family · gratitude · holidays


12.18.18My mom and her boyfriend have been together for a decade or so, she having gotten divorced from my dad about 15 years ago, he having been divorced for longer.  He is a mensch and we’re all very lucky to have him in the family, despite the absence of any government certificate saying he is so.

They’re coming out for a few days right before Christmas, and J and I are getting to plan for their visit.  It’s exciting (to be able to host a pair of full-on grownups, meaning not ones satisfied with a futon mattress on the floor… although at the moment we don’t have much better!).  It’s stressful (to have a week of work and then family drop in right at the end of the work day on Friday).  And it’s heart-warming (to feel that the integration of our families together has begun).

J’s met them both on two trips back East, so there’s none of the trepidation of, “Will they like each other?”  (They do).  It’s more the nerves of, “Oh crap, what are we going to do with them for 4 days?!”

So, the researching of Oakland’s mural and gallery walking tours, a Point Reyes lighthouse visit, our favorite pizza place (Zachary’s—and I don’t care if it’s an “abomination” of pizza!).  My dash this week to the two purported “good” bagel places in the area to taste test, to ensure the New Yorkers are amply satisfied with our West Coast fare!  A friend’s low-budget Christmas-special show, a trip to the zoo that is SF’s Union Square on Christmas eve.

Wearing as it is to feel “on” for 4 days, I gotta say all that sounds pretty rad to me.  And I’m grateful that our “families” have the marvelous fortune to get along as well as we do.

Happy holiday season, folks.


family · holidays · letting go · love


My Christmas was as it’s been the past four years now – In
San Francisco, with my great friend Luke, at the posh Kabuki movie theater, and thai food on Fillmore, followed by meeting up with some of our
fellows. We saw the new Sherlock Holmes and it was just as fun and satisfying
as the first – as my mom once put it around movies of this caliber, they’re the
kind of movies that just make your popcorn taste better 🙂 They’re not going to
change your life, but they are fun – just what one wants on a Jewish Christmas day.
Before converting to Judaism to marry his first wife, my dad grew up in an Irish Catholic family in the Bronx & Queens,
and so I also have a “real” Christmas tradition and memory of all of that. We
used to drive to Queens each year on Christmas eve and decorate the tree, and
my dad’s mom, step-dad, and half-brother would always have this elaborate and
wonderful Christmas village set up. All the little stores and shoppes 😉 We’d
put on tinsel, and the clothes-pin reindeer every kid made in school. It was
always a wonderful tradition.
Over the years, though, as things have gotten worse with
them, the tree and the village stay out all year round, and are now covered in
many years of dust and filth. And although I have a great deal of love and
compassion for them and their increasing mental illness, shut-in ways, I can’t
help but feel a little cheated at the loss of my connection to a family
My grandmother is in the hospital, her leg recently
amputated, and finally her other son and husband have agreed that their house
isn’t safe for her (the only bathroom is on the 2nd floor). So, to
me, it’s a blessing – she’ll be in a nursing home till she passes, and it’s a
little bit of dignity she’ll get back as she’s cared for in this way.
However, with the loss of her, …
My last name is not really my last name. I mean it is. It’s
on my birth certificate, and it’s on my father’s. But before that, it didn’t
My grandmother got pregnant at 15 by a “Spanish electrician
named Joe.” This was all I’ve known, all my dad’s known until very recently
about his father. Irish Catholic family? 1950s? Unwed teenage pregnancy? This was not okay, and my dad’s
first few years of life were actually spent on a farm in upstate New York. The
last name was “borrowed” from a family friend from whom my grandmother’s family
asked if they could use his last name on the birth certificate. And so, our new lineage was born. With a
big fat question mark on my dad’s dad’s side of the family tree.
More than a question mark, however, were cloaks of secrecy and
shame, and a large edict to never mention this. I can’t imagine how it must
have been for my grandmother.
A few years ago, while in her kitchen, helping to prepare
the Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner, I asked her more questions about my
unknown grandfather. Besides saying what she would come to only say about it,
“It was a long time ago,” (end of conversation), she also said that years after
my dad was born, my grandmother’s mother showed her letters Joe had sent
her during the pregnancy which her mom had intercepted and kept hidden – letters which said that he wanted to help and be involved.
Crushing. I imagine. I told this to my dad, and he was
stunned – he never asks, or talks about it.
I’ve done a little research, and in the Bronx in the 1950s, the
“Spanish” population, not knowing if that meant Spain Spanish or Latino
Spanish, it is likely that he, my dad’s father, was either Puerto Rican or
The last information I’ve gotten from my grandmother was
when I sent her a letter about 2 years ago, asking politely and nicely and just
… a little desperately, for more information. And she wrote back, It was a long
time ago, times change, we move on.
And now, she lays in a hospital bed, losing her memory, and
dying with the last of any secrets or clues to my lineage, my brother’s
lineage, and that of my father. Her husband married her when my dad was 6, and
they had another son. And that’s that.
It was years before I
knew any of this about my dad’s dad. I knew that the man I knew as my
grandfather was my dad’s step father, but I was always told that there was a
real Daniels, with a backstory – a descendant of a Scottish clan – and everything.
So, Christmas. There’s a bit of acceptance I’ll just have to
work on around this. Some people really don’t know their heritage at all. Some
are adopted, or were taken from their homeland generations ago, entirely divorced from their origins.
I don’t really know what else to say about it. It feels like
a loss, like a sadness. And I’ll always be curious, and I wish I knew more, and I often assume that my nearly black hair and dark eyes like my father are from this Latin lineage, and
I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever find those letters from Joe in the packing up
of boxes once they’re all gone. 
But I do know that over the last few years,
when I’ve been in spiritual circles during which we’re asked to name our
ancestors, I name him, Grampa Joe, and call him into my circle. 
adulthood · healing · holidays · home · letting go · self-care

Hearth and Home

Winter cleaning has begun. The clean laundry that was
occupying the “other person’s” part of the bed is now put away. And the
cleaning will continue. I’ve decided and recognized that this “free” time off
work will be an excellent time to dig out those boxes from NJ and begin to
empty them.
First, sure, there’s all the surface cleaning I need to do,
and I have a girl coming over at 1 for coffee and chat, so the surface will
need to look decent before then. But after that? Today feels like a good day to
begin, gently, with the NJ boxes.
When I began CITO, it
asked us to make space, literally, for a partner to come into our lives, and so
I emptied a drawer in my closet and a shelf in my bathroom, and I bought
silvery grey sheets, which felt gender neutral, but also pretty sexy.
My place began to feel lighter, like I was creating space,
and allowing for “Nature abhors a vacuum” to occur. Then, I sent back 6 or so
boxes from NJ. They have pictures, and old school notebooks, and old poetry,
and old journals. A girl friend of mine called me up earlier this month to say
that she was taking a page from my book when she goes home for Christmas and
wanted to know what I did with my old journals.
I said, nothing. That’s not entirely accurate. I packed them
up in NJ and shipped them here to SF, uh, Oakland, I mean. I knew that there
was enough emotional upheaval to not want to or be able to process what to do
with them when I was in NJ, and so I just packed them up and shipped them here,
and they’ve been in my closet since October.
Which is fine. And I don’t yet know what I’ll do with them.
There’s the part that wants to honor what they hold, there’s the part that
knows that the childish records of who was in a fight with who and who was
wearing what in 9th grade are not things I feel tempted to keep, but
they are funny too, now, and so, what to do with them?
There is a lot of sadness in them too. When I was home, I
was doing some sifting and sorting and discarding, and there’s poetry from
grade 2 and 3 that is already about loneliness and isolation. So, I think there’ll be
some spiritual work or process or ritual I want to do around them. Maybe my
friend and I can do something around them together.
When I got into grad school last year, another friend of mine encouraged me
to do a ritual of thanks for the gift of this opportunity. We wrote down old ideas that no longer
served us, and burned them. Then we wrote down one idea that would carry us
forward. I still have it, in my closet. It says, “We can.” Sure, a little
reminiscent of the whole Obama campaign, but it still speaks to
the same sentiment I’m continuing to address: I don’t have to do
things on my own. I don’t have to deplete my own limited resources; there is a
world of abundance around me of people, resources, help, and love, if I avail
myself of them.
So, I’m not sure what I’ll yet do with the old journals. I
know there’s a reading series in Oakland where people submit from their jr high
era journals, and then if chosen, get to read them – pretty hilarious stuff, I
hear. One that comes to mind reported to me – I haven’t been yet – is a girl
who wrote, “Maybe if I got a pig they’d like me.” 😉 She apparently grew up in
an agricultural setting…!
It also feels like an appropriate “end of year” activity, to
clean the closets, to put my apartment back into “other person” readiness.
Nature isn’t the only thing that fills in a vacuum, and I’ve begun to encroach
on the newly emptied space I cleared, filling it back up with my crap.
There’s plenty of other stuff in the boxes to go through and
set aside, organize, or discard, and it takes me a long time to decide whether
some things are worth keeping, as you sift through old high school photos,
which do you need? What is “for posterity” in my drawings, poems, items? What
is now simply junk?
But, I will recall the belief I want to carry with me – I don’t
have to do this alone – and I can call on some guidance, clarity, and a heavy
dose of lightness(!) while I sift through the remnants of my childhood.

dating · family · fun · holidays · joy · laughter · responsibility · self-care

Best Date Ever.

So, if, as has been said to me, a first date is simply an
interview for a second one, then I totally nailed this interview.
The date began with ice skating. Now, I almost talked myself
out of it, seeing that there were mainly families on the Union Square Ice Rink,
but after checking in with my date, I knew this is what we were there to do.
And I had a blast!!! It was so much freaking fun. I didn’t
fall, but I certainly flailed. I laughed and grinned and was a terrible skater
having a wonderful time. It was incredible. The Christmas music on the
speakers, I barely heard over my squeals of delight and intense concentration to not knock into anyone. People
standing outside the rink watching laughed and smiled at me as I laughed and
smiled. They were as delighted to see I was having such a good time at being
awful as I was. 🙂
After making it for only about 40minutes though, having
worked up a bit of heat, and my ankles not nearly as strong as they needed to
be, we called it quits, but we were both cool with it.
I’d promised my date that we’d go see Hugo in 3D, that
Martin Scorcese kids’ film that was supposed to actually be pretty good. But
what we needed first was … hot chocolate.
After trying to corral my date into being okay with stopping
in Ross (the discount clothing store) for a minute for some socks, I agreed
this was not what I wanted to be doing either, and we left, to get hot
chocolate with whipped cream. Now, I would never normally do this, the sugar
factor for one, and the cool factor for the other. I was in line very tempted
to get a chai latte with an add shot – seasonal and fun, but adult, you know?
But, when I went up to order, hot chocolate it was. It was delicious. I really
felt like the old days.
My “crazy cat lady aunt” as I’ve been fond to call her, but
realize perhaps it’s time to stop calling her that. It’s pretty mean. But, you
get immediately the type of person I’m talking about. Well, she lives in
Manhattan, as she has all of my life, and each year growing up would take me to
Rockefeller Center. There, was Teuscher’s Chocolates. And in Teuscher’s
chocolates were something called Champagne Truffles. Now, I haven’t had them in
a few years, I had one about 4 years ago, but wasn’t sure if that was “okay” on
the whole sobriety front, so I don’t have them anymore, but that one was as
divine as I remembered them to be.
My aunt, for all of her foibles and human fallibilities,
really loved/loves me and my brother. She took us to see the famous tree, to see the Radio City Rockettes, to
stand on the lines to go see the holiday windows at Sak’s Fifth Avenue – which
were monumental in our day – themed and mechanized and just opulent. 
She, in fact, wrote me an email about 2 weeks ago entitled
“The Return of Kevin,” and said she was flipping through the channels and came
across Home Alone, and remembered
vividly, though I don’t, when she had taken me for tea at the Plaza hotel (she
loved to do these totally chi-chi things, like we went to the symphony, and she
took me on my first airplane ride). Apparently, standing out front, I said “I’m
standing where Kevin stood”, with such a look on my face of joy and radiance
that she remembers it to this day. Now, sadly, I know this must mean that I was
Home Alone Two,
because that one takes place in NY, and loathe though I may be to admit it, I’m
sure this story is completely accurate.
So, I love all the shlock of Christmas, holidays, even the
pushy crowds. When I left the ice rink yesterday, the smile and sheen of joy
coming off me was palpable. I was so happy I went.
My date ended after Hugo in 3D with buying a package of
sugar-free hot chocolate on my way home (the invasion of sugar from earlier was
not kind to me), rented a comedy and came home to curl up
with some tea, and, hey, here’s honesty, to “spend a little time with myself,” to quote Tom Waits.
You may have guessed much earlier than this, that my date
was with myself. And it was awesome. Part of the whole Calling in the One thing and my path in general is to become a woman I’d want to date. And, judging from the careening,
fanciful, contented joy of yesterday, another date is sure to follow. 
fun · holidays · laughter · self-care

The Joy of Flailing.

So, here I sit at my last desk shift at the gym for a while. I gave my “two week’s notice” to them last week, when I realized that a) I wasn’t taking advantage of my free classes, and b) … I want my Friday mornings back. I am on deck as a “sub” person, and I also said that once school starts again and I have a more regular schedule that I’ll be back fora regular shift. 
The instructor I’ve been working in tandem with for the last 6 months or so just brought me a pastry and a sad face 🙂 she’s so sweet. As we have an early morning shift, no one is usually here too soon before class, so she and I get to talk dating, men, life, etc. She said she just ordered the Calling In the One book. Ha! You never know what happens with these ripples. 
But, I am looking forward to not having to scramble to cover my shift, trade my shift, cover other peoples – cuz obviously I’m feeling a little “put upon” by this – which again tells me that I’ve spread myself too thin – because actually this thing is pretty rad – the classes are great and I’ve realized I like the community aspect of working out. It helps that almost all of the women are older than me, some over 60, and are holding these poses and positions better than I am! It helps to keep me motivated. 
So, I’ll come back as soon as I can, but I need the time off. 
After my shift here, I’m getting picked up to babysit for a family up in the Oakland Hills. Although I’m a little nervous to have the two girls for the entire day (I’ve only sat for them at night – which looks like play, dinner, play, bedtime – so there’s not too much need to be entertaining) – but I’m sure it’ll be fine. i’m actually looking forward to it a little bit. I love the energy of kids. I’m such a kid myself – I love to be silly and nonsensical. Kids love that stuff – morelike,when you say something like, “You guys are monkeys,”  they love to be like “Noooooo, We’re not monkeys!!!” Seems like a silly thing to get indignant about, but when I was teaching a class of kindergartners in South Korea, the thing they most loved to respond with was, “Teacher, we not monkeys!!! You a monkey!!” ~ Their English was a little better at the end of the year 😉 But I love that. I love that kids play along, are silly, and when you make up Surrealist shit, they’re totally on board. 
I’ll babysit for them also next Monday, then the rest of the week with the interior design firm … and then, release. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is entirely mine. 
On Sunday, I’m intending to go ice skating in Union Square. Strange though it may seem “ice skating” is one of the items of my list of “Forbidden Joys” that I wrote 3 years ago through the Artist’s Way. Not that *that* should be such a big deal! But it is. It’s not like I’m good by any stretch – and I’m not being modest. I’m one of those arm-waving flailing people you don’t want to skate anywhere near, because there is a strong likelihood that I will accidentally careen into you and grab onto your scarf for balance and take you down with me …. This actually did happen last time I went skating about 3 or 4 years ago – IT WAS GREAT!!! hahaha!!! I loved it. I didn’t actually take the guy down – but it was close. And we all laughed, and by the end of an hour or so, I wasn’t flailing as much. 
I ski much the same way, and I love that too. The joy of being a beginner, of not caring that I’m not graceful or skilled. Of just the joy of moving continuously around in a circle to the mash up beats of Katy Perry songs. 😉 I love touching base with that kid. So, as part of my “restorative rest” goal of this break, I will be going ice skating. There’s a party at the same time on Sunday that I just found out about, so I’m weighing my options, but I really want to skate. By myself, if other people want to show up, great, I’ll put it out to some friends, but it really doesn’t matter. I end up on my own with my novice-ness anyway. 
I also want to go see some live music. I’ll look up what’s happening at Yoshi’s – the jazz & blues club in the city – there’s one in Oakland, and find out from my musician friends what sort of shows our friends may be playing. I might take my friend up on the “stay-cation” and stay at her apartment in SF during that week off. I might choose to stay in Oakland and follow-up on my intention of hanging out with people more here. 
Those are the two things I know I will do. Music and ice-skating. Ways that get me in my body, out of my head, and into the joy of life. 
abundance · adventure · creativity · faith · gratitude · holidays · joy · laughter · self-care

Heart Art and Romance.

Today was a good day. I worked my desk shift at the gym, got
to talk a little trash/indignation about the leering guy who came into class
yesterday … and got kicked out. A “back spasm” doesn’t allow you to sit & stare at
women whose legs are up over their head with their cooches hanging out. Then I
came home, began to boil some cinnamon for ghetto air freshener, and cleaned my
apartment, including the dishes.
I normally would not have done that, having been awake at
6:45 this morning, but I had a girl friend coming over to meet for an hour, and
if it weren’t for those weekly meetings, my house would likely devolve into a
sanctuary for monocellular creatures. So, it always makes me feel good to clean
it up – I do believe that my home environment is a direct reflection of my
headspace – hence the post-nuclear disaster.
After she left, I took a good old fashioned nap. After
that…I went on Theater Bay Area, and took my own kick-in-the-butt from this
morning’s blog and emailed 2 casting directors…and…signed myself up for an
audition slot in January…for a musical. That’s right. A musical theater
company. Cuz, whatever dude. I’m gonna suck at anything I do in the beginning.
and this IS the beginning. So, whatever. I’m going to try my best – maybe NOT
do what I did for Sunday’s audition and actually learn my monologues and songs
far enough in advance to really feel confident. … well, confident-ish.
There are two more casting calls to apply to, but they only
list phone numbers, which is a whole new level of fear ;P so, that’ll wait
until Monday – normal business hours, right?
Then, I got ready for a party. A holiday glitter dance party
to be exact, and man was it fun. I saw people from SF I hadn’t seen in a while,
and met new people who live here in Oakland, plus my SF transplant/defector friend, who I’m really glad to have on this side of the Bay.
I danced, I was silly, and energetic, and shy and awkward,
and *tall* in my lovely heels and skirt I wore again :). And I drank a lot of
ginger lemonade punch, and laughed at others’ silly dance antics – and some
really good dance battles! It was fun. I hadn’t felt that in a long time. I was
really glad to be there, social awkward self-centered fear aside. I had fun.
Some of the women were part of an Artist’s Way group who had
their annual “check-in” today, and were going to do an intention setting. It’s
like new year’s resolutions, or any resolutions, only instead of all the
self-will-power of a resolution (damnit, it’s gonna happen – THIS year),
it has the openness and groundedness of being rooted in love, truth,
self-respect, and ultimately, Faith.
So, I got to write down my intention on a piece of paper,
and we all walked out of the house party to the backyard like a wonderfully
powerful, giddy coven under a full though cloud covered moon, and around the circle we voiced our intentions, burned them, and said a
little prayer/blessing of honoring our intentions into the universe. It was
pretty affirming – and so unexpected! I’ll tell you mine, because, hey, an intention
isn’t a birthday wish, it’s a statement of what I intend to do, and to bring into
my life through my action and adherence to my core. It was short, as I didn’t know it was happening till last minute – but that also helped me to
“To follow thru with my heart, art, and romance.”
Simple, yeah; silly, to some; but, to me, that’s what
I’m doing, and I intend to continue doing it. 

abundance · balance · decision · healing · holidays · recovery · school · self-care · work

While the going’s good

Hey folks – how you been? I’m currently sitting at the desk shift at the dailey method – yes at 7:15am. I traded my shift from last Friday with this Saturday, as I knew I needed the morning free last week, as I was getting ready for my teaching demo etc.

What I did do this Friday, yesterday, was my classical song for voice class – in Italian. Surprisingly, that song went much better than “Have yourself a merry little christmas,” which was the holiday song I chose to sing. My teacher emailed me earlier this week to say another student was going to sing that for our “Holiday Performance” class, and I could do it, but I might want to choose a different song.

So, I paused, and thought about it. And the next morning, Wednesday, my mom texted me to say that Meet Me in St. Louis would be on TV that night. … For those of you who don’t know, Judy Garland sings the above song in that movie – and it’s really sad and beautiful. It’s at this moment after a little girl has just slain the snowmen she made of her family in the backyard because they’re moving from that house, and Judy come fetches her and comforts her (all while in this gorgeous fur coat and bright red dress), rocking her and singing that, “We’ll all be together, if the Fates allow, Until then, We’ll have to muddle through somehow.”

The song always gets me, I cry like a little girl.

So, when my mom texted me that the movie would be on, I decided to sing Have yourself a merry little christmas anyway. And when I sang it yesterday, all drama and all aside, I dedicated the song to my mom. And I totally teared up then too. Now, granted, it was not the performance of my life. I was really nervous, and all full of jiggling emotions, and I was all dressed up in heels and a really hot pencil skirt I’ve worn once because it was a class party, and we’re supposed to dress up for classes when we perform – which is all to say I was also a little …embarrassed? about looking so nice.

But, I sang it, and as is almost always the (genuine) feedback, the class and the instructor said that I have such emotion and presentation and stage-presence. So, maybe my voice is not Judy today, but I showed up with my whole heart & body anyway. And sometimes that’s enough. I’ve heard the “stage-presence” thing often enough to maybe stop dismissing it. My teacher actually said That’s something you cannot learn. So, that felt good. And next it’ll be time for me to leap again and show up for another audition, or rather, email back to some casting calls.

I had an interesting moment this week. I was offered a temp gig over my winter break from school at the awful, Office Space-esque company I worked for before. I’d hemmed and hawed on it, trying to see if I could stay with the interior design firm instead, but they couldn’t guarantee that they would need me in January, or for how long. So, I accepted the job.

Then, on Wednesday, I’m being driven home from class by a school-mate and she’s telling me how she’ll be using the break to really begin thinking about jobs after graduation (in MAY!), and I tell her, well, I’m going to be working full-time in the city, and I’m not going to have one day of holiday the entire break, and I’m actually looking forward to when classes will begin again (in over a month!), because then I can finally breathe again.

Anybody else sense a *warning* in the above? Any tinge of resentment against the job I haven’t even started yet? A large bout of self-pity for not having any time off at all? An intense feeling of overwhelm? Well, yeah, I finally got that too. And on Thursday, the next morning, I met with a girlfriend at lunch to talk about NOT working AT ALL over my winter break from school.

It hadn’t even occurred to me that I would be able to afford not working over winter break. But, it did in my morning pages on Thursday morning, What if I don’t work over break? Can I?

So, that morning, I crunch the numbers. If I don’t work over break (3 weeks – as I’m with the interior design firm til Christmas), I will be entirely covered – entirely covered – through the whole month of January. And what happens mid-January? My student loan replenishes, and I will have enough. I do have enough. I *don’t* have to work over break.

But… being the mind-f*king woman that I am to myself, I work the numbers as to how much I’d earn if I did work (despite ALL self-care information to the contrary). How much would I earn? A used car, but enough for a car.

What could I use that car for? AUDITIONS!!! Holla!! …. What else? The live modeling gig – they require you have your own transportation as many of the gigs are all over the Bay, at various schools, universities, studios. So… I need a car, right? I need a car to help follow my dreams right? I need a car to be more available for auditions & for gigs, right? … I need a car under these circumstances when I would be working myself so hard that I nearly cried talking about it with my girl friend at lunch on Thursday, right? …

Luckily, my friend is wise, compassionate, and has a mountain of faith in all of our dreams. She said that she doubts that the Universe would make it this hard – that she doesn’t believe in the kind of Higher Power, if you will, who would make us grind ourselves to the bone for our dreams. If it’s meant to be, it usually is simple. That does not mean easy – we have to do work on our end – but look at so many of the things that have just “fallen into place” in my life (See “Wordless but Effective Chant” blog). In each situation when I’ve given up forcing myself into a situation which did not fit, I was led to something which was immensely better.

That continues to happen. So, … my friend and I made an action plan for me. First was to call my temp agency and to decline the job in cubicle purgatory. Also along those lines was to affirm that I would be more conscious next time I was offered a job before I accepted it. I actually hadn’t really asked myself whether I wanted it (I knew/know I didn’t; I was just focusing on having continuous work, as I thought that’s what I needed). So, that’s my action of reparation for the future – to do things differently. Hopefully.

I did call the temp agency, and she said, So you can’t work even a little? And, I said, No. (with all the attendant thank yous and I apologize, etc). And she said, Okay, Thanks for letting me know. And that was that. Cuz, despite the fact that the woman at the new job asked for me specifically (I’d worked there last year and she and I got along really well), and that she rejected other applicants, and that “she only seems to want you,” … (some ego may be mixed in here too, huh). Despite all that – I AM NOT the only woman able to adjust the margins of a 300 page Word document. I am not the only woman able to recalibrate your Table of Contents. Yes, it’s hard, because the whole document is fucked and it’s mind numbing to highlight and tag and adjust and readjust – it’s time consuming and takes patience and diligence – but guess what, I’m NOT the only woman, or person, able to do this job. I appreciate your faith in me, and your appreciation of work I have done in the past but,

Anty needs a recharge. ;P

The other action items were to look into getting away over break. Getting somewhere out of the city, somewhere warm. So, I’m looking into that. Reaching out to my network of elves, I mean friends. If it doesn’t work out, my girl friend will be out of town between Xmas and New Year’s and offered me her place in the city. So, that would sort of be vacationy, and also would mean I wouldn’t have to commute in if I’m doing city related friend things. It’s just an offer, a generous and sweet one.

But, just to know that I will have OPEN TIME. FREE TIME. Time that isn’t filled with dubious stains on BART seats; institutional recycled air; or resentful exhaustion – that’s my Christmas gift (or Chanuka rather!) to myself.

My part of this whole bargain is also to *do* some of my thesis. To email the theater companies. To check out an open mic (that’s one of my self-assignments lately).

But, also, Super Molly, part of my assignment is to take a long walk in some semblance of outdoors, even a park in the midst of a city. To paint my toenails. To see friends. To see new friends. This is a vacation after all.

If the Universe wants me to have a car, it’ll be easier. If the Universe wants me to get an audition, I’ll go “buy a ticket” and apply. If the Universe wants me to feel calm, useful, and available, I’ll let it.

abundance · family · finances · holidays · joy · responsibility

Thanks-Giving Myself the Day Off

My girl friend texted me yesterday to ask if I had
Thanksgiving plans, and then invited me to spend it with her family. I thanked
her, but told her I’d consider it and get back to her. What I had to consider
were my many little plans and designs. …
The first of which was whether to pick up the catering shift I was offered. In fact, they asked if I’m available on all the upcoming
holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. And zoom
– my fear brain goes, Of course! I’m not busy those days, I’m not working my
temp job, so I’m not earning on those days – I should do it. (Pause 1:
“Should”). I don’t have any plans yet, East Coast orphan that I am, I don’t
have any family here, and my friend who hosted last year said that it was too
expensive to do it this year. I won’t be hosting, as I now live in Oakland… and no
one comes over to this side! and also my apartment isn’t big enough.
…Then, I start to consider every other East Coast orphan (San Francisco has a lot, and we tend to gravitate toward each other) And I begin to wonder what they’ll be doing–
And I wouldn’t want to leave my friends high and dry on the
And I better make sure they have plans–
Or maybe I’ll host anyway–
Or maybe I’ll ask someone else to host–
And wouldn’t it be nice to have all my friends together for
the holiday, if I can only figure it out. (Pause 2: “Figure it out”)
Or maybe …
Maybe, (breathe), I will simply show up to a friend’s family
dinner with homemade pumpkin pie, and a smile.
I asked my financial savvy buddies what they thought about
my working on a or all holidays, and they said, a) ask my HP (higher power –
i.e. get quiet and ask myself what is the “Super Molly” thing to do, and what
is the “Human Molly” thing to do), and b) maybe choose only one holiday to work –
perhaps one that isn’t while I’m also in school. (FYI, catering is not as
easy as just serving plates – it’s hauling cases of water glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, salad plates, dinner plates, dessert plates, table linens, tables, decks of
wooden chairs, wine, water, and food up and down flights of stairs or across lawns, all while
attempting to not look like you’re breaking a sweat in front of the client – It
usually knocks me out for the entire next day, as my body is not
nearly as resilient as it used to be.)
What would “Human Molly” do? Hmm. Well, first off, she loves holidays. I do. I absolutely could squeal with
delight about the holidays. I love the memories I have of them, the smells
associated, the warmth I feel that permeates all layers of skin and soul. I
love them. I get squishy thinking about them. – When I was living in South
Korea for two years, they did not get squishy about Christmas – or, duh, Thanksgiving.
They got a little commercial about it, sure, with some inflatable Santas and
some tinsel in the department stores – but for the most part, it was an
atheist’s wet dream winter season. And, how I missed home then.  – I have come to conclude that my
affinity for the holidays has a lot to do with the fact that it was pretty much
the only time of year my family acted normal. We had people over – which never
ever happened during the rest of the year. We had smiles and played nice, and
façade or not, I loved it. It made me feel safe, and like maybe not everything
was fucked.
Luckily, I now know what I need to earn in November and therefore how
much I need to work. And the reality is, I don’t need to work on Thanksgiving: the “should”s (see above)
are always a major tip off I’m about to put myself in a situation I’ll resent
or regret.
I am also aware that anything I feel a frantic need to
“figure out” is a sign that I’m trying to organize things that likely don’t
need to be organized. My fellow East Coasters are entirely capable of figuring
out their own plans – they’re not asking me to create their holiday, and I will
feel much calmer not trying to create them!
So, as you might have guessed by now, I texted my girl
friend back this morning telling her that I would love to join her family for
Thanksgiving. Relieved of my own machinations, I can now look forward to just showing up – with pie. 😉

Hosting Thanksgiving 2009 in my SF apartment. (Turkey never made it to the table!)