Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To The Good

I don't think I've ever let two full months go by and not written a single word. And though I've been letting the busy in my life take over, the quiet in my head made me sit down and write tonight.

Life has sped up drastically, though I'd say it's definitely improved when five months into a new relationship, I found myself moving in with my boyfriend who I can't imagine ever being without and I can see a future I really wasn't sure was ever going to happen kind of right in front of me. That's been pretty wonderful.. and challenging. 

Not everything went as well as we'd hoped. Maybe three days after I moved in, a storm drain clogged and since we're on the ground floor, our new little lovebird nest took on some water that was significant enough to damage most of the flooring and two feet up in three separate walls. So this was super stressful and my belongings were still in boxes, which were in the way of everything and my cat was looking at me like I was crazy and wondering why the hell she was locked in the bathroom day in and day out for a very long weekend and strangers were in the apartment with large noisy saws and other tools scaring the bejesus out of her trying to fix everything. And my adorable boyfriend and I were becoming an old married couple right before my eyes bickering about nothing and everything that was going wrong because there was no where calming to come home to or wake up to and FOR THE LOVE OF PETE could we just fucking catch a break?

True story. That. No maybe about it. But the landlord paid for a weekend in a hotel, which was a welcome getaway, halved the rent since we were extremely put out for two full weeks and paid for the other incidentals as well. Due to his poor choice of contractors or maybe haunted grounds this apartment is built on (I don't know, just guessing), the laminate flooring is coming right back up in places, but not so terribly we can't live here so we're leaving it. We've informed the landlord, but only if it gets worse will anything be done and at that point, he'd better just find us another place or let us out of the lease we have til the end of next July because we're finally settled goddammit. Art has been hung on the walls and everything! It finally, FINALLY looks like a place we're both happy to come home to. 

And though we've been pretty insular and focused on ourselves, we fell into shock and mourning along with the rest of the country on Friday when we heard 20 little, tiny lives along with six others were so tragically lost. 

Hanging up art the next day seemed trivial. The Scientist and I poured over every new detail made available, even the gruesome ones. He let me sit and obsess over the laptop with tears running down my cheek and would hold me close when I couldn't take anymore and finally shut it for the day. We talked about the gun debate together so I didn't have to discuss it on social media because I just didn't have the energy to fight about it though of course I want things to change and quickly. And even with our hearts heavy, we found joy in working together, bickering here and there, but getting the art hung and making this little apartment our first home together. Our hearts are still broken for the lives taken unneccesarily because how can you not feel how shattered that little town is? We just have to move forward with them in our minds and hearts because they are. 

That said, Ann Curry seems to have started the 26 Acts of Kindness and I'm in. I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I think I'm not going to think too hard about it and do my best to keep track.. and maybe it'll just become a habit in life. Wouldn't that be nice? If we all just did kind things for each other just because? Out of the goodness of our hearts. Not because of a national tragedy, but because we simply felt compelled to be generous and sweet and loving to our neighbor. Because it's contagious you know. And maybe it's a little cheesy. Maybe a stranger will look at you funny when you pay them a compliment out of no where or buy them their coffee because they happen to be behind you in line at the cafe, but so what? That ball will keep rolling and the smile you put on their face will spread like a virus. It won't prevent every negative in the world and bad things will still happen, but spreading good and kind and nice has never been a bad thing, right?

For now, I'm up too late, missing The Scientist who I drove to the airport at 5am this morning so he could spend the next 10 days with his family in Chicago. And though we decided this will be the first and last major holiday we spend apart, it's still going to be a really long 10 days. I'm so much more in love with him than when I first fell and the weekend's events have made me raw and emotional. It's a welcome change to lean on your partner in the wake of awful news. The single life forces you to be stronger than you'd like all the time because there's no one else to come home to other than yourself. So now I have a strong shoulder of support for these exact situations and yeah, it's incredibly comforting having him to come home to. I keep waiting for the co-habitating to be more difficult, but being with him has made so much sense, it's not really surprising to either of us that living together has been pretty easy too.

I hope you've all hugged your loved ones a little closer and a little harder and a little more often than you're used to. Even if it feels awkward, do more of that. We should all take each other a little less for granted and enjoy each moment a little bit more than we did before. I know it's easy to say following such an horrific time, but I know I'm going to try to carry those thoughts with me daily, even as this hurt eventually eases.

As we get down to the end of this year, I'm grateful for so many things - even the negatives, because I know at least one of those doors shutting opened the window that brought me this wonderful love in my life. I'd say things happen for a reason, but it doesn't always sit right with me, especially after last Friday, but I will say the good issuing from this situation is astonishing and though sometimes I'm disgusted at what we humans will do to each other, it's also often staggering what we'll do for each other when we're suffering and in need. Therefore, I continue to have hope we're not as lost as we sometimes seem. 

Listen to this before you go because it's beautiful and it deserves the few minutes it takes to listen to them all. 

Here's to the good. Let's spread more of that around.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Three And A Half Month Mark (aka Schmoopfest)

Beginning new love requires significant investment and over the last three and a half months while skirting my writing duties, The Scientist and I have been doing just that. Unlike The Professor, when we decided to make it official, he didn't change his mind two weeks later. By the fourth of July, bam! There I was boyfriended again, this time for realz y'all.

Though I was still nursing wounds, I wasn't so depressed that I couldn't see this fantastic guy in front of me. He wasn't making me guess how he felt or wait for something unknown to push him off some hypothetical fence. It was pretty clear by the end of our first date this was something different. I don't usually kiss on the first date, but we really clicked before I got out of the car and I just had to. I knew he wasn't going to pull the rug out from under me. I just knew. And he kept saying he'd never met anyone like me before.

After about our third or fourth date, we stopped counting. After less than two weeks, we were obviously a couple and a monogamous one at that. He ended anything going on with other people without me having to ask because he knew he didn't want to see anyone else. There was no insecurity about guessing what he wanted because he told me it was me. And only me.

I was falling pretty quickly and I understood what The Professor had meant when he said he wasn't getting fireworks. I've been in love enough to know what he'd been expecting, but our time together sometimes seemed so cautious that I just expected a consistency in emotions would hit us both eventually because we were pretty great together. But falling for The Scientist so soon seemed to be a clear indicator that The Professor had been right to let me go. Maybe he and I had been good together, but he wasn't sure about me and no one wants to be settled for. Certainly not me. The Scientist, on the other hand, made it clear I was everything he wanted and that made all the difference.

The man stops me mid-conversation to say, ‟God, you're so pretty. I'm so lucky." It makes me feel very sparkly and shiny like a new diamond he can't wait to show off. He gushes. This apparently is a big deal. He's never gushed about anyone before. To his co-workers no less. He racked up a $200 cellphone bill because he's never had a texting plan until me. The representative asked, ‟Let me guess.. new girlfriend?" and absorbed the cost into his new plan, thank goodness (though now we need to get the man a smart phone. I mean, his still flips. FLIPS for Pete's sake!). He thinks I'm beautiful, even without make up. He's schmoopier than I ever dreamed the right guy would be.. and sometimes I'm like.. dude.. snap out of it, but really, it's pretty fantastic. He can be incredibly sexy at the drop of a hat.. or pants. The man has fantastic legs. He's super smart, loves music, is wonderfully thoughtful and really funny, has brought me flowers for no reason at all and already more than all my other boyfriends combined. Nope.. doesn't suck. Not at all.

Surprisingly though, we haven't had the perfect honeymoon stage. We tiff frequently, which is unusual for me. There have been tears at least twice but The Scientist came with a past that'd hurt him severely and understandably, had some trust issues. And the emotional crisscrossing of going from the last relationship to this one didn't help the situation. The Professor was emailing from his European trip, which confused me because he sounded lonely and The Scientist was picking fights more and more frequently even if we had a perfect night out.

Trying to take care of myself first, I told the ex not to contact me anymore since he was the one who'd let me go and it wasn't fair to confuse me to the point it was putting my relationship at risk. Shockingly, he apologized sincerely and agreed with me. Though we've touched base a couple of times since his return, I'm not sure we'll pursue a friendship like we thought we might. It just doesn't seem like we're gravitating that way, which may be for the best.

And then for my boyfriend, he needed to feel more secure and I certainly wasn't going to break up with him over the process of working out our respective issues as a couple. From the beginning this felt like something we were in together, damn the consequences. So when an argument begins, even if it's awful, it's just an argument. It's not an axis our whole relationship balances on. That said, we were arguing way too much and as a child of dysfunction, I made it clear it needed to change. So after some really honest discussions, he committed to addressing his baggage with a professional by the next week. I was stunned. He wanted us to work, wanted to be free of what he hadn't dealt with in his past, wanted to do it for me and for himself. Admitting you have demons is a big deal. Taking them head on is even harder but I'm ever so proud of him. The change in him is noticeable and he seems to feel lighter.

And here we are. We both have some work to do, it's not all him, but we're in it regardless. We've been to two weddings already. One with my friends where only after three weeks of dating, strangers thought we'd been a couple forever. And the other more recently was friends of his in Chicago where the bride told me I looked better than she did because though I was older, I looked younger. Who does that at their own wedding?! We've now both met our respective families and his thinks I'm tiny too! Bonus! My mom barely talks to him, but that's my mom. She barely talks to me if it's not small-talk. My brother and sister-in-law really like him and we were even taken out by my bio mom and her husband when they came up last. Her husband actually said we reminded him of them when they were our age and first married. I tolerated his apartment move where he broke his hand due to punching a refrigerator out of frustration, went back to help his friends finish the move, bought them beer and pizza and a burger for the boy on the way back to the ER knowing he hadn't eaten in five hours. How awesome of a girlfriend am I? SO awesome. That's how. But he tolerated my absence to Burning Man for 10 days AND typed me a love note for every day I was gone despite his hand being in a cast. The latest love note he waited to give me until he could write it by hand after his cast came off and his words were so moving it brought me to tears.

Then there was our trip to Chicago. He was so excited to take me and I was even more excited to have a real vacation with him than to run off to the playa with my friends. He grew up there and was an almost overzealous tour guide though he was really cute how enthusiastic he was about everything from art to architecture to the food and history. It was really important to him I like the city I think because he views it as an extension of himself in a way. But traveling and spending all your time together in close quarters can also bring out the worst in a couple and sometimes, we'd tiff over nothing and he'd wonder why I loved him at all. But despite pushing us to our limits and bringing out our not-so-finer moments with each other, I love that we're honest in those moments. We don't sugarcoat what's wrong and it doesn't mean we love each other any less. We have a real life, we're a real couple, we disagree, we don't love all the same things, we have moods, and it's ok. We're also a team, on each other's sides and you have to have both. It can't be rainbows and unicorns and sunny days all the time. Besides, who can have a bad time in Chicago? We ate, drank, played and shopped. He spoiled me and it was lovely.

So this could be it. Forever? Who knows? That's a long time. But this one feels life-changing. We've talked about the future, kids and dogs (uh, no dogs for him, but he loves my cat), that he wants to live with me and is insane enough to think he wants to MARRY me and though it all feels kind of surreal and crazy, it also seems incredibly normal at the same time because of course, I want all those things with him too and it just feels like it makes sense.

I'm so excited to continue getting to know this man and be apart of his life. I'm so glad he's agreed to be apart of mine.

You just wait people. It's only going to get better.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Good Distractions

14/48's Battle of the Sexes - the men's weekend. I swear I'm in this picture but behind everyone. It's the weekend I was one of three stage managers and we were crazy exhausted and it was the most awesome weekend ever. 
Hey y'all - I've been busy being in love and visiting family on the coast and working and helping the Scientist move and shit just got crazy clearly. BUT I want you to head on over to the 14/48 blog where I pimp and will be pimping the next festival and the invited theater artists participating in it this coming weekend. Yours truly will have four interviews up this week of these truly talented and lovely people who are just a fraction of those who make up the veterans on the roster. This 14/48 is going to be one-of-a-kind and I'm so freakin thrilled to be writing about it! I promise to be back after the madness, possibly after Burning Man unfortunately because seriously, this is the time of year y'all know I get scattered.. and it doesn't settle down until after Labor Day.. but it makes for great stories and a pretty awesome photo album.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Door Closed, Window Open.. Check

I don't like the sap who wrote that last post. Re-reading it makes me sound pathetic. Of course I was sad and that's ok. The news sucker-punched me and I was entitled to act accordingly. I'm still processing and letting go of the ideas the Professor led me to believe, the feelings I had.. or thought I had.. I swear I'm not even sure what exactly I felt, though I thought it was love.. or falling.. but it's over so they've stopped growing obviously and in that I found some closure and maybe an ability to finally compartmentalize? I don't know. I'm not crazy broken and I have moments I keep checking in and wondering why I'm pretty much kind of ok.

We met up again the following Sunday after our break up. I had a gift for him before he left for his trip and he mentioned that taking the space was the right thing. The days after had been pretty hard for me to get through, especially the weekend where I just felt listless and depressed and this declaration was the final kick I'd assumed was coming. Confusion and needing space to ‛figure things out' never seems to work in my favor. It didn't hurt any less, but the maybe's going around in my head were killing me. I hate limbo.

He started out with wishy washy feelings and quickly, the angry stage I was in took over and I pushed him to be clearer. Though I know he cared about me and never wanted or intended to hurt me, I figured his confusion was mostly from his guilt. I think I was partially right. I scolded him for being careless with me despite his cautious pace. He said nothing because he knew it was true. You don't ask a girl about her thoughts on children right before you ask her to be your girlfriend unless, of course, you're serious about her, which he'd led me to believe. I think he jumped in and went with feelings he may not have been sure of, but thought at the time it'd be ok because they'd eventually get there. Oops.

I don't want to be settled for. So if he didn't feel it, it was the right decision. We both cried and hugged it out. I reminded him we never had a bad time together. Not once. Maybe being blindsided was best because I never once worried the end was coming though I never took any of our moments together for granted either. I really didn't. I lived them fully and happily and that's kind of an achievement for me. So what if it was only like two and a half months? That's a pretty good improvement over my usual three weeks or the one before it that was a 10 day instant-relationship-just-add-water disaster. Still, we worked so well, part of me thinks he'll come to realize he made the wrong decision. I don't know. I'm not sure if I care. It's a gut thing. I guess we'll see.

And then Timing did something strange. The same night the Professor asked me to be exclusive, we ran into Boris at the bar where we ended our night. I hadn't seen or talked to him in nearly three years due to him just fading out of my life. Awkward at first, especially with both of us in opposite gender company.. mine clearly more intimate than his, but what we both noticed and discussed later was that our chemistry clearly hadn't faded. Not one iota.

We met a week after that to catch up and resolve the issues that created that big space in our past. It was really positive. I was happy with the Professor and Boris noticed I'd grown and seemed more grounded. I've heard that a few times recently now and felt really proud of that. And the ease we had with each other was like no time had passed, but then we've always been like that. I've never had chemistry with anyone like I've had with Boris where we can both feel the pull when we're on opposite sides of a room. It certainly made being friends and being single difficult back then because why not fall into each other when it was convenient? Surely, we wouldn't repeat that same pattern after all this time.

Yeah.. so, that might've almost happened once the Professor let me go. It was supposed to be just a friendly night, but one really good bottle of wine, some take out thai, a couple blocks for gelato, heaps and heaps of talking, a couple more not so great bottles of wine and remembering just what made the other one laugh in that special way only the other one of us could do. It was comfortable. It lent to some really honest conversation about relationships and not falling into the same pattern as we had before and because I'd just been crushed by someone who'd led me on, I  didn't want to get hurt immediately all over again and he didn't want to be that guy either. I think begrudgingly, we both decided to focus on our friendship.. even if I may have stayed over right after we made that decision because it was a school night and incredibly late with all that talking and wayyy too much wine and we promised to be good except for maybe kissing of course and Holy. Crap. that is one thing I'd forgotten about us and actually, it was nice to be reminded of that particular thing we were good at.

Surprisingly, maybe that slip into comfortable arms was the boost I needed. I also may have slightly been in the angry stage because I renewed my dating profile online. What's the harm? I'm not dead and honestly, not trying to fill a void, I swear. I put the Professor away and though I'm still clearing out the residual, I really am putting that in another area to work out separately and new focus where none of that baggage exists because like I said, if I'm not right for him, he's not right for me.. so why sit in that and be sad? That's no fucking fun. And I'm fun! AND awesome! And you know what? I met someone pretty damn quickly who agrees with me AND thinks I'm pretty. AND tiny! TINY! I know, right? He's adorable, enigmatic, super sweet and smart, a research scientist at UW and in a somewhat metal-y type band even though his first karaoke go-to song was Suspicious Minds. His second was Motorhead. And he was amazing at both. Like scary good. Also he has crazy lung power. So much he didn't even need the mic to be heard. Not kidding. So. There's that. And the Scientist (from this point heretofore he shall be called) and I never stop talking. In fact, there's so much to talk about we forget what we meant to discuss because there were so many other good tangents we went on in our first two dates (and all our texts and emails in between.. um.. we talk maybe a lot.) Also? The Scientist is a really good kisser. Like.. for reals. So. There's that. I mean, if that's a void I'm filling, then so be it. No one should go without good kisses for long. I think that's a rule.. somewhere.

There have also been plenty of check ins from friends, happy hours, some group cookie making and thus following, group cookie eating because a good heartbreak recovery requires a good amount of chocolate and sugar therapy just as much as a weekend of all-day mimosa-ing.

Retail therapy hasn't hurt either and is much better for my waistline. My favorite thing I bought recently was the cutest little white, distressed-just-so kitchen table that works with my shabby chic style and replaced my Gram's antique formica one that I love but is too big for the space. A steal for $55 at the Fremont Sunday Market where I've found many a treasure.

Tomorrow I leave for a dose of family for the weekend and celebrating my twin cousins' college graduation (wow.. I'm old). Road trips always feel like a catharsis of sorts.. like I'm letting something go.. and this one to Portland will be no different. After family time, Pixie will entertain me Saturday night with her enchanting stories over what I hope to be many drinks while we both purge our recent hurts and I'll be back home Sunday night to be part of our video audition to get into the fire conclave at Burning Man this year. I may not be doing poi now, but I'll be doing fans for sure. Fans! ON FIRE! I can can spin them even! Carnies will want me in their troupes! Or whatever the collective of carnies is. Are. Whatever.

So here I go. Continuing. Hoping. Lighting shit on fire. Knocked down, but certainly not out. Not even close. Still fighting and propelling myself forward with all the bad-ass-ness I can muster, which let me tell you, is  a fuck ton. Oh yes it is. High fives y'all!

Thursday, June 07, 2012


I talked a good talk despite my surprise at his confusion that seemed out of no where. I listened when I wasn't posing questions that continued to give me answers I didn't understand. I was calm when I asked if I'd done something wrong, but he said I hadn't. He said it was intuition, but didn't seem confident in trusting that himself and said it was often wrong. He said he wanted fireworks and it didn't seem they were developing. But again, he wasn't sure. He didn't seem to understand much more than I did, but he showed up to tell me what he thought was going on. He was honest even though it was difficult. I respected him for that. But eventually there was nothing I could do but look into his lovely blue eyes and handsome, scruffy face and let him go.

Then I cried. Sobbed actually. Enough to need tissues when he was in front me. So much after he left I think I only slept a few hours and woke up for work with a nagging headache and red, puffy eyes.

He needs some time to think. He has a lot going on - moving out of his apartment, packing for his five-week trip to Germany and he leaves in two weeks. We were going to spend as much time together as that prep allowed before he left since he doesn't come back til the end of July. Add in that two weeks he's still here and the fact we won't be together now and that space is about as long as we've been dating. It's a long time to hold out hope or not know if he's coming back to me or be sad because my experience says he won't. But maybe. I don't know. He promised to let me know as soon as he figures it out - whether that be before he leaves or at some point after he's left. But I can't be with him while he does that. And even that small bit of hope feels like it's just asking for further disappointment.

It sucks. I'm crushed. I know it's only been a short time, but this one felt like it was going to stick. We didn't rush, we had fun together, we worked well, we made sense. I mean we were pretty fucking awesome.. and still. No guarantees. I don't get it. I stamp my foot and yell at the ceiling like a child because it's really not fair.

Wednesday was hard to get through. Friends texted, emailed and sent supportive and loving messages on Facebook in response to my statuses I thought were cryptic and the stupid relationship change I swear I'd hidden from my timeline that spelled things out pretty clearly. Stupid Facebook. And after crying off and on most of the morning, it got a little easier by the end of the day. I had a nap, a shower I found myself hoping would rinse my sad away and didn't, but still felt a little lighter after. I met girlfriends for dinner and then we dashed to make it to the cute gelato place before they closed because gelato is a miracle cure. It is. Do not question the magic of gelato. You'll regret it. And not get any gelato. So. Just don't. Another friend met us there, then another joined at my neighborhood bar where my plan was to get completely shit-faced, but in reality, I hate the spins and I'm a lightweight.. so though I finished the first double one of my favorite bartenders concocted, I barely dented the second. I had to work today. Why kick myself when I'm down by adding a hangover? Don't answer that. I can't even wallow properly. I'm still too stunned.

Though I know this is not about me and purely about the Professor, I'm wounded and finding it hard to smile. But, I just finished the first three episodes of the second season of Downton Abbey and the weekend is filled with friends to provide plenty of hugs, birthday celebrations, a going away party and even a fancy-dress dinner with famous chefs. By Sunday, when there's nothing yet planned, I hope being social and pretending I'm ok translates into actually being true. I just have to keep going and continue the usual recovery stuff - drinking, eating, especially more gelato (seriously.. MAGIC I tell you!), and sleeping.. at least until I don't fit in my clothes or I'm not all achey in the heart anymore, whichever comes first.

Stupid heart anyway. Stupid things that are simply too good to be true. Stupid future I thought I saw. Stupid runny mascara. Stupid Universe that never helps a girl out. Sigh..


Eight days ago, a man, who clearly wasn't in his right mind, walked into a local cafe in the University District and shot four people. Two men died immediately. Another woman died later at the hospital. The cook who was shot three times, miraculously survived. One man sitting at the bar with his friends was saved simply because he went to the restroom seconds before the shooting. His friend who took his seat while he was gone wasn't so lucky. Not 30 minutes later, the same shooter car-jacked a woman downtown, a married mother of two, pistol-whipped her, shot her at point-blank range, and ran over her legs after stealing her car while she lay there dying in the parking lot. Two women and a homeless man came to her aid, but could only comfort her in her last moments. As the police surrounded him that afternoon miles away  in West Seattle, he knelt down and shot himself. He died at the hospital that evening. Six days earlier, a father of two was killed just driving through an intersection near my neighborhood by a bullet meant for someone else. His parents and his children were in the car with him.

I've driven by that cafe hundreds of times. I drive through that intersection in my neighborhood at least twice a week. These weren't incidents of 2am gang violence. They were horrific tragedies that took place in broad daylight that suddenly brought perspective to regular people going about our day. The victims could've been anyone and, in fact, they were. And I know ‛regular' people die every day from random stuff like this, but Seattle has seemed relatively safe. The Capitol Hill Massacre almost exactly six years ago would say differently because it feels eerily similar and as horrifically sad as last week's shooting. And this shooting, by all definitions, was a massacre which stunned the city, left us all in shock for a couple of days while we mourned for strangers we didn't know, debated second amendment rights in general as well as for the mentally ill, didn't get any work done because we kept reading the next story about the victims, the people who knew them, and looking at pictures from every memorial service across the city.

Now more than a week later, people are back to living their lives, as well they should. Of course the friends and family of the victims are still grieving. I drove by today and the cafe still looks closed though the flowers and candles have multiplied exponentially. People were standing outside reading the letters to the victims and letters of outrage that cover the windows. It's a sobering sight. And it wouldn't be a proper tragedy if the Westboro Baptist Church wasn't planning to picket at the funeral of the mother of two because they think every negative situation in the world is the fault of homosexuality and because they're simply hateful and disrespectful asshats who Jesus would vehemently reprimand for being lousy human beings if he ever met them in person. But I digress..

You can't constantly live in fear. Nothing is guaranteed - especially life, which death is apart of. You have to keep moving forward as if you'll have another tomorrow, but you should, of course, appreciate today. Live in the moment. Tell those you love that you do indeed love them.. because you never know. Airplanes crash. So do cars. Hell, cannibalism is suddenly a thing. Who knew? And crazy fucking people shoot innocent people all the time. It sucks.. but it happens.

So I'm sure you don't need the reminder, but I'm going to say it anyway. Call your mom and tell her you love her. Just because. Send your grandmother a card. In the mail. Call a friend you haven't seen in a while. Don't text. Forgive someone who slighted you. Because in the big picture, it really doesn't matter.

Reach out. Hold on. Breathe in. Love.