Soccer & My Field of Dreams

I have been thinking recently about some tough times in high school. I never really fit in; I never really understood why. I was tortured by it really.  I never spoke about it. I just tried to keep busy. I sang in choirs and bands and played a lot of sports. I never knew why I didn’t fit in; I just didn’t. Now I  realize why but back then I didn’t know. I had friends but I was really shy and just wasn’t on the same level as most of the other kids.

I was always worried and scared and well just different. My interests didn’t jive with anyone else or any of my friends and that felt like a lonely place. If it wasn’t for sports I don’t think I would have done as well as I had. Well, I take that back, I know I wouldn’t have.

Especially Soccer. I was good at it. I never even played soccer until freshman year in high school. Me and some friends kind of joined on a whim to get in shape for basketball. I ended up doing better in soccer. We were a brand new team. Our town didn’t have soccer teams when we were coming up so it was all new to us. No one wanted to play goalie and I said, shit, I’ll do it. I mean I already knew how to catch and I knew I could jump and dive. I just had to learn about the game and the angles. Goal keeping is all about cutting down those Angles. Since our team was so new and a lot of the teams in the wealthier surrounding towns had been playing for a while we got our asses kicked. Great for me because I saw a lot of action in the goal and I got good.  It was a soccer for dummies crash course. I mean we would lose 20 – 0 and I still had like 120 saves. I was beaten and bruised; so much so that I got called down to the counselors office because they thought I was being beaten. I was like no …I’m just on the soccer team.

My general practitioner would examine me and after  seeing my bruises he didn’t let his own daughter play soccer in school. I tried to explain it was unusual circumstances, I was a goalie on a very young team. I had bruises that were as big as my whole shin. Literally people would try to take me out or break my leg. We were undefeated and that was no joke. There was all sorts of under-handed stuff that happened out there. Some teams were classy. Others .. not so much. I was always in pain but it was ok.

There was something about soccer, I was good at it and i liked it a lot. It made me take my mind off my problems. It got me thru. I would be running , kicking, diving and jumping on that soccer field and it made things feel possible again.

I was really happy when I decided to play soccer in college and found a school that wanted me. I found a few actually. I even got into UMASS and they were NO. 1 in the country in womans soccer but I chose to go to a smaller school. Looking back I probably made the wrong decision but UMASS was so big and scary to me back them. In college I was on a completely different kind of team than high-school. They were undefeated and they were very good and I might only have one shot and one save the whole game. That was a mental warfare.  It takes tenacity and Mental stamina to be a goalie. You had to stay focused and you had to save that one shot because if you didn’t you could lose and that was not an option. I felt alive in that goal. I felt alive as soon as I put those goalie gloves on. I can tell you that going to college didn’t change anything about feeling different. I always felt like I didn’t fit in but soccer was everything for me at the time and somehow it got me feeling more centered like maybe I could finally fit in.

When we would practice we would do this thing where the team would just take continuous shots at me one after the other. That was pure adrenaline. Diving, getting up, diving again. It was great. I remember one practice we were doing that and I just started sobbing in the middle of the drill. I just stood there crying and my team-mates were just looking at me. They thought I was hurt. I wasn’t, not the way they thought.. I just told them to give me a minute.

They all looked so confused as I sat there and sobbed; my coach was like what’s wrong? Sometimes that happens.  A wave of emotion comes over you and you can’t submerge it,  it comes unexpected; deep pit in your stomach, moves up to your throat and then … there it is. Without any warning.

Dark feelings, depression, learning problems and social problems would overwhelm me at times and I didn’t know what to do about it. That soccer field was my saving grace.  After games I would run around the field or late at night I would go out there and run three or four miles.  I  didn’t run as much as my team-mates being the goalie so many times I would run after practice or after games; whatever. I felt like a bad -ass queen when I was in that goal. I loved that game. I loved that field. During the day in between classes I would go to the field and get some sun. Listen to some music. Put some Robert Cray on the boom box and chill. I got some dark tans in New Hampshire on that field.  Because I was on the soccer team I got to be in a apartment building  that was really for upper classman but I got in because I was a soccer player so my apartment was like 10 feet from the soccer field and everything else you needed. There were some perks for being a soccer player.

When I got out of college I said to my self, what am I going to do without my soccer team and my soccer field. What am I going to do? I knew that soccer helped me with whatever was going on with me. With that deep depression and I was worried because I knew it would get worse and it did. I didn’t know a lot about my feelings back then but I knew enough to know that.

After college I would go to the gym and do other activities but nothing compared to running on that grass and kicking and diving and running and competing in such a way that made me feel alive. At that time when I was on that field in that goal with my team  I felt like I finally fit in. I was the captain of my ship. For three hours I felt like there is where I am supposed to be and all was ok. I was part of a team and I loved them. When I was thinking about that game I didn’t have time for intrusive thoughts and if they did come they didn’t stay as long. After we won and we always did …that adrenaline kept me RIGHT until the next practice or game.

Whenever I would lose my way and I still do at times; I would think of that soccer field and the sun on my face and the fresh air and think how can I find that again. The feeling of being alive and in the moment of competition; focused on my team mates and that game. Damn I miss that.

I dream of soccer still, sometimes I wake up and my heart is racing and it’s another soccer dream. As life changes and we grow and get older things change and adult stuff happens. Sometimes staying balanced can get difficult. It’s easy to lose our way.

As long as I can always find “my field” it helps me thru, what’s your field?

 

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

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Navy Sky

The moon was a perfect sliver in the Navy Sky
As I look up for a moment 
My hands release my head
I'm dizzy. Spinning. 
I look back down and sob
into my hands
as my tears drip softly down to the ground 
thru my long fingers
making little puddles next to my shoes.
I made a mistake
I made a mistake
I am in pain
So I drink
and I drink 
and I drink
and think about what I've done
Over and over like a spinning wheel
I can't stop
Thinking
Thinking
Thinking
I am melting into this bench
wishing I could be this bench
so I don't have to be human ever again.
It seems I never learn
My heart burns
My stomach churns 
and hell returns to me like an old friend who is 
softly tapping me on the shoulder
and whispering in my ear
sweet nothings 
of what could have been.
How sad. 





 

 

 

Wedding China

 

You are thinking and people are talking and you are thinking while their mouths move in slow motion. Sometimes you are thinking extraordinary thoughts; violent thoughts, painful thoughts as they talk to you about the pattern on their new wedding china.

 

If they only knew. —- 

Jlozier

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I’m not a car …. 

If you want to help someone who has a mental illness and is in recovery here’s some Do’s and Dont’s. 
DONT

1. Don’t patronize them and talk about them with others about their behavior and how you can fix them. 

2. Don’t listen to rumors .. treat them for how they have treated you. 

3. Sending them self help quotes on a daily basis doesn’t help. Thanks for doing it but It just reminds us daily of the stuff we have to conquer daily. 

4. Don’t say that everyone has bad days and snap out of it. Mental disorders are not a bad day and not everyone has mental illness. It’s so maddening when people dismiss the suffering. 

5. Don’t avoid us, we aren’t monsters. 

DO

1. Do ask them to lunch and ask how they are doing today. 

2. Reach out and Give them a call and say Hi …. it’s really that easy. 

I never asked a friend to fix me; I just ask for your friendship.  I’m not a car and your not a mechanic. 

Peace

Jloz

Driving while Sniffing Trees

little-trees1So, I went to pick up some photographs I got framed at this local frame shop today. I started talking to Ahmad who worked there. He is an American originally from Afghanistan. So he started telling me a story. He was driving in Upper Saddle River and this is a very upper scale exclusive white neighborhood. He told me that he was pulled over by a police officer and he wasn’t speeding. So I asked him what reason did the police say for pulling him over then and he said that they gave him a ticket because he had an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. An air freshener!? Are you kidding me?

I understand you’re not supposed to have a lot of stuff hanging from the rear view mirror because it can “obstruct the drivers view” but they sell those pine tree air fresheners with the little string or ribbon in every super market in the united states. Your supposed to hang them on the rear view mirror. So let’s be real. These are little laws that are put into the fabric of police work so as to give them a reason to profile citizens and gives them a legal reason to pull people over even if there isn’t “really” a reason to be pulled over. watch out for the big Bad Pine Tree.

You might want to take any Air fresheners down if you have them up because a police officer can stop you and god forbid you had an extra glass of wine at dinner or you have a pending ticket that you never paid. It will only cause trouble. But let’s be clear what really happened with Ahmad. They saw a brown-ish man in a very expensive town and ran his plates and when they saw his name is Ahmad, they pulled him over for that big bad Road Obstructing Pine tree. Profiling. Now unless you live under a rock you must know that New Jersey State Police  is known for profiling its citizens.

 I have had conversations with State Cops that will tell you to your face, yes,  that was part of their day every day. They admit it and a lot of them hated to have to do it. That brings another thing to mind. I have taken a lot of crap for supporting black lives matter. I took crap for my Facebook posts about Ferguson. A family member actually told me that if I didn’t trust the police than I must have something to hide. Really? Something to hide? Let me tell you something. I have nothing against police officers. People tell me ..you better watch it because when you need one they won’t be there… Well you know what, I have needed them and they weren’t always there anyway. I have stories, believe me. Especially NYC Police. What a bunch of bullshit. God forbid you want to fight a ticket. Once my alternator blew and I was in the middle of Seventh Ave at night, Broken down. I almost got killed because cars couldn’t see me because none of the lights in the car worked and the police wouldn’t give me a sparkler to put behind my car even though I ask various police officers to do that. How was that helping me? I will tell you what they did give me. A ticket for double parking. Double parking, WTF. I was towed by a tow truck because my alternator blew, how can you give me a ticket for that? You can’t complain because I tried and they told me tough your complaint it closed. Even when you have proof. I had the receipt from the tow truck company, and the receipt from the mechanic that did the alternator replacement. You can’t fight the bullshit. I had even worse  experience before with the NYC police, I call it my “Crash moment”. (ever see the movie Crash) I’ll talk about it at another time. The police actually terrorized me and the man I was with becasue I was white and he was black. We were stopped for no reason other than that reason. Ill talk about that incident another time, this is about Ahmad today.  That doesn’t mean I hate all police. That would be stupid.  Right?

Police are human, some are bad and some are good, some are great. I know that. They have a very difficult job. I get it. That doesn’t mean we can ignore the people in the streets in Fergueson or any other town in America.  I refuse to ignore the people in the streets.  When there is that much civil unrest there is a systemic problem. There is bullshit going on. For god sake, how in god’s name …how is it that in the middle of LA, and other cities..we allow the gangs to kill each other in such a way that its soldier warfare. All these kids killing each other with assault weapons. Did you ever ask yourself why that happens, five miles from The Hollywood Stars. That is some man-made American violence and it exists because someone wants it to. Someone with power. This is the result of good ol USA oppression and its disgusting.

I don’t hate cops, I have a problem with the whole damn system. I know this shit trickles down from the top. The corruption is what I have a problem with. Don’t tell me there is no corruption in the legal system and don’t tell me that the police can’t do better within the communities that they are supposed to serve. Don’t tell me there isn’t room to improve.

Don’t ask me why I support Black Lives Matters. Ask yourself why you don’t?

And if you really think Ahmad was stopped for any other reason than his brown skin and his name than you’re in denial, youre the one with something to hide. You can keep your mind closed and support every thing the police do even when they kill unarmed people but don’t give me crap because  I think we can do better. Don’t you think the police officers themselves would be happier if they didn’t have to work within a legal system where the laws keeps changing depending on who’s on the other side of it? Don’t you think that is stressful for them. It puts them in a working environment of abusive misconduct.

This blog is in honor of Ahmad and anyone like him that had to be profiled because of who they are. People that have to worry when they drive in a neighborhood from which they are not from. You better hide those Pine trees. Hide those license plate frames too, they can stop you for those too even though they are sold in every amusement park, zoo and stadium in America. Do whatever you can to fly underneath the radar. I want to thank Ahmad for his story today. God Bless All Americans of every Sex, Color, Nationality,  Religion and Sexual orientation. And God Bless the Police. We are all human. I think we can do better. You have a right to fight that idea but I choose to acknowledge it.  I have nothing to hide.

Peace.

JLOZ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROOM 203

 

Mark Twain Hotel, 345 Taylor St. Jan. 22, 1949

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This story is the reason I think there is a connection, a destiny, and maybe an existentialist thread from the moment were born to the moment we die. It’s not a big story but it is big story to me and I’ll tell you why. It proves a point, about destiny and how just maybe our subconscious and our dreams  know what we are to become even before we understand it ourselves.

When I was eleven I went on a plane for the first time. It was a pretty big deal. My parents and me were going to California. I remember the trip and some of the stuff we did. It was a big deal because we always went to the jersey shore for a week if we could afford it but this was big for my parents. This trip was the trip of a lifetime for my them at the time. We did all the typical tourist stuff that tourists do. We went to a wax museum and Universal Studios. We saw Alcatraz. We visited my parents friends in San Francisco and they took me on a canoe ride right under the golden gate bridge. That was beautiful. We went to China Town in San Francisco and we drove down that famous windy road. We rode cable cars and we drove on that scary and breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway . We saw the Big Redwoods.  We even went to Carmel, Clint Eastwood Territory. I remember there was a store there that was just for lefties. Everything in the store was for a southpaw.. I’m a lefty I thought that was cool. I remember we couldn’t find a hotel one night and we thought we would have to sleep in the car. Back then we didn’t have computers and or phones to help us know what to do and my parents were not savvy travelers because they never really traveled. It was a great trip but I was eleven and not very present but I had as much fun as I could at the time.   I remember we were staying in a hotel in San Francisco  and we were walking to a restaurant and I guess we were right on the edge of the red light district because there were prostitutes everywhere. I really liked the restaurant because it  had a salad bar and an ice cream bar and a live band and I never saw anything like that before. I mean give an eleven year old unlimited ice cream and well yeah..that’s cool. .My parents knew how much I liked that restaurant so we went back the second night and again we walked past the prostitutes .  .. each time feeling a bit out-of-place but I liked it. My Parents not so much.  I was always attracted to  Gritty ..even as a young kid. I didn’t like that the girls were prostitutes but I liked the feeling in the air, there was life going on, different from the boring suburbs. There was an energy  I felt that my soul was attracted too instantly. I always felt like a prisoner in the suburbs. It was depressing for me.  I used to walk along 42nd street a lot when I was 16 or 17 and I thought it was cool. I would hang out in the village but I would walk down 42nd street to get back to the port authority.  Pimps always thought I was a run-a-way and I would tell them..no I’m just from Jersey.  🙂  Ha Ha.  I will never forget Gypsy the pimp. He was dressed in all red leather, it was the eighties, Eddie Murphy was popular. He had a red leather cowboy hat to match and a lot of gold chains. His chest was showing thru his red leather jacket  Gypsy The Pimp, I never forgot him.  I met up with twice; not on purpose of course. He had a great memory because he remembered me. I of course remembered him.  He would walk me to the port authority and he would ask me questions along the way and he was very polite and very likable..and in there lies the problem. He wasn’t dumb. God bless his next victim. Both times when I got to the port Authority Gypsy would say Au Voir my little friend, and them he would yell. Your too pretty to be from New Jersey and would flash that big smile.

I used to think about how smart and charismatic Gypsy was and what might he had become if he had been allowed to be something else.

So Anyway, back to San Francisco.

The name of the hotel we were staying at was The Mark Twain Hotel.  Now this is the part of the story that freaks me out. I never understood why but I loved that hotel. I mean I really loved it. When we got there we walked into the lobby and the bell hop was super friendly and bent down and gave me a sticker, like an oval one you see on everyone’s cars now a days with initials on them. The sticker was brown and it read the Mark Twain Hotel and it had a clipper boat on it. I loved getting that sticker and the bell man was very nice too me. First Impressions and all.  I really liked the lobby, it was kind of dark, lots of Mahogany I think and it had a feeling ..old ..like stuff happened there…you know like history. I just felt it and I liked it. It was instinctual.

We went up to the room and it was really small. I remember reading that some of those rooms were really small because back in the day they were  made small for the maid or butler quarters. ….for the help that traveled with their uh ..employers or masters…ok I said it….You know rich people would bring their help and the small rooms were for them. So anyway the room was really small. I think I slept on a cot. The bathroom was so small and it had one of those old-fashioned sinks and the bathtub had feet. The walls were covered with small square tiles. I loved everything about that room. My parents weren’t thrilled but I was loving it. Ok so here we are in a really old hotel near the red light district and I was happy and didn’t want to leave. Now I don’t know why I loved that hotel so much, I do like vintage old stuff and was attracted to that even as a young kid. There was something else though….Something I felt about it….I felt that history, I mean it is called the Mark Twain Hotel. The literary history was dripping in the air. The only time I felt that again was when I stayed at the Paramount in New Orleans…when I was there so was AL Gore at the time and you know the story was that historically a ton of politicians would  stay there and wheel and deal. The bar tender told me the Blue Room, bar at the Paramount , was famous for shifty wheelin’ and dealin’ going on over a stiff drink…it had that same feel. I believe you can feel stuff  in the air and the way it moves around you ; like a kinetic science of some sort.

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What’s weird though is what happened after. Years went by and I grew up and I never forgot about the Mark Twain hotel. I would think about it all the time. I made a scrap-book out of some pictures I took there at the hotel and I had that sticker that the bell hop gave me in my scrapbook. I couldn’t forget it. The memories were so vivid to me. I even knew what room we stayed because I wrote it in my scrapbook. Room 203.

I recently checked back into the website to see what was going on with the hotel and it was sold. It is now called the Tilden Hotel. Bummer, that must be recent because I looked at it last year and the website still said The Mark Twain Hotel. So in my twenties is when I discovered Billie Holiday and I of course loved her… I was reading some stuff on a website about Billie recently and then I came across something about the Mark Twain Hotel and I started to feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up….I got a tingle feeling.  On January 22, 1949 Billie was arrested when a raid occurred by federal Narcotic agents at the Mark Twain Hotel. They raided her room for a very small amount of opium and a pipe that they found in her room. This was an ongoing witch hunt from the FBI on Billie. They would try to do anything to destroy her and I believe in the end..they finally did. They eventually took away her NYC Cabaret card preventing her to work or perform anywhere that sold alcohol.

Billie was heartbreak, Billie was beautiful. Billie deserved better.

She wasn’t the only one in the arts that the feds were to crucify but it was a damn shame. So after reading that article I thought to myself was that the reason?  Was that the history I felt. Every hair was standing up on my arms and neck  when I looked at what room Billie got arrested in. I realized it was the same room we stayed in. Unbelievable …it was Room 203!  Here comes the existential thread. The DE-JA-VU. The come full circle of it all. Is this the reason I loved this hotel so much. Did my sub conscious somehow know that Billie was in this very room. Years later I am inspired by her in a way that is mind-blowing for me and as an eleven year old, did my body, my mind , my spirit already know I was connected to something  in room 203?  Something kinetic again, energy is the motion of waves, electrons, atoms, molecules, substances, and objects right, so it was about the way the air felt or moved or somehow my sub-conscience knew that something happened there. Ever since I was 20  I wanted to sing the blues like Billie. I adore her.

This is why I think our bodies and spirits and antennae that is our living human body is much more insightful than we might want to admit. Do our bodies know our destiny when we are small?  Is our destiny in our blood plasma. Is our destiny in out flesh. Is our destiny in our hearts. Is our destiny in the 65 percent water that makes up most of who we are.  All I know it something about that hotel attached to me just like Billie’s songs of heartbreak attached to me and never let go. I thought about it often and never knew why. Maybe this is why. If not and I am wrong and it’s just a coincidence then so be it but it makes a story non the less. I knew I loved to sing when I was eleven but I didn’t know consciously that I would be on a stage doing it. I never thought that would be an option for me.

Now there is a plaque that lies near the entrance of the room. The Billie Room. I didn’t know who Billie was in 1977.  I don’t know if the plaque was there in 1977  but I was there and I never forgot.

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The pictures above are mostly more current pictures of the hotel. I have some of my pictures and one of my dad in front of the hotel right here. This is what the hotel looked like in 1977.

 

 

 

 

My Process. My Truth

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In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Today I thought I would be honest and share my thought process in making hard decisions.  Martin Luther King would have been 88 years today. I always reflect on his birthday because he is so important to me. I like that picture of him above during the Bus Boycott. Two of my favorite things, Martin and PEPSI. HA!

But seriously when I had to make a really important decision in life and I wasn’t smart enough to make an informed decision myself I had a trick. I would find smarter people than I that fit three criteria and I would follow their lead. I am always in search of a Righteous Mind.

1. The first criteria is they had similar beliefs and the principles as myself and led their life with unwavering conviction on what they believed and never stopped believing. 

2. They had access to information that the average citizen might not have. For Example. Hollywood folks or ex CIA / FBI . Doctors etc. You can get creative and with all the blogs and info out there on the world-wide web that is easier to find now more than ever.

3. They helped others and often without being really obvious about it. 

 When I find that person or persons and I don’t know what to do I would look to them and I tried to mimic or do what they did or some form or part of it. We all get lost sometimes so we all need a North Star once in while . I know I did.  I look to those people now more than ever. It is a confusing time. I keep hoping the previous first family will be able to do more good now that they will be released from the constraints that politics ensures. No Bi-Partisan Congress wall to conquer daily. I often think about those famous eyes on that billboard in the Great Gatsby.  Dr. T. J Eckleburg. I can’t seem to get that image out of my mind lately.

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That and that scene in the Jack Nicholson’s movie Five Easy Pieces where he picks up those two lesbian Hitch Hikers and they keep talking about everything is crap …crap, crap and more crap.

 

Were they the eyes of GOD judging and watching  the morally bankrupt wasteland ?  Why was he just watching and not doing anything about it. Was that Fitzgerald’s way of saying there is no GOD or that GOD thinks we have to figure it out for ourselves. The people’s distrust of political , Social and Religious institutions were breeding new thought. Is there even a GOD? Is it really just up to us? I don’t know. I don’t know but I know I need to do better and do more.

So what’s next for me and the whole world and how can I help? If you have any ideas hit me up.

I look at 2017 as a year to be a better me than the last. When they go low, we go high. Wink.

 Peace ya all.  #myprocess #northstar #service  #mlkjrday

Love and Happiness

Jloz