Thursday, January 31, 2008

I've been thinking a lot about M lately. Not consciously. Not when I'm at work or at the gym or last night when I went out to dinner with friends. When I least expect it, though, he has a way of sneaking into my thoughts. I wake up in the morning with the vague feeling that I was dreaming of him. Or I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I KNOW I had a dream about him, but don't remember the details. Or a song will come on the radio and I'll get kind of melancholy.

Melancholy for weird things. Like hiking and watching for the bark to come off the manzanita trees in the winter. Or remembering the way the sun would come in through the blinds in my apartment. Or having somebody to sleep in with on Sunday mornings. I don't sleep in on Sundays anymore.

Last night I had a dream that wasn't about M, but when I woke up, still remembering the details of this very bizarre dream, it reminded me of him. I dreamed I was put in charge of a competitive boomerang team. Is there even such a thing as a competitive boomerang team? Maybe in Australia? Anyway, I didn't have a choice in the matter, for some reason or another, and it was very important that I coached this team well. Very important. Life or death important. (You know how things can get in the crazy boomerang world.)

The team was a bunch of 9 and 10 year olds. I got myself a copy of "Boomerangs for Dummies" and managed to stay one chapter ahead of the team, practicing at night and coaching the next day. Things like, how to properly hold a boomerang, the angle of your elbow during follow-through, how to change the trajectory of the boomerang throw. Important things that a competitive boomerang squad should know.

The whole time, I was very anxious and almost frantic. I was clearly in over my head. I had no idea what I was doing. And while I was making a grand effort and somehow pulling it off, I felt that at any moment, things would come crashing down around me. And something terrible would happen as a result.

Ever wake up feeling more tired than you were the night before? I did this morning. And the first thing I thought of was him. The anxiety. The frustration. The frantic feeling of studying up on things I knew nothing about in order to fake it. And knowing I would never be good enough to make it work. The last few months with M in a nutshell.

And still....I miss rubbing our hands over the trunks of manzanita trees together after the bark fell off in the winter.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It rained today. Hard. Rained and rained and blew and blew. I felt like my jeep was going to blow right off the bridge into the canal on the way to work today. Though the temperature was a little warmer than earlier in the week, I was freezing all day. It didn't help to look out the window and see the sheets of rain blowing sideways.

Worse than the rain was the slop that was 16 inches of snow 2 days ago. The slushy mess was only made worse by all the sand that was dumped on the sidewalks and parking lot outside. Every time anyone used a treatment mat, it immediately was covered with dirt that never was wiped up completely. And it felt like I was crunching around the floor.

Nothing says January like stepping in a freezing cold puddle and having the water and sandy slush seep over the top of your shoes, soaking your ankles and socks! It was quite an uncomfortable ride home.

Despite this, it was a pretty good day at work. I am only hoping that it is not raining on the day of the marathon!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


On Friday, I decided to forego my usual Friday night ritual of staying in and simultaneously doing laundry while watching netflix to instead go out with some friends from work. We were going to see a band. (One of my co-workers is dating the lead singer). I went with the predisposed notion that they were not going to be all that good, but I'd be nice because of my friend's relationship with one of the band members.

The band was playing in the town I grew up in . Its a weird thing: even after 10 years away, you come back to your home town and no matter where you go, you know pretty much everyone there. Not on a first name basis. On a "I think I used to go to the gym with him", and "she used to work at the 7-11 near the beach" basis. So here I was, in a room full of I-almost-but-don't-quite-know-them people. All night, you see people with that look of recognition in their eyes, followed by that look of confusion, then the look away. I almost but didn't quite talk to every person in the bar.

Some observations about a bar full of guys on the east coast versus the west coast: west coast guys dress in Abercrombie, east coast guys in Red Sox caps and Patriots sweatshirts. (Or, I guess Yankees caps and Giants sweatshirts a little more south). If my car broke down, I would rather have the east coast guys; if my computer broke down, the west coast guys. If there were a giant fist-fight to the death between east and west, I'd put my money on the east coast guys. If there were a dance-off, however, the reverse is true.

When I was in my 20's, when I went out, I usually came home with something free. T-shirts, hats, CD's, bandanas, whatever the bar or the band happened to have handy that night. Not so much anymore. Its been YEARS since I came home with any free swag. Until Friday. After the first set, the band came over to say hello to K, my co-worker. I felt the need to point out to the guitarist that I believe I heard, in the middle of a Metallica song, a Duran Duran riff, of all things. This guy literally jumped up and down and hugged me! "I have been doing that for over a year and nobody has ever noticed!" He then gave me one of his CD's. SCORE!!! (Incidently, Duran Duran and Metallica are surprisingly compatible and the band was really good)

At some point in the evening, everyone has just enough alcohol in them to jump on the dance floor and have fun. Quickly thereafter, everyone has too much alcohol to have any business on the dance floor. After that, maybe we should just stuff the term "dance floor" and call it "the pit of desperation".

How come every time a band plays an extended and embellished version of " Sweet Home Alabama ", running through my head are the words to " Thunder Road " by Bruce Springsteen?

Monday, January 28, 2008

It snowed 16 inches last night. The wind sounded like it was going to rip the roof right off. It seemed like every time I fell asleep, I was awoken by something shaking or rattling or blowing down the street. It was so bright this morning I woke up extra early.

I didn't get to the gym, however, as the gym was closed so they could plow the parking lot. I will have to try out my brand spankin new sneakers and brand spanking new ipod tomorrow. Its kind of a nice, cozy feeling when its all snowy outside and you are nice and warm in your jammies inside. Plus, its so nice to have a Jeep when you have to drive to work in slush and ice and snow. I'm very happy today.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My ipod still appears to be dead. I got it to charge briefly, but it quickly lost the charge and basically will not hold a charge. I'm bummed out. I am going to the apple store tomorrow to see if there is any way to revive my poor little red friend.

I forewent my movie plans Friday nite to actually go out and interact with people! What a novel idea. And even better, I think I actually found a good local band to haunt. Excellent.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My ipod might be dead!

I got home last nite and when I was cleaning out my gym bag, I noticed that I was missing both my ipod and ONE shoe. How the hell does that happen? Anyway, I was able to locate both in the gym lost and found box this morning. The shoe was okay. The ipod not so much.

Instead of a happy little apple logo, it has a deceased ipod icon, with a sad face and XX's for eyes. Plus, it told me to call or go on the apple help site. I opted to just plug it into the wall, with the hopes that a good charge will just magically fix things.

I have a 20 mile run on Saturday! My old MP3 still works, but it only holds about 20 songs. That will not nearly be enough. Oh, I just may go cry myself to sleep.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Here I am at week 3, and the road is not quite as straight as the one pictured to the left, but at least I am making progress.

Working out is going well. I have missed a couple days; as my milage increases for marathon training, I'm finding that I do need some rest days here and there. I am still down 2 pounds (no net loss this week) but overall doing well. I even checked out a sprint triathalon in June, which may be my next endeavor, once the marathon in completed.

Guitar, not so good. Still getting a little sad when I play it. It seems so bizarre that after doing well and NOT stewing for a while, all of a sudden those old feelings of loss can come back so strongly. I'm trying for a couple days a week, and hopefully to continue with this (and maybe increasing frequency) in the weeks to follow. I really do enjoy it. I just have to claim it back as my own.

One weird think this week that seemed to bring back those feelings of sadness was, of all things, going to Costco. They had all those little sample stations around where you could try the apricot juice or cocktail weenies or frozen PB&J samages. I was immediately swept up with the memories of me pushing the giant Costco cart around, all loaded up with 7 cases of flavored water and thousands of AAA batteries while M ran from sample to sample, essentially getting all his nutrition for the day. "Why can't you keep up?" he'd wonder and I'd get all pissed off: "You push this stupid cart and see how fast you go!" And it seemed so funny. We were one of those bickering couples in the store that everyone else rolled their eyes about. What a strange thing to miss. What a strange thing to make you feel sad.

Anyway, on a completely different note, I was able to get a "going out top". Yea! Not a moment too soon. Did I mention that I hate shopping? I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. So sad that my most successful shopping excursion was online. It should arrive in the mail any day now. God, I hope it fits!

And I am a little over 100 pages into Wuthering Heights. Not what I expected. I gotta be careful how much I read before bed, cause it gives me nightmares! And I must say, my vocabulary is definitely improving from my time with this book. Talk about verbose! However, I am a little disturbed by how much Emile Bronte likes to use the word ejaculated to describe shouting or blurting out something. Are we a little frustrated in some way, maybe? Jeez!

So, if I want to finish this book by the end of January, I gotta get crack a lackin! And one trip to the movies to go.

So as January starts winding down, I'm traipsing down the road under the shade of the oaks. Or something like that....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Now that the holidays are over, I need to buckle down and try to make up for the non-stop food orgy that I had from Thanksgiving to New Years.
At least I ended it on a high note. On Sunday, Dec 30, I ate what was, unquestionably, the BEST meal I have ever had. I had a meal that actually restored my faith in mankind and the state of our planet as a whole. (Since the food from that meal was grown on this earth, and the chef preparing the meal is a HUMAN, then I can only conclude that there is hope for us all.)
On the other hand, my friend, Nicole, who introduced me to this restaurant, may not have had as ecstatic an experience as I did. Anyone who knows me understands that taking me to an Indian/ Portugese/ American fusion restaurant and ordering the vegetarian tasting menu is not a task for the faint of heart. The car ride home was, shall we say, both musical and aromatic.
I think that as I was pouring out praises in my new-found food-induced optomism, Nicole was just wishing she were dead.
If you find yourself on a trip to New York, check out Tabla. You will not regret it. Just bring some Bean-O along! As for me, I'm trying to hang on to the holiday and Tabla exuberence for as long as possible.
I'm sure it won't be long before I turn back into a grouch.

Monday, January 21, 2008



Last Saturday night, some friends and I got together and had a pajama party. (It's always great fun to hang out with your friends in your PJ's) At some point during the evening, the we went into the room where the kids were watching Sesame Street. It wasn't long before the so-called adults were standing slack-jawed and mesmerized in front of the TV while the kids wandered off into another room to play.

I never noticed before, but Sesame Street is like an acid trip for kids! Between the crazy music, the trippy cartoon shorts, the dancing letters, and those hyperkinetic muppets, I thought we were watching footage of last year's Burning Man festival. I used to watch Sesame Street every day when I was little. How had I never noticed how bizarre it was?

Of course, my formative years took place during the 1970's. The entire world was a little bit like an LSD adventure in the 70's, wasn't it? Every neighborhood had THAT GUY --the one with the conversion van painted like the Partrige Family bus-- and the family with THAT BASEMENT --the one with shag carpeting, wood paneling, lava lamps, and beaded curtains over the doors. We went to elementary schools where all of the teachers were hippies and there were no desks, only "S" shaped tables that were mainly used at snack time. Otherwise, we sat on the floor, in bean bag chairs, or in plastic cube chairs that could also be stacked into giant towers to knock over. Groovy!

I remember my favorite outfit in first grade: tiny little jeans and an equally tiny, matching jean jacket. On the ankle of the jeans were a bunch of embroidered flowers, and on the pocket an embroidered butterfly. The jacket was embellished with a caterpiller, a butterfly, and a mushroom! I wore this little ensemble with a t-shirt that had a purple, green and orange caterpiller crawling over the words "inching along". I guess back then, it was okay to dress your 5-year-old in clothing that had drug-related inuendos at every seam. Especially when the 5-year-old wore that outfit while sitting in a bean bag chair and the flower-child music teacher lead the class in a rousing rendition of "Puff the Magic Dragon". After a day like that, Sesame Street was a dose of normalcy!

Flash forward 30 years, and I'm standing in my pajamas, watching what I can only describe as a muppet rave, complete with house music, strobe lights, glow sticks, confetti, and puppets dancing in a sort of group grand mal seizure. That was followed by a cartoon short that I remember fondly from my caterpiller years: the letters of the alphabet superimposed on a multi-colored Rorschach test that changes each time the letters morph into one another. While this is going on, a distorted, echoey voice identifies each letter: AAAaaayyybeeEEESEEeeedeeEEEEeeeeeEEFFGEEeee.

Then there's Elmo. Elmo wasn't around when I was little, and I am certainly glad of that. I think an entire generation would be even more screwed up that it already is, had that annoying red monster existed in the 70's. Elmo is like the beligerant drunk who monopolizes every conversation and interjects himself into every activity at the party. Everyone around him is wondering WHEN this character is going to pass out, but he keeps on going with that grating voice, that habit of refering to himself in third person, and that incessant, inappropriate, high pitched laugh. Plus, he goes on and on about some imaginary friend, Mr. Noodle, who has the intellectual capacity of a doorknob and doesn't speak.

Finally, when we were all about to slip into a state of perpetual stoned apathy, James Blunt showed up at Sesame Street to snap us back into reality. He woke us up by performing "My tri-angle, my tri-angle" to the tune of "You're Beautiful" while a triangle and a fuzzy purple monster cavorted in front of him. We all shook our head to reacquaint ourselves with our surroundings and went off to find the kids. Interestingly enough, they were all sitting contentedly side by side and EATING a foam pool noodle in unison. (Apparently, I'm not the only one who has issues with Mr. Noodle)

It's strange that the morning after the PJ party, I woke up with the worst hangover I've had in months, even though I didn't drink anything the night before! Was it a Sesame Street hangover? Possibly. We are going to test the theory out next month when we plan on sitting in our pajamas and watching Fraggle Rock.

Incidently, does anyone know were I can score some HnR Puff-n-Stuff DVD's?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I had a friend in California who told me of a Philipino New Year's tradition: clean the house from top to bottom, getting everything organized and in its place. The idea behind it is: the condition of your home at the start of the year will determine the state of your life for the rest of the year. Start off with everything organized and tranquil, and so shall your year be. Start the year off with everything messy and chaotic and, well, you know. That is logic that I just can't argue with.

Of course, New Year's Day found me in New Jersey. Then on a train back home, then standing in a parking lot waiting for AAA to deliver a battery that had been stolen out of my Jeep in my absence. Then I was driving home from the train station at a very late hour, eternally grateful that I did not let my AAA membership lapse. I had no time for cleaning and organizing on January 1st.

I decided to get everything clean and organized this past weekend, instead. I live in a studio apartment with very little storage space. Therefore, I do not have much stuff. So how is it then, that I have accummulated so much STUFF?

I put together a bag of clothing for the goodwill, a box of books for the book exchange, a pile of papers to shred, and a bunch of boxes that I no longer needed for storage. Yet somehow, the closet, the bureau, the bookcase, the file cabinet, and the storage space under the stairs are still full. Full of STUFF!

I know I am not alone in this. J has 7 rubbermade containers of Christmas decorations. I have a friend at work who lives in a 4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage; just her and her husband. They just rented a storage space for all the stuff that won't fit in the house and garage. And don't even get me started on Mel and all her shoes.

How much time do we all spend on the care and maintenence of our STUFF? I would bet that its significantly more than the time we spend on the care and maintenence of our lives! Think about it: how much does time spent on acquiring new experiences (like planning a vacation or taking a class) stack up against time spent vacuuming and doing dishes? Probably not well.

Maybe the real logic in spending the first day of the year organizing and cleaning isn't so much in getting everything organized and clean. Maybe the whole point is to get us to look at what we are filling our houses and lives with and decide if that's how we really want them filled. And maybe the true predictor in how the rest of the year will turn out depends upon our decisions in what kinds of STUFF we fill our lives with. Is it the kind of stuff that gathers dust, or the kind of stuff that dreams are made on?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Week two, and looking better and better...sort of. I had so hoped to post more, maybe daily, with my thoughts and bits of quirky wisdom, but that has just not happened. Also not happening, the guitar strumming. I thought I was past it, always thinking of my ex every time I picked up the guitar. But over the past week, I just got so sad every time I started finger picking or strumming. It just didn't seem worth it. I've been focusing so much on moving on and fostering happiness, not strumming for strumming's sake. Maybe next week will be better.

Exercise, on the other hand, looks great. I've made it, if not to the gym, at least to the TV with a yoga video every day of the week. I completed my 18 mile training run on Sunday (50 degree weather in January, how can you beat that?) without stopping. Which, of course, necessitated the yoga on Monday and Tuesday. And in conjunction with the "stop the holiday food orgy" plan, I've actually dropped 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks. Maybe if I keep it up for another 10 weeks, I can make it back to pre-holiday stats.

I found the smaller, closer, library branch in an old bank building. It's rather odd to see a drive through station and an empty ATM vestibule at the library. But I think in finding it, I also found my newest favorite little haunt. Its ridiculously old fashioned and lacking in any number of subjects you would expect to find in a library, but it's quaint and homey and super friendly inside. Plus, it had the one copy of Wuthering Heights sitting nicely on the shelf waiting for me. Plus a couple other non related books that I had to leave with.

My online class started today. Looks like I know a little more than I thought I did, because lesson one seemed so incredibly basic to me that I almost thought it was a complete waste of money. On second thought, the first lesson is to ease you into the hard stuff. So I will keep at it.

Lastly, the search for the going out top. Still not a success, but at least last weekend I found a couple articles of clothing that FIT, even if they did not suit my purposes and were not purchased. Jeez! Shopping is hard work!

Two steps closer, and feeling fine. Looking forward to more frequent and more funny posts. And happy that in 2008, I'm at a much different place that I was last year at this time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So here I am, one week into my "new year, new me" experimentation, and already bone tired. Seriously. Not that I've undertaken any massive tasks, like building the perfect mousetrap or inventing a new religion (though those ideas seem positively lucritive. Got to look into them later) but it has become abundantly clear to me why I have somehow become a non-capitalist hermit in the past year. It had very little to do with the break-up.

The day-to-day seemingly mundane tasks of American suburbia are anything but simple. I attempted to get "Wuthering Heights" from the library. (what the hell does "Wuthering" mean, anyway? Withering, I understand. Weathering. ok. Wobbling. sure. But wuthering? I don't even think that's a real word!) Ok, back to the library. I jump on the computer to find out where I can find the book. I know, alphabetical by the author's last name. I just don't know who wrote it. Since 2007, they have changed the computer system in the library and you can no longer complete all tasks on all computers. So first, I need to find a computer that will allow me to find a book. That just seems ridiculous to me. Shouldn't we be able to get on the internet, access our account, and find all books, both fiction and non fiction from every computer in the library? Apparently not. So after spending 15 minutes locating such a compter, I learn that every copy of Wuthering Heights in this branch is out. All 7 of them. Is there some book club reading this book for January that I don't know about? Did Oprah tell everyone to get this book? Why hasn't anyone told me about this? How come I'm always the last to get invited to the party? Now I have to go to the other library branch next weekend to get this VERY popular book. (yeah, I could buy it. But I prefer to spend my gift cards on more important literary ventures like the latest shopaholic adventures or US magazine. Not some novel with a fake word in the title.)

And speaking of shopaholics, that brings me to the next big problem of last weekend: returning gifts. Once upon a time, if I got a present that did not suit me, I could go to the store, receipt in hand, and return the item for a refund. Not so, anymore. No store actually will accept the fact that perhaps their items are not for you. They want to impress upon you that if you just think about it for a while longer, you will suddenly have a grand epiphany and run full tilt into the store, snatching up items helter skelter which you will then purchase, using the GIFT CARD that they insist on giving you instead of a refund. No amount of arguing will change the mind of the poor 16 year old sales clerk working during holiday returns madness, her shift manager, or the store assistant-manager. You will be forced to return next weekend when the manager is working, as he is the only one bestowed with the power of the gift return force.

Lastly, is the problem of trying to find a nice pair of jeans and a "going out top" with the GIFT CARD from a store where you may actually want to buy something, other than the actual gift that you went there to return. Does anyone know why there are no fewer than 17 different styles of men's jeans on the left side of the store and only 3 styles of women's jeans on the right side of the store? How about why these 3 styles of women's jeans are actually the same style in three different legnths? (Long, dragging-in-the-mud Long, and can-actually-wear-with sneakers-not-stilletos legnth) One more question: how can this style of jean be simultaneously way too small and way too big for one person? Seriously. I may not be a fit model or anything, but can my body be so grotesquely malformed as to make a pair of jeans from a popular store 2 sizes too big around the waist, slightly snug in the butt, 2 sizes too small in the thigh, and about 15 sizes too big from the knee down? What's up with that? Who are these pants designed for? Needless to say, the going out outfit is still out.

Luckily, the tasks of going to the gym and strumming the guitar are somewhat less involved. I did miss one day for both tasks (the day of returns. I had so much to do that day, and I had no idea it would take so long to get so little accomplished) I don't feel any more musical or healthy, but its something.

So one week down, my sanity somewhat intact, and I'm hoping for more success next week.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Ok, so here we are in the new year, and as Nicole and I have been saying for the last 2 days, "2008 is great!" I'm not even dwelling on the fact that I returned from NJ to find my car battery stolen out of my car. I'm just grateful that I didn't let my AAA membership lapse last July. THAT would have been bad.
So, my self assigned tasks for January 2008 are as follows:
1) Every day for 30 days I will (a) work out and (b) play my guitar. A little ambitious, having a double 30 day assignment first month out, but I need to take advantage of the New Year's energy.
2) I will read "Wuthering Heights". Never read it in high school. Have no idea what its about. Suspect that I will hate it.
3) I will buy a great "going out" top. Most of my shirts are either work shirts, tie dyes, or flowy hippie style shirts. Lots of fun to wear, but not very flatttering. Or stylish. Stacey and Clinton would throw away every shirt I own.
4) I will go out to the movies. Alone, if necessary. I love going to the movies. I just haven't in the past YEAR, because all of my friends have small children and if they want to go to the movies, I need to babysit for them.
5) I will have a "girls weekend". Either at home with my pals, or away with some college roomates I haven't seen in a while.
6) Something I haven't ever done: I am going to take an online computer class. For far too long, I didn't learn how to troulbe shoot my own computer because I had my boyfriend to take care of that for me. Why should I waste my time when I could just ask him. Well, it doesn't seem like such a waste of time now.
And away I go...on the journey to what is to become!!