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?

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One question

“How are you doing?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy.  He beat me to calling.

My grandmother is in the hospital.  He had to fly home.  He’d told me yesterday morning.  He said I could go visit Ethan even if he wasn’t home.  She’d been there a couple of days and was about to be released when they said she needed to be transferred to another hospital for a heart operation.

“Why didn’t you tell me she was in the hospital?”

“I didn’t have time.”

“Daddy that may be your mother but that’s my grandmother.  You need to tell me if she’s sick do you hear me?”

Yesterday I kept myself busy.  I had to.  I was very worried.  My grandmother is the epicenter of my family.

The things I did to occupy my time?  Ironically were all things where I wanted to call her while doing:

  • my monthly self defense class.
  • a costume shop.
  • thrifting.
  • adventuring and finding places to sit with a notebook and dream.
  • watching an old movie in a graveyard (again).

My solstice was refreshing.  Two bottles of lambic, the company of friends and the best gift I ever got myself- that bike accompanied me and some watercolors as I headed out to Cinespia.

“Give me an eta on if you want to do something because I’m thinking about going to see the Graduate tonight with friends.” I told the grip.

“I don’t have one.  Just go with your friends then.”

“You always wait until the last minute to do anything.  You want me to commit to monogamy but you can’t even commit to a time to meet me.  I’m going.  Just meet me there.”

“That works.”

I met my friend out there and a couple of his friends.  They were disgusting adorable together and extremely nice.  My friend and I were like two left shoes leftover after a massive sale had wrecked the store.  It was disastrous.  Every little thing went wrong.

Traffic sucked.

I spilled beer on the blanket.

It took my friend 2.5 hours to get in.

Oh and I never saw the grip.

No text.

No phone call.

Nothing.

I messaged on the way home.  I called.  The hours rolled by and I heard nothing.

Around 3am I finally got a message.

“I was there. Phone was dead though.  So… yeah.  Tried to find you… no luck.”

I talked to my friend from the movie earlier.  We’d had a good time and have plans again later.  I hadn’t seen him in awhile.  It’s times like these where it’s just good to surround yourself with friends.

One day at a time.

One step.

One hope.

One heart.

I’ll get through it all.  I’ll weather this storm.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy, calling me from the hospital to update me on gram.

It was almost as if he knew.    “How am I?”  I didn’t know how to answer that.

“I’m fine dad.  How’s gram?”

“She’s going to be fine.  I need to tell you something though. It might not be a good idea for you to go visit Ethan today.  Your stepmother and I got into an argument before I left and I don’t want any problems for you.”

We talked some more.  About gram.  About gramps.  About different things going on here.

“I applied for a very important job this week dad.  Please send me some good vibes that I get it.”

“I will.  I want the best for you.”

“Daddy I’m trying so hard to make this all work… to get to that career.  I want to thank you for not just being Dad but being grandpa dad.  It means the world to me.  I’m sorry that you have to deal with problems with Bren.”

She doesn’t have a family.  She gets upset most everytime dad does something to help me.  I remember a weekend when my dad was changing the oil in the beast.

“Why is your father underneath a car right now getting his hands dirty?” she said as she interrupted my son and I playing some video games.

“Dad told me he’d change my oil. Why?”

“Your father is a corporate man.  He wears a suit.  He does not change oil in cars…”

“Well dad said he’d do it for me and I appreciate it.”

“He doesn’t do it for me.  Why don’t you pay someone to do it for you like I do?”

“I’m trying to spend some time with my son.  I rarely ask my dad for help with much.  I don’t live here.  I pay my own bills.  He’s helping me with one thing that will take 20 minutes.  Please drop the drama.  You’ll have to take it up with him.”

Dad got into an argument with her then too.

“She has to understand that there’s nothing that will come between me and my children.  She will not make drama for my daughter and her son.  She will not give me problems about my mother or she will be gone.  I don’t need a wife.  I will not tolerate that.”

Father’s Day.  June twenty first, two thousand nine.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was the simplest thing but in one sentence it summed up so much more.  On a day that is supposed to be his he gave up everything for his family.  Because that’s what a real man does.  Because real men put the people they love above everything.  Because even when you’re a shithead, they bust their asses to make sure you know that they love you.

Thanks dad for always being there and for setting the bar so ridiculously high.

sail away sail away.. another day

 

holding on for another weekend

 

 

This is where I could be.

A friend of mine invited me to go sailing last weekend and this weekend.

I’ve never been sailing.

It’s on the list of things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the opportunity to.

I count myself fortunate to even have the option of doing something like that.

Given that I was laid off from EA yesterday, I took the day to focus and buckle down on job searching, paperwork, and program refreshing.  Ie: be responsible.

Who am I & what have I done with the old me?

I promise I’m not getting boring.  I guess this is what happens when you get older.

Thankful

Well, miracles happen.  I will be returning to my beloved SF this weekend for the Techcrunch excursion.  Thanks in part go to @zemote @techzulu and an unnamed person for helping to making this happen.

I’m an overcome by this sense of zen.  Eradicated all that is toxic from my life.  Leading a life of more positives.  I feel as if I’m on the upside of karma.  I want to do some charity work again.  Anyone else with me?  It feels like it’s been ages since I did it.

Oh yes, in case you didn’t know, I used to help out and do photography for a local non profit when I lived in Bakersfield.  It wasn’t all great, but there were a few alright shots in there if I do say so myself.  You can view a sampling of that work here.

I feel like a bit of a hippie.  There is so much that I still need to do.. but I want to thank all of you that have believed in me.. that continue to believe in me… that are there for me in ways of the heart.

It feels good to be alive.

Dear SF,

It’s been too long.. we are overdue.

See you soon magic city of 07.* (*blog to come about that later)

~j