They call me… SPAZ!


So, I’ve been spending the evening with my dear friend, Claudia.  She is, without a doubt, the best person in the world at pushing my buttons.  And yes, her nickname is  SPAZ.

We met in 1998 at LACC (LA City College – TV Program).  She was a taurus, just like me (I’m May 8, she’s May 15).  Strong-willed, hard-headed, stubborn, mouthy and argumentative, loyal and fun… we got along like gangbusters.  We spent the next three years hanging out, making films and having fun.  It was during this time she earned (yes, earned) the nickname, SPAZ.  How you ask?  Well, it was a series of events.  First, her absolute love of NKOTB… no, I wasn’t a fan, but she spent HOURS trying to get glimpses of them and chat with them and then she would talk about them incessantly – causing the boys to mock her endlessly, and the boys claimed it was NSync, which made her crazy.  Ultimately, she would laugh that fabulous, dusky, throaty laugh (same laugh today).  The famous Bear interviews (inside mockumentary based on the life of deceased producer – another story for another time) when she fell off a stool and off a flat, she survived, the rest of us weren’t so sure we would.  It took 15 minutes to stop laughing.  When she miscalculated her gas range on a road trip and didn’t have the cash to continue and had to sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas (she’s fine, she got money from a friend), when she showed up to a casual Christmas party in a prom dress, when she passed out on Sunset Blvd and ended up on TMZ, then called me to tell she was passed out on Sunset Blvd. and ended up on TMZ.  Anyway, these stories go on and on and on.

During this time, she moved to Florida, then back to California, then Alabama, and then she was gone for a long time.  Recently she came back to Southern California and I have missed her.  Whenever she comes to LA, we try to hang out or get dinner.  I just learned she may be moving back into the city and I’m jazzed.  Tonight we had dinner with Dave and then she came back here to hang out and drive back to the Inland Empire tomorrow.  She’s been here for 4 hours and we have spent 3 of those hours arguing.  I don’t know why we do it, but we do, and it’s never mad, just a lot of yelling and then laughing.  We disagree and she pushes my buttons and sometimes I push hers.  But I realized, I really don’t argue with anyone else the way I do with her.  I don’t know why… Maybe we work out our aggression on each other.  That’s a good thing.

Our “fighting” has never changed in the last 15 years, it’s exactly the same.  Has our relationship grown, yes, in many ways it has, but we are still each other’s best argument waiting to happen.  And she is still SPAZ… just when I think she may have outgrown the name, she will do something spectacular that warrants the moniker.  I’m trying to get her to write a book about her life… because she has had an amazing, full life.  She has never been afraid of taking chances.  She is the one taking it by the horns, doing what she wants and seeing the joy and beauty in everything, having a great time.   We may fight and she may push those buttons, but my life has been enriched just by knowing her.  She is definitely an inspiration… she’s my nemesis… she’s my friend…. and her name is… SPAZ.

You can follow SPAZ at the links below:

Twitter: @NikonAddict75

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/COakenfull

You should all know… she’s on the list… no really, whatever the list, wherever the list, she’s on it… ask her. 😉  I love you, Claudia!!

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