Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not much to say on a quiet Sunday...

So I'll share a picture instead. And yes, I changed the image - this one was taken last summer, when she was just a BABY (sniff) ...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Because she's cute!

She's Leaving Home. Bye, Bye.

At 11am today, I'll be signing a contract to put this house on the market. The house I grew up in, that belonged to mom & dad for over 40 years, in the neighborhood I haunted w/ my childhood pals, in the city I was born & raised in.

For those who've never had that kind of stability, who have never known a permanent fixture called "Mom & Dad's House", I don't know if you can imagine what this feels like. Liberating in some ways yes, but also strange & sad. I have roots here people. Deep roots. No matter where I went, no matter how long I was gone, I always knew I had this house to come HOME to. But mom & dad are gone now. My brother has his own life about a mile away. Those childhood pals have moved out of the neighborhood & created families & roots of their own.

Once this house is sold and I've moved out (and away), there will never be another reason to pull into this neighborhood (or driveway) again. I somehow figured that if I didn't keep the house, my brother would, so there would always be a place to come back to. But he's decided against it as well. Too many memories. Too much work. And frankly, this isn't the neighborhood it once was. Oh sure, the houses are still gorgeous, the lanes are tree lined & lovely, the property values have consistently gone up-up-up (this is one of the best neighborhoods in Long Beach), we still have the neighbors we've known ALL our lives. We wave to each other in passing, chatting pleasantly while we attend to yard chores or take out the garbage cans...

But this really isn't a Front Yard neighborhood anymore. Kids aren't chasing each other along the sidewalks, or racing up and down the block on bikes & skates. You don't see mom or dad in their driveways watching their kids play, you see them speeding down the street in their Hummers and Mercedes Benz's oblivious to anything but themselves & their cell phone conversation. No more block parties on hot summer days. No more baking cookies or borrowing sugar from one another. The children are being walked to the local park or driven to their soccer games & dance recitals by Spanish speaking nannies. Both parents are working late hours to keep up with The Jones's next door whom they don't even talk to. So, this is not the kind of neighborhood I want my daughter to grow up in. I want her to have buddies to swim, run, play & have sleepovers with. I also want to know that those buddies have parents who are PAYING ATTENTION to what goes on in their homes.

And so here we are. One chapter comes to an end. Another is about to begin. This is what turning mom & dad's telephone of 40+ years off last month felt like, but MUCH bigger. This is where I officially leave the physical manifestations of my childhood and become a grownup who has a life, a family, roots, etc. of her own.

No looking back. It's time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Up & Down, Round & Round...

There is NOTHING about being on this Merry-Go-Round that is working for me anymore, but damnit if I don't still keep getting on.

And no, I'm not the only one that's participating in this stupid little game, but what they do just isn't any of my business.

F**k me though, it sucks balls to feel this bad about being yanked into the vortex of a little kids spinning ride. One. More. Time.

I'm doing my level best to NOT jump back on board for one more spin about. It's not easy though. I've had my own personal (& seemingly valid) reasons for holding on to this illusion of normalcy; some habits also just die hard. But I can't do this anymore (whatever *this* is). I thought I could be all cool, easy breezy & unaffected like a man. Turns out I can't. Maybe someday, but not today.

I don't know how to do this. I hate how confused and out of control I feel. So I'm gonna scurry off to see if there is a nice thoroughly terrifying rollercoaster further on down the promenade. Yep, that sounds like an excellent plan!

The End.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Calgon... Take Me Away!

Photo by Chris Tarnawski

Met w/ our attorney this morning. There is finally an end in sight, I can almost touch it if I stretch out my arms. Just a few more weeks & my folks' estate will be settled, the house will be on the market, and I'll be on my way somewhere. I'm scared to death. But I'm also excited.

Give me peace. Give me courage.
Oṃ śānti śānti śānti

Sunday, August 24, 2008

American Prayer

This would have been suitable for an upcoming Wordless Wednesday, but I don't really want to wait (especially since the DNC begins this week)...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Heading North

I'm leaving tomorrow for points north...

I really can't wait to get out of the LA Basin and go where I can breathe. Where I always feel calm, peaceful, happy, etc. Northern CA has always been my own personal little slice of Zen. And man, do I need some Zen right now.

Will check in w/ y'all soon!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Aug 13 2008

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She would have been 79. Here are a couple of funny pics of her and I. One in a Paris Metro station in the fall of 1989 (I was living in London at the time) & the other from my 18th birthday in 1985 (note the coconut cake - my favorite). Happy birthday mom! Love & miss you oocho mucho...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Distortion of Beauty - What the fashion/celebrity rags like Elle, Vogue, People, etc. won't tell you.

I'd like to thank Mrs. Fussypants for posting this on her blog (it's a great blog btw, you should go read it!). Because of her, I get to share it with all of you (especially since I'm feeling rather pressed to come up w/ something "meaningful" this morning anyway)!

Now, go share it with your daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts... well, you get the idea. And no, I don't work for, nor do I particularly endorse, Dove products. Thank you, have a nice day. ;-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Grief. It's not just for breakfast anymore!

I just read the most wonderful, thoughtful & well written post about what to do (or not) when someone loses a child:

When Children Die: What to Do. Or Say. Or Not.

The reason it struck me so hard is because the advice that Gwendomama gives is actually quite applicable to anyone who has suffered the loss of someone (or something) close to them; be it a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or even a beloved pet.

I've never had to go through the pain of losing a child. G-d forbid, I hope I never do! But I've experienced a LOT of loss & major life-changing upheaval in the past 3 years. My mom died (July 24 2007), then my dad (July 12, 2008), my beloved dogs died a few weeks before mom (July 7, 2007), I sold my house & moved in w/ my elderly father (March 2007), started a new job after being unemployed for almost 2 years (Jan 2007) only to leave that job 10 months later, got pregnant unexpectedly (Sept 2005) & then had that baby (June 2006), and the pièce de résistance... my relationship w/ her daddy ended (April 2008). Oh, and then there's the friends who have either committed suicide, or had close friends/family who have (what is UP with all the suicides lately?).

I don't list all these things out so you can feel sorry for me, nor is it some pitiful attempt to make you understand. I list them because I'm the one that needs to recognize the losses are significant. I need to give myself a break for not handling my feelings very well (especially in the past year), for taking it out on the people I love most and/or for not being "over" it yet.

The fact that I'm not locked up in the Loony Bin, struggling against the confines of a straight jacket, drooling and mumbling incoherently... (or worse!) stuns even me. But I don't have the luxury of falling apart entirely. Don't forget, I have a little girl to raise! I certainly don't want to screw that up, she's much too precious to disappoint or fail in any way. At least, not on purpose.

So here's the deal. I'm sad. I'm angry. I'm often in deep despair. Sometimes I'm okay, sometimes I have moments of clarity. I may even laugh out loud, participate in fun-filled activities, or get a little drunk & silly from the occasional glass of wine or margarita. Most days, I'm even productive.

Take this blog. It may be harsh for you to read all my thoughts & feelings, splayed out so openly, so RAW and in your face. Maybe it embarrasses you. Maybe it makes YOU angry. Maybe you wish I'd STFU. I get it. I do. But writing, it helps me. It's all I've got right now, so I'm gonna let it flow. I'm afraid I'll shrivel up & die if I don't.

Yes, my daughter brings me great joy & happiness on a DAILY basis. Yes, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, a car to drive, money in the bank, friends who seem to like me, or at least they like my kid. LOL.

So what could I possibly have to be sad about? What could possibly be the big damn deal about losing my folks, my dogs, my relationship?

Because I haven't got a clue in hell what I'm supposed to do w/ all these feelings! They wash over me in great waves of intensity. The smallest thing can set them off. A scent, a memory, watching a certain sporting event that my dad would have liked, or seeing my daughter do something that my mother (or her daddy) would have found instantly amusing.

I wish my brother, or my ex, or my best friend, etc. were the ones I could reach out to. It's natural to want to seek out their company as comfort, I love them for crying out loud. But some of the people in my life are not safe right now. Going to them for comfort or even a quick hug is like going to the hardware store for bread. I'm starving for warm, soft, cozy, tasty, comforting bread. What I'm getting is saws, hammers, nails & lumber. Not good.

It's not their fault. I know my grief (and the resulting insane ways in which I express it) is really difficult to be around. I don't want to be around me either, you know? But what do I do in the meantime? Where do I go? How do I get to the other side of all this sadness?

In any case, I digress. Take a look at Gwendomama's blog, and if you find yourself scratching your head when you see me heading over to Crazy Town one more time, consider the possibility that a phone call, a hug, a decent meal, or a really strong liquor drink (hint, hint), might just be the very thing that keeps me from STAYING there.

The End.

P.S. My sister-in-law Elicia and I have not always seen eye to eye, but I want to thank her for all the ways in which she suited up for my dad (and by extension, me). It wasn't her JOB to do that; she has two little kids & a father that has his own myriad health issues. But she kept showing up anyway. She made my dad laugh when no one else could, and she was kind to him in a way that HE understood. That's a rare gift b/c my dad was hard to care for or love on, let me tell you! She also wrote the most beautiful tribute to him in his on-line obituary guest book that I will cherish forever. I know this has been a hard blow for her, my brother & their daughters. I don't want to minimize their grief! So, thanks 'Lish. You're the best SIL I could have asked for. My thoughts & prayers are with YOU too.

Friday, August 8, 2008

You got a head start in the race ...

...but I'm catching up in this little race of ours.

My trainers are laced tight, I'm finding my rhythm, adrenaline has started to kick in, the weight I was carrying as a handicap is lifting from my shoulders bit by bit, and I'm not looking back as often as I was. Soon enough, I'll even start to forget. I just will. And when I do, I'll drop to my knees & thank G-d w/ what is left of my pounding mush ball of a heart b/c this grieving shit is for the f**king birds.

So, awesome. Let's pick up the pace shall we? Why not! There's no reason to drag this out into a Iron Man style marathon.

Keep running 'til you're out of track. Oh, and may the "best" runner win.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Don't leave me hangin'

Why the hell do I keep checking my iPhone for voice mails, emails, tweets or texts that never come?

It just makes me feel stupid & alone.

I love technology, but I'm starting to think it's keeping me from living my Real Life. It certainly has become a mechanism by which I hide from the Real-World-Out-There. But mostly, I'm so very tired of waiting for the people I love to "reach out and touch me"... [sigh]

Looking forward to my 4-day road trip next week w/ my old Corning friend Esther & the Dexy Girl. I need, need, need to get the hell out of Dodge.

That is all, please carry on with whatever you were doing out there in your real lives. But if you ever do have a few extra minutes, give me a call aye? Being home every night with my little one gets pretty damn lonely sometimes. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Please bear with me while I make some changes to the look & layout of my blog...

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Since you're already here, take a few minutes & go through the archive to read other posts I've written since starting this thing in 2006. Don't want to go back & read more of MY stuff? No worries! Check out the blog roll in the right sidebar... these are blogs I subscribe to via RSS on Google Reader. Or you can check out my Facebook page, Flickr page, Twitter profile, or perhaps look for me on MySpace (Eeek!).

Cheers and thanks again for being patient as I try to make this blog look a little more "professional"... or at least, a little less busy.

C ~

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pretty in Pink

There are things that make me mad
You are not one of them.
There are things that make me sad

But you are not one of them.
There are things that make me Dad (Mom)
You seem to be all of them.

Things - Barenaked Ladies

Saturday, August 2, 2008

'Til Death...

Here's the deal y'all. I want to get married.

There I said it. I've been afraid to say it, to admit it, to even consider the possibility that some day I'll be the girl whose guy gets down on one knee, looks me dead in the eyes and says, "Will you?"... But I do (no pun intended). I want that.

So I'm saying it out loud.

Please also know that I do not envision a white foofy dress or any of the cliché trappings of tradition or conventionality. I've never been one of those gals that has pictured her Perfect Wedding Day since she was little. I always figured we'd elope to some remote location, get married in our barefeet in the sand or on a cool grassy hill... just me, him & the dude officiating the vows (well, and Dex too of course).

I can tell you however that I've definitely pictured "The Guy". In all his tall, dark, green-eyed, tattooed, intelligent, musical, artistic, kind, intuitive, passionate, uber geeky, hotness. Dancing with me, loving me, talking or laughing into the wee hours, until death we do part.

So bring it on G-d. Yeah, yeah. I know I'm not quite ready yet, that I have some things still to iron out. But hey, I'm working on it. My heart space is open. I'm listening. And I'm willing to accept the possibility that the one I wanted wasn't the one you meant for me to have.

The End.

A Better Day

I don't need hugs & I don't want food
I want to stay here in this lonely mood
I don't care if people think I'm rude
I wish they would all go away.

Dad comes in and tells me with a kiss
That everyone has days like this
He brought my dinner,
Said that I was missed
I think I'll be okay

I know that I'm not the only one
To stay inside and watch the fun
Thanks a lot dad, that helped a ton
Tomorrow's going to be a better day.

Bad Day - Barenaked Ladies (Page)


Today IS going to be a better day. And wherever you are dad, I know you're giving me big hugs and wishing me the same. So, thanks!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Not feeling it.

Hello to my 2 or 3 readers. How are things? Having a good summer? Read any good books?

Me? Well, I keep wanting to sit down and write. But every time I plop down into this hard-on-my-ass white folding chair, turn on the iMachine, etc. suddenly, I've got a big. fat. zero. Not one of those constantly floating in my head ideas pops forth, it's as if my brain has been erased by the glow of the monitor.

Nothing. Or least nothing I feel like talking about.

I don't know if I want to keep what I'm feeling & going through more closely guarded than I normally would, or if I'm just not feeling inspired, or if I am too easily distracted (Damn you Twitter!). Mostly I have so much going on, I'm really not even sure where to start.

Certainly, I miss my parents. A lot. I feel anchorless, rudderless, up shit creek without a paddle, or something nautical like that. I'm dreading the inevitable legal stuff that's coming down the pike soon w/ regard to their estate. I'm feeling really confused about what I'm supposed to do next, especially now that I'm not taking care of anyone other than my daughter & myself. You've gotta understand, I have defined myself as a caretaker for so long, I'm really not sure what else (or WHO else) I am.

I feel like I keep f**king things up too. With my friends, with my family, my daughter, my non-career, and with my ex. But the only way I know how to stop doing that is to just STFU and then push people away.

I feel angry again. I feel VERY uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel disconnected from others, but even more so I feel disconnected from myself. I'm afraid of how the next half of my life is going to turn out, and I'm afraid what Declan's will be like too. I feel like she is happier when she's with anyone else but me, and I don't blame her. Most of the time I think she'd be better off if she were with someone else. Lastly, I feel like my body has betrayed me, with it's stupid fibroid tumors, wonky thyroid, hot flashes, mood swings, puffed out belly, and the monthly bleed-a-thons from hell that I must endure.

So I guess that's about it. Until I know what to say, or how to say it with some level of dignity or grace, (or at the very least, with far less rancor) I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut. Of course, those who know me know that I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, so we'll see how long that lasts. Ha.

Meanwhile, to prove that I'm not all doom and gloom... Here is Top 10 List of some things I'd really like to do in the next year:

1) Learn how to Tango (Argentine style)
2) Learn how to use my new digital Canon SLR camera (& learn to use it well).
3) Practice Yoga at least 3 days a week
4) Meditate & practice Conscious Contact w/ Spirit daily
5) Travel to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Tucson & Santa Fe (in no particular order)
6) Get another dog
7) Remodel my kitchen & two bathrooms
8) Lose 50+ pounds
9) I want to FEEL good about what I see when I look in a mirror.
10) Join the Audubon Society & start birding regularly again.

That's all I can come up w/ today. Oh, one last thing... I have joined a group on Flickr that posts a picture a day for the whole month of August. You can see the set contributions I'm making HERE or HERE.


Cher ~