Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Worst That Can Happen

Someone said they walked into the restaurant and no one greeted him and his son and then they waited for 10 minutes and decided to leave.

Unfortunately word came down from on high to my on high to me, so that sucks.


No one dies from this.

No one does not get into an Ivy League College because of this.

No one gets fired from this.


Of course I can obsess about this for the rest of the night, but I can also practice putting this thought out of my mind. I could get fired. My manager could get fired. My assistant manager could get fired. I could get fired.

But none of this will happen, so I will be putting this out of my mind.

It bothers me. A lot of things bother me. But I will be putting them out of my mind now.


(the funny thing is, this might not have happened at all. I was vigilant, the assistant manager and I don't remember it happening at all or seeing these people, it wasn't busy enough for anyone to blend in with everyone else)

So I will be putting this out of my mind now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shaking Things Up

Damn the earthquake that shook my insides more than my outsides.

I was at the tutoring center when it hit. Standing next to three tall bookcases filled with workbooks. A plate glass window of the storefront.

"Was that an earthquake?"

"It's still going," I said. Why, why can't I be in an earthquake and not be around kids? I looked at the bookcases, the window.

"We should get in the door jam."

Five adults and two kids? Tables that wouldn't protect us from the books or glass. "We should go outside."

"No, there's lots of trees out there."

"Post-China, I'm all about going outside," I said, and went outside where I saw all the other business people outside their shops. The others followed. The kids didn't even feel it and their mom walked back over fast so that she could be with her cubs. Mom was nervous, but relieved to see that things hadn't fallen or shaken much like in the beauty supply shop she'd been browsing and her kids were nonchalant.

I couldn't get cellphone reception--the network was jammed--no access to Justin, no learning whether he had to go to work even though there hadn't been much damage, you know, it was a natural disaster... kinda.... heart attacks.... maybe people had to work...

My parents were trying to call in--always my protectors--but I couldn't take the call because we returned to training immediately. But my mind was with Justin, Mom and Dad, everywhere but the order of lesson planning out of a box. Which box to check, which number to circle...

After my tutoring work I took a nap, but by my restaurant job I had to take some medicine to quell my anxiety. I just wanted to stay home and be with Justin.


So now I wake, ready to go, needing to get stuff done, ready to get ready and be prepared for anything.

Meanwhile, Justin sleeps peacefully, recovering from his four days of working nights and sleeping rarely.

Maybe normal people have forgotten about the quake already. Maybe they aren't desperate for information about what the damage was and what the chances are that it happens again and where and how strong. Was it a fore shock?


I don't need it.

At least today is a day off work and I hopefully can regroup.

**************** 3:20 p.m.********************
Regrouped. Turns out sleeping all day is an excellent healer. And which of us was not sleep deprived?

ahhhhh...... residency program.... day sleeping.... restaurant night working.... calm....

Monday, July 28, 2008

art modeling meditations

As I stood perfectly still I let my mind hold and let go and float wander run rest go deep and retreat.

As I stood perfectly still and looked to the artists as though I "never moved a muscle," I focused on those muscles and held them and felt them twitch and tingle and never rest, but strain and flex and hold hold hold.

1, 5, 10, 30 minute increments.

Don't move!

Once upon a time there was a girl who was an inhuman over-achiever. But with every award there was always more to do, and another person standing at the door demanding her attention. "Could you please do this for me? I know you'll do it well and you never say no and don't let yourself fail or take an incomplete. Thanks. Bye!" OK. No problem. Got it.

Don't got sleep don't got love don't got friends don't got much but respect admiration resentment fear jealousy drive loneliness.

After she crashed she reconfigured, like Humpty Dumpty together again with cracks in the surface and no desire to sit on a wall.

Closer to the ground just fine fine fine.

There was a girl who garnered trophies and left them on the shelves. She did piece work in restaurants and art studios and a tutoring center and found dogs to walk and subjects to photograph. She ran, but there was no one chasing her anymore and so she could breathe more deeply.

Like Sleeping Beauty waking up.

Friday, July 25, 2008

shift work

midnight to 8 a.m.

sure, it's better than 30 hours in a row, but when am I supposed to sleep?

have dinner?

awkward coordination, this so called "good schedule"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


i drank milk straight from the plastic jug and then put it back in the fridge

i ate brownies for breakfast

and more for dessert

after 10 a.m. enchiladas

i took the faded American flag off my car window

from 2001


don't tell

From 30 to 8 in 17 hours

The 30 hour shift is dying.

Life in the Cardiac Care Unit is coming to a close for Justin. Tonight marks his last on call shift for eight weeks.

Catch that?

Eight weeks coming at us and he won't have to work a 30 hour shift!

Eight hour shifts!

Eight hour shifts!

Of course, the 8 is a technicality--it's likely to be 10-12 the first few shifts, but still. Only 12 hours in one day!

Naturally, they are timed at midnight to 8 a.m., 4 p.m. to midnight and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so nights are not over, but eight measly hours.... Yesterday when we were contemplating the future we could barely wrap our heads around the concept. Not to mention he's got two weeks of vacation so that we can go to Shannon's wedding in West VA.


We're going to have an almost-normal life!


Monday, July 21, 2008

A Lady in Waiting

I am a lady in waiting.

It has become a frequent state: waiting.

Justin was supposed to be home early this afternoon. He is on call tonight, I think. Or tomorrow. Regardless, he should be home by now.

Meanwhile, I have done the dishes, made dinner and listened to NPR. I even went to work at a tutoring place, which is extremely boring in training, but which I imagine might be somewhat fulfilling when I start working with kids.

I return to waiting. Maybe I'll clean something.... vacuum or think about laundry washing...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Redefining a Tough Day at Work

"Justin, I don't know what to do. The restaurant scheduled me to work Saturday night, but I'm supposed to assist that photographer at a wedding."

"I've got seven patients and four of them are dying right now."

Friday, July 18, 2008

When Justin's Not Here

I sleep late
I make one omelette
three cookies
reheat the coffee he left for me at 6 a.m.
wander around in pajamas
deciding what to do next
take a bike ride
call to arrange some work
wait for his call
sleep in the whole bed
watch TV
do laundry
grocery shop
wait for our lives to turn magical
as soon as he's home and we do those things together
or surf
or walk holding hands
or joke and laugh and be

When Justin's Not Here
I live quiet

When Justin Is Here
it's magical realism
a layer of love
floating on top
like Grand Marnier
making life
a Cadillac

Thursday, July 17, 2008

LA 'laina

I just watched NFL News on purpose and now I am watching Jim Rome is Burning.

Apparently I am nearly qualified as a sports' fanatic.

I am SO excited to have football season start. I love football. College football especially, but also the NFL. Justin and I have to go buy some UCLA paraphernalia and hopefully even maybe tickets to a game or two, now that we're official Bruins--I say being a resident at UCLA-Harbor counts.

Yeah. I'm watching ESPN and there isn't a man in the house. It's just who I am.

Today is another waiting day--Justin is at work and this morning got a text that they might need him to be on call today instead of tomorrow. It's not the kind of thing anyone should really go into without knowing the night before--if you're about to work 30 hours in a row you might want to go to sleep early--but apparently someone is sick or something.

I also work today, so it's really the only thing I have to do without question. Notably, I've also cleaned the bathroom, done the dishes and baked some cookies. If I get a few boxes unpacked and some stuff taken downstairs to storage that will be truly remarkable. Mostly, I just want to know if anyone will be home tonight when I get here.

Which brings me to the coming and going of work tonight: walk, bike or ride? The answer is to be determined. I might just be too lazy to take the bike downstairs, but I hate to waste the gas on a half-mile walk. However, the alternative is risking a walk home that involves stranger-danger, so it's a significant question. It's also just a matter of time from when I hit "publish post" until my mother calls and votes for driving. It remains to be seen.

Now I am trying to figure out how people get points on around the Table (more ESPN) as they talk about the British Open. It's a neat game. Plus, I get to see sports columnists on TV. I think just the host gets to push a button.

Believe it or not, I actually care about Brett Favre and where he ends up. I think a sports great like Favre has every right to sadly retire when his team loses and then watch the season start up and want to jump back in the game. It's hard to believe that the Green Bay Packers and Favre are having such animosity pass between them. On the other hand, Favre said he "couldn't trust this guy" on national TV, and the Packers have a lot to lose (America's favorite quarterback) and can't just let him go like they're tossing away a guy who retired because he wasn't playing well anymore. But can they actually bench a legend and believe that they can play peacefully in Green Bay? Lambeau Field would explode with tension.

Against my better judgment, and because I usually despise anything that can come across at all like prima donna behavior, I side with Brett Favre. I don't think he could spend 16 years with the Packers and fake being a team player and a humble man. I don't think he could "stage his retirement" just so the Packers would let him out of his contract. I can't imagine the human capacity to become a different person. I can, however, imagine the human capacity to change positions, to want something different, to change one's mind. When Favre retired he looked like a man retiring at the top of his game, rather than waiting to dwindle away on the national stage. I know what it's like for the school year to start and to want to be there because that's what happens as the calendar pages turn. It will be interesting to see how this situation turns out, especially since Favre doesn't have the power to do what he wants to do just because he wants to do it, and the Packers have just become The Man because they hold the contract.

I dunno. Sports are sports are life.

In other news, my attempts at surfing are continuing to excite and befuddle me. On the upside, I get better at it every time I go out there. On the downside, I end up on the downside a lot.

Yesterday I relatively mastered getting out there, which involves making the board go over waves when I am facing the ocean and they are facing the beach. Supposedly, it's easier on a short board than a long board, which is most definitely a disadvantage for me. I have mastered sitting out there, which sounds lame and probably is, but sitting on a board floating on water isn't the same as switching from lying on the couch to sitting on the couch.

My biggest challenge is overcoming my habit of jumping up with my front foot facing the nose instead of the side of the board. Unfortunately, in ballet and in yoga "turning out" is the norm. In surfing, turning my front foot out causes me to fall over immediately. The problem is that the front foot is the steering foot, and it is physically impossible to steer with too little surface area rocking left to right and too much surface area pushing the front of the board into the water.

Unfortunately, yesterday I didn't get much chance to practice jumping up because I decided to practice getting out there on my own and ended up getting rolled and thrashed at least twice. I am proud to say I battled through all the usual mishaps and a badly turned ankle (I landed on its side underwater), but when I lost my drawers because of a wave I took it as a sign that I should walk it in. Luckily, it was just one side that untied, I grabbed it fast because I was not leashed to the board, and I managed to keep all the goods under water so no one had to see anything they should not get to see.

OK. That's it from LA. My San Diego friend Jareb is in San Francisco auditioning for American Idol again, and I have a couple of photography and art modeling gigs coming up this month, so hurrah for taking steps toward our futures. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Rules

If you are a man and you see a woman walking down the street cross the street while still a block away and then cross back a block later, do not come running up behind her and say, "Excuse me, ma'am, would you like to come to a party."

Especially not if it's midnight and she's walking home from work.

It doesn't matter if you have a French accent.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


swimsuit and shorts
walked to the beach
the ocean lap against the shore
volleyball players jump and dive
a dog obey, wait for treats
couples walk
hand in hand
of God, my husband, Creation
prayers and praise

enough for this Sunday

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rotation Wedge

The orthodontist put a rotation wedge in the bottom row of one of my teeth to speed up the turning a tooth that persists in its original crooked roots instead of turning to be straight with its partners.

Immediately I felt the strain of my tooth fighting against the wires and wedge that were pushing against the bones of my mouth to move this crooked tooth.

Within two hours the soreness made eating pita and hummus a painful task.

My trips to San Diego are a rotation wedge.

I go there because I need to see my orthodontist, my psychiatrist, my therapist, and yesterday my dentist.

My orthodontist and my therapist. My rotation wedges.

They are working separately to help me straighten my life--and when this work is done I will be done with monthly San Diego visits.

Three to six months remain for the teeth. This gifts me with three to six visits to the therapist as well; since I'll be there, I might as well check in with someone who knows the piles I have plowed through over the last two years, to see how we think I am moving onward.

And so I consider changing my blog title to "looking for love in Los Angeles." Whom must I love? Me. Ironically, the one person I have traveled with throughout the years and miles is the one person I have never been enamored of the way I have treasured friends, lovers, family, acquaintances. Some of them have been so wonderful, so wounded, so workable, but me... I have been so worthless and worrisome.

Rotate, rotate, rotate.

Turn to self-care, self-love, self-strength.

Re-visiting San Diego washes me with the memory and longing of so much there that is past. Much of a past I must rotate away from, instead of staring at the scars and remembering where I got them and why they are there.

That's the only problem with going back--the swirling of those memories that can so easily just pull and drown me in all that is imaginary.

Rotate from what I am not.

Rotate from my imaginary friends. (real people, imagined closeness)

Rotate toward what is real and free and open and still.

Rotate toward my real friends--like Kristen and our so fun dinner in San Diego. Rotate toward my real therapist, instead of that LA quack. Rotate toward the good.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 4, 2008 and other days too

In classic Anderson fashion, Justin had Independence Day off and I had to work from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Still, we walked to the beach to watch the fireworks and did a potluck BBQ with our neighbors. It was really fun, and today we're sleepy and he's at work, which he'll return from when I'm back at the restaurant carrying around drinks.

We had kinda a lot of food for four people. So now we have leftovers. They are going to be transformed into a pasta sauce... and sandwiches.... and other stuff.

I love Justin. :)

11 days until our meeting anniversary, 15 days until our wedding anniversary--7 and 6 years respectively. Yippeee!!!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's starting to make sense

Justin finally talked about the interaction he has with the residents, attending and patients last night, and now I see that he's not just there to be $12 an hour (seriously) labor, but that he really makes a difference.

Not only is he smart--he picks up on people's idiosyncrasies and responds to them quickly, plus the medical stuff--he actually cares about the patients. Especially in the Cardiac Care Unit, where everyone who is in a bed is fairly likely to die or is suffering some serious heart-related malady, Justin knows about sending people to Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospice or Home Hospice. Having seen his mom there, he knows how hard it is for the family to make those decisions and wants to talk to them until they understand. He also does whatever he does with patients for tests and whatnot and then asks them if they are comfortable. That extra moment makes them not only have their pillows rearranged carefully, but makes them comfortable to tell him when something else hurts, which helped him catch a potentially horrible problem yesterday.

All of that makes me feel better about him staying late. I don't resent it so much because I know he's enjoying his work and also that he is truly helping people.

It's easier to have him gone when I know I'm sharing his love with people who need it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

quack quack quack

I am never going back to that crazy lady for crazy ladies. I'm just not.

She actually told me to think of what I would tell my daughter if she were lonely and had just moved to a new place.

I swear I almost left.

"Did you try the Church of Religious Science?"

"No! Why is that place such a big deal for you?"

"It's not."

"I've just never heard anyone recommend a church so much."

I did the whole why am I coming to therapy bit and I am just not going back. I'm not.

I even cried this time and she really just had nothing to give me. She doesn't even have a trashcan for the Kleenexes. She says I have to join groups, make friends, be nice to my inner child, encourage myself to keep going. I told her I was exercising.

"Four to five times a week?"

"Every day."

"At least I walk every day."

"Fast so you get your heart rate up?"

"No, but at least I'm out there."

"It would be good if you power walked so you got a cardio work out."

Bitch! Not only does she ask me to talk to a pretend daughter, she also doesn't appreciate that at least I get my ass out of the house instead of just lying around all day.

I am totally done with her. I kept watching the clock and then finally said, "I guess that's all I have for today."

I am never going back.

I miss Nancy.

Dun Duh Duh Daaaaa!

I am employed.

I get to wear tank tops and jeans and I am a server at a local restaurant I can walk to. :)

I start tomorrow.

Sure, I'm scared, but the idea of a little money coming in sure is comforting.

Am I getting depressed? or manic?

I was never any good at chemistry, so watching my brain to see how its levels are doing is a bit of a task.

If I'm depressed, I sleep a lot, don't want to do anything, feel sad and heavy, can't be bothered with answering the phone because I'm afraid of who might be on the other end, and I believe that I cannot succeed at any task or feel under attack for everything I do.

If I'm manic, I sleep just enough, cast my net and see what work will come my way and take it all even if it is almost impossible to do it all, I answer the phone and I get lots done and I do it all with a happy face or a get-out-of-my way attitude.

If I'm OK? I suppose it's something of the above, mixed. My OK is probably a mixed state (a clinical term, believe it or not.)

So, this is how I am: I've got this pressured feeling to cast my net, but I am afraid to throw it too far out because I've seen what happens when I catch too much and have to figure out what to throw back. I'm trying to be patient and wait out the job situation; I have until the 15th of this month to get the kind of work I want, and then I go for restaurant jobs and temp agencies. This fear of not earning my keep keeps me running. Fortunately, I am also forcing myself with a little bit of actual desire to exercise daily, which I think is keeping my endorphins up enough to stave the depression off. My appetite has gone from gargantuan obsessed with food and dreaming of my next meal to more regular for me--I eat as necessary. I'm doing, which helps, since it keeps track of my intake and my exercise and tells me about things like calories, cholesterol (important because mine was a bit high last time) and sodium (important because it leads to high blood pressure, a family ailment. Also, it's helping me lose weight--I got up to 140 which is totally inappropriate for my 5'5" thin frame, and I'm down to 135 already. Only 20 pounds to go.

I'm also calling my mom a lot, but my parents are the only ones I know close by who can answer because they're retired, so that's a little bit of company. I have a few SD friends to call to keep me from losing my mind and I see the Oakmonster and Brandon on occasion, so we don't go bonkers with loneliness. (Justin joins us too.) I'm trying to arrange a SD trip, but haven't found a couch to surf just yet, but I will.

I don't have work yet, which haunts haunts haunts me. But we're practically in a Depression--housing market hasn't been so dismal since the 1930s--so what's a girl with an English BA to do?

And that's how I'm doing. I just keep on keeping on. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll crash into the couch and stay there, and Justin would freak out and we can't have that.

I'd better go do something constructive. It takes plenty of time of my day just to do dishes, clean stuff and make dinner. If I could afford to be a housewife I would do it with this other stuff just supplementary.

Four or five more years for that.