Monday, May 25, 2015

21/52

^^After a trip to the Westside for more vet appointments (and an ultrasound that came out clear!), this little man was happy to be back home, on his sister's bed.^^

^^While Z was at his appointment, I took Nellie to our old dog park and got us both bagels for breakfast (everything for me, plain for her). Tuckered out from our excursion. she passed out in her brother's bed for the rest of the day.^^

^^& Her sweet little foot, which sticks out most of the time, since she really can't fit on Z's bed. (She's done a good job stretching it out though.)^^

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Emotional Toolbox.


A couple weeks back, after a brilliantly productive Sunday morning and afternoon, I had a brilliantly unproductive evening, assuming watching a six-episode marathon of The Slap isn't what you'd call very productive. I do try to extract a lesson or two from whatever I'm watching, even if it's nonsense TV like Teen Mom (don't have sex and/or get pregnant), Secrets and Lies (don't lie and/or lie about killing people), or The Real Housewives of New York City (do not invite other people's house guests to brunch). But back to The Slap.

I noticed I was hitting the rewind button more often than I normally do, not because I couldn't make out what the characters were saying, because I was so intrigued by the realistic nature of the subject matter and dialogue, respectively. I pretty much memorized one conversation between Blythe Danner's character, Virginia, and her daughter, Anouk, played by Uma Thurman (that's how many times I replayed it). Lucky for y'all, I'm typing it below, from memory. (For the most part.)


A quick context recap: Anouk thinks her best friend's husband is having an affair.

Anouk: "She's my best friend, I feel I should tell her."

Virginia: "Oh really, you do? Hm."

Anouk: "I guess that's what I'm asking."

Virginia: "Well, you know I don't give advice but since you asked, you saw the wrong thing. You could have been looking at uh, a purple finch, or your watch, or...into the eyes of this Jamie person. You had bad luck. And people have bad luck all the time!

Virginia (Cont'd): The point is, you really think telling her will make things better? Because I think exposing people to painful realities isn't all that great! There's nothing you can do to make it better."

Anouk: "But then I'm lying to a friend--"

Virginia: "Saving someone you love from upsetting news is not the same as lying. Denial is a useful tool, darling..."


My brain starts churning even as I type that conversation.

I've actually been in this situation before, and it's certainly not an easy one. I was the recipient of information I didn't ask for; rather, it was brought to me quite unexpectedly, and from someone I didn't speak with on a regular basis. I dug around for more concrete, factual information (AKA "proof"), versus coming at my friend with mere gossip, since I had planned to tell her. My mother advised against it and a good friend of mine agreed--I went ahead and told my friend anyway. The morally headstrong Krista told me it was "the right thing to do." (I used to listen to her all the time.)

It was tough though. I mean, do you sit back and watch your good friend commit to a lifetime with someone if there's a possibility he's being unfaithful? Or do you turn a blind eye and mind your own business? As I mentioned, I told my friend, which I'm not too sure I'd have done today. She thanked me though, and even continued eating her ice-cream as I told her. Cool as a cucumber, that one, while I was the one worked up about it all. After a quick discussion with her fiancé, the case was closed. I never asked a word about it, she never mentioned it again, and they were married later that year.

I don't really react to things as strongly now as I once did (cue quote "it is not necessary to react to everything you notice"), and I think my tolerance for people being human has increased a bit over the years. That's not to say I justify people's actions when I feel they are wrong, I guess I have a better understanding now that people will do stupid things, is all. And doing stupid things doesn't mean you're a bad person, or that you don't love others around you--it just means you made a poor decision. I've learned (the hard way) that it's not my job to expose people, nor influence anyone's opinion of the potential exposed. At the end of the day, people are going to do what they want and believe what they want, and I need not be some Virtuous Superhero and let them. Also, I'm sure I can make room for denial in my toolbox--somewhere in between patience and empathy.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Roundup.

On a Thursday (ILoveMakonnen voice)

I went to my favorite restaurant, Takami, with Aphrodite. (Her new moniker, specifically because she wasn't thrilled with the proper noun usage when previously referenced. "Like I'm freakin Aphrodite or something," were her exact words.)  We ran into another bar patron, Kemi, who is quickly becoming a good friend of mine. When we got to talking, I learned that another mutual Takami acquaintance who I've become pretty friendly with recently has a girlfriend. Now, I'm not interested in the guy--that's not the point--I'd just like to know if the person I'm talking to on an almost daily basis is wife'd up! I assumed that was common courtesy, you know, a "by the way I have a girlfriend" kind of thing, but I guess not.

I had enough to drink to feel the need to scold Wife'd Up via text, which is hysterical. I was probably too hard on the guy both because I had been drinking and because I was giving a funny text play-by-play to Kemi, but oh well. I delete my text messages as a rule which now I'm a bit bummed about, because re-reading that conversation would have been great, without a doubt.

Enough cocktails influenced not only my confrontational texting, but my decision to pop by Takami's sister bar/club before going home that night. I've been to Elevate twice now in a six-week span, and that's twice more than I've been in the last five years, anddd twice more than I plan to go in the upcoming five. I did get this gem as a commemorative souvenir though:




Friday

Did you like drunken righteous Krista last night? Lol is what I sent to Wife'd Up. He responded:


Don't think I'll be hearing from him for a while.

(I did nothing all of Friday, the highlight being the above text message.)



Saturday

I went for a run, did some laundry, and then sent Apartment Friend a text to no avail. Wifey weekend? was all I said.

Hung out with these guys instead, which was A-OK with me. Neither of them needed me to hold their fur back as they threw up after a long night of drinking; however, they did get a bunch of kisses from me. (Voluntarily.)





Sunday

I ran into Apartment Friend in the elevator bright and early; he was with The Girlfriend.

I had a lazy day with my girlfriend and my boyfriend.


Both of whom I make sure to talk about and not "forget to mention" whenever I meet new people.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

20/52

HEADSHOT SERIES
(Prestigious Animal Casting Agencies Need Only Apply)






CRSK

Honolulu, Hawaii, 2010

Charles Richard Scott Ketter. I haven't mentioned him here. It's too hard, really. And I'm not confident enough in my composition skills to accurately describe someone like him. You can't describe that light, at least I certainly can't; you feel it. Whenever you were around Charlie, you could feel it.

I'm thankful to have known him for so many different reasons, far too many to list here. Upon meeting him is when I truly realized how much you could learn from one person. Because of him, I adopted the life motto "keep it positive." I even went as far as tattooing a positive sign on my inner elbow. Talk about the impact a person can have on your life, and in the very best of ways.

Happy birthday, Charlie. We miss you like hell.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"A Quick Drink."

Censored, edited, tweaked, what have you, because sometimes the people you write a story about wind up reading it. Oops.

--

"A quick drink" this weekend was the intention with another newish [redacted] friend. He suggested the bar downstairs from me, and its close proximity was key since Ziggy had a recent seizure and I didn't want to stray too far from home. I actually hadn't been to this bar yet (despite it opening two years ago), so a convenient outing somewhere new seemed emotionally and logistically doable.

I've grabbed dinner and drinks with [redacted] a good handful of times before, mostly when convenient for him, and less so now that he is officially back "on" with his girlfriend. I totally get how that works, but it's kind of annoying for me when I need to wait three days for a reply because she was in town. And all I'd asked was "Coffee?"

Anyway. It was apparent The Girlfriend wasn't in town when I got a text asking what I was up to for the night. I had planned to stay in and watch Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, but figured it would be okay if I headed out for a couple of hours, and that a depressing documentary would be better watched after throwing a couple back.

Another text appeared on my phone just as I was about to leave. Want to grab a [redacted] cocktail from my [redacted] bar before heading down? I realized my one round of drinks quickly became two, and I walked over to his place, no-bake peanut butter and chocolate bars made earlier in hand. When let inside, I pointed out that I had wrapped the little treats in Tin Foil should he have forgotten to return a plate. (I was doing him a solid by eliminating any evidence that I had been in his apartment, bringing not-baked goods. The Girlfriend wouldn't have liked that very much.)

He laughed.

The lights in his place were dim, multiple candles lit, and [redacted] music was blaring through the speakers. "Listen to this first line!" he exclaimed. [Further musical reference also redacted.]  I knew then what kind of night it would be--for him at least--and I playfully teased him about quite obviously being a few drinks deep. I was handed my [redacted] cocktail, a mix of gin and St-Germain (and something else?) in a chilled martini glass, muddled mint and lemon twist and all. It was an impressive presentation, especially with the presenter being drunk, and it was impressively smooth going down. When he excused himself to the bathroom, I found the reason behind said drink's goodness: [photo redacted, womp].

It wasn't long before we headed to the bar, as originally planned. [Redacted] ordered a Moscow Mule; I stuck with gin for consistency. He was in a talkative mood that night--maybe just plain drunk--and talked about his ex and current girlfriend and previous sexcapades, all in that order. I wondered if the bed conquests were told to impress me (they didn't), and he went back to talking about his current girlfriend being "The One." And in the next breath, mentioned how the adjacent bar was becoming his go-to for good drinks and bad choices. Naturally, that's where we went next.

[Redacted] immediately ordered us drinks (kudos to me for sticking with gin), and hardly blinked before pointing out a girl he wanted "to have sex with." I reminded him of his girlfriend, you know, The One, but he was already too far gone. We made our way over to the group of people that included the prospective Bad Choice, and he offered them a round of drinks (guys included). When he went off with the drink orders, I politely asked the group to not take advantage of my drunk friend's wallet, to which they obliged.

Turns out, this underground pub plays 90's hip-hop on weekends, which is most definitely a new thing. Or, it's been a thing and I wouldn't know, since I typically go there on weekdays around 5PM. Either way, I happily danced around by myself, thankful to be able to let loose a bit (and to Montell Jordan no less). [Redacted] tried to dance but mostly remained perched against a wall, too drunk to coordinate his limbs for much else. His attempt to take Bad Choice home wasn't going to work either, as her boyfriend put the kibosh on the idea before I could. It was then I was thankful for the round of drinks bought on [redacted's] dime, since liquor seemed to make the group more forgiving.

His drunken sights soon set on me though, and after declining numerous requests to kiss him, I managed to convince him it was time to go home. I was praying we'd get back to his apartment before he got sick (we did!), and feeling victorious, I put a glass of water on his nightstand and headed home.


The Morning After 

[Redacted] sends me a text (typos included to enforce hangover). I hope you dropped me off at my door Luke a true gentlewomen. Please don't say I stayed down there after you left...

I knew he'd have absolutely no recollection of the night before. I took you home and rubbed your back while you threw up, got you water, and left. Andddd I tucked you into bed. Oh, I also declined your numerous requests to kiss you, lol.

He replied after a long pause. Thank you for being a very good friend. My kiss requests would be very sincere if I wasn't wifed up...but yeah, I am.

--

I had to tell She Who Eventually Shall Be Named (sooner than later), since I keep her current with most everything now. While she found the whole thing funny, she expressed her disappointment that there are no "good guys taking me out for a nice meal like I deserve." While that may be true, I honestly could care less about that right now. I'm just happy that despite all I have going on, I'm somehow keeping my shit together and not regretting my Saturday nights (and I'm single!). The only thing aside from me in my bed that night was Nellie. And Ziggy. Both who I did let on the bed because I had been drinking, but I mean, it could be so much worse.


PS- Drinking also evidenced by the dark and blurry 1AM selfie taken with Nellie, found later that morning.


PPS- The one not dark or blurry selfie I took to document that I was both wearing makeup and going out on a Saturday night was unfortunately taken squatting in front of a mirror, duck-faced, and emphasizing my gargantuan size hands. Sober.


Again, it could be worse.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day, 2015.



I feel fortunate to have a mother to celebrate this coming weekend, knowing that not everyone is able to. While I'm not geographically close enough to host a Mother's Day brunch (I'm across the country), I do feel lucky just having her around to send love from afar. And sending love, by the way, will come in form of a Home Depot gift card for hanging plants. (A "practical" gift, per her suggestion, which came after nixing the alternative gift certificates to either Target or some state-of-the-art-center for cosmetic surgery. The contrast kills me every time.)

The mother-daughter dynamic is a complex one, often times fraught by challenges. I've mentioned this before, but relationships are complicated! Human beings, by definition, make mistakes. And you know what? I'm really learning to find beauty in these mistakes, especially in my relationship with my mother.

I'm also learning that love changes with time--any type of love--and I'm appreciating the growth and positive developments that change is bringing to this particular relationship. I'm realizing that my mother and I can teach each other and learn from each other as a team; we can grow into something beautiful together, with team effort. Not everything will be organic, and some things will take time and constant nurturing to grow. I'm learning not to mind the latter as much now, because while it may not have initially been on the more natural or easy side, the effort put forth to make something blossom is what matters. And imagine the potential of something grown purely with love...

So here's to my mama--and to us as a team. Happy Mother's Day, this one's for you.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Letting Go.


Eight years ago, my father bought me a car. It was a really nice car, a "luxury" brand if you will, and I was in complete and utter shock when he told me he'd been looking into buying it. My father worked very hard and saved his money, and he always taught me to "be humble." Buying his adolescent kid a Mercedes seemed the very antithesis of the unpretentious lifestyle he'd been drilling into my head my whole life--even if the car was pre-owned. "It's a safe car," was his rationale.

I absolutely adored my new car and drove it any chance I could. I'd scoop up my friends for sunny Malibu days and long Hollywood nights, where the car would transform into a makeshift night club, music vibrating through the speakers as my friends danced from their plush leather seats. Driving up and down PCH or along Hollywood Boulevard in that car seemed more fun than it would have been otherwise; it was like I was riding around in a magical chariot of sorts, in an LA based fairy-tale that had become my real life.

There's also something to be said for a twenty-year-old kid driving around Los Angeles in a Benz, meaning, a clueless young girl thinking she was really cool, getting premier valet parking spaces and some sort of validation or street cred from both peers and adults. The car seemed to fit perfectly with my new LA life, which I agree is as ridiculous as it sounds, but man did I love it.

My little Chula went everywhere with me in that car, riding shotgun as Nellie happily rode in the backseat, head sticking out the window, tongue lolling. My friend Kenny drove me to and from UCLA in that very car when he came to visit, scoping out local tourist spots while I was in class. My babysitting charges even loved being well-chauffeured to and from school and to countless after-school activities. A host of priceless memories the car did become.

After eight years together, five and a half of them in the city, I decided to donate the car to Wheels for Wishes. I essentially had been paying a monthly rate just to house the car in an overpriced parking garage across the street, rarely driving since I was always on foot. It also had some mechanical issues that I was told were too costly compared to the car's value, so after much thought, donating it seemed like the right way to go. (I liked the idea of tax write-off, working for myself and all.)

A funny thing happened when the phone rang to tell me the tow truck was on-site, if an emotional car wreck can be called humorous. Memories of and in that car came flooding back to me, along with the thought of the purchaser, with whom I had not had a relationship, since 2008. I didn't expect the sudden impact of getting rid of the car, and I desperately was in need of an airbag to cushion the emotional blow. I missed my little Chula, I missed Kenny, I missed my father. I started to cry and felt pretty ridiculous as each tear fell onto my cheek, but I couldn't help it. I gave myself a few minutes, collected myself as best I could, handed over the key and walked home.

I ran into my neighbor in the hallway, tears still streaming, and told her what happened. She offered her support and was able to empathize, having lost both of her parents at a young age. She said something like, "You never know what will happen in the future." I looked her straight in the eyes, and said "I do, and my father is not it in. I've accepted the situation for what it is, I've accepted him for who he is, and I've truly made peace with it." And I meant it.

17 hours later, at 9:08 AM, I received a phone call from an Unknown Number. It was my father.


Monday, May 4, 2015

19/52


^^This guy will see a neurologist this coming weekend, and hopefully we'll get some clear answers as to what's going on. In the meantime, he's still as happy as a clam, bless his little heart.^^
^^So is she, which is pretty self-explanatory.^^