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Oh my! It has been a while...

bear
Hello friends! All two of you! It has been such a long little while since I've talked to you. I've been a little bit busy getting a divorce and trying hard to keep my job while doing so. Whew! That's a lot of work.

So...

Things are... things.

I originally started this blog as an experiment to see if people who didn't know me would ever read what I had to say unprompted. I also used it to plan my wedding. Every agonizing decision and stupid detail is here somewhere, and now it's all over and the relationship is gone, and in six months if there is no scandalous paperwork fuckery, I will officially be a divorcée. So there's that.

I miss the stupid dog. I miss the way Jack smells. I miss a lot of things.

Mostly, though, I'm in a much better place. The last year or so it had just gotten so very very bad. Bad like screaming drunk fights at friends' barbeques. I shan't go there. Suffice to say, we are both better off this way.

So now I am a single girl. And by that, I mean, I am dating folks, and rearranging my furniture, and living with a roommate. A big burly man roommate who has turned my pretty light-filled living room into a giant-furnitured man den. Whatever. My bedroom is cooler now. It's not finished yet, but the parts that are are pretty fantastic. Wanna see?

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I likes it.

Being single also, apparently, means going on dates. Sometimes dates are lame and boring. Sometimes, though, sometimes (you guys!) dates are to the FRONT ROW OF A JOURNEY CONCERT!

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You guys, seriously. Seriously.

Seriously.

Nearly one month has passed...

bear
It seems like the blink of an eye. It seems like forever. My life now is so much more foreign, yet so much more familiar. So much more isolated, yet so much more full of all the love I need.

I am so much happier.

Things that are happening:

1. Jack moved out while I was in Boston. I am waiting for this to be a harrowing thing, but it is not coming. It mostly feels like something that I worked on so hard and for so long that I really do know for sure that it's done, so it's not haunting me like other breakups I have had. There are moments when I worry about him, when I miss him... but they are moments, and they pass. Mostly, I am so very happy to be back where I belong, back in the life I'm supposed to be in. I don't know why I stayed away for so long.

2. Because of divorce and general unnerved-ness, I have lost a ridiculous amount of weight. This was unintentional, and as I don't own a scale, I have no real number, but it's probably pretty easily 15 pounds. I am a little disappointed by this, as my pants are huge now and my boobs are shrinking, but I feel a lot better, so I'll have to let it slide.

3. Day 15 without a cigarette. I am not using the Q word on this, because if I do, I won't actually do it. Today was tempting, but I still didn't partake.

4. I'm polyamorous. It is where I'm supposed to be. I am never going back.

5. I have a partner. He makes me very happy. Even though we see each other rarely, we are in near-constant contact. He is wonderful. He cares for me in ways I didn't know were possible. My feelings matter. My safety matters. My opinions matter. He is a superstar. I feel safe with him in ways I didn't know were possible. He lets me take care of myself. He takes care of himself. It is a lovely thing.

6. A week after I got back from Boston, I realized I hadn't been yelled at in two weeks. I collapsed into sobs, so relieved, whispering "thankyouthankyouthankyou" to god. I don't even believe in god.

7. I am dating a handful of lovely people. People who don't have overreaching expectations of me. People who don't need me to be their only or the bearer of all of their emotional healing. People who are not fundamentally damaged and needing a mother or nurse instead of a partner. People who can hold their own hearts in their own hands and take care of themselves. People who just let me be me and are nice to me and kiss me sweetly and don't take me for granted. It is wonderful. It is exactly what I need.

8. I am relearning to take care of myself.

9. I am also learning that when you ask for things nicely, often they are provided for you. An embarrassment of riches has been heaped upon my head. Life is generous when you open yourself to it.

10. I am learning where my boundaries are. I am learning where my standards are. I am learning that it is ok to have both high standards and carefully set boundaries. I am also learning to walk into situations without expectations. That is the hardest part.

11. I was invited to a sex party today. Having never been to one before, I will be bringing a friend and probably sitting in a corner giggling. Exciting, nonetheless.

12. I am loving my newfound tribe of friends. Some old and some new. My gorgeous beautiful darlings who surround me with love on a near-constant basis. Not everything is sunshine and rose petals, but I am being held up, gorgeously, artfully, surrounded by love and love and love.

Vampires: I think I'm over it.

bear
When I was younger, vampires were scary as fuck. From pre-Biblical Lilith to Nosferatu to Dracula (the big bad daddy of all vampires)... vampires were romantic, perhaps, but chill-inducing. I went through my "Vampires are Awesome" stage just like everyone else I know, right around the end of High School. I wore black lipstick and a lot of crushed velvet, and I read Anne Rice.

Underworld and From Dusk 'til Dawn, Buffy Summers and Blade, all of these have a hint of the terrifying hiding behind the humor. Sharp teeth and blood behind that gorgeous smile.

And then came Twilight.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love vampire movies. I love them when they're good and I love them when they're great... I even love them when they're awful.



Case in point: I saw Van Helsing in the theatre. Twice.

But Twilight, you guys, Twilight makes me want to cry. And not in the "Oh, poor Bella and Edward, why don't they ever just get it together, they're soooooo meant to beeeeeee..." crying. Like, it makes me weep for children in this generation who will grow up thinking that THIS is what a vampire movie is supposed to be. It makes me weep for the genre in general, that this is what one of our best monsters has been reduced to. The pasty emo fantasy of a bedheaded high school virgin. Twilight, y'all, makes me a little homicidal.

Here are my reasons:

1. A 100+ year old man shouldn't have anything to say to a 16 year old girl. Nobody who had been roaming around the earth for that long, who had any sense in his head, would want to have a conversation with, let alone fall in love with, a 16 year old girl in the United States in this generation. Have you tried to carry on a conversation with an ACTUAL 16 year old girl in the last 30 years? No! And you know why not? They are shrill and giggly and full of celebrity gossip and horrible grammar and eating disorders. Fuck that noise.

2. The reason that vampires don't go in the sun is not because it will kill them, or even hurt them, but because they SPARKLE??!!! Ok, seriously, let me just take a moment, once again, to grieve the mythos. The idea that the sun doesn't hurt vampires, that it simply makes them prettier, is like shitting all over anyone who has ever written, acted in, or loved the idea of vampires.

This is how I felt when they remade Dawn of the Dead back in 2004, and suddenly zombies could run. Fucking zombies aren't supposed to fucking run! The whole point of zombies, the legend and the story and whatnot of fucking zombies, is that they are dead and slow and stupid. What makes them scary as fuck, what has always made them scary as fuck, is not that they can outrun you, but that they are epidemic. It doesn't matter how fast you run, it doesn't matter where you hide, eventually, everyone will be a zombie. Even if you are the last man standing, you're still gonna die. That's fucking terrifying.

No matter the monster, I am a fucking purist. The first time I saw From Dusk Til Dawn, I had to stop it halfway through and go sit outside and tear apart all the bullshit that made it (while brilliant) a shitty vampire movie, because Tarantino basically made a zombie/vampire hybrid monster with some other shit thrown in just to be crazy. And not that Salma Hayek wasn't incredibly damn hot in that movie...



...but that wasn't exactly the point, now, was it?

So when Stephanie Meyer wrote her stupid books that they turned into stupid movies, about vampires who fucking sparkle in the fucking sunlight, it killed a little piece of my soul.

I imagine Stephanie Meyer (the author of these atrocities masquerading as literature/movies) as a middle school girl writing in her journal: "I love boys. Oh, and sparkly things. Oooooh, what if BOYS WERE SPARKLY?!" And, scene.



Fuck you, Stephanie Meyer, and the sparkly horse you rode in on.

This is the kind of crap that makes me want to claw the eyes out of every last one of her readers.

So...

Last night, after several years of deliberation and hemming and hawing, I finally started watching True Blood. I watched 6 episodes in one night, which is not unusual for me. I go through whole seasons of television shows in a day or two, and entire series' in as little as a week. I know that the critics have raved up and down about this show, and everyone I know thinks it's brilliant, but I can't help feeling like I'm watching a slightly more elegant version of Twilight.

It has some of the same plot points that disturb me about Twilight: again with a 100+ year old man falling in love with a girl who, to him, is the intellectual equivalent of a preschooler. And yes, in this case, she's 25, not 16, but a peppy virgin who still lives with her grandmother (until she is killed, of course) is not a vast improvement on her brooding Twilight counterpart.

We'll see where this goes. The subplots are at least intriguing enough to keep me watching for the rest of Season 1, and it's cult status among the LGBT community are enough to keep me around for a little while. Also, Anna Paquin is far and away a better actress than Kristin Stewart.



Not to mention easier on the eyes.

So for now, I'll keep watching this pretty little blonde and her weird friends mess around with vampires in beautiful Louisiana bayous.



At the very least, I can take comfort knowing her boyfriend will never shine in the fucking sun like a recently bedazzled iPhone.

Ignoring my problems: A meme for your FACE!

bear
15 Years Ago (June 1996), I:
1. Graduated Eighth Grade (barely) at Woodlands Christian School. I did not yet know that I would not be back for High School.
2. Flew to Arkansas to visit my friends for the first (and last) time all by myself. I had travelled before, but always in a very well-supervised way. Not this time! This time I flew out, stayed at a friends’ house, drove an SUV without a license, and kissed a boy, all without parental supervision. This is also when I found out that I would not be returning to the same school for High School, causing my life to skid off in a vastly different direction. Within six months, I would be a Homecoming Princess.
3. Tongue-kissed a boy for the first time in my life on the skyride at Great America. I spent the whole time counting seconds in my head so I could tell my friends how long it had lasted, because clearly that’s the important thing about kissing.

10 Years Ago (June 2001), I:
1. Had my heart broken for the first really big time. Up until then I thought it had happened, but this destroyed me for a good two years. I fell out of my car into the parking lot of his work screaming and crying. Not a good way to win back a boy, trust me.
2. Lived in a trailer park in Santa Cruz, because living in an Airstream trailer was one of those things that I had been romanticizing for years. Not all it was cracked up to be. I guess it was fine until my waterheater exploded and gushed water for 10 hours before I got home. After that, I had no running water and had to hike down the hill to the camp bathrooms to shower and go to the bathroom. Not so fun in the Santa Cruz mountains in the middle of the night.
3. Got my very first stalker (soon to be followed by my second stalker). I had four in rapid succession in my very early 20s. I am glad this phase of my life is finally over. Subsequently: also got my very first pepper spray!

5 Years Ago (June 2006), I:
1. Talked on the phone with Erica a lot. She was out on a boat in Louisiana for work for two or three months. We had had one very awkward but intense one-night-stand-ish thing a few months back, the night before she left, and now we were having the most epic battle of wills not to fall in love over the phone. This did not work, and we ended up dating and living together for a year.
2. Went to Pride and made out with a girl who I still wish I had dated.
3. Was about to lose my mom and didn’t really know it yet. It happened so fast. I knew it was coming, but the quickness of it completely blindsided me. After watching her have cancer for most of my life, I thought I would be ready for it, but you’re never ready. There’s never a convenient time to lose your mom.

3 Years Ago (June 2008), I:
1. Still thought of Jack as “my little brother.” Awkward.
2. Moved from East Oakland to West Oakland, and into the only place I’ve ever had a walk-in closet. Sigh.
3. Performed on stage at the Pride Nectarena Women’s Stage so hung over I nearly fell (in a sexy chicken costume and five inch heels) into a crowd of sweaty spectators. I spent the rest of the afternoon whimpering on the laps of my friends, and then went home and ate Chinese food until I fell asleep.



1 Year Ago (June 2010), I:
1. Was still working on the boats, but now instead of just waiting tables, I was also doing photography as well! Fun times! Free use of a photo printer and an excellent camera! Fun times.
2. Was coaching the San Jose Poetry Slam team, dividing my summer between Oakland and San Jose via frequent train trips. There may or may not have been a whole lot of booze involved.
3. Spent way too much money being a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding the following month. I never want to be a bridesmaid again, if I can help it. Which I probably can’t.

Yesterday, I:
1. Laid in bed all day long.
2. Made fish tacos.
3. Caught up on Sons of Anarchy.

Today, I:
1. Wore flip-flops to work, even though it was cold outside this morning, because damnit, I knew the sun would come out. (It did.)
2. Wish I was still in bed.
3. Got a whole bunch of work done so that I have nothing pressing to handle tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I:
1. Will only actually work for two hours.
2. Will get an 80 minute massage at a ritzy hotel.
3. Will have to drink a lot of water.

In a week, I:
1. Will make Oz some dog ice cream for his birthday!
2. Will watch the fireworks with my husband for the first time since I’ve known him.
3. Will finally get a Fourth of July away from the boats.

In one month (July 2011), I:
1. Will turn 30! It’s actually less than two weeks away. Eep!
2. Will hopefully be purchasing my plane ticket to Nationals.
3. Will spend a day getting pampered beyond what is humanly acceptable at a spa in Japantown.

In one year (June 2012), I:
1. Will have enough money saved to start in vitro soon.
2. Will hopefully have gotten a promotion with a raise.
3. Will have a new sister-in-law! My little brother’s getting married in six months, you guys!

In five years (June 2016), I:
1. Will have at least one kid.
2. Will have a car.
3. Will still like popsicles.

Oh yeah...

bear
So I don't remember if I told you guys, but about three months ago, Trina and I went and met Alice Bradley, of Finslippy fame. Alice is precious and much smaller than I would have expected (why do I always think that people who are clearly more grown up than me must be taller than me?) and she was super-warm and inviting and excited to have us barge into her brunch with friends and sit at her table. Two silly fan-girls with lady crushes, who just wanted to gawk at her and maybe hold her hand.

Here is her post that is all about meeting us. Ok, well, actually it isn't. But it mentions us for just a moment, and there is this awesome picture where I look like I am making donkey noises.

Heeeehaaaaawwwwwww!

Anyway, Alice wrote a book. Co-wrote, actually, with Eden Kennedy (who incidentally, I sat next to at the aforementioned brunch, and she was very nice and reminded me of my cousin and had fantastic skin. She is definitely taller than me.) Anyway, book! A book was written and you should purchase it! It's called Let's Panic About Babies! and is available from several lovely places, including Amazon, which is pretty much where I buy everything. Well, ok, everything that I don't buy on Etsy.

You all need this book. But especially you, Lola. I'm looking right at you.

Death and other Familiars

bear
Hilsia died on Saturday morning.

I've been thinking a lot about death, about how afraid of it I am now, in a way I never was before my mom died. That one big thing has turned me into a worrier.

Don't eat that, it causes cancer.
Don't drink that, it causes cancer.
Don't use that, it causes cancer.
Have that checked, it could be cancer.
Put on sunscreen, stop smoking, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

I am less afraid of any other death than I am of cancer. I am terrified of cancer. And at the same time, it is almost an old friend. I am so used to having it in my life, affecting the people I love, it has become synonymous not only with deep hurt and loss, but also with the strength and determination and life of the people I have held most dear.

I find it vaguely ironic that my astrological sign is cancer. That when I was less afraid, more naive, more willing to believe, I tattooed the cancer symbol on the tender flesh of my belly. And it's still there. A punch in my gut. Close as family.

Saying Goodbye.

bear
Woke up this morning with The Book of Love (as sung by Peter Gabriel) stuck in my head. It's one of those songs that always makes me cry, no matter what the circumstances.



When I got to work I found out that one of my coworkers, who has had cancer for a while now, took a bad turn over the weekend and probably isn't coming back out of it.

We have never been close, but I can't stop thinking about her. I can't visit, because I've been having weird small respiratory issues. It's probably allergies or a small cold, but for her it could be really lethal, and I'm not going to risk that.

It's like watching my mom die all over again, and it's the most horrible thing in the world. Only this time, it's not my mom, and she's only 39, and I don't know her well enough for my freak-out to be appropriate. I went and sat on the roof during lunch and called my brother and just cried at him. As much as he's the last person who could ever actually help, he's also the only one who lost the same mom as me, so he gets it, even if he doesn't say anything. I know he understands.

This has been the most heartbreaking eight or nine months at work. My boss's dad died, another coworker's mother died, another coworker's sister died, another coworker's mom and uncle have both been diagnosed with cancer... and now this.

I just want to go home and hug Jack and my dogs and my cats and not come back here today or tomorrow or ever, but I can't do that. Everyone is crying. Everyone is exhausted. Half my department is at the hospital.

I just want today to be over.

Demons.

bear
So yesterday, I made the mistake of wearing the cutest shoes I freaking own to work. They are 6 years old, made by Dollhouse, and easily a full size too small. But they are strappy sandals, and fully adjustable, so I figured what the hell?! I'll wear three inch heels on my half-mile walk to the train, stand up the whole way on the train and then walk another half a mile to work, wear them all day, and do the same thing again in the evening, only backwards.

Yeah, no.

My feet, they are a-dyin'. A-dead.

I woke up this morning, and my toes would not touch the floor because the bruises on the underside of my feet were so swolen. The blisters that had formed on the tops of my pinky toes had not only popped, but shredded into sad little flesh ribbons. I actually made Jack come meet me at my evening train so that he could bring me flip flops to walk home in, because it was THAT BAD, PEOPLE! I am an utter goddamn moron, and on Saturday, I will be selling the demon shoes to Crossroads.

Want some Demon shoes? Hit up Crossroads in Berkeley sometime after Saturday and I'm sure they will be there. They are strappy and adorable, and make your feet look all gorgeous and shit. They probably won't last long, actually. But I warn you, they are cursed. Freaking cursed, I tell you!

In totally unrelated news, my best friend Trina and I will be gardening drunk this weekend. And videotaping it. Yeah! Look forward to THAT! :)

Baby Time

bear
So we're starting to work on saving money toward having a baby in the next few years. If we save $250 a month (no easy feat), we can start with in vitro and donated sperm and whatnot in a little over a year. Scary and exciting! We also need to save aproximately $333/month for Jack to have surgery before we have a baby... which is part of why we have a roommate now. Crazy.

We got to see my friend Will yesterday, along with his wife Jen and their 11 week old son, Sam. I haven't seen them in two years give or take, so it was nice to see them, hold their kiddo (who is right at that age where he is right on that cusp where they start looking more like real babies and less like mini-Jabba the Hutts), talk about baby shit (literally), etc, etc. Fun times.

Woohoo, babies!

That is all.
bear
Man, it's been over TEN DAYS since I posted over here. Not right, guys. Not right.

So... these are the things that are going on with me:

- Jack and I are fine. We are better than fine, actually. All the things that were wrong, shockingly, had a lot more to do with my health than anything else. Did you know that 90% of your seratonin is made in your intestines, and if you have a problem with them, you are very likely depressed and probably because of that not thinking terribly clearly? Yeah. That. So the gluten-free thing is helping, and we are much much better now.

- I saw a nutritionist this week. We're working on diversifying my food intake and blah blah blah, boring. She says I'm doing a great job and gave me a lot of recommendations of more things I should totally be spending money on.

- We are desperately trying to keep our heads above water financially, and after a lot of hemming and hawing, we have realized we can't do this in our current living situation. We're getting a roommate, y'all. Marc has been Jack's best friend since they were five years old, and recently went through a massive breakup and has been couch surfing for over a month. He is sick of it. We are sick of paying our rent late. Marc is awesome and sweet and quiet and really likes my fried chicken. I even tried out the gluten-free kind on him last week, and he liked that too, so we're in business. He's moving in on Monday. Just when we got the house the way we like it...

- We're rearranging the whole house to make room for Marc. This is a crazy work in progress. I am not so much happy about the way it is so far, but it's coming along, and hopefully will be fabulous when it's finished. Hopefully.

- Work is crazy busy. We are kicking ass. We are taking names. We are killing it. And in the meantime, I could really use a day off. Monday. Monday is a holiday. So yeah, Marc is moving in, but I will be relaxin' on the couch. Maybe. Damnit.

- Trying like crazy to come to Boston for Nationals. It's still doable, but looking less likely that I'm gonna make it. Do you have a room you can let me sleep on the floor of? A half a bed you need filled? Do you already live in Boston and have a couch you'd like some adorableness to live on for a week? Please? I needs a room, y'all. I can't afford to pay for a hotel all for my lonesome. No way. I'm vaguely tempted to just show up and see who takes me in. Would you?

- I could really use a massage.