this girl, this life

warning: very long post!

Writing takes time. So does doing the laundry or the dishes. It takes time to go to the gym. Or sit and watch a movie. Of course work takes time, too. And knowing my penchant for thoroughness, it’s not far-fetched to consider that I could spend a whole day doing most of the things I’ve mentioned (maybe not the gym). So the question becomes how to balance it all and feel satisfied & productive? How do I nurture my creative aspirations with my equally strong desire to just get shit done?

I’ve been away from here too long. As you can see, I’m attempting to write a new poem a day based on a prompt given over at Read Write Poem. The nice thing is they aren’t strict about sticking with the prompt and maybe at some point this month, I’ll start working on some poems that are mere infants in my head right now.

I’ve started to be more active on facebook and have also signed on at twitter. The nice thing about that is I can just send a text from my phone and it posts on twitter. Convenient.

So a while ago, I began a re-cap of the events that took place over Christmas and the new year. I left off at the point when Han & I were heading back south after the funeral. If you want to keep reading that, click here.

Shortly after getting back from the Northwest, Han was on a plane heading to TX for a couple shows with the Acoustic Duo. He barely had time to unpack, but I think having something to do was good for him. In my work life, I had been promoted (yay!) and was adjusting to my new responsibilities and really digging having an office for the first time in my ‘professional’ career. To round out January, there were some gigs with Flan which meant Barbara got to come back for the shows. The gigs all had their own personalities, but it’s always good to see everyone.

The big events in February were Poltz’s 50th birthday at the Belly-Up Tavern, which was a wonderful celebration and reunion of sorts of so many great people & talented folks. It was a good night. I also went up see my folks to help celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary (I did manage to post that day!)

Toward the end of February, Han & I both started to get sick. Although we’d both gotten flu shots, and he had even gotten an H1N1 shot, it hit us hard. Han worse than me, though. He had a cough that was terrible. Since we’d gotten home from Washington, he’d been having some trouble sleeping. Then the cough made it even harder. Neither of us were surprised when I did a bit of research to find some acupressure points I could apply to him and learned that, in Chinese medicine, the lungs are where grief is manifested. I worked on him as much as I could before I also got sick. Then his voice started to go and he wasn’t able to sing at one of his gigs.

The toughest thing to all of this was that the Rock Band had plans to go to Austin for SXSW. Very exciting! But a big deal for the band. He needed his voice. So he did everything he could. Didn’t talk much, cancelled any sessions, bought all kinds of tinctures and drops for health. Of course, he still had gigs. He went out to Arizona for a couple days, and then the Acoustic Duo had a big show here in town. (By the way, when he went to AZ, I drove up and picked up my mom and we went to the Lightbulb Mouth Radio Hour show, absolutely fantastic!) We were scheduled to fly out on St. Patrick’s day, and even then his voice was just coming back.

But before I get to that, there’s the matter of Han’s birthday. With help from Marcia, we plotted a surprise party that totally worked!! I’ve never done anything like that before and it came off perfectly. He was completely surprised and happy! Also going on…DK had gotten a part in the JT production of “Pippi Longstocking” so we also went to see a couple of those performances. Right before we left for Austin, we had a chance to visit Han’s aunt out in Pine Valley and that was really nice and a fun gathering.

Which brings me to Austin. For a full re-cap, check this out. Photos and stuff are up on facebook. It was an awesome time and it also spawned a new project I’ll be working on with Barbara. More on that later probably. I’m also happy to say that Han’s voice was back by show time and they made a resounding impression on the good people there.

After we got back, Rock Band played Beauty Bar and the cops came! Then Acoustic Duo had a gig up in Santa Barbara which I tagged along for and that was a fun, quick getaway. We got back on Sunday the 28th, then, on Friday, Han was back on a plane heading back to TX, this time for Acoustic Duo to do 6 dates over 2 weekends. In the off-time between, he’ll be in Austin again (jealous!), but it will be good for him. He’s got a couple solo things set up which is awesome.

And here I am, all caught up I think! I do feel like I’m coming down with a fever though…BASEBALL FEVER! Yep, tomorrow is opening day for the MLB so that’s always a good thing.

I’m starting to truly get back into the poetry world, reconnecting with all my old OC pals via the amazing interwebs, mainly facebook. I also took a big leap and submitted here. I’ll keep you posted. I’ve submitted to a couple anthologies as well. I’m trying to keep poetry closer to me again, keep it with me every day.  Since it’s National Poetry Month, that shouldn’t be too difficult for a while.

And the next big thing is that I’ll be going to Las Vegas next weekend to be with my family to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday. It will be great to see them again. Okay, until the next time!

Northwest trip continued…
Han & I hit the road on 1/3/10, stopping first at the airport to put DK on a plane home. She had to start school the next day so taking two more days to drive back with us wasn’t an option. We also stopped to visit a friend of Han’s from high school. We went to breakfast and it was a nice send-off from the Emerald City. The weather was nice as we headed south. The one thing I wanted to do if time allowed was to stop in Portland and go to Powell’s. Han knew this place was a kind of mecca for me and we made it happen.

Powell’s. Portland. I think I’m in love. Though I had to be economical with my time, I made the most of it, zooming between each colorful room (BTW, I went to the City of Books on Burnside), and picking up items to purchase (I’ve asked for Powell’s gift cards for Christmas the last couple years, I had a good $150 to spend). It was awesome to actually go up to the counter rather than ordering online. I didn’t spend all $150, but about $65 (so I still have some to spend!) During that time, Han was cruising around Portland and determining if heading to the coast for the drive home would be worth it. Turns out it wouldn’t. We had to get back as soon as we could and mixing in the coast’s beautiful yet windy roads would have added too much time. Maybe another trip.

So we continued south through the heart of Oregon. I read most of the time, with Han stopping me if there was something breathtaking to take in, which happened a lot. The part of the state we went through was just beautiful, plus it was very green. We decided to stay the night in the Eugene area. It had been a long day, but it was still early enough to have some relaxing time in the room, which was actually really nice.

The next day (1/4/10), we got going and our goal was to get into northern CA, which was pretty ambitious, almost 500 miles. But, we had found a good rhythm and it finally dawned on me why he likes being on the road so much. It’s clear and orderly, liberating. We spoke at length about the overall experience of just being on the road, and I feel like I got to know a part of him even better, and I was so thankful for that.

We went through Weed CA and got some good laughs, then stopped for lunch in Mt. Shasta. It was a beautiful day and after taking some photos of the incredible Mt. Shasta, we found Burger Express. Really yummy burgers, fries and shakes. We were stuffed and couldn’t even finish! Satisfied, we rolled on.

I kept up with the reading and the story was exciting, the way Dan Brown does, and we were able to get to Sacramento where we stopped for a visit with our friend, Marcia, who happened to be up there visiting her sister, Angela. We spent a good hour or more just hanging out, chatting and just resting from the road. It was good to see Marcia, especially for Han as it was the first friend he’d seen in person since everything had happened. From there, we headed south a little more and found a place to stay. We’d head on back into San Diego the next day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010, we cut through California down the 5 freeway, a drive that Han has done countless times. We finished the book and just powered on home. Weary and worn out from everything, it felt good to get home and get in our own bed. And from there, the true grieving/mourning was about to begin.

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