On the Women’s March

Mary Tyler Moore passed away today, my dad told me. She was 80. She was a feminist icon to me and many others. As my dad pointed out, “she did more for women’s rights than many people realize.”

In the 1970s, The Mary Tyler Moor Show was “one of the first television shows to feature a never-married, working woman as its central character.” Focusing on topics such as equal pay and female contraception, the show “became a paradigm of the women’s liberation movement.”

On the subject of women’s equality, there’s been a lot of chatter about last weekend’s (World’s) Women’s March and, to be expected, not all of it has been positive. Of course, negative chatter on social media is nothing new, and usually I don’t respond (online). But lately, there have been several social media posts questioning–no, disputing– the need for equal rights movements (Black Lives Matter, Marriage Equality, Women’s Equality).

The negative comments I’ve seen can be divided into three categories:

The first category of comments tends to focus on how terribly protesters behave. They post a video of people at a protest destroying cars, lighting things on fire or throwing bottles and say that this is why people are against protests. It’s all the protestors’ fault. They’re hooligans and the protest is the cause to the violence and shenanigans.

The second category of comments are people who state that there is no point in protesting; protesting does not solve anything. This is a more diplomatic and less extreme type of comment than we see in the first category, but they’re against protesting either way.

The third category of comments I’ve seen focus specifically on the Women’s March and women’s rights in America versus other countries.

So, my thoughts:

Firstly, RE: People at Protests Throwing Shit
These people are crazy. These people are not just angry, they’re acting nuts. And, you’re right; it’s not okay. That said, please do not confuse them with the protesters who are not acting like idiots.

When a student goes into a school and begins shooting people, that does not mean all students are awful and school should be discontinued. That student was not okay.

Secondly, RE: Protesting Doesn’t Solve Anything
Protesting isn’t necessarily meant to be the only means to the end (an exception to this would be some sit-ins). Rather, marches and gatherings are the first series of steps towards the solution.

I quickly researched the history of protests– why we protest, how it started, how it’s changed etc.– and I don’t have any concrete proof of this, but I think protests, first, provide a way for people to visually see how many people share (or don’t share) the same grievances.  Hence the term, “demonstration.”

Back in the day (like way, way back), when I imagine newspapers were hardly a thing (especially for the poor or illiterate), people had to talk to one another to hear what was going on. (I know, so weird.) So, they’re all talking and sharing their opinions and some of them are like, “Hey, we don’t agree with what’s going on. We need to bring more people in on this subject. We need to stand on top of this crate and say how we feel.” Or, “We need to march down the street and say what’s up. We need to make sure people know that we’re not all on board with this thing and that we intend to try and change things.”

Okay, so that was then. But we have hip, modern social media for all of our news and opinions and grievances (first world and real world). So, what’s the point in protesting? Is it an antiquated form of communication that only provides hipsters with one more way to act like their in the ’60s? I hope not. And I don’t believe so either. For one, there’s a lot of fluff and noise on the internet. (This blog included?) Protesting (i.e. getting out of bed, getting on a packed train or freeway, making a sign and possibly risking your safety) helps distinguish heavy, important issues. Does the Dip n’ Dots issue need a protest? Nah, let’s keep them on social media (for us to reread and laugh at forever). Do people not having equal rights warrant a complaint? A protest? Of course. Needless to say, the act of coming together builds strength in the cause. It allows others meet one another and motivates more people take further actions (writing to senators,etc.).

Last but not least, RE: I Didn’t March Because I’m Not Oppressed

Good for you. Many people put in a lot of hard work so that you can feel comfortable with your place in the world. I’m glad the marching and protesting (some say, “whining,” but really a whine involves a high-pitched sound, so let’s stick to “protesting”) paid off. It’s a privilege to feel that way, and I envy that you feel this way. I felt this way once too, and I look forward to a day when I can feel equal again. But equal rights for women (and many others) is not a reality in our country. And it needs to be a reality in our country and other countries too.  Sure, as a white woman in America, I have things good. I have a lot of the same rights men have. But I do not have all the rights that men do.

We’re getting there. We’ve made huge strides in the last century (Women can vote. Women can obtain a credit card without consent from their husbands.) But there are still many things that are obstacles for women, which you can read more about here.

It’s going to take a while. I remember when Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and in her acceptance speech she spoke about how people seemed to praise her for being one of three women to win this award. To which she remarked that she had hoped that women were achieving things at a rate in which we no longer felt the need to count.

For example, we still have the “Best Female Athletes” list, the “Best Women Writers” lists, the “Top Women in Tech” lists. Those lists were essential as one of the first steps in the process towards equal rights. We needed to draw attention to the fact that (duh) women can accomplish great things too. Do I think it’s dumb and sad that we need to state this? Yes. Just like I think it’s dumb and sad that we need to state that black lives matter.  It’s not only frustrating that these things need to be stated in the first place, but that they still need to be stated. Many of us hoped that we would have been farther along in this process. That we could stop stating the obvious. Stop with these “Best Women” lists and move towards a “Best” list that would naturally include women and men of different colors.

But we’re not there. It’s a slow and long fucking process. We need to change thousands of years of thinking. We need to change laws. We need to change the way we act and even the way we converse. (“Grow some balls” needs to change to “Be strong.” And calling people pussies and cunts as an insult isn’t any better than calling someone gay.) There are a million large and tiny things for us all to change.

I get it, maybe some people are tired. Maybe they’re fine with the rights they have. Maybe they’re just not into protests or vocalizing grievances. Maybe it seems like these equal-rights-seekers are beating a dead horse. But trust me, that horse isn’t dead.

Sorry, that’s a bad phrase (since beating horses seems to fall into aforementioned “acting nuts” category.)

What I mean to say is, we haven’t crossed the finish line and gained equal rights. I envy those who feel free, who don’t feel oppressed; those, who do not see a finish line, let alone the need to cross one. I wish you well, and appreciate that you will not get in the way of those of us who will continue to march for everyone else to not only feel equal, but know that they are so.

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May the odds be ever in your favor

I work in admissions for a graduate program at a university. It’s a top program and admission is highly competitive where even the smartest of smarties don’t get in.  Because of this, it’s not uncommon for prospective applicants to contact me to seek advice on how to strengthen their application or to just gain an idea of how likely it is that they’ll make it to the end of the admissions Hunger Games. So, last week when an undergrad came to my office to discuss applying to graduate school, I figured this would be a standard advising session. But quickly into our conversation, he disclosed that he was concerned about his low GPA and poor academic performance, which was getting worse because for the past few years he has been battling severe depression.

I tend to visualize grief, pain and, perhaps, depression in terms of water. It’s as if one day, you’re standing on the floor or solid ground. You’re hanging with your friends, your family, your dog, and enjoying life or at least going about it as you always have. Then, without much or any warning, the floor has turned to water, and you’ve plunged into the ocean. You’re suddenly beneath the water’s surface, suddenly needing to hold your breath, to swim, and to figure out which way is up. If you can navigate your way through the chaos and find your way to the surface— and not everyone does—you then will have to swim to shore. Because that’s only way you’ll get to stand again.

I’ve been in that ocean a few times. Sometimes I would be just a little ways out, the shoreline still visible. My swim, manageable. Other times, it’s as if I’ve fallen from another planet into the waves, and I’m so far out and so far away from any semblance of land that I don’t know which direction to swim. The only thing in front of me is a horizon, and I’m scared to move in any direction for fear that the horizon’s line will just simply recede as I approach it.

A few weeks ago, I found myself back in the ocean. That very deep, dark water. And when I surfaced, I couldn’t see the shore. It has been years since I’ve been in those waters, and though I knew I would visit them again at some point in my life, I did not expect it to be this soon. So when I surfaced this time, I found myself tired, and sad, and lonely. And really pissed. And despite being very good at swimming, I did not want to fucking swim. Again. So for a few weeks, I’ve just been bobbing around, treading water, and floating with little desire to pick a direction and search for land.

Then this student came into my office and so openly spoke about his struggles and his swim. How he’s been under the water for a very long time, and he can’t seem to get to the surface.  He’s been taught various swim techniques and even guided in the right direction, but he can’t break through. It would be easy to assume that getting to the surface is either a matter of will or matter of strength. But as he explained all of his time in therapy, the many medications, and now his own self-counseling, I realized that this might not be a matter of teaching him how to swim. Or even him finding the will to swim. I think he knows how to swim. He’s been swimming for a long time under the water, and he’s even figured out ways to find air or hold his breath longer than most. But there is something weighing him down. Something maybe pulling him farther under. And it hasn’t made a difference how hard he kicks, how much he paddles, or what life preservers he’s been thrown. Nothing is bringing him to the surface and he knows that he’s running out of air. And that’s when I felt so fortunate that I had always reached the surface, and so sad that he hadn’t and perhaps maybe couldn’t despite how much he may want to.

We talked for about an hour about our struggles to swim. I told him that I admired his ability to be so open, and that I usually didn’t speak about my problems even to some of my closest friends. He then asked me if I was a “hugger.” I told him I was but usually didn’t offer hugs for fear of rejection. (True story: I’m also a cheek kisser but won’t kiss your cheek for fear you’ll turn your head). He then gave me the best and longest hug I have received in a while. I just wish I could have done as much for him as he did for me.

“Sick”

“I cannot go to work today,”
Diana Lynn would like to say.
“My voice is hoarse, I cannot speak,
I feel lethargic and very weak.
I have a migraine, my car won’t start,
Please oh PLEASE, don’t make me take BART.
The water heater broke, the shower’s cold,
My back hurts, I’m getting old.
My nose is running, I’m coughing and sneezing,
My breathing has turned into wheezing.
I have a paper cut, I cannot type,
I think I’m losing my blessed eyesight.
My stomach aches, I’m very tired,
If I drink coffee I’ll just be wired.
I stubbed my toe, my hair is falling out,
I cannot smile, I can only pout.
I tripped while walking across the floor,
There’s a huge spider above my door.
My ass has started to wither away,
I really shouldn’t sit and write emails all–what?
Wait, what’s that you say?
Today is the start of my vacay?
G’bye, I’m off to Aus to play!”

19 Things I Think When I’m Waiting For You to Call

  1. Maybe you didn’t know that I called
  2. Maybe you didn’t know I wanted to talk
  3. Maybe your phone is on silent
  4. Maybe you’re sleeping
  5. Maybe your phone is dead
  6. Maybe you have a deadline
  7. Maybe you’re with your family
  8. Maybe you’re  on an airplane
  9. Maybe you’re out
  10. Maybe you need space
  11. Maybe you’re still mad
  12. Maybe you don’t want to talk
  13. Maybe you don’t know what to say
  14. Maybe you have nothing to say
  15. Maybe you’re with someone
  16. Maybe you’ve found someone
  17. Maybe you’re in love with someone
  18. Maybe you’ve moved on
  19. Maybe you’re done

Crazy Thoughts?

Tonight, I want to move to the desert. I want to take the remainder of my savings, move back to California, rent a cheap house out in the Imperial Valley, get a dog, and just… be. Be that chick that gave up New York to live among the roadrunners and swarms of flies and just wrote.

Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe it’s just two A.M. But I think that I want to leave New York. I haven’t wanted to say that because I know so many people are excited about this opportunity of mine. There people who really want this for me. How exciting to just move somewhere!  And New York! Wow! And also, I haven’t wanted to say anything because I don’t want to sound ungrateful or even remotely dissatisfied with my life. I have a good one. I have been very, VERY fortunate in my life in many ways, and one is that I have had the means and the time to live in places that most people usually just get to dream of visiting.

I remember the day I wanted to move to New York. It was my second or third time visiting, and I remember standing on a street corner somewhere around mid-town and just watching all the people walk by on the sidewalks. Hundreds of them. And then looking up at the buildings, the skyscrapers not only so tall but so wide; there had to be a thousand people in one, easily. Then looking down at all the cars; the cabs carrying people, and the busses, and every other poor, brave soul at the wheel. Then remembering the subway and everyone underground. So many people. All going somewhere. All doing something. All with lives. I wanted to be in that energy.

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NYC

And New York, whether or not it’s true, is still revered by many in the world as the place you go to make yourself. That’s not to say that everyone is successful here. People may not make themselves into anything when they come here. Their dreams may die. They may leave. Or they do other things. But there are still many people who come here to do something, to become something, and to be at the “center of the universe” –that’s a core belief  that N.Y.C. manages to still maintain (cliché as it may be). And I wanted to be around that.  I wanted to be around people who had dreams and who took leaps of faith to achieve them. That’s not to say that places like Los Angeles don’t have dreamers and achievers and go-getters. But for me, that energy has always been more difficult to feel in L.A. from the seat of my car or from my towel on the beach. I knew New York would take me out of my comfort zone and give me a run for my money. I’m comfortable in California.

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Central Park

Which also makes me wonder, maybe my desire to leave New York is just because it’s the two-month slump. “Just give it chance. You haven’t been there that long,” is what some people say. And it’s true. The first month everything is new, and things like finding my grocery store and the nearest mailbox or even taking a walk down a garbage alley is all exciting. The second month is when the slump starts, and, in my personal experience, it’s not until the sixth month when I start to get a good routine. By month six usually, if I’ve been working that whole time, that’s when I feel comfortable and knowledgeable at my job. It’s also by this time that I find a good partner-in-crime to go out on the town with. And by a year’s mark, I’ll be feeling right at home, and I won’t remember any slump or any desire to go back to where I came from. So maybe that’s all this is. A slump. Just give it more time, and I’ll adapt some more. I’m very, VERY good at adapting. I can make any place feel like home. But it doesn’t mean that it is home. And I think a home is now what I want.

I remember the first time I visited Boston. I had just been accepted to Emerson for grad school, and I was going to go see the city that I would be moving to. Before even considering grad school, I had at some point in my early twenties developed an interest in living in Boston. It was an interest that must have been based on too many viewings of Good Will Hunting and other fantasies, seeing as I had never actually been to Boston in my life. As the plane was descending, I remember looking out of the window out onto the gray city with all of its sharp rooftops and brick buildings, and I thought, “Huh, it’s different than I pictured.” [Insert eye-roll here.] Then the whole weekend, as my friend was showing me around, I just kept thinking, “It’s cool. But it’s not my home.” After the trip, when my then-boyfriend picked me up from LAX and asked what I thought of the city, I told him I was worried because I didn’t feel like it was my home and I had to live there for three years. He told me to give it time, that I couldn’t make such a decision based off of one weekend. I was insulted. (Because how dare he suggest that I don’t know what I feel!) It was a briefly loud and then very long and quiet car ride home.

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Paul Revere Mall

I moved to Boston. I learned to love its seasons and respect the loyalty  that ran deep in the locals’ veins (loyalty to sports, to families, to friends, to the city, etc).  I learned to laugh at its crabby and biting attitudes (“Excuse me, where do the Boston trolley tours go?” the elderly tourist asked the man in the Information Box. “Boston,” the man in the Information Box replied.) And I met some of my closest friends there. I miss them and the city with all my heart. But Boston is not and never was my home. And neither is New York.

I like New York. I still find it fascinating. It’s challenging, but (so far) in the ways that I think it should be challenging. I like what I’m learning from it so far. And despite some annoyances with transportation, I’m not turned off by the city. I’m just not in love with it. Maybe it’s because I don’t have my routine yet. Maybe it’s because I live a quieter life in Brooklyn and am not wrapped up in (or assaulted by) the hustle and bustle and happenings of the city everyday.  Or maybe it’s that the excitement isn’t packed into one long weekend– one that I didn’t mind spending a couple hundred bucks on. Whatever it is,  I find that I’m not very much in the mood to be here. Which makes me wonder something that I had not only wondered before I left California, but even before I left Boston: what if this isn’t my time to be in New York? What if I missed my time to be here?

Years ago, when I had my stint in London, I felt like I missed my “timing window.” Had I left right after college graduation, I would have perhaps been more motivated to find a job in London (I worked only a side gig a few times as an assistant gymnastics coach). If I had left in June after graduation, the weather in England would have been better, and I wouldn’t have left behind the man I was going to marry (because marriage wasn’t a subject of our conversations then). Maybe I would have done more with my time in London, rather than just walk around and read and see the sights. But I waited. I waited to save up money. I dragged my feet on work visas and other paperwork and had to wait on all that. And I waited to have more time with the person who I envisioned as my husband-to-be. It would be six months later, in the middle of cold December, when I would be completely in love and only wanting to get married, that I left to go have my awesome 23-year-old-solo-living-abroad experience. But I wasn’t very much in the mood to be there. I went through a lot of the motions, but I did not stay the entire six-months that I had permission for from the UK government (a rare gem now). And I did not get married.

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Hyde Park

I don’t regret going. I would have regretted not going. I knew that before I left, and I knew it even when things between my guy and I fell horribly apart (though I certainly wouldn’t admit that even to myself for years). I mostly regret the What-ifs. Those thoughts in my mind that may come back to me and say, “Would it have killed you to leave your comfort zone for six months out of your entire life?” Would it?  The answer has always been, “No.” Which is why, even though months before moving to New York, when I didn’t feel that I wanted to move, I still thought I should give it a shot. I didn’t want to wonder, “What if?” What if I found a great job out here? What if you were wrong, and you got here and felt instantly right at home? Because the alternative was, What if you just sat at your desk all day long back in Irvine, getting comfortable and leading a bland and undesired existence and wondering “What if I had moved to New York?” every time an applicant called to ask if post-marks are really accepted and did you receive their application.  I’m one of those people too that sometimes has put on the skirt, to know that I really did want to wear the pants the whole time. (Apply that motto in moderation, and never to people.)

I just wish, I was more in the mood to be here. I wanted to come to New York straight from Boston, after graduating from Emerson. But I also wanted to go exploring before getting a job and joining the real world again. So I spent the last of my money on my two-month road trip around the country. I don’t regret that decision at all. But it meant I couldn’t move to New York right away. That I would have to go back to California, taking the first job that was offered to me, and living back in a place where it’s cozy and familiar. And while I hate the feeling of going back to anywhere, I knew that I would enjoy that relief of not having to Yelp liquor store and post offices and Google-Map everything. I am a California girl. And always will be. And while I claim not be a life planner, I will admit that in my mind I have always pictured settling my life in California.

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San Francisco

I just didn’t expect to want to settle so soon. But maybe it isn’t so soon. Leaving my age (and all those fucking society statistics and timelines about where people should be by such-and-such an age) out of it, it’s been over ten years since I’ve lived near my parents. I can’t remember the last time I saw my parents on their birthdays. My close friends, the ones who have put up with my shenanigans since high school, they don’t even know what most of my living spaces have looked like. And vice-versa. I have friends with children who I’ve never met. And loved ones with grave sites I’ve never visited. And while this is the case for some people, because they have careers or partners who they have moved for and built a life around, I have moved primarily out of curiosity and desire. Not necessity. And then I wonder, will you get bored if you go back to California? Will you feel like you gave up? Don’t you remember how weird it is to go back “home”? (They took away the freeway on ramp and charged you ten cents per grocery bag the last time you were there. When did that happen?) Those are a whole other line of thoughts.

Either way, what is my being in New York all for? Is the point just to adapt and then look fondly back on a place I called home for a few years, all so that I could move again? And without a career or really anything to get me started on a career path, what am I doing here? And even if I find a career here, do I want to stay? How long would I stay? Would I have backed myself into a corner– making it impossible for me to transfer my career to the west coast? Is it worth it, to sit inside most days (whether it’s at home or in a coffee shop) writing cover letters and looking into a computer in what is considered one of the greatest cities in the universe? Is it worth it to sit inside and have your two years of savings dwindle all so that you can start over again?

I have heard so many people’s thoughts and have thought so many thoughts on the subject that my head wants to explode. Which, perhaps, is why tonight, all I want is to move to the desert and be away from it all.

Halloween, Hospitals, and Happenings

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks, so here’s a little life update.

First, I’m still unemployed, which you probably know because you haven’t seen any posts that have said something like, “I’M EMPLOYED IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK!” or “LET’S DRINK! I HAVE A JOB!”  In the past month and a half since I’ve arrived, I have written twenty-three cover letters. I’m getting pretty awesome at writing these suckers. If anyone knows of anyone hiring out here, please feel to let me know.

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The good news about being unemployed is that I do have plenty of time to explore NY, which is what I did a couple weekends ago when Robert visited the city. Usually when I would come down from Boston and visit NYC, the main events would be eat and drink-til-the-sun-comes-up. So this time, I played tourist.

Top of the Rock @ Radio City Music Hall

I actually enjoy touristy things for the most part (touristy people, that’s another subject). I’m fascinated by the history of the place and why or how it became such an attraction. And I’m huge, HUGE sucker for a roadside attraction. Give me a giant ball of twine in the middle of Kansas or dinosaurs in the Southern California desert any day.

Anyway, we went to Radio City, Central Park (I had only walked along the south edge of the park before), Battery Park, Grand Central Station, and the NY Public Library (aka the Ghostbusters’ Library) to name a few places.

I also had my first meal from a street cart (I went with the classic hotdog) right after I made a little stop at…

A silver “bean” necklace

…Tiffany’s.

I had told myself years ago that if I ever moved to NY that I would like to one day walk into Tiffany’s and buy myself a little something. And I did. Then I sat on the marble wall outside of the Apple Store (right in between Tiffany’s and Central Park) with Robert, holding my blue bag and eating my hotdog. It was swell.

The following weekend was the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Dogs in cute Halloween costumes everywhere!

It’s the largest of its kind. I had stumbled upon this parade with my friend Katie a few years ago when we had come down from Boston to visit her friend Claire, who lived in the East Village near Tompkins Square. It had been on my mind ever since.

Tompkins Sq. Parade
2009
(Me & Claire in the background)

That evening after the dog parade, I went as Annie Hall to my friend Liz’s Halloween party.

‘Annie Hall’
1977

Thanks YouTube for the how-to-tie-a-tie tutorial.

My motivation for this one was I would get to wear tennis shoes and buy a hat. (I love hats.) I’ve noticed, though, that I tend to choose costumes that are movie/period-piece inspired.

…Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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…Rosie the Riveter

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Dazed and Confused (Alex joined me as O’Banion)

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…and Moonrise Kingdom (I didn’t come with this “Sam” — we met at a party.)

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Anyway, after the Halloween party, I walked home and stopped off at the bagel shop around the corner. I made a new friend behind the counter there and now get a discount on my already cheap bagels. (In Boston I had “my” Starbucks around corner, now I have “my” bagel shop. Score!)

All was going well until Monday morning when I landed myself in the hospital. I’m totally fine, and I want to thank Victoria’s Secret for making cute sweats/PJs like this:

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And thank you, New York Methodist Hospital, for giving me a doctor that looked like this:

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In short, I had a severe muscle spasm. The night before I was doing my nightly groove (you know, head phones in, bopping my head to music), and I moved my head the wrong way and got it stuck that way. I went to sleep, and the next morning woke up in severe pain. It took me five minutes to figure out how to sit up and when I did I nearly passed out. My roommate saw and drove me to the hospital. (Thankfully she was home and has a car.) Five hours later, I was out of there with lots of instant heat packs, some Ibuprofen, and Valium 🙂

I can move my head now, but I hope this doesn’t mean I’m getting too old to groove.

The chef-roommate cooked up a nice meal the other night, and she and her girlfriend took pity on me and shared. (Fish, clams, salad, some really good sauce… YUM.)

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My other roommate (who is a badass landscape architect) is running the NY marathon this Sunday. She and the other runners will run right by our apartment. Exciting times. Got to get my act together.

Hello Mother, Hello Father: My Summer Vacation

A little update for you.

May

WE started off summer by getting into a car accident on Memorial Day.

I was rear ended and then pushed into the car in front of me. Everyone was okay. But my car was deemed “a total loss.”  I’ve been driving a rental ever since.

***

THREE days later I flew out to Philadelphia for a press trip– my first writing gig.

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A friend of mine who is an editor at Matador Network offered me a chance to write for the website (he had read my travel writing on my Roads America blog). It was my first publication.

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I was flown out by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Company, which had invited journalists from various travel publications to write about the Greater Philly area (in an effort to boost tourism). I was wined and dined (didn’t pay a dime) along with other journalists (who were wonderful) and then got to have my article published (and paid for).

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The whole experience was some mighty sweet cake with a lot of cherries.

June

I WENT to the MFA Prom– a night where the graduating students of the MFA creative writing program are honored with toasts (and roasts) and read portions of their work, then dance and drink the night away. As the outgoing coordinator for the MFA program, the students let me read a part of a story that I wrote for my thesis a few years earlier.

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It was my first reading ever. (The prom theme was dinosaurs.)

***

A WEEK later was the MFA End-of-the-Year party.

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There, the grad students and professors sang me a goodbye song: “Diana” by Paul Anka.

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I loved it.

***

MID-JUNE I left my job at the University. There were cupcakes from the boss.

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(Lots of cupcakes.) And wine from my coworker, Robert.

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July

STARTED off July with SF Pride.

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Went with my old friend from high school, Zachar.

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I ALSO turned 31. I had breakfast with my Big Sis and then celebrated like a lit-nerd by going to Vroman’s Books in Pasadena to hear Ron Carlson read. Then went out with friends, Will and Julian, and one of my long-time favorite gals, Adrianne. There were drinks and desserts with candles and a pretty Jello shot that was in the shape of a square and a first edition of stories by Miranda July. It was all lovely. So lovely, that I didn’t take pictures. I also celebrated a few weeks later up at L.A. beer garden Wurstkuche with some friends who also had July birthdays.

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I TOOK a trip to the Salton Sea to take some more pictures of dead fish and abandoned buildings…

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… and to visit my friend who lives out near Palm Springs, where we listened to Amy Winehouse, drank, and celebrated more birthdayness. Apparently 31 is the year to celebrate. Not 21, kids.

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LASTLY, I saw Caddyshack at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It was the one thing I really wanted to do before leaving Southern California.

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 Sat next to a cowboy stoner and his hippie wife and at ate some of their pork grinds.

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AT the end of July, I moved away from Long Beach.

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It was one of my favorite places that I’ve lived.

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August

I MOVED in with my parents for the month. There have only been two major blow-ups– one per parent.

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I TOOK mini trips to the Avenue of the Giants…

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…Westport…

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…and, of course…

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…San Francisco.

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September

THE biggest event is yet to come. I’ll finish the summer by moving to New York on September 14. I saved my pennies for two years to make this move and find another job. Why? Because I want to. Because I’m curious. Because I can. And because I’ll always wonder “What if” if I don’t go.

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I found a furnished sublet in Brooklyn (Gowanus). I’m paying $5 more a month for my window-less room than what I paid for my whole LBC apartment.

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But hey, that’s NY for you.

More on the move to come. But if it hasn’t come across, I am VERY nervous about this move (and I never get nervous about moving/traveling… which is making me more nervous). Especially about figuring out the massive subway system and learning how to trot down a flight of stairs without touching the handrail.