Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Loss of My Phone's Innocence


While at Target today picking up toilet paper and paper towels (like one does on the busiest shopping weekend of the year), I left my phone at the register.  Wade (the hero of our story) called my phone but alas, it went straight to voicemail, and therefore I determined that it was stolen. I ran back and asked the cashier if she saw it, and the young couple at the register said "we gave it to a dark lady in a black shirt with a female friend in a striped shirt, she said it was hers." I suspected that the male part of the young couple was somehow in cahoots, because he was being kind of a jerk.

Meanwhile, Wade was in the parking lot yelling "did anyone find a phone?!" He used Find My Friends and my little blinking face icon was tracked to the Sears parking lot, meaning the phone was turned back on so it was a) possibly not stolen or b) someone realized it was an iPhone 4 and not worth the hassle.  I was getting VERY DRAMATIC in Target (so that the dude I suspected of cahoot-ing would tell his cahoot-ers that they took the phone of a crazy person who was obviously not going to give up) and was about to go look at security tape even though having a picture of the person who took my phone would give about a .00001% probability of the chance of me ever again seeing my actual phone.

Wade called my phone again and someone picked up! It was a dude, and therefore neither a dark lady in a black shirt nor her striped female friend.  The guy said he was at Sears and oh, whoops, he took my phone, he thought it was his wife's.  I told the nice sir at Target who was gathering the "troops" (one security guard and whoever's in charge of the surveillance tape, as well as something called "TPS") that we were off to Sears, where we were handed my phone by a guy who apparently thinks if he finds someone's phone he should probably smash the back of it before he gives it back.  Wade thinks the ultimate torture was not the smashing of the phone, but that it had to go to Sears.

There is no moral, except that I should stop leaving my shit everywhere, but we all already knew that.  Fin.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Running Down a Dream

Almost exactly a year ago.
On the eve of my first solo half marathon and my fourth half marathon in a year, I'm reflecting on how much my relationship with running (and by extension, my relationship with myself) has changed over the years.

I used to hate running.  Hate.  With fiery rage.  When other students were running the mile around campus in high school, my friends and I were trotting behind everyone, possibly hiding in corners smoking cigarettes and gossiping about our fellow drama nerds.

Even after college, I wasn't into it.  I needed to lose weight but I got so discouraged because I would go less than half a mile and get winded.  Hated running.  Hated. Fiery rage.  Also it was so boring.  I mean you're just running.  No stimulation, nothing.  Treadmill?  Even worse.  Even when my stories were on the tv box at the gym.

I did my first (and prior to this time last year, only) half marathon in New Orleans in 2005 with my friend Brandon.  We trained and fund-raised with APLA, and it was a great time (anything is fun with Brandon), and a great entry into the world of training for and running long races.  Well maybe not a great entry, as I didn't run another long race until 2012.  But I definitely had a sense of pride and accomplishment after that race.  I did this.  Go me. 

Retired now.
When my friend Mel and I decided to do the Hollywood Half in 2012, I was a little nervous.  I hadn't been serious about running for years or actually ever. We signed up in October, which gave us six months to train.  I designed a training regimen, which I promptly ignored.  My dog Bear and I trained up to nine miles (he has since retired from the long distance running circuit) and then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

And the run was rad.  There's nothing like crossing a finish line.  It was like getting a tattoo - as soon as you're done, you think about the next one.  I signed up for a 10-mile with my friend Josh and the New Year's Eve half marathon with Victoria.  The 10-mile was uphill for the last two miles, which was hellish but exhilarating. For the New Year's Half, we missed the start (typical LA traffic, typical LA fashionably late girls) and arrived just as they were deflating the arch - such a pathetic sight.  We decided to run anyway, even though we weren't being chip timed, and we finally caught up with the walkers around mile two.  I don't think I've ever been so happy to see (and then pass) a group of people in my life.

Dodger Stadium at night!

What I remember most about that race was when we had finished and were walking back to the car, Victoria told me about the film idea she had come up with during the race.  She had an outline and everything. I tried to remember what I thought about during the past two hours or so of running, and the answer was surprising: nothing.  Glorious nothing.

Anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much never stop doing, thinking, analyzing, moving, considering, questioning.  The revelation that I could go an entire two hours moving, yes, but not dwelling on anything long enough for it to stick, floored me.

When I'm running, my thoughts go something like this:  "I wonder what kind of dog that is.  Try to breathe four strides in and four strides out.  I love this song! Does that bicyclist see me?  Oooh, that's a nice house.  What flower is that?  It smells good."  Totally present, totally in the moment.  My brain is close to empty.  Which is wonderful.

Shel and Shel
My last half was at the end of February, with Shelley and her dad.  The Ventura half marathon - 13.1 miles along the glorious California coast.  I ran with Shel and her dad for the first six miles or so and then ran the last seven alone, hit my stride listening to that Bruno Mars song on repeat and beat my PR with a time of 2:11:07, which I totally wasn't expecting.

My friends and the LA race community as a whole have also helped me find the fun in running (funning?) - between wearing leotards, legwarmers and shiny tights with Victoria and Marko for the Awesome 80s run and crawling through mud with Dana, Shannon and Sarah for the LoziLu (#ladyrun) Mud Run.  Coming up is the Vampire Run, in which half the runners are vampires and half the runners are victims and the trails converge and the vampires "turn" the victims.  (Apparently it's no longer acceptable to just have a normal 5K, not that I'm complaining.)

80s!

Ladies!
But my best run of last year was somewhere on PCH between Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.  I was driving back from visiting friends up north and saw a path on a bluff over the ocean (see below).  Instinct took over.  I pulled off the road, put my running clothes on (crouched behind the open car door next to the highway), laced up my shoes and took off.  Waves crashing all around, ocean reaching forever, nothing but me and my turquoise shoes...that run was everything.

Simply irresistible.

I didn't used to like solitude, and now I crave it.  And I didn't used to like running, but now I love it.  I'm nervous about running the race by myself tomorrow, but I'm also really excited (my only fear is that I won't wake up in time!). Something has shifted in me, and I'm so appreciative of my legs and my head for keeping up.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stunned.

This doesn't seem real. 

I should've known when I woke up this morning to a bunch of CNN notifications on my phone (somehow I allowed push notifications on that app and no others) that something was wrong.  But I got a call that cleared the notifications, forgot about it and went about my morning business.  I listened to a CD on the way in to work.  Then I logged into Facebook and looked at my news feed.  Holy shit.

I googled news stories.  Shooter is reported to be a parent of one of the students.  No, a son of one of the teachers.  2 confirmed dead.  No, 10.  No, 24. Maybe more. 18 of them children.  Maybe more. 

I read the posts.  Gun control.  Mental illness. Why do we not know who these people are until they start shooting.

My thought: why the fuck does this keep happening.  I know from mental illness, and yet I could never in a million years fathom walking into a school and shooting kids.  Kids.  Jesus Christ.  But there are people who do.  Today, someone did. And it won't be the last time. 

I absolutely think we need more resources for people with mental illness.  But will some completely fucked-up person, hell-bent on killing, seek out help? I absolutely think we need stronger gun control.  The 2nd amendment was adopted in 1791 and obviously the nature of our weapons has changed tremendously since then.  It is all too easy to get a gun. But I fear that anyone will still be able to find one if he or she is willing to work hard enough for it.

Is there a solution?  Or will we just wake up every few months or weeks and find ourselves crying for strangers?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On Dating

This is a conversation I just had with my study partner as she was leaving the cafe where we were studying:

Her: Good luck!
Me: Thanks. I'm terrible at dating.
Her: I meant on the homework.

You see, dear reader, I have a date tonight. And I say I'm terrible at dating because I am terrible at dating. I just don't have the normal girl gene. I don't play the game. If I'm even mildly interested, I have absolutely no qualms about being the aggressor - texting or being the first one to call after the date, kissing the guy, etc. Which means I come on way too strong and scare guys off. The funniest part of it is, I then get upset when they don't pursue me, even though I haven't really given them the chance. It's terrible. At least I'm self-aware about it, but that doesn't stop me. Oh well. It makes for some really interesting dates, and especially interesting aftermath of said dates. (edited to add - I realize that could come off sounding slutty, but I meant correspondence after dates. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

I am mildly better at online dating than normal "finding someone with whom you share common interests at a class or something" dating. At least with online dating we both know what we're there for. In the normal world outside of my computer, I'm sure I have blindsided many a guy with inappropriate flirting that comes way too early. There's a reason I was almost voted "biggest flirt" in Thespians in high school. (Well, that and the "spider monkey," in which I would casually jump on people like a spider monkey as a joke. I'm small and it's actually pretty funny. But I can see how that would be misconstrued.)

Anyway, that's all I have to say about dating for now. I have to go get ready. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tao Te Ching - 78

I encountered this tonight (via Shelley's fiance, Brad) and enjoyed it.

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves
to be king of the universe.
The truth often seems paradoxical.

Beware the Ides of April

No blog post in March (hey, it was my birthday) and almost no blog post in April. But I've decided to check in with my one reader (love you Libby).

I just started a job hostessing at a local restaurant, I get to speak Italian all day which is pretty amazing. I'm still on the nursing track but will not be able to start filling pre-reqs until fall. I'm still working on my play and will hopefully be doing a reading of the 2nd act next month sometime (if all goes according to plan...).

And the whole reason I was inspired to blog at all is because of a great post from one of my favorite blogs (which updates on a much more regular basis than I do, and I highly recommend subscribing to his emails). His post also reminded me that I still want a tattoo of a phoenix. Someday, someday... Anyway, here's the post that inspired this one. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Faith

February has been a very busy month. And if one more person tells me change is good....

Nah, I'm just kidding. Change is good. But sometimes it's really effing hard. It's hard to go from your comfortable but slightly shitty status to something new, different, scary, intimidating, probably ultimately better, but who knows how long that's gonna take...you get the gist.

Most of you get to this blog via Facebook, so you know that I'm planning on going into nursing. I'm looking at another three years of school. At least. Probably more like four, while working as much as I can to keep the bills paid. And as much as people keep telling me I'll make a great nurse (and thank you, each and every one of you, it really means a ton to hear it) and as much as I believe it myself, it's still a big unknown. I need faith. And I got a little bit of faith today.

I've been working with my dad for the past year and a half. The big plan was for me to take over the family screen-printing business, DM Graphics. My dad has built up this company over the past almost 20 years, he's done a great job, how wonderful would it be if his youngest daughter could carry the torch? But.

But I am not a business person. I just don't have the head to run a small business. I'm not passionate about t-shirts. I'm not passionate about sales. These are facts about me. It's hard to admit things like this about myself, because I want to be good at everything. But I'm just not.

Unfortunately, this has manifested itself into my perception of myself on a grand scale. I'm not good at DM Graphics, and that's where I spend most of my time, so in my head, that's turned into "I'm not good at anything." Which is blatantly untrue. And I realized this today when I got into it with my dad and it dawned on me that he has some serious misconceptions about me and my capacity as a human being. I said this to him, and he didn't believe me at first. Prove it. So I said the following:

"You think I'm scattered, unfocused and unmotivated. And maybe I am, in this one arena of my life. And I get that that's all you're seeing. But there are plenty of other areas of my life in which I excel. I have my Buddhist practice, my improv, my theater company, playwriting workshop - and in all of these I'm a strong, capable person who gets things done and leads people."

Who knows if he got it. But you know what? I needed to hear it for myself. I need some faith in myself right now, and asserting myself out loud gave me a little boost that I'll carry with me for a bit. Not to be all touchy-feely and weird about it, but I think I might get in the habit of saying nice things about myself out loud every now and again. Maybe I'll say them to Bear. You should do it too. (Feel free to talk to Bear, he's a very good listener.)



(By the way, now I totally have George Michael's "Faith" stuck in my head. You're welcome.)