September 24, 2010

thumbelina

 

I just planted something outside… took part in the activity commonly known as “gardening”….. dirt, water, roots, the whole deal.

 

Shocking, eh? I started the cilantro from a seed kit, compliments of Target’s dollar spot. Perhaps if you’ve been reading my blog forever and a day, you remember previous seed kit attempts (resulting, of course, in failure). But something blessed these little cilantro seeds, and they began to reach toward the sunlight from their little window sill perch.

But my trip to Ohio left them without adequate water. I returned to find shriveled leaves and a few pale green shoots barely hanging on for dear life. As a life-saving measure, I transplanted them (and a few extra seeds for a better “round two”) to the little flower bed outside. Now I must overcome out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome and remember to water them. And if I am successful, my reward will be a delicious harvest of tasty goodness.

September 23, 2010

return of the

It’s obvious that i did not achieve my goal of daily blogging this month. This is due to the uncontrollable circumstance of not having computer access during the Ohio trip. It is also due to the very controllable circumstance of laziness as I settle back into the daily groove.

But Ohio was good. My friend, Angela’s, wedding was of course beautiful. The festivities were held at a golf course near Cincinnati, and being outside in the nice, warm weather (take note, So Cal) was lovely. The air smelled sweet as fall settled in, and the sunset the evening of the ceremony was gorgeous. Celebrating their marriage was fun!

ohio ang wedding 005

Though I often regard Ohio with a sigh and rolled eyes, it’s only fair to note that southern Ohio is really quite nice in autumn. Wooded areas always get my approval, and it’s beneficial to inhale smog-free air. It’s still early, but just a hint of fall colors were starting to emerge. A thunderstorm or lightning bugs would’ve been nice, but a girl can’t be greedy.

ohio ang wedding 014

I also had about 24 hours to see my family, and let me tell you, that time was efficient. I managed to spend time with my parents, Claudia, Aunt Marta, Tom-Sarah-and-kids, Grandma & Grandpa, Aunt Leigh Ann-Brandi-Jessie-Travis, Uncle Keith-and-Kevin, and Aunt Dorothy & Great Grandma. This also included lunch at the “famous” Young’s Jersey Dairy (the best ice cream, and goats!). My five-year-old cousin Jonas lost his first tooth and taught me how to play a hook-a-ring-on-a-tree game, and I met his year-old sister (or is she two?), Hayley, for the first time. I was introduced to their small town’s prized Chinese restaurant, and my grandpa’s fluffball of a dog. I survived a ride in the van as my baby sister drove it. And of course, I pondered the questions of home and family and belonging.

ohio ang wedding 022 ohio ang wedding 023 ohio ang wedding 024 ohio ang wedding 025 ohio ang wedding 007 ohio ang wedding 015 ohio ang wedding 016 ohio ang wedding 017 ohio ang wedding 020

No wonder I was exhausted when I returned to L.A.

And now it is that I am back, picking up where I left off, as the saying goes. Though Tuesday mainly involved watching a movie and napping until my evening class, yesterday was much more normal in the work-gym-productivity way. Tonight’s rehearsal makes way for the this weekend’s production of “Joseph”, and i’ll be back in water for a dive on Sunday. Soon, Ohio drifts into another memory… and I don’t know how I feel about that.

September 15, 2010

greenpeace

My stomach growled as I left the gym, pointing out that I forgot to pack a lunch before i left the house. This was doubly unfortunate, since I wouldn’t be home until after my class ended at 9pm. Thankfully, the gym is conveniently very close to Trader Joe’s, so I could remedy the problem.

As I carried my paper bag out the door (california roll for lunch, chicken salad for dinner), a solicitor stopped me. While it helped his cause that he was young and good-looking, I had somewhere to be and knew I was not interested in joining his campaign. My strategy of politely dismissing him was not effective, however. Explaining I was late for work did not dissuade him. His persistence became irritating, and I patted his shoulder and walked to my car.

The physical contact clearly surprised him. I admit, it kind of surprised me. I’m normally not so gutsy with strangers. But since I possessed enough self-control to keep from saying, “Oh, I thought invading personal space and causing awkwardness is what we were doing here”, it seemed a good compromise.

Pushy storefront solicitors, beware. This newfound strategy might resurface. That is, unless I start carrying a clipboard containing a petition to stop storefront soliciting. I’ll support your cause if you support mine.

September 14, 2010

down and dirty

i got up this morning to go snorkeling with friends, despite needing sleep and time to be responsibly productive. It was a nice swim, and I’m glad we went out. Sure, it made the time crunch later a bit more hectic. Sure, I still have things that need to be finished. But I needed the de-stresser.

After a three-hour class (the making of “Apocalypse Now”. Sigh. I think I hate that movie as much as “House of A Thousand Corpses”. Ugh Ugh UGH.) and an hour and a half in traffic, I was ready to jump back in the ocean. But it was off to the theater instead.

Putting finishing touches on the “Joseph” set was quite therapeutic. We made stalks of corn from pvc pipe and pieces of foam pool noodle wrapped in yellow cloth. Leaves from a fake palm tree were taken apart and became the corn leaves. Add some fake moss and the top tassel from an actual stalk of corn, and you have it. Credit to our director and friend, Ian, for thinking of the pool noodle and fabric.

cornography

Now sleep. Beautiful, beautiful sleep.

September 13, 2010

foolish fatigue

Sugar-free vanilla iced coffee from McDonald’s, two Dr. Pepper’s, and all the sugar packed into a fudge poptart… that’s the necessary amount to fuel a day that covers seven freeways, four cities, and the ability to handle the hottest glue gun known to man after only four hours of sleep.

I will always choose time with a good friend that I rarely see over sleep, especially when the circumstances are so tremendous. I got through church/work (including teaching a class and attending a meeting) and “Joseph” rehearsal with work on the set. But the unfortunate after-effects of consuming a year’s worth of caffeine in a day leave me exhausted yet awake.

Yet, I’ve laughed so much from the loopy disconnect between spine and brain. No matter what, there’s always joy. And there seems to always be love, too. Just in case anyone is keeping track.

September 11, 2010

airport

This seems to be the week of LAX…. I picked up Becca from LAX on Wednesday and will be flying out myself on Thursday. At the moment, I am waiting for a friend to call to say she’s landed, so I can jet out that way and pick her up.

This friend (her name is Lauren) has had quite a month. She has been in the process of adopting a daughter from Nepal for over a year. After finally completing the process, she flew overseas with the adoption counselor and another also-adopting couple to bring the baby home. That was when the Nepali government decided that perhaps they weren’t going to approve the adoptions after all. It’s been a battle since then as they wade through red tape and appeal to U.S. senators for assistance. At this time, their cases are still being processed, but they are allowed to fly back to the States to regroup while the fight continues. So please pray that Lauren is able to bring her daughter home soon. And, of course, if you know anything about foreign adoptions or have some kind of crazy connection with the Nepali government, please help. :)

On another note, thank you guys for your feedback on yesterday’s musings. You made very excellent points that I’ve considered as I consider all aspects of the idea.

Contextually, another factor is that i really just don’t like being vulnerable. And when I do disclose matters close to my heart, I’m choosy about who and when I tell. An open journal entry on the world wide web takes away the control of information. At the same time, I don’t want my writing to be surface level fluff.

Yet, look how my “real life” mirrors this journal. I have good group of supportive friends both near and far. They have encouraged me, laughed with me, and cried with me. And 94%  of the time, I trust them with my heart. It’s the remaining 6% that becomes tricky. Currently, there are things on my mind that I don’t feel able to share with anyone for various reasons. And maybe I shouldn’t- maybe there are some things you’re just supposed to keep to yourself. It’s not a big big deal, so I’ll just pray about it and let it resolve itself.

Lauren called. She’s on the ground, so I’ve got to head to the airport. Talk to you tomorrow.

September 10, 2010

hidden line

Events in the past twenty-four hours have stirred up issues I thought had already been resolved. This made for a challenging day and currently consumes my thoughts. But the personal nature of the emotional storm caused me to question the personal boundaries of an online journal.

Where’s the proverbial line? How much information is too much? With vulnerability comes personal connection and the chance to turn our experiences into something greater than can help someone else in need. At the same time, it’s very clear and much-discussed how the social network age has blurred the standards of self-disclosure. Folks air their dirty laundry with pride, resulting in entertainment, mockery, and sometimes even growth and support.

I don’t know how to decide. I don’t know the complete scope of my readership. You’re a small group, but there are cans of worms that I don’t have the energy to open in the event that someone dear to me takes something to heart. I’ve seen molehills erupt into mountains and these days, I prefer to chose my battles wisely. (p.s.- can I possibly fit more clich├ęs into such a small space???)

Perhaps it would be clearer if my blog had a specific purpose…. how to get the best deals from coupons or tasty recipes or simple ideas to save the earth or book reviews or traffic reports for dogs or something focused with direction. But that’s a)boring, b)done better by others, and c)not true to my style. I started this as a mass email of sorts- a way to keep up with my scattered loved ones (in the days before facebook). It was also a good way for me to keep a record of life happenings while keeping the writing skills flowing. While my ego would love to regularly publish something worthy of public interest, I’m simply not that interesting.

I might be, if I wrote the matters near and dear to my heart. But my hesitancy to be vulnerable combined with cautionary measures to avoid unnecessary life drama suppress that kind of true journaling. And it brings us back to THE question: where are the boundaries? What is a healthy level of disclosure? What criteria help guide subject matter and which details to include?

The answer is unclear to me. Thoughts welcome- from those who blog and those who read. We can discover together. Isn’t that the purpose, after all?

that month

Remember the “One Month to Live” book? Did anyone ever notice that I quit mentioning it? That’s because I didn’t finish it. I lost interest as it got a little too “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and just rehashed things I already knew. It’s not a bad book, and if you’re looking into stepping up your lifestyle it could be an nice, light read. But I moved on to the next thing (which happened to be a biography on Jane Goodall, books on sharks and local marine life, and another book about dragons).

I was fortunate to spend the day with Becca. We discovered a lovely cafe in Venice with spectacular watermelon rosemary lemonade. We walked to the boardwalk and picked up some incense (i’ve been meaning to do that). We also had dinner at Ports O’Call followed by drinks at a local bar/brewery followed by Becca’s homemade chocolate chip cookies with Theo chocolate (Theo = organic fair-trade chocolate factory that employs my sister). It’s been a lovely day.

September 09, 2010

non-post

The most significant thing that happened today was disappointment. But since it involves another person who reads, and who knows many of my readers, it doesn’t seem right to publish the details. Especially since the issue is unresolved.

But I couldn’t let the matter grow even worse by allowing it to disrupt my daily September blogging. So regardless of having nothing good to say, at least this marks the occasion.

They say friends are the family you choose. I think it’s also key that they choose you. There’s also a line in “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” about theater being a home for all kinds of orphans. This refers to dysfunctional family. 

Meanwhile, my mom deserves mad props for harvesting corn from a field and mailing it to me for the “Joseph” set.

At least my house is clean.

September 07, 2010

island in the sun

Lately, many people in my life are experiencing great sadness and trials. Divorce, illness, death, and more drag them through emotional turmoil and leave them clinging to God with their last bit of strength. Though I am in a very blessed season of life, my heart is still heavy for them. There are times when i weep with them. But i am sometimes privileged to carry joy for them when they have none left. They have done the same for me, when it was my turn to walk through the valley of the shadow. The love, prayers, hugs, smiles, and even laughter from someone who cares are truly sunbeams through a dirty window.

During a past dark time of my own, a friend gave me a flower. I’m not certain they were aware of my circumstances and feelings. But that single gesture of kindness represented in colorful, fragrant flower petals changed my entire day. It didn’t eliminate sadness or reverse circumstances, but the simple gift contained hope.

That’s where the miracle exists. Not that we are protected from ever having to experience the bad, but that it’s possible to have joy in the midst of so much sorrow. It’s like stumbling upon an oasis while stranded in the desert. Except it’s no coincidence. We are guided to that oasis. Sometimes it’s a direct encounter with our Heavenly Father, and other times He works through someone here on earth. Do you need joy in this season? (If you do, call me! I love you!) Or are you willing to carry joy to someone in the valley?

September 06, 2010

deep escape

Where is that scripture that says “I could go to the ends of the earth or the depths of the sea, and You’d still be there”? I know I am paraphrasing, which makes it hard to search for the exact verse. Do you know where it is?

That’s the phrase that went through my mind as I cruised over rocks covered with urchins and ochre sea stars this morning. Anchored by kelp, I floated along with the flow of the surge, in synchronized dance with senoritas and opal eye. There are no to-do lists under the water. There is no drama among the rocks and kelp. Animals behave logically, with no ulterior motives. The only sounds are the clicking of rocks under the waves and the crash of the same waves baptizing rocks on the surface.

All while escaping the craziness of life on land, God is still very present. We are often aware of the Creator’s presence in nature, but there is also a deep peace there. Somehow, God is as close(r) in that freezing, salty water as in a church sanctuary.

thirst

Is it bad that I just submitted a picture of my father to the people of walmart site?

Most of the day was spent at the theater, working on props and other helpfulness for “Joseph”. Occasionally, I got to step in for some blocking. This is like giving a bread-and-water prisoner a taste of Thanksgiving dinner, but only a few small bites. I’ve also caught myself playing songs over multiple times in order to learn them. Is it normal to subconsciously teach yourself new material?

I know I’m being unnecessarily dramatic (there’s irony), as I’ll be learning the Christmas show in about a month. And with all the changes of a a new job and such, I would not have been fully committed even if i WERE in this show (which I would’ve been, if I didn’t already have plans to be out of town during opening weekend. For the record, attending a close friend’s wedding is much more a priority). But it’s the same feeling I had when we moved to a new town in junior high that didn’t have a theater program until high school (that summer I met the high school director and begged for audition info to treat my “theater deprivation”. he was amused and cast me as a freshman). It’s the feeling I had when I could not manage to do shows at APU due to my work schedule that allowed me to afford to attend a school to study theater. And that feeling remained after graduation until I joined Masquer last year. I know the feeling, and I know the solution is to rehearse and perform. It’s in my blood.

September 05, 2010

post midnight

It still counts as “today” since I haven’t gone to bed yet.

Here’s a picture of the side of our fridge:

chalk art and stuff 029

It’s my tally system of identifying fish from dives. The orange one is garibaldi, and the other orange one with blue spots is what it looks like when it’s young. The black-stripey one is a tree fish, though the verdict is still out on whether or not i correctly identified it. The blue whale is more artistic since we saw those from land after the dive. Can you tell the difference between the angel shark and the shovelnose guitarfish? They’re cousins. And obviously, none of these are drawn to scale.

Also in the realm of randomness, this is what is in my head, compliments of Roommate Kelly:

And I think that’s enough for today.

September 03, 2010

floja

I am ashamed to admit how much laziness i am exuding today. It’s almost as if random productive tasks are wrapped in cozy nests of pure, unadulterated lazy. My “Saturday’s” come at various times during the week, depending on work tasks and other scheduled events. I suppose, instead of feeling guilty when I’m not constantly rushing about some nonsense, I should cherish the downtimes before life gets hectic again.

Which will be soon.

I was pleasantly surprised to recently find out that my sister, Becca, will be visiting next week. And a few days after she leaves, I’ll be attending a wedding in Ohio. And the Masquer show will open. And school work will pick up. Then I’ll be planning a couple more church events, and then the holidays (which we all know is another beast entirely). So surely my current snail’s pace is justifiable, right?

Sometimes, I truly don’t know if my schedule is balanced. I hate to admit that, as it borders on the fuzzy line between reality and the occasionally distorted perception of bipolar disorder. Even admitting that fact is embarrassing and awkward. Who wants to broadcast to the world that they are crazy? But if anything, my writing here will be honest. And honesty seems to be one key to dealing with the disorder- whether by communicating to others what’s going on inside my brain or by the extended process of dealing with it all. And since this process produces the degree of normalcy we all know and love, I declare it a good thing.

Until then, I feel guilty and lazy if I’m not always doing something productive. And I’m unsure if that’s a healthy indication to get my butt in gear or a ridiculous notion I should discard.

In the meantime, I think I’ll log off and finish my library book about dragons. i’m pretty sure that’s a fair compromise between busy bee and sloth. Somehow.

seven minutes

Day two of the daily blogging, and I almost forgot-again. So I have seven minutes to write and post- and that’s all you get for now.

Absolutely nothing eventful happened today. Perhaps this is why I don’t write daily. I wrote the singles’ conference spot first thing this morning, attempted to visit the chiropractor at the school health center, but due to a scheduling mistake that didn’t happen.

I was determined not to waste gas on a failed errand, so I drove to Trader Joe’s and the the gym. That’s right, in addition to regular grocery shopping, I decided to join the gym. It’s going to be tricky financially, but I am hoping that regular yoga classes with help my back and reduce the need for the chiropractor and scheduling mistakes.

The rest of the day was filled with working from home, a nap with Tootsie, and teaching Kelly how to play Phase 10.

11:59pm! Must post! Tomorrow is another day, with something more fun for me to write and you to read…..

September 01, 2010

septiembre

Today, I decided to blog daily during the month of September. Then I almost completely forgot about it until just now, a mere forty minutes from midnight. As usual, procrastination motivates me- I should be working on a spot for work that’s due tomorrow.

It doesn’t help that it’s advertising a single’s event. After a day of constant “going”, all my fingers want to type is, “Tired of feeling pathetic while all your friends get married? Come join the handful of remaining loners in this city and wallow in all the different aspects of single life. Nowhere else can you feel so alone in a room full of people! Besides, we know you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night!”

Of course, this is so not what the event is about (and my blog does not express the opinions of my employer, etc etc). And I’m not really THAT bitter about being single. I would just rather be winding down than being creative, and I express this through ridiculousness.

*Pause to pet Kelly’s dog, Tootsie, who is currently saddled with the cone of shame.*

So where did all the energy go? The night is still young, after all. Hmm.… washed car, CVS, auto insurance office, Wal-Mart, theater work evening, traffic, home. Yeah, it must’ve escaped somewhere in there. Now that I get paid once-a-month, I find the “list” of needed items and errands piles up and culminates in first-of-the-month madness.

*Pause to adjust to the sudden presence of Tootsie on my lap and cone of shame obstructing my view of half the computer screen.*

School’s back now, too. Each class is only once a week during this semester. This means easier to schedule work, but longer class sessions and a bit more homework. It also means that a week’s worth of class time is squeezed into one day. My professors seem cool- both adjunct and working in the industry. Already there is personality in both teachers and fellow students. In one short week, I have discovered that “Apocalypse Now” has replaced “Citizen Kane” as my absolute most-despised movie, that my four most favorite movies (Wizard of Oz, Girl Interrupted, French Kiss, and Jurassic Park) contain the common theme of navigating a new world in search of home, and that while learning my classmates’ names is important, it is not nearly as fun as silently referring to them as “Rachel from Glee”, “Old Urine Man”, or “Glasses Dude”.

*Pause to remove Tootsie and Cone from resting directly on my typing hands and completely obstructing my view of the screen.*

*Pause to wonder how Cone Tootsie is even remotely comfortable with head/cone now resting in the crook of my elbow.*

*Pause to wonder how long I’m going to sit hunched over like this to reach the keyboard and accommodate dog, especially since I’m prolonging my work time by blogging instead of writing my spot.*

*Overcome by fatigue, responsibility, and pity for Conehead, pause to post entry, finish spot, and sleep.*