Friday, May 28, 2010

Lessons in Towing and Orgasms

Brought to you by Abdul who also had his car (Range Rover his father bought him) towed.

First of all, never tweet @SvenJohnston and let him know you hope to have more car stories for him soon.  I consider this partially his fault.

Well, and then The Boy gets blame for some of it, too.  I parked the Prius and came inside to change for the evening.  Was planning to go shopping and maybe see a movie or something.  I went into the bedroom and The Boy was on my mind.  I did it.  You know.  It.  Twice.  And really well.  I mean not as well as, well, know, but, good enough to make me lay down for a moment exhausted and not realize that my freaking Prius was outside being towed....


There is something so completely wrong about that.  And so right. Tonight's orgasm cost me $265.00.  Well $265.00 if I can pick it up by 11:59pm. 

Some lessons learned.

1. Yelling in the space where towed car once was will not make it suddenly appear.  Neither will scowling.
2. Today's  event finds in Abbot Kinney make up for tonight.   Think on the good things.  Sometimes there's only a few.  Sometimes only one.  Sometimes only a half.    
3. If you are a person that tends to have car traumas then create an emergency kit.  Include in it: Diet Coke, BBQ Chips, mandm's and one person that will come get your ass in under 10 minutes.
4. Towing of cars is not really a disaster.  Disasters are disasters
5. Be kind to the guy who has your car on lockdown.  He gets treated really poorly all the time.  Try to bring out the soft spots in his heart.  Or, just make sure your car gets back to the 'free' side of the gate before you threaten him bodily harm.  I, for one, was very sweet even when he had to pry the debit card from my death grip.
6. For God's sake, keep your phone charged.  There are pictures to take of these moments.
7. When the opportunity arises, practice your Arabic.  I mean, don't ignore people.  The UAE Boys were waiting there in pain with me.  And I don't know if their tow was a result of orgasms or not but in either case, just get to know people.  I used the little Arabic I have and they used their sweet English and we made the most of our waiting.
8. Whatever you do, don't park your car in the Tow and Mo lot. They will even tow you there. Right over the damn fence. Brutal. 
9. Count the stars.  I walked outside to wait my turn for my car.  All of a sudden I heard crickets.  Beautiful almost summer crickets.  And looking up there was a star but not just one, twenty and probably many more if I kept looking and counting.  So many things to see if you get outside your headI decided not to focus on what I was losing (money, time, an evening out) but what the night let me gain and it was beautiful.  Really beautiful.
10. Oh, and I guess park underground just in case you're feeling randy. But how do you know til you know. (Geez.)

A very starry, almost summer, cricket-filled love,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lessons in Road Trips

Brought to you by the 101, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant and, well, yes....cupcakes.  (one)

I had an urgent need to rent a car and head north this weekend. Something in my brain and in my heart is feeling full of uncertainty in nearly every area of my life and the only thing that made sense was to drive.

I learned a couple things along the way. Well, you knew that, didn’t you? *smile*

1. The guy behind the counter has big dreams.
My car is janky, that has been made clear by now and the need for me to rent something less-janky was apparent. I went to Enterprise and ended up with a sweet ride at a sweet deal. More importantly, Enterprise Guy Behind The Counter Reading Kurt Vonnegut surprised me. Not only was he kind, major Enterprise Shocker but he spilled his guts, “This isn’t what I want to be doing.”

How many can echo that statement?

He’s a writer and he doesn’t know what to do and it sounds like no one believes in him. Well, I do. And I did. And I gave him some very good tips wrapped in a very good cheer and went on my way. He walked back behind the counter in his black suit with an extra creative skip in his step.

2. Stop for blueberries.
When you see a sign that says, “Blueberries Ahead ¾ of a mile” you stop. You do. And stop for other such things. Make hard rights instead of staying on the path and on your itinerary. If blueberries present themselves, well, then blueberries shall be.

3. Ask your expert advisor.
I have finally learned to rely on my expert advisors especially when it comes to bakeries. They know things, those bakery girls. Ask them what people order the most and get that. Don’t get the other thing. And definitely don’t get the thing you ALWAYS order. That’s the last thing you want to do on a road trip. Blah.

Oh, and buy sweet orange marmalade with pretty pink labels because it would be a crime not to. (I love pink bakery boxes with tape on the side and the ones tied with string make me want to swoon.)

4. A mess is okay.
Yesterday I played Natalie Merchant most of the day while driving and although I adore her if I heard, “If no one ever marries me” one more time I was going to drive my car into The Pacific and keep my seatbelt on. I switched things up to Sheryl Crow today and she had a nice, really multicultural mix going on and that set well with my soul. And one song, whether you agree with the message or not, had a great line, “God bless this mess.”

God bless this mess. That’s me. That’s my life right about now. It’s a little messy. I’m a bit out of sorts. That’s what all the driving is about and needing to move and think and sing and write and put things into compartments when they are floating around loosely in my head. I don’t like things floating around loosely in my head. It hurts.

I pulled over on the side of the road and messaged a new sweet friend who made the comment, “It’s okay” after discussing some of her very not okay things. Sometimes it’s not okay and sometimes it’s a mess and that is okay and a mess is okay and trying to make it not a mess makes it even messier.

For now, I’m going to rest in the mess of it all.

5. Find pockets of prettiness.
They are out there and they are so close to you and you don’t even know it. Mere miles away and I finally made it to Abbot Kinney in downtown Venice. I always thought Venice was full of naked jugglers on the beach and so I wasn’t in much of a rush to visit. There’s more to it. Yup. Pockets of prettiness are all over the place if you take the time to search them out and get outside of your routine.

I finally found somewhere to park and was immersed in gorgeous shops, great food trucks just parked along the street and the kindest shop owners that didn’t treat me like I was an Orange County Jackass. I like that.

Oh, if you go, make sure you wear some shade of blah. Much easier to fit in if fitting in is what you want to do. (It’s my new favorite place. Shh.)

A couple more things for the road.

1. That girl you saw in the Oliver Peoples in a gray tshirt and striped sweater rolling down her window and talking, well, yelling, to the ocean? That wasn’t me.

2. Found a shop that treats you well and is kind to you when you walk in the door? Frequent it. I found one that had all these imports from Paris and every corner turned there were more pieces and parts and pretty things to see and touch and explore and sometimes I forget that there is that much pretty out there. There is.

3. The woman behind the ticket counter at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art asked if I needed a student admission. I think everyone should go there all the time. Forever.

4. There are a lot of crazies in Santa Barbara. I fit right in.

5. There are a couple more crazies in Venice but less so, I’d say it’s more about The Pot. Everyone’s rather, ehem, happy and relaxed and really take their time crossing the street.

6. If you drive to Solvang and remember it looks just like it did 15 years ago, make a u-turn.

7. Dosas (Indian crepes) are good. So are cupcakes off trucks. So are baked goods on State St. Before I came home, I bought a new scale. No, really I did.

I have to turn the rental car back in today.  I have to turn the weekend back in today also.  It's back to normal playlists and office meetings and corporate attire with "no embellishments" and certainly "no colored jewelry" and things of that sort.

I'll wait for another weekend and perhaps go on another adventure and head in another direction and even if the arrow points in one direction I might go another.  It all depends where the blueberries are planted.

Much love this Messy Monday,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Give.

Brought to you by crinkled sandwich bags.

No big lessons today.  And don't think I think I always know what I'm talking about.  I'm learning like everyone else just in a more wrinkled state than you. 

I drove back from an event meeting today and there was this sweet looking guy right around my baby brother's age sitting on the side of the freeway with his dog.  It was practically a country music video.

Stay with me.

And he had his sign and whether you agree with giving or not to someone with a sign is not something I care to discuss.  I'm talking about me and what my heart is called to do.   And my damn heart cannot go past someone with a sign or a need and not try or attempt to meet it.  I fail miserably at times.  I'm not the best meeter of needs but I want to be a better one.  So, guy with his sign is sitting there and has no judgement in his eyes and nothing about him is pleading for money.  Nope, he's just holding the sign.  And I look around my car and have not a dollar on me. 

Makes me sick. 

And then I look for a new water bottle or something to give him and there's nothing.

Even sicker-er-ish.

Ah.  There's that bag of change in the center console from when I was flat out broke and was living off change.  You know?  Some of you have been there when you're down to the baggie and a quarter is like a $50.00 bill.  Those times.  Well, I had the bag, rolled down my window and shamefully said, "I'm so sorry this is all I have."  He smiled as if I had just handed him keys to a mansion. 

I don't give so I can tell you.  I give because my heart is not okay unless I do. 

Later today someone commented on my earrings.  As I took them off to give them away, I realized I am at my best when I am giving and not taking.

Sometimes it's coins in worn baggies.  Sometimes it's earrings.  Sometimes they are very big things and sometimes they are very small things.  All I know is I am too old not to listen to my heart.

Give what you have.  And then give some more,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Twang Invasion

Brought to you by The South.

If you walk by my apartment anytime in the next four to five days, expect to hear yelling and arguments and probably some screaming and the way you'll know you are at the right place?  The Twang.

See, it takes over all of us at some point during the weekend.  Some of us are from the south and some of us have daddies from the south.  Not "daddies".  Daddies.  Dirty Bird, You.

Just prepping for this trip, I can feel the twang starting to form in my throat.  So, yes, expect y'alls and things of that sort.

And so you don't feel left out, I'll let you know who'll be in town.

Miss Larkin.  The ringleader.  Itinerary driven.  Claims to be breezy but...well, isn't.  Always has to fly here because none of us are sure where Arkansas is.

Ally "Red".  Lives in Canada.  Is the only woman we know that will rock a bikini on a public street without covering her ass.  Has two adorable boys.  One she kisses sweet and one she kisses very bad.

Miss Aimee. Our newest hot momma. This was Aimee last time we were all together.  Baby Gavin is now viewing Orange County from the outside with his gorgeous momma and dad.  Aimee is the calm to our storm.

Stacia Rae.  Stacia has over 1,000 pictures to choose from but I think this defines her.  Sassy but sweet at the same time.  She should have a tip jar in front of her everywhere she goes.  Terribly entertaining.

D "Sissy".  Our outings tend to be costly to Davina.  Running out of gas and getting towed and all things Car Trauma.  We are crossing all available parts for good car results this time. 

Miss Blue.  Guest appearances by Chris this weekend as time permits.  (See five children.  Further comments needed?  I think not.)

And me.  You have enough pictures of me.  Don't think I won't take a million more this weekend, y'all.

Much love,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons in Shorts: Short Films, Short Stories and Brief Bursts of Loneliness

Brought to you by all things brief.

You should have seen me. I was sitting there, at The Getty, in a corner of this gorgeous patio area tucked as far back as I could tuck, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

It wasn’t the way I imagined things. Nope.

You might think I have this adventuring alone thing all figured out. I don’t. Most of the time, I enjoy it tremendously. Most of the time. Saturday, I didn’t at all.

Nope, again.

The nice thing about loneliness is it is short. It’s a feeling and it goes away. And I have an option to sit in it all moping and lost in my PB&J or break free from it by talking to someone at the next table or watching people or just breathing and enjoying the loveliest view.

I didn’t.  I almost had the welling-of-the-tears in my eyes. But my loneliness was short lived. Sitting there with that sandwich The Boyfriend texted, “Miss you.” I sighed that huge heavy sigh when you feel the heart full of being wanted and missed and replied, “I needed that. Feeling a bit lonely. Not so brave today. Miss you.”

Wrapping up my sandwich and finishing my soda and watching all the pairs of people, I picked up my bag and headed into The East Pavilion.

da Vinci helps.  So does Degas.  So does a text telling you you're missed.  That is the best form of art. 

I suppose it was a bit of a theme this week.  Shorts and all.  Short bursts of loneliness and short films at Newport Beach Film Festival and Selected Shorts at The Getty.  I'm liking the briefness of it all. 

Some Short Lessons

Know Your Audience
You know that leftover sinus cough that takes seven years to go away? It should be named after me. If you’re going to cough during a film festival screening, make sure your cough sounds ultra educated and cultured. If there’s any trucker-side-of-the-roadness to it, they will kick your ass.

Partner in Grief
A Shine of Rainbows has so many beautiful, sweet lessons but my heart was tugged by grief and how it shortens when you allow others to experience it with you.

You Can Leave
Yes, you can. If you don’t like a movie, you can quietly leave. Perhaps during a film screening it’s not the best time but if you’re at the theatre and see something that doesn’t impress you, then simply walk out gracefully. Don’t waste another minute in a moment that does not feed your brain or your heart or your innards. Especially your innards.

Hellos Help
I was Friend Dumped twice this weekend. Drinks Friday night and a little outing Saturday. Looking back, it was exactly as it should be and allowed me to experience the painful quiet of not engaging with people. In the middle of Friday night tears, it hit me how many footsteps walk past a homeless man every single day without even a head nod in his direction. That pains me in deep ways. How long must his day be without the engagement of even a stranger.

Fit People In
The Getty did a program of Selected Shorts and one of the stories was, "Things We Knew When the House Caught Fire" by David Drury, read by Keith Szarabajka. Drury’s short delves into a family that completely doesn’t fit into a neighborhood and the neighborhood's attempt to get them out.

We will spend our lives trying to be in and accepted and chosen and picked and on THAT team. How much easier to fit people in ahead of time and not make them do cartwheels to be our friends or fit in our neighborhoods or be part of our group. It’s a quick decision to embrace rather than disgrace people.

My days don't always turn out the way I plan them but they turn out so much better and I'm committed at this ripe old Pre Middle Age to listen and learn and, most importantly, love.

A good night to you but just a short one.  It's late. 
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