Monthly Archives: March 2014

VACA

IN NEW MEXICO

LA is the only major California city I haven’t lived in—and I am actually sorry about that. I like it here, this quiet Redondo Beach neighborhood, the tai chi performance in the park outside Teresa’s window, the mix of families and young professionals and grandparents in the modest but pleasant houses and apartment buildings. Nice lazy Saturday, pajamas, Steven comes over from Irvine and we trip plan, order-in bad pizza, I meet Teresa’s new friend, eat ice cream.

If I were younger I might describe him as an awesome dude, a little younger, I'd say cool guy. Think I'll settle for an age-appropriate (my age not his) label...nice boy. If I were younger I might describe him as an awesome dude, a little younger, I’d say cool guy. Think I’ll settle for an age-appropriate (my age not his) label…nice boy.

Sunday breakfast at the beach, afternoon at Hula class, leisurely drive down PCH to San Diego—leisurely being a relative term for SoCal traffic.

GIRLS AND MIMOSAS GIRLS AND MIMOSAS

Aaahhhhh LA! Aaahhhhh LA!

TERESA WAS BORN IN HAWAII, A NATURAL HULA GIRL TERESA WAS BORN IN HAWAII, A NATURAL HULA GIRL

VACATION IS GOOD. And…

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HERE I AM…975 miles later…AND ONE EARTHQUAKE LATER (medium one!)

IN NEW MEXICO

I think I took the long way… Yes, I definitely took the very long way. Drove 15 hours. Which was only possible because of a good night’s sleep, two Starbucks, my loyal Mazda and knowing I would get to one of my very favorite person’s house tonight. She’s out buying cinnamon roll ice cream and coffee as I wind down from the last three-four hours of the day in LA freeway traffic.

California girl California girl

OH YEAH, AND WE DID JUST HAVE A REALLY NOTICEABLE EARTHQUAKE. Honest.

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road trip road trip road trip road trip fig newtons

 

ROAD TRIPS AND FIG NEWTONS

ROAD FOOD TRIP FOOD CAR FOOD DRIVING FOOD

ROAD FOOD TRIP FOOD CAR FOOD DRIVING FOOD

clean car full gas tank I-25 chili fields Hatch meringue-peaked mountain top kitty corner to I-10 big skies big skies big skies blue relentless skies police thriller DVD oh oh Phoenix ugly chaotic west west west mountains now broad valleys rocky stony mountains to 15 traffic multiplies X 1000 south to the 91 west to Redondo Beach Teresa Steven love California

 

Sara, the Cheerleader 2014

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And there's Sara again, tall kid, second from left

And there’s Sara again, tall kid, second from left

Yeah...you guessed right...

Yeah…you guessed right…

I had a choice tonight. I could study Middle Eastern history or go to cheerleading prep for the big weekend competition and watch my pretty flexible bouncy strong granddaughter.

 

The Big Guns of Tuesday Night

Watching Tuesday night’s NCIS, lots of blood and shooting and slit throats. Sunday night on Good Wife, big courtroom shooting (yeah, darn it, Will’s dead). Russian’s walking around borders of other people’s countries with lots of big guns, plane load of passengers down at the bottom of the sea and the Albuquerque cops are seriously out of control and they have power and they have lots of big guns just like the Russians. Pretty much blood and guts and guns wherever I turn. And I’m participating willingly with my corporate media masters as far as the two-dimensional gun battles go. Oh oh, commercial’s over; gotta make sure none of my favorite agents are gunned down.

Only place that’s violence-free is my work where I spent today working on a sweet little newsletter packed with photos of art and artists and friends and teachers.

So what’s a nice non-violent photo for today?

Norwegian Mountainside. Doesn't look anything like this but the photo didn't scan well so I fixed it.

Norwegian Mountainside. Doesn’t look anything like this but the photo didn’t scan well so I fixed it.

Road Songs

ROAD SONGS

One of the BEST things about road trips is that you can PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.

One of the BEST things about road trips is that you can PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.

I need road songs. I didn’t take care of my DVDs and now they are scratched and melted and all used up. But I need road songs because Friday I AM ON MY WAY TO CALIFORNIA. Not so many travels this year but now the urge is getting stronger…I’ll appease it on the 10, 15 and 91 to Teresa’s house and then the 5 down to Scott’s in San Diego. I’m practicing California speak…the 6 to the 3 to the 12 exit at the 86 onto the 17 keep going to the 42 left lane ease onto the 204…  I am excited. Haven’t been out of Albuquerque, New Mexico since sometime last fall. Can cabin fever extend to a town, a state?

Maybe I’ll buy a DVD of “O’Brother” tomorrow because it is not possible to drive out of town without “You are My Sunshine” at full volume, a Starbucks in hand with Albuquerque in my rearview mirror.

Maybe my grandchildren can help me out of the DVD age and I’ll have hundreds of tunes on the way back.

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT ROAD TRIPS, YOU CAN PACK AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!

Old Friends

Susanna, Jane, Bob and me. Some of us 'older' friends than others.

Susanna, Jane, Bob and me. Some of us ‘older’ friends than others.

Old friends, old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today?
Sharing a park bench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

Time it was and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you

Simon and Garfunkel

Community

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Yesterday I talked about how much I like my dentist. Today my affections have transferred to my haircutter. Lots of good people in my daily life actually. Today my work peers, tomorrow acquaintances and friends in the arts community and also a few of my best friends. Sunday I will write because next I want to join a community of writers.

Webster’s says community is “…the people with common interests living in a particular area…the area itself…an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location….a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society…a group linked by a common policy…a body of persons of common esp. professional interests scattered through a larger society…”

Is my haircutter in one of my communities? My State Senator? My son? Or does my community mean a place like my street, the North Valley, all of Albuquerque? Of course the answer is all of the above.

Think of your world as one of overlapping circles, each representing a different community. It’s fun. One circle is your support community—dentist, haircutter, doctor, landlord. Other circles will be filled by the people with whom you work, dance aficionados, writers, New Mexico artists, fellow Democrats. Then there are best friends and family. You will find the circles all overlap to a larger or smaller extent. The result is that you feel sheltered and encircled (in a good way–usually); those circles can so aptly lend  themselves to a sense of mental, emotional and physical well-being.

A few of my favorite examples of community:

  • A big group of friends share my love of contemporary dance but they live in every corner of the globe.
  • New Mexico artist friends live here and sometimes we also work on politics together; I hope to join some in their writers’ community. A few are also my best friends and we meet socially.
  • My San Diego son and I are increasingly sharing a foodie interest, along with a few friends here. Maybe I’ll try to enter his hiking world at the very edges.
  • My haircutter friend overlaps in a few of my circles also. He is the friend of friends, supports me by cutting my wispy hair with no fuss and he works at a downtown club in my neighborhood.
  • There will soon be a new restaurant on side of my apartment, my landlord lives next door on the other side, and my State Senator one street over. It’s my ‘hood.
  • I drive four miles between my apartment and workplace, past the newish grocery store on one corner, the gas station where I usually go on another, the drugstore where I get my meds. And on it goes.

I have felt just a bit morose today. Soreness where that tooth used to be, headache, a little stressed about work. Then I started imagining all the supporting circles around me and now I feel fine.

So here’s where I get my hair cut. Obviously the place of an artist/designer.

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Ice Cream and Pain Pills

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In four months, I’ve had an emergency appendectomy, ectropion (lower eyelids causing extreme dry eyes) surgery and a tooth pulled. Before that only one surgery in many many years for a broken elbow. Nothing very serious among these incidents and all dealt with appropriately by the doctors and dentist. The only downside, other than fairly brief discomfort and a somewhat depleted bank account, was having to be in an actual hospital in the appendix case. Wow, if my organization functioned as haphazardly, redundantly and expensively as the hospital I visited, we would have closed down long ago. But they didn’t kill me for which I am grateful.

Today was the unexpected tooth pulling. I find myself a fan of the art of dentistry in general and my dentist, Dr. Tom Baiamonte, in particular. You can call and, even without it being a dire emergency, your dentist will see you very soon. You will get to talk to him for as long as you feel the need and then the appropriate action will be taken. And—try to imagine this with a doctor—your dentist will give you his cell phone number in case there is a problem over the weekend. Honestly! All for a relatively reasonable fee. Of course there’s a small downside called the Novocain needles and the drill but that passes fairly quickly. And the dental office never ever charges you hundreds/thousands of dollars an hour for having walked through the front door, used the bathroom, and taken four aspirin like the aforementioned hospital.

I am a little sad though; I celebrated the broken elbow incident with a couple days of ice cream and pain pills which kept me in a pleasantly dreamy state. But now with three physical interventions in such a short period of time, I find I’m tired of both the ice cream and the pills. So I’ll do it this evening but henceforth I am switching to Acorn Squash Soup and a Bloody Mary. Or Gazpacho and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Or Cheese Whiz and Bud.

My Christmas Tree and Things

My Christmas tree finally got to go out and play, with its friend the cactus.

My Christmas tree finally got to go out and play, with its friend the cactus.

My yard is full of really beautiful rocks that Ben my landlord collects.

My yard is full of really beautiful rocks that Ben my landlord collects.

This tiny but exclusive (I'm told) restaurant is opening right next door to my apartment. I am excited about this although I'm not sure I can ever afford to eat there.

This tiny but exclusive (I’m told) restaurant is opening right next door to my apartment. I am excited about this although I’m not sure I can ever afford to eat there.

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