Thursday, December 09, 2010

On My Mind*

I have been wanting to write, but have found myself unable. There is too much to think about and it renders me speechless. I wish I had words eloquent enough to convey what is inside my head, how much I want her, what she does to me. Even now I struggle. Why do my thoughts and feelings still my tongue? Steal my voice? I know I don't say enough, I know that my silence says the opposite of what I feel. If only I could express that my silence is not the lack of speech, it is instead full of too much to say. Too many variables, so much possibility. So much that I want. Not having the words, not being able to speak.. it's frustrating.

Music has been my solace; I find relief while submerged in a medium of fluid emotional expression. My thoughts beat against the confines of my skull like the wings of a caged bird. Soft but insistent, they seek release that is not forthcoming. It would be easier if I could tie strands of thought together, sort them, discover what they mean. Why am I finding it so difficult? How can I convey the depth my want, cleverly and poetically, as it deserves to be expressed?

It would be so much easier if she could read my mind..

* I just randomly came across this piece of writing that I did five years ago and thought it a propos, considering I just wrote about alexithymia. I was surprised at the near-poetry of the language and a bit proud of myself!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I just had the most random IM exchange with a stranger that went something like this:

THEM: do you like quicksand?
ME: What?
THEM: do you know what quicksand is?
ME: Yes..
THEM: have you ever seen real quicksand?
ME: No
THEM: ...

-- And then they stopped IMing. What the hell? --

Monday, December 06, 2010


Alexithymia. Kind of has a ring to it, doesn't it? I guess if you're going to have a disorder-they-say-isn't-really-a-disorder, it could have worse names.

Well, what the hell is it?, I'm sure you're wondering.


Alexithymia is considered to be a personality trait ... Alexithymia is not classified as a mental disorder in the DSM-IV. It is a dimensional personality trait that varies in severity from person to person. A person's alexithymia score can be measured with questionnaires such as the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire (BVAQ),   or the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS). 
Alexithymia is defined by:
  1. difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal
  2. difficulty describing feelings to other people
  3. constricted imaginal processes, as evidenced by a scarcity of fantasies
  4. a stimulus-bound, externally oriented cognitive style.
     (a cognitive style that shows a preference for the external details of everyday life rather than thought content related to feelings, fantasies, and other aspects of a person's inner experience)
Points 1 and 2 -- dingdingdingding! I have so. much. trouble. explaining my feelings. I would be an amazing poet and writer if I was capable of translating the emotions I felt into words. It's like being a poet with no mouth, hands, or means of communication. And point 4, pretty true, in that it's impossible for me to describe my inner world, my inner state, and I often find it incredibly embarrassing to share my raw thoughts and fantasies.

I've suspected I'm alexithymic for a few years, especially when I was having considerable difficulties in two different long-term relationships. I've been called cold and distant, and both of these women were understandably hurt and frustrated at my inability to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with them. It became a real point of contention by the end of my 2.5 year relationship with J, the PhD in psychology. (though I find it slightly ironic, given her field, that even though I'd mentioned my suspected alexithymia early in the relationship, she didn't seem to understand it when she was involved personally)

Alexithymically-speaking, I have a lot of troubles in other areas besides my 'intimacy issues'.

To figure out what I'm feeling takes time. I have a mental rolodex of emotions I've already named and categorized and I often have to go through it and hold my current feelings against each emotional card. Is it jealousy? Nope. Is it sadness? Nope. Is it anger? Well, kinda. Is it uneasiness? Yeah, that too. And so on, until I feel I've teased out all of the emotions and I know what I feel.

When involved in difficult or turbulent relationships, I sometimes develop confusing physical symptoms. After things went into the shitter with E, I experienced: deep depression, several bouts of serious, debilitating back pain, the flu, a cold, IBS, an abscess, and some migraines. This is a huge contrast with lower stress times, where physically I'm pretty good.

I will often get physically ill during times of great stress and upheaval. They're usually weird physical ailments like lower back pain, digestive issues, headaches/migraines, etc. and it takes me an embarrassing amount of time to connect the physical problem to the mental source (feeling/suppressing lots of emotions). I have a tendency to get depressed and not even realize I'm depressed until a week or two in, until I've thoroughly analyzed my behavior over that period of time and reached the conclusion that what I'm feeling is depression.

I have a hard time expressing my feelings for others. Do you know how frustrating and heart-wrenching it is to be accused of emotionally neglecting someone you love like crazy, only the boatload of feelings you have can't come out in the way that the person wants or needs? Fuck.

I  have a hard time expressing how events made me feel, or the emotional details of events.

I often have to hang back and listen to other people talk about the same event or situation, or a similar situation they've been through. When someone describes the feelings they experience under circumstances similar to my own, it helps me see what my own feelings might be.

It really pisses me off, but I am useless in arguments. It's too much stuff coming in, and too many feelings I don't have names for, and I don't even know what to think, much less form the kind of coherent, intelligent response that I desperately want. It's simply too overwhelming at the time. I have to go away, ponder everything, do some emotion-matching with myself, and only then do I have an inkling of how I want to respond. But then, of course, it's too late. So, basically, I try to avoid all confrontation because I never fare well.

I took the Toronto Alexithymia Scale today and scored 128. The max possible score is 185 and a tally of 113+ = alexithymia. One, I'm glad to know it's not considered a disorder. I have enough mental disorders, what with the anxiety and OCD. Two, it sucks, but it makes me feel relieved that there's a name for this weirdness that I experience.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Intelligence: The Evolution of Night Owls

Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at The London School of Economics and Political Science, argues that, while we have specialized mental modules for navigation, social interaction, and other age-old tasks, general intelligence is its own module handling only evolutionarily novel circumstances. And he has data showing that people with higher IQs are more likely to have values and preferences that just didn't make sense for our ancestors to embrace. One of those is staying up late.




"Sure, you've seen cats fight before. But have you ever seen cats fight... to an intense, perfectly-timed action-movie soundtrack (Hans Zimmer's Alan Silvestri's Predator score)? I'm going to get Silvestri to score my next visit to the DMV." [Gawker]

Friday, October 01, 2010

Anna David - Fuck You

My friend posted this on Facebook the other day and it's become my new favorite song.

Kuraki yori
Kuraki michi ni zo
Haruka ni terase
Yama no ha no tsuki

Out of darkness,
Yet shall I follow a path of greater darkness;
From the mountain crest,
Far-off moon,
Give me light.

-- Murasaki Shikibu, Japanese poet and writer (c. 1000)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cork Incident

I have random trains of thought and the one just now brought me to an event that happened in June 2006. It's a favorite story, I've found; people really seem to enjoy it, so I figured I'd write it down.

Summer 2006. My then-girlfriend, Jen, and I planned a 3-week trip to Italy to visit my family. I've been out and openly dating women for 13 years, but this was the first time ever that my mom would meet one of my girlfriends. Jen was my first real, serious long-term relationship and in the time we had been together up until that point, she had heard stories and was pretty well-aware of my mom's personality. But, as I tried to warn her, stories weren't adequate preparation for the real thing...

Things didn't go very smoothly. Jen, God love her, was so easy-going and tried really hard to get to know my mom and to get along with her. It drove Jen crazy that we got stuck in Monterosso due to my mom (every day, she'd call and say, So, today, I need you to..) and it upset her that my mom and step-father treated me like shit. The visit was kind of a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs.

One night after dinner, Jen, my mom, and I were sitting at the table outside on the terrace. The scene was lovely: candles burning, the sound of waves lapping on the beach mere feet away, all three of us had a nice, happy wine buzz going. We were chatting and gradually the conversation turned to my mom's childhood.

Without going too deep into detail, my mom had a really fucked up upbringing and like me, it's amazing that she got out of it and became such a successful person. As much as she drives me crazy, I have always admired her strength, determination, and pluck. I hadn't heard the tale of her childhood in probably two decades, so I listened with interest. The prosecco flowed like a river and we just kept drinking and talking.
She gradually got more and more emotional as she told her story, until she was crying. The moment was really touching and I hadn't felt that close or loving toward my mom in years. Jen, having just earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology, was a bit awed at the sudden outpouring of honesty and vulnerability.

At the end of the story, we each had tears in our eyes and I got up and gave my mom a huge hug. I felt really close to her, something that rarely happens, and I was so touched and sad for her.

We sat in silence for a time, collecting our thoughts, drinking more, listening to the waves. I can say definitively that, at this point, we were all pretty drunk, but the prosecco kept flowing. It was a nice, peaceful moment that I savored, feeling full of warmth and goodwill towards my mom and Jen.

After a time, my mom spoke up and the atmosphere and tone of the conversation did a complete 180°. She started asking Jen questions about her mom. It started out innocently enough, but then gradually became more and more prying, causing Jen to prickle.

Jen's mom is a lay nun in the Franciscan order, so she is really, devoutly Catholic. When she and Jen's dad divorced when Jen was 12, Jen's mom decided she'd sinned enough by getting the divorce and never dated anyone afterward. My mom kept asking, But Jen.. I don't get it. Why do you think your mom never had any boyfriends?

Jen tried to be patient and kept telling my mom she was uncomfortable answering that question. It was obvious she didn't want to discuss it and any normal, polite person would have dropped the subject. My mom, however, was seriously drunk at this point and apparently super feisty. She kept poking, prodding, prying, asking basically the same question again and again, in an increasingly more irritated, frustrated way.
Jen started to get irritated, too, that her boundaries weren't being respected. She finally put her foot down and said, You know, Paula, I really don't feel it's right to discuss this, I'm not comfortable, and I would appreciate a change of subject.

I was sitting at the table with Jen to my left and my mom to my right. There was a period of silence after Jen told my mom to drop it. I looked down at the table to collect my thoughts and the next thing I knew, I saw a wine cork bounce across the table, from Jen across to my mom.

I looked up sharply, my brain unwilling to comprehend. One glance at Jen's angry, disbelieving face confirmed my suspicions, another glance at my mom staring at Jen with a challenging expression, then back to Jen, it all sinking in slowly.

Uuuuuuhhhhh.. no way, I thought. But.. yes way.

My mom, in her frustration at Jen's unwillingness to give her the dirt, threw a wine cork at Jen's head. The cork hit Jen in the forehead, bounced off, and then went bouncing along the table. Jen was stunned, as was I. They sat there for several very long moments, glaring at each other. My brain was still having trouble processing what had just happened, and all I could manage to say was a worthless reprimand: "MOM!"

I had no idea what to do, but then Jen got up abruptly and started cussing my mom out, including several instances of the F-bomb. I managed another "Mom! I can't believe you did that!" before getting up and following Jen down the steps and back to our apartment. Jen was raging pissed and it took some time to calm down enough to go to bed.

At about 10 in the morning, my phone rang and it was my mom. I answered, not having any idea what to expect. Surprisingly, she was very humble and apologetic. The first words out of her mouth were, "Do you hate me?"

"I am so, so sorry. I don't even know what to say. I can't remember the last time I was that drunk. You guys just kept pouring more! I woke up at 4 in the morning with the worst hangover and headache I've ever had in my life. Please forgive me."

The cork incident: perhaps forgiven, but definitely not forgotten.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trapped in the Shallow End of the Dating Pool

In the gay world, the dating pool is generally pretty small, no matter where you are. In the straight world, if you see someone you're attracted to and with whom you hit it off, you have a pretty good chance that the person at least goes your way. It's estimated that 10% of the population is gay; among that 10%, I don't know what the actual breakdown is, so I'll just go 50-50 on gender. If you look at the numbers, straight people have pretty good odds (90%) and a pretty extensive dating pool. When you're gay, things quickly turn a bit incestuous on the dating front.

Nowhere else does this hold true more than in the lesbian community. It's impossible to avoid, no matter where you live or how hard you try. You end up creating a network of lesbians, and the more the web builds, the more incestuous it gets. Working in the same circles and socializing with other lesbians, you repeatedly cross paths with the same people. People you know, people who know you, people who know the people you know, and so on.

A most interesting phenomenon to me is that when lesbians break up, there is so much more of a tendency to remain friends than in any other orientation. I don't know why we do this, but it's so true. I have remained friends with nearly every girl I've dated and the ones that didn't make the cut were excluded for good reasons, such as toxic craziness.

Having people in your life that know you better than anyone else is extremely nice. I heard once that having a romantic relationship with someone is like taking a lengthy, upper division course in them; while you're together, you are majoring in that person. You spend so much time learning about this other person, you see the real person, you've seen them at their worst, shared intimate and vulnerable moments together, you know who they are and vice versa. When you break up, what are you supposed to do with all the knowledge?

I imagine any straight guy reading this is boggled right now, unable to get unstuck from the notion of being friends with exes. Uh, what? My girlfriend gets jealous if I even mention the name of an ex! That may be so, but in the lesbian world, it's more accepted than not. Now, I'm not saying there's no jealousy, or that all lesbians keep their exes around. Just that it does happen frequently enough that it's understood. Individual results may vary.

So, why does this happen?
The way I figure it, I really cared for and admired all of my exes at one point. There's usually good reason for this and it doesn't end when we figure out we don't make a good couple. When it comes to that sudden arrival of excess knowledge and experience, I want to bank it, not throw it away.

I don't have a lot of family and the family I do have, I'm not emotionally close to. For someone like me, it's a cherished thing to have someone I was myself with and who, at the very least, has a deeper understanding of who I am than other people. I'm a guarded person and I can be difficult to know. A couple of my exes expressed frustration at trying to chip through the walls. It's tough for me, so it takes work, but these girlfriends that tried diligently, they have seen things I keep hidden from others. They have seen me bursting with joy and at the depths of despair. They took care of me when I was so sick that I had no pride left. These women and I have been through some shit together. Isn't that the very definition of a friend, someone who is on your side through thick and thin?

On the other side of the coin, so as to not overly glorify ex collecting, the baggage rarely goes away entirely. Whatever resentments existed, the things you disagreed about repeatedly, the hurt feelings; these things might fade to nothing, but chances are their ghosts still linger in dark corners. While it's amazing to have someone who knows you that well, it also can be aggravating to have someone who knows you that well.  My ex friendships have generally mellowed over time and our hurts forgiven, but there are several girls out there who know exactly how to push my buttons. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We're grateful that most people treated us like crap in our childhood, because it taught us both to value kindness & happiness above all other luxuries or generosities, & it brought us together in friendship & love.

I found this really poignant. I've often wondered how, despite a dysfunctional family and all the shit I've had to swallow over the years, I managed to turn out so well. This postcard made it all clear in an instant -- my experiences have made me deeply value goodness, kindness, honesty, and love.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The world is creeping ever-closer to my idea of Utopia -- a world where you never have to leave your house or interact with anyone. (mostly kidding)

Have you ordered a pizza from Domino's online lately? I was a delivery driver/manager for Domino's ages ago and generally can't stomach it, but they had some tantalizing coupons. Check out this pizza tracking system! A PIZZA TRACKING SYSTEM. Genius.

However, now I know that my pizza came out ages ago and is now sitting in the store getting cold, waiting to be delivered. :\

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to Care for Introverts

  • Respect their need for privacy.
  • Never embarrass them in public.
  • Let them observe first in new situations.
  • Give them time to think. Don't demand instant answers.  [Ed: OMG, f'serious!]
  • Don't interrupt them.
  • Give them advanced notice of expected changes in their lives
  • Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing before calling them to dinner or moving on to the next activity.
  • Reprimand them privately.
  • Teach them new skills privately, rather than in public.
  • Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests and abilities; encourage this relationship even if the friend moves.
  • Do not push them to make lots of friends.
  • Respect their introversion. Don't try to remake them into extraverts.

(stolen from Lynne)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fritatta with Onion & Fresh Herbs

Frittatas were originally a peasant food, made cheap and easy with whatever ingredients were at hand. Frittatas are super delicious and usually a big hit with people. They are super easy to make once you get the hang of them and you can use whatever kinds of ingredients you want. I think my favorite frittata is the egg and parmesan with leftover pasta that had been tossed in my mom's ragu sauce. It may sound weird, but don't knock it until you try it! So yummy.  :9


  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced or 10 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 - 6 large eggs (you can use up to 8 or 9 if you like your frittatas thicker), as fresh as possible
  • 4 Tbsp. assorted fresh herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 Tsp. assorted dry herbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano, grated (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Optional additions:
  • 3 zucchini, sliced
  • 3 golden potatoes, cubed or sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 12 oz spinach or other greens
Place onion, oil, salt and pepper in large sauté pan. Cook until transparent, about 8 minutes using medium heat. Add optional ingredients.

Beat together in small bowl eggs, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

When onions (and other veggies) are cooked, add egg mixture to pan. Cook while using a spatula to push the cooked edges toward the middle, tilting the pan to allow the uncooked egg to run into the space. Do this all around the pan until the egg doesn't run anymore.

Check to see if bottom is slightly browned and the mixture is beginning to hold together. If you have an oven-friendly sauté pan, preheat your oven to 350 and when the bottom is browned, pop the pan in the oven until the frittata has cooked through and the top is well-set.

If you don't have an oven-friendly sauté pan, carefully transfer the frittata to a plate or pan cover, then invert back into the pan. Cook the other side then invert onto a serving plate.

Garnish with more fresh herbs and freshly ground pepper, serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Thought

Sometimes, someone's point of view so disgusts and/or confounds me that I can't even muster a reply.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The End as We Know It

My time here is winding to a close. It's Thursday evening and I leave on Sunday morning for a few days of mini vacation in Stresa, on Lago Maggiore. My time there is short, but there are really only a couple of things I want to do, so hopefully, it will be peaceful and relaxing. I know the photo ops will abound!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot. Humid. Working my ass off.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marinated Carrot Sticks

There are a few items we make and serve on the tours that people go absolutely nuts over, which amuses us quite a bit because everything we do is fairly simple and easy to replicate at home. We're flattered, sincerely, that people like our cooking, but the amusing part is that people seem to think we're like top chefs or something. :)

The marinated carrots get gobbled up and people are always asking for the recipe. So here is how to make them (From Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking):

  • 1/4 pound carrots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel the carrots, cut them into 2-inch lengths, and cook them in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the thickness, youth, and freshness of the carrots. For this recipe, they must be cooked until tender, but firm because the marinade will soften them further. To cook them uniformly, put the thickest pieces into the water a few moments before the thin, tapered ones.
2. Drain and cut the carrots lengthwise into sticks about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a small, but deep serving dish.
3. Mash the garlic clove with a heavy knife handle, crushing it just enough to split it and to loosen the skin, which you will remove and discard. Bury the peeled clove among the carrot sticks. Add the oregano, salt, a few grindings of pepper, the red wine vinegar, and just enough olive oil to cover the carrots.
4. If serving them the same day, allow the carrots to steep in their marinade for at least 3 hours at room temperature. If making them for another day, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until 2 hours before serving, allowing them to come to room temperature before bringing to the table. If keeping for longer than a day, remove the garlic after 24 hours.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Jack-of-all-trades, master of none frittatas.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Word of the Week

This week’s word is slightly more advanced, in that it’s not just Italian, it’s dialect.

It means ‘sea glass’. It’s also the name of one of our favorite cafes/bars. Up until recently we flailed horribly at trying to pronounce this word. With some tutoring from my step-father, we finally got it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Word of the Week

Last week's was lavastoviglie, which means 'dishwasher'. A word you'd assume one should come to know pretty quickly, but it's a toughie and hard to wrap your mouth around. Carrie and I learned this one last week when trying to buy dishwasher soap tablets at the market and I made a point to remember it.

So, Word of the Week is born.

This week, it is stuzzicadenti, which means 'toothpick'. Another common one, yet difficult to remember and to say. I think we've mastered it!

Thursday, June 03, 2010


I'm in a really weird space, quite an odd, transitional period in my life. I don't really know who I am anymore. I mean, I sort of know.. I know what I believe in, what I stand for, that sort of thing, but I have no idea who I've become or what my place is in the world.

In a way, I feel like a ghost. I float through life, going through the motions, but a shadow of myself. I have no idea what people think of me, how I come across, where I'm going, what my place in the world is. I feel almost like I don't exist. If I didn't have interactions with people, I would think I wasn't really here at all.

I feel void, empty, not me, not anyone. I don't like this feeling. Generally, I've been feeling kind of down on myself. I feel like I'm not myself. I don't even get the kind of reaction from other people that I'm used to. It makes me wonder, again, it's like, do I really exist? Who is this person people are talking to? I'm not sure I know her.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Every time I come here, I think maybe this time, I'll be able to blog. The truth is that when I'm here, I am simply too busy and, consequently, too tired. The past week has been a bit of a blur. Carrie left to attend her grandfather's funeral right before I arrived, so I had to hit the ground running despite jet lag and a complete lack of enough sleep.

We have been so freaking busy, it's nuts. I was cooking and cleaning up after two tours a day, by myself. Thank god Carrie returned, but then she had to leave again to attend a friend's wedding in England.
Anyway, I've been pretty much busting my ass since I got here, much of it by myself. I am so glad Carrie's back and now I have company and help!!

It's hard to complain when I'm in one of the world's most beautiful places. I feel ungrateful, actually, for having anything other than Oh my god, I am so lucky! thoughts. The truth is, this is kind of my personal hell, albeit a really beautiful hell?  I don't know, I come here and I have to surrender myself, work my ass off, and be bossed around by my mother whenever I'm here. Everyone is always like, Oh, you're so lucky to get to come here for vacation! and I want to reply, Uh, yeah, it's not really vacation for me, is it?

We have mostly been doing tours and such. Other than that, I've done some work on our small farm (orto). Seeing that my mom's been gone for almost a year, everything is really dirty, cluttered, and in need of elbow grease. Angelo kept turning away the lady who usually cleans the house, telling her "my house is clean!" (*cough* bullshit *cough*). Thankfully, we've gone above Angelo's head and now she's begun to work on reversing the deep dirty mess this house has become. My mom would die if she could see it, haha. The truth is, the tours are a ton of work and there really is no way to do that and keep the house in order. I started, one thing at a time, and within three days each part I cleaned was back to its filthy state. Very frustrating.

I can't believe I've only been here just over a week. It feels like a month already. Carrie says she's pretty much over it, since she did this May-October last year, and will probably be leaving in July, when my mom returns. This SUCKS. I rely on Carrie for fun, for someone near my age, someone to balance the craziness that is my family. Even if she wasn't working and helping with the tours, I would want her around as someone to commiserate with.

Anyway, my date of freedom is August 12. I am looking forward to that date like you wouldn't believe. It signals the beginning of my new life in California, on my own, without having an overly-controlling mother breathing down my neck. Getting my life back on track, doing things for me, and being in charge of my own life. With Mom on a separate continent, as I like it. ;)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Universal Truths

  1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  2.  Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
  3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I  was younger.
  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
  5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
  7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  8.  Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.
  10. Bad decisions make good stories.
  11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything  productive for the rest of the day
  12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray?  I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.
  13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash  this - ever.
  15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring Hello? Hello?  Damn it!, but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times then goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
  20. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.
  21. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.
  22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
  23.  The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.
  24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  25. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word  they said?
  26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent an ass from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?
  29. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  31. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on  the Donkey - but I’d bet my behind everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

(stolen from Lisa, who stole it from Jane)

Day 1

I arrived in Italy yesterday, but am not counting it because it wasn't a full day, I was exhausted and zombie-like, and I didn't really do much. My mom's assistant had to go back to the US due to a sudden family tragedy, so I woke up at 7 this morning knowing I had quite the full day ahead of me.

5 people for the lunch tour, 9 for the sunset tour. The lunch tour has been sent off, and I feel pretty proud of myself for whipping together the food on such short notice and with almost no supplies in the fridge or pantry.


  • Frittata with onion, sage, and zucchini
  • Caprese salad with cherry tomatoes & fresh basil
  • Olives from this area
  • Homemade sundried tomato pesto (used the last of what was in the fridge)
  • Swordfish steaks and skewers (olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and rosemary marinade)
  • Shrimp skewers (olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and rosemary marinade) - both shrimp and swordfish will be grilled on board
  • Focaccia (bought, freshly made)
  • Salumi and Cheese board (parmesan, grana padano, and caciotta)
  • Sliced peaches (lemon juice and sugar marinade)
The sunset tour will be a bit more difficult. I need to buy more supplies but the stores have closed for siesta. I'm hoping I can knock out the rest of the stuff and then run and get more produce when things re-open. I have to make more spreads -- we serve an artichoke, caper, and green olive spread in addition to the red pesto.
Anyway, not bad for someone still operating on California time. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shamanic Journey Group

I just got back from the shamanic journey group ( and it was pretty emotional for me, as I thought it probably would be.

I had a hard time at the beginnning, loosening up and joining in the circle/energy raising activities.
The first journey, I was so blocked and found it really hard to focus. I couldn't visualize, couldn't get past the tunnel part, even though I desperately wanted to. It was kind of frustrating and made it more difficult to concentrate.

I spent most of the time in the dark, trying to see and feel the tunnel in order to come out of it. Finally, I did, and I was in a peaceful, sunny meadow with tall grass. Immediately, I heard a songbird sing.. loud and clear like it was in the room with my physical body. I didn't see any animals, though I'd hoped my power animal would be waiting at the end of the tunnel to guide me.

I began walking through the tall grass, feeling how good the warmth of the sun felt, how good the grass felt. I stopped and smelled the air and watched the insects flit about.

I kept waiting for an animal to appear, but there was nothing but me, the meadow, and the sun.
It felt really joyful and good and tears started streaming from my eyes... I think because I haven't felt that kind of joy for a long time.

I flopped down in the grass and enjoyed the way it smelled and felt. Then I went and sat with my back against a tree and tried to feel the tree's energy, but I was still really blocked, so I got up and walked through the grass again.

The next thing I knew, I lifted up from the ground and spread wings I hadn't realized I had until that moment. I began to fly, somewhat slowly, and that, too, felt very joyful.

I flew and looked down at the meadow, then a forest, and then I could see a winding, sparkling river. I was about to fly over the river when we got called back to the group and the journey was over.

The second journey, I was in a better mindset and better prepared. This time, I saw the hole immediately, at the base of a tree, and I went in. I could see the darkness winding, the tunnel walls passing as I wound my way down, much like being on a waterslide. It felt like a while before I found the end and I think I was too eager because I found myself in the same meadow as before, only it was dark and lifeless. It didn't feel right, so I went back to the tunnel until I came out again.

The end of the tunnel was covered in leaves. I pushed my way through the leaves and realized that I was in a very tall tree, well off the ground. This surprised me because I expected to come out on the ground.
I started to climb up the tree, up the branches. I kept climbing until I was near the top. I could sense an animal or something about to happen, so I sat down on one of the branches and looked around me.

A large, beautiful red-tailed hawk sat near me. Feathers gleaming in the sun, golden beak, and glinting, intelligent eyes. I was excited because this time I thought I might get some answers.

I greeted the hawk and asked if it could help me. I asked how I could heal my pain and it didn't respond, it just looked at me. I felt so desperate and full of emotion that I cried and kept asking it to help me, how I could heal, how I could get rid of the pain, anger, and resentment.

It responded that I have what I need to heal and then told me most importantly, "You have strength and cunning. You have what you need."

It didn't make me feel better and I wanted to let these things go, to get them out of me. The hawk was very kind, strong, and empathetic. It listened and comforted.

I asked if I could merge with it and then I did. We were one and we took off from the branch and began to soar high above the ground.

The hawk, who I somehow knew to be female, said, "You must let go of these things that weigh you down." With that, I watched a white, stone-like thing fall away and hurtle toward the ground. "If you are not weighed down, you can fly."

Just drop them and let them fall away, and feel lighter.

I still didn't feel healed, as I'd hoped, but I did feel comforted, understood, and listened to. I think the message is that only I can decide to be happy and that I have to decide to drop the bad things that drag me down.

We flew around a while and then I asked if I could ride on her back. We landed, I climbed on, and we flew again. This time, she went into dive and we hurtled toward the ground. "Fear," she said, "is not necessary" and with that, she pulled up and we soared again.

We sat on the branch again and I stroked her feathers. I asked if she could help heal me and I envisioned opening my chest while she plucked out the bad things with her beak.

We ended up flying upward, to the top of a mountain. I took in the world around me and still felt so desperate to be healed. At this point, I wanted an embrace, to be held, and she tried to wrap me in her wings.

I wanted something warm and soft, so I asked if I could see my grandpa and he appeared. Of course I cried again, so happy to see him, but so sad with missing him and that he's gone.

It was wonderful... I hugged and kissed him, held his hand, and he wrapped me in a warm hug, which was exactly what I needed. I got to spend a little time with him, being reminded of how his cheek felt when I kissed him, the smooth dryness of his hands. I got to tell him I love him and miss him and that I'm so regretful that I didn't visit him in the hospital sooner. He reminded me of the moment that day when he recognized me and took my hand. He told me it was okay.

It felt so good to be there with him that I wanted to stay, but that was the end of the journey and I was called back.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reason #847 Why I Do Not Speak to My Bio Dad

I haven't spoken to my dad in about 12 years. I declined his Facebook friend request. However, his profile is free for anyone to view, and while I was searching for his link to our family tree, I noticed this on his wall:

Srsly? Ugh.

And then, that's not even the half of it.. his wall is full of posts against Obama and praising the neo-Con wingnuts. Then there is this gem, which is so shameful to me.

I'm one of those fruits. Thanks, Dad.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sound Familiar?


Use this website to create a PDF file which can be printed and folded to create a paper CD case.

I Can Totally Relate to This

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Since arriving back home to California, I've had this nagging, goofy urge to refer to all the Spanish place names (Palo Alto) as their English translations (Tall Tree). I am aware that this amuses only me and have thus far managed to keep this to myself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watching the Train Wreck...

My last girlfriend and I broke up last June. We had a good short run in the beginning (August to December), but from January to June, the relationship had turned so shitty and mentally/verbally abusive towards me that, once the breakup happened, I never looked back.

Curses on you, Facebook, for allowing this crazy ex of mine a venue to subtly inform me she's dating again. I've been preparing myself for this inevitability and what has come up for me is that I don't care, but I guess that's not entirely true because, thinking about it, I felt that I seriously would feel bad for anyone getting involved with my ex because she's super crazy and immature.

Now, I am an emotionally weird person. I have, right hand to God, no desire whatsoever to be involved with E again, yet part of me is slightly jealous or something? I don't get it. Anyway, I was curious and checked out this new girl and she's so damn cute. I am not jealous of the cuteness because I don't give a flip about who E dates, but it does make me feel sorrier for this nice-seeming girl. She has no idea what she's getting involved with.

This is the second time I have really, really wanted to warn someone I didn't know that they might want to think twice about their involvement with a totally crazy person. However, there is no way to go about this that would seem sane, that wouldn't get me in trouble with the crazy, and probably very little likelihood that the person I was trying to tip off would listen to me anyway. It feels like wanting to yell at somebody in a movie, "No, girl.. don't do it! Nononono...aaaaagh, no.."

So, again, I feel helpless, like I know there's going to be a messy train wreck and I just have to stand by and let it happen..

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ridiculous Crushes on Fictional Characters

Agent Dunham 

My current celebrity crush is Anna Torv. I was bored and started watching Fringe and what immediately hooked me was that there was an ass-kicking female lead character. Oh, and she happens to be so hot.

She's cute and hot and she has freckles. There is also this soft-spoken tomboyishness, which may simply be the character of Agent Dunham, but whatever it is, I like it. Then there's this episode of Fringe that is one of the hotter things I've watched -- Agent Dunham is straight, but does a mind meld with a guy capable of influencing other people's emotions.. just as he's about to seduce a stripper. Anna's acting is superb and her desire for the woman is titillatingly palpable.. I'm practically fanning myself just thinking about it. Anyway, all of this has moved her to the number one spot on my Celebrities I'd Like to Make Out With list.

Imagine my glee when I Googled her and discovered she was in a BBC show and played a lesbian. Now I get to sit in the privacy of my room to perversely revel in the scenes where Anna kisses girls.

Agent Dunham

Hee hee.