it’s all good

Just checking in to say that the shine on this place is still quite shiny.

Since I last wrote, I have taken many walks through the downtown neighborhoods. Last Friday night, I walked down to a bar at the Hard Rock Hotel where my friends were playing a free show. It took me 8 minutes to walk there. Their set started at 9 pm. I was unsure if I would walk home after they were done, unsure about walking downtown safely into the night (after 10 pm). I figured I could Uber home if needed. I didn’t need to worry. There were still many people out and about throughout downtown. I wasn’t worried at all.

The next morning I walked nearly 4 miles, and I remarked to myself that everything was just really f’in’ pleasant! I got my internet hooked up that day and proceeded to watch many movies, including Room, Spotlight, and a weird little thing called Paradise.

Then the next morning, I took another walk. A different path entirely, and it was also awesome. Later I had to return a book to the library near my former home. When I got back, I decided to go to the library that is literally down the block from my new home. It was such a beautiful day, and I just wasn’t ready to be done walking about.

I started toward the library. It’s seriously just around the corner from my building. One of the realities of where I now live is the fact that I am much more in the thick of the homeless population. It’s quite a strange dichotomy. There’s so much supposed wealth down here, yet there’s also the extreme poverty. It certainly weighs on my mind. I learned today that San Diego has the 4th largest homeless population in the U.S. I have several friends who are involved in homeless outreach. I have been unable to attend any of the events they’ve had thus far, but I am keeping an eye on ways to help. For the most part, I go about my business. However, on this particular day, as I am happily walking toward the library, I happen to notice someone up ahead of me who’s laying on the sidewalk next to a building. As I got closer, I noticed that he was pleasuring himself. That was not something I expected, as you can imagine! I stopped and turned around, deciding to take the long way around to the library.

I spent longer than I intended at the library, mostly because, like with most places, once you’re there, you have no idea what you want. But I picked out a couple books. From there, I went to Lolita’s, a favorite go-to spot, to get some lunch, then head home where more movies were watched.

This week has been busy as can be at work. But a couple different nights this week, after feeling tired from work, when I got home, I decided to go out for a walk. Not four miles, but just out for half an hour or so. The first walk this week, I took myself to a cupcake store because I knew I’d want something sweet later. It was just okay. Probably won’t make frequent that store.

Then tonight, I knew I had more work ahead of me. It had been a tough ride home (as an aside, the morning commute has so far been very easy, while the drive home has been rough. But I’ve found that I’m never as bothered as I was when I was in Rolando because I like where I live now so much more.) I got to my apartment and lay on the bed for a few minutes. There was a game tonight and things were hopping. I decided to get up and get out there, again, just for a quick 30 minutes. Again, I ended up taking new streets and found myself down at the Tin Fish, where a musician I know, Joe Rathburn, plays before every home game. He was very nice and stopped between songs to come over and chat with me. I stayed for a couple more songs, then merrily went on my way as folks were making their way into Petco. As I was walking, seeing the bars mostly full, and people out walking, I wondered what it would be like if the Padres were actually doing well!

I’m sad that there isn’t any baseball while Sandy is here. It really does bring a different level of activity, but I know we’ll still have a blast. She’ll be here next week!


November’s here

I realized that one of the reasons I have been so reluctant to write about my time in Spain is that it will seem like it’s really over. Does that make sense? I’ve enjoyed reading my sister’s and my mom’s posts about the trip, and I think of the time quite fondly. I just know that if I take the time to further explore my adventures over there, that I will feel sad. I understand that I’ve been home more than a month already, but yes, I still feel a bit sad not to be there.

Which brings me to another point I’ve been contemplating. A friend of mine who travels a lot shared something on Facebook (written by someone else) that basically said that vacations are a lie and that you should build a life that feels like a vacation. While I kind of understand what his (the original poster) idea was, I can’t really agree. There were a lot of comments on this original post, I would say pretty equally divided between disagreeing like I did and others who were like, ‘totally! vacations shouldn’t be an escape from your life!’ But that’s the thing. It’s not really an escape, it’s just a suspended time of experience that should enhance your life. There’s also the not paying bills part or feeling much responsibility part that is also a draw. Vacations are a finite time away from your everyday routines. There’s nothing wrong with that. I get the point that you should create a life for yourself that allows you pleasure, but let’s be honest, not everyday is Instagram-worthy. Know what I mean? Do you really want to see a photo of me doing laundry and remarking about how blessed I feel? Not gonna happen. I’m curious as to what you might think.

So we’ve reached November, NaBloPoMo. It’s my goal to write every day. And I’ll just tell you that there won’t be anything about Spain in this post. Not for the reasons mentioned about, but because it’s 10 pm, daylight savings time ended today, and I’ve been up (on a Sunday!) since 6 am.

I will tell you that the Kansas City Royals won the World Series tonight in New York against the Mets. They beat them 4 games to one. And the Mets were leading into the 9th inning tonight, but the Royals came back to tie it in the 9th, then they blew it open in extra innings and soundly beat them 7-2. Ouch. Goodnight, baseball. Until Spring Training!

I will also tell you that I visited my sister in SLC last weekend, and it was awesome! I arrived on Thursday, 10/22. We got some lunch at Noodles & Co, then we went shopping for my Halloween costume and had success! That night, we went to a pre-season Jazz game, and the bonus was we got to sit in her company’s suite. It was really nice, and the food was great! The Jazz won and it was a great evening.

On Friday, we had a Salt Lake City adventure! First we took Osi to the vet, then we stopped at her work for a little bit, then we headed into downtown where we walked all around! We started at City Creek which is a fairly new mall, and it is super nice! Then we walked over to Temple Square, saw Jesus in the sky (photo below), and heard one song played on the Tabernacle organ (the acoustics demo was the coolest part).


This statue above is a bit odd. That’s a large statue and the surrounding walls are a mural of the universe. I don’t ‘get’ Mormonism and this really threw me more.

Anyway, after Temple Square, we went further into downtown and it was awesome! There are lots of old buildings and there’s a walking tour (we weren’t on it), but there are signboards in front of many of the buildings telling the history of the architecture and the people responsible for building. It was way cool. We made our way to Les Madeleines, a cute little cafe famous for this French pastry they make called Kouing Aman. They also serve sandwiches and coffee, etc. We ordered and sat outside, trying to evoke our Spanish days. The sandwiches we got (we both got the Paris) were fabulous. We shared a Kouing Aman (yum!). It was a very pleasant day! And it wasn’t even over! After that we continued our walk through downtown and got back to the car. The weather was also perfect, by the way. We went back to the house and we had dinner from Atlantis Burger. Then it was time for us to return to downtown to go on the Grimm Ghost Tour! I went on a San Diego ghost tour, and I was disappointed. Too cheesy and not enough chills. The SLC one was not as cheesy, the host pulled off the jokes and stuff much more easily. But I also didn’t know the history so I was interested and loved hearing the stories. We went to about 5 locations, including one where we’d been that afternoon, the City County Building. I really think it was one of my favorite buildings we saw. It reminded me of South Dakota for some reason. The ghost tour was cool. I’m glad we did it. They offer three routes. I’d be into taking a different one another time! That was a really full Friday. My step count was up there!

On Saturday, I’d agreed to walk with Sandy to her WW class. She said it was almost a 2-mile walk there. When she said it, I thought, it’ll be good for me! But not after walking close to 6 miles the previous day. I was hurting. I felt bad that I was such a wimp. I got to the coffee house where I’d wait for her and she went to her class. It was good to sit. When she was done, she got me and we walked back (very slowly). Man, I had overdone it the day before! We had been talking about going to the Red Butte Gardens later that day. When we got back, we called MT and met him at their Fixer Upper. I got to see everything he’s doing, and wow! it’s a lot of work! It’s truly amazing what’s he’s been able to do so far. He definitely has a vision and is working diligently toward it! Good luck! We went to lunch at Zupa’s. Their soup was good. After that, we dropped him back off and Sandy took me around to see the other houses they own. Then we had to decide if we were going to the Gardens. I told her that after the morning walk and the day before, I was pooped! I suggested we just hang at the house the rest of the day. She was down for that! Here’s what’s great about my sister (one of many things): it’s fun to hang with her no matter what we’re doing. Chilling on the couch, playing on our phones, watching TV, chatting, snacking and whatever else was still a fabulous time! We even paid T to bring us snacks! That night, T and MT went to see “Steve Jobs.” Sandy & I had Atlantis Burger again. We watched Utah football and several episodes of Ghost Adventures. Another great day!

On Sunday, we were kind of slow getting going, but then we were ready and decided to go to the early showing of “Steve Jobs.” Aaron Sorkin wrote it and I love his work. The movie was pretty good, character and dialogue-driven. After the movie, we got MT and had lunch at a Mexican place. The food was okay, not up to my SD standards 🙂 After lunch, we had a couple errands to run and then we headed up to the Brighton ski area to walk around the lake that’s up there. It took about an hour. It was cloudy all day with a just a bit of a nip in the air. Here’s the thing, lots of people had the same idea as us! It was crowded up there. But it was still really cool to be up in the mountains. We walked around the lake. I haven’t mentioned this before, but Sandy has been battling a cold/cough basically since we got back from Spain. The doctor told her it was a virus and there wasn’t much he could do for her. 😦 She had some bad coughing spurts, but she’s a gamer. We had passed a trail off the lake and we decided to try it out. We thought we’d find another lake, but that didn’t happen. It was still beautiful, and a lot more quiet than it was around the lake. When we got back to the lake, we decided to go around again. A lot of people had left by then. It was awesome, and definitely Instagram-worthy 🙂 For dinner that night, we ordered a pizza and watched TV. Another great day!

Monday morning, it was time for me to fly back to SD. So we reluctantly hugged and away I went. Super fun time! I went back to work that day when I got home. It was a pretty busy week altogether, and of course Friday was Halloween at work and then Saturday was actual Halloween. This year, I went as Lizzie-wan Kenobi. Not too bad, really:


Until next time!

settling in

I was so sad because I didn’t think I’d gotten any response to my last post, but then I realized I hadn’t updated my email address on my account! Thanks for commenting, Mom, Mia, and Sandy!

Last week, on Tuesday night, I went to Cafe Cabaret for the open poetry reading. It was fine. I’d by lying if I said it gives me the same charge it once did. I used the time to write in my journal (my last entry had been in December!) so that was good.

On Wednesday, my friend, Heather came over to see the new place and then we went to dinner. We went to a nearby sports bar place called Bridges. It was okay. I doubt I’ll go there very often. It took a long time for our food, and my sandwich was pretty forgettable. But it was great seeing her and catching up. We’ve started our own little 2-person book club. We’ve read two books so far (Eleanor & Park and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry). Now we’re reading The Valley of Amazement. We’re supposed to meet again before my trip (to Spain!).

On Thursday night, Han had a gig and we had gotten a Blue Apron order so I made all three meals that night. I was going to be gone for the weekend so I figured Han and D could eat them. It was kind of fun! The recipes were spiced meatballs with a squash salad, summer ratatouille with parmesan polenta, and a ginger-basil chicken with coconut rice.

On Friday, I was supposed to visit my friend, Cathy, but she was working on a deadline and had to postpone. I headed up to La Mirada around 7:30 pm. A cool thing happened on the way. I was listening to the Padres game on the radio. I haven’t kept up much this season, especially when the Pads didn’t live up to the pre-season hype. But on Friday, San Diego Padres history was made when Matt Kemp hit for the cycle! It was the first time ever for Kemp as a player and for San Diego as an organization. They remain the only team to not have a no-hitter, but that cycle was a long time coming! It was so exciting to hear it!

I got to the folks’ house, and we chatted some before I went to bed. On Saturday, I took my dad to dialysis. It was 90 degrees by 10 am. Han and I were texting, and he suggested we re-think the plan of me driving my parents down to SD on Sunday to see the house. It was HOT, and we have no real relief from it here aside from some ceiling fans, an AC in Han’s room, and one in the studio. We decided to put it off which is probably for the best. With it being their first visit to SD in quite a while, I want it to be a good one! Mom & I went to lunch at Red Robin after a couple failures (Carrino’s is closed forever and The Habit was too crowded). For dinner, Dad & I had Dickey’s Barbecue and Mom had a sandwich.

On Sunday, we didn’t do much of anything. Mom & I chatted about the trip, otherwise we just hung out. That evening, the San Diego Music Award nominations were announced and Han’s Acoustic Duo is nominated twice and the Super Group is also nominated twice, including for Album of the Year! Good times!

I had decided to stay the night in LM, and drive to work from there. So this morning, I was up at 4 am, and on the road by 5 am.

On the work front, two people in my department gave their notices today. Huge bummer and quite a blow to the workflow. It’s not good times at the company. Scary. Meanwhile, a good friend was back from his vacation on which his 13-month old dog ate poisonous mushrooms and passed away. Devastating. He’s obviously sad, as are his partner and her two daughters. He really loved that dog. So tragic.

Tonight, Han & I had Chinese food that was pretty good. We’re still discovering places to eat around here. It’s fun driving around the neighborhood and seeing what is around.

It’s time for me to get into planning mode for vacation. Oh, and still nothing from the previous landlord. This Friday is Day 21. Patience.

Juice Cleanse: Day 5 (almost done!)

I slept for about 12 hours. It was glorious. And when I woke up, I felt good. Han, too. It was a little later than I’d been used to having the first juice so I got up and had it right away. Han & I talked for a while, tried to think about how we want to move on from the cleanse: what we want to eat, etc. It will be hard. The lifestyle of a musician can be tough sometimes, but we’re going to try to be better about what we eat and try to start exercising. I have no idea if I lost weight on this cleanse. I imagine I did, but that wasn’t the point. I don’t feel cold today, and I feel good. I know that tomorrow and the next few days I have to slowly ease (hey, my word!) back into actual food, not food that’s been liquefied. I think I have a good idea of what I’ll eat. Han is going to try to juice during the day and have a reasonable dinner. He’s going to call Suja tomorrow to see what his options might be.

The day has been pretty good. I went to the grocery store. This afternoon I watched the Padres beat the Giants again. I had a couple moments of pure happiness with a breeze coming through the window, watching baseball, watching good & exciting baseball, it’s tough to beat that combination.

Han left for his gig, and I did a little bit of work. I did some laundry and just cleaned up the house a little bit. I just finished my last juice! I did it! 5 days!

This week will be good. Tomorrow night, I’m going out to dinner with co-workers and a vendor. I’ve already scoped the menu to see what kinds of salads they have. I plan to make dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday night, I’ll drive up to my parents’ house where my sister and nephew will already have arrived to celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday! I’m looking forward to being up there.

today’s draft

Baseball High

sunshine on the field
batters warming up their swing
better days are rare

Juice Cleanse: Day 4 (hungry)

I took D’s car in for an oil change this morning. Thanks to my dad for instilling in me good car maintenance. I had a juice on the way, and when I got home it was time for another. I’ve worked most of the day. Han had a gig. When he got home, he crashed. After he got up, we hung out and watched the baseball game. Their bats came alive today with 20 hits to beat the Giants. They’re 3-3 on the season so far, but today sure was exciting! We even talked about taking in a game or two this year.

Han & I talked about how we’re feeling. We’re both fatigued. I get cold at random times. He said he’s really sensitive to temperature. He hasn’t experienced any ‘cleansing’ like I have, but he thought he’d feel incredible, and he doesn’t really feel much different. We both feel like we want to have food, but we’re not hungry if that makes sense. But I did find that I had to stop watching Food Network for a while today.

Well, one more day, then we’ll take it a day at a time. I’m glad I did it if just to give myself a restart.

today’s draft

Mood Food

popcorn with parmesan
drizzled with sriracha butter

rolled tacos smothered in
cheese and guacamole

pralines & cream ice cream

my mom’s cannelones

my dad’s catfish

well-made pasta
with garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes

anything either of my grandmothers made

french bread with
dark chocolate

food fuels your body
but it also
creates connection
to memories & family

bon profit y
bona nit

Baseball is here

Happy birthday to my friend, Heather, who I have known for nearly 25 years. We’ll get together soon.

Other than that, there’s not much going on. Went to work. Did that. I did listen to the opening day game for the Padres. They’re up in LA against the Dodgers. Dodgers won, boo! Yay, baseball! Came home, doing some laundry, made dinner (pork chops w/ a garlic, sage butter sauce and mashed potatoes and salad). It was good. Han & I are going to go on a 5-day juice cleanse. We found a local company that does offers the juices etc. It’s not cheap, but he & I both really want to do it. My acupuncturist said that it’s a good time of year to do a cleanse of some sort. She left it up to me, then Han & I found this, and we’ll start on Wednesday. It will be easy to both be on it at the same time. I’m sure I’ll report as the days go on.

Tonight is also the championship game of the NCAA tournament. I had picked Gonzaga to win, but Duke beat them. Now Duke is trying to beat Wisconsin who ousted the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. Crazy!

today’s draft

Name That Feeling

He told me to reflect
to think on how I felt
to name that feeling
and then to move on

it’s harder than you might think
especially for a woman who
has been mostly numb the last few years

maybe not numb, indifferent maybe
ambivalent, someone who feels joy
or pain, rage or sadness, but it
never for long

either feeling those ways
didn’t change anything
or they felt too comfortable
(usually the sadness)
that I had to steel myself
from it, had to cover it
like a sheet over a corpse

last day of November (long post)

My goal of NaBloPoMo went out the window. Ah well. I just published the wrap-up of my work trip to Atlanta (11/11-11/14). That weekend after the trip was okay. I was home by myself since Han was in central and northern CA to play a couple gigs. On Sunday, 11/16, I had my Third Poetry Sunday reading at Java Joe’s. My friend, Lindsay, came to that and we had a chance to chat a bit before people showed up. It was good to see her. The reading itself was fine, there two other poets and a guy who just came to listen. Later that evening, I asked Becky if she wanted to meet for dinner. She did. It was good to see her, too. I talked to both Becky & Lindsay about how down I’ve been lately. It was good to talk to them as I feel that they understood where I was coming from.

Han ended up getting home late Monday night. I’d gone to the kitties that day. On Tuesday evening, I helped him get the rental car back, then I went to Rebecca’s for their open reading. It was full. I read something fairly new, but I didn’t feel great about it. I grabbed some food on the way home, and Han and I watched Breaking Bad.

The next day was my birthday. 43. You know, last year, I’d dubbed ’42’ as ‘fortitude.’ That didn’t work out so well for me. I’m not sure what to call this year. ‘Forty-be’ or ‘forty-me’ come to mind so that I can remember to be in the moment and to take care of myself.

The day didn’t start out well. I woke up and knew I had a choice: to be strong and open to the day or to let all of the negative feelings wash over me. Sadly, the second ‘choice’ overtook me. I cried for a while. All of the terrible things people say to themselves when they don’t feel good about themselves are all the things I said. When I look at this episode from a place of relative contentment like I am today, it’s embarrassing to even admit. But I honestly understand and know those feelings are there. Most days I can rise above them, but that morning, I drowned in them.

After a while, Han, D, and I went to lunch. My choice. I chose Costa Brava, a Spanish tapas restaurant that I had gone to last year. It was truly delicious, and Han and D liked it, too. We had so much! Pan con tomate, tortilla espanola, cheeses, clams, mussels, patatas a la brava, and patatas con alioli. Plus a couple glasses of sangria. After that, we visited the little Spanish market then came home and I left for the DMV. Yes, I had forgotten to renew my license sooner so I spent a good hour among the sea of humanity that is the DMV. I had to take a vision test and get a new picture taken. It really wasn’t that bad.

I went home and Han & I watched TV and talked. It was a good talk. He had a rehearsal that night for a show that he was going to be in the following Saturday. I went to a movie. I saw “Gone Girl.” That was a really fucked-up story, but it was done well, rather riveting trying to figure out what was going on. After the movie and after rehearsal, we had Mexican food. I do want to say thanks to Mia for the Amazon gift card, to Mom & Dad, Mary & Dewey, and Jeff’s mom for the birthday money, and to Sandy for the new planner!

Back to work on Thursday. My employee was also back from his 3 week adventure in Europe. I realized I didn’t miss him hardly at all. My boss got bundt cakes for me which was nice.

Friday after work, I drove to Heather’s house and we went out to dinner at a place called Sublime. It was good. We had mac & cheese croquettes, then I had a grilled cheese with ham. It was great to see her. I admire her so much. She deals with a lot of stuff with her family and her job, but she remains so classy about it. She’s not snooty, she just handles herself so well. She’s a good egg.

Then I drove up to my parents’ house. It was probably 11 pm or so when I got there. Dad was in bed. Mom and I talked a bit, but I was tired. On Saturday, I took Dad to dialysis and when I got home, Mom talked to me for a while. She has been looking into depression online and gave me some things I could try. It’s true that I need to get in touch with the therapist I had seen for a while last year. It can’t hurt.

Then we went to lunch at Cha-Cha’s, which has THE BEST french fries. So good. The rest of the weekend was pretty mellow. Mom made maccarones for dinner, then waffles and bacon for breakfast on Sunday. For lunch that day we had breaded pork and asparagus. I finished the Hosseini book. He’s such a good storyteller. You really get to know the characters. This one had a lot of different stories from different points of view, but they all connected in one way or another.

That afternoon, I headed down around 3:30 pm and went straight to the Belly-Up where there was a Flan show that night. It was my first show of the music season, and it was good to see everyone. I had dinner with Barbara, Becky, and Julie at the Wild Note which is attached to the Belly-Up. Barbara & Becky got my dinner as a birthday present which was so sweet. I had the filet mignon sliders with fries. Pretty good!

The show was good. There’s so many people in the band, it’s a little crazy sometimes, but it went well. The MLB network was there to film Flan and parts of the show. I left shortly after the show was over and was asleep when Han got home.

Monday was fine, I went up to the kitties. I don’t remember much about Monday. On Tuesday, Flan announced that he was stepping down from the Giants. It was not really unexpected news, Han had mentioned something about it after the Belly-Up. He didn’t know it would happen so soon. Flan had asked me on Sunday to write up a new bio for him. He said ‘mention the baseball thing, but then talk more about the music.’ That was my direction. I didn’t get around to it until yesterday, but he loved what I put together so that’s cool.

On Wednesday, we had a Thanksgiving potluck at work. Last year, I made pies. This year, I brought cups. I was not into baking this year. Anyway, then we got let off early so Han and I went to the store. Oh, before that I went and picked up the new acoustic duo Christmas CD. It’s really good! We went to the store for what we would make the following day. It was just going to be the two of us, but we bought as if we were feeding more. It’s always the appetizers, right, that are too much?

On Thanksgiving morning, he made breakfast and we watched the Macy’s parade. We watched TV. (We finished Breaking Bad and are now watching House of Cards. Breaking Bad was excellent. House of Cards is good, but I just don’t really like anybody.) We had appetizers around 3:30 pm and had dinner around 8 pm. We had steak, brussels sprouts, funeral potatoes, and green bean casserole. Tasty. We were so full, we didn’t even have any pie.

Friday was a holiday for me. The Animal Center had asked if anyone could come up during the holiday that they could use the help. That morning, I did some chores and errands, then I headed up there for three hours. In that time, I did services for 13 cats. There were about 20-21 total cats but some didn’t have services and others had been done. Usually when I go on Monday, the services have been done so I can do whatever I want. Services are TLC (brushing & cuddling), cuddling, or feather/bubble time. Most of the cats were great. There was a little blind kitten who is just so sweet. It was nice to be able to give that time.

The rest of the day was pretty much a bust. I got into a mood and couldn’t get out of it. I think I went to bed at 9 pm.

Yesterday was pretty lackluster, too. I watched TV most of the day while Han worked. I did laundry and cleaned up the house. I did Flan’s bio. I went to the grocery store and for dinner I made meatloaf, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. It was good.

Today, Han got me watching a few episodes of Sons of Anarchy. It’s just fine. No big whoop. I went and got us some sandwiches for lunch. Now he’s working and I’m going to head to the store. Oh so exciting, right!?

Now it’s on to December. It means wrapping up 2014, looking ahead to the new year, my mom’s birthday, and of course, Christmas. Let’s hope it’s a good one!