Monday, December 29, 2008

I am still trying to figure out...

why I insist on coming home for Christmas...

and staying...

yeah, there is something of a story there, but it is not nice or interesting, so that's all I have.

So, I took a little time and wrote in my paper journal this afternoon. It was by no means earth shattering, but afterwards, I was breathing more deeply and feeling so much lighter.

It may have to do with mailing application number 3... who knows?

I am hoping to finish application number 4 tonight and turning my attention to apps 5 and 6... it could be over very soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Where do the days go? As I walk around, rather run around crazy, trying to get things done and feeling like if I just had two more hours in each day that I might actually get some things scratched off the list, I think about what to write on my blog -- so many thoughts rolling round my head.

Still, I get home and have no time, I am running around to the next thing, so I don't make it to the computer, or if I do, only with the time to read what others have written.

I made some holiday cards -- then I was embarrassed to send them, they are not as beautiful as I would like them to be, they can't really compete even with the free cards I got from some foundation wanting money ... but I sent them anyway, but only to people who I thought would appreciate the TIME (more precious than money to me right now) that I spent making the cards.

I am sending one out to you, internet, too... though it won't be like the physical cards, I haven't figured out how to emboss on the internet... here's the quote I would have liked to include on all the cards, but they turned out too small...

[picture Pooh and Christopher Robin leaning against each other or Pooh and Piglet walking away hand in hand or a beautiful rendering of two doves that wish you peace on earth, or all three if you like -- the Poohs are embossed in gold powder, the doves in red or green sparkly]

I keep my friends as misers do their treasures,
because, of all things
granted us by wisdom,
none is greater or better than friendship.
-Pietro Acetino
Plans rarely go just as they should, and life presents more challenges than gifts, yet, sharing all of the bumps and triumphs with friends is a much more precious treasure.

I wish you all the best in the New Year -- and holidays, whichever you celebrate, filled with family (birth or found or created) and friends and joy and remembrance...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So, I haven't been telling you, but I have been sporting a black eye for over a week... I call it my battered woman look, and that is awful because there are women out there being hurt by people who "love" them. No one struck me. I am told that I should make up a better story, but the truth is it was an occupational hazard (another good reason to stay unemployed?). No, I am not employed by the roller derby, but that would be a fun story.

Someone wasn't paying attention when I was helping to unload some boxes from a truck to a hand truck (dollie, whatever you like to call it), and the handle hit me really hard right on the top of my cheek bone, one inch higher and it would have been my eye. So for the first few days, I focused on my good luck not to have ended up in the hospital and not to have lost my eye. When on the fourth day it hurt more and seemed more swollen I was just tired of it. Not to mention that I kept forgetting that I was sporting my black eye and couldn't figure out why people were staring at me all the time ... yes, I have a black eye.

Now it's over a week from the accident, still have a black eye, still have a bump on my face but it doesn't hurt so bad. If I am lucky, I guess I won't still have a black eye on Christmas.

Sorry I don't have better pictures but my camera is out of batteries and I haven't had time to do anything about that ... though Shay got some with her iphone, maybe she will share them with me since she has already shown them to everyone else who knows me!

Monday, December 15, 2008

not time for champagne yet

I don't know what's wrong with me... honestly, I could spend some time psychoanalyzing myself but that would just be another form of procrastination which at this point ... well, let's just say one of the two applications due today is in the mail (YAY!) but the other is one short three page essay away from being done.

I have written the essay, but it's four pages and even if it weren't four it would still be too long... it's just that there are parts that don't belong there but if I didn't write those parts I could not have gotten the rest out... now I need to really edit as though this is not my life I am cutting into shreds, so I decided I would just post it all here ... don't feel obliged to read it, I just want it to have a little longer life. Then I will cut and pare and edit and make it into a pretty lithe little piece about my life...done.

just the little rant I sometimes need to do in order to make writing happen

I am a child of children of the depression. That has always meant doing more with less and a fierce determination to reach my goals. As much as I have always relished my accomplishments as my own, in truth, every step I take is with the history of my family. My immigrant grandparents left a war torn country for the unknown and struggled for years to both provide for their family and retain their dignity. My orphaned grandmother who ended up in an Indian school with her siblings as New Mexico became a state and had to think like an adult to hold her family together when she was only 10. My grandfather, the son of sharecroppers, rode the rails from farm to farm eventually learning the blacksmith trade and thus secured his family’s future. When I look back at my accomplishments they both pale in comparison and stand in honor of their struggles.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Waiting for water to boil or the coffee to brew how often do we consider the tremendous amount of work going on in there? Impatience for tangible outcomes can cloud our appreciation for the heat, the power, the industriousness going on inside the pot.

Sometimes there is work going on when one is just playing a game on the computer or reading Harry Potter.

The chicks....

I once described teenagers as being like the little chicks who have just emerged from their shells.

Pecking away at their confinement has left them tired and cranky as well as ecstatic at the prospect of freedom.

They emerge not majestic like butterflies from cocoon, but wet, exhausted and hungry -- both for nourishment and excitement.


Tears come easily (it feels like too easily) to my eyes.

I don't know if it is unexpressed sadness, fear or frustration.

I am ready to move on to a new chapter and yet the thought of movement or making the first move, taking the first step, scares the shit out of me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Morning Sugar, Friday Style

I am in the last big push of the graduate school applications -- I hope this is it, at least, since it is only the first two that are actually due on Monday.
I am trying not to think about the fact that I had set a goal for myself to have these done in September.

I am going to set a schedule and get a ton done today -- and then do more tomorrow and more on Sunday and when the sun rises on Monday -- I plan to be DONE.

I was pleased to wake to this: a wonderful story about a dad who believed in his daughter and her right to study whatever she wanted in the face of doubt and cyncism.
"Daddy fix." -- that is what she would say after she took something apart and wanted to watch her father put it back together. I was touched by the faith that is the foundation of that request.

As a child, I would run behind my mother and yell "free" knowing that she would protect me without questions asked.

I am hoping to channel a little of that faith and confidence today as I write the last of the statements and edit the draft of what I will do in graduate school.

Happy Friday ... let's hope it's productive.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Catching Up ... Or Procrastinating

I should be working on my graduate school apps... instead I am trying to get some drafts published...

here's what's done so far:

Turkey Day
Grand Canyon
Driving Home

There is more to come...

Friday, December 05, 2008

There a Million Other Things I Should Be Doing

But... I have decided to give this one update first:

I am starting day FIVE of serious dieting today... I am proud to say I managed to stay below 1250 calories for um, one day -- that would be the day that I was too tired to be hungry at all.

I stayed below 1400 for another two days ... and below 1300 on one other day... I am hoping that today will be extra special good since I didn't make it out to run before I head out to a marathon work weekend.

But I intend to hit the gym while I am there and stick to the diet -- all the while budgeting in for the free wine and champagne, yeah.

That's all...

Monday, December 01, 2008

birds of a feather?

I was composing this post in my head as I walked to the bus terminal -- trying to figure out if compassion could be applied posthumously into my memory of the weekend (and bemoaning the fact that I didn't actually inject compassion into the situation as it happened).

Compassion -- for me and the patience I didn't have and for my siblings for the judgements we made about each other's actions.

I was thinking about how difficult it is to remake yourself -- or to be your genuine self (new self, adult self) when we are thrust back into the old (read: family) situation.

As if a sign from the universe, I looked up and saw a huge flock of birds swirling and moving in a large mass -- round and round they went creating new shapes, zig zagging in wide arches in search of bugs, I guess.

And I was awed at their ability to stay in harmony, to move as one. I considered the kind of communication they must achieve without recognizing the times some must have flown into another, throwing another off balance, moving him/herself out of position and then recovering enough to stay in formation.

Envious, I mused on whether that is what it is like being in a congenial family that doesn't interact like a bunch of middle schoolers -- you know, punching and pulling hair as a sign of affection. I wondered what it would be like to interact like the birds -- congruous, flexible, resilient.

Then they broke into two groups just as I was entering the bus terminal leaving me to ponder the meaning.


No me gusta madrugar.

And by that I mean at all.

If I could spend all morning in bed, I would, quite frequently on a day off, I do.

But, I have been trying (rather unsuccessfully thus far) to get up early -- with the hope that I will get my exercise (what exercise?!) in first thing.

It is an admirable goal -- and up til now just that.

So, when I had to break up the 15 hour drive back from Williams, AZ to Oakland, I decided to get a little sleep in Oxnard and then pop in the car at 3 am.

I am happy to report that I made it -- both made it home safely and into the car at 3 am. There are several drawback to starting that early -- the starbucks you have become accustomed to are not really open til 5 or 6 am depending where you are.... at that hour I was in the middle of nowhere.

I stopped to get gas and buy coffee -- at a minimart -- and there was no milk... so I got back in the car and I kept going. I had no coffee... I had had no breakfast, I had not planned ahead enough to figure out that I would need food and that nothing would be open. Luckily I had a few bars in my bag.

It was foggy in patches very dense fog surrounded the car. It was almost like driving at the dead of night -- not as though the sun were about to shine through the clouds.

Suddenly at around 7 am -- the sun poked through and the sky was light. And I was almost home - and about to hit traffic in San Jose.