Thursday, November 8, 2012

How long is a 10 minute drive home? Long Enough!

Last night as I drove home from dropping my daughter off at school I began mentally recapping my day.  After thinking through all I was able to accomplish (and still not accomplish anything of importance) I actually asked myself out loud if maybe I wasn't exaggerating just a little to justify feeling like I deserved to go home and just plop myself onto the living room sofa and stay there until the next day, if I so desired.  Of course that thought led me thinking that I should also be hand fed grapes while being dowsed with exotic perfumes from around the world….and just let me stop here before I tell you more and you discover what a truly crazed individual I really am.

Back to the drive home, I made it through a red light by the skin of my teeth and popped out of Egypt and into reality just in time to discover that I was still here in Garden Grove; no grapes. 

Anyway…I’m am here (in Garden Grove) and I've come to terms with my current sitchiation.  That is to say, I’m living in a highly populated Asian community; approximately 31%.  Of that 31%, I’ll exaggerate once again and say that at least 29% of them live at my apartment complex.  And I exaggerate when telling you this to prove that I am aware I’m doing it, and I don’t exaggerate solely while talking to myself.

Still chit chatting with myself, I wonder how many people live in my complex?’   And there’s just no point in wondering on a 10 minute drive home without searching out answers, so I do a mental body count.  I know the brain is a very strange thing but about now I’m realizing mine is particularly strange.  How did I go from ‘bye honey, see you later’, to counting bodies?  But, that’s where I am; I count 85 to 88 people (infants included).

As a manager you wear many hats; a counselor, a friend, a mean old broad, the grounds keeper, the parking police, the trash woman, enforcer of rules, the key keeper, a grouch, a translator, a peace keeper, a babysitter, a package delivery holder and a mom.   

And if that weren't enough, I also work part-time for United Airlines, and to keep myself in this crazed mental state, I sell AVON...Ding, Dong!

Okay, now you know the percentage of Asians in my community, how many bodies live at my apartment complex and what I do with my time.  You’d think that having thought all this, I’d be home, but I’m not.  How my mind hasn't just shut down to put an end to this nonsensical thinking or better yet, how I haven’t crashed into another car due to my lack of focus, I don’t know but I’m not done yet. 

Having realized that only 29% of the Asian community reside at my complex, curiosity begins to nudge at me asking who the heck the other 61% are.  I argue with myself that it’s not important but the thought just won’t rest, so…there are Hispanics, Thai, Syrians, Egyptians, Italians, Vietnamese, Koreans and THANK YOU JESUS, Americans.  This means that within the walls of 37 apartments, there are approximately 7 countries, besides the United States represented, with a good 7 languages being spoken here daily.    

And that is how I stay awake while driving home after dropping my daughter off for her night class.  And don’t think I didn't eat those grapes.  I did.  They were red, seedless, frozen grapes and I’m not sure, but I could have sworn I could hear Arabic music playing somewhere off in the distance…, just where are those perfumes...  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In need of Living Room Furniture

This is a fact, not an posting for the classifieds.  My Living Room sofas suck.

I bought them about....hmmm, maybe, Yikes! Ten years ago....which explains why when you sit down, you need a good set of climbers tools to get out.  I know you're probably thinking I'm exaggerating. Take my word, I'm not.

I think it's probably easier to drop to your knees and roll to the closest, stablest piece of furniture, grab on and pull yourself up.  I've done it, don't laugh!  There is the option of grabbing on to someone standing nearby but keep in mind, if that someone isn't firmly planted with heels dug in, the two of you could end up in the abyss, lost for all eternity.

There certainly isn't the same traffic (meaning people) going through my house as there once was, but my house is lived in.  The thing is, if you're not careful you could end up living in my sofa surviving off popcorn and chips for the rest of your life.  If that sounds bleak, not to worry, there is the periodic rubber band or TV control that go missing and to feed your daily mineral needs dimes seem to get sucked in by the dozen.

I tried pulling the cushions out the other day to see if my daughters ring had fallen in (along with everything else);  I nearly had to disassemble the entire sofa to remove them.  The wires from the box spring (if that's what it's called) were sticking out through the material and were holding the cushions captive.  It was similar to when you get your hair tangled up in a round brush while blowing drying; a rat's nest is easier to decipher.  After a good long wrestle a Rock Star, cup of coffee and overdose of vitamins I was able to pull those suckers out.  I still have the bruises on my forearms, if you don't believe me.
Just in case.

The other night after everyone had gone home I decided to sit down and watch one of those "I Survived" episodes where there are several people telling their stories of having been victimized in some terrible way and through shear determination make it out alive.  Suddenly I realized I too had a story to tell, I just wasn't sure if I'd live long enough to get through to the network that does the filming.  See, I got just a little to comfortable in the sofa and before I knew it, one thing led to another and I found myself up to the neck in cushion and box spring.  The popcorn had already been vacuumed out for the month so my chances of survival were looking slim.  If it weren't for the fact that I didn't want my daughter to be humiliated when reporters came around to get the facts, I may have never found the strength to climb, hack and crawl my way out.  Sure there was a bloody mess afterward, but the exhilaration of knowing I'd done it was beyond any other feat I've ever achieved.

I'd show you a picture of my war wounds from that night but there is just no way to prepare you for the shock so I think it be best to leave it to your imagination.  Let's just say that old box of Flintstones band-aids came in handy..Bam Bam!  

I considered taking a picture of the sofas to show you but soon realized the camera was missing.....not worth looking. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weeding in more ways than one

Yes, I finally did the weeding in my little patio.  I've been saying I was going to do it for at least 2 weeks now.  I wish I had taken a picture to show you the "before", but, I forgot...
I put off pulling the "weeds" because they were really pretty.  I don't know what it is but it grows out long and tall and looks really lush.  I kinda felt like I was in the middle of a meadow every time I walked out my back door.  But alas, I was not.

So it took an hour to clean up; an hour for thought.  It was 3:00 when I started and about 4:15 when I finished filling two big 'ol black plastic trash bags.  I was terribly busy today so that hour stooped over was back breakingly healthy, because everything else I did required me to sit in front of the computer.

So I'm pulling weeds and I think that maybe pulling the weeds is symbolic of what and where I am at this moment of my life. After almost 20 years I'm very close to being divorced.  Just months away.  After five years of too much tolerance, divorce was the only solution.

There's a whole lot I won't say but I will say this, you can plant a really beautiful garden that flourishes with proper watering and care but sometimes there are things, under the top soil, things that look really good from the top.  Those uncovered things slowly destroy whats beautiful.  You can pull the undergrowth out but if you don't get past the top soil and to the roots, the problem never goes away and before you know it you're pulling weeds again.  It can go on for years, if you let it.

I never meant those weeds to grow out so much that they covered all my other plants but I was fooled by how nice they looked; it made me feel good.  I never wanted my relationship to end either...but the root went so deep.  I tried to end it but it wasn't until I realized only a court could help that I was finally able to make it happen.  Sad but true.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morsels of Joy

How many times have you read a blog of a friend recalling an event from their childhood?  I'd be willing to guess, more than once.  Me, I've written about plenty of escapades from childhood.  Those days when we first learned how to make friends, how to take turns in a game of jacks, how to fight over a doll and act the next day as if it never happened.

Our childhood friends played a huge part in how we interact as adults.  I can tell you that some of the tolerance I have now as an adult is hugely due to dealing with a neighbor girl who was sick and spoiled.  Everyone, out of  sympathy for her poor health, allowed her to dominate play time; I learned to follow.

A very close childhood friend was left home alone a lot; I learned to care.

I remember a boy around the corner who played with the girls and was somewhat sissified, I learned to accept those who didn't fit the mold.

And then there was the family next door. This family moved into the neighborhood shortly after ours.  It was a new track of homes built in what once was an orange grove. When my parents first purchased the house only my two older brothers were born, my sister and I hadn't been released from the confinement of mom's ovaries yet (but I'm sure we were cute even then).  The family next door had two sons and a daughter.  By the time I came around, they had already had their second daughter leaving us one short.  No one saw it coming but my parents competitive edge came out seven years later when my sister (referred to as the Consolation Prize by my dad) was added. It was a proud day for my parents knowing the Jones' had nothing on us; Score 4-4.  And what did I learn from this you might be wondering; competitiveness,  because a few years later I learned that just when you think your on top someone comes along and steals the gold; the neighbors added one more for a final score: 5-4, Neighbors. Humility. We tried.

Both families stayed in the neighborhood but as with most, us kids began to take off in different directions. All the years of playing and fighting, falling off bikes, church picnics, birthday parties, sleep overs, skating, swimming, board games, patio discussions, Easter egg hunts, Christmas and New Years Eve parties and making tamales seemed to fade away.

My dad passed away.  Their dad passed away.  My mom; then theirs.  By this time we'd completely lost touch.

Thank God for memories.  They help us hold on to the past that made us who we are.  They keep us from forgetting where we came from and if we remember the positive stuff, they help us to direct our own children in how to grow, tolerate, support, love and appreciate.

And oh right, here's where one of those little morsels of joy come in.  Yesterday I had lunch with Karen; The "Tie Breaker".  We found each other on Facebook, and I know you're not surprised.  I think we can all say thank you to FB for someone.

A while back I went a huntin' on FB looking for any sign of the Ezree's and Bingo!  Found one. Totally excited, we talked about getting together; a reunion but, time went by and nothing happened.  This Christmas my brother, Rusty, who is the family gynecologist...Oops!, I meant genealogist, put some CD's together with family pictures.  Seeing as how the Ezree's were at our house almost as much as we were, they were in quite a few still shots and some of the film.

The Consolation Prize and the Tie Breaker don't make much of an appearance in either the photos or the film because they were really young when most of my dads horrific photography and movie making was in full swing.  I guess the excitement wore off at some point and all equipment got shoved into the closet, never to emerge again...Until, I got married and had a family.  At that point I threaded the movie projector found a white wall and showed the kids how stinkin' cute I was as a kid.  Unfortunately my bedroom walls were really textured so we all looked a bit frankensteinish.  

Yesterday's lunch felt way too short but it was fun.  Besides the fact that Google Maps is not to be trusted and we ended up being 15 minutes late when after exiting the freeway we thought we would be 10 minutes early, it was a joy to sit with Karen and catch up on some of the goings on's over the last 15 years.  We ate like...well, like Pigs, and promised to get together again soon to do more catching up.  I can't wait.

Life is full of little morsels of joy, sometimes you just got to search for them because they might not come looking for you.