Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Will shill for food

Or tickets. Either.

Tonight I volunteered for the Boston Ballet, handing out buttons at the Nutcracker. And I got myself some free dancing fun. It felt so good to get out and give back a little after months of being needy. Sadly, the show is not up to its normal glory now that it's been relegated to the Colonial Theater instead of the Wang Center. They tried. Maybe next year.

Still, ballerinas in pretty tutus and shiny toe shoes can do a lot for a girl's mood. I came out of the show twirling on the tippy toes of my boots (no one else was in the hallway).

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I give thanks for Ativan

Thanksgiving sucked.

My last night at Kripalu, I got inspired by Deepak Chopra's book, "The Path to Love," and I meditated hard on opening my heart. Open sesame, heart. So open it did, and I found....grief and pain. I burst into tears and sobbed for more than an hour. I wanted to talk to Glenn because I still feel so much love, and I don't know how to not share with him. The term, "broken heart," is so literal.

When I got back to Sudbury after a 3-hour drive in the pouring rain, I called him. I went to Kripalu because I felt like there was something I needed to do, something that needed to be processed or completed. I still can't put my finger on what it was, but I feel like I did it while I was there, and I think talking to Glenn was part of that process.

The holidays are hard. Particularly the first holiday of the being single.

Today I endured Thanksgiving with my dysfunctional family. No one in my family knows how to communicate. My mother is a know-it-all and my father is arrogant as all hell. They walk around exuding this bizarre sense of entitlement.

I am 13 again and embarassed by my horrible family.

On the drive to my aunt and uncle's, my brother did not sit still for more than 5 minutes--I counted. He fiddled with the window, with the air vents, with the radio, his shirt sleeves, his book, his fingernails, his hair. He talks loudly and incessantly, and he takes everything we say to him as a personal insult. How am I going to make it through two more weeks here?

One word. Drugs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A complete inner 360

"When you feel love, act on it. Speak your heart. Be truthful. Remain open."--Deepak Chopra

At first, I came to Kripalu because I needed to work on myself. Now, I think I need to focus on learning how to reconnect with others.

There is such a thing as being too emotionally isolated from people in general. And it's easy to do when you have this endless well of grief inside you. At the sharing circle this morning, I started crying and couldn't stop. So maybe the best thing I can learn from all this is how to let people in again. Because there are so many barriers around my heart now.

So instead of going to the yoga core strength workshop this afternoon, I went to the massage therapy workshop and met two great women who are old school friends. They got me to open up a bit and we spent the hour and a half laughing. It made me appreciate the power and the gift of touch. These two people I'd never met before took my hands and feet and made me relax. It's weird how difficult it is to let yourself be taken care of, even for a few minutes.

Then I went for a long walk. It was a glorious sunny day, and I climbed the hill leading to the labyrinth that's just past the road. Who knew a silly path of small stones could be such a meditational experience? I walked it slowly and as I worked my way out from the center, I realized why people find the labyrinth so powerful. You can only take one step at a time and you can never tell when or where the path will curve out of sight. You can't see what lies ahead and you have to trust that, even if the path takes you out when you think you should be going in, that you have to trust you're heading in the right direction. And even though your progress isn't always visible, you are constantly moving forward, through, in the right direction.

I have never wanted a Snickers bar so badly in my life. The food here is amazing but there is nothing sweet to eat except homemade raspberry jam. Must. Have. Chocolate.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Silence is nirvana

When I'm dreaming, there is nothing scarier than being chased by the creatures from Alien. They're unbeatable, immortal, everything that frightens me to the point of paralysis. Last night I had my first alien escape dream in months. Am I running away from my fears in my sleep as well as in my waking life?

The day began with two hours of meditation. Then yummy vegatarian food for lunch. I haven't said a word to anyone. Suddenly I understand why whole orders of monks took vows of silence. It's amazing. And no one has batted an eye. Here, you can do your own thing and no one thinks it's weird or introverted or awkward.

The good feeling I've been nurturing? I'm finally coming to terms with myself. And now, at the risk of sounding like one of those horrible, Stuart Smalley-inspired motivational posters that vendors sell on college campuses, I will say that I like myself for quite possibly the first time in my life. What's the point of worrying about what people think of me or my choices? As long as I'm fine with who and what I am, nothing else matters.

This afternoon I did the Danskinetics class and then went for a hike up to Monk's Pond.

I haven't felt lonely once since I got here.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Jai Begwan

Spur of the moment trip to Kripalu. I felt the need to get away and do some processing before starting the new job. Starting the new start. There's something in me that says "mark the transition between phases." I can't explain it but I had to come out here. And it feels great--I'm here taking care of myself.

When I arrived, my room wasn't ready yet, so I went for a long walk around the grounds, which were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893. Somehow I wound up along the road to Tanglewood. Mist hovered over the concert green and I felt like I'd stepped into another world. I was reminded of that scene in "Sense and Sensibility," when Marianne goes for her long walk to the point overlooking Willoughby's estate. There was nothing but trees and grass and fog. My breath hovered in the air. Solitude has never been so sweet.

Off to yoga in a few minutes. Then there's dinner and a Thai massage.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Working Girl

*drumroll please*


I'm going to be a copywriter for a management consulting firm. It's light years away from journalism but you know what? I don't care. I've had 17 interviews for journalism jobs over the past three months and not one of them felt right. This feels right. The people are nice and the company treats its employees well. The work looks interesting and to be honest, I can't wait to get away from ball-breaking deadlines.

Plus, they're paying me what I'm worth. This is a first in my life. And they're giving me a signing bonus! Hallelujah!! My Visa card can kiss my patootie. When I got the call, I wanted to sing and scream. I wanted to share it with someone, but realized I didn't know who to call. No SO to share it with.

I start on December 1st. Now I can start looking for an apartment. There is light at the end of the tunnel--only a little while longer in the hell that is my parent's house.

I'm going to be a normal, working person again. The prospect of being a desk jockey never felt so good. I am so ready to be back in the world, contributing to society (and a 401K). For the first time, I feel like things will be okay again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Bloomies moment

Today I went to Bloomingdales to return a set of flatware that Glenn's mother gave me for my shower. It's very nice stuff but I know I'd think of Glenn everytime I used it, and I'd rather not do that. So I brought it to the counter and the saleslady, an old salt type, asked me, "Do you need any pieces to complete your set?" I said, "No, thank you, I called off the wedding." She looked up at me in surprise and said, "I'm sorry." "Don't be," I told her, "I'm not." And I MEANT IT. She smiled and said, "Well, as long as you're not sorry."

After she was finished printing up the credit form, she handed me the receipt and said, in a very sincere way, "Best of luck in *everything* you do from here on out." I smiled and thanked her. She looked at me and said, "I'll see you back here soon, don't you doubt it."

It made my day. What could have been an emotional event turned into an empowering moment, and I left the store feeling completely happy. As I walked out the door, I realized that I AM completely happy. I am happy in myself and I am happy being single--I have wonderful friends and family, a great cat and a good book to read. I feel whole in a way that I haven't felt in years.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Winter is here

First snow of the season today. From inside my nice, warm office, I watched the ducks in the pond behind my parent's house flapping along as the snow came down. It made me want to curl up in bed with a book. As soon as I stepped outside, I wanted to hop the next plane to California. I've become a winter wuss!! Snow is heavy, cold, wet and gross, and it keeps me from going running as regularly as I want. Give me NoCal anyday. Yes, I know I need to let it go.

On Wednesday, I went to see the Art Deco exhibit at the MFA with a friend. Growing up in Boston, my mom took me to the MFA al the time and I remember wandering around the galleries while she sketched paintings and sculpture. I walked through the galleries and it was like seeing an old friend who you haven't seen for years. The John Singer Sargent room, the Canalettos, the Northern European Renaissance collection. Each room is wonderful and familiar. Sadly, the Art Deco exhibit sucked--definitely not worth the exhorbitant $22 admission fee.

Monday, November 08, 2004

MMmmm, fish

I may be unemployed, unengaged and living with my parents, but the upside is that I'm learning to cook. Cooking never appealed to me before and I've spent years being taunted by relatives about my infamous inability to cook more than pasta. Okay, there was that baked salad incident and I did once forget to boil macaroni and cheese, but I maintain that I am not a bad person because of it!

To my credit, I successfully broiled a chicken last week and no one died of salmonella poisoning. The cats even scarfed up the scraps and they are the most picky, spoiled felines on the face of the earth. Tonight I baked salmon fillets and they turned out to be rather tasty. I can just hear my grandfather telling me that I'll never find a man if I can't cook or sew. Well, now I can do both, so bring 'em on.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Setbacks of the minor variety

This weekend was a bizarre mix of great and horrible. On Thursday I finally bit the bullet and, Kleenex in hand, ventured into my parent's basement to sort through all the boxes that G and I put into storage before we moved to LA. It pretty much sucked as much as I thought it would, which is why I put the whole mess off for five months in the first place. For anyone feeling remotely masochistic, sifting through your ex-fiance's belongings ranks right up there with surgery sans anesthesia. Among the books, pictures and boxes of slides (the shithead was a photographer) were the little finds that felt like swords through my middle--the catnip mice he brought to bribe my cat during his first visit to the east coast. Scully ignored them (such a smart girl) and we ended up using them as Christmas tree ornaments. There was also an old journal of G's that I couldn't help snooping through, and in it I found old lists of things he wanted to do before he died, as well as several pages devoted to what he desperately wanted in a relationship. He wrote about how he wanted to find someone who loved him completely, with whom he could be totally open and at ease. He had that in me, and we did so many of the things he wanted to do when we were together. Somehow it wasn't enough and it takes all my strength not to wonder what I did wrong.

I gathered all his things and left them for his parents to pick up on Saturday. It takes a real man to leave that kind of mess for his mommy and daddy to clean up. G, you are now officially a walking cliche.

Saturday night I went to a kickass dinner in the South End with some friends. For anyone who like shellfish, I highly recommend B&G Oysters. Look for the signs that say "Bivalves and Weiners."

My friend had a Pampered Chef party this weekend. It was sort of like a modern day Tupperware party, except it felt more like hell on earth. A room full of minivan moms oohing and ahhing over cookware and screaming children--I almost threw myself out the bathroom window. Thankfully my friend J called and we went for a great run on what was probably the last sunny, warm day of the year.

Currently addicted to: the Garden State soundtrack

Friday, November 05, 2004

A voice for change

Chiztiz has started a blog challenging all of us to do one thing a day to change the world. OK, the blog is actually meant to chronicle his and other people's daily efforts to improve our country and the world one day at a time--that's a better way of putting it. But don't let me put it any way--check it out for yourself. He's totally right on. There's no point in crying over Bush's re-election. Now is the time for every person to stand up and take action to protect civil rights, the environment and abortion rights, and to stand against legislated bigotry. It's incredibly frustrating to have volunteered, donated to the anti-Bush cause and voted, which is supposed to be the strongest voice each person has in determining the future of the country, only to have nothing change for the better. Rather than sink into apathy, we have to dedicate ourselves to the kind of activism that will be necessary to stand against Bush over the next four years. Pick a cause. Do something about it. Post it on Chiztiz's site.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

California on my mind

I do not miss LA. But I do miss things about LA, particularly as it gets colder here in Boston. There's the weather, of course. Nothing beats wearing flip flops in January while reading about the latest snowstorm to clobber the Northeast. Endless sunshine aside, here are some of the things about LA that continue to stick with me:

1. KCRW Sorry, Boston, but FNX doesn't stand a chance here. KCRW plays the best, most cutting edge indie music out there and my day is not the same with Morning Becomes Eclectic. Even if they do like to say "Polyphonic Spree" just a little too much. And so I listen online...

2. Bryan Kest Still the best yoga I've done anywhere, and that includes Sacred Movement, YogaWorks and all the other great yoga studios in LA. For some reason yoga in Boston really sucks. And it's not just my west coast bias. The other day I bumped into some people from New York while we were waiting in line for class at Back Bay Yoga, and everyone felt the same way. There's something about most of the studios here that lacks the intensity, focus and purpose of other cities. Baron Baptiste, take note: You may have launched a cult of personality but your instructors are robots. FYI--yoga practice is not a performance, so why does everyone have to clap at the end? And stop reading to me in shivasana!

3. The stairs. It's hard to explain why I miss pushing myself to the point of puking on a set of wooden stairs, but I do. The stairs were free, outside and a total scene. Even though it was the same up and down every time, it never got boring and my legs have never been in better shape. The only comparable thing I can find here is running stadiums at Harvard and it's just not the same. Plus, it's hard to run stairs once it starts to snow.

4. The hiking. It's close, it's steep and it's spectacular. Temescal, Topanga, Paseo Miramar, the Backbone Trail, the Mishe Mokwa, Malibu Creek--they were all so close and such great hikes. Never mind the horrible case of poison oak I picked up doing the Nicholas Flats trail. It still beats the crap out of driving for 3.5 hours to the White Mountains, which are lovely but lack the ocean view and have a tendency to accrue snow.

5. Poquito Mas. Actually, this one includes the entire burrito culture in LA. Somehow Baja Fresh has found its way to the east coast, but they have the weakest Mexican takeout of the bunch and they are still a magnet for the trendoids. My taste buds yearn for one of Poquito Mas' grilled chicken burritos or the fish tacos at La Salsa. Delicious grilled goodness and healthy to boot. I refuse to hate it even though Glenn introduced me to it.

6. Craftsman architecture. When I first got to LA, I thought it was all post modern pre-fab awfulness, but the Craftsman houses are amazing.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Thoughts on loss

Higgypiggy has started a blog on the concept of loss. It's pretty powerful, especially for anyone who's suffered the loss of a parent, loved one, job, or even the death of a dream. I wonder what Buddha would say to John Kerry today?

Making preparations for hari kari

In the words of W.H. Auden:

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

As much as I'd like to say I'm surprised by Bush's win, I'm just disappointed. I'm a fervent Kerry supporter and while I won't denigrate his decision to concede, I really wish he'd held out until all the votes were counted in Ohio. A few more days of indecision is nothing compared to what Bush will do to this country over the next four years. As a liberal and a woman and an environmentalist, I shudder at the knowledge that Bush and his cronies will bulldoze through an agenda that does not reflect the fact that they won by the very slightest of margins. This country is incredibly divided and there is no question that our president will ignore the voices of the half of our country that did not vote for him. Maybe that's how elections work, but Bush inspires a dread cyniciscm that I've never felt before.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Back in the saddle

For most of the past 3 months (Halloween excepted), I've had absolutely no desire to write, draw, sew, sing or do anything remotely creative. All I did--all I could do-- was cry and work on putting my life back together. I'm still living with my parents while I look for a job. In the meantime, I'm temping and doing some freelancing writing. It's no fun being 29 and living at home again but I'm grateful that I could come here and recover. As winter approaches, however, I'm definitely ready to be in my own space and get back to the working world!

I never would have made it without the support of other women who have called off their weddings. When everything fell apart, I thought I was the only one going through that kind of experience.

Today's election day and all I can do is pray that the momentum from the Red Sox world series win will carry over and help John Kerry win the day. God, it would be nice to open the paper in the morning and not get fumingly, righteously, punch-a-hole-in-the-wall angry over the latest dumbass move by the Bush administration. Not that Bush will go out in style. The man and his minions are doing everything they can to bully voters, obstruct justice and basically steal as many votes as possible. Thank god for the legions of Kerry and DNC volunteers who are out patrolling voting stations.

Currently living on: harvest pumpkin soup from Au Bon Pain. Can't do without it, baby.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy Halloween

Ingredients for the best Halloween in recent memory:

1. Rebound guy comes to town. Issues invite to party at a club in downtown Boston.
2. Said rebound encourages the wearing of trashy Halloween costume.
3. Party like it's 1999
4. End up in the Presidential Suite of the Long Wharf Marriott (the only room they had left). There is no fun on earth like the fun had by two drunken people discovering that they have a grand piano, a full kitchen and dining room, two bathrooms and a jacuzzi at their fingertips.
5. The biggest king-size bed EVER.
6. Room service and fluffy bathrobes.
7. Not having to foot the bill because rebound guy is a gentleman.

There's nothing like doing the walk of shame on the morning after Halloween. Especially when your costume involved go-go boots. There's just no way to get around the fact that you're wearing last night's clothes.

Mix in a large bowl and bake until done.