hello, Spring

It was a good day. I won the NCAA pool at work (could there be a Google Home in my future?)

After work, I went to Jerome’s and bought a couch! Thanks for the dough to be able to get it, Mom & Dad! It will be delivered in Friday. I chose that day mostly because it would give me some time to think about it, haha. 

When I got home, I changed quickly and went out for a walk. It was slightly chilly but the sun was still up & it felt good to get out & into the neighborhood. It’s supposed to rain later this week, so I’m glad I put off the relaxing time to pump up my heart rate a bit. 

After my walk, I made a simple dinner of pasta in butter & garlic. 

There is something to be said for these small joys. 

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hello, beautiful

I got a card in the mail from my sister yesterday, and that’s what it said on the front. It was perfect.

I got that card in the mailbox of my new place. The last couple months were full of house-hunting, packing, and just getting myself ready. I looked at several places in the neighborhoods that were my targets. Nothing was right. Nothing felt right. And then, one day, I had a crazy idea. What if I expanded my targets, particularly downtown. It was not something I’d ever thought about before. But then, the more I thought about it, the more the idea intrigued me. I mean, it would be a complete departure. Something totally out of my comfort zone. It felt right.

So I added that to my search. And one day, while I was up at my parents’ house (I think it was over 4th of July?), I saw a listing. It seemed almost perfect, nearly too good to be true. It was smaller than I had originally wanted, and it was also at the tip-top of my budget. But I reached out. And I got a response very quickly.

Things went very well from there. I went down to take a look. I met the owner, who is incredibly nice (what a shift!) She and her husband bought the apartment as an investment and have no immediate plans to move there. The location is spectacular. In the heart of East Village between the beautiful downtown library and Petco Park. In fact, before she took me to see the apartment, she took me to the roof of the building, where I saw this:

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I was nearly sold just with that. But I saw the apartment anyway 🙂 Her current tenant was still living there, stuff in boxes everywhere, but I got a sense of it. Later, after she showed me the gym  and the small theater room in the building, I decided to leap and hope the net would appear. I told her I’d like to move forward. So we did!

After a week or 10 days, maybe less, of paperwork and her calling references (read: former landlords – surprise surprise Clairemont douchebag never responded), she gave me the green light! Oh my god, I was going to move downtown! And that’s what I did.

I lived in an apartment after I graduated from college, a small 1 bedroom place in Hillcrest. From there, it was always houses. Once I’d lived in a Craftsman, I wanted nothing else. But then came Clairemont, and then Rolando, neither Craftsman and neither in awesome, walkable neighborhoods. My mom & I were talking about it, and she mentioned that and that I didn’t seem like the apartment type, but then I mentioned how in Spain, it was great, and I really think that our trip there last year really had a lasting impact. Especially seeing my cousin Sonia’s adorable little place in Santa Cristina. I remember my sister saying that she could see me in a place like that. I could, too. Of course, at that point, the relationship was still on, but the thought remained.

Han moved out on Saturday, July 30. D moved out around then, too. I moved on Monday, August 1, just over a week ago. A couple days ago, I finished putting everything in its place. I had pared down quite a bit, but somehow, everything I’d moved with me fit quite nicely, even storage-wise (which the apartment doesn’t have much of).

I have described it to people that it feels like I’m on vacation. The rooftop deck is beyond ridiculous. When there has been a game, I’ve gone up to check it out. The Becky came for a visit on Sunday, and we went up there to chat for a while. It’s just simply great. I have taken to it quickly and happily. And I eagerly await my first staying-over guest, my sister, at the end of this month!

As for other things (read: the relationship), I processed that change a while ago, prior to and around the time we had ‘the talk.’ Many of the details of my processing are not for public consumption, but I wish him and D great things.

And for other things (read: work), it continues quite stressfully. I lost one employee at the end of June who moved back to Las Vegas to support his wife who had taken a can’t-turn-it-down job. So in addition to dealing with a break-up and preparing for an upcoming move, I have been trying to hire someone while taking on the work that still needs to be done, on top of the HUGE project we’re working on. Whew. It’s no wonder that on Tuesday, the day after the move (which I had already taken off thinking I would unpack everything), I went to a movie then took a long nap. I was super tired!

But otherwise, I have been trying to take advantage of my new location, so I’ll give you a rundown of some places I’ve had the pleasure of checking out. The very first night I lived there, some friends were going to the baseball game, so I met them at a bar called Bub’s for a beer and appetizers before they came over to check out the place. I made sure to try Lolita’s, the Mexican joint nearby for some rolled tacos 🙂 I’ve also had meatballs and fried ravioli from Salvucci’s, an iced mocha & chocolate croissant from Copa Vida, and an iced mocha and cinnamon croissant roll from Bean Bar. I walked to all of those. That’s just in a week, and there are so many more to try!

I’ll leave you with another shot from the rooftop. Here’s to many great adventures with beautiful sunsets!

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ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Hello friends – I just got home from a week in Utah with my parents to see my nephew graduate from high school. It was a challenging trip in some ways, but it was all worth it for many reasons. Here’s one:

family

More on that later. Because tonight I’m pretty tired, but since you’ve waited almost 6 months to hear from me, I figured I owed you.

Han & I did indeed decide to leave this house when our lease is up, but we also decided to do so as individuals rather than as a couple. We have been together a long time, but, ultimately, it was no longer fulfilling for either of us to continue in the relationship. We remain good friends and there are no hard feelings. A nice thing, too, is that none of our friends are ‘taking sides’ (not that we wanted them to!), but sometimes things get weird. So far, no weirdness.

Tomorrow starts the major house hunting for me. I’ve been doing a little here and there, but everything was basically ‘available now’ when I need available late mid- to late July. Hopefully, new listings will start popping up.

That’s really the big (life-changing) news. More on what’s been happening the last 6 months in the days ahead.

rough start to 2016

I must say 2016 hasn’t gotten off to a great start. There have been some celebrity deaths, and while that may seem shallow, their passing seems to have left a void for many people, as if a piece of them or their childhood/adolescence has also taken a hit.

It’s what happens. People die. Everyday. But knowing that doesn’t make the reality any easier to bear.

For me, I was surprised, shocked, and saddened by these deaths. For one reason, they were not elderly, all only in their 60s. For another reason, these are people whose work I regularly listened to/read/viewed. May they rest in peace.

David Bowie
Alan Rickman
Francisco X. Alarcon (maybe not a celebrity, but a wonderful poet)
Glenn Frey
(there are others who have passed, but these are the ones that truly moved me)

And if that wasn’t all, my own personal realm took a hit a couple weeks ago when one of the warned-of El Nino storms came and flooded out Han’s studio. We moved everything out and can no longer use that space as there’s a chance it will happen again.

The promising news is that it seems Han has struck a partnership with another studio where he will be able to work and really open up his potential client base. I’ll keep you posted.

Of course these events also call into question our living situation. We have this extra space that we can no longer use. We live in a house that no longer needs to contain a business.  We are seriously considering moving when our lease is up to a place that’s more affordable but still with the space we need.

Lots to think about.

In other, lighter news: I got my hair cut today. Enjoy this pic.

1.18.16 - 44 yrs

Happy New Year!

I’m trying out a new blog format to go with the new year. What do you think?

I spent most of the day at a coffeehouse doing my Unraveling workbook. It was awesome! I’m still not done, as I still have to pick a word (though I have a couple that I’m already tossing around). But I figure I’m ahead of the game because I completed my 2015 workbook in April!

Tonight, we’re just going to take it easy, but tomorrow & Sunday, Han has gigs.

Here’s a quick recap of 2015:

January: started my San Diego Adventure Days (SDAD) – Presidio Park
hosted my last Third Sunday Poetry at Java Joe’s

February: SDAD – San Diego Botanic Garden
last volunteer day at Helen Woodward
celebrated Mom & Dad’s 50th anniversary with Sandy, Mom & Dad

March: hired someone at work
SDAD – Mt. Helix
Han’s surprise birthday show
went to Phoenix for the day for work
dinner with The Becky

April: Acoustic Duo had CD release shows
Sandy visited for Dad’s birthday
SDAD: Julian
Barbara visited
wrote 30 poems (or drafts) every day of the month for National Poetry Month

May: reading at the Getty with Mom
got upgraded sleep machine
dinner with Heather
SDAD: Old Mission Dam

June: D’s graduation
SDAD: looking for houses & lunch with Barbara
Laurel in town
Steve Earle @ the Belly-Up with The Becky
Rugburns show at Java Joe’s (on-stage with the band for “Barney Miller”)
was interviewed for a poetry podcast

July: found a new place and moved

August: D turned 18
Barbara in town
had a story about Barbara published in SD Troubadour
SDAD: ? (I can’t remember and can’t find any note about what I did!)

September: Han’s brother here
trip to Spain!!! (Barcelona/Costa Brava) with Mom & Sandy – INCREDIBLE!

October: Ashford graduation (work)
SDAD: San Diego Ghost Tour
visit Sandy in SLC (did an SLC Ghost Tour!)
Han Soloween party at Matt & Joey’s

November: performed with other poets before a play at the Lyceum Theater
SDAD: footbridges of San Diego
turned 44

December: Sandy & Tristan visit for Mom’s birthday
performed on the Star of India
Acoustic Duo Christmas show
Christmas at Mom & Dad’s

Han traveled a lot in 2015 for gigs, mostly to northern CA. Health-wise, I had to do a couple rounds on steroids (May & August) to combat some vasculitis flare-ups, but nothing as severe as 2014. I continued with my monthly therapy sessions and acupuncture.

In 2016, the SDAD will continue. More reading. More writing. Being active. Monthly visits to Mom & Dad. T’s graduation. Baseball trip with Sandy. Lots of things to look forward to! Happy new year!

my working life

I don’t talk too much about what I do for a living because I’ve always considered it secondary to my life. I mean, I work to make money so I can pay bills and have money to do fun things. That’s not to say that I don’t like my job now or the jobs I’ve had in the past. But work, even though I spend a lot of time doing it, is usually just a means to an end.

I think as I’ve gotten older, that philosophy has changed a bit. I take pride in the work I do, even if it’s just for the people I work for and with. I get excited about some things and dread other things, I think like many people feel about their jobs. But, I don’t bring work home as much as I used to, so I’m getting better at leaving work stuff at work.

The reason I bring this all up is because today after work, I went to a farewell happy hour for yet another person who’s leaving the company. There’s been a TON of turnover this year, either people getting laid off or voluntarily leaving. I got into a conversation with some people about former colleagues.

Now, I will have been at this job for 9 years in February. I’m what you call a ‘lifer,’ mostly. I was at the job before that for 14 years. I am not one to constantly be looking for the next thing. Interviews are stressful, I like what I do, I like the people I work with, so why should I look for something else?

Anyway, it just struck me in talking with them that I’ve seen a lot of changes and seen a lot of people come through. Some I remember well and am FB friends with them, and others, I have a hard time recalling what they even did! Of course, I have become notorious among my family as having a horrible memory so that may not be hard to believe.

I don’t really have a point beyond just being struck by the passage of time and what things impact your life or just appear as a blip or even less on the radar of your life.

And just for fun, here’s my work history (the best I can recall :)):

LaRoche Industries (high school) – where my dad worked, I helped out in the front office for a while

Sportmart (high school) – retail job that I liked for the most part, I worked in the apparel section and I remember that the hangers always made my fingers smell weird. I met a guy there who I dated for a while. He was one of the security guards.

I think there was a brief moment during high school (maybe even just a weekend) that I worked at Conroy’s Flowers. I remember having to put pins in roses so they wouldn’t droop.

Crown Books (college) – I helped open a new store near campus. I could walk there, though I had to borrow a friend’s car to go to the training. I loved working in a bookstore, every aspect, from shelving to register to taking inventory. I only worked there a few months because I wanted to go home for the holidays but I didn’t have vacation there so I quit.

Road Runner Sports
(started in college) – I started there in 1993 doing weird work opening used shoes so they could be evaluated for running patterns. I was paid under the table for the first year or so probably. I went on my first work trip to Atlanta to work a race expo. I drank so much one of the nights, I was throwing up til the morning when I had to go work the booth. All there was to eat were pierogies. But Hot-lanta was awesome. We went to a Braves game on the 4th of July. I worked my way to a ‘legal’ paid position doing administrative work. I hated my boss. When he left, I helped hire the next person who came to be one of my mentors, a wonderful woman who brought me up to marketing after she moved up. That’s where I learned how to take criticism of my copywriting, what it meant to write in a brand voice, and became a magazine editor. My boss after the woman I helped to hire was also fantastic. I learned a lot from both of them, not just about how to do a good job, but also how to be a good person. I also had a colleague there who I didn’t work with per se, but we knew each other and were friends. And he’s the guy who called me in 2007 to offer me a new job.

Bridgepoint Education (current job) – There was more than just the guy I knew from RRS at this fairly new company so it wasn’t too bad leaving my comfortable spot because there were friendly faces. I started out as a manager and was promoted in 2 years to a director position that I’ve had ever since. At the most, I’ve had four people working for me. Now it’s down to just one. At a recent large event, the guy who brought me over from RRS looked around and said, “Just think about it, nearly all of these people have read something you’ve written. Isn’t that amazing?!” And I had to admit that it was. I don’t know how long I’ll be at this job, I have no plans to leave, but the industry and the business is in a funky place right now. I just try to do the best I can, to stay challenged, to let the bullshit go, and to have fun with the people I’ve come to trust and who help me be/become inspired.

the Shawnee saga is over

I’m happy to say that the saga with our previous house is finally over. We heard from the landlord late on Wednesday by email. He included a spreadsheet that listed all of the damage costs and the amount we would get back. It wasn’t as much as I’d hoped. Han was good with it. We talked about possibly pushing back on a few items he’d listed. Our tenant advocate also had some suggestions, but in the end, we decided to take the money and run, so to speak, and just be done. Who knows what kind of can of worms we might have opened with him by pushing back a little? I think this way is probably best. I’m not the litigious sort. If he had missed the deadline or said we weren’t getting anything back, I might have had a different attitude. We received the check on Friday so now we’ll consider that chapter officially over. Yay!

Yesterday was a day of errands and chores. Goodwill, bank, acupuncture. Came home and had lunch with Han. Then, I cleaned the house. We had someone come twice a month at our last place, but right now, it’s not in our budget, so I tackled it. Both bathrooms, sweeping, swiffering (both dry and wet). Man, our living room area was filthy! I even cleaned under the burners on the stove! All the while I had the first season of Gilmore Girls going on the Apple TV (fun!). I also did laundry, broke down a ton of cardboard, and unpacked the last couple boxes. They had been put into a closet, and I hadn’t realized it. They were photo albums and scrapbooks.

After all that, I let myself have a night out and went to see Han play at Java Joe’s. He opened for our friends, Frank and Cindy, aka Dead Rock West. It was a great show. It was also good to see some old friends there.

Today, I’m officially getting into Spain mode. I’m going to shop for some stuff (clothes, shoes), check out Mom’s itinerary, check out the places we’re staying, get my documents in order, etc. I also have to do some grocery shopping (not Spain related).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!