Hold on, I’ll draw a picture of it for you

I often take a while to answer questions. Even when I’m asked questions in person, and the question is a simple as, “So how long did it take you to get here?” You know, a question that has an easy answer but requires a second of thought, as opposed to “How ya doin?” I often go into this long pause for no reason at all. For example, when I first started working at a pet store, when I was eighteen, one of my parents’ friends was in the store and he asked me, “So how do you like working here?” And I just stood there looking at him. I absolutely adored working there, but I wasn’t answering him. The tiny gears in my head were shifting, slowly, to tell me that I’d just been asked a question, and that there was an answer, and the answer had to go from a feeling into words and into my mouth and into an answer. All the while, my boss was standing right next to me, looking at me. That meaningless pause turned into a seemingly pregnant pause, for no reason at all. When the words finally came out, it was a moment that had subtext that I had composed entirely without meaning to. (I’m sure you can only imagine what that’s like for me when I’m in a relationship).

I was watching this episode of Grey’s Anatomy recently that offered me a little insight into that function of the brain. Those one-hour dramas are often far better depictions of reality than any reality show (except for The Amazing Race. Awesome reality show). See, this guy had the connections between his left brain and right brain surgically severed in an effort to reduce his seizures, and in recovery he couldn’t remember the names of things and people. He knew the people, knew everything about them, and knew that he knew their names. But, as the doctor explained, the info has to travel over to the left side of the brain before it can be processed into words and then into speech. His brain was going to have to re-learn the paths.

I am left-handed, which means that in theory, my right brain is ruling. And I’m more left-handed than most people. I’m left sided. I sometimes don’t even do my hair on one side of my head, which is textbook-typical of a severely right-brained person. The side that doesn’t use words. Once the words are formed, it already doesn’t make sense to me for there having been any delay. It always feels like I did it by some kind of choice.

And I really don’t think we should come with instructions. I don’t like it when people have all these complicated things we must know about them. We all have to learn basic things about interacting with each other because, if anything, it’s just polite.

Soooo, ummmmmmmmmm……..I might not be able to get to the answer your question right away, but, if you want to, I’ll take you with me on a colorful scenic route.

 

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That one’s ours

Thursday’s mad dash to Laguna Beach for Sammy’s Graduation was well worth it. First of all, I got to visit Nathen on the way there. And bonus, a few of us made it down to the beach for a little sunshine before we all raced off to Sammy’s graduation, and then drove the 2+ hrs back to Joshua Tree that got us home at midnightish.
It was a beautiful ceremony. I didn’t realize how exceptionally sweet that particular class was until I saw how they interacted, and heard the stories that one of their teachers shared. From what I understood, having that obnoxious T.V. show being filmed in the background of their lives kinda made all the kids bond. It also made them see how they DIDN’T want to act, and so Sammy’s class was the most mature, least self-absorbed group of teenagers you’ll probably ever see.
Oh! And as each kid got their diploma, a baby picture of them was projected onto the screen overhead. Whenever possible, it was a silly pic.
I’m so glad I went, and her graduation was a wonderful, memorable event, even with all of the chaos going on on the same weekend. I hope she got enough sleep, somewhere in there.

I know there are other nieces out there who just graduated, but ours is the smartest, most beautiful, clever, independent woman in the whole wide world. Our other niece is too, but she wasn’t our niece yet until the next night, at Chad and Jeannie’s Wedding Ceremony.

 

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My mom calls it “sloth”

We are coming up on the home stretch in the preparations for Chad and Jeannie’s wedding. Much of the week has involved drinking coffee and relaxing, with occasional glances at what should be done. So I can say without hesitation that we are enjoying helping with the wedding. There has been some vacuuming and some fixing of things and Mom and Dad did a lot before I got here, but with all the dried flowers falling off the Orchid Willows, there is little point in cleaning up outside until as late in the week as possible. Today, we pick up my aunt at the airport, and then we relax some more because we had decided long ago that whatever didn’t get done before Wednesday, we shouldn’t worry about. You see how that works?

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Photo by Dad Murdy

Surveillance, and the circle of life

It's still pretty warm here. Air conditioning everywhere is usually too cold for my taste, except for in my car when I'm alone. Not that I'm complaining; my parents' house is an oasis of shady trees and leisurely spots to sit around outside if you feel like.
Yesterday I went to pour out some (clean, room temp) water into a planter just outside the front door, and I caused a bird to fly out of the planter in a fluttery panic. I leaned in to see where the bird had been, and there was a nest with at least twelve eggs in it. A soaking wet nest. At least it was the middle of the day, and something like that will dry in two seconds, but I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I poured a pan of water onto a bird that was nesting with its babies. It was comforting to find out that the bird returned to her nest later on that day.
I also got to meet up with a high school friend, Sally, that I hadn't seen in about fourteen years. We had lost touch for about a decade, but myspace has a way of bringing people back together. Also, she's the kind of person that we see each other after so many years and we can just pick up the conversation and the laughter where we left off. She has four kids, and her fifteen year-old was with her. I guess I've had friends that have children, but this one's almost an adult, and a very smart, engaging and beautiful girl. I can't believe something like that came from someone who is the exact same age as me. And there's three more. I can't imagine what it's like to be responsible for four human beings, when I can't even come up with the energy to feed myself three healthy meals a day. And to worry about them, with all that's out there in the world. It's enough to worry about my siblings and parents, and to hope nothing out there hurts them, and how every time one of them is in a car going down the freeway, that's a little piece of my heart that's zooming along the freeway with all those crazy drivers out there.

It's comforting to know that if I have kids, by the time they're teenagers I will be able to have lo-jack's surgically installed and be able to monitor where they are, how fast they are going, and what they are looking at on the internet. And maybe, if I'm lucky, I will have a little speaker installed on their heads, to tell people to leave my babies alone if I don't like how they are talking to them. I'm sure they won't mind.

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Quail nest

The weather is perfect out here!

I’m listening to “Here Comes The Sun” right now because it just seems appropriate.

The weather’s so perfect out here right now! I got to Joshua Tree on Saturday. It’s that last little period of time before the heat gets turned up full blast out here for the rest of the summer. It’s already close, at mid-day. We got up at five thirty or so and leisurely had our morning coffee, and then took the dog on a nice long walk. So long that I started lagging behind. And then, after that, well I just dove back into bed. Why? Because I’m on vacation. I followed my nap with a nice little swim. Later on, my dad and I cooked dinner and we ate outside in the post-sunset glow, feeding little bits to the dog and getting sleepy. My vacation week is off to a nice start.

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We all float around each other like planets.

I like what I’ve done with being on my own, this time around. I kinda figured I’d just roll on into a relationship pretty soon after the last one, because, to be realistic, I always do. So I figured that in the meantime, I’d explore some things. The state of being single for me used to be a very lonely feeling, and there’s a longing to be sharing something with somebody. It’s validating. And that’s not always a good place to start a relationship from. You [can] end up with some ideal that no partner can live up to, and you both get the short end of the stick. During this time I’ve discovered a little bit about how to be my own partner, and how it feels when I do something nice for myself like preparing a great meal or giving myself a spa day at home.

Most of the things we get out of life are things we work towards in a somewhat linear fashion, but singlehood, as we all know, just suddenly goes away one day. Whether you were seeking it or not.

I’ve noticed also that with e-mail, cell phone, and text messaging, there is far less of a feeling of being alone (unless you want to be alone, then you just switch the power off). Janae, Chrystine, Sandra and I, who were once able to see each other almost every day because we worked together, are able to stay connected in ways we never could have before. There have been times when Sandra and I are on the phone together throughout my entire commute to school, and then through finding parking, getting out, and hiking to class ( it was a twenty minute hike). And I’m keeping her company as she does errands, cleans the house, commutes, etc. Chrystine and I often text each other several times a day. She’s the first to know anything that’s going on with me. And I feel like I’m maintaining a presence in her very stressful life and letting her know that I care, really care, whether or not she’s getting naps, getting through her homework, getting time with her boyfriend, etc. What’s going on with them affects me too. I feel it if they’re sad, and I feel it if they’re happy. Janae and I, who’ve always been especially tight, contact each other whenever and however we can, often resorting to long e-mails at random times that look like a string of headlines. Sandra and Chrystine also talk and text throughout the day. Janae is completely maxed out timewise, so I generally just give them reports on how she’s doing. We are involved in the most minute details of each other’s lives. And if I get busy or feel like having a day all to myself, I just delay returning their contact, and we are all used to each other’s rhythms.

Then up here I have Steph and Aimee. Steph and I exercise together, and She and Aimee talk several times a day. Aimee and I e-mail back and forth, and the three of us try to get together at least once in a while. We try to do a girls’ night, whenever we can, even if it’s just dinner.

And of course, my main go-to’s in person, are the siblings. That’s who I usually want to spend my time with on the weekends, mainly because we are all into the same things, and can casually flow through a day together and have a great time in the process. Sometimes too great, because on more than one occasion I’ve had an actual stomach ache from laughing too hard. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of us.

 

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Me, Janae, Chrystine and Sandra.