(Not quite) A Picture Perfect Holiday Recap


It’s doesn’t always resemble a movie even if you live in a movie town

“It’s [not always] A Wonderful Life”

Well it’s over. You survived. Santa came and went. The savior you were waiting for arrived. But was it everything you expected it to be?It was another picture perfect holiday scenescape here in beautiful Los Angeles, California. The weather showed a delightful eighty one degree high in the forecast.

photo courtesy of Steven Swimmer

photo courtesy of Steven Swimmer

I awoke to the sunshine. It’s not something out of the ordinary here. It’s appreciated but…

It wasn’t as picturesque inside as it was outside. For living in a fairy tale, it wasn’t exactly a fairy tale.

And I wasn’t the only one experiencing that unfortunately.

I saw update after update on social networks with happiness and cheer. It’s the holiday season and I live in a picturesque movie town amongst the most brilliantly spectacular people in the country.

Or at least I’d like to believe that.

How could anyone feel anything but festive on this most joyous day? Well unfortunately there were the other messages. The messages that reading a piece of your heart broke with them a little bit.

Of friends and family apart.

Of lovers lost.

Of abandonment.

Of “Ebenezer Scrooges.”

Hardened hearts in the most spectacularly vibrant people on the planet. Obliterated but doing their best to just get through the day.

This year I took the path of a single mother. And, while I wasn’t alone entirely and I had plenty of offers to do things with friends just as I did that day I had him, I was… very alone.

Remember when I told you in my last post about the separation that happened back in February of 2008? According to the “*current order” it’s not my year to have my children for this holiday. (Yes, holiday. I’m not particularly religious despite/because of years of Catholic schooling and teachings.) Nonetheless I was supposed to have a Skype call with my children to celebrate the day together. I planned the entire day around it -turning down several offers to go out that would potentially interfere.

So I waited with great anticipation… it was my version of waiting for Santa to come on Christmas morning.

It didn’t happen…

broken-heart

You would think I might be used to this stuff by now..

Reel back to a few days prior when I posted to my private social network about my eldest son not behaving the greatest enough to make me question giving him coal.  

(I didn't by the way.)

(I didn’t by the way.)

And I thought about my ex husband and my children.  

And why the call likely didn’t happen.

And why I wasn’t there with my eldest as he opened gifts earlier that morning.

About the fighting with my father on Christmas Eve because of differences in parenting styles.

About how my eldest believes the world revolves around gifts.

About how my other children believe the same.

About the comments calling me “negative” and picking at my lack of religion or beliefs in Santa and the otherwise commercial version of this so called picturesque holiday of “goodwill towards your fellow man” and “cheer.”

dontbelieveinsantagrinchmas

I had a couple of friends offer to have a few drinks with me in celebration and “bah humbug’ing” this abysmal reality of a day.

That didn’t happen either.

Thousands of miles away two of my children were living a lie.  Sure there were likely tons of gifts and warm home made cooking to go with the “Leave it to Beaver” Christian lifestyle my ex believes he is currently giving my children.  A similar smaller version could be said with my oldest son at my father’s.

 

The posts kept coming.

Presents and joy.

Happy families gathered around piles and piles of presents and food.

The friends who were also “orphans” drinking their cares away.

The friends without children going to dedicated “orphan” outtings.

The friend who ended up at the beach.

The friend who joined another family of friends for their meal.

The friends who went to the movies together.

And then there was me.

I could have gone and done a bunch of things.

So why didn’t I?

This isn’t a completely sad movie.  Earlier that day I had some very positive conversations.  My oldest son called me and told me he’d missed me that morning.  We talked about the differences in how his grandfather and I parent and about his newest little brother.  And while it wasn’t perfect, it made me smile.  My children are my heart.  This year has been all about reuniting with them.  Little by little there have been some major steps of progression towards this this year.

And then there was something else entirely.

My grandparents aren’t doing very well.  There are several health issues going on that… will likely lead me back to Illinois very soon to see them.  My family fears these may be their last days.

On the last phone calls I have not been able to speak with my grandmother.  Her health and the timing of the calls has prevented it.

I got to talk to her yesterday however.

not taken yesterday

It snowed.  The house was full of visiting family- my sister and her daughter and my uncle and his daughters.  I laughed as she scolded my grandfather and told him he couldn’t drink wine (an Italian must at the table) because it would not be good with his current pills.

I listened as I could tell her face was glowing as she regaled about how my cousins closer in proximity were picking up art.  And she asked me about my newborn.

“Does he look like you?”

“I’ll send you a picture.  He’s little like me.  We’d like to visit soon.  I’m worried about you.  Will you even have the strength to hold him when we get there?”

We spoke about the argument with my oldest son.  About her son and me differing on our versions of respecting ones elders.  About how because of the argument we were not able to see each other that morning.

“It sounds like you can have some quiet time with the new baby then.  That doesn’t sound like a bad day at all.”

Suddenly the rest of the day didn’t matter.  The other things making me blue didn’t matter.

At least for that moment.

She was right.  In the simplest of all things she was ever so right.

Our phone call got cut short due to some technical difficulty.  I thought I would end up calling her back and telling her that the line had dropped.  I never ended up doing so.  I had the Skype call coming up and needed to tend to that.

But even after that phone call no show, and the blue that I felt with that, I know that maybe that little bit was all she was supposed to have done.  It was just enough to push me through the rest of the day.

I spoke to friends here and there but essentially kept to myself on Christmas.  To me and my newborn, it was just another Wednesday.  It wasn’t the most perfect day in our most perfect movie town but, it was real, and that’s ok.

In the real world life, and holidays doesn’t always resemble a movie.  That’s just how it is.  And you know something?  That’s alright.  Even if you live in a movie town.  It’s alright.

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Fat Lil’ memory Notebook

Lots of time on buses and what not running errands and dealing with Dr’s shit and, forgetting my Kindle in my friends car meant some quality time with the ole Fat Lil’ Notebook today. I bought it a few months ago for on the fly notes and what not as it’s essentially only a little bit bigger than two Post-Its (5 1/2 x 3 1/2).  You see, I have a little bit of a Post-It fixation as previous co-workers can attest to… but that’s for another entry.

On occasion I will flip back towards previous entries. Today was one of them as I realized my book was beginning to get a bit thin.  There’s only about 20 or so pages empty left in it and so, another is likely needed in the pretty super near future.

This notebook says so much it’s a bit crazy. There’s notes on an abundance of things from the everyday directions list to meetings to.. little snippets and memories of things from when I first found out I might be pregnant.  Reading the entries brings about thoughts that, although fragmented, show just how much brevity can still weave a story.  Reading this I’m able to watch the excitement and happiness I felt initially to…my latest entry which is, suffice to say, not.

I’m curious how much one could assess about my mind and it’s inner workings from seeing these little notes and blurbs. About the other notebooks that have been lost in moves. Who knows what happened to those old pages? Perhaps they never saw anyone else’s eyes before they were tossed into a trash. Perhaps they weren’t. Perhaps it’s for the best either way.

These pages are evidence of a life lived. They are a reminder of why I ALWAYS will have a notebook and a pen on me… and why that hasn’t changed for as long as I can [not always] remember.

These pages are why I know that I know that what I am before anything, first and foremost, is, and ever shall be: a writer.  Till death do I part.  And that ain’t bad even when it is bad.

If I hadn’t left that night

Sometimes (read: often) I think about that last fateful night when…

And I wonder… what would have happened had I not left that night.

But I needed to leave.

You needed to feel my absence a bit.

I needed to feel yours.

When I left that night, I was just as upset about it as you are now.

I didn’t want to leave.

I didn’t want to fight.

I just wanted things to stop.

I’m not sure you would have done anything to change those things

If I hadn’t left that night.

I wanted you to be better.

I thought that by me leaving, you might appreciate me more.

That I might appreciate me more.

In several ways I have found one of those things to be true.

As breakable as I feel like I can be

I’m not.

There are amazing souls that appreciate me.

I used to be one of them.

I should have been more of them than I had been.

I don’t know if I could have remembered that as strongly

If I hadn’t left that night.

In the midnight hour I still dream of you

Of the person I believed in you

Of the love that I hoped would return to me

Of the happiness that I thought might appear again

But likely couldn’t…

if I hadn’t left that night.

And the texts keep coming

The answers are painful

So very very painful

And knowing might be half the battle but it still hurts wondering

Would it have been different?

Would we have been different?

Would I have been different?

If I hadn’t left that night.

Once upon a different bed

I remember this bed.

quite possibly the most comfortable bed ever

Hell.. I miss that bed.  It was so much nicer than the one I currently have.

Well… minus the comfort there is now.

 

I remember the bed that felt almost like a throne.  It was fashionable.  It was quirky.  It was comfortable with a warm hug of softness to it.

 

This bed has it’s own set but simply just isn’t that same level of comfort.  This one I can sometimes feel the springs.  I’ve woken up several mornings to my back hurting for reasons unbeknownst sans for.. the bed.

 

I remember that bed.

I remember the stories that unfolded on it.  Of the lovers.  Of the tears.  Of the fight to grow up and face the world yet another day.  Of the soft embrace of that pillowtop mattress.  Of the safe place I knew I could always go to.

 

“Dad, I need a new bed.  The one I have is maddening.” I’d said in between that old bed on a different mattress before this one.

This bed came with it’s own doses of complications even before it arrived.  This bed was the predicate to yet another life shed.  It was a gift but it was far from that comfort I once had… once upon a different bed.

 

The old bed was a gift as well.  Welcome to Claremont.  Welcome to the next page.  You’re going to be working harder than you ever have.  Take this awesome bed.

 

This bed still had hard work attached to it.  But the work was smarter as it was harder.  The lessons I’d learn while in this bed would outweigh the other by a landslide… even if it sometimes felt like it had fallen from one before it arrived in my room.

 

I remember that bed.

I remember the many moves that it made after its first arrival.  I remember the love and pain that went with it.  I remember its departure… of the person who would later take it and tell me “your bed is wonderful” when I thought I didn’t need it anymore.

Maybe I really didn’t.

 

This bed isn’t as comfortable as that old one was.  Its had its share of pain and stress and heart… and has the scars to prove it.  But it’s amazing.  And then some.  This bed is wonderful even if it isn’t perfect.  Perhaps it is for that very fact alone.

This bed is me.

Once upon… a better me.  Every single day I get to wake up.

 

One week of sobriety: A test of self control

Last week was a blur of disappointment and successes, but not for the reasons most might be thinking.

The biggest stateside video game conference had come and gone. It hadn’t been a fun filled week for me as it was for the many that gather here to our great city to celebrate the latest advances in technologies.

I work in two fields: journalism and entertainment. And while video games are a part of my 9-5, they are followed by my true passion: journalism. I have been fortunate to have resided on both sides of the fence. Each has its perks and setbacks.

I did my laundry Sunday. I washed away the remnants of people that I had thought more of before last week, of someone who I didn’t know what to think, of someone whom there exists a war in my head with what to think, and of pieces of myself that I’m learning more and more about.

I waver in between worlds within the spotlight and highlighting those who sparkle under it. But this camera sees a depth of field that…

With any conference comes the after parties. Behind these scenes is where the real magic and disasters occur. It’s the stuff of a million stories that writers won’t write about. It’s the stuff of stories that they probably should write about. It’s stuff that gets compiled into your brain and begs and begs to be released but rarely ever does.  Its the stuff that you wish you didn’t know.  It’s the stuff of stories that can drive you insane due to the lack of ability to release.

It’s the story of someone making an ass of themselves meeting someone for a secret rondevous. It’s the story of trying so hard to impress someone that the only thing that surfaces is the detestable.  It’s the story of having so much alcohol in order to make others tolerable, that a black out happens. It’s the story of [redacted] and the story of [redacted redacted].

When you work in the entertainment industry, you see this in so many instances that eventually, you have two options:
1) Let it overcome you.
or 2)Find a way to overcome it before it consumes you whole.

Life becomes more exhausting than usual. Not only does the weight of your own reality weigh on you, but so does the weight of the people vying for their chance to shine in the limelight of a coveted piece of fifteen moments of fame on the tabloid of choice.

Fearing an impending overdose on it all, I elected to take a command step forward. Paired with someone to assist in co-miserating the experience, I embarked on a journey into a world of glitz and glamour free of a method of escape. For one week I would be alcohol and smoke free.

Notes: I am not a daily drinker. I drink on a number on an occasional basis: networking parties where everyone has a glass of something in their hands, happy hour with coworkers, dates, and when something is really getting to me. The same generally applies to my smoking habits sans for one additional place it enters. Ah the “joys” of Los Angeles traffic.

Day one was to start when he left. He and I had spent the whole day together booze free. The evening had been cut short unexpectedly. Our plans to disappear into historical places taking roost in fabled haunts with as equally fabled spirits faded into the ether (for the time being).

An hour after he’d left however, I found myself assisting a friend (and veteran featured personality) with an art show she’d curated located within a seedy motel downtown. My time was spent in a bed navigating perverts (read: art enthusiasts) through the graphiti clad thrashed rock themed art room. He and I had talked earlier about me attending the show and I was originally going to stay at home and work on my book, but yet there I was. In the middle of it all, I stayed true to my mission. I remained sober and penned away at a notebook as the crowds waved in and out.

One shocking thing happened from the alt-shock event extravaganza  was not what I was expecting in the slightest. Among the sea of onlookers was one of the artists featured in the show with a very special guest. He was a “short” man.  Five ten with brown hair, scruffy and parker-esque. He had a smile that illuminated the room. His words faultered as he was nudged to “Just ask her”.

He talked to me a few minutes.  He’d wanted to take my picture with this artists work. Both of them were delightful people but there was something more about this gentleman. While talking about how we’d both ended up at the event by way of serendipitous routes, my tale of my mission to be sober for the week came up in conversation. He turned to me and said “I completely understand. I’m sober myself.” Does like energy really attract like energy?

When I arrived home however, it was nearly 2am. I was exhausted from the event. I’d had to help scrub the graphiti off the walls and clean up the aftermath. There had been four of us toiling away that evening cleaning. Being an art curator (or in my case, assisting one) is not always as glamorous as it sounds.

The bar below my apartment had my favorite beer on tap. I immediately walked up the steps and got a glass. But after I’d paid for it and it had been poured in front of me, I began to feel horrible. Day one of sobriety had been going so well. Within an instant, I’d ruined it.

The next day I went to visit family in Huntington Beach. I was intending on spending some time as a mermaid beachside a bit as well. Of course, the outfit I chose as I headed to the beach felt more suiting of the event I was at last minute then what I’d ended up wearing. Cest’ le vie. As I packed my bag my brain immediately went to “cans of beer and smokes”.  I shook the idea off and headed seaside.

Even after I’d arrived to family bbq, the two items I’d left behind were pushed into view. My family helped to make excuses for why it would be alright.  So did friends who’d invited me to return back to the bar below my loft bribing feats of hilarity in kiddie pools.  Everyone seemed to chime in “You can just start tomorrow.”

Remembering the night prior, I stuck true to the goal. It was a bit frustrating but it was nothing compared to the temptations that would follow the rest of the week. One such example happened later that evening when I’d arrived home. My secret guest and I had limited ability to enjoy our weekend as my roommate (who isn’t usually home and isn’t home as this is being written) was home for the entirety of it. However she’d had a guest that evening. I wanted nothing more than to go downstairs and have a beer. No can do.

I found myself as the week progressed, and as life continued to rapid fire bullets of everyday flies in the ointment, running a gammit of emotions from intensely frustrated with my lack of easy escapism, to rationalizing the act, to… undeniable clarity.

I went to my first networking event without the escapism. At one point, I’d thought that the booze was necessary. You need a glass in your hand in order to be approachable after all right? Almost right. The event had been a test of wits. It forced me to modify the way I went about my interactions. With the sobriety came more clarity and control over myself in navigating the event than I’d remembered experiencing for a long time.

My eyes were wide open.  I saw everything.  I was better able to gauge who would be the best conservators. I met more valuable, more mature and more truly talented people than I might have had I not been completely sober. I immediately was able to see how I could make their businesses better.  I was more on point with statistical and competition information.  I felt empowered by my lack of a barrier to readily access that information.

The main rationalization I’d previously turned to for the reason to do it “I deserve it” became the reason not to do it. It evolved. Perhaps I did a little in the process as well. And while I may not go completely sober or smoke free right now, I will continue to follow this path. The lessons that I have learned from this week shall not disappear into the ether. I highly encourage each of you to try this for yourself. You don’t have to have a huge problem for it to be effective.

Why?  Because “You deserve it?”  Almost.  It’s because “You deserve more.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing a debacle great or small with alcohol or any other substance, don’t be afraid to seek help with it. You are not alone. For more information on support centers and other outlets, or if you just want to attend a meeting to see what others are saying to see for yourself, feel free to look into the following link at your leisure:

Alcoholics Anonamous

In the blink of a moment

There were two meetings for coffee yesterday.  One was with a friend/business associate, the other was with a friend/former business associate.

Quite frankly both of those meetings were exceedingly important to me.

With things making a turn for the worst with Mr, and well… the quest for a 9-5 still ongoing, the interludes were…  pretty helpful for me.

That is, until I blinked for a moment.

Yesterday, after coming home from coffee and folding cranes, we turned the corner to see the lot where my truck had been parked previously, was now empty.

A new business had opened on the corner… a medical marijuana dispensary.  The lot had transients outside and was newly painted.  I should have moved it sooner.  I didn’t and it was my own damn fault.

We’d known that it was going to happen, but could do nothing about it.

I don’t feel unsafe here, but in a way… I am really not happy that it went up.

Why?

Because my truck is gone.

I wish it were not true.  But unfortunately, it is.

I called about it.  It’s been gone longer than I thought.  I was told that by my roommate it had been gone over a week.  I was so busy that I hadn’t noticed.

I got a call from a friend in [redacted] last week- “Come visit me.  I’m in town.”

I went down there for a day and a half.  I went to close that door and take a big look into my past/present.

An hour into the visit with the best friend I had there, he says

“When are you getting your passport?”

He took me to all the things that we used to do back then.  A movie, dim sum, jamba juice, tacos.  He offered to take me out for drinks and I declined.

It was another life… an easy button that I just didn’t want to press.

Dad always said I did things the hard way.

He reminded me of what little it took to…

I wasn’t really happy back then.
I wasn’t happy in my marriage.

And as good as he had been to me… there was something missing with everything else about that relationship that it just never could go past that “friend zone.”

There wasn’t passion.

There wasn’t a deep intellectual connection and a firey desire for…
I realized that I may have only experienced that a couple of times in my lifetime, and one was not my marriage.  It was not with the grip.

I knew the difference and I could feel it.  What’s worse is that I worry I may have squandered the chance at that something amazing with…

The night there was even harder on me.  I told him when I went down there that I wanted (despite his efforts) nothing “of that nature” with anyone and… well if I did have that, I wanted to explore that with Mr… whenever the time may be that..

The next day I drove to the ocean.  I said my goodbyes.  He says he wants to visit me here in LA.  He may be serious.  He may not be.  It’s not something that I’m really thinking about as much as I thank him for being my friend… and miss that part of him. I know it will never be though.  I know that what I want is something… far greater and “unattainable.”

I was cleaning my room last night trying to get my mind off of things.  It’s just a truck and in the end, it really shouldn’t matter… but that piece of shit meant something to me.

In cleaning the slate, I thought about things him.  The way I’d acted before… the time that’s passed.
I know what I did wrong.  In the rush of things… first his interest and my want to take things slow to get to know him better… to my rushing…


I got silly and stupid and carried away.

I know that I have done wrong and hope that that chance isn’t completely gone.  I think it moved way too fast, and am hoping that Mr and I can get back to that point before all of the shit really started coming about.

It never fully felt like it was just a friendship to me, even when it was.  I think that deep down, we both knew something was there… and frankly it scared the crap out of me too.

It has resorted to petty silly arguing and what not.. it’s just is not what either of us wanted when we first entered into it.  All I wanted was a sidekick to share in my adventures.  We didn’t want any problems… and really there should never have been.

I’ve thus, elected myself to be free of relationships and romantic interludes until further notice.   With one exception: I don’t want to give up on him just yet.  I’m not expecting it to happen anytime soon or even at all.  But, who knows what’s in the cards?

I am reminded why I was hesitant to really getting into anything after all of the stuff that’s happened in my past.  Call me sour grapes or call me cautious.

I am also reminded that my collection of friends is diverse and, well apparently I like to do quite a bit that it seems many aren’t up for.  Maybe I’ll meet some new people along the way.  Maybe I won’t.

And while I’m happy that I met him… even if it doesn’t work out to…

It’s going to be ok.

I know that I am fully whole.  I don’t need someone to complete me.  I may be alone on many of my adventures, but at the same time, I don’t think its a complete bad thing.

So if you see me at roller derby Saturday, come say hello.  But otherwise, I’ll be off on my own exploring this city though no longer occasionally in a vintage truck.

One day at a time.

I’ve found that it’s really the only way to fly.

And maybe someday I will meet a bird that will perch with me… if even for a short moment.

Here’s hoping that when I do, it’s you that’s there by my side.

But if not, well…

I aspire to be a cat burgler minus the cat and the burgler-ing

In the silence, come the answers.

If you really want to get an idea of how someone’s life is, you can just go inside their home and let the stuff do the talking. They say that you can tell alot about a person by their home.  What they don’t tell you is that this is a pretty good gage at how their life really is.

You see, things contaminate our every existance.  The collection of ones “junk” and organizational systems show you more than you would ever imagine if you only pay attention.

For me, today marks a new direction of sorts.  You see, I didn’t end up in Los Angeles originally because I wanted to.  At least, it wasn’t my first choice.

After leaving San Diego and on to Bakersfield (the armpit divider between southern and northern california) I vowed that I would move back to the one place, despite having grown up in an entirely different state, that I was able to call “home.”  I even kept the same area code on my cell phone.  If you see the 858, that would be me.  I will always be an 858 girl.  Except now, I will also be a 310.

After my divorce, I struggled quite a bit.  I had been that “stay at home mother” working jobs that I could do from home and then when I hit the ground running, he just stayed in place.  It wasn’t a surprise to anyone that had met us or even see us together.  I was that wild horse and he was just… not the running type.

I remember the day it happened… or well, the “it’s time to realize that no one is going to give a crap about you but you” moment.  After I got let go from my game mod job due to being late because of spousal abuse, he hit me again.  This time, it was with an eviction notice.

You see, my ex husband fled to be with his new girlfriend that he’d met in a video game while I was away at a conference trying to find my next job.  I wish I was kidding.  Unfortunately, I am not.

A little bit different than your average Love tap

A little bit different than your "average" Love tap

He’d promised me a lot of things when first got together.  And I believed every single one of them.  Why?  Because I was an idiot.  Even after all was said and done he’d made me yet another promise-to pay the rent for the remainder of the lease.

Liar liar pants on fire.

I guess I should have saw that one coming.

I had so little money then.  I was but a broke artist, though when I was with him, I rarely was able to create.  But that’s another story.

I was a victim then because I allowed myself to be one.  While it is a part of my past, and thus, a part of my identity, I’ve come to peace with it.  There are so many stories that proceed this.  So many tales that I am forever thankful for being able to experience.  Even if it took a man hitting me for me to wake up, get started on the road to independence, and really live life again.

Dead eyes. Lost inside.

Dead eyes. Lost inside. Circa marriage 1.

When I moved to Bakersfield, it was rushed.  I never wanted to move back there.  I fought it as much as I could.  But it wasn’t time for me to be home yet.  And at the time, San Diego didn’t feel like home anyway.

I remember how much disarray my apartment was.  I moved from a 2 bedroom condo in a upper middle class area of San Diego (Tierrasanta to the locals) to a studio hole in the wall in Bakersfield. Why there? Nepotism.  My cousin was the landlord originally.

While I wasn’t completely unhappy in my time there, you could tell that inside I was miserable and my apartment showed it.

I looked for things to make myself happier.  The things that had the greatest effect were those of which were most childlike in nature. One of which, won me the nickname of “the mermaid” as this curtain hung over my bed (which ironically, is still over my bed to this day) because, well that was the only thing I could find to cover up the institution-like window.

These are a few of my favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things

I found it in a box one day somewhat randomly.  It had been something that my dad had given me for my first apartment years before I got married.  My husband and I thought it was too ridiculous to ever use.  I’ve come to realize that he was just a stick in the mud.

That curtain got me into trouble too.  I hung it in the window of my street facing apartment.  When the blinds were open or up, it was no mistaking which unit was mine.  In the mornings the sun would shine through it and the colors would pop.  Trudging along in Bakersfield, it would make me smile to come home to my one piece of sunshine.  My landlord didn’t agree.  She thought it was tacky.  She also dresses like shes ready for the nursing home and she’s not even 30.

While living in the apartment, I serendipitously met a wonderful pair of friends- Drew & Leah.  (Ironically, they lived across from my soon to be future bat from hell landlord.)  They helped to make that place somewhat bearable.  But unfortunately, they couldn’t make that place home for me.

beach balls are serious business

beach balls are serious business

Because only the raddest dare rock bling on their coffee mug

Because only the raddest dare rock bling on their coffee mug

My grandmother is a packrat.  She has amassed a great amount of wonderful junk.  So much so, that she has 2 houses full of it.  They say this behavior is generally inherited.  Hands raised for being a statistic.  I wonder if there are meetings like AA.

I later made  a brief stop in Claremont- suburbia upper middle class Los Angeles near the dreaded 909.  It was my dad’s compromise to not sending me back to San Diego, despite challenging me to find an apartment there in a few hours and well, I won that bet.

Claremont was… alright.  The village was a bit like a mini San Francisco.  Except San Francisco has a ton more and is a place I would actually consider living.

City of numerology

It hosts… the number 5.  Looking around you will see that it repeats numerous instances throughout the town.  There are 5 colleges.  There are 5 movie rooms at the theatre.

This is where I started to get a bit of OCD cleaning traits.  Part of me believes it may have been a positive after effect from my volatile relationship that I had with Big (the obsessive compulsive cleaning emotionally unavailable guy from San Diego).

I dumped quite a bit with the last move, and this one as well.  My roommate was also an artist (read: slob).  But here I found myself cleaning up after her.  Frankly the mess bothered me.  That, and she had animals.

And while I was happier there than I had been in Bakersfield, you could tell in my eyes if you were paying attention, that it still wasn’t quite right.

Porch sweeper, dream sleeper

As my lease came to a close I knew that I no longer wanted to be there.  I was working my ass off and reaping nothing in return.  I barely had time for me.  It was work work work.

“When you pay your own bills you can live wherever you want to.” dad told me.

“I already do pay my own bills dad.  I’m going home.  I’m not happy here.”

He shoved a pennysaver in my hand.

“There’s apartments in your price range right here.  Do it.”

But I’d already met Steve (my roommate) then.  Another after effect from dating that same OCD douchebag many of you all know and sometimes love.  I’m only half joking of course.  He’s got a good heart when he choose to share it.

But enough about failed romances, back to my roommate!  Little did I know from that fateful night- the tweetup in LA hosted by Greg Barnett, that I was on the way home.

Why hi, nice to meet you soon to be roommate!

Why hi, nice to meet you soon to be roommate!

Yes, I said it.. home.

I’ve lived here a year and yet, you wouldn’t know it from my room.  There are still quite a few bins out.  Clothes strung everywhere.  My closet is full of hangers.  My dresser is near empty.

Today is the day that that changes.  Consider me booked with being boring for the interim.  I was due for a responsible day or 3.  Have to balance with the karma and all.  I secretly aspire to be more boring (but never really boring) anyway.

I didn’t want to move here when I first got here.  I wanted to be in San Diego.  It is the one place that I’ve been able to call home.  But I know now, that it will not likely be where I hang my… wigs.

Dear San Diego,

I must profess my undying love for you.  You are the lover I will always come back to.  But you are also the one where I won’t end up with until possibly the end of the movie when my ashes are sent among the city after I expire.

I have fallen capture to Los Angeles.  It’s “cesspool” of fun carried me away.  My childhood dreams and fantasies… never forgotten but evolved into things you just can’t give me.

I’m “unpacking” today finally.  It took me a long time to get here.  This is my home now.  You will always have… pieces of my heart, but I’m afraid you will have to share me.

Ours is a tale that will live on forever.  Written in granite amongst the waves and never to be washed away.

Yours Always,

Jennifer

***

Dear Los Angeles,

I just broke up with San Diego.  I let her down easily.  I think she bought it.  She doesn’t know I’ve just been toying with her.  She’s wonderful but it just wasn’t working out.  I’m a terrible person.  Comfort me?

By the way, I have something else to tell you:

You have yourself another lifer now.

Cheers,

Scandalous

It’s time to take more ownership of my stuff and not the other way around.  But hey, at least I’ll have plenty of junk to send my mother right?