es // coffee is for lovers


she sends her regards

musings, ink stains & siren songs

It's not that I knock it
gg // for the love of coffee
Friday night I had hopes of a birthday celebration with friends around, and I know that it was my fault really, waiting until the last minute to make plans and forgetting that the only friends who I feel close to anymore live far away. My longest friend who still calls me her "best friend" spent the night lecturing me as she got drunker and drunker, getting in this ugly, judgmental place that she gets into sometimes, and it was actually pretty awful. After about an hour I wanted to go home, but felt like I had to stick it out. We had a babysitter, Charles was having fun, I was supposed to be having fun, but honestly, I just wanted to go home, but my pajamas on, and watch episodes of Archer and Nashville.

My birthday is hard on me. It was once my anniversary. It was once my late husband's birthday, too. I try to recreate it. I try to reclaim it, because once upon a time it was all mine, but its hard on me and no one gets it. No one at all.

Today has been good though. I started a new blog (yeah, another one), but this one I have a plan for. I was asked to be a contributor to a blog site of women writers, and I have three more sites I'm working up to submitting to. I want to submit to, too, but I need to get some experience melding the personal with pop culture a little more than I have before (thus the new blog, or at least one of the reasons for it). I'm trying to give my writing more of a shot. I'm trying to give me more of a shot.

I'm tired of limbo. Tired of waiting to find out if we are moving. Tired of not making plans, so I'm making them.

It's beautiful outside today. I want to go hike up to the falls soon. I want to get back to my spinning classes soon. I want to read the stack of books by my bed soon.

I wish it wasn't Monday tomorrow though.

Different Drum :: The Lemonheads

Ticking clock
es // there's things i remember and thin
No answers, just more delays, and I can feel all the tics and tocs, shifts and shakes in me going off-script, off-kilter, and into a spin-spun circle. I can hear the calliope music in the background, the kind from some haunted amusement park the likes of that horror film that I loved, and was terrified by, as a child, Something Wicked This Way Comes. My best defense, or at least the one I am choosing, is to hibernate completely this weekend. It will be all pajamas all the time, losing myself in the book I'm reading and the television shows I will gratefully lose myself in, and maybe a movie, or two. I want to not leave the house. I want to not have to talk very much. I want to let myself hide from everything for two whole days and then maybe I can talk my insides into raveling back to a workable weave, one I can breathe in, because right now I'm unraveling at such a speed that I will be nothing soon.

The Waiting Line (live) :: Zero 7 and Sophie Barker

Don't slow down you're gonna crash
sh :: seasons of your day
The call I keep waiting for, the one that will determine if we are moving, or not, it continues to be delayed. Today is the new date given, the new day to hear something, whether it will be a yes, or a no, and the waiting is taking a huge toll on me. I'm an information person, give me all the information, be it good or bad, even the worst news, and I can handle it. If I know what it is, what all of it is, I can spread it out in front of me and brainstorm solutions, next steps, options - and I can take it, I can form my reactions, and I am strong, so fucking strong...but...when I don't know the information, when it is all hinging on unknown factors, when I am swirling around in limbo, in mental purgatory, I start to slowly unravel until slowly becomes sped up and I find myself threadbare and shaking.

The anxiety dreams are back, the waking up every hour is back, too. I get up every morning and try to bury the dark circles with make-up, paint my lips a darker shade of red to avert eyes away from my eyes, and I fill myself with coffee and determination. But, I'm falling here, I'm losing my strength and persistence in all the unknowns. It's been almost two months of this, hurry,hurry and wait, and I don't know how much more I can take.

In the meantime, my job keeps getting worse. The stress is climbing atop another stress and another and another, like some cheerleader pyramid, but its getting too tall, the girls at the bottom are weakening, their arms are shaking and their legs are ready to give way, and soon the whole thing will come crashing down.

I'm about ready to crash down.

Crash (live) :: The Primitives

How can I when you won't take it from me?
es // coffee is for lovers
1. I have fallen in love with a book. It happens, being an lover of fiction makes me susceptible, but it hasn't happened to this extreme in a while. I am so emotionally connected with these characters that I feel my chest tighten up, painfully so at times, when certain things happen. My eyes well up in tears at other times, and my heart feels near to bursting at times, too. I find myself battling myself over whether to keep listening (I'm "reading" this via an audio recording), or to stop and slow it down so the story isn't over too soon. I worry about the ending, about the characters, about moments and words and things with Eleanor's family, and just, I feel all these huge things for the both of them.I am so glad I stumbled on this book. The cover caught my eye, with the headphones, and I recalled seeing friends listing it in their read, or want to read, lists on goodreads. I chose the audio book version because I've had time and inclination issues for reading elsewhere due to anxiety symptoms (longer story), but I think I'm glad I chose this format - the two voice talents that are reading for Park, and for Eleanor, are wonderful.

2. The rain is torrential today, unlike typical weather in Los Angeles, not that it never rains here (it does), but this is severe. There are flash flood warnings and road and highway closures, so I opted to work from home today. I'm grateful for it, actually, as the stress of this week has taken its toll on me. Last night I literally woke up every hour. The sound of the rain outside helped soothe me back to sleep, only to awake, breathless, heart racing, shaking, an hour later. Oh anxiety, my steadfast and true friend, I'd really like you to fuck right off.

3. I got to interview Kat Robichaud today, through a flurry of emails and photos and music links. She is awesome, truly, and talented, and funny and real and outspoken, and is yet more proof why I still love watching the Voice. I may not agree with who they end up with, but I've been introduced to some incredible talents through this, like Kat, and both Tony's from a few seasons back, who are just incredible artists, and people. It makes me wish I could do this for a living, write about music, promote artists, and then write my book on the side. I love this, I believe in this, like to the core believe in it. Why can't I live off this?

4. I'm having one of those days where everything seems to make me cry. I feel like the sky does today, leaking out everywhere.

5. I woke up this morning with Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac in my head.

Go Your Own Way (live) :: Fleetwood Mac

You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella
es // coffee is for lovers
They say it never rains in Los Angeles, but rain it does, and when it comes the city never quite seems ready for it. We need it, every single time we do. The news talks about droughts and water restriction recommendations, and certain times of the year the dry takes over, fires burn, and the desert threatens to become the new normal. But then, just when we think we will never be wet again, the rains come.

Funny though, we want it so badly, but then everyone panics when it arrives. I woke to the sound of it on the windows, that wonderful sound of drops on glass, and I wanted to just lie there listening. I wanted to pull my boots on under my over-sized tee shirt and pajama bottoms, throw my raincoat on, the one I hardly ever wear, and go dance in it, jumping in the puddles, bending my head back and opening my mouth wide. Instead I just laid there and listened, shivering slightly at the thought of getting up and sitting with all the panicked Los Angeles drivers who look at the rain as a curse.

The news, oh my stars how I loathe the news, but on days like this you have to tune in, well, they were full of the warnings and more of that panic, reporting on big rig spin outs and multi-car collisions, and the thought of staying there, in bed, under my fuzzy grey blanket, nearly overtook me. Had I stayed, though, I would have missed the part of the drive when the dark clouds suddenly split, and a cartoon blue sky exposed itself. It was breathtaking.

I listened to rain songs and sang loudly to each one of them, trying to ignore the screeching of brakes and the scowls on the drivers at each side of me. I thought about how I love to wear my raincoat, the one I got right before I went to England, and how I wish I could just drive a little farther, up the coast maybe, until every rain song I could think of had played its way through to the end.

Umbrella (live) :: Mandy Moore

Tomorrow's much too long
sfu // claire
Today I wish I could time shift myself into the 90's, or possibly time switch this day to be in the 90's, but with me still at this age. I'd like to wear a baby doll dress over crushed velvet leggings today, lace up a pair of granny boots and chop my hair off all blunt cut and razor sharp, tuck the loose ends under a burgundy crocheted cap (I think I still have the one I'm thinking of in the back of my miscellaneous drawer, next to gloves and swimsuits and fishnets that I hardly have occasion to wear). I want to blast Hole and L7 and Tori Amos and Liz Phair, meet-up with Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield for over=sized cups of coffee. We would wander around Santa Monica pier, take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Evan would have an extra flannel he'd let me tuck myself into. Maybe we'd play spin the bottle on the hood of my car. I'd like to have know cell phone, no constant need to check updates and status messages. Maybe later I'd craft an email that was more than a paragraph long and send it out to a cluster of friends, tell them about how I still have Evan's flannel, how it smells of Marlboro Reds and Sandalwood oil and some other musky boy smell, write about how tiny Juliana's hand felt held in mind, how soft Evan's hair felt, especially at the back part, right at the nape of his neck, and about how I still wish I knew how to play guitar, but there is always tomorrow, right? But today, it was kind of the greatest.

Today (live) :: Smashing Pumpkins

Is there anyone out there 'cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe
gg // for the love of coffee
The thing about mornings is I love the silence of them, especially in that hour before the sun really comes up, when the street lights are still on and the sky has that strange light pollution glow to it. My family is made up of later sleepers than I am, and I relish in that, too. I wake up earlier than I need to so I can revel in the peace for a while, the stolen time that is just my own. I suppose that I waste this time in many ways. I mean, I should pour a cup of coffee and write, and on the weekends I do just that, but during the week I “waste” the precious hour by playing an online scrabble type game, by browsing tumblr, or by reading recaps of shows I like. I need the frivolousness of it, the wastefulness, the way it feels indulgent because as soon as I shut that front door and start the long walk to my car all the work stresses start to hit me.

I have this pattern that sets in which is some unholy pairing of panic and self-doubt that burns at the pit of my stomach and makes my chest tighten. I start thinking that every, single project awaiting me is beyond my scope, impossible to accomplish, and that today will be the day that they finally all realize I am incompetent and pretending. It doesn’t much matter if the project at hand is one I have done a gazillion times and could do in my sleep, or if it is truly a challenge and something that I rationally could have doubts about, all of it mishmashes into a guck and in the guck I see my reflection, wide eyed and frightened, the little girl showing through the cracks in my surfaces, and I honestly contemplate taking the wrong freeway direction, or turning the car around and feigning an illness.

I don’t though. I can’t really as I have people to support and a life to keep alive. And, without exception, all the projects, big and small, easy and difficult, they all get done and somehow I manage to get to the other side. That moment of completion, well, there is a surge of pride/excitement/surprise/relief/celebration, but then the sun comes up again the next day and the pattern starts up again. I keep waiting for it to get better, but honestly, it never does. Today’s panic pattern was fueled by a presentation I have to make to a client and executive board, and though I am not going alone, and though I am perfectly prepared and know what I’m presenting backwards and forwards, I am still burning inside with anxiety. I keep hoping for an email to show up in my inbox requesting a postponement, which, of course will just delay the inevitable, but today I welcome the delay.

I amble to the company kitchen and make myself a coffee. I plug my phone into my computer speakers and play a melancholic playlist meant to wrap around me like my fuzzy grey blanket at home. I start organizing my desk, my inbox, my bullet pointed list on the yellow lined paper. I tell myself to breathe, and I do, but I still feel the burn. I smile at the receptionist with the unique vocal cadence that sounds like London meets Boston meets too many cigarettes, and she proclaims that “at least it isn’t Monday”. I write this and I think of ways to distract the burn, the shake, the tightness in my chest, but nothing really works.

This will be here, in me, until I sit again in the driver’s seat, plug my phone into the speaker system, pull up my nearly finished audio book and sigh the relieving sigh of “heading home.”

Harder to Breathe (live) :: Maroon 5

Is there anyone out there?
es // coffee is for lovers
When I was a teenager it was Duran Duran that got me through the bad days. It wasn’t just their music, though that was certainly part of it, but it was more than that, they were a safe place to dream on, boys to fantasize about that couldn’t touch me, force things on me, or abandon me. They were also my first fictional playground to write in. Back then I wrote the kind of “fan-fiction” that inserted my friends and I into the story which I would say is different than fiction I write today, but who am I kidding really, every writer inserts themselves into the story; back then, I was just more obvious about it.

Duran Duran also gave me a connection to people. I was introverted, though I think my born temperament was to be the opposite. On days when my confidence is in check I am an extrovert, and as a young child I have been described as such, too, but it was early on in my childhood that my confidence was taken from me, first in the form of abuse, and second, in the shaming of not being a skinny girl. Sure, I was never the “fat kid” in school, there was always at least one kid that wore that label and I was glad for it, as horrible as that is to admit. My Mom had brought me up to locate quickly the “fat” in the room and to breathe easier when they were found because it meant it wasn’t her, and later it meant it wasn’t me.

Not being the “fat kid” did not help much though, not really, because I wasn’t part of the pretty, skinny girls either. I was one of the fat girls. There were dreaded plus signs after the number sign in my clothing tags, and back then most plus signs on clothing meant that the clothing themselves looked like middle-aged Mom’s would wear them, so style was never part of the package. I was conscious, for as long as I can remember, about the size of my body, and that consciousness has never gone away. It held me back, it silenced me, it made me afraid to be bold, to put myself out there, to move much at all.

I heard the remarks made, even the well intentioned ones, hell, especially the well intentioned ones. The friends of my Mom’s who would suggest diets, the girls who would say “oh I’d let you borrow something of mine, but…”, the dreaded weigh in day in P.E., or the side-by-side thigh comparison when girls, and even worse guys, sat next to me and my thighs were bigger. As I grew older there were people who would say “you have such a pretty face”, as if my face floated around somewhere away from my body, and a lot of the times I wished it had. The one time I finally scored a pair of long desired, holy grail important, “designer” jeans (hey, it was the early 80’s), the “prize” for months of subsisting on warm yogurt and cottage cheese for nearly every meal, was only a short-lived victory. I walked about the school halls for all of fifteen minutes, all big smiles and unfamiliar confidence flooding through me, only to hear two boys say “I didn’t think they made them in HER size.”

There are more stories, more setbacks, more reasons to withdraw, and I took them, swallowed them, and did just that. But, then Duran Duran came along. I’d had celebrity crushes before, Harrison Ford for a long time, than Rick Springfield and Olivia Newton-John and most of the cast of The Outsiders, but nothing like this. This was full-on, all-out, fangirl (though that term wasn’t anything then). I was a “Duranie”, as were others out there, and because of this shared love I suddenly had a group of friends. We didn’t have much else in common, besides being of a certain age and loving this certain band, but for at least couple of years in High School that was enough.

My focus was on the band, the music, obsessively collecting every magazine they were in, every import book from Japan or Australia, every b-side 12” single special release, and, of course, writing us into stories I penned. There was no time to think about my body, not all the time, at least. I could hide in the fictional land of fangirl adoration, memorizing lyrics and lists of “favorites” that the band (or their publicist) would share. In the eyes of Duran Duran I was just fine the way I was, and my misfit band of fangirl friends, they were all okay, too.

They changed things for me, and though I would set them aside and do without them, or without that kind of crutch, for years after (though one could argue there were other things, and addictions, that took their place), whenever I would feel lonely, or insecure, and afraid of putting myself out there to make friends and connect I would find the next “Duran Duran” to save me.

My best friendships, with only one exception, have been borne of a fandom. I don’t think I truly realized that until today, and maybe that’s what is bringing me back here, making me miss it and long for it, and get all god-damn nostalgic for it – the “it” not only being LJ, but being a time in “internet life” where I felt connected to a fandom that grew into being connected to a group of friends. I miss it. I miss the interaction, the energy, the obsessions, the passion – holy hell I miss the passion of all of it – and I miss feeling a part of something.

My insecurities seem to be in full swing, fueled by my anxiety issues that are never gone, but sometimes more manageable. My body image is not so good, though I fake it well to most people, playing the good body image game, encouraging everyone to love their bodies, but still hating mine in big, ugly ways. Fat is still the first thing I think of myself, and it holds me back, it pulls in the introversion, it invites the loneliness in and asks it to stay. I need to write again, about me, and not in some “hidden in fiction” way, and I want to be connected again to something.

I know you can never go back, and this will never be what it was, nor will I be able to recapture the way it once felt. Nostalgia is tricky and missing things, and people, can hurt like hell, but even if no one responds, no one connects, no one even reads this, I still think I need to write it all out – for me.

Is There Anyone Out There? (live) :: Duran Duran

Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
es // coffee is for lovers
This year marks the first year in a very long time that I have actually wrote out New Year's Resolutions. For a long time I fought hard against them, perceiving them as self-created traps that were set-ups for failure, and I have had my fair share of failures and mistakes, I had no desire to add to the list. That said, as the past year drew to a close I started to go over all that had transpired over the year, noting the big things like proposing to my now-husband, getting married, getting laid off unexpectedly, starting a new job, starting to write more, taking my blog more seriously, quitting smoking, starting a work-out plan and going to the gym, taking two road trips, and taking myself, and my health and mortality more seriously. Perhaps some might call it getting older, others may deem it a premature midlife crisis (because I am not ready to say this is the mid-point yet), but as for me, I am not sure what I would call it except "what happened". What I did come up with, though, as I reflected on all of the above, was that I felt like I had gotten to the point in my life where I did not want to dwell so much on the past, and where I did not want to just be the believer in other people's dreams, but I wanted to be responsible for my own. It came to me that I had an overwhelming desire to be more present in my life, more in my life as it was happening, and that I wanted to see my goals and dreams move forward. I also realized that I wanted to be more present in my relationships, too, more awake and connected, not just an adjacent companion, especially in regards to my husband and children. In that spirit, my New Year's Resolutions came to fruition, and I wanted to put them down somewhere, and put them out into the world somehow, and share them in an effort to give them life, I suppose, and to give me some accountability, even if only for myself. I will be sharing two a day (bonus: gives me a reason to write/journal more!):

1. Regular trips to the gym - working out has gifted me a certain inner strength that I did not expect. With the goal of doing this, from the start, to become stronger (I deemed it my "Slayer training") has kept me from falling into the trap of weight and numbers and skinny being a goal, and keeping it at strength. With that, I am finding emotional strength developing, as well as the physical. I find myself being more persistent in things I want, and looking at projects with more belief in my ability to complete them. This "strength" has helped tremendously in my building my blog up and putting myself out into the music world, and also with my writing. I have an instructor at the gym who is known to say that your mind will give up before your body will, and I try to take that with me as inspiration for other things in my life. When I feel I cannot write something, or ask for something, or accomplish something, I think that the "I can't" is my mind giving up, but I can push through it, and most times I do. Working out helps to clear my head, as well as gifting me a time that is only for me, which for a person who has very little, if any, alone time, has been really important to me. Going to the gym has become a bit of my therapy, so I want that to continue to be a part of my life.

2. Enjoy food. - food and I have had a turbulent, and at times, dysfunctional relationship. When I decided to join the gym I had to make a promise to myself to not allow myself to slip back into eating disordered behaviors and fucked up relations with food. I have had one notable set-back, which I wrote about, and shared with people, and stepped back from to analyze with myself. I stood up to a personal trainer who was not listening to me and was trying to push weight loss and numbers on scale on me (I know that this was for his own goals as a trainer, but I cannot be someone else's success story, only my own) and in the end, I ended our working together. I also decided to make this a resolution so that I would not just give myself permission to eat healthy, but to also enjoy eating. This may sound easy, but food is never easy for me, so this is really important for me. This one is going to be challenging, I know that, but I am also trying to find ways to make this fun, and doable. Finding and trying new recipes and restaurants will be part of it, as will having more meals with others, sharing the experience of food and eating and conversation.

But if you wanna leave take good care
es // coffee is for lovers
The ad agency I work for has moved office buildings. The new one has us all on the same floor (prior we were split between three), and is very stylized and shiny new. I keep saying to co-workers, "look, we're all grown-up." The company owner (we are a privately held company, one of the few ad agencies that still are) likes to think of us all as his kids, and is very eccentric. He's decided that in order to both get us to bond more like a family, and to also encourage (force) us to take breaks from projects, he's banned us all from eating lunch at our desks. The last two days I've actually had lunch with co-workers, some whom I'd never met before, which I'll admit was kind of cool. Part of me misses the chance to sit at my desk with my lunch and write. I suppose if I think on it though, more often than not I ended up just working through my lunch, eating quickly without much notice, or at times not bothering to eat at all.

Today I went to Borders and wandered around. I bought two books off of the "buy one, get one 50% off" table because who can resist a book sale? I should honestly not be allowed in bookstores alone. Though, come to think of it, there is no one I know I could trust myself with, in a bookstore either. I'm lucky to be surrounded by book lovers, like myself, in this life. Afterwards I sat in a small italian cafe I stumbled upon and had a salad and Diet Coke, while I read the prologue and part of the first chapter of one of the two books I bought. I have to admit it was a nice way to spend my lunch.

I'm working now on a huge project that has me very stressed out. I'm taking a few days off next week to help Max transition into first grade (they are going to try to "mainstream" him). I'm excited for the time off, and to be able to be more present when both of the kids start school, but it is making this looming project even more daunting. A co-worker/friend of mine just brought me in a stack of CD's that she said I could rip into my iTunes if there was anything to my liking. I am pretty excited to see the Very Best of Cat Stevens, and that it includes The Wind, Wild World, The First Cut Is The Deepest and Peace Train on it. There is also a "Summer Soundtrack" mix of the 80's from some radio station that I've not heard of. It has some keen songs on it, all very much "go-to karaoke" style songs (J. Geils Band's Centerfold, John Mellencamp's Jack and Diane, etc.)

I want to try cooking some new recipes. Everything I make regularly I am beyond sick of. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Julia and I have been recording, and watching, The Jimmy Fallon Show. I think I have a bit of a crush on Mr. Fallon, especially after seeing him interview, and play around with, Drew Barrymore (another crush of mine) on Tuesday's episode. I've never been much of a talk show fan, though I do have a soft spot for Conan, but I've been enjoying his show a lot. It is a bit mindless, and a nice way to clear my head before trying (not always succeeding) to go to bed. It reminds me of a cross between SNL skits and flipping through an EW magazine, not a bad combination.

Within walking distance of my office there is a comic book store, a used record store, a thrift shop, and the Borders I was at earlier. I'm both ecstatic and terrified about this knowledge as I'm trying to be better with money, and actually have a savings account with savings in it. I may just have to set aside a little cash for now and then visits.

I wish I had more time to write/work on my novel, and on the blog I have in my head that I've not yet brought to life. Of course, just as I type that out I'm chiding myself and reminding myself that I need to make time. If I have time to watch talk shows and cooking reality programs, read too many books and re-visit Gilmore Girls (my friend Bree and I are going through the series from the start and trading emails/tumblr posts on how we feel about it this time around), and all the time I go on about songs or music - well I have time to write. I just need to stop being scared as hell and just do it. Right?

I'd also like to plan a Halloween party, and a costume that isn't out of a package/off the shelf of a costume store.

This may very well be the most boring LJ post I've ever written, but a) I miss when LJ was more active and we all wrote about the big and the small things in life, and b) I guess I felt like being a little self-indulgent/this is my life today.

Time for (more) coffee.


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