life so far + Escondido, Lady Brain Fest & Ugly Mug

Hi friends! I’ve almost been home now for as long as I was on the road. I’m in my 3rd week in my new (old) home in La Mirada CA.

The first week was basically relaxing and recovering from my trip. It felt good and familiar to think of my mom’s house as the place to be when it’s time to lounge because that’s what it’s been like almost always since I moved out way back when.

The Monday after I got home, in fact the day after I got home, I met up with Lindsay who was on her way up to Fresno. We had lunch at 12Sixty which is right off the freeway. It was great to see her. That week & the next, I also went for a few walks after I would get coffee and a little something for breakfast.

These were okay, but I still haven’t found the kinds of trails I really like where you feel like you’re not near civilization.

On Wednesday, July 3, I went to Culver City to see my friends, Frank & Cindy, perform. They’re in a duo called Dead Rock West, and they played at this old steakhouse place called Billingsley’s. It was really great to see and hear them! I had a hearty wedge salad.

That first week of July, I also started looking for a job. I had applied for one when I was in SLC, but I got more serious that week. I applied for 5 jobs that week. The next week: 5 jobs. This week so far: 3 jobs. I did get a call from one place, Cypress College bookstore, and I went and chatted with the manager there yesterday. If paperwork etc gets done, I should be hired as a seasonal temporary employee in August for when school starts and they’re super busy. It will only be 4 weeks, minimum wage, but he’ll schedule me as many hours as I can handle, and it will be nice to have a purpose for a while. In the meantime, I’ll keep applying.

The 4th of July featured a morning earthquake (6.4), a migraine, and an anxiety/panic attack due to the neighborhood fireworks that were non-stop for most of the night. We’re talking hyperventilating, crying, etc. The dog was fine, but I was a mess. I viscerally respond to the loud explosions. I can’t explain it. It’s come on as an adult. That day pretty much sucked.

There was another larger earthquake on the 5th. It measured a 7.1. It was a rolling, long-lasting tremblor that made me feel like I had vertigo.

During those first couple weeks, Mom and I also seriously took on the kitchen and laundry room, compiling a pretty good haul to take to Goodwill and basically getting things in better order in those rooms. Very good.

Sunday, July 7 was a big day. I got on the road to San Diego around 10 am and made my way to Escondido where I was the featured reader at my friend Robt’s reading at a gallery there. My publisher, Ted, showed up too which was nice. The reading went very well. I got super emotional during the “day he died” poem which took me by surprise. Here’s a shot of me reading:

Esconido reading_July 7

It was a great reading and I sold 6 books which is awesome. What was nice, too, is that Robt knew I had another thing to get to so gave me permission to leave early to get to it. It’s usually bad form to leave a reading, but I took him up on it, and headed down to Encinitas where I was so happy to see that Lady Brain Fest was packed! LBF was the brain child of the one and only Cathryn Beeks and Lindsay White. They put so much work into getting this festival to happen and to see how many people responded was just super amazing, well-deserved, and just ass-kicking good. They were kind enough to give me 10 minutes on the band stage (the other stage was an in-the-round stage with 2 acoustic performers). Here are a couple pics:

There were so many local photographers plus there was a company there live-streaming with multiple cameras. If you’re interested, I start around 5:07 (that’s 5 hours in). I sold a couple books so yay! It was such a love-fest, I was so proud of everyone who was involved to make it happen. Here’s a pic with sweet Lindsay:


I stayed there until about 9 pm, helping with clean-up and load out, then I headed home. It was an easy drive. I think my long hours of driving on my tour made it seem like no big deal to drive 1.5 hours, haha.

Then on Wednesday, July 10, I had another featured reading at the Ugly Mug in Orange CA run by a couple of old poetry pals, Ben and Steve. I consider this reading really the end of my tour. I hadn’t read there in years. Mom came with me. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised to see George & Holly. George is the dad of the girl who was my best friend in high school and Holly is her step-mom. It’s funny because I haven’t spoken to this girl in years. I don’t know if I did something to fall out of her favor (if I did, I don’t know what it is) or what happened, but I’m quite pleased that her dad and step-mom are still supportive of me and indeed have never wavered! I also was surprised to see Lorri, a former LMHS classmate in the audience! She came to see me, and it was her first time ever at a poetry reading! Here’s a pic George snapped before the reading:

Ugly Mug_July 10

The reading went really great, I mean really great. The room was so quiet, and the crowd so attentive. I sold 8 books and Ben, the host that night, said it was better than he even imagined it would be. I was really pleased by the whole thing. The way they run the reading is also wonderful, and the poets during the open were all, for the most part, quite good.

The next day, Mom & I went to Huntington Beach to watch the sunset. It was extremely windy on the pier, and I was fighting a bit of a headache. We bought a wind toy for the garden but discovered it had missing parts when we got home 😦 We’ll have to have another try at it, but in the meantime, here are some pics:

On Monday, July 15, Mom had her follow-up procedure, an endoscopy to remove the stents put in when she had her gallbladder removed. It wasn’t as bad as she thought, and her recovery has been good.

On another note, insurance remains a bit of a nebulous thing. I have MediCal but I also requested 2 of my medications from my former doctor at UCSD. I realized that I failed to tell her that I was moving and that therefore wouldn’t have my usual insurance. But she approved the refills, so I guess I’ll figure that out when the medication shows up. I also made the decision to stop taking birth control for a few reasons. One, I mean, there’s no imminent danger of me becoming pregnant, haha. Two, Laurel told me that people taking birth control who have aural migraines are more likely to suffer a stroke. I looked it up to confirm. Three, I wanted to find out if I might lose some weight or just how my body would react in general. (Side note: I gained weight on the tour – not shocking since I had McDonald’s almost every day. I wasn’t up to the highest weight I’d ever been but pretty close. Since I’ve been home, I’ve lost 9 pounds so that’s good.) And four, I was out of pills. It wasn’t one that I had requested from the former doctor. Anyway, this past Sunday, the 14th, was the first day that I intentionally didn’t take the pill, so I’ll keep you posted on any developments there.

So there you have it, the last 3 weeks summed up. It’s good to be with my mom, and it’s hard to not really have anything to do, though sometimes that’s good, too. I’m definitely in a different phase of life and am trying to embrace it but admittedly am also kind of having a tough time with it. That was to be expected, no? Until next time!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandy says:

    There was a lot of info here. The pic of you and Lindsay is great. That saying on her hat – I have a little sticker with those same words on my wall at work. I think I picked up the sticker at a poetry reading in San Diego. I’m pretty sure it was that one I went to with you in Balboa Park.

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