what in the actual f**k?

Seriously. Gun violence in America is out of control. And I don’t just mean the tragedies that happen like today’s awfulness in San Bernardino or previous incidents in Sandy Hook, Roseburg, Colorado Springs, and numerous other places. I also mean the hundreds of children who die because they find a gun in their home, their mother’s purse, or because an older sibling accidentally shoots their kid brother or sister. I’m also talking about gangs and gang violence. And I’m also talking about police.

I saw one tweet today that said something like, “Everyone in America is a sitting duck.” I totally feel that way a lot lately. I was in Starbucks this morning, before San Bernardino even happened, and I thought, “What if something happened here?” Or when I was at the hospital for my ultrasound with the fire alarm going off.

When shit like this happens, you often hear people say, “You just never think it can happen to you.” That’s not how I think. I totally believe something like that can happen to me, to people I love. It’s numbing. I try very hard to not let it get me down, to focus on good things, to be grateful, but damn, it’s tough to do sometimes.

I did a small thing tonight. I signed this petition: http://act.everytown.org/sign/Join-This-Fight. I’m tired of just being upset about it. I don’t like guns. I don’t want guns in the hands of kids. I don’t want them in the hands of mentally ill people. I don’t want them in the hands of terrorists. Like I said, it’s a small thing, but it’s something.

“And I wish that I could take
All the guns in this sick place
And melt them into coins
And buy compassion for the human race
And I know it sounds cliche
But, I’m tired of this violence…”

  • by Steve Poltz from “Your Ghost”

I forgot!

I totally spaced on blogging yesterday! Sorry! To make up for it, I will post twice today.

Yesterday, I went to work with my pie and cookies. Around 11:15 am, we started putting food out. A lot of people were off so there was a small group, around 12. The newly appointed VP, and an old friend from RRS days, was off, but he was going to come in and bring the turkey. My boss was also off, but he was going to come in and bring a ham. Well, the ham got there, but the other guy didn’t order the turkey and struck out at Honey-Baked and Boston Market. So there wasn’t turkey at our Thanksgiving potluck. It was okay, there was plenty of lumpia! The cookies and pie were very well-received. There were leftovers so I brought them up here to LM.

We were told we could leave around 1pm, but I had a meeting so I ended up leaving around 2 pm. The roads were already crowded. I used Google maps to get me there the fastest, but it still took about 3 hours. I went on toll roads, side streets, and random freeways, but I was moving pretty much the whole time which is what I like. I detest sitting in traffic.

When I got here, things were a little tense because I was upset about something which made my mom upset. After things calmed down, it was fine. Mom made BLAT’s and Trader Joe’s mac ‘n’ cheese. We watched “Survivor” then I just went to bed around 10 pm. It was weird, it didn’t even occur to me about the blog until this morning!

Until later today!

weekends are becoming sacred space

I brought my laptop home with me this weekend. Like I’ve done previously, I had every intention to catch up on some work. But it’s almost 8 pm on Sunday night, and the bag never even got unzipped.

I’ve come to (or come back to) the idea of making the weekends mine. Like I mentioned yesterday, I have for too long, felt guilty about not doing more with my weekends, not being productive in my own mind. But you know what? I did laundry today. I cleaned out the fridge. I went grocery shopping and made dinner. I did the dishes. I even rearranged the bedroom. I also had “Parenthood” on nearly non-stop, and my phone got plenty of use from the game-playing. But even if I had spent all day in my pajamas and just read a book, that still would have been just right.

It’s about what I feel like doing at any given time. When I have this alone time, when Han and D are both gone, I have to luxuriate, or go out, or walk, or anything else.

I just got off the phone with my parents. My dad and I had an emotional talk, but a good one. He said something about how other people have it worse off and that he shouldn’t feel bad. I think that’s bullshit. Having pain, going through a down period, being sick, that’s what you’re dealing with and it’s real. Everybody has something. Comparing your pain to others and feeling unworthy or silly for feeling what you feel is negating yourself and what you are going through. All we can do is go through it. Reach out, talk, or write, draw, paint, sing, pet the dog. And if you’re in an up mode, empathize with those that are down. Or even if you are in a down mode, you can still empathize with others.

With the attacks in Paris on Friday, and the previous day’s attack in Beirut, it’s been very odd on social media. People are trying to make other people feel bad for showing solidarity with Paris and not Beirut. They’re re-posting news from earlier in the year to imply or outright say, what about this? Why weren’t you enraged by this attack and show your support for these victims? These attitudes are everywhere whether it’s about the LGBTQ community, peace for Paris, racism at Mizzou, #BlackLivesMatter, politics, religion. It seems like no matter what you do, with the best intentions, someone will find fault with it. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I try to follow the news. I try to follow my heart and express my concern, my empathy, what I feel is right. I try to stay away from debates and conflicts online and even in conversations. But it goes to my previous remarks about comparing pain. It’s pointless. There is pain. There is lots of pain in the world. Some people are assholes. Some people are kinder than average.

Which brings me back to the original subject/title of this post: sacred space. Find yours. Use it to recharge, to be better prepared to deal with the massive onslaught of images, words, and opinions of everyone. Be kind.

work, blood, other work, Blue Apron & other stuff

The first ‘work’ was therapy. I told my therapist that as I was sitting in the waiting room, it occurred to me that between sessions, I don’t often think about what we talk about. It’s so much easier to not. I know that’s why I quit going to therapy the first time. I didn’t want to do the work. My opinion about going to therapy has changed drastically over the years. I used to think it showed weakness. But that’s not true. It’s for people who need an objective ear, to help put things in perspective. Maybe I used to think it was easier to find perspective, or I did what many people do, just not think about it. Anyway, it was a good session.

While I was there, I remembered that the dermatologist (did I mention that I got a wee bit of vasculitis last month? I went straight for the steroids this time. All good!) had ordered some blood work, so I walked down to the lab. The phlebotomist said she needed more paper for the printer to print out all the labs I needed (!). I was surprised because I thought I remembered only seeing a couple things that were needed. I also had to do a urine sample. There’s just nothing good about doing that. Anyway, then she took about 8 vials of blood for a variety of tests. Okay then.

Off to work work. It was fine. Toward the end of the day, I was working on something and getting very confused and frustrated, so I called it a day. When I got home, waiting on the porch was a box from Blue Apron. I had actually forgotten to cancel the order for this week, but it’s okay because all of the recipes sounded good. I talked with Han for a while, then it was to the kitchen!

Tonight’s recipe was for seared pork with sauteed spinach and smashed potatoes. It was tasty. I had forgotten, though, that the portions are small. I mean, they’re probably exactly how much we’re supposed to have, but it’s not much. Anyway, it came out very well, and I think I would make it again on my own. The flavor combos of everything went perfectly together.

Tomorrow night, D is having a church group here at the house, so Han and I will get take out and let her have the run of the place. Thursday, I’ll probably make another Blue Apron meal: turkey steam buns w/ quick cucumber radish kimchi. The steam buns should be good, but I am not a fan of pickled stuff so I don’t know about the kimchi (plus cucumber, yuck!)

The last meal I’ll probably make this weekend, and I’m most excited about it: fresh fettuccine pasta w/ sugar snap peas & arugula pesto. Yum!

In tennis news, some quarterfinal matches were played, and Federer is out (good riddance you smug Swiss!) thanks to countryman, Stan Wawrinka, who advanced in three sets. Also through is Jo-Willie Tsonga, who I really like. The other two men’s quarterfinal matches should be awesome: Rafa vs Djokovic and Murray against Ferrer. Rafa is king of clay, but Novak has been great. I’d like to see Ferrer beat Murray. For the women, through to the semifinals is Ana Ivanovic and Safarova. Tomorrow, it’s my fav, Serena, who’s had a rough time getting this far, against Errani and two players I’ve never heard of: Bacsinszky (Swiss) against Van Uytvanck (Belgian).

I also wanted to mention some movies I want to see that are coming out soon. Part of the fun of going to the movies is seeing the trailers. I know that you can look them up online, but it doesn’t have the same impact. Here’s a brief list of movies I’d probably go to the theater to see (in no particular order) from commercials I’ve seen (I’m sure I’ll find others!):

1. Spy – I heart Melissa McCarthy
2. Jurassic World – see yesterday’s post
3. Inside Out – more Disney magic, plus Amy Poehler!
4. Trainwreck – Amy Schumer can do no wrong, plus Bill Hader!
5. Love & Mercy – biopic of Brian Wilson

Okay, that’s all I got tonight!

come on 3-day weekend!

You know those times when you have a lot going on, but you feel energized and confident and like you can’t lose? Those times are awesome, right? The energy just feeds on itself, and you feel good.

Do you also know those times when you have a lot going on, and as hard as you try, you can’t seem to get to a good point where you feel like you’re not going to implode, explode, or experience any other type of ‘plosion’? Those times are harder, huh? The energy just sucks every little bit out of you.

So guess which kind of week I’ve been having?

The weekend was good. I went to Heather’s before driving up to my folks’ house. I met her sweet little puppy, Duster. So cute. We had dinner at Acapulco which was great. I love her so much. Then I drove up to LM, and it was a nice easy drive. But I was tired when I got there so I chatted with Mom some then went to bed.

On Saturday, I took Dad to dialysis and went to a coffeehouse near the house for a mocha. Not bad. Mom & I went to lunch at the Green Chile, which was good, but not as good as before. I didn’t really love what I ordered. When we got home, I got out my laptop, and Mom & I talked about what I do as my job since she really didn’t know. Since I was working, I was able to show her, even briefly, and explain a bit about what I do. I think she was a bit surprised at the breadth of the work I do. I guess I felt kind of good to show her that I’m not just making shit up when I say I’m busy.

I picked up Dad from dialysis, and we watched some football. For dinner that night, we got Panda Express which was pretty good. On Sunday, I got cinnamon rolls from Polly’s and drove around LM for a bit. It was raining, and I was feeling nostalgic. After breakfast, I helped around the house a bit, and did some more work. Bonus is that they gave me (and Han) their old Vizio TV since ours crapped out. Mom & I loaded it in the car, and I headed south.

Sunday night was okay, pretty mellow. We had Chinese food from our neighborhood restaurant, Mandarin Wok. I love the little lady that works there. She’s so sweet. We watched the Golden Globes. I was glad (and surprised) that The Grand Budapest Hotel won for best comedy. I haven’t seen many of the movies that were nominated. I thought Clooney’s speech was good as well as Kevin Spacey’s.

On Monday, I went to the kitties, but there were only two, and there were hardly any dogs, but I hadn’t gotten there ’til just after 4 pm, so I still had to battle traffic on the way home. For dinner, Han took us out to celebrate D’s graduating. We went to the cutest little Italian place in Pt. Loma called Pomodoro’s. I loved it! Afterwards, we tried a new place that just opened up called Rita’s Custards & Ice. They sell custard, gelato, and Italian ice. I was full so didn’t have any but D & Han said theirs were delicious.

On Tuesday, I went to therapy in the morning. I really like my therapist. He’s a cool dude. That night, Han made another pork roast. It was good. We had it on Hawaiian slider buns, with broccoli and cornbread muffins on the side.

Last night, the thing I had planned to make for dinner they had made for lunch. Oh well, I hadn’t told them anything so it wasn’t their fault. I was driving home, and it was almost 6:30 pm. I couldn’t figure out what I could get at the store to cook so we had sushi. We also have a neighborhood sushi place called Sushi Fish Attack. It’s delicious!

And today. I went to the grocery store at lunch thinking I’d save myself time after work. That only works when you leave at your usual time. Tonight I didn’t leave work until 6:45 pm. Boo hoo. And in case you hadn’t guess yet, I’ve been having one of the harder times described above. At one point today, I was in tears just because everything was taking so long to figure out. Emails whizzing back and forth trying to get consensus on something from legal, trying to appease the client, trying to keep the project manager updated, and all the while trying to make progress on the multitudes of other tasks that are my responsibility. Before I drove home, Han & I texted, and he told me to come home & relax, he was going to Java Joe’s. That was fine with me. I needed some quiet time for my brain. I needed to ease into my evening. So even though when I got home, I began to clean the kitchen, that’s what helped me relax. I needed to take something that was messy, and make it clean. I also started some laundry.

And now, I’ve written this blog post, and I’ll either read a bit or watch some of the shows on the DVR. Good night!

dinner fail

Sad trombone. Tonight’s recipe did not work out. It’s still on the stove. It was supposed to be meatballs, but they didn’t stay together. Not enough breadcrumbs? Too much liquid? A bit of both? It was another Pioneer Woman recipe, Salisbury Steak Meatballs. When they didn’t stick together, I just crumbled them together. But by the time they were added to the sauce, the pieces of meat were so small they’re almost non-existent. It resembles S.O.S. The flavor is okay, but how do you eat it?

Today is Los Reyes Magos. The envelope from my mom contained some cash, which is always nice. Thanks again, Mom!

D finished high school today. Crazy, right? She’s all done! I think she’s still debating whether she’ll walk in the graduation at the traditional end of school in June. She was really not a fan of school, but she put her head down and finished a semester early with decent grades. I’m glad for her.

It was hard to get up this morning. Usually I wake up before my alarm but not today! I was surprised by it even. Several of my co-workers said the same thing! I guess we’re all still a bit in vacation mode.

taking action

After my last post, I felt like I needed to do something. So I looked for any gatherings happening in San Diego, and I found one that happened on Friday.

I attended my first protest march that evening. It was in the neighborhood of City Heights. The demonstrators were instructed to meet in a park that was right across the street from the police department. Across the park, the police had organized a Toys for Tots drive and were going to show “Frozen.” There were police everywhere. I drove by a couple times first to try to gauge what was going on. When I drove by, there were a lot of people on the ground. I read later that this act was a “die-in” where they lay on the ground for 11 minutes to represent the number of times Eric Garner said the phrase, “I can’t breathe.”

I parked and walked to the group, passing a multitude of motorcycle police on the way. When I walked up, the march was literally just starting so I was glad for the timing. We marched through the City Heights neighborhood, chanting various things. It was an interesting experience. The organizer in me was only mildly impressed with the cohesiveness of the event. There were several people who rolled a PA speaker around that had someone on a microphone to lead the chants. I’d guess there were 3-4 people “in charge.” Many of the people held signs. It was a mixed race crowd and also all ages. I’d guess there were probably 100-200 people. We walked for about 40 minutes.

Once the march started, the police were in action. They blocked streets so we could walk on them undeterred, and they directed traffic away from the protest. I thought that was great. Plus none of the demonstrators were going into direct confrontations with the police. It was truly a peaceful protest. I liked that.

What I didn’t like so much was the atmosphere of unknown. It felt subversive. I am not scared of police (though seeing them in such numbers before the march was a little off-putting), and I don’t do anything to break the law. I’m no radical. But that’s part of the whole point, isn’t it? Where race does come into it. Here’s an interesting site that’s come from the Twitter hashtags, #CrimingWhileWhite and #AliveWhileBlack, that shows how differently people are treated by police. So it makes sense that I found that it felt subversive while someone else might have found it empowering.

I’m glad I participated in the march. Because of what I’ve searched on Facebook and the web, the information that is served up to me shows a lot more of these stories. It’s something that’s definitely on my mind a lot.