My hands have burned or ached for over a month while fixing up my old grandmother's home that she bought in 1976 in Salinas, California. Monterey County - picker's country and home to a famous Rodeo that will be there this month.
Since my brother's sudden death in late May - my son - Dylan and I have made many treks to my beloved central California area where air conditioners and swimming pools aren't a thought.
I was told that 600 lbs. of vines with trunks as large as small trees were weighed in at the dump and that was a fraction of what I've cut, pulled, clipped or yanked off of trees, fences and plants that were suffocating. I realized that I always was the one in the family to hold so much together and at the same time the one to be there when things were ending or gone.
With so many deaths having hit me in recent years of weight - my plunging into the work of redoing an entire little house has helped me deal with a lot of grief as well as learning again - why I left small towns yet long in my heart to return to one. A romantic to the end - that is me.
The house last week, for the first time felt like it exhaled with relief. New ceramic tiles, rugs, paint and the cabinets sanded down, stained and revarnished have made this little place a haven that I hope will ease my life a bit. I will have a home to go to one day that holds many memories of my operatic grandmother who sang until her late 80's and played grand piano, took her daily walks and did her exercise in the mornings always proclaiming, "I am old, ugly and going to die." for as long as my memory serves. Omi would love the house as it is now. My uncle who died young of lung cancer would marvel that my son grew to stand beside me and help get me through this rough patch - never easily - while learning new skill sets. My brother would just say, "F*** Eve. This looks nice."
We went to the aquarium in Monterey as a decompresser before returning home last week so I could sit with my editors for sHorty & Morty's second installment - 'Hollywood @ Steak.' Memories so rich I smelled them and the realization that I didn't quit on my project that in the past few days has me laughing again. Laughter I've needed - the kind of from the gut healing laughter that makes one's tummy sore.
I was discovered kissing a cartoon as a child - my safe place was the television set while growing up - it brought me to Los Angeles after my theatre and film training. For some reason I do believe there is a kindness in this world no matter how harsh or difficult things are or become and pour that into both Celine/sHORTY and Morty's storyline. That TV set was safer than any family I had growing up, schooling, relationships and yet I marvel at the illusion of it all. The sea brings me great comfort.
sHORTY & Morty has played in two festivals in Australia with our 3rd to be July 17th in Comfy Shorts as I await word on several more! I have been asked to speak on a comedy podcast today at 6PM (link provided to listen at any time) as a result of people hearing about my first short and wanting to know more about the second. Thank you Darren Staley and Dylan Brody. Call in number is 1-858-947-6631 and the url is: http://dylanbrodysneighborscouch.com/
I'll get a chance to speak about a wonderful mentor who also became a beloved friend - Andy Kaufman - who would back this project all the way if not join in the fun. I can hear his giggle and see his smile and know that the antics of the world's most extraordinary homeless couple hitting Hollywood Boulevard in hopes of making some dough like the other costumed characters would have him cheering me on as the Patch has. We were honored last year as one of 11 heroes and it means a great deal to me.
There is not a person in either short that doesn't have something to overcome - when the web site is finished, Mike our editor has given permission to show you sHORTY & Morty while in other festivals. It's a different world and I hope it brings you thoughts to ponder - a good belly laugh and wanting more. Right now this duo has kept me going and forced me to seek help where I normally would try to do everything alone. Drum roll...and ya gotta have friends....
Andy Kaufman, sHORTY & Morty and me. It's going to be a fun evening. http://dylanbrodysneighborscouch.com/