Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I have lived in a busy, noisy, bustling city for quite awhile now. There is never any real quiet, no solitude. I hear traffic noise like static on an old television twenty-four hours a day. The neighbors upstairs have a large dog they leave alone all night at times, who then runs back and forth, whining every few moments. There is shouting in the alleys, cars screeching between buildings and kicking up bits of broken blacktop. Scavengers pulling apart garbage bags in Dumpsters while the people on the third floor drop another load off the back fire escape into the alleyway. Jets from LAX and Long Beach Municipal drone during the day, and police helicopters tend to hover around this area at night.

Only recently has all of this noise been grinding on my nerves. I think it began the afternoon I was waiting for the shuttle to work, standing by myself in the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral, far enough away from the streets to not really hear the traffic. The quiet was just serene, and full, and it felt as though I could raise my arms and the breeze would lift me into the sky.

I think the closest quiet place, were I to set out from where I live, would be at least an hour's drive away. Maybe more. Yes, there are parts of the beach that are quiet, but then a helicopter passes overhead, going to Catalina Island... or people walk up and are talking loudly... a boat passes too closely to not be heard... I just want a place I can go, lie down on the grass, close my eyes, and be. I want to listen to the small rustlings of the leaves, feel the cool damp of the earth on my back as the sun warms my face. I want to listen to birdsong uninterrupted by machines and people's shouting.

Funny how, when I was in my early 20s, that was the farthest thing from an ideal spot to live. I wanted noise, bustle, neon lights and open all night stores. I wanted nightlife every night of the week. I wanted excitement and glamour and pseudolove. Now I could have that still if I really wanted it, but I don't. A little is fun, sure... but I want the clean, fresh open air, too. And I want trickling water that's not from a leaking faucet, birdsong not prerecorded, and to lie in sunlight from the actual star and not from electric bulbs in a claustrophobic bed.

Yes, this is all coming into consideration as I mull over moving.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


After struggling to write a decent cover letter, which seems to be one of the hardest things for me, I submitted my resume, cover letter, and a letter of rec from the man for whom I now work to a private university up in Oregon. By very offbeat chance, I happened to see they are hiring for a program assistant in one of their departments. After looking over the job description, I realized it pretty well describes what I do now. The listing doesn't tell the salary, but as long as I can live decently and I have full medical, dental, and vision, I'm all cool.

Granted, I am in California. They may take one look at that and nix me. I'm hoping not... I'm hoping they set up a phone interview, though for what is probably a lower job I doubt they will go to such trouble. (But you never know!)

I am off work the next two days. I could type in all these things I plan to do, or things I could decide to do, or things I would like to do over these next two days... but really. I will probably do whatever seems to present itself at the time.

I did just look at the ticket prices for Stone Temple Pilots on New Year's Eve. Ummmm, no. Not worth parting with $99 at this time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hollywood Thoughts

It's still early... didn't I say that yesterday? But it is. Sunny and clear again today, like a proper Southern California day should be. Minus the smog of summer, that is. I am toying with the idea of hopping a train and going up to Los Angeles, though my fundage isn't too spiffy at the moment. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I maybe wait until New Year's Eve (or Day) to go? The weather is perfect to take photos at Hollywood Forever, though. I haven't been there in a few years... sad, but true. And it's just a bit of a jaunt down Gower from the Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station down to Gower and Santa Monica where the cemetery is.

I have yet to visit Rudolph Valentino's crypt-space. There was some really bizarro floofloo happening there last time, complete with limos and a red carpet, and Liberace-looking men. I would love to see the Lady in Black... isn't she the one who visits him as a ghost?

Another thing I find lovely in its not-so-incongruous manner, is the sight of the Paramount Studios water tower looming over one side of the cemetery. Yes, Paramount is right on the other side of a wall, and graves are in the shadow of some of the buildings there.

Gregory Peck is in the mausoleum underneath the awful Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in Los Angeles. (I tend to refer to it as Our Lady of the Parking Structures, as that is what the thing looks like to me.) I've been there numerous times. I will most likely go there this week, too.

It's amusing to walk through the gift shop there and see things like Our Lady of the Angels cabernet for sale. Maybe I will find something my parents will like, but most likely not. (If I want to purchase Catholic ephemera, there is a great store on like James Woods Blvd. that has a HUGE selection and lower prices, usually.)

By the way, the top photo is one I took. It is the sign for the Hollywood History Museum, just off Hollywood and Highland, and next to the other Mel's... the one that's not the drive-in. It was taken on May 15, 2008, on one of my jaunts to wander around up there. Maybe it was after I had seen Eddie Izzard at the Kodak Theater in "Stripped"? I think probably so. the other is obviously an old Chesterfield cigarette ad featuring Gregory Peck. Not sure how old it is, but I would guess it to be around 1949, since the ad says "starring in Twelve O'Clock High".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Musings For Now

It's pretty chilly out today, at least for Southern California. But it's bright and clear, and the air smells of woodsmoke and ocean. A perfect day to go out walking and wandering for me.

It looks as though more neighbors are moving out. Unsure from where, though it seems to be the front of the building this time. (Good.) When I parked my car last night, I saw an eviction notice on the door of one of the freaky drug houses. There are two on one lot catty corner to me across the alley, and the front one had the white paper with the big red letters. Maybe this will cut down on the yelling and screaming and 2am fights a bit.

There is a Saturday farmers' market about 10 blocks down from me until two this afternoon. I should amble down there, see if there are still any pluots to be had.

Friday, December 26, 2008

At Work The Day After Christmas

It is cold in this office building. From what I can tell, a lady in Cardiology on the first floor, someone sniffling in their office way on the other side of the building in Pharmacology here on the second floor, and I are the only people in this building. No one on the third floor from what I could tell. I have the Tramp Heater on full blast to help warm up my office. Gotta love the hot little hussy.

Well, I got an extension on the traffic ticket I got three months ago. I can pay it... a whole whopping ten bucks for the processing fee because it's just a FixIt Ticket, but I don't know if I will be able to get in there in time to avoid the $300 fine for being late. Better safe than sorry, as Long Beach Courts already got enough of my money, thank you.

I was perusing the sales a bit online, too. I think I might wander through IKEA after I get paid. Always, always you can find some little something there that will brighten your day for under $5.00. One of the things I love about the place.

With all the people moving in and out and in and out from the center to the back part of my building, I have seen roaches... way too many for my liking. I had started spraying the "unscented" Raid, which works, of course, but while it is definitely unscented, it still makes humans and animals all headachy and woosy. As I don't want to have to leave my windows open when I spray, I went to Home Depot to see about getting one of those sonic things. While I was there, a guy who was gathering items to rid his kitchen of a sudden conquering army of ants (thanks to the rain) began talking with me. He said forget the Raid, because although it does work, you may as well use a degreaser like 409 instead. I looked it up on the internet a day or so ago and by gum guess what? It seems degreasers and all actually dissolve roaches. (Of course, this brings to mind the melting head in Raiders of the Lost Ark.) I'm using it and seeing how well it really works. Oh, also read that stuff like Banana Boat oil can be left applied to areas, and it will literally clog up their lungs and suffocate them. I don't mind that, either; a house smelling of the beach and just-cleaned kitchen? Nice.

And speaking of the kitchen, the sink finally became unclogged last night. Well, less clogged, you could say. After leaving the Liquid Plumr Max gel in there for HOURS, I finally said screw this and did what it is said you are not to do: I took a plunger and started working away. The third time I did this, the water seemed to me lessening in the sink.... I did it another two spats, and saw that yes indeed, it really IS beginning to drain! I let it go all the way down, and began pouring near-boiling water from pots on the stove into the drain. This morning it still looks good, but when I look down into the drain itself, I can't tell if there is still a clog or if that is just shadow against the white PVC pipe. I plan on getting another bottle of Liquid Plumr or Drano to pour down there overnight.

Disturbingly, the people upstairs were banging away and making odd noises that sounded way too much like trying to disassemble the kitchen pipes by themselves. The joys of apartment living.

I should go get more tea and settle in to do another jaunt of work. I've actually got a lot of work to do, but am very unmotivated this morning. Gotta do it, and I will feel all the better for it when I've completed it.

Plus, it's Friday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wishing To Be Myself

This is a LiveJournal entry I just ran across while searching for something else. I am a bit amazed how things have not changed much in this quarter in the past four years - yet there have been some profound changes as well. (A girl can't be around some of the men she has met lately and NOT be changed by them.)

So this is an entry from October 6, 2004:

Hi. I'm a girl. You know, a human of the feminine variety? Female. FE-male.

Oh, I know I don't look like it. I look kind of androgynous. Like it says in a profile somewhere: Some Strange Runaway. I don't act it, either, as has been pointed out to me numerous times by now-ex-boyfriends who decided they wanted Little Miss Pretty Princess 24/7. (Eddie, believe it or not, being the only one in the past 15 or so years who didn't try to wheedle me into that image. Wheedling won't work. There are *other ways* to convince me, thanks...)

For years I've had to deal with drunks, with people freaking out on drugs, with wackos in general... usually by myself. I've always been the "strong" one, the crazy chickwho knew when to get in someone's face, and when to just go call the cops. The one who always had to take care of everything at home, and who got to make the phone calls or the quiet pull-asides when people needed to be told about a death. The one to keep a cool head during an emergency, and the one who "did what was neccessary" when needed.

So I suppose that kind of makes me not-a-girl, hunh? I kind of look like one, but I guess that's all. Well, wait... when it behooves male friends to remember my gender, they do so. You know, like "You can't go on the fishing trip... no women allowed!" "Why do you want to go to a strip club? You're a girl!" "You can't go into the city (Manhattan) by yourself! You're just a girl and you have no idea how dangerous it is out there!" Any other time, I'm just one of the guys, though. Which, don't get me wrong, is very cool.

But sometimes I want to be softer and seem more vulnerable, I guess. It would be nice for a change.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

All Souls' Day

I am considering hopping on the Blue Line and going up to Los Angeles today. It is still rainy outside, and that is a nice change, believe it or not. (Actually, I just peeked out and see fluffy poof-clouds that look like huge cotton balls floating around and letting the bright blue of the sky color the scene every so often. Very, very nice.)

Then again, I've got a major bit of work to do on my NaNo novel. It got shoved to the side yesterday in questionable favor of homework and a paper I needed to write. How dare this happen! And in November... gah!

I don't think I will be going out the back door, however. Two guys from the third floor are bringing huge pieces of furniture, La-Z-Boy type things, out onto the fire escape and rolling them over the railing, letting them fall about 20 to 25 feet into the back alley. They land with a loud, cracking thump-whoosh into the filthy oil-shiny water and wait as one by one they are dragged to the opposite corner to hopefully be picked up by the trash collectors.

I am just thankful they decided against stacking the furniture against my wall again.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Countdown To NaNoWriMo08

Less than an hour and a half left of October, 2008. This means Halloween is nearly done.

This also means madcap noveling is about to commence all up and down the West Coast of the United States,. I wish you all luck, and hope mine is just as dandy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Food, School, And NaNo

I went to this morning and, just out of curiosity, I plugged in all the foods and drink I consumed yesterday. I know I overindulged.... we're all guilty (if you could say that) of it at times. But holy cow and columbus! I ate three and a half times the normal amount of calories we're supposed to have. And fat content? Not even going there.

A couple weeks ago I managed to snag an insulated lunch tote from a carpooling fair at work. This morning I am putting it to what I hope will be good use. Inside it at the moment is one baggie with slices from one red delicious and one gala apple, one baggie with Trader Joe's no-salt-added corn, and a small rice bowl I picked up at the Tokyo store in the mall (for the corn). I am going to add a couple tea bags of chai tea and a mug before I leave for work. I like chai because I can drink the hell out of it and only use a couple packets of Splenda. With coffee, I use more Splenda (not so bad) and loads of creamer from work (bad).

My coffee I have been drinking this morning, and have feasted on one d'anjou pear - my favorite. Good stuffs, Maynard.

I've fallen a bit behind on studying, and plan to remedy that like mad this weekend. Silly, ridiculous me. The e-books will be open in another window while I'm at work, too... most of the stuff for work has been caught up, and I am waiting on a few reps to call or write me back regarding the Difficult Airway Workshop coming up in a couple weeks. I have an off-rotation student coming in for an exam, and the SICU stuff needs to be done. Oh, and tests need to be graded from last week. That's nearly about it.

Maybe I will branch off and jot down ideas about my NaNo novel, too. I know what I will write. I think. I'm pretty sure. Hells, I'm never really sure until I begin the thing just after midnight on November 1st.

And who knows... maybe people reading this blog will be buying it this time next year.

My novel, not the load I'm shoveling...

Friday, October 17, 2008

T Minus 15 Days And Counting...

Here comes NaNoWriMo '08. Here come the nefarious plot bunnies, and those flying guilt monkeys, and all the caffeine (and nicotine for those who do) one can possibly absorb into one's body in a single month.

Here comes writing like... dare I say... John Norman at his most repetitive. I swear the man was pulling a NaNo before NaNo was born. And neglected to pre-invent the EdMo (National Novel Editing Month).

I don't know what to write. Bites like hell. Most likely someone will die in it, though. I'm such a morbid one when skribblink. Die, die, die. The air is heavy with the stench of maggots as they feast on dead blood and rot, hidden deep inside an expired mattress. The Forever-Youngs playing at eternity, tasting salt metal oozing from another's wrist.

Yep, getting awfully flowery there. I think I'm ready for NaNo.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I have an interview this morning. I don't particularly want to go. I would prefer to just goof off at home some more, read some, work on class stuff. But because this is on campus, I really do have to go. I don't need anyone going "Oh, that one? She sounds good, but she canceled the interview for our department at the last minute. I wouldn't bother with her."

The upside is lunch with a friend who works on main campus. Yayyy for foodles-time!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

No Paper...

It turns out I did not write the paper. All this means is I absolutely have to do the next two if I wish to get an excellent grade in the class. These are papers on films - one will be on Gandhi, and the other I want to write about Jesus of Montreal, but can't find the DVD anywhere. I do have that really old Jesus of Nazareth movie, the one they would show around Easter each year. (The most memorable thing about it for me is the line in the print during the last Supper... it goes straight down the middle, straight through Jesus' noggin.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Simple Things

I have a paper due by ten tonight, and naturally I've not started it. Of course it will be done and nicely so by then. Oh, and turned in as well!

It has been cloudy and cool all day. I am definitely not complaining, though. I enjoy it. I feel like grabbing one of my jackets and going for a long, long walk. Maybe down to the beach, and the marina, and take some photos and all. Granted, it's getting late, but when has that ever stopped me from roaming around?

Actually, I have been rather lazy all day, and I'm not too proud of the fact. It wasn't what I intended to do. So despite the late afternoon hour, I am going to do some of my chores* and then relax in a good way by watching the rest of Raiders of the Lost Ark and cuddling with my cat.

Oh, the sun is peeking out now. Lovely! And a sudden urge for Greek food for dinner.

*Are they called chores if you are always the one to tell yourself to do them? Or is that just housework?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

NaNo 08

Thirty-one more days until the beginning of this year's NaNoWriMo. Nineteen before my sociology class begins. Uhoh. Can I?

Hells yes, I can. Why not?

Will I?

Dunno. :)

Ocean & Orion

Taking the garbage out to the Dumpster a few minutes ago, I smiled to myself. The ocean is clearly in the air this morning. Its bluegreen, briny mist made me stop in the mucky alleyways framing the buildings here. I looked up into a clear sky and there was just enough absence of city lighting back there for me to see the constellation Orion clearly.

Orion has always been there, even when I can't see him. He was in Oklahoma, New York, Minnesota. Traveling back and forth through the desert and prairie, he has been above me. No matter where I am, I have always felt a comfort at being able to just look up into the night sky and see the man with his swordbelt of stars.

I wished I could have walked down to the ocean and been able to watch as dawn comes, but instead I came back inside and began getting ready for work.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is an email I wrote to a man I am amazed to know, the day after I saw Nine Inch Nails in Inglewood, California. It captured the images I saw perfectly, so I am including it here.

Just silliness, but I got to go see NIN last night at the Forum. Such
an odd conglomeration of things from my past... the sound engineer
leaning over his board, thrashing and banging his head as he got into
the music, just like my Drug Ex used to do. The sea of people opening
up into mosh pits below me. The smell of different types of weed, of
beer on the steps growing stale. Music of the past 20 years of my life
rumbling and stabbing through me. It was like I was at the Anti-Club
again, sitting in the corner writing bad poetry, staring at people
through my curtain of cigarette smoke and chickory-cinnamon coffee.
And it was like I was on stage again, the music singing only to me,
and through me, and I was the music and it was me, and there was
nothing. Nothing else and nothing. Alone in a bowl of 18,000 people.
Damned normal for me.

At one point the screens showed blood spatters on a wall. And the
music, the instrumental being played, had chiming bells over all...
and instead of the bells being in a minor key, they were in a major
key... happy... I don't know which song was being played, but it was
such an opposite, and it was perfect.

This might be the basis for my NaNo novel this year. I have a month and a week to go still, so who knows what dastardly tales will demand my attention between now and then. (Can you possibly be any more vague, Sydney? Well, yes... yes, I can.) The papers due for History and the start up of Sociology might derail my novelling this year, but at least that will be worthwhile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Silent Wilderness

**Prompt from All_Unwritten**

Prompt 144
*Silent Wilderness*

The blacks and the blues and the grays shadowed each other in her mind. A silent wilderness of despair, shot through the center with a red gash of longing. It used to be a place of such warmth and conviviality for her, but words spoken by others, to others, about others... these had taken the sun away and left the landscape in shadow. She had once loved coming here, but now she seemed to come only at the end of the day as she had been told to do. It is cold and it is lonely, and she waits now only for the springtime and his return.

Dark House

**Prompt from All_Unwritten**

Prompt 153
*Dark House*

Just a little light inside me
It burns bright, burns bright
Just a little light inside me
Burnin' bright in the cold of the night

Singing to herself, she huddled closer in the corner, pushing nightgowned flesh farther into the slatted wood. It was silent now; maybe Mah had gone to bed finally. The girl hoped this was the case, but knew better than to make a sound or move from her position. She tucked her knees closer under her chin, toes curling in an effort to make her slight frame even less.

She looked into the blue-black of the room, seeing nothing in this dark house but sparklers and shades of her own imagination in the gloom. She could hear the kitchen clock tick away the seconds until morningtime, when Mah and Daddy would come back downstairs and begin baking biscuits and frying eggs. Then Daddy would sit at the kitchen table and read the national news, and hand her the Sunday funnies so she could take them and open them full on the livingroom floor, half-remembered scenes with Silly Putty playing themselves out in her mind as she read about Dagwood and Blondie.

That would probably be another six or seven hours from now. The girl swallowed, and huddled into herself more, pulling her thin nightgown over her toes to keep them warm.

A movement, a sound in the doorway. She froze, not even daring to let go her breath. She didn't think it was Mah; Mah turned on lights to find her. She hoped it wasn't one of the ghosts. Her heart beat so loudly she knew its drumming was attracting the thing in the hall. She tried to remember the words to her Guardian Angel prayer, but felt her brain turn to stone as icicle fingers seemed to wrap around it. Two huge eyes flashed close to her, picking up light where there was none, inspecting her. Something cold tried to push its way into her left cheek and she was to terrified to scream.

Her face was suddenly wet and warm, and softness pushed against her thin arm. Her tears began flowing as she wrapped her limbs tightly around the family's Irish Setter who knew what had happened, and knew the girl needed someone right now, even if it was only a dog. The Setter laid down, still tangled in the girl's arms, and gently pulled the girl down as well, knowing the girl would fall asleep with her head at the dog's belly. One red-furred paw rested protectively on the girl's shoulder as her silent sobs faded into the even breathing of slumber.

Monday, September 22, 2008

हेल्प! इ'म इन हिन्दी!

इ सीम तो बे व्रितिंग इन हिन्दी... इफ ओनली इ'डी पेड मोरे अत्तेंशन व्हेन जीवन वास त्र्यिंग तो टीच में तो रीड।

What that says:

I seem to be writing in Hindi... If only I'd paid more attention when Jiwan was trying to teach me to read।

Okay, okay... That was interesting, for about three seconds, I guess.

I recently had my hair cut much shorter than I normally do. It is still considered long, but I would say it only goes a few inches past my shoulders, whereas it used to be down to my waist. I was tired of it catching on things constantly, the ends breaking off and just looking ragged no matter what I tried to do. To save my somewhat-tired sanity, and look halfway decent for interviews, I had it cut.

Today I tossed it up into a claw-comb, laughing at the way it just sticks up in the back now, instead of tumbling over the plastic fastening it to my scalp and half hiding it. With windows down, sunroof open, and my crazy ass driving up the 22, one lock came loose and has curled itself delicately around my face, hugging the jawline on the opposite side of its roots.

It is a pleasant feeling, this stronger sense of femininity.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Food - Pluots: Nectar Of The Gods

After seeing them all summer in Trader Joe's, I finally picked up some pluots.
After keeping them in my refrigerator all week long, I finally pulled one out and sampled it.


I do believe I could live off of pluots, d'Anjou pears, Asian pears, raisin bran with flax, and garlic bread for a good, long time. Oh, and chai tea and coffee.

A Return Entry

I have been trying to upload a blog from a program (CoffeeCup) onto a webspace I have, and they just don't seem to want to play nicely together. It's not needed immediately.... I am planning on using it for NaNoWriMo. And I don't even really need the blog program; I just wanted to use it. Me being lazy and whatnot.

The past few weeks I have seen me really wanting to write again. Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to swing a low-end laptop for myself before November. That way I can take my nano-ing with me everywhere I go, and not have to deal with writing things out by hand, and then transcribing them into my Word while I would much rather be chasing down the flits of the plot hovering just out of my reach down the brick path. Yes, that's how I see it right now. If it sounds a bit SecondLife, I would have to blame my enjoyment of SL on that.

And no matter what its detractors say, SL is good for opening your eyes to the real world around you. I see things in terms of textures a lot more than I did, and I think I have caught more interesting (and of more interest) photographs in my camera than I would have without being a builder and photographer in SL.

It is a lovely, sunny day here in Southern California. Last night the air became cold and smelled heavily of the ocean... a scent I will never dislike. Now is the scent of old wood houses and water, dust in the alleys, someone's toast. A crow is cawing as it circles above our buildings. Someone is running a small-speed lawnmower, tires of a pickup crunch the gravel and sand in the alley outside my window, and a woman calls in Spanish to her kids.

That's my world, at least during the day on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Three And A Half Years On...

Amazing how long it's been since I began this blog, and amazing how little I've posted to the thing.

Life has changed quite a bit since then, and also remained the same. No longer temping, and I can say that with great, great relief. I am finally managing classes in college without having to drop because work needed me during those hours. (Well, working for a university might help that, too...) I have moved twice since my last post here, and am now searching for another place, but this time at my leisure.

I have to say it's so nice to be able to take my time in something like that.

I've bought a car, the first one I have ever financed. Scary? Hells yeah. But one of those steps I needed to take. A good, permanent job means I can think ahead and make payments and not worry about how I will afford gasoline or if I will need to go to the food pantry this week.

This Monday begins my English class, and my history class... History of Religion. Already in the pre-class email the instructor warns people about proselytizing, or critiizing other religions. I would expect no less, personally. I nearly didn't take this course because of the prohibitive cost of the textbook (not so bad by itself, but nearly $100 more on top of the already-spendy books I'm needing for this semester), but the professor also pointed out that the book is available online for a fee. The fee turns out to be half the book's cover price, and the subscriber can print it for his or her own use. Sold.

In other news? Not too much. I was actually brought back over here because an amazing woman has begun an amazing blog on here. In her own words: a new blog that will deal primarily with pop culture and how it interacts/battles with fat acceptance. Take a gander... seriously, at

It will do you good.
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