Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This year, this school year that is, I thought I would begin with a cadre of friends... indeed, with a network, a safety net.

As it turns out, friendships and solidarity are more precarious than I imagined in my wildest dreams.

I keep forgetting that at my age it is easier to fall down than to forge relationships ... why was it so much easier when I was younger? Just like moving ... when I got divorced, I never questioned my decision to pack my car and move across the country to a place I had never lived with no new address. I just did it.

There are times when I have imagined that this was just me doing what I do best ... running away from trouble. When you think about it, it is not a terrible habit. But, then again, one must stand tall every once in a while. As Kenny Rogers said, it's important to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

In any case, here I am ... feeling friendless and alone in the grand landscape of graduate school in a city and state where I have never lived before and used to describe as just plain weird.

And, the final analysis is that it is just fine.

It turns out I do have the resources to pull me through.

Lonely sometimes, yes, but it is not even close to the end of the world.

Not even close.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Eating alone is challenging. Over the years, since the divorce, I learned to take myself out. At first it was just go and order take out to eat at home in front of the TV in order not to eat out alone. Then you remember you can take a book and read while you eat out ... just because you are single doesn't mean that you don't deserve to go out.

After the book mediation, you might figure out how to take your journal or write letters, yup I have done that. And this extends to all kinds of places: movie theaters, museums ...

Eventually, you grow beyond the need for a "podium" (to hide behind that is) ... I have been all kinds of places alone, art openings, random parties, political events.

I have not yet worked up the nerve to go to a club alone or someplace like Disney or the Fair alone, but perhaps you could meet more people if you weren't in a group ... or hiding behind a book.

Now that I am in graduate school, I hardly need a reason ... I always have work to do and occasionally, like now, I have the computer... yes, I am typing this from a happy hour that I am attending, yup, you guessed it, ALONE.

It's all good... needed to get some work done, also needed to eat and wanted a drink, so there it is.

Happy happy houring people, you can do it, alone or in a group.

Ok, so this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except that I love the inscription, so it fits with my contrary mood.

It is the doorway to a cemetery in Santa Fe, and it says, "Dios da y Dios quita" ... just in case you aren't in the know: God gives and God takes away.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Evening falls

Blue gray
The sun is setting on the other side
But the bright street lights send out a florescent glow
I will read here until the cold moves me inside

Friday, September 24, 2010

T Update

For those that do not want to know intimate details about my turtle, this post may be TMI and you might want to stop reading it now.

Turtlemina had her second visit to the vet today ... after I schooled him on ordering every test in the book that were not necessary and definitely not within the starving graduate student budget (ok, no one is going to believe that I am actually starving, but I still gotta pay rent), he didn't charge me for the visit. But she got another shot. I told her to remember that I was not the one that inflicted that pain on her.

The vet wanted to x-ray her to see if she was carrying eggs (because her calcium was high -- how did he know that, because he made me do a $132 blood test last week)... and if she had eggs, she would have to get them out of her body because it could make her sick. So, that would mean that I would have to figure out how to give her a beach where she could lay them. Thank goodness she does not have eggs, therefore, dodged a bullet for now.

You can see a picture of the kind of turtle she is, and where she is from here.

She is dry docked for another week, at least, so that she can continue to heal. Though she has lost some weight since last week because she does not appreciate having to eat when I tell her to... and it has been a bit colder the past few days.

I wish I lost my appetite when it got cold ...

Albuquerque Mornings

I hope the balloons rising in the morning never lose their magic for me.

Wish I had been running when I saw them this morning rather than taking the turtle for her follow up dr's visit.

Everything is ok. She is healing fine and has no eggs. Believe me, it's a good thing.

No creature wants to be egg bound.

But that is an entirely different story.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Sometimes it is important to take a minute and sit down ... as close the ground as possible and then breathe.

I miss meditating ... and, yes, I know, all I have to do is just take the time for myself and do it.

Perhaps I will.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Silent Couples

They sit in increasingly awkward silence. Looking around so as not to have to confront each other in their silence. Occasionally one or the other engages someone seated nearby. But more often, they just look around.

How did they get here?

Is it just the sheer number of years together or did they run out of things to say to each other a long time ago.

Maybe they were so busy before with jobs and kids and pets and life that they didn't notice they didn't talk anymore.

I don't know but my heart aches while I watch them.

They stand in heart-wrenching contrast to the many "coffee dates" I have witnessed here ... where two people desiring to connect either search for topics or flow easily from topic to topic.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sometime back in the day, you know when all I wore was black, and all I read was French existentialists or the Russians (yes russians writing pre 1917), I decided that the three fates traveled in a little basket above my head (no hot air balloon necessary).

Why might they do this you might wonder.

Well, you see, they wanted to be close enough to overhear what I wanted so they could make sure to ruin any chance I had at getting it.

Yes, I was a morose, pessimistic teenager who drank pepsi and aspirin for breakfast and didn't eat much more than that. I was moody and grouchy and SURE the world was out to get me.

Just your typical self absorbed teenager.

On the other hand, maybe I was just hungry.

In any case, I learned the lesson, too well, that I should not voice my wants. Before you knew it, I wasn't even thinking my wants lest the fates might be close enough to read my mind.

I learned to dread disappointment. You know that which is almost assured to happen when you secretly want things but no one knows what they are and so you don't get them.

I learned to hold in to that teenage chip on my shoulder and to feel thwarted before I begin to do anything.

I have made tiny strides in undoing this agreement. I plan out and do something just for me that I want for my birthday. And sometimes I even let others participate. I wait until after Christmas, but likewise I treat myself to a secret want.

I sometimes ask specifically for want I want from my mother or sister though sparingly, I still have some work to do here.

I keep a book full of things I want to do. Every once in a while I remember to go back and check off those I have done and maybe add in a few more. But it has more of a quality of life list than just pure want list.

Most of the pure wants are still secret even for myself. This morning a series of sentimental wants (you see how judgmental I am about my wants - who needs the three Fates hanging around when you have such a severe inner critic?) popped up in my head.

This post was going to be that list. And then I didn't have the courage to even type them.

Tomorrow is another day full of opportunities for courageous acts like wanting aloud.

Monday, September 20, 2010

People Can Change

But only when they are ready
And only if they want to

Location:Tijeras Ave NE,Albuquerque,United States

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Several days ago I tried a little experiment on the internet.

Whereas I do think of cl missed connections as a message in a bottle, I also know (from experience) that people do read it. So I put another message into the ocean of the internet.

But this time I was not hoping that a particular person would read it.

It was more of a rant actually but in the form of a message.

I wondered what was behind someone staring you down but never talking to you.

I will admit there was a fair amount of exasperation in my missive. It was not done in the form of please contact me if this was you.

In fact, I put nothing more than my rant. No age. No location.

So my responses varied from those who wondered if it was them, to those who wanted to know where they could meet me, to those who counted themselves as guilty. And one guy you subscribes to the mars venus dichotomy and proceeded to "explain" the difference between men and women. Amusing.

Frankly I was more humbled by those who claimed guilt and wanted to know if I was particularly calling them out. They described with painful detail the occasions they had gazed at women in whom they had great interest, and yet said nothing for fear of rejection.

I have a little theory I am entertaining about the younger generation. It seems they're much more comfortable with technological communication. I could identify a few as the under 30 set, buy some were avowed "older gentlemen" so I am not sure if my hypothesis works.

In any case, the ones who expressed their desire to connect with the implied fear of rejection moved me. In each of those cases I wrote him back suggesting and encouraging them to say hello.

Some wrote back laying more plain their fears but hoping to get the courage to speak.

The rest I ignored for better or worse. But I did take their sentiments to heart, so I made the effort to say hello to my fireman who stares but doesn't speak.

He was dumbfounded. And all I got out of him was a little awkward smile. Maybe he will work up the courage for more. Maybe I will work up the courage to say more than hi. Or maybe he's married and can only look.

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Friday, September 17, 2010


I think for several weeks I have been trying to make myself wrong.

I might have had a specific reason for thinking I needed castigation. Or maybe this is just fall back mode.

Regardless it may the sentiment provoking the paranoia.

Then I came home yesterday to my turtle with a huge sore on her face and something on her foot.

Turns out I didn't need to go looking for wrong. It was right here all along.

Got to figure out how to have more time for everything and especially T.

Now I will have to make time.

She is in dry dock for seven days. I have to give her pool time (20 mins) three times a day and then torture her by applying medication to the sores. That was after the adventure at the vet.

A shot from the doc and he took her blood. Thankfully he did all that in another room. But he showed me how to apply the medicine by holding her little head between his fingers - after digging it out of the shell. T was not pleased. Not at all. She dismissed the hissing protocol and tried to bite the doc in order to show him just how much she was not pleased.

That's my girl.

She is not a happy camper needles to say. She doesn't like when I apply the meds either, but she doesn't try to bite me. From turtle mom (bad turtle mom) to turtle nurse. I hope the blood work doesn't show anything else.

The sores look better already. And she ate this afternoon. So maybe this is just a little wake up call for me to get my shit together.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sometimes you just have to realize that all the hopes and dreams YOU have built up in one person are YOUR hopes and dreams and not his/her hopes or dreams.

It is heartbreaking and enlightening at the same time.

How do you come out with a not broken heart at the end of that?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Hardest Lesson

...in life is that you must learn to rely on yourself.

Too many times, you take the chance to lean on someone else only to find they cannot hold you. Even for a little while.

Ultimately it does not matter why they are unable or unwilling to hold you...you MUST learn to rely on yourself.

These are the intensely difficult lessons I endure while simultaneously trying to be open and vulnerable.

I must be open, give people the benefit of the doubt, get my heart broken over and over, and learn to believe and rely on myself.

Really...must it always be this hard?

And, why have I not learned this until now.

If you have three people who love and accept and support you unconditionally, you have a rare gift. I hope you are loving and appreciating those folks right now.

I hope if I ever find those three (those who try and fail may get gold stars, but they don't count), I hope I will love and appreciate them fiercely.

Addendum: oh, and, yes, you should also try to maintain open and vulnerable whilst taking care of yourself. Cheers!

Location:Tijeras Ave NE,Albuquerque,United States

Friday, September 10, 2010

Celia Cruz and the Scottish Highlanders

I can't read this stuff, even this piece which I am enjoying, without pumping music in my ears.

I am all those things I professed to hate just a few sh0rt years ago... when I didn't own an iPod and I went to coffee shops, sparingly, to drink coffee.

Ah, well ...

Thursday, September 09, 2010


...the universe knows just what you need for a pick me up.


Location:Roma Ave NE,Albuquerque,United States

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I don't want to talk to anyone.

I want to be under the headphones, lost in thought as I watch the clouds go by.

I want to listen carefully to all the unspoken thoughts.

I want hear how Luther and Al and Sade and James and Tracy feel in song.

Maybe then I will start to understand the messages.


You could come with me on my hike.

But you can't talk. Only listen to the wind moving in the trees and the grass. Only wonder at the secret language you don't understand.

But company would be good

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Email inboxes full of messages you neither want or need are just as painful as empty inboxes. In fact, maybe they are exactly the same.

Location:Tijeras Ave NE,Albuquerque,United States

Monday, September 06, 2010

MIB addendum

MIB (message in a bottle)

just a little FYI

... I would have been sweating up the sheets with you months ago... had you been interested.

image ... Mount Shasta in the distance

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Seriously Random

Ruby slippers don't cause me to fly through the air, but neither to they get me home.

I hope I will find the people who can talk me down from the ledge before I am in the homestretch of my dissertation writing. And/or that I can remember my own voice and words of wisdom at the appropriate hour (as wishful thinking as that is).

I look around and think, "wow, these people are here everyday," not recognizing the only way I could know that is if I am here everyday. Yeah, I am a serious regular.

You could write some weird abstract poetry from the word suggestions on this little device.

Why does sleeping make me more tired?

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I am never sure how to assuage someone's broken heart.

What I have come to in the last year, largely because I have been dealing with my baby sister's heart, is to err on the side of the heart.

That is, I worry more about the heart than the situation.

I encourage her to not try to debrief the relationship while your heart is broken into a million pieces. You should bathe yourself with compassion. Hold your heart and self in your most careful hands.

Remember that you are a worthwhile loving person whose love should be unleashed on the world. Do your best to not retreat into your stronghold. You do not need to hide your heart.

You have to feel your way through it. You have to live through it. You have to realize that you will live through it. Believe.

And rely on the people who will remind you how lovable you are. That one day it will get somewhat easier. Like that bruise that only hurts when you touch it. And you touch it anyway to remember.

Location:Ridgecrest Cir SE,Albuquerque,United States