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!

 

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.

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.

rainy morning

I went to the store before work today to grab some essentials that we needed. I even threw a load of laundry in before I left. It was rainy all morning which was nice. I had a mostly all day training, but it was actually interesting and informative.

The Blue Apron dinner last night was good. I made triple pork mazeman. Han thought it tasted good, but he is not a big fan of noodles. There are two more meals, but I’m not up for cooking tonight. We’re trying to figure out what we want. I’ll make the other two meals tomorrow while he’s at rehearsal. Tonight he doesn’t have any clients or other work, so we’re going to watch the ball game and hang out a bit. Nice.

I will tell you that a had one of those mini Hershey’s dark chocolate pieces today. It left a bit of a weird aftertaste. I think I’m good for a bit.

I started reading a new book today. It’s one I’d purchased a while ago on my Kindle. It’s called Of Bees and Mist. So far I like it!

today’s draft

Not That, But…

I have never wrestled the wind
but I have bathed in moonlight
gulped down the fragrance of lilacs

I have never slept with an enemy
but I have been betrayed by a smile
deceived with a kiss

I have never angered the sea
but I have lingered over your skin
kept the secrets of your heart

I have never mended a stone
but I have sung to the stars
craved the heat of morning

I see a red door…

I finished my first book of the year last night. It’s called Paint It Black by Janet Fitch. She also wrote White Oleander. The reason I chose to read PiB is because the actress, Amber Tamblyn, who is also a poet and close friends with some of the poets I know, recently announced that she just finished directing the movie based on this book. I wanted to be in the know. 🙂 It’s an interesting story. Set in the early 80s in LA, it’s the story of Josie, a young punk whose boyfriend kills himself. It’s her story of dealing with the aftermath, struggling to understand who he really was, and how she interacts with his family. There’s a lot of story that is all about how Josie is feeling so I’ll be curious how that gets handled in the movie, with a voiceover or not at all. I’m not sure when it comes out, but I’ll be looking for it.

This weekend has been pretty mellow. I feel a little guilty that I haven’t done more work, but I plan to do some today. On Friday, Han had a gig so after work, I went to Target. I came home and had a snack and watched TV. I hadn’t been in the kitchen long but after my snack, I went in to make dinner, and the ants were back! After taking care of them, I made a batch of cashew chicken. The rest of the evening was spent reading.

On Saturday, I had a writing date with Lindsay, but we didn’t do much writing. We hadn’t seen each other since before the holidays, so we took a few hours to talk and catch up. Keeping my friends close is one thing I’m consciously trying to do this year. It was great to hang with her. And the place we met was great, a little coffeehouse in Mission Hills with a tiny balcony over a beautiful canyon. There were hawks in the canyon, and the weather was mild. Lovely. After that, Han & I got sushi and hung out ’til he had to go to his gig. That night for me was more reading, a bowl of pasta, and some TV.

Sunday morning, Barbara and Becky came over for breakfast. That was awesome. We chatted into the afternoon. I love being able to hang with them outside of a music gig. Then, I went to Java Joe’s for my Third Sunday poetry open reading. If you’ve been keeping up, these have not been going well. I had decided that this one would be the last one. I let Joe know when I got there, and he was cool about it. Then, at 2 pm, a couple people came in. It was a girl I used to work with and her mom. They were there to listen. Well. No one else ever showed up. We ended up chatting for a half hour and they left. I looked at Joe and said, “That pretty much sums it up.” You know, you can offer it up, but if no one’s interested, why keep offering? Plus, I was beginning to dread going which is definitely not how I want to feel. So I went home and hung out with Han until, again, he had to leave for his gig. We were watching football. Quite a game with the Seahawks and Packers.

After he left for his gig, I called up my friend, Laurel. We talked for a good hour about how things are going. She lives in Ann Arbor now, she moved there in July. She’s still getting used to it and sometimes feels very homesick. She’s coming out here for a weekend next month so I’ll get to see her if only briefly. After that conversation, I cleaned up the house a bit, and then I went to Han’s gig. This was the third gig night in a row with Flan. This gig was in a church downtown. I totally picked the right gig to attend. It was mellow and sounded great. I got to hang with Barbara a little more, and I finished my book (the excitement of the green room revealed!)

Today is about organizing. There are things to do and work to be done. But I’ll still make it about relaxing, too.

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!

The cleanse continues

One thing I forgot to mention that I have started, which is not related to the cleanse but was recommended by my acupuncturist, is taking liquid chlorophyll. The way she described it is that it’s plant blood. My symptoms indicate that there are some issues with my blood. The plant stuff is supposed to help cool my hot blood. I don’t know. She describes it all so much better than I can. Anyway, I drink a tablespoon of it in a glass of water every morning. It’s not unpleasant. It has a subtle mint flavor. The bottle describes it as an ‘internal deodorant.’ Things are weird in my world right now.

So the rest of day 2 wasn’t too bad. It was Saturday, so I took Dad to dialysis and stopped for his and Mom’s donuts on the way back. For lunch I had leftover stir fry from the night before. It was still super tasty. I alternated between the soccer game for 3rd place (ha ha Brazil!) and Ghost Adventures, but I promptly fell asleep ’til 3:30 pm when it was time to get Dad.

After we got home, it was time for the 2nd and final concoction of the day. I had my mom help me. This time we used strawberries. It was still terrible, but I did it. The water chaser definitely helps. I had a bowl of pistachios. Later I lay down to read for a while. Then Mom cooked dinner.

Dinner for me (and Dad) was salmon and a salad. The salmon she had marinaded in olive oil, added fresh rosemary, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme. She put it in the grill pan. For the salad, I’d gotten a bag of spinach mixed with arugula. She made a dressing for it with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and basil. Dinner was super good. Dad enjoyed it, too. Mom doesn’t like salmon so she made herself a potato omelet.

Again, lots of water throughout the day. I messaged with Han on Facebook after their gig in Leeds which he said went well. He has today and Monday off. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do. I also had randomly messaged with my cousin, Sonia, on FB while I was waiting for my dad to finish with dialysis. Technology is crazy!

This morning, I slept in til 9:30 am. I got up and had my PB (plant blood). Then I checked the plan to see what was in store today. It was then that I realized I couldn’t have almond milk with the concoction. Just water or unsweetened apple or pear juice. Bummer. I decided to do the water since we didn’t have the juice. I found a margarita mixer cup. It’s still only one scoop and five oz of water so there was a lot less to drink without the added ice and berries from the previous day. I didn’t gulp it, but I drank it much quicker this time, carrying on with the water chaser. One more of those today. Tomorrow, I start doing 2 scoops. Today, there are also more restrictions on what is allowed to eat. I have to eliminate nuts & seeds, rice & grains, sweeteners, and milk substitutes. The next 4 days will be the hardest, but then it will practically be over! What I have to concentrate on is planning. Because I’ll have to do the concoction at work a couple times every day this week. Plus figure out my lunch which will always be fish or beans. Planning will be key.

But for the rest of today, I plan to relax. I’ll finish the book I’m reading (Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix), watch the World Cup final, chat with the folks, and play with the dog. For lunch, I’ll have leftovers from last night’s dinner. Still not sure what we’ll have for dinner. But now, I’m going to have some sliced mango.