Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frida’s Favorite F-words

Bonjour! As 2008 fades into the annals of history and 2009 is ushered in with colorful confetti, hiccup-inducing bubbly, midnight kisses and the famous ball dropping in Times Square, it’s easy to feel like little pieces of the sky are falling with it.

Since it’s New Year’s Eve, we could prattle on about resolutions, no-interest payments until 2010, or the Inauguration, but I think those angles will get coverage-exhausticus.

Let’s talk about something new and fresh, such as politely reminding all you holiday decorators out there to please throw away your Halloween pumpkins, for crying out loud! Moldy jack o’lanterns and December wreaths don’t go together. FYI: rotting orange and mildew drab are not the new red and green. And while we’re on the subject of things past their expiration dates, the election is over people, so you can remove those decomposing campaign signs. Sheesh.

What else to discuss - weight loss, the economic forecast, global cooling? Nah, too bloody depressing. Oh, I know, how about satan? I saw a man at the Holiday Market in a T-shirt bearing the message, “Everybody is satan to someone.”

Thank goodness I was wearing my John Fluevog boots, made for stomping out evil (yes, they are actually “satan resistant”), because Boogie monsters from my past momentarily loomed large as I nodded in agreement with the cotton billboard’s sentiment and gave a sinister snortle. “Sure are,” I mumbled to myself, quickly running through my highly prized list of grievances.

Even though I wake up at the crack of Don every morning (private joke unless you worked it out that I have a bird’s eye view of a human thusly named), this one dawned slowly over Frida County. Who did his T-shirt say satan was again? Everybody to somebody? What in the blazes does that mean?

If by “everybody,” that includes moi, I think the T-shirt is sadly mistaken. I could not possibly be a satan or even one of his little elves to anyone. Well, there was that one time. Crikey, I just thought of something else. Ooh, and that was naughty, too.

As I began to think of the few unkindish words I’ve softly uttered, the discernment I’ve exercised, grudges I’ve gently nurtured, it occurred to me that the casually worn slogan might be a fair assessment after all. It’s easy to recall the injustices done to us, but it takes a bit more effort to acknowledge the ways in which we’ve played the Villain in other people’s dramas.

So with the New Year in the forefront of our minds, let’s make a group resolution that we blah de blah flowery rainbows fairies and Kumbaya. Ha, you thought I was going to get all sentimental, maudlin and preachy, didn’t you?

Pssst, when it comes to our mistakes, may I suggest allowing bygones be bygones? What say we let ourselves off the hook? Let’s put all unpleasant emotional sensations behind us, let it go, man, no need to hold on, history is history, what’s done is finished, am I right?

In the spirit of forgetting the past and moving forward, let’s frolic through a few of Frida’s favorite F-words. Fluevogs? Absolutely. I’m a proud wearer. Forgiveness? Yep, we can check that off our list. How about all things frenchy, food and fashion? Oui, fa and la.

Now that my appetite is whetted and I’m in a très good mood, I must wax poetic about friendship. Years ago, when I met my bon ami, Christine La Bean for the first time, she introduced herself as being “emotionally French.” She described liberating her mother’s shower cap, placing it on her head at a jaunty angle and pretending she was wearing a beret in her make-believe Paris.

Christine La Bean never made it to Paris before she died. Drats. There are many of us out there missing loved ones, or frustrated at times by the ones still around. Too bad there’s not a celestial swap meet we could go to once a year, say on New Year’s Eve, where we could make a deal on our satans in exchange for the angels who have already passed. “I’ll trade you two sotted uncles for one slightly used Grandma.” Oh, don't act so shocked, you know what I'm talking about. Wait a minute, what if somebody invites us to the swap meet?!

One final F-note before Auld Lang Syne: Food. Props to Fleur De Lis, a Patisserie & Café in Cottage Grove, Oregon for their Quiche Lorraine, Fraisier (strawberry pastry) and Mexican mocha (mai, bien sur) and beautiful mural of Notre Dame. On this magical day, while stuffing our faces, it was easy to imagine sitting at an outdoor café and staring at the Seine. Planting a seed in the ethers of visualization.

To feed and water this seedling, Chakra Mom (a former French teacher and foodie tour group leader to Provence), cooked us Poulet en croute and Bûche de Nöel. Merci beaucoup.

Even so, Chicken Little, whether wearing polished horns, a rusty halo, or a plastic shower cap beret, Bonne Annee!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Honkers: The Pirate’s Curse

Ahoy there. Last week, after blog number deux was posted, I was approached by a saucy wench pointing out the obvious, “Did you know your initials are “FCK?!” My first thought was, “Madam Marauder, you obviously did not read the introductory blog, because I mention those jinxy initials straight away.”

“Aye, me matey,” I says, smiling wickedly and pointing to my rhinestone-encrusted choker (see photo), “Although unavoidable, my scurvy initials are indeed FCK. Quite burdensome, ye know, but a dash of sparklebooty makes everything better.”

Shiver me timbers: That’s my treasured philosophy when you get down to it. Problems, pox and pain are everywhere, but throw some paint on it, add glitter and you’ve got art!

For me hearties who have just come aboard, I am one of the three Frida Dolls who lives virtually at, where jolly lads and lassies are welcome to visit anytime. I am Frida Chiquita Kahlo, The Everyday Anthropologist, dedicated to the study of Landlubbers. If you’d like to be amused, read the previous entries located starboard, then visit yonder site. Or else walk the plank, ye blaggards.

Now, back to me treasure. Frida Miranda Kahlo, one of my salty cohorts, calls people who lead with their problems “Honkers.” You know, those swabs who sit in bottleneck traffic, uselessly honking their horns? Aye, kinda like this, “Waaah, I’m hurt, waaaah, I have a disease, waaaah, what are you going to do about it?”

Well, our Cap’n Frida Kahlo, eminent seadog, was NOT a Honker. She experienced all manner of grief, yet managed to throw paint, glitter and tears on the canvas and gave the world the gift of her heart.

Which leads this Corsair (a more romantic term for a buccaneer) back to the language of the Chakras. If you recall, the energy body of swashbucklers and landlubbers alike are comprised of seven major energy centers referred to as “chakras,” or wheels of energy.

I was racking me brain, trying to figure a way to explain this meaty concept (or curdled soybeans for our vegan picaroons) and the string theory came to mind. Nay, not the quantum theory of gravity, but the string-of-Christmas-lights theory.

Imagine a short strand of Christmas lights composed of seven bulbs hung vertically on a cord, each bulb a different color, starting with red and going through the colors of the rainbow. The second light up would be orange, the third yellow, the fourth green, the fifth blue, the sixth purple and finally, at the top, white.

Next, visually insert these seven bulbs into an outline of a human being and you now have a lockdown on the lighted energy centers. Each person has a strand of colored energy wheels running along their spinal cord and just like wrestling those pesky tree lights, if one bulb goes out, the rest of the string is affected. You can picture it, a steaming goblet of nog by the fireplace, the tree finally in its stand, and those bilge-sucking lights won’t work. Aaaaaaargh!

Begad, what’s a Jack Tar s’posed to do? Well, a Sister of the Coast called me the other day for a little support. Her tooth was hurting and a visit to the dentist revealed she still had a baby tooth in her mouth, which needless to say (but I’m going to anyway), was rotting and had to come out. Blimey! And her throat hurt, her voice was hoarsey and in general, she felt quite dodgy. With two young boys and the Holiday Season in full tilt boogie, she could not afford to catch a plague.

Using the string theory on her, I scratched me whiskers in a pondering gesture, and considered the clues. Baby tooth (childhood), mouth, throat, sinuses and December, and presented her with my thoughts. It was almost a year since her dear mother had kissed Davy Jones’s locker.

My friend’s 5th chakra, or blue light, blinked off and on, signaling discomfort with semaphore precision. Bothered by something, me seafaring chum needed to express herself or her energy would continue to weaken. I lowered the boom and suggested she dust off her guitar and sing a shanty about missing her poor mother.

“Yo ho ho, that’s it!” she cried. “I am sorely missing my mother and my music.”

“Avast and go!” says I. “Lament and wail.” Then I gave a cat o’ nine tails performance over the phone, improvising lyrics and tune. “I miss my moooother. She’s turned into shark bait and fish grub. I’m too busy to plaaay music, gotta go and scrub my tub.”

Suddenly, Friend was laughing and her voice came back. I practically guaranteed that if she would spend fifteen minutes singing her heart out, the other details would fall easily into place. I could see life was challenging for my friend when undermined by a drain on her energy. To reboot her system, she needed to express her feelings in a way that was meaningful, and for her, it was through the music she had let fall into the briny deep.

Even though she felt too busy to pick up the guitar on a daily basis, the fact that she wasn’t playing music made everything else more difficult, feeding the erroneous impression that she didn’t have the time.

A scurrilous belief floats on the waves suggesting it is selfish to pay attention to personal needs and preferences. And the nominee for the misleading notion in a Broadway musical is The Busy List. Attention SwagMart shoppers, all items must be crossed off this exhausting list before any time can be devoted to nurturing one’s self. That code of conduct perpetuates imbalances, lowers energy and breeds resentment. It also makes frustration out of daily tasks and extends the time required to accomplish them.

Scallywags, it does not have to be that way. Human beings are not meant to be constant Human doings, because eventually, flesh and bones conspire mutiny. In other words, they get tired, out of balance, and then sick.

Sail Ho! Here comes the good news. When people listen to themselves and take care of their own needs first, their chakras are happy, balanced and like magic, the refreshed energy centers assist with swabbing the decks in record time.

What’s the wisdom about head colds, “Untreated, they last a week. With treatment, seven days?” My proud beauty reported back that she had sung her lungs out to her mama and felt much better. She spent a valuable hour singing, reclaiming her voice, expressing herself and what do you know, the scourge did not pillage or plunder her body after all. Her blue bulb was back in alignment and so was the rest of her string of lights.

In terms of time and energy, which yields more bounty, an hour spent in fun or a week in snotty misery?

Godspeed and fair winds!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Interview with Chakra Girl

As the Everyday Anthropologist, I’m studying humans in their natural habitat. I’ve invited Katie Custer a.k.a. “Chakra Girl” to help me learn more about human emotions and their effect on the personal energy field.

Welcome Katie and thank you for coming out on this cold, wintery day. To introduce this topic, what can you tell me about your work?

CG: I’m a massage therapist in a chiropractic clinic, I’ve written a memoir called Break/Through, which focuses on how I lost 90 pounds through healing my energy body (the chakra system), and since July 2008, I’ve been hosting a weekly radio show called “Chakra Girl Radio.”

FCK: Whoa, 90lbs? That’s a significant amount of chubby. How did you lose it?

CG: I started journaling and discovered that every time I released something about feeling upset, depressed, ashamed or insecure, I didn’t feel like eating. That surprised me because all my life I felt like eating even when I wasn’t hungry. I was eating to comfort myself and the more I ate the fatter I got. I finally acknowledged that my overeating was not about the food and that my behavior had made me obese.

I was also learning about the chakra system and how my energy field was trying to communicate with me in a structured way. Communication began with a feeling in my gut that something was bothering me. If I ignored my gut, then communication came stronger through my emotional reactions. If I didn’t face my feelings, then the energy of those emotions would build up until I acted out. For me, that was comforting myself through overeating. When I let my behavior get out of control, the message from my energy body finally manifested as all this extra weight in my physical body.

FCK: What was the message?

CG: That my energy body was holding onto a lot of secrets. I finally tell them in my memoir Break/Through.

FCK: What is this “energy body” you keep talking about?

CG: Basically, the energy body is made of seven major energy centers that begin at the base of the spine and continue to the top of the head. These energy centers are called “chakras” which is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “circle.” Western Medicine focuses primarily on the physical body, while Eastern philosophy also considers the existence of energy within the human body. By paying attention to what’s happening in the body’s energy field, you’re more likely to find the root cause of imbalance, whether the disturbance (or illness) is recent or long term.

FCK: When humans attend to their energy and emotions, can they assist in healing themselves?

CG: Exactly! In practical terms, you can learn where there are imbalances in your energy field and with patience you can learn how to address those imbalances to feel better.

FCK: Now that it’s winter and we’re in the midst of the Holiday Season, is there any one chakra in particular we should pay special attention to?

CG: Yes. In my experience, whenever we express or stifle ourselves, the 5th or throat chakra is being activated. This activation takes the form of healthy release or blocked toxic energy.

FCK: So is there a connection between the winter Holidays, the throat chakra and getting sick, such as catching a cold, coughing, or overeating and drinking?

CG: Yes. Physical symptoms related to blocked throat chakra energy include coughing, toothaches, sore throats, stiff necks and swollen sinuses. Behaviors such as overeating, drinking and smoking too much, yelling, using abusive language or non-stop talking stem from imbalances in the 5th chakra. This pinwheel of energy located along the spine in the neck/throat area, affects as far up as the sinuses and as far down as the upper chest including throat, mouth, teeth, gums, thyroid, trachea, tonsils, the cervical vertebrae in the neck, vocal chords, TMJ and the skeletal system.

The healthy release of throat chakra energy brings balance and feeds self-expression. Communication, eating, singing, writing, talking, performing, playing music and speaking your truth are all 5th chakra. Now that’s a big one. For example, if you see a particularly stressful time approaching during the holidays, say a family gathering, you might feel like you have to stifle yourself around certain individuals. Some people react by becoming very quiet and others become unusually chatty, or it might be tempting to self-soothe with extra food, drink or smoke.

FCK: So what about all those tempting sweets and drinks that are offered in this season? Are you worried that you’ll overeat and gain all that weight back?

CG: By releasing what’s bothering me onto my journal pages, the blocked energies (or imbalances) are no longer held captive in my physical body, so I don’t need to eat to feed them. My first rule of food and drink is to respect my body by deliberately tasting. I find it impossible to fully enjoy a bite of food and overindulge because it takes time to taste what I’m feeding myself.

FCK: How might a person find balance when everything feels rushed or while spending time around people who aren’t so fun?

CG: By carving out five minutes to write down any concerns (why you are feeling stressed), it is possible you can meet your own needs and at the same time find yourself feeling calmer. This means when you arrive at the Holiday gathering, you now have less stress to carry in the door. When you take care of yourself first, whether by expressing your feelings through creating art, talking with friends, exercising, drinking tea, meditating, doing yoga or anything else that brings you joy and makes you feel good, you’ll be more able to enjoy the company of family and friends and see this once stressful event as a time to celebrate your relationships.

There are other forms of healthy expression using the 5th chakra energy that will help to release holiday stress, which can include gathering a group of friends to go caroling, especially if you have never done it before. Participating in a holiday play, even if it is in your own living room, or reading stories from scripture or traditional holiday stories to family and friends.

Another fun way of celebrating the energy of your throat chakra is to dress it up. This is the perfect season for colorful scarves, sparkly necklaces, dangly earrings, or your favorite turtleneck. In terms of gift giving, the color of the throat chakra is royal blue. If there is someone in your life who has had difficulty speaking up, expressing themselves, a perfect gift might be a blue scarf or jewelry with blue elements. It doesn’t have to be something only worn around the neck. It could be a blue shirt, blue hat or a blue journal.

In those moments when you feel like you have to hold back, put a smile on your face and allow your whole body to feel it. You have self-care options when it comes to holiday stress.

FCK: Thank you Chakra Girl. As for the next blog, I’m going to take your advice and express myself by discussing something very important like sparkly shoes or pink divinity.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FridaPeople Introduction

Hello. Today is the biggest full moon of the year and with that good omen foreshadowing growth and prosperity, it’s a dandy time to launch this inaugural blog. If you’ve arrived here from then you already have a pretty good idea about what’s going on with the three Frida Dolls.

The website is filled with many fun photos and details, so you’re invited to visit and become a FridaPeople.

So let’s just get right to the elephant in the room. I’m a doll. Not in the informal suggestion of the word, as in dame, wench, chick, bird or skirt. I mean I’m a living, breathing fiber and wire, small stuffed replica of a person, namely the artist, Frida Kahlo. I also bear an uncanny resemblance to my human. Oh, did I not mention that I have a couple of human pets? That’s one reason I am the self-titled “Everyday Anthropologist.”

Humans baffle me. I am often confused by their vexing behavior. So I have committed myself to studying humans in their natural habitat. Situated with an up-close and personal vantage point, I am able to observe the actions of Homo sapiens in response to external stimuli without interfering too much. But more on that later.

First, let’s do a little housekeeping to get a few things out of the way, like my initials are FCK. I know - the word fork just springs to mind. Or Frick and Frack, but don’t let this unavoidable fack distract you too much.

Also, as a doll, I don’t necessarily hold myself to the same rules you humans are burdened with like tact, political correctness, or avoiding ideas that might be interpreted as offensive. Like Handmade Larry, I’ve adopted his policy that says I get to do what I please.

Which leads nicely into my name. Frida. Freeda. Freedom. What a delicious sound.

Then Chiquita. It’s a combination of three words, “Chi” which means the circulating energy inherent in all living things, and “qui” or “qi” which is a fantastically coincidental alternative spelling of chi, and “ta,” which is slang for thank you. So my middle name carries a double shot of energy with a gratitude chaser.

Kahlo was lent by my inspirational godmother, Frida Kahlo. Through all her pain and suffering, she created art and lived the philosophy as though life were a fiesta everyday.

Bibliographers inform us that Frida Kahlo’s patriarchal grandparents were Hungarian Jews who migrated to Germany in the late 1800’s, and her matriarchal grandparents were of Spanish and Indian descent. Raised in Catholic Mexico, she was influenced by her atheist Jewish father, her mother’s strong religious beliefs, and combined them all to create her own righteous faith of freedom for the people.

As a doll created in her likeness, I am full of paradoxes myself which will probably leak out through my writing, so no need to spill them all now.

In the coming blogs, I plan to discuss many different topics including art, wellness, fashion, spirituality, manifesting abundance, and observations and encounters with intriguing humanoids. I have no rigid schedule planned for the blogs, but intend to post them regularly.

The next one includes an interview with radio host “Chakra Girl,” and describes the energy body and ways to honor the fifth throat chakrum during the Holidays. I have other interviews with interesting people lined up and topics both frothy and frivolous. I hope you’ll stay tuned.

As for the other two Frida Dolls, my friends are Frida Rosarita Kahlo and Frida Miranda Kahlo. You can also read their (soon to be published) blogs, view our profiles on Facebook, follow our adventures and send us cool Frida-related photos, poetry or whatever fascinating Frida art you create. Please email us your fabulous Frida interpretations to