Friday Thoughts

18 03 2011

Happy Thing: My Job

This photo was from yesterday’s Happy Thing. I sat there in the morning, checking in at Own Your Beauty, responding to comments and glowing as I read them. Over 1,000 people have read the article I wrote since it was posted Wednesday and as I lifted my mug for a sip of coffee, it occurred to me that while other people were looking at my mug that morning, I was the only one holding it. I don’t know that I can explain how surreal that is. So not only do I love the content of my work, but I think it’s pretty damn exciting to see my story posted on the home page of, or on Me. I wrote that. Wow.

Have I mentioned here that USA Today’s website has picked up Own Your Beauty? Cause they totally have. And I’ve even got a bio on there. A year ago I didn’t even know what I wanted to be when I grew up and here I am, a writer. Apparently. I’m loving it completely, but I’m also just in awe at how The Universe works.


I read this earlier in the week and it struck me. One of my bigger worries right now is about money. Will I be able to afford to live here at all? If not, then what? I can’t take the kids out of state where it might be cheaper because this is where their dad is. The other option I can think of doesn’t work for me, either. And to top it off, things have been tight this past year, even before the split. We have very little in our savings compared to what the IRS will probably expect come April 15th. And so I’d been taking a lot of deep breaths and reminding myself that even if we have to set up a payment plan with the IRS, we’ll still be alive at the end of it all. And then that last bit of Jen’s post? The addendum at the end about how there are people in the world who have much, much larger troubles in their lives? Some of them won’t be alive when Japan’s put back together. Some of them already aren’t. But some of them will. And for awhile their lives will be a nightmare, but then it will become normal again. A new normal. And they will go on. Because that is what people do and have done for the entire history of people. And that is what I will do, too. One foot in front of the other. That’s all I have to do right now.


And while we’re on the subject of the disaster in Japan (and, truly, I don’t think the word “disaster” has ever been so true as it is to this particular situation – it’s like watching a movie so ridiculously unbelievable, you change the channel. Only no one can change this one because it’s not a movie), can I just say that, despite all the sheer horror of the thing, it really puts global unity into perspective to me. And technology makes it possible to really understand how close we all are. 8,000 miles away (at least when taking the route Google Maps suggested) there was an earthquake. A massive one. It put our 7.2, 45-second quake last year to SHAME. (Note to Earth: No need to compete, stay calm. We’re proud of you for your 7.2, please do not feel the urge to outdo Japan.) It caused a tsunami that travelled, in one day, to California shores. When it reached us, it was far less destructive than in Japan, or even Hawaii, but it was clearly visible. We are truly connected. It was as though Japan reached out and touched us, quite literally. The wildness of creation, as Madeleine L’Engle put it, is truly incredible. The effects of the quake also fill me with awe – according to CNN, the quake moved the main island of Japan about 8 feet, also shifted the entire axis of the Earth, effectively shortening the day (however minute, it’s impressive). That’s mythical, right there. Of course, this article states that weather patterns can change the length of a day far more than the quake did, and that’s almost more incredible. Oh my how I love my Mother Earth. She is truly wild and amazing.


Here in my home, I’ve been making changes. I started with that shoe rack, moved on to the rest of the living room, into the closets, kids’ room, kitchen and my own bedroom. Things are organized and they’ll stay that way. You have no idea how happy I feel about this. I feel clean and uncluttered. Tomorrow some friends are going to come by and help me move the furniture in the living room around and make it a new place with new energies. Speaking of energies, I have this intense desire to keep the windows unblocked. For most of my childhood, the curtains were drawn to prevent people seeing the mess. For most of my marriage the windows were open, but covered by furniture, as was every available inch of wall space. And now I just want them free and unblocked. I want them wide open to clean energy and sunlight and a soft breeze off the ocean. I even plan to start washing the windows soon. (Hey, I’ve washed them once in the 5 1/2 years we’ve lived here, what do you want from me?)


The kids still seem to be adjusting well. They’ve spent a couple nights at their dad’s now, and he’s being very flexible with them when they want to come back here. More than I probably would be, even. They don’t seem overly upset and don’t even seem to be acting out much in other ways. I can only imagine this is because there’s been no drama between their parents and they know they can come and go as needed and we will always support them.

I, on the other hand, cried the night they left. Of course Elliott came back home at 9:00 that night so I wasn’t truly alone anyway. The next night I was, though. And I don’t remember the last time I was the only one in a home. Maybe some time when Melissa and I lived together. Surely the amount of times I’ve slept utterly alone in a home have been less than the number of fingers I have (which is the average amount). It felt empty, and I kept panicking when I realized I hadn’t checked on them in awhile. But it also felt good. Like I finally get the chance to find out who I am and how I like to live. I finished lining the cupboards with shelf paper, got some work done and watched some TV. When I woke up the next morning I discovered the two extra pillows had converged on me just like the kids usually do in the night.


And then this morning, after a night full of very tedious sleep wherein my mind chattered away endlessly with utterly pointless dreams, I had a Big Important Dream. It began with me outside the home my grandparents owned. The yard was completely dug out, at least a full story into the earth. The walkway to the door, left untouched. A police officer had died in some sort of standoff here at some time in the recent past. I was in the driver’s seat of a car (so much different than my first Blue Whale dream… which, according to a quick search, I never wrote about here – must do that soon) and when I looked into the backseat, I saw myself. Which is just fucked up. So I attacked her/me. I scratched and pinched, anything I could from my position to hurt her. She/I just sat there, terrified. She/I never made a sound. And then I heard a voice – someone was just out of sight – telling me that she/I was my inner self and I should be kinder to her/me. I don’t think I attack myself any more, but I feel it’s pretty clear this is one of those dreams you must take seriously. What are your thoughts?


And now I will get up off my arse and go do some more prep in this house before tomorrow comes. I’m going to enjoy my open windows and my newly open spaces in my rooms. And then maybe I’ll play some Wii with the kids. It’s gonna be a lovely day.


How Stupid I Am

20 09 2009

It’s not exactly current events anymore, but a few weeks ago a little league team from my town won the World Series!  It was very exciting and all of San Diego is very proud (to which I say, “Step off, SD, this belongs to CV!”).  I am not sure if anyone elsewhere even knew this because, frankly, I wasn’t even aware there was a Little League World Series until this happened.

But this entry isn’t about how proud we are of these kids – it’s about how stupid I am. I had never heard of Parkview and so I assumed it must be in one of the new developments out in Eastlake, until I heard that they practice at Greg Rogers Park which is old school CV (albeit more southerly than I am usually familiar with) so one day while we happened to be in the area, I drove by Greg Rogers Park, and also by the school which hosts the Unitarian church we have attended for a year now. And I notice this sign placed strategically in front.


As it turns out, I do know where Parkview is. Go figure.

Day is Done

17 09 2009

Oh, Mary, you will be missed.

latestpix linkcelebs




Night of Fireworks

6 07 2009

Due to some odd family circumstances this Fourth of July – namely that my son is terrified of fireworks in any form, and that my daughter was having some Issues with her Attitude – we did not attend the Celebration of Explosives as a family. Since I was free of the child who cannot handle loud noises, I decided to try to move in closer and to see if I could not get some good photos. There are two fireworks shows left in the South Bay and one of them was in the middle of the city north of us surrounded by trees, buildings and other things to get in my way, not to mention parking problems for blocks away. The other one was, of course, the Eastlake show I have previously ranted about. I will not pretend my rebellious self was not intrigued at the possibly of “showing them” by watching their damn show anyway. Take THAT, Eastlake.


So the girl child and I headed out and wound up alongside a road on the edge of a canyon with a good view of where the fireworks would be. We had a lovely view of the prison, actually. You would think such proximity would bring those Eastlakers down a notch, but you would, apparently, be wrong.


We were technically parked in a bike lane, but so were about 400 other people so I figured we’d be safe from parking tickets. You can see where this is going, can’t you? Well, you are wrong! The worst that happened – and, granted, it was irritating – was that a cop drove by approximately 5 minutes before showtime shouting at us all to move.

So we quickly hopped in the car and drove closer to the spot in hopes of finding some place where there wasn’t a damn bike lane (impossible – as it turns out, Eastlake is 112% bike lanes) and I somehow found myself turning into a condo complex (because what’s more illegal than a bike lane? tresspassing!) where, to my delight I discovered myself a largely empty parking lot right under the fireworks! WIN!

The moral of the story is that Eastlake is right: we are ghetto. And we are not ashamed of it. We will sneak right in to your damned exclusive shows, and we will park in your bike lanes, and we will ENJOY YOUR FIREWORKS. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it!

I hope you had a great fourth as well!

West Side Story, or The Princes Screw Over the Paupers

4 07 2009

My town is divided between the West and East sides. I live on the West Side and would have it no other way. My side of town is the historic part with remnants of once-grand Victorian lemon groves, of wartime population growth, of history that spans over 100 years. The East side was primarily cow pastures in all their peaceful glory until about 15 or so years ago when housing developments pushed the farmers God knows where. The East side is a really nice-looking community, but one that mirrors every other development built in my lifetime.

To outsiders, Chula Vista has a reputation for being gang-ridden and run down. These people are obviously unaware of the peaceful and gorgeous middle-class neighborhoods that populate most of the West Side, but the reputation remains. I don’t really care what they think – I love my town fiercely and unconditionally. But it is true without a doubt that the government has poured all of its resources into the East Side in these recent years (a fact that has obviously backfired in this housing climate, as most of the newest developments remain empty, like a shiny new ghost town).

As a perfect example, I often point out that my high school, which has the magnet program for the Creative and Performing Arts was looked over when the government decided to build a beautiful new multi-million-dollar theatre at Eastlake High School. Where is the logic in that? Eastlake has no magnet for Performing Arts! The Students of Chula Vista High School were hurt and offended at best. We felt the city government made the choice to pour yet more money into the richer schools where it was not needed as badly. Meanwhile we had to – I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP – wipe our asses with paper towels as the school’s daily supply of toilet paper ran out by 10am each morning (and the paper towel supply was gone by noon).

Our city is in a desperate budget crisis right now. They are threatening to cut library, rec center, and other community programs. They are having to cut back on fire funding. They tried to raise the sales tax here one cent for the next ten years, but, sadly, that did not pass. I support their decision to cancel the fireworks show last year and this because, frankly, I think it pales in comparision to the other things we need to spend money on right now.

ghetto as hell

But then I saw this sign last week. And it hurt and offended me so deeply I am not sure I will be able to put it into words.


I understand that we live in a free country and that ensures our Eastlake residents to hold their own private show. Please don’t respond with that bullshit. Sometimes we have to look beyond what is rightfully ours and into what we should do for others.

This enrages me. Are the residents of Eastlake afraid the poor people might run in and take over? They don’t want us with our torn and filthy clothes, with our overpopulation of children who run around like animals disobeying authority? Are they afraid they might get stabbed or that gangs might let loose with graffiti right in the middle of the crowd? I cannot think of any reason aside from fear which would cause them to remain so elitist in these hard times.

Honestly, if Eastlake is going to have this attitude – to exclude other citizens of their own City from events such as these which celebrate for us all – they can just secede and form their own city. It would be much less hurtful. We are, after all, talking about more than half of the City here – this is not some small country club! This is an entire region which is holding a celebration the rest of us are not invited to. And it is wrong.

This does not effect my personal plans for fireworks viewing – my family has a little park we like to go to which is situated on a hill and so we have views of many shows all the way to Downtown San Diego and beyond. But to be so blatantly unwanted and disallowed from something such as this… is just offensive.

Screw you, Eastlake.

California, I am Afraid

23 05 2009

Last week, the voters overwhelmingly turned down four propositions which were written in attempt to help the state budget crisis. They voted yes even more overwhelmingly on the final one which had to do with the salaries of the one who write the budgets – and that, of course, made me literally LOL. But for the rest, I am quite sad.

I heard a quote today on NPR that the democrats are unwilling to budge on services and programs, and the republicans are unwilling to budge on taxes. Which is so true. And which lumps me solidly in with the dems (no surprise there).

Because these props failed they are now threatening to cut Medi-Cal eligibility and entirely ditch the Healthy Families program which covers my kids and more than a million others in the state. Can someone please explain to me how ANYONE can think the world will be a better place if we so many people wind up uninsured? Because I just can’t see it myself.

Damn You, Pigs!

23 04 2009

I am pretty sure I have the swine flu. I learned about the swine flu from Local News. I like to watch the Local News. Not so much in a “Wow, this is great, cutting-edge, reliable NEWS!” sort of way. No, for me, it’s more of an “OMG I can’t believe this is SO GHETTO” sort of way. It’s my personal version of trashy TV. Someday soon I will list for you all the reasons why KUSI wins hands-down in that contest. I tune into Local News each morning and evening and sometimes I flip around or watch two different news shows in a row.

Anyway, here is what I have learned from various news reports about the swine flu:
~Symptoms include coughing, achiness, fever, gallons of snot (much like regular flu).
~It does not need to be treated by a hospital, and generally goes away on its own (much like regular flu).
~On occasion, it can be fatal (much like regular flu).

But here’s the one that threw me:


Apparently, it can “spontaneously appear” in humans. WTF? How is that fair at all?? Then it’s not SWINE flu, is it?

Actually, now that I think about it, no one ever asks if you’ve been in contact with chickens when you get chicken pox – they just assume you lead a chicken-free lifestyle. Maybe this phenomenon is more common than we thought?

The problem here is that swine flu cannot be diagnosed without lab tests to determine the strain (actually, that’s not necessarily a fact, it’s just my presumption based on what I’ve learned so far). So any time you have the flu – it could actually be swine flu in disguise! How can we stand for this dishonesty? It’s downright unAmerican.

I am pretty sure the swine flu is what my family is plagued by this week. I have all the symptoms:

No contact with pigs.

It all fits perfectly!

If this entry has been disjointed or somehow ended abruptly, you can blame the pigs. They probably deserve it.