Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend Recap

Low key weekend.
Sleeping in.
Fix cooked one of his amazing breakfasts. That man has a way with breakfast food
Catching up on TV shows.
Ended the day in the garage. San Diego is expensive and Fix usually ends up spending a few hours a week in our garage, working on bikes and making some extra cash. I play shop girl, sometimes just keeping him company and sometimes actually getting my hands dirty. My father is the least handy person in the world, which means my knowledge of mechanics and tools can be summed up in one word: Zip. But Fix is a patient teacher and if I "accidentally" smear grease on my cheek I've found I can persuade him to make out with me like we're teenagers. (thanks '80s movies for that trick).
More TV shows and a silly amount of internet vegging.
Earlier wake up time.
Dog Park.
Ride to the beach. Well... that was the plan anyways. Fix surprised me last week with a Sportster. As it's only been a week, her and I are still bonding. A half hour of riding, California sun on my skin and crisp fall wind in my hair, reveling in all the cliches written about riding motorcycles, the freedom, the exhilaration, the pure joy and fun of soaring over payment with a partner on your left, chasing the sun.
And then Amelia (my suziki savage that Fix was riding) died.
Four hours on the side of the road waiting for a tow.
Thank the gods for smart phones
And boyfriends capable of good conversation.
Finally rescued from purgatory.
Movie with friends. "On Any Sunday" with a bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts. Loved it.
Drive home in the fog. A quick kiss in the fog.
Curl up under the covers with the cold and the fog seeping in through the window and the dogs breathing deeply in their sleep.

Soundtrack of the weekend: Hozier


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dipping my feet in the water

It's been a while. Months.
And the more time that stretches between writing
The more intimidating it becomes to type

Which is a shame. Because life has been so exciting. So calm. So many stories and so many dreams.
And I've been terrible about documenting it, let alone sharing it.
I've gotten better about taking pictures.
And tweeting snippets of moments and thoughts.
But it's not the same.
I hate to think of all the small stories, the jokes and the private thoughts that have slipped to the wayside of memory lane.

For years I wrote in an online journal. Only one or two people knew of it and had access and even then most of what I wrote was private. I hold pens wrong, I'm not sure why, I've never been able to break the habit, but it means my handwriting is terrible and my hand cramps a fter a few lines. So despite lusting for all the beautiful leather bound journals that I've run across in my travels, a handwritten diary just isn't practical for me. But typing has always been easy. And so I had an online journal. Since 2005 maybe? But last year the site changed... updated... was bought out... well something happened and everything was lost. Well, not lost. But getting my writing back was going to be difficult and honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to find it. There were a few painful years, lots of lost meanderings and heartbreak. There's always heartbreak. And maybe it's better to leave those thoughts lost in universe. Kind of a symbolic burning.

There's a lightness to my spirit living here. It sounds like hippie, earthy, bullshit. But there is. Some combination of moving away, leaving all the drama, living near the ocean, being with Fix, the exploring and the city and maybe just getting older and growing up, but it's working. The desperation to be content, the climbing the walls, being lost... I wouldn't say it's gone. But it's quiet. Sleeping. And life is a joy.
But it was hard to pick up writing again. Even if it was just for myself.

But two days ago something reminded me of a friend I've lost contact with. And I found myself mentally writing about her. About the connection and friendship and love that we had.

So here I am. Typing. Not about her, but I'm sure that will come.
It feels good.
I'll try to come around again more often.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I keep trying to write.
So many thoughts.
So many things I want to express. Ideas and conversations and pictures painted with words.
But I'm out of practice.
Everything I write is forced
Is prattle.
The tone is wrong.
The words aren't strong enough.
The picture not clear.
So it all stays locked in my head, pushing and shoving for space.
I want to write about the way the city looks covered in fog.
And how it has forced my inner noir romantic to the surface.
I want to express how I've been feverishly reading James Ellroy and Dennis Lehane
I want to explain how their writing is so exquisite
so painfully sharp that I bleed with emotion all over their pages.
How to explain the need to sit in a dimly lit bar and discuss all the books that shaped, formed, made our character. Or talk about movies, the ones that were real. That broke us. That shattered our walls with a glance. The ones that gave us the courage to do things previously thought beyond us. Or the music that soothes us, that carries our dreams and wishes onto the breeze. The fog makes me romantic, wild, with hints melancholy.

But not any less true

I want to write about surfing.
About the hours spent in the freezing water, only going in when my hands and feet are swollen from the cold.
About the culture and camaraderie that can't be captured with words. 
The way the sun and the waves heal things in me I had never acknoweledged were broken.
The burning desire to get better, to abandoned everything except the sea.

 I want to write about the ghosts of friendships past.
Or write about future dreams that I'm trying to give shape and substance.
Hell, I could write how I almost gave up on music and then fell wildly passionately in love with it again.

But every time I pick a topic
Every time I start to write
it falls flat.
I can't find my voice
And worse, I don't know where I lost it.
It's not under the bed. I already checked.
I'm not sure where else to look. My closet by the sea isn't big enough to hide secrets
let alone something as big as my need to write. To document.

Stay with me people.
I'll find the words eventually.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Beginnings

There seems to be a theme in my resolutions.
Growing up.
I am nearing thirty and clearly feeling my age.
I find myself worrying about acting too young, or being one of those people that refuse to grow up.
Being old terrifies me, but being old and refusing to accept reality is even scarier.
I don't want to be in my thirties and still scrambling. Still living loose.
It's a delicate balance, trying to stabilize but not become rooted. To be steady, but not weighted down.

First, I want to look the part.
I've neglected my wardrobe for far too long. I've always liked clothes, but have always had too many interests, too many personalities to stick with a certain aesthetic. In addition, spending money on clothes was never a priority, if there was extra money it went towards adventures. Why spend money on clothes when I could spend it on experiences?
However, lately I've found myself yearning to look more complete. To look a little more polished. I'm still perfectly happy in jeans and a hoodie, but as my personality is growing up, so is my wardrobe. Or it should. Or maybe it has less to do with getting older, and more that living here has completed me. Being in Arizona made me restless and itchy and who could care about clothes when all I wanted to do was immerse myself in events to make myself forget that I was unhappy in my location? But here, here I find peace. The proximity of the ocean soothes my soul and acts as a balm for all that is restless and wild in me. It's still to be seen if this is a permanent fix, but now that I am no longer thrashing about I can look around me, look down at me, and realize that I want my outer appearance to match my inner.

Second, I want to clean up the clutter in my life.
This covers a few things, financial, daily, emotionally and physically.
San Diego is expensive but I make good money and if I can stick to a budget it's more than doable. So. It's time to buck up and start keeping track of where all my money goes. My daily life is such a whirlwind. I have plenty of time to do things. Yet I am either very lazy and do nothing, or going nonstop. This is silly. Although I detest routine, I need to plan things out just a little bit better. Fit everything in. Working out, fun, cleaning, grocery shopping... there is time for it all, I just need to budget my time. As far as cleaning up the clutter emotionally, basically I think writing will help with that. My job is stressful and if I don't empty my head a few times a week, it builds. Writing, whether publically or privately, needs to be more of a priority. Plus, I have all these unfinished storylines of friendships and relationships and even though most can't be resolved, writing helps  sort and put some of those stories in perspective. The clutter in me physically is the most important and the easiest to fix. Stop eating junk and work out. Eating junk is expensive and bad for my body. I need to start to grocery shop, cook a few times a week and stop making excuses.

So for 2014 I have three words that sum up what I want to focus on.

Immerse: In water, in experiences, in life. Put the phone down, dunk myself in salt water weekly, stop isolating and engage in all relationships. This year I want to really focus on immersing myself in music and fun and peace and breathtaking sights and danger. No wait, I mean excitement. and danger.

Stabilize: Time to be a grown up. Stabilize a budget, time to workout, writing time, and basically clean up the clutter in my life.

Document: Write more, take pictures. I have this amazing life and all I have is a bunch of pictures of my dogs. Which, while adorable, does not sum up my life.

How's that for a new years resolution? 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Education of Sam

So Andy posted this on Facebook today
"List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and don't think too hard. They don't have to be 'right' or 'great' books, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10+ friends, including me, so I'll see your list."

And even though he didn't tag me (ahem), it made me pause.
As an avid reader from a young age, it interested me to look back and realize what books influenced and flavored my life.

Not in any particular order, and not even promising these are books I would recommend to others. Just ones that stayed with me and influenced my style and taste.

1. Charlotte Bronte, JANE EYRE
     "I am no bird, and no net ensnares me".  Need I say more?

2. Dennis Lehane, A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR
    So bleak and beautiful and I was so upset and affected by it that my ex told me I wasn't allowed to      read anymore of his writing. I ignored him but at my own emotional peril. “I stared down the slim barrel of a gun, looked into eyes rabid with fear and hatred, and saw my reflection. Pulled the trigger to make it go away. I heard the echoes of my gunshots, smelled the cordite, and in the smoke, I still saw my reflection and knew I always would.”

3. Taylor Caldwell, CAPTAIN AND THE KINGS
     The main character's description of his first time at the symphany destroyed me. And inspired me to start my own love affair with classical music.

4. Arturo Perez-Reverte, THE NAUTICAL CHART
    Although I've had a hard and fast love for film noir, this was my first noir novel. Him: gullible, tough and rugged. A man without a ship, without prospects, without luck. Romantic in a scotch, straight way. Punch first, ask questions later. Do anything for a hard, remote, sensual blonde. Even when you know it's wrong, even when you know it can only end in disaster, even when you know someone's got to die, even when you know it might be you. My preference for bombay sapphire gin stems from this.
 Dark romanticism, a fever dream that pulls you under and drowns you and when you wake up from it you find yourself dizzy and unstable.
6. Stephen King, THE GUNSLINGER
    "First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire". Over the span of eight books, King wrote the perfect epic story, mixing spaghetti westerns with a touch of apocalyptic fever and old world magic.

7. Neil Gaiman, NEVERWHERE
    A grown up fairy tale in the style of the Brothers Grimm. *swoon*
8. George Bernard Shaw, MAN VS SUPERMAN
     The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Logic! Wit! Word play! 14 year old Sam didn't stand a chance.
9. Daphne du Maurier, REBECCA
    More dark romanticism. This segwayed into Shelley and Bronte and Byron. Whenever my love of noir leaves me in a puddle of depression about the world, the beauty in their writing brings me back to life. 
10. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, DON QUIXOTE
     For a girl who grew up reading classics and had a very skewed idea what the world should be like, this book brought me up short and reminds me that I don't want to spend my life fighting windmills. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Workout Fails

Well hello December. I'm not quite ready for you. Not even a little bit.
And I didn't get better about writing.
But I thought more about writing.
So that's something.

I didn't take more pictures.
But I ate better.
And started crossfit.

There is a crossfit gym a block from my house and I see the crossfiters (crossfitees? crossfitpeoples?) all the time. They are running and sweating and smiling and in such good shape. So naturally I hate them. I'd love to join them. But turns out a crossfit gym is crazy expensive. So  that's out of the question. But I figured I could do some crossfit at home. While researching crossfit I found this Spartan 30 day WOD challenge . And I decided, what the hell.

I told myself this would be difficult. But I wasn't going to try to do it in 30 days. That would be crazy. Crossfit crazy. But I'm not there yet, so I would just follow the work outs in order and take a rest day every 3 days or so or as needed. I started with the first workout.
I nearly died.

The first workout started with 400 lunges. Do you know what 400 lunges feels like? It feels like dying. The first 100 lunges is all about bargaining. "If I just do 25 lunges I'll be ok" "ok I've done 50 lunges, I can do 10 more then quit" "10 more and that'll be 100, I'll stop there, that's good right?". The next 200 lunges you go through anger "this is stupid, no one actually does the 400 lunges, i hate everyone", denial "I can't do it, and really I can get a great ass without doing lunges right?" depression "I'm going to be doing lunges the rest of my life at this right. I might as well eat ice cream and sit on the couch".  The last 100 lunges is acceptance. And fear. Because now you know you can finish the 400 lunges, but you're kind of afraid of what will happen once you stop. You're not even sure you can stop. You're pretty sure once you reach 400 lunges you will just fall over and have to do somersaults to get anywhere. Which is handy cause I can rock a somersault.

But I digress. I survived the first workout. I survived eight of them actually.
Then Fix broke the bad news.

If you actually clicked on the above link you would see that a lot (most) of the WODs (work out of the day ) involve running. Running a mile, running 400 meters...lots of running. Well we have this handy little elliptical in our closet by the sea, so I've incorporated that. And was amazed at how well I've been doing. Knocking out the mile runs, even running 800 meters when it only calls for 400 meters. I was just feeling that good. So good that I was bragging to Fix that running wasn't so bad, look how much I run now!
Fix took a look at the screen on the elliptical and very gently pointed out that the digital track I was running was only 400 meters... not the mile length I thought it was. That all the running I've been doing as part of the WODs was only a fourth of what I was supposed to be doing. To add more shame, instead of being super fast and in great shape, turns out I was running a very very slow one fourth of mile.

If this was a slapstick comedy I'm fairly certain I would have fainted. Instead, I went to his mother's house last weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday, ate my weight in stuffing and considered giving up.

I'm not giving up. Because I'm stubborn. Really, I don't have a better reason than that. I'm pissed off I wasn't doing the work outs right and now I'm determined to go back and do it right. Even if that means I have to do 400 lunges again.

So December,
prepare for more writing.
And more lunges
And more running.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby Steps

My birthday was last month.
Fix and friends surprised me with a trip to Disneyland.
Lots of fun was had by all.

With the onset of my birthday I decided to set some goals. Little goals. Easy, manageable goals.
1. Write twice a week
2. Take pictures and post them three times a week.
3. Lose five pounds.
4. Drink a green smoothie four times a week
5. Do something new once a week
6. Keep up with laundry ( because seriously, the laundry monster in our closet by the sea has legs and drops himself all over the apartment )

See? Easy goals. Totally doable.
Well. Let's just say I wasn't very successful. With any of the goals. (especially the laundry monster one, how do we have so many clothes?)
So I told myself that November, November I would get my shit together and start working on these simple, tiny little goals. Really, if I just remind myself and do a little at a time, how hard can it be?

Well, it's the middle of November and I've still yet to be in the habit of any of those things. ( well, I mean I do laundry, I know I put things in the washer, put them in the dryer and then hang them up but somehow there is always more laundry... lurking. I think it's multiplying when i'm not home).

But I'm not giving up. I can do this.
Except every time I sit down to write, I hit a wall.
I've always known I have a hard time writing when I'm happy. It all just feels to much like bragging. Or too fake, too disney. And it's been a really good year. And I've used that awkwardness I feel when writing about how happy I am as an excuse to just not write.

Which means that now do I not only have a year of experiences and thoughts and adventures that is missing (because really, this blog is more my journal than it is any type of platform for anything), but I also have kinda forgotten  how  to write.  I'd have this great thought, something I'd be able to form into a funny story, or a moving moment that I really wanted to record, but when I sat down to type... it would sound forced, contrived and all sorts of... eh.

So. Bare with me as I try to find my flow again. It might be bumpy and awkward for a bit.
It might not get better. But I'm determined to start writing again. Just for me.

Every few years or so I fall out of the habit of writing. The last time this happened I got back into the swing of things by first recording what my workout of the day was (I was doing P90X back then) and then would just write whatever came into my head next. Sometimes it was worth reading, a lot of the time it wasn't, but it helped get me back into the habit. And since losing five pounds is also on that list of goals, recording my workouts will force me to first do a workout in order to write about it. Two birds with one laptop. Err, Two goals with one stone. No. That's not right either. See? I need some practice.