Monday, May 31, 2004

Monday


Blurry duckies from the other day.

Feeling very safe around here again.  The fear-based thinking really did lift.  The apartment manager changed the code on the garage door lock and posted reminders about safety precautions when coming and going.  My clients were completely understanding about the keys - and empathized with my situation.

I spent most of the weekend watching the entire first season of SURVIVOR.  And I'm completely DVD'd-out!  My eyes are crossing.  Everything is blurry.  I hardly got any real sleep last night.  My dreams are wild.  Every time I close my eyes, I find myself stranded with 16 other castaways off the coast of Borneo. An endless mission for tapioca.  The only outside communication is via coconut-phone.  The rats are overcooked and chickens refuse to lay eggs.  The positive side is, I've had a mud bath every day, I've lost 12 pounds of fat and gained 6 pounds of muscle.  But I look like a waif on TV.  My luxury item is my journal but I had to sacrifice it in our quest for fire.  A member of the camera crew slipped me a tic-tac.  I shared it with my tribemates. ... Can hardly wait for season two to be released!

I thoroughly cleaned out my closet this weekend too.  I've thrown a bunch of stuff away.  And I have a huge box of clothes ready to donate to shelters.  I also have some other things to clear out but I can't decide if it's worth it to have a yard sale - or just donate it all.  We'll see.  But it feels so much better when I open my closet door now.  I actually know where things are.  Bonus:  I also found a huge box of missing pictures - from my entire life - in the far corner.  I was looking for them a few months ago.  I've moved so much, I thought I'd lost them along the way.  I still haven't gone through them all.  But at least I know where they are now.

Big love-shout to Vivian whose birthday is today.  Since it's a national holiday already, she's going to celebrate her personal holiday tomorrow.  Happy Birthday Viv.  We love ya!

I'm headed out to help a friend unpack from a move.  She's coming out of a relationship.  A bit of devastation.  But welcoming new energy.  She's been packing and working non-stop for two weeks.  Hopefully we'll get her all set up so she can relax and concentrate on work and life.

I hope to find time to respond to comments later.  Thank you all for your insight and kind words.  I'm blessed to be part of the AOL-J community.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Fear or Love


Red Tailed Hawk  -  Photo Friday Challenge : Black and White


Fear takes on many forms and shows up in many ways.  Violation is just one of them.

We have subterranean gated parking in my building.  That means only residents have keys to the palace.  Once inside the parking structure, it doesn't guarantee access to the main lobby and the apartments.  We have keys for that too.

This morning, I went to my car with Hunny and found it unlocked.  Before even opening the door, I knew someone had been there.  The hackles went up on the back of my neck and both Hunny and I stood in silence, as if frozen in time.

I've been robbed.  That was the first realization.  The second was the missing keys.  For years I've kept clients' keys in my car because I've left my house without them too many times before.  But they were all gone.  Including the parking garage door opener.  Our parking is tandem - one behind the other.  So my roommate and I have a copy of each other's car keys.  I leave his in my car.  He leaves mine in his car.  When I noticed his car key missing too, I checked his car.  Unlocked and shuffled through, just the same as mine.  An entire bag of brand new clothes was taken from his trunk.  But, like my car, most other valuable items were still there.

I thought about all the things they [the mysterious they] could've taken. Mainly, if they had both our car keys and the remote for the garage door, why didn't they steal our cars?  Even my trunk had been searched - but nothing taken.  Rollerblades, basketball, baseball glove, shoes, and my 35mm camera, all my CDs were still there.  Including my portable CD player.  Loose change was still hanging around.  Later I realized my backpack is missing.  I thought it was at home all day.  Guess not.

I sway in and out of fear-based thinking - to the extreme!  Was this deliberate?  Was it personal?

But the more likely reality is, it was random.  And perhaps it was the one night I forgot to lock my car door.  I imagine the keys were taken in hopes that they granted entrance to the palace.  I'm sure they were quite disappointed to find that none of my keys worked in the main doors to the building.

The biggest stress was having to call my clients and tell them their keys had been stolen and I had no way of getting their dogs out for the day.  Two of my clients were more concerned about my well-being.  But two clients haven't called me back yet.  I feel a little incompetent and irresponsible.  How could I let this happen?

It's not about what was taken.  The feeling I had in my own car today was uneasy.  I was a little stunned and unsure of what to do.  But I went on with my day as best I could.  I'm more creeped-out to think that some stranger was in my personal space.  And now that it's the dark of night, my mind is filling with all kinds of horror stories.

I called my mechanic to see if it's at all possible to change the locks on my car doors.  It is.  But it was less expensive for me to buy The Club.  Or perhaps reactivate the alarm system.

I've come to believe I'm as safe as I feel.  That's always the truth for me.  Even in this time of terror, threats and war, I've been able to stay connected and feel protected.  Today was just a small reminder of how vulnerable we can be.  I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  It's just an observation.

I'm looking for the deeper meaning in this.  The lesson.  The opportunity for growth.  So far, I've gained hope and strength from this experience.  I feel blessed and watched over.  I hope that whoever is responsible for this got what they needed.

Perhaps it was an act of desperation.
  A starving child.  A lost teen.  A homeless single mom.  A victim looking for some light at the end of the tunnel.

This brings me back to my question about the black widow.  If I got bit would I instinctively want to kill?  Or would I be able to have compassion and see that her bite was her instinctive defense mechanism?

There are only two emotions : Love and Fear.  Anything that is not love is fear.  The choice for both is always available in every situation.  It's a moment-by-moment choice.  In this moment I choose love.  I'd better save this entry before fear rears its ugly head again.  And then, I hope to choose love again... and again... and again.

Hodgepodge

I've tried to post this entry four times and I'm getting a mess of that html coding glitch.  So it was either no update for Journey to Peace or no bold, italics or linkage.  When the glitch is fixed, you know I'll link-away!


This is Hunny with a fresh haircut - notice the bow and big smile!

It's been an incredible week - again!  I'm starting to get some energy back.  I've been feeling completely wiped out.  But these last two days have been high-energy with lots of action.  I can hardly believe I haven't written about it.

Yesterday, Robbie met me at the dogpark.  Or, well, I met her there.  She arrived in record time.  We had a very nice visit. She got to meet Hunny, Sparky, Winnie and Blau ... not to mention a bunch of other dogs and dogwalkers. I only wish we could've stayed longer but the sun was getting to both of us.  We apparently stayed long enough for Hunny because she actually fell asleep in the park.  I'm pretty sure Robbie captured that Kodak moment. [pun intended Robbie]

I always joke about my birthday being celebrated for the entire month of May.  But this year, it's been constant birthday wishes, cards and thoughtful gifts.  I am truly blessed.

Robbie surprised me with a beautiful gift bag full of goodies.  I was [still am] completely overwhelmed.  It's funny how well she knows me, just from our journals and the few interactions we've had.  Yes, lots of beautiful dragonfly energy from her too!

Later I stopped at the post office to mail a package and found my mailbox was overflowing with more gifts and cards.  I almost started crying right there - with a huge smile on my face.  Thank you Mia, Mary and Phinney!  Details and photos to come.

On my way home from my doggie-day, I noticed a duck and four baby ducklings crossing a major road.  I quick-pulled over and ran to them [with camera in hand of course].  They were headed right for me, in the middle of the street.  At the same time, a UPS truck was headed toward them.  I jumped into the street with both arms spread, to stop oncoming cars. [missing the photo-op] I had no idea what I intended to do.  But the mama-duck wanted nothing to do with me so she did an about-face and her ducklings followed as I basically herded them back to the curb.  They had come from a manmade pond in the front yard of a city home - on a busy street corner.

One of the ducklings fumbled trying to jump onto the curb.  For an instant he was separated from his family and I noticed his moment of panic.  It didn't take him long before they were reunited in the pond.  I did take pics of them inside the pond but they are dark and blurry.  [still working it out with the digicam over here]

Oh, this morning I got my 'new' bed.  It looks styling with all the new linens my mom ordered as an additional birthday gift [thank you mom].  I've already watched a DVD in bed.  That's how I know I need to rearrange the entire room - again.  It's about that time of year anyway.  Another project for the weekend.

Because of all this new stuff, I'm needing to clear out a bunch of old stuff.  I have a huge closet that is overstuffed with stuff.  I think it's time for a yard sale and charity donations.

With this new healthy eating lifestyle [still going strong, by the way!] all my clothes are starting to fall off me.  Most of my dogwalking clothes are hand-me-downs.  And many were already a little baggy on me.  But now, I can't walk in some of them without looking like a wannabe-gangster.  So I'll give away the baggy clothes to make room for clothes that actually fit.

I'm loving Netflix so far.  I'm still on my two-week free trial. I've already seen the first three DVDs, and two more have been shipped.  The turn-around time is speedy!


Pushing my luck with the glitch -- One more Hunny pic for the road...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Return of the Black Widow

I don't want to freak you guys out [again] but the black widow spider has reentered my life.  Not the same body but perhaps the same spirit as her offspring.  I don't know why I'm so drawn to these beautiful creatures.  But I'm not questioning it either.  [I'm thinking I should add Charlotte's Web to my Netflix queue.  A lot of you predicted this.]

I had gone outside the other day, to see if I could get a good view of a black widow in a corner where I noticed a web a few weeks before.  I've only been able to see legs - definitely black widow legs.  But that one has never made herself fully visible to me.  I thought to myself, I should come back tonight to see if she's out in her web and try to get her photo.

As I walked back inside, my eyes were drawn to a bare corner near the floor.  Again, unmistakable, in full view, was this smaller black widow, hanging upside down in the middle of her web, strong and sturdy.



It was getting to be dusk so there wasn't much natural light.  I took about five or six different photos of her, each time getting closer and closer.  The setup/focus and flash were blinding.  She never moved.

Since seeing the first black widow, I've been having a lot of spider dreams.  Most of them are harmless, mystical, magical creatures.  But a few have been a little freaky and scary.  The spiders are all different sizes.  Some with fangs. Some with claws. Some with thick hair.  But every single dream-spider has been a black widow.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Birthday News


Photo Friday Entry : Macro

Hunny and I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning, with camera in hand.  I had no idea what I would come up with for many reasons.  Mainly, I still don't know what I'm doing with this camera.  But also because Hunny's a dog and she has a tendency to startle creatures of the earth from her dangling dog tags alone.  But as it turned out, Hunny was an amazing assistant.

Every time I stopped to take close-ups of grass, dirt, flower petals, bees and this bright-white butterfly, Hunny sat quietly and patiently.  We followed a few bees and stalked the butterfly.  And each time we needed to move to get closer, I whispered, "Here Hunny. Right here. Wait."  And she did.

I took a few of her.  But I was still on the macro-thing.  So, I opted not to post them because they are so close up, it's a little freaky.  But now I have proof that Hunny does indeed have long, thick, blonde eyelashes.  My little beauty.



Birthday News :

This has been an incredible birthday month so far - and it's still not even my birthday!  I received two thoughtful e-cards already [thank you Mia and Sharky.  I love you both.]  I hooked up my DVD player today, which of course, was a whole to-do, having to rearrange things to make room for the new shiny toy.  I signed up with Netflix the other night and got confirmation that my first three DVDs had been sent yesterday.  They arrived today!  Zippideedoodah-Zippideeay!

A sweet email from SloMo explained that my birthday package might arrive late. [::perk:: Birthday package, for me?]  What do you think was stinking up all the mailboxes downstairs this afternoon?  That's right. Not late. On time. Early even!  A gorgeous picture frame that I can't even begin to explain.  I'll take pics in daylight.  Thank youSloMo. Je t'adore.

This must be the year of the dragonfly.  Because not only does SloMo's gift have one, but Carly's card had many dragonfly stickers all over the envelope.  Inside, another dragonfly!  I was moved to near-tears.  Thank you, my dear friend Carly.

Do my AOL-J friends know me, or what?

Perhaps the most memorable gift of all arrived in the mail earlier this week.  In my [almost] 36 years on this planet, I cannot recall one birthday, holiday or event where my father wrote to me.  Every card was always bought and signed by my mother - from both of them.  But I always wondered if he even knew about them.  It always seemed like he was just as surprised and excited as we were on Christmas morning when my brother and I opened our gifts.  This year, my mom emailed me to say she was sending something from dad.  I requested that it come directly from him.  A few days later, the card arrived.  From my dad.  In his handwriting.  There's no mistaking his writing.  I haven't seen or talked to him in over ten years.

This is a happy birthday.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Calling All Movie Critics

Woohoo!  My DVD player arrived today.  Well, actually there was a UPS delivery attempt made while I wasn't home.  And they were going to keep coming back at the same time for the next two business days, only to find I would still not be home.  So I schlepped my way to Downtown Los Angeles to my pick-up center.  I had to do the same thing to get my camera.  There was a time when I could rearrange my schedule enough to be available at 12:30 midday.  But I'm too busy now [which is a good thing].

A n y w a y ... That's not the point.

I'm sitting here with the DVD player still in its box.  I've signed up for my free trial with Netflix.  And I'm overwhelmed with the selection.  I know what I like.  But it's taking forever to choose.  It's been an hour and I think I have six so-so titles lined up.  I can have up to 500 DVDs in my queue.  I can't imagine I'll need that many waiting for their time to be viewed by me.  Nevertheless, I need help.

I'm finding I'm drawn to documentaries and independent/art films.  But I love a good hearty laugh - silly even.  Like Airplane! and Better Off Dead.  I definitely need to keep the balance.  

So please, I'm looking for recommendations.  What are your favorite movies?  What are those must-see-DVDs?  All categories welcome!

Oh, and I notice In America has finally been released on DVD.  That's my recommendation for you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Gas Boycott

Whoops!  I screwed up.  Today's the 19th.  It's the day we're all boycotting gas stations.  I was reminded of that last night around 9:30.  I thought about going out right then and filling my tank.  But I was too tired.  Mostly, I was too lazy.

Today I'm regretting my decision to pull the covers over my eyes.  I may have less than a quarter of a tank.  So choosing the most direct route is crucial on this dog-day afternoon.

For the past two weeks I've posted pictures of one gas station in my neighborhood.  Each post showed a considerable increase in gas prices from the week before.  And wouldn't you know, it's gone up again, one more week later.  It's now hanging just below $2.50 for regular unleaded.  I was so furious I zoomed right past, thinking I'd get gas somewhere else.  But the car took me home instead.  Then I ate lots of vanilla yogurt and I was too blissed out to remember to go back out for gas.

Let's hope I make it around town on the remaining gas in my tank today.  I'd hate to be that lone, shameful gas station patron with traffic honking and flipping me off.  Can you believe I actually spent a lot of time thinking about the best secluded gas station around?  I can't think of one that's not on a major intersection.

Okay, off I go...

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

More Birthday Surprises



Ooohh ... It's my birthday week!  And my mailbox is starting to get a little action here!  Woohoo!  I was absolutely surprised and delighted to receive a package in a Happy Birthday padded envelope.  I skipped all the way to my room with glee.  I debated whether to wait till Sunday [my actual birthday] or if I should just dig in right then.  We all know, when left up to me, I go for the instant gratification.  There was no note or warning on the outside of the package that required me to suffer through the week, shaking the package, holding it up to the light, or peeking into the folds of the envelope.

The funnest part about this package was the absolute surprise.  I was not expecting it.  I savored the moment by slowly cutting the envelope open [because the glue was just too strong for me to tear through].  Poof, opened the package and a waft of sweet scents filled my senses.  I soaked it in like the morning sun - or like a nice hot cup of coffee on a cool day.  Ahhhh...

Just about everything inside the package was handmade by Liz - otherwise fondly known around AOL-J as Aunt Nub.  A personal, handmade card.  A magnet of music notes.  And an original beaded bracelet.  I'm stunned.  It's beautiful.

Thank you Aunt Nub.  This is a very thoughtful birthday gift.  I'll treasure it, always.

Now, what we all need to know is, how much are you selling them for?  You have thought about that, haven't you?  You have a whole business going.  Cards. Magnets. Bracelets.  What's next?  I know this is only the beginning!  I love watching you grow.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Quick Check-In

I've been having difficulty getting motivated recently.  I have lots of work to keep me busy.  I am active and still eating well.  There are quite a few shifts and changes going on in my life.  So I'm just trying to keep up.  Spring and summer always seem to be more active times.  I love the weather, and the longer days.  But I get caught up in the motion.  Come fall and winter, I'm usually in and more quiet.  Very seasonal I guess.

I'm still trying to learn my way around this little powerful camera.  I'm looking forward to slowing down enough to actually read the guide book and take some better test shots.  But it's that slowing down issue again.  I just can't seem to get myself to do that.  I find myself exhausted.  I took a mid-day nap on both Saturday and Sunday again this weekend.  And I can hardly sleep at night.  Biorhythms must be off.

I feel so distracted.  I can hardly focus on one thing.  I started writing this entry this morning.  That was before my dogwalking day.  After that, I worked at the yoga studio.  Then I went to dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in a while.  Now I'm so tired, I don't know how I'm going to get this posted.  I feel like I'm going to fall over the keyboard.

Every day I have visions of updating and getting caught up on my journal rounds.  But when I get home, I'd much rather fall into bed.  But I don't.  I just sit at the computer like a zombie.

I'm seriously considering joining Netflix I've heard so many great things about it.  They offer a 2-week free trial.  My DVD player hasn't arrived yet, so I don't want to sign up too early.  But I'm looking forward to seeing their inventory.  I'm excited about all the documentaries and independent films I will have access to.  And for nights like tonight, it'll be nice to pop in a DVD and curl up in bed.

Speaking of bed - I still haven't gone to get the queen bed yet.  But I'm gearing up.  In addition to the DVD player, my mom is sending new bedding [since I don't have queen size sheets] for my birthday.  She's really gone over and above this year.  [Thanks Mom!]

My birthday is now less than a week away and I still don't know how I want to celebrate it.  That's unusual for me.  But it's been such an eventful month.  Maybe I'll just take it easy on the actual day.

Seriously, can I be any more scattered?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Surprise!



I got a fun email this morning - from my mother. 
It was full of enthusiasm, on bubblegum stationery, sprinkled with wacky animated images.  With my birthday being right around the corner, she wanted to get the excitement rolling.  Complete with one-liners, lots of scrolling to build anticipation and a drumroll announcing her gift idea for me.

She knows I love surprises.  But she also knows I'm really picky about certain things.  So instead of buying the gift and sending it to me, she told me about it, knowing I had my heart set on a specific one.  Unfortunately, it's the one thing I bought for myself this year:  A digital camera. [when it rains, it pours].

I know my mom has the link to my journal.  I wasn't sure if she was reading me on a regular basis.  But her email gave me a good clue since most of my recent entries mention my new digital camera.

I wrote back to her saying, "Whoops, sorry!  I already bought my camera."  Her first response to me was a reminder about how I'm not supposed to buy anything before my birthday.  A few minutes later, she wrote me again.  This time with suggestions from my list of coveted items.  She even offered to buy me a baseball bat [with lots of laughter attached].

Well, now I know my mom's all caught up on my latest journal entries.  I won't deny it's a bit strange thinking she's here, reading my every thought.  But it does save on stamps and long distance phone charges.

I went on with my doggone day.  When I returned, I came home to another fun email saying this has been ordered and is on its way to me!  Woohoo!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  Thanks Mom!

Now I can get this or this or this or this ... or some of my favorite movies ... ok, going a little overboard.  Oooh, Overboard!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Life, as it is today


With clients like Otis, I may not have to upgrade the size of my vehicle.  When he's old enough to join us at the dogpark, he'll fit on the dashboard.  Plenty of room for Otis!  [By the way, Pamela, Otis is a Pug. You can read more about his breed here and here and here.]

Had to stop for gas again today.  I was on empty.  Same gas station - six days later!  We're in for a doozie of a summer with these gas prices.  I knew I should've stopped for gas in Venice yesterday when I saw prices as low as $2.19.  That's what I get for being lazy.



This is what it cost to fill my tiny tank with regular unleaded.


I can only imagine what my friends in SUVs are paying!  I'm still saving.  Not in any immediate rush to get that Xterra.  But I did see a nice pre-owned one for $11,000 recently.

I made an appointment to see my doctor but the soonest she has available is next Friday.  I feel sick today.  And I have since Saturday.  So I made an appointment in the urgent care center for 9:00 tonight.  Of course, with my insurance company, that means I'll see the doctor on-call anywhere between 9:00 and midnight.  Sure wish I had a laptop.

I already saw another doctor this afternoon for something completely different.  Nothing big.  Just a five-minute check-in.  All is well.

I'm still eating well.  Choosing healthy foods.  My chocolate/cookies intake is averaging once a week.  Not bad, considering it's been at least once a day for as long as I can remember.  I haven't had any fast food or soda in over a month.  I wasn't really big on fast food anyway.  But I would treat myself to soda more often than not.  No worries, DiAnne.  I haven't had chips either.

The only sweet-ish thing I've had on a regular basis is a Yogurt Honey Peanut Balance Bar.  It's the easiest mass of protein to stick in my pocket.  And when I'm on the road all day, it really helps keep my blood sugar levels even.  Although, it does have high fructose corn syrup in it.  So I'm looking for a similar, healthier alternative.  I'm also drinking 2-3 liters of water daily.  And we all know how much exercise I've been getting.

Self-care sure takes a lot of time and energy.  But it's worth it.

Disclaimer: To all Otis-lovers. I would never let him ride on the dashboard. He will be safely tucked between his new pack-mates in the back seat at all times.

Dogpark Superstars


Sparky : almost a year old. 
Dogpark Superstar

Not much to say, as I'm running out the door. 
I'm still not feeling very well.  But I felt a lot better when I was out walking dogs yesterday.  Hopefully, the same will be for today.  I mean, look at these beautiful creatures.  Of course they help make me feel better.


Otis : 14 weeks old - Future Dogpark Superstar


Lucy : 8 months old - Potential Dogpark Superstar


Marley : almost 2 years old.  New Dogpark Superstar

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Long Day

I survived a hectic day yesterday.  The weather was much cooler.  But that didn't stop me from working up a good sweat on the hike.

Later, I introduced one of my individual walks to my dogpark pack.  At first it looked like two of my pack members wanted to take a chunk out of the new dog - and the new dog was not willing to back down.  But I also knew they just needed to work it out.  All females.  Can be tricky.

Still, the new dog seemed to trust me enough [after walking her individually for two weeks] that she hopped right in the car.  There were a few growls from the back seat but mine overpowered them all.  Once we got to the park, my pack stuck together and played with the new dog.  Her parents were pleased to hear she actually ran and played.  She usually grazes and keeps to herself.

After that, I had two other walks.  The puppy-pug is growing up right before my eyes.  I met him when he was 10 weeks old.  I've lost track but he's got to be at least 14 weeks now.  Precious.  He still can't walk down a flight of stairs.  He might tumble over instead.  So I have to carry him outside.

My other daily individual walk is a big 8-month-old German Shepherd.  She's never been leash-trained or socialized with other animals because when she was rescued, she needed quite a bit of reconstructive surgery on her hind leg.  She spent 5 months of her life in a cast, immobile.  So she acts a little like a wild animal.  She's becoming more familiar with the boundaries and commands but it's a struggle to get the walking collar on her.  I have to be completely on guard when out on a walk with her.  Any sound of a dog nearby can set her off. 

The other day, someone was walking toward us with his dog off-leash.  I put my hand out like a cop and said NO.  He called his friendly dog back to him and asked if they could say hi.  Obviously my dog had no interest in saying hi.  She wanted to tear into his dog.  I said, "I don't think so."  He got the hint as I struggled to keep my lunging, barking dog out of their way so they could walk by.  He thanked me for telling him.

It's been about two weeks and she's already getting better with the collar and healing by my side on walks.  But still, I'm not a dog trainer.  I'm only doing what I know and feel.  She's starting with a trainer this week.  The goal is to hopefully get her socialized so she can come to the dogpark with us every day.  I believe it's possible.  She's young enough.  And she's smart.

I couldn't get anyone to cover my shift at the yoga studio and I was feeling pretty tired.  So I stopped for a cup of coffee.  Then I went home to pack a lunch/dinner.  I loaded my guitar in the trunk of my car so I could go directly to the recording studio after work.  It's been a while since I've had coffee so I was wired!  It got me through the night but not without the jitters.

We recorded two of the three songs we practiced.  And we had a lot of fun.  The guys want to practice more and maybe play a few open mic nights so we can get our timing down together.  Hey, sounds great to me.  I know I can't afford to hire them for a gig.  They just like to play.  They're really doing me a huge favor by recording with me.  They're in the groove together.  I'm learning how to play with them.

I didn't get to bed till midnight.  I woke up at 3:00 this morning with chills, feeling queasy and achy.  I was wondering how I would get through my day.  Coincidentally, my morning hike/client is finished as of this morning.  I knew it was a temporary thing.  They were very happy with me and my service but it's time for him to be reintroduced to his original pack.  It's bittersweet because I adore the dog and I've been enjoying the hikes.  But I'm also thrilled that he's doing well and being taken care of.  He's so loved.  This is how all dogs should be treated.

I'm still not feeling well and even though the hike is canceled, I still have to find the energy to go to the dogpark and then do three individual walks.  I have a feeling it's going to be a long day.  I'm already starting late.  And I tend to move slower when I'm sick.

Pictures to come - no time to upload right now.

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Rehearsal

Rehearsal went pretty well last night.  I never know how things are going to feel with new people.  Especially professional musicians.  I'm always afraid these guys will be bored with my music and wishing they hadn't offered to play with me.  The three songs we worked on were more up-tempo.  One of them was a maybe.  And they really liked it.  We'll see how they feel when we slow it down a bit.

Remember I hadn't played my guitar in about a month.  So today, after three hours of playing the same songs over and over, my fingers are red and sore.  Not very smart of me.  I need to play that guitar at least once a day to keep my callouses up.

We rehearsed at the bass player's house - in his recording studio.  I don't know much about equipment but his enthusiasm alone really kept my energy up.  He's got a bunch of bells and whistles for all kinds of recording.  He's very organized, proficient and efficient.  He's got a lot of projects going on at once.  His theory is, the more people he plays with, the more chance he has of becoming famous.  He even offered his studio to finish my CD in exchange for "a good album credit."  

Slow down now.  I did tell him I need to think about it.  I don't want to step on any toes or burn any bridges with MusicMan.  But I do know we'd work well together and get a lot done in a short amount of time.  It's good to know I have options.

Check him out as the number one artist on flylip.com.

Interestingly, Bushwalla is featured on the home page of that site.  Why is that interesting?  My percussionist is a member of that band.

To think, this all started that one day at the Post Office.

Saturday, May 8, 2004

Saturday Night

This is the story of my life lately.  I have to fill my tank almost twice a week with all the driving I'm doing now.  It seems I'm not putting as many miles on my car as I thought.  But I estimate I drive about 60 miles a day when I'm working.  And tonight I had to drive into The Valley so that adds to the tab.  

Yep, these are gas prices in Los Angeles.  I hear this is not the be-all-end-all.  But it's been like this for a while.  It's gotten to the point where, I believe anything below this price is a bargain.  I wonder if the Xterra comes in a Hybrid.

My car is essential for my business.  It's my 'office'.  I don't have a choice but to drive all over the city if I want to work.  And really, I don't mind it.  But with these gas prices, it just adds to my overhead.  And just like offices who try to cut costs, I have to pick and choose the moments when I turn the air conditioning on.

We all know what a gas guzzler A/C is.  But I just know if I need the A/C then the dogs must need it ten times more.  Afterall, my t-shirts don't even compare to their fur coats.

More photos and music updates to come.  I was glad to be able to come online when I got home from rehearsal.  But I spent the better part of my night troubleshooting some AOL software issues.  So if I wasn't tired enough earlier, I'm thoroughly exhausted now.  Good night all.

Saturday

I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to wake up and get motivated today.  I suppose this is normal [not a word I enjoy using].  But I've been going non-stop for about a month and I've had a lot of sustaining energy.  Today feels like the crash and burn.  ::sigh::

I have to find the energy to get to The Valley for my rehearsal in an hour.  I've done practically nothing all day.  I took a nap.  And still I can hardly wait to come home tonight so I can sleep some more.

Hopefully getting out will wake me up and add some spunk to my day.  I'd like to believe I'll come home and get caught up on my journal rounds and write all about my night.  But I just can't guarantee anything.

Can't seem to upload pics to my FTP space on AOL right now so this lame check-in will have to suffice.  Have a wonderful night.  I'll be back in a few hours.  Hopefully I will be able to post some fun pics by then.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Friday Already?

Woohoo - Look who bought herself an early birthday present!  More [and better] pictures to come.

I did a ton of research.  Thank you Steven for all your help and expertise!  I was really torn between the Olympus and this Canon but when it came down to it, the Canon had all the things I was looking for in a camera - and then some.  Now I just have to figure out how to use all the and then somes.  More info to come about the purchase process [and it's a doozie!]  Thank you DiAnne for your help with that.  And SloMo, I can't thank you enough for all of your help.

Life is still amazing but I'm a little tired of not having time to update my precious journal.  Actually, I'm getting tired in general.  But I'm resting when I need rest.  Which is why you haven't heard from me in a while.  And already, I have a full weekend coming up.  How does this happen?

I have about ten minutes to update - then I'm off for another long dogwalking day.  Every morning I push through a great hike.  You know that slow burn you feel when you're working out?  Ooooh yeah baby!  Bring it on.  Of course, the first few days of the week were brutally hot.  Not fun on a hike in the hills.  Only brings me closer to the burning sun.

After an hour hike like that, all my individual walks are a breeze.  And the trip to the dogpark is like a lunch break.  That's when I see other dogwalkers and people with their dogs.  It's social time for all of us.

I brought my car in to be fixed the very next day after posting how I was worried about it.  Yay me.  Strangely, it's still making the noise that concerned me.  But my mechanic did a courtesy check on the entire car and said I'm good to go.  I even pushed for other stuff, "Is there anything else I need fixed that would make my car run better."  He practically had to shove me out of there, "No, everything looks good. Your key is inthe ignition."

It was finished in less than three hours.  I had rented a car for the day, thinking the mechanic would be an all day event.  So I drove a clean car for a few hours.  It was nice not being invisible for a while.  I swear, in my car other cars don't see me coming.  I'm constantly swerving out of the way of people making left turns in front of me.  I don't know what it is.  But I'm ready for a different car - preferably this one!

OK, gotta run ... I spent more time here than my schedule comfortably allows.  But it was worth it.  I hope to update again soon.  Be well all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Yay!

Life is amazing lately.  I'm riding one long incredible wave.  Part of me is a little apprehensive to give in to the joy.  I'm so used to flying for a while and crashing hard.  But this has gone on for a month now.  And it keeps getting better.  That's what makes me act with a little trepidation.  Not expecting it but waiting for the fall.  Y'know?

Tonight's rehearsal has been postponed.  [whew]  I could've done it.  I made copies of all my music and bought 3-ring binders for the musicians and producer.  I don't know if I've ever been so organized.  The only thing I haven't done is pick up my guitar.  But we're practicing on Saturday instead.  And recording next Monday night.  So I have this week to brush up. Yay!

It was just so dang hot here today. The air conditioning in my car didn't start cooling off till the sixth hour.  I do a lot of driving.  I'm a little concerned about my car.  It's making a rattling noise - like a chain on a bike, or like a loose metal cap bouncing under the hood.  I need to get it checked.  I can't afford to break down.  I drive all over the city. I think I put over 100 miles on my car a day now.  I should keep better track of that, now that I think about it.

A while back I posted a few coveted items One of which I already bought - new shoes. Yay!  Though I'm dogwalking in the old ones, I have the new ones for non-dogwalking time. Ahhh, I feel human again.

The second thing that I'll be acquiring from that list of covets is a real bed.  Oooooh, just thinking about it makes me wanna jump on it!  A friend is merging in her relationship - therefore her queen size [hardly used] bed is available for me.  I can't beat $50 for a queen box spring and mattress with pillow covering. Yay!

I admit, I'll miss the futon and all its hippy-ness.  But I'm so looking forward to the comfort of a real bed again.  Then again, maybe there's a reason I've been waking up at 7AM every day lately.  I just might sleep through my day if my bed is comfortable.  Maybe I'll wait till the weekend to pick it up.

I'm very close to having a third thing from that list of covets in my hands. Yay!  But you'll be sure to know when that happens.  Trust me.

I went to the Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy today [finally] to get the exact information about what I need to do to take care of this [benign] tumor.  Putting it all on paper with the numbers next to it somehow made it seem less intimidating and a lot more affordable than my mind remembers.  It's the same stuff I started taking almost two years ago.  I had to stop because I couldn't afford it.  It's an aggressive three-to-six-month program of herbs and homeopathics.  I've already gotten a head start with my diet - or "healthy lifestyle" as I like to refer to it.

I'm gearing up and almost ready to attack this, head on.  If work continues this way, I should be able to afford the meds.  Yay!

It's a wonderful feeling, taking care of myself.  I mean, I take pretty good care of myself in general. Because I generally care about myself.  But something has shifted.  I'm having another birthday this year [funny how that happens] and I'm realizing, this is the only body I will have in this lifetime.

So far, this body has been a rock!  I've yet to have a broken bone or stitches.  I don't bruise easily.  My hair and nails are thick and strong.  Sure I have sensitive skin and a few allergies.  I have some things that need to be checked out.  But I'm so grateful for the strength of this body - this tiny shell that's carried me through this life on this planet for all these years.  The least I can do is treat it with love and kindness.

I've been so angry with my body for betraying me earlier in life.  It's high time I forgive myself - just another level.  That will only speed up the healing process and create a stronger body for the rest of this life. Yay!

Next up:  OB/GYN and then DENTIST.  :::shiver:::

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Weekend Recap

It was another "record breaking heat" day today - and another is expected tomorrow.  It's almost midnight and it hasn't dropped below 80 degrees - hardly any breeze.

I have full dogwalking days from now on.  I can only imagine what tomorrow's hike will be like.  I hope I have the energy to get there earlier than 9am.  This heat is bound to draw rattle snakes to our path.  That's a far cry from the deer I saw last week.  And the lizards.  [for the record, I'm still very excited about my work and say, bring it on!]

The heat alone is draining.  I almost passed out walking Hunny in the city this morning.  I'm not looking forward to walking in this heat tomorrow.  After seven hours of that, I'm supposed to work at the yoga studio. But hopefully I'll be able to get someone to fill in because after that, I have a rehearsal with a percussionist and bass player.  We're hoping to record the rest of my CD next weekend.  Yes, that sounds exciting.  But part of me wants to wait.  I'm not feeling ready [at all].  I haven't picked up my guitar since my last 2-song gig. 

I was supposed to take the month of April to practice and work out kinks.  Instead, I got busy with work and my business started doing well.  That's where my focus has been.  And that's what's important at the moment.  But now I need to muster up the energy to do what most other musicians do - work fulltime and play music at night.  Who needs sleep anyway?  I do!

I went to a Beltane Bash last night.  I danced-ish around the Maypole - really wish I had done that after the shot of vodka.  And drank some tea that made me a little queasy.  Guess I should've stuck with the vodka.  The pool was like bath water.  The organic spread was delectable.  The music was amazing.  The night air. The trees. The moon.  Beautiful.

The cab ride home made me more nauseous.  Oh god, the cab ride.  See, around 10:00 I was happily almost out the door with the friend I'd arrived with.  But Cheryl and a bunch of dramatic Pirates insisted I stay, offering a ride home later.  I caved to the peer pressure and I hugged my ride goodbye.

Midnight rolled around and Cheryl and I suddenly realized, no one was anywhere near ready to leave. Except us.  The party was just getting started for the ride home we'd expected.  I found her double-fisted, with a shot of this and a swig of that.

Yup, we were stranded.  I was content with crashing on the blankets in the yard till someone was able to take us home.  But Cheryl's idea sounded intriguing.  Besides, I was still there because of her, so I was sticking with her.  And now we can both say we survived Beverly Glen, Mulholland, the 405 and the 10 in our first [and hopefully last] L.A. cab ride!

Even after a late night, I still woke up at 7:30 this morning.  But I allowed [forced] myself to go back to bed and was able to sleep till after 10am.  I feel well-rested.  I just hope I can fall asleep tonight.  I have a mind to turn the air on but I just hate air conditioning.  I can't decide what's worse...the heat or the stale AC.

Someone asked me tonight if I've lost weight.  Happens every spring.  I must look heavier with jeans and a sweater than I do with shorts and a t-shirt.  Hello!  No, I haven't lost weight, just clothing.

The only way for me to know if I've lost any weight is if I visit my doctor again.  That's the only time I step on a scale.  Otherwise, as long as my clothes fit, I know I'm okay.

I broke my "no cookie streak" this week.  I had two chocolate chip cookies [on two different days].  And I had a piece of chocolate last night, for the first time in two weeks.  Each "treat" satisfied me thoroughly.  I didn't crave more and was grateful to have them each time.  I even passed on the delicious smelling chocolate cake last night.

Happy May everyone!  It's officially my birthmonth.  Let the celebrations begin.