Friday, September 30, 2005

Pale September

I wore the time like a dress that year. The autumn days swung soft around me like cotton on my skin (words from "Pale September" by Fiona Apple).

I've been thinking about September. It's one of my favorite months. I can feel the air turning to autumn as Football season begins and the days shorten. I've already begun formulating a Thanksgiving menu and I want to eat foods like squashes, cream soups and pot pies.

The hills are burning
(photo courtesey of Lafonzo Rachal Carter / San Bernardino Sun). I hate wildfires. They scare the shit out of me. But when I walked outside this morning it smelled like Africa. When you step off the plane in Africa the smoke permeates the air. Its rich, dark, mysterious smell travels on the wind over the endless planes of the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. I breathed deeply and although not the same, somehow familiar enough to send me soaring back to Africa in my mind.

Back inside the house I go to the shelf in the living room where my collection of ebony carved hippos lie. I stroke them and sigh. My little hippo pool. Propped on the shelf behind the hippo pool is a photo taken from my trip to Africa in Spetember 2001. Bantu, our boat guide, took me f
or a ride on the delta in the Selous where this Mother hippo with one ragged ear and a baby hippo at her side watched as we motored by, camera raised to my eye.

I went back to Africa, with him, my husband.

Tomorrow is October. It seems so long ago that we were there, but it was only a little more than 2 months ago that my husband and I roamed the hillsides of Rwanda in search of gorillas. And we'll return again some day. I know we will. And I'll look forward to the smell as I step off the plane in Africa.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Give me Room

My Blue Pilot G-2 pen is out of ink. I go to the office supply closet and all I find are Pilot Neo-Gel pens. No Pilot G-2 pens anywhere. Red ones yes. Blue ones no.

I usually suffer in silence during this time of the month. Like Gorilla trekking, if you get bit by an ant or a stabbed by stinging nettle, you do not cry out, you suffer, in silence.

Well, I'm a little irritable. Noticed it yesterday after I got home when Shadow was pushing the cat food dish across the floor. It was irritating me. Then while I was sleeping my adoring husband came to bed about midnight turning the light on and waking me, and then Bink decided to make himself comfortable on my pillow with a purr like a helicopter hovering outside the house. I didn't throw my husband out of bed, because I love him. I love my cat too, but he got tossed out quick.

In the morning I gave Bink a hug and said sorry dude. He just looked at me with his big green eyes and said nothing to be sorry for. I don't even remembr being tossed out of bed.

I realize I'm not myself. I do. My husband took notice of it also. He just said he was concerned, I was being so quiet. I didn't have to elaborate, just told him I was irritable, and crampy. Hands up in surrender he told me I got all the room I need. I love him for that. No stupid jokes, no overbearing attitude. Just love and give me room to be. I'll be back. You'll see.

But, if I don't find a Blue Pilot G-2 pen, someone's getting fired.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Catfish Are Jumpin'

When I wake up on a Saturday morning I can’t believe the man there sleeping next to me. He is warm and snuggly and I want to burrow into his side, roll him over and rest my head in the nook.

This morning we woke up late, after 8:00. The catfish were jumpin’ and the coffee was callin’. We ran out of the $5 bag of Rwandan coffee that I carried home with us from Africa. Every time I opened my duffle the aroma enveloped me and I would breathe in deeply and sigh. It smelled sooo good. When we did get home some 18 days later and finally tore open the bag we discovered heaven. It was really good coffee. A strong dark roast. If I’da known I would have bought more.

Will found some coffee online from Rwanda but it’s more of a medium roast and although good not nearly as good as what we brought back with us. We’ll have to keep looking.

We had potatoes, bacon and fried eggs for breakfast and the we took an extended walk around the blocks with Shadow. On the next block a small blond dog with a collar was out in the street looking at Shadow as we passed when we saw someone barreling up the street. We both stopped and looked at the dog who was looking at us as I saw the car accelerating toward it. All I could do is say “Oh my god the little dog” when the car was upon it and passing us at way too fast a speed for a residential street. The dog was moving back towards the curb and I couldn’t see it after the car passed. Then the little thing was in the yard of the house we were standing in front of not realizing how close he just came to being toast.

Being a pet owner I never speed on residential streets. I’ve been in a car speeding through a residential area and just after I told him to slow down, what if some kid ran out in the street, a dog did and he hit it. It was a Great Dane and other than the pads of his feet being scraped up he was ok. This little thing would not have been so lucky.

When we got back I got to work setting up my new computer. I got Quicken synched up with my BofA online account and downloaded my transactions. I downloaded my cover letter and resume into my new Word program and set up my income/expense report in my new Excel program. All went well and took very little effort. No glitches, no crashes, everything works and I’m online and my printer rocks and I’m online lickity split. I’d been suffering so long with 5 year old Compaq so now it’s as it should be, thanks to my baby getting me online DSL-y.

Baby got busy in the back yard working on his bike restoration project. He’d disassembled it and was stripped the blue paint off of the frame and when I went outside to check up on him he had great blue smudges on his cheek and nose. Just an adorable kid and his bike.

Monday, September 12, 2005

In Case of Emergency

Today at about 12:45 pm we had a power outage. From my 12th story office overlooking Wilshire, Knemore and 6th Street, I could see that it wasn't just my office building but seemed to be several block or more. It turned out that it was wide spread from downtown to Santa Monica through Burbank and into points north. My husband called me to see if we were affected and I told him yes. After hurricane Katrina we began talking about getting emergency supplies together, bieng as we're in earthquake country and all. Now this happens. Thankfully it all came back on at about 2:00 pm and we both completed our work day and made it safely back home at the end of the day to find all animals apparently unaware and ready for dinner .

Stuffed chicken breasts were already raosting in the oven when I got home so I put green beans on the stove and sliced fresh vine tomatoes then settle in with a glass of wine while the chicken cooked and the green beans simmerd. After dinner and some Monday Night Football we began talking about the events of the day and discussed the particulars of actually getting some emergency supplies together. We decided we would have a kit at home, one each in our vehicles and at or workplaces. Then we talked about animal provisions and containers in the event of an evacuation. We're considering everything form having the big one strike while we're both at home together, while we're seperated and at work but able to get home, and what the plan will be in the event of a full on evacuation. Who will be our point of contact, if we are seperated where will go to find eachothr if at all possible.

So top of the list it goes. We'll get a comprehensive list of provisions and a plan in place. It's too important not to do everything possible to keep our family, animals included, safe and together. We'll be as prepared as we can be for any emergency. We'll know what to do, where to go, who o call. Hopefully we'll be together, no matter what happens.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I'm a What?

My husband told me the other day that I am a step-mom. I barely became a wife, how can it be that I'm a step-mom. Well, of course I knew he had a daughter. But the relationship fell apart about five years ago and he hadn't seen her or been in contact with her. I thought that at some point his daughter would appear and my hope was that in time she, Katie, would allow Will back in her life, allow him to be there for her, to be her dad. That day has come.

She turned 16 a couple of days ago and there has been some talk around the house of birthday gifts and such. And then I started thinking. I'm going to be a part of Katies life now too. I'm her step-mom by golly. So I'm thinkin' I'd like to get her a little something to show her I'm ok with it all. And I think I really am. I look forward to us getting to know each other. I sure do like the look on Will's face when Katie calls him dad. Man, what it must feel like to have a kid call you dad (or mom). Not knowing what that feels like is something I know will be the biggest loss of my life.

My mom is my best friend and untill I met Will she was everything to me. Having Will in my life is more comforting than I can say. Now I have the opportunity to share my life with Katie as well. And she is a sweetie (although I've only met her once and there are surely sides to her that might not be so pleasant). I got the feeling that she's a good hearted kid and seems to be happy and is definitely happy to have her dad back in her life.

So I googled "teenage girl birthday present" and found a site called pbteen that has all kinds of cool stuff. I don't know yet what she likes or doesn't like but I know she's getting a karoeke mic and she likes music and sings in the school choir or something, so I found this really cool "APPLAUSE" sign. It lights up and has an applause track. I hope she likes it.

There's also talk of getting together with Katie and her mom-mom for dinner to present the co-purchased karoeke mic, but I don't know if I'm that comfortable yet. So many people in my life. Not used to it. It was only yesterday that it was just me and the Bink. Now there's a husband a mother-in-law a step-daughter and an ex-wife. Dang. Nice of the ex to offer, though. And I still don't know if I'll decline or accept. Everyone acting so grown up and all I guess I can too.

My life has changed. New adventures are on the horizon. Challenges are around the bend. Fall is in the air. Just a cople of page flips of the calendar and the Holidays are here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Where Does the Time Go?!?

As you must be aware, it is Wednesday, September 7th. A year ago my husband was just my boyfriend. We had recently moved in together though. So I think we were definetly on a track leading to something long-lasting. Well me, him, our combined 4 cats, 1 dog and a tortiose.

Since we met (through I e-mailed him first in November 2003 and we've been steady ever since) we've done a lot. For one, we got married. 06/16/05. That means I'm a misses for the first time in my life. It feels like being a member of some secret club at first. I couldn't mention him as my boyfriend without getting a big grin on my face. And to call him my husband, well that just takes the cake.

He was a long time coming and definitely worth the wait. If the saying “All good things come to those who wait” applies to anything, it applies to this. Which is not to say that "Every step taken is one less step to take".

Some women might have dismissed him as “too nice” or “just a friend”. And there was a time when I would have probably thought the same. I liked the bad boys and a lifestyle more on the edge. But I’m telling you, there is nothing sexier to me than a man who is good and kind and generous. (It helps that he is also smart and funny and handsome with a deep, yummy voice). He’s a man who cares and loves and is not afraid to express himself and does so fearlessly and freely. He participates and shares. All that he is is just perfect for me.

Even when he loses his patience with me I don’t take it personally. I can’t because I know that he loves me and I’m confident in his love. He doesn’t judge or criticize. He doesn’t try to change me or “fix” my problems, he listens and supports me and I don’t even have to tell him that’s what I need. Really.

I feel like a priority in his life. His top priority. And I’ve been in a relationship where I haven’t been 1st on the list (or 2nd or even 3rd) and I lived with it because I thought that’s all there was, and I thought it would get better, but I can say this is a billion times better and this is how it should be. Lucky me to have the opportunity to know how it feels.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Walk in the Sun

Woke up early to do a hike up to Point Mugu. I had wanted to go back there since our hike last March. We were up and left Silver Lake making our way up the coast. There was no traffic and only a few early birds sitting on thier boards waiting for a wave.
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OK, I can't recreate this. I typed the entry in my blog and I guess the "Publish Post" button wasn't showing up so I lost everything and now some jack-ass is across the street on a Sunday morning with a power hedge trimmer, blasting away! Agh!
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After expressing my frustration to my husband, stepping on our dog Shadow's tail, then bursting into tears, we've had breakfast, I talked to my Uncle Jim in Redding, took a shower then got a call from my Grandma. So now I'm relaxed and I'd really like to post about our hike...
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Woke up early to head up the coast and hike to Mugu Paek. I had wanted to go back there since our hike to see the waterfall and the grasslands last March. We passed on the trek up to Mugu Peak that trip and headed for the grasslands instead, which were beautiful if only young and hip-high.

The trafic was very light this morning leaving Silver Lake and heading up PCH. There were only a scattered few early birds on thier boards waiting for a wave. Once there it was cool and damp as we trekked up the canyon and rounded the mountain reaching the old water tank that leads to the crossing where you pick up the trail leading to the peak of Mugu. This is the spot we heard the cayote last time. The creek bed was mostly dry. At some points alond the way the water came above ground then went back under ground. There was water falling over the waterfall but not the cascading specticle that we saw last March.

As we climbed up towards the peak the trail turned towards the ocean with vistas out to sea and all along the shoreline. At the peak we dropped our packs. The view was a panorama of ocean, grass land valley, and mountain range. Just beautiful on a warm sunny day with cool ocean breezes and my baby romping around and taking pictures. (I don't know how to add photos to my postings yet so you can see some on my husband's site

When we got down to the vally and crossed through the grassland I was happy to see the head-high grasses. They were now the color of golden wheat and they rustled in the breeze kissing the blue blue sky. We talked of making a trip back next May or June to see them in all thier prime and glory.

At this point our thoughts turned obsessively to the Neptune's Nest plate of fresh steamed shrimp, corn on the cob, and cold Coronas we would be treating ourselves to after the hike. I had a tough time of the last two miles. My legs were fatigued, muscles sour, feet hurt. I'm carrying too much weight and my legs aren't used to a strenuous 7 mile hike. Then my darling husband says philosophically "Every step taken is one less you have to take" or something like that. I looked at him and laughed. Then laughed some more.

We made it down the mountain and up the road to Neptune's Nest where we had that plate of fresh steamed shrimp, corn on the cob and a bottle of cold Corona. And it was heaven. A great day.

Friday, September 02, 2005

DMV Dress Code

I went to the DMV today for a name change. And yes, I made an appointment. Lot of good it did me. I still waited for my number to be called with every other bum and out of work actor in Hollywood. There I was dressed in my work clothes and no one else in the entire place looked like they had a day job. Nothing that required professional attire anyway. Thier t-shirts seem to explain thier line of work. I saw a guy in line with a Redding Smokejumpers t-shirt on. Which I notice because I happen to be reading a book about Smoke Jumpers (In Montana) and at one point they go to Redding to help battle a big forest blaze there.

I don't know what it is about the DMV but there are always the strangest mix of people there, ever. Always one or two people inside that don't seem to have any real business there. Today there was a woman and a man who would cross paths occasionally and gesture wildly in passing. Maybe they knew each other, maybe not. The woman was the most animated. She wore jeans and a cropped t-shirt and a backpack and appeared to be a hard 40. Her hair was stylishly cut in that stick straight style. She was thin and in constant motion walking around the place with papers in her hand and would approach a window and gesture wildly and the lady behind the counter actually seemed to be trying to help her with her form. I wondered why security didn't just walk up to her and ask her to leave.

Then there's the guy on his cell phone pacing the floor and walking outside and back in. All the while on his cell phone talking about this show and that show, wearing "The 40 Year Old Virgin" t-shirt and shorts with skinny legs and sandals. A young girl in a "Los Angeles" t-shirt on her cell phone telling someone on the other end "I'm standing in line right now waiting to get my photo taken. This sucks. I should just use my New York license". And says "I don't know. Call my agent".

So, my number is finally called and I say to the lady behind counter #11 "It was certainly a long wait for making an appointment". No response from her whatsoever. She just took my form and said "Name change?" and I said yes. And she said "$20". I paid and was on my way that fast to the camera line.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Back From Zanzibar

I'm recently back from Zanzibar where I lazed in the sun covered with warm breezes and my new husband at my side. We henna tattooed are hands and drank straight from a young coconut. I sometimes look at him and I love him so much I want to squeeze him as tight as I can and somehow transfer the love that's in my very soul to his very soul. And he's squeezing me back. My love.