> jumping into life.


i hate days when i feel fat. i mean, on top of feeling fat, i feel ungrateful: i know i'm not fat. fat and i have only the most passing of relationships, mostly through mutual friends. sure, he's made acquaintance with my thighs and my belly and that bit that jiggles under the arms when you punch, but there's hardly a female on earth who eats and isn't fat there. and usually, i really don't mind. in fact, i'd say that that bit of soft on my tummy is one of my favorite parts about my body. usually.


today, however, i feel slothful and weak and just plain fat. it's stupid and i can't help it. i haven't been kickboxing since last week, and haven't been to yoga in two weeks, and even though i bought some gloves and ate a bigass salad last night, i still feel yuck. i wanted to go bike riding today, but the weather is not urging me on. so: yuck today.

and nika, babe, i miss you too.


i've decided that i'm cultivating my coffee addiction. a few times in my life so far, i've tried to give it up - the most recent being the summer before i went to costa rica. in costa rica, however, coffee is pretty much the national drink, and soon i found myself with a six-cup-a-day habit. and serious canker sores. and an unhappy stomach. eventually i cut it down to one unavoidable cup at breakfast, and one after dinner with my host mom. i drank it black in the morning and with sugar for dessert, and each time i would hold the cup just under my nose and anticipate.

the coffee here isn't as good, of course, but we've got quality beans at the cafe, and i'm starting to actually taste the espresso. we drink far too much coffee during the after-lunch lull, when we decide to start experimenting with drinks. what if you add almond to a white chocolate mocha? what if you add rasberry? mint? tutti-fruiti? we drink the successes and some of the mistakes. in the mornings, we make a big pot of coffee and i hold a mug just under my nose, let the steam curl over my face. you know you've got a good addiction when the first sip seems to realign your molecules, everything shifting back into place. eyes close, and the sigh starts deep as all your blood says, yes.


rain rain rain rain rain. all day rain. i didn't wake up until noon today and then i didn't get out of bed until two. and then i watched a movie. and then i watched another movie. and then i sat around and then i went back to bed. last night i won third place at the slam and got my very own rubber chicken. tomorrow i'm working the lunch rush but not closing. right now the rain is heavy on the roof and i need to brush my teeth and i'm still mostly happy. which is all i can ask for, really.


here it is: contentment, sitting heavily at the root of my spine, all nestled in my stomach, reaching down to my toes and up through the ends of my curling hair. i slept well and warmly last night, and he made exorbitantly good french toast this morning. my drive back was fast and the wind on my skin perfect. the clouds are low, the birds circling, my muscles tired and thirst quenched. i'm more than halfway done with the ten-foot scarf i'm crocheting, and the yarn feels soft and full in my hands. the cat rubs against my legs. there is dirt under my fingernails and seeds in the earth, old sweat on my skin and tea steeping. the light through the blinds this morning was grey and pale and wavering, like a world underwater, and i stretched my calves and smiled as i woke. i walked barefoot through the grocery store and felt the cold tile beneath my feet, ate blueberries slowly out of their plastic box, felt coffee running all the way through me. hot water on my skin as we washed the dishes, steam rising up out of the sink. clean laundry piled on my bed. earrings that jingle against my neck. mint-flavored chapstick. believing once again, today, that happiness is inevitable and omnipresent if you only look close enough to see it.


i was sort of offended at myself for getting seasick. i mean, the ocean is my primary source of spiritual solace, the physical entity with which i most closely associate the divine. and here i was, in the middle of it, a beautiful monterey day, and i could hardly keep my eyes open without wanting to hurl. it wasn't so bad at first - i had the excitement of my first time on a boat at sea since second grade, and we were going along at a good clip and bouncing over the waves. bouncing was okay. it was when we slowed down and began rolling that my breakfast started doing things that already-eaten food shouldn't do. moving, namely. when they killed the motor to stop and watch a raft of sea lions bobbing and waving, i very nearly lost it. even when we started up again, i had a hard time feeling anything but miserable. i tried reminding myself that my blood and tears have the same salinity as the water, i tried thinking of the ocean as a great womb that i floated upon and imagining the motion as muscle movements, i tried chanting to myself, i tried drinking lots of gingerale and holding very still with my eyes closed.

what finally saved me was the whales. someone gasped and cried out, and i opened my eyes, and there was the perfect black triangle of an orca dorsal fin sliding into the water, and then the strange pocket of smoothness that the biologist called a footprint. then another fin arcing out of the water. and another. we followed the pod for the better part of an hour, and i was so caught up in the huge beauty of it that i totally forgot how sick i felt. we watched a backdive and i must admit i felt euphoric. the trip back was smoother, and we pulled into the dock just as the rain was beginning. to my delight i found that despite an earlier certainty that i would never, ever eat again, i was hungry. and happy. not a bad start to my event-planning career.


several days of be.au.ti.ful sunshine and a whole lot of work has kept me up and out and busy. i think there's a storm rising today, which is alright as long as i can get to san jose before it hits. i'm looking forward to the con more than i can even begin to articulate; a good dose of hippiepaganmagiclove is just what i'm needing. i've got all my flowy skirts and velvet shirts and jangly jewelry out, and my birks and my uggs and my big bangle bracelets. i'm bringing both drums and my belly dancing clothes and i'm gonna get hennaed and buy a new mug and relearn how to make chainmail. we're staying with andy who i haven't seen in ages and ages, and he promises me tequila and hugs when we get there. however: mapquest insists we go over 17, so that storm had better hold off until we're out of the hills.


i feel like cutting my hair.

watch out, world.


and for my lady readers who are as big a hippie as i am and want to stick it to the man (i think there's a pun in there, but i can't find it), read this awesome article and then buy some of their stuff. i recommend the keeper. i know it's creepy. i recommend it anyway.

for my male readers, you probably don't want to have anything to do with the above paragraph. skip down to the next entry and continue with your life.


i shuttle back and forth between personas like moving between languages. it isn't flawless, but it's better than i expected, the strange fluidity of dual needs. that metaphor seems just right: throwing on my orange vest and changing into comfy shoes to translate my grown-up office clothes into hip coffee-shop clothes feels somehow a lot like saying "i'm buscando-ing it ya now, ok?"

also, because everyone in the office speaks spanish, here we move back and forth between the two with a surprising regularity. i've been practicing at the cafe, too, trying to fend off the 40-year-old cook who asks me - every day - how old i am, and if i like mexicans. he speaks too fast for me usually, and then laughs and asks if i understand. i've fallen out of my habit of admitting defeat, and so i shrug and smile and he knows i'm lying. but some things still stick in my head: it takes me a few seconds still to remember the english word for ferreteria, particularly, and when the bomberos came wailing by the other day, i couldn't find the word "firemen" either.

what's hard is that it takes me a while to get warmed up, for my brain to switch gears and remember that the words are different. but i'm not having any extended conversations in spanish these days, just little snippets as i take dishes back to the kitchen or say goodmorning to miguel. i miss the fullimmersion, the pressure of necessity that forces the vocabulary to be present or you to be silent. i'm not good at being silent, so i learned quickly. but now that i can speak in english again, it's all going away.


an odd day. there's storm in the air, and it's been crackling at me since last night. we woke up late when my phone rang, but i ignored it. it rang again, later, and i picked it up to find that my dog was dying. as we left to find breakfast, it rang again, to say that the bleeding was internal and couldn't be stopped.

i drove home bawling, speeding, legs sore from kickboxing and a long night. we'd gone to the midnight movie and denny's and then collapsed, and driving home my mind was hazed with grief and insomnia. eventually we all went down to the vet's and said goodbye, then drove to the beach and stared at the waves until we finished crying.

life picks up; we went to costco for superbowl supplies, and tonight i went dancing with a friend from the coffeeshop, and now it's barely midnight and i'm so tired i can hardly see. the absence of barking when i opened the door was like a blow, and my legs are still sore. i don't think i'll sleep well.