NPM – 6 of 30

“a hard cry could draw walls in, it could bend metal,
it could turn a full moon into a sliver”
– from The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

not as much as before
not like it used to be
tears enough to drown in
sorrows fit for a crone

but the aftermath produced
no supernatural
redemption, no relief
just fatigue

slow unrolling
of hours, lists of
ingredients for recipes
that will maybe
get made, wait on
stovetop for others
to maybe eat

waiting to give in
to sleep, to hear
one or another return
not call out to me
the awkwardness
seemingly too much
to overcome

if only the sobs
could have broken
open more than
just my heart

if only the weeping
could have been
a baptism, a beginning
rather than the exit
sign that finally lit up

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. 

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!

 

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:

IMG_2228

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!

IMG_2233

Feminism in LA

April 2016 started off pretty cool. I had scored free tickets to a reading happening in LA called Feminist as F*ck, being put on by the actress & poet (and my FB friend), Amber Tamblyn. Also on the bill were Amy Poehler (yes!), Roxanne Gay, Eileen Myles, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Rhonda Jarrar. I had invited my mom to go.

We got up there with plenty of time to spare, so we got to go to a place I’d wanted to visit: The Last Bookstore. It was awesome. They were having a reading as well (the AWP conference was happening so there were events all over the place). Mom & I explored the upstairs area and just the way it’s designed is cool. I could have spent all day in there.

LastBookstore

On our way out, I ran into my friend, Murray Thomas, my former editor at …Next! magazine from the early days of the SD/OC/LA poetry scene (mid-90s). Fun! Mom & I headed back toward the theater and had a bite to eat at a place on the corner. It was yummy. While sitting outside, I saw another friend, Mindy Nettifee. We’d been teammates on the ’99 Laguna Beach Slam team. She lives in Portland now, but she’s very close with Amber so had come to the show (I’m guessing she was in LA anyway for the conference).

There was a huge line for the show, but Mom managed to get us reserved seats because she complained that she had emailed about getting handicapped seating but never heard back. They printed up signs and placed them on the chairs for us, ha!

reserved

The show itself was fine. It was thrilling to see and hear Amy Poehler, who is very smart and extremely funny. A special guest was Carrie Brownstein (who is on Portlandia with Fred Armisen) and is a musician.

My favorite part of the evening really was talking about feminism with my mom. I wrote a poem about it. Here you go:

My Mother Says She Doesn’t Think She’s a Feminist

I smile at her
we are at a self-proclaimed feminist reading
which is what sparked her remark
I simply say, “Yes, you are.”
Her quizzical look inspires me to add
“You learned to drive as an adult,
you have a college degree,
you had a career,
you became a U.S. citizen,
you vote,
you have your own bank account.
When you married Dad, none of that was true,
but because you wanted those things
you made it happen.”
She said, “Well, yeah.” Then, “Oh.”
I tell her it’s not about being a bra-burner
or a protester. It’s about having rights.
To put it another way, I tell her
that she raised two daughters
to think for themselves & to take care of themselves.
She supported me & my sister
in playing sports, going to college, getting jobs.
She timidly says, “But men are better at some things.”
And I say, “Yes, and women are better at some things,
but you wouldn’t deny the opportunity for a woman
to try doing anything.”
And then, as if to prove something to herself,
as she waits in the long bathroom line, she sees
that a men’s room line doesn’t exist. She questions
the women in line, “Well, aren’t we feminist as fuck?
Why don’t we use the men’s room?”
Women cheer & agree, and some move to the
empty, barely used men’s room.

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