Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's This I See?

With the latest update from Blogsy (which I am currently using) I can upload photos straight from my iPad library?
Enjoy! Disneyland circa 2000. I can't even get my digital camera to take pictures this great.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The First Day After

IMG_0003_1Last night was going to be goodbye for me and Jeff. At least for a few months. We haven’t broken up or anything but our relationship has shifted. For the past 3 years our relationship has always had our alma matter, CSU Channel Islands, somewhere in the center. We met in the dorms, lived together in the dorms, and for two years while he finished at school I visited him at his apartment (a wise and independent alternative to the dorms) and we had our time together.

It was difficult for me when I had to move back home with my family after I graduated. I was unprepared for the state of the economy and I’m still here, in the smallest bedroom of the apartment, with my mother and grandmother. I make it work. But now Jeff is also back home, feeling a tremendous loss of independence. Where before we were separated by 100 miles we are now separated by 130+, only without an apartment where we can be together and do couple-y things. If we want to see each other now it’s either someplace in the mutual middle (like Santa Barbara) or at his parent’s house or my parent’s apartment. We’ve lost a lot of privacy.

JeffPatio3Last night he lost his $500 Calvin Klein glasses. The amazing glasses I picked out for him because they had an amazing retro look that made him look like a sexy and sophisticated scientist circa Apollo-era NASA. 

LOL. Okay, maybe not in this picture. But you get the idea.

We had just finished a long day of moving and cleaning and all he wanted to do was take me and my mom out for a nice dinner to thank us for our work. But when he couldn’t find his glasses things turned very bad. I’ll leave some details private out of respect for him but let’s just say I’ve never had a reason to dig through a community garbage before. After he calmed down a bit we decided to proceed on with dinner. Only when he got in his car he discovered one of his headlights was out. It was close to sun down and despite Jeff’s excellent driving, very few people could drive an hour towards darkness in prescription sunglasses with one headlight after already driving 100+ miles and being very tired. I offered to drive him home.

But first we said goodbye to the apartment. It was a great two years and every corner of each room had a special memory of just us. It took a very long time to get every piece of furniture in exactly the right place. It never looked quite like a home but it definitely looked better than a dorm room. Here is how we left it.


Apartment #303. It was always a pretty sight to walk up to the door. Behind you were tall palm trees and a very nicely landscaped pool and BBQ area.


A view from the front door. The wall on the right is the original paint color. The wall on the left painted in primer was a very bright blue color that we painted together. Later I painted on an Amur Leopard, Jeff’s favorite animal (and a very endangered cat).


View from the desk area. Living room to the left. Right in front of the window was where he kept his 55” television that was somewhat famous in the dorms. We enjoyed many movies and video games on that TV. And we will again.


From the doorway/living area you go straight back into a fairly large kitchen with a patio. The door on the right leads to a changing room, a bathroom and then the bedroom through the next door. I always liked to park in a certain spot on the street so that I could see my car from the kitchen/bedroom (because I’m a dork in that way).


View from the front door. Despite some cheaply done stuff inside the apartments (sheets of laminate for the bathroom floor, painted bathtubs) the grounds were landscaped very nicely.


Another view from the door. The pool was very nice to swim in. Six feet in the deep end and a hot tub to the right of it. I was very tan last summer because of this pool.

Jeffrey treated me and my mom to dinner with appetizers and a chocolate cheesecake with strawberries to take home. We drove the 60+ miles to Valencia where we stopped to fill up the tank (which I had filled up that morning at home). Jeff was positively amazed that it only required a little over 4 gallons. Jeff did some quick math and determined I had been getting 36 miles per gallon; 160+ miles on just over a quarter tank of gas. No air conditioning on the drive, just the windows cracked and the sunroof open. I drove as close to 70 as I could manage (despite the absolutely desperate driving of every asshole around me who simply had to get to where they were going assoonasfuckingpossible. Plus I have excellent tires which helps the gas mileage tremendously. I think he would have been proud had he not been slightly jealous.

So we dropped him off, used the restroom, chatted with his parents for a few minutes, took our half of the cheesecake and headed back for home, 130+ miles away. It was difficult. My mind was awake but my face was tired and I had to keep the car somewhat cool so I would stay alert (we cracked open the sunroof, warm air makes me sleepy). We made it home after 1am and we were both extremely tired. I think we were thankful that it wasn’t our stuff we were moving and therefore did not have to unpack the car when we got home. Not like in past years when we would move me home from the dorms for the summer and get home super late.

So now Jeffrey and I are a almost a month into our third year of dating and we begin a new chapter. Had he not lost his glasses and been one headlight short a car we would have had to have our goodbye in our mutual home of Camarillo. We’d had similar goodbyes in the past and it always led to tears (mine, not his). This time, instead of being sad to say goodbye to the apartment I promised him the next one would be ours and much better. Because we were at his parent’s house and they were watching and my mom and I had to head home we didn’t have a long goodbye. Just a hug and a kiss. It was more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye”.

Sadly I have no idea when I will see him next. He now has to unpack the life he’s lived for the past five years in university into the room he’s lived in his entire life. He’s still waiting to hear back from a few graduate programs and he’ll need to find a job for the summer or, if he doesn’t get into grad school, for the foreseeable future. I, on the other hand, continue living with my parents and working a part-time job as a receptionist, a job I am vastly over-qualified for. But it’s a job and I appreciate it.

Money is tight. I had to take a few days off this month which means my paycheck next week will not be what I want it to be. Between the car payment, student loans, my cell phone, website and paying back certain family members for fixing my car, I won’t have much left to buy things like personal toiletries and quarters for laundry. I won’t be able to do shopping at Fresh and Easy as I love to do. It’s a whole new world of experiences I’m heading into and it’s only the first day.

I want to cry and be upset. It would probably be easy to cry right now. But I’d rather stay positive and hopeful. We knew this day was coming and there’s a possibility it won’t last more than 3 or 4 months. In the grand scheme of things 3 or 4 months isn’t very long. Even if we’re apart for a year. Okay, a year would be a lot to ask of me. The point is that I know there will be a day when Jeff and I are together and it will be the two of us together every day for the rest of our lives. And if medicine allows us to live even longer and with better health then we’re talking decades of togetherness. What’s a few months of separation compared to a lifetime of being with your soul mate?

Okay, now I am crying. I miss him. But I know it will work.

The Longest Day Ever

What was supposed to be an early afternoon of cleaning and helping Jeff leave his apartment turned into a 16 hour day of driving over 300 miles and other trials and tribulations. Needless to say I am happy to be home and ready to pass out into glorious REM sleep. The story of today can wait until tomorrow (makes sense if you don't know what time I am writing this).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photo Post: Washington D.C.

The year between my junior and senior years of high school I had the extraordinary luck of traveling to Washington D.C. as a part of the school’s Madrigals choir. Madrigals was basically the elite choir and we were really good. I’m not just saying that because I’m biased; we were awesome.
So, to set the scene, this would have been June 2000. We flew out for a long weekend and toured the city and performed in a few places. As far as the weather was concerned it was nearly the most miserable experience. Fortunately for us we stayed in our sleeping bags in the basement of a church that was very air conditioned. We took the bus into the main part of the city and walked around for hours. We sang at the Lincoln Memorial (my idea) and were nearly arrested because of it (apparently it’s considered soliciting?) Our final day we were in our black formal gowns (and then men in tuxedos) and we sang at the National Cathedral. Then immediately got on a bus, drove to the airport and flew home.
It was amazing.
These photos were taken with a Minolta Freedom 35AF/QD camera that I still own. I scanned them last summer and they haven’t been altered in any way, hence some of them being slightly crooked.

Edit 2/18/12: Photos no longer available.

I find it strangely serendipitous that most of my photos are of buildings for no apparent reason. Apparently I loved architecture years before I ever realized how much I really do love architecture, especially neo-Classical.

The Fugue

Well after feeling a bit miserable about what happened yesterday with my mom I came home from work and we all talked it out. Well, we talked over each other, we yelled at each other, unkind things were said, etc. But it seems as if things are okay for now.

Unfortunately, I think so much has happened over so long a period of time that it is nearly impossible for the relationship to fully repair itself and be a mother-daughter relationship. I really don’t appreciate when people refuse to take responsibility for their shit and it really makes me lose what respect I have for them. I don’t think my mom takes responsibility for what has happened. She accused me of not having any forgiveness; in a sense I guess that is true. I’m not a person who can forgive and forget with ease. I hardly ever forget things. Block things out? Sure. Besides, I didn’t feel forgiveness was being asked for by someone who was sorry.

My feeling is that to ask someone for forgiveness you must first realize you’ve done something wrong and want to be forgiven. This involves admitting a mistake made on your part and someone who doesn’t take responsibility for their shit cannot possibly ask for forgiveness because they won’t even admit they did something wrong.

But there was an apology, and a few tears, and despite my brain saying one thing, my heart strings did pull ever so slightly. After all it is better to at least try to get along with someone than to be at war with them. Do I think the problems will go away? No. Some behaviors are nearly impossible to change. And though I’m not one for giving chance after chance after chance, she is my mother and despite me feeling she hasn’t been very motherly to me, at least she’s been around for all 28 years of my life, in some capacity or another.

In totally unrelated news, I seem to be sick. I’ve had this disgusting cough sporadically for a couple weeks now and I randomly lose my voice. Actually, last night I seemed to lose my voice on every other word so that when I was talking to Jeff he thought we were having connection problems. But no, that was just me. I barely even have a voice right now, just a hoarse whisper that is not an attractive lady voice. I wish I would just be fully sick for a day or two and then completely healthy, as opposed to being semi-sick for weeks at a time.

I have today and most of tomorrow off and Jeff was supposed to come up and drop some stuff off. I think he won’t be here until tomorrow though. I wish he didn’t have to be all alone packing up his apartment. I know it’s breaking his heart to have to move back home with his parents. I know that all too well, actually. I just hate the thought of him being by himself. When he does come up tomorrow it will officially be the last time we see each other for a while. His parents live a good 2 hours away and gone are our weekend sleepovers where we get to cuddle and be a couple in love.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that being apart will be great in some ways because it means that the one or two times a month we will see each other will have to be special and will have to involve doing something special. This is all opposed to me coming down almost every weekend for two years and just staying inside and hanging out. But still… this is not an aspect of our relationship I wanted and I feel helpless knowing there’s nothing I can do about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things You Aren’t Supposed to Say

My mother annoys the crap out of me…

In my entire 28 years my mother has seldom ever been a motherly woman to me. Most of my life she’s treated me as a friend or, as she has lately, as a sister. I guess it doesn’t help that my grandma treats me as a daughter. I don’t know what this woman’s (my mother’s) problem is but I am sick and tired of her treating me like her effing sister. She is competitive, petty, seems to go out of her way to berate me, and really only shows any affection when it suits or and is only nice to me when she wants a ride somewhere.

Here’s a tip to those of you who don’t have drivers licenses because the state took it away after you crashed your car while knowingly driving with a very low blood sugar: don’t piss off the only person around to drive you anywhere. You will be walking from now on.

This past weekend I had to borrow a few hundred dollars from my grandmother to buy 3 new tires on my car. The three I needed to replace were virtually drivable and one in particular was almost completely bald. My grandma, being the kind and giving woman that she is, loaned me just over $300 on the spot and what does my mom do? Calls my grandma “foolish”, me “untrustworthy” and very loudly voiced her opinion that my grandma shouldn’t do anything.

I guess she would rather I die in a terrible car accident. Thanks, mom.

Actually, I’m not even going to call her mom anymore because she doesn’t deserve it. Nothing this woman has done has every qualified her to be a mother, apart from giving birth to me. I’m sick and tired of her treating me like the cast off sister she never wanted and it takes every ounce of patience I don’t already have to begin with to not stoop to her level.

I realize this is all an unpopular opinion, but read the title again. I know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Last Trip

In about 15 minutes I will make the last trip down to Jeff's apartment in Camarillo. He graduates on Saturday and it really feels like the end of an era. I just hope I don't cry too much. :/

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More iPad Love

There’s a reason this iPad is the best choice for a tablet on the market today. And not just because you can check your email from the living room or read books (or in my case, watch Tru Blood on the HBO Go app for two days). But because there really isn’t much you can’t do with the ipad. And my latest obsession: creating art.

And I really feel as if it’s about damn time.




These were all done in 10 minutes or less. I can’t wait to see what I can do if I really sit down and concentrate. I’m also looking into getting a stylus so that I can have more control over the brush and feel a bit more like I’m drawing. I love the sensation of using my fingers to draw but you can’t get as much precision as you’d like.

I love my iPad.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Art of War












That doesn’t make it right. Even evil can be necessary.


Every day in my job I listen as the drug addicts, alcoholics, gang members, batterers and otherwise damaged people come in to receive their weekly counseling. I sit here and listen in from time to time, wondering if I should be in there with them. I don't always subscribe to the idea of therapy but a lot of these people get something from it that feeds them. I realize that I need something to feed me, something more healthy than the complex emotions I go through daily.
Am I messed up? Am I damaged? Or am I perfectly normal? I'm not in a gang, I don't do drugs (except pot once in a great while, and that's mostly for my back), I hardly ever drink and when I do I never get drunk. I don't need couples counseling an I don't require parenting courses. I am just this 28 year old person who will be soaked in motion before ever applying logic and I think I am mostly just trying to continue finding myself. And yet, I feel more in common with these people here than with most other strangers I meet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day Weekend

Had a very pleasant weekend celebrating both my mom and my grandma. On Saturday we had a little picnic in our living room with hot dogs, beans, potato salad, and cake and watched hours of House. It was a lot of fun! On Sunday we drove down to Santa Barbara and met my uncle and his new girlfriend, Sabrina, for lunch at the Boathouse at Hendry's Beach. It was the first time we met Sabrina and I have to say she was rather wonderful. She is a fashion designer for companies such as Forever 21. They made a really nice couple and each wore those hipster hats that I wish I could pull off.
It was a beautiful day. A bit on the chilly side, especially with the breeze, and the water was really choppy. We ate outside which turned out to be a mistake; we all ended up with sand in our drinks and on the table and on my black cardigan. I ordered pulled pork sliders even though I do not like pork and was really surprised at how delicious it was! My John Daly (an Arnold Palmer with alcohol) on the other hand was quite awful. I don't like alcoholic drinks that taste like alcohol. Imagine that.
Now it is back to the usual work week. The weekend after next is Jeff's graduation and I am beyond excited for him! And nervous, too. But I know it will be great!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How I Met the Love of My Life, Part 1

Attaining a higher education was a goal I once deemed unimportant. But in the fall of 2007 I transferred from a local community college to California State University Channel Islands. It’s a small school – the newest in the CSU system – and relatively close to home. I didn’t have a car at first so just about every weekend my parents would pick me up from my dorm room, bring me home, and then drop me back off on Sunday. We’re talking a drive that can take up to 2 hours in traffic. What sports they were! Though I am not well-suited for dorm room life, as I don’t drink/party/do drugs/etc, I was suited for a campus that was sheltered from the city and, therefore, away from any of that stuff. I had 3 amazing roommates and I was adjusting naturally.
I only ever lived in one dorm room: B329A in Anacapa Village. It was a third floor apartment on a floor inhabited by students 21+. A few nights a week my roommate Allie and I would head down to the commons to watch something on the ginormous tv. We had cable and a tv in our room, but it was small. We were introduced to some other students who lived on our floor and eventually we found ourselves occasionally going to their room to watch tv. There were 4 guys living next door – Luke, Billy, Michael and Jeffrey. At the time I knew Luke the best (though I hardly knew him at all) and was rather shy around the others. Billy was a strange, hobbit-type of fellow and Michael had a girlfriend, so I never even looked at him as anything other than a fellow student. Jeffrey was a bit of a mystery but I wasn’t too interested. I wasn’t terribly fond of the way he dressed and he kind of had a very young looking face. I was 24 going on 25 and was really not looking at boys. They had an enormous tv in their room and an incredible sound system. So it was the place to be.
The following semester, Allie and I were heading towards on room on the third floor when Jeffrey passed us by. He looked different. He had grown a beard since the last time I saw him and he was pushing a bike towards his room. I guess I was in a chipper mood that day, because I remember giving him an excited “hello!” and he looked at me as if I was odd. In retrospect that’s hysterically ironic.
One night in February (2008) Allie introduced us to her new friend, Josh. He was a character who told me I was dressed like a grandma (I was wearing pajamas) and I thought he was gay. He wasn’t and it turns out he was just really…. out there. Even flamboyant. Josh hung out in the dorm next door a lot (by this time, Michael had left and Mat took his place. Mat was a dj who was entirely too good looking and who every girl wanted to get with, ever girl except me). Because of my connection to Allie, hers to Josh, and his to the guys (mostly for their extensive selection of video games and dvds) I wound up gravitating towards this crowd.
That same month Allie and Josh started dating. He came over one night and asked Allie if she wanted to go ghost hunting with him and some people from next door. I invited myself along for the fun and found myself unwittingly paired with Jeff. It was Allie and Josh, Luke and his girlfriend Jenny, and then Jeff and me. He had become much more attractive since growing the beard and as I talked to him I realized he wasn’t like most other people. His intellect was of a much different stripe than the other kids in school.
We never found any ghosts and as we walked back to our rooms I found myself realizing I liked him. He was interesting and that spoke to me a lot. Over the next couple days I found my interest in him growing exponentially. He was definitely weird, no doubt about it. It was like he spoke in a language I didn’t understand and in my confusion I’m sure I looked quite stupid at times. I quickly learned that he was a rather peculiar guy and every one else was in on it as well. If he did something weird everyone just chalked it up to “Jeff being Jeff”. One afternoon the four of us (Josh, Allie, Jeff, me) got lunch from the cafeteria (it bugs me I can’t remember the formal name of it) and brought it back to Jeff’s room. He ate a piece of carrot cake and got cream cheese frosting all over his beard. While this would otherwise freak me out, I found it somewhat endearing. Thank God it wasn’t my first impression of him though.
The four of us had become a pseudo-family and watching Josh and Allie develop as a couple only made it more glaringly obvious that I was really into Jeff and we weren’t together. We were, however, becoming friends and at one point I got up the nerve to tell him how I felt. It was a random night and he accompanied me downstairs to smoke. He didn’t smoke, didn’t approve of me smoking, but was kind enough to keep me company. I told him how I felt and laid it all out on the line. I’m not sure what I was expecting, especially since I had never really done anything like that before. He thanked me and politely informed me that he wasn’t looking for a girlfriend or any similar relationship.
At that point I lost hope. I tried again a few weeks later and got nearly the same response. I just could not help myself. The more I got to know him the more I liked him and no matter how much I asked God to please take away my feelings, they only grew stronger. I’ve always been stubborn and perhaps it was that very trait that made me tell him my feelings again and again. Beyond stubbornness, I also had the very strong feeling that he did, indeed, like me back. It took a long time for me to give up. But I finally did.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Siesta, Please

I think we should adopt the ways of some Latin countries and implement a mandatory siesta time. Despite getting a good dose of Starbucks this morning I still find myself trying not to nod off at work. Especially during down when I am not furiously something or answering the phone, etc. I just need a good 30 minutes of solid sleep. Just a refresher.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Green With Envy

We have had such incredibly beautiful weather here along the central coast of California lately. For a while now I have been eager for the sweet smells of summer time, the beautiful colors of the grass and the sky, and the overall sense of relaxation and comfort.
Today Jeffrey and I took a drive out to Solvang and walked around. I enjoyed the various scents in the air, from jasmine in the bushes to the smell of sweet sugar in a tree up above. The vineyards and farms were so green and beautiful looking. It really is such a pleasure to have a drop of beauty right in our backyard.

Edit 2/18/2012: whatever photos were here have been unlinked somehow.

I’m really looking forward to the progression of summer from spring. Hopefully it won’t be as hot as it has been the past couple summers. Though, I am grateful to have air conditioning in my apartment!
In other news, Jeff and I celebrate our anniversary this Wednesday, May 4th. I’m hoping to do a sort of mini-series of posts about our relationship. I’m kind of wanting to do a pictorial timeline of our relationship, but I’m not sure I can make it work. Hmm, we shall see!