherited his version and, frankly, I liked it better.  

His teacher also happens to be the Head "English" Teacher for the school. During our meeting for the next lesson she thanked me for stopping in to say hello to the class. Then she expressed her surprise with this one student.  

"He doesn't speak in class." I couldn't believe it. He was firing questions to me.  

"Many times he absent. You only have him class once, but he knows many things. He ahh doesn't speak class. But Evita Sensei say hello and he not stop talking. We teachers very surprised. Sugoi! (amazing!)"  

"Yes," I responded, "Sugoi!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

 My best friend, Jason blessed my blog with the Kreativ Blogger Award. I haven't been on blogspot for too long now, as my past posts were mainly done through Myspace and Facebook, so bare with me. 

I'm told, I now have to reveal seven random things about me. Here goes nothing...

1. I've had surgery on my eye.

2. I have lived on three different continents.

3. My middle name is a gem...Turquoise.

4. I used to have a gap as a child. 

5. I've eaten maggots.

6. I believe in the Law of Attraction. 

7. When I wake up, I start dreaming...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nippon and New York...Matsui bridges the gap

I am in Japan, after getting a call saying that all my classes have been officially cancelled for the day due to the kids getting influenza. Thus has been the trend in many schools since the autumn temperature has revealed herself. Today is also Game 6 of the World Series...Yankees vs. Philly, with the Bronx representers up 3-2 in the series wins. Something tells me to get on and get on GameCast (yes, I know how to navigate sports sites.) I have witnessed in cyber world, the Japan-native, Matsui show everyone what an MVP looks like. I am writing this before the game is finished because, frankly, what he has done in the seven innings I have thus followed is noteworthy, regardless of if there is a Game 7 or not. Both his plays in the 3rd and 5th innings demanded phone calls to the US. New York, I feel you. As I am yelling in my apartment, on a Thursday afternoon, I feel you NY! I know the energy that vibrates from that city I call home. As Jason said, "There is nothing like winning a championship in New York!" This is so right. I can hear the screams from surround apartments by 192nd while the Stadium is down on 161st. I can see the bars, from Westchester to LI, packed with nothing but Yankees supporters daring a Philly fan to say something. Tonight NY bleeds Blue and White! It's just how the city is...I have witnessed it before. NY I feel you.

It's November...goodness. As my last four months, in Japan, wind down, my traveling will be picking up. 

This is the first Thanksgiving where I won't be in Long Island to partake in the feast that goes down on Greenwich Avenue. As my family gathers to break bread, I will be in Japan, most likely bartending amongst a disfunctional 'family' of foreigners. Still, I will be giving thanks, and oozing gratitude for the ability to experience this holiday, in Japan. 

This will be the first Christmas not being around family, long time friends, or a boyfriend. There may not be a Christmas tree, nor mistletoe, nor carols. There will be travel. 

I have a little over two weeks Christmas vacation, and I have given much debate as to where I am going and what I am doing. 

This week I solidified my intention.

Destination: Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia

The photos above, are where I'll be. First three photos are Siem Reap and the last two are Bangkok.

(Shouts to Bethany and Ariana for helping me out with the planning. Love you fellow world travelers.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

in retrospect...Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It has been since I was a kid, and my recent bouts at the Japanese dentist emulate proof of just how opportunistic I was as a child, on this day.
Halloween in New York is unlike any other. The parade, revealed skin, alcohol consumption, and the energy is unbeatable. Yet, this is the second year in a row that I haven't had the pleasure of being home to enjoy it. 

One year ago, on this day, my mother and I were rummaging around the autumn streets of Edinburgh, Scotland. We walked through old cemeteries, inhaled the view from Edinburgh Castle, and braved the underground vaults on a ghost walk. Still, to this day, staying in one of the most amazing 'hotel' apartments I have ever booked on a trip abroad. 

Yet, there was a real gloom to my Halloween, last year. I was attempting to enjoy a vacation, knowing that upon return I'd only have two weeks left to my present freelancing contract. I was burdened with the first real freelance fear of not having a job to turn to. 

It was in that 'closed door', I found an open window by applying everywhere I could find for new gigs. This 'everywhere' included Japan. I didn't apply with real interest in anything more than traveling and needing the finances to make it feasible. But Japan happened so easily. Too easily for me not to take the opportunity. 

Upon return, from Scotland, my last day arrived and 24 hours prior I responded to a email for a temporary Post-Production Assistant position for a show on HBO I hadn't heard of yet, "In Treatment." I got it with nothing more than a phone interview with the AP in their Los Angeles office. On Friday I left Trutv, and on Monday I started HBO's "In Treatment."

Then, unbeknownst at the time, about 12 weeks later, I'd be hired in Japan. 

Last Halloween, I didn't know where I'd be two weeks later, let alone a year later. I went from paranoid about not having a job, to only having a weekend break before starting work on an Emmy-nominated HBO series. 

This Halloween, I have only four months left to what was a one-year commitment, and friends I didn't know existed last year. I danced to sounds from the Average White Djs, while engulfed in Dustin's 'head'. I was four glasses of red wine into a night of dancing that ended with an introduction to a turtle, finding a spot to get Nag Champa in Niigata, and receiving a wooden penis key chain as a souvenir from Bali, compliments of my dear Kotoyo.

I went from not knowing how I was going to pay rent, for December, to one year later having my rent automatically deducted from a paycheck I am receiving in Japan. 

In both these instances, short-term and long-term, I didn't know. I had no idea where the road would lead, but I rocked with it anyway. I saw freedom, as an opportunity for great change, and am blessed for any job I've had to leave because, order to grow, I had to leave. 

So, I've been accepted to Goldsmiths, University of London for September 2010. Next Halloween I will be donning costumes and prancing across London Bridge, because that is the next step in beginning my numerological 1 year. A year of new beginnings, ripe with energy for going back to school, European travels, and the tenacity to explode with Evierobbie Media. 

That is the vision, but who is really sure of the path?
In reality, who wants to be that sure? 
As the line of one of my favorite films reads, "That'd take the piss out of the whole thing."

Take risks.

Friday, October 30, 2009

the kind of guy who...

My friend Gigi posted this on twitter...It is self-explanatory

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you.... The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'”

ahhh love.

weird Japanese ish...Halloween candy style

Yes, that is a photo of regular, Ginger ale, and fruit flavored Kit Kats.
Mind you, this isn't ll of them. I've heard of Soda Pop, Sweet Potato, Caramel flavored, etc...
The Japanese pull no punches on the candy, even though they don't celebrate Halloween. My first Halloween in Japan. Now this is going to be crazy!

FYI, the ginger ale Kit Kats are white chocolate and definitely taste as advertised. (weird)
The fruit Kit Kats are white chocolate, with orange food coloring, and taste like fruit candy with a chocolate cookie consistency. I'm not a fan.

Monday, October 26, 2009

art and sex...

I'm in a mood. 

I'm in a mood that only one of two things can quench, art or sex. 

Where most wouldn't understand...artists comprehend the correlation. 

Sex (love) is the ultimate creation with someone else, while art is the ultimate creation alone.


"Admiring your lava, I keep calm..."

Monday, October 19, 2009

my tooth broke in half (again) Japan

I was amped for lunch today. It's was curry in rice. Not the brown kind, the green kind that reminds me of many ethnic meals of the past. I was going in, and found myself truly enjoying these small plastic snack packets filed with hard dried seaweed. I'm all about texture, and as my mother says, I have a fixation with working for my food (i.e. Alaskan King Crab Legs). I admit, I tend to enjoy foods that require some sort of labor. Today was no different. One of the Japanese teachers was giving away her packet and greedy Evita claimed first dibs... 

My second bite into one of the seaweed pieces and half of my back tooth came off in my mouth. Disgusted? No. Sadly, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Surprised? No. I was told this tooth needed a root canal before leaving New York. $1000 I did not have. Plus, it never hurt. It just wasn't in good condition.  

Slight panic sets in and I realize I need to (today) find a dentist in my area, that will take walk-ins, and that accepts credit cards, for monetarily I have no cash. One of my teachers begins the hunt, scouring the phone book and calling all the dentists in the area. "Sorry, cash only!" Every turn was cash only. One thing Americans may not know is all that plastic money you think you have in America is good as nothing in Japan. This is a cash country. In seven months this will be the first time I have used mine. I pull some side teaching and company contacts to come across Matsumura Dental Clinic, in Kobari. Though I don't read Kangi, I know exactly where this place is. I find myself lost, writing for hours in the Starbucks inside Apita, right across the street. 5pm and I make it. Let the language barrier begin.  

As soon as I walk in I'm greeted, "Evita San. One gaishimas!" Apparently, they knew I was coming, and being the only foreigner in the area, it had to be me. I hand over the gaijin card (equivalent of a green card in America) and take a seat. That's when I notice it... This place is amazing. First, off it's huge. I'm talking ridiculously high ceilings.

So high, it accommodates a TWO floor play area for children, with a spiral staircase. I'm talking about fake life-sized indoor trees, a showcase area of books and DVDs along with tooth brushes along a counter, a bathroom with decked out heated Japanese toilets (including bidet, my fav), personal television screens above everyone's dentist chair with your own attached head phone, and a computer LCD screen attached to your chair that mimics the dentist's computer screen so you can see what he sees. Two leather massage chairs in the lobby, not to mention.....ok I'm being called in.  

I sit on my chair while the dentist assistant takes my slippers and hands me a blanket. I am now waiting for my dentist in a chair, with no shoes on, and a blankie. Only in Japan. At this point, I rebuke every dentist I have ever had in the past. New York, step your dentistry game up. He speaks Japanese, I don't. Through broken forms of both our languages, we make it work and laugh the whole way through. Until I show him my tooth.  

As soon as I opened my mouth, I got that Asia "ehhhhhhh" that I have written about in the past. I shake my head and say, "I know," reaffirming his horror. Then, laying mouth open, I wonder if he is reacting to that specific tooth or my entire mouth. I'm telling you guys. I take care of my smile, but once you get into the back of my mouth it's a crap shoot.  

So the decay has since gone through the dentin, yet there is no nerve damage. This makes sense because I have had no pain. Even with half a tooth gone, I finished my full day at work pain free. Thus, no root canal needed. (By the way I am being told this through an animation book that they have with photos, and translations in English). No root canal needed, and it makes sense. Interesting, considering in February I was told I'd need about $1000 of work done on one tooth. He says they need to clean it, fill it, and make an impression. In a week, I will have my new tooth. I asked again, and he assured no root canal needed, just to fill in the gaps after drilling the decay out. I don't know who to believe, but I'm in Japan now, I like the energy of the place, therefore the Japanese dentist trumps the hood dentist who left a neon blue filling in my mouth for kicks. Asshole.  

So, the most anxiety producing question follows. I ask, " I kur a des ka?" How much is it? He swings around my LCD screen and starts tallying up totals on his computer. He comes up with 4,340 yen ($46). In a joyous outburst, I proclaim, "Ok! Let's go!" I am getting a crown for $46. As my kids say, "Oh my God. Evita Sensei, Unbelievable!" 

Local anesthesia came in the form of Novicane, but in a new vessel. This was less a needle and more a hand gun that clicked. I felt NOTHING, not even the pinch I braced myself for. I noticed immediately that the numbness was centered. In the States, my least favorite part of the dentist is the effects of numbing. I drool, talk awkwardly, and in some cases my mouth is distorted for hours upon completion. The entire section of my face is on leave. This injection was tooth inclusive and that was it! No lingering side effects. I popped back up to find my bill had jumped from 4.340 to 6,290 yen. He apologizes and says, "I'm sorry, big cavity. Ok?" I respond, "Ok." For about 40 mins I go back and forth between him and his assistant. It ended with his assistant putting the oral equivalent of acrylics they use on fake finger nails, around my tooth. She could double as a manicurist if she wanted to.  

There you have it. All for 6,290 yen, or around $65. Why are we debating health insurance in America? Mind you, this price was out of pocket. I haven't even told my Japanese insurance about today yet. Unbelievable. I'm coming home with veneers. 
The memoir is going to be great folks...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

an artist's work...

No foreword can prepare you for the artistic ability you are about to witness. 

Funk Soul Brothers...Japan style

Many of you have read about my excursions around Japan over the last few months. You have also read about my lovely foreign and Japanese friends. Last night was no exception. 

After a day of company protocol and many Evie verbal declarations of, "I can't!" while side eyeing Megan, it all turned out right. 

Miwa, a Japanese friend and Niigata University student who lives around my way, met us at the bar I work at. Once my shift concluded, two cars worth of us headed to Shame for the Soul/Funk night that my homie Suguro put me onto. Suguro and Kotoyo are my oracle for everything hip-hop, old-school, soul/funk, and cheap in Niigata. For that, I am forever indebted. 

It is becoming more apparent that when the time arises to leave this place, it's progressively becoming harder. The first half of this trip was daunting, resembling a jail sentence more so than an experience. I now have legitimate friends...Japanese friends. These friends are not guaranteed to ever visit my country, let alone my city.  These friends barely speak English, and have solidified that it truly doesn't matter. They have been there for me when tears have come down my face, alcohol was consumed, laughs were produced, and dance floors were destroyed. 

I truly love you all. Thank you for being in my life.

Enjoy the video y'all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OBAMA becomes Japan's English Teacher

I found this article on the net today, as it was posted to a friend.

The New York Times has put words to the experience I have here.
In past blogs, particularly those that I posted when first reaching Japan, I spoke of the influence that Obama has had on this country. It is an experience, and pride, that I go into much detail about through anecdotes in my memoir.
This man is loved. From first grade to sixth grade, these elementary school children know two people on cue: Obama and Michael Jackson. Fitting.

Enjoy the read. There is an excerpt below, and the full article link beneath that.

TOKYO — When Utako Sakai was changing the background music in her beauty parlor recently, she did not opt for the classical piano pieces she usually chose.

Instead, she picked her favorite CD: “President Obama’s Inaugural Address,” released by Asahi Press, a Japanese publisher of language books. She says the speech lifts her spirits and helps her to learn English all at once.

“All our customers love it,” said Ms. Sakai, who is based in Ayase City, in Kanagawa Prefecture, outside Tokyo.

The speech CD and its accompanying book have been a resounding success, selling 200,000 copies since its release in January. A compilation of President Barack Obama’s speeches has done even better, selling half a million copies since November, solidifying his role as Japan’s English teacher.

Publishers have since flooded the market with over a dozen language-learning titles, including “Speech Training: Learning to Deliver English Speech, Obama Style”; “Learn English Grammar From Obama”; and “Yes, I Can With Obama: 40 Magical English Phrases From Presidential E-mails.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Below is the full length Oprah episode featuring Mike Tyson, in lieu of the release of the documentary on his life.
Honest, emotional, riveting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

can we have it all?

A conversation with my mother stirred up some dormant emotions today.

Can we have it all?

I am a 25 year old woman with many goals, and the Aries-like attack to go about getting them. I ram head first into everything I want. So much so, I didn't realize it, but when I get close to men, touching my forehead to their chest, back, or shoulder is actually a form of affection for me. Go figure?

Though my current breakup has more levels that are revealed to me, personally, with every passing day there's one theme that apparently presented itself to my mother and brother alike.

Living the life I live, primarily being at a point where I want to travel and see the world over other things, is a life-altering experience with some huge sacrifices. Especially in the world of Facebook, it seems like at every corner someone you went to high school with is either getting married, pregnant, and in some cases approaching their first divorce. I am officially in that age bracket. This is the societal norm. Yet, my lifestyle is far from norm. So do the same rules, or theology, apply to me?

I don't see this as a case of the grass being greener on the other side. I see it as people's lives taking different paths. But, is there some place when you can have the travel, the freedom, the exploration of the world and yourself...but also have love and a relationship while pursuing it? Is it possible? There are a number of couples with my company that did this excursion as a couple. They have made it a priority to see the world, yet make their relationship work simultaneously.

I want that. I want the man that has this need just as much as I do, is willing and able to travel, and share this growth with me. I want someone who understands this alternative lifestyle, its importance, and digs it as much as I do.

There is a serious fear I am facing here. The fear of ending up alone due to my 'over-ambition', and lack of men that will be able to keep up with it. What makes me so vulnerable to hurt right now, I realized in talking with Megan, is that......I thought I had it. I saw something in someone that I thought this could work with.

And as I have told him, I cannot be mad at him for giving me hope. For showing me an inkling of possibility.

Many things were said during the conversation..."It won't happen until you are settled somewhere, and for more than a year." There's validity to it all, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow, especially right now.

Outside of this conversation I have referred to, there have been others where I wonder if people hear what they say.

For example, I had a conversation with someone I hadn't seen or spoken to in years. We were never too close, but enough to say hello every once in awhile. At an attempt to catch up, she asks me what I have been up to, and what my future goals are. I recited my intentions and her immediate response was, "Oh so you must not want to get married and have a family then."

Fighting the urge I had to tell her to go fuck herself, I had to stop and understand that just as I may not relate to those that get married at my age, many of them may not relate to what I am doing. And that is absolutely fine. But I was pissed because unbeknownst to her 'love' is one of my top priorities, and I CANNOT being to describe the amount of pain I feel knowing that my decisions with my life, may in deed, be keeping love away from me, right now. It's just a reality to my movement.

Truthfully, I feel I am at my best when in love, and have always preferred being in a relationship to the 'dating' scene. So, contrary to popular belief, one day I want to be married, and I want kids, and I want to show that family the same world I have been exploring on my own.

I will not move around like this forever. For now, it is what I have to do. So that when that day comes, and that man enters my life, I am then ready to give all of me because I have grown and found all of me. I will never stop traveling, but I will develop a home. My own home.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

technological warfare...

I don`t know if there is any other time in which technology becomes the enemy, the way it does during a breakup, split, or separation from a significant other.

No other medium in our life displays our activites and thoughts with such speed as technology. Communication, even while living on the other side of the world, bridges the gap between the known and the unknown (daily, and in more cases hourly). Where it was merely the telephone, a letter, and emails if either party wanted to break the silence, we now have to deal with Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, AIM and the status updates that come along with all of them.

In a very psychological way, it`s technological warfare.

Some may find that a dramatic comparison, yet I beg to differ. During a breakup, the telephone, websites, AIM, everything remsembles an arsenal against your emotions. Do you `play Russian Roulette and put that phone to your head`, just to say hello? Or do you go with your better judgment and distract yourself as a way to begin the grieving?

If you`re like me, it`s the status updates that throw you into a spiral. Reading so far into a phrase that fits a 145 character limit, that you could write a thesis on its own personal interpretation, according to you. When, truth be told, it may not even be about you. Twitter is interesting because everyone`s pages are pretty much open for view. There you can too easily follow the back and forth between parties in an actual conversation. How lovely for you, your emotions, and your imagination.

I feel like these websites become guns when I am in emotional peril. Checking an exs page on the wrong day, at the wrong time, will have your gut in so many knots it does literally feel like your emotions got shot. As a writer, I am a word Nazi, and already pay very close attention to the language people use. During a separation, all this does is become more magnified.

It is a push and pull with myself. I know I shouldn`t look. I know there is the possibility of severe damage afterwards....but the curiosity is daunting. In analyzing this, I also found that one of the reasons I still check is because it still gives a sense of connection to the person. I still feel like I am semi-in their life. Sometimes hurtful as it may be, it still makes me feel as though I am a part of something once shared. In a distorted way, that feels good.

This type of torture is very personal and self-inflicting. Most of us do this damage in private, while sitting in front of a computer screen in the comfort of our own misery.
My question is, `why?`
Is it simply addicitive?

As I am in week one of my own split, I am really trying to analyze my patterns, understand them, have compassion, and eventually find the least bumpy route to deal with my emotions right now. For I am currently emotionally purging. The man I have enjoyed since last Septemeber, fell in love with in May, I am now letting go of in September.

As I write about technological warfare, I am still debating on an oldschool communication. My phone has been off due to my international phone bill, and the Universe couldn`t have had better timing. An intense wine-induced episode this past weekend was one attempted phone call away from being a disaster of epic proportions.

Then there`s this letter. Nothing major, nothing all emotionally inclusive, nothing heavy...just something that we both would laugh at, and both could appreciate. I bought it with the intention of mailing it out on payday (today). But any remnants of `we` are on a break right now. I want to send this letter more than I can describe. Right now though, I know I can`t.

It hurts, and it will for awhile. But Evie is `tougher than tough times`. Bare with me y`all...

Monday, September 28, 2009

20 week workout start...

Ok, it's time for the workout plan for the second half of my trip.
You will notice it is more than twice the length as the plan I executed during the beginning of the summer. I am taking advantage of the second half and getting my body in the best shape it has been in.
Truthfully I don't have much going on outside of what my first plan was. I am playing this by ear. It's all about getting my consistency up before I start with the workout add-ons.
I started yesterday, and took the photos below after my night run today. Look for four week updates.

Starting stats: September 28th, 09
Start Weight: 156.2 pounds
Weight goal: 145-148
Exercise Goal: up to 45 mins of running straight, yoga classes, hip-hop dance classes

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My type of daily motivation...

This is my type of motivation. So much so, it gets a shout in the memoir.
A day with hours of writing the memoir, and a great Letter of Affiliation for the Fulbright.
Thank you to Nelson for putting me onto this clip first. Thank you to Kennedy for sparking the conversation that made me revisit it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

a weekend to remember...

I‘m beginning to allow myself to feel better. I pick my language carefully, in that; I do mean ‘allow’. Granted my recent stressors (including a new crash course in sublet laws) have had me out of the aura of positivity I aim to consciously keep around me. I’ve been truly upset with a number of decisions made by others, and myself, recently. I immediately look for lessons, but as he said “They may not show themselves right away.” People only affect you as much as you allow them to. I have allowed it on a number of days during my month back from NYC, yet will not allow it any longer. As long as I stay honest and true to my intentions (both past and present) then the Universe will have my back. More importantly, I know my karma is intact.

The Universe…oh how dope it is. It truly wastes no time in reminding you of your path, as long as you are listening. In the midst of the recent series of unfortunate events, I prayed to not waste any more energy on that which is bringing me negativity, and to refocus on ………

Something is making me stop this mid-blog. See, I wrote this six-page journal entry yesterday while sitting at the river and enjoying a break from the Dance festival. I have been attempting to load video all morning, and was going to transfer my six-page journal entry into a blog to supplement one of the videos. I was just writing verbatim what I prepared yesterday, so excitedly to share. Out of nowhere, something is telling me not to. I don’t know if what I have experienced the last few days, in regards to the Universe, is only for me and those closest to me to know, or maybe the blog equivalent of a six-page entry is too much for you to bear reading. Or maybe its presence is needed in the memoir, rather than this format.

What I will say is that this weekend went from being horrendous, to being simply perfect. It started with my being mentally stuck underneath someone else’s intentions for me, and concluded with me morphing into a phoenix of sorts, soaring above the issues to remember what it is that is truly important.

I enjoyed conversations that rebuilt my tenacity for Goldsmiths, for moving to London, for building Evierobbie, for getting the Fulbright, for love, and for the affect I have on these children, and they in turn have on me.

I feel artistic Evita, my true self, showing herself again. The writing obsession has given way to the film critiquing, and book reading Evita.

There is something to say for needing to adjust to a place, but I remember noticing the loss of artistic connection I felt inside when I moved to Niigata. Now, I am doing things I loved before I came to Japan, films and reading being two of them. It took me five months to get through a book when I got here initially. That’s unheard of.

During my first two weeks, back from NYC, I have finished one and am now nearly half way through my second. This is the woman I remember being. This is the lover I remember being. When I feel good, and produce my art, the Universe speaks to me in ways unimaginable.

With the crew on an island, braving the September weather, I actually connected to where I lived. It was a weekend of dance festivals everywhere from in front of my apartment, to downtown in the city. I knew there were festivals, but had no idea it was dance related. I cheered on students I have, and videotaped them with the pride of a parent. I have so much footage of the crews. Below is one. I will post more as I have time to render footage. As for right now, my laptop and I have a date with Starbucks. Memoir.

1st of a few videos.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nelson George's "City Kid"...cop it!

I finished Nelson George’s memoir, “City Kid: A Writer’s Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success” and I find myself physically situated in an elementary school in Niigata, yet mentally scouring the streets of Fort Green, Brooklyn in search of 19 Willoughby. His words, and recollections of a life well lived, are intoxicated with Brooklyn during arguably one of the most important eras in recent Black history. He was, and in many ways still is, the literary force during the emergence of hip-hop, distinguished Black film, and soul music.

Digesting the pages, with hints of both jealousy and awe, I read of his friendships with Spike Lee, Russell Simmons, Chris Rock, and Rocky Ford. Nelson George is blessed in that he came into fruition in the beginning of a new era. Nelson George is smart because he noticed it and took advantage. Soul was giving way to R&B, hip-hop introduced itself in the South Bronx, and the world wanted a piece. Luckily, Fort Green had become an epicenter for housing Black talent in nearly all of the arts, and George had become friends with every single pioneer.

George writes about the unrelenting influence the greats, like Hemingway and Wright, have had on his work. He reminisces about discovering their old school NYC hangouts and visiting himself. There he would breathe in the atmosphere and exhale the words. I wonder if he ever knew that he’d one day have the same effect on younger writers.
I was introduced to Nelson George not through a book, but rather my television. I was hooked to his travel series, “Soul Cities” and enjoyed eyeing the food while listening to the stories behind the music. From this show, I did know him as a writer but not enough for it matter in my own process.

This past August, I returned to NYC for a much-needed break from Japan and frequented my self-proclaimed second home in the city, the Union Square Barnes and Nobles. That building has seen hours of my reading and writing. Its also endured interviews I have conducted for J’Adore Magazine. On the hunt for “Art of Time” to help in the writing process of my memoir, I was told that they were sold out. Pissed, because nothing comes between me and my books, I perused around the “Employee Recommended” table and found “City Kid”. The price for the hardcover was a bit more than I budgeted for but I got it anyway. When things catch my attention, I give it in return. Little did I know I’d be investing in something that had the power to shape my own approach to writing.

I fly through books. The fastest I have read a memoir was in four hours and I could’ve accomplished this easily in reading, “City Kid”. I caught myself not wanting to though. I would slow down, wanting the words to last and the story to continue. The anecdotes about famous friendships that started from humble beginnings reminded me of an observation Jason and I made two years ago, about how many times famous friends seem to be created in clusters. You are the company you keep, and I act as so. George’s Amsterdam News and Billboard Magazine is my J’Adore Magazine. We both share single parent upbringing, a writing obsession, an underlying love story, and favorite getaways in lower Manhattan. This is a memoir, that no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t NOT personalize it. It spoke directly to me.

We’ve shared small Twit exchanges, but I am seriously intending to somehow attract the mentorship of this man. Dope read and highly recommended. Also, check the trailer for Chris Rock and Nelson George's documentary "Good Hair". It killed at the independent festivals and is being released in October. I hope it's released in the Asian market, if not I will be buying it online. (Shouts to all the sistas who wear their hair natural. We are far and few.)

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

American's character....jester?!

I sit at my laptop with the lust to continue my memoir, yet the need to respond to President Obama's speech. Being in Japan, MSNBC is typically my late informant on those things political, and today was no different.

The above link is Obama's speech on healthcare.

For fifty-one minutes I watched the most transparent split in legislation, occupy one room, and do everything from give repeat standing ovations, to bolt demeaning epithets to the he works to make sure every American is covered under health insurance.

This is why, of the character I have seen, I deem America as a jester. We look like clowns. And being about as far away from the United States as humanly possible, it's legitimized and magnified when you are on the outside looking in. You can tell I'm pissed because my vocabulary comes out.

If a scream of rejoice can completely dismantle Howard Dean's run in the Presidential primaries then this fool, Joe Wilson, needs to have his Congressional card revoked. Yes, this is a heated 'debate' but there is no excuse for a lack of respect for the person that holds the Highest Power in the Land. This is the President. You bite your tongue until you are with your close associates and friends.

I feel that with my lifestyle, I'm afforded a greater point of view on this subject, both to my delight and dismay. I have traveled around Europe, and lived in Paris. I currently live in Japan. I have a roster of friends that is so diverse, I could start an initiative to create my own potential UN. Where this experience comes in is that it gives a wider view. In no way am I dwarfing the impact of travel, but many times I do it just to meet people and see things. From this simple act, the world becomes a revolving door.

Now, from my first trip to Europe, six-weeks post obtaining a BA, I hit the runway. While there I worked with over one hundred artists from all over the world. We entertained conversations on everything from film, sex, religion, politics, and yes, health insurance. I came back with the saying that "America wants to keep its people sick and stupid." In EVERY other nation I have visited in developed countries, there is a free public healthcare system, and/or option, and in some countries higher education is FREE! These conversations baffled me. It was like I was introduced into another world. At my age, I don't need the works, I merely need a plan that will allow me to get yearly exams, and take care of any women's health issues I need. That's it. I am at an age where everything is preventative.

And people wonder why more and more I lead the life of a pending expat.

Since my first trip abroad, in 2006, I have been an advocate for a public option, and now we have a President who is so close to getting this for his people. We finally have a President who wants this as much as the people need it, but his opponents, primarily Republicans, are sabotaging his plan because they don't like him. How evil, desperate, tasteless, selfish, and inhumane must you be?

In his passing, Ted Kennedy hit it right on the head with the words he left for Obama, "What we face is a moral issue." This is indeed a moral issue, and if you don't believe so then you obviously do not know the makeup of our government, and you are lying to yourself. The character of this country has been so far distorted that we evidently don't know who we are anymore. But I will tell you what we are, sick and stupid.

As a freelancer, I have not had health insurance through a job in two years. I am in Japan paying $67 a month for health insurance that covers dental. In Europe, free health insurance is the norm, with certain provisions. Any of my European friends please feel free to correct me and chime in.

Prior to Japan, I was paying for health insurance to the tune of $308 a month for health insurance that is worse than the $67 I have here. $308 a month. A year before signing up with Freelancer's Union (whose rates are also going up) I went uninsured for almost a year. If you think about it, it's cheaper for me to save my money, pay for yearly checkups out of pocket, and not have health insurance. One, maximum two months insurance fee, could cover my costs and I can save the rest of that money throughout the year.

In New York, the health industry is the NUMBER ONE grossing industry. Over entertainment. That is gross.

So when I hear a President who is about doing something, and see a room split in applause, I become angry. Healthcare should be a right, not a bankrupting privilege.

I write this blog as an ode to my best friend, Bethany, who has risked her life in ways unimaginable to make sure that people in underdeveloped communities, in the most horrific of countries, get the access to healthcare and food they have no idea.