Thursday, June 3, 2010

Really, though, is there anything better?

I have slight food obsession going on right now. I've always been a bit of cook and found it to be incredibly cathartic at the end of the day. However, since summer is now upon us, I am completely consumed with summer fare. Cold friend chicken and cole slaw, hot dogs with all the fixings, popsicles, anything bar-be-qued or grilled, potato salad, ice cold diet coke, hamburgers with enough cheese to clog an artery. I want it all! All these foods have such a deep seeded place in my memory of what summer should be. There's a smell to the air and a feeling to participating in these summer feasts that has just reminded me of one more reason I am so thankful to be back in California, doing exactly what I'm doing and loving those who there to share it.

It's definitely not just the food cravings either. You want a certain beat to your music, just the right about of a breeze, top off the 'roller skate' (aka the code name for my car), no make up, Ray Bans and the ever present scent of Hawaiian tropics sunscreen. You choose to spend your time in a different manner that turns every event into a celebration for summer. I understand this time of year will never have that unadulterated feeling of freedom we had in school, but it still will hold an anticipation and excitement that not even the month of December can compete with.

So for this upcoming summer in the ultimate sunshine state of California I plan on the following:
1. Unplug the cable for the television. There's no need. When True Blood comes on, I will just have to find somewhere else besides my house to watch it.
2. Find an excuse to get out of the house and do something outside at least once a day. Even if that includes my walk to work.
3. Buy a box of otter pots and finish them by the end of summer.
4. A minimum of 5 Oakland Athletics games. Baseball is the ultimate summer activity.
5. Actually see fireworks on the Fourth of July. NO working at night and missing the fun stuff for such an epic holiday.
6. Get thee to the beach. And I don't mean Lake Tahoe. I mean the real, honest to God, Pacific ocean included beach.
7. Run through sprinklers.
8. Read everything by Jane Austen... Because I have the time to for once.
9. Suck it up and go down to Pyramid and buy a growler of pear cider. There really is nothing like it on a warm summer night.
10. Get tickets to the Shakespeare festival in Orinda. I haven't done that since I was in high school and quite frankly, that just sounds amazing.
11. Make so much sweet sun tea that I float away.
12. Not sure which one, and I really don't care actually, but go to a concert. And attempt not to get sun burned.

I think this is a solid start to getting summer done well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alacrity should be a way of life

a·lac·ri·ty [uh-lak-ri-tee] 1. cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness. 2. liveliness; briskness. I have recently been going through a phase of literary exploration that has strayed into the classics. Currently on the night stand is Jane Austen's Emma which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Maybe I relate to Emma's naivety, her infallible opinions, or her complete awakening towards her own insignificance, but the word alacrity kept appearing. Hearing my mother's voice in my head instructing me to "go look up the words you don't know," and I came across this little gem of archaic English eloquence.

The energy and enthusiasm to just be ready to go ahead with whatever is thrust your way is something I am occasionally able to accomplish but not with the regularity that I would like. There is something completely liberating to know that you have made the choice to just be ready. No matter the situation, the changes or the upheaval of plans; you just choose to cheerfully be ready. I'm not saying I want to go to the extent of Yes, Man although a day or two could certainly open your eyes to the potential your own life can offer. Just a consistent thought that powers and shapes the choices you make. It was truly thrilling to come across such an exhilarating word that is not used often enough.

Basically, say yes more often than you say no.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A little lite reading

So in an effort to distract myself or perhaps to shed some light or simply because I've had the book for almost a year and have yet to read it, I began reading How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo. As I've been a single girl for almost the last two years, I was curious to see another perspective. Granted the characters in the book are in their late thirties, living in New York, and are in entirely different stratosphere of their lives compared to me, I found their fears, hopes, insane reactions, mental thought processes and the overall sentiment of the book (so far) to be very real.

The book follows four women (yeah, a little cliche) and tries to find just a glimmer of clarity when it comes to finding love in this day in age. It's something I have been questioning myself. How does one actually connect with another human being when our social skills have gone out the window? We have lost our manners towards others. We relate through iPhones, Facebook, text messages, online dating sites, instant chats, and short hand emails. In a generation where it is so easy to be detached and distant from everyone around us, and yet as a species we are so desperate to connect with other people. We have created a thousands ways to make it easier to communicate with others but in the process we have lost our ability to really understand each other's humanity. Maybe it's naive to think that finding love will happen to everyone but I do believe that everyone can find happiness and this book has reiterated that very point.

There has to be a reason that every self help book on the face of the planet can boil down to one fundamental truth and that is that we have to 'love ourselves'. I think the hardest part of that theory is that our entire society does nothing but promote the idea that we aren't good enough and this is the product that will make you better. What if this is just how we are and we have to learn to do the best we can with the molecular makeup we have. So for a just few moments I want to turn off the phone, shut the computer, walk away and do something that makes me happy. Because being happy really is the best way to love one self. Right?

And yes, this is a little scattered but isn't that the point? To read something and have it provoke your own, random and inspired train of thought.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh the effects of alcohol

I'm sure there is some rule, somewhere, saying you should not blog and post when imbibing vino but here goes (please forgive the grammatical mishaps.)

Spent the night cooking great food (slow cooked beef roast with spicy tomato parsley sauce and roast potatoes), drinking good wine (petite sirah) and good company (Jessica.) Needless to say I may be a little tipsy. And can I just say, thank God! I haven't really been out since New Year's and it's kind of fabulous. I' not saying that I feel the need to go out and get black out drunk, however it is nice to have a few glasses of red wine and just enjoy yourself. You get that warm, swirly, lovely, smirky, adolescent, giddy, slushy, swooning feeling. And it got me thinking, do you think that besides your close girlfriends, can you have social circle, that you don't just fall into, that can actually enjoy a simple evening at home with a meal, a glass of wine and a few episodes of Real World? Yes, every girl needs a dose of bad MTV television every once in a while.

And then, if she is lucky enough to find that group of people, will she ever find that guy to click with and go from there. I just kind of wonder after all the propaganda of "Sex and the City", Lifetime, and every Nicholas Sparks novel ever written, whether or not its just a bad dream or unattainable fantasy. Maybe I'm a little jaded after the pitfalls, rocket ship heights and a slalom like obstacle courses that I have come across in this short life time. I feel that I went through it to be a bit more level headed and bit more equipped to deal with real life. I also feel like I look at every situation with a negative perspective. A bit of a catch .22 I suppose.

How do you find the balance between the two? Equipped for reality and hopefully romantic?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Is there something in the water?

Here's a little story for you. Chris and I have been friends for years. He's the nerdy guy who came into his own during college. He was extremely involved with school politics, fraternity shenanigans and secret societies. He's one of my closest friends and for the longest time, he was very much smitten with me. I was aware of this scenario but had for longest time told him that we were strictly platonic. Well he finally got the hint and things became really good between us. We had the kind of relationship that we could tell each other anything. Then (dun dun dun), I started to fall for him. So f*cking cliche. I mean, come on! The kid was in the same fraternity of my boyfriend of three years. We shared sticky hook up stories, embarrassing drunken moments, and horribly bad judgment calls. We weren't supposed to cross that line. We know almost everything about each other.

Well, I tried to keep it under wraps until I moved home but it a state of not so sober emotional vulnerability, I told him how I felt. I cried a little, poured my heart out into a little pathetic puddle on the floor and pretty much fell apart. Then I kissed him. Yes, folks... I followed the Hollywood movie script and on cue kissed my best friend. Go me! Well after some adolescent making out and heavy petting, I moved back to California. Oh I didn't mention that I told him two days before leaving? Silly me.

Chris came to visit this weekend while my mom is out of town ( it's really sad that I'm 25 years old and have to wait for her to be out of town to be and 'adult') and needless to say I've been "friend zoned." Now, it's exactly as it sounds. He has moved me from the romantic sphere of existence to one of the guys, best good buddy section. So now the tables have been turned and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Do I really have feelings for him that would lead to more or is it just a case of fear of losing one's best friend gone rogue? When I'm with him those feelings feel very much like a cluster of winged insects but on the other hand, I'm not completely useless when he's gone. The people in my life who know about this little situation are not surprised in the least. But what really gets me is that those feelings are gone for him. For fear of sounding conceded, I didn't think those emotions just went away. The rejection of the whole thing has left a funny taste in my mouth but I'm not completely devastated by it either. Shit, does that make me shallow?

So here I am, vacillating between feelings of a romantic nature, needing the emotional support, rejection, searching for normalcy and general confusion towards one of the most important people in my life. And of course the one person that I usually go to when in need of an outside opinion, is no longer on the outside.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thoughts on meditation...completely redundant?

In the process of packing, readjusting, moving, bubble wrapping, needing a mood stabilizer, doing laundry, transferring to storage, strategic job maneuvers, and all around nuttiness I've neglected to give myself anytime to recuperate. Even my mother can tell that I'm pretty much a wreck while I blatantly ignore my deterioration. In a turn of rather serendipitous events, I ran into some of the girls I used to dance with when I was in my teens. They are still teaching at the ballet school where I spent 15 years sweating and twirling and it struck me. The feeling, well more of a need, to find that place of serenity and quiet that I used to find so easily to the tune of Bach during a dance class. Your body is so focused on whatever its doing that it gives your mind an opportunity to just shut the hell up.

So I went for a run. And it was one hell of a run. Granted it's infinitely easier to run at sea level as opposed to the 5,000 foot elevation I had become accustomed, but the hour long run that I took gave me a chance to just let my mind drift and wander as it would. I didn't exactly solve world hunger but things seemed to get a little clearer. The insecurities of moving home, the relationship between Chris and myself, my current unemployment, even the grand picture of my life (and I am a cynical person) just kind of lined up and filed itself away to be dealt with another time. Now if I can reach that kind of secretarial nirvana with my mind on a fairly weekly basis, I think I will probably be a healthier, saner person.

I think from here on out I need to make it a priority to get out of house, and out of my head, if only for an hour. As hippie and new age as it sounds, it felt absolutely amazing to run till I couldn't move my legs and give my constant internal monologue a break.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shelves, well shelf...

I think leaps and bounds are overrated. Especially if you have the spacial relation problems that I seem to have. So for me and this process, I've decided on small, more moderate steps. The kind that at least you can see in front of you and where your foot is going. Today a friend of mine dropped by to help me hang up a shelf in my room. Seeing as I've just moved back in with my mother, in the process of finding my career, and have pretty much changed my life plan, I feel that small accomplishments, at this point, are still in the win column. Being able to get my books, art and small nick knacks back up around the room has a) given me something to do thus distracting me from the fact that I've just moved away from a huge portion of people who are import to me b) remind me that things will, as cliche as it sounds, keep on going and c) that there are people that are still willing to come over and help me. Even if it's just ability to (evenly) hang a shelf. It's the kind of reality check and support a girl needs when she's in limbo.

The long and short of it is after five years of living and going to school in Reno I have finally moved back to California. Yes, I realize that it's really not that much distance but emotionally it may as well be from here to Mars. I have one best friend, Betsy, that has always been my partner in crime. The other best friend, Chris, has recently become a part of my very own after school teen special. That story for another time. Essentially I've been feeling a bit lost and isolated all in the middle of trying to figure my life out. So, the fact that I can call on a friend whom I've been out of touch with for years to help me with something as simple as hanging a shelf has oddly had the effect of reminding me that even though this a huge life change, everything works out in the end. For better or worse or sideways or completely discombobulated.