October 29, 2010

elephant in the web

Many years ago, I discovered a truth. When you are avoiding something that needs to be addressed, there is a lull in conversation. You can’t seem to find other topics to fill the void, and there is silence. But once you actually talk about the matter at hand, things begin to flow again.

As much as this is true in a conversation between two people, it also applies to journaling. By avoiding the things on your mind, you create writer’s block.

As discussed in a previous post, there are blogging boundaries- not everything on your heart goes on the internet. Keeping that in mind, I’ve still decided that, in the spirit of quality writing, I’m gonna talk about personal stuff anyway.

Money is an awkward subject for most of us. I think my upbringing bred additional awkwardness, but my upbringing is another subject all together. I hate talking about money, worrying about money, negotiating money….. pretty much everything but actually possessing money. Even when I was barely a teenager, I dreaded the question, “How much do you charge for babysitting?”. Awkward.

This season of my life is low-income. Most of my life trained me to live low-income-ly (something good came out of that situation), so, for the most part, I’m good with the simple things. I know how to stretch a dollar, cut out luxuries, differentiate between needs and wants, and creatively solve problems. Sure, there are frustrations. But if my biggest issue is not instantly satisfying specific food cravings, I’m pretty fortunate. (For the record, at this moment, I want Jamba Juice, mongolian bbq, and maybe Roscoe’s chicken and waffles. And no, not together.).

Of course, I do worry sometimes. Since my paycheck comes only once a month, a strict and careful budget is necessary. Near the end of the month, I find myself strategically conserving gas and my meals become slightly unconventional in order to make the best of any food we might already have. This isn’t a horrible thing, though. It’s just life right now, and it’s a life for which I signed up when I chose to return to school. I am far from poverty. In fact, by the standards of much of the world population, I am wealthy. I have everything I need, my bills are paid, and I am HAPPY. That’s right, even in the midst of a depressive cycle, I. Am. Happy. That’s worth more than an increased paycheck any day.

Sometimes I want to talk about it. I want to work out the latest mini-crisis of budget, or figure out how to solve an unexpected expense. I want to be honest and tell you I can’t go to a movie or drive that far because I don’t have the money, and not have it be cringingly awkward. And I don’t want you to feel like you have to offer to help. While I MUCH appreciate the caring and support (sincerely, I do), I made this lifestyle decision, and I’m responsible for the consequences. If other people pick up my slack, that’s not right.

So there it is- I’m practically broke, and I’m ok. Christmas gifts will come from the heart this year, not my wallet. I’m behind on many of the latest movies, and I rarely go out to eat. I sacrifice some social outings and instant gratification, but I find fun in free or low-cost places. Any out-of-house dining is directed by coupons. I take advantage of sales, deals, and specials. I am blessed with good friends and family- both blood and adopted. I’ve had so many incredible opportunities in the past to go, do, and see… and I’m sure I will be able to do these things again in the future. But the most important thing is that the present is pretty rich with awesome and win (otherwise know as a blessed life).

October 26, 2010

great pumpkin

Every year, Sophia, Daylene, and I watch the holiday Charlie Brown specials. The simple cartoons have sparked a fun tradition. And sometimes, and it amazes me that a new generation loves them so much. Charlie Brown’s slow pace is a far cry from the frantic jibbering of Spongebob or the Disney channel’s caffeinated pop culture explosion. But the Peanuts gang holds true year after year.

Sophia raised the standards when she hosted the Great Pumpkin Fun Nite. I should’ve sensed the increased level of awesome and win when I received a new t-shirt upon arrival- complete with Linus, Snoopy, and the gang in their trick-or-treat costumes and poses. The rest of the evening followed in the same festive fashion. We decorated small pumpkins and had a carpet picnic with lots of tasty holiday treats. This year, more cousins and friends joined the fun, and it was a giggly girls’ night in.

I think it will be my turn to host Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. I’m already planning my menu based on Snoopy’s plans- popcorn and toast! I don’t think I can top Sophia’s party, but it shall be enjoyable… and hopefully memorable.

October 19, 2010


Finally, a small storm graced our little harbor town with it’s beautiful presence. I stretched out on my bed so I could see a bit of the grey sky over our neighbor’s roof- a small glimpse from the confined view of my window.

The ipod is neglected in favor of thunder and the splat of raindrops against roof tile and sidewalk. The light switch is off for softer light from hanging star lamps and candles. Last, the computer and notebooks are moved from the kitchen table to my comfortable bed. At last, I have created the workspace I used to dream about from my cubicle.

One small, unforeseen glitch: productivity is slightly lower than expected.

I’m not sure it’s the too-coziness of the environment (fine. maybe a little.). I’ve started projects, but now i’m just kind of…. stuck. I have scenes to write for homework, and they’re not flowing. See, I’m attempting to be nice and busy. I can’t help it if my creativity wonders what the sand is like when it rains and if it would be risking sickness to go check it out.

Instead, I push through and try to utilize stream-of-consciousness writing to spark creativity, as recommended by my screenwriting professor. The raindrops racing down my windowpane are only a tiny bit distracting. They remind me of long bus rides where I would follow their drippy path on foggy glass between daydreams.

October 13, 2010


Summer will always be my favorite season. I love warm weather and going to the beach and sunshine and the whole bit. When I lived in Ohi-tucky, I dreaded the fall for the simple fact that it brought winter. Long, cold, never-ending, damp, dreadful winter.

I didn’t mind autumn itself. The colorful leaves, the cool crisp air, fresh apple cider, and parties in barns were all wonderful. But I didn’t fully appreciate the season, since I knew it was the end of my too-brief summer.

Now, I happily reside in the land of limited seasons. Sure, everyone says that Southern California’s calendar is marked by earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides…. and that’s sort of true. I prefer to describe it as a little rain, lots of summer, indian summer, and the mild holiday chill. This is perfectly respectable, in my book. If i had my way, we would only have crappy weather from November 1st through January 1st, then right back to 75-degrees-and-sunny on January 2nd. We could also do with a few more thunderstorms to keep things fresh… but now I’m getting greedy.

Though we had a nice rainy week recently, we’re back to the cool sunshine that took up permanent residence here all summer. Uncharacteristically, I find myself craving apple cider, fall-themed candles, and rain. Kelly made a yummy veggie/chicken/squash/and-a-touch-of-our-homegrown-rosemary-and-basil soup last night, and it was deliciously autumnal. Though I’m ambivalent about Halloween(bring on Thanksgiving, already.. then Christmas!), I am looking forward to carving a pumpkin in the next week or so.

So there you have it. My musings on the weather and related issues. Thrilling, no? If you’d like something deeper, you can check out a new project we’re doing for theater: www.apagefromthestage.blogspot.com!

October 03, 2010


Despite appearances, the September blogging experiment was not a failure. Though I did not accomplish the goal of daily writing, I came to the conclusion that writing for writing’s sake is not beneficial to me or a reader. However, I could use some more frequency and consistency here, so I shall strive for a healthy balance between the daily and the once-in-a-blue-moon.

So now it is October. Kelly has already graced our apartment with orange lights, cobwebs, and a glowing (fake) jack o’lantern. I do want to carve real pumpkins in a couple of weeks. Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but it’s always nice to make the most of the season, right? And since we don’t have cooler temperatures and colorful, crunchy leaves (not that I mind the late arrival of summer weather), we have to mark October in some way.

Ooh, that reminds me….. I need to find me a jug of apple cider. :)