Category Archives: Things No One Needs to Know

Too Charming for Myself

Last time the a/c technician came to the office, he kind of asked me for my phone number and i kind of said No.
Today he is here again and i think i made him cry.
I told him no one told me he was coming.
It is unnerving for a guy to just show up and want to come in, and i think he got sad.
I just passed him down the hall and gave him my best fake smile i have to offer.
Charmed, no doubt.

This morning i went to do ministry work which is done this way in my congregation:
Whoever is a member of that congregation or an active member of another congregation can meet at a set time at our hall.
In our hall it is only in the mornings and since i work most mornings and oversleep the other mornings, (without mentioning the mornings on which i do both), i tend to only make my own arrangements and go out in the evenings.
But i try to show up Fridays and Saturdays to the group meetings when i can.
Today only one brother was going out in the ministry.
He is a Vietnam Vet and has a lot of stories.
(We don’t go to war but that was before he studied the Bible).
He is retired and married but his wife died twice and the paramedics brought her back to life.
(“Oh Well,” he says).
Now she is overweight and can’t really walk anymore, so he is always alone or with this single younger brother who is a little socially awkward, but i’ll leave his stories for another day.
So this brother is from Central America and he’s always contrasting his childhood on a coffee farm with the time he spent in trenches in Vietnam.
Later in life he had other jobs, the last of which was a lawyer.
Today we were speaking with a genuine hippie, the kind you only find in Ojai, Seattle or Oregon.
Mr. Hippie owns a big property (big by California standards) and feeds wild animals from scraps he finds in the neighbors’ trash bins.
He bathes in the creek or ocean with his clothes on.
(Thank God).
I’m pretty sure he was stoned the whole time we were talking to him.
You see, people round here are not that nice.
But he invited us to take a seat and the brother i was with was telling him his war stories while a woman who rents a room on the property overheard and was visibly disgusted.
That is the problem with people round here.
No one wants to hear the truth.
They just want to paint butterflies on their walls and build water fountains out of rocks they find in their neighbor’s driveway.
Still, despite his probably being stoned, we had a good conversation about making conscientious use of the earth’s natural resources.
He pretty much thinks everything humans do is damaging and we are bound to destroy ourselves.
I tried to read him a couple verses from the Bible about the future but if you are a woman, perhaps you can relate to the following:
There is a point when a woman is having a conversation with a man when you know he is dismissing your opinions as not having any serious weight to them because he is seeing you as a sex object.
Confirmation of this suspicion came when he proceeded to ask me my age.
What the hell, you go talk to people about God and stuff and guy just wants to know if you’re young enough to bear his offspring.
Of course i only put two and two together because he held his gaze for too long.
I was uncomfortable but the brother i was with didn’t seem to notice and kept sharing war anecdotes.
I don’t mind that the brother strays off topic because i wonder what his mind would be like if he didn’t have anyone to share his traumas with.
He could be one of those homeless guys who heckle my friend and me at the park.
Vets have been through a lot and though i am opposed to war, they do not get the social help they need- that is more than obvious.

I am still adjusting to the local small town artsy culture there is here.
I still haven’t decided if i have any friends yet.
One sister whom i spend a lot of time with and yeah, she’s pretty cool, kind of keeps hinting that she wants to see my twitter account but i don’t think our relationship is there yet.
At least i’m not.
(My account is public but i dunno. It’s a big step).
There is a sister who i was getting along great with but last time i saw her she kind of got on my case about not meeting in the mornings and i am the kind of person that usually doesn’t reply… but the more i think about it, the more i wish i had said, “Uhm some of us have to work.” and possibly even be more insulting because she lives off a trust her husband has and he is a little bit disabled, and she doesn’t work because she has asthma.
I have asthma too but i work.
So it is just irritating when people pressure you to do more and you already feel like you’re doing the best you can and instead of asking how they can support you, they focus on what you can’t do.
Don’t get me wrong, i love everybody, at least in theory.
But when things like that happen i don’t have anyone that i can talk to about it because i am supposed to be this model minister who gives discreet answers to stoned hippies and doesn’t tell off the homeless guys who heckle her at the park, she doesn’t tell people to mind their own business when they ask about her personal schedule and she doesn’t talk about her bouts of depression because she is supposed to be always happy and smiling and encouraging and God i hate everyone, i swear everything i do is all out of love to God and no one else.

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Equals Mortified 

Idk why i feel like i need to explain this right right now of all times.
I sometimes remember- i should explain this!
And then i forget.

Many many years ago, when the internet was AOL, i used the = sign invariably to represent eyes, the way people today use the : sign.
Some of you may remember that once famous show “equals 3” as in “=3”.
WELL i always thought it was a cat, you know, with the eyes and the chubby cheeks…?
I used to sign my emails that way.
Then one day, not sure why, my husband saw it and said, Why are you typing penis?
Me: What do you mean?
Him: That emoticon. It’s a penis.
Me: No it’s not. It’s a cat. You know, like the YouTube show. Equals Cat.
Him: *tilts head* Yeah i guess in a really innocent person’s mind that could be a cat but on the show, it’s a penis.

Thus i came to find out i had been signing my emails “Have a great day! Penis, Ave.”

World Introvert Day

World Introvert Day may be one of a handful of holidays i celebrate:

Jan. 2nd – World Introvert Day (as of today, when i realized it existed)

Second Sunday in March – When the clocks all get distorted and the day has 25 hours

March 20th/ Spring Equinox – When i sacrifice a virgin to the sun

April 1st – April Fool’s Day (and the following day when i meet bail)

April 7th – National Beer Day (US)

May 25th – National Wine Day (US)

June 2nd – National Doughnut Day (US)

July 7th – World Chocolate Day

Sept. 10th – World Suicide Day (or is it suicide prevention? i think i’ve been doing it wrong)

Oct. 29th – National Cat Day (US)

And probably my wedding anniversary ought to be up ^ there somewhere.

So to celebrate World Introvert Day, i will give you a sneak peek into the interior of my amazing mind, because let’s face it- i am awesome.

(1) Everything, absolutely everything, has a song or can have a song. My mind is the stage of a never-ending musical.

(2) I always picture worse-case scenarios. Chances are, if we’ve ever spoken, i was simultaneously picturing at least one form in which you might have horrifyingly died in a sudden freak accident while listening to you. And usually the more i care about you, the more horrific deaths i picture. With a choir singing in the background. But if you’re a boring conversationalist or if you’re explaining something important, then i just picture a chimp with an accordion on a unicycle, or those flying elephants from Fantasia.

(3) I eat all day. If an hour passes without me putting something into my mouth, i will get fidgety. If five hours pass without me consuming anything, i will get a terrible tension headache and all hell will break loose. This is why i always carry a whip with me. (Well- the other thing too).

(4) I tend to accidentally speed read and then when i realize it, if i actually want to go back and conscientiously read an entire long paragraph- it can take me between 15-30 minutes because i will continuously get distracted. I attribute this to an excess of awful bad modern authors and i do not believe i would get distracted in the least bit if only they would

(5) On the other hand, when i remember something i read, i remember all the numbers involved and the font that was used.

(6) I have very vivid dreams which are mostly about how much people love me, but it’s always people whose faces i don’t recognize or can’t see. I think they are my subscribers 😉 and i also dream lots of meowing cats. I often try to wake up only to find myself in another dream and will go on like this for usually five or six dreams. It is very scary as i think one day i will give up waking up and just stay on the wrong dream level. Maybe this is the wrong dream level. Maybe i’m in a coma right now. Maybe it’s you who’s in a coma. I bet it’s you. I just want you to know- hang in there- i hope no one pulls the plug on you, and i still own the copyright to these posts.

Thank you for journeying into the Interior of My Magnificent Mind (that’s  what i’m calling the ride now). (The ride is the blog post). NO REFUNDS; the time you waste here is wasted forever.

Why I’ll Start Writing Again

Whoa, I just read what I wrote almost a year ago– That’s some dark stuff there.

I didn’t remember having written that, but looking back I understand what was going on.

That’s the power of blogging.

Well the old me is back, the real me, the one who uses a pseudo-pseudonym and wants to write 24/7, even when I’m dreaming.

The truth is I never really stopped writing; it was just very dark and lonely and unsuitable for this blog’s audience.

So it was on Tumblr.

Naturally.

I don’t want to go into details about the past, but my marriage is as good as it’ll ever be.

I am less interdependent so if that relationship goes down I think I might skip a beat but probably not 2 and definitely not 3.

Now I no longer commute for work. My boss got me an office a few blocks from my home, so I could concentrate on sales, and I no longer have to wait for coworkers to leave the room before I can write.

I’m all alone here, just me and the Internetz.

And the phone. That rings every now and then but I’m not sure how it works. I think it’s trying to tell me something.

Oh! My faithful subscribers. How I’ve missed thee. If only you could know the anguish our separation has wretched me with. I shalt never leave thee again!

Unless I die. In which case, leaving thee is entirely involuntary and should not be held against me.

Unless it’s suicide.

If I kill myself you can be mad at me. But not if it’s accidental, like an overdose. Stuff loses its strength over time. They don’t make it like they used to.

Anyway, let me tell you what my office is like.

It is on the second story behind an art gallery which sells weird ethnic art, like the African pieces my boss had at his office. I imagine that subconsciously it largely influenced his decision to choose this location.

There is a winery next next door and the mother of the owners is a new friend of mine from my church. My friend also owns the vineyard so in a way it makes me feel special somehow even though it has little to do with me.

In my office, there is a tiny window out of which one can view happy little people- “kids” i think they are called- playing in a park-like setting, around a beautiful fountain surrounded by red and yellow sycamore trees.

The window has bars over it in the old Spanish style and is a small reminder that whilst i am at work, i am to think of myself as a prisoner and partake in none of those joys which i may observe below.

My one point of social interaction is when i walk to the post office every day, or when i get lucky, the FedEx drop off.

The clerks at the post office know me now and they are like 100 times nicer than the ones in DOWNTOWN SANTA BARBARA- yes, I HOPE YOU ARE READING THIS you mean clerk who made shipping packages from there a living hell.

(Just that one clerk though- all the other ones were nice, especially Daniel and Michael. I think they are vets). (War vets not animal vets otherwise their career counselors should have told them).

Everyday the bell at the post office tower chimes out a song. Lately it’s been a lot of Christmas music, which some of us find tastefully offensive. But mostly it’s old American classics, the same kind that used to play in my 65 Mustang’s AM radio.

My office kind of has more space than i need and no walls. My boss let me have his old glass desk so i need to rearrange the computer stuff onto that but i’ve been meaning to do it for 6 weeks now and i just can’t seem to bring myself to do it.

I have what they call lazyphoria.

The office is very cold but it has a brand new climate system which no one knows how to program for heating, only for cooling.

Sometimes i bring my guitar but i can’t play very loud because i’m afraid the other tenants will hear me and ask me to perform for them. Then my boss might find out i’m using the office for concertos and then he’d want to get me a bigger office. But i like this one just fine.

There is a skylight on the ceiling.

Well duh, it’s not like there would be a skylight on the floor… *clears throat*

I guess that counts as a window too. I can see some form of rusty pipe and sometimes clouds, but today the sky is blue- like a tepid sky-blue.

Once, down the hall, the hatch to the roof was open and I climbed the ladder because no one was around and the hatch was open, beckoning for someone to climb up through it. There were only more pipes and roof gravel.

Downer down the hall there are a couple of architects who mostly just look stuck up but are actually quite decent, i imagine, and a married couple who are masseuses, (am i saying that right?) and they are just about the nicest people one could ever meet.

Downstairs there is the shared girls’ room, which ought to have but does not have a mirror, because i assume the other tenants are too ugly an no one wants to remind them of that.

Someone is building a tapas bar so i have that to look forward to.

Perhaps then i shall make a friend or two.

But knowing me, i’ll probably just observe them and then write about them.

So now you have something to look forward to too!

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Stopped Writing

I was once a great writer.
Similes and metaphors rolled off my fingertips like…
Marbles on silk?
But why revisit the past?
That was then.
Today, i don’t write.
I sulk.
In bed.
While driving.
At work.
At lunch and then dinner.
I sulk 24/7.
I am a master sulker.
I am the Sulking Works.
You ever excited about something and you wanna tone it down a bit, just come to me, i’ll show you how it’s done.
Sulk-o-rama.
Empress Sulkith.
You get the idea.
What happened to that bright-eyed curly-haired woman passionate about bubble wrap?
She’s dead.
I’ve been in an emotional coma ever since November.
I am not quite ready to write about that yet, but i will have to eventually.
I am extremely careful about which fights to pick with my husband.
Most of the time it’s best to just sleep.
I love him and he loves me.
Or some distorted quiet version of me…
Fatigued, i’ve avoided my creative projects that for years kept me ticking.
There’s no one on the other side of them.
What, of any plausible interest, could i ever produce?
I am not particularly good at anything at all.
For instance, tonight i managed to somehow close my car door from the outside while my head was still inside.
Who does that?
I got distracted cause i was looking at the stars.
The stars look amazing on a clear night, and most every night is clear.
Absolutely mesmerizing.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m extremely grateful to God for all i have.
I was starting to dance, like when i was a kid.
Then something happened.
I said something.
I must have.
I don’t remember.
It was in November.
Haven’t been able to do anything creative since.
What’s the point?
I haven’t an audience.
Everything i do is wrong or boring.
Especially my job.
Then my boss and his wife sold their other practice.
Now i’m surrounded by people every day.
Before it was just Mondays and Wednesdays.
I was happy.
Had at least half the week to my introverted self.
Now it’s going on 6 weeks that people are always around me.
I can’t stand it.
There’s no time to heal from their previous presence.
Bleh.
Draining.
Even with this new book review project my friend and i are working on, nothing stirs my creative juices.
I need a break.
Hopefully i’ll get the hour-reduction i asked for.
That’s created additional stress on my marriage.
He doesn’t say it’s a bad idea; but he has pointed out every possible drawback.
I just want to go to Legoland and forget about everything.
Whoops, my typing woke him…
I used to be a great writer.

The Last Day of My Life at Bar Happiness

If at the end of your life, you were given the option to live one day out of your life over again, just one day, just for the next 24 hours, what day would you choose?

Who would you spend your last day with?

More importantly, how do i come up with these questions, and why do i try?

We were eating at California Pizza Kitchen, one of my favorite places (even though today they put bacon on my veggie pizza and brought me the Seasonal Sam Adams instead of the Draft) when my mind drifted to when we ate pizza in Florence.

Next my mind drifted to when we visited Lago di Garda in northern Italy.

And I then asked myself
How do I work this?
And I then asked myself
Where is that large automobile?
And I then told myself
This is not my beautiful house!
And I then told myself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Sorry, mind drifted again.

(Letting the days go by… Water flowing under-)

And I thought,

Same as it ever was.

j/k ok sorry, i thought, i would love to live that day over again.

The day we spent at Lake Garda.

Bar Happiness
Happiness Bar at Lago Di Garda where you can literally drink up happiness.

So naturally i asked my husband the question at the onset of this post: what day would you live over?

His answer didn’t shock me but it was a wake up call.

“I would choose the day my mom told us she was expecting my brother.”

Aww! How sweet, right? Wait. There’s more.

“Because everyone was there. My brother, in my mom’s womb, my sister, my dad and my mom.”

Everyone was there.

As in- everyone that matters?

Everyone you would want to spend more time with?

Everyone who isn’t your wife (aka- ME)?!?

Wait- there’s more.

“I was going to say our wedding day but my sister wasn’t there.”

I wish i was making this up.

But it’s practically verbatim.

Then of course i proceeded to get all teary-eyed, after which his usual reaction of having no idea what’s going on with me- the “did I say something” script.

I tried not to dwell on it and changed the topic to pizza.

Then he asked me the same question.

“What day would you choose?”

I was embarrassed of my initial choice.

I ransacked my memories for alternates.

I came up with a couple other memories i could do over.

Both with him in them.

“It’s not important,” i said, dipping my pizza crust in ketchup.

He insisted to the point that i figured he must be thinking i must be thinking of some other guy, all the while i was really thinking, ‘don’t let him know you love him more than he loves you, don’t let him know you love him more than he loves you.’

I had to come up with a better answer fast.

“You know, i haven’t really thought about it. Rather, i need to give the answer more thought.”

So now i’m thinking, whatever day i would want to live over- i probably haven’t lived it yet.

Cause if all my favorite memories are post-marriage, and yet my marriage-mate essentially does not see me as part of “everybody,” then perhaps i’ve overrated my life thus far.

Maybe, if God gave me the choice, i’d just say, “uh, thanks, just shut me in a cell with an ocean view instead. That way no one has to spend any more time with me.”

Italian Audi
Or maybe i’d just ask God to please let me drive around Lake Garda in an Italian sports car listening to The Talking Heads.

Because if i’m not “everybody,” then I must be some form of opposite of that.

Perhaps, “nobody.”

At least not anybody important.

The good thing now is, i’ve got two cats that really look up to me.

Sure, i’ve had more suicidal thoughts in the last couple weeks than i did in the last 6+ months, but it’s hard to leave or kill yourself when that would disturb your cats’ daily rituals.

Also, i’m not sure my alter-ego would be able to update this blog as well as i do.

TBH, she’s kind of neurotic.

Values, Sibling Rivalry and Stuff

As i sit here on the front porch of my only brother’s new forest dwelling, i wonder how two people with the same roots can wind up having such different approaches to life.

image

My husband and nephew are wrapping up a game of chess in the living room.
It’s a stalemate.

They have found their intellectual equals in one another.
(My nephew trains with a Master).
That is something I have been conscious of for years now.
And it should come as no surprise, seeing as how my brother’s wife has the same personality as my husband.
It makes sense that my nephew would have so much in common with him.
Even if i feel they all have little in common with me.

My family has always stretched out the joke that I was adopted.
The truth is I was switched at birth.
I don’t recall if I’ve ever written about this; i apologize if i redund myself.

It was the first time my mom was going to breastfeed me after having given birth.
She says the nurses brought her an Asian baby.
The baby didn’t take to her and she didn’t take to the baby.
For starters, the baby didn’t speak Spanish.
My mom pressed the red emergency button by her bed and a couple nurses came running in.
“No es mi bebé.” (This isn’t my baby).
The nurses looked embarrassed and apologized.
Then they brought her the “right” baby- Me.

I have heard this story so many times that I have a vivid recollection of everything that happened even though, technically, I wasn’t there.
A few of my dad’s clients are neo-natal nurses.
He says sometimes he hears them chat about how they remove the id bracelets from the newborns and then try to guess who is who.

So who knows how many people in my hometown have actually grown up with the wrong family.

All my cousins say I look exactly like a younger version of my paternal grandmother,  so I have never bought into my family’s “you were adopted” joke.

To be honest it is really my brother who is different.

He is far more determined and assertive than any of my other relatives.

I worry we are too different now.

He was the one person who always got my sense of humor.

Then, his success made him hyper-conscious of being overly culturally sensitive and politically correct.

See, when you’re a minority, it’s easy to joke about the stereotypes attributed to your own culture.

But if you don’t share in that culture’s problems, it seems insensitive to joke about those who do.

That’s why I take great care to never make insensitive comments on this blog, not even about white people.

My brother saved my life once.
He walked me to class on the first day of school.
He taught me to respect my parents.
But I don’t see myself adapting to this new lifestyle of his.
A lifestyle in which he expects me to keep my point of view to myself.
Perhaps nothing’s changed at all.
Come to think of it, that’s the way it’s always been.

image
"A dip in the pool, you say? Silly Girl, the only way to thrive is to adapt," (Baby Lizard has Australian accent.)

Becoming a Worser Writer

Have you noticed my writing has actually gotten worse over the months?

I was feeling vain and went back to read some of my old posts and I notice I really have trouble getting through the more recent ones without skipping whole sentences.

The older posts are far wittier and engaging!

What is happening?

To me?

You see what I mean?

I have trouble typing meaningful sentences.

I did hit my head back in July and have had periodic headaches on that same spot since.

When I looked up where the damage was, it turned out I damaged the part of my brain that interprets speech.

Brilliant.

Leave it to me to damage the one part of my brain I was relying on to make a living.

It’s called Wernicke’s Area.

I think I can still be an interpreter as long as I rebuild the word bridges between the neurons that were there before the accident.

Besides, I would blank out while interpreting since before the accident, so I can’t blame my shortcoming entirely on that.

What happened was that I asked my husband to move something heavy and he said it would take him an hour and a half to come to where I was, so he basically said to just move it myself.

Then my friend was helping me move it but I didn’t lift it on my end as fast as she did so since it was heavy, she let go of it and it hit me on the head.

This is only one of many ouwie-a-la-tête.

The first one was when I was 3 or 4; I rolled off my bed and hit the back of my head on the metal handles of my dresser.

The truth is I can hardly recall anything prior to that moment.

In elementary school, absorbed in thought, I crossed a tether-ball’s trajectory.

Then a basketball’s.

I wish I had gone to the nurse or something; my head really hurt on both occasions, but back then I was always going to the nurse to get out of class.

There’s only so many sick excuses you can use up in a school year without the admin bringing your parents into the picture.

On top of these, I have very bad spatial perception.

I hit my head quite frequently on cupboards, car frames, doors which I am in the process of opening, etc.

Lately I have had dizzy spells too.

Today I’ve had three.

I don’t know what’s going on with me.

Why I’m such a boring writer all of a sudden.

Or maybe it’s my life that’s more boring?

Or is it me? Am I boring?

What does a person do when they find themselves boring?

It’s not like you can just ditch yourself and go into a more interesting person.

Nope.

I’m stuck with me.

Somebody help!

Advice on Befriending a Married Person of the Opposite Sex

If you are a married person,  don’t invite your spouse’s ex-BFF to dinner telling your spouse last minute when said ex-BFF has only kept in touch with you but ignored your spouse for the last five years.

And if you are the ex-BFF, don’t keep in touch with your ex-BFF’s spouse for five years after you called your then BFF to tell her she is a whining, self-serving hypocrite while she was at school and you’ve  made her cry in public and then ignored her for five years.

Just saying.

My Anti-Style

How I really am…

My style of dressing:
What’s on sale at Goodwill?
Do I have to iron it?
Can I find matching heels?
Check today’s high temperature…
…Wear the same thing I wore one week ago.
Hope no one notices.

My style of singing:
Start soft, hold high notes, explore second voice, tap tempo, interweave lyrics slightly off beat, fall out of key, apologize.

My style of carrying keys:
Insert key ring through finger and jingle as I walk.

My style of walking:
Drag feet as close to the ground as possible. Kick pebbles.

My style of running:
30 feet uphill then hyperventilate.

My style of drinking water:
I always miss my mouth for some reason.

My style of driving:
Window half down, left hand steerer, right hand on the emergency break, listening to NPR.

My style of reasoning:
Well I could do it so why can’t they?

My style of befriending:
“Here kitty kitty kitty. Oh you’re such a fat kitty,  aren’t you?  Mrreow? Mrreow?”

My style of petting:
Ear scratch followed by a back stroke, followed by a tummy rub, sealed with a chin scratch.

My style of saving money:
I’ll have to come back to this one.

My style of eating:
Remove braces, remove what I’m allergic to, nomnomnom, choke on something, nom…nom…nom…, drink, brush teeth, insert braces.

My style of cooking:
Fry everything in oil with spices, then add sauce, boil, add more sauce,  melt cheese, add more spices.

My real style of cooking:
“Mom, do you have leftovers?”

My style of parenting:
“Kid, I appreciate your fondness,  but I’m really not your mother.”

My style of birth control:
Showering profusely.

My style of intercourse:
Rejection, crying, writing a song about ponies and daffodils.

My style of cleaning:
Natural store-bought liquids and recycled paper towels, sweep to my heart’s content, avoid mopping and vacuuming when possible.

My style of working:
Work a little, blog a little. Leave a stack for when my manager is here.

image

My style of receiving calls:
Act like you’re the center of my universe while I draw on a post-it.

My style of blogging:
Somewhat anonymous, somewhat sporadic, mostly non-linear, pretty much inconsequential.

My style of saving money:
Be generous and life will be generous to you.

In response to today’s prompt Style Icon.