Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflections on 2009

Its that time
The time when I naturally look back at the year past and guess at the year ahead
and see what I discovered in between
2009 was kind of a tough year
there was a lot of growth and a lot of sadness but also some exciting stuff too
maybe its just like every other year, though i think 2007 really took the cake for a life-changing year.
2009 started with a party in New Jersey with Mike's friends from high school and college.
all of which are either married, married with children, married and pregnant or engaged
its easy to succumb to that artificial pressure when everyone around you is naturally moving into that chapter of life, but Mike and I did not succumb and instead found this really fun middle ground.
The early part of 2009 I just remember being sick, so sick that I almost had to get an xray of my lungs for a cough that hung on for four months
but as soon as spring reared its head and the cold defrosted, so did my sickness and i learned just how essential sunshine is for my southern californian nature
in may, i performed a poem with carmen that was the hit of the night at my work's talent show and something i felt really proud of
over the summer,
mike and i decided to move, rather abruptly, giving up our spacious, extremely affordable living situation in jersey to move to a tiny apartment in brooklyn we are finally settled in
in august lindsay moved away and then mike and i went to st. john to visit friend and hang out on a beach for a week
when we came back , my brother and father came for a visit bringing both of their girlfriends.
this trip cemented any notions i had of my family still being dysfunctional.
we are but in a loving way.
amazing that after years of therapy and self help groups and extraordinary life lessons, we are all still creatures of habit, we are all still in a daily battle with out fears and weaknesses, which begs the question if it is possible to break a pattern that has existed in familial cycles for decades.
i finally get my act together and decide to apply to grad school and at the same time i get a promotion.
i learn more spanish and start to understand conversations on the subway, but then lose the focus and time to study with grad school applications.
i write 60 pages of a possible memoir and a forty page fiction manuscript.
the whole year i battle a painful foot injury that is still trying to heal, but at least i finally got help.
i lose weight. and for the longest time in years, it stays off for longer than a month and i actually get back to the weight i was my senior year of high school.
i step on the scale today and i am three pounds heavier.
2009 was about patterns. patterns within my family, within my friendships, within myself. and even some within my relationship, but thankfully that is the one place where things have continually grown and amazed me.
i feel older at the end of this year. a lot older than perhaps any other year. and yet still not exactly sure where i am headed but not entirely clueless either. it feels god to be out of the woods.
i feel more self-assured, more confident in my writing and in the choices i have made over the last two years.
and yet i miss my family more than ever.
i attempted to mend fences that had been incinerated almost eighteen years ago.
but even more important i let go of the whatever the outcome might be.
the more important things is the openness to try it.
i have a lot more to learn and a lot more courage to gather.
but what matters most is that i'm still trying. and so for 2009, for the first time ever, i am giving myself a pat on the back.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the holidays

sad shit happens around the holidays
and every christmas, after decorating a tree, if i have a tree that year, i sit back and stare at the hypnotic lights and find myself reminded of all those sad things
christmas was always hard for mom which subsequently made it hard for us
when i was eight i found her sobbing under the christmas tree and watched her rip off a miniature tree from the nativity set and smash the roof of the stable where little baby jesus was born
now, i can find something comical in this
but at the time i was just scared that now she ws going to go to hell
when is was fifteen, my father had just been forced to close his business and was in a fight with the city of los angeles.
on christmas eve, after leaving my aunt rose's house, a drunk driver side swiped us and ran a red light
my father, who at the time was a lunatic constantly walking the fine line of sanity, followed in pursuit and chased this drunk driver around crenshaw, cursing at him
thankfully, we never caught the guy. i'm not sure what my father would have done
but i have to say that was not the first chase i had been in the car with my dad
though he is funny and loving, and worked through a lot of his "issues"
he will always have that armenian temper that makes us all anthonys
two christmases ago, tom died just before christmas eve
and i felt my heart break in half
but i happened to be going to denver on christmas, tom's home town
because of this i was able to give his eulogy and say goodbye to the man that saved my family for all these years
this christmas i unpacked a christmas ornament that i made tom but was never able to give him. it still has his name on it.
it was the first ornament on mike's and my tree and damn it looks good
last night after flipping through these memories, each brought on by a different light, mike pulled me close to him on the futon and we admired our tree together and fell asleep
i think this year is going to be a good one

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving with Mike

Christmas Music- check
hair dye- check
nicked ginger from chopping parsley for stuffing-check
coffee with rice milk and sugar-check
a run through prospect park- check
a misunderstanding about "leave me some bacon"- check
gearing up for his parents house- check
good to be here-check

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

mi amiga

Hoy busque a los ninos de mi amiga, vio.
despues del cenamos y los ninos fueron a dormir
vio vino a casa y tuvimos una clase de espanol
pero en nuestras clases, hablamos sobre muchas cosas
ella es buen maestra y un buen amiga
Se que hablo demasiado en ingles
Tratare mucha mejor hablar en espanol
me gusta leer y oir la langue espanol pero tengo miedo hablar a veces
quiero aprender mucho mas, pero tambien me gusta hablar con vio en ingles.
gracias por mi maestra y su ayudar con mi vida!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

my new desk

last week Mike bought be an antique writing desk he found on craigslist.
its from the 1940s and is beatuiful. It is a drop down desk with claws for feet and a dark cherry stain.
last night i finally sat down and wrote at it and two hours flew by and i didn't even notice.
i love my new desk.
thank you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

red wine

"sometimes its easier to talk to someone you don't really know."
"yeah...i really don't tell people about this," i laugh, "god, i feel so exposed."
"maybe its because i had a couple glasses of wine. or maybe it was because we just we're on that topic."
"more women should talk about it."
"I guess i don't tell people because i don't want pity."
"you seem like that. you don't want anyone to feel sorry for you."
"yeah, you know, i'm over it."
the car merges onto a dangerous section of the road.
"This road is so dangerous. if you ever take it, be careful. there's not a lot of space here," she warns me.
we pass by a three car collision. we both gasp.
"its okay," i tell her. everyone is out of the car."
we sit in silence for two long seconds before she senses my discomfort.
"is that why you left L.A.?" she asks me and suddenly I am struck with another memory of that night.
"you that I think of it, there was this drive that happened that night that i guess is what i think of when i think of L.A. L.A. is very...lonely. And that night after I realized what was happening and ran out of that house i got in my car. it was four or five in the morning and i just started driving around the valley looking for my friends."
where had they gone? why had they left me in that house?
"i drove past other friends' houses. i drove past the 24 hour diner. i drove past the underage drinking bar and i couldn't find anyone. not one person."
it was true. i don't remember even seeing a stranger that night. so i went home and told my dad what had happened to me. and that night i decided to let everyone go as they had done me.
"you know my 10 year high school graduation was two weekends ago and it was very weird. everyone kept facebooking me asking me if i was going to go and even now i just have nothing to say to any of them."
her car gets to my corner.
"i'm really sorry that happened to you," she tells me without sounding too sad because she knows that is the last thing i want.
"i'm not. in a weird way i'm grateful because he had done it twice before and no one ever did anything. i think it had to happen to me because i was the only one who was going to do anything about it. even if i was the one who lost more in the end."
i thank her and awkwardly offer her gas money and she waves it off like the strange offering it is. i take a few steps and look up at my apartment building and see the living room light on.
the night is cool and it reminds me of L.A.

Friday, November 6, 2009

to matter

"i just want my life to matter."
"it does matter!"
"no, but i want it to mean something."
"But it does mean something."
i ponder his responses. perhaps he is right.
"i mean, i'm probably not going to find a cure for cancer but i hope to do something with my life that helps at least one other person. i mean isn't that the point, right?"
"but you do do that and you have done that...and so have i."
sometimes i lose sight, sometimes i judge.
i am reminded of the conversation i had with a work colleague.
"i'm not about advancement," she told me. "i'm fine being someone's assistant and not having a lot responsibility. and one day i will be a mom and will want to be able to spend time with my kids. i'm just not very ambitious."
i had told her that sometimes ambition can be blinding.
and after my conversation with him i wonder if i am blinded right now?
on the college application's statement of purpose they ask me to tell them about myself.
i write that i am curios, brave and too responsible.
am i also too serious?
i also write theat in the same breath i can be extremely confident coupled with crippling self-doubt.
am i also so blinded but what i want that i can't see what i have?
i will not be handing this piece of paper in.
but i will try to r-e-l-a-x a little more.
i tell myself...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"i know that i have a problem with...i know i'm a control freak. i first realized that on DEAR AMERICA."
and that was where i also realized how extremely sensitive i am
something i hate to admit and in fact never do.
i see at as weakness and when i start to feel it, i retreat, i push back, i break away
i beat you to the punch.
i tell her that i have been angry, sad, flying off the handle at the slightest comment
and it's going on months now
i tell her that i'm not sure but i think i got hurt. i think i got hurt by my father all over again.
i can't kick this feeling.
we head to the theatre and right before we head inside she brings up our relationship.
had i been upset with her?
i start to sweat. i feel a lump in my throat.
she is much better at this than i and when we sit down and talk she lets herself go a little bit and i try my best.
but sometimes i feel like if i let it come out its all going to come out and i won't know how to end or begin
on the way home i try to think of my personal statement. the same personal statemnet requirements i have been looking at and putting off for a year.
"Write a story about yourself. why you write."
I have always hated this question because the answer is always cliche- "because i have to."
but as i sat on the subway i wrote the word "myself" and wrote a few adjectives i felt describe me write now. then i wrote "why i write" and a few words that came to me under that. and the two columns seemed to almost answer each other.

brave scared

to understand
to find
to let go
to heal
to find my place in the world and who i will be in it
my identity

As far as why i want to write a memoir about my family -another requirement-
i write-"Patterns and the need to break them."

my father once told me to make my decisions with courage and i can't help but think that this grad school pursuit is a decision i am making because i am scared. because i am scared that i have not written a play or a screenplay or a book. i'm scared that i don't really have what it takes-that discipline element, that confidence element- i'm scared that i'm getting older and still have no clear path ahead. and grad school makes sense because at least it gives you a path for two years. but it is november and i still have not found people to do letters of recommendation and the one person i want to ask i am afraid to ask because she knows and i know that i might not be making the right decision. i would say that i wish i could have more time but its not time i need. its my courage.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or treat?

"Man...this is the one night of the year where ladies unleash."
"And they unleash," I say with a wide-eyed all knowing smirk.
He laughs, "That ain't no costume, man."
He glances towards the 20th playboy bunny of the night as she drunkenly girates her hips on the corner. She is with no one but I assume she is putting on a show for the line of festive party-goers across the street.
there was a time where i wanted to be sexy on Halloween because it was the one night i felt i could fully exploit all my feminity without being judged. namely without being judged by myself.
there was a certain excitement in seeing your full potential and then going overboard just to see how far you could push it.
Or perhaps it was the one night where I could say, unabashedly, "Look at me."
My days as a sexy Halloween costume "wearer" were short-lived once I realized I didn't like the type of attention it attracted.
While it is nice to be called "hot," It is never nice to be treated like an object, at least not for me.
But to all those sexy Halloween costume wearers, i truly hope they all had a night where they could really unleash and satisfy whatever need that is that stays tightly tucked away for the other 364 days a year.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

who's coming to dinner

when i first moved to new york, my cousin jeremey picked me up and helped move me in.
when i was four i used to call him "jermy"
my aunt rose was the first person to visit me and was my most frequent visitor
when she came into town she would spoil me silly
boots, dinners, trips to the russian tea room or bloomingdales
then we grew apart and lost sight of each other.

but tonight we met for dinner and i was reminded of how much i love this woman and how important she has always been to me.
my father called me in the middle of our dinner and i felt guilty i did not pick up but even guiltier that i was talking freely with rose about everything
we talked about life and love and family and boundaries and the dangerous outcome of harboring feelings of hatred towards my dad's girlfriend.
i felt bad that i told her how i felt, for gossiping, but it also felt good to connect with her again
she is one of my mothers and i have missed her. i didn't realize how much i missed her until tonight. how much i miss all the women in my life.
my uncle gary and i also had an insightful, meaningful, artistic conversation and i was reminded how lucky i am to have him in my life
he reminded me that i have to be vigilant in controlling negative thoughts because they will do nothing but harm me and i know this but need to hear it and need to hear it from family.
i miss my family but i am also grateful to have all of the interesting relationships with them that i do. i felt happy when i left dinner tonight, which was a first in a long time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On coming home

The plane touches down, the "Seatbelts On" sign disappears and my cell phone powers up
A text: "Are you here?"
"Just landed."
"Welcome Home!"
Did I just come from there or am I here?
When I was headed to the place I was born and raised, the place where all my family resides, I told people I was going to Los Angeles.
When I returned back to New York and people asked me where I had gone I replied, "I went home for the weekend."
The question of disconnect or reconnect comes up again.
"I don't know if I can do this," I tell him.
And the truth is I don't.
Living in limbo, heart spread across two coasts. A better understanding of being spread too thin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My favorite thing

Brown scarves and cocktails and warm leather boots
Football and cold beer and unpacking my winter suit
Listening to the Beatles and trying to sing
These are a few of my favorite things

Studying for the GRE and writing again
signed up for yoga to find me my zen
flying for the first time on Virgin America wings
These might be a few of my favorite things

Watching my friends become mommys and daddys
Makes me so envious and yet thankful I'm still a lassie
Enjoying just the two of us without any rings
Reminding myself he is my favorite thing

When I melt down
When I'm overwhelmed
And I 'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite thing
And then I don't feel so bad...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Americans

The Trolley-Photograph by Robert Frank, 1955.
Tonight I went and saw An American Journey with Mike at the Film Forum. A French director went to the places in America where Robert Frank took his pictures for his Guggenheim funded book The Americans. The film made me nostalgic and inspired and reminded me of my own cross country documentary road trip called Dear America. It also made me want to go back in and re-cut the film and part of me wished I could back to some of those places with Carmen and do them over. Part of me wished we'd had turned the cameras more on ourselves and in moments where we were vulnerable. It made me think that one day I would go back and maybe revisit Dear America and all of the people and places that were a part of it. At the beginning of the documentary, a guy came on and said that Robert Frank had passion and purpose. To be a great artist you must have both passion and purpose. Passion and Purpose.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the truth about integers

From the ages of 4- 10, I went to an expensive private school where I was a compulsive over-achiever and held straight A's in every subject. I remember crying hysterically over my first C grade but what the grade was for escapes me. I loved math and at the time I left this school in the middle of fifth grade, I was the fastest timed multiplication test-taker. I could do a hundred problems in less than a minute. I had started on long division and fractions and loved working out perfectly divided solutions with no remainder, however if there were a remainder I would coolly write 23 / 4 = 5 R3 or something along those lines. I had never had difficulty with math and at one point claimed it to be one of my favorite subjects along with science and spelling. But then Christmas Break in the 5th grade happened and I was informed that when school was back in session I would not return to my private school. I would in fact be starting at a public school in North Hollywood but that was really exciting because I could wear pants instead of dresses.
When I showed up to Rio Vista in the middle of fifth grade in the middle of a racially divided playground, wearing pants was not so exciting anymore. Within the first two days of school I got in a fight and was humiliated in front of the entire lunchroom. I was one of two white girls in my class and the other one didn't care the new girl. I learned quickly that it was not cool to be smart at this school and the focus on this school was how tough you were. In class, the kids were just beginning to learn their times table and all other subjects were two years behind what I had been learning just two weeks before arriving. I became bored, unchallenged and anxious of looking too smart, not wanting to show anyone up or seem like a teacher's pet. Somewhere in here, I sunk into an apathetic attitude towards grades and school. I let my grades drop and remember forcing myself not to do homework, just to see if I could get away with it, to see if it mattered, or maybe just to fit in. Sure there were a couple of over achievers in the class and I'm not trying to say these public school kids were lazy. But their priorities were different, not to mention their home lives. A lot of them were first generation American, a lot of them came from single-parent homes, and no one had money. The kids that were over-achievers were crucified on the playground and most of them remained hanging onto the outside while peering in at the rest of us. It was a lonely existence and I didn't want any of it. There was enough desolation at home.
So I gave up for a while. I made a purposeful effort to quit. Then in 7th grade I was sent to Catholic school and they were learning decimals and fractions and word problems and I was lost. Had I stayed at private school and went to Catholic school, I would have surely surpassed what they were learning in the 7th grade at St. Charles. But had I not had a year and a half at Rio Vista I would have gone to Catholic school without knowing how to stand up for myself and without the knowledge and experience of life that none of those Catholic kids had. I am eternally grateful for my time at Rio Vista and consider it one of the best parts of my "education." However, I never truly gained back my love for math. I struggled and was sent to tutors in 7th and 8th grade while spending the summers in between with another tutor and mentor. In high school I received a D in Freshman math and after the threat of summer school became a reality, regretfully I managed to cheat my way through the rest of it.
I am trying to study math for the GRE and for a moment today I got caught up in an actual excitement of a math review. For a second I got back that feeling of being excited and proud and also shocked that I remembered what I was looking at. But just before I got past fractions, my stomach started to turn and I put the study guide away. There is a frustration, an anxiety and fear that I am having trouble facing. I think it may be too late to score this GRE. If anything I'll take the test as a practice. But the real work has just begun-
trying to understand the truth about integers and me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

happy birthday to us...

dear handsome,

you're just too good to be true
can't take my eyes off of you...

Thanks for being my favorite gift every year.
Happy Birthday, Mike.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time for a Visit

Homesick 1
Tony 0
It's time for a visit to the old five and dime.
Nothing makes you homesick quite like a cold and the birthday blues.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

bath time

i have a cold and it won't let me stop sneezing
i want to scratch my ears out and my throat feels like it is pulsating
i decide to take a bath for the first time in my new apartment
as i looked up at the ceiling of my bathroom, I was struck by just how much space there was
I thought, wow, I have such high ceilings and then i realized that i was taking a bath in my own new york apartment
sometimes i think i spend so much time figuring out what i want for my future and how to get it
that i forget to stop and acknowledge what i've already accomplished
i always dreamed about living in new york in a cute apartment
and not only do i have that but i live with a man who can fix, rig, and create any amount of space we think of
and my apartment is cute. its really cute
and its clean
i don't have a roach or rat infestation or mildew or mold collecting in the ceilings
so for today i think i can tell myself well done and give it a rest.

Monday, September 7, 2009

so so so very tired

long weekend, long day, and amazingly after two attempts at shopping i still have no proper shoes to wear to work. my laptop is shitting the bed and i'm trying to find the focus...
checklist of accomplishments today:
cooked breakfast
washed dishes
cleaned apartment, including windows, vacuuming, kitchen floor
re-folding all items in closet
organized coffee table
went for three + mile run
ate leftovers
read 60 pages in a book for AMC
studied Spanish
studied a little bit of math and prefixes for GRE
looking for presentable outfit....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

for lindsay

after reading my friend lindsay's blog i was reminded of a poem i wrote over a year ago after a trip to New Orleans. I miss my friend terribly and am so so envious of her focus and ambition and courage. so for lindsay, i wanted to post this performance poem. as a sidenote, i cut my hair six months after performing it.

The Aftermath Barber Shop: The Notion of a Haircut
By Tony Anthony

They say that the first thing a woman does after a heartbreak is to cut her hair
Me…I like to let it grow-
Long and unruly with lots of split ends and sometimes roots-
Put back on my size ten boots
and walk that pavement like a misguided punishment-
Damn that concrete.
They say that a haircut is liberation
As if my Medusa tendrils were a knotted web of broken promises and rehearsed apologies deceiving me for all that hard time.
Kind of like the floor of a familiar Congress
Governing shackles for an identity that no longer exists-
The handcuffs between “us and we” and “you and I”-
Belie what is meant to be “me”
Some women color their hair as if to reintroduce themselves to a new world-
a world that is unaware of the sins of the former hair-
A type of delousing of the soul.
I was once blonde for six months.
Chop, burn and dreadlock it all away
To keep them bullshit memories at bay
I will not choke by the noose of soiled sheets
Wash. Rinse. Condition. Repeat.
I prefer to cut my hair myself, keep it uneven and untamed to remind me of the series of tragedies and comedies from where I was born
And sometimes I reach around and pull the tips of my hair dangling down my back just to see how far I’ve come
From all the rights and wrongs and mistakes I’ve done.
Split ends wave like a flag of triumphs and defeats
I tug them gently to honor their strength.
Wash. Rinse. Condition. Repeat.
Or maybe a haircut is just that.
The cutting of or releasing of what is essentially a dead cell
Or perhaps a healing of the ego
A reconstruction of the heart
A revival of the poker face-
Never underestimate the poker face.
We venture down an exhausted country
Fragile with the weight of loss
We enter its bullet wound still bleeding almost three years later
But somewhere on a lawless street with the car windows down and my hair in my face
I hear the sounds of Rebirth rumbling in the distance
A bone-shaking bass and a cacophony of screeching horns in a city buried by the slit veins of a deep-rooted racism
Drowned in the water of a cancerous Earth
And something strikes me in this living ghost town
“The Aftermath Barber Shop” proudly hangs their sign on a sparse New Orleans street bordered by collapsed rooftops and re-painted Victorians and I smile at the unrelenting humor of this town
There is something victorious in this sign-
Like a bloody middle finger to the notion of defeat
And I start to think that maybe a haircut is just what we all need.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

what is at the core

today was the day i finally got back into exercising
i'm staying away from words like "running" or "training" or "losing weight"
though i'd be lying if i said that none of those words popped up as thoughts in my head
especially when i tried on a pair of jeans today that weren't as tight a couple months ago
but with my shin and my plantar fascitis and bone spur,
though in have been truly in pain,
i have also found in these injuries excellent excuses to let everything go
by everything i mean my eating healthy, my writing a memoir, my daily runs or workouts
which i realized are more like medicine than anything else
but i never gave enough credit to what those exercising times were really about
though i am constantly in a race against myself to "lose weight"
which is not a real goal since i never really set a number or size.
i just eyeball it, as if i'm cooking,
a pinch off here, a handful there
but of course it can all go to shit in an instance depending on my temperature.
in truth i only ever really lost about 5-10 pounds even when i was running obsessively
but my stress levels were lower, i wrote more and i felt good about myself
like even though i hadn't accomplished any life goals like writing a book or buying a house or traveling the world just yet
i, at the very least, made time for myself and accomplished a mini goal with every workout.

its not about how long the run is
or how many minutes on the watch
or how many calories you burn
but its about finding the core
telling yourself that everything else can wait because you are what needs to be focused first before anything else can get done and get done well, correctly and with the attention it deserves;
accomplishing other goals with the confidence of someone who has already accomplished one for the day.
its about what's at the center and making sure its you
but being mindful of the world around you and steering away from self-centerdness
steering away from a mindset that distorts relationships, perceptions and betrays what is really underneath, belies true emotions and glosses over fears with anger or self pity
but finding a balance or perhaps THE balance
by focusing the self first in a way that frees up the mind
and allows us to do all things with love, even the tough things.

this time around i will exercise because its what helps me find the balance
and i'd much rather have my sanity and days that feel good and relationships that are healthy
than a size 6 dress.

Monday, August 24, 2009

a floating pearl

"You get what you get, and you don't get upset," said the little boy to the other little boy before they both received star shaped stickers as kudos for their accomplishments at soccer camp that day.
Some kids received more than others but in the end, they all went home happy, amazingly without complaints, and proud for having rounded up all the soccer balls into three tiny goals making the clean up for their coaches minimal.
For the rest of the day I heard this child's well-taught mantra and think that for this week in particular, that is a good one to live by.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A small goodbye

"Where you going?"
"The Jersey Shore."
She smiled warmly at me. "That's my favorite place in the world."
I don't know why I remember this conversation with her but for some reason it stuck with me. There were plenty more. Much more stimulating and interesting and animated than this quiet one. She had created an audience for me by lending me a facility, equipment and a welcoming and intelligent community to share my documentary. She was the documentary's biggest support system during that editing process. She even provided wine for a small reception after the screenings of which I believe there were two. When the question arose of whether I should bunker down in NYC and keep at it or move back to Los Angeles to raise more money, she even offered me a job as a cook-something I still know very little about. But for a moment I considered taking the job, moving to NYC, breaking up with my boyfriend in LA. I looked at my potential future with this removed sense of wonder as if I was watching the trailer to a really interesting movie about me, only to discover I was actually the supporting role not the lead. And like any secondary character, I retreated back to what was the lead: a dysfunctional relationship I knew was bad for me and yet could not leave.
When I eventually did return to New York, two years had passed and yet so much had felt like it changed. The community I once found myself becoming an honorary member of remembered my face but couldn't quite place my name or the context of me in their community. In response, I chose not to engage again and revered it as a "clique" with which I was irritated by and yet also the slightest bit envious of. I held her at an arms length as I do with most women, especially ones I feel vulnerable around. She asked me to housesit last summer and we spent a half hour together before her car arrived to pick her up and take her to the airport where she would meet her daughter in Germany. I told her about my summer plans and that when she returned I would be headed to the Jersey Shore. She was sitting on her couch and the light from outside reflected off her auburn hair amplifying the warmth she exuded in that conversation. She asked me about myself and what my plans were and I stumbled. It was and still is a rare occasion for me to have a conversation about myself with any woman. There was something about her motherliness that made me yearn to tell her everything about myself and yet pull back for fear she would just end up being another ghost in my life. I told her I was thinking about going into education. I was considering Teach For America, maybe even in New Orleans. She let me finish and then said, "You know, that's not education. What you would be dealing with there is about poverty and class and race. But it's not about education...but maybe it's not education that you're interested in." The car pulled up and interrupted this awakening for me. She was right. I was interested in people's stories. I wanted to understand things and to help but the truth was, it was not about going into education.
Whether or not I become a teacher is still a question I grapple with but I will always be thankful for the honesty and perspective she gave me that afternoon.
I don't know why I didn't visit her in the hospital. Part of me felt that it was a private matter and that I was not in the inner circle. I was not a part of that "clique." And another part of me didn't want to feel it. But loss doesn't work like that. Because even though I felt my sadness wasn't remotely comparable, even though I felt like my place was being a support system for those that were in the inner circle, the loss was still painful and no matter how hard I tried it still pierced me to my core when I heard the news.
I am going to the Jersey shore this weekend and all I keep thinking about is her telling me how it was her favorite place. Something about that conversation playing over and over seems to be giving the Jersey Shore this power and magic that I didn't appreciate last year but am looking forward to embracing this time. Perhaps on those sands is where I will say my own incomparable, outer-circle, small goodbye to her.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Have A Nice Day

"Get the fuck out of my way, " he says to me,
only after I have stopped walking, he has passed me on the small sliver of space to my right and I am looking at him with a blank expression, calmly waiting for him to pass.
My first reaction is to laugh at the little man with flaming red hair who I am towering over.
I begin to open my mouth and stop as I have just been reading an article in THE NEW YORKER about a man who snapped and went on a shooting rampage in Michigan, killing three teenagers who had been swimming on a hot summer day.
He looks slightly unstable but his comment seemed more like a response to my stopping rather than an offensive tactic to get me to move.
I wanted to tell him that clearly he knows how to speak, and that a simple "Excuse me," would have done, but this is New York and this minor infraction pales in comparison to the scene Mike and I witnessed the other day.
A Latina woman and her child got on the subway and whether it was on purpose or not, she pushed a black woman so she could secure a seat for her son.
The black woman shoved her back.
The mother was taken by surprise and asked the woman why she pushed her,
which unleashed a fury in this black woman.
"Yeah, I pushed you. Don't fucking push me."
The mother explained that she didn't see her.
The black woman shoved her again and then said,
"You're not even fucking legal."
She then went on a tirade about how illegal immigrants and "homos" are ruining this "fucking" country.
"Pinche, puto tu madre!" she went on. "There's something you can understand."
A young man laughed, fueling the woman's fire. She now had an audience that approved.
A white woman spoke up and told the woman not to speak like that in front of a child, but the woman called her a fat bitch and told her to shut the fuck up.
When the black woman stepped off the subway followed by the laughing young man, the car went quiet.
The mother stood, with her eyes downcast as her son sat on a seat dangling his legs below.
The white woman looked like she was on the verge of tears and for a moment it seemed as if we all took a collective breath.
We had all been held hostage to this woman's sickness, forced to listen to her anger, but knowing that silence was the only thing that would get this woman off the train.
I caught myself wondering when the last time this woman had been touched tenderly.
I don't know why.
It seemed like she would break someone's arm if they offered her a hug, maybe even bite.
I looked at the Latina mother and wanted to tell her that I was sorry I didn't speak up, but she looked as if she wanted to disappear
and maybe we all wanted to.
Last night I had a dream that I was in a movie theatre trying to convince Mike to leave because I didn't like the movie and someone told me to "shove it up my ass,"
to which i quipped back, "go fuck yourself!"
it's hot in new york right now.
it's almost as if we've all been bracing for this scorching summer that has yet to rear its head but something about the anticipation of it almost seems worse
like a jack n box wound too tight, waiting for the last turn to spring it lose into the world.
now its finally hot and humid but the mounting tension of the past few months makes it much hotter than it is.
i think new yorkers should get a day off just for living in new york.
like Canada's Boxing Day or like a Labor Day for city dwellers
Cause right now, it looks like we could all use a day to cool off.

Friday, July 24, 2009


seven days, baby....
please let those rain cloud icons disappear from you weather forecast.
keep the 87 degrees "feels like 95."
i like it hot.
margaritas, food, beach, catching up with an old friend, making new ones...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

what's in a style?

have you ever gotten to work or perhaps arrived at a bar to meet a friend
or hell, even a date and caught a more accurate glance at just what the hell you had decided to wear before stepping out of your apartment?
today i had one of these style crisis moments.
while a worn out purple tee shirt bought at target several years ago
(and yes i am aware that target clothing has more of a "couple months" shelf life)
matched with hand-me-down gray capris,
black ped socks and blue converse seemed like an okay, comfortable idea at eight in the morning
it became a disaster by nine o'clock
especially since i decided to pack my light gray cardigan with rainbow stripes as the sweater i would wear at work because the air conditioner is sub-zero
and yes, i am wearing a v-neck sweater over a high collared tee shirt.
my hair reveals roots now an inch long and a haircut that is neither here nor there.
I decided on a pony-tail that resembles more of a half-up, half down early nineties look
but, hey, i got silver hoop earrings...
does that count for anything??
i think the negatives outweigh the positives in this style match-up
or rather style mis-match-up
i need to shop for clothes after work today for my vacation but the thought of walking into any retail place dressed like this makes me cringe just a little.
at the same time, i am sure there will be lots of people dying to help me correct this situation.
i have a friend who has a blog where she posts "gratuitous outfit" posts
she is incredibly stylish, has hundreds of followers and i'm sure
saves many a lady from black socks and blue converse.
maybe i should start a list of "if you are dressed like this, turn back around and do some more closet digging" posts
the thing is, while i wish i could be incredibly fashionable
my interest in fashion goes about as far as my interest in algebra
as a kid, i vintaged shop as way of rejecting the clothes that pretty rich girls had
i called them names like "conformists" and "posers"
and then vintage shopping became cool
like all things
-the counter culture becomes the pop-culture-
and now i am amiss at what exactly my style is
caught somewhere in between bohemian, hippie, outdoors, and yet somewhat conservative
i guess the only way to look at it with complete and assured confidence
that whatever disaster i might be wearing is exactly what i should be wearing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Sleep Till....

Have I mentioned that recently Mike and I
moved to BROOKLYN!!!!!!! Every day I fall more and more in love with my new neighborhood and our charming little apartment. Park Slope is gorgeous and I could not be happier with where we landed. We are surrounded by historic brownstones, mom and pop shops, boheHave I mentioned that recently Mike and Imian boutiques, along with cute cafes and awesome bars. Prospect Park is two blocks away and there is a movie theatre right across from it. For years people have been telling me that I would love Brooklyn but I was stuck on living in Manhattan. It took one visit to know that this was absolutely the perfect place. So far Mike has consistently got a parking space in front of our building and I have yet to see a rat or cockroach. (Fingers crossed) I am sure that I have rose colored glasses on, but I am so happy with the new change. Being able to get myself to and from work without depending on NJ Transit, PATH and Mike picking me up or dropping me off has also been a welcomed adjustment. The commute is still 45 minutes, but taking one subway that comes every 5 minutes has made all the difference in the world.

We also have acquired new awesome neighbors that are old friends of Mike, who moved into the neighborhood and are literally one block away. They have a roof deck that looks out over the Manhattan skyline. It is nothing short of amazing. Anyhow, I am looking forward to exploring this borough and more importantly getting a Brooklyn State of Mind.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gone Too Far

How do you know when its gone too far?
It has now been a week since the news of Michael Jakcson's death and yet I find myself more disturbed by it now then seven days ago. I have been consumed with listening to his songs, watching his old music videos, sifting through photographs of him throughout the last thirty years. And at lunch I even watched the infamous 60 minute interview of Michael Jackson on Christmas Day when he finally spoke out about being charged with seven counts of child molestation. I remembered when that interview aired and I couldn't watch it because looking at his face made me feel this horrible deep depressing feeling. One of incredible loss and yet total disappointment. Michael Jackson was my very first crush and I obsessively loved him and yes, even lusted after him. When I watch his music video for BAD, the same feelings creep up and I realize that perhaps that part of me that saw him as the most incredible man I'd ever seen still exists. Even though my fanaticism for Michael stopped many years ago, my love for this artist never did and now I find myself obsessively tracking the years I missed as if I might piece together what the fuck happened to him. I also find myself consumed with remembering. Consumed with remembering me as a kid and all the years that were great in my childhood, the same years where Michael was on top. And then how everything fell to shit as did the life of my idol. Nothing is guranteed. Things fall apart. I also have to acknowledge that this obsessive chase down the rabbit hole is something I see myself doing but can never seem to stop. Its like a virus and it just has to run its course. Much like my obsession with collecting postcards of vintage Hollywood starlets which lasted several years and then one day just stopped. Like a lightswitch that had been switched off, I lost all interest. Or my obsession with James Dean whose face papered my walls. At one time I had seventeen pictures of the tragic star. I had a similar obsession with Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps all of these tragic stories so completely grip me because I am still trying to answer my own questions about the tragic figure I see in my mother. Regardless of why, I felt if I tried to write about it maybe, just maybe I could pull myself out of this Michael Jackson funk. RIP MJ.

Monday, June 29, 2009


It has taken be my surprise just how upset I have been over Michael Jackson's death.
I was at a bar when the news spread like wild fire and at first I didn't believe it.
Then I felt something in my gut drop and I covered up with a sarcastic comment about how sad that was but how fucked up he was.
Then the news changed and people said he was in the hospital.
Then it was confirmed. Michael Jackson is dead.
And the world started to weep.
The whole weekend radio stations played his songs while Mike and I moved into our new apartment and I stayed up washing dishes while singing all of my favorite songs that I obsessively listened to as a kid.
The more songs that came on the radio, the more I got upset, saddened, and remembered things that were long forgotten.
Like how I used to watch "Moonwalker" every day after I came home from school.
The choreography to "Smooth Criminal" in that movie is by far one of the best dances EVER.
If I knew how to upload it, I would, but for now, please check out this link.
Michael Jackson was the greatest star of all time as well as the most controversial and perhaps most disturbed. If you've ever seen his video to "Leave Me Alone" there is something chilling. This was a man that was created and destroyed by the very culture that loved him so much. We all know the story, we all saw the descent. But how fortunate for us that we are left with such an amazing musical mark in history that touched so many, influenced an entire culture and inspired people to "Heal the World," Stop and look at the "Man in the Mirror," and was one of the first artists to force people to look at the situation in Africa. One fan can only hope, that the good that this artist brought to the world will be more remembered than the craziness and controversy he is more often associated with. Michael Jackson will forever me be one of my most favorite and admired artists and I hope that he is finally getting the peace he was nevver afforded in this life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

why i play

for the love of it
the sport of it
the smell of sweat and the taste of blood
to see how much i can take
to see how i pick myself up and do it again
to remember my family
to remember what my brother and i survived and honor how we did it
to connect everything inside and outside of me in an hour put aside where all i think about is exactly what is before me
to laugh
to cry
to scream
and laugh again
to keep moving forward
to fulfill something that immediately goes missing again once i step off that field
to run myself ragged just like i did as a kid, with bruises and scrapes and sore muscles
and then see if i can do it just a little while longer
to play with people who in those moments are my true best friends because we all are working towards the same thing, we all are loving the same challenge
i play for me and for the feeling it gives me, good and bad
and for the beat my heart skips when the kick off whistle blows
i play for all the same reasons i did when i first started and something about that makes me feel just a tiny bit closer to home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

how to say i love you

"do you want to watch 30 Rock?

"i do, but i should work a little bit more. my space is a mess."

"i'm only saying this because i love you...but, your space is always going to be a mess."

we both laugh. he continues...

"but look at me, hey, i've accepted it. if you look at my space-"

"its spotless, always."

"but its okay. i never say anything to you because i know that that is you."

"how can you NOT say anything? how can you stand it?"

"because i think the sun shines out of your ass."

i recognize the line from juno, but something about it makes me melt and i realize it is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. we clear our dinner plates and watch a repeat of 30 Rock.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Letter To The Oppressed:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Do not fear the hate in the world. We have a light that even for those who refuse to open their eyes to it, we can all feel the power of its glow.
Do not fear the obstacles we have faced and will continue to face, because never in United States History has a civil rights movement lost to its oppressors.
Do not fear the naysayers. They are the ones that need the most love of all.
Do not hate the hateful for their fear is more imprisoning than any propositions they impose on us.
Do not go gently for the fight has only begun and you can't stop a moving train.
Do not weep because we need your voices to be as loud and bold as ever.
Do not lose hope because it is the most powerful tool we have.
Be brave, brothers and sisters.
We have only just begun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

the importance of cooking a meal together

we wash and we cut
we pepper and salt
we marinate in balsamic vinegar
the grease from the burgers drips tiny bits of fuel to the steady flame
we drink a beer and admire the garden he has made while our food simmers in the background
we laugh and we take deep breaths
even though both of us have terrible allergies
we grill the wheat buns and take out the healthy vegetable based buttery spread
we skew the corn and cut into the delicate mushroom
each bite feels like an awakening of the senses
i can't remember the last time we cooked together
he agrees it has been a long time
we finish every bite
bellies full, smiles wide, we clean up
and follow it all with a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the melting pot

i have a confession
on saturday, i spent two and half hours eating fondue
and i did not go for a run
saturday night, i spent hours drinking and laughing
and on sunday morning i did not go for a run
i am now badly in need of a run as my protruding belly can attest to
but damn it felt good to just relax and to forgive myself these runs even though i had plenty of time and lots of reasons to do them
it felt good to have a weekend where i did what i wanted rather than what i thought i should do.
cheers to free-wheelin' weekends!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

la maestra

tengo una amiga que tambien es mi maestra
ella es muy cómica y muy inteligente
he aprendido mucho sobre español
pero, no puedo hablar en español
(no todavía)
pero, mi maestra tiene mucha paciencia
espero que pueda hablar pronto
porque, me gusta español
y me gusta mi amiga

Thursday, May 7, 2009

i forgot about you

i forgot about you, blog
the same way i forget me
and how i can persuade myself so damn thoroughly
i forget just how much i love him
am grateful for him
like a lavender growing in the green moss around the canoes
i remember you, lavender, from last spring
and only now do i see how much you were missed
how beautiful you were and are
and how self possessed I was that I didn't even notice your passing
i forget about cycles and life, my life in particular
how march also turns bittersweet in the beginning of the month when i know in my gut that i should call my mother to wish her happy birthday and then i do and it makes me sad all over
she is always nervous when she talks to me and i want to reach through the phone and hug her and tell her that i'm sorry and i, too, also wish that none of that, none of this ever happened
i want to tell her that i love her and mean it
but instead i hang up and am left with a metallic taste in my mouth and salt on lips
like march melting onto april
making it slushy, dirty, unsure just what the fuck it wants to be
i was twelve and grandpa died
april 26th
i gave one of the eulogies
shel died in april, too,
but i think i cried at that funeral
maybe not
april always felt like death
stunk like rot, mildew
as the seasons pretended to change in los angeles
and collide in new york
i always find myself at the bottom of self-pitying sink hole of misery at some point in the year.
and i think more often then not it's in april.
i forget to say i'm sorry and that i know it's tough
i forget to tell myself that i really am doing the best i can even though i always believe i am not doing enough
i forget about the good things in my life
like a family who thinks i'm brave, friends that think i'm funny, a boyfriend that thinks i'm sexy
and that i'm smart
i forget to say thank you
so here is a big one to it all

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a new hairdo

spring is here,
it thinks,
we think
i button up my coat on the walk to him
all i can think about is the change that i want
it has become an obsession,
a suffocating, strangling depression
and yet i catch a glimpse of myself in a window front and do a double take
i have found something new
a new hairdo
and i like it...a lot.
here's to the little new things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

to write or not to write

i started a book...
in theory.
i can't get past the first chapter and i'm not even sure i like that.
its a memoir, but before you gag, it is only about a certain period of my life that i have been encouraged to write and reassured it was interesting.
the problem is that it is not that interesting to me.
i have a hard time getting into the drama of it all, but then it comes off bland, uninteresting,
like cream of wheat.
but when i do get into the drama, i hate it even more and find it melodramatic even though i feel like i am writing someone else's story, a third person narrative, detached yet all knowing.
i can't figure out if it is because i really don't want to write about this because in my mind it is a closed chapter or if i don't want to confront it and bring all this shit up or if i am falling back into a bad habit of not completing things.
a facebook quiz that assumes what alternative rock goddess from the 90s you are based on a series of questions, suggests that i am kim deal.
which is awesome 'cause the pixies are one of my favorite groups, but conflicting in that it says that kim deal never realized her full potential and brilliance and then went off the deep end.
in a documentary i saw a couple years ago about the pixies short comeback, she was living with her parents and spent her days obsessively knitting just to keep her mind off booze and drinking. she was still funny and obviously still brilliant, but she looked like a prisoner of herself.
i think i am going to try and finish another chapter.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

strange week

a date with the father of an ex
a play with a professor from college
dinner with an ex/old friend I haven't seen in two years
the arrival of a book
the obligation to write a check for $65
a trip to connecticut for a bridal shower
a night in the lower east side that i abort shortly after midnight
a long, long, subway ride home
tired of everything...everything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ode To Brit

I have a secret that I have been hiding and yet relishing every second of...
For the past month I have been listening to Britney Spears for the first time in my life and in the last week have been hitting repeat on three of her songs.
I have been repeating them so much that they have started soundtracking pieces of New York for me. When Ms. Brit first came on the scene, I immediately rejected her. I was cooler than bubble gum pop. I listened to Pearl Jam and Fiona Apple. I thought Britney's music was shallow and really bad. I judged this girl.
But when Britney started to fall apart, she finally became interesting. She became real, alive, a breathing woman with layers and complexities. At first I probably thought she was looking for attention: a starlet fallen out of the spotlight. But when she shaved her head, I thought, "Damn. She is not kidding." I followed the Britney tabloids, though I found them shameful. But it felt as if we were all watching a train wreck that we, as a society and culture, created. There was something so vulnerable and honest and hideous and frightening about this sex icon, pop legend, come completely undone.
Only now, as I listen to an album that is not new anymore, but new to me, do I appreciate and respect this artist. Sure, the lyrics are given to her, the music is manufactured, but there is something eerily powerful about hearing her sing, "Piece Of Me."Fame is murder and it takes a brave woman to rise from the ashes of world wide humility to try again for something she loves and hates but even moreso may not completely understand. It is ambition of the fiercest kind.
Cheers, Brit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

dare i say "spring"

it is finally starting to warm up here
which means i am finally starting to mellow out
i had underestimated how great weather affects me...effects or affects?
i think either might work
the tree in our backyard has some tiny white buds on it
and i can finally go outside in a fleece rather than a down comforter
for spring break, i decided to stay home for a week which has turned out to be a good decision
it also turns out to be my only option since i learned that i had $40 for the week
note to self: don't ever buy $100 vespa raffle tickets. you won't win.
note to self: look for a different insurance plan if possible.
i spent over $125 on prescriptions alone this month. what gives blue cross?
despite my financial troubles, or really my troubles at understanding money, my money in particular, i am happy to have a week by myself.
mike is working, i have no car, so i must depend on my legs or a taxi service to get to where i want and there is something very liberating about that.
i feel like i am truly resting, and more importantly relaxing, something mike has been grateful more
"you're smiling more," he said to me last night.
it made me wish i could get to this state more often, if not for me than for him
i found all these old pictures of us from our first round of dating and was filled with this gratitude that we actually had come back together even after all the shit we went through
it made me remember how special this is and i found myself in complete awe of him again.
he really floats my boat.
on to reading now, vacation awaits.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

four out of five...

five out of twenty
twenty out of six hundred
its a shame when we don't read things correctly
i swore i saw "Finalist" next to my name because why else would they list the top five stories if all five wouldn't move on?
It turns out just the first two move on.
But for two days, I thought I was a "finalist" and man I felt good.
Sometimes, I like my dyslexia and to me, i still think i'm a finalist.

Monday, March 2, 2009

burn out

i didn't think this would happen
maybe i didn't think it was capable
but my incessant bitching should have clued me in
i am burnt out of everything
i don't want to write or read anything
i just want to lay on the couch and watch "House."
snow days are awesome.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My friend, Tara.

am I too late?
has the moment passed?
or can i still write about the Inauguration day a month later?
can i at least write about Tara?
'Cause that is what I really want to write about anyway.
My friend Tara.
Tara and I met my freshman year of college at LMU.
The fact that we are still friends is probably more significant than any other friendship I have because by all means we shouldn't be.
At LMU, my roommate had told everyone in our suite that I had stolen a sweatshirt of hers, a gray Abercrombie hoodie, which I wore everyday.
every time i entered the dorm, i heard whispers, and got stared down.
it was miserable and i hated them all
until finally one night, tara came out into the communal living room where i was all alone, friendless.
she told me what my roommate had been saying
and i flipped out and said that she was a liar
my aunt, Rose, had given me this sweatshirt and left it for me on my chair when she moved me in to my dorm.
Tara was appalled and the two of us became best buds
We bonded over our hatred of everyone else in the suite and played pranks on all of them and made fun of them at every chance we could.
For years, we would roll our eyes at these stupid mean girls.
not too long ago, my Aunt Rose and I were talking about the day she moved me in and i asked her about he gray hoodie she got me.
"I never went to Abercrombie & Fitch for you. I went to Macy's."
And that's when I realized that Tara and I were the mean girls!
We were the Lemons that return to our high school reunion and realize we were the bullies!
I shared this with Tara the other night and we laughed until our sides hurt.
Over the years we have rarely been on the same coast.
Constantly missing each other with our big life moves.
But for now, we are both here, in New York City.
And it feels right and I am so grateful for this friend.
Tara was there through times I am convinced she saved my life or my sanity.
Are they not kind of the same thing?
It made sense that Tara and I would make that crazy whirlwind trip to DC together.
We became a part of history together but I suppose in our own rights, we had already done that.
After we cheered with the people near the Washington Monument, we (along with Mike) held on tight to each other as we tried to escape the densely packed crowd.
There were times when perhaps one of us could have advanced if we had left the other behind, but we never lost sight of each other.
Finally when we got through the crowd and there was a break, we parted ways, her to fly home, Mike and I to take a train.
She disappeared into the crowd and I was reminded of what a special friendship we have.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"its been a long time, now i'm..."

"coming back home."
so in my last blog i wrote suggesting i would add more later and then i disappeared.
well, i got sick again...and then again...
i keep asking myself why i keep getting sick
perhaps it is because i work at an elementary school
perhaps because i take at least six trains a day
perhaps it is because i am not getting enough sleep
or perhaps it is because i am willing to stand out in the freezing cold for an entire day
running myself ragged
perhaps it is because i cannot say "no" to work or extra-curricular activities
perhaps it is the winter slowly crushing my southern californian immune system
lack of viatamin d?
i am at a loss
but i am tired of crying about it.
i will make a doctor's appointment (even though i already tried and he did not call me back)
i will take it a little more easy
and i will keep my spirits up!!
(or at least try)
and when i feel some more energy i will write my own inauguration ballad.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

hey, hey, hey

Today, Mike, Tara and I went to DC and welcomed Barack Obama to the White House! It was awesome and crazy. Completely chaotic and yet so inspiring. More tomorrow, but for now, enjoy these pics.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


"it's going to be a long year."
he tells me this after citing all of the ailments that all of his grandparents have.
i had foolishly asked how they were doing
and after hearing all of the sad diagnoses, i wished i hadn't asked
something about saying them out loud, made it real
knowing that i had drawn an attachment with these people
i did not want to care they were suffering
but i did, i do, and now there is worry where there used to be none.
the phrase sticks with me overnight.
will this be a long year?

this morning we leave the house and it is so cold there is no temperature
we make it to new york
and head into the secret basement of ICP
we wait for his portfolio to be reviewed
he tells me he is not nervous and for a second it is convincing
i, on the other hand, am nervous, excited, proud that we are even there.
The teacher comes out and questions him on terminology i have never heard before
and i am continually surprised by his answers
i am impressed
he knows his shit.
"So photography two, it is."
they shake hands and a smile spreads across his face
the kind he can't hide and the kind that i miss
it has been a while since i've seen it
my ideas and hope for this year begin to look brighter
it may be a long year, but my baby is smiling and not even the cold can bring us down.
congratulations, handsome.

Friday, January 16, 2009

the hero's dilemma

We sit in a boring administrative meeting watching the clock inch by
When the phone rings informing us a commercial plane has crashed into the Hudson River.
Everyone's hearts stop as we all take a collective silent gasp.
A few exit the meeting and come back with relief.
And within minutes we learn that everyone survived.
"That's one hell of a pilot," the woman says with such convincing authority.
After the meeting, I head to the Path train but am drawn by the show of it all.
The helicopters, the sirens, the quiet.
I switch directions and head towards the pier and join a group of concerned New Yorkers, gawkers, journalists...
I wonder if what I am doing is wrong or disgusting but I am compelled to see it.
When something happens in New York City, it hurts.
There;s a gut reaction and it dawns me why I have such a magnetic pull to this city.
We went through something together.
We survived something together and I was part of a people that pulled together.
When the city hurts, its people hurt and standing on that pier seeing all of the rescue boats and twinkling lights in the distance makes me feel alright again.
Immediately, the pilot is subbed a hero, and the next morning on the radio, people try to take this away from him.
"There were perfect weather conditions...there was no wind, I mean, I've seen the Hudson when it looks like the Ocean."
And I am stunned by people's immediate need to pull the hero off his platform.
The guy landed a plane on the Hudson River and no one was hurt.
Can we give the guy a break and perhaps a standing ovation?
Cynicism is poison.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

small victories

beating a cold
getting into an advanced writing class even though it will still cost me a lot of dough
train tickets to dc on 1/20
getting coverage in a day early
a compliment of some weird looking cookies i made
an apology
some laughs
starting the weekend feeling like a rock star...
and lets not forget a plane landing on the Hudson River and everyone walking away unharmed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

fragile grasp

" i wasn't quite sure who the character in the story is waiting for...i think its her mom...but then again i don't know if i want to know. i felt a very 'waiting for godot' type feeling."

"i think it was her mom, but i'm not sure if she was an abusive alcoholic or one of those women who just doesn't want to grow up and is irresponsible."

"i got mood, but not story."

"i liked this story, a lot."

"i think it's about womanhood."

"it's about waking but then we need to step outside of herself."

"i can't help but notice, that both of the characters in both of your stories have a very fragile grasp of reality. they are trying to understand their past but have been damaged by their past...which gives you a wealth of stuff to mine."

a fragile grasp of reality catches me.
the eye contact, the stuffy room, the piercing eye contact, the soft but authoritative british accent, and i am wondering who were are talking about in this moment.
i will not cry for you, because this is all fiction. and these characters are made up. and the story is a lie, at best.
but why do i sweat?
i walk through the ghost town that is penn station at 10:30 on a Monday night.
people talk to themselves, look for sleep, look for warmth, look for anything.
these are the forgotten people weaving in and out of our paths,
just on the peripheral of God's vision
i find it hard to ask myself if i have a fragile grasp on reality in this place
if i am a person who is trying to understand my past but been damaged by it
comparatively, i am a superhero in this place
on second thought...maybe the guy throwing air punches thinks he is
"i write to understand things."
i tell him this as i get lost in the station looking for food, not really interested in anything
i lose my appetite around every corner
i settle on beef jerky
the perfect food for a superhero and work on a story entitled "Vikings" on the ride home.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Dear Giants,

To Philly? Really? I guess the only thing to say is to dust yourselves off and beat the shit out of Plaxico.

-Disgruntled fan

Friday, January 9, 2009

a visit from the 818

"do you love your life? you love your life."
the valley dialogue is a dialogue within itself.
to know it is to love it.
to speak it is to understand it.
"how was the flight? Did you get your own tv screen?"
"I flew on miles. I'm lucky the plane had wings."
the drive home is full of run on sentences, sarcasm and laughter
we talk in tones and references and metaphors
switching from high pitched excitement to the LA droll in the back of our throats
our valley childhoods, our LA life, our hollywood wisdom manifests in our speech
sharp, happy, cynical, funny, and don't forget the wit
i can't explain how amazing it felt to reconnect with this fellow valley girl
and also to get to share a part of my life with someone from home
she is the first person from home that has seen it
and she is the perfect person to have seen it
"so nice seeing you, linds"
we squeeze goodbye and i am reminded of how i miss being called "linds"
she will do great things and i will be happy to pay $15 to see her movies in the future.

Monday, January 5, 2009

facebook spy

i have decided that facebook is a writer's paradise
it is voyeur heaven
you can spy on all the people you don't really care about
and yet care enough to see them in these permanent snapshots
high school friends i will probably never speak to again
and yet i am curious if they got fat, or sober, or married
i can flip through the photos of childhood friends
and see just how different our lives really have turned out
and are still turning, for that matter
these web albums give an abundant amount of stories, characters, plot twists
its like watching the reality tv version of a photographic shakespeare play out
a cross between the oc and beverly hills 90210, mix in a little reality bites and pop the popcorn
entertainment for hours
in so many ways, it seems as though nothing has changed with a group of 20 of them
and yet it must be different...right?
i never have to go to a high school reunion, not that i have any interest in ever doing so,
but facebook has freed us (though maybe shamefully) from these curiosities
and saved everyone money
so let the spying continue...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A letter to my immune system

Dear immune system:
can you please get it the fuck together?
i woke up today with a full blown cold, soar throat, running nose, the whole nine yards
but more than anything, i woke up angry!
i'm taking vitamins, zycam, emergen-c
going to bed early, exercising
what more can i do??
i am tired of being sick
and if i hear one more person tell me its because i work in a school and that's :just what happens the first year" as if i will be staying beyond a year, i might punch someone in the face.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year

ten years ago, i drunkenly rang in the new year of 1999 to the background of Prince
last night, i soberly rang in the new year with one sip of champagne and a kiss with mike
we were in a room with wonderful people
all happy and starting the next new exciting chapter in their lives: marriage, new home, kids
"we're very far off from this," i quietly inform him
he smiles, "so?"
and i am reminded why i am with this guy in the first place
this year, i am going to relish in the now
try my hardest to savor the present
and enjoy every ounce of freedom i have
stars out, heart out.