Thursday, November 29, 2007


I was asked to just take a breath the other day.
From the other end of the phone, on the other side of the country, it was apparent that is all I needed to do. I earned a "there you go!"
My response was "yes, that worked, until I have to breath IN again!"

So, here we have my long term dilema. I can let go, calm down, smile nicely, be a good girl, breathe out... and then there is the opposite.
It is directly after the mellow, it lets me take in everything, knowing that I'll let go of whatever doesn't suit me. The pit fall is that it fills me with details I don't need and options I won't take and dreams that aren't mine and piss and vinigar to boot.
In yoga I learned to count my breath, in for 3, out for 6. I can try, but I get wrapped up in the maybe's and the 'I could do that" and the high of taking it in. Only when I'm writhing in pain do I realize I've forgotten the next step.
It's nearly like it's nourishing to feel like ass and hibernate and hide from the world and anguish over this or that possible opportunity that you will only ever actually have if you can get out of bed. I don't understand people who always have plans. I need alone time, down time, to stop and look around before jumping into the next thing.
But, when the down time turns to self loathing, paralizing fear, anger and hate, I have to know that there is nothing nourishing about that.

And that is where friends come in. To get your attention back to the important and keep you in rhythm.
It seems obvious that I could remember to ebb and flow on my own, but as it turns out, I'm not there yet.
I needed a reminder to breathe.

The best part is the simplicity of it. I used to be all about keeping it simple, going with the flow - it got me nowhere I wanted to be. So I created a need for control over my life - that got me headaches, poor sleep, eating and drinking to excess, and a snarl for life.
Today, sitting at my desk, almost keeping busy enough to warrent the mess on my desk, I noticed an exhale. I heard my friend's voice in my head saying "there you go!!"

Word of the Day: Thanksgiving. I know it was last week, but I am embarrassed that it is my favorite holiday and I had forgotten why. I adore the reminder to give thanks. I like having a day where the purpose is to fill yourself with what you enjoy with the intention of appreciating it.
I can't keep a gratitude journal, I haven't gotten in the habit of thank you cards, and I usually can't flat out say "I appreciate you" unless it's to my car and we are alone... and this year I had a very hard time seeing the silver lining, let alone being thankful for it, even on the day dedicated to it.
But a week later I can, with the help of a friend, look up and see more than dark clouds. I hope you didn't need a reminder like Tday, or a smack on the head to breathe, but if you did, I sincerely hope you have, because this side of that hurdle is surely where the greener pastures lie.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Week

Ok, I actually got here Tuesday night, but I went almost straight to bed (after finding out the roomies bed squeaks- audible from the living room - and so does his girlfriend- making a trip to the bathroom almost entertaining), but immediately dove into unpacking, so I didn't really do anything or see anything outside the house til the weekend.
So now I feel like I've been here for a full week, and am just bursting with stuff to say, but don't know anyone well enough to blurt it to, so here I am!

1) Here they are sneakers. I've called them tennies my whole life. They take this labeling very seriously, as I was heartily corrected mid sentence for using the wrong, though admittedly accurate, vocabulary. Men also get the distinction of topsiders, which are deck shoes, which they were as their casual shoe, even if they are no where near a boat. I've called them, uh, boat shoes, but they seem to carry a special kind of sentimentality here, so I won't touch it.

2) Of course there is traffic. I knew there would be traffic. What I still can't get is WHY. They have a pretty smart way of making sure the cars get to go where they are going without stopping anyone else to make it happen. This is called a jug-handle. They LOVE when I talk about the jug-handle, though I've got nothing but praise for this concept. Sometimes it is before, sometimes after an intersection, but all turns are made from this side-road-access point to keep the thru drivers from waiting for a left hand turn signal or pedestrian in the crosswalk. The trouble is that the lights take just as long; you are not guaranteed a jug-handle so if you are in the right lane you may have to jet left to make a left hand turn or wait and U-turn back, and there is STILL TRAFFIC. Get this - it is a nightmare to widen streets because they would have to also move all the jug-handles!!!! Sometimes the jug-handles get bigger, like they go around a building or a whole block instead of just a corner of park-like nothingness, but this does not mean I'll be getting to work with any sanity any time soon.

3) The food. The white bread out here is just better. I did go for groceries last week, mostly deli stuff, but when the fridge had a foul stench I decided to clean that bastard out before putting any real food in there. This had me getting a familiar hello from the joint up the street that serves pizza, pasta, hot subs, and salads. Yep, I've been in a food coma for a week. This is a terrible way for me to be, as capped off yesterday by my trip to the CVS for tampons with an unplanned grab of the box of Oreo's and a quart of milk (then I ate half a row for lunch immediately upon entering the house). On my sugar buzz I went to the real grocery store, a taste of home because it is owned by a Cali counterpart, and realized when I unpacked that I tend toward really good food when given the choice. You just can't put a meatball sub next to it, cuz I'll eat that too.

4) They say they move faster, talk faster, think faster out here. On holiday weeks, they are slow as molasses just like us lazy west siders. These are all generalizations naturally, but they were so concerned I wouldn't be able to keep up... then took 2 hours deciding what take out to order from before actually going to lunch. Whoh!!! Hold up speed demons, I'm a laid back fruit or nut from Cali, I can't keep up with your frantic NYC-wannabe pace!! I keep reminding them I'm smart enough to follow direction and I have worked for the company before and this job compared to the last one is like monotony on a cracker, but they coddle me anyway. Whatev, I'll suck up the attention and like it.

5) It feels like I've been here forever already. I have to constantly remind myself it's been a, singular, mono, lone, week. Like when I dream of moving out into my own place, or buying a place, or selling a place for a bigger place, I have to look at the box of pictures still not hung in the corner and remember that I haven't even gotten a first paycheck yet. Maybe it's all the Jewish centers around here, got me planning my money before it's even here.

6) The space. There is open space everywhere. They have yards here. Even the strip malls are surrounded by open fields instead of other strip malls. I have to get into a BIG parking lot to see over the trees enough to catch the colors of the sunset. And all the trees were right in the middle of turning when I came in last week, so I'm catching the progress from vibrant to dead. No matter, it creates curbs made of maple leaves that somehow remind me of the Pine Tree Town I grew up in.

7) They don't understand when I say I'm not really used to the cold. What they consider a high for the day is what I'm used to getting as my 4am low. That it is clear out doesn't help me a bit except that I'm more likely to want to go out. Yesterday I spent 4 hours driving around the state - I was wearing mittens for the first 90 minutes of it. I'll be investing in lots of wool socks, and some new shoes to put them in, as well as sweaters that I can wear t-shirts under (the camis give me the shelf bra look, and I just can't have that), and while my cute little coats are, uh, cute, I do need at least one that has a removable fleece lining, preferably something that doesn't imply I'll be skiing any time soon. They tell me this isn't cold, and then clack their teeth on the way to their cars. Bite me, 34 degrees is cold, no matter what. Yes, it snowed on my car the other day, yes I have been rained on, yes I understand this is nothing compared to what February will put me though... I also understand that blood actually thickens up to make you more tolerant to the cold, and my triple layered body is working very hard to make that happen. I'm sure a walk around the massive block would help the circulation, and I see people running outdoors, but somehow I can't manage to get that into the 2 hours of the day it gets above 40 degrees.

8) Last one, I promise.
I want to grow up.
I want to have the balls to tell my roomie that he needs to get some shelves in his closets so this place isn't a clutter fest.
I want to tell the coworkers that giving directions is only useful until I can try them out - repeating them 4 times in a row only makes me want to get in the car, not makes me feel comfortable with taking all back roads through a town I've never heard of.
I want to say to Mr. Jersey that I'm not having sex with anyone until I'm comfortable admitting that I fake it 80% of the time because every guy likes ego strokes, not because I don't know how to get off.
I want to buy furniture. I want to buy things without picturing how easy they would be to pack and move.
I want to say I'm from somewhere in a brief sentence instead of a brief paragraph.
I really really want to buy a place, even a condo, and I think it is mostly about having roots somewhere. My roots though, because I picked that place to call home. Not because I could afford it, or because soandso said I would like it, or because it's close to someone. Are jug-handles and wool socks part of my definition of home?? Well, I'm inclined to think so, though not this part of Jersey, maybe just a smidge more north... but what do I know, I've been here for a week ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Countdown to Tday

It's been almost 3 days of work.
I'm currently the ONLY one in the office.
The super head honcho guy planned the day off, and Friday too I think.
My boss was here until just after lunch, with the announcement that she needed someone to stay until 4pm (but did not announce why), but we could stagger out of here between 3 and 4pm.

As the only one with no family waiting at home, I volunteered to spend the rest of my afternoon surfing the net in the office so they could go.
If I don't catch the roomie in the house soon so I can get one of the 2 computers online for me, I'm going to add internet to my cell phone plan and use my own damn phone line. It's been 3 days, I asked him to log me back in, still nothing, and he's not there when I am to ask again.

So, the job is going well, they are great about helping me with the training and learning curve and getting me to and from the office without too many lost hours on my part, and we got to wear jeans today so it was all smiles.

And, with no plans tomorrow, or until I come back to work on Monday really, I'm here wondering how awful it would be to try to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person(the locals won't DREAM of going into the city on a holiday, got me a little scared),or if I should plan clean the kitchen enough to actually cook in it to make grocery shopping worth while. Also on the list is to figure how many more factors I can add to the list of ways to attempt, without actually facilitating, gaining weight; so far I've got:
-rehydrating after a week of trying to minimize stops while driving cross country
- Flo waiting with baited breath for 5 days
-using full fat full sugar creamer in every one of my 6-8 cups of coffee a day
- get introduced to the pizza/pasta/italian sub place around the corner, where I proceed to eat every meal
- office snacks in the way of Dunkin Donut box of bite-sized delights.
Sure, it's a different belt than the one I needed to cinch by 2 notches while on vacation, but as my only thought turns to how I can't wait to get home and out of this button down shirt and back into sweats, I'm thinking I may have finally gotten the swelling to turn into something that will register on a scale. Not that I have one, but there is something gratifying about not being comfortable in your own clothes AND gaining 5 pounds. Without it you can't even pretend it's muscle weight.

Is it bad that I wear one set of sweats around the house, then change into another set of sweats to go to bed? Is that too much? The PJ version is just so voluminous, and the buttons on the cargo ones dig into me when I roll over... discuss amoungst yourselves, report back.

Word of the Day: tashoyah. As in "just goes tashoyah, you delete their number and they call you within a week", or "hey, I have Got tashoyah this!!" It is one word here, and during training week I've realized this. While the nic-names for stuff being different is worthy of the raz factor going both ways, I'm pretty impressed at how some differences seem to make it under the radar (and have me ducking behind my actually almost privacy invoking cubicle wall to giggle the hardest).

Happy Turkey day!! I hope you guys all get to smile about your celebration plans!! If your day sucks, imagine sitting with me on the leather couch with the huge flat screen tv and total control over the remote with real Baileys in the coffee, with only the heater intake panel to interupt us...

Saturday, November 17, 2007


While there are a few boxes left, I don't feel the need to have 2 coffee pots in use in any kitchen at one time, so I'm basically moved in.
Some of this stuff I didn't even unpack in the home that I shared with my sister, and the walls already carry more of me than the apartment did.
I sleep well, I wake up well, and when thinking of what to do this weekend I am ok with being here.

Sister got a DUI last night.
I got a message from her 12 hours earlier saying "it is still strange not having you here sister".
She hasn't yet explained what happened.
It took me 2 hours to send a reply. I said "I don't know what to say."
6 hours later she asked how the unpacking was going, and that was all there was to that conversation.
I've been gone for a week, and she got herself a record.
Honestly, my first thought, quickly followed by "I got out just in time, and they won't follow me here."

The shock is here.
The solidarity that this is the right thing is what my faith is based on, even if I have no fucking idea what I'm doing here.
I don't feel like I was running away any more than I feel like I came here for any particular reason.
Sometimes though, there is a little familiarity, like I've dreamed this and it's finally here.
It's happened before.
It's de ja vu, but wrapped up in comfort like sheppard's pie with it's blanket of mashed potatoes.

I freaked out, I'm kinda scared, and I really need a map. Other than that, JB has come to visit and given the official seal of approval of the place, as a concerned-for-Sassy citizen, and even hung out long enough to let me scribble some notes on how to get to more than the grocery store, like work. Oh, and his version of Welcome to Jersey that was somehow very close to the Welcome to Vegas I got last week and the Welcome to NYC I got last month.

There will be a whole nuther mental break down on that one, but for now it's nice to have a friendly face and a welcome wagon.
I give it like a month.

Anywho, it feels a little better being here now that the force of Get It Done is gone and it's on to the adventure part of it. And that Sister royally fucked up so quickly makes me know that I needed this. Right now.
Yep, that's what gets me to sleep, that I bailed on my soul sucker sister just in time. Add to that the nausia inducing petrifying panic will have to subside enough to make me put real clothes on and go to work and figure out why the fuck I'm spending Thanksgiving in a parka out side of Macy's for the parade when I've spent the last year sacrificing everything I have for my family.

And there we have it.
A breakthrough.
Did I ever tell you I was a psych major? Oh, and I was a philosophy major too, if that helps you explain why it takes me so unbelievably long to actually say anything =)
Thanks for the session Dr. Blogger. I'll be vacating the living room soon if only not to puke at the giggle fest of the roomies. Turns out it's a freshie relationship, so that explains why I'm so jealous of how much fun they have together and have to hide in my internet-less, tv-less room. Oh, shit, it's 1am and I have a day job in three days. Damn sitcoms and their hypnotic laugh tracks... no wonder I'm hungry...

Oh, right, word of the day is: Rockettes. I heard a commercial for the 75th anniversary Christmas Celebration and thought "huh, maybe I'll go to the 100th and compare them" which was immediately followed by sitting back in my chair and calculating how old I would be and imagining me as a woman hardened by New Jersey traffic and New York subways with stories of being a kid in shorts at Christmas and Easter. Of course by then NJ and NY might also be warm enough for that, but I'm tangentially filling space again - I promise, if this thing had page markers I could finish the thought as the sentance hit the midline of the last line before starting a new page - turns out everything I know I knew in 8th grade. Moving sucks for more than the bruises.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jug Handles

I've made it to Jersey. 3 days of concentrated driving got me from my step-sister's place in Flagstaff, AZ to my new place with almost a shred of intellect left. My ass is flat and my gut is pooched and my posture sucks, but I'm here. The truck of stuff was delivered yesterday, the unpacking has been intense, and there is still plenty to go but I needed a return to the sitting position before my feet completely revolted against being stood on and walked out on me.

I am currently amazed at how I packed everything myself, sealed the boxes myself, and still manage to be allergic to my stuff during the unpacking process, but it's a reason for a break and I'm impressed I've had a thought at all, so thanks for small miracles.

I won't disuade anyone from making the cross country trip, I'll just request that they have enough money to stay in hotels more often and take their time with it. I drove through the entirety of Pennsylvania in the dark - sure, it probably looks a lot like Ohio, but it would have been nice to be an expert on the point. On the other hand, I've learned the value of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the longevity of 8lbs of ice in my cooler, and the number of miles I can go between bathroom breaks (time is irrelelvant in such situations, one must know if "next rest stop, 72 miles" is doable).

Of all the first experiences I've had here so far - getting to a curve in the road and staring at the Empire State Building, Turnpike gas station stops, toll roads, streets that are named Route #xx - my favorite is the randomness of the jug handle turn. It's a great way to avoid traffic being stopped for a left hand turner or pedestrians getting mowed over by a right hand turner, but to see every corner use them and to assume all turns are made from the right and then to get to you're 'exit' from the route to find a left hand turn lane... well, this will be a fun learning curve, I promise you that. Plus, it's fun to say "jug", we kinda let that word fall out of rotation in Cali, and jug handle somehow makes me think of copping a feel 2nd base style... add to that the move to Middlesex county and I'm giggling Bevis and Butthead style every time I talk to anyone.

So, I'm here, slowly regaining my ability to form thoughts and eat something besides drive-thru fare. Next is to finish unpacking, get a TV, and find the phone jack so I don't have to sit in the living room to get online. Other than that, maybe practice wearing real shoes and real clothes so Monday's work attire is less of a shock- it's been 6 weeks!!!!!!!! Off to organize a closet...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Do It

I packed a moving truck alone today.
8' wide, 7' high, 5' deep, tied down, tarped up, and moved the wall of plywood into place myself.
Yes, I manhandled an 8' wide, 7' high slab of plywood down a 28' trailer and locked it into place myself. The truck driver couldn't believe it, he won't even load them in himself.

At this point, after the waiting and dreading and planning and planning a Plan B and C and D, it was all I could do not to get in the car and start driving tonight.
Silly me, when I bumped into Sister this morning - first night she's spent in her own bed in 4 nights, and only because I left a note asking that I be up when she left so I could get my day started - and she didn't know if I left today or tomorrow, I thought she would give a shit that it isn't til tomorrow. I called her when she was supposed to get off work, asked her if it was a good price on the speakers I had to replace (the 4th of July trip she took my car for 12 hours and it came back with the back speakers blown, with a 4 minute commute I didn't give a shit, but I'm driving cross country so it was time to suck it up and prepare to have the volume above 3), and she started in on how hard her day was and how late she would be getting out of the office.
Not that it matters, yesterday she was to call me on her way out of the office and maybe meet me for dinner, I came back to the house at 7pm to find her dressed and ready to go - what did she have to say for herself?? "wanna go to Hollywood? no? didn't think so, bye!"

It's now 7:26pm. The sun has been down for 2 hours. I had a cup of coffee and my favorite doughnut from my favorite place while waiting for the speaker install. I got to the house about half an hour ago to find her in bed with the lights off. Apparently she thinks she's coming down with something. Only because I've artificially stimulated my eyes open am I considering it, but right now I am so frustrated with being ignored I'm ready to hop in the shower, pack my shit, and drive until I see a hotel that will rack me up the airline miles or the Luxor lightbeam, whichever comes first. Surely I'll tucker out right about the time I get the car loaded... maybe that wouldn't be all bad either actually... make it fucking obvious how ready I am to bail by loading the car with my suitcase tonight so I can beat her out the door in the morning and bail.

The big rub is this: after avoiding me for basically the whole 2 weeks I've been living in her bedroom, pointedly disrespecting me here and there, being absolutely no help whatsoever with basics like "I'm taking this jewelry case, which earrings do you want to keep?", she still has the nerve to say (and yes, of the 4 times she's spoken to me in the last 7 days, this was an actual sentance) "I think you should take that bookcase, but no I can't take a lunch and help you load it into the truck. Oh, you want to leave the couch? why???? don't worry, I'll just bring it to you when I come out there or whatever."
Fuck me with a pogo stick.

I will admit part of the appeal of being on the complete opposite side of the country is to be very hard to find by my family. She is already planning to chase me. fuckityfuckfuck. And, go figure, when I try to bring to her attention that this exact behavior is an exact replica of the other times we ended up not talking to each other for about 6 months, she is gone or passed out. Fuck.

So, I'm here killing time until daylight when I can enjoy the scenery and the excitement of a few days in Vegas. A pamer party where I have nothing to do but smile and be enjoyed and spoiled.
And then........................................................................................ I'M MOVING TO JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!
It's guna take a few days, and I didn't invest in a laptop or handheld internet portal yet, but chat me up cuz I'm plopping down in front of the computer the instant I hit my new place and I'd LOVE to feel the love from you!

Friday, November 02, 2007

At Long Last

A job.
I got the job.
Working for my company, in New Jersey.
It took a few weeks to get it to come together, but I just got off the phone with my new boss who thinks it's a little nuts that I want to drive across the country to work with her, but she is excited to have me.
Sight unseen, I got the fucking job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you notes are being mailed today, yes they are!
And, with all the waiting I was considering giving in to the temptation to live somewhere local - now I have got to be across the country and at work 8am 11/19, so no pussy foot'n around it any more.

Yes, I'm excited. I typically don't set big goals because I so hate being disappointed, but here we have it - I wanted a change, I wanted the east coast, I wanted this company to take me places, I wanted to crack the $40K barrier, and I wanted it NOW. I was already hoarse from sleeping with the window open (or the 5 cats in the house, or the lack of any working cleaning tools), but the yelps of happiness I've been squeeking out for the last 10 minutes aren't helping a damn thing!

AAAAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh... now, to nail one of these apartments to the wall and get a lease signed - or find the month to month roomie that will let me pay off my student loan and save for furniture before I sign a lease somewhere... whatever, details work themselves out right??
I'm going for the exponential joy of getting it all together today - job, place, and moving company all set up within hours? With the research and effort I've already poured into this heartwrenching project, absofuckenlutely! Watch this...

Thursday, November 01, 2007


While it was fun to joke about sharing a bed with my sister, somehow the reality is giving me bronchitis.
I've been kinda living like a hermit, rolling from the bed to the computer and forcing myself to the corner gas station for a cup of coffee just to see if the sun came out that day. While in the summer I'm sure it's nice to have the bedroom window completely covered in wild ivy that fills to the last leaf with butterflys, in October, it's simply a pile of deadness covering whatever amount of light the overcast days of fall might allow. And the roomie is more than accomodating, but to be offered food every time I leave the bedroom accompanied with the hour of chat that has every one of her sentances starting with "it's like"... I got bored of it when I lived with a 21 year old, to have a 50 year old doing it is just driving me more and more into my hole.
Well, Sister's hole.
Add to this the screwy sleep cycle (about 4 consecutive hours is all I've managed since returning to CA), the hours spent medling in my old boxes in an effort to ween myself off the packrat mentality and into the tiny Uhaul cross country road trip mentality, and the ashen air replaced with the wet mild fog has my lungs not knowing if they hate living with 5 cats and a broken vacuum more than they hate dust and ash and wetness. Though I do admit there is something almost hot about a Demi Moore rasp, the random hacking cough is getting to be less random and more of a humbling reminder to find the sweatshirts amist the packed boxes.
Perhaps the worst of it all is the leads I've had from jobs and apartments - just enough to get me glued to the internet for 15 hours a day hitting refresh for a morsel of hope that I really will be able to hop in the car next week and start my new life.
In the mean time, its a barrage of moving company quotes, meanial keep busy jobs, shitty roomie situations with outlandish lease requirements, and a few big fish that keep tugging my heartstrings of hope.

It will happen, I'll find a way, but the waiting has me remembering that sometimes being the romantic optomistic has it's perks - everlasting patience for the better.

Oh, there's been plenty of drama too, but honestly, I'm bored of it myself, so you'll miss this round of blah blah dad emails and blah blah Sister bitch fit and blah blah I've deleted half the numbers in my phone for how great my 'friends' have been this week and blah blah Mr. Man hasn't left my email or text alone for more than 6 hours in over a week now and somehow that makes me more sad than excited even though I'm waiting here for him to come take me to Vegas next week.
Back to the rental applications and counting my dollars as they slip out of my account...